Inspirations for Awan

A fantasy fiction world needs a foundation, something from our world that writers use as a jumping-off point for world-building. These are some of the subjects that inspired the creation of my fantasy world of Awan.

Jewish Fantasy and Folklore

Jews are storytellers with over five thousand years of stories. As I mentioned in my bio, I love Jewish Folktales. There are tales about demons, magic, clever girls—you name it. Here are blogs and links to videos of some of these wonderful tales.

Jewish Shamanism

As defined by the Walking Stick Foundation, Jewish Shamanism is the study of the aboriginal mystery wisdom of Judaism. They say that the teachings of Jewish Shamanism draws on the mystery of the Kabbalah and depends more on the teachings of birds and trees than codes and creeds. The idea behind Jewish Shamanism is that the ancient Jews were more closely connected with nature than we are today, and that if we connect with nature and explore the ancient meanings buried in our texts, we can rediscover the mystery of Judaism. When I created my fantasy world, I drew upon Jewish Folklore and Jewish Shamanism for inspiration. Here’s my take on Jewish Shamanism.

Twice Exceptional Students

The twice exceptional are people who are gifted and disabled. Some define twice exceptional as people who are intellectually gifted and learning disabled, while others have a broader description. I agree with the broader description. Students can be talented in academics, arts, music, athletics, or even in leadership. They can also have a number of disabilities including: AD/HD, Aspergers, Auditory Processing issues, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Sensory Processing issues, Visual Processing issues, etc. Many twice exceptional students are labeled lazy and unmotivated by the schools, but they are not.

In my fantasy world, I created Maheertsa, a school for the Twice Exceptional. I made up the name by mashing together the Hebrew words maheer for fast and tsav for turtle (though I somehow lost the v along the way). Maheertsa is a school designed to help the “fast turtles” reach their full potential.