Saturday, July 21, 2018

A letter of explanation

A wonderful agent from a publishing house replied to me about The Sylph's Tale here is my partial and anonymous response:

I so appreciate that you truly wanted to like The Sylph’s Tale and after reading comments by your acquisition department I felt great shame and was going to trash the book but realized that it’s because I haven’t come to terms with some of the issues they brought up so, I am immensely grateful that they did and that you shared their comments with me.

I was brought up a Catholic and in a convent for my early education. Prayer and mass was a daily event and I was truly devoted. Before that, poliomyelitis limited what I could do so many of my days were spent in the attic of my grandparents store where they kept books no one bought. Sitting on a crate by a small window under a lightbulb strung from the ceiling I slowly poured over their pages - I am also dyslexic so I don’t read fast. All kinds of stories interested me but my favorites were novels and books about saints. That Jesus was born from a virgin mother always fascinated me but at the time I didn’t know much about sex.

Why am I telling you all this? Not sure, but its like I’m trying to say that morality is not something I take lightly, I’m not a prude and have lived at times a risky life, but that was then, this is now. Please excuse me taking so much of your time but I just started to submit my book, the first in my series, and other than the usual “not interested” I haven’t received comments that will serve me as immensely as those you have shared with me, thank you.

Now, about The Sylph’s Tale: it has rocked me to the core and when I started the journey with Ayekah it was so impactful that it almost ruined my marriage. It came to me in dreams and apparitions that plunged me into confusion. Gerona, a leading protagonist in book two, VIRGINS, experiences my turmoil. However, even though my career was not related to anthropology or history (I retired after almost three decades of working for the government, the last 20 as a research analyst), studies of past human cultures through investigation of physical evidence is my favorite subject.

Because of Ayekah, the relationship between angle/humans and religious themes, including Jesus, dragons and other mythical beings, as well as paranormal events and terror are prevalent throughout my Immortals series.

Book three, ROLO is a mix of science, and horror. There are sexual parts in every one of the books — but not more than in The Sylph’s Tale - that shame me even though the angle/humans myth is in the Bible and Torah. The rape scene of the tribesmen was hard to write but such things were part of primitive clans. Please know, I'm a tenacious advocate of women’s rights. And excuse me for taking so much of your time, but like I said this is also an exercise for me to take the shame or dealing with the reality of what the series is: very provocative and maybe scandalous and can I cope with it?

The words of a dear friend, an author who first read it years ago still give me chills, she said I see a cult forming from this. I should have stopped writing it then but it had stopped being a choice as I was taken into other realms by Ayekah. I truly don’t feel he is evil, he doesn’t rape virgins, he and Haya helped end such rituals. He uses his light for the firstborn from every virgin to be an angel/human. They liberated pubescent girls from forced mergers. Because he, Haya and the Mardi (Haya’s invisible guide) women in the clan become “emancipated.” Do things, only males could, also learn to free their sexuality and choose partners.

Comment I respect and will use some of it in my warning: “I don’t recommend because of the touching upon this fictional ancient tribal (?) practice of pubescent girls being raped by the male leaders as a rite of passage.” I put a warning in each book even though readers point out that "begets" in the Bible is about sex between “close” relatives; how else did Adam and Eve populate the earth? The comments from your publishers are right on target and I will use them to describe my book and warn others of the subject matter for I don’t want anyone reading them without knowing what's involved.

Some comments I love: “this is a story of an angel fallen from grace. He becomes fascinated with human feelings and procreation. He is tempted into having sex with Haya and falls in love with her. The Almighty damns him to be soulless, a sylph, retaining much of his powers as an angel but unable to die. While she is alive, she and other very young females are impregnated by the Sylph, and the resulting children are smarter, stronger, etc., than human children. He makes a life with Haya but when she eventually dies of old age, he wishes he could die. In anger, he turns his efforts to tempting other angels to do as he has done. The Almighty sends the great flood to try to exterminate the progeny of the fallen angels.”

After your email I asked myself what novelists do I like that deal with sex and primitive clans but not in a porno way and they include: Jean M. Auel, Arthur Golden - Memories of A Geisha, Mary Mackey - Earth Song series, James Clavel - Shogun, George RR Martin - Game of Thrones, and Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid’s Tale. Controversial novels about religion that have become top-selling movies include Jesus Christ Super Star and The Last Temptation of Christ.

Immense thanks for: "That said, this is intelligently and generally well-written in the style of storytelling that reminds me of mythology. However, the first third of the story in particular felt pretty filled with the angst and lament of whether he was following the Almighty’s wish and shouting/pleading for guidance.” I can understand and agree with: " I am uncomfortable with the use of Bible stories and background being used so thoroughly in fiction. Noah’s Ark and the flooding of the earth, Jesus teaching followers and being persecuted/crucified, it feels strange, and I believe may be offensive to many readers."

Also the care that the reviewer took in writing: “the author wrote sparingly of those things, and it is to her credit that she could flesh out those scenes with few sentences.” I am asked by others to write in more detail about the sexual elements but refuse because the series is not about sex it is: “Granted, it is understandable for readers to be shown the background of such stories to give weight to this tale. In the way of myth”

I truly would love to get more understanding about this: “ found that I sometimes was mildly lost in the logic.” So glad for the: “here was plenty of interesting detail and explanation of the mundane activities of the human community/tribe”. Because I’ve been asked to write more on this and I agree that there's enough. Understand, even though I would love for that not to be the case: “Still, I don’t believe there would be an adequate readership for this tale and do not recommend offering a contract.”

It is evident that the acquiring editors who made these comments are: “highly seasoned readers, reviewers, critiquers, etc. and we trust their judgement.”

Last but not least, dear xxxxxx, thank you for "But, know that what our house feels isn’t what all houses will feel so I encourage you to submit the story to other houses. I’m certain there is a house that would be willing to publish Sylph’s Tale.” I apologize for taking so much of your time with my explanations and comments.

Thank you to the readers for taking the time to make very helpful comments. I will continue to submit and if you think of houses please let me know.

The Sylph's Tale avialable on:



Saturday, July 07, 2018

Music I love to listen to while I write.

The music I listen to when I am writing depends on what I'm working on. If it's editing or new work on Immortals-the series, The Sylph Ayekah, and will soon be published VIRGINS, I favor Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. If I'm doing stories, blogging or poetry, I listen to Music by Charro or The Beatles and The Doors, and other like that. How about you?

Friday, July 06, 2018

Fate Awaits from The Sylph's Tale

As I promised, here is the first FREE read of Immortals-the series, Book One, The sylph's Tale.




Marta C. Weeks

Warning: This story contains sexual elements that might not sit well with the average reader.

Copyrightã2017 by Marta C Weeks

Fate Awaits
I shouldn't have returned to Earth after, as a salamander, I slid into a river between a man and a virgin. Her screams and his grunts stirred in me new thoughts: What must it be to feel flesh on bones? The idea jolted me back to the sky. 

To explain how it all came to be is like trying to hold time still as it expands and contracts. Every culture and experience intermingles with the reality and fantasy of what is and is not. Every living thing comes to be with memories of how it was before and was not. 
Eons before the present, or what I now call the First Age, The Almighty released multitudes of Celestials, supernatural and timeless spirits to witness the diverse processes of Earth’s evolution. A hallmark of angel hierarchy is brilliance. I, Archangel of Light, was the brightest of all spirits. We all are invisible and eternal, can take on the form of seraphs, winged heavenly messengers or any living creature, but we are not glorified human beings. Not male or female and cannot reproduce as humankind does. 
From times unknown, we witnessed oceans recede giving way to land. Energy flowed and chaos became order. Random matter transformed, leaving mere traces of what had preceded. Surviving matter continued the reproductive processes.
Overcome with reverence and wonder we watched The Almighty impart humans with ethereal substance: a soul, self-awareness, reason, and autonomy. Humanity rose to splendor and fell many times. In each era, from primitive beginnings, humans evolved in a manner unlike any other living thing. Yoked with passions, humans strove for selfhood and lived, truly lived, to love, to work, to create, to war, and to ruin. They engorged the Tree of Life with pleasure and pain, sensations not experienced by Celestials.
In this First Age, in spirit, I roamed Earth. Stopped caring how other celestials reacted to mankind’s use of The Almighty's gifts. Humans enthralled me. Like a shadow or a breeze, I mingled amongst people in the throes of passions and struggles for survival. I became bored with the heavenly and consumed with human endeavors. Under the pretext of angelic observation, I watched men and women copulate, spellbound by all its aspects. 
It was not long after I slid as a salamander in a shallow river between a man and a virgin that for the first time a thought came in as a whisper as if to nudge me to do, to be, to become-how must it feel to be a human. It jolted me like thunder, and I fled to Heaven's Gate, to the protection of The Almighty’s Eternal City, but I did not enter. Like a thief, I held onto my thought. Not wanting to have what I had experienced taken from me. I remained outside. 
"Why did I think that? Did I feel envy?" I asked, in the safety of heaven’s harbor. 
I cannot deny I was harvesting sparks of jealousy. However, I continued to veil a growing desire for humanity with the argument: Celestials have no judgment. We can empathize with humans, and sway events by inspiring ideas within them, but we do not feel. Yet, like a squirrel running from a hawk's shadow, I felt the heart of fear. 
Not daring to enter the Eternal City, I pleaded to The Almighty Vision, “In You, I take refuge. Deliver me from illusions. I beg to appear before You. I want to serve You. Have I offended You? Almighty, am I envious? I long to see You.” For the first time ever, I was not summoned. No one came from behind the eternal gates. 
“Have my thoughts offended You? Please do not deny me Your presence. Please do not forsake me.” 
How can I, an Angel of Light, feel forsaken? I am of The Divine. “If I have wronged You by enjoying Your miracles in the land of the living, forgive me, but please do not forsake me!” 
Silence enveloped me with emptiness. 
For centuries, I did not return to Earth but hid in a black hole. Although celestials do not feel, best I can explain it is that I violated Holy Creeds and that realization exploded in me engulfed me in defeat, and, shriveling with loss, I vowed, defying my purpose, never to return to earth. But, I already was linked to human feelings. 
The Almighty remained silent, not because I, the Archangel of Light, was created free of error, but because The Almighty had abandoned me to my own choices, my own will. 
Millennia passed until a command came, "Abandon your exile. Look down to earth. Your fate awaits. Have faith, for I give you the world." 
Hearing The Almighty’s voice, I whimpered, “Is this Your command? Finally, You speak to me. How can I serve You? Have mercy on me.”
Countless Celestials cried out, “Have you lost all faith?”
“Why me?” I screamed. “Why? Am I doomed, an outcast? What will become of me?”
“Why not you?” The response froze in me. 
“Go, enjoy the land of the living. Now your function is to prepare the way for the Celestials of the World. You are the most brilliant Angel, one of the few that can enter The Eternal City.”
Is the human ego rising inside of me, taking over, saying what I want to hear? “If it’s not Your will, Almighty, please stop me, now,” I said.
“You are chosen to glorify creation,” the wind screamed across the sky as it pushed me into the clouds. “You must do as The Almighty demands."
But my mandate is to witness without intervening.”

***Note: thanks for reading, I welcome comments. if you want to read more wait for next excert or go to:  Amazon The sylph's Tale or Books2Read