N = Narnia, A to Z Blog Challenge

First of all, I have been completely remiss with my self-promotion lately. I’ve never been very good with that, honestly.

However, I have a new short story coming out this Wednesday (August 19th) under Torquere, under the Mythologically Torqued volume 2 anthology. My story, Threads of Discord, (likely the longest in the anthology) will be on sale separately as well as with the full anthology. Also, since the anthology hit the prerequisite word count, the entire anthology will be going to print (which is a pretty big deal for this publisher). I will likely do a separate entry on Wednesday when you can get it, should you be so inclined, but you can also preorder the thing now.

By way of a terrible segue, I will mention that as a young gay male (who writes non-erotic gay fiction currently), reading the Chronicles of Narnia, with their religious allegory and overt symbolism, actually tore me up. I loved them unequivocally when young, but as I pulled away from the dogma instilled into me as early as the ovum stage of growth, I started to reject what was very good fantasy indeed. I’m pretty much over all that angsty religious crap now, and can appreciate them for what they are — fantasy and good for all that. My tastes have aged and I’m more inclined to enjoy the Chronicles of Prydain for a kid’s/YA reread, but I can’t deny the colossal impact Narnia had on me as a young imaginer of stories and later while I struggle to take on the dubious mantle of writer.

Fantasy is my preferred genre, I think, and as I get older I can read the classics of fantasy to the dregs of imagination to the punny (I’m looking right at Xanth, Mr. Piers Anthony), but one thing sticks out is the creatures. Dryads and gorgons and hipogriffs and griffins and chimera…how do they live in these worlds? How do they interact with man? Or eat them? What of those with human intelligence? How are their societies?  What would they be like in battle?

And that harkens back to my early days in Narnia as well as in Xanth (especially Castle Roogna and Night Mare), and not a little with my days playing Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. I always wanted to create a world with these fantasy creatures, well used and well loved, but make them unique, to explore their psyche, to have a dryad or mermaid come to the human tavern or visit the local market. And I plan to. Am, in fact, in my new writing stuff.

And I owe this to Narnia. That’s where this all started. I wanted to check out every closet I came to. When I was very young, I was very naïve and very wrapped up in my books, and I believed that I could potentially get to Narnia through my closet. When I got older, I bundled up that truth and that hope and protected it, stored it away in my mind, nurtured it. It became a wild imagination and it still hits me sometimes.

I was on a walk with a friend this past weekend and there was a random, torn off door propped against a brick wall. Do you know that every bit of my mind screamed at me to try to go through it? It was such a child-like urge, straight out of that part of my mind that still believes I can get to Narnia or Oz or Xanth or Prydain or Hogwarts by stepping too far into my closet. Or turning the right corner. Or going over a small bridge over a tinkling brook or stream.

Or looking behind a random, ugly, old door propped for no discernible reason against a brick wall. Carelessly discarded junk, or a missed ticket to Narnia? Unfortunately, I’ll never know. Or fortunately? Either way, that not knowing keeps that part of my imagination alive, helps it believe that anything is possible. And that allows me to believe in almost anything. Even Narnia.

Alternate letter considerations: Neck torture, nudity in media (male, duh…and it’s lack thereof), Nox

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~ by Darren Endymion on August 17, 2015.

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