Some of the Resources I Used

This probably isn’t going to be a long post.  I felt like sharing some of the books I used when I was looking into animal symbology.  There was a third book, but I don’t remember the name or author.  So, I couldn’t find a picture.  A shame too because that one had mythical creatures like dragons and phoenixes in it.

Now, I don’t know anything about the author or much behind what was in the books.  I picked these up in college when my interest was piqued.  I got one of the books at a Barnes & Noble that was about 30 minutes away from the campus.  Another one I got in a New Age store in Syracuse that some friends went to.  I really didn’t delve that deep into the uses, but would open to a random page and read up on an animal.  I was amazed at how it wasn’t just general animals, but specific species.  One type of eagle would mean something different than another.  There were shared meanings, but enough of a difference to see that seeing one instead of the other in nature was important. I tried to carry that over to my writing too.

At the time, I was playing around with tons of ideas too.  There were three that this really connected to:

  1. The various barbarian tribes of Windemere.  I was making a list of tribes and each one had a different animal.  So, I was using the symbology books to help me design the tribes.  I wanted each one to be unique in how they viewed the world.  For example, Timoran Wrath comes from the Snow Tiger tribe.  So, I looked at what the tiger meant besides courage, which included generosity and observation.  This got added to Timoran’s personality as well.
  2. I had another story that never got off the ground.  I called it ‘Kin’ and had actually come up with it while in Israel for a summer.  The concept was that the world has changed and been overtaken by nature.  Humans continue to exist with tree cities while creating more tribal cultures.  One way to make money and gain power is to become a ‘Kin Fighter’.  These are people who have discovered their spirit animal and bonded with the ethereal being to gain their abilities.  They use these powers to battle in a competition.  I had the hero be a young man who came from one of the poorest cities or was an orphan.  Bounced him around a bunch of animals, which included a velociraptor at one point.  It wasn’t until I used the above books that I started getting a better idea and gave him a red panda . . . The idea still didn’t work.
  3. The final idea is another lost concept.  It’s actually what I call ‘Keys of Eden’ and involved a character or two trying to collect special animals.  The reason varied in the versions from restoring peace to the Garden of Eden to saving another kingdom.  I had the animals talking and used the books to come up with their civilizations.  At one point, I took a Pokemon route and created 100 beasts that had to be collected to save the kingdom.  It was all in a notebook that I must have lost during the crazy move from Florida to New York.  A shame too because I keep wanting to tinker with that idea from time to time.

So, where did those books go?  I have no idea.  The third one disappeared too.  I thought they were on my resource shelf above my desk, but they aren’t.  I checked my library and found nothing.  I’ve got a feeling that they were packed up with my ex-wife’s similar stuff and I never got them before she moved out.  That pretty much means they are long gone and there’s no point in buying new copies.  I’m not doing anything with animal symbology right now.  Still, it’s a fun rabbit hole to jump down if you’re curious.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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8 Responses to Some of the Resources I Used

  1. L. Marie says:

    How sad that you lost that notebook! 😞 That project sounded fun. Do you think you’ll revive Kin? It sounds like a dystopian world. That genre is back in popularity.


  2. I remember my stuff that went with the ex by mistake was lost forever. Thanks for sharing the resources.


  3. I hate losing things, but ideas tend to stick around. Maybe one day you’ll be inspired and find some new references to run with.


  4. It seems like the author really found a niche for himself.

    I think if I lost a notebook like that, I would be re-creating it, but using all the knowledge I have gained since then.


    • I might do that one day, but there isn’t much gained knowledge to add. It was 100 monsters and a general idea that I kept reviving as ‘Keys of Eden’ concepts. I depended a lot on the animal spirituality books too because they had in-depth explanations of what an animal can signify for a person. It was way too much to memorize. I’d have to start completely from scratch, which would involve getting new animal speak books.

      Liked by 1 person

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