Archive for December, 2012

Still Here, After the End

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

meStill here. Did any or you really believe that the end of one method of counting would somehow cause the Universe, or even just the Earth to freak out and disappear up its own Pole?

The Mayan’s didn’t. To their ancient method of tallying, December 22, 2012 would be written as 13.0.0.0 in their base-20 numbering system. In other words, one b’ak’tun ended and another b’ak’tun begins,  as the counting continues. That’s the significant word: continues.

So, we all continue. This blog will continue. My writing will continue. Speaking of which, my novel Gamers and Gods is now complete and I am agonizing through the process of constructing synopses and query letters for agents.  Unfortunately for me, I have finished it at an awkward time of the year; from now until nearly the end of January is the time agents and publishers receives their biggest torrent of submissions. Accordingly, this is also the time of year when rejection ratios are at their maximum, as everyone tries to eliminate as many submissions as possible to survive their January workload.

But I remain optimistic. If I should wait a bit before submitting my work to potential representation, at least it will give me even more time to polish the manuscript, check formatting, and construct those famously-difficult query letters.

The premise for the novel was fairly simple: a Greek demigod wakes up in a MMORPG and finds himself volunteered to fight the Devourer of Millions, a chthonic Egyptian god of the underworld. I could have gone with one of the standard Dodekatheon, the Olympians best known to the public, such as Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, etc. But ancient and modern storytellers have already devoted so much time to these characters that I decided to use a less-well known Hero, the god of healing Asklepios, who was once known throughout the Roman Empire. His temples were primitive hospitals, and many cures were credited to him before the coming of Christianity obscured his worship, absorbed his myths, and built churches over the ruins of ancient Asclepions.

The story of Asclepios has many of the classic Hero storytelling elements. His father was the god of healing and light, Apollo. His mother was a mortal woman named Coronis. After she became pregnant by Apolloa, she fell in love with a mortal man. Consumed by jealousy Apollo has Coronis slain, but on her funeral pyre he rescues her child from the fire and names him Asclepios ‘to cut out’. Not being much of a family man, Apollo leaves the infant with the centaur Cheiron, who raises him and teaches him the healing arts.  When Asclepios becomes so skilled that he begins raising fallen warriors from the dead, Zeuss kills him with a thunderbolt.

There is a myth that Asclepios was resurrected by Zeus and made into a god along with his wife Epione. But in my opinion no good reason is ever given for this happy ending. I decided therefore, to write the trial of Asclepios as the missing part of his story, in which his courage and sacrifice earn him his eventual apotheosis.

Now I get to see if anyone else likes my addition to his story.

–MRK

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