When you write fiction, especially when you’re playing around with fantasy fiction, you get to make up words, like Carnivory. Okay, so, no you don’t–but you can try. And it might not even seem like ass-magic if you do it well enough.
But, why do we go to all the trouble of making up these silly things?
There is a powerful connection between dreaming of doing something and then being motivated to find some way, any way to get it done. Dinosaur Train makes it easy for even big kids to imagine being a paleontologist!
Mostly, I think my interest in using a word like ‘carnivory’ comes from a childhood fascination with the natural world. When you’re a kid, you’re excited to learn that there are big words out there which are easy for you to understand. Then, when you master a concept and can use it effectively in conversations with adults and to describe real-life, tangible experiences, a whole new world is opened for you.
When you are a child and find that you can speak as well as a biologist or a zoologist, then you begin to wonder whether you might be one someday? I know people who loved that sort of thing and took every opportunity to indulge nature camps, zoo visits and the like as children and are now beginning careers as scientists and zookeepers. Going for something that first inspired you IS a big deal, don’t ever doubt it.
It’s also interesting that the thrill of delving into the world of wildlife for the first time is an almost universal childhood experience. That is what I’d like to recapture in stories like Carnivory. We all once got excited about horses or dinosaurs (for me, mischievous crows and goofy pigeons were also on that list). Do you remember being fascinated by nature shows or begging your parents for a dog? Or, the first goldfish you got as a ‘pet’ via a science fair experiment that barely lasted through the semester? I don’t think that we’re ever too old to experience the fun of being with animals. Yes, we do need to feel connected with other people in more meaningful ways. But we’ve sensed, since youth, that bonding with other animals is also a very satisfying part of being human. It’s definitely worth stepping outside of the workday routine to explore the old feeling, whether you’re traveling through a time-tunnel beyond the Triassic on the Dinosaur Train, or crafting a story about talking wolves for grown folks. Why not?
More Carnivory is on its way, this week…
Okay! One more little one: