Ben Firetag
Works in Progression  

Channels  is the story of a woman who inherits her great-great-grandmother's witchcraft, unintentionally releases a Chumash demon (a Nunašiš), and her fight to stop the demon from destroying and killing and burning everything that is dear.

Channels takes place in two time-lines and two principle locations; Santa Ynez, California just over the mountains from Santa Barbara in 1883, and Yorba Linda, in Southern California in the present time (2007 - when I expect the book to be released).

The Idea

Concept: People who get involved in channeling are playing with forces they do not understand.

A modern-day witch, trying to increase her powers, manages to channel a spirit into another vessel. She hopes to bend the spirit to her will and learn more about her craft. But the demon proves stronger than she imagined and escapes in the body of the channel host, her boyfriend. Now the witch must find a way to put the demon back into limbo before it destroys her and all she cherishes.

Dreams play a significant role in the solution – channeling can be seen as a form of dream where someone in the dream takes actual possession of the body. I want the Christian audience to see this as a confirmation that possession does happen and that it is evil. I want the Pagan audience to see this as a confirmation that what they believe about the spirit world is true.

Story Summary


Conflicts and Goals

Dramatis Personae

1883 cast:
Thomas Donahue – his family is living in the old Santa Inez mission as a consolation for a broken deal not being consummated by the State of California.

The Donahue’s live in the rectory and are to repair and restore what they can of the rest of the mission buildings. When they arrive it is in much worse condition than they were told. But they make the best of it while trying to seek another place to ranch.

Mary Condron Donahue – the mother of the family – it was her sister who let the Donahue’s know about the opportunity to buy the mission and its 16,000 remaining acres.

Moirrey Ince – b 11/13/1857, a Scorpio. Her name is a Manx version of Mary. She is the ancestor of our protagonist in the current timeline and the governess for the Donahue family - she has been bonded to help raise the children until they reach their majority (18 for the boys and 21 for the girls or until they marry) at which point she will have paid-off her transportation and board from the Isle of Man/Ireland to America and across to California. It is she who makes the daily trip to the school to act as a teacher for the Chumash children. The Chumash call her Šaxlapus – diviner, enchanter.

James Brewer - A real estate salesman and a rogue. He wants to sell the Donahues a rancho so he can get his hands on the money they were prepared to pay for the Santa Ynez mission. But the State reniged on the deal at the last minute and instead gave the Donahues permission to live at the mission in trade for fixing it up. He has his eyes on Moirrey, thinking she'd be an easy woman to get into his bed.

Ana Cala – A Chumash healer and Moirrey's helper.

2007 cast:

Mona Ince – b 4/13/1984, an Aries; the Protagonist and heroine of our story. She is the one who opens her mother's trunk and discovers the books on witchcraft, the diarys, and the sealed box. She's the one who lets the demon loose in our time.

David Callan – b 7/21/1981, a Cancer; the Antagonist and boyfriend of Mona – he is possessed by a demon: 'ašixuc (hu-ahshikhs) – the burner.

Tierra Tisup Opio – b 4/13/1984; the Guardian and helper of Mona, a descendent of Ana Cala

Samuel Donahue; the Contagonist - he is a 2nd cousin to Mona and owns a theater in Yorba Linda, CA where he rents space on weekend mornings to the local group of mystics for a psychic fair.

Genre, Mood and Tone

  Santa Ynez
  Yorba Linda




Motivations and Story Spicers

Plot Outline

Points of View

Story Timeline
September 1883September 1883
1:  8:  15:  22:  29:
5th: 2nd year of Labor Day observance
22nd: Fall Equinox
The story starts in the original time known as "once in a blue moon". Krakatoa had erupted in the last week of August, 1883. September was one of those rare calendar months where the moon was full twice. But this time was different from all the other months with two full moons; the dust cloud from the eruption caused the second full moon to literally appear blue.

This is the time when the State of California had given-up on having the Catholic church be responsible for the education of the Mission Indians. The Chumash are one of the oldest peoples of California and one of the least understood. They were the Indians of the Sea. They lived from Malibu to Point Mugu, from the Channel Islands to the mountains overlooking the great Imperial Valley. Most of the place names in that region are directly from the Chumash Hokan languages. They are now known, for the most part as Landless Indians - unrecognized by the Federal Government mostly because of their un-centralized society was mistaken by the Spanish for different tribes. The Chumash were a peace loving people with high standards and ethics which they taught their children and expected them to follow (more on this later).

September 2007September 2007
4:  11:  19:  26:
3rd: Labor Day
22nd: Fall Equinox

Style and Conventions

Theme, Motifs and Symbolism

Things to Consider


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