U2- Ordinary Love (From Mandela OST) Lyric Video

“A man named Nelson Mandela once fought against a seemingly unbeatable adversary—apartheid.  In his country, people were classified and separated by race.  Those with the darkest skin were deprived of basic human needs and oppressed by the government.  Mandela was in prison for twenty-seven years but he never gave up hope.  He once said, ‘The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’  Don’t believe the lie that you shouldn’t be afraid.  Fear is normal.  Use it.  Conquer it.  Remember—the Guardian has prepared your path.  She chose each of you especially for this task.  Work together and return to us safely.”

The Red Cloak, Volume 2 of Days of the Guardian

“Be a hero!”


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Quote

At A Distance

 “The Cloak of Dreams?” Li asked.

“It’s a story about an emperor with a sad dilemma,” Ellen explained to Li. “He loved his wife very much, but she had a dreaming soul.  When he held her in his arms, her soul wandered far away to her dream world.  So she spent five years embroidering the images of her dreams onto a cloak and presented it to the emperor.  If he wore the cloak, no longer would she have to choose between the path of her dreams and the path of her love.  If he didn’t wear the cloak, he could hold her, but her soul would continue to wander.  He chose to wear the cloak.”

“And she followed him at a distance for the rest of her life,” Ainsling finished explaining to Li.  “It’s the sacrifice he makes because he loves her.  She can’t touch him, but they are closer than ever.  Isn’t that beautiful, Li?”

The Red Cloak, Chapter 1, The Cloak of Dreams


 

It is all for the bright!

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Comic Book Review- Ms. Marvel

When a strange terrigen mist descended upon Jersey City, Kamala Khan was imbued with polymorph powers. Using her new abilities to fight evil and protect Jersey City, she became the all-new Ms. Marvel!

So…I like comics now.

I never gave them a fair shot before, I admit. My brother was the comic book nerd, not me. A few years ago, my sons inherited some of his Spiderman comics. Recently, I picked one up and thought, ‘Spiderman’s my favorite, why haven’t I read this yet?’ So I did. And it was so fun! But so short! Word bubbles, art, witty banter (love that Spidey attitude), and lots of ridiculous action. But it’s over pretty fast. Oh well. There’re definitely worse things than a quick story with cool pictures.

Ms. Marvel is a reboot of sorts. The original Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, had a quite active existence in the Marvel universe. I did some research and here’s what stuck out to me about her—she started out in the Air Force, joined the C. I. A., was captured by  the KGB, took a position at NASA, fell in love with Captain Marvel who made her a Kree-human hybrid, worked as a feminist writer for the Daily Bugle, 52d97cc64c223_320773bfought lots of bad guys, was manipulated and seduced by a stalker named Marcus who impregnated her with a child who grew up into, uh, Marcus (?),  lost her memories after Rogue accidentally absorbed too much of her power, was rescued by Spider-Woman, fixed by Professor X, confronted the Avengers for abandoning her, turned into an alcoholic, joined AA, got better, and eventually turned down Captain America’s offer of membership in the new Avengers team.   

The new Ms. Marvel is a second-generation Pakistani-American high school student. She’s a nerdy high school girl who never felt like she fit in. She experiences boy-drama, deals with pressure from her family, school, and faith leaders. Kamala is a fangirl. She runs a website called Freakingawesome.com. Her thz1a7fjtjfavorite word is definitely ‘awesome.’ Oh, and her superhero schedule is quite full.

School, Avengers, my regular bi-weekly dungeon group in Ancient Scrolls Online…it’s all great, but it’s what Abu would call a problem of plenty. And the thing about a problem of plenty is…it’s still a problem.

-001, Ms. Marvel, 2016

Her powers are interesting. She’s an Inhuman with polymorphic abilities. She can stretch, expand, or compress her entire body or parts into any shape, has an accelerated healing factor which makes her extremely hungry and fatigued. Her body emits a bioluminescence when she uses her powers. Kamala can alter her physical appearance to mimic inanimate objects or other people. She’s vulnerable to EMPs and needs a special biokinetic polymer (super snot) suit that’s damaged by exposure to water.

One of my favorite volumes is 007: 2016. Ms. Marvel has an unexpected sidekick—Wolverine. He’s a totally miserable grouch and she’s, well, a giddy fangirl who says ‘awesome’ a lot. They beat up a massive alligator in the sewers of Jersey City and save the day. At least, for now.

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I highly recommend Ms. Marvel for younger teen girls, but also for all the adolescent boys out there. This girl is complicated in all the right ways. She’s anything but shallow, an everyday hero with real-life issues who learns how to balance her superhero activities and risks with her regular life. It doesn’t always work out. Teens can totally relate to her struggles, even if they can’t relate to shrinking to the size of a grasshopper. We all have battles to fight. Teens of faith may find Kamala especially relatable because they understand what it’s like to maintain question certain standards and question traditions that other students may not consider at all.

Well, I’m addicted.

Now I have a growing collection of female superhero comics—Spiderwoman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Wonder Woman. (Feminist Confession Time– I have a soft spot for the Silver Surfer. But that means I can include the Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four in my Tour of Women Superheroes!)

Find Ms. Marvel and become a comic addict.

ms-marvel-kamala-khan-620x330

 


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Video

Flowers – Diane Prokop

It’s Spring!

I wrote this song years ago and it still remains one of my favorites. It’s an ironic play on the mantra “everything’s going to be okay.” Okay is pretty subjective. Besides, sometimes it’s not going to be okay. Sometimes that’s good. We are forced to change and grow. This song reminds us of what we can do in the midst of this not-okay-ness. Flower. Grow, wait, look pretty. Survive as long as possible, doing what you were made to do. Everything, including flowers, is temporary.

In Days of the Guardian, the Captain advises Ainsling to do what is necessary and what is possible. In time, she’ll find herself doing the impossible. On my best days, I believe this is true. Do you?

Follow my musical flowers on YouTube and Reverbnation

Knitting Is Better Than Therapy

Prompt- Use the words: actor, glorious, stitch
Knitting is better than therapy
As stitches are created
Knit, purl, yarn over, decrease one
They do not analyze me, force correct answers
In therapy, I am an actor in an office
Yes, I feel guilt
No, I haven’t slipped
Yes, I love myself
No, I haven’t contemplated suicide
But when knitting, I do not dwell
On what is unworthy of contemplation
I obey the pattern or rebel with improvisation
As I speed knit Continental style or English throw and
pick
No platitudes, no critiques
No pressure, no poking at pain till I bleed out
Only two sticks dancing with string
Creating, living, growing
Stitch by stitch, truth by truth
I’m a maker
Of miracles, of masterpieces, of monstrosities
What’s the worst that can happen with wool and
wonder?
A dropped stitch, a lost pattern, incorrect gauge, wonky
seams
I rip back, rewind, add tension to used, wrinkled strings
And start again
A work-in-progress
           
          In through the front door
          Run around the back
          Down through the window
          Off jumps Jack
Glorious fiber,
    Bare my soul to the cashmere gods
          Darn my holes
               Heal with scarves, socks, shawls
                    Warm with sweaters and blankets
                         Spin, ply, dye
                                       Bind off

-Excerpt from The Shorter Things Collection


 

It is all for the bright!

New subscribers to my newsletter get a free ebook copy of Tigress!

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