by Lillian Csernica on April 26, 2019
I have a strange relationship with water.
When I was in first grade, if I came near a body of water larger than a puddle, I would fall in. Kiddie pools. Duck ponds. A bucket of water beside a neighbor’s half-washed car.
This is one big reason I learned to swim quite early in life.
Fast forward to my senior year in high school. Anywhere I went, from a friend’s house to a public restaurant, if there was a vessel of water (vase, drinking glass, finger bowl)within ten feet of me, somebody would find a way to knock it over and I’d get soaked.
I never did the spilling. I did not touch the water until the water touched me. My family thought I was cursed. Seemed like a pretty feeble curse to me, but it just kept happening, too often to be mere coincidence.
Mind you, all of that had to do with fresh water. I had no trouble at all at the beach, aside from being convinced there was a monster way down deep in the dark water that was just waiting to grab me and drag me under.
The technical term for this is thalassaphobia. I built an entire story around this condition by giving it to the main character in Dark Water.
At one point I wanted to become a marine biologist. Few things made me happier than starting my school day down at the beach with my science teacher, measuring the waves or looking for specimens in the wetlands. Unfortunately, at some point in any career involving on biology, one must dissect a cat. For me, that would be unbearable.
Water plays an important role in a number of my stories:
Ship of Dreams — the Caribbean
The Kyoto Steampunk stories — Japan is a volcanic archipelago
Cold Comfort — the seashore
Storm Warning — the Gateway Islands
Family Tides — the Gateway Islands
The Path of the Sun — the shore at sunset
For my birthday one year my mother paid an astrologer to cast my natal chart. Turns out my Moon is in Pisces. I don’t pay much attention to astrology except when I’m creating characters. I did find this particular piece of information interesting. It seems people who have their Moon in Pisces are often creative, artistic, and might also have an addictive personality. Makes me wonder to what extent this might be true, and whether or not it has affected my writing.