The One, The Only: Sphinx

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Androsphinx Egypt

Living statue with a lion body and human head, tells riddles.

  • Although labeled from Egypt, the sphinx as a whole can be found in many other countries, one being Greece. Since we’re so accustomed to the Great Sphinx of Giza, we tend to forget there are others out there.
  • This particular interpretation is symbolized as the incarnation of the Sun God, Ra.
  • More commonly seen with a lion’s body, it can be found to have a ram or even a hawk’s head. They each have different names and different origin tales!
  • The sphinx is seen as the protector of the land it watches. The body of the sphinx never changes but each head resembles that of what it protects. So, the androsphinx, compared to that of a Pharaoh…watched over the people.
  • Depending on where you are or which one you’re researching, the sphinx can be seen as a monster or keeper of knowledge. You choose which interpretation you decide to pursue

Hopeless [Audio] Romantic

On last week’s episode of Keeping Up With the Audio


♥ Judy Corry ♥

My Second Chance


Katerina Martinez & Tansey Morgan ♥

Scions and Sorcery


Nicole French

Legally Mine


Beth Labonte

Pumpkin Everything


Cecilia Lane

Forbidden Mate

Letting Characters Write Themselves

Writing is an experience which changes from person-to-person. Some are very straightforward: outline the work, write as they’ve planned, and stick to what they initially imagined. Others…this one is for you…let the writing take over. Some may let the characters do the writing for them. Even with an outline to give an overview of what’s to come, sometimes a character’s personality or background won’t allow what’s been planned to happen the way the writer may want. (And we don’t recommend forcing it!)

The character may become the author of their own story – you’re only the vessel!

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If you’re feeling as though your story is straying away from the original plan, don’t worry – this may come with purpose.

During the editing process, make sure everything links together. Even if your character takes the wheel and steers you in a new direction doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always going to be right! Nervous about taking the leap? Duplicate the document, re-read each chapter as it’s written, refer back to your notes and put your brain to work!

Writing doesn’t have to be a cut-dry part of your life; your characters have a story you’re destined to tell, so let them help you tell it.

The Grandma Snake

We know what you’re thinking: Grandma Snake? What the heck kind of myth is that?

It’ll make more sense as you read…


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Baba Yaga Russia

Mysterious old woman who floats around in a mortar.

  • The description may say a singular old woman, but this myth opens the possibility of running into not just one but three baba yagas (can it be plural?) Crazy part? They’re all equally as deformed and terrifying to look at it.
  • Not only does she float around in a mortar…she’s armed. With a pestle. The thing you use to grind stuff up in the mortar. Sounds like if you get her mad, you know what will happen to you.
  • She can be found in the forest, in a hut. Most people who come across her seek her out for a maternal role or something in relation to forest life. (Read some of the stories – they’re crazy!)
  • Baba Yaga may be seen as a villain, but she’s portrayed as a helper or ambiguous being in a story.
  • The meaning of her name varies (take a peek at the title again); baba has a variety of meanings, ranging from grandmother to sorceress. Yaga doesn’t have a clear translation but most believe it revolves around serpents.

This Week! (& Last Week!)

It’s been awhile since we’ve updated everyone on our recently published audio. This post is to serve as an update for the last couple of weeks, but things are going to be a bit different…

We’re going to start re-directing you to where the audio books can be purchased!

Without further ado, here they are!


Bree Livingston

Her Second Chance Billionaire Boyfriend


Eva Chase

Falling For Gods


Ivy Layne

Unraveled

Compromising the Billionaire

The Counterfeit Billionaire


BJ Harvey

Third Strike


London Lovett

Death in the Park


RK Lander

Path of a Novice

A Lady Bird Prophet

GamayunRussia

Prophetic bird with the head of a woman.

  • Perched on top of a pedestal of wisdom and knowledge, the gamayun speaks only of divine messages and prophecies.
  • She lives on an island; this particular island is considered to be paradise.
  • It might not seem like a paradise to us, though. She lives on this island alone. It might be due to wanting to separate herself away from humankind and other animals since she knows the demise of it all and wants to watch it all unfold.
  • Alongside another mythological creature, the Gamayun played a huge role in integrating Christianity into society.
  • A singer of hymns and all-knowing creature…the Gamayun still has her influence on Russia. She can even be found on the coat of arms for some towns!

Tickle Monster

You read that title correctly. We’re talking about a mythological creature who tickles his victims to death…not a way I want to go. We’re traveling to West Asia, and for the next four weeks, this is where we’ll stay.


 

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Şüräle Turkey

“Horned, woolly humanoid that tickles people to death.”

Basic Facts:

  • The Şüräle has long fingers (used for tickling), a horn on its forehead (like a unicorn), and a woolly body (similar to that of a sheep.) Somehow, this terrifying sounding creature lures people into the thicket of the forest it resides in and tickles them to death.
  • It can transform its body, usually into a human. The human will almost always have glowing eyes and wear its shoes backwards. Lo and behold, this may or may not be how they lure their victims in.
  • If you’re lucky enough, you can befriend the monster and learn the secrets to magic. People will make deals with it and gain the creature’s protection of livelihood and animal stock. Beware though…if the Şüräle doesn’t like you, they’ll make you ill or force you to get lost.
  • In a lighthearted way, the Şüräle can be a jokester; there’s a myth about them taking the axes of woodcutters and hiding them.
  • In order to get the Şüräle off your back if you come across it, you have to turn your clothes inside out and wear your shoes backwards.

Constant Evolving

 

Reading a collection of words, more commonly known as reading books, has been the oldest form of entertainment for the privileged. As time has gone on and reading has become necessary and accessible to more…and let’s be honest here, illiteracy is an issue and we should acknowledge that…we want to ask the question: what’s next?

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We have traditionally-printed novels, in the masses. There are eBooks, in the millions, for those who like to read on the run. The technology which has given us audiobooks makes it easier for those just as busy to listen and work, not losing out on the art of reading. Visual storytelling, choose-your-own adventure stories, Kindle in Motion…the list goes on!

But what technology is on the current rise? What can inspire the next generation of readers – to keep the act of reading alive?

Do you see yourself creating a robot, or purchasing one, to have creative discussions with about the books you’re reading? Or maybe using voice tech, we can pick and choose who we want to narrate the book we’re reading when it’s convenient for us.

What do you think is next? And what’s your favorite way or ways to read?

We want to hear!

Dancing Fireball

This week is our last week in Eastern Asia. Disregard the photo chosen for this week’s creature; there weren’t many options that really embodied what the creature is but there is very little to go on! You can be the judge.

Next week, we embark on mythological creatures deriving from Western Asia. Join us on our journey around the world!


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Santelmo | Philippines

“Spiritual presence in the form of a dancing orb of flame.”

Basic Facts:

  • The name santelmo translates to ‘St. Elmo’s fire.’ It is also referred to as ‘Santo Elmo.’
  • Recently, the fires seen dancing along have been debunked by scientists…even though these fires have been reported since the Spanish era (that’s almost 500 years ago!)
  • Where did the name St. Elmo come from? To be clear, St. Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. Whenever the weather phenomenon (which is what scientists have deemed the fire) occurred, sailors saw it as a good sign. That’s a bit scary to be called a good thing, if you ask me.
  • If the santelmo was inspired by a weather phenomenon which occurs at sea, what does the creature look like? The best description is as follows (from Cryptid wikia!):

St. Elmo’s fires have ranged from a ghostly dancing flame to natural fireworks. It usually is of a blue of bluish-white colour attached to fixed, grounded conductors and has a lifetime of minutes. The flame is heatless and non-consuming occasionally accompanied by a hissing sound. These latter properties prove the myths of a spiritual presence.

  • The ball of fire spirit can come from the spirits of those who die in a river, the sea or while it’s raining. These versions of the santelmo are dangerous. They’ll drown someone!

A Brief Guide to Shaping the Next Generation

What lesson do you think kids (we’re talking teens, tweens, and drama machines) these days need subconsciously taught to them? Is it something you remember neglecting when you were a little one yourself and regret wholeheartedly? Or maybe it’s something you were never taught! Writing a YA novel can open a door in a young adult’s mind which will start them on the road to success or down a path of self discovery.

One thing to remember in writing a story for a younger audience is you want to tap into their emotions. This is a time in one’s life where they’re channeling all sorts of feelings: some old, some new. They’re trying to sort things out and maybe, just maybe, your book can assist them along the way.

You know what else teenagers are trying to sort through? The latest trends. You don’t have to be a genius to know this one. You were a teen once, right? Remember how you wanted to go and grab the most popular pair of shoes or learn every word to the number one hit on the radio so you could scream along with your friends and not feel like an outcast? Utilize teen culture to cultivate your world, your characters, and your readers. Don’t rely on trends too heavily though – it’ll make for a bad YA novel. Mainly because you’ll hear in the back of your head, “Mooooooooom!/Daaaaaad!” in a whiny tone to stop trying to be cool. You want to be able to speak to your audience, eye-to-eye, and connect with them.

Speaking of an audience, know who you’re targeting! You should that for any book before you start writing but it’s easy to write a book about young adults rather than for young adults – catch my drift? For example, Stephen King’s IT is about young adults, tweens, whatever…but it’s written for an adult audience. Don’t aim for adults: know how your audience talks (don’t go crazy with slang either, it’s not that important), what they like, what issues they may encounter. You want to be able to relate, not have your reader feel like you’re talking about them to another adult right in front of them.

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Oh, and stereotypes. Tropes. Get rid of them. Or if you’re going to use them, please make the idea original. Please. The future leaders of the world are begging you to.