Several More Chapters

The Risen God      I got in several more chapters of The Risen God today (here’s the facebook page). It’s up to 58,000 words and looks like it’ll end up being around 150,000 by the end of it. I’ve really heard when people have said that certain books weren’t developed enough. I had always thought I was “way too wordy” so I was actually relieved by the “negative” comments that allowed me the freedom to be as wordy as I feel I need to, in order to get the story across as fully as I desire to!

This is the beauty of negative book reviews (although I can say that I rarely get any genuinely horrible, mean ones, thank goodness)… you can learn from them if the person giving the review is willing to take the moment to explain why they gave them. It’s a gift, even if right in that moment you don’t feel like it is.

I still remember those negative comments, most of which centered around my Guardian of the Abyss book. They are very freeing, as odd as that might sound. I loved the book, but I, myself, actually felt disappointed because I didn’t feel like I could go into everything and develop the characters as I wanted to!

So, to fellow writers… don’t be afraid of negative comments. Let go of the desire to win with everyone–no one can. Look at the criticism and ask yourself, “What is the gift this person is trying to give me?” or “How is this person trying to help me so that more people will enjoy my books?”

Questions like these are very freeing. Remember, you’re a story teller. So tell yourself whatever story you want to about that negative review. Tell yourself “this person hates me!” if you want to… or tell yourself, “This person wants to help me, so how does this do that?” if you want to. YOU get to choose what story you tell yourself about anything that anyone says to you.

And readers… please, take a moment to write a review. It matters. It matters so much more than you will ever guess at. It encourages the author. If you like his or her books… comment. Because the more motivated we are to keep writing, the more likelihood you’ll get more books to enjoy!

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Psychopomp

A cold wind roars through the rafters. Inside the house, there is the sparkle of glitter and the sound of your grandchildren. Your bones ache with the cold and you’re feeling your age today. The food has lost its flavor and you barely ate, but you feel no sting of hunger.

You feel just a little off today. Old resentments and memories are digging at the edges of your mind–they’ve been doing that lately. You feel sad and depressed, and you can’t really pin down why.

Then, you hear it. Beyond the sound of the holiday show on the television, beyond the moaning wail of the wind, you hear it.

From the forest, so far from your home, you hear the triumphant sound of The Hunt. You sit up and your head swivels towards the sound. One of your grandchildren heard it, too, you notice; but she goes back to watching her show.

Slowly, stiffly, you rise to your feet. To each of your children, you gently speak, all resentments forgotten… You’ve heard the horn. You know what it means, even if they don’t.

You pick up the phone and call that one person you could never forgive. No one picks up, so you leave a message that grants forgiveness… and asks for it.

Then you lie down, looking around you. Peace comes over you. It will happen tonight. You won’t rise in the morning. You look around your room, and you smile… and cry. There are so many memories in this house. So many stories hidden within its walls–if only they could speak.

The thunder of your own heart roars in your ears… blending with the thunder of hooves. The horn sounds again, and you slip from your body. Looking back at it, you feel gentleness and joy overcome you. Walking through the walls of your home, incorporeal and insubstantial now, you find yourself standing before a God.

His visage is the Universe itself, encapsulated in Death.

You can feel his welcome and his smile. To your great surprise, he bows formally to you. Returning the gesture, you join others, and find that you can keep up easily on this Hunt. You run, free and filled with joy. At the end of this run shall be Paradise. You know it now, as you never did while you yet lived.

For you, there will be a time of rest. A time of immense peace and joy while you watch those you love live out their lives.

In the wake of the Psychopomp and his Hounds, you run and laugh with the others until you arrive at the gates of Annwyn. There, for a moment, you hesitate. You turn to look back at Gwynn.

“I heard the horn. I told them I loved them.”

You feel his smile, his pleasure, and his pride. “It is a good death,” is his response.

You smile back. “Yes,” you agree. “I wouldn’t have known, without it. I might not have gotten to say the only thing that really matters.”

He turns to go, but you have one thing left to say…

“Thank you.”

He pauses for a moment, and then leaps away to search out the rest of the souls that await the gates of Annwyn. No more needs be said, for you understand his urgency. And… his purpose.

 

——————-

 

The Risen God (Currently Under Construction 😀 )

Gwynn ap Nudd is the Master of the Hunt. A mighty God, his job is like that of any psychopomp… lead souls to the Afterlife for a time of rest and restoration.

But dark forces have trapped him beneath the ground. For centuries, he has lain, neither dead nor alive… unable to free himself.

When at last he is dug up, he must retrieve all that makes his work possible in the world. In the meantime, he must work to protect the woman who resurrected him, bringing him back from his living death.

Pagan Blog Project

Since my current writing project (which will extend most likely for years) is related to Celtic Mythology, I am joining the Pagan Blog Project. http://paganblogproject.com/

It has been instrumental in helping me get a view of “real life” practices in religions that don’t include only what I was raised on. I hope that, if you have any interest in ancient Celtic God/desses, you will check it out. It isn’t exclusive to Celtic beliefs, but it does touch on a lot of practical application and lend a greater understanding to ancient religions.

An interesting and wide-ranging resource for anyone interested in learning more about practical life paths that don’t include one of The Big Three religions (or five, for that matter :p).

The Risen God by Shannon Phoenix

The book I’m currently working like mad on is currently called The Risen God.

So far as I know, my background is English or Irish. Possibly Scottish. Either way, with what little I know of my family history, at least some of my ancestors are from that area. I’ve always felt a pull towards that area, and thus I have decided to begin my ‘gods’ series with one of the most compelling ones from that area. I suspect that many of them will be from that area.

Something that is not talked about at all is how many of us white people have also lost our own heritages and backgrounds. I am not out to demonize Christians or their religion, I am simply stating a fact when I say what I am about to: Christianity in its early incarnation wiped out multitudes of other cultures–and many of them were white cultures.

The Irish, the Welsh, the English, the Scottish… they all had their own religions, their own culture, even their own writing. The Christians tried at that time to claim that they brought writing to the Isles, but this is not true. The druids (the ‘educated’ of the Isles) had a form of writing called Ogham well before the Roman Christian conquerors came.

So my first book in the Gods and Goddesses series centers around Gwyn ap Nudd. This ancient God was the Welsh God of the Hunt. His job was that of a psychopomp… meaning that he led forgotten or lost… or evil… souls to the Afterlife.

In The Risen God, the first in the series, Gwyn is found buried in a pasture by Terry. Terry is an average woman. There’s nothing special about her. She’s not psychic, she’s not the reincarnation of someone he loved. She’s just a typical American woman going about her day…. when she finds something extraordinary.

Now, Gwyn must find his Horn, fetch his horse and his hounds, and ride again. The fate of mankind rests upon the psychopomps being found and being able to do their jobs again. The gates to Annwyn (paradise) are degrading, and soon souls will be entirely unable to return home between reincarnations. And there will be no more choice in reincarnation thereafter–all souls will be trapped eternally on what will rapidly become a desolate planet upon which only a few will appear to thrive–even as the evil that rots their souls grows.

But that evil has had a lot of time to plot and plan. And even as Gwyn begins to search for his Horn, his Horse, and his Hounds, he continually finds himself stymied by the long-term planning of an encroaching evil.

The resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd is symbolic, certainly; as he was not dead. Yet it is symbolic on two levels, for the resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd into common culture is past its time. All of us whose cultures were destroyed have a right to our heritage; to pride in that heritage, and to resurrect that heritage.

So I welcome back Gwyn, God of the Hunt, God of the Dead. May you once more, in the minds of mankind, usher the dead home.

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