Hello, the last third of 2017. You look good. (Big Dreams Blog Update #47)


It’s Update Day!

Every last Friday of the month, 14 of us at the Do You Have Goals? blog hop update on our big (maybe crazy) goals. My goal is to write one million words worth of completed fiction projects. I’ve reset that goal earlier this year (or maybe it was at the end of 2016), and I still haven’t tallied where I’m at, but I imagine it’s at least 25% of my goal.

If you want to join us, click the banner above or sign up here. And give a warm “HELLO” to our blog hop’s hosts, authors Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett, and Brittney Woodson.

Since I can’t just fly to that one million word goal, I’ve been setting smaller goals every month. I’m going to be honest: I haven’t written much this month either. At least I haven’t written anything as I’m writing this on August 14th. When this goes live, I’ll be vacationing some place with spotty Wi-Fi, so I’m writing this post in advance. Better safe than sorry (I don’t want to miss updating you or me after all).

So, let’s do this. My August 2017 goals were:

write 500/day towards whatever project I end up sticking to

☀read through my library TBR pile (at least 4 titles)

These goals were pretty straight-forward.


As usual, the TBR pile from my library was gobbled up. This month (half month?) I read:

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Five Days of Famous by Alyson Noel. This was my first MG this year. I haven’t been reading MG and YA as much. Glad I picked this one up though. It was super cute, and I’m always up to read a Christmas-themed novel.

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The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies. Another chapter book; this is the first book in a four-book series of themed animal mysteries staring nine-year-old detective Anna and her inquisitive little brother, five-year-old Tom.

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The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed by Jessica Clare is the 3rd book in her Billionaire Boys Club series of six steamy books. It’s a sexy read, so be ready! I loved this opposites attract tale. It’s certainly my favorite (I read Book 2 as well).

Not four books, but still enjoyable reads (and there’s still another two weeks of August – I’m writing this post early, remember?). 🙂


Like I said, writing hasn’t been happening for me. But I am plotting that paranormal chapter book, Ghoul & Alien that I completed two drafts of back in March-April. It’s the only story that’s calling to me right now, so I believe that’s where my head should be at (cuz my heart’s already there).

Which brings me to my September 2017 goals:

☀have the first (third?) draft of Ghoul & Alien completed for CPs

☀read another 4 books

Ah, autumn’s almost here but the heat has been hitting us hard. I’m looking forward to what the season of colorful foliage will bring us.

What do you have planned for the last third of 2017? Have you started on your early Hallowe’en shopping?

Let me know in the comments, so I can cheer you on!

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I’m not burned out; I’m scared. (Big Dreams Blog Update #46)

It’s Update Day!


I’m a day late, but here I am.

Yup. That time of the month again for the crew of the Do You Have Goals?/Got Goals? blog hop. On the last Friday of every month the 15 of us on the bloggity hop gather to update on our (crazy) big goals! Hosted by authors Misha Gericke, Brittney Woodson, and Jen Garrett, the Got Goals? blog hop is always looking for more company. If you’d like to join, click the banner above to be redirected to the sign-up page, or click HERE. You won’t regret it. 🙂

My crazy big goal is to hit 1 million words of completed fictional projects (i.e. short stories, novellas, novels). I’m likely not to hit this goal, but at this point, I’m hoping I can even hit the halfway mark of that goal at this point.

But you want to know what I had planned for July, and if I reached any of my goals.

How did my July fly? Well, for starters, my plans looked like this:

July 2017 goals:

write first 35K of Play By Ear, a category romance

☀read through my library TBR pile



Let’s start with writing. Honestly, I’ve been bouncing back and forth from children’s fiction to romance, and now after two months I can honestly say I have a few WIPs laying around and nothing accomplished.

I’m not even burned out. It’s more like I’ve been freezing myself out of writing. The problem is I’m scared. I’m putting a lot of pressure on the first draft when I know that, in the great words of Ernest Hemingway, all first drafts are shit. And I can’t edit a blank page anyways, so I’ll have to get something down before I can pick it apart. Problem is that the Evil Internal Editor has been winning lately. She’s on fire, and I’m not sure if I can extinguish her flames of doubting.

I’ll figure it out though. I usually get myself out of these funks eventually.


If my writing has been nonexistent, my reading has been going really swell. I started back on YA again (finally!). I read:

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Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson. It’s the first in her new YA fantasy duology. She’s known for the Defy series (which I haven’t read yet). I really enjoyed Dark Breaks the Dawn. If you enjoyed any version of the Swan Lake (like maybe The Swan Princess film), then pick up this one. It’s got kissy romance, action and adventure and a sprinkling of political intrigue.

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The Black Witch by Laurie Forest is a long read at 601 pages, and it’s the first in a planned four book series. It’s also YA fantasy. You got dragons, wyvern shifters (so cool!), elves, Fae, and wand magic. Oh, and 2/3rds of the book follow the protagonist as she journeys through her magical university. Do I have you hooked yet?

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Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier was my first graphic novel for 2017 (and actually since probably 2012), but it was the PERFECT book to end a long dry spell. This book is a keeper. I borrowed it from the library, but as soon as I can I’m buying this one. It’s a book for all ages. If you have young children, pick this one up. It can go a long way in teaching understanding and compassion.


I also read a bunch of chapter books, and I’m in the middle of A Wrinkle in Time (it’s my first time reading it!).

Now my plans for August are going to take into consideration my raising fear of facing the blank page. I’m going to take baby steps. My word count will be smaller; my expectations a little lower. It always works. Here we go then:

August 2017 goals:

write 500/day towards whatever project I end up sticking to

☀read through my library TBR pile (at least 4 titles)


How are your goals coming along? What do you have planned for August (what I like to think of as the last hurrah for summer)? Let me know in the comments.

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July, I’m coming for you. (Big Dreams Blog Update #45)

It’s Update Day!


Gosh, I’m always saying this, but this month felt like it zipped by. We’ve still got a lot left of summer (thankfully), and I mean to seize the still-long days.

How did my June go? My plans looked like this:

June 2017 goals:

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

☀read four more books


So, my June goals didn’t look like too much.

I did well with the last one, but I ended up tossing Ghoul & Alien‘s most recent draft because it wasn’t going where I wanted it. I made it halfway and then petered out. Also my well of inspiration was drying up, and I didn’t want to push through, knowing I’d end up with something I really didn’t want or like.

I did some soul searching, and I’m back to romance for now, just reading children’s fiction.

July 2017 goals:

☀write first 35K of Play By Ear, a category romance

☀read through my library TBR pile

Writing goal:

As I plan to write daily towards my contemporary, sexy romance project, tentatively titled Play By Ear, I decided I’ll use Camp NaNo as a way to hold myself accountable. I don’t need to stray from this story, too. No “shiny new idea” distraction for me!

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Reading Goal:

Like I said, I read all 4 of the books from my June 2017 list. Yay!

This time I’ll be going through these titles during July:

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I haven’t read the Defy series from author Sara B. Larson, but I was pulled into the premise of this new series. Dark Breaks the Dawn was released earlier June, so I’m hoping that I’ll love it. Also be my first YA in a year (yeah, it’s criminal; deal with it).

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I’m diving into the second of The Kid from Planet Z series by Nancy Krulik. It’s a new sci-fi chapter book series, and it’s adorable! I’ll be doing reviews on GR soon for this treasure. 🙂

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The Fairybell Sisters by Margaret McNamara is already off to a wonderfully magical start for me. I loved Book 1, and I’ve got Book 2 & 3 in my TBR pile clamoring to be read. I’m so, so ready to fall back into the world of Tinkerbell’s younger sisters!

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All five published books in The Friendship Garden series are waiting on my TBR shelf reserved for library hauls. I’m excited to check out this one. I love Aladdin, the Simon & Schuster children’s publishing division for their beautiful covers and their wickedly awesome stories! I’m sure this one will get a two-thumbs up from me!

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And finally, the last of my chapter books for July: the first book in the Penelope Perfect series by Chrissie Perry. This was a recent release from Aladdin for North American readers. I do believe it was first published by an Australian publisher. Glad someone decided this one was worth it.


I know I got the “I’m coming for you, July” mindset, but how did your June go?

Did you get as much as you wanted accomplished? Or do you have some goals that you’re moving into July to complete? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to cheer you on.

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


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


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.


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.


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. 🙂


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:








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. 🙂


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.


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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).


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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.


Sources that helped me with this post:











Check it out when you’re free!