Hina Kalani…

Last week I described the process for developing a series and the characters who come to inhabit it. My current series, Everyday Goddesses, speaks to the aspects of goddess that exists in all of us; nurturer, warrior, justice seeker, storyteller, creator of life, scientist, and empath. Our wounds might be our excuse to fall or what motivates us to rise and which ever way it goes, they are the badges we wear that prove our humanity. As I was choosing which goddesses to use as symbolic representations of the divine feminine, I wanted to pick across the mythical spectrum. Gwen is Celt, Minerva is Roman, Rhea is Greek, Cerridwen is Irish, Inanna is from the Sumerian pantheon of archetypal figures.

Hina seemed to be the logical choice to represent the Polynesian culture which meant she had to come from Hawaii, bringing with her the ancestral wisdom, the ancients were known for. As a water sign, she was tied closely to the moon, tides, ebbing and flowing, enlightenment and inner knowing, so it was natural for her to be an empath. She has a kinship with nature, horses in particular, so it was obvious she had to own a horse farm, and as a healer, she was fated to start a equine facilitation program. Some of the questions that had to be answered once these facts were established were how did she get to Eden? Was her childhood idyllic or had she been wounded in some way? And if so, how? What was her upbringing like? Where did she come from from and where was she going? What are her strengths? What are her flaws? Who would best complement her as a mate? (It is a romance after all)

That’s when research begins, my imagination kicks in, and my muse starts whispering in my ear.

How well do I know my characters, you ask…

Better than I know myself at times.

They become friends over time, and as with anyone you befriend in life, it takes time and attention to grow kinship. It takes interest, intent and curiosity.

The relationship with my characters begins with the conception of an idea.

For me, the Everyday Goddesses series was birthed as a result of my belief that woman are warriors, and that they bring to the world an essence that’s been missing for…oh, about 2,000 years.

I feel it’s imperative we begin to acknowledge and honor it because it’s the only way we’ll reach balance and healing on this planet called Earth. (Gaia)

Once the EG series was clarified in my mind, I needed eight women who embodied the aspects of the Divine Feminine and decided to attach them to the elements, fire, air, water and earth. They were the first ingredients that went into the cauldron where I planned to cook up the characters I needed to fit the template of everyday woman extraordinaire. I added a pinch of astrological information, a dose of magic, eight Neolithic symbols of the ancestral mother, mythological names, and more than a dollop of love,… and…poof, Rhea, Gwenhwyfar, Minerva, Lilith, Cerridwen, Inanna, Brigid, and Hina were born. (As I write, four more are asking to be fleshed out and I’m having trouble shushing them. If they have their way, Qadesh, Eve, Jord and Selene will be telling their stories, using me as the medium.)

These women are my collective, a garden of seeds ready to sprout forth, new perspectives of the world at large, growing in an abundance. Each one embodies the sacred in women, in a variety of constructs. In the next blog, I’ll let you in on how I took a block of an idea and chipped away, until I had exposed the three-dimensional person who was hiding within.

Tuesday Tales

I’ve been listening to audio books for years now and I recently picked up Brian Wilson’s autobiography. I listened to the Beach Boys back in the day, and he’d been maligned over the years and I wanted to hear his story. I didn’t realize how much I’d like it. So much so that I’ve been streaming his music as I write, going back to a time when things were less crazy, and more in harmony. The albums Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys Today, Little Deuce Coupe and Surfer Girl bringing back memories. I spent a lot of time in the family basement in high school, creating stories even then, and the Wilson family played a role. It was a time of loneliness and fragile self-worth and I was able to build a completely different world for myself. It’s only in looking back that I see I had quite a vivid imagination and a penchant for story.

I can’t say I’m a fan of the Beach Boys today. Dennis and Carl are gone, Brian’s been relegated to a non-entity and I’ve never been a fan of Mike Love. It’s Brian’s songs that were my favorites. God Only Knows, The Warmth of the Sun, California Girls, Wouldn’t it Be Nice, In My Room, are just a few. Brian mentions he has a history with Paul McCartney, and as I listen today, I hear similarities in the Beach Boy and the Beatles sound, indicative of the times and I’m beginning to understand why Brian has been hailed as an innovative genius.

Like so many musicians of the 60’s and 70’s, he experimented with drugs, and drank excessively, but it was the voices in his head that created the biggest threat to his career. They were destructive, debilitating, and constant. His family, trying to help, hired a doctor to work with him. What they did, in fact, was attach him to a controlling man who fed him medications like they were candy and treated him cruelly. It was only through the love of a woman that he was able to get out from under, put his life in perspective, learn how to handle the voices, and live his life as a writer/performer.

I love learning about people, and Brian Wilson has been no exception. He covers mental illness, success, addiction, loss, love, and family dynamics. A true understanding of human frailties, flaws, strengths and successes add to my arsenal for creating believable characters.

Tuesday talk

Good morning all

It’s been a couple of Tuesdays since last I wrote. Being a history person, I’ve been totally consumed with history in the making. In fact, I’ve got some seeds germinating for my next series which I’ll get to someday. I still have a couple more in my Everyday Goddesses series to finish up and still have a couple of Greenliners stories to get to.

Now that things have quieted down, I’m back to routine, which is nice.

The one thing I’m really happy about is the fact that I now have time to read. During my sabbatical, I haven’t stopped searching Amazon and I’ve been ordering book after book, some for research, some for pure pleasure. Looking for a possible first edition my librarian Breet could afford to buy at a out-of-the-way unique bookstore, I came across a book by Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence. It takes place in the Renaissance era, and it includes some magic, Machiavelli, and the word enchantress is in the title. How could I not not be tempted? Kristin Hannah has a new book out which I can’t wait to get to, and there’s some YA books I’ve got stacked which Breet will be facilitating during a reading group. If I’m going to write about them, they’re a must read. Breet’s writing stories about Phoebe the fairy, so I’ll be reading books on the magical beings….. So many good books, with a little more time now…

A couple of days ago I picked up The Midnight Library and dove in. I’m in my happy place when I’m visiting different lands, perspectives, dimensions, and meeting new characters.

I love to read, always have. My Goodreads stats prove it. This year I’m actually behind in my goal which I intend to fix asap. Once I’m finished my current read, I’ll be jumping to a book on Whitey Bulger, and the Irish mob. Another for research that will help me write Gabe’s background story. In my car I’m listening to The Queen’s Gambit instead of listening to CNN or MSNBC.

It might be raining here, but it’s the perfect kind of weather for curling up with a good book and I have more than enough to keep me intrigued.

As the saying goes Life is good.

Creativity is usually fueled by emotion

I was watching an episode of Finding Your Roots the other night, and Glenn Close was one of the people searching for her past. She made a comment about creativity that I took to heart. In her case it was fueled by anger and it made me ask myself what fueled my writing. It was usually some emotion that spurred me to construct a story, at times to purge a demon, express a belief or burn away some resentment.

I discussed the theory with a friend yesterday and this morning I got a excerpt from the “To My Readers,” section of a book she’d picked up to read. The author mentioned the mudslides in California, and how it caused the kind of death and destruction that touched her heart. The book she’d just written was based on what the aftermath might be like for a lone survivor. It answered a “what if” question that is key for most writers. In her case, it was more of what might happen if you lost your whole family to a natural disaster.

I believe that emotion is what moves our intentions. It’s E-motion, energy in motion, which propels all things to a conclusion.

My Fire and Ice series was born and nurtured by vexation, fear and a dose of frustration.

My Everyday Goddesses series was brought to life by a deep abiding belief that women needed to take back their power, and become valued, respected and an integral part of human consciousness. For thousands of years the world has been heavily partriarchal, something that needs to change so we might restore balance and renew our sense of community. It’s not only about women gaining ground by using their voice. Men hold this most sacred of feminine energies within, and its time for them to tap into it, and in the process regain their humanity. The series expresses this creative element through both the female and male characters. The women have taken on roles in society that have consequences. The men respect who their women are, love them without reservation, and celebrate their power and their voice. Just how it should be.

I’m angry again. It seems it’s time to channel that into a new series, one which I’ll be working on as I finish up my last two scheduled books for Everyday Goddesses. It’ll be interesting to see how it manifests, which characters I’ll develop to channel my emotion through. I’ll be asking what happens if… and see where it leads me.

Alchemy is the miraculous process of transformation, and writing is the method through which I create change, bring about clearing, and find my way back to love and acceptance.