Posted by Brock Booher

“Come out Neville!”

In Richard Matheson’s science fiction story (NOT the movie) I Am Legend, the main character Robert Neville sits every night in his fortress home and listens to his former friend and neighbor Ben Cortman call for him to come out. Of course he is calling for him to come out so the “vampires” like Ben can eat him or at least convert him to the new reality of the world around him. Robert Neville never does come out.

Robert barricades himself in his house night after night. During the daytime he ekes out an existence and searches for answers and understanding. He struggles to maintain his sanity. He drinks to forget and numb the pain. At one point he says to himself, “The world’s gone mad… The dead walk about and I think nothing of it. The return of corpses has become trivial in import. How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough!” Robert was struggling to live in a world where he was no longer the norm.

I always figured that one day I would be a relic, a token of a bygone era, but I didn’t expect to see it before I turned eighty. Each day I feel more and more like Robert Neville, surrounded by a world and a society that values the opposite things that I value. Like this character in fiction, I find myself barricaded in my thoughts afraid to speak too loudly because of the “thought vampires” circling outside and calling for me to come out. I am forced to hide in the darkness, and pray for the coming of the sun.

Robert never stops trying to make sense of, or save, the world he lives in. He never stops caring for the former people, now monsters, outside his door every night. He clings to his humanity as the humanity he believes in crumbles and disappears. Robert even mourns the final passing of his taunting nemesis, Ben Cortman, when the enforcers of the new society finally kill him. Even though they show up on his doorstep every night and try to destroy him, Robert continues to love.

I work closely every day with individuals whose values and standards are different than mine without hate. One man in particular was surprised to find out about our differences. It surprised him because I have always treated with respect and kindness. We hug each other every time we work together. I bear him no malice even though our core values are radically different. This loving approach towards others is also part of the fabric of my value system. Even though my value system is becoming more peculiar every day, I cling to what I know to be true and right. Like Robert, even though my value system is being systematically dismantled right outside my front door, I still care for the people that are dismantling it.

In the end Robert is captured and sentenced for execution. He comes to a grim realization. “And suddenly he thought, I’m the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man.” He stares at the faces of the onlookers from the new society and realizes that he is the pariah in this new world. He never abandons his values or becomes like those around him. Instead of becoming the norm, he becomes the legend.

As I watch the moral fabric of the world around me change so rapidly, I feel like Robert Neville barricaded in a morality that is no longer accepted, or even tolerated. But I will not abandon those core truths and values that make me who I am—even if I become legend.

Getting Creative for Charity  

Posted by Brock Booher

Stephen King said a writer’s work should, “Get under your skin, and make you react.” That’s exactly what we want to do at our next book launch, but the reaction we want may not be what you think.
On Friday, June 26, from 7 – 9 pm, Barnes & Noble at San Tan Mall will be hosting us for a book launch/signing to promote awareness and raise money for House of Refuge, a local charity that provides help to the homeless. Barnes & Noble will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales to support the literacy efforts of the organization, and we will be auctioning off creative items through a silent auction (see list below). All proceeds from the auction will go to the House of Refuge.
Items for silent auction:
Brock Booher
#1 – Soccer Jersey: Authentic Alianza Lima soccer jersey (as mentioned in the novel The Charity Chip) adult small. Starting Bid: $10
#2 – Personalized Short Story: Be the main character of your own short story written by Brock Booher. 1000-1500 words. Starting Bid: $10
Janette Rallison
#3 – Autographed Poster: Own an autographed poster signed by Janette Rallison, Brandon Mull, Stephenie Meyer, Shannon Hale, James Owen, and several other famous authors. Starting Bid: $25
#4 – Character Name in upcoming novel: See your name in Janette’s next novel (you might even survive until the end). Starting Bid: $10
#5 – Writing Critique: Get the first 100 pages of your manuscript critiqued by successful writer, Janette Rallison. Starting Bid: $20
Randy Lindsay
#6 – Micro-Fiction: Here’s your chance to be the hero of your very own story. Randy will have you fill out a short questionnaire and then put together a story based on the information provided. Starting Bid: $10
#7 – Author Visit (AZ): Randy Lindsay will visit your classroom, office, book club, or private gathering and do a reading from his soon-to-be released second novel – Call to Arms: Nations Fall. Or if you prefer, Randy will offer a class on working as an author and about the publishing industry in general. Starting Bid: $10
Adrienne Quintana
#8 – Author Visit (AZ): Adrienne Quintana will visit your classroom, office, book club, or private gathering to perform a reading and teach about the writing craft. Starting Bid: $10
#9 – Painting: “Superstition Mountain Shadows” by John Horejs (Adrienne’s Father) 16″ x 20″ print valued at $1,000. Visit—http://www.xanadugallery.com/2013/Artists/Detail.php?InvID=109277—to view the painting and learn about other art by John Horejs. Starting Bid: $100.
Laura Walker
#10 – Character Name: Be a character in Laura Walker’s next romance novel and maybe find even find true love. Starting Bid: $10.
To bid visit— http://www.32auctions.com/CharityChipSilentAuction Bids will open June 8that midnight and close July 1st at midnight.  All auction proceeds will be collected by the House of Refuge, and prizes will be distributed after funds are donated. No purchase necessary. You do not need to be present to participate, but shipping costs are not included in the auction.
House of Refuge is a faith-based, non-profit organization helping homeless families in crisis by providing transitional housing and supportive services that assist participants as they strive towards self-sufficiency and seek to obtain permanent housing. Their vision is to take the broken human spirit and restore it body, mind and soul by educating and assisting not only the individual, but the family as well. Since 1996, House of Refuge has served over 6,000 people, or roughly 2,400 families, and is one of the largest transitional housing facilities in Arizona.