Alternate Realities

After reading Alice in Wonderland, I had to ask myself, what did I get from reading this. My first thought was not very much. The story is so far out there that it’s hard to follow and doesn’t make a lot of sense to a logical mind.  After putting my logic mind to bed, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of the story is to make people question the reason for everything and to even to question their own reality.

While reading Alice in Wonderland, the reader is constantly wondering what is going to happen to the main character, Alice is also always wondering what is happening. She never knows what is coming next, but she is satisfied with that. Carroll was able to create a fascination with the unknown by constantly changing the story’s setting, which he usually transitioned Alice and the reader into through some sort of hallway, whether it happened to be an actual hallway or a shaft of a well. Before moving on to the next part of her journey, Alice has to figure out how to go on. This is usually accomplished by having to either eat or drink something, a necessity of life. People must choose to go through the doors of life never knowing what is on the other side. Sometimes it is difficult to make the choice to go through the door, but we still must go through, otherwise we would be stuck in an empty room, like Alice, until we move on. Remaining stagnant is not a true choice, nor even a possibility. There will always be something, like the white rabbit, causing us to desire to move on. After all, curiosity is a driving force of human nature.

Like the talking white rabbit with a pocket watch, the characters in Alice in Wonderland are somewhat on an enigma. They are often not what they seem. For instance, when Alice first meets the Cheshire cat, she is afraid of him and doesn’t like him. As time goes on, she begins to like the cat, probably because of her close connection with her own cat, Dinah. The Cheshire cat gives Alice advise that actually sounds sound to her and the reader. Possibly the most insane looking character provides a touchstone of sanity for Alice and the reader. He appears to be the only character like this. All the others seem to be there to make her feel badly about herself at one point or another or to scare her.

Originally, Alice is frightened of the unfamiliar. Eventually, she understands she does not have to be scared because these things are merely things. An example of this is the Queen’s character. The Queen is always saying, “Off with their heads,” petrifying the objectified character. Alice finds out later the characters are always pardoned, and no one ever actually loses his or her head. Therefore, there is no real reason to be afraid.

Through out the story, Alice is either asked specific questions or hears a character say something that becomes a puzzle to her. She tries to figure out the puzzle, sometimes being successful, as in eventually figuring out how to get through the smaller-than-life doors.  And sometimes when Alice can’t figure things out, she just leaves it and moves on. Eventually, the same problem comes back around and has either changed into some other form of the problem, and she figures it out, having learned from her mistakes, such as getting through the door to the garden. The second time she sees a small door, she remembers the first door and takes the key from the table and unlocks the door before she drinks the liquid to cause her body to shrink. This way, she will be ready to walk through the door after she is small. Such is life, we move at an unstoppable rate learning from our mistakes so that hopefully the next time around, we don’t make the same one. If we do, it will come around again, giving us another chance.

Another example of leaning from our experiences is the first encounter with the duchess. Alice does not understand the duchess’s words or her motivation to say the things she does. Later in the story when the duchess meets back up with Alice, she is much more coherent and kind (which she was not earlier in the story) and even explains to Alice that she thought it was the pepper that makes her and others act hostile, which seems like a valid excuse to Alice. Now that they are outside in the garden, the Duchess is much more amicable. And Alice accepts this.

After closer examination of Alice in Wonderland, I have realized that it is so much more than just a strange child’s story. It is about individual reality, about choices, about growth, about life. We all go through our own versions of reality and can experience something real with someone and s/he can experience something entirely different. We were a part of the same actions, sharing the same space but because we are different people, we may not walk away with the same experience. This unreal reality is something that writers strive to carry their readers through. Writers want their audience to feel like their story is realistic and authentic. They want their readers to become Alice, who blindly goes through the doors just for the sake of seeing what is on the other side.

In Abby’s Quest, Abby shares a life with her father, whom she hates and blames for her mother’s death. Her father, who shares the same space and experiences as Abby, hates and blames himself for the same things but sees his daughter as his potential savior, even though part of him can’t stand her. He didn’t feel as though he was a burden to her even though she felt he was.

Through Alice, Lewis Carroll teaches his readers that it is all right to look at the world differently than your neighbor, and sometimes it is best just to accept the things that we cannot change. We are not in control of others or our environment. We are only in control of our own actions and the choices we make. This is a lesson that Abby has to learn as she goes down her own rabbit hole. One of my goals is to keep the reader wanting to go through the next door, to keep them eating the mushroom, and drinking from the vial. I want them to feel like it is okay that things are not always what they appear to be, just as long as the reality that I create is realistic enough to carry them through.

What I found after reading Revelations from the Bible

Originally, I set out reading Revelations because I grew up with the notion that the plagues, demons, and Satan himself are the scariest things in this world. Having to create a monster for Abby’s Quest, I thought what better place to start than stories that I grew up believing were true and truly scary.

After reading Revelations, as if it were a science fiction piece rather than the Word of God, I found that the monsters sound so ridiculously unbelievable that they are ridiculous, meaning, somewhat comical. This set me on the quest to look for other monsters, ones that have truly scared me, either through reading or watching movies.  I found one monster that stood out beyond the rest, Balrog, from Lord of the Rings. He is what I have always pictured Satan to be. He is something to truly be scared of, not just in a visual way, but he also somehow grazes your soul.

It is not only what monsters look like that make them scary and sometimes even horrifying, but it is what their purpose is. Are they there to merely kill you, or are they there to torture you, mentally or physically. What is the scariest thing in my mind, being killed, being tortured, watching someone else be tortured? It is none of these things. The scariest thing for me would be living an afterlife knowing that it is never possible to enter into God’s kingdom. (Just so you know, I’m a Christian, but not a Bible thumping one.)

After reading Revelations, as I had never done this before, I realized the fear of never being a part of the joyous unknown but knowing that it is out there is the scariest thing there is. So how can I capture and write about something like that for people to who are not Christians and are even atheists? How can something be scary if you don’t believe in it? So I asked, why zombies are scary even to people that do not believe in them? I think it’s the power of possibility. What if we are wrong, and they really do exist?

Next I had to wonder what Revelations really is. What is its purpose? It is a book in the Bible that warns of the events to come that will set up the final battle between good and evil. Revelations is filled with signs that will signal believer to prepare because it is happening. But what if all of it already happened? What if the 144,000 people that are supposed to be saved from the evils of the hell, have already been saved, and my own personal hell is believing that the joyous reunion is out there waiting for me when in reality, it is not. Now that would be scary.

After reading Revelations, my mind has tripped out in such a way, that I was not expecting. I find that I am questioning life, reality a lot more. My dreams have become extremely vivid, sometimes horrifically frightening, and I want to know the truth. Since I can’t find the truth until I am possibly dead, I do not have any other choice but to go on believing my next part in my journey will be joyous. I would rather ignorantly live believing in the possibility of blissfulness than know it has already come to pass, and it is too late.

Now how do I incorporate my own personal findings into my work? It all comes down to belief. What we believe is the reality that we create. Abby’s choices are not haphazardly made. She has a destiny but has to make her own choices to reach it. She will have to believe a lot of unknowns in order to make it to the end and complete her role for the good of humankind. She has to trust herself and find her own path. But, she is destined to be good and has the ability to quash evil.

There is a lot more power out there than people believe in until they become entrenched in a story. Then it is not so much believe but rather acceptance. Readers do not have to believe in the fantasy world because they are present while they are between the pages. We do not have to believe in the things that we see. Belief and faith are only needed when the reader cannot see it.

I want to instill fear in my readers, especially when my monsters come on stage. But it is more than just being afraid of the monster. I want my readers to be afraid if Abby’s fails. I am not sure how to do this yet, but I know I cannot explain it to them after the book has left my hands because once they are reading. It is no longer my journey. It’s theirs.

What I found after reading Revelations from the Bible

Originally, I set out reading Revelations because I grew up with the notion that the plagues, demons, and Satan himself are the scariest things in this world. Having to create a monster for Abby’s Quest, I thought what better place to start than stories that I grew up believing were true and truly scary.

After reading Revelations, as if it were a science fiction piece rather than the Word of God, I found that the monsters sound so ridiculously unbelievable that they are ridiculous, meaning, somewhat comical. This set me on the quest to look for other monsters, ones that have truly scared me, either through reading or watching movies.  I found one monster that stood out beyond the rest, Balrog, from Lord of the Rings. He is what I have always pictured Satan to be. He is something to truly be scared of, not just in a visual way, but he also somehow grazes your soul.

It is not only what monsters look like that make them scary and sometimes even horrifying, but it is what their purpose is. Are they there to merely kill you, or are they there to torture you, mentally or physically. What is the scariest thing in my mind, being killed, being tortured, watching someone else be tortured? It is none of these things. The scariest thing for me would be living an afterlife knowing that it is never possible to enter into God’s kingdom. (Just so you know, I’m a Christian, but not a Bible thumping one.)

After reading Revelations, as I had never done this before, I realized the fear of never being a part of the joyous unknown but knowing that it is out there is the scariest thing there is. So how can I capture and write about something like that for people to who are not Christians and are even atheists? How can something be scary if you don’t believe in it? So I asked, why zombies are scary even to people that do not believe in them? I think it’s the power of possibility. What if we are wrong, and they really do exist?

Next I had to wonder what Revelations really is. What is its purpose? It is a book in the Bible that warns of the events to come that will set up the final battle between good and evil. Revelations is filled with signs that will signal believer to prepare because it is happening. But what if all of it already happened? What if the 144,000 people that are supposed to be saved from the evils of the hell, have already been saved, and my own personal hell is believing that the joyous reunion is out there waiting for me when in reality, it is not. Now that would be scary.

After reading Revelations, my mind has tripped out in such a way, that I was not expecting. I find that I am questioning life, reality a lot more. My dreams have become extremely vivid, sometimes horrifically frightening, and I want to know the truth. Since I can’t find the truth until I am possibly dead, I do not have any other choice but to go on believing my next part in my journey will be joyous. I would rather ignorantly live believing in the possibility of blissfulness than know it has already come to pass, and it is too late.

Now how do I incorporate my own personal findings into my work? It all comes down to belief. What we believe is the reality that we create. Abby’s choices are not haphazardly made. She has a destiny but has to make her own choices to reach it. She will have to believe a lot of unknowns in order to make it to the end and complete her role for the good of humankind. She has to trust herself and find her own path. But, she is destined to be good and has the ability to quash evil.

There is a lot more power out there than people believe in until they become entrenched in a story. Then it is not so much believe but rather acceptance. Readers do not have to believe in the fantasy world because they are present while they are between the pages. We do not have to believe in the things that we see. Belief and faith are only needed when the reader cannot see it.

I want to instill fear in my readers, especially when my monsters come on stage. But it is more than just being afraid of the monster. I want my readers to be afraid if Abby’s fails. I am not sure how to do this yet, but I know I cannot explain it to them after the book has left my hands because once they are reading. It is no longer my journey. It’s theirs.