Who Cares About Reality? Just Live Your Life

 

 

Do you find yourself ever considering the meaning of reality?

Inspiration and Personal Growth

It sounds so simple to forge ahead in life and find inspiration and personal growth as it materializes. But we do not proceed that way and there is this thing called planning and preparing for the future.

Inevitably we have dreams and one of the ways we pursue our dreams is to read. My personal choice has always been speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction. I want to be intrigued and want to explore. Certainly stories of romance can be enchanting but I usually want to explore more deeply. If a romantic story or movie involves the theme of women rising I am strongly engaged. Something amazing is happening for women and for our partnerships and I want to explore it.

Colliding with Reality

Speculation often leads us into a collision with reality and may hint at what is to come. Let me give two examples. George Orwell’s novel 1984 was published in 1949, shortly after World War II. My takeaway from the book was that we should be alert to the coming power of totalitarianism. Certainly his projection of the future was born out in the growth of communism and more recently we can see his themes in the intrusion of information technology and the head of our government. It seems we are never alone.

And then there is Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 a Space Odyssey (published in 1968). There are fascinating themes but my personal love is Hal, the onboard computer. I don’t know about your experience but I am convinced that Hal or a descendant is alive and living in my computer! How else to explain its behavior.

Interacting with People’s Lives

In my office, interfacing with people about their lives, I could not simply focus on the here and now. I needed to sight where they were going and how that might interact with where we were going as people. The lives of people became a collage of who we are and what was happening to us collectively.

Being free to explore and to be a free spirit is delightful but inevitably we run into what we call reality and what kind of reality is being created around us. The reality of hippiedom in the 1960s and 1970s was engaging and entrancing. And now the reality and richness of computer based games opens whole new worlds.

An Enchanting and Expanding World

For me though, living on the cusp of reality permits a jump from the cusp of reality into a glowing and growing movement in a new world. It’s the exploration which is so exciting and, by the way, I want my partner with me. In the end it is she who especially enriches my world and my life.

Where do you think humankind is headed?

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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

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. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

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

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. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

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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. 

###

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