Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hello, Good-Bye.

It's with a disappointed heart that I share the following: this blog is going on hiatus until further notice.

I've been writing.  I have.  It's not that I have neglected my art.  Most of what I have been writing has wound up in the mouths of my teenage actors.  I've been writing new plays for them every 6 to 8 weeks or so, and I also feel that the time has come for me to resurrect some of my older skits and plays and give them new life.

In addition, I feel that God is calling me to do a new thing in my life, something that will require me to stretch my faith, embrace my gifts, and trust him in an area of my life that I've always considered a hobby, rather than a professions.  I am not ready to share this new goal just yet, but it will - God willing - involve me reaching out to others like myself to cultivate the link between the dramatic arts and the church.

I want to thank those of you who have read, commented, encouraged and supported me from my first social media posts (yep - myspace) until now.  You have helped carry me through times when I doubted my talent, doubted that I had anything worthwhile to say.  After many years, I believe I am finding my voice, and I know what I want to share.

I still have novels and skits and poems in my head that may never come out, but it's time I sat down at the computer and let them have a real fighting chance to do just that.  

I'm not ready to seal up this chapter of my life just yet, so I'm keeping my "good-bye" open-ended.  It's entirely possible that my path will bring me back here with a lot more to say.  But, for now, I need to step back and give my increasingly limited free time to the words that have been locked in my head for too long.

May God's love sustain you, may you never run out of coffee, and may every cat you encounter remind you of me.

Signing off for now,
Rebecca L. Godlove

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hello. It's Me. Again.

Maybe you're relieved to see this post.  Maybe you're irritated.  Excited?  Well, I'm back, in a way.

I needed time away from social media.  All in all, and initially as part of my church's annual January fast, I stepped away from all my personal social media accounts (I still maintained the church's sites).  In mid-February, I returned to Instagram.  About a week ago, I began commenting and liking n Facebook again, but I still haven't posted.  I haven't returned to Twitter or tumblr at all yet, save for posting from my Instagram account.

I have to say that I was shocked to learn that I didn't miss Facebook much at all.  Although my feed has come to be less about catching up with friends than it is about mudslinging, religious fervor, and cat pictures, it's still very addictive.  A great time-killer.  Likewise, though, it's a great way to avoid responsibility and face-to-face interaction with other human beings.  I realized that was not a healthy way to live, and found myself pointedly ignoring my phone for long stretches, or checking only e-mail or text messages.  

In some ways, I've emerged happier.  I don't get sucked into the abyss that is the comments section at the bottom of every Buzzfeed post. I don't mentally correct grammar or wonder what type of horrible education/recreational drug the comments were influenced by.  I don't waste time on finding out which celebrity my cat's personality most resembles (although, for the record, I think Freyja might be Adele).  

I've also been writing.  A lot.  I was entrusted with the huge honor of writing a program for my church's Good Friday service, which is something we haven't done in many, many years.  I wrote it, cast it, and we are currently in rehearsals for both the Good Friday service and the Easter Sunday service.  I'm incredibly proud of my actors, and more than a little shocked that my father agreed to play Caiaphas, the High Priest!

I've also, against my wishes, had to return to work full-time.  I do like my job - don't get me wrong, I really do - but leaving Ronen is not getting easier; it's getting harder.  Since January, he has been struggling - we all have - with separation anxiety and sadly, I get the worst of it.  He's displaying an over preference for Daddy lately, and I get ignored when I pick him up from my parents' house.  Daddy gets squeals of excitement, and I barely elicit a casual "Mum."  I know it's normal for his age (almost two, can you believe it?) but it's very difficult.

But the point of this post isn't really to tell you where I've been.  It's to tell you where I will be.  I'll be here, a bit.  I'll also be posting material on an online writing portfolio in the hopes of landing some freelance work (more information to follow).  I'm working on editing a collection of my church-friendly skits in the hopes of finding a publisher.  And I'm really hoping to work with some of the teenage girls in my church to put together a conference for tweens and teens about what it means to be a godly woman (hint: it's probably not what you think it is).

So I won't be online much.  I'll creep on Facebook here and there, and I'll still be blowing up IG with cat pictures and baby videos, but that's about it.  I'm not ready to slip out of the grip of social media altogether, but I've decided that I'm in charge.  Not my Facebook feed.  Not the links to those soul-sucking political articles.  I'll be using my accounts to my advantage - not the other way around.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Brawny.  Beastly.  Brave.  Powerful.  Demanding.  Vigorous.  Competent.  Robust.  Fierce. Determined.  Aggressive.  Authoritative.  Forceful.  Triumphant.

Do any of the above words describe your favorite female character?  Maybe all of them?  What if none of the words describe her?  Is she still strong?

Readers, viewers and gamers - especially females - are almost assaulted with the phrase "strong female lead" (SFL).  It's even a Netflix category, at least in my account: "Period Dramas with a Strong Female Lead" or something like that.  Directors, producers and screenwriters are raked over the coals if their works don't feature enough "strong female leads".  People everywhere have "rediscovered" the Bechdel test and are applying it not only to new films but old favorites.  If you've never heard of this test, read the comic below.  It was originally written by an America cartoonist Allison Bechdel, waaaaaay back in 1985:

Image from

SFC #1: Diplomatic, intelligent, passionate,
self-sacrificial, determined.  Can handle firearms.
Image from
The thing is, a movie can still be "good" without passing the test.  It can even have an SFC without passing the test.  Two of my all-time favorite trilogies, the original "Star Wars" series and "Lord of the Rings", actually fail this test. However, they contain some of the most amazing, powerful, BA female characters in the realm of sci-fi/fantasy: Princess Leia, Arwen, Galadriel, and Eowyn.  I'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't consider these ladies strong characters.

But - wait a minute.
SCL #2: Wise, commanding, compassionate, noble.
 Likes coffee.  A lot.
Image from
What makes a character - in particular a female character - strong?  I mentioned this in my last post, specifically in regards to some of the characters in Once Upon a Time, but I didn't really explore it a lot.  I mean, who defines strength?  The words I used to open this post are all considered synonyms of "strong", but I don't know if they are all necessary for an SFC.  What makes an SFC?  What qualities does she have?  What qualities would make a female character weak?  Does it depend on her environment, the setting of the movie or book?  I don't think a lot of people would consider the lead characters in movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s to be "modern" SFCs.  Maybe Scarlett O'Hara.  Maybe Cleopatra.  Maybe Gilda.  Are these women SFCs in our time period, or during their own, or not at all?  Can a woman who just wants to be loved be considered an SFC?  Could a stay-at-home-mom or chicken-roasting housewife be an SFC?  Why or why not?

SFC#3: Fierce, loyal, brave, devoted,
skilled.  Unlucky in love (at first.)
 Image from
We lay the contemporary definition of feminism on so thick when we adapt fairy tales and historical fiction and non-fiction that I think it's hard for us to see a lot of female leads from the past as "strong" by today's standards.  If they're not speaking up for themselves, or smashing the patriarchy, then they're meek and weak and awful role models.  Yes, that's a generalization, but let's see...everyone knows the Lizzie Bennett is the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, right?  She thinks for herself and expresses her own opinion and still ends up with the right guy in the end.  Swoon.  Her older sister, Jane, is gentle and soft-spoken, long-suffering and forgiving.  She struggles with the loss of her beloved, but chooses to carry on with her life.  Is she weak?  We would probably consider her to be, yes, because she doesn't actively fight for what she wants.  But when we remember the society in which she lives, we need to view her differently.  She truly wants to make her parents happy, and knows that all four of her not-always-obedient sisters have the potential to break her parents' hearts, embarrass the family, and bring lasting shame on their name.  To choose your family's reputation over your own happiness seems ludicrous to us today, but when her family's future was on the line, Jane was willing to quietly wade through sadness and disappointment in order to spare them embarrassment or worse.  Self-sacrifice can be a sign of strength.  We see Lizzie as strong, but some of that strength came from a selfish, proud place.  She didn't think twice about embarrassing other people, as long as she had the chance to speak her mind (we see Austen's Emma Woodhouse struggling with the same attitude).  

SFC #4: Confident, talented, devoted,
 loving.  Retains sense of humor despite danger.
 Image from
Jessica Jones is the latest SFC to burst onto the Marvel/Netflix scene.  As her story unfurls, we learn that she is physically extremely strong - "gifted" - but deeply emotionally damaged due to severe sexual and mental abuse.  She has been diagnosed with PTSD and self-medicates with alcohol.  In my opinion, it would be more a show of strength to ask for help rather than to shut one's friends out of one's life - so I don't see her, at least early on - the same way I see Princess Leia, who, when we meet her, has already made sacrifice after sacrifice for the cause of peace, having found something to believe in.  Apples and oranges, maybe, but it's something to consider.  What kind of strong is the SFC?  Does she grow in strength as her story is told?  Does her kind of strength change?
I haven't watched Scandal, but from what I've read and heard about Olivia Pope, it's unlikely
SFC #5: Powerful, fearless, gifted, courageous.  Actually capable of
physically smashing the patriarchy.  Image from
that I personally would admire her. From what I gather, she's dangerously manipulative, influential, and selfish.  (Please, fans of the show, correct me if I'm wrong!) I can't deny that she is a strong character, but it's interesting that "strong" doesn't necessarily mean "likable", "virtuous", or even "at least vaguely morally upright". 

It looks like I'm uncovering more questions than I have answers.  What do you think?  What makes a female character "strong"? How does her femininity, her sexuality, or anything else play into it?  Who are the SFCs that you admire?  Are there female characters you admire that you would not consider "strong"?  Why do you admire them?  If you can compare them to male characters with similar paths or personalities, what do you see?  How much of the SFC's environment contributes to your perception of her strength?

Does this feel like a Literary Analysis essay test yet?

Yes?  Then my work here is done.  Think on these things, friends.