Recently, a fan of mine messaged me and asked why my stories are filled with bizarre ideas and obscure words. I was taken aback by that question. I don't think of the ideas I write about or the words I choose to tell my stories as being strange or arcane. Concepts and words flow naturally from my thoughts onto my pads of paper and eventually into my computer. Still, the inquiry caused a flurry of musings.
The themes of which I scribble are the things I've thought about from my first memories. The dictionary was the first reference book I read from cover to cover. The Bible was the second. Now, I might have been a peculiar child, but my daughter followed my path pretty near. Either both of us are odd ducks(which I'll admit, the jury's still out on that issue) or there is something universally absorbing and instructive about ideas that draw those curious enough to examine them in a common direction.
My life's trajectory has centered around attempting to understand the universe in which I live. To that end, I've embraced a life of study. Reading the work of great thinkers has been a major component of my studies. Early on, my reading focused on nonfiction, particularly philosophy and history. Later on, I broadened the scope of my education to include fiction in which the authors played and sometimes even toyed with my beloved ideas.
Because there is so much information to absorb, at an early age I discovered it easier to remember what I had read by organizing the data in my mind by idea or concept. There are far fewer ideas to keep track of than permutations of them. Some concepts like momentum are huge, while others like soft are much smaller. Every piece of data boils down to an idea or a series of concepts. Memory is all about context. Concepts became the framework around which I hung the knowledge I collected from my reading and observations. This is the matrix of understanding and retention I use to this very day.
By the time I discovered the magical world of role playing games, I had a plethora of ideas under my belt, and in retrospect, a rudimentary understanding of those notions and their connections to one another. It seemed natural to apply my knowledge to fantasy gaming. At first, many of my friends resisted the notion The True Power within The Cosmos were ideas. Over the years, they came to embrace my idea of gaming that involved wielding concepts rather than looking up minutia within the various handbooks and using that random data to solve problems.
I tell you this because my gaming world is the point of departure for my stories. The characters within my tales wield concepts to find solutions to their perceived problems. Some just do it better and more efficiently than others.
If you think about it, everything can be perceived and understood as an idea or series of concepts. For instance, something as simple as a tree can be broken down to concepts of life, being an integral part of the ecosystem, a delivery system for sustenance, a provider of shade, material(wood and sap), and shelter(for squirrels, insects, and the like), an anchor into the earth in which it stands as well as a bounty of wisdom(what might a hundred year old tree have witnessed or heard over its lifetime?). I find this understanding more useful than defining a tree in terms of a series of roots, branches, and leaves or needles, centered around a trunk.
Once you embrace this notion of ideas, your perceptions of the world in which you live are irretrievably altered. A tree is no longer simply a tree, but so much more. Take this far enough, and you might discover as I have you can all but touch the concepts embedded in all things. Ideas become dynamic and almost tangible.
In the end, yes, Virginia, ideas do matter! I hope this sheds some light on my fan's question and gives the rest of you a measure of food for thought. Until we meet again, may the sun not oppress you and have a tremendous weekend filled with whatever trips your trigger!
It has been a rainy fall in these parts. Rain inspires me to write even during the day. By now, all of you regular visitors to my blog know I generally write from dusk to dawn. I suppose what most people call gloomy, I think of as creative synergy. Like gaming, dark fantasy goes hand in hand with that notion. Sunshine doesn't lend itself to my brand of fantasy and never has floated my boat. In any event, I've written a good thirty thousand words over the last couple of weeks. Thus, the reason behind my hiatus from this blog. To be sure, not every word is gold and much editing needs to be done, but there's a lot of decent nuggets with which to work.
There is only so much time in a day, and I have my day job, which pays the bills. It's not exciting, but it is a necessary evil. That damn obstacle to production. All I can say is thank The Heavens for those dark and stormy days!
Much of what I've written recently will soon be posted on my Patreon Creator Page. I'm sure my lone Patron will get a kick out of my new material because his feedback of my other work has been positive to say the least. Other folks are sure to enjoy the darkness I've written about when they join my community, whenever that may happen. I'm optimistic my Patreon community will grow. They do say patience is a virtue, and my wife insists I have that in spades, patience that is.
When you have the time, you should go to the Contact/Patron Info button to the far right at the top of this page and check out my work on Patreon. I guarantee it won't be a waste of your time. For as little a commitment as one dollar a month, you will be kept abreast of my latest work. I know, a blatant commercial plug, but, after all, I am trying to make a living as a writer, to which I give no apologies.
I can't get my vision out to the masses who I know are craving something shiny and new in the realm of fantasy without the support of folks like yourself. Fantasy is in dire need of an infusion of creative energy. Hopefully, people like yourself feel I'm the man to fill that need!
Overall, October was a good and productive month. I had the fifth weekend-long gaming extravaganza for the year, which, by the way was extraordinary, in the middle of the month. After my wife and daughter, role-playing is my most important muse. Halloween was the cherry topper for a month of rampant creativity. Anyway, how could any month ending with Halloween be anything but a boon to the imagination?
Another gray day beckons me. I have the writing bug, so gotta go and get to it while the iron is hot. In the meantime, pay homage to the weather gods. I need them on my side to provide more dark and stormy days that will all but get the words fluttering through my mind to fall onto my pads of paper so I can imprint them into my computer for all the world to see and enjoy!
I do the bulk of my writing from midnight to dawn. As I put pen to paper, from the vantage point of my porch(which has a power all to its own), the shadows of the trees surrounding my house sway in the breeze. Not only are those movements of comfort to me, they remind me of Cosmik ripples about which I scrawl.
Darkness shrouds most details, which forces me to focus on the big picture. From where do the ideas I write about come? I know they are within me, grown from every experience and piece of knowledge I have picked up through a well-lived life(at least that's what I'd like to think).
Something more is going on. Everybody has a life of experience and knowledge base within them, but not just anybody can get that down on paper in a manner that is interesting to others. There is some magic that takes hold of me when I write that does not occur for others.
My assumption is I have opened myself up to The Cosmik Winds, thus my website name, Cosmik Winds Publishing. Each night I listen to these winds and channel into my stories what I hear. These ripples in the dark are my magic, and the reason behind me never getting writer's block. All I do is take what The Cosmos sends to me every night, temper that with my life experience, and voila, I have another thread of a story. That seems to be as good an explanation as any for why I have a knack for spinning yarns, while others do not.
Creativity is a scarce commodity. Although it can be honed, I don't believe it can be learned. Either creative juices flow through you or they do not. In my case, ideas thunder through me like freight trains that cannot be stopped. That's why I think something more is going on. For some inexplicable reason, The Cosmos has chosen me to be the vessel for the dark tales that pour out of me.
On another note, if you're interested in more of my content, supporting my quest to write a thread of stories more epic than any ever written, or just getting to know me better, you might want to check out my Patreon Creator Page. Patreon is a platform that connects creators like myself with consumers of content like yourself. It is a fabulous platform like no other, filled with creative people of all walks of life, representing pretty much every creative avenue. You can get there from the, "Contact/Patron Info," button on the menu bar at the top of this website. It will open up a whole new creative world for you!
It's time to get my nose back to the grindstone. Stories are chafing at the bit to be set free to play. Until our next meeting, take the time to listen to the wind rustle the leaves in the darkness. If you open yourself up to it, you never know what you might hear. Who knows? It might be the next great novel that changes everybody's idea of fantasy!