Oh, Woden’s Me
I had a concept in my head…a story of a young woman who is kidnapped to another world and must find her way home. Ordinarily, I enjoy fantasy world building. After rummaging through the closet in my mind, however, I longed for something different. Why not use a mythological world as my setting this time?
Why not indeed?
The first world that popped into my head was Asgard, of Norse mythology. When I dug into Norse mythology a little further, however, the less appealing it became. The stories and legends were around for two centuries before anybody wrote any of them down, so a lot of details were sketchy. In addition, much of Norse mythology is…um…bizarre. To gain wisdom, for example, Odin plucks out one of his eyes to trade for a drink from the Well of Knowledge. Odin’s son, Baldur, is killed with a sprig of mistletoe. And the creation myth itself involves a giant named Ymir who breeds a man and woman from his armpits.
Not exactly a great setting for a light-hearted romantic fantasy.
I was about to chuck the whole idea when I came across something that stirred my imagination. Of the nine worlds in Norse mythology, a rainbow bridge (Bifrost) connects Asgard and Midgard (Earth). Bifrost is frequently depicted as a rainbow…but what if the rainbow bridge was actually a metaphor? Hmm, I began to see the possibilities…but what would I do with the stuff I didn’t like?
There’s a line in Tootsie where a TV director tries to make actor Dustin Hoffman, disguised as a woman, look more attractive on camera. “How far can you pull back?” the director asks the cameraman. “How do you feel about Cleveland?” he replies.
Using the same concept, I approached the Norse mythology framework by pulling back (WAY back) and utilizing it in the broadest possible sense. I chose what I liked, discarded what didn’t work and massaged the rest. The result is The Druid – An Asgard Adventure, Book One.
Any resemblance to actual Norse mythology is wholly accidental.
~ S.G. Rogers
The inside of the building proved to be as awesome as the outside. Valhalla was dedicated to All Things Odin, and filled with a variety of statuary, friezes, paintings, and exhibits. Overhead, the vaulted ceiling shone with gold shields, similar to the one zipped in Dani’s pocket. Except for the ghostly tourists, Valhalla might be mistaken for a regular museum.
She tagged along behind one of the tour groups for a few minutes so she could hear the human spirit guide talk about the exhibits. The guide began the tour at the entrance, with the statue of Odin. At twenty feet high, the fierce-looking immortal was sporting an impressive six-pack underneath his open robe. Dani wondered if the rendering was accurate or flattery, but the spirit guide inadvertently answered her question.
“Odin, our most prominent immortal here in Asgard, posed for this magnificent likeness,” she said. “Although he’s well-known as an intellectual, Odin spends much of his free time working out. In fact, he frequently enjoys entering and winning triathlons.”
Dani raised her hand to ask a question. “Didn’t Odin give up one of his eyes in order to drink from the well of wisdom or something like that?”
The spirits turned to give her a dead stare, but the perky spirit guide was unfazed.
“That’s a common ‘myth-perception’ on Midgard,” she replied with a giggle. “You have to admit it has drama. Actually, Odin drank from the well only to the point he needed glasses. With the advent of laser eye surgery, though, he doesn’t even wear glasses any more. Good question!”
There is mischief afoot in Asgard, but Odin is not there to stop it. A powerful immortal bent on revenge devises a plot that accidentally ensnares a mortal on Earth. It’s a good thing Dani Avery enjoys fantasy and fairy tales because she’s about to find out the truth behind the legends. Norse mythology gets a modern twist in The Druid, the story of an ordinary mortal who meets a hero from the pages of a book–bigger than life and twice as Elvish.
Coming April 20, 2012 from Musa Publishing
To follow S.G. Rogers, go to: http://www.childofyden.com