Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lucky or Not?

I think that most stories worth telling are in fact stories about unlucky people. Of course, in the end everything might turn out just fine, with a happy ending, but the beginning has to be bad, hasn’t it?

Think about it.

A girl has loving parents who protect her and who care for her. She grows up surrounded by her loving family, goes to school, always has good friends, gets a great job, meets the right guy, and they live happily ever after. Lucky girl. End of story.

Very nice. Now, how about this?

A girl has loving parents but her mother dies and, unfortunately, her father marries a woman with two daughters of her own and then he has to go on a long trip, leaving the girl alone with the very mean stepmother and stepsisters. You know the rest of the story…

Some guy goes on a balloon ride, has a great time watching the landscape from the sky, then lands back nicely and is ready to show to his friends all the pictures he’s taken.

Another guy goes on a balloon ride but the ropes break and he’s up in the air on his own and before he knows it he’s blown away. After days of being a toy to the winds, he lands in an unknown land, full of wonder and dangers…

Maybe something like this…

An illustration by Edouard Riou for Jules Verne’s “Five Weeks in a Balloon”, 1863

When I was reading Larry Niven’s “Ringworld” – have you read it? – I was very intrigued by the concept of “the luck of Teela Brown.” Teela Brown was a young woman, with very “lucky” ancestors, six generations of winners of the Earth’s Birthright Lottery. She was recruited by Nessus, the Puppeteer, for a voyage to the Ringworld, in the hope that her luck will rub off the entire expedition bringing it success. I can only wonder, though, if her “luck” didn’t really end right there…

I’m thinking that even the meaning of “luck” could be interpreted in different ways. Is one lucky to live a sheltered, dull, “normal” life, or is one lucky to live an “interesting” life albeit with some serious heartache in it? I assume the answer depends on which side of the “fence” you consider yourself to be when you’re giving it. Of course, there’s always the combination of dull and unlucky…

Care to share your thoughts?

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


sometimes the “real” reality
seems almost within grasp
like a world of wonders
– or perhaps of horrors –
glimpsed just below the thin
layer of ice on a lake
so close
so close

makes you wonder

if only you could lie down
with your bare heart
and melt this ice
of the paradigm
would you have your
aha moment?
would you “know” at last?

(would you achieve more than
catching a cold?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coming Soon...

... to an on-line store near you...

 I simply love the cover! Steve Santiago has made it. Check out his art at illustrator Steve Santiago or on Facebook.