Apr 13 2012

L is for Lorcee (Existence series character)

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            Lorcce is a
Canadian Eskimo Dog. Above is an approximation of what he looks like. His fur
is all white, except for the small brown marking on the top of his head.

            He was a
rare and expensive puppy, but one which was able to keep up with Xavier’s
Arctic expedition trek the summer before his senior year in high school. As
Canadian Eskimo Dogs are not traditionally a domestic animal, Xavier has
converted the entire apartment under his into a “play area” so that
his canine companion wouldn’t feel trapped in the big city.

            This breed
is a working dog. Lorcce is not a stay-at-home pup. He does charity work with
disabled children nearly every day at a local hospital. A child is put into a
special sled with their physical therapist which allows Lorcce to take them for
rides around places such as Central Park.
Volunteering keeps him from getting bored and destructive. 

Apr 12 2012

K is for Killjoy

            My favorite
line in book one (Fractions of Existence) is Xavier’s reply of “Killjoy,” to Gwendolyn. I
laugh every time I read it. There is something so light and natural about their
witty banter with each other. At the outset, it seems like they would be
nervous and awkward when they meet at this point in the story, but instead they
speak to each other like two people who have known each other for a very long
time. 

Apr 12 2012

K is for Knuth (Existence series character)

            Vinica
Margaret was born in Denmark.
She is the eldest daughter of Count Henrik Christian Knuth and his wife
Countess Margrethe Louise Holstein-Knuth. Her upbringing was strict, formal,
and rigid. She was an obedient child who was intently focused on pleasing her
parents by outdoing the other children. She learned early on how to influence
and intimidate others, which her parents believed would make her an excellent
leader. She was confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark shortly
before her fifteenth birthday.

 

            Vinica
awoke to the Danish flag flapping outside of her window. Around her bed were
piles of brightly wrapped gifts to for her fifteenth birthday. Among them was a
pearly white box with a pink bow from her father. Inside was a memory book. The
pages began with copies of her birth certificate and announcement, and went on
to showcase the milestones of her life. The final pages which had been filled
in had a picture of a young man she had never met and a copy of an agreement
between her father and Lithuanian nobleman for the marriage of their children
in three years time.

           

            That was
the moment that the obedient child vanished and the fiery dominating woman
appeared. Vinica packed up her things and informed her parents that she was
leaving. Her father threatened to disown her, to take away her noble Knuth
name. She was not fazed. She set out into the world on her own for the first
time.

            Being a
minor without money or title proved to be a challenge for which she was
unprepared. Without power, she could not influence or intimidate others so
easily. Vinica found herself selling off her possessions just to survive.

            Down to the
last scraps of money from pawning her favorite necklace, she walked into a
bakery hoping to have enough money for a meal. A man who had just received the
muffin he had ordered turned around and collided with her. He apologized
profusely and begged her to allow him to buy her brunch. There was something
about him that she could not shake, so she said she would agree to let him buy
her meal, but only if he would agree to sit and eat with her.

            The man
told her his name was Patrick but refused to offer his last name. His bright
red hair gave him away as distinctly Irish. While he attempted to portray
himself as a commoner, she saw right through him, recognizing the subtle signs
of his noble and wealthy lineage. She kept quiet about it though, for it was
hardly what held her attention.

            His body
was solid. Every move he made seemed like an impossible feat to her eyes. She
wondered if he studied the living statue art of the mimes. And then there were
his eyes! She had never seen irises so alive before. It was like watching a
geode form over and over with every blink.

            Brunch
ended and they left the bakery together. The week ended, and still they had
parted only to sleep. A month went by, and she finally demanded his full name.
He asked her why it mattered to her. Vinica replied, “I need to know what
I will be signing as for the rest of my life, because you are going to marry
me, Patrick.”

            “Am
I?”

            “Yes,
you are.”

            “Will
you feel the same even if my name comes with no title?” he asked.

            “I
will.”

            “And
if my name does come with a title? What then? Will you put up with the
requirements of such a burden?”

            She smiled.
“So long as you do not arrange for me to marry a stranger, I think you will
be pleasantly surprised at just how well I can handle being noble.”

            “I am
Patrick Robert Doyen, Baron of Ireland, eldest son of my father.”

 

            Seven years
after they were wed, Vinica gave birth to her second child, a son who they
named Xavier Patrick Doyen. When the news of their first grandson reached
Henrik and Margrethe Knuth they restored Vinica’s title and finally made peace
with their eldest child.

 

Apr 11 2012

J is for Jellybeans

            When I was
a child, jellybeans were these thick candies with a sort of waxy coating that
only appeared around Easter. The red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple ones
were pretty good. The black ones were gross and green ones tasted like
toothpaste.

            In my
late teens, I discovered Jelly Belly’s jellybeans
It’s hard to believe that these candies have anything in
common with the ones “the bunny” brought in my basket years before.
Not only are there gourmet flavors, but there are mixing charts to encourage
consumers to mix the beans for a whole new flavor explosion in one’s mouth.

            My
favorite flavor from Jelly Belly so far is CappuccinoWhat’s yours?


PS-

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Apr 11 2012

J is for Janice (Existence series character)

            Janice is a
favorite character of mine though her roles in the books will always be small
ones. She is Xavier’s intimidating, non-conformist cousin. Here’s a
hypothetical short survey, answered in “her words.”

 

If I could live my
life over, what would I change?

Nothing. I have no regrets.

 

What would bring me
more happiness than anything else in the world?

 A purring kitten in my lap. I don’t know.

 

What project or goal,
if left undone, will I most regret next year?

 There are six books on my desk that I want
to read before they become movies, and I would regret not reading them before
those movies come out and the trailers spoil them for me!

 

If I knew I could not
fail, what would I undertake to accomplish in life?

 Since when is failure an option?

 

If I could give my
children three pieces of advice, what would they be?

I don’t have children, but the best three pieces advice I
could pass on would be:

1- Stay alert and focused.

2- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but a set of
keys laced through your fingertips is worth your life in a parking lot ambush.

3- Anyone who tells you that you aren’t good enough should
be proven wrong and simultaneously forgotten.   

 

What am I working at
now in my life that requires the most time and energy? Is this what I ideally
want to be doing with my time?

Time? 168 hours in a week. 
60 hours of which are spent working. (36%) About 12 hours a week
driving. (7%) At 8 a night, 56 hours a week are spent sleeping. (33%) Probably
about 2 hours a day is spent on meals, so that’s 14 hours a week. (8%)
Showering, dressing, restroom breaks, and primping probably take about another
hour a day, so that’s 7 hours. (4%) I spend about an hour a day on the
Internet, so that’s another 7 hours down. (4%) The 90 minutes a day I spend
working out is what takes the most energy, though not the most time at only
10.5 hours a week. (6.25%) That leaves about 12 minutes a day to wait in line,
be on hold, and put up with stupid questions.

 

As for if this is what I ideally want to be doing with my
time, I suppose it is. If it wasn’t, I’d like to think that I’d go do something
else.

 

Is this what I want to
be working most at in 10 years from now? In 40 years from now?

In 10 years from now, yeah, I imagine that things will be
pretty much the same. Maybe I’ll have kids to mix in there as well. In 40 years
from now though, I figure that things will probably be different because I’ll
be much older than I am now.

 

What do I feel is the
“ultimate good” that a human being can strive towards?

 Helping children is the ultimate good
because they have the most room to change. Actually, it isn’t even so much
“change” with them as it is building a foundation. They aren’t fully
formed yet. They aren’t set on a certain path and locked in to the ways that
things have always been. There’s hope for children.

 

Writing a one-sentence
personal mission statement:

“My mission in
life is to…”

My mission in life is to live, to stay alive, and to
encourage others to do the same.

Apr 10 2012

I is for Ice-cream flavor

What Flavor Ice Cream are you?
Mint Chip

Mint Chip – ecstatic and full of glory. Adventurous and curious, you always want to be learning something new. Often this gets you into danger, but you take risks no matter what the odds are.

Facebook quizzes, quiz apps & blog quizzes by Quibblo






You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


You are kind, popular, and generous.
You tend to be successful at anything you try.
A social butterfly, you are great at entertaining a crowd.

You are most compatible with strawberry ice cream.









My favorite flavor of Ice Cream

Apr 10 2012

I is for Irving (Existence series character)

            Irving has the small role
in book one of being a possible alternative love interest for Wend. What life
might she have had if she had ended up with him? His family is well off, though
not nearly as wealthy, powerful, or established as Xavier’s. Irving‘s
dream is to become a cattle rancher, so she would have had to leave the sunny California suburb in
favor of a home with acres of pasture. She might have been able to teach music
from their home while raising the multitude of children that Irving would want. If Wend had chosen Irving, she would have
been the girl who ended up with the guy who used to be someone back in high
school. 

Apr 09 2012

H is for the Hardest thing I’ve ever done.

            The hardest
thing that I’ve ever done is saying good-bye. Anyone who has ever had to say
good-bye to someone they love and wasn’t ready to let go of yet would know the
painful anguish of which I am referring to. There are many words of supposed
comfort which linger inside greeting cards and song lyrics. I am not here to
restate those words.

            Sometimes
people have to go. Perhaps they die years before we are ready, or they get
called away to some part of the world where communication isn’t an option, or
perhaps they fade out of our lives for a reason we never saw coming. Is there
any preparation for this? I remember learning the ABCs and 123s but not how to
say good-bye.

            Yet
sometimes, that is what has to be done. Occasionally we have to say good-bye to
someone because the relationship changes from a positive influence to a
negative destructive force. Is it harder to say good-bye when the choice is
one’s own?

 

Apr 09 2012

H is for Hank (Existence series character)

            Water
sloshed into the hole on the sole of the worn out sneaker. Hank tried to ignore
the cold wetness as it infiltrated his sock once again. He ran faster toward
his school, only to fall into the mud. He picked himself back up, wiped off
what he could, and trudged onward.

            “That
is no way to look when coming to school, young man.”

            “Yes,
Mrs. Klein,” he replied to the angry vice-principal as he entered the
building. He made his way quickly to the boys’ bathroom to clean up as best he
could.

            “Who
let the fertilizer in?” one of the three boys in varsity basketball
jackets jeered.

            Hank tried
to ignore the taunts as he washed the mud off of himself using paper towels.
The jocks grabbed his backpack. They tore it open and pulled out his belongings
to destroy them. Outnumbered, Hank fought uselessly to stop them. Then the door
shot open, and the tallest boy in school marched in.

            “Give
it back to him.”

            “But
Cap, we were just having fun!”

            “Yeah,
look at the puny dweeb. He’s a wreck.”

            “Are
you three deaf? I said to hand it back! Now!” The tallest boy growled at
his teammates as he hovered over them. The boys did as commanded. “Go to
class,” he said. Once they were gone, he turned his attention to Hank.

            “Thanks,
Irving.”

            “That’s
what I’m here for. Why are you such a mess this morning, anyway? Is that their
fault? I’ll make them run laps until they puke if it is.”

            “Nah,
this is all my doing. I tried to outrun the rain. Guess it didn’t work.”

            Irving shook his head.
“You could have called my house. You know one of us would have given you a
ride.”

            Hank
nodded. He gathered his things and made one more attempt to look presentable. Irving‘s family had
always been good to him. He didn’t want to take advantage by asking for rides
or hand-outs.

            “We
could skip, if you wanna. My uncle could come get us. We could spend the day
with the cows. They won’t care if you’re covered in mud.”

            “Thanks
man, but I can’t. I’ve got that big geometry test today and an oral report in history.
You know how Mrs. Burnstien is.

            “If
you aren’t here the day your report is due, the only excuse is a
deathbed,” the boys quoted in an impersonation of the old teacher who
everyone loathed.

           

            At
lunchtime, Hank and Irving settled into their
usual seats at a table with Irving‘s
twin brothers.

            “Did
you see the new girl?” one of Irving‘s
brothers asked.

            Everyone at
the table replied that they had not. Irving
motioned to a nearby table. Two freshmen boys ran over to him, racing each
other to get their first.

            “Freshmen,
there is a new girl in school. I would like to be introduced. See to it.”

            The boys
actually bowed. “Yes, Captain!” They rushed off.

            Hank
laughed. “Abusing the power today?”

            “It
might impress her,” Irving
replied as he pulled out his roast beef sandwich and handed half of it to Hank.

            “I’m
good.”

            “You
love my Aunt’s roast beef. Just eat it before I make one of the freshmen come
over here and feed it to you.”

            Hank
chuckled, thanked him, and took the sandwich. His mouth welcomed a big bite of
fresh meat that had been slowly basted and roasted for hours over a simmering
fire mingled with the season’s most recent offering of crisp lettuce and
sun-ripened tomato tucked between two slices of homemade wheat bread which was
slathered with mayonnaise. He chewed slowly as he savored the wonderful fresh
flavors.

            “Captain!
Captain!” the freshmen called excitedly as they ran over, towing a large
blonde girl with them. “This is her, sir. Kirstie Smith, this is Irving
McCormick, the captain of the basketball team.”

            The shy
girl offered a small wave with one hand while the other toyed with her necklace
nervously. Hank took another bite of the sandwich. Mayo shot down his chin and
over his mud-stained shirt. Kirstie laughed lightly and smiled at him.

            “My
dad is the same way, always getting things on his shirt. I could help you clean
up, if you want I mean,” she said to Hank with a small stutter.

            “That’s
not the Captain, ma’am. The one in the jacket with the big C on it is the
Captain.”

            “Freshmen,
go back to your table. You’ve done well, thank you,” Irving said as he dismissed them.

            “I’m
fine, thanks,” Hank said as he turned bright red.

            “Oh,
okay,” Kirstie muttered. She stared at her shoe laces as if they were
suddenly very interesting.

            Irving shook his head. He
kicked Hank under the table. Once his friend met his eyes, they exchanged
conversational glances. Frustrated by Hank’s shyness, Irving piped up. “He’s being modest. He
does need your help. Can’t clean a thing, this one. Total wreck.”

 

            And so,
with a push from his friend, Hank went off with Kirstie, not only to get
cleaned up, but to fall in love with the woman he would spend his life with,
and to transform from a messy clumsy boy into devoted responsible man.

 

Apr 08 2012

Gwendolyn’s Easter Essay

((The following is an essay which Wend, a main character of
the Existence series, would have written. It is actually written by me, J.
Lenni Dorner, of course; but the viewpoint, tone, and structure of the essay is
that of the fictional character.))

 

“What Easter Means to Me”

By Gwendolyn Mirabella Wright 

 

            Life
eternal is granted to me and my loved ones because Jesus has risen! Christ, my Savior,
faced Death and three days later returned. When the time is right, He will call
the faithful and worthy to Heaven to be with Him. Easter is a celebration of the
great gift of resurrection. Easter is celebrated because we will be resurrected
someday, because we will be immortal once we are resurrected, and because we
know that Jesus was resurrected.

 

            In death,
the spirit leaves the body. In resurrection, the spirit returns to the body and
makes it alive again. When Jesus’ spirit returned to His body, He made
resurrection possible. Jesus Christ was the first person to be resurrected. It
took Jesus only three days to be resurrected, but that is not the case for everyone.
When we die, our spirit will eventually be guided back to our bodies because
Jesus has promised this gift to the world.

 

            When the
spirit returns to the body during resurrection, we will become immortal. The
resurrected body changes so that it not only comes back to life, but it also
becomes whole and perfect and can never die again. I will have my body forever
because Jesus was resurrected. My immortal body will have eternal life in God’s
presence and be with my family there because we repent our sins, follow the
commandments of the Gospel, and believe in Jesus Christ who died so that we
could be forgiven.

 

            The
resurrection of Christ after His death is the greatest news the world has ever
had. We know that news is true because many people documented seeing Jesus
alive once again. Among these people were the Nephites and Lamanites, who had
been in darkness for the three days that it took for Jesus to be resurrected.
These were the most joyful people on Earth for Jesus stayed with them for a
while to heal their sick, bless their children, and teach them.

 

            Everyone
should celebrate Easter because Jesus gave the gift of resurrection to the
whole world, because we will all become immortal after we die, and because
there is documented proof that Jesus was resurrected. Our faith in the Savior
protects us so that we will spend eternity not as lost spirits and rotting
corpses but in our perfect bodies alive with blessed spirits in the home of the
Heavenly Father. Easter is a celebration of the love that Jesus has which is so
abundant that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. So, to me, Easter means
that I am loved by Jesus Christ; and that is truly something to celebrate!

Apr 07 2012

G is for Goal

            My current
goal, and please forgive the obviousness of this answer, is to have my book
series represented by an agent who will get it published and then celebrate
with me when the books appear on the New York Times best-seller list. You may
say that my goal has quite a bit of dream mixed in there, but what is the point
of making a goal which is merely obtainable? If you’re going to go out, go big;
otherwise, stay home!

            Five more immediate writing goals:

            1) To get
300 signers on the what-are-they.com guestbook.

            2) To
complete this A to Z blog challenge.

            3) To get
1000 likes on my Facebook fan page

 http://www.facebook.com/WhatAreThey 

*There is also a Facebook Like Button in the right column of this page. *

            4) To get
an agent.

            5) To
finish writing book two. 

Apr 07 2012

G is for Georgette (Existence series character)

            Ah, Georgette!
Once upon a time there was girl named Georgette. Her parents were kidnapped by
Bigfoot. No wait, they were abducted by aliens. Or did they sink on the
Titanic?

            Georgette
is the least likely person to tell you the truth about her own past. She has
woven so many tales over the years that no one knows the full truth of her
history by now. It is certain, however, that she established a legal residence
in New York City
when she turned 18. (She claims to have lived in the city longer, but had no
address then because she was staying with the mole-people who reside under the
subway system.) She has had a wide variety of jobs, most of which were off the
record. She is a fantastic sales person, so long as she doesn’t need to be
burdened with little details of relevant facts. She’s a very creative cook, but
her choice of ingredients isn’t always something that should be disclosed. Her style
of dress is very eclectic but absolutely always sexy and sultry.

            She seems to
have no desire to settle down. There have been a few relationships which lasted
long enough to warrant moving in together. They all ended the same. The guy
would come home one day to find all of her things gone and the key left on the
table. She is the one to leave 99% of the time, but she has never bothered to
actually break up with anyone.

            For a few
years now there hasn’t been a raving party in SoHo
that she wasn’t at. The best ones, of course, have her well-known bowl of
punch. To simply call it spiked would be misuse of the word. Georgette’s
concoction has been blamed for everything from cheating husbands to a certain
Senator backing a bill which no one expected him to. The prize-inside contents
are a secret which she would never reveal. She is certainly owed credit though,
for this magical drink doesn’t harbor any of odd flavors or after-bite that one
might expect. Indeed, Georgette’s punch is truly sinfully delicious.

Apr 06 2012

F is for Favorite Food

            It is so
hard to choose just one food for a favorite. Savory or sweet, zesty or
delicate, breakfast or dinner…

            I think I
will have to go with sushi for this question though. Anago, or eel, is my
favorite, though I enjoy getting a variety pack when I pick up sushi. I do like
avocado in my sushi rolls, but I do not care for cream cheese, wasabi, or
cucumber in them. While I have no objection to white, or traditional, sushi
rice, I generally will opt for a brown rice instead if it happens to be
available. I know the pickled ginger is a palate cleanser, but it’s not
something I’m especially fond of. Though it is much rarer for me to find, I do
enjoy tamago.



Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.



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            Above: A recent purchase of mine! Delicious. Below: Some tamago.

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Apr 06 2012

F is for Frigatebird and Peregrine Falcon

            Both
mentioned in book one, I thought for the letter F I would supply a bit of
information on these two types of birds.

            A frigatebird
lives near the sea. They are related to pelicans. They are known for their
enormous wingspans, and males are known for their red throats which will puff
out to attract a female. While they are arguably the most impressive fliers,
the frigatebird is extremely clumsy when attempting to walk on land. Unlike
most seabirds, the frigatebird is unable to swim. 

            The
Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal on Earth. They can dive at over 200mph.
Thanks to the ledges on tall buildings, these birds have adapted to living in
cities. They live on every continent except for Antarctica

Apr 05 2012

E is for Essential item

            The most
essential item to me is a pen. It is extremely rare to see me without one!
Sitting here at my desk, there are four of them to my left (one with red ink,
one with blue ink, and two with black ink, one of which is a breast cancer
awareness pen that I won), and three to my right (all black ink).

            My favorite
inexpensive pens are the Pilot EasyTouch fine retractable pens. (Pens on Amazon)

            I have
several humorous pens as well. The most unique would be the one shaped like a
palm tree, the one shaped like a shark, and a wand pen from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

            My most
used pen when I’m not at home is probably the one attached to my Memo Mate. (Memo Mate from B&N)

            The pen
that I most regret losing is my lava light lamp pen. It was eclectic and fun. I
have no idea whatever became of it.

 (stock photo)

Apr 05 2012

E is for Elijah Wright (Existence series character)

            Elijah is
Gwendolyn’s father. He is a devote Mormon (also known as the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints) and serves a leader for his ward. Tred is also a
ward leader. (The two men live far enough apart to be in separate
congregations.) The leaders of the wards and branches in this area get together
several times a year, and that is how the two of them met.

            Elijah owns
a window store. The majority of his business is in replacing older windows with
new more energy-efficient ones. His favorite section of the store, however, is
the stained glass windows. He is delighted when someone custom orders a design
which will be unique to them. Owning a window shop in earthquake prone southern
California
requires a great deal of faith and prayer.

            The shop
has been successful enough over the years to allow Elijah to support his
family. Were he a single man, he would likely have just squeaked into the
upper-class. But as a the sole breadwinner with a wife and four children to
support, he and his family have always lingered just below the middle line of
the finances of the middle-class.

Apr 04 2012

D is for Dorner

Dorner, which originally meant “one who lives near
thorny bushes,” is a German surname. The Dorner side of my family had
immigrated to America
over a century before the World Wars. Grandma Dorner was a fantastic cook,
unlike me who should be banned from kitchens everywhere!

            Kelly makes
Jell-o far better than I have. http://youtu.be/fmFIeSmBjRQ

As this post is short, I shall now answer a few more
questions about me:

(Found on another A to Z challenge blog:  christinegion.blogspot.com/2012/03/50-questions-that-will-free-your-mind.html?spref=fb )

1.      How old would you be
if you didn’t know how old you are?

I would probably be
27.

2.      Which is worse,
failing or never trying?

Depends what it is.
Usually never trying is worse, because then you will always wonder.

3.      If life is so short, why
do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

We are ruled by
obligations. Or we hide behind them, calling it “the responsible
choice.”

4.      When it’s all said and
done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

Probably. As long as I
have written more than I have done, I’ll go out considering this a full life.

5.      What is the one thing
you’d most like to change about the world?

I would like to flocks
of space aliens appear, because then the world might stop dividing every human
into the smallest boxes possible.

6.      If happiness was the
national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Entertaining children.

7.      Are you doing what you
believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Both, at any given
moment unless I’m writing.

8.      If the average human
life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

Write more, sleep
less.

9.      To what degree have
you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

I lost control about
ten years ago.

10.  Are you more worried about doing things
right, or doing the right things?

I’m worried about
doing the right things the right way, which is even harder!

11.  You’re having lunch with three people you
respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours,
not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and
unjustified.  What do you do?

I lose my respect and
admiration for them, and feel bad for them that they have snapped to wrong
conclusions rather than get to know someone who is really a great person. If
think these three people have enough brain power to digest information, I would
set them straight. If not, I would just find a way to insult them without their
knowing.

(See “How I met
Your Mother” season 3 episode 2 “We’re Not From Here.”)

12.  If you could offer a newborn child only one
piece of advice, what would it be?
Stay adorable. Seriously, newborn
children don’t comprehend what we’re saying, they just understand the
inflections of our voices and the emotions of our eyes.

13.  Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Yes.

14.  Have you ever seen insanity where you later
saw creativity?

This question describes
my best friend to a t; so yes, I have seen it many times.

15.  What’s something you know you do differently
than most people?

Think. Every time I
play Family Feud online, I am assured that I think differently than others.

16.  How come the things that make you happy don’t
make everyone happy?

There is nothing which
can make everyone happy, because there’s always someone that is the odd man
out.

17.  What one thing have you not done that you
really want to do?  What’s holding you back?

There are a few places
I would like to travel to. I am currently held back by a lack of funds to make
the trip properly.

18.  Are you holding onto something you need to
let go of?

*Looks around at some
stacks of paperwork.* Me? No……

19.  If you had to move to a state or country
besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

I would move to a
costal town in either Maine or Massachusetts. Why?
Because I like there.

20.  Do you push the elevator button more than
once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

No, I don’t do that
unless it is an older elevator with buttons which don’t light and potentially
have not registered that first push.

21.  Would you rather be a worried genius or a
joyful simpleton?

Worried genius. I would much rather know what is going on,
even if there’s nothing to be done about it. This is an opinion that I don’t
have in common with one of literature’s famous characters.

All right… I’m glad it’s a
girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool–that’s the best thing a girl can be in this
world, a beautiful little fool
.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

22.  Why are you, you?

I am me because I have
failed at figuring out how to be someone else.

23.  Have you been the kind of friend you want as
a friend?

Oh, that is a hard
question. No, I don’t think I have, because I prefer someone that is ying to my
yang, not a replication.

24.  Which is worse, when a good friend moves
away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

I have lived through
both of these circumstances, and I can say with great certainty that the latter
is worse. This seems to be even more true now that stay connected with those
who move away has become easier thanks to social media networks.

25.  What are you most grateful for?

My ability to write.

26.  Would you rather lose all of your old
memories, or never be able to make new ones?

Both sound terrible to
me, but I would not be who I am without my memories- even the bad ones- so I
would rather not be able to make new ones.

27.  Is it possible to know the truth without
challenging it first?

Generally speaking,
yes. Perhaps I have too much faith in the encyclopedia.

28.  Has your greatest fear ever come true?

Yes. More than once,
in fact.

29.  Do you remember that time 5 years ago when
you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?

Five years ago? No.
Ten years ago, yes. Twelve years ago- without question. Fourteen years ago-
absolutely.

30.  What is your happiest childhood memory? 
What makes it so special?

I had a decent
childhood, so it would be difficult to select only one. There was a vacation
with my family to Canada
that was an excellent time. It’s special because we all got along so well and enjoyed
an adventure together.

31.  At what time in your recent past have you
felt most passionate and alive?

I felt the most
passionate and alive while writing the almost-kiss scene in book 1 of the
Existence series.

32.  If not now, then when?

When the time is
right, that is when.

33.  If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you
have to lose?

You have the
possibility of achieving it to lose.

34.  Have you ever been with someone, said
nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

I have not, but I know
someone that I could hug and get this same feeling.

35.  Why do religions that support love cause so
many wars?

My characters would
deeply enjoy having this debate! I do not think that the religion is the
problem- it’s the people behind it who are busy trying to get everyone into
their little boxes. Space aliens- I’m just saying…

36.  Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what
is good and what is evil?

No, it is not
possible.

37.  If you just won a million dollars, would you
quit your job?

My job is to write,
and the only way I could quit that would be to die. So no, I would not.

38.  Would you rather have less work to do, or
more work you actually enjoy doing?

Generally I would
rather have less work to do.

39.  Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a
hundred times before?

This day, no. Have had
days like that? Yes.

40.  When was the last time you marched into the
dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

At the end of October,
2011.

41.  If you knew that everyone you know was going
to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

Wow, this question is
horrible! I believe I would visit my parents, my brother and his family, and my
grandfather. There are a few friends that I would like to visit me, but I don’t
know that time would allow for the travel.

42.  Would you be willing to reduce your life
expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

No, I’ll pass on that.

43.  What is the difference between being alive
and truly living?

Being alive means that
you are not dead. Your blood is moving through your body. That is the main requirement
for being alive- that blood circulates. Truly living requires actual effort. It
requires thoughts and choices and decisions. It means that there will be pain,
there will be wrong moves, and there will be mistakes- but that you’ll have to
keep on going. It means that when you fall down, you will have to pick yourself
back up. It means getting out there and doing. It’s hard.

44.  When is it time to stop calculating risk and
rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

When the calculations
no longer offer a real answer, it is time.

45.  If we learn from our mistakes, why are we
always so afraid to make a mistake?

We are afraid of the
outcome of the mistake, of the impact that it will have.

46.  What would you do differently if you knew
nobody would judge you?

This question assumes
that I care about the judgment of others to the point that there are things
which I desire to do but do not. Unless judge means an actual judge in the
court, which means that I could break a law. Until such a free pass if given, I
don’t think I should answer this question.

47.  When was the last time you noticed the sound
of your own breathing?

When I woke up this
morning, and again just now because of this question!

48.  What do you love?  Have any of your
recent actions openly expressed this love?

What do I love? What,
not who, but what? I love to write. I believe that my recent action of writing
expresses this love.

49.  In 5 years from now, will you
remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before
that?  Or the day before that?

It was a fairly
unremarkable cluster of days, but I suppose I will remember if I look back
through archives such as this blog.

50.  Decisions are being made right now.  The
question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others
make them for you?

That would depend on
the decision. The most important ones seem to be those which I make together
with my family. 

Apr 04 2012

D is for Dizzy Duck

            Though it
ultimately wasn’t mentioned in book one, Jun’s favorite drink is called a Dizzy
Duck. The recipe can be found here: http://www.drinkswap.com/dizzy-duck.htm (Please do not indulge if you are not of legal drinking age and/ or there are
other reasons that you should not.) Jun has also been nicknamed Dizzy Duck
because of his love of this drink.

            Incidentally,
Jun’s father is from Tokyo, Japan and his mother is from Connecticut,
USA.
His name sounds like: http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/jun

Apr 03 2012

C is for Current location

            I presently
live in the Lehigh Valley / Allentown
area of Pennsylvania, USA.
This same location is home to the http://www.museumofindianculture.org museum of Indian culture. Though the Lenni Lenape
were largely forced out of their Pennsylvania
homes after the death of William Penn, a few managed to remain. My ancestors
were among them. One such ancestor married a Pennsylvania Dutch woman, who was
my great-grandmother.

            Tune in
tomorrow for more information on another side of my heritage!

Apr 03 2012

C is for Carmen (Existence series character)

            Carmen is
Xavier’s live-in housekeeper. She hails from Playa del Carmen, Mexico. She is
a plump woman in her late fifties. She tends to be on the shy and conservative
side. Her greatest passion in life is shopping. What she loves most about
working for Xavier is the prestigious address she gets to use.

            Given the
choice between a new designer handbag or being fixed up on a date, she would
take the handbag. She decided early on that she never intended to marry. She
had strongly considered becoming a nun prior to meeting Xavier, but disliked
the outfits and the vow of poverty. 

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