Apr 19 2012

Q is for Devon Qwilleran (Existence series character)

25 All About Me Questions Survey


Name: – Devon Qwilleran

Birthdate: – September 15

Birth country: – United States

Current location: – Elizabeth,

Eye color: – Blue

Hair color: – Dark Golden Brown

Height: – 5’7″

Right handed or left? – Right

Favorite food? – Lobster Bisque

Favorite season? – Winter

Your perfect pizza: – Lobster, red peppers, garlic,
tomatoes, and basil on a thin crust.

Best physical feature? – Eyes

Thoughts first waking up in the morning? – It’s a going to
be a good day.

Single or group dates? – Single dates

Do you smoke? – No

Do you swear? – Rarely

Do you want to get married? – Someday

Do you want kids? – Yes

Do you think you are attractive? – Yes

Do you like thunderstorms? – I love thunderstorms.

Rainy or sunny? – Rainy

Have you drank alcohol in the past month? – I’ve had a

What about been on drugs? – Nope

Have you ever been called a tease? – Yes

Number of tattoos: – One

Number of piercings: – Three

Apr 18 2012

P is for Productivity

Question- Do you write more productively with people around
(such as in an office or coffee shop) or in complete isolation?


My Answer- I am more productive in complete isolation. I
prefer to separate myself from distractions, seeking out others only when I
need a break or when I am in the editing stages. I prefer to have silence
around me, so I can better “hear” and “watch” as the story
unfolds in my mind. Nothing is more frustrating than when I start typing
dialogue from the television or a song instead of the words in my head which I
had meant to put on the page. 

Apr 18 2012

P is for Patrick (Existence series character)

October 13, 1963       


Admissions Committee:


            It gives me
great pleasure to recommend The Honourable Patrick Doyen to you. I was formally
introduced to this young man in the spring of 1961 at a charity benefit for the
remodeling and beautification of the West
Landing School

for Boys. Although he was not a student there, he was more ardent about the
project than any of the selected speakers that evening. His wit and charm
coaxed me and several of my dear friends to put an additional zero at the end
of the checks we wrote out that night. The evening was coming to a close,
leaving behind only those of us who were polishing off our brandy and cigars,
when the ceiling collapsed in on us. There was darkness, dust, chaos, and blood
everywhere. Patrick managed to free himself from the debris. Rather than run
for safety, he stayed in the petrifying room of rubble to help everyone he
could, myself included.

Doyen will be a tremendous leader. He will bring strength and honor to your
school. He is bright, dedicated, and motivated. The combination of his sense of
fairness and his rare ability to convert emotional reasoning into logical
interpretation is what led to that first meeting of ours. As I said, he was not
a student at West Landing; he was, in fact, a student of their rival school. He
felt confident that he would lead his team to defeat their rugby team, but he
did not wish to have his win tainted by those who would claim the advantages of
Patrick’s financially superior educational institution were the sole cause. He
desired to level the playing field, so to speak, before the school year began.
As I am certain you know by his application, he did indeed win that match as
the rugby team which Patrick plays for has remained undefeated. I do not
usually concern myself with the trivialities of youth sports, but hearing about
this young man on the field is reminiscent of what it must have been like to
hear about the Battle of Cannae. They say that he does extensive research on
rival teams, yet his analytical thinking skills combined with his flexibility
give him the edge to defeat even those who employ new strategies in their
failed attempts at victory.

            The second
time that Patrick and I met formally was at a fundraiser to build a proper
museum in a small town which was quickly growing into a big city. I had
expected the evening to be merely another obligatory event which my wife had
agreed to cart me off to. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in
the midst of the most enjoyable evening of my life. (Please do not mention this
to Lady Stewart.) The topics being discussed that evening among the guests were
current and informative, provoking our intellectual curiosity. As I mingled
about, enjoying these intriguing conversations, I began to ask how my peers had
gotten on to such subjects. Each time I was told that a fascinating young man
named Patrick Doyen had brought the topic up. When I finally made my way to him,
he greeted me warmly and offered me my favorite drink. I asked him if he knew
who was responsible for the brilliant and insightful idea for the museum this
fundraiser was meant to support. He told me that it was his, as was this event.
He had independently taken the initiative to organize this. His hard work,
dedication, and research had led him to all the resources he needed for such a
monumental task to be undertaken. His persistence and charm had gathered all of
the right people in the place, and his creative, innovative, and curious mind
had brought out the very best in each of the guests. Patrick saw the way things
were in that town, and he also saw the bigger picture of where things were
headed. The class, culture, and tourism revenue of the museum he intended to
build would help to sustain the growing metropolis. A visit to the fair city of
will prove beyond any doubt that he was correct in his assessments.

Patrick has become a sort of apprentice of mine. He shows a keen interest and
knack for finance and politics but is eager to listen to the other lessons
which I have to offer him, even those which most would consider tedious or
downright boring. He is able to perceive the meanings of what I say, even when
my words appear too unclear to members of my own staff that have been under my
employ for years.  He grasps concepts
that most that are saddled with youth are unable to. I almost regret writing
this letter for it likely will result in his leaving for a proper college in
less than a year from now, and there is a part of me that wishes I could keep
him here with me instead. But Patrick is not meant to remain my apprentice or
assistant. I am duty bound to offer this young man to your educational
institution of higher learning because I firmly believe that one day the world
will call on him, and he will need a fuller and more rounded education than I
can provide on my own in order to be ready to answer. When you admit Patrick
Doyen, you shall be admitting not just another student but a future world
leader. For these reasons, I highly recommend that you accept Patrick’s



Lord Henry Stewart

8th Earl of Autumnton,

Apr 17 2012

O is for Omnivorous

            I choose to
be an omnivore. That choice isn’t for everyone. Thousands of animals are killed
every year, chopped up, and put into packages at grocery stores. The stores
order this meat. They order it in a slight excess of projected sales because if
they run out, their customers will be driven to their competitors. (That is
just a fact of business.) The result is that many lives are wasted.

before the “sell by” expiration date, many stores will put a discount
sticker onto the meat in the hope of selling it. If it doesn’t sell, it is
thrown out. The life is wasted. An animal has then died for nothing. It has not
given its life to be someone’s dinner. Instead, its body contributes to the
trash problem.


            If I buy
that package of meat and eat it, I have honored that animal’s spirit by giving
its death a purpose. Its death has fueled my life. (And yes, if you were about
to ask, I am an organ donor. I hope that my eventual death will fuel someone’s


            The real
issue that I have is with those who would kill a healthy animal and not use
every possible part of it. To me, that is offensive. That is a violation of my
beliefs. I’m sure that it upsets the “fur is murder” groups, but my
ancestors wore deer skin. They ate deer meat. They had tools made with deer
tendons. Deer tallow was used as a wood oil. This is the way that it should be- finding as many uses as possible rather than being wasteful.


            Do I
approve of the treatment of animals that too many slaughter houses use? No. The
convenience of pre-packaged meat at grocery stores is probably a much larger
problem than someone eating a steak for dinner. But America is no longer a land of
hunters and gatherers. We are no longer a nation of people who can make our own
food, clothing, and shelter from a fallen tree and two deer. The point I am
making here is that, while vegetarianism is fine choice, I do not believe that
it is a solution to the problem of animal cruelty any more than banning
everyone from swimming in the oceans would be a solution to prevent the sea level
from dropping (because, technically, there’s a little less ocean when one comes
out dripping wet).


            I am not
asking people to agree with me or to change their life-style. I am simply
stating what I believe. 

Apr 17 2012

O is for the color Orange

Xavier’s favorite color is orange. Here’s a look at what
some pages on the Internet have to say about that:


Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the
flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people
may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are
generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and
vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength,
fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness. “


Welcome Xavier


Best Occupational Category

You’re a CREATOR


Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive,
Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on self-expression.
They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and
constantly learning something new. Areas of interest are far beyond the
expected fields of art, drama, music, and writing. There are many occupations
that allow creators to express, assemble, or implement ideas and maximize


Typical “Creators” function best in occupations where they have the autonomy to
be original. It’s essential. In fact, your best career is mostly about your
workplace environment. For Example, Educational careers, Corporate Trainer,
Author, Editor, have constant demands for new perspectives or better methods.
Without flexibility, however these careers are a not a good fit. Careers that
typically have these qualities, but not always, are Advertising Executive,
Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or
Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter,
Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect,
Photographer, Medical Illustrator, , Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and
Package Designer.


Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with
this free-spirited type. Ironically, professions that appear to be “Creative”
can inhibit self-expression. Those that seem overly structured like Tax
Assessor can actually offer the latitude to make a difference. Most enjoyable
workplaces allow for self-expression with the capability to improve the status

Don’t be befuddled by the word “Creative.” Creator
workplaces are much broader that the “Typical Creative Careers” like interior
decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions
that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. In order to see your
best recommendation, check out the Color Career Indictor 4.0 for actual
occupational listing.

Your Favorite Color Says You’re Cheerful

Joyful — Enthusiastic — Optimistic
Outgoing — Accepting — Confident
Loud — Unruly — Impulsive

Apr 16 2012

N is for Northern Lights

A favorite desktop background of mine is of the aurora
borealis, or northern lights, over a snow bank. I have never had the pleasure
of seeing this phenomenon in person, but I would like to someday. Such
fantastic beauty, art, and entertainment are provided for free to any who are
fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time. A reminder of all of
what nature has to offer us. 

Apr 16 2012

N is for Nancy (Existence series character)

A shy waitress from the town of Rock Island

Saves for dreams no one understands

A guitar and trap set

Tour bus and small jet

As the bassist for her punk rock band.


-By Lyle (Friend, editor, and all around great guy)



There once was a gal from Rock Island

The blonde waitress Nancy Wyland

Packed up her bonsai

and said her goodbye

to take off for the Scottish Highland.


– J Lenni Dorner


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

Apr 15 2012

Xavier’s Easter Essay

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


“What Easter Means to Me”

By Xavier Doyen


under this oak tree in The Yard with my peers discussing this essay has proven
to me that Easter has become a generally misunderstood holiday. Of the five of
us sitting here, Roark and Tim are atheists, Eli is Jewish, Kate is Buddhist,
and I am the lone Christian in this group. While grumbling about the unfairness
of this essay as they research a holiday that they have never celebrated, each
of them continues to turn to me with questions that they expect “the
Catholic one” to have the answers to.

            The trouble
with this begins when they dig into the books and sources outside of the
Christian religious material. “What’s the deal with painting eggs? That’s
not mentioned in your Bible. It appears to be Pagan!” Four sets of eyes
focus on me after Eli’s revelation. This, apparently, is supposed to be the
moment where I set them straight. Where I pull an answer out from a memory
where my Bishop would have shown up to clarify at some point that painted eggs
are a symbol of the markings on the heavy stone that was in front of the tomb
where Jesus has been laid to rest or something. I’m expected to have answer
that would conform to the boundaries of my faith.

            I do not.

            I could
explain that the painting of eggs is a very old tradition that started in Babylon, with the story
of a giant egg from the sky which landed in a river and hatched open to give
birth to the Goddess of Fertility who would later be known by countless names
and worshiped in every corner of the world. I could draw a parallel between the
Goddess and the Virgin Mary, but it wouldn’t be popular or well-received. I
could explain that she is love and that Jesus is love, so it makes sense that
they are worshipped at the same time. Or I could explain that the celebrations
which were once meant to honor the Goddess were converted into celebrations to
honor Jesus instead as the crusade to convert the world to Christianity failed
to come with instructions that clearly commanded people to toss out their old

            Then there
is the question that they won’t ask me. “How do the formerly worshipped
Gods feel about having their holidays, celebrations meant to honor them, turned
into Christian events about Jesus?” I think that would be a better
question. The answer to that question could actually lead me to answering what
Easter means to me.

            It comes
down to choice. No one is forced to celebrate Easter. Once one is old enough to
think for oneself, worshipping any given religion is a choice. Before being
able to think like that, there is no actual worshipping taking place- merely
living dolls that follow along because they have yet to figure out what choice
is and how to apply it in life. The Gods which were once so widely accepted
throughout the world must have had a choice. Jesus was not one of them, he was
not what they were, and he did not serve the same purpose that they did. He
came for the people, for the humans, to guide them on a path which had not been
laid out clearly enough before so that they could one day leave Earth and go to
Heaven. The Gods love the people. They want what is best for them. They gave up
being worshipped, so that the people could follow Jesus and His teachings.

            Easter is
the celebration of what Jesus gave to the people. He suffered and died so that
they would be forgiven. He did this for all people, even those who do not
believe in Him, because He loves everyone equally. Three days later His spirit returned
to His body, and He was alive again. He promised that all the people who
believed in Him and asked to be forgiven for their sins would be saved and
would one day join Him in Heaven. This took place in the early spring, which is
why Easter is celebrated shortly after the Vernal Equinox.

            Spring is
the most fertile time of year. Most animals are born in the spring. Life is renewed
in nature in the springtime. It only makes sense that a time of so much life
would be when people once celebrated the Goddess of Fertility. Then
Christianity came along and dictated that, instead, people should worship Jesus
and celebrate the life that will come after death. The people were confused.
Figuring out how to celebrate the life and fertility that was clearly appearing
all around them was not very difficult. Eggs were a natural symbol of life, and
painting them in beautiful colors was an obvious way to showcase the beauty of
nature as it blossomed around them. Rabbits could be seen breeding the most
frequently, so they also because an easy symbol to include. Sweets, chocolates,
and special breads were passed around as aphrodisiacs to encourage humans to
mate. But how does one decorate for life after death? What sort of craft
project could children get involved in making for something which they could
not even fathom?  Herein lay the problem
faced by people who loved to celebrate and decorate but were given no real
ideas as to what to use.

            And so
decorations were recycled and repurposed, not to offend Jesus, but to worship
Him by people who were unclear as to what better alternatives there might be.
This answer is offensive to many people. It seems that deeply religious people
tend to assume that two millenniums ago, the world should have been filled with
Martha Stewarts. Perhaps if it had been, everyone would have thrown out their
old decorations and started following patterns to make new ones. This also
assumes that everyone back then could afford to make new decorations. Eggs were
inexpensive. Dye was generally homemade. The people stuck with what they knew
perhaps because Jesus taught about faith and love, not about how to increase
financial wealth in order to afford new decorations for the holidays which
would pop up after his death.

            So what
then does Easter mean to me? It means a time of confusion when people argue
over how to properly celebrate something they have yet to fully understand,
often forgetting the real reason for the holiday and using it instead to
compete with each other to find out who can locate the most hidden eggs or be
the finest dressed at a church service that talks about a man who kept His
fashion simple and practical because it didn’t matter. It means listening to my
mother and my sister as they argue over the proper filling for baskets. It
means that a professor will assign an essay such as this one, where I will be
expected to provide a solid answer which I can back up with facts from sources
that can be cited.

that is why, unfortunately, I cannot explain in an essay what Easter really
means to me. The whole truth of what it means to me isn’t something that the
world at large gets to know about. I could discuss what it means to me with
Heath, Jez, Caleb, or Jun, because it means much the same to them. But I cannot
honestly answer this question in an essay that a professor or a classmate might
read. And so, as I sit here under this oak tree, I know I will have to destroy
these pieces of paper and start over. I will have to meet the stares of my four
classmates who are waiting for me to come up with an intelligent answer that I
can back up with one of the information sources which is here before us. The
essay that I will ultimately submit will not really be what Easter means to me,
but rather it will be a well-formatted thesis filled with words that can be
backed up by information that those around me here will be able to comprehend.

Apr 14 2012

M is for Magazine

            My favorite
magazine is Entertainment Weekly. This light and colorful periodical keeps me
informed of the latest trends and keeps me from missing out on great books,
movies, and television series that I might not have discovered otherwise. Recently
they have given more attention to their book review departments and also had a book
on their cover.

             I am also a
fan of Writer’s Digest and the Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Really,
there are so many great magazines out there. What’s the best obscure but available
at a reasonable price magazine that you’ve ever read and enjoyed?

Apr 14 2012

M is for Monoghan

This post isn’t one that all readers will understand. In the
story, Xavier ends up involved in an online roleplaying game. The following is
what his character sheet would look like. 



Images of
approximately how he looks:



Apr 13 2012

L is for Literacy site

The Literacy Site

children to read is obviously important. If you are here reading this blog, the
odds are pretty good that you learned to read somewhere along the way. Imagine
if you couldn’t. Imagine a world without written words that you can understand.
Literacy has been crucial to getting ahead for generations. Here’s a way that
you can help. It’s free and it only takes a click. Join me in making a

Apr 13 2012

L is for Lorcee (Existence series character)


            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

Apr 12 2012

K is for Knuth (Existence series character)

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.


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

            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.

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.”


you are.”

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


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

            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.

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



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


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

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.

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.

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)

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.

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

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

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.

it back to him.”

Cap, we were just having fun!”

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

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.


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.”

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

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.

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.”

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

laughed. “Abusing the power today?”

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


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

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

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.

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.

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

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

fine, thanks,” Hank said as he turned bright red.

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.


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