Believe in the Magic

The motion of a pen
The stroke of a brush
There’s magic in making something from dust

Some shading here
A bit of detail there
Can you feel how it tingles the air?

Words of a story
Lines of paint
An artist’s creation
Something published or framed

Do the best you can
To put your mind on the page
A drawing of characters
A scene full of rage

There’s magic in it all
When time is taken
Imagination is yours to awaken

Beloved and known
Your own creation
Someday you’ll hold it all your own
Whether picture or dictation

Published or framed
For the world to see
Believe in the magic
And it’ll be

A little faith and trust go a long way
Enjoy your creation
Seize the day!

With the motion of a pen
Or the stroke of a brush
There’s magic in making something from dust

Character Dilemma

“I don’t see why we have to do this.”

I’m straightening my notes as the lieutenant sits across from me. He folds his arms and crosses his legs and pointedly stares at the wall. I smile at him. As annoying as he can be, I love the sharp features I gave him. I’ve been putting off this interview with him for far too long.

“I’m not the main character.” My lieutenant tosses his head back to get his blonde hair out of his eyes. “I shouldn’t have to do this.”

“Every named character has to do this.” I shrug. “If you were an unnamed barkeep, then we wouldn’t be here, but I gave you a name, lieutenant, and a purpose in my novel.”

“A purpose.” He scoffs. “Not a very good one.”

“To start, perhaps, but you don’t know the growth that’s involved. Trust me, my friend, it’ll be–“

“I’m not your friend!”

His snap doesn’t surprise me. I raise my hands. “Alright, not your friend. How about we just get through this interview so you can go?”

He scoffs. “You said every named character has to go through this, but you haven’t done this with the other lieutenants yet.”

I huff sheepishly. “You’re right, but their time is coming. Right now, you’re the more important one out of the three of you.”

He rolls his eyes. “Peachy.”

I try to hide my amusement. I know how he feels. I hate doing interviews and admitting personal parts of myself. I felt exactly what he’s feeling now when I had to do a meeting for work. The only difference is I was able to bite down my hostile and sarcastic comments. He can’t. I never considered this lieutenant much. We didn’t like each other when the novel started, but we have more in common than I thought. “We need to figure out how to do your scenes in the sequel. Those all depend on how you feel about what you did in the first novel.”

“Don’t you already know how I feel?” He gives me a hardened look. “Being the author and all?”

I smile and I brush my hair behind my ear. “If I knew what to put on the page, we wouldn’t be doing this.” When he rolls his eyes, I clear my throat. “Alright. You did a lot of really good things in the first novel, but there’s one thing that’s weighing on your mind, right?”

“Sure.”

“You won’t talk about it to anyone, will you?”

“It’s no one’s business but my own.”

I nod. “I can relate to that. But, lieutenant, it is effecting your work, isn’t it?”

He shakes his head. “I wouldn’t say so.”

“I think we both know that’s a lie, sir.” I check my notes. “You’ve been stricter with your men. More argumentative with the other lieutenants. You’ve been a little aggressive with your equipment. And, you don’t talk to your superior as much anymore.” When I look at him, he’s refusing to look back at me. His leg is bouncing. “All of this tells me your faith is shaken.”

He shakes his head and offsets his jaw. I knew if he had the choice, he’d walk out. In his mind, it’s better to walk out and be rude than to admit weakness to superiors. Maybe if he can break down those defenses, I can to? “Lieutenant?”

“I followed my orders, alright? What more do you want from me?”

I lean forward. “I want to know what you’ll admit to others. I want to know what questions and doubts you’ll put in people’s minds because you’re too scared to deal with your conflict yourself. What actions will you portray to the men who follow you? What’s going to tell the readers you lost faith without using the actual words themselves?”

He stills and finally looks me in the eye. Anger burns in his gaze. “You really want to know?” When I nod, he leans forward. “I’ll remind everyone what’s right, and who’s wrong.”

Dwarf Crocodiles

If you don’t know by now, I work at a zoo. This month, my team gets the exciting opportunity to welcome a new animal to our care: a West African Dwarf Crocodile. My manager asked me to create a fact sheet about dwarf crocodiles, so I thought I’d share my findings with you!

There is one problem, though. There’s not a lot of research done on Dwarf Crocodiles. They are actually one of the least studied species in the world. Sure, I could see what other zoos say about Dwarf Crocodiles, but I was warned not all zoos check their facts. Dwarf Crocodiles are the smallest crocodile species. They only get from 4.9 to 5 feet long fully grown. They are threatened/vulnerable conservation wise. You see, Dwarf Crocodiles live in West Africa in swamp and rainforest environments. They’ve even been known to live in pools on the savannah. And, because they’re so small, they’re a little easier to trap and transport than other crocodiles. Hunters often use dwarf crocodiles as bushmeat and they are facing habitat loss with the expansion of human populations in Africa.

I was able to find some studies on dwarf crocodiles that focus on their nesting behaviors. Dwarf crocodiles can lay 7-10 eggs per clutch. Females will make nests made out of decomposing vegetation to help keep the eggs warm as they incubate. It’s takes about 89-110 days for the eggs to hatch. They are vulnerable in the nest as well. Destruction to the nest by natural causes can harm the eggs or they can be preyed upon by predators like the West African Nile Monitor. The mother will guard the nest to the best of her abilities and she listens for the cries of her hatchlings after they hatch. Dwarf crocodiles are pretty independent at birth, but their mother will carry them to the rivers to get them going. These crocodiles won’t reach maturity until 5-6 years old.

As for their diet, dwarf crocodiles mostly eat invertebrates. As the smallest species of crocodiles, they can’t go after large antelope or zebra. So, dwarf crocodiles will go after crustaceans like crabs, fish, small mammals like rodents, lizards, snakes, frogs, and even bugs. They’re silent hunters and a nocturnal species. Like all crocodilians, their eyes and nose are on the top of their head to help them peek out of the water just enough to spot their prey without being noticed.

How long they live isn’t known. Sure, we could start a study of how long dwarf crocodiles live in captivity. We do know the age of the new dwarf crocodile at my zoo, but animals in captivity naturally live longer since they don’t have to worry about predators, hunting, and they get free health care when they’re sick or injured. We wouldn’t get an accurate estimate from the wild.

Hopefully, the dwarf crocodile will get further researched and protected from trappers. If I find out more information, I’ll happily share it with you! A great way to learn and push for knowledge about different species is to support your local zoo. A lot of the proceeds go toward conservation and you can even donate to support conservation as well. Zookeepers love the animals they take care of and if they’re presented with a question they don’t know the answer to, they’ll research it. If they can’t find the answer, they go to someone they think will, and if that person can’t find the answer, well, that’s how studies can start. So, keep being curious about the different animal species out there. Because every one deserves to be understood and protected.

Mwezi Hu: The Death House Pt. 1

“I thought this place was burned.”

My skin crawls as I wonder the same thing Vyke said. The outside of this manor is black, burned from a fire long cold. Dying trees surround it and monsters we can’t make out howl in the woods.

The inside is in perfect shape. The four of us walk into the entryway of the manor. There’s ornate furniture lining the walls. Swirls and serpent designs decorate the woodwork. The far end has a painting of a family. Two nobles and their three children. No one appears to be home and the roaring we heard ceased.

“What is that?” Bree points to a table in the middle of the room. A large, blue fuzzy thing is laying on it. When Vyke and I edge closer to it, we hear snores.

“It’s alive.” Vyke glances at me, his voice a whisper to not wake the thing. “Any idea what it is?”

I make a face. I don’t have to get too close to this thing to smell the stench coming of it. It smelled like blood mixed with trash. “Whatever it is, it reeks. I say we put it out of its misery.”

Vyke obliges and summons his sword. He pokes it into what we assume is the creature’s back for a quick run through.

“Ouchie!” The blue fuzzy suddenly lurches and twists toward Vyke before the sword can penetrate. By the fineness of his face, I can tell he’s a half-elf. He pulls a pistol from his cloths and aims Vyke’s head. “What was that for?!”

“Who are you?” Vyke looks as taken aback as I am. He keeps his blade pointed at the half-elf.

Confusion softens the half-elf’s face when he takes a look around. “Uh…where am I?”

“We were going to ask you that.” I can hardly believe what I’m seeing on this half-elf. He’s dressed in a bright blue, fuzzy onesie and is that…? Yeah…it’s a unicorn onesie. Not to mention he’s wearing flashy yellow bunny slippers. The katana on his back and the pistol in his hand tell me he’s some sort of adventurer, but why–in the moon’s beautiful light–is he wearing that. “Why are you sleeping on that table?”

“I was sleeping in my bed.” The half-elf glances down at his perch. “Did you guys summon me here?”

“It wasn’t us.” Vayne steps forward. She rifles through her pack to pull out her crimson letter from Strahd. “Did you get one of these?”

The half-elf nods. He and Vyke lower their weapons at the same time so the elf can show us his letter. It’s wadded up and I think I see the corpse of a spider in it. “All of you got one?”

I nod to the elf and look at the family painting at the end of the room. “We should search the house. The four of us heard some type of roaring coming from underneath this place. Maybe that can give us answers as to why we’re here.”

The others concur and we move to explore the house. While Bree heads upstairs to scout ahead, the rest of us explore the main floor. I find the kitchen and my skin crawls. Everything inside is nice and tidy. There’s even a table set for six. The family only has five members.

“OUCHIE!”

I bolt back into the main room when I hear the shout, my morning star ready to draw blood. Yet, annoyance boils within me. The half-elf is still by the table hopping on one foot.

Vyke had been investigating the serpent designs in the woodwork, but came rushing over at the half-elf’s shout too. “What happened?”

“I dropped that stupid paperweight on my foot!”

A growl escapes my throat as the half-elf points to the paperweight under the table. “You need to be more careful!” I snap. “We don’t know what else is in this place.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Whatever. Stupid paperweight.”

I roll my eyes at the half-elf’s careless response. He shakes out his foot and walks over to where Vayne is investigating a food pantry. I head to another door and find a hunter’s den. The stuffed wolves inside sadden my heart. I’m all for hunting, but wolves should be left alone.

With nothing interesting on the first floor and Bree reporting nothing interesting on the second floor, we all head to the third floor. I shiver. The higher we go, the colder it gets. The third floor is another hall with a couple more doors and a suit of armor at the end. Vyke goes for one door and Bree goes for the other, but no one gets the chance to open anything. I should’ve been paying attention to the stupid half-elf. He walks right up to the suit of armor and tickles it under the chin. When he goes to lift the visor of the helmet, it clamps down on his finger.

“OUCHIE!”

“You idiot! That thing’s alive!” Bree darts forward. As a tiny halfling, she slips behind the half-elf to sneak attack the suit of armor, but her two daggers slip harmlessly between it’s cuirass and tasses.

Vyke and I move next. I pound my morning star down on the helmet while Vyke blasts it with magic. Both of us create good, sizeable dents in it while the half-elf screams. His finger is still stuck in the visor. The half-elf pulls his pistol and fires it point blank into the helmet, but it doesn’t even penetrate. “Let go. Let go. Let go!” He yells.

“I got it!” Vayne, still back on the staircase, pulls her javelin from her back. With a mighty throw, she sails it at the suit of armor. The half-elf screams again and manages to get out of the way. The javelin pierced the armor right in the heart.

Piece by piece the suit of armor falls apart. The half-elf’s finger is freed. I can’t help but howl in victory. It was just a measly, haunted suit of armor, but these new associates of mine–not including the half-elf–make a pretty good team. We have don’t have a clue as to why we’re suddenly in this haunted and eerie mansion, but if things keep going like this, I know we’ll be alright.

To the Sunflowers

To the sunflowers on the side of the road
Brightening the land and lightening the loads
Of those headed to work, or leaving home
Going somewhere with a sour tone
A dreary drive day after day
But your sunshine keeps the misery away
Just a simple flower in the highway
Yellow petals on shades of gray
Here for a season and gone again
To tell us dark clouds do have an end
Thanks to the sunflower so simple and pretty
Reminding me to always find the beauty
When days get long and monotone
And I’m feeling like I’m all alone
So here’s to the flowers who ask for naught
And offer their shine even when its hot
You’re always there and you never goad
You beautiful sunflowers on the side of the road.

Mwezi Hu

My dungeons and dragons group began a new campaign a couple weeks ago. I thought I’d share the tale with you. We’re following the storyline of “Dungeons and Dragons; The Curse of Strahd.”

A dead scent trails through the luscious forest. With it, I feel the faintest of a chill that conflicts with the noon day sun. I’m on the right track. My prey is only a couple hours ahead of me.

My name is Mwezi Hu and I hunt vampires.

I’ve been tailing this one for the past few days. A village I arrived in was having issues with mysterious disappearances. When I inquired about, I realized they had a vampire problem. A small nest was budding in a nearby cave. I took out the thralls and vampire fletchings with no issues, but the ancient that led the nest got away. The coward.

I wish I recognized this ancient’s scent. You see, my pack was slaughtered by vampires. I survived solely at the sacrifice of my forebear. I remember the scent of every one of those bloodsuckers that killed my pack. Someday I’ll get my revenge.

For now, I settle for any vampire. Those walking corpses are curses upon society. The coward I’m chasing probably hoped to become a lord someday when he started the nest by the village. I’m glad I dashed his dreams.

As I continue into the woods, a fog rolls steadily at my feet. That’s odd. It’s the middle of the day and there aren’t any lakes or streams nearby that would harbor fog. I still have the vampire’s scent though, and it looks like he scraped his claws on that tree. I keep going.

The fog slowly thickens and soon I can’t see five inches in front of my face. I growl as the vampire’s scent slips away from me. I won’t find his tracks if this keeps up. I turn to my pack and riffle through it for my compass, but a flash of scarlet catches my eye. I forgot I had that. When I woke up this morning, this scarlet letter was resting at the edge of my camp. It’s addressed to me. Some sort of invitation to some castle event thing. I almost tossed it out. I don’t have time for castles. It doesn’t matter if my reputation as a vampire hunter has made me famous or not. I don’t attend parties. The name on the letter that keeps me from throwing it away, though. Some guy named Strahd. There’s something about that name.

I keep going through the fog. I keep hands outstretched so I don’t run into trees, but the trees that surrounded me seemed to have disappeared. I can’t find one no matter how many steps I take. Not to mention, the grass beneath me has shifted to gravel. I know I wasn’t near any roads, so where did…? The hairs on my skin stand on end. This fog is more unnatural than I thought.

The crunching of rocks catches my attention. I draw my morning star. Perhaps that cowardly vampire isn’t as much of a coward as I thought? If he’s trying to ambush me, I’ll give him what for. There’s more crunching. Footsteps. Multiple from the sound of it. I close my eyes and breath deeply. Something out there has the scent of smoke to it. Another smells of scales. The last smells humanoid.

“Hold it!” A skinny tiefling summons a magic sword in hand the moment he spots me in the fog. I squint at him, morning star at the ready. This devil-horned humanoid is the one that smells like smoke and the dragonborn–lizard person–beside him is the one smelling of scales. Her hand goes to the javelin on her back. She has a barbarian’s build and I’m not ready to provoke the rage in her eyes.

“Where did you two come from?” I demand sharply.

“Us?” The dragonborn huffs. “We were just walking. Where’d you come from?”

“I was hunting.” I watch these two’s mouths as I talk to them. They both have the sharp teeth of their races. No extra long canines and, judging by their smell, they’re not vampires. I lower my morning star. “I was following my prey through the woods. Though I seem to have lost the woods when this fog rolled in.”

“Us too.” The tiefling lowered his weapon as well. “The fog rolled in and here we are. My name is Vyke.” He motioned to the dragonborn. “This is Vayne.”

“Mwezi Hu.” I nod in a curt greeting.

Vyke dispells his weapon and moves his hands to his hips. “So…any idea why we’re all out here in this fog?”

When his hand brushed one of his belt pouches, I caught a flash of scarlet. “Wait.” I stepped forward and pointed. “What do you have there?”

Vyke raised his eyebrow. He opened his pouch and pulled out a scarlet letter. One that looks identical to the one in my bag. “You got that invitation too?”

Vyke nodded and Vayne revealed a scarlet letter of her own. “I did as well.”

“Me too!”

The new voice causes the three of us to jump. To my right, a hand pokes out of the fog about waist high, a scarlet letter held within it. Vayne and I wave the fog away and a small halfling in a dark cloak is staring up at us. “Hi! I’m Bree Goodbarrel.”

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t unnerved. I scented this girl and yet I had no idea she was standing right next to me. “Hi…”

“Okay…” Vyke appeared a little unnerved as well. He glances at Vayne, then to me. “So, a tiefling, a halfling, a dragonborn, and a human all get invited to some Strahd’s castle.”

Vayne huffs. “That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.”

“Yeah,” Vyke fumbles a frown. “But what’s the punchline?”

“Only one way to find out.” I point off. The fog was clearing that I could tell where the path continued. I looked at the others. “Up for it?”

Vyke and Vayne shrugged. “Better than staying here,” the dragonborn mutters.

“Let’s go!” Bree disappears into the fog once again. I rolled my eyes. Rogues.

We hypothesize why all of us got fancy invitations, but we don’t get very far. None of us know who this Strahd guy is. The fog clears further and we spot a structure in the distance. My first thought is the castle, but as we get closer, dread seeds my gut. It’s a manor of some sort and it’s not in good shape. The walls are black. Scars of a fire lace its frame. What shutters haven’t fallen off are banging in the growing wind. A couple of the supports have me questioning if a good storm won’t knock it over. A black forest of dead trees surrounds the house. When I was hunting my vampire it was the middle of the day. The others can can’t have been walking for thirty minutes and the sky holds the shades of night.

“This doesn’t feel right.” Vayne eyes the house and the surrounding woods. “Where are we?”

None of us get the chance to answer. Some sort of roar comes from the woods behind the house. Bree stiffens and draws two daggers. “What was that?”

“I don’t know.” A chill rattles my ribs. I’ve faced many creatures in my time. Hunted monsters and animals alike and I didn’t recognize that roar.

“I’m going to sneak around the side of the house.” Bree looks back at us. “Get an idea of its perimeter.”

Vyke shakes his head. “Splitting up isn’t a good idea.”

Another roar quiets our group. This time, it sounds like its coming from under the house. When Bree takes a step toward the house, the front doors open wide. I tighten my grip on my morning star. I can’t see anyone inside and strong wafting of rot assaults my nose. “Something doesn’t smell right in there.”

“Smell right?” Vyke gives me a strange look. I don’t blame him, though. He doesn’t understand why a human like myself has heightened senses and I’m not about to tell him. “There’s no point in sticking around here or scouting the back of the house,” Vyke continues. “We might as well just go in and figure out what’s going on.”

I agree with him. If we find someone, they might give us an explanation as to where we are and why we have these letters in our pockets. I don’t trust this house, but we have no better options. I keep my morning star in hand. Vyke summons his sword. Bree couples her daggers, and Vayne takes her javelin from her back.

Together, we go inside.

To Be Continued…

Personal Writer’s Block

How many times have you find yourself staring at your computer screen or journal and you just can’t figure out what to put on the page? Maybe you have a deadline, but you’ve lost motivation. You find yourself scrolling through the internet instead of getting done the things you need to get done.

That’s where I’m at. I need a webpost for tomorrow, but I’m staring at my screen and all my different drafts and wondering “Do I really want to put THAT one up now? It’s not really ready.” And instead of going in it, reading it over, and making sure its ready, I turn to the files on my computer to see if maybe there’s something else I can post about instead.

Low and behold, I found my Miitomo folders. You may not remember, but the year I started this website, I wrote a post called What’s Your One App? I talked about how I made a bunch of pictures on of my different characters and my two imaginary friends: Cheetah and Candra. When I found the folder on my computer, I couldn’t help but scroll through all the photos. Then, I came to the one featured in this post. I created these photos in college and this one is my Writer’s Block photo. It’s what I imaged was going on in my head when I couldn’t figure out what to write.

Cheetah snatched the pen with a big, toothy grin on his face. “We should start with ‘Once upon a time!’ That’s the best way to start!”
“No, Cheetah.” Candra grabbed the pen back. “We’re writing a novel, not a fairytale. Nobody starts with ‘Once upon a time’ anymore.”
“But, there’s fairies in our tale!” Cheetah reached for the pen, but Candra pulled it away. Cheetah hissed. “It’s a classic fantasy line that we all love! We should start with it!”
“Guys…” I flip through my notes as I watch them fight over the pen. “We need to start with the main character as soon as possible. That’s what all the writing workshops say.”
“Great!” Cheetah tackled Candra to the ground and managed to wrangle the pen from him. “So, we start with ‘Once upon a time there was a son of an alchemist!'”
Guilt burdened my shoulders. “I don’t think we should start with ‘once upon a time,’ Cheetah.”
“What?!”
“I thought so!” Candra shoved the startled feline off of him and snatched the pen back. “Once upon a time is too cliché, but there are still ways we can corollate it into the story.” Candra gets up and brushes himself off. He walks over to me to hand over the pen. “Remember, every time you write ‘upon’ in the story, it makes you think of ‘Once upon a time,’ it’s such a commonly known phrase that the reader will think of it too.”
“You really think so?”
“Well.” Candra sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. “Maybe. If anything, we’ll still see it in there.”
I smiled. “You have a point.”
Cheetah sat pouting on the ground. “So, if we’re not starting with ‘Once upon a time.’ What are we starting with?”
“The first chapter needs tension to draw the reader in.” I look down at my notes. “We all know how the first chapter is suppose to end, but the beginning has always been difficult.”
“He should be running!” Cheetah suddenly sprang up. He ran in circles around Candra and I. “Everyone knows something is up when the main character is running!”
Candra looked doubtful. “That’s a little too common to, isn’t it?”
I drop my head in my notes as a groan escapes my throat. This should not be this hard. I know my story. I know my characters, but why can’t I think of the words to put on the page? “We tried running before.” I didn’t lift my head. “But we’re not supposed to start with a memory. I think our best bet is to start in the memory.”
Cheetah stops and both he and Candra grows quiet. I know what they’re thinking. Believable arguments have always been a hard thing for us to write. You’d think it’d come naturally since Candra and Cheetah argue all the time.
I lift my head and look both my boys in the eye. “We have to work together. I’ll tell you when the pen should be passed off from one of you to the other, okay?”
Candra and Cheetah exchange a glance, and to my relief, they nod. “Candra,” I hold out the pen. “This is a serious scene, so you start, but as soon as our main character bolts from the house, you pass the pen to Cheetah, got it?”
“Got it.”
Cheetah quivers. “This is so exciting. Our fairytale’s gonna be great!”
Candra rolls his eyes. “It’s not a fairytale!”

Silver Lining

When all is dark and treacherous
A light does shine through
It creates a silver lining
For us to hold onto

You see it in the clouds
On a dark and stormy day
You see it on the horizon
The sun beats shadows away

Everyone’s silver lining
Means one thing or another
It can be in different forms
But to us it does usher

A sense of hope and dreams
Of good things around the bend
The lining always tells one thing:
That Darkness has an end

My lining is a little different
Made of silvery silk
It holds tightly to a character
And never ever bilks

But no matter what the form you choose
I hope you’ll always know
A silver lining reminder
Is there to help you grow


200!!!

I’m so excited to celebrate the fact that this is my 200th post! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been posting on this website twice a week since October 14th, 2020. It’s been an incredible ride and I plan on keeping it going. All the poems, animal facts, stories, victories and defeats. There’s been something to learn through it all and I hope all my amazing followers out there have enjoyed every bit of it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get 200 more posts out in the next two years? Maybe I’ll get my novel out too?

Now, it’s your turn, my friends. I’d love to hear back from you about these 200 posts on my website. Do you have a favorite story? Favorite poem? Have you learned from the writing tips or love the animal facts? Did you read something that changed your perspective? Made you laugh or cry? What was the post that stood out to you? You don’t have to remember all 200, but I hope there’s at least one that you carry with you. Maybe you don’t read my posts and just enjoy the art that I create? That works too. You can comment your thoughts here on the website, or my Twitter or Facebook pages. If you need a refresher on my posts, check out the Written Work section at the bottom of the Home page. All of my writings are split up into categories so you can quickly scroll through.

Thanks so much for celebrating my 200th post with me and to my followers for sticking with me through the past couple years. Hopefully, we’ll have many more posts and years together moving forward!

What Color Are You?

Have you ever done any of those Facebook surveys where it’s like: “Answer these questions and we’ll tell you what color you are!” Or “Answer these questions and find out what Hogwarts you belong in!” Which celebrity would be your sweety or what tattoo you should get. Some of them are probably spam, but others are just fun ways to get something to tell you “who you really are.” Like you’re in Hufflepuff because you’re loyal and true. You’re spirit burns red because you’re passionate and extroverted. Or you should get an eagle tattoo because you’re a free spirit.

I like to do them to see how bogus some of them are.

There are some really good ones out there, but lately I’ve noticed that a lot of them say the same thing just in different ways. Like if you get one result it tell you: “You’re an independent person who’s loyal and people should watch out when you get angry!” And another result might say something like: “You stick by those you care about and are stable enough to stand on your own. You’re not easily angered, but your fury knows no bounds.” Pretty much the same thing, right?

Doing some of these surveys and quizzes is a way that some of us try to figure out who we are. If you read a result you like, it can be very encouraging. Even if you get something you doubt, it can still put that thought in your mind that maybe deep down you are courageous like a Gryffindor?

Whether you believe these cute, little Facebook games or not, there’s people out there who really do research into personality types and assign colors to them. We all know the 13 different personality types. The ones where you’re labeled as a bunch of letters in a row. Well, at my job, we’re doing a team building thing and this one involves answering 6 different questions that each have four answers. You’re supposed to order them as most like you to least like you. At the end, you get assigned a color. There are four colors: blue, red, green, and gold. Each color has different traits assigned to it. Like blue has harmonious and empathetic, red has adventurous and flexible, green has logical and philosophical, and gold has loyal and dependable. You get scored with so many points in each color. The most you can is 24, the least is 6.

I’m not going to share my results, but honestly, I felt a little called out in reading them over. This program that my coworkers and I went through includes tips on how your color set best deals with change, communication, stress, and other topics. I’ll be the first to admit I got a little defensive. To me, it read that the best way to treat my color set was to treat me like a child and nobody likes that.

I’m not sure how much of this color stuff I believe. I peeked on some of my coworkers’ results and though everyone got different values in their colors, it mainly focused on your primary color and all the tips were how you react and should be treated based on your primary color. Two of my coworkers had the same primary color, but every color after that was in a different order. Because their primary colors were the same, it listed the same things for both of them on how they deal with stress, communication, etc.

I know it supposed to be a quick reference and guide to understanding your coworkers, but it bugs me. There are only four colors and your primary color defines you in this case, so it isn’t designed specifically for you. That splits the billions of people on the planet into four categories. Oh, you’re green so you’re too logical. You don’t understand emotions. You’re red, so you’re too outgoing and loud. Being gold means you put responsibility first, so you don’t care about people. And blue? Well, you’re just too darn emotional.

It’s fun to see what results you get. Who of your team is similar to you and who is opposite, but I hope no one ever lives by these results–defines themselves by these results. Because, people–you–are so much more than a single color, personality type, Hogwarts house, tattoo, or whatever other quiz is out there. We live in a world full of labels and you shouldn’t be defined by just one. There are over 7 billion people on the planet, but there’s only one you.