Monday, June 9, 2014

The why of it all.

Why do I do what I do?  You know, that is something that can be asked of many aspects of my existence.  Of course, once asked, I always find myself stopping and looking at myself and the "things that I do" and shaking my head at the sheer eclecticness that is "Mal." 

Side note, yes, I DO self-identify much more to "Malcolm" than to Preston, and so when I reference myself it is far more often some version of Mal than anything else.  And yes, I hear Newt's voice in my head among the rest of the chorus too.  So there. 

Anyway, back to the original question: why do I do what I do?  In this context, why do I build models?   The short version is that the ten-year-old engineer wants time in the sun.  I love creating and I learned to build the things I envisioned in my mind when I was barely 5.  One of my father's quotes that has always stuck with me very eloquently sums up this aspect of me; even though it wasn't complimentary. He said, when I showed off a particularly intricate and complex diorama of models when I was about 11, "You'd build entire worlds out of paper and cardboard.  Too bad you can't make something real." 

He was right, I would.  Unfortunately for a ten-year-old in the mid 70's..paper and cardboard was what I had.  Clay was, at best, play-doh and rubber mold stuff was nowhere to be found.  So I built plastic models and modified and kitbashed and built whole worlds to my heart's content. 

What I was doing then is what I am doing now:  Telling stories.  Another aspect of Mal is the writer, and my modeling is the "show" part to go with the "tell."  I get to see the images in my mind come to life under my hands.  I get to touch those things that have captivated my imagination for all these years.

It's like this with the Timberwolf.  The 'Mechs of the inner sphere have slugged it out for centuries.  Then, on an obscure skirmish field in the Periphery, the world exploded in fire and destruction.  Striding out of the rising smoke, laying waste to all around it, the Timberwolf came into view. 

That moment, that image that I first read nearly a quarter of a century ago, still resounds in my psyche.  That moment and a hundred other such moments from a thousand different worlds and realities, all twist and turn inside my mind.  With my hands, I give them form, shape, reality. 

For a time, I can touch my imagination. 

That is why I do what I do. 

Ok..back to work....

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