Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Technical Points

In the current story I am working on, I have a character named Janey who is a foster child. 

To give this character a sense of reality for the story, I contacted several friends who work with Child Protective Services, Teen Agencies, Drug Enforcement, Office of Public Assistance, and Suicide Prevention and asked questions. 

Some answered with mandates written in the law, some referred to their cases, and all spoke from their heart because it is a meaningful topic to them. I bounced off my ideas to insure accuracy in my scene.

With this information in hand I wrote several scenes for Janey and showed them to a beta reader. The person lifted her eyes after finishing the scene and smiled. She pointed out portions she especially enjoyed. The one thing she didn't discuss was the technical foster care points finely threaded into the scenes, and that made me happy. 

I love watching Olympic ice skating competitions. The performances, even with flaws are magnificent. The networks provide an expert to commentate during each performance and then review anything significant with video footage. As he/she discusses the perfected skills mastered by the skater, I am amazed because I would not have noticed those points had the commentator not told me. The performance appeared simple, elegant, breathtaking, superior, and stunning. 

I honestly don't know enough about the finer parts of skating to judge if a skater went high enough, held their leg or arm at the exact angle required, etc., but I can distinguish between a superior performance and one that skirted requirements. The result always shows in the flow.

As Christians we have a Teacher, His Word, His encouragement, and his strength to use in situations. We can choose to practice, perfect, access, and apply these tools to have a continuing perfected walk. When we do, we won't have to worry about not having the right words to say or doing the right thing when sharing God's love. Others will simply come to us and ask.

Friend, How have you perfected the technical points?

Monday, July 29, 2013

If The Coffee Cups Were In the Right Cupboard

We've lived in our house for eight months.

The coffee cups have been in the cupboard to the left of the sink and the glasses in the cupboard to the right. 

Teen daughter walked in at noon and opened the cupboard to the right to get a coffee cup.

Her conclusion: We need cupboards with special features. One that changes the contents of the cupboard depending on the need. For example, if I stand before this cupboard and say coffee cup, the door would open and poof, the desired object is there.

Good idea!

The movie Sleepless in Seattle came to mind after teen daughter left the room with her coffee. Sam Baldwin, (played by Tom Hanks), an architect, is having difficulties with the buyer of a house. It seems every day she requests changes to her new home structure. The one change Sam hates to change is: move the kitchen cabinets. He'll never finish the house. 

Sam Baldwin is speaking with his date Victoria, Here is the scene:

"She's on her sixth painter. And now she wants her fireplace rebricked. When she wants something done she says, 'You know best. But couldn't we flip the house so the back is in the front and put the front on a hinge so I can get in with a garage door opener?'

"Yes we can, We'll just have to move the kitchen cabinets."

Hmm, opening the house with a garage door opener. Interesting

While we're on the topic let's not forget the Jetson's style of home where a robot maid clicks a button and raises the house above the smog and our car fits into a suitcase.

My daughter has spoken. Sam Baldwin tells about his client. The Jetsons send us to the future.  Now it is your turn.

Let's have fun. If you could have a dream invention/change in your home, what would it be?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Miralee Ferrell

Today I welcome an author who loves to read, ride horses, play with dogs, go sailing, basically anything outdoors. She is a fun person to have as a friend:
Miralee Ferrell
Enter to win Miralee's book,
Blowing on Dandelions 
Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

I asked Miralee to share with us how God had led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

God Opened the Door

I know a lot of writer’s believe they’re called to write but my calling was more dramatic than you might expect—and it showed me quite clearly that God had something special in mind. 

I was at an evening church service with a visiting pastor speaking. At the end he had a call for prayer, and I went forward. He prayed with me and then stopped. He said he believed God was calling me to write and it needed to be published. I went home, prayed about it, and felt a confirmation, although I had no idea what direction to go.

All I could think was to chronicle the things the Lord had done for my husband and me since we met, which turned into a 60,000 document, but I couldn’t imagine anyone caring to read it. So I moved on and wrote several true-life articles, all of which were published that first summer. 

I had no idea what to do next, but a friend suggested I try Christian fiction. I didn’t think I had any creativity, but she urged me to use something from my life that I could fictionalize.

Soon after, my debut novel, The Other Daughter was born, based on an event in our lives. An eighteen-year old girl wrote us a letter saying she believed my husband was her father. Talk about a shock! 

I revised the idea to a thirteen-year-old girl and changed the events and emotions, but it poured out, burning to be told. It took me about seven weeks to write the first draft, another 6-8 months to rewrite and polish. 

I attended my first writing conference and learned I needed an agent. I sent proposals off to agents and to a few publishers. I got requests for two partial manuscripts and one full, and shortly after signed with my agent. Six months later we had a book contract, and a little over a year later, (2 ½ yrs after the call to write), the book released. That in itself is a miracle, as many writers have manuscripts sitting in their files for years before they’re picked up.

God has been such an integral part of my writing career. He’s sent amazing friends who are multi-published authors to encourage and aid me when I’ve struggled. One even recommended me to Summerside for my first Love Finds You book. 

I went on to write four books for their line, and then David C Cook signed me for my Love Blossoms in Oregon series (historical romance). The first of three, Blowing on Dandelions, just released. I’m so excited about this book, as I know that God put the storyline on my heart. Blowing on Dandelions and The Other Daughter are both ‘books of my heart’ that were burning to be written, and ones that I truly believe will minister to the lives of women. 

My husband asked me once if I’d have continued down this path if I’d known how much work it would be, and I heartily answered Yes! Absolutely. I write because I love it and can’t imagine not doing so. Besides, God opened the door, and I’ll continue until He shows me it’s time to set my computer aside and move to something else, or until He takes me home, whichever comes first.

You can find Miralee at:  (website and blog)

To enter the contest for a copy of Miralee Ferrell's book: "Blowing on Dandelions":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.
U.S. residents only
Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Miralee, for Joining us This Weekend!

Friend, how about you? Choosing to follow God's will isn't an easy task at times. God sent specific friends to help Miralee. For me, He puts a song in my thought. What does He do for you?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Weekend When God Set the Table

A song sung by the Detroit Bible College Choral:

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever amen, amen, be honor and glory for ever and ever amen. From I Timothy 1:17.

Before a family meal is eaten, the table must be set. There can be a wide range of dishes and other assorted pieces placed on the table, depending on the need.

For me, I had an opportunity to dine with the Father at a table He set this last weekend.

Here is how:

About a year ago, my son gave me an exterior hard drive for my computer and recommended I back up my data regularly. I set the device in my computer bag and promptly forgot about it. Last Friday, I happened to visit him and while there asked him to teach me how to do the back up for my computer. He taught me by doing the job.

Sunday, I received word that Jim, a good college friend passed away. Several friends from our college choral went to the visitation. Jim's brother, Robert, greeted us at the door and told us how Jim loved the song, I Timothy 1:17. 

We broke out in chorus, singing as we did with Jim in our former college choral. Robert smiled and sang with us as many others in the room watched.

Stick with me...this will all fit together--I promise.

I drove the three hours home that night thinking fondly of my visit and reached into the back seat to take my computer bag into the house. I lifted it and immediately realized something was missing. I looked inside and did not see my computer or the power cord. Everything else was in the bag.

My daughters helped me search the house. Maybe I only thought I packed my computer. It had to be somewhere, but after twenty minutes of searching we conceded. Someone stole the computer from my car while I was in the funeral home.  My stories. My notes. 

I called the funeral home to let them know a thief went through their parking lot that evening then lay in bed wide awake most of the night.

The next morning I called the police. They agreed to let my son who lived nearby come to file my report. 

I called my insurance company, and they recommended I not claim the computer due to deductibles and possible future needs.

I went out to check the mail that day and found the long awaited state tax return in our mailbox. Due to glitches, and weird issues only an accountant could understand, the amount slightly exceeded the cost of a replacement computer.

God started setting the table for this event last year when my son gave me the external hard drive. He place the next piece on the table when my son and I met and he backed up all my data last Friday. He set the last piece on the table by having the check arrived. We sat down to feast when I praised Him for his mercy and protection.

Despite the enemy's wishes to take away the tool I use to write for God, my Father turned the opportunity into a moment for me to dine with Him. I am so blessed.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever amen, amen, be honor and glory for ever and ever amen. I Timothy 1:17.

Friend, share a blessing with us today.

Photo courtesy of

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Weeds in Our Life

Today is weeding day. I won't spend the entire day out in the sweltering heat, but I will go out this morning and again this evening when it cools a bit. 

I don't have a green thumb when weeding gardens. If you're in need a plant to be killed, put it in my care. I don't know how, but I even managed to kill a cactus. Good grief. I think I am hopeless. But I keep trying.

When the temperature rises outside I will start my weeding inside. I'll weed my house of the clutter, dust, and dirty dishes. I'll weed the laundry room of dirty clothes.

This morning when I first woke, I weeded my mind of ill thoughts, concerns, and disappointments and replaced them with thoughts of God and what He has done for me. 

Throughout the day I have to weed out the lazy temptation and replace it with drive/motivation. 

My favorite weeding will be the edits on my current manuscript. I can't wait. I love reading crits from others and using their suggestions for improvement, I love catching whole paragraphs in need of deleting (poof--gone) and replacing them with essential components I forgot the first time through. Sigh. It's wonderful.

Weeding must be done everyday. There's always something in need of weeding either emotionally, physically, or spiritually. 

Let's have some fun. Here is a quiz for you to prove how much you've weeded today. Give yourself ten points for each one you answer yes.

1. I weeded out the lazy temptation by successfully getting out of bed this morning.
2. I weeded out the desire to have only junk food for breakfast by eating healthy.
3. I weeded out the selfish desire by complimenting someone else.
4. I weeded out the misunderstanding in my heart by reading the Bible.
5. I weeded out the focus of my own needs by praying for someone else's need.
6. I weeded out the dirty laundry by washing some/all. (or similar cleaning task)
7. I weeded out the focus on me time by having a conversation with a family or friend in person which lasting more than ten minutes.
8. I weeded out a satisfaction that claims I already know what I need to know by actively learning something new.
9. I weeded out the media's focus on the negative by looking at/watching something beautiful.
10. I weeded out my need for kudos by thanking God for something He did for me.

Fee free to modify any of these to personalize.

So, friend, how did you do? 
What could be added to the quiz?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Carla Laureano

Today I welcome an author who stopped by this website one Friday to read how God led a friend, Beth Vogt, on her writing journey.

This is what Let's Talk is all about. Bringing friends together and sharing God's blessings.

After learning Carla Laureano had a new release just last month, June 2013, I asked her to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

An Audience of One

I didn’t start out intending to write inspirational fiction. At the time I began writing novels and working towards publication over fifteen years ago, the Christian fiction market seemed to be mainly historicals, traditional sweet romances, and the Left Behind series. For a writer of fantasy fiction (and later contemporary romance) there didn’t seem to be a place for my kind of story.

So I spent almost ten years aiming for publication in the general market. I had some good responses on my work and some interest from big-name agents, but for some reason, I couldn’t make it that last step towards representation. Part of it may have been that my writing just wasn’t ready. But I believe a larger part of it had to do with the fact God had very different plans for my writing career.

I was slogging through rewrites on a novel and getting nowhere when the answer came to me in a flash. I wasn’t happy with my work because it was missing something. It had conflict, interesting characters, and decent writing, but it had no heart. Or more properly, it had no soul. My writing was informed by my Christian beliefs, but writing moral characters without addressing their spiritual beliefs left the story lacking. It was that realization—somewhere between a gentle nudge and a shout from heaven—that sent me in the direction of Christian fiction.

As I began to revise my work-in-progress for the inspirational market, I realized that God had a message He wanted me to deliver through my writing. The focus of my stories has never been winning non-believers to Christ, though I’m sure that God could use them for that purpose if He wished. Rather, I wanted to speak to believers going through hard times. I wanted to show the struggle of living a Christian life when it’s inconvenient or downright dangerous. The difficulty of maintaining faith when the horizon looked dark. The unending grace our Savior shows despite the fact we make mistakes—sometimes the same one, over and over again.

I still believe in those messages, but as I’ve written multiple stories and dozens of characters over the last five years, I have realized the audience for those lessons was different than I originally intended.
That audience is me.

It never ceases to amaze me how something I’ve written and completely forgotten will pop out to me while doing an editing pass or a read-through. I might not have seen the personal application at the time I wrote it—perhaps it wasn’t even an issue for me at the time I wrote it—but my own words often come back to challenge me.

It’s at these times that I wonder if God didn’t push me towards writing inspirational fiction for my own spiritual growth as much as others’. I’m sure He knew that in the craziness of juggling a family and a career, sometimes I’d get in over my head and this would be the one sure way to get my attention. After all, it’s pretty hard to argue with yourself, especially when the answer is written in black and white.

And it’s at these times I’m grateful for a God who always meets me where I am, whether it’s in church, through the example of another, or in the pages of a novel.

Five Days in Skye:
An American businesswoman falls for her celebrity chef client while on a business trip to Scotland. Will she find the courage to take another chance on love?

About Carla:
Carla Laureano has held many job titles—professional marketer, small business consultant, and martial arts instructor—but writer is by far her favorite. She currently lives in Denver with her patient husband and two rambunctious sons, who know only that Mom’s work involves lots of coffee and talking to imaginary people.

Connect with Carla:
Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest
Five Days in Skye is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore (iTunes).

David C. Cook is offering "Five Days in Skye" for $2.99 or less during July, 2013. Click on one of the links above to purchase. Journey to Scotland and read Carla's exciting story. 

Join our regular discussions MWF
 become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Thank you, Carla, for Joining us This Weekend!

Wow! I feel blessed just having read this story, Carla.

Reader, how about you? No matter where we are on our journey, isn't it such a blessing to know God will meet us where we are at each moment? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wanting So Desperately

Temperatures in my neck of the woods have reached triple digits. It probably has in yours as well.

I am SO thankful for central air in the house, and air conditioners in cars.

As I walked in the house, my daughter's cat emerged from a back room, walked to the slider, and begged to go outside. 

I kneeled by her and petted her head. "You really don't want to go outside. It is too hot. You'll swelter in your fur coat." Did she believe me? Noooooooo.

That's when the idea for this post popped in my head. I gingerly fetched my camera knowing that crazy cat would stay by the door, hoping I would change my mind. The memory chip had been taken out of the camera and the batteries were dead. I took my time assembling the camera, still assured that crazy cat would stay by the door.

Uh huh.

So desperate to go outside, she remained at her post while I took the pics and typed these words. 

Yet for her safety and health I wouldn't open that door. Not today. No matter how much she begs.

During this drama, God reminded me of the many times I have prayed desperately for something. I hold my vigil, praying for days, or at least minutes. 

Thank God He gave me more ability to reason than my cat, because after a while, I usually realize God is lovingly telling me "No", or "Wait," for those particular requests and that He is doing it to protect me or for my well being.

As I sit here typing this post, several recent and past prayer requests have popped in my mind, and I realize, yes, God's answer was best and right.

This is not to say God always says no. As a matter of fact, I had a huge technical problem with my website. Seemingly unsolvable. God walked with me through the process to resolve the issue. As of today the problem is fixed. I didn't deserve it. God says yes often, even when we forget to ask. 

Therefore, publicly I say, Thank you God! for helping me with the technical problems on this website.

Friend, can you remember a time when God said no, and you later realized it was really the best choice after all?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review: "The Dance" by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

I'd heard about the awards received, and the contracts signed to have this book translated into other languages and became intrigued. What makes this book so honorable? The only way to answer the question was to read the book. And now, I will entice you to read it, too.

The Dance, by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Jim is a wealthy business owner. Good returns have enabled him to buy his wife the best clothes, a lovely home in in the high class section of River Oaks, the current gadget and toys for his kids, exclusive cars, and invitations to social events. 

With his wife by his side, all of River Oaks knows Jim is a successful man, including his church. As a deacon of the mega church, board members choose to rent needed facilities from Jim's available properties. While life could be stressful at times from keeping up with business demands, he always is assured his shirts would be washed and pressed, a meal on the table, kids cared for, and his home spit polished clean--until one day.

Jim has to admit, he had a bad day, and looks forward to going home.  Coming into the house and not finding his dinner on the table irks him, maybe Marilyn is laying in bed sick. He can forgive her this once. After searching the house, Jim can't figure out where she is. Marilyn knows he'd be home at this time, the same minute he arrives everyday. Where is she?

Marilyn walks into her friends apartment and to her new room, barely the size of the walk-in closet at home. The first day of work ends with tired feet but a thrill she hasn't experienced in a long time. She has a job, one of the many things Jim never let her do. 

A string of new opportunities: holding her first paycheck, sitting on an enclosed balcony in her pajamas, and etc. led Marilyn to sign up for something she had always wanted to do, take dance lessons. Jim would never let her leave the house for something so foolish. He wouldn't even dance with her at their wedding reception. Each day she woke in her new world feeling freedom, respect from others, a chance to make her own decisions, and joy.

One week later, Jim realizes Marilyn is not coming home. He didn't know what to do. 

After meeting with an unusual new friend, Jim sets everything aside to win back Marilyn. The work is much more than he expects, but his true love is worth every step. Despite his endeavors, though, she doesn't respond as he hopes. Is it too late to win the woman he treasures back?

I appreciated the point of view of this story. 

Walsh and Smalley wrote a timeless story that can touch every home in some way. I feel it was very well crafted, didn't hold back on this difficult issue at all, raised real issues and hardships, and most importantly, brought about the perfect ending, one the reader will definitely need a box of tissues.

One organization I review books for instructs reviewers to reserve the rating of "5+" for the books containing not only a great story but also some element of life change for the reader. This simply means the theme in some way is able to tug at the heart of the reader and invites change. 

With this in mind, I can't help but rate The Dance: 5+ and heartily invite you to read it.

Let's Talk about this: 

Do you like books that have something more than the story? 
(I like to read to relax. But maybe those very relaxing books contain something that is helpful, a changing of my view.) 

Can you name a book that had an element which helped you? (let's keep to fiction for this discussion.)

I purchased this book with my own money and have received nothing from the authors or the publisher for this review.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Vanessa Riley

Today I welcome an amazing lady who has studied engineering, owned a coffee shop and chose above all these to author historical Christian Fiction: 
Vanessa Riley

Enter to win Vanessa Riley's new release,
Madeline's Protector 

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

I met Vanessa through the ACFW loop. Sharon Lavy mentioned her new book, Madeline's Protector, released April of this year. When I wrote to her, she shared this amazing writing journey God has led her on. I just had to ask her to share this with you:

Even God Can Use a Chamber Pot

One of my favorite scenes in my debut novel, Madeline's Protector, takes place after heroine, Madeline St. James, has been shot and reforming rake hero, Justain Delveaux, works to stop the bleeding to keep her alive.

"Your eyes, like a knight’s or a beautiful marble warrior." She pulled his hand to her chin, modeling what Mrs. Wilkins always did to encourage her. "God’s made you the vessel to protect me."

"A vessel? Like a flowery vase?" He scowled for a moment. "Even Providence could employ a chamber pot. I’ll not abandon your trust."

Justain believes his past disqualifies him. Those nay-saying voices are in his head, replaying every failure, every attempt at doing the right thing, which has gone awry.

My writing and life journey have had such moments. Even after winning contests and being published, I must admit to worrying about acceptance. Over six years old, the harshest lines of the worst rejection letter I ever received still echoes in my mind.

Have you had those moments, when you feel your past disqualifies or rejects you? No way can I do grand things because:

I once failed ….
If I hadn't tried to ….
Why didn't I know….
How could I have ….

Just fill in the blanks. Everyone at one point or another harbors doubts about self-worth. Usually there's a memory of abject failure to bolster it. On the day, I had to sell my dream coffee shop, I remember feeling as if I'd fallen flat and all the air rushed from my lungs. 

Even now when I write a new storyline, there's a sharp pain of anxiety. My heart and mind race as if I balanced on the edge of a cliff. Until I type those words, 'the end,' part of me is wondering: will this plot work? Will my readers love this character? Will this book succeed? Will I succeed?

For my poor Justain, he's locked in a constant battle of measuring if he's good enough. Worse, he's internalizes the negatives and allows it to define him. In his own eyes, he is nothing more than a toilet, a chamber pot.

For those who struggle with acceptance, let me tell you about a man, who by every right was king, but chose to hang with the most unworthy in society, thieves and liars. He stopped and minister to adulterers and cheats. He even invited a condemned man to dine with Him in paradise. In fact, He spread His arms wide and shed His blood to free you from shame and sin.

It's not easy to lay down burdens. Some of us may have even gotten so comfortable with the old gripes, we wouldn't know what to do, if we truly believed God made the old things pass away. Just know:

You are a new creature in Christ.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are no longer a slave, but a child and an heir of God.

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:7).

You are chosen, holy, and blameless before God.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (Ephesians 1:4).

You are God’s workmanship created to produce good works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Remember, you are worthy, the works of your hand are worthy, for God has made you worthy.

Even as she pursued engineering degrees, Vanessa Riley's love of 19th century history yielded a hunger to take as many Western Civilization credits as possible (two classes shy of a minor). Vanessa adores Regency times with its conflicts between Church and State, the clash of the classes, and the sweeping romances. 

Her mission is to have the world fall in love with powerful Regency heroes and heroines who battle for peace with a flintlock and a prayer. Vanessa writes from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey or Cinnamon Spice.

Madeline's Protector
If all young men leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn’t care. Yet a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything. She must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Can they forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?

Madeline's Protector can be purchased at BNAmazonCBD:

Vanessa Riley
April 2013 – Madeline’s Protector, Pelican Books –See the Trailer: Part 1

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Vanessa Riley's book: "Madeline's Protector":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.
U.S. residents only
Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Vanessa, for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader, how about you? Has there been a time when God showed you His tremendous love or His desire to use you for His service--just the way you are?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Perfect Gentleman

Darryl is a perfect gentleman...

He lives in a nursing home (names have been changed) with his wife, Evelyn. A real Notebook story that is wonderful to share.

Darryl is an older gentleman with no physical or mental health issues. His dear wife, Evelyn, suffers from dementia and some minor physical issues. He couldn't take care of her by himself. 

For her health, she had to move to a nursing home. 

He couldn't stand to be away from his Evelyn, they'd shared so many years together. He volunteered to move into the nursing home with her where they share a room.

The nurses care for Evelyn, which frees Darryl to come and go as he wants, including spending holidays with his son and grandkids. 

On days when he isn't there, Evelyn is walked down to the dining area by nurses aids who reassure her that Darryl will come home. They sit her in a place next to an empty chair. She sets her arm on the chair intended for her husband. Her eyes move from the chair to the doorway and back. She doesn't say anything. Her breathing is filled with anticipation. 

Then Darryl walks in the door. 

Her concern switches to pure joy in a nano second. She moves her arm off of his chair and watches him walk across the room and sit next to her. Her broad smile shows sparkly white teeth.

Darryl leans toward her and says something. She looks toward her lap, savoring his sweet words. 

At times, Darryl comes down to the dining area alone when Evelyn is taking a nap. A few other residents sit around a table looking at pictures. Sarah, who struggles to speak, has been wildly shouting "ah". No one is able to help her stop shouting. 

Darryl walks to her wheelchair, and with a kind smile says, "Hi Sarah." For the first time that afternoon, Sarah smiles. His gentleman words touch her heart with such power she can't respond. 

Darryl helps other residents who can't move their wheelchairs through small passages. He talks with visiting families and other residents, moving about the room to find someone who needs a smile.

Darryl is a perfect gentleman. One sent by God to bless a nursing home.

And yes....this is a true story. Sigh

READER, please share your story of a perfect gentleman.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Movie Review: Superman, Man of Steel

The advantage to writing a movie review after most people have seen it or heard about it, is you can dialogue back with me. And that is the focus of my website, to dialogue with you.

Today's movie review is: Superman, Man of Steel

WARNING: Spoilers in this review.

I am all for remakes. New renditions incorporate new technology, take the story to a deeper level, draw out new aspects. I was excited to see this movie with my daughter.

I must admit, from the first opening of this movie I loved it. And then....

Positives and Magnificent moments:  

1. This rendition did a fantastic job showing Kal-El's need to adapt to earth's environment. He struggled as a child with unusual sounds and sights, not understanding what was wrong with him. This was a new component and enabled today's viewer to have new insight into this character.

2. Lois was given a breathing apparatus when boarding the alien ship. This demonstrated an understanding of the difference in air between the planets, but also raised a conflict which will be addressed in another section. 

3.  Kal-El mourns Zod's death, showing his understanding that he was now the sole survivor of his planet. 

4. Every actor and actress performed magnificently. Each one appropriately chosen to bring a fresh and real flavor to their role. Kudos to Henry Cavill (superman, Kal-El), Amy Adams (Lois), Russell Crowe, (Jor-El, Kal-El's biological father), Antje Traue, (Faora-Ul, Kal-El's biological mother), Dylan Sprayberry and Cooper Timberline (young Clark Kent). 

5. Jor-El's consciousness was added to the story line. With this he was able to dialogue more completely with Kal-El and with those on the ship. This aspect truly deepened the story.

These are great additions to this fantastic story. I continued to root for this movie hoping that the wrongs would be overwhelmed by the rights. But as I walked out of the theater, I had to admit, I was so very disappointed. My daughter was too. We made this list of reasons why.

Issues and Problematic moments:

1. We missed Jimmy Olsen. He was not in this movie.

2. Heavy on action...NO humor.

3. Flashbacks throughout the movie, confusing the viewer. There was absolutely no timeline.  The poor viewer who has this for their first exposure to this fantastic story was sure to walk out of the theater thrilled with the action, but lost with a lack of a secure plot.

4. Lois Lane knows who Clark Kent is the whole time.  SERIOUSLY??? Why did they do that?

5. The faulty science went beyond any molecule of acceptance. Science fiction and fantasy should fall back on plausibility. A black hole above the earth is NOT ACCEPTABLE. 

6. The villains did not go through a trial on Krypton in this version. It almost seemed like the leaders of Krypton were judgmental and evil, punishing those they didn't like.

7.  How strange that none of the New Yorkers noticed their city being destroyed. Whole buildings toppled while men and women watch the fight. Why wasn't anyone reasonably scared witless?

8. Insufficient time devoted to Kal-El's visit to the North Pole, and why did Lois have the opportunity to enter the sanctum without Kal-El knowing it?

9. Why wasn't Lois cold at the North Pole? The men at the camp told her not to go out at night because of the temperature drop. Sure enough, Lois goes out. Why isn't she at least shivering or dropping over from freezing?

10. Why did Zod choose to terrorize earth? He had to recreate the planet for their survival anyway. With his intelligence, why didn't he choose a more compatible planet?

11. Justification for Clark Kent's desire to protect the earth not established. He simply saves a few people. The justice, truth, etc not brought out. Early in the movie, Clark saves a boy from drowning in a bus. The boy's character is appropriately used later in the story, but not the girl who was the only one to show Clark compassion on the same bus.

12. No explanation for kryptonite hazard for superman. Too briefly addressed.

13. Clark Kent's father dies saving a dog. SERIOUSLY?? The heart attack in the original movie was MUCH better.

14. Leaps in the story line are disturbing. Baby Kal-El is flying toward earth. The viewer does't see the ship crash, land, or become discovered. Next scene, a man we must assume to be Clark is mocked as a crummy worker on a fishing boat. SERIOUSLY?? It took a few minutes to straighten this out in the viewer's mind.

15. The bully that Clark saves as a child grows up to be a wimp. OH, REALLY??? How does this have ANY plausibility in the story.

16. Uber amounts of product placement. Sears, Nikon...good grief. Big bucks went into this.

17. AND the biggest complaint. Why was Lois able to track down Clark Kent in Kansas but the government with all their resources couldn't? SERIOUSLY?

My heart ached. This movie had great potential at the downbeat. So sorry, DC Comics. I am forced to give this movie a two thumbs down. (One from my daughter and one from me).

Okay, I'm done.  You're turn. 

I hope you saw more positives than I did. Please share.