The Superhero

By Danica Cornell

Here’s a question: What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time? Is it shooting pool? Going to a ball game? Writing? Those who know me best would probably tell you that learning is hands-down my all-time favorite pastime—with writing coming in a very close second.

Looking back, my thirst for knowledge started quite early. As such, I figured out that in order to avoid getting beaten up on the playground, I had best conceal my geek-like tendencies from the other kids. Thankfully, this plan worked out quite well—that is, until Christy came along.

Much to my chagrin, this mammoth-sized third grader saw right though me, promptly informing our classmates that I was in fact, The Teacher’s Pet. As you might imagine, it was at this point when I began to experience a long-held and long-feared universal kid-truth: There’s nothing quite like facing the stomach-churning glares of the less intellectually endowed, to make a Teacher’s Pet hand over her lunch—especially if those glares come from a girl who happens to be a lot meaner than you.

Not to mention, a lot bigger.

There’s no point in denying it. Christy’s acid tongue and sheer girth terrified me! And it was because of this fear that it took me an entire year before I decided I’d finally had enough. An entire year! That’s like a hundred lifetimes to a kid! Nevertheless, by the time I turned nine, I’d grown fed up with going unfed at lunch. I was determined to man-up and face my nemesis head-on.

And so it went. The exact time and location where my archenemy and I would face-off was set without debate or delay—along with a few ground rules: No biting, scratching, or hair-pulling. And above all else, neither of us could rat the other one out. Amazingly, in about half the time it took to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we’d gotten it all settled: In 24 hours, the colossal showdown would take place. (Now that I think about it, it’s a little ironic we weren’t able to resolve the lunch-issue in a similar manner!)

As it turned out, it didn’t take all that long for the tough-talking, lunch-stealing, Christy, to hobble away with more than a little blood gushing from her nose! I distinctly remember listening to her uncontrolled wailing in the distance and wondering why I’d allowed myself to endure an entire year of hunger-inducing harassment. As my new reality began to sink in, it occurred to me that in confronting the evil Christy, I had acted as bravely as any of my favorite comic book superheroes!

Minus the cape, of course.

What I didn’t realize is that when it comes to navigating through the fog of war, even the most accomplished of superheroes can eventually find themselves facing the consequences of being on the wrong end of a fist. My rapidly swelling and blackening eye was proof positive; I was no exception to this rule!

But from my perspective, none of that mattered. As far as I was concerned, my David vs. Goliath moment had been well worth a bit of physical discomfort. After all, tucked away in the far corner of the school’s playground, I had bravely stood up and fought for what I believed in. Cocooned within a sense of intention and purpose, I was now surrounded by a swarm of children—most of whom congratulated me and agreed Christy had had it coming for a good long while. It was a magical feeling. I was brimming with a newfound sense of hope and justice, basking in the glory of my hard-won elementary school kid status—

For all of about 15 seconds.

That’s when the teacher I’d nick named, Mrs. Piranha, appeared. Of all the adults in the school, it was she who could strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned of trouble makers. Parting the sea of kids with a level of efficiency I’ve not seen since, she grabbed me by the elbow in a way that suggested The End Was Near. Now parading me in front of God and everyone, The Piranha and I made our way across the playground and into the aging, brick building that housed The Principal’s Office.

Maybe being a Goliath-defeating superhero wasn’t so great after all…

In hindsight, the whole thing was really quite a spectacle, but it was probably the best outcome I could’ve ever hoped for. Sure, I got in trouble. But I’d also earned the respect of my peers – something which served me well throughout the rest of my elementary school career. But perhaps even more noteworthy was that I finally got to tell my side of the story. The principal actually cared about the fact that for the last year I’d been feeling as though my life had been spiraling out of control. He understood my need to seek justice and take back my power. And through it all, through my discussion with that empathetic man, I could feel myself changing. Growing. Evolving.

In the end, my punishment really wasn’t all that bad. I was made to endure a highly uncomfortable phone call home to my mom, plus I apologized to Christy in front of the whole class—all while sobbing, mind you. Interestingly, Christy’s reciprocal apology was equally heartfelt! And while were never really friends, we did manage to reach some kind of equilibrium in our relationship—a kind of mutual understanding, I suppose.

I have no idea whatever happened to Christy, but I am grateful for the valuable lessons she taught me: Whether a superhero or super geek, I have the right to be me. I have the right to be happy. And I definitely have the right to eat my lunch in peace. Now that I think about it, maybe being a geek isn’t so bad after all!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Danica Cornell

Danica Cornell is the author of the forthcoming DARK STAR Sci-fi/Fantasy Series, soon to be published by Cool Geek Books. To learn more about Danica’s work, her love of dogs, and her support of UNICEF, please visit her website at www.danicacornell.com.

 

CONNECT WITH DANICA:

Danica’s Website:  http://www.danicacornell.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DanicaCornell

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDanicaCornell

You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/DanicaCornellChannel/

 

Danica Cornell is a proud member of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

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Julene grew up in a prominent family with godly virtues but when tragedy struck it tore them apart. She became a victim of physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Even though she was elevated to stardom that did not heal her severed heart, she learned that the cure to her crisis was not the money or the men but rather it is God. She discovered that God is the healer who mends everything that is broken and breathes life into everything that is dead. He gave her a reason to keep on living, and looking beyond her past failures and moving into the victories that He prepared for her.

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Excerpt

As I lay there, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I saw a bright light appear in front of me; it was so bright I couldn’t look at it because of its brilliance. For the first time since my sister Julia’s death, I saw her. She looked so peaceful and happy; from her appearance, I knew she was in a better place.
She said, “It’s not time for you to join me yet. You must return. God has work for you to do on earth. After you have completed the task ahead of you, you will join me.”
Overwhelmed with joy, I stretched my hand forward to Julia.
“Julene, my dear sister,” she exclaimed. “I love you.”
“Julia,” I replied, “you are so beautiful. Please don’t leave me.”
“Sis, I love you, but I must go now. Rest in the peace of God.”
“I love you too,” I said, “Bye.”
When I regained consciousness, I looked up and saw Victoria. She told me that the doctors had pronounced me dead. I told her about my experience in the light with my sister Julia and she rejoiced for my second chance at life.

About The Author

stacyywhyte

Stacy is an Author, Life & Relationship Coach and Speaker. She helps women to restore their hope, faith and confidence through reflective writing and life coaching. She is a motivational catalyst that believes in empowering women to live their best lives by stepping out by faith to fulfill their purpose.

Stacy has experienced many setbacks, trials and tragedies along her journey. She knows pain first hand and as result she has dedicated her life to helping other women to rise above adversities. For Stacy, the challenges has helped to shape her life, gave her the strength to pursue the dreams and God molded her character to not simply settle but work towards being the best and accomplishing greatness.

Stacy says, “Success is embedded in her DNA.” She strives to strategically get others to tap into that potential and realize their dreams. She is also a ministry leader and the Founder and CEO of Victorious Coaching Group; which is geared towards helping women to restore their confidence in relationship, dealing with life issues and overcoming challenges.

Connect with Stacy at:
Web: http://victoriouscoachinggroup.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StacyYWhyte
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacy-Y-Whyte/402313153200268
Instagram: http://instagram.com/coachstace
Google +: https://plus.google.com/100313214514994021097/posts
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/stacy-y-whyte-cpc/5b/93b/b9a
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZWrh7OkkwMSg288Wes_SzQ
Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/livingpurposely

The Name Game

Written by Danica Cornell

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but over the last several months, I’ve noticed a certain level of confusion when it comes to how folks should address me.

Yes, you read my opening sentence correctly.

This all came about because I decided to utilize a pen name.  In fact, it wasn’t all that long ago when a friend and colleague emailed, “Should I call you, Donna, (my real name) or, Danica, (my pen name)?  What about just, D?”

It’s interesting to note, the only people who struggle with this issue are my writer friends.  I mean, let’s face it—most folks don’t take the time to read an author’s bio page, right?  That means the vast majority of people have no earthly idea that, Danica Cornell, is my pseudonym.   Of course, those who’ve known me since way-back-when just call me by my real name.  That leaves those writers with whom I’ve developed a friendship to wonder, “What do I call her?”

While all of this may seem insignificant and perhaps even a bit comical, it got me thinking about how much of our identities are wrapped up in our names.  Whether we’re talking about birth names, married names, professional names, or product names, these labels tend to become a big part of our identity—which, as you might imagine, is actually serious business for novelists.  Needless to say, the significance of branding is precisely why I put so much thought into selecting both a pseudonym and a book series name.

Following the K.I.S.S. rule

For those of you unfamiliar with K.I.S.S., it stands for Keep It Simple Sweetie.  Of course as fate would have it, my real name is, Donna Manobianco, which is anything BUT simple!  Fortunately, I went into the writing business armed with a background in psychology and marketing, which means, I understood right from the get-go that most folks don’t like to think too hard when it comes to remembering the names of people or brands.  In other words, I knew I needed to make things as easy as possible for my readers!

What’s in a name?

For my pen name, I selected, Danica, which originates all the way back to Slavic mythology.  In fact, it was before the Eastern European Slavs were introduced to Christianity that they prayed to a deity known as Danica—the first star they saw in the morning sky.  This “morning star” was thought to be the sun’s little sister.  Since one of the themes in my writing has to do with good vs. evil/light vs. dark, adopting the name, Danica, as the author of the DARK STAR Series seemed like a no-brainer!  As for the surname, Cornell, this is a nod to my husband’s alma mater, Cornell University, which just so happens to be located in New York, where we currently reside.  Plus it’s easy to spell and remember—an important consideration indeed!

As for DARK STAR, I originally thought about naming the series after my protagonist, Dr. Rachel Cohen.  However, after reflecting on this, I realized other series, (i.e., Batman, Spider Man, etc.) use the names of their superheroes for branding.  Additionally, I figured DARK STAR would likely be easier for fans of science fiction and fantasy to recall than, Rachel Cohen ever would be.

With all of this in mind, I consider my top branding priority to be with my DARK STAR series followed by my pen name, Danica Cornell.  Notice how, I didn’t mention, Donna, at all?  So, for all of my pals who feel funny addressing me as, Danica, in the public domain, don’t fret.  You’re actually helping me reinforce my brand!

Until next time…

Happy writing,

Danica

 

ABOUT DANICA CORNELL:

Danica Cornell

Danica Cornell is the author of the forthcoming DARK STAR Sci-fi/Fantasy Series, soon to be published by Cool Geek Books. To learn more about Danica’s work, her love of dogs, and her support of UNICEF, please visit her website at www.danicacornell.com.

 

CONNECT WITH DANICA:

Danica’s Website:  http://www.danicacornell.com

Danica’s Blog:  http://danica-cornell.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DanicaCornell

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDanicaCornell

You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/DanicaCornellChannel/

 

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Danica Cornell is a proud member of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

 

Alien Teachers! by Danica Cornell

Hey everyone, here’s my latest guest post, featured on SHIRLEY SLAUGHTER’S Blog. It’s about what Science Fiction’s Alien Characters might be trying to teach all of us. My sincere thanks to Shirley for featuring me on her blog. Please do take a moment to stop by and check out Shirley’s wonderful site.

shirleyharris-slaughter

I want everybody to welcome my wonderful friend Danica Cornell. I love her like a sister so please pay attention and leave your comments. Give her your undivided attention because she really has something to tell you.

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Before I begin, I’d like to thank my dear friend, Shirley Slaughter, for inviting me to appear as a guest on her blog. Shirley and I met several months ago through Rave Reviews Book Club, and I can honestly say she’s one of the kindest and most supportive author-friends I’ve come across to date. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s a talented writer! Many thanks, Shirley. I’m truly honored to be here today.

Alien

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m both a writer and long-time fan of science fiction—not just because of its sexy, futuristic technologies, but also because of its exploration into the really hard questions, like, why are…

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