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!
Wow, this seems like an interesting theme; kind of complicated too if the characters are inter-related. I've been to Lake Tahoe a few times, it does have a mythical air to it indeed! Good luck with the challenge!ReplyDelete
Lake Tahoe was mythical indeed. Looking forward to visiting it again! :)
mythical creatures // WOWWWWW - So informative it will be for me :)ReplyDelete
It's been pretty informative for me too :DDelete
Thanks for dropping by!
Such a magical theme! This is going to be so much fun!ReplyDelete
Aditi, hopping from A2Z
Yes it will be, Aditi!Delete
Thanks for dropping by :)
A good writing challenge is a great way to invigorate an author. Sounds like a lot of fun.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's going to be really challenging.Delete
Being a fantasy fan, this sounds like a great challenge to me. Good luck and I look forward to checking back during April.ReplyDelete
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
Fantasy Boys XXX
Thanks Sophie! See you around :)Delete
Oooh, this sounds like a fabulous theme! Mythical creatures have always fascinated me, and I definitely look forward to learning some new ones.ReplyDelete
I've definitely already learnt some new ones. :) Hopefully they're new to you too.Delete
Wow Mythical Creatures sounds too intriguing. I would looking forward to all that's in the store.ReplyDelete
I too have revealed my theme. Would love it if you happen to check it.
Am hopping over to your blog now.
Lake Tahoe is beautiful. I spent a lot of time there as a kid, and then my husband and I were married there 21+ years ago. I'm also a big fan of flash fiction - your theme sounds positively delightful!ReplyDelete
MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Lots of Crochet Stitches
Ah, you're indeed blessed to have spent to much time there! It was lovely and I look forward to be able to visit again.Delete
Even if your aren't dead on with the details of your locations the storys should be very fun to read. Good luck A to Z-ing! Laughing at Life 2ReplyDelete
Thanks Shawn. :)Delete
I did the flash fiction theme last year. It was fun, but a lot of work.ReplyDelete
<a href="http://sydneyaaliyah.com”>Sydney Aaliyah Michelle</a> 2014 A to Z Challenge
Flash fiction truly is a lot of work... I still have a long way to go.Delete
I agree, flash fiction is a TON of work (which is why I'm doing non-fiction this year) but it's also SO worth it to improve your skills as a writer and let your imagination run free. Absolutely fantastic choice.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for co-hosting this, Anna!
Haha smart. I considered non-fiction but couldn't find anything I could really write about.Delete
I like this theme... well, not the snow part. It's now spring and Upper MI is still blanketed in snow and it can GO AWAY any day now.ReplyDelete
Haha. Forgive the noob. It was the first time I saw snow!Delete
But yea, I guess it's time to go away now.
Wow! This is right up my mythical alley! I'm ridiculously excited to see what tales you weave around this totally awesome theme, Anna!ReplyDelete
resident bartender for A to Z Theme Reveal Party!
Hope it doesn't disappoint! :)Delete
I love this concept. And I love Nature walks. :-) I look forwaed to reading you... I am not one of those readers who is into all things mythical so this will help me stretch and grow. I appreciate it so!ReplyDelete
Julie Jordan Scott
A to Z Challenge Participant/2011,12,13,14.....
The Bold Writer from A to Z
I hope you'll like the posts!
Great theme choice. I will add you to my list of callbacks for April. :)ReplyDelete
Sarah-No.51 on the reveal list.
Looking forward to seeing you around.
J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge theme reveal.ReplyDelete
Great post. Looking forward to April!
Sounds like a really fun theme idea. I look forward to reading it.
Thanks for stopping by, J!Delete
Going to be a blast reading your stories this year. I missed out on 2013. ;)ReplyDelete
Yours look like great fun too!Delete
2013 was a little dismal for me :( This year will be better *fingers crossed*
This is so interesting! I couldn't think of any mythical creatures with X and many other letters, so definitely will be following your stories!ReplyDelete
Roshni (fellow participant)
I was struggling with things like X and U... but my friend directed me to a great list on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creaturesDelete
Now you can start guessing which I've chosen! :D
Flash Fiction written around mythical creatures sound like it's going to be a blast to write! Cheers to you for using nature to spark your creative blogging juices for April!ReplyDelete
I feel you on this whole "theme reveal" thing that Sam and the other members of #TeamDamyanti cooked up. Like you said, once it's out there, then the pressure is on. It's like we're IN now and can't look back. Funny thing, earlier this afternoon, I considered changing my theme to production notes on my film (since I'm eventually going to need to write them anyway sometime this year)...which I know would be kinda awkward....given that I've already revealed my plans for the first one this morning, lol.
Crafting your theme around your debut novel is a great way to go, as it allows you to essentially kill two birds with one stone. You get content for the challenge and also get to build anticipation for the release. Now, I just gotta figure out how in the world your cover reveal is going to work withing my blog post. I think I'll have to channel the Ninja Captain Alex's blogging style for inspiration.
Cheers to you :)
The Madlab Post
It has been and still is a blast!Delete
I have a gazillion plot bunnies now...
I love this idea! I'm Swedish, an immigrant to the US since 1974 and we have a lot of cold fairy tales ;-) Nicely done reveal, and thank you for hosting this event! I just got online after working most of the day and see things are truly hopping! Go Team Damyanti!ReplyDelete
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
Awesome! I love me some mythical creatures :DReplyDelete
Anna, This is gonna rock! And folks, if the prize is Love in Penang, I recommend you enter the giveaway, because it is a book worth winning!ReplyDelete
Thanks Anna for being part of TeamDamyanti, for hosting this reveal, and for doing all that good work on twitter and the sign-up list. You rock, and I wish you all the best for the challenge and your book!
Thank you for working with me, I truly appreciate it!
It's been an honour and privilege working with you :)
Anna! This is such a terrific idea! And now, I have an idea for NEXT year's THEME! Mythical creatures is perfect! Baba Yaga is written about in music; specifically in Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition", a programmatic piece by the Russian composer. The Baba Yaga movement is particularly horrifying and Mussorgsky was extremely proficient in painting that horror with sound! I can't wait to see what you're going to write! Thanks so much and thank you for the give-away! MaryReplyDelete
She is?! (Baba Yaga, I mean) Hrm. Not sure if I want to listen to that.Delete
Mythical Creatures sounds like a great way to express yourself during the Challenge. Best of luck and enjoy!ReplyDelete
Great idea for the Challenge Theme, Anna.ReplyDelete
I'm sure you already know a lot about mythical creatures, but anything extra is good for research. Those fairies would be cold, they only ever seem to wear flimsy dresses!
I've been finding out that a lot of what I know has been generally watered down for children's books! And children's books ignore that fairies get cold. hehDelete
I love your theme! Good luck with the Challenge!ReplyDelete
I love mythical creatures!ReplyDelete
My A to Z Challenge
Caring for my Veteran
Yay! *high five*Delete
I love this idea - mythical creatures are fab. I always found fairy tales scary rather than inspiring, too!ReplyDelete
Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April
hope you find these inspiring... or at least not scary :)Delete
Mythical creatures! I'm there. Big fantasy fan. Those will be fun.ReplyDelete
Do you like Terry Brooks as well? He was my inspiration to start writing.
Yay *high five*Delete
I've only ever read part of the Landover series from Terry Brooks. They were interesting but not compelling enough for me to check out his other stuff. What would you recommend?
I love it! I will be following and reading :) I actively hunt for mythology themes in A to Z every year. Maybe we should have a hop-within-a hop? :) Cheers!ReplyDelete
There's a Supernatural Theme hop going around right now - not exactly mythology but close!Delete
Looking forward to reading about your snow-bound mythological creatures!ReplyDelete
I'm participating in AtoZ, as well. My topic is writing in general + my current work-in-progress in particular.
See you around!
I'm really looking forward to this. Flash fiction is fun, and flash fiction with mythical creatures is even better. Can't wait! :)ReplyDelete
Love the team! I'm a fantasy fan too, so I really can't wait to read your posts :-)ReplyDelete
LOL Sarah! This is from last year! So you can already read the posts :)Delete
Hope you enjoy them.
I'm working on the theme for 2015 now :D