#AtoZChallenge – Z is for Shr Zen

universal-eyeI’ve made it to the end of another A-Z challenge–despite crazy MBA classes and four weekends’ worth of overtime at work. It’s shocking me a little, to be honest… so I thought I’d share the shock Anne experienced the first time she saw her new ghilen friend Shr-Zen hover on the verge of shifting back to her natural form.

Something about an all-black eye has freaked me out since I first saw the effect in an X-Files episode some 20 years ago.

This version captures the broader impact of having a mythical beast with millennia of experience stare you down–you feel smaller and more defenseless than just the regular version of eyes could ever make you feel.

The funny thing to me is that when I created the name for this particular character, I knew she would be based on Chinese mythology, so wanted something both meaningful and vaguely accessible. I knew from my couple of semesters of Mandarin that “shr” (with the proper intonation) means “to be”. I thought it would be interesting to make her name be something on the order of “I am Zen” since she’s trying to teach the young dragons how to reach that appropriate mindset. What surprised me in the character’s evolution was that she ended up being anything but.

That brings us to the end of this year’s installment of A-Z posts about the Red Slaves series and Blood to Fire more particularly. I hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration of characters, places, and concepts (with a few language lessons thrown in), and look forward to hearing whether any of you have been enticed into reading based on these teases.

😉

One Response to “#AtoZChallenge – Z is for Shr Zen”

  1. Congrats on reaching the end of the challenge. Your posts were fun and interesting. This last one especially.

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