Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 21 of the Golden Coffee Cup: Myth Teller Janet Lee Carey

Today we get a relaxed high-five from the inventive myth teller Janet Lee Carey. (BTW, she's a Golden Coffee Cupper. Oh, yay for the company we keep!)

LitArt Photography/Heidi Pettit

Here is an ethereal high five from Janet's book, Wenny Has Wings.

And here is a provoctive high five from Janet's book, Dragon's Keep.

I don't call Janet a story teller, author, or even writer, for me she is the great myth teller of our times. Myth is a pesky concept for scholars, and few can agree about the exact meaning. For me, myths are stories that aren't so connected to the facts but are exploring the inexplicable and the unknowable. These stories dip beyond facts and theories and into that space where facts fail us, and we are left floundering in depths of the metaphysical. Oh, Janet dives fearlessly into these waters. Her characters are ordinary people, but she's always peeling back the veil revealing them as supernatural beings. This sense that we are all simply more. This is the heart of the myth teller.

I return to Janet's books again and again. She seeks the connections between the beginning, the now and the end. There is something deeply functional about her myth telling, challenging our beliefs and core values about individuals, always widening that to the families, friendships and beyond to communities. She totally gets Koinonia - the intimate participation that we have with one another, the fellowship of humanity. I feel her stories cut through the water of mystery and unknown and in the deepest way reveal what is sacred to us all. Yes, she is reconciling the good and the bad, light and dark, meaning and meaningless. Her exploration of what it means to be, diving effortlessly into the mythic questions, “Why are we here?” “Who are we?” “What is our purpose?” etc., for me is deeply comforting. Her stories call her readers to become the best version of who they can be.

I could really go on for pages, but I'm going to stop now because, hey, I've got to sleep sometime.

I hope that you read one of her books, watch for her upcoming titles, expect to be moved out of your current orbit to one closer to the fiery energy of the sun. I hope that you will consider how myth might inform your work today. I pray you may find the sacred in you writing today.

And for Janet, 'cause I know she's reading this. Stay on course.

Most of us have trouble sticking to our writing when it's not going well. This isn't usually due to a lack of creativity, but an unwillingness to hang in there with the ugly stuff, the unpolished prose, the awkward scene with stumbling dialogue; but hanging in there is key. Accepting good and bad material from the subconscious mind keeps the story flowing. Janet Lee Carey

One more thing... on the 30th of this month there is going to be a real life party, Golden Coffee Cuppers. Holly Cupala has a plan:

"Another idea that has captured my imagination and fueled the fire of my goal-reaching is an upcoming party to celebrate the Golden Coffee Cup, NANOWRIMO, and any other writing or illustration goals made and/or accomplished during the month of November, kind of like kidlit drink night except more like NANO-Cup-O-Cake-A-Drink-Lit Night on November 30th.

So if you want to come together with some wonderful creative folks, mark the date. More info is coming soon. Post if you want to come. Thanks.

Post you successes too, folks, so I can SNAP!


Anonymous said...

An inspiring writer and message! Sometimes, in the midst of struggling through unpolished prose, I think, "this probably comes so much easier to other writers." Maybe not. And so we forge ahead . . .
Trudi T.

Kjersten said...

Perfect message for today! I'm getting over a hump of my own in my work today.

Also putting my nose to the grindstone after being inspired by the likes of Holly and Jolie and their crazy output over the last few days...

MollyMom103 said...

Trudi T. We are all in this ship together. It's a steadying thought.

Kjersten: SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! for you, Holly and Jolie!!! Banding together is a sure sign of someone with a plan to succeed.

We are on the downhill stretch!

holly cupala said...

Beautiful words about Janet, who is an inspiration to me in so many ways. She is a writer who shares her soul in her books, and with the world.