July 15, 2019

I took time off over the last few days, the first in a long while. I wasn’t able to clear full days - too many deadlines to make that work - but I carved out spaces where I turned off the phone and disconnected from everything work related and allowed myself to do whatever I felt like doing. There was sleep and leisurely breakfast and coffee time. There was reading, more than one walk around the neighborhood, and plenty of attention to the cat and the garden. I also took in an excellent narrative.

As a writer, it’s important to partake of other people’s writing. Something in reading and listening to others’ narratives helps you continue to generate your own. There’s a famous quote about how a writer who doesn’t read is no writer at all, but I can’t retrieve it out of my head at the moment and the great Google oracle is unhelpful. Nevertheless, it’s important to read, to watch narrative films, to listen to storytellers, to absorb stories as well as to tell them. Storytelling is a multifaceted, communal experience. So my weekend narrative exploration was mostly spent with the Castlevania animated series on Netflix, written masterfully by Warren Ellis.

Castlevania was a highlight of my late childhood. I’ve always had an interest in vampire stories, and I’d heard good things about this series, so it seemed like something fun to explore during downtime. I was not disappointed. It’s been some time since I’ve taken in a narrative of that depth. I may have to watch it all again to pick up on different things, since in typical Ellis style, there are several levels of narrative and not all of them are on the surface at any given time. The experience (and what an absolutely appropriate ending!) makes me want to write fiction again, and when something makes me want to write, I know it is doing what it’s supposed to do.

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