Chapter 12 – Are you trying to see through mold-tinted spectacles?
In this chapter, Meylyne learns that the Great Oaken Mother has been poisoned, and because of that, sphers are escaping from the Valley of Half-Light. This is a horrific discovery. There is no hope for Glendoch if the sphers take over. Clinging to their victims, sphers grow like mold, causing disease and fear. If not dislodged, they slowly possess their victims with an unstoppable urge to destroy all that is in their path.
This reminds me of a movie I watched over the weekend. In it, a fungus infects humankind, turning everyone into brainless, flesh-eating zombies called “Hungries.” The second-generation of Hungries, however, retain their reasoning abilities. They still feast on flesh (although not each others’) and at the end, as one is about to give her life to save humankind, she changes her mind and decides to save the Hungries instead. This was a huge surprise! In most zombie/vampire/monster movies, we expect the humans to win because we are the “goodies.” But in the monsters’ minds, they are the goodies and we are the baddies!
Can both sides be right? (more…)
CHAPTER 10 – When It’s Okay To Take Your Eye Off The Ball
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “keep your eye on the ball.” In sports, it tends to mean exactly that—keep your eye on the ball! Outside of sports, it’s a metaphor for staying focused on your goal or task and not on the myriad distractions bombarding you.
Generally it’s an excellent rule of thumb to follow. But let’s say another, equally important ball bounces into the picture. Which ball do you keep your eye on?
Meylyne faces this dilemma in this chapter. Up until now, her goal (aka her ball) has been to find a cure for Prince Piam so that she may return home. But when she discovers that Glendoch’s guardian has been poisoned, her friends are convinced that they must abandon their search for Piam’s cure to find a cure for the guardian instead. Meylyne is torn. Piam’s cure has been the object of her desire for so long that it’s hard for her to switch tracks.
At this point, she could dig in her heels and say, “No—we came on this journey to find a cure for Prince Piam and we must finish what we started.” I don’t think she could be blamed for wanting to stay her course. She’d be keeping her eye on the ball, right? (more…)
Chapter 9 – Be brave—don’t make assumptions!
In this chapter, Meylyne is mortified when Blue reveals to Grimorex that her father is Meph—Glendoch’s notorious outlaw. She assumes Grimorex will think there’s something wrong with her, just like everyone else at home. This makes her feel so bad about herself that she becomes cold and defensive. It would be no surprise if Grimorex did think there was something wrong with her, the way she acts. In other words, her behavior would have caused the very thing she was worried about—not her father!
(As it is, Grimorex is intrigued by Meph and does not think worse of Meylyne in the slightest—if anything he thinks having Meph for a father is pretty cool.)
This sort of thing happens so often. We misinterpret others’ actions and words and it causes all sorts of unnecessary drama. Often it causes us to bring about the sort of drama that, before we acted on our assumptions, exists only in our heads! (more…)
CHAPTER 6: If at first you don’t succeed … destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried.
I laughed when I first read this quote. It’s so opposite from what we’re taught we ought to feel about the ritual of trying and failing, and yet so wonderfully human. It can be embarrassing to think you tried and did not succeed. Sometimes it feels safer not to try at all!
Thing is though, we don’t always have a choice.
In this chapter, Meylyne gets caught by ferocious Hyldas who demand she turn a bird back into a boy. This requires a spell at which she is convinced she will fail miserably. The Hyldas give her no choice, however. If she doesn’t do as they say, the consequences will be dire for her and her friend.
Now, in some instances, this sort of pressure works in our favor. When others believe we are capable of this or that, we push ourselves and rise to the challenge. We end up doing better than we ever thought we could. (more…)
CHAPTER 5: Let The Games Begin!
In this chapter, Meylyne learns that she must steal from a tribe of merciless Hyldas—guardians of the Warrior-Realm—if she and Hope are to survive. In the archetype of the hero’s journey, this is seen as initiation—a test (one of many) that the hero has to pass if she is to succeed on her quest. Initiation is much beloved in the world of the myths and adventures. There heaps of stories with miraculous tests and ordeals in which heroes are secretly helped by advice and tools from supernatural helpers they met before. To paraphrase the author of THE HERO’S JOURNEY, Joseph Campbell—
“The adventure is everywhere and the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.” (more…)