Author's Biography:

 

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48    

 

Year: 1

I have two memories of this age:

   1: The curtains blowing as air came in through the open window (I told my mother this is what I remember, and she said my eyes would get really huge when the curtain did that, and I would make an sound like, "ohhhhh".

 

   2: I recall walking to my Uncle Gordon, and then back to my mother.

 

Return to top

 

Year: 2

     At this point, I don't recall anything. Sometime, when my family gets together, we talk about things long ago. If I recall anything from this year, I will add it in later.

 

Return to top

 

Year: 3

     At this point, I don't recall anything. Sometime, when my family gets together, we talk about things long ago. If I recall anything from this year, I will add it in later.

 

Return to top

 

Year: 4

     I rolled the toilet paper down the slanted hallway (we lived on Cross St. in Eugene (?). My mother caught me.

     I lit a fire in the hollow of the tree in the front yard of my grandmother's house in Goshen

     There was a small ditch out front that ran with water. While playing, I saw an alligator wound up in sewing thread. It was floating down in the current. I just watched it go by, wondering why it was tied up.

 

     My father had warned me of the alligators in the water, because there was a small pond nearby that I became curious about. I only went near that pond one time with my sister and brother. The pond was a death trap for children, and was eventually buried over with top-soil (after a drowning incident -- the particulars are unclear to me).

     The pond was about 4-5 feet of soft mud sediment, covered with water. This is why my father told me the alligators would eat me if I went near the water, and it worked.

 

Return to top

 

Year 5:

I began to slip into fantasy. Not to say I remember being five years old too well; it was, and still is, flashes of scenes and obscure memories. That is the earliest recollection of my life. I just remember the ants being busy as busy, the spiders hunting the bugs among the tall grasses and leaving them cocooned in their thick webbing; of the butterflies gliding through the air (especially the giant monarchs). All of these things utterly held my mind fast, mesmerizing me. It was, and still is, so new and wondrous, captivating, irresistible. The thought of it all yet persists to spin its web of irresistible curiosity in my mind, luring me to its glittering center, where I know many secrets from ages past and forgotten lay ready to be discovered . . . it’s not the mind-set of a child to resist such wonders.

 

Return to top

 

Year 6:

TREES

What more can I say? I think an ant led me to the base of a tree and taught me it should be climbed. Once I was in my first tree, another facet of an already captivating world revealed itself to me. I began to follow the world of bugs with more and more interest. I don't know how many times I picked out and followed a bug around my back yard, pretending to be its companion. My dad even gave me the nick name: Doodle Bug.

 

Return to top

 

GRASSHOPPERS

I once spent all day catching about 300 grasshoppers and putting them in an arctic circle bag I found in the car. As evening drew on my dad came home and took us all to a drive-in movie. When he found out what I had in the bag he said to let them go. I raised a fit and won. He took them from me, putting them in the trunk of our VW bug (the trunk is in the front). I was satisfied my grasshoppers would be returned to me after the movie was over. So off all seven of us went to have some fun. During the movie we noticed police officers all over the place.  They were searching every car that was exiting the grounds. As our turn came, my dad found out that the theater had been robbed at gunpoint. The culprit had driven up to the booth, gotten the money, but could not get back out due to the line of cars behind him. So, he had to go into the drive-in theater and wait for it to get out. Well, the police were waiting at every exit, so he stayed inside. My father talked to the officers as he let them search the car.  One officer explained that the money was stashed in an arctic circle bag and asked my dad to open the hood. I wonder what was going through my father=s mind at the time . . . it makes me smile every time I think about it. My father reluctantly obliged the officer, opening the trunk of the VW. And what did the officers find, but an arctic circle bag folded up and bulging. One of them took the bag as the other officers watched my dad like a hawk. I recall a couple police officers exchanging glances like, "Aha! We've got our man". My father pointed at the bag and stated, "You don't want to open that". The officer opened it. The grasshoppers must've been really uncomfortable, because once the bag was opened they exploded out of it right into the policeman's face. I jumped towards the open door of the Volkswagen frantic about my hard earned prize; I wanted my grasshoppers back . . . they were mine! But my mother made me sit back down and be still. The officer had expected to see stolen money as he opened the bag. Instead he caught a face full of frantically escaping bugs. Within a couple minutes we were on our way home. I was not happy about losing my grasshoppers, and I couldn't see the humor in everyone laughing about it.

 

Return to top

 

BEARS

It was in my 6th year that I found out about bears that roamed the forests not far away. Oh, hey now, that was a creature worth capturing. But how? How could it be done? This weighed heavy on my mind. I thought and pondered and schemed . . . oh, it was all in vain. I just couldn't think of any possible way it could be done. One day, as our family sat dining at a restaurant, my mind was bent upon this subject. After learning of the existence of the bear, the weight of the task in capturing such a beast baffled and perplexed me to no end. How was so powerful an animal to be contained? As we all sat waiting for our food, my mind caught upon an idea: A cage of strong steel bars with a lifted gate, propped by a long stick . . . food could be put inside the cage . . . the bear would go in, and I could pull a string tied to the stick . . . the cage door would shut! I could hunt and subdue the mighty bear! I had figured out the mystery! My emotions surged; I could hold it inside no longer and I shrieked in victory, "I know how to catch a bear!" Simultaneously, all the people in the restaurant burst into laughter . . . but no matter, I had conquered the mighty bear. I was at peace. My job was done and it hindered me no more.

 

Return to top

 

DINOSAURS

In this year, I was also fortunate enough to be introduced to dinosaurs!  I remember getting $5.00 to spend on my mother for Christmas.  Hey, Santa is not the only one that gets to bring presents!  As my mother and I walked through the store, up on the wall, I saw them, hanging there.  I asked what they were, for I was instantly curious.  My mother told me they were dinosaurs.  Instantly, I knew what my mother was getting for Christmas.  I told her I wanted to get them for the person I was "secretly" buying a gift for.  Of course, she knew . . . but obliged me and got them down.  I got them home and wrapped them and placed them under the tree.  Until Christmas morning, my mind was fixed on them.  Christmas morning came, and I watched her open them.  After opening them, I remember her exclaiming, "Wow, I love them.  Michael, would you like to play with them?"  I nodded excitedly and played with them . . . from then on.  I learned their names, checked out books and filled my brain with all I could absorb about dinosaurs!  Bears were nothing to the power of the mighty Triceratops, or the ferocity of the Tyrannosaurus Rex! What wonders! A Tyrannosaurus could eat a whole family of the strongest bears in the world. That is when I began to dream . . . that is when we moved . . . again.

 

Return to top

 

Year 7

COUGAR

My father purchased about 24 acres of prime timberland about 15 miles from Sweet Home Oregon, a backwoods town populated by about 3,500 people. We lived in Sweet Home for a while until we could finish building the house we were to live in. We worked on it day and night. When my father was not working at his daily job, we were all up there building it. We would bring tools, lanterns, food, toys (I never left anywhere without my dinosaurs). There was a spring of pure water close to us past a small clearing by the road that ran down the hill past our home. The field ended in a dense wall of trees. Once into the trees, and well on our way, we had to hike a very short distance down a small incline the stream had eroded away. There was an animal trail there that led to the water's edge. It was the best playground I'd ever had. It had tiny fishes in the water that I relentlessly attempted to catch. There was a fully petrified tree, with attached limbs that jutted up out of the middle of the stream in one area. I loved to go and "work" on that house that was soon to be our new home (of course my father and Ed, his step father and a man named Louis Canes did most of the work). One evening, after dark, we were all together talking and playing as my dad hammered away at nails. He stopped and asked us to take the water pitcher down to the creek and bring him a drink. My mother grabbed the pitcher and all of us went into the clearing toward the tree-line. As we entered into the trees, I heard the abrupt scream of a woman not far away. I turned and looked up at my mom.

"Momma, there's a lady in trouble. Are we going to help her?" The scream reached an incredible high pitch that sent my older brother and I snuggling tightly against our mother for security. The woman's desperate scream reached its zenith, splitting the calm of the night and my young, tender nerves. My mother looked down at me and said, "It sounds like -- " as she spoke the woman's scream began to lower, changing to a horribly frightening growl that could not be a woman. I knew what it was right away, even though I'd never heard it before. My dad had told us earlier, before we went up there, he had seen the paw prints of a cougar. It had to be the cougar. Quickly my mother told us to run back to the house.  I lunged back through the trees, panic threatening to eat me as I knew the cougar would if it caught me in the dark. As I dashed with all the speed I could conjure in my legs, I thought my mom and brothers would not make it. And the horror of that idea caused something inside me to snap; something not good.  I really can't explain it any other way.  Although, I will say this: That cat awoke a horrible chain of nightmares within my young mind that lasted until I was twenty-one years old.  One particular nightmare, I will give a full account of in this biography.  When I reached my dad, I saw him on the road looking into the forest the way we had gone. He had this angry look on his face that made me wonder who would win in a fight -- the cougar or my dad? I knew it was behind me, and I ran as fast as I could towards him. I ran to his side and turned, fearing to see the beast in mid-leap with the blood of my family staining its mouth. But it was not so. To my relief my mom and brothers were not far behind, and they joined us by my father's side. My dad took the pitcher from my mother, who had somehow managed to hold onto it and stalked into the clearing, determined to quench his thirst. My mother began to plead with him to take us back to town as she tucked us safely into the cab of my father's ford pickup. But my father would not listen. He kept on walking toward the tree-line. He was really mad and wanted a drink. I recall the scene as he reached the center of the clearing, the stillness of the night was again broken by the cougar's scream. But this time it seemed much closer than before. My dad froze, glaring into the wall of trees before him. I could feel the fear gripping me like cold, icy hands with long nails for tearing, just like the cougar's. For what seemed forever he just stood there, like a statue, while we all gazed wide-eyed after him through the windows of the truck. Then, to my relief, he backed up slowly to the road, turned and walked back to the truck, a look I did not like seeing on his face; fear.  When he saw us watching, he threw the pitcher into to the open bed of his truck and got mad again. He turned the lantern he was holding off and jumped into the truck. He was really mad now.

"We're going into town for dinner!" His voice was not pleasant. We did not come back that evening.  We kept building the house, cougar or no cougar. My dad got us some dogs. We had one dog which was a 3/4 shepherd, 1/4 elkhound, but we'd left him home. Soon the place was crawling with nine dogs, ranging from mutts to a full blooded hound (I'm not sure of the breed, but I think it was one of those hounds that are used for coon hunting).

I think the cougar decided to accept those dogs as a personal challenge. That was just the beginning . . . our only neighbor was a mile away down the winding gravel road that was our driveway. It was 15 miles from there to town. So we were rather secluded. We pumped our water up from the creek, measured about 100 yards distance from the house, and heated it over a wood stove, just like in the old days. I loved each and every one of my dogs, and I depended upon them for moral support. I was glad to have them around, especially at night when I had to go to the bathroom. We had an outhouse, but it was a ways from the house. I dreaded using it at night; what a nightmare. Don't get me wrong; being there was a rare treat, for I was insatiably curious about everything under the sun. But that curiosity I possessed and molded into a world of my own was steadily darkened at the ending of each and every day. The green of life, the birds and reptiles, all the little curious animals vanished in the nighttime, leaving the area always silent, except for the coyotes that yips and yammered in the distance, and the crickets that constantly sang their songs.  At times the crickets would suddenly silence in the night, and my father told me that when they did that, it was either me that would cause them to be quiet, or something else.  I knew what that something else was, and each time it happened, I was filled with an intense dread of the night . . . unless I was with my dad of course. When I was with him, I knew nothing in the world could harm me. But he wasn't always around. Oh, how at night, I longed for the sun to make haste, for it brought warmth back into the darkened tangle of trees and plants so ominous foreboding . . . so alive and magnificent by day. At night the coyotes occasionally sang their eerie songs to each other, and that didn't bother me too much, cause I knew the dogs were always close at hand, and those coyotes were afraid of us and the dogs, keeping a careful distance from the house. The skunks, we avoided, the deer, admired. The black bear stayed away from us, as does their kind.  I think back and recall mostly seeing their prints in the dirt, and along the banks of the creek. I distinctly remember my little brother pointing out a mother and two baby cubs passing by up the hill one morning, probably on their way to some secret destination. I never tried to catch one. And even though I knew dinosaurs ruled bears, I would leave that for the dinosaurs and bears to work out . . . I would keep my distance.

 

I believe the cougar was the incarnation of evil itself. Our dogs pursued it to no avail, and my dad hunted it with less success then they. Sometimes, in the darkness of the night, I would awaken to the sounds of the dogs noisily pursuing it. I recall its terrible screams splitting the still air, like a woman in dire need, and I was sure it was looking for me. When I heard it scream at night, I would shrink down into the safety of my covers. I knew it hated me . . . I could sense its malice and enmity. That demon was responsible for a single nightmare I began experiencing in my sleeping hours, once so sweet and filled with innocent life. This same nightmare stayed with me until I was in my twenty-first year. The sweet daydreams of my sleeping world had turned as black and sinister as the forest during the absence of the sun. Oh that dream, that terrible dream I would suffer through almost nightly. The fear of awakening to find out it might be true hung heavy in my mind each time I began to fall into the world of dreams . . . nightmares.

NIGHTMARE (be aware this dream is graphic, and should not be read by children)

 

One night, during the winter, I suddenly woke up to the chill of the snow-packed ground beneath my feet. I remember, to my horror, this dream while we yet lived in that old forest.  Shock and chill froze me into place as I saw my house a quick dash away. But I was so scared I couldn't move. I tried, but my legs refused. Of all the times to be sleep walking, and it had to be in the middle of the winter. I know what goes on in the mind of a child that is suddenly put into a situation like this . . . sheer, hopeless, paralyzing terror. I looked for my dogs, but they were nowhere in sight. Usually if I stepped out of the house at any time, day or night, the dogs were there to greet me. That night they must not of heard me come out. I wish they had. Maybe if I called to them -- I saw it move over by the side widow. I could see it, its long tail writhing slowly back and forth behind it as it peered into the window that set across the room where stood the bunk-beds my brother and I shared. Its ears pricked up as it peered intensely into the darkness of the room. I could hear its teeth snapping together, as if it was cold, as its long jaws open and shut again and again. It's fur was a pale-brown, lighting at the ends to almost white, as if it had been suddenly caught in a furry of finely driven snow that had stuck to its fur coat and never melted. It stood on strong hind legs that ended in great wolf-like paws. As I watched in terror and fascination, it began to slowly paw at the side boards of the house as if studying and testing their strength. With an icy terror, my eyes discovered razor-sharp claws at the ends of long sinuous fingers, almost human-like in appearance, but much larger. The terror of it all was it distinctly reminded me of large man, larger than any I ever saw, yet twisted into something far beyond what man or wolf could ever become. If I just stood still, maybe it would not see me . . . if I held my breath just maybe it would not hear -- its head moved slowly this way and that, eyes darting hatefully into every shadow and possible hiding place there was within the house. It was searching for something . . . me. It sniffed and raised its nose into the air, and as it did, I noticed that it was tall enough to look up onto the roof of my house with a stretch. Twice it sniffed, then froze as if startled. My mind shrieked as my eyes darted towards the open front door of my house. All I had to do was dash inside! Where were my dogs? Where was my dad? If I screamed, he would come and save me. I tried to scream, but nothing came out. A low rumble drew my eyes to the savage creature . . . and our eyes met. It crouched, howling in fury and triumph as it perceived it had what it had been looking for. I willed myself to the door of my house, but nothing happened. With a swiftness that rivaled the cougar's it bounded toward the road, stopping just in front of me, peering down at me. I could do nothing, not even whimper. It raised up to its full height before me as I stared into its eyes. Oh, those eyes of crystal-blue; so piercing. I don't think its claws and teeth ever wounded me any less than the sharp, stabbing, glance of those eyes, so cold. It's jaws opened slightly and a throbbing sound began to fill my ears as it breathed. Swiftly it grabbed me in its strong, overpowering grip and bit down on me. I felt its finger-length teeth tear into my back and chest as my breath was forced out. Sharp spasms assaulted my legs as I screamed once, abruptly. I gripped the beast's neck with my hands and pulled out two locks of fur in vain. Then my world shattered as it shook me violently from side to side. I could feel my back and ribs snap under the pressure of its jaws . . . then . . . everything slowed, as if we were both in water. It released me to the ground and bent over me, staring deeply into my eyes, its hot breath covering my face as my own blood dripped into my face from off its teeth. I could no longer feel the pain; I was going to be free soon and I was glad. I closed my eyes to rid myself of the vision of the beast bending over me, to await the journey I would begin. Oblivion seemed a good thing now. I could still, distantly, feel that creature's presence, but the pain was gone. But I did not die. I felt myself being shaken, as if someone was pulling on my foot. I ignored it and kept my eyes tightly shut . . . until I faintly heard a snapping, splintering, sound. Slowly I opened my eyes in a haze, focusing slowly on that dreadful creature feeding upon my feet and legs! I went rigged as it ate its way quickly up to my waist. When it chewed through my hips. To my ultimate horror, I saw the beast pulling and ripping out my insides. Into my stomach and chest it tore with a fervent appetite . . . I felt my rib cage snap and pull free of my body . . . black out . . .

 

. . . I awoke with a stifled whimper, shuddering in the dark, staring out the window as I fled to the farthest corner of my bed. I felt so exposed and vulnerable in that house, in those woods, on that mountain . . . in the dark . . . my home. It wasn't always like that. In the years to come, that same dream plagued me. But as the years passed by, sometimes I could get my feet to move. But I never got away from the man wolf. Never. Inevitably, I ended up its midnight meal. It was a dream I kept silent about, for talking about it only made it happen in the night to come. At the age of 21, I was playing a fantasy role-play game (my first experience). The guy who was running the adventure was an excellent orator; he did well in portraying an encounter that was similar to my nightmare. I grit my teeth as I felt goose bumps rising on my arms. He had no idea what he was doing to me; I never told him. I was on watch as my companions slept . . . and it came upon us in fury and rage. But we defeated it without so much as a scratch. And wouldn't you know it . . . I never had that nightmare since! I am grateful for that, believe me. Just writing this out gives me the willies. In fact, as I wrote the first half of the Lycanthrope Dream, it was 3:00am . . . and the stupid door to my hallway burst open. The swamp cooler was on, and I guess the door finally gave way to the pressure of the fan . . . I nearly jumped out of my skin!!

 

END OF NIGHTMARE

 

Return to top

 

We left the "follies", as we called it, after living there almost two years. My father sold the property and we moved back into Sweet Home. I was sad to leave, yet relieved. While the day was adventurous and uplifting, the night was the opposite and worse. Come on dad, you know you were a bit uncomfortable about that cougar. Don't tell me you didn't fear it too. I know you did . . . because you tried so many times to kill it . . . and failed. Losing three dogs out of the nine was a sure sign we were losing ground against it.  We were all scared of it, and you were no exception. When mom finally said she was not going to live there any longer, you obliged her. That area, even though it was not far from mankind, was wild. And we were not prepared for it.

 

It was in my seventh year that I began to dream.  It was then that I began to build secretly on a world that one day, I would merge into a gaming system that I now share with you all (though it will take many years to complete).

 

Return to top

 

Year 8-13

We moved around the western states in search of a place to live where the hay fever would not kill me. I remember the nights I stopped breathing. I distinctly remember hearing my mother, very concerned about me, say to my father, "His lips are blue." I remember many times struggling for what I very well knew could be my last breath. The life-threatening reality of these hay fever and asthma attacks drove us out of the Walamit Valley and out of our homeland. I think I almost died a dozen times, though I can't be sure exactly how many times. I remember being in the hospital three times, though my parents tell me it was more.  Every time we moved, that dream followed me, across the states, and into my twenty-first year of life.

 

Return to top

 

Year 14-18

I always was a dreamer, inspired by the thoughts of heroes and villains, wizards and warriors, ghosts and goblins . . . of mysterious things of beauty and terror. I imagined them with child-like awe and wonder, as only a child can. Ah, the imagination of one blessed to live in two worlds so vivid and wonderful. I am blessed to still dream of these things, and I live there still . . . at night. Arizona was the answer to my health issue. The pollens there were minimal enough to cause itchy eyes and sneezing at the worst. So that is where we stayed.

 

Arizona is where I learned about the wild pigs. My father warned me about them as he knew that wherever we moved I would explore it thoroughly. And I did. My mind went wild with imagination in this part of my life . . . and due to an experience in the desert town of Taylor, another nightmare was born in my mind. but this one was half wild boar, half man. That nightmare never left me . . . I've just locked it away safely so it can't get to me. I will not recite than one, for it struck me in the waking hours. I have a vivid imagination.  Sorry, maybe someday I'll write that dream out.

 

These dreams, they never ceased . . . the years rolled on . . . they still never cease . . . and I write them down so I won't forget them.

 

Return to top

 

Year 19

HAWK AND CAT

My brother was looking out the kitchen window, exclaiming, "Woa!  No way!  Mike, check this out!"  I looked.  We were in the process of building a mill and had a double-wide trailer parked in the back under a great overhang, so it was rather difficult to see.  All we could see was our crazy cat climbing up to the top of the two-by-four frame of a pump house in the process of being built over a well we found on the property.  We sneaked outside and peaked around the corner of the trailer, not wanting to let the cat know we were there.  To our amazement, we saw a red-tailed hawk circling and diving at our cat, intent on a meal.  But every time it dove, the cat would leap up at it, intent on a meal as well.  The hawk would veer off and circle around to try again as our cat scrambled back up the unfinished pump house to await its ascent.  After seven dives, the hawk gave up and flew away.

 

You know, I think it's true . . . cats really must have nine lives, or they wouldn't do stupid things like that.  Over the years, I've often regretted not having a video recorder; we could easily have won the grand prize on some funniest home video show.

 

Return to top

 

Year 20

COMIC COLLECTION

I moved to Milpitas California to work two jobs for a year to get up enough money to go on an LDS mission.  Things had gotten tight, and I needed work.  I won't tell the story of what happened to the mill we painstakingly built just yet.  But needless to say, my parents packed up and moved to Tonapa Arizona (not sure on the spelling of that town B it lies about 12 miles outside of Phoenix AZ).  My father looked for work and found a job offer he took in Oregon.  After three months my mother called me.  I was happy to hear they were okay.  Previously, I had, since the age of 15 years old, avidly collected comics.  I bought many multiples of everything I could get my hands on, especially certain artists that drew in the comic world, such as Adams, who drew for DC.  I spent years and years of paychecks to build a collection that I knew would one day be worth a mint.  I stored them well.  Well, I quickly learned of my parents hardships and learned, to my horror, they had to cover all their belongings under a huge tarp and move, abandoning all but crucial necessities.  My mother lost everything but her rocking chair, which she would not part with.  I had the money to buy a truck for them, but they did not contact me.  I'm sure they did not want to take away from my growing mission funding.  What they didn't realize, was they could have sold one of those comic books I had in the collection and rented a huge truck to move everything with.  To this day, my heart aches when I think of that collection.  In 2000 once priced some of the comics I had, all in nearest to mint condition one can keep them in, and started crying.  I've never looked at comics again.  I would say my collection could have fetched about $200,000 on the traders market today (2006) if I was careful selling them.  My intention was to, one day, start a hobby/comic shop.  Well, hey, not everything is all peaches and cream.  But, I must give you a reality of my life, even if some of the things I write are heart breaking.  It wasn't the 5 years of paychecks down the drain, it was the return investment I would one day reap.  I know that if I respect people and do good, God will make a way . . . He always has.  I doubt not.

 

Return to top

 

Year 21 to 22

These were my mission years in the Boise Idaho Mission. This part of my biography will be fun to write. I kept an indepth journal every day of my mission. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a flooded basement. Either way, I will recall what I can in the attempt to rebuild this journal. I do have lots of pictures, some of which will be posted here.

 

Return to top

 

Year 23

GUARDIANS OF UTAEMIA

One day a person asked me, "Why don't you make a game out of all your dreams and notes you write.". And so I did, though not with any intention of selling it. On March 5th, 1987, at 5:17pm, pencil was put to paper in an attempt to bring to life what I began to desire others to see. I wished to share my world with others, and soon a very, very rough draft of my world was born, and the test-play sessions commenced. Oh, the adventures and fun we all had, and still do have. I've had over 2,500 test players and thousands of hours of adventure in a world that I was dreaming of since I was seven years old.

 

Shylo, my first magician was thumped by a double-zero roll.  Magicians were hard to roll up in the old system I had created (it is much different now). Then Selman VanDrake was born. I played him with my head, careful and consistent.  I always kept in company with good sturdy folk, aiding them with my magic as they defended me with their steel. Selman VanDrake rose to power, and I still, to this day, play him once in a while . . . this fantasy role-play game is now in its 20th year and still dream of a world that I am very pleased to share with you. 20 years, and I still look forward to the adventures on my off days from work.

 

Return to top

 

Year 24-35

I always carry a pencil and notebook around with me as I work at an emotional treatment facility for youth. I worked 62+ hours a week. My shifts run three days on, three days off. Yes, I live with them and I loved it! Some of you out there that are having a hard time in life, I salute you for hanging in there. The world can be a cold place . . . but do the best you can and don't give up. I've been through a lot as well, and I tell you that there is a God that looks after you.

 

Now, were was I? Ah yes, My entire family has stuck together through the years. We all live in Utah within one and one-half hour's drive from each other. My sister lives in Colorado . . . now that is beautiful country! Utah has its beauty, and is growing daily. There is a growing diversity of people here, and I love all the culture that people bring. I have decided that Korean food is the best food I've tasted so far . . . Kimchi is addicting!

 

In writing, the one thing that frustrates me most is expressing it with fluency. We all have a vision of something in our life. To portray my world to you pleases and terrifies me, you know not how. I often wonder if I am skilled enough to do it. You see, I dropped out of school halfway through my tenth-grade year. STUPID! Ten years of my life was spent in idle foolishness, and it hurt me badly. But since I came to Utah, I picked up the books and studied, got my GED, and went to college, English is my favorite subject, for I love to write and express myself.  I regret missing my last two years of school. And I mourn the fact that I spent 10 years working as a dishwasher/bus boy/cook/security guard when I could have had a degree so much sooner and easier by just finishing high school. I still feel I'm starting at the beginning.  Often times, I feel the discouragement of my poor choices.  But nothing worthwhile comes for free in life. And to those who put their mind to it, the sky is the limit. Yes, I may make a good living on this fantasy role-play game in the future, but I want to know the workings of this great earth. I want to explore every cave and ravine. One of my goals in life is to tour the entire length of the Nile in a boat. I want to see the ancient pyramids of that fantastic country called Egypt. And most of all, I want to find secrets that are yet undiscovered. As I am inspired by this earth's wealth of splendorous, endless, wonders, I shall be dreaming all the while.

 

I hope you enjoy my games and stories as much as I've enjoyed creating them.

 

Sincerely,

Michael G. Giles

 

Return to top

 

 

 

Year 36-47

This sections will be filled in over time.

 

Return to top

 

 

 

Year 48

I was invited to participate in a stake primary event. I thought this would be fun, and jumped at the chance. I asked about what I would be doing. Pleased that I had just given my full conscent and support to make a part of her program succeed, I was told I would be playing the part of Peter, when he went into the Garden of Gethsemane -- the same time as when the Lord suffered for the sins of the world, then sealed the Atonement with His mortal life as he hung upon the cross on Golgotha.

 

Instructions:

Perspective: Play Peter in first person. I am Peter (I'm not telling others about Peter).

Script-time: 8-10 minutes.

# of performances: 10 (9 times for the children / 1 time so we can all experience the others performances).

Audience: 3 to 11 years old (each group of children which enter my room will be close to the same age, making it easier to communicate on their level).

 

Note:

Luncheon will be served as the last group of kids for the 1st half of this event (12:30pm). I can then leave the Gethsemane staged area and mingle with the crowd (as instructed).

 

A costume will be supplied. Thanks Tammy :)

 

The set will be made up by others. I can see it when I come to do my part, or come the night before (for a tour).

 

--------------------------

 

I arrived at the Stake Center with 20 minutes to spare. I was curious to see the set I would be working with.  I walked in, and was met by the orchastaror of the event. She escorted me to my station.  Then she was off -- probably 50 things to do in the next 50 minutes.

 

As the door shut, I turned and looked my set over. I was in a 30' x 20' room with a normal flat ceiling (a lofted ceiling would have been perfect for this scene).  As I stood there, I thought of doing this in a small cluster of ponderosa pines. "Not thick enough", I whispered.

 

The set consisted of a number of artificial trees and huge, hanging plants from a few baskets.  I think this church is full of packrats. We save everything.

 

The stones were perfect-sized and painted. I pictures Christ kneeling at the stones, over which hung a very well crafted tree. It was big. You guys did AWSOME with the set! Now, let's do this again for the older youth (12-18). I would love to do it again.

 

The backdrop was created from corrigated card board (huge pieces). As I studied the backdrop, I was sure they hit up the larger applience stores for boxes.  With the connections these people have in this area (with each other), I'm sure they could find anything they need to do any set-up.

 

"Well, now I know why this is called the beehive state", I mumbled. Much work had been put into my set alone (there were 5 sets).

 

I'd never done anything like this.  And I had to do it all alone.

 

What was too much animation, and what was too little? I'd never acted out a part before an audience before.

 

I needed to keep what I said to the level of the kids. So, the performance will have to change.

 

 

Scrutinizing my set, I did notice the artificial trees were flat here and there on the trees. Good. This would give me something to tend to as the kids came into the room and got settled. No use in staring at them. I'm big, they are small.

 

We went to a meeting beforehand, where final instructions were given.

 

Everything was ready.

 

I walked back to my room. I was the 3rd of 5.

 

I waited for 47 minutes before the first group entered the room.  In the meantime, I began thinking about what I would say.  You see, I only read the parts Peter had with Christ, during the last 7 days of His ministry.

 

I did not memorize anything.

 

Did I have doubts? ------- Nope.

 

Was I nervous? ---------- Yes. If I did not do this as Christ would want it done, I would fail. It would be a

                                                 performance the kids would not remember. The Spirit needed to impact the

                                                 kids . . . especially the older ones.

 

As they came into the room, I suddenly felt as though I had been taken back into that monumental night, when Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemene. I had read, re-read, and read all the passages I could gleen information from. I took the accounts from the King James version of the Bible.

 

As the first group sat down before me, I stopped grooming the trees (and they needed it), turned and raised my eyebrows to them. Stepping foreward, I said the following to them, and then 9 more times throughout the day:

 

     "Welcom, I am Peter. I am the Chief Apostle and Deciple of Jesus Christ. I want to tell you a story about this garden, the Garden of Gethsemene. In this sacred place, something happened that I, still, to this day, do not fully understand.

 

It was getting late in the evening. All eleven of us were gathered together in the comfort and warmth of a home, when Jesus came to us, greeting us warmly.  Without much talk, Christ bid us follow him. We did. Jesus was quiet, and did not speak as we exited the warmth of the house. We walked out into the silence of the night. Soon I realized where we were going. Christ often came to this grove to pray. He loves this garden.

 

Only James, John and myself were allowed to come deeper into the garden with Jesus. Leaving the others at the gate, Christ took us into the garden quite a ways. He then stopped and turned to us.

 

     "Watch ye here".............. spelling???????????????? get the quote.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I pretended I was Peter, out for a rare, peaceful walk into the Garden. That fit me perfectly.

 

I am to mingle with the kids as much as possible, whenever I can (which is going to be a blast).

 

My assigned subject: I am Saint Peter, who was with Christ during the last seven days of His ministry. I can only relate Peter's view, and as Peter would have experienced it.

 

This must be recited has to be described in first person to 10 groups of an average 14 children in each group, is my guess. It's stake-wide, so maybe more. Adults will be acompanything them.

 

What about the YM / YW age group? If they are not coming to this, we need to do something for them. They have some pretty cool ideas we could use. But this will go well.

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2/25/2012

Since I accepted the invitation to participate in this skit, the roll of Peter has been in my thoughts.

 

2/26/2012

I cannot get myself to write something out. This is the first time I've ever done something like this. You would think I should write up some notes, at the least. But each time I sit down to write, I draw a blank. This has happened about 3 times.

 

Okay, I am not supposed to memorize anything for this part.

The moment my mind caught upon this thought, everything flowed right into place.

I've read over the four gospels on this seven day period. There is a little bit of scriptural reference on this subject, and when I looked at cross references, the information was available. I read, but wrote nothing down. I began to ponder being Peter. The only way to be successful at this role (this of all rolls) is to pray for the Spirit to guide me. If I cannot acomplish this one critical thing, I will fail to communicate with children who are all aquainted, and love to romp and stomp about the country side.  Only the Spirit can focus them. If the Spirit is not present for this event, what I say will go in one ear and out the other of everone. This is serious. That is my only reserve. Seek the Spirit to guide me, and I cannot go wrong. The only reason I would go wrong in this, is if I am not worthy of the Spirit. So, it will be my fault if this fails.

 

 

3/19/2012

 

Return to top