Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Writing Tips inspired by author's child with Down Syndrome

I found a great blog post today with great writing tips inspired by the blogger's child with Down Syndrome. I believe there is so much we can learn from people who are different than we are: perhaps especially people with Down Syndrome who are so undervalued by our society.

How did I come upon this post? I was doing some quick research for a character in my new novel. The main character in the novel has Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism), and I thought it might be cool to give her a friend/sidekick with Down Syndrome. Since I am not lucky enough to have any friends or family members with Down Syndrome, I am trying to do some reading online to get a handle on what a person with Down Syndrome might be capable of. (I've found a blog written by a girl with Down Syndrome, so far it is better written than many blogs I've seen.)

Please go over to the link below to read the article.

5 Writing Tips I Learned from my Daughter with Down Syndrome

Sandy sinks HMS Bounty, Captain missing

Headline of the day: Hurricane Sandy has sunk the HMS Bounty, and the captain is among the missing.

No, it wasn't THAT HMS Bounty--- the one that sailed for Tahiti to pick up a load of breadfruit trees and suffered a mutiny. That ship was burned by the mutineers off Pitcairn island.

And it wasn't THAT captain--- Captain William Bligh, who was hailed a hero for the open-boat voyage he made in the Bounty's launch after the mutineers forced him and the ship's loyalists to leave. Bligh's reputation suffered from the attempts of mutineers' families to blame him for the mutiny to protect their loved ones from the noose. But in fact, the historical record shows that Bligh flogged his men less than any other British captain who sailed to the Pacific in that era.

The ship that was lost was a copy of the HMS Bounty made for the 1962 film 'Mutiny on the Bounty' starring a petulant Marlon Brando. The captain is Robin Walbridge. One of the crew members, Claudine Christian, was found but pronounced dead, other crew members were rescued by the Coast Guard.

I don't know if Captain Walbridge is quite as heroic as Captain Bligh, but he sure was courageous in taking the ship out in the storm. It is said to be safer for the ship to be at sea than in port during a storm, but the crew of the ship is of course safer when they stay in port. Let's pray that Walbridge is found alive.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Monstrance vs Monster: Why the Eucharist is the original anti-vampire weapon

Forget stakes and garlic and sunlight. When a REAL vampire-hunter like Van Helsing goes after the undead, his go-to weapon is the Blessed Sacrament (shown above).

The Blessed Sacrament is another name for a consecrated communion wafer. What's the big deal about that? OK, well, traditionally Christians have believed that Jesus has more superpowers than Superman. Even the Muslims believe that Jesus was an authentic prophet who was born of a virgin. And Jesus is known as the Bread of Life, and when He instituted the ceremony of the Last Supper, or Holy Communion, He said 'This is My Body.'

So, the consecrated Host has all the superhero-y powers of Jesus Himself. Do you think an evil vampire can stand up against that? Dracula would probably burst into flames if you touched a communion wafer to him.

(On the other hand, if you have a Christian vampire who confesses his sins--- and avoids committing new ones--- could not only stand to be touched by the Blessed Sacrament, he could actually take communion. Since the Church teaches that the Blessed Sacrament--- both the bread and the wine--- contains the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus--- it's likely a Christian vampire who took communion wouldn't feel the hunger for blood afterwards, but would be satisfied. Kind of like regular Christians who take communion.)

The Blessed Sacrament, when the communion service is over, is kept in a special box called a tabernacle and is always in any Catholic church. That's why, if a vampire is after you, go to the nearest Catholic church without delay.

Praying in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament is a very cool and very powerful thing. When the Sacrament is put out for the people to see, it is put in a special container called a monstrance. 'Monstrance' comes from the Latin word meaning 'to show forth' or some such. Our word 'monster' comes from the same root, but a monster is showing forth a far different thing. Evil, in the case of many monsters--- to which the Content of the monstrance is an effective counter-measure.

 Due to improved vampire-hunting techniques, we no longer have many vampires in the Upper Midwest. But we do have abortionists which are pretty much the same thing. On my favorite Christian television channel, EWTN, I heard a priest preaching about the power of the Eucharist. He told about a Eucharistic procession--- where they parade down the street with the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance. This particular procession passed the local abortion mill. About a week later, the abortion mill closed, and the abortionist quit the business.

Another Eucharistic procession story is that a woman saw the procession in her car, wondered what it was all about, couldn't forget it, and winded up becoming a Catholic.

There are loads of other, modern-day stories like this you can hear from anyone who is involved with Eucharistic Adoration and processions. Makes me think that all those pathetic paranormal TV shows have it all wrong--- if they want to see something really supernatural, instead of bumming around allegedly haunted taverns looking for spirits, they should investigate the Eucharist.

(Protestants/Evangelicals may feel the whole Eucharistic Adoration thing is weird and/or wrong. But it's part of our common Christian heritage going back millennia, and there are Bible verses that clearly support such practices--- if you look at them objectively.)

You can find a live image of the Blessed Sacrament online.  You should put it on your favorites list, and if a vampire comes, put the image on your screen and show it to him. DON'T do this when the vampire is standing on the good rug, though. (You've been warned.)

And I was wondering. We all know that whatever has the image of a Weeping Angel becomes a Weeping Angel, so if you view the image of a Weeping Angel on your computer, your computer is now a Weeping Angel. But what happens if you view the image of the Blessed Sacrament on your computer?  Does your computer acquire the power of the Blessed Sacrament? I'll bet it for-sure gets the Weeping Angels out of your computer better than your anti-virus software does.

What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Live Image of the Blessed Sacrament for Eucharistic Adoration

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Memory of Jason Morgan, Who's Not Dead

General Hospital fans are in mourning. Jason Morgan, the amnesiac rich kid turned mob enforcer, was shot and dumped into the harbor, and this time, it's serious. Because the actor who plays Jason has quit after 21 years on the job.

But while the actor may have moved on, Jason Morgan lives on. After all, Jason's been shot many times before and has likely developed an immunity. Not to mention all his bouts with Serious Brain Damage. He can come back any time--- perhaps with a whole new face.

You know, like Todd Manning did on One Life to Live. Of course, New Todd turned out to be Old Todd's long lost twin brother Victor, who was killed by Old Todd--- just like Jason did to his previously unknown evil twin Franco. Pity that after Todd moved to Port Charles he never had time for a heart-to-heart chat with Jason on the topic of  'My evil twin and why I killed him'.

The sad thing for fans is that Jason's departure leaves the Quartermaine family sadly depleted, after the deaths of A. J., Alan, Emily, Lila, and Jason's son Jake. It was nice that they let the usually-missing Monica have a nice little scene with her grandson Michael. Since families are the essence of a soap opera, they really need to beef the Quartermaines up, perhaps recasting Ned and Dillon and bringing them back, or bringing Alan and Emily back from the dead. Or they could come up with some previously unknown Quartermaines.  Perhaps Spinelli could turn out to be Alan or Edward's illegitimate son. (I was hoping for him to turn out to be Sonny's kid, but then Dante turned up.)