An Introduction to Building Worlds (and myself)

You might (or might not) be wondering, Why is the domain name for this blog “Makawalli” if it’s all about world building and it isn’t technically a real word????

All right, maybe your internal dialogue didn’t have that many question marks, but it’s a fair question even if I do ask it myself.

I thought, sure, a blog.  Sounds fun.  But what in the blue heaven do I blog about?  I’ve never been a very good journaller even though I do adore writing.  Something about sketching out my daily diet and the trivialities of lugging my lazy butt outta bed never appealed.  I know other people who excel at recording their lives into black & white composition notebooks, fancy leather-bound journals, or CVS Office Aisle thirty-cent miniature notebooks.  The closest I ever came was scribbling on the backs of receipts at Steak ‘N’ Shake with the blue pen I accidentally stole from the waitress.  And even that turned into a story about a person leaving notes scribbled on bits of paper while scurrying about on an adventure.

That’s my recurring journaling blockade: everything I try to record turns into invention.  Whenever I try to write about something in my life (my most recent date with Boyfriend, whatever illness is currently plaguing a relative, fear for future!), I end up getting distracted by things like What if I were a character in a story, and a group o’ bad guys break into the wrong house, kidnap me, and then it’s just a team of investigators with excellent sunglasses left to sort through dull journal pages and whatever last message I could scrawl on the pages before I was whisked away on an adventure!

Basically, I’m consumed with writing stories instead of recording facts.

Boy did I get off track!  Makawalli.  Let’s go back a ways.  Tenth grade, I was assigned a project: develop a working analogy for a plant cell.  Somewhere in the process of assigning a beefy-shouldered club bouncer as the cell membrane, I got off track (sound familiar?), and I created a country of my own.  Makawalli.  Located in central Africa along Chad River, it’s major export was pistachios, it had a Oggledwarf for a mascot who had defeated the queen of Morcas for her crown, cape, and scepter (though I’m not sure what a mutant sewer-creature was doing with crown, cape, and scepter).

For the next two years of high school, I took my place as the Founder of Makawalli.  My friends (I’m not sure how they put up with me) took positions as Mrs. Rockefeller, the resident economist,  President, Peasant, Herbalist, and Crone.  Makawalli underwent a war against an Evil Scientist named Evil Scientist who resembled our tenth grade science teacher, and engaged in a long-distance skirmish with an opposing country named Mahakalli (they fought over their name being too similar), and Makawalli eventually set up an intricate border-defense system.

The moral of this story is that the domain name, Makawalli, pays homage to the very first world I created.  Since then, I’ve been designing worlds and countries, kingdoms and territories, provinces and governments.  To tell truth, I’ve created worlds for four books that I’ve written (haven’t made that terrifying step toward publishing yet, though), and it’s thrilling and inspiring, and it requires you to dig into your imagination without a shovel, but with bare hands and gritty nails, and fervor and verve!

That’s what I want to blog about.  What it means to me to create a world and words and worlds with words, what my personal experience is in doing it, and how I go about crafting new soil and skies.


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