Saturday, May 08, 2010

Instant Expert!

I filled in at the last minute. Slightly edited for spelling, but not too much. Mostly what you see is what happened.

[Demascus03] 3:48 pm: Hello all.

[] 3:49 pm: Hello!

[] 3:49 pm: Hi :)

[MeredithHolmes] 3:49 pm: Hi there. Is everyone here for the Writing NonChristian Characters panel at 5 pm est?

[] 3:50 pm: Yup! And very excited, too.

[MeredithHolmes] 3:51 pm: Wow, looks like we're going to have a great crowdtoday!

[riversway] 3:51 pm: hi oliver and all

[Loki]: has entered at 3:52 pm

[] 3:52 pm: Hi Oliver :)

[widdershins] 3:52 pm: G'day Ollie ... good crowd eh?

[] 3:52 pm: Hey Leona

[Oliver] 3:53 pm: How's everyone doing so far? Good crowd is rite! Hey Leona!

[Oliver] 3:53 pm: I'm trying to eat pancakes without getting syrup on thekey board...

[] 3:54 pm: Heh, good luck with that, Oliver.

[widdershins] 3:54 pm: ulp!... doing that w/shop with Gillian has returnedmy language to its roots

[] 3:54 pm: lol!

[] 3:54 pm: *emerging from lurkdom* Hi, everyone. Is the panel about to start?

[Oliver] 3:54 pm: Widders -:D Kathleen - so far, so good.

[widdershins] 3:55 pm: @olliver.... I find a tetowl tied securely aroundmy neck helps

[Oliver] 3:55 pm: It will probably start 'bout 5 after....

[Oliver] 3:55 pm: I think I have those tea towels packed... (I'm in the middleof moving...)

[MeredithHolmes] 3:56 pm: That seems to be how these panels are so far--westart the author chat portion around five after then after 45 minutes orso, we open "the floor" to questions. The moderator (i'm not sure who thatis yet!) will take people in order...someone will explain it soon, lol.

[Loki]: Rachael de Vienne has entered at 3:56 pm

[Oliver] 3:56 pm: Hey Rachael!

[Rachael de Vienne] 3:57 pm: hi, oliver

[Oliver] 3:57 pm: Hey Jaleta - now that you have emerged from lurkdom, youcan't go back! We need entertainment!: roll:

[Rachael de Vienne] 3:58 pm: lurkdom ... that sounds like some evil fairyhideout

[MeredithHolmes] 3:58 pm: lol, story idea!

[] 3:58 pm: Entertainment? "Nothing up my sleeves folk!" *pulls a rabbitour of his arse*

[Oliver] 3:58 pm: I happen to like evil fairies...:evil:

[Rachael de Vienne] 3:59 pm: I'm more or less using it in Pixie Book 2

[] 3:59 pm: for supper, Oliver?

[Rachael de Vienne] 3:59 pm: not the name lurkdom though

[Rachael de Vienne] 4:00 pm: there is a tower on summerhouse point, in wales,and i'm using it as the basis for my fairy mound, evil nasty wicked fairyhide out

[Oliver] 4:00 pm: Frances - naw. I tend to love a well written, sympatheticvillain in any story... Call it my thing for bad boys...

[MeredithHolmes] 4:00 pm: That sounds like a positively wicked place, Rachael.

[] 4:00 pm: Oh, I am so there. Sucker for a dangerous man.

[Rachael de Vienne] 4:01 pm: yes, I intend it to be

[valarltd] 4:01 pm: Hi. This looked fascinating

[MeredithHolmes] 4:01 pm: Can't wait to read it!

[Rachael de Vienne] 4:01 pm: there's a photo of the original on my blog

[MeredithHolmes] 4:01 pm: I'll have to check it out after the panel!

[Oliver] 4:01 pm: Jaleta - yeah, I'll count it, since you just emerged....

[] 4:01 pm: Like a butterfly from a chrysalis. Hah! I'm a poet this afternoon.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:02 pm: Hey, Deena! Hi, Sarah!

[Loki]: Deena has entered at 4:02 pm

[] 4:03 pm: Hi Deena :)

[Oliver] 4:03 pm: Poets have their uses! (ducks in case a poet take thatthe wrong way) I meant it as a compliment!

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:03 pm: I'm peeking in to see if everything'sgoing okay. Did you sign in with the mod password so you can use the speechbubble to prove you're legit?

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:03 pm: yep! We haven't started yet--I wasn'tsure if there was to be a mod for this panel. Everyone here seems REALLYchatty already.

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:03 pm: You and Sarah are supposed to handleit... if you're okay with that?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:03 pm: I think we're going to get started soon.

[Sarah Avery] 4:03 pm: Taken as a compliment, Oliver. It's rare enough someonesees poets as useful! Hi, Deena

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:03 pm: sure!

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:04 pm: lol

[JourneyMouse] 4:04 pm: Hi apologies for lateness :)

[Loki]: vigorio has entered at 4:04 pm

[Oliver] 4:04 pm: I don't even want to know whats under my couch... (shuddersat the mere though) -- Well, I gotta buck up, I'll be moving that in a weekor so....

[] 4:04 pm: I like poets. I just know I'm not much of one.

[Rachael de Vienne] 4:04 pm: if i disappear on you all, i have a sick headacheand my just go poof

[MeredithHolmes] 4:05 pm: Okay, folks, looks like we'll be starting soon.Have y'all all played panel before? in other words, lol, you know how thisworks? When we get started, the authors chat about the topic and then about45 minutes in, we open the floor to questions. If you have a question, pleaseenter? And you'll be called on in order of appearance. Just like in school,lol

[Oliver] 4:05 pm: Rachel - blame it on those evil fairies...

[] 4:05 pm: School? *shudders* Bad memories...

[Rachael de Vienne] 4:05 pm: as a teacher ... I wish it really worked thatway in my classroom

[MeredithHolmes->Sarah Avery] 4:05 pm: Is it just you and me for thischat or are others joining?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:06 pm: lol, Rachael, I used to teach and it was alwaysmy dream for that to actually work

[Rachael de Vienne] 4:06 pm: not really. I like the give and take of fluidideas

[Oliver] 4:06 pm: Journey mouse - your not late - Just making a social fashionstatement..

[Sarah Avery->MeredithHolmes] 4:06 pm: I don't know. I'll check the schedulesite.

[MeredithHolmes->Sarah Avery] 4:06 pm: There's four of us listed but Ionly see us so I was wondering if the others dropped out for now.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:06 pm: okay, folks...ready?

[Deena] 4:06 pm: I'm not seeing Jess Howe or Edward Morris. They may notbe able to make it.

[JourneyMouse] 4:07 pm: My fashion statement = I'm not time aware at alland very dizzy ;)

[MeredithHolmes] 4:07 pm: I was just wondering that.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:07 pm: re Deena

[Sarah Avery->MeredithHolmes] 4:07 pm: I haven't heard.

[MeredithHolmes->Sarah Avery] 4:07 pm: Deena just said they may not beable to make it so do you want to just you and I get started and if theyshow up, they can jump in?

[valarltd] 4:07 pm: I'm ready.

[Sarah Avery->MeredithHolmes] 4:08 pm: Sounds good.

[Oliver] 4:08 pm: Ready, Santa (said nasially)

[MeredithHolmes] 4:08 pm: Well, let's get started and if they show up, theycan jump in with Sarah and I.

[Sarah Avery] 4:08 pm: I'm ready. If our other companions on the schedulearrive, we can pause for their intros.

[Deena] 4:08 pm: That sounds good to me.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:08 pm: whooo!

[Sarah Avery] 4:10 pm: I'm working on the third novella in a series abouta coven of eclectic postmodern Wiccans who live in a slightly supernaturalNew Jersey. I'm also an initiated priestess in the Blue Star tradition ofWicca, which puts me in the odd position of writing characters from a verydifferent denomination from the one I practice.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:10 pm: I'm Meredith Holmes, author of Unseelie and someshort works for Drollerie Press. I'm currently working on several fantasyand romance pieces and pretty much all of my stories have non-christiancharacters. Not just Pagan, either, though many are. Writing non-Christiancharacters is a personal pet project of mine--I've read SO many books andstories where the characters were presented through the lens of someone whois not a member of that faith or has not researched it

[MeredithHolmes] 4:10 pm: or even has created it well. I'm personally a PAganon a Levantine path and a practicing witch and Hoodooienne.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:12 pm: I am not going to criticize specific authors ornovels but one of the things I've noticed when I read stories with characterswho are Jewish or Muslim or Pagan, etc, is that you can really tell whensomeone has not done their research

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:12 pm: Rachael is volunteering. She'll be signingback in with the speech bubble in a minute. Do you think you can save thetranscript?

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:12 pm: sure! Just hit save at the end, right?

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:13 pm: Yes, and then copy and paste the newpage.

[Sarah Avery] 4:13 pm: I'm not familiar with the Levantine path. Are youin any particular tradition in your practice as a witch? And are you at libertyto talk about your training in Hoodoo? And I totally agree about the researchissues. Oh, Edward's here! Intro?

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:13 pm: Just send it to her at the end of thepanel?

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:13 pm: into email duh.. Should finish a thought.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:13 pm: He's still in coyote it looks like

[MeredithHolmes] 4:13 pm: The Levantine one is often called "Jewitchery"but it's not quite that.

[Sarah Avery] 4:14 pm: Welcome, Edward. We're still in intros.

[Edward Morris] 4:14 pm: Sorry I was late you guys. Made the mistake of goingto New Seasons. Lines out the door... Started yet?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:14 pm: It's based on the traditions of the ancient Canaanitesand Phoenicians and peoples of the Levant. My witcheraft is jokingly referredto as "Swampwitch" lol mainly because it's heavily folkloric from the AmericanSouth. It IS very influenced by Hoodoo but it isn't the same--they are twodifferent practices. I was trained in the latter by my family members whopractice and by a local hoodoo woman

[MeredithHolmes] 4:14 pm: Hey, Edward! Jump on in and intro yourself!

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:15 pm: lol

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:15 pm: I love you, smarty pants. I'm glad youvolunteered for this panel. I had no idea you're such an expert.

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:15 pm: lol. Well, it's just stuff I know. There'sothers FAR more knowledgeable than me!

[Edward Morris] 4:16 pm: I'm Edward Morris. Card carrying swampwitch. Oneof my goals as a writer is to write about the traditions that I practiceand the ones that my loved ones do, correctly and without all the Hollywoodstuff. The way Charles de Lint does, and S.M. Stirling...

[MeredithHolmes] 4:16 pm: Yesssssssssssss!

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:16 pm: i appear to be filling in on this panel too

[MeredithHolmes] 4:16 pm: My own craft is, like I said, heavily folkloricbut it combines nicely with the ceremonial magicks of the Levant

[MeredithHolmes] 4:17 pm: yay! Hi, Rachael!

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:17 pm: Yeah, but just stuff you know is good.Personal.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:17 pm: hi, Meredith

[Edward Morris] 4:17 pm: My own practice falls somewhere between old Celticand, strangely enough, conjur or Vodou. It found _me._

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:17 pm: Yep

[MeredithHolmes] 4:17 pm: lol, isn't that the way it always goes with conjure?Seems so anyway.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:17 pm: I'm a card carrying non-traditional Christianwith a PhD in history and a back ground in world religions

[Deena->MeredithHolmes] 4:17 pm: k, I'm gonna go make my family some skettiesbefore the next session.

[Edward Morris] 4:18 pm: I say 'strangely' b/c if I were any whiter I'd vanish.

[MeredithHolmes->Deena] 4:18 pm: rock on! :)

[MeredithHolmes] 4:18 pm: It's good to find another conjureperson around!

[MeredithHolmes] 4:18 pm: and much PhD envy, Rachael!

[MeredithHolmes] 4:18 pm: Do you find the studies and your grad work helpin writing the non Christian religions?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:18 pm: my students are just as obnoxious as when itwas just B.Ed

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:18 pm: yes

[MeredithHolmes] 4:18 pm: lol

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:18 pm: very much so.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:19 pm: The other day in the mythic fiction panel, someoneasked about writing Islam and other faiths which might be "touchy". Haveany of y'all had an issue with writing religions you are not part of?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:19 pm: not as in "oh, I can't do this" but as in you havea hard time making sure you're doing it "right"

[Edward Morris] 4:19 pm: Not really. If I want to write a Muslim, I hangout with them first.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:20 pm: as fiction. ... no. my current history bookhas caused a minor earthquake among related adherents. i get fan mail and... hate mail

[MeredithHolmes] 4:20 pm: wow

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:20 pm: you live with it.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:20 pm: true...

[Sarah Avery] 4:20 pm: Because there's so much social overlap among differentbranches of Paganism, I have Druid characters and Asatru characters, a lodge-fullof Theosophists, and several Methodists. The Methodists were hardest forme to get right. : )

[MeredithHolmes] 4:20 pm: lol

[Edward Morris] 4:21 pm: Methodism is hard for Methodists to get right.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:21 pm: I've written a lot of Jewish characters and Catholiccharacters and Pagans but for me, the most difficult to get "right" are Nativefaiths.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:21 pm: Methodists are not the edgy sect there werein the early 19th century. it's a shame

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:21 pm: the old days were more fun

[Edward Morris] 4:22 pm: so say we all

[MeredithHolmes] 4:22 pm: Research, research, research, but at the same time,you don't want it to be dry and boring or like reciting a text book. That'sone of the drawbacks, I think--i've read a few stories where the researchwas obvious mainly because the writer felt they had to infodump everythingthey learned about the path

[Sarah Avery] 4:22 pm: I'd hesitate to try writing a Native faith, becausethe practitioners have been subject to so much appropriation. I think I coulddo good Moravians, though.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:22 pm: Moravians are fun, I'd think

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:22 pm: research is essential. More of it than you'dever use.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:23 pm: It's far better to have too much info on hand thannot enough and have to wing it, then make a poor showing

[Edward Morris] 4:23 pm: yes. mainly to get the feel of the faith 2nd nature

[Sarah Avery] 4:23 pm: I wrote my dissertation on a Moravian-born poet whobecame a sort of eclectic goddess-worshipper in the 1910's. She, too, wasnostalgic for the wilder days of her sect.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:23 pm: on the panel tomorrow i'll recommendbooks.google.com as a resource. it's like having a university library onyour desk. use it

[MeredithHolmes] 4:23 pm: but it doesn't have to all go into the story. andRachael--that's an amazing resource.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:24 pm: I got spoiled when I was in grad school by beingable to access the university's collections and their online resources

[Sarah Avery] 4:24 pm: I wish Google weren't quite so addicted to rightsgrabs, though. I'd like to feel better about using them.

[Edward Morris] 4:24 pm: googlebooks is good. i like the portland librarysystem better. they let you photocopy.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:25 pm: i understand and sympathize, sarah ... but youcan't find similar searchable access to historical resources outside thelibrary of congress. and the LC isn't searchable by keyword and exact phrase

[Edward Morris] 4:25 pm: and yes, i do recycle (c) materials after i am donewith fair-use usage

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:26 pm: a huge chunk of the bodelian library is on googlebooks, it used to take many letters to get things out of them

[Edward Morris] 4:26 pm: googlebooks almost demands a photographic memorywhen using it for research.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:26 pm: no no. download the book, print out pages, andorganize

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:26 pm: or use the clip function to take text

[Sarah Avery] 4:26 pm: Okay here's an odd question: are there secrecy taboosin the traditions you practice that limit what you feel you can write inyour fiction?

[Edward Morris] 4:27 pm: not really. if there were, i wouldn't tell you.;)

[MeredithHolmes] 4:27 pm: Well, when i've written characters in oathboundtraditions, for example, there's things that I as a writer won't know sinceI'm not a member. Like the OTO, for example. So I gloss over that as bestI can, or make it a non-integral part of the story

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:27 pm: every religion has unspoken rules in additionto what they paractice openly. and those rules change by area. most of themare cultural and not strictly religious

[MeredithHolmes] 4:28 pm: You can intimate things about the oathbound partsof the tradition, sort of step lightly.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:29 pm: intimate, not make up.

[Edward Morris] 4:29 pm: there are limits to what can be discussed secondhand. hard to boil down the numinous for Everyone Else Who Wasn't There (tm).but that's kinda my job. i've just been taught that to be observed in practiceis something i should avoid, and to do all good works anonymously whenpossible...

[MeredithHolmes] 4:29 pm: There's an example in Hoodoo...there are some thingsyou don't share the making of because it's specific to the practicioner.But you can talk about them doing the working

[MeredithHolmes] 4:30 pm: think Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.They talk about the conjurewoman in the cemetery and what she does to helpthe trial but the specifics are lacking in a way that leaves the mysterybut doesn't make it feel like a gaping hole

[Edward Morris] 4:30 pm: yes. talk about what you did but not how you didit. keep the right answers for yourself. thus the hidden connection thatmakes the act possible

[MeredithHolmes] 4:30 pm: you said it better!

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:30 pm: what is most difficult, i think, is to writesympathetically about a practice you may oppose in your real life, but asa historian and writer of fantasy, one needs the ability

[MeredithHolmes] 4:30 pm: yes!

[Sarah Avery] 4:30 pm: The tradition I practice in has some parts that areoathbound, so I chose to write eclectic-Pagan characters. A deep POV makesit hard to write an initiated character in an initiatory trad, unless thecharacter is lapsed in his or her practice.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:31 pm: It's like anthropological objectivity

[Edward Morris] 4:31 pm: i have written satanists, cannibal hillbillies...difficult, but with enough distance we can photograph our opposite number...

[MeredithHolmes] 4:32 pm: ...cannibal hillbillies? Like in The Hills HaveEyes?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:32 pm: most religious practices are culturally slanted.The touch the reality of the culture and era in which they're set. YOu cannotdescribe them well, apart from the cuture in which they rest. ... reseachand though. put yourself in their place.

[Loki]: seschanfield has entered at 4:32 pm

[Edward Morris] 4:32 pm: yes. or the tale of sawney beane. mine are fromcentral p.a. the sollenheims

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:32 pm: they*

[Sarah Avery] 4:32 pm: Was the cannibalism primarily sacramental, culinary,or survivalistic?

[Edward Morris] 4:33 pm: vengeful/sacramental. root cause= famine.

[Edward Morris] 4:33 pm: eating the enemy for strength

[MeredithHolmes] 4:33 pm: aaaaaah

[MeredithHolmes] 4:33 pm: Always the most salacious part of the history booksin middle school

[MeredithHolmes] 4:34 pm: and still, to this day, piques the interest ofreaders. something of the forbidden always does.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:34 pm: there is also canibalism as punishment. ...an expression of anger.

[Edward Morris] 4:34 pm: they do that in the congo.

[Sarah Avery] 4:34 pm: The most salacious parts they were allowed to publish,anyway. Weird, what people will allow children to read about, as long asthey're not reading about sex.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:34 pm: and example would be edward teach

[MeredithHolmes] 4:34 pm: I know, right?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:35 pm: Do y'all ever find it difficult to avoid stereotypeswhen you're writing?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:35 pm: dont we all?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:35 pm: true

[MeredithHolmes] 4:36 pm: That is one of my few concerns when writing a faithI am not part of--I try to be very vigilant about stereotyping the characters.Even other Pagans.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:36 pm: There's an assumption, at least from what I'venoticed in mainstream lit, that all Pagans are the same. Or that Wicca isthe only paganism

[MeredithHolmes] 4:37 pm: I think one of the most misrepresented religionsin fiction has been Wicca. People seem to seize upon it in name only, orjust by watching The Craft and think that's true and exactly what happensin Wicca. There's so many resources available online that it takes just abit of effort...

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:37 pm: i face the same problem with my historical writing.the problem is there are stereo typical persons. You have to probe for moreinsight into there personality. That carries over to fiction.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:37 pm: very good point. thanks!

[Sarah Avery] 4:37 pm: It occurs to me that cannibalism is the classic accusationleveled against religious groups when someone's seeking to discredit them.It was the stereotype the Romans used to talk about Christian communion,something the Christians accused the Jews and Witches of doing. The classicstereotypes never go out of style.

[Edward Morris] 4:38 pm: sometimes hard to avoid some reader getting theirnose out of joint about something. every writer runs that risk. but somestereotypes even defy themselves.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:38 pm: well, I think that if someone is going to be offended,they can find something to offend them no matter what you write or don'twrite

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:38 pm: frankly, my most interesting research is intoreligious zealots, nuts. I have come to "love them from a distance" of about120 years. you can do that for your characters too

[MeredithHolmes] 4:39 pm: love them from a distance--I like that

[MeredithHolmes] 4:39 pm: Do you ever interview people for perspective ona religion before you write it?

[Edward Morris] 4:39 pm: totally. i like my big goofy cannibals. in 1858,NIMBY

[MeredithHolmes] 4:39 pm: lol

[Edward Morris] 4:39 pm: wait that was an answer to the last questi

[Edward Morris] 4:39 pm: on

[Sarah Avery] 4:40 pm: My current protagonist started out as the semi-fanaticalcomic relief, and I've encountered a lot of surprises trying to get intoher POV and figure out why her beliefs make sense to her.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:40 pm: ed, in Pixie Warrior there is an episode witha little red coat. I got a bit of fan mail saying "i loved the parody oflittle red riding hood." there IS no parody of that story. it's just a redcoat. readers will find what they want.

[Edward Morris] 4:40 pm: interview wise: yes, whenever i can. organically.i just hang out w/them and listen.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:40 pm: Edward--same here. It prodcuces far better info,IMHO, than a list of questions

[Loki]: ocelott has left at 4:40 pm

[Loki]: ocelott has entered at 4:40 pm

[MeredithHolmes] 4:41 pm: Rachael--I had a similar issue when Unseelie cameout. Someone wrote me saying they loved how Jenny Greenteeth was a constructto demonstrate modern jealousy. Um...no, she was just Jenny Greenteeth.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:42 pm: ::nodds knowingly

[Edward Morris] 4:42 pm: my favorite muslim in the whole world used to runa deli by my house. i tried the aforementioned interview process and gotan ear full of jordanian wisdom for 2 years. "Let me tell you this story..."When Adel said that, I knew to pull up a seat and clear the rest of the day.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:42 pm: yes

[MeredithHolmes] 4:42 pm: field research, as it were.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:42 pm: the best characters come form real life, don'tthey, edward

[Edward Morris] 4:43 pm: 100%

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:43 pm: the real issue with translating a religon intofiction is to represent it as practiced and not as it is in their ideal.

[Sarah Avery] 4:43 pm: Well, they sort of come from real life, but they takea little jumbling up. Sort of like those fanciful taxidermy creatures withthe jackrabbit heads, antelope antlers, etc.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:43 pm: oh big time!

[MeredithHolmes] 4:44 pm: and lol, Sarah, I love that example

[Edward Morris] 4:44 pm: jenny hannivers

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:44 pm: this has its problems, because we like to seeour religious as "ideal" and they never are in practice

[MeredithHolmes] 4:44 pm: It's almost like the idea of the Noble Savage fromway back in the day.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:44 pm: exactly

[Loki]: leona has left at 4:44 pm

[MeredithHolmes] 4:44 pm: There's this idea, this construct, that ReligionX is just like it says in the brochures, but there's SO much more than theglossy pictures

[Loki]: leona has entered at 4:44 pm

[Sarah Avery] 4:45 pm: One way to do that, when you have space for a bigenough cast of characters, is to have the characters argue about faith andpractice. Conflicting ideals and conflicting adaptations to reality can giveyou a lot of story energy.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:45 pm: sorry about my bad typing. i'm small, have verysmall hands and i struggle to reach the the keys

[MeredithHolmes] 4:45 pm: no worries!

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:45 pm: plus i'm just an awful typist

[Edward Morris] 4:45 pm: nope. but i like to see down and dirty catholicismin the middle east, where you go walk 7 miles to take care of your sick neighbor,stuff like that. the less-told sides of all religions...

[MeredithHolmes] 4:45 pm: Yeah--there's is not always giong to be major hugebad conflict between a Jew and a Muslim, for example

[Edward Morris] 4:46 pm: sorry my big arthritic hands not typing as fastas i talk today

[Sarah Avery] 4:46 pm: But where sometimes people can be gracious acrossreligious lines, it can be harder to be gracious in disagreement with a memberof one's own congregation.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:46 pm: very, very true

[MeredithHolmes] 4:47 pm: some of the worst fights I've heard about religionhave been between two Pagans of the same path

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:47 pm: yes. i agree edward. One of my favorite aspectsof religion is conflict between belief and practice. In my latest historybook, an evangelist who thinks the world will end in the fall of 1873 askseveryone to buy someone a coat because he'll "need it next year"

[MeredithHolmes] 4:48 pm: heh

[Edward Morris] 4:48 pm: haaa.good one. spot on

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:48 pm: about time for questions?

[MeredithHolmes] 4:49 pm: I think so!

[Sarah Avery] 4:49 pm: A lot of Theosophists were dismayed when the worlddidn't end on schedule (In 1881? 1889? The precise year escapes me at themoment). They adapted the following year by saying that the world had endedand then reformed to pick up where it left off. Yes, questions!

[MeredithHolmes] 4:49 pm: Sarah--way to make lemons out of lemonade!

[widdershins] 4:49 pm: ?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:49 pm: we did good i think ... 1881. most of the westernworld thought 1881 was the end off a fake mother shipton prophecy

[MeredithHolmes] 4:49 pm: makes me wonder what will happen when the worlddoesn't end in 2012

[] 4:50 pm: ?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:50 pm: you have a question, widder?

[widdershins] 4:50 pm: What about creating a fictional religion based onthe tenets of an existing one in a fictional world? Where do you draw theline about remaining true to the existing one?

[aswiebe] 4:50 pm: ?

[valarltd] 4:50 pm: ?

[Oliver] 4:50 pm:

[JourneyMouse] 4:50 pm: ?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:51 pm: attend the discussion tomorrow. but if you creatthe religion, it's yours to do with what you wish

[Sarah Avery] 4:51 pm: In 2013, they'll pick a new prophecy with a new date,and the publishing engines will repackage all those annoying books undernew pseudonyms.

[Edward Morris] 4:51 pm: where it counts. the essential tenets, politics,etc. what made that one important to your story. that, and no more.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:51 pm: IMHO...if it's a fictional religion, even if it'sbased on an existing one, the sky's the limit. Makes me think of Canticlefor Leibowitz--the framework from the original one is there but it is adaptedfor the situation they're in

[] 4:51 pm: !

[widdershins] 4:51 pm: I'll be there

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:51 pm: Kath is next?

[Sarah Avery] 4:51 pm: If the world is fictional, and clearly signpostedas fictional, I'd say the author has license to do whatever works for thestory.

[Edward Morris] 4:52 pm: yes. catholicism changed again in miller's storyjust as it did in the dark ages

[] 4:52 pm: How do you politely ask someone questions about their religion?It's such a touchy subject for people, I feel weird asking, even when it'sjust about understanding and not necessarily writing.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:52 pm: my pixies have a religon based on an ancientnear eastern approach. it's muted in the story, and it's mine to make asi wish

[Edward Morris] 4:52 pm: tell them: i want to learn more about your faith.that's all.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:53 pm: Well, if you're friends with them, or they seemopen, just ask. Most people are okay answering respectful questions. If youhave the time and opportunity, attending a service in the faith is also anidea. Or just hanging out with people of that faith

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:53 pm: kath, i discuss religion all the time. the realkey is to be a good and proactive listener. a mostly forgotten book, teachereffectivness training, has good suggestion on active listening

[leona] 4:53 pm: !

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:54 pm: you feed back their comments, to verify youunderstand

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:54 pm: they know you're listening and non judgmental

[MeredithHolmes] 4:54 pm: that's a lost art in some places

[Sarah Avery] 4:54 pm: If the religion is a rare one, or is rare in the placewhere you happen to be asking, the person you're talking to has probablyheard so many weird questions, or been subject to so much misunderstanding,it might be a relief to be asked, if you can make respectful intent clear.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:55 pm: i lost track of who's next

[MeredithHolmes] 4:55 pm: awiebe

[MeredithHolmes] 4:55 pm: er, aswiebe

[aswiebe] 4:55 pm: So how do you find the unspoken rules? Many wouldn't eventhink of them as "rules," just be shocked if they were broken. And aboutthings that people aren't allowed to talk about--can you ask them what thatis? How else do you find out about the absence of those things?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:56 pm: aswiebe, the unspoken rules usually have todo with practice more than belief. ask them what they "do" rather than whatthey believe

[MeredithHolmes] 4:56 pm: That depends, I think. Some religions, like Judaism,you can find info on the "unspoken" parts in textbooks, first hand accounts,or just talking to people and asking things like "what if someone does xyz?What happens?"

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:56 pm: how do you approach ....?

[Edward Morris] 4:56 pm: become an anthropologist. make yourself as invisibleas you ccan.

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:57 pm: or, "i notice that some adherents ... [insertobservation] ... can you tell me why?

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:57 pm: personal and uncritical observation goes alongway ... no questions needed

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:57 pm: the hidden rules are openly practiced usually

[MeredithHolmes] 4:58 pm: It's things that most people don't realize theydo usually.

[MeredithHolmes] 4:58 pm: it's so ingrained

[Edward Morris] 4:58 pm: smart answer.

[Sarah Avery] 4:58 pm: Secrecy taboos vary a lot. For instance, I can talkabout almost anything in my tradition except for the rites of passage anda few things that are specific to preparation or follow-up to the rites ofpassage. But Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccans take much deeper vows ofsecrecy, and some feel they can't even speak openly about being Wiccan, period.In some cases, you can come out and ask, "What can't you tell me detailsabout?"

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:58 pm: leona had a comment i think

[Racahel de Vienne] 4:58 pm: nice welsh name

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[leona] 4:59 pm: Yes, I was thinking that looking up some base informationonline would be a good way to start when you're wanting to ask someone aquestion about their religion ...

[MeredithHolmes] 4:59 pm: have a jumping off point

[Sarah Avery] 4:59 pm: Even if the information is wrong, you can ask aboutit.

[Edward Morris] 5:00 pm: (aside:) I am sitting here bundling sage and wearingmy UNORTHODOX PAGAN t-shirt. Wish this panel was live... g/a

[MeredithHolmes] 5:00 pm: lol

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:00 pm: yes, leona. people appreciate it when you havesome knowledge already.

[leona] 5:00 pm: exactly ...

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:00 pm: no way should this be live! i'm in my bathrobe

[MeredithHolmes] 5:00 pm: lol

[MeredithHolmes] 5:00 pm: I think valarltd had a ?

[valarltd] 5:00 pm: One of my publishers specializes in pagan books, includingwhat may be the first pagan inspirational romance. Do you see a growing marketfor pagan books, specifically romance outside the paranormal genre andchildren's? Is the very idea of children's pagan books problematic, a lathe secrecy rules just mentioned?

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[MeredithHolmes] 5:01 pm: I'd LOVE t osee more Pagan children's books. I'mraising a paganlet right now and while most kid's books are pretty religionneutral, it'd be great to see some that focused on pagan themes.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:01 pm: there are children raised pagan. do they wantto read christian paranormal romance ... assuming there really is such athing?

[MeredithHolmes] 5:01 pm: IMHO, I think there is a good market for Paganbooks, now that there is less of a stigma about being Pagan

[Edward Morris] 5:02 pm: @v: no. every indie bookstore in portland has pagankid's books. very hip thing. and almost always good writing, too. the restof the country will soon catch up, no doubt

[MeredithHolmes] 5:02 pm: social stigma rather

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[MeredithHolmes] 5:03 pm: I do think that some mainstream publishers arehesitant to do Pagan genre books because many of them have Christian imprints(which is NOT a bad thing--don't misconstrue, lol) and some readers of thatgenre may not be comfortable with their favorite publisher also printingpagan books

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:03 pm: more questions? follow ups?

[Sarah Avery] 5:03 pm: There are so many Pagan traditions, and a lot of themare unencumbered by secrecy taboos. Even for the ones that have secrecy issues,a children's book with a subtly Pagan sensibility can be very welcome. Ilove Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess's book, Blueberry Girl. I have a few othersfor my kids that are from mainstream publishers and relatively mainstreamwriters, but the worldview is close enough. I'd love to see more overtlyPagan kids' books. I may write some, eventually.

[valarltd] 5:03 pm: My thoughts exactly, as my own wee pagan wanted her faithin a book

[MeredithHolmes] 5:03 pm: I think JourneyMouse had a question

[JourneyMouse] 5:04 pm: Meredith raised the issue of the "Noble Savage",which isn't exactly an idea that has gone away. It might be behind thewide-spread (possibly poor) adaption and confusion of many native traditions.Do you think the generally blurred view on paganism is an extension of this?A rediscovery of the noble savage in civilisation, so to speak?

[MeredithHolmes] 5:04 pm: oooooh

[JourneyMouse] 5:04 pm: (And deep breath...) ;)

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:04 pm: the short answer: yes

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[Edward Morris] 5:05 pm: yes. the oversimplified de-fanged savage. the poorhapless anachronism

[MeredithHolmes] 5:05 pm: Okay, I may get jumped on for this but I thinkthat sort of thing is easily visible in a certain popular teen/YA seriesfeaturing a Native American main character.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:05 pm: i agree, meredith

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:05 pm: the remedy is good research and a dose of realism

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[Racahel de Vienne] 5:05 pm: people are flawed ... no culture is immune

[MeredithHolmes] 5:06 pm: And with Pagan characters, you can see it to insome mainstream lit. I loved Practical Magic, but "defanged" is a good wayto describe the witches.

[Edward Morris] 5:06 pm: savage, in Latin= homo indomitus. s/he who willnot be colonized.

[JourneyMouse] 5:06 pm: (as an insert, I think it was something very easyto see in the Victorian love of historical people - from medieval romanceto Celtica to VIking sagas)

[Sarah Avery] 5:06 pm: Here's a long answer: I think the development ofNeo-Paganism may be Western culture's attempt to take responsibility forall the stuff it has projected on non-Western peoples. Do we in the Westwant a Dionysian, ecstatic, body-positive, woman-empowering religion? Okaythen, instead of trying to force some other existing religion to be thatfor us, let's build it ourselves and then try to make it work.

[MeredithHolmes] 5:07 pm: There seems to be a love affair with "almost witches"or "almost pagans"--write the mysterious, magical woman (usually woman) butdo not name her a witch or a pagan and stop just short of showing her worshippingin a non-mainstream religion manner

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:07 pm: a line i was saving for tomorrow is "creatingyour own religion must be easy ... people have been doing it for millennia."

[Edward Morris] 5:07 pm: i always thought it was the only tradition thatmade any #$%^&* sense for someone of my ancestry to practice

[MeredithHolmes] 5:07 pm: lol, Rachael

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:07 pm: don't worry, i'll probably reuse it

[MeredithHolmes] 5:08 pm: the Julie Collins mysteries feature realisticdepictions of Native American faith, IMHO.

[Rhiannon] 5:08 pm: !

[MeredithHolmes] 5:08 pm: They're not mysterious, out on "the Rez", smokingthe peace pipe and speaking in inspirational quotes

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:08 pm: the wise woman tradition spans almost everyreligon. use it well

[MeredithHolmes] 5:08 pm: *nods*

[Sarah Avery] 5:09 pm: Of course, the moment you stop projecting all thatstuff onto another people and start trying to make it work, yourself, itstops being exotic, and starts being a community of ordinary humans who havequirks, some of them annoying, and troubles, some of them requiring casseroles.Our worship and doctrines are different, but the life of the community ismuch like the life of any congregation.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:09 pm: saints are annoying in practice because theyare just like us

[Rhiannon] 5:09 pm: I use paganism in my writing to, but the Greek pagangods are over used. I'm wiccan so I wonder what you mean by "defanged" inreference to Practical Magic?

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[Racahel de Vienne] 5:10 pm: i disagree on the use of greek paganism. whatis overused is the easy-reader version of greek mythology. there is a vastuntapped greek paganism out there

[MeredithHolmes] 5:10 pm: This is just my opinion so individual mileage mayvary... I really did love the book (and the movie, lol). I felt that thewitches were "defanged" mainly because they seemed to lack realism. I know,I know--fictional book, why worry about it?

[MeredithHolmes] 5:11 pm: The were witches for entertainment value

[Edward Morris] 5:11 pm: defanged=magic spells that can be resolved in 30or 90 minutes. things not coming back 3fold. hollywood woo-woo

[Sarah Avery] 5:11 pm: And Practical Magic, the Alice Hoffman novel, wasvery different from Practical Magic, the film. Strangely, the witches inthe film were more like real Wiccans than the ones in the book.

[MeredithHolmes] 5:11 pm: @ Sarah: heh, yep. And Edward--thanks for summingit up!

[MeredithHolmes] 5:11 pm: Though I don't do the 3fold law in my path, I knowwhat you mean

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[MeredithHolmes] 5:11 pm: @ Rachael--so agree.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:11 pm: a book you may want to read is: Modern greekfolklore and ancient greek religion by j c lawson

[] 5:12 pm: !

[MeredithHolmes] 5:12 pm: The easy reader version of pagan paths, so to speak,shows up a lot mainly because many readers don't like to see the "dark side"of the gods or practices

[MeredithHolmes] 5:12 pm: not oooh spooky evil but just not the happy side

[Edward Morris] 5:12 pm: just in general, whatever you do there is an exchangeof energy. they showed that well in 'carnivale.' practicioners can't notbe affected by their own workings

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:12 pm: but the dark side is sooo interesting

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[MeredithHolmes] 5:12 pm: I tend to think so!

[leona] 5:12 pm: @Rachael: I agree!!!!

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[Rhiannon] 5:13 pm: alot of what I saw in practical magic and harry potterwere stereotypes and not like what me and DJ Conway practice. Could you elaborateon why you feel Greek Paganism is untapped?

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:13 pm: i've reseached the Goat Cult for about ten years.the details are skin crawlingly icky. but it IS intersting

[Sarah Avery] 5:13 pm: And yet, I've run into a lot of religion scholarswhose only acquaintance with modern Paganism is with the white light NewAge fluff-bunny stuff, and they're resistant to the idea that we have theguts to think about the dark.

[Edward Morris] 5:13 pm: kage baker's eleusis story was one in a million.people who write about greek paganism tend to stop at edith bullfinch.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:14 pm: yes

[MeredithHolmes] 5:14 pm: Greek Paganism, Hellenism, etc is largely untappedbecause the people who practice the trads usually have very little to dowith the Percy Jackson version of the gods

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:14 pm: too true

[MeredithHolmes] 5:14 pm: Dionysus wasn't always a corpulent drunk, for example

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:15 pm: nope ... and satyrs arent what you think

[Edward Morris] 5:15 pm: He was first the god of mushrooms

[Sarah Avery] 5:15 pm: They Greek Reconstructionists I know are too busyhoning their ability to read and speak actual Ancient Greek, which takesup a lot of bandwidth and time, to mess around with pop culture.

[MeredithHolmes] 5:15 pm: lol

[MeredithHolmes] 5:16 pm: I think baseltum had a question?

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:16 pm: hey, i put two years into being able to reakkoine greek, i still can't do it well or without a lexicon. ... it's notnecessary to research either

[] 5:16 pm: I've noticed there as many similarities to religious practicesas there are to the mythological stories.

[Rhiannon] 5:16 pm: oh I don't do fluffy-bunny. I worship dark goddessesand explore the darker natures of magic:D

[MeredithHolmes] 5:17 pm: Basletum--yep. It seems like a lot of things crossborders in religion

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[Racahel de Vienne] 5:18 pm: religions are all syncretistic (dang i hopei spelled that somewhere near correctly) they all borrow from the sametraditions, without exception.

[Edward Morris] 5:18 pm: yes. there is a saying in a.a.:"religions are brandnames, god is generic." true.spiritual truths are universal.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:18 pm: they interpret the traditions differently

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[MeredithHolmes] 5:18 pm: I like that, Edward

[Sarah Avery] 5:18 pm: We're all running our religion on and through ourbrains. Human brains are varied, and culture can shape how individual brainsget wired up, but we all do have a lot of similarity in the hardware, andwe're all living in the same physical universe. And Rachael's right, syncretismis the norm, though a lot of religions would like t othink it's the exception.

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[Racahel de Vienne] 5:19 pm: Archbishop newman made that point for christianityas usually practiced back in the mid 19th century

[Edward Morris] 5:19 pm: personal spiritual revelations can happen anywhere,be it the road to damascus or the road to sunnyvale trailer park.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:20 pm: later cardinal newman

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:20 pm: after he converted

[Rhiannon] 5:20 pm: you noticed right Basletum. The new moon is more forgoddesses like Hecate or Donn. I just wish authors would use more untappedgods like Egyptiah gods and goddesses or gods native to middle eastern lore.I would love to read a book using these pantheons.

[Sarah Avery] 5:20 pm: This has been a great conversation, but my small childneeds dinner. I must go. Thank you all!

[MeredithHolmes] 5:20 pm: I need to head out too! My Spawnlet has decidedit's dinner time!

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:21 pm: astarte was a nasty, vulgar, wench ... she'dmake an interesting character

[] 5:21 pm: I loved this panel :)

[] 5:21 pm: Thank you both for an excellent panel!

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:21 pm: thanks

[leonawisoker] 5:21 pm: Yes, thanks everyone !! what I caught was wonderful!!

[MeredithHolmes] 5:21 pm: Thanks everyone for coming! Hope y'all make itto the other panels this month as well! All of them have been great

[] 5:21 pm: Thank you all, I was fascinated the whole way through :D

[valarltd] 5:21 pm: Thank you. This hjas been fascinating

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:21 pm: come to the creating your own religion paneltomorrow

[Edward Morris] 5:22 pm: Thank you all. Sorry my balloon didn't pop up. Enjoyedthis immensely.

[JourneyMouse] 5:22 pm: Thanks for being an instructive panel :)

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:22 pm: more from an enlarged perspective

[valarltd] 5:22 pm: Rhiannon: Curse of the Pharaoh's Manicurists

[] 5:22 pm: I'll be there for sure!

[MeredithHolmes] 5:22 pm: Rachael--I think I'm going to try to make thatone!

[] 5:22 pm: @rhiannon: I have a story in The four Horesemen nthology by PillHill Press that has Ishtar and Marduk as the main characters.

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:22 pm: it should be fun

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:22 pm: the book is historical nonsense, but you shouldread it anyway: the two babylons by hislop

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:23 pm: you want stuff for charcterization

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:23 pm: that provides it

[MeredithHolmes->Rachael de Vienne] 5:23 pm: Deena asked me to send youa copy of the transcript! It should be on it's way soon as the panel is officallydone! :)

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:23 pm: also frazier's golden bough

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:23 pm: not the abridge version either

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:23 pm: take the time to read all fifteen volumes

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:23 pm: it's worth it

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[Racahel de Vienne] 5:24 pm: i'm talked out unless there's one last questionor comment

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[Racahel de Vienne] 5:25 pm: visit me here: http://wardancingpixie.blogspot.com/

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:25 pm: i've got to say bye bye

[] 5:25 pm: Would any of you be open to interviews from other authors aboutyour faith?

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:25 pm: until tomorrow

[MeredithHolmes] 5:25 pm: sure!

[Racahel de Vienne] 5:25 pm: certainly

[JourneyMouse] 5:25 pm: Now making mental note to self to research Pagansbefore I mention them ;)

[] 5:25 pm: In the name of "getting it right"?

[MeredithHolmes] 5:25 pm: I'm fine with it

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[widdershins] 5:26 pm: Thanks everyone... see you tomorrow Racahel

[] 5:26 pm: Ancient Pagan Symbols by Elisabeth Goldsmith is a good resourcebook on symboilism

[MeredithHolmes] 5:26 pm: it's been great! See y'all around the con!

[] 5:26 pm: Good to know, I have a book in the work that focuses a lot onObeah, which is a derivative of Voodoo, here in the Bahmas :)

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