Friday, August 27, 2010

Story Totems

I was at the zoo last week and I got very excited to visit the resident snow leopard because he (well, the species) is the star of my current WIP. Then I remembered last time I went to the zoo I was desperate to visit the wolverine, who starred in the last WIP, ICEBREAKER.  Most of my stories have some sort of animal theme it seems. So I thought I'd see what I could learn about what these animals mean and how that relates to the books I've written...

The wolverine 'heralds the awakening of passion for life and the ability to absorb all the lessons that come our way. This passion can be a gift or a curse, depending on how it is used.' link. Hmmm, that could represent the way my hero struggles and eventually overcomes PTSD, alcohol and sex addiction. (Gosh, and even though this is the best thing I've ever written I wonder why I haven't sold it yet ;)

HER SANCTUARY is a cowboy story so I guess it is no surprise that the totem is the horse, the characteristics of which are 'Freedom, stamina, mobility, the land, travel, power, and freedom.' link  OMG (insert big grin) if that doesn't sum up the story in HER SANCTUARY I don't know what does :)

SEA OF SUSPICION is a romantic murder mystery and the hero has a dog (faithfulness and protection--Nick Archer is a police officer and this description fits him to a 'T') and the heroine is a biologist who specialises in Octopods (Intelligence and Camoflague--huh, Susie Cooper anyone??). Octopods are also 'related to the spiral of life, it is reflective of the mystic center and the unfolding of creation.' link That could be a central theme of the story (another big grin)

OK--what else...

STORM WARNING (Carina Press Oct 11) has puffins in the story, although we never meet an actual puffin (it's complicated). I didn't think I'd find anything about puffins but...'Those with this medicine would benefit by living near large bodies of water, particularly the ocean.  Without water in their immediate environment they could have difficulty finding their equilibrium in life.  Because water is associated with the intuition and all things hidden those with this medicine make excellent psychics and therapists.'  link This is just getting freaky. 

SO what does the snow leopard mean...well, naturally I found about a billion references (so much for thinking I was onto a good thing for determining my story theme ;), but the one I liked best was 'Snow Leopard Souls are here in part to learn the lesson of Self Reliance.  Like this Totem Spirit that has a mostly solitary life, the Two legged beside whom  Snow Leopard strides, will face many encounters and situations in their current incarnation which develop the ability to rely upon and trust the inner Self.' link

And...Keywords: Cautiousness, snow and mountain wisdom, looking down on others, a sense of superiority to others, beware of elitism and judging others silently, reclusiveness, wariness, the power of holding your tongue, being able to reach great heights of personal achievement over your lifetime, constantly searching for inner and outer balance. link

Getting there.  Maybe :)
Anyone else have totems for their stories?

1 comment:

  1. It's funny because I was thinking about animal totems only yesterday. I don't have any in my stories, but I was thinking about adding some.