Monday, November 15, 2010

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

I'm blogging very late so I'll make this short. The above is the title of one of John Keats' poems. He wrote this in 1819 and it has haunted me for years. I happened to discover a few years back that he'd been inspired by a song called The Vilia from The Merry Widow opperetta, The Merry Widow. So the man in Keats'poem was enchanted by a wood witch. Until then I hadn't been aware of wood witches, so after doing some research I knew I had to use one in a story. But writers don't need to stick to facts, particuarly when who knows what a wood witch might want? Mine turned up in a novella I wrote called The Nonesuch Curse, a part of Tales From The Treasure Trove V, a Jewels Of The Quill Anthology. In his story I used the wood witch much as the song The Vilia does, having a hunter in Scotland come upon her in the woods and becoming so enchanted by her that he brings her home, telling his mother she's his bride-to-be. Never mind that his wedding to a nice Scottish lass has already been planned. This in the old days and the lass is not about to be discard for a wood witch (She can see the truth, where as he remains enchanted." So the local wise woman gives her a potion that will cure the enchantment Which results in him killing the wood witch. As she lays, she pronounces a curse that has every male for generations die on his thirtieth birday after he's sired a male child. So then the story segues to today and the current male, now living in the US, slated to die at thirty. Will he or won't he?
(In case you're interested, The Jewels of the Quill is a closed group of twelve authors who joined together to promo each other and we do anthologies to help with this. We've been successful enough so that our anthologies have won various awards and get great reviews.)
I'm still amazed how one thing lead to another with this--the poem, the accidental discovery that the  idea came to the Keats from a song of the times and how it eventually evolved into my story.
I've alway enjoyed the dark paths creative people often follow.

Website: JOTQ website:


Brenda said...

Wow, this is very cool. Isn't it strange how everything--no matter how small and insignificant--is connected?

Candace Mewborn said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and i look forward to seeing more of your works!
Happy Holidays,
Candace Mewborn