©2022 Michael Raven
I have been obsessing over a single word these past two or three days. I can’t recall when it earwormed me exactly, but it slipped in between the thin places and started gyrating in my noggin and… well… I’m not quite sure what I mean to do with it, but it seems like a word that has some needing to be done with it for whatever reason my subconscious wants it to play with.
It’s actually a pretty banal word, all told.
And, worse yet, I’m not sure what to do with it.
I have this urge to play around with a reoccurring theme of mine with short (and long) fiction that never quite gets to the place where I want to take it, and so, it crumples under its own weight and turns into a pile of ashes, sticks and unconsolidated mortar like a lipsticked pig. But these reoccurring theme that I never can quite explore to my own satisfaction is the idea of some badass knight errant type of grimdark woman who is in a world gone crapsack. Except: in my current dough-like envisioning, I’ve gone back to the idea of it being a recovered verdant world full of morally grey choices and morally darker grey people trying to make ends meet. Folklore, either created or borrowed from my British Isles friends or from my Eastern European forebears should play a role, but not just the vampire and werewolf motifs popular with today’s urban romance novels. Instead, gimme a striga, rusalka, or a baobhan sith, please, if we’re going to deal with folklore nasties. Wendigo, my Wendigo.
But, you see, it’s just a vague sense of what this might be and, so like a broken rattle missing more than a few seeds, my brain just cries hinterlands! Hinterlands! HINTERLANDS!!!! over and over, hoping something more worthwhile supplants the will o’ wisp fragments of plot and intrigue bouncing around my skull for the ride.
It’s been since early November, when I had my meltdown during NaNoWriMo (shh, we’ll not speak of such sordid things), that I’ve been inclined to write fiction of any type. And now, tick tock tick, the demons are picking the door of the inner chamber I had locked them behind and I am getting the urge to set them free. Woe is the world if that happens because, I have serious doubts as to my ability to write worthwhile fiction.
Chances are, you’d have such nonsense foisted on you here.
Then things would go from bad to worse right quick.