I saw this post from Dr. Damon Ashworth at WordPress and just had to share it. So often we turn to movies or TV for simple entertainment or as an escape from reality, but perhaps we should realize that movies can inspire us or even teach us about the persons we want to become.
I was recently reading a book titled ‘Writing Screenplays that Sell’ by Michael Hauge, and was fascinated to see how psychologically informed screenwriters need to be in order to create engaging stories with meaningful plots and entertaining characters.
Although Hollywood sometimes gets bad press for promoting materialistic and unrealistic goals for the audience, I do believe that there are a number of valuable life lessons that can be learnt from dissecting the common elements of screenplays that result in successful movies.
Here are eight insights that I believe are important:
#1 – Be the hero of your story
Every movie has a hero, that we identify with and develop empathy for. Screenwriters do this deliberately because we are likely to care more about the story and become involved in the movie if it focuses on one character and their perspective and challenges more than the other characters.
This week those of us in the U.S. celebrate the most iconic of American holidays-Thanksgiving. This is the time of year we gather the extended family, demolish an overindulgent meal, and either play games or snooze in front of the TV (or both.) Sometimes in all the hoopla to find the perfect bird, craft the most elaborate centerpiece, or out-do the relatives we may see only once a year in baking homemade treats, it is easy to forget the real meaning of both the name and the holiday itself.
What is Thanksgiving? The name comes from an event that brought two groups of peoples of different colors and extremely different cultures together in a joint meal that celebrated the most basic of all needs-food, companionship, and freedom. That we continue to commemorate this event almost 400 years later shows that we still honor both their sacrifices and their choices in choosing to live life as their consciences dictated.
Thanksgiving as a word is simply being grateful for everything and everyone we have in our lives. Many of us are blessed with more than enough food, homes, material possessions, and choices for what we do with our lives. We have family members, friends, and neighbors with whom we can share a meal or at least a phone call or Skype chat this week. For many of us the excess is something we sometimes take for granted; but Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to remember, and appreciate all we truly have.
I urge you to take time to be thankful and share with others of your time and your abundance. Help those in need through donations to a church or a local charity, or by volunteering at a food pantry or soup kitchen. Give of yourself this week. Above all, cherish the time and opportunity to spend with the loved ones in your life.
I was honored to be featured this week as a guest author at Christy Birmingham’s incredible blog, When Women Inspire. Christy invited me to talk about the female main character in my new book, Virtual, which was just recently released. To see the entire post, click on the link here or check out Christy’s website.
Today we welcome Amy Caudill, who recently published her first novel Virtual. If you follow her blog then you know she is a lover of sci-fi and fantasy. When I read her book blurb, I knew I wanted to have her here to tell us more about the female character in her book. She has graciously written a guest post today about how she created gamer mom Amanda Connor, the main character in Virtual.
As this year draws swiftly towards an end, I realize somewhat to my amazement that my husband and I will soon celebrate our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. Our marriage has survived many ups and downs; including a cross-country move and raising two children, and somehow become a stronger relationship than we had in the beginning. Of course, none of this happened without a lot of work, as well as a few angry words, and the occasional tear. Over the years we have learned a few techniques that have helped us to stay close, and now I’d like to share them with you.
Talk to each other. In an age where many of us rarely put down our smart phones long enough to eat a meal, this simple advice is really not. Couples need to communicate more than just through a text or tweet; they need to regularly discuss any number of subjects that affect them both. Lack of meaningful communication can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and frustration over problems that wouldn’t exist if a few simple words are shared. Adding something such as a regular conversation over dinner or before bed can make a big difference in the attitudes both spouses have toward each other.
Do special things for each other. Take time to “woo” your partner, not just with money or flowers, but by taking the time to be thoughtful. Make your spouse’s coffee for them when they are running late in the morning or just because it will make them smile. Pay them an unexpected compliment. Place an online order for something you know they want but can’t seem to find in a local store. Small, special acts of kindness can remind your spouse how much you care, and why they fell in love with you in the first place.
Date your spouse. Any relationship needs nurturing to stay strong, and one of the best ways to do this is to make time to spend together. Dating a potential partner draws two people closer in the beginning, and adhering to “dates” helps maintain that connection despite the craziness of everyday lives.
Scheduling a midweek lunch date or Saturday evening date night helps to maintain the relationship as a priority. Too often “adult” time falls by the wayside as couples are too busy or preoccupied with kids, household chores, and other commitments that require time and energy. Couples need a chance to reconnect and simply be romantic partners, and not just mommy and daddy or two strangers who share a home and responsibilities.
While these tips cannot guarantee a couple will have a long, happy marriage, they can help address some of the issues that can commonly plague a relationship. The best part is that they can be utilized by couples who are just dating, as well as those who have been married for decades like my husband and me. But don’t take my word for it, try them out for yourself.