Read a Book, Smoke a Pipe – The lit at 221B

Read a Book, Smoke a Pipe

Sometimes I think about perfectly normal things, like how to escape a room if a ghost attacked, or how much butter to add in my butterbeer,

but other times I think about weird things, like what my favorite literary characters would read.

Jane Eyre would love Walt Whitman and Tolkien

Bree from The Horse and His Boy would, of course, love Marguerite Henry and The Carrot Seed.

Shadow from American Gods would love Tom Clancy.

Ender Wiggin would love G.K. Chesteron.

Harry Potter would eat up Scott Westerfield’s work, and Sport’s Illustrated.

And Aragorn would be deep into Jack London and J.D. Salinger.

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I’m pretty sure that title is, “catcher in the rye.”

And Sherlock Holmes would be reading…

well, actually, the illustrious and animated Baker St Babes have already compiled a list of what’s in 221B. It’s a great article. Check it out.

Side note: What happens when I study copious amounts of Sherlock Holmes and On The Road by Kerouac all in one week? Pipe smoking, that’s what.

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Bad Bible Stories: Jael

So not all Bible stories are kid friendly. They don’t give you warm fuzzies or make you sleep well at night. In fact, most are disturbing, grotesque, violent, confusing, or completely extraordinary. Today I’m going to tell one of the bad Bible stories…

JAEL

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(picture of glass of water which is foreshadowing something to come)

Once there was a King who, with God’s permission, enslaved Israel. He had this nasty commander of his army named Sisera. Judges 4:3 says he was a ruthless oppressor. I’m thinking torture and rape were an everyday part of most Israelite’s lives at that time.

Sisera had an army of 900 chariots, which might not seem like a lot at first until you think about going against even one iron chariot if you only had scythes and daggers as weapons. Basically, you’d end up as jelly smeared on the iron chariot’s wheels.

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So the people couldn’t do anything about Sisera and his ruthlessness and his 900 chariots. They were stuck. So they did the thing that they could have done at the very beginning and who knows what their future would have been–they asked God for help.

So then this feisty prophetess named Deborah comes along and tells the Israelites that they CAN defeat Sisera. That’s another story for another day, but suffice to say Deborah was right and she kicks ass and, with God working some Scarecrow-like panic in Sisera’s army, the Israelites killed every single one of Sisera’s warriors.

Except one.

Sisera deserted. He ran as fast as he could to a place that he knew was friendly with his King, the tents of Heber. But it must’ve been night there or Heber was gone because he wasn’t invited in by the man of the house–no, when he passed by Heber’s wife’s tent she called to him.

“Come into my tent, sir,” she said, “Come in. Don’t be afraid.”

Because I’m sure he was quite frightened at this point. A runaway general without an army, in a land that you ruthlessly oppressed–I’m sure he felt a little like jelly on the wheel of a chariot.

So he runs in and she hides him under a blanket.

Now this is my favorite part. Totally famished and exhausted from his escape, he asks her for a drink of water. Being the coy lady that she is she gives him a glass of milk. I don’t know if this was a small rebellion on her part, or if milk was all she had in the tent, but he got milk instead of water. Serves him right. I bet he got that yucky coating around his throat and his breath smelled terrible. But you know what milk does–it makes you sleepy. And Sisera was feeling the miles so he commanded Jael, “Stand at the door of the tent and if anybody comes and asks you if there is anyone here, say no.”

For he knew that Deborah’s army was looking for him. They’d probably be there soon.

And then with a belly full of milk and covered by a warm blanket, he did the natural thing to do–he fell asleep.

Mwa-haha. Jael’s plan worked.

She took a tent peg. And a hammer. Do you know where this story is going?

She lined the peg up to Sisera’s skull and raised the hammer. Now do you have an inkling?

(side note: I wonder what she was thinking as she did this. Was this a revenge killing? Had Sisera killed, raped, or tortured someone she knew during the twenty years of his reign? Or perhaps she’d just heard of his killings, rapes, and torture, and she didn’t want to see him destroy another person. Whatever the motive, she had a destroyer of life under a tent peg.)

And then with a powerful blow of the hammer she drove the tent peg through his temple. It says the tent peg went through his head into the ground. Messy.

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Jael’s weapon of choice.

So when Barak, Deborah’s first-in-command, comes searching for the runaway general, Jael runs out to meet him. “Come,” she says, “and I will show you the man you are looking for.”

I’m not sure what he was expecting, but I’m sure he was a bit surprised. And impressed. A woman took down the most violent and powerful man in the country. All it took was some warm milk, soothing words, and a household tool.

You know what he probably said to Jael when he saw Sisera?

“You nailed him.”

WanaTribe

If you don’t see me around town, at the grocery store, cleaning the house, doing my hair, putting away laundry, and getting dressed as much lately then you’ve got WanaTribe to blame.

I’ve been a part of the #mywana twitter group since it’s birth. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the MyWana group on Facebook. I’ve read Kristen Lamb’s blog basically since she began, and had much less than the two gazillion followers she has now. I’m involved because when I am, I always see results in my work. Oh, and because it’s a boatload of FUN!

And now the MyWana revolution has evolved. It has an awesome website with forums, member pages, media, and it even has a SCHOOL! This is like  fully functioning cyber village, y’all. And it’s all about Connecting the HeARTS. Whether you’re a writer, journalist, dancer, public speaker, cartoonist, or professional clown artist . . . there’s a place for you at MyWana Tribe.

The practical value is huge. By meeting likeminded other artists, you become invested in their careers and vice versa. And then you have a group that cares about your next release, your next blog post, and even if you finish that MS you started!

Plus, it’s got like the cutest mascot known to man:

Here’s my blurb about it:

When I first heard about writers platforms, I thought it was some kind of special writing shoe. But then when I heard Kristen Lamb speak about it at the DFW Con, I became afraid. Very afraid. So much of my writing career depending on getting a good platform and I had no idea how to even build a step stool, much less a platform! But then after reading MyWana blogs religiously and buying the books, I saw it was actually easy and fun . . . because MyWana is about people!
My favorite thing about MyWana is that it is like attending a big, friendly, intelligent writers conference everyday. I’m constantly meeting like minded artists and am being challenged to be the best writer I can, learn more about the craft, to sit my butt down and write, and also to laugh about all our mistakes.
The second thing I love most about MyWana is how focused it is on the craft. It’s not “10 Easy Steps To Being A Bestselling Author.” It’s “Here’s some advice on how to craft good characters, plot, dialogue, voice, structure, etc . . . because writing books is darn difficult.”
MyWana was revolutionary for my writing. Not in a behead-all-the-Aristocrats French Revolution way, but in a we’re-stronger-together revolution way.
It’s vital. It’s educational. It’s engaging. And most of all, it’s a whole lot of fun!

So whether you’re a baby blogger or an old torch juggler, go check out MyWana tribe. The benefits are overwhelming. Thank you, Kristen Lamb. Thank you.

Harrison Ford, I salute you

It is an amazing feat for a person to be in one iconic, genre-changing movie in his lifetime. But to be in three? Harrison Ford, I salute you.

My new post for Slackerheroes.com. In which I gush about Harrison Ford for a bit. Read it here: Harrison Ford, I salute you…

What is YOUR favorite of his roles?

Most Anticipated Summer Movies

The staff at Slacker Heroes have chosen Our Most Anticipated Summer Movies.

I wrote about Last Call At the Oasis, God Bless America, and Snow White and the Huntsman. The movies I HAVE to see in theater this summer are: The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Brave, The Amazing Spider Man, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Read Our Most Anticipated Summer Movies…

What are your most anticipated summer movies?

Action Movie Romances

Annie Porter from Speed 2: Cruise Control says it best, “Relationships based on extreme circumstances never work out.” But a lot of people relate protection with love, and running from bad guys with romance. Let’s face it, explosions are hot. Dodging bullets is an adrenaline rush. Solving a mystery is intoxicating. And if someone saves your life, you’re supposed to be their slave forever… or at least that’s what I’ve heard. But those things may not actually be the best indicator of a compatible partner. Oh, and I’m using the term “romance” very lightly in this article, like when you say you “cleaned” your house, but really you just stuffed everything in your back bedroom.

From Transformers and XXX to The Matrix and The Bourne Identity, the romances are remarkably similar. Let’s break it down. . .

read the rest at SlackerHeroes.com

Spirit Saturday: Living Like A Toddler

The other day I went running. And as I ran I was thinking. I call this runking.

I was wondering what makes us truly come alive?

So then I asked the next question.

What kind of humans have I seen that are fully alive?

The answer came running at me. It literally threw its arms around me. With total disregard to appropriate public behavior, personal space, normal decibel levels, and thought to anything but the one emotion that coursed through it, my little toddler yelled, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” shot out the door and down the sidewalk, racing towards me, and leapt into my arms as if we’d been parted for fifty years.

She was happy to see me. And she shared that joy with me.

That is living.

J.M. Barry says of fairies: “Fairies are not all bad. Sometimes they are all good. But fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.”

He could have been talking about toddlers, too. What a terror to be consumed with anger you cannot control, so that all you are is a raging ball of fiery rage. Isn’t this why they sometimes call toddlers little terrors?

But the opposite of that–to feel joy so strong that it radiates from you like an energy burst, that would be a mighty fine feeling. This type of fierce joy, wild thankfulness for the moment, and consuming emotional high is something that we should hold onto from our childhood. It will help you live.

Another thing I see in my toddler that makes her so alive is her ability to learn.

The National Academy of Sciences reports that eighty percent of the brain’s total growth and development occur by the age of three.

That’s a lot of learning, y’all.

Basically every minute of her day is either spent in sleeping, eating, or learning. During play, she’s introduced to hinges, texture, velocity, rhythm, ethics, momentum, and it’s only when she’s older and those mysteries are explained do they cease to be a wonder. You know kids fascination with buttons? When I was young, I thought the dream job would to be a cashier at Wal-Mart because GOOD GOLLY LOOK AT ALL THOSE BUTTONS!!! Now I see my kids watch the cashiers with envy and fascination. I wonder if any of those cashiers took the job because it’s exactly what they wanted to do as a child: Professional Button Pusher.

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Sometimes I’ll remark to my husband, “the kids are so busy. and we’ve done nothing all day.” But we both know that’s a lie. They’re not just running from toy to toy, making forts, asking questions, reading books, doing chores (or not doing chores), turning off and on lights, playing hide and seek, and playing with their plastic figurines for HOURS . . . really, they are learning about the way this world works.

I don’t think my brain can handle so much learning anymore. I can take like, one new thing a day. And I usually don’t even remember that forever.

To be truly alive, I think you have to love and pursue learning. This (of course) doesn’t just mean academic learning. You could be dumb as a nail regarding academia but sharp as a whip in regards to people. The learning is what’s important. You’re not stagnant. Your mind, heart, spirit, and strength are always moving and growing and changing. That’s living.

Another thing about my toddler is her lack of pretentiousness.

When she tells me she likes my drawing, I believe her. She says what’s in her heart, without regard to social appropriateness or cues or norms.

As we walked into the grocery store a woman came out wearing a long skirt and heels, and my girl shouted, “Oh you have such beautiful shoes you look like a princess! Did you see her, mama, she is so beautiful!” It didn’t matter to my girl what her weight, height, skin color, or anything else was–she was just amazed at the wonderful white heels and long green skirt.  (Of course, that unpretentiousness can also go the other way. A man with curly, slick hair and a bowling shirt walked past our cart and my little girl said, “He’s a bad man, I don’t like him.”)

I think being open and honest with those around you, when it stems from a loving heart, is a part of what living is about. And seeing right and wrong for what they are, instead of society telling you what they are, is important. This purity and honesty is a beautiful thing to see in someone. It’s a noble thing, and I see it in toddlers.

Yeah, speaking of nobility . . . my toddler is stuffing flour down her pants. I better go and teach her society’s norms of appropriate location for flour.

What qualities do you see in people who are fully alive?

What does it take to re-awaken yourself?

Choose Your Own Apocalypse

Apocalypse. You know it’s gonna come one of these days. But I am not all about doom and gloom. That’s why I want to give you options to choose from in regards to your own apocalyptic demise.

Well, dudes and dames, what’ll it be?

#1 Asteroid Apocalypse

#2 Machine Apocalypse

#3 Alien Apocalypse

#4 Unknown Apocalypse

#5 Environmental Apocalypse

#6 Zombie Apocalypse

Check out the post at SlackerHeroes.com….

(and a big thanks to Jennifer Joseph for helping me with the post!)

Kung Fu Favorites

Kung Fu is in my blood. I love everything about it. From the highly stylized Chinese tragedy films to the all-action-no-plot goofiness of Jackie Chan to the sidesplitting antics of Stephen Chow, it’s rare to find a Kung Fu movie I’m not totally entertained by…

Read more at slacker heroes.com

 

Also, check out last Saturday’s Slacker Heroes post: What Went Wrong with the 2011 Summer Superhero Movies?

Also, I’ve been hanging out a lot at Educlaytion.com. Clay Morgan has a fun contest going on called March Movie Madness, in which awesome characters from movies go head to head in a contest of wit and smack talk. Yep, it’s just as fun as it sounds. This week my character (Tony Stark) is up against Harry Potter. Just call me Voldemort because Harry Potter is going down!

 

 

 

20 Iconic Objects in Movies

The One Ring.

The Time Traveling DeLorean.

The Ruby Slippers.

The Blue Lightsaber.

The Hockey Mask.

The Wand

. . . odds are if you’re sentient and have electricity, you’ve heard of these iconic movie items. Read more at SlackerHeroes.com . . .

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