A Writer's Hero Journey...Part 6

Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka | Source

The Return…

After leaving the lake we find ourselves at an intersection of hallways. Our journey’s winding down and the most important consideration is getting Faye on her way to Burning Man. We’re headed down one of those halls, which has illuminated neon signs pointing the way.

There's a few loose ends that need to be tidied up. My elusive ‘Ultimate Boon’ is still un-located, I believe I still have a final test before I can get out of here, and my party is scattered hither and yarn across my imagination. I do not, however, anticipate that I will need Faye’s help in these matters.

“Do you feel like a writer now?” Faye asks as we move down the brightly lit hall.

I contemplate any metamorphosis that may have occurred.

“Kind of I think.” I admit, “Either way…I want to thank you for helping me along on this journey.” I tell her.

“Well you didn’t really give me a choice.” She says while smiling her enigmatic ‘Faye’ smile.

“True that…still…”

“Your welcome, Thomas. I’m glad I was able to help.”


Balance Test...
Balance Test... | Source

Final Test…

As we amble down the hall…my gay-dar starts ringing…

Ahead of us…floating across our path is a rogue forum posting that has busted out of the confines of the Forum areas.

With the salacious title, ‘IS the Gay Liberal Left Trying to Highjack our Sexuality?’ I falter and stop.

Faye continues forward before noticing me holding back. She’s standing in the middle of the posting when she looks back.

“What?” She asks.

Although I have not been using my ‘equipment’ for much more than dispensing with excess Mountain Dew lately…like the good Boy Scout I never was…I want to be prepared…

“Are you serious? How is this any less dumb then those other postings?” Faye asks after noticing the title.

The reasoning part of my brain agrees with her whole heartedly. Still…my feet hold steadfast as my intellect and penis debate the philosophical implications of this pornographic Pascal’s Wager. After all…hasn’t Creative Voice been acting pretty weird? The tights…the elf shoes…well…I kind of liked the elf shoes…what does THAT signify?

“Thomas…” Faye’s voice pushes into my mental/penis ruminations. “Thomas!”

“What?”

“Do you need some help?”

“I could use an assist.” I concede.

“OK. Go for it.” She allows.

“Are you sure?” I ask.

Upon her playful nod I mentally remove the seventeen square inches of fabric that have been straining against her voluptuous body throughout our trip and look at her completely naked. I feel the stirrings of a new character in my cargo shorts. I’m not concerned about excessive dialogue…he tends towards the quiet side. I now have a new problem; however, I still can’t walk…but for an entirely different reason…

When the Forum posting realizes it holds no sway over me…it vanishes.

“So dear,” I say, “Perhaps we should say bye here?”

The entrance to Burning Man is a scant hundred yards away.

“You have a hard-on and can’t walk?” She asks.

“Yes.”

“Well I’m glad I was able to help!” She walks back to me and we hug (I twist my hips slightly).

“Would you like your clothes back?” I inquire.

Without hesitation she replies, “What the hell for? It’s Burning Man. I’ll see you next week!” Faye walks proudly through the entrance naked as I proudly watch her walk through the entrance naked.

Internal CD player…swirl, swirl…’Brick House’.

“Oh hey…good to have you back little buddy!” I exclaim.


Source

Reunions and Ultimate Boons…

Creative Voice comes walking up to me. He looks haggard. Scorch marks, ripped tights, sweat stains…he’s a mess. His Star Wars helmet is badly dented and the ‘curl’ on his left elf shoe was nearly completely ripped away. He’s holding a briefcase and a box of Captain Crunch.

Pointing at my crotch he asks, “So…did Faye just leave here naked or are you happy to see me?”

“Faye just left here naked.” I confirm.

“NUH-UH!” Cries out, a suddenly distraught, Creative Voice as his head begins whipping about like an unattended fire hose. “Is she coming back?? Did she mention me?”

“No. She’s at Burning Man.” I tell him. “Where did you get the Captain Crunch?”

“I got into a bad scrape in the Grammar Forums and had to escape through a secret tunnel that led out into the pirate hubs…I found it back there.” He answers as his eyes move about furtively for a glimpse of naked Faye.

“HOW DARE YOU!” I roar at him. “You dare to impugn the good Captain’s name by insinuating he cavorts with brigands!? I will have your head you cad!!”

“Calm the fuck down.” He replies blandly as he flips the box around so I can see the front. Peanut butter.

“My bad dude,” I apologize, “I thought it was the real deal. What’s in the briefcase?”

“I don’t know. I couldn’t figure out the combination.”

Taking the case from him I think for a moment. I enter Faye’s phone number and the locks snap open. Opening the case…a yellow glow shines out…my Ultimate Boon.

I briefly considered leaving it at that…ala Quentin Tarantino…but I’m too excited. I reached in and lovingly stroke the neatly stacked rows of new post-it-notes pads.

“Where’s Homer?” I ask casually while admiring my new riches.

“He took off with Justin Timberlake to go clubbing.”

Things appear to be tying together nicely. Creative Voice, Internal CD player, and I go home.


Source
Truman after a long Hero's Journey...
Truman after a long Hero's Journey...
Our new friend...Millie
Our new friend...Millie

Back in Real World Reno…

We drop Internal CD player off at the Radio Shack for servicing and I go to the store to pick up a few items. It’s agreed that Creative Voice would take a few days off and we would all meet back at my place after the Labor Day holiday.

When I get to the house I’m thrilled to see that Truman has made it home! He’s passed out on the couch and looking tore back. Suddenly, hearing sounds at the back of the house, I go and investigate. I suddenly understood why he had looked so excited earlier…

Her breed is a ‘Petite Lab’ but she appears far more lab than petite. When I first made her acquaintance she was only a butt with a tail as the rest of her was stuck in our trash can. She eventually adopted Erika and Jamie and they named her Millie.

I’m putting away the groceries when the cold fingers of dread dance up my spine. I look up to find three sinister-type looking guys, in grey fedoras standing in my kitchen.

“Who the hell are you guys?” I demand.

“Hi! We’re with Hubpages Staff and we just want to remind you that you need to complete your summary statements on your hubs!! Just a friendly reminder!”

“Oh well shit…you guy’s scared the crap out of me. I know…I know…it’s been a rough week. I’ll take care of it.”

They wish me well as I go back to putting my groceries away.

How did I forget cheese?


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Comments 20 comments

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

OMG - I absolutely loved this. I laugh out loud everytime I read something from you. Luckily, no one is around to witness these acts of insanity as I reel back in my desk chair and slap my hands on my knees. Luckily they also didn't witness that I accidently hurt myself a little.

Loved this... was expecting you to find a pair of ruby red sneakers and put them on and say there is no place like home, however, I am thoroughly satisfied that you ended it the way you did... reminding me that I have over 100 hubs to write those damn summaries for! Thanks!

I am still laughing!!!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

I am always glad when I can get a grin outta ya dear...but please...safety first...I would rather you didn't hurt yourself! The red slippers were in an earlier (mental)draft...as were hallucinatory brownies from Burning Man...I'm glad you liked the final approach. (sigh) ...yeah...article summaries...


jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

Article Summaries???? Maybe I should decompress after the Burn before I even begin to fathom what those are and where they can go. Great read. Keep it up!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

lol...yes...do some decompressing...the Article Summaries will be there when you are ready! I'm glad you enjoyed the read jhamann!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

My secret to those damn article summaries... Ignore them... and then when I choose to link them... I will write one up really quick so it looks like it already has one. Sometimes I slack... ok... I slack about 99.999998% of the time! :) I shared this on facebook. I hope a few other people got a kick out of it. Don't worry about the injury though. I bruise easily. You should see me after I come off a rollercoaster! LOL


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Thanks on the Facebook thing! The Betty Situation just pulled a bunch of new hits...I did some tracking...they came from your site! I should buy YOU uncomfy shoes to say thank you!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ha ha - I would appreciate some uncomfy shoes. I am a girl after all and have an obsession with them. However, I usually fall back on good ole reliable flip flops. can't help it... love the sound they make ;)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

slap, slap, slap...yes...flip-flop sound like I am accomplishing something! OK...warning...any shoe I get you....will show a lot of foot. You know...a strappy number :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ha ha - I am game! I like all kinds of shoes!


nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 5 years ago from Serbia

This has really been a fantastic journey, Thomas!

Even though I love Quentin Tarantino and his ideas, you have just stepped over him and some other people, and climbed the ladder of my favorite 'creators' :)

I mean it - you are not merely a writer, you are a CREATOR!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Boskov...

As long as that in no way implies 'child support' payments...i thank you. Even if it does...I thank you...but I can't afford to do the child-support payment.

Quentin Tarantino has a crazy unique vision. I hope the snapfish coupon keyword density thing went well for you my friend!

Thomas


Lapse profile image

Lapse 5 years ago from East Coast Rules

Nice!!! Will Faye ever do an expose on all the sordid stuff that I assume went on behind the scenes? It would be located in the DVD extras section...


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

James...

Perhaps since all the sordid stuff (that occurred behind the scenes) occurred in MY head...I guess I would need to be the one to write the sordid commentary. I am up for it!

James...thank you for reading this series my friend...You are good people! I hope you liked it!

Thomas


Lapse profile image

Lapse 5 years ago from East Coast Rules

Oh yea you'd write it. Good point... Although maybe I meant the Faye in your head would write it! Umm yea that's what I meant.

I did enjoy it. Kinda flew through parts 3 - 6. Read a lot of the comments though also. No one liked it as much as barbergirl! HA!

Question about their releases though... how much time did you wait between parts?


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

James...

(laughing) Yup...Barbergirl did like this one!

I am glad you liked it...this provided the prototype for my later story 'Crunching and Punching' (in terms of a big epic type of attempt).

This one was nice because it had to be completed within the outlines of Conrad's Hero Journey story...Crunching and Punching was like doing it without that safety net.

In terms of release...I spastically hit the button six times in a row and so they were all released within like four minutes. I've often wondered if that was the issue.

Thank you for your feedback my good friend!

Thomas


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Lapse 5 years ago from East Coast Rules

Ah ok this answers some of my questions regarding my idea about the serial concept. You should put at LEAST 2 to 3 days between releases... maybe even a week! Obviously this is just an idea and I have no idea if, it'll work better. I just wonder if for example:

(1) some people weren't that into part 1 or 2 so they checked out on the rest, if you wait a week you can catch people off guard and they'll forget that they didn't love it and read it before they remember! Lol... Its a little deceptive, but that's their problem!!!

(2) People might be a little like me in that if I wasn't your 2nd or 3rd biggest fan (OBVIOUSLY behind barbergirl and maybe boskov - criteria for ranking is that we're the only three that posted on Part 6, Hmm...) I probably wouldn't have invested the hour or two reading your "Homeric" tale. Direct parallel to the buffer on a computer right? These people can only take so much at a time. :-) Also its TOTALLY a thing where absence makes the heart grow fonder. Yes it may sound odd, but too many ThoughtSandwiches at a time can be a bad thing - we get fat. Gotta keep the public...hungry? Can't...force feed us? You don't want to... cram yourself down our throats? HA HA HA... okay FOUR cheesy puns on your name is enough.

(3) Plus I in the other hub I wondered if the cliffhangers were cliff hanging enough. With the slam bam thank you ma'am approach like you used I guess they don't have to be, but if you space them out like I theorize you should they need to be hairier. I KNOW you cold do it in a goofy cool way.

If you try it out just take your next normal length story and make it a 2 parter right? Then REALLY make a cool hook for the 2nd part. Then wait like a week!

ADVANTAGE? You could even cheat and read all the comments on the first part, then TWEAK the hell out of the 2nd part to really get them. Maybe? You should ALSO make some really screwy additions to the 2nd part that make no sense and because of your rep, they'll be funny, where as if us mere mortals did it, we'd get questioned.

I should go be an evil marketer... That should be my SUPER power!!! The power to read people's minds to find their weakness, so that I could use it against them and torture them with my entrepreneurial offerings... For that I'd give up my left eye and wear an eye patch because it would make me look really sinister, just like the fedora guys! Damn... MORE ideas that looks GREAT on paper!!! Might just be on MY paper right???

Hey we need to get babrbergirl in on this conversation! She's fun to post the day away with also...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ok.... I am here... you dragged me in this. I will admit this was one hell of a funny series... I read the whole thing in one sitting. But maybe that is because I am a little insanse and because ThoughtSandwhiches makes me hungry for more (well, when i have the time anyway!) :) ha ha - got resist the bad humor on that one...

As for my opinion... when you are doing a series I think you are going to lose some people anyway. Regardless of how good you are... not everybody is going to stay and read. Just Ask Susan did a fictional type series and it was great. She posted it once a week or whenever she finished writing the next part. She left us hanging and that really worked for a lot of people. That made it successful. But I know there was another series another hubber was doing. I missed the first couple and before I realized it, it was on part 10ish or something. Because I had so much reading to catch up on and not enough time... ever to do it... I didn't even bother starting in the middle. So two different stories - two different aspects of success.

So, when it comes to a series... my P90X one kind of is but it can stand by itself if it needs to... I wouldn't suggest leaving long lapses in between. It can get lost in the sauce. However, I don't know if publishing them 4 minutes apart would really be ideal either because it could get overwhelming for some. You have to find that sweet spot. Get the first one started... make them want more and wait until the next day or so to post the next one. However, you want it fresh in their heads... and I don't believe in making them too long otherwise some won't hang. When you start saying Part 7 or part 8 people see there is a commitment there and run... run fast.

However, this series is already done. I think it is an absolute gem. Now that you have a bit more of a following... I would go back to the beginning of the series and start pimping it. You can link it into Hub Hoppers on Facebook and maybe catch some that haven't read it yet... then you can even tweet it. Alot of success when it comes to creative writing is from the pimping. Just a personal opinion. But you want it to begin from the beginning so only pimp the first story and draw them in. Also, and I would have to go and check, but make sure to link to the stories and in all your stories you should have a link back to the beginning. Kind of like I do in the P90X series. That way if someone comes across one of the middle sections they can start from the beginning. But you need that at the top. If they read the entire thing right away they have already started so you want to say "Bam - go to the beginning and read the whole thing!"

Ha ha - how is that for input! LOL


Lapse profile image

Lapse 5 years ago from East Coast Rules

Alright Negative Nancy. 8-) You hear that TS? She says her P90X series is better. :-P

I didn't say this, but just go for a 2 parter. And I think you should do at least 2 days between releases. I'd have to read Susan's and the other one. You say Susan's was good? What's the title? I'll judge it for myself...

But even though you try not to make it too bloggish I think your P90x one IS a blog. Nothing wrong with that and you do a good job of getting non-bloggish stuff in there, but its still like a journal right?

One issue with the Writer's Hero Journey (WHJ) is that I really think it appeals significantly more to established fans. I 'm guessing it didn't hook too many new fans... I bet if I saw SIX parts I might bow out if reading TS for the first time. Just a thought.

But seriously TS's NORMAL hubs that are just singles are easily long enough by my standard's to chop into 2. And I still like the idea of reading the comments on one and adjusting the subsequent parts accordingly. Maybe its not that easy... I would think however in Creative Voice's world though where reality is altered all the time it would be. :-)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ha ha - Negative Nancy... nice! LOL - My P90X one actually sucks. It doesn't get nearly as many hits as my actual real hubs. It is more of a journal... definately bloggish. I already know that... but to avoid being to bloggy I have to actually put relative and important information in there. Like today's - ok so I haven't published it yet - is going to be so totally important - everybody is going to want to read it! (Sarcasim in full effect!)

Actually I love the Writer's Hero Journey. And honestly we could speculate what is right and what is wrong and the only thing that is right is what feels right to the writer. I only read what I want to because my time is very crunched. I enjoyed the whole 5 hours it took me to get through ever single one of these in one sitting :)

I said it before, but I love the way TS thinks... makes me think... and that is a dangerous thing! :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

James and Stacy...

Crap...I'm late to my own editor's meeting...(passes around Mountain Dew) ...I have some string-cheese in case this turns into a math thing...

Now...allow me to start by saying...this dialogue has bumped (part 6) to over 100 views. I consider that a victory!

I can see how too much ThoughtSandwiches could be like watching a Three Stooges Marathon...sure...the first nine hours are great...(James...loved the cheesy puns)

This conversation has helped quite a bit in terms of my thinking...what went wrong? I think a delayed (spoon-feeding) of the subsequent parts would have led to a higher profile...alas...I am off to Facebook for pimping purposes. (where is my hat with feather and pimp coat? ...oh yeah...here they are).

Stacy...you are right...numerous parts will send the reader scampering! There are about seven series (the Susan one included!) that I have to go back to and make sure I finished. By that same token...there are even more that I have seen but when I noted...Part 25...yeah...I see what you mean! I will be adding that thingy at the top of each section leading back to the first one...that's a $4.00 idea in my book! No...I have no change...I will be keeping the whole $5.00.

James...I like the idea of having a second part of a story...that in NO way relates to the first part...I have Creative Voice looking at options there.

Stacy..."AND 100 push-ups!" I say as I look around wondering if any one noticed I came in...did one push-up...called it 100? You are a trooper my friend....not only of the doing of the P90X...but then of also writing about it!

Would this play better with a larger following? Hmm...my best hope is to catch people of guard...if they are already following...they know what crap they are in store for and (I would think) wisely act like they didn't see me waving my hands over here to come read...

James...you are correct...barbergirl is a blast to chatter with all day. Stacy...you are correct...thinking like me is a dangerous thing. Let's blow some stuff up!

Thomas

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