Why I Enjoy Biographies So Much

What is your favorite type of book and why?

My favorite types of book to read are biographies.

Why? Because if someone whether living or dead has done something worthy of being remembered in the form of a biography then I want to know why. I’m reading a biography on Vincent Van Gogh right now. He was a famous painter, this I already knew. But what was his life like? I knew he dealt with Mental Illness and lost an ear somehow. But what were his formative years like? Who did he know? Whom did he love during his time on Earth.

These are the types of questions that surround the lives of every great man and woman in history. They were not born in a vacuum. Some may have been child prodigies like Mozart, but most were not born into greatness. So what were the circumstances of their lives. What made them great? I wonder whether scientists will one day discover some gene that can be flipped on in ordinary men and women that can somehow enable them to become great. I’ve heard stories about men and women undergoing some sort of trauma like a lightning strike and then suddenly being world class artists. I’m too lazy to look up the term but it was something to do with savants. But imagine if scientists one day found the gene behind such sudden savants and were able to switch it on from birth. I wonder how that hasn’t happened already. Would the world be able to handle a few million more Van Goghs? He was a terrific artist in retrospect, but his family considered him a drain and a disgrace while he lived.

I suppose a lot of this comes from another non-fiction book I’m reading called The Future of the Mind. It talks about the possibility of activating a smart gene. But I’ll leave that tangent alone.

I guess I just enjoy biographies because they enable me to see what is possible. I’ve read enough to know that almost every one of the greats had their own unique path to said greatness.

So I ask again, what is your favorite type of book to read and why?

God Bless

About that Social Rejection Article I Just Reblogged

Those of you who know me for years know both that I am a writer and that I only really committed to writing after a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Prior to that downward spiral in 2007, I was in a career and well on my way to big things at my university. After the diagnosis, I knew ever early on that there would be a lot of fear and social isolation. I was diagnosed at 25 and at that time I had written a few short stories, but little else. These early stories showed promise, but were little more than a hobby. After the diagnosis it was five long years before I wrote a word. I spent them trying to piece my life back together. Most of the time I just lived day to day trying to show my family that I wasn’t a danger to them. And it was certainly a fight to do so considering what other people with this illness continued to do. Fighting to destigmatize a mental illness can be a very hard and very steep uphill climb. But beginning when I was 30 I picked up pencil and paper again and began to write books.

I’ve written about what books I write and what stories I write elsewhere. You can even read such a short story on this site. The point is that the article I saw tonight really touched me. I experienced great isolation and rejection not because of anything I did to deserve it, but because people hear ‘mental illness’ and become very scared. So it is hard to make and keep friends. The internet makes that a bit easier I suppose, but I’m not online all that much except for wordpress and email.

Now do I have the creative genius of a van gogh like in the article? I don’t know. I figure it takes years to decades of consistent hard work to merit that term. I’ve been at it for four years and have yet to be published. All I know is that I have a drive to create and I devote each and every day to figuring out ways to bettering myself so that I can continue to create. This is what I am called to do. That’s the truth and I take the Holy Spirit very seriously.

I guess to wrap this up I’ll just say that I lament the fact that there are people out there around the world who dedicate themselves to destroying things. I dedicate my life to creating things. It is easier to destroy, but it is far more rewarding to create. I’ve said this before on Xanga, but if I was presented with a time machine and told I could go back in time and magically wipe out the onset of my mental illness and continue on the path I was on, I don’t believe I would change anything. Sure it sucks being the outcast at times, but the rewards that come from creating things that are completely new and unique…well they’re pretty big.

God Bless and God be with the people in Nepal,

Biographyguy(Dan)

Genius

I heard this quote last night on C-Span.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein

I like this quote. I think all it takes for anyone to realize their potential is to find their niche in life and then work at it.

I’m doing this in my writing. How are you trying to realize your potential?

In the last year

Hey Everyone,

It’s been nearly a year since I last logged onto WordPress. The layout has changed and I’m not sure what to do or where to go to find the community page anymore. But I did find some pages of old friends(if they still consider me a friend I don’t know), and let them know I’m alive and asked them what they are up to these days.

As for me, for those who may remember I began writing books in late 2011. I wrote a little over 60,000 words for a book called The Light Warriors, which was fan-fiction of mine that was pasted onto the bare bones of the old Nintendo game Final Fantasy. When my Uncle died in March of 2013 I put aside the fan-fiction and felt the call to become a pastor. So I dedicated myself to that calling and for months I wrote very little(and when I did it was just journaling a bit).

Well I read a certain passage from a biography on the great Christian thinker C.S. Lewis about why he wrote fiction, and it touched me and when I prayed about why he wrote and asked if that was why I should write the answer was a resounding yes. That was pretty awesome.

This was last August. Ever since that day I have written with great passion, enthusiasm, and energy. When I first began writing The Light Warriors, I wrote only every other week or so depending on my mood. I also always had this feeling that I was supposed to be doing something else(the ministry). After realizing that my ministry would be communicated through my writing, I’ve felt such a release that has led to genuine happiness.

I started writing a pair of books that were not fan-fiction in August. I finished one of them(which wasn’t terribly long) on December 31st of last year. The other I still write in from time to time, but most of my time is taken up by two other books I began in January. Yes, I have three books being written at once. I take two weeks to write in one(which means I write two chapters), and then I’m ready to switch to another. This second one takes about two weeks to write a chapter. And in the odd days where I know I only have one day left before the weekend rest, that is when I write in the book that is still going on from last August. It only takes a day to write a chapter in it.

And that is what I’m up to right now. I’m having fun. And I’ve been offline for a year, but I felt the Lord’s call last night that I was needed back online. I don’t know why, but perhaps I can serve a purpose beyond the eventual publishing of my books.

Thanks for reading and God Bless,

Dan(either Shadowrunner81 or Biographyguy)

P.S. Yes I still read lots of biographies.

iJuan (Short Story) by Biographyguy Part 4

            “What about you, Bob? Don’t you want to be saved?”

            “All I want is to know where my next drink is coming from. Perhaps if I get lucky I can sneak some booze out of the liquor store farther up Main Street. No Juan, my plans do not look much past the here and now. In many ways I am like the leaders and citizens I just condemned.”  

            The pair sat in silence for a few moments, each apparently pondering the words of the other. Juan refused to believe that all but the children of this world were hopeless. He watched the sidewalk as a man and woman walked towards each other. In a matter of seconds they collided, each knocking the other back a few steps. “Jerk,” said the woman. “Reinitialize college testing app.” “Screw you, lady. Reinitialize game app.”

            “Excuse me, sir?” Juan said as he got up. Bob just watched from his step.

            The man stopped and looked in his direction. “Boy, you’re wearing one ugly costume. It’s still months ‘til Halloween. iContact, initialize camera app.” In a few seconds a flash appeared. Juan blinked all four of his eyes. “Thanks for the picture, buddy. iContact, Initialize social media app and post picture one. Close social media app. Reinitialize game app.”

            “Sir, could I please talk to you?”

            “What is it? iContact, send text to Judy: ‘Bigfoot found near Main Street’.”

            “I’m not a bigfoot. I’m here to save you from destruction taking place in a thousand years from a cosmic event.”

            “iContact, initialize police emergency app. Text: ’Crazy man in bigfoot suit needs locked up’.” With that he roared with laughter and walked on.

            “You see, Juan,” said Bob. “They’re too hopeless to believe what their iContacts don’t tell them.”

            “I just don’t believe it.”

            “I didn’t believe it either at first. It was a gradual decline, but a decline it was.”

            Juan spoke to himself, “I now see that there is a far more urgent crisis at hand than a cosmic event.”

            “Eh, what is that?”

            “Bob, this world is dying.”

            “Yes, you said that.”

            “You must help me. If we don’t save the children now before they get their iContacts, this world will meet a fate far worse than destruction at the hands of a cosmic event. If we don’t do something right now this world will be dead in a matter of years, not a millennium. There are things far worse than death, and to be enslaved to a living hell is one of them. Come with me.”

            “iContacts or no iContacts, they will notice when their children are missing. Don’t you think?”

            “I’m not sure, Bob. That’s what worries me. Take my hand.”

            Reeking Bob took one last look at his customary step and reached out his hand. “Take me, Juan. I will go with you.”

            “You know this world. Where do we start?”

            “That depends on whether you want the poor kids or the rich kids.”

             Juan smiled and put his hand on Bob’s shoulder. “My Father and I welcome all the little children of Earth.” Bob smiled and the pair made for the restaurant where Juan first appeared. “You’ve never traveled by portal, have you?”

            “I don’t even know what that is.”

            “You’ll like it. Come on, let’s go see my Father and begin our work.”