Hello and welcome back! After a month of traveling and exploring, I'm back into the swing of things. February was quite the month. Most exciting of all, I visited the Mayan ruins in Chacchoben, Mexico. In my first novel, Treasure of the Moon Goddess, Kristi (the main character) finds herself in the jungles of the Yucatan - more specifically Belize.
Throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, the Mayan Empire flourished between 2,000bc to about 700ad. In this time they built temples, pyramids, and cities that rivaled anywhere else in the world- and all without the help of domesticated animals.
Deep into the jungle, these massive, complex, and beautiful structures of a people long past sit as a reminder of the people who designed and built them. Not by one person, or company, but by a civilization that was connected to the land. I think that's what really appeals to me the most. That their sense of connection to the world around them and that they were so moved by their beliefs and religion that they constructed something so beautiful.
Five Facts about the Mayan...
1. Most of Chacchoben and other temples and city sites remain unexcavated due to lack of funds. (our guide explained that the largest possible city site in Mexico is still buried. They predict through lidar pictures it's about half the size of Manhattan)
2. All of the temples and foundations were excavated, moved and placed by human hands. No domesticated animals were used.
3. They were among the first civilizations to use the number zero. They had a sophisticated mathematical and astrological system of that time period.
4. Their buildings were set up in a community-style layout. Several buildings set around a central courtyard where communal living was done.
(these are one set of several steps that lead down to a central courtyard where cooking and other activities of daily life were conducted)
5. Most of the temples and pyramids were plastered and painted a deep red. Faint color and fragments of glyphs survive to this day.
What I've Been Working on:
After my long break, I'm back writing Kristi's next adventure, including her little side adventure: Fountain of Angels. Originally I wanted to publish the bones of the short story, but as I began editing it, the story has grown. It is in the second round of edits and will soon be sent to my mailing list. 😃
Lost Queen: What can I say, the second novel in the Kristi Brickham series is coming along! I've recently finished one particular scene involving two crocodiles, a paddle of a boat, and ancient papyri from an Amarna princess.
On a Personal Note:
So I've checked an item off my bucket list! How exciting is that!! At the beginning of February (as a birthday present) I flew down to Florida with the goal and hope of swimming with wild manatees. And I did! Three glorious hours in the warm waters of Crystal River swimming with these magnificent creatures.
It was a truly magical experience. One I hope to someday repeat. Next on the list is touring the sand-swept lands of Egypt!
Thanks for joining me here! I hope you have an amazing week in a not so amazing time right now. See you all next week!!