The Heroine’s Journey


The success of the latest Wonder Woman film has drawn attention to the role of the strong heroine in storytelling. This article by screenwriter Ken Miyamoto takes on the classic hero structure by Joseph Campbell and discusses how the heroine’s journey is cast a bit differently (but not any less powerful or transformational).

I actually wrote about this topic in graduate school (part of that essay was published in the online mag Women Writers ) and I was largely informed by Ursula K. Le Guin’s writing (which came out in the 1980s!)–check out especially her essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction.” Here, Le Guin posits that the novel resists the classic “hero” story; that, like a medicine bundle, it’s a bundle of words and relationships. Science fiction, like that from Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy and Joanna Russ, in particular pose challenges to patriarchally-infused storytelling that Campbell laid out.

Film, with its use of multiple modes (language, visual, music) perhaps needs a more streamlined, recognizable structure, but it’s good to see teachers and screenwriters recognizing and discussing that ways that in this day and age, we need to reconceptualize Campbell’s monomyth. Interesting stuff, and I like how Miyamato brings this full circle to talk about how looking at story in this way brings new depth to stories and films–whatever the gender.


Scents of Summer

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Post blog 

I love the smell of fresh herbs, especially mint and basil. I have a big pot of mint on my deck and sometimes I just go out and snap off a leaf and sniff it; I also add it to water for a little flavor enhancer. Basil is lovely too but doesn’t seem to be as hardy as mint. My daughter asks for mints when she’s taking a test because they help stimulate her brain.

Another favorite scent is coconut. I love coconut anything, and then there’s the scent of suntan lotion/sunscreen. Not all of them have that scent, but that to me is what most powerfully conjures up memories of summer–long days at a beach, getting wonderfully drowsy in the sun, few cares in the world.