Printing Emerald City Dreamer - When Thoughts Become Reality
Why do I believe in faeries?
I'm not sure if I believe in faeries. You might call me a faegnostic. The existence of faeries is just about as likely as most other phenomenon of the unseen world. There certainly are enough eye-witness accounts to put them on par with more serious cryptids. Yet extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
What I can prove is that I write about faeries. And maybe I believe in magic.
Sometimes I get lost in all the mechanics and business of writing to remember why I focused in on these ethereal beings, out of hundreds of other speculative topics I might have chosen. Across three novels and a handful of short stories, I've written 275,000 words about faeries. So they must be important.
Over the weekend, I attended Faeriecon West. But not for fun. I had a quest to scope it out, with four simple tasks:
- Find a spot to place my promotional bookmarks;
- See if any book vendors might carry my print copy of Emerald City Dreamer next year;
- Make some faerie-industry contacts;
- Develop ideas to promote my books at Faeriecon in the future.
I chickened out on most of these. A very jaded me walked past, with barely a glance, at merchandise I've seen at a hundred other cons. All the faerie costumes and glitter and twigs and flowers.
To fill the time, an uncharmed me listened with a skeptical ear to Raven Grimassi, who believes in actual faeries. His stories threatened to destroy my world-weary veneer, especially when he spoke about a faerie he met, who believed humans are the only magical creatures in the universe. Faeries can turn thoughts into things in a way that seems magic to us, he explained, yet these objects are made of ether that disappears when thought moves on. Only humans can turn thoughts into real things – by constructing chairs and buildings and books.
A me not-long-past would have reveled in the whole spectacle, silk and wands and pagans and all. Instead, I went home early.
It took at least an hour into the Woodland & Faun concert the next night for all the fae stuff to finally sink in, and I remembered what it is about faeries that has drawn me to them year after year.
It's their magic. It's not always good magic; sometimes it's quite terrifying. But it's magic all the same. Real or not, the fae represent the hidden wild nature of humanity: our animal instincts, our emotions, our occluded fears. Our subconscious, be it collective or individual.
Fae folk are earthy, childlike, capricious, and full-of-wonder. They are also vicious, cunning, duplicitous, and debauched. They represent the powers of creation and the other edge of that bronze-age sword: the powers of destruction. The fae are avatars of dream and nightmare, and that is how I present them in my Dreams by Streetlight world.
I am releasing Emerald City Dreamer in print this month, and I needed a reminder of their energy in the midst of the mundane work of cover design, font-choosing, layout formatting, software troubleshooting, and price-calculating. These tasks are as oppressive as cheap newsprint that rubs off on your fingers and clothes. Hardly inspiring.
As dull as the minutia of publishing can be, it is a form of creation no less important than the day two years ago when I created Ezra, the religious boy unaware he is a troll. No less charming than planning the BrughHaHaus, a University District dwelling full of faeborn housemates ruled by their Elf Queen. No less enthralling than giving the antagonist enough magic to torment, attack, enslave, and terrify my other characters.
No less vital than drafting, revising, and editing the thousands of words to form the novel in the first place.
And nothing could be as inspiring as the moment I first held a hardcopy of my novel in my hands, with its glossy cover, the captivating image of Jina staring at me, determined to use that sword or guitar or both; to turn it over and admire the layout on the back and spine; to flip through the pages and see all those words, in tangible form, for 320 pages.
In my novel, I label some people as dreamers. They are the creators of art who, through their power of painting or singing or writing, produce the energy consumed by the fae. The fae transform those dreams into glamour to create illusions – things that seem real, but are not.
In my way, I have done the opposite. I have transformed my thoughts and dreams into words, and then, through a humdrum process of layouts and formatting, transformed the words into a physical object – a book.
I made a thing from a thought, just like the magic described by Raven Grimassi's faerie.
It's no mistake that the word "spell" is a homonym with two meanings: "to correctly write a word" and "to create something of magic." A book is a real thing full of thoughts that, while imaginary, will never disappear.
Perhaps I am wrong to be skeptical. Raven's faerie spoke wisdom. Humans possess true magic.
Luna Lindsey lives near Seattle, WA. At some point, she accidentally became an expert on mind control, computers, and faeries. She began writing full-time in 2010 and has been published in the Journal of Unlikely Entomology and in Penumbra eMag as the January 2013 Rising Talent. She tweets like a bird @lunalindsey and blogs at www.lunalindsey.com. Her novel, Emerald City Dreamer, is now available both on Kindle and in print.