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My next big thing (and Gwen Perkins’)

Comic Book Heroes LogoNovelist Gwen Perkins got tagged for the Next Big Thing. (Her next big thing is her new novel The Jealousy Glass coming December 1. Order your copy on Amazon.) She asked others to share about their work in progress. Mine is my screenplay. So, here are her questions about my next big thing (which I adapted so they apply to a script).

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Why gratitude is magic

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States, or as some would like to call it, Black Friday Eve. (Although an increasing number of stores don’t even wait until Thanksgiving is over.)  I’ve written about the importance of Thanksgiving and gratitude before, but what if I’m wrong? What if gratitude is some wimpy rainbows-and-unicorns sentiment that is out of touch with the harshness and competitiveness of today’s world? Or are rainbows and unicorns what we need today? I believe so, and here’s why gratitude is magic.

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How to be smarter

I was named “brainiest” in high school. I don’t know whether it was because I had great grades or awesome 1970s mutton chops. Today, I find that intelligence isn’t as easy to define. There are people who are very smart about the technical details of their jobs but very stupid about personal matters. (The former director of the CIA comes to mind.) And there are people who seem to be short on formal education but make very smart decisions about how to run their lives. What does it really mean to be smart and how can you be smarter?

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What if you couldn’t vote?

A recent Gallup poll estimates that voter turnout will be down for Tuesday’s US elections. But voter turnout hasn’t topped 60% for a presidential election since Nixon and Humphrey went at it in 1968. We Americans do take voting for granted. We consider it as pleasant a duty as serving on a jury or getting an oil change.

But what if we couldn’t vote? Many people around the world can’t. What if our right to vote was taken away?

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Horror movies: Fantasy lessons for the real world

I avoid horror movies for the same reason I avoid roller coasters. There are enough things to be frightened of in the real world that I have no desire to scare myself more than is necessary. But this is Halloween, the time when we Americans recognize our mortality, or at least our desire for “fun-size” candies and “sexy” costumes. So, we like to celebrate by watching horror movies. (Well, others besides me.)

I do like some horror movies. Those movies do more than freak or gross me out. They actually say something valuable and have moral lessons. Some are deeply touching. Here are my favorite horror movies and why horror movies have value in the modern world.

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