Thursday, December 14, 2006

Duran Duran

Yes, I admit it - in the 80's I was a huge Duranie. I was obsessed with the Fab-Five and I couldn't get enough. I had everything I could get my hands on - Records (they didn't have Cd's then), videos, posters, anthems, button (tons of those) worn on the lapels of sport jackets, fedora hats, wildly colored hair, bandanas, O-ring bracelets, concert tickets, magazines, etc. I had over ten years worth of memorabilia collected and stored in my parents attics when I left home. Unfortunately, I lost it all when their house burned down.

I'm not saying that I'm still a Duranie, in fact - I probably wouldn't listen to their music today. I haven't listened to anything from them since they broke up in the early nineties. The last of my collection featured things from the Powerstation, Arcadia and Andy Taylor's solo album (which I'm still a little miffed that he cancelled the concert he was supposed to have in Atlanta. I had saved up money for weeks to get the tickets... and then he cancelled.)

All this brings me to a conversation I had with a friend last week. He spoke of finding a baseball collection he received from his father when he was younger and had been stored in parents attic. When his father passed away, he found the old collection and discovered the true treasure of it. Not that it was not well worth thousands of dollars, but because it was a piece of his childhood and something in it that had brought him joy. It was the memories attached to it that was priceless.

His story brought back memories of my own collection and the heartbreak of not being able to share that with my children today. I told him of my collection and how it was now gone. I also told him how me and my children had been flipping through channels at home and came across a musical countdown of music from the 80's and Duran Duran was listed in the top three. Seeing those few familiar clips of the video 'Rio' brought back a flood of memories. My children had no clue who Duran Duran was and I wanted to be able to pull out that lost collection and share a bit of my childhood with them, but I couldn't.

Yesterday, I received a very good surprise. I opened a package that had no sender's address, no card and no invoice from I nearly started weeping when I pulled out a video collection called "Duran Duran - Greatest". It contained most of my old favorites and some of the new stuff that I never saw. Over twenty-one videos, all the albums, alternate versions, interview footage, pictures, lyrics, etc. It was a majority of my collection on DVD and CD.

My faith has been restored that men really do sometimes listen. I never asked for this collection and probably wouldn't have ever bought it for myself - but it's one of the best gifts I've ever received.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Eragon - The Movie

I can't wait! I see the promotional videos at least a dozen times a day and I find myself very anxious to see the movie.

I'm so jealous and so proud of Christopher Paolini. I first read Eragon a few years ago and was very impressed with the story, instantly falling in love with the characters and couldn't wait for the next installment. Then I found out that the author was only a teenager and astounded at the measure of talent this young boy had.

Since then, I've been excited to see Eragon soar to the top of the best-seller's list, then watch Eldest do the same, and now I'm even more estatic to see the release of the major motion picture and video game. I couldn't be more proud of Paolini, even if he isn't one of my own children.

I'm also so very jealous. This kid is living my dream. He deserves everything he's got, because he did such an excellent job with his story. I don't want what he has... I just want the same for me. He's an inspiration and clearly one of my favorite writers. I wish him much success, though I don't think he needs any more wishes. He's clearly very successful. I wish him wisdom and guidance in his success.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, December 04, 2006

Weekend Movie Reviews

I watched a couple of movies over the weekend and I really enjoyed them both.

The first - The Nativity Story -

While the story fell flat on excitement and adventure, it was a beautifully woven story that really hit home with me. I found myself crying at the birth of Christ and wanting so much to join the sheperds in their worship.

The content of the story was very well-written. I was afraid that the movie makers would "Hollywoodize" this momentous event, but they stayed true to the story and I was pleased. I think this is a must-see for anyone who celebrates Christmas.

Many parts touched me, but I want to focus on the talk of 'gifts'. When Mary and Joseph were outside of Jerusalem, on their way to Bethlehem, they met a Shepherd who offered the warmth of his fire and spoke of waiting for a gift. That evening he received the gift the world had been waiting for and he was priveledged to see it. This story touched me, because I felt like that shepherd - waiting for the gift, deliverance and mercy of God - to find that it came in the middle of the night.

I also loved how they kept referring to the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-12 - "The Lord said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave."

This is so profound. The world looks for the power and might of God in the mighty and strong things, but most often God is found in the soft and simple. The Jews look for a mighty warrior to deliver them and be their king (much like when they chose Saul), but God sent his son as a newborn baby. The deliverance he promised was not of a physical nature, but spiritual one. This still goes on today.

I also saw the parallel between Joseph (Mary's husband) and Joseph - the son of Jacob. Both were son's of Jacob, both dreamed. Both went into the land of Egypt and then brought deliverance to their people. Both worked with their hands (one an archetect, the other a carpenter).

I loved this movie and recommend all to go and see it.

The other movie I saw was quite the contrast - Casino Royale -

While this movie was filled with action from beginning to end, it never disappointed. I think this is possibly the best Bond I've seen to date. I don't think Sean Connery (who has held the crown in my opinion as the best Bond) could have pulled off this movie. Connery's bond was more suave and debonnaire and his mind outweighed his brute force. This new Bond (I haven't got his name yet) balanced brain and brawn together and created one heck of a secret agentman.

Most women would love him and most men would want to be him. Excellent job!

Well, that's been my review of this weekend movies.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, November 17, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:7

Crazy4Smallville Weekly Review 6:7

I’m not sure what to think about this episode. There were some really good parts and some really bad parts, but the show ended with me scratching my head. Perhaps if I were up-to-date on the comic aspect of the Superman mythos, I may have a better understanding of what happened. But, being that I don’t… I’m at a loss and full of questions.

Who and what was the creature that helped Clark beat the skeletal-eating brute?
What were those things Clark kept stepping on?
Why didn’t the El crystal work on the phantom freak?
What difference does it make if they’re a phantom or not – I thought the crystal worked on all creatures from the Phantom Zone? Isn’t that how they got there in the first place?
Whose side is Lionel on? Is the old Lionel back?
If Lionel and Lex become full partners again, will Lionel tell Lex about Clark?
Why did Lionel wipe out Chloe’s research?
What will Chloe do with the Lex Luthor files now that she has them?
How did Jimmy get so smart? Isn’t he supposed to idolize Clark Kent, not be jealous?
Why was Clark so rude to Chloe?
Who do you think was on level 33.1?
How did Lionel know about level 33.1?
If Lex was in an alternate frequency, how was he able to see and hear Lana and Chloe?
Wouldn’t they be static too?
Why did Lana risk her life and her baby’s life to find Lex?
Will not the static jump cause a miscarriage?
Why didn’t Lex get down on his knees when he proposed?
Where was Lois?
Why would Clark run off to find a phantom freak instead of helping Lex?
How did the meteor freak escape level 33.1?
Does anyone else find it surprising that Lana hates meteor freaks?
Has she forgotten that it was her actions that brought the latest meteor shower by killing Genevieve Teague?
Is anyone else glad that Jensen Ackles is playing Dean Winchester instead of the wimpy, love-struck Lana boytoy, Jason Teague?
Why didn’t the Green Arrow go help Clark?
Where was Oliver Queen – Betty Ford?

Well, I’m sure I have a lot more questions, but these are what I’ve for now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:7

What an episode! Not that it had a lot of bells and whistles, but it had a very strong moral fiber backbone that you might have missed unless you looked really close.

I have a feeling that this episode probably won't be on the top of everyone's list, it contained a lot of 'growth' for Clark. While it didn't showcase his 'abilities', it showed what truly makes him 'super' - his heart and his zest for truth, justice and etc.

I.e. - While Oliver is out 'saving the world', he's doing it without the maturity needed to do it right. His heart is in the right place, but his priorities and his maturity level still has a lot of room for growth. Opposite of that you have Clark, who's taking the time to mature, making sure that his path is clearly defined before he steps into the role. I guess it kind of goes along with the old adage about whether a title makes a person or the person makes a title. I personally feel that people should walk in something long before they receive that title or recognition. Here Clark is doing just that - he's being Superman long before he ever receives the acknowledgement. The Green Arrow saw this maturity and greatness in Clark and realized he didn't have it in himself - yet. So, though Clark didn't have a costume and wasn't out 'saving the world', he was still being the hero by doing what was right (not allowing Lex to die, etc.)

Clark also made a major leap when it came to Lana. He was able to control his own emotions when Chloe and Lana met for lunch. He's showing that he's moving beyond her. He also showed it when he busted into the mansion (which I thought he wasn't supposed to do anymore) and displayed his concern for her, not his emotions. He had compassion, but it was with the heart, not the chemistry.

Clark and Lois - I love their banter and I LOVED when she dissed him by pointing out her trust for Chloe's action over his. This is the way it's supposed to be between them - Lois thinking Clark is an incapable of helping anybody, when he's the true hero behind it all. I think they're finally starting to set up the dual identity personality that literally blinds Lois from discovering the truth about Superman. I've always heard that it was Clark' s glasses that kept his identity secret, but it was the persona of Clark being inept that was his true mask.

tonight's episode was about 'love' and how it shaped everyone into who they were. Because of the love that the Kent's poured into Clark his whole life, they helped formed him into the superhero he is and he can't help but pour that love out to everyone around him. For the past few years Clark has fought against his destiny with Jor-El because of who he thought Jor-El to be - a cold, heartless dictator. But, he's beginning to learn just how much love Jor-El had for him, discovering what a great man he was and how he saved Clark because of his love for Clark and for the human race. This lines up with what Clark knows and understands, because it's what his parents have poured into him his whole life. Superman's weakness has always been his 'love' for humanity, not a cold, hard rock.

Opposite of that you have Lana and Lex. Lana lost her parents at a really young age and then was abandoned by her aunt Nell when she was still young and in highschool. She didn't have that firm, solid foundation of love and she has been on a crusade her whole life to find it. It has taken her from one bad relationship to the next. Her relationship didn't work with Clark, not because Clark didn't love her, but because she didn't love herself. I firmly believe that you can't pour love out into another person unless you are first filled with it yourself. Lana desired what Clark had (the love of and for his family and friends), but confused it with desiring Clark.

Lex, whose mother died when he was young and was raised by the cold, calculating Lionel, also doesn't know how to love, yet desired the same of Clark. He desires what Clark has and that has led to his desire for Lana. He can't love, because he doesn't have any love for or in himself.

This was illustrated through the Thanksgiving dinners. At the Kent farm, everything was warm, cozy, close and full of love (even with Lionel Luthor there). When Clark gave his thanksgiving speech, he acknowledged the love that was given to him by his parents as being what formed him into the great man that he was. Everyone at that table (except Lois) knew his secret and knew what a great compliment he paid to his parents. Opposite of that you had Lex and Lana sitting apart from each other at a long, cold, formal table. They were doing the best they could, but you can't do much with what you don't have.

Well, anyway. I had a longer review, but most of it got deleted by accident. I didn't realize it would be so long and so philosophical.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Magic Island - Editing Chapter Three

I'll be going over all the crits I received for chapter three today, while chapter four goes through queue. I'm hoping to get chapter six written by this weekend. Chapter five comes up in queue next week.

I'm really enjoying this pace. I write a chapter or two a week, really spend time polishing it up, submitting the new chapter in queue on Wednesday's (so that appears in queue the week after), collecting all the crits I received on the previous chapter and then re-editing that one. It's a good pace and the book gets really polished as I go. I like this process much better than the way I did it last time with The Year of the Unicorn by holding them all until the end and then spending a few weeks going over it.

Right now, with all the turmoil going on in my life in other areas, I'm finding solace in my writing. It's my moment of escape. Magic Island couldn't have been a better story for me to escape into. The adventure is light hearted and fun - and that's what I need more than anything right now. I wish I could be Frannie and lead an adventurous expedition in search of a hope that will turn an ugly world right side up again.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Writing Update

Well, it looks like Orientation is back on the table. A few editors from New York are interested in the story and so my agent has submitted it. I really wanted to do another round of edits before I submitted it again, but we'll see what happens. Perhaps I'll get a great editor who'll help me with that re-write. My plan was to take a break and work on Magic Island and then revisit Orientation and The Year of the Unicorn with a fresh set of eyes and then submit them together. Then I planned to take another break from the Necromancer Series and work on either a new story (got an idea of a story about a cheerleader named Cristi) or edit Bitter Tea or Mystery Meatball, and get it polished and ready to submit.

I'm currently enjoying my re-write of Magic Island. The story is developing beautifully and I'm having a lot of fun writing it. It holds a special place in my heart, because it takes me back to my own adolescence. It's my Goonies. It's fun, adventurous and whimsical. It really, really makes me want to be a kid again and play out in the rain, if only for a few days. The story is now up to chapter four in my critique group, and so far I've received very good reviews. Possibly the best for any of my stories so far. Believe me, this critique group is harsh - so to please them is quite an accomplishment.

My agent now has Milledgeville Misfit and I look forward to hearing what she has to say about it and can't wait to see what happens when she starts shopping it to publishers.

Well, that's my update on what's going on the writing world. Now, I just need to take the time and update my websites: and . I've neglected them. Shame on me!

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, November 03, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:5

Crazy4Smallville’s Weekly Review

Jimmy Oslen was a hoot in this episode. I dropped my spoon when he blurted out his Egyptian theory to Chloe. Poor Chloe, will any man be smart enough for her? This one is a few bricks shy of a load, but hey… he was adorable.

Lex is an arrogant, pompous jerk… just the way I like him. He was rude, cold and calculating and made no excuses for his behavior. I wanted to slap him for the way he treated Clark, but that’s what I love about him. I love to hate him.

Lana’s moving more and more over to the dark side. She knows Lex is bad… she calls him on it and yet she makes the decision to stay? Why? It’s not because she trusts him, because she flat out admitted that she didn’t. It’s not because he trusts and is honest with her… because he didn’t do anything to try and hide that fact. So, what is it that brings these two together? I don’t know… but I think it works – at least the chemistry does.

The whole Raya/ Phantom Freaks (Baer) storyline was a bit lame and ‘boring’ to me, saying the same thing we’ve heard a million times already. But I know TPTB need a catalyst somehow to give some background into Jor-El so that Clark will know that he’s not a jerk out to destroy the earth, but to save it. They backed themselves into that corner and now they’ve had to create this lame storyline to make it happen.

I LOVE, that he’s now ready to fulfill his destiny, however at the same time I got excited about that – knowing that he’ll go off to become the Superman he’s destined to be and get his training from Jor-El, I feel sad because it will probably happen at the end of this season or the next for sure. That means no more Smallville. I don’t even want to think about it.

Well, this is a short review. There wasn’t much to talk about. Perhaps when Oliver Queen comes back onto the show, there’ll be more interest. I did miss Lionel and Lois this week. Hope to see them soon.

Till next time,

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Word - Loge or Loggia

I love to learn new words and want to do my part in speading literacy. This morning, my new word is:

Loge - (lozh) n. 1. A small compartment, esp. a theatre box. 2. The forward rows of a theatre mezzanine.

Loggia - (lo'je-e) n. 1. A roofed but open gallery or arcade along the front or side of a building, often at an upper level. 2. An open balcony in a theatre.

While I don't have any Theatre tickets on hand or have any plans in the near future to attend the theatre, I do know that the next time I do so I will look for the loggia.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Lover's Spat...

I'm currently having a lover's spat with my husband. My life is a little chaotic at the moment with a lot of different things going on at the same time. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't 'blame' my husband for what is happening. I'm not accusing him of anything or even saying that he's in anyway remotely responsible.

However, my husband is my fortress of refuge and my strength. He's the one I turn to in times of trouble, not just when things are going great. He is my comforter and I expect certain things out of him, like being comforted. He's my shield against these attacks - so I'm a little frustrated at the amount of bombardment that I'm going through at the moment.

I'm not blaming him for these spiritual and emotional attacks, nor am I saying that he could have prevented them. I'm angry that I have to go through them at all, but who wouldn't be? Who truly rejoices when times of trouble comes onto them? Who jumps up and down to see one of their children go through something that's tearing their heart to pieces? Who dances when financial problems start piling up? Who laughs as they watch their dreams one by one being ripped from their grasp? Yet, isn't that what we're supposed to do?

According to Paul's final instructions to the Thessalonians it is: 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 - " Be joyful always: pray continually: give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

It's a lot easier said than done.

I'm angry, but I'm not afraid. I'm secure in my faith and know that I will get through this as I have been taken through before. This is just another time and season in the valley. It's another growth spurt. It's another time to discover that things are out of my control, where they shouldn't be anyway. It' s another time of learning.

I've learned - that I can't make someone else walk my path - no matter how much I desire for them to. I can't make them have the same relationship I do. I can't let them borrow my faith. I can't believe for them. They have to do it themselves. It's out of my control.

I've learned - that being faithful gives me more power than I realize. Though I'm going through a time of tribulation, I can stand before my God with my head held high, because I KNOW that I've been faithful. I can boldly approach the Throne of God and lay my complaint before Him, because I know I have a right - I've been faithful. I can stand against the poisoned arrows of my enemy because I know I have an Advocate, Sword and a Shield - I've been faithful. Doubt has no room, because I've been faithful.

God warned me of this time in my dreams - just go back and read them and you can see. I posted them on this blog. I do not fear. In the dreams - I gained victory and so too shall I now.

So, I'm having a little spat with my husband right now. I'm bringing him my complaints and laying them at his feet. This isn't my burden to carry, but his - I've been faithful. This husband I'm talking about isn't the one I'm naturally married to, but spiritually - Christ. I'm not angry with him, but I'm tired of holding onto what isn't mine. It's time he took over and carried this burden for me. It' s time for him to comfort me and I won't stop petitioning him until he does - I've been faithful.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


As inspired by the great episode of Heroes last night, I'm thinking about them this morning and asking myself, 'What makes one a hero'? I know it's not a super ability, because many have abilities and often use them for their own selfish gain. No, it's not what someone can do that makes them a hero, but how and why they do what they do.

A firefighter is a hero, because he risks his life everyday to save others. He runs into a burning building while the rest of us run out. He faces the danger, while we hide from it. That doesn't make us bad - that makes us human and with common sense. It doesn't make him bad with no common sense, but good and brave - and in my definition a hero.

Here are list of heroes (in my view)
Soldier - who puts thier lives on the line to protect and serve their country.
Mother - who puts the needs of her child above her own desires. (Not everyone who's given birth to a child is a mother.)
Father - who leads, protects and sacrifices for his family.
Pastor - who spritually feeds his flocks.
Teacher - who desires to see our youth learn how to learn.
Tither - one who trusts in God's provision.
Husband - that honors and cherish's his wife and see's her as his crown, his precious gift.
Wife - that honors and cherish's her husband and see's him as the spiritual head and leader.
Children - who submit and obey God & their parents - fulfilling a loving legacy for the next generation.
Friend - who tells you what you 'need' to hear, not what you 'want'.

The world is full of heroes, most that do not have a special ability. While all of those listed above also have people who are selfish, greedy and evil - I tend to believe that there are a lot more heroes than we realize.

While we may not have the ability to fly, paint the future, bend the space-time continuum, heal ourselves, read other's thoughts or split in two, there are heroes among us just the same. But, how cool would it be if some of us could do those things?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, October 23, 2006

Magic Island - Chapter One Critiques

It looks like the first chapter of Magic Island is turning out to be a big hit in my critique group. My critters are doing a really good job of pointing out any of the little things I sometimes overlook and I appreciate every bit of constructive criticism they dish out. The harder they are on me, the more I feel that they really care about the story. I know... I do the same with stories I care about.

I really love my critique group. I'd recommend finding one for every writer out there. The process alone helps to sharpen your skills, making you a better writer. A true writer has a natural gift to tell a story, however they may not possess the 'structural' knowledge or discipline to put that story out in the best shape possible - and that takes practice, training and lots of lots of rewrites and edits.

When I first started writing, I hated the editing process. I had a story and it sounded great to me. But, I had to realize that my story on paper didn't match the story in my head. Other readers didn't see what I saw, because I didn't write it that way. The difference is - I 'told' a story instead of taking the reader on an adventure.

Well, I have lots of critiques to review and even more stories to critique.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, October 20, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Reviews 6:4

The Green Arrow arrived with a zing, much like the way his arrows zip through the air.
Lex Luthor rose from the darkened ashes, and it's about time.
Lionel Luthor showed his true colors, and the black is coming out.
Lana Lang revealed she can manipulate as well as being manipulated, which surprised me.
Lois Lane realized her zest for truth, justice and the journalistic pen.
Chloe shone like a beacon on a lighthouse.
Clark realized there's a whole world that needs to be saved, not just Lana Lang.

Issues of secret identities, being journalists, duality, secret affections, truth, justice, etc... all these things were mentioned in subtle ways, which in my opinion, made it great. Though Clark didn't have to do a lot of daring rescues, he showed strength in character. I thought it was done brilliantly. He learned about honor and the possibility of his role as an actual hero, and his possible leadership. His powers aren't what make him great - it's his integrity combined with those powers that make him great.

I loved this episode and I hope there are more like it. It wasn't filled with a bunch of sensationalizm, targeted at the raging hormones of teenagers, but about the heart of a hero. That's what the show should be about.

Till next time,

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Midnight War

The raindrops pound on the roof,
like on an angry warrior's drum.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.

The swishing stirs my soul,
my eyes widen with every howl
and dart at every flash of light.

Wincing, I wait for the boom to come,
tightening my grip on my security.
Holding my breath when it blasts its horn.

A chill travels down my back
like an invisible hand, cold and tingly.
I shiver.

Shadows dance upon the walls of the darkened room,
taunting, playing... laughing.
My heart urges to join in, but I'm too afraid to try.

I listen to the world play its angry song,
releasing all its pent-up frustration.

The floodgates release, the dancers dance,
the instruments play and the audience gasps at its wonder,
exploding with applause and praise.

The curtains slowly fall, the music eases, the beating slows in the distance.
A soft melody plays as the players take a bow.

As the curtains fall, I drift off into a wild adventure,
hearing the sound of the distant war drums,
knowing I survived the battle... this time.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.
Pat-a-pat, pat, pat.

Monday, October 16, 2006

One Night With The King

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed in this movie. I wish they would have stayed true to the story, because it's a great story, but instead they (the powers that be) thought it would be better to take creative license. If the film industry really wants to make an impact with the Biblical stories in the mainstream media, they should at least be true to the stories, much like the TNT movies that came out a few years back. (Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David & Samson & Delilah) Those movies were great and stayed true to the story.

I love the story of Esther - I think it was perhaps the premise to great love tales like Cinderella - of a poor orphan who marries a king and makes a difference in the world she lives. But what made Esther an awesome Biblical story was the purpose of God, yet this was reduced in this movie to come down to revenge, vengence and justice. Did she save her people because she believes it was God's purpose for her to do so, or just as a consolation for exacting revenge on the man who she believes was responsible for her parent's death (which isn't in the Bible)? This man's (Haman) hatred of the Jews (in the movie) came from a history that didn't exist. Does there have to be a reason for someone to hate to the Jews - other than God?

To me, this movie rewrote the foundation in which Esther (Hadasseh) risks her life for, causing it to fall flat in its efforts. When she burst through the doors of the King's court and pleading with the King to spare her life, the passion that was supposed to be there - fell flat - because they didn't have the right foundation.

I think this movie will fail, not because it's a Biblically based story, but because it was poorly written, poorly directed and on many cases, poorly acted. My favorite character was the Eunich in charge of Esther's care once she came into the palace. He's the only character that moved me, emotionally. I liked Mordecai, but his purpose also fell lax except when he stood up Haman. The king was lame and whimpy. He reminded me of Fabio (Yuk!). I thought the girl who played Esther was quite beautiful and she did a good job - but she didn't have much to work with as far as dialogue went.

I wanted to much to have a good impression of this movie, like I did with the TNT series, but I didn't. Perhaps the next one will be great.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:3

Crazy4Smallville’s Weekly Review – 5:3 Whither

While I probably won’t be listing this episode in my top twenty favorites, I plan on focusing on its positives. I don’t want to whine and groan about how lame the battle was with Ms. Vicious Vine, but come on… I expected a little more than that little whimper. Perhaps that should have been the name of the episode, instead of whither. I suppose they didn’t have enough time to do a good battle scene because they had several minutes to fill with Lex and Lana’s sexcapade.

So, that’s all the ranting I’m going to do… the rest of the review will accentuate the positives… at least TRY to anyway.

I’ll start with Chloe and Jimmy, since that’s where the episode started. While I know that Jimmy and Chloe has had a ‘history’, the chemistry just doesn’t seem to be there. They ‘seemed’ like two high-school kids going on their first ‘parking’ expedition. While, they are a little wet behind the ears – Chloe only having the one experience with Jimmy a few years ago, and never having had a steady boyfriend – I think they could have worked a little more on the awkwardness. Also, the sucking and moaning sounds during the make-out session was a little on the gross side. (Oh darn… and I said I wasn’t going to groan.) On the bright side – I do like the idea of them having a relationship. I just wish they’d be a little more mature about it.

It was great seeing Jimmy with his camera. I like Aaron Ashmore’s portrayal of Jimmy, especially his jealousy and possessiveness. It was a great scene when he called Chloe his ‘girl’ and Chloe corrected him. Seeing the perplexed look on Clark’s face was priceless. Welling really ‘showed’ how conflicted Clark feels about this relationship. He wants to be happy for Chloe, but he also wants to be happy WITH Chloe and thus the conflict.

Clark took some really huge steps when it comes to him ‘getting over’ Lana. While he showed concern for her during his argument with Lex, he didn’t whine about her. He even took interest in Ms. Vicious Vine when he first saw her – showing that the Lana blinders are falling off and that other ‘women’ actually roam the earth (they just don’t all happen to be human.)

Ah, the confrontation with Lex was awesome. It was the best scene in the episode. When Lex told Clark that his days of showing up unannounced were over – I found myself really excited and wanted to scream for Clark to punch him across his nose. I love to hate Lex… and I’m glad Lex is finally giving me the ammunition to do it. Yet, a few scenes later he gives me just the opposite… he makes me hate to love him, but I can’t help it. When he spoke about being young and finding out about his mother’s death from a microphone being shoved in his face by nosy reporters, it broke my heart and I found myself rooting for Lex. Rosenbaum does an excellent job with this character and he doesn’t look back doing it either. That Alexander the Great outfit looked HOT!!!

I loved the whole Lois and Oliver exchange. Her first treating him like a delivery boy, then apologizing, then eating crow, then going out with him…etc. … it was great. When she told him to ‘aim higher’ when he was aiming at the can, that was a very subtle, yet awesome touch… because I think she meant that both physically and metaphorically. Oliver looked good in that green outfit and when he’s pulling back that bow… something changes his appearance and he projects that superhero image. While as plain ol’ billionaire Oliver Queen – he looks a little dorky. But, I think that is what’s going to make his character so great. The super part is played up more than the young rich heir.

Martha looked very beautiful and I loved how she rebuked Lois and her ‘quick to make judgment actions’.

Lana – okay – some of you better copy this review because this will probably be one of only a few times I’m going to say this. I actually liked Lana tonight. I liked the fact that she stood up to Lex about becoming one of his ‘kept women’…. I liked how she tried to come up with an excuse to see Chloe, because it showed that she feels bad about the predicament she’s in and shows a little respect for the position that Chloe’s in, but that she really needed a friend’s advice. Also, Chloe was the one who gave her the advice the first time – when she thought about sleeping with Jason – and now with Lex. I loved her Cleopatra outfit – I thought she looked beautiful. I think has been the strongest showing of Lana’s character. I even liked the fact that she ‘took the lead’ when she decided to be intimate with Lex. I’m one that doesn’t believe in sex outside of marriage, but knowing that’s not her belief, I’m glad to see her taking charge of her own decisions.

I missed seeing Lionel, but I’m sure I’ll see him soon enough.

The whole “Phantom Zone Freak of the Week” plot could have been skipped as far as I’m concerned, so I won’t bother to write about it.

Till next time,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Red Box Parable

Two men lived in the city and walked down the same path everyday for the past ten years, until one day they stumbled upon a red box sitting on the sidewalk.

Upon seeing the box, the first man paused for a moment, but then looked down at his watch and saw that he ran late. He quickened his pace and left.

The second man, however, found himself curious by the sight. He stopped in his tracks and cautiously approached the box, but found himself wrangled by the crowd of people moving on the sidewalk. They flowed like a river and he had to fight against the current.

Pushing his way to the box, he gently reached out and touched it and discovered that it was cool to the touch. He ran his fingers over its smooth surface trying to determine what it was and what it was for. He inquired of many of those who passed by, but no one really knew the answer. Every once in a while, he'd see someone else approach the box, but then they’d leave.

He walked around the box, inspecting every corner and crevice and discovered a small step on the backside. He climbed up the step and another one appeared, so he stepped up, and another appeared. Soon he found himself looking over the top of the gigantic box and he saw a huge red bow.

He called down to a few of the people passing by, "Hey, do you know what's inside the box?" Most ignored him and those who did answer only replied that they didn't know or they didn't care and just wished the box would get out of their way. But, curiosity and intrigue urged him to explore the box even more. He didn't care about the time, he didn't care that he was late - nothing else seemed to matter except discovering what was in the box.

He reached out and pulled upon the ribbon and it unwrapped and fell to the ground. With a strained effort, he lifted the lid and his jaw dropped at what he saw inside. A golden glow wrapped around his face and his eyes lit up in excitement. He quickly shut the lid and looked around him. "Surely they wouldn't just leave this sitting around, out in the open for just anyone to come along and take it?" He scratched his head and his hands trembled. He looked down at the sea of people walking by the box, only noticing a few giving it a curious glance.

The man called down at passerbies, "Is this your box?" No one answered him. "Does anyone know who this box belongs to?" Still no answer. The man didn't know what to do. He didn't want to leave the box and what it contained just sitting there on the sidewalk, so he stood there. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a man walking calmly through the crowd, with his head up (not looking down at the ground) and staring right at him. Without difficulty, the mysterious man made his way to the box and climbed up the steps to stand beside the curious man, lifted the top, reached in, pulled out a sparkling-jeweled crown and sat it upon his head. The curious man asked, "Do these belong to you?" The man smiled at him and replied, "They're free to anyone who would receive them."

A huge smile formed across the curious man's face. "You're kidding, right?" The mysterious man shook his head and walked back down the steps and then into the street, no one paying him much attention.

The curious man stood there for a few moments, desperately desiring to retrieve a crown for himself. He reached out and opened the lid and then looked around. No one came out yelling at him or slapping him on the hand, so he reached in and pulled out a six-pointed crown studded with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. He placed the crown on his head, closed his eyes and held his breath, waiting for the net to fall, but nothing happened. He peeked through slit eyelids and saw the river of people continuing to walk by, no one paying him any attention. He closed the lid and walked down the ladder and then joined into the river of people and onto work.

Throughout the day, people commented on how different he looked, but they couldn't quite pinpoint what was so different about him. When he pointed out his crown, some were envious and others were jealous, but all asked him how he got it. When he told them, many laughed thinking he told them a joke, but some scoffed at him.

After a time, the curious man tried to convince his co-workers, his friends, his family and his neighbors about the box of crowns, but they wouldn't listen. Everyday, he'd stop by the box and get a new crown, seeing very few people do the same. Needless to say, he soon became a very wealthy man, rich beyond his wildest dreams.

One day as he stood at the top, he noticed the man that he had walked with for many years, who had passed up the box because he was too busy. He was older, tired and the soles of his shoes were worn out. The curious man called out to him and he looked up, seeing the red box again. He made his way over to the box and called up to the curious man who stood at the top, "What's in the box? I see it everyday, but never have time to stop and look."

How many times do we allow 'time' to steal away our treasure… a treasure that is freely given to all that will accept it? How often do we walk by that 'red box' on our sidewalks?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who Are The Samaritans?

Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman by the well in John 4, why? Who are the Samaritans?

In 2 Kings, I discover that Samaritans are what are called 'half-breeds'. They are children of Israel (Jacob) who fear Jehovah, yet do not keep the 'law' of Moses by making graven images to God and worshipping God in high places, while the orthodox worship only in Jerusalem. Are not all the children of Israel (Jacob) considered Jews? What makes one a Jew? What makes one a Gentile?

What I find amazing is that God's covenant with Abraham (promise of the Messiah) was extended to Israel (Jacob) and all his descendents, which would include the Samaritans. The Samaritan woman didn’t understand why Jesus asked her for a drink (because Jews did not associate with Samaritans or drink out of anything they have touched because it would be considered defiled according to their religious laws) knowing that he was a Jewish Rabbi and she a Samaritan woman.

Jesus' response was: John 4:10 - "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

She responds by asking him if he’s greater than her father Jacob (Israel) who dug the well in the first place, because he didn’t have anything to draw the water with. But, I just wonder if she wasn’t asking a spiritual question, instead of a natural one, because Jesus didn’t give her a natural answer, but a spiritual one.

John 4:13 – “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of living water welling up to eternal life.”

She responds by asking him to give her this water so that she would never thirst. Again, I don’t think her response was a natural response, because he didn’t have anything to draw natural water with, nor did he offer natural water – so it wasn’t natural water that she requested, but spiritual water (salvation).

Jesus immediately starts to address the sin in the woman’s life, bringing to light her promiscuousness, which she doesn’t deny, but confesses.

Is this not what happens to those who come to Christ? Once they accept his free gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit is poured out and then the Christian begins to deal with the sin in their life – confessing that sin and beginning the process of conforming to the image of Christ through the transforming of the mind?

Then immediately after the addressing of the sin they speak of worship. The woman addresses the religious strife between the Jews and the Samaritans, because of a difference in doctrinal belief. The Samaritans worship God on the mountain, while the Jews declare they must worship in Jerusalem. Why would she be concerned about where to worship?

Jesus responds: “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Jesus addresses the difference between religious duty and spiritual relationship. I believe he knew this woman’s heart better than the religious Jews who wouldn’t have given her the time of day.

She then confesses in her belief and hope in the Messiah (Christ) to come and that He would explain the ‘truth’ of all things, and Jesus answers, “I who speak to you am He”.

This is one of the few times that Jesus comes right out and claims to be the Christ and it was to a woman that in the religious world’s eyes was beyond redemption.

But, the story doesn’t end there. When the disciples return they do not rebuke Christ for speaking with the ‘dirty’ Samaritan, but urge him to eat, which he refuses. They look at his response in the natural (thinking he has physically been fed), but Jesus responds to them in the spiritual by proclaiming, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” He speaks of a harvest – not a physical one, but a spiritual one. I have to believe he was speaking of the Samaritans, because his one action with the one woman led to the salvation of many of the Samaritans who would never have been given the opportunity.

Do you think perhaps that once again the ‘religious leaders’ during this time had it wrong? Could they once again have misinterpreted the purpose of the law (used to identify sin and make retribution) and completely missed the spiritual nature and aspect of it?

I don’t know all the answers to the questions that I’ve posed, but it’s given me reason to pause. I’d like to learn all about the Samaritans and see why this encounter was so important that God made sure it was included in his Word. Why was it so important that Jesus speak to this woman?
Why did he make her the offer that he did?
What spiritual significance does it play?
What spiritual parallel are we to draw from it?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Milledgeville Misfit - Ready to Fly

Whatever's been holding me back from releasing Milledgeville Misfit has passed. I'm going to go over the last few chapters today, print out a few copies and send it off to my agent. Once again I'm pushing one of my babies out there into the big, bad world.

I've got a lot of work to do... so here I go.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, October 09, 2006


Why do we expect so much out of ourselves and the people around us?
Is there such a thing as impossible limits?

I'm not so sure, because we have an Advocate and a Couselor and have been given the tools to do our best, so why is it wrong to expect the best results?

Most of all, why do we feel like such a failure when we don't achieve the results we had intented?

Not sure I really have the answers to those questions, but those are the questions I have this morning. I really try to do the best that I can do, but still find that I come up short on many occasions. When my children act out, I feel like a failure as a mother. When things get hectic and impossible at work, I feel like a failure as an employee. When things don't happen with my book, I feel like a failure as a writer. When I see those dreams slip away one by one, I feel like a failure to God.

Thank goodness my faith isn't based on feeling or else I'd be in a lot of trouble.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, October 06, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:2

Hilarious! That's what I'd call this episode. It was light and full of small bits of humor.

Perhaps its the mother in me, but I loved seeing Clarky with the sniffles. More than that, I loved seeing his responses and reactions to Lois. They were so adorable and hilarious. That quirky smile just made you want to bust out laughing when he tried to look surprised about the barn door. It looks like he's getting used to Lois' barge in and let her fly attitude. I think she compliments him quite well, because he's such the opposite. That's also one of the things I love about Lois. She stays the same as she moves forward. Glad to see her getting the 'journalistic' bug. With Chloe around, it shows that she still has a long way to go.

I loved the superbreath, but I think they failed in the delivery of explaining how he got it and why now. Just the chance that he picked up some bug in the Zone doesn't really cut it for me. Clark showed no sign of developing this power, he's almost completely grown now and yet it just shows up one day. Perhaps they meant to 'show' its appearance because of him being worn out from doing so much repair work in Metropolis and because he got 'sick' this was the first opportunity for it to appear, but that seems kind of lame to me. I think a little bit more creativity was needed in this area. I loved the special effects and the hilarious results, especially in the Daily Planet. Funny! I also liked his little joke he played with Chloe, teasing her. I let out a loud roar of laughter with that one.

I love how Clark and Chloe are so comfortable around each other. They work great together, Clark can tell her anything, she can tell him anything, they can talk about the hard stuff (Clark talking about Lana) and disagree with each other (Chloe arguing with Clark that she wanted to help) - without threatens the relationship. I think the reason this works so well is because the relationship isn't all about themselves. Clark and Chloe are both givers and not takers. They do for others and have really only had a few selfish moments in their life. (Chloe with the deal she made for Lionel back a few seasons to get the internship at the Daily Planet and Clark not returning to Jor-El to stay with Lana.) Most of the time, these two are out fighting against the evils of society (Chloe with her pen and extraordinary hacking skills and Clark with his super powers) not asking for anything in return. They respect each other and are completely honest with each other about everything. That's the basis of a good relationship - whether it stays in the friends arena or not. I love seeing this type of relationship being portrayed. It shows the most important elements in a relationship and none of it has to do with the physical body.

Lionel - what is up with him? Has the old Lionel returned? It sure looks like it, but then in the next scene he seems like his new improved selfless self. I will always keep a suspect eye on him and question his motives. I know he wants Martha, so that could be the reason for the 'good guy' act when it comes to Clark and trying to keep his secret, but what his old 'ruthless' self when it comes to people who interact with Lex and against Lex himself? I think he's a really intriguing character and I love to see him every week.

Lex - as much as I love Lex and thought he looked sexy when he was driving that car, I felt let down by his actions in this episode. However, I'm still holding out hope that it was because I only got to see 'part' of the story. The way he reacted to his abductors was mild and wimpy for Lex. It's like there was no fight in him. The Lex I know would have been smart and demanding and not so forthcoming, especially about secrets he didn't want to divulge. If he can survive his father having him go through electric shock treatment, the little threat of a pistol should be no problem. Lex gets pistol whipped, except this time he was shot - again. If I were Lex I'd be on a anti-gun protest - he's either getting hit or shot with one every week it seems.

What is Lex up to and how much does he really remember? I'm assuming it was Lana who told him about Zod, because for someone who doesn't remember anything, he speaks the name so casually. Also, he isn't questioning what happened during Terrible Thursday, but giving more a protest of responsibility by not being able to remember. If I didn't remember something, I'd be doing everything I could and asking everybody I knew what happened to fill in the puzzle, just like the measures he went through to try and regain the memories he lost when his daddy electrocuted him. I think he does remember and he's trying to re-develop the serum that gave him the powers BEFORE Zod inhabited him. I think he still has some of those powers, because when he was huddled with Lana, he didn't seem 'scared' , but relaxed. I think he was about to be forced to expose his powers, or else he would knock out Lana first and then use them, but Clark showed up and extinguished the flames and he didn't have to. The reason I think it's more than we were shown is because Rosenbaum is too good of an actor to have been so blase' about the whole thing. He's more like Lionel than he realizes.

So, the Green Arrow has made an appearance. Other than he's cute and awfully sarcastic, I really don't have much of an opinion of him, yet. I look forward to seeing how they will develop his character on the show and see how he interacts with Clark and Lex and even Lois.

Loved Chloe's lame attempt at trying to cover up Clark's little 'snafu' with the barn door to Lois and am not a bit surprised that Lois accepted the theory that Chloe spoon fed her and then ran with it as an article. Typical Lois and quite hilarious.

But, the best thing I loved about last night's episode was the heroic effort on Clark's part - and it had nothing to do with his use of his super powers, but is wrapped up in the fact that he used them with discretion - at the mansion with overhearing Lana and in the warehouse with Lex and Lana. He's beginning to realize who he can trust and who he can't and that there was no sense being seen and having to make up some lame excuse of why he was there. I think he's beginning to realize the need and importance of being discreet and hopefully will soon realize the need for a secret identity. Oh, and I also loved the fact that it was Chloe that helped him discover his true power - super-breath instead of super-sneeze.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Keep On Deliberately Sinning...

Hebrews 10:26 - 27 "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left."

This scripture has really been rolling around in my mind over the past week. I'm astounded by it and I've asked others (both Christian and non-Christian) what they thought it meant, and overwhelmingly most people said they thought this passage is talking about people who have rejected the message of Christ (Salvation).

How do they come to that conclusion? This passage doesn't mention anything about salvation and it wasn't given to the unbelievers, but to the one's who already believe.

Paul said, "If we"... he included himself and those like him (believers). So, this passage is meant for the believer (Christian) that has already received salvation and has already entered into a covenant with Christ and accepted, by faith, His sacrifice for sin. So, this passage couldn't be speaking about 'unbelievers' and their deliberate sinning, but to Christians.

So... If we (Christians) deliberately (to do on purpose) keep on (to do again and again-not just once to twice) sinning (it doesn't mention a specific sin- so I must infer that this means "ALL" sin - anything contrary to the Word of God) after (not before, but at a later time) we have received the knowledge (understanding or awareness) of the truth (not someone's opinion, but the Truth as written), no (none, zero) sacrifice for sin is left (including the sacrifice of Christ - because this counts a sacrifice), but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of a raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (inferring to the 'we' mentioned at the beginning of the passage).

Wow - this is for the Christian, who has already accepted the sacrifice of Christ; not the non-Christian unbeliever. Yet, "if" we (Christians) do this thing (continue to deliberately sin after knowing the truth), we (Christians) will face judgment and the raging fires and be considered as an enemy of God.

Boy, does this put on a whole new perspective of things. For those who don't want to consider that Paul was talking to the Christian in the above passage, the rest of the passage confirms it by speaking exclusively about 'trampling' the Son of God (Jesus Christ) underfoot because they have treated as an unholy thing the blood of covenant that sanctified him and has insulted the Spirit (not a spirit) of grace.

Hebrews 10:28-31 - "Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. (The results of the Old Covenant for breaking the Mosaic law.) How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God (Jesus Christ) under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing (by the actions listed above of deliberately continuing to sin) the blood of the covenant (New Covenant) that sanctified him (cleansed him of sin by faith through grace) and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' and again, 'The Lord will judge his (those who belong to him - believers) people.' It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Wow... wow... and wow. I do not want to be considered the enemy of God, I don't want to abuse and treat unholy the sacrifice that my Lord has made for me and I don't want to fall into hands of the living God in judgment. So, I will consider my actions and pray for clear understanding. I ask for forgiveness and mercy if I've done this in any way.

As my pastor says often, "This isn't one of those scriptures you want to put up on your refrigerator", or in my case 'my computer', but I will - in hopes that I learn it and write it upon my heart that I might not sin against God.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Wonderful Life Is... Now That You're In The World

"I hope you don't mind... I hope you don't mind that I've put down in words.
How wonderful life is, now that you're in the world."

That's a line from a song I saw in the musical "Mouline Rouge". I'm not sure who wrote it, I think perhaps the Beatles or Elton John, but that's the song rolling around in my spirit this morning.

I feel my spirit is singing a love song to God, as well as THE Spirit singing back to me. "He" put his love down in words for me in the form of THE Word, and I know that He rejoices over me everyday. I, in return, write my affections to Him every chance I get, and know that my life has become wonderful since the day I discovered Him in my world.

So, that's what I sing this morning... and I put it down in words.

Lord, I hope you don't mind that I've put down in words. How wonderful my life is, now that you're in my world."

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Encourage Ourselves

You ever notice that when you're going through something, there are people around you who like to 'encourage' you, but you know in your heart that the words they speak are not really coming from their heart? Most of the time, it's familiar catch phrases.

I've been hearing a lot of them lately and really thinking about what those phrases really mean to me. But, not matter the amount of encouragement I get from others, the only way that really works for me is when I encourage myself. I honestly don't like encouragement from others - I like the truth. I like for someone to tell me - "Oh, get over yourself and quit having a pity party." - than to hear - "We all must walk through difficult times sometimes, but the key is that we will get through them".

While I understand the sentiment behind the second statement, it really doesn't do me any good. I know that I will get through it - but my trouble is in the moment, not in the future. In a way, it's nursing the downcast sentiment. I don't need nursing, I need to get back to life at hand. In my life, the key to my happiness is found in the living everyday. My frustration and agony is present when I'm planning for tomorrow or thinking about the past. Regretting mistakes I've made and being afraid of making more - all the while missing what's right in front of me and living in the moment.

So, to live in the moment - I don't need a comforting hand, I need a reality check. I don't need words of encouragement that tell me things are going to be alright. I KNOW that things are going to be alright tomorrow, but I've got to get back to living today. I've learned that to do that - I must encourage myself and really think about what I'm saying.

As my spirit sings - I listen to what it's saying. "Draw me close to You, never let me go. I lay it all down again to hear You say that I'm Your friend. Help me find the way to bring me back to You. You're all I want. You're all I've ever needed. You're all I want. Help me know You are near. You are my desire, no one else will do. No one else can take Your place, to fill the warmth of Your embrace. Help me find the way to bring me back to You. "

I know I must encourage myself and allow the Comforter to minister to me, because His words are spirit and life, and He truly is my strong tower that I run to in my time of need. It's not just words I say or sing, but a way of life of how things truly are. I can't give that to anyone else. I can't even 'encourage' someone else to do the same, because my relationship is my own, developed over years of personal experiences and only I can walk in that relationship. Everyone must develop their own by encouraging their self.

"I lift my eyes up to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, Creator of the earth." Psalms 121:1-2

Friday, September 29, 2006

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:1

Wow, what an episode! I really enjoyed it. It was great to see, feel and hear something familiar amongst the world of change I've been going through lately.

The first episode after a long break is always the best for me. I thought the opening was fantastic with Clark in the Phantom Zone. I'm glad they used the same method from the Superman movies. I thought the graphics & special effects were great, especially when it came to the phantoms. I loved the continuity they have with Namek, but I thought the Phantom Zone fell a little short with the character of Raya. She started off strong, but then fell into a scripted information peddler. I was amazed though at how long her lip gloss lasted in the phantom zone, while poor Clark looked like his dehydrated lips would fall off at any moment. He must be a quick healer and learner. For someone who doesn't get hurt often, he can take pain pretty well.

I was a little disappointed with the opener. With a new network and a new season, I was hoping for a new opener. While I love the Remy Zero song, 'Save Me', I thought the rest could of changed. All they did was add a few new pictures to last year's intro. Perhaps next week, they'll have a better opener.

I loved that Martha and Lois went to the Fortress of Solitude. It wasn't a shocker that's where they ended up - seeing the snow-capped mountains gave it away, but it was refreshing to see Jor-El interacting with Martha. However, I think the conversation could have went down a little better than it did. Come on... this is Ma Kent speaking to the man she thinks has been responsible for her husband's death and her son's problems - I'd have a lot more questions to ask and a lot more to say than what she did. But, I understand time restrictions and needed to say what was necessary to move the plot along. I did love the fact that Lois thought she had died and went to heaven and her and Clark holding hands. It was a cute, touching moment.

I HATED the shaft that the Chlark moment fizzled. What the heck happened to all of Chloe's pent up emotions for Clark? It just disappeared in a matter of seconds at the sight of Jimmy Olsen. Now, granted - Chloe and Jimmy share a bond, but obviously not a strong one at this point - because they haven't even talked to each other for a couple of years. Here Chloe is, knowing everything about Clark and how great he is - and who she's carried an immense torch and love for over a decade and she loses sight of that in one moment? That bit of crap I can't seem to swallow. Clark seemed to have been considering a possible relationship with Chloe and he thought her feelings were true, to have her shoot him down before he even got his foot in the door. He's was great to back-up and let it go, but as a viewer who has strongly believed in the love that has been held between these two characters over the past six years - I felt cheated. I was really disappointed. While I do want to see Chloe persue a relationship with Jimmy - the way she just shut her feelings off - like simply turning a water spigot, didn't sit right with me.

Jimmy - I love the new Jimmy Olsen and I thought it was hilarious as he described his first day at the Daily Planet. I think he's going to do great! I loved the CK reference.

Lana - does the girl have to tempt EVERY man in the known galaxy? Is she the weakness of every member of the male population. Can she be something besides the object of desire or obsession??? If it isn't every run-of-the-mill FOTW, the football team, the local superhero, the arch nemesis that has fallen under her spell... she's now got the ultimate villian wanting her to have his heir. And they wonder why we 'women' don't like Lana. It's not Lana we don't like, but the way she's used and portrayed. She's the real Kryptonite of the show. While she may be able to kick some butt and take a beating, she never seems to have a blemish on that perfect face of hers. Is there any depth or substance to the girl?

Lionel - I loved that a few years ago, Lionel was trying to have Chloe killed and now we see him almost sacrificing himself to save her. What a turnaround. Also, he easily reconciled to the fact that he must kill his son, Lex. I think a little too quickly. While I agree - I can't help but to think that there is still part of the old manipulative Lionel in there somewhere. He's worked his whole life to develope the Lex we have before us - and to soo easily see that destroyed, I don't buy it. Besides, we know that he flat out lied to Martha about not being able to channel Jor-El anymore or not being able to understand Kryptonian. Perhaps he's not hearing Jor-El, but he's still retained some of his knowledge of the Kryptonian language. But, is he the new Lionel or the old one? It will be interesting to find out.

Lex/Zod - I loved it. I think Rosenbaum did an excellent job of being the mean, uncaring, manipulative overlord. It's a role I think he was meant to play. Being such the jokester he is, his playing serious bad dudes seem to work great for him. However, I do have one gripe and it deals with the delivery of the line I've waited to see for two years now.... "Kneel before Zod!" I was expecting a little bit more punch to that line. Terrance Stamp did such an impressionable delivery in Superman II, that he set the bar high. While Rosenbaum did an excellent job with the characterization of Zod, I think he missed the delivery of that particular line. BTW - I loved the phantom image of Stamp's Zod as he was pulled from Lex. AWESOME!

Clark - I saved the best for last and that's the way it should be. I thought Welling did an excellent job with Clark, other than perhaps being a little more overwhelmed and hurt in the Phantom Zone. I know he's a super man here on earth, but there he could be his young, inexperianced wimpy self. But, other than that - and that horrible bad judgement of not grabbing Chloe and laying one on her like he wanted to - he did a good job. There was this one moment when he got back from the Phantom Zone that I thought he was going to take off and fly - but he didn't. At the end of this series I better see the tights and the flight or else I will scream bloody horror. Clark's growing up and I think his vision of Jor-El is finally starting to change. He's starting to realize he's been wrong about him all this time and hopefully, will start to embrace his destiny, much like the way he embraced Lois' hand.

Well, that's about it for now. I'm sure I'm leaving a whole lot out, but that should have covered most of the major points.

Till next time!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dream 09/07/06

As you all know, I'm a dreamer. I'm trying to pay close attention to my dreams lately, so I've decided to write them down. I'm praying for their interpretation, so let's see what happens.

The dream:

I was walking down the street when I came upon this gas station. It had many pump lines, but only a small square station in the middle where the attendant sat. Two boys worked the station. One pumped the gas, because it was full service during the day, and the other worked the attendent station. Neither was very good at their job.

The youngest of the two showed me around the station and tried to explain some parts of what he did, but he wasn't very consistent and often his methods didn't work. The station merely ran itself. The older boy, the attendant, seemed impatient with the younger boy and irritated at my presence, but they both remained polite.

During the day, I followed this cat to a house behind the station and discovered that it belonged to the owner of the station, though he hasn't been around for several months. The doors had been left open and the house was a mess. The attendent showed me around and I saw that dust covered everything.

I decided that I was going to stay at the house by the time the sun set. However, I needed to get rid of the wild cats and dogs that ran through the house. I started by locking the doors on one end of the house and pulling closed the curtains. I then 'shooed' the animals through the house and out the back door, which I locked. There are lots of glass sliding doors all through the house, with long curtains. After locking them all and drawing the curtains, turning on the lights and looking around, the house was a complete mess. I felt overwhelmed at the job that lay before me.

I started in the master bedroom. The room was dusty, musty and extremely messy. A huge king-sized bed sat against the wall; the headboard was a huge bookcase and held scattered books that lay half-open or oddly stacked. I straighted the books on the shelf and then peeked beneath the bed to find even more. I pulled them all out and stacked them on the bookshelf, arranging them in order by author.

Also stuffed under the bed was a mountain of puzzle pieces, children's costumes and games. As I pulled them out, two girls showed up in the bedroom, but I wasn't frightened by their presence. They were two daughters of the missing owner. They explained that their father was gone because he was looking for something that he lost and that they liked me being there. The older girl spoke, the younger remained quietly hid behind her big sister. I realized there had only been one other bedroom in the house and it must have belonged to the older daughter. She said she hasn't lived there since just after her younger sister was born.

The two girls disappear and I'm left in the house alone. I start sweeping out the dust.

So, what does it mean? I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with cleaning out some unresolved issues - moving on to something else. What those things can be; I don't know.
I'm sure there are a lot more meanings hidden in this dream, but until I can see them, I suppose they'll remain hidden.

Anyway, that was my dream last night. I never have a boring night. It's always one adventure to the next. If you think you know what it means, I'd love to hear from you.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mitzi and Her Bug

I'm going to try my hand at writing a short story today about one of my passions.... my dream car - a fire-engine red Volkswagon Beetle, with black vinyl top, decaled with a huge yellow daisy across the hood and fully loaded. Wow, I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

On another note - I had a great time at church last night. I can still smell the mhyrr of the anointing oil. I was blessed watching my family be blessed.

I'm looking forward to my son's success in this gifts and talents and am excited by his uniqueness and can't wait to see what he does.

A smile crossed my face when my shy daughter stepped out in courage. I'm excited to see that boldness grow in her as she uses her creativity and her ability to read things.

My heart leapt to see my oldest take a step toward faith and desire to have a relationship with Christ. That is my deepest desire - that Christ becomes the ultimate love in her life. She's such a devoted person - and when something has her heart, it has all of it. She's precious to me and she's beautiful. I'm hard on her, because I want to protect her and keep her safe. I don't want her to walk the hard road I've had to travel. I want her to be successful in everything she does.

I'm expecting that new wisdom and boldness to fill my husband. I can't wait to hear the words of knowledge flow from his heart and out of his mouth. He's a man of integrity and creatitivity and I can't wait to see him pour out his wisdom and pass down his gifts to the next generation.

There's a group of teens in our church family that are excited about their faith and are filled with a wonderful gift for music. They're coming together and I can't wait to see what happens with them. I believe they're going to make an awesome impact on the world and I feel priveledged to see it up close.

As I sit, wafting in the faint scent of mhyrr, I smile. It's going to be a good day.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, August 18, 2006

Morning Poem

I haven't written a poem in a long time, so I thought I'd pen a small, quick one here this morning.

Nose tingling, heavy eyes
bent and aching back
Breath exhaling, beating heart
stiff and aching neck

Water heating, red light on
pot is warming up
beans brewing, wafting scent
hold onto my cup

Eyes opening, curt smile
smell of rich coffee
last yawning, rubbing eyes
flavor rescue me

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Round of Crits Today

It's Wednesday and as always, a new round of stories have been posted - which means I have a new round of crits to do. But, I have to wait a few more minutes before I start - because I haven't had my morning cup of Joe... yet.

I smell its rich, flavorful aroma as it wafts through the air. I hear the constant pop of percolation, beating like an African drum. My mouth is starting to water and my eyelids are starting to open. The dreams of the night are beginning to fade - my dashing hero returns to his secret hiding place just beyond the horizon, to wait patiently for the next adventure.

The sound of keys tapping on the keyboard, reports running on huge printers, the sound of the air conditioning vibrating the fluorescent light bulb fixtures fill my ears. The sound of footsteps and occasional 'hello's' pass by.

The world is in constant motion, moving forward, spinning around. It never stops and it's never completely silent. It has a beat - like that of the heart - constantly pounding and pumping. I breathe in and I breathe out. I'm a part of it, but I'm also something more. I open my eyes to the new day - not sure what it holds, but filled with hope knowing that I'm blessed and highly favored. I offer a thanks to my God in heaven, Creator of all things. "Good morning to you."

Now, to the coffee pot I go.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Year of the Unicorn - Update

I've written two more chapters on this second novel and am coming really close to the end of it. I have another chapter in queue this week and hopefully I'll be through with this novel, including crits and all, by the end of the year.

It's good sometimes to step back from a story for a while and then come back, refreshed with brighter ideas. I thought I'd be tired of this story by now, but find that I fall more in love with it everyday.

I feel like a proud parent. I suppose, in a way, these are my babies.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, August 07, 2006

Disturbing Dream

As I've mentioned before, I'm a dreamer. I probably have a dozen dreams a night. It's like I get to watch a plethora of movies every night while I sleep. While many are comical, some are a panacea.

This weekend I had a disturbing dream that left me so tired when I woke, I didn't want to stretch the muscles in my ankles, it hurt to raise my eyelids and I felt exhausted, hungry and weak. My head felt like an icy dagger had been rammed through it and my entrails pulled from my nose. I felt beaten and battered, yet I don't remember doing any fighting in my dream.

The dream: My seventeen-year old daughter had a small fender bender in the Wendy's parking lot. She wasn't hurt and there was no damage to her car or the other car, which seemed to pull out in front of her from nowhere. The police arrived and began taking notes of the accident when they cuffed and arrested my daughter. I tried to get to her before they whisked her away, but was too late.

I followed them to the police station and then demanded that someone tell me what happened and the location of my daughter. The police chief appeared through a double-paned window and he smiled at me. Behind him, I saw my daughter sitting in the interrogation room, afraid.

I argued with the police chief about releasing my daughter, but he laughed at me. This made me angry. I felt my heart pound in my chest, each thump sending a violent rush of blood to my head. I yelled through the window, "You have no right to keep her."

A sly grin formed on his face and he stepped through the door. I could see behind him a large opening filled with girls walking around in what looked like a stupor. They held no emotion on their faces and no life in their eyes. Around this square arena, a fenced walkway filled with girls being led down long corridors.

I saw my daughter pulled by this tall, lanky boy. She didn't hesitate and the fear she once held on her face, disappeared. The boy turned and grinned at me, taunting me as if to say, "Look who has her now."

I felt every muscle in my body tense and the hair on the back of my neck prickled as a rush of hot air blew around me. I followed the police chief to a small room at the end of the corridor. My daughter sat with this boy, who’s beady, onyx eyes narrowed at me. He tried to act tough, but I saw a glint of fear in his eyes. He grinned and then shouted, "She wants to be with me!"

I glared at him and said, "She’s already spoken for, you've no claim to her."

He stroked her hair as she gazed groggily into his eyes, "But, she wants to be with me and it's her choice."

I looked up to the chief who stood in the corner and shouted, "You only have the right to hold her for 36 hours. After that - you HAVE to let her go."

His face scrunched and he arched his eyebrows. "You need to calm down, Ma'am."

I balled my fists and through clenched teeth replied, "I will not calm down. You have taken what does not belong to you and I want her back! You have no idea who you’re messing with."

The police chief pulled out a syringe filled with a green-yellow liquid that seemed to almost glow. He snickered and said, "Ma'am, you need to calm down or else I'll have to take measures to calm you down. We cannot have irate, irrational parents losing their tempers in this facility. It is a danger to our health and yours as well."

I took a step toward him. "Are you threatening me?"

The chief took the cap off of the syringe and took a step back. "I'm warning you." He acted like he was going to take another step backward, but then leaped forward and jabbed the syringe into my hip.

I didn't feel the jab of the needle, but I felt a burning sensation begin to course through my veins. I felt the room around me spin and everything went silent, except for the sound a rustling wind. I stumbled back toward the wall and looked down at the spinning vision of my daughter, the boy who held her captive and the police chief. Their faces swam before me, contorting into melting images.

I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and breathed deeply and then slowly exhaled. When I opened my eyes, the room stood perfectly clear. The boy gasped and the chief stumbled back against the wall. I felt power course through my veins. It felt like warm, rushing water pumped through my body with every forceful heartbeat. I began speaking in tongues. At the sound of the angelic language, my daughter's head lifted up in acknowledgement and her eyes focused. She looked around and became afraid.

The boy jumped from his chair and hid beneath the desk, but the police chief narrowed his eyes and scowled, "You cannot take her. She must choose for herself."

I begin to rise in the air, feeling the wind whip around me, howling through the room as it rustled paper and pushed the chief against the wall. I looked up toward the ceiling and saw a white ball of power blow a hole through the roof, revealing the bright stars in the night sky. I looked down toward my daughter and stretched out my hand. "I can't make you come with me, you must choose for yourself. The only power they have over you is by what you give them. I can take you with me or you can stay in this bondage."

She looks around the room and hesitates. I felt myself being pulled upwards toward the opening in the ceiling, feeling my heart break with every inch I rose. Just as I was about to reach the ceiling, I felt a hand grab my foot. I looked down into the sorrowful eyes of my daughter. I reached down and grabbed her by the hand and we both flew out of the hole at the top of the roof.

The police chief screamed and swore; his voice bouncing off the walls of the tiny interrogation room until his curses were silenced as the hole sealed itself.

A few seconds later, our feet touched the ground and we took off running. We met up with the rest of my family, waiting in our mini-van. With my husband driving, we sped out of sight, leaving nothing but a trail of dust in our wake.

I woke up, tired, exhausted and drained of all energy, but that dream remained vivid in my mind. I've thought about that disturbing dream several times over the weekend. I know in my heart that it was much more than just a dream, but unfortunately, I do not have the gift to interpret dreams. However, that doesn't mean I won't.

Till next time, ~T.L. Gray

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Milledgeville Misfit - A Critic Coverted

It's official!

I'm really, really proud of Milledgeville Misfit. Not because 'I' think it's great, but because it excited someone (who no matter how hard I've tried to encourage to read, wouldn't) actually read it, liked it and is now demanding that I write a sequel (which at this time I don't even want to think about).

This, of course, is my eleven-year old daughter, Kelly. She took after father and has never been an advid reader. I've tried to get her to read everything. She made it only to the fourth chapter of Harry Potter before she laid it down. She actually made it through eleven chapters of my Necromancer series, Orientation - yet she hasn't touched The Year of the Unicorn. I've tried to get her to read Chronicles of Narnia, Keys to the Kingdom, Eragon, The Wizard of Earthsea and so on and so forth - but, she wasn't interested. She'd rather see the movie than read the book.

This behavior of not desiring to read is something that I personally cannot understand. I've been reading for as long as I can remember. My two oldest children are advid readers and started reading at an early age, but my baby... she doesn't like to read - yet. At least, she DIDN'T like to read until Milledgeville Misfit.

Whether anything ever comes of this story or not, it's already fulfilled the deepest desire of my heart - to inspire and introduce a child to the wonderful world of reading. To have someone open a book and step into a different world, take an adventure and in the end, desire for more. That's what it's all about. That's why I write. I'm just honored that it was my daughter that got inspired this time.

So, I thank God for Milledgeville Misfit. It was worth it!

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, July 28, 2006

New Web Site

I am in the process of creating a new website - an author's site at .
If you get time, go check it out, but remember it is still a work in progress - so excuse the mess.

I still have my Necromancer website at and this blog site (which won't change), but I wanted a place to showcase the different stories that I've written. I was inspired when I completed Milledgeville Misfit and had no where to showcase her.

I still have a few pages to add, like a bio page. What do I put in a bio page? How can I write novels, yet stumble over something as simple as listing my writing credits and personal information. Perhaps I'm like Junebug and prefer the impossible over the rational? I blame that on Jesus. He's the one who said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," and "Everything is possible for him who believes." However, Paul warns that while all things are possible, not all are beneficial.

I will keep those words in mind as I work on my new web page, go through the final edits on Milledgeville Misfit and then ship her off to my agent to shop to publishers. I still have several crits to do with my critique group and a party to attend this evening. So, looks like I'm in for a busy day... but all things are possible. LOL!

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

BTW - I watched Smallville and Supernatural last night. Man, do I miss those shows! Thanks to a good friend who keeps me updated, the new season should start in mid-September. I suppose I'll have to be content with Medium, The Dead Zone, Psych, Kyle XY and 4400 till then. (Does anyone see a patterened theme?) Does anyone know about the new show coming this fall called Heroes? It looks awesome! I watched Fallen last week and it was pretty good too.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Milledgeville Misfit - I'm Done!

I wrote the last chapter to Milledgeville Misfit yesterday and I cried, yet I was so excited.
It feels good to finish something, yet sad at the same time, because that adventure is over - or is it.

The way that I left the book open - there's room to write more stories in this adventure if I want. I think I'll leave it as is, go through one more round of edits and then send her off to my agent and see what happens.

Now I have to write the outline, synopsis and blurbs. I suppose I need to create my own website to showcase the many different stories that I have. I have a website designated specifically for the Necromancer series, but I suppose I need one for me, as an author.

Anyway, I'm happy to have completed another story. I don't think I'm going to write anything new until I complete The Year of the Unicorn. I'm currently at the half-way point with chapter fifteen.

Have a blessed and fruitful day.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, July 17, 2006

Supernatural - The Production

Things are moving along quite well with this production.

  • I've already selected the song titles, burned copies for the singers and musicians and ordered the sheet music.
  • I've made arrangements to have (10) ten swords made from a woodcarver. (They're going to be awesome!)
  • My list of props, cast and budget is filling up everyday. (I'm going to rummage through the props we currently have in storage to find what I can. What I need most is fog machines, black, strobe and spot lights.)

I'm excited about it and the people seem to be excited about it, too.

I had a dream about this production - and it was awesome! I was standing outside of the double doors that lead to the sanctuary. There was a golden sign above it that said, "Welcome to the Supernatural" and in front of them, with his head held high and his expression fixed, stood a georgous angel. His hair was spun gold, his eyes blazing fire. He had a gold band around his forehead and he held a golden sword by the hilt with his arms extended evenly across his chest. His lashes glittered in the light.

The angel stepped aside and let me pass. When he moved, the doors swung out and I stepped through them - into another world. It looked like the santuary I've worshipped in for the past ten years, but it was transformed. A dense, billowing fog hugged the ground. On the right side against the wall stood five angels, evenly spaced apart down the length of the room. Mirroring them stood five angels on the left side. Their white rainment illuminated, yet they stood perfectly still. I watched one closely to see if it breathed, but I saw no movement. His eyes glared straight ahead.

Beautiful music filled the room. It's golden musical notes, weaved in and out of the chairs, as if it floated with an invisible current. Hundreds of people stood with their hands raised and were praising God. However, they weren't alone. Also weaving in and out of the people crawled small demons and imps. Dressed in black, they had white words written across them like "hate, jealousy, lust, deception, religion, unbelief, anger, doubt, dispair, pride & oppression." The people didn't seem to notice their presence.

(Supernatural) I whipped my head around and stared at the angels, urging them to move to intercept those demons, but they remained perfectly still. I looked down from their eyes and noticed they all wore these white sashes that read, "love, relationship, belief, truth, self-control, peace, trust, hope, passion & faith."

One by one, as the people bowed in prayer, the angels moved and fought with the demons until the room cleared.

(Prodigal) Upon the stage staggered a man, withered and worn, crying. He's surrounded by demons, tormenting him. His robes are torn and he's covered in mud. He calls out to his father for forgiveness and drops to his knees. When his knees touch the ground, the statuesque angels instantly move and surround him, sending the demons fleeing into the shadows. The man is restored to his father and they walk off together.

(Susan Rager) Beautiful white-robed ladies fill the front of the sanctuary with colorful silk scarves. The angels turn their attention toward the movement and they begin to weep. When the dance is finished, they all have bent to one knee. There room is silent.

(Set Me Free) I looked upon the stage once more and saw a man full of demons. Chains bound his hands and feet and the demons yanked him down everytime he tried to pull away from them. He cries out into the night for help, but no one hears. Then in the back of the room enters a man with people surrounding him. The demons instantly scatter, shriek and scream. They try to pull the man away, but he notices how the man affects them, and cries out to the man, "Jesus, save me."

Jesus grabs his chains and lifts a key into the air. He asks the man, "Do you want to be free? Lift your chains, I hold the key. All power on heaven and earth belong to me." The demons that are attached to him by the chains desperately pull on them to get out of Jesus' way, but they cannot. The man clings to Christ and he opens the lock on the chains and sets him free. The demons scatter into the shadows. Christ turns toward the crowd and asks them the same thing. Several within the crowd lift their own set of chains and they break open. Jesus exits out the back, followed by the now freed man.

(Praise You in This Storm) Thunder roars, the room is shaken and peals of lightning crash to the ground and then silence, except the sound of a woman crying. Suddenly, we see a woman holding the body of her dead son, Jesus. She sings the song, "Praise You in This Storm", while images of Christ's life and crucifiction flash upon the screen. The angels kneel around the broken body of Christ. They lift him up and carry him out and the room fades to dark, except the illumated angels that remain. More thunder and lighting ensue. The demons begin cheering, but their cheers are silenced and they begin running for the exits. Standing upon the stage is radiant Christ - glowing in white rainment with a crown upon his head and a scepter in his hand. He takes a seat on his throne.

(Jean's song) The people worship him and sing praises to him. The angels bow down before him. The Pastor and his wife bow down before him, followed by the elders and deacons. The musicians offer their instruments. The saxophone player lays his instument before the Lord. He blesses it and the saxophone player picks up his gift and plays before the lord. He is followed by the guitarist, bassists, keyboardest, congo player and drummer (who lays his sticks before the Lord). Each play before him and then they play together. Then the singers (including Rebekah) gather around him and he blesses them and they each sing to the Lord. The the whole congregation bown down before him. They then lift up their heads and their hands and they sing praises to Him.


Pastor concludes the service and the people walk out the door, back into the natural realm. The angels follow some, but so do the demons.

So, as you can see - I'm excited and can't wait to see that dream made into a real production.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Superman - Human or Alien?

There is a debate going on throughout the Superman fan community resulting from the new movie's portrayal of the Man of Steel. Many, including myself, have expressed their disappointment with the effort to humanize Superman in the film, while other's protest that he's already human and his actions are not surprising.

I must disagree. Superman is not human. If he was human, he wouldn't be Superman. It's because he's not human, doesn't succumb to all of humanities weaknesses, but rises above them because of the confidence and knowledge of who he truly is - makes him super.

The word 'super' means - above, beyond, over, superior, exceeding the norm, exessive in degree or intensity. So, as a human I expect my 'alien' superhero with the name Superman to be above, beyond, over, superior and exceeding the norm of the wiles of humanity with an excessive degree of intensity. I don't expect him to be just like me, to think just like me, to act just like me or overcome - just like me. If that were the case, I wouldn't need a hero. Superman would just be a man flying around in his pajamas doing what everybody else could do if they truly wanted to.

This of course, is in the world of fantasy. In the world of reality there are many human superheroes that I run into or hear about on a daily basis. A soldier fighting on the battlefield, a mother thinking of the welfare of her child above her own selfish desires, a dad who walks with integrity and honor, a teacher who dedicates themselves to enriching someone else's lives with their widsom, a police office fighting to protect and serve and on and on and on.

What makes them a hero? They go above and beyond was was necessary and do what must be done for the benefit of someone else.

The greatest superhero of them all is Jesus Christ - who gave his life to save us all. He overcome all our weaknesses, endured our heartless, evil acts and still loved us in the face of our sin. He was 'super' in every sense of the word.

So, do I love superheroes, yes! Should they try to make Superman human - no!

This, of course, is just my own opinion. The funny thing about opinions is that everyone has them.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pirates Vs. Superman

Over the weekend I watched Pirates of the Caribbean and I loved it. I loved everything about it. It was funny, adventurous, wild and exciting. I saw my favorite characters from the first movie return and not once during the movie did I find myself bored, frustrated or confused.

This was not the experiance I had when I watched Superman the weekend before.

So, I've thought about what made the difference.

Pirates stayed true to its characters. It didn't try to change them to conform to the wiles of society. The pirates were pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow was Captain Jack Sparrow and the rest ended up as true pirates, especially Elizabeth Swan and the former Commodore. It was what truly lay in their hearts- and they gave into what that heart desired - to be a pirate (in every way). The movie was awesome!

Superman tried to change from what he truly was. It was his morals and virtue that made him super - to rise above the frivolty of the ever-changing humanity. The movie tried to make him just as human as you and me - which made him dim in his greatness. A constant in a world that's ever-changing is super - not changing with it.

While I loved both movies, Pirates won my heart. I'll probably see it a half-dozen times before it goes to DVD, which then I'll own.

I don't think I'm alone in my opinion - the box office sales seem to tell the same story.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray