I like spies. I like spy novels. I like spy movies. I grew up with James Bond, Jack Ryan, Mission: Impossible, The Saint, and Man from U.N.C.L.E.— not to mention all the TV shows, books and movies that follow individual spy stories, like the classic Our Man in Havana, featuring Alec Guinness and Maureen O’Hara (1959).
I love the conflict that is inherent in these good versus evil tales, because the spies themselves so often are conflicted in their own motivation. James Bond is cold and calculated one minute as he’s defending queen and country, and then warm and charming the next while wooing the curvy Russian assassin sent to end him. The Impossible Missions Force members all know that they will hung out to dry by their own countrymen if they are caught, yet they constantly do the right thing, whatever that may be. Simon Templar is a selfish thief that somehow finds the greater reward in helping good triumph over evil. And Illya Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo (natural enemies) must join forces to save the world. The spies themselves are complex and interesting even without the stormy situations.
I happen to know (from my own secret sources) that the real lives of spies are usually not as exciting or adventurous as the movies depict. And though they may have some pretty cool tech at their disposal, they don’t have all the Q-Branch gadgets or a sporty car that converts into a helicopter or submarine at the touch of a button. But it’s fun to imagine, and that’s why spy movies, books, and television series always seem to be popular.
For true fans, the gadgets, cars, and signature quotes will always be en vogue. We will always treasure our Man from U.N.C.L.E. coloring books. And we will always stand in line to see the movies.
Day two of the June blogging challenge sounded easy. Just needed to make a list of twenty facts about myself. Hmmm… this took a little longer to put together than I expected.
1. One of my favorite things to do is teach Bible class to little kids. I especially like teaching the stories that are a little gross or scary. The expressions on the kids’ faces are priceless.
3. I have seen every episode of Gilligan’s Island. Even the TV specials where they got rescued and re-stranded.
4. My favorite aisle at the grocery store is the one with the coffee, chocolate syrup, and peanut butter. The combination of those smells delights me.
5. I read Little Women a dozen times in the third grade. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer.
6. I have the original script to Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope memorized. I’m a complete geek.
7. I enjoy travel. I have a long list of places I’d like to see before I die.
8. I like to study history and geography. I am also a nerd.
10. I hate killing off characters in the stories I write. I will agonize and mourn for them for days. I know; it’s a problem.
11. I like birds, but only in pictures. They always poop on me. And no, I don’t believe that’s good luck.
12. I enjoy watching old movies, especially ones with Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn, or both.
13. I dream in color. Always. Once I even had a dream in cartoon. Really.
14. My favorite authors are Ian Fleming, Rex Stout, and Agatha Christie.
15. I love holding babies.
16. I have an irrational fear of clowns, sharks, and alligators, and a rational fear of spiders, snakes, and scorpions. (I have been stung by scorpions twice.)
17. I am allergic to strawberries. Not the throat-closing-can’t-breathe kind of allergy, but the hives-from-my-nose-to-my-knees kind.
18. I was 38 years old when I finally got my ears pierced.
19. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always respond with “Carol Burnett.” I still do.
20. I can carry entire conversations with movie quotes and song lyrics.
Anything else you’d like to know? Just ask.