Book #20. And so it begins…

by | Oct 17, 2023

(The research, that is.)

Book #20 was supposed to be the 4th full length novel in the Calliope Jones series. Readers have been asking for it, and it makes sense to write it. But the words aren’t flowing, and the characters who want to be in that story haven’t given me enough to work with. At least, not yet. Magic #4 now resides atop the “Future Projects” pile, well within my peripheral vision.

Speaking of hope… (if you get it, you get it), ideas for book #20 are flowing. This will be the fourth installment of The Goddessverse Fantasy Series, and will feature Pandora.

“But Pandora’s not a goddess.”

According to some, she was originally an earth goddess, like Gaia or Rhea. Hesiod, writing in 8th c. BCE, made her out to be a god-created human, and the bearer of all the evils that beset humankind. Theognis and Aesop had different takes, postulating that Zeus – who kept an urn to either side of his door – gave Pandora the vessel filled with blessings, not evils. And Erasmus, writing in the 16th century, mixed up the words for urn and box, hence the whole “Pandora’s Box” debacle. Pandora never carried a box, she carried a pithos, an urn. In ancient times, urns were used for everything from storing grains and honey, to holding the dead until the ground thawed enough the body could be buried.

There is a lot of material for me to work with, and I don’t want to give away any of the developing plot quite yet. In this early part of the book-writing process, ideas tend to come fast. I record them in the manuscript’s Scrivener file, listening for each character’s voice, imagining the setting, their age, their appearance, etc. Asking, who are their allies? Their enemies? What trials and triumphs will this heroine’s journey entail?

Exciting times 🙂

I want to add that deciding which book to write when has been an intuitive thing for me from the beginning. A few days ago, right around the new moon, I had an epiphany – that the reason Calliope’s story wasn’t coming to me was because I was writing it for someone else, not for me. I felt both sad, and liberated. Sad, because I value the people who read my books and enough of them voiced their desire for more of Salt Spring Island’s favorite earth witch that I wanted to make them happy. Liberated, because I trust my gut/my muse/my visions/my intuition – all of which were reminding me each story has its origin in a spark of inspiration.

While I wait for Calliope to offer me her spark, I’ll nurture the one provided by Pandora and see where her story takes us.

***

“There’s an ancient artifact that belongs to me by right of inheritance – and I will do anything to retrieve it. Anything.” – Pandora, from a work-in-progress

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