Friday, June 29, 2012

Scary Writing Trip

Today I'm deviating from writing about relationships to say that I'll be going on a two week hiatus in order to take the trip of a lifetime. This is the scariest and most exciting thing I've ever done. I am going to Hungary alone to research the culture, people, and setting for the novel I'm currently writing.

I'm not a planner or an organizer, but I've been having to do both so that when I land, I don't go into full panic mode trying to figure out where I'm staying, where's the train station, and what in the heck does a repuloteri mean? (Hint: it means airport.) So, I've had to do the unthinkable. I planned my trip. After doing heavy research, I made online reservations to hostels. The one in Budapest is across the street from the train station I'll need to get to Pecs the next day. I arranged for a shuttle from the airport to the hostel. I've been making a list of all the places I want to go when I get to Pecs.

As unusual as all that is for me, I feel a lot more comfortable and confident about my upcoming trip.

It's usually a good thing for people to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. It will open up new worlds and possibilities that may not have seen possible. It will expose people to new ways of thinking and will show us what we are capable of and that we are stronger than we realize.

What sorts of things have you done that may have seen impossible at first? How did you accomplish it, and what did you learn? Experiences and stories like these are inspirational, and I'm eager to hear about yours.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mothers and Daughters

Yesterday I saw Pixar's "Brave" with my son. I took him instead of my daughter because she's a teen, and my son is just the right age. That was before I really knew what kind of a movie it was.

I knew it wasn't the typical Disney princess movie, and I had heard in a review that unlike in other princess movies, Merida did not ride off into the sunset with her prince charming. What I didn't know until I saw the movie yesterday is that it's a mother/daughter film. A traditional queen and her selfish, free-spirited daughter are at odds as to what Merida's destiny should be, and they both have wonderful character arcs as they change and learn together about what's important.

This reminded me of the occasional mother/daughter movies I used to see with my mom and sister, the last being the Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman team in "Anywhere But Here".

Mother/daughter movies are important. They provide bonding to the vital relationship. Such films provide topics of discussion and how it relates on a practical level to the mother/daughter duos watching the film. Such discussions lead to learning how to work together to find solutions to issues similar to what the characters in the film faced. This is where art meets the needs of society and reflects who and where we are and benefits us as individuals. Relationships strengthen through the philosophies shared in whatever medium the artist chooses. This is not to say all art and all movies are equal or that all philosophies are equal because they’re not. However, art, including movies, can provoke thinking and discussion and can even change some small part of our lives.

Even though I didn’t see “Brave” with my daughter, it’s still a good parent/child movie no matter the gender, and it just may speak to the heart of what someone is facing right now. After all, isn’t that what good art does?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Women Rule

I came across an old NY Times article on the biases against women rulers and why they are more effective in monarchies than in democratic societies.

Many things went through my mind as I read the article. One of which was the biblical account of Deborah in the book of Judges. She ruled with wisdom and peace. The Bible hailed her as the greatest of the ruling judges of Israel. Another thought was on Queen Hatshepsut, which the writer of the article gave a nod to.

Hatshepsut was the daughter of Tuthmosis I (note the suffix 'mosis') and married to her half-brother, Tuthmosis II and ruled for twenty years after her husband died and before her son could take the throne. When she was a child, she 'mothered' the son of a peasant, Senenmut. According to the statues and drawings of the two of them together, they were very close. As an adult, he was Queen Hatshepsut's most powerful officer and closest advisor, but he abruptly disappeared when he was forty.

I realize it seems I have gotten off subject, and perhaps I have, but during Queen Hatshepsut's rein, Egypty experienced peace and prosperity, which is the point of my mention of her and her rule. Immediately after her death, God pronounced judgment on Egypt through the return of Senenmut, you know him as Moses.

Another thought that went through my mind as I read the article has to do with my own personal experience with women managers. In most cases, their dealings with male subordinates were just, fair, and very effective, but they changed tactics when dealing with female subordinates. Women bosses have been typically harsher, more erratic, and more condescending with other women than with men in the same position. The article mentioned that women are harsher with other women in authority than men are, and in my experience, the flip-side of petty jealousies and prejudices are equally true. If women are to lead, then we need to change the prejudices, and we aren't going to change the prejudices unless we learn to respect and support each other first.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Differences Between the Sexes

Why do women want to smell like pina colodas, cucumbers, or peaches but not bacon or beer?

I wish I thought of this topic, but since Kristen Lamb did an awesome job with it, I'll just share the link with you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Here's a very cool contest I'm passing on to my readers. On the Fiction Femme Fatale site they're giving away two books by Libba Bray (I've read three of her books, and she's an excellent story teller) and three critiques. If you want to join in, the rules are you must blog, tweet, etc. about the contest and comment on the blog with a link back to your post. That's it. Good luck.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What's His Secret Mission?

Some women are stuck in a relationship that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. He says he loves her, but where’s the ring? It’s been five years, and while he’s content to coast, she’s watching her friends walk down the aisle with me who are crazy about their new brides. What’s the deal? Is he a commitment phobe? Possibly, but there’s another answer that is more likely. Men need to be wanted and loved. They have a need to love and to give, but they can also be quite content to have regular sex with multiple women or even just one woman without ever being inspired to give her the world… and that includes the ring. So what inspires men out of their comfort zone to really going after the woman of their dreams?

A secret mission.

Now everyone reading this thinks I’m crazy. But let’s go inside the psychology of a man for a minute. Every man feels like he’s been put on this earth for a reason. Some may not even know what his purpose is. It’s so secret, he doesn’t even know it. Yet, he still feels there is a mission, something that he must accomplish during his lifetime. When he meets a woman whom he believes can help him fulfill his mission in life, he will make winning her over his new mission in order to have the life partner he needs to accomplish his real goals.

It’s been said, “Knowing is half the battle”. But I’m sure many who are reading this are feeling even more confused. “How can I show a man that I can help him complete his mission when he doesn’t even know what it is?” You do this by listening. What are his passions? Does he have hobbies or goals outside of work? Maybe his particular career is his main goal in life, but most of the time it’s not. It’s something deeper.

When I was dating my husband, we had some good theological discussions. I was thrilled that I could speak to someone who shared the same passion as me, and he in turn was amazed that he could have such conversations with a woman (and an attractive one at that). After two months of dating, he told me that in his first career he was a pastor. I was blown away by that statement because my secret wish was to be a pastor’s wife, but I knew that a woman my age who was divorced with two children probably didn’t have a chance. For the same reason, he also knew it wasn’t possible for him to pastor again, but he had also given up the idea of doing anything ministerial. For the first time, each of us knew that although our exact goals couldn’t be met but that together there was a possibility that we could move forward together. It wasn’t long after that he started talking about marriage, and the way he doted on me almost seemed magical.

In that story, you can see that in showing him I was the right woman to help him with a secret mission but that our secret missions corresponded. There was no reason for me to change who I was to meet his needs, and this is as equally important. You can’t be fake about being his secret mission partner. You have to make sure he’s also your secret mission partner.

Hopefully, you’re wondering if I’ve actually helped my dear husband with his life’s purpose. I’ll revisit this subject in time. Right now, if you’re single or single in a dead end relationship, I want you to keep this blog in mind as you look for the right guy. If you’re married, figure out his mission in life and start finding ways to help him achieve it. You will see an amazing transformation in your marriage.