I love mentors in a story. Gandalf (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), Obi Wan Kenobi (Star Wars) and Morpheus (Matrix). And to prove that I don’t watch only sci-fi/fantasy movies here are some other mentors. Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) in The Sting, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) in the original The Karate Kid, and Glenda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz.
Mentors give advice, explain the big picture and, sometimes, give the hero something magical—Luke’s father’s lightsaber (Star Wars) or the ruby slippers which will enable Dorothy to return home (The Wizard of Oz). Mentors lead the young hero by the hand (sometimes, by the nose) to do what is right. Usually, the mentor must spell out the call to adventure for the hero then has to wait around (with gentle prodding) while the hero decides whether to answer the call. Mentors need patience, but sometimes they have to give the hero that kick in the patoot s/he needs.
My hero, Celara d’Enfaden, in The Pilot owes the life she leads now to her mentor. Though he’s only mentioned briefly, Celara’s affection is evident for the man to whom she indentured herself to escape her home planet, taught her starship mechanics and how to be a pilot.
But the mentor can’t take the journey with the hero. You know the old saying about leading a horse to water? The mentor can only take the lead up to a point. It’s the hero’s journey and s/he has to go on alone.
In my writer life, I’ve had many mentors. Writers who’ve generously shared their knowledge and experience in the industry. In mythology, the mentor is often called The Wise Old Man or Woman. In my case, the writers who’ve mentored me were usually younger. I just started my writing career later in life than they did. I still have mentors, writers I learn from. To pay it forward, I’ve tried to mentor others.
Who are the mentors you recognize from film or books? Your own life?
Blurb: The Pilot
There’s no place like home and he just stole hers. Cargo hauler, risk taker Celera d’Enfaden must work with rule-bound Administrator Trevarr Jovano to save her brother from a galactic gangster.
Excerpt from The Pilot
Celara pushed her chair away from the table and climbed up on it. “Quiet down, you Rimmer scum.”
The patrons laughed then quieted. Someone paused the Seinfeld vid.
She lifted her drink again. “A toast, Rimmers. Let’s hear it for the wonderful, fantabulous, yada, yada, yada, Administrator Jovano. May he live long enough to enjoy good health.”
To her surprise, silence met her toast. No one raised their glasses or mugs, even in jest. Everyone was looking at her, standing on the chair.
No, they were looking past her. Only thing behind her was the door. Kleema groaned and buried her head on her arms on the table. Booted footsteps rapped on the rough-hewn plank floor then stopped behind her.
“Thank you for the compliments and the good wishes for my longevity.” The baritone-and-chokiris voice sounded just over her shoulder.
If ever there was a need for a personal cloaking device, it was now. Or a magic ring with which to disappear. Sec Admin Trevarr Jovano stood behind her. Waiting. She swore she could feel him breathing.
Undaunted, she turned around. As the room tipped, she reached for the back of the chair. “Whoa, those mudslides sneak up on you.”
Missing the chair, she grabbed the closest thing—Trevarr Jovano’s black-clad shoulders. Beneath her fingers, the strong muscles contracted. “Hey there, Admin Man. Heard my toast, did you?” She grinned down at him.
He wasn’t smiling. “You should sit down before you fall down. Or better yet, go home and sleep it off.”
A dark fury swept away the sweet tranquility of two, tall Kruferian mudslides. “I can’t go home, you snake. You stole my home.”
She swung a round-house punch at him, missed her objective and would have fallen ignominiously off the chair had he not caught her. For several long secs, he held her tightly against his chest, her feet dangling off the floor a good twenty-five centimeters. His green eyes caught hers and darkened.
The heat in the room rose ten degrees. Her heart tripped, the air leached out of her lungs. His eyes. She could drown in those green depths.
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