The Magical Source, Baby

12 Feb

The magic in Scripped is kind of an understated thing. Yeah, it takes place mostly in another world just over the edges of ours — Appalachian Faerie, right? But the magic the fae themselves perform is very small and often accidental. Whether that’s because they don’t know their own capabilities or because they have no real use for it is anyone’s guess. They tend not to ask questions, as is sad but perhaps expected in a population that’s been oppressed for a century.

Jonah — who’s been faerie-napped and is being taken apart piece by piece (both literally and figuratively) — doesn’t remember what normal is/was for  him. Faerie amnesia sucks like that. But he does know that none of  that shit is remotely near to it, and is desperate to understand how and why, unlike his captors. Letting him unravel pieces of it (while they’re unraveling pieces of him…) was part of the fun of writing it. And in a book like that, you take all the fun you can get.

Most of it is typical faerie magic. Magical food, an aversion to running water, fairy hills, but tweaked out on Appalachia big time, so they’re not quite what one might expect. Some of it was just a matter of shit that I saw elsewhere. Like the source — or at least the central part — of the fae company town’s magic, the crystal cave. Yeah, best believe I read Mary Sewart as a kid*, plus I’ve spent years stuffing my head full of new age and various other sorts of magic on the subject — hell, there’s even a theory in the paranormal/ghost hunting world that a high concentration of quartz/gypsum or crystal underground might account for residual hauntings.

So when I saw this article on crystal caves under the Chihuahua Desert in Mexico in National Geographic… how could I not go there? Seriously, check out the photo gallery. It’s amazing.

From Chapter 7: Regression Therapy

He’d thought the main cavern above impressive, and it was in its own way, but this was something else.

It was smaller, not as high or long, but completely natural. Stalactites dripped from a visible ceiling, and large pools of water collected here and there. The sound of dripping water came from everywhere, faint and elusive; the smell was sharp and metallic, like copper. Like blood.

None of that mattered, though. All that mattered were the heart-stopping crystals that grew out of the floor and walls, crisscrossing the cavern like shining white stairwells in a funhouse. Jonah reached for the wall and leaned against it, trying to take it all in over Tal’s shoulder. Their radiant glow struck him again as something impossibly pure, difficult to look at after the dark of the tunnel. Their hugeness dwarfed him, even standing above the ground, looking out and down on the cavern. He thought he should be spinning, but he wasn’t, not really.

His heart was in his throat. He could believe this might be the source of everything, all the magic in the company town, easily. “It’s beautiful.”

Tal looked over his shoulder, his face half-lit in that weird light.

It didn’t suit him; it was too bright, and Tal’s eyes were too dark. They ate the glow up hungrily and barely reflected anything back.

“Might be,” was all he said.

And I’ll stop there, since this is kind of the moment that changes everything. But yes. That’s where it came from. Thank you, National Geographic! :D

You can still invite a guest to the party and get entered to win a copy of Scripped, plus some other cool stuff, before noon on V-Day!

*Also everything Arthurian EVER. Thanks, Dad!

10 Responses to “The Magical Source, Baby”

  1. Cate Gardner February 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Bloody awesome. Although, don’t ever go there as you may be faerienapped.

    • Katey February 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      It’s so beautiful! … but yeah. Won’t catch me there. For suuuuure :/

  2. Anthony J. Rapino February 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Dang! Okay, I really have to read this already. I have it sitting here with my pile of must-be-read-soon books. I hate work; it steals all my reading time away. :-p

    • Katey February 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

      Don’t you love it when you just trip over inspiration like that? Sooooo pretty.

      And yes, work sucks. Doesn’t it know we have BOOKS TO READ?

  3. Milo James Fowler February 14, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Now this is the kind of story research I wouldn’t mind at all. Holy cow, that’s magical!

    • Katey February 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      I couldn’t believe it when I first saw the photos in the magazine. How can that be real?!

  4. Meghan February 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    hell, there’s even a theory in the paranormal/ghost hunting world that a high concentration of quartz/gypsum or crystal underground might account for residual hauntings.
    This one always really made sense to me. After all, consider the parts that go into computers… why *shouldn’t* it store things without the microchippy bits?

    Also, you are definitely the best kind of nerd for finding inspiration in National Geographic

    <3

    • Katey February 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Yeah, that is really a special kind of nerdery, innit? I didn’t think about it, but it’s true. And it’s second to the inspiration I regularly pull from Smithsonian, oh man.

      And I agree about the quartz/gypsum thing and microchips, totally. I love when science and pseudoscience come together to give me magic I can use…

  5. Me February 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    LOVE THIS FREAKY BOOK. Enough said.

    • Katey February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      <3 YOU.

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