Let me say this at the start . . . I am not hitching my humble novel to the great star power of David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust) or Alan Rickman (Severus Snape). I am, however, intriqued by the one common thread by which we are associated – the lightning bolt.
A lightning bolt, in unscientific terms, is a heavenly event of charged particles seeking balance and manifesting on the earthly plane with a flash of light and booming sound. It can kill, injure, destroy. It can also bring a flash of inspiration. Benjamin Franklin “discovered” electricity by flying a kite in a thunderstorm, which eventually changed how the world was powered. The ancients perceived the lightning bolt as a weapon or message from the heavenly gods.
I have a crystal in my collection called a fulgurite. These “lightning stones” are made when a bolt of lightning strikes the sand, and the heat of the strike, some three thousand degrees, fuses the sand together to make a hollow crystal. It is literally the imprint of lightning striking the earth. Powerful stuff.
Last week was a tough one in the entertainment world. We’ve lost some influential cultural icons. On the other hand, it’s within our loss that these stars have found completion . . . a re-union with their eternal selves. When an inspired talent dies, I believe that the wisdom and passion they carried with them on their earthly journey become accessible to us. A path of magic stardust is left in their wake which we can claim. It’s there for us in the act of asking.
What would I ask of David Bowie? Freedom. To be who or however I want to be without the internal self-critism I struggle with as a woman. David strutted across the stage of life with identity du jour fervor.
Alan Rickman? Of course, I identify the most with his character of Severus Snape in Harry Potter. My request is more of a stretch here. Of the actor or the character? Of the character, my request would be that of undying passion. For the one great love of his life. Always. For me, passion for life in all ways.
The actor? Diction and the melodious timber of voice. Listening to Alan Rickman speak was like eating the creamiest butter melted on warm toast. A satisfaction I can describe in no other way.
In working on the cover design of Rebels from Olympus with my artist friend, Marygrace Antkowski, I had no idea of what the cover should look like. She shared some drawings with me, which primed my visual pump, and, in a very symbiotic way, we came up with the cover design. I saw a big impact cover, like a comic book, as Justus, the protagonist, creates his own comics in the novel. I saw a yellow lightning bolt streaking across the cover. In my story, Jupiter used his lightning bolt to whisk aways rebellious gods who were disobeying his rules.
Last week, a soundless lightning bolt named death hit us hard – striking our hearts with loss and grief. We see our stars as immortals, cultural gods who cannot be touched by death. We mourn when they do die, but they whisper to us in our thoughts and dreams, “Carry on. All ways.”
Ever since three rebellious gods moved in next door, life has never been the same for Justus. His mom plays Twister with a goddess. The secret love of his life kisses him. His evil step-grandmother tries to kill him.
Identity can be a killer in this Young Adult fantasy thriller. Destiny calls.…