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Everything posted by sbeaulieu

  1. Ah, to be in the dark and grasp a ray of light! I'll be delving into this quite a bit. My problem always stems from having ideas (or ingredients), but lacking the tools in expressing them in story form. Thanks, Michael!
  2. Wholesome activity, no. Make men out of bet! And then something more. I revere any man or women that had to face an enemy on any combat venue.
  3. Good morning OL! So, I'm enjoying a mental breakfast at 5am by reading posts, and I stop here in the creative writing threads. Being near and dear to my heart (creative writing, that is) I thought I'd try prying out some of my ideas to see if they gain traction here. Fiction is abundant. So how does one stand out? I've always been an "idea" kind of guy and find writing as the outlet to showcase it. Practice, on my part, has been lackluster...not paralleling my idea output, so to speak. Aside from that, I've come across O'ism. This has "changed" my way of thinking and structuring of my ideas in writing. Not fundamentally, since I think that most of my life my thoughts have been quite individualistic anyway. But my messages might be a little more refined. Writing is about conveying messages, so being grounded in a philosophical approach only seems reasonable. So, Objectivism might be my beacon, where before I lacked one. Onward! Souldier Saga...(just ideas here that have been swimming for quite some time) The story revolves around two cosmic life forces which are in constant struggle - one good, one evil (but it's never quite that black and white). Their interaction is through melding with other life forms, shaping the future of beings universe-wide. They, essentially, compete. Next stop, Planet X (as yet unnamed). In the initial phase, they seek an inhabited world. They embrace, energies swirling...pearlescent and inky. They combine and fall to the planet as a shooting star. They wait to be found. Of course, this could take some time as they lie in wait, seaching the world for the one...the Legatee (name of the first book, btw). Psychic emanations from the cosmic entities eventually find their target. He is haunted by visions, manifestations of tales of old. Of two gods locked in warfare over countless millenia. Adros and Krishaka. They battle on a plateau centered in a hellish desert landscape. History tells of the violent clash ending in simultaneous death blows, the blood soaking the plateau forever and staining it red. History heralds one who would come and awaken the gods (as they are seen in local lore) and unleash their wrath upon the world. Baltaak awakens from these dreams, remembering bits and pieces. The recall is clearer as months pass. Eventually, the visions drive him to find the truth of it. The city he dwells in is in preparation of a pilgrimage based on the planetary orbit with the suns. It passes very close during the orbit, requiring the populace to shelter for months. It is prior to the "blasting" that he seeks out the source of his visions. Eventually, in finding the source of the cosmic "gods", he touches them. In making contact, he absorbs them, becoming a host to pure good and evil. Baltaak is now the most powerful being in the known universe, unbeknownst to him. He lives for centuries as he stages the planet for the game about to played at the behest of Adros and Krishaka. In this time, a 3-way conflict is underway. Subtle at first, and catastrophic towards the end as the "Legatee's" life ends. This is where the story really begins.. As the two life forces are free from Baltaak, they seek life in death. They take haven in a newborn, staying dormant (Adros and Krishaka remain unaware of each other) until adolescence. Here, they exert minimal influence...coaxing the youngster in deeds or heroism or chaos. Like a faucet, a trickle of power is let loose. In adulthood, the life force makes the host fully aware of its presence (Adros and Krishaka become fully aware of each other), yielding the full abilities in doing so. Let the games commence! Now fully aware, they seek each other out to wage war on each other. One benevolent, smiting the other to prevent chaos. One evil, sewing destruction and mayhem. The interaction between the two is so random at times because of their creed "Seek life in death", that the two could inhabit twins, best of friends, two who become lovers, or any number of people from across the world. I've been sitting on this for quite some time. Of note - this story came to me while trying to write a battle hymn. ~ Shane
  4. The 1999 version of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart is a good one, too.
  5. Melania, the Jackal Daemon... Modest, outgoing, responsible, sociable and solitary. Not a bad assessment ;)
  6. I find it interesting, in my personal experience, that no atheists are ranting about religious movies' attempt to promote religion. In effect, thwarting atheist beliefs. I'm sure we know the "reason" why...
  7. Great list! Like many social situations, this applies a LOT to the military. I am going to NCO (Non-commissioned Officer) Academy next month. This would be an excellent cheat sheet (so to speak) to review before settling in to the group dynamic pond There will be many discussions, and I promise to be as objective (to the limit of my knowledge and experience) as possible. I hope to not fall victim of #2. But I do so love discussions. :ahappy:
  8. I saw this video, and sat stunned! I imagine it's been a couple months now since seeing it last, but Paul Potts left an impression...a good one! For someone with such a humble background, he simply nuked the crowd with his coming-out performance. The audience was rapt, me included. And I'd be willing to say that the road ahead of him will certainly nurture his talent to become one of the greats. I look forward to tracking his successes. ~ Shane
  9. Hi, Amy! Fascinating...another member who was turned to O'ism through Terry's works! Looking forward to engaging in discussions about them as well. For most of you that have "lived" the Objectivist philosophy, Ayn Rand (I assume) is the core of your exposure. For me, it was Terry Goodkind. I can't wait for the dialogues that will likely stem from his stories. ~ Shane
  10. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). By far my favorite Christmas title. A Christmas Story (1983) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Elf (2003) - Because Will Farell makes me laugh. And to finish, the claymation series. *see Christmas Classics Oh, and Merry Christmas!
  11. Hi, Ross! Nothing quite like air support, huh? My father was in Vietnam in '72. He was with the 336th (Rocketeers) out of Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. They did 90 day rotations into Da Nang from Thailand. He doesn't talk too much about it, and I can certainly understand why. You gents went through Hell. I have a great admiration for Veterans. Glad you made it back alive! Thank you for your front-line courage ;) ~ Shane
  12. Shane, My uncle Dave was in the Air Force and the Army Air Force. He was a B-17 navigator. He was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Midway. Guadacanal. He went mano a mano with a Zero in the nose gun and got filled with shapnel from exploding 20mm cannon shells. He spent a year in the hospital. He served with B-29s in Korea. In the 1950s he was a navigator on B-36s stationed in Puerto Rico. Each carried one gigantic nuclear bomb. His target in the USSR meant he would overfly the birthplace of his father in the Ukraine a couple of hundred miles and drop the bomb. I asked him, he's still alive, if the B-36s would have gotten through? He laughed. Of course they would have! They were replaced by the B-52, still in service. In the late 50s in Tucson as a boy I watched B-36 after B-36 fly into Davis Monthan AFB never to leave. They were melted down for scrap. Appreciate the history of your service! --Brant Brant, What a full life your uncle has lived! I bet his experience as a nose-gunner was thrilling, to say the least. I'm honored by his service as a true warrior of the skies! Wow! It's always sad to hear when airframes are retired (and dismantled/scrapped!). They were a great legacy of the last century, and a testament of man and his will to survive. The air wars highlight this the best, I think. They certainly don't make them like that anymore. I'm amazed that the B-52 is still in service! What a masterpiece ;) My father retired from the Air Force in '91. He's seen some hellish things during Vietnam as a F-4 mechanic (my favorite jet...not biased ). He also worked on F-111s, the medium-range bombers that paid a visit to Mohammar Quadaffi. My job in the Air Force is not quite "in your face" where combat is concerned, however, my piece is critical to all missions - communications. Maybe someday, I'll have combat experience in that field. ~ Shane
  13. What a great article! It's funny that he states the sixth book, Faith of the Fallen is the most controversial among his readers. It was my favorite. Offhand, I think it is due to the two-sided coin that's presented to the readers - Individualism Vs. Socialism. There are many other lessons learned in that novel, but this one stood out clearly for me, and made the most sense (as related to my personal experiences). I might expand on this topic (individualist Vs socialist society...1 against the many, so to speak) in the near future. Thanks for the link, Michael! I always enjoy articles about Terry. He's a great individual ;) ~ Shane
  14. Thank you, Chris. I have found the military to be a great way of life, a doorway to a breadth of knowledge along many platforms. If there's anything I take away from it, it's the level of access to this knowledge that I've been given. Any other tree may not have had as many branches. But I owe Terry Goodkind my exposure to Objectivism. Trying to apply "reason" at times is like trying to move mountains in the military, which is why the vast majority of our populace may not follow the tenets of Objectivism. The more I learn the core aspects of Objectivism, the better suited I'll be to overlay it on everyday situations. Again, I look forward to that journey. This forum is certainly equipped with intellectual powerhouses (IMO, what I've read thus far), and I plan on absorbing all I can. Thanks for the welcome, and tipping the hat to our services ~ Shane
  15. Michael, I look forward to browsing the threads and being enlightened. I hope to add in my .02 every now and again. Chris, I am proudly serving in the US Air Force. I'm going on 15 years, gunning for 20. My career field is in IT - communications troubleshooting, computer networking management, etc. I absolutely love this career field due to its ever-changing characteristic. My aspiration after retirement is being a novelist, or in some realm of telling stories (comics, screenplays, or gaming). ~ Shane
  16. Good day all. I'm Shane. Currently, I'm stationed in Hawaii. As part of my daily wanderings, I stumbled on this site and did a bit of reading. What I've seen so far is a great mix of opions/discussions. Being new to the Objectivist mindset, I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions to ask. My introduction to Ayn Rand came a few years back through a conversation with a favorite author of mine. Some of you might know his work, Sword of Truth series, penned by Terry Goodkind. I was fortunate enough to correspond with him for several years on his books. His main character, Richard, always had a way of getting me to think "Yeah, that makes perfect sense". When we spoke on the phone, I asked him if he had any books that were his favorite. He immediately mentioned Ayn Rand titles. Never having heard her name, I started reading up on her. Years later, I find myself here. I don't find myself to be religious. I'm sure the majority here can attest to having questioned the "reason" behind believing in that which cannot be seen. My inner struggle with "faith" has always unsettled me until recently, as the societal norm is to believe in something "more" than ourselves. Reading Terry's books indirectly led me to Objectivism through his character's dialogues. They echoed (most of the time) what I believed. It was interesting to see that a lot of this philosophy hits home. So it may seem that I have finally found it. My footsteps are fresh on the path to reason. I hope to share this path with you all.