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Astrology is full of archetypes. The prideful Leo, the fast talking and/or flighty Gemini, the brash and bold Aries.
If I tell you my best friend is a Taurean do you have an immediate picture of her in your mind? Sturdy and steady, loyal. Security loving. Patient. Maybe a tad bit lazy (although she claims she's only pacing herself), definitely stubborn.
How about Capricorn? Disciplined, ambitious, grounded, cool under fire. Self-contained.
While these traits probably do apply to the Taurean and Capricorns you know, we are all so much more than our Sun Signs.
What if I told you my Taurean friend has a Leo Moon, and that self-contained Capricorn has a Sagittarius Moon? Does that change your perspective of them in any way?
In an astrological chart the Moon sign represents our emotional nature. How we instinctively react. How our emotions color our perceptions. How we protect ourselves. That Taurean with the Leo Moon has a bit of regalness about her and her ego can flare when her Moon perceives an emotional threat. Our steady Taurus isn't so steady at that point, not with her ego-flamed temper on display. Not an introvert by any stretch of the imagination, she does enjoy being the center of attention but is happiest bestowing her affections on those she cares about.
And that Capricorn Sun with the Sagittarius Moon? He has a great inner need for adventure. To get out in the world. But that strong and instinctive internal need is at odds with his ambitious Capricorn Sun. Sagittarius Moon pushes to leave the paperwork behind, to set off for the next adventure right now, but he's a workaholic and has an issue leaving anything undone. Balancing those two aspects of his personality can sometimes be a daily struggle.
If you're a writer, that inner turmoil, that internal push of the Moon's reactive needs against the Sun's desire to act can be a goldmine in terms of character development.
And that's only part of the story.
Come join me February 1st over at Writer Univ as we use astrology to dig into the heart and soul of your hero, your heroine, and/or your villain.
And, just maybe, find out a little about yourself.
***(That Taurean did give me permission to talk about her - probably her Leo Moon in action!)
When fellow author and friend, Melissa Cutler, tagged me for a blog hop focusing on our writing process I scratched my head wondering what I'd gotten myself into with this blogging business. Luckily I was able to sneak a peak at Melissa's answers, nod my head a few times as I read through her post and had the thought - she makes this look easy. Maybe it's not so hard. Just chatting with a few friends about my writing and my stories.
Piece of cake, right?
1.) What am I working on/writing?
BLIND SIGHT came out towards the end of last month and since then I've been working on the next in the PSI Sentinel series: GAVIN'S WOMAN.
Gavin Dunbar, liaison between the PSI and the government, is a low-level psychic himself, a man of the present who believes the future is too nebulous, too fluid - that it can't be trusted. His reasons are mired deep in a past he has no desire to examine.
Calea Fontaine is a seer from a long line of seers. But she knows, firsthand, that while Fate might try to guide a person along a path, Free Will has a way of trumping destiny.
Or does it?
These two are about to find out .... And I get to go along for the ride!
2.) How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre?
I've always been fascinated by the psychic world. From seeing auras to having precognitive dreams, from Astrology to Tarot, from seeing and feeling ghosts to all of the Clair Senses, it all enthralls me. So writing the PSI Sentinels became a natural fit, one that feels right. Like it's what I'm supposed to do.
Now, while some of the things that happen in my stories are larger than life and push that psychic edge nearly to the point of what might be considered magic, I've worked to keep my characters gifts/talents rooted in a semblance of realism.
Sebastian Alexander's energy manipulation in ELSIE'S SECRET, Ben Garrett's use of Psychometry in STOLEN SPIRIT, Gabe Nicholetti's grounding in BLIND SIGHT along with Allison Davis' artwork and her use of the Tarot are all based on known PSI abilities.
If we're honest with ourselves, how many of 'us' were told stories about our Great Aunt Thelma who talked with Uncle Oliver who'd died or our Granny who had the gift of sight? If we shake your geology tree, there's no telling what might break loose.
3.) How does my writing process work?
Okay, so here's the sticky question. And the short answer is my process is a work in process! Each story idea starts in a different way. STOLEN SPIRIT literally started with a dream, although the unfolding story didn't follow that dream sequence, it is where I met Jake. ELSIE was the result of a what if game - what if Elsie Quartermaine had a secret bigger than her hero's? And the germ for BLIND SIGHT was gleamed from a picture in a magazine of a broad shouldered, Italian man who sat staring into the distance, brooding.
So I start with characters who quickly become real. Then I spend a lot of time with a pen and a notebook, working out their back-story, who they are and what's important to them, free-flowing the answers onto the paper. In between all of that I'm also working out a general feel for the plot and getting words into the computer.
I'm not sure I could write if I didn't have my notebook. Pen to paper. Maybe it's a kinetic energy type of thing, that feel of the pen rolling across the page.... Each story has several notebooks filled with everything from plot points to dialogue to actual whole scenes hand written with scribbles and extra notes all along the margins. What's funny is that I rarely refer back to those notes, which is probably good since I'm not sure even I could decipher some of those notes!
4.) Who's up next?
Ann Gimpel writes paranormal and contemporary fantasy novels with an ecological twist. She skis, hikes, climbs and on a good day is the alpha female of a wolf pack. Here's a little more about Ann:
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writin. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She's published twenty books to date, with several more contracted for 2014.
A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.
To connect with Ann:
Click here to read hop on over to Ann Gimpel's blog which will go live later this week!