I think one of the biggest things I have been wrestling with is how to create an authentic fantasy world that is similar enough to this world, without completely mirroring cultural specificities. I don't want to be disrespectful or flippant with belief systems, with sacred ritual, with story. For instance, there is a type of warrior in my story that I wrote into existence over a year ago. A few days ago I was looking around on the internet and I found that very warrior. He was pictured in an article about cultural appropriation. Shit balls. Did I see this warrior somewhere in my past? Did I file him away in my subconscious without realizing it? Should I even worry about this crap?
My writing is also heavily informed by everything I've ever read. No surprise there. I read an interview with an author who has been accused of stealing the work of other writers. He insists he was inspired, and there is also the defense that most fantasy is derivative. A well-published writer friend of mine has encouraged me to steal ideas, make them my own; this writer has even specifically shown me how they "steal" then make the work their own. I struggle with the idea. But even when I don't realize it, I'm stealing/inspired by other work; or weaving a tapestry formed of different threads of story, or a stew.
I also have a hard time talking about the specifics of the story. Years ago when I was working on my first attempt at a novel, I shared the plot with a writing group. Last year I saw that one of the writers in that group took my idea, wrote his own book, and published it. Close to the chest it is. I've shared the plot/world/idea with a few people I trust but no more than that. I'm not putting my eggs in someone else's nest.
The next ten days will be awesome. My boyfriend comes into town tomorrow to spend ten days with me for my birthday. I'm pretty damn excited. Ten days in one place. I'm super super looking forward to it, and I know it will be a a little challenging for me. Even when I was in a relationship with someone who lived a half mile away, I would only see him on weekends. I don't think that in the year and a half we were together we ever spent more than five days in a row together. I love my solitude. But I'm not worried. H is incredibly sensitive to my needs and desires. When he's here he allows me plenty of solitude, as he enjoys time for himself as well. Ten days. TEN DAYS! Overjoyed. And he completely supports me in my writing, as I support him in his. Yay!