What motivates a Villain?

As I put together ideas for my writing notebook, I find myself thinking about villains. In reality, their presence, their opposition to the hopes, dreams, and happiness of the main character in a story are an essential part of the plot as they provide the tension, the push and pull of the action. And if art imitates life, then I suppose we occasionally meet such scoundrels as we listen to the news or navigate the workplace or shopping mall. So I thought that it might be interesting to explore what motivates a villain to act in such diabolical ways. Insanity, psycho-crazy or just plain nuts – Whether caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain or acute mental illness, the senseless nature of

The Healing Power of Books

Books are magic. They inspire, entertain, enlighten, educate and ultimately, they heal. There is an undeniable power within the pages of a work of fiction, one that might not be instantly understood or easily explained, but happens with regularity, weaving a spell, restoring a shattered spirit or troubled mind. Lest you think I am being dramatic, I stumbled across a form of counseling known as Bibliotherapy. Simply defined, it uses books to help people sort through their problems and issues. And it is nothing new: King Ramses II had the inscription over his great library which referred to it as a “House of Healing for the Soul.” (They were smart, those Egyptians. We are still trying to figu

The Notebooks, With my Apologies to Nicholas Sparks

It was touted as the world’s largest yard sale, although I think that more than a slight exaggeration. But once a year, as soon as the dogwoods put on their spring show, vendors from around the Atlanta area began culling their wares from attics and basements. It was held at Stone Mountain Park, a massive multi-acre venue surrounding a granite carving of the most prominent “sons of the South,” and indeed, a Southern version of Mount Rushmore. For my family, it had become an annual pilgrimage, lured by the abundant sunshine and warm temperatures, which followed the cold winter months. The promise of some amazing find or prized treasure among the castoffs for sale was seductive, even to young b

Labor Pains and Fireworks

I gave birth yesterday. For all of my friends who are shaking their head in wonderment that I could achieve such a feat at my age, let me clarify. I launched my book, allowed my “baby” to leave the safe confines of my computer womb, and sent it out into the world. For better or worse, it is now in the hands of readers. And it is scary. Really scary. But it is also exciting. Really exciting. And I am incredibly nervous. If that doesn’t describe the range of emotions that accompanies being a new parent, I don’t know what might. At first, there was a lot of hoopla and well wishes from friends and family. I was congratulated on achieving a lofty personal goal by the Facebook crowd. I basked in t

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