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Pirate queens get a happily ever after too

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I would love to hear a feminist analysis of this, but I don’t think I’m studied enough in feminist theory to do it justice. But the themes of this tale are still true of all us dreamers.

Here I continue my analysis of the story of two queens and how their dreams correlate with us dreamers 🙂 You can read part 1 and part 2 also.

Sidebar: Delilah couldn’t let us all be pirates without her! #DelilahTales

Don’t forget: listen along with the full playlist free on YouTube here.

Surrender

Tiernan approaches the Queen, requesting that he trade his life for Grania’s so she can go to her child.

She who has all

Queen Elizabeth is shocked that he loves Grania enough to sacrifice himself, and she accepts his offer. “I who have all / I have nothing compared to the dream she holds fast in her heart.”

Imprisoned Grace on the other hand sings, “I will survive for the day / when I see once more / both the man I love / and the child I bore… / I who have naught / I have all.”

Success in your dream isn’t always what you think it is. Don’t lose sight of what’s important – the people. the passion. the vision. 

The Sea of Life ❤

Grania returns to an Ireland in shambles. She gathers the people of Clew Bay who set sail in the Pirate Queen for England to plead with Queen Elizabeth.

A wonderful lullaby ❤

Woman to Woman

Grania pleads to Queen Elizabeth as a woman.

  • I ask for dignity, no more.
  • Your leaders plunder [Ireland] for greed. My child goes hungry every night.
  • All of our crops get sent to you. How long before we starve outright?
  • Sadly the men you put in charge despoil us everywhere they go
  • and disrespect our women so, to me, the most egregious crime.

She urges Elizabeth to instead of fighting her woman nature, to use it in her role as Queen. A lesson that Grania has well learned by now – her most powerful moments as pirate being through her identity as a woman.

Grania came to appreciate her womanly nature and use it towards her dream, even as a pirate. Perhaps the strongest dreams are those which find a way to marry two disparaging ideas. 

In real life, this is a historic moment where Grania and Queen Elizabeth actually speak in private for 2 hours, what about no one knows. “Who knows the truth that we may glean / Neither as chieftain, nor as Queen… / woman to woman, face to face.”

Queen Elizabeth releases Tiernan and gives Grania her lands and ship.

Finale

Okay, NOW the happily ever after. Kinda 🙂 Tiernan and Grania are reunited at last.

What did Grania learn through her journey? “I fought my wars on land and sea, / to be a woman strong and free. / I should have learned at journey’s start, / no woman’s free who ignores her heart.”

Should Grania have not married Donal for the clan truce? In retrospect, probably, because really that truce didn’t last long. But she fought for her dream, and ya can’t change the past, only the future.

You can’t change the past, only the future. You learn, you grow, you correct your course. And your destiny can’t escape you. 


 

If you “can’t” realize your dream because of some part of your nature, maybe you’re exactly the person to achieve the dream YOUR way. Your destiny involves both who you are that cannot change AND who you want to be.

That’s all the pirate-y stories for now 🙂 Go out there and kill it, Pirate Queens! Make your destiny, one risk and one sacrifice at a time ❤

Hey, for inspiration and to remind yourself who are truly you, dress up as a pirate and send me a pic of your costume. I’ll be sharing my photo session with you next week!

Creative Life

Build it before Ellen DeGeneres shows up

You get stuck in an elevator with Ellen DeGeneres. This sounds like one of her pranks waiting to happen, but it’s really not. You’re just stuck there. And you start talking about your dream.

  • the book you have in you
  • the music you’re making
  • the product you present to the world
  • the nonprofit you’re creating
  • the community you’re building
  • the art you create

All of the sudden, she buys in. She’s totally sold on YOUR IDEA! How awesome is that, right?

Then she invites you to talk on her show, give a pitch, sell your idea to the world. But right now, she’s walking on stage as you’re rescued from the elevator, “My audience is your audience. Invite them to your dream.” Except, oops:

  • you haven’t written the book
  • you have no music prepared
  • you don’t have a website to direct traffic to
  • you have only 5 pieces to sell and no pictures to show

You now have millions of people ready to buy into your dream, but you have nothing to show for it. Nothing.


Okay, I have not yet been trapped in an elevator with Ellen, and that’s good because I’m not prepared for that either.

But I can on a very very small scale relate. Very very small.
  • Strangers liking my public Facebook posts, but I hadn’t thought to add the Follow button
  • A blogpost that brought 1k+ viewers, but there was no way for non-WordPress users to stay in the loop
  • A free $30 Facebook coupon, but I didn’t have a product to advertise

Sometimes we buy into the lie that if we just had luck on our side, if we could just get the audience that someone else has, then we’d make it. But we can’t wait for opportunity – we have to prepare for it.

I don’t want you to be like me. I mean, in the above ways at least 🙂 When Ellen buys into your idea, I want you to be ready! And I want to be ready.

Here’s how I prepared and am preparing:

  • You can now follow my Facebook profile AND like my Facebook page AND follow me on Twitter
  • You can follow this blog through email (see the sidebar) as well as through WordPress, and I’m working on an email newsletter (you can pre-join the list now, but have grace for my MailChimp stumblings.)
  • I finished the first draft of my quirky meta murder mystery. In the editing process, then finding a way to get it out to all my lovely readers (YOU!)

To introduce your dream to others, make sure you get working on the following:

  • Something tangible to offer: the product, the idea, the work, whatever they need to buy into, get it out of your head and into the real world.
  • A public place for your dream: whether that’s a Facebook page, website, Etsy, blog, email newsletter – your audience needs a place to go once they buy in.
  • An action for your audience to take: buy the product, donate to a cause, follow your blog, spread word to their community….don’t let them just show up and leave.

I’m still a work in progress. But we all are 🙂 We’ll never be entirely ready for the big moment. But let’s do what we can to get there. Build it before they come. And by “they” I mean your audience in general, but especially Ellen 😉

Creative Life

The 400-Page Book Called “Just Do It!”

I had a dream that a friend was struggling with getting around to a project, no motivation whatsoever, initiative down the drain. (Pretty sure that struggling friend was actually my subconscious self, but moving on…)

My dream-self solution for my dream-friend?

“If only they had that book ‘Just Do It!’ It’s 400 pages of motivation to get started on whatever your goal is.”

When I woke up, I thought maybe the muse had visited me in the night to give me my next book project. Yeah, a 400-page book of motivation to get going on all the dreams you have! I could write that! Right?

Then I got to thinking…just how much “doing” would happen if we’re reading a 400-page motivational book? 

I don’t think we need a 400-page kick-in-the-pants of “Quit talking about it and do it.” Let me tell you right now, “Quit reading about it and do it.”

Here’s your motivation – you don’t need 400 pages. But if you need a blogpost, here it is. Or if you need Shia Labeouf telling you to “Just Do It,” you can have that too. But you, me, we’re going to stop reading and start now, mmk?

Ready….set…..Just Do It!

 

 

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Creative Life

Small Change for Great Change

I’ve never been one for resolutions. There’s too much pressure to achieve something huge, and I inevitably freak out then fail. But I do want each year to show marked improvement. Don’t you? To grow and change and become who I want to be, slowly but surely seeing the steps.

I do the New Year a little differently than resolutions of large goals. I can’t drop 20 pounds or finish a novel or some great feat like that. It’s too scary on a deadline. But I can change some small behavior.

The key is to find the small tweak to my life that creates a large difference toward my goals. Last year it was cutting out all the “extras” in my schedule that I could, to better manage my energy with a new taxing job on my plate.

This year, I’ve noticed I never have time for working on my dream job – because I never schedule it, I just use my free time for my dream. And ya know what? I don’t really have free time. Maybe you don’t either. Here’s the little change I’m making – I’m *scheduling* everything. I have a planner and I’m going to actually use it. I’m going to schedule my actual appointments, but I’m actually going to schedule my dream job, I’m going to schedule my blogging, and I’m also going to schedule my free time. Because I need that. And having that scheduled will take away my excuse of busyness.

Do you have any resolutions? Or do those terrify you? Maybe you’d like to make a small change to greatly change your life. Maybe that’s scheduling your free time. Or something else. But here’s the big question for your year: How are you going to make the YOU you want to be more tangible this year?

 

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for the Bookworms, Writerly Things

Why “American Sniper” Couldn’t Hold My Interest

I may have been the only person who found “American Sniper” to be the most yawn-inducing movie of the year century decade quite awhile.

“But that’s unpatriotic!….’American Sniper’ is a hero that should be taught in every high school history class!” I know, I know, my mom told me. And I don’t have a problem with the guy or the theme or my country or anything extreme like that. I have a problem with the film….that’s it.

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Caveat: I don’t generally enjoy this genre of film.

That being said, this was still worse than all most the others in the genre. I’d say “it’s bad when the only part I like is the two minutes I see Jesse from Glee,” except really that would probably be a whole bunch of movies if he would just show up in more movies, please! So anyhow, that maybe isn’t a good example of how bored I was.

Here’s why “American Sniper” failed to grab my interest:

Stories Need Structure

Your main character starts out with an internal or external goal – something they really want. And stakes – something they’ll lose if they don’t get it. And an obstacle – villain, per se – something that’s in the way of achieving their goal. The entire story from there is the character overcoming the obstacle to either achieve (or NOT achieve) their goal.

Veer from that very basic structure and it’s really difficult to hold an audience’s attention.

This story didn’t start with a clear goal – Chris Kyle was just living his life and ended up joining the military due to girlfriend troubles and shocking national news. Then everything from that point is the different battles he fights.

Maybe you say “His external goal is catching Mustafa.” Sure, in the background is this elusive bad guy he needs to get, but the majority of the loooooong story has nothing to do with him progressing towards or falling away from catching Mustafa – he’s just brought up every so often of “Oh yeah, and this guy we want to catch still.” So there’s a whole lot of “fluff” if that’s the story’s goal.

Maybe you say “His internal goal is to live a fulfilling life despite the trauma of war.” Sure, I can go with that. The PTSD and figuring out ways to cope and deal – that’s rough. And add in the family dynamics and reverse culture shock – it’s crazy difficult. But once again, there’s so much that doesn’t add to that storyline either.

Overall, it ended up being a mod-podge of life events. That’s kinda how telling a person’s life works, except quality writing finds a way to mash it all into a story structure. And I personally didn’t think this cut it – I couldn’t figure out the POINT of the story long enough to care about any of the events.

What do you think?

Am I way out of line?

Am I just reading this story wrong since I dislike the genre? (I’ve been wondering….people who like this genre, what’d YOU think?)

Is there anyone who felt the same way watching the movie? Pipe up, I’m feeling alone in this 🙂

Creative Life, Relationships

Who’s Your Sidekicks?

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Bryan Harris just sent out an email with this (his former) “Crappy Business Model.” This is why I have a Business Manager (Yaz) and a Research Assistant (Court.) And that’s just the people that have helped me enough that they demanded a title. All before I even have an official business, because we need people every step of the way toward our dreams.

I have a degree in English Literature and still somehow Courtney finds more effective ways to word my letters asking people for an interview. I kid you not when I say that somehow a circus just called my day-job (Red Cross – no circus relation) offering free tickets to employees. “Umm yes, you just made my dream come true! now let me try and act like a professional instead of a child while I accept this offer….” Research Assistant also will be accompanying me with clever interview questions and an obsession with the animals (Biology Degree.)

Just yesterday while talking with Yaz about personal brand (ahh! The scary b-word!) and my self-proclaimed genius facebook posts, she asked if my settings allow for followers. Ummmm…. (See why I “hired” her?) How had I forgotten about that. Well that’s all fixed now. All you people who are strangers and worried I’d reject a Friend Request, never fear! Just Follow me! And all my Facebook Friends who have friends that see my status you so eloquently replied to, and they think, “Hey! I like that. I want her stuff on my newsfeed forever.” Guess what? I have a solution that doesn’t involve you commenting on my every status (though I’m game for that too.) Tell them to follow me! ‘Cause now they can!

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And thank you Court and Yaz, and all you others who keep me going – you’re awesome!

So I’m curious….what’s your plan? Who’s your sidekicks? Who’s feeding into you with ideas and help toward reaching your goals and achieving your dreams, whether professional or personal? Let’s do this together 🙂