A Vision to Explore Our Future

 

Soon the second book of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy,  Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise will be published. In these books we will trace a story of what might be crises coming on our lovely planet. The mythological underpinnings are woven together with the theme of the rising of women to power and partnership. The women in this story are called Tethyans and they are central to the future of humankind and our beautiful blue planet.

Let me tell you a story. 

The universe is a wondrous place steeped in mystery, creation and destruction. Among its creations was a small solar system. There was little to stand out, but one of the planets was especially fertile. There came to be an abundance of life. It was ruled by a goddess called Gaia. One of the things which made the planet called Earth so special was that there was not just a ruling goddess but the goddess was the planet itself.

Under Gaia’s Care

Gaia tended her planet lovingly but it was clear that inherent in the creation and development of life forms struggle for survival and development was required. Long ago Gaia noted the development of a life form which was especially clever. She thought these beings held special promise but also recognized they might be a threat to themselves and her planet—herself.

Ensuring a Future

 
These beings were called humankind. Their promise was such that Gaia thought to ensure their future. But not in the sense that she definitively ruled their lives. They were to struggle like all the other animals, but in case of failure she designed a restart plan.

Since women had the richest genetic heritage and bore the children, she chose to reserve a population of mostly women, and, for their safety, designed protected cities in the sea where these people called Tethyans lived. If the land population failed, these women could return to the land.

The Day Defined

Gaia was, indeed wise. The day she foresaw has arrived and humankind is threatened by social and environmental cataclysms.

………………………

Devastation?

The story above contains mythological elements but the threat of social and environmental cataclysm is real. Not long ago hope flourished on Earth, but, as is so often the case, human affairs lead us back to worldwide conflict. There appears to be considerable potential for another era of devastating conflict such as occurred in the twentieth century.

Myth Bearing Truth

In myth there is often considerable truth, especially about the nature of humankind, our promise and our failures. Some elements are especially intriguing. In most cultures, where there is considerable water, there are myths about creatures referred to as mermaids. It is almost a universal phenomenon. The mermaids are women, of course, although mermen make rare appearances. These women may be engaging in a romantic and sexual way but they may also be frighteningly dangerous and destructive. It seems the myth relates to a deeply rooted, unconscious regard and fear for women by men—ambivalence which has led to conflict and subjugation.

Enter the Rise of Women

The myth stirs the imagination and just at the moment as the world moves closer and closer to devastating crises, we see the movement to empower women. The “myth” of the mermaid, combined with the movement to empower women led to the embrace of a story which was irresistible.

Exploration of Themes

In coming posts there will be thought documents on the themes in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy and discussion of the characters and the development of the story as well as the writing process. Through these kinds of stories we seek vision to aid us in approaching our future.

Given our recent history, how do you view our 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

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The Women of Andromeda – Brigid Lynch

 

 

A Core Person

One of my readers of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called referred to Brigid as the “flaming haired assassin-for-good”. I have to confess I’m not entirely sure where she came from. Each of the Andromeda women seemed to show up unbidden. Of course, as a psychologist I understand they don’t materialize in the author’s mind our of the ether.

My initial concept of Andromeda was not that these women were ruled by men. That is not exactly how the world of the Tethyans is. What fell into place was that the warrior women had to have some form of autonomy although clearly there would be some form of organization. It was all curious because they had a mission but it was not like they came from a corporation or an established government. So Brigid was chosen as the early leader and she had relationships with other leaders among the people.

The Tethys, or cities in the sea, were reasonably autonomous, certainly from each other but there was some form of general independence among other parts of the Tethyan people. I have to admit I’m not sure how this all came about.

Brigid as a Symbol

Certainly Brigid was needed as a warrior. There would inevitably be considerable conflict and leaders had to exist or emerge. As the story developed it was clear that Gaia had to be giving some guidance and where Brigid was placed suggested that she was part of that guidance. In the story she is indicative of women who are strong and independent and it was apparent to me that she probably had to have a troubled history to push her into this position. So she was a symbol of the strength of women and their dedication.

Curious Origins

I’m still trying to figure out where a lot of this came from and specifically what the origin of Brigid is. It was only later that I found Adrienne Mayor’s book The Amazons. As I’ve said elsewhere, I thought Amazons were mythological. And I came to find out that they were real.

In the ancient world the women of Greece were subjugated but just outside of that region were the Steppes of Asia. And on that plane were nomadic and semi nomadic tribes. The warrior Amazon women rode with their men into battle. They were skilled archers and excellent horsewomen. Women seem to have an edge in horse management as we see today.

And before I knew about the real Amazons I chose her to be a flaming redhead. Such hair color speaks to origins in Scotland and Ireland but what I learned was that the Amazon women were often redheads.

Something Else

And then later I learned about my own genetic heritage. My most prominent group is made up of people who were celtic,viking and saxon followed by a generic far northern European people. It included 5% neanderthal. That’s right, we now know their genetic code and are finding they are among us. When I looked farther back I could see that these people from whom I was descended came out of near Asia as the last ice age ended. In short they were part of the tribes made up of Amazons.

What I had done was create a character who was clearly from my own background when I didn’t even know about my background. It becomes kind of creepy.

Knowing that I wanted this woman to do battle with the Overlords I wrote (in my head) a background in the estate of a brutal Overlord who abused her mother. Finally her mother committed suicide which devastated Brigid. She was cast out of the estate and was taken in by the Tethyans.

Another Book

As you can see the story kept growing. It is clear to me that I may well be writing books about each of the lead women of the Andromeda. A similar process occurred for each of them and their stories continue to unfold in my head.

Have you had similar things emerge from inside of you?

 

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

Core Elements of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

Reflecting Growing Crises

 

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called:Women in Power, the first book of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, was published in March. I am well along on the second book and I’m enjoying the reception of the first book. Now I’ll take the opportunity to continue the discussion of some of the elements of the trilogy.

First let me underscore essential themes. In our real world, as it is, we clearly are entering a period of growing crisis. Given the waves of conflict and change that engulf humanity from time to time, it could have been expected. The arrival of the period of crisis offers an opportunity for us to examine ourselves and our future. One of the ways we can do that is through a fictional exploration.

Let me now touch on three elements in the trilogy.

The Importance of Women

It is my belief that we have underestimated the role women will play in the future and the growing movement to empower women needs attention. Accordingly, the power of women in this series is significant. The Andromeda women are clear purveyors of their importance.

Through the ages women have played a wide variety of roles but often not as the central holders of power. They often engage men in a variety of ways and one of them has been as consorts. The role is a dangerous one and may involve in depth intelligence gathering. Such a role was chosen at the opening of the series as an important role. In the past women were often seen as despoiled when they were in such a position. That perception is fading.

In this series the Andromeda women will take on many different roles and their dedication and importance will be clear. We can see richness and appreciation of the varied roles of the women bears examination and thought. And, as it turns out, women warriors have a rich history including the Amazons in ancient times.

Exploration Through the Paranormal

Another element is paranormal. Certainly the series could have stayed close to what we might call a reality context. But I find mythology so enriching that I felt it was essential to use mythology to enhance the story. And mermaids were an obvious choice because we can note how pervasive the myth is. We must wonder what the myth says about women and our view of them. We have the chance to explore and note the power it indicates.

Power and Greed

Lastly let me briefly touch on the Overlords. I brought them into the story to convey a real world theme of greed and power which is forever troubling. But, in this instance their role had to be limited. We can only hope that people who concentrate on greed and power will fade in importance over time. And in this series there are a lot of characters and the story is complex. There was no need to further complicate the story by making the Overlords more complex or with considerable story detail.

Pondering Our Future

In all, I’m convinced we are entering a period of unparalleled change and opportunity. The times ahead will surely be difficult and our attention is required. And attention means sifting import especially, I believe, in regard to women.

In the next books the story will grow and change as humankind approaches what will surely be greater change but also possibly transformation. More on these themes in future posts.

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

The Women of the Andromeda

 

 

What do you think is happening to women?

Numerous Roles for Women

From the beginning, in writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, I was clear that the women had to be extraordinary. Related is the fact that I have always been captivated and intrigued by the movement to empower women. There is a battle and clearly there was untapped potential. And in that battle women are showing how tenacious they can be.

But I felt I could not begin from pure fantasy. Of course part of what intrigued me was my love of mythology and how it speaks to us. Mermaids keep appearing in myth and I chose them to join us for the adventure. But there were other elements in history that were intriguing. In Adrienne Major’s book The Amazons I learned about some of the real warrior women in history.

Presenting Themsleves

And so the women of the Andromeda came into being. Many Tethyan women were reserved in the sea against the day when the mission for the salvation of our beloved blue planet and humankind would be called. But especially on land there was presently to be a confrontation and warrior women were needed to help.

In the Beginning

But in opening the series it did not seem right to simply have the women rush into battle. Two realities collided. One was that major human conflicts often begin in a low key fashion. One thing with which I collided was myself. I wanted a “normal” beginning related to how people are. So I chose innocent Avery as the lead character who thought she had lost her family and felt abandoned. Little did she know she had an extraordinary family.

But her family wasn’t merely hiding in the sea. It had an organization and women had been chosen and chose themselves to be defenders in the movement to come. And there were certainly enough issues to be combatted in the real world as we understand it today.

Among the People

The Tethyan people fell generally into three groups. The people who lived in cities in the sea called the Primals, the women who came to the land to form families and the defense force of women called the Andromeda. The women in the sea cities searched history and precious documents for the meaning and substance related to their future. The families on land positioned themselves for future dedicated possibilities. And the Andromeda women took on real world missions. These women could be dangerous and violent if needed.

Dedicated Women

The roles women assume are often complicated and in what they feel they must do they often have to resist restraints imposed by the larger society. And such was the case for the Andromeda women. Certainly they could embed themselves in government and corporations, but they could also engage in other forms of intrusion which might be useful. And so some of them became consorts with the powerful, greedy men called the Overlords. From that position they gained valuable insights and information.

I’m sure there are those who will criticize me for putting these women in such positions which are often frowned upon and they may be unfairly criticized for what they dedicated themselves to do. But that was a component of the real world and it needed inclusion.

These women took terrible risks, gave valiant service and, in the writing, addressed a reality which exists now and will in the future. I took delight in them. Brigid was most prominent and strong. She came to her position through tragedy which, of course, is often what leads to dedication. And darling Luisa was irresistible. She was so engaging and clever and seemed innocent. Except she was not innocent but dedicated.

And so fantasy and reality meld and talk truths about our world as it is whether realized or not and the future as it may be. Such dedication often leads to transformation of many kinds.

And I think in the future I may just write detailed stories focused on these amazing women. In the near term there will be posts on each of them.

Do you admire such women?

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