I started reading those two books because they seemed to be referenced all the time on the writing blogs I read; might as well get to know the source material, right?
Hulk has some excellent wisdom in his rant regarding Joseph Campbell’s work.
..THE PROBLEM WITH JOSEPH CAMPBELL’S THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES IS NOT IT’S LACK OF ACCURACY, BUT INSTEAD WHAT WE DO WITH THE INFORMATION IT PROVIDES. CHIEFLY, THE FACT THAT OUR SOCIETY HAS OVERTLY ADOPTED THE BOOK’S BREAKDOWN OF THE HERO JOURNEY AS SOME KIND OF READY-MADE APP FOR “PAINT BY NUMBERS” STORYTELLING.
This is exactly what’s been bothering me about The Hero With a Thousand Faces. No, wait, the book isn’t bothering me, it’s what I’ve read people saying about how the book applies to writing that has been bothering me. (The book is fantastic!)
Just because there are patterns inherent to how people tell stories doesn’t mean those patterns are a guideline for story telling; no, for GOOD story telling. There should be enough familiarity that your audience isn’t left floundering but not enough familiarity that your audience can predict the bulk of your story based on the set-up.
When I think about some of my favourite stories they’re usually ones that surprise me. At the moment, Community is my favourite television program precisely because I’m not sure what they’re going to throw at me next.
The Hero With a Thousand Faces is a good, if academic, read and I suggest you read with a highlighter in your hand because, if my copy is any indication, there are gems in there you’ll want to refer back to.
Just like with cross-stitching, you can follow a pre-made pattern but your finished work won’t be unique or brilliant if you do.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to share with you, my shame. (And, frankly, what appears to be a condescending attitude from my Wii!)
I’ve been bored with my regular workout so I thought I’d charge up the old batteries and give my Wii Fit another go.
It’s been 1316 days since I last used my Wii; that’s about 3 1/2 years. What HAS happened to me in the last 3 1/2 years that my Wii Fit hasn’t been a part of is a lifestyle change that resulted in me losing nearly 50lbs (and gaining back twenty… oh cupcakes, you sinful little mouthfuls…) and learning how to move my body without an electronic hand to guide me.
I went through the Wii Fit body testing and I remembered why I stopped using Wii Fit: it uses BMI to calculate how ‘fit’ you are.
BMI IS FLAWED! At best, it is a rough indicator of how ‘fit’ you may be. It’s incredibly frustrating to see a pudgy little mii on the screen when in real life I look good and I could see how it might be triggering for anyone who has a history of disordered eating. (There’s nothing disordered about the way I eat cupcakes!)
I’ll give it another go but I think I’ve moved on from the Wii Fit and Fitocracy.com is now more my speed. This past weekend I completed a series of Fitocracy quests centered around barbell squats and, whoo boy, I’ve definitely out-grown the Wii Fit!
The Wii Fit is great to start you off getting fit but there will come a time where you outgrow the exercises on it, invest in some equipment or a gym membership, and step your game up.
So, yes, Wii Fit feels that 1316 days since my last visit has been too long but I think it hasn’t been long enough. Good-bye, Wii Fit, and if you know anybody interested in buying a used game and step-thinger, drop me a line because I’ll be selling mine.
Earlier this week I was blindsided by an intense migraine that knocked me on my back for 6 1/2 hours. While I was lying in the dark I came up with a list of 5 things to do when you’re lying in the dark with a migraine.
5. Count to 9,999,999,999 or count backwards from 9,999,999,999.
If you stick with it and don’t let anything else distract you, like say the blinding pain in your head, you should automatically transition into…
Oh sweet Morpheus, take me far, far away from the suffering of the waking world! Let me trip the light fantastic with you in a dream where Ryan Gosling has decided to abandon dating super models and actresses and finds he has a soft spot for pudgy bloggers!
You can only sleep so long, however, before your body decides it has had enough and, cruelly, remains awake no matter how much you promise it imaginary celebrity boyfriend (ICB) dreams.
There’s no helping it, at this point you have to…
3. Concoct elaborately detailed daydreams.
These can’t be just any old daydreams, they must have elaborate details. It isn’t enough that you’re twenty again, with all the wisdom and experience of your older self, living a bohemian lifestyle in NYC when your favorite Italian bakery is robbed and you beat up the drunken frat boys who robbed that kindly Italian mama running it and she fixes you up with her hunky son! OH NO! That is not elaborate enough!
What were you wearing that day? Where did you get each article of clothing? Did you borrow a room mate’s fancy jacket because you’d been on your way to an interview and now that jacket is torn and omg HOW are you going to make it up to your rooomie because you certainly can’t afford to replace the jacket she got as payment for modelling for Marc Jacobs last fashion week!
What were the robbers wearing? What was their motivation? Were they attractive frat boys? If they were, harden your heart and remind yourself they are drunken (too many Jager-bombs) louts who harassed a sweet Italian lady and not worthy of your love.
BUT WAIT! The Italian son… is really a WERE-CAT! (I’m SO over werewolves.) So as a were-cat he acts all cagey around you and you suspect he might be batting for the other team so you prepare yourself for heartbreak and when you find out his big secret you’re so relieved you promise to get allergy shots so the two of you can live happily ever after!
…plus, being half-kitten could only make babies CUTER! Just imagine how many YouTube hits a kitten-baby hybrid could net you?! Ka-CHING!
THIS is the sort of daydream that can eat up hours while you lie whimpering in the dark.
2. Write your will.
Writing your will is something most people put off because it’s morbid, sad, and can lead to a lot of fights with loved ones but it’s important! So, as you lie there pondering which is better, to live in agony or to die and know peace, you start going over in your head what you own that has value and whom should you give your stuff to.
Value, in this context, doesn’t mean it has to be valuable. When you start cataloging all the crap you own you might just realize your decades of living has amassed a closet full of abandoned craft supplies, several hundred paperback books, a collection of DVDs you never re-watch, and non-designer clothes nobody else is going to want to wear because YOU barely like to wear them.
So, instead of bequeathing your worldly possessions you start to consider what sort of hoops you can make those who will outlive you jump through once you’re gone. Do you know anybody who owns a haunted mansion? What about a haunted shack? Could you create an elaborate hunt around the world for your secret, but non-existent, treasure? Maybe you could demand that at the viewing your corpse be displayed naked while thumping stripper music plays and all your mourners would be given sharpie markers to write farewell messages to you on your naked corpse. I did mention your corpse would be naked, right?
I mean, what would YOU care? You’re dead; and after six hours of lying in the dark in agony that seems like a good fantasy to have.
1. Cover your eyes and hone your other senses in case you ever lose your eyesight.
I expect there to be some controversy over this being my number one thing to do when lying in the dark suffering from a migraine so let me interrupt your angry comments with an explanation for my choice.
If you WERE to ever lose your eyesight wouldn’t you want to be up and on your feet again as soon as possible?
Sure, if you lose your eyesight for medical reasons you’d likely have months to train yourself to adjust to your new situation but what if you don’t lose your eyesight for medical reasons? What if, you’re attacked by a lion and you have to get away before he eats you? I bet you’d be pretty thankful you practiced getting around without relying on your vision then, eh?
Or what if you’re in a duel with a dastardly swordsman, a man with no honor, who throws a handful of dust in your eyes during the duel? Are you going to let him get away with that? No! You are the hero and it’s up to you to defeat that dishonorable pig dog monkey thief beluga! You ignore the stinging in your eyes, you ignore vision itself, and using skills you’ve honed in the dark when you’ve had migraines you listen for the heartbeat of your opponent and STRIKE! ZANG! You pierce his black heart with your sword and save the girlcountry WORLD!
Learning to get about in the dark would also be useful in the following situations:
a haunted house (either a real one or the amusement park version)
looking for your clothes after a quick one-night stand with a partner you picked while obviously wearing beer-goggles
getting up in the middle of the night to pee and you don’t want to turn the lights on because you’ll wake up all the way and if you keep the lights off you can sort of coast into the bathroom, do your business, and snuggle back into bed without actually reaching consciousness
you’re a cat burglar (No, not someone who steals cats, the other kind.)
you’re secretly a ninja (You’d tell me, right? No? No you wouldn’t? Oh, right, secret. Shh.)
you’ve painted your room black, you wear only black clothing, and everything you own is also black
you have to escape a government bunker designed to hold you and hundreds of others they have been injecting with experimental viruses and the only way to escape is through a complicated series of sewage pipes but because you’ve been practicing getting about in the dark you have no problems and you wriggle your way to freedom and find your way to an urban center where, SURPRISE, you’ve been injected with a zombie virus and now you’re patient zero in the most horrible plague the world has ever known but, honestly, you don’t care because you’re a zombie and anyways you’re famous now! That’s right, this skill could make you famous!
In conclusion, there’s no excuse for being bored just because you’re lying, immobile, in the dark suffering from excruciating brain-pain.
What do YOU do to pass the time when you have a migraine? What do you find is the best treatment for a migraine? I’m curious! Leave me a comment or find me on twitter @tammalee and let me know!