Though I stand to run the risk of losing my post-punk-goth-wave credentials, I went through a phase (Went? When did you stop?) after migrating from the bass guitar to a standard 6-string electric to a not-so-standard 6 string acoustic (Jasmine, a “budget” line by the folks who made Takamine guitars; Who dat? Exactly). One of the things that stands out from that time period was some guy (Brent?) listening to my playing and decided he needed to give me some constructive criticism:
B: Hey, I like some of your chord progressions. They are… umm… atypical.
This comment was made earlier today and I commented back with some amount of whimsy and didn’t take it very seriously. Afterwards, though, whatever the actual intent of the comment (which I took as whimsy itself), it occurred to me that ravens do make an inordinate amount of appearances in what I write here, and I don’t think I made it clear how the pen name I had came about, or the significance of the raven.
It all really started about the time I was eighteen years old, maybe nineteen. I’d decided I was done pretending to be a Catholic — I had no respect for the Church and had the whole Dear God thing going on in my head. I’d always had a torrid relationship with the Church when I was asked to not come back for a while to Sunday school for asking difficult questions, and I was appalled at the hypocrisy I observed when someone in my family had their future spouse bought their way into the faith to marry them, and then she had to pay extra for an annulment when it turned out he was a scam artist, draining her bank account as fast as she could fill it and had the authorities after him for doing it to other women in the past.
So I started looking elsewhere. Buddhism (which was unfortunately presented to me in a very unhelpful manner and turned me off completely at the time) was first. Then I researched others and stumbled across Mists of Avalon at the same time as the Mission’s Carved in Sand came out. As a result, I stumbled on Starhawk and her flavor of Wicca. I immediately gravitated towards it because of the familiar ritualism. The Arthurian influence of Mists also drew me towards British Isles myth; at first welsh and British, and eventually dropping me off in Irish myth. Throughout this, the figure of the Morrigan kept cropping up and I adopted her as the archetype resembling the Goddess in my practice.
I’m working on a bit of short fiction that, like most of what I write, has decided in spite of my best detailed planning (okay, mental notes developed during showers) to take a left turn when I intended for it to go straight ahead. So it goes.
Now I have to contemplate what that left turn really means for the story.
[Insert melodramatic sigh with forearm on forehead here.]
The left turn came about because I realized that I didn’t much care for an asshole who appeared in the story. Unfortunately, he was supposed to my sympathetic main character. Then I realized that someone else was in the story that WAS my sympathetic character, only he wasn’t the main character like I had originally thought the story was about (at least in the beginning). And it worked out fine until the pivot that I had originally planned on occurring came about (originally developed about the time I had migrated from washing my armpits to turning up the heat on the water to chase away the constant pain I feel in parts of my body for at least five minutes of respite).
If this makes your head hurt, you’re in good company. I do that to people.