Happy Tuesday, everyone. John Madera has very kindly invited me to join the crew here, and since I lurk and occasionally comment here often, I was all too eager to take him up on the offer. So, hello!
I could tell you some really boring things about myself, like where I’ve published, where I work, what I do in my spare time, etc – but why would I want to tell you boring things? I’d rather introduce myself – and learn more about you – by discussing our writerly obsessions.
When I say obsessions, I mean anything and everything that crops up in your writing again and again and again, whether or not you attempt to banish it. Sometimes you’re aware of them, sometimes you have to really look at your body of work to see a definite obsession emerge. Obsessions can be people, themes, countries, objects, dreams, anything anything anything at all.
Here are some of mine: birds, cities, geography, taxidermy, WWI, British history, antiques, Greek mythology, American legends, weapons and machines, how things are constructed, geography, presidents, geology, equations and balance, cold weather, the Gilded Age and the beginning of modernity, crazy people, blonde hair, feral children, indecision, shapeshifters, anthropomorphism, homeless people, the rule of threes, coffee, the fall of the Roman Empire, King Arthur, Russia, China, painters, the terrifyingness of old people, unbeautiful losers, fragility as strength, animals, empire, belief and disbelief, light.
Most of these I can’t explain. Some are easy to figure out, tied to a lifelong love of history coupled with Irish ancestry or the way I grew up (in cities, reading fantasy, fearing the elderly.) But I can’t shake them, and I guess they’ve come to litter and define my writing in a way I’m not sure is good or bad, but just is.
What about you? What are your writerly obsessions, and do you have explanations for them?