Mythos and Theory

skellig rock

skellig rock

First let me apologize – I can’t access my spell-check. I’m not sure what the problem is. Please just bear with me. It won’t be the first time you find spelling errors and sadly it won’t be the last either.

Fiction writers take great liberties at times with bending the truth, creating truths, twisting the truths, or more often just making up stuff as we go along.

One of the more fascinating things to me is in science fiction where the start of the story, or premise is based on fact, then add on or play what if, or toss the known science out the door and put something else in its place. Actually it’s not just in science fiction. This method is used in romance, in westerns, in drama, in whodunnits, it’s even in classic literature.

Whether we start with the norms of proper society and delve into the life of miscreants and street urchins, or we ride along on Captain Nemo’s fabulous Nautilus, the magic of fiction is that it can transport our minds out of our circumstances into a magical dimension that we find stimulating, calming, exhilarating, or even terrifying.

There is a long-standing heritage as bards and storytellers of this. Each culture has their mythos, stories that are told about the aspects of our world that mortal man didn’t comprehend. Are they made up? Often, there is an element of truth in cultural mythology. This is why the different mythologies across the cultures have parallel stories, have numerous similarities, and why most have gone by the wayside.

Ancient cultures attributed everything to acts of the Gods. Modern Science has replaced a cultural heritage with factual data. I’m all for science, but don’t you find it rather dull at times? Instead of meteorological phenomenon, we would be running to the temple to make offering to Hera, Zuess, Horus, or Quetzalcoatl. Of course the sacrificial offerings might be a problem nowadays.

When studying mythos it’s easy to slip over into theory. Theory is defined as:
n. – A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
n. – An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
n. – The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.
n. – The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier’s theory of combustion; Adam Smith’s theory of moral sentiments.

About now, you’re looking at the topics of my blog and wondering where the heck I’m going with this, aren’t you?

Mythos and theory are at the heart of my WIP. It’s about faeries. Not the wee winged creatures that Disney likes to portray like Tinkerbell. Not the wee folk that Darby O’Gill ran into. It’s about a legendary race, the Tuatha De Danaan. In Irish-Celtic mythology, the Tuatha Dé Danann (“People of the goddess Danu”) are the Irish race of gods, founded by the goddess Danu. These gods, who originally lived on ‘the islands in the west’, had perfected the use of magic. They traveled on a big cloud to the land that later would be called Ireland and settled there.
Shortly after their arrival they defeated the Firbolg at the first battle of Mag Tuireadh. In the second battle of Mag Tuireadh they fought and conquered the Fomorians, a race of giants who were the primordial inhabitants of Ireland. The Tuatha Dé dealt more subtly with the Fomorians than with the Firbolg, and gave them the province of Connacht. There was also some marrying between the two races.
The Tuatha Dé themselves were later driven to the underworld by the Milesians, the people of the fabulous spanish king Milesius. There they still live as invisible beings and are known as the Aes sidhe. In a just battle, they will fight beside mortals. When they fight, they go armed with lances of blue flame and shields of pure white.

The Epic of the Tuatha Dé Danann is the first Cycle of Irish storytelling.

Fascinating material for a history buff that has ancestral ties to Caldonia and Ireland, but Miracle Gro for a creative mind.

This is a jumping off place. A beginning spot to which I stripped down some things, added on other things, threw on new garbs, tore off that bit there, added a bit more over here and wha-la! My own personal bent on a legendary race of immortal beings. I tried not to clash too much with traditional theory but then again it is just theory after all? Isn’t it?

Wouldn’t you wonder why, such a superior race that defeated the Firbolg and the Fomorian giants would be content to be exiled to the underground while humans roamed free on the surface? Why would they fight alongside these same humans?

Like I said, a jumping off place. As I sat on a high observation point, looking down over a valley of green lush spring grass, the Irish landscape came to my mind and the ideas began exploding like an internal fireworks display. Wish you could have been there it was magnificent! Then again, if you ask my daughter it’s a scary experience.

Soon, I will be on the final draft of this work and be ready to share it with everyone! In the meantime, you might want to invest in a little wrought ironwork around your home. Or a few pieces of galena might make an attractive investment.

Write on my friends, let the fireworks begin!

Rowling, really?

Yesterday was a bust!  I was about halfway into writing my blog when the power went out.  It was off most of the day – oh joy.  They are building a new firehouse just up the road and for the past two weeks, you can count on the power going out for a while.  AFter the one yesterday however, there were many sirens.  Not sure what happened, but then family life and “mom” responsibilities, well it was time for my webinar, and then before you know it, it was ten p.m. and I was tired.

So this morning I’m playing catch up, in addition to the catching up from the weekend,  in addition to a half-dozen other things.

I finished three informative articles about the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Writing nonfiction is definitely a different animal than fiction writing.  One of my writing friend’s suggested a site called I Write Like. Ever the curious one, I had to submit my samples to see who I write like.

I don’t know about y’all but I think this is totally weird.  For my informative essays and articles – I ran three of them – it says I write like H.P. Lovecraft.  When I was in college, I read everything that Lovecraft ever wrote. I also read everything Poe wrote, and the same for Stephen King as a couple of classes were about Horror and Science fiction. Of course I read a lot about mythology as well.

For my humor pieces, it said I write like Cory Doctorow.  I had to look who that was up on Wikipedia.  Interesting, if not a bit quirky. Well, I suppose that does make sense now that I think about it.

Ah, but for my passion, my fiction writing it varied depending on the scene, and which WIP I submitted from.  The comparisons I got were Anne Rice; Isaac Asimov, and I find this one to be the most interesting J.K. Rowling.  Now, if you’ve paid any attention to the last few bogs, you’ll understand my observation.  I have never read anything by Rowling although I do respect her as a writer.  I won’t go into the whole Potter thing again, it’s just too tiring.  I will have to say, I am very intrigued by her new release.

I’ve read Anne Rice, and Asimov, but hadn’t read any of Rowling’s work.  I was intrigued as I don’t have a single vampire in my story, no one named Lestat, and no child vampires.  I didn’t see any similarities in fantastic worlds that I’d read by Asimov, or the deep mega-mind introspection I admired in his work.

To me, those three authors are distinctly different.  So of course being the “curious kitten” as my dad always called me, I made a trip to the library and checked me out some books.  There are surprising similarities, and yes, technically you can say I caved in and I am reading Harry Potter.  I’m only a short way into it, but since I started it I feel compelled to complete it.  I’m a little weird that way.

As interesting as this information gathering is however it does nothing to advance my writing.  I can’t blame it on writer’s block because honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that – not that I want to!  I am contemplating a series of blogs about procrastination and avoidance techniques. 1001 ways to Avoid Writing!  Of course I could probably make it 10,000 ways.  Why is it that I do these things to avoid doing the very thing I want to do?

For further delay I ran across a couple of blog posts that addressed the same issue of distractions.

I’ll let Michael Mayerhofer in “Advice to Writers: Stay Home” conclude:

So, again, here’s my not-so-humble advice: stay home. Don’t call anyone. Don’t text. Don’t update your Facebook status to say what you’re reading, or how many thousands of words you’re going to write today. Just leave your ego in a shoe box, sit down, and read. And write. And if you look down at your first draft and think it’s golden—well, you’re wrong.

Can’t argue with that!  So, I close out my pages, and shut the computer off. this computer that is, the one that has internet access.  I open my laptop and bring up my WIP, Kiss of the Dragon.  It’s almost like a rendezvous in private as I slip away without the distractions of the internet, the phone is on silent, the answering machine is on, and I’m not answering the door.  I need a big sign to post somewhere “The writer is IN!”

It’s good when the muse shows up anxious to play with my pet dragons.  Write on!


Organization is essential in most businesses, as a writer it’s imperative.  Sadly, it’s an area in which I am undisciplined. In previous jobs, I have received awards for organizational ability, so I know its possible.  The hubs once commented “You don’t have to leave that at work you know”.  Profound statement.

I spent the better part of two days searching my computer for ten chapters I had completed for Faere Guardian, one of two current WIPs. I started this particular book over three years ago.  The original manuscript was boring and dull.  Seriously, if I found it boring and dull as the writer, who would want to read it?  I gutted it.  The characters stood by and watched as I destroyed my created world, a cardboard Peyton Place.  I noticed Kyle, the brooding Scot stood with arms crossed a smug look of satisfaction on his face as he watched.

I rewrote it, more to my liking.  What was originally going to be an Inspirational Romance, is now a paranormal romance.  The characters seem much happier.  I had a prereader read the first few chapters of the original version and their response was “Oh, that’s nice.”  After the rewrite the comment changed to “Oh my gosh! It’s action, action, action. When do they get to catch their breath?”  I think that’s a much better response.

I’ve been working diligently, plugging away on the ABC principle.  Applying my Butt to the Chair, and writing.  It doesn’t write itself!  At times it’s a mad brain gush, trying to get things out of my head before I lose it.  Then there are dry moments when I’m undecided about a particular point.  I like to have my details worked out, knowing the long-term result of that butterfly flapping its wings off the coast of Hawaii on the eventual outcome that will play an important part of the meteorological conditions when my characters have to duke it out on a stormy hill in Scotland.

I want to know all the background information of how a certain cure was discovered, developed, and what side effects will there be.  I want to know that the action which seems out of character for Alexis, is actually very in character as she discovers things about herself throughout the story.  The reader may not see it yet, but they will by the end.

I have a folder for all this background information that never gets written in the story.  It will be hinted at or  background information, or maybe expounded on later in an interrogation by the police.  After one of these background story sessions, I had written ten chapters that moved their relationship forward, revealed who the protagonist is if you pay close attention, revealed the dark elements that Kyle the Guardian is dealing with, and the Light Court Fae that Kyle is in alignment with.

For anyone who is a fan of Celtic legends about the Tuatha’ de Danaan, there are certain characteristics of this “superior immortal race”.  Well, they think they are superior which is a key of their characters.  Fae have been described as fickle, manipulative, and have been compared to Greek and Roman gods.   Arrogance is an understatement for my Fae.

I was compiling the edited chapters into my writing software, and reached the point to add the ten chapters that I was proud of.  The faint of heart among you need not read because I tend to be descriptive to a fault.  A different prereader friend said the battle scene had left her nauseous.  Did I really need to show detailed graphic illustrations of the hacking off of limbs?  In order to portray the brutality, the strength required and the emotional impact of the value of life, yes.  I noticed the same person was enthusiastically reading the detailed love scenes and not complaining.  Eros, Pathos, and Thanatos! What is one without the others?

I’ve searched the files and apparently I saved them in a special place with a special name.  I’ve resigned to the fact that I will have to rewrite, because as is the way with most of my special places, they are lost in space.  One day I will find all my special places and I will hit the jackpot!  I’ve put things in special places and never found them.  Apparently they are code name for “black hole ” in the universe. things go in and never come out.

I spent the weekend lamenting over my mess, angry because I have to rewrite. A very nice gentleman has been encouraging me that I can rewrite them better, and maybe this was for a reason.  Maybe, but there’s that Type A part of me that is enthusiastic about efficiency of time.  Rewriting due to disorganization is not efficient.  Why reinvent the wheel when you already have one somewhere?

Alas, they have not surfaced and I will have to buckle down again.  I have a feeling the dark creatures  in chapter 15 are going to pay for my wrath. Mwahahaha!  Maybe, he was right. I can harness the power and use it for good, wreaking vengeance on the world of chaos I’ve created.  Don’t think for a moment that I ‘m not well aware of the fact that as soon as I get them rewritten, I’ll find my missing chapters.

That’s ok! Now that I’ve accepted the mission  of rewriting, I can compare and see what has been improved and what hasn’t.  I can combine the two to make the best option.  If I don’t find them, I’ll go with the new ones.  It becomes simple when options are removed.

Someday however, I will find the black hole of special places and the showers of long-lost treasures will spill forth upon me.  I will then have myself a gleeful giggle fit!  Until then, my text has been lost in space.