Ten Heroic Qualities

The following is a replay of one of my most popular blog posts from this past summer. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I've been thinking about what a hero should be since I read Karen Ball's July 24th blog post on Charis Connection.

I thought about ten of my favorite heroes from movies of 1969 to 2005. The heroes share at least three of my ten favorite qualities that a man should experience.

James Garner's character in Support Your Local Sherriff isn't particularly romantic, but he is quite patient, creative, and smart. A hero doesn't have to be an expert on romance, but he does have to exhibit leadership qualities.

Cary Elwes as Westley in Princess Bride was driven, brave, and caring. He didn't walk around claiming to be a hero, but he was one.

Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day had no choice but to make changes in his day. In the middle of the story he was driven, but later he was caring and friendly.

In 1995, two movies came out that had very different heroes. But I like both. Bill Pullman's character in While You Were Sleeping was friendly, patient, and driven. Harrison Ford's character in Sabrina was flexible, then caring, then desperate.

Val Kilmer's character in The Saint was creative, brave, and caring. One of the most romantic things about the movie was him remembering her medicine. What was important to her had become important to him.

Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail gave a good example of a friendly, patient and creative hero.

Hugh Grant's character in Notting Hill was friendly and caring, then driven.

Nicholas Cage's character in The Family Man was smart, flexible, and desperate.

And last, my favorite movie of 2005: Hitch. Will Smith's character was smart, creative, and vulnerable. He was also desperate at the end. I loved the fun ending.

Each of these heroes is unique, yet displays at least three of my favorite ten heroic qualities.

In my opinion, a hero must be:

brave enough to face the danger,
creative enough to solve the conflicts that arise,
driven enough to keep going against all odds,
patient enough to keep his cool,
friendly enough to attract the heroine,
vulnerable enough to allow his human side to be seen,
flexible enough to change direction when necessary,
caring enough to think of the little important things,
smart enough to make good decisions,
and desperate enough to do anything to get the girl.

The Nativity Story

I don't usually put movie reviews on my blog, but today I can't help it. I must tell how much I enjoyed seeing The Nativity Story.

I loved it, loved it, loved it!

Superb acting. Breathtaking landscapes. And really good popcorn, but that had nothing to do with my enjoyment of the movie. Really.

The story was familiar, but the telling of it captivated me. The way the actors brought the words to life - the words I grew up reading - made them seem new.

I was drawn into each scene. I felt the joy Elizabeth showed at Mary's arrival. I wanted to look around in the room where the wise men kept their technology. I wanted to run out of the way when the soldiers rode up on horseback.

The wise men were very entertaining. They gave the movie an amusing lightness. I really wonder if the real wise men were "wise guys".

So here's a big thank you to everyone associated with that movie. Very well done. And much appreciated.


How do I write a story?

I see a glimmer through the foggy woods. If I don’t follow it, I’ll lose it. If I lose it, it sometimes comes back to taunt me until I give chase.

I follow it until I see it full well. It stops and turns. First the head, then the body. I watch it, noticing the hues, shapes, and textures. It gives warning, but I am not afraid. I hear the swish of fabric as it moves toward me. I feel its breath. Its scent is now unmistakable. I hold its hand. I follow it to the cliff and search the circle of my view for clues as to what will happen next.

I lean over the cliff. The depths call to me. They paint a picture I don’t want to see. I look away.

Again, it is beside me. It embraces me. Holding fast, I lean my heart into it and go with it down the sharp-edged wall. It wails, full of pain. We are thrust against protruding rocks. We are driven together into misery and danger all the way down to the bottom.

The floor of the canyon rises to meet us, too fast, too eager. We lie still waiting while the floor dances around us, mocking us in a gleeful chant.

We rise to fight. We rise boldly to show the enemies as cowards. We rise with the floor folded neatly under our feet. Conquerors. Victors. A writer and her story, together and finally at peace.