Usually, I talk about current media when I talk about inspirations. Musicians with new albums out, writers who are hitting their stride, or, sadly, writers who have just left this world for their next adventure. Labyrinth was a formative movie for me. And not just because of David Bowie’s bewildering hair. Or the pants.

Mostly, I loved Labyrinth because it took the notion of a Hero’s Journey and reimagined it completely. Yes, the hero got the call to action, and yes, she overcame a personal flaw, but there was so much heart in between. The Goblin King makes a compelling villain because he interacts with her the way an addiction would. I’m what you want, you want to be with me, I’d do anything for you.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever felt the relief of thinking, “You have no power over me” during a particularly stressful moment. I have found that lesson to be the most important of that movie, and incredibly liberating. It’s difficult to realize how much of the time we’re in cages we could find a way out of, and it’s worse to realize that some people simply can’t. I’m fortunate to be out doing my writing full time, but I have definitely had moments of letting go to get here. 

…Although, the puppets who remove their heads are still incredibly creepy.