Friday Morning Nostalgia and Storytelling
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – Marianne Williamson
It’s rainy and gloomy in northeast Georgia as it has been for days. (My lawn mower can’t cope with the fast-growing yard and neither can I.) Rainy days work well for me as a writer. My imagination is sharper and my intuition fills my notebook with ideas.
Rain also brings memories. Even though I’m working on another paranormal short story today while talking on Facebook and Twitter about my fifth novel, The Sailor, today’s memories are about my first novel, The Sun Singer. It came out in 2004 with a second edition in in 2010.
In this book, I stirred my passions for Glacier National Park, magic, and the hero’s journey tradition of storytelling into a contemporary fantasy about a young man who is suddenly thrust into a parallel universe where a small resistance group is battling an evil king. He learns a lot about himself and his psychic abilities while trying to figure out where he is and what’s going on.
I will always maintain that hero’s journeys and magic are real even though my publisher and the bookselling world are always going to place such novels on the fantasy shelves. (That’s okay: I read a lot of fantasy.) Yet, when I wrote The Sun Singer, I saw all the magic performed in the book has possible. I still do.
At the end of a hero’s journey, one expects the hero to be transformed. One way or another, s/he is smarter, wiser, and potentially more spiritual and compassionate than s/he was when the journey begin. I have this hope for each of us on our individual journeys no matter what our occupations and avocations may be. When I wrote The Sun Singer, I didn’t intentionally put a message in it. Today when I read it, I see that it has one: If young Robert Adams can discover and develop his talents under trying circumstances and become an avatar, so can each of us.
Joseph Campbell, who popularized the hero’s journey in his 1940s book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, saw myths and journeys as inspiration for every man and every woman, not just the larger-than-life personages found in mythology books. Robert Adams learns, as I have been learning, “who am I not to be?”
Storytelling (with or without the rain) often helps us find our answers.