I is for Influences

Things are a bit complicated this week. Work is still incredibly busy. School is requiring a bit more attention than I was expecting. I have a couple of self-imposed writing deadlines that either hit this past week or next. And I’ve been processing a lot of big-picture stuff offline. It’s stuff I’ll probably share eventually, but… I’m not finding the words just yet.

So let’s talk about influences instead! I’ll be honest, I had a pretty solid picture of how magic worked long before I discovered paganism or even occultism. I don’t think it’ll come as a shock to anyone who reads this blog, but most of my magical roots grew in the library.

My first exposure to the idea of magic as pulling on the threads that connect people and things actually came from Searching for Dragons, by Patricia Wrede. My second came from The Thread That Binds the Bones, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. It’s not until much later that I connected that with the idea of wyrd, despite using it as the basis of my own understanding for years. (I never said I was clever.)

I actually took a lot away from Hoffman – a lot of my visualization comes from the way she presented the elements in her early novels and short stories, and the first time I read about someone being “owned” by a Power in a way that made sense to me was in her short story Airborn. I can tell you when I read it – it was in the May 1996 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, so it would have been not long after I turned fifteen.

I actually just now did the math on that. For fuck’s sake, that was more than half my life ago. It’s a little scary how much she’s shaped how I see the world; I’m pretty sure she’s more than half the reason I ended up in the PNW.

That’s the reason the whole theos logos thing works for me. Of course I work magic with words – I learned magic from words! What else would I find so inherently magical and meaningful?

(And speaking of authors and influences, if you haven’t seen author Seanan McGuire’s take on remixing Sailor Moon as fairy tales, well, you’re missing out.)

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