Monday, July 9, 2012

Myths, Legends & the Bear Lake Monster!

myth/miTH/


Noun:
  1. A traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically.

leg·end/ˈlejənd/

Noun:
A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.
Don't you love myths & legends? I do! I think they can be particularly fun when writing fantasy although they could make for some fun scenes in other genres too, including contemporary.

I spent the past weekend with my family in Bear Lake. This is a lake/town on the Utah/Idaho border. It is absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite places to visit. However, they have a legend or myth about the "Bear Lake Monster." (Interesting article here.)
 For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that I have a slight (okay, maybe more than slight) fear of the water. This fear mostly has to do with the ocean, because I can't help but wonder what's beneath me waiting to eat me. In the case of the Bear Lake Monster, it might just pull me under and drown me first, BUT STILL!

You will be proud to know that I made it the whole trip without ever freaking out about this monster or worrying about whether or not it was going to surface and whip me off the wave runner and keep me for dinner. Until I fell in. *sigh*

I guess I'm just more comfortable with my feet on the ground. I swam to the sea doo faster than you can blink and tried to get on as fast as possible without causing a huge scene or letting my husband see how serious my phobia is. (I would never live it down.)

However, it provided me with a fun topic for today's post so I am thankful for that. My current work is a YA fantasy and I have taken certain myths and legends and brought them to life within it. I LOVE IT! It is so much fun to make these things real... and who knows... maybe they are *bites nails* As long as I don't have to encounter any of them in outside of my book, I am totally cool with them existing. 

So how 'bout you? Do you have a myth or legend that you're particularly fond of? Have you ever used one in your book, somehow?

29 comments:

elizabeth seckman said...

I love the water so much, I pretend NOTHING exists in it. People tell me tales of sharks and I just assume they are all lies. Denial...it's a beautiful thing.

S.P. Bowers said...

We all have our hangups. I won't go into my phobias here. The WIP I'm querying is all about Myth. The MC is a selkie and she has to keep her husband from finding out Selkies are real. She fails of course and fun ensues.

Cristina said...

don't worry.. it's not that I don't like water, I just prefer to have my feet on solid ground, too ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes a little phobia is all right though. I won't swim in the Atlantic because I know how many sharks are hovering just off the beach.

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm a big myth and legend fan! I don't share your phobia, but I understand it. Glad you faced your fears. That takes guts!

Cassie Mae said...

Aren't you writing a mermaid book? ;)

And I didn't know you were up at Bear Lake. I love that place! But I didn't know about the monster. That sort of scares me off :)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Oooh the Bear Lake monster. All I know about Bear Lake is that it's a popular tourist spot for Utah outdoorsy people and that it is quite beautiful. However, my enjoyment of it would probably be about ten minutes long before I'd want to go back to a nice hotel/spa. I'm just not a running, jumping, climbing trees type of person.

Suzanne Furness said...

I love reading about myths and legends and frequently use them, or aspects of them, in my writing.

Emily R. King said...

I believe in Big Foot. Where I live, it's totally acceptable to believe in him. Because he exists. Really. He does. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

We do have some local legends, which are mostly scary - rolling calves, mermaids and of course, the most famous - the White Witch of Rose Hall. I imagine it's lots of fun digging through research material for your stories.

prerna pickett said...

lakes and ocean scare me too! We don't even know half of what's down there.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I don't know if I really have a fear but I do have things I don't like. Roller coasters are high on that list. Just watching makes me sick.

Medeia Sharif said...

I love myths and legends, but only used them in one WIP a long time. I'd love to incorporate them again. It's great learning about them and coming across them in fiction.

Rachel said...

I love myths and fairy tales. My first novel was a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast with a serious feminist twist (there were maybe 4 male characters in the whole book of 274 pages!!). I loved researching. I read EVERY version of B&B I could get my hands on - including a translation of the 16th century Beauty and the beast from France. :)

I'm excited to hear more about your WIP, Leigh!

Coleen Patrick said...

I share the fear of water--esp dark water that I can't see into!
As a kid I checked out a lot of books at the library on the Loch Ness monster. I so wanted to believe--and i still think it could be possible :) That imagination is why I could not go all the way into the Mediterranean sea last month (but the Dead Sea I was ok with, nothing lives in it!)
Happy writing Leigh!

Cortney Pearson said...

Aaaah, I'm scared of water too!!! Though in college I took a swimming class to impress my future hubby, because he complained about his ex being scared of water, and I was like, I'll show him!! Yay, glad your WiP is going well. I haven't really used myths or legends in my stuff, but I love it when people do!! :D

Tara Tyler said...

proud to say i saw loch ness but not the monster...
crawfish are scary enough for me! i dont like any sea critters close up!

Suzi said...

I've never based any stories off any myths/legends. But I mostly do contemporary.

I love Greek mythology though. It's one of those things I'd like to read more on, not just Greek, but others, but I never find time.

Elana Johnson said...

Not to mention that Bear Lake is disgustingly DIRTY. My condolences for falling in. When I went last year, I didn't even get my feet wet. Ha!

But I do like legends and myths, especially ones about monsters, because they add tension to life. :)

Rob-bear said...

I used to have a problem with heights, not water. I've worked on that over the years. And just in time. Our sixth floor apartment has a balcony. Where we keep the barbecue. The fact that I can grill supper means I have come to terms with that fear.

Stories, myths, legends. Technically. Starting with the Bible's two stories of creation. There is awe and wonder in them. And I take them very seriously. As do many others folks.

Carrie Butler said...

I'm glad the Bear Lake Monster didn't get you, Leigh! ;)

Yes, I have a myth/legend in Strength. Though, it ends up being--

*Covers mouth*

Leslie S. Rose said...

I lived in the ocean every day of summer growing up, until JAWS. I don't think I even went into a swimming pool for a year after I saw it. I love stories with mythological elements - and not just Thor.

Morgan said...

THE BEAR LAKE MONSTER!!!!!!

I've seen it! I've seen it!

LOL. Leigh, I seriously ADORE you. You're so funny. Speaking of lakes, I like to believe in good ol' Nessie... It's fun to think she exists ;)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Morgan is lying. Never believe any red-head that tells you she has seen the Bear Lake monster.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

You are not alone. I swam in the middle of a lake at night once, and couldn't get back in the boat fast enough. I can swim in open water as long as my feet can touch the ground, otherwise, it's not for me!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I can so relate to this. When I was younger I hated swimming where I couldn't see the bottom. Pools were just fine. Lakes and the ocean, not so much. I think living in the Philippines helped that though. lol

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

My parents grew up near Bear Lake in little communities called Mink Creek and Dingle. With names like that you'd think they are mythical, but they aren't. I love using myths and legends in my books, especially since my current series deals with witches and magic. I've always loved Greek mythology, and that's what I'm weaving into my current WIP.

Nicole said...

Way to be brave! We've got a lot of eerie camp tales that talk about the lake where my family has a cottage. They're great to tell around campfires. :)

Adeeva Afsheen said...


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