In Memory of the 9/11 Victims

Today we recognize and pay tribute to the 11th anniversary of 9/11. (I hate to say “celebrate” because it just sounds wrong.) My heart goes out to the surviving family members of the victims of the terrorist attacks. While all of us who lose loved ones might remember the dates of their deaths, these families must relive the nightmare through newsreels and headlines on television year after year. I can’t imagine what that must feel like.

September 11, 2001 was a pivotal moment in my life. I watched both World Trade Center towers fall while in my accounting office. I watched the Pentagon erupt in smoke and flames. I worried for my youngest sister, who was attending Princeton University at the time and in danger of anthrax. I was in my early twenties when it occurred, and it became the natural breaking point through which I see my life. Some people measure their lives before and after a marriage or a baby. I measure mine before and after 9/11. It shaped my political bent, my writings, an my views of warfare. It became the reason I still cheer for the New York Yankees.

As 9/11 slips father into the past, the pain our nation feels will lessen. On one hand, this is good, for no one should carry such a heavy burden indefinitely. I fear, however, that as the memories fade, our nation will lose sight of the mistakes we made before the attacks. I worry that we might forget the dangers of underestimating evil. I hope our government never backs away from its primary purpose: to protect the rights of its people from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. 9/11 is now part of our history, and history can always repeat itself we fail to remember the lessons it teaches us.

America, we must never forget the September 11 attacks–not only because we should honor its victims and its heroes, but also because we need to protect ourselves and our children from something like this ever happening again.

Fantasy novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston speaks to children, teens, and adults about writing and the process of getting published. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit www.mbweston.com. Find out more about The Elysian Chronicles at www.elysianchronicles.com.

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My 2012 DragonCon Panel & Autograph Schedule

I just received my DragonCon panel and autograph schedule! I’ve posted it on my website. Click here to check it out!

Fantasy novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston speaks to children, teens, and adults about writing and the process of getting published. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit www.mbweston.com. Find out more about The Elysian Chronicles at www.elysianchronicles.com.

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I’m going to be Featured in Kerlak Publishing’s Dreams of Steam Steampunk Anthology!

I just found out I am going to be featured in Kerlak Publishing’s Dreams of Steam III steampunk anthology. Check out my website for the information!

Fantasy novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston speaks to children, teens, and adults about writing and the process of getting published. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit www.mbweston.com. Find out more about The Elysian Chronicles at www.elysianchronicles.com.

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The Writing Process: Part 5 – The First Draft (A)

I added more on the writing process on my website: www.mbweston.com. Today’s post deals with turning the predraft into a draft. Check it out here!

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The Writing Process: Example of a “Pre-Draft”

I know many of you have been asking when the third book in the Elysian Chronicles series is coming out. The answer: not yet. However, I have a short story that will be coming out in an anthology by Kerlak Publishing that takes place between Out of the Shadows and The Sword of the Vanir (book three’s working title).

Want a preview?

As I am describing my writing process on my website (www.mbweston.com), I am using the introductory scene of this story as an example. Click here to get a sneak peek! (Or at least, to get a sneak peek of what the scene originally looked like when I first wrote it down…)

Posted in Books, The Elysian Chronicles, Thoughts & Musings | 4 Comments

The Writing Process: Part 4 – The “Pre-Draft”

Today on my website at www.mbweston.com, I blogged on how I write my pre-draft. Check it out!

Posted in Thoughts & Musings

The Writing Process: Part 3 – Plot: Your Story’s Skeleton

Today I blogged about working with plot in your writing. Visit www.mbweston.com for details!

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Thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises: John Blake vs. Selina

Like many of you, I saw The Dark Knight Rises the first week it opened. While I didn’t think it met the standard set by its predecessor, The Dark Knight, I enjoyed it. (You can read my full movie review here.) I love Nolan’s Batman movies because they make us think about humanity.

Two characters caught my attention: John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Selina, aka Cat Woman (played by Anne Hathaway).

Blake grew up an orphan in a boys’ home that was funded by Wayne Enterprises. He admits to Bruce Wayne that he grew up angry at the way life had treated him. He also says he learned to hide his anger–the same he sees anger in Wayne’s eyes. When we see Blake, we meet a man who has overcome his past, resisted the temptation to turn to crime, and joined Gotham’s police force.

Selina is a different character altogether. The movie doesn’t give us much information about her past, but we know (as she admits to Wayne) that she turned to crime to survive. She wants a second chance, but her criminal record gets int the way. Her drive throughout the movie is to get a computer program that will erase her record and give her a clean slate. In short: she wants to do the right thing but feels like she can’t.

A few things I take from these characters:

  • We all have choices. Blake had a past just as difficult as Selina’s. He chose to do the right thing–even though he was angry at the world. Unlike Blake, Selina chose a life of crime that still haunts her. We can’t blame our bad choices on our circumstances (as much as I would love to…).
  • Blake had help. He had the boys’ home that helped keep him on the right track. Granted, not all the boys in the home made the same decisions he did, but the boy’s home helped. Some people need a hand up–be it from a family member or a friend or a charity. My husband and I were dealt a bad hand in this recession, and we could not have survived without help from our family. We each need to take a good assessment of our lives and ask ourselves: what are we doing to help others–be it emotionally, physically, or mentally? Some of us might not be in a position to help others, and that’s fine. However, many of us are blessed with the time and/or resources to offer others help. Find someone or something to pour yourself into. *SPOILER ALERT* You never know. You might be helping the next superhero. 😉
  • Hope is the key. I will make an assumption that as a child, Blake saw a way out of his situation. Maybe he realized that his ticket out of the slums was to become a cop. Selina saw no way out. We don’t know her past. We don’t know if there were others around offering her help that she ignored or if she was truly alone. We can assume, however, that she lacked hope. She saw her only way out in the form of *SPOILER* a clean record, and she was willing to stoop to crime–to hurting Bruce Wayne–to get it.
  • We need to be willing to give people a second chance. *SPOILER ALERT* Batman gives Selina his trust and a second chance–at terrible risk to himself. The knowledge that Batman, the man she had betrayed, believed in her is probably one of the things that turned her around. If people have no hope of a second chance, they won’t try to make good choices.

Giving people second chances and a hand out and up can be inconvenient and even dangerous. I’ve seen people in my family get hurt because they extended a hand or a second chance to others and were taken advantage of. But I think that’s what Paul had in mind when he wrote in I Corinthians 13:7 about unconditional love, saying: “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” It trusts when it probably shouldn’t. It hopes for a turnaround even if it’s unlikely. It preservers–it continues to love and reach out even when the other party isn’t responding.

I think that’s why unconditional love is also referred to as self-sacrificing love.

Posted in Geek Stuff!, On Movies, TV, and Culture, On Philosophy & Religion, Thoughts & Musings | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Writing Process: Part 2 – The Conflict

Hey everyone, check out my website where I wrote a blog about creating conflict in your writing. You can view the blog by clicking here!

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The Writing Process: Part 1 – Getting Your Inspiration

I blogged today about getting your inspiration in writing on my website: www.mbweston.com. Check it out by clicking here!

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