Wordless Wednesday: “The Veil was rent…”

“… and the Graves were opened…”

They’re coming… “Trick or Treat!!”

-mike

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Ten Word Tuesday: “She helped free others but ultimately could not free herself”

I’d like to introduce a new meme or challenge to the blogosphere. Ten Word Tuesday will be a challenge to tell a short story in only Ten Words given only a Single Word or Phrase to prompt your creative juices. It’s easy:

  1. Create a post on your blog
  2. Make sure there’s a Link back here to this Post
  3. Or just leave yours as a Comment or Link here in mine
  4. Follow along by checking out Others’ contributions

I’ll share mine for this week.

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“Girl on fire sparked revolution for freedom not her own.”

I just finished reading The Hunger Games Trilogy… I know, don’t judge. It struck me as such a sad and horrific dystopian vision of a society rocked by civil war, ruthless totalitarian control, and heartbreaking ‘choices’ made by parents and children who should never have been in the position or had to make such ‘gambles’ with their posterity in the first place.

Katniss is the Girl on Fire who becomes the face of Resistance, Rebellion and then Revolution when she refuses to allow her younger sister to be devoured by The Games that have been generationally set up by The Capitol to punish the 12 Districts for their rebellion 74yrs previously. Seventy four years and The Capitol is STILL punishing the children of grandparents long dead. Every year two are chosen, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18, to represent their population in a gruesome death match where 24 enter and only one emerges “victorious”. For decades the populace has accepted the realities that they believe they cannot change… their children will continue to killed and tortured, and made to kill and torture each other, for the “crimes” of the forefathers in desiring Freedom from the oppressive rule of The Capitol.

“Let us hear the end of the matter”

When the last book is finished, we see The Capitol defeated, the President and his equally cruel and ambitious would be successor killed by Katniss’s arrow, and still 20yrs later, with her own children unknowingly and thoughtlessly playing in the field where her slaughtered family and friends lie buried, she is haunted by those voices… those memories… those experiences of murder and destruction that no 16yr old girl should ever have to live thru. She freed a whole country yet is tormented and shackled herself.

“Girl on Fire sparked revolution for Freedom not her own.”

This was such a sad Trilogy and difficult to imagine. I finished it feeling so much sorrow, so much pain, so much empathy for Katniss, even as the book ended in so much normalcy and joy. May we never take our freedom for granted. It could really all be gone in an instant unless we remain “On Fire” ourselves and vigilant against those who would rob us of that Freedom in promise of Security.

-mike

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Now it’s your turn. Leave a Comment or a Link to your post in the bucket down below. Lets do this!!

-mike

Red Sox Win.

What a great Season

108 wins in the regular season and post season defeats of All of the toughest teams in baseball this year.

  • Yankees
  • Astros
  • Now the Dodgers

What a great season. What a great post season. Sweet Victory for Boston. Have a great Monday. I certainly will.

-mike

Sunday Book Haul: B.O.A.S. pt2

I know… but they all looked so good.

Happiest of Sundays to all you Readers out there. Wow… did I go overboard or what? It’s no secret here that we have an issue with Book Over Acquisition Syndrome. I did a post before on it and I guess I’m still in Recovery. But for a booklover and a reader, there really is only one sure way to keep them from buying more books… that would be keeping us away from the bookstore in the first place, and that is much easier said than done. Especially when there are Goodwill and Savers Thrift stores everywhere in a major metro area like the Phoenix area.

From Goodwill to my shelf

I got three more Richard Paul Evans books: Timepiece, The Gift and The Sunflower which I read earlier this year as a borrow from one of my supervisors at work. I reviewed it on a previous book blog. I also have his The Walk waiting in the wings. I guess you could say The Sunflower started something, yeah?

Then there is The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I was turned onto him by a blogging buddy “Arkenaten” who suggested that wonderful read “Dead Wake” about the last voyage and sinking of the Lusitania which brought the U.S. into the European War and made it World War I. Please checkout my review.

There are two that I just happened to find on the shelf by the Lead Pastor of the church my wife and I drop in on from time to time. It will be good to get an up close glimpse of where he believes his heart and mission lies. At the very least we will be able understand and appreciate him better.

Then there is an older book The First Casualty about the role of news war correspondants and media in the shaping and even twisting of public opinion by what and how they report. Propaganda and the News Biz is what’s in play here. Looking forward to reading this in the coming year.

And last is the first non-childrens novel by J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, The Casual Vacancy published in 2012. I’ve recently read a review on this book by a book blogger and was surprised to find it ‘popping’ out at me from the shelves at Goodwill… as if by Magic. She said it was very Dickensian in the way Rowling portrays social concerns and advocates for empathy and outreach to those on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder. We love Charles Dickens and I recently read Matthew Pearl’s book The Last Dickens so the period and feeling of the 19th century will still be familiar. I don’t think I shall get to it before the end of December, but it will be on a TBR either for a skim thru before or a full Read and Review soon after.

Have any of you read these books? What do you think? What arenyou reading these days? Drop me a comment down in the bucket. Good Reading and happy Sunday.

-mike

Sunday Morning Musings: “Think on These Things”

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” –Philippians 4:8 KJV

It’s not a crime, you know.

This is now one of my favorite verses from the New Testament. After years of being a Christian, and now a few not being one but still wanting to believe in God, if there is a God of the Universe holding all things together and occasionally stepping in to lend a helping hand (although He/She/It seems to be silent and uninvolved the vast majority of the time), then I have no problem whatsoever believing that God would want us to “Think on These Things” rather than just memorize and ‘thoughtlessly’ spit out excerpts from an old dusty collection of bronze age tribal religious traditions from half way around the world and millennia removed from our own.

As religious traditions go, my former Faith was more on the “By the Book” side which is not necessarily a bad thing unless one uses The Book as an excuse not to think or work things out for oneself. Morality, for instance, could be just reading a passage and saying “It was good enough for Moses and Jesus” and then excusing away the possible consequences of some of the more… shall we say “questionable” moral injunctions. (Ie. ‘Hate your own family in comparison to Me’ and ‘Kill all the Amalekites… even the babies’. (Yup, both are in the bible).

But you’d Think that Morality is more simplified, and civilized… just sayin’, than that. In my mind, it’s more Human than that, more Inate. Meaning much more “built-in” than some would have us ‘Believe’. I’d like to call us all back to that internal sense, that innately Human intuition of what’s right and wrong, good and just and pure… even using a Bible verse to do it. So today… “While it is called Today”,

  • Think about what is True, not just what you’ve been told by some Authority.
  • Think about what is Honest, especially is what the Authorities say doesn’t quite line up with reality or logical sense.
  • Think about what is Just. Justice isn’t just what an Authority tells you it is. Fairness, equality, respect and value for all our fellow Humans, creatures and the “Blue Boat Home” we call Planet Earth.

Thinking is not Forbidden… or shouldn’t be

I believe we all, deep down inside, if we are really listening, Know and Understand what is Good, Lovely, of Good Report… what has Virtue and is worthy of Praise, or worthy of celebrating and encouraging… The problem is instead of being encouraged to “Think on These Things” for ourselves, manynof us are being told to ‘just look it up’ or worse… Follow some Leader’s example, whether from our own time or across a Pulpit, or from a time, place and a culture far removed from the Reality of our own. Having someone ‘Think for you’ is like cheating the test. That person better be absolutely trustworthy, and even if they are… still “Think on These Things” for yourself so you can agree because you came to the same conclusion or know when they are misleading you and themselves and others.

So as we wake up and get about our day this morning, remember to Think on These Things for yourself. All it takes is a willingness to accept, embrace and exercise your Natural, Inate, Built-in and even “God given” capacities. You can do it.

-mike

Saturday Six Word Musing: “Hating a Blog No One Reads?”

For Debbie Smyth’s Saturday Six Word Musings

Uh… No. This is not a screed against any blogs I follow or follow me. Nor is it referring to Debbie’s wonderful blog that I love. This six-word musing “Hating a Blog No One Reads” is directly related to a couple of comments, now deleted, ironically left on not just one but two of my recent posts… that the commenter had to have actually Read in order to comment on them.

As best I can now that I have removed the offending from my site and sight, “Someone” said that ‘no one’ reads my stuff so I shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed when there are no takers for the Friday Bookish Haiku Challenge weekly. Well… he did. He read my blog posts… right? Lol. If not just to slime me and try to discourage me from continuing both my Challenge and my blog altogether. Fat Chance buddy!!

But it does give another reminder what the Institutional Anonymity that is the ‘Internet Blogosphere’ has resulted in. “Someone”… anyone can slime and critcize or hate on anyone with total and almost unaccountable anonymity from anywhere onnthe planet. Well, as Momma used to say “If you ain’t got nothing nice to say…” and I usually finish “Bugger off!!”.

I have had blogs in the past where more “Spirited” and heated discussion and debate have led to less than kind and thoughtful interactions and contributions from commenters… This is not THAT blog. It’s a Books and Reading and sometimes Writing blog dude… “Someone”. And while you don’t necessarily have to say something nice or patronizingly flattering, Sliming and intentionally offensive and hurtful comments only meant to insult and discourage either me or other contributors on “Grab a Spine” will not be accepted as comments. Fully at my discretion of course. All are welcome. But rest assured, this blog is not your target for hate. Healthy discussion, yes… slime and hate, never.

Now can we talk about Books, Reading and Writing again? Thx.

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-mike