Posts filed under ‘Sandra's Comments’
For more than three remarkable years of my life I lived in North Africa and the Middle East — specifically Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Those adventures, both wonderful and not so wonderful, formed the person that I am today, and most especially, the woman who wrote Isis Trilogy. Drawn from my own personal experiences hitchhiking across the Sahara, surviving sandstorms, sleeping under vast desert skies, wandering from oasis to oasis, my books are a fanciful retelling of my life in settings right out of 1001 Nights.
Isis Trilogy: The Red Mirror, The Emerald Tablet, The Black Scroll.
Click Here for the March 18 2016 KVEC am radio podcast that retraces some of those adventures in an interview conducted by Deborah Bayles. My reminiscing lasts about 40 minutes. Commercial breaks have blessedly been removed.
When I wrote The Red Mirror, I held an image in my mind of the interior of an Egyptian temple far different than anything I’d ever seen in photos or real life. The walls pulsed with a color palette so vivid that the strange giants with human bodies and animal heads with mystical crowns leapt from the stone to dance in the still air.
Here’s a quick excerpt from Chapter Three – The Temple:
Simmering hieroglyphs in colors bright as neon exploded from every surface. Giants with mystical crowns or the heads of animals performed strange rituals in soaring murals painted in vibrant red, yellow and blue.
I resisted leaning my head back to take in the vast ceiling with its elaborate geometric designs, absorbing as much as possible without being obvious. But I couldn’t stop my eyes from traveling everywhere at once.
As if in answer to my imagination begging for manifestation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recreated by magic of light projection what archaeologists believe are the original colors of one vignette in the Temple of Dendur. The scene couldn’t be closer to what I saw in my mind’s eye when my character, for the first time, walks back in time through the shadowy incense-fogged chambers of a temple on the Nile. Of course, in my vision, every square inch of the walls and ceiling throbbed with the same bold colors as you see in the photo.
Although the beautiful Egypto-Roman Dendur Temple relocated from Egypt is about 500 years “younger” than my temple in The Red Mirror, it reflects the stature and majesty of the setting in my novel. There, among the polychromatic neon gods and goddesses, Isenkhebe Nefrusobek (Isis) experiences her first encounter with Egyptian mysticism and sacred sexuality.
See the New York Times article here: NY Times article on Metropolitan Museum of Art Color the Temple Scene I
I took this photo many many years ago when living in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), West Africa. We were upcountry in the “bush” when a halo formed around the sun. Such a mystical experience. I’ve only seen it once in my life.
From under one of those giant, tropical Africa trees that reach for the sky, I captured the shot using a red filter on my Nikon and Kodak slide film. Much later, I took a photography course in New Jersey to learn to print paper positives from color slides. This photo is the result. I love it still.
Being a fan of the Oxford comma, and having been corrected by editors when using it, I am especially fond of this superb example of why we sometimes need it.
BTW, the Oxford comma may also be called the Harvard comma. The term refers to the comma placed immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and, or, or nor) in a series of three or more terms.
Thank you to Alexander MacDonald @alex_macdonald for sharing this on twitter and Indira Lakshmanan
@Indira_L for RTing.
If you’ve hit a wall and your void, infertile mind refuses to sprout new ideas, then I’ve got a few tips that will break the barrier. Click below to link to my creativity article, If it is to be, it is up to me, just published in the winter 2015 edition of Choices Magazine.
10 easy steps to creative solutions that open your subconscious and allow you to connect with your inner genius.
10 easy steps that only you can take. If it is to be, it is up to you.
Relax your mind. Let your muses sing freely in your ear!
Maybe it’s the meltdown in Libya that urged me on. The revolution in 2011 certainly inspired the book. Part One is set in Roman and modern Libya with explicit scenes from ancient Leptis Magna followed by Isis’ revisit in modern times where she comes face to face with the militias.
Completing my saga of Isis and her reincarnations in ancient Egypt, The Black Scroll is set in Roman North Africa during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. If you’re familiar with the other two books, you’ll know that the first novel, The Red Mirror, takes place in the days of the last Egyptian Pharaoh on the dawn of the Persian invasion. Book Two, The Emerald Tablet, explores Greek Egypt, especially Alexandria, under the rule of Ptolemy.
As always, the story of modern Isis continues through all three books. I confess to being easily bored; I hunger for travel and adventure. The Red Mirror Series is my chance to share my rich life experience of languages, food, art, religion and history. I’m excited to take you back to the past, but I’m equally thrilled to take you to Las Vegas, New York, Copenhagen, Malta and London – all places I know well and love.
My books don’t fit into one genre. They reflect my eclectic mind and life. Adventure, romance, intrigue, mystery, mysticism, sex, time travel, history, thriller…these are all hastags I could use. You won’t be able to put the Red Mirror Series into a category. But I believe you’ll have a wild ride.