Finding Inspiration in Odd(ish) Places This Week

On Writing "Where the Stars Used to Sing"


(What a day! I've been at an actual office (how weird, under lockdown) for half of the day and I think I may have lost some of my people skills, haha! It's quite late in the day, but here is the first "Writing Wednesday" post!)

Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places

I was looking forward to my Thrums Books newsletter (besides being interesting, it usually has a lot of story fodder for Ruon Chronicles) and what a surprise when I opened it up!

The book they were writing about for the week is Maya Gods & Monsters by Carol Karasik and Alfonso Huerta and one title in particular caught my eye — "Grandmother Moon Weaves the World".

"All the earth's creatures are woven together in our clothes, all rhythms, all cycles, all songs. These the goddess showed us." — Maya Gods & Monsters, "Grandmother Moon Weaves the World".

Now I'll admit that I know very little about the Maya mythology, so I only have the title to go on. But that was enough to get the cogs in my brain ticking. I'm not going to read the myth just yet as I specifically don't want to do straight retellings of myths and legends in Where the Stars Used to Sing.

I mean, I'll take images, elements, and snippets from all over, but I don't want them to be the complete myths and legends that I'm just setting in another world, so to speak.

The artist or writer and stealing influences

That's not to say that I am oblivious to the influences from myth and folklore from many cultures and traditions colouring my stories. I just don't set out thinking that I'm going to "rewrite X fairy tale" or legend or myth. And it's usually only afterwards that I even realise certain things have influenced the story.

Editing is usually when I'll then go and strengthen the imagery or change it, depending on what I want the final story to be.

And moon imagery and etymology is everywhere. You just need to look at an etymology dictionary to see how much the moon and its cycles have influenced our language. This fact, of course, does give me loads to play around with in the stories once my subconscious gets a hold of it!

"And She Danced With the Moonlight"

This story (which was last Sunday's "Sunday Fiction", was written almost in one sitting and it was only afterwards that I wondered whether J.R.R. Tolkien's one poem ("The Shadow Man") may have been a loose marble rolling around in my head while writing, accompanying the Kincaid artwork.

Here it is:

In other writing news

I'm busy doing some retouching (nothing as dire as editing) on "The White Road to Cremation", a short story which I wrote at the end of last year.

I had sent it on its merry way to perhaps be published and it was rejected by two publications. However, when I looked at it now before sending it off again, I saw a few places where I could add some detail or change some detail to make it read a lot better.

My only worry in sending it out right now, is that it is a bit of a dark tale (as the title suggests) and there's enough darkness in the world right now.

I'll give myself until next week to ponder whether I'm sending it out now or not. If I do, I think I'll target those flash fiction mags that also publish horror along with fantasy and scifi.

It's not really a family-friendly story, but I think it would have been rated 16 if it was a movie. So it's dark, but not life-scarring-I-want-to-gauge-out-my-eyes kind of horror!

Besides that flash piece, I'm also busy working on the moon stories for the collection. The second story I wrote will be Sunday's fiction!

Until Sunday, stay well and stay safe!