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An Amusement Park for the 40+-year-old Set

So, we recently took our son to an amusement park. He loved it. I loved that he loved it.

But, did I love it?

No.

Parking so far away from the entrance wasn’t fun. (And I am not lazy either; I’m a runner and a hiker). I simply found myself feeling demoralized as I walked through the large, hot, asphalt-floored maze of cars that would lead me to the entrance of the park. (And I wasn’t the only one. No parent looked happy, trudging through that parking lot).

Dear. God. The lines were so long. The refreshments were so expensive. The rides were rough!

My motion sickness made it to where I had to sit out a couple of rides. Also, I could not stand to watch my baby (okay, not a baby anymore, but my baby) boy get on rides that could possibly kill him. So, I left that for my husband while I stayed on the ground and looked at other things.

But, I did enjoy aspects of it. The music was nice. The benches were good. It made me wonder, what would a perfect 40+-year-old amusement park be comprised of?

This is what I came up with: A tree-canopied field featuring checkered sheets on it. Picnic baskets full of food, and wine. Live bands playing music of all eras. Valet parking. All-inclusive pricing. Paddle boats. Perhaps a few walk-in only salons, so you could get your hair and/or nails done. If you want the “thrill ride” experience, you could go to a mingle section where you would meet new people with similar interests as you.

You know what this is sounding more and more like? The Villages over in Florida.

But you know what? It sounds like those folks have a lot of fun. Might have to keep that in mind!

 

 

 

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Marrying Into a Family

Because that’s what truly happens when you marry someone – you marry into their family. If you are lucky, you get a great mother-in-law out of the deal. Or a good father-in-law.

And…depending on what you consider lucky or unlucky, you marry a guy whose father is ultra-religious, drinks a good bit, and forces everyone in his family to help him build a big boat.

I wonder how other families perceived Noah and his family. Was it positively? He had three sons. Families with many daughters might have looked into unloading a daughter onto Noah and his kin.

So, maybe a girl who had to do too much at home would have looked at her new potential family with some hope in her eyes. Maybe Noah’s sons were quite handsome. Maybe, a girl could do worse.

So, she marries. Has a lovely time with Ham in their marital chambers. But then, Noah puts out an edict. Everyone is to help build this boat, and no one is told why. The new wife still spends time with Ham, but it is spent building. She spends very little time alone with him. It is saddening, but at the same time okay, as she is so tired after working that she can barely tell that.

Then…she is told. About the rains. The flooding. And about all who will perish in it. Can you imagine her heartbreak? Can you imagine the tears and arguments shared between her and Ham? Would Ham have to get heavy-handed with her? Maybe.

So, she says goodbye to her parents, siblings, and their children. She helps get the animals – scary animals – on board the huge boat and then gets on board it herself.

Then, the rains start.

The flooding begins.

She then hears the people gathered outside the boat, begging to be let in. Does she hear the voices of her parents? Does she hear the voices of her siblings? Does she hear the cries of children and babies, all while cradling her abdomen and the growing babe that Ham put in there?

Then, the cries stop. Probably more scary sounding then when the cries were their loudest.

All she has to do now is cook and help tend to the animals. She has to walk the dark floors of that scary boat all by herself. Does she scream when she hears a lion roar? Does she wet herself when a snake gets loose and hisses at her?

She gives birth to her and Ham’s first child. She isn’t too lonely, though, as she has three sisters-in-law who are as shell-shocked as she is.

One year later, the boat touches land. She wonders where everyone else is. Her father-in-law tells her that there is no one else. She then learns that her and Ham’s children (she is with child again) will repopulate the earth with their cousins.

It is daunting. This work before her will take a while, but she has a lot more living to do.

*****

So, where did the inspiration for this come from, you might be wondering. Well, we are Catholic here. The devout type. Masses, rosaries and holy days of obligation are things of paramount importance in this household.

But you know what else is? A good story.

Yesterday, my little family went to Kennywood (a Pittsburgh-area amusement park) for fun. And it was. But what surprised me was how PETRIFYING the Noah’s Ark “ride” was. Apparently, it used to be a fun house. It was rehabbed, though, and made less scary. Still, the dark passageways, the rocking and swaying (even for this former sailor) are daunting. The life-like statues of Noah and his wife Naamah are particularly petrifying. I don’t know if that was the plan, but if you think about it, it fits. Noah was doing God’s work, but the job was a hard one. Naamah was probably just as scared as anyone else on that ark.

But…Naamah had three adult children with Noah. She’d been married to him for quite a while before the building of the Ark. So, she had time to get used to her husband’s devotion. Who knows? Maybe her devotion matched his own.

That leaves me wondering about Noah’s daughters-in-law. They kept their lives, but loss so much. Definitely something to mull over.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

 

Blog, My Books

Marta Cleans Up Update: Queries

As of today (and beginning on July 2nd of this year), I’ve sent 71 queries on Marta Cleans Up. So far, I’ve received 14 rejections. No telling how many agents will not like and not reply to my query. So far, I’ve received one “Tell Me More.” I’m not pushing that agent. I hope she likes the first 50 pages I sent her. I hope she wants more. We’ll see what happens after that.

The truth is that I am getting better at receiving rejections. Sure, they are not fun. Still, when you send so many queries out, the rejections lose their sting. Which is a good thing.

I’ll keep working the queries until I get to a certain number. I have an idea or two as to what the next move will be. I’ll keep you all posted!

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

 

And now…an unrelated picture of Bueller the cat:

Articles, Blog

Swim Call

See the woman wearing the orange tank top? The one with her arm in the air? That was me. About eighteen years ago. My ship had sailed to the Mariana Trench (deepest waters on planet Earth) and held a swim call. I wasn’t the strongest swimmer back then. Still, it was a blast. I remember how salty the water was. I remember floating. I remember swimming with Molly and Chris. I remember climbing the cargo net to get back onto the ship.

It was a great time.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Articles, Blog

What to Watch – Silver Bullet

Yes! OF COURSE I am still a massive fan of werewolves – in books and on film. During the night of a full moon? Not so much. (Also, know that I have a lot of silver in my home).

If you want me to get into it again, I can. Werewolves are a beast that I can empathize with. If lore and canon are to be believed, they typically have no control over what happens to them.

Alright. On to Silver Bullet. Stephen King wrote a novelette (fiction tale between 7,500 to 17,000 words) called Cycle of the Werewolf.  I have not read this book.

But I did watch Silver Bullet many years ago, when it had made its debut (1985).

Now typically, I am not a fan of Stephen King adaptations to the screen (with the exception of The Shining – thank you, Stanley Kubrick). Stephen King books are common in three regards: they are engrossing, petrifying, and familiar. That familiarity – the motif that are the Maine settings or the underdog saving the day – feels like a hug. On screen, however, that familiarity can come off as campy.

Not so with Silver Bullet.

 

The late Corey Haim is a big reason why this story translates so well to screen. Seeing Corey’s face on film is akin to visiting a childhood friend. He was cute, he was smart, and he was funny. Also, he was a great actor. Terry O’Quinn is also convincing in his role as the sheriff. Megan Follows – as the narrator and older sister to the hero of the tale – is a comfort to see, too. Gary Busey is there, too, as the fun, alcoholic, yet wonderful uncle.

Pretty early in the movie, you see who is revealed to be the bad guy. Getting from that point to the final showdown is still exciting, though.

Silver Bullet is not a kid’s movie. Also, it features a lot of profanity. However, it sticks to werewolf lore. The camaraderie of the townspeople (most of them) will warm your heart while the scary parts and gore will frighten the junk out of you.

It’s free on Hulu+, if you have it. You’ll have to pay a handful of bucks to watch it on Amazon.

Still, it is worth watching. Enjoy!

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Articles, Blog

Twilight Movie Review: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

 

Action, action, and more action are (is?) what happens in this final installment of the Twilight Series. It picks up exactly where part one leaves off. Bella is a vampire. Bella is a wife. Bella is a mommy. Bella…is a fighter in training.

Storylines get wrapped up here. I’m not a fan of the Renesmee/Jacob plot. At all. She should have gotten to be Edward and Bella’s kid, finding her own way before she gets signed up to be someone’s partner. But, I think that Meyer had to set up someone as Jacob’s partner as well as an anchor tying the werewolves to the vampires.

But still….ew.

Watch it to finish the series. Mourn what you didn’t like. Relive what you loved of the series. And again – be engrossed. Let this series set you up for other books you might read. They should be demanding of your time. They should be worthy of your time.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Articles, Blog

Twilight Movie Review: Breaking Dawn: Part 1

 

This installment feels like a reward for what came before. The wedding! So gorgeous! Promises kept! Excitement! Action! Love! Consummation! I truly feel that Robert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart’s then real-life romance leeched into their acting here, because it is all so believable.

Breaking Dawn 1 is a showing of what Bella’s real life should be. Until a surprise rocks EVERYONE. Watch it and have fun!