Art from the heart, soul, and some very distant memories

Art from the heart, soul, and some very distant memories

I had been working on a series of science fiction adventure stories for kids for two years when I suddenly realized I'd been drawing on some very distant and personal memories of my life in Papua New Guinea, between the ages of 6 and 8.

I knew I'd seen some strange things in the jungle, heard eerie bird sounds and seen shapes and colours that had filled me with awe. So I decided to use those memories to fuel most of the scenes in the books.

Following this intuitive process, I had the protagonist, 10 year old Molly, come up against a massive pterodactyl-like creature about twenty times her size. I was happy with the scene but I couldn't think of a name for the creature, so I did some googling.

What I found nearly knocked my socks off. I found several videos on YouTube showing photos of the creature I had written about! Some showed the creature flying, others showed it pinned to the ground by hunters, and other videos showed interviews with natives from villages talking about this huge and terrifying raptor they had seen.

One thing these images and stories all had in common was that the creature was described as, and appeared to be, part of the pterosaur family. Which is weird because those things have apparently been extinct for 65 million years, along with all the other dinosaurs.

The second thing these stories had in common was that everyone referred to the creature as "The Ropen". Whether sighted from the top end of Queensland in Australia, or in Papua New Guinea, everyone referred to it as "The Ropen".

This was a shocking discovery for me, because I had almost finished writing the series and the massive creature was a key character. So I kept it in the story and named it "The Ropen" 

If you were willing to speculate:

* What role do you think the Ropen plays in the story?

* Is a good creature or an evil creature?

* Is there any such thing as good and evil, or is everything a bit of both?

* What would have been Molly's reaction to encountering this creature?

* What did everyone else around her want to do about it?

* Where did the Ropen come from?

* What is its destiny?

Find out, in the series of page-turners known as "Molly's Magical Adventures".


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