Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Moons and Wolves: Metaphorical Symbolism in Reality Fiction – LK Hunsaker

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 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.

comingsoon-OffTheMoon-smlWatch for my Book Tour next month, hosted by CRR Promotions!

LK Hunsaker

~Literary Romance with an Artsy Twist~


Lindsay Townsend said...

Fascinating and perceptive blog, LK!
I agree about the power of the moon in our lives, and the power of instinct.
Looking forward to the release of your OFF THE MOON.

LK Hunsaker said...

Thanks Lindsay! I had fun with this post.

Helen Hardt said...

Wow, I really enjoyed this. The moon fascinates me.

Savanna Kougar said...

LK, wonderful use of symbolism. The more I learn, the more I'm convinced shamanism and animal spirits are real. But, that's just me.
Also, I'll take boots on the ground over scientists, anyday. Many police officers and hospital nurses/workers will tell you the full moon always hypes things up. I don't think they're creating it out of expectation. Just my opinion, though.
What is scientifically true, is that the human body is mostly composed of water. The moon does raise the tides and it 'raises' or moves the water of our bodies, or brains.

LK Hunsaker said...

Helen, thank you!

Savanna, I see both sides of the coin. Science of course has valid points, but if you close your mind to things you can't prove, you lose half of what you could truly know. My opinion. If we were meant to "know" everything, what point would there be in faith of any kind? And why would you want to live without faith in at least something?

Savanna Kougar said...

L.K. ~ hmmm... if I implied I'd closed my mind to science, that wasn't my intention. I've always liked science and done my best to understand what science has to offer humanity.
My own life experience suggests that science doesn't get it right at times. Nope, I don't have 'faith' in science in and of itself, especially since science has a habit of disproving itself.
How faith came about here, I'm not certain. I have faith in what I consider to be the Divine, certainly not in what science says it can prove and disprove.

StephB said...

Very interesting, Loraine. The only comment I can make and I'm not a fan of statics, but when there's a full moon, our call load at 911 in LA goes up. There's more of everything - loud parties to violent crime. EVERYONE on the phones those day feel the increase. Many can be heard asking, "Is there a full moon tonight?" I do think the moon tugs on us as it pulls on the tides and some are more (or less) balanced to feel it.

Good luck with your new book, Loraine. I can tell you've put a lot of thought & symbolism into it. It looks to be a good read.


Celia Yeary said...

LORAINE--you opened a Pandora's box, here. The pull of the moon--I do believe this from personal experience. And I understood Steph's story of the 911 calls. I can't sleep during a full moon--at least not as well as I usually do. and I never know when there's actually a full moon. I just feel my adrenalin surge enough to wake me up. And I have a science background.
Your explanation of the wolf howling at the moon was interesting--that image has certainly been romanticized, hasn't it? Good post--Celia

LK Hunsaker said...

Savanna, that's not what I meant. I mean too many scientists close their minds to anything else. In process of my psych degree, I took a class called experimental psych, full of scientific method. Yes, it disproves itself often. There's actually very little it CAN prove. I'm agreeing with you. :-)

LK Hunsaker said...

Steph, I have heard that. I've also read articles saying it's not true. But I'd tend to take the word of those who SEE it over those who say they've disproved it. Thanks for chiming in!

LK Hunsaker said...

Celia, controversy tends to follow me although I never try for that!

I'm willing to look at both sides of things in general. Yes, I think there are a lot of supernatural things that will never be scientifically explained, and that's good. ;-)

liana laverentz said...

Maybe it's a case of quality (for lack of a better word) over quantity. Maybe it's that the more memorable episodes of wierdness happen during a full moon, so it just seems like more things happen then, because when you reach back for the memories that stand out, they happen to coincide with a full moon.

I'm a wridr...the word used to post this.

Savanna Kougar said...

L.K. ~ my apologies. I misunderstood.
Personally, I've read science studies that 'prove' and 'disprove' the pull of the moon, both.
Who am I going to believe, those like Steph who have direct experience.
Plus, it only makes logical sense to me that if the moon can cyclicly cause high tides and the human body is composed mostly of water, then there is an influence.
As someone else said this may be felt more or less by individuals.
Besides, our characters are who they are and they believe what they believe, given their personal history, unless they come to a new understanding.
Heck, I learn the error of my ways ~ like misunderstanding you ~ a lot and I learn something new everyday.

LK Hunsaker said...

Liana, that could be part of it, too. The brain is an amazing thing, isn't it?

Savanna, I was unclear. That could have gone either way. Glad you came back. Yes, it does make sense to me, too, that if the moon has that much affect on water, it would affect us, as well. And I do think some will notice more than others. I've actually been called highly intuitive and I do believe in things you can't see or prove, but that you can feel. For instance, I'll think strongly of someone a couple of seconds before I receive an email or phone call from them. Science would never prove that. It doesn't make it untrue.

And thank you. I'm flattered. I always enjoy our discussions here. :-)