Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 113- (Feb 22nd-29th) stories--- Topic: PROMPT DONE

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message 1: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (chasmofbooks) | 2875 comments Love it, Al! This is an awesome one! I love quotes so getting to use them when I'm writing is very enjoyable for me.

message 2: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments If anyone is interested ... the last quote is actually, "Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon." - G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909), XVII: "The Red Angel".

I've never read Tremendous Trifles, so I don't know if the oft-quoted version is Chesterton's own restatement of the paragraph or a paraphrase by people who don't want to say all that out.

I'll probably use that one.

message 3: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments Ah, thanks. Do you know where from? I've been wanting to read the whole thing for a while.

message 4: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Hmmm, I think I have an idea.....

message 5: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Wow. I like it, Al. The beginning was very descriptive :D I love how you included the Mocha's and the breakfast description :D

message 6: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Oh goodness, yes, I liked it :D It turned out way better than mine is X(

message 7: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments XD I'm not done yet, Al GOSH! 'Good things come to those who wait.'

message 8: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments oh dear XD

I'd better finish XD

message 9: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments oh dear, I don't need Frank after me XD I already have Kirilee on my tail for changing (i.e. totally remodeling) Fire Touched XD

message 10: by Guy (last edited Feb 23, 2012 05:45PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments Al, this was an excellent story! I was expecting Al to wake up in bed with a mocha in her hands and the imprint of someone in the bed beside her. LoL.

message 11: by Caitlan (last edited Feb 23, 2012 05:47PM) (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments That would have been funny XD CRAP I ONLY HAVE NINE MINUTES! I'm so not done XD

message 12: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Hey, I am typing, Al, as fast as I can. The story just keeps getting stuck....I'm not all that good at writing lovey dovey stories, and that's what popped into my head when I read one of the quotes.

Do it, Al. Always go with your gut for writing things :D I've stayed out of so much trouble with my characters by going with my gut. And right now my gut it telling me I need food, lol. I'll be right back.

message 13: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Ooh, the ending is perfect :D

Yeah, I've gotten into some trouble with that too, but I've avoided more XD I was going to kill Kirilee in the end of the first one, but, she wouldn't talk to me for like a month, and I had writers block from then on, until I revamped it so she just had to loose her Fire ability. There, Kirilee, take that!

I'm looking forward to reading it, too....it sounds like something that could use the spice of a death, or a Frank XD

message 14: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Oooh, a critique and an analysis sound nice. You have my permission to tear mine apart, M. Of course, only after you've done Al's. :D Have fun

message 15: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments Al, the taped note is sooooo funny. But styrofoam? Egads. I thought Frank wouldn't be caught dead with just styrofoam, but a proper Seattle's best Pike's Blend or something. :-^.

Just kidding. This is a much better ending.

message 16: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments XD Lol. Sticky notes are amazing :D

message 17: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments LoL. YW.

message 18: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments I got an idea with Chesterton's, but I've been sick and not getting enough sleep, so it might not be finished in time...

message 19: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments It was to stupid. I think I'll edit it a LOT!

message 20: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments Kat, this was a very pleasant little story. Well told in a straight clear enjoyable way.

message 21: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Blech. Thanks, Guy, and Al, for your awesome comments. I just don't like it. I definitely know I can do better. And I shall. There will be action once Frank's through with it :D

message 22: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments I don't think it was stupid, but I agree that it was too short. Not that stories can't be that short, but it seems more like an illustration of a relationship than a full three-act tale.

Eh, then again, it does move from one point to another, so I guess it could be considered a story. Scene or story, I liked it. Nice and simple.

I didn't like yours, Al. We kind of get she's moving in circles; stories are better when the person moving in a circle somehow moves out of the circle (either by being forced out of complacancy or by overcoming some block). I suppose it's hard to fit that with the quote.

I usually like your stories, but not this one. Frank does have a weakness (perhaps several), and at some point it has to be exploited.

message 23: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Thanks, Edward. It is going to go under extensive remodeling.

message 24: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments I use my subconscious to create sparks; I use other things to fan the flames.

You're right about the getting out of the circle thing.

Okay, this story I'm writing has a lot of swearing. Some of it is a sampling from what I've heard (in order from least to worst) on the bus, from twelve-year-olds, and from Marines on duty. I'm going to have to tone it down somehow.

message 25: by M (last edited Feb 25, 2012 04:23AM) (new)

M | 11047 comments I just got around to reading “Mochas.” What a wild ride! The description is graphic (I felt almost as though I were seeing it in Technicolor on a movie screen), sometimes beautifully metaphorical (“he could kill me as easily as a hawk would, hunting mice”). The main character certainly does have, uhm, a hands-on relationship with the man of her dreams. The scene in the morgue is chilling. Though Frank never learns, he sometimes (as at the end of this narrative) gets the point.

Kat, I really like the writing in “Not Even the Rain.” It’s very relaxing, though I don’t know just what it is about it that makes it that way. It has an introspective quality. I found myself wishing it were longer, not so much because I was interested in the narrative but because I wanted to read more of the writing.

message 26: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Thanks M :D

message 27: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments I'm trying, but only the first paragraph wrote itself out. The rest of it's not coming. :(

message 28: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. is actually a paraphrased version used by Neil Gaiman in Coraline.

Someone else quoted it as Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.

What Chesterton actually said was What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. and it is in Tremendous Trifles

message 29: by M (new)

M | 11047 comments Saira wrote: “I’m trying, but only the first paragraph wrote itself out. The rest of it’s not coming.”

That happens to me all the time. I usually have several writing projects I’m working on at once, though. When I get snagged on one, I just switch to another one.

message 30: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments Al wrote: "Yes, but pretty sure Chesterson said it before Gaiman wrote it."

That's why I included all of them.

message 31: by Lydia (new)

Lydia | 109 comments By which time tomorrow do we have to have our story in by?

message 32: by Lydia (new)

Lydia | 109 comments Fairy Tale
By Lydia M.
Word Count: 1,005

“‘Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.’ Who said that?”

“Uhhhh....” I looked up from my magazine to stare at the wall across the room from me. “Well.. I think it was...”

“G.K. Chesterton?” my sister inquired.

“No way. Sounds too.. I don’t know.”

“I wasn’t giving a suggestion. That was the answer. G.K. Chesterton said that quote.”


“I thought you said you were good with quotes.” my sister shook her head slightly.

“I am... With quotes I know.” I replied, focusing my attention on the text in the magazine.

“Which means you only know quotes that were said from hot actors.”

“Does not.”

“Okay then. Tell me something that Gandhi said.”

“Uh...” I stuttered.

“Point in case.” my sister muttered.

“You don’t know either.” I looked up to see my sister’s smug smile. “Never mind. Pretend I didn’t say that.”

The door flew open and my step mother walked in carrying a load of groceries.

“Darcy? Jessica? What are you two doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be at school?”

Darcy jumped up to help her while I responded, “No. It’s Sunday, Aliza.”

Darcy glared at me for calling our step mom by her first name but Aliza just bit her lip and nodded to herself. She was quite absentminded.

“Where’s your father?”

“Out on patrol.” Darcy said before I could. “We were just testing each other on quotes.”

“Ah yes. ‘What are men to rocks and mountains?’” Aliza breathed out.

“Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice.” I grabbed several bags and headed into the kitchen. “See, Darcy? I knew that one.”

“Only because mom quotes it all the time.” Darcy said following behind me. I hated to admit it but she was right. Aliza was a total quote freak. She filled up her head with them; I guess that’s why she forgot everything else.
That night a storm was brewing. My father joked about putting chalk under our pillow so we wouldn’t have bad dreams. It was an old superstitious tale in our town: when a thunderstorm appeared Phobetor, Greek god of nightmares, was angry and he would punish all of us for it. It was all fake and nobody actually knew why chalk was involved.

So it was all coincidental that I had a nightmare that night.

I found myself in my high school gym, staring at our mascot painted on the wall. The dragon. Keeper of the legends of our small town.

“Jess!” I turned to see a girl standing by the gym door. Her figure was blurred and I couldn’t make out her features. As I started to walk over to her she sprinted out the door and slammed it behind her. I rushed to the door on impulse and tugged at the handle. It was locked.

I heard a growl behind me and turned to see a massive beast behind me, pulling itself out of the picture on the wall. The dragon turn towards me and breathed fire into the air. I could feel the heat from where I was, and my knees grew weak. It started to lumber over to where I stood. It’s tail swished back and forth, smacking against air and brick. My heart seemed to beat to that rhythm.

The dragon’s warm breath hit my face and I could smell... Dog food?

I woke to find Darcy’s dog sitting on me, breathing straight into my face.

“Ugh!” I sat up in my bed as the dog bounced onto the floor and raced out the door. A laugh sounded and I looked up to see Darcy standing in my doorway.

“Sweet dreams?” she asked. “Hurry up. You’re going to miss the bus.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” I mumbled.
40 minutes later found me sitting in my English class. My teacher, Ms. Lake was rambling on about something and more then one student’s head was dropped in sleep. I started to doodle in my blank notebook that I was supposed to be filling with important notes. It started out as random shapes but quickly turned into something I knew too well. A dragon stared out from the page, as if taunting me.


My head shot up to see Ms. Lake looking at me expectantly.

“I’m sorry. Could you repeat that?” I asked, faking a sweet smile. Giggles erupted among the class until my teacher silenced them with a glare.

“Who said ‘Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten’?

“G.K.... Chesterton?” I replied, hoping my memory served me well.

“Why... Yes.” Ms. Lake and my class couldn’t hide their astonishment. I was the stereotypical dumb, pretty, and popular kid. Me getting an answer correct was as common as our cafeteria having good pasta. I felt myself sitting up a little straighter as Ms. Lake continued the lesson.
I took the bus home alone; Darcy stayed after school to work at the local library. I thought about the quote that had become part of my life as I listened to music. What was my “dragon”? I replayed the last few days in my mind, trying to find something. I was thinking about the day before when I realized what it was. I took out my notebook and
looked at my drawing of the dragon. I no longer saw taunt in his eyes, but instead defeat.
I could hear Aliza in the kitchen when I came home. She was bustling around, probably making dinner. I set my backpack down in the hall and entered the kitchen.

“Hi, mom.”

She looked up at me, surprised. I bit my lip, nervous, until she started to smile.

“Hello, Jessica. How was your day?”

I started to tell her about it but I wasn’t really thinking it about it. Instead I was celebrating in my head.

I had killed the dragon.

message 33: by Guy (last edited Feb 28, 2012 10:39PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments It's been a while, but here is
Everything Happens to Everybody
967 words.

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
George Bernard Shaw

Jack finished watching Groundhog Day. Again. No, it wasn't the groundhog's day, today being only January 15. And at 3:15 pm Jack turned off the Blu-Ray player, as he did every afternoon. Then, after turning off the TV, he turned to look at Jill, the tom cat that was resting his head on its paws on the decrepit couch. It was so long ago that he'd tagged the two of them 'Jack 'n Jill' that the joke no longer brought even a synaptic tickle to smile, nor the urge to remember a time when it did.

Jill's whiskers were twitching to some kind of cat dream. What was he doing, in his dreams? he thought. Chasing mice, maybe? And does he remember them?

What a perfect expression of spiritual growth, he thought as he reached past the empty bags of chips and Chinese takeout boxes to scratch Jill behind his ears. It took comic genius to use an 'overgrown rat' as the inspiration for spiritual enlightenment!

Jack pushed his heavy black rimmed glasses back up his nose, brushed off the remnants of potato chips, nuts and dried noodles off his shirt. He looked out the window. He could see reflected in the blinded window in the building across from his suite that the sky was greyed with dark and threatening clouds. They reminded him of Phil Connor, Murray's weatherman, weathering with dismay his being betrayed by snow filled clouds and his misplaced faith in his meteorological science. Jack laughed. 'Science,' he told the cat, 'thinks that the simplistic act of naming things is enough. Hah! The label of DNA is as explanatory to the why of life as is Allah, Buddha and Anne of Green Gables combined.' Jill had heard this cant many times before, and so continued to dream his little dream of Koi and catfish flicking their tails just out of reach beneath the surface of a sun drenched pond.

From behind him, through the apartment door, Jack heard muffled voices. That's unusual, he thought. He strained his suddenly vicarious ear to hear what was being said. However, except for an odd or partial word or two, all he could distinguish was muffled female voices with a palpable edge of excitement.

Jack pushed himself up from the couch. That was unusual enough to wake Jill who cat-stretched while Jack waded through the ankle deep detritus to plant himself against the door. He looked through the peep hole through which he saw two very tall and large women standing face to face, both vociferously condemning the other and wildly gesticulating to make their points. 'You bitch!' seemed to be the most frequently used phrase as it was used repeatedly by both woman, but without the benefit of any details.

His long dormant and forgotten impulse to help caused his hand to involuntarily reach for the locks. Before he was even aware of what it was doing he'd slid off the chain and clicked open the deadbolt.

The two in the hallway heard the door unlock, and with that cue simultaneously stopped their mutual verbal assaults. Jack did not notice the silence when he opened the door and stepped through the doorway for the first time in many months.

'Excuse me,' he began to say, 'can I —

He didn't see them each swing one of their fists, heavily weighted with a roll of 50 cent coins, to make contact with his face. The combined force sent him flying backwards almost as fast as he was moving towards unconsciousness. As awareness left him his limp mass smashed against the arm of the couch with enough energy to push the couch through the bedroom door. Jill's feline instincts kicked in and he leapt from his end of the couch with the hope of alighting atop of the safe vantage of the high TV. But at least in part from his lack of practice Jill misjudged his strength and the TV's distance. He hit the flat screen full frontal before falling to the floor with stars spinning around his head, just like in the cartoons.

'Okay,' Jill heard a woman's familiar voice say, 'you take the one foot, I'll take the other.' Without quite being able to comprehend fully what he was seeing, it appeared that Jack was being dragged through a wave of garbage by two transvestites with the shoulders and biceps of wannabe bouncers. 'You'd think that this guy would learn,' he heard, 'that not paying the rent is bad business.'

He heard laughter. 'How many times does this make it that we've dragged this sorry ass back to his old man's place? Five, six?' More laughter. 'And every time he falls for it. Every time!'

The three people moved from his line of vision. 'Damn,' Jill heard echo from the hallway 'we can't forget the cat! The last time we did cost us our bonus!' With a peculiar feeling of deja vu Jill struggled to his feet on wobbly legs. He began to fight his way through the thick trash covering the floor back towards the partially destroyed couch. He hoped he would be able to hide under it, although the thought of what else might be under it already gave him an uneasy feeling.

But before he was even half way there he heard a 'Oh no you don't!' and an incredibly strong hand gripped him from under his chest and lifted him into the air. 'Gotcha! You seem to be getting slower, eh, cat?' And more laughter.

message 34: by M (new)

M | 11047 comments Guy, I thoroughly enjoyed this! What subtle but devastating humor. It’s perfectly paced, the character portrayal flawless. You should have a career on the side writing short stories and novels.

message 35: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Good job, guys :D

message 36: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments M, I am so very happy that you enjoyed this! I see these things I tend to write as being rather silly, and so don't do it too often. I really liked the prompt this time so dove in, and had no expectation of much more than an 'Oh! Interesting' at best kind of response. This has really made my day. :-D

Lydia, I'll read your story tonight when I'm not sneaking peaks into here instead of doing my work and can properly concentrate.

message 37: by Lydia (new)

Lydia | 109 comments Hee hee. Okay, Guy! By the way, I enjoyed reading your story. :D

message 38: by M (new)

M | 11047 comments Lydia, I don’t know how I missed your story. I’ll read it later tonight.

message 39: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments Wish I could get mine up. XP I tried, but I just can't figure out where to go...

message 40: by M (last edited Feb 29, 2012 05:08PM) (new)

M | 11047 comments An interesting story, Lydia, engagingly written. There’s a stepmother, but she isn’t a wicked one. One of the sisters is named after a character in Pride and Prejudice.

I can’t help but wonder who locks Jessica in the gym to face the dragon, and whether it’s intentional on the part of the girl who runs out.

The most interesting thing to me in the story is “My father joked about putting chalk under our pillow so we wouldn’t have bad dreams.”


Guy, it seems to me that in depth psychology, slaying a monster is metaphorical for what a man must accomplish in order to break the crippling psychological and emotional hold his mother has over him. Do you remember having read anything about that?

message 41: by Lydia (new)

Lydia | 109 comments Thanks, M! I didn't even realized I had named her Darcy until you pointed that out.. :D

I never really think my stories through, so I don't have an answer about the girl who runs out the gym... so you can make something up.

Yeah... I wanted to bring something in about the father so I decided to create a superstitious legened that I could have fun with. Thanks for your feedback! :D

message 42: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments Lydia, I enjoyed your fairy tale and its nice little allusions very much. Aliza is perhaps a misspelling of Eliza from Pygmalian and in context of this story an excellent allusion.

M, as to 'slaying the dragon' it is, like all myths that get examined under analytical psychology's eye, subject to the problem of yin & yang. Eastern myth sees the dragon as generally, although not always, positive. For example, it is considered a boon to be born in the year of the dragon, but creates challenges in the practice of feng shui. In the west, it is often associated with evil, but ambivalently. For example, there are our myths of dragons stealing a community's wealth and then sleeping on it in its den. On the other hand 'taming your dragon' is metaphorical for harnessing your internal energy, your personal 'spark,' so to speak.

[Side note: the myth of the dragon razing a community for its gold is actually a metaphor for how wealth is accumulated by the powerful: the wealth pools in fewer and fewer hands and the community gets poorer and poorer. The metaphor extends with how the elders invariably become the dragon's courtiers who defend the status quo and eventually urge the community to sacrifice their youth to save the community. That very argument was made to prop up the banks in America's recent banking debacle. And the reality of that sacrifice is demonstrated in the underfunding of schools, or, more to the point, in a recent report I saw that claims that about 25% of America's children do not have a secure access to their next meal.

I am bemused by how modern advertising practices create odd conflations, such as in naming a Canadian financier game show 'The Dragon's Den': people come to the wealthy dragons to convince them they are worthy investments, i.e. so their new/youthful ideas can be taken (eaten?) by the 'dragons' and sold to the world. The hope is that the supplicants can convince the financiers that their mousetrap will make everyone rich. End of side note.)

Part of the complexity of the dragon derives from its reptilian roots; the snake is the symbol of renewed life (hence its double presence on the caduceus), the problem of the acquisition of the knowledge of being alive (Eve being tempted by the snake into becoming awake/aware, i.e. alive). In the east this is taken very far, and snakes are becoming threatened with extinction as drinking the blood of a just killed snake is supposed to bring vigour, etc. To be 'on fire' is to be fully alive and to be successful.

The Greek myth of the Hydra (another dragon/serpent) describes the problem of slaying the dragon quite well: each time a head is lopped off, two grow back. It is also interesting that the Hydra was born from Gaia the earth, because that hints of the snake who fed Eve the apple that enslaved humanity to Gaia and banished them from Eden.

So slaying the dragon is doubly interesting and cannot be viewed as either good or bad out of context. In her book [book:The Problem of the Puer Aeternus|1404609] M.L. von Franz describes how Oedipus achieved world acclaim and success when he slew the Egyptian dragon, the Sphinx. He did this when confronted by a riddle which he answers, and when he used his sword to cut the gordian knot. What von Franz elaborates is that this intellectual success (the sword/knife is the intellectual skill needed to split logical hairs and distinguish between things), lead to an ungrounded ego inflation that ultimately led him to kill his father and marry his mother. It is a fascinating argument, and an example of an enantiodromia, where-by the ostensibly good thing becomes its opposite (or vice versa).

I mention this book because it is EXCELLENT — and a serious contender for being a top 5 of the all time must read books before death for anyone interesting in understanding human dynamics. But also because I detected a hint of this in Lydia's story. The protagonist wins the intellectual fight (citing something from memory) with a kind of trick or serendipity (like Oedipus cutting the knot instead of untying it). And, like Oedipus, the protagonist has allowed herself to become something she is not, inflated ego, which will in the normal course of psychological events lead to some kind of fall from grace.

Does that answer your question, M?

message 43: by M (last edited Mar 01, 2012 06:07AM) (new)

M | 11047 comments Guy, I have von Franz’s Puer aeternus (the revision of The Problem of the Puer aeternus). You’ve doubtless figured out that I’m one of them, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the problem of pueri is something I find particularly interesting.

I haven’t found what I was looking for, that I had mentioned, but these passages from Chapter III of Jung’s Aion (“The Syzgy: Anima and Animus”) describe the spell that has to be broken by some sort of deed, such as slaying a monster or going a grail quest:

“What, then, is this projection-making factor? The East calls it the ‘Spinning Woman’--Maya, who creates illusion by her dancing. Had we not long since known it from the symbolism of dreams, this hint from the Orient would put us on the right track: the enveloping, embracing, and devouring element points unmistakably to the mother, that is, to the son’s relation to the real mother, to her imago, and to the woman who is to become a mother for him. His Eros is passive like a child’s; he hopes to be caught, sucked in, enveloped, and devoured. He seeks, as it were, the protecting, nourishing, charmed circle of the mother, the condition of the infant released from every care, in which the outside world bends over him and even forces happiness on him. No wonder the real world vanishes from sight!

“If this situation is dramatized, as the unconscious usually dramatizes it, then there appears before you on the psychological stage a man living regressively, seeking his childhood and his mother, fleeing from a cold, cruel world which denies him understanding. Often a mother appears beside him who apparently shows not the slightest concern that her little son should become a man, but who, with tireless and self-immolating effort, neglects nothing that might hinder him from growing up and marrying. You behold the secret conspiracy between mother and son, and how each helps the other to betray life. . . .”

Jung, C. G. Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1959. (Page 11.)

message 44: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments M I did indeed have some idea that you and I had this in common - I too belong to the clan pueri, which is why Franz's book had such resonance. I've read Aion and 'The Syzygy', but not in some time. What you've cited are examples in which the slaying of the dragon (in whatever guise) is of course the correct thing and leads to emancipation. This has been loosely described as 'the hero's journey,' which Joseph Campbell explored thoroughly in his much lauded book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, but which I found hard to read.

The nature of the Lydia's story struck me as a cautionary tale more than a heroic voyage because the victory arose by serendipity and not heroics: the protagonist did not step forward and boldly face her fear, stare it in the eyes with shaking knees, and arrive victorious. That is why I rambled on about the ambivalent nature of slaying the dragon: it isn't always the correct thing. Even the nature of the protagonist's being distracted by images of the dragon from attending to life hints at the ambivalence: was this the creative imagination bringing freedom from stultifying schooling, or the illusion of Maya bringing about loss of soul? That the protagonist became inflated by her 'success' suggests the latter.

message 45: by Lydia (new)

Lydia | 109 comments Actually, Guy, I've never heard of Pygmalian, so it wasn't a misspelling. Would someone mind explaining why there's so much confusion about my story?

message 46: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments Lydia, I don't think there's confusion, just discussion. Unless I'm confused. Which is certainly possible.

And not heard of Pygmalian? Yikes, what's the world coming too? Just kidding, of course. However, it is one of the best plays of 20th century English. And the inspiration behind the musical and movie My Fair Lady.

message 47: by Lydia (new)

Lydia | 109 comments Okay... I think I'm just the one confused... :D
Ah.. okay. Maybe I'll have to reasearch it a little...

message 48: by M (new)

M | 11047 comments Lydia M. wrote: “Would someone mind explaining why there’s so much confusion about my story?”

For some of us, the most fun thing about reading a story is taking it apart to figure out what makes it tick. I’ve assumed that anybody who posts a story is open to having group members try their analytical skills on it.

message 49: by Guy (last edited Mar 01, 2012 01:14PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11105 comments Lydia M. wrote: “Would someone mind explaining why there’s so much confusion about my story?”

And it is a sign of a good story when it sparks discussion and creates argument and searches for understanding/meaning. Especially if the writer did not have anything of the sort in mind when s/he wrote it! It means the story has something substantive or evocative about it. For the cronies like M and myself, our advanced years gives us the ability to bring in references from many different places. As M says, this then becomes a great part of the fun of reading.

message 50: by M (new)

M | 11047 comments There are people who read for plot, and people who read less for plot than for what plot reveals about the characters or about life.

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