Sunday, December 28, 2014

Artistic Inspirations: Jimi Hendrix and What Foxy Lady Makes Me Think Of

Like many writers, I find music very stimulating to my imagination. I often turn to my music collection when I'm daydreaming before writing. Music helps me see characters and plan out their scenes. And specific pieces of music become associated with characters in my head.

In general I find all music by Jimi Hendrix enormously inspiring. He was a magnificent artist, and the world lost a lot when he met his demise at a young age. Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix has a sound that helped me create the scene that introduced Loxane, Shamaness of the Kelsur Tribe in the novel Rys Rising.

That song's grinding groove possessed the untamed and unashamed sexual energy appropriate to Loxane's arrival at the Thievesmeet, an annual assembly of rogues and nomads. Loxane comes down a cliff and casts off her clothes to dance naked before an adoring crowd before joining the Overlord of the Kez in a ritual that sets off an orgy. 

Sounds like a good book doesn't it!

Although I wrote that scene many years ago, I still think of it every time I hear Foxy Lady. That song by Hendrix helped me make a "foxy lady" in a novel. The finest art triggers other creative people to spawn new forms from the original. And Hendrix was only continuing a long line of glorifying sexually uninhibited women that surely goes all the way back to the primordial cave of humanity.

I'm sharing this YouTube video of Hendrix performing Foxy Lady at a 1968 Miami concert. Unlike most of the people in the crowd, I would have been up and dancing. Fortunately Hendrix does not seem to mind. He appears to be enjoying himself. His hands waltz with his guitar with graceful ease.

I've been a fan of Hendrix for many years. I have not one but two Hendrix posters in my house and regularly listen to the CDs I have: Axis Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, and Purple Haze. Alas I seem to no longer have frilly silk shirts like when I was young. Maybe I'll find new ones someday. But I just must find a hat like he's wearing. Too cool!

Readers interested in meeting the foxy lady from the Rys Rising series can download the ebook for free at Brave Luck Books.

Here's the excerpt when she makes her entrance. 

People started to cheer and Amar looked up and spotted three figures coming down on ropes. Two men rappelled alongside the third figure that was draped in a voluminous hooded cape. Torches burned on the backs of the men, and the firelight rippled on their well-muscled arms as they came down the ropes.
When they reached the top of the cave entrance, they had no more rock to rappel from and they climbed the rest of the way down with their hands and feet on the ropes. The men alighted on the smooth rock before the cave, and they drew their torches off their backs like they were drawing swords. More slowly, the cloaked figure came down the rope and touched the ground between the two men. Wrapped tightly in the cloak, the third person advanced with the two men into the semi-circle of torches. The crowd became hushed, and Amar found himself sharing in the excitement. The sensation of awe and anticipation surprised him, and he thought nothing of his sorrows for more than one heartbeat.
When the Shamaness Loxane threw off her cape, people cried out with reverence and joy. She was naked and her wonderful body, both strong and soft, glistened in the torchlight. Tattoos of green and blue adorned her body, bright upon her exceptionally light skin. Her hair was long and curly and the most amazing color that Amar had ever seen. Red it was, like copper made soft and inviting. The enticing locks flowed over her shoulders but did not cover her full breasts that displayed her femininity unabashedly.
A sunburst tattoo encircled her navel and tattooed eagles adorned her thighs and perched on her knees. Snake tattoos coiled around her arms and their heads were drawn onto the backs of her hands with forked tongues going down her middle fingers. When she turned, Amar saw an elk tattoo on her back. Its great rack of antlers spread over her shoulder blades and its snout reached to the small of her back. The animal had starbursts in place of eyes, and when Loxane began to sway her body, the elk looked to be shaking its head.
Loxane began to move more of her body, limb by limb. Her hands rotated and then her arms lifted and her shoulders circled. Her torso circled with ever-increasing exaggeration of movement and her pelvis gyrated. Her buttocks lifted and squatted, glorious in their curvaceous smoothness.
The Shamaness Loxane danced naked in front of the gathered rogues and lawless wanderers, and she had no shame. Amar watched every move of her body, only blinking when he consciously thought to do it. Never had he seen, nor imagined, a woman making such a display of herself. And never had he imagined that a woman could be so beautiful, so powerful, but so wicked.
People were playing drums for her. First one drummer, and then three, and then dozens pounded a beat that was all life and no judgment. Their rhythms guided her and coaxed her to move faster. Her body joined with the beating of the drums, until the drummers seemed to respond to her movement as much as she responded to them.
Loxane moved to the edge of the semi-circle of torches and began to dance around the edge. People reached out to her but did not touch. She arched and swayed just beneath the fingertips of her admirers.
The crowd pressed hard against Amar and Gadoh as Loxane came closer to their position. Like all the others, Amar had no intention of giving up his spot. He turned sideways so that two more men could squeeze in next to him. Behind him, Gadoh giggled.
Closer she came to Amar, and his breath quickened and his eyes widened. The absolute scandal of her brazen nudity and erotic dancing pounded against all that his culture had ingrained in him about the modesty of women. Far back in his mind, his sensibilities railed against her outrageousness. She was the worst of the worst, criminal beyond the most wanton whore, but Amar paid less attention to the dogma of his upbringing the closer she danced to him. Indeed, as Gadoh had said, Loxane was among the greatest of wonders.
Although enthralled by her provocative display, Amar did not reach out to her when she danced before him. The fellows alongside him spread out their hands toward her, just barely missing her skin, but Amar only looked. His eyes went up and down her body, and he was truly awed by her lovely strength that went past simple maddening sexuality. His eyes traveled up her naked body, pausing at her breasts that glistened with the sweat of her dance, and then he looked at her face. Loxane’s eyes were half rolled back. The trance of her dance was deep upon her. Her lips hung open as if she would cry out with ecstasy at any moment.
Amar envied the oblivion on her face, doubting he could ever experience such inner peace.
Loxane’s eyes snapped into focus. The men reaching for her withdrew their hands, each gasping as if the snakes on her arms had come to life with venomous anger. She stopped dancing and lowered her arms. Her chest heaved with hard breathing and she stared intently at Amar.
He looked into her eyes that were shockingly blue.
In the background, the drums continued to beat, loud and hard like the heartbeat thudding in Amar’s ears. Just when the drums started to slow, she began to dance again, but this time with her eyes firmly on Amar. She took her gaze from him only when her dancing steps spun her around. She studied him and then step by step moved away. Amar watched her go. He could not have described his feelings. Desire, curiosity, perhaps even wariness confused him as he realized that she had shown him special attention.

Get Rys Rising at Brave Luck Books. It's a free ebook or you can buy a paperback

As the series continues, Loxane develops into an important character. She even made the cover of the third book New Religion.

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