Quick Saturday Update...

Well I couldn't well enough hold back from writing today. FYI, I added a whole new beginning conversation to The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See - Vietnam Special Addition in the form of a discussion that occurs between Monique, Zheng, Katya, Alicia, Doctor Briggs, Bryce and two new supporting characters whose role is small, but has a large impact on the overall story and certainly the enlightenment of the Western Delegation on the topic of warfare.

As a writer and the owner of Shhhh! Digital Media, I may not have ever been to Vietnam, much less fought in a war myself, but amongst the merits of a writer are their ability to put themselves in situations they've never experienced. The ability to empathize, sometimes very accurately what those experiences are like from the perspective of someone who has really experienced them.

This is the essence of all planning, especially from the perspective of people who've never done that thing before, whatever it is they're planning. Such as going to the Moon or Mars, or into outer space for that matter. Someone had to figure out how to build a boat, from never having done so before. Someone figured out how to build airplanes. Helicopters. Cars. Houses. Infrastructure. Schools. Hospitals. All of that started from people who've never done that before and had no qualifications or expertise in doing that. So all qualifications are based upon a regimented and strict concept derived from the first work of people who've never done that thing before, whatever it might be.

Keep that in mind when you attempt to extort from someone who talks creatively about something they've never done before, as is the case with most writers, artists, creators and engineers. There are people who attempt to extort us, forcing us to pay them simply for the right to write or speak about a topic. Meanwhile, the people who do that most often have no experience or imagination related to that thing, whatever it might be. They're simply "pimps", trying to get their cut as middle persons from something they have no involvement with, and have never considered or fully empathized any topic about which they attempt to profit by charging others a fee simply because someone near their presence had the courage and imagination to do so. That is a big hurdle to progress I might add.

If one can deliver words effectively, then should they not be the voice of those who are often not heard (or listened to)? If one can deliver concepts and metaphor effectively, then should they not use that to present perspective on behalf of ideas whose time has come?

Imagination and expression are the art of being able to fathom something so accurately that it is nearly the same thing as having experienced it, minus some of the more visceral or physical challenges that might arise as a result of such experiences. But even those aspects become more and more clear the more experience one has in understanding aspects of the world around them.

For writers, thespians and other creators, it's more reverence for the subject than it is for one's own self, though for those "pimps" who attempt to take their cut of what someone else imagines or empathizes, its all about the self rather than the subject. The real danger to artists, thespians and other creators is that in the effort of someone else to take what is not theirs from them, it creates the illusion of self involvement and egotism that forms the basis of the impression that the public often gets about those creators. If your identity is under threat, then wouldn't protecting your identity appear as egotism? Wouldn't including a picture to protect your content appear like egotism and self involvement? When its all you have and strive towards, and people are taking it from you and wearing it as their own, what would you do to protect it?

Jules Verne wrote fiction about nuclear submarines and voyages to the moon more than a hundred years before either spaceships or submarines existed. Arthur C. Clark wrote about global satellite networks and GPS nearly forty years before the modern communications satellite network existed. Innovative writer Robert A. Heinlein (a favourite author of one of my friends, Raymond W, as much so as RAH was a favourite of mine), who wrote novels about interplanetary colonization long before NASA even existed. Isaac Asimov, who created the directive that all autonomous artificial beings (aka robots) must be made to follow should they be safely employed by humanity. The basis of his book I, Robot. Amelia Earhart who was the first woman to travel solo across the Atlantic, essentially never having done so before.

Many Innovative Canadian Authors too have made a difference simply by having the courage to imagine.

In most cases, they had no references to anyone who'd done those things before, but I'd have to wonder if someone didn't try to extort them regardless simply for having thought about such things. There are merits to those who imagine that are both an homage to what has been, and an anticipation of what's to come.

Not to mention, it often opens the doors for others who have really experienced such situations to speak freely about them with the earnest interest of the public about the realities they've experienced. Who amongst us didn't suddenly realize what a sacrifice our grandparents made fighting in World War II, on either side of the fence when they saw the movie Saving Private Ryan? Stories like that rekindle our attention to topics that need it, lest we forget or in the case of challenges we've not yet fathomed, lest we fail to consider.

In all honesty, of all the experiences there have been in my books, most but certainly not all of them are drawn from real life experiences in the sense that I've lived some similar situations, except those where it took a stretch of my imagination to empathize. Sometimes it can be enlightening, while other times it can be an outright difficult and harrowing thing to explore. I'm certain that horror writers must hold back much of what they garner when they delve into aspects of the darkness from whence their stories come. Sugar is good, but when its sweetness becomes too familiar, then a good helping of bitterness can give its flavour context.

One thing for certain is that I'd rather step forward with my imagination first, before I'd do so physically but that doesn't mean that every thought is action. Thoughts are a playground of anticipation or sometimes a dreadful warning, drawing the line between possibility and action. We don't simply do everything we think, though everything we do originates in thought first.

Barriers that prove to be obstacles to our right to think and express are dangerous to humanity as a whole because it is within that spirit from which every human endeavor originates. No matter how frightening, dreadful or immoral a thought is, the right to think anything should never be barred. Action however, should be tempered with morality and law.

Oh, and Happy Birthday WWW! (Thank you System Mechanic for making me aware of that fact).

Enjoy your weekend and thank you as always for visiting and reading my stories and books here at Shhhh! Digital Media. Thank you to my contributing artists as well:

Amy WongWendy PuseyGhastly, Brian Joseph Johns, Daz3D

And the tools we use: Daz3DCorel PainterAdobe PhotoshopLightwave 3D, Borderline Obsession...

Brian Joseph Johns