We were able to see the movie DOG last night. Great movie, very ‘dusty’ (meaning lots of wiping of eyes).

No copyright infringement intended – just wanted the visual

The writers did a great job showing how difficult it can be for combat veterans trying to blend back into ‘normal’ life. Having lived with a combat vet with severe PTSD issues, I can tell you (and he agrees) they did a very good job showing that as well. No way Briggs would be able to go back in theater and function.

It also allowed my guy and I to have a great talk where he gave me a really huge compliment. He told me that, especially early on in our relationship when he hadn’t been out long, that I was his ‘shoe’. For those that have watched the movie you’ll get why that was important.

While I loved the movie, Kyle and I both have a concern related to it. He has also been a long-time friend of someone who trains Belgian Malinois for military, police, etc. Knowing what we know about the breed, without ever having one ourselves, we are concerned that this movie will get people to want one of these amazing dogs. This would not be a good plan for most people.

Malinois are extremely intelligent and very trainable which is why are coming to be used so much by the military. They are also very, very active. They are what is called ‘working dogs’ and need to be worked several hours a day. Serious.

There is a scene in the movie where Lulu is eating Briggs’ car. He’d left her alone far too often and didn’t get her out running. As Kyle often says, “with these dogs, it’s all about the ball”. Chasing, training, working – it’s what they live for. Kyle often calls Malinois ‘fur missiles’ – one of the other characters called Lulu a “fur flash-bang”. Kyle said he’d have to start using that.

So unless you have loads of time and patience and are willing to use your time and energy for the extensive and exhaustive training, please don’t go for one of these dogs. These are the reasons we’ve never had one ourselves, even though his friend has tried many times to get us one. Personality wise, the breed would be perfect for Kyle, but he knows with what we have going right now (and for many years previously) we just wouldn’t be able to do what is needed for the dog.

I do have a beef with IMdB right now. Lulu is NOT listed in the credits (that I could find). I think this is just wrong. Lulu did a fabulous job.

Award Shows

As often happened in the past, I felt compelled to write something in response to a tweet.

It seems the Oscars have decided to pre-record eight categories for a telecast edited version to keep the actual show to its three-hour time slot. Those categories are Production Design, Sound, Original Music Score, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, Documentary Short, Live Action Short, and Animated Short.

It’s too bad as at least five of these areas are the base structure for Films/Television.

One of the reasons sited for this change is lack of viewership. Ok. I totally get that as I haven’t personally watched an award show for years and then I only watched the SAG awards.

Many people have just gotten tired of how political it has all become. Not just national politics – Hollywood politics. It used to be a fun watch when I was growing up – seeing the great dresses, guys all decked out in tuxes, lots of being truly thankful for winning and seeing your favorite celebs just out being themselves vs a character and (mostly) having a good time. I quit seeing that a long time ago now and quit watching because of it.

I have tried to give credit when I was writing about Outlander – not enough though. Since I’m no longer going to blog much about that show, I’ve moved all those posts over to their own page. I can’t do individual URLS for that now, but if you want to see those posts you can go to that page and scroll down – newest to oldest – to see.

First is Oct. 22, 2016 – Being Thankful

Next June 27, 2016 – NOT an Outlander Fan – most of this was actually written by my partner giving kudos to Ron Moore

Last (or first) Jan. 5, 2014 – was me praising Terry and her costume department.

Here’s a thought. How about they pre-record the STARS and make that a telecast. Make the actual awards show about the people that make all this entertainment possible. I get it that without the actors there wouldn’t be a show – but they get all the glam and glitz and recognition without the award. It’s the production team, the drivers, costumers, hair and makeup, special effects, sets, lighting, sound, music (holy crow I could do a whole massive blog on Bear McCreary alone), food services, the mob of people that schlep everything around, and (I’m sure) many, many more I’m missing and may not even know about that make the show work and provide the base for the actors to work in.

Honestly, the shows might get more viewers if they got to see more of the ‘real’ people – people like them that work hard with little to no recognition – than all the ‘celebrities’ they see all the time.

Just a thought.

The Walking Dead

After years of thinking “I / we really aren’t interested in a show about Zombies” we finally gave in and tracked down Season 1 of The Walking Dead.


We were SO SO SO wrong about this show. Totally hooked. So many deep, enthralling characters. So many intriguing conversations based on things that come up in the different episodes. It’s been an amazing journey so far. A few seasons in, I went back and watched the first episode – that was a mind bender too. First viewing, you are just experiencing the story – going back, noticed loads of little things because I knew more of how things would unfold.

Yes there is blood, guts and gore, but this is way more a story of people. Good people. Bad people. People that have to deal with massive changes. I highly recommend it.

On a fun note. We were recently watching S9 – E7 “Stradivarius”. We got to the scene pictured below where the character of Luke was pointing down to a violin and talking about an ancient cave where paintings and crude musical instruments were found. Then he made the statement on the picture and my guy paused the show and stated:

“Huh, it took me this long to figure out the plot of the entire show. Basically Bear McCreary will save the world with music.” We had a good chuckle over that.

New Perspectives

Hi all! I know. It’s been a LONG time since I did any writing here. Lots of things contributed to that. A big thing was just – it got to be a “what’s the point” feeling. I kept rehashing the same issues. Three years since I last did an Outlander blog and I still see pretty much all the same issues in the fandom. Some may have even gotten worse.

That being said, I don’t know if I care to see the new season. Maybe I’ll just wait till it comes out on DVD and go from there. I’ve found other things I would rather comment on.

With all this in mind, I’ve made some changes to this space.

Some things really important to me I have given their own pages. Let me run down what some of them are so you know whether or not to take a look.

Collective Strike – a novel. This is a novel I wrote. It is a full length novel which is basically a fan fiction based on the original La Femme Nikita series. It can be downloaded in either PDF or Word. There is a write-up for how the novel came to be and why it was important to me.

Lil’ Bud – just what it says it is.

My – NON BLOG – writing. Poems, short stories…that sort of thing

NOT Outlander or General – not much in there and I probably won’t use that much anymore since I’ll be doing that here. I’d fold those posts back into this main page – but can’t quite figure out how to do it.

OUTLANDER – is all the posts that used to be here on this main page in one spot.

Recipes – again, self explanatory

Roy Dupuis – this is a page dedicated to another actor that I’m very fond of and that I actually got to meet once. Sam reminds me of him in many ways in HOW he acts.

Serious Line: This one is an Outlander post, but I thought it deserved it’s own space as it is a very serious subject for me.

The Fifth Race – this is sort of an introduction to a series of books I’m working on. I’d love to get feedback about what people think of the premise.

For those who have read my posts, you have an idea of my writing style. If there is something you would like to see me comment on, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

More later!

If I were to die tomorrow – Would there be any sorrow?

I hope so. But I’m not a celebrity or anyone important….I’m just me.

Most of us have been there at one time or another; for some, far more often than is healthy. That place of utter devastation, that crevasse of self-loathing, that arid plain of feeling completely useless to ourselves or anyone else. That heavy heart at lack of accomplishment or that pit of despair from loss.


This picture, a moment on celluloid, has always captured that for me.

Interestingly, it also comes from one of my favorite movies – especially this time of year. To me “It’s a Wonderful Life” is all about realizing that I (along with every person alive) have worth in this world. Some people choose to throw that worth in the gutter by committing evil acts and some just can’t grasp that about themselves, but I believe it to be true.

George Bailey wasn’t anyone special. Just a guy who had hard slaps in life, yet managed to keep moving forward. He had big dreams he never quite realized. He often felt let down, a failure, unable to provide for his family the way he wanted to – yet those were small moments in a productive life.

He had no real idea (nor do we) just how many lives he touched and affected. He just lived his life, doing what he felt was right, even when it wasn’t always convenient. More, each of those lives he touched, affected others, who touched others and the ripple continued. Like we each do every day. When Clarence gives him the chance to really see what others lives would have been like without him, it is a startling revelation of how ordinary acts can make a huge difference.

PTSD, depression and their related issues are too big an issue to include here. Maybe another time – if it’s something people would be interested to see.

I understand, all too well, the idea that just giving up on life would be far too easy some days. The situation I am in currently, I often feel like more of a burden to my wonderful partner than a helpmate. So many goals and dreams I’ve all but given up on…what is the point of continuing?

So, I’ll watch the movie again and remind myself that, while I may not get to see it, I have no idea how much that tweet or FB post or email or note might lift someone else and be helpful. That simple smile given to a stranger. All the little things I just DO because it’s who I am – that may make a huge difference to someone I’ll never know about.

I’ll remember that, just because some of my dreams haven’t been realized, I’ve been blessed in other ways I never imagined. Just as, to him, George’s dreary existence made his little corner of the world a better place – maybe I can do that too. I don’t have to be a superstar or a celebrity to make a difference. Alive or dead a may not have thousands who will follow all I say or do or would mourn my passing. All I can do is be true to myself and strive every day to be the best I can be and thankful for all I have.

I hope all my ‘friends’ on social media can find their ‘hope’ in something over the holidays. While the holiday season is great in many ways, it can also bring out the bad stuff in a big way.

However you celebrate, be blessed. If you need it, here is a hug to help get you through.



Someone sent me these gems in an email today – and I wanted to pass them along to anyone willing to open their heart to the message. I don’t know if any or all of them are ‘true’ – but that really doesn’t matter. They touched my heart – I hope they will touch yours.

helenkeller1-2xI’ve seen too much hate for our fellow human beings lately over things that – should bring us together to find solutions rather than tearing us apart creating conflict. We all need to do better.

These moments can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere – if we just open our hearts and let them. Namaste.


Tissue recommended.


Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said;

“Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

—————————— ———————-

Today, I asked my mentor, a very successful business man in his 70s, what his top 3 tips are for success.

He smiled and said; “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”

—————————— ————————

Today, after my 72-hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said;

“On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”

—————————— ————————-

Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died;

he licked the tears off my face.

—————————— ————————-

Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too.

A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job.

I start tomorrow.

—————————— ————————-

Today, as my father, three brothers and two sisters, stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died.

She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”

—————————— ————————-

Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed,

I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

—————————— ————————-

Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”

“Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said

—————————— ————————-

Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that,

I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

—————————— ————————-

Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said,

“I hope you feel better soon.”

—————————— ————————-

Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”

It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.

—————————— ————————–

Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating.

The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”

—————————— ————————–

The best sermons are lived, not preached.



Drama and Politics

free voice cropped


As a general rule, I refrain from commenting about politics on social media for a couple of reasons. One, there are many people I enjoy interacting with that do not hold the same political ideas that I do. Politics are a f*cked up deal and I don’t want them dictating my personal interactions. Second, on Twitter especially (even with the increase in characters) it is difficult to have a really decent discussion about something as layered and nuanced as politics are. Just for example…I am pro-choice AND pro-life. Yeah, try to explain that easily on any social media platform where you don’t have tone, body language and other markers to help give and get the message.

Every person has an opinion, a belief system, things that are of vast importance to them and it is their right to express those thoughts and ideas. Social media has been a mecca for people all over the world to do just that. Yes…that includes celebrities. Actors and other ‘names’ are still just people with things that are important to them and the right, like everyone else, to express their ideas and opinions.

It can be very difficult when someone is a ‘fan’ to have that ‘celebrity’ espousing things they are dead set against. The current political climate is just nasty and having a celebrity you have long enjoyed and supported be on the opposing side can be frustrating. You don’t want to hear their political agenda, you want to hear about their current project or their great new character or nifty little tidbits about their personal life. There has been a lot of ‘hate’ in the last year on this subject, and it came up again pretty strongly in the last 24 hours.

Celebrities have every right to post, discuss, and support what is important to them – just like their fans do. If a favorite celebrity is on the other side of politics from you, there are a couple of options. 1) Just scroll past their posts about politics – don’t engage. 2) Stop following them on social media. If it is going to bug you that much, don’t put yourself through it. 3) Mute them when they are talking politics so you don’t have to see it. No one talks politics all the time and that might be an easy fix. 4) Try engaging them in a respectful conversation about your differences of opinion. Telling them to shut up, just do your job or calling names – never appropriate. It just isn’t. Have a little class and respect yourself enough not to look like a loon.

I completely support any celebrity that wants to post their feelings/ideas/political thoughts on social media – they, however, need to keep in mind a few things. People most often DO follow them for their ‘work’ (be it acting, sports, music….whatever makes them a ‘celebrity’) and not for their political leanings. That is what your public is interested in. You have every right to post political comments, just as your fans/supporters have the right to not appreciate it and stop supporting you. I also have the concern that, celebrities often live in their own little bubble – what is real for them may not translate well to their fans. With a huge following, in my mind, there is a responsibility to be accurate and informed when commenting. Thousands follow – and things can get ugly very quickly. How many celebrities have tweeted something out in haste only to be in a shit storm for a week? Everyone has to make their own choices in what they will or won’t post on social media – celebrities just need to understand that because of the numbers they command, some responsibility come with that.

One of my biggest frustrations that causes me great sadness in the current political climate, is how nasty people are being to each other. Harsh language, ugly names, slurs, threats…’s all so stupid! Families that are split; parents keeping kids away from grandparents; brothers and sisters not speaking to each other, people that have been friends through the worst sort of trials for years or decades at war with each other. WTF?! Really?


We are where we are politically. Both sides need to grow up and start taking some personal responsibility. If you don’t like a political standpoint – see my points above – don’t attack the other person no matter who they are. All attacking does is put them on the defensive and throw out any possibility of sane conversation. There is a lot of bad mojo going on in the world right now, but until we can act like civilized adults and start working together instead of constantly fighting, NONE of it will get fixed.

Here is another really good thought to leave you all with. We’ve all seen it before, something to keep in mind these dark days especially.




Words Matter


I haven’t written here for a long time. Honestly, I didn’t see much point. The things I was saying didn’t seem to be reaching very many people and the ones that needed to see/hear them most don’t even look at my blog. The few that do seem to stop by and read, well, I’m pretty much ‘preaching to the choir’ there.

Recently, while discussing a fandom issue on a Twitter thread, a couple of people expressed the wish that I would continue with my blog. I guess if it helps or makes even a single person think then it has fulfilled its function. It isn’t up to ME to dictate how my writing affects others, it’s up to ME to write it and let the universe handle the rest. Makes sense given what I want to talk about here today.

First, I am going to ask…beg really…for people to respond to this question either here on the blog or via Twitter. Please look at this picture and tell me if you think any of these girls are ‘fat’…. ‘porky’……. ‘chunky’ ….. or any of a number of other adjectives used to denote being overweight. I seriously want comments on this – as detailed as you will like to get them.


100_2332 cropped


Now, this is an old picture so no feelings will be hurt. I happen to know that one of those girls (they were all….16 or 17 in this picture) was told repeatedly by her family that she was overweight and needed to trim down. She was told she was fat and would never make anything of her life if she didn’t fix it. At school she was called a variety of names all indicating that she was overweight. Can you pick which girl this was said to?

She believed what people said; believed it so completely that she dressed differently from her friends, constantly stressed about how ‘fat’ she was and never felt good enough for anything. I happen to know she reached adulthood consistently gaining weight and now, as those words that she was bombarded with from the time she was a young teen said, she is indeed fat/overweight. Very likely she would be told she is obese by a doctor – though she tests out fairly healthy. Joint issues are beginning to manifest and the extra weight likely isn’t doing her heart any good, but overall healthy.

Words matter. How might this woman’s life have been different if she would have told – especially by her family – that she was a perfectly normal teen? If she had been encouraged to be more active at a younger age? (She’s a bookworm, has been since she was six and likes to do crafty things – all sitting down activities.) I wonder if she would have had more confidence and followed her dreams rather than working in jobs that she was good at but never really enjoyed. Would she at this stage just be slightly overweight rather than obese?

Words matter. I am using this story to illustrate that. The tongue is one of the strongest muscles we have; it can build up or tear down. If you have never read them, I highly recommend two books: Hung by the Tongue and The Tongue: A Creative Force.

Words matter. What we say matters. How we say things matters. How often is ‘constructive criticism’ actually more DEstructive and meant to be? What we say to others, tweet to others, respond to others – blog – matters. It has cause and effect. Should we keep silent in our own worlds? Of course not – but we should be ever aware of the words we use and how we use them.

Some people are very secure in themselves and their chosen professions and so can take a lot of criticism in stride without too many negative side effects. Many are not in that place. I encourage you to ‘speak’ to people from a place of respect: both for yourself and them. They may look different, think differently than you, believe differently or have different ideology – but they are still a human being just like you. You may not agree with them, but respect that they believe differently. Discuss those differences! Learn about and from each other! Have respect. Words matter.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I screw up on a regular basis. I have probably ‘said’ things here in this blog I shouldn’t have or that came across badly. I try to be very mindful when I post anything as to how it comes across and might affect others – but I get angry sometimes and just don’t police myself well.

I just pray I never do to anyone else what was done to that girl that so irrevocably affected her life.

Words matter.


Perception and Prejudice

Each person that reads or watches or experiences something, brings a lot of themselves into the process. How and where they were raised, their spiritual beliefs, education, the people they spend time with, the other books they read, movies they watch and things they study. All of these factors are mixed into to whatever an individual is currently ‘experiencing’ and colors it to their unique perception and prejudice.

So we can hope to come at this blog from a similar direction – here are some definitions:


Perception: a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression; intuitive understanding and insight

Selective Perception: Selectivity of information that is perceived. Process in which people tend to ignore information that conflicts with their values while accepting other information that agrees with their values.

Prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience


When I write my fiction, I tend to go lean on details unless I need the reader to grasp something specific. For me, not having each thing spelled out for me (as a reader) allows me the fun of having my own view or perception of a scene. A field of wildflowers in a passage may give me a totally different image (coming from the Pacific Northwest) than someone reading the same passage that grew up in the mid-west or on the east coast or in Switzerland or New Zealand.

Take this bit from the book I’m currently working on:

            Jasmine felt as if she was being turned inside out then found herself swaying slightly in a well-appointed sitting or living room. It had a look and atmosphere of old-world grace and money, but she didn’t have time to study it. She turned quickly as the enemy placed her soul sister on a plush sofa.

 “There should be a blanket in the chest just there, why don’t you get one so we can cover her.” Nicholas watched this woman carefully if discretely. She was struggling – fighting a war within herself – and if she was who he suspected, he could only imagine how abhorrent this situation was for her.

            Jasmine flipped open the cedar chest and found a soft, light blanket. Cashmere? Quality, as everything seemed to be here, and stepped over to cover her friend. The temptation to just cover her face and kill this arrogant aristocrat was hard to resist, but she needed Sunny in her life almost like air or food. Since she had lost her brother, Sunny was the only thing that had kept her at least somewhat sane. She had to strike out somehow and since she had promised not to kill him – words were her only option.

 “Nice place, Vlad. Lots of color, very few cobwebs – I’m impressed.”


I have a very specific picture of this place in my head as the author. The furniture I picture, the colors, the fabrics, the trinkets or priceless pieces of art that may be present. I asked my partner what he pictured and it was similar but not identical to my thoughts. Not surprising since we have been mostly together for over 20 years and come from somewhat similar backgrounds growing up. But ask yourself what you pictured? How might your partner or best friend picture the same scene? None of the ‘visions’ is more right than any others, they are just different; colored and nuanced by each individuals myriad of experiences.

Prejudice, at least how I want to talk about it here, is a bit more complicated.

While where prejudice comes from holds true for all the same things as perception, it’s how it applies to reading a book or watching or movie or dealing with a different culture that I want to address. People tend to judge things, be prejudiced for or against them, based on their perceptions – but they often neglect to take into account the differences from where the thing is coming from.


Take the novel Outlander for example. People tend to judge/be prejudiced about the characters based on current time perceptions. You really can’t do that. To say something that was a cultural norm several hundred years ago was ‘wrong and/or out of character’ based on current ideas and perceptions robs the person experiencing the work of inherent lessons, insights or differences. While we as a modern society may not agree with something done in the 1700’s for a variety of reasons, you also can’t just dismiss them as wrong. Understand where that particular ‘norm’ came from and why. How was it important to THAT time and place? Embrace it for how it is different from current thinking and so expand your vision of things outside your own actual experiences.

This is true of almost any work set in times and places different from what we know and are comfortable with. While some readers may vehemently disagree with the scene in which Jamie thrashes Claire for her blatant disobedience and endangering of their party; others understood where/when it came from and, while they may have found it distasteful, didn’t let that one scene ruin the whole book for them. Some, not so willing to step outside their own perceptions and prejudices, put down the book at that point never to pick it up again.

Some people are very uncomfortable reading explicit sex scenes – this can be due to many factors. They can skip past such things or let it ruin the entire story. That is a choice. While I don’t judge people for their comfort levels, I take real issue with people that will go through library books and black out things THEY find offensive not giving others a chance to decide for themselves.

I guess what I hope to accomplish with this post is to get people to think a little bit. To, perhaps, listen to another’s viewpoint without judgment to maybe expand their own thinking and ideas. Even if it doesn’t change your mind, you’ve been exposed to other ideas and, hopefully, won’t berate another for their perceptions. You and they are coming to a specific experience from (possibly) vastly different directions and so your perceptions will not be the same.

I saw this during the recent upheaval with the political race and it is so appropriate.


Both people in this picture are right – they are also both wrong. It is a matter of perception.

My fervent wish with future posts is that people will keep this in mind while reading what I write. I come from my own unique place and so my ‘view’ will be different from anyone reading my thoughts. It may be only slightly different or a huge swing towards one side or another. It doesn’t make me right and anyone else wrong – it’s just a different perspective. My hope is that my own ideas and perspective might allow someone else to see the same scene or book or character in a slightly different way and so, expand that experience for them with a different facet to and already precious ‘gem’.

It is also my wish that – especially here – discussions are conducted in a respectful manner to expand each person’s experience rather than dismiss their perceptions as irrelevant.





Girls and Dreams


I had a dream a few nights ago. My dreams aren’t something I’d normally choose to share and write about, but this one has been turning over in my wee brain. One of those times I can’t seem to shake the idea so, to the keyboard I go.


In the dream I was sitting at a computer, though it seemed rather specialized. (FYI – I am NOT a hardware person so please don’t slam descriptions I’m sure I’ll get wrong – besides it was a dream). There was a keyboard, but also lots of knobs and switches and bells and whistles. I was trying to fine tune some music, or some dialog….something auditory. I was frustrated because I just couldn’t get what I was working on to sound like I wanted it to and knew it should sound like. I looked up and the wall that had been in front of me had turned to glass with two guys sitting at a much more complex ‘computer’ system fidgeting with the same bit of audio I was. I had to blink when I realized it was Ron Moore and Bear McCreary.

I don’t supposed the fact that we have finally managed to start listening to Ron’s podcasts had anything to do with this LOL.

I could hear the audio, still not right….then as they fiddled with it, it shifted and flowed and sounded exactly as it should have. I was amazed and blurted out “How the hell did they DO that?!”

The glass wall parted in the middle and slid aside. Ron looked up and said, “Well get in here and we’ll show you!” I hoofed it in promptly to learn at the elbows of greatness…..fade to black.

Why do I relate this rather odd little dream? Why has it been bouncing around in my head insisting I throw it out and let people see it? I think, perhaps, I came up with an answer.

Growing up I was reasonably intelligent. I was raised by dysfunctional parents (alcoholics) and by my grandparents who were both teachers. I was raised very traditionally. I was encouraged to go into teaching. I was told to learn typing and shorthand so I could get a job as a secretary. I didn’t get to take martial arts class with my brothers because it wasn’t ladylike. I bowed to all this because….it’s how I was raised to be. (Fear not….I’ve gotten over my doormat stage in a big way though I do still slip and lie down occasionally when I shouldn’t.)

I had a strong interest in science. Not exactly discouraged – but certainly not encouraged. I loved to perform, but was only really encouraged to learn how to play the piano. I was good enough with very little work to have my teacher happy so I didn’t really apply myself. I think too many girls raised when I was dealt with the same sort of things…..I am concerned too many still are.

What does this have to do with the dream? I have a good ear. Picking out what instrument is playing or a voice on a commercial and knowing what actor it goes to. Picking up sounds – even slight ones – that are ‘off’ and finding problems because of it (very handy skill on a boat). While I didn’t apply myself with hours of rehearsal for singing, my choir masters loved me because I had ‘a good ear’ to adjust things. I did a lot of sound work through school…..helping run the sound board for the jazz choir (did I go out with the sound tech because I liked him and picked up the board or because I was interested in the board and that’s how I could get my hands on it? Interesting question I had not pondered before.) Sound tech (among many other hats) for the theatre department in college. I used that knowledge to step in and run the board for a band whose own tech failed to show up when a scout was coming to listen to them at the bar they were playing. (Guess I did ok – he signed them.) What if I could have done an internship or studied under someone like Bear McCreary? What might my life had been like going completely outside the traditional? I would have very likely pursued something like that – something in performing arts (stage is very addicting both in front of and behind the curtain) but it wasn’t ‘proper’.

I think Ron was in the dream because he is so often mentioned as an advocate for getting more women involved/treated equally and showing them more realistically on screen.

All this has left me pondering in these last few days……how far have we really come in encouraging our kids – especially our females – to really explore their strengths and gifts and reach toward something more than a traditional ‘safe’ job? Something past ‘proper’ and ‘PC’? What if one of my choir directors had really encouraged me to pursue that ‘gift’ of my ‘good ear’ in high school? Had taken the time to help me track down and explore what that might be good for. Would it have eventually led to me sitting in a studio helping tweak the sound to perfectly set scenes for a show like Outlander? Maybe – and wouldn’t that have been cool?!

I guess what it comes down to is – what can each of us do to change that? Encourage the straight guy that likes to play football but has a great eye for color and line and really enjoys working there that it is ok to go into designing women’s clothing. Or to encourage that head cheerleader to use her brains more than her body to advance herself in science or architecture or any other male dominated realm. That mousie, overweight girl (me) that absorbs things when allowed to that might have made a really decent supporting actor with very little encouragement. Traditional and being PC can be so limiting – not allowing for true gifts to be explored and utilized not just for the person possessing them, but all those that person touches. When I make it big as a writer (got to keep those positive thoughts pumping true?) how might I encourage someone else? I definitely haven’t taken a traditional route to get on this path – all my elective classes were geared toward theatre and acting – not writing.

Who do you know that you might be able to encourage? Help out? Steer toward a dream? Who do you know that could help them? How can each of us work towards making a ‘safe’ environment for any kid to express an interest/ability in something that doesn’t quite fit the mold people want to push them into? How about you? What is YOUR dream that may not fit into a neat package? How can you encourage that?