In this holiday season, try to take a page from these Clydesdales and enjoy your family.
I love a good cold one, don't you?
In the Christmas spirit, I'd like to send to you all the well wishes and happy memories I can. I know for some, the year has brought sorrow, joy, pain, strife and emotional as well as finacial burdens. This goes without saying. My family has gone through the ups and downs right along with you. I know how it is, and I know it will get better. I'm not going to give a lecture on 'keeping a stiff upper lip'. I hate those, don't you? But what I can do is possibly put a smile on your face with this . . .
Have you ever noticed how animals seem to have the right idea? To simply enjoy what they have and not be complaining about what they don't.
In this holiday season, try to take a page from these Clydesdales and enjoy your family.
I love a good cold one, don't you?
Is there anybody who doesn't have a Facebook page? I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't know what Facebook is, or have their own page set up. And some of the most interesting things in the world come across it. Some things make you squirm, some thngs make you cry, and some things make you laugh. If you love to laugh, like I do, then that's the most interesting and pleasurable parts of Facebook.
Oh, don't shoot my knees out from under me yet. Yes, you can see what your friends and family are doing, and yes you can chat away with just about anybody you want. But also you can get news, information, sports, and general knowledge also. And the most inventive of the lot has pages in which they can make money off of.
This is all true. All of it. And since I have my own page (I 've been in the digital age now for a while, believe it or not) I have always wanted to throw out a few things I myself have come across. Some of them from people I don't even know. Such as:
This is just one of many that make me feel good and laugh until I can't stop. The snorting rolling belly laugh. But I like it. Many do.
There's enough misery in the world and people killing each other off for anybody. Sometimes you just need a good laugh.
Or a good cry.
The next time you click on Facebook, think of the many people who sees what's on it. And who actually pay attention to it. Its a wonderful, scary place we live in, this round Earth, and we should take a moment and enjoy it.
The good and the bad.
Maybe I'll do this agian. Maybe. If my heart will let me.
I love a good laugh.
When you're trying to male a living from your writing (which all who say they're writers do, myself included) the best advice, which I don't give very often because I think it's a pompous habit to get into, is for you to write about what you love. What I write about in these articles isn't what I'd call advice, they're more tips and tricks, or habits to get into to train yourself to write better or to write for a certain audience, a niche. For all writers have those moments when they cry for help and they don't even know it. Writers are a very weird and selective lot when it comes to how to write and what to write, so be covetous of what you do and who sees it. That's why you should put everything into what is put in written form that you want people to see. And the best way to do that is to write about what you love.
Are you a model airplane enthusiast? Do you love to bake? Cook? Swimmer? Whatever it is, do it to the best of your ability and show who reads it that you love the activity, and like-minded folks will come back to read more.
Personally, I have been and always will be a science fiction/horror movie nut. Since I was a little kid, watching movies with my mother and siblings, sitting on our bright red couch (I really miss that old thing, when I think of it it brings back wonderful memories of my childhood) covering our faces with a blanket at the scary parts, and 'oohing and awing' at the exciting parts of a movie. To this day I associate horror and sy/fy with the color red. It's one of my most vivid memories.
I'm old enough to remember such wonderful actors as Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Graves, Paul Birch Vincent Price, Peter Laury, Angelica Houston, and James Arness (of Gunsmoke fame), just to name a few. Each and every one were stars of the time and decade in which I grew up. This was the beginning for a wonderful life of enjoying any kind of horror and sy/fy movie for me.
Boris Karloff did everything from horror movies to science fiction, and crime and drama, and more than once made fun of his acting and his life on major talk shows and in interviews. He was the consummate actor of his day. And of course, least I forget, he portrayed one of the most iconic monsters of all time; Frankenstein.
Bela Lugosi was just as talented an actor as Karloff. He did such memorable roles as Dracula. Throughout both of their careers, they were great rivals for parts, and also well respected each other for their individual talents.
Through the years, each had their impact on what I watched. For who doesn't love a good scare flick on a Saturday night? And who among us doesn't like the many and varied movies of today which features vampires and werewolf's? (Underworld, Twilight saga, the Blade saga) And least we all forget the many and varied TV shows that air with those same supernatural creature featured in the leading roles. (Vampire Diaries, Being Human, and Bitten just three which come to mind.) I think each of these iconic actors of their time are hollering their lungs out, and whooping for joy in their graves, thinking the characters they brought to life so many years ago have endured to see another century come and go.
And that's not all, oh no, not by a long shot. There were so many movies and actors who have influenced my picking a movie to watch or recommending one to others. Sy/fy has been a big part of my life since I learned to walk. In my house as I was growing up, there was such memorable shows on the air (now remember, I'm old enough to remember we only had three stations to watch on the tube, not 250 as there is today) as Star Trek, Lost in Space, and others. I was a Trekkie long before there was such a word. I have all 68 original episodes in my collection. And I have all of the LIS episodes as well. Movies included; The Day the Earth Stood Still, Godzilla, (Gotta love that big lizard, just because. Its almost a sin not to, just like John Wayne, you aint American if you don't love the Duke), The Black Hole, Forbidden Planet which introduced for the first time Robby the Robot to the world, Invaders from Mars, Them (which featured James Arness of Gunsmoke fame), and so many, many others.
Saturday morning for a kid was like going to a candy store. Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, Ultra man, Land of the Lost, and many others. So, when it comes to movies, programs, and writings of the greats and the not-so greats growing up, I was a king. And I loved every minute of it. And these are just a few of the many images stuck in my mind which gives me ideas for my writing and keeps the juices flowing, sometimes in a very strange direction.
So, when you think you don't have anything to write about, or just don't know what to do, or the BLOCK is slowing you down; write about what you love. It'll do wonders for your style, your disposition, and your soul.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the worst thing that could have happened to the American people, the attack of the Twin Towers in New York city. All over the internet and on television stations around the country, there were memorials for the fallen, the men and women who had gone into the building that morning just as they'd done hundreds of times before, and the first responders who went in afterwards who never came out. And I didn't have the heart to honor them. I have seen the footage more times than I care to see again. The horrendous loss of life on that fateful day was more than my soul could take. My thoughts and prayers go out to the many family members who lost a loved one during that time of tragedy and my hope is they one day find peace.
On a bright sunny morning, over five thousand people had gone to work in those towers, like any other day, not realizing over half would never go home that night. Around 8:40 in the morning, a passenger airliner crashed into the first tower, and a few minutes later, another airliner did the same to the second, thereby causing a chain reaction in the foundations of the buildings which ultimately brought both structures crashing to the ground. Structurally speaking, it was said by the builders of the towers, this could never happen, yet, the outcome of that day can not be disputed.
To this day, when I see such footage, I cannot help but tear up. I mourn for those lost people every time I think about that day. I remember vividly what I was doing and where I was that morning. As most people do I suppose. I was still driving at the time and was going through Russellville, Arkansas, when a friend of mine called me on the cell and told me to stop and turn on the TV. "Why, what's going on?" I asked him. "We're being attacked," he said. "What do you mean? Attacked." "Just do it." OK, but this was crazy, I thought. So, I pulled into a small truck stop just off the interstate and jumped into the sleeper where my TV was. When I got a picture, it was on a local station, and the first thing I saw was the second plane crash into the north tower. Oh my God! Was this real? Come to find out, yes it was very real. For over an hour I sat there in that dirt track truck parking lot and watched as the towers burned, and people jumped out of the towers, 100 floors up, trying to save themselves from the fire in the buildings. And then, in a rush, the first tower simply fell. In a wave of debris and a cloud of smoke, the tower was just gone. And moments later, the second tower did the same thing. Oh my God! (The only thing I could think at the time.)
I think most people can remember where they were and what they were doing when this happened. And I hope they will never forget. To me, it was like watching the shuttle Challenger exploding all over again. That day I can't forget either. Live and in living color, on TV, I watched as the shuttle exploded. And my heart sank. And the nation mourned. And it was too much. This reminded me too much of THAT tragedy. So I didn't have the heart to go through it again.
The aftermath of the twin towers is still felt. And the loss of the space shuttle can't be forgotten. And the mourning of the lives lost is still ongoing.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.
And one day I hope I'll be able to watch without feeling helpless and alone.
Just a little bit about me.
I've known from the moment I got out of high school I wanted to be a writer. I went to college and got a Journalism degree to prove it, and I thought my life was well on the way to being perfect. And then life kicked me in the balls and I woke up and knew I needed a real job. Or at least what I thought a real job was. And as I have known all my life, when one door closes, another will open in its stead. I finished my degree and wanted to either work in a TV station, maybe behind the cameras, or as a reporter at a newspaper. While attending college I was fortunate to help start a local paper in town. But, none of that was meant to be I guess. Everywhere I went to find a job I heard the same thing said, "you don't have the experience to do the job." Well, the only thing I can say about that is, "How can I get the experience I need if no one will hire me?" So, the bills were still coming in, I needed something. As luck would have it, my mother knew of a person who knew of a job. It's not what you know, its who (In all industries.) It was driving a truck from a field to an elevator. A wheat harvest crew. I had to do something. The worst part of the job, turned out, I had to be gone from home for months on end. They were a wheat crew that traveled to more than ten states cutting other peoples wheat,oats, barely, corn, soy beans, etc. What's known as custom cutters. So, I opened the door and never looked back. I forgot all about school, dreams, careers, and what I intended to do with my life. You know, after all these years, I'm now thankful for the opportunity Mr. Shepherd gave me to drive one of his trucks. After doing that job for more than four years, being gone for nearly eight months was enough for me, I needed something more. More home time. When I came back I went looking for another driving job. Found it fairly quickly too. This time delivering horse feed. And again it was driving a truck and unloading the freight at its destination. Hard work to be sure, but honest work. Year and a half later, I went to a major long haul trucking job, traveling all over the country, delivering about every kind of freight you could think of. And so it goes. for over twenty years, I traveled because of the job. And I don't regret a single minute of it. It gave me the opportunity to see every lower state in the US and a couple provinces of Canada (which I hated, by the way), and a couple places in Mexico. And then . . .
After twenty years of driving,life kicked me again in the balls. By fate, design, or just plain bad luck, I was involved in an accident. That did me in. no more driving. After two back surgeries I've had more than one doctor tell me not to get back in a big truck because the jarring of the truck could cripple me. There goes that career. I don't want to seem maudlin or downcast, but I loved driving. I miss it still. So . . . I had to remake myself. And here I am. A country boy sitting on his butt trying to make a living poking at a keyboard. Full circle and all that. I started this way, I can finish this way I guess.
And I got my chance to have one of my stories - novels - published too. I self published it, but its out there for the world to read. Tarsus. the story of a sleepy little backwoods kingdom that gets a wake-up call from a very unlikely visitor: a talking dragon. I know, I know, you may think this isn't something to be proud of, but I've been a big fan of SF/F books my whole life and I thought a feel-good book like this would be good for my soul. And it was. It has all the elements in it to make for a good read, to take you away from your every day life and worries of the moment, and root for the underdog. I even has Dwarves, Elves, Knights, a princess, and wizards.
And now I have a traditional publisher who wants to publish some children's books for me. I can't really complain. I love what I do, and hope I can keep doing it.
I don't want this to be a memoir so I'll stop here. But that's a major part of my life. Sure there's more, but everyone has more don't they? Come back once in a while and I'll throw out some tidbits for you to read. A story or two, and a few tips and tricks to get your brain running with inspirational juices.