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From the film "Poltergeist"

From the film “Poltergeist”

It’s true!  After over a week of radio silence, like the scary ghosts in Poltergeist, I’m back!  With a vengeance!

Not sure how many of you have read the incredible book by Christopher Vogler, called “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers”, but reading it was one of those crystallizing moments in my journey as a writer. If you haven’t read it and you are a writer, I highly encourage you to do so. In it, Mr. Vogler utilizes Joseph Campbell’s concept of the mythic hero’s journey as it relates to story telling in an absolutely magical and instructive way. And for those of you who are NOT writers, I’d recommend Joseph Campbell’s book, “The Hero’s Journey”. I guarantee it will be paradigm-shifting for you!

But I digress (Golly, me? Digress? Impossib– Oh, look, a dog.).

The last stage of the Hero’s Journey is called “Return with The Elixir”. And it implies that the hero has completed her quest, manifested the necessary metamorphosis, and comes home victorious. Cue the feasting and the dancing.

Thusly have I returned, after a week of the most intense and focused work I’ve ever done on a novel yet, also victorious. My novel is complete, revised and out with beta readers. I have never been so excited – and yet so terrified – at any point in my career.

I spent all of last week virtually internet free. I took some vacation days from the evil day job.  I didn’t check emails, I didn’t check Skype, I didn’t log onto Facebook or Twitter or even WordPress. I just glued by ample posterior to the booth seat at my local Panera Bread, plugged in my laptop and worked. Six hours a day for five days. The only time I got up was to either refill my cup of decaf, to make room in my bladder for MORE decaf, or to vacate the booth in favor of a smaller table during the lunch rush. I had all my notes lined up (big shout out to Holly Lisle — for her HTRYN course!), had my copy of Scrivener open and I just jammed through it until I was done. BTW – Scrivener is an indispensable writer’s software tool.  Check it out at http://www.literatureandlatte.com.

Now, on the other side of the whole journey, I DO feel like the returning hero! It was a transformative process, unlike anything I’ve ever been through. It isn’t often these days that I get through an experience and really feel changed by it, feel a major sense of accomplishment. But this was definitely one of those moments for me. And now that I know I can do this once, I’m already gearing up to revise the second novel in the series after Camp Nano is over in August.

What have been some of your defining moments? What was the feat that brought you home as the victorious hero, bearing the magic elixir? I’d love to hear about them!