Wild by Cheryl Strayed

What if you could take two months off and hike one thousand plus miles across the Pacific Crest Trail? This is exactly what happens to the author of the book Wild, which my class is presented with reading in our respective book clubs. Through the process of intense evaluation on simply the concepts of the books presented in class, I chose her book about getting out into nature and really living life like a pilgrim or more commonly considered now a hiker. From Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, I find myself disagreeing with most of her choices, although more importantly I find it relatable and as a former hiker, though I never hiked the PCT, nostalgic to me and influencing how I can improve my writing. 

I would say that I could not agree at all with her actions after her mom’s passing, I would feel destroyed if I was her, I just would not have done what she had done to those closest to her. What I really don’t agree with is the way the author seemed to give up on saying “no” to Joe (a love interest) and had become an avid user of the drug heroin. It wasn’t until Paul had confronted her that she considered the real extent of what she was doing by expressing, “I was different. I wasn’t there. Heroin had made me that way. And yet the idea of giving it up seemed impossible. Looking Paul squarely in the face made me realize that I couldn’t think straight.” (54). At this moment she realizes the first step in fighting addiction and that is admitting there is a problem.

It can take a lot of time for people to train for this exact hike and Strayed just goes for it and for once not saying “no” has finally got her into something remarkably adventurous. I am jealous of the greatness of the overall hike and wish to go on the PCT myself one day, although not alone. Prior to moving back here to my hometown, Ventura, I use to hike all over Arizona when I was living there six years ago. When Strayed speaks of the views and the scenes experienced on her journey, I am nostalgic of the views I had seen while hiking with the height and vastness of the view. One image that fascinated me is the description of Crater Lake as Strayed stood on the “7100-foot-high rim” where she discloses, “The jagged circle of the lake spread out beneath me in the most unspeakably pure ultramarine blue I’d ever seen.” (271). Quickly in my mind a picture is painted of the lake beneath her view while also adding her personal touch on no blue has matched this before. In a poetic manor, rhyming “ultramarine” with “seen”, I really am fascinated and wish to see the very scene with my own eyes. This inspires me to include a rhyme or two where I have the time.

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Krark-Clan Ironworks

Looking to confuse the crowd and pull of a crazy combo? Then Ironworks combo is your deck! This Deck uses a four colorless costing artifact named Krark-Clan Ironworks that sacrifices other artifacts to create two colorless mana each. building up a big mana base allowing more colorless artifacts to be played. Mox opal is essential in this deck because you need it to produce colored mana for the game winning blow usually consisting of summoning a large creature or blasting you opponent with an endless combo of damage. I have not got all the cards together for this deck and not been able to make it through  play testing but I am still searching for the right combination for me to succeed past testing with.

Affinity/Robots

The role of this deck is to use an army of colorless low costing artifact creature spells (artifact creature lands aswell such as Inkmoth Nexus) with only a few colorful spells played with the help of Mox Opal producing the color necessary. The deck is around eight hundred dollars if you are getting all the lands to help create color otherwise i have seen the deck made budget around five hundred dollars taking out a lot of its speed, power, and utilities. The base of this deck is to have artifact creatures such as Ornithopter and Memnite, zero costing spells, then boost them with an artifact equipment called Cranial Plating, which can boost something harmless into a haymaker. A lot of other pieces are in this deck work a lot like a puzzle, there is Arcbound Ravager, who can grow bigger by adding artifacts to it then moving them onto another artifact all at instant speed creating a huge threat that could end the game, another puzzle piece would be Steel Overseer (displayed in feature image), this creature comes down harmless unable to do much afterwards, it can grow your army of artifact creatures into unexpected threats.

Mox Opal Origins

The Magic card Mox Opal is a zero mana costing artifact spell card (mana being a source to use for playing cards coming in five different colors and colorless) that only has one ability being Metalcraft (must have three artifacts to activate including itself) allowing the card to tap itself for mana of any color. Mox Opal was first published and printed in the set “Scars of Mirrodin” 2010, created in an attempt to make a new and more balanced Mox than the original five including: Mox Sapphire, Mox Ruby, Mox Emerald, Mox Jet, and Mox Pearl each only creating one color of mana they represent. In my personal opinion, I feel they did make it more balanced as it can’t immediately make any extra mana for free it requires you have other artifacts in play to activate. The debate here is strong and still in question as to whether it really is all that balanced. Mox opal is superior to all other Mox in the way it can make mana of any color, as opposed to only one specific color, leading to much more possibilities in what you can play. Mox opal has been used as ramp for the most part in modern tournament winning decks such as affinity/robots and Krark-Clan Ironworks allowing a turn three spell the second turn (with enough artifacts for metalcraft).