Carry On…

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In one week, a mere seven days after today, Supernatural begins with the first of seven final episodes in the show’s fifteen season series. It’s been a long road, and for the fans, there isn’t really an end. Some of us have grown up along the way, and watched as the actors got married, had children, and shared with us their other projects. Some of us found our voices, discovered new skills, met and overcame challenges and just enjoyed the stories. I am finding the ending of Supernatural a bittersweet time.

Supernatural came into my life about mid-way through its historic run although of course, I couldn’t have known that at the time. It was a dark time for me and the show filled a void, where I could watch it without having to think about the mental health issues that were nearly drowning me. As medication began and adjusted, as therapy began, as my faith took an unexpected turn, Supernatural was the light at the end of the tunnel that gently led me home. I can still feel a calm, soothing consciousness when I put on the reruns, either in syndication or on Netflix and let it play as the background music of my day whatever it is I’m doing at that moment.

I am glad that we will get an ending that is well thought out and does justice to the entirety of the series. Seeing old faces throughout season 15 has been a walk down memory lane, and I’ve enjoyed reliving some of their best moments despite the constant death of characters. Although to be fair to Supernatural, dead doesn’t always mean dead. Only time will tell.

One of the most valued things to come out of the series is the SPNFAM. A lot of that is through Misha Collins’ scavenger hunt, GISH and contributing to his charity, Random Acts. It has allowed us to become more politically aware and civic minded, especially here in the US. There is also the Stands shop where we can wear our fandom through merch while also supporting a variety of causes and charities that the actors find important. It has expanded my knowledge base of causes that I woudn’t necessarily have heard about otherwise. (I’ve shared some before, and I will share them again before the last episode airs.)

I’ve written love letters to Supernatural before and published them here and elsewhere; it has held me together when I was falling apart, and it brought me closer to people I wouldn’t ordinarily know across the country and the globe. It’s encouraged my writing, both in fan fiction and in exegesis as well as supporting my love of pop culture and puns, which Supernatural is full of. Plus there are the inside jokes, and online, there is a Supernatural gif for everything.

Supernatural is magical.

It will remain a special place in my heart forever.

While the series will end and there will be no new episodes to share and enjoy, we can still follow the actors we’ve grown to love on their various social medias, their future work and businesses, and through the fandom and fan-family.

Netflix

The CW

Supernatural Wiki

Reading is….

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Reading is fundamental. When I was growing up in the 70s this was more than a sentiment, it was a movement with suggestions and ideas and a non-profit. After food and a warm place to sleep this was what babies enjoyed most: the soothing sounds of their parents’ voices reading them stories. Our entire lives are made up of stories from fairy tales to our own origin stories. From princesses to cowboys, planes to trains and everything in between we have our stories.

The very first class I took for my Master’s degree was Children’s Literature. Not only seeing what was out there, but how to use it in the classroom. This was coupled with a new concept in the 80s which I adopted for the rest of my life: whole language. Whole language was the teaching of reading through actual reading rather than a focus on phonics. Phonics have their place for some learners, but what better way than using context and the whole language to learn how to read. From the moment I heard it, it made sense and it has never left me.

Three of the other things that I learned in reading classes for my teaching degree:

  1. Children’s literature encompasses much more than See Dick Run.
  2. Children’s brains and eyes are not ready to read proficiently on their own until they are seven years old, so stop forcing kindergarteners to pick up books and read them to you. Age-appropriate always.
  3. If you can read, you can do anything.

I can remember getting lost in the worlds of Winnie-the-Pooh and Cranberry Thanksgiving, one of my favorite books as a child. It is probably one of the main reasons I love Thanksgiving and it is my favorite holiday. I still have it somewhere. I put myself on the subway with Sarah and John in The Magic Tunnel, a book which still sits on my bookshelf. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were also favorites of mine. For my son it’s the Wimpy Kid books and the Zombie Chasers. For my daughter it’s Monsters High.

Whatever the favorites are, the reading is pure joy.

Here are a few of my favorites from these genres:

Sci-fi/Fantasy

Sci-fi/Fantasy is wonderful because it can be set anywhere from back in time and time travel to the future and spaceships. You can be in outer space on another planet or on a spaceship traveling the stars. You can be with the dinosaurs while also using ray guns and modern to us equipment or you can be in a magic land of Harry Potter-esque wizardry or Hunger Games dystopia. You can play what if Lincoln had lived or what if Jefferson hadn’t written the Declaration of Independence. The possibilities are endless.

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. You can also find Adams’ perfect cup of tea
  2. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  3. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. Bellwether by Connie Willis (and most of her books. After this I read To Say Nothing of the Dog.)
  5. Neil Gaiman
  6. Stephen Donaldson

Biography/Autobiography/Memoir

I’ve been on a biography/memoir kick lately. My top five of recent reads are:

  1. Life’s That Way by Jim Beaver
  2. I Am What I Am by John Barrowman with Carole Barrowman (memoir)
  3. http://nphbook.com/Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
  4. My Beloved by Sonia Sotomayor
  5. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden

Religious and Spiritual

This is a genre that I have found more recently. As a child attending Workman Circle Schools I knew all of the Bible stories and loved to read and re-read from our set of four Jewish History books, three of which I still have. It was a wonderful time in my life and fostered and encouraged both a love of my religion and of history.

More recently as I have journeyed on my conversion to Catholicism, I have read numerous books and booklets, periodicals and devotionals, some better than others, some outstanding. Here are my top four:

  1. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
  2. Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ (I also highly recommend this e-book retreat, Together on Retreat (Enhanced Edition): Meeting Jesus in Prayer.)
  3. Under the Tamarind Tree: A Secret Journey into Our Souls: Inspirational Quotes About Life, A reminder of the Inner Magic by John Harricharan
  4. The Little Books Series. I’ve read The Little White Book for Easter, The Little Blue Book for Advent and I am currently reading The Little Black Book for Lent.

A few others to enjoy:

  1. A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage (history)
  2. On Writing by Stephen King (writing)
  3. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawning of a New America by Gilbert King (history, won the Pulitzer)
  4. A Writer’s House in Wales by Jan Morris (travel, Wales)
  5. The Truth and Legend of Lily Martindale by Mary Sanders Shartle (historical fiction, North Country, NY)
  6. Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich (memoir)
  7. How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman (history)
  8. Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering by Meredith Baxter
  9. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned by Michael J. Foxhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_J._Fox.

Also, Lucky Man, also by Michael J. Fox

  1. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman (history)