For many in North America—especially those trying to connect with nature—we often think that we have to look outside of our “western” traditions for inspiration. What I decided was to do was to look inside and found not only the gothic tradition, but also ancient Greek mythology as a deeply fascinating wellspring for thinking about nature in new ways.
That’s why I creatively developed Perdita as a mythological figure. Perdita means the lost one; and as a character in my story, not only is Perdita the lost child, but her story is also lost. Somehow Perdita’s role in Greek mythology has dropped out of the western canon.
As Perdita’s story is rediscovered and reclaimed, there is a recalling of a deep love of nature (biophilia), a love that has always been there deep in us (westerners) but has been forgotten in our mainstream traditions. Therefore Perdita’s story—as a recovered story—still has something to say to contemporary readers.
For more on mythology and “Perdita,” visit http://perditanovel.com/mythology-and-perdita/
I loved it!
When we first arrived at the lighthouse there was no internet (in other words, cell phones were useless). In addition, the phone (a landline) frequently took “naps.” We occasionally lost power and we often had nightly visits from various critters. Also there was no TV and the only visual entertainment was the stars, the Bay and the sky—and their shifting colors and moods.
It was particularly refreshing not to be surrounded by advertisements: billboards, computer ads, jingles, etc.
We found that we had a different mindscape as a result—and dreamed different dreams while there….
A full moon at Cabot Head lighthouse. (Photo taken by author)
Walking and listening.
I would take long walks along the rocky shores of Georgian Bay, listening to the waves and the wind and sounds of the birds in this wilderness area. Sometimes I would sit in at a special spot and just gaze out at the Bay, letting the story take shape in my mind. Bits and pieces of it came at different times. One time, I was in the water taking swim, reflecting on a particular scene in the novel and I felt the story begin to move through me, as the waves were shaping the novel. It was a physical feeling—as if the writing wasn’t all going on in my head but in conversation with Georgian Bay.
Perdita by Hilary Scharper
ISBN: 9781492602446 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781492602453 (ebook)
ASIN: B00M1UM7N0 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Marged Brice is 134 years old.
She’d be ready to go, if it wasn’t for Perdita . . .
The Georgian Bay lighthouse’s single eye keeps watch over storm and calm, and Marged grew up in its shadow, learning the language of the wind and the trees. There’s blustery beauty there, where sea and sky incite each other to mischief… or worse…
Garth Hellyer of the Longevity Project doesn’t believe Marged was a girl coming of age in the 1890s, but reading her diaries in the same wild and unpredictable location where she wrote them might be enough to cast doubt on his common sense.
Everyone knows about death.
It’s life that’s much more mysterious…