To fortune man is just a pawn,
And till from earth he's dead and gone,
A happy life he hasn't led
For Dest'ny cares not where we tread
In life, she is a terrible judge.
If you're at peace she'll give a nudge
Then soon you're wealth she'll confiscate
And leave you poor to speculate
Why fate has been so cruel

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Request

It was requested that I put a little of my story-under-progress on here. So, here is a little scene I enjoyed writing.

* * * * *

Ellen hit the loudspeakers button. “Harlington, where the hell are you? We've got three UN gunships bearing down on us. Looks like they're also deploying boarding pods.”
The doors behind her opened and a short, fat little man soared through the air, landing perfectly in the seat next to Ellen. “Yes sir. Fuel engines have been engaged. Power generators have been engaged.” He flipped a few buttons and switches deftly as he spoke. “Sir, are you going to buckle up?” he said after glancing at Ellen.
Casting an annoyed glance to her left, Ellen said, “I was just getting to that.”
“Where are we going?”
“Earth's moon.”
“Port Royal?” said Harlington, rolling the r in royal.
The little man gazed out of the window as Ellen hurriedly buckled herself up. He stroked his jet-black mustache and squinted warily at the fleet in front of them. Zilch Harlington, Ellen's co-pilot squinted warily out the window.
“It looks like we are in for quite a ride Captain. Any ideas as to why they are after us?”
As the two waited for the different systems to heat up so they could start moving, Ellen clenched and unclenched her right hand nervously.
“You know,” said Harlington in a matter-of-fact tone of voice, “I think two pieces of toast with raspberry and lemon jam right now would be just delicious.”
When she looked over at him incredulously, he frowned. “Is something wrong sir?”
He never seemed to lose it, and even in the direst of situations he could always find something amusing to say. She shook her head and said, “Nothing.”
An alarm went off. Annoyed, Ellen looked around the control board.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Three Elements

An essay I did on writing. Thought it turned out pretty good.

What makes a captivating story? This is a very complicated question, but there are three devices that can be said are the basic elements of story: plot, character, and dialogue.
Probably the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about what makes a good book is story. Action and thriller stories draw heavily on strong plot. Things like engaging plot line, unforeseen developments, and 'Twist' endings. Obviously, there are already traditions in this area, because oftentimes, it is easy to predict the ending of a story. This is because we have been exposed to many storytelling conventions. Hero triumphs in the end, man gets girl, bad guy is defeated— these are some of the most common developments used. Because so many stories have been written and told, it becomes harder and harder to come up with fresh, entertaining developments; nonetheless, it is quite possible.
Well designed, paradoxical characters make for an interesting and entertaining story; while Fake, dreary characters ruin the best plot and writing style. When a reader picks up a book, it is the characters that draw them through the story. The reader must be able to identify in some way with the lead character, for it is the reader's concern for the lead that draws him through the story. Usually, quieter stories that don't have much action or suspense rely on strong complex characters. The story revolves around the changes and revelations of a specific character.
Another main component of a good story is dialogue. Although the reader may not realize this, this is the most important element of a good book. The two paragraphs above are about plot and character, which are extremely important; but it is the dialogue that gets down and actually conveys good plot and character. A character's thoughts, opinion, and personality are shown through his speech, and plot is developed through this same medium. Instead of telling the reader plain out what happens, it is almost always better to convey plot development by means of dialogue. Every character should have a distinct manner of vocalization and should not speak textbook-perfect English—no one uses good English in conversation.
A fresh and entertaining plot, complex vivid characters, and natural flowing dialogue are the main components to a good story. Action thriller stories can always use more character development, and literary stories can always use more plot elaboration. These three devices—plot, character, and dialogue—are the foundation of all fiction.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Christian Authors

I have come to the decision that there are very few (if any at all) good/talented Christian authors. There are of course exceptions, like Tolkien and Lewis, but there are precious few. I wonder why that is. Maybe it's because they're too... Christian-ey? I dunno.

Now I'm not saying this because I think Christian authors don't have enough violence and language and whatnot... They just don't have skill. They're either too corny or too sentimental.

The reason I say this, is so far, I have not been entranced with any of the Christian authors I've read (I suppose that must be pretty obvious). And a couple days ago, I got a book from the library called Deep Storm, by Lincoln Child, a non-Christian author. For the first time in a very long time, probably like five years, I wasn't able to put the book down. Don't you love it when that happens? Well, I do at any rate. The story was quite entertaining, and I was quite pleased that the author kept the obscene stuff to a minimum (a couple gory scenes and a sprinkling of obscene words. Not even a single kiss... which was of course good). Today I got another book by the same author called Death Match, and after the first thirty pages it promises to be as entertaining as the first.

My parents both read this post, and say that I should clarify that I'm talking about fiction writers. OK. I did that.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Well, I got Eragon from our library last Saturday, and I think I'm going to finish it off tonight. I must say, it was better than I expected, but of course it doesn't compare with Lord of the Rings (Which, incedentally, Paolini draws heavily off of). I haven't seen the movie yet, which is good, because I like to read books before I see movies based off of them, because in 99 out of 100 times, the book is better than the movie.

The reason I got the book in the first place, was because of the author. He was fifteen when he began the first book, and it took him a year to finish the first draft. That's just my age, so I am intrigued reading the work of a kid my age. He's in his early twenties now, but it's still cool reading a published book written by a fifteen year old. This is very interesting, but he was homeschooled. Also, he liked classical music, and listened to it while writing Eragon. But get this, Stephen King (I hope you know who that is) listens to hard rock while he writes. Very interesting.

Now, of course, I've been working on a new story for a couple of weeks. I don't really want to say anything about the plot right now. But, I've gotten over 15,000 words now. My goal is somewhere around 100,000 words, so I'm slowly getting there. Also, I decided to throw myself a little party when I finish; go get a bunch of junk food and soda, and stay up all night, and read my book when I finish the first draft.

If you're wondering, I listen to Skillet when I write. I wonder what that says about my writing. I guess I must be somewhere inbetween Eragon's simple characters, black and white morals, uplifting air, and Stephen Kings dark, horror stories.

Me and Dancing

I'm sure when you read the title, you said to yourself, 'Oh dear, now he's gonna crack on dancing and how stupid it is and how he hates it and blah blah blah.'

Well, you're right, it is quite pointless. Actually... Wait, no, I take that back. It's good exercise. But otherwise it's pointless. Although I must say, most of us could do with a bit of exercise.

But all that is beside the point. Today, or rather tonight, I went to a Ceili (It's pronounced Kaley, like Haley with a 'K' sound. Don't ask about the spelling, it's Irish). It's an Irish dance sorta thing. There was food, which of course I love. I mean come on, what 15 year old boy doesn't like food? Cookies, chips, soda, all that good stuff.

The reason I went, is because my sister takes Irish step dancing, and her school holds a Kaley. She's actually quite accomplished and talented in that area. Anyways, the point is to dance. So, I danced with my sister. They taught some simple steps, and then we danced to traditional Irish music. I never thought anyone would here me say this, but I actually, very surprisingly, enjoyed myself. Yes, I enjoyed dancing. Wow.
(if you haven't caught it yet, this would be the point at which you faint)

I was one of the only boys there. There were plenty of fathers and grandfathers, but I was one of the few young boys. I wonder why.

You may not know this, but I enjoy dressing up in a suit and tie, and jump at every chance I get. So, I wore a nice dark pin-stripe suit, with a blue shirt and a green and black tie, which I like. I looked pretty good, if I may say so myself, and I'm still wearing the former mentioned clothes as I type.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Fog

I had an interesting idea for a story. Because I'm already working on a novel, I shall write a few paragraphs or lines every now and then and post then on my blog. I'm not going to go back over it and check it or anything, so excuse any grammatical/spelling errors. I have no idea, really, where this is going to go, I just had this image and vague feeling, so, here goes.

With his chin on his desk, George Brown gazed--frowning--out the window.

It was Friday afternoon, but the sun was nowhere to be seen. Although you couldn't tell by looking up, the sky was covered with thick, gray, ominous clouds. There was something mysterious about this fog, and George didn't like it at all. It was suppressing and dark. Ever since childhood, he had disliked fog; the reason probably being that he had once gotten lost in it when he was hiking, and almost never made it back home. Most fogs he could deal with, but this one-- it just didn't feel right.

George sighed resignedly and creakily stood up. It was different not having to go to work every morning. During his working life, he had always dreamed of waking up at 11:00, dragging through breakfast, watching TV, and being generally lazy. But, now that he was actually there, he found it too tiring to wake up any later than 6:00. And it had become boring sitting in front of the TV all day long.

In the distance, he heard a sad, lonely church-bell toll, muffled by the thick fog. He glanced down at his watch. 3:01.

Maybe he'd take a walk up to the old church. Yes, that's what he'd do. He needed the exercise.

Soon he was striding briskly down Rose Street, trying to ignore the fog pressing in around him.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Timelessly Practical Utensils

Here is an essay on spoons I finished today. I think it turned out OK, so here it is.

Spoons. Rather insignificant devices. Or maybe not. In fact, they are the basis of modern society. Yes, there may be a couple in the kitchen, but there aren't that many, right? But there are that many. They infest the earth like ants, only they are serviceable tools, not useless pieces of plastic and metal that clutter.
Because there are so many types of food, it naturally follows that there are many kinds of utensils to match. On the other hand, not all spoons are used for cooking. Take the dreaded 'spanking' spoon for example. I'm sure we all have vivid memories of that wooden—maybe it was plastic, or even metal—spoon; hideous exaggerations buried deep in the archives of our brains. Fortunately, there are merry crystal ladles, homely measuring spoons, and delicate tea-straining spoons to blot out unwanted recollections past. Making their homes in the kitchen, the sandbox, the dining room, the occasional toy box, the office (coffee stirring spoons of course, but they have largely been replaced by plastic coffee straws as of late), trains, restaurants, grocery stores, malls... It's almost frightening how wide-spread they are. If they decided to take over the world—but let's not get into that. All this goes to show just how many different types of spoons there are, and how widespread they are.
There must, of course, be a use for every spoon out there, and, like most anything, proper use is sometimes abused. It may be surprising, but certain spoons make a quite au fait rapiers. If mechanized properly, with adequate skill and knowledge, they can serve as devastatingly effective catapults. Although this is not commonly known, spoons can also serve as a capable nose-guards. Cooking would become immediately impossible without spoons, and it's excruciating to even ponder life without soup-spoons. Obviously, if used liberally, they can make gorgeous jewlery—earrings, nose-rings, belly-rings, necklaces, bracelets and the like. It may come as a surprise, but even a card game was named after these extremely helpful tools. Plastic spoons make great digging implements if you don't have access to a shovel (for example: in a prison).
But, believe it or not, spoons have their shortcomings and dark sides. What could possibly be wrong with spoons? Well, when a spoon is needed—and it doesn't matter what for—They are nowhere to be found. They are dirty and are in the dishwasher, lost in the garbage disposal, scattered outside, or entombed in the trashcan. Sadly, sometimes soup-spoons develop blemishes, holes, and other weak spots. As with most small objects, they can also be a choking hazard, and if lost down the garbage disposal, they are prone to ruin the motor by jamming the blades. A most annoying dilemma.
The spoon is a timelessly practical utensil that will never see an end of new uses and variations. Spoons will indefinitely outlive civilization. Surprisingly, many people do not realize the power they have over modern day society. Indeed, the entire culinary industry rests in the hands of these small indented little devices. Soup-consumption would become barbarically messy, not to mention the eating of other such foods like ice-cream, yogurt, pudding, and Jello. Although they have their weak spots and shortcomings, spoons are foundational to our lives.