Blog series; Befriending Griselda.

It’s not just tusked lions, witches and battle-scavengers that Meylyne and her friends must face if they are to succeed on their journey. They must also overcome their “Griselda moments” as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt used to call them – moments of fear, sadness, jealousy, etc. This series explores the friends’ Griselda moments.

These moments show up in every hero’s journey – most likely yours too. Read on and see for yourself!


Chapter 14: Why we can’t help but look those gift-horses in the mouth.

In this chapter, Grimorex offers Queen Scarlet the gift of Meylyne’s alchemy and she asks what he wants in return adding, “this sort of generosity rarely comes without strings attached.” In this case it is normal for Grimorex to bargain with the lions in this way, but do you think that expectation happens in other situations too? If you give your friend a gift, or do your friend a favor, do you expect something back in return?

You might say no—that generosity with strings attached isn’t generosity at all—it’s a debt. I had a friend once who, when we fought, used to bring up all the favors she did for me to illustrate how I was a bad friend. “I did this for you and I did that for you,” she would fume. I remember thinking afterward, “if I’d known your friendship would come at such a price, I never would have accepted it in the first place.”

As my resentment grew, I reciprocated with list of my own—all the acts of friendship I’d done for her that she had failed to appreciate.

In other words, we both turned our relationship a scorecard.


CHAPTER 10 – When It’s Okay To Take Your Eye Off The Ball

Chap 9 Chariot smallI’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!

Chap 9 Grimorex

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.

chapter 7I 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!

Chap 5In 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…)