Man oh man, I don't know what's going on, but I don't like it. In the last four months I've bashed out ninety thousand words for my rough draft. Ninety thousand! That's four zeroes, and I've got another thirty thousand to go. Now, once I hit 90K I decided to give myself a little break. After all, a lot had been happening what with my family having a major upheaval and myself going through a minor mental breakdown. Who wouldn't crack a bit under that kind of stress?
But as this month is just slithering by, I've noticed I'm not quite the same. I'm not playing games, watching movies, and most terrifying of all, not really reading! What's going on? I go through depressive spells, sure, but this feels different. Is is part of my age wearing on me? A shift in weather? It's honestly rather frightening to me. I haven't been digging through my massive treasure trove of books, sifting for delicious historical tidbits to fire my imagination. Nor have I been scribbling writing ideas down in my ever bulging notebooks for future stories.
It's almost as if some of the color has faded from my world, where once all was bright and shining, radiant with life and intrigue. Now it feels bland and tasteless, the colors muted and sounds dull. Nor am I alone, as I've noticed a multitude of friends and family across the country feeling something similar, so it's not just me. I certainly hope that it doesn't last.
I want to rediscover my excitement again! I want to build epic worlds once more, create fun characters and epic perils for them to face and overcome.
As a writer, I'm certainly not played out. Nope! I feel instead that I'm steadily getting better. This current story will be like nothing I've ever done before, and the next will be plenty different too. I'm fairly bursting with creative concepts. I'm thinking of delving into fantasy influenced not from traditional Western European mythology, but instead the rich cultural heritage of the East. I've read The Ramayana, the epic tale of Rama, his beloved brother Lakshmana and Rama's dazzling wife Rita who is kidnapped by the King of Lanka and the demon hordes, Ravana! What rich and beautiful tales India possesses, and yet so untapped!
Or some of the exciting, if explicit, stories of ancient Persia and the Arab territories. After all, Ali Baba and Aladdin had their roots in such stories as Arabian Nights!
And I've begun working through classical Chinese literature with the epic tale of Journey Into The West with the Monkey King Son Wukong and his escort mission of the holy scriptures across the land. It's a huge story, one that can't be taken in a small sitting, but it is an absolute treasure trove of inspiration and lore, its influence today being profound. Although adding to its charm is, admittedly, just how flawed and foolish Son Wukong is at times! If you've played D&D, some of the antics in these stories will seem familiar!
African mythology has been, unforgivably to my collector's mindset, underrecorded and exposed, but that's not frakking stopping me from delving into it and pulling out my own take on it too. Blast it, it's amazing and I don't know why more people aren't looking into it! It's like seeing a fountain of bacon and nobody else is even glancing at it. It's madness I tell you, madness! ... What was I walking about again?
I hope to draw from these rich histories and create new tales. It seems criminal to me that this hasn't been done before! Maybe it's my strange, eccentric nature, but I always found Western European mythology to be kind of stale compared to other mythologies out there.
Even now I have two ideas, one of possibly a thief in the glittering deserts hearing of a warlord possessing a statue that miraculously produces gold, and his purse lusts after it, but after penetrating inside the warlord's stronghold, things take a turn as he faces a very different situation than what he imagined. Will he fetch a king's ransom in gold? Or will he find that's what his heart is made out of? Okay, yeah, that last part is cheesy enough to repel the French, but I'm too tired to care.
The other is a deposed African king returning from exile as a child to reclaim his birthright, but his usurper doesn't give him war. No! Instead he offers a deal: If he can complete a series of challenges, he will hand the kingdom over, no need for bloodshed or war. But if he looses, he will instead give up his birthright and serve his usurper. The challenge is accepted, but uh oh! These challenges aren't straightforward at all. In fact, they're meant to be impossible! Instead of muscle and sharpened steel, our hero will have to use a healthy dose of cunning to fulfill these challenges. For example, how is he to get a cow-hide shield with six different colors? No cow ever bore such an elaborate display of colors before! How will he work through that fix? Where there's a will, there's a way!
Okay deep breath.
I'm still cracking on stories for Primal Frontier too. I'm working on a short, maybe even a few that I'll bundle into a tiny anthology, that I'll put up for free. Give the audience a taste of what's to come, eh?
Even stranger, I'm thinking of doing a comedy based on Japanese kaiju films! And yet another, influenced from black and white 50's B movies, and others still jumping out at me! And I'm still working on this first draft of a xenoarchaeology treasure hunt on another planet in this steampunk setting!
And yet, at the moment, I feel like all the magic has gone out of me. To be blunt, it sucks harder than a starving aquarium catfish. All the energy has fled from me, leaving me this mentally vacant wastrel simply moving from one criminally large bag of M&M's to the next, aimless and feeble.
I really hope that this is just a mood phase and that it will pass soon. I want to throw myself into my work again, chewing through volumes of literature like they're Skittles, pounding out pages of ideas until my keyboard cries for mercy, and blitzing through games and movies until I'm left craving more of those silly Mill Creek mega movie packs. Yes, I'm a movie masochist with those flicks that won't sell individually even at the dollar store, but at least in those I can imagine making better ones.
And wow, this has turned out to be a tonally inconsistent mess, I apologize for that, but hopefully you get what I mean. I want to feel that magic again! The magic of building worlds for other to explore and have adventures! Here's hoping I feel it again soon!