Peace on Earth

3 12 2013

CANDLELet your light shine, bringing peace to the world. Click on individual links:

  India

  Indonesia

  Taiwan

  South Africa

  Germany

  Virginia

  Maryland

Puerto Rico

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Simple Solution for Ending War

10 08 2011

One great thing about researching for my current book project (on North American Tribes) is coming across interesting facts. I discovered that some of the California Indian nations had an unusual way of doing battle–one I think we might do well to emulate.

The opponents lined up facing each other and at a signal from their chiefs, who monitored the battle, they began firing arrows at each other. The battle ended when the first person died. That side was declared the loser, and everyone stopped shooting.

Battle over. Minimal casualties.

If either side felt they hadn’t gotten enough satisfaction, the two chiefs set up another battle in a different location ten day later. Same rules. If during the battle, things got out of hand or too many people were hurt, the chiefs took off their hairnets and waved them in the air. Fighting stopped instantly.

That ten day cooling off period was a terrific idea. I wonder how many fights got called off during that time as ration prevailed over emotion.

I’m thinking we could learn a lot from this. Although I’d love to see a world completely at peace, this might be a solution to the horrible carnage of war. Limit the deaths to one rather than thousands.

The more I read the accounts of European explorers and American settlers, the more I have to wonder about the label, “savages” that the Euro-Americans used for the Native nations. Who really were the savages?





Writing a Breakout Novel

9 09 2010

Gotta love my CPs (critique partners, for those of you unfamiliar with the acronym). Where else would I find such a great group of cheerleaders. They keep me going on my manuscripts, subtly pressuring me to complete a new chapter for each critique. And it works.

Sure some chapters need a lot of work, but my CPS are always generous with their crits (and their praise, so I don’t get discouraged). And sometimes they do something extra special that makes my heart race. Last night was a case in point. One generous member of the Piedmont Plotters gifted all of us in the group with Donald Maass’s (yikes, all those s‘s? But it’s what CMoS says is correct, & I always follow Chicago Manual of Style) Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. How cool is that? I’m guessing we’re all going to be breakout novelists soon. Can’t help but be.

According to the promo, we’ll “learn to: – Create a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place – Develop larger-than-life characters – Sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish – Weave sub-plots into the main action – Explore universal themes that will interest a large audience.”

From the first lesson, which you can see here, your protagonist needs to have at least one heroic quality. Try the exercises on page 12 and see what heroic qualities you value.

I couldn’t resist adding more than one person I admire, but it turned out they all had similar qualities. My list included Mother Teresa, Gandhi, MLK Jr., and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I’m drawn to people who fight for human rights, who fight convention, and dare to be different. I was intrigued to find that the protagonists of all my books share these qualities.

Two other things that resonate with me are selfless giving and nonviolent protests. Interestingly enough, my main characters don’t always use peaceful means to reach their goals. And sometimes (a character flaw, perhaps?) they’re far from selfless. It definitely set me thinking.

What about you? Who are your heros/heroines? And why are you drawn to them? Do your book characters reflect those values?





Surprise Visit

30 08 2009

book-cover-banner-VBT-GREEN-STONE I’ll be having another guest author.  C.L. Talmadge will be popping by to discuss her latest book on September 4. So stop back for the surprise visit.

Candace will be giving away an autographed set of all three books in the series to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour, so come have your say.

“Exceptional job of writing, and keeping this story tightly together in a genre that is certainly difficult to do such, our author is top-notch,” Shirley P. Johnson writes about Fallout in Midwest Book Review. “If you love an intense read, packed with sinister power seekers, grueling heartless characters, yet laced with mystical moments, the lure of peace and healing, and the hope that goodness will prevail, this read is for you.”

The Green Stone of Healing® fictional epic explores what happens when politics and piety collide in an island nation called Azgard. Theocrats plot to impose total control over Azgard but end up destroying their country and much of the rest of the world. The series portrays four generations of strong-willed heroines who use their mysterious gem to offer a healing, inclusive alternative to the hate-filled bigotry of religious tyrants. Books One through Three are released, with the release of Book Four to be announced.






Unification of North and South Korea

8 08 2009

dmz-split globe This sculpture that we saw on the DMZ trip truly exemplifies the split between the two countries. Before we entered North Korea, we walked through Peace House, built for the talks to end the war. A lovely building, but it’s never been used. The war has not officially ended, so the two countries are still enemies.

Our tour guide’s mother fled North Korea and has no idea what happened to her siblings or other relatives who stayed behind. But I was interested to discover that a bridge between the two countries has been restored and, even more interesting, South Korea has a manufacturing complex located in North Korea. It’s staffed by North Koreans; South Korea supplies the electricity. A joint venture that might lead to unification? One certainly hopes so.

But the soldier who took us into North Korea told us an interesting anecdote about the two countries meeting to talk peace. The talks broke down, but both sides were reluctant to leave the table because they didn’t want to be the first to give in, so they sat there staring at each other for 18 hours until both sides agreed to get up and leave at the same time. That story makes me wonder: How much of war is about pride? About saving face? About fear of being seen as weak? About needing to feel you have the upper hand? About power and control?

If pride and power are taken out of the equation, would everyone live at peace?