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Monday, December 29, 2014

Forget Times Square

Every New Year waltzes in with bling and ring and drags out with unkept resolutions on its back. Each one begins with people packed into Times Square tighter than Scrooge's fist. Each one ends with those same folks eager to see it go out. 

And all the while, life marches on at the exact rhythm and pace it always has. Though expectations for change are high at the outset of the New Year, everything quickly falls back into its usual order, whether we welcome that or not.

Well, you know what they say. If you want a different outcome, do something different, do even one small thing different. Start with how you celebrate the changing of the guard this New Year's Eve. Instead of going up to NYC, head down to Georgia, where a fine selection of offbeat (necessary for that desired new rhythm) "drops" awaits:

Buzzard Drop in Perry: Enjoy live music from two bands, a Buzzard Boogie dance contest with a $100 cash prize and the 2nd Annual Perry Buzzard Drop! The buzzard will drop at midnight and will be followed by the release of balloons and confetti. Food and spirits vendors will be on site.  Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.

Possum Drop in Tallapoosa: The residents of Tallapoosa, formerly known as “Possum Snout”, ring in each New Year by lowering a stuffed possum named “Spencer” from atop one of the city’s oldest buildings. The famous Possum Drop celebration begins in the afternoon with live music, the crowning of the Possum King & Queen and more. Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.

Geranium Drop in McDonough: Dance the year away on the McDonough Square as the Geranium Drops! McDonough’s Mayor, Billy Copeland, will kick off the 4th Annual Geranium Drop at 8pm on New Year’ Eve. Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.

Cherry Drop in Macon: The Cherry Blossom ball is made of recycled metal cherry blossoms decked out in pink lights, and its drop serves as the start of the official countdown to the Cherry Blossom FestivalMarch 19th – April 4th, 2015. Admission is FREE. There will also be family-friendly events from 7 P.M.-9 P.M. for those with young children, including a mini fireworks finale at 9 P.M.

Dropping of the Edelweiss in Helen:  Ring in 2015 with live music, food, dancing and the 2nd Annual Dropping of the Edelweiss at the Helen Festhalle! Admissions is $15 per person & $25 per couple. Children under 6 will receive free admission and children ages 6-12 will receive half price admission.

Shamrock Drop in Dublin: Be awed as a brilliantly lit shamrock descends from atop the historic Fred Roberts Building in downtown Dublin, Georgia. Admission is FREE and children are welcome until 9 P.M. After 9 P.M., Jackson Street will host a 21+ street party featuring dancing, live music, vendors, food and beverage delights!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Good Lie Give-Away TODAY

The Good Lie Give-Away TODAY!

(Instructions for entering follow the post.)

The Good Lie tells the story of children orphaned by the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983. These young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3,600 lost boys, as well as girls, to America.

Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them. As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival. 

Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. 

My Review:
I rate this an A+ family movie. Keep in mind, however, that there is a scene depicting drinking and a couple of scenes depicting illicit drug use. Also, though the movie isn't graphic, the palpable state of the children's desperate plight may overwhelm some children.

Nonetheless, this is a powerful movie juxtaposing the extremes of human cruelty against the depths of human kindness. The Good Lie highlights human resilience and how faith, friendship and a sense of one's roots magnify not only the ability to survive and persevere, but also the capacity for joy and growth.

The Good Lie teaches us:
  • What it means to live one's faith.
  • What we are all capable of, good and bad.
  • What our most valuable possessions really are.
  • How collectivist and individualist cultures differ.
  • How 9/11 changed the world.
  • What love looks like and what it can do, even with a lie.
Reese Witherspoon is the recognized name in this movie, and she gives a fantastic performance. But the real stars are the adult Sudanese refugees who play the characters of Mamere, Jeremiah, Paul and Abital. They are among the pre-9/11 generation of lost children given the opportunity to start anew in America. The Good Lie is their story and they tell it well.

One last thing:
When the meaning of the movie title is revealed, your heart will burst wide open. Guaranteed.

How to win your own DVD and Blu-Ray copies of The Good Lie:
  • One entry for leaving a comment below.
  • One entry for posting a comment about The Good Lie to Facebook and tagging me (Lucy Adams) in it.  
  • One entry for commenting on any of my Facebook posts about The Good Lie:
  • One entry for a tweet mentioning The Good Lie in which you tag me: @lucyadams
 You can enter up to four times. The more entries you have, the better your chance of winning.

The give-away closes tomorrow at noon. The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Good Lie Releases to Blu-Ray and DVD on December 23

It's my good fortune to have been asked by Grace Hill Media to do a give-away (details of how to enter the drawing to win in Monday's post) in celebration of the release of The Good Lie on Blu-Ray and DVD. 

The movie tells the true-life story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their lives torn apart by civil war, left to grow up in refugee camps, then given the opportunity through the efforts of church groups and other charities to embark on new lives in the U.S. It stars Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon and some actual former Lost Boys in pivotal roles. 

When it was released in theaters in October, reviewers described it with words like “terrific,” “uplifting,” “moving,” “life-changing,” “unforgettable” “brilliant,” “entertaining” and “joyful.” Perhaps even more impressive, though, is that audiences polled by Cinemascore, the industry standard for gauging filmgoer opinions, rated THE GOOD LIE an “A+” – just the 53rd movie in the last 30 years to receive that honor.  


Here’s a special video feature about the real-life stories behind the film, complete with interviews from Reese Witherspoon, Producer Ron Howard and the Lost Boys in the cast:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Under Water

The good news is I've received a lot of article assignments in the last three months. In the freelance writing business, developing a career to the point at which one has a regular, stable pay day is the pinnacle of success. 

The bad news is I'm under water breathing through a straw. And praying that a bug doesn't light upon the tip of my straw and plug my airway.

The worse news is that through the years of pecking away at my keyboard and chopping away at building my portfolio, I internalized the mantra "Never Say No."

"No" knows no adventure, no pounding heartbeat and sweaty palms, no sense of accomplishment against the odds. I don't believe in saying no.

But I think it would be better if I maintained a neutral stance now and again, maybe said nothing at all.

I just sucked in a chestful of air through my narrow straw and said YES again. Neutrality doesn't come natural to me.

All this to apologize for failing to post regularly in the last weeks. I will do better. YES, I will.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blythe Lipman's Baby and Toddler Show Podcasts

Last Wednesday I was the guest on Blythe Lipman's Baby and Toddler Show for parents. You can listen to podcasts of the entire interview here:   (Toginet site for people that don't have Itunes)   (Itunes)
Hear stories about embarrassing moments, dinner time catastrophes and the Halloween costume to which I nearly lost my life when I was seven. You'll also find out why my parents moved to a house without a garage when I was 18.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Blythe Lipman's Guest on Wednesday!

On October 22, join me as I talk books and babies with Blythe Lipman:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Speaking Spanglish

I've been using a translation service to translate my recently released children's book, Dog on the Run, from English to Spanish. It's a silly book about a dog and what happens when a ball lands in his yard. The repetition, paired with surprise, appeals to young children.

Since I don't speak Spanish, I have also been using a translating service to translate the Spanish back to English, to ensure that the translation is accurate. The book is less than 30 pages with 2 to 10 words on each page, so I did not expect the process to be long or complicated.

And in fact, the Spanish version of the book is more simple than the English version. It's also much shorter. It reads thus:

This is dog.  
Dog is executed.

 My initial instinct is that this is not as appealing as the original text. Could this be the end of aspirations for the Spanish version of Dog on the Run?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Narrow is the Road

My life, winnowed down to this one existence, panics me some days. Of all the possibilities, life narrowed to this: Wife and mother living in a small rural town working as a freelance writer. Someone in some faraway place occasionally wonders what it must be like to live a romantic, adventurous life like this. She uses her imagination to place herself in my chair.

Meanwhile, across the sea from her, another person sneers at the unoriginal outcome of the choices I’ve made. She wonders why anyone would settle for the commonplace. 

Different genes, different decisions and my life may have thundered along another track. As it is, whittled to this singular experience, I will never wear a high-powered business suit to a job in the New York City financial district. I’ll never join a circus and fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I’ll never herd sheep in Patagonia, sail around Cape Horn, deal in fine art, live on the edge of a desert, paint portraits of royalty, map uninhabitable jungles, or absorb myself completely in any reality other than the one in which I find myself.

What near misses have happened to deliver me to this chair in front of this keyboard with these birds singing in the background! One chance encounter could have altered the outcome. One snap judgment could have changed the course. One wrong turn could have dead-ended or branched or circled back. 

I wonder if Geraldine and Tyler Latham of Guymon, Oklahoma ever think this way. They’ve been married 65 years. Born on the same day delivered by the same doctor in the same town, they have never not known each other. The place where they came into the world will likely be the place where they go out of the world. 

Have they ever questioned what might have been had one or the other of them started on the dusty road leading west and got going with too much momentum to stop? What an indulgence to ponder such things!