What’s this “Bestiary” thing?
Bestiary: an illustrated medieval or allegorical moralizing work on the appearance and habits of animals
|oeuvre: the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial part of it)
-or in this case, that of a particularly fascinating species!
To me, bestiaries are allegorical sparks which can bloom into brilliant mental bonfires, each of which can inspire another flare of intellectual passion in someone else. Here is where I enjoy thinking, reading, and sharing thoughts with others. Why a bestiary? Because we’re still all mythologizing animals, searching (with varying levels of success) for meaning in existence. My fascinated reviews of our literary, religious, and philosophical oeuvre is how I explore others’ attempts at understanding, in order to improve my own personal understanding.
Please feel free to browse and enjoy the various articles herein. Also, I love receiving suggestions on interesting topics for future columns, or thoughtful critiques on my Firestarters and Library reviews. Well-considered commentary is a pleasure, and interesting new viewpoints are always fun to ponder.
About bestiaries & intellectual curiosity
Medieval bestiaries depicted strange, mysterious creatures from distant and wondrous lands, illustrating them and their habits as allegories for life’s moral complexities. Today we no longer look for wonder and mystery in new lands; our fascinated explorations tend to lie inwards. My bestiary maps the perplexing mindscapes I’ve seen or pondered — shapeshifting mythical organisms painted in HTML — and shares these personal conundrums with you.
Alternatively, we could just say I like thinking too much. ;-)
About the Firestarters
“Firestarter” was originally the title of my ‘zine in a now-defunct APA (Amateur Press Association). I got the idea from two things: the Stephen King novel of the same name, which was loosely about a radical genetic change in humanity… and a half-laughing comment made by Guthrum, an old and dear friend, “Collie, gaming with you is like playing with sweaty dynamite!”
I use Firestarter now as the title for the speculative monthly columns I enjoy writing, which I post on-line. I started writing them in October of 2003, because I had so many thoughts churning around in my head, no one to discuss them with, and they just had to come out! Along with brand new Firestarter and Library columns, I’m also currently re-posting my older writings here as well, interspersed with updated thoughts on older works as the mood strikes me.
Also, I realized establishing a place where fun or interesting writings are available for perusal and comment gives one a dandy excuse for both chatting with others, and doing research. I greatly enjoy the systematic investigation required to establish known data, and the search for knowledge has always been a joy to me.
The Firestarters are a great pleasure to write now, since not only do I enjoy sorting out and organizing my thoughts in this fashion, but I’m constantly thrilled at other folks giving me their input as well. They appear on the 10th of each month, with a Library review on the first and the 20th.
Please feel free to read them all and make comments, or suggestions on possible future topics as well. I invite you to also check back often to see if I or others have replied to your comments, and to join the Bestiary‘s RSS feeds for updates on this site.
About the Library
In my virtual Library you’ll find reviews of some of the interesting books I’ve read, as well as occasional other types of media, such as movies or museum visits. Library reviews appear twice monthly, on the first and on the 20th of the month, with the Firestarter appearing on the 10th.
Please browse freely and give me your review suggestions and thoughts, either agreeing or disagreeing. Read! Think! There is no greater compliment you can pay me than to say you were inspired by my thoughts to consider (however temporarily) another’s point of view.
If you find a review particularly intriguing, please buy the book or movie through my Amazon Associate link, and help us both — you get something new and fun to review and think about, and I get some pocket change! Sometimes the amazon links don’t render properly, and you’ll see an ad for amazon in general, but just hit your refresh or renew button so they get it right. Also, when possible I link to paperbacks and (with out-of-print texts) to links with used versions available as well. Amazon gives me nothing for used sales, but what I really want is for folks to be able to find fun and fascinating books.
Nothing much to say, really. Let’s see…
I’ve lived in other cultures long enough to develop a healthy lack of belief in the perfection of any of them; I’ve worked with, sometimes trained, and learned greatly from a wide variety of animals, from the quadrupedal & non-pedal (horses, Indian elephants, Bactrian camels, cows, alligators, dogs, cats, hamsters, parakeets, domestic turkeys, red-tail hawks, great horned owls, rats, mice, a wide variety of snakes, etc.) to the more bipedal kind; I still struggle with finding a happy medium between logic, faith, and emotion; I’ve improved and re-created myself more than once, both physically and mentally; I’ve met (and still strive to meet) my fears head-on, to conquer them and usually discover they’re never as bad as I initially thought; I try to live and work in a way I feel is right, ethical, and kind; and I’ve been relatively fortunate in being able to do what I enjoy most of the time.
My birthday is October the fifth, and I love holidays and cards and presents! I also love sending out cards and the occasional fun little gift to folks who’re kind enough to indulge my enjoyment of holidays and of mentally masticating enthralling ideas with others… so if you’d like a card send me your address and birthdate!
Life is usually good. I encourage you too to dismiss your fears and live your dreams to the fullest — because the only person who can free you is you yourself. We each of us create our own Heavens and, unfortunately, our own Hells. Just as surely, each of us deserves to live in Joy — but the only person who can give you that joyous life is you yourself.
Happy searching! ;)