The boy who wrote

As part of an Assignment of Writing II: Rhetorical Composing in Coursera, we were asked to write about ourselves as writers, what got us to this point as writers. Below you can read my own essay on the subject. Have fun reading it 🙂

Unlike any other story of writing, my own story does not begin with writing, but rather with reading and watching television. A lone first-born child that spend most of its time with his grandparents. Early in life, reading comic books and watching cartoons was one of the most satisfying activities in his life. The comic books were the first form of reading, an easy and quick way to learn how to read. Soon, the stories of Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Scrooge MacDuck were not enough and had chosen to live many more lives through television. Then, the worlds began to multiply as a new world was opening its doors to the young child, a world of books, a world of myths or ancient knights, another world of small detectives or of a crazed old Spaniard on his old horse.

 Writing never passed through his mind, rather the creation of stories. Many toys could be found in his bedroom, from cars to swords, a batman figure and a few toy soldiers on the other corner of the room. But the favourite activities were always outside, at the yard, with a sword, both a toy and an imaginary one, the little boy could travel through the world he read and not only. A sailor and a pirate, a ninja but also a hero were born in that empty yard with the few trees.

 The stories of playing were sometimes transferred inside, were the sofa could be a fishing boat and a piece of paper a new world to conquer. Stick figures were the first written form of story he created. Where his simple mind could create stories of mages and soldiers rescuing princesses, where evil kings held them prisoners or traps and challenges were in front of them. Drawn castle after drawn was conquered.

 But the first real story he created was one of his own country. A country torn in half because of invaders. Where the enemy flag was always visible in front of his house in the opposing mountain range. His half-torn country was his first great inspiration. To become a bird and to travel, to see and learn of the land he missed without knowing. His thoughts passed through his heart and went to his hands, only to jump on to the pencil that shaped them into words. An elementary essay, became the first form of recognition and the spark for writing.

 Creativity was the force that released his mortal chains. Going through high-school, the child became a boy. And the inspiration took other forms, of love and sorrow, of world to conquer and worlds to live by, kings and villains, castles and star-ships. Mythical creatures took breaths from the pen and died in a drawer, only to be reignited in his mind just to fade again. Until one day, a new world was to be created. A world inspired by the greatest writer. Tolkien was the first admiration, he became an aspiration, an example and a teacher. You don’t need to create a temporary world, you can create your own universe once and for all. And so a mythical kingdom of creatures and heroes was created. Through the magic of a pen and the imagination of a boy, a kingdom to follow him in every moment and add stories from now and then.

 And the reading continued, from books to comics, from middle earth and fighting the dark lord, the boy went to fight for mutant liberation in comic books. The worlds clashed and shaped and inspired and excited him. Classic adventures took the place of fiction and then became myths and stories and vice versa.

 But the story never ends, as poetry came to stay, the art of writing musically was there and wanted to stay. The boy grew to a man. The stories were less and less, but each breath of inspiration was a whole life to him. In that time, a moment of boredom could birth a fight between an orc shaman and a human druid, at that moment the man left our world and joined the fight. The pen was just the conductor, the means to a travel. But the decision was made, writing could only be the love, the heart but not more. The world did not seem ready for writers and another road should be chosen.

 The art of writing is to create, to share and to love. It is an art and needs inspiration, forcing it was never his way. Writing comes and goes and he always wishes it to stay, but it is a fleeting moment of truth inside the lies that surround us. Thus I share with you my story of being somewhat of a writer. Therefore the greek word “ερασιτέχνης” brings its full means to what I am, an amateur in truth but in essence a lover of the art (“εραστής” (lover) + “τέχνη” (art) = “ερασιτέχνης” (amateur)).


Lucas the Wizard – A Duel of Realities

Lucas the Wizard – Mini Story

A Duel of Realities

A day of apprenticeship at Marius’ lab, the Arch-Wizard of Etherion, is no easy day. Lucas, his newest apprentice was having a hard time banishing some imps that managed to escape their cages.

Even an experienced wizard such as him needed some space in order to banish these agile and canny creatures. “Freeze, you blasted being”, he shouted casting a spell. He managed to encase one in ice, but the others continued to jump and break stuff around the lab. One of the little devils cast a tiny fireball and set the healing herbs’ drawer on fire. Lucas responded with a flush of lightning which incinerated the imp and murmured a phrase that created a rain cloud above the drawer.

Three imps ramained and they now seemed furious for the loss of their friends. Now, they were moving their hands harmonically as if preparing a major spell. Lucas tried to dazzle them with a lightning display, but it didn’t work. The spell was almost ready when Marcus came in.

The Arch-Wizard immediately gestured with his staff and the imps were immediately imprisoned again into 3 arcane cells.

“What has transpired here Lucas?”, he asked in a calm but scolding voice.

“Just as I came in, the imps had escaped. It is not …”, he tried to explain himself.

“Yes, they are pretty devious, these little ones. I will take care of them. But it seems you got yourself some studying on imps for later. Now, I need you to recover for me some ent-root from the ents in Greenleaf forest. Take one of the portals and go to the ent-circle. Find my old friend Evant. He always has some supplies, the old tree is growing them below his roots. Go now, before I think of a punishment for the mess you helped create”.

And so, young Lucas went to the catacombs, where the portals were located. He passed the guards and went North towards the more lighted tunnels. There, a portal lead to a clearing in the heart of Greenleaf. The forest was only a day’s journey, but why travel when you could use a portal?

He got near the portal. At the portal’s left and right stood two pilars full of glyphs that kept the magic of the portal. It would seem almost like a door on the wall or a really weird painting if the trees were not moving on the far side of the portal and smelled the fresh air coming out of it. Another step and he felt the magical energies tearing reality apart. Recovering by the sensations, Lucas braced himself and concentrated.

Going through a portal such as this was easy, but the sensation of instant travel was distasteful at the least. Having your being dismantled and remade in an instant was not an easy thing and most people could feel sick for days. But he, a wizard, should be able to take it. An experienced wizard and under the tutelage of Arch-Wizard Marcus, he should be used to it by now. Taking a deep breath, he stepped to the portal.

The next moment he was in Greenleaf and he exhaled. Feeling a little dizzy and tired, he took a few deep breaths and tried to remember the path to Evant. Taking eastwards he took on of the two less walked paths of the crossroads.

The path seemed to have been built centuries ago. The stone steps were buried in mud and some of them had flowers and roots covering them. Some times, the path could not be seen as it looked as any part of the forest. It took him the good part of an hour to reach his destination. The scenery was more than rewarding for his time spent walking. However, something felt off.

Reaching the glade of Igrad, where Evant would be, he found only silence and stillness. Igrad was where most of the ents, the tree people, spent their time growing herbs and rare plants and flowers. Most of the ents here would spent decades of nurturing plants after their long travels to recover them and then go back and spread the rare plants into the world. The trees would root there and tend to the little ones talking to each other.

Now the glade looked dreadfully peaceful.No ent was there, but the glade was full of old trees. Lucas moved closer to Evant’s spot. Another tree was there, without any herbs around it. Normally you could see the enormous dark eyes of the ents and their branches’ constant moving nurturing the plants, while smaller animals would jump on their branches. That was weird.

Raising his staff, he made a gesture with it that created a glyph on the air. The glyph of recognition. “Reveal”, he shouted. A calming blue-white light filled the area. Now the trees seemed darker in comparison and the air was kind of thicker, but nothing happened. “It didn’t work, that is impossible”, he thought.

Something was amiss. He tried the glyph of worlds. Nothing, no other plane of existence was interfering with this one here. Last, he tried the “Lifght of Anubis”, but no unseen enemies of the underworld were there either.

He was left to uncover the mystery with his own eyes and mind. He took a stroll around the glade, watching, taking mental notes, thinking …

No life existed. Something must have attached the glade and done something to the ents. He began casting wards around the place and protective spells on himself.

Finally, he got back to Evant’s place. He tried to summon any animals that could shed a light to the mystery. Unfortunately, he was not adept to summoning magicks, as are summoners, druids or shamans. It seemed that weak spells did not have an effect here and he was not experience enough to use stronger ones of that kind.

He finally decided that the trees in the ent’s places held the secret. Raising both hands he called a raging inferno to Evan’t ‘impostor’.

The fire crackled and burned the tree. Pieces of it started falling like stones but not burning. “Enough!”, a deep voice broke the silence and a strong wind tried to blow the fire away and failed.

Lucas stopped the incantation. He was now in front of Evant, the ent, a little burned on the sides and with all his leaves burned, but still seemed fine and healthy.

“Thank you young wizrd, Lucas is it?”, Evant said.

“Yes”, he replied.

“Nice call, to burn the curse, even if it scorched me a little. But I will get better. There are more pressing matters now”.

“Lucas looked a little, thinking that he intended to burn an impostor, not break a curse, still the results were good, maybe better than expected. Finally he found the strength to address the ent:

“What happened ancient one?”

“A dark magician came requesting all our herbs and plants. We, of course, refused and he got furious. Then, he opened a bottle of grey mist. The animals managed to flee, but we were petrified, while a layer of wood grown above the petrification. That kept us both hidden and in deep sleep. I see that he got all the herbs he wanted. We have to stop him. Now that I have awaken, I can feel his presence west of here. Follow the road of the oaks. You should reach him soon if you hurry. I am in no shape to help you, but you have to go …”.

“Thank you, oh great-one. I will come back with the stolen herbs”, he said and took off.

In his mind, Lucas was not sure about this. He might be experienced, but the curse seemed the work of a master of the craft. While running, he checked his pouches and though of ways to deal with the enemy. From time to time he stopped for a breath and to collect some seeds and dirt that might be useful later.

Soon he could hear the hoofs of a horse hitting heavily on the stones of the road. The enemy was near. Lucas took a few minutes to relax, drink some water and eat something to regain his energy. The fight would be a hard one. He also took a few moments to plan his first move. The young wizard was a master of blue magic, water, illusions and spells that distorted reality or called ethereal creatures were his speciality.

He decided to block the enemy with a few phantasms, ghost like creatures made of mist and follow with bolts of ice to subdue him. With a brief sprint, he reached the dark rider. As the enemy turned to face him, he hit his staff to the ground calling half a dozen phantasms to block and encircle the enemy.

Before he could raise his staff again, to cast the first icicle missile, the dark rider waved turned and with a wave of his hand, dark magic intercepted and disintegrated the phantasms, knocking Lucas a few steps back. The battle was on.

The dark rider jumped from his over-loaded horse. Now, Lucas could see his opponent’s face, or what could be seen behind the hood covering it. Half of his face was distorted, probably the cost of an unholy experiment or summoning. With a cold, deep voice, the rider said:

“Who dares attack Sidamus the Dark?”, and then he revealed himself by removing his hood and throwing back his cloak.

He was wearing the leather garments and boots of a druid, with a demon necklace around his neck and enchanted rings on his fingers. It seemed to have been a druid at some time that turned into the black arts, probably a warlock. Warlocks are fierce battle mages, specializing in offensive magicks, blood magic and summoning demons to do their bidding. Lucas, took a moment to summon all of his courage and shouted:

“You are a summoner, one of the deserters of the ‘Earthen Circle of Protectors’. Give back what you stole and I promise you a fair trial”.

“Ha ha, a youngling trying to intimate me. Die for your insolence “, he exclaimed and stretching his right hand towards Lucas he sent a beam of black light.

Barely on time, Lucas created a blue circle around him and stopped the blow.

“Good reflexes for one so young, and some skill too you have. But you can’t fight against eons of experience. Past friends and now slaves, show him my power.” With but his command, the trees around Lucas tried to immobilize him, but he avoided them and grabbing an enchanted dagger from his pouch he cut them to pieces.

Now it was his turn. He sheathed his dagger and grabbed his staff with both hands. The sky-blue orb on top of the staff begun to glow. An eerie mist covered the battlefield.

“An elementary trick at best, child”, said Sedimus who dismissed the mist with a simple wave of his hand. Only to be stricken by a blue lightning.

“Not if combined with another”, said Lucas with a smile, beginning to find his lost courage.

“Do not rejoice yet, amateur, that only tickled. Come forth Erezaiah, my thrall”, his demon necklace burned with fire and he touched it to release a demonic miasma, a dragon-demon of the netherworld. It’s saurian face was crimson red and had two horns that curled to the back of his head. The two metres beast stood like a human and carried an enormous sledge hammer in his claw-like fingers. Also, Sedimus made another gesture and two feral wolves joined the demon. “Have fun my pets.”,. The creatures ran towards Lucas.

But he remained calm and with a quick spell, he changed the earth below the beasts into quick-sand. The two wolves were caught in the trap, but the demon only slowed its pace. Still calm, he called fourth the illusion of a squad of soldiers blocking the way of the beast. The guards could weaken it, but illusion spells dissipate easily when stricken. However, he knew that summoning and controlling a powerful demon took a lot of power and concentration from warlocks, he could at least be able to focus on the demon for a while.

Next, he murmured an incantation and a dozen archers appeared, again illusions made real. Concentrating on the target, Lucas made the archers release a deadly rain of arrows to the demon. A fierce fire encircled the demonic beast shielding it from the attack. It seemed that the warlock was not an ordinary one, managing to cast spells that required concentration while controlling its thrall. Lucas dismissed the archers.

However, the demon seemed to have slowed even more and got stuck in the quick-sand. The warlock would not let his pet lost. Summoning a crimson-black dagger, he made a cut on his arm, letting a little of hid blood to be spill. The blood magic spell powered up the demon who went into a blood-frenzy and escaped the quicksand.

The wizard had to think of something and quite fast. Most of his spells wouldn’t work and he used the collected mud for the quicksand. He was only left with some magic dust and the spores he collected. On the mean time, the warlock was powering up the demon who went horn first into the squad crushing the first two guardians and engaging the others.

The battle will soon be over. Lucas cast a freeze spell, but it only slowed the demon for a few moments. Enough for the soldiers to make some cuts in the beast’s hide, without any effect. The enormous weapon of the demon seemed to crushed the summoned guardians that were falling one by one and becoming mist again. Then, the young wizard remember remembered his master and cast the same arcane prison as the demon cut through the last of the squad. The prison held. The demon was finally stopped and straggled with the bars of violent magic.

Sedimus would not accept defeat for his pet. A dark aura surrounded him and he sent it to his pet demon. The demon cried in pain and grew larger and darker, his sledgehammer grew spikes and a black aura was now upon it. With a blow, the prison shattered.

Now Lucas felt helpless. The dragon-demon was moments from squashing him. Desperate as he was, he took all his magical powder and infused the seeds he earlier gathered with arcane energy. He threw them at the charging enemy. The demon blinked, and stopped at first a few steps away from the wizard. It seemed distracted but the spores had no other effect. Then, the beast raised his hammer for the final blow and Lucas send a violet light of energy to hit his would be killer. The arcane beam had no effect. Again, the situation seemed impossible. The sledgehammer was seconds from hitting its target, when a root sprouted from the demon’s chest and grabbed its hand, stopping it in mid-air. The root grew and rooted the demon immobilizing him to the ground.

The warlock send a ball of fire to burn the plant, that kept its pet from victory. A blue energy destroyed the fire as soon as it reached its target.

Lucas found his chance and stepped back, giving him some space to cast a banishing spell: “With the blesses of Aramour, I banish thee vile creature to the depths of hell”.

The demon was gone and the warlock exhausted. However, he had a few trinkets left. Using his rings, he summoned a crimson dagger that flew towards Lucas. With enough time to spare he murmured a teleportation spell which took him a few metres from the warlock and out of the daggers path.

The warlock exhausted from the magic attacks, reached for his dark dagger. Lucas needed a few moments to recover but managed to cast the arcane prison spell to his enemy. With a few more spells, he disarmed the enemy from all his items and fortified the prison. The fight was over and he could go back home now.

The way back took a long time, but he rode the black horse, while Sedimus the Warlock was was following behind in his levitating prison. All the herbs he stole were on the horse and Lucas was going to take them back to their rightful owners.

The day was nearing to an end, but the forest seemed to be coming alive again. Reaching back at the clearing, Evant greeted him. He had already managed to revive most of the ents and the animals were back. After some time, the ents took all the re-plantable herbs and left Lucas with the rest as a reward. The Warlock would also stay with the ents, waiting for his trial and punishment.

For the road home, Evant summoned some beasts to protect the weary wizard in addition to giving him some fruits and nectar to replenish him.

Back to Marius’ lab, the Arch-wizard was waiting for him. The apprentice left the bag of herbs to the guards and rushed to the tower with only the ent-root. It was a long night, Evant had sent a message to Marius. The Arch-Wizard kept his apprentice until late, over tea and cake, so he could tell him everything.

At the end Marius sent his apprentice to a much-needed sleep. In the following days the would visit again the prisoner and question him.

Now, the day was over.

Back to blogging with a poem

After a big absence from the blogosphere, I decided to come back to this domain.

I probably won’t be blogging too often, but for a fresh start, I will write down a poem I wrote a few days ago! Enjoy!

The Road of Dreams

As I walk the road of dreams,
In my so peaceful bliss,

May our minds meet in peace,
Oh so lovely it is to sleep.

So I wish you a goodnight,
Kisses, sweets and stuff oh so nice,

And as the night passes by,
Sleep well, me dear dreamer! — Cyprus’ new mobile comparison engine

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Kindle (ebook-Reader) Vs Books

WHAT’S A KINDLE? Let’s start with the definition of the word, I really like it! It means Arouse or Inspire. But also it is amazon’s ebook-reader. An ebook-reader, is a device that can store an enormous number of text-like documents and not only, but also enable you to read them using that same device. In essence, its an electronic device for reading books.Its a device that can change your life, if what you do is carry a book always with you just to read it in some quite corner waiting, in the break time at work, or at community transportation, such as buses, trains, metro or whatever. Also, its battery autonomy is quite large, as it can be used non-stop up to 15 days or 30 if you have it in sleep mode, just worry of battery life once or twice a month!

BUT I CAN do the same with an old book I buy from a bookstore. Yes you can do the same, and it wont need a battery recharge. But can you carry more than one or two small books around? Kindle is so thin and weight a lot less than one book, but in essence it is a lot of books in that small size. You can adjust the settings to bigger or smaller letters, change page easily, write notes or underline parts, without needing to “destroy” your book or carry a pen with you. Also, it is a way of NOT-CUTTING trees in the process to create a book or recycle paper to create a new one. Kindle may consume energy and plastic or in the process release carbon dioxide to be made, but after that, you only need to charge it once in a while and thats all … No cutting trees or buying paperbooks, or need a bookstore to buy books, you just download them.

BUT A DISADVANTAGE, of that, is that you can’t find all the books you want as an ebook, also it might look as an expensive device without offering much reduced price on books. But personally I believe that will change with the penetration of the ebooks and kindles or other ebook readers in the market, making the processes of creating ebooks easier and more commonplace, thus cheap.

BOOKS BECOME OBSOLETE, with kindle as its opponents? Of course not, kindle can give you the ability to read a book in broad daylight, in opposition with other devices, even other ebook-readers, but it wont give you the pleasure of touching a book. However, it is so useful that it will change the market of buying books, probably broaden it, making buying a book and reading it easier. Real books will be dominant for maybe a decade or more, as we are used to them and older people are also used to them, giving you satisfaction watching your library becoming bigger with the passing of time, but sometime the ebooks will become dominant, changing the way we read. Its not kindle that will do it, but the use of computers, smartphones, netbooks, which give the access to electronic sources of text, more easily shared , searched and found anywhere, anytime.

BUT FOR NOW, I enjoy reading some books on kindle, even if I can’t find all I want/need on it, I have already read some parts of Sherlock Holmes’ stories and Edgar Allan Poe’s poems, and also just finished reading 1984 (nineteen eighty four) for kindle. Imagine having at minimum price (or at some points free) resources of classics or even more modern literature, scientific or personal ebooks, anytime, and change the subject whenever you are bored. You don’t need to carry all your literature with you, but only a small device, and you don’t need to have all kinds of page selectors as not to lose an important part, just make an electronic note, underline it or just search it later … and there it is.

I SUGGEST YOU give it a try and see for yourself. About 100 dollars or euros or english pounds might not sound that cheap, but the advantages are so vast that you will start earning in knowledge and reading/studying a lot more in one or two years (depending on usage). Its the future that does not destroy the past, but overpowers it and gives us an incredible advantage to use it MORE.

What I learned this week: Viral Marketing

QUICK INTRO: AS of this Monday, I have been working in a major telecommunications company as part of my practice/experience course. I have been placed to the marketing department for the television, but also visiting several other offices,  following people to meetings or reading their work and talking about several projects. As a Communications student with specialty in the Internet, I know a few things about marketing and more about the Internet part. So, It looks like I will be writing for what I will be learning this summer.

THIS WEEK’S MOST important “word” was Viral. Viral as of Viral Marketing strategy for promoting ones’ image. But what exactly is a “Viral Marketing” and how can someone achieve it? Wikipedia’s definition of viral marketing are buzzwords that are used as marketing techniques at social networks in order to produce and/or increase brand awareness or some other marketing goals using the people to spread the word, just like the way viruses spread from machine to machine or human to human. A viral marketing comes with a vast variety of forms and can combine several forms such as text, pictures, videos, sounds electronic games and others. This marketing strategy is used in such way to promote sharing in social media and the internet equivalent of word of mouth.

THIS BECOME EASIER, with the introduction of social media in our lives. As there were some examples of viral marketing in the past internet world, nowadays, social media and people who are active in social media make this easier to spread a really simple but clever viral campaign. The whole idea begins with … an “idea”, a simple but catchy phrase or funny video or just something unusual or even a competition that people like so much to share it with friends or are given an incentive to share it, thus making it go “viral”, meaning that it spreads without much effort from the releaser of the campaign. Usually it requires some form of media support from the creator, but the most successful viral campaigns can be traced in all over the internet, as bloggers will recognize it as a fad and comment on it, or your friends will share it and major websites or internet media outlets will notice it and write about it as a “phenomenon”.

THATS THE BASICS of a viral marketing campaign over the net. The interesting part, is that I am living in a country of 1 million people and the companies here are not always merged or having a parallel campaign with the 10 million Greece (which is the only country in the world with the same language and similar culture). What happens when people … or the market … grows tired of the viral campaigns? Or will it not grow tired? Thats an interesting question that we might learn in the future.