A Faerie Haven: Living in Myth, Being Magic

For some people, magic isn't something they do, it is what they are. This blog focuses less on theory and more on lyrical mysticism, applied spellcrafting, experiential awareness of Divinity, and related topics. A haven for you who long to become your myth and live your poem. Faerie tales do come true.

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Modern Faerie Tales and the Creative Process


A conversation with Rommy Cortez-Driks,

author of 

The Trouble with Wanting, 

and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales




I met Rommy in 2008, when she started studying Faerie shamanism with me. Early on, she showed me some of her writing. I was gobsmacked. Hers was an exceptional gift. She is a true bard.


The creative gift can be fragile. Day jobs and family responsibilities can make it near impossible to find the focus to write, let alone the time. That can be so discouraging that a writer throws in the towel, especially since the inevitable naysayers try to shake one’s confidence and destroy one’s spirit. Piled on top of that are inner demons trying to tear down the visions and drive that great art demands. And all the while, editors and writers with hidden agendas dole out bad advice, e.g., praising a writer’s worst writing as their best, so the writer produces mostly their worst. Add in the actual writing process, which is complicated and demanding if the book is going to be original and moving. ... Well, it’s a wonder any good books ever get written. 



Rommy, your determination is an inspiration for creatives. For 11 years, I’ve watched you face and knock down the writer’s challenges, one after another, during transformative shamanic journeys I led you on. Please tell my readers one challenge of writing this particular book.


Rommy Cortez-Driks: Deciding on what the heart of each story was. Sometimes I’d get lost thinking and writing about some fun details of the worlds I created, but in a short story format you really can’t afford to go on any tangents. Anything that didn’t contribute to a story’s heart got the ax. I comforted myself somewhat with the fact that the last three stories (“Her Homesick Spirit”, “Make Mischief Not War” and “Kindred Steel”) are part of a much larger world—and larger story—that I fully plan to revisit in future stories, including at least one novel length one.


FDG: Necessary as it is to kill off portions of one’s own work like you did, it’s difficult. It can be so overwhelming that some writers just forsake a project.


Our shared love of lore and of penning modern Faerie tales has caused luscious discussions with you. Tell my readers an experience you had creating The Trouble with Wanting, and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales.  


R C-D: I didn’t choose the order of the stories in the collection at random. The first one, “The Trouble with Wanting”, has clear roots in a classic fairy tale, Hans Christian Anderson’s “A Little Mermaid”, but the second story ("Her Story") sets up the idea in one of the sub-themes that new times call for new tales. The rest of the stories keep taking the idea and develop it from there.


I’ve always liked the way simple fairy tales could speak directly to our psyches and thought it would be fun to play with fairy tale themes and formats and see how I could use them to convey some modern thoughts and ideas, yet still keep that fairy tale feeling without sounding preachy.


FDG: If there’s one thing you could tell other writers, what would it be? 


R C-D: I think the second story in the collection, “Her Story”, is sort of my love letter to aspiring writers. One of the big themes in it is that when you find your own Truth with a capital T, and aren’t afraid to show some of it in your work, you’ll find that it’s that much easier to make an emotional connection with your audience.


Now that doesn’t mean everyone who reads your work is the ideal audience. For instance, someone who only enjoys high fantasy is not going to get a lot of pleasure from my snarkier urban fantasy pieces like “Just Perfect” or the borderline horror of something like “What’s a Little Blood to a Mother’s Heart?”. But when someone who is part of that ideal audience picks your work up, you want to make sure that spark of genuine Truth is in there, because that’s what will keep people coming back to read more. Technique is something that can (and should) be drilled and learned, but Truth is a thing you discover on your own.


FDG: Is there anything you’d like to say about your journey as a Pagan who writes modern Faerie tales?


R C-D: Well, being very familiar with classic myths, faerie tales, and legends made researching for this collection a lot easier! I’ll need to do a little more research to be ready for my next fictional writing project.


But seriously, I’ve loved those old stories since I was a kid, and I think they played no small part in helping me realize my spiritual path. I started writing seriously not too long after I began to research my spirituality, about 18 years ago. Once I embraced that part of myself, it was easier to embrace other parts of me that I hadn’t given too much thought to. Writing was one of those parts.


FDG: Rommy, always a delight to talk with you about writing. Thanks so much for doing this interview.


R C-D: I'm always happy to talk about writing and the creative process with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me.


Dear reader, a closing anecdote: I was reading Rommy’s book and actually forgot that one of my friends had written it. I was simply reading a “real” book—you know, the sort of book you get from the library or bookstore. When I realized I’d forgotten, I was thrilled because it was a testimony to how great the book is; it’s such a delight for me when a friend achieves a dream. 


The Trouble with Wanting, and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Trouble-Wanting-Other-Not-Quite-Faerie-ebook/dp/B07KDXVJST

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Francesca De Grandis aka Outlaw Bunny is the bestselling author of "Be a Goddess!" Founder of The Third Road, a Faerie Shamanism tradition that she teaches through both text and oral tradition, De Grandis says, "I'm a trickster working for benevolent chaos Gods, so I don't play mean tricks." Bard, painter, mystical innovator, and busy elf who works part-time for Santa Claus, she blogs here and on her own sites, www.stardrenched.com and www.outlawbunny.com


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