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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Reluctant Hero



Before Christmas, I fell for the worst ploy. Sign up for a free month of Amazon Prime and enjoy all the benefits—free two day shipping (I really needed that for gifts), unlimited free movies and TV shows (sounded good), over 500,000 free books (even better), 20% off diapers (didn’t need that). If you like Prime, do nothing and we’ll bill your account. If you don’t, cancel before the end of the trial period. Ri-i-ight. Did I remember to cancel? Of course, not. So there I was with something I really didn’t need and had already paid for.


Flash forward to this summer. Hubs discovered Falling Skies. I remember watching the first episode when it began four years ago. Slow, boring. Still, when you have 800 channels and nothing’s on . . . Suffice it to say, we watched the show. I have to say it wasn’t boring. However, this was worse than coming into a play after the second act. Who were these people? Everybody hated Karen. She seemed okay to me. Then the season ended—on a cliff-hanger, of course. The new season hadn’t started for our favorites. Desperation again.
So how are the two paragraphs above connected? Remember the unlimited free movies and TV shows? Ah, hah! We figured out how to get them on our television. We could watch all the previous episodes of Falling Skies. Again, when there’s nothing on besides endless reruns . . .

So here’s where the title of this post comes in. I’ve never thought of Noah Wyle as a hero. He looks too . . . cute. After watching Falling Skies, I finally got it. In the show, Earth has been invaded by aliens with a conquer-and-kill-the-natives mentality. The natives didn’t think too highly of that scenario so after being stunned by the brutal deaths of family and friends, they decide to fight back.

Before the attack, Noah Wyle’s character, Tom Mason, was a history professor. Sure he knew all about revolutions. In books. What did he know about actual fighting? That’s what our military is for. But who were the first casualties of this war? The military, with a few exceptions. So who’s left? Regular people like you and me. People who escaped and hid from the invaders. People who lost family, friends, their homes. People who were scared to death. Ordinary people looking for somebody to tell them what to do.

Their military leader is more concerned about fighting than protecting the civilians. A reluctant Tom Mason steps forward. What good will it do to fight the invaders if there’s no one left to begin again? Tom’s not a natural leader. He’s more concerned about the safety of his three sons. Slowly we watch him become stronger, more confident. He’s not just a hero, he’s Every Man.

When all is lost, we either give up or fight back. Who among us wouldn’t fight to save our children? I’ve never handled a real gun. At a demonstration, I fired an AK-47 fitted with a laser instead of bullets and shot at a screen. Didn’t hit a darn thing. But that wasn’t real. Could I shoot to kill a living thing? If it threatened my family, I not only could but would, for sure. (Did you just hear the Mama Bear in me come out?)

I now see the appeal of Falling Skies. Tom Mason could be you or me. Someone with the courage to fight, to lead. Someone to protect the children. Someone to fight for the future.

I don’t usually have reluctant heroes or heroines in my stories. But in Switched Resolution, a secondary character becomes one. Shy, quiet Communications Officer Lilliam Cabbeferron is caught aboard her starship when rebels steal it. If they find her, they’ll shove her out the airlock into space. She does what anyone would do in the situation—she hides. Until she realizes someone has to do something. Someone has to take back the ship before the rebels kill her captain. Since there’s no one else, that someone has to be her. She mounts guerilla warfare against the bad guys. Like Tom Mason in Falling Skies, Lilliam is a reluctant hero.
Switched Resolution is available at:

Am I glad I signed up for Amazon Prime? You bet. Now I can (finally) watch Downton Abbey and Doctor Who (the reboot) from the beginning.

16 comments:

  1. I got sucked into the same Amazon Prime deal! Not that it hasn't come in handy ecru nor and again...Also, my very favorite heroes are the reluctant ones. It's so much fun to watch an unlikely hero or the under dog beat the odds!

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    1. That Amazon Prime has been handy. Thanks, Alyssa.

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  2. Diane, your posts are always so interesting and I always learn something from them. Thanks for this one, too.

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    1. Thanks, Loralee. It was great seeing you Saturday.

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  3. Glad you were able to find some use for the Amazon Prime! Great post

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  4. Love the way you pulled it all together, Diane. The best part, you figured out how to get the show on your TV. Impressive! Best of luck with the book!

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    1. Thanks, Margo. Sometimes it takes me a bit of meandering to get to a point. LOL

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  5. Very true. Many of the heroes of history came from the mentality of protecting their loved ones. I've not seen the show but I remember one a long time ago called V. It was also like that where the aliens seemed nice until they got what they wanted.

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  6. I remember V! My daughter liked to watch it way back when. I also forgot to cancel the Prime membership but haven't yet really used it. Guess I better at least order some books to ship for free. The reluctant hero is always a good theme; from the small town sheriff who must save everyone in a story of the Old West to the single mom who struggles to care for her family, it always makes for a good story.

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    1. High Noon comes to mind. Old movie but definitely a reluctant hero.

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  7. I love Falling Skies! I've watched it from the beginning. :D

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    1. We're catching up, Chrys. Unless we pay, we can't see any of the episodes from this summer. Not good. We won't miss any more, though.

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