Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dragon's Teeth and the Internet

Once upon a time there was a boy. The boy had great dreams, dreams of changing the world into a better place. But the boy wasn't just a dreamer: he had the potential to achieve those dreams. Not only that, but he was a young lad of action and began following a path that would allow his dreams to become a reality. The boy grew up and become greatly admired and respected. He became a young man both loved and envied by all those around him. The boy, now a young man, went off and did some pretty extraordinary things. He left his surroundings and saw parts of the world that people from his home had never even knew existed. Somehow during his journey, the young man became a hero.

But, he never wanted to be a hero. The life of a hero is hard. The life of a hero is difficult. The life of a hero is lonely. The life of a hero always ends heartache and death. The life of a hero is not something he wanted, but it became the life he lived. He traveled from town to town, from place to place, from one world to another. Always doing good. Always helping others.

One day the hero met a beautiful woman. Red flowing hair, green enchanting eyes, buxom body. She looked like an Irish queen. The woman enchanted the hero and before he knew it the woman was trying to literally steal his heart by ripping it out of his chest. He pulled out an M-16 and blew her away. Moments later a red dragon came out of nowhere, roasted him with his fire-breath, and swallowed him whole.

Dragons might be ancient, but they can be really dumb sometimes. Dragons should always remember that if you swallow someone whole, you should make sure they are dead first. Otherwise, you'll end up with something much worse than heartburn. Such was the case with the dragon who swallowed the hero. Moments later as he was flying through the sky, he began to convulse and fell to the ground dead. Seconds after that, the hero ripped his way through the skin of the dead dragon. He was burned a little, but the dragons blood had mysteriously healed his wounds. The hero then took his trusty Swedish Army knife and cut out the dragons heart and ate it raw. Then he went up to the dragons eyes, plucked those out and ate them too. Next he began plucking out all the dragon's teeth. All total there were 58.

The hero went to the local library and began listing the dragon's teeth on Ebay. He kept 6 for himself, but sold the rest. His auction of dragon teeth fetched him a profit of over $10,000,000 (dragon teeth are so rare to find nowadays). The hero paid a contracter to build him his dream house. Then he went out to Hollywood, hired a camera crew, and filmed a small independent film. The film became the biggest undergrown success in movie history. The hero started his own studio (Stronghold Studios). He wrote some books and hit the lecture circuit. With all his fame and fortune, he went to the girl he loved, the girl who kept rejecting his proposals for various reasons, proposed to her. She said yes. They flew to the Virgin Islands and were married. On that same day, the hero retired from being a hero because he finally got the girl and he didn't want it all to end in death. And in the end, the hero and his wife had many other adventures and lived happily ever after.

Moral of the story: Real dragon teeth can net you a fortune on the Internet.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Writing Again

I started writing again last night. Not that I haven't been writing in some form or fashion everyday for the past several years. But, outside of journaling and the occassional treatise, poem, or essay that I compose I haven't done any writing for myself. I have started so many different projects (novels, children's stories, play, screenplay), but I am a terrible undisciplined writer and am easily distracted and so have only finished one major work (the 1st part of a sci-fi trilogy) in the past 10 years. Several years ago I started writing a play. I stopped writing it because #1 I got distracted and #2 I didn't know how the play was going to end. Last night, I finally figured out how to end the play. The play is called Nice Guys Finish Last? I said I would never be able to finish the play until I could answer that question for myself. Last night, I figured out how to answer the question and present it on stage. In about 30 minutes I completed a couple of scenes. It felt so good. Besides the play, another project that I started was this homage to C.S. Lewis. I have the story completed in my head and have told it for the last three years to most all the cabins I have counseled. However, even though I haven't even finished writing the first story, I have a sequel planned. I know how the sequel is supposed to begin and end, but I could never figure out what is supposed to occur in the middle. Last night, I figured out a huge chunk of the middle section! I know now what Queen Stephanie's greatest challenge will be on her quest to find the Element of Hope that is supposed to save David Lewis.

Granted, most of these ideas are still in my head and not on paper. Granted, I'll probably be so distracted from now until the end of the semester that I won't be able to sit down and revisit them and start to write them down. Still, it feels so good to have finally figured these things out. Even if I never do completely finish writing my play out, I have seen the thing unfold once and even if the world never learns what happens to David Lewis and Queen Stephanie in the Land of Ainran, I know how it turns out. Stephanie has already faced her greatest challenge and my play has already been performed on the grand stage of my imagination. That's the best place to perform in anyway.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Chuck Hit One

During the last year that Charles Schulz drew PEANUTS, Charlie Brown hit a home run. For nearly 40 years Charlie Brown had gone to the plate dreaming of hitting a home run, but he always struck out. But Chuck never gave up. He kept trying, and trying, and trying. Finally, after a lifetime of striking out, Charlie didn't strike out but hit a homerun. It was only one, but it was enough. The lovable loser finally came through, he wasn't quite the loser everyone had always thought he was.

Charlie Brown is the cultural icon that most resembles me. Like good old Charles, I finally got an opportunity to get up to bat and didn't strike out. For one brief moment in my life, I found myself in complete happiness. For a few prolonged seconds, a few minutes, I knew totally happiness and utter joy. And then it was gone.

I don't know if I'll ever have another moment like that in my life. Reflecting upon my life and all that has gone before, the chances are pretty much nil. I've felt so much internal pain and suffering the past few weeks. It's bound to only end bad for me. It always does. That's the nature of a hero.

I once was going to write a book entitled ALWAYS THE SIDEKICK, BUT NEVER THE HERO. I still might write that book, but the title will be ironic, because it's not true. You see a true hero never gets the girl and ends up dying at the end of the story. The sidekick, on the other hand, always ends up with the girl of his choice and goes on to live a life happily ever after. I don't want to be a hero. I don't want to be the lovable loser anymore. I want more than a fleeting moment of happiness. I'm tired of being the hero. I want to be the sidekick for a change. But, that's probably not going to happen. Instead, I'll once again be the guy who saves the day and rides off into the sunset alone, leaving behind those he loves most because he's too honorable to do the thing that he really wants.

I'm a monarch in exile and it hurts like hell. I long to be free from this new-found pain that has been tormenting me everyday, but I know it is something I will probably have to live with everyday of my life until I finally leave this life behind.

Still, I'll still have that one moment of happiness. One moment of happiness to keep me company amidst a life of internal pain and anguish.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I Hope That Something Better Comes Along

"I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"
written by Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams

(Rowlf & Kermit--both voiced by Jim Henson--sing their laments about women after Miss Piggy just walked out on her date with Kermit)

Rowlf: Evenin' Rowlf. Rowlf the Dog. Sit yourself down.

Kermit: Kermit. Kermit the Frog.

Rowlf: Please to meet ya.(Rowlf plays a rapid musical scale across the piano's keys)

Rowlf: I'm no Heifetz, but I get by.

Kermit: That was...that was very nice.(Rowlf notices Kermit's sad mood)

Rowlf: Whoa, hey, broken heart, right?

Kermit: Does it show?

Rowlf: Listen, when you've been tickling the ivories as long as I have, you've seen a broken heart for every drop of rain, a shattered dream for every fallen star!

Kermit: Exactly. She just walked out on me.

Rowlf: Ah, typical. That's why I live alone.

Kermit: You do, huh?

Rowlf: (starts the song's intro) Yep. I finish work, go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take myself for a walk and go to bed.

Kermit: Nice and simple.

Rowlf: Stay away from women. That's my motto.

Kermit: But I can't.

Rowlf: Neither can I. That's my trouble...

Rowlf:You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em.There's somethin' irresistabullish about 'em.We grin and bear it 'cause the nights are long.I hope that somethin' better comes along.
Kermit: (spoken): Yeah, I know what you mean...
Kermit:It's no good complainin' and pointless to holler.
Rowlf:If she's a beauty she'll get under your collar.
Kermit:She made a monkey out of old King Kong,
Both:I hope that somethin' better comes along.
Rowlf:Ah, but what could be better than a saucy Irish setterWhen puppy love comes on strong?Or a collie that's classy, a laddie needs a lassie,A lover and wife gives you a new leash on life.
Kermit: (spoken): Uh, Rowlf, was that a new 'leash' on life?
Rowlf: (spoken): Oh yeah...sorry about that.
Kermit:I don't mean to scare ya, my friend, but I betchaCome "Father's Day", the litter bug's gonna getcha;
Rowlf:The urge is righteous, but the face is wrong.
Both:I hope that somethin' better comes along.
Kermit:Still, it's fun when they're fetching,And agree to see an etchingThat you keep at your lily pad.There is no solution, it's part of evolution,
Rowlf:The pitter-patter of soles,The little feet of tadpoles!
Kermit: (spoken) Ah, Rowlf, tadpoles don't have feet!
Rowlf: (spoken) Oh. Sorry about that.... 2, 3, 4!
Kermit:There's no limitation to mixin' and matchin'
Rowlf:Some get an itchin' for a critter they've been scratchin'.A skunk was badgered the results were strong.
Both:I hope that somethin' better,I hope that somethin' better,I hope that somethin' better comes along!!!
Rowlf: Beep bop bidder da dum dum bum bum bum!
Rowlf: (spoken): It's not often you see a guy that green have the blues that bad!