My new WIP is a mix of Slavic mythology, feminism, and psychological magic. I’m about halfway through my first draft, and this sucker is pulling me through the ongoing slog of the pandemic. I think fantasy is on the rise, and thank goodness for that, because we all need to escape somewhere, anywhere else but here.
My degree is in Slavic Languages and Literature but I haven’t dug deep into my textbooks in a while, until it was time to refresh my memory for my WIP.
In Eastern Europe, local customs, superstition, and original religious and mythological beliefs persisted and found their place in the new Christian worldview, a really fascinating development called dvoiverije, or dual belief. So even though early Slavs did not have a writing system and so many beliefs were destroyed and un-remembered, they stuck around in small but obvious ways, so that anthropologists have been able to trace ideas back and reconstruct “lost” details of old myths.
As I’ve dug into mythology research, one of the concepts that’s interested me most is the idea of duality. The world isn’t so much good and evil, as it moves along in necessary cycles of ebbs and flows. Two things can be true at once.
This is probably leaving me so much to chew on because our lives are such a duality right now, in the US in particular. In some ways, this disturbance in life is leading to good things, limiting our lives so we have time and clear schedules to focus in on the core of what matters to us. I’m having very peaceful days, seeing my closest friend who we’re bubbling with five days a week, when at the most we’d ever see each other twice a week, usually less. I’m taking more walks and jogs than I ever have, and I’m getting to spend more time with my family. On the other hand, this is the most stressful, dangerous year of my life, and the future is uncertain. Will we band together and save the country, and make it a place where our children and grandchildren won’t have lives like ours? Or will we be driving out of the city on Election Day?
It is SO HARD to write on days full of worry. When the world is dark and it’s stolen all your emotions, it is nearly impossible to muster up emotions for creating. I like such dark and twisty stories that on those days, I try to focus hard on the cozy parts, whether it’s a relationship between characters, a funny personality trait, or a funny scene or bit of banter.
I’m going to get a minimum, cozy amount of writing in tonight while trying not to think about the state of the world.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you’re having a great day and I wish you a happy, cozy fall!