I can pinpoint the exact day I made the transition from simple young nerd to writer. It was my thirteenth birthday: January 31st, 2001. I know this because the website fanfiction.net required you to be thirteen years of age before you could sign up for an account, and I adhered faithfully to the letter of the law. I’m not certain what I thought would happen if I tried to get an account while I was still twelve; perhaps the fanfiction police would break my door down and take me away for writing unlicensed drivel.
Thankfully for humanity and the English language, everything I wrote under that first account name is long gone. But the experience–and the joy–remains, and I am a writer to this day. And this Wednesday, January 31st, is both my 30th birthday and my 17th Writerversary.
To celebrate, this Wednesday I’ll be posting the first in a series about a topic I can’t get enough of: ancient Egypt! But not just regular old historically-accurate ancient Egypt. No, I’ll be sharing pieces of a project that I began more than six months ago–inspired by, of all things, the Tom Cruise version of The Mummy (2017). Originally intended to be a simple movie review, the project ballooned into a survey and analysis of the very concept of an undead mummy, focusing specifically on the Mummy’s history in English-speaking cinema. We’ll be talking about the history of Egypt ancient and modern, the changing Western view of the “mysterious east,” and how mummy movies over the decades created a new monster independent of its supposed origins. The phrases “braved the gods’ anger” and “violent undead assassin” also get used a lot.
The project will update once a week until it’s complete, and its working title is “Gods and Monsters.” The schedule reads as follows:
1/31 — Introduction and Part I: Ancient Roots
2/7 — Part II: Sin and Cinema
2/14 — Part III: Hammered to Death
2/21 — Part IV: Temporary Resurrection
2/28 — Part V: Formula Refined
3/7 — Part VI: Good and Evil
3/14 — Part VII: Conclusion (It’s Always Sunny in Hamunaptra)
Welcome, everyone, to “Gods and Monsters.” And here’s to another seventeen years!