That Is All

Though today was a rougher day of writing (took me too many hours to admit to get to my final count of 1899), I just wanted to share this song. It kinda sums up what my writing brought me. Yes. Assume there will be yummy sexiness in my novel, I’m very, very much a proponent for sexuality being sacred, being very much tied to ecstasy and those delicious mind-opening circumstances that happen when things get a little crazy, and of course, sexy.

I reiterate, Odin is in this story, how could it not get a little sexy?

 

Also, thank you, LA for introducing me to the Civil Wars ❤

 

Week One Finished NaNoWriMo

It’s been one week of NaNoWriMo so far, and I have been on a role! After having successfully completing last year’s run, I already know I can write a lot, there is enough inspiration in me to spew forth All. The. Words. Why I chose the word “spew”, I do not know. Let’s move on.

I always do this to myself, but I have forgotten how much writing (among other creative endeavours) speaks to my soul. It may take a while for me to get into a scene, but when I hit the groove, I am basically going into a trance. And since this story of mine involves the Gods, I am also listening and feeling whatever direction they want me to go in. It’s been such an amazing exploration for me so far, letting this story unfold, letting things develop and present themselves in my writing.

I’m really enjoying describing sensual experience, the way my MC observes and experiences the world and people around her. This is especially true when she straddles the worlds. The one thing I’m still struggling a bit with is the characters, writing them complexly without making them contrary. Each day, I have ideas about all the potential paths the story could travel if my characters were “this way”, or what if they were a little more “like this”.  It’s only been yesterday and today that I’ve kinda begun to accept a more solid personality for them. I’m not worried about it not meshing with the earlier stuff I wrote though, that’s what editing and rewriting is for! Plus, keeping track of what I write every day in a plot map.

As much as I had planned in October, a lot of the plot has changed. The main plot points are still firmly in place, but the story itself has gotten so much darker than I originally planned it to be, but hey, Odin is one of the main characters, how could it not get dark and dangerous? Not to mention Who else will be popping in.
I’m definitely not regretting planning out as much as I did, it allowed me to begin exploring early ideas sooner, and for a few weeks before beginning. But it definitely seems like I need to sit down to write to see what’s actually going to happen.

Welp, I said I’d maybe post excerpts, and here is the first one! If you like it, let me know! If you think it’s a big pile of poop, also let me know! 😉

She was dressed as shieldmaiden now, a terror to see. Her hair seemed to flow as if in water around her, creating a copper glow as the sun shone through each strand behind her. Her eyes were furious, and their gaze bore into my very being.

It was as if every human part of me was being stripped away, my hopes, my fears, my loves, my memories. Each piece revealing the bones of me, the bones of her. I couldn’t have screamed if I had wanted to, she had taken my voice, my eyes, my ears. In a moment that lasted but seconds, and an eternity. I was before her, not seeing her or any of this world, just knowing it, viscerally. All of my flesh burnt to ashes, but I could feel those ashes coming back to me, reconstituting, rebuilding. My flesh clean, pure.

When I was whole once more, I stood before her, the rage in her steeled, she pulled out a short blade, sharp, and slid the point from the base of her palm to the tip of her middle finger. She took my right hand and did the same. She then grasped my hand with her own, and then I felt her moving through me as I moved through her. A flash of what must have been my ancestors so very long ago, being with these Gods, laughing with them, fighting alongside them, calling them kin.

I saw their marriages, their lovemaking, their children. Their blood flowed together, for generations. Both sides strengthened by the bonds, humans connected to all that was beyond their world in Midgard, to see that though their life was short on that plain, they would be reborn again and again, their spirit immortal. The Gods able to enjoy each day as it came, viewing their long lives with the eyes of a mortal being’s, allowing themselves to not become indifferent and stagnant.

Inspiration

So the first two days of writing for NaNoWriMo are over (actually, I could still want to write later, though I don’t want to burn myself out). Today is also a “longer” day, cuz of daylight savings, you know. Anyway, it’s been pretty great. I have written just about 5000 words today alone (I also wanted to catch up since I didn’t meet yesterday’s goal since we had a family thing).

I love the beginning of things, I am a good starter of projects. My problem is when I’m just over half way through and things seem to dry up and become a slog for me. The well can’t always be full, and that’s fine. And sometimes we also need breaks, which is also fine. But I do know my patterns, that’s for sure, they have become increasingly clear over the last few years, especially as my memory has gone to crap. Ah well… I always endeavour to do better, and am not too harsh on myself if I take longer than I would like.

But back to happy writing things, I am really enjoying writing this. I still have to get a better hold of who my main characters are, who I want them to be and how they need to interact with each other, but the other details are coming through nicely. Some new developments have already come about, deeper plot roots, and some not so nice things that will eventually happen.

Needless to say, I feel inspired, and happy to be finally writing the damned story, FINALLY! After all my planning. Perhaps next time (I may do my own “write a novel in a month” periodically, or at least one other time during the year), I will only start planning one month ahead, instead of two.

I’m also not letting myself get caught on things I know don’t sound like I really want them to, and I just keep plugging. It’s a first draft. It’s going to suck in places, probably the better part of it! Especially seeing as I am not usually a teller of my own stories.

The one thing that has made me a little apprehensive is that I am writing about Gods, the main character must work with Them in order to save Midgard and the livelihoods of all beings of the 9 worlds. No she’s not the sole savior, there are others who are like her (I don’t like the sole savior thing). But back to my apprehension, the character of Odin in my story is so far quite different from what I feel most people see him as, but I do know there will be some shifts from time to time to the “Odin” most know and fear. Alas, I’m just going from what it seems He wants to be seen in this, as a character, and as an aspect of Who He can be. Let’s face it, He can be Anyone He wants, He has but to put on the mask.

There will of course be many travels to quite a few of the 9 worlds, magick, and I already know if I enjoy this story enough, it will move beyond the Norse pantheon. This has been quite a different experience from last year’s, and I’m excited to see how well it goes. I want to know this story, all the details I haven’t glimpsed yet.

Just Be

Just to mark this down to remember it, to let it sink in. Something that has been Said over and over to me when I ask whatever it is I “should” be doing….

“Just be”

That’s it. There’s nothing else other than encouragement for the things I already pursue, and pursue them with the knowledge that the Gods want to be read about, heard about, Their stories made to inspire weather in story or song, to become more and more prevalent in the world. Otherwise, whatever I’m doing now is where I’m supposed to be.

I have a terrible habit of trying to overachieve (only in the things I really love), however in the past couple of years, that has been a hard thing to do, especially when it involves other human people. I often say I would do something, only to not do it. There is usually one big reason why things don’t happen. Home. That is where I usually always want to be, wherever it may be. And when I go out, I don’t want many people around me. Looking in, judging, offering unsolicited comments or advice. That is reserved for people I love.

It has also occurred to me that in not doing things I said I would do, I needed to say no to the things I am just no longer comfortable doing. Sometimes I think I’m selfish, however, I remember that despite making myself unavailable to a large amount of people, doing things that make me anxious or uncomfortable, I am still very much there for the few people I choose to be there for. There are a few I have lost touch with a bit, not of my own will, but sometimes life just happens and things are harder to do from far away than they are when you’re minutes away. That given, I would also still do what I need to for them even with the distance.

It seems very strange to me now that I wanted to be famous (though I think we all do when we are young). I love being onstage, even to this day I would have no problem going up. I would just rather skip all the small talk afterwards. At least with working with other musicians, we can really talk about the nitty gritty of the music, of our parts. But people in general, acquaintances, just don’t interest me.

I’m a hermit, and that’s ok for now until it changes. Everything changes. I’m pursuing creative things, and really, most artists (of any sort) are reclusive. How could we produce things if we weren’t?
So here it is, Mia, you’re allowed to just be. Not only because you’ve been Told, but because it is normal. You are doing enough. You have planned enough to be busy for a good while. You are just gathering your resources to do what you have planned, and actually, things are already in motion. And sometimes, though you hate the uncertainty of things, and the not doing of things, you just need to take the time to reflect, to soak in what has happened, and allow things to move forward naturally. So just be.

Story Weaving Once More

So, the darkness has lifted quite a bit and I’m excited and engaged in things again. If you’ve seen anything from me on Twitter in the last week, you’ll know I’m preparing to give NaNoWriMo another whirl this year (that’s National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who don’t know about it yet).

I’ve spent the last week employing the Snowflake method, albeit a slightly abbreviated version of it, to pre-plan my novel this year. Last year’s was a write by the seat of my pants go, and while I really enjoyed doing it that way, just allowing things to unfold from the pits of my mind, I did end up planning things out as I went along anyway. So I figured I’d try it with a plan in place this time, although it’s not going to be super rigid and allows me some flexibility to play around with some things.

So today, I’ve been making a list of the scenes I’d like to write, and by doing that, I’ve discovered something else that will be unfolding within the story, which I am very happy about. I have to say, how this one is developing, I’m really quite excited to just read the story as I write it. I want to know what is going to happen, I want to see the relationships develop, I want to see how these characters are going to struggle and learn. I just want to know the story already!

I’ll divulge a little and tell you that it’s kind of a blend of fantasy, alternate history, and romance. Gods are involved, and I’ve already got some expansion into more than one pantheon in mind for a subsequent novel. I’m even thinking it may turn into a trilogy, you know, because that’s just what you do, and I can already see where I can take the essential story and expand into a greater and greater view of the world.

Needless to say, I’m anxiously awaiting November to begin so I can dive right into the deep end. I’m also upping the word count I’d like to achieve this year. Last year I did the standard 50,000, and this year, I’d like to up it to 60,000. We shall see what becomes of it!

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man - Jamie Batrez

The Hanged Man – Jamie Batrez

The Fool’s Journey
Now the Fool has come upon a tree, intent on finding his spirituality. He sits down at the base of the tree, and days pass, people and animals move past him, the sun, moon, and stars cross the sky above him for nine days. He takes no food in this time. On that ninth day, with no forethought or logic to what he is doing, he climbs up the tree and hangs himself upside down.
His entire perspective of the world has changed, all that he knows he is is surrendered in the moment. This new perspective has allowed him to perceive his current state of hanging between the worlds of earth and spirit. He knows he will not be able to stay in this state forever, but he enjoys this moment of weightlessness.
When he finally allows himself to return to the earthly world, things will be changed for him. He will have to act on his knowledge and wisdom.

Meaning
Now is a time for rest, but only from action. We suspend ourselves upside down, and therefore apart from the world around us so that we can go inward to the infinite universe within each of us. Meditation, sacrifice, trials, prophecy, and selflessness; these are what we are facing right now in order for us to gain the knowledge, insight, and enlightenment that is needed at this time.
Just as Odin sacrificed Himself on the tree for the runes, great magical knowledge and ability, we must set ourselves apart and seek out the solutions to our problems, the price the sacrifice pays for.

Norse Runes – Ansuz

 

Odin - Lynn Perkins

Odin – Lynn Perkins

 

Ansuz
“Anne-sooz”

Translation
Literally: the As, the ancestral God, or Odin
Associated: breath, ancestral sovereign God

Meaning
When Ansuz shows up in a reading, it is a time to be on the lookout for messages and communications. You could be just about to receive some information, or the Rune could be telling you to be mindful of your communication skills with other people. Be open and aware of the words you hear and the words you choose to convey your thoughts, use your intelligence and wisdom.

It is also a rune of inspiration, of that ecstasy that allows inspiration to flow in. Remember, it is connected to Odin, and He is the very epitome of ecstasy. Connected to this inspiration is also poetry, voice, chanting, singing, songspells, language. The tools we use to convey whatever inspires us.

Touching on the ancestral aspect of this Rune, it is the breath of the ancestral line that we take in for the first time when we are born, given to us by our Ancestors. It is also exhaled the last time before we die, given back to our ancestral line, ready for the next life.

Reversed or Merkstave

It goes without saying that Ansuz reversed denotes misunderstandings, miscommunications. You will not be able to receive clear information at this time, whether that is because you cannot understand it at this point, or because someone is being dishonest.
This isn’t a time to debate or reach a decision as you will not have the right information.

Inspiration is blocked, and words fail you.

Ansuz reversed also reminds us that we may have many words to describe something, but it doesn’t mean that those words are said thing. Can we not experience something we have no words for?

PBP – Odin on the Tree

Odin Hanging on the World-Tree - Franz Stassen

Odin Hanging on the World-Tree – Franz Stassen

“I ween that I hung on the windy tree,
Hung there for nights full nine;
With the spear I was wounded,
and offered I was To Othin, myself to myself,
On the tree that none may ever know
What root beneath it runs.”

-from the Hávamál in the Poetic Edda

Odin, in His insatiable need for knowledge, for power, spent nine days and nine nights dangling from Yggdrasil. Wounded by spear, accepting no food or drink. In a very shamanic initiatory way, He gave up who He was to become Who He was intended to be. He was willing to spend the time and painfully prove His worth to the Runes which resulted in Their revealing Themselves to Him. He succeeded and came to know the insights and magic of the Runes which only the Norns could employ at that point, They Who carve the symbols into the roots of Yggdrasil, sending magic along the Tree to produce the desired effect in all the Nine Worlds. It was this knowledge and power the Norns have, more powerful than any other, to affect the destiny of all who inhabit the Nine Worlds, that He longed for, needed in order to secure His position as King. In order to attempt halting Ragnarok.
He does not shy from the difficult things.

In making of Himself a sacrifice, His blood and will flowed down into Urd’s Well, feeding the Tree, allowing Himself to flow through root and limb. He became part of the Tree in this, I believe, and a key unto Himself to travel all of the worlds. There would be no place could bar Him, because He was now part of all places on the Tree. He could not keep Himself from Himself. This also allowed for even more knowledge to be attained, as we know He loves to don His masks, befriending those He meets, discovering their secrets, since His travels would now take Him anywhere He wished.

As ruthless as He can be to gain knowledge, He does not keep it to Himself, He shared the knowledge of the Runes with the other Aesir, and we now know Them as well. I feel like He wants us to know as much as we possibly can, knowledge from those who teach, books, and experience can only help to widen our perception of the world, our acceptance of such varied things and beliefs and behaviours, to continue becoming better than we are. And yes, of better use to Him, if we are called to Him. But generally, to be of better use to any God, Spirit, or Ancestor, and the rest of our own human society, our communities.
When we share our own insights and wisdoms, the pool deepens for others, if not to expand upon, then to enjoy and share with another who may yet bring it to new depths.

PBP – Journeying & Validation

Peggy's Cove - Miaerowyn © 2014

Peggy’s Cove – Miaerowyn © 2014

Lately a lot of what’s been on my mind has been the peculiar need for validation, especially when it comes to the experience of communicating with Gods and Spirits of all sorts. As an aside, communicating can take any form, it’s not all about just words or visions.

Journeying has become a big part of my own practice, even though I know I’ve barely scratched the surface. At first, like anything, I was unsure of what I was experiencing, if it was just the sock puppets I have created in my own mind when it came to encountering entities. As time goes by, I recognize more easily when I am playing with those mental sock puppets, and when I am actually communicating with an entity. I recognize as well when I am creating something that I ‘see’, and when I am actually encountering a landscape and entity that is a genuine communication.

Discerning between the two can be very difficult, and I admit sometimes to over-thinking it and disbelieving that it was ‘real’. However, I have been Told that whether it is ‘real’ or is not ‘real’ doesn’t really matter, as long as it nourishes me in the way that I seek. I stick to that idea, because just meandering around in my own inner landscape is beneficial, I do self work in there, and that’s a wonderful thing. A lot of the time, it is relaxing, and inspiring, it recharges my batteries. But when Something outside of myself presents something to me, it nourishes in another way, not greater or lesser than doing my own inner work. It is simply a communication from Someone that spurs me towards something They wish me to pursue, with the added benefit of confirming my path and rendering me in awe.

From the past few posts I’ve written, you can see I’m not one for relying on others and their opinions much. I do find myself sometimes very much in need some sort of validation (just like everyone) of if the things I am doing are right, or if the things I am experiencing are real. As far as experiences go, no one else can tell me that they are real. I have learned not to put stock into ‘realness’, but to place it in the value I find, the lessons, the knowledge, the wisdom, the comfort, and even the discomfort. Nothing else matters, and the more I continue to hone my skills, the more I know I will get from it, as I hope to find focus in what I need to be giving in return for the wonder and fulfillment that is having relationships, or even just brief moments of contact with Them. I understand seeking advice and validation from other humans, however, no other human can verify that where your path is leading you is correct in any which way, or that Who you might end up meeting and interacting with is ‘real’ or correct to their vision of said Being.

To elaborate on the Who bit, in terms of the Gods, especially ones who are known for donning many masks, another human who interacts with the same God cannot possibly tell you that the mask you see isn’t valid. I would question someone who seems to just want to say “well my God communication penis is bigger than yours,” and generally just wants to show off about how much more magical and pagan and witchy and amazing they are, otherwise, I believe the Gods appear to us as we need Them to be. The way in which Odin has come to me is not in a way I have ever seen depicted anywhere, and yet, I know it is Him. He has even appeared in a few different guises, yet in each one, He is Odin.

While I am so lucky and happy to be able to communicate now (I think Odin had a hand in opening my head up), it wasn’t always so. I’ve been on this path for 14 years now, and have only in the last year been able to connect. I know if things were different and I was still unable, my faith and belief in Deities and Spirits would be there yet. It’s a comforting thought that shows me my spirituality does not rely on any one other than myself, and that seems right to me as each individual person’s experience of spirituality is quite different from the next.

So seek out the techniques and the advice on how to perform them, as many of them are ancient and have worked for thousands of years; seek community with those who are on similar paths, but know that at the end of the day, we are experiencing different things from one person to the next.