Writing Tip Wednesday – Talking to the Characters

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Okay, this is where my blog is going to take an interesting turn as I’m not going to be writing about anything that’s set in stone (rules of grammar) or anything others believe ought to be set in stone (don’t use adverbs! – example only) in regards to writing. Rather, it’s going to be a fun entry, at least in my opinion, and one that could cause many a debate. Or not. Authors can be such fickle creatures in the things we like/want/feel we must urgently debate over.

In any event, this is the entry where I highly encourage my fellow authors and all beginning authors to take a moment and talk to the characters we’re trying to bring to life. It takes only a little imagination, really, and, while it might make one sound insane to do so – ficitional characters are not real, after all – it is one way to help bring them to life when it comes the written word. Characters are like living creatures in their own sense. They need life breathed into them. With each little mental interaction – heck, you can envision them talking to other characters, talking to established characters like Captain America – and seeing where it takes you. Characters are meant to be extensions of ourselves, what we wish we could do in certain situations or what we wish we could be like in our real lives. Explore how they will interact with others, and you may just surprise yourself.

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A reminder that Portal to Gaming, The King and Queen of Wands, and The Sons of Thor are available as ebooks on Kindle and NOOK, and as paperbacks through Amazon.com.
http://www.amazon.com/Elise-K.-Rasha/e/B00MQF33K6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1455130763&sr=8-1
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Elise%20K.%20Ra’sha%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

Portal to Gaming and The Sons of Thor ebooks are $3.99.  Portal to Gaming paperback is $11.99, the Sons of Thor paperback is $19.99
The King and Queen of Wands ebook is $2.99 and the paperback $8.99

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Book Review Tuesday – The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon

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It has finally happened! I’ve finished reading a book since Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer! Yay! Allow me to do my happy dance. Hehe.

I’m still working through The Age of Odin by James Lovegrove. He’s got a few things wrong, so far, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t weaving an intriguing tale.

Anyway, back to The Ramayana.

The Ramayana, in this form, is a novelisation of an Indian epic depicting the life of Vishnu’s Avatara, Rama, and his struggle to be the dutiful son, dutiful prince, dutiful older brother, and dutiful king of India.

Set in the mystical, the realistic, and the whole of India some five thousand years ago and longer, the story of Rama is the story of a man who was perfect in every way. Rama did his best to never sin.

His story starts with one wanting to know if a sinless man ever lived and with one of the Gods visiting the rishi (sage) in question. And it begins with a king coming into old age and wanting an heir for his throne.

The Ramayana also begins with the rakshasa Ravana, king of demons and impervious to all who might stand against him, except for mortal men.

The story is told in a simiplistic yet old-time fashion. While it glosses over many battles – indeed, many of them end quicker than they seem to begin for Rama is truly unique amongst humans – Ramesh doesn’t skimp where needed. He’s taken a timeless Hindu story and put into the form of a novel.

Now this is not a story for everyone. Not everyone enjoys the old-time style, the pacing and the lyrical nature of the woven word. But, for me, it was a fun, fantastic read, and a story I’m very glad to have in my collection.

I just wish Rama was actually blue on the cover instead of green. ^_^

Moving Forward Monday – Exploring the Possibilities for The Twilight of the Gods

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If there’s anything I love to do as an author, besides putting words into sentences and creating things, it’s discussing the possibilities of pantheon origins, which ones have been around the longest, and so on.

In particular, I love discussing the Norse and Greek cultures and the various and not-so-subtle differences between them. For there is a huge difference between them. One cannot convince me that Loki and Hermes are one in the same. They’re tricksters, yes, and both can walk across the sky, but that’s where their similarities end.

All of these differences are going to be amongst the conflicts in The Twilight of the Gods series. Whether or not people will agree with me will remain to be seen.

If anything, it will be fun to see the Gods in action with each other.

And, yes, all good reasons why one must never put Loki, Hermes, and Dionysus in the same room together.

Like. Ever.

Fiction Friday – The Second Draft of The Re-Naming of Marcus Anthony James

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Names are such fickle things in this life. No one ever pays attention to what a person’s name actually is. Parents choose names for their children all the time, and mostly they do so based on what they like and not what is actually appropriate for the child.

I know, I know. You’re wondering why this is important, the naming of a child. What significance does a name have, anyway?

Names are powerful in their own right. Names can determine how a person will behave later in life. You wouldn’t dare name a child Loki, the God of Mischief and Lies, now would you? Many of you even hesitate on names like Damien and Lucifer for all of their so-called evil connotations, thanks to how your Bible and modern pop culture references have skewed your way of thinking. After all, the mocking that would ensue, the trouble you fear such a child might cause . . . No. You put more effort into names than what you realize.

Still don’t believe me? Let’s look it this way as well: a dog named Wolf tends to act like a wolf. Or have you failed to notice such things?

And never forget that names have power. Imagine yourself working in one of your local convenience stores, and you are the only one there. It’s well after midnight and someone walks in and you’re suddenly nervous, on edge due to this person’s vibes, if you will. You’ve never seen this person before. There’s something not quite right about him. Then the person then smiles and proceeds to greet you by name. Remember, you have never met this person before but you have oh so foolishly worn your nametag. That person now has power over you, trying to create a sense of familiarity and putting your life in danger.

You think I’m talking nonsense. I can see as much in your eyes.

Oh, is that a flicker of surprise? Yes, I can read you better than you think, dear human. Way better than you think.

Who am I, you ask? You mean you haven’t guessed it already?

I am Loki of Asgård, the God of Mischief and Lies you humans have so foolishly demonized over the long, long centuries.

However, I digress. I’m not here to talk about you and the power your name has over you. I’m not even here to talk about the injustices done unto me. Rather, this is about Marcus Anthony James, that poor child.

Who is Marcus Anthony James, you ask? And why am I, the God of Lies so interested in him? Well, you see, I’ve been given a very specific task by Odin in regards to this child, one of which I’m not about to tell the likes of you. That is between the two of us. However, I can tell you that part of this task is seeking out the children born to the Gods of Asgård.

What? You weren’t expecting that? Well, you should have! We still exist. Ragnarök has not come upon us. Yet.

Anyway, yes. We still exist, and many of the Ǽsir and Vanir like to, ah, how shall I say, mingle with the mortals. They can’t help themselves, really. There are just so many qualities about mortals we find so endearing and attractive. If not for my wife, I most assuredly would be dallying as well.

Again, I digress. I’m here because of Marcus . . . what? Is Marcus my child? Silly mortal, no! As much as I wish I could say he is, he is not. I said it before, I am most loyal to my wife, despite what your so-called myths might say about me. And, for the record, Sigyn is my third wife, the one who has claimed my very soul.

Forgive my outburst, mortal. It is not your fault that most of the lore no longer exists as it should. Things are the way they are for a reason, but we of Asgård still mingle with the mortals. We can’t help ourselves, which brings me back to where we are about Marcus. I will remind you he is not my child. Rather, Marcus is sired by another. I was sent here to find out who the lucky father is, but there is something most strange in the air tonight. I can tell by the way the child cries, this Samhain Night, or, as you mortals have taken to calling it, All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween. It is a sound I have heard many a time amongst the half-blood children of the Ǽsir. Though he is only a few hours old, he sees Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and his life is to be cut so very short because of it. The poor child. It is something most mortals are unaware of, the most wondrous thing of seeing Yggdrasil in all of its glory. Adults who see the tree are not destined for death but for something greater than anyone can imagine. The same is true for children, but for those of demi-blood, well, it is both blessing and bane for them.

Oh, do not fret, my dear mortals. That is the other reason of why I am here, to make sure Marcus truly does not die. All of the Ǽsir and Vanir know of my soft spot for children. I truly adore them and so have no troubles of finding them and caring for them. Usually, it takes some time for a demigod child to see the World Tree, but it would seem that Marcus is among the very rare few. One could speculate it’s a sign of who his father is, someone most spectacular like Thor or perhaps even the Allfather himself, but, trust me, this matters not to the Norns and Yggdrasil. They are not picky in their choosings. A blessed child is a blessed child, no matter who the divine parent, and even a mortal can see the weavings of fates and the illustrious branches from time to time.

However, it is different for a child of both mortal and divine blood. It is a sign that either the child needs a new name in order to survive, something that Yggdrasil and the Norns will accept, or to be taken to where we live and train our young.

No, I will not be taking dear Marcus to Asgård. I don’t take children away from their mothers, not at this young and tender age. Make no mistake, the mothers are never happy to see me when I come to call, something that is expected when they know the truth of everything, but they also know it is my sworn duty to all of Asgård and the Nine Realms to at least be sure the child need not leave just yet.

And here we are, the room where Marcus and his mother are staying. See? The mother has flinched upon my arrival into her room. Perhaps it’s because I’m wearing all black like a specter of Death, which truly is not my domain . . . she looks to be too young to know the truth about the Gods. Norns, she looks no older than sixteen! I know back in my day that was of no issue . . . Hel, she would already be a mother of three or four children by now if we were back in ancient times, but you modern mortals are such sticklers about propriety and ages.

Do not get me wrong. There are times I agree with your notions, based on how things have changed over time. One would think the father would know better, especially considering how some mortals feel about young girls engaging in sexual activities. However, that isn’t always the case. Attraction is attraction, consequences be damned from time to time. Ah well. What is done is done. And I can tell there is more to her story than what you can truly see yourself, mortal. She is scared. From the way she watches me and hovers close to her babe, I’m most certain her parents have disapproved of her actions, have probably threatened to disown her, but the babe is more important to her.

How can I tell? It’s the way her eyes glitter, of course! She has the eyes of a Valkyrie and a mother. She will do anything and everything she can to protect this child. Now. Pay attention. I have work to do.

Ah, here is the little bundle of joy I’m here to see. I love holding children. Odin does, too, but he’s more the grandfatherly sort anymore, if you know what I mean.

Such an adorable little boy dear little Marcus is! Oh Norns, what a sweet-looking child! And there . . . there is the sign I was sent to look for . . . What? What is that mark on the bottom of the child’s foot? Ah, I see what you mean! The little star there towards his heel. Yes, that is the sign of who his father is . . . Who is his father, you ask? Perhaps you’ll find out at another time. I’m really not going to say, hehe.

Such a sweet little child . . . Yes, he’s going to be a strong one. The magic radiating from this child is intense, powerful, like the sun . . . and it is burning him up, the poor thing. Fear not, I know the way for him to live. I may not like Daddy Dearest all that much, but that is no reason for me to punish the child.

There, there, Marcus. No need to cry so, child. The pain will go away, I promise you. I just need for you to tell me one thing, sweet child, just one little thing. I will speak it, I promise you on the roots of Yggdrasil.

What is that, child? That is your true name? I see . . . Oh dear, a flash of light in his eyes, and he still shivers in pain. The new name is not going to be enough. He is being actively hunted. I can smell the enemies closing in on him.

Here. I must return him to his mother. I will tell her what to call him, if only in private, but the child will not be able to stay with her for too much longer. Frigga and the Allfather must be prepared for this child’s arrival to the camps, though she surely knows already. This is going to be heartbreaking. And I need a little magical defense. Asgård is not without enemies, even in these modern times.

Here we go, little darling. Here is your mother. That’s a good boy. Nice and easy, as always . . . you have your new name now, but it is only going to delay your untimely demise . . . Fortunately, I already know what his new name is going to be. Like him, like the Allfather, I, too, can see the branches of Yggdrasil, am her warrior in my own right. Marcus, now Little Wren, will not only be a mighty warrior but a mighty magic-user. But remember . . . you are only to say this name when there is absolutely no one else about, lest you seek to destroy the child before he has a chance to live.

See? The new name is helping! His cries are lessening now, and sleep will come a little easier to him. His fever is dying out, too. A relief! But it is still quite worrisome. A charm will do the trick, a little bracelet only you, I, his mother, and other Asgårdians will be able to see. It places him under my protection until I can get him to the camps.

I shall return for him, for them both, in truth. I know she does not wish to be parted from him, and I don’t intend to leave her behind myself. I do need to speak to Odin and Frigga about this. Maybe our queen will allow some leniency for her . . . but then we shall see. If it were up to me, I’d take them both, this night, but it is not. She still needs to recover from giving birth, and me taking them would cause more of a ruckus than the Allfather would care to have at this point in time.

Poor child, to be born with that gift so soon.

I must be gone. Remember, mortal, to keep this a secret about Marcus Anthony James to yourself. If not, well, let me just say I will not be so kind to you at our next meeting, and I will know if you cross me or this child.

Until the next time we meet.

Throwback Thursday – Kind of hard to get behind it

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Maybe it’s only because I have three publications under my belt and no way to upload any of my pictures (I need to find the cord for my camera), but I’m having a hard time getting behind the spirit of throwback Thursdays. Could also be because the past has become the past. Kind of hard for me to discern the difference at this point.

Granted, I don’t see anything wrong with Throwback Thursdays. I love it when my favorite musicians, writers, and actors show off something amazing from their past on their roads to success. Today, I just don’t feel like I have anything to offer. No pictures of my time in Bremerton and Philadelphia or even here in Tulsa. I don’t even have any pictures of my time here in Tulsa.

Ah well! Maybe even in the future I’ll have something for Throwback Thursdays! In the meantime, I’ll just toss it forward!

Until the next time!

Writing Tip Wednesday – The Dreaded Male Pregnancy Story, aka Keeping It Real

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What does it mean to keep a story “real”? Why do so many writers insist upon this, even for genres like science-fiction and fantasy? It’s all make-believe, right? Anything goes, right?

The answer to this question is not exactly. Even in the realm of fantasy, there are limitations to what an author can do, mainly based on what readers will believe. There is always an underlying reason for what’s happening in a story.

For example, there are some short stories floating around focusing on digital erotica and dinosaur erotica. May seem farfetched, but the authors took themselves to task, wrote the stories, and found ways (I hope) for such stories to be plausible. (Maybe the main character had a bad batch of cocaine. One never knows until the story is read.)

To some, this might be proof that there’s nothing too far-fetched for publishing. I still maintain there are some things that an author simply can’t get away with in writing and expect the reader to believe without at least giving some kind of hint as to why it’s possible.

For example, let me refer to the Norse God of Mischief, Loki Laufeyson. In the surviving tales, Loki has gone on to not only father child but to bear them as well. In the surviving lore, in order to accomplish this, Loki had to change his gender. Due to the laws of nature, it was physically impossible for him to sleep with another man as a man and become impregnated. Though he was not of the human, there were still laws of nature that could not be broken.

In the fanfiction world, the fact that Loki is a shapeshifter and gender-shifter is not taken into account when writing about the births of his three well-known children, Fenris, Jorgmungandr, and Hela. It’s done because it was done in the myths so therefore okay.

I have said this before, and I will say it again. This is simply not true. This is like writing a human in an atmosphere that has no oxygen and is not wearing something to aid his or her breathing in a very decidedly hostile environment. It cannot be done, not without some plot hint as to why it’s being done. If the writer thrusts the reader into a confusing situation with no explanation as to why Event A is happening and how it will affect Events B, c, and D, then the writer’s cause is lost.

As for the aforementioned erotica styles, while the chances of me ever picking up such novels are slim to nothing, I’m quite certain the authors found ways to make their stories plausible. A character high on meth usually finds something weird is going on around him or her.

Book Review Tuesday – Still got nothing but I may have something soon!/What I’m Currently Reading

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Reading is a bit of a slow thing with me, thanks to work and writing, but I am making some progress on the works I’ve been attempting to read.

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon
The Age of Odin by James Lovegrove
Northern Mysteries and Magick: Runes and Feminine Powers by Freya Aswynn (an excellent source on runes for anyone interested in writing based in the Nordic myths and histories)

At this point, I’m almost finished with The Ramayana so next Tuesday, I should have some insights for everyone!!

Until tomorrow!