The Wounded Healer: the Greek Myth of Human Evolution

Multi-faceted visionary craftsman Esme Ellis has been a supporter and contributor to the Visionary Fiction Alliance almost from its inception. She has written four books; Pathway Into Sunrise, Clea and the Fifth Dimension, This Strange and Precious Thing, and Dreaming Worlds Awake. Here are some of her musings amidst samples of her visionary art. Continue reading

Jodine Turner’s The Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series – guest post by Theresa Crater

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Jodine Turner’s Visionary Fiction series traces the reincarnations of a priestess specially called to do the work of the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea, an Ancient One who reawakens when humanity is ready for a dramatic shift in consciousness. The first novel in the series shows us the fall of Atlantis and the rise of Avalon. In The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis, Geodran is promised to this special Goddess even before her birth. Her mother, High Priestess Jaquine, has lost babies to miscarriages and does not want a repeat performance. The Goddess of the Stars and the Sea claims Geodran as her own in return for bringing her to term.

Many of us have written about Atlantis and grab up books that reimagine or remember those times as soon as we find them. Turner spends a good deal of time in this civilization, showing us the capitol city with its looming pyramid, and taking us into the countryside where we see the fishing and farming villages, as well as the spreading forests. We get to watch Geodran grow up, be accepted into the temple, and go through some training. The High Priestess, rigid with tradition, has trouble allowing Geodran to meet her Goddess each full moon on the beach. Geodran succeeds. She learns sacred sexual ritual with none other than the son of the Goddess.

But paradise is already falling. The priesthood is corrupt, trying to gain the immortal body of light through force and dark magic, dulling the pyramid’s beacon light and endangering the island. Geodran is directed … Continue reading

Visionary Fiction Part Two: What Goes into the Bucket?

Let’s suppose, as projected in Part 1 of this series, “The Bucket,” that Visionary Fiction has become as prominent a genre label as Science Fiction or Mystery. Now let’s consider the ingredients writers must put into a work to have it qualify for the Visionary Fiction bucket and what experiences or benefits readers can expect in a work pulled out of that bucket. Continue reading

The Power of Place in Writing a Novel

Have you ever thought about the power of place, of setting, in writing your novel?

The setting in most novels is nonspecific. Meaning that, while setting itself is important, the specificity of the setting is oftentimes not. The high school romance between Bella and Edward in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight could have begun in any modern high school cafeteria. Dan Millman’s Visionary Fiction novel, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, could have been set in any gas station, and in any university town, and still retain the thrust of the story.

Harper Lee, author of the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, said in a 1961 interview, “People will be people anywhere you put them.” She set her story in a nonspecific, generic Southern town she named Maycomb. The story could have taken place anywhere in the South during the early 1930’s. But what was important, and more specific, was that it was indeed set in the South. And the town of Maycomb represented a conglomeration of the Southern culture, tradition, and societal influences that shaped her story and her characters’ experiences.

Could James Hilton’s classic, Lost Horizon, be set anywhere other than Shangri-La, the earthly paradise hidden in the Himalayan Mountains? Or in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – Alice could have fallen down a mining pit, a well hole, or her rabbit hole, but what was important is that the hole led her down into the magical realm of Wonderland. And this magical setting colored how the story unfolded.

Peter Pan’s adventures would not have been the same if they were not experienced specifically in Neverland. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code needed to take place within the religious structures found in Italy. It couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

These latter examples illustrate how there are also many novels … Continue reading

“Visionary Fiction” Now Officially on Wikipedia

Exciting news for all Visionary Fiction authors, readers and lurkers:
As of August 2014 a entry entitled “Visionary fiction” has been published on Wikipedia at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visionary_fiction Continue reading

DIVERGENT and Visionary Fiction, Same Umbrella, Different Factions

Violence aside, I would gladly welcome the dystopian sci-fi novel Divergent into our “faction” here at Visionary Fiction Alliance.

Veronica Roth deserves her New York Times Bestselling Author status. She deserves her book’s 13,561 Amazon reviews (9,733 of which are five stars). She deserves her book sales of over eleven million.

All these accolades are merited because Divergent is fast-paced, well told, and pumps out enough what-ifs and why-nots to satisfy the “Erudite” in all of us. In other words, Divergent is a fantastic read.

The reason I cannot claim Divergent as visionary fiction is twofold:

  • It does not explore the paranormal.
  • It bypasses the spiritual.
  • Divergent and Visionary FictionDivergent is Devoid of the Paranormal

    According to Hal Zina Bennett, publisher, writer, and expert on the genre of visionary fiction:

    • “…good visionary fiction takes us deep into the realm of mystery beyond the boundaries of our five senses.”
    • “The best characters in these (visionary) novels serve as mediators between the physical world we’re familiar with and the less familiar world of dreamtime—what C.G. Jung called the collective consciousness.”

    As dystopian sci-fi, Divergent is categorized under the same speculative fiction umbrella as visionary fiction, but it differs from VF in that it does not include the paranormal, magical, or fantastic.

    Set in a futuristic Chicago, Divergent is played out in a world that has the same physical and biological rules as our own.

    The miracles that occur in Divergent are miracles of science, specifically computer and neuroscience, used in technologically-advanced—incredible, terrible—ways to control and manipulate faction members. Workings of the mind apply to the stimulation, rewiring, and control of the brain, including syringes with … Continue reading

    ‘A Winters Tale’ – a Movie Experience of Visionary Fiction

    We are well aware that Visionary Fiction, with regards to the publishing industry, is a genre in its infancy, though its form and mode of storytelling is perennial. One way to describe, define, and increase awareness of this genre for authors, readers, agents, and publishers, is to show by example. On our Visionary Fiction website we have compiled a list of books and movies that fall under the VF genre. Book and movie reviews also help increase awareness and understanding of VF. I’ve recently watched the new movie A Winter’s Tale, and found it to be a very good illustration of VF.

    1Originally a novel written by Mark Helprin and published in 2005, A Winters Tale is a time-travel love story that spans more than a century. Despite the movie trailer’s emphasis on the romantic love between characters Peter Lake and Beverly Penn, which is undoubtedly both believable and epic, the movie encompasses love on a much grander scale. And it incorporates the persistent struggle between good and evil, destiny and purpose, timing and fate.

    Peter, (played with deep emotion by Colin Farrell), is an orphaned burglar trying to break free from under the rule of crime boss Pearly Soames (played convincingly by Russell Crowe). Peter is clever, and under normal human circumstances, may have easily slipped away from Pearly’s jurisdiction. But it so happens that Pearly is a minion of Lucifer (played artfully by Will Smith). And Pearly’s demonic abilities include being able to follow streams of ethereal light to geographically locate whomever he wants to.

    Pearly is obsessed with his vendetta against … Continue reading

    Harold Ramis: A Comedic Visionary Crosses Over

    By Eleni Papanou

    March 3, 2014

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    “When I was twelve, I read the line, ‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’ I took it seriously to heart. And literally. Like it was a requirement in life, akin to the Buddha’s suggestion that we maintain ‘sufficiently inquiring minds.’” Harold Ramis interview in Shambhala Sun

    When Harold Ramis passed away February 24, 2014, the world lost a visionary actor, director, and writer. “Was honored to have gotten to work with Harold Ramis, the Buddha of Comedy, Brilliant, humble, radiant. We’ve lost an icon,” actor Rainn Wilson tweeted.

    As a child, I laughed when I watched him in Ghostbusters, never thinking that he was more than a funny guy playing a nerd. But now I view him as much more. Although he wasn’t a Buddhist, Ramis’s movie, Groundhog Day, of which he directed and co-wrote, became an “underground Buddhist classic” (Shambhala Sun, 2009). The plot is simple: Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connor, cycles through the same day until he sees the errors of his ways and evolves.

    Harold Ramis intended for the movie to be non-denominational and was taken aback by the reaction given to the film. “It always seemed ironic to me that it [Groundhog Day] didn’t lead people to recognize the commonality of all their points of view, but rather, ‘This must be about us and only us.’” He said in response to observing various religious sects’ views toward the movie.

    I think Ramis was being a little too critical. As Visionary fiction authors, we seek commonality by writing dogma-free … Continue reading

    Beyond Samhain’s Doorway: Visionary Fiction

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    Summer has exhaled and faded. The nights are beginning to lengthen. Leaves burnish in shades of red, gold, and orange, and drop from the trees. The last of the harvest is gathered, and the remains of the crops are tilled back into the fields to nourish the soil for next year’s planting. Our lived life is analogous to this turning of the seasons if we can view it from that perspective. As such, you may ponder what seeds you have planted earlier in the year, what you have created by mid-year, what has now come into fruition to be harvested in your life, and what needs to be nourished for the upcoming year.

    Because I am an author of Visionary Fiction (VF), the writer in me also resonates with this season of autumn. And, more so with… yes…Halloween. Not so much the commercial Halloween of clever costumes and adorable children who ‘trick or treat’ for candy, as much as acknowledging this season ‘where the veils are thin between the worlds of the seen and unseen,’ or so the ancient Celtic people asserted.

    October 31st, mid-autumn, marks one of earth’s seasonal turning points with a festival called Samhain (pronounced sa-wen, which comes from two words meaning summer’s end), a festival later to be renamed Halloween. Samhain originally celebrated this mystical time when the usual barriers between our world and the otherworld opened to allow contact between humans and their ancestors, the spirits of the dead, as well the fairy folk. Legend says that these two realities now have the opportunity to come … Continue reading