Our love is more dangerous than Bonnie and Clyde’s.
Our love is more dangerous than Bonnie and Clyde’s.
When I look back at pictures, will I be cringing at my chunky necklaces, peplum dresses, and other trendy styles of the day? The answer is probably yes. When I look at photos of my mom with thick-rimmed glasses in the ’70s and poofy Madonna hair in the ’80s, I giggle (a little). Don’t get me wrong – she was adorable, and she was stylish, but now I’m laughing at the trends.
This week seems to be about the ’90s. In the most recent chapter of my new book series, Bone-Chilling, the reader is introduced to two grandma-aged spirits named Roberta and Shauna. You wouldn’t know it from their jovial dispositions, but both women died abruptly in the ’90s while visiting their alma mater and haunted-mansion-turned-school, Vida Post Mortem Academy. Spirits who have not passed on through the light look like frozen images of themselves the day they die. My question is, what did grandmas wear in the ’90s?
To figure it out, I thought about my life in the ’90s as a middle school student. I had a minor breakdown when my sponge brain seemed momentarily saturated, and I couldn’t figure out who was my 7th grade English teacher. Have no fear, it was Ms. Mayer. But I wasn’t any closer to an answer about grandmas in the ’90s.
And then Saturday afternoon, the problem was solved. I attended an amazing ‘I heart the ’90s’ Zumba class and realized the decade was about grunge and saying no to scrubs and young people as well as grandmas doing ridiculous dance moves like the tootsie roll and hammer time. The class was uplifting and a fantastic workout, and just like the ’90s it was a sweaty party.
Thank you Zumba teachers!
Embarrassingly enough, I watched the entire Bring It On: All Or Nothing movie yesterday. After all of Hayden Panettiere’s awful krumping skills and Solange Knowles “not-as-good-as-my-sister’s” dance combinations, I thought of another topic for my blog. Hurray for the things that inspire me!
Throughout the movie, Hayden “Planetarium” (as my dad likes to call her) is trying to figure out which one of girls posing as her friend truly has her best interest in mind and who is going to stab her in the back. Alas, we come to the term ‘frenemy.’ There are definitely better examples in fantasy fiction than the cheer template, so let’s move on.
One of my favorites is Katniss Everdeen and Johanna Mason in the Hunger Games series. Having won the games just a few years before Katniss, the two are close in age and viewed as immediate rivals. Their relationship is never smooth, but as time goes on it becomes more apparent they have the same goals and values. A mutual agreement is made when Katniss brings Johanna pine needles to remind her of home in District 7.
Another great example is Remus Lupin and Severus Snape from the Harry Potter books. Part of different crowds in school, Remus in Gryffindor and Snape in Slytherin, their youth was spent bullying and competing. However, the tragic years (and Dumbledore) made them respect each other, as evidenced by Snape’s production of the wolfsbane potion to ease Remus’s symptoms during the full moon.
My favorite example is a little less famous; Olivia Hart and Chelsea Steinem from the Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program series. Since the day Chelsea started dating Olivia’s ex-boyfriend, she shouted snide comments, gave evil looks, and overall made Olivia’s life a living hell. When a villain comes knocking at their door, they put their differences aside, and recognize how much they have in common.
This post is dedicated to my original frenemy, Sarah Moeller. We wasted a year hating each other, only to realize we had more to gain from being friends, than enemies. In fact, she is one of my favorite people on the planet. Her passion and selflessness inspires me, and her love sustains and comforts me. With over a decade of friendship, we’ve more than made up for that year, and I know we will continue to be best friends for the rest of our lives.
As Halloween approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about monsters. Ghosts, mummies, and zombies will haunt the streets in a few weeks, scaring children and tricking homeowners for treats, but just like a 9-year old boy in a werewolf costume, is there a little sugar sweet kindness beneath all that blood and gore?
Today’s popular fantasy fiction tells us that sometimes the monsters are the heroes. Perhaps they are actually selfless, innocent victims, fighting their instincts to protect the ones they love. Here’s a few examples.
Lena Duchannes, from the book and movie, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is a Caster (in layman’s terms, a witch). Due to a family curse, she will find out if she is a light or dark Caster on her sixteenth birthday, and there is nothing she can do about it. Of course, before all this happens, she falls in love with a non-Caster. Serious trouble.
Witches are bad, but how about aliens? Daemon Black from the book Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the hot, arrogant alien who lives next door. An entire galaxy of enemies want to kill him, and Katy can’t keep her hands off him.
Lastly, I can’t write a blog post about monsters fighting their instincts without including my main squeeze, Edward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Vampires were made to love and kill. Very dramatic.
As I write my next book series about a girl who goes to school in a haunted mansion, I struggle with the definition of monster. Who is the bad guy? Who saves the day? It might be the same person! (Or ghost!) Stayed tuned for more on my Bone-Chilling series.
I’ve been thinking about Moms as superheroes for awhile now, but I took it as a sign when one of my best friends from NYU gave birth to a baby boy last night. Pregnancy, labor, and birth…now that takes superpowers. Congrats, Lovecakes!
I find most motherly superpowers (other than giving birth) to be behind the scenes. Rather than being the person, sword in hand, fighting the dragon, mothers are the unsung heroes in the background. Without their support, the protagonist would never have the courage to stand up to the dragon at all.
That is of course, unless your protagonist IS a mother. [I’m picturing Claire Dunphy from Modern Family who doesn’t take crap from anyone and still finds time to take her kids to mathlete competitions. Or perhaps Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones?] But in most of the fantasy books I read, the mother is there to support the lead. This blog is a tribute to all the Supermoms.
Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series is, hands down, a supermom. From cooking dinner for a family of eight, to joining the Order of Pheonix, to killing Bellatrix Lestrange, she is heroic.
Another superb example is Sally Jackson from the Percy Jackson series. She lived (and died and came back to life) in terrible circumstances with an abusive husband, just to protect her son from the wrath of the gods.
Even grandmas can be superheroes. Remember Gran from the True Blood series? Fighting and loving vampires and fairies. That’s hardcore.
However, no superhero compares to my own mom. Brave, smart, thoughtful…as my Aunt Iris would say, she is the whole package! Her love and support makes me the women I am today. And trust me, I can take on any dragon!
And just because Olivia Hart tends to think like me, I leave you with a quote from the Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program Series:
She said exactly what I needed to hear. “Thanks, Mom. I love you. I’ll call you,” I said and hung up the phone. Something about a mother’s guarantee did wonders for self-confidence. I felt hopeful because Mom said I could do it. I was going to save my friends. –OLIVIA HART, THE RESCUE