In Pursuit of Fantasy ~ A Guest Post by Rebekah Loper
I first met Rebekah two years ago when we both participated in a blog ‘platform' thing for something fantasy related. I don't remember much of the blog ‘platform' thing, but I've been following Rebekah ever since and have come to adore her and her quirky sense of life.
I was thrilled a few months ago when I asked if anyone would like to guest post on my blog and she said yes! You'll learn a bit about Rebekah and how to find her at the end of the post. I hope you'll stop by her place and check out her chicken stories. I did say quirky!
Without further ado, please welcome Rebekah to the blog!
In Pursuit of Fantasy by Rebekah Loper
I don’t remember the first time I picked up a fantasy book. Or, rather, the first time my mother read me a fantasy book. I just have memories of stories in fantastic worlds, worlds with rules so very different than the ones we know. Worlds where people were called to do the impossible, where good always won against evil, and where hope never went unfulfilled.
And even from a young age, I knew life wasn’t like that. My life definitely hasn’t been as hard as other people’s, but struggles are unique to every person, and to their situations. What has been a struggle to me will never be one to another person, and vice versa.
And that’s exactly why fantasy is so important.
All fiction, whether contemporary or fantasy, forces us to suspend belief, to a certain extent. But with contemporary fiction, we can still cling to our pre-conceived notions of life, and our own experiences, because it still takes place in a world that we are (at least a little) familiar with the daily grind, the politics, and the prejudices. Fantasy takes it to the next level.
Especially epic fantasy. To truly dive into a story like The Lord of the Rings, or The Name of the Wind, you have to completely suspend the rules you rely on every single day, because if you bring your day-to-day preconceptions into fantasy, none of it makes sense.
Just like applying our preconceptions to other people makes the world appear nonsensical.
And that’s why fantasy – and the pursuit of fantasy – is so important. If we never step out of our own box, or get out of our comfort zone, we can never see what is truly happening in the world around us. Not what’s happening with our friends, with our community, or with our world. Because otherwise we keep seeing things through our uniquely-shaded rose-colored glasses, colored by our grievances, our prejudices, and our fears.
Because really, every person you will ever meet is a living fantasy. The struggles they’ve lived through, their dreams, and their impossible hopes, are likely something you could have never imagined. Not without being willing to step into their shoes.
That is what reading fantasy is all about – stepping into someone else’s shoes, just for a while, no matter how impossible it might seem. And since truth is stranger than fiction, we really shouldn’t have any problem with suspending our belief.
“Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ~ G.K. Chesterson
And as promised, here's a bit about Rebekah:
Writing fantasy is how Rebekah juggles being a responsible adult and a hobby of worldbuilding. And it's a good thing she loves to outline, because between creating religions, governments, languages, and fashion, she has a lot of information to keep track of!
Her fantasy novel, Catalyst, took first place in the 2013 Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. annual contest for unpublished science fiction/fantasy/horror novels.
She is also a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, because just writing 50,000 words in a month is obviously not enough.
When she's not writing, Rebekah manages to keep her husband, one healthy cat, one not-so-healthy cat (he's in chronic renal failure), and six chickens alive from day to day. Her dream is to be as self-sufficient as possible on her not-quite-a-quarter acre lot, while somehow still finding time to write and feed her anime and manga addiction.
Rebekah may be capable of subsisting purely on tea and books. Or this rumor may be greatly exaggerated.
Rebekah Loper can be found on her blog, Fantastical Ponderings, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ , and Goodreads. She is also a founding contributor at the Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society on WordPress.
Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Rebekah! I think we're twins separated at birth, because this post is so very much my journey, too. I always love reading about other writers and where they get their inspiration. Thank you for letting us into your world.
What about you, dear readers, what gets you out of your comfort zone? Do you read fantasy? If not, what's your favorite genre to escape into?
Please visit Rebekah on her website or find her on Twitter and Facebook. She's a swell gal and would love your company.