Good ol’ fashioned romance!

What do males know of romance?  Mills and Boon wouldn’t be so popular if more men knew how to woo a lady properly!

Men in general get a bit of short shrift in this regard.  The generalisation is that they put in the ‘hard yards’ early on, but once the relationship is signed and sealed, it all falls into the repetitive sequence that is day-to-day life.  We may dust off what we remember of romance every year or so when the anniversary arrives, but otherwise it’s all about work, the kids, the chores, and there’s some sleep and beer in there somewhere too =)

But why do I bring up such a topic, one I must confess a great degree of ignorance in?

It’s an idea I had for another story!

The Shamanistic branch of Mongolian mythology believes that the ancestors of Genghis Khan (and therefore, of all Mongolians) were Blue Wolf and Red Deer.  Within The Circle of Tengerism, a website dedicated to the shaman beliefs of Mongolia, there is a page dedicated to the history of the Buryat peoples.  Under the ‘Origins’ section, it is told how the names relate not to animals, but ancient tribes.  The animals most revered by Mongolian shamans are the wolf, the deer, the eagle and the horse.  They represent honour, beauty, command and nobility respectively.

Another webpage I was looking at while researching the above made mention of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and a story idea clicked into place.

Two tribes, both alike in dignity, in fair Mongolia where we lay our scene…

Forbidden love between two young ones.  Tseekher, the ‘young wolf’, is the promising hunter with his trusty horse Nogonadu.  Maralia, known for her ‘doe eyes’, is the treasured daughter of another chieftain, herself a skilled hunter with her pet eagle Sarbey.

The rival chieftains have their shamans place curses of their opposite’s child, Tseekher becoming a wolf and Maralia a doe.  Each animal is hunted, not only by humans but the other animals of the region.  Tseekher becomes a creature of the plains, while Maralia heads into the mountainous terrain.

Their children’s animals break away from the tribes, and have such a ‘special link’ with their masters that they find each other again.

Fate brings them back together eventually, the most likely scenario being Tseekher stalking a pack of deer and recognising Maralia.  To have them able to communicate, maybe the ‘Swan Lake’ effect of having them transform back into humans for a short amount of time.

They remember a story of the ‘Moon Lake’, a sacred body of water that is powerfully enchanted at particular times of the year.  We know it as Lake Baikal, in Siberia.  Avoiding hunting packs, humans of their own tribes and other animals, they must get there before either of them are captured or killed.

All the standard tropes of undying love transcending all obstacles seem in place.  Not exceptionally original, but it works in a somewhat unique spin based on ancient Mongolian beliefs…

– Th –

I apologise for not posting much in the last week or so, but there’s been a massive motivation block.  Even though the next instalment of ‘Sayeh and Zia’ is foremost on my mind, I have not been able to kick the gear out of neutral.

I did have a rather sombre poem running through my mind that hasn’t made a solid form yet.  Entitled ‘The Laces on my Concrete Boots’, it hints at the general state of mind for the last few weeks…

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5 responses

  1. Never fear, NaNoWriMo is coming up before too long, my friend. Maybe that’s the time for extending your Mongolian story into a set of stories, all about different aspects of romance in different world locales. Though times and places have different beliefs and customs (which you are good at researching), basically the differences between what men and women want most is exaggerated by the pundits of websites on the Internet: we all want to be loved, to be treated with respect and even admiration, to achieve things we never thought we could do, etc. Don’t worry about trying to “be” more “womanly” with your female characters (you do a good job as is in “Sayeh and Zia”) or about trying to understand romance from the other side of the question: if you can understand it from one side, you can understand it from the other, that’s my motto. And before you worry about how long it’s been since you worked on your story, keep in mind that you are writing as Charles Dickens used to, for an audience which sees your story in serial form, and it’s automatically a lot more challenging to write that way than it is to write as I do (I write something completely before putting it in front of my audience, and I’ll just tell you that I haven’t done much work on my next novel for about 6 months now, and I’m champing at the bit about it, but it just won’t cooperate as yet). You’re doing a good job, just relax with it for now. Let it come: remember what Keats said about poetry: “If poetry come not as easily as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.” Now, first of all, Keats was exaggerating how easily nature controls its processes, but it has to LOOK that easy, and we are all very far from wishing your enchanting story not to come at all, so just try to wait patiently and give it its head, and all will be well.

    1. Thanks Doc, for your faith and support =)

      Nature has had many many years of practice, and practice makes perfect as they say.

  2. It seems like we eight have too much time, or too many ideas. Right now, I have too many ideas.

    1. The dreaded trio of time, ideas and motivation. There is rarely enough of them in equal measure.
      I bet your book of ideas would be jam-packed with awesome stuff =)

  3. That is interesting. I always like learning about the beliefs of other cultures. And I like the twist you have in that story.

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