Ili-ava-gully-hontas… Wait, What?

I’m thinking I might walk off the face of the Earth for a while and fall into the infinity of darkness and light to go exploring through the faraway galaxies. And then, maybe, I could touch back down to Earth with mystical stardust in my pocket and sprinkle it over those so disheartened to make them feel the burning hope of those beautiful dreams glistening high above again. If only, eh. Wouldn’t that be fun? But, basically, what I’m saying here is that I might go away for a while (at least from posting). But then again, I might not. I haven’t decided yet. I don’t know what would be best for me.

I want to leap off the Earth because (ready yourself for the best news (at least for me) in a long time) I’m FINALLY back on the case with Book 2. Finally. How long has it been? Like a year. Seriously. Poor Book 2. But I got really keen the other day because I was writing a scene AND IT’S SO EXCITING. Well… it’s actually not… It’s two people walking through a forest. But it’s exciting, trust me. They look at a tree and everything… 😉 Am I convincing you? I feel not. It’s a special tree, though. And it is exciting. Book 2 is amazing. Am I allowed to say that? I look at my chapter overviews/notes and I have to try hard not to bounce off the walls. There is nothing else in this world that makes my face light up like the thought of Book 2, which is why it broke my heart so much that I was neglecting it.

Anyway, before I bore you to death with my over-excitable ramblings of Book 2, the short of it is that if I suddenly disappear for a while, or for lengths at a time, you know why. I imagine this potential disappearing will be relevant for the rest of this year. So, now you know!

***

Ili-ava-gully-hontas!

(What in the world am I talking about?)

So, I’m just to throw some things out there regarding Ilimoskus. If you are interested, read on! If not, then… don’t.

Besides writing again, I’m also in the process of reading Book 1, Times of Old, properly for the first time since it was published. It’s practically been a year since I’ve done that, because I always put it off as I did not want to look at it. My book and I don’t really have the healthiest relationship. It’s a rocky road. But we’re working on it 😉 I’d like to add that the only reason I’m reading it is because I’m scouting for mistakes. I’m pleasantly surprised by how few there are; most are just silly errors which really don’t matter at the end of the day, let’s be honest. Maybe I did a better job with it than I thought. I have to say though, reading it back, I find myself falling in love with it again. I love it really – always have and always will – but I’ve just been through such an horrendous process that I forgot.

I particularly love the friendship between Rhu and Nax. Reading it again, it’s so touching, and by the end of the book it really is quite sad. There’s quite a lot going on in the Ilimoskus story – we’ve got themes of the environment and love and duty and guilt and destiny/hope/faith and bravery etc – but there is also a very, very strong theme of friendship, and this is good. There are too few stories these days that focus on friendship, if you ask me. It’s always about love. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with love, but I believe there should be friendship in love, too, and not just this lust-passion malark. Friendship and love are joined at the hip – or at least they should be. As I said above, there is a theme of love in Ilimoskus (I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t), but the theme of friendship totally blows love out the water. Camaraderie! Unity! Unlikely friendships! Reconciliation! That’s what we get in Ilimoskus, both with the humans and the Ilimoskus themselves. Friendship is everywhere in my story.

And, perhaps, you could argue that there is friendship between the Ilimoskus and nature. There are TOO FEW stories that focus on the environment, as well. Too few! By about a million. Obviously, the absolute ultimate, most important theme in Ilimoskus is the environment, and that is because it means more to me than I could ever, ever articulate into words. I can’t even talk about the environment 90% of the time because I honestly just burst out crying whenever I do. You want to see me passionate about something? My goodness. I scare myself sometimes. I go totally berserk at something so small – e.g. when a friend at school used to drop a tiny piece of litter on the field. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT!? JUST GO TO THE F-ING BIN! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!? I MEAN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT?! IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO WALK TO THE BIN IS IT! YOU HAVE LEGS! PICK IT UP AND PUT IT IN THE BIN! OR IF YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO WALK JUST OVER THERE, PUT IT IN YOUR BAG AND THROW IT AWAY LATER.” <- That was me. Still is. The environmental theme in Ilimoskus doesn’t truly kick off in all its glory until Book 2, but it is still there in Book 1. Why are there not more stories in the world about caring for the environment? There are about 700 billion (slight exaggeration) about stupid love triangles, or chick-litty my-life-is-over-ugh-men stories; why can’t there be 700 billion about the environment? It cannot be rammed into us enough, for we must be constantly reminded about how important it is. Surely people care, right…? There needs to be more, so here I am, writing one.

I watched a film the other day (I know, isn’t that such a riveting piece of information). This film was FernGully. It is THE BEST FILM EVER. It came out in 1992, and I watched it about a 100,000 times as a child. I’m not sure that one is an exaggeration.

If you have not seen it, YOU MUST WATCH IT.

>>> “How can you live without trees?”  <<<

But watching this film got me thinking. This is one of the few environmental stories out there, along with Avatar and Pocahontas. All the bright sparks out there will now have worked out what Ili-ava-gully-hontas is all about – a merge of the titles. If anyone knows of any more environmental stories, do let me know (I appreciate Epic is also kind of environmental, but not quite in the same way, as the humans in that story are helpful, whereas in the other three they are the cause of destruction, hence why Epic is not included in my little montage of titles).

This is arguably one of the most meaningful songs out there.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen FernGully since I was a kid, until the other day, and it made me realise that it was probably a huge inspiration to me, although I had completely forgotten about the film when I was planning my story. People these days seem to love saying how that story/book/film copied that other story/book/film, and so, naturally, everyone says Avatar copied FernGully, and also Pocahontas because of the love aspect. Surely, then, it would only be natural for the world to think that I copied Avatar, FernGully AND Pocahontas. Well… no, I didn’t, but even so, there will no doubt be people who think that. I actually get quite cross with myself when I really sit down to think about it, and quite disheartened, for I pick out the similarities between Ilimoskus and those other stories, and, yeah, it does look quite bad for me. It’s funny: I don’t really like Avatar very much (lol), but I feel that is the one my story has most in common with. How did that work out?

  • The Ilimoskus have weird/different coloured skin and they have different eyes and ears and they have markings on their skin, and they have their own society and language and creatures. Err… Avatar?
  • Hidden beings living in a forest, away from humans. Err… FernGully?
  • Two different ‘worlds’ meeting, crossing over. Err… Pocahontas? FernGully? Avatar?!
  • A contrast and/or clash between humans and another race (fantasy or otherwise). Err… FernGully? Pocahontas? AVATAR?!

I am sure there is more I can say, but I’d likely be here all day. Here is a transcript of a rough conversation between my mother and I, for I am forever saying these things to her:

Me: Uuuggghh, everyone’s going to say I copied Avatar and everything else. I’ve basically just come up with the most unoriginal story ever.

Mum: No you haven’t! No one’s going to say that. It is an original story.

Me: Yes they will – there are huge similarities. Why did I even bother?! (Note: my mother deserves a medal for having me as a daughter)

Mum: You could read anything from any story and find similarities with another. That’s just the way inspiration is. Yes, there may be similarities between your story and Avatar, but that doesn’t mean you copied it. 

This photo was taken in America 2013 on my auntie’s front doorstep. Don’t mind the ghost glowering over my shoulder… (it was Halloween)

Isn’t my mother a wonderfully wise woman? Look at her. A very beautiful wise woman. I owe her so much, and I have no idea what I’d do without her. What she says is true, about inspiration and all that. And if we were not inspired by other things, we would never progress, and nor would we have anything new.

So, although there may be similarities between my story and the others, there are also many differences. And now I remember WHY I started writing it in the first place (well, there are actually a few, very combined deep reasons, but only one is relevant right now). There may be environmental stories out there, few and far between (SADLY), but I felt that something was missing from them all. They are all relevant, of course, but none of them really seem to address the problem we have NOW. In this world, on this planet, right here right now, with a massive point raised (FernGully is probably the closest to this). So, as anyone would do, I wrote my own story to rectify this 😉 The Ilimoskus story is set in the present day, right now, on this planet, with modern technology, attitudes and society. The perspective of the story is split: half of it is told via the Ilimoskus world/point of view, and the other half is told via the human world/point of view. I think that makes things fairer, and we humans can identify with humans easier than a fantasy race, surely. It drums the point in better with such human involvement, I feel, and having the contrasting Ilimoskus viewpoint is a little bit of an eye-opener. And, the main human character is a fifteen year old girl – a child, in the grand scheme of things. The future belongs to our children, so what better viewpoint to take than a human child? Little Lizzie – i.e. Elizabeth Gott – is the voice for all children on Earth. I appreciate that sounds quite dramatic, but if we get down to it, that is the case. When we are dead and gone, it will be our children – our children’s children – dealing with the mess we refused to acknowledge and deal with when we had the chance. I fear for the world, and I fear for the children being born now. If you love your children, you must love the planet, for there will be no children if we have no planet. We’re all one, guys. We’ve got to work together.

I feel as though I’m being a bit preachy right now, so I apologise if it seems that way, but I do not apologise for speaking the voice in my heart. Why should I be? Someone’s got to speak out. I’m certainly not afraid to. The world could deal me the greatest wrath imaginable for doing so, but I would still speak out, for I would rather die than sit and not even try to do something – again: dramatic, but true.

So, everyone, I leave you with this:

Dear blogger community/world,

I have a story to write. Hopefully now you can understand a little better just how much this story means to me, and understand why I may be away for any given length of time. Hopefully you can forgive the similarities between my story and Avatar, FernGully and Pocahontas, and rather open your eyes to a different perspective that is only trying to follow and reflect the heart behind it. I do not want to think that Ilimoskus is a preachy tale, for it is not, and that was far from its intention, but rather that it is a tale which brings awareness – no matter how slight, for any awareness is better than none – to a desperately important, global issue. If it makes someone think twice before dropping litter, it can only be considered a success to me.

I know it will be a long, hard road for me to complete this story of mine, but I am already on this road, and it’s too late to change lanes now. But I do not intend to give up – though, I’ve been near it a few hundred times!! How I am still standing, I’m not quite sure. Nevertheless, still I stand, and here I’ll stay.

Yours sincerely,

a girl on a mission

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8 responses to “Ili-ava-gully-hontas… Wait, What?

  1. Oh Jenny Jen Jen, your book is exploding from within and you MUST write it! I feel this about my book, as you know, yet am I any closer? Each day when I really, really want to write the distractions (blogging!) take over, yet the desire, the no choice, in the lane now and can’t change feeling never leaves. So you must do what you must.
    Loved all three films, when my children were younger we used to watch Pocahontas all the time and listen to Colours of the Wind.
    Your passion overflows and so you need to take this time to write it, although of course I do hope you will still be able to blog and not disappear completely as I will miss you very much!
    Meanwhile, I wanted to send some flowers your way…just ‘cos…http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2014/02/18/award-part-two-fun-and-flowers-to-brighten-the-day/

    • I must write it, yes, but I do so with no enjoyment. I loathe and despise it 99.9% of the time – the odd 0.1% of the time is a little burst of excitement, as you read in this post. I wish more than anything that I didn’t have to write it. I genuinely feel as though it has ruined my life. Nice thought, right? 😉
      I can’t lie to you, dear Sherri Poppins: I think I’m partly abandoning my blog because I want to run away, and I am soooo unhappy at the moment I just can’t. Can’t do anything.

      Your flowers were warmly received. Thank you very much. I’ll be sure to let them grow under blue skies..

  2. I truly love that you stand so firmly apart from the mode of society, both in your theme of friendship over love, and in writing about environmental issues. There are indeed very few stories in the world that speak this message, so I suppose it’s only natural they sound at least a little alike. Your mother is a brilliant woman 🙂 Your book is so original and that’s what makes it memorable.

    Best wishes for you and your mission 🙂

    • Thank you, Alex 🙂 I guess it’s just in my nature to stand away from the masses a bit. Always been like it! I never thought of it like that: I guess the less stories there are about a particular theme, the more obvious the similarities will be. Well, I’m glad you think it’s original! I’ll force away those inhibitions of mine.

      Thanks again, for everything! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Imagine Award and Lighthouse Award [Spread Your Wings and Touch the Sky] | Jennifer K. Marsh

"What does your heart tell you?" - ToO, chpt. 32

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