Guest post: Renhala – Amy Joy Lutchen

When I was invited to participate in this guest post, all sorts of fun things ran through my mind and I honestly could not focus on just one thing to do. “Do I do these ten fun things, or do I mention those top ten moments, or those other top ten stupid things I did . . . ” But then, as I started calming down and sat on my butt and sipped a cup of nice hot tea, I started thinking of what it actually means to be an author, to be the parent of a block of written words. 

I can tell you what it means for me: control. You see, my story, Renhala, started as a single piece of paper littered with a hodgepodge of written fears and tragic events from my life, with one very tragic event taking me the longest to write down, the very one I wrote the smallest: the assault. These very small words, which I thought had the biggest impact on who I was at that time, were sitting there on the page, laughing at me, despite their puny size. I stared, and stared at those words, often fighting with myself to roll the paper up and toss it away, but I knew it really wouldn’t be gone. Those words were going to haunt me forever, as well as the humiliation associated with them—the humiliation inflicted by the hands of a total stranger. 

But one day, out of the blue, in a moment of surprising triumph, I gathered my strength and flipped that stupid piece of paper over and began writing more words, different words. These words began as a small story about a young woman who was assaulted who loses her mother—her only support— to disease, which then morphed into another story of a young woman who suffered the same fate, but befriended some new, supportive friends. As the magic began flowing freely from my fingertips, this same young woman then mastered a new weapon and her destiny was changed forever. I finally felt better about myself—felt better about life—for I was shaping future events. I wrangled those ugly words and fought them down hard, wrestling and dodging blows, until I took CONTROL. I took control, and took those words and kneaded them, molding them into exactly what what I needed, into something inspiring and uplifting: the mystical land known as Renhala.
I know, that no matter who you are and where you’ve come from, you’ve had some kind of tragic event, or maybe multiple moments of tragedy, muddy your life. Perhaps it was the death of a loved one, or sickness, or bullying, or an assault. Whatever it was, or even is, just know that you can gain the advantage. You can wash yourself of the bad. Write the words down. Write those words down as a poem, short story, epic novel, whatever, but just write them down. This is how you’ll take the first step in control. This is how you’ll change the future.
Change your life by changing the words…

Lorsque l’on m’a invité à participer à ce guest post, toutes sortes de choses amusantes m’ont traversé l’esprit et honnêtement, je ne pouvais pas me concentrer sur une seule chose à faire. « Dois-je énoncer dix choses amusantes, ou bien dois-je faire ce top ten ou encore le top ten des choses les plus stupides que j’ai faites… » Mais ensuite, alors que je commençais à me calmer et à m’asseoir sur mes fesses, dégustant une bonne tasse de thé chaud, j’ai commencé à réfléchir sur ce que signifiait réellement le fait d’être un auteur, d’être le parent d’un bloc de mots écrits.
Je peux vous dire ce que cela signifie pour moi : le contrôle. Vous voyez, mon histoire, Renhala, a débuté sous la forme d’une simple feuille de papier qui jonchait parmi un méli-mélo de craintes écrites et d’événements tragiques survenus dans ma vie, dont un événement très tragique, celui qui m’a pris le plus de temps à écrire, celui-là même où j’ai écrit le moins de choses : l’agression. Ces tout petits mots, qui selon moi ont eu le plus d’impact sur la personne que j’étais à ce moment-là, étaient assis là sur la page, se moquant de moi, malgré leur taille chétive. Je regardais, et regardais encore ces mots, souvent en me battant contre moi-même et contre mon envie de rouler le papier et de le jeter au loin, mais je savais qu’il ne disparaîtrait pas vraiment. Car ces mots me hanteraient pour toujours, ainsi que l’humiliation qui leur est associée – l’humiliation infligée par les mains d’un total inconnu.
Mais un jour, à l’improviste, dans un moment de triomphe surprenant, j’ai rassemblé mes forces et j’ai repris ce stupide morceau de papier puis j’ai commencé à écrire plus de mots, des mots différents. Ces mots ont commencé avec une petite histoire à propos d’une jeune femme qui a été agressée et qui perd sa mère – son seul soutien – des suites d’une maladie, et qui s’est ensuite transformé en une autre histoire, celle d’une jeune femme ayant subi le même sort que le mien mais qui s’est liée d’amitié avec quelques nouveaux amis qui la soutiennent. Comme la magie a commencé à circuler librement de mes doigts, cette même jeune femme a ensuite maîtrisé une nouvelle arme, changeant ainsi son destin à jamais. Je me suis finalement sentie mieux dans ma peau – je me suis sentie mieux en ce qui concernait la vie – au fur et à mesure que je façonnais des événements futurs. Jeme suis querellée avec ces vilains mots et je les ai combattus durement, en luttant et en esquivant les coups, jusqu’à ce que je prenne le CONTROLE. J’ai pris le contrôle , j’ai pris ces mots et je les ai pétri, puis je les ai modelés en ce dont j’avais exactement besoin, quelque chose d’inspirant et d’édifiant : la terre mystique connue sous le nom de Renhala.
Je sais que peu importe qui vous êtes et d’où vous venez, vous avez vécu à un quelconque événement tragique, ou peut être même plusieurs, qui ont troublé votre vie. C’était peut être la perte d’un être cher, ou la maladie, l’intimidation, ou encore l’agression. Qu’importe ce que c’était, sachez que vous pouvez prendre l’avantage. Vous pouvez vous laver de tout ce qui est mauvais. Couchez des mots sur le papier. Écrivez ces mots sous la forme d’un poème, une nouvelle, un roman épique, n’importe quoi, mais écrivez-les. C’est ainsi que vous ferez le premier pas en matière de contrôle. C’est ainsi que vous changerez l’avenir.
Changez votre vie en changeant les mots…

Kailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.

A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon for karma from the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.

She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and toughens up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a “giver”), falls into an unexpected love triangle, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.

On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she’ll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey’s realm shortens all life spans.

As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, a few days prior to watching her first movie, at a drive-in theater. Yes, drive-in theater. And yes, her mother believed she was possessed by the devil after said first movie. Grew up in the Chicagoland area and graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she simply became a number, but decided it was a good number. Loves cooking (mostly candy-cooking), gardening (putting holes in the ground for perennials, DONE!), designing and constructing jewelry (everything from silversmithing to lampworking), and living with her wonderful husband, two children, black Labrador, and frog—and maybe even the chipmunk family that likes to destroy her aforementioned perennials. Also hopes that you enjoy her writings, and won’t criticize her for her aversion of eating things in multiples of three.