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Friday, January 30, 2009

Magic Bones and Time Portals

When a shaman-sorcerer interprets an omen he knows its exact meaning without having any notion of how he knows it. (Carlos Castenada/1988)

My novella, Isabelle and the Outlaw, is a time-travel, western romance. I admit it was a bit of a stretch trying to figure out how to get a modern day woman transported back through time two hundred years. Once I did, the trick was how to return Isabelle to her own century without sounding contrived.

My research led to me to some interesting information. One was the casting of bones, and the other black holes better known as time portals.

No one is certain when or how bones came to be used to divine the future, cast spells, or influence the outcome of events. Although tossing or throwing bones is an extremely archaic divination technique, their use was not recorded by Europeans until the 1600s.

Traditionally Shamans threw the bones into the air or the ground, usually into a specially drawn or marked off circle, and observed how the bones landed and what configurations they formed after landing. The bones would be consulted in order to determine many things, such as how to care for cattle and crops, hunting expeditions, marriage suitability and in matters regarding health.

Bones were also assumed by primitive man to contain something of the essence of the soul, and were treated with great respect.

This particular research gave me my “Aha” moment and the idea was borne of using an Apache Shaman to cast his bones and pray to the four winds to bring a woman from the future to save the hero.

Time travel is the concept of moving backwards and/or forward to different points in time, in a manner analogous to moving through space. Time travel has been a common plot device in fiction since the 19th century, so you guessed it, I had myself another “Aha” moment.

Here’s a tidbit from Isabelle and the Outlaw to tease your reading taste-buds:

Two hundred years in the past, an Apache Shaman mixes his potions, chants over his magic bones, and prays to the four winds to bring the woman to save Raphael Sinclair.

She fell in love with a picture of an outlaw in a history book. Professor of American History, Isabelle Landers lives by the “Murphy’s Law” creed. If it’s going to happen—it’s going to happen to her. While vacationing at a charming ivy-covered cottage in England, she walks through the garden gate and into a time portal that lands her smack dab in Arizona’s outlaw badlands, and face-to-face with Rafe Sinclair.

Pinkerton detective agent, Rafe Sinclair never expected to fall in love with a woman from the future. Posing as an outlaw on the run he is the victim of a hanging gone bad. Until Isabelle Landers can keep him from hanging a second time, and until he can find a way to return her to her own century, he vows to keep her safe from a notorious outlaw leader.

Currently an ebook, Isabelle and the Outlaw is being released(coming soon) as a traditional print anthology titled Through the Garden Gate.


sharron said...

Hi Loretta,

This is very interesting. I love time travel, and a new twist to it is refreshing. Sounds like a great book!

Sharron Houdek

Susan Macatee said...

Sounds like a great story, Loretta!

I love time travels!

Helen Hardt said...

This is fascinating stuff, Loretta. Thank you for sharing!


Mary Ricksen said...

I love time travel and casting of stones is a wonderful idea for the venue. Good stuff Loretta!

Anna Small said...

If only there was a way to really time travel! Writing class with Jane Austen? Music lessons with Herr Mozart? Great article about shamans and other mysticals.

Anna Small said...

If only we could really time travel! Writing classes with Jane Austen? Music lessons with Herr Mozart? Ah, the possibilities! I loved Isabelle and the Outlaw.