Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

I was in elementary school when Reagan and Carter were running for President.  I recall an interesting assignment where we were asked for volunteers to act as the respective candidates and then engage in a mock debate based on one of the actual debates.  In retrospect, that seems like pretty heavy stuff for elementary school kids, but I thought it was great.  I volunteered, of course, and I got Reagan.  I spent that evening watching the debate, having little clue and even less context as to what all of this was, but I took notes, furiously.

The next day was a blowout.  The poor girl who was standing in for Carter had not really taken the assignment seriously.  This, of course, did not prove to be a reasonable representation of the debate (though some may argue otherwise), and I won because of my preparedness.  I do not recall the reason for the exercise, but the way it was conducted does provide a good lesson.  Had we both come prepared, it would have been much more exciting.

Flash forward to another debate I had.  This time, it was in High School, and it was a legitimate debate in Speech class.  This was the time when Texas was finally giving in and raising the drinking age from nineteen to twenty-one.  We decided to have a debate on it, and I was on the team that was against the raise.

Being the type to like to be prepared, I did a lot of research.  I will admit, I even found some “evidence” that I knew was a bit manipulative, but I planned to pitch it a certain way so as to advance my team’s agenda.  If pushed, I even had spins and escape plans.  (Maybe I should have gone into politics, but I digress).

It was another blowout.  I did most of the talking, as my teammates lacked the confidence and preparedness to step up.  The other team fumbled and kept getting backed into corners.  When it was all done, the judges (our teacher and two other students) gave their verdicts … and we lost.

The teacher voted for us, but the two students voted for the other team.  The teacher got up and talked it all out, basically saying that our team had destroyed the other.  When pressed, both kids said they voted as they did because they supported raising the drinking age.  My teacher managed to not facepalm and explained that the judges were to vote purely based on the evidence presented, which she had instructed prior to the whole thing starting.

Still, another lesson.  You can be prepared and present all the evidence you want, and sometimes opinion and belief will outweigh anything else, no matter what.  With humans, dogma sometimes has more value than verified facts.

Personally, I believe dogma ‘won’ both of those debates.

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Sword of the Butterfly – print edition
Sword of the Butterfly – Kindle edition

There are things out there we don’t understand.  There are things in the darkness that hiss and whisper and gnaw at us.  We have our doubts and our fears.  There are behaviors we don’t understand.  Why are some people so horrible to others?  Why are some people convinced of living by hate and greed?  Mysteries abound within this existence.  We’d be arrogant to think we know everything.

There are those who have experienced things, and through the frailty of their own imperfect interpretation, they have attempted to relate these things.  There are books of strange knowledge, and there are those who would search through these for what kernel of truth may lie within.  There are those who protect such treasures, for even if they are not fully aware of the contents, they shall not let them be abused by others.

Three such rare and valuable books of power are out there.  Two have been found, but one still eludes.  There are two powerful families, one ruled by arrogance, the other tempered by responsibility.  Both could be very wrong in everything they do, and we might be headed to disaster no matter the efforts.  We might be headed to disaster if one or both succeed.

How does one stop the demons of men, even when those demons threaten to take on a life of their own?

Find out in my book, Dance of the Butterfly, the first in a series.

“This story has, action, romance and sex, …, intrigue, crime, and the occult, literally something for everyone. Give it a read. You’ll find it well worth the time.”

“The characters are rich and fully developed and the story reads like a great mystery film. Each piece of information is a puzzle piece – all leading down a dark road that the reader must travel to get to the revealing end.”

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Wherefore art thou?

Posted: November 3, 2016 in Blog
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I have always been interested in performing.  I used to draw my family’s attention with silly antics.  I even put on little variety shows where I dressed in different costumes and imitated politicians, actors, and musical acts.  One time it was Richard Nixon, another time Johnny Carson, and another Angus Young from AC/DC.  I sometimes wonder how things might be different if I had pursued drama and theater like I did writing, but that is a digression.

When I was in elementary school, I had an opportunity to perform in the play, Romeo & Juliet.  I, of course, wanted to be in it, though I think we all had to play some role, whether on or behind the stage.  I also, of course, wanted to play Romeo.

I sat with my mom, who graciously gave her time to practice lines with me.  We were actually having try-outs, and I wanted to be prepared.  When the day came, three of us wanted the role.  The teacher let us read from the book to recite our parts.  It’s silly, in retrospect, to think she wanted such young children to memorize the lines so quickly, but that is what I had done.  I said, with some boastfulness, I will admit, that I didn’t need the book.  She gave me one, anyway, but it was clear I didn’t require it.

I got the part.

It was a very fun experience, and I was so excited.  My mom even made me a costume, which ended up looking a bit more like Peter Pan, with too much yellow featured, but it worked.  As I recall, I also ended up wearing it for Halloween.  I was super excited, and I tried on the costume and tooled around the house “practicing” with my plastic rapier.  You know, since Romeo has so many sword-fighting scenes.

The funny thing is that I ended up also serving as a line coach, I suppose you’d call it.  Not everyone had studied their lines as diligently as I had.  I recall strategically turning my head at some points and whispering the beginning of Juliet’s lines to her when she’d forget.  I also stood behind the curtain when I was not on stage and did the same to others who might stumble.  I relished it.  I enjoyed knowing it so well and helping others.

I can’t say as I acted all that much, but it was a fun and great learning experience.

If you enjoy my posts, please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a series, and the second will be published next year.  Thank you!

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I am a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  I do not much get into the debate regarding his racism, much as I do not much get into the debates regarding other negative personal qualities of artists whose work I may admire.  Perhaps that is a form of condoning, though I’d not support such bigotry.  Maybe a sprinkle of naïveté?  It’s a difficult situation, so I digress …

The point of this post is that I cannot determine when I was exposed to Lovecraft’s works.  I recall seeing an original edition Deities & Demigods book from Dungeons & Dragons, and it had a section on the creatures of Lovecraft.  I was quite young, preteen, and I do not feel like the information was unfamiliar.  I was raised in a conservative, religious household.  I was not exposed to Lovecraft through my family.  I spent most of my formative years in a rural area, so I did not have any sort of regular access to the sorts of stores, libraries, or general groups that may have offered such an introduction.  And to put a finer point on it, the internet had not yet been invented.

So, I am left to wonder – where, when, and how did I learn of Lovecraft?

I also mentioned in another blog post that I wrote a play when in elementary school.  The play was largely influenced by A Boy and His Dog.  To the best of my recollection, I had not read the Ellison book or seen the film.  I wonder where this knowledge comes from.

This also leads me to examining of memory, but not just that, also creativity.  I used to think (and may still do) that our brain is capable of mimicking sensation.  It knows, in an abstract sense, what any stimuli would feel like.  I figured this was how dreams could feel so “real”.  This, of course, easily results in the question ‘how would you know it felt right if you had not felt it before?’ but again, I shall digress rather than delving this post even further into metaphysics.

I have also heard of readers wondering how a writer’s imagination can not only conjure up the things it does, but then how do the words manage to so convincingly convey the situation and accordant feelings?  Imagination is the answer, of course, but there must be something compelling of it, or it may easily be dismissed.

Perhaps it is fitting that I began this thought exercise with mention of Lovecraft.  He wrote of things outside the boundaries of human perception.  Things that could not be properly seen or known by the human mind.  Things that might break said minds and result in insanity.

The generous span and scope of potential human knowledge amazes me, as do its possible limitations.