Tag Archives: 1989

Sex, Lies and Vampires

vampiresThe following is the speech I did for my “Speak with Knowledge” project while earning my Competent Toastmaster award. The point of the speech was to be able to read a speech effectively, which is why I chose to use a lot of quotes. This speech was written circa 1989, so it is a little dated … vampires in film and literature have changed a bit over time.

“I thought that I was asleep …. it began to dawn upon me that the air was heavy, and dank, and cold. I put back the clothes from my face, and found, to my surprise, that all was dim around. The gaslight which I had left lit … came only like a tiny red spark through the fog, which had evidently grown thicker and poured into the room. Then it occurred to me that I had shut the window before I had come to bed. I would have got out to make certain on the point, but some leaden lethargy seemed to chain my limbs and even my will …. The mist grew thicker and thicker and I could see now how it came in, for I could see it like smoke — or with the white energy of boiling water — pouring in, not through the window, but through the joinings of the door. It got thicker and thicker, till it seemed as if it became concentrated into a sort of pillar of cloud in the room, through the top of which I could see the light of the gas shining like a red eye. Things began to whirl through my brain just as the cloudy column was now whirling in the room, …. as I looked, the fire divided, and seemed to shine on me through the fog like two red eyes, …. Suddenly the horror burst upon me that it was thus that Jonathan had seen those awful women growing into reality through the whirling mist in the moonlight, and in my dream I must have fainted, for all became black darkness. The last conscious effort which imagination made was to show me a livid white face bending over me out of the mist.”

Thus was Dracula’s first attack on Mina in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Dragon Speech

I collect dragons. I have more dragons in my collection than I have space to display them in the manner they deserve. Therefore, when it came time to do my visual aids speech back when I was earning my Competent Toastmaster award, I chose to base it on a book that I loved, The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson. I think you’ll enjoy it. I had received the book as a Christmas present and I enjoyed reading it so much I actually finished it in about two days (I’m a slow reader, so that’s saying something).

traveling salt merchantImagine yourself a traveling salt merchant on the coasts of England in times past. Today, you travels bring you to a seemingly deserted rural village. All the doors and windows are barred shut. There is a warm breeze, a bit too warm for this time of year. You keep on going, though, now you are more cautious. All the fields near the village are dry. As you get farther away from the village, the crops get blacker. Pretty soon they are nothing but ashes. Cattle are torn apart and strewn everywhere. Charred, black skeletons are all that is left of the dwellings. As you look upon this scene, your mind wonders to the legends you heard as a child. Stories of what had happened to villages like this. Tales of … dragons.

fire-breathing dragonThere are three ways of looking at the dragon:

1) They are completely legendary;

2) They are mostly legendary, but are created from second hand accounts of crocodiles and other large lizards; and

3) They really existed.

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