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When Books Converge
Some sources of inspiration for The Shaman's Notebook Mysteries
When Books Converge by Suzanne LaGrande ©2021 ( from Hilma af Klint and The Imaginary Possible. For more about Hilma af Klint and I, go here.
Sometimes a title comes to me and I really have no idea what it means. Like the title of this painting. I thought maybe it should be when stories converge. I imagine a character from one world might wander into another story -- Harry Potter might visit David Copperfield and would no doubt get a sobering 19th century perspective on muggles....
My latest project, the Shaman's Notebook mysteries, has elements from different stories I've read and loved.
Nancy Drew, for one. Not only was she independent, with a blue roadster and two friends, on the lookout for anew adventure, but her tendency was always to run towards danger, rather than away from it.
She had an uncanny knack for finding secret rooms, hidden tunnels between houses, jewelry boxes and old clocks with false bottoms.
I loved the idea that the real world was full of secrets -- that there was another story behind or under and below the world we recognized.
(Side note Mildred Wirt Benson wrote the first three Nancy Drew mysteries, as well as The Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden series. She was a writer for hire and was paid $125 per book and did not receive royalties or credit -- Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym. The other writer of Nancy Drew stories, Harriet Stratmeyer, sought to make Nancy's character more proper and less headstrong.)
I also read quite a few books by Carlos Castañeda, who wrote about his shamanic training studying with Don Juan Matus and of his adventures in traveling between ordinary and non-ordinary realities.
And then there's movies of the 1940s. My favorite is Rosalind Russel in His Girl Friday. Both she and Cary Grant delivered witty repartee with dizzying speed. She also rocked a fedora.
I don't know if other writers dress as their characters, but I thought it couldn't hurt. I found a red trench oat and a black fedora for inspiration. It helped.
I think our actual lives are influenced by the stories we've read, the stories we've loved, and the stories we remember.
Perhaps all books in this way converge, and why it's important to choose which our stories with care, as in one way or another they will converge with our real lives.