Monday, February 20, 2017

Story Inspirations: Dilmond Garp and the Wibberwon Gamby

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"Dilmond Garp lived with his mother in the village of Flitchens.  He was a tall, gangly lad of fourteen with straw-colored hair and bright blue eyes.  He was a good boy, for the most part.  He was respectful of his elders and kind to everyone, and he never indulged in any mischief.  But Dilmond had one great fault- he had the terrible habit of leaving his chores undone until the last moment possible." 

Wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to snap your fingers and have your tasks done in the blink of an eye?  To be able to concentrate what time you'd usually spend on working on something more fun and enjoyable?

Of course, every person EVER has probably thought this at some point.  I know I have... many, many, many times.  

One of my greatest faults, I must admit, is procrastination.  I look around, and if I see work to be done, I think, Hmmm... I should do something about that!  It won't take long.  I'll do it!  Right after this one quick thing!

And then one thing leads to another and I end up putting it off until it's too late.  It's a shameful cycle and I'm well aware of it, and I truly have been working on changing that about myself.  At its root, procrastination is just another form of laziness, and that's the last thing I want to be.  The only thing that can really be done about it is to purpose in your heart to stop procrastinating and GET BUSY!!!!  And then do that.  Right away.

A lot of times when I'm dealing with something I'll externalize it by putting it in a story.  Letting a character experience the same things I or other people in my life do allows me to work through it in a more coherent manner.  So, during one of those times when I was thinking a lot on this particular issue, a character was born to me named Dilmond Garp, an imaginative young boy on the brink of manhood (sort of) who is faced with the difficult challenge of balancing chores and playtime. 

I knew I wanted Dilmond to face temptation in a physical form of some kind, and what better way to entrap a young, well-meaning person than a magical trickster?

Enter the Wibberwon Gamby.

Again, for this mischievous creature I was playing around with syllables in my head trying to come up with cool new words.  Once that peculiar mess came out- wib-ber-w-on gam-by- I knew I had something.  At first, I didn't even know what it would be.  Would it be an object?  A person?  A place?  An action even?  

After a moments' thought, the image of a little green fellow with large ears and a red scarf came to mind, and the whole story began to take form.  

Intrigued by this line of thought, I went on a brisk bike ride.  There's nothing like a surge of adrenaline to induce some inspiration.  I just hope  none of the neighbors heard me muttering planned lines like "The dress looks better on the goat than it does on you, you miserable, horrible old hag!"  as I passed their farmsteads.  

I came home at last and told my mom about the idea, and she thought it was a great idea.  I went to work writing right away, and by late that night I had finished the short story.  I had my aunt read it to my younger siblings and cousins, and though I wasn't there for the reading, I later heard that the room had been filled with laughter.  Y'know, in a good way and all...  and it was then that I really started thinking that this fairy tale book could be a thing.  

With Dilmond Garp and the Wibberwon Gamby, coupled with The Fairy King and the Madman of Elkriahl (at the time still just an idea) I had a fairy tale collection already half-way done.  I had always intended to do it some day, but it was Dilmond Garp that really got me going.   And although I can't really decide which of the five stories in this book are my favorite, Dilmond certainly has some of the fondest memories attached to it.  

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-Emmarayn Redding

(Image copyright Emmarayn Redding.  All rights reserved.)

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