So things are winding down now–the launch of the new book is over, I’m about 21,000 words into the next book, and I’ve been sending out some short stories to magazine markets. I’m also ready to start on my next short fantasy story.
I look to many things for my magic systems; ancient cultures (Aborigine, Saxon, Japanese Shintoism) and I also read a lot about New Age spiritualism and things like auras, crystals, and energy play. I think in today’s modern age we crave something that our ancestors had that we’ve mostly lost.
Our connection to the earth/Earth.
I don’t recall the percentages off the top of my head, but more and more people are living in urban areas, cut off from any real nature. Depending on where you live, urbanization may have taken up much of the landscape, even between major cities. I remember there used to be huge stretches of desert between Phoenix and Los Angeles, for example. Now rest stops are redundant; there’s probably a gas station every fifty miles at least.
How many of you have taken time recently to go on a nature hike? Or even better, find a nice clearing in a wood, a nice meadow, a sunny rock, and just sat down to feel the earth beneath you and the sun and the wind? Maybe listen to the ocean or a bubbling stream?
Those of you who have know. There’s just something about having that direct contact with nature that isn’t like anything in our digitized, mechanical modern world.
So I think all of this explains why fantasy and paranormal have become so popular these days, both for books and movies as well as video games. It’s either that or we’re just so sick of science being able to explain everything that we’d like a little mystery or unexplained in our lives.
So in honor of that I’ll be looking at old druidic and pagan practices in medieval France for my next story, about a girl born who can tap into the earth to heal the sick, raise the crops, and bring rain. Unfortunately, the village priests would rather kill her.