Some thoughts on magic!

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So, I thought I might share some thoughts on magic in The Shattered Isles.  Let’s start with what we already know about magic in this world:  it is a learnable skill.  We have seen this with Pattenia and Denalia training at the girl’s school, learning to cast spells or use magic to create potions.  We have seen Serren spending hours reading tomes, learning the secrets of spell work.  So, it is not just a gift from the gods, but a matter of technique and practice.

Why would this be the case?  Two reasons.  First, the training develops the part of the brain that controls magic.  Most people are born with a very small part of their brain dedicated to magic.  Even without development, people experience their magic instinct in the form of intuition, instinct and even, sometimes, what seems like luck.  For example, if someone gets a strange feeling, then turns to realize someone has been watching them, that is their magic ability alerting them to their observer.  Sometimes, when in danger, people will report that time seemed to slow down.  Once more, this is an instinctive activation of their magic skills.

Without training, the inherent magic ability in all people never rises beyond this level of unaware manifestation.

However, with practice, most people can develop their magic instinct becoming capable of manipulating magic and using it to change reality itself.  Remember that we now know that everything is made of energy.  Energy can become matter, and matter energy. Magic users learn to manipulate the energy of their universe to their own ends.

So, one part of the training develops the brain and the magic ability.  In addition, magic users learn to use and channel energy to and through their brains much more efficiently than most people.  Although the brain takes up only 2% of the body’s mass, it eats up 20% of our daily energy needs– about 320 calories.  Cognitive tasks cause the brain to eat more energy, and none more than magic.  So, spell casters have to become very “fit”– the equivalent of long distance runners, with tremendous mental endurance.

The spells, symbols and secrets learned all serve to help a witch or wizard focus and bend reality to their will.  They can also serve to protect them from others who would seek to use their magic against them. So, in addition to developing their brains, spell users learn certain chants and spells that have been developed over the years to help the caster bring about a specific result.  The spell the hekatin used to transform Serren into a girl is an example of such a spell.  Transforming someone’s sex is very complicated and difficult to manage, so the spell helps make that transformation happen without some sort of error or mistake.  Even the faith necessary to believe such a transformation is possible must be learned and bolstered, and the spells help with that sense of faith as well.

Much of magic remains a mystery, even to the users.  Were you to ask Actonia how she turned a buck into a doe, she would have to admit that she really doesn’t know.  She only knows that when she casts the spell, the change happens.  Magic defies logic, rationality, reason– which is one reason the Priests of Maxis look upon it with suspicion.  The hekatin, however, celebrate creativity, emotion and the irrational, and they are quite comfortable with the notion of change, and that nothing we see might be what it appears.

Magic versus Miracles

So far, I have been writing only about the magic worked my the men and women of the Isles.  There is a second kind of supernatural power in the world, however, and that is the work of the Gods and their agents.  When the power comes from a deity, that power is in the realm of a miracle, meaning it is worked and granted by a divinity.  Mortals have no control over miracles; they are granted according to the will of the Gods.  Sometimes, a mortal of particular merit may be granted the ability to request certain miracles such as healing or protection, but this is always a power coming from outside the person as a gift.  The power does not come from them, and this is not a skill that can be learned.

 

The First Reveal!

The release of the final book in The Shattered Isles series is only a few weeks away!  I am busily writing away, discovering scenes and moments in the lives of Serren, Pattenia and the whole cast of characters.  While I have steadfastly resisted numerous calls for spoilers from my devoted readers, I have decided to share a few little things in the weeks leading up to the release of the third book, beginning tonight with the cover and title!

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I would love to know your thoughts about the title and cover!  Let me know what you think.  Now, let me get back to Serren who was just about to…  ooops!  Almost gave one away there!

Go, Princess, Go!

I’ve been watching a new gender swap TV series of Youtube lately that has a lot of fun moments for fans of TG romantic comedy.  The main character in the series is a modern day hit man who wakes up after an accident to find himself in the body of a princess in ancient China.

Not only is he a princess, but the first wife of the crown prince while also the subject of romantic attentions from the crown prince’s brother.  The creators of the show are happy with a slow build both in terms of the main character adjusting to being a woman, but also the romanic entanglements.  You’ll get to see him deal with having a period, having men fight over him, struggle with other women, faint into a man’s arms, run screaming, crying for men to protect him and a whole lot more.

New Body Swap Series on Netflix

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Netfix has released a body swap series that borders on horror.  In this series, a cute and popular girl finds herself switched with an outcast, and we see things mostly from her perspective as she is shunned, mocked and humiliated by the kids in her school, many of whom were her friends when she was in her own body.

The show is disturbing in a powerful way, because of how much the girl suffers when she experiences what it is like to be an outcast.  I had expected it to be one of these stories where she proves that her soul is superior by transforming herself in her new body, but in fact, this show suggests that bad parents plus a lack of traditional good looks dooms her to outcast status.  It is, however, a love story, and we do see a character who is able to see who she is beneath the skin and whose love for her goes more than skin deep.

Excellent performances by the actors, and this is a well shot professional series.

Anyway, don’t want to give away too much, but if you are interested in getting into body swap stories that deal with bullying, status and teen-cruelty, this is the one for you.

SWITCHED ON NETFLIX

 

 

 

Regrooving the Dream

So, obviously to anyone who has been paying attention, this blog has not been flooded with content, high-quality or otherwise.  Why not?

Well, I lost sight of my goals.  When I started out with this blog and my first gender fluid YA Novel, Brother Bewitched, I had set a goal to bring gender bender fiction to a mass audience.  It was a slightly crazy ambition, as more than one person told me, but I felt like it was something important and worth pursuing, and I was determined to go after my goal.

Well, I am going to admit something embarrassing:  I gave up too easily.  Brother Bewitched found a small and awesome audience, but it did not break out in the way I hoped.  Ditto Brain Biters.  So, I let myself get discouraged and decided, hey, you tried.  So, just be happy with the readers you have and enjoy the success you did achieve.

I did do that, but, ya know what?  It just didn’t quite feel right, and after a great deal of soul searching I realized something:  I had created an artificial and limiting choice for myself.  In fact, I could be happy with the readers I had and enjoy that level of success, and I could ALSO keep pursuing that dream of bringing TG fiction to a mass audience.  So, that’s what I am recommitting to right now and in this public form.

I am going to work tirelessly to pursue my dream, and that means good things for YOU!  Because I believe one of the keys to that dream coming true is for me to give, and I am going to be sponsoring more giveaways, putting out free fiction and spreading total love all with the aim of selling, I can’t believe I am even saying this out loud in public, One Million Books! 

Yes.  That is my goal.  To see one million books in the next year.  Come join me!  And I will be keeping you posted as I progress toward this goal, sharing the lessons I learn along the way.

Keep on rocking, people!

Taylor OUT!

Video Up! Check it out!!!

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Promo Video Link Here

Scroll Down for International Links to Buy The Book!!!!

Check out my promo video for The Shattered Isles Books, Brother Bewitched and Brother Bewildered!  It’s groovy!  And thanks to everyone who has been buying Brother Bewildered!  It was a blast to write, and I am so happy to see sooooo many people snapping up copies!!!  Rock on, people, and Stay Weird!!!!

Brother Bewildered: Now Available!!!!

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Yes!  You heard correctly!  The second book in The Shattered Isles series is now available on Lulu and Amazon in ebook form!  The paper will be available any day now!  I am just waiting for it to process.

For those who have not yet come to visit The Shattered Isles, the books tell the story of Crown Prince Serren, first in line to the throne and the embodiment of male privilege.  That is, until his sister uses forbidden magic to turn him into a girl.  As Pattenia’s younger sister, Serren no longer has claim to the throne and watches as his sister takes his crown and consigns him to a life of corsets and gowns.

Book II continues his struggles learning to live as a princess, while his sister continues her journey into masculine territory, going off to war and adventure!  I will say if you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, you will be in a blissful state beyond words for the duration!

 

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