Books, PodPost

PodPost – Episode 5.0 – The Desire Map

I’m getting back into podcasting and definitely learning and growing as I go. This is my latest episode on Danielle LaPorte’s book The Desire Map. Enjoy!

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Books, Film

Raising Dion

Some of you might remember my old post about Man of Steel. One of the things that really touched me in that film was a scene that featured Clark as a young boy. It put my curiosity into overdrive. In fact, at the time I said

Could you imagine being a kid and having to wrestle with superhuman abilities? Could you imagine being a parent and having to raise a son who could burn you by looking at you? Kudos to the writers…Not only did I feel Clark’s vulnerability. I caught a glimpse of what Martha Kent must have felt as the mother of such a precious and powerful child.

In the end I was left asking the very questions that open the trailer for a brand new comic book, Raising Dion.

There’s so much to appreciate about this video.

Firstly, the casting made me smile. When I was younger I longed to see myself in some of the worlds that captured my imagination. In the past I’ve found it hard not to take the exclusion of non-white actors as an insult. I felt as though the folks behind the scenes were saying, “People who look like you aren’t good enough to experience this magic…”

I realize that we live in the era of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Still, it’s truly heartwarming to me to see a Black woman depicted as a normal human being rather than a gaggle of stereotypes.

Secondly, again, I’m really intrigued by Raising Dion‘s premise. My knowledge of comic books and superhero lore isn’t extensive. However, I doubt that a parent’s take on raising a superchild is something that’s been explored in great detail. That isn’t to say that most stories in the genre don’t include poignant moments shared between a parent and her wunderkind. They do. Yet I’m used to relatives being relegated to the role of virtual bookends in a supercharacter’s life.

Overall, when I think of Raising Dion, there’s a lot of hope in my heart. The first issue of the comic book is available for download on its writer’s web site. I can’t decide which I’d want more–for it to be a TV series, or a film. At the very least I see Raising Dion as a story that is bound to inspire kids of all ages.

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Books

PodPost: Show Your Work

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In this episode, I review more of Austin Kleon’s books–including Show Your Work. I also share a bit about my adventures in yoga.

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Books

PodPost: The Firestarter Sessions

Yes, this is about 2 years old. I don’t mind. Do you? 😉

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I don’t know if you remember this, but when I first thought about podcasting, I did an episode on The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.

It’s still one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read.

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Books

PodPost: Steal Like An Artist

I’ve decided to give podcasting a try again. Here’s my latest recording.

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As I listen, I can hear every mistake. Yet I’m not afraid. I know I’m setting myself free. 😉

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Books

Losing My Religion?: A look at Love (Wins).

A few weeks ago I drafted a long-winded blog post about having an alternative take on my faith. (I was inspired when I read this article from The Huffington Post about one of the Pope’s declarations.)

I sent what I’d come up with to a friend of mine. Among other things, when she wrote me back she suggested I read Love Wins. [Thank you, Lisa.]

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I finished the book last month.

And if I’m completely honest, I thought that every word of it made sense.

(At this point, some of you will say,“So what?” Well…If you’re not very religious, you should know: To some, Rob Bell is a heretic. His book’s content does not fall in line with (conservative) Christian rhetoric. Love Wins emphasizes the idea of pursuing a faith focused on God’s love over condemnation. It was not well received in some circles. Hence, basically, by agreeing with Bell’s work, I realize that to certain people, I’m basically a heathen.)

Some people complain a lot about those who are disappointed with the church (aka organized religion). However, I think they need to be open to all of the reasons that people are turned off–and often choose to leave. There are those who become atheists or convert to other faiths. Yet there are also folks like me, who adopt a broader view of what they believe. For example, I still believe in God, and I pray. But I do not believe that my faith makes me superior to anyone else–religious or otherwise.

Quite frankly, conventional Christianity has left me weary of its over-reliance on an us-vs-them gospel.

Still, for conservatives, the “othering” of non-Christians is vital. This is one of the reasons that I think that some Christians reacted to Rob Bell’s work as they did. They’re protective of the ideas that he rejects.

Yet I don’t think Rob Bell’s work expressed anything truly blasphemous. In fact, he wrote what many of us do not have the courage to say aloud. As far as I can tell, people objected to the fact that Bell’s ideas pose a threat to the Christian establishment. They undermine a notion that a lot of folks’ faith is built on.

Hate. Fear. And being right in a world full of wrong.

A few weeks ago, I caught myself feeling…Bound by what I believe. I was wrestling with an issue. One sensation kept coming up, again and again.

I felt trapped.

I struggled with the usual demon–the sense of obligation that I’ve felt towards my faith. For years I’ve reluctantly accepted the fact that I was meant to endure negative tension between myself and…Life. I was having thoughts along those lines when  I had an epiphany:

I can be as free as I want to be in my spirituality. Or, as strict. For better or worse, my path is mine to choose.

I’ve shared this piece so that you would know my spiritual status. However, it’s also here because I need to breathe.

I’m eager to address my fears these days. And I shouldn’t feel anxious about being honest about what makes me me.

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Books

This Is How You Lose Her

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This Is How… is a fantastic book of short stories by the flawless Junot Díaz. I finished it last month. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you might remember me talking about it on one of my podcast episodes. The delay in finishing it is purely my fault. I’m always surfing the web or chatting with people on Twitter when I should be doing God’s work*–writing and reading.

Last month I brought my copy with me to my day job. A Grade 12 student asked if I thought it was a good book. “Yes…” I nervously began. And then I offered a disclaimer or two:

The book is written in Spanglish. If you don’t speak Spanish you should be able to understand what’s going on. But I figure that knowing a bit of the language can only enhance your experience.

This next one was a biggie for me: As they say before certain tv shows, “The following contains coarse language and adult situations.” Basically, I mentioned that certain segments of the book might not be suitable for someone in her age group.

Now, to be honest with you, I couldn’t care less about swearing and sex in books. (With exceptions. If the bulk of your content hangs on those two things without a substantial plot or characters, I’m going to wonder if you have any talent at all.) That said, I don’t know what kids are reading these days. Even though there may not be much difference between what’s in This Is How You Lose Her and a movie or–gasp–a teen’s own personal life, I don’t want any student(s) telling their mom or dad, “Ms. said we should read this book…”

Mark my words. I embarrass myself enough as it is by being my awkward self. I am not going to be ousted from my profession because I “suggested students read inappropriate materials”.

And speaking of risqué books, I understand that Shades of Grey is available in some school libraries.

But that’s another rant for another time…

*I believe that the things we were born to do were divinely assigned.

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Books

What is the world coming to?

Really, though.
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Wars are being fought overseas. Gun control is out of control, with tragedies making headlines on an almost weekly basis.

Yet yesterday it was the photo above that sent me over the edge.

Before the rest of you nerds go off on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s estate, know that they are not to blame. According to this article, an independent publisher decided to have his (or her) way with Anne. For, you see…Anne of Green Gables is a part of the public domain. From what I gather, that means that that indie publishers can re-sell such works in whatever guise they want.

People have been up in arms because the image features a blond Anne. Meanwhile, in my opinion, that’s the last thing that’s wrong with that picture…

I suppose I should be relieved. I thought that this cover belonged to an officially-sanctioned version of the series. Thankfully it does not.

Nevertheless, I’m concerned. Our artistic treasures deserve to be protected.

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