One night, about two years ago, I was hanging out in Dolores Park with a friend of mine. Her name is Darya, and she is a dancer from Russia. Dolores Park was empty, which, even at night, is pretty uncommon. We went on the swings and stargazed a bit. She asked me to tell her about a story I'd been working on.
I told her a creation myth from the story, about how two god brothers are walking around the heavens with their mule. They need to get to the next star. The brother named Law wants to rest the mule and make it new horseshoes from star-stuff. The brother named Desire wants to push the mule past endurance to get there. They have a great argument. Ultimately, they separate and form their own worlds. Law's world is ruled by science. Desire's is ruled by magic.
Darya: Which brother is the hero?
Me (after a moment's thought): Well, neither of them are main characters. I guess Law is the antagonist of the story.
It turns out she liked the brother who was more practical, and wanted to make horseshoes from stars. And I guess Desire does come off as kind of a jerk in the tale. Anyone who has read my book knows what story the creation myth is from. The importance of magic and whimsy plays a big part in that story. I remember that night in Dolores Park when thinking about my writing. I like stories about magic, but I also like exploring the consequences that would arise. Though I didn't know it at the time, Darya siding with Law was an early indication that I was on the right track, so far as exploring these concepts in my work. How would people react if the impossible was really possible? What would someone do with those powers? A wizard or witch is still a human, after all. Just because somebody wants to do the impossible does not make them moral or ethical. On that note, just because somebody is more conservative in their thinking doesn't mean there isn't some whimsy to it. Making horseshoes from stars is pretty cool. So is the technology and medicine that scientists invent all the time. You know what else is cool? Telling stories to your friend in the park. That's pretty awesome.
By the way, I'm writing a fairy tale right now. A short one. Hoping to have it done by the end of the month.