Friday, October 21, 2011

Jesus Potter Harry Christ

Just taking a moment to post a blog entry because I made Laura promise to smote me if I did not.  I don't have it in me to continue the story of my teacup body at this time but I will eventually.  Right now I'm busy with life and writing.  Primarily I'm trying to figure out how to pay my bills doing things I like while not having to work so much that I don't have time to write.  Yep, that's all.  Anyhow, I am rewriting my novel Windfall (for the nth time) and I'm about halfway now so it's coming along but I have set myself goal after goal that I keep missing.  The next one is December.  That is why I am not around blogging or tweeting or whatever things I ought to be doing.  Once I finish my rewrite I'll feel more bloggish.

I am currently reading an interesting book - as is Laura - called Jesus Potter Harry Christ by Derek Murphy. This book isn't about Harry Potter or even about Harry Potter being a Christ allegory.  No.  It's about the symbolism that underlies all mythic stories.  Murphy proposes a source for these symbols.  He suggests that the common symbols that show up throughout all human civilizations for thousands of years and their equally similar stories all stem from astrological features and the pattern of the sun, moon and the planets.  I am not an atheist, as this author seems to be, but I love what he's put together in this book.  It's so interesting. The information he presents is a really concise way to get a lot of mythical and symbolical information and I do recommend it.  I mention it here because I think other authors could use the symbols and structure of world myth in their work and this book with its silly, trendy title is a good source of basic mythic structure, the roots of mysticism and symbolism.  While I find it almost humorous that he would suggest that it's just a giant coincidence that man looked up at the stars and found the same constellations and stories written up there, I will say that the overview of the stories and their link to the procession of the stars and planets is utterly awesome info.

It's interesting to note that Laura and I approach this issue of symbolism and plot in two different ways. I am always looking for ways to structure my plots and morals around symbolism and myth.  She is not.  However, I am confident that both methods will bring similar results.  Try or not, we both connect with the collective unconscious in our writing.  I have seen too many pieces of evidence for it to be a coincidence. I enjoy finding evidence of Laura's connection with the collective.  And I surprise myself with things I develop seemingly on my own, only to find interesting ancient stories that parallel my thinking in some curious way.

Sometimes I hear people complain, "Now days the stories aren't anything new." They might even say, "It's a sign the end of the world is coming."  I also love the phrase, "There's nothing new under the sun."  I suspect it is probably all true.  And I don't think we should feel jaded about it.  I don't think it's a symptom of 2011 but of 40ish.  What I mean is that once a human reaches a certain age, whether it be 40 or 50 or so, he or she starts to notice that the stories sound just like the ones they loved 20 or 30 years ago.  And it feels like the stories they heard 30 years ago were new and the ones they are hearing now are lacking in originality.  I propose that it isn't a symptom of 30 years of history but of 7,000 or 70,000 even.  The human story is just the human story and all its variables lead to the same thing in the end.  I won't bring you down by mentioning it by name... cough  *grim reaper* cough.  This does not mean, however, that the process of creating new stories is worthless, just tricky and tricky in a good sort of delicious, wonderful way.  As authors our challenge is to keep the same stories seeming fresh.  It's easy to write something new for a 16 year old, but can we do it for a 45 year old?  And odds are, one jaded 45 year old is our agent and another is our editor... so we better figure it out.

I like to give blessings at the end of my blogs. I'm not really sure why but it always seems like the right thing to do.

So for you, authors extraordinaire,
may each story you write
feel fresh to the core
even to the most jaded
of super agents. 



Donelle Lacy said...

The author of that book sounds like he has an interesting perspective, though I might not agree with his religious standpoint either.

Symbolism in literature is always such a fun thing to discuss. I guess we humans always seek to find deeper meaning, and to analyze everything to death to find the whys of it all. It's something to do, and I'm fascinated by it.

You're right that it's not easy to write 'fresh' stories anymore. Everything seems to have been done, but the key really is to take a little from several sources and paint your own individual picture with it. At least that's what I try to do. So many things inspire us, and no one else has quite the same perspective we do. If we can manage that much, AND make it something the jaded editors and agents like, then we've got it in the bag. But it's certainly not an easy feat!

Thanks for the post! Good luck with the rewrite!

Laura said...

Murphy seems to be tying all the myths back to astrology, which is an interesting take. I happen to believe more in the concept of the collective unconscious, simply because even nowadays, without a good study of the skies or even other mythologies, humans tend to draw the same conclusions.

Erin mentioned that she enjoyed seeing that coming out in my writing, and I agree that there is too much evidence for it to be simply coincidence. I can't tell you how many times I've written something, only to find that I've accidentally included symbolism.

So following that, it's truly hard to come up with anything original, sure, BUT...

We all seem to have the same instincts or innate desires for how a story should be told and how it should turn out. So I guess if we can't be truly original, we all have it in us to be truly satisfying. ;)

Donelle Lacy said...

I gave you two the Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out HERE to pick it up.