Sunday, January 25, 2009

Admin FicRec: Emibella's Sunday Rec!

It's Sunday again and here we are with a rec by emibella I am beyond excited about. This is a magical Sunday indeed. First we have this amazing Fic Rec that is tied into a Lit Rec on Neil Gaiman directly below and on Music Sundays, we have another essay that ties in with Neil Gaiman. It was like collaboration explosion today. I hope you all enjoy and find something new and wonderful to add to your minds!

Great stories articulate and explore the mysteries of life and fantasy in the larger context of the human struggle. The writer's voice, style and use of language inform the plot, characters and themes. By creating opportunities to learn and reflect. A great story is a work of art that can effect many, challenge assumptions and break ground.

As writers, a short story or fan-fiction may be a way to express something more readily. We are more apt to try new things, explore an edge or a taboo subject, allow ourselves freedoms that we wouldn't dare expose or expect from the novels on the shelves. More importantly, short stories and fan-fiction alike provide fertile ground for larger ideas to flourish and take form. Since style is best learned through reading, educating ourselves in the vast world of rhetorical differences through short stories and fan-fiction can make us better writers in addition to being well read or just having a great time, for that matter.

Many think that the short story is better suited to the demands of the modern life than the novel and one could argue the same could be said for fan fiction. While we would all love to think that we have enough time to read everything that comes across our desks, at work or that is recommended by a friend or co-worker, many times the time constraints of reading a novel can give us pause to pick it up at all.

I used to shy away from the short story anthologies in the bookstore. Sure, they were good enough for my literature classes but I wanted novels. Novels were "real" works of literature, were they not? I didn't fear commitment. I didn't fear the 800 pages ahead of me. They proved that I was well read and smarter in some way.

Yet, some of my favorite authors write amazing short stories, breaking ground and getting people to think. If I have a friend who has never read Neil Gaiman, I now point them in the direction of Snow, Glass, Apples. A short introduction to style and edge and pushing the envelope on what we thought of as truth and legend and also a good introduction to an author I love.

While we have all read at one time or another those single chapter one shots in fan-fiction, not all of them can be considered true short stories. Yet every once in a while one comes along that is a wonderful stand alone gem. Something that really causes us to think and feel fulfilled at the same time.

In the same vein of Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples is the fic I am recommending this week. Aengus examines what we thought we knew about myth and legend. It causes us to think differently and explore a new genre without diving all of the way in to a long story.

Aengus tells the story of Bella, a young girl who goes through life believing in her imaginary friend Edward even when everyone around her grows up and people leave behind their childish ways. Bella has trouble in real life relationships always feeling a sense of disconnect. She has friends and even lovers, but the dream or imaginary form of her Edward is always her ideal.

She grows up and becomes an author, enjoying success enough to take a trip to Ireland to visit the land of her ancestors. There she visits Newgrange, a neolithic tomb that predates Stonehenge and some say even the pyramids.

At this point, this story melds fiction with folklore and Celtic mythology and that is when I was truly hooked. It is not easy to create something that is not of our world. Harder still is having something enter our own, creating a humanistic side to fantasy. While many of us do this in our writing, whether with Vampires or Wizards or the like, entering these areas can be awkward to make believable. Creating our own mythology is hard, building off of others can sometimes be all the more difficult. How do you fit it in without it being uncomfortable? How do you make it true to all characters, both human and mythical?

Last summer I visited Newgrange. The place felt spiritual the moment I set foot on ground, a distant land with memories you can't fathom in your mind how far they go back. Due to the average life span, most of those who worked on building Newgrange gave their lives to it, born after it was started and dying before it was finished. Even more impressive, when you enter the tomb chamber you can still see the intact vessel that held the ashes of the prehistoric people's loved ones. These were true believers in their myth and legend. They were devout to their gods and it is apparent still by their legacy.

Aengus seamlessly connects real life, human characters and the mythical into a poetic journey. Bella's thought process is exquisite and the style the author uses neatly wraps all of these things together in a believable world with disbelieving characters.

Most impressive is how this is truly a full story, needing nothing past the one chapter. That said, the author has moved ahead with a continuation and I would encourage you to move forward in her world. Even though it is a great short story, like I said in the beginning, many great short stories are seeds for greater things. My Love Shall Ever Live Young is a lovely work as well and I don't mean to belittle it in my review for the completeness of it's prequel. It is worth reading just as well for it's humor and mythology as well as the mere fact that it's a fun read. I will not spoil this for you, but this is a wonderful world of myth and fiction (along with a heavy dose of quality smut) to immerse yourself into. You can only go as far as the one chapter to be satisfied, or continue for more. Either way, your cup shall runneth over.

emibella is the author of If It's The Beaches, a fic that has defined manipulation in this fandom. Her rhetorical training is something we all envy and she may have the best taste in tea and music on the planet. Despite being temporarily deprived of her iPhone, she has managed to maintain the TLYDF sister blog Music Sundays. It is a feat that not all of us apple addicts could achieve.
Emibella on FF
Emibella on LJ
Emibella on Twilighted
Music Sundays


  1. word. i'm very serious when i say i read this oneshot last night, and i was blown away by it. i had no clue that you were reccing this for the ficster, dude! i earmarked it so that i could go back and read the continuation; i had noticed she chose to, and i'm going to need to find the time to devour.

  2. I am excited to see this recommended. I've read the companion piece, but not Aengus as of yet, and I found it to be wonderfully done and very original. I'm excited to finally get to this one.

  3. This one shot is truly unique and beautiful.
    Starshine is a class act.

  4. I love you ladies! Well, I loved those of you I knew already, but my heart just got a little bigger and now I just want to squish this whole blog into a big Emmett-style hug.




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