Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seeing the Bright Side

I will admit that lately I've been very negative on my social media feeds, this one included. So as Thanksgiving approaches, I want to take a look at the bright side of my life.

1) I have a job. Two years ago at this time, I did not have my job, one year ago I had a job that I thought was going to end soon. Now it looks like this job, though contract, will last at least the next 2 years. I am forever grateful for that.

2) I am writing. I finished one book, Regrets, and am working on the sequel. The books are the only thing keeping me sane lately - No, that's a positive thing. I've lived in near insanity for too long in years past.

3) Some of my family and friends care what happens to me. I have a loving daughter and a few co-workers and Facebook friends who have helped me recreate the positive aspects of my life. I am so very proud of her right now, because she's going to college!

4) I have not lost everything. I've been to that dark place where I have lost nearly everything. I may not have everything I want or need, but I at least have something. Most important, I have not lost hope. I almost did back in September and October, but it's still alive in me.

At the moment, that's all I can think of that's positive in my life. I'm really hoping that changes, but for now, I'm singing along with Monty Python.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sides to a story

As a writer, it is my job to come up with interesting plots, characters and twists to keep the audience enthralled. I hope I succeeded with Regrets, but thankfully what comes out of my mind is entirely fictional.

But real life events have been taking place, and not just in Paris. There are people out there that really want to kill everyone that does not agree with them.

And I'm not just talking about the (damn, I can't come up with a proper word) -- killers of the fundamentalist faction that is spreading terror around the world now.

Note that I'm trying to avoid calling people names. It's immature and inciteful and the last thing these guys need is additional incitement.

So let's talk a little about what incites people to do a violent act on another person. It could be something as simple as not decorating a cup in the fashion accustomed by certain other people.

I will not use labels in this blog. Everyone is a person, or a human. Unless you're an animal. Even that could be considered inciteful, but only if you think you're not human. Or perhaps you're superhuman, or have evolved beyond the normal laws that man has created, Perhaps you think the laws don't apply to you.

Don't be (apply random name-calling here). You're human. If you can read this you're human. If you can react with various emotions to this blog, you're human.

Human: By way of

[hyoo-muh n or, often, yoo‐]

Spell Syllables

Word Origin
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people:
human frailty.
consisting of people:
the human race.
of or relating to the social aspect of people:
human affairs.
sympathetic; humane :
a warmly human understanding.noun
a human being.

From the British part of that:

of, characterizing, or relating to man and mankind: human nature
consisting of people: the human race, a human chain
having the attributes of man as opposed to animals, divine beings, or machines: human failings

You're human. You're not a god. You're not an animal. You're not perfect. You have feelings.

Let me emphasize this. Everyone has feelings.

As a writer, I pride myself at being able to see all sides to a story, because  there's not such thing as two sides. Even when only two people are around, because no matter how isolated you become in this world, someone somewhere is having an impact on your life. More than one someones.

So, being able to see all sides to a story, I can see being angry over events happening in Paris. I can see wanting to get revenge on those that carried it out and planned it. That part of me wants to wage war until all of the enemy is wiped out.

Then another part of my kicks in and asks: 'Who's the enemy?' It's a simple question, but the answer is far from simple. Yes, kill the enemy, but please don't kill the innocents that the enemy invariably draws around them. Just so they can say 'The Americans (or French, or British or Russians) killed your brother, your sister, your mother  and/or your father and now you should join us because you want revenge too.'

This is what they want. This is how the enemy recruits. And yes, I can see that side too. They want power and glory and they are willing to give their own lives to see it happen. I have written characters like that and in every instance the character dies and all that is left is the memory of how things might have been.

So that part of me that can see all sides now asks 'Why kill at all? Will that bring people back?' I know that's a cliche. That doesn't make it untrue. 

So how do we stop people - humans - who want to kill other humans? 

Do we become so vigilant that we trample on the rights of all humans just to prevent another atrocity?

Do we wage all out war until everyone in that region is dead? Silly, isn't it? But in my mind that is how it might end. 

Do we close our borders and not let any from that country in? What about the ones that are already there? Do we deport them? Do we treat them like pariahs?

It's funny that we have killed so many predators - animals - that we have driven them to the point of extinction. Yet humans prevail. And despite the butchery that happens altogether too often, our population continues to grow beyond our means to feed it. 

But that is yet another side to the story. It's all interrelated. 

How does it end? Do we kill, and blame someone else for making us kill? 

Or do we let go of the hatred, let go of the fear? 

There's an old saying: 'Kill someone with kindness.' Embrace those that show hate to you. Take in those refugees and feed and clothe them so they can see that we don't hold them to blame for the acts of others. Show the joy in our hearts for being human.

More people will die. I will mourn them. I might even be one of them, but should that happen, I would not want my family to avenge me. I would want them to understand that the only way this stops is to teach our young that we are all the same. To teach them that taking a single life hurts us all. Taking multiple lives strikes deep into the soul of every human. 

I write often about souls. Perhaps the ones who want so much destruction have had their souls damaged, Maybe they deserve to die. 

But that won't stop the carnage. The only way to stop it is to start with the current youngest generation. When the older ones have either killed each other or died off in other ways, the younger ones can start to heal the world. 

Now that would be a wonderful time to live in.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Write What You Know

As a writer, that mantra has been repeated over and over again: Write what you know.

Of course, if that were really true, there would be no Science Fiction or Fantasy. So what they really mean by that would be: write your characters based on your own experiences.

So for my own characters, at some point in the story they might be:

but not perfecgt (SIC), (Heh, funny that I wrote it like that the first time, then decided not to correct it, since it fit in.),
wandering with no real focus on what they should be doing
but not completely hopeless
reaching for something, but not knowing what (Goes back to wandering I know)
adept at something they don't like to do, but have to do it to pay the bills
knowing that there's something beyond this life than heaven and hell or purgatory

All of which I have experienced in my lifetime.

In the current Simmons Chronicles series, I've managed to put most of that into several different characters, as well as some life experiences. I hope it makes the characters believable.

As the second part of that series comes to life I'll be adding to that. That book will show a definite decline for a couple of the characters (I won't say which), but since I tentatively titled it 'Darkness' that should be considered a clue. It begins light, then one character falls into darkness, followed - literally by another who is searching for that person as well as searching for him/herself, then both come rising just as things get really dark. The story ends very dark, yet not without hope.

The story of my life.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Presenting: Regrets!

Yes, the moment has arrived! Regrets has gone through the Createspace process and is now available not only in Createpace, but Amazon too! Soon it will also be available in Kindle form, but I wanted to get this out there.

And as if that weren't enough, you can enter a contest to win a copy of the book.

Links: Createspace:
Note: after checking a moment ago, I found the giveaway had ended. Sorry, gotta move fast!

I'll post again as I find different links for it.

In the meantime, enjoy!