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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: harry potter

Your Message Matters

The Underrated Beauty of Writing

Your message matters.

 
It doesn’t matter what your view is.

 
It’s the underrated beauty of writing.

 
We all write to spread a message. Sure, perhaps we love creating entertaining and compelling stories.

 
Look deeper.

 
Why are you writing?

 
What’s the primary purpose behind your writing?

 
Your main character, what are their distinguishing characteristics?

 
What do they want? What are they after?

 
The beauty of writing, the underrated beauty, is the fact us writers can utilize our message. We can turn it into a compelling story, and we can entertain others. We can entertain while informing.

 
Nothing is more beautiful than that.

 

Your Message

Your message makes you unique. It’s something you wish to relay to the masses. It may be a voice for whom you perceive to be the voiceless.

 
You feel it’s your duty to spread such a message.

 
Your message is what inspires you to write.

 
Sure, we have our awesome, entertaining stories our readers pick up and can’t put down. That’s something special.

 
But, we have a reason behind our writing. A theme. A topic, an idea, a premise. It’s what you’re trying to tell your readers. The theme makes the book matter. It’s what motivates the reader to pick up a book and flip through the pages again and again and again.

 
Think of it.

 
How many books have you read three times? Five times? Ten times?

 
Sure, the stories are great, but something else makes you pick up a book and read time and again.

 

Harry Potter Influenced My Libertarian Ways

I’m a Libertarian.

 
Harry Potter made me so.

 
I realize J.K. Rowling’s intention wasn’t Libertarianism, but it’s the way I perceived it.

 
Though I didn’t realize it.

 
I toyed with the idea of Socialism for a time. In fact, I didn’t “realize” my Libertarian ways until the Election of 2012, when a candidate named Ron Paul spoke at campaign rallies and everything he said made sense to me.

 
And I had a few Libertarian-minded teachers, whose lectures made far more sense than the pro-Socialist-Marxist crew up at Kent State University.

 
The plot, the messages, everything clicked.

 
An example?

 
When Dolores Umbridge was a Ministry asset to interfere at Hogwarts. J.K. told us something: Government and schools shouldn’t mesh. A government-approved course is never a good idea.

 
It seems Hogwarts operates more off private enterprise, or at least the teachers do. Not the way a private school does, but the teachers teach in ways they see fit, not the way the State sees fit.

 
If the State saw fit, there would be no need to talk. Each class would consist of a week’s worth of reading. There would be no spells.

 
Why?

 
Why should you feel threatened in a government-approved school?

 
Who’s out there threatening you?

 
Oh, I don’t know, maybe Lord Voldemort?

 
Or in the real world, oh, I don’t know, maybe the Deep State, Globalists, Shadow Government, all of whom control our own politicians?

 

Example on Deep State Influence

Why are we in Syria?

 
Massive human rights violations?

 
Nope.

 
The ruse the Syrian people hate President Bashar Assad?

 
Nada.

 
It’s over a pipeline. A pipeline that would start in Qatar, snake through Syria, into Turkey, and into the Mediterranean.

 
Bashar Assad said no.

 
No, you’re not going to do this.

 
So, here come the sanctions designed to cripple Syria…Iran…and Russia.

 
Why Iran and Russia?

 
Well, they have a competing pipeline and the reason Assad said he wouldn’t allow another pipeline meant the West would compete with his allies, Russia and Iran.

 
It would be equivalent, if say, Russia, wanted to put a pipeline through the United States that would start in Canada, and end up in Mexico.

 
Wouldn’t you have a problem with it?

 
I would. And I can’t blame Assad.

 
It’s one of many examples of my non-interventionist positions. Sure, I was against the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the War in Libya, and the War in Libya.

 
I’m for non-intervention in both domestic and foreign affairs. As a Libertarian, non-intervention means not interfering in international conflicts. Non-intervention means not interfering in peoples’ personal lives. Non-intervention means not giving one class tax breaks and forcing other classes at gunpoint to pay taxes. I say one class, this class, or that class, because I don’t mean the upper, middle, or lower.

 
Why not give everyone tax breaks?

 
Why not allow people to keep what they work for? Keep what they make?

 
Why not stay out of peoples’ personal lives?

 
Why can’t the government just leave everyone, both here and beyond, alone?

 
It’s why I write.

 
Again, your message matters. Your story matters, but your message matters. And it’s the underrated beauty of writing.

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The Four Families: My Family Names as Hogwarts Houses

Caldrone, Wilson, Robertson, and Matthews

Hi, I’m Todd Matthews, author of Northern Knights and Fighting Tyranny. Although my last name’s Matthews, I, and all of us, are one-quarter of the following: Our paternal grandfather’s surname, our paternal grandmother’s surname, our maternal grandfather’s surname, and our maternal grandmother’s surname, or a combination thereof.

 
Four names, and for us Harry Potter fans, we can probably see some noble distinctions between all the names and for the sake of a fun article here and there, why not compare them to Harry Potter Houses?

 
My Four Family Names are Caldrone (maternal grandfather), Wilson (paternal grandmother), Robertson (maternal grandmother), and Matthews (paternal grandfather).

 
My Four Families, and your four families, each have a noble history, and if you haven’t researched yours yet, what are you waiting for?

 
In a quickie nutshell, before I go in-depth, what do each of the above families represent:

 

Caldrone

It can relate to Gryffindor, as the Caldrones (formerly spelled Calderone) were the most recent immigrants and due to their Italian status, likely faced some harsh discrimination at the time of their arrival. Remember, Italians, like many belonging to traditionally Catholic nationalities, had a rough time fitting in. If there’s one name that had a tougher time than others, the Caldrones are it.

Wilson

Corresponds to Hufflepuff. They’re the hardworking, kind people of the four. They’d been in America for a while and to be honest, tend to stay out of the limelight, except for that Woodrow guy, whose father was born in Steubenville, Ohio, where the Wilsons originated. A name that receives little glory for its hard work, the Wilsons nevertheless are happy people.

 

Robertson

Bright, beautiful, and genetically gifted. Fits the Ravenclaw mantra rather well. Yes, the Robertsons tend to be the brightest of the bunch, and the family I received the majority of my traits from, being sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore years ago. Talk about good-looking people with high incomes and prestigious jobs for the most part, the Robertsons break and set new records with each passing generation.

 

Matthews

The ambitious crowd who possesses the ‘never-say-die’ mantra. Passionate people, willing to fight and make sacrifices to defend their views and their earnings. Matthews is the prototypical Slytherin, and the House I was convinced I’d be in until Pottermore proved me wrong. Though I must say, if the Hybrid Houses existed, I’d be a Slyther-Claw, or something similar.

 

Caldrone

So, what would the colors and animal look like for Caldrone?

 
Let’s go to House of Names and get the inside scoop.

 
Per the English Coat of Arms, Calderone’s crest is scarlet and gray, which they’ll take kindly to, residing in Ohio. Pictured on the crest appears to be a robin, so we’ll go with it for their shield.

 
Quidditch uniform color? Scarlet, of course!

 
Element: Fire.

 
Known for: Bravery

 

Wilson

Like its Hufflepuff cousin, Wilson’s primary colors are black, but instead of canary, old gold. On the crest is a wolf with its teeth bared.

 
Quidditch Uniform: We’re going with Black.

 
Element: Earth.

 
Known for: Work Ethic.

 

Robertson

Quite unlike Ravenclaw and more like Gryffindor, red and yellow are primary. Like Wilson we have a wolf for the symbol, but three wolves.

 
Quidditch uniform: Yellow (Caldrone’s color is red)

 
Element: Wind

 
Known for: Intelligence

 

Matthews

Black and yellow…we need to fix that…orange and brown…okay, that sounds better. We’re going with the alternative orange and brown here since the scheme would resemble Wilson’s colors. The crest contains a yellow primary with a black lion.

 
Quidditch uniform: Orange

 
Element: Water

 
Known for: Ambition

 

Conclusion

There you have it. My four Family Names as Hogwarts Houses, or at least in my weird, strange, wild imagination. It’s always a blast to make outlandish posts as this just to break the monotony of the rather dark blogs I tend to write.

 
Anyway, more of these to come, maybe once or twice a month, again to break up the darker topics I tend to cover here as they relate to my books.

Harry Potter Shaped my Libertarian Thought

How J.K. Rowling Planted my Disdain for Government Intervention in 2003

Though I never fully realized it until late-2011, I had a disdain for government intervention, especially in the educational system, since 2003.

 
Compulsory, government-approved education. This came straight out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, but when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out in 2003, with the addition of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Delores Umbridge, Rowling told us of the dangers of government interference.

 
I’m honestly unsure if Rowling intended this or not, since I’ve heard from numerous sources she leans rather liberal, which here in the States, your liberal-leaning progressives want everyone under the statist umbrella of government education. Which of course, is by force, much like how the Death Eaters forced all young witches and wizards to attend Hogwarts.

 
What’s even more frightening is the fact the kids who were Muggle-born were seized and driven off to who knew where.

 
But, the key factor here is government forcing individuals to abide by their will. Whether Rowling knew it or not, she exposed to one of the largest book series fanbases in history the dangers of big government, and what happens when the corrupt take power.
Doesn’t that sound familiar.

 

Corrupt Presidential Administration in America

Like Ron Paul, I agree that the Trump administration is nothing more than a continuation of the Obama administration, which in turn was a continuation of the George W. Bush administration, which was a continuation of the Clinton administration.

 
Hey, I know most of you are Republicans or Democrats and want to hammer me for this, but here’s a common denominator:

 
1. Civil liberties are still being lost under Trump, which expanded under Obama, which greatly expanded under Bush.

 
2. Clinton bombed Somalia, Bush led us into Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama led us into Libya and Syria, and Trump’s beating war drums with Iran.

 
3. The national debt has increased since the Clinton administration and has not stopped, though it was briefly balanced under Clinton.

 
4. I’m not sure how many bombs Clinton dropped, but Bush dropped 70,000, Nobel “Peace Prize” winning Obama dropped 100,000, and Trump’s dropped about 45,000.

 
Each Party has one excuse: The previous administration made us do it.

 

Those Who are Best Equipped for Power are Those Who Don’t Seek It

Albus Dumbledore said something like this in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it reigns supreme in real life.

 
Tom Riddle sought power and look what happened. Riddle, known by many as Lord Voldemort, wanted power from a young age, seized it, and what happened?

 
Nothing good.

 
I’ve always joked, yet at the same spoken the truth that most politicians on both the Right and Left would be sorted into Slytherin. Sure, there are good Slytherins, as one can be ambitious in many ways, but it still includes those who are ambitious for power.

 
Donald Trump? Slytherin.

 
John McCain? Slytherin.

 
Hillary Clinton? Slytherin.

 
Jacob Rothschild? Slytherin.

 
I’d love for these people to take a Pottermore Hogwarts House quiz. Nothing would expose these cats more, and the masses (many of whom have at least heard of Harry Potter) would actually be able to see through the ruse of all these crooks.

 
Now, imagine if someone became President or was elected into the House or Senate who never sought it?

 
Far-fetched?

 
Do you know what made Dr. Ron Paul seek office?

 
He saw the corruption in Congress. In fact, he saw the corruption in Ronald Reagan, which is why he was the Libertarian Nominee for President in 1988, when Reagan’s Vice President, ex-CIA Director George H. W. Bush became the Republican nominee, making it farther along the line than a New York Real Estate Tycoon named Donald Trump, who first ran for President back in 2000.

 
Not too many people know that Trump failed to secure even a nomination for a Third Party back in 2000. He ran as a member of the Reform Party. In fact, Trump had considered running for President in 1988, the year after he received a massive bailout from globalist Jacob Rothschild at the urging of Wilbur Ross.

 
You might want to research both Ross and Rothschild, just a suggestion.

 

Delores Umbridge and Government Schools

Anyway, as I was saying, back in 2003 the seed was planted in my mind. J.K. Rowling will likely never know it, but she planted the seed that eventually spawned my disdain for government schools.

 
As mentioned earlier, this didn’t happen until 2011, after my days as a Socialist ran its course, but I remember reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at a young age and thinking, Wow, how bad would it be if the government ran our schools?

 
Welp, my naïve twelve-year-old self would eventually find out the government does run our schools and teaches us the following:

 
1. A slanted, state-approved curriculum that’s uniformed across all segments, with higher-level classes teaching the same material at a faster pace. Not much difference there. State (Ministry) approved text.

 
2. Rewarding repetition and accurate memory. Reading and memorizing defense theory in each class.

 
3. Truth comes from authority. Cedric Diggory’s death was a tragic accident.

 
4. Intelligence is the ability to remember and repeat. If one studies the theory properly.

 
5. Non-Compliance is Punished. I must not tell lies.

 
6. Conform Intellectually and Socially. You will read Chapter One. There will be no need to talk.

 
Let’s face it, J.K. Rowling gave us Libertarians a blueprint when it comes to criticizing public education whether she realizes it or not. She single-handedly exposed the dangers of what happens when the government, or in the case of Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic, interferes with public education.

 
And, predictably, the Ministry’s interference was a complete disaster. Not only did the Ministry hide (and refuse to believe) the truth of Lord Voldemort’s return, the Wizarding World as a whole believed the Ministry’s lie.

 
Again, sound familiar?

 

Lies the American Government Told Me

What wars has America fought over the past seventy years been based on truth?

 
Even 9/11, if anything else, even if the official story one days holds true (which it doesn’t) was retaliation for US intervention in the region since the 1940’s when the CIA wanted to build an oil pipeline in Syria.

 
You read that right.

 
The sheer lies told to us by politicians, from Donald Trump to Barack Obama to George Bush regarding foreign intervention, the (un) Patriot Act, the boom-bust business cycle brought on by the Fed, the price of inflation, the lowering of living standards while the cost of living has gone up is astounding.

 
But people just keep on voting, believing the government is right and knows what’s best for us. Guys, the government’s track record is worse than the recent history of the Cleveland Browns when it comes to keeping Americans safe, upholding civil liberties, upholding the Bill of Rights, and hiding the truth on the true reason America is intervening in the Middle East (research Genie Energy and their Board of Directors).
Whether J.K. Rowling realizes it or not, she has indeed written a blueprint for all of us to follow and was the primary influence in getting me to write, and for all of my works to pass a Libertarian message.

 
I’d like to thank everyone for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

 

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The Eurean Kingdom (1)

Where Harry Potter Meets Star Wars

Two Mega-Franchises That Shaped Lord of Columbia

Most will state it’s premature to place two of the bestselling franchises as comparisons to one’s own work, especially debut work.

But, here’s the truth in the matter; without Harry Potter and Star Wars, Lord of Columbia wouldn’t even have been thought of.

I guess I’d been thinking of Lord of Columbia since pre-school, when I first heard of Star Wars, and even more so since the late 1990’s, when I first picked up a Harry Potter book.
But, there have been other series that shaped Lord of Columbia, one of which is Avatar: The Last Airbender, among others.

So, when I state Lord of Columbia is where Harry Potter meets Star Wars, I’m not blowing smoke. Without them, Lord of Columbia, and probably my passion for writing, at least in present terms, wouldn’t exist.

My love for Libertarianism never would’ve happened.

An Alternate Career Path

What’s funny is, my “other” series, Comeback Kid, speculates on this. What the heck would I have been?

A trainer?

See, even then, I don’t know if I ever would’ve taken up fitness without Harry Potter and Star Wars. Sure, neither protagonist was by any means muscular with a low percentage of bodyfat, but knowing what I looked for in a protagonist sparked my love for fitness.

My fitness goal?

To look like my own protagonist in Lord of Columbia.

Again, without such epic stories, my love of fitness would’ve remained nonexistent, as it had throughout my childhood.

It’s ironic, as most of us as children (at least when I was growing up) were active and always in sports. While I realize times have changed, I was far ahead of the curve, choosing to be lazy and despising physical activity.

Fast Forward to 2018

And now, I’m the complete opposite, structuring my days around my writing and my workouts.

So, when I wrote Comeback Kid, I had some fun thinking of what might have been.

What might have been?

Ugh, nothing good. I’d have been a grocery store bagger or fast food worker. No, seriously, that would’ve been my life.

And my lifestyle is already sheltered as it is. I’m an extreme introvert who’s an extreme extrovert when it comes to writing. But, I prefer solidarity. I thrive in it. I love it. I like working and researching alone.

Where Harry Potter Meets Star Wars

But man, had J.K. Rowling never hit it big with Harry Potter and George Lucas with Star Wars, Lord of Columbia never would’ve been born. It never would’ve won the Lottery of Book Life, or Series Life. It would’ve remained deep in my mind’s files, never to have seen the light of day.

Ditto for fitness. Ditto. For. Fitness.

They go hand-in-hand, which is weird because in many cases they don’t.

It’s safe to say Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of Columbia did one thing for me: They all set me on a path to be something greater than what I, and many others in their own lives, never thought possible.

But, thanks to my influences, my primary influences, and there are many, many more than just Harry Potter and Star Wars, Lord of Columbia can exist. A healthy, fit Todd Matthews can exist.

A man who looks younger than his age (seriously, I look like I’m seventeen at twenty-seven), can exist so long as he exercises and eats the right food.

So, a special thanks to both Rowling and Lucas, as my readers will know exactly what they’re getting if they choose to invest in Lord of Columbia. When I state it’s Harry Potter meets Star Wars, I’m not fooling around. I’m not kidding; I’m being dead honest. Harry Potter meets Star Wars equals Lord of Columbia.

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