Riga Hayworth, heroine of the Metaphysical Detective, detests all things faerie but around the holidays, I confess, I’m big on elf and faerie ornaments. So I decided to make my own elf stockings, and I think they turned out pretty well considering I drew my own pattern.
All hail the mighty glue gun!
I’m relaxing at home on a rainy evening after a terrific circle led by Joy Reichard on Kali, the Hindu goddess of endings and beginnings. If you’ve read The Metaphysical Detective, then you might have guessed that I’m more of a Greek goddess type of person. And you’d be right. I grew up reading Greek mythology, and as an adult I’m finding new, more subtle layers to it. But Kali/Durga’s battles with the demons resonated with me.
In The Alchemical Detective, the book I’m currently laboring over, Riga undergoes an alchemical metamorphosis. Alchemy is a multi-stage process which involves psychological dissolution and then a rebuilding of the psyche. I’m over simplifying, but the various stages work well for building a narrative. Things are bad, things get worse, things get worse, hero overcomes obstacles, more are thrown in her way… Compare this to the alchemical operations: calcination, dissolution, separation, conjunction, fermentation, distillation, and coagulation.
Riga’s battles are both physical and psychic, and to set things right she must go up against three demons. As is typical with demons, the warfare is largely psychological. To quote Father Merrin from The Exorcist:
Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that - do not listen.
Joy Reichard led us through a Kali visualization in which we fought our demons/fears with some help from this multi-armed deity. Now I’m trying to figure out how to build some Kali symbolism into The Alchemical Detective. I think I’ll keep it subtle. I’ve already got daimonsand demons and alchemy — adding a Hindu goddess into the mix might be overdoing it. Still, the symbolism is too good to resist.
If you’re interested in the Kali visualization, Joy sells it on her website here.
I wouldn’t call The Metaphysical Detective horror, but there are some spooky bits.
Because I work by deadlines… The sequel will arrive in 2012.
In the Metaphysical Detective, Hermes appears as a trouble-making archetype. In the sequel, Hermes reappears (sort of) in Hermetics, specifically in the use of alchemy for transformation. What is alchemy? Check out the video below to find out!
When I decided to publish the Metaphysical Detective as an online serial… well, I’m not sure what I was thinking. But I soon realized that there are a lot of advantages when one isn’t bound by paper and ink. For example, you can more directly interact with readers, and put other interactive elements in the posts as well.
One newish technology I’ve been playing with is Prezi and from it I created my detective’s desktop. People can shift views, zoom in, and basically explore the desk, looking for clues. (All the clues are in the text as well - these are sort of “supplementary”). I’ve got at least one more Prezi planned as well as some other fun stuff.
It’s been one of those days when I’ve spent more time working on marketing the Metaphysical Detective than actually writing it (but I will not go to bed until I have finished my 500 words). Still… this is so cool!
I’ve been learning Prezi.com, which is the 21st century update to PowerPoint in that it’s truly interactive - online at least. And I realized I could recreate Riga’s desk from the first chapter and publish it inside the post for people to mouse around and examine. The desktop isn’t finished, I’m waiting for a book called “Within the Cards” by Rowan Pendragon to be published this August, and then I’ll put that on the desk as well.
In the meantime: