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Worldbuilding in Writing Fiction

Builder of Worlds

By G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

I never expected to be a builder of worlds and yet I’ve written two books where I needed to do just that.

Available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

Time travel is always tricky, but it’s also fun. In “Lemurian Medium” I sent protagonist Rachel Blackstone back in time via astral travel to the mythical (?) continent of Lemuria. I began reading about the continent that reportedly sunk into the ocean when a cataclysmic series of earthquakes and volcanoes broke up the island country and the sea claimed it.

When you ask people to buy into a paranormal or fantasy storyline, it’s important to include as much fact as possible, to lend integrity to the story. I began reading the works of Colonel James Churchward, who called Lemuria by another name; Mu. He studied monastery sources in India while serving in the British army.

After getting a basic idea of Churchward’s theories I read Frank Joseph’s book “The Lost Civilization of Lemuria: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Oldest Culture.” There are many creation stories and Lemuria is one for that part of the world. There is a museum in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan called the Mu Museum and is a tribute to the Motherland. In the Hawaiian Ethnic Art Museum in Oahu, there are carvings that seem to verify the existence of a golden race who survived the onrush of the sea.

Frank Joseph's Book on Lemuria

Frank Joseph’s Book on Lemuria

Book The Camino MacLaine

Review of “The Camino.” Click on the book.

To make the city realistic I researched the Romans from their garments to their communal toilets. In addition I read Shirley MacLaine’s dreams of Lemuria as she related them in her excellent book “The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit.” Her description of the Lemurians—some golden, some violet, and hermaphroditic—let imagination fill in the blanks. For homes I went with crystal construction with private areas being opaque. Rachel was surprised to learn she could communicate either from her mind or with the use of Lemurian seed crystals and crystal balls.

Reputed to contain the history of the ancients.

Lemurian Seed Crystal Reputed to contain the history of the ancients.

I needed a villain in spirit and chose Quetzalcoatl, a Mayan god who liked to dine on humans. It is thought that Lemurians who survived the end of their homeland took to the vast water and made their way to what is known today as Central America and to the southwestern part of the US.

When my research was complete I was no longer certain that Lemuria was a myth. I hope readers of the book can entertain that possibility as well.

Next Post: We’ll take a look at “Atomic Medium,” worldbuilding in a much closer era.

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Book Review: “Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure” by Shirley MacLaine

Not What We’ve Come to Expect

By G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

Book Above the LineIf you’re expecting a real spiritual journey like MacLaine’s exceptional books Out on a Limb or The Camino; Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure will be a disappointment. But if you’re interested in the behind the scenes on a film set, it might be appealing. Sadly, the back-biting, broken promises and how special actors are wasn’t what I was interested in.

I bought it with the promise of insight into Atlantis and an exploration of the Canary Islands. Neither really happened. In fairness, MacLaine is in her 80s and probably isn’t the fearless explorer she once was. No shame in that. We’re all lucky if we make it to the Third Age. Had this book been represented honestly by the publisher as a memoir from a movie set—I would have passed.

What I really wanted was more connection to Atlantis on the Canary Islands. Some believe that Atlantis existed where the Greek island of Santorini is now, so perhaps it was just the wrong location for the wisdom I was looking for.

If only the last portion about her injury and subsequent treatment had been left out: Thud! What did it have to do with the movie shoot? It’s a whole other story. And memories of life on Atlantis are suddenly pouring forth? I would have enjoyed reading these intermixed with revelations on the Canary Islands.

MacLaine has a lot to offer and I hope her next book is more astute and less aggrandizing.

Atria Books, 2016

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Review: The Camino by Shirley MacLaine

The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit

by G G Collins (Copyright 2013)

Book Camino Journey MacLaine 2***** The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit is a book I’ve come back to at least four times. MacLaine’s book inspired my own interest in walking “the way” when I first read it in 1999. She made her spiritual journey at 60 (and there are many middle-age and better women walking the Camino de Santiago every year). While it isn’t a day-by-day log—you can get this in other books—it is a series of vignettes, told only as MacLaine can. You get the essence of the Camino with her impressions and experiences along the way. And as a public person, these can sometimes be quite difficult encounters.

English: camino de santiago

The goal:  St. James Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela  (Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)

This time I’m re-reading her dreams for her take on Lemuria. The first time I skipped the dreams because I was interested in the Camino. Her book Out On a Limb changed the way I look at a lot of things, and opened up possibilities I hadn’t imagined before. The Camino also showed me a challenge to be attempted and introduced me to lands unseen. I’d put this in my “absolutely love” book category. Buen Camino!

— G G Collins

Day-by-day accounts of the Camino experience:

Book Camino Chronical AlcornCamino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago by Susan Alcorn (woman’s view)

Buen Camino: Hiking the Camino de Santiago by Jim & Eleanor Clem (man’s viewpoint)

Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons From the Camino by Joyce Rupp (nun’s viewpoint)

 

For more info on the pilgrimage:

Book Camino Maps BierleyCamino de Santiago Maps by John Brierley (must have for the walk)

Pilgrim Guides to Spain, Camino Frances by the Confraternity of Saint James (must have for the walk) Info: office@csj.org.uk in London

 

The Way Starring Martin Sheen

The Way Starring Martin Sheen

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son  by Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez

The Way, movie DVD starring Martin Sheen, film by Emilio Estevez

Off the Road by Jack Hitt (inspired the movie The Way)

 

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