Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Crest of Harmonia

So I call this little cream oval trinket- "The Crest of Harmonia".
First off, it's probably not even called that in real life. Second, I have no idea it's past, it's making/creation, where it came from originally, how it was acquired and why....etc.
Why it means something to me: First: The tiny little picture portrays the woman mythology Goddess from my book, "Fire and Ice".
Second reason of why it means something to me: It, although extremely tiny is the very item that gave me hope about my book this last September when I was at a point in my life where I just wanted to give up on alot of things.

See- I had just been through a sort of depressing summer with an extensive five month query attempt (trying to send part of my manuscript to literary agents so one of them would agree to represent me and try to get me a publishing deal with a major publishing company). Out of about 165 queries- (some were email, some were actually printed and mailed all the way to New York City), I received about four positive responses. Yeah, kind of hard to swallow. (But out of all of them, there were a couple I was more than happy to get back- whether they were negative or positive. One in particular is from Jodi Reamer, the agent who represented the author who wrote Twilight. It honestly was a great honor to receive a big fat rejection from her. (All rejections were nicely worded, though).
So anyway, the depressing summer came and went and the fall season started stressfully. My grandmother that raised me became very sick. Within two weeks time, she went from OK- healthy to passing away. It was devastating. She was my best friend. The worst part: she lived 1000 miles away from me in Idaho. I was unable to get there quickly.
Out of some things I was given of her possessions, there was a small Rubbermaid organizer from Wal-Mart filled with her simple play jewelry (think fun trendy stuff from Claire’s) and most of it was 80's dated/purchased. Most of it I remember playing with when I was a little girl. Originally, I was to pick a few items and then they (my grandmother’s children) were going to toss it/donate it because they didn't think anyone wanted it. When I found out I was the last person picking, I quickly asked if I could just take the whole thing home. I had so much stuff to take home already anyway, so what was another small Tupperware of a couple drawers filled with some play jewelry?

Well, it wasn't just another Tupperware.....It held something so small and so significant.....
I never really had a chance to go through it until 2-3 months later and organize the jewelry. So I am unsure of when I actually came across this little special oval of plastic-like porcelain type of trinket. Things were a blur after the first week of September and never really became entirely clear until just two months ago. (About six months of fuzzy living)....

When I did find it, I was sitting in my bedroom closet and the dim light provided hardly any use. I examined it closely at first, sort of slow motion-like and then I jumped to my feet and into my main part of my bedroom near the window which provided sufficient light for viewing.
"No way..." was all I can remember thinking. "It's Harmonia..."

And now let me explain: The main character in my Book, Claire, comes across a chest in her grandparents basement. Inside is something unusual. (You'll have to wait for the book to find out the item- it too is a trinket-like object but not this, and the answer is nowhere but the book part which has not been published anywhere....sorry to make you suffer!)...Anyway, Claire is tied to a bloodline of Mythology Gods and Goddesses. One of them in particular is the glorious Harmonia I have been speaking of.
(If you look up mythology history- Harmonia is the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. Harmonia was born out of wedlock whereas her mother Aprodite was having an affair with Ares while married to Hesphaestus. Once Hesphaestus left her (and was actually banned from the kingdoms of heaven), Aprodite hooked up with Ares and Harmonia was then born. Harmonia is said to have Harmony with all things living, especially nature.)

So- take another look at the crest. You see a lady in a white flowing Greek-mythology type of gown and there are all these birds and nature are around her.....
It’s beautiful. It's Harmonia to me. This little crest has given me such renewal on getting excited about the book, writing it, finishing what I started.

But please, let me go back to a tangent about the book:

So Claire is given the ultimate choice of protecting what is inside the chest. Not just some pinky promise. Like life or death. Pretty much: "Like your life is never going to be the same ever again once you say yes to protect this thing..."
Also told via the Fire and Ice excerpt, the chest in Claire's basement is the original "Pandora's box".
See- something terrible happened in Heaven, dealing with Harmonia. So bad that she had to take something precious and seal it away in a chest. But although the chest was still in heaven, Hesphaestus sent his daughter, Pandora to retrieve the item and she failed. Therefore the chest got its name of "Pandora's Box"..... Whatever was in the chest was apparently not safe in heaven...So it was sent to earth to begin being cared for by caretakers- relatives of the distinct mythology bloodline.

So I have named my trinket from Grandma "The Crest of Harmonia".

When I found it- it was almost like grandma encouraging me to continue on my big dream, to not worry about her and to return to my everyday life things and routines. See- grandma listened eagerly to every step I was accomplishing or brick wall I was running into when I began writing, querying, editing.....
For the longest time, I wanted so badly to have the book published and in her hands to show her my accomplishment and to make her proud in order to thank her because of all the wonderful love and things grandma did for me as a kid, raising me and teaching me and supporting me. I know she doesn't have to have my printed and finished novel in her hand to be proud. We had many talks about things like this, her trying to make me understand that she didn’t need something physical to be proud, that just seeing me do all this and working hard with what she taught me was good enough...but, if my dream could have happened, with me having my moment to surprise her with the book in her hands- it would have been a plus though. I guess all I can do is continue the dream and know that she's watching down from heaven.

How ironic do you think this all is? Does it give you goosebumps? Do you believe in fate and 'meant to be' type of things? This was my meant to be. Totally and absolutely amazing.
My next post: I plan on talking about my steps so far to getting to the phase I am at currently in attempting to publish a book. The ups and downs I have had, the trial and errors I’ve experienced, places online I have found of great use in answering A LOT of my querying, publishing and agent questions….and so forth and so forth. I would like to help be a tool to others- giving real life posts and experience of my daily efforts in accomplishing my dream. Maybe my answers can help speed up someone else’s efforts to catching their dream star in the sky faster than what I have experienced in catching mine.

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