Dusk and Fantasy: Tuesday, June 9th.

No time of day is as magical as dusk. And in big cities like mine, the dusk is particularly dramatic. The streetlamps flicker on, one by one, coming alive in a chain reaction of little golden orbs. Cars disappear and only their headlights remain. Apartment buildings light up like christmas trees.

The earth is turning her back to the sun, or her face to the stars, depending on who you’re asking.

I don’t know. My head is in the clouds this week.

Probably because I’m reading three fantasy novels at one time. Trying to take in these influences and write some of my own fantasy.

I have incredible respect for fantasy writers. It’s hard enough for little old me to describe my own world, let alone an entirely new one. From Tolkien’s Middle Earth to Lucas’ Galactic Empire to J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts Castle – what would our world be without these brilliantly crafted neighboring worlds?

Fantasy worlds are the real golden center of fiction writing. They represent the full potential of human imagination. Surely, of all the genres, fantasy contains the most limitless possibilities. Everything is up for grabs; not just the characters but also the place, the time, the galaxy, the laws of physics themselves.

Although, in the end, all good fiction is rooted in real characters with real emotions. Whether it’s monsters, talking rabbits, or elves – we’re only interested in these characters insomuch as they display human-like strengths and foibles.

Spock is a human. Frodo is a human. Harry Potter is a human. They bleed and cry and laugh and make rash decisions.

But fantasy worlds have a way of holding up a mirror to our own. A way that has quite a different effect than just reading about people in our known universe. How do you get to a fantasy world? You have to travel there. And you can’t travel without getting your perspective changed.

To bring it all home, dusk is magical because it’s in-between. It isn’t quite day and it isn’t quite night. I’m thankful for fiction writers who have the bravery to create these new worlds. World that aren’t quite mine, but are still similar, but are somewhere in-between. They’re magical in all the best senses of the word.

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