After mentioning Cirvel in my blog earlier this week, someone — not naming names here *cough* “Loki” *cough* — got a little jealous. I’ve heard him piping up the background the last couple of weeks politely telling me that I don’t write enough blogs about him. Not nearly enough!
He’s probably right.
So let’s start with a tile card. (grin)
This quote comes to us courtesy of his personal assistant, Jason.
Okay, fair warning here. I’m going to talk about some things which might be considered spoilers if you haven’t read at least the first 2 novellas of the 5 part story arc. If you don’t want spoilers, then I suggest you stop reading this blog post and go read at least the first 2 (1-800-Mischief and For Sale, Call Loki if you want the individuals, or those two in the box set). Otherwise, spoilers ahead for a book that is nearly a decade old.
Wow! Has it really been that long? Sorry, pausing here, I have to go look up the publication date. Yep, 2013; 7 years, nearly 8. Wow!
I’ve been writing mythology mashups a lot longer than that. The first one I did was back in college when I wrote an alternative to the story of Jason of the Argonauts and Medea. I just never felt that Medea could do that (killing her children) without a better reason. There had to be more that we weren’t being told. So I wrote a different story.
I wish I could find that story because I’d publish it now. Maybe its best that I can’t locate it.
What I did have was a big (no, HUGE!!!!) hatred of Jason. What an arrogant S.O.B. Yeah, I sided with Medea. She should have driven a dagger into his black little heart.
So, when I was writing the Loki adventures and I realized that his personal assistant was named Jason, I tried at first to think about a boy I used to go to school with by the same name. Dumb, and yet not; I’ll tell you why: this kid said he was (or adamantly claimed to be) related to Edith Hamilton, who wrote the Mythology book we all had to read in school. I don’t know if it was true or not. Frankly, I don’t think he would’ve had a reason to lie about this since it just got him teased (lightly of course because he was jock and very adored). But all that aside, I just focused on him and tried to keep my thoughts away from Jason of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece.
I would not write about Jason of the Argonauts!
Then, one day I’m writing a scene about him riding along with Loki and Jason casts a spell. I felt it coming.
Then Jason announces that he is Jason of the Argonauts. Loki’s reaction was pretty close to mine. Yet, I knew I was doomed. I knew I would have to reconcile my feelings about the mythological Jason with my character.
It’s a good thing I’m a big believer in trusting the process. Otherwise, I might have edited all that out and revamped it. Instead, I looked at my rather large poster of Loki and said, “Bring it on!”
Of course, at this point in writing the series, I’m actively looking for things which would change my opinion about Jason of the Argonauts. I watched some documentaries, did some research. I didn’t want to get down too far into it as I didn’t want to spark those old emotions about Medea being forsaken, especially considering my own feelings regarding my divorce were still raw and had given me completely new insights and emotions into betrayal. Yeah, my own healing had taken awhile and I had completely new thoughts about Medea and Jason’s story. I knew I couldn’t touch that deeply in the mythology if I wanted to get this story to work (trust the process and that little voice!).
The universe delivered. First was the BBC television show Atlantis. I hesitated to watch it at first because it was about Jason. Let’s just say that I loved Atlantis. It’s a shame it only got two seasons! They did such a wonderful job with it. I’m currently watching it for the second time with my son, who is experiencing it for the first time. While they have adapted the mythology to suit a different creative vision, much like I have done with my own Loki series, it let me open up toward Jason and feel emotions with him. I really feel like this is when Jason started to feel real in my story. I could now empathize with him on the level I needed to be on with him.
Then there was a documentary I watched about the gold and the ancient Egyptians. Now, many times I will put a documentary on while I’m painting. I often don’t remember everything that was said, but I know that this feeds information into my subconscious to generate stories. I personally consider it as “filling the hopper.” I watch (or rather listen to) all sorts of things, but usually ancient history, metaphysical, or speculative conspiracy documentaries are what I put on. I do remember vividly that during this one documentary about the gold and Egyptians, no I don’t remember what it was called, the Loki story had a huge “click” for me. I dropped my paintbrush with blue paint on it, leapt from my stool, tripped over it and my own feet, while stumbling to grab a piece of paper and a pen to capture the idea I’d just received. I raced the video back a little bit and watched that segment again. Then I had a minor mess to clean up. But I had the next step in my story, a little shift in direction which would make such a big deal later.
In the end, I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to rethink my emotions surrounding Jason of the Argonauts and to make him an active part of my Loki stories. It wouldn’t be the same story without him.