The Author as Host – AH!

 

The Attraction  of Writing Fiction

What a fascinating idea writing fiction is. You have this great idea in your head and what fun it will be to bring it to life.

And Then There’s Reality

I’ve found, in some ways that the actual writing skill may be the least of it. That’s not arrogance or being dismissive. I found a lot of unforeseen issues. Let me be upfront that I’m a clinical psychologist which turned out to be a plus and a minus. I found some things I hadn’t expected such as characters beating on my door and some I had to fire. I had no idea that would happen.

Characters as Living Beings

Maybe that’s a problem because of what I did for a living. Doing psychotherapy sounded really interesting and it was but it is also challenging. My clients were sometimes stubborn—like a character.  Sometimes they had unexpected things going on inside of their brains—like characters. With a character you can try to ease them into something coherent. Real people are often not so obliging. And actually characters can be annoying and stubborn as well.

And Then There is the Author

We would like to think that the story and its construction are firmly under our control. Well, that’s what we might like to believe. What I’ve seen is that we often harbor beings in ourselves that we are not clear about. Naively we might think the character we chose is brilliant but it may be something hiding in us. Oh dear! 

And then there is our own personality. Maybe you haven’t considered that but as a psychologist I found I had to. I know my Jungian personality type and understand that part of my personality is in my unconscious. Interesting construct—and then comes the writing. My primary personality component is intuition. How cool! My basic direction is toward what might be, and I ask “What If” a lot. As a writer my saving grace is that my backup function is thinking which means part of me then moves forward to give some structure and focus rather than always racing off toward the horizon. And, of course, there are other attributes further down. Those things in the unconscious constitute traps in themselves.

The Coming Together

When we go to work we have a brilliant idea and then are bombarded by the demands of characters and various parts of ourselves. Sometimes I think it is a blessing to know this because of my profession and sometimes all it tells me is how unexpected and difficult the writing process can be whether we are forewarned or not.

Tools

I’ve found that the construction of Dara Marks’ transformational arc helped keep me under control. It also helped to know that we all have hidden beings in ourselves. They may drive a character forward or make him or her be insistent. Our personality my help us or hinder us but it is helpful to know that our personality may contribute. So much for the neat idea of writing which simply needed actualizing. We are beings who live with a host of selves and beings. That’s both a blessing and a curse but it helps to not have it all be unexpected.

Maybe in the End…

Of course,  what I’ve been talking about is the unexpected but it need not be a curse. If we know we live with our multiple inner sources we can form alliances and allegiances that help us. Over time we can form them into resources and aides. It may be that the process may be less or more challenging but at least we can know to expect challenge of kinds we might not have expected.

AH! Or should it be YIKES!

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

Subjugation of Women Seems To Be Ending

 

And I’m Trying to Grasp What Is Happening

If that sounds like a bizarre statement, it is and it isn’t. I have to mention my personality type again – intuitive. I don’t accept facts easily and I always find events have depth and nuance. Possibilities always present themselves. And while I think the changes in regard to women are long overdue I have to raise a hand and ask what may truly be happening and where it will lead. I doubt it will be without conflict and across the world it may take on markedly different forms.

A note on the picture at the top. Two very different women. What is your reaction? Who do you think each might be?

And Then There Is The Matter of Transformation

I’m truly not sure if we are looking at the opening of a rich future or whether it will turn toward an outbreak and domination of authoritarianism which will mirror a prior period leading to devastating wars. Of course I have my hopes and, if the more positive view holds, then we may be looking at a blossoming era with a magnificent future.

How’s that for pie in the sky? But I have to insist that we have seen the unexpected take hold before and now surely is possibly no different.

The Focus of My Hope

But let me come back to the changes regarding women. I think I’ve made it clear I embraced the hope of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s. It seemed to move behind the scenes for a time and now the changes are ramping up.

One explanation is that they have gained control over their fertility although many men are attempting to snatch back control or at least block their use of it. But I never have found that significant movements have one cause. The changes with women are showing up across different cultures which, in itself, is unusual. 

Getting Our Attention

It seems to be coming at us quickly and I am immersed in what I see on television. Where did these smart, assertive and skillful women come from who comment on the world and our lives. Not only that but they do not seem to feel they need to “dress down” or fail to display the forms of their attractiveness. I chuckle when I think about it. “Get a grip guys.” The fact that they are willing to be attractive in all its forms does not mean we still hold them in our grasp.

And it all feels so sudden. 

Not Being Passive

I suppose my first thought is that it is clear important things are happening all at once. Under such circumstances it is not a good idea to engage in passive acceptance or mindless obstruction. Of one thing I think we can be sure, this change is earth shaking in the end and we would do well to be evaluating the meaning and support the changes. We all stand to benefit and it may presage a movement into a new future we would do best to consider and evaluate.

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

Roger B. Burt’s Monthly Newsletter

 

 

 Welcome To My Newsletter – Myth and Transformation 

Roger B Burt: Author of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: 

Women in Power

(The newsletter posts the second Monday of the month)

Come Join Us In An Adventure 

Our world is an intriguing place and its drama has increased considerably lately. In my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I touch on major themes and possibilities related to our world. Book 2 , Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise is to be published soon. There is adventure in the books on which I will comment but I will also be sharing my perceptions of our real world adventures. Let me begin with a quote from Joseph Campbell – Author and scholar. I read Campbell’s statement decades ago and it has stayed with me as a living, fundamental truth. Its reality has fueled my writing.

Joseph Campbell

“It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.”

I Should Have Known Better

As a clinical psychologist writing a novel with mythic content sounded interesting. And as an intuitive personality writing offered possibilities—and possibilities are the fundamental passion of my personality type. I learned there were demanding characters lurking in my head. Also there were emerging crises in our world that would align themselves in the plot and do much to drive it.

Life Beyond the Mundane

Myth is inspiring and we can see it unfold in our lives. And now, in our world we see dramatic events dominating our lives. We may be on the edge of another great conflict but we may also be on the verge of a transformation. Let’s begin by exploring. We will see won’t we?

Let me invite you to join us at my blog  cuspofreality.com

Available Now: Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power (Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Gaias-Majesty-Mission-Called-Women/dp/1935994255/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535136372&sr=1-1&keywords=Gaia%27s+Majesty

Author Issues

Do you believe writing fiction is a straightforward endeavor?

A Complex Endeavor

I opened this new series with a post about choosing categories. Writing actually has become an increasingly complex endeavor. I thought I might share some thoughts for my fellow authors. But the rest of you are invited to listen in. You might find it amusing or even interesting.

What Happened?

Many (very many) years ago I had the inspiration to write fiction. I found it engaging and interesting. It was fun to be creative. Looking back I think the impulse to write happened when I reached a life change point.

Anyway, I started writing. Then came a deeply moving job which took all my energy. Then came a divorce, a new marriage, two more children from her first marriage, a new career and on and on. Life takes energy and commitment and each time I started something new, other demands got in the way.

Life Settled Down – Well Not Quite

Later, much later, my life settled down and a new idea for fiction emerged. I thought it interesting to pursue it. My wife had been working on screen plays and gave me Dara Marks Transformational Arc. What a neat way to scope out the progress and development of a book!
So I settled in with the reassurance that I had a structure to guide me.

And then demanding characters began to show up. I had an idea and these demanding people insisted on their inclusion and of course, they brought with them their personality, conflicts and foibles among other things. And then the psychologist had to look out because he began to pick up on their inner conflicts. That doesn’t sound so bad except it leads to conflicts of all sorts that can get in the way of the story and its development.

I’m blogging about some of these people including Avery, Brigid and Luisa among others.

Enhancement and Complications

It may sound nice to have characters showing up because they bring enhancement of the story. Well, not quite. They bring more than enhancement. They complicate the story and so the book became a trilogy – I think. It seems there may be a fourth book stirring.

And through it all I began to see that the story was filled with themes. I could see mythology which had always intrigued me and the prospect of the impact of waves of humanity possibly leading to transformation. But above all, what was striking was the fact of these women’s lives. Back in the 1960s I became intrigued by the process of women’s liberation that has now become the work to end the subjugation of women. Steadily I could see that my commitment to feminism was having an impact on the story and the development of characters.

Never-ending

I’m going to leave this there for now. There are so many other matters that come into the authors life. I’ll be addressing some of them. Have a nice day. I’ve got work to do and it isn’t fiction writing. So much else has cropped up.

Did you believe writing fiction might actually involve crowd sourcing?

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

What Do You Anticipate?

 

Is It Hope Or Is It Fear?

Call it interregnum. Call it denouement. Without question humankind is at a set of crisis crossroads. The Middle East is simply one indication. It looks very much like Europe at the dawn of World War I. And we know where that went for the following decades.

I doubt you need a catalogue of all of the crisis points, from China hanging on the edge of chaos, to our own political menagerie fumbling toward failure. It was not so long ago that there seemed so much more hope for consolidation and stability. So much of it dissolved and the process hints of monumental change in the years ahead. And change can be good or bad. But in my mind this kind of process puts me in the position where I don’t wish to simply be an observer. Assessment of what may bees essential.

Fascination With Possibilities

Throughout my life I’ve always been drawn to the “what if”. For me possibilities are the staff of life and before us I perceive a feast or conflagration. Such evolution and revolution does not lend itself to a thoroughly logical analysis because the underlying forces are never clear. And so I chose to name this blog Cusp of Reality because I firmly believe that is where we all reside—like it or not.

That means this blog is partly a thought document and is meant to present thoughts for examination and to lead us toward the “what if”. And always there are different vehicles which may be chosen for the what if.

Waves, Hope and Promise

There are currently discussions of waves in human events. What did the waves of the twentieth century lead to? We are now being overtaken by a wave of information technology and, in the field of economics there is speculation that we are entering the postcapitalism era. Human affairs in all their forms offer hope, promise and promote fear.

I’ve chosen to write speculative fiction where the possibilities can be made graphic. Each of us has a rich inner life and there is a larger context. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I tell a story with a mythological context to lead us through possibilities as we see our future unfolding. Are we in a denouement of sorts and will it end in a transformation of some kind. If nothing else, the discussion and examination in this time is fascinating.The question always remains, “What If”?

Which among the possibilities would you choose?

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

Reframing This Blog’s Focus

 

Having concluded the two series called Women and Our Future and How Are You America?, its time to bring on new foci. These foci will be interwoven. Among them will be the transformation of the world as we empower women. It is very far from over. Also I will be returning to the inner life of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy and bring in some other adventures.

Examining Patriarchy

In the coming months I’m going to mix the sequence of the themes. I found I could not continue with the examination of the coming role of women without looking at men. Oh them? Yes, them and, of course, I’m one of them. And quite honestly in my life I find so much about men and their culture distressing. Certainly there are remarkable men who have made significant contributions, but I am also troubled by much of what I’ve seen and experienced. And so from a different standpoint I’m going to explore the issue of patriarchy. It turns out to be a complex subject open to evaluation and, yes, speculation. As we go forward in our changing world we need to look at patriarchy, what it may represent and where it might be leading us. The road ahead is complex and for me searching possibilities ahead is my daily bread.

More on the Roots of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

We will continue to look more deeply into the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Books have roots and many forms of inspiration. One root is my support of feminism, but there are other things feeding the books which deserve an airing.

Post War Europe

And there will also be departure. I’m going to share some memories. As I’ve been writing my posts I find I suddenly am touching memories of things I and my family encountered in Europe over the years after World War II.

A Caribbean Adventure

Also on the international front will be posts about the Caribbean. My wife and I had a fifteen year adventure in St. Lucia. We stumbled upon it with friends and were entranced. We built a home and then also stumbled into a business. You notice I use the word “stumble” because so much of what we do in life is exactly that no matter how planful we are. Getting to know such a culture in depth is truly interesting.

More on the Andromeda Women

With a different slant there will be another series related to the Gaia’s Majesty books. I’ve given a little information about my view of the women who are so central to the story. Their history is diverse, fascinating and revealing. Yes, they are fictional characters, but I no longer view them as such. For me they came alive and have substantive meaning. I feel a need to share my thoughts.

Come join in the fun.

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

Expanding Our World

 

Other Life Forms

On a day to day basis there isn’t much reason to consider the possibility of other life forms. That doesn’t mean rabbits, deer and water buffalo. Other life forms refers to the ones we cannot ordinarily perceive. But the possibility keeps coming up.

When I started working on the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I found story lines often led to other life forms. If humankind is, in fact, moving toward some kind of denouement or transformation, is it possible we would come in contact with or form an alliance with other forms, possibly from the spirit world? Belief in such being or brushes with them are pervasive.

There It Was Again

Recently my wife asked if I would like to go to a workshop about dowsing. Immediately I was intrigued. It had been a long time but I had had a brush with it long ago. We were living in an eighteenth century house in a lovely rural valley. Our water came from a thirty foot dug well in front of the house. One day it was apparent that the sewage system had backed up into it. Time for a new well.

But where were we to drill. I decided to take up water witching or dowsing. The result stunned me. I’d never done it before but could feel tugs and in one place off to the side of the house the tug was very, very strong. We had the well drilled there. What a gusher! The company had left the pipe sticking 3 feet out of the ground and the water settled just six inches form the top. We would have had an artesian well without it.

Another Opportunity

The idea of the workshop was intriguing but I didn’t really know much about dowsing. I learned about entities, spirit guides and other powers. There we were asking questions and getting answers. It is a rich system related to other kinds of life forms and powers.

Then I remembered something. Many years ago I had gone to a dump to drop something off and was struck by terrible feelings of fear and despair. There were two employee working at the dump and when they looked up the fear and devastation in their eyes was terrible. I came away with a terrible impression of a murder. Not just a sudden murder but a tortured prolonged affair.

Energy Systems

Human beings appear to be made up of energy systems and other forms are all around us. In the workshop I learned about entities and pervasive systems. It seems I had experienced a residual effect of a cataclysmic event. I’m pleased to say I have never encountered another one.

But the richness of dowsing goes well beyond water witching. The workshop connected me to the experiences I related previously about a ghost at one house and the spirits around another place I had lived.

Easy to Dismiss

It’s easy to proclaim that these phenomena are figments of our imagination. But, while I don’t spend a lot of time interacting with these alternative worlds, I’m impressed with their possibilities. And then when I turned to fiction and considered the possibilities of transformation as humankind reached yet another turning point I found myself back in that world.

It is enriching to consider these alternatives and more than that, it just may be that the entities, spirits and other being are important to our growth, our development and our future.

May The Force Be With You!

What of this have you encountered?

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

Devoted to Vision

 

Devoted People

Books have characters who are key to the story. In the case of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy there is a core people, the Tethyans, who are key to the story as well.

At the time the story started to develop we seemed in a hopeful period in our world. There were beneficial changes in many regions. But then it seemed we began a downward spiral and today we look at considerable risk.

Even during the more hopeful period, the existence of a people devoted to stewardship and the future of humankind seemed essential.

A Devoted Goddess

We have stories of gods and goddesses throughout history and often they simply reflect characteristics of humans. They fight, they love, there is conflict. In this instance the goddess Gaia represents both a benefactor and the planet itself. As such she stands above simple human conflict.

But she understands the essence of struggle in animal affairs which includes humans. So, she gives direction and can augment the conflict and struggle. And so the process stands above a simple interaction. From time to time she makes specific contact but she also represents a higher power. And the Tethyans too stand for higher purpose. They stand for us and our future.

Beyond Present Circumstances

Too often we focus exclusively on conflict in human affairs. We look at which side we will support and the degree of our engagement. But there is a larger picture. We can address the matter of our collective future and whether we will join in a transformation. We do transform ourselves from time to time when we do things like embracing language and ownership of a culture. It may be that there are other things to embrace in our future. And they may not be apparent until they are upon us.

Fundamentals

What is fundamental is our embracing change, devotion and vision. All that there can be is not readily apparent. It is devotion that fuels our future and we see it presently in devotion to stewardship and dedication to the future of all of us and our worldly home. And so again we come back to asking “What if?” Will be hold the vision which will support our dedication and insure that we will see our way through the current escalation of conflict. And if we do, we have to ask where is and what is our future? The beginning of this process is found in Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called now out in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon.

Do you have a specific vision?
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

Core Themes in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

 

Where Do Core Themes in Fiction Come From?

I’ve found that for me at least core themes are emergent. It’s probably safe to assume they were down there yearning to break free. Or at least that is how it felt. The story may begin with an idea or a question but it is hardly a linear process.

How It Began

In global terms I have always been fascinated by mythology. Part of that fascination is because as a psychologist I studied the human mind. And things were definitely not simple or linear no matter how much we want to believe to the contrary. The works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell contributed to my fascination.

And then for some reason I focused on mermaids! They show up very many places in literature and fantasy and I had to wonder why. Of course no definitive answer presented itself. Except that mermen were not at all common and so it had to be something to do with women. And a woman’s mystery presented itself as one explanation.

So a story began to evolve and then an outline. It wasn’t all a simple eruption. But it was also apparent that it could be enriched by the weaving of truth, fiction and fantasy.

An Important Center
The mermaids led me to contemplate an essential current event which is the growing movement to empower women. In the story it is illustrated that their power has clear benefits. Not only were they stewards but they also had the capacity to fight the forces which so often destroyed potential in humanity.

Implicit is the indication that we lose so much if we subjugate women. If these women were robbed of power and potential they could not aid in the development of our potential as a species and also preserve our future from being corrupted because of grasping for power and profit. Enter the Overlords.

Vision for Our Future
We can’t view our future without underscoring the need for stewardship in all its forms. As our population grows our relationship with the planet which supports us may grow increasingly tenuous and dangerous.

And then comes what might be unexpected. At key points in human history we seem to have taken turns with sudden unexpected consequences of change and growth. And forever as an intuitive personality type I have to ask the question, “what if”. And in that what if is the possibility, given the acceleration of cultural change and our technical capacity, can’t there be a point at which there is a transformation.

What do you see ahead?
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