Image: Chapter 6, The moonstone necklace Aila gave Bennie.
This chapter is actually a combination of two chapters from the previous edition. Several people told me they like longer chapters, so to make things less choppy I did what I could. While some of the writing and a lot of detail changed in this portion, the point remained unchanged; it’s an important one:
While Bennie’s condition in the story is supernatural in nature, the concept stems from an actual medical issue I’ve seen in real life called conversion disorder. When someone suffers conversion disorder they have a neurological reaction without an identifiable, physical diagnosis. It often occurs when something traumatic happens. In my real-life experience the reaction was loss of speech, which lasted a day. In Bennie’s case, she’s lost her eyesight. Bennie’s conversion disorder is not like real life though; Aila can actually diagnose her problem. But while only Bennie can cure it, she won’t have to face this battle alone. Her new friends are sticking close.
In life we all experience pain and struggle we don't know how to handle. Maybe not something that will leave us physically impacted like Bennie, but the trauma and the wounds, and the ensuing scars, can be just as difficult to cope with. But please, never think you have to go it alone. Don’t ever believe you can’t talk to someone, that you can’t accept help. We may not be able to make the problems go away, but the people who love you will be there to support you, and help you find your answers, and to heal even if you're not the same as you were before. That includes me, and most of all that includes G-d. I know He's helped me a lot, personally.
, I’ll be around if you need to talk and so will He.
(Image: Bennie's first look at enemy forces, waiting under a street light.)
Oh Bennie, you're in for it now!
The horrific failure of the chapter image notwithstanding (I despised the original sketch too. One day I'll get the concept down on paper--computer--whatever!), this is one of my favorite chapters since the rewrite. In the first edition it began Bennie's real experiences discovering just how dark and uncertain the world she lives in is, but this time around I used it to better fit in some more information expanding that world, information that came too soon or too late in the first edition.
Bennie also has a lot of emotional growth that begins in this chapter, which we'll talk more about at a later date.
Sorry this blog post is short; I didn't have a great deal to expand on tonight. Enjoy the chapter!