@Archaeolibrary, @GoddessFish, @branwenoshea,
They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.
After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.
As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.
Savas grinned. “Think of it as research. They’re a new species. You’re doing field observation.”
“I don’t think she eats at all.” Atsushi frowned. “None of the Crowned Ones seem to. They go to the gathering hall to socialize.”
“You do realize that’s impossible, right? They’re alive. They need an energy source.”
“Kalakanya said she eats air or something.”
Savas snorted. “Well, be curious. Ask Kahali when you’re alone. Later, ask the others. We’ll compare answers.”
Atsushi grimaced. “They’ll know what I’m thinking. I don’t want to upset them.”
“No, you don’t.” If he had another Medicci device to block mindreading, he’d offer it to him. There must be something the boy could do to stay safe. A tiny, guilty voice rose within him at exposing the boy to the dangers of mind-control. No kid should go through that.
“What if you keep that chant Kahali taught you running in your head? Maybe then they won’t catch on?”
“Maybe.” Atsushi was silent. “I’m supposed to be chanting that all the time, but I’m horrid at remembering.”
“Then work on that.”
Atsushi nodded and then glanced toward the fire, where the star beings suddenly sang more loudly. “You still don’t trust them, do you?”
“No, I don’t.”
“But why? They’re so nice.”
“There used to be a fish that lived in the depths of the ocean. It evolved a beautiful light that shone magnificently in the darkness. Other fish would swim close, mesmerized by the beauty, feeling completely safe. And then the light-bearing fish would tear them to pieces.”
How do you develop your writing ideas?
Most of my best writing ideas come to me through altered states of consciousness. No, not drug or alcohol-induced states, lol, but through dreams, daydreams, visions, meditating, or what some might call paranormal discussions with other-worldly beings. I’ve always thought there’s a powerful link between creativity and being able to naturally access these states, and brain research is now uncovering the link between intuition, creativity, spirituality, and various states of consciousness.
So how does that work for me? I’ve always loved daydreaming and making up stories to entertain myself. Stories might come to me in dreams or while meditating. Sometimes, I ask the characters of those stories to tell me other stories. Sometimes, a ghost tells me a story. It’s a bit bizarre, but lots of fun. I used to think it was a personal bizarreness of mine, but I’ve since learned that a fair number of authors have unusual experiences like this and rarely talk about the experiences.
I’ve found anecdotally that this type of experience is more common in ‘pantsers’ (authors who write the story as they see it in occurring in their mind, without previous plotting) than in plotters (authors who plan out their characters and the story and then write it). I haven’t seen any actual studies on this, but am basing this on interviews I’ve done with other authors. There are some studies linking the connection between various brain waves and creativity. If you’d like more info, research brain waves (especially theta waves) and creativity and intuition.
I’ve decided to skip telling you the science (you can research that) and risk sounding crazy and to share my creative process experiences. If I want to discover a new story idea, I mentally clarify what sort of story I want, and then either go to sleep, daydream, or begin meditating. My current series, Finding Humanity, came to me in a dream. The teens I work with kept saying they couldn’t even imagine a positive future for the human species. Looking around and seeing all the dystopian and post-apocalyptic news, video games, and books, I wondered if perhaps we needed some different types of stories. That night, I had a series of dreams where one of the star being characters, Rana, introduced herself and told me the story that became this series.
One of my other books came to me in the form of a daydreaming discussion with my villain from yet another story. The guy told me a beautiful myth from his planet that had influenced him, and I morphed it into a book.
I have another story (yet unwritten) where a ghost told me an amazing story that then inspired a paranormal fantasy I hope to write in the future.
I’ve spoken to lots of authors who report that their characters ‘show up’ and ask the author to tell their story. These characters appear fully fleshed out in personality, backstory, motivations, etc. Please note, I do not mean “fully fleshed out’ as in standing before them like a hallucination, but rather as well developed characters without any conscious work on the part of the author. Are these the workings of an overactive imagination, the authors’ subconscious, or actual noncorporeal beings? Does it matter, as long as the story is good? What do you think?
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As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.
Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her previously published works include contributing to a nonfiction yoga book, wellness magazines, and her published science fiction novella, Silence of the Song Trees.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/branwenoshea