A summery productivity ahead! (Big Dreams Blog Update #44)

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That time of the month again.

Update Day is, for those of you out of the loop, every last Friday of the month for the Got Goals?/Do You Have Goals? blog hop group. There are 14 of us with 14 big, maybe craaaazy goals and we’re always looking for more people to join in the fun! All you gotta do is be brave enough to share one goal you’d like to complete, and every last Friday of the month you’ll share your progress on that goal. Good or not so great, you’ll have a cheering squad in the blog hop group. And make sure to visit author-hosts Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett and Brittney Woodson.

My goal is to write one million words worth of prose. And I’ve actually reset my counter, which means I won’t reach my goal by the end of this five-year blog hop, but that’s fine. That one-million goal was to get me writing and submitting to agents and publishers.

But enough of that. You’re here to see how I did for May. So let me start with a refresher for this month’s goals.

May 2017 goals:

☀do revision work for chapter book WIP, Sweeter the Scent

☀read four more books

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Writing update:

Sweeter the Scent, my chapter book WIP, is complete – yay! And I’ve had CPs take a look at the first four chapters (double yay!). So far, I’ve set it aside to let it sit. I’m considering taking the story in a different direction.

Reading update:

I didn’t do as much reading as I wanted this month until last week. I’ve finished 2 books, Allie Pleiter’s The Bull Rider’s Homecoming and Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch.

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A heartwarming read; I’m a sucker for reunion/second chance romances.
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I related to MC Jubilee way too much. Rocking hermit here.

So two down, two to go. I’m juggling Ruth Logan Herne’s Their Surprise Daddy and Rebecca Adler’s The Good, the Bad and the Guacamole. I should have them done by end of May (crossing my fingers). If you haven’t noticed, lots of cozies and contemp romances. Solid sub-genres.

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With spring closing, and summer shining brightly ahead, I foresee a more brighter, productive future for June. Check out my goals!

June 2017 goals:

☀begin working on the 1st draft of Ghoul & Alien 2.0

☀read four more books

Writing goal:

I’m going back to Ghoul & Alien after a little more than a month since I took a break mid-April. I’ve gotten a small bit of feedback from two professional #RevPit editors on the first 5 pages and query. Both mentioned that one of the MCs – the five pages didn’t introduce my second MC – hadn’t “wowed” them. One of the editors thought he could be more unique.

Instead of showing my CPs, I’ve decided that since I explored the MG route, and I started plotting and I’m enjoying what I have, that I’m going to age this story up from a chapter book.

Reading goal:

These are the titles I’m hoping to devour in May, in reading order (some are library books that I need to return). 🙂

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The 2nd book in the Popcorn Shop Mystery series from author Kristi Abbott. I’m hoping to be ready for Book #3 when it comes out later this year.

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The 3rd title in Kathy Aarons’ A Chocolate Covered Mystery series. A delightful read with a super funny MC (but then most cozies have hilariously self-deprecating heroines).

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An early childhood text I wanted to read. I’ve been on hold for weeks, waiting for my turn at my library!

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This one is a re-read. I think I first read it in 2015, but I’d have to check it out. I do remember enjoying it!

And hopefully more reads, depending on my time management skills.

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How did your May go as far as goals? Did you get through your spring cleaning? Are you all set for summer in T-minus 4 weeks? Let me know so I can cheer you on, whatever the monthly result(s)!

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#AtoZChallenge (2017 edition): Challenge Aftermath

I survived the A to Z, and I’m posting this late, but I’d still like to reflect on April’s crazy month of blogging. (Crazy for me at least.)

I’ve been doing the A to Z since 2015, and the first year was a crazy slapdash of creating posts on the day of, so I changed it up last year. I started writing my posts early and I had them all finished and ready to go by April 1st. This year I decided I needed to do that again if I had any hopes of getting to The End and not tearing out my hair from the frustration.

Luckily, I chose a theme I was interested in. One thing I enjoyed was I learned something new in writing every post. It was fun, too. Always a bonus.

If I do end up doing this again next year, I’ve already got my theme set aside. This year I scrambled for an idea (after sticking to movies for two years in a row). Hey, mayeb I’ll even starting writing the posts later this year, so I’m not rushing around to get it all done in March.

But right now, I need a long rest from thinking about posting back to back like that.

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How did your April run if you participated in the #AtoZChallenge?

If you weren’t participating, did you make it around to some (if not all) the blogs? A lot of cool, innovative themes were floating around… Never too late to backtrack and check out those posts.

#AtoZChallenge (2017): Z is for Zeus

Day Twenty-Six of the A-to-Z Challenge in April 2017. Let’s do this.

This year there’s no linky list or form to fill out to sign up. It might be too late to join at this point (unless you were double posting), but you can always cheer/comment on participants (and find awesome bloggers) at the A-to-Z’s official blog.

Now I should warn, that I didn’t stick to the common sense rule of writing short, pithy posts. Mine are long and bloated, but I’m having fun with it. And if you wanna skim, that’s absolutely cool with me!

Leave a comment down below with your blog so I can visit I’m thrilled to be making new friends. 🙂

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As part of my Greek mythic figures, places, and things theme, my “Z” post features the god of Olympian gods – the king of the mountain who doesn’t need a-drum-roll-when-he-can-wield-thunder, Zeus.

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Look at me. Even my beard is all stabby-like.

Can you tell I barely bothered to search for another “Z” option?

Well, yeah. There’s plenty of Zeus-related material out there. But that’s also why this post is going to be hard. What do I choose to focus about? I talked some of his lovers, and I’m not really in the mood to venture into that topic again. *yawn* So the dude couldn’t keep his lightning bolts in his pants (or up his chiton), snoozefest.

So let’s talk those times Zeus sort of screwed humanity. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Let’s begin with the tale of Pandora.

She was the first human created, also the first woman.

The actual “whole opening the box and unleashing doom and hope” has some pretty convoluted material out there, but let’s see if I can untangle this correctly.

So, there were two brothers, both of them Titans, the good kind because this is post-Titanomachy. These brothers, Prometheus and the younger, foolish Epimetheus, were a soft-hearted duo, and hardly as whimsically ruthless as most the Olympian gods. Anyways, Prometheus was crafty, a trickster god with a gold heart. He created an original race of man and he cared for them, like a good creator (and unlike Zeus, who couldn’t give his godly behind about what happened to humans).

Anyways, the good Titans not punished by Zeus gathered on Mt. Olympus to decide who should get the better share of sacrifices. Prometheus tricked Zeus out of the greater share of meat when humans sacrificed animals to the Olympian gods. So the gods would be left with bones. (Haha.)

Then Prometheus decided to steal some fire for his little humans.

Angered by this outrage, Zeus’s fury translated into his own cunning revenge. But first, he had to chain Prometheus up. Tying the Titan to a rock, he left him there to have an eagle pecking out his liver, only to have the liver renewed at the end of the day for the oh-so-painful cycle to repeat. Funny enough, Prometheus is later rescued by Hercules, Zeus’s – allegedly – favorite mortal kid. (Guess that’s Zeus’s way of saying “you’ve been tortured enough”).

So while Prometheus was chained up, Zeus zeroed his attention on the less brighter half of the Titan brothers, Epimetheus. Sending for Hephaestus, he had the smithy god craft a “daughter” for Zeus, one made of clay.

Not sure what material Prometheus’s human race was made of, but there’s the clay Adam and Eve were also supposedly made from.

And all the other gods got in the human-making (slash pottery) party. “She was then given gifts from all the Olympian gods. Aphrodite gave to her unparalleled beauty, grace and desire. Hermes, the messenger god, gave her a cunning, deceitful mind and a crafty tongue. Athena clothed her and taught her to be deft with her hands. Poseidon bestowed on her a pearl necklace that would prevent her from drowning. Apollo taught her to play the lyre and to sing. Zeus gave her a foolish, mischievous and idle nature and last but not least, Hera gave her the wiliest gift, curiosity.” (source)

I’m still stuck on Poseidon’s gift: a pearl necklace that prevents her from drowning…for what? A wrathful, divine-decreed deluge?

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Getting me nervous here.

Anyways, she was sent as a bride to Epimetheus. Epimetheus lived down there with his brother’s humans. Pandora brought along a beautifully ornate storage jar (not a box!) with her. She was not to open the box, which sort of should have been the point when she said “Okay, I don’t want it then.”

Anyways, her curiosity (thanks Hera!) gets the better of her and she opens that sucker.

Out pours all the vileness plaguing the Earth today (i.e. violence, rage, hunger, disease, etc.). All but Hope (Elpis) comes soaring out last from the vase.

MORAL: That’s why humans have a steadfast nature. Stick in there. It’s not like it’s your fault that jar was opened.

Moving on to what happened some time after…

Remember that deluge I mentioned?

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Well, I’m sure Pandora wasn’t alive for it, so that necklace from Poseidon went to waste. And it seems like Pyrrha, Pandora’s daughter, didn’t need it either.

Pyrrha, whose name means fire, “was the first child born of a mortal mother.” Neat, right? I guess all woman and babies were made by Prometheus up until that point. It’s like humans 1.0 were upgraded.

Pyrrha went on to marry her first cousin, Deucalion, the son of Prometheus. When the jar of evils (and lone hope!) was opened, it eventually led Zeus to realize just how whacked Prometheus’s creations were down there under Mt. Olympus. He decided a good, ole, pre-monotheistic cleansing was needed.

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Time to get to work destroying the human race.

Deucalion realized that there would be a flood (or Zeus spared him, so he sent news that there would be a mass genocide occurring, and to take cover). Deucalion built a chest large enough for him and his wife, Pyrrha. Tucking them in, they waited out the 9-day mass flood.

When it was over, Zeus called for Pyrrha and Deucalion, as the remaining “humans” (they weren’t really fully human…) to repopulate the empty world. So they were given some magical stones to toss over their shoulders to create a new race of men and women.

But it’s not like that flood cleansed the world of the so-called evils that poured out Pandora’s jar. Just sayin’. It was a pointless move, Zeus.

MORAL: Think through your actions. I mean, what is really the end purpose? I’m looking at you here, Zeus.

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Sources that helped me with this post:

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Zeus.html

http://www.greeka.com/greece-myths/pandora.htm

http://www.theoi.com/Heroine/Pandora.html

http://greece.mrdonn.org/greekgods/pandora.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Deucalion/deucalion.html

http://greece.mrdonn.org/greekgods/zeusflood.html

http://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins-folklore/deucalion-myth-great-flood-greece-00259

Check them out when you can!

#AtoZChallenge (2017): Y is for Youthful Love & Demise

Day Twenty-Five of the A-to-Z Challenge in April 2017. Let’s do this.

This year there’s no linky list or form to fill out to sign up. It might be too late to join at this point (unless you were double posting), but you can always cheer/comment on participants (and find awesome bloggers) at the A-to-Z’s official blog.

Now I should warn, that I didn’t stick to the common sense rule of writing short, pithy posts. Mine are long and bloated, but I’m having fun with it. And if you wanna skim, that’s absolutely cool with me!

Leave a comment down below with your blog so I can visit I’m thrilled to be making new friends. 🙂

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As part of my Greek mythic figures, places, and things theme, my “Y” post shines a light on the beauty and fatality of youth, especially mortal-blooded youth.

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Hebe, goddess of Youth (and probably a bowl of nectar and some ambrosia in that vase.

There’s something about being beauty that goes hand-in-hand with tragedy in Greek mythology. There’s Medusa, who was supposed to have been beautiful… And there’s Narcissus, who was so beautiful he was ended up being cursed to fall in love with his reflection and drown in his obsessive love.

There was a goddess of youth. There she is above, Hebe, the goddess of eternal youth and also the ex-cupbearer of the gods. She used to personally serve them ambrosia and nectar, the drink and food of the gods.

But the kind of youth I’m talking about is tragic beauty and youth that usually follows characters who are both young, beautiful and talented. Hubris is a big part of the tragedy, but sometimes it feels more like their beauty is the fire that’s attracting the moths – in this case meddling, mercurial gods.

So let’s take a gander at the stories of some tragic, gorgeous lovers from Greek mythology.

Adonis:

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Adonis was supposedly a transplant deity from Phoenicia. He was a beautiful mortal youth in Greek mythology. Adonis was the incest product of his mother, Myrrha and her father, King Theias. Myrrha might have loved her father a bit too much… She seduced him without his knowing who he took to his bed, but when he found out, he had intended to kill her.

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See that eye twitch.

 

Myrrha was saved by the gods when her prayers to be transformed and hidden forever were heard. She was changed into a myrrh tree. Pregnant, she bore Adonis this way.

Then Adonis was found by the goddess Aphrodite, and (not entirely maternal) she pawned him off to be reared by Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, goddess of spring.

Adonis grew to be really handsome, and so Aphrodite came a-knocking, hoping to sweep him off his feet and bring him over to living with her. But Persephone supposedly fell in love with her “adopted” son, and she wouldn’t part with Adonis, so the two goddesses fought like cats in heat.

Zeus broke it up by playing schedule-master.

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Zeus had Adonis moving home between Persephone and Aphrodite; for one-third of the year he lived with Persephone, one-third with Aphrodite, and the other third he could choose who he wanted to stay with…and Adonis liked Aphrodite more, so he spent two-thirds of the year with her. In another variant, he chose to spend one-third “being at his own disposal” (source).

Adonis died being gored by a bull, purportedly sent by Artemis who was avenging the death of Hippolytus, Theseus’s hunter son, who supposedly decided to stop worshiping Aphrodite and live a chaste existence with the worship of Artemis. Aphrodite killed Hippolytus, so Artemis killed Adonis. Another variant mentions Artemis being jealous of Adonis’s skill as a hunter and killing him for it.

And sometimes it isn’t even Artemis’s fault. But Ares, who was Aphrodite’s lover and who jealously sent a bull to gore Adonis.

Now Adonis was so beloved by Aphrodite, he was either immortalized into a flower (as some mortal lovers are by their god-du-jour) or Aphrodite begged Zeus to have Adonis pull a Persephone, where he spent half the year in the Underworld and half the year in the world of light and the living.

Helen of Sparta:

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I talked Helen a bit during Odysseus‘s post.

But to recap, Helen of Troy was not of Troy initially, and I don’t know if she ever really was. She was a beautiful, and some of that beauty is attributed to her being a demigoddess as she might have been Zeus’s daughter.

She was married to Menelaus, a Spartan king, who won her by drawing straws (Odysseus’s idea). No clue if Helen was happy to be with Menelaus, but she was abducted by Paris of Troy who got the go-ahead from Aphrodite when she promised him the most beautiful woman as his wife.

But what happened to her when the long-drawn Trojan war ended?

There are many endings to her tale.

She either stayed by Paris’s side, and during the war, she had his children – none of them surviving past infancy. After she married Paris’s brother, but then when her husband came for her, she plotted with him to kill Paris’s brother and the couple fled to Sparta together.

In some cases she arrived to Sparta alone to beg for her husband’s forgiveness, and he planned to cut her down for her unfaithfulness, but she disrobed and her beauty disarmed him – literally. They reconciled, and she lived out her days as Queen of Sparta once more.

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She might have lived out the rest of her life in Egypt, where Menelaus may or may not have fetched her.

Or maybe she’s in the Underworld, supposedly where she followed Achilles…perhaps to atone for her part in the Trojan war (#notherfaultatall).

Ganymede:

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Coming around full circle here to wrap this post up, we have Ganymede. The beautiful mortal prince who caught Zeus’s eye (in a surprise twist, because HELLO, that Zeus was pretty much all about the nymphs).

Ganymede was a Trojan prince, and the son of King Tros, the namesake of Troy itself.

Ganymede was spied by Zeus and the king of Mt. Olympus sent down an eagle to pluck the boy from the mortal realm. And since Ganymede’s father mourned his abduction, Zeus decided to compensate Ganymede for “two storm footed horses” (source) sent along with Hermes.

Ganymede went on to replace Hebe as the cupbearer of the gods. In some cases Hebe was either leaving her post to marry Hercules with the blessing of Zeus, or she tripped and split her robe, baring her breasts to Apollo, and he was outraged enough to have her fired and replaced.

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Now Ganymede was liked by all gods up on Mt. Olympus, except for Hera. She had beef (or nectar) with him because he was another lover of Zeus, and one that was freely parading around in front of her.

Zeus, wanting to appease Hera, goddess of nagging, waved his hand and transformed Ganymede into constellation Aquarius, the water-barrier. (He also probably found a way to visit his lover in the sky, I’m sure. Zeus is crafty when it comes to his extra-marital affairs.)

MORAL: Consider marring your face if you’re sucked into a Greek mythology. Or just hiding out for the rest of your life.

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Sources that helped me with this post:

http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Hebe/hebe.html

http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Hebe.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Adonis-Greek-mythology

http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Minor_Gods/Adonis/adonis.html

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Go-Hi/Helen-of-Troy.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Helen-Greek-mythology

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Helen/helen.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/The_Myths/Zeus%27s_Lovers/Ganymede/ganymede.html

http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Ganymedes.html

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/g/ganymede.html

Check it out when you’re free!

Head-couching action. (Big Dreams Blog Update #43)

Update Day!

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Hello, world, it’s that time of the month. I’m letting you know how I’m doing with my goal to reach 1 million words of “bad” to that first word of “good”.

As part of the DO YOU HAVE GOALS? blog hop, I get to update every Friday with my goal, and other mini-goals, and I’m lifted up by 14 other bloggers with similar crazy goals (you go guys!). Hosted by authors Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett and Brittney Woodson, the DO YOU HAVE GOALS? bloggity hop is hopping, guys. It’s the place to be if you want to start on those goals (and seriously need the accountability).

If you’d like to be one of us (ONE OF US!), you can go ahead and sign up HERE. The more, the merrier.

Now, back to my goals. How did I do for April, you ask? Let me show you.

First, a remainder of my goals for this month.

April 2017 goals:

☀continue revision work for WIP titled Ghoul & Alien

☀read four more books

☀visit 5 participating blogs/day during the A-Z Challenge madness (that’s all of April except the first four Sundays!)

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As you can see, I’ve scratched them all out. Yippee! This must be my first “win” for this year. I’ve been struggling to stay on track. It’s so easy to set these goals for the month, and then have them explode in your face.

Writing update:

So, for my writing goal, I was able to complete my 2nd draft for my WIP, Ghoul & Alien. However, I’ve since decided I might have to do some major rewrites. You see, Ghoul & Alien is a chapter book ATM, and I started exploring its potential as a middle grade and now I can’t get my new outline out of my head. If I DID go the MG-route, then I’d be able to explore more of my characters and their conflicts. Tough decision.

In the mean time, after moping for 2 weeks, I started working on another early reader/chapter book. I love it almost as much as I love Ghoul & Alien.

Reading update:

Reading is coming along. I have to admit that I haven’t been reading as regularly these last two weeks. The first half of April was great though, but then I got depressed about my direction for Ghoul & Alien and I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and read. So much for escapism…I blame the anhedonia.

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Look at that head-couching.

Anyways, I got the reading done, and I’ve got my TBR list from my latest library haul. Again, I’m mostly reading cozies and chapter books (oh, and a bit of contemporary, sexy romance), because they’re fun. 🙂

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So, what does my May look like?

May 2017 goals:

☀do revision work for chapter book WIP, Sweeter the Scent

☀read four more books

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That’s it. Keeping it nice and short this coming month. I could do with realigning some of my smaller goals, and making sure I’m still good with the larger ones.

How’s your April been? What do you have planned for May?

#AtoZChallenge (2017): X is for Xenia

Day Twenty-Four of the A-to-Z Challenge in April 2017. Let’s do this.

This year there’s no linky list or form to fill out to sign up. It might be too late to join at this point (unless you were double posting), but you can always cheer/comment on participants (and find awesome bloggers) at the A-to-Z’s official blog.

Now I should warn, that I didn’t stick to the common sense rule of writing short, pithy posts. Mine are long and bloated, but I’m having fun with it. And if you wanna skim, that’s absolutely cool with me!

Leave a comment down below with your blog so I can visit I’m thrilled to be making new friends. 🙂

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As part of my Greek mythic figures, places, and things theme, my “X” post talks xenia, or the etiquette of being a good host in Greek mythology.

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Look! Even the blond cherub at the bottom is offering food to the other dark-haired cherub. Teehee!

As I said, xenia is hospitality that extends specifically to strangers or foreigners.

Wikipedia describes xenia as being “the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing guest-friendship.” (source)

“Far from home” was also important to the ancient Greeks. “As seafaring peoples constantly engaged in trade among themselves and with outsiders, Greeks were inevitably in regular contact with strangers — and were themselves in situations where they were strangers.” (source) And you really probably don’t want to piss off strangers you’re trading with, especially if they cultivate something you want, maybe even need.

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It’s kind of like that story about the disguised (maybe not disguised) angels invited to rest their wings by Lot in Genesis 19. I do believe they were disguised because the whole idea is to always be polite to your guests. You never know who they might turn out to be…

Well, the ancient Greeks had this same fear. At least in theory they did, otherwise xenia wouldn’t be so important. So, basically, if you were a rude host, you might actually be rude to a disguised Apollo, or a masked Hermes, and that would NOT end up well for you.

This was also a theme, like xenia, in Greek mythology. And it was called theoxenia, or “theo” (god) + “xenia” (guest-friendship). Wikipedia describes it being when humans “demonstrate their virtue or piety by extending hospitality to a humble stranger (xenos), who turns out to be a disguised deity (theos) with the capacity to bestow rewards.”

And it also adds, that “[t]hese stories caution mortals that any guest should be treated as if potentially a disguised divinity and help establish the idea of xenia as a fundamental Greek custom.”

Life lesson, kids. Be nice to your gods – err, guests.

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And maybe the magical side of your family. Don’t want them hating you…

One source says that xenia “was more than merely a set of manners and social customs, but actually a religious ritual which placed demands both on hosts and guests.” That there was a process to do things, almost like a basic checklist to tick off once a visitor entered your home.

So offering a bath, a warm meal at the best seat of the table, and a warm bed was all very good, and very expected if you wanted to be consider a proper host in ancient Greece.

In turn, guests had their duty too. It wasn’t a one-sided guest-friendship: guests usually should have gifts with them. And, sometimes, they were given gifts too as they departed.

It’s really the same stuff that we expect from guests today. Family comes to visit, you play the role of courteous host…until they overstay their welcome. Well, it was the same then too. Guests in ancient Greece were expected to gather their affairs and never overstay their welcome, as long as they wanted to maintain a healthy guest-friendship.

So, what was the point of xenia besides the worry of trade deals?

It could have been used as a way of passport. At least to ensure safe entry into a country and be given a chance to explore. Or it’s possible that many inns weren’t available to travelers, or poorer travelers had to rely on the hospitality of citizens.

The Odyssey showed great examples of xenia in action.

As Odysseus traveled he met with foreigners on different islands, and some treated him awfully (i.e. Circe), and sometimes his men treated others awfully (i.e. Polyphemus and his sheep). And of course, since I brought up Polyphemus, we have the cyclops calling his father, Poseidon, to make Odysseus’s journey home a difficult one. And Poseidon doesn’t disappoint there.

Helen of Troy was abducted by Paris, and that’s a super no-no. A huge infringement on xenia. Heck, it started a war, that dragged in the gods as well!

And who was the protector – and possibly the most concerned with xenia?

Zeus, of course!

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He also went by the names Xenios, so there. Circles around.

Zeus was called the “protector of guests”. And he proved that in Bellerophon‘s tale. When the youthful hero is secretly slandered by the wife of his host, King Proteus. Proteus, believing his wife, wanted to kill Bellerophon but feared the wrath of Zeus (xenia at work!) and so he delivered Bellerophon with a false message to his father-in-law, King Iobates. But by the time Iobates opened and read the letter from his distraught son-in-law, Bellerophon had been “warmly received and settled in as Iobates’ house guest.” And so the same xenia stayed King Iobates’s hand.

Another tale with a bit of xenia running through it is that of Arcadian King Lycaon.

The twist is that Lycaon knew that his guest was Zeus (sometimes transformed into a pheasant). Lycaon wanted to “test” Zeus’s divinity (was he really as powerful and all-knowing/seeing as he was said to be?), and so he had his son, Nyctimus, served as the main dish. Zeus, realizing what was happening, grew angry.

Zeus put Nyctimus back together, giving the boy life again, and he cursed King Lycaon, transforming him into a wolf. Or, he sometimes just kills Lycaon.

Same went down with Tantalus – who wanted to steal immortality (i.e. ambrosia and nectar) for humans, and he ended up trying to sacrifice his son, Pelops, to the gods. Realizing what had happened, none ate except Demeter, who nibbled on the shoulder of Pelops before she clued in. (Supposedly she was still grieving for her Persephone’s abduction.)

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I guess he thought the Greek gods were stupid.

Tantalus was punished both in life (losing his membership to visit Mt. Olympus) and in death (being punished forever in the Underworld – in Tartarus, the wrong side of the Underworld).

MORAL: Dude, don’t be smart. Be nice. It’s probably going to save your life…and afterlife.

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Sources that helped me compose this post:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenia_(Greek)

http://classroom.synonym.com/hospitality-ancient-greek-culture-23751.html

http://classicalwisdom.com/the-odyssey-be-our-guest-with-xenia/

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19&version=KJV

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Lycaon/lycaon.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Tantalus/tantalus.html

Check them out when you can!

#AtoZChallenge (2017): W is for Wine

Day Twenty-Three of the A-to-Z Challenge in April 2017. Let’s do this.

This year there’s no linky list or form to fill out to sign up. It might be too late to join at this point (unless you were double posting), but you can always cheer/comment on participants (and find awesome bloggers) at the A-to-Z’s official blog.

Now I should warn, that I didn’t stick to the common sense rule of writing short, pithy posts. Mine are long and bloated, but I’m having fun with it. And if you wanna skim, that’s absolutely cool with me!

Leave a comment down below with your blog so I can visit I’m thrilled to be making new friends. 🙂

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As part of my Greek mythic figures, places, and things theme, my “W” post is about wine in Ancient Greece and its uses (or misuses) in Greek mythology. This all coming from a teetotaler (not that it should affect the post).

I took an Intro to Ancient Greece course in college and I vaguely remember discussing wine and its importance in the lives of ancient Greeks.

But wine was viewed both as a gift and as punishment by some philosophers.

A gift because it could ail illness (more like numb you to it) and it was attributed to the gods, so in a way it could open your mind up spiritually.

But it was seen as punishment because it could drive you loco – though I guess that depends more on what kind of drunkard you are? A happy one, or a seriously mopey one, or are you a danger to everyone because your anger is explosive when you’re out of it?

Image result for angry drunk gif

Wine was definitely present at symposia where philosophers would gather and chat and drink. And, of course, in vino veritas. Nothing like a little alcohol to loosen that heavy tongue.

Archeological digs unearthing gold goblets used for wine suggest that wine was extremely important to the ancient civilizations in the Near East and the Mediterranean. (source)

Wine became a strong commercial product and was traded by the Greeks in those large amphorae, but it was also kept for religious services and enjoyed by the people. Heck, they had a god for wine (Dionysus)!

Now I also heard about diluting wine, and that wine drunk straight was often seen as barbaric. But doing some research (source), I now understand wine was used to purify water and the Greeks (and Romans, if you’re interested) “were putting wine into their water more than they were putting water into their wine. Back then, wine was seen as a way to purify and improve the taste of the (often stagnant) water source.” Very interesting.

Now some more interesting maybe-not-so-entirely-factual tidbits hurled your way…

Tidbits 1:

Ten Bowls of Wine – or a measurement of just how drunk you are, and what is the appropriate limit to cut yourself off before you toe over that line of good times and move into crazy land. Dionysus supposedly capped himself at 3 bowls of wine. Now how BIG are these bowls, I have no clue. But no more than three bowls.

Image result for listen to me gif
Listen up!

Bowl One was for Health, ” the 2nd to Love and pleasure, and the 3rd to Sleep. The 4th bowl, they say, belongs to Violence; the 5th to Uproar, the 6th to Drunken Revel, and the 7th to Black Eyes. The 8th, they proceed, belongs to the Police, the 9th to Biliousness, and the 10th to Madness and hurling the furniture.” (source)

Self-explanatory really. In Ancient Greece, keep within the 3rd bowl and you’ll avoid crazy town, straight ahead.

Tidbit 2:

Gods got drunk too!

None but the virginal goddess, Athena, Artemis, and Hestia could be affected by alcohol. This was the eternal gift of vowing to remain chaste. It’s a pretty super cool superpower if you ask me!

One tale I like is Hephaestus’s feud with Hera.

Supposedly Hephaestus, Mr. God of the smithy and volcanic fire, was born a cripple – and therefore an immediate embarrassment to his mom, Hera. Not sure why she should be shocked: he’s an incestual product. You’re lucky he doesn’t have more health problems.

Anyways, she decided to literally give him the boot from Mt. Olympus, shoving him off to fall for “nine days and nine nights” on the island of Lemnos where nymphs hurried to his aid, tending to his wounds. In other cases he fell into the ocean and was “raised by Thetis and Eurynome”.

In another variant it wasn’t Hera at all, but Zeus who angrily shoved his son off of Mt. Olympus.

But let’s go the Hera-kicked-him-out route; it makes this story so much funnier.

No matter his new living situation, Hephaestus learned his trade and he learned it well. He also plotted revenge. He constructed a golden throne for his dearest mother. When Hera got her gift, she didn’t think, “Gee, maybe I should seriously get this checked out. I mean the god who made it is pissed at me for humiliating him…”

Nope, she just sat down and BAM! She’s trapped in the magical throne, unable to stand again. None of the other gods could free her, so they went to beg Hephaestus to undo his charm. He told them to “beat it”.

Image result for get lost gif
She deserves the chair! And it deserves her!

It sounds all so childish, and it gets worse.

With the other gods unable to get him to sway from his harsh punishment, Dionysus decided to intervene. He was not yet an Olympian god, and remember, Hera hated him for being Zeus’s son – another product of his many mortal and nymph lovers. So Dionysus brings his wine with him, loosens Hephaestus up and hauls him over his donkey.

Donkey and gods make their trip to Mt. Olympus where Hephaestus is offered a trade: he frees Hera and he gets Aphrodite as a trophy wife. And he’s like, “sure”. (Not that that marriage was on a healthy track at all.)

And Dionysus gets his prize too, Hestia’s seat at the Olympian table when she willingly steps down for him.

Related image

MORAL: Stick by your guns (or magical thrones) to stick it to them.

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Sources that helped me with this post:

http://classicalwisdom.com/the-importance-of-wine-in-ancient-greece/

http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/5063

http://www.maicar.com/GML/Wine.html

http://etc.ancient.eu/interviews/drink-of-the-gods-wine-in-the-ancient-near-east-and-mediterranean/

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/hephaestus.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Hephaestus/hephaestus.html

Check them out when you can!