"Writing a book is the art of listening to oneself."-Brad Cameron

Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Author-Tonya Macalino

Tonya Macalino is my guest blogger today.  She is the author of The Shades of Venice series.  These novels are urban fantasy thrillers featuring folklore and folk history from the collapsing canals and alleyways of Venice.
Leda and the Swan: From the End of The Age of Heroes Rises a New Legend

Once upon a time…

Once upon time, a single moment, a typical moment of amorous indiscretion brought about the end of The Age of Heroes. For in that moment, the leader of the Greek gods, the almighty Zeus, took the form of a swan to mask from his ever-jealous wife Hera another of his endless pursuits. With Leda, Queen of Sparta, he begat that ending in the shining form of Helen.

Helen of Sparta, who was to become Helen of Troy, received the gift of beauty, but was denied the gifts of honest love and deepest friendship. Twice kidnapped—once by Theseus and once by Paris—because of her beauty and divine heritage, she lived ultimately to become the downfall of Troy. The face that launched a thousand ships.

A generation of heroes died on the plains of Troy not to see her liberated or even truly to see her husband’s pride avenged, but simply because, as her former suitors, these kings and heroes had been made to swear an oath to defend the marriage lest the losers in the bid for her hand slaughter one another.

An oath to prevent a slaughter.

An oath culminating in ten years of bloody war. Ten years that would leave Helen friendless on either side of the ramparts and throughout the civilized world long after the war was over. Passed along from the burning ruins of a once great city, she would continue to be a pawn in the plots of gods and kings until her life was ultimately ended by them.

But something else passed along from those burning ruins, something arose, slowly from the end of The Age of Heroes. Antenor, advisor to the royal Trojan family, escaped the flames with his Veneti. They fled the Aegean and emerged into the Adriatic, settling Pavatium in 1183 B.C.

Near noble Pavatium, or Padua as it was to become known, were a chain of islands in the lagoon, a place to flee to during the relentless sieges and raids of the Huns and Romans. Rife with mosquitoes and diseases, the islands became a refuge for the descendants of these Veneti.

A lagoon, a scattering of islands.

The legendary empire of The Most Serene Republic…of Venice.

Helen and her tragedy would live on in thousands of years of myth built up into the romantic, decaying city of Venice we know today. Myths of mermaids, sea creatures, doomed monks, vengeful Doges…and of fairy-witches known as fate. Yes, fate. Whether because the Veneti brought Leda, Helen, and their capricious gods with them, or because of a Roman influence, the three sister Fates found their reincarnation in the stories of the lagoon.

Stories that continue to lurk in our psyches on into the modern day.

But now I invite you to come a little further forward, one hundred years—a mere moment in the time of myth—and watch a new woman, Alyse Kate Bryant, struggle to become disentangled from those fated, flooded ruins…as the legends of Venice rise again.
Here are some links to keep up on the words and works of Tonya:
The Story of Place Blog: http://www.tonyamacalino.com/Blog.html
The Myth Makers Newsletter: www.facebook.com/TheMythMakers

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