Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Began My Writing Career Fascinated by the Concept of Immortality


       After I read Tolkien back in 1969, I thought about his Elves and how they were immortal, and I became fascinated by the question, "What would it really be like to be immortal?"  If you belonged to a race of beings who never died, or who could die only under certain circumstances?  And I began to write about an imaginary world where this situation existed.  It was a Tolkienesque type of high fantasy, realistically portrayed; it included sorcerors and paid little attention to scientific realities.  However, the world wasn't ruled by magic but more by supernatural occurrences or qualities, and it wasn't very well thought out.  I'll discuss what I tried to do in these stories in a later post.  Suffice it to say it became overgrown and I rewrote the original story two or three times and got absolutely confused and didn't know what I was doing any longer.  However, I did produce a couple of novels laid in the world of the Demrai, Epanishai, and Siritoch that weren't so bad, and might be worth resurrecting.  I'll talk about that world in a later post.
       After I gave up on that neophyte undertaking, I still couldn't get the concept of what it would be like to be immortal out of my consciousness.  So I invented another fantasy world -- Ziraf's World --where Ziraf the god of the world (the Ultimate Dreamer) appoints seven subordinates (called the Zem'l, Ziraf's Dreamers) to create the world.  This world had a predominant color -- slate-blue or slate gray -- and it contained animals, humankind (mortals), and Troil (shape-shifting spirit-beings who didn't die, who had no flesh-bodies, and who inhabited many different aspects of creation such as streams, trees, stones, the wind, the clouds -- just about anything you can think of).  These Troil (sing. Troi) were always hanging around, sometimes simply observing, sometimes behaving mischievously or at times beneficially, and sometimes communicating with humans and giving them advice (dubious on occasion -- you should never completely trust a Troi!) 
       Into this world emerged Gilzara, the aging Shrine Guardian who has the ability to summon the Zem'l and ask for answers to questions or present petitions.  And someone puts the idea into the old man's head to ask Krozem the Dreamer of Humankind for immortality.  After all, the Troil are immortal -- why shouldn't humans also be so favored?
       I wrote a novel called The Blessing of Krozem about this world.  It was to be the first volume of a series called The Wizards of Starbell Mountain.  Just now I looked at the manuscript (typescript).  It was about 87,000 words and began with a preliminary chapter or prologue called "The Gift."  I also turned this prologue into a short piece, 8500 words, which can be called a novelette, I used it to send to publishers as a sample chapter.  I got a little encouragement, but not quite enough.  Then my life situation changed and I stopped writing. 
       Now I've published the prologue, retitled "The Blessing of Krozem," as a 99-cent ebook on Smashwords.  I'm hoping that some of you would decide to buy it and give it a try.  I don't have a scanner (will I ever get one?  Who knows?)  If I do, then I will scan some of my early books into the computer and decide whether they are worth publishing.  So please do read the opening novelette and let me know if you would like to learn more about the world of the Kairam and about what happens to the Priest Gilzara after he receives "The Blessing of Krozem." 
       Above is the cover to the novelette.  That's the Troi Wagmi sitting on his stone in the middle of the Mistgel River.  He's a water Troi, with weedy eyebrows.  His head is hollow -- you can see the background through his mouth.  I don't particularly like the way he came out -- I'm not good with any kind of figure drawing, even of creatures who lack bones or prescribed forms.  That's a rock Troi at the lower left and the wind Troi Murush at the upper right, against the trees.  And that's the Starbell Mountain in the background and Emtash's fastness at the upper left.  Click on the picture for a better view.

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