First Quest is published!

I cannot express how exciting it is to look at my book shelf and see my own print next to some of my favorites.  The book is now available for purchase in digital or print format!  While I know that I likely should be adding a wall of text to accompany this post, I am working on marketing and other forms of getting the word out.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me grow my reader base, supported me in my times of uncertainty and discourage, and posted an uplifting comment to this stranger-in-distress in her times of need. I appreciate all of the words of encouragement I’ve received from friends and strangers alike, and am excited now to have my dream a reality. The second book is on its way to being ready, as well, and I cannot wait!

My book on a shelf

 

An Aptly-Titled Update

I just took a glance through all of the topics I’ve breached since the very beginning of this, and wanted to post a summarized update (you know, an actually-up-to-date-update) on all topics for anyone who is interested. So, let’s get started.

Children’s Books:

Honestly, I have all but given up finding an illustrator that can do this at a price I can afford. I have hope that, eventually, the funds will be there to make this work. I’ve not made any progress, or attempted to make any progress, on furthering this project. I do have good reason for that, though: I have too many other things going on. It makes more sense to prioritize what’s possible, instead of focusing on trying to fix what cannot be fixed. I am still keeping my eye out for someone to partner with on this, but it’s no longer an active search.

Poetry Book:

As some of you already know, this book is on another Free Promotion that runs from May 11 to May 15, over Mother’s Day weekend. After that, the price has dropped down to a dollar. I much appreciate all those that invested in the work when it first released, but not a single copy has sold since then. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, since I figure there’s not a giant market on poetry to begin with. To any who are interested in the free download during the timeframe, or purchasing the book for $0.99 USD, you can click here to access the page.

First Quest Novel:

There are reserves/pre-orders being taken for the digital version, which was intended to give me a chance to change a few little things before the launch date. However, it took me several days to get the cover to fit the requirements for the paperback copy and, once it did, Amazon published it without an option for pre-order. So, despite the counter-intuitive nature of what I’m about to say, the digital copy can be pre-ordered now for its release on May 17th, but the paperback is available for purchase right now. The digital copy can be pre-ordered by following this link, and will have a $6.99 price point. The paperback copy can be purchased outright at this link, but will have a $12.99 price point.

I have already gotten several purchases on the paperback copy, and appreciate all of the support of my friends, family, and strangers in trying to help me market this by myself. If things go well, I want to set up a way for people to get their copies signed that will not break the bank for anyone, but for now I am settled on a plain release. Any input on this topic would be more than appreciated, but I will be looking it up as well in the near future.

Boulder City Chronicles:

Most of what has already been posted for BCC was content that I have had for years, save for the last 2 (maybe 3?) parts. That said, anything else that goes into the chronicles may be reserved for future publications, or the potential for a webcomic series. I feel it would do really well with visual aide, but am not actively pursuing this as I haven’t seen much of an interest in the series. Granted, that is likely due to my own inactivity. If you haven’t yet taken a look at the series, go here to get started reading it in its entirety. I highly recommend starting with Part 0 and working your way up, but whatever makes you happy.

If anyone is opposed to me stopping this series or has feedback on that topic, please let me know. It’s hard to tell what people are reading, what they like, and what PARTS they like in order to justify continuing dedicating time to a project. Your feedback might just get you what you want 😉

Cooking:

I moved, and since then have barely cooked. Anyone who likes being in the kitchen should understand when I say: I have none of my tools, I can barely fit in this room, it’s uncomfortable and seems dirty no matter how much I clean it, and I refuse to work under these conditions!

General Update:

It is getting warmer, and I live in a house with no air conditioning. My computer is meant for gaming, and so only contributes to the heat in this place. The hope is that I can find a window-unit before it gets too gross in here so that I can continue to write without my hands sticking to everything (it gets really humid here, as well).

 

Those are all of the points that I think needed to be made. If I missed anything that you were wondering about, though, let me know in the comments. I would be more than happy to fill in the blanks.

As always, thank you for reading.

It’s Okay To Make Mistakes – Self-Talk – Commission

I was commissioned to write this, but they didn’t want to pay for the copyrights.  Given that fact, I am posting them here both to show it off, and to maintain my ownership.

 

You are good at what you do, and one mistake won’t change that.  Everyone makes mistakes every once in a while, and you will become stronger for it.  Learning from your mistakes in the past is what has made you as smart as you are today.

You will be able to continue to succeed in life, because you are a strong person with great potential.  Things happen sometimes that might make you think that you aren’t capable of succeeding, but you will overcome them.  Strength comes from surpassing your expectations for yourself, and doing the things that you once thought that you couldn’t do.

You have a long road ahead of you, and you may make more mistakes down that road.  People will remember you for the good that you do, not the brief follies. Trust in your support network, and know that it is okay to make mistakes.

5 Signs the Guy You’re With is a Waste of Time

 

He’s not supporting himself, but “will be soon”.  He’s got so much potential, and there’s always a new plan to make a lot of money.  Even so, somehow you’re still paying for every date, and probably driving him everywhere, too.

After you made it official, he turned out to be a completely different person.  He tells you all of these cool hobbies that he has and skills he’s gained, yet you’ve never once seen him do any of them.  For someone who said they don’t drink, he probably spends a lot of time at the bar.

Some things just don’t add up.  Most of what you know about him, you learned through conversation.  Now that you’ve spent some time together, you’re starting to wonder if he’s the person he made himself out to be.

He doesn’t see the problem with innocent flirting with girls that aren’t you.  While at dinner, he cracks a flirtatious line to the waitress.  You’re offended, but he doesn’t seem to understand why that would bother you.  He may even try to make you feel bad for being offended in the first place.

When you start to talk about your day, he picks up his phone.  He says that he’s listening, but he never seems to have much to contribute to the conversation.  Most days, a simple “yeah, tell me about it” is the most you’ll get out of him unless the conversation is about him.

 

This list is incomplete, and will be added to and elaborated on very soon.  I am posting this preemptively to maintain my copyrights.

Wedding Vows on Commission – Updated 8/18/16

I was commissioned to write all of these, but they didn’t want to pay for the copyrights (which, really, they shouldn’t need anyway).  Given that fact, I am posting them here both to show off, and to maintain my ownership in the event that someone tries to publish any of them for some reason.  These also serve as examples for clients.  The names have been replaced with brackets to maintain client privacy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After all this time, we’re finally here.  I never thought it’d be possible, and I still feel like at any moment I’m going to wake up from this wonderful dream.  “We are going to be, forever, you and me.”  This has never felt like more of a reality than it does at this very moment, standing here with you.  The cozy little family we’ve made is the best family I could have ever asked for.  After twenty years with you, I still cannot wait to see what the next twenty or forty or a hundred years will bring.  Not everything has been easy, and we’ve made it through it all unscathed, putting our best foot forward as we walk side by side.  You are still the one I love, and always will be.

I vow, now and forever, to continue this life with you.  After everything that we have experienced together, I know that as long as you’re a part of my life, I will have the strength to make it through anything.  I know that, so long as I am in your life, you will have the courage to do the same.  I promise to never lose sight of our goals and dreams together, and to always match the effort that you put in to make sure that they become a reality.  I promise that, should those dreams not become a reality, I will always just be glad that you are with me, because you are my wildest dream.  You are the goal for me, and anything that we achieve or fail at will always be beautiful because you are a part of it.

I am truly blessed to have you and our children, our dogs, in my life.  I thank God that we are given the opportunity to become one in his eyes, and am eternally grateful to be standing here with you today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyone who knows me should know by now how particular I am about my hair.  There was a time not too long ago that I went to three different salons in one day, trying to find exactly what I wanted.  I had no idea that day that I would in fact find exactly what I wanted and what I needed: this beautiful, talented, and amazing woman.  You not only saw my pickiness about my hair, but really understood it.  I had no idea that day that we would be standing here today, but I hoped. 

[name], you are my best friend and the only person I have ever met that I could see myself being with forever, doing everything with forever, and not just accepting each other’s quirks but really understanding them.

I promise, for the rest of our lives, to remember that first day we met.  You know that I will do whatever it takes to find what I want, and I promise that, for both of us, that search is over.  Through everything past and everything to come, I treasure you as my best friend and lover.  When things get difficult, I will stay strong for you.  When things are peaceful, I will make them exciting.  If there is ever a time when there’s only one thing in the world that will make you smile, I hope that it’s me.  If it’s not, though, you know that I will do anything in order to find it.

Whatever happens, I look forward to it.  Because whatever we experience after this point, we will be experiencing together.  No matter what the future holds, you will always be the perfect partner to walk this road with.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[name], the past [#] years with you have been everything we had hoped for, and some things that we didn’t.  God has given us the strength to pull through hard times, and your love and dedication have revived my spirits each time.  When we first made these promises, I never would have thought that I could be more certain of our love.  Now, [#] years later, I feel more sure than ever that you are the only man I will ever want to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, as long as we both shall live.  You are a wonderful husband, a great man, and I thank God every day that you are in my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I vow to love you unconditionally and without reservation, to value our differences as much as our common ground, and to always be patient.  I will do the best that I can to find the right words when you need them, or to sit quietly with you when words are not a cure.  Through all of the pressures of the present and uncertainties of the future, I vow to cherish our life together, to laugh and cry and continue to grow alongside you.  I vow to give wings to your dreams so that you can soar above your expectations, and to plant roots in the ground to keep you stable when things are difficult.  I will love you endlessly in all of your forms, and always hold you in the highest regard.  Whatever challenges we might face, even if they succeed in putting distance between us, I know that we will always find our way back to each other because I will choose you, every day.  I will show you my love in word and in deed, so that seeds of doubt can never grow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the rest of our lives, I will work every day to be a better part of your life, to remind you that my love and appreciation for you are unending, and to show you that as often as I can.  I promise to be patient and empathetic towards you, no matter what comes our way.  I will always do my best to lift you up, make you smile, and be strong alongside you.  When our family grows, I will be the best mother that I can to our children and the best wife that I can to you.  When you are gone from home, I will pray for your safe return.  I vow to be sealed with you in the temple after our first year, and look forward to the eternity afterwards that we will spend together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[name], you have been the light of my life for years, now, even before you were mine.  When we first met, you were my dream.  You turned me down a hundred times, and it just made me want to try harder to get you to be with me.  Half of the things I tried didn’t work, but seven years later I am standing here ready to start the rest of my life with you, and that is what matters.

Your patience, love, and support have all been instrumental in helping us to create our life together, and I know that those wonderful qualities of yours are also what will make you a great mother.  You give me strength, because you’re a strong woman who supports me in all of my wild dreams, including the one where I spend the rest of my life with you.  I built many things for the wedding; let them always stand as a reminder of the life that I am ready to build with you.  With these hands and knowing that I have your support, I can make anything as long as I know it will make you smile.

I vow to always love you the way that you deserve, to adore and respect you and never lose the passion in our relationship.  Even during those times each month where you have some feminine issues, I will be right by your side – or go away, if that’s what you need.

I vow to support you as you have always supported me, and to do everything possible to make sure that your dreams come true, because you make mine come true.  I will remain loyal to you in every sense of the word, and always take you seriously when you have that face on that says that I should.  When you need to laugh, I will laugh with you.  When you are sick, I will take care of you.

I vow, now and forever, to give you all of me (the good and the bad), and to always love you no matter our differences or the hardships we might face.  Every step with you is a romantic walk on the beach, and I will walk with you for the rest of my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You have proven to be more than I could have ever asked for or dreamed of in the time we’ve spent together. The love of my life and the mother of my child, you have given so much to both of us. I vow to give you all that I have and more in this lifetime, and to stand by you as you have stood by me. I vow to be yours, every step of the way, as we raise our daughter, and to love you both more than anything in the world. You are my life, and I cannot wait to walk this path with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every day with you has been a treasure for the laughter and smiles we’ve shared, and I know that there are many more to come.  Together we have overcome obstacles, and through those efforts we have both become stronger for it.  For the rest of our lives, I will stay strong for our family, no matter how big it gets.  I promise to always appreciate your efforts, and to be the best man that I can for you and our future children.  When the road gets difficult, I promise to have faith in you and to always remember that we are a team.  There is nobody else in the world that I would rather be by my side right now, through the easy and the hard times.  I promise to always do my best to show you that, because I love you and appreciate you for everything you do and everything that I know you will.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There has never been a time when I didn’t feel at home with you; we are a team that grows stronger every day.  For the rest of our lives, I will work every day to be a better part of that team, to remind you that my love and appreciation for you are unending, and to show that love and appreciation as often as I can.  I promise to be patient and empathetic towards you, no matter what comes our way.  I will always do my best to lift you up, make you laugh, and be strong alongside you.  We are a team and a family, and when that family grows I will be the best mother that I can to our children and the best wife that I can to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They say that opposites attract.  After being with you, I know now that that’s a good thing.  Everything we’ve experienced together has been in balance and a way to grow together in the life we’ve made.  I appreciate your patience, kindness, and dedication to me and our family.  No matter what comes our way, I promise to always stand by you.  I will always accept and love you for who you are and the things you do, just as you do with me.  You will never have to face anything alone, because I will always be there with you.  A lover, a wife, and your best friend; you and our family will be my priority.  After everything we’ve been through, I can’t wait to see what’s next.  I know that, no matter what struggles or adventures life brings, that we will go through them together.  I promise to always be loyal and true, and to love you for the big things and the little things, in spite of some things, and to grow with you as we walk this world together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Melissa, you are the sweetest secret that I have ever kept, and I hold you closer to my heart each day.  Each time that I see you is more exciting than the last, and that feeling has only gotten stronger since the first day that we met.  I remember our first date, when I parked the car too far from the restaurant, and we had to walk the rest of the way.  Never would I have guessed that, two years later, we would be standing here ready to devote our lives to each other.

You are the light of my life, and that light sparks anew each time that you walk into the room.  I love you fully, and am devoted to doing whatever it takes to make sure that you always know that.  I will always be open with you and honest about my thoughts, feelings, and actions.  I promise to never keep anything from you, because I know that we can get through anything together. When you need someone to listen, I will be silent, and when you need for me to talk, I will speak.  Anything that we must face, we will face it together.

No matter where life takes us from here, know that I want to spend the rest of it by your side.  I’m so grateful to have you with me, to share the future together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Niche Quotes – Commission

I was commissioned to write this, but they didn’t want to pay for the copyrights.  Given that fact, I am posting them here both to show off, and to maintain my ownership.

 

Don’t doubt the loyalty of a dog person. [We/they/I] learned from the best. (Alternatively, if you’re including images, the text can be shortened by putting LOYALTY at the top, and an image of a dog, then just “I learned from the best”, or something to that effect.)
Real heroes don’t wear capes. They wear dog tags.
Cats add fur to your clothes until they’re purrfect.
When the going gets tough, the tough call the Marines [or other branch]. (If using images, better to say “when the going gets tough, the tough call us” and include icon of the armed forces branch.)
I thought of this one, if you are in fact doing T-shirts. If not, I’m just sending it as an extra:
My other shirt is covered in cat hair.

Chicago Trip – Short Story Commission

I was commissioned to write this, but they didn’t want to pay for the copyrights.  Given that fact, I am posting them here both to show off, and to maintain my ownership.

 

As I set my pace to match that of the overwhelming crowds around me, I tried to calm my excitement just a little.  It wouldn’t do anyone any good for me to be shouting out loud how great it felt to finally be in Chicago.  That aside, though, I was getting ahead of myself.  There was still a bus trip that I needed to make to get to the first place on my list.

From the train station, I boarded the Milwaukee bus to a little store called The Boring Store.  The name alone intrigued me, oddly enough, and I wasn’t disappointed.  The crowds were thinner here, and I could see signs on the door saying “Do not bother entering”, and “This place is seriously boring, dreary, characterless, and mundane”.  When I entered the store my eyes were greeted by a random assortment of items that were more than what they seemed.  What at first my eyes perceived to be an umbrella was, in fact, a samurai sword in disguise.  There was an entire section of the store dedicated to voice modifiers, little boxes that changed the sound of your voice as you spoke through them.  The store was filled top to bottom with all types of secret spy equipment, and a sign on the far wall read “Welcome to the Not-A-Secret-Agent-Store”.

I bought nothing there, though it was a lot of fun to look at, and after leaving boarded yet another bus a few blocks down and took that to a park.  Would that I could say that it was possible to see the city if travelling by foot, but it really was too big.  Besides, since I was avoiding some of the city’s main attractions this visit, I wouldn’t exactly be at the center of the businesses.  The park I was in was themed, very cleverly, to the Wizard of Oz.  The playground there, covered with children of many ages, had a sign near it called “Dorothy’s Playlot”.  Throughout the park, though, the best parts were the metal statues of all of the characters from the film and books.

Just a few miles south of the park was my next destination, and I decided to walk this one.  The cool wind off of Lake Michigan felt refreshing, and I had already been outside long enough to be enjoying the chill.  In the Graceland Cemetery, where many folks of renown were buried, stood a statue called Eternal Silence.  Many also called it the Statue of Death.  Covered in a long robe with a cloaked hand covering its mouth, the statue is erected in front of a black marble display.  From the angle I was at and the time of day, I could see the eerie leafless fall trees reflected on the surface behind the ghostly form.  It was eerie to say the least.  A cold breeze picked up as I stared into the statues dark face, and I decided it best to hurry to my next destination.

Turning to find my way to the next stop, I bumped into a man who had been standing just behind me.  “Excuse…” I started, but when I saw his face I hesitated.  “I…I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you there.”  The man’s face was just like the sculpture’s unhidden features, the bottom half hidden beneath a bandana.  I told myself it was to keep his nose warm, but it really wasn’t that cold this time of year.  The man stared up to me, holding out an empty cup in silence.  A chill ran through me again, but I attributed it to my overactive imagination.  I pulled out the few dollars in cash that I had on me and placed them into his cup with an uncomfortable smile.  The man looked down at the offering, then back up to me.  Lifting his free arm, he pointed off in a direction without looking.  I followed his finger with my eyes to another statue, one that I hadn’t noticed before.  When I looked back to thank him, he was gone.

I tried to let the eerie feeling subside as I made my way toward the large statue he had pointed to.  My eyes traversed the rest of the area, looking for the statue of Eternal Silence that I had stood before earlier.  The statue, like the man, seemed to have vanished.  That wasn’t possible.  I stopped, looking harder, before I realized something that secured my feeling that something was amiss.  I was no longer in the same park.  In fact, if memory served correctly, I was several miles up town from where I had been standing only moments ago.  Suddenly a statue disappearing seemed far more likely, since I couldn’t understand how I could have gone from one side of town to another without even realizing it.

When I turned back around, I found myself standing very suddenly in front of the long statue I had been directed toward.  More than a hundred feet long and at least 4 times my height, the statue depicted a hundred different faces.  In front of the statue of hundreds of people stood one figure that could not be mistaken.  Facing the crowd of people frozen in time was a figure much like the statue of Eternal Silence.  The large figure held a long carved scythe, and his appraising gaze seemed to be judging the other carved people.  Each person was unique, and they ranged in age from newborn to old woman.  Some of them were happy, some sad, some healthy, some ill, some rich and some poor.  Each facet of life was covered in this sculpture, and for a moment I had forgotten my strange predicament as I looked upon it.

“It’s Time.”

The voice beside me startled me, and I saw a woman with her child looking at the statue alongside me.  How long had they been standing there?

“Time for what?” I asked, fearing the answer.

The woman smiled and laughed a little.  “No, the statue.  It’s called ‘Time’.  That man,” she pointed to the one that looked like Death.  “That is Father Time.”

“Father Time carries a Scythe?  I thought he was the Grim Reaper or something.”

The woman shook her head.  “So, have you found yourself?”

“Found…myself?”

“In the sculpture.  You are up there, you know.  We all are.”

“How could I be up there?  This thing was made…well the sign says about thirty years ago.”

The woman smiled knowingly.  “How could you not be up there?  We all are.  Tell me, why are you here?”

“That’s a great question, really, I’m not even sure how I got here.”

The woman nodded, and laughed as she picked up her child.  She placed a hand on my shoulder and spoke quietly.  “It doesn’t matter how you got here.  Only that this is where you are, now.”  She nodded toward the statue.  “The next step is to figure out where you go from here.  And you can only do that if you find yourself.”

I looked back to the statue.  On any other day, I would have brushed it off as crazy talk, but I had literally just been teleported across the city.  At this point, I was willing to take any guidance I could get.  “But how do I find myself?” I asked.

“By looking,” she responded, but her voice was a strange echo as she disappeared.  I moved toward the statue again, taking in the faces more than I had before.  None of them looked anything like me, yet I could see a bit of myself in each of them.  The lovers held eachother in a warm embrace, the child played carelessly at the feet of a soldier whose resolve was etched in his features.  Each of them held something familiar to me, but none of them were me.  A hundred faces I scanned, until finally I came across an old woman etched at the back of the group.  Her eyes watched all the others appraisingly, similar to Father Times but with a distinct interest in their lives.  She had a smile across a part of her face as she watched, seeming to be on the outside of it all and looking in at everyone else.  Though she was part of the statue, she seemed the only one who was aware of every other person in it.  She was the only one that seemed to somehow know that she was looking at art.

I moved to touch the woman’s face, not sure why I was even doing this.  As my hand met hers, the statue changed, and her features became my own.  I gasped and stepped back, not sure how that was possible.  As I stared into the stone features that mirrored my own, I began to understand.  I looked around the park to see the other people.  I hadn’t talked to anyone since I’d gotten here, except for the man with the cup and the strange woman.    It was clear now, though, that they weren’t people either.  My eyes went back to the statue as I looked for the evidence for what I suspected.  I hurried around it, looking for every small child and examining the face of whomever held them.   Finally, I came across what I was looking for: a woman, looking exactly like the one I had just spoken with, holding a child in her arms.

She had said that it didn’t matter how I’d gotten here, that I only needed to find out where I was going.  I finally understood, and knew that there was only one person in this city who could tell me where I was going.  With a thought, I had reset my location just like the Eternal Silence man had.  Suddenly I was standing before a fountain with four pillars of water shooting upward in a ring around a large green statue of a man.  A platform in the bushes read at the top “Christopher Columbus”.

“Where am I going?” I asked the statue, but no answer came.  There were crowds of people around him, but none of them seemed to notice me speaking.  I asked the statue again, but still no answer.

I spun around as someone tapped my shoulder.  Behind me stood a man in a suit of armor, draped in a cloak that matched the garb of the statue I had just come to.  His features were exact, though he was a lot shorter than the nine-foot statue I had been talking to.  “Why go anywhere?” he asked, in response to my question.

“You’re Christopher Columbus, the father of exploration.  You of all people should understand why I would want to go somewhere.”

He shrugged, and looked around the city.  “We’re built here, and here we will stay.”

“That doesn’t sound like something you would say,” I chided.

“I’m a statue,” he replied, “Not the real thing.  None of us are.  We’re all just ghosts of replicas, wearing the faces of people who are long-since dead.  I am no more Christopher Columbus than you are an elephant.”

“So, we can’t leave?”

“Do you want to?  Have you ever wanted to?”

I thought about his question.  I didn’t remember much, past the beginning of the day.  I had been more than pleased to be here the whole time.  Did I really want to leave?

“I…I guess I don’t.”

The stern-looking man nodded solemnly.  “Well, good.  If we’re quite done with this conversation, then, I was going to head up to the zoo and see the actual elephants.  Care to join me?”

“Do…do we have to pay for it?”

He laughed and shook his head.  “They won’t even notice we’re there.”

 

 

 

E-Grocer Jingle – Commission

I was commissioned to write this, but they didn’t want to pay for the copyrights.  Given that fact, I am posting them here both to show off, and to maintain my ownership.

 

Rushing through the grocery store

trying to plan your meals,

and weighing out the calories

or how your tummy feels,

Fitting all the leftovers

into their little box.

Money, time, and dieting.

Oh jeez!  That is a lot!

 

Let us do it for you!

We can get the numbers right.

Let us do it for you!

Even if your budget’s tight.

Let us do it for you!

Morning, noon, or night.

Let us do it for you!

All you have to do is bite.  ((picture someone biting into food here))

 

Vegan, Vegetarian,

and also carnivores

need to have their diets planned

when they walk out the door.

But we all forget sometimes,

when we get to the store

what foods we already have

and of what we need more.

 

Let us do it for you!

We can get the numbers right.

Let us do it for you!

Even if your budget’s tight.

Let us do it for you!

Morning, noon, or night.

Let us do it for you!

All you have to do is bite.

 

Frankenstein Essay – Commission

I was commissioned to write this, but they didn’t want to pay for the copyrights.  Given that fact, I am posting them here both to show off, and to maintain my ownership.

 

Frankenstein’s Monster, Adam, and Satan

There are countless underlying themes in the novel Frankenstein, expressed partly through characters, their behaviors, their thoughts, and even in the quote on the title page.  Some of the less-noticeable themes are addressed indirectly, hidden in context and, sometimes, in verse.  Shelley forms obvious parallels between the creation of the monster and the creation of man, with Victor Frankenstein often taking on the God-role within the novel.  She also, more subtly, addresses the monster’s correlation to Satan from both Biblical text and the oft-mentioned Paradise Lost.  It seems less the story of how a neglectful God led to the fall of mankind, and more the story of how a neglectful God could have led to the true fall of his angels long before the creation.

The epitaph of the book contains a quote from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, beginning the book with the undertone of Adam’s entreating God why he was made in the first place.  “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me Man, did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?” (Epitaph)  This sentence sets the tone for the beginning of the story, and solidifies the concept early on that there is a creationist complex looming.

Paradise Lost is also one of the three books that the monster finds while foraging for food, and the book that he connects with the deepest.  “It moved every feeling of wonder and awe that the picture of an omnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable of exciting.  I often referred the several situations, as their similarity struck me, to my own.” (Ch. 15, P. 7) The monster’s correlation to Adam is something that’s often noted throughout the book.  He started his life with innocence, with no bias towards anyone or anything, a blank slate that could be molded with an open heart and open mind.  The cruelty of his maker and, moreover, the world he was thrust into, corrupted his emotions and his mind.  Much like Adam, set to rest in the Garden of Eden where temptation awaited him, the monster was let loose in a world that he was by no means prepared for, and forced to adapt in order to survive.

Just like Adam when he ate of the Tree of Knowledge, the monster’s eyes were opened to the truth of the world abruptly upon entering a town and seeing how people responded to someone different from them.  However, unlike Adam, this unveiling of the world had an enraging effect on him more akin to the demons.  “The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth…Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind.” (Ch. 16, P. 20)  Here, the monster finds himself responding more demonically than Adam did to his own punishments.  Whereas Adam had shown remorse for his actions and continued to love his God after his sin, the fallen angels had vowed vengeance and destruction, overcome by “hellish rage”, as mentioned before.

Even the monster struggles with this dichotomy of concepts.  Where at first his creation seemed to be parallel to the story of Adam in Paradise Lost, the route that his life took and the way his mind changed made him question which history he was in fact reliving.  “Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other respect.  He had come forth from the hands of God a perfect creature, happy and prosperous, guarded by the especial care of his Creator; he was allowed to converse with and acquire knowledge from beings of a superior nature, but I was wretched, helpless, and alone.  Many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition, for often, like him, when I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me.” (Ch. 15, P.7)  The monster begins to realize, here, that his fate aligns more with the demonic entities than with the human that he had before seemed to understand.

Whereas Adam is forced from the Garden of Eden after his sin, the monster is not.  Though shunned for his appearances, Victor Frankenstein (as God) immortalizes the concept of ‘monster vs man’ when he runs in fear.  “Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room, and continued a long time traversing my bedchamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep.” (Ch. 5, P. 3)  After Frankenstein rests, he sees the monster climbing through his window.  His misunderstanding of this situation sets the tone for the rest of their time together.

Whereas Victor immediately assumed his creation to be a murderer before this was even true, the monster was in fact reaching out to him.  This is evidenced through his wording of their encounter. “His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks.  He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped, and rushed down the stairs.” (Ch. 5, P. 3)  The monster was happy to serve his “God”, his “Father”, but Frankenstein’s misunderstanding of the creature that he had created drove his fear.

When he returns to his apartment, the creature is already gone, and he is elated by this.   Through his hubris he had brought to life what he perceived as his own worst nightmare, and didn’t take the time to consider why the monster would have left if he was, in fact, harmful.  “I could hardly believe that so great a good fortune could have befallen me; but when I became assured that my enemy had indeed fled, I clapped my hands for joy…” (Ch. 5, P. 14)  Here we see him filled with joy that the creature was gone, without a single thought to the possibility that it never meant to harm him in the first place.

Unlike the story of Adam where mankind is punished justly and yet mercifully, the monster leaves of his own accord.  Victor sees the monster again when he returns home to the place where William was killed.  Later, it’s confirmed that the creature was the true murderer.  The monster’s murder of a child is very much symbolic of Satan’s temptation of mankind, and the destruction of innocence in the garden.  “A flash of lightning illuminated the object, and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy daemon, to whom I had given life.” (Ch. 7, P. 25)  When Victor sees his creation in the storm near the spot where William was killed, he himself even refers to him as a demon.  As well, he stresses that, despite the fact that the creature is made from human parts, his stature is hideous compared to humanity.  Biblically, Adam was created in God’s image, thus further evidencing that the parallel is, in fact, between the monster and Satan.

The monster is indirectly referred to as the devil, as well, by characters who do not even know that he exists.  When William is killed and Justine falsely confesses to his murder, she speaks to Elizabeth about her innocence.  “I thought with horror, my sweet lady, that you should believe your Justine, whom your blessed aunt had so highly honoured, and whom you loved, was a creature capable of a crime which none but the devil himself could have perpetrated.” (Ch. 8, P. 23)  Here we have someone that does not even know that the monster exists claiming that only the devil could have killed the child and soiled something so pure.

With all of the lines that are easily drawn between the creation of man and the creation of the monster, it is easy to say that the book is written as a lesson to show what happens when man plays at God.  However, it is also very likely that, throughout her writing, Shelley’s true intention was to instead show the parallels between Adam and Satan, and to show how easily innocence can turn to rage and hatred if not nurtured.  The essence of nature versus nurture looms heavily over every word of the novel, and it would seem that Shelley’s work makes a bold statement that, in comparing the monster to Satan, nothing is created evil.

 

 

Sources

 

“The Online Literature Library: Frankenstein by Mar Shelley” Literature.org. 26 Apr 2016
<http://literature.org/authors/shelley-mary/frankenstein/&gt;.