Post-NaNo Update: Mantras

…No, not the ever-popular, “I will not maim anyone interrupting my writing time today, no matter how much they deserve it.” I’m talking more along the lines of sacred utterances. AKA research, more research….

I did mention a Buddhist nun turned up in the story? So, given ghoulies and ghosties and possible Buddhist beasties, I’ve had to do research off and on to make sure that any magic or prayers are, as much as possible, appropriate to the characters and events. That’s been interesting, not least because sometimes what might seem the obvious mantra isn’t the one that really fits what’s going on. Physical wounds versus spiritual wounds take some different approaches, for one.

As for why a nun’s in the story… long story short, Intrepid is the fictional stunt double for Asheville, NC. And there is, in fact, a Buddhist temple in Asheville.

And if a very worried Catholic priest were facing down the potential of Hell on Earth, I believe he’d talk to anyone strong in faith – no matter what that faith might be.

Besides. Miroku always was a favorite of mine, even if he did deserve to be slapped….

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30 thoughts on “Post-NaNo Update: Mantras

  1. Asheville is Manly Wade Wellman country, so I’m surprised you haven’t had more mountain magic showing up. Giant Cherokee river snakes are a big one. The living houses that eat you. Caves. Witches. Country/folk singers. Sin eaters. (Or, you know, serial killers. There was a super creepy one on one of the true crime shows the other night, which brought together back roads, railroad bridges, secrets kept for years, and about six other Southern tropes in real life. And a professional storyteller instead of a folksinger, but you can’t have everything.)

    Anyway… yeah, folklore stuff is MUCH SCARIER than the standard horror/fantasy tropes. If you can make a ballad out of it, you DON’T WANT TO BE THERE.

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      1. Well, Ringo did that one book where the Drake cognate was at the same science fiction convention as the occult serial killer. I dunno if Paulk’s had him in her Con books…

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    1. Manly Wade Wellman is one of my favorite Weird Tales authors(though amusingly, I far prefer the Judge Thurstone books, but the random stories. Seriously, the Lord Bryon play one should be far more famous then it is.) And yes, this is even though I’m a huge Lovecraft fan.

      I may have been pondering about getting a copy of Long Lost Friend, in a world where the supernatural has come out, I probably would.

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  2. Don’t get me wrong, though; I like Asheville a lot. Excellent food! Cool things to see and do! The opportunity to drop lots of time and money at Biltmore, and actually feel like it’s worth it!

    But there is the sudden tendency for streets to become much more vertical than they were when my dad started shuntpiking across country as a shortcut.

    And the true crime stories I picked up from Wellman, plus now that guy on the serial killer show.

    So yeah… I think you can figure out that I didn’t realize that Intrepid = Asheville, and I am now revising my mental images.

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  3. Also, mind you, I have noticed that the true crime shows tend to be showcasing really horrible cases whenever they stray outside California, Oregon, and Florida. So I have had the dubious pleasure of seeing many towns I know in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, etc. showing their worst face.

    And yet, the sad thing is that I really like ’em, and the local history aspects are very appealing. It’s the mystery fan in me. And now that we have two local broadcast sub-channels running true crime and forensics formats all day, plus a bunch of shows being available on Amazon Prime, I am seeing way too much of this stuff.

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      1. Well, I’m also watching some extremely light anime. And funny movies.

        But there’s always a true crime show on… all day…. And to be fair, it’s not all murder shows. The thievery and fraud shows have been very informative on topics like “Why funny stuff happened to most of the local banks all at the same time” and “How people can run multi-million dollar horse businesses while not bringing in any actual income.” (The answer to the latter question was “Borrow a lot of money from the local banks and use them to try to pay off the loans in a circle,” and “Be the comptroller for an Illinois town that trusts you implicitly.”)

        I’m kinda worried about those poor magical beings. Other than the purveyors of fairy gold, I don’t think they’re ready for humanity.

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  4. Funnily, I’m pretty sure Miroku was actually a Shinto-Buddhist monk, which – from my understanding – were never really a big thing outside of Japan and actually stopped being a thing in Japan itself within the last few decades.
    So the Buddhist nun is more likely to have stuff in common with Sanzo than with Miroku. Though that probably depends more on the history of the temple itself…

    …Now I really want a Dresden Files Saiyuki crossover, just so we can have Michael Carpenter in the same room as Sanzo. Though Hakkai would probably give Harry the heebie-jeebies… and Murphy would probably get along with Gojyo like a house fire… The more I think about this the more I need to figure out the details for how I’d pull it off…

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      1. Yeah, well translating the Sanzo-Ikkou and Minus Wave to the Dresden Files setting is the hard part. Saiyuki is not a subtle setting but Dresden Files has a Masquerade going. Then there’s what book is it set before/after so I can have characters show up and interact, and of course having Bob or someone not mention the parralels to Journey to the West. And then there’s relative power levels – equal treatment, equal awesome in crossovers.

        I suppose I could get around some of the issues by translating Dresden Files characters to Saiyuki instead… But that’s not quite my preference.

        … Though… theoretically I could have Sanzo be reincarnated and the other three actually be the same ‘them’ that Journeyed to the West and explain it as a repeating Fate for their souls. They keep having to quest in every era to suppress the Minus Wave… And [SPOILERS for Dresden Files]: having the Minus Wave be related to the Walkers/Nemesis would make a lot of sense. [END SPOILERS]

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      2. If Sanzo’s found out he’s been reincarnated to deal with someone after the Sutras again, his use of invective (and bullets) will know no bounds. Kanzeon will laugh. And mock.

        …You have to have Harry meet Kanzeon. A supernatural being who doesn’t want to screw him over, just maybe mess up his hair and throw cranky priests at him? That’d be fun!

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      3. Agreed, especially since Kanzeon ranks up there – not quite Hades level, but still pretty well known – and in Dresden Files divine interactions tend to be big deals. Kanzeon is decidedly… casual. About everything. I think that’d throw Harry for a loop. Possibly two.

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      4. Harry and Kanzeon

        Yeah, I’m sure once Harry gets a look at Kanzeon treats Sanzo and the rest of her minions . . .er, followers . . . he’d be like “I’ll have what he’s having.”
        “Seriously? You want to put with the Hag and hir sense of humor?”
        Yes! A thousand times yes!”

        After the gang has a close encounter with Queens of Faerie, etc . . .
        “Your eagerness to put up with the Hag makes sense now.”

        Liked by 2 people

      5. >>Plus, who doesn’t want to see Sanzo shoot Laura to protect a certain idiot kappa…

        *facepalm* I hadn’t even considered throwing the White Court into this mess, but that is a wonderfully amusing point. Funny thing is, you’ve gotta give every player at the table equal respect in a crossover, but being a keeper of the Sutra would make Sanzo more like a Knight of the Cross – not actually a Signitorie of the Unseelie Accords, but also not bound by them because of that. He’d also have some of the same ‘protections’ that Knights of the Cross former and current receive, they’d just be decidedly more Buddhist.

        So if the Sanzo-Ikkou encountered Laura then suddenly her political power – what the White Court is built around – goes up in smoke. Conversely though, she’s probably someone (something?) Sanzo doesn’t/shouldn’t shoot because terrible as she is there really aren’t any currently better options for leader of the White Court. Sanzo may or may not know that walking into things, but he can respect the immediate ‘I always have guards on hand and am a supernatural powerhouse who can probably go toe-to-toe with Gojyo or Hakkai in a fight’.

        What I’m saying for amusing scenarios is: shooting at Laura’s great, but after the first time she’s gonna avoid it the second. So Sanzo might have to shoot himself instead.

        I can’t remember if Harry’s done anything like that yet in canon. He’d probably save it as a good idea for the future when he finds out.

        Liked by 2 people

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