Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wolves and the Moon: Metaphorical Symbolism in Reality Fiction

Why do wolves howl at the moon?

Well, they don’t, of course. Not in reality. They howl while the moon is out and literature – yes, we writers – perpetuates the howling wolf at a full moon scenario so often they are forever intertwined. Why not? Myth and legend are powerful things. In a strange way, they help us rationalize our world when nothing else makes sense. And it can be a lot of fun.

I don’t write paranormal, but I couldn’t help jumping in on the paranormal event here [originally posted at Lindsay’s Romantics Oct 2009)  since I do draw on symbolism that comes from supernatural events to create metaphor in my next-to-come, Off The Moon.

The biggest superstition I pulled was that of the full moon relating to insanity. The book title is a hint at the heroine, Kaitlyn, who could be an actual case study for a psychologist (and may become that). It’s said that there are more “crazy” happenings and more suicides under a full moon. Statistics don’t verify that, but it’s so ingrained in our cultural myths by now that statistics hardly matter.

I hear you scientist type people out there groaning about now. But few will deny the power of the mind. Do strange things happen because of the full moon? Yes, I’m quite sure they do. Why? Because so many of us tell ourselves they do and thoughts are highly self-perpetuating. In other words, because we expect strange things to happen, we help cause them to happen or we relate it to the full moon when otherwise we wouldn’t.

I also used the wolf symbol as a metaphor. Wolves are strong animals, and familial. We all know the phrase, “wolves mate for life.” Wolves are also seen as lonely because of their mournful howl. In my novel, Ryan has a thing for wolves although he thinks of himself as rather an antithesis of a wolf. He’s independent but only to the point he has everyone else doing everything for him, pop star fashion, and he thinks his temporary companionships are all he wants in between his musical freedom. The wolf touches his soul, though, and he can’t deny its spirit within himself. Some authors have a hero turn into a werewolf to show his powerful animal nature. I have my anti-hero draw on his wolf spirit to turn into a hero.

Off The Moon is reality fiction highly steeped in symbols and metaphors often used in the paranormal world. The mating of the “crazy” heroine with the “wolf” anti-hero brings about sparks diffused by the calming symbolism of water.  

Happy Halloween!

About the Story

"Riveting" Ryan Reynauld is immersed in a world of music, parties, and temporary companionship. Having risen to the top of the pop charts, his biggest concern is objecting to the way his music is produced. That is, until he finds a young woman standing on a window ledge. Against the advice of family and friends, and through media attacks and fan protests, Ryan determines to care for her himself, making a promise that threatens to destroy his career.

Convincing the skittish girl she can learn to trust again comes with a steep price. Sometimes the path to recovery begins by allowing your world to implode.

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