Thursday, April 7, 2011

A to Z Challenge Day 6: Fantasy, Family and Fantastic Fiction

It feels like I was just here writing my last A-Z blogging challenge entry.  The days are beginning to blur!  I've found so many great blogs - and bloggers - over the last week.  I try to visit new people every day, and I've developed favorites that I return to every day to see what they've come up with.  It's usually the people who make me laugh, because I'm envious of their easy humor and wit.

Today I couldn't pick just one F, so I picked 3 - I'll try to keep them brief!

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres.  I've always loved getting lost in a make-believe world and escaping to places with magical creatures and people.  My favorite fantasy worlds are JK Rowling's Hogwarts and CS Lewis's Narnia.  Both of these authors really know how to engage their readers, pull them in and keep them hooked.  I haven't done much fantasy writing of my own other than a few short stories, but I'm thinking novel #4 will be a fantasy.  It's an idea I've had for years and it keeps nudging its way into my mind lately, so I guess that's all the more reason to continue working hard on my current WIP and get it done.

Family - I have the best family in the world.  My mum, Grama, brother, sister-in-law, nephews, and a couple of cousins mean the world to me.  My mum and I are best friends - it wasn't exactly an easy journey to get here; my dad died when I was 10 and Mum and I were sort of thrown together after that, clinging to each other for survival.  We hadn't been close up until that point because I was definitely Daddy's girl, but we started to rely on each other and we became friends, then all of a sudden, we were best friends and I didn't care who knew it or what they thought.  She's never let me down, never betrayed me, or all the other things that so many other people have done.  She's the best friend and mother anyone could ever ask for.  

My brother and I have always been close - we're 10 years apart, and when he found out our parents were having a baby, he claimed me in the womb.  I was his from the get-go and he wanted a baby sister so badly - what little boy wants a baby sister?  My favorite story ever, and one I never get tired of hearing, is how the day I was born, it was the last day of school before Christmas holidays and my mum had just had me and got a call in the hospital from my brother's teacher saying he refused to get on the bus until he knew that he had a baby sister so he could tell all his friends before Christmas break.  I always wondered what he would have done if I'd been a boy lol.  My Grama has kept diaries for decades and she brings out different ones to read so that she always has one on the go and 2 weeks ago, she showed me the week I'd been born and the day I came home from the hospital, she had written about me, and she had 'Jamie loves her so', and it made me cry.  We've always been really close, and now his wife is one of my closest friends and their sons are like my own, I couldn't love them more if they were my own.  I'm going to save Grama for tomorrow's G entry I think.  As for cousins - I have a million of them.  My dad was one of 16 children, so I have more cousins than I can count.  Unfortunately, most of them live on the other side of the country and I never get to see them, so I didn't grow up with them and I'm not close to them, except for my cousin Bertha, who lives about an hour away and who I talk to almost every day.  We have so much in common and she's a fellow book-lover, which I really don't have enough of in my life, so we love talking books, among a million other things.  It was actually Bertha who recommended The Hunger Games to me, so I definitely owe her for that.

I made this last Thanksgiving from pictures taken Thanksgiving day - my beautiful family :-)

It's funny, but because I have such a great family, I tend to add in really crappy families in my stories because it makes it more of a challenge for me.  The mother is an insufferable bitch, the sister is nasty, etc.  There's always at least one close family member - a grandparent, an aunt, a cousin - but I do like the challenge of writing in a family that's either not close emotionally or that has a lot of dysfunctional tendencies.

As for fantastic fiction, it's not what you think - I'm not going to talk about my favorite books, because I already did that on B day - Fantastic Fiction is one of my favorite websites.  It seems that most of the books I want to read these days are part of a series, so I rely on FF to help me out with the order.  I also love it for discovering the entire list of books a particular author has written, or for recommending other books and authors.  I'm on this site a few times a day looking something up.

So much for keeping it short, eh?  Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!  Have a great Thursday!

Do you enjoy fantasy novels?  What's your favorite fantasy world?  Do you draw on your own experiences with family when writing, or are you like me and you make families the opposite of your own to give yourself a challenge?  All comments are welcomed and appreciated, and I always visit back in return! :-)


  1. You're lucky to have a family like that, it's good to read how much you appreciate them and don't take their love granted!
    - andrea

  2. It sounds like you've got a fantastic family. I also try to change dynamics of the family in my books, usually end up with bad families also because that's more challenging to write about (and it suits the characters I create).

  3. I love having you in my family. I'm licky to have someone like you supportive and everything. I enojyed reading this one ;) <3


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