Back in December I was on a nature walk (haha, so unlike me) with my uncle’s family up in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. Part of the trail was covered in planks, and it was pretty cold (at 6am!!) so there was frost on the ground. It was pretty magical. My head started filling with fairy stories, and then it struck me - how come all the cold places have really nice fairy tales? (Or at least Disney-fied ones?) Eastern folk tales seem to be more gory and scary and not (yet) cleaned up for kids - they seem targeted to frighten, rather than to inspire. I placed the idea out of my head until I visited in South Lake Tahoe, California in January and had my first experience ever of snow. That’s when I started to think seriously about it.
Snow. Wonder. Magic. Magical places. Fairy tales. Fairies and pixies and imps. Noble centaurs, light-footed elves and gruff dwarves. Dragons that swooped overhead, regal and majestic. I've always loved me a good fantasy story anyway, especially when there’s magic involved! Some of my favourite writers include Robin Hobb, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Brandon Sanderson, Lynn Flewelling, Terry Pratchett and Garth Nix. It’s all magic, magical systems, strange and wonderful lands and lots of different sentient, maybe magical, species.
In some of my recent writings, when I’m not being contemporary, I’ve also been toying with writing in a more fairy tale style. A little archaic sometimes, with some old-world charm (I think).
Putting all of these together, I’ve come up with my A to Z theme:
flash fiction: mythical creatures
Some of these stories will be inter-related. Some of them aren't. It really depends on where the stories have taken me and the places they've led me to. I hope they take you to magical places too. Because of my snow bias, I'm going to be more Western/European biased as well, since I grew up on British books anyway. I apologise in advance if the places aren't quite as real as they should be (especially if you actually live there) because there's only so much wikipedia can tell me about places I've only been to in books. Feedback is always welcome!
I'll be updating the index as I continue writing (as they may change as I continue writing). Links have been added to the pre-scheduled posts (that I'm really lagging on!) but you won't be able to get to the posts until they actually go live! So BE PATIENT.
P/S They're all scheduled for noon Malaysian time (+8GMT) so if you live somewhere further West you won't have to wait as long as those in the East.
In conjunction with A to Z, because I think it's a great blogfest, I'd like to give YOU a chance to win a copy of my book, Love in Penang. The giveaway will run from today (woohoo! Theme reveal!) all the way through April. More details are on the dedicated giveaway page here.
2022 update: Deleted old code. This A to Z Challenge has been compiled (and edited) into a novella, which you can get here!