05 November 2009


Hello all!
Did you know that November is national novel writing month? Well it is and I have joined the website (NaNoWriMo) dedicated to helping budding writers to finish a 50,000 word book in thirty day! Quite challenging I must admit! It is quite freeing however to be free of the weight that comes with (for me at least) excessive editing. I will edit, are re-edit a passage until it is just a shade of its former bulk. Though this adds to quality it reduces quantity and this has been a problem for me when trying to finish any of my novels that are "in the works". I am enjoying this great opportunity (thank you Mr. Eric!) and if anyone would like to check my progress the link to the site is above. I know you will all be very encouraging throughout the difficult weeks ahead!

12 October 2009

Fahrenheit 451

Knowledge vs. Ignorance

Knowledge versus ignorance – which would you choose? Throughout history this has been a predominate idea in literature, movies, television and philosophy. Is ignorance really bliss? Would you sacrifice your happiness for the light and wisdom that knowledge brings? In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece, Guy Montag risks it all and takes the red pill.
Knowledge . . . ignorance – they are personified so clearly in Clarisse and Mildred. Clarisse is a light in the dark, bookless world Montag lives in. A kind of Athena she shows him the path to wisdom and knowledge. It is she who opens his eyes. With the taste of her knowledge still lingering on his palette he desires more, more – more! This is why he begins stealing books. He believes that they will teach him, that he will learn from them, that they will show him the light, and help him to taste again that alluring seductress knowledge.
Mildred represents ignorance. Cut off from reality she is trapped in a matrix of her own design. Blissfully ignorant of the death hurtling towards her she is lost in her delightful fantasy. She is a sheep, blindly following the dictates of her ignorant government, not thinking for herself – and she loves her ignorance. She loves the parlor (which represents ignorance) and hates those loathsome books (the shining light of reason.)
Knowledge and ignorance are shown through the books “reason” and the parlors “bliss”. They are the antithesis of each other. The Fire Chief likens books to “pores in a face”. Books show the flaws of the universe – of humanity. Though if taken at face value this is a bad thing, it is actually a great marvel. Through books we see that we are not perfect, and yet we see heroes striving for greatness. The great Heracles was of a surety not perfect, and yet he ascended to Mount Olympus because of his epic struggle to be more than his fate allotted to him.
The parlors (or “families”) in contrast make the world out to be all hunky-dory, beautiful – perfect. This is great if all you desire is peace of mind, but it is not true. True peace only comes through truth and sooner of later this fake peace will turn into what it is – rubbish. If everything is perfect, all nice and orderly, there is nothing to live for. There is no way that you, a simple human being, can make a difference in an already perfect world. You cannot change it for the better or the worse, you can simply be – this is a sad and horrible misconception.
The third metaphor for knowledge and ignorance in Fahrenheit 451 is the society, or government and the scholars “book covers”. The government set out to create a world without controversy. They banned books, seeing that all they did was “cause trouble”. This was an ignorant and misinformed decision. Instead of creating a perfect world, they created a society where the common man could not think for himself!
On the other hand they pushed the scholars into absolute abandon. Now instead of thinking quietly and causing no harm these professors spend their days memorizing books, turning themselves into outlaws, criminals against this ignorant people. These “book covers” know that after the dust settles humanity will need the knowledge they have stored up to begin anew. They know that it is they who will – in the end – be witness to the greatest rebirth the world has ever seen.
In conclusion, Fahrenheit 451 is a warning. A warning to beware we do not let ignorance conquer us. A warning to swallow the “knowledge” pill, however bitter it be – and a warning to look to the future and protect it, to live in the present – and to always remember the past.

09 October 2009

The Problem With Democracy

Hello Bloggers! I had to read (for school) Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm. After reading these intriguing books I was ordered to write a paper with my view of what the "perfect" balance of a government would be between strict, control and absolute, boundless chaotic freedom. This is the paper I wrote. Feel free to comment, in fact I would appreciate any comments immensely!

The closest to a perfect government (or the balance of power between “control” and “freedom”) is Democracy. In theory this form of government is “fool proof”. The officials are elected “for the people, by the people”. They are given power based on their merit. This philosophy of government is flawed. It is subject to the whims of humanity; humanity as a whole is easily led astray – this is not a good thing. In short a Democracy run by reason not by feelings would be the purest balance between Chaos and Dictatorship. The problem with Democracy can be summed up as “the human problem”.
In contrast with Democracy, Anarchy presents none of these “control” problems as no man has control over another. Anarchy (by definition) is the absence of government, and hence, the abolishment of control. There are flaws in this type of non-government too! The main flaw of the philosophy of Anarchy is that (again) humanity is not perfect. As in Lord of the Flies people would run wild. In this fear driven society Maslow’s Needs would be limited to Physical Needs and Safety Needs. Social, Esteem and “spiritual” or “aesthetic” would be out. To conclude this idea, it is clear that Democracy presents the finest choice. It controls people more than they like, but it also protects them and forms a sense of “stability” in their life. Democracy is, therefore, the subject of this paper.
There are two problems with Democracy. One - the written law and spoken word are not held in high enough reverence. Two, officials who are elected – for the people, by the people – are corrupted by their hunger for power.
The first (of many) problems with Democracy (in practice) is that it does not abide by the written and spoken word (law). Using the United States as a model we will explore Democracy’s problems. The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were put into effect to make the “powers” that government had over the citizens of its country into writing so that it would not be subject to change, and to protect the rights of its people. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are well written and if the Untied States actually did practice what it preaches this country would be as close to a true Democracy as anyplace in the world. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are (sadly) not upheld as they should be. An example of this can be found in the incident in Ohio where protesters (using their right of free speech) were slaughtered by U.S. soldiers. Another example is the right of Americans to have and bear arms which has been restricted by the “hand gun license law”. This law prevents the carrying of a gun without the proper “permission” from the authorities. The written and spoken law is not considered “unchangeable”, but rather is subject to amendments and the passing of new laws which widens the governments control over our personal freedoms.
The second reason our country is not a true balance of power between “control” and “freedom” is that once in a position of power our officials are corrupted. This is shown throughout history. One example of this (though it is a moral and not a practical corruption) is the recently discovered fact that supposedly “Christian” men were entertaining harlots at their abode. Power, no matter how small, corrupts, and the greater the power the greater the corruption. Though we hear it said “all men are equal” yet isn’t the very fact that the government issues laws telling us that they believe that they know more than we do? This shows us they think they know best, revealing that they believe “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” (Animal Farm).
There are many people who disagree with me, who would say, “The United States is the best place to live! Where else would you rather live? We are the richest and most blest people in the world!”
To those people I would say – the reason we are the richest people in the world is because of Capitalism, not Democracy! I agree that this is the best place – and the only place I would want - to live. This is the closest to a true Democracy we are likely to find in the world – until people start living by reason and not emotions.
In conclusion, a true Democracy is the balance between “control” and “freedom”. To bad for us this perfect government does not exist!

26 August 2009

Love & Loyalty

Hera, goddess of Devotion;
Zeus the god of the Skies,
Poseidon, god of the Ocean,
Athena, grey-eyed goddess wise

All fair lovers, all betrayed;
Echo savior of her friends,
Medusa on whom a curse was laid;
A warning to all lovers lends.

Zeus how could you forsake Juno?
Who loves you with such fiery passion?
But no you had to play it uno,
And fall to skin deep attraction.

Medusa, fair mortal, lover of the sea king,
Poseidon’s promise to Athena he did break;
This will be met with curses and despising;
Medusa his aloofness seals your fate.

And now a warning to all whom lovers cheat,
You do not only yourself soil,
For vengeful wives will curse and beat;
So beware- do not lightly be disloyal!

18 May 2009

Noise vs. Silence

As part of my freshman literature class I was required to respond to the following quotation and questions in a timed essay (SAT preparation). My instructor found my musings quite interesting. Maybe you will too.

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.... Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation. (Jean Arp)

Are "tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing . . ." the sounds of human progress? Does modern humankind find comfort in such cacophony? Why does "man" become anxious when faced with silence?

Why does modern man find “noise” comforting? There are several reasons, one- the sound of technology boosts confidence in the ability of human-kind to withstand many trials and to keep inventing better ways of transportation and energy. Two, it marks the presence of other people around to help, and to talk to. Humans are creatures of a social nature and one of the scariest things would be a world where there is no one to interact with. There is a great deal of reassurance to be found in “noise”. This is why people listen to music, watch television and generally plan their lives around loud and boisterous activities.

One of the reasons that people find noise so comforting is the fact that with the sound of success (progress in technology, and science) booming their ears they are convinced that humanity is moving forward. This is however, not the most predominant reason as to why people do not worry (have anxiety) when surrounded by a loud sounds. Men cannot think clearly with the din of life pounding into their eardrums and when he cannot think, he cannot worry about the state of things. Sound in this quote suggests “a constant state of hectic-ness” a constant motion, no time to sit still and just “be” without the interference of the ever present noise and confusion.

The second reason that humans as a whole find sound comforting is that it marks the presence of others here with them. They know from the sounds of those around them in the workplace and everywhere else that they are not alone. Not having someone to talk to and share their experiences with is one of the most horrifying things people can imagine. This is shown through modern media in various ways. Motion pictures and television are the best examples. Television shows such as Jericho give life to the terror we all find at the fact that we could be faced with the horror of being the “last man alive”.
Earth Abides, the novel, showed this very clearly by the way that the author followed one man’s travels through an earth, alone and destitute. Silence makes us realize our own flaws, it makes us see who we really are, and that is terrifying indeed. People are distracted, taken away from their anxious thoughts and worrying ways by the constant motion, the relentless sound that is found throughout the world today.

In conclusion, humans are creatures of thought and reason which is what distinguishes them from the rest of the animal kingdom. “Noise” or the- “Tooting, howling, screaming, booming...” of life has made humans think less and act rashly, they have no time to worry, they are constantly in motion, moving towards the day of their death and not ever stopping to “smell the roses” or look at the greater scheme of life and realize that they are in fact just a small part of it.

04 February 2009

The Trickster's Choice

Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness Book 1)


Alianne (Aly) Cooper is the daughter of George Cooper, His Majesty’s Spy-master, and Alanna (Lioness) Cooper, King’s Champion. She has as her god-parents a King and Queen and as her adopted uncle and aunt the most powerful Mage in the realm and a half-goddess enchantress. But what will happen when sixteen year old Aly sneaks away from her over-protective and powerful family? The adventure begins...

Captured by slave-traders (and with it not being Pirate season yet- dumb pirates, can’t they tell time, they’re not due for at least another month!) she is taken from her ancestral home Tortall to the political turmoil of the Copper Islands. Bought by Duke Mequen, third in line for the throne, she resolves to escape and return to her father as soon as possible, but is swayed from her resolve by The Trickster.

Kyprioth, Trickster and rebellious little brother, he is determined to reclaim his throne- the worship of the Copper Isle peoples- that was stolen from him by his bother, Shining Mythros, and his sister the Mother Goddess. Aly is caught up in his scheme from the very beginning. He offers her a wager- keep Duke Mequen’s children safe for the summer and win a trip home and a place within her father’s inner circle of spies, or lose and be Kyprioth’s thrall for a year.
The draw of the game is too alluring to refuse, she accepts, and is thrust into the world of political intrigue and violence, where you are assassinated for the blood that runs through your veins.

Nawat Crow, the handsome “Crow-man” took human shape to protect Aly from the dangers that haunt her. He can run like a horse, swift as and eagle, yet silent as the wind, and his fingers are so swift they can pluck arrows from the air like ripe cherries, and delicate enough to fletch arrows with deadly Stormwing feathers. This man is protector and danger, all rolled into one of the funniest heroes every to stalk the pages of the mystical realm. Protector of Aly’s future and danger to her heart, he is both alluring and frightening.

Sarai, Dove, Namair, George, Jonathan, Thayet, Alanna, Mythros, Winnie and Alan are just a few of the characters that will march into you heart through the heralding pages of Trickster’s Choice and lodge there, bringing mystery and excitement with them. The game of The Trickster, is just beginning...The Tricksters Choice, has been made...

26 January 2009

Foil, Foil, Foil and...oh, yes- Foil

I wrapped foil on my foil,
and joined my foils to foil the plot of my nemesis.

I have used the word foil four times in the sentence above. However, it was used to describe/mean different things.

To Foil
The Foil
My foil
Her Foil

What do these words mean, and how do they differ from one another? Immensely!
Foil (food)- A thin, flexible leaf or sheet of metal: aluminum foil
Foil (sword) - A fencing sword
Foil (character) - A character that contrasts with the protagonist, usually having some characteristics in common with the main character
Foil (ruin) - To thwart, or ruin the work of another

These are some of the ways you can use the word foil! Fun isn't it! Use it sometime with your friends- see if they can understand what you're saying!