Sunday, May 09, 2010

Coyotte Con - Creating your own religion.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:05 am: five after ... shall we go?

[frasersherman] 11:05 am: Let's do it.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:05 am: introductions?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:05 am: sure thing

[MeredithHolmes] 11:06 am: I'm Meredith Holmes, author of several short stories and IP novels as well as Unseelie. I use a lot of religion-creation in my stories mainly because most of my characters are either not human or not "from around here" future, past, parallel world).

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:06 am: I'm Rachael ... as you can see. I write fantasy fiction, history, and occasionally theology. i'm a teacher with a phd in history

[frasersherman] 11:06 am: I write fantasy shorts, and an assortment of nonfiction.

[Loki]: aswiebe has entered at 11:06 am

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:07 am: my take on religion in fiction, especially fantasy ficiton can be summarized this way: Creating your own religion must be easy to do. People have done it for millennia … Religion is the epitome of all that is good in humans - and all that is debased and wicked. Typically, in fiction religion is used to give a face to a culture and to define the good guys and the bad.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:08 am: It makes a good framework, in some cases, for character exposition.

[frasersherman] 11:09 am: And a good source of conflict: Evil cult vs. innocents, heretics vs. oppressor church.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:09 am: yes ... i agree. it give your character life and it sets the culture

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:09 am: i'm usually heretical .... giggles

[MeredithHolmes] 11:09 am: even if it's not a major focal point of the story, it enriches it

[MeredithHolmes] 11:09 am: lol

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:10 am: in pixie warrior, my pixie's have a religion. It takes longer to type out a description than the number of words i use in the story to define it.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:10 am: religion should further your story.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:10 am: not burden it

[MeredithHolmes] 11:10 am: exactly

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:10 am: There is no type of god or theological system that you can imagine that hasn't already existed. The models of greed,fanaticism,selflessness and righteousness are best found in religious history. A touch of historical realism will help you tell a more convincing tale.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:11 am: it shouldn't become a massive info dump but, like was said yesterday in the writing non-Christian characters panel, it should be second nature to the author so that it doesn't seem so awkward in the story

[frasersherman] 11:11 am: Definitely. Details of how a high mass is conducted should be reserved for stories where they're actually relevant.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:11 am: in other words, do your homework.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:11 am: yep

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:11 am: a great source is it gives you a university library on your desktop

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:11 am: deena!

[MeredithHolmes] 11:12 am: I find it very helpful to include the religion aspect while world-building. What kind of system would this culture develop, why, what would the gods or god be like, etc? A forest-dwelling people would not likely have a desert god

[MeredithHolmes] 11:12 am: hey, Deena!

[frasersherman] 11:12 am: I think most writers can figure out as they go along how much detail they need--is it just a background element of the world or is it a primary motivation for some of the caracters?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:13 am: *nods*

[Loki]: Deena has left at 11:13 am

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:13 am: one of the best examples of using religion to creat intersting and effective characters is David Eddings

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:13 am: i love his little goddess aphrael

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:13 am: she's edgy, a bit naughty, comforting and scary all at once

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:14 am: his source for her is ancient semetic

[frasersherman] 11:14 am: A personal favorite of mine: Lean Times in Lankhmar, by Fritz Leiber, about fringe cults trying to build a following.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:14 am: she's tanath turned child

[MeredithHolmes] 11:14 am: I need to check both of those out. Tanath is one of my favorites

[MeredithHolmes] 11:14 am: and gotta love fringe cults

[frasersherman] 11:15 am: Leiber's story is interesting because it's almost entirely about religion, very little about deities. Which is another thing to consider when writing: Do the gods play an active role, or just their followers.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:15 am: fringe beliefs are an excellent source of ideas.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:15 am: That's a very good thing to think about--not all religions are heavily god-centric. They're there but they may not be the object of constant worship, ceremony, etc.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:15 am: In the polytheistic model, gods and goddesses are flawed. They fight; they're incestuous, pugnacious, bitter, nasty and distant. They lust after and despise humans, or they are protective, walk among humans and can be easily placated but remain unpredictable. ... if you have a god or goddess they should seem "real."

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:16 am: if your god character isn't real to you, it won't be to your readers

[frasersherman] 11:16 am: The novel "Jericho Moon" does a very good handling of Yahweh in the Old Testament.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:17 am: That's a complex deity to start with, especially when you get into the old Ugaritic stories

[frasersherman] 11:17 am: And yes, you have to be comfortable with your religion. One of my shorts, "Champions of Darkness," had the darkness as the force of good, but working out some of the feeling behind it on the light and dark sides took a looong time.

[Loki]: basletum has entered at 11:17 am

[MeredithHolmes] 11:18 am: If you're not certain about the religion, even one you made up yourself, it really can mess with the story even if the religion is a minor, minor part

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:18 am: it's easier, i think, to characterize a priest than a god. ... and i agree, if you're not comfortable with the religious elements inyour story, your reader will know it
[frasersherman] 11:18 am: Yes. You don't have to know everything about it but you should know enough it will sound like you do.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:18 am: you take your reader out of the story.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:18 am: conversational religion

[MeredithHolmes] 11:19 am: like conversational French. know enough to get by

[frasersherman] 11:19 am: Well put.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:19 am: i'm an obsessive researcher. I gather tonnes of material beyond what i'll need.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:19 am: but eventually, some of the excess finds a use

[frasersherman] 11:20 am: "Well, I can use this book for my research ..." I know that rationalization.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:20 am: I have so many books and notes for religion creation and world building lol. If it's not used in the story I'm gathering it for, it will find a home in another one, no doubt

[MeredithHolmes] 11:20 am: My SO is used to the reams of paper and library books and bookstore purchases by now I hope lol

[frasersherman] 11:20 am: Should we do questions yet, do you think?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:20 am: Historical models help. Is your priest a Richelieu? A St. Patrick? A Peter, a Paul, a Thuggee with a bloody knife, a philosopher, a dirty, smelly beggar with a mixture of wisdom and foolishness? All those types are modeled in history. Use your research as the basis for realism.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:20 am: too early i think, unless you're done

[MeredithHolmes] 11:21 am: it's like Jungian archetypes. Some things transcend religious branding and show up in all paths, even if they're made up for a story

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:21 am: readers should be able to say, "oh, i know this character."

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:21 am: he's my priest, neighbor, i went to college with him

[MeredithHolmes] 11:21 am: "That reminds me of Father whoever, sister what's her face,"

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:21 am: and nod along with your description

[MeredithHolmes] 11:22 am: or even "oh, that deity...they're like so and so from this culture or that." Not a knock-off, but an identifiable motivation for them

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:22 am: yes

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:22 am: well put

[MeredithHolmes] 11:22 am: even the most...irrational...gods have a motivation for their actions

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:22 am: Ultimately, most characters are ourselves. They are an extract of the good, the common, the nonsensical and deeply disturbed bits that hide in all of us. Refine from yourself just the elements you want.

[frasersherman] 11:22 am: Up to a point, yes--once you go back a few centuries, I think grasping religion is harder. The absolute certainty so many people had in Medieval Europe is really alien, even to devout believers these days.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:23 am: Medieval religion is like a whole different animal, even if you're talking about Catholicism. What was Catholicism then is different than what it is now

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:23 am: oh, I'm not sure i agree with that. Medieval thought is alive and well

[MeredithHolmes] 11:23 am: I mean like the Marianist cults, the certainty about witches...

[MeredithHolmes] 11:23 am: though now that I type that, I think you're right

[frasersherman] 11:23 am: And of course, we have Lovecraft's insane cults, which are very alien, but convincing enough people shop for the Necronomicon in bookstores.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:23 am: I just thought of those cultures where people are still murdered for being "witches" and those exorcisms that pop up on the news once or thrice a year

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:23 am: the struggle between petrobrusians and catholics continues ... but under new names. the arguments are the same, people's feelings remain tied up in it

[MeredithHolmes] 11:24 am: you're right

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:25 am: we should observe that magical elements in Fantasy fiction are essentailly religious

[MeredithHolmes] 11:25 am: I think that, when you get right down to it, it's like you said a minute or two ago, most characters are ourselves. What are the gods but slivers of humanity made large? or maybe we're them...who knows. ;)

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:25 am: there is little difference between magic and religion

[frasersherman] 11:25 am: Agreed. If you approach everything from how the players feel, even a dispute between Orthodox Catholics and Nestorians could be made interesting.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:25 am: sorry 'bout my bad typing

[MeredithHolmes] 11:25 am: I just have lag time--I'm not seeing some posts till after I type so I'm a question behind lol

[frasersherman] 11:25 am: That depends on the writer, I think. I wouldn't say it's automatic.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:25 am: the key is to be selective. It should further the story or leave it out

[MeredithHolmes] 11:25 am: exactly

[frasersherman] 11:26 am: Absolutely!

[MeredithHolmes] 11:26 am: while it may be fascinating, is it helping the story?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:26 am: or does it just make the reader skip ahead?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:26 am: In Pixie Warrior I have my characters do things that seem magical, but any Pixie will tell you, "There is no magic." It is all biology. Pixies see magic as the tricks perpetrated by wicked fairies.

[frasersherman] 11:26 am: Which is true of most world-building or character detail, I think: Are you telling the reader stuff they will want to know.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:26 am: handle it all in as natural and muted way as possible

[Loki]: hhancock has entered at 11:27 am

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:27 am: hi, Harry

[MeredithHolmes] 11:27 am: It shouldn't be, or should rarely be, like a play where everyone stands back and watches the religion happen mid-stage, in awe.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:27 am: Religion is more fun when it's presented with irony and humor. The Israelites knew this as did First Century Christians.

[frasersherman] 11:27 am: And if you're going to attempt a moment of awe, it had better be truly awe inspiring.

[hhancock] 11:27 am: Hi

[MeredithHolmes] 11:27 am: In cases where you have a stranger in a strange land scenario, that may work. Sort of a "wow, what are you all doing? Why is that happening?"

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:28 am: yes

[hhancock] 11:28 am: Sorry I'm late. Mother's day

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:28 am: religion displays emotions good and bad

[MeredithHolmes] 11:28 am: yes

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:28 am: it's a foil for your characters emotions

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:28 am: i love the humorous elements

[frasersherman] 11:29 am: There's a sequence in Children of Men (the movie) where after five childless years a baby's been born and one character walks out into a firefight with the baby and everyone stops and just stares like it's the most amazing thing in the world. That's the kind of awe it takes.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:29 am: God tells jokes, creates word-plays, and teaches object lessons with dry and sometimes wry wit. He speaks with scorn, he placates; he opens the vast invisible panoply of heavenly hosts to view - partly to reassure and partly with smiling amusement at puny human doubt.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:29 am: make it interesting and fun

[frasersherman] 11:29 am: And there should be a variety of religious people--true believers, cynics, the wryly amused and the dour. It's not as if all believers are stamped out of the same cloth.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:30 am: It's not quite the same as a god-humor but makes me think of The Screwtape Letters--this supernatural being observing the human world and advising on it from his POV as a demon

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:30 am: oh ... and don't use it for sermonizing. Even in Christian fiction, your reader doesn't want a sermon, they're reading your book to be entertained

[frasersherman] 11:30 am: Any more than in the real world.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:30 am: true

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:30 am: pangborn wrote a Martian invasion novel, forget the name, back in the 50's. all based on the book of jobe

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:30 am: job

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:30 am: fun book, good sf writing

[MeredithHolmes] 11:30 am: oh what was that called? I read it ages ago and loved it... crud.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:30 am: almost no mention of religion, but all derived form it

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:31 am: sorry i can't remember the title now [A Mirror for Observers, 1954]

[frasersherman] 11:31 am: There's an excellent book, Rapture Ready, on trying to balance the needs of the Christian marketplace with the urge to create good work. It's very interesting.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:31 am: bad me

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:31 am: loved the book though

[MeredithHolmes] 11:31 am: It'll come to me around 2 am no doubt

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:31 am: I'm done i think. you Meredith? Fraser? questions now?

[frasersherman] 11:31 am: Sounds good to me.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:32 am: questions work for me!

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:32 am: mer, you want to moderate the questions?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:32 am: i get lost

[MeredithHolmes] 11:32 am: I'll give it a shot

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:32 am: okay guys, questions and comments, regular rules

[chibiBoo] 11:32 am: ?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:32 am: if you have a question, type in ?. if you have a comment, ! And you'll be called on in order

[MeredithHolmes] 11:32 am: chibiBoo?

[chibiBoo] 11:33 am: For the newbies wanting to create a religion for their story where do you suggest they begin? g/a

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:34 am: reading, lots of reading ... mythology, history of religions

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:34 am: good writers are good readers first

[frasersherman] 11:34 am: I usually have to write a while and develop my world as I go. Then I do the actual worldbuilding on the rewrites.

[frasersherman] 11:34 am: And yes, Rachael's advice is good too.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:34 am: IMHO...start with your characters and their world. What motivates them, where do they live, etc. And research, research, research. Like Rachael said, religious history, mythology, cultural studies

[MeredithHolmes] 11:34 am: look at different systems around the world, see what you can picture your characters as a part of

[MeredithHolmes] 11:34 am: then build

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:34 am: ask yourself what the point of your character's religious experience is

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:35 am: go from there

[MeredithHolmes] 11:35 am: yep

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:35 am: he fights evil? why?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:35 am: how?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:35 am: how does the religious elements define him and his antagonist

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:35 am: do*

[K.T. Hanna] 11:35 am: ?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:35 am: is their religion one based on forgiveness, vengeance, nature worship, ceremonial magic, etc? is the character ambivalent, does the religion "allow" for ambivalence, etc...

[MeredithHolmes] 11:36 am: K.T.Hanna?

[frasersherman] 11:36 am: Is religion important to the protagonist like Brother Cadfael or the guy in Name of the Rose? Or largely irrelevant like Conan?

[widdershins] 11:36 am: ?

[K.T. Hanna] 11:36 am: If writing a scifi novel set completely off earth with varied alien species, would you recommend still basing the religion on old earth religions?

[frasersherman] 11:36 am: Depends. How alien is the race?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:36 am: I think they're a good basis for research, to get an idea of how religions "work" so to speak.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:36 am: KT there is no type of theology that doesn't already exist. use what your readers will recognize

[frasersherman] 11:36 am: Do they think like us?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:37 am: Widdershins?

[K.T. Hanna] 11:37 am: Not really -one of the races is similar anatomically, but the rest are not

[MeredithHolmes] 11:37 am: oh, sorry!

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:37 am: for the mid 19th century many thought of aborigines as less than human in some way, less developed and in need of rescue, oppression, and sympathy in turns

[widdershins] 11:37 am: Do you create a fictional religion from the Gods down or the worshippers up ... or from somewhere in the middle? g/a/

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:38 am: that is essentially an alien response to another culture

[frasersherman] 11:38 am: There was a short story by Jorge Luis Borges that dealt with a philosophy where if you leave the room, then return, you can't assume that it's really the same room. Something as alien likas that is difficult to pull off, but it's ccertainly interesting.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:38 am: excellent example Rachael

[MeredithHolmes] 11:38 am: amd fraser!

[K.T. Hanna] 11:38 am: hmmm that's a great idea - I'll look at it from that perspective. Thank you g/a

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:39 am: widd, if you use religion to further your story ... then your story will determine how you proceeded

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:39 am: dang bad spelling pixie! [fixed it for this post.]

[MeredithHolmes] 11:39 am: Widdershins: personally, I sort of do both. depending on how main a feature the religion is to the character, the story, the plot

[frasersherman] 11:39 am: Exactly. Are the gods going to be players? Or are their worshippers the prime movers?

[widdershins] 11:39 am: religion or the Gods involved are central to the story

[MeredithHolmes] 11:39 am: if the gods play an important role, then I will start with them. if the character has little to do with the gods other than an oblique mention or little to do, then I start with the people.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:40 am: If they're central, I create the gods' culture first or early on

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:40 am: widd .... do you know ann crispin? or her writing? ...

[frasersherman] 11:40 am: Agreed. And if you have to change after you've started, that's what rewriting is for.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:40 am: Ann was my mentor and is still my friend ... she makes huge notebooks of back story

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:40 am: i don't do that except for complex issues

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:40 am: but it does help in world creation

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:41 am: write out your thoughts, even if you don't use them

[MeredithHolmes] 11:41 am: file-o-fax of the gods

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:41 am: review, adapt

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:41 am: more questions, comments?

[widdershins] 11:42 am: will look her up ... I know I'd have to do more research! g/a

[MeredithHolmes] 11:42 am: Bueller? Bueller? lol

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:42 am: Ann was andre nortons writing partner for a while. she wrote the hans solo trilolgy. V (remember the old tv show) and lots of fantasy fiction

[MeredithHolmes] 11:43 am: wow

[frasersherman] 11:43 am: Ah, now I know who you mean.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:43 am: it's A C cripsin on the title page

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:43 am: but her name is Ann

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:44 am: each writer must find some way to think the story through to the end. even non-fiction writers have to do a historian i have to do that

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:44 am: if you don't think it through, by chapter fourteen you'll be inventing dragons or something

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:45 am: to carry the story forward

[MeredithHolmes] 11:45 am: There has to be a beginning, middle, end... you can't just skip the middle to get to the juicy part.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:45 am: this is true of religious elements too

[MeredithHolmes] 11:45 am: rocks fall, everyone dies!

[MeredithHolmes] 11:45 am: the religion needs a reason

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:45 am: more questions?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:45 am: comments?

[frasersherman] 11:45 am: If you do decide midway through that something has to happen, you can always go back and work in the rationale so it feels like you set it up from the first. I wind up doing that a lot--I've never been good at planning before I write.

[chibiBoo] 11:46 am: can you give a few more examples of how fantasy magic is religion based?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:46 am: that's the good thing about editing--you can "fix" things or expand or narrow during the course of the writing

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:46 am: well .. i joke about dragons in chapter fourteen. that's where my dragons show up. but they were planned

[MeredithHolmes] 11:47 am: things we, as typical humans, might consider magical would be just religion to the characters. The ability to fly, for example. Well, that's faith. or as Rachael said, dragons. Dragons are fantastical elements to us but to the characters, they're a fact of life. or of faith.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:47 am: oh ... good resource: lewis: encyclopedia of the occult, 1924. there are more recent editions

[widdershins] 11:47 am: !

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:47 am: lots of ideas in there

[MeredithHolmes] 11:47 am: I need to find that!

[MeredithHolmes] 11:47 am: widdershins?

[FrancesP] 11:48 am: !

[widdershins] 11:48 am: David and Leigh Eddings Belgariad did wonderful work with religious icons.. and human archtypes

[frasersherman] 11:48 am: I'm not sure I agree, though. A lot of people through history have distinguished the "magic" their priests can supposedly do from magic done by other sources.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:48 am: good point, Fraser

[widdershins] 11:48 am: They Blended them seamlessly into a great saga

[MeredithHolmes] 11:48 am: I guess it will depend on the author, the characters, to an extent

[frasersherman] 11:49 am: Absolutely.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:49 am: i agree, widd. if aphrael were real, i'd worhip her

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:49 am: loved that character

[MeredithHolmes] 11:49 am: FrancesP?

[widdershins] 11:49 am: would be dangerous not to!

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:49 am: best character eddings ever created

[FrancesP] 11:50 am: even when the religion is defunct, it can still be a huge part of your worldbuilding. Andre Norton did fabulous things with ruins and ancient, forgotten faith

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:50 am: yes

[FrancesP] 11:50 am: in her witchworld series. But they were even as a forgotten faith, incredibly consistent.

[FrancesP] 11:50 am: which I think is key. :-) g/a

[MeredithHolmes] 11:51 am: That's an excellent point--not all religious influence in fiction will be from thriving faiths. The older, defunct paths often have a huge impact on the living ones.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:51 am: no religion ever dies. modern religions are syncretistic. we celebrate Astarte's fertility rights every easter.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:51 am: and on birthdays--cakes for the queen of heaven

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:51 am: birth the the unconquered sun ... dec 25

[widdershins] 11:52 am: ?

[MeredithHolmes] 11:52 am: widdershins?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:52 am: the forest spirits of the Germanic tribes in pise trees with decorations

[widdershins] 11:52 am: @Rachael... do you converse regularly somewhere on the internet? g/a

[frasersherman] 11:52 am: One thing I wish more writers would take from the real world is that religious faiths don't always agree, even within themselves. The faiths tend to be monolothic and have little if any doctrinal dispute.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:52 am: pine*

[widdershins] 11:52 am: Love how you express words and concepts

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:53 am: widd, i hang out with a bunch of friends on second life, and sometimes in authors lounge in AOL chat

[MeredithHolmes] 11:53 am: Fraser: SO true. I've noticed many fictional religions, even derivations of real ones, tend to be very homogenous with little conflict within the path

[hhancock] 11:53 am: !

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:53 am: but mostly i camp out in SL while i work on
a project

[MeredithHolmes] 11:53 am: which just isn't "real" lol

[MeredithHolmes] 11:53 am: er, that was for Fraser

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:53 am: and thanks for the nice words

[MeredithHolmes] 11:53 am: hhancock?

[frasersherman] 11:54 am: For example, any alternate history I've ever read assumes that if the Protestant Reformation didn't happen, the catholic Church would remain monolithic down to the present day.

[hhancock] 11:54 am: Rachael also has a wonderful blog

[frasersherman] 11:54 am: And I don't think tha'ts real either.

[widdershins] 11:54 am: Sorry... I cant speak acronym

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:54 am: SL is lindenlabs Second Life virtual world

[widdershins] 11:54 am: blogs I get

[MeredithHolmes] 11:54 am: @Fraser: That's a bold assumption on behalf of
the authors lol

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:54 am: blog:

[frasersherman] 11:54 am: Ain't it though?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:55 am: i love blog visitors

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:55 am: my notes for this conference are on my blog

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:55 am: scroll down

[hhancock] 11:55 am: and comments!

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:55 am: yes comments!

[MeredithHolmes] 11:55 am: more questions, folks? comments? answers, lol?

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:55 am: harry is my most faithful blog reader

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:56 am:

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:56 am: nothing? we either explained it all or bored
you silly

[K.T. Hanna] 11:56 am: !

[frasersherman] 11:56 am: Or both! :)

[MeredithHolmes] 11:56 am: lol

[MeredithHolmes] 11:57 am: KT Hanna?

[K.T. Hanna] 11:57 am: I really liked this panel - answered a few questions I had and reconfirmed some things I'd been curious about

[frasersherman] 11:57 am: Cool.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:57 am: good

[MeredithHolmes] 11:57 am: Good! It's been really fun. All of the panels I've sat on or been to have been great. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

[K.T. Hanna] 11:57 am: My gibberish question was understood well - I'm sick at the moment so I thought it would come out a little garbled. So thank you all g/a :)

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:57 am: shameless plug: you want to know how we handled
religion in fantasy, read our books

[aswiebe] 11:58 am: Oh, and here's the direct link for the panel draft on
Rachael's blog:

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:58 am: Pixie Warrior for instance

[frasersherman] 11:58 am: Or short stories.

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:58 am: that too

[MeredithHolmes] 11:58 am: lol, thanks, Rachael! Unseelie, too, lol

[MeredithHolmes] 11:58 am: and Fraser's stories!

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:58 am: yes

[MeredithHolmes] 11:58 am: and watch for our upcoming books

[MeredithHolmes] 11:58 am: and stories

[frasersherman] 11:58 am: I have a parody of the Cthulhu cults in Arkham
Tales #4, available online ("Signs and Hortense")

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:58 am: pixie 2 is in the works

[MeredithHolmes] 11:58 am: I'm working on Maxwell's Demon. Physics and demons
and fantasy, oh my...

[aswiebe] 11:59 am: Thanks---fun discussion. ::applause::

[MeredithHolmes] 11:59 am: Fraser: SOOOOOO checking that out asap!

[sjcollins] 11:59 am: Thank you Meredith, Rachael and Fraser :)

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:59 am: another approach to religion/magic is found
in the xanth stories

[Rachael de Vienne] 11:59 am: welcome

[frasersherman] 11:59 am: Let me know what you think.

[frasersherman] 11:59 am: And you're welcome.

[MeredithHolmes] 11:59 am: OH, Xanth... Piers Anthony is great

[MeredithHolmes] 12:00 pm: any one else?

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:00 pm: piers A sent me an nice email when he knocked pixie warrior from number 1 on fictonwise

[MeredithHolmes] 12:00 pm: going once...going twice...

[MeredithHolmes] 12:00 pm: lol! he's sweet!

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:00 pm: made me jump up an down

[frasersherman] 12:00 pm: Heck, yeah!

[MeredithHolmes] 12:00 pm: *G* I'd have done the same thing

[widdershins] 12:00 pm: Oh dear.. the kids have arrived for M's day ... gotta go.... thank you all so much

[Loki]: widdershins has left at 12:00 pm

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:00 pm: bye widder

[MeredithHolmes] 12:00 pm: Happy Mother's day to those who observe!

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:01 pm: fraser, did you post your notes? mere?

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:01 pm: tell them where

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:01 pm: if you did

[frasersherman] 12:01 pm: No, I didn't, I'm afraid.

[frasersherman] 12:01 pm: I didn't have notes, I pretty much winged it.

[MeredithHolmes] 12:01 pm: I haven't yet but I have a backlog to get posted tomorrow at I'll be posting the ones from the few panels I've been on tomorrow and Tuesday. I'm reviving the blog after being on maternity leave lol

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:02 pm: oh the diapers!

[MeredithHolmes] 12:02 pm: Mythic fiction, writing non christian characters, this one, later I'll be on Urban Fantasy and then the faery creatures one. and oy, diapers, lol

[MeredithHolmes] 12:02 pm: I'm listing to my SO changing one right now and
being glad it's not me

[frasersherman] 12:02 pm: I'll check it out.

[frasersherman] 12:02 pm: The blog, not the diapers.

[MeredithHolmes] 12:02 pm: Any other questions in queue? and LOL, Fraser

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:02 pm: yes, avoid diapers IF you can

[MeredithHolmes] 12:02 pm: lol

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:02 pm: did we miss anyone?

[MeredithHolmes] 12:03 pm: I think we got the ones who posted ? or !

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:03 pm: did you get your comment made, harry?

[MeredithHolmes] 12:03 pm: oooooh...did I miss someone? Meep...

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:03 pm: we're all done then?

[frasersherman] 12:03 pm: I think everyone got theirs in.

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:04 pm: thanks for reading our comments and for attending

[Rachael de Vienne] 12:04 pm: it was fun

[MeredithHolmes] 12:04 pm: Well, this has been fun! Hope everyone had a good time! I'll go relieve my SO for bottle duty and see y'all around the con!

[hhancock] 12:04 pm: Yes. That you are a very entertaining writer and I've enjoyed the session.
[frasersherman] 12:04 pm: Yes.

[leonawisoker] 12:04 pm: thanks! :)

[FrancesP] 12:04 pm: very nice panel! thank you.

[frasersherman] 12:04 pm: Adieu.

[Ruskin Drake] 12:04 pm: Thanks, everyone.

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