Episode 1 Show Notes
As This is the Inaugural episode of the Finding Elara Podcast Dianna Introduces herself and talks about what plans she has for the show. Introducing the show layout including future segments, Buffy Night and Linking to Elara. As this show focuses on World building and mindfulness the terms are defined in this episode.
Trying to keep things fun an light hearted is hard when reading from a script but it is worth a listen.
Dianna's story and why she wanted to start a podcast.
Definitions and thoughts on what mindfulness and world building is.
Intro to Buffy night
Intro to linking to Elara
Close of show.
Next Episode: 002 - How to conquer the overwhelm
Definition of World building:
Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. ... Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers. (Wikiedia)
Definition of Mindfulness:
Mindfulness as a practice is described as a way of paying attention that originated in Eastern meditation practices" "Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally" (Wikipedia)
Basics of Elara
Elara is an isolated Island in the middle of the Indian ocean
It is Controlled by Queen Madelaine Rubus of the Elaran Isles.
The queen is over 1500 years old and looks like an 18 year old. She is never seen without a mask that covers the top half of her face.
There is a big brother 'Exception Corp Global' company that keeps the island a secret from the world at large.
Exception Corp restrict travel to and from the Island and provide all necessary requirements.
There are two different types of people that live on the Island
The gifted have the capacity to grow a crystal bead in their navel which develops when they hit puberty.
The magic is unlimited when it is connected to the body
The Bead falls out (like a tooth) when the person matures.
One the bead it detached it is like a batter that depletes over time.
Once the bear is empty of magic is looks like a pearl and it is called Silent.
Gifted are not permitted to use magic in the city of Bellicose.
Some are addicted to pearl dust.
Like with all communities some dislike the gifted and others are fine.
In the capital city of Bellicose the uns have a strong bias against gifted.
Original Tribes people live in the unforgiving mountains and provide lessons to the Elaran people.
Shadow beasts roam the wilds at night time.
The magic system is organic and elemental.
There will be dragons (eventually)
TV show of the week - Misfits
An English tv series where a mysterious storm activated powers in anyone who had been stuck in the weather. The main characters in the show are on probation for a sundry list of misdemeanours that you learn about throughout the series.
Goodreads Review - Drifter by Anthea Hodson
Although this book had a slow start I was pulled in by the recognition of the familiar locations used. Living in the Wheat belt and reading such a tale felt like I was listening to a friend share their story. It was a nice easy read.
Transcript of the Show
Hello and welcome to the first episode of the Finding Elara podcast,
Building worlds with words and sharing those words with the world.
a podcast for writers, worldbuilders and artists that would like to take a mindful look inside their creations. Wherever or whenever they are.
My name is Dianna and I write under the title of DL Nix. Elara is the world I created for a fantasy novel series. During the course of creating this series I spent many hours worldbuilding and researching different aspects of this world, fantasy worlds, myths, legends and lore as it relates to the new world I had created. I am very new at recording myself so I am reading from a script. I’m sure that if you stick with me I will improve with practice or atleast sound a little more human and less like an android over time.
So who am I, I am not Jon val jon even though that song pops into my head every time I think, who am I. I am a writer who is a member of the Australian Fairytale Society and Romance writers Australia in the aspiring group. I am a Nanowrimo 5 time champion. I have the certificates on my inspiration wall to prove it. I have sent one of my manuscripts off to an agent, but there is a fairly lengthy wait. The rest of my Nano novels and other manuscripts are sitting in a drawer to be revisited in the future. I don’t think that these worlds are believable enough at this stage so I will let them stew for a while. I know that this happens to many creative people. We second guess our works and are fearful of sharing the characters we put so much of ourselves into. I have had positive results from the select people that have read bits to here and there though so I am optimistic. Plus I have this nifty little podcast now to help talk through my concerns with worldbuilding and story development.
Most of my stories range from creative realism to fantasy. I have tried my hand at mystery, but unless the killer was a dragon with a long sword in the attic then I tend to lose interest rather quickly. What I love about writing is the fact that I have always had a vivid imagination and it is nice to put those thoughts down on paper and see where it leads me.
On a personal note, I am married and have been for just over a dozen years now. My hubby works in the mines and we live in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. I am the mother of three children, a teenage boy and two tween girls. We have 2 dogs, a cat, 4 chickens and some fish. Other than writing I am also a school bus driver and I do a lot of volunteering around town. I dream of finishing my novels and making a living off my creative work in a two-story house looking out onto a tree farm in the middle of nowhere.
I listen to podcasts as well as audio books as I walk in the mornings and as I plod around doing Mum things in the afternoon. I am currently writing the second book in the Elaran series and while going through the process I found there are more layers that continue to grow with the story. While I am in worldbuilding mode and researching further I thought this podcast would provide the perfect avenue to share some of the more interesting aspects I encounter, introduce you to people who specialise in the area I am researching and others who are also following their creative motivations.
For your easy listening I have a plan to separate this podcast into five easy to swallow segments.
Intro, main content for the week, Linking to Elara, Buffy night and the summary.
This episode is topic based, this week’s topic is worldbuilding and mindfulness. Some weeks it will be interview based where I will have a special guest on the show but this week you have me. The linking to Elara section which in this episode will include a beginners guide to the elaran Isles but normally it will link what I have learned about the topic or interview and how that applies to Elara. The Next section is a Buffy Night segment where I talk about what I have been watching and reading recently that has inspired me then I will wrap things together in my final thoughts for the week.
Everything that I talk about on the show and any show notes can be found on my website which is dlnix.com and click on the finding elara tab. Or dlnix.com/finding-elara. I hope that you enjoy what I have to share and over time we will work together to Find Elara
As this weeks topics are Worldbuilding and Mindfulness I thought I would start with a definition of each, thanks be to wikipedia…
Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. ... Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers.
Mindfulness as a practice is described as a way of paying attention that originated in Eastern meditation practices" "Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally"
I think these terms complement each other. You need to be mindful of the world that you are living in and how it will seep in to the world you are building therefore creating a realistic and believable universe for your characters to live in. Also your characters need to be mindful of their surroundings to present a realistic view of the world they are living in. Being mindful of minutia in this world is useful for creating a realistic world.
Even though when you are world building you are essentially dreaming stuff up, for it to be relatable to any audience greater than the creator there needs to be links that people can relate to. I was talking to my friend Kayla the other day and she surmised it nicely, she said making stuff up isn’t the hard bit. It’s making stuff up like engineers make buildings, not like a 6 year old with Lego.
I can completely understand what she is getting at there. It can be so easy to take shortcuts when you are developing something. There is a balance that you need to find as a creator so that the world you are building is realistic but doesn’t bog the audience down with too much information. That doesn’t mean that the creator needs to keep it superficial, we have a right to know all that’s going on in the world we created but we pick and choose what the audience gets to see. It’s good to have some details in your back pocket and see how others respond.
There is beauty in the little things. I think that when you are reading there is so much time to sink yourself into the world you see in your mind that makes it such a personal journey. When you talk to someone else about a book that you have read they sometimes point out a perspective that you glossed over. Even though it’s the same book they may read it with a different bias. When I read a novel that I like then I go back for more. Same with any aspect of entertainment really. If the world is built well enough in the first novel in a series then when you move on to the rest you can jump straight in, less preamble.
So if you have a chance today, take the time to really look around at where you are. Think about everything around you that helps establish the world that you are living in, try to do this without judgement, keep an open mind and absorb as much as you can. The next time you are creating, try and show that same amount of mindfulness to the world that you are bringing to life.
Worldbuilding takes a long time. There are so many factors to consider if you want to be the architect of a world. Becoming truly aware of what is around you is a fantastic place to start. We all have something special in our worlds that make our story unique, so embrace that awesome and let it take you where you need to go.
I am sure that we will revisit both topics throughout the series. Looking at world building through a different lens each time. But this is a start and I hope that I have given you something to think about.
Linking to Elara:
In this Linking to Elara segment I will normally tell you how I plan to put the topic information to good use but today I thought It would be best to give you a beginners guide. I am going to try and keep it basic.
The Elaran Isles is situated in the middle of the Indian ocean. The people that inhabit the island can basically be separated into two categories, gifted and ungifted. There are minimal tribal people left living on the island this is due to assimilation into the multicultural society there wasn’t any indigenous slaughter of anything of the sort. There has been many refugees that have settled over the centuries after becoming ship wrecked on the shore, crashing their jets on the unforgiving mountains and in days long past, faulty hot air balloon survivors.
The island has two capitals, one is Bellicose in the north and the other one is Peaceville in the South. There are a number of smaller villages spattered around the island which have sanctuaries for the gifted. The people of the island are isolated from the rest of the world when it comes to internet connectivity but they are just as advanced as us when it comes to technology if not more. Exception Corp, which can be described as a big brother conglomerate controlled by various officials around the world has made an arrangement with the queen to continue to provide advancements from the mainland if they are permitted to research the people that live there. Because of the fact the Exception corp are working in secret on the island, once you land, you can never leave, not that many desire escape at this stage.
The ungifted people are the same as you or I in the fact that they are human and lead fairly ordinary lives. There are many more ungifted than there are gifted people on the island.
The gifted have access to a unique form of magic that has evolved in this seclusion. Upon the onset of puberty boys and girls alike develop a bead in their belly button that provides a connection to the magic of the land while it is in their body. It remains attached to their centre until they are fully grown and then it falls out like a tooth. Once this bead has fallen out the gifted will make a necklace to hold the bead that will still contain some magic. But it is only a small amount like a battery and once that is used up the bead goes silent and they call it a pearl. It is beautiful but relatively useless. I have spent a lot of time developing this magic system and what sort of powers the gifted can manifest, the rules that they abide by and how they are limited. I will go into that aspect more in future episodes to give you a clearer picture. For now though the gifted are peaceful and keep the silent pearls on their person which unfortunately make them a target.
The ungifted have found that if they ingest trace amounts of pearl dust then they experience various degrees of intoxication leading to addiction. It is highly addictive and highly dangerous as the effects cannot be predicted. But these addicts aren’t the biggest threat to the gifted, there are beasts that roam the shadows after dark and suck the magic and varying degrees of connected life force out of any gifted they catch. They have no interest in the ungifted who can only see them on rare occasions unless they have magic in their veins. If they have magic in their veins they are just as much a target as the gifted. These beast cannot enter a home that has been blessed or sanctuary grounds so there are safe places for people to hole up in the evenings. The beasts are a part of the islands magic so the gifted lifestyle works around this knowledge.
The queen is over 1500 years old and is never seen without her mask on. She is known as the eternal queen or the mad queen depending on who you ask. She holds much power for herself and has many secrets to share in the novels. I really enjoyed looking in to the queen motivations and developing her story which I will share more of in the future. She is a major player so I don’t really want to give away too many spoilers.
I have created a map for the island and I will put it in the show notes if you would like to have a look. I drew this one by hand which was quite fun but I am not by any means what most would call artistic. I might go on Fiverr and see if I can get someone to help me out with a digital version down the track. But I think that is enough for you to take in in one show, I will share more links to Elara next time.
In my house every Monday night is Buffy night. It is the night that I get control of the big TV in the lounge to watch whatever I like with my friends Sam and Kayla. This started when I was pregnant with my first child and he is 14 now so I don’t think that I can remember all of the shows but. A few examples are Buffy and Angel (hence the name) True blood, The vampire Diaries, and the Originals, Grimm, Sleepy Hollow, Once upon a time and once upon a time in wonderland. We really want to watch a discovery of witches but I don’t know when it will be released here on the other side of flat world. At the moment we are on the final season of Misfits on Netflix.
In the spirit of Buffy night, I thought that I would talk about what I have been watching and reading this week this week that has inspired me. These are my thought and feeling toward these shows and books, I haven’t got any affiliate links or monetary benefit from talking about them. So I just wanted you to know that. If that does change in the future I will let you know 😊
I will start with Watching… for buffy night it is Misfits – and English tv series where a mysterious storm activated powers in anyone who had been stuck in the weather. The main characters in the show are on probation for a sundry list of misdemeanours that you learn about throughout the series. It is rated MA as there is a lot of violence and sexual content. What inspired me this week was an episode that explored the father of one of the characters manifesting the same power as his son. A power where the character literally split in two complete people. The two individual personalities are opposites of one another, yin and yang. Now it is a trope that has been done plenty of times in the past but adding the extra layer of the father with the same power opened the door to so many questions. The father had chosen to live completely apart from his double ignoring each other and staying out of each others way. The son on the other hand has the ability to re-join with his double and frequently lets his softer side back in thus giving us in the audience a deeper insight to the character by watching the parallels play out. Now This is the last season of the series but if you are interested in watching the show it is on netflix, but I love it when there is a familial connection in magic. I am sure that the son will go back to being his usual rough cut self next episode but in this one we got to see a little deeper and I found that inspiring.
To be honest I am always reading more than one thing and my TBR pile is pretty huge so I am going to look to good reads for what I have reviewed for this segment..
It says the drifter my Anthea Hodson. This is a Rural romance which isn’t something that I would normally read but Anthea came to a ladies day afternoon tea in my town and my friend brought me a signed copy of the book. It is an Australian story about a country change for a city girl, My review on goodreads said "Although this book had a slow start I was pulled in by the recognition of the familiar locations used. Living in the Wheat belt and reading such a tale felt like I was listening to a friend share their story. It was a nice easy read for me and I have her next book on my TBR pile so I will count it as a winner.
To inspire ideas and my crafty side I have been reading Once upon a slime by andy Griffiths and terry denton with the kids, It is school holidays at the moment so it has been fun completing some of the activities together. We made a bad mummy, bad daddy comic strip each and I was surprised how creative little minds can be. My youngest had a microwave that blew up the town in her comic. I was a little more tame. If you would like some fun family friendly activities to do with the kids, I would recommend giving once upon a slime a look. It is an easy read and both the author and illustrator have a rich history to pull from which is inspiring in itself.
I am part of the local book club and this month’s book is The red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante. Another book I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but the main reason I joined the book club was to expand my reading. I generally stick to fantasy if I have the choice. I have only just started the red dahlia but I will let you know how I go with it. We meet the third week in every month so I have to have read the book read by then.
Next Episode I will tell you how I was inspired by buffy night and what else I have reviewed and been reading. And the only way to end something buffy related would be GRR AARGH.
Thought for the week and wrap up:
That is all that I have for you today. I downloaded the music for this show royalty free from www.bensound.com again not an affiliate link but it is a handy sight for music if you ever need it. This is hopefully not as bad as I think it is to listen to. I have had to record it multiple times until I was happy with what I made, I am sure that it will get easier over time though. Measure twice cut once they say. I had envisioned standing next to the microphone feeling silent and nervous. The shadowy crowds discouraging chants echoing around in my mind. I would try my best to control and maintain my breathing before my inevitable suffocation. But, it wasn’t all that bad. I am still here and raring to get the next episode in the works where we will talk about finding the right advice in the ocean of information that is out there
If you liked the show, please subscribe so you can hear about any more content that I put out into the world. If you have any questions you can find me on my website dlnix.com on Facebook as DL Nix or on twitter @findingelara.
Thank you for listening to the first episode of the Finding Elara podcast, Until next time keep up the search.