Monday, October 29, 2012

Pay it forward

This coming Halloween will mark one year for me as a published author. It has been exhilarating and exasperating both at the same time. I have sold a few but not very many. I have received excellent feedback on both the writing and the stories themselves. One year ago I wouldn't have believed I would have five titles in 'print' but that is just the case.

Newly released is the last book of The Crystal Point Legacy series, Death of Kings. It is the wrap-up of an epic fantasy that involves an all-encompassing war, extreme heroics, betrayal and both personal growth and failure. It is life itself in all its many facets.

I look back at this year and remember how it was to put out something for public inspection. To be candid, I was nervous. I recently gave advice to another author who was putting up his first work. I belong to an author's forum that has been tremendously helpful to me as this year has progressed. His request was simple; read and give some advise. What I read took me back to the beginnings of my writing experience. I started over twenty years ago and received some of the same advice I gave to this new author. I believe he writes in a similar way to myself when I started out. He can craft a story and put words together that flow and have meaning. The trick is to learn some of the ins and outs of the techniques and structure of writing paragraph after paragraph. I have a copy of his work and he is on the path to success.

It's sort of pay-it-forward advice. Had I not received the straightforward yet respectful advice on my work twenty years ago, I may not have learned the lessons I needed to learn. Writing is not just about putting words down on a page to get to the end of a story, it's about creating emotion and placing the reader in the middle of the tale.

I had a complete stranger give me some of the best advice I could get all those years ago. It's simply my time to pass it forward. (Oh, the new book is on the right there at the top). ---->

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another step toward over the hill

As we journey down the road on our blue marble, there are plateaus we all step upon. We grow a little older and a little more frail with each change in elevation. Years ago, (I think I have mentioned this before) I told my son that under no circumstances is he ever allowed to let me wear 'velcro shoes' or those big plastic 'blot out all light of the universe' sunglasses you always see the old folks wearing as they drive down the highway. That in itself is a scary thought.

Unfortunately, I have succumbed to a different aspect of 'old age wear', the dreaded eyeglass strap. Yep, I'm sportin' one of those.I like to think of it as a stylish accessory but even I must begin to admit it borders on uncool. I am vigorously working to convince myself that adventuresome and stylish rouges are seen sporting this accessory as they wander the markets of Algiers and Marrakesh. I don't think Indiana Jones wore this particular piece but it sure would have added to his mystique and been the piece de resistance of his ensemble.

Alas, for me it is just a nod to knowing that I can't see worth a damn any longer. I struggle with the glasses thing as they are an encumbrance, an annoyance to my work habits. They slide and slip and fall off at work yet to go into a restaurant and order off a menu without them would be an adventure of monumental proportions. "Oh, I thought I ordered the shrimp. What's this?"


Friday, October 12, 2012

Two lanes of freedom

Do you have something that you used to love doing that you no longer have a desire to do? Has your life changed or has the world changed so much so that what used to be fun is now a chore? I do.

I think back to a time when I was a young lad in my teens. My first car was a bright red '71 Torino with a black vinyl top. Yep, I'm that old. It was the last model year before they all became Gran Torinos. They were sleeker, smaller yet packed a big punch. 'Back in the day' as the old farts say, the roads were much more open and significantly less congested. You could jump onto a freeway and cruise the lanes with little distraction. There was much less worry about other drivers. Oh sure, the bad drivers have been around us for years but now, it's getting worse.

One can't slip out onto a street without being cut off in traffic, suffered to hear the thumping sound of someone's music from three cars away. I personally want to hear what's on my radio, not yours. I think it comes down to how people have forgotten how to drive. They don't pay attention to what's going on around their vehicle. They look straight ahead and change lanes. That's not how you do it folks. And try driving for once instead of talking on the phone, texting and the various other sorts of stuff people do behind the wheel instead of actually operating their vehicle.

Driving is only fun now when there are no others about, and that's a rare find. One can't even find an old two-lane country road that isn't filled with a line of traffic. Driving used to be fun with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Now, it's just survival of the fittest because most of the others simply can't operate a vehicle and they don't know the rules of the road. Roads are nothing but a big traffic jamb with nowhere to go.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A joining together

Yesterday my family witnessed a wonderful event, the wedding of two who fell in love. It was a beautiful ceremony in a classic church venue. It was the joining of two families who already have a deep history together; My Beloved's family once again joined with mine.

I was fascinated by the architecture of the church. It was a Gothic style, possibly neo-Gothic, that took me back to the first church I attended as a boy. Although the style was similar, they are different. But they are similar in how they affected me. Churches have always seemed to have a power other buildings lacked. In years past their structure held the beliefs of the religion. In the Catholic religion, they always seemed as vessels of power. Their lofty ceilings and ornate decoration expressed what this religion was about.

I miss those days as I drive down a street and see all manner of nondescript buildings that are passed off as houses of worship. I suppose 'houses of worship' aren't the same as churches, at least for me. Any of these buildings lack the fundamental integrity of a true religion as they seem to have no basis of hierarchy. It seems that almost anyone can move into a building and preach, read from a bible or other book and claim to be a leader of a flock. I have often wondered what true authority do they have in a religious form? Who or what is their authorization?

Perhaps I am unduly critical of those establishments but in my mind they have little or no authority to establish a flock of believers. A building is just a building, I know but what they represent can be worlds apart.