“’Kay. First, you need to promise yourself that things?Are going to be. Okay.” … “Promise that you understand all situations are temporary. Even hot cups of tea go cold.” – CamillaExcerpt taken from M. Wednesday’s “Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” Chapter 29
Since my debut is on the brink of a release date, I thought I’d start a series that revolves around the life lessons, or the motivational pick-me-ups, that the characters have scattered throughout the book. In this way, one can be prepared to find the deeper meaning in my fictional world.
Sixteen-year-old Camilla plays the sidekick role in Moon Reign. She’s the unexpected childish bubble of joy that floats around Drystan’s side (My MC). If this were a modern day fantasy, we could remove her appearances of a Halfling – her tawny pair of ram horns on a bed of blonde curls and her blue fox tail swinging at her ankles. Modern day fantasy or not, she’d still be the one to eat an entire family-size bag of Smartfood in one sitting and call it a snaccident. She’d be the one who answers the question “How do you like your eggs?” with an unhesitated “In my cake.” She’d still be the epitome of an annoying little sister, balanced enough as the North-facing needle of your compass.
I know, I should have started this series with Drystan. But, let’s be honest: The MC’s always get the brightest limelight. But I wanted Camilla because I feel like she could possibly be the one that many relate to. She loves to laugh. She loves to help others. She loves to eat. But she’s also been through some terrible childhood experiences, some that didn’t feel temporary when they began. How could death feel temporary when death effected your entire world? This girl has cried her eyes out, the kind of crying where you’re lying in your bed with your hands near obstructing your face so not a peep of noise can escape. The kind of crying where you finally have to let go to clench your stomach because it hurts so much so your faith goes to that tear-soaked pillow to muffle your pain.
But this girl has also laughed so hard that pee comes out. This girl has smiled so hard her cheeks felt like they were going to fall off. She has preached kindness with all her might that it could make flowers bloom from the ashes of a house fire.
Happiness came in waves, just like her grief. As much as trauma killed the life she grew up living, it failed to kill her true spirit. Age grafted her into what she needed to become to survive the effects of her past. Maturity taught her to take life one day at a time, because each day holds its own anxieties. Moving forward, she figured out, meant finding true inner peace and letting it lead you by the hand. She had to promise herself that things were going to be okay.
And that’s her purpose: She wants to love so hard that love’s gravitational pull will help other people out of the dark just like it helped her. She sets an example of loyal, self-sacrificing kindness that I hope moves a reader to learn her magic.
And she loves Drystan very, very, much. Not in a romantic kind of way, ew. No, that’s her brother. That’s who she looks up to when she can barely look at her own reflection. That’s the person she is content sitting next to, listening to him ramble about absolutely nothing and everything because she simply likes hearing his voice and his simply existing in her life. The quote this blog started out with is her addressing him, using her magic of kindness to coax him out of a small plague of darkness.
I feel like reading Camilla between the lines could not only shift a smile on someone’s face, but shift the perspective of living. Because she learned to keep the care-free love of a child in her. There’s a part of her that refuses to grow up. There’s no shame in unburying that care-free child in you that the world told you to hide. If the world tells you otherwise, the world’s jealous that you have the courage to do it. G’head. Eat the Golden Grahams in that cereal bowl with the straw in your pillow fort. Win the cheap goldfish at the lame fair and be excited about it. Make pinky promises. Never forget that loopy straws make chocolate milk that much better. Why give up the kinds of things that make you smile?
I deal with anxiety. Sometimes my mind goes lightyears a minute with all the things I have to accomplish. Sometimes my mind is torpid quicksand that feels so bogged down with day to day stresses that it saps my strength to even contemplate moving. Sometimes it makes me not be myself because I’m worried what others will think of me. Reminding myself that all situations are temporary is medicinal. And sometimes that reminder has to be applied over and over again, even in the same thread of thought.
Accept that you’re stressed. It’s okay, it’s how you were grafted. The universe didn’t mess up in creating you, it just gave you more opportunity to learn the thing called breathing. The day to day stresses are temporary. Because, that’s what it boils down to: a day. Or even less, a portion of the day. And tomorrow, you breathe new air. It’s simple. It’s just that our anxieties don’t let us perceive it that way.
Sometimes those anxieties can trigger things from the past. I write this in thinking of a specific Camilla-moment in the book, where her anxiety turned to panic. And she panicked that she was about to relive a terrifying experience from her past all over again. We’re not perfect, and sometimes our grafted imperfections can get the mastery over us, over the actions we want to take, or have practiced so hard to take. Keep going. Keep trying. Tomorrow? Is new air.
Moon Reign revolves around the hunt for a unicorn, one that binds both vile and virtuous people. These people come from diverse walks of life, and maybe you just might understand someone’s footsteps.
But the lesson learned through Camilla: Love others, love yourself until love near bursts with loyal kindness, and remember that all things will be okay. All things, even you as a person in this big world, will fall right where they need to be.
Lyrical inspiration I used for creating Camillahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRvo8D15EnM