Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

by Robison Wells

One of the things that we bloggers planned for this year was to have theme weeks. The week of Valentine’s Day, perhaps, we’ll all talk about our first loves. During Thanksgiving we might discuss the things we’re grateful for. When Purim rolls around, we’ll have a contest to see who can come up with the worst insults for Haman. (Mine: Dinosaur Poo-Poo Head.)

Yesterday Jeff posted as part of a blogging chain letter, disclosing five things about himself that most readers never knew. And, considered what we already do know about Jeff, I think we’re all relieved at how benign his responses were. So, I don’t know whether this constitutes the beginning of a theme week or not, but I’m also going to post on that subject. (Calling it a theme week is better than calling it what it really is: a lack of original ideas.)

Without further ado:

(1) When I was in the eighth grade, I broke my back. I did so at a Boy Scout activity, and I fell off of a horse. It was the first time I’d ever ridden before. We’d almost finished the ride, and were taking the horses back to the corral, when there was a loud noise and my horse jumped. I fell right off—flat onto my back—and fractured the T-6 vertebrae. I spent the next eight months in physical therapy.

To this day I have little good to say about horses, and I once wrote a story in which a horse’s head explodes. (They say that if you fall off a horse you should hop right up and get back on, but that was hard with the backboard and neck brace. So, I never learned to forgive the animals.)

Oddly enough, it was during this injury (and a few broken legs the couple years prior) that doctors discovered I never bruise. Never. Weird, huh?

(2) My original creative outlet wasn’t writing, but painting. As I’ve mentioned before, I hated English all through high school, but I’ve been oil painting since the fifth grade. And I don’t mean to brag, but in 2002 I took third place in the Utah State Fair. So, you know, I’m a regular Leonardo Da Vinci.

(3) Whilst on my mission, I was once detained for over an hour by a US marshal. I was serving in northwestern New Mexico, a land that is peppered with ancient ruins, and often those ruins were the only places to go on P-Day. One day our entire zone went to Chaco Canyon, and myself and three other missionaries climbed up on a low wall have our picture taken. By this point in my mission, I’d done this about fourteen zillion times, though admittedly I shouldn’t have. Anyway, this day in particular there happened to be a US marshal nearby, and he had to restrain himself from beating us with his nightstick.

Normally, a US marshal wouldn’t have been there, and a park ranger would have merely clucked his tongue and kicked us out. But apparently there’d been some recent thefts of ancient artifacts, and the Marshall was staking out the ruins. He searched us for stolen items, and eventually wrote us a ticket for standing on the wall. Suffice it to say, this was not one of the proudest moments of missionary experience.

Incidentally, my time in New Mexico led directly to me taking all sorts of anthropology classes in college, and I’m quite honestly horrified at the lackadaisical attitude I had toward those ruins. Holy crap, we could have caused some real damage.

(4) I am a game player. And not just like your average college kid who has a Playstation—no, I’m a fanatic. In fact, I was one of the initial staff writers for The Official Time-Waster’s Guide, an online magazine that reviews and discusses games. Specifically, I was (and still nominally am) the wargames editor.

Yes, it’s true: I paint toy soldiers. Well, I used to until I had kids and discovered that small pointy things made out of lead are not good for children to swallow. But even now I still have all my little army guys, and I still play games whenever time allows. Just yesterday, in fact, I spent four hours at my brother’s house playing a game that boasted hundreds of tiny plastic pieces, hundreds of cards, and volumes of rules. And it was really awesome.

(5) I’m an author of three published novels. Oh, you already knew that? Then why haven’t you bought them yet? Honestly!

Incidentally, the five people you meet in heaven: St. Francis of Assissi, Sir Isaac Newton, Mark Twain, George Harrison, and Notorious B.I.G..


At 1/16/2007 4:21 PM, Anonymous Fellfrosch said...

Yes, that game was awesome. Finally you write about something interesting!

At 1/16/2007 5:43 PM, Blogger FHL said...

Please, do tell what game it was!

I'm a fellow fanatic. Have you tried Puerto Rico or Caylus yet?

At 1/17/2007 10:14 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

FHL, it was Twilight Imperium, third edition. And it was mighty fun. If you're interested, the next time we play (usually down in Utah County) I'll shoot you an invite?

At 1/17/2007 3:11 PM, Blogger FHL said...


I see it's #27 on's ranking... (Puerto Rico's #1, with over 7000 votes)

The screenshot makes it look like a space-based Settlers, but the description sounds more like a war game. Sounds fun. =)

I get together with a couple of friends every Tuesday night for games. Last night we played Railroad Tycoon (#19). Twice.

At 1/17/2007 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boys will be boys :)

At 1/17/2007 3:18 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Cool. Hopefully we'll be playing again in the next week or so. I'll send you an email when I know details.

At 1/17/2007 4:26 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

Holy gravy, Batman. Rob, how have we known each other all these years and never hooked up over your interest in war games? I recently got back into board games, and have quickly descended (ascended?) into war game. ASL, Paths of Glory, Axies and Allies, BattleLore, Nexus Ops. And then of course the more 'Euro games', like Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride, Acquire, etc. etc. etc.

I saw a guy in the DI the other day who had Twilight Imperium, and had to think long and hard about pushing him over and grabbing his cart.

Gives us something to talk about the next time we do a book signing together.

At 1/17/2007 6:16 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Well Mr. Buckley, now you see the inherent problems with living in Logan. If you were down in this area, you could come and play. I hope you feel bad.

At 1/17/2007 6:21 PM, Anonymous Fellfrosch said...

I hope you all feel bad, especially Rob, for inviting FHL to play a game that's only ranked at #27. He played #17 last night, for goodness' sake; you're gonna have to do a lot better than #27 to get his attention.

At 1/17/2007 6:26 PM, Blogger FHL said...

Are you ... mocking me?


At 1/20/2007 1:43 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I am totally there for 'I Hate Haman' week. Can I bring the 7-layer dip?


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