Just eight days before the release of Water Princess, Fire Prince! Have you preordered your kindle copy yet?
Today, since it's Sunday, I'm going to talk about Alphego, which is what the Rizkans call God.
I believe I've mentioned before that the Rizkaland legends were originally based on Narnia, so it'll come as no surprise to say that Alphego is based on Aslan. However, when we started to put together the play, we realized that we didn't have any lion costumes, but we did have a giraffe costume, so we did the logical thing and made our Aslan character a giraffe.
Named Jeptha. No, I had no idea there was Bible character named Jephthah at the time - I was just slapping syllables together, just as I always do.
So time went on, and I kept scratching away at scripts for what is now Rizkaland #2, and my mother informed me that a giraffe was probably not the best choice of personifications for God (much as I love the majestic creature) and so after much hemming and hawing, we settled on a Jaguar instead. After all, I reasoned, they don't have lions in South America. Had Jesus come to the jungles of Brazil, he surely would have described himself as a Jaguar, yes?
Jeptha remained a jaguar until about ten to twenty thousand words into what is now the final draft of Water Princess, Fire Prince, as in, until less than a year ago. How do I remember this? Well, there was a line that threw my Beta readers for a loop, referring to whiskers.
However, I'd never quite been satisfied with Jeptha the Jaguar, partially because of the Bible character, partially because Jaguars aren't actually ever mentioned in the Bible.
So I sat down to plot with my mother again to plot one evening, and she suggested that I blend several of the images of God that we find in the Bible - perhaps a lion covered with lambs wool? Perhaps with an eagle's wings, but covered with dove's feathers.
And I really liked the idea, and a couple days later, when I discovered this pin on Pinterest, it sealed the deal.
Well, Jeptha lasted until the end of the draft, until Christmas Eve and around midnight when I was writing up my Christmas post, and I was talking about how my various worlds celebrate Christmas, and I naturally shared the above image with Rizkaland's celebration (which happens to fall on the first day of summer/first day of the year), because I had just found the picture and I really liked it.
And as I was half asleep, I was playing around with the names of God, in particular the Alpha and Omega - which is an angle that I've not taken before - and ended up with Alphego, which I really liked. At first I was merely going to make it the name of the griffon-like creature I had created, but then I decided - hey, why not make it the name of Jeptha himself? So after some positive feedback from my fans, I threw Jeptha out the window, and did a find and replace spin on my word document (but forgot about the whiskers mention...)
Oh, and the last bit of the story is another pinterest pin: