mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Nothing new beneath the sun, and much reading is a weariness of the flesh

So while vice-Fearless Leader is netless in Hawaii and can't respond, I shall natter about Onmyouji fic.

I want to write an Onmyouji fic. I want to write Yumemakura in English. This should be a piece of cake because all his stories start the same way, by and large. Description of season, where I get to be all nostalgic about Japan's weather. Description of herbage in Seimei's garden which I shall probably skip because Seidensticker's Paradox ('You can only describe Japan to someone who's been there') applies universally to herbage. Giving the western equivalent (daffodils for suisen) misses the reality, and anyway most herbage doesn't have equivalents over here; giving the Japanese name is pointless; giving the Latin, as people are reduced to doing, is beyond pointless. So- unidentified trees are flowering (or shedding leaves), undifferentiated grasses are growing, and Seimei's garden looks less like a garden than a stretch of overgrown wasteland.

Hiromasa and Seimei are sitting on the porch drinking. Seimei is leaning his back against a pillar with one leg drawn up and bringing his jade cup to his red mouth---

--No. I do not like Seimei's red mouth. Never did. And anyway this beginning must be followed by some semi-philosophical conversation about 'magic' and how Hiromasa doesn't understand (or like) it, and by Hiromasa telling Seimei some strange story that happened to Fujiwara no Whatsisface and how this coincidentally ties in with the visitor Seimei has just had or the person Seimei is about to go see which leads to Come, Watson, the game's afoot! 'Will you come?' 'Mh...' 'Will you come?' 'Mhh-umm. I'll come.' 'Let's go.' (That's a guess, by the way. Except for the mhh's it's all the same word, ikimashou, which is usually hortatory but can be future on occasion, and means go except when English would say come, and can be I or you or we depending, because it doesn't have a subject.) This requires me to have a Weird Occurrence to be solved, and I don't.

Besides there's that wasteland in Seimei's garden. The wasteland automatically takes us into Rainy Willow Store and one of the best stories in it, where various people find themselves crossing Musashi Moor at night and meeting two gentlemen having a tea ceremony out in the open by the light of a lantern held by a little Chinese serving boy. There's a middle-aged man who's dressed like the tea master Sen no Rikyuu and an older man with a beard who jokes that he's not a fox spirit no matter what he looks like. The various people share a cup of tea and the little sweeteners that go with it. They leave a gift with the two men. Their lives change subtly for the better afterwards, but that's a minor point. The tea master is indeed a man, because we meet his daughter after his death and learn the secret of the tea ceremony. The other man... we don't know about. He had to leave on some unidentified 'service' "and my father feared they wouldn't meet again while he (father) was alive." Odd that the younger tea master should be the one to die first. And so...

So, well, I've always wanted to write something based on that. So let's say Hiromasa turns up some evening and Seimei isn't there and neither are any of his shikigami, so Hiromasa wanders into the garden and comes across two men having an al fresco drinking party. And who are these two men? Well, pretty obviously one of them is Seimei. And the other is some unidentified... something...

And then we're in 100 Night-travelling Demons and the story where Ritsu, sick in bed, hears voices behind the screen and finds it's his grandfather, long dead in reality, here a young man, gambling with a bunch of youkai for stakes which turn out to be his sister's soul--

--No. I don't want Seimei to be Ritsu's grandfather, even if they're both onmyouji in their fashion. Seimei is a pro: he always knows what he's doing. Ritsu's grandfather was an amateur and sometimes screwed up big time. But y'know, temptation whispers, it would be nice if Seimei weren't so totally untouchable and unmoved all the time and had some feelings about what he was doing... I know movie Seimei did. But I don't quite believe in movie Seimei. And so, Yumemakura's Seimei is drinking out in the wilds with a Something...

Maybe. Perhaps. But you know what I'd like? I'd like an idea that's my own and not stitched together, patchwork quilt-like, from various other people's work. Just for once. Selective borrowing may be the name of the fanfic game, but. But.
Tags: fic, onmyouji, writing
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