An Innocent Discoverer – Adelais Dubois

 

Who Shows Up

Unlike many other characters in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy Adelais did not seem to be in the plans of the author. Most of the other Andromeda warrior women had a clear place and presence although who they were had to be clarified and developed. In Adelais’s case she suddenly appeared to this author.

Not All These Women Had Dramatic Histories

Yes, Adelais was from a Primal family, but not every member of such a family was ordained for a purpose or would even become deeply involved either in the Andromeda or other aspects of the mission of the Tethyans. In Adelais’s case she had spent a peaceful childhood in a bucolic setting in Provence, France. She is properly characterized as an innocent and like so many innocents it came to a painful end.

What Propelled Her

She was on her way to university at the Sorbonne in Paris when fate intervened. But, of course, in this trilogy, whether it is fate always has to be questioned. In Paris she stopped to visit her grandmother who was prominent in the environmental/sustainability movement. When her grandmother was brutally murdered in front of her everything changed. She was taken to the Thonis Tethys in the sea off of Alexandria, Egypt to attempt to heal her emotional wounds.

But Then There Is Who We are

The experience led to her coming to terms with her inner spirituality and the need to take action led her to join Andromeda. Of course she got to know the other women and one of them was Nicole with her clear links to the spirit world. This experience was to thrust Adelais into a depth of understanding and involvement she had not anticipated or sought.

Who We Are

Most of us are not truly in touch with who we are deep down. Sometimes we find a side to ourselves which is wholly unexpected. In Adelais’s case she was drawn deeply to an alternative reality and spirituality. Of course, in such a context we have to question how much was simply a cascade of events and how much in some way showed the hand of Gaia. Each of us develops something of a life plan but often it takes turns which are unexpected.

Adelais as an Explorer

Adelais illustrates the fact that we are all explorers in one way or another. Some people seem to go through life on an even course which is an exploration nonetheless but for others there are dramatic turns. Adelais shows how we can rise to the occasion and grasp a wholly new course. It was necessary for her to attend to the need for healing, but, in the end, she healed, found she had not truly lost her grandmother and learned that there may be much more to our world and the future of humankind than we ordinarily believe. There is so much to be explored and Adelais takes one trail of possibility for us to observe and to engage us.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

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Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health? by Roger B. Burt

Feminism and the Roles of Characters

Changes For Female Characters

How do you feel about recent changes for women?

It has gotten more challenging to write female characters, especially now that the traditional role of women is being questioned. “The woman’s place is in the home” has receded into history and the permissible roles are changing. Yes, I chose the word “permissible” deliberately. There are still pressures regarding what a woman should and should not do and how she should act. This is an evolutionary process. And it affects how we develop fictional characters.

Greater Challenge

And so the author has to decide upon what a female character should be like or at least should attend to how they may be affected by contemporary views. Of course, if we are writing fiction a woman can do anything the author wants her to do. And then we will see how the reading public reacts. This raises the possibility for the author of challenging views and change. Of course, there is the matter of wanting people to buy your books.

Off Into a Changing world

And so I set off into the world of fiction and fantasy. The setting was contemporary which conditioned certain choices. And that can be challenging. There is a context for the present but if we are writing into the future there are many more contexts that become available.In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy these were women chosen for roles to lead us into the future and related to whether that future will be fulfilling or disastrous.

In history and in the present women certainly have had a variety of roles whether we approved of them or not. In this instance I began with a role where the Andromeda women were the consorts of rich, powerful and greedy men. I wanted them to be people readers could relate to and not simply courageous women who sought wealth and ease. They had to have values even if they were hidden. And implicit is that just because they are consorts they are in no way despoiled. They are their own person and have their mission. In fact they deserve recognition and praise.

What Will Women Think!

It would have been complicated to weave the history of the warrior women of ancient near Asia into the story for context purposes. It was inspiring to come to understand this part of history and the Andromeda women had to stand on their own. Of course they were not uniform and had their personal stories. I came to appreciate them more and more as I got deeper into the books. I’m pleased to say that so far I’m finding that women appreciate them. I think we all fundamentally understand that challenge in life is highly variable as is adaptability depending on need.

Coming to Comfort

The theme of an end to subjugation of women and their empowerment is woven deep into the story. I admired these “gutsy” women. They are smart and tenacious. Certainly they are not passive and retiring. They are who they are and they have joined a cause and that relates to what is happening for women and all of us now. Women have a growing opportunity to fulfill their talent and potential. And that in turn leads to value for all of us. It is truly a pleasure to see recent revelations about what women have suffered under predatory men and that those men are now suffering consequences. It is not all over, but increasingly we will now see women stepping foreword and they will receive broad support. It is more than about time for #MeToo.` 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

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Women in Power

 

The Depth of Nicole

In my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy Nicole Cloutier brought a whole different set of values and weapons to the Andromeda. Once again her origins for this series was not at all clear. She came and offered an irresistible set of talents and powers. Of course such women are found in various forms throughout history across our world. But she had a special heritage.

The Pain and Wonder of Haiti

The history of Haiti is intriguing. It was a colony of France and gave France considerable wealth until a bloody rebellion freed the people of this Caribbean island. Unfortunately the freedom did not lead to a glorious future. To this day we see an island of poverty beset by hurricanes and earthquakes.

A Rich History

Haiti has continued to nurture rich African traditions. Perhaps to many of us it is the mystery of their religion which intrigues us most. It was displayed in motion pictures from long ago and we know a central component as Voodoo. They call it Vodun. There are books which relate to the setting of their struggles and from time to time we see the heritage in America.

What Nicole Brought

To Andromeda Nicole brought depth of  richness fromHaitian traditions. She was a mulatto woman born into a privileged family in the ruling class. What she brought to the trilogy  began as innocence but with an in depth understanding and regard for the culture of Vodun. While she had privilege she also seemed to have regard for the power inherent in the mysterious traditions of Africa. 

From an early age she was drawn to the occult and it was as if it was ordained that she become conversant with the spirit world. It was that world that brought power and understanding. At the same time she had at her command the power of substances which could be lethal or heal.

Adapting to a New World

Coming to Europe she showed that she was able to relate skillfully to new cultures while harboring skills and knowledge useful for her position in Andromeda. It meant, in her interface with the Overlords that she was truly dangerous, even lethal, in a way they could not comprehend. Her facility with the nether world meant she could relate to and adapt to the spirit world in all its manifestations. And, in the end it would seem that she had been ordained and she could relate to what would almost surely become something essential for the eventual development of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health? by Roger B. Burt

Women In Power

 

Above is the true inner Luisa

Luisa the Kitten

Luisa Penza is one of the most prominent warrior women in Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power. Of all the women she is closest to Brigid Lynch, their leader.

Of course each of the characters in this series had a role to play and Luisa was on the list of prominent Andromeda women but her character developed considerably as the writing progressed.

Who She Came To Be

Luisa is from a prominent and wealthy Primal family in Italy. She could have simply accepted that position and reveled in the wealth and comfort. At one point she was sent to boarding school in Virginia. It featured a wonderful stable of horses but Luisa found other outlets. By the end of her second year the school considered her too “naughty” and sent her home. But sometimes people just have to be who they are and she wanted challenge. And so she came back to Italy to build a life she chose. In the Andromeda and the company of Brigid she found a true companion. In fact, she kept on surprising Brigid. Initially she was seen as a “sex kitten”. She was darling and irresistibly engaging to men. But, of course, her position demanded much more of her and she fulfilled her missions admirably. Her choice was to use her qualities of being sensitive, lush and smart to serve her people well.

Out of History

At the beginning of the series the Andromeda women took positions so common for such women in history. They became consorts for wealthy and powerful men. In doing so they made themselves vulnerable in a number of ways. Such women are often seen as compromised and despoiled. In history sex outside of marriage caused women to be shamelessly critiqued. Luisa knew better and one of her strengths was that she found ways to enjoy what she was doing, but at a personal price. There was an independence of thought and assessment which told her she was doing what needed to be done.

Sustaining Herself

Luisa’s inner self was powerful and surprising to people who truly got to know her. Yes, she was kitten-like and loved the passion with the men she was engaging and from whom she was extracting intelligence. Her belief in herself always sustained her. And in the end she could be dangerous and strike with brutality if necessary.

Where She Came From

Given the general form of the story, the women of the Andromeda were chosen to ensnare powerful, greedy men. And such men often are fools enough not to know how powerful women can be in their own right. Each of the women had their own characteristics and diversity was chosen. Luisa, as the sensuous gamine, was a logical choice. But after “hiring” her she proved to be surprising and took over her role in ways not designed initially. This was a process that often surprised this author. But I had to own it and develop it. After all I strongly support the empowerment of women and these women were perfect vehicles for demonstrating the independence of women and that they can make their own choices. Society may try to see them as despoiled. But if they choose not to be, then that is how it is whether others like it or not. They confront our errant prejudices and how our future must be to develop the potential of humankind. Diversity, strength and independence of choice must be available pathways for all of us. What I had chosen in these women was part of our essential future.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

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Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Women of Andromeda – Brigid Lynch

 

A Core Person

One of my readers of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called referred to Brigid as the “flaming haired assassin-for-good”. I have to confess I’m not entirely sure where she came from. Each of the Andromeda women seemed to show up unbidden. Of course, as a psychologist I understand they don’t materialize in the author’s mind our of the ether.

My initial concept of Andromeda was not that these women were ruled by men. That is not exactly how the world of the Tethyans is. What fell into place was that the warrior women had to have some form of autonomy although clearly there would be some form of organization. It was all curious because they had a mission but it was not like they came from a corporation or an established government. So Brigid was chosen as the early leader and she had relationships with other leaders among the people.

The Tethys, or cities in the sea, were reasonably autonomous, certainly from each other but there was some form of general independence among other parts of the Tethyan people. I have to admit I’m not sure how this all came about.

Brigid as a Symbol

Certainly Brigid was needed as a warrior. There would inevitably be considerable conflict and leaders had to exist or emerge. As the story developed it was clear that Gaia had to be giving some guidance and where Brigid was placed suggested that she was part of that guidance. In the story she is indicative of women who are strong and independent and it was apparent to me that she probably had to have a troubled history to push her into this position. So she was a symbol of the strength of women and their dedication.

Curious Origins

I’m still trying to figure out where a lot of this came from and specifically what the origin of Brigid is. It was only later that I found Adrienne Mayor’s book The Amazons. As I’ve said elsewhere, I thought Amazons were mythological. And I came to find out that they were real.

In the ancient world the women of Greece were subjugated but just outside of that region were the Steppes of Asia. And on that plane were nomadic and semi nomadic tribes. The warrior Amazon women rode with their men into battle. They were skilled archers and excellent horsewomen. Women seem to have an edge in horse management as we see today.

And before I knew about the real Amazons I chose her to be a flaming redhead. Such hair color speaks to origins in Scotland and Ireland but what I learned was that the Amazon women were often redheads.

Something Else

And then later I learned about my own genetic heritage. My most prominent group is made up of people who were celtic,viking and saxon followed by a generic far northern European people. It included 5% neanderthal. That’s right, we now know their genetic code and are finding they are among us. When I looked farther back I could see that these people from whom I was descended came out of near Asia as the last ice age ended. In short they were part of the tribes made up of Amazons.

What I had done was create a character who was clearly from my own background when I didn’t even know about my background. It becomes kind of creepy.

Knowing that I wanted this woman to do battle with the Overlords I wrote (in my head) a background in the estate of a brutal Overlord who abused her mother. Finally her mother committed suicide which devastated Brigid. She was cast out of the estate and was taken in by the Tethyans.

Another Book

As you can see the story kept growing. It is clear to me that I may well be writing books about each of the lead women of the Andromeda. A similar process occurred for each of them and their stories continue to unfold in my head.

Have you had similar things emerge from inside of you?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

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Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Women in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy Pt 2

Chasing Women Warriors

Being Human

There was a huge tug of war going on as I was writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Something was stirring inside of me and characters were showing up demanding attention. I also knew that what I was writing had a deep contact with what we call reality but there was a fantasy element as well. After all isn’t that true fundamentally about our lives? If nothing else we have dreams and hope they will transit into reality.

And so the first book opened and over time the fantasy element was to grow. But in some ways I was having a struggle with the women in the books. And so I found myself chasing women warriors. I have to admit there was more than a little naiveté. I had heard of the Amazon women but it was only later that I ran across Adrienne Mayor’s book The Amazons. Then I learned they weren’t fantasies at all, but real courageous women at war and with family all at the same time. The revelations expanded my dedication to supporting the empowerment of women by example with the women in the books.

Came a Problem

At once there was an essential problem. I do like fantasy, but don’t like it if it is too fantastic. In this instance I felt we needed to be close enough to reality to make an important beginning and identification. And so I did something some early readers of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power didn’t like. I made them not just strong and resourceful but also their early engagement was as consorts to greedy, power hungry Overlords. But in that place they reflected the reality of some brave and steadfast women who, in our world, take dangerous and seemingly compromising positions in behalf of missions that are essential and to serve their country. And that is what these Andromeda women were doing. And I must add, in this day and age, I did not see them as having been defiled because of what they had committed to do. And I have to admit I had to have darling Luisa enjoying some of it even as she understood her risk. This shows the world as it is. Fantasy sometimes is less fulfilling than reality.

A Matter of Power

And then there is the matter of progression. In fiction there must be progression just as there is in life. As the story grew it became clear that these women were demonstrating what was happening in what we call our real world. Their roles broadened and they took on power and the new risk that came with it. This is the world I feel that is opening before us.

In the cities in the sea we could see women of immense power scanning human history and seeking out both revelation and inspiration. Some of it was what they divined and some of it was inspired by another powerful woman, Gaia. And so fantasy and reality was woven over and over. At base the intention is to inspire by demonstrating alternatives as our world and the power of women changes.

Challenge

And so in the core themes are seen major elements of what is before us, not pure fantasy. Certainly there are those who will take offense whether they dislike the roles the women may take or whether they resent the idea that women can hold such power. (Get a grip guys!) I’m enjoying writing these books partly because the challenge is considerable but also because I look forward to controversy and the potential for us to examine where we are going and what the possibilities may be. We have entered a new challenging time in human history and it poses opportunities as well as danger. Perhaps this time we can find a new form of challenge and future.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

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Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Women in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy – Pt 1

 

Avery the Whiner

This post kind of comes down to the psychologist still learning about being a psychologist.

Avery is the lead character in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. She is a central focus throughout. Characters should come alive to the author if they are to be authentic. Avery certainly did that. But I had to learn a lesson and she had to get a grip.

Getting What You Wish For

It is hardly news that sometimes we have to tell someone they should be careful what they wish for. Avery had to learn that lesson and since I was the author it really was me who had to learn the lesson and get it across to her.

Avery had a pretty good life. She had been raised to do “good works” because her parents worked in third world health delivery systems. It was a challenging life and had its perils. They died in a car accident in the Middle East and Avery felt abandoned. Maybe that wasn’t quite fair of her because they had no intention of leaving her.

Then She Got a New Family

And later the family she got was not one she had known existed but suddenly they were very much in her life. Their arrival came with a large load of complications and threat. Here is where my problem began. In the first draft of the first book of the Gaia’s majesty Trilogy I finally had to face that Avery was whining a lot. Sure she got a grip at last but until then she could be really tiresome.

What I learned

At first I thought her reaction was perfectly understandable. Well, it was to me because, as a psychologist, I could feel her agony and her devastation and discomfort. You want a family but it didn’t have to be so complicated and even frightening. And you didn’t want to have people trying to kill you.

What I was doing was displaying my view of what was almost surely going on deep inside her. But what happens deep inside is often not what we display to the outside world. But consistently I got to see that side of people in my office and there were times when I had to encourage them to display their agonies. When someone comes for help it may be necessary for them to bring out all the nasty things they feel so we can together sort them out and help them come to terms with their burden.

In Avery’s case she hadn’t known she had a burden or perhaps it is better to say she didn’t have a burden until this strange, alien family showed up. What was she supposed to do with that? The more she learned, the more her agony increased.

What To Do

Avery could flee and take what was left of her former life with her or she could tough it out. Toughing it out was what she really had to do and in the life changes she had found a neat guy. Fleeing would have probably meant giving him up. So she hung in there and displayed her agony and feelings—whined.

My Turn

At last it was the turn of the author to get a grip. I had a picture of her agony and knew how she would almost surely feel inside. Fine! Nice for me to know but the reader did not have to endure her agony in that particular way. I had to serious revise what I had written and give her more strength, determination and composure. And her guy could help her.

Sometimes, in particular settings, it is not desirable to have truth and reality be writ too large.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt