I’ve decided that, while I wait for the final bit of this project to come to pass and fall into place, that I’ll try and find where I was when it first began. I wrote a post in my Live Journal back in December of 2003. That was the day that I announced that the publisher of the upcoming collection, Lost & Found, had greenlighted the project and that we could begin work. It seems like a lifetime ago, but things are what they are. Everything has shifted around me, and so, I will go back to those early days and remember the work that I did – the stories I wrote, and why, and share it all again here…
Lost & Found will be a book of stories inspired by the kinetic art of Lisa Snellings. Lisa has inspired my writing more than once, including providing the original inspiration for the noveltte that became my novel Deep Blue. When I realized that I was not the only person she inspired, and that at least one other author had written a number of pieces brought to life through her images, I got the idea to invite that other author, and Lisa, to create a book with me. That book will be Lost & Found – and at this writing it is one half a story from completion – just waiting on my much more famous and incredibly harried collaborator to find some days / time to do it justice. Not going to dwell on that – going to remind everyone of my own part in this ongoing project.
Here is what I wrote back in 2003 about the story that would become “Square Magic,” and that is inspired by a photograph of one of Lisa’s 3D pieces, “The Bendyman”. That story is complete, and spooky, and waiting on my hard drive to be released on an unsuspecting world…
Here’s what I wrote:
deep_bluze (deep_bluze) wrote,
@ 2003-12-12 13:22:00
At this point, I tried not to let anything leap fully formed into my mind. I work better that way, I think, with a vague image, but no set-in-stone outcome. What ended up sticking in my mind was an image Lisa named “The Bendyman.”
If I get the okay from Lisa, I may link to a picture of the 3D art piece that she photographed to give you a better idea of what I was looking at. The Bendyman is a crouching, leering, harlequin character with a truly evil expression on his face. He is crouched sort of Batman style, one hand on the ground before him. On the ground at his feet, much smaller than he is, so he looms over her, is a woman. She is on her hands and knees, hair draped down to cover her features. Over her is a dome shaped cage that might have been formed by bending down the monkey bars on a playground.
The image evokes several sensations immediately. You get a sense of something repressed. Something trapped deep inside, and very powerful, will not release her. You get the impression of something larger than life behind that repression, something – or someone – that she can’t escape, and an underlying sense that this force, or presence, is active, malevolent, and filled with glee over the situation. It’s a powerful piece of art.
That is the foundation. What swirls around that foundation, currently, is a sort of whirlwind of images and ideas I’ve already been playing with. I don’t know a better way to describe it. I go over and over the current obsessions in my mind, and then, eventually, one overlays itself onto the foundation I’m trying to fit, and catches. That is how I got to where I am now. Where that is, is the beginning.
I have had a long time fascination with Talismanic magic. I once owned a book that explained how the sigils of demons, elementals, and angels were to be discovered. This involves, according to the source I read, taking the number that is associated with whatever force you are interested in, and then finding the “magic square” for that number. A magic square, for those uncertain, is – in this case – a square divided into rows of smaller squares. In the smaller squares are numbers, and in every direction you can go, in all rows, they add up to the same number. This gives you a backdrop for drawing the sigil. Then there is another process by which you take the name of whatever it is you are trying to summon, or control, or draw some quality from, and you trace the numbers involved with that name across the magic square. The resultant design is a sigil of supposed power.
Anyway, all of that is neither here nor there. I have no evidence, one way or the other, as to the efficacy of such a process, but it got me thinking. Then I read a story about the folklore behind hopscotch. I started to wonder what might happen if you played hopscotch on a magic square. I started to wonder a lot of things, and when I wondered them at the right time, I saw a hopscotch square warped and bent over the figure of a woman, over-looked by a leering harlequin, and I started to write. Thus far, I have finished the first 1000 words. The working title of the tale is “Square Magic.