reading · Writing

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Chapter 1.1

The first chapter is entitled: The Call to Adventure

It says:

This first stage of the mythological journey – which we have designated the “call to adventure” – signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown. This fateful region of both treasure and danger may be variously represented: as a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight.

So, the call to adventure is something that wants to transport the hero from the comfort of his world to someplace else, someplace the hero doesn’t know, someplace full of treasure and danger.

I think “. . . unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight.” means adventure. So the Call to Adventure must take the hero someplace (anyplace!) filled with, well, adventure.

So how does your character know they are being issued a Call to Adventure?

The herald or announcer of the adventure, therefore, is often dark, loathly, or terrifying, judged evil by the world; yet if one could follow, the way would be opened through the walls of day into the dark where the jewels glow. Or the herald is a beast (as in the fairy tale), representative of the repressed instinctual fecundity within ourselves, or again veiled mysterious figure – the unknown.

Darth Vader as the Herald

I take this to mean that the herald announces the adventure and the herald could be:

  • The enemy: I have no difficulty with the idea that evil deeds can constitute a call to adventure. Bad deeds anyway, someone trying to harm you and yours.
  • a symbol of the hero’s fertility: The love interest? Like Helen of Troy? Um. From Frozen, does Anne constitute a herald for Kristoff? She did issue a call to adventure to him, didn’t she?
  • a symbol of the unknown: I don’t quite know what to make of this one. A foreigner? A hurt foreigner?
  • All of the above: Throwing this one out there just because. I think it is possible that the enemy, the fertility symbol and symbol of the unknown to be one and the same.

 

Whether dream or myth, in these adventures there is an atmosphere of irresistible fascination about the figure that appears suddenly as guide, marking a new period, a new stage, in the biography. That which has to be faced, and is somehow profoundly familiar to the unconscious – though unknown, surprising, and even frightening to the conscious personality – makes itself known; and what formerly was meaningful may become strangely emptied of value: like the world of the king’s child, with the sudden disappearance into the well of the golden ball. Thereafter, even though the hero returns for a while to his familiar occupations, they may be found unfruitful. A series of signs of increasing force then will become visible, until – as in the following legend of “The Four Signs” which is the most celebrated example of call to adventure in the literature of the world – the summons can no longer be denied.

This is such long quote! Well. The guide sounds like a symbol of change in the hero’s life, a change so profound that their routine life becomes less satisfying and everything goes wrong.

The Four Signs is the story of Buddha, how he saw something he’d never seen before and his life changed just a little with each sign. The signs foreshadowed his becoming the Buddha. I suppose each figure he saw constitute a guide.

Or maybe a herald – I am not sure. But I think they were probably guides, guides to what happens in the future.

And, finally, the hero gives in to the inevitable and can no longer deny the Call to Adventure. Because everything in the hero’s life is going wrong. So the hero has no choice except to say: Yes, I accept the call to adventure.

What do you guys think? About the herald, the guide and Call to Adventure?

flash friday · General · Short Story · Writing

Undead

This flash was inspired by the letter U!

She pondered the picture.

It showed a lady, dead from drowning. She knew that face.

She glanced over her shoulder at the rest of her class; they wandered the room, looking up at the photographs on the wall. Her teacher was across the room, with most of the kids.

She turned back to the picture. It was colored, but not pretty. She took a step a closer and peered closer at the woman’s face.

She took her wallet out of her bag and slipped out a picture hidden away behind her school id and transport card. The black-and-white photo was yellow with age and tattered at the edges. Grandmother was young in this picture; she grinned into the camera, knee-deep in the ocean, holding up her printed maxi out of the water.

She studied the picture on the wall, then her wallet picture and back again.

“Girls and boys!” The teacher clapped her hands. “Gather around now. I want to introduce to artist. She composed these photographs with herself as the model.”

A woman who looked exactly like the picture of her grandmother stood beside the teacher.

reading · Writing

P is for Predicting the End

Sometimes you can predict the end of a book while you’re still in the middle – or even the beginning.

It’s a little disappointing to be able to accurately to predict in the beginning – the book has barely gotten started, and if all goes as predicted, what’s the point?

Or maybe it’s not; if the couple doesn’t get together at the end of a romance, that would be odd. Or if murderer isn’t caught at the end of a murder mystery, that would also be a bit odd.

But aside from that! Unexpected things have happen in between those things.

If they don’t, I am pretty sure I would be bored.

flash friday · Writing

Ory and the Big O

So this is today’s Friday flash, inspired from the letter O. It’s not quite what I intended. The letter is O and the only thing I could think of is Big O. Wikipedia has an article on it.

Ory saw the mailman first, dragging the mail cart behind him. Ory  listened, still and quiet in front of the door, to the scratches as the mailman opened the mailbox. The mailbox lid was loud as he snapped it shut.

Only then did he ring the doorbell.

Grinning, Ory yanked open the door. The mailman held a brown box before him. Green tape sealed the sides. The word BIG O was stamped all over in the box in a lurid, eye-searing pinks and yellows.

He signed for it, snatched it into his arms, slammed the door shut and sprinted with it into his room. Ory laid it gently on his bright green pillow. His red O scissors made quick work of the tape.

While fluffy foam nuggets spilled out of the box. He reached in and dumped handfuls on the floor. More handfuls. Two more handfuls.

Finally, he dug out the matching t-short, shorts and lanyard. He held up the shirt in front of him in the mirror. It was green, with a pink and yellow BIG O in the middle.

He thought: Finally ready for Big O camp! Finally!

General · Writing

J is for Journaling

Through today’s random internet browsing, looking for inspiration for this post, I found an article on what some famous authors have to say about journaling: http://flavorwire.com/367030/10-famous-authors-on-the-importance-of-keeping-a-journal

(And, also, quite a few fruitless minutes on how to spell journaling, because WordPress keeps flagging the spelling I am using.)

I kept a journal once when I was younger, but I wasn’t good at it. I could go for weeks without a single entry. Or write other, non-life-journal type things in it (i .e. new interesting words, character names, the occasional doodle, like that.) Sometimes I would forget to date my rare entries.

I don’t keep one a personal journal at all these days. And all my attempts at keeping a proper writing journal, the kind where I intended to write down plot ideas, character descriptions, writing prompts, that kind haven’t really worked out really. I had one like that once.

I lost track of it. And the one after that. The third, one, too. The last version was a binder that is stuck in a drawer somewhere that I haven’t taken out in months and months. Years, maybe. (I can’t quite recall.)

I meant to fill it with:

1) short stories

2) notes and worldbuilding and character stuff for the WiP.

I didn’t do either.

If random ideas do come to me while out and about, I whip out my phone and type them into my Google Keep. (Incidentally, that is where I brainstormed ideas for A to Z challenge. I only got as far as the letter F.) I got recipes and assorted tidbits in there, too. Very little of it has to do with writing.

No, sometimes I use my Evernote on my computer for writing stuff. Sometimes. Like whole actual short stories and setting ideas and things like that. I guess Evernote is my writing notebook, except it doesn’t feel like that. It doesn’t feel like a real notebook, not the marble ones I used to have as child, not the spiral notebooks I got when I was a little older and definitely not like the binder I still have tucked away somewhere.

It’s just . . . I don’t know. I don’t use just one app, but even if I did, I don’t think it would have the same feel. And that sounds like what a lot people say about reading physical books instead of eBooks: it doesn’t feel the same, the pages, the smell, how it feels to hold a paperback. None of it is the same.

Maybe the Evernote/Google Keep combo does work like a writing journal for me and maybe I should call it that, but I cannot quite convince myself they work like one.

And none of it is similar to the personal kind of journaling those authors are talking about. In fact, this blog is as close as I get to that.

flash friday · General · Writing

I is for Ice

This is a piece I wrote for #FridayFlash with the letter I as my writing prompt.

She pirouetted through her door.

Sunlight flooded the living room from the skylight overhead. She danced through the rays. Step, step, jump, arms at shoulder length, step, hands above her head, be graceful, turn her head just so.

She stopped on the final pose, and laughed. It was too perfect.

“You got the part,” her husband stated.

Lovely man.

She straightened, smiling up at him. “No.” But she would as soon as full dose of ice worked on her.

flash friday · Writing

C is for Creation

I decided to write a Friday flash with a title that starts with C, because of the A to Z challenge. This is what resulted.

 

Rain drizzled down, a steady, punishing stream of water.  

It wound down the body of the stone statue, past its blind eyes and dripped on ground already soaked with rain.

And me? It left me dry. My sister didn’t dare touch me, even here, far from land and age of our power. She still stayed clear of me, left me in a circle as dry as the sands of our birth.

Well, she would not touch her either. This rain wasn’t true, as fake as the rosy color on her cheeks. She wasn’t grieving. How could she? She had done this, shoved my beloved into a deep ditch and poured water she couldn’t breathe.

I brushed my fingers across the statue’s damp eyes. They were large in life, one brown and one blue, and so beautiful.

I would deepen my sister’s oceans until she thought she was winning; I would dry up her rivers and lakes; I would turn her land into the sands for our family’s graveyard.

And I would start here, on this island.