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Are You an Adventurer?

I’ve been browsing through The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, written by pyschologist Linda Edelstein. It’s an interesting book, and I’ve enjoyed reading about various adult personality types.

I’ve always believed that understanding is a key component of good relationships — in real life and in fiction, as well. So from time to time, I’m going to share a bit of information regarding Edelstein’s basic personality types. Perhaps this knowledge will help us build stronger relationships — and for the writers among us, create realistic characters.

Today, let’s look at the Adventurer.

Amelia-EarhartThe adventurer lives on excitement. He or she often takes on “warrior” characteristics. They are always on the go, can be highly competitive, and are often unaware of other people’s feelings. It’s interesting to note that more men than women fall into the Adventurer category, primarily because our culture generally doesn’t support adventurous females.

An exception pointed out by Edelstein is Amelia Earhart. Born in 1897, she became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U. S. Distinguished Flying Cross for the feat.

In 1937, Earhart disappeared while attempting to complete a flight around the world. Two years later, she was declared dead at the age of 41.

To learn more, visit The Official Website of Amelia Earhart.

Although the Adventurer is an adult personality type, signs of it are usually seen in childhood.  Traits of boldness and risk-taking are apparent even in the very young.

Adventurers often become leaders. They are out-going, fun-loving, and often quite entertaining. On the negative side, though, adventurers can become domineering. They ignore rules, bark out orders, and insist on having things their way.

ekThese are the people who live life in the fast lane. They thrive on excitement and are always seeking thrills, especially involving speed or danger. They enjoy the spotlight and love to “put on a show” for others.

Daredevil Evel Knievel comes quickly to mind when I think of the adventurer personality type. Although his death in 2007 was not from any disaster but from disease — diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis, and hepatitis — he once remarked that he was “nothing but scar tissue and surgical steel.”

To learn more about this colorful, larger-than-life character, check out the story of his life and death from the New York Times.

The New York Times – Evel Knievel Dies

 

Normally thick-headed, Adventurers can become stubborn to a fault. Their confidence can lead them to make poor judgments. At their worst, the Adventurer can be hostile and agressive, and their impulsiveness can put them — and others — in danger.

Adventurers among us may not become pioneers in aviation or death-defying stuntmen, but they will be drawn to exciting careers. Fiction is filled with adventurous men and women. Firefighters, Navy SEALS, ruthless stock-traders, and jet-setting playboys are familiar characters, as are female spies, women in the military, and from stories of days gone by, female bandits, gunslingers, and officers of the law, such as Samantha Reynolds, the heroine of my current work-in-progress, The Sheriff Wore Skirts. 

Life is never dull with an adventurer around. They live on the edge and will take us with them if we’re brave enough to go along.

Adventures_Megan_gilger

 


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What Do You Want?

One bit of advice I was given about writing

was to post a sign on the wall above my desk asking:

What does your character want?

The next bit of advice was, whatever your character wants, don’t let him have it.

No, I don’t actually have such a sign hanging up in MLWR (My Little Writing Room), but the idea behind it is solid. Good stories are built from conflict, and the two essential conflicts we all face in life are:

  • We have something we don’t want
  • We want something we don’t have

Learning to make a character miserable is one of the key principles for fiction-writing, but I’m not actually here today to write about my stories.

I’m here to answer another question from my handy-dandy little “Question and Answer” book.  Yes, it’s a question about what I want. When I read it, I felt a bit like a character in one of my novels, someone who’s being denied something I desire.

The question in full reads:

What was something you wanted today, but couldn’t have?

I find that a very awkward question since it’s not yet even 9:00 AM. Maybe the book is meant to be read at night. For me, it works better at the start of the day, so I’ll have to tweak this one a bit to make it work.

I could look back at yesterday. Was there something I wanted but couldn’t have? Maybe, but I can’t think of anything at the moment.

What about this morning? Have I wanted something I haven’t been able to get? Again, I’m sitting here staring off into the distance, unable to think of an answer.

Do I lead a charmed life? Do I have everything I want? No, of course not. I do, however, lead a very contented life. I’m happy with what I have.  I’m reminded of another sign I’ve often seen. I don’t have one of these hanging on the wall either, but maybe I should.

happiness-quotes-16

I do believe this is true. Life offers so many beautiful moments for us to enjoy, so many treasures to experience.  Our world gives us blue skies, rainy mornings, gorgeous flowers, briliantly-plumed birds. We can laugh at the antics of playful puppies, curious kittens, new-born foals. We can know the love of tenderness of family and friends, and can be touched by random acts of kindness from others.  What more could we want than what we’re given?

Oh…I can think of a few things. I’m sure you can, too.

I wish I could snap my fingers and my messy house would instantly be in perfect order. I wouldn’t mind having a few more dollars in my bank accounts, and sure, I’d love to make the NY Times best-seller list.

If I had unlimited funds, I’d renew my subscription to Strategy and Tacticsa war-gaming magazine that I thoroughly enjoy but which is a bit pricey. I’d buy a lot more books, too. I’d make generous donations to my favorite charities and organizations, including Reach Out and ReadThe Cat House on the Kings, and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

If money were no object, I’d probably splurge and buy myself lots of fancy kitchen gadgets, and I’d probably go crazy buying bath towels, bed sheets, candles, and oils. Yeah, there are lots of things I’d enjoy, but I see them as little luxuries, not necessities for a happy life.

Maybe as the day unfolds, I’ll think of something I might want…but can’t have. Right now, I can’t imagine what it might be. Unless…

Aha! I’ve got it. What I wanted this morning but couldn’t get was an answer to this question!

 


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Live Long and Prosper

SpockWe’ve lost an icon in the death of Leonard Nimoy, better known to all as Spock from Star Trek.  The New York Times describes his character as

 

…a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper.”

New York Times on Leonard Nimoy’s death

Star Trek, the television show that made Nimoy a star, premiered on NBC in September, 1966. In the words of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the series, Spock was “the conscience of Star Trek.” The time setting of the show was the distant future. As “The Captain’s Oath” proclaimed at the start of each episode, the mission of the starship Enterprise was

To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

As the captain and crew journeyed into the future, they addressed social problems from the current era, a time of dissension and unrest in our nation.  Many of Mr. Spock’s lessons on life can be found online.

The Wisdom of Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek lasted as an original television series for only three years. Later, it was picked up in syndication and as spin-offs were aired and movies were made, Trekkies joined forces and turned the Starship Enterprise and its crew into a popular franchise with books, conventions, philosophies, and millions of followers.

One of my most memorable Star Trek experiences came not from the show itself but from a documentary which was produced and aired in 1995. The film examined the scientific principles in Star Trek and compared them to current science. Concepts explored included:

  • Faster-than-light travel
  • Time travel
  • Anti-particle physics
  • Medical imaging
  • Extra-solar planets
  • Exterrestrial life and intelligence
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Matter transmission

It was amusing then to look back at the computers used in the show — representing technology of the distant future — and to realize that by 1995, thirty years from the show’s beginnings — we had already surpassed what Captain Kirk and his crew were using.

The Science of Star Trek – Documentary

Yet in many other areas, the science of Star Trek indeed foretold things to come. We are discovering planets beyond our own solar system, robotics and medical imagining have become parts of our daily lives, and we’re all acquainted with AI — artificial intelligence — in games and online sites.

While contemplating Spock, Star Trek, and science, I wondered what the future might hold. I browsed around a bit to learn what today’s thinkers see as they gaze into their figurative crystal balls to view the world that awaits future generations.

Here are a few of the many predictions I found.

  • Most visits to the doctor will be replaced by automated medical exams
  • Special highways will be constructed for use by driverless vehicles
  • Cities will harvest water from the atmosphere
  • Cross-species communication systems will be developed, enabling humans to talk to animals
  • Mankind will have the ability to stop hurricanes and other natural disasters
  • Infrared drone monitoring systems will enable us to reduce forest fires
  • Pharmaceutical products will be highly-individualized and produced “on demand” as needed
  • Extinct species will be brought back to life through technology

Far-fetched? Wishful thinking? Maybe. Or maybe these are glimpses at what our future will be.



 

Thank you for visiting my official author blog and website today. Thank you, too, for allowing me to share a few thoughts with you. I’d love to hear your personal Star Trek memories, your predictions for the future, and your tributes to Leonard Nimoy. May his memory live long in our hearts and may his wisdom long prosper in our world — and other worlds yet to be discovered.