Roots and Wings

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 42 Comments

I've been reading Roots, and as always, the book is better than the movie. But I knew that already. My dad told me the book was better, and my dad was always right. :)
Years ago, I watched the mini-series on television with him. I wasn't very old, according to IMDB, it was released in 1977, so I would have been 8. That seems awfully young to remember it so vividly, but I also remember I was young enough to still be a lap-sitter. Given that, 8-years-old sounds about right.
Imagine my youthful mind trying to understand the inhumanity of slavery.
I've always been a bit of a good guy/bad guy thinker, who had trouble swallowing the logic of the Trix commercial.
Do you remember that commercial? The rabbit wanted a bowl of cereal, but the kids refuse to share. He was a talking rabbit too. But these fatherless children of she-dog mothers always said, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids."
Poor rabbit, Trix are for a$$holes, evidently.
So, imagine my brain trying to grasp the idea of "owning" another human being.
I told my dad the slave holders had to be monsters.
My dad said, "No. They were humans like anyone else."
That revelation has stuck with me for a lifetime.

People are just people. Bad people do good things and good people do bad things.
All it takes to commit evil is a believable justification.
And we are all susceptible to it. As soon as you think you are above it, you are at risk of trading principles for expediency.

Speaking of roots... 
My husband and I raised our kids with the philosophy of roots and wings. You know, give them the strong roots of a stable home and encourage them to try their wings in the world.

My kids appear to be listening. Caleb called yesterday to tell me he's going to spend some time in Japan with friends before his spring classes start in Beijing. And Cole took his GRE over the weekend, so he can start applying to graduate schools across the country.
I'm going to have to start saving money for air travel!

Maybe I should have encouraged them to stay close to home...



Need a few more good things?

Coming Soon!! 
Melissa Maygrove has been working her booty
off to make this anthology happen. This is the teaser she made for my story, Shifting Sands- a prequel to my Coulter Men Series of books.

Pre-order Now. Available Oct. 30

And don't miss this! Dancing Lemur has all of their audio books buy one get one free. 

Recommended Halloween Reads: 

Since I won’t post again until November 1, I’m sharing some good Halloween reads from my publisher.
Some are spooky, some are creepy, and some just full of tension: 

Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain
Matowak: Woman Who Cries – Joylene Nowell Butler
Maski: Broken but not Dead– Joylene Nowell Butler 
Parallels: Felix Was Here – IWSG Anthology
Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life – IWSG Anthology





That's my small things check-in. Thanks to our hosts LexaL  .G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly reminder to look for the good things in life! What good things are new with you? 

JenBrittney, and Misha
Time to do my monthly goal check in. It's been so long since I checked my goals, I'm not sure what they were. That's not a good thing. So, here are my goals for the last few months of this year. I want to finish my current manuscript and polish up an unpublished manuscript to use as a serial in my newsletter. 

42 comments:

  1. I was a little older when the mini-series with Levar Burton came out, but I do remember its impact.
    You've raised your boys right.
    Awesome about Full Dark and the scary good reads!

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    1. I didn't realize there were so many different remakes. I'll have to check them out.

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  2. What a lovely post Elizabeth. I wish your children well in all their brilliant endeavors. Travel is always a good thing. I kind of think my littlest one will be a traveler too. Happy Weekend. I love your goals. I'm aiming for the same thing too :)

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    1. Let's hope we're super productive between now and the end of the year!

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  3. maybe ya should have encouraged shorter wings. If they could just stay two forever

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  4. Wow, your kids are really getting out there in the world. You did the right thing!

    man, I'd love to spend "some time" in Japan, not the 5 measly days I had there around 13 yrs ago :P

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    1. I've never been there. I hear it can be pricey. Hopefully, he's saving his pennies!

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  5. Ah, I feel your mommy pain. The hardest thing I've ever done as a parent was dropping my oldest daughter off at a different state college - a 10 hour drive (if I didn't need to stop every two hours so it's more like 12) with four snowy mountain passes in between us (so, airplane fare is a necessity when winter hits). However, I love that she has wings ... even if she is threatening to study abroad next year.
    I understand about the goals. Mine were tossed into the air and whooshed about by fall winds. Maybe next month will work out a bit better.

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    1. All I can say is thank God for technology. Even overseas, we can still talk, text, and face time.

      Life gets busy sometimes. We just have to wait for the slow downs and do our best to catch up.

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  6. Hopefully you squirreled lots of money away for air travel lol very true, many are one experience or justification away from many things.

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    1. It's amazing what awful things humans can do to each other just by giving themselves a believable excuse.

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  7. I remember watching Roots too. I think we watched the whole series. It was good, but I've never read the book so I can't compare the two. Happy Halloween!

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    1. Truth be told, I was nearly thirty before I even knew it was a book first. That's pretty sad.

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  8. I suppose I ought to give the Roots remake a chance, and think of it as another interpretation of the book. yes, that's what I ought to do. :-)

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    1. I'll have to check out the remakes. I need to rewatch the original too.

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  9. I never saw Roots, I am pretty sure it was shown in England though. I usually find I prefer the book to the movie. I know you raised your kids well. Great boys.

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    1. The books can give you so much more insight and information. I can't really think of any cases where the movie was better than the book.

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  10. I remember we had the big blizzard of '77 here in Buffalo when Roots was playing. I didn't read the book, but shed tears watching the series.

    Happy Halloween.

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    1. The book is amazing. The imagery makes me jealous as a writer.

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  11. I loved the original "Roots" series on TV so much, I was leery of watching the remake when it came out. Even so, we watched part of the first episode before giving up on it. The original actors were so perfect in their roles, I wasn't ready to accept anyone else playing those characters. And I, um, was a teensy bit older than you when we watched the original series. I was pregnant with our third child at the time... :)

    You've done a beautiful job raising your kids. The roots-wings method sounds absolutely perfect to me. Unfortunately, two of our younguns flew away and built their nests in other states. :(

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    1. I'd never guessed you were old enough to have been a mom when it came out. You sound so in your 40s in email. :)

      I'll get lucky if mine stay within the US borders. Or maybe they will all settle somewhere together and I'll relocate with them.

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  12. I never watched roots. I hate the idea of slavery and I can't stand how cruel we as humans can be. What is even sicker, is that slavery still exists today in child labor and human trafficking. It just makes me depressed thinking of it.

    You raised your kids well. No matter what, I'm sure they will always come to see their mom. Just think of all the fun traveling you will get to do to see your kids. All the great experiences.

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    1. You're totally right. It is a problem we still have. I think we need to learn from the past, but look to the future and how we can make it better. We can't change what harm has already been done, but we can raise the bar on behavior in the future.

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  13. I don't remember watching that one, but I do remember watching Shogun and possibly The Thorn Birds.

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    1. I watched those too!! Have you read Thorn Birds? One of my favorite books ever.

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  14. Sounds like a great parenting philosophy. We don't want our kids to go too far away, but at the same time, I'd definitely encourage them to see the world. Fellow anthology author here - stoked for it!

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    1. I think right here is a great home base. LOL. Hopefully, they settle within the continental US...I can bug them there.

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  15. So THAT's where my booty went. LOL
    Thanks for the shout-out, Elizabeth. :)

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    1. I NEVER lose my booty. No matter how hard I work, it's always right there behind me.

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  16. Thanks for the links to all these great books. Sounds intriguing!

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  17. I pretty definitively remember when I first realized how people actually worked. It was when my parents divorced (violently) and separated to either end of the country. I couldn't wrap my head around the hows and whys and it was actually my mother who ended up having a very long, very indepth explanation that 'parents are people'. That single trigger made me realize not only the fallacy of my parents, but that all people kind of fall into this line of 'making it up as we go along'. That single lesson has inspired a lot of hope and fear for our species as the years roll on and has had a huge dent in my writing as well.

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    1. That was the harder way to learn the lesson. But accepting our humanity is also a great way to keep our darker sides in check. I often have to do gut checks and check out my motive. I never want to be that person who exploits another or ignores wrong-doing for personal gain. That's a slippery slope.

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  18. So true. Even the holocaust didn't start with monsters. It mostly started with average people who thought they were justified in their evil.

    Best of luck with your goals! I'm not sure if you missed my last letter about the Goals Bloghop, but I've changed the system because the linky lists all failed. *Facepalm*

    Anyhow, could you please share your link in the comments on gotgoalsbloghop.com? That way, we know you're posting and can stop by. :-) (No worries about this month, though. I left the comment for you.)

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    1. You're absolutely right. The Holocaust mini series was also a show I remember well. I knew a lady whose parents were in the Nazis party and she was a Nazis youth. They are not evil people- they just got caught up in it. The German people were suffering and when people are living in absolute fear for their well-being, it's easier to sell a philosophy that would never be considered in normal circumstances.

      I will most certainly go add my link. I got the letter and totally forgot. I'm good like that.

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  19. Meanwhile, I'm only about 15 minutes away from my parents. My wings are pretty stumpy.

    And yeah, it's a horrifying thought when we realize that there are no real monsters. The evil people of the world, they're just people, and often, deep down, they actually think they're doing the right thing. Somehow that's scarier to me.

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    1. You said it perfectly. And yeah, that's real scary.

      I lived within fifteen minutes of my parents most of my life too. Now that they are both gone, I realize what a gift that time with them was...so don't be hating on stumpy wings.

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  20. I remember watching Roots, and I remember crying for many of the characters. A lot.

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  21. The book is ALWAYS better. Or so I think.
    Love the way you raised your children.
    And hooray for Full Dark.

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  22. I'm holding onto your dad's words, and yours ("They're humans like the rest of us," and "trading principles for expediency.") Wise words. The apple doesn't fall far.

    Thanks for the dose of heart-wisdom.
    Be well, my friend.

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