Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'This is a pen!'

Sitting in the darkened movie theater, I felt goosebumps travel down my arms as I watched the movie trailer.

On the screen, a teacher turns to his frightened student, placing a tool in his hands. "Take this to defend yourself," he tells him. "It's a powerful weapon. Use it only in times of great distress."

The teen looks down at the gift, disbelief written all over his face "This is a pen!" he says, somewhat frantically. "This is a pen!"

It is, of course, the preview for "Percy Jones and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," and I won't be giving anything away if I tell you that the pen, in this case, is more than a pen - it's a magic sword.

But I thought it clever nonetheless. Any writer worth his ink knows pens don't need to turn into swords. Their power is within. Of course, a pen wouldn't protect Percy against Medusa in this mythological adventure, but who knows, maybe it was a few jagged barbs from one's ink that made her that mean and unforgiving in the first place. (Okay, okay, that and the fact she was changed into a hideous creature with writhing snakes for hair.)

Regardless, the power of words is breathtaking. Everyone has words that have changed their life - from "I love you" to "Go away,' to "Never again." Words can transform, lift, wound and cut. Most of us learned long ago to wield our pens wisely.

I can't wait to see the Percy Jackson movie this weekend, get lost in his adventure and take it all with a sense of good fun. And I hope more than one person smiles, at least on the inside, when Percy realizes just how powerful a pen can be.

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