Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Migraine and the Power of the Quest Mentality

Let's see... what to report this week. I've been struggling to complete a project related to Hemlock and the Wizard Tower. It is close to being ready, and will be announced very soon.

I haven't been thinking about the Hemlock sequel lately. Usually when I go into these dormant spells, there is creative energy building up in my subconscious. I guess I should just sit back and relax, and let things percolate a bit.

I had a migraine this week. I am prone to them, but I've gotten pretty good at managing my diet and exercise to keep their incidence to a minimum. Circumstances got the better of me this week, however (too much caffeine I think). My experience of migraines (I believe I get them on the mild end of the spectrum) is a debilitating headache, nausea, and lack of appetite. I basically lay around all day, and am unable to take pleasure in anything.

What happens to my mind and body is notable. Some people urge me to take pills, but my sensation is that my body is trying to purge impurities, and further medication seems like it would just be another impurity. My mental experience is similar. I get very negative while I lay there, and everything seems dark and hopeless. It's almost like all of the negative emotions that I am able to control during my normal experience has been stored somewhere in my psyche, and is also being purged.

The upside of this experience is that when I get through the sickness, I feel a renewed sense of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual awareness. Or perhaps it's the sixteen hours of sleep, and the fact that I can eat like a horse that feels so rewarding...

Maybe this outlook is part of the "quest mentality" that I think readers of fantasy share. In a fantasy tale, challenges and suffering are usually rewarded somehow. After all, if they weren't, it would be a tragedy and not a typical heroic fantasy. The most effective tool that I've found to ward off negative feelings in my life is to imagine a heroic context for my existence. I think this is healthy, and I think it enriches my life. It's a big part of why I'm drawn to fantasy stories of all kinds.

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