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Who is this 'Iron Belle'?
The Land of Stories
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About this blog
By Kerry M. Davis
Hey there, my name is Kerry (thatís me in the picture up there) glad you are here. I have been a health nut for a while but never truly realized my passion for it until a few years ago. I have been a massage therapist for over ten years and known ...
Chronicles of an Iron Belle
Hey there, my name is Kerry (thatís me in the picture up there) glad you are here. I have been a health nut for a while but never truly realized my passion for it until a few years ago. I have been a massage therapist for over ten years and known for my ability to Ďtortureí people. The CIA wasnít hiring so I pursued an Infant Massage Therapy certification in an attempt to figure out when things start going awry as we develop and stopping them before they cause trouble when we are adults. Person after person would come to me seeking relief from their pain and all I could do was iron it out with a massage, the rest of the work was up to them and I soon found that not too many go to the gym and know what to do or have a personal trainer who gives them a good program. A major contributor to this issue is the lack of communication from the client to the professional out of ignorance of their own body all because we are so busy with the other demands of life to even listen to what our body is telling us. This blog will give you that understanding.

All that background stuff brought me to today: a certified personal trainer who LOVES kettlebell training (my fave move is the Turkish Get Up), loves running, and loves acting like a kid (I have three!). I hope you enjoy the journey with me as we tackle understanding our bodies and how to get the most of your time at the gym, beat injury, figure out what muscles are doing what, and have a few laughs along the way. Understand that I am a massage therapist and personal trainer, not a medical doctor so the advice I share here is strictly that: advice. To see the kind of work I do (with my hunk of a hubby) click here.

Please drop me a line though, I would love to hear all about you!

Take care,

Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, CPT
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Dec. 19, 2013 6:25 p.m.

What if the fairy tales you grew up hearing were, in fact, simply the history of another world? What if you favorite characters like Snow White and Cinderella were real flesh-and-blood people? What if all the fantasies you know and love were actually real?
And what if you could hop between your world and theirs and visit them?
This is the delightful premise of Chris Coulter's The Land of Stories. Alex and Conner Bailey, twin 12 year olds who have grown up hearing fairy tales read to them from their grandmother's book of stories. Upon their 12th birthday, their grandmother gives them the book as a gift, and Alex makes a startling discovery: the book can become a magical portal to another world. A world where fairy tales are real, with princesses and evil queens and wolves that speak. After they accidently fall into that world, they must go on a quest to gather the items necessary to make their way home. Along the way, they discover that not all is what it seems, and there are secrets to be uncovered everywhere they go.
This book was recommended at an education conference I attended, and the premise intrigued me, so when it came up on my daughter's book order for a few dollars, I grabbed it. I am so glad I did. The book is fun, fast-paced, and opens up some interesting perspectives on well-worn stories. Coulter's take on the way things could be is enjoyably refreshing. The language itself is nothing startling, and by about 2/3 of the way through it, I started successfully guessing what was going to happen next. None of that kept me from dropping everything for an evening to try and finish the book (after all, I had to figure out if I was right or not!). The idea of fairy tales being real is not a new one, and neither is the concept of characters having different back stories than originally intended. However, Coulter paints an interesting picture with his take on the tales, and it's worth reading the book to see where he takes the characters.
One fascinating - and controversial - topic addressed in the book is the idea of motives. The Evil Queen from Snow White is given a history that explains why she did what she did. Some have felt that by giving her a history, it is excusing the fact that she tried to kill Snow White multiple times. As I read the book, I did see the author excusing the behavior, but merely explaining it. I also think it gave the read something to ponder about news stories they read or gossip they hear - there is always more to the story at hand, good or bad. Understanding someone's history does not have to whitewash their behavior - but it can help one see that not everything is black and white, villains have feelings too, and situations are usually more complex than is seen on the surface.
I also appreciated the fact that Coulter chose to relate his stories with the original fairy tales. He does not mention the sanitized versions of stories unless it is to scoff at them - instead, he uses the old tales, such as The Little Mermaid turning into sea foam because she would not kill the prince, or the Evil Queen making four different attempts on Snow White's life. When we "clean up" these tales to make them "appropriate" for children, we lose the message of the original story as well as pieces of the culture from which it came. Coulter's choice to stay as true to the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson is one I was glad he made.
I plan to use this book soon with my students to talk about point of view and compare/contrast, so it has value on an educational level. It is also valuable for the pure enjoyment of it. Read The Land of Stories and travel to the place and time of the fairly tales of your childhood. It's a ride that is worth your time.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What I'm Reading Now: Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge
Top 5 TBR:
1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2. Shooting Victoria by Paul Thomas Murphy
3. A Prophetic Calendar by Jill Shannon
4. Forgotten God by Francis Chan
5. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordian

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