On the Beauty of Women

jsngill:

Worth reading!
I loved this: “Our greatest joy comes from deeply loving others … It’s about seeing someone as exactly who they are and who they aren’t, and learning to love an imperfect person perfectly.”

Originally posted on The Better Man Project:

Before I start this, I want to make something clear. This post is not coming from a man who has had an easy time his whole life with women. In fact, I have had my heart broken more times than I care to admit. I have shed tears, been betrayed in the worst of ways and have been made to feel unimportant, almost to the point where I thought I didn’t exist. And even through all of this, I can still put my heart on the line for women because I believe in one fundamental reality.

Women are beautiful.

Last night, one of my best friends sent me an article and asked for my thoughts. So I opened it up and read the first line. “I’m just gonna come out and say it: I love insecure women.” I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and continued reading on for…

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The Writer’s Life: A Social Vacuum

jsngill:

Yeah, the enemy Self, met that bastard a couple of times already

Originally posted on Leonard Bishop:

by Leonard Bishop

Leonard Bishop
Leonard Bishop

Don’t quit your present employer to become a professional writer until you have learned how to be alone. It is not the lack of talent or skill that stops someone from succeeding as a professional writer. Talent can be faked and skill is an acquired ability. A dominant preventative is the inability of the writer to be alone for long stretches of time.

Everyone who wants to become a professional writer believes they can achieve this career if only they had enough time for their writing. If they could only get out from under the pressure of their employment, they could make it. It isn’t only the 40 hours of work they have to do, it is also the after-effects of their job. The winding down, the fatigue, the additional responsibilities that stop them. The need for a family and social life. This is a…

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Lake that turns animals to stones

Sometimes stuff you think of and ascribe to wild imagination ends up being very close to reality indeed. Take Lake Natron in Tanzania. This lake kills and calcifies the animals that become immersed in its waters. See the eerie pictures taken by photographer Nick Brandt to get an idea of just how freaky our little planet can be. “I could not help but photograph them,” he says. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.”

The photographer found the animals along the shoreline of the lake and placed them in natural living positions to photograph them.

The lake has life in it. A type of fish that is adapted to its harsh conditions (over 140 degrees Fahrenheit / 60 degrees Celsius, and high alkalinity) and some bacteria. A specific type of flamingo even breeds on the small islands that emerge in the lake during dry season, but that is not without risks as the photos illustrate.

As scary as this is, it made me realize one thing. Never think your imagination is too wild and doesn’t fit your story. Why wouldn’t it? Who said your characters wouldn’t have to cross such a lake with their gear slowly burning off, blistering their calves, making every step pure agony.

Yes. Anything you imagine can be. Take down all walls and write without limits!

Memories of the Womb

Just had to share this…

So, apparently Clementine has memories of the womb. As became clear this morning when she said blithely, over breakfast,

“Mama, one time when I was in the house inside your tummy, I was riding my bike down the stairs, and I saw a tartantula.”

So, I guess I have tarantulas.

In case you were wondering.

via Laini Taylor’s blog: Memories of the Womb.

Day (470) – On Looking Bad

jsngill:

I knew Hugh Jackman was a smart fella

Originally posted on The Better Man Project:

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I was watching an interview with Hugh Jackman yesterday on the airplane…and he said something that struck a chord with me. He said…and totally paraphrasing here…”Until you embrace the chance of completely utterly falling on your face, I mean…really looking bad…then you will never be able to truly live. Because you spend all your time trying to look good instead of really taking a chance.”

It’s not the first time I have heard this and I am sure that it won’t be the last. However, it has been a while since I have had those words spoken to me. A great deal of people spend their life avoiding looking bad or always trying to look good. I can honestly tell you that for the past 6 months, I have forgotten about the benefits of giving up those two concepts and opening myself up to living life versus directing its sexiness…

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Film Review: Man of Steel

Absolutely my favorite Superman thus far! Loved it. Finally we get a Superman that feels real and believable. We see the loneliness of being forever different. We see the personal struggle to do what’s right and carry the given powers responsibly. And the movie delivers on the visual aspects that will surely make the comic books fanatics feel like they got what they came for.

The critics have been mildly positive about it. But critics live in this odd bubble of cynicism anyway, so what else to expect? Quite often the movies that take them out of that grey sphere and into more summery fields, are movies that make the broader public fall asleep due to boredom.

I thought Man of Steel ruled!! And I am not a Superman fan. I found the guy to be a total douche previously. But the moment the trailer hit the theaters with the image of Henry Cavill on a fishing boat, looking rough, unkempt, and totally inconspicuous – I was intrigued. This was a Superman that made sense to me.

Just imagine growing up knowing you do not belong. Maybe even realizing you’re a different species and constantly having to keep that identity hidden. That defines a person’s character. The fact that this Superman choses to shun people while awaiting his destiny, made all the sense in the world to me. He had to be forced to reveal himself. He never would have stepped up to the role of humanity’s savior if not left without any other option.

Had he stepped into the spotlights too easily, he would have been a total attention whore and I would not have been writing this review. :) But this Superman is a no-nonsense type of guy. And that translates into his relationship with Lois Lane. The line he delivers once they finally kiss… loved it. Especially because he simply walks away afterwards. And I must say I liked this Lois Lane much better as well. I have read multiple reviews that found her to be dull. I have no idea why people feel that way. This Lois Lane is the first person to figure Superman out. Like a true brilliant investigative journalist would… How can anyone like the old Lois Lane better? She has Superman sitting under her nose the whole time and doesn’t even realize it. If anything I think the writers wanted to mock journalists by personifying them in a damsel in distress character that only delivers witty lines but never gets the point.

There is much more I can add to this review. For example – the costume. Yes! No more red underpants. No more spandex. We get a chain mail type of suit, which looks totally badass. The movie starts with an introduction to Krypton just before its demise and baby-Superman’s departure. We get a view of the planet, the technology as well as the suits. And we see that Jor-El – Superman’s father – is wearing a suit with an S on it as well. THAT suit rocked. I would love to see Superman donning this dark color palette in the next movie. Maybe even leaving the cape at home. (It doesn’t fit the character outline in my opinion.)

Then there is the great supporting cast. Kevin Costner – wow! that’s Pa Kent as we’ve never seen before. Then there are really tough villains. They had a cause which was understandable in a way. And Superman saw it too. In the final fight sequence he struggled with what he had to do to end the bloodshed. There is plenty of special effects and action sequences to satisfy the most superhero craving audiences. This is Superman. Immune to bullets and explosions and other stuff we little humans kill each other with. We do not have to watch him fight petty criminals. Instead we get an intergalactic showdown in the middle of Metropolis. Totally satisfying. (Even though I would have opted for a change in scenery throughout the fight. I mean, surely Superman would lead General Zod away from Metropolis to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. So why keep the whole fight there?)

But, overall – I am definitely recommending this movie to every one of you!!

Go and see! And see it in the cinema. It carries more than enough visual as well as audio appeal to be worthy of a cinematic experience.

If you have seen it already and want to share your opinion, please comment below. Would love to hear from you!

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

GREAT writing. Paranormal. YA. Romance. Daughter of Smoke & Bone excels in every way. Finally a book where the romance makes sense, where it builds up convincingly and makes you fall in love too. A heroine that kicks ass. A novel where the language itself carries you into a different world, and at times reads like poetry…

This book is beautiful, deep and heart-warming. I loved it. The only note I’d have to make is that it is about angels and creatures that resemble monsters, but in the book they have no religious context or origin whatsoever. If you are a religious person and have difficulty reading about angels and demons as mere fantasy creatures, this book may be difficult for you to digest. But if you can read this as a fantasy novel and nothing else, you may simply love it.

So, behold! Some quotes!

This is early in the story. Our main girl Karou is getting even with her ex who cheated on her and now thinks he can have her back. Her revenge is innocent, just a series of inconvenient itches she wishes upon him. But it’s brilliant none the less.

This, she thought, isn’t just for today. It’s for everything. For the heartache that still felt like a punch in the gut each time it struck, fresh as new, at unpredictable moments; for the smiling lies and the mental images she couldn’t shake; for the shame of having been so naïve.

For the way loneliness is worse when you return to it after a reprieve – like the soul’s version of putting on a wet bathing suit, clammy and miserable.

And this, Karou thought, no longer smiling, is for the irretrievable.

For her virginity.

And here are two descriptions of Karou that I loved:

Zuzana looked back and saw the expression that Karou sometimes got when she thought no one was watching. It was sadness, lostness, and the worst thing about it was the way it seemed like a default – like it was there all the time, and all her other expressions were just an array of masks she used to cover it up.

***

…and the blue-haired girl moved through it all like a fairy through a story, the light treating her differently than it did others, the air seeming to gather around her like held breath. As if this whole place were a story about her.

The artwork is from the author’s husband Jim di Bartolo.

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