Book Plug Alert: Last night I watched one of my longtime favorite movies: Pathfinder, staring Karl Urban. It’s the story of a Viking boy, later named Ghost, who’s abandoned in the new world by pillaging marauders, and adopted by a family of kindly native American locals.
He grows up with one foot in each world but never really at home in either.
Later, when the Vikings–also known as the Dragon people–reinvade, he must face his worst fears…
In one scene, he shows some of the other braves, who are preparing for battle, how wood weapons have no chance in hell against steel broadswords.
To my mind, this was scriptwriting genius. One way to suspend disbelief is to bring in the undeniable.
First of Two Bestselling Books
Which brings me to the first of my two book recommendations:
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond
Photo courtesy of McGill University blog.
This Pulitzer Prize winner is one every lover of history needs to read. I first learned about this in an online discussion on a Sci-Fi writers forum.
We cannot change the sad events of early American history but we can put them within the context of science and technology.
There were a couple of scenes where the dragon people, as scary as the orcs in Lord of the Rings, would have been toast if one just had a little gunpowder or a molatov cocktail. The good guys did employ guerilla techniques, that was good. But one cannot deny this….
Superior technology has it’s place, especially when fighting off invaders.
Back to Pathfinder and Second of Two Bestselling Books
In another scene, Ghost plunges through ice into a freezing cold lake and after a short discussion with the “ghost” of his girlfriend’s father and a desperate attempt to break back through the ice for oxygen, he’s rescued by his girlfriend and a Vikings who just happen to be nearby.
Now, still wet from his arctic like plunge, he has to get up and slog through a blizzard and mountain pass at the bidding of aforesaid Viking killers. Shew!! This guy is tough.
Which brings me to Joe De Sena’s book:
Photo courtesy of Amazon
De Sena hooks you into the narrative with a true life account of his experience in the Utatek endurance race.
He, three other team members, and an undetermined list of other competitors trek across 350 arctic miles in winter–part of it soaking wet–in a grueling winter race basically on foot.
Point by point, he pulls you in and teaches you that your expectations have everything to do with your outcomes.
That is why Pathfinder can survive the near freezing temperatures of that mountain pass.
It’s been done–Joe’s done it.
I am totally NOT advocating ultra marathons in winter. I’d be a hypocrite. I’m way too lazy to do it myself, I wouldn’t dare recommend it for you.
But what I do recommend is reading, and lots of it. Reading breaks through your mental ruts and limitations, and primes you to find new approaches and possibilities.
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Gracias!Blogging, Pathfinders, and 2 Bestselling Books by Rita Mailheau