Monday, February 9, 2009

SUPERstitions

I've finally started my edit for Paranormalcy. I realized I was overthinking things, and once I got started, sure enough everything has been falling into place. Rock on.

I've also been researching more legendary and paranormal creatures. I figured I was a little thin on references, and wanted to find some fun, different things to throw in. Here are a couple of my favorites:

The Chinese Fenghuang, a rooster-swallow-fowl-snake-goose-tortoise-stag-fish-hybrid. Can you imagine what went into the breeding process for that one?? What a mess. Still, it would be kind of fun. "My eyes opened in amazement. I'd never seen anything like this creature. It was some sort of rooster-swallow-fowl-snake-goose-tortoise-stag-fish-hybrid." If nothing else, including the fenghuang would certainly boost my word count.

Then there's the Colombian Pollo Malingo. It's a man-eating chicken spirit. No, no, not a chicken-eating man spirit--a man-eating CHICKEN spirit! How cool is that? I think I'm going to start scaring my children with horrible tales of chicken spirits coming to eat them in the night. They'll never be able to watch the Muppets again--Camille would become a thing of terror.

Also, no one beats the Japanese for ghosts and spirits. Their afterlife is populated with very, very strange things. Everything from spirits who count plates, to spirits who pull on your sleeves, to kettle spirits. Just what a kettle spirit is, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I'm staying away from Japan, as I'm especially terrified of the makura-gaeshi, a spirit that MOVES YOUR PILLOWS!

I know, the horrors. The horrors.

I think I'm going to go make sure my pillows are right where I left them...

26 comments:

sraasch said...

Uhoh. I was craving some KFC until now...

What do you use as a resource for these creatures? Did you find them on a website, or is there a Bible of all things supernatural?

Monnik said...

ha. good stuff. who knew research could be so much fun?!

Kiersten said...

Stay away from the KFC!!

I used this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures

Any thing that looked interesting I then did more research on, since Wikipedia isn't always comprehensive.

Kiersten said...

It was very entertaining, Monnik ; )

Whirlochre said...

Somewhere, there must be a ghost cloud of gnats. That would be extra spooky.

Natalie said...

Yeah, stay away from the Japanese kami, you. That's my territory:P Okay, you can have the pillow mover. I can't part with the plate counter or kettle keeper tho—they're very useful.

Kayleigh said...

You should put in a Yeti, Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster. When I was probably 8 years old, I was obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster. I know, what sane 8-year-old would be obsessed with something so odd....it explains a lot, actually. Haha.

Lady Glamis said...

*looks embarrassed*

Is "global edit" a technical term for something? Do you mean a full edit of the book?

Kiersten said...

Glam, I'm pretty sure I just made up that term. Yeah, just a full edit ; )

Kiersten said...

Ha, turns out global edit is a programming term. Must have gotten it from my dad then.

JaneyV said...

It seems that all cultures have their own methods of scaring themselves. I do love the idea of a chicken spirit that eats people.

"Hey Chick - what does the average guy taste like?"

"Uuum - chicken?"

sraasch said...

JaneyV: I'm still laughing. I want that on a shirt. With a picture of a giant chicken spirit holding a bucket of crispy KFH (Kentucky Fried Humans. Too grotesque?).

And Kiersten: My new favorite webpage is that Wikipedia list. Too. Awesome.

Kiersten said...

It's so entertaining, huh?

sraasch said...

My favorites are the fire-breathing chicken and the ghost with the abacus. Also all the random spirits the Japanese have, especially the spirit of grade school bathroom stalls.

Stephanie Perkins said...

A pillow-moving spirit? Oh, that is too cute.

I'm picturing something that looks like one of those little round Japanese totoros. Like maybe he moves your pillow, and then takes its place, so you sleep on his adorably fat belly instead.

Stephanie Perkins said...

AHH!! There's a FAIRY HEDGEHOG on that Wikipedia page! I think I might die of happiness now.

Kiersten said...

I know, best page EVER, huh? I'm so glad I've given more people this amazing time-waster, too!

lotusgirl said...

Those are some good scary creatures. I'd include some funny ones too--just for comic relief. Then again, maybe those are your creatures for comic relief.

Just a thought. I think it's a good idea to have the book overflowing with paranormals of all different types since it's called paranormalcy.

Kiersten said...

I'm actually not using any of those creatures, believe it or not. Although the Pollo Malingo is very tempting...

sraasch said...

The Pollo Malingo would be the deadliest of all creatures. It'd be one that, when it came upon people, would confuse them so much because it's a threatening-looking chicken that they wouldn't run, and the Pollo Malingo would get 'em. Dun dun duuuunnnnn.

Megs said...

I'm quite attached to my pillows; good thing I don't live in Japan. That Chinese one, if I remember correctly, used to detect liars and traitors who came to visit the emperor. I saw a statue of one once...or maybe that was another hybrid creature. I think it's a great idea to add more paranormals into the book!

Merc said...

I want a Pollo Malingo for a pet now.

Great researchiness!

~Merc

writtenwyrdd said...

From a fictional perspective, you might enjoy reading the tales of Number Ten Ox, by Barry Hughart. The first book is long out of print, called Bridge of Birds, and is extremely funny as well as full of Chinese folk tales as part of the narrative.

Kiersten said...

Megs, awesome! I love that they really have that. So, so cool.

Merc--Hi! Also, researchiness is one of my new favorite words, I think.

WW--We've got a lot of traditional fairy and folk tale books. The older ones are so much fun, mostly because they don't make very much sense.

Christina Farley said...

Sounds like you've got some great stuff cooking!

Sarah Laurenson said...

What, um, fun? Not sure Japan is a good destination. Sounds kind of full with all those people and spirits. But if they're buying your book and want you to come for a signing, you might have to put up with having your plates counted and your pillow moved.