Thursday, February 09, 2012

Object Personification, or something like that...

I have a messy office,I admit it. But, it's my mess, and I do sort of, go through it now and then. It's a cave, and one might consider it Aladdin's cave of strange and unusual objects, some of which possess magical qualities. To someone else, looking at my office, it likely would be with a sense of horror on how much...stuff or junk to them...I have crammed into such a small space. I look around and I see things that matter. Things with energy, magical, creative energy. I see them differently than what another person will see them.

Sometimes when I write, I like to have images around to inspire me. Sometimes those images end up being three-dimensional items that I pick up that I think inspire me. The first thing that inspired me to write a swan-shifter story was an small snippet of an article that I read in Renaissance Magazine. The article had to do with the discovery of a shrine or temple where it was thought that they had once worshipped swans. I was intrigued. I pulled out my trusty "Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols" by J.C. Cooper, to look up the symbology for swans, as I tend to have a feeling that certain images, or totems come into one's life for a reason. So I looked up, "Swan." It says...

"Combining the two elements of air and water, the swan is the bird of life; the dawn of day; solar. It also signifies solitude and retreat and is the bird of the poet; its dying song is the poet's song; its whiteness is sincerity."

Thus the idea for a story began to emerge, and Swan's Lake was born.

A sensual tale of seductive shifters, good vs. evil, and dark, enchanted lust vs. a unique, pure and passionate love in the magical world of Valliana. Managing to free herself from a brutal captor, Martine, a swanshifter, escapes through the swan arch landing in the enchanted world of Valliana...

So how does this tie in with the objects in my office? Swans--the image of that beautiful, graceful creature. I like visiting second-hand stories for inspiration. I can find some pretty cool stuff there. Hence, I have several "swans" resident in my cave. But they can't just be decorative, they do have to make themself useful, particularly once the story is completed. They have to find their place because space is limited.

I found several swan planters--small ones. One of them has become my pencilholder and sits on my desk. With that long neck, she's also agreed to collar any stray rubberbands, the sort I use for banding my index cards and such. She was sitting on a store shelf, cast out and with nowhere to go. I picked her up ran my fingers across her glossy feathers, and that long elegant neck, considered her, listened to her, and finally decided the orphaned Swann would thrive and do very nicely in my magical cave. Though she has rather an aloof sort of personality, so far, she 's made herself very useful and is a positive addition to the atmosphere.

But she didn't arrive alone. Although Swann requires center stage, on the other side of the room nests a tiny little creature--Thumbelina Swan. Thumbelina has made herself useful by holding mementos from a recent trip, of small, fluffy peacock feathers I'd gathered while in Florida. Thumbelina isn't fond of being alone, so next to her stands her guardian faerie, Blue. Blue was a gift to me from my daughter. Thumbelina displays, Blue stays nearby, within whispering distance and quite a close relationship has developed between the two. Though I can't get either of them to dust the shelf. Seems no one in the office has a passion for dusting. Even me. Oh, well. On occasion we have no choice. I tried to give them at least a once-over before photographing them. They weren't very happy with me. Blue stuck her nose in the air, hands on hips and says, "Dust particles are just important as the rest of us, you know. You're making them very angry." Yes, I could tell, as I erupted into a fit o sneezing. Enough. I swept the little goblins on their way, at least for now.

Thumbelina and Blue take their job very seriously and guard their space closely. On the other side of Thumbelina sits the blue turtle, Mozy, head reared as Mozy surveys his surroundings, reminding me to go ever forward at my own pace, doing it my own way, because that's the surest way to get to my destination. Blue reminds me that there are worlds unseen, but nevertheless they do exist, I just need to be open to seeing them. Thumbelina reminds me even the smallest, tiniest speck of an idea can grow into something momentous and glorious like Swann.

And the feathers, which came from walks on the beach early in the morning remind me to slow down, breathe deep, and look around, listen closely. There is beauty to be found in the world around me. There are ideas in every object. There's energy and stories to be told, I need to just stop and listen, and look with different eyes, be open to a new way of seeing.

My cave is filled with wondrous objects, each has a story all its own, each object within these walls means something special to me. To the outside it just looks like a mess and mix of weird stuff, to me this is where magic happens.

An excerpt from Swan's Lake.

“She is very beautiful.”

Reynaldo couldn’t look away from the view of the serene lake surrounded by the lush forests. So different from the barren fields and fallow grounds on the other side of the estate.

At one time, the lake had been just as stagnant as the dried up land. Before she came. But only the lake and the surrounding woodlands seemed to have been affected by her magical appearance.

He felt Satrius’s presence behind him, but Reynaldo was focused on the beauty of the swan who was about to take flight. He watched as her powerful wings extended and she glided across the lake, her mirror image reflected in the shimmering, clear blue water, and finally soared into the air. His gaze was glued to the arc of her neck as she stretched out, and he could almost feel the wind against his own face, the freedom of the sky as he followed the perfect symmetry of her form. He felt his soul reach out to her, yearning to soar with her.

His thoughts faltered as he felt Satrius stroke his long hair, drawing his attention back to the room. Closing his eyes, he absorbed the seductive touch. Satrius was a powerful magician and Reynaldo had summoned him to the estate in hopes that his magic would heal his land.

What he had never understood was that his own soul was much like the land, barren and rootless. He had been listless and despondent until the arrival of the magician and his entourage. Satrius had changed everything. He had touched a deep, hidden part of Reynaldo. He felt alive when he was with Satrius, saw things differently.

Reynaldo had been warned of the dangers of summoning Satrius to the estate. His magic was indeed powerful, but also very dangerous. This land was a legacy of his ancestors and he was losing it, yet he was unsure why. He needed help, desperate to restore the land to its former fertility.

Satrius promised it would be as it once was and assured Reynaldo his magic could do what needed to be accomplished given time. He wove a spell around Reynaldo—a spell steeped in dark lust that Reynaldo was unable to combat. Slowly, he was drawing him deeper and deeper into the web of passion from which he now felt no desire to break free. Yet still the land lay barren.

At least he felt something, even if it seemed he moved in a shadow world where he only came alive when driven by his sexual arousal. If Satrius could awaken something inside his dead heart, could he not also revive the land as he promised?

It was the man himself who mesmerized Reynaldo over the many months he had been ensconced at the estate. He had seduced Reynaldo until he could envision no future without Satrius being a part of it. Not only to return prosperity to the estate, but in order to convince Satrius to remain with him, he had finally agreed to act as stud to the protégé who accompanied him. Satrius had convinced him it was the best way to return prosperity quickly to the land.

Reynaldo did not love her. Truly, love played no part in any of the emotions he felt even when it came to his desire for Satrius. He was promised that as a child would grow in Belinda’s womb, so would his land again become fruitful.

There were two reasons to bed the woman. The important one for Reynaldo was that the magic he wove with her would help his land and the people who depended on him. The second was that Satrius wanted the child to train in the ways of his magic. Reynaldo had asked why he didn’t bed the woman himself if he wished an heir, but had been told Satrius was no longer able to sire children.

Reynaldo had given up a search for romantic passion and thought himself incapable of any greater emotion than that of the lust and need he felt for Satrius.

Until the appearance of the Maiden. Everything had changed since her unexpected arrival. Suddenly he was torn in his desires.

“She is not for you,” Satrius murmured from behind him. He turned Reynaldo to face him, forcing him to looking deeply into the mesmerizing emerald depths of the magician’s eyes. Satrius cupped his face and locked with his gaze, searching for his soul.

“She must have some magic to have healed the lake and the forest. I have run there, I know it has recovered. But why not the remainder of the land? That is what I cannot figure out.”

“She has not the power you think she has. She is weak. She cannot give you what you desire. Only I can do that.”

He looked into Satrius’s eyes, felt his willpower ebbing, giving over to the magician. “Yes, I know you are right.”

Satrius penetrated inside him, Reynaldo could feel the heat blazing from his presence. The lust grew to twine around him. Satrius tilted Reynaldo’s head back and studied him closely through a narrowed gaze. “Do you? She should never have been brought here. She is not of our kind. Her magic is different. You must not allow her to come between you and that which you want.”

Reynaldo felt the heat of him as he lowered his head and his lips claimed Reynaldo’s in a demanding kiss that scorched through him. He felt his cock rise thickly against his leg. Satrius held him fast with his hands and with his mind. He wanted to please the master magician. He needed him and submitted to him, even knowing Satrius used him for his own ends as well. He could not deny him—they had moved far past that point.

Satrius broke the kiss and looked deeply into his eyes once again. “You know what you must do. It is time to send the Maiden away. She and her kind are a distraction.” He stroked Reynaldo’s hair and calmness dropped over him even as his passion soared. Any thought of his desire for the light of the Maiden disappeared from his thoughts as Satrius drew him forth into the passionate darkness.

Even in bringing the maiden to the house when he had found her wounded and unconscious he had defied the will of the magician, a thing he did not often do. Something stronger had driven him and he could not fail her, even knowing Satrius might leave him because of the act of defiance. Satrius demanded obedience in all things and would accept nothing less.

“I will tell her she and the others must leave now that she is healed. I could not send her away when she was so near death.”

Satrius slipped his shirt over his head, baring his muscular chest, taunting him with his flesh. “Soon.”

Reynaldo nodded as he lowered his head to draw one of Satrius’s nipples into his mouth and sucked deeply, hands gripping the magician’s hips. He heard his sharp intake of breath. “It will please me when this is done. Her presence agitates Belinda. If you do not handle this quickly, I fear for the life of the Maiden. Do you wish her death on your hands?”

Reynaldo knew Satrius used the threat to force his hand. He knew Reynaldo was drawn to the Maiden—her magic so different from that of Satrius and Belinda. There was a freshness, a purity in the swan magic. He had tried to keep himself separate from her, but something kept drawing him back to her. His own level of magic was nothing compared to that of the swan, or Satrius. He had never exercised his inherited power, never wanted it. Until now. But between Satrius and Belinda they sapped him completely until he was totally powerless to fight their control.

He looked up into Satrius’s dark gaze. “I do not want to talk of her any longer today.” The dark, seductive magic wove its passionate spell around him. He needed the intimacy with Satrius, like one addicted to opium. His cock grew heavy with anticipation.