How to destroy a world

My trilogy, “The Chosen One of Allivar” is a mythology, but the mythology is to continue by expanding upon stories in the history. In this history, nine of ten heavenly worlds must fall by the influence of evil into the lives of ordinary mortals. So how does one destroy a world? I ran across an interesting article on J. Robert Oppenheimer, a scientist in charge of the Manhattan project – the development of the atom bomb.

I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita… “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

This quote led me to the plot of creating and destroying those nine worlds. Ultimately, evil strives for one thing – the rise to power greater than one that has been gifted by a creator. It is the theme in almost every mythology and religious belief. Scientists in the Manhattan project were confronted with many moral issues. One was the uncertainty if the detonation would ignite our own atmosphere. Luckily for us this did not occur or I would not be writing this.

Another was the creation of an arms race. This did come true. Luckily detente prevents many nations from using them. But what if the promise of power in an afterlife did not prevent the use of such weapons? Does this premise sound far-fetched? You only need read the news to see it is not so far-fetched from human thought.

As a writer this premise provides for a logical story for evil to intervene. Without giving too much away, the trilogy provided a glimpse of these tragedies. What they did not divulge is the detail and character expansion of the beginnings of mortal thoughts on morality, life and death, and the quest for ultimate power. A power so strong that it created the universe and, with just having a small amount of that power, can annihilate an entire world. The stories that follow will involve valiant heroes and heroines who rise to the highest qualities of humanity to prevent such destruction.

Yet nine stories all based on the source of power would get boring. So like the song “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, mine will be “9 Ways to Destroy Worlds.” This allows me as an author to step into the concepts of the seven deadly sins. Be prepared; the stories will be brutal, but have a silver lining. For in the end, good must triumph and enter the light.

Fear the Mob

One only has to look at current global news for a premise to a very frightening story. Whether social injustice, right versus left, poor versus wealthy, or other issues the gathering of people under a cause can lead to social disorder, some unintentionally, some not. All one has to do is go back and study history to see the outcomes of mob rule and frenzy. It is not a pretty scene.

What if people in your own community gathered and decided to take what they perceived as due to them? What if government entitlements ceased to be paid from lack of funds? Sound impossible? Watch Greece particularly close over the coming months to see how their citizenry handles austerity measures. We Americans do not fully grasp many of the outcomes of poor financial choices made over the last decade. Today we stand unfunded by $118 trillion in our major entitlement programs. Simply put, past promises to pay benefits once calculated is $118 trillion short. Our national debt (sum of all deficits) is racing towards $16 trillion. Soon many major functions of government will be tested. Lately 4 of 19 major banks failed their stress tests. Civil engineers give our overall infrastructure a rating of “D” and a dire opinion that we stand on the edge of no return. Tensions are heightening in the Middle East.

These conditions create a scenario that many are now talking about and taking action to survive against. All one has to do is read the blogs of activists such as those involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Many may have an honest purpose of ending corruption on Wall Street, but there is also a darker side if you read their posts. The internet and social media are creating frenzies and judgment is being passed by mob vote, rather than legal due process.

We stand on the brink of very challenging times and quite frankly a very frightening period of history. If people amass, justify violence over law, and/or emotion over rational thought, we will find ourselves making survival decisions. Such scenarios create the premise for a variety of stories for authors to tell.

Of Veterans and Children

I am about as tough a man as a man can get, but there are two things that can bring this man to his knees. The first is the vision of a veteran returning from war to the arms of its citizenry saluting and cheering their service, their sacrifice for me and my family’s freedom and independence. The second is of that of a vet’s child or children rushing into their arms. These are visions that are engrained in my mind for life.

No one wants war, not even this tough man. But when called to duty for a just purpose, this man would still lay down his life for others, those he does not know, or will ever know. People in power today are too concerned with their “legacy.” I believe it is their responsibility to protect the legacy of our men and women in the armed forces above all else. There is no higher valor in life than to lay down one’s life for others – NONE.

When drafting my trilogy, “The Chosen One of Allivar”, I tried to delve into the mind of a reluctant warrior. The main character, Arimar, is a reluctant bearer of a message to the seven races of the coming of their freedom. He is faced with obstacles that will question every single belief he has and test his faith and hope of the goodness of the living. No one wants war, but at times it seems that we are our best when we are confronted with the choice between good and evil. World War II was one of those defining moments, of which, the stories and meaning have almost disappeared…it’s heroes faded to worn granite sentinels.

We have been lucky that a major battle has never been brought to our shores in modern times. How would we respond? Would we display valor beyond recall? Would the stress cause us to break and commit unspeakable acts? It is easy to judge when the battle field is thousands of miles away. In the final chapters of my trilogy, war is brought to the doorsteps of the forces of good. The forces arrayed against them are unimaginable. Yet valor, courage and faith keep the characters fighting; including all the men, women, children of all ages and races are united against evil. It will place you in the moment of battle, and loss, and have you questioning much about life in general.

In the end the story serves a purpose for us to all recall those that give their lives for something greater than themselves. So please next time you see a vet, salute them, shake their hand, and say thank you. It will go along way to the restoration of peace.

A shrubbery and a raillery

Today I learned a new word on Twitter. I like to banter, but raillery has the same meaning:

rail·ler·y
n. pl. rail·ler·ies
1. Good-natured teasing or ridicule; banter.
2. An instance of bantering or teasing.
But raillery sounds like something for my twisted Monty Python sense of humor. For Python fans, please follow my madness. For the rest of you, run away!

Setting the scene…there appear knights before King Arthur in his forest.

“We are the knights that say ni!”
“What do you want, knights that say ni?” asks King Arthur.
“We want a shrubbery! One not too expensive or tall.”
“We don’t have a shrubbery with us.”
“Ni, ni, ni, ni”
“Stop, please stop, it is more than we can bear!”
“Well then you shall find us a shrubbery or we shall raillery upon you a second time! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.”

Now off goes King Arthur looking for nice and inexpensive shrubbery and walks into Shrubberville. Notice my editorial control here?
“We are looking for a shrubbery!”
“Who are you?” asks the shrubbery owners of Shrubberville.
“I am your king, the king of the Brittons.”
“Who are the Brittons?”
“You are, you ninny!”
“Well I didn’t vote for you.”
“It matters not; we seek a shrubbery.”

Now King Arthur works his way back to the forest.

“Here is your shrubbery, oh good knights of ni.”
“We no longer want a shrubbery and we are now the knights that say ‘raillery ickyickypungtungatoo!’ You must now cut though the forest with the backbone of a herring and prepare our Form 1040, with schedules.”
“I will not!”
“Oh, please! At least the 1040, it is so difficult.”
At that point, King Arthur cuts off all their heads and places them on pikes as a warning to all that venture into the tax code forest of shadow.

The moral to this rambling? Do not mix raillery with the IRS for they are the knights that say “ickyickyputyourbuttinjail.” It is not a silly place and with ten thousand men you should not go there. It is pure folly.

Of Strong Female Characters

At a book event, I met several women who wanted to know if my stories have strong women characters.  I hesitated to answer not knowing how a ‘strong female’ is defined in today’s world.  Is it defined by financial independence from a man?  Is it defined as a woman who can dodge bullets and defeat ten men at once with martial art moves?  I hope that many women will read this post and provide me with many thought provoking comments on their own definition.  This will help me write better female characters for my stories and provide some hilarious moments for my monthly ‘Female Code’ blog posts.
But to clarify my position on the topic, let me refer you to a woman that meets my definition.  This is my mother, Dixie.  Born in 1935, my mother was raised during the waning years of the great depression, but which lead to the Second World War.  She is a military brat, by her own definition, with a language of a salty sailor.  She has a competitive nature to say the least.  She has some of the best jokes you would want to hear, some pretty dirty, but good! She fiercely defends family and country. She is not politically correct, but straight forward and honest. You know exactly where you stand with her. She is a warrior and a survivor, without ever holding a gun or sword.

I recall one instance where her heroism defines a strong female.  There was a time when a small argument and fight was overblown as I was outnumbered three to one by older teenagers. The fighting spirit of my mother was unleashed by me and all of the teenagers went down in defeat.  However, one carried a grudge and began stalking me with more friends until he had an entire gang come after me.  I was one guy against thirteen.  The odds of my victory were not sufficient enough to pursue battle.  My mother, along with my father, took on these teenagers and let me say that “hell hath no fury!” is an accurate statement about a mother’s defense of her family.  At that very moment, I saw character that I shall never forget.

Now as another birthday nears, she has seen hardship and sorrow that most of us will never know. She survived the separation from her parents during the great war.  Is that strong enough?

She has outlived her entire family, when most thought she would not.  Is that strong enough?

She has battled and survived cancer and other illnesses when most would have given up. Is that strong enough?

She has called one man her husband for 56 years.  I have known only one set of parents, against all odds, against all of evil’s attempts to break that sacred vow and bond. Is that strong enough?

She has fought long and hard to protect and see her children survive in very tough times.  Is that strong enough?

She has fought the good fight with all her being and enjoyed life with every breath.  Yes, she is of strong female character.

As you will witness in my trilogy, “The Chosen One of Allivar” the women are willing to stand and fight as fiercely as any man when the one family is threatened.  They will stand next to their man to compliment his very being, taking fewer accolades without fear of inferiority. But there is also the gentleness and femininity present in them as only daughters, mothers and wives can display.

Fifty percent of my DNA comes from a very loving, giving, yet very strong female character. Behind the story of my father Wayne “The Undefeated” is a woman whose unequaled fighting spirit easily defines, in this son’s mind, a strong leading female character.

Happy 77th Birthday, Dixie!  Along with Wayne, you complete a team that no one will ever defeat.  Keep on fighting and keep on loving until your final breath. I expect nothing less than this.  I will do the same and thank you for all of life’s lessons.

Water – More than meets the lips

In my trilogy, “The Chosen One of Allivar” there is a character named Murlach of the Dayanaran race. He is a scientist, engineer and military officer. My inspiration for Murlach comes from the genius that was Leonardo Da Vinci. He is constantly thinking on how to improve the world of Allivar. He also has been given the task to create, within six months, weapons that will help the followers of Arimar survive a 40 day test while being sieged upon by the forces of the darkness. These weapons must kill as many warriors as possible. Murlach represents, to some degree, the extent of how I think. How can we improve upon our world? I’ve mentioned I am a member of Toastmaster’s International. I have studied hydrogen for years and formulated my own plan to help our country. Here is the text of that speech.

Water – more than meets the lips

What I hold before you now is water. I see more than water; I see opportunities. What do you see? In a moment you will begin to see there is more to water than what meets the lips.

Energy

In Oklahoma, we harness the power of the wind which is sometimes referred to as rivers and streams of air. Our ancestors were the greatest inventors. They knew that moving water could turn a water wheel to grind grain, but they also used it to pump bellows for blast furnaces and other needs. Today we have hydroelectric dams that provide energy to millions of homes and businesses. Yet, we do not harness the power of moving water in other parts of our country. Would modern day water wheels and turbines in rivers and streams be a part of our national energy solution?

Do you see the opportunities?

Water or H2O is comprised of two atoms of Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth and the Universe. Hydrogen cannot be found by itself; it is usually combined with some other element. Water is our most abundant resource on the planet. The Apollo program utilized Hydrogen fuel cell technology in the 1960’s and was originally discovered in 1838. Simply put as hydrogen passes through a membrane the interaction with Oxygen on one side and Hydrogen on the other creates an electro-chemical reaction. When Hydrogen and Oxygen recombine we have water vapor, a clean and renewable source.

Hydrogen fuel cell automobiles actually exist. Ask Jamie Lee Curtis how she loves her Honda FCX. We have some cost constraints and infrastructure issues to resolve, but the world’s top automotive engineers see this as the future. We already have stationary fuel cells operating in the US. Countries and industries around the world are vying for the commercial success of this technology. Who will be the first to solve it?

Do you see the opportunities?

We can separate Hydrogen from water through a process called electrolysis. This requires an energy source of power such as nuclear, electrical, wind or even hydroelectric power from dams, rivers, pipes and even the tides. In England a company is developing a home based electrolyzer that will refuel your hydrogen automobile in your garage and power your home. (Search for ITM Power)

Do you see the opportunities?

Flood, Fire and Drought Management

You have seen the recent news – 200 to 750% above normal snow pack and record floods in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. We incur billions in flood, fire, crop and drought losses each year. Do you think you are not paying for these losses in higher commodity prices? Where one area has excess supply, another area has demand. How do we go about managing this? Consider a national water grid.

We have an interstate freeway system. We have the power grid that manages and distributes electricity. We have the Alaska and US natural gas pipeline system. Yet we do not distribute and manage our fresh waters. Should we continue spending billions on losses, or billions on solutions? We need jobs and industries of the future.

Do you see the opportunities?

States that have excess could sell that excess to reserve points across the country building revenues for their state budgets, while other states could reduce subsidies for lack of water. It depends on our optimism and will to solve great tasks. Could this new source of state revenues ease tax burdens?

Do you see the opportunities?

Reserve Points

As I mentioned our ancestors were brilliant. In arid environments they captured water off of rock formations, plants and roofs into cisterns. Why do we not have rainwater and ice melt harvesting systems now? How difficult would it be to modify building codes to mandate this requirement as reserve point number one? Could we sell our supply at our home or business to the national water grid, possibly recouping our initial investment? Could we use our supply with a built-in air humidifier in the event of a prolonged drought and fire hazard? How much water could we save from evaporation? How much money could be saved from the damages of excessive water runoff?

Do you see the opportunities?

Have you noticed recent housing developments with small ponds and lakes? That should be reserve point number two. We should develop our communities with water reserve points in mind. Would this save the rapid depletion of our reservoirs, aquifers and the treated water supplies which are most vital reserve points and should be the last tapped into?

Do you see the opportunities?

As heavy rains and snow melt occur, start pumping water to waiting reserve points across the country. We can build channels and canals where gravity will deliver the water with no help from pumps. Also recall the concept of water wheels all along this grid where energy is being produced locally, enough to power the pumps, enough to power electrolyzers and develop the infrastructure needed for Hydrogen based economy. Could we end our dependence on foreign oil?

Do you see the opportunities?

Life

Where there is fresh water there is life. With the concern of rising Carbon Dioxide levels, or CO2, the chief culprit of greenhouse gases, Mother Nature has provided the solution. It is called photosynthesis. Through the reactions of H2O and CO2, O2 is released back into our skies from our plants and forests. Where reserve points provide water, new agriculture or CO2 absorbing plants farms can exist.

Do you see the opportunities?

CONCLUSION

Some say these concepts are impossible or ridiculous. I refer them to the Panama Canal, Manhattan, Interstate and Apollo programs. Scientists want to colonize Mars because they believe the Polar Regions have trapped water. I say we terra form our planet first and perfect the process. Where have our visionaries and optimists gone? Where has our desire to accomplish great tasks disappeared to? The Interstate freeway system is the single largest Earth moving project in human history and Americans accomplished it. If we want to remain the super power, we must show leadership and determination.

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill.

I am an eternal optimist. I see the opportunities. Now what do you see? Do you now see there is more to Water than what meets the lips? Thank you.

Murlach would be proud of me. Allivar means “The One Family”, the first world and paradise created by the Unseen and given to seven races of mortals to steward over. The fate of Allivar depends on the gathering of the seven races to fight off evil. The story is topical to our time on this blue ball. What will our races do?

The Triumph of Evil

Rarely do most authors write about the triumph of evil. Who would want to read that, right? We want heroes and heroines to triumph. Sometimes evil must triumph for good men and women to rise from the pit of despair and hopelessness. Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who is attributed to the following quote:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

This quote depicted the political days of the late 1700’s in which political powers exercised corrupt control and made life unbearable for English citizens. However, the citizens were apathetic and frankly, lazy. Sloth was the order of the day. Sloth alone can lead to the collapse of a civilization and in one story of my upcoming chronicles series, the fall of a complete world. For those not familiar with sloth, it is one of the seven deadly sins. In its simplest terms it means we know what we are supposed to do, but we are too lazy and can always justify not doing what needs to be done.

In my trilogy “The Chosen One of Allivar,” I refer to this sentiment. Evil is allowed to rise by the actions of those that seek power and by the inaction of those that can prevent it. The first nine chapters are devoted to the rise of evil and the corruption of men and women. The remainder of book one and all of books two and three are devoted to the rise of good men and women who make a final stand against evil. Now the history and the stories of good men and women who fought the rise of evil are compressed in those first nine chapters. When I laid out the outline for the trilogy, I also outlined the premise for the “Chronicles.”

Although this mythology is an epic fantasy adventure it is written for us as humans to relate to our current world and times. In places, you will find philosophical and moral narratives. This is meant not to preach, but to have you think and to observe the world around you.

The chronicles will be much larger volumes of work than the trilogy in that so much has to be covered on how evil triumphs over the fall of nine worlds and its attempt to destroy the last world, Allivar, over six ages. These stories will touch the very nature of the moral and ethical issues we humans deal with now and in the past. Evil will triumph in these stories. They will be tragic and gut wrenching stories. They must be – they serve a purpose; to awaken the inner soul that calls us to harms way for what is good and right:

“Rise now good men and women, evil shall not be allowed to triumph!”