Thursday, February 20, 2014

What if our political leaders were characters from A Game of Thrones?

For the past several months, I have been reading and watching the books and televisions series "A Game of Thrones". I really like the series, and regard it as on par with The Lord of the Rings books and films.

I have started thinking how some of the Game of Thrones characters remind me of our political leaders:

Cersei Lannister - Definitely Hillary Clinton. Committed to her family regardless of their crimes and ruthless. Just not hot like the actress Lena Headey who plays the role.

Robert Baratheon - Almost a clone of Bill Clinton. Bigger than life, perhaps wise, but also careless and immoral. 

Ned Stark - I struggled with this one, but I think he resembles George W. Bush. Basically a good man with a troubled past. Also not wise enough to see how his enemies were plotting against him. Still, Bush, like Ned Stark, stayed loyal to his beliefs until the end.

Varys the Eunuch - David Axelrod. Sneaky,  not trustworthy, and unlikeable. It is not clear how either of them gained power.

The King's Guard - The U.S. media. Both are feared and supposedly loyal to their king - I'll get to him in a moment. 

Joffrey - Clearly the same as Obama. Petulant. spoiled, overrated. Loved for his title only. A figure his foes love to hate.

I'm still struggling with naming figures who resemble The Imp, Jon Snow, Arya, Rob, and some of the others. Please send me your suggestions.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pope Francis asks for day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria

9/7/2013 - The situation in Syria seems impossible. On one side, Assad is a dictator willing to have his people suffer so he can stay in power. On the other side are the rebels, but they may be allied with Al Qaeda. We cannot support them. So what do we do?
We simply cannot allow these groups to use chemical weapons. They cause the most horrible suffering, and the people in Syria have suffered enough. We can't just sit back and let this continue. The U.S. has the military capability to stop this. Another problem is that both Assad and the rebels are reported to have used chemical weapons. So what do we do here?
This really is an impossible situation with no clear answers. In fact, this is beyond our ability to come up with a solution. We must turn to God. Pope Francis recognizes the difficulties in Syria and has asked that today, Sept. 7, 2013 be a day of fasting and prayer throughout the world.

Please join in praying for peace in Syria.

Please read this statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Bishop Richard E. Pates

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The pope gives us freedom with Jesus

In Jesus of Nazareth - From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration written by Pope Benedict, he discusses the idea of freedom in regards to belief in Jesus. The Pope mentions that Jesus brought "universality" to this world.

I love this because I believe it shows that Jesus expressed that God loves everyone on earth, and that His message of love is for all of us. This is different from our modern messages about people, which seem to focus so much on our differences.

The Pope adds that, "The vehicle for this universalization is the new family, whose only admission requirement is communion with Jesus, communion with God's will."

This is such a simple, positive message. Jesus, through his words of peace and love, welcomes all people. No one is exempt. Everyone can join Him. What a difference from the words we hear so much today in politics and religion.

I hope you will join me in this conversation.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Words from a Pope

I have been reading Jesus of Nazareth written by Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, a challenging, but enlightening read. The first of three books on the life of Jesus, this series is worth the time to read for any Catholic or anyone else interested in learning about Jesus.

In the coming weeks, I would like to focus on a few key lines from the book. In Chapter 4 on "The Sermon on the Mount", the Pope discusses a book titled A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, written by Rabbi Jacob Neusner. The Pope mentions how Rabbi Neusner considers about the different beliefs of Jews and Christians, but adds that Neusner does this with reverence and respect.
The Pope writes, "This dialogue is conducted with great honesty. It highlights the differences in all their sharpness, but it also takes place in great love."

This is really important for us all to think about. Sure, we humans will always have our differences, but we don't have to fight over them. I think Pope Benedict was exactly right in highlighting this point here.

What do you think?


Friday, December 7, 2012

iAi Featured Partner of the month: Benjamin X. Wretlind, author of Sketches from the Spanish Mustang

This month, I am really pleased to post about this excellent book from one of my partners at independent Authors international (iAi.)
There are dreams of fire, blood, twisted metal and faint, dying cries carried on the wind.

The Artist sits at a table in a casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado. She is broken, alone, and she is waiting. She's waiting for redemption, waiting for a chance to prove she can really see through someone else's eyes. As she waits, she sketches those around her, those who keep secrets buried deep.

All people have secrets, and some of them are every bit as dark as the Artist's own. There is the immigrant looking for fortune and finding death along the way. There is the woman running for her life, desperate to hide in a small town that is, for its own sake, trying to live again. There is the angry man, jilted by his now dead wife, looking for revenge. There is the veteran who can't remember, the woman about to lose her mother, and the drunk who doesn't want to be what people see on the outside. There are more people, everywhere, and all of them have secrets.

Written as a series of interconnected vignettes, each person's story is both intriguing and magical. As the mystery of the woman's sketches unfolds, life unravels with it.  This is the Artist's gift--to uncover the hidden in life.  Yet gifts can be curses, and curses can be secret.

Remembering is penance.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Great Reading with the Next Big Thing Blog Hop

My Friend Scott Bury a really excellent writer, journalist and editor, and founder of the exiting new organization independent Authors international  has tagged me for The Next Big Thing blog hop. Scott was originally tagged by travel writer and blogger Autumn Birt, and I am trying help get some notoriety for several great Indie authors I know.

The idea behind the Next Big Thing is to answer a set list of questions about your work in progress, then tag five more authors to do the same thing.

So, here are my answers for My Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

Anabar's Night

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It is the third book in my series about Anabar. The first two books were Anabar's Run and Anabar Rises. Anabar is a young man who is humble and really nothing special. He does dream of leaving to see what the world is like outside his isolated valley home. Along the way he encounters adventures and adversity, and amazing success, but ultimately decides to risk thing to try to bring peace to his land.

What genre does your book fall under?
Action/Adventure for middle grade readers.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
For Anabar, Chandler Riggs from "The Walking Dead" television series. He does a great job of playing a strong character who may not fit the typical physical stereotype of a fiction hero.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When forced to defend his family agaisnt his enemy, young Anabar's biggest battle is trying to save his humanity.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Most likely, I will self-publish Anabar's Night, but I would definitely consider an offer from  traditional publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I do not know yet as I am just gettng started. I typically write more in the summer, so I plan to finish it by next August.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Ranger's Apprentice series, except that Anabar has no magical abilities. He becomes a hero through his strenghth and determination.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to tell the story of how anyone can do something great. It does not take wealth, or royal blood, or special powers.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think readers will enjoy seeing how Anabar struggles with maintaining his basic goodness as a person. He will have no choice but to act harshly in order to save and protect his family, and it will be difficult for him remain the same person.

Here are the authors I have tagged for The Next Big Thing blog hop:

Michelle Isenhoff
Mike Poeltl
Timothy Davis
Susanna Leonard Hill
Cheryl Carpinello

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Featured iAi Partner this Month: Elise Stokes, author of Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

Available at
Read Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula and book #2 of the series, cassidy Jones and the Vulcan's Gift. Available by Elise Stokes at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers.