It was a Thursday, I remember that. I also remember the traumatic domestic environment we were in, my sister Alex and I.
She was Inky, a plastic ocelot animal figure. I was Alli, an alligator.
We played all night, into the morning, skipped school and played some more. I remember being mostly on the floor of the attic, while she moved around the room; shelves, walls and furniture.
I wish I remembered the exact details of the story we lived that night many years ago. It would make a great book unto itself. All I know now is that it was wildly imaginative and healing, Alex, being about five years older, led the way.
This started years of imaginative adventures…and an ever expanding palette of characters and creatures, including animals and hot wheel cars, which we nabbed from the local drug store, Kresges, and whatever was around us.
At some point we added music; Tchaikovsky and Uriah Heep, especially their song, The Wizard.
Thus we survived dark times. And, of course, this led us to Tolkien, Lewis, Alexander and Michael Moorcock, especially his Corum Chronicles, Elric came later for me, then Fritz Lieber and, even later, Jack Vance.
Fantasy kind of saved us. Our imaginings were a way to process, survive and grow. They were much more real to me than the bland goings on of dismal surroundings and bad schools.
I began writing my own stories. At some point I found music and lived the life of a composer for years, but my stories never left me, I imagined them every night when putting myself to sleep. I emerged from music conservatory with a Doctorate in Music Composition and a full-fledged fantasy series in my head, titled Tales Of The Ocean City.
I tried writing it down, but it wasn’t…“It”…then I started narrating, recording and combining the story with music…and there it was, like when Alex and I did our D&D-like imaginings to Tchaikovsky and Heep.
I finished the initial series just a month ago…finally.
That’s my story with Fantasy…what’s yours?
I also acted out adventure stories with my sister using my toy plastic animals. They started out with characters from the novel Bambi and its sequel, Bambi’s Children, but became quite elaborate and complex. We did this for years, up until the time I started high school. We didn’t have a traumatic home environment, and I can’t say that our play had much impact on our taste in fantasy literature. My sister likes Tolkien and the Harry Potter books a lot more than I do.
Talking about buying toy animals at Kresge’s: Do you remember the little hand-painted plastic animals made by the Louis Marx Co., that were sold individually in little boxes? They used a heavier grade of plastic that sank in water. Other plastic toy animals floated. This became an important plot point when playing in the bathtub, as the animals that floated would have to save the animals that sank from drowning. On the other hand, it was the Louis Marx animals that always discovered the sunken treasure….
Looking forward to the complete Ocean City saga. I was very impressed with the beginning. But please, no tortoiseshell-bodied string instruments! How about wind instruments made from the discarded shells of giant sea snails?
Nice to year of you and your sister’s co-adventures!… as for Kresge’s – no one mentioned buying…think I used the word ‘nabbed’…:)
And yes, I remembered your past comments in re sea-turtle shell based musical
instruments…:)- Ela’s newest instrument, which he calls his ‘battle-lute’… is made from the wood of the albinonyi tree…strings from sea-eel skins… 🙂 – I will send you a set of the five books, paperbacks, when ready…:)
A ‘battle-lute’ made from the wood of the albinonyi tree…. I guess you could play the Albinonyi Adagio on that?
Look forward to getting the books, but it won’t be the same without your narration and music.
Ho Ho… lovely piece though…then there’s the Barber…or the barbs on Vorm carapaces.. 🙂 – Do you have Apple Books? – I’ll send you the complete set as fixed layout ebooks – they will pop right up on your apple book reader!…