The Origins and Sources of the Majesty Trilogy – Pt.3

 

Choice of Myths

Even if we don’t choose to write fantasy, an author is often implying myths even without realizing it. Because of the nature of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy it was essential that I pay attention to myths. In many ways they were one of the essential guiding lights. At the same time it was essential to realize that myths are not always myths. It may be that we think they are myths because the image or the themes may not be discoverable in a truly revealing manner.  And myths may be personal as well as functioning for societies or regions.

At Core

A myth is not just a fantasy or fetching story. Whether we see it or like it or not we have our own personal myths. Countries design their own myth and somewhere in the layers are the deep general myths we react to but we may not understand the origins or the intrinsic reality.

In these books I chose to take the myth of the mermaid. Of course there are always people that view myths as real. They may take reality and cast it as myth or the reverse. And some important component of reality they wish to reject may be cast as a fantasy or myth. For me mermaids were a mystery but it was possible to attach an interesting concept to them. For me there is always the “what if” and in this instance it was a matter of whether they might not just exist but also have a fundamental importance. When we look around the world, we see them as almost universally in cultures where they may be important. And then there are the larger unexplained myths.

Fundamental Forces

There are many levels of myths but there are a few large forces which are truly intriguing. I’ve written posts about the Mysterium and I would contend that women are closest to that force and it may well be related to why women seem to be feared and controlled. Also mentioned has been the Maelstrom which we see in the collisions of galaxies. There is destruction and creation.

There are various forms of power involved in these things we call myth. For some of them I see fundamental forces that are not mythical at all. It is just that their power is beyond our understanding and grasp. And so we hold them at distance and in awe. In literature we have the luxury of exploring these themes and forces. They are truly intriguing.

Struggle and Sighting Our Future

Futures and destiny may arrive unbidden and too often we fail to prepare. At least attempting to grasp what may be is essential. While we often cannot define precisely what is coming, it helps to consider some thoughts.

And as someone who engaged in psychotherapy with clients I understand that it is often difficult for us to understand what is driving us and who we may be at root. And then there is the matter of the forces outside of us that may guide us or certainly will influence us. Precisely because they are often so powerful we may try to ignore them. We struggle personally but also our societies struggle as well as if they are living entities.

And then I have to come back to the roles of women and why they are so routinely subjugated. And the subjugation exists not just because men impose it but there also appears to be a form of subjugation imposed by women. And now we have an opportunity to face this issue and, although it is widespread and deep, it seems we can attend to it and influence it.

Of course, we have to confront the large forces such as Mysterium and Maelstrom. It helps if we at least pay attention even if we cannot control forces striding through the universe. In all it is a matter of stepping away from passivity and working to understand and together work to influence our world and our future. I know that sounds trite but as I look at a time of growing crisis I see too many turning away or failing to evaluate. We have so many opportunities and the passion of change is fully upon us. 

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Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.) 

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now in Pre-Order and goes on sale April 29 on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

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

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

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

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

Choosing a Book Category

 

The First Step – Or So You Thought

What category have you chosen for the type of books you prefer to write?

So, at last your book is nearing completion. The proofreading will come to an end shortly and its time to take a serious look at listing and promotion. Each site, whether for sale or promotion, offers you a list of choices for listing your book under a category.

Now Comes a Question

The first thing is to decide where your book belongs. Of course you love your book and there are some obvious categories that can be discarded. But then comes some more difficult decisions. The largest category, with 70% of books, is romance. But where within this category does your beloved book belong. You may have an opinion, but the public may have a different opinion.

Making a Decision

With Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power I thought to put it under fantasy. Clearly mermaids were not exactly in the center of what we call the real world. And, of course, there was the involvement of our Earth Goddess, Gaia. So, initially I put it under fantasy. But there was one problem. Its setting was in the present day and the characters were living in a contemporary setting—mostly. So there was a reality orientation and what I learned quickly was that there were many fantasy fans who found it not nearly fantastic enough.

I looked at sci-fi but that didn’t work either. Gradually I had to refine my search and when I looked at each type of category I found that my view of the book and description was not necessarily a good fit.

A Strange Choice

At last I had to begin to focus on “fiction”. No kidding. Well, it definitely was fiction but so was anything else for sale—aside from nonfiction. So, I began to scan the offerings in various promotional sites. I found a rather large divergence of offerings which was not surprising. Often I came back to literary fiction. My initial reaction was that it was simply not appropriate. The word literary means to me something carefully composed which uses meaningful turn of phrase. My book did not fit that at all and besides I admire literature but don’t read it. I want an intriguing story that makes me think and consider such carefully constructed stories as composing a field over which I stumble.

What I Came To

In the end I had to select fiction. Sometimes just plain fiction and sometimes literary fiction. In literary fiction I found other books with which I was comfortable. And if it was offered, which it sometimes was not, I selected magical realism. My book had a modern day reality setting with a mythological underpinning. Given my belief as a psychologist that we humans live on the cusp of reality, it was a perfect fit. There are so many ways to discover and describe our personal and collective worlds that magical realism fit my preferences perfectly. Or I simply had to settle for fiction or literary fiction. After that it was up to me to describe and present it. Now I’m more comfortable and it seems I’m beginning to find the audience which works with the book. When writing fiction, this was not a set of choices I had expected.

How clear are you about the proper choice of category for the type of books you prefer or are writing.

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

Inner Life and Dreams

 

Where does fiction lead you?

Life Transitions

Generally we don’t question our relationship to reality. So long as things are going well, we are best engaged in other pursuits. Of course, when we find ourselves in a life transition, we may decide what we saw as reality is open to interpretation. We tend to explore ourselves at times such as when we embark on adulthood, experience a love relationship or enter middle age. We seem to have no trouble with exploration when we are deep in fiction precisely because we call it fiction and it need not be personal. But, in fact, fiction is often a reflection of facets of our personal reality. The fiction which attracts us surely has something to do with our inner lives.

Avenues for Exploration

Inner lives serve purposes. These lives may be numerous and tumultuous but generally are kept in bounds until there is a crisis whether it is something like a job change or a marital failure.

These lives may include quite a number of alter egos with which we flirt.
Perhaps we experience them as moods. They may be defined by our enduring personality. That is not to say they are real and active personalities but we do have a life within in which we cavort and seek alternatives. Certainly they are testing grounds for who we think we might be or who we might want to become. They are probably more publicly visible in childhood but as adults they may become private and secret. Sometimes though, in our later years, we feel the need to assess what we have done and how we leave our life.

Enhancement of Existence

Most of us have some valuable inner lives which enhance our overall existence. Wouldn’t it be unfortunate, even stultifying, if we did not have such richness which we harbor.

And then there is the matter of our dreams. We nurture them through our years and often share them with friends but, it is to be hoped, they are shared and enhanced in our love relationships. It is my suspicion that dreams are much more prevalent in younger people but I suspect that there may be people who maintain rich and active dreams well into late life.

Dreaming of Eternity

We tend to think that people resign themselves to the end of their lives but I doubt it is universal. Who might not dream of an extension of some form? Part of the reason I believe this is that there is almost a universal belief in an afterlife. Isn’t that a dream which is widely harbored? Why would we ever want to give up the precious dreams of what we might become or with whom we might bond some day in a far off future of some sort? We may want to reunite with a current loved one because it is a precious relationship. Or we might know someone we would want a relationship with some day in the future.

Individual to Universal

The point of this exposition is that as individuals we are not static and that at many levels our lives are complex. Each life has a wave pattern in which we experience some form of an upwelling with attendant changes. That period may be followed by a consolidation as a wave subsides. Then comes preparation for the next period. We can see these processes in human development. But we are beginning to see that such processes occur socially, in the life of a nation and even for humankind in general. What fascinates me is that the examination of these waves is becoming more intense and more public. More on this shortly.

Can we truly separate personal development from the development of humankind in general?

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

Speculative Fiction – Inspiration, Personal Growth and Authenticity

 

Focus on Our Personal Meaning

Here is a difficult but intriguing question. What is your personal meaning? In the end the meaning of how the world is must be less important than our exploration of our own reality and meaning. In doing so speculative fiction may aid us. And that fiction may involve a search through ancient mysteries that may be intriguing as we attend to our own growth and inspiration. One viewpoint is that such a focus is too self centered but if we don’t guide ourselves through self exploration, then we may have no direction at all. Maybe we won’t achieve a transformation but certainly we have to move beyond ourselves at some point and as we do we have to hope we have not lost our way.

The Core of Authenticity

It was very hard for me not to consider existential philosophy while I studied psychology. I found them intertwined. Early existential philosophers believed that their thinking began with the human subject. Woven in were concerns about disorientation if we did not examine ourselves. And, of course, there was the matter of authenticity. But they wondered if it all was merely absurd and at the same time wondered if considerations were too abstract. It helps if there is a direction or an object and that may mean validating our own personal meaning and giving it some substance.

Confession

Now a confession. These decades later I can’t summarize the works of the existentialists. I frequently felt lost in the depth of their thinking and the subtlety of presentation. I’ll leave it to you if you want to pursue the thinking of people like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Sartre. But, in the end, the takeaway almost has to be the dedication to building our own view of an authentic self which leads to productive dedication and development. And it is that dedication that is woven into the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

A Little Closer to “Reality”

I think we’ll stay a little closer to ordinary reality which is difficult enough because it can be quite confusing and ephemeral. At one level, though, considering how authentic we are in our daily lives is worth considering. And, in fact, I can’t completely detach psychology from existentialism. Some of us run into more trouble than others as we try to make our way. And some of us turn to literature to do our exploring. Certainly vast areas of literature are helpful and fulfilling. Again it is probably psychology that leads me to science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction.

The stories writers create are ways of sharing among people the explorations of ourselves, humanity and what our future might hold. These considerations help guide us.

Have you seen works of fiction have large impacts? If so, what works were they?
Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

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

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Life Among the Living

 

Do you have a special myth you favor?

Variety of Life Forms

Many of us don’t consider it unreasonable to ask if other life forms really exist. Are there angels, do we have spirit guides and how real are our day or night dreams? Certainly there is a great deal of speculation about paranormal phenomena. It would be impossible to comprehensively enumerate the various kinds of life forms there are and may be. And then should we include various forms of consciousness in humankind? It sounds odd to say that but, in fact, they can be considered.

In fantasy, science fiction and paranormal fiction we see various forms of exploration and belief. The fact of the matter is that it is unreasonable to dismiss any of them out of hand. I consider myself to be a very rational person which translates into meaning rationally it is unreasonable to dismiss them.

Alternative Forms

Alternatives are seen in the belief in spirits of all kinds. We love to think about them, love to read about them and write about them. It seems, though, that we cannot definitively establish their existence. And there is a very sound reason why we can’t. As human beings we have a very specific sensory system which is meant to help us survive in what we call the real world. In most instances we don’t need to sense spirits in order to survive.

Likewise, the head of the patent office early in the twentieth century declared that they might as well close up because everything that could be invented had been invented. He was just a little bit off base or, not in touch with reality. At that time we hadn’t mastered wave lengths for radio or other forms of communications. Now we know that there are all manner of waves humming around us that we can’t sense ourselves.

Dismissing Nothing

As I already noted, I was told when I was getting an education as a psychologist that I was being trained as a scientist. Well, as a scientist I have come to understand that it is irrational and unscientific to dismiss all these various kinds of possibilities. And, decades later I’m not entirely sure what science really is. And, for that matter, it is unscientific to dismiss possible alternatives we do not yet understand or can establish. Where would be without theorizing and exploration.

But still we torment each other. We cry, “Get a grip! You can’t know that. Get a life. I have one and you don’t”. But the fact remains that what has been speculated may well exist and it may be that we haven’t yet been able to reach out to the other life forms—yet. And so we write about them, give them lives we create and yearn for the future. And it is so enriching to engage in this search and speculation. In fact we have better and richer lives when we do it.

Let me know when you have made contact. I want to meet whatever it is. At least as long as it or they are friendly and are willing to share. For now please share your thoughts with me/us.

In the meantime I’m staying tuned with the crowd that speculates.

What alternative life forms do you believe in?

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

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Believing in Ghosts

 

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Do you have unexplained perceptions?
What We Believe

“Modern people don’t believe in ghosts”, seems a reasonable statement except for the fact that many do. Most who do believe probably won’t admit it. We all feel things and occasionally perceive things we can’t explain. We may or may not dismiss the experience.

Myths and Reality

In writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I had to address support of a fantasy and deal with what I did and did not believe. We do not have definitive evidence of the existence of ghosts or spirits although it is widely debated and many believe in various forms.

In most circumstances I would probably say I don’t believe in ghosts or spirits except for the fact that I do. It’s just that I can’t provide a good explanation. But let me tell you how my belief was enhanced.

Innocence

After graduate school my wife and I brought our new baby girl to the Baltimore area. We wanted to live in the country and found a country home to rent. It was a lovely one hundred and twenty year old three story stone house situated in the middle of a three hundred acre farm. We fell in love with it at once.

All was quiet for awhile. But soon in the evening we found our dogs often would suddenly sit up and look at the doorway into the hall. Both of us often felt something, a presence in the hallway. There was an attic on the fourth floor. The door had a hasp with an angled piece of wood firmly placed in it to hold it shut. The problem was the piece of wood was often on the floor and the door often stood open even after we had recently secured it. Our daughter was still and infant and we tended to have no visitors.

Seeking Evidence

At last we sat one evening and asked general (not leading) questions to each other. We concluded we were feeling someone was walking from the attic down the stairs to a small study near the living room. There was no perception he went anywhere else. Yes, it was clearly a he.

Finally I asked the owner about the history of the house. There were a lot of details but the most interesting was the history of renters who either loved the house or who fled for some unexplained reason. We felt the presence was somewhere between benign and positive since we loved the house. We also assumed if you did not love his house you would feel uncomfortable. We learned to simply accept the presence.
Our Conclusion
Then it came time to leave to go to a home we had purchased. As we were preparing to move, in the evenings the dogs went crazy barking at the hallway. The long and short of it was that we felt our unseen friend was drawing closer. There were a lot more details, but that’s the outline. It felt like someone was there and he didn’t want us to leave.

Our new home was even older and we felt no presence in the house. Outside was an entirely different matter. I’ll talk about that in a future post.

Do I believe in ghosts? I have to confess I do, although I don’t know what they really represent and why we can or cannot perceive them. And when it came to writing fiction, I could not dismiss the importance of involving a spirit world. I can’t dismiss the spirits either.

Do you have a clearcut belief one way or the other?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon page

Speculative Fiction

Finding a Category

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What is your favorite category of fiction?

I’m frustrated. My Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy has come to life. The characters have clarified and paraded before me richly displaying themselves. And I can perceive the forces of the universe which drive them and give life to the future of humankind.

But I have to place this work in what is called a real context. That means, in part, I have to say what type of fiction it is. I can tell you what it is not and run into a road block when I must say what it is. A concise description has been alluding me. I want to call it speculative fiction but Amazon has no such category.

Encompassing

It seems that speculative fiction is a broad category with elements, settings and characters which are derived from imagination and speculation. I created the blog cuspofreality.com because I don’t believe in a hard edged reality. Everything is far more nuanced. Evidently speculative fiction encompasses science fiction, horror, fantasy, science fantasy, magic realism and something called alternative history. I have to say that I believe those terms do not well describe Gaia’s Majesty.

My Personality

I know exactly what’s going on and why I’m having trouble with terminology. And it has to do with my personality. Other blog posts on cuspofreality,com will relate to the full array of personality types but I know mine and I know what’s happening. I’m what’s called an introverted intuitive thinking type. That means my perspective comes from deep inside of me (introversion) and my intuition means I’m intrigued by possibilities and forever ask “what if”. Then comes my auxiliary function which is thinking. That means after generating the possibility I turn to refining and organizing.

Possibilities and Our Future

In terms of fiction there are specific consequences. I don’t write literature. I find the turn of the phrase is something I stumble over as if the area in which I’m working is strewn with boulders in my way. I want the image and the possibility.

Out there is a world of changing possibilities and they invite social commentary. Certainly there is a history and what composes the history. For me, under the guidance of Carl Jung, history has deep mythological roots. And then there are the images. One image which has always intrigued me is the image of that darling mermaid. She is not an isolated image, but is found in almost every society which has significant water. Who is she and why does she exist?

Threat and Conflict
I believe she represents the mystery and threat of women. Yes, both of those things. Is love concrete? I think not. Is a man being enraptured by a woman something which can be taken lightly? I think not. The mermaids in myth are beguiling, but also may bring a man to his death. We can see the conflict and the ambivalence. Those things are not fictional. They exist in our world as it is and are often not discussed or recognized.

And then there is the fact of human conflict and what much of the rule of men has brought us. Again there is a reality, but behind it there is the myth and the varying truths. How could I not explore all this. There are deeply hidden elements in humankind which include deeply beguiling forces and fearful destructive forces. But look at the maelstrom in the universe and see the creativity that comes out of the clash of galaxies and forces. Out of it comes new planets, suns, stardust, of which we are made, and all manner of creative life. How can we not explore these things.

An Emerging Future

And then there is the matter of blending history with emerging themes. The power of women is not seen in the image off a women with a sword. It is seen in so many other elements bewitching and beautiful but powerful in their own right as well. And now, in our world we have the movement to empower women. I must wonder at the possibility (that word again) and where it may lead us and what are the deeper meanings.

Realities Budding Before Us

These books are not just adventures. They ask us to look at the possibilities before us and what the stirrings in the world may indicate about our potential and our future.

And so I created a world of speculative fiction which is not full of multi headed creatures or strange science. It is not meant to horrify nor be pure fantasy because there is a reality there. I see human cultures as waves of change and we are in a fundamental one right now I’m convinced. And so—what if—our earth goddess set aside a movement of women to guard our future and they live safely in the sea and are seen from time to time as mermaids. And what if they are now coming to power and the empowerment of women is indicative. And as they come to power they come into true partnership with men. Surely there is a struggle ahead but quite possibly a glorious future.

And suddenly emerges Saturday January 21, 2017 and the Women’s March!

What struggles and futures do you see?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt, Ph.D.

Fiction Writing Process III

 

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Personal Approaches

How do you approach writing? Do you have a system?

Of course in writing there are nuts and bolts which may be idiosyncratic. Although there are some general best writing practices, I suspect we each may have different approaches we prefer.

After a lot of thrashing around, I’ve pretty much settled on writing first thing in the morning. What is really odd is that I am definitely not a morning person. But what has ended up working is to get things going first and then attending to all the other organizational and evaluation things later in the day. After all, fiction writing is not totally about writing. There are also matters of development of the product and promotion along with the necessities of publication.

Building and Sustaining Energy

So I get up in the morning and sit down at my computer. I don’t know how many others do this, but I put on my earphones with my preferred music. I found Pandora helpful and constructed a number of stations, but prefer one with a mix of women jazz singers, romantic piano pieces and technodance. I seem to need variability.

I know it seems odd to be listening to women singing jazz songs, soft piano interwoven with technodance. But I found if I turn off the music my energy starts to fade. Somewhere in the back of my mind it is energizing me and is piped through my brain in such a way that it does not interfere with the creative process. I call it my adolescent brain. I remember listening to music as a kid and it did not interfere with my homework. I still work that way. Strange brains we have.

Unbidden Inspiration

I’ve also tried not to be rigid. There are some nights when I awaken late and find myself writing in my head. Many of us have the experience of having something “brilliant” happen in the middle of the night and then we can’t remember it come morning. Or, in the light of day, it doesn’t seem so brilliant. Generally, while I do not get up and write it down, I find it is valuable and I retain it. It becomes part of the weaving process.

An Organizational Process

In the end though I feel strongly I need an organizational process. I like the creative part better and am less enthusiastic about the rewrites and correction process. Some days I feel overwhelmed and have to manage those days carefully. I do thank my auxiliary personality function of thinking for the inherent organizational abilities. If I’m overwhelmed I just pull back and let the organizational part take center stage.

Never Alone

And then there are the characters who come to live at my house. It is truly a fascinating process. Mostly I like them but not all of them. So I have to tolerate even the ones I don’t like because they serve a plot purpose. I don’t know of anywhere it is written that the writer must love or even like his antagonists or even the flaws of some central character.

It is fascinating to see characters grow and develop or change entirely. One time I killed a character and then found I had to bring her back from the dead. Sometimes they just mature and that maturity in turn may indicate the need for another character to partner with the first one.

Overall I think each of us probably are mostly in love with the creative process first and foremost. It is a tribute to what our brain holds. And then, like so many things in life, there are inevitable requirements which come with the process.

Are you clear about what you like and don’t like in the writing process?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page