Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Yesterday I finished reading my first Warhammer novel, Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I have been aware of Warhammer for quite some time but never really knew much about it. I haven't previously played any of the games or read the comics or novels associated with it. But the last few times I was in my local bookstore I found myself repeatedly drawn to the display featuring several of the novels in this particular story arc which, as a whole, is referred to as The Horus Heresy. Since I am an absolute sucker for spiffy packaging I decided to go ahead and pick up the first novel in the series, the aforementioned Horus Rising. I grew up reading various "franchise" novels, by which I mean books set in worlds that were created in another media (i.e. Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek). I've enjoyed most of those novels I've read but never felt like they really ever challenged me to think as I read them. They were certainly enjoyable and not at all badly written but they, for the most part, weren't very deep. Everything was pretty much on the surface. Not so with Horus Rising. The novel touched on a lot of topics I really wasn't expecting from a "franchise" novel. Questions of faith, superstition and blind loyalty were presented in an interesting and thought provoking manner. Abnett's style of writing is immediately engaging and really draws you in. In fact, I would venture to say that if this book were not a Warhammer book, but instead something Abnett himself had created that it would receive much more praise and attention than it has. Not to say it is not popular but I suspect much of that popularity is derived from Warhammer's legion of fans. I am eager to continue the series (each novel by a different author) and see if the themes presented by Abnett carry throughout. I certainly hope so. Abnett has whetted my appetite for Warhammer in general and his writing in specific.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This Too Shall Pass

As I was laying in the bed this morning, reveling in the fact that I had no pressing reason to get out from under the covers (the kids were with the in-laws) my mind began to wander, as it often does. I was off yesterday and again today which, considering I've been working 6 day weeks since October, constitutes a vacation. Then I began thinking about my actual vacation which is coming up in a couple of weeks. Naturally, the thought of 4 days off in a row got me quite giddy. But then I began to think about how fast those 4 days will pass and I became a little melancholy. That's the way it goes with me. I never stay happy for long but, on the bright side, I rarely stay depressed long either. And this got me thinking about a parable I read in a book about Buddhism once. It seems there was a ruler once who commanded his subjects to present him with a gift that would make him happy when he was sad and sad when he was happy. Many of his subjects came and went but none were able to meet the parameters of his edict. Finally came someone who presented him with a plain brass ring. No one in the court thought that this plain item would be what their ruler was hoping for. After a few long moments of contemplating the simple ring the ruler at last smiled and announced that this was what he had been hoping for. When questioned by one of his followers as to why this trinket fulfilled his wishes the ruler simply showed him the ring. Inside the band were inscribed four simple words: this too shall pass. I have thought of these words often in my life and I have found that they can indeed make one happy when they are sad and sad when they are happy. Life has a way of deceiving us daily. At times it seems life is so long and that we may have years or even decades to do the things we want. At other times the realization of how short life really is hits home. As a teenager I often subscribed to the theory of carpe diem (seize the day). It's easy when you're young and have no responsibility to seize the day. It becomes much harder as the years go by and you have a family and a job and other responsibilities. Seizing the day is near impossible when you're more concerned about how your bills are going to get paid or what the future holds for your children. As I've I gotten older I've found that the mantra that "this too shall pass" serves me much better. It helps me to never get too high or too low and to just worry about getting through the day and let tomorrow take care of itself. I realize that is also a biblical principle which to me just shows how similar religions are to one another. But that's a blog for another day...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another Beginning

First things first. There is no such thing as a murder of dragons unless, of course, you are referring to the slaying of said creature. The title was inspired by the term murder of crows which, you may or may not know, refers to a group of crows. A gathering of dragons is actually referred to as a flight of dragons. I hope you will agree that murder of dragons sounds much more literary. Anyways, this was about my 14th choice as a title for my new blog. Some of the others I hoped to use were: Off On A Tangent, Indiscriminate Musings, Dreaming Void and (don't ask where this came from) Implausibility of Gnus. Believe it or not though all those titles were already in use. So I came up with Murder of Dragons instead. If you think that title makes little or no sense just wait until you read some of my postings. I fully intend to write on any random subject that may enter my mind at a given moment. For those that know me that can be quite a chilling thought. My mind will wander from subject to unrelated subject with little or no prodding from even myself. Hopefully my musings will inspire you to do a little mental wandering of your own. After all, an active imagination is the sign of a healthy mind. I hope. Either way, welcome and enjoy!