A quick lesson in how to be me on the phone

Image of pastor exclaiming B-E-U-S

If, for any reason in the course of our friendship, you have to answer the phone and pretend to be me, here’s a quick tutorial.

Nice lady on the phone

“Okay…I’ve got your address for this application here, and now I just need your name.”

“It’s Bryan…spelled with a “Y”…and last name is Beus. That’s “B” “E” “U” “S”.”

*sound of the keyboard clacking*

“Okay, I’ve got Brian Bues [pronounces it “Bauze”]. “B” “U” “E” “S”?”

“Nope. Beus. That’s “B” as in Boy. “E” as in Edward. “U” as in Uncle. “S” as in Sam.

Beus. “B” “E” “U” “S”.”

“Okay. Brian B-E-U-S.”

“Correct. And you got the “Y” in Bryan?”

*keyboard clacking*

“Oh…yes…Bryan Beus [Bause]…”

“Great.”

“Okay, and can I get your email?”

**Thinks to myself: I should probably get a different email…**

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 4

Young Knight - Dutch School

Young Knight – Dutch School

This is part 4 of a retelling of a scene from The Once and Future King book series, by T.H. White. To read the preceding part of this story sequence, click here.

What is done, is done

Mordred’s sword did not do the full task of slaying the creature, and the poor beast writhed in pain. Gawain raised his sword and followed Mordred’s action, and then all together the four boys set about the work of finishing the creature off. Continue reading

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 3

This is part 3 of a retelling of a scene from The Once and Future King book series, by T.H. White.

A maiden’s power

When a unicorn feels the presence of an innocent young maiden in its wood it responds by coming to greet her.

For our young maiden, Meg, it was an experience beyond expectation. Its neck was full of grace and power, and its mane flowed as though it was underwater. She stopped squirming and dried her eyes as the unicorn trotted through the tall grass towards her. Continue reading

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 2

The Once and Future King - Book Cover

The Once and Future King – Book Cover

This is a continuation. To read the first part of this story, click here.

They hatch a plan

One day, while peering out the window watching their mother in the courtyard below the four boys overheard shouting with her servants. It appeared that in her desire to prove to herself she was still a beautiful young maiden she had tried to hunt down a unicorn–a feat which can only be accomplished by a virgin. Their mother, of course, wasn’t, and so spent the entire night in the forest waiting for a unicorn that would never come. She was angry at this, and likely embarrassed in front of the servants, and the sound of her shouting drew particular interest to her boys.

They had not seen her nor spoken with her more than a sentence or two for most of their lives. They felt that there must be something wrong with them for her to not spend any time raising her children. Hearing her so upset gave them an idea of how they could prove their worth. Continue reading

The Unicorn is Attacked - Tapestry

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 1

This scene from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King I read years ago stays in my memory. Today I’m retelling it in my own words.

The Unicorn is Attacked - Tapestry

Detail – The Unicorn is Attacked, ca. 1495–1505

Mordred and Gawain had messed up childhoods

I’ve always loved this scene from T.H. White’s Arthurian series. I haven’t read it in several years and am not going to bother rereading it now, since it’s more fun to just tell it from memory.

Want to skip straight to reading the scene? Scroll down to the next header!

To give you a quick background on what you’re about to see, this scene takes place at the beginning of the second book in the series. Elsewhere, Arthur has already drawn the sword from the stone, and is learning how to be king.

His nephews, on the other hand, are still children. They live on the island of Orkney with their mother, who is a witch–the bad sort of witch.

The children by name are Gawain, Gahareth, Agravain, and Mordred.

Gawain is the big, tall, brawny and brave one. He’s a bit dumb, has red curly hair, and enjoys pushing the others around.

Gahareth and Agravain are complete opposites, but we won’t go into too many details for the sake of brevity.

Now Mordred is the odd one. You see, Mordred is supposedly King Arthur’s “nephew”–at least, that’s what everyone thinks.  In truth, he’s more than that: he’s also King Arthur’s bastard incestuous son. Continue reading

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson

On Turning Imperfect People Into Heroes

All real-life heroes are human. When we make them into something more, do we also play with tyranny?

The most beautiful words ever written

In the years leading up to the War of Independence politics in Philadelphia were at their height. Congress argued at each others’ throats, wary of the idea that the legislators with whom they negotiated today could be military commanders on the opposing team tomorrow.

Amidst all of it, Thomas Jefferson said next to nothing. Rather, he listened, asked questions, and avoided taking any particular stance.

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

As the political fervor grew to the point of open war John Adams requested that Jefferson pick a side. Jefferson stated he was for Independence. Adams then said to Jefferson words to this effect: Continue reading

Picture of Denali

Dealing with Frustration

If you ever meander through the history of my blog, you find that the last few years of relative silence have been a departure from basically…everything.

 Sometimes, there’s just not much of a silver lining. And that’s okay.

I would love to say that in these last two years I have some secret project spawned, some equivalent of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter burst of creativity that occurred shortly after her divorce.

All I have to show, fortunately or unfortunately, is simply a new perspective. I now know what it feels like to spend 13 years straight working for something that you want with every part of your heart, only to have the whole thing get derailed right at the climactic moment.

It’s not the first time it’s happened in human history. I’m told that after an oil spill in Alaska a team of biologists spent $60,000 rehabilitating a sea otter. When the little creature was clean and healthy, they popped champagne on the beach and released it back into the waves.

Thirty seconds later, the little otter made a delicious crude-oil-free meal for a killer whale.

Continue reading

A change in the wind

I’ve been absent from my website for a few months now, mostly out of discouragement and confusion, and I suppose it’s time to figure out how to carry forward.

As mentioned below, I have some problems with my eyes that put a pretty heavy damper on my visual work. In short, looking at things close up for a long time causes me to have severe double vision, motion-sickness, and blurriness. If I were to continue on my previous course of drawing for hours and hours each day, I would eventually go legally blind. For more details, feel free to ask or read my earlier posts.

Before I say anything else though, I do want to again say Thank You to everyone who supports me–both in my creative work and just in general. I really, really appreciate it.

There is one big problem that trumps any other as I make the next decisions. It is that I am, at some point in the future, going to be a father. When that will be, I don’t know, but being a father is more important to me than being an artist or author. And a key ingredient of being a parent is the ability to provide basic necessities.

Since I was 17 I have wanted to be a professional, full-time visual storyteller, and up until January of this year it filled many, if not most, of my waking thoughts.

However, in January the problem with my eyes became too much to ignore; a visual storyteller without reliable eyesight would have a remarkably difficult time providing for his children.

Much as I would love to brazenly persevere as an artist in the full-time, professional, visual creative industry, hoping to make some heroic epic of overcoming impossible odds, I am not going to do so. It is both unbalanced and irresponsible, in my case.

So, for now, I have begun the process of learning another skill set that will enable me to be a reliable provider, even if my eyes go bad. It is a skill set that I hope to use in a way that is as close to the visual storytelling industry as possible, but without putting the strain on my eyes. Come August of this year, I will be an MBA student at Carnegie Mellon, learning the art of teamwork.

So…finally…with all of the above stated, don’t think for a minute that I’m done being a creative person. There are still dozens of outlets of creativity available. Right now, I have finally fulfilled my six-year long wish of finding a good tai chi teacher (the martial art form practiced by Li, my webcomic character) and am practicing daily. There’s also the possibility of creative writing for movies and games. One more thing worth mentioning is that the technology behind virtual reality and augmented reality may provide relief for my eyes, which would enable me to get into 3D drawing and sculpting. I follow this latter option obsessively, and while it is not quite there yet, I believe it’s about three years away.

For now, in summary, I am officially a full-time MBA kind of person, and a part-time/hobbyist artist/author. Bittersweet, and excited for the future.

All this, of course, leaves the question about what I intend to do with my website, and also with my social media accounts.

First of all, if you keep your expectations at zero with me for now, then at least you won’t be disappointed if I never update the website again!

However, seeing as how the actual address of the website here is just my name, I suppose it’s general enough that it should transition into a place to share whatever new adventures await. I’m not sure what the future holds, so it’s impossible to say what will be posted here. It could simply become something like a repository for whatever hobbies I’m up to, or a regular blog with stories, or something else.

Either way, thank you for following along. Good luck and God bless in your story.

034_Oct19_2009

An update

I have frustrating news.
 
I must be getting old.
 
Actually, not only is that to be expected, but I’m really weird in that I don’t mind growing old… But I digress.
 
My eyesight isn’t “just not what it used to be,” but has become very bad! Without my glasses I cannot clearly see anything, and with them I cannot see clearly more than about 15 feet.
 
This is a recent development, slowly progressing over the last six months. I had to stop driving three months ago, and the situation continues to deteriorate.
 
I’m meeting with a specialist in the next few weeks, but until then to save my eyes from permanent damage I have to put a hold on all my personal work. I will still finish teaching my art class at BYU; it doesn’t cause any noticeable strain. But all drawing outside of that is on hold, including my developing comic.
 
Thank you so much for your understanding!
 
For those who know what this refers to: I will happily shave my head if anyone thinks this warrants it. 🙂