Friday, September 7, 2012

Fiction Lunch Learning

Yesterday, my writer friend and I had a fiction lunch.  We both came with a short story; if it wasn't for these commitments, I don't know that I'd be writing any fiction at all.  I try not to think of past years, when I've written 1 story or more a week.  I remind myself that I wasn't blogging then.  I'm still writing a lot, just in different genres.

Yesterday's writer friend is from India, and I always pick up interesting nuggets from reading her stories.  Yesterday's story had a woman who married a tree.  The character's fortune (foretold by her Kundali, which I think is a Hindu form of determining the future, which is different from Kundalini, the yoga term) told her that her first husband would die, and thus, the marriage to the tree.

I assumed it was some kind of charming Indian magic realism, but my friend assured me such marriages are common in India.  She told me about one event where the woman was married to a goat, then the goat was killed and eaten at the marriage feast of the woman to her human husband.

Or was my friend telling me the plot of a story she'd written?  During our fiction lunches, it can be tough to tell.

As I say, I learn all sorts of things during our fiction lunches.  I had never heard of Kundali, which I will not be able to explain here, with its mathematical calculations and different dimensions.  So, there's one vocabulary word for your Friday.

Here's another:  Catoptromancy.

It means to tell the future by scrying.

You don't know the term scrying?  I didn't either.  It means to look at a reflective surface to tell the future.

Her story was doing all sorts of interesting things with the telling of the future by all sorts of means.  Her characters look into mirrors, her characters have their Kundali done.

My story, by contrast, was very rough--but that's what we've pledged, a complete rough draft.  I plan to go back and add more symbols:  stuff from The Wizard of Oz, Harriet Tubman imagery, plants.  I tried to write in 2 voices, but I suspect they both sound the same.

At some point, I need to return to these rough drafts I'm creating.  As my friend said yesterday, "What would happen if you thought of revision as sculpting?"

I need to make time for that sculpting!

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