Culture Blogs

Diary of a Lokean mystic.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

the Pagan Experience: Voice

Although they are only breath, words which I command are immortal --Sappho

When I was a younger woman, I wanted to be a Writer; I wanted to be an Author, and I wanted to write literary fiction and poetry. In 2002, that changed dramatically, because my Muse sidled up to me and suggested a romance story. I'd never done that sort of thing before, and while I wasn't morally against it, I wasn't sure if I could do a good job of it. And it didn't particularly match my mental map of myself - I dabbled in romance reading, mostly well-written historical romances, but the genre blending of speculative romance was in its infancy then.

But I jumped in and found that I loved writing romance. There are people who think that writing to that genre is easy and formulaic; I think they should try it themselves and see how "easy" it is to write to the guidelines while making the characters and situations fresh, fun, and invigorating. There's also more than a little whiff of sexism about those who are dismissive of romance entirely; romance is a genre that concerns itself with women's desires and inner lives.

No matter what genre I'm dabbling in, my fiction invariably ends up being Pagan-centric. I don't do it on purpose, and given that it happened even when I was a very new lay Pagan, I'd attribute it to my Muse and to the fact that literature is what drew me to Paganism to being with - the Tain and Queen Medb.

Since 2011, I haven't written a lot of fiction; I've blogged, written poetry, some short stories, but I haven't attempted a full-blown romance novel. And this takes me to voice- a romance story has a particular type of voice; blogging has another, poetry yet another. I thought perhaps the novel that I'm working on would be an alternate universe paranormal romance, and it certainly has romantic elements, but what I'm writing feels more like romantic literary fiction. I'm not sure that straight romance is my voice anymore.

What's coming out of me doesn't match my mental map, and I've been wrestling with whether or not I ought to go with it or if I'm just being undisciplined or whatever. It's like that with the Godspouse book too; because none exist I've felt like I ought to have more "how do" in it than there is; what's coming out is a lot more like a memoirish devotional than a how-to thing. Speaking of how-to and Godspouse books, I am delighted that Jo and Beth are working on one as well. This is marvelous, not just because they're taking questions but because one of the things I've wrestled with is that once you write a book, it becomes the standard for something, particularly if it's the only book about a thing; multiple works will give people more fertile grounds for helping their own practices. There's also the fact that they're both more experienced than me; my book is far more a window in adjusting to devotional life and theirs will show a lot more of how things change and deepen by virtue of experience. Silence Maestas is also working on a follow up to Walking the Heartroad. It feels as if we're having a little devotional renaissance; it's an exciting time to be a Polytheist.

And I still don't have a map, not of what I'm writing, of my voice, or even myself. Sly One that Loki is, I didn't even notice because I was too busy doing what I was doing to realize that the terrain had changed. So I keep going, one foot in front of the other.

Last modified on
Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.


Additional information