Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hidden Kingdoms



I love fantasy. I write it. When I was young and sad or scared, I would slip into one of my "Book Lives" as I would call them. I would find strength as a warrior princess or an intrepid explorer. I could quiet my fears as I floated amongst cold and serene stars. I laughed with fellow knights and sang the histories of noble ancient peoples. I found acceptance and  love in so many wonderful worlds.
As an author, I love that I get to do that for myself...and hopefully for those who need it. So, be it a welcome respite after a trying day at work or the distraction a worried mind needs in a sterile lobby somewhere, the stories I write are of the same magic that rescued a troubled teen like me. They are tales knitted with strands of hope.

But there are so many stories that I never knew about growing up. And I was a kid who LIVED in the library.  They are the ancient lore of my own people. The ferocious and fascinating history of the Maya.

As I explore this rich, but so far largely hidden culture, I find myself riveted by the complexity of a society I am just discovering. The Maya nation was embroiled in political intrigue, ruthless invasion, and delicate diplomacy across a civilization that, according to newly unearthed findings, was almost ten million strong which spanned multiple continents.

The Maya explored of the meaning of existence and time, the intricacies of nature, and the wonder of the stars. They created one of the most complex languages that rivaled that of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. As I read their tales of war and the fight for power, I see Caesars and Hannibals and Rameses. Men of great vision who wielded charisma and intelligence to seize the reigns of one of the most richly vibrant peoples I have ever seen.

And so, as an author, how can I not celebrate this breathtaking world, in all of its contradictions? The more I learn, the more it is evident to me the stories of these kings and queens deserve to be told. Their kingdoms and discoveries shaped the world and so the world should know of them. Where there are Camelots and Mordors...let there also be Xibalba.

 

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