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Adventures in Coughing, Creativity

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Coughing

Two nights ago, I woke up with the feeling that somebody had sewn a live cat into my chest and it purred in time to my breathing.

One night ago, a fit of coughing smacked me out of sleep. 

Cough: Just doing my job. There's something stuck in your throat!
Me: I swear to you, there isn't!
Cough: Then, I'll just have to keep going until I find something.

It did. I wasn't pretty. But who needs tonsils, anyway, right?


Creativity

On the Westeros Board, people were discussing Saladin Ahmed's Fantasy novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon. I plan to read this one shortly. It's set in a culture reminiscent of medieval Arabia. Most of the people praised the book, but one person complained:

"I was hoping, this guy would try to introduce the folkloric conceptions of magic in the Arab and Islamic world, but he went for some magic system of his own contrivance."

I had a pretty strong reaction to this quote. 

You see, in my mind, using a pseudo Arabian culture -- or that of Japan, or Turkey, or Africa, or any other period of previously recorded human history -- is only slightly more original than basing your story in pseudo medieval Europe (PME). Not that there's anything wrong with PME stories! Authors have a hundred and one ways to express their inventiveness, from clever plotting, to complex characters etc. Worldbuilding is only one aspect of the story and if you slot an "off-the-shelf" culture into your tale because that particular one captures your imagination, then, good for you.

But it's not original. In my mind, it's not what makes your story unique.

On the other hand, altering your culture of choice, by adding, for example, a new magic system all of your own devising... that is original. 

We're writers; we're supposed to be creative. This goes double for spec. fic. writers. Treble, even.

Cough.

I need an anti-biotic.


Comments

zoeiona
Feb. 20th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
99% of coughs are viral in origin, so in fact you don't need an antibiotic unless it turns productive - lots of rest, lots of hot sweet drinks. Get well soon.
peadarog
Feb. 20th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
Problem is, I think it is turning "productive". Two weeks of it now and my lungs are feeling it. But yes, lots of rest and drinks. I can get behind that :)

And thanks!
snapes_angel
Feb. 20th, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
Tea with lemon and honey, hibiscus tea, mint tea with honey (yea, so I like mint tea... lol-but I always hear the "tea with lemon and honey" bit). I grew up with the "chicken soup" bit for a cold; but I'm an anime fan, and what I learned from watching "Fruits Basket" is that the Japanese soup of choice for colds is leek (which, as you know, is not cowardly enough to refer to as "chicken").

Also, laughter is supposed to help a great deal of common ailments. ;3 Although, when you feel like sandpaper's running over your throat, well.....
peadarog
Feb. 20th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, laughter is good, except it makes you cough. Honey and lemon would be my drink of choice...
snapes_angel
Feb. 20th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
When I was growing up, something liek that would call for a shot of blackberry brandy. That was Mom's anaesthetic of choice. ;3