Retelling Lore and Updating Mythologies

This morning I found a dead bat in my house. It was a teeny tiny little thing – a little brown myotis. At first I thought it was a leaf. I was sad to see this tiny nocturnal creature  on the floor of one of the bedrooms, with it’s wings close to it’s body, all alone.

Mind you, it wasn’t a Vampire. It was just a bat. A precious and tiny little beneficial flying mammal that eats bugs. It made me sad to see it dead and alone.

This made me think of common lore, that is of Vampires and bats. Most of us prefer the night but we aren’t shape shifters. Mind you, we can make you think we are but that is your own fault.

Lore is spread through stories once told around the fire at night, and now told in movies, books, and television. Stories and mythologies evolve as our world and culture evolves. What is popular becomes belief. What is unpopular becomes forgotten.

I took the dog for a walk and started to think of the reworking of lore and mythologies, especially in weird times like now. Even the stories of atomic creatures such as Godzilla and giant insects come out of the advent of atomic bombs. Mothman first appeared in West Virginia folklore, in the Point Pleasant area from November 12, 1966, to December 15, 1967. In fact some people claim to still see him from time to time. So much of Space Alien lore and a boom in Science Fiction, also takes place in the 1950’s – 60’s, at the time of the space race,  though it goes back to as long as people have been looking up at the stars.

A writing friend of mine asked about rewriting mythologies. I say DO IT. I love it when authors take old stories and rewrite them.

One of my favorite things to do it to take a modern look at old characters. In my story Sam Judge I rewrote the story of Samson and Delilah in a post apocalyptic setting. Holy shit, I wrote it a few months before our current Covid-19 pandemic started. It was for the new WPaD Anthology Goin’ Extinct Too! Apocalypse A-Go-Go. 

Sam Judge was a retelling of the biblical story from the point of view of Lilah. Once you get rid of all of the sexist bull shit it just becomes a story of a guy with a lot of power and a powerful family, and a woman trying to do her job.

I wonder about a lot of old stories. Take David and Goliath. David was a guy who threw a rock at the big bully Goliath who was a GIANT. David became the King because that is how people picked leaders back then. My take is that David was about average height or maybe on the shorter end of average  like 5″6′. I’m going by what is average today, not five thousand years ago. Goliath was tall but not a giant. Maybe about 6’11” or even 7′ like a basket ball player. Goliath could have been the same height of Goliath who was obviously the epitome of the school yard bully. David kicked Goliath’s ass. It could have been with rocks. It could have been with words. The point of this story is that David’s crew had to spin the story to make it look more spectacular. They had to make David look bigger than life so they made Goliath into a 15″6′ giant and made David into just a regular guy which he wasn’t. The spin doctors were going for the lowest common denominators with their mostly agrarian and illiterate constituents. See where I’m going with this.

Another favorite story of mine and of my readers is Ode to a Greek God. I take the god Hermes and update the readers on what he is doing now in his home in San Francisco.  His son Pan is settled down. Hermes is evaluating his life and still getting into trouble with women. It is a new world where mortal humans tend to be a little more savy and demanding. I might even continue that story one day or update the new mythology.

For centuries people have been fascinated by the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table stories. Was Arthur even real? What about the Holy Grail. There are stories within stories within stories. Everyone from John Steinbeck to Stephen Spielberg had their own wonderful takes on the lore of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Of course Monty Python did it better than anyone.

I also had my own take on the story of Arthur, Merlin and the Camelot Crew with my Druce and Morcant stories. In Off To See The Wizard the two friends started with a trip to meet Merlin. I’m still writing their stories. By the way Druce is a Warlock, and Morcant is a Selkie. That makes for even more lore.

And speaking of Selikes please read the wonderful new story by emerging author Adelia Hoff called The Fisherman. She did a beautiful job taking the predatory and mean nature out of an old tale.

Be it Bible stories, Greek Gods, Vampires, Selkies, Mermaids, Wizards, Ghosts, old legends, or what ever lore you’re writing just remember that it is your story to tell. YOUR STORY.

Someone started the lore and mythologies we currently retell over and over and over. Why not start your own.

And if you just want to read you have plenty of material. I’ll make a list in my next book blog post.

In the meantime keep your mind open. Keep your heart open. Keep your imagination running. Wear a mask. Talk with your kids. Check in on those who might need extra help. Stay safe.

And tell me what your favorite stories of myths, lore, or retellings of old tales are. I’d love to hear.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

How to Write a Vampire Story (DIY Projects)

starsHave you been trying to write a Vampire story but just spend hours staring at a blank page? Do you dream of being the next best selling Vampire author? Do you love the passion of Vampires but find your fingers fumbling on your keyboard.

Stare, fumble and dream no more. Now you have the fun and easy way to write your own epic Vampire story.

It is so EASY.

Print out this post or cut and paste the text into a Word document and print it out. Cut out the words below (as individual words, descriptions, names). Put each group of words into individual jars (bags, hats, boxes.) Pick the indicated amount of words from each jar. Write your story.

The Vampires (pick 3-5)

Vlad – one of those opera cape type of Vampires

Catherine – a raven haired wild temptress of a Vampire

Russell – A geeky vampire

Ramona – A passionate Vampire who wishes she was human

Big Rob – A larger than life Texan Vampire who always gets exactly what he wants

Zack – An Enforcer and hunky sexy Vampire guy. Knows his weapons. Has a really big gun.

Jared – A Wall Street Banker, recently turned into a Vampire. Wears really great suits.

Billy – The Vampire with a heart of gold

Jonathan – An ancient Vampire who is smoking hot sexy and deadly

Freda – Vampire Queen

Fiona – A dead ringer for Freda

Larry – A Vampire guy who likes fast cars and faster women

Lissa – Sexy Vampire scientists and university professor

Jeff – A Vampire who runs an antiques shop

Jasmine – An exotic Vampire woman with a secret past

Clay and Desdemona – Vampire hipsters

Other Creatures (pick 2)

Hank – a hunky Werewolf

Piggy – a short fat Werewolf (turns into a pug dog during full moons)

Doris – a fast talking Goblin chick. Likes tight red dresses and green hair

Jenny – A screaming banshee with a keen sense of humor

Nickle – A girl who is really a robot underneath her smooth seductive skin

Mickey – A mouse

Susan – A Zombie

Humans (pick 3-9)

Jack – Tall and handsome with a body to kill for. A serious attorney.

Mavis – A fast talking, hard living biker grandma

Morgan – A beautiful blonde

Dash – handsome fast talking con-man

John – A Hell Fire Minister

David – Cute in a geeky way computer programmer

Liv – Sweet innocent girl of 19, ready to take on the world

Boris – A Russian Count with a dark Secret

Bella – The girl with only one facial expression

Senator Hayes – A powerful US Senator

Jason – A preppy college student

Dr. Fausco – A mad scientist

Dr. Harrison – A History Professor with an interest in Vampires

Stephen – An antiques dealer with a passion for all things dark and mysterious

Daphanie – A romance writer

Fit – Yoga instructor who is also the lead singer for a Metal band.

Kindle – A police detective

Janice – A prim and proper small town librarian who dreams of passion.

Janet – Damn it

Bruce – A Vampire Hunter

Callie – Another Vampire Hunter

Dr. Ralley – Another Vampire Hunter

Twig – A meth cooker and snitch

Locations (pick 3)

Phoenix Arizona

The Swiss Alps

New York City

Yosemite

San Francisco

A deep dark forest

An airport

Washington DC

London

Berlin

Iceland

Brazil

Chicago

St. Paul

New Orleans

An ancient crypt

An old church

A castle

An old dark house

A school

A University

Plot Stuff (pick 5)

An unsolved murder

A mysterious lover

They fall in love

A violent blood soaked night of passion

A roll in the hay

A car chase

Snow falling

Locked in a cabin

Fire

Gun shots

Finding a treasure

Robbing a bank

Finding a body

Falling in a grave

Buried alive

A creepy sermon

A gathering of bats

A bathtub full of otters

A bubble bath

A wild night of romance

A dark stormy night

Interesting Objects (pick 3-5)

A map

Ancient book in an unknown language

Pink foam curlers

Teapot

A golden key

Jeweled dagger

Finely carved chair

A complete Meissen Monkey Band

Silver cross

A gun

Fine lace handkerchief

Mysterious locked box

Red shoes

A white beaver hat

Toaster

Old photo album

A mirror

Crystal ball

Clock with a mysterious chime

A set of crystal goblets

OK everybody, now get to work and write your own Vampire story. Have fun! And don’t forget to check your spelling (something I rarely do but highly recommend.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (now you know exactly how I do it)

type