2017 (and 2016) Years In Review and Missions Accomplished!

15 Jan

This is the time of year when I reflect on my wins and learn from my losses and share them with anyone that is willing to read or listen to help me be accountable to the solutions.  Say what you will about 2017.  It was one of my best years ever.  It seemed to be a year of things coming together like a giant master plan.  As I look back at previous years I caught something.  I usually don’t share the bad stuff.  Last year (2017) seemed so good because it also included 2016.  Most of my bold wins of 2017 where me addressing to the epic failed attempts of 2016, so in all honesty these success were two years coming.  It was surprising to look for the 2016 recap and find that I did not even pause for the failures but kept on going until I succeeded.  Come with me back to early 2016…    https://shanespeare.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/2016-i-am-in-you/

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Best Health! Best Race Season Ever!
ULTRA BEAST, Hurricane Heats, Triathlon and Trifecta Deltas

I am so proud of my performance and lifestyle change I happily went to the doctor at the end of the year just to get a full physical to back it up.  The results were great.  Much of it can be attributed to a few key moments I will talk about in other entries, but the primary one was Spartan Race!  Whenever I am worried that civilization is doomed, I know we are fine because there are “Spartans” all over the world, and I have traveled to meet so many of them.  I pursued the Trifecta Delta (https://youtu.be/9yEf_HG9520 for those that do not know), completed the Ultra Beast and Hurricane Heats and the Colorado Rockies Beast and finished out 2017 with my tenth (10th) Trifecta in in the first official race in SPARTA, GREECE!  

However looking back I totally got my ass kicked in 2016 attempting it which is probably why the success is so much sweeter to me now.  I returned to the Hawaii Trifecta to do the Ultra Beast towards my Endurance Trifecta and was cut from the race missing a “time hack” by ten minutes.  This sucked more because I had so much more to give but I was mismanaging my effort.  They gave me a radio and let me be the “Sweeper” which was an amazing life experience in itself.        

That “set back” launched me forward as soon as I returned stateside to finish the Beast hours ahead of my fastest time.  I started to measure metrics I never understood prior and learned you do not have to choose between macro and micro, you can do both.  I got a bike and started swimming and training to do Triathlons and set goals not from race to race, but from day to day and workout to workout.  I treated myself to a Garmin Fenix 5 watch and committed to never doing less than I did yesterday.  I trained a bit with a Half-Ironman who told me there was a James Bond themed Triathlon that I thought I would “tri” and came in 2nd place.  I soon realized that I didn’t need the Spartan Race to put myself to the test, but started looking at them as a chance to document my improved performance.  Although I didn’t need a race to do my best, I began exploring virtual races to keep raising the bar.  I committed to traveling to new races and completed the Hurricane Heat, the Colorado Rockies Beast, the AT&T Stadium Sprint (which is the first one my mother attended and finally got “why” I do this) and the first Dallas Ultra Beast better than I predicted and recovered on a plane en route to the real SPARTA to finish my best race season.       

LOVE and LIGHT

Picking up on the “LOVE and LOSS” I certainly feel I made some wise decisions that put my heart in the right place for “LOVE and LIGHT”.  Especially in this digital age of swiping left at the slightest inconvenience and over sharing what I would consider intimate details I did find love and it is beyond anything and everything I ever imagined.  To share any more would contradict the breakthroughs I’ve had regarding closeness and intimacy, but I can tell you what resonates with what we generally hear; trust yourself and follow your heart.  Perhaps I always take the long way around to get there, but I feel my heart and soul are healed and very capable of loving and being loved well in return.  This continues to be the biggest win in my life so far.  The only reason I didn’t lead with this was following the structure of the last entry and I did not want to disgust those of you that have read this far.  Love is the most amazing thing ever!

CAR FANTASIES FULFILLED!

Long before I could legally drive and while most boys were obsessed with girls or video games I always had a thing for exotic european cars, particularly those of British heritage.  For decades I have been pushing, towing, fixing, troubleshooting and cleverly customizing my dream cars with no payoff other than occasionally people saying “I love your car”.  I was never saving on gas mileage, never had a warranty and never took arriving at my destination for granted.  When I did have to go to a mechanic they were usually a specialist and we usually had to brainstorm about innovative and creative solutions.  During this time I had the second incarnation of my beloved Triumph TR-6 https://shanespeare.wordpress.com/2015/06/, my James Bond BMW Motorcycle, the reincarnation of my LandRover Discovery II and my Wildest Dream, my V12 Aston Martin convertible.  Do you remember that poster of a car barn that had a dream car for every day of the week?  I made it, although I don’t know what I would have filled the other bays with.   

The Aston landed my first Blue Ribbon at All British and European Car Day and the Rover saved our lives when we were somehow picked up into the air and dropped on our heads.  It was truly a supernatural paranormal out of this world experience but to land upside down in opposing traffic and for us to walk out with a minor scratch and a bump on the head was pretty amazing.  They built them like tanks back then and I found a replacement in the same color with a few upgrades while at the hospital being checked out.  The good folks at North Texas British combined all the best to make my third Rover.  Much like all the letters after NCC-1701 I think I am sold that I will always have one of these in my collection.  

Now this could have been me dodging my next regeneration.  Whether you are a Whovian or believe a cool cat has 9 lives I was pretty much dead when I hit a deer on a motorcycle in 2002.  Then when 7 years later almost to the day I was hit in Deep Ellum on a motorcycle I was paying attention.  Some might say “stop riding motorcycles”, but I was pretty clear the universe was saying third time’s the charm (in 7 years).  I thought I was good until 2016-17 when I looked around and saw the drivers on their phones all around me.  I parted with the motorcycles and saw this was my way of cheating my next regeneration the way the 10th Doctor did for my Whovian friends.  I live every day hoping I was right.     

MY KINGDOM FOR A HORSE” ~Shakespeare

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man
~ Winston Churchill   

Fortunately horses have often found their way into my life and my heart and in 2016 it was presented to me by a brilliant and very influential saleswoman that I could train, ride and even compete for almost the same budget (in both time and money) as I was allocating to my other endeavors.  I always say you should be learning something new because it helps with your perspective with all things and being around horses is changing my life for the better.  

There are many paths that converge on this.  As part of my healing heart I shared my passions and also embraced those that were shared with me.  That opened my eyes to how often I see horses around while I’m running, walking or training on my bike.  Even in the city when I would train for the races I found myself at a barn right off the trail behind my house that goes to White Rock Lake. (Rocking M Stables).  Trying to climb the stairs after a Spartan Race is quite a challenge, and then you see a horse jumping over the fence or traversing the terrain just puts it all into perspective.  Maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong.       

I started taking lessons and progressing on school horses but was not able to ride as much as I wanted so began the search for my own horse that I could ride, bond, train, learn, grow and essentially evolve.  Many warned me about this process and I consider myself fortunate to have found such a great horse with the help of my trainer and insight from trusted friends.  I am on the right track with a beautiful and talented mare named Artful Design.

The Five Year Mission… To Boldly Go… Blind?  

Over the past five years many good friends that have become my work family have come to work at Bold.  Bold; Our brave venture into human connection through sales, marketing, call centers and emerging technologies.  Just like Star Trek, we “boldly go” and some have come on for a cameo or an episode, season and some have been part of the entire series.  Bold has consistently grown year over year, pretty much doubling what we did the previous year.  As with all the other things lining up this past year we strategically joined forces with the Dallas Lighthouse For The Blind.

This has so much potential and opportunities going forward I feel this is the cusp of something entirely new professionally.  This also gives me the flexibility to continue my creative pursuits with Shane-Arts as we go into our 25th year.

What’s next?

It is quite satisfying to cross such epic life goals off my list.  I am sure there will be a way to top them in 2018 and beyond.

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What is a Spartan Race?

5 Dec

Leonidas

“What is a Spartan Race?” is a question that seems to come up more each year and there is yet to be an answer with satisfaction.  It seems everyone has their own definition so here is mine.

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The Spartan Race is a test of endurance, bravery and courage for the mind, body and soul.  It is the leader in the obstacle course racing (OCR) phenomenon that is increasingly impacting the globe.  Take the fast thinking agility of the Ninja Warrior and the determination of an Ultra marathon runner or Ironman and have them face themselves and their fears in the hero’s journey and it starts to give you an idea of the mindset of a Spartan Racer.

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Spartan commands it’s own distinction in new world of endurance and adventure themed events.  At the time of this writing it seems there is Spartan Race, Tough Mudder and “Everything Else”.  In 2010-2011 I discovered the world of “Everything Else” while working with first responders with my job with Praetorian Group.  Running seemed boring but playing “Jailbreak” or “Warrior Dash” was a blast.  Perhaps it was a chance for adults to get dirty and play in this world of safety helmets and antimicrobial tech.  For me there was no real training, planning or lessons to be learned.  It was just a bunch of us playing and drinking afterwards.  

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When I mentioned I was registered for a Spartan Race many were compelled to counsel me on what it was as if they were paying their final respects.  Tough Mudder gets similar reactions and I notice many favor one over the other but there is a mutual respect yet bias between the two. Racers usually have a preference and I favor Spartan.  (If you want to know more check out “Rise of the Sufferfests”.)

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Spartan Race come in all shapes and sizes from inspirational workout tours, blogs and Spartan Sprint all the way to 12+ Hour Hurricane Heats, 26+ Miles Ultra Beasts and Agoge.  https://www.spartan.com/en/race/learn-more/race-types-overview
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Spartan Race attracts racers of all shapes and sizes because it transcends just the physical athleticism and balances the importance of the heart and mind which often levels the playing fields for those that may not be the fastest runner or the strongest climber.  It is brilliant because it truly strengthens all three.  If you start with all heart, those burpees will get you off the couch and training your body for the best shape of your life.  If you are in top physical condition these obstacles will test and strengthen your mind and your spirit.  If you have soul these races will transcend you to another level and another plane.  
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Spartan Races are mental.  I got over fears I never knew I had in the very same race (Claustrophobia in those tiny green underground tubes in Austin anyone?).  Can you run 26.2 miles?  How about 28 miles over rugged terrain, slippery rocks, waist deep mud or waist high fire in extreme climates and epic destination terrain?  You must learn to psyche yourself up and how much of an influence the mind actually is over the body and soul.  Thanks to Spartan Racing I pushed my physical and spiritual farther than I could in any gym or place of worship.        
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Spartan Races are spiritual.  I distinctly remember thinking I as a few levels beyond a “near death experience” when suddenly storm clouds parted and light shined on a cross in a chapel carved into a granite cliff.  I also remember the multi-cultural spiritual experiences of the Hawaii Trifecta and if you are monotheistic your mind can certainly empathize how early Greeks had so many gods if you experienced the Spartan Race in Sparta.  “This is blasphemy!  This is madness!”  You know your cue.    

Spartan Races are physical.  You might think this goes without saying but top NFL athletes are put to the test and humbled.  I was running alongside Lance Armstrong in Austin a few years back, and know ultra fit pop stars that have taken the challenge.  My body may not look it as fit as I would like it to, but when I show up to a gym, cross-fit group or triathalon in a Spartan Finisher shirt it feels like having the pride of some well earned chiseled abs.  

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Spartan Race changes your life.  I remember the traffic to for the Texas Beast a few years back.  Cars were lined up for miles filled with amped up racers that took their pre-workout a bit early.  I got out and jogged almost 8 miles to the start line with a smile on my face.  I was honored to be the last volunteer sweeping the course after the Ultra Beast in Hawaii.  I no longer need a race to get out there and push myself.  I do it every chance I get.        

Who am I? I AM A SPARTAN!

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Chapter 10 – Pride and Extreme Prejudice

26 Apr

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune, must be in want of a wife…

…or a life or at least something like that.” charmingly chimed Greg Vestal
I acknowledge it” acknowledged Miranda G. Gilliam enjoying romantic literary references while running around the world much like Noble Nikki Robertson along with Amanda GarciaLori McCartySandy Kreps and Wendi Medling.

Therapist Beth Lewis grabbed the progressively narrative mic and said….
Yes, and as everyone knows acknowledgement is power.  Therefore it should also be acknowledged that everyone may not know it at the exact same time.  The consequences of that happening are too much to disclose at this part of the story, however it is safe to say that everyone will come to this understanding at least some point in their life.

David Ristuccia boldly hijacked the microphone channel to give history lessons on the bad ass men and women that have all acknowledged this.  Among them he noted David Ristuccia for his power lifting persona and of course his fair cousin Rachael Bower and the Marvelous Mikaila Munoz who were both making their way as a mermaid and a sexy lobster which is the hidden meaning to him always suggesting you take your fish oil.

Amy Beth Hinkhouse-Dunavant proposed that they should all acknowledge it at the same time just to see what would happen.  Carrie Campbell GerdesChristie Douglas and Nick Kriofske all being the acknowledgement daredevils they all were quick to volunteer.

Joel Ferrell felt it could be more powerful adpated for the stage. Katharine O’Sullivan Spadacenta stepped up as the stage manager and the cast was quickly assembled including Cheryl AmmeterJessica HoffmanStephanie DunnamStephanie Renee and Debbie Ramsey Lofland.  Shawn Patrello insisted there be clowns or “mechanicals” and Mark C Guerra (Markasaurus Rex) insisted on fairies.  Debbie Ramsey Lofland insisted they do the show in the dirt and Fred Curchack said he would just do it all himself with a few puppets and a some bic lighters for lighting.  John Venable thought he would hold out for Martin Scorese to direct him with Steve Martin. Joe Chapa supported that choice.

Eldon WristonShane Owens and Bella Eden Alexander-Johnson all realized they had something magical. Daniel Driensky and Darlene Hammond thought they would help get the word out and organized an awareness campaign

What shall we call this production?” posed Wendy Powell
Batdad vs Superteacher” immediately contributed Daniel Thomas Jones
Dead Bloggers Society” threw in Krystal Gable
The Never Ending Birthday Story” offered Elizabeth Owens and everybody silenced in agreement, then cheered at the pure resonance of it.

Haven Powers asked if there would be a Luck Dragon and Sher Jean Bear assured her there would be a variety of dragons.  Jamy Porter also demanded there be Bounty Hunters and Sith Lords with fabulous hair.  Benjamin Davis mentioned he has a place for that.

The creative group began rehearsals, production meetings and publicity campaigns while Patricia Pell and Charity HopperMotorplex Jones presented the celebratory cake and lit the candles.

What they may not have yet realized is that each candle they lit was a world that was burning.  Kimberly Kay Lucas acknowledged she was the bright light of one candle as the others were lit.  Morgan McClure let her light shine it created a shadow on everyone else.  Laurel Hoitsma filled those shadows with her light.

As the light got brighter and brighter one might think it could not possibly be brighter. “That is what one might call limits” said Law Michael Sullivan and his alter ego Lawrence Sullivan.

Jamie Matlock said “I don’t subscribe to limits“.  Theresa Vance and Kristin Sutton Ford nodded in agreement.
I don’t believe they really exist” added Deborah Longworth with all her Urbanity.
I will have to agree.  Any limits I thought I had I created myself” admitted the AmaZING Mikaila Muñoz Lotierzo.
Well if we create our own they still exist” debated Maggie Grant.
I like to refer to a limit as a #TIMIL.  That’s limit spelled backwards to remind me I created it” contributed Jennifer Besser.

By this time all the candles were lit and the light was brighter than they all imagined.  They began to transcend their reality and each emerged surrounded by their wishes.

Paige NashSteve Luce and Darlene Munger wishes all popped up like bubbles in the air, or in the water, or in space.  Lauren DunnawayFrieda Austin and Elias Sahwani had as many wishes as there were grains of sand in an hourglass.

While blinded by the brilliance, brighter lights seems to shoot from the center.  Sandy Degen LedbetterJennifer Eiffert and Carol Reed were each brighter than the sun but streaked across the brightness like a firework. Jamie Matlock and Adrianna Cervantes Grinke were like lasers. Louisa Lawless and Don Long where like shooting stars.

Elvis Monroe and Pamela Ann knew these lights had to come from someplace.

They come from here” answered Gwendolyn Michelle Phillips gesturing towards a source.  The funny thing is no matter who was looking, they all saw the same thing.  It did not matter if it was Taylor ReaCarrie Campbell Gerdes or Traci Towers Clark.  They saw the same source that Dianne Kelly Samoff II and Dianne Samoff III saw.  It was as if they were looking into a mirror when they looked into the light.  William Bill Gartin and Brandon Enriquez all saw the same thing, but they all saw something unique.

Guy Robison said “It’s our heart light.
Whoa, slow down there Neil Diamond” quipped Chris Garcia Peak.
He’s right!” said John D Kolinofsky
The light of the world is in my heart” realized Derek Phillips
What color is yours?” asked Cathrine Hatcher  “The color matters

Mine is silver-ish” said Joseph Di Lorenzo
Mine is green” said Tom Green
So is mine.  It’s the color of love” said Melissa Knight
Mine is pink.  I think pink is the color of love” Michelle Polvado
Brenda Johnson
 and Brenda Johnson both chimed in and said “Mine is purple
“I’d say mine is azure” added Jordan Roth
We can all be right.  We can all be love” claimed DeDe Boozer
Not today!” Cried Eric Dobbins
Today only I can be right” demanded Cynthia Kirchner
There can be only one!” proclaimed the beautiful Jessika Bouyer

And as silly as it sounds that was the dawn of prejudice.
Extreme Prejudice” added Gabriel Wheaton going for title credit.

Anthony Skibell Ph D harmonized a sound and #OurPro appeared with an understanding smile. Kristen Prezbindowski and Heather Sanford understood and said that’s why you always see her with a skull.
In homage to Shakespeare?” asked Kevin Brandon understanding it’s his Birthday too.
In homage to all things” said #OurPro placing one hand on the shoulder of Anne Young Fritsche and the other on Jessica Layman “And what is your wish?

LuckDragon

 

Chapter 9-It’s Your Party

28 Mar

Daliegg

It’s the start of Spring with a full moon and a full basket of goodies.  Ophelia Flame is bound to ask “Is #OurPro dead?

Kenda Taylor suggests maybe just dead tired and sleeping very heavily.  After all it’s been an emotionally exhausting battle of dimensional forces crossing over making all the wishes come true.  Merilee Effingham would also like you to please note this is on top of manifesting nightmares for those that are not specific in their desires.
Know what you want!” declared Angela Lay Roberts
“...And be specific or you’ll be learning lessons in specificity for lifetimes” mused Brett Alexandria Unruh
Be prepared to get what you want, otherwise you may see your blessings as curses” assured Meredith Shook

Perhaps #OurPro has yet to live, in the sense as we understand it” explored Lilly Law.

Our protagonist is referred to as #OurPro for those of you just now joining us.  You might want to catch up as there are planes, trains, boats and ships and exotic vehicles that are all emerging in different worlds.  Entire moons and planets that are transported with a single thought.  There are epic battles and romances, but most importantly parties, dancing and celebrations all in honor of you.  Yes YOU!  Why you?

You say it is your Birthday” says Timothy Noonan.
It’s my Birthday too” jammed Ilona Scheel on a tamborine.
We’re gonna have a good time” added Gretchen Neary

Randy Clower and Nicoya Mothershed took you arm and arm and thrust you forward into the scene.  Martin Ezelle flashed a smile with such smoothness you’d think that Lando Calrissian was his pupil.  Fred Villanueva places your favorite drink in one hand and Taylor Bunn puts your favorite party favor in the other.  Everything seems grand.

Or does it!?” dramatically poises Nicole Pearce as she has a way with words.
Maybe a little too grand…“thought Heather Kidd
Or maybe we are just getting started” optimized Judith Prueitt-Prentice

However #OurPro still felt a bit off.  Something or someone is missing.  Who can it be?
Joanie Bannister sent for a magic mirror that can reflect the truth in any situation, and Jamie Singer ran her wild horses with the help of Lisa J Miller and Cindee Mayfield.

Are the birthday guest from the Riverboat arrived?” she asked Ginger Mensik.
Ginger nodded and #OurPro requested that she conjure up that ridiculously good looking world famous highly skilled private detective to help her find what is missing.

What is missing is essential” pondered Emily Murdock.  #OurPro agreed and charged her and Kamelle MillsTanya Brooke Dunlap and Bruce Allen Stewart to track down the Birthday Guests from the transdimensional railroad conducted by Skip Waters and make sure they make it to the party.

Marie Quevedo volunteered her league of endurance athletes to explore the terrain looking for anyone that might have gotten lost in the shift.

Amanda assembled a crew for the fasted ship in the dimension and commanded “Prepare to set sail“.

“Who will take to the air?” asked #OurPro as George AshcraftLisa Marie Wright and Dayna Delux all volunteered simultaneously.

 Ethan Norris and Cara Cassaday produced a dance card of all of the characters and realized it was only about a quarter full.

Still plenty of openings” chimed Ruth Engel-McEntire
So many songs” added Tash Kouri
So many dance partners” charmed Mary Friesen

Shanae Chandler fondly remembered one of her high school dances with a date with two first names and Melinda Imthurn served as a valet for the limo full of guests that pulled up.  Claudia Acosta opened the gates for Keith Randal Duncan and the royal Reka Reek.

We’re going to need a bigger ballroom” referenced Kenda Taylor
We’re going to need a bigger heart…” added #OurPro “to give all the love and wishes”
How do you do it?” asked a curious Courtney Gayle
How do WE do it.” corrected our beautiful protagonist as a statement. “That is the secret I am going to share with you.
Well let’s have it!” aggressively suggested Marty Van Kleeck.

Secret! Secret! Secret!” Started chanting Rachel Hull and Angela Heenan-Gair and soon the entire vibration of the dimension began to change until a sphere of light appeared.  A hush quickly fell across all the spectators and witnesses.  The timeless moment was measured by Terry Robertson-Baker gasping quickly followed by Chip Joslin asking… “Is this it?

#OurPro asked if anyone knew what it was and the answers were plenty!

It’s a world” offered Noble Tse
A UFO” added Jon Lee Hart
It’s Love” romanticized Cindy Walker Seely
It’s light” obviously stated Lauren Claiborne Black
Its’ beauty” declared Liz da Silva
It’s an egg” stated Jim Bigner
An Easter Egg!” quickly added Christina Shelton
A surprise visit with custom comedy” shamelessly plugged Jill Christine Peters
It’s a seed of something spectacular“offered Allison Rogers
It’s one of them She-Ra’s” suggested Zach Touchon
Like the Princess of Power? I Love her” comically saved Cassidy Crown Confer
I think he means Chakra” corrected Marty Copeland
It’s my wish” you said quietly to yourself.

#OurPro told them they were all correct, even the shameless plug.  Then the light became brighter and our beautiful protagonist couldn’t sustain it any longer.  It got brighter and the sphere began to crack….

It’s hatching!” observed Joanna Holden with just the right amount of dramatic intensity.
Is it Lady Gaga?” Asked Robin Devoe

The light seemed to go nova and as it dimmed the silhouette of a figure appeared in the classic superhero pose and a powerful voice said “I am your antagonist.  You may call me #YourAnt for short

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Chapter 8- 60 Characters In Search Of An Author

20 Mar

Shots Fired!” misused an apathetic and ironically misunderstood millennial because this was indeed a serious situation and not a simple verbal assault over interpersonal trivia.  This is not to say that verbal assaults on the internet are trivial or that this epic war of superheroes is just part of the natural order of the chaos in the universe.  It simply is.

Lou Smith and Brenda Lindenberg Stanton both felt this is the time to put a disclaimer that the names and situations in this story may be real or fictional but may reflect real life and certainly does not reflect the exclusive view or possibly any part of the views of the people that embody those names or the author in perpetuity throughout all the infinite  Universes. Elizabeth Wright would also like to add if they might seem to be true or based on real events that is entirely up to you and your imagination.  Chris McMurtry wanted to encourage the taking of flash photography or low-light or with filters all under the preferred hashtag (Might I suggest #HappyTSBday, #Shanespeare or #OurPro). Mike Salcido wanted to thank all the artists that made this possible, and also the car with the License Plate THX 1138 left their lights on and it was causing too much lens flare for Nikki DeShea Smith‘s fantastic light design.

Now  Sandi Bailey brings us back to the story from the front lines of this super battle.

Angela Raelene McGuire signaled she was ready to engage as she always enjoyed a fray for the right reasons.  Lauren Godfrey Patterson,  Ashley Head and Dixie Still got in position.

“I have the shot” affirmed Scarlett McAlister Harris.
“Then take it” commanded Daniel R States.

The shot was taken and quickly enhanced by Dalton James and the Prince of Pisces, Fan of the Fishes Mycal Sykes because it is what they do and they know how to work their craft.

So do the others.  Just then Greg Grayson dropped a joke grenade to bring us back to the story.  Jamie Wollrab waited for it to go off and then had to explain that is when you tell a joke but it doesn’t hit its audience right away.  However, since he had to explain it he felt people still were not laughing it was a dud… or maybe you were just not meant to get it.  Yet.

Cristela Carrizales reminded us to Beware the Ides of March right after Pie Day but Meg ShidelerLaura Laine and Taylor Munholland were already dressed in green leading the parade right out of the ironic land to the land down under while Mia Rae and Shelly Koehler were flipping their real estate like no one has ever seen.

Laurie McNair and Tiffany Williams skeptically joined the parade and as they saw it heading toward a large ship on the water they both thought at the exact same time.  “Deja Vu“.  They both said looking at each other”Pinch Poke, you owe me a Coke“.  They pinched each other starting a trend, like they do.  Monalisa Amidar pinched Bono and Nathan Allen Pinard pinched The Riddler.  However when Laura Reeves pinched Captain America he vanished!   POOF!  Gone!  This is when things started getting very interesting.

Laurie Williamson pinched the Green Lantern and he smiled and thanked her for keeping him relevant.  She though to herself “I’m Smart!” like people do and saw Batman and Superman promoting their movie and thought this would be a good time for her to take her own justice on Batfleck.  She got close and pinched him and nothing happened.

Rest assured you are not the only one disappointed with these circumstances.  Well… technically something happened, but it wasn’t the result she was going for.  Superman asked if she was with him and the mouth breathing Batfleck said “I thought she was with you” confirming they are going for the simplest dialogue ever spoken by superheroes.

Fiona Ann Norton interrupted them saying that since Batman didn’t have Robin or someone to say something along the lines of “Holy Green Thumb Batman, those not wearing green disappear when pinched.” She thought she would explain with her proper dialect to help move things along and we thank her for it.

Erin Treadway pinched the Hulk and there was no reaction and of course Ironman was hovering just out of reach.  Melissa Hartman Couture pinched Wonder Woman and she Poofed and Melissa coined the term “Pinch Poof!”  Why is it that those wearing green were immune to the Pinch Poof wondered Vivian Jimenez Hall.

Diamond Jim and Randy Tinkle were bummed that Wonderwoman was PinchPoofed so they started pinching everybody not wearing green causing a wide spread panic, even though the green smiley faced said “Don’t“.

Easy for you to say” provoked Zelmer Phillips “You’re nothing but a green smiley mouth“.
“And I’m not” said Steve Davis as a classic diversion allowing Eric Soto-Riggle to get close enough to Superman to pinch him but nothing happened.

“Why didn’t that work?” asked Dylan Hollingsworth.

“Because he wasn’t pinched by someone wearing green” explained Mary Williford Bayer.

Suddenly Batman pinched Superman and Superman Pinch Poofed followed by a thunderous applause from a variety of people wearing green or not.  Lisa B. Whitfield thought about pinching Batfleck but Ashlee James McCollom just walked right up and asked to pinch him.  Batfleck nodded, or maybe he was just looking down as such a sad Batman does, either way there was a pinch and he remained.  There was no Pinch Poof for Batman, not even the Ben Affleck one.

batfleck-originalHerschel Alan Weisfeld demanded an explanation because there was absolutely no green visible on Batman, but the mouth breathing crime fighter finally closed his mouth to make an uncomfortable smile and reveal he was wearing kryptonite underwear.

Ohh!” explaimed Donald Wayne Brown Jr. not exactly sure how he felt about that.

Lara Seibert Young loaded the last few from the green parade onto the ship and those not wearing green were scattering for the hills.  Jenni Tooley advised everyone to show their green and Hilary Tipps asked where the ship was going.

Probably to the moon” suggested Chris Spinks as there has been much of that going on.
Jorge Luis Davila led a team on the ground to break up the battle as Batman asked Mike Daniel what his secret identity was since it’s a dead give away that you are a super hero if your secret identity has 2 first names.  Jeramie Crawford suggested that they not reveal his hero yet because then you’ll just get into fights with other superheroes.

It’s all the rage these days” agreed Kristy Krüger but when you have all the feelings as a Pisces, a comic conflict is the last thing you want or need.  Diana Faro Daugherty and Russ Pond agreed.

As the ship left dock and powered out to sea towards the almost full moon Carie Welborn-Bair and Caramie Cason watched mermaids and Aquamen followed singing each to each.

Michael Brower noticed a man in a toga on the bow of the ship with his arms spread like he was King of the World.  Alicia G. Thomasson mentioned all of these heroes are people that she’s recently been reading about and that was Julius Caesar.  Bunny Miles Rothrock and Lynn Kawano noticed he was not wearing green.  The world leader turned to see he was about to be pinched into oblivion.  All he could say is “Etu Mia Rae
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Chapter 7- Well Wishes Through A Wishing Well

9 Mar

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It is wished that one day in the future one might say it’s an old saying; “To survive a broken heart makes you a better person”.  To say today who’s wish it is may jinx it, but in this moment twice as many eyes were closed as they made their wish and blew out their candles.

Jessy Black had exponentially more candles than her planetary clone Judy Smith Blackwell, so Linda Wallace pointed out that gave her exponentially more wishes as she sat back and sassed and sipped.  Shannon Kearns maximized the epic emotional exponent of the event as Terry Brink nursed them all in recovery.

Joshua Dennis must have wished for a light because he was all a glow, which was handy since everyone was in the dark since the candles were blown out.  Audrey Tennant led everyone in a serene prayer which Marie Del Marco commented on was a great way to understand the infinite spectrum of emotions they were all feeling at this party.

It was indeed an emotional time.  Terry Ash EbboMontie Jo Burgy and Logan Maxwell Green were tending to a group of crying guests and Jason Acton asked what was wrong.

Nothing!” respectfully replied Cynthia Santiago.  “They’re actually very happy“.
Why all the tears?” he politely probed.
If you’re not a Pisces you wouldn’t understand.” affirmed Kristine Mansour Armentor.

Haley Esposito and Etty Horowitz nodded and sipped their drink while Laura Lutz Jones and Karen Wiley commented on the snacks and Donald McLaughlin wrote a script about the party favors.  Of course Lydia MackayAndrew Aguilar and Heather Forsythe asked about auditions and Lee Jamison wished she could fit it in between saving all the kittens in the animal kingdom.

Jocelyn White and Christie Renee Welch were wishing in one hand and I would be no gentleman if I were to say what they were doing in the other.  (Lisa Moore says she will tell you if you really want to know)

 Shana Anderson was serving drinks like Bettie Martini and Mallory Malapeño Carrick was pouring shots while Carmen Dexter was serving books that Tiffany Riley was humorously interpreting for those physical comedy connoisseurs Arthur MortonKiki Curry Winters and Celeste Rogers.  Amanda Mount HunterCandy Buckley and Carolyn Collins cut a rug on the dance floor as José Bowen led the band in a funky new groove.  All was chill until the thrill of Kevin Long letting the dogs out.  As he did he noticed on the horizon a league of Spartan Race Warriors led by Matt Nguyen and backed up by Stephen BrodieScott WhiteJeremy EscobarEric Gacia and Trey Birkhead in his 5.0.  As Matt removed his duct tape helmet he commanded to his troops….
SPARTANS!  Prepare for Gloriiiious Birthday Cake!

Aroo!  Aroo!  Aroo!” they all said wondering if it was Gluten Free and exactly how many burpees would be involved.  As they stormed down the ridge to the party the moon eclipsed leaving them all in darkness once again.

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This is pretty cool” acknowledged  Brandon J. Walker as Brad Ward added
I’m prepared” lighting up his torch as did Shawn Gann down in the party camp.

The two lights traveled to each other just as the new moon reached it’s total eclipse of the heart and then once again, as before, there was an unmistakable sound.  Everyone looked toward it and once again, the moon seemed to be a portal transporting visitors from another world.

There was another crack of thunder followed by a downpour of something other than rain.

OUCH!” complained Wale Akin getting hit in the head with what he thought was hail, but turned out to be cold, hard cash with an emphasis on the cold and hard.
Coins!” identified Brad Hartliep
Yes, but they don’t seem to be from around here” observed Douglas D Martin
And they all seem to be coming up heads instead of tails” warned Becca Shivers 
“What’s that?”asked Abi Abel pointing to a tiny light which grew larger as it got closer.
Maybe it’s a shooting star” hoped Jerry Martin as she made yet another Birthday Wish.
Maybe it’s a soul” theorized John M. Flores
Looks to me like a train” pondered Margaret Ponder
It’s a SOUL TRAIL!” zinged Roxy Hernandez with her coming timing and dry wit

Robyn Fletcher Acevedo pointed right at you as you laughed for validation that you are developing an expanding sense of humor as well as imagination.Kevin Jeffers pushed everyone to shelter as the train glanced the ridge and came down towards the party camp.  All the hopes and wishes came through the portal in the eclipse but everyone was too busy scrambling from oncoming train to notice. Jessica Foster and Michelle McElree stood like a dear in the headlight until Tom Urquhart pulled them from the path just in time.
The train slowed and stopped right at the camp as if it was exactly what it intended to do.  Steam, smoke, dust danced in clouds of electric zapping as passenger cars doors opened and people flooded out.  Stefany Cambra and Eimilie Mitchell emerged wearing exceedingly fashionable steam punk attire.  Jacqueline PettitEric Wilder and Josh Hepola emerged at the caboose with what might have been strange weapons.  There seemed to be others but they were hard to pinpoint in the commotion.  Just as the clouds seem to settle and light began to return the train blew it’s horn so loud everyone covered their ears.  The engine turned off and the door raised open to reveal a man in a top hat carrying a large wooden box.  He dropped it down on on the ground to make a stair and two chucks appeared.  As people looked it it was #OurPro.  Her voice seemed to be amplified as she said…
“I heard it was your Birthday”
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Chapter 6-Leapyear Lizards and Aliens!

2 Mar

A hummingbird beats its wings and a circle of light appears.  A pause in that moment reveals what can seen between the hummingbirds wings.  It is the enchanted fairies known as the Wish Squad (#Wishsquad, told you there would be a test in the previous chapters).  This #Wishsquad can create a time when none exists.  They can add a day to February and call it leap year so nobody would ever Google it like they would #Shanespeare or #HappyTSBday.

The #Wishsquad whispered into the ear of Baqash Wilson something that made him head to the transdimensional riverboat to convey a message.  The message was passed to Mark Lawyer who asked Kimberly Alexander to help.  They jumped on the saddled unicorns and galloped to the riverbed.

Michael Murray asked if he could help and Kimberly climbed on his shoulders once they were aboard to deliver the message.

There is a rapping on the window.  A banging on the shutters and a knocking on the door.  Such a loud clatter that Christopher Piper and David Jeremiah startled themselves awake and knew not where they were.  They were not much help so they began to flip some coins, which ironically kept coming up tails.  That’s right!  Not heads, but TAILS!

Cassie Nova found it interesting but was always a fan of tails.  And heads too for that matter.  Jonas Miller found it to be an omen but was indecisive if it was a good one or a bad one. Vincent Wilbanks brought in more bags of coins and flipped and spun them all to the same result.

Perhaps it’s this room” suggested Bree Foster,
Let’s try this back on land” continued Brandy Bianchini,
Follow me!” ordered Ginger Valentine and far be it from anyone to suggest otherwise.

Christopher Todd Penn extended the boarding plank and the away team assembled on the bank of the river.  Janee Hill provided a fresh bag of coins and sure enough.  TAILS! Shauna McLean Tompkins suggested it was a magnetic field or some sort of energy.

Cheryl Andrea and Susan Gurvich cleared the energy of the circle and they attempted again.  TAILS!

This way!” led Christel Danning going further onto land accompanied by more than just the unicorns.  A pair of pegasus flew overhead while R.O.U.S.es followed closed in the trees.  Renee Smith and Amy Whitaker Marroquin suggested it might be the spirit of Barbara Macchia, while Stephanie Fischer was certain to find a scientific explanation.

It’s magic?” suggested Brent Morley
It’s movement.” connected Meghan Cardwell-Wilson
…like muscle memory” continued Elaine Stiglmeier.
It’s music.” concluded Bruce Richardson
It’s some sort of time rift!” hinted undercover time agent Rita Smith.
IT IS ALIENS!” offered Fern, a Peter Pan like figure standing in a toga.
WOW!  Who saw that coming?” asked Tammy Phelps.

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It should be noted that Patti GeolatDouglas L Voet and Tonya Walsh Fenoglio raised their hands while Tyler Santa ironically huffed that he did not believe in aliens and that they were a myth her parents made up so he would stop hunting the tooth fairy.  Micaela Brigida wanted to point out it was in the chapter title and Duraih Preston Smithizzle encouraged Fern to elaborate.

Fern gladly explained that on her 13th Birthday the aliens would return and take her to their homeworld.  Astin Bookout suggested that she might look old enough to buy alcohol and she further explained that she was born in a leap year, so by Birthday’s she’s only had 10, like the Pirates of Penzance but doubled.

So you are saying the coins will never land on heads again for another 12 or so years?” confirmed Mark Storozyszyn.
That is what she’s saying.” assured Grace Patterson.
No, that is not it at all.” corrected Kathy Hoffman.  “That is not what it meant at all”.
How is this furthering the story?” questioned both Emily Bragg and  Ande Bewley.

Just then Jose Granados and Dave Ruffin swung in with their swords drawn and an epic battle ensued.  Earl Browning III pulled his parachute forgetting he was on the ground getting James Prince all tangled up in it.  Dena Miller jumped on the shoulders of Brandon J. Walker and brought him to the ground where Angie Thompson tickled him until he gave up.  Brad Ward allowed himself to be bested by Etty Horowitz and Carmen Dexter.

 Erin McGrew Herndon and Whitney Vinson Rosenbalm faced off in a battle of the voices which drew the attention of most of the other fighters including Wes Raitt who was running alongside a tree when a note struck him so dumb he fell like a feather in a beautiful world.  Shonda Ratliff Graner helped Laura Lutz Jones out of the center of the action as the scurried off into the brush.
Chris and David both looked on and everyone seemed to have abandoned them.  Chris reached into his pouch and found a coin.  He flipped it high into the air and David caught it and looked at it.
Hmpf, That was lucky.” he said.
What?” Asked Chris
It was heads” said David.
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