Bethanny's Books
Young Author, Big Dreamer

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Dear Little Brother

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on February 12, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Little Brother,

     I read a post the other day that I found on Facebook about why being the older sister to a brother is the best thing in the world. I was going to share it with you, but it wasn't good enough for you, so I wrote my own. Here goes.

     Since the day you were born, I have absolutely adored you as my prince charming, my knight in shining armor, my partner in crime, and most importantly, one of my very best friends. You know who my other best friends are, and they're all related to us, too. But you, bro... you were the first. My first new best friend to welcome into the world, to be excited about living life with. For a while it was just us two, sharing that bunk bed, jumping on pillow trails that led across the living room, putting on puppet shows, and carrying our baby blankets with us everywhere we went. We held onto those for a while, kind of like we've held on to each other.

     Time has passed, and there are six of us now, all the best of friends. As the only boy among five girls, you're pretty special. I no longer tower over you, but you have to lean down to hug me. (By the way, I LOVE it when you hug me.) I may be the older sister, but I'm not the “big” sister anymore, just like you're not the “little” brother anymore, although I'm still going to call you that because it's more endearing to me than “younger brother.”

     So even though some things have changed, a lot has stayed the same. The best part of us is that we have a relationship that doesn't change, no matter what happens to us. We change, our situations change, we mature, we don't play with matchbox cars and stuffed animals anymore. But our love stays the same, and the bond that is so close and unbreakable stands firm.

     There is nothing better than having a little brother for my best friend who I know always has my back. We both understand that we will ultimately do anything for each other. I hate having activities I do without you. Of course, I don't expect us to have all the same passions, but I'm used to traveling as a pair. I like to have you along with me. We're Sherlock and John. I even like to make new people think we're a couple, because I am not ready to share you with another girl, and because come on, it's really funny.

     We share “squads.” We stay up until three in the morning together having deep conversations along with making ourselves laugh until our stomachs hurt and trying to do backwards somersaults. We take each other to our favorite movies all the time. We'll go wander around in random places together just because and have a blast doing really nothing. We discover new things together (remember Doctor Who? Blink? Huddled in that big chair together, truly scared to death?) We steal each others food, and yes give each other plenty of food, too. We listen to music together and sing and dance. When we're excited about something, we want to tell each other. When we're down about something, or confused, we come to each other. I have gotten so much comfort from you just by sitting in your room watching you mess with Legos. If people disappoint us, if everything else fails, we come rant to each other and tell each other it's all gonna work out. You're there when nobody else is there. You're trustworthy when I can't trust anyone else. You have wisdom when I feel lost in insanity. I can sleep on your shoulder and read a book while you play Minecraft and it's one of the coziest, safest-feeling places in the world.

     And that's another thing. You never fail to protect and guide me even when I don't want you to or think I don't need it. You've had the opportunity to say “I told you so” and didn't. You loan me your tactical pen when I want to go across the street to get donuts. You'll go walk places with me when you don't want to go just to know I'm safe. And you'll always offer me advice (even if I don't ask for it) but in the end you support me in all my endeavors.

     In short, I love you. All those things I said you were in the beginning you still are now; my prince charming, my knight in shining armor, my partner in crime. My best friend. I hope I can be the same for you, because you've been so much for me ever since that magical, wonderful day you came into my world. And you will forever be that much and more to me.

     Your “big” sister,


Broken Banners, by Mark Gelineau and Joe King (Book Review)

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on February 11, 2016 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)


     "Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.


     Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.


     Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.


     And woe to those who break that bond."

     Short Summary: I cannot think of a single thing wrong with this book. Breathtaking action, engaging plot, believable characters, and realistic emotion. There is some pretty brutal violence, but it adds to the story in ways that are absolutely necessary. If that doesn't scare you off, you need to read this book!

     Full Review: This book is incredibly captivating. From the moment you pick it up to the minute you set it down, the story wraps you up and won't let you go. I read the whole thing in one sitting. The characters are beautifully created. It's easy to feel like you know them pretty quickly, even though we don't get long explanations of their back story or descriptions of their character. The plot was equally well-spun. The fast pace of the book kept my interest peaked and pulled off real emotion in the midst of engaging action. I have not read the first book, but I could follow this story easily anyway. I certainly want to go back and read the first one after how good this book was!

     Elinor's strength is admirable and refreshing. Her ability to not only believe in and attempt crazy things, but to actually get them done and get them done well is something not often done so well through a character, let alone a female character.

     This book makes you think, and you have to pay attention or you'll get lost, but it's not difficult enough to be intimidating. I was always waiting to learn more, always guessing as to what would happen, to what people were going to do, or trying to figure out along with other characters exactly what the truth was about what had already happened.

     Not only were the characters wonderful all on their own, but the relationships between the characters were diverse and endearing. Con's trust in Elinor and his willingness to follow her wherever she led was a beautiful show of loyalty and the relationship felt deep without degrading the seriousness of the story with “puppy love.” He was strong on his own, too, but you could see that Elinor had earned his undivided loyalty, and that meant a lot.

     As for Elinor and Aldris' relationship, it was pleasantly mysterious. I was a little nervous when romance was hinted at, but it was very short and subtle. So many good stories have been ruined by unnecessary romance. This is not one of them. I look forward to watching the relationship develop more in future books.

     This book was packed with emotion and the story was breathtaking. I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't scared of a little violence.

     Overall Rating: 5

I recieved this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Facebook Challenge

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on January 12, 2016 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

     “My name is so and so and I believe in Jesus Christ... He said deny me in front of your peers and I will deny you in front of my Father. If you are not ashamed put your name in place of mine and make it your status. #facebookchallenge.”

     If you haven't seen this post going around on Facebook, then you probably don't get on Facebook a whole bunch. Tons of people share it, and after all it isn't a difficult thing to do. Just click copy and paste, then everyone gets to know you're a Christian and you won't be denied by Jesus in front of God the Father at the judgment seat.

     Wait... so if you post this, He won't deny you. But if you don't post it, He will deny you? Hold up. Where in the Bible does it say that if I don't post this thing on Facebook, Jesus will deny me in front of the Father? I'd really like to see that verse, because this post and everyone who shares it is suggesting that if I don't share it also, I won't be joining you all in Heaven.

     Really? Yes. Do you know what that little word “deny” means? It's something along the lines of Jesus saying “depart from me ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.” It's a public and eternal denouncement from the only person who could ever save us.

     I think sharing the Christian faith is great. Not only that, I believe it is our highest and only important calling in life. Facebook is a great way to share things quickly with other people. But you know what? I haven't shared this post. And I'm not going to. And I'm also going to go to Heaven anyway. How do I know?

     Ephesians 2:8-9

     For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

     This Facebook post is like hoping you'll be saved by going to church every Sunday. The only thing that saves is faith in Jesus Christ, and the only thing that damns to hell is unbelief in Jesus Christ.* It's that simple.

     John 3:16-18

     For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

     To be fair, the Bible does talk about denying Jesus before men in Matthew 10:33. “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” However, I am not denying Christ by not sharing a Facebook status. Peter denied Jesus when he was asked three times, publicly, if he knew Jesus and replied that no, he did not. I may not be sharing your status, but I'm also not posting that I don't believe in Jesus to save face. And Peter was an apostle of Christ. He went on to serve Jesus and then die for his faith after Jesus left earth. Do you think he's in hell even for his public denying of Christ? I'll let you answer that for yourselves.

     I'm not ashamed of my faith, or of my God and Savior. I will gladly proclaim that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I will gladly share scripture that is in context and discuss it with friends. I will gladly share the gospel with those who don't know Christ as Savior. But I will not participate in the #facebookchallenge because I refuse to guilt trip my friends into sharing a post that has no value, worth, or purpose (or fantastic grammar by the way) and I definitely refuse to suggest to anyone that their salvation and eternal destiny rests on whether or not they share the post.

     Salvation is not through works, it is through faith. Sharing a Facebook post does not save you, just as not sharing it does not damn you to hell. If you are insecure in your faith, and worry about being denied by Jesus if you do not share it, spend some more time with God. Develop a relationship with Him so that you can trust Him, because there's no other person in the universe and beyond more trustworthy than God, no one else who deserves as much trust from you as Him. If He says faith saves you, you can believe that faith will save you. Because not only is He trustworthy, but He loves you.

     My name is Bethanny Lawson, and my salvation is based on my faith in Jesus Christ alone, not on a Facebook post. And neither is yours.

All scriptures quoted are from the KJV Bible

*The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. People go to Hell because of their sins against the holy law of God and their failure to meet His standards for living. Unbelief in Jesus is the only thing that can damn a person to Hell because our sins have no power over us after we have been washed in the blood of Jesus. If sin alone sent people to Hell, not a person would make it to Heaven. Sins plus unbelief equal a destiny in Hell.

2015-16 LoH New Year's Special

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on January 1, 2016 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

     Hello everybody! To celebrate the new year of 2016, I am releasing a special diary entry from Ren, Jacquelyn, and Ty's mother, which takes place a few years before the events in my book, Legend of Heretrua: Rulers of Light. I must warn you, it will mean a lot more and you will catch a few extra small details if you've already read the book, but whether you've read any fiction of mine before or not, I hope you enjoy this, along with the new year ahead of us!

     Raising Heretrua's next generation of rulers is not always the serious task people may take it to be. More often than not, it's chaotic and insane in the castle trying to raise three children to be wise and responsible while managing not to quench their spirits or rob them of their childhood. It's also the most exhilarating and fulfilling thing I can imagine doing.

     Already they each bring such unique things to the table. Two of my children are so very like myself in that they are generally more reserved and quiet. Then there's my little fireball.

     Even though he's only three, Ty is already our monster slayer. He never tires of playing knight and dragon with his grandfather. Sometimes he drags his sister along to play the princess.

     It's funny how even though they're already royalty they still play at it. Children imagining the great adventures they will have as adults, imitating their parents. Father fills their heads with stories he insists to be true, stories of his daring stunts and events from his own past, himself as the main character. When a person is as full of winks, jokes, and mirth as my father is it is hard to decipher which tales to believe. Even so, the time he takes off from his duties as king for his grandchildren is time with him they desperately need, an example and future for them to look forward to as it will some day be their own.

     Ty especially relishes this time. Those two have a special bond. Ty admires the boldness and charisma of his grandfather and imitates him constantly, whether in the faces he makes, the phrases he uses, or anything else. They share a thirst for adventure, even danger. My husband jokes that “Virgo will knight the boy before he's five.”

     Jacquelyn and Ren are starting to discover how to use their magic. Jacquelyn sometimes tugs on Ren's sleeve and he'll follow her to their hiding place to practice making beautiful spirals and images in the air. They know as well as I do that as soon as their younger brother learns to use magic, it will be war and chaos among the three. Ty will likely skip straight to weaponizing his magic to play tricks on his siblings, and play time will gain a new intensity of the best kind.

     On the topic of children imitating their parents (or grandparents) Ren has become his father's shadow. It warms my heart to watch my son follow his father everywhere he goes, and I know my husband loves that Ren wants to be with him and learn what he does.

     After mother passed, father felt overwhelmed by life. My husband takes the place of second in command and father trusts him enough to let him share an equal load. It makes life easier for us all by easing pressure and allowing more time for family. It's healing for father to be away from his duties with people he loves.

     Ren knows he's next in line for the throne after his father, and takes it very seriously. He has the quiet courage of a true ruler already. It's so funny to watch his little brow furrow as he tries to understand the problems brought to his father and tries even harder to understand the answer. Sometimes he doesn't understand, doesn't even agree, and he's not afraid to talk about it. He's changed my husband's mind on several occasions. You'd think he was an old soul trapped in the body of a child, but sometimes the innocent perspective of a child is simply more accurate than the wisdom of experienced men.

     Besides that, when Ren is with Ty, he is absolutely a child. Ty brings out all the mischief and energy his brother possesses. It's always a wild guess during games as to if the teams will be Ren and his father against Ty and his grandfather or if the boys will face the men. The funniest part is that it's also impossible to tell which pairing is more likely to win.

     Ren thinks his father is the greatest ruler there ever was. He's in awe of him. Of course, I've often felt the same. After all, he is my husband. But when he comes and tells me about Ren's questions, about how mature he is in conversation, I see a glow of excitement in his eyes that rarely appears for anything else. He tells me our son will be the greatest king of all three in our family. He couldn't be more proud.

     It's sad to think we'll never get to see Ren as king. If he wears the crown, it will mean we're already gone. It's a joy to imagine it now anyways, and we will get to watch him grow into manhood. To know that we are investing in our realm's future king is an amazing thing. I can't wait to watch him begin to take his place in life.

     It's amazing that father has energy to keep up with Ty long after his siblings have given up. For Ty, life is an adventure. For the other two, it is sometimes sober. Jacquelyn came to me in tears today after accidentally stepping on a grasshopper during their game in the meadow. She carried the insect all the way back to me because she felt so guilty for taking its life and felt like it deserved a proper funeral.

     Ty was upset at his game being interrupted, but Ren helped with preparations and even wrote a little speech. Ty did attend, with a tiny sword he'd made from a twig. He stuck it in the dirt at the head of the grasshopper's grave and assured Jacquelyn that it had died with honor as a soldier in battle. The children did all of this with utmost seriousness, which only made it harder for me not to laugh.

     They're our future, my children. I see in their day to day lives and activities, the seemingly pointless things, what they will become. I am so excited for the future of our realm, so happy for the people who will live in the time of their reign. My children are already the rulers of my world; my little rulers of light.

Why I Write

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on October 22, 2015 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I started writing for fun. It was a pleasant pastime for an avid reader with a broad imagination. Now that I am older, striving to make a career for myself out of my passion and abilities, I realize that writing is exhilarating, draining, emotionally fired work—but it is not simply “fun.”

When I stopped being able to walk into the library and find something profitable to read, I decided to get serious about writing. There seemed to be few modern books worth picking up off the shelves. I knew there should be more to fiction than what I could find. Humans, even and especially younger humans, were designed to have a more sophisticated imagination than that. We were designed to appreciate truth, goodness, and beauty.

Readers deserve better than what they are getting in our current culture. I write for adults and youth alike to enjoy. I also want parents to feel safe handing my books to their children. I chose to write fantasy because it is timeless and transcends the barriers of age and class. It can unify people because, truly, it's beyond anyone's grasp.

The books I wanted to read didn't exist... so I wrote them.

The Myth of Originality

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on September 29, 2015 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

C.S. Lewis, author of the famous “Chronicles of Narnia,” once said that “even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be an original: whereas if you simply tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

I've picked three themes out of this quote: public impressions, originality, and truth. All three work together, but are worth thinking about separately. Sometimes it is easier to think of something as a whole after it's been examined piece by piece.

“You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.” For some, standing on their own two feet is simple, for others, it is far easier to follow others. Those who are strong and confident have an admirable and enviable stability about them. They cannot be shaken by the public impression of them because they do not care what it is, not are they defined by it. They are the culture shapers. They know what is right for them to do, and they do it.

On the other hand, those seeking to make a good impression on people by seeking their favor, approval and good opinions do not become their own person, they just become another face in the crowd. They don't make an impression, they just make themselves society's slave.

You should be strong in who you are. In your ideas, thoughts, and plans. You shouldn't be afraid to fail, and you certainly shouldn't be afraid to change things. Make an impression. But if you are to make an impression, make it a good one.

“No man who bothers about originality will ever be original.” The thing is, originality is a myth. There is nothing new under the sun. Artists are constantly trying to avoid cliches, to create something new, something never created before. Artists and their art can awaken old, buried ideas; alert people to higher beauty; show people what true art is. But no one can be truly original. One can seem original by breaking through boundaries, the boundaries of public impression, as previously mentioned, and by believing in and telling the truth.

“If you simply tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” Truth and true beauty never get old. The sunset has always been beautiful. The stars have always been spectacular. Truth is constant while society moves and changes and fights to become new, to become original. The originality of truth is that it is the one thing that stands firm. It cannot be defined by mankind, no matter how hard society tries to redefine truth to match its temporal desires.

In conclusion, originality is a myth. Living free of worries about the impression you make is healthy, admirable, and helps you accomplish more in life. Believing in and teaching the truth, in a sense, makes you original as truth tellers are a rarity these days.

To finish the Lewis quote, “the principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it.” My hope for each of my readers is that they will embrace truth and have the courage to live it out every day.

The Lost Art of Service

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on September 29, 2015 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

My nine year old sister Aubrey and I take on many adventures together, whether it's writing and performing a play, building a clubhouse, learning a new song, or hunting for every last stone statue in town and memorizing its location. Our latest adventure has been joining our dear friend, Ulla Kesler, and serving tea at her bed and breakfast and tearoom, Tipping Teapot Farm.

Ulla has truly mastered the art of hospitality. Bringing lost culture and ways of life back to center stage, her tea room is the perfect place to step back and slow down for a few hours. Ulla treats each guest with personal service and to a delicious three course meal. You sit, we serve.

Serving with Ulla has been tons of fun for me and my sister, but it has also been an incredible learning experience. We have the best mentor. She truly cares and has a sincere heart for serving others. Tipping Teapot Farm is the one place we never have time to stop and think about ourselves. Our focus is on everyone else in the room. We are servants, and Ulla teaches how to serve best. In our rushed, self centered culture today, even being the one serving in such an environment is a refreshing change of pace. Peace, calm, and class are all intangibles that are felt in the aura of the place.

Ulla dreamed of opening a tea room for many years, and now her dream is coming true. She is blessing the lives of others, if only for a few hours at a time, while they enjoy tea and treats in her home. I'm the lucky one who gets to keep coming back to watch and work alongside her.

Truly, Ulla's goal every time she has guests is to bless them with a quiet peaceful place to sit back, stop rushing, and start enjoying.

Everyone could benefit from a visit to Tipping Teapot Farm, as a server and as a guest. But as a server I have learned a few things we can all put into better practice to make life a little sweeter wherever we may be.

First, presentation matters. At Tipping Teapot Farm the people serving the meal are like actors, putting on a show for the pleasure of our audience. The famous quote of Shakespeare, “all the world's a stage,” fits the situation perfectly.

One way Ulla shows she values her guests is her attention to detail. With flowers and candles gracing the tables and each plate emaculate in it's appearance, Ulla is saying to her guests “you are worth it.” From mint leaves decorating the side of a plate, to salad toppings cut into the shape of hearts, Ulla suprises me with her creative flair and attention to details. Some of my personal favorites have been mint leaves, which make anything look a little more beautiful, and salad toppers cut out in the shapes of hearts. Ulla continutes to surprise me with her creativite attention to detail.

Second, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” I have such a 'git-er-done attitude that I tend to rush and I can be so goal oriented that people can feel my tension in the air. Getting things done and meeting goals is fine, but creating stress and a stressful environment is not the goal of Tipping Teapot Farm. As a server, it is my job to keep my cool, stay calm, and carry on. If I am peaceful, things go smoothly and more efficiently, resulting in quicker service and a better overall experience for everyone.

Which leads me to the third thing I have learned. Even though as a server I take a back seat to the atmosphere and the food, how I look and behave creates so much of the mood and overall atmosphere. Servers should be as appealing as the food and the environment. Dressing formally in black and white and paying attention to the details of how our hair is done and how we carry ourselves matters. Smiling, no matter what, not stressing, speaking with kindness and humility, and seeking to serve as much as possible all makes a contribution to the success of the tea.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where the food tastes great, but the people serving it have sour attitudes? Somehow, it makes the whole experiences less enjoyable.

Lastly, and most importantly, I've learned that it's never about me. No matter how I feel, how people are treating me, or what happens in the course of a tea, it's not about me. If I am serving a grateful customer or one who can only remember to speak up when they notice a problem, and they notice them all, it's not about me. I might go right back to being self-serving when I get home, but while I'm with Ulla, I have no choice but to put myself aside, lock it in the closet, and serve others. Ulla is helping redeem the art of serving others in me.

Amazingly, Ulla always has a cheerful attitude of service. Serving tea is still real life. Sometimes the scones won't bake in time or we may forget to set out spoons, but if anyone ever notices, they don't care, because they know that they've been loved and valued in Ulla's presence. People may not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel, and people come away from Tipping Teapot Farm feeling special. For Ulla this is not just an act, she believes each person walking through her door is special, and it's her genuine heart that makes her service and example such an inspirational one.

The Selflessness of Taking Center Stage

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on September 29, 2015 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Two years ago, I was the girl too shy to even think about auditioning for a play. In The Sound of Music I, as Liesl, had to sing, dance, and cry onstage as if it was natural to me. And I loved it.

What has changed? Why did I, in the course of two years, evolve from being unwilling to audition to actually loving to perform? It's not because I have any special knack, talent, or skill. It doesn't come naturally, at least not to me. It's hard work. But it is progressively getting easier. How?

Inside the performing arts, there are many more branches of art. Some on the larger branches include things like theater, dance, music, etc. But these branches have smaller branches of their own that, when mastered, will add up collectively as an accomplishment in the overarching branch, as well. The two smaller branches of art I have found to be the most helpful are the art of imitation and the art of overcoming yourself.

One of the best ways to learn something new is to imitate someone who has more experience than you do in the area and who has already mastered it, or at least has made major accomplishments in certain skill sets. Every actor should have a role model.

By role model, I do not mean your best friend who enjoys performing in a play every now and then for fun or someone you think looks cute. If you want to grow your skills, your role model should be someone who takes their job seriously, has had quite a bit more experience than you, and either often plays the same type of roles as you wish to play or stretches themselves to many completely different types of roles.

My role model, who you will see a lot of quotes from today, is Tom Hiddleston. Everyone who watches Marvel movies appreciates the skill he brings to playing Loki. It's amazing to me that he can play a character so opposite of himself with such skill. Then he plays other roles, like Captain Nicholls in War Horse and his upcoming role as Hank Williams in I Saw the Light. I admire that he is determined to stretch himself to grow and not become type casted. Everyone should aspire to attain that kind of growth in some area of their lives. As for me and choosing him as my role model, with almost any role I play, I'll be able to pull some inspiration from one of Hiddleston's characters because of the variety of characters he has portrayed.

Overcoming self is something all of humanity struggles with. For some it means fighting shyness and for others it mean toning down arrogance, but both ends of the spectrum have the same root—too much focus on self.

Humans are selfish. Acting is selfless. Or maybe I should say, the best acting is selfless. Our job when we are onstage is to entertain the audience. If we're too self conscious to truly perform or too haughty to share the limelight and work with other people, the audience is going to know it. Don't be self absorbed, because when you are on the stage it's never about you.

Something that has especially helped me as an introvert, but also is key to any actor's performance, is understanding the fact that when you're onstage, it isn't really you. I've been Liesl Von Trapp, the Big Bad Wolf, and Helena from A Midsummer Night's dream, but never Bethanny Lawson. I can let go and do things I'd never do in real life because of the character I'm playing. The goal is to make the character authentic, which means “our job is to represent the truth of human nature, whether you're playing a tender love story that's set in a coffee shop or whether you're in 'The Avengers,' which is set in a Manhattan which is exploding.” (Tom Hiddleston)

People love characters they can relate to. When you as a performer can spark emotions in the audience, you're doing your job. To truly capture the hearts of an audience, though, they have to be caught up in your character, what they are thinking, feeling, dreaming—which means you have to be completely wrapped up in the character you are playing as well. When you are onstage, you are living another person's life, which is pretty exhilarating hard work.

In order to live another person's life, Tom Hiddleston tells us what he does. “The one thing that I do every time is immersion. I completely immerse myself in the world of the play, the film, the story, the character and plaster the walls of my own imagination with extra knowledge and images and music and trivia.”

Practice is the work we do to make performance more fun and believable. Practice may be hard and time consuming, but it's worth it in the end. It's more fun to do something perfect than to do it flawed, right?

There was one thing Hiddleston has said that has been my goal ever since I found it throughout the hectic tech week. “For me, acting is about recreating the circumstances that would make me feel how my character is feeling. In the dressing room, I practice recreating those circumstances in my head and try not to get in the way of myself.”

The only thing that can hold us back as performers is self-absorption. It was my problem two years ago. Today, when my younger sisters dance around the kitchen teasing, “you're in love with Rolf! Rolf made you cry!” instead of getting self conscious because I hate crying onstage, I respond with “No, Liesl adores Rolf, so of course his betrayal made her cry.”

Offstage, I'm comfortable with who I am. Onstage, I'm comfortable with who my character is. I'm by no means finished growing, but two years has changed so much for me.

Dear Girls...

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on September 14, 2015 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear lovely ladies,

I wish I knew who to credit this quote to, but it seems the author is unknown. "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms."

I've had so many different kind of friends. I've had friends who struggle with depression, eating disorders, anxiety, being made fun of because they have something about them a little different than the rest of society. I've seen extremely young girls think they have to dress or eat or act a certain way to be acceptable. They saw themselves in ways that were not positive, and thus they saw life in a way that wasn't as positive as it could be. They tried harder, for themselves or for other people. That only made things worse.

Guess what I saw in them?

I saw friends. Girls I love and cherish, who I could be myself around. People, just like me. I saw people to confide in, people who understood my deepest fears, people just waiting for someone to discover who they really are, beautiful people, who were most beautiful when it was just us, and they were themselves. We didn't have to try hard for each other, and it was then that they were most beautiful.So here's what I want you to know. The people you think you aren't good enough for think the same thing about you or other people. Everyone has someone they think they have to impress. That person may be themselves. But look... we're all just girls. Fellow human beings. We don't need to impress each other.

You may think you need to change something about yourself. Or maybe enhance it. But you're already beautiful because of who you are. Anyone who doesn't see that is blind. How do I know? Because people just like you are some of my dearest friends. Because what you're feeling, I've probably felt before myself.

And in the end, it's not about us. There are other people out there struggling with worse than you, there always are. There is beauty in this world, but there are also horrors, and people have to live in those horrors. So reach out to a sister in need. You could change their life, and you will definitely change yours. Imagine a world where we all stopped competing with each other, and instead started loving and supporting each other. This goes beyond just girls... this is how all humans, everywhere, should treat each other.

We all need to bloom where we are planted, as the flower we are. There's no reason to want to be a daisy if you're already a zinnia. After all, who wants a flower bed full of one type of flower? Diversity makes it even more beautiful. If every girl is a flower, and every single one of them stopped competing and just bloomed... the flower bed of the world would be an even more radiant and beautiful place.

Competitions Grow Character

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on September 2, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Competition. Every one of us will engage in some kind of competition in our lives; many of us engage in competition daily or weekly. Beauty pageants, 4H fair projects, sports, political campaigns, job interviews, theater auditions, and simple disagreements with friends or coworkers are all examples of competition in life. Lawyers in the courtroom compete to see who can prove their points most persuasively. T-ball players compete to see who gets to play first base.


The question is not IF we will compete, but HOW we will compete. And how we will allow competition to affect us. Do we determine the outcome?


Competitions predictably end in one of two ways. You win or you lose. But also, either the competitors come out with new respect for each other or they come out hating each other. Sometimes it doesn't matter how good you are, you lose. So my focus is how to determine the other outcomes. Will you leave a competition defeated and bitter or stronger and wiser?


Before a competition ever starts it is imperative to have the right mindset. During a competition we should make good choices and take wise actions. After a competition we need to really watch our attitude and treatment of ourselves and others. Everyone likes to win, but winning is not synonymous with success. Everyone can leave a competition with success.


Some competitions are unwittingly flung upon us and find us unprepared, but the majority of competitions we sign up for ourselves so we should enter them prepared. Setting your mind to the right attitude will make a world of difference in whether you succeed or fail.


Experience has taught me that coming to a contest with a humble spirit is not only wise, but necessary. By seeking out the best in people and looking for things to learn from them, you allow others to build you up. Coming to a competition believing you are the best or the only one who is right sets you up for a hefty and painful fall.


Staying humble also helps you to respect your competitors as fellow human beings. Being friendly with the competitors before, during, and after a game or contest is a good way to build others up. Your competitors are generally not your enemies; they are just other people who also have feelings and lives beyond the scope of that moment. If the room must fill up with haughty snobs, don't let yourself be one of them.


In the heat of the moment it can get tough to keep your cool. And really, it's okay to get passionate at times. Passion is what gives us success. However, keep in mind that you are competing against a skill set, a strategy, or an argument to help you from making or taking things personal and distracting yourself or showing a lack of character.


After a competition, keep your emotions in check. It is easy to get too high or too low from a win or a loss. Don't let a win or loss affect your character in a negative way. If you win, remember what it is like to lose, and treat people the way you would want to be treated. Don't give empty compliments; find something kind to say and make it real. If you lose, learn from it. Accept the results and look for ways to improve next time. It's always a good idea to ask any judges, coaches, or other leaders for their commentary and advice, regardless of what place you earned. Don't judge the other competitors. Congratulate them and learn from what they did well. People who have beaten you before can eventually become valuable friends if you have proper respect for one another.


In the end it's who we are that matters. My experiences in various competitions still affect me today, not because of how many times I won or lost, but because of how each experience grew my character. I have learned how to be a part of a team, how to lose gracefully, how to get back on my feet after disappointment, how to learn from my mistakes and so much more. Everyone of us will continue to engage in competitions in their various forms, won't you join me in focusing on the art of competition and the growth in character that comes with embracing it with the right attitude? I sure still have a lot to learn!