Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Welcome to my nightmare… I mean sanctuary! Today I invite you in, for some nightmarish thoughts. That sounds like a contradiction (sanctuary and nightmare), but after all, it’s October and Halloween is near. My nightmare worked out. Eventually. Or maybe I should stretch that out, e-v-v-v-e-n-t-u-u-u-a-a-l-l-y. Because it took a long time.
Winter’s Nightmare or Why It Took Ten Years
It was spring, 2011 when the nightmare came. After work-hours and every weekend, for over two years, I had worked on an epic fantasy novel. The book was Dead of Winter. The heroine was a young girl who sees and communicates with ghosts. She alone received a supernatural warning. Unfortunately, in her strictly controlled, closed-minded world, sharing that warning meant trouble for her.
When you came in the air went out…
I had been building the novel, filled with characters, countries, and cultures — and researching every name, place, and ideology, for more than 700 pages. That thread of a dire warning continued throughout those hundreds of pages, a core part of the story. Now, remember, the nightmare we are sharing was in April, 2011…
And every shadow, filled up with doubt…
I don’t know who you think you are but before the night is through…
With the television playing in the background while I waited for a new episode of True Blood, HBO aired a promo for a new fantasy series. In another moment I would want to do “bad things with”
Oh, wait. What was that thread, that creepy warning that was woven throughout 700 pages? Winter is coming! Have you guessed what the narrator in that HBO promo said? Yes, the words were “Winter is coming” and the story was Game of Thrones.
You could have heard me wail for miles! When my screaming stopped, I was heartbroken.
All I could do was sit up in (my) room, heart sick and eyes filled up with gloom. Game of Thrones wasn’t just a short-lived flash in the pan. How many years did it run, and how many millions of viewers? Too many to be of any consolation to me.
I had a friend who referred to that kind of coincidence as the creative one-mind — numbers of people who aren’t related or connected in any way, having the same idea. (It actually happened to me again a few years later, but that’s a different story.) I had never heard of George R. R. Martin, or read any of his work. He certainly didn’t still my idea, theme, or tag-line. And I couldn’t and wouldn’t do bad things
with to (him).
My story wasn’t even like his… Except for one very significant thing — Winter is coming! Regardless of that, Murphy’s Law, bad timing, and HBO… I couldn’t go up against all those bad things.
I don’t know what you’ve done to me, but I know this much is true…
The warning was such an integral part of my 700+ pages that I could not simply remove it. So what did I do in this nightmare that put an end to two years of pains-taking, lovingly crafted work? Nothing.
I was too devastated to even want to do bad things with (anybody).
Besides, there wasn’t anything I really could do about it. If I shared the story, then it would look like I meant to capitalize on the work of someone else, someone famous. It would look like I had no imagination of my own. A snarky reaction would have been the best I would get, with open disdain and contempt being the most likely. So, year after year, I did nothing.
Certainly, no one has forgotten Game of Thrones. Well, bushwa. I didn’t forget those two years and 700+ pages of work either. I’ve finally decided to share my story from 2010, Dead of Winter. It will be an e-book serial/series, published monthly, but not on this blog. So, balderdash! Famous stuff be damned. I’ll say it for myself, as I intended it ten years ago. Winter is coming. Winter is coming!
Winter is coming!
Sigh… I’ve been waiting nearly a decade to get that out of my system. Winter is coming!
By the way, the other day I was featured at Teri Polen‘s yearly October event, Bad Moon Rising. Click over and visit us. We had a fun conversation with Teri’s cool Halloween-ish interview questions.
Wishing all of you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump. Hugs on the wing!
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright ©2020 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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