I went to see The Greatest Showman tonight and it made me think of The Man Who Invented Christmas. Comparing these two films gave me an epiphany. The price of creating a legacy that will last until the end of time is high beyond measure. I am not just talking about financial price. I am also talking about the social and spiritual prices. Many pay the price and end up destroying themselves, never getting another chance. Some pay the price and destroy themselves and those around them, but their legacy and names will live on. Both P.T. Barnum and Charles Dickens created legacies that changed the world into what it is today, but almost destroyed their relationships with their families and loved ones as well as facing financial ruin. There are a rare few who do not pay the high price all at once, but gradually over time. I would say that I am one of those rare few who creates a perfect balance of paying the price yet maintaining my relationships at the same time. The road to an ultimate legacy is longer, but it reduces the risk of me destroying myself and it has worked out well for me so far.



In The Last Jedi, I saw the most epic scene I have ever seen in a Star Wars film: HYPERSPACE KAMIKAZE!!! Some people questioned the move, but it is basic physics. A ship going that fast is going to blow through everything in its path regardless of how big its target is. So the size and shields of Supreme Leader Snoke’s flagship are of no use against such an attack. Also, the resulting debris is still moving at light speed and will shred through any other ships that are in the area, which is why the surrounding Star Destroyers were demolished as well. Overall, a hyperspace kamikaze is a fleet-killing technique that I think the Resistance will use more often in the future. To defeat the First Order, the Resistance needed a “divine wind” and they had just that.


When coming up with the Imperial Palace in Numen the Slayer, I drew inspiration from museum displays of gold and my experiences on top of Mammoth Mountain. I thought that a palace fit for an emperor had to be the biggest, richest, and most impregnable castle in the entire Empire. After examining gold samples and remembering my time on top of a mountain, I thought of making the Imperial Palace a mountain that started out as a mine before being converted into a vast stronghold. To this end, I drew inspiration from various interpretations of dwarf kingdoms in fantasy. In fact, thousands of years ago, the Imperial Palace started as a dwarf kingdom until it was taken from them by human conquerors. After the sacking of the Imperial Palace, the dwarf race became extinct throughout Gradaia along with the elves. The Palace’s new human owners took full advantage of its limitless wealth of gold, silver, copper, and precious gems. Then the Imperial Palace was taken by Galen the Bull, who made the Palace his seat as he conquered the other Petty Kingdoms. On the outside, the Imperial Palace is a thousand foot tall mountain made of red and yellow stone and rests in the middle of a lake that acts as a natural moat. The only features that give it away as a fortification are the front gate and a citadel carved out of the summit. Inside the Imperial Palace are countless halls, galleries, barracks, storerooms, vaults, kitchens, and many other rooms. Its stables could house over a thousand horses, its great hall had two dozen hearths, and its storerooms can contain enough food and provisions to last decades in case of a siege. Each of these rooms and halls are big and lavish enough to occupy gods. The throne room is the largest of the chambers and contains three distinct thrones: one made of gold, one made of silver, and one made of bronze. The gold throne is for the ruling emperor or empress, the silver throne is for their consort, and the bronze throne is for their heir apparent. The Imperial Palace is so vast that it requires more than ten thousand men-at-arms to be properly garrisoned. The largest army in the Empire can lay siege to the Imperial Palace and be repelled. The only way into the Imperial Palace is with the occupants’ consent. Overall, the Imperial Palace is a stronghold that shames all other castles in terms of size, wealth, and defense.



To further celebrate Christmas, I went to a mixture between a deli and winery and sampled a piece of classic gouda cheese. It was creamy and tasted similar to cheddar cheese, but with a stronger aftertaste. Overall, that was some good gouda! In medieval times, cheese was a common dish because it was a way to preserve milk and help with digestion. They believed that it helped calm down the “cauldron” of the stomach. I shall keep this in mind as I continue to write the delicacies in my fantasy world.



I participated in wine tasting for the first time in my life. I asked for the closest thing they had to French Bourdeaux and they provided it. I am all for tasting the wine and spitting it out, but I NEVER swallow. So I took a taste, analyzed it, and spat it out in a jar. At first, it was smooth and sweet, but I was soon struck in the jaw with a sledgehammer of spiciness and my teeth were left tingling with a tangy aftertaste. Bourdeaux is what was sometimes used to make hypocras in medieval times. Due to this, I can imagine this wine being a lot sweeter and spicier than it normally is if it was converted into hypocras. I will keep this in mind when I mention hypocras again in my fantasy series.



For Christmas Eve dinner, I had grilled rabbit. It was not like any meat I ever had, but it was better than I ever could have expected. It tasted similar to chicken yet had a smokey, bacon-like taste as well. It was lots of manual labor to work through the skin, bones, and tendons, but it was worth it. It was gamey, but it had plenty of meat to be filling. Rabbits were common game in medieval times and Henry VIII often hunted rabbit himself on his royal estates. Therefore, this was an ideal opportunity to try it, analyze the smell, taste, and texture, and incorporate it into future fantasy stories. It was a successful experiment and an enjoyable Christmas Eve dinner.