So I'm in a quandary.
As I've spoken about before, I'm in the midst of what will be an - I'm sure - decades-long swim through the lore of my ancestry. Southern Appalachian most recently, Ulster Scot before that, Celtic tribes back further still. And stealing a page from my school days, I figured the best way of really forcing myself to read for detail and retain the darn stuff is to simultaneously write from the canon. Some synopses from memory checked against the source, some original compositions in the style.. all manner of self imposed homework.
(In case you're wondering why the dearth of posting, there's your answer. Well, that and more software projects than you can shake a stick at).
Anyhow, so it was that out came a week or so ago in the bath a nice little spoken word story slamming a footnote of gaelic harper lore square into the Arthurian mythos. It actually came out rather well, I thought... until I tried setting it to paper.
Oh, not the odd language. What works in spoken delivery can be somewhere between stultifying and laughable on the page, that's understood. No.. it was the mindset. As I wrote out the words, it dawned on me that I'd incorporated the full Victorian worldview of the versions of Arthur tales I grew up on. And I realized..
... man. A modern audience is going to hate this.
Girl in the kitchen while the boy runs off on a quest? That'll fly well in 2010. (At least it's not 1979...)
So began the quandary. The one thing I didn't want to do was Disnify the canon. It's one thing to make a thousand year old tale understandable to a new generation. It's another thing entirely to strip the soul out of it trying to wrap it around whatever ideas are the fashion of the day.
So how to mollify the gal with the broadsword on her side (or AR15 at home) while still staying true to the canons? My first thought was an Irish folktale I'd read, but no.. too much wileyness, not enough hooah.
Aha I think! Scathach came first to mind. Hooah she's got.... don't think she came to a good end though.. Aoife certainly didn't. No... Boudicca? Still not a happy ending exactly, but at least all noble and high heroic.
Hrmm.. think think think....