Free Registry for Forum for Creative Innovation Now Open for Business

Okay, we have taken the plunge.

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We opened up on Enjin.com, and have made a Free Registry for creative artists. Our list includes Writers, Artists, Photographers, Musicians and Performing Artists.

What is our goal?

There are thousands of websites available for individual disciplines. Thousands of websites for writers. Thousands of websites for artists. The same for photographers, musicians and performing artists. So, how is this website any different than the other websites for creative artists?

How many of you are making a living with your craft?

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Honestly, how many of you can say that you are so good, that you do not need a website like mine to allow you the ability to collaborate with another person who ascribes to another discipline? A musician getting together with a poet, the musician taking music, the poet creating lyrics to go with the music. Maybe it is vice versa. How about a Writer getting together with an Artist to collaborate on a graphic novel? Or maybe a musician getting together with a photographer to help them with their album cover, maybe throw in a writer to help them with their biography, which could be included with their CD? Or a writer really could use a professional voice to narrate their story, expand their reach into books on CD.

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There are a lot of ways to collaborate.

The rub is that often, when you collaborate, the other person wants cash up front. Cash that you don’t have. So the collaboration never happens, and you never really get that hit you are working so hard for. What if we had a free website, and a pay website?

What if a website existed that was designed…specifically created for mixed creative arts.

The reason why we have a free registry, is because we are developing a web engine that will allow future members to create (side-by-side) projects that (when finished) will be sold (by those who created it) in their own store, the proceeds automatically split between those creators for every sale. If you are serious about your craft, think about what you could do, if you could expand your ability to make a living by fusing your work in another discipline?

No, there are no guarantees, but answer the question yourself.

Could you, the artist, writer, musician, photographer or performing artist stand to get more exposure, if your work was featured with other work? A musician could gain more exposure, if their music was part of a collaborative work, where it is used as background for a story. A writer could gain more exposure if their writing is narrated by a professional voice, featuring original artwork by an artist that they had found in the fCI forum’s SpeakEazy.

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How many websites feature the ability for you, the individual creative person to literally talk with another creative person?  And, the “registry” you are a member of is free.

Of course, once we have the web engine up and running on the site, we DO plan to charge for it. We plan to charge $3.99 per month for members to use the engine, personal storefront space, access to training and mentoring by people who can help them sell their work, or can put them together with people in the forum that they may not know. But the Free Registry will always remain free. So will the SpeakEazy.

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Right now, the Free Registry is like a huge, empty mall.

It is waiting for creative individuals to set up shop in the mall. To begin filling the mall with posts of their ideas, filling the SpeakEazy with customers (other creative souls) to talk about possibilities. Possibilities involving collaboration, ideas for projects that others could be interested in.

There is no way we will be able to make this happen without you.

Once we start to fill up, we won’t be able to really get started until we can develop the web engine. Begin to talk about how we can bring more members into our fold. I foresee 500,000 members (paying members) within 5 years. I have many, many friends who feel that we can do that in less time. The only way we could ever do that is with your help. YOU have to bring other creative individuals in. YOU will be the ones running the site.

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Why?

We have created the mall. Enjin has helped us with the SpeakEazy. Anyone can make this, but how many can create the engine necessary to make this successful? How many people know the real secret that will allow every member to make a living (some a very decent living) with their art? We will. We, as a community will make that happen.

As soon as the web engine is developed, we plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the pay site.

The funds will always go for you, the member. Any staff who come onboard will be paid from your contributions. Any upgrades that are made, will be courtesy of the members. Meanwhile, the idea is for as many members as humanly possible to make a living with their work. How will we do that? Well, I’m a teacher. One thing I teach all of my students is that you can’t eat a steak in one bite. You have to eat that steak in small bites. THAT is what we will show you. No tricks, no gimmicks, just a lot of hard work.

Imagine having the opportunity to work together with other creative individuals and get paid for your efforts.

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One of the first items of business that we plan to install is a way for members not only to receive monetary compensation for their collaborative efforts, but to rate other members. We plan to do that in the Free Registry as well.

The more paying members we have, the more the community will benefit.

We will be able to bring in more staff as funds increase. We will be able to sponsor monthly contests with high payouts. (Oh yes, the winners will be voted on BY the community and judges chosen who sell work in their discipline). Think of the tools that could be employed in a tight community. Of course, members will vote on all upgrades to the site (member websites, improved storefront, video conferencing that allows whiteboards, storyboards or even high-money contests).

There would be a lot that we could do, if we are able to accomplish our 5-year goal.

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But for now, the free registry is open.

If you are a creative individual, here is the link: Forum for Creative Innovation Portal. We’re still really small, but with your help, we can become a community to be reckoned with…a community of creative souls with a lot of power on the web.

(All images courtesy of istockphoto.com or everystockphoto.com)

A Dedication to Those of Us Who Served: The First Years

My plane had just landed at Clark Air Force Base, Phillippines on a late September day.  Nothing is left of the base since the Pinatubo eruption, but looking back to those days, I can still remember every minute I was there.

The first thing that I remember was the heat, not a dry heat like one would find in Nevada, but a sticky, overwhelming heat that immediately left a fog on my glasses as soon as I stepped out of the plane.  We were directed to wait for a bus that would take us to Subic Bay, about a 2-hour bus ride.  I was one of the first people on the bus.  I noticed a very beautiful blond woman, a petty officer sit in the seat in front of me.  A young blond sailor asked if he could sit with her…pointing out that the bus was filling up, and he would have no place to sit down.  She relented, and soon they were involved in a light conversation as the bus begain its trundle toward Subic Bay.  About an hour passed, and the bus driver decided to pull over to a Sari-sari store for a beer break.  As I departed from the bus, a large group of children approached me.  I must have been an easy mark, because they flocked to me like a bunch of seagulls on a dead fish.  I was 19 then; naive and full of wanton charity.  I handed them all the change I had, not realizing at the time that they were patting me down, testing my watch to see how well it was fastened to my wrist, as they all crowed, “Hey Joe, gimme peso…hey Joe…”  As soon as they noticed I had no more change to give them, they ran to find another “victim”.   Our Philipino bus driver quickly became tired of the show. when the children started approaching him, shooing us all back onto the bus.  As we were boarding, the couple in front of me were laughing at the children.  The blond sailor turned to the woman saying, “You want to see something funny?”  The woman tittered a bit, then nodded.  He leaned out and yelled, “Hey!  Hey!  You want a peso?  You want a peso?”, as the bus began to move.  The children ran after the bus, hoping for one more coin.  I remember one boy in particular, looking up to him as he leaned far out the window his hands outstretched as he threw his beer bottle at the child’s head, the bottle bouncing squarely off of the child’s skull.  I remember turning to watch the child falling down in the dirt road, blood already matting his head as the other children gathered around him.  “There!  There’s your peso!” the blond sailor shouted.  Some of the men on the bus laughed, while the female sailor smiled and said, “You didn’t have to do that.”  The blond sailor gave her a surly reply, “Damn slopes deserve it.”  That image has lasted in my mind for a long time, and I still do not see how any of those children deserved to be treated in that way by one of us.  I was told before I left the United States that we were ambassadors.  I did not know what to say then, and I do not know what to say now.

My very first ship was the USS Long Beach (CGN-9), part of the then nuclear task force in the Pacific.  It was dark by the time we arrived, the bus dropping us off close to Cubi Point, where my ship was docked. It was a long walk up the gangplank, with my seabag slung over my shoulder, my orders clutched in my hand.  The duty officer had me escorted belowdecks to bunk with Supply (temporarily of course), until my more permanent berthing was assigned to me.  The smell was something to get used to as I walked through the passageways.  It was a mixture of bearing grease, sweat, and floor wax that wafted through the passage.  I remember being assailed by all kinds of foreign objects, understanding the differences between port (left) and starboard (right), the fact that a bathroom was now a head, and that my newest friend was John Barton.  John was a second class Petty Officer, a bona fide Vietnam Veteran who befriended me not only as someone I could confide in, but someone to look up to.  I can still remember those first words.  “New on board, huh?”  I nodded my head.  “Well, don’t mind me kid…I’m just an overpaid seaman.”  John was laid back and wise, the kind of mentor that one hoped to find, street smart and ready to help.

My first look at the Phillippines started here

More to come…

My Writing Post (Final Installment)

In addition to this blog, I am also writing a fantasy book, actually a trilogy.  The next few blog posts will discuss the story at length and what it is about.  I will endeavor to discuss why I wrote each chapter, and why I felt it was important to discuss what I wanted to discuss in the book.

When the Cranes
Return Again in spring:  Synopsis

When the cranes return again in spring is a story not just about one person’s quest, but it is about life’s quest in all of us.

Lorevele (Lōr-ĕ-vel) is a city under siege; its king and his daughter are locked in an argument.  She has a choice she must make, one that could affect the safety of her kingdom forever, while placing her own life in danger.  King Hautered (Haw-těr-id), of Laifetre’ (Lī-ěh-fě-trā) has signed an edict, that a she must marry his son, Gerenoux (zhěr-ěh-nō) within the week, or his mercenary army of 10,000 trolls will march upon Lorevele, and burn it to the ground.  Her father, the great King Rosenet (Roz-ă-nĕt), is opposed to this marriage.  He feels that his daughter must ride out to the four corners of every distant land, bringing together the peoples of every kingdom they have helped, and rally an Army to drive back Hautered’s army of 10,000 trolls into back Laifetre’.  Rosenet’s daughter Anisse (A-nee-săh) is convinced that her duty to her kingdom and her people is to marry Gerenoux, and she only has hours to finalize her decision.

It is rumored that Hautered has made a pact with the troll army.  In exchange for their services in securing the kingdoms of Matrimé (Mĕ-trém), Uvalde (Ū-val-děh), and Zoltanne (Zōl-tan), they would receive the kingdom of Lorevele as payment in kind.  Stories have come from far and wide, describing the brutality and fierceness of this troll army.  Fear has led many families to flee from the kingdom, while others have grimly decided to risk family in defense of their homes.
The debate between father and daughter relaxes for a moment, as Anisse is frightened by the shadows of cranes coming to flight.  Rosenet asks his daughter if he ever told her stories related to the annual migration of the cranes returning in spring.  It is this question that leads to the introduction of a saga that the king shares with his daughter.

The very introduction to When the Cranes Return Again in Spring is based upon change, and our fears that can sometimes be based on how we deal with change.  In asian lore, cranes are considered a sign of longevity.

The cranes’ beauty and their spectacular mating dances have made them highly symbolic birds in many cultures with records dating back to ancient times. Crane mythology is widely spread and can be found in areas such as the Aegean, South Arabia, China, Korea, Japan and in the Native American cultures of North America. In northern Hokkaidō, the women of the Ainu people performed a crane dance that was captured in 1908 in a photograph by Arnold Genthe. In Korea, a crane dance has been performed in the courtyard of the Tongdosa Temple since the Silla Dynasty (646 CE).

In Mecca, in pre-Islamic South Arabia, Allāt, Uzza, and Manah were believed to be the three chief goddesses of Mecca, they were called the “three exalted cranes” (gharaniq, an obscure word on which ‘crane’ is the usual gloss). See The Satanic Verses for the best-known story regarding these three goddesses.

The Greek for crane is Γερανος (Geranos), which gives us the Cranesbill, or hardy geranium. The crane was a bird of omen. In the tale of Ibycus and the cranes, a thief attacked Ibycus (a poet of the 6th century BCE) and left him for dead. Ibycus called to a flock of passing cranes, who followed the attacker to a theater and hovered over him until, stricken with guilt, he confessed to the crime.

Pliny the Elder wrote that cranes would appoint one of their number to stand guard while they slept. The sentry would hold a stone in its claw, so that if it fell asleep it would drop the stone and waken.

Aristotle describes the migration of cranes in The History of Animals, adding an account of their fights with Pygmies as they wintered near the source of the Nile. He describes as untruthful an account that the crane carries a touchstone inside it that can be used to test for gold when vomited up. (This second story is not altogether implausible, as cranes might ingest appropriate gizzard stones in one locality and regurgitate them in a region where such stone is otherwise scarce)

According to Japanese lore, a wish is granted to anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes. Watch the above video from Asia Society’s Education Department to see how schoolchildren at P.S. 154 in Brooklyn, New York, participating in Students Rebuild’s Paper Cranes for Japan project, got to work folding paper cranes,raising hope, and raising money to help Japan rebuild after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (2 min., 12 sec.).

It is from these myths and legends that When The Cranes Return Again in Spring begins.

More to come…

Our story starts with a unicorn mired not only with thoughts of loneliness but a question forever locked within his mind: Where am I, how did I get here, where am I going?  The unicorn’s quest begins in a magical valley surrounded by high mountains that hide a sparkling lake passable only through the forest which he came.  The coolness of the lake is inviting to the unicorn. Dusty, dry, and tired, the waters of the lake are invigorating, and provide a sense of shelter in what he perceives as a dangerous world.

Like the unicorn, many of us can sometimes find ourselves in what seems like a safe place.  The location may feel safe at times, but in general, it may not be such a safe place to be…as the lake is surrounded by a very dark forest.

It is those perceived dangers that bring out fear in the unicorn, as he imagines the red glowing eyes of many a predator in the dense forest that surrounds the lake.  It is because of those fears that the unicorn begins to run for his life, leaving behind the magic of the lake, to enter the danger of a dark forest.

During a fight or flight situation, we may feel perceived danger.  Our pulse quickens, our heart races, and we decide whether we need to fight or run.

The unicorn runs for several hours until he finally slows down.  Finding himself mired in the sludge of a weed-ridden bog, the unicorn presses forward, ever mindful of a warm fog that begins to envelop him.  And it is in this fog, that the unicorn realizes that his memories are slipping away.  It is only by luck that the unicorn reaches a large tree, its branches withered and bent, surrounded by bouncing lights.  It is not until one of those lights approaches the unicorn that he realizes it is not just a light, but a fairy.

The unicorn meets his first friend, Humbalt (Hŭm-bălt).  A fairy purported to be over 5,000 years old, Humbalt is young for his age, a veritable wisp of a fairy when compared to the general population of the fairies who inhabit the tree, many of whom have ages spanning more than 10,000 years.  He befriends Rosenet, and offers his friendship and guidance so that he can complete his quest.

I decided to use a fairy as a mentor for the beginning of the quest, because he signified a minor thought that pushes Rosenet in a certain, specific direction.  Many times, we may start a major undertaking in our life with a small idea, or action.

Not long after the two have set off on the beginning of their quest, a third traveler is added to their group.  A princess of the kingdom of Matrimé, Pyridee is a strong young woman, who not only enjoys the hunt, but also the beauty of the world around her.  No one knows why she decides to join this group, but the three are a natural fit, the trio that forms the heart and soul of the unicorn’s quest to find his people and once again be reunited with them.

Pyridee epitomizes the new, present day woman.  She is strong, yet possesses a certain kind of fragility, almost worldly, yet naive in many ways.

More to come…

One thing I forgot to mention is that Humbalt is a healing fairy.  Those fairies with healing powers were generally known as “water fairies”.  The area that Humbalt is from is a swamp — thus, this fairy is borne of the water, so is also able to heal.  An interesting point is Rosenet, the unicorn.  His horn is also known as alicorn, known for its curative powers.  In some fantasy stories, as well as true stories, unicorn are hunted by man for their magical curative powers.

Within the next chapters, the three solidify their strength as a group with the addition of two others: Egarot (Egg-ĕ-rō) the griffon, and Anson (Ăn-sŏn) the mischevious, jittery elf.  It is the solidification of this group that allows Rosenet to overcome not only the dangers new lands, but also a persistent creature who attends to thwart their every move, named Sahame (Sĕ-hām).  It is in the second chapter that much of the back story is explained, and why the drive for Rosenet to find his lost people is so great.

Using a griffin and an elf, I drew upon the real meanings behind these types of characters.  The griffin was also thought of as king of the creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine. The elf is being used not only as a pivotal character, but in the old English tradition. English folktales of the early modern period commonly portray elves as small, elusive people with mischievous personalities.

The quest continues on until the group meets a very old and wise wizard named Gordoneste (Gōr-don-ĕst).   It is Gordoneste who explains all that happened to the lost tribe that Rosenet seeks, and of the final confrontation that must occur between the unicorn and his adversary, Sahame.  It is because of the final confrontation, that Rosenet’s friends unflinchingly offer their lives for his, faced instead with his imminent death, which Humbalt sacrifices his life, for that of the unicorn.  But the wounds are too great, the pain too grave, until Gordoneste decides to give the unicorn a second chance at life, as what he started; a human being.  In return for life however, is the price one must pay–that Rosenet’s memory will be gone, his life as a unicorn lost in time, forever.

When I saw Gordoneste in my mind’s eye, I pictured a wizened old man who stands as straight as a tree, and is as spry as a young man.  In medieval chivalric romance, the wizard often appears as a wise old man and acts as a mentor, with Merlin from the Matter of Britain representing a prime example.

More to come…

So begins the new life of the unicorn, in discovering what it is to be a man…what it is to win, to love, to gain, to lose.  It is this new Rosenet that suffers so many agonies in the pursuit of understanding himself, find the love of his life, losing her to another man.  Frustrated and distraught with pain and grief, he becomes a wanderer, finally regaining the love of one who was lost to him as a unicorn.  And like the cranes, return in spring to find anew, the preciousness of life in all its complexities, taking one day at a time.

The natural spring of life is in all of us.  Some of us prefer to ignore it, others squander it, while still others cherish it.  One look at many FaceBook pages, and you will notice people with hundreds of acquaintances.  Others with perhaps 50, maybe even only 5 or so.  But, if one looks at the numbers of friends that another accumulates, and another that accumulates only a handful, imagine how many lives we all touch…and like the unicorn, how many we can change, for good or ill.

The second book takes up where the beginning of the first book leaves off.  The daughter of Rosenet, convinced by the stories that her father shared with her, vows to herself to free her people on the verge of enslavement.  Her mission is to travel to the far corners of every kingdom in the known land, befriend them, and raise an army to defeat Hautered’s troll army.  This book focuses on Anisse, her quest, and her trials, as she rides forward with a new group, intent on saving a kingdom.

The second book, entitled “From Where the River Wends”, is about the twists and turns in our lives.  It is a quest of one person to win over the hearts and minds of perfect strangers…to ask those people for an offering of their souls, in order to save a small parcel of land, and an otherwise insignificant people.  It is one person’s drive to raise an army, in support of those who cannot; and regain their property, respect and peace of mind. 

The third book finalizes the responsibility of Anisse to raise an army to rescue her father, and restore security and peace to her kingdom.

As a parable to the second book, many discoveries talked about in the first book are “rediscovered” in the third book.  Questions are answered, mysteries unravelled, with a final plot twist that will answer the question, “Will Rosenet survive?”

My Writing Post (Cont. Installment #3)

In addition to this blog, I am also writing a fantasy book, actually a trilogy.  The next few blog posts will discuss the story at length and what it is about.  I will endeavor to discuss why I wrote each chapter, and why I felt it was important to discuss what I wanted to discuss in the book.

When the Cranes
Return Again in spring:  Synopsis

When the cranes return again in spring is a story not just about one person’s quest, but it is about life’s quest in all of us.

Lorevele (Lōr-ĕ-vel) is a city under siege; its king and his daughter are locked in an argument.  She has a choice she must make, one that could affect the safety of her kingdom forever, while placing her own life in danger.  King Hautered (Haw-těr-id), of Laifetre’ (Lī-ěh-fě-trā) has signed an edict, that a she must marry his son, Gerenoux (zhěr-ěh-nō) within the week, or his mercenary army of 10,000 trolls will march upon Lorevele, and burn it to the ground.  Her father, the great King Rosenet (Roz-ă-nĕt), is opposed to this marriage.  He feels that his daughter must ride out to the four corners of every distant land, bringing together the peoples of every kingdom they have helped, and rally an Army to drive back Hautered’s army of 10,000 trolls into back Laifetre’.  Rosenet’s daughter Anisse (A-nee-săh) is convinced that her duty to her kingdom and her people is to marry Gerenoux, and she only has hours to finalize her decision.

It is rumored that Hautered has made a pact with the troll army.  In exchange for their services in securing the kingdoms of Matrimé (Mĕ-trém), Uvalde (Ū-val-děh), and Zoltanne (Zōl-tan), they would receive the kingdom of Lorevele as payment in kind.  Stories have come from far and wide, describing the brutality and fierceness of this troll army.  Fear has led many families to flee from the kingdom, while others have grimly decided to risk family in defense of their homes.
The debate between father and daughter relaxes for a moment, as Anisse is frightened by the shadows of cranes coming to flight.  Rosenet asks his daughter if he ever told her stories related to the annual migration of the cranes returning in spring.  It is this question that leads to the introduction of a saga that the king shares with his daughter.

The very introduction to When the Cranes Return Again in Spring is based upon change, and our fears that can sometimes be based on how we deal with change.  In asian lore, cranes are considered a sign of longevity.

The cranes’ beauty and their spectacular mating dances have made them highly symbolic birds in many cultures with records dating back to ancient times. Crane mythology is widely spread and can be found in areas such as the Aegean, South Arabia, China, Korea, Japan and in the Native American cultures of North America. In northern Hokkaidō, the women of the Ainu people performed a crane dance that was captured in 1908 in a photograph by Arnold Genthe. In Korea, a crane dance has been performed in the courtyard of the Tongdosa Temple since the Silla Dynasty (646 CE).

In Mecca, in pre-Islamic South Arabia, Allāt, Uzza, and Manah were believed to be the three chief goddesses of Mecca, they were called the “three exalted cranes” (gharaniq, an obscure word on which ‘crane’ is the usual gloss). See The Satanic Verses for the best-known story regarding these three goddesses.

The Greek for crane is Γερανος (Geranos), which gives us the Cranesbill, or hardy geranium. The crane was a bird of omen. In the tale of Ibycus and the cranes, a thief attacked Ibycus (a poet of the 6th century BCE) and left him for dead. Ibycus called to a flock of passing cranes, who followed the attacker to a theater and hovered over him until, stricken with guilt, he confessed to the crime.

Pliny the Elder wrote that cranes would appoint one of their number to stand guard while they slept. The sentry would hold a stone in its claw, so that if it fell asleep it would drop the stone and waken.

Aristotle describes the migration of cranes in The History of Animals, adding an account of their fights with Pygmies as they wintered near the source of the Nile. He describes as untruthful an account that the crane carries a touchstone inside it that can be used to test for gold when vomited up. (This second story is not altogether implausible, as cranes might ingest appropriate gizzard stones in one locality and regurgitate them in a region where such stone is otherwise scarce)

According to Japanese lore, a wish is granted to anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes. Watch the above video from Asia Society’s Education Department to see how schoolchildren at P.S. 154 in Brooklyn, New York, participating in Students Rebuild’s Paper Cranes for Japan project, got to work folding paper cranes,raising hope, and raising money to help Japan rebuild after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (2 min., 12 sec.).

It is from these myths and legends that When The Cranes Return Again in Spring begins.

More to come…

Our story starts with a unicorn mired not only with thoughts of loneliness but a question forever locked within his mind: Where am I, how did I get here, where am I going?  The unicorn’s quest begins in a magical valley surrounded by high mountains that hide a sparkling lake passable only through the forest which he came.  The coolness of the lake is inviting to the unicorn. Dusty, dry, and tired, the waters of the lake are invigorating, and provide a sense of shelter in what he perceives as a dangerous world.

Like the unicorn, many of us can sometimes find ourselves in what seems like a safe place.  The location may feel safe at times, but in general, it may not be such a safe place to be…as the lake is surrounded by a very dark forest.

It is those perceived dangers that bring out fear in the unicorn, as he imagines the red glowing eyes of many a predator in the dense forest that surrounds the lake.  It is because of those fears that the unicorn begins to run for his life, leaving behind the magic of the lake, to enter the danger of a dark forest.

During a fight or flight situation, we may feel perceived danger.  Our pulse quickens, our heart races, and we decide whether we need to fight or run.

The unicorn runs for several hours until he finally slows down.  Finding himself mired in the sludge of a weed-ridden bog, the unicorn presses forward, ever mindful of a warm fog that begins to envelop him.  And it is in this fog, that the unicorn realizes that his memories are slipping away.  It is only by luck that the unicorn reaches a large tree, its branches withered and bent, surrounded by bouncing lights.  It is not until one of those lights approaches the unicorn that he realizes it is not just a light, but a fairy.

The unicorn meets his first friend, Humbalt (Hŭm-bălt).  A fairy purported to be over 5,000 years old, Humbalt is young for his age, a veritable wisp of a fairy when compared to the general population of the fairies who inhabit the tree, many of whom have ages spanning more than 10,000 years.  He befriends Rosenet, and offers his friendship and guidance so that he can complete his quest.

I decided to use a fairy as a mentor for the beginning of the quest, because he signified a minor thought that pushes Rosenet in a certain, specific direction.  Many times, we may start a major undertaking in our life with a small idea, or action.

Not long after the two have set off on the beginning of their quest, a third traveler is added to their group.  A princess of the kingdom of Matrimé, Pyridee is a strong young woman, who not only enjoys the hunt, but also the beauty of the world around her.  No one knows why she decides to join this group, but the three are a natural fit, the trio that forms the heart and soul of the unicorn’s quest to find his people and once again be reunited with them.

Pyridee epitomizes the new, present day woman.  She is strong, yet possesses a certain kind of fragility, almost worldly, yet naive in many ways.

More to come…

One thing I forgot to mention is that Humbalt is a healing fairy.  Those fairies with healing powers were generally known as “water fairies”.  The area that Humbalt is from is a swamp — thus, this fairy is borne of the water, so is also able to heal.  An interesting point is Rosenet, the unicorn.  His horn is also known as alicorn, known for its curative powers.  In some fantasy stories, as well as true stories, unicorn are hunted by man for their magical curative powers.

Within the next chapters, the three solidify their strength as a group with the addition of two others: Egarot (Egg-ĕ-rō) the griffon, and Anson (Ăn-sŏn) the mischevious, jittery elf.  It is the solidification of this group that allows Rosenet to overcome not only the dangers new lands, but also a persistent creature who attends to thwart their every move, named Sahame (Sĕ-hām).  It is in the second chapter that much of the back story is explained, and why the drive for Rosenet to find his lost people is so great.

Using a griffin and an elf, I drew upon the real meanings behind these types of characters.  The griffin was also thought of as king of the creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine. The elf is being used not only as a pivotal character, but in the old English tradition. English folktales of the early modern period commonly portray elves as small, elusive people with mischievous personalities.

The quest continues on until the group meets a very old and wise wizard named Gordoneste (Gōr-don-ĕst).   It is Gordoneste who explains all that happened to the lost tribe that Rosenet seeks, and of the final confrontation that must occur between the unicorn and his adversary, Sahame.  It is because of the final confrontation, that Rosenet’s friends unflinchingly offer their lives for his, faced instead with his imminent death, which Humbalt sacrifices his life, for that of the unicorn.  But the wounds are too great, the pain too grave, until Gordoneste decides to give the unicorn a second chance at life, as what he started; a human being.  In return for life however, is the price one must pay–that Rosenet’s memory will be gone, his life as a unicorn lost in time, forever.

When I saw Gordoneste in my mind’s eye, I pictured a wizened old man who stands as straight as a tree, and is as spry as a young man.  In medieval chivalric romance, the wizard often appears as a wise old man and acts as a mentor, with Merlin from the Matter of Britain representing a prime example.

More to come…

My Writing Post (Cont.)

In addition to this blog, I am also writing a fantasy book, actually a trilogy.  The next few blog posts will discuss the story at length and what it is about.  I will endeavor to discuss why I wrote each chapter, and why I felt it was important to discuss what I wanted to discuss in the book.

When the Cranes
Return Again in spring:  Synopsis

When the cranes return again in spring is a story not just about one person’s quest, but it is about life’s quest in all of us.

Lorevele (Lōr-ĕ-vel) is a city under siege; its king and his daughter are locked in an argument.  She has a choice she must make, one that could affect the safety of her kingdom forever, while placing her own life in danger.  King Hautered (Haw-těr-id), of Laifetre’ (Lī-ěh-fě-trā) has signed an edict, that a she must marry his son, Gerenoux (zhěr-ěh-nō) within the week, or his mercenary army of 10,000 trolls will march upon Lorevele, and burn it to the ground.  Her father, the great King Rosenet (Roz-ă-nĕt), is opposed to this marriage.  He feels that his daughter must ride out to the four corners of every distant land, bringing together the peoples of every kingdom they have helped, and rally an Army to drive back Hautered’s army of 10,000 trolls into back Laifetre’.  Rosenet’s daughter Anisse (A-nee-săh) is convinced that her duty to her kingdom and her people is to marry Gerenoux, and she only has hours to finalize her decision.

It is rumored that Hautered has made a pact with the troll army.  In exchange for their services in securing the kingdoms of Matrimé (Mĕ-trém), Uvalde (Ū-val-děh), and Zoltanne (Zōl-tan), they would receive the kingdom of Lorevele as payment in kind.  Stories have come from far and wide, describing the brutality and fierceness of this troll army.  Fear has led many families to flee from the kingdom, while others have grimly decided to risk family in defense of their homes.
The debate between father and daughter relaxes for a moment, as Anisse is frightened by the shadows of cranes coming to flight.  Rosenet asks his daughter if he ever told her stories related to the annual migration of the cranes returning in spring.  It is this question that leads to the introduction of a saga that the king shares with his daughter.

The very introduction to When the Cranes Return Again in Spring is based upon change, and our fears that can sometimes be based on how we deal with change.  In asian lore, cranes are considered a sign of longevity.

The cranes’ beauty and their spectacular mating dances have made them highly symbolic birds in many cultures with records dating back to ancient times. Crane mythology is widely spread and can be found in areas such as the Aegean, South Arabia, China, Korea, Japan and in the Native American cultures of North America. In northern Hokkaidō, the women of the Ainu people performed a crane dance that was captured in 1908 in a photograph by Arnold Genthe. In Korea, a crane dance has been performed in the courtyard of the Tongdosa Temple since the Silla Dynasty (646 CE).

In Mecca, in pre-Islamic South Arabia, Allāt, Uzza, and Manah were believed to be the three chief goddesses of Mecca, they were called the “three exalted cranes” (gharaniq, an obscure word on which ‘crane’ is the usual gloss). See The Satanic Verses for the best-known story regarding these three goddesses.

The Greek for crane is Γερανος (Geranos), which gives us the Cranesbill, or hardy geranium. The crane was a bird of omen. In the tale of Ibycus and the cranes, a thief attacked Ibycus (a poet of the 6th century BCE) and left him for dead. Ibycus called to a flock of passing cranes, who followed the attacker to a theater and hovered over him until, stricken with guilt, he confessed to the crime.

Pliny the Elder wrote that cranes would appoint one of their number to stand guard while they slept. The sentry would hold a stone in its claw, so that if it fell asleep it would drop the stone and waken.

Aristotle describes the migration of cranes in The History of Animals, adding an account of their fights with Pygmies as they wintered near the source of the Nile. He describes as untruthful an account that the crane carries a touchstone inside it that can be used to test for gold when vomited up. (This second story is not altogether implausible, as cranes might ingest appropriate gizzard stones in one locality and regurgitate them in a region where such stone is otherwise scarce)

According to Japanese lore, a wish is granted to anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes. Watch the above video from Asia Society’s Education Department to see how schoolchildren at P.S. 154 in Brooklyn, New York, participating in Students Rebuild’s Paper Cranes for Japan project, got to work folding paper cranes,raising hope, and raising money to help Japan rebuild after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (2 min., 12 sec.).

It is from these myths and legends that When The Cranes Return Again in Spring begins.

More to come…

Our story starts with a unicorn mired not only with thoughts of loneliness but a question forever locked within his mind: Where am I, how did I get here, where am I going?  The unicorn’s quest begins in a magical valley surrounded by high mountains that hide a sparkling lake passable only through the forest which he came.  The coolness of the lake is inviting to the unicorn. Dusty, dry, and tired, the waters of the lake are invigorating, and provide a sense of shelter in what he perceives as a dangerous world.

Like the unicorn, many of us can sometimes find ourselves in what seems like a safe place.  The location may feel safe at times, but in general, it may not be such a safe place to be…as the lake is surrounded by a very dark forest.

It is those perceived dangers that bring out fear in the unicorn, as he imagines the red glowing eyes of many a predator in the dense forest that surrounds the lake.  It is because of those fears that the unicorn begins to run for his life, leaving behind the magic of the lake, to enter the danger of a dark forest.

During a fight or flight situation, we may feel perceived danger.  Our pulse quickens, our heart races, and we decide whether we need to fight or run.

The unicorn runs for several hours until he finally slows down.  Finding himself mired in the sludge of a weed-ridden bog, the unicorn presses forward, ever mindful of a warm fog that begins to envelop him.  And it is in this fog, that the unicorn realizes that his memories are slipping away.  It is only by luck that the unicorn reaches a large tree, its branches withered and bent, surrounded by bouncing lights.  It is not until one of those lights approaches the unicorn that he realizes it is not just a light, but a fairy.

The unicorn meets his first friend, Humbalt (Hŭm-bălt).  A fairy purported to be over 5,000 years old, Humbalt is young for his age, a veritable wisp of a fairy when compared to the general population of the fairies who inhabit the tree, many of whom have ages spanning more than 10,000 years.  He befriends Rosenet, and offers his friendship and guidance so that he can complete his quest.

I decided to use a fairy as a mentor for the beginning of the quest, because he signified a minor thought that pushes Rosenet in a certain, specific direction.  Many times, we may start a major undertaking in our life with a small idea, or action.

Not long after the two have set off on the beginning of their quest, a third traveler is added to their group.  A princess of the kingdom of Matrimé, Pyridee is a strong young woman, who not only enjoys the hunt, but also the beauty of the world around her.  No one knows why she decides to join this group, but the three are a natural fit, the trio that forms the heart and soul of the unicorn’s quest to find his people and once again be reunited with them.

Pyridee epitomizes the new, present day woman.  She is strong, yet possesses a certain kind of fragility, almost worldly, yet naive in many ways.

More to come…

The Future of Transportation

It is here!  It is finally here!  If you don’t know about it, the Moller Volantor Skycar will make another debut in a demonstration flight at Vacaville California.

If you don’t know about the Moller Skycar, you should.  It is in my opinion, the most exciting news since the Wright Brothers took off on an early autumn day at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina .  You can now add Dr. Paul S. Moller to the list of pioneers who opened up aviation to everyone.  For many decades, we have been at the mercy of commercial airlines, ticket prices, long lines and bad food.  Enter the Moller Skycar, a mode of transportation that you can park in your garage.  What Dr. Moller’s vision entails is a vehicle that will one day cost not a million dollars, nor half a million dollars, or even one hundred thousand dollars.  Paul Moller sees a day when his skycars will cost about $60,000.  He sees his vehicles as the new emergency vehicles:  Police, Fire, or Ambulance.  I see a day when commercial aviation will be placed into our garages.  Imagine a taxi that runs on ethanol flying up to your doorstep to pick you up for a meeting in San Diego (and you are in Las Vegas).  Your trip lasts only an hour, instead of four.  You are back in your office or home by noon in Nevada, and you only paid 70 dollars round trip, and you were dropped off at your front doorstep.

I see Dr. Moller’s vision, and I am eagerly anticipating his future…our future.   What an exciting time to be alive!

Skycar Manufacturer Moller International Announces Scheduled Test Flight
— Moller International (OTCBB: MLER) (“The Company”) is pleased to announce that they have scheduled a demonstration flight of its ethanol-fueled M400 Skycar volantor. This invitation-only media event is scheduled to take place on October 11, 2011 in Vacaville, CA. Over 250 members of the domestic and international press have already indicated an interest in attending this historic flight.