Wyrdwend

The Filidhic Literary Blog of Jack Günter

WHAT I NOW DO ON THE WEEKENDS

WHAT I NOW DO ON THE WEEKENDS

How and Why My Weekends Are Now Totally Different

I used to save my weekends for my entertainments. Watching TV and occasionally (very occasionally) playing video games, or just sitting around and relaxing. Because I don’t do these things during the week. Occasionally I’d also go somewhere, like to a movie. Or a bookstore, or library, or I’d work on one of my novels or books. The idea being that I used my weekends for relaxation and entertainment.

Now I have a totally different weekend routine and schedule.

Why?

Because I realized that my weekends were not advancing me. At all. As a matter of fact they often allowed me to regress in my progress so that come Monday I often had to intensify my efforts to make up for lost productivity or advancement on the weekends.

I used to think my weekends were for entertainment and relaxation.

Now, instead, I think of my weekends (and conduct my weekends) as an opportunity for recreation, fun, and enjoyment.

I take pleasure and enjoyment now in different kinds of things, some very different from my prior weekend schedule, some subtly but still noticeably different from my previous weekend activities.

So let me now sketch out some of the activities I currently engage in during the weekends:

1. I continue my physical training from the week before. Not as hard, but in a relaxed form. Often this involves things that stretch me out, enhance my flexibility and my reflexes (very helpful considering my prior injuries), or allow me to recover from weight lifting and hiking in heavy packs. Things such as boxing, sword fighting, working on stealth, climbing, throwing the discus, hitting baseball, yoga, tai chi, etc.

2. I am teaching myself to play the guitar and to play far more complex chords on the piano than I normally do.

3. I spend time with my wife and kids and pets

4. I have gone back to drawing and sketching and architectural design

5. I learn new languages or improve my mastery of languages I already know

6. I practice and study Theurgy

7. I continue listening to the lectures I had been listening to during the week

8. I play games (board, role play, wargames) either with family and friends or by myself

9. I walk in the forest, explore, or Vad

10. I listen to my scanner or radios or monitor other communications (HAM, shortwave, etc.)

11. I study mathematics and physics (and other sciences, such as epigenetics, chemistry, biology, etc. as the mood strikes me)

12. I read for pleasure ( have returned to genre reading, such as sci-fi, detective, mystery, horror, fantasy, historical fiction, children’s literature, etc. – basically the same kinds of things I write)

13. I write a poem or song (if I’m in the mood)

14. I make notes in my notebooks to prepare for the upcoming week

15. I listen to music with a special emphasis on discovering music that is new to me

16. I work on my wood-craft and soon I plan to buy a small forge and master some of the arts of metalcraft (knife and sword and axe-head making)

17. I am taking up working with drones and 3-D printers and small robots

18. I try to come up with a new business idea or review our investments

19. I invent, build, or repair something, or renovate the house

20. I travel locally, throughout the state, or into nearby states

Now I’m not able to do all of these things every weekend, of course, except spend time with my family (assuming they are not somewhere else), teach myself guitar, and every weekend I try to study and practice Theurgy and explore or spend time in the woods.

But the point is that my weekends are far more active, enjoyable, productive, profitable, and refreshing (they are now Recreationally- oriented) than they are entertainment-oriented. And usually by Monday I am far more energized and ready for the new week than was previously the case.

My advice to you, and I know we live in an entertainment driven culture (movies, video-games, sports, etc.) that promotes entertainment above all else (in many cases), is to skip or put aside the entertainments as much as possible and focus instead on Recreation and more Beneficial Activities.

Personal activities, physical ones, social ones, educational ones, acting on your true goals and objectives, on your hobbies and avocations – focus on the things that bring you the greatest pleasure and fulfillment rather than upon those things that merely distract and entertain you.

For mere entertainment is a time-consuming and life-wasting trap. And more often than not it is a profit-wasting venture rather than an enriching one. And I mean that in both the financial sense (think of how much money you piss-away on bad films, group sports – where you don’t even play, you just sit on your asses watching others play, and mediocre video games) and in the general sense concerning the fact that you are wasting your perishable time and life-span on essentially useless activities.

Now before anyone thinks that I will say that I am not against all video games, or films, or even spectator and group sports. I am merely saying that far too much time is uselessly and profitlessly expended on the pursuit of these things as mere distractions and entertainments from actually living and accomplishing truly worthwhile endeavors and enterprises. Hell, even just a casual weekend hobby – such as rocketry, flying drones, exploring, , reading for pleasure, etc. is likely to be far better for your mind, body, and soul than merely sitting for hours upon your ass passively consuming (for the most part) films, television shows, spectator sports, and video games.

Finally, and not to be overlooked, by being more active on the weekends your sex drive increases. So, more sex with the wife. Sometimes a lot more.

And that never hurts a man…

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HAMMER AND KNIFE

HAMMER AND KNIFE

Hammer and knife
Speartip and strife!
Terror and dread
The Doomed and the Dead!
Helmet and shield
Warmount and weal
To rise and to stand
The measure of man
A line does unfold, and
Another is drawn
The fields are aflame
The brave still unnamed
Blood black and soiled
Desperate we toil
Lords vomit red
Their flesh cold and bled,
Hammer and Knife
Beaten and sliced!
Arrow and sword
Pierced and then gored!
The grunts and the shouts
The moans and the doubts
The rallies and wounds
Shall we be entombed?
We few as we stand
Our fallen in bands
The calls and commands
They litter the land, yet
Exhausted and spent
None must relent, for
My Hammer and Knife
The Wards of my Life
Still fill both my hands
Shall do what they can,
For I fight to the end
Or to grave I descend…

So this morning after walking Sam (my Great Dane) I was practicing with my warhammer and knife when suddenly the following song came to me as I worked. (Not all of it, but the first couple of stanzas.)

Then, after finishing my practice I went to the west deck of my house, and sat in the sun, and imagined a battle and wrote the rest of the piece.

I will publish it as a poem that my character Larmaegeon composes and sings (so it really a song, but sung without musical accompaniment) for his companions right before they go into a seemingly hopeless battle. For in the scene involved they are ambushed and suddenly surrounded.

So this song will go into my novel series the Kithariune.

Since I am now learning the guitar (see here: Fade Away) and am planning on turning to the lute next I am now considering taking some of the poetic works that Larmaegeon and others compose in the novels and writing out the music to such works as well and including those in the novel too. Along with all of the other supplementary material.

I am rather pleased with Hammer and Knife, but if you wish to comment upon it (if it please you or displease you) then feel free to do so.

MAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN…

MAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN…

a morally risk averse creature. Men will certainly do what is right and good when physically forced to do so, or for the pursuit of self-interest, or when they feel truly and personally endangered, or because others insist that must be the case (society, the law, those whom they allow to exercise power over them).

But the percentage of men who will do what is right (or even argue for or wish to do what is right) in every circumstance, and no matter the risk, the danger, or the opposition – simply for the sake of doing what is right – is at least as low as that percentage of men who seek to do harm or wrong or evil simply for the sake of doing harm, wrong, or evil.

(And trust me, there are huge numbers of people so naive and sheltered and willfully ignorant about both life and human nature that they cannot even believe that such men exist. Though they most certainly do.)

So to me the real tragedy of the entire history of man, and probably one of the highest real reasons for his need of salvation, is not that the extremely small percentage of men who are consistently dedicated to doing evil are consistently dedicated to doing evil, but rather that there is such an infinitesimally small percentage of men consistently dedicated to doing what is right simply because it is always best to do so.

(My observation for Maundy Thursday.)

SUBJECT MATTERS FOR THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN

A LIST OF SOME OF THE SUBJECTS AND SUBJECT MATTERS I PLAN TO ADDRESS IN MY BOOKS THE CHRISTIAN HERO, THE CHRISTIAN WIZARD, AND THE CHRISTIAN SAINT

These are more general subjects and not specifically geared towards the peculiarities of any of them. I had planned on further developing these today but my wife needs me to take her to the airport today. These are only recent Subject-Matter additions to the books as they are further developed.

And although these books are addressed to the Christian Layman I think that I shall develop a different term for him/her that shall encompass all of the aspects I mean by Layman, such as: worker, disciple, hero, wizard, (lay or common man’s) saint, and skilled spiritual and psychological craftsman.

I shall have to think on the term first of course, and all that it should imply.

SELF-EDUCATION/AUTO-EDUCATION

DISEASE

INJURY

REST AND RECOVERY

VACATIONS

AVOCATIONS

VOCATIONS

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

TRAINING

WORK – beneficial, good, profitable, productive, clean

THEURGICAL PRACTICE

THEURGICAL WORK

FORMS OF BENEFICIAL ENTERTAINMENT, RECREATION, AND

HEALTH AND HEALING

RESEARCH AND STUDIES

VIRTUES

NAMES

STEWARDSHIP

RELATIONSHIP TO NATURE

THEORIES

GEAR AND EQUIPMENT

CREATING YOUR OWN OBJECTS AND POSSESSIONS

SUB-CREATION

PURSUITS – ARTISTIC, BUSINESS, FINANCIAL, INVESTED, MENTAL, PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, RELIGIOUS, SCIENTIFIC, SPIRITUAL

TREASURES AND TREASURE HOARDS

HEIRLOOMS

ARTEFACTS AND RELICS

ANIMAL COMPANIONS

PARCHMENTS, SCROLLS, AND WRITINGS

NOTEBOOKS

ANCESTORS AND ANTECEDENTS

CHILDREN AND DESCENDANTS

WHO SHOULD TRAIN TO BE A WIZARD, THEURGIST, OR PSIKONIST

EXPLORATION AND VADDING

GRACES, GIFTS, AND TALENTS

ABILITIES, CAPACITIES, CAPABILITIES, AND SKILLS

ATHLETICS, EXERCISE, PHYSICAL CONDITIONING, AND SPORTS

SACRED SPACES

THEURGICAL SPHERES? AND RITUAL ARENAS

AREAS OF BEAUTY AND LIFE

SIN AND SINCERE REPENTANCE

TYPES OF SIN: INTENTIONAL AND UNINTENTIONAL

THE SEVEN STAGES OF REPENTANCE: RECOGNITION, REMORSE, RECOMPENSE and RESTITUTION, RECTIFICATION, RESOLUTION, REPENTANCE, REFORM

CHRISTIAN LOVE (PHILOS AND AGAPE)

FORGIVENESS: GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND MAN’S FORGIVENESS

WHAT CAN THE CHRISTIAN OR CHRISTIAN LAYMAN TRULY DO ABOUT REAL EVIL?

THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON EARTH

THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN AS MISSIONARY

THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN AS INFILTRATOR

THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN AS AMBASSADOR OF CHRIST

THE OPEN WORK AND THE SECRET WORK

REVERSING WRONG

POSSIBLE SPECIALISTS (SUB-CLASSES OR SUB-TYPES)? CRUSADER, EXPLORER, ADVENTURER / SAGE, PROTO-SCIENTIST or NATURAL SCIENTIST, PSYCOPHYSICIAN / SEER, COUNSELOR,

HOW THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN’S HOLY VOCATIONS SHOULD RELATE TO HIS PROFESSIONAL AND MUNDANE OCCUPATIONS AND VOCATIONS

APPRENTICES, APPRENTICESHIPS, AND DISCIPLESHIP

THE LORD AS THE GREAT MASTER

PROMOTING THE GOSPEL

CONVERSION AND THE LAYMAN’S PATHS

THE LAYMAN’S WEAL

THE WORLD’S WELFARE

THE PROVIDENCE AND PROVENANCE OF GOD

BEING “LED”

YOUR PERSONAL CALLING

OCCULT KNOWLEDGE AND GNOSTICISM VERSUS RARE KNOWLEDGE AND RARELY PRACTICED NOESIS

MYSTICISM AND THE MYSTERIES OF GOD

THE SUPERNATURAL AND HOW IT MAY BE DEFINED

ACTION AND ENTERPRISE

MORTALITY AND IMMORTALITY

YOUR LIFE’S WORK (OPAE VITAE)

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD

DISCIPLES AND FRIENDS OF CHRIST

HOST AND HOME OF THE HOLY GHOST

IS THERE NOTHING ELSE?

IS THERE NOTHING ELSE?              

“You look very young to be a Wizard I should say,” she replied confidently, and yet quite demurely.

“Yes, well,” Alternaeus said, staring at her searchingly for a moment. “I’ve never been as young as I look my dear. Or as young as I desired to be. But some things are not within our mortal sphere of action, choice, or circumstance. Though once, long ago it now seems, I was almost young enough to wish to remain happy for a while. But, as with most things, Fortune did not favor me.

I suppose, now that you have made me reconsider my unlikely fate, that my lifelong argument with Fortune is perhaps the chief reason I became as I you see me now.”

“Sir?” she asked. “Mayhaps I do not fully comprehend. You seem to me the very most fortunate of all men. Kings consult thee, lords fear thee, wise men seek thy company, men of war avoid vexing you, high and low churchman both look upon you with some measure of real wonder, women seek thy weird but alluring charms, and I have even heard that demons and many other forms of diverse spirits bow before thee and thy power.”

He placed the instrument he held back upon the table very carefully, as if he exaggerated in his own mind some memory of it, and then turned his attention solely to her once more.

“Indeed, my lady. If only men were what was said of them then our reputations would be our lives. And our portion in life. But we do not so easily gainsay Good Fortune, or Evil Fortune, or our unsleeping and jealous God.”

She smoothed the folds of her gown, moved closer to him, touched his hand and looked studiously into his face.

“Are you indeed only a man, sir Wizard?” she asked him questioningly.

He sighed. Deeply.

“I am, in both nature and in deed, only a man, my good lady,” he answered sincerely.

“Is there then nothing else?” she inquired.

“Indeed,” he whispered wistfully. “Is there nothing else?”

Alternaeus the Wizard and the lady Cynewise

from the Wizard and the Wyrdpack

https://www.artmajeur.com/en/art-gallery/amelni/258892/663-jpg/7539862

MUCHA NOTHING

MUCHA NOTHING…

“A man ain’t much without his tomorrow. But he’s absolutely nothing without his yesterdays.”

Sole Patterson, The Lettered Men

I HAVE NOTED

I HAVE NOTED

That, generally speaking, when I am happy and full (of life, love, the future) that I use very simple and physical words. Sun, soil, blood, bone, terms like that. Vague and fuzzy words, but words well known to all and understood by all.

When I am curious, or fascinated, and stimulated in mind or soul then I use very complicated and extremely precise words.

But when I am melancholy and pensive, or brooding, or sick of something I use very antique and ancient words. And/or words with multiple meanings or encoded words. Words, and terms, and phrases I know that others are not usually aware of or will have to wrestle with or discover for themselves. Or such things (terms, phrases) as I devise myself. As if I am engaged in a sort of literary and psychological or spiritual cryptological enterprise.

This is mainly sub-conscious, and by long habit. I am rarely intentionally attempting it in the act but always am vaguely aware of it as it unfolds and can easily see it afterwards.

But I often wonder…

Does this happen to you as well? Or something like it?

Do you have a different vocabulary for different states or moods, as well as for different genres or subject matters?

It would be interesting for me to know if this happens to or with others as well…

 

THE CHRISTIAN WIZARD

THE CHRISTIAN WIZARD

I now have about 75 pages typed of the Christian Wizard with about half that raw text and the other half notes for section and chapter development. But I have much more done on it already.

Just in hand manuscript form.

SHE SWEPT THE LAKE: UP WILL COME

The other night a buddy of mine posted this image to my Facebook page wondering if it would interest me. It did. And so I wrote the following poem to accompany it.

Avantgardens. Willow effigy by Olga Ziemska.

SHE SWEPT THE LAKE

(Up Will Come)

She swept the lake
A conjured doom
She rose in haste
From threaded looms
The twisted vines
Across the stones
Did thrash and twine
As if alone
She wailed her torment –

In effigy

Sprang from the Earth
Yet not redeemed

An omen of an ancient kind
A living curse, a knotted sign

Evoked in vengeance
Shaped by awe
Of blood resent
And rootless gnawed

Some witch has woven
Of her spite
A kindred soul
To seek delight

To haunt and drive
With fearsome rage
Another down
Into her age

For up will come
That from our souls
In weaving wrong
Is all foretold

And birthing it will
Monsters mold
Of longing hot
And hatreds cold…

WHY WOULD HE?

WHY WOULD HE?

“I should think the answer would be self-evident, even to you. Why would I wish to have adventures only in my mind when I should have them with my body and soul as well? In his own mind a man is always but an unchallenged and untested king upon an imaginary golden throne of plenty. But to thrive in the world about him he must be something far greater, far more cunning, more dangerous, and far more wise – a Wizard of Many Things.”

Alternaeus the Wizard

(from The Wizard and the Wyrdpack)

YEAH, I EAT THAT AS WELL

YEAH, I EAT THAT AS WELL

“I do not simply ‘let things go as they will’ my friend. That is not my way. That has never been my way. Rather, I gnaw at things until they crack and I can reach the marrow. Then I eat that as well.”

Alternaeus the Wizard

from The Wizard and the Wyrdpack

NOT MUCH A’NOTHING FOR NOBODY

Yeah, indeed, I agree with much of this.

My overall advice though is this. (And it has always been this.)

Live an extremely active life which includes plenty of getting out in the real world, socializing with real people, and physical exertion. Get out in the sunshine – hike, chop down trees, box, lift weights, haul stuff, work the land, observe, discover, record, take note. I always do my best work, both physical and creative (writing stories, poems, songs, inventing, making scientific discoveries, etc.) while busy at other things or engaged in physical activity.

Then I memorize those things in my head (excellent and stimulating mnemonic practice) to write down or record later. I prefer to write absolutely alone and undisturbed, sure, but I best initially compose, create, and work out of doors, among nature, animals, and God’s great creation (the very best source and inspiration for sub-creation), while at physical labor, or among other people at fascinating and fun enterprises.

That entirely alleviates “loneliness” and “isolation,” keeps you physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually fit and happy (and I am immensely happy), and makes your work far more fun and meaningful. It will also likely keep your socially fit.

I for one cannot imagine any attempt at “isolated or inactive (passive, static, sedentary) creativity.”

That, to me, would be entirely self-defeating and the thought of that kind of “creative practice” both revolts and repulses me. (It’s not so great for your Word Hoard or your knowledge base or business reputation either.)

Also, get out into the Real World and do something worthwhile and really important. And keep doing those things for your whole life. Then you’ll have something decent and interesting to actually write about.

Writing, you see, ain’t really a singular profession about a set of mental obsessions. It is a peculiar expression of why life should be approached obsessively, and professionally.

Live only in your own head and that’s not only the only thing you’ll have for yourself, it’s the only thing you can give to others. And that ain’t much of nothing for nobody…

 

The Isolated Writer

In general, writers do not do their best work in a group. The very nature of creative writing is a solitary pursuit, but without taking great care, can morph into a feeling of isolation. And this can occur whether an author lives in a quiet rural town or in midtown Manhattan. (The one in New York, not Kansas)So, how does an author, feeling isolated and alone stay motivated? How do they develop and maintain a marketing platform on their own? How do they maintain their creative edge when most of their time is spent in relative solitary confinement?First and foremost, they need to continually hone their skills. This agency has many resources available on our website and Steve Laube heads the Christian Writers Institute, providing anyone with mentoring through classes offered and great information.  www.ChristianWritersInstitute.com

But how do you overcome the feelings of isolation and loneliness which afflict so many authors? When you need someone to hold up your arms, what do you do?

Left unaddressed, isolation can lead to discouragement, creative-paralysis, and a myriad of other bad things threatening to stop writers of all experience levels in their tracks.

I am going to suggest a course of action counter to what you might think.  To “zig” when you expected to “zag.”

Please bear with me as I tell a short story.

Over thirty years ago I attended a people management seminar. It was a broad ranging presentation over several days with some excellent teachers. About a hundred people were in this particular group.

Breakout groups were for new managers, refresher skills for experienced managers, those at government offices, non-profits, public corporations, etc.  I still recall some of the presentation material today as very helpful.

I clearly remember one session on developing employee worth and self-esteem. The presenter’s approach emphasized the need for a manager to first have a high level of self-worth and personal confidence and once they had a “full reservoir” of each, distribute them to their staff.

It made sense.

But as we learned how to develop a high level of self-worth, I recall thinking their approach was different than my Christian faith would have directed. It pointed to somewhat “artificial” means to puff up one’s self rather than anything of depth.

After all, repeating “I am good, I am great, I am wonderful” only goes so far.

In a breakout session, we went around the table giving our impressions of the material and I mentioned the concept of giving and receiving (never mentioning the Bible or Jesus).

You want to feel appreciated? Show appreciation. You want to feel loved? Love someone.

I suggested if a manager wanted to increase their own sense of worth, they should focus first on improving the worth of others.

The stunned silence around the table combined with the apparent appearance of antlers growing from my head (based on the looks I received) proved I was suggesting a foreign concept.

Of course, as believers we do give from our abundance as God has lavished his grace on us, allowing us all to give others grace from his overflowing supply. But I felt this level of theological discussion was too much for this particular business seminar!

So I just kept it simple at the “Give much, receive much” level, which was confusing to anyone committed to a “Get first, give a little” strategy.

Let’s consider author isolation in a similar counter-intuitive manner:

  • If you need encouragement, encourage another writer. Read the books of people you have met at conferences and correspond with them.
  • If you need mentoring, start by mentoring young writers (middle school students are a good start). You don’t need an MFA to mentor a twelve year old in creativity. Teaching is the best form of learning.
  • Register and attend a writer’s conference with the specific purpose of seeking out an isolated, discouraged writer (even if you are one) and offer to be their accountability/encouragement partner. (As opposed to going to a conference looking for someone to do this for you.)
  • Help another writer establish their author-marketing platform.
  • Help shape someone else’s work.
  • Start a writer’s group and devote yourself to others’ growth.
  • Start a creative writing group at your public library.
  • Start a writing group in your church.
  • Connect with homeschooler groups to discuss creative writing.
  • Recommend other authors’ books to your friends.

When you spend time helping someone else, your own writing,
creativity, sense of purpose and value improve exponentially.

The more you focus solely on yourself, the less you will grow.

So how do you overcome the dreaded Isolated Author Syndrome?

Help someone else defeat it.

 

THE YARDA-LEL (or SEEMING ROD)

The Yarda-lel is an antique, nearly extinct, left-over artefact from the earlier ages of the Eldeven peoples in my novel series the Kithariune. What the yarda-lel actually is and does is described below. It is based upon the design of a real device I first conceived and invented a long time ago and have attempted on various occasions to build for myself but have never perfected (because of sensing issues). I offer it here in a more perfect and perfected fictional form.

 

THE YARDA-LEL (THE SLEEPING ROD)

Yarda-lel (the “seeming rod,” or sometimes the “sleeping rod”) – an antique rod made of gray and yellow yarda wood which vibrates, heats, and hums when danger approaches. Once a fairly typical item used along the frontier among militia and frontier guardsmen (it was not uncommon for every unit or sufficient size to possess a yarda-lel, or “seeming rod”) which was typically carried by and slept with by the commander of the unit, although sometimes it was also used by the sentry on guard at any particular time. For the yarda-lel was also said to be capable of other functions now lost to time and memory. The ancient Sidhel, for example, were said to employ their yarda-lel not simply as “seeming rods” but also as encoded legates and as artefacts to secretly transmit encrypted messages. It was also not uncommon for wealthy or powerful persons who encamped along the frontier or who settled there for long periods of time to possess their own yarda-lel. Some scouts and infiltrators also carried yarda-lel, especially if they operated for long periods of time along and across the frontiers or behind enemy lines.

It was common to place the yarda-lel either under one’s head or to wrap it across one’s waist or chest or to wrap one’s legs around it as one slept in a dangerous or hostile environment. It is said the hum was transmitted through the bones of he who used the rod rather than being heard by the ear. Some legends persist that the yarda-lel could even interrupt and awaken one from dreams and very deep sleep. Possibly even a drugged slumber.

In time, as the frontier was tamed and fewer and fewer overt threats faced the Eldeven folk the crafting and use of the yarda-lel faded. It is said that few, if any, now remember even how to make such a rod.

However antique examples of yarda-lel, even functional ones, still exist as old heirlooms.

Note on translation: the Eldevens, and the Sidhelic peoples in particular, used the term “seeming” in a way that we no longer do, and in a way not known to men. The precise definition of the yarda-lel is the “rod of yarda wood,” but the underlying connotation is that the rod is both seemly and seeming. Seemly in the sense of being proper and of functioning properly (not to be doubted, but rather to be investigated), and seeming in the sense of both appearing to see through deceptions or to anticipate danger, and seeming as in appearing to be one thing (a simple rod of yarda wood) and actually being many things or many hidden things. A transported or polymorphic sort of seeming. They also meant seeming as in the sense of seeming (for a period of time) to give to another those properties they do not by nature possess.

More rarely yarda-lel could actually be translated as sleeping rod or even dream-seeming rod.

JACK’S RULES FOR WRITING FICTION (some of em anyway)

JACK’S RULES FOR WRITING FICTION

Write what actually happened even if you have to change it around a bit to make it work right. As a matter of fact if you wanna avoid a lawsuit then change it around a bit anyway. It’ll still be true even as a story.

Write what you have actually lived. If you haven’t started living yet then for God’s sake go out and do that first. Before you write anything else. If this is the only thing you ever learn about writing then it is still the best thing you can learn about writing. Writing after all is never really about the writing, it’s always about the living.

It is far better to be good than perfect, which you’ll never be anyway.

If there is no poetry in what you’re saying then no one will remember it long, much less ever bother to quote it. You want to be quoted, and quoted a lot, whether you’re smart enough to know that yet or not.

Say exactly what you mean even if it takes the reader years to figure out what you really meant by that.

Don’t sit on your ass all day in a dingy little room and expect to compose anything worthwhile to say about anything. Ever. Yes, writing takes discipline and even isolation at times. But if you spend all day living in your head then you deserve to spend all day living in your head. Plus the only thing you’ll have to say anything about will be the crap that goes on in your head. If you don’t get that then try running that sappy, self-indulgent crap that constantly floats in your head by somebody else. Somebody normal I mean.

Dialogue is only really great if it’s absolutely real, but if it’s too real then it’s probably not. Really great I mean. Furthermore if you have to explain it (or that) then don’t bother, that’s what overpaid college professors are for – in other words if you assume everyone is a dense dumbass who can’t figure anything out for themselves then chances are you’re the dense dumbass. Instead just say it like it really is, only fictionally.

You owe the reader at least as much as yourself. To you that should mean a very high bar indeed. So high that you shouldn’t always make it over.

Don’t be boring. That’s usually dull.

Don’t turn everything into damned politics. That’s always stupid.

Again, go out and do something. Something worthwhile, something big, something fascinating, something risky, something exciting, something heroic, something self-sacrificial, something really tough to do… Learn to actually live. Then write about that. 9 times outta 10 shouting at a damned protest, running riot, and pissing on police cars ain’t what I mean. Maybe that does excite you but then again, in that case, you should probably be a professional protester instead of a writer. No, I take that back. Don’t be a professional protester. Not in any case.

If what you write seems like Real Life only it ain’t then you’re getting pretty good at fiction. If what you write in real life always seems like fiction then yeah, you still gotta lot to learn.

Write for the ages not the moment. Because that way they’ll either eventually catch up to you or you’ll catch up to them. Either way, it works.

Assume someone in the far future is gonna one day read what you wrote. You’ll want them to laugh at what you meant to be funny, and be sad at what you meant to be tragic. Not the other way around. But the way a lot of writers operate nowadays you would think they were trying for the opposite.

Write like it is an Heraclian labour (or, if you prefer, a Herculean labor) but still natural as hell. Not like, “ah to hell with it,” is still natural for you.

It ain’t rocket science people, it’s just Real Life and fiction writing. Unless it is fiction writing about rocket science. Then yeah, rocket science it up some.

If you think writing is the most important thing in the world then you are an absolute, self-indulgent, naive, juvenile fool who has never really done anything truly worthwhile in life. If you think writing is a cosmic vehicle for “expressing your soul,” or “sharing your innermost thoughts and dreams” then I both pity and laugh out loud at you. If you think writing can’t be as important as anything else in life, or is not a noble, manly (got nothing to do with gender or sex modern kiddies – I’m talking about Mankind), virtuous, and High Enterprise, then yeah, you shouldn’t be doing this. You’re wasting everyone’s time, including your own. But either way don’t make such a big deal of it. That totally belittles your efforts and work.

On the other hand don’t take anything I said above to be somehow political. I have to keep saying that over and over and over again because a lot of people are so stupid and self-absorbed nowadays.

Language is so important that it should be both invisible and sublime. Vocabulary is so important that only the truly ignorant don’t understand what I mean when I say that.

Despite all the modern, common, herdish, tribal, and currently popular bullshit advice on writing assume your audience is intelligent, well-read, curious, eager, and possessed of an excellent personal mind and Word-Hoard. If they ain’t then help them get there. Nobody is inspired by the scribblings of a dumbass with the vocabulary of a six year old, especially a dumbass with the vocabulary of a six year old pretending to be a writer. If somebody wants to habitually consume that kind of swill they can just watch TV or surf the internet.

Nobody gives a crap about what you say if they can’t apply it to themselves, however, if they can usefully or wisely apply it to themselves then even your crap will make a real impression.

It takes a long time to become really good at something. Don’t sweat that, but do work hard enough every day to break a good sweat at it.

Try and write just like everybody else and you surely will.

So you’re ahead of your time, or a throwback to a prior age… big deal. It shouldn’t bother you. If you’re just like everybody else then you’re just like everybody else. If that’s what you’re shooting for then why bother to write about it. Not worth recording anyway.

If all else fails – then Blood. Preferably your own, but whatever the situation really calls for.

(Fire often works too by the way. And explosions. Most anything with a lot of movement and activity.)

Ten years from now the most popular current advice on writing will still be shit, just like it is nowadays, only by then everybody else will know it too. So project forward and beat most other people to the punch.

 

Now have a good day folks.

THE CHANGES WITHOUT AND THE CHANGES WITHIN

How Self-Publishing Has Changed Authors

As a literary agent, not a day goes by when I don’t encounter the changes in thinking from authors caused by the expansion and availability of self-publishing.

It’s understandable, because there are over twice as many books self-published every year in the United States than are published by traditional publishers.

Traditional and self-publishing generate over one million new books every year in the U.S. alone according to RR Bowker.  Two-thirds are self-published.

According to the United Nations cultural arm UNESCO, well over two million new books are published annually by traditional publishers worldwide.

The Federation of European Publishers reports on the status of book publishing across the continent. They show revenues and traditional publisher title output are generally flat over the last five years, but the number of titles available in print has grown from 8.5 million in 2011 to 22 million in 2015. Digital printing and self-publishing bring more titles to market and keep more in print longer.

However, those 22 million titles generated slightly less revenue in 2015 than the 8.5 million titles did in 2011. Not revenue per title, but total industry revenue.

No wonder book publishing is a challenge for everyone.

Self-publishing has become ubiquitous and is here to stay, but has also created the impression traditional publishing has changed far more dramatically than it actually has.

If you are self-publishing and desire someday to be published by a traditional publisher, you need to change your thinking depending on your intention.

And learn a new language.

How has self-publishing altered the thinking and professional language of authors?  There are five primary areas (and probably more if I think about it).

  • Control – traditional publishing has always been more of a collegial collaboration between publisher and author. Give and take. Negotiation. Honestly, some authors simply should never be traditionally published because of this. They view control as a non-negotiable and will not relinquish it.
  • Timing – You get an idea, write it and publish it as a self-published author. When I tell an author it will take 15-18 months or longer to get a book published traditionally, the stunned silence says it all.
  • Quality of Manuscript – there is no such thing as a finished manuscript. Even if it is edited by three Nobel laureates and chiseled on stone tablets, the manuscript isn’t finished until the publisher says it is. And now you know why some authors self-publish!
  • Length of Manuscript – There is an optimum length of a traditionally published commercial product based on the type of book. Self-published authors write the length they want. A 6,000-word memoir is a thirty-two page free pamphlet, not a commercial book. A 375,000-word novel is generally not commercially viable as a 1,200-page book selling for fifty dollars. If an author cannot tell me how many words are in their manuscript, only it is 200 manuscript pages, they have been completely influenced by self-publishing thinking. Self-publishing is by pages because your costs are a function of the number of pages.
  • Cover Design – The dead giveaway you are a self-published author is you have a final cover, approved by friends and family and ready for print. Covers at a traditional publisher involve input from a dozen people or more who develop covers as part of their profession. Leave your cover at home when talking to a traditional publisher.

So, when I get a proposal from an author telling me they have a 275 page, finished manuscript, need it published in less than six months, and the cover is already done, I know I am about to disappoint them significantly with my reply.

Sweeping generalities can be tricky, but compared to most self-publishing models, traditional publishing is still a slow, methodical, careful and deliberate way to publish, involving many moving parts with creative input from a wide variety of professional people accountable for the long-term financial health of the publisher.

So, if you desire to self-publish and also be traditionally published, be very careful about control, timing, manuscript quality, length and cover design to make sure you use appropriate publisher-language. For self-publishing, the author is in control of everything, which some find very comforting.

Then you learn the hard truth of all book publishing, no matter the path you take:

Half of all published books don’t sell particularly well, but you never know which half.

THE OUTCAST TALE

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When God Gives You a Story Nobody Wants by Robin Patchen

As an author and freelance editor, I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with a lot of writers, and I’ve discovered most have one at least one thing in common: a sense of urgency to publish.

Since the majority of my writer friends are Christians, I’m not sure if the rush is unique to Christian authors or universal among all, but I do suspect that believers may feel a bit more hurried, what with the need to get the message out there and share the truth with the world.

Would that we were all so eager to witness to our neighbors, but I digress.

Whether you’re published or not, you may feel a sense of urgency about your writing projects. Maybe you worry that somebody else will come along with the same idea and beat you to it. Maybe you worry that by the time your book reaches your audience, the perfect opportunity for your message will have passed. Or maybe the worry is more personal than that. After all, none of us is getting any younger.

With the explosion of indie publishing, impatient writers don’t have to wait any longer. All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse, and you can load that book on retail sites, making it available to your adoring public.

You can indie publish, but should you?

I’m not knocking the process. I’m indie published myself, so I consider this a valid option. The question I want to tackle isn’t whether or not you should take this route. The question is when. Even if the Lord handed you the story, the image for the book cover, and the title, that’s not proof He wants you to rush out and throw it on Amazon. Not sure I’m right? There’s plenty of biblical justification for waiting:

  • Abraham was told he’d have a son and then waited 19 years before little Isaac was born.
  • Biblical scholars estimate David waited 10-15 years after he was anointed king before he finally ascended to the throne.
  • The apostle Paul didn’t begin preaching until more than a decade after his conversion.

I’m sure there were times when Abraham, David, and Paul felt the waiting was unnecessary and wished God would hurry it along. Abraham and Sarah did hurry their promise along. We know how that turned out. David not only waited but, for much of that interim, had to battle just to stay alive. The time wasn’t wasted, though. Lessons are learned in the waiting. Patience, perseverance, and faith, of course. But I suspect some of those lessons were more basic than that. For instance, David learned how to be a leader others were willing to die for. If he’d been crowned sooner, he may not have become the greatest earthly king in Israel’s history.  After all, he began as a shepherd, lowly and obscure.

Maybe you have a book you believe needs to be published. Maybe it’s a book you think the Lord gave you, and maybe it even came with a promise. If so, be patient. The anxiety fluttering in your stomach when you think about this project—that isn’t from God. When you pray and trust, you’ll be filled with peace, not worry. But if you force your way through doors He hasn’t opened, the anxiety will likely grow. And the book will not have the impact it could have if you’d remained in His will.

I’ve seen too many books brought to the light through indie publishing that weren’t mature enough, weren’t seasoned enough, weren’t ready to be there. Instead of jumping ahead, trust that when God wants you to publish your words, He’ll make it clear. He’ll open the right doors and lead you to exactly the right the people who can help make it happen.

In the meantime, move on to other projects. Build your newsletter list, learn new marketing strategies, make connections with other authors. Mostly, keep learning, keep growing, and keep improving your craft.  It may be that if you come back to that project in a year or two, you’ll realize you can make it shine.

I speak from experience. The Lord gave me a book almost four years ago. It’s the only time I’ve ever felt one of my stories came from God, and, still, it was the hardest book I ever wrote. I believe that with the help of a great editor, it can be my best book. But that story has been pitched and pitched, and nobody’s interested. I write and publish other books and help other authors do the same while that book languishes silently on my laptop. When I pray about it, I don’t have a clear direction. I don’t feel free to indie publish it, and no acquisitions editor has shown any interest. So I wait. The last thing I want to do is treat His gift with haste and carelessness. I trust that God has a purpose in the waiting and a plan for the story He gave me.

The Lord may make you a promise, give you a vision, or impart to you a message, and then ask you to wait. He’s been doing it for thousands of years, and He’ll keep doing it today. You could choose to be like Abraham and Sarah and rush ahead, or you could trust God’s timing, which is always perfect.

THE FISH WHO KNOWS

THE FISH WHO KNOWS

I was recently (last year) listening to a set of lectures on ancient Anatolia and the professor mentioned a record of a particular set of “tame fish” who resided in a temple or palace (can’t remember which now) that one could call to (orally) and they would swim up to you. (As you might call a dog.) They were famous and widely known of. Records existed of them. These fish were considered sacred. And even intelligent.

Anyway they gave me an idea-set for a set of fish to be included in my trilogy of novels the Kithariune. The ideas are as follows. These fish are owned by the Sidh or the Lorahn (haven’t decided yet) and are extremely ancient and well known. They are also considered sacred and intelligent. They can trigger highly accurate but confusing prophetic visions and dreams if they bite you upon the finger but their bite is extremely toxic and often kills those whom they bite. Therefore few ever risk such a prophetic vision except in extremis, even the Samarls who are said to be usually immune to both disease and poison. Because even if the fish cannot kill a Samarl they might still put one in a coma or make him extremely ill, perhaps even for life. So the fish have not been used to stimulate prophetic visions in many centuries.

However, according to legend and myth, there is another way the fish can stimulate prophetic visions. And that is to kill, cook, and eat one. (Eating one raw will kill a person but eating a cooked one usually only induces an illness.)

So, one person in the court catches one of the fish, kills it, eats it, and has a set of prophetic visions. However because the fish are considered sacred, because they are very long lived, and because they are considered intelligent it is a crime to kill one. On the same level to the Eldevens as to kill a person. And supposedly a curse is inflicted upon anyone who would dare kill one of these fish. But the curse does not stop there but also extends to the entire group of people who are supposed to be the caretakers and guardians of these fish. Another later attempt is made to exterminate and wipe out all of these fish when the visions occur because the person who ate the fish is afraid the other fish might impart the knowledge of his identity to others.

In any case there will be an ongoing sub-plot (which later develops into a major plot point) about this fish killing, the prophetic dreams, and the accompanying curse. And the Eldevens will have to find a way to either thwart the visions and curse, or to avoid them because the criminal who committed this act resides deeply in the court of the Samarl and because he is a spy.

Later in the story/plot it will be discovered that these fish are tied to the Sidhelic and Eldeven Cult of these Sacred (Prophetic) Fish which is itself tied to the underground Fish Cult of Jesus Christ among the Eldevens. (The Fish being an early and secret sign of Christ among the cult of the first Christians.)

The Sad and Superficial Countenance of Modern Man

“Desperate to dwell forever upon the perfidies of the past they endlessly recreate the very same within themselves and so never breed a worthwhile future, or an offspring fit for life”

Scene: The Sad and Superficial Countenance of Modern Man, from my play, Modern Man

ALL THE SURFEIT EMPIRES OF THE EARTH!

TO OUR FULL MEASURE:

“Now nearly at an end are these, our feckless days of famished feasting, and hard upon us now is come an hopeful age of high and happy labor that shall rightly crown our approaching enterprise with gilded glories still to swell the ceaseless vaulted realms of heaven, and mark for all time this yet unimagined era, when we, fit with industry prodigious and unknown to long sleeping history, sure o’erwhelmed all the surfeit empires of the Earth!

A COUPLE OF NEW THINGS

I’ve started a new literary short story entitled, The Long Lonely Estate of Daniel J. Despair, and a new children’s book called, Tea and Ticklebiscuits.

MY FIRST PERSONAL HELL WEEK AND WHAT I LEARNED

HELL WEEK ONE

Well, my first private and personal Hell Week is over. Under my belt. I’m not gonna say it wasn’t tough, because it certainly was. On the other hand it was extremely good for me. So I’ve decided to make it a quarterly event for me (once a quarter, every year).

Actually I had to spread my Hell Week over 12 days because, and maybe it is just this time of year, once or twice I would have to spend most of a day driving my wife to Columbia or Rock Hill or elsewhere because of her car accident. So I would either have to add days onto my scheduled week to make up for that or if I had to do something else for half a day just redid that same day the next day. So that was difficult, but doable.

Tuesday was the most difficult on my schedule because on that day I did nothing but physical training (weights, routines, boxing, sports, athletics, combat, etc.) from 5:00 AM until 10:00 at night although I actually had to switch that day to Thursday because of helping my wife. It was hard, I won’t lie, and hard to push myself in that way even though I’m in pretty good shape.

Some of the other days that required thinking all day were also difficult. It’s perhaps harder than most realize to force yourself to think and focus all day on purely mental and psychological tasks with only meal breaks or times for physical training or weight lifting. Also Sunday was surprisingly hard as although it might seem easy and relaxed according to what I had scheduled I spent most of the day fasting and in Prayer Vigil. A long prayer vigil after a rough week is a surprisingly hard undertaking. It was difficult and taxing to concentrate and not fall asleep. Especially considering my prior lack of sleep. Occasionally I had to do other things to stay awake. That surprised me, but it was true.

Still, I haven’t done anything like this since my thirties and so I have to say that after it was all over and looking back on it I had a ball and it was extremely beneficial for me. I either learned or relearned what I am truly capable of at my age and even though I’m in my fifties I can honestly say that in many ways I performed as if in my thirties. And I feel far superior for the effort.

Actually, as I told my wife, I feel sharp as a timberwolf and tough as twisted iron.”

I recommend this to everyone.

Some of the things I learned or relearned as a result of this Hell Week: I really like getting up every day at 5:00 AM (actually 4:30 because I always have my clocks set 1/2 hour ahead), I can go hard without much sleep (always have been able to do that though I’m glad to be back to sleeping regularly), I become dehydrated easily so I have to always force myself to drink, I like eating healthy and light, I like pain in my muscles but not in my back, my powers of concentration and focus are still pretty sharp, I much prefer physical activity to sitting on my ass and being in shape to being out of it, cold don’t mean much if you’re moving (every day I did my morning hike and run and tire hauls in freezing or near freezing weather and in short sleeves and it never bothered me once and I rarely felt cold), and I can push myself pretty hard without any one else needing to do so. And I can adapt pretty easily to almost any circumstance. Also the amount of real work I got done during Hell Week was rather impressive. In sheer quantity that is, though I had no real time for editing or refinement, that will all have to come later, now that I’ve returned to my normal work schedule.

For the next seven weekends however I will be testing myself to determine just how much good Hell Week really did me (performance wise) and what my levels of progress actually and precisely were. That should lead to further program imporvements.

As for Hell Week I have already set about improving and refining the program (as a result of my experience) and to expanding upon the idea. I am now developing a new, more comprehensive program that I call Lifelong Endeavors that will encompass my Day to Day Activities, my Regular Training, monthly and quarterly Challenges (such as Hell Week and Survival Challenges), and Quests (far larger enterprises and expeditions I want to undertake in life such as funding and leading an archaeological expedition).

I’ll discuss all of that later though. In other posts. For now I have other work to do.

Have a good day folks.

Thanks for reading and see ya later.

I’m serious though, try your own Hell Week. It’ll be extremely good for you, you’ll be surprised at just how far you can push yourself if you really try, and it should do you a world of good.

By the way, if anyone is interested you can find my personal Hell Week Program at this link (the prior post).

Develop your own though. For what you need to do. Don’t just use mine, though you’re welcome to. Design your own.

HELL WEEK PROGRAM

HELL WEEK PROGRAM

here is my actual Hell Week Program after all necessary improvements and revisions.

No, I’m not afraid I’ll wash out or be unable to complete it but it will be difficult. Especially Tuesday and Friday. I’m not kidding myself that it won’t be hard.

But it’s a good start to incorporating all of my old training and educational and survival and CAP and others forms of training into a single program or set of programs geared to improve me at this stage and era of my life. And I’m already working on integrating all of these things into a single, unified Field System of Training. I’ll talk about that later, after Hell Week.

For now it is sufficient to say that I begin my new Hell Week tomorrow.

I’ll probably be incommunicado for a week therefore. I might make a quick post on progress, but I doubt it.

Here is the background on my Hell Week. Or just see previous post.

Below is the program itself.

Have a good week folks and I’ll see you when I can. For now I’m gonna go drink some water, listen to a quick radio play, and then go to bed early. Tomorrow I begin.

Night all.

General Program Principles

Follow Diet
Train Daily
Stand at Ease, legs far apart when in public
Employ your charisma at all times in public
Be Friendly and helpful to all
Assist anyone you can
Breathe deeply and calmly even when training
Hydrate often
Sleep 6 to 8 hours at night if Program allows
Sleep in tent or on floor
Cook own food or eat food raw
Exercise or Work to failure or to task completion
Drink only water and coffee – hydrate often
Take all Metaergogenics
Whenever you go out into the public dress superbly and be generous
Network and interact freely and with all
Complete all 7 days without excuse
Progressive resistance in all tasks and categories as you proceed
Serious injury or unforeseen outside circumstances are the only acceptable reasons for non-completion, then must start all over

No entertainment or rest between functions unless Program allows
No TV, radio, film, internet, or email unless specified
No sex with wife during Program

Test every Saturday after completing Program for next 7 weeks (one function per week)

 

WEEKLY TASKS

MONDAY – CREATION AND DESIGN

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Game Design and General Design – ½ hour
Lunch, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Write short story – 1 hour
Snack, water, rest, coffee, stretch – ½ hour
Write song – ½ hour
Write poem – ½ hour
Artwork/sketch – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – ½ hour
Write novel – 2 ½ hours
Warmann – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Stargaze – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

TUESDAY – PHYSICAL – WARMANN

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike in pack 2 miles – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Football – ½ hour
Lunch/water, metas – ½ hour
Soccer – ½ hour
Run 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Shooting – ½ hour
Snack, water, rest, coffee, stretch – ½ hour 1
Baseball – ½ hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Weight Lifting – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Boxing – ½ hour
Sword/knife fighting – ½ hour
Stealth and climbing – 1 hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 ½ hours
Read – 1 hour
Bed

WEDNESDAY – INVENTION/INNOVATION

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Lunch, water, metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Observe Nature – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Invent – 1 hour
Design – 1 hour
Innovate – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Study – 1 hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

THURSDAY – MENTAL (PROBLEM SOLVING, RESEARCH,
PLANNING)

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike in Pack 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, Water, Rest, Stretch – ½ hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Problem Solving – 1 hour
Lunch water, metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Observe Nature – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Planning – 1 hour
Operation Chay – 1 hour
Weight Lifting – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

FRIDAY – FINANCIAL (INVESTMENTS, BUSINESS, START-
UP, FUNDING, NETWORKING) – WELTMANN

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 3 miles – 1 hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
General Business Review ½ hour
Lunch, water, metas – ½ hour
Lecture – 1 hour
Investments – 1 hour
Banking – ½ hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Start Ups and Business Plans – 1 hour
Funding – 1 hour
Networking – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Operation Weltmann – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

SATURDAY – PSYCHOLOGICAL – GNOSSIS AND CHAY

Wake – 0500
Aesic Practice – ½ hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Music ½ hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Hike 1 ½ mile – ½ hour
Research – 1 hour
Snack, water, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Warmann – 1 hour
Lunch, waters, metas – ½ hour
Vices and Virtues – 1 hour
Christian Wizardry – 1 hour
Operation Gnossis – 2 hours
Goals and Objectives – 1 hour
Warmann – ½ hour
Weight Lifting – ½ hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Submissions and Marketing – 1 hour
Operation Chay – 1 hour
Work in Notebooks – 1 hour
Mode and Mood – 1 hour
Write – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

SUNDAY – SPIRITUAL – CHAY

Wake – 0600
Aesic Practice – 1 hour
Breakfast, Water, Metas – 1 hour
Exercise Animals – ½ hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Church – 3 hours
Lunch, Water, Metas – ½ hour
Hike 2 miles – 1 hour
Snack, water, coffee, rest, stretch – ½ hour
Music – 1 hour
Meditation – 1 hour
Prayer – ½ hour
Nap – 1 hour
Dinner, water, metas – 1 hour
Operation Chay – 1 hour
Habit Review – ½ hour
Behavior, Philosophy, and Values Review – 1 hour
Night hike in woods – 1 hour
Read – 1 hour
Bed

HELL WEEK

HELL WEEK

About once a month I regularly test myself on some matter: physical, mental, psychological, spiritual, intellectual, creative, etc.

I do this to see how my daily and weekly training routines have improved me, or not.

Recently however I have been reading a book called, Hell Week by a Norwegian guy name Erik Larssen, former paratrooper and now an entrepreneur and performance coach. He suggests putting yourself through a Hell Week whenever needed.

I think his idea makes a great deal of sense and so I have designated the first week of September my upcoming Hell Week. He has a sample program but I will be modifying it for myself and my own objectives. Anyway I figure I can put myself through my own Hell Week maybe twice a year or so and see how that benefits me.

The types of training my Hell Week will include will be:

Creative – Monday
Physical – Tuesday
Inventive/Innovative – Wednesday
Mental/Intellectual – Thursday
Business, Entrepreneurial, Financial – Friday
Psychological – Saturday
Spiritual – Sunday

Testing will follow Hell Week for the next seven weeks, one Test per week

That way my Hell Week program will mirror the kinds of things I’ve done and trained in for decades now.

I’m thinking I might follow up Hell Week with a modified one week Survival Challenge in the woods in autumn. Pack enough food to have one meal per day, no fire, find my own water, explore a lot. Then if I need more food I can trap it or fish it. But part of it will be to see how little food I really require. And to sharpen thing like my senses, my nightvision (which I really only practice much with my telescope watching the moon and stars), to go back to sneaking a lot, to toughen my body back to natural environmental conditions, and to see what my dreams are like in those conditions.

Also my wife liked the idea of Hell Week so I’m making a very simplified form of Hell Week for her and the girls which I’ll call Hell Day that they can do once a month.

After Hell Week I’ll also choose one day a month (I’m thinking the first day of the month) to do a Hell Day just to keep me sharp and to improve my self-testing.

Then do a basic Survival Challenge once a year.

ON MAGIC, MIRACLE, THE SOUL, AND THE WORKS OF MAN

ON MAGIC, MIRACLE, THE SOUL, AND THE WORKS OF MAN

I have now either written, created, or started writing all of the books that shall be included in my Paths of the Great Man series of non-fiction books.

There will of course be the three main and general books: The Christian Hero (or Knight), the Christian Wizard (or Magi), and the Christian Saint.

Then there will be the specific texts and works addressing specific ideas, ideals, virtues, and capabilities.

These texts will include:

The Psychinosis – On the Operations of the Soul-Image
The Psychokon – Psikonic (Soul Image) or Psychodynamic Powers
THEOPHOTOS – God Light or Light Work (On the Fundamental Principles of Theurgy and Thaumaturgy)
THE THEURGICON – on Theurgical Theosis
THAUMAPHIA – The Wisdom of Miracles

I have made amazing progress on some of these books, good progress on others, and have barely begun a couple.

I have also started work on a very, very basic primer on the subject matters and principles discussed in these series of books and what they mean and what I mean by employing terms like Magic, Psuchos, Theurgy (God Work), Thaumaturgy (Wonder or Miracle or Marvel), etc. (Generally I mean these terms by their ancient or early Christian meanings and denotations not their later Medieval and modern connotations (such as witchcraft and sorcery). Almost all magic in the ancient and early Christian world was in actuality Divine or religious magic, not as the Medievals and moderns saw/see it as a “force or power – a la the Force in Star Wars” in and of itself. Though that is kind of unfair to the Medievals who did not believe in natural forces of Nature as separate from God as only the moderns see these things.

Plus I suspect I have a very different definition of things like Magic and Psyche (based on early Christian and ancient writings and ideas) than do most people today.

Anyway that is the progress I have made so far.

In any case my intention is to create a set of practical works whereby the Christian layman can parallel the training and work of priests and pastors in their own lives and in the lives of those around them.

But more to the point to better replicate the works (mundane, theurgical, and thaumaturgical) of the early Apostles and Disciples.

ONE WORLD, OR BOTH

I have a question to ask my readers. Something I’d like to ask your opinion and advice on.

I have been working a series of three novels now for awhile. I keep going back and forth on how to best arrange the overall story-line and plot. The tale takes place on two different worlds. Worlds which are separate and distinct, but ultimately related. One of those worlds is our world, circa 800 AD (in the Byzantine Empire, northern Africa, and the Middle East), and the other is another world, at about the same time period (though they reckon time differently).

Without becoming overly complicated in my request my question to you is this:

As a reader would you prefer the first book to take place in only one world (our world for instance,) and the second book to primarily take place in the other world, (the third book will move back and forth between these two worlds), or would you prefer the story to move back and forth freely between both worlds in all three books?

I have been going back and forth on which idea would be better as a story arrangement and plot device. And have still reached no definitive conclusion.

So to you, as a reader, which would you find more pleasing and interesting as a story form or manner of progression – One World at a Time, or freely skipping from One World to the Other in all three books?

By the way here is a link to some of the posts I have made about this book series – The Kithariune

 

AGAPOLIS: THE PALACES OF THE CITY OF THE MIND

AGAPOLIS: THE PALACES OF THE CITY OF THE MIND

In my early twenties I read The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. (I actually first read it because I was studying to be a priest at the time and wanted information on early missionary efforts in China, India, and Japan. Though I discovered the book wholly by accident in a rare book store.) Which I then added to my personal library.

Thereafter I began to research and collect other Medieval and Ancient methods of memory, including many of the works describing them. Eventually I built my own Memory Palace, and then several, allowing me to memorize all kinds of things even if only briefly exposed to them and for all kinds of purposes – evidence examination, study (this helped me in college immensely), scientific experiments, memorizing books I had read, memorizing conversations, learning new languages and terms, mastering advanced mathematics, etc.

incongruous-fs

In my opinion, good mnemonic techniques combined with good self-education techniques will increase your own natural IQ by 10 to 15 points (in the average person). Because, put realistically and pragmatically, neither intelligence nor Wisdom can exist without true memory.

Later on, within the past 20 years or so I greatly expanded my Memory Buildings eventually connecting them all together and building my own internal “Memory City” or as I later called it, the Polis Memoria, or the Mind City. Then I added things similar to the mental studio/laboratory of Archimedes. Among other things.

image001

It is populated with many things, all of the things one might find in a real city, such as businesses, markets, stores, forums, laboratories, temples and churches, parks, residences (I have several in and around the city), hospitals, studios, theaters, concert and performance halls, work stations, cemeteries, etc, etc.

If I wish to write a sermon I go to one of the churches. If I want to conduct an internal scientific or thought experiment I go to one of my labs. If I want to practice a speech or sing a song I go to a performance hall. If I am sick or injured I go to a hospital or house of healing to make an internal diagnosis and to treat myself. If I want to physically train I go to one of the athletic fields to mentally master new techniques, to box, climb, etc. If I want to compose music, write poetry, work on my novels, visit a library containing a book I have already read and memorized then I go to the appropriate place in Agapolis. If I want to talk to or commune with God, even in the midst of a crowd I will often go there. This is also how I can invent and compose, write, etc. in my head while working (I prefer to work in my head while doing something physical outside) and then memorize it or write it on a wall in my head) and then go inside later to reconstruct it verbatim from memory. Even if many minutes, hours, or even days go by (in some cases). I am even writing a book about my memory city,and have been for years, adding to it as I expand it. Many of the Agapolis Techniques are inventions of my own. Below are some of the things in it and some of those techniques. It is one of the bets and most useful things I’ve ever written or created.

But it all goes back to my original Memory Palace which I can credit to the priest Matteo Ricci and to the ancients. I owe them a great debt.

I highly recommend the Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci by the way. It is literally one of the very best books I’ve ever read, even though it only gives clues to how to construct a memory palace. (HOWEVER THAT’S NOT REALLY THE PRIMARY SUBJECT MATTER.)

A good, well-constructed Memory Palace will help your studies and your lifelong education program immensely. Also, watch the included video. It is a good primer on the subject. It is, however, not my work.

AGAPOLIS

SPECIFIC MEMORY SYSTEMS:

A Note on Memory Systems: All memory systems can involve persons, places, or objects that are real (associated with real locations and persons and things), or persons, places, and objects which are imagined (associated with fictional or invented locations, persons, and things).

THE MEMORY CITY OF AGAPOLIS (Polis Aeternus, or Polis Memoria)
THE MEMORY HOUSE (Memoria Domestes), THE MEMORY PALACE (Memoria Palatia), THE MEMORY TEMPLE (Templum Aeternus)
THE MEMORY THEATRE
THE MEMORY OBSERVATORY
THE MEMORY CLOCK or THE MEMORY WATERWHEEL
THE MEMORY ENCYCLOPEDIA
THE MEMORY LIBRARY
THE MEMORY MUSEUM or THE MEMORY WORKSHOP (Memory Studio)
THE MEMORY LABORATORY
THE MEMORY CAMERA or THE MEMORY MACHINE
THE MEMORY CHIMERA or THE FANTASTIC MEMORY MONSTER
THE MEMORY SERMON
THE MEMORY EPIC (Poetic, with scene images)
THE MEMORY PERIPLUS or THE MEMORY MAP (Chart)
THE MEMORY PLAY OR FILM
EPIGENETIC MEMORY ENHANCEMENT
THE INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL MEMORY OR PARALLEL REALITY GAME
THE MEMORY PARADISE

VOTE TO BE TRULY FREE, AND FAILING THAT THEN ACT LIKE TRULY FREE MEN AND WOMEN!

Today, Americans, do your civic and public duty to Vote.

But far more importantly conduct yourself as an honorable and upright Free Man or Free Woman who needs no president, no congress, and no court upon your own best natures

For the Good and Free Man needs no real government to govern and tax him, no master to enslave and rule him, and certainly never a single corrupt criminal to deceive, domineer (domina), manipulate, and debase him.

Vote to be Free of All That, but no matter what happens make sure you become once again free of all that – even if that means you must Overthrow all of that.

Be not a coward, but a Free Man! Be an Actual American…

 

DREAM OF THE MOUNTAIN

I wake up between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning. Old habits are hard to break.

But right before waking this morning I had a great little dream.

I was at this huge outdoor conference right after sunrise. Apparently it was some kind of business conference. There were thousands of people milling about and many had brought their kids with them.

Suddenly a guy walks up to me (I know the guy in real life, and like me he owns his own company) and says, “Jack, let me show you something!”

Then he shows me this (what is to me anyway) small and barely visible spot of oil and dirt on the back of the collar of his wife’s dress. Actually it was mostly on the tag on her dress with just a small smudge on her collar. Then he begins to bitch and complain and fuss about how all the kids running around are mucking everything up and that no one (dry-cleaners for instance) can get or keep anything clean or nice. He’s going to be giving a speech today and he’s really ticked off about others seeing a spot on his gal’s dress that unless I had come up behind is wife and examined her dress closely I doubt I’d have ever seen (and I’m pretty observant – just by nature). Assuming I could have seen it past her hair. Not that I’d have cared if I’d have seen it anyway. It’s was just a little oil and dirt. I’d have just thought that maybe someone had spilled something on her or that more likely maybe her make-up or hair was too oily.

He then asks my opinion on the matter and I tell him, “Well, that kinda thing happens in real life ya know. I mean that’s the way it works, ain’t it?” And I walk off to head back to wherever I’m supposed to be going.

On the way this whole gaggle of little kids (I’d say they were between 7 and 10 years old and mostly boys but some little girls too) run up to me and encircle me. So I stop. One little towheaded boy says to me, “Hey mister, where ya going and what are you doing today?”

So I tell em, “Well, I gotta go to a buncha seminars and talks and lectures and I’ve gotta teach a class later today too.”

They all look at each other kinda disappointed like and the towhead goes, “Ohh…”

So I say, “Why? What are you guys doing worthwhile today?

And they say that they are going to go “hiking and shoot the bow and play and explore and swim in the lake and that there is a mountain they wanna climb.”

So I think on it for about a half-second and say to them, “Well, screw all this then! Let me go get in my play clothes and I’m coming with you guys. You seem like you actually know what you’re doing.”

And all the kids screamed, “Yay!”

Then I went and got in my jeans and grabbed my gear and booted up like a boss and right before I woke up I was headed with them towards that mountain they wanted to climb.

It was a nice dream, sure enough.

By the way, anyone who really knows me knows that that is exactly what I’d be most likely to do…

 

 

THE MYSTEREUM

Tome and Tomb

This article (the one below) gave me an idea (although I also partially patterned it after the Library and Museus of ancient Alexandria) for a new adventure/dungeon site or complex. It sits right outside of a major city and appears as an ancient museum to the civilian population and for all public intents and purposes this is all that is known of the complex. It contains numerous replicas (and, it is claimed, some very real examples) of ancient and powerful devices, items, inventions, artifacts, and even some holy relics.

Visitors may enter the Mystereum by day, and during special occasions (or public festivals) at night, to see these things on display, to read descriptions of what they were or of their supposed history and ownership, the known chains of evidence regarding their authenticity, and to be given guided tours and to hear lectures given by the archivists, historians…

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DAZZLE PLUS – ON THE VIRTUES OF AN INTEGRATED DEFENSE

This is how I would do it…

MUCH BETTER AS PART OF AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM

While I am not against this idea by any means with modern anti-ship missile guidance systems this technique would be far more effective if combined with anti tracking (sonar and radar) countermeasures which made it seem to sonar and radar as if the ship were either farther ahead of or farther behind it’s actual position than it truly was.

That is to say that few hostiles, if anyone (aside perhaps from Somali pirates), sights or fixes a ship’s position (or a tank’s position for that matter) relying solely upon visual evidence.

Therefore to make the system far more effective as a defense you would need to tie the moving visual pattern to anti or counter sonar and radar pulses or to an omni-directional pulse which either scattered or confused incoming tracking systems so as to make the ship appear displaced from it’s actual physical position. Because most tracking systems are now sound and echo-reflection based rather than visual in nature. However if you could developed integrated confused/confusing visual systems, counter-sonar and radar systems, and stealth design techniques then I could see this being part of a very effective integrated ship (and other machine) defense protocol.

But alone I don’t see the actual advantage, other than as a psychological one. I think though that such an integrated system would, of course, be far, far more effective (especially a moving location/position displacement system) for our submarine fleet unless you had a flotilla of small ships that could overlap their integrated systems and in some way combine their power and effectiveness.

Of course the ultimate defense would be to combine a visual and radar/sonar Displacement System with Adaptive Camouflage and a Stealthy Design or Build coupled with an effective and efficient attack suppression system such as an Aegis Platform. That would make a ship appear to be displaced from it’s real position while being extremely hard to see and track and capable of intercepting attacks prior to a successful enemy strike.

I can also see such a system working well with a squadron of aircraft, or a group of tanks or armored fighting vehicles. If they could combine or overlap their displacement fields then they could not only confuse tracking systems but give their defensive response systems (such as the Aegis with ships) more time to effectively counter missile and other attacks.

Of course it would not be long before effective computer algorithms and compensational computer models were designed to help overcome such displacement systems.

But if done in an efficient and powerful enough way then integrated positional displacement systems would still be some defense and maybe just enough of an advantage to warrant the expense and employment.

Ships were painted with zebra stripes in hopes of evading and deceiving the enemy during World War I. It was not entirely clear how effective the “dazzle”
WARHISTORYONLINE.COM

HALCYON EVENINGS

Sitting in the living room listening to a series of old radio plays from the 40s and 50s broadcast by a local radio station every Sunday evening. So far I’ve listened to The Third Man (I also recently recorded Welles Third Man film and I look forward to rewatching it),  The Adventures of Superman (he was breaking up a gang of real estate racketeers attempting to bomb the Daily Planet for bad publicity), and some old cereal commercials and old radio commercials for the Navy. Absolutely delightful.

Radio plays are to me a far better exercise for the mind and the imagination than television, for you have to reconstruct the action and scenery for yourself from rather shallow and quick narrative descriptions and scant dialogue. It’s a shame TV has killed all of that for the vast majority of people. Though I’m a throwback I guess because I still listen to old radio plays, to shortwave radio, to CB channels, and to HAM radio. And I still regularly scan the police and emergency and air and military bands as well. Of course.

But evenings like this, with beautiful, clear weather, and crisp, uninterrupted broadcasts remind me of being a kid and hanging around my great uncle as he worked the communication bands at the rescue squad or monitored his police channels for calls or listened to old radio plays or the HAM radio.

And to top it all off since we have a beautifully bright Hunter’s Moon I think that as soon as these broadcasts finish up I’ll take my telescope outside and watch the moon awhile.

Good night folks.

Have a great evening.

BOB DYLAN’S TREASURES

A very unusual choice, but well deserved from my point of view. As a musical lyricist and poet Dylan is superb. Almost unmatched. A throwback, and a modern Bard really.

October 13 at 7:56 AM
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for work that the Swedish Academy described as “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

He is the first American to win the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993, and a groundbreaking choice by the Nobel committee to select the first literature laureate whose career has primarily been as a musician.

Although long rumored as a contender for the prize, Dylan was far down the list of predicted winners, which included such renown writers as Haruki Murakami and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o.

This is the second year in a row that the academy has turned away from fiction writers for the literature prize. And it’s possibly the first year that the prize has gone to someone who is primarily a musician, not a writer.

‘Greatest living poet’ Bob Dylan wins Nobel literature prize

Play Video0:24
Bob Dylan, regarded as the voice of a generation for his influential songs from the 1960s onwards, won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature Oct. 13. (Reuters)

The permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, made the announcement in Stockholm. In a televised interview afterward, Danius said that Dylan “embodies the tradition. And for 54 years, he’s been at it, reinventing himself, creating a new identity.” She suggested that people unfamiliar with his work start with “Blonde on Blonde,” his album from 1966.

“Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear,” she said. “But it’s perfectly fine to read his works as poetry.”

She drew parallels between Dylan’s work and poets as far back as Greek antiquity.

“It’s an extraordinary example of his brilliant way of rhyming and his pictorial thinking,” Danius said. “If you look back, far back, you discover Homer and Sappho, and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to. They were meant to be performed. It’s the same way with Bob Dylan. But we still read Homer and Sappho. He can be read and should be read. He is a great poet in the grand English tradition. I know the music, and I’ve started to appreciate him much more now. Today, I’m a lover of Bob Dylan.

Dylan will receive an 18-karat gold medal and a check for about $$925,000.

Dylan, the son of a Minnesota appliance-store owner, began as a folk singer but soon established himself as one of the voices of political protest and cultural reshaping in the 1960s.

Dylan’s songs — driven by his distinctive nasal-twang vocals — are often seen as dense prose poems packed with flamboyant, surreal images. Rolling Stone magazine once called him “the most influential American musician rock and roll has ever produced.”

He first gained notice with ringing protest songs that served as anthems for the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements with such songs as “Masters of War,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.”

Then he moved on to feverish rock-and-roll drenched in stream-of-consciousness lyrics that evoked the hallucinatory visions of William Blake, the romanticism of Mary Shelley and John Keats and the postmodern pessimism of Allen Ginsberg and other beat poets.

Dylan recalled listening to country music each evening from distant Midwestern stations and taking up the guitar himself at age 10.

He briefly attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where folk music, rather than rock-and-roll, was the abiding musical idiom.

“Picasso had fractured the art world and cracked it wide open,” Dylan once wrote. “He was revolutionary. I wanted to be like that.”

Dylan sang at the 1963 March on Washington, the massive civil rights procession presided over by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Later, at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, he stunned many fans — and began a new musical direction — by putting aside his acoustic guitar and playing a Fender sunburst Stratocaster electric guitar.

His next albums — “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde” — ventured further into the surreal long-form songs and dizzying array of characters that were now his trademark. They are considered by many critics to be his creative peak.

In the late 1970s, he stunned admirers again by declaring himself a Christian and releasing three albums of religiously inspired songs. The singing and musicianship were passionate and professional — Dylan earned his first Grammy Award, for best rock male vocal performance — but the harsh, born-again lyrics puzzled and alienated many of his longtime fans.

In 2005, he released a long-awaited memoir, “Chronicles Vol. 1,” which won him more accolades for its candor and originality. He also appeared in director Martin Scorsese’s “No Direction Home,” a documentary that summed up the triumphs and turmoil of his early years as a performer. In 2008, he was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for his profound effect on popular music and American culture, “marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”

YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME…

If you would like to follow or visit my other blogs then you many find them here:

Tome and Tomb 

Launch Port

The Missal

(Wyrdwend)

Omneus

Google

 

If you would like to follow or visit my Facebook Business Page then you may do so here:

Open Door Enterprises

 

If you would like to follow or join my/our more wide ranging and esoteric Facebook page then you may do so here:

Wyrdroad

See ya.

Jack.

 

AWARD ANSWERS

I was flattered to receive the nomination for this award.

Thank you.

I am not exactly sure what this award is or what it means but I’m gratified nonetheless. In answer of your Seven Questions here are my answers:

Seven Questions:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from? From the US but I have a significant number of followers and visits from Europe (about evenly split between East and West) and Australia and Canada and a few from Africa.

2. What is your favourite sport? To play soccer – to watch boxing. But I am not a big pro-sports fan. I prefer amateur and singular athletics such as hiking and climbing and running.

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016? An old case well resolved, and a trip to Charleston with the wife.

4. What is your favourite quote? I have many from many sources. One of my favorites is, “Jesus wept.”

5. What is/was your favourite class when still at school? Unfortunately I am a bit of a polymath with many interests. So I had not a single interest or favorite in school, primary or college. Some of my favorites included physics, philosophy, psychology, subnormal and criminal psychology, Greek, history, literature, religion, chemistry, cryptology, biology, and genetics. Just depended upon my mood and the day as to which was my favorite.

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier? Many, many things. Far too many to count or name.

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play? I play (well enough) to compose upon the piano. I wish I had also learned to play the guitar and violin, or that I had the time to do so now. I do not.

MY ANCESTRY – THE CHILD AND THE FRUIT

MY ANCESTRY       10/4/16

Last night my wife, youngest daughter and I went by my parent’s house. My old man wasn’t there as he was at his Masonic lodge meeting but my mother had recently had my parent’s genetic ancestry typed (both my father and my mother’s genetic backgrounds) and wanted to tell me and my daughter what our ancestral backgrounds were.

(I had been thinking of doing the same for me and my wife but with all of the other work I’ve had to do recently have not yet proceeded on the project.)

Anyway the results of my parent’s typing were quite fascinating to me.

If Jung’s basic postulate that people “inherit” ancestral, ethnic, or racial memories (though the last two ideas are really somewhat a stretch of his theory) is true then my ancestral background certainly seems to have had some interesting and even dramatic effects upon the manner in which my life had developed thus far.

Now to be honest I am not at all sure of the idea of “ancestral memory” as Jung conjectured, it seems far more likely to me that ancestral effects would have been carried through to descendants via epigenetic and genetic mechanisms, rather than as actual inherited “memories” (though lacking genetic and epigenetic information current to our time he might have meant basically the same thing just lacked a mechanism for describing the likely cause). I am not wholly discounting more mystical effects and affects via “inherited memory” upon a person through their ancestral background; indeed I have a few somewhat metaphysical formulations and speculations of my own when it comes to genetics. I am however not really a big believer in what might be more commonly and popularly termed “Fate” and more a proponent of Wyrd. That is to say I think Wyrd more in line (as a working and workable metaphysical formulation) corresponding to epigenetics as a viable and valid mechanism for the future influence of genetic changes upon a descendant population than I am comfortable with the idea of some type of mystical and unavoidable fate as a metaphysical conception of ancestral influences or “memories.” Though I do not wholly discount the possibility of some type of ancestral “memory” being written into a person’s genetic code either through recombinant experiences or through epigenetic influences. It’s just that the scientist in me thinks there is a far better method implied in epigenetic processes and that rather than memories being passed along from our ancestors that instead both weak (recessive and passive) and even strong (pronounced and active) tendencies and traits may be written into future genetic expressions via genetic recombination or through epigenetic processes. Or through the actions of both.

That all being said, however, and with that viewpoint in mind, I found the following typing results to be of especial interest to me.

I knew I had a great deal of Anglo-Saxon and British (Celtic) ancestry through my father’s side of the family. That proved out true and I’ve often wondered if that is why I learned Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and for my long standing (since I was a young boy) interest in all things Anglo-Saxon and Celtic. Including the language, the myths, the lifestyle, the history, warfare practices, and the conditions of that period of history.

I also have a great deal of Irish in my background (which I’ll return to later) and Western European in my blood, probably Germanic and Bohemian. I was also aware of Eastern European lineage, though that turned out to be much less than I had anticipated with one exception which rather fascinated me. That being Northern Russian and Finnish.

Now, much like Tolkien, I have had a near lifelong interest in three things from that area of the world and that basic timeframe/era of history: the stories involving Baba Yaga, the Eastern Vikings (the Rus, and their river explorations of Russia and Eastern Europe), and the Kalavala (I first read the Kalavala as a kid). But it never occurred to me that I would have either Russian or (especially not) Finnish ancestry. As a matter of fact despite my interest in all of these things I would have bet before these results that I had no Russian or Finnish ancestors at all. But I do.

I also knew that I had Greek ancestors and again I have had a lifelong interest in Greek and Latin (Greek being the first foreign language I ever studied in college, because of my pursuit at that time of the priesthood, and German being the second), and that proved out true as well. I do have Greek ancestors. But to my amazement and shock I also discovered I have Italian ancestors. Which again, I’ll return to in a moment. Which could account for my long time interest in Roman military matters and Latin. (Both Latin and Greek seem “familiar and comfortable languages” to me. Natural to me. The ideas and terms used in both languages seem so natural and familiar that when reading them it often seems to me more like a process of “rediscovery” than the study of foreign concepts or terminologies.)

Finally, and to my greatest shock and surprise my Scandinavian ancestry is quite high. Somewhere between 15 and 21%. Again, as with the Russian and Finnish, which is a much lower percentage, I would have never guessed I had any Scandinavian heritage or ancestors at all. (Though, logically, this only makes real sense, since anyone with high concentrations of British and English ancestors is bound to have at least some Scandinavian ancestors due to the invasions of England by the Vikings.) But again, it was unexpected to me and I was particularly shocked by the high concentrations of Scandinavian heritage in my blood. But again that might go a very long way to explaining my interest in the Vikings and my intense lifelong interest in Vadding and exploration and my keen concern with the Navy, sailing, and in nautical matters in general. But now that I know both about the Scandinavian ancestry and the Russian and Finnish links it is entirely possible that I had both Western and Eastern Vikings in my ancestral background.

All of these things were entirely fascinating to me, to say the least, but now we enter fields of an almost bizarre and uncanny nature, some of which I had previously suspected, some which were entirely new to me, and some of which might prove that Jung was even right in his assumptions and theories, at least to some degree.

For I also discovered three very odd facts regarding my ancestors. For of all that at least some of my Irish ancestors were Black Irish (as I had long suspected from my family’s jet back hair and dark eyes) though I had assumed that was possibly Spanish Black Irish. That may or may not be true but through my mother’s side of the family, at least, it appears that they were Italian Black Irish. Through family and genealogical research it was discovered that the Irish family name was actually a modified Italian place name. It turns out that a distant Italian ancestor once fought a duel and killed a man. Fearing being hunted down and killed as a result he fled Italy and eventually made his way (perhaps through Iberia – more on that momentarily) to Ireland where he dropped the Da (denoting place) and modified his (last name or place name apparently) to adopt the eventual Irish family name of Adair. (Originally his last name was probably Da Dare.) Black Irish, no doubt but from a totally unexpected source to me, from Italy. Though I have no idea as to the particulars of the duel, what it involved, or whom, it occurs to me now that this might be at least one source for my hot (and at times in my life violent) temper that I have had to work so long to master. For again, though I know not the details I can become almost instantly furious and even dangerously angry when I see injustice and evil perpetrate upon another. So although I do not know the details of this duel, or if my ancestor was in the right or in the wrong, I do now know I apparently have at least one hot-blooded, violent ancestor who was willing to kill a man in a one on one stand up man-fight. On my mother’s side of the family. As for how many of my ancestors also killed men on my father’s side of the family given their likely martial and military history, well, I imagine it was certainly enough.

Which brings me to the second ancestral odd point (from my point of view and given the course of my own life) of correlation. The Iberian Peninsula. My father’s side of the family has ancestors from Iberia but so did my mother, possibly from the Italian fleeing the duel. I have often suspected, with no real evidence at all, that at least one of my ancestors was a Sephardic Jew. Due to my intense interest in Judaism and the Kabbalah and the Sephardim in particular. Going back to when I was a teenager and later in college when I read all of the Sephardic literature and works (such as the writings of Moses ben Maimon – Maimonides) that I could lay my hands on. Which eventually became quite a lot. Now that I know that both sides of my family had ancestors from the Iberian Peninsula, and that the percentages are rather high relatively speaking – from 5 to 7% – it seems indeed logical that I might very well have at least one Sephardic Jew in my ancestry. If not more. This has been, at least, a long and very strong suspicion of mine, and indeed I have often wondered if it were not at least one genesis point for my investigative and research and scientific prowess.

And this brings me to the last truly curious and peculiar possible connection between my ancestors and myself. My father has North African ancestors. At about the same level (percentage wise) as my Russian and Finnish ancestors.

Now anyone of my family or friends who knows me well knows that going back to my early childhood (and this became prominent in my teenage years) I used to have recurring dreams about being a priest somewhere in North Africa (perhaps a Coptic priest, perhaps Byzantine, likely in the vicinity of Egypt but maybe also in Libya) in ancient times (late antiquity or early Medieval ages) and that in these recurring dreams I was almost always abandoning a young women with whom I was involved. Dark skinned, dark eyes, long hair, possibly Egyptian. I was almost always riding away on a horse because I was either already a priest and felt our involvement somehow interfered with my duties to God, or because I felt that my obligations to God and to her would somehow interfere with each other. Indeed I would often recount and talk about these dreams to various friends of mine. Sometimes also to my mother.

When in college the first time I was indeed once again contemplating being a priest and again I wrestled in my own mind and soul long and hard could I be a priest and serve God and God alone, or would I be a priest who could also be married, or would I seek only marriage and not the priesthood? It was a personal struggle of priorities for about ten years for me. Eventually I abandoned my studies for the priesthood but have maintained lifelong friendships with priests and nuns and monks and I still intend to become a Greek Orthodox priest late in life, before I die. If my wife pre-deceases me, and I actually hope and sometimes pray I die before her, I will retire to a monastery or possibly a hermitage.

Now I have long suspected that I had North African heritage and at least one ancestor who was a priest but I could not account for this suspicion nor could I find prove of it in my family history or genealogy. And I would have never suspected that if indeed I had North African ancestors it would be on my father’s side of the family. Rather I suspected if any such ancestor existed it would have been on my mother’s side of the family. But there it was, North African heritage and from my father’s side of the family.

Coincidentally, if you believe in that kind of thing, I have always preferred dark skinned women with long dark hair and dark to black eyes. Spanish, Egyptian, Italian, Greek, Indian (India Indian) – those types of females. As far as physical appearance goes. And I dated Greek and Italian and Spanish and Egyptian women when younger. Eventually though I married an American black woman. And I am happily married.

However, and perhaps due to these experiences and impressions I even named my daughters after famous Italian and Greek women.

But I have often wondered if these dreams I had so often as a kid and if my preferences for a certain type of physical appearance might have not have indeed stemmed from some ancestral experience that became deeply lodged in my genetic code through some epigenetic event that was profound to my ancestor. (After one such dream as a teenager I wrote a thirty page long poem about the dream and everything I could recall connected with it. I still have that poem.) This idea seems likely to me because even though I have much higher percentages of Scandinavian lineage in my background yet I have only very rarely ever been attracted to fair haired or blue eyed women. Though I do find such women physically attractive on occasion, I am more instinctively drawn to darker women, and prefer them.

So, given the genetic percentages in my background it seems very likely to me that if my ancestors did influence my choices in women and their physical appearance then it must have been due to the intensity or profundity of the experience rather than to the percentages of the women available. Something about the interplay between the Priesthood and the “Dark Woman.”

Oddly enough, or perhaps not, these dreams completely ceased after I got married, and have thereafter never recurred. Not that I could ever recall anyhow.

In any event, having gathered this information from my parents regarding their background, and my own, certain things about my life now seem to make much more sense to me and many things I have often suspected now seem likely confirmed.

I have often had two separate natures. One very active in the world, physical, sensual, outgoing, entrepreneurial, logical, concrete, scientific, militaristic, risk-oriented, and even violent in nature (which I call the Detective and the Scientist and the Adventurer side of me), and the other part of me which is very much mystical and metaphysical and philosophical and peace-loving, withdraw from the world, otherworldly, Godly, and of an introverted nature (which I call the Priestly or Monkish side of me). And in truth I’m about 50% introvert and 50% extrovert. So often these two very different natures have sort of waged war against each other in my inner soul or inner man. I’m not gonna say for dominance, for that would be untrue and an exaggeration, more like for accommodation and peace with each other.

But now that I know more of my genealogy and more of my ancestral genetic background many of my lifelong interests and quests – my desires to explore and to Vad, my detective and investigative occupations, my inventive concerns, my historical pursuits, my artistic inclinations, the subject matters upon which I write, my poetic and songwriting abilities and capabilities, my linguistic fascinations, my scientific experimentation, my entrepreneurial occupations, my metaphysical, religious, and spiritual curiosities and pursuits, even such things as my avocational and personal interests and habits – all of these things now seem more and more logical to me in nature and scope. And many of my prior suspicions about myself and my ancestral background seem either confirmed or likely confirmed, though I am the first to admit in an often unanticipated and unlikely manner.

If, as is often said, “the child is the father of the man” then it is equally true that, “carpent tua poma nepotes.”

Now I need to have my wife and children so tested and typed to see what can be learned of them and for their future benefit.

GODSPEED TURKISH MILITARY

GODSPEED TURKISH MILITARY!

May you and the Turkish People fully restore your Republic!

I am completely behind you and wish you Good Fortune and Success.

BE FREE AGAIN, AND BE WELL AND THRIVE!

THE LAST TRUE MAN – HIGHMOOT

THE LAST TRUE MAN

Over the weekend I started a new fictional short story. A fantasy of sorts, you might say. This is the first draft. I have made no editorial corrections at all. I thought it would make an interesting experiment for others to see regarding how a short story develops over time and is edited, corrected, revised, etc.

I did not type this by the way. Because of my previously broken wrist my youngest daughter now does most of my typing. (My oldest daughter is already in college.) I write in longhand, she types. I owe her much for that, and I pay her, though it is also part of the life and practical and market skills development section of her homeschooling studies.

Since this story involves a mysterious stranger that the main character entertains and travels with from time to time (I had plotted that into the story from the beginning of my sketches for the work) and a Journey I decided to also link this to the Daily Prompt on WordPress for today

Journey

I will not be posting the entire story here, once it is completed, because I plan to publish it. But the section included here, when I make the necessary editorial corrections and revisions, that I will post later.

The story will also contain within it the poem, He Who Goes Alone. Which I actually wrote for a different purpose but last night I realized fit this story so acutely that I decided to include it as part of the story.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Last True Man. (And although he is not really a man, he is True to the end.)

___________________________________

THE LAST TRUE MAN

He lived alone. Once he had a wife, and a son and two daughters. Only one daughter had survived his thirty-third birthday. By that time he was too badly wounded to care for her and had been made permanently lame. Being unable to care for her properly, and his recuperation taking years, he had given her over to the care of his former wife’s sister. He still saw his daughter and her children occasionally, and treated her kindly though she was often in awe and afraid of him. But she did not know who he truly was. To her, as to everyone else, he was simply the old hermit who almost never spoke.

Now he was eighty-seven. Though he did not appear so, nor did he move like an old man. Nevertheless he was still partially lame from the wounds he had received as a young man. For even in his heart, as in his body, some wounds remained and never fully closed such as those injuries and wrongs that claimed the life of his wife, son, and oldest daughter.

So he lived alone. Alone among a set of ancient weathered, discolored, wan stone and marble ruins. Ruins left by a long dead and vanquished race, all of their works toppled and reclaimed by the forest, all except those he kept as a forlorn home and temple of remembrance. Yet to him it was not forlorn or even a ruin. It was the wreckage of another age he had reclaimed for himself. He who went alone.

The ruins stood beyond the horizon of the village in which his daughter dwelt. Though not far. They did not have to stand afar off for all manner of men shunned those ruins and the surrounding landscape, considering them accursed and haunted. None ventured there and aside from young boys filled with that spirit of adventure and exploration that sometimes overwhelms and possesses them view ever came within close sight, to almost all it was a place more imagined than ever observed.

Except to him. Despite the many pitfalls and the shifting rot and the persistent decay that nature worked upon the ancient place he knew it well and almost completely. He even knew of most of the most desolate and new long buried areas. He also dwelt at peace with all but a few of the surrounding creatures, be they large, small, tame, wild, fierce, or gigantic and fearsome.

His means were simple, his desires few, his quaint and modest satisfactions many in his deserted home, and his dwelling austere. He spent his days wandering, exploring and mapping the wide ruins in which he lived, drawing, sketching, mapping, writing and cataloging all he discovered. Many days he would also explore the nearby forest, visiting or entertaining creatures as they would accommodate him, or he they. At dawn he would pray, at sunset sing. At night he would take the telescope he had fashioned for himself and watch the moon and stars.

Sometimes at night he would also sit long in meditation, contemplation, or within the various memory palaces he had created in his own mind so that he could commiserate with the ghosts of his dead family and friends. In this way he would sometimes slip happily into dream and melancholy would leave him until he again awoke. When it might or might not return to him like an unreliable and unpredictable friend.

Or was friend the right word? Maybe Melancholy was his interrogator of habit, like Death was the companion of his more somber dreams and troubled visions. He was never really sure where he actually stood with the steady companions of his loneliness and exile. He only knew that he knew them well, and that they knew him as he truly was. In the center of his inmost soul.

His most steady companion however was his huge dog which so resembled a small bear in size and shape and appearance that some men took it for a strangely colored and tame bear and nicknamed him “Uroldas” or “Bear-Father.”

He built a dwelling of the old stones of what he surmised to have been the still standing remains of an ancient tower attached to the ruins of what was possibly an old wall or gate mount. Indeed he called it his tower and it was there stories tall, consisting of four levels all together, including the level he had dug underground for storage. His tower was part home, part hermitage, part-forge, (for he also worked his own metals and artifacts) and part observatory, and he named it Caerloron, after his dead son.

Occasionally he was visited at dusk, at dawn, or late at night by a mysterious figure in simple robes and a deep blue prayer shawl who would entertain him, or who he would entertain, and often during such visits they would talk long and in a familiar, friendly fashion. Though none else saw this odd visitor for two reasons; he would never approach if the man was otherwise occupied, and secondly due to the isolation and uncanniness of the old man’s dwelling. Which kept almost everyone else at bay in any case.

The man possessed a strange drinking vessel as well. An almost eerily peculiar cup he had recovered from a trove deep in the city, craftily contrived, decorated with bizarre devices and the cryptic letters of a long dead language. For in the future, many centuries hence it was whispered this cup never went dry, but that was just a rumor yet to be born. As for the man when he had first found the cup he had inscribed it with his name, Aelone. St that time he was still a young man and called himself by his name. in the years that followed everyone else forgot his name, and even who he had once been and so he took to himself, “me.” Or “I.”

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