TRYING TO CONNECT

Another convention weekend draws to a close and all of us fans of the show Spartacus can look back on great times meeting the cast of the show but also getting the chance to meet up with friends from all over the planet.

Each and every one of us is filled with our own passions and having the opportunity to spend time with others with the same feelings is what we’re all searching for.

In a world where divisions are highlighted and the differences we may have are the only things anyone seems to care about, recognize that everything, everywhere is better when we all come together.

This weekend saw the expected fun and games of a convention but I think, although I’m not certain, I witnessed the early stages of a new spiritual movement. Proving that these events are so much more than just the chance to meet the actors, we saw one of our number elevated towards his true rock star status. His name was chanted by all and all the differences we may have had didn’t matter a jot.

I suspect I’ll be needing the help as I battle with an iffy internet signal.

‘MAAAAANDEEEEEEP’.

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ALMOST OVER

For this post I only have a single point to make.

I feel that after the 2016 we’ve all witnessed, where division and anger seem to have exposed the gruesome heart of the human race to the light, I open my arms to everyone out there, regardless of all those defining characteristics we all cling so very tightly to, and which seem to be always pulling us apart, and say to each and every one of you,

“Let’s celebrate our humanity and do what we can to make the lives we touch every day a little bit better. Let’s make sure 2017 is the perfect antidote to what we’ll soon be leaving behind us.”

Have a good ‘un all.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

I’ve posted on here before that I’ve tried to make sure I use enough truth in what I write. Not that I believe that there are huge magical armies out there but that I take well known, and indeed not so well known, tales of mythology from all kinds of places around the world just to give what I write a place to start, if you will.

When you read any kind of story you automatically look around for elements that you recognise to hold onto. Characteristics in people that you have a strong feeling for, parts of a story that you recognise. It’s those things that allow you to then believe all the other bits of fiction that come rushing along out of the blue.

So all you have to do to create any form of engagement from the reader is chuck in a load of references to all kinds of religions, mythology and folklore and you’re sorted, right?

I’ve just been watching a TV show recently which deals in magic and monsters and I’ve noticed that, whereas previously it used the details of already established stories quite sparingly, it had eventually begun throwing all kinds of things together as a whole with an almost insane abandon. As each episode passed and more and more elements were piled upon the altar of story telling, the central narrative began to creak and sway under the accumulating weight.

By adding in nuggets of other stories, sprinkling just a hint of these details throughout any piece of work, you can allow for improvements to the experience but, as every chef will attest, if you add too much of a particular ingredient the overall flavour can be destroyed. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

I’ll bet that you’ve read all kinds of stories that have taken some kind of well known mythology as a basis but it’s the ones that either stay honest to the source materials (the Percy Jackson novels I feel fit here) or only use the stories as a starting point which do the business. Mixing too much together often ends up with the baggage which comes with each of the myths getting in the way. You find it hard to believe that elements could link because of the wider histories of each tale.

I need to have fragments of ‘fact’, as it were, in everything I write. It allows me the foundations to build on. But you have to always make sure that you’re using information in the correct way. Less really is more.

GREATEST?

How many books have you received as gifts at this time of year, during your lifetime? Can you remember all of them? Were they all good? No doubt we can all remember a handful of stories but what is it that makes the really good ones stand out in our minds?

At this time of year, the story of Christmas is waved around and we all recognise the details because we’ve all heard them all before so many times. So many people around the world will just ‘know’ what the details are and what the sub-text of the story is. Could you imagine having that kind of reach as an author? J.K.Rowling and then some.

Now the point of this post isn’t to make any kind of comment regarding religion, rather an investigation of longevity.

Religions are a great example of how people spread the word on a specific topic, drawing others into the shared mindset. Peoples have also passed the details of stories down through the years. The oral tradition in so many cultures has allowed for all those stories within said culture to be sent through the ages without the need for a written text. Written histories have replaced the spoken but they still perform the same function, allowing the cultural significance to be carried on.

Today, familial, national and international stories are passed around and there are more and more ways for those stories to pass from one person to the next but ease of passing has no weight on a stories longevity.

Tales of communities were given from generation to generation as part of a rite of passage, religions have been handed on as the keys to a better life but also under the threat of untold agony in the here after, and in ages gone by, this life as well.

So it would appear that a strong fan base is the way to go. If I can have fans helping me spread the word, an ever growing group of people spreading the word for me and extolling the virtues of my stories, maybe I’ll be able to have the stories of mine reaching out and lasting for who knows how long.

Enjoy the silly season everyone, and if you’re at a loss for a gift idea, give The Circle of Fire a go.

Spread the word.