When I was sitting at home in my office when I still lived in Texas, staring at a wooden plaque that my Great-grandfather had burned an image on, a spark ignited in my imagination.
The plaque says: "Herr, lehr mich beten." This means, "Lord, teach me to pray." As a faith-driven woman, prayer drives me forward. Prayer offers me a connection to peace, sanity, hope, and contentment - all of which nurture my imagination. When I am at peace within myself, my imagination soars.
Contemplating this simple prayer while also looking at this piece of my Great-grandfather's shared imagination that he captured on that little wooden plank opened the door to a world in my mind. Thus began the building of Mythnium and the story of a woman whose life intertwines with the heroes and villians of her world.
Since Mythnium was born, for the most part, the visualization had remained in my mind. However, as the years have progressed, as the characters have taken on lives of their own, as the plot is thickening, I realized I needed to also see this world with my actual eyes; thus was born the first map. That first map is long gone now - having given over to several different renditions that shape my stories and sometimes that my stories shape.
The fifth map was the first map that I drew that I finally felt like I was really looking at Mythnium. I drew it in pen and scratched on some locations, and the completion of the map inspired new characters, a few new races, and new places to include in the still developing plot.
But then I lost it...
For over a year... And I not just lost the paper copy, but I lost the map with all its detail in my mind's eye as well. I recalled bits of it... A few minor bits, most of the major bits... but it was fuzzy and gray and caused me to trip and fall in its absence.
So in January, I began drawing a new map. Inspired by a fellow author who shared some of his maps (beautifully constructed with paint programs on his computer), I found this ache in me to draw one in color. The sixth map captured many of the same elements of the first and yet, it was a different world. I loved to look at it, and felt great pride in its development, but it was NOT Mythnium. No amount of plugging it into my editor and adding names and embellishments made it right. And so I let it collect dust.
Thus the seventh map has been born. In the start of a remodeling of my office, I discovered my fifth map, and I was forced to sit down and look it over, gloating over it like I gloat over my Kiddo when he accomplishes something spectacular. Then realization hit me as I realized this map of Mythnium was still incomplete as well... It was missing elements from the sixth map that I had actually grown to love and was using to incorporate added drama into my plot. Elements that could not be changed on the fifth map. So I sat down with both maps and am creating this seventh map. As you can see, I have not added color to it yet. I have not plugged it into my editing program and added the names of the places yet. Frankly, there is a great deal more detail yet to build into it. However, as I look at it, I do believe this is THE map.
Then again, as an explorer of Mythnium myself, I imagine I will be much like Ericson, Columbus, or Magellan and will discover new places along the journey - How much more will Mythnium grow, I wonder?