writers

Heroes

JC hero

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be a hero in today’s day and age. It’s a topic that is widely discussed with all age groups and in a time where superhero movies are no longer a cult following but more of a mainstream phenomenon, I think it’s still an important question.

The answer, however, is a bit more elusive. It changes based on the evolving norms and morals of the people who believe in a particular hero. YA novels broach the subject in a roundabout way and more and more of the novels I read, shows I watch, and movies I view showcase different heroes.

So what does it mean to be a hero? Is a hero perfect? Are they human or myth or some combination of both? Do they have different faces like Bruce Wayne and his Justice League or are they simply who they are like Tris Prior? Do they sacrifice more of themselves than necessary or hide their true nature to protect themselves and those they love? Is is about bravery or something deeper?

Is it more important for them to be seen as a symbol, a hope or someone the people can relate to or some combination of both? As I reread my novel and make edits (oh, the never-ending process!), I find myself continuously evaluating if I am sending the right message, the one that I want to say and if the words on the page are actually representative of that or if the idea is still in my head struggling to come out in the sentences.

I don’t think a hero is someone that has to appeal to every single person but I think it is someone with the power to influence large groups at once. Heroes are defined by actions (and inactions) and not just words, and I think that is important distinction to make.

I also think that heroes today have become a lot more “human” than they used to be. More than ever we are seeing normal people impact the world in extreme ways. (Okay, so that might just be in books.) And they have flaws and we love and accept them regardless. In fact, in some ways, we might even love them more for it. Plus there is the whole idea of showing more back-story and how heroes (and villains!) came to be who they are, the journeys and decisions that affected them and crafted them into the person that we now see, i.e. Maleficent, Smallville, Batman Begins, and Gotham (coming this fall to Fox).

But what about when you are reading a book and the main character suddenly finds out that the person they looked up to is not at all who they thought they were? I kind of hate when that happens. It’s like people don’t realize that their heroes are people too, imperfect, fallible ones. Strike that, I hate when the character then fully rejects the person they looked up to because they discovered that the hero was human and made mistakes in the past (even if they are trying to correct them now).

I find it very frustrating. But at the same time, I can totally see where they are coming from and aren’t sure if I could be a big enough person to move past what I saw as a huge mistake made by a hero of mine. But then you have heroes like Katniss Everdeen that are written as flawed, desperately real humans and get flak from both sides because of it.

What does it mean to you to be hero? Are there any true heroes in real life? If so, what is it about them that causes you to define them as a hero?

NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo

I have been seeing a lot of this little badge in the last couple of days and I officially/finally got around to checking out what it actually means. Turns out, it is like NaNoWriMo but for blogging! Things are getting exciting around here.

I love to be part of challenges and to find ways to encourage myself to continuously write, skills are like muscles, they can atrophy with disuse. And what could be better than a competition? Even if it is just against myself. After all, if I don’t push myself to be better and to work on my writing then who will?

NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month and it’s a contest where basically the only rule to post one thing every day for an entire month. August’s theme is MNEOMNIC which is a device to aid in memory functionality. I found this to be a very attractive motivator to become involved in this pursuit.

While not all posts have to be about memory, there are prompts if you need them, it’s always fun to have a theme in case you are lost for a topic to write about. Plus it will serve to keep me busy until classes start (in almost exactly one month!) and further bridge the gap until the next NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Let’s begin!

 

Liebster Award Nomination

liebsteraward

I am absolutely floored right now. I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by my new friend Real Girl, No Name! I recently discovered this talented girl and her 365 days of poetry which I am loving. Thank you so much for choosing me!

What is this honor you might ask? Well, it is an award to recognize new talented bloggers with less than 1,000 followers. And I’m humbled that someone thinks me fit to be nominated for this.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the nominator and post a link to his/her blog
  2. Display the award on your blog
  3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the nominator
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs which have less than 1,000 followers, and let them know they’ve been nominated
  5. Make up and post eleven questions for your nominees to answer
  6. Post these rules on your blog

 

Here are the 11 questions Real Girl, No Name would like me to answer.

If you had the chance to meet any real person (living or dead) who would it be?

This is always an interesting question and I think it changes every time I answer it. Today, that choice would probably be Edgar Allan Poe. I really want to ask him what that Raven was all about. Just kidding, but I would like to know how he died and convince him to tell me some stories around a campfire so I can be even more terrified to sleep in the secluded woods.

If you had the chance to meet any fictional person who would it be?

I would love to meet Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. I think he is mysterious and fascinating and even after reading about his life, I still think I would enjoy a conversation…and perhaps a hug from this 6’7″ god.

What actor/actress would you want to star in a movie with you?

If I had to pick an actor that I got to kiss/do action scenes with, it would definitely be Jensen Ackles (For those of you not in the know, he is a star in the CW show “Supernatural”). If I had to pick an actor just to do a scene with, it would be Johnny Depp, because that man can basically play any part imaginable.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

I always struggle with this one. I’m a huge mint chocolate chip fan, but I’m currently on a maple walnut kick…which is very hard to find in the south.

What is one thing that you have never done and wished you could?

I have always wanted to go to an event celebrating a fandom, whether it’s ComiCon or a book signing or a movie premiere, I want to be a part of it for once.

What would your superhero name be?

Well if I could have a superpower, it would probably be teleportation. So I think something nerdy like the “Speed Reader” or “Lightning Librarian” might suit.

What is your catchphrase/ mantra/ “words to live by”?

It’s going to sound very weird, but my current mantra is “ain’t nobody got time for that”. And putting aside the grammatical issues with this phrase and the fact that it came from a Youtube sensation video, I actually think it has merit. Perhaps not in the way the original user intended, but I use it more as a “life is short, do what needs to be done now” type way. Sometimes, I put it to use ironically, but more often than not, I just say it because I need to get shit done and I can’t be bothered to waste time.

Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

According to Jung, I am an INFJ, which makes sense considering how much reading a good book can recharge me. And while most people mistake my outgoing personality for extroversion, it’s truly just because I care about people and want everyone to feel included and welcome into my life.

What is the worst advice that someone has ever given you?

I missed softball tryouts because I was in Florida with my family and was too timid as a freshman to ask the coach to be on JV. “Playing tennis this year will help you be more prepared for softball next year.” No, it didn’t. I actually hated it. And my coach couldn’t understand why I couldn’t master the game. (Truth: there is a level of control to swinging a tennis racket that there isn’t in softball and I didn’t want to learn it.)

What is the best advice that someone has ever given you?

In regards to studying abroad, it went something like this: “I know it’s far but if you don’t apply because of me, you might look back and regret it and I don’t want that to happen. If you apply and don’t get in then at least you know you tried, but of course you’ll get in. So when you do get in, you will decide to go and then you will be there and it will be amazing and you will look back and wonder why you ever thought this shouldn’t be a possibility.” When in doubt, always, always, always study abroad in college. Or at least apply. It will be an amazing experience that you will never forget. I went to Ireland for a semester and am so glad my now ex-boyfriend convinced me to apply at the time.

Is there any part of your life that you would do over again if you could?

Of course there are parts that I would consider doing over but the reality is that everything in life happens for a reason. Every decision, good or bad, every place I went, every person I talked to helped to shape me into who I am today and I really like the person I am. Another great lesson from my ex is that life shouldn’t be lived with regrets, regrets are meaningless and they hold you back. You can’t change the past but you can shape how it will affect your future. And that is infinitely more important.

 

Whew. Okay and now here are my nominees, in no particular order of favorites:

1) The Super Organizer Universe (For sheer awesome talent when it comes to organization, seriously, this guy should have a PhD in it.)

2) 21st Century Library Blog (Just started following today but stumbled across a great article and now I’m addicted. Especially since I am a MLS student)

3) The Book That… (Really great raw talent and lots of books in common!)

4) Hey, Library Girl! (Her book reviews and weekend in pop culture posts are my favs.)

5) booksandopinions.com (Thoughts of the day, fun facts, books, libraries, LOVE!)

6) Snippets of a Librarian’s World (Because I like her philosophy even though she is just starting out.)

7) My Journey to the Acknowledgements (So. Many. Book. Postings!)

8) the writer girl’s diary (This girl has it all: movies, books, music.)


 

And the questions they must answer so that we can better know them!

  • What is your favorite food?
  • What 3 books are at the top of your to-be-read pile (physical or digital)?
  • What’s better a highlighter or a post-it note?
  • Blue ink or black?
  • What is your favorite art medium? (i.e poetry, paintings, prose)
  • What is your dream job?
  • If you could be anyone, living or dead, for one day, who would it be and why?
  • Would you rather be able to eat anything without gaining a pound or get paid a decent salary to do your favorite hobby?
  • Who is your favorite Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks villain and why?
  • Would you rather be able to fly or teleport?
  • If you could be immortal (and not have to live off blood), would you choose to be and why?