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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Five Things We Can Learn from Legolas

Child #3 and her best friend when she was five.
There is so much to learn from so many Lord of the Rings characters, but here is the first elf on my list. He was probably my middle child's first celebrity crush, too. What can you learn from an elf today? (Not the Christmas sort--they come in another story entirely. And Tolkien would have been more than a little appalled to have them equated :) 

  • The ability to walk on snow is super cool. Need I say more here?

  • Stay in shape. You may end up having to climb incredibly large mammals, and it's best to be prepared.

  • You're late. You look terrible,” may be OK to say to your best friend. But it is never, under any circumstances, OK to say to your girlfriend. Or any girl. Ever.

  • Friendly competition” takes effort to keep friendly. Things can get ugly so, so fast, can't they? Keep it light, keep it fun, and if the other person starts to get tense and turn into either a sore loser or a poor winner, remind each other of what's important. Your friendship. And a big party at the end.

  • People very different than you can make the most unexpected best friends. Don't put someone in a box and label it without taking the time to find out who they are behind the funny hair and habits. Well, don't put someone in a box any time. It's not nice and probably illegal.

What about you? Do you have a friend you never expected to have? Tell us about him or her.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Be a Better Dwarf (or whatever)

In the spirit of leaning from Hobbits, we continue this series . . . 

Five Things We Can Learn from Thorin

  • Holding a grudge gets very, very heavy after a while. Plus, it keeps us from taking hold of things that are far better for us to keep.
  • Trust the wizard. You are not smarter than the expert. That's why he's got the pointy hat and staff.
  • If you're going on an adventure, pick friends you can trust. You want to know they have your back when the dragon appears, not just kinda hope. Friends may not all be pretty, or popular, or even smell good. But if you're confident they'll be there for you, what more do you want?
  • The word “mine” will always get you in trouble. A tunnel focus on “what I deserve” rather than “what I can offer” ends badly. Always.
  • If all your friends think you're being kind of a jerk, you probably are. Swallow your pride and that defensive remark and just take it. Be a better person. Or dwarf. Or . . . whatever.

See? We short people can teach you a lot.

Read more about Thorin and the others soon in Hobbits, You, and the Spiritual World, releasing November 29, 2013.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ten things we can learn from a Hobbit

For the next couple months, I'm going to have some fun here with learning things from hobbits. And elves. And other assorted creatures we love and wish we could know in real life. Except, perhaps, the dragon.

What can we learn from a hobbit? Way more than ten things, but here's a start:

10—Every enemy has a weak spot. No matter how big and fierce our nightmares are, they are vulnerable somewhere. Find the spot, employ the right weapon, and watch them fall.

9—Don't leave the path. If you've been given a path to walk on, stay on it. No matter how tired you are or how endless it seems. Regardless of how good another path looks. Just keep going forward.

8—Something that appears insignificant to you may prove very important in the future to someone else. Pay attention to the insignificant things right under your feet.

7—Never laugh at a live dragon. It pay to remember that no matter how smart or fast you are, showing it off can give you a warm backside.

6—Never leave home without your pocket handkerchief. I don't know why, but Bilbo seemed to think it important.

5—No matter how small or worthless others may think you, take up your job and do it with courage. They may be surprised.

4—When you don't have an obvious or easy way to accomplish something, think creatively. Rafting in barrel may not be one's first choice of transportation, but it got the job done.

3—Sometimes the biggest thing we fear is not the dragon but our own reaction to it.

2—Home never looks the same after a real adventure, but it always looks good.

1—Stay away from large spiders. Really, why should anyone have to tell you this? It should be obvious.

I am excited to talk about the launch of the book you see above! If you want to read more about hobbits, check out:
Hobbits, You, and the Spiritual World of Middle-earth--