Monday, January 22, 2007


Thing the first: Huzzah! THE MIDNIGHT SON is a finalist in the San Francisco Writer's Conference contest! The gory details are here. Winners will be announced at the conference – as if I weren't already giddy about going to this event! It's nice to have your work recognized – THE PILGRIM GLASS was a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom, and now my strange little Erik is a finalist in this SFWC contest. I'm thrilled! Now, we just need find an agent…

Thing the second: if you are at all interested in folklore, myth, folklife, etc., the links at the Endicott Studio blog are not to be missed. I've mentioned before that it's a fantastic blog in and of itself, content-wise, but the collection of links is pretty spectacular. Check it out.

Thing the third: Inspiration. For your latest creation – story, painting, sweater, cake, whatever – what inspired you? What was the spark of light that led you down the road you're on? For me, it can come in the strangest ways at the strangest times.

With the novel I'm writing now, it came when I was incredibly frustrated with my first 2006 NaNo attempt. I was floundering and dissatisfied with the story and the characters. One evening, about 4 or 5 days in, I was doing a visualization for some spiritual "homework" I had, and the image of a beautiful, spare cabin on the top of a mountain, surrounded by even higher mountains, popped into my head. I wandered around the space for a while – it was very soothing, calming. My brain tends to be a rather hectic place at times, and the cabin was the perfect antidote. Then, all of a sudden, two young women sauntered in: one, strong and open-faced, with straw-blond hair and icy blue eyes; the other, delicate and mischievous, with chestnut hair and pale green eyes. And when they started talking, I was shocked to realize that their names were Elisabeth and Oleanna: my great-great aunts from Norway. I'd never met either one of them, but there they were. So I wrote down what they were chattering about, and the story began to unfold from there.

I will admit I was reluctant at first. My second novel is set in modern-day Norway, and though Elisabeth and Oleanna's story is set in 1905, I was concerned about setting another story in western Norway. But, you have to go with the flow as far as it will take you. And as always, the story and characters are surprising the heck out of me, in brilliant and shocking and funny ways.

So, for your latest creation: what inspired you to begin?

parabolanus: a monk medic specializing in contagious diseases

Myths, symbols, and folklore
athanor "The alchemical furnace, in which the physical, mystical, and moral transformations took place, it is occasionally compared with the womb and the world egg."

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