Searching for Persephone

by | Oct 30, 2022

Persephone as a goddess, and goddess archetype, never really settled on my radar (aside from her being the central character in a couple of romances I’ve read over the past two years).

That changed during the writing of The Goddess & the Woodsman, when Demeter showed up (which I expected) with her daughter in tow (which I did not expect). In that scene, Persephone sits at her mother’s feet, her hair and clothing bedraggled and her attention completely on her phone.

I wondered at my muse’s choice of side characters. My muse cocked an eyebrow and said, “Trust me.” So, I did.

Know whose story I’m working on now? Mm-hmm, you guessed it: Persephone’s. I have a working title — Persephone Lost & Found; I have a concept — she’s chaffing at her constraints; and I have a stack of resource books (some of which have been around for a while), including:

  • Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Goddesses in Every Woman and Gods in Every Man (because to understand Persephone, I feel I should know more about the Zeus and Hades’ archetypes).
  • The Goddess Within, by Jennifer Barker Woolger + Roger J. Woolger
  • Patricia Monaghan’s Encyclopedia of Goddesses & Heroines

The next step in creating Persephone’s story is to take the notes I made from what I read and give them time to stew in the deep recesses of my brain and during dream time. Because if there’s one thing I learned from writing my last book, it’s that telling a goddess you’re going to give her a novelette or novella-length book does not always go over well…

Here’s a peek into the opening chapter of Persephone Lost & Found:

I could never refer to the architectural monstrosity Hades designed for us as “my house” or even “our house.” It was, always and forever, the House of Hades—and not just because those exact words were engraved on the plaque bolted to the wall beside the estate’s formal entrance, or because the building’s four wings and central entertaining area formed an “H” when viewed from above.


Everything about the property reflected my husband’s aesthetic. Walking into his private wing, my high heels echoed against floors, ceilings, and walls of slate, metal, and sand-blasted glass. No amount of heat warmed these rooms enough to make them habitable, let alone hospitable, for me.


I passed his ground floor living room. The man believed in sharp angles and un-curtained windows. His one nod to sensuality—at least by my definition—was candles. He’d hired a “scent-ologist” to create signature blends for every room, like whiskey and cinnamon for the library to encourage reading and conversation, and bergamot, ginger, and oregano for the dining rooms to encourage eating and drinking.


I had no idea what scent he’d chosen for his bedroom suite.


I supposed I would find out this morning. I planned to pre-empt our upcoming decennial attempt at re-negotiating our situation. Rather than wait another ten days for that meeting to take place, I would grab the beast that was our unsalvageable marriage by its horns and bring my proposal to Hades himself.


If that didn’t work, I would initiate Plan B.

There’s more, but I’ll leave you with that teaser and get back to planning and plotting, journalling and musing. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and Persephone’s already informed me she will be checking in daily. Which has me wondering what sort of personal insight she has in store…

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