This post was uploaded yesterday at patreon.com/champthehippie
My, how time flies. Morgan has come with me to do laundry over the last couple of weeks, so my attention was on her, rather than my work. It’s a delicate balance to walk, and I don’t always pull it off. But she’s the love of my life, so I never regret the time I spend with her.
Funnily enough, it was spending idle time with her which solved a problem I’ve been having for a good while. See, in two of the last three short stories I’ve set out to write, I’ve hit a wall when it came time to knuckle down and really give my readers something concrete about my magic. The worst part has been the fact that I couldn’t even pinpoint what it was that was holding me back. I’d just…peter out.
I’ve lost interest in projects before (definitely nothing new for someone with attention issues), but this wasn’t that. I didn’t know what this was—until Morgan put on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I hadn’t seen it since the theater (I was disappointed in their portrayal of Mirkwood, so I never went back until this viewing), so I was very interested to give it another look. It amazes me how Peter Jackson and company were able to translate the Tolkien-ness from the books into the movies—that bizarre combination of early twentieth-century British-ness, the wild imagination of the granddaddy of the fantasy genre, the soberness of a WWI veteran, and the quiet hopefulness of a person who believes one’s actions (and choices) matter. It had been a long time since I’d delved into anything in Middle Earth, and boy did I need it.
Tolkien reminded me that the spectacle of fantasy is given weight almost completely by the emotion and motivations of the characters. The philosophy behind the epicness is what truly grants meaning, which, in retrospect, is precisely what my writing is missing. I hate the question “What’s your book about?” because it’s not nonfiction. I’m not writing about history, or weather patterns, or snails. If you’d asked Tolkien, he might have said LotR was about a fictional history of Europe (which it is; look it up if you don’t believe me), or an epic quest to destroy a dark lord. But looking at it now, it’s about how importance doesn’t come from power or pedigree or wealth, but from choosing to do the right thing and believing that the world can be changed.
So what is my book about? It’ll be about an epic quest to save one’s Home, about self-discovery and self-improvement, and about the way that love has the power to overcome all obstacles. Particularly, I want to discuss how important it is for people to accept that not everybody in their society is going to adopt the same lifestyle as them. The beauty of humans is that we are all different. Homogeny is a myth, and striving for it will lead to stagnation at best, collapse at worst. I dream of a world where people accept that others unlike them will always exist—and be unlike them—and I believe that portraying that world will bring us all closer to it.
I haven’t been writing much lately, but I have been grappling with some of the big questions hanging over my work. I believe one of the biggest has now been answered, and I am deeply hopeful that that means more content will begin to flow again. Stay tuned!