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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, May 12, 2011


“A novel is never anything but a philosophy put into images.” Albert Camus

Peering into one metaphor alone is like looking though a prism of possibilities. A well-chosen and well-placed phrase provides a dazzling vista of interpretation.

For example, a recent conversation on ‘a castle’ included multiple ways to focus a setting through metaphor and theme.

In the movie The Secret of Moonacre there are two distinct castles, each a reflection on choices. The choices were made hundreds of years earlier but continue to enslave the descendants as each generation takes up a personal decision to perpetuate the feud.

One castle is in ruins; empty, cold, a shadow of its former life. It is a place of sorrow and lost opportunity with only three inhabitants left.

The other castle is stark, cold, grey and brimming with people. Busy, bustling, overflowing inhabitants filled to the brim with anger and revenge. And a closer look reveals a castle in decay as well.

Both castles have become mirror images of heart choices. The reality of this concrete metaphor unfolds with greater perception as the story shows all its secrets and mysteries.

Journal Prompt:

Choose the place that is most important to your character, or most central to the story question. Costume it from a variety of styles: old and decaying, ordinary, flashy, sophisticated, copycat or with a brand new coat of paint. Which version becomes a metaphor for your character’s heart?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Often when we encounter a new idea or challenge it excites us. The joy of discovery and the puzzle of understanding with insight grips our imagination. We’re eager to share our delight. Our amazement. But then another mystery follows. Others don’t find it as interesting, even those closest to us, whether personally or vocationally. Or they’re not willing to put in the time and effort necessary to comprehend all the implications.

Perhaps solving the mystery is only a prelude to years of painstaking research with personal risk, as so many doctors and scientists have done to find medical cures.

In the movie Avatar, after years of study the scientists make an astounding realization. They realize that the indigenous people connect within their world like a neural network. They have achieved an inter-connection between all living organic matter, which is far beyond mankind’s achievement.

They rush to stop destruction, desperate to protect the people and the science. But then they face rejection and ridicule, and finally are confined to jail to get them out of the way. This mystery costs them everything. Their breath-taking words split open the wide gulf of difference between values and beliefs.

Journal Prompt:

Your character has discovered a truth that can bring healing to mind, soul or body. How does he communicate that discovery? How does he react when others reject his gift of life?

"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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