Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reading: Unbound Boxes Limping Gods: Alexand Merek

Unbound Boxes

  Limping Gods:

Alexand Merek

By Cheryl Moore

Time Line: 3997, India

Best to click over to Cheryl's blog for easy reading of connected material...but come back for discussion!

My Thoughts:

It seems I've seen and held that key
at some time, now memory is gone, why
is it here...And who is that woman
holding it out, taunting me???
She looks like someone I once saw
reflected in a mirror...
Via the timeline, I have actually arrived at Issue #1 of Cheryl's Blog. This time I went over and read the comments she received from this first entry...all are so positive! Myself--I think she was right to start with this one. It is the most powerful of those I've read. Indeed, it is amazing in its depth of emotion and we are all caught in the surreal world in which Alexand lives, even though she, right now, does not even live...anywhere. I find I have had glimpses of that world of pulls you in, not wanting you to see the signs of reality around you--those boots, the piano key--they are meaningless, as, really, is her husband...

Feedback is specifically given re the microstories... I find I think of them as what we would normally call scenes in a novel. To me, they are ultimately unsatisfying. They initiate thirst without a drink, or even hope of a drink... they tease and taunt, telling me that I will not be satisfied, ever, with closure... 

On the other hand, with such temptation comes the desire, the need to read the entire story...I want to know what happened between the time the magician came into her cell and she asked him to magically transport them out of there! But we know that the magician was not a real magician--he could not even get himself out, though he had stolen the key to attempt it... Then going back further, I want to know how and why she was placed in the al. I do hope the publisher now considering Chery's novel is taking the extra time to follow her blog, to see the interest, the following that is developing for this new author...


Questions for Cheryl: How did all this start? What is your writing background, when did you start writing? Who are your role models/which books brought you to experiment with this speculative world of yours? Is it totally separated from your real life? How do you move from life into this world of Alexand?

If you were to write the back cover blurb for your novel, what would it say?

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  1. Hi Glenda, I was seventeen when Alexand popped into my head. I was bunking off a theatre studies class at college, as I wasn’t the most sociable of teens. She was born in a park in Farnham, England, called “Borrelli”. I sat on a bench and stared at the river and she just came to me, almost as if she’d decided to introduce herself, despite not existing physically. I’d written other stories, but this character latched onto me and developed into something which has taken over my life, admittedly.

    I was greatly influenced by worlds in which I, as a reader, could escape into. Writers such as Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman and Joanna Russ had and have a great impact as well as Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood, Alma Alexander, Alan Moore, and Clive Barker, to name a few. I love The Sandman graphic novels, The Ballad of Halo Jones, The Female Man, Interview With a Vampire, The Handmaid’s Tale, Paradise and many more. I found myself as a young woman, searching for something or some other place in which I felt I belonged. I was quite an odd child. In fact I spent most of my childhood thinking I was Erik Estrada from C.H.I.P.’s which perhaps didn’t help my ability to fit into groups whilst growing up! Anyway... moving swiftly on...

  2. I can remember writing my earliest story at about ten. It was about a detective who was also a dog. I illustrated it, but unfortunately haven’t got that any more. I’ve always written, in fact I used to carry a note pad and pen with me until I was about twenty six. (Around the time my own real life son was born and I had to grow up a bit more!)

    My real life and the life in which I live in fiction are not always separable, these characters are intrinsic parts of myself. Not only do I have to write and illustrate the micro stories, I live with my characters, in a way see them as living (but invisible) people. I have an external and internal world, like everyone, but this world and its people are fused to me! Fortunately it is something which I can share in writing and illustration. My son comes first, always, but Alexand a close second! Moving from this life into hers is dependent on many factors. Multitasking is something I’ve learned, especially with a ten year old son.. but this fictional life is never too far away.

  3. The blurb on the back cover for the novel, Unbound Boxes Limping Gods, goes something like this...

    Alexand Merek is a woman who treasures "Bad Things," and delights in music. She has done something stupid, placing those she loves in danger. Women like her are not welcome in the ordinary world, where women who play piano and dance with wives are placed into, "The Bad Thing Box." Alexand must fight to bring her lost family back together to save them from an unimaginable fate.

  4. Ok...your blurb has indeed hooked me!

    I was thinking about your artwork more...the characters are rarely what you would call handsome or beautiful. Indeed the world created is dark and as you say, we think of "bad things..." Is this representative of the entire world circa 3997 or is this just the world that surrounds Alexand? Because no matter what you say, or what she has done, Alexand has strength and character...and good... but how do I "know" this...I have read an insufficient amount of material to "know" this...

    Tell me, am I wrong?

  5. I'm glad you picked up on that. The artwork is quite grim although I've managed to slip in a piece of work reflecting Alexand's quite unbreakable sense of humour. Although Alexand's life experiences have been tough (an understatement) she as a person is quite a positive and funny character. There is a lot of humour in the novels, which isn't as apparent in the micro stories. (artwork included) Alexand sees beauty in things that aren't necessarily traditionally beautiful. Her thought processes are in themselves quite beautiful to me as a writer. Alexand and a lot of the characters make for quite positive things to come out of bad situations. Alex is quite a delightful person to be around in fact. Which is probably why after all these years I'm still writing about her. I'm pleased you see that hidden side, through the murk and grime of the world she's trapped in. As with all people's lives, her life goes in cycles. Some years or days are bad, and others fantastic!

  6. Cheryl, Intriguing... I love when a writer refers to a character as if she existed outside of the writer's "pen"...because, after all, you MUST admit that if Alexand's thought processes are quite beautiful, you are paying yourself a compliment that your own thought processes are quite beautiful... I'm glad to hear that humor will be part of the novels...much needed given the many tragic events happening in the lives of your characters! By the way, is your reference about humor the picture appearing above the couch in one of your family shots? If not, I'll have to go searching...LOL I did enjoy the wry humor Alexand exhibited when she had a new cell mate in prison...