Aspire To Be Inspired

From where do you pull your inspiration to create?  Is it from personal experiences? Desires? Fantasies? Something else entirely different?  The great thing is that it doesn’t matter what inspires you to create, it only matters that you are inspired and are thus creating.   It makes no difference who you are, we all need inspiration. It creates positive energy and allows us to channel it into creating our own projects that can in turn inspire others.

I am currently sitting in my office, a glass of wine in my hand and a mince pie on my desk. My office is my place of inspiration.  It is full of movie posters, action figures, memorabilia, autographs and photographs.  It is my space for creating.   I look around and I see inspiration, joy, dreams and achievements.  I see reflections of where I’ve been and hints of where I’m going.  It’s like a living scrapbook of my life.  

I am staring at an empty Word document.  This is my blank canvas.  In a few hours, the painting will start to come together as the page fills up with ideas and thoughts.  Characters will appear and plots will grow.  I will flesh out story lines and start forming the basis of a story.  This is the first day of starting a new novel.   I’ve just come home from our annual family visit to Disneyland and am basking in the glow of having seen my three year-old daughter walking around with a look of wonder and excitement on her face.  In her world, the princesses we had breakfast with are real, the Mickey Mouse she sees on television gave her a hug and signed her autograph book and she almost made Thor cry by thanking him for saving the day.  We were only there for five days, but we’ve made memories that will last us a life time.  Every step brought us something new.  She cheered when she saw Jack Skellington in the Haunted Mansion and let out a loud yippee when we made the jump to light speed on the Star Tours ride. Seeing the impact Disneyland had on her is wonderful.  The best thing is that she is no different than any child walking through the front gates.  Walt Disney has touched the lives of countless people young and old and even fifty years after his death, his legacy is stronger than ever and continues to grow at an astounding rate.

Disneyland is a huge inspiration for me and is proof that one person can change the world.  I leave the park feeling invigorated and inspired to create.  Sure, the Disney Corporation is frequently attacked for being a faceless and greedy business entity, but at its heart, the core product of Disney is making people happy. And that it does, tens of thousands of times a day.  Be it through new movies, toys or theme parks.  There is barely a child in the United States, indeed much of the world who has not been affected by Disney in one form or another.  These children grow into adults who hold fond memories of Disney movies and family trips to the Disney resorts and they in turn share these memories with their children. Each new generation continues to build new moments of joy.

We left the park after closing and were on the road by 10:00 p.m. It was a five-hour drive back home to Phoenix and my mind was racing for the entire drive with how I could make my stamp on the world.  Despite the late hour of the commute, I was wide awake forging ideas and stories.  A week later, I have characters and a plot in place. The same thing happened to me last and I am over a hundred and eighty pages into that novel which will be released in 2014.  It is a tradition I hope to continue long into my career.   

I don’t understand the negative energy that is directed towards Disney and its various brands.  There are millions of families whose lives have been touched by Disney.   I am now able to share the movies I grew up on with my daughter. The same way my parents shared the movies they grew up on with me.  Disney creates so much more than just movies and toys.  They create memories and traditions.  These hold far more value than any doll or movie ticket. The more recent movies provide strong female role models for little girls that I am happy for my daughter to be inspired by these characters.     

So why does Disney inspire me so much?  Walt Disney has been responsible for more smiles and memories than any creator in history.  If I can achieve just one one-thousandth of the joy that Disney has created, then I will consider myself a success.  While it may be aiming high to follow in the footsteps of such a large brand, I am a firm believer that if you don’t aim high, you will never reach those heights. You are only limited by the top of the ladder that you set for yourself.  Why not start climbing up the highest ladder?  Walt Disney didn’t and neither will I.

I’ve just placed a framed photograph of my wife, daughter and myself with Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas on the wall in my office.  As my wall fills up one memory at a time, the inspiration brings me one step closer to changing the world and maybe one day becoming the inspiration for someone else to create.



TK31709 Reporting For Duty

This past week I was accepted as a member of the 501st Legion.  For those of you not familiar with the 501st, it is recognized by Lucasfilm as the premiere Star Wars costuming group in the world.  The costuming standards for membership are extremely high and only the best are lucky enough to be a part of its ranks.

The 501st gets to do all kinds of fun events as ambassadors of Star Wars.  But most importantly, and the reason I wanted to join, was the work it does for children’s charities.   Star Wars has given so much to me throughout my life.  As a child, it was the one big equalizer. Rich or poor, popular or outcast, if you loved Star Wars you were accepted.  Everyone had a favorite character and everyone got to role play.

My favorite has always been the Empire and in particular Stormtroopers.  It seemed fitting that my first costume would be one of the Empire’s finest.  Trying the final costume on after eight months of building it was as amazing as I thought it would be 37 years ago when I first saw Star Wars. 

To this day, Star Wars still holds a very special place in my heart and I am excited to give back to the community in the name of Star Wars and the galaxy far, far away.

Every trooper is assigned a TK number, after the Stormtrooper in Star Wars identified as TK421, as in “TK421, why aren’t you at your post?”  I chose TK31709.  It was the day I first met my wife and was the day my world changed.

Hold onto your dreams, they can come true.

Open the blast doors!


Laughing Moon Con Appearance Canceled

I just received word that the Laughing Moon Con has been rescheduled for March 22nd.  Unfortunately I have a scehduling conflict and will not be able to make the event.  I will be in California that weekend working with the producers of my upcoming TV show. I wish the promoters and guests the utmost success with the event.   I thoroughly support any convention that caters to the younger audience and am disappointed I won’t be able to be a part of it.

While on the topic of conventions, I am working on another convention appearance in California for this coming September.  More details as they arrive.

Where Do You Create?

While it is obvious to say that what you create is more important than where you create, a lot can be said for having an environment that is conducive to inspiring  you.  I know for a fact that my office acts as a huge source of  inspiration for me.  The walls are crammed with framed movie posters, photographs and autographs.  Shelves are full of  action figures and movie memorabilia.  It is my space for creating. I look around and I see inspiration, dreams and achievements. They are snapshots of where I’ve been and teasers of where I’m going. 

This photo is a rare look inside my office where I spend many an hour behind the keyboard.  As you can tell, I am a huge Star Wars fan.  The action figures on display are only a small fraction of my collection.  I need to finish building the display shelves so I can get some more out from storage.  I’ve been collecting since I was kid and there are many great memories just on those shelves alone.   Standing in line after seeing “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 to buy FX-7. ” The Phantom Menace” midnight toy release at Toys R’ Us in May 1999.  Some are birthday gifts, Christmas gifts and last minute eBay snipes.   I’ve been collecting for 36 years. I doubt I’ll be stopping anytime soon.

On the other side of the middle monitor is my final draft of “Don’t Make Me Come Down There”.   I’m hoping to have it wrapped in the next three months.