Stuff and Things – Y Ddraig Goch

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For those of you who don’t speak Welsh, the subtitle translates to The Red Dragon. The Red Dragon, Y Ddraig Goch is the national symbol of Wales, and in addition to being pictured on the official flag, it is pretty much on everything else in country.

When I was there, I picked up stuffed red dragons for each of my three kids, but for myself I got this little keychain. For the longest time, I had it clipped to my pocketbook, and it went everywhere with me. His tag fell off, but the plastic hangy thing is still attached to his ear. On his left side, as you can see if you squint and zoom in, he has a patch of the Welsh flag attached.

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A few years ago, I was in the post office, my purse slung over my shoulder with the red dragon hanging in the front. I finished my transaction, and the postal clerk asked if I went to college at Oneonta. It is a state college in upstate New York, and I had in fact graduated from there.

I was confused how she knew that, and she pointed at my red dragon. My response was that it was a Welsh dragon, not an Oneonta red…

And then I realized, and it hit me that I hadn’t realized it before, but the coincidence was ridiculously obvious to me and I chuckled. I might have said that I guessed it was after all.

At college in Oneonta, our mascot was a red dragon. I lost that in the twenty-five years and I’d been carrying around my Welsh dragon and never once associated it with my college mascot.

So in the 1980s I had red dragons, and in 2009, I went back to Wales and got a different red dragon. It only cemented my connection to Wales. There are many threads attaching me to the land, and their only connection is me. In my mind, it makes sense. It’s a faith thing.

Thursday Travels – Llanrwst, North Wales

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One of my favorite pictures from my visit in 2009.

Across the bridge to my left is a wonderful tea house. Excellent cup of tea and scone with cream and jam. I was too nervous to take photos “publicly” so I don’t have any from inside. As I recall now, though, there may have been a sign that said no photos, but I don’t precisely remember. I was very conscious of not being a typical tourist, but I’m not sure that if I went back that I would care about that. I love taking and looking at photographs. I love the view through the lens.

Behind me is a circle of standing stones. At the time I thought they were ancient stones and I gave them that reverence. When I arrived home, I did some research and discovered that those stones were placed there to commemorate the 1951 Eisteddfod. Fun fact: my friend’s grandfather won the crown at that year’s competition. He was a well respected and well known broadcaster for television and radio.

On the river you can see two swans, who were happy to pose for my other pictures.

Another fun fact: This bridge is said to be one of the ones designed by Inigo Jones.

Movie Wednesday – Annie

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This is one of those surprising movies that my son and daughter both like. Usually, they’re at each other’s throats disagreeing over the week’s movie. There are only a handful that they both love and request with equal fervor.

I know there was some controversy with the casting of this reboot, but I personally happen to think the cast is perfect. I remember glancing at the comic strip as a child, but I don’t remember the original Broadway show or movie with Victor Garber.

What I found in this modern take were the small tributes to the original story, and how easily this story was adapted for the modern viewer. I loved Annie commenting on how big her hair was. I looked at my kids and told them that the original Annie also had big hair.

She is a sweet, optimistic girl who likes everyone and believes the best of them. She’s certain that her parents are coming back, and she waits outside the restaurant where they left her.

She infects Will Starks with her bubblyness and it changes him for the better. He reminisces with her about how he grew up, and he really cares about her.

It’s a heartwarming, hopeful movie with a great and familiar soundtrack. I love that I had enough musicals in my childhood that their bursting into song was normal. My son wasn’t used to it and he asked why no one in the backround noticed that they were suddenly singing and dancing in the middle of the city street. I think I’ll introduce him to some old classics like The Sound of Music and West Side Story.

I’ve seen this version of Annie twice and we’re rewatching it this afternoon before we have to return it to Redbox. I don’t find it tiresome at all.

Jamie Foxx and Quevenzhane Wallis made a fantastic pair. The supporting cast was also superb. I especially liked Adewale Akinnuoyep-Agbaje as Mr. Stark’s driver who has a good sense of humor and a fondness for Annie. In fact, everyone has a fondness for Annie except for the bad guys, which should give you a clue that they are bad guys. How can anyone have a bad thing to say about her?

This is one of my favorite movies that I’ve seen this year.

Talyn’s Heroic Journey in #Farscape Is Now Available on Kindle

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kbwriting:

The writer is the friend of a friend. This caught my eye because Farscape was one of those shows that I missed along the way. My husband’s friend sent us his DVD set of the series when he finished with it, and it still took us a few years to get to it.

I felt that the show had its issues, but that was my nitpickyness of being a longtime science fiction in space fan. It felt like a cross between Star Trek and Babylon 5. There was a good ensemble cast, unusual characters who didn’t fit their stereotypes, a home on the ship, friendship, and a good story.It was futuristic and modern.

One of the arcs that I found interesting was Talyn’s story. For those who are unfamiliar with the show, Talyn is a ship. He is a living ship and the hybrid offspring of the living ship, Moya, that the crew travels on. His story is unusual, and I was so excited to see Natacha’s book about his journey.

It is now available on Kindle, and I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing how close my own thoughts mesh with hers.

Enjoy!

Originally posted on Natacha Guyot:

Do you like Farscape? Do unlikely heroes interest you? Are redemption stories compelling to you? Then, you’ll probably want to check out my eBook, Talyn’s Heroic Journey in Farscape:

Created in 1999 by Rockne S. O’Bannon, the Science Fiction television series Farscape focuses on the eclectic crew of a living ship called Moya. One of the supporting characters, Talyn, is Moya’s hybrid offspring, is born at the end of the first season and also experiences his own heroic journey.

Since the show belongs to the Science Fiction genre, it is interesting to study how a non-human character that isn’t even humanoid might become a hero. While cyborg and alien heroes have existed in Science Fiction narratives of many kinds, it remains rather rare that a space ship, even alive and sentient, is given significant character development.

Three elements are of particular significance in the analysis of hybrid’s heroic…

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Stuff and Things – Green Glass Lamp

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I’ve seen lamps like this growing up. I think my grandmother may have had one in her basement. She had a weird, spooky basement that had shelves and books and a round table in the room. I used to read Nancy Drew down there. Maybe that’s why I remember it as spooky.

Other than that flash, I hadn’t remembered which family member had the green glass lamp, but I hated them. I don’t even know why I hated them.

And then I forgot about them.

Last year, we were staying with my mother-in-law over the Thanksgiving holiday and I noticed this lamp in the bedroom where we were sleeping.

I wanted it!

It’s not a bedroom lamp; it’s a desk lamp.

It’s like the lamp on the desk of a great detective or private eye, two of my dream jobs as a child. It reminds me of the table lamps in the bunker on Supernatural, and I was immediately drawn to it.

My mother-in-law gave it to me and it’s been a centerpiece of my office ever since. It makes me feel like a real writer. I try to surround myself in my writing space with things that inspire me, and this lamp has definitely fit the bill.

It’s a writer’s lamp!

I kind of love that as a young person I hated this type of lamp because I think it can stand as a symbol of life’s changes. It shows how far I’ve come. It’s not just growing up; it’s growing out.

Tasty Tuesday. Peanuts

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My Dad used to eat peanuts all the time. He’d get this big bag of peanuts still in their shells. He’d crack them open and go through that bag in one or two days. He’d toss the shells in a paper garbage bag next to his chair, but on occasion he’d miss. Some days before he cleaned it up it looked like the floor of a country bar or a Ground Round in the “old” days of my childhood. I still flashback to my Dad sitting in his blue recliner in our den when I see those big bags of peanuts in the shells.

I used to love Nutter Butter cookies because of him also. And Vienna Fingers. It’s amazing what pops into your head from childhood, especially where food is related.

Stuff and Things – Transistor Radio

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This is my Jimmy Carter peanut radio. It’s just one of those things that I can’t remember getting, but I’ve always had. I imagine that it was given to me early on in the Carter Administration or while he was campaigning for President. I know that my brother and sister also had one.

The battery cover is missing, and I think one of the wires has come out, so if I put a new 9 volt battery in it, it wouldn’t work, which is sad. I have some good memories listening to this radio.

No antennas, no plugs. The radio stations broadcast. If I recall correctly, it got FM. Not all of the radios that we had could pick up FM, so this was a big deal. FM had the cool music.

He’s also missing a top hat. He must have been modeling after Mr. Peanut. There were so many ways that politicians were good naturedly parodied and teased, but I kind of think that President Carter would like this. It shows his friendly, if toothy grin, the twinkle in his eyes, and of course, a homage to his peanut farming and farm life and family ancestry.

This is one of my childhood treasures along with a stuffed astronaut doll from the Kennedy Space Center. I will look for that later in the year, and share it with you when I find it. We discovered it again when we were cleaning my mother’s house out several years ago. It was a bit moldy, but I know we have it either in the garage or the basement.