Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Your Strengths Are Your Differences

I know I usually do a wrap-up of Castle and Hawaii Five-O, but I don't have a lot of good things to say about last night's offerings.  I thought some of the scenes went too far and were in poor taste.  The only redeeming factor for Hawaii Five-O was Wo Fat's appearance.  But even then we had to believe that Danny had such bad aim, he couldn't hit Wo Fat who had barely any cover and a rifle to defend himself with?  Yeah, not so much.

So today I'd like to tell you where I've been this morning.  I went to see J. Scott Savage's presentation to an elementary school.  If you don't know who J. Scott Savage is, then you've been missing out.  You can click here to go to his website to find out more about his books.  (Case File 13 Zombie Kid is out and if you have middle grade children, they will definitely want this book. My kids loved it!)

So, he started out his presentation talking about what kinds of books we like to read (the kids roared when he asked if anyone liked smooching books.  Haha!)  Then he did a Zombie rap which was hilarious (especially the bling and glasses.  It added just the right touch.)  And then he talked about how when he was a kid, he was a little different.  He liked to daydream and think up stories and sometimes people thought he was weird.  But that difference became his strength because now he makes a living making up stories.  He told about three other people who were different, people who had others tell them they couldn't achieve their dreams, but they went on and did it anyway.  Their differences became their strengths because they had the drive to keep going no matter what.

The kids that J. Scott Savage was talking to were completely enthralled.  It was amazing how he had engaged them, not only in what he was saying, but also in what he was doing.  He helped them see that they can write a story (they started one right there on the stage).  He helped them see that there are people who like to make up stories and people who like to read them.  Everyone's different and that's good.  I wish you could have been there because I don't think I'm doing it justice at all.  But it was just incredible and fun.

It made me think as I was driving home, am I encouraging my children in their differences?  How can I help them turn something that they may not think is all that great into a strength?

At the end of the day, I think I'm grateful for my own differences.  I can disappear into my own world and write stories that other people like to read.  I am so grateful for that and for the opportunities I've had because of it.  My strengths have grown out of being a little different.

Do you believe our differences can be our strengths?  And have you read any of J. Scott Savage's books?


Konstanz Silverbow said...

I love that man! :D And this is genius and so well put. Thank you for sharing!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

He is pretty amazing! Thanks Konstanz! :)

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

My boys like his books. I'll have to tell them about this. And thanks for the heads up about Castle. I'll skip this week's episode.

Melanie Goldmund said...

I've read a few of his books back when he was Jeff Savage, does that count?

Just at this moment, I'm trying to come to terms with my "difference." I've been starting to suspect that I'm somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum, and one of the reasons for this is that it's really really hard for me to resolve conflicts in real life. I've had trouble with it all my life. The problem is that because I don't know how to do it in real life, I also can't seem to do it when I'm writing stories. All my best stories are reflective pieces with either no conflict at all, or simple conflict that can be solved in a very simple way. (See threatening dragon. Kill threatening dragon. That sort of thing.) So I've been too discouraged lately to write, and I've been wondering just where I can apply my, um, difference so that it could be considered a strength.

Anybody need a proof reader?

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Rebecca, your boys will love it. As for Castle, I was so disappointed I can't even tell you. Hopefully next time will be better and the low road they were on last night will be left far behind.

Melanie, I think that's the key, really, is finding where to apply our difference to make it a strength. (And by the way, we still need reflective pieces in this world!) :)

Debra Allen Erfert said...

Melanie, you know I always need a proofreader, and I respect your brilliant opinion. And what you said about not being able to resolve conflicts in your writing world reflects upon your real life problem solving abilities got me thinking . . . sometimes writing is the only way I can resolve problems. What, you may ask, do I mean by that?

I have had . . . how shall I describe them . . . dramatic non-confrontations with people where I stood silently, staring in shock while I was either berated, scolded, or was venomously told how much I was hated. You see, my mind goes totally blank of retorts when in panic, or embarrassed, or suddenly angered, like that character on "You've Got Mail" but my mind will snap back into "on" after that stressful situation is over. I've written lengthly letters to different "offenders" and read them word for word (when allowed) my side in order to get my feelings across and out of my system.

I don't know of anybody else who has this kind of debilitating problem. I wonder if it's just that I'm terribly shy--don't know, but I do know that I like to make the characters in my stories "in-your-face" outgoing and strong, everything that I would love to be. They don't have a problem defending themselves.

I have read Scott's Shandra Covington series. That was when I learned to read the last page of a book for cliffhanger endings. Thank you, Scott! I have also read his first book in the FarWorld series. I will continue with them, they are so well written, and I would've loved to have attended his presentation and seen him zombie rap.

Jon Spell said...

I regret that I have not yet read any books by J. Scott Savage, but I have read a few by Jeffrey Savage and enjoyed them immensely.

Castle: Ok, I can easily see what you were offended by Julie and I would have to say "for immature mature audiences only, say, people who give 5 stars to an Adam Sandler movie". Ryan made one hysterical joke, but then I couldn't explain why it was so funny to my wife, because she doesn't know the more vulgar version of it. Kept it to myself.

Here's what I disliked: The guy with conservative morals is depicted as crazy. This happens a lot on TV, where they make people religious nutjobs. Seems like they never get to be the unlikely hero.

The SD Card. Why on earth would he keep it, even in a vault? It would be so easy to wipe the data off.

The murder weapon. Really? I can't even imagine how that would look, but it would be super awkward. I can see staging it to look like that, but not for it to be actual means of strangulation.

Needed more Kate & Castle romance, less degradation of women. Including Esposito. =P

Liked: Alexis's blog was not nearly as bad as I imagined, given the blurb. When Castle accuses her of being revealing, he means about personal information, not skin. Guys Gone Nuts, come on, that was insanely funny! =)

Castle had some line that I really liked, something like "rampant speculation is my specialty." Too true.

Melanie Goldmund said...

Hah, Debra, that's exactly the kind of problem I have, too! All too often, when I'm shocked by a situation, my mind goes completely blank, too! I never thought of writing out my side of the story, though. :-)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, that happens to me all the time. I think our systems are so shocked at the confrontation, we just can't deliver anything back. Such a curse, but maybe a blessing in disguise? :)

Jon, I see your points, (and agree with them) but my problem was I had such a hard time getting past the way they were depicting everything, especially the women. So many camera shots that were inappropriate, the comments and jokes, the sex tape going a bit too far, it was so disappointing for a show that has been witty and yet still gritty at times, but above that kind of nonsense. I hope whomever wrote that episode doesn't write anything else for the show. They have no imagination or skill in my opinion. :( Did you watch Hawaii Five-O? What did you think of that?