Friday, April 15, 2011

A stick is only sometimes a stick...

Have you ever been walking along and suddenly your eyes come across the coolest stick you've ever seen? What do you do when you stumble upon such a gem? Well, you do what any normal person would do. You pick up the stick and pretend it's a sword! It doesn't matter who you are, when a stick is in your hand, on of the first things you want to do is twirl it around like a sword and pretend you're in an intense battle. Why is that?

Is there some deep seeded psychological explanation involving our hidden desire to be destructive, and cause harm to anything and everything in our path?...Phew...let me catch my breath...Or is it just the fact that swords are sweet!?

I vote for the sweet awesomeness factor. Now, when choosing a stick to go into pretend battle with, there are a few things to take into consideration.

#1 - Choose the stick that's right for you. Not everyone can handle the sword fighting stick, so there are different sticks for different types of combat. The lightsaber stick is about 3-4 ft. long and runs pretty straight the whole way through. Usually from an oak tree you get the real gnarly branches that twist every which way. These are good branches for a customized double sided halberd. My favorite type of stick is the Donatello style bo-staff stick. This one is pretty straight and runs about 5-6 ft. long. There are several other types of sticks to use, and you just have to find the right fit for you.

#2 - Is your stick Burley enough? No, your stick doesn't have to be so strong that a lumberjack can cut down a forest with it. You just need a strong enough stick that will hold up against your imaginary arch enemy. BEWARE OF CHEESE WOOD! It's pretty easy to spot. If you go to pick up a stick and it disintegrates in your hand, it's probably not going to hold up in battle.

#3 - Do you have the skills? Chances are, you don't. But that's okay, because you don't need skills to wave a stick around like a weirdo. It's all in your head. If you can imagine yourself as the greatest sword fighter in the world, or the stealthiest ninja assassin this side of Ponderosa, then you can be that in your fake imagination battle. That's the greatest part about stick battles. You can be completely clueless on the outside, and yet in your imagination, you can have the skills of Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Darth Maul, and Bob Ross all rolled into one!!...Um...oops...with all that power in one place, I may have just caused a meltdown of prepared for high levels of radness!

#4 - Stop reading this and seek out your excalibur!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let's go build a fort!

Some of the best times of my childhood were when my friends and I would get together in the backyard or find a spot in some woods and build a fort. This didn't necessarily have to be extremely fortified or complicated of a structure, it just needed to be a place where we could go to feel like we were being sneaky and exclusive. The fort would become our meeting place and our hangout.

My favorite of all the forts I ever had was the one at the first house I lived in. There was a row of lilac bushes lining the property line as a natural fence. On the inside of our property line about 6 or 7 feet in, grew a row of 3 pine trees that were about 30 ft. tall and about 20 ft. in diameter around the base. the branches came all the way to the ground providing a lot of shelter. Now, on the inside of the pine trees facing the lilac bushes, all of the needles had shed from the tree and the branches were thinning out, which created a sort of alcove. This is where my sister and I built our first hideout and called it our fort. We would  go back there every once in awhile and clear out some of the brush, and mark out our own "living quarters" as if we were professional mercenaries and this was our actual hideout. I even fashioned a chair and a bed out of some of the branches protruding from the trees. Sometimes I would even bring a sandwich and a drink out to my area of the fort and pretend I was actually living there.

This wasn't the only fort I had in that backyard. As the years went by, and I became better at being a loner kid, I explored more and more the possibilities of different forts in my backyard. We had a shed in the back right corner of our yard that was at an angle facing inward. Because of the angle of the shed and the fact that there was a tall wooden fence lining our back property line, the triangle area behind the shed became a perfect little getaway from what was or wasn't going on in the house. This is also the fort where I made and ate my very first mud pie. Oh what a tasty treat that was!

The shed fort only lasted a short while, because soon after we discovered a woodchuck living under the shed. I remember seeing him come out sometimes, and in my tiny little mind, I saw this woodchuck as a massive creature that would devour me if I got too close to the shed.

There was one more fort that I would like to describe. This one was located in the other corner of the backyard, opposite of the shed. It was at the very end of the fence where I could just reach around and be in the backyard neighbors yard. There was a lilac bush right there as well, that sort of created a protective dome over top of a little area I called the "lookout fort." Here is where I had a view of not only my backyard, but also 3 of the neighbors' back yards. I had a friend who had a telescope, and I had all kinds of spy gear from cereal boxes and happy meals. We gathered all of our equipment and set it all up in that back corner. We had created an amazing headquarters for our "spy missions," and we thought we were so extremely stealthy and awesome!

All this talk of building forts, makes me want to check my back yard to see if there is any potential.

Dream big and Imagine often!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bigfoot and the Hardware Store

Well, I've ended the first day of 2011 watching "Inception," and now I wonder if this is a dream...nope, the top is no longer spinning...This was a great movie, and it got me thinking about my own dreams. Have you ever had a dream so vivid or so crazy and illogical that it just sticks out like a sore thumb from all the rest?

Lately, when I remember my dreams, they aren't as weird as the dreams I had when I was a kid. My most recent dreams have actually been a little scary, and not things that I really want to remember. The dreams I remember from when I was a kid, stand out because of their randomness and wackiness, and I'd like to recount some of those here.

One of the main dreams I remember, came when I was probably 5 or 6 years old. I had just watched "Harry and the Hendersons" all by myself in the middle of the day. The dream began with me riding in a 15 passenger van with some people that I knew. We were having a jolly old time when all of the sudden, bigfoot ran out in front of the van. We all screamed as rammed right into him. The next second we were all outside lifting bigfoot up and putting him into the van with us. 

Once we were all back in the van we drove off with bigfoot unconscious and lying across our laps, as if this were normal. We pulled into the True-Value hardware store parking lot, and went inside carrying the ape-man and placing him on one of the counters as if we were going to scan a barcode on him. Suddenly, the True-Value became a bigfoot research center and there was a guy examining bigfoot on the counter. The man looked up at all of us, and said, "This is bigfoot alright," and that's when I woke up.

Dreams are amazing things, because they are unique to each one of us. I consider them great tools that could help me come up with original story lines for comics...Not that I would make a story about taking bigfoot to True-Value...but I might.

I'll keep it short today, so Happy New Year, and I hope your dreams find you well.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lego Maniac

One of the biggest influences for my imagination came in the form of Legos. I remember the very first Lego set I ever received was a riding stable. I remember building it and playing with the people and the horses, and then destroying the house and building something completely different. With these little blocks that snapped together, I could build whatever I wanted!

So when it came time for my birthday and then the next Christmas, all I ever asked for were Legos, Legos, and more Legos. The next set that I really remember receiving was a space ship. Not just any spaceship mind you, but a Space Police spaceship with a prisoner cell in the back. Yes, it was even a set from the first Space Police series, when their colors were blue and red, not green like the newer ones. The set came with a "good guy," just an average space patrolman, and a "bad guy," whose suit was all black and his helmet was black with a black visor (he quickly became my favorite Lego man). This was something that really lent to my exploration into the imagination realm. Here was an endless possibility for excursions into the unknown. I would hide the bad guy on one end of my house or even outside if the weather was nice, and then I would take the spaceship to the other side of the yard, or the other side of the house, and pretend that I was searching for a mercenary on the run, or an assassin about to take out a leading official. 

And so, throughout the years I would have birthday parties and ask all of my friends to bring me Legos as gifts and nothing else (how rotten is that!?) My collection piled up with Pirates, Settlers, Cowboys, Vikings, Town, Islander, Aquanauts, Aqua Sharks, Space Police, M-tron, Medieval, and Blacktron. It was always a dead givaway at Christmas when my mom would tell me not to shake my gifts. She would always say it was because there might be something breakable. Yeah right, why would any parent give their 7 year old something breakable under the tree! I would alwasy end up letting my hands slip and accidentally on purpse, shake the boxes and hear the sweet rattle of Lego blocks.

Imagining new adventures with Legos never got old. I am not ashamed to say that I played with them all the way through 8th grade. Even now I like to dig through the buckets and imagine all of the new and exciting adventures that could be had.

Until next time, keep your imagination active. Dig through your old toys, or go through your kids' toys and wipe all of the dust off all the adventures that could be had.


A great site that catalogues every lego set -

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The weeks to come

When I was growing up, my imagination was something that I simply could not control. I would dream of worlds and creatures that were non-existent. I remember playing in my backyard by myself and having sword fights with invisible enemies. Even in elementary school at recess time, my friends and I would run around the playground and pretend we were cowboys or astronauts. Using my imagination was a normal part of my everyday life.

As the Middle School years approached, I noticed a trend with a lot of my friends. They didn't use their imagination anymore! Suddenly the friends I had were too interested in being cool or popular, and had no interest in "playing pretend." School became something to be dreaded, and I looked forward to each days end so that I could go home and exercise my imagination.

Now that I am older, I am finding that imagination is a great tool to get through the rough times in life. I admit, I am guilty of using imagination to escape things that need to be done that I just don't feel like doing at the time. It can however, be used to divert attention for a time, from difficult situations in order to keep your mind sane.

Yes, imagination keeps you sane. If you can divert your attention from the mediocrity of life using your imagination, rest assured that your sanity is safe.

My reason behind this blog is to recall my experiences of using my imagination. I have so many experiences in this subject, that I don't want to forget something. So, this is just a way to keep a record and chronicle my Adventures Through Imagination.

I hope to update once a week, so keep your eyes open!