Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Something Wicked blogfest!

I've been thinking of Wicked & Tricksy's Something Wicked blogfest since it was first announced a few days ago, unsure of how to participate. But when I read this post about the awesome prize boxes, well, how can I pass this up!?

The blogfest asks you to answer one of three questions:
1. Name 3 of your favorite spec-fiction stories (books, movies, tv shows, anything goes)
2. Tell us why you love spec-fic -- what plot line, character type, story trope, setting, time, place is your absolute favorite.
3. Take a guess if you can: where do you see spec-fic stories going in the next two, five, ten years? What will be popular and how will the sub-genres have changed?

I was going to answer number one because I've been looking for a reason to talk about LOST, but then I read Sommer's entry and her description of LOST was damn near perfect, so why ruin a good thing? I'm also trying to get away from using the LOTR books and films as my default contribution to Wicked & Tricksy, so it's time to try something... new.

*le gasp*
I know. I don't do new. Bear with me.

Why I love spec fiction...
I have a great memory from when I was no more than 6 or 7 years old. My mom was standing in front of the sink, preparing dinner while watching the local news on the tiny black and white television sitting on the counter. To keep me out of her hair, she would give me blank sheets of computer paper (much to my father's dismay--he claimed it was too expensive to be coloring paper) and a box of crayons and tell me to draw her a picture.

I wish I still had those pages. I knew exactly what I wanted to draw. I created a beautiful green forest with a cobblestone path winding across the page. Not to be restricted by borders, I lined up the pages in a landscape fashion and taped them together, thus creating my very first world map. My forest had pine trees, maple trees, the token river and requisite fish, unicorns, and gigantic mushrooms.

I worked on my map for a few nights, until I was cut off from further computer paper until I agreed to draw something else, something other than the stone path weaving along five taped together pages with no end in sight. I don't remember what I did next, but I can see those pages on my kitchen table as clear as if they were in front of me today.

THAT is why I love spec fiction. Because it's voluntary escapism. It has the power to pluck a six year old girl from the middle of corn and cow country (aka, Wisconsin) and drop her in the middle of a fantastic, magical forest where unicorns roam and there is no sickness or sadness.

Perhaps I'm looking a bit too deep into this question, but spec-fic took me away from the cancer that entered our household, the IV lines, the hair loss, the tears, and the fears. It took me to a place where magic lived. Where princesses were strong and life was exciting instead of scary and uncertain.

To this day, I prefer magic, quests, and drafty castles in my spec-fic. Not necessarily in that order, but the medieval setting is most comfortable to me. Add to it the sense of adventure that comes with climbing through an old wardrobe and I'm happy. (Though, I should add that the 4 main characters in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe were too many for me to keep together so I never made it past the first book, but the concept of going through the wardrobe to a new world fed my imagination for years...)

What about you? Why do you love spec-fic?


  1. What a brilliant answer. I feel completely caught up in your map world!

    I too love the voluntary escapism. It's why I read - to escape reality and believe in magic and other worlds.

    Wonderful post.

  2. Your drawing sounds like a short story I had to write when I was in 3rd grade. It was about a secret magical island in the middle of a stream with unicorns. There may have been rainbows involved. Double rainbows. All the way.

  3. Great post, TL! I've drawn several unicorns and dragons over the years, too. Good to connect with another Wisconsin fantasy lover!

  4. ooh good answers! And i'm so glad to hear you're a Lost fan.

  5. @ Miss Cole--escapism is key. That's why I'm not a fan of "regular" fiction. It feels too real and sometimes I'd rather just get away.

    @ Cookie--yes, double rainbows were a *high* possibility. Great 3rd grade minds think alike. :)

    @ Nicole--why, thank you! I've never tried my hand at dragons. I imagine they'd look like horses with wings.

    @ Sarah--Thanks! I was a *total* LOST junkie. Podcasts, recaps, message boards, the whole nine. I miss the show. Attempted replacements like The Event never really held my attention.

  6. Although I love spec-fic's ability to transport one's self to a whole other world (which you perfectly described as voluntary escapism), I guess I differ from you in the sense that I also see spec-fic as great opportunity to examine reality with a different lens. Your rationale for escapism is completely understandable, though. It's something that I can't personally relate to (the closest I've ever come to situations like that is through my volunteering at a children's hospital in the haematology/oncology ward). Experience plays a huge role in the views we hold, I suppose.

  7. @ GK--I have been mulling over what you said for a few days now. I have spent so much time using spec fic as a means to look outside of this world that I never stopped to think how the genre could be used to explore our world, warts and all. Thank you for reminding me to stop and look within instead of constantly looking outside and beyond.

  8. I will admit that when you talked about spec-fic I had NO idea what that meant...I actually finally Googled it! But I actually could have figured it out if I had just kept reading your post because you described it perfectly! It was a beautiful and heartfelt description, but there's only one problem. All it did is make me SUPER anxious to buy and read your you need to hurry up and get that thing finished, alright? :-) :-) :-)

  9. Oh, I'm so glad you shared your taped-together ever-growing path through a magical world!!! Don't you wish you still had them or a snap shot??? I drew maps of a couple of my fantasy worlds too and could just cry that I cant' find them now.

    Spec-fic, esp, fantasy is definitely my favorite genre too and I blame it all on LOTR and Narnia! (and others, but those were at the top of the list).

  10. Oh, Margo--I absolutely wish I still had those taped-together pages! Though I wonder if seeing them now would make me cringe in embarrassment instead of smile with warm fuzzies!

  11. May I ask what spec-fiction is? Sorry I really don't know. :)

    .....................taking a look around.




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