Category Archives: research

Mythology and Story Telling

I have been more than a little obsessed with mythology for most of my life. Celtic, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Native American mythology especially. If you read my stories or my poetry that obsession is fairly evident. I cannot count the books I’ve read on mythology and philosophy. The stories are beautiful, far reaching, and the kind of thing that reminds us all that we are more alike than we are different.

Fairy tales, folk tales, philosophical tomes – all full of mythology. If my story is the tapestry, words are the fibers and mythology the loom. I know – so overly dramatic – but also true. Some of the mythology may be of my own making, especially stories set on other worlds – but mythology informs the cultures my characters are a part of.

Every culture is built upon mythology in some way, I just like to inspect it. Let’s put the pantheon under a microscope and see all the ways it effects the civilization that named it. The evolution of the mythology, the journey from magic to science intrigues me. What happened to the Sumerian gods? To the Tuatha De Danann?  How would the evolution work on other worlds with other gods – maybe gods who are a little more hands on and present?

My interests and obsessions can’t help but find their way into my stories. I know the advice is to “write what you know” but imagine how limited my stories would be if I did that? I’m a work from home mom who rarely leaves my house and pretty much lives vicariously through the research I do and the stories I read (and write). I write what interests me.

In Hunter’s Crossing, I explore a lot of myth especially surrounding  what happens after death and the kind of monsters society once created to explain horrible events. In Guardian of the Gods, I explore the evolution of a warrior who is a slave to his gods becoming the man who is savior of them. The book I’m waiting on edits of, I get to play with dragons and magic. OK, so magic exists in all three of those stories alongside the myths I created or studied.

I think, if I had to do it over, I’d likely go into anthropology. People may be awful (see yesterday’s post), but they are so interesting too. What’s the point of telling stories if I can’t pass on my joys in the same way I share my fears?

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Paradox

Every once in a while something happens that I swear has already happened before. I think everyone gets that sometimes. I wonder if everyone also sometimes feel like they know something – absolutely, without a doubt, 100% fact KNOW something – when a search/inquiry shows that the thing you know is wrong or doesn’t exist at all. Sometimes it feels like someone has changed the timeline and I’m the only one that remembers things the way they are supposed to be. It’s worse when I’m tired and have convinced myself that one title is another title that is close but not exact.

In the story I’m working on now, one of the elements is very much like Ezekiel’s wheel. When I’d written out my rough draft, I did scant bits of research on the fly and didn’t write down anything more than my answers so I have this name for my wheel within a wheel and, when I look it up, the word itself does not exist. It’s going to exist now because I think I’m going to use it but where the hell did I pull it from before? There’s a slim chance it’s a misspelling but even using the possible misspelling, all I get is a company that makes custom rims. I refuse to call it an elaborate, cosmic gyroscope. So, I suppose its is now an Orpim Wheel for purposes of this story. I only wish I knew where I got that word, if I was looking through Mesopotamian, Sumerian, or Egyptian lore when I found it. In this instance, it really feels like I got the name from somewhere but Google tells me it is only an antibacterial.

It is possible I will learn this lesson and start keeping track of where I get interesting facts but the odds are this exact thing will happen again and it will frustrate me just the same and I will again tell myself that I should really start making note of WHERE I’m researching stuff.

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