Tag Archive | mythology

Spasms of geekiness

I blame it on the Heros of Olympus books. I don’t know what everybody else thinks it has going for it, but I definately love the way the Greek God’s were handled in it. Rather than your typical urban fantasy about contemporary life with vampires or fair folk thrown in, these books take the archetypal approach that I really like- and there’s the idea that the Greek Gods travleled with Western Civilization, adapting to those various cultures. Which is why you get those fun mixes of contemporary america mixed in with myth and the culture of ancient empires. Long story short, it was really great that I read these books after my Humanities classes about Western Civilization. And I way prefer that aspect of the books to the whole ‘save the world’ sceanario.

So last night, I was thinking about my Fates. I told you that I created them sort of to be like the Greek Gods. I learned about the Greek Gods when I was in fifth grade. It’s one of the things I most distinctly remember learning in fifth grade. I thought it was so facinating. That fuled a great deal of my love of myths. And of course my mind, that great melting pot, collected other myths over the years, and stories and fairy tales. Archetypal characters were something I enjoy, I’ve always had a soft spot for tricksters. I also had a love of anthropormorphic personifications. This probably stemmed from my love of fairies and nature spirits as a kid, I’m also pretty sure Discworld had a lot to do with that. But at anyrate, over the years all this cooked in my mind, and what I decided I needed were my own set of immortal beings that meddled with the destinies of their mortal wards. So I called them the Fates.

Anyway, I was thinking about these Fates, and I thought about Origin Myths, something we covered in my Heroic Journey class. Some origin myths show similarities to eachother, they call it patternism. There was often ‘order coming out of chaos,’ or it may include a flood or a lot of water, there would aslo many times be a ‘breath of life’ sort of thing- breathing into a clay figure and giving it life. This stood out in my mind particularly, I think it’s because maybe the myth I looked up for a homework assignment included this. But I thought about that, and then about some of my Fates, and I started working out how the Fates helped create worlds.

I wondered if  maybe Fates are not as immortal as their mortal wards think. Perhaps the Fates merely live longer than the worlds they have stewardship over. So Fates have the opportunity to be stewards over many worlds before they die, or their essence is recycled into a different being- like the way archetypes are treated differently in different cultures. Same sort of idea, different take. And so the essence of the Fates changes, giving the idea of immortality.

So then I had to figure out which of the Fates were around at the start of this new fantasy world, and which Fates came later- either born to the First Fates or created from the world itself- from the ideas, thoughts, dreams, desires, fears, and so on from that particular realm and it’s inahbitants.

Unfortunatly, I fell asleep by trying to think it all out, and trying to add in what I had learned from Humanities classes and such, trying to have it all make sense.

Maybe it doesn’t have to all make sense. It’s not like a lot of the Origin Myths really do. A lot of mythology doesn’t make sense. But it is so much fun to play with.

In case you wanted to know

In case you wanted to know, I just looked up the difference between nymphs and nyads. It would seem that nyads are a subdivision of nymphs that preside over bodies of freshwater. Isn’t it wonderful that we have google to help us answer all the strange questions that pop into our heads? Life is so interesting. I don’t think I have ever before wondered what the difference between nymphs and nyads were.

I was thinking about nymphs becaues I was wondering what to do for my next image. So far I have eight images for this year. It is not as much as I would like, but at least most of them are kind of cool. But I need to get more done. And the most aggrivating thing is trying to come up with what to do next. Because in the meantime you aren’t doing anything except thinking. It makes me feel idle. The work comes when the pencil is put to paper and color starts to fill the page.

Oh! But there is other news. Two days ago when I finished Akinra’s World, I also added a new product to my Zazzle store. Zazzle is a place online, where I can make costum products (like the calendars I’ve been mentioning) with my artwork. So when I create a product with my artwork, it goes into my ‘store,’ where people can buy them if they wish. This time, I added a T-Shirt entilted ‘Dryad Unleased’ (I wanted to just say it was a Dryad, but I had another shirt in there that features a Dryad). I really ought to post the artwork for it so you can see, but I scanned it into my Mom’s computer (which has photoshop, and I do not). So if you’re ever at Zazzle.com, or whatever the URL for it is, see if you can find my store; look out for ‘Azureworks.’ When I get some calendars posted for 2013, I’ll give you a more clear description.

More geekiness- this time about stories

Wow, so Janette Rallison, an author I have mentioned before (also known as C. J. Hill) was doing a book give away on her blog- you leave a comment and random.org will decide who gets the book. And wonder of wonders, I got a book. I tried only for one other book, My Unfair Goodmother (which continues to be my favorite of her books- I heartily recommend it and My Fair Godmother, which comes first). I haven’t gone for any of the other ones because I already have most of my favorite of hers on my kindle. It was actually great to have them while I was in the ‘short story’ section of my English class winter semester. Something I learned: a lot of short stories in litereature are really depressing/ disturbing, so it was great to have some cute romances to save my sanity.

But I tried for this book because it was by Shannon Hale. To my knowledge, I have never read any of her works except the graphic novels Repunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack, both of which I enjoyed. Mostly for Jack. But I looked at the two blurbs at the Shannon Hale books on this blook giveaway, and they looked interesting. They seemed to have that fairy tale aspect that I just love in books.

I have a thing for fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. I can get really geeky about them. I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out what the appeal of fairy tales is. But I like what’s said in one of the Special Features of The Princess Bride: “They’re magical. And no one knows why.” And that was William Goldman who said that. So I’m going to leave it at that until I or someone else can really explain why I love it so much in a way that makes sense.

But I will say that some of my favorite books ever are fairy tale retellings. I first started really getting into books with Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I loved those books. In fact, I kept rereading it so much that I’m a bit sick of them. And then as I read more and started compiling a list of ‘favorite books,’ many of them were fairy tale retellings. At the top of the list is The Nightengale, by Kara Dalkey. Also included is Snow white and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede, Entwined by Heather Dixon (the Twelve Dancing Princesses), and others. I’ve already mentioned My Fair Godmother and My Unfair Godmother, which is really great if you like to add a modern, teenage romance twist to it- which normally isn’t the sort of thing I go for, but it was pulled off really well here- and as I said, I recommend them.

But I realize, it’s more than fairy tales. Legends, and mythology- those get me too. Love them. I think it was fifth grade when our curriculum first introduced me to Greek mythology. Greek mythology is wierd, but it had stories. And I like the stories. And yet it’s only recently that I’ve started reading the Percy Jackson books. Actually, I listen to them on C.D when I color. I just finished Book 2. Why haven’t I read these sooner? Oh yes, because I watched the movie first. That was a stupid thing to do. No wonder I lost interest. You can’t get all of the stories and mythology into a movie.

And that’s only Greek Mythology. There are whole other cultures with their own myths and legends and stories and it’s really fun to read them. Or to watch them, if Disney or someone else gets a hold of them. I love what they did with Tangled.  I’m SO looking forward to seeing Brave. And I have since before the concept art came out.