The WIP formerly known as TWA
So, after pretty much everybody and then a tipping point total stranger said, "I think that story has the wrong name," I finally came up with a new one for The Witch’s Apprentice.
It was called that because it used to be ABOUT a Witch’s Apprentice, but she became a secondary character and somebody else took center stage. I tried to be clever (always a bad sign) and have the present main character end up (sort of) being her apprentice, but really, it was a weak title. But I left it because I could not think of anything else. It was always coming out as THE GODESS’S LOVER, which was the wrong tone and way too many fucking s’s in a row. I wanted something that felt metaphysical and weird and woo, and exotic, and maybe a little sexy but also beautiful, and mysterious, and I wanted to hint ant the mythic stuff. Tall order for a title. It was easier to leave the wrong one there because at least it was snappy.
Then last night I was listening to a song by Zingaia called "Veil of Innana," which I found on a random search for a new meditation playlist on iTunes the other day. Everything else on the list is mellow, but this one has a bit of subtle spice in it, and a Middle East flavor which I love. (It turns out the couple who makes up the group is from Las Vegas. Gotta love it.) There are only a few lyrics, but I love them because they’re very sensual, but also because they capture what is for me the perfect sort of female sensuality, which is to say the way I like to be: the singer (speaker, really) talks about giving herself to her lover, but there’s such a self-possession about it that even though she is absolutely passive, she is completely in control. It’s a surrender and subjugation, but in a way that is really attractive to me. This is the part I like:
I give to my love the fertile field
and vessel of sweet honey.
I lift up the jeweled breast
I lift up the ambered lips
I lift up the shadowed eyes
I lift up the seventh veil.
The last line is delivered with a bit of drama and pause for emphasis, and it’s repeated in the next stanza, too; I really liked it; I liked that there were echoes of the chakras, and I liked the tone, as I’ve already mentioned, and as I lay there zoning, I thought, "You know, THAT would be a killer book title." And then I realized that it did everything I wanted it to, that it was actually perfect in every way, except I did not have seven veils in my story.
Then I was up, and writing all that down, and this morning I wrote a new opening and tweaked here and there, and now it works, and it has a new title. And because it’s me, it also has a new graphic. (Click to make it big.)
I think it’s his arm that bugs me. But anyway.
There’s a prologue now, too, much in the spirit of the one at the opening of STB, though this is much, much shorter. I like it. You’ll have to tell me what you think of it, especially those of you who’ve read the thing.
But that’s the story of why TWA is now TSV. Sounds a bit like a communicable disease, but so long as it’s infectious and easily spread, I’m good with that.
We will close with the opening/prologue thing.
In the beginning, there was One.
There was One, and only One, floating through Void. One knew no darkness, but also no light. One knew no pain, but also no pleasure. One knew everything, because One was Every Thing, but because everything was known, nothing was unknown, and so, though One was Every Thing, One was also No Thing.
Then One said, “Let there be Two.”
One split, and with this split came Chaos, spilling forth from the fissure of the One, and this was Life. Life filled the Void, settling into Worlds, Worlds vaster and more numerous than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of all the seas of all the Worlds put together. Then the fissure closed, and there were Two. The One was now the Goddess, the Creator of All Things in all the Worlds, of all Life. And the Goddess was not One, but Two. The Goddess was the Lord, and the Lady.
The Lady was the Great Mother. She had birthed all, and she cared for all. She knew all Life, and she knew when Life was done, when Life must be ended and return to her arms, and she did not pine or ache for Creation, because she understood that Life must cycle, or it is not Life.
The Lord was the Great Explorer. He canvassed the Worlds and rejoiced in the Life, and spurred more Life in return, touching all with his Wand of Life, reveling in the wonder of what he and his Lady had made. But unlike the Lady, he ached when Life ended, and was reluctant to let it go. Because of his nature, he pushed Life further, and because of her nature, she reigned him in, and with the Two, Life knew Balance.
The Lord and Lady were lovers, but they were seldom together; the Lord moved quick as light, moving like a sun across the sky, and the Lady moved slowly, as encumbered as the earth. The Lord was straight-forward and uncomplicated, but the Lady was faceted, her many hues and shapes shrouded from all but her lover by seven sacred veils which only he could part. The Lady could not live in the Worlds, and could not be seen, and so the Lord could only see her by stepping out of the World and visiting her in her garden. And as it was with Life, the Lady understood that this was the way things must be, but the Lord did not like choosing between the wonder of the world and being with his Lady, and pined.
And so, one day, on one world, the Lord arranged to meet with his Lady. He created a sacred grove and planted a holy tree, a special place that was safe, and he brought her to the place that he had made. And beneath this tree he made love to her, over and over again, and because they were in the World, their union bore the fruit.
But the life they made here was not the chaos of the division of the One. This was not the creation by the Lord from his Wand. This was true Birth, and because this was Birth from the Lord and Lady, from the Goddess herself, the children they bore were children like none any World had ever seen, or ever would again. They brought with them a chaos of their own making, and before their fates were spent, they would rewrite not just the world, but the One itself.
The children were called androghenie.
The World is called Etsey.