The Rainbow’s Treasures: An Early Blurb

Do you know the Leprechaun who lives in the old oak tree? Living a life of solitude, the little man in green isn’t quite as tall as the tales surrounding him. Find out what happens when the lonely life is no longer an option for the simple creature behind many magnificent myths.

If interested, subscribe and find out more while awaiting the November release of the e-book.


Updates and Changes

Change is the only constant in life.

As a whole, I believe we can agree that impatience and a need to progress have become a large part of most of our lives. Both are natural tendencies, though one is generally referred to as good and the other bad. Shortly after I created and started posting on my own blog, I ran into another blog that was recently remodeled. Where the Wild Thinks Are described how Mica had difficulty settling on a new layout and title for her blog. at the time, I was probably on my 15th of about 20 themes for my own blog, so I couldn’t help but sympathize. In our search for the perfect layout, we expended countless hours looking around, thinking, and bouncing ideas off people. Perfection is a good goal! It may not be reasonable, but it sure works wonders in terms of inspiration. The trick is knowing when to call it quits and stop: every story has a conclusion and every painting has a final brush-stroke.

That being said, there is no rule against going back to old projects and touching them up. Some things will need fixed five years down the road, others might not have even been finished, and still others might have room for improvement after more experience has been gained. I resigned myself to my “final layout” for this blog about two weeks in, but I’ve gone back and changed two things today: my Statement and my commenting regulations. The first was in an attempt to create a bit more cohesion in the website, while the second was to fix a problem I failed to solve early on and that I began guessing at solutions for whilst collaborating on poetry posts. Now anyone that wants to comment on my posts can, though I do ask that things remain clean (and I do retain the right to remove comments that may be offensive to other readers).

Deadlines exist as both the perfect compliment and the worst enemy to advancement. While they certainly promote the urgency of certain projects, they can create a sense of finality that can harm the project in the long run. Therefore, it is important to create deadlines carefully. A deadline should never be the period at the end of a sentence of a project; they should be created with the intent of keeping something going, and therefore be worded in such a way as to promote later addition and revision of a work. This is something I am struggling with as I apply to the National Merit Finalist Competition. Many of the organizations I am listing are new to me this year and I have yet to find out their exact schedules as meetings have not begun with regularity. Everything is due by this Friday, but I’d love to wait until next semester so I could give a comprehensive listing. Plus, there is an essay to write, which is still in the working.

Wish me luck!


Listen to everyone. Ideas come from everywhere.

The fortune given to me for Part 2 of my book is the same as that I’m using to introduce this post. It is very true. Even the most creative people can have problems settling down and working on one thing.

I ran into my sophomore year English teacher yesterday because she was back in the building acting as a substitute. One of the teachers around long enough to teach a number of my other teachers, Mrs. Eschenbrenner knew how to keep the class both fun and frightening. She’s the one that provided us with the original prompt that led to the first part of my book and one of the people to encourage me to publish it. When I told her I was finally preparing to publish it, the nearby Spanish classes thought someone was getting murdered she squealed so loudly. To this day, I believe my best works come when I’ve been directed by someone else but given permission to do exactly as I wish. Most of my art follows this rule, and literature is no exception. It is exactly this reason that leads me to enjoy classes based around creative writing or art. Sitting here typing, I have also come to a conclusion: I feel the need to recognize the four individuals that have impacted my involvement with the arts the most in the last couple of years. A big thanks to my teachers, Mrs. Eschenbrenner and Mr. Durham, and to my friends, Jill May and Amanda Tournillon.

To close, some info on the featured picture. True to my promise of a new medium, this work is a pen-based example of typography. The design is inspired by a wooden model I pieced together in elementary school and the poem is one I had to memorize for a presentation in fifth grade (yes, I was able to write it down and craft the entire project from memory, other than a quick check for accuracy, as far as the poem goes). The poem is one written by Shel Silverstein and, for clarification from my chicken-scrawl, goes as follows:

I am the Dragon of Grindly Grun
I breathe fire as hot as the Sun.
When a knight comes to fight,
I just toast him on sight,
Like a hot, crispy cinnamon bun.

When I see a fair damsel go by,
I just sigh a fiery sigh,
And she’s baked like a ‘tater,
I think of her later,
With a romantic tear in my eye.

I am the Dragon of Grindly Grun,
But my lunches aren’t very much fun,
For I like my damsels medium-rare,
And they always come out well done.

Keep looking for inspiration and don’t forget to record what you find, whether that be in words, paint, music, or another medium! Don’t be afraid to share either; you might surprise yourself!

Hera’s Lullaby

Given a slip containing two lines of poetry, I was set with the task of creating a poem. My prompt addressed what was obviously suggestive of an abusive relationship with words such as “baby,” “venom,” and “antidote.” I, of course, made it my goal to break from such an obvious path. I still found myself restricted, however, by the baby mentioned. The fun alternative: write to an infant! And what infant had a run-in with venom before he even left the cradle?

Cheer up Baby; things weren’t quite that bad –
With every bit of Venom, the Antidote you had.

In the Cradle, sleeping sound:
Zeus’ Deception in every Pound.
Snakes Slither up: Spawn of my Hate;
Your very presence Tempts all the Fates.

Too young you were to notice the Threat
Yet wise Hands of Youth tore ‘part Death’s cold Bet.
Distressed I looked down and Yanked out my hair;
You’d just deepened my dark green Despair.

Years now I’ve waited and plotted Revenge
Sitting in Patience of a soft brooding Tinge.
Your wonderful Wedding helped and procured
New faithful Love and the smell of Death-Assured.

Your Madness then came:
A bold sense of Shame
As wife was lain Slaughtered;
Youthful hands at last Martyred.

Love-Two came and Went
And through her hands we’ve sent
Your deadly Poison:
Your lapse of Reason.

Bright Flames now engulf your once sturdy figure;
The King of Olympus starts to Consider:
His Chaste Queen has failed –
His Bright Bolt must be Hailed.

Finally I notice my bold action’s Flaw:
A Beacon now too, you’ve set a Firm jaw.
Once Mortal and lost
You’ve won at all costs.

Now Begging, I whimper;
I’ll share just what to Remember:
Cheer up Baby; things weren’t quite that bad –
With every Bit of venom, the Antidote you had.

I will admit to a slow turn around in this writing, but my schedule has been hectic. Monday, the 21st (yesterday, two days ago, however you want to refer to that one), I volunteered at Marquette’s blood drive through my community service class. Doing so, I failed to attend class with Mr. Durham, and therefore didn’t get my prompt until today/ yesterday/ Tuesday, the 22nd. I had cross country immediately after school and had to go straight to work from there (Cara remains bewildered by my age and status and has begun fabricating a family for me). Barely into my shift, I received the command to turn in my poem. Now, six hours later, I’ve finally found computer access and turned it in.

Hope everyone enjoyed!

What’s in a number?

Age is but a number. What is a number?

Take a stab in the dark at the age of the featured male.

Stab taken?

How well did you do? He is eighteen. For those that haven’t seen, that is me. I am a teenager. I am not 27; I am not 35; I am not 84. I walked into work today and I was told I had a “daddy” look. Cara, the coworker asking, thought I was in my mid to late twenties. She almost turned the café upside-down when she found out I’m only 18. Similarly, at my uncle’s 50th birthday party, I had a guest come up to me and try directing me into a conversation with his son because I “looked about his age.” The individual in question here reminded me of one of my middle school cross country coaches: big, buff, balding, and around thirty. I will admit though, I’ve had times I’ve had myself fooled. There is a picture of my brother and I on top of Mt. Baldy in Philmont in which I feel as though I could be my brother’s uncle with the shadowing and wind-whipped hair aging me. Finally, to address the 84, I have been put through a couple of age-approximation programs and a few of my pictures have spun out results putting me in my upper 70s or 80s.

I’m not the only one though. I have a friend that used to play guitar or bass at her church every weekend and there were multiple occasions that she’d complain about college guys trying to hit on her because she looked their age. She was a high-school underclassman at the time. Another friend is told, and admits to feeling as though she looks twelve – a couple of twelve year olds at a park even came up to us and, thinking we were dating, said I was too old for her because I was eighteen and she was twelve (We were both seventeen at the time).

In addition to physical maturity, there is definitely a deviation among mental maturities (and absolutely no standard for that either). There are times that I act as though I’m “fully grown up” and that I “have it all together,” but there are other times that I behave like a “third grader” (I’ve been told that one specifically a couple times). I try to act maturely in the right situations, but it can be difficult. Then again, a third grader can try to act maturely too. Maybe the measure of maturity should be how often a person can act the age they need to be in a moment, whether that be a middle-aged executive or a carefree kindergartner.

Of course, applying an aging scale independent of physical age is nigh on impossible, but I’d like to issue the challenge of imagining a world in which is does work. What would it look like?


Writing Withdrawal!

I haven’t blogged since Thursday afternoon – haven’t even written anything since Friday morning. I’ve figured out pretty well what writing withdrawal is. AND IT IS REAL!

Both Thursday and Friday nights I worked. Had to go straight in as soon as I finished cross country practice, and worked until around 10:30 or 11. Saturday I had a cross country meet and homecoming to go to. Woke up at 5, went down around 1. In there, I didn’t get a break: had a suit to find and beagles to take care of. Two beagles that managed to beat me up. I took them out and hooked them up to their leashes in the back yard and they both clothes-lined me together. I now have a decent bruising to show for it. Today, the puppies still needed cared for. I managed to hit them up before Mass, then had work yet again. We were evidently very slow yesterday and it carried over into today. I got there and Marteese was almost caught up on dishes. He left and I finished the job, never getting behind the rest of the night. I was completely closed by 7, but the café stays open until 10. I WISH I COULD HAVE WRITTEN SOMETHING! Working on my book would have been even better. I even had Katherine encouraging me to write. But I couldn’t. I ended up on the computer, working on my long-overdue e-learning for salad making. We finally closed and I got to take bread for the cross country team, but I forgot all the pastries, cookies, and brownies – the morning shift will have a nice surprise.

With all that’s happened this weekend, laundry did not get done, so now I’m waiting for it to finish as well as satisfying my hunger for the written word. I have far too many shirts, yet some would consider my pant selection to be lacking. Last I counted, I had almost 80 t-shirts alone. I’ve received more since then. The only reason I do laundry half the time is for socks; I have 6 pairs that I’ll regularly use and a couple others that I’ll use if I’m behind on laundry. The amount of running I do shreds the socks I do own though. Most of the back-up socks have no fabric left in the toe area. My shoes are the same way. Every once in a while people will comment on them, but I honestly have grown fond of the cracks along the outside edges of my shoes. They remind me of the miles I’ve put on them.

As far as running shoes go, I’m a big fan of Mizuno. I’ve tried Brooks and Nike, but have always gone back to Mizuno. The difference is in the sole. Nike’s shoes are supposed to have great soles, but because they are completely composed of foam, they are less supportive and durable than my foot likes. The shoes, however, do not fall apart. Brooks, with the gel in the sole, is very cushioned and can actually be a very durable shoe, but I’ve seen too many defects pop up in individuals’ shoes. The most common is poor stitching around the tongue. As for my true grievance with Brooks: their toe-drop is very oddly shaped and bruises the balls of my feet. Mizuno, with the wave-plate, has a very durable sole, other than the rubber that has developed a tendency in more recent models to fall off as the mileage limit is approached. The downfall that bothers some people is the lack of durability in the upper fabrics, but I personally see it as a side-effect of a better positive: a very light shoe.

Exhaustion and creativity go hand in hand for me, but balance is key, and I have tipped the scales to exhaustion at this point. For those wishing for a return to this crazy mind, “Until next time!”

Author’s Bio in the Work

Stephen Naylor, the internationally recognized jack-of-all-trades, experiences the world through his own unique creative license. Both a nationally recognized scholar and athlete, Stephen lives for the challenge and can always be seen either serving the great outdoors or taking on the giant that spells education. At long last, his interior test-lover and avid artist have come together to produce the anticipated author.