G is for Gold

This might not seem like it relates to writing right off the bat, but for me, it does. My current WIP has a lot to do with gold, and a society that was inspired by the story of King Midas and the Golden Touch.

I recently wrote a flash fiction about the mythology of this world over at Postcards Poems and Prose, which will take you about forty seconds to read if you care to.

I’m not going to do in any major reveals for that story, as if I get ahead of myself, the thing won’t get written, but my goal this year is to get the first MS in second draft form and begin querying next year.

On the topic of gold, though… it’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? For the amount of gold we see in ceremonial, religious, or noble items across the world, you would forget that this metal was considered quite rare, and in most cultures, gold is still valued as the most important currency (with maybe the exception of platinum).

xai7nB7A_1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.hgxUfv1xNgI recently discovered a book on Amazon that I am eager to add to my library. Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs by Paul Koudounaris. This is one of the top priorities on my wishlist for researching how gold will be used in my world.

The catacombs are really beautiful, but the skeletons are haunting, and I can’t help wonder about whether the decorated men were loved or feared by the people who gave them these funeral dresses. As saints, I imagine they were revered, but I also wonder how the saints themselves felt about this. I’m hoping the book will answer all of those questions. The photography is absolutely stunning, as well.

Do you have any special metals or currencies in your fiction?

Tomorrow: H is for Humans in Fantasy!

16 thoughts on “G is for Gold

  1. J.C says:

    I don’t have any special metals or currencies, but this post was still great πŸ™‚ That book sounds intriguing – I can see why you’d want to read it. hell, I want to read it now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Actually, since writing this post, I went ahead and bought it! Couldn’t help myself! πŸ™‚ Glad you’re intrigued too!

      Like

  2. Jennifer Fischetto says:

    I am a huge lover of silver. It looks better on me than gold, since I have a yellowish tone to my complexion. And growing up, gold was the metal to wear. No one wore silver, or it wasn’t considered the “thing” to do. So I loved it even more. πŸ™‚ It was also a lot harder to come by rings/jewelry made with silver.
    So yes, in my YA novel, I Spy Dead People, a silver star charm is found by my heroine.
    Great post, Alex. πŸ™‚

    Like

  3. Julie Jordan Scott (@juliejordanscot) says:

    I don’t write fiction AND I do love the quote, “There is gold dust in the air for me!” from Catherine Ponder. Living in Gold Country South here in Bakersfield I can’t help but go for the gold. In our Kern River, the bottom soil is peppered with gold dust. So pretty and definitely adds to the romanticism. I can see why people flocked West to see if they could become rich.

    Another intriguing post which will, I’m sure, make me think about gold all day today!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

    Like

  4. lindacovella says:

    I like the sound of the premise of your WIP. Also, I didn’t know the skeletons in the catacombs were decorated! In my YA historical novel, Yakimali’s Gift, which takes place in 1775 Mexico, chocolate was prized and cocoa beans were used as currency by some. πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. Marlene says:

    I do occasionally notice the beauty in a piece of gold – although probably more the historical, cultural aspects in the type of things you’ve mentioned. I prefer silver and platinum, things that go with sapphires. Hmm, metals in my own stories – I’ve mostly stuck to precious and semi-precious stones in my portal fantasy that involves several talismans used to influence the Elements (Fire, Air, etc) But I’ve only written one of the five books, so who knows. You may have just planted a bug in my ear.
    Oh, I enjoyed the Midas flash fiction!
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

    Like

  6. Miranda Stone says:

    That books sounds fascinating–I’ll have to add it to my to-read list. I did write a short story last year called “Old Money Stone.” I learned that the semiprecious aquamarine gemstone was considered an “old money stone” in the South. So in my story, a ring set in white gold with a large aquamarine stone is coveted by my main character.

    Like

  7. Carrie-Anne says:

    I have about 10-12 old Roman coins caked in millennia of dirt and grime, which I haven’t been able to properly clean yet. I was told that some of the people who bought Roman coins in that lot found beautiful gold when they were all cleaned off. I’m a numismatist (coin collector), and my favorites have long been the wheatback pennies. I’ve got almost all of the years by now, and am only missing a handful of years or mintmarks that are harder to find. 1909 is the big one I’m missing, along with 1922 and I think 2-3 more dates.

    Like

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