Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My own mythology

I'm drawn right now to Celtic histories and lore.

Yes, I'm trying to make sense out of all the stories, the weird, weird stories. Like, I just read about Math, Son of Mathonwy, in which two brothers, Gwydion and Gilwaethwy are turned into male and female pairs of MANY different animals and made to breed with each other (they take turns being female), and then their offspring turn into human children -- really confused human children.

And I read about Druid glass, which is a little, apple-shaped ball made from the excretions (saliva or semen, depending on what you read) of a congress of serpents. You (assuming you are a Druid) must catch this little ball and ride with it over a running stream to avoid getting bitten by the vipers. Then, it can help you do all sorts of magical things ... like win lawsuits.

I'm looking for the roots of story, old story, in this slippery thing I've written -- several unfinished drafts totaling over 85,000 words. How can one write so many words and still not have story? I've been making things up, mixing them up with myth, and the rules won't come clear. So I'm sifting through magical lore and old gods and trying to recognize what might have percolated up through my blood to get stuck in my own mythology.

And I'm missing the Appalachians and North Carolina, where magic seems to run in the mountain streams and hide behind trees. This is fairyland, where a neighbor once tricked my father into believing by placing little fairy statuettes in the crease of a wall of rock for him to find.

Where the peaks have names like Devil's Courthouse and Chimney Top.

I love Chicago, but it's very flat here. You can always see things coming from far away.

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