Friday, February 1, 2013

Why Fantasy?


by Kim Van Sickler

***NO WAY! The link just came through for the winners of the C4WE's HF contest. Swagger writers took first AND second place! Congrats to Kathy Cannon Wiechman!
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***A late breaking item to celebrate! Janie Sullivan contacted me this morning to tell me that I won first place in the Center for Writing Excellence's historical fiction contest!!!!!!! OK, so I enjoy HF a heck of a lot too!
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In this week's Celebrate the Small Things Blogfest, I am eagerly awaiting the lifting of this latest migraine, certain that when it withdraws, I will feel superhuman for awhile (and hopefully gets lots of stuff done!)

My latest bookshelves have arrived! Yay! More storage for the books I keep accumulating!!! I love bookshelves!!!!!

I am so thankful for my local critique group who has been incredibly supportive and encouraging about my latest WIP, while also providing me with insightful feedback on how to improve it.

And I was thrilled when Janie Sullivan from the Center for Writing Excellence contacted me to be a judge for the latest Fiction in Five writing contest. These contests are so fun! It's where I got my start, and built my confidence as a writer. I can't wait to read the entries!

Now for this week's post...

Why Fantasy? 

Do you ever wonder why you are drawn to a particular genre of book? I do. I love fantasy. Looking back, I think my love of the genre was born of Dr. Seuss, Curious George, The Jungle Book, and all of those childhood fairy tales. Then it was fueled by my obsession with Grimm's and Hans Christian Andersen's darker fairy tales.

I've also loved the idea of the world not being a predictable, easily explained phenomenon. Where good is rewarded and evil is punished. Maybe that also explains why I became a prosecuting attorney. But that's another story.

One of my most vivid memories of my childhood was the night I spent in bed crying over the loss of a childhood treasure when I was six years old. It was Christmas Eve and I had told my dad about a kid at school bragging that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. I expected Dad to laugh and tell me she was full of you-know-what. But unbeknownst to me at the time, he had already decided that when I came to him asking questions, he was always going to give me honest answers.

Boy did that knowledge hurt. I felt sooooooo betrayed. Why go to such elaborate lengths to fool me: carrot gnawed by Rudolph, fireplace curtains left a little open, all of the presents with the labels reading "Santa" stuffed in stockings and left under the tree? I wish that magic of Christmas could have lasted longer. I spent that Christmas Eve straining to hear what I knew were my parents lugging the packages from their hiding place to scatter under the tree for the benefit of my younger brother and sister.

I wish the magic of youth, when everything carried a layer of mystery, and the world was full of limitless possibilities, could have lasted longer.

So is my love of fantasy just arrested development? Or a throwback to a wish for a simpler, easier-to-understand time?

I wonder.

What genre do you prefer to read (and/or write)? And why do you think you're attracted to it?

27 comments:

  1. Kim: Congratulations on the judging gig. That sounds fun. I'm writing fantasy for the first time. I started this novel as a challenge to myself, but I like your reasons too.

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    1. And after reading your first 20 pages, I'd say you are off to a good start!

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  2. Kim, hope your migraine goes away soon. Congrats on the judging contest! My first love is fantasy too. I yearn for a world where magic and magical creatures really exist. Glad you're a lover of fantasy too.

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    1. I figured that fantasy would be one of your favorite genres. From your blog it's obvious how much you love to read!!!

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  3. Congratulations on your achievements! About fantasy, what can I say? I'm a fantasy creature.

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  4. Congratulations on winning first place!!! That's awesome! Bookshelves are wonderful, aren't they?
    I love fantasy and scifi because I've always been a daydreamer, and loved pretending things as a kid. Now, I like to ask "what if?" and that just seems to lead me into that fantasy and scifi realm. However, I like historical fiction too.

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    1. I used to pretend all of the time as a kid too. Pretended bugs talked to me, that my new tennis shoes would make me run, chase, and jump faster and higher than anyone, and that my dolls were enjoying the meals I made them from "cooking" the plastic figures I got from my doctor's office visits. That probably is a good clue that I would grow up to like fantasy!

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  5. Congrats on getting to be a judge. And OOOH how exciting - first place! What a great set of celebrations (and I hope your migraine lifts soon!)

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    1. Appreciate you starting this blog hop!!!

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  6. Oh, migraines...hurts just thinking about it. Here's hoping you feel better soon! Seems I read an awful lot of non-fiction and poetry. I must admit though, I can read just about anything and enjoy it, especially if it's written well.

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    1. Ah. It helps if it's well-written, doesn't it? Lucky for us that there's so much good stuff being written out there!

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  7. Good for you for being an excited judge! And yes, I miss those days when I'd sit and look over the books I've read and plan on reading on my book shelves. My last move was an emotional, nearly last minute and drastic move, that I got rid of most all of my books and shelves just to be able to be out in time. Maybe soon I'll start afresh.

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    1. You had to dump your books???!!!! Argh!!! But there are garage sales and rummage sales you can visit to build your stash back up again.

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    2. Yes, there are times when I regret it, but with Goodreads and LibraryThing, where I can have a list of them all it's not so devastating. I think it'll be a job for me when I retire to gather them all up in unique shelving. :)

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  8. Yay for bookshevles! I love the one I got last year and actually will need to get another one soon.
    I hope the migraine goes away soon! Enjoy your win and your critique group as well! Have a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Yep. I have never collected anything the way I amass books. My kids make fun of me.

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  9. Congrats on the first place! Woohoo! And yay for the bookshelves.
    I also write because I need a world where evil is punished and the good guys always win. But I write Horror - my evil is darker, my protagonists have to fight harder, but they still always win! :-)

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    1. There is something so satisfying about the good guy winning! And of course the bad guy getting his comeuppance!

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  10. I'm a die-hard paperback girl! Gotta love them bookshelves...
    And I LOVE Dr. Seuss!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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    1. I have the best memories of reading The Sleep Book to my daughter. It got so we both knew it by heart. That man was a word wizard. Truly magical.

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    1. accompanied by clenched fist and downward elbow thrust. Thanks, DL.

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  12. *high five, girl* You know I've always been a fan of your writing! Ugh, your story made my stomach clench b.c my 8 y.o. still believes.

    I've always written YA (as you know)paranormal and more recently contemporary. And have also branched out to New Adult contemp, which has been loads of fun to write!

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    1. NA is a logical progression for you. Bet you're good at it!

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  13. Congrats, Kim! Fantasy is my first choice too. Can't get enough of Tolkien or JK Rowling.

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    1. So true. Philip Pullman, with the Golden Compass trilogy is soooo good too.

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