Thursday, May 31, 2012

Introducing... The Honeycomb!

I am proud to announce that I have a brand new blog! I have a lot of material lined up for it so click on over to my new home away from home, The Honeycomb!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Message to Marco Polo

Mr. Polo,

When I first received your letter, I confess to having been a little alarmed. The Hong Kong postage, the brown paper, the blood red ink, all these and more awoke in my fevered imagination visions of a mad Chinaman, obsessed with this humble online blog. Only later did I realize that such exquisitely insane penmanship (perfectly executed), intelligent (though slightly delirious) writing, and strange parchment all pointed to one author: yourself. For a brief moment I wondered if a talented family such as the Mahoneys might have written it as a clever feat of correspondence, but in the end, I knew that only you, yourself could have understood the powerful message encoded within my story. I am honored by your acknowledgement. Please accept my humble thanks for your painstaking efforts to reach me through such a fascinating and effective (though a little alarming) means.

I await your further instruction in the mysteries of the Light...

Your faithful servant,

Benjamin Wolaver

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Children's Book in Progress

So for the past year, I've had a work in progress, a children's book entitled, When The Dickens Is Will Lillywhite? Since it is sometimes difficult to get feedback on such projects, I've decided to go ahead and post the first chapter on my blog. Other chapters will follow as I complete them. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sacajawea Goes to Hollywood

On our twenty plus hour drive across the Great Plains, my thoughts returned to that legendary trio of Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea, and how they conquered the overwhelming odds to map the breathtaking vistas of the Western United States. It occurred to me that Hollywood had never given these three pioneers their proper place in the canon of film glory. To correct this, I have attempted something monumental - a screenplay retelling the story of Sacajawea for a new generation. Loosely inspired by the real life drama of Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea, my work in progress brings the heart of this adventure to stunning Techni-Color life. I present to you:

SACAJAWEA: The Major Motion Picture

One man was a scholar, the other was a soldier. Their friendship started a quest to discover a new land, but what they discovered instead was the love of a beautiful woman - a love that would tear their friendship apart.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Foyle's War: Great Quotes

Here are a series of great quotes from possibly my favorite series ever, Foyle's War. It chronicles the adventures of a steely detective with a hidden heart of gold named Christopher Foyle as he solves crimes along the British coast during the chaos of World War II. For those of you who haven't seen the series, go check it out!

Andrew Foyle: [Looking at a fish his father just caught] What is it dad, a starter?
DCS Christopher Foyle: You are very difficult to please, Andrew, it's a main course. Perfect.

Military Officer: I was simply doing what I thought was best for the war!
DCS Christopher Foyle: I'm sure a great many Nazi's will be saying the same thing when this war is over.

[Referring to the suspicion that Foyle's son, Andrew, might have committed murder]
Sgt. Paul Milner: I'm sure Andrew is above suspicion.
DCS Foyle: Is he? He's not above mine.

["Smith" has been caught stealing valuables from bombed-out houses]
"Smith": I haven't got anything to say to you.
DCS Christopher Foyle: Well, that doesn't surprise me. You know, I sometimes wonder why I do this job. And then I come across someone like you. I mean, we're living in such evil times, when the whole world seems to be sinking into some sort of mire. And as if Hitler wasn't enough, we got the likes of you, who capitalize on other people's misery, who hurt them, make things even worse for them when they're at their weakest. And it's with the likes of you that this... mire... begins. And it's some small consolation to know that I've helped to clean up just a little bit of it.

Samantha Stewart: Can I ask you something? Were you tempted to let him go? I mean, even for a moment?
DCS Christopher Foyle: Yes, I was. I mean, hanging him is probably not going to do anybody much good, and I suppose he had a point...
Samantha Stewart: But...?
DCS Christopher Foyle: In the end, I'm a policeman, I'm here to do a job. It's simple as that. If I start bending the rules, I might as well pack it in!

Christopher Foyle: You have a commanding officer with the name of -------, I'd like to speak to him.
Armed Guard: I'm afraid that's not possible.
Christopher Foyle: Well, there's been an outbreak of anthrax here in Hastings and he's responsible for it. If I'm not in his office within the next two minutes, I'l be back with the army, the police, the home guard and the press. Would you feel able to convey this to him at your earliest opportunity?

DCS Christopher Foyle: [after punching a criminal] You know, I quite enjoyed that.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Excerpt of the Day - Letters to Malcolm

Have you ever wondered if prayer changes God's plans? In this wonderful excerpt from an oft neglected work, Letters to Malcolm, C.S. Lewis tackles that question with his usual wit and aplomb. He begins by criticizing a common view of God's sovereignty, championed by Alexander Pope, a famous English poet, that maintains that God works like a giant manager, making sure that "everything goes according to plan". Needless to say, Lewis has other ideas:

'On Pope's view God has to work in the same way. He has His grand design for the sum of things. Nothing we can say will deflect it. It leaves Him little freedom (or none?) for granting, or even for deliberately refusing, our prayers. The grand design churns out innumerable blessings and curses for individuals. God can't help that. They're all by-products.

I suggest that the distinction between plan and by-product must vanish entirely on the level of omniscience, omnipotence, and perfect goodness. I believe this because even on the human level it diminishes the higher you go. The better a human plan is made, the fewer unconsidered by-products it will have and the more birds it will kill with one stone, the more diverse needs and interests it will meet; the nearer it will come - it can never come very near - to being a plan for each individual. Bad laws make hard cases.

But let us go beyond the managerial altogether. Surely a man of genius composing a poem or symphony must be less unlike God than a ruler? But the man of genius has no mere by-products in his work. Every note or word will be more than a means, more than a consequence. Nothing will be present solely for the sake of other things. If each note or word were conscious it would say, "The maker had me myself in view and chose for me, with the whole force of his genius, exactly the context I required." And it would be right - provided it remembered that every other note or word could say no less.

How should the true Creator work by "general laws"? "To generalize is to be an idiot," said Blake. Perhaps he went too far. But to generalize is to be a finite mind. Generalities are the lenses with which our intellects have to make do. How should God sully the infinite lucidity of this vision with such makeshifts? One might as well think He had to consult books of references, or that, if He ever considered me individually, He would begin by saying, "Gabriel, bring me Mr. Lewis' file."'

--From Letters to Malcolm by C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else." - Winston Churchill

Note: For those of you who are not familiar with the life of Winston Churchill, Paul Johnson (one of my favorite historians) has written a wonderful biography of him.  Churchill was a man who saw his own time with perfect clarity and was denied the power to do much about it until the pivotal moment when everything hung in the balance. A fascinating study...