I screwed this piece of paper up. Then I unscrewed it because it was such a colourful piece of story editing, and though I didn’t know it at the time, successful. From scribble and screwed up to looking lovely in print.
This story, Turning the Corner was published in Unsettling Wonder late last year. I wrote this story a long time ago. It was inspired by a dream and always had a dreamlike quality. I always believed in the story but the truth is that is was not quite right.
It was only when Unsettling Wonder called for Tales of Kismet that I realised what I had been trying to say with Turning the Corner. Perhaps what the dream that inspired the story was trying to tell me! It was trying to tell me something about Kismet.
This issues of Unsettling Wonder contains stories, poems and illustrations that meditate on the idea of kismet, of fate and forks in the road. Standouts for me are the somewhat creepy Bedtime Story by Breeanne Daniels and floating eerie The Margin Dwellers by Anniken Bloomberg.
The keeper for me, the thing I will keep rereading, is the feature essay Inevitable Tales by Katherine Langrish. She posits that kismet, fate, destiny are concepts that spring from our anxiety and reassure us that “whatever good and evil may befall us is somehow meant to be…” That we have our allotted measure of good and bad determined when we are born is an idea I also explore in Cassandra. One I actually don’t believe. Or I don’t think I believe. Except, I remember the times I have thought my good luck was meant to be, or when something difficult is not coming together that I say, well it will happen when the time is right. That I should trust and all will be for the best. Is this a way we protect ourselves from anxiety? Is this what keeps me optimistic?
It is probably no coincidence that Turning the Corner came to me in a dream while I was in the midst of writing Cassandra and immersed in the push and pull or free will and fate.
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