Guest Post by Glynis Astie ~ The Philosophy of Yoda & French Fry Excerpt

I’m very happy to welcome Glynis back to BetweenTheLines with an imaginative and fun guest post in which she considers….

The Philosophy of Yoda

Whether you’re a Star Wars geek or not, you can learn a great deal from this petite powerhouse. Whenever I find myself unsure of a decision, my first thought is, “How the heck did this happen?” followed very quickly by, “What would Yoda do?” It may sound insane, but this brilliant (though fictional) character moved through his very long life with a grace and humility that we could all learn from. Feeling skeptical? Let me fill you in on the genius of this Grand Jedi Master.

Glyn in Yoda hat
(Thinking cap in place!)

He was peaceful.

“You will know when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

He could easily kick the ass of every last Storm Trooper, Tusken Raider, Bounty Hunter and Sith on any planet in any galaxy, but he chose not to. Yoda’s ideology dictates peace as the most desirable option. Given the array of obnoxious bad guys he came across throughout the years, his restraint was truly amazing. (Several of them needed a good smack in my opinion.)

He was patient.

“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”

Yoda put up with a lot of crap from Jedis like Luke Skywalker because he truly believed in the purity and the potential of their young minds. They whined more than most toddlers–leading me to believe they needed several time-outs during their training sessions—but Yoda persevered through their recklessness and raised a generation of worthy soldiers. (That doesn’t mean he didn’t mess with them from time to time—purely in the interest of keeping the little buggers on their toes.)

He saw the big picture.

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?”

More than one villain made the mistake of focusing on an inconsequential detail (like size) and ultimately underestimating Yoda. Let’s face it—he’s a tiny, hairy, big-eared green creature who speaks cryptically. Anyone can see why the average bad guy would think he could overcome such a diminutive foe with sheer strength. Yoda, however, knew the value of logic, forethought and determination. And if that wasn’t enough…

He used the Force when he needed to.

And I’m not just talking about the Jedi mind trick! I know what I said before about being peaceful. (I haven’t quite reached senility yet, but I’m getting close.) But that doesn’t mean that circumstances didn’t arise when he had to harness the power he had spent years honing. This may be why my husband bought me a Yoda bobblehead before the birth of our second son. He knew I would need to channel the Force in order to ensure a safe delivery, which very smart considering our bouncing baby boy ended up weighing in at nine pounds six ounces. “May the Force be with you,” indeed!

Yoda bobblehead

He was wise.

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

This is, by far, my favorite Yodaism. Cut the excuses and get it done! We all need to hear such bold words from time to time. Not only did Yoda know what to say, but he knew when to say it. (And he had A LOT to say.) He clearly amassed vast knowledge in his eight hundred years. It’s no small feat to be awarded the title of Grand Jedi Master! He may have thrown out his words in a non-traditional order or have lead people to a conclusion in a frustrating manner, but this doesn’t make him any less of a genius.

I have acquired much guidance from Yoda over the years and believe my life has been the better for it. I have even gone so far as to collect physical reminders of my favorite green guy in an attempt to hold his wisdom close to my heart. I may have gone a little overboard…

Yoda collection

But that won’t stop me from collecting even more, because no matter how you slice it, Yoda knows best.

Author Shot 2About Glynis

Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien, in six short months. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast and the final installment in the series, French Fry.

When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

french fry banner (2)-1

French Fry Synopsis

FrenchFrySydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Excerpt of French Fry

Sydney’s Dilemma

The scream was so deafening I feared my eardrums would burst. The guttural moan which followed was just as alarming and caused me to feel intense sympathy for the injured party. Rather shocking, and most unfortunate for me, was the fact that the source of the scream was my own raw and aching throat. I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the cool wall of the hotel bathroom, secretly wondering if anyone had called security. It wouldn’t be the first time. But we can return to my long list of indiscretions later.

Right about now I would be thankful to be dealing with something as simple as a ruptured ear drum. Granted, it had been one of the most excruciating experiences I had ever been through; I would still gladly have dealt with the pain instead of the daunting task ahead of me. (And this is saying a lot considering I nearly passed out twice from the pain during the four-hour wait I endured in the emergency room.)

I took a deep breath and willed my hands to stop shaking. How in the world was I going to explain this to Louis?

I closed the toilet lid and sat down with a heavy thud. As I buried my head in my hands, I accidentally knocked the offending article onto the marble floor. I peered up and watched it skid across the length of the room, coming to a stop right next to my fluffy hotel slippers. A hysterical giggle escaped my lips before I could stifle it. Louis had been trying (to no avail) to teach me to skip stones all week and I managed to skip the pregnancy test across the room with an unintentional nudge of my elbow. At least I had remembered to put the cap back on and, therefore, hadn’t splattered a trail of urine around the room. This simply would have added insult to injury.

Take a deep breath, Sydney. Everything is going to be fine. When Louis comes back from his Jet Ski run, you’re going to sit him down and tell him. Just like that. With no preamble.

I got up and started to pace the room. How did this happen? I mean, I know how it happened, but HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Everything had been going so well! Louis and I had finally gotten back to a good place…and now…I have to scare the crap out of my husband on the last day of our honeymoon.

It’s not as though Louis were easily spooked. He had lived a life filled with considerably more adventure in his twenty-four years than I had in my, ahem, twenty-eight years. (Yes, I robbed the cradle.) But we had known each other for barely a year. We needed more time to be the two of us, rather than the three of us.

I went into the bedroom, crawled onto the bed and promptly curled myself into a fetal position, my long brown hair forming a protective curtain around my face. Maybe the test was wrong. There is such a thing as a false positive, right? Though I hadn’t had my period in seven weeks, this could easily be the result of the pre-wedding stress rather than an actual pregnancy. We had pulled off two weddings in the last five weeks. The first of which encompassed a trip to France to meet Louis’ very LARGE family as well as every single resident of his home town. (Population: four hundred.)

Something tells me I need to back up a little. (You know, so you might have a chance of understanding what I’m babbling on about.) OK, maybe more than a little. Here’s the breakdown: just over fourteen months ago, I locked eyes with the incredible Louis Durand for the first time. He had come to the Bay Area for a short-term assignment in the San Jose office of his Paris-based software company and I was lucky enough to meet him in a bar, of all places. We spent the evening flirting and buying each other drinks. Six weeks later we were engaged!

I don’t blame you for being surprised. I shocked the hell out of myself by proposing to HIM. Prior to meeting Louis, every decision in my life had been carefully considered and painstakingly analyzed. The concept of “flying by the seat of my pants” was something I would never have considered. But then he came into my life and something clicked. I knew my waiting was over. I knew I had found the one.

I’m not going to say life with Louis has been easy. It has been tumultuous and more than a little scary, but it has been worth it. So what if he was laid off from his job while I was planning my, I mean our, dream wedding? So what if we had to get married in a civil ceremony to avoid his deportation? And did it really matter that our actual wedding ceremony took place in the most hideously decorated town hall in existence? (Picture any room in the Brady’s household – on steroids – and you’ll have a small inkling.)

In the end, we had three, count ‘em, THREE weddings. The aforementioned civil ceremony in my home town of Haverstraw, New York, the French wedding in Louis’ home town of Le Caylar, France, and our originally planned wedding in Monterey, California. We had somehow managed to get through his lengthy job search, the endless series of hoops to jump through for his mother’s dream wedding in France and the countless mishaps associated with my dream wedding in California. Only yesterday, as we sat watching the sun set over the beautiful island of Oahu, Louis and I had been discussing how much we were looking forward to settling into a quiet married life.

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