The Butterfly Fields is something that is near and dear to my heart. It is not an autobiography, but many of the events which occur in the story are loosely related to my own life with poetic license and embellishments, and some of it is deeply entrenched into the life I once knew.
The Butterfly Fields is not your typical run-of-the-mill hurry up and get it out sort of story. It has many complexities that cannot be rushed or they will lose their meanings and purpose. The characters must be developed in such a way emotions and connections are evoked in the reader, or the understanding is lost. This is a series of books that span the life of a young girl living in the dark ages, yet can be related to on many levels by readers of today.
I think any fantasy author writing about the ultimate battle of good vs evil, on some level, is forced to face the darknesses that have lived in their own life. I could be wrong. For me, The Butterfly Fields is rather therapeutic in nature. As I move through the phases of the lives of Annalicia and Elsie, I wander through The Butterfly Fields of my own youth. Bit of trivia about the story: The Butterfly Fields were a real place in my history. They were not what they are in the book, but they were indeed real to me and my next oldest sister in our youth. They were a land of imagination, where many adventures were afoot. They were a place of freedom, safety, and sanity within the harsh environment surrounding us. We were children in the midst of the recession, the cold war, and cultural clashes within our own community.
I feel compelled to clarify what I mean by the equal and opposite. It does not mean that the devil is the equal and opposite of God. I mean that darkness is the equal and opposite to light as good is to evil, and love is to hate.
Within love there is mercy, compassion, and hope. Without the experience of these three primary needs of the human being, we are lost among the tyranny of the darkness ever destined to cling to the world rather than to the Ultimate Love. We find our worth and value defined by the world in which we live. Do we make enough money? Are we working in the right career? Do we have enough stuff? Do we have enough power? Are we thin enough? Are we pretty enough? Do we meet the expectations of the world? Are we acceptable? When the answer to any of these questions is 'No', then we begin the quest to make these things the truths of our lives, by any means necessary; even at the cost of the detriment of another - even ourselves.
I am a natural introvert and highly sensitive to that which surrounds me. I assess every situation through association or disassociation as the need arises. As I developed the character of Elsie McCormick, youngest of the McCormick Clan, she is like me in many ways. I discovered something about me in her development: I used to look at my association and disassociation as a negative, when in reality it is the one thing that allows me to think outside of the box.
Without the mercy, compassion, and hope of love it is easy to find ourselves stuck inside the box created by the world. There is no room in this box for the idea that there is more to our existence than the confines of the tangible. When we begin our quest to make the expectations of the world the truths of our reality, we slowly begin to create our own confining prison of tyranny where we, and we alone, are the warden. Only we can go to the Governor of All to seek pardon. For me, this requires both association and disassociation. I must recognize from inside the box there is another possibility, another plausible means, to exist free from the tyranny of the darkness of my world. I must disassociate myself from the world for a moment, allowing me the opportunity to associate with that which lies outside of walls of the prison I have created. This is not a one time deal. This is something that I have to do repeatedly, on a daily basis.
After many years of living with a plague of misery, I can finally breathe. I cannot yet fly, I am simply moving forward one step at a time and breathing...breathing is good. When I can breathe, I can write, and when I can write...I can live.