I’m letting Lady Saffron rest all through May. Revision starts June 1. In the meantime, I’m working on short stories for a collection I’m calling Paranormal Romance Activity. I didn’t have any idea I had so many ideas for short stories until I tried writing a few.
One thing interesting is the places I’ve never gone in my story writing that are definitely in my sweet spot as far as what I love and what I’d love to write about. The most unusual documentary on Disney Plus gave me ideas for several types of stories. The commentary was Secrets Of The Saqqara and was about the area just outside of Cairo near the world’s oldest step pyramid. What fascinated me was the story of the people doing the dig themselves. The foreman of the diggers had been a foreman all his life. He was teaching his teenage son to be a foreman, the way his father had taught him. His family had been foreman to diggers since his great grandfather. That alone spoke of a connectedness to their ancestors that didn’t begin addressing digging up entombed families from 4,500 years ago and piecing together their lives.
So much more amazed me.They used hand woven straw baskets. They said that now and then they unearthed the same baskets used by Egyptians long gone from thousands of year ago. The same baskets. A thousand years ago my ancestors were riding horses, herding sheep, and raiding other countries. That’s not on my calendar this week.
Another worker, his home was a date plantation, lush with tall grass, workers cutting and hauling away palm fronds, and picking dates. He said of their excavation, “People think because we find them in sand, they lived in sand. They lived more like this.” The paintings in the tombs depict the same activity as what goes on on the plantation. So in 4,500 years life doesn’t always change.
That’s fascinating to me as it seems life changes daily. My medical condition might change, my environment—anything. Yet there is one thing that has never changed, from what my ancestors lived, or the people who were entombed in the Saqqara Valley outside Cairo, Egypt: Love. Family. Greed. Fear. Happiness. Despair. Health. Illness. Birth. Death. And the desire to live beyond our death.
The man whose tomb which was excavated actually stole the tomb from his brother, for whom it was first built. Then, in order to be absolved of his indiscretion, he knew that if he himself was counted as one of the judges the ancients believed would attend your after death trial, he could absolve himself. Basically, the professors who studied this tomb said, he cheated so he could get into paradise.
Such an odd concept to me. My ancestors, who had very different beliefs than the mainstream holds now, would find that cowardly and dishonorable. But they wouldn’t have stolen the death right of their family members, either.
Just looking at this different perspective has given me a new playground for my stories. I can’t wait to share what I see in my head.