Archive for the ‘Maureen Murdock’ Tag

Briefly Noted: ‘Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey’ by Valerie Estelle Frankel

In February 20121, McFarland released a new book for authors and readers interested in the heroine’s journey in fiction and myth and for fans of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (1992) and the subsequent television series (1997 – 2003).  A well-researched book, Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey is a natural extension of Valerie Frankel’s work in From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth (McFarland, 2010).

On her website, Frankel writes that “Though scholars often place heroine tales on Campbell’s hero’s journey point by point, the girl has always had a notably different journey than the boy. She quests to rescue her loved ones, not destroy the tyrant as Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker does. The heroine’s friends augment her natural feminine insight with masculine rationality and order, while her lover is a shapeshifting monster of the magical world—a frog prince or beast-husband (or two-faced vampire!). The epic heroine wields a magic charm or prophetic mirror, not a sword. And she destroys murderers and their undead servants as the champion of life. As she struggles against the Patriarchy—the distant or unloving father—she grows into someone who creates her own destiny.”

A new era in film and fiction for three-dimensional female action characters?

Frankel’s new book appears at a time when readers, authors and reviewers are discussing whether or not Lisbeth Salander (in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series) and Katniss (in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series) represent a positive trend in the development of female protagonists that are more than male-gaze eye candy. That is, can authors and film makers step away from the patriarchal idea that women—whether they kick ass or not—are little more than sex objects?

Unfortunately, Frankel—along with author Maureen Murdock (The Heroine’s Journey)—appear to represent a minority view. Most film makers are still trotting out female characters in mini-skirts and bikinis fighting alongside male counterparts who are dressed in normal uniforms or SWAT team gear, while many authors and screenwriters are arguing that the heroine’s journey is no more than a female character following Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey sequence.

As the author of a contemporary fantasy novel featuring the hero’s journey (The Sun Singer) and another that features the heroine’s journey (Sarabande), I find it refreshing to find another author/researcher who sees a difference between solar and lunar journeys. While I think my heroine’s journey story would make a great film, I don’t want Hollywood to turn my title character into a male-gaze Lara Croft-style protagonist transported to the mountains and plains of Montana in a tight and/or skimpy outfit.

Publisher’s Description: The worlds of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and other modern epics feature the Chosen One–an adolescent boy who defeats the Dark Lord and battles the sorrows of the world. Television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer represents a different kind of epic–the heroine’s journey, not the hero’s. This provocative study explores how Buffy blends 1990s girl power and the path of the warrior woman with the oldest of mythic traditions. It chronicles her descent into death and subsequent return like the great goddesses of antiquity. As she sacrifices her life for the helpless, Buffy experiences the classic heroine’s quest, ascending to protector and queen in this timeless metaphor for growing into adulthood.

The paperback edition, for reasons that are not readily apparent, is priced considerably higher ($35.00) than other paperbacks of a similar length (226 pages ). However, at $9.99, the Kindle edition is more in line with today’s prices.

I bought the Kindle edition even though I didn’t see the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series or feature film. I liked From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and am finding Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey to be another very readable and credible look at the heroine’s journey.


contemporary fantasy on Kindle at $4.99

Heroine’s Journey Links and Resources

While I was working on my recent contemporary fantasy Sarabande, I found a lot of helpful references about the heroine’s journey. The heroine’s journey has fewer Internet links, so perhaps you’ll find some of mine helpful if you are experiencing, reading about or writing about the journey.

There seem to be two schools of thought about the journey. One is that the heroine’s journey is the same as the hero’s journey, potentially with a few modifications.

While that concept approach works for many people, I don’t agree with it because the hero’s journey is a solar journey and the heroine’s journey is a lunar journey. My novel’s research materials tend to reflect the lunar approach.

Dark Moon

  1. Goddess Meditations by Barbara Ardinger
  2. Dragontime Magic and Mystery of Menstruation by Luisa Francia
  3. Moon Phases Calendar
  4. Planting by the Moon
  5. The Moon Watcher’s Companion by Donna Henes.
  6. Moon Watching by Dana Gerhardt
  7. Moon Tides, Soul Passages by Maria Kay Simms
  8. Moon Mother, Moon Daughter by Janet Lucy

Death and Rebirth

  1. Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perea
  2. The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford
  3. The Pattern of Initiation in the Evolution of Human Consciousness by Peter Dawkins & Sir George Trevelyan
  4. Inanna, queen of heaven and earth: Her stories and hymns from Sumer by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer – This book, first published in 1983, presented a long-awaited translation of the original Inanna material from the 2000 BCE cuneiform clay tablets.


  • The Mythopoeic Society – The Mythopoeic Society is a national/international organization promoting the study, discussion, and enjoyment of fantastic and mythopoeic literature through books and periodicals, annual conferences, discussion groups, awards, and more.


  1. She Flies Without Wings-How Horses Touch a Woman’s Soul by Mary D. Widkiff
  2. Horses and the Mystical Path-The Celtic Way of Expanding the Human Soul by Thomas McCormick
  3. The Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov
  4. Torden, Hear the Tunder by by C. Kirkham. (This is a well-written young adult novel about a young girl and a Friesian horse.)
  5. Horses, Somatics, and Spirit: An Equine-Guided Program in Conscious Living, a workshop presented by Beverley Kane, MD, Ariana Strozzi, MSC. (This is an example of some of the programs available today.)

Heroine’s Journey

  1. The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock
  2. From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend by Valerie Estelle Frankel (See the July 2011 “Mythprint” review of this book here.) Frankel’s website includes a lengthy heroine’s journey reading list.
  3. Sarabande contemporary fantasy by Malcolm R. Campbell released by Vanilla Heart Publishing, August 2011.
  4. “The Way of Woman: Awakening the Perennial Feminine” by Helen M. Luke
  5. Apple Farm Community – The Writings of Helen M. Luke
  6. Real Women, Real Wisdom: A Journey into the Feminine Soul by Maureen Hovenkotter  (See a review here.)
  7. The Heroine’s Coach, the website for Susanna Liller’s journey-oriented coaching services. The site includes an e-mail newsletter for women following their own paths called “Journey News.”
  8. The Heroine’s Journey appears on author Leslie Zehr’s Universal Dancer website and includes a discussion of Sylvia Brinton Perera’s Descent to the Goddess, a book I found essential for my understanding of the journey. Zehr is the author of The Alchemy of Dance: Sacred Dance as a Path to the Universal Dancer.

Light of Nature

  1. Light of Nature Website, exploring the science and the philosophy of the concept.
  2. “The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine
  3. “The Spell of the Sensuous” by David Abram


  1. The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore
  2. Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan
  3. The Heroine in Western Literature: The Archetype and Her Reemergence in Modern Prose by Meredith A. Powers
  4. The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts by David Lodge


  1. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
  2. Unplugging the Patriarchy – A Mystical Journey into the Heart of a New Age by Lucia René
  3. Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
  4. Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write about Their Search for Self by Sara Shandler
  5. Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years by Cheryl Dellasega

Story Within

  1. And Now The Story Lives Inside You, poems by Elizabeth Reninger
  2. The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram
  3. Alchemical Studies by C. G. Jung
  4. Harry Potter – A New World Mythology? By Lynne Milum
  5. “Dark Wood to White Rose: Journey and Transformation in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’” by Helen M. Luke
  6. “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling” by James Hillman


  1. Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America by Jonathan Shay.
  2. Rape: Weapon of Terror by Sharon Frederick
  3. Against our Will: Men, Women and Rape by Susan Brownmiller

Weaving, Storytelling, Linen

  1. American Textile History Museum
  2. All Fiber Arts (weaving in stories and fairytale)
  3. Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
  4. Linen from flax seed to woven cloth by Linda Heinrich
  5. The Joy of Handspinning – many details, photographs and demonstration videos
  6. The Weaver’s Book: A practical, authoritative step-by-step guide for beginners by an expert weaver by Harriet Tidball
  7. Grading, Spinning, Dyeing: an introduction to the traditional wool and flax crafts by Elizabeth Hoppe and Ragnar Edberg
  8. Fibers of Being – Judy’s detailed weaving blog
  9. Eva Stossel’s weaving blog – In addition to information about weaving, both Judy and Eva include lengthy blogrolls.
  10. A History of Irish Linen
  11. Flaxland – Growers and Processors in the U. K.


  1. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  2. The Company of Wolves by Peter Steinhart
  3. The Wolf’s Tooth by Christina Eisenberg

Writer’s Muse

  1. The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
  2. Marry Your Muse: Making a Lasting Commitment to Your Creativity by Jan Phillips
  3. The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write by Mark David Gerson.
  4. 20 Master Plots: an How to Build Them, by Ronald Tobias
  5. The Hero’s Journey: A Guide to Literature and Life by Reg Harris and Susan Thompson (This is a series of lesson plans for teaching the hero’s journey in a classroom setting.)

Classic TA Resources for the Journey

  1. Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward
  2. Your Inner Child of the Past by Hugh Missildine
  3. What Do You Say After You Say Hello: The Psychology of Human Destiny by Eric Berne
  4. I’m Ok, You’re Ok by Thomas Harris


Malcolm R Campbell is the author of the heroine’s journey novel “Sarabande” from Thomas-Jacob Publishing.