Know Your Archetype: Maiden, Mother, Crone

Seems nice enough: she gave me her hat, after all.

(Really trying to get over whatever it is that makes me want to pinch Kristin Stewart. I adore Charlize Theron, so I think I’ll be able to stomach my way through this seemingly gorgeous film. It looks beautiful.)

But this is a tale as old as any–the passage of time personified by a wrinkle, or lack thereof. The Maiden, Mother, Crone archetype is the embodiment of promise, desire, fertility, and then wisdom. At every stage of life, our roles and responsibilities change. As I am sitting here, I find myself having a hard time writing about this archetype(s). The cliches are too thick to wade through, and–oh, must be honest. I am too in the middle zone of this phase of life to be a fair judge of either one to my left or right. No longer the young maiden, and not quite to crone phase, this middle zone is pulled.

But let me work in a fairy-tale framework:

The maiden, pure, and innocent, her only gifts or attributes of any value are her youth (beauty) and innocence.  I hope that when a younger audience reads anything from Game of Thrones they at least spend a few moments to look up ‘maidenhead,’ and hopefully will not find it in the Urban Dictionary. So much stock is placed on virginity, and from a biological imperative there is good reason.  (Seriously, forget Guild Wars or WoW – how about Biological Sperm Wars!) Sorry, my apologies. I realize some of you have not had your morning coffee yet. The power of the Maiden is in her power of promise, of potential. It’s either in her child-bearing hips or her rose-red lips. But it’s all about the visual; she doesn’t need a personality or wisdom at this stage of the game, she has her looks.

The Mother figure has her own archetype, but in this triptych, she is simply the nester. She watches over her little chicks as best she can, and in most fairy-tales is usually dead before the turn of the second page, because the real conflict is between the maiden and the crone. Those two are separated by years of hardship, wrinkle cream, and mirrors. The Mother is all about sacrifice: she is devoted to her child/ren, and her sexuality or personal desires are a far distant memory from what she may have hoped for in her maiden phase.

The Crone: of the three, she is perhaps the most interesitng and dynamic. She ranges from evil witch, surrounded by fear and superstition,  or a jealous woman past her prime (again with the wrinkle cream! Stop!) to the wise sage of the village, the Mother Goose, story teller, advisor, and nurturer. She doesn’t have to compete with the maidens any more, so she can relax and revel in her glorious moo-moo dispensing wisdom and cookies. But mostly she’ll cut out your heart or chase you with flying monkeys: don’t piss her off.

Now, looking forward to the next phase of my own life, I was telling cross-dressing rogue I wouldn’t mind going into it looking like Helen Mirren. But damn, not sure I looked that good when I was the maiden. Sure there’s a photo around here somewhere.

The problem with these archetypes is not that they exist, but that they are still so pervasive in our culture. Why can’t the Queen “win” because she’s smart, not because she’s evil? Why can’t Snow White get a pimple? But they are difficult to escape. As I have said before, I am not a 7’tall Draenei female in real life. “No?” you say. “No.” But for a few hours I get to look at a mirror-mirror computer screen and be forever young, and strong. And if I stack up my intelligence rating, smart, too.

Looks good on me…

Fresh-squeezed mana. With pulp.

Lizzy: is it possible to, well, um…how do I become a better shaman healer? Good elves are dying, and I can’t hit those buttons any faster–I want to make it rain! Rain NOW! (This is best said in an Arnold-voice.) “Mar-reeAH, get me da doilet pappeer, NOW!” Okay. That was inpsired by Amateur’s imitation, and I can’t quite pull it off.

But I need help. And not just with my Austrian accent.

I switched up some talents, moved some things around, and what I want to do it make stuff go faster. I feel like I’m using Coumadin when I should be using a beta-blocker. What’s a doc to do? So, if you have a moment, and want to look me over in the Armory and tell me what’s what, or if there is any way I can cast Healing Rain faster, or other healing spells faster, I’m all horns and ears.

In the meantime, I cleaned out bags, banks, and storage closets, organized, had a yard sale, and came up with this transmog ensemble:

May have found the look that the Kirin Tor tabard can work with…at least for 21,000 more rep points…

 I’m going to Ask Mr. Robot, too, and check you out. Yup. That’s what I do. Imitate.

One fine day…

Sometimes you have to begin with an ending:

Well, that’s from Arthas’ perspective, in any case.

From my point-of-view, I got to tag along with JD’s (aka Amateur Azerothian) crew yesterday for a cross-realm raid. Yes, Mr. Arthas Menethil, your time has come, again.

We had a blast, and I stacked up the achievements like cord-wood:

The Ashen Verdict likes me! They really like me!

Before…with some of Mylune’s flowers…

Highlord Tirion Fordring, although looking like an insurance salesman to me, seems appreciative of our efforts…

Shiny happy raiders!

BUT–as fun as that was, and indeed it was fun, I found myself with an agenda, and underlying motivations. The thing was, this was what I have been looking for in a raid group for a long time. It was a great balance of irreverence (notwithstanding my love of dirty martinis) and actual game knowledge/mechanics (DON’T STAND IN THE DEFILE! okay okay!) We did all this without Vent, tripped up a few times (I am pretty sure I ran too far away from the Sindragosa fight, hence, the gate locked me out–I’ve done that one a few times and should have listened to my own knowledge/experience), and the boat fight started before I could strap on my parachute. I jumped off the boat anyway to see what would happen, and nothing. Just landed back on the deck of the non-fun, er, fight, boat. I have also done that one successfully, so was kind of bummed I could jet over and punch the villains in the snouts.

Which leads me to my agenda. I don’t want JD to go. And, I am going to see if I can help make that happen. All I want to do is the occasional old content raid with fun people, and check out newer content with folks who do not take it seriously. Yes, of course I want to “win,” but I have some fairly strong opinions on what a “win” is. Did I have fun? Yes. Did I make other people smile or laugh? If yes, win again.

I am not sure what Ke$ha means by ‘waking up like P.Diddy,’ but it can’t be a good thing. I still have no further understanding of this one fight after watching this video except for a healthy debate over UI and musical tastes:

And my other agenda is this: I want that Frostbrood mount. I don’t care if we get a 25-man together or not. I only have a few more to go–whaddya say, guys? Wanna come along? I can’t do this alone. So put on your swagger, ‘Kick ’em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger…sure. He’s probably there. Along with Arthas.

So, this is what it’s all about…

“Sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” It’s so true.  What I wanted, was to walk away from World of Warcraft.  Focus on other things, many of which I outlined when I announced my pending exodus.  The plan, then, was to do a Horde raid (Karazhan) and an Alliance raid (Icecrown Citadel) as I rode off into the sunset.

If you’ve read the Amateur for any length of time, you’ll know I’m always honest about things.  Right or wrong, that’s one thing you can come to expect.  So, there shouldn’t be much surprise when I had reservations about doing this tonight.

You know you’re an idiot, right?  If this works out to the potential it has on paper, this farewell party will be like feeding a wolf steak and expecting him to go vegan the next day.

I wrote that on Thursday.  Just a note to myself. …

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Pretty little match girl…

Took time to put together pretty outfit to match my new staff…

She shoots her wand, SCORE!

(Voice in head: Matty, you have a sh*t ton to do today.)
(Matty: yes, yes I know, but Ceniza is so much fun!)
(Voice: Okay, you got your staff, now go do the dishes. You need to go to work for a bit too.)
(Matty: Shush, Tyrande, I mean, Voice.)
(Other Voice: Yea, what is it with Malfurion telling her to hush all the time? He acts like her dad, not her boyfriend [said boiee-frand)
(i-Phone voice/Siri: Would you like me to send that message? Okay, I’ll send it.”)

Okay -all of you shut your pie-holes. 

Gambled and took Ceniza into the Deathwing portion of LFR this morning. At one point, thought I was queued, tabbed out, and then checked back in to realize I’d been goofing off for twenty minutes not queued. *sigh* I used the word ‘gambled’ because unless you go in with a Loot Buddy who doesn’t need the gear but can roll on it, it’s a risky proposition.

Ah, the nerd rage-tastic fan-flipping-awesomness of LFR. Before I even landed on the damn spine a player was calling for me and a rogue to get kicked because he accused of us pulling another tentacle. Not I, said the Fly. Can’t speak for the rogue, but that was bullcrap. (Oh, and please tell me it’s not true that we can kick mid-fight–this seems like overkill, no pun, for a small but annoying problem. I read this may happen in the expansion and thought NOOOOOo!!!OOOO!OOOooooo!!!) I think a simple fix should be: there needs to be  ready check and the fight does not begin until then. That was no one can pull the boss for fun and ensure his spot for loot. Simple fix, right. Regardless, the spine is not a dps fight, but makes folks so damn angry. Not sure why.

Sorry — I digressed. Kind of. The thing is, I have been there many times, but my mage isn’t geared yet. That is why I am there. Duh. And I got all kinds of flack for lows DPS. I finally whispered the one hunter and said, “Look, this is my fifth level 85 and I’m really just learning her–be patient please.” Sometimes kindness works, because he stepped off a bit. I am well aware of my poor DPS/Damage on Ceniza, and am taking steps to correct it.

Bottom line, for the last fight I was a poor showing of around 22K, place #13 in DPS, but…BUT…(insert squee here!) I did win Ti’tahk (how you do say that? Tic-Tac? Will it make my breath sweeter?). Now I really wanted the dagger, but beggar mages can’t be choosy. I have some reforgining and regemming to do now, and I am really having fun with “her.”

So off I go, to the jewelry store (Matty’s JC Shoppe is open for business) and the reforgers, who are always eager to take my gold. Maybe there will be time to set the world on fire, too. Just to take that staff for a test run…

(Voice: Have you updated your checkbook? Look at that dust! Go for a walk! Sort your socks!)
(Matty: SKABOOM! Problem solved (smell of lighter fluid and sulfur).

Dull lead.

I love to write.

I have been telling stories to myself, performing Barbie doll operas, tales to my sisters and cousins, since I can remember. The powers of the Internet have made it possible for all of us who want to be published to fulfill our wishes. Even this pressure-cooker of an article: 7 Reasons to Learn Apple iBooks Author Now has me spinning.

And now I don’t have a thing to say. Me: Deer. Keyboard: Headlights.

Allow me to take you on a tiny media mind trip:

NPR story headline: From Kerouac To Rand, ‘Harmful’ Reads for Writer — the gist is, there are some novels that are so pivotal, so monumental, that when an aspiring writer reads these tomes, they may become too mimicking or intimated to move forward. I was discussing this with my Snakes & Tea friend yesterday about the novel The Book Thief by Mark Zusak. It is transformative. And now, if I ever consider using a personified Death, I will hesitate.

And then I saw a headline about Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, which I have not read yet, but apparently there is a celebrity author of big ka-ching status among fan-fiction writers, too. And, what kills me, KILLS ME, is it’s a “sexy” book. I have been wanting to write in this steamy genre for years. Don’t worry. I’ve got my nom-de-plume all figured out: Fanny McBloomiepants. (Maybe I’d better work on that one.)

Finally, the kicker: Jargon to Jabberwocky: 3 Books on Writing Well by Jonathan Gottschall on NPR.

I have perused through Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, and Stein on Writing by Sol Stein, two other books about writing that are short, comprehensive and helpful.

From I came across Chuck Wendig’s blog, Terrible Minds which has also scared the writing shit out of me.

Bear this morning shared his internal writer’s conversation, Novel News: Epiphany. This simply reminds me and makes a tad blue because a few years ago, when I was actively engaged in the Puget Sound Writing Project, part of the National Writing Project, the sustaining, nourishing fact was I got to hang out and read other writers, just like me, who were amazing, and you know what? They liked my stuff, too. It wasn’t all a big mutal admiration society, not at all. Many of us didn’t agree, but it brought me back to college where we all put our big drawings and paintings on the common wall and talked about what we saw, asked questions, chose to take or discard. The process of a writers’ circle is simple: you read your work once, everyone listens. You read your work twice, and your peers have a feedback sheet–what they heard, what they had questions about, where they got confused. You then listen to their feedback, and then you say “thank you.” And nothing else. You may exchange ideas at some point in the protocol, but it is not the time to be defensive about your work. If someone has taken the time to articulate why they are confused by something, that feedback is immeasurably valuable. So often I have something in my head that I believed was evident on paper, and it took my writing buddies to let me know, no it wasn’t. The “blue” part is we are all scattered to the four corners of the state, and even with the Internet and Email, it’s just not the same. They are all very busy professionals as am I, and especially this time of year is like our World Series, our tax day, our “big show.”

I have to admit this is what is tough, sifting out all of the advice. Yes, write for one person. But writing and putting it out there does feel risky and exposed at times. Glass houses and no bathrobe, I guess. I know the advice: write for yourself, write what you want, yadda-yadda-yadda. All true. My muse seems to have gone on vacation,  and those well-established writers (see link above) are confusing me.

What am I asking for? What do I want? Nothing really. I’ll get through this. I always do. And whether or not I get published “for real,” well, I know my Barbie dolls certainly had some choice parts.


I am offering this: if anyone wants to be a part of a writers’ workshop with me, and in a reciprocal aggreement, give me feedback on my work, I would be open to that. It can be pretty damn cool. Guarf has been a big help in the past, but he’s busy doing whatever it is Guarf does.

Thanks for reading.