Tag Archives: Story

Patterns in the Leaves

Brass tacks on storytelling in the Beus world.

Vroom, vroom, vroom…

“So, what’s new, Beus? Whatchu been up to lately?”

When I’m working out calculus on my master’s degree my mind be like…

“Hmm…I bet I could use this program solver to feed a string of literature prose as a data graph to use for network analysis in comparing tropes across different periods of classic literature.” 

Made of Math

The urge to create is a beast–even when doing logic! It must be let out!

Obey the Fist! Invader Zim

What am I up to, creatively, you might ask? Continue reading

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]…”


“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 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

Graphic Novella – This Is Not The Project I’ve Been Working On For Four Years – 1

The starter painting for a graphic novella I'm creating. In the story, a woman sets out on a mystical perilous staircase to heaven in search of her lost son.

The starter painting for a graphic novella I’m creating (just as a side project, not the one I’m doing with Shadow Mountain – Deseret book). In the story, a woman sets out on a mystical perilous staircase to heaven in search of her misbehaving son.


A little announcement:

I’m doing a graphic novella between now and the Salt Lake City Comic Con this coming April.

This is a separate project from the one on which I’ve been working for the last few years. That’s to say, as clearly as I can, it’s not the mixed-media graphic novel I’m working on with Shadow Mountain (Deseret Book). Every time we think we’ve got that one down, we get a whole bunch of new ideas about how the story can be better, and we just can’t turn the ideas down. (I’m excited for you to read it!)

Back to this side project.

In the novella, a mother learns that her fickle son found a perilous short cut to heaven—a staircase full of temptations that pull at you until you fall—and took it without thinking about the consequences. And she sets out after her son, regardless of the fact that she doesn’t consider herself to be ready to take a short cut to heaven, either.

I’m going to be posting updates on its progress every Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

It will be black and white on the interior with a fully finished color painting for a cover. I’m self-publishing it for Kindle, and I’ll be printing it either through Amazon or a publisher in China. It will actually be available for the first time at the comic con, and I won’t be making it available online until after the convention is over.

Making a graphic novella is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but have had to spend all my time learning the basics of writing. So, I’m excited to finally put these skills to use and make something fun!

If you’d like to follow along, remember to sign up! There’s an RSS subscriber on the left, and here’s my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

See you Thursday!

The Tale of the Two Lovers – Part Three (The End)

The Tale of the Two Lovers – continued

(Click here for Part 1 of the Tale of the Two Lovers)

(Click here for Part 2 of the Tale of the Two Lovers)

The next day as the young man (who knew none of what had happened) worked in his field the mistress of the brothel came to him and asked how much money he had.

Confused and worried that his love was about to be sold to another city, the young man brought out his life savings and laid it before the mistress.

When the mistress saw how little it was she wiped her eyes and shook her head.

Desperate that he should not lose his sweetheart, the young man went to his cupboard and withdrew all the money he had for food, rent, clothing, and he offered to sell his farm if the mistress would take it.

Seeing that the young man truly had no more, and secretly knowing that the young woman was no longer beautiful enough to serve in the brothel, the mistress finally agreed to the sum—upon condition that he give it all at that very moment and would never speak to the mistress again of the matter.

Overjoyed at this news the young man gave it all away and hurried to bathe and clean before the arrival of his true love.

But when she arrived she came wailing and holding her face in her hands.

The young man sat her down and asked what was the matter.

After a long while, the young woman pulled away her hands to reveal the black scars, and she cried out her fear that now he would no longer love her.

Taking her in his arms, the young man scolded her gently for thinking that he could be so heartless, and said that he would love and serve her gladly all the days of his life.

No sooner had he said this than did the wealthy old man appear at the door.

(Story continues below image)

Lu Dong Bin

He smiled brightly at the two and laughed merrily.

Upon seeing the man who had hurt her, the young woman gasped and ran to the corner of the room, and told her lover who the old man was.

The young man, however, did not act angry at all. He saw that the old man carried a good spirit about him, whatever he had done, and so the young man thanked him for making possible their relationship.

The old man held up his hand, telling the two that he was not yet finished. From his robes he withdrew a long wand, the end of which bore a mane of peacock feathers, and waved it over the young woman.

Instantly she was transformed back into the healthy, beautiful young woman she was before.

The young man recognized the wise old man as Lu Dongbin, one of the eight immortal spirits of the ancient world, and the young man led his belle to bow in gratitude before him.

The old man smiled again, and then he vanished with a blessing that so long as their love remained true, happiness would follow them all the days of their life.

And so they did.


The End


(adapted from the film “Chiang Ming in The Eight Immortals” (1971)

Review: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables  (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anne is one of the greatest literary characters of all time.

I laughed throughout the whole book. I particularly loved the scene where Anne, still a child, puts flowers in her hat on the way to church, thinking it would be beautiful. She then spent her Sunday day walking around with dilapidated buds drooping above her head. It’s something I could easily see one of my sisters doing at that age.

The voices were each unique in their own way. I thought Montgomery’s handling of Anne’s prideful refusal of Gilbert’s plea for friendship to be a wonderful way of holding out the tension until the last page of the story.

There is a fantastic, free audio recording of it on librivox.org here: http://bit.ly/l4US2f
It’s read by perhaps my favorite librivox reader, Karen Savage.

Five stars for its outstanding character and storyline!
View all my reviews

Things that are funny in retrospect…

Several years ago I was going on a date with a nice girl in which I was extremely nervous and made a few boo-boos.

Before this evening I had never dated very much, as I was shy in high school and my first year or so of college.  At the time of this event I had just challenged myself to ‘get out of my skin’ as it were and ask members of the opposite sex out more frequently.

The girl whom I had asked out for this particular evening was from my local church ward and she was a very neat person: kind, smart, fun –– everything one could ever hope for.

Filled with the usual terrifying thought, I literally shook as I drove to her apartment.  What will I say? Should I talk about ‘this’ or ‘that?’ Does she expect me to give her a hug at the door? Should I just say ‘goodnight’ and leave directly when we’re done?

Well, I made it to her apartment, picked her up, and we went on a date.

I’m assuming she was her usual pleasant self –– I was far too nervous to be able to recall much of it. I can remember being in the car with her; seeing her; my mouth forming words, though I have no idea what they were; and the image of her making some kind of reply in return. I’m assuming she made it to her door alright as she wasn’t in my car when I got home, but I can’t remember anything else.

Well, as I sat with my car parked in the driveway and my mind raced, I slowly became of aware of what had just happened.

This was what I heard playing on my CD player:

“Even for Me” by Bobby McFerrin

No lyrics, odd beatbox noises, humming, chest pounding, experimental music. It’s an odd song and not one I would choose to represent myself.

I looked down at the CD player to see how long it had been playing, hoping that it had only just started.  On the CD player it read, “Repeat – One Song.”

My twitterpated horror was amplified by a metallic ‘scrape, scrape‘ on my windshield.  I looked up and saw that I had left my torn and dilapidated windshield wipers going since the last time it had rained –– a full day before.

This is the part I can remember: sheer agony for the entire rest of my night and following day or two as I repetitively analyzed what little I could remember of the date, hoping to discern whether or not she had mentioned it.

The next time I saw her she was her usual, kind self and never teased me about it or let on.


Review: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of ThreadThe Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despereaux’s tale of how he, a mouse, saves the princess, is a reminder that good stories do not need to be complex, long, or gaudy. We love it when they speak to our souls, as we’re all always longing for “soup.”

The title says it all with this one. It’s about a mouse, who lives in a castle, and has to risk his life in order to save the princess from a dastardly rat.

The voice of the narrator takes me back to days when I was in second grade, listening to my teacher, Mrs. Bizell, reading stories.

Very fun.

View all my reviews

Review: A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has many merits and few faults.

I loved the characters. Miss Pross was especially my favorite. Her introduction stuck out in my memory:

"Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also knew her by this time to be, beneath the service of her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures–found only among women–who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives. He knew enough of the world to know that there is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint, he had such an exalted respect for it, that in the retributive arrangements made by his own mind–we all make such arrangements, more or less– he stationed Miss Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than many ladies immeasurably better got up both by Nature and Art, who had balances at Tellson’s."

This was such a wonderful observation that it caused me to suddenly gain admiration for so many women.
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