Monday, April 28, 2014

True Heroes A to Z: X Factor

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

-factor: this is my eXtra cheaty post, because let's face it, no one's name starts with X. (Okay, maybe there are a few people, but admirable ones?) So, as long as I'm cheating, I'm going to rant about Leonardo Da Vinci.

Everyone knows this guy for his art: The Mona Lisa, etc. I've heard it said that if his images could be restored in full detail, we'd be blown away by the colors and detail, and I believe it.

He was so much more than a painter: an inventor, a mathematician, a sculptor, a musician, engineer, botanist, writer, teacher and more... He was a creative factory of awesomeness. An innovator.

He imagined up flying machines, a tank, solar power, an adding machine, and even theorized about plate tectonics. He had something, a raw creativity that I admire in anyone, and he pursued it. It's that kind of creativity I hope to cultivate in my own children through allowing them to pursue their interests educationally, a huge reason we home school.


Two more days to get MOONLESS at $1.99.

Jane Eyre meets Supernatural

So while we're talking about the X factor, let me introduce a character who has it (originally interviewed by Kerri Cuevas HERE): 

Bellezza takes a seat, honeydew ringlets spilling loosely over thin shoulders. No more than thirteen, she glares through chocolate eyes that bear as much gravity as a black-hole.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
*blinks in horror* Die. Maybe I’d have to start plotting my own death from boredom.

What are you most proud of about your life?
No man or cage can hold me. I am free. Like the wind.

Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?
My parents had no expectations, weak things that they were.

You’re saying they’re dead?
Killed old pappy myself.

Can I ask why?
*grin fades* Depends. Do you like horror stories? *brows lower* Keep on this line of questioning and your life will be one.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone?
*cocks her head grinning* I sent a woman as strong as myself to the Soulless. And may she suffer for eternity.

Why did you do that?
*grimaces* She stabbed me with gold. Do you know what that feels like? Imagine acid—liquid acid beneath your skin. Now times that by one hundred.

What are you most afraid of?
If you tell anyone this, I will dangle your innards from the nearest flagpole. Understood? *squints, pointing with a threatening finger* I am irredeemable. In the end I will be alone. But I must continue in my mission, for myself, for those who have suffered. I am a product of my circumstances, a tool no loving or respectable person can be. I am needed. 


Who is your favorite inventor? Who is your favorite artist? Do you allow your creativity to come out to play? Met any characters who really have the X factor?

108 comments:

  1. Ah...Da Vinci!
    He really is an inspiration...!
    Thank you for sharing..!
    P.S: I love your theme for the challenge! Real-life heroes!!! Something to live up to!

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    1. Much appreciated, Anjana! I'm enjoying your recipes too!

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  2. "A creative factory of awesomeness." Well said! Da Vinci has always been one of my favorite people. I would love to have that kind of brazen creativity!

    Happy Monday,
    Jen

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  3. When my husband and I were in Florence, we visited the town of Vinci and saw a number of Leonardo's drawings for inventions etc. It was a great experience.

    Love how you're fostering creativity in your kids! :)

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    1. Ooh! Now I'm jealous. One more to add to the bucket list.

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  4. He's genius, for sure. What a mind, added with his all his abilities.

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    1. I know! It makes me wonder how many others there were like him whose records and works have been lost through time.

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  5. Bellezza! Ahhh, that creepy little girl. My favorite, I must admit. And Da Vinci is pretty cool too. :D Nice eXtra cheaty post.

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    1. Yeah, I think Bellezza's definitely got a higher creep factor than Da Vinci. :)

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  6. Great post for X. Leonardo had the 'x'' factor. We're all twisting things a bit with this letter, Crystal.
    I put my cheating down to the fact that I've had a lobotomy. You're lucky I got your name right today - but we're nearly at the finish line...

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    1. Lol. Would you like to borrow my time machine? We can totally go back and fix that.

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  7. Imagine what he could've done with today's resources.

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  8. He was brilliant on so many levels! Loved reading about him♥

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  9. Makes me wonder how little sleep he got. You know that Tesla is my fave!

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    1. Loo. Well you know he was a genius, so of course he didn't sleep. He probably invented a herbal remedy that negated the need. ;)

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  10. Da Vinci was a one off. Alex said what I was thinking - imagine what gizmos we might have if he was around now! Mad to think he invented the helicopter.

    Bellezza sounds not to be messed with!

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    1. Yeah, when I've got my immortality syrum working, I'm headed back in time, and he'll be one of my first stops.

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  11. I enjoy interviewing my characters. Loved this! And da Vinci is seriously one of my fave artists because he did so much more than paint. I've read he wrote over 13,000 pages of journals all in mirrored hand writing.

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    1. And that's how you know he was truly great: he was a writer!

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  12. Da Vinci was a marvel! Thanks for this great post. Thanks also for dropping by my blog and sorry for the difficulties. Self-hosted Wordpress is quite different from Blogger, but now that you've commented once, it should be smooth sailing, Cheers! ☺
    Debbie @ The Doglady's Den

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    1. Hey, I'm nothing if not persistent. Great to connect with you, Debbie!

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  13. Haha! I cheated too!!

    Love the interview with Bellezza! She is such a memorable character! By the way, looks like you and I have been tagged for Sheri's writing process post. Fun!! :)

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    1. *high five* Now when to fit the post in...

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  14. LoL If you're going to cheat X is the letter to do it on, and I think X-Factor + Da Vinci is fair enough :)

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    1. Well as long as I have your approval... ;)

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  15. The prose just for your interview is AMAZING! And I love Bellezza's responses.

    Leonardo Da Vinci definitely had a mind before his time. I forgive your cheats because your post was great! :D

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  16. Love the interview with Bellezza! And I totally cracked up at Fanny's comment that she's had a lobotomy. Thank goodness we're almost to the end of the alphabet.

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    1. Amen! Not sure how much Crystal would survive if this was a never-ending challenge.

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  17. Interesting facts about Leonardo!

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  18. Creativity is so important in children! It would be pretty cool to create little Da Vincis lol!

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  19. I've been wondering about that Da Vinci's Demons series. I wonder how much actual info is in there vs. how much fabrication and melodrama. It's certainly a weird idea for a series. I wonder when they're doing Einstein's Exploits or Franklin's Fabulous Feats. ;)

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    1. LOL. When they do, I'll be one of the first in line to pick them up. :)

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  20. If you're going to cheat, then Da Vinci was a great one to go with. I marvel at his mind. And I think he would have been a heck of a fun guy to hang out with.

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    1. I wonder, with as bright as he was if he didn't have some of the personality quirks some od the other greats had.

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  21. Didn't realize how amazing he was. And you're all entitled to cheat on difficult letters like X.

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    1. As long as I have your permission, Natalie. :)

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  22. LOL, I love this cheat! I'm down with da Vinci - because I love him ,too. The man was an absolute genius, as a scientist, artist, and thinker.

    And MAN that interview was scary! I love it - such an awesome way to introduce us to the character!

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  23. Da Vinci certainly epitomizes intelligence!

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    1. That's the other thing I'll have to do when I got back in time with my immortality syrum, figure out how to bottle his genius.

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  24. And THAT is what you call a genius. :) X factor indeed - no cheat at all :)

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    1. Yes! Well as long as we've got the committee in agreement...

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    1. Makes the world go round... Oh wait, that's cheese. *gasp* Maybe they're one in the same!

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  26. My favorite artist is Paul Klee. The non-fiction book I chose for my Children's Lit class was Paul Klee for Children, by Silke Vry. I learnt a lot of awesome new stuff about him from that book, like how he signed his art with a four-leaf clover, since Klee is German for "clover," and that he became a househusband and stay-at-home dad after his son Felix was born. Besides his art, I also love the fact that we share our birthday, exactly 100 years apart. Other favorite artists include Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso, and Albrecht Dürer.

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    1. Now I totally need to check out Paul Klee.

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  27. Not cheating. He had the X-Factor. It's perfect. ^_^ I hope I'm half the creative genius he was one day.

    And...OMG that girl is CRAZY! I LOVE it! She gives me chills.

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    1. She give me chills too--and she lives inside my head. Can you imagine what that's like? Head chills. Yup.

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  28. I love the idea of a free-for-all day for X. It is an impossible letter!

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    1. Yes! Let's take it before the committee.

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  29. Oh "X" factor totally works for me, and he's the perfect example!!! :D

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    1. Agreed. There has to be at least one somewhere in history, eh?

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  30. Great man, great passion, great post on him and the interview! I have a friend who is in her late 70s has recently had to start wearing a pacemaker and is one of the most generous people I know. She is friendly, volunteers for everything she is able to do, and her name is Xamina! She lost her eldest son two years ago and though she grieves for his loss she continues to be an inspiration to those around her. I thought of her the minute you said no one had a name beginning with X, and while it is true, as far as I know, that no one "famous" is, perhaps Xamina fits the bill as a true friend and unsung hero to her community and her friends.

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    1. As! She sounds wonderful. There you go, a perfect X hero!

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  31. I once saw a museum exhibit where they had built full-scale models of some of his sketches. It's amazing how ahead of the times he was!

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    1. I know! It's like his brain was trapped seven centuries in the future!

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  32. I have mentioned someone named X on my blog a number of times. I'm surprised you didn't write about what a hero he is, especially when he throws away money in casinos. But I'm not bitter.

    Love,
    Janie

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  33. I used X factor as well and I have found it in one other blog so this is not a cheat but a totally acceptable use of X. Like bingo we should get a free day and I think most of us would choose X.

    http://katloveswriting.blogspot.com

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    1. LOL. I think I found an X last year. I could have totally chosen and old evil Chinese emperor, but I didn't think that was the best idea.

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  34. What a great man he was. I read Janie's comment above and I am giggling!

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  35. I love, LOVE this: No man or cage can hold me. I am free. Like the wind.

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    1. That's Bellezza for you. All she wants is that freedom, but what will she become once she's freed herself of all her past demons...?

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  36. I heard a fabulous speech about Leonardo Da Vinci earlier this year, and one of my favorite NF books is "How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci." We need more Renaissance men and women. The Proust-style questionnaire has given me an idea for a lesson (I'm always on the lookout for lesson inspiration) via A to Z Challenge www.evolvingenglishteacher.blogspot.com

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    1. Awesome. I need to study more about him, but from what I know, he was epic.

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  37. You could have gone with Professor X from X-men, but I suppose you were sticking with real people. ;)
    I think Da Vinci is a person that would have been interesting to meet.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. Yeah...real people, at least in this dimension.

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  38. We would be missing a lot today if it wasn't for him.

    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

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  39. One of these years I'm going to do an A to Z just highlighting all the crazy student names I've come across. I figure then I can work Xeomara into the conversation.

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  40. Hey Crystal,

    Most xcellent! Xactly what I needed to read. I thought Leonardo was one of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. I've learnt something new.

    Cheese and thank you!

    Gary :)

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  41. X day is always the worst. But I agree, if you're going to cheat, better highlight someone awesome like Leonardo Da Vinci. I wonder what he's make of today's world. And would he still be able to access his creative genius or would he get sucked into Angry Birds and Candy Crush?

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    1. He might actually get stuck in the rigmarole of learning technology rather than creating it.

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  42. I can't believe you all are on X - that went by fast (for me anyway). I remember when I first learned about all the other awesome things Da Vinci was doing, I was blown away. :)

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    1. Wait, did he create the leaf blower? ;)

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  43. My parents had a big book on Da Vinci and it was fascinating to me- all his architectural and mechanical sketches, inventions, etc. I always wanted to be like that! Great X factor hero! :)

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  44. I am happy that everyone cheated with the alphabet X ;) I am fascinated with Da Vinci, so much so that I have mentioned him in my MG book.

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  45. I would have to agree with you about Da Vinci. He was definitely a genius of his time. Years ago I got to see the Mona Lisa in person. And it's true, her eyes really do follow you around the room. :)

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    1. That's awesome. Definitely on the bucket list.

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  46. X was hard for me, thankfully for my little web site, I found strange words for each letter, thank you for stopping by, I am following you now

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  47. I love reading about him, and my students do too. Such an amazing man.

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  48. I'm not sure I have a favourite inventor, I think they are all amazing and Da Vinci is definitely up there. My favourite artist is difficult too, but I do love the Dutch masters, Franz Hals and Rembrandt come to mind. I've been to the Rijksmuseum a couple of times and I could stand there looking at The Night Watch for ages.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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    1. Awesome. I love some of those as well. I especially like Starry Night.

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  49. He was an amazing man and he proves how productive can be if they don't watch television ;) I watch TV hence I'm not productive.

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    1. I know! We don't watch television. (Yes!)

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  50. Your choice for an X was perfect. If you had put up his anatomical man drawing you would have shown it. Although you'd have also had some nudity on your blog why I don't think your YA audience would appreciate.

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    1. LOL! Yeah, this is a nudity-free blog for sure. =)

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  51. Very clever X post, Crystal. This has been a challenging day for all A to Zers.

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  52. Really like your hero choice. da Vinci did have the X-factor:) I read up on him when I was working on a Social Studies project and the level of detail on his proposed inventions and the way he charted the human body was incredible.
    Damaria Senne at http://foodgardeningsa.blogspot.com

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  53. Da Vinci was brilliant. Thanks for sharing. Have a terrific day!

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Hit me with your cheese!