Podcast Ponder 2: Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses: 9.13 Three Pronged Character Development

First let me introduce this podcast. It’s one of my favorite writing podcasts, put together by published authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and the creator of the hilarious comic Schlock Mercenary, Howard Taylor. Since I started listening to this podcast, the quality of my writing has skyrocketed.

This particular episode, along with its companion episodes (links at the bottom), introduced a brand new concept for me that I have since used multiple times. The Three Pronged Character Development concept is comprised of three sliding scales: 1. Sympathy Slider, 2. Competence Slider, and 3. Proactivity Slider.

Since listening to this episode, diagnosing character problems has become so much simpler and quicker. In this first episode, they introduce the concept and give a few examples of characters with varying Slider levels to start off. It helps to show why we like certain characters and not others. It’s a fun exercise to try yourself, too.

For example, they explain how Harry Potter’s Competence Slider and Proactivity Slider are both low while his Sympathy Slider is quite high and how JK Rowling accomplished that. They do the same for other well known characters as well.

When they get into moving sliders around to improve characters, it instantly helped me understand what I was doing wrong with my own characters and how I could fix it. Which brings me to another big point they make. This concept is not necessarily ideal for developing characters from the beginning, though it can help. It works best as a simple diagnosing tool and I can attest to its value and usefulness.

So if you’re having trouble figuring out your characters, or you want to make them more relatable, or you’re just curious about character developement, then I highly recommend giving this episode a listen. Then check out the companion episodes where they talk about each Slider in depth. I guarantee your characters will thank you.

Ep 9.25: Adjusting Character Sympathy
Ep 9.26: Adjusting Character Competence
Ep 9.32: Adjusting Character Proactivity

Meet Willie Handler

This week I’m introducing comedy writer Willie Handler (yes that’s his real name, so don’t ask).  He’s the author of the political satire, The Road Ahead as well as several short stories published online on CommuterLit and Show Me the Funny.

What’s my plan to get my novel published? Plan A is to contact every literary agent in the English speaking world.

If that doesn’t work? Plan B is to pull a Rupert Pupkin (King of Comedy, 1982) by kidnapping a publishing executive and holding him or her ransom until my book is published.

I finally went with Plan C, I self-published.

Rick Tompkins, a suburban Toronto insurance broker, never considered a career in politics until a good friend, who happens to be the leader of the Conservative party, asks him to run for office. He accepts the offer, with the understanding that he would probably not win, but can use the opportunity to gain some visibility for himself and his business. Jerry Switzer, a veteran party worker, is sent in to guide Rick through a campaign in a riding that hasn’t elected a Conservative in years. 

Rick fumbles his way through the election campaign and manages a surprise win but at the expense of saddling his party with an impossible commitment. What makes matters worse, Rick is anything but politically correct. He offends everyone in his path and stumbles from one political scandal to another. Still, Rick has one saving asset: a political party machine that is able to spin scandals to its advantage.

1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.

I’m Willie and I got involved with creative writing less than three years ago. I had a long successful career working for the Ontario government. I left the government just over five years ago and decided what I wanted to do was take my sense of humour and put it to use doing creative writing. Last fall I released my first novel, The Road Ahead. The book is a political satire, which makes sense considering my background. As they often say, “write what you know” (some attribute the quote to Hemingway). What the quote says to me is that you use what you already know to explore new worlds and places you don’t know. I did a better job applying that while working on my second novel. It also falls under humor but takes place on Mars where a permanent colony has been established. The protagonist, Dix Jenner, is a chef in the colony and the only survivor after an explosion destroys the colony. He is picked up by two Martians, Bleeker and Seepa, who agree to shelter him because they would like to study him. I really like this story because it has allowed me to bring out my creative side. 

You As A Reader

2. When did you first fall in love with books?

I began reading at age 4 and became an avid reader. I remember going to the library on Saturdays and checking out the maximum number of books allowed and returning the next week to sign out another stack of books. I kept this up throughout school. I read fiction and bios. When I started working, I began to read less. I found I was spending so much time on reading related to my job that I had little time for pleasure reading. Later in life, I returned to reading.

3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

I don’t have a favorite book from my childhood but I remember I read a lot of Hardy Boys books

4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

This is a difficult question to answer because I have read books for entertainment or to learn. Two very different outcomes. Looking back the book that stands out most in my mind would the The Diary of Anne Frank. My parents were both survivors of the Holocaust and I’ve read many books, both fiction and nonfiction, dealing with the Holocaust. But Anne Frank’s book speaks on many levels.

5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

The last book I read was for my book club. It was Our Little Secret by Roz Nay. The book is a psychological thriller with a terrific twist at the end. There’s a review on my blog and I highly recommend. My favorite book has always been To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

I would love to meet Philip Roth. He is such a prolific writer and so much of his work I can relate to. I’m not even sure what I would ask him but I’m sure I would come up with questions about a some of his books.

You As A Writer

7. When did you first know you were a writer?

When I finished the first draft of The Road Ahead. I remember looking down at the 155-page  manuscript that I had just printed and told myself – I guess you are a writer. When I started writing the book it was more of a personal challenge. I never considered myself a writer. I’m still not comfortable with the label.

8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?  If so, what was it about?

I did write some funny stories when I was young. All I remember was that they were fantasies but don’t remember any more than that.

9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey?  The best part?

I went into this with no experience, plans, strategy, nothing. I just sat down and wrote. I had no network of other writers. I wasn’t using social media. Consequently, while writing my first novel, I felt very isolated. I went from working in a busy office environment to sitting alone at home in from of my computer. That was a difficult transition for me.

Yet, I also really enjoyed it. In particular, starting a new project. The start is the most creative part of the process and I find it exciting and exhilarating. I have all these ideas and images in my head and you can’t get them down on paper fast enough. After several months, a fatigue begins to settle in. But the early stages of the process can be so much fun.

10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

Me take advice? Ha! Never.

I have too much of an independent streak. The only advice I have for other writers is don’t listen to anyone. It’s your book so don’t let anyone tell you how to write it.

11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.

I mentioned earlier that I’m working on a humor novel about a chef on Mars. It’s called, Loved Mars, Hated the Food. I should point out that despite the premise, this is not a science fiction novel. I’ve nearly completed the first draft and I’m very proud of this novel. I think it’s funny and unique. I’ve let my imagination run wild on this one. I have a few projects that I’ve been thinking about and can’t decide which one I will tackle next. But it will be nothing like anything previous. I would never write a series or a sequel. I always want to try something fresh and new.

Fun Stuff About You

12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I love sports. I used to play and coach hockey and other sports. I was a competitive runner. However, health issues have ended my athletic activities. I still cycle and swim to keep in shape. But I really miss running. I also enjoy gardening, preferably in the spring and summer. Cooking, eating out, crosswords, politics, making a fool out of myself, hashtag games and traveling. The summer of 2017, I went on a river boat cruise of the Danube River.

13. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world.  Where would you go?

It would have to be somewhere exotic. I used to say French Polynesia but two years ago I finally made it. I think I would choose South East Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia.

Final Thoughts

14. How can people connect with you?

I’m very accessible. I love connecting with other writers on my blog,, on Twitter, and Facebook.

15. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

Thank you for profiling me. The online community is very supportive and this is just another example of how amazing it is.

Thanks for sharing a bit about you. I look forward to reading Dix’s story!

Do his stories interest you? You can find his first novel, The Road Ahead on Amazon in paperback and ebook.

The Road Ahead

The 4 types of knitters

I learned to knit when I was about 10 and have dabbled with it off and on ever since. I’ve made wash clothes, scarves, hats, gloves. At one point I even learned to crochet (gasp!).

I also know quite a few knitters and I’ve learned that there are basically four different types.

Type 1: Pattern required, fiber snob

These knitters yarn shop in two interchangeable steps. 1. Find perfect yarn. 2. Find perfect pattern. Sometimes they find the pattern first, sometimes they find the yarn. But rest assured, they cannot leave the yarn shop without both (or at least not without plans for fulfilling the other step). There is hardly ever any free styling for these knitters. If it doesn’t have a pattern, they won’t be knitting it.

They are also yarn snobs, or as my mother says it, fiber snobs. There is nothing fake in these knitters’ projects. You’ll never catch them fingering anything acrylic, polyester, or synthetic. If it didn’t come straight from an animal or plant, they won’t even notice it. (Unless the tags are missing, but they don’t talk about those embarrassing moments.)

These are the most organized, structured knitters you’ll ever meet. Give them a pattern and they’ll find the exact yarn needed for it, then churn out a perfect sweater that looks just like the picture. (Don’t tell my mother, but fiber snobs also find the softest yarn.)

Type 2: Pattern required, fiber opportunist

These knitters need patterns as much as Type 1s. Give them a skein and tell them to knit whatever comes to mind and they’ll panic.

However, give them a pattern and they will knit with whatever is available. Oh sure, they love exploring yarn shops as much as any knitter (it’s a therapeutic experience, feeling all the delicious yarns), but they aren’t picky about what it’s made of. If they like it, they’ll take it.

These kind of knitters almost always go for the pattern books first. They love feeling the yarns, but are rarely inspired without a pattern to look at first. They’re also a lot of fun to explore yarn with since they touch first and read tags second.

Type 3: Free spirit, fiber snob

These knitters are commonly seen sitting in waiting rooms, bus stops, and coffee shops while their needles seem to have a mind of their own. They never need a pattern, and some actually find patterns too confining, but they will knit from one if they happen to like it. They also never knit with anything fake and a good chunk of their wardrobe they made themselves. (It’s not uncommon for these kind of knitters to be health foodies as well.)

They’re constantly creating and often find ways of putting discordant things together to make something surprisingly beautiful.

Type 4: free spirit, fiber opportunist

These knitters are generally hobby knitters. They find patterns confining and overwhelming and almost always prefer to knit without them. They’re less concerned with learning new stitches and techniques as simply knitting whatever they feel like.

These are the knitters you see most often in Michaels and Walmart (though they’ll wander a boutique yarn shop for fun too), and they aren’t nearly as familiar as fiber snobs with the horror of needing more of a particular yarn only to find that it’s been discontinued. Any kind of yarn will do for them and they don’t really care if what they’re making doesn’t come out just right. They simply enjoy the experience of making something with their hands.

For my part, I’m an occasionally snobby Type 4. It’s unavoidable when your mother is a brilliant Type 1. (Love you mom!)

Any other knitters out there? What type of knitter are you?

Meet John Davis

This week, I’d like to introduce John Davis, pulp science fiction author of the Gunship series, the Fleet series and many other stories. If you’re a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Firefly, or pulp sci-fi in general, you’ll love his books.

Adam wants anything but a normal life. As captain of the Gunship, he and a crew of unique characters do what they have to in order to survive. But with a war between planets looming, the only decent paying job could be the job that kills him.

John Macallen Davis is the author of over 30 published stories, and has picked up a readership because of his pulp influence on science fiction. Prior to writing full-time, he worked for a satellite company that everyone hates while studying physical fitness in college.

When he’s not writing, John enjoys reading and listening to good music and is trying to learn how to play the guitar. He reads a variety of books, most notably early 1900s pulp fiction and Stephen King.

John currently lives in Southwest Virginia with his wife of 15 years and their two children.

1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.

I’m a regular guy who loves to read/write and I’ve worked my butt off every step of the way. I figured out somewhere along the way that authors typically find success when they pin their hat to a certain niche and style. I write short stories and love science fiction, so I incorporated the lifestyle of a 1920s pulp author and so far it’s worked. That’s my niche. Short stories that are fun to read. I’m not striving for perfection here, I just push myself to entertain readers. Currently I’m laying the foundation for a brand new series called Reach, which takes place in the distant future and will arrive in serialized installments.

You As A Reader

2. When did you first fall in love with books?

We were rather poor growing up and books were cheap. So while a lot of my friends were scoring the newest video games, I was forced to read. It didn’t take long for me to discover that books are both a form of entertainment and an escape. The human imagination is far better than any video game I’ve ever played.

3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

I was really into fantasy growing up and I know the obvious answer here would be Lord of the Rings. However, it’s not. I was quickly sucked into the world of Conan the Barbarian and really loved the idea of a strongman with a wicked weapon basically roaming through whatever country he pleases and making short work of anyone who tries to stop him. To me, this was the idea of true freedom and absolutely spells adventure! I still get excited by it today, and collect as many of the old Savage Sword of Conan magazines as I can get my hands on.

4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

I think all published authors have had the same moment. For me, I bought a book based on the EVE universe (science fiction), only to realize that it was like reading a 600-page dictionary. I mean, there was absolutely no sense of action or adventure, and I began to wonder how this book (though well-written in a literal sense) ever got published. That’s when I did some research online, found out the guy was a first-time author, and realized that anyone who takes it seriously enough can get into this writing thing – even me.

5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

The last book I read was the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. I saw the movie and it was original enough to get me excited, so I rushed out to continue the story. My current favorite is At The Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In fact, I’m a huge fan of pulp fiction and this guy had it all figured out.

6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

Well, as a writer who’d like to know as much as possible about success, I would have to pick Stephen King. The guy is obviously great at what he does, but he had some earlier struggles that I also dealt with. People think that he can publish anything now and it will become a best-seller, and that may be the case, but he didn’t start out with that kind of fame. Just like us, he started from the very bottom and worked his way up.

You As A Writer

7. When did you first know you were a writer?

This is a very good question as I suffer from severe social anxiety. I knew pretty early on that I was a writer. Deep down, writing provided a way to unwind and much like reading, it just felt right to me. The problem that I faced was avoiding the conversation. Whenever we ran into people we knew out in public (people we hadn’t seen for a while) the question always popped up. The last thing you want to do when you have social anxiety is to talk about writing. They want to know where you’re working and you want to avoid the conversation entirely, so “stay at home dad” was my escape hatch for a very long time. Eventually my wife called me out on it and that’s that. For most authors, I’m sure this sounds like a very strange problem. I’ve actually turned down potential book signings in my area because I’m horrified by the idea of sitting at a table and talking about myself all day.

8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?

Absolutely, and it was terrible. I didn’t get far enough to name it, but it was planned as a fantasy book. I quickly realized that writing fantasy is much harder than writing science fiction. The story involved a lot of snow and vampires, if I remember correctly.

9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey? The best part?

The best part of my journey has been the day I received my first check ($26). I still haven’t cashed it and it’s framed. I couldn’t get over the fact that someone out there was paying to read stories that began in my head. When it comes to the most difficult, some days you wake up and you just don’t want to write. I try to write for five or six hours each day, and just like any other job it has its days. I love writing, don’t get me wrong, but some days you just want to lay around and watch television all day. Learning to push through that mental attitude has been the toughest part, but I also believe that it’s what separates successful writers from aspiring writers.

10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

Hang around a barber shop long enough and you’ll eventually get a haircut. I know, it sounds silly, but this is a gem when it comes to advice. Surround yourself with people that you respect in the world of writing. Hang around long enough and you’ll begin to pick up their good habits. I came in with zero knowledge of how the publishing industry works and I’ve written two #1 best-sellers (albeit briefly) on the Amazon Kindle. One of the two lasted for a whopping three hours, but that’s three hours that I outsold every Star Wars book on the planet. Hanging around with the right crowd had a lot to do with it.

11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.

I just wrote a short story called Hollow Earth that’s currently available across most eBook platforms. I also recently finished up a novel-length story called Wicked Dead, and it’s currently being butchered by my editor. As for this week, I’m world-building for a brand new science fiction series called Reach. Notebooks and sketches, all of that cool stuff.

Fun Stuff About You

12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I actually attended college to become a fitness trainer and lift weights regularly. That seems to be my other anxiety relief outside of reading/writing. I’m also a big family man. I hang out with my daughter (who also loves to read) or play Nintendo with my son. I’m a die-hard fan of the show Survivor.

13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?

Minimalism. Those who know me know that I’m not a technology guy. I used to be, but then I discovered minimalism and it has made my life more enjoyable. Minimalism is the art of simplifying your life and it truly does work. Outside of clothes, I’m currently in the process of streamlining my possessions down to a dozen or so. Minimalism involves a lot of prayer, meditation and a great understanding of how the world really works. I was first turned onto minimalism through reading up on transcendentalism. What is life really about – that’s the mystery, right? I don’t have the answers, of course, but I can guarantee you it doesn’t involve owning the next iPhone. 

14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?

I’m the hermit and my wife’s the traveller, so I would probably let her decide. She’s very supportive, so it’s the least I could do. I know she’s always wanted to vacation in Hawaii.

Final Thoughts

15. How can people connect with you?

My official website is and that’s pretty much my hub of activity. From there, I have links to the rest of my pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube).

16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

Never give up. Never ever give up. Writing is a very hard industry to work in and you will always work harder than you’re paid. If you are writing for the right reasons, hanging around the right folks and working hard, you will eventually find success. I’ve also put a lot of faith and trust in God’s will and He has yet to lead me astray.

Thanks for letting us get to know you a little. I know I’ve come away from this interview inspired to work even harder.

Are you interested to learn more about John Davis’s books? You can find them all on Amazon.

Gunship 1: The Flight
The Fleet: book 1
Hollow Earth

Meet Anne Wheeler

This week I’d like to introduce a friend of mine, Anne Wheeler. She’s the author of Forever’s End, an Asrian Skies short story and the upcoming novel Asrian Skies.

Katryn Holt scarcely remembers what life at the research station on Iythea was like before the Haederans arrived—but she can’t forget what life is like now. Between the forced labor and nights spent dreaming of a home she’ll never see again, quick glimpses of her sometimes lover Kaz are the only bright spot.

But now Kaz is dying, and the thing he wants most is the one thing Katryn can’t give him…freedom.

1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.

I’m Anne, worker bee, mom to a three-year-old, and new indie author. I just self-published a short story, Forever’s End, and my novel Asrian Skies is set to be released this fall.

You As A Reader

2. When did you first fall in love with books?

Ha. When I was four, I memorized a half-dozen books and told everyone I could read (I couldn’t). I’m sure I badgered my parents into “just one more book” at bedtime well before then.

Sounds familiar.

3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

This is too hard! I’d have to say Little House on the Prairie, since I went through four copies. It always amazed me that a girl my age could live so differently, yet not all that long ago. But the Nancy Drew books and anything by LM Montgomery got a lot of use as well. I still have boxes upon boxes of those stashed in a closet somewhere.

4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It didn’t change me as a person, or even a reader, but as a writer, it made me realize there was a happy medium between Christianity and fantasy—that both could coexist within the same author, in the same book. It had a huge influence on me when I decided to write.

I know what you mean. It’s comforting to realize that Christianity and fantasy aren’t mutually exclusive.

5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

The last book was Hugh Howley’s Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue. Someone on Twitter recommended it, and I’d never have picked it up on my own, but I enjoyed it. I recently discovered Lois McMaster Bujold, so I’d say one of her books is a current favorite—either Memory or The Hallowed Hunt. Yep, I have eclectic taste in books!

6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

I’ll be unoriginal and say CS Lewis. I’ve never enjoyed an author’s non-fiction books outside of his.

You As A Writer

7. When did you first know you were a writer?

Only about a year ago, during my husband’s last deployment. I had a lot of free time and bits of a story were stuck in my head. As soon as I let myself write it down, it just appeared on paper.

8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?  If so, what was it about?

Yes, my first novel!

9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey?  The best part?

Writing has been a huge wakeup call about my low self-confidence. It’s really hard to take constructive criticism and not feel like you’re falling apart or that your work isn’t the worst thing ever written. That’s something I’m still working on, and I dread the first one star review of Forever’s End.

On the plus side, it’s been an introduction to two new worlds—the one I created in my head, and the amazingly supportive community of writers across the world.

Every writer goes through this exact struggle. You’re definitely not alone.

10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

Trust in your own process. That’s really difficult (see above), but as a writer who has trouble following the “writing rules”, it’s the advice that really sticks with me. We all have different ways of writing, but as long as projects get finished, I don’t think there’s really a wrong process.

11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.

Asrian Skies is about a fighter pilot princess who becomes a spy. That sounds a lot crazier than it is, really. It’s just about to head off to the editor, so I’ll get to focus on its sequel, which in the grand tradition of second novels, is giving me a whole lot of trouble. I also have a few short stories set in the same world that are in various stages of drafting and revising. One is so self-indulgent I may never release it, but you never know!

Fun Stuff About You

12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I’m a lapsed flight instructor. I keep telling myself I’ll get back into it one day, but let’s face it, my students always wanted to kill me, and writing is safer (and more fun, but don’t tell my pilot friends). I also hike and try to take at least one trip a year to do some solo exploring—this year is the mountains around Tucson. Coincidentally, that was last year’s trip as well. Even more coincidentally, part of Asrian Skies involves my characters tromping through the mountains.

13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?

ANYTHING. No, really, I’d settle for being an expert in anything. I’m the definition of a dilettante.

14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world.  Where would you go?

Japan! I’ve been there a dozen times on business, and I’d love to go back and spend time outside of work really getting to know the people and culture.

Final Thoughts

15. How can people connect with you?

Facebook is the best way.

16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

 I really appreciate the opportunity…and it’s been enjoyable!

Thanks for being on the blog. I can’t wait to get a peek at Asrian Skies!

If you’d like to read more, you can find her books on Amazon. And be sure to keep an eye out for Asrian Skies, coming this fall.

Forever’s End

A hidden message in Monsters University

If you know me, then you know I’m slightly obssessed with Pixar. Their movies, their storytelling techniques, their support of young talent, pretty much everything about the studio. But don’t worry, this post isn’t going to be a big fangirl fest. (Though I could fill up several posts.)

Of the many things they are excellent at, overlapping story arcs is a big one. It’s most obvious in their ability to tell stories that appeal to both children and adults. It’s evident in every single one of their movies, including Monsters University, the sequel to Monsters Inc.

For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a story about two very different monsters, Sully and Mike Wazowski, and how they learn to work together to achieve their dreams. Although, if you haven’t seen it, you should probably go watch it before reading the rest of this post.

Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

Is it done yet?


Okay, let’s continue.

Beneath the many obvious themes is a not-so-obvious underlying message this movie makes. You see, even though all Mike has ever wanted in life is to be a scarer, he never actually becomes one. Not even in the original movie is he a scarer.

Most kids movies usually involve some form of the theme “you can be anything.” Ratatouille, The Lego Movie, How To Train Your Dragon, Planes. (Okay, so I’m obsessed with animated movies in general. What can I say? I’m a nerd.) And there is absolutely nothing wrong with those themes.

The sursrising message Monsters University shows kids is that it’s okay if we don’t achieve our dreams. It shows them how to continue on when hard work and dedication isn’t enough. It’s the personification of the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars.”

Mike didn’t become a scarer. He didn’t even manage to graduate from Monsters University. But he did learn that not achieving his dream didn’t make him worthless. He learned to see worth in who he was, rather than who he wanted to be.

He didn’t become a scarer, but he did end up working for the company he admired so much. He learned that even though he didn’t reach the moon, he still wound up in the stars. And the stars are a pretty awesome place to wind up.