During the course of a meditation session earlier this week, I received what initially struck me as a strange reading from Tarot. In the three-card spread before me, I saw heartbreak, upheaval, and the suggestion to examine existing beliefs. The few days prior had been productive and positive, so I was quite taken aback by the cards.
But I trust Tarot.
And, of course, it hit me during my meditation.
These are themes prevalent throughout The Serrulata Saga!
Gathering of the Four begins when Leora discovers her adoptive family only wants to keep her around to hopefully turn a profit. The upheaval stars the moment she decides to run away from home. And as she races away, she is forced to examine what she believes deep down and has to reject feelings of worthlessness as she learns to survive outside of her home village of Mae.
My other three main characters come face to face with heartbreak, upheaval, and the rearrangement of their core beliefs, as well. It’s how The Four become, well…The Four.
As loyal fans of this blog may know, I wrote the first version of GOTF many, many years ago when I was a teenager. I joke about scribbling my angst onto the page (back then I didn’t have a computer and wrote by hand in a notebook) but there is something to be said about dealing with complex themes at such a young age. Has America as a whole ever taken teens seriously? I certainly didn’t feel heard when I was fifteen, and I wonder if The Serrulata Saga would exist if I had. Or maybe it would be a comedy instead of dystopian fiction. I have never had a desire to re-live my teen years or to return to high school (shudder) but I think perhaps Tarot wanted to remind me of where this story came from.
Since the pandemic, I have gotten into what I now think might be a rather dangerous habit. I forced myself to fill silence and focused on anything and everything that would distract me from sitting with my thoughts. At the time, it was an excellent coping mechanism. But I worry I have gone too far the other way. Now I struggle to be still. While I often yearn for quiet, it terrifies me when I do find solitude. But separating myself from media and people allowed me to create Leora and Roland and Aurora and Leopold. Embracing heartbreak, affecting dramatic change, and questioning my core beliefs set me on the path to becoming the writer I am today.
So as I look ahead to planning Book Three, I aim to find a balance. No, I don’t plan on wallowing or shutting myself away from the world (as much as I sometimes wish I could) but I will strive to remember where I was mentally all of those years ago. I do not at all wish to revive my dark teenage mind, but forcing uncomfortable memories away isn’t the answer for me, either.
And I have Tarot to thank for that.
A new sci-fi genre? Intriguing!
I subscribe to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It’s one of my favorite publications and I love receiving the physical copy and clutching it in my hands as I read. I’m exposed to new writers from diverse backgrounds, and I was very pleasantly surprised to learn about a new sci-fi genre in the July/August issue. One of the stories, The Pet of Olodumare by Joshua Uchenna Omenga and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, is part of Afropantheology—a new genre created by Ekpeki. According to the blurb before the story, Ekpeki announced this at the ICFA 44, where he was a guest of honor. I both enjoyed the story and am excited to learn more about this new genre!
Tagging reviews on Insta
No, I’m not going to rehash what has been said over and over about tagging authors – especially indie authors – in negative reviews.
Those of you who follow me on Insta know I’m all about positivity, promotion, and fun. What I am going to start doing is tagging authors in my Stories who get 4 or 5 stars from me. I’m elated when people do this with my books and I want others to feel that joy, as well.
I had been holding off because I wasn’t certain others would appreciate it, but I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback when I have tagged, so that will be my default from now on.
So, look out fellow indies! You might just wind up in my Stories. (And if you have any suggestions for indie books I might like, you can of course email me. Yes, you can hype your own work!)
Be seeing y’all!