Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thoughts from the Sea - Part 1

From the first of January through the eighth, I took a break from the internet to go on a holiday cruise with my immediate family. While wandering the ship, I had a lot of time to myself to think. Whenever a thought got to be too much for me to hold, I pulled open a word file and wrote them down. These are those thoughts, unfiltered and unedited. Take them as you will.

You know, Narnia and Middle Earth wouldn’t have been the same if Tolkien and Lewis were American. We don’t have the same cultural themes on the rights and responsibilities of predestined authority figures. Maybe that’s why American high fantasy has never reached the same sort of crucial and literary acclaim as its British counterpart. It’s not in our cultural nature.

Someday, I’d like to write a Western hemisphere counterpart to the traditional high fantasy setting. Native American legends lend to darker and more haunting fairytales anyway.

Well, if I can say nothing else about this first draft, at least I’m damn sure that the first chapter is a much better hook than some of my other stories.

I wish I could describe my father’s scent, especially right after a shower. You know how you walk outside after a light rain, and everything smells really fresh but also really earthy? It’s not really like rain or like clay, but more like the combination of the two has produced something clean. That’s kind of what it’s like when my dad gets out of the shower. Except that he doesn’t smell anything like wet clay.

Does Tale of the Monkey King count as an Eastern equivalent to high fantasy? What about all those stories set in the Sengoku era, only there are demons around? Is there an Australian counterpart? African? Slavic?

Come to think of it, how come I never hear of any Spanish fantasy novels? I know they were Catholic for a long time, but they have to have some sort of cultural mythology to draw on. Of course, this could just be because I don’t speak or read Spanish.

Wound up making a playlist for my new book. It includes the entire soundtrack of the movie 9.

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