Posts Tagged ‘falconry’

Two weeks ago I brought up several stories which I call my favorites, and that naturally brought me to the idea of influence. You hear the phrases bandied about often by any creative types–“I consider such-and-such my greatest influence”, as in “As a composer, I find Mozart and John Williams to be my greatest influences” for an example, or directors cite earlier movies that formed their interest in the silver screen.

Certainly, as a writer, I count many, many authors and stories among my influences. All writers generally do–after all, that initial exposure to tales that transport us to other worlds or realities far from our own personal experiences engender the desire in some readers to craft our own. Fredrik Pohl, Harlan Ellison, Harry Harrison, John Haldeman, Doyle, Tolkien, Lewis, Shakespeare etc. all count high on my list of literary inspirations.

But… what about other influences, such as music? Take my first example, with music above. I frequently listen to music while writing, matching the mood/tone with whatever I am trying to write. Umbra (and all of its previous iterations) came flying from my fingertips with an ample dose of Alice in Chains, early Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden pounding in my ears. For my darker fantasy stories like “The Falconer and the Wolf“, one of my favorite bands to get me in the right atmosphere is Dead Can Dance. When sketching notes for The Light of Liberty, I turned to Barry Phillips and his version of “The World Turned Upside Down” along with other American Colonial period tunes.

Are there any more? Of course there are. Many people have incorporated their likes and hobbies into their writing. Some cozy mysteries, for example, are based around knitting. My character Ennid the Havoc and his escapades are influenced by my love of MMA (that’s Mixed Martial Arts for those not yet initiated into its primal awesomeness). My interest in genetics features heavily in Clones are People Two. Even if the things we like aren’t at the forfront, we sometimes insert it in small ways. I love goats (Casey, from Umbra), I think rhinos are awesome and I smith silver (both of which will appear in The Opal Necklace, release date TBD) and I’ve an interest in raptors and falconry.

It’s all very simple–EVERYTHING can be an influence on our creativity, and EVERYTHING should be. It’s from these somewhat disparate ideas and influences that some of our richest “juices” flow.

 

 

I made the top of Amazon’s Daily Deals in Science Fiction & Fantasy!

At first I thought it some kind of double notification that my work has been made available, since the title of the email itself is The Falconer and The Wolf, but was ecstatic to see what the content actually was. Although, come to think of it, it’s kinda funny that Amazon is trying to sell my own book back to me…

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And the actual link to purchase the story online!

I live not far from a parcel of land that hosts a Renaissance Faire, and on several occasions have visited with family members. Years ago, while attending, I encountered a young man in period dress toting about an owl on his wrist. He talked about his raptor, named Ulysses, and informed us about an exhibition that afternoon. I was already fascinated and since I brought my mother, who has loved the owl decades before they became trendy, we decided to attend.

Crowds gathered as the young falconer displayed the rudiments of the falconry discipline and the hunting prowess of his birds. Everyone watched in rapt (pun intended) wonder as these feathered predators spread what seemed to be massive wings and swooped from seemingly impossible heights to dive down accurately on a minuscule target. At one point, a lucky volunteer (unfortunately, not me) was presented with the opportunity to snap a photograph from beneath the bird’s takeoff just as it’s wings stretched the furthest.

I hadn’t gone back to the Ren Faire since then, but that exhibition and the idea of falconry sparked a few ideas that didn’t quite get the flames rolling. In my mind’s eye I could see a young falconer, living in the woods alone with his bird. Questions arose – why was he living out there all alone? Falconry is the sport of nobles, and it’s unlikely some woodsman in the middle of nowhere would just have the bird and know-how. And a falconer in the woods… interesting concept, but concepts do not a story make. Some other ideas floating around in my head eventually coalesced (a wolf who was more than an ordinary wolf but not the tired idea of a werewolf), and I found the right conflicts and plugged them in. I’d liked to say it was a “voila” but that’s rarely how it works. The story didn’t simply write itself, and as I struggle with “Perfect Never Finishes,” kicking the story out of the nest at all is a small accomplishment.

The Falconer and The Wolf is available on Amazon.