Beginner’s Guide to: Greek Mythology

As a huge nerd about Greek mythology, I thought it would be helpful to make a quick and easy guide for some of you who might not know as much about it all but want to! Being a writer, it is essential to learn about different cultures and their stories. Not only is it interesting, but also the possible inspiration for a new story. So, here is a simple beginner’s guide to Greek mythology. I hope it is helpful and that you learn something new from it!

The  13 Main Goddesses & Gods

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Zeus – God of the sky and thunder, ruler of the sky and all people (including gods!), son of Rhea and Cronus/Kronos, children:  Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus, Dionysus, Ares, Hermes, Heracles/Hercules, Helen of Troy, and many, MANY more, married to Hera, symbols: lightning bolt, royal scepter, Aegis (his shield with a gorgon’s face on it)

Hera – Goddess of marriage and birth, queen of the Gods and humans, queen of the heavens, married to Zeus, jealous and vengeful of Zeus’s many lovers, daughter of Rhea and Cronos, only had children with Zeus, children: Ares, Hebe, Hephaestus, and more, symbols: diadem, scepter, pomegranate

Poseidon – God of the sea, horses, and earthquakes, ruler of the sea, second son of Rhea and Cronus/Kronos, children: Theseus, Triton, Polyphemus, Orion, and many more…, symbols: trident, fish, dolphins, and horses

Hades – God of the dead, the underworld, riches, ruler of the underworld, first son of Rhea and Cronus/Kronos, children: Melinoe, Macaria, and Zagreus, married to Persephone (daughter of Demeter) who he kidnapped, symbols: Cerberus (his 3 headed dogs), scepter, drinking horn

Athena – Goddess of wisdom, battle strategy, strength, and skill, sprung from Zeus’s head in full armor, helped many Greek heroes, a virgin goddess, city of Athens named after her after she gave the people the first olive tree, symbols: owls, olive tree, snakes, armor, and spears

Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty, born from the foam the sea of Paphos after Cronus’s cut up pieces were thrown in but another birth story is she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, married to Hephaestus, children: Eros, The Graces, Aeneas, and more, symbols: dolphins, rose, dove, swan

Artemis – Goddess of the hunt and the moon, daughter of Leto and Zeus, twin sister of Zeus, virgin goddess, spends her time roaming the forest with nymphs, symbols: bow and arrows, stags, hunting dog, and the moon

Apollo – God of the sun, music, and prophecy, twin brother of Artemis, son of Leto and Zeus, children: Orpheus, Asclepius, and a few others, companion of the nine Muses, symbols: lyre, laurel wreath, and bow and arrows

Ares – God of war, bad aspects of war, son of Zeus and Hera, lover of Aphrodite, children: Eros, Harmonia, Phobos, and more, symbols: spear and helmet, dog, chariot, and boar

Dionysus – God of wine, winemaking, and madness, son of Zeus and Semele (princess of Thebes), benevolent towards humans unlike many gods, symbols: grapevine, leopard skin, cheetah, panther

Demeter – Goddess of agriculture and the harvest, daughter of Rhea and Cronos, mother of Persephone (goddess of flowers), associated with the torch because of her endless fight for her daughter who was kidnapped by Hades and now splits her time between the mortal world and the underworld in compromise, children: Persephone, Arion, Plutus, and more, symbols: cornucopia, wheat, torch, and bread

Hephaestus – God of fire, metalworking, and forges, son of Hera and Zeus, depicted as the “ugly god” after being thrown down a mountain by Hera, husband of Aphrodite, children: Thalia, Eucleia, and more, symbols: hammer and tongs

Hermes – God of thieves, roads, travelers, and trade, son of Zeus and Maia, the messenger of the gods, the only person allowed to leave the underworld without consequence, children: Pan (a satyr; half-man and half-goat), and more, symbols: lyre, rooster, Caduceus (staff with snakes around it; medical symbol)

Myths & Legends

Heracles and the 12 Labours

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After Hera drove Hercules to madness, resulting him in killing his wife, Megara, and their children, Hercules seeks out the Oracle of Delphi for redemption and is told to serve King Eurystheus to do so. This resulted in him setting out to complete 12 labours to redeem his actions, and they are:

  • To kill the Nemean Lion
  • To kill the Hydra
  • Capture the Ceryneian Hind
  • Capture the Erymanthian Boar
  • Clear the stables of Augeas in one day
  • Kill the Stymphalian Birds
  • Capture the Cretan Bull
  • Steal the Mares of Diomedes
  • Steal the girdle of the Amazonian queen
  • Steal the cattle of Geryon
  • Steal the apples of Hesperides
  • Capture and bring back Cerberus from the underworld

Perseus & Medusa

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Medusa, one of the three Gorgons, was once beautiful but after being caught at Athena’s alter with Poseidon, she was cursed with snakes for hair and the ability to turn anyone who looks at her to stone. Perseus dared to end her though, asking Athena and Hermes for help. In return, he received winged sandals, a cap to make him invisible, a sword, and a mirrored shield to see her reflection in. Perseus won in a battle against the well, against the sleeping gorgon, and the droplets of blood from her decapitated head created Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a giant, winged boar. Perseus than fled back home, using Medusa’s head as a weapon on many occasions, turning anyone who dared to defy him to stone. Eventually, it was placed on Athena’s shield called Aegis.

That is all for my beginner’s guide to Greek mythology, and I hope this was all helpful! Or at least, I hope it was enough to encourage you to research all the gods and goddesses and legends a little bit more. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

@zoermathers

 

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Sources Used:

https://www.greekmythology.com/

https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/

 

Biannual Bibliothon Day 6 – Reading By the Fire 101

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Happy day 6 of the Biannual Bibliothon!

Not going to lie…I completely forgot to write a reading update for day 3&4 but that’s okay because I didn’t get much done (hahaha go me). Anyways, today’s blog host is Jacqueline from EvilQueenBooksBlog and she wants us to tell her what books we think would be perfect fireside reads. This challenge sounds so cozy and it makes me want to curl up by the fire and read…even though I don’t have a fire to do that with. But anyway, I decided that along with picking 5 books to read, I would share some tips on how to have the perfect reading time next to a fire.

STEP ONE: Choose Your Books

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

I had to throw a Harry Potter book in here because are they not the most perfect side reads? The fourth book is my favourite as of right now in the series because it’s long and a little bit of a different plot structure than her other books. When I close my eyes, I can definitely imagine myself by the warm and crackling fire, swaddled in a blanket and cracking open this amazing book.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Not only would this be a great fireside read because it always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but it is also one of those books I can finish in one sitting. This book is relatable, funny, adorable, awkward, and a whole lot of fun to read!

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The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The atmosphere in this novel is cozy enough on its own that I wouldn’t even need a fire to read by. The story would do a well off job heating me up on a cold, cold day. This contemporary-fantasy book takes place in dreary ol’ London, the best place, I think personally, to cuddle up next to a fire. Well, actually right now in Canada a fire sounds great too but you get what I mean!

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Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

I have yet to read this book, which is the third installment in the Eleanor’s Home for Wayward Children series (will be reading it this readathon though!). I loved the first two books and cannot wait to dive into the next one. These books are so incredibly short (this one being under 150 pages),  and that along with their addictive, fast-paced storylines, makes them great fireside reads.

 

STEP TWO: Make Yummy Drinks/Snacks

This is a very important step. Are you going to make some delicious, rich hot chocolate? Steep some green tea or brew some coffee to keep you awake whilst reading? Maybe you’re a little hungry and need something to snack on. Well, now is the time to figure that all out! Personally, I would love nothing more than to snuggle up with a good book and some hot chocolate right now.

STEP THREE: Atmosphere

This is also crucial to your fireside reading experience. The atmosphere must be the ultimate cozy atmosphere, but how do you accomplish that? Well, let me tell you: blankets (specifically fuzzy ones, but any old blanket will do), mood lighting (if the fire isn’t enough light to read, light some candles or if your lights can adjust to different settings, perfect), and of course, seating (are you going to sit on the ground next to the fire, or on a chair? This is important to figure out people!).

STEP FOUR: READ

One important thing to remember while reading by fire is too NOT PUT YOUR BOOK IN THE FIRE. Whether it is intentional (for who knows what reason. Maybe the book is really bad) or accidental, books do not belong in fires. If you are a particularly clumsy person, adjust yourself so there is no way your book can accidentally fall out of your hands because let’s be honest, that would ruin step 3, and it’s all about the atmosphere.

Those are 4 books I would love to snuggle up and read by the fire, along with a “Reading By the Fire For Dummies” step-by-step guide! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as all my other Biannual Bibliothon blog challenges, and make sure you check out my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 

Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Winter Snow Storm Fun

Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Christmas Party

Reading + Writing Update – Biannual Bibliothon 2019 Day 1 & 2

Biannual Bibliothon Day 3 – Bookish Mad Libs

Biannual Bibliothon Day 4 – Clickbait Challenge

Biannual Bibliothon Day 5 – Winter Trips

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

How To: Find Motivation to Write

Hello! So I decided to do another “How To” blog post just because you guys like them and they are fun to put together so here is one on how to find motivation to write because that can be hard sometimes. Writing is hard so I want to help you guys find the motivation to push past that and just write.

Podcasts – I love podcasts, they are just fun to listen to and depending on the subject, they can be very informative. I especially love listening to writing podcasts because they motivate and inspire me to write while giving helpful tips. My ultimate favourite writing podcast is 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang just because she has amazing writers and artists come on and give amazing tips and quotes. Definitely check this podcast out if you haven’t!

Writing Books – I love to read so recently I began reading books on writing. I’ve read books on fantasy and sci fi writing, literature, technical writing, and really just anything that will help me become a better writer. I jot down notes that I find helpful or little quotes that inspire me to keep writing because I feel like when you look back on those notes, you may feel inspired to follow them. Reading is a very very important part of being a writer, so why not also read books on writing?

Author Talks – On YouTube you can find endless amounts of videos on whatever topic you imagine. I know for a fact there are author pep talks or author interviews on there and those always motivate me to write. Just hearing about how the author struggled at times and things they did to overcome whatever obstacles were thrown in their way will inspire you to move past your obstacles. Also, they most likely give great writing tips and information that will help you! It’s always good to listen to the pros.

Writing Tip of the Day – Remember, an idea doesn’t make a story. It’s the way the writer writes it that makes it a story.

Writing Quote of the Day – There is no greater agony than baring an untold story inside of you. Maya Angelou

 

 

How To: Find the Perfect Book

It can be difficult to find the ‘perfect’ book that just makes you want to keep reading forever but it isn’t impossible! Finding the perfect book can set you on a journey filled with books and reading which is an amazing thing. I like to think that everyone likes to read, but if they don’t it’s just because they haven’t found the right book to get them started. Which is why I made this post!

Step 1 to finding the perfect book:

Experiment. Maybe read a few chapters of a few books and get a feel for what genre you like. Some books I recommend for this stage is Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. These are just some amazing books that are easy to get into and get you hooked on reading!

Step 2 to find the perfect book:

Find the right place and time. Finding the right time and place to read is extremely important. For instance, I prefer and get most of my reading done at night because I am less distracted and can focus more on my book. The place I also prefer to read in is my bed or couch in my bedroom. All these things contribute to finding the perfect book.

Step 3 to finding the perfect book:

Read it. Now it is time to read the book! You have found a book to give a go, the perfect place, perfect time so now it is time to see if you like the book!

Step 4 to finding the perfect book:

Now, once you have read the book you decide whether or not you liked or disliked it, or maybe you just thought it was okay. If you didn’t love it, or at least really enjoy then repeat step 1 and pick another book! Don’t give up so easily, just keep trying to find the right book. Maybe even switch reading places or times. Just do whatever feels right.

Step 5 to finding the perfect book:

Talk about it. Hopefully by now you have read a book you really liked or hopefully love. One of the best things to do after you finish reading an amazing book is discuss it with other people who liked the book as well. There are 2 different ways to do this. If you have friends that read the same books as you you can talk about it with them or you can go onto the internet. Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram and Goodreads are great place to discuss different fandoms with people! If you need an account to talk to get started check out my fandom account on Instagram! @chasing_jace

Hope you enjoyed this How To: Find the Perfect Book tutorial!

How To: Get Books for Cheaper

You guys really liked my How To: Write a Novel post so I decided to write another How To post! This one is all about where too get books for cheaper because that is always a struggle for me. I hope you all like it!

Websites – bookoutlet.ca/com is a great website where you can get books for really, really cheap and they have a great variety of books. I don’t use this website much just because I prefer to buy my books in store but if you like online shopping then definitely check this website out!

Used Book Stores – Used book store are a great way to get cheap books. I have this amazing used book store where I live and the books are in good condition and are half the original price if it was brand new! I know that a lot of used book stores have crappy books or ones that are in crappy condition but if you go searching you will find a good one!

eBooks – I like eBooks for travelling because it makes things so much easier and luckily eBooks are usually cheaper and you can usually find good deals. I do prefer physical copies of books but for travelling eBooks are perfect!

Publishing Companies – By publishing companies I don’t mean them sending you a book. What I mean is that if you sign up for them to email you on deals and new releases, at some point you will be able to claim a free eBook or get some fantastic deals. I go a free copy of Delerium by Lauren Oliver one time! Some examples are Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, etc.

Those are some ideas! Comment ways you get cheap books below.

P.S. this post was in no way sponsored these are just some ways I get cheap books.

How To: Write A Novel

I decided to start a new category on my blog that consists of different “How To’s” because I really enjoy reading these kind of posts and I hope you guys like it too! Comment below what you think and if you want to see more like this. Also, check out my poll I created and answer it, thanks! 🙂

How to Write a Novel

Step One: Brainstorming

Create an idea that can be expanded into a novel. To do this, brainstorm different ideas and play around with them. It may take a while to decide on one but make sure it is one that you will enjoy writing about. Some different methods of brainstorming are the web, lists and point form. I personally plan out in lists because I find that I am more organized but whatever method works best for you, that is the one you should choose.

Step Two: Beginning, Middle, and End

Once you have your main idea created, start writing out a loose plan of your beginning, middle and end and some important scenes that happen in between. They do not have to be insanely detailed but just detailed enough so that you fully understand what is going on, making it easier to write it out.

Step Three: Characters

The next step to writing your novel is the characters because the characters are an extremely important aspect to your novel. If you like to draw, you can sketch out a picture of what your characters look like, along with a short description about them. A lot of authors create characters that resemble some aspects of somebody they know or met or even of themselves. I do this as well because it helps me feel more connected to my characters which is important when creating a good novel.

Step Four: Test Run

By now you should have your main idea, your plot, setting, characters and major events all mapped out. Now, I encourage you to give all your creative ideas a test run and write the first chapter of your story. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t sound amazing. This is your first time putting all the pieces of your story together so it will not be perfect. The idea behind this step is to see if there is anything you want to fix or change.

Step Five: First Draft

By now, you would have completed a test run of your story (a chapter or a few pages) and if you didn’t need to change or fix anything  or already did and are now fully satisfied with their idea it is time to write a first draft! Unlike the test run, this is a draft of your entire story! Novels are about 100-150,000 words so that gives you an idea of what number to get to at least. It will not be perfect but your main focus is to get your words written down. Don’t worry about editing otherwise that will slow you down, wait until the end.

Step Six: Editing

After completing your novel it is time to edit! Now editing can be somewhat enjoyable until a certain point but don’t loose interest! Keep pushing through and complete editing your entire novel because it will be worth it in the end. If you are not the greatest at editing, first try it on your own and then once you finished get someone else like a parent, teacher or friend to edit it and catch the mistakes you missed.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on how to write a novel! All the pictures used in this post are not mine and all rights are too the original creators.