Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Water As A Symbol In A Novel ~ Many Uses, Many Meanings

This is the first special Friday Behind The Scenes post that will have “severe” spoilers—excerpts from the novel.

Grab a free copy—to read before you explore this post and to use to find the excerpts in the novel.

But, if you’re the kind of reader not bothered by spoilers, this post can serve as an introduction to my book—a chance to decide if you even want to download a free copy

But, why would I suggest you use a free copy to search out these excerpts about water?

Because readers often have different interpretations of symbolism in a story

Basically, I hope to stimulate you to give your interpretations of my use of water—add to the depth of meaning of my book.

The next four Fridays will explore mesh, spheres, forests, and the Created Worlds.

In a previous Friday post, Symbolism In A Novel ~ Who Decides The Meanings?, I revealed the responses I received to that question from a forum on LibraryThing—here they are:

“The readers rule no matter what you do.”

“We sometimes need better readers. LOL”

“The greatest challenge as a writer is to get the reader to experience the same story as the writer. We often love those moments in our own books that go completely unnoticed by even the most attentive readers. The crafting is so beautiful, yet hopefully invisible to the reader.”

“Once the text is out there, it doesn’t do you any good to go around saying ‘That is not what I meant at all; That is not it, at all.’”

“Every reader has a different experience of a story, a different interpretation. I think those make for an interesting conversation rather than everyone ‘getting’ the same thing from the story.”

“Absolutely. In fact, when an author listens to their readers, they can often find more in their stories than they thought was there :-)”

So, I hope those forum responses will get you ready to find your own meanings of the Symbol, Water, in Notes from An Alien.


If you feel interested enough to explore a larger context for the following excerpts, just grab a free copy (Word .doc, Adobe .pdf, or E-pub), copy a line of the excerpt and paste it into the search box of your copy of the book :-)

First is a scene with Jalur and his adopted daughter Velu, who is the biological daughter of Rednaxela, the leader of the first expedition from the Corporate World to the Religious World. Velu is also the adopted daughter of Suris, mentioned in this excerpt and later revealed to have been killed by the Corporation. The novel itself doesn’t reveal Velu’s biological mother


Father and daughter shared laughing vibrations with their brief hug and were jostled along by the stream of passengers/settlers/criminals.

“Dad, you seem perfectly calm.”

“And, you, my sweet, seem perfectly enthralled. Looking forward to the hunt, eh?”

“Can we actually do it? I know we’re both resourceful and all that but

“Velu, you’re on a quest and I don’t think it’s just to find a biological father.”

“If I find him, I’ll have two fathers; one I know everything about and one I’ll have to explore.”

She grasped his hand, pulled him to the side of the stream of passengers then around to face her, and said: “Suris was her name—running water—she flows on and on

Jalur knew his daughter to be poetic but, “Suris was her name”, shook his being. He hugged Velu, long and hard. She said: “Come on, Father, into our future.”


So, why do you think I had Suris’ name mean “running water”?

Sure, Velu and Jalur will be “flowing on and on” as they search for Rednaxela but do you sense a deeper meaning?

The next excerpt has Velu, biological daughter of Rednaxela with Zena, biological son of Rednaxela (different mothers):

“Xela’s and Velu’s relationship quickly included Xela’s son, Zena. They often spent time on the waters of the Sea of Renunciation and in the mountains near Erlan. On their third excursion to the mountains, Xela brought along Rednaxela’s AI, Morna.”

Zena and Velu meet here during the early part of their courtship—why the Sea of Renunciation?

The next set of excerpts all deal with the water that is part of the physical form of the character Anglana—the most alien being in Notes from An Alien :

A small vial of the water, along with samples of dirt and rock, was brought back by the crew and subjected to three more days of careful testing. Over that time the water sample had become infused with nearly invisible strands of colored material. They were not bacterial or viral. The strands were, if anything, molecular and seemed to be in complete symbiosis with the water’s microscopic plants and animals.


One additional difference in the land-based variety—it didn’t take part in the water-born variety’s interaction with the planet’s plasma currents, at least not in any way that could be detected.


Delva clung to Verluin and stared at the sky. Then, she released Verluin and walked to the edge of the shore. She said: “Morna run an analysis of—”

“I have, Delva, the water-born life form is also dancing in sync with the star and gas giant.”

Delva crouched at the water’s edge and scooped some up to her mouth. As she swallowed, she looked back at Verluin and said: “It looks just like I’m under water.”

Morna said: “Confirmed. The life form is consciously aware. But, I marvel at your extremely unscientific behavior.”


Verluin approached his wife as he said: “Morna, it appears that even non-believers can have faith.”

Verluin felt an urge to approach the water. Delva sensed it and gave him a small nudge in that direction. Morna nearly screamed: “Stop!”

Verluin crouched and scooped a bit of Anglana into his mouth and swallowed.

He embraced Delva and said: “Faith, sweet Morna, faith.”


Delva and Mura [Delva’s daughter] rose and approached the water.

As they entered Anglana’s liquid presence, the glow intensified around Delva, becoming a swirl of color—red, blue, green, purple.

Mura could feel a process beginning in her loins. She gave herself up to it.

Delva’s physical substance was sublimating in the intense plasma glow and being transferred to Mura’s body.

Morna was in high analysis mode but was incapable of discerning the details of the process.

The water began to churn violently. The display of color intensified. A cone of light grew skyward, aimed at the Mother planet.

Suddenly, a brief and total darkness enveloped the scene. Slowly, the daylight began to return and revealed Mura standing in the water with a baby girl in her arms.


Those were the main water scenes that include the entity Anglana—a being who is a whole planet and a planet that is a conscious being—entity that communes with the Prophet Akla through the Plasma of the gas giant planet Beli-Pallos.

Why did I create this alien being to mediate between a spiritual Leader and various characters in the story?

Why is water an important aspect of her “body”?

One more excerpt about the Aklans, the most important religion in the novel—followers of the Prophet Akla,


The Aklans had been in the village for a few days, getting to know the people and helping them implement some simple technology that could give them more control over their efforts to raise crops. The area they were in was mostly rocky with large swaths of sand. There was only a small stream coming from the large hill that dominated the landscape. Within that hill was a supply of water that wept its way out and down, often drying before it reached the huts.

The Aklans didn’t even think of suggesting the group of fifty adults and children move elsewhere. They were led by a very old woman who had known the priests of the Lord’s Army and tried her best to instill what wisdom she had to her group. The Lord’s Army and Faith of Eternity had few followers now, though the Disciples of Faith still flourished. This group had kept the spirit of the Lord’s Army alive for eighty years. They were all related but perilous times had confused the exact genetic lines. Still, these folk were, in all ways, an extended family.

The Aklans were doing what Aklans did—meeting people right where they were and offering, without judgement, whatever help they could.

The old woman said: “God willing, we can use this device to induce the hill to give us its Gift more abundantly.”

The oldest of the five Aklans responded: “Be sure to only use it when the stream is dry. If you keep it on all the time the hill could completely dry up.”

The Aklans had also given the group a bag of seed—a strain of edible grass that was extremely wholesome and grew with little attention.

“Plant the seeds in the pattern we showed you and only snip half the buds that appear so the plants can feed you for a full season.”

“Yes. We have my son’s talent in making clay urns to store the buds for times of scarcity. We will dig a cave in the hill for the storage.”

“God willing, you can set yourselves free of the harsh labor of the city and live here in peace.”

“You must return some day and tell me more of Akla.”

“We will and—”

A small transport was heard from beyond the hill. It swerved into view and came to a stop. Plasma, the killing kind, swept through the air and wiped out the Aklans. The transport swiftly departed, leaving the villagers in stunned stupefaction.

The old woman fell to her knees and began a chant:

“O God of Mercy.
“O God of Light.
“O God of Death.
“O God of Life.
“Forgive us.
“Protect us.
“Give us strength.
“Keep us firm.”

She rose and added: “And, help those poor souls in their flight towards Thee


This water is “weak”, it “wept its way out and down…”

Yet the scene shows the strength of the Aklans desire to be of service to followers of the “worst” Faith in the novel.

Why did I use weeping water—what is the symbolism of the seeds—why do you think I found it necessary to have the Aklans killed??
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
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8 responses to “Water As A Symbol In A Novel ~ Many Uses, Many Meanings

  1. Barbara Blackcinder April 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I noticed that the ‘miracle of birth’ was accompanied by a kind of miracle. Where did you get that idea from? LOL


    • Alexander M Zoltai April 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Well, Barb, it was one of those Muse-Inspired Moments—it came to me and I wrote it down :-)


      • Barbara Blackcinder April 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

        Hey, you would make a good reporter.., say correspondent? LOL


        • Alexander M Zoltai April 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

          Naaw I can’t chatter as well as you :-)


          • Barbara Blackcinder April 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

            Few can, few can… LOL


            • Alexander M Zoltai April 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

              A BIG Mega-Whoot for you :-)


              • Barbara Blackcinder April 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

                Mega-thanks. Barbara


                • Alexander M Zoltai April 25, 2013 at 12:43 am



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