Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's your center?

Tomorrow I'll be giving away two recent books as part of the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop - What's Left of Me, by Kat Zhang and Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff.

But let me stress, I'm not giving them away as a result of spring cleaning my bookshelves. I'm giving them away because these are darn good books and I want them to find more readers that will love them!

But today, please forgive me, but I have to gush about Rise of the Guardians. My girls and I just watched this movie, so it's fresh on my mind (and I'm for sure going to be reading the books in this series too).

I realize it's not everybody's cup of tea, because maybe you don't like your ideas of Santa and other magical childhood traditions getting messed with. And when "Santa" is a tall Russian guy with tattoos and Yetis for helpers instead of elves, that might be pushing it too far - but not for me. (I love sighting mythical creatures in new settings!)

In one scene, Nicolas St. North (aka Santa), asks Jack Frost what his "center" is, as Jack's not sure why he's been picked to be a Guardian. North shows Jack his set of Russian nesting dolls, each doll revealing some aspect of his character.

The smallest doll has big eyes, and North says:

Yes! Big eyes, very big, because they are full of wonder. That is my center. It is what I was born with, eyes that have only seen the wonder in everything! Eyes that see lights in the trees and magic in the air. This wonder is what I put into the world, and what I protect in children. It is what makes me a guardian. It is my center, what is yours?

I love that: "this wonder is what I put into the world, and what I protect in children" - and adults too, please! I love how some books and movies can ignite that old sense of wonder again. (As an aside, when I wrote a review for the Blue Sword, one of my all time favorite books, I went off on a riff about wonder). I'm a bit of a wonder junkie, but then again there's also this side of me (or one of my nesting dolls) that loves to have a story challenge my thinking, force me to look places maybe I don't want to look, sort of like another movie I watched recently, Flight.

I could go on and on about centers and layers and so forth, but whew it's after midnight. Real quick, I'll share that love is what I want my center to be (though I have a lot of days where frustration seems closer to the mark).

What's your center, or some of your nesting dolls?


  1. Hi, Margo! I've started my spring cleaning, but finding it hard to part with any of my books right now. Once I have the rest of the house in order, then I think it will be easier to tackle the book piles. : )

  2. I haven't seen that movie but I love the idea behind it! I think my center would be similar to Santa's - small and wonder-filled eyes. Maybe a smile too, because I try to be optimistic at my core! Sometimes all the other layers cover it up though :)

  3. I've been saving that movie for this weekend. I'm excite to see it. I think my center is gratitude. :)

  4. The depiction of Santa sounds GREAT!

  5. Beautiful post! My kids have watched Guardians over and over again since it has come out. My center is love and learning and creating. Those are always the top things in any personality test I take. I love to love others, I love to create things that weren't there before, and I love to gain knowledge.

    Have a lovely day! <3

  6. I haven't seen Guardians but am thinking I should. I'd have to say family, evolving, and creating are my center.

  7. I loved this movie, too! We saw it on New Year's Eve. It took a little getting used to how they messed with traditions, but it worked. The movie left me with a sense of wonder and I loved how they came back to Jack's center, and it was something unexpected for a center, but not unexpected when connected to the Jack we discover in the movie.

    I don't know my center, but it's probably connected to why I write and why I teach.

  8. This is a wonderful movie, and you will love the books if you liked the movie this much. The characters are a little different in them, but both are brilliant. I love how Joyce re-tells the stories we thought we knew so well. It is more magical when he does it, and I loved his version on the North Pole. And North as a wizard.



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