In the beginning, Goddess created land and skies to form a world, which she called Dalynia. Now, the world was empty, so Goddess filled it with light and darkness, color and shape, landscapes and villages. The land ascended and fell in mountain peaks and flat valleys, with sugar-water lakes pooling on the plateau-tops and citrus-water rivers flowing through the vales; many-fingered plants fringed the villages of clay-huts painted to resemble trees. The skies were golden, but blushed crimson when the suns set, and dimmed to a pale lavender when the moons rose; in the middle of the 36-hour day, the planet Zelmar could be seen in the distance, shimmering a beautiful acid green.
The Goddess populated the world of Dalynia with man, woman, maman, creatures, and hybrids. She endowed them with distinct personalities and abilities, bestowed them with unique life circumstances, and planned their life paths.
Goddess saw all that she had made, and it was very good.
But then something happened. Though Goddess planned the life paths of her peoples and creatures, though she plotted predestined events to shape their existence, Goddess found that she could not always control how her creations responded to these events. She thought she knew them so well, but now Goddess learned that her peoples and creatures could surprise her, that they could exert free will and break the mold of her design and act organically.
Goddess was both humbled and empowered by this revelation. She, the one powerful enough to create an entire world, had through her forces somehow created peoples and creatures beyond complete control, peoples and creatures that could, through their own whims, alter the course of the paths she had established for them.
Soon, Goddess realized that she could continue to help shape the paths of her creations by responding to their actions with events. In this way, her world evolved through a combination of free will and fated happenings. Goddess rewarded those who did good and punished those who did bad, but she sometimes presented the good with difficult challenges that felt like punishments and presented the bad with chances to change that felt like rewards. She arranged opportunities for her peoples to cross paths, to find love, to earn friends, to make enemies, to build dreams – sometimes they took advantage of these opportunities, and sometimes they let them slip through their fingers and toes and fins and feathers.
Before her eyes, Goddess’ creations transformed more than she could possibly have imagined. They were like her own children; though she had a heavy hand in their development, they had taken on a life of their own, growing or stagnating or regressing, but in any case being in a manner that was more active than she ever expected. When a beloved creation died, Goddess felt sorrow. When a cherished creation achieved a heartfelt desire, Goddess felt satisfaction. When a loathsome creation somehow managed to find redemption, Goddess felt pride.
Soon, the time came for Goddess to share her creation – the world of Dalynia and all of its life forms – with others. She felt nervous, for her world was very dear to her; it was almost an extension of herself. What if others should judge her creation? How could they know the labor of love she had taken, the immeasurable investment of heart and soul she had made? How could they understand, truly understand her world?
But Tina Dreywood, Goddess Smith’s publisher, said it was time to release the novel to the public. And so she did.
The world saw all that Goddess had made, and it was very good.