If you’ve recently visited my profile, you’ll have seen that it says: “Fantasy writer, Food Blogger, Cat Lover, Spoonie”, and you’ll see that I have two blogs. This one, and “The Elven Curse“, which is a recent addition. It has only two posts yet. The Prologue and Chapter one, but that will change soon enough.
In The Elven Curse I’m taking my readers on a journey to Sor, a world where sentient beings from other worlds live amongst humans. A world where dragons are real, and magic exists and complements science.
It’s a story that’s been with me for years, with characters that have been my best friends for decades and other, new, characters that promise to become just as dear to me, and just as unforgettable.
I had shelved the story because I’d gotten stuck. It wasn’t about the story. It was about me. There had simply been too many changes in my life.
I’d been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, became wheelchair dependent, had a divorce and moved into an apartment that would not suffice long-term. Our son was diagnosed with autism and then we found out that I too, am autistic. It was just never recognised as such because I’m an excellent masker. I was left with the monumental task of figuring out the true identity of the man hiding behind the mask.
Getting accustomed to my new life took time and energy. Energy that’s never abundant in people with Ehlers-Danlos. Not even when they’re still in their childhood, so you can probably imagine the fatigue of a fifty-something wheelchair user, living alone and independently.
And so my Muse fled. I was devastated, but there was not much I could do about it. Not then. I had to tough it out, like I’d had to tough out so many things throughout my life.
But the other day, she was back. I woke up and there she was, sat on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. And I pray to all the gods I created that she’ll never leave me again.
This AM, I posted this on my personal Facebook timeline:
I like to think I’m a moderately talented amateur musician. Music is one of my passions, and I might just be a little bit obsessed with old music.
But nothing – and I say that with absolute certainty – beats writing. I think it’s fair to say I’ve been writing ever since I learnt how to spell. It’s in my DNA.
Sadly, my Muse had fled and I’d been unable to get any proper writing done for a couple of years. (Unless you’re a writer, you can’t even begin to imagine how debilitating that is.)
But recently, she returned to me. I’m writing again. I’m building my worlds, I’m reconnecting with characters that have been my closest friends for decades, and I’m being introduced to new, fascinating characters.
I spend my days plotting, planning and writing. I fall asleep thinking about my characters, and what they might have in store for me next. And for the first time in years, I’m sleeping through the night, and sleeping well. When I wake up in the morning, I’m eager to get back to work.
Suddenly, life has that extra shine to it. If only my days were longer, the nights shorter and mundane things like eating and drinking became superfluous. That would be perfect!Personal Facebook Post
It made me remember some small and seemingly insignificant things of my past. Back, when I was still in school. Teachers not just liking my writing, but openly telling me how talented they thought I was.
- “Have you really written this yourself?” my teacher Mr B. asked as he read the poem I’d written for an assignment. I shrugged. “Yes.” I didn’t think it was anything special, but he said, “because if you have, you are very talented.” Oh. Right. Whatever. I still didn’t think it was all that good.
- “I so love reading your stories,” my teacher Mrs R. said, “I wish I could write like that. You are so talented!” And I looked at her, flabbergasted. I admired that woman, and she thought my writing was better than hers? It was beyond comprehension. How could I possibly be better than my teacher?
Over the years, I’ve come to accept that my writing really is quite good. I’ve also come to see that not everyone likes or understands it. And that’s OK. Because first and foremost, I’m writing for me. It makes me happy. It makes me feel alive. What more could I need?
Now, if you’re at all interested in fantasy, I would encourage you to head over to my new blog and check it out. I’ll be posting new chapters regularly, but not only that. I’ll also be sharing some background information, and writing tips.
And if you like what you see, please don’t forget to follow.