I have always loved stories. When we define ourselves, we use the words we see ourselves through. They are the words that define the story we tell ourselves,as well as others.
I remember discovering fantasy and science-fiction and feeling as if the world had shifted beneath my feet. I think Anne RIce might be my intro, followed by Octavia E Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Tom Robbins, Gaiman, Jacqueline Carey, Terry Pratchett, Mercedes Lackey, Laurelle K Hamilton, Patricia Briggs and many many others. I always tended towards fantasy and I always tended towards women. I loved women that carried swords, hunted vampires, struggled to defeat the monsters within themselves and in general, kicked butt.
My favorites were always the fairy tales. While I believe it is common to think that anyone who loves fairy tales is waiting for a prince , fairy godmother or some magical intervention to swoop down and make it all better, that was never how I saw them at all. There is always an orphan, a terrible plight, a loved one in jeopardy or some other extreme example of someone in need. I enjoyed the struggle of characters that were more real to me than most of the humans in my life.
When I was around 13 a psychiatrist noted that I had sociopathic tendencies, a made sociopath as opposed to one born without the capacity for empathy. This really meant that while most of good little girls and boys were taught lying, stealing, violence and
skullduggery were inherently not only wrong but dishonorable, I was taught how to do them well and rewarded as my skills developed. It is a bit like being taught that right is left and left is right. It’s gonna fuck you up in a myriad of small and substantial ways. You can learn to accept the “right” way of things, but it’s not the same integral aspect of your personal foundation, that the people around you seem to be built upon.
If you had to pick your own path and there was no road map given by the people who raised you, what would you pick and choose to build yourself upon? For me I found that map in it the pages of books filled with heroes and heroines that fought personal demons as much as real monsters upon their paths.
In a week or so April will be upon us and so the A to Z Blogging challenge will begin. I have examined a lot of ideas regarding the theme I want to explore and this concept of finding myself in stories, in rewriting my own tale keeps clinging to my thoughts no matter where I turn. I have never been good at short stories. I envy and adore the storytellers that have mastered the small gem of a moment, a day, a single experiences and can spin it into a tale that sticks to everything you hear afterwards, reshaping the weft and weave of future experiences. This project has been something that I have used to force me to write, try new things and both fail and succeed at both.
My project for this April will be combining the idea of fairy tales, self-definition and how I continue trying to find a path toward being the bitch with quick wit, a loving heart, honor and strength to confront the shadows.
Just remember that in most good tales, a lot of tears, pain, breaking and growth happens to get there.