Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Authors who run with Wolves

Wolves have a way of appearing in my stories. In one incomplete fantasy novel I write: “…she saw Lord Blunt approaching. His small stature was more evident in the growing crowd, but so was his menacing grace as the crowd parted naturally before him like deer making way for a sauntering wolf.”

In another folder I have fragments of non-fiction articles about old myths where the werewolf is a hero, modern wolf totemism and our changing attitudes towards wolves: “Try to keep an open mind because you do not choose your totem, you discover an affinity that already exists for both parties. If your totem is the sheep she may be offended if you have fixed your vain heart upon the wolf.”

In a dusty folder of fan fiction I find this, from some Sherlock Holmes/Dracula slash: “It was almost as if his memories were brought to life when he heard the soft strains of a violin muted, but clear, in the darkness … The song called out like his soul's voice in its isolation and loneliness. Crying not in desperation, but in resignation to a long and loveless fate. Like a wolf howling in the wilderness, not expecting to be heard.”

Where wolves are not found their parts may still appear: “She met two sets of startled eyes. Two male bodies lay intertwined with a blanket made from wolf pelts draped about them. One lay beneath, upon his back with long dark hair in disarray, the other stooped over him, one leg pushed forward with knee bent, his hair in braids seemed lighter and was woven with pierced coins that glinted by the light of a low fire.”

One of my short stories is available online here. The Wolf’s Forfeit of the title is the only wolf that appears in this story, but I wonder how many people work out what I mean by it. And I recently posted my short story Father Winter on my blog —a few wolves in that one too.... ;)

And of course there are my M/M werewolf books at Loose Id (Eclipse of the Heart, Wildest Dreams), at Torquere (Son of a Bitch) and my latest at Samhain: Wolfkin. Wolfkin is partly the result of my New Year’s resolution, to write a book featuring wolves, and donate the royalties to a charity so that the wolves can benefit a little from my writing—although it could never really match the way my writing benefits from the wolves. Full royalties from this title go to Wolf Mountain Sanctuary.

As a final word, one of my few--and probably ill-advised--sojourns into poetry:

The Riddle of the Arrow

The ascent of our so-called love was rapid;
I thought the line between us a bond,
then realised it was an asymptote.
I would love you more and more forever,
but never reach you, quite.

Like in the new zoos
where you cannot see the subtle bars,
yet cannot walk up to the animals.

You wander unmoved by me
as distantly vivid, as dangerous
as the wolf, as our unbridgable proximity
to the unpolluted idea of love.
That tiny and absolute difference
between perfect love, and no love at all.

That is the riddle of the arrow:
The distance between archer and target,
halved and halved again but never had...
love will always fall short.


Jeanne said...

Well, it's up. Don't ask me why, but the blog is running a day late. It thought today was yesterday and so I fooled it by demanding that it release the post on what it thought was a Tuesday!
Which is actually today. Even though it reads Tuesday, the 29th.
Really guys!

Emily Veinglory said...

Thanks for fixing it :)

Jeanne said...

Just curious, Emily.
When did you fall in love with wolves?

Ken said...

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for wolves. My 6th grade teacher kept a dozen wolves on her property in what can only be described as a sanctuary. Just like coyotes, they're often misunderstood creatures.

Quite a nice short story... I can often relate to Patrick. I'll have to dig up more of your work and check it out for sure!

Jeanne said...

A dozen wolves?
Emily's writing is just amazing.

Savanna Kougar said...

Emily, O thank you so much for writing this blog. I adore wolfies. I always have.
In fact, in my upcoming release, When A Good Angel Falls, wolves play a starring role as a spirit helpers.
I've felt them around me in spirit.
Ken, how cool was that! I wish I'd had a teacher like that.
Emily, you are a wonderful writer, that poetic slant I really enjoy.

Emily Veinglory said...

Thanks for the supportive comments :)

I did not really make any kind of deliberate effort to include wolves, the just sort of crept in. Growing up in New Zealand I never had any opportunities to observe them directly. But I became interested in how we talk about them and use them in fiction, compare to how non-fiction describes their way of life.

I also make fairly heavy use of rats, but apparently people don' find them quite so romantic ;)

T.A.Chase said...

Well, why wouldn't rats be romantic? :)

I just picked up Wolfkin, Emily and I can't wait to read it.

Animals have a way of sneaking into my stories. Horses and big cats seem to be mine. I'm writing a werewolf story right now for my blog story. As much as I like wolves, I've never really written about them. :)

Ken said...

You're a Kiwi?? Ok... I'm officially jealous now... LOL

Emily Veinglory said...

Born and raised a Kiwi, but I have been living in the US for the last few years. Finally got to see some wolves in a prairie park, and a also a coyote or two out in the wild.