the voice of unreason
fine reader, is the 2013 Triumph Rocket III Motorcycle.
And, just in case you don’t know just how earth-shaking this sled is…
It is the largest displacement production motorcycle in the world.
Yes, they did away with the torque limiter for 2013—
That means —
IT WILL TEAR YOU UP on the straight. 0-60 in about 3.
And if ya care– it gets about 40 MPG on the highway.
Sticker price is only about 15G’s.
Better have a garage full of tires, though..
………………….. I think you will need em!
[Terry: WHO CARES WHAT GAS MILEAGE IT GETS?
LOOK AT THOSE HEADERS!
I WANT IT IWANTIT IWANTITIWANTIT]
- 240 HP Triumph Rocket III Kits from Carpenter Racing (autoevolution.com)
- The world’s largest production bike (adilajmal.wordpress.com)
- Best 10 cruiser Bikes in world (blazeofautomotive.wordpress.com)
- Triumph Motorcycles, Iconic Style with a Modern Twist (blogs.ptc.com)
- Guide to the 2013 motorcycles and scooters with ABS (news.consumerreports.org)
Posted on June 27, 2013 by
“She tricked me again,” Trinity growls as she drags herself out of the river. She looks up at the top of the thirty-foot waterfall with a cold, angry stare. Trinity is still amazed at the detail of the landscape illusion that caused her to walk off the edge. The chaos elf thanks the gods that she landed in a deep part of the river instead of smashing into the rocks.
“I always thought chaos elves were the masters of tricks,” laughs a female voice from the trees.
“We are, but my experience with gypsy magic is rather limited,” Trinity begrudgingly admits. She begins walking toward the slippery cliff until a dagger strikes the ground in front of her. The chaos elf stops and looks around the trees for any sign of her prey.
“Then, let me warn you about my kind,” the gypsy announces, her voice echoing among the rocks and trees. “We don’t like being hunted. Following me is unhealthy. You already fell for my illusions and survived. You shouldn’t push your luck.”
Trinity gently claps her hands and keeps her eyes on the top of the waterfall. “As a fellow trickster and caster, I feel I should applaud your skills. I honestly thought that I was stepping onto a rope bridge instead of walking off a waterfall. Skill like yours is rare. Now, little girl, why don’t you come out of hiding and make this easy?”
Sari cautiously steps out from behind the trees at the top of the waterfall. Three throwing daggers are loosely held in her fist while she takes a seat on a large stone. Her brightly colored clothes make Trinity wonder why she was having such a hard time finding her among the browns and greens of the forest.
“That’s a good girl. Are you willing to come down here?” Trinity asks with a fake smile.
“You look smart, but you act stupid,” Sari bluntly replies.
“This coming from the child who revealed herself to her enemy,” the chaos elf points out. “How do you know I can’t kill you from down here?”
Sari grins impishly from her high perch. “How do you know this is the real me?”
“Damn gypsies. I can never see through their blasted magic,” Trinity mutters, the sound of rushing water masking her words.
“If you want to talk without yelling, I promise to let you climb up the other side of the waterfall,” Sari offers. The throwing daggers vanish into her skirts and she puts her hands behind her back.
Trinity watches the gypsy carefully as she walks toward the slick wall. Looking up, she can see enough handholds to easily get back to the top. With a delicate grunt, the chaos elf queen leaps onto the wall and begins to climb. From where she is climbing, Trinity can barely see Sari’s blue hair blowing in the wind. With a cunning smirk, Trinity grips a long vine when she gets halfway up the waterfall. Before she can attempt to swing to Sari’s side of the waterfall, a glint of metal flies through the air and severs the vine. Trinity flails wildly in the air until she can catch another crevice and return to climbing.
“Even if you did make it over to this side, I can disappear into the forest before you can reach the top. So, please stay on your side,” Sari requests with a yawn. She gets to her feet and fixes her skirts while she watches Trinity climb the last half of the waterfall. Trinity gracefully flips over the edge and lands in a crouch with a stiletto in her hand. She takes a small bow when the gypsy starts applauding, but quickly remembers why she ended up going over the waterfall in the first place.
“Hey! Don’t mock me,” Trinity snaps.
“I wasn’t mocking you. That was a good show,” Sari swears, juggling two of her daggers. “Now, leave me alone.”
Trinity doubles over with laughter. “You can’t honestly believe that I will do as you say.”
“There is no reason for you to be following me. Your friends destroyed my family and left me with nowhere to go. You have done enough damage to my life!” Sari shouts, a sudden surge of sadness running through her body. A tear begins to trickle down her face and she swiftly turns away from the chaos elf.
“I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel sorry for you, but you are an unfortunate loose end. I can’t let you run around Windemere and return to cause my master some unexpected trouble,” Trinity says, flexing her sore shoulders. “If it makes you feel better, I promise I won’t kill you.”
Sari turns to look at her doubtfully. “Would your friends stick to that promise?”
“You might as well have said no.”
“I’m surprised that you haven’t asked me why we attacked your clan.”
Trinity can see Sari bite her lower lip to halt her tears. A trickle of blood runs down Sari’s white skin before dripping off her chin into the churning river. Three river sharks risk going over the waterfall as they rush to the drops of blood. A fight breaks out between them until two are washed away by a sudden wave in the river. Trinity watches the pair of sharks twist in the air as they plummet to the rocks below. She can see more waves coming down the river and cautiously steps away from the rising water. The chaos elf can only assume that a nearby dam has burst, which means she has very little time to capture the gypsy.
“I don’t care why you did it,” Sari angrily blurts out.
“Then, I guess you weren’t really attached to your family,” Trinity coldly counters. A throwing dagger cuts her cheek and slams into a tree behind her.
“I loved my clan more than anything else in this world, but it is not the gypsy way to dwell on the past. I look to the future where I will be safe and happy,” Sari proudly announces. “Now, leave me alone and tell your friends to forget about me.”
“Sorry. I can’t let you get away, girl,” Trinity states before she releases a black tendril from her palm. The magical tendril lances across the river in order to wrap around Sari’s right leg. Trinity smiles victoriously at her prey until she notices that Sari doesn’t look scared at all.
“Are you going to pull me across the river?” Sari inquires, her voice more amused than scared.
Trinity shrugs and nervously laughs. “I doubt you would walk over here, so I guess I will have to. You can’t weigh more than a hundred po . . . what in the name of the great goddess Ambrosine are you made of? Why won’t you budge?”
“I’m not going to make this easy for you,” the gypsy promises as Trinity pulls with all her strength.
Trinity tugs furiously on the tendril until sweat trickles down her face. Sari remains glued to her spot while the chaos elf increases her strength with a spell. Her arms grow to the size of tree trunks before she tries to pull again. A high-pitched scream of rage and frustration escapes Trinity’s lips when she realizes that she would have better luck pushing a mountain than trying to move Sari. A final, desperate yank at the tendril causes it to snap and whip back into Trinity’s palm. Near exhaustion, the chaos elf stumbles against a tree and slumps to the ground.
“I would ask how you did that, but you probably wouldn’t tell me,” Trinity says, gasping for air.
“All I will say is that it was neither an illusion nor a spell. Now, are you going to leave me alone?” Sari asks while she rubs at her bruised leg.
“Not a chance. I love a mystery and you are much more than you seem,” Trinity declares with a hungry grin. She can feel a tremor run through the ground as she gets to her feet.
“Don’t play stupid with me.”
“I’m not playing stupid.”
Let it come from your heart
~ Let it come from your heart! – this is my motto.I usually post my own pictures. I hope you like it! Have a wonderful day! xx
~ And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. ( Paulo Coelho )
•June 26, 2013 • 11 Comments
~ You can’t always get the perfect moment. Sometimes, you just have to do the best you can under the circumstances. ( Sarah Dessen )
•June 25, 2013 • 28 Comments
~ as free as a bird *-*
[Terry: WOW, this site is fascinating. What a depth of material]
The Full Moon
Michael Vincent Cerullo
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. Ever since I was a child, I have been extremely artistic, spending a lot of my time drawing. Eventually, my love of all things art drove me to attend a private art school for my college education, Montserrat College of Art, in Beverly, Massachusetts. As you explore my blog, you will notice my obvious affinity for graffiti style art. While in college, I was influenced heavily by graffiti, yet over the past few years I have turned this passion into work on canvas.
I have also attended school at Baran Institute of Technology, in East Windsor, Connecticut and am currently employed as an Auto Body Technician. I can do everything from heavy collision, and frame work, all the way to custom paint. Auto body work is an art form in itself, however not my main passion. It’s what pays the bills.
Welcome to my blog, “The Full Moon,” a site focusing primarily on artwork I have created or am currently making. Presently, I am exploring letter forms in three point perspective and a multitude of color combinations, while also focusing thoroughly on the elements of each composition.
You might be wondering how the name “The Full Moon” came about. My wife gave me the nickname “Moon” several years ago and it has stuck ever since. So while trying to think of a name for my blog, “The Full Moon” just seemed to fit.
If you are interested in purchasing any of my paintings, please visit my Etsy store. You can also message me to inquire about pricing.
I am available to do specific commissions and murals.
I hope you enjoy my artwork and thanks for visiting!
As you can see we didn’t quite finish. We got nailed with a 15 minute
I’m currently working on two new sketches, inspired by the header I designed for the main page of my blog. The header was created simply by cutting out a small portion of one of my larger paintings. I like the cut-out view of my work so much that I decided I would create paintings based upon that viewpoint. I’ve decided to start out with only a couple of paintings to see if the process ends up being a success or not. Both sketches are to scale for a 5 ft. wide x 2 ft tall painting.
This is a blank piece of pine with a red maple frame.
It has been covered with an automotive clear coat.
Updates to follow.
Take a Humanitarian Mission with Cowgirl Celeste in Haiti
Dawn Martinez: Born in the year of 1961, grew up in Ohio and Alabama. She brings her slapstick statements and cowgirl ways to the public, in her first short fiction romance travel read. She is currently working on a two part epic to Slingshot. She loves to travel an enjoys the great outdoors as a Horse breeder, and adores teaching teens how to drive! This story is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and Kindle, it is available Worldwide too. I am also proud of my oldest daughter for designing my cover to my book! Thank you my baby! Kiss Kiss…
Wild southern cowgirl Celeste has reached a crossroads in her life. She still loves her life as a rancher, but after many years as a devoted wife, she’s hit a wall with her marriage. An unexpected opportunity comes her way when her best friend, Geraldy, asks her to travel with him to his native Haiti to help with disaster relief efforts after the devastating earthquake. Strong-willed and resourceful, armed with her trusty slingshot and hunting knife, Celeste invades Haiti as a loving force for good…and in the process, she collides with Captain Valis, the strong, sexy official of the United Nations support force. The electricity between them is immediate…and confusing! Valis is a lone wolf who is used to loving women and leaving them; Celeste is a wild spitfire whose womanhood has been unappreciated for too long. Against the exotic and heartrending backdrop of their humanitarian work in Haiti, a compelling love story unfolds…of two wild spirits who met their match in circumstances neither of them could have imagined!
When Celeste touched Valis’s finger, his heart leaped with feelings he had never experienced before. Flabbergasted, that a girl shot a weapon with a marble at a sign in the dark, and perfectly embedded it inside a (O) of a word, shocked him to no end. He immediately turned his face to her, giving her a surprised look for several moments. Celeste would not look at the captain. She stood firm looking at Geraldy instead for help.
Valis quickly recovered, and stated as he pointed to Celeste, grabbing her attention with his demanding voice, “You…woman in truck, now!” He quickly took her slingshot from her hands, and stood staring at Celeste. Valis made the mistake of taking Celeste’s slingshot away, the spitfire was stunned with his actions, and her not understanding what she had done wrong to deserve his treatment.
It took a few moments for Celeste to figure out what the captain was asking her to do. When she finally snapped, she barked at him, “Not a good idea, buckaroo, taking my slingshot! Give it back to me!” She held her hand out for the captain to return her weapon, but he did not give it back. Viewing the cowgirl made Valis’s thoughts scramble, he could see clearly her imprints of her nipples through her white wet shirt. Celeste stood firm, puffy her chest out, and getting more pissed off by the minute, as the captain scanned her from head to toe. “Dude, give me back my slingshot!” Celeste demanded as she held her hand out, both starred at each other with power that was unyielding.
Geraldy finally broke the connection between the two, and told Celeste that the captain was demanding her to go to his truck. “Ain’t happening, Geraldy, I did NOTHING wrong to deserve this except protect our supplies.” Captain Valis’s was confused with the different language barrier, without warning he stood in front of Celeste’s face and said nothing. Celeste glared at Valis with her hands on her hips, both were unswayable!
Do you remember the first time that you tried something new? It freaked you out and you decided before you had even done it that you would never take a risk like that again. Remember your first day on the job? Your first job interview? These are all moments we have in common. We have all had many “firsts” in our lives.Well, those of you that are still reading this post are witnessing a new first for me. I have written articles for newspapers, I have written poetry and love notes when I was in high school. So I should be ready to take it to the next level by starting a blog, right? Um… I guess. Doing things for the first time is scary, but even scarier is the opportunity missed because of the fear. I have heard that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. There are so many thoughts, experiences and decisions we have made in the midst of the white knuckles and nervous twitching. Today we will talk about FEAR! Dale Carnegie tells us how to beat fear: Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.He was absolutely correct! There are a few things we should remember about fear. It typically comes out of nowhere. It’s amazing how fear sometimes appears before we recognize what’s going on. You open the door to your house and there are no lights on and you hear a “random” noise. Before you know it, you are hanging from the ceiling fan. You finally get the lights on and you realize it’s the air conditioner turning on. It is an automatic response. Fear is a way that the body can increase adrenaline and help with our Fight or Flight response. It’s supposed to help us escape the situation that triggered the response or help us fight through it if we are cornered. The good news and bad news for most of us, that don’t regularly find ourselves in hostile surroundings, is we don’t have much practice using it in the safer environments. Good news because our environments are safer, but bad news because it may be a little underdeveloped if we ever do need it. It sharpens our senses. We all wanted to be superheroes with powers when we were younger. Well, we all get the chance when we are scared out of our pants. Our response times are quicker, we sometimes become stronger and even hear better. See that sounds just like Superman!Dr David J Schwartz said, “Action cures fear.” We need to turn the power that resides in fear into a power for good! Use action to overpower the fear that grabs hold of your heart. What happened after the first day of your new job was over? What about after that first date? We were still scared out of our minds, but we knew we could handle it. This is the final response before we face fear and the first response after the fear has been overcome. I will speak for only for myself when I say I think my first response to something scary and new should be to take action.I think I just did that by writing my first post.
We live in a world where, many times, power attacks character. As adults we see our society come to blows over matters of character. Is it right to lie a little to close on a business deal? Is it right to lie to a child to get them to do what you want? How about using a lie to get what you want out of life? We have all been challenged to choose power over character. I’m not trying to get in a debate over lying, but that is how I see power attack character the most.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Our society is addicted to “the slant.” You know, our version of the truth in an issue. It’s almost an automatic response now, if we are sure that we won’t get caught. Where is the character? I believe it is out there, but it is being smothered by stress, anguish and power. We have to uncover it.
I’m not talking about any politicians (though I could name some) or movie stars. The celebrities we adore aren’t the ones that come to mind. I believe that it is impossible for me to ask something of another person that I am not willing to do as well. I believe character still counts. We are drawn to it. Nelson Mandela is a man of character. The power that he received increased the character that was within him. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., John and Charles Wesley, etc. These were men of character. Mother Teresa, Mary (the mother of Jesus), Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and other women had great character.
There are still men and women out there with character that still counts. I believe that we have a great opportunity to take our eye off the shiny attraction of power and place them back on the strength of character. I don’t say this to speak about anybody personally. I am not calling people out. I am speaking of something that needs to be reintroduced. We live in the greatest country in the world. Our shores are still visited by immigrants, legal or not, because this is the land of opportunity. I bring this up, not to pick a side on that debate, but to highlight the fact that people are willing to risk their lives for a chance at freedom.
Good character is foundational to the stability that we all cherish. My reason for this post is a student that I know. I asked him how he felt about his character. He is very intelligent, but he has recently grown a wild hair and needed some guidance. He told me that having character is overrated. He also told me he didn’t need good character because he wasn’t going to go anywhere. Since when has character become overrated? I never really saw our society through that lens before, but here is a young man getting ready to go into college, and even have a career, with a distorted view of character. I hope that his view changes. I told him that his character will be the foundation for everything else he will accomplish in his life.
So many things are attributed to character that we don’t even recognize. If this is truly how the next generation sees it, then we need to do something to change it. I have a challenge for anybody that’s interested. Comment and share what you think about character in the world today. Another challenge as well, I remember hearing a quote from Gandhi about us being the change in the world that we wish to see. I encourage you to let your character shine so bright that there will be no question about it’s importance in the world today.
Live Life Love Bacon
Deep Thinking and Bacon Bits
Continued from Chapter 1 “I walk”
I make my way to the bend in the road. A semi rushes by dragging with it all the air from the stillness of the night. It feels so cold as it blows across my skin. I am under-dressed even though it is the beginning of June. I pull my hood over my head. I hear something in the distance.
I hear music, there must be a party somewhere. Maybe someone there has a phone charger. I need that energy now more than ever before.
I hear the MC announce they have 2 hours to go. What can be happening at 3 AM? A request is played. It is the Red Hot Chili Peppers “Californication”. I walk beneath the high tension power lines. I feel the energy in the air. Energy is all around me. Sound waves being generated miles away passing over farm fields without anything to stop them. Another song by the Chili Peppers (“Give it away”) begins my trek to the source of the sound. I realize now the music is coming from the community college.
I enter the campus along the paved path inviting me to the parking lot where I can see what is going on around me. It had been concealed by the trees. I see a makeshift tent city. As I approach a little closer I see a few dedicated souls walking in an oval surrounded by cones that are illuminated in the moonless early morning.
I meet a girl wrapped in a blanket consumed in her own world with the display of her IPod creating an array of colors upon her face. I stop to ask “What is going on here?” She doesn’t seem to notice me then she answers. “It is called Walk for Life. We have been here for 12 hours.” I am amazed. I thought I was going to be walking a long distance. This inspires me to walk the 20 plus more miles home. I know my walk will be more intersting than walking in an oval. I tell her of my predicament. “Do you have a charger? Does anyone here have a charger?” She does not but directs me to the DJ. She is sure someone there would be able to help me. Help me get back home. Much like Samuel Beckett, only I am leaping in and out of other people’s lives often leaving a wake of destruction like a twister and this is definitely not Kansas.
I make my way to the table covered with sound equipment. I make a request for a song. “Can you play “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes? Because all I want to do is get back home and rest in my own bed. Do you have a phone charger I may borrow?” He looks on his laptop for my song I never found out if he found it. My request for a charger was denied he said he was using it for his internet.
The show of kindness of others is wearing me down. Why? Why does nobody want to help? I just want to get home.
I leave the DJ’s table a little disappointed. I walk on towards the tent city. An officer looks at me and immediately pursues me. She takes a defensive stance placing her hands on her vest. She asks me “ Can I help you with something?” I tell the officer that I was walking until I can get a charge for my phone to call for help. The officer cuts me off in mid sentence and tells me “ I cannot help you with a phone charger and you must leave the premises because it is a school sponsored event.” To serve and protect they say. I am denied any help by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department. Left to walk and find my own way home.
I pass the same women I spoke to earlier. The one who directed me towards the tent from which I have just returned from. “Were they able to help you?” She asks in a polite manner. I am still being followed by the deputy. In a nice but sarcastic tone I tell her “No, nobody could help and now I am being escorted by the police off the property.” The deputy raises her voice “You are not to speak to anyone in the event and you must leave now!”
I walk on…
The cold once again envelopes me. The wind starts to blow. Nothing is able to stop the breeze passing over fields with crops just beginning to grow.
I see over the hill a church. The sun begins to rise. A lone tree stands in a field. I wish to take a picture but I have no camera. I make it to the church. Although I see a car parked in the lot the doors gaining entry to the tabernacle are locked. Bitter disappointment. I have been shunned by God once again. The air is beginning to warm with the rising sun yet there will be no salvation here to take me home.
To be continued…
Terry: [This is crazy-wonderful]
There is more nonsense talked about writing than about anything else. I will simply say where I am coming from, and leave you the judge. I am not a “trained” writer. I showed some early promise, but that was more to do with the possibility of inventing a new language from my dyslexic spelling than any dexterity with English. My only notable qualification is a degree in International Relations from the University of Keele. This has helped me develop my interest in the large and small interactions of the World’s seven thousand, million people, every one of which really do seem to be unique.My background is one of relatively privileged, if rather Dickensian school education, at which I did best in pugilistic activities, followed by a very brief and weak academic flowering. I then spent my best years making less and less money in farming, working as a scientific research assistant, and making a very average job of looking after the family whilst my wife’s work kept us all in modest luxury. My fiddling with great classical works grew out of my attempts to help my children cope with education in foreign climes, and my speculative fiction out of my arrogant view that I have something interesting to say. I am English by birth, a citizen of New Zealand by adoption, and an inhabitant of Switzerland I am there following the multi-talented mother of my wonderful offspring. My interest in reviewing others’ works is in the main driven by a determination to publicise independent writers. Some of us will one day be household names, possibly even through our books. Exactly who these individuals will be depends on the roll of the life’s dice and on truckloads of support from readers like you.
Alex Laybourne draws on vivid, unrelenting “catholic” visions of a mediaevalist hell as he drives us through a modern, far more terrifying, version of a Dante Alighieri like Hell. As I read the grim horror, of Laybourne’s dark prose I found myself imagining some inquisitorial preacher spouting a very similar vision of “Hell and Damnation” from his high pulpit, lashing his sinful parish to follow his idea of God through fear for their mortal souls. In places I found the horror almost too hard, not that a lover of that genre will find it so. There is just too much of the frightened catholic in me to be able to read such works with the necessary degree of personal detachment. You have been warned, to reflect first on your own psyche. I am glad I struggled through. Actually I felt strangely compelled to keep going as I grew to understand the cleverly constructed victims of the vision. Eventually I reached a point whereby I started to appreciate Laybourne’s mastery, and get a feel for the directions the following books may take. A modern version of the “Divine Comedy“, moving on from the inferno, is what I expect. But what Laybourne’s intriguing writing will actually show us, I can’t wait to see. This is a technically well written book, though certain passages would have benefitted from another edit. The grammatical flaws that remain take nothing away from the flow of his very readable style. The errors are just a reflection of the fact that like so many of our best modern authors, Laybourne has to write without the degree of support that the publishing industry is only able to provide for a very few chosen “thinkers” and a gang of “celebrity notables”. Overall, the final edit is solid, and the art work of the cover is a clever reflection of the book’s story. (See Short Readings 11/11/2011)
- Reblogged! Alex Laybourne Interviews Christopher D. Abbott (nickwale.org)
- Dante: Tribune of western civilization and target of Dan Brown’s falsification (revisionistreview.blogspot.com)
- Book Review: John Dante’s Inferno: A Playboy’s Life by Anthony Valerio (theeclecticbookworm.wordpress.com)
And here’s our 4 foot California King Snake!!
From my heart to yours…
Lessons to live the Christian life victoriously…
Living and loving close to the heart of Jesus…
I’m at your feet, Lord!
There is nowhere else for me!
All I need is at Your feet!
My soul sings!
Here at Your feet I lay my life down!
Kneel before His feet!
Pour out your love for the Master!
Pour praise on Him like oil!
You weren’t there the night Jesus found me!
You did not feel what I felt…
When He wrapped His love all around me!
I was a prisoner to the sins that had me bound…
Until the day when Jesus came to me!
And healed my soul with the wonder of His touch!
So now I’m giving back to Him all the praise He’s worthy of!
I’ve been forgiven…
And that’s why I love Him so much!
You don’t know the cost of my praise!
You don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box!!
At The Feet Of Jesus
Sermon by Rodney Burton
”As Jesus and His disciples were on their way,
He came to a village where a woman named Martha
opened her home to Him.
She had a sister called Mary,
who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked,
don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?
Tell her to help me!’
the Lord answered,
‘you are worried and upset about many things,
but few things are needed—
or indeed only one.
Mary has chosen what is better,
and it will not be taken away from her.’”
1. At His Feet to Listen to His Words.
a. While Martha was busy,
Mary was at the feet of Jesus listening to Him.
b. She was open to what He had to say.
c. She was hungry to know Him and hear from Him.
d. Jesus declared that Mary had chosen the good part.
e. Sometimes we get so caught up like Martha
in trying to do the work and service of Christianity
that we forfeit what is really important.
f. We can get so busy in the doing that we forget the being.
g. The most important thing a Christian will ever do is
and the best place to do that is at His feet.
2. At His Feet to Bless and Anoint Him.
a. John 12:3 “Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard,
an expensive perfume;
she poured it on Jesus’ feet
and wiped His feet with her hair.
And the house was filled with the fragrance
of the perfume.”
Mary anoints the feet of Jesus and wipes them with her hair.
b. So often people are looking to receive an anointing or blessing from God
rather than looking for opportunities to anoint and bless Him.
c. The highest degree or form of devotion is to give to someone
without the motivation of getting anything in return.
d. Mary’s act was motivated purely by love.
e. A note in the Full Life Study Bible declares,
(Mary’s) faith in and devotion to the Lord
is the highest example of what God desires in believers.
3. At His Feet When He Didn’t Do Things The Way She Wanted or Expected.
a. John 11:32 “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him,
she fell at His feet and said,
‘Lord, if You had been here,
my brother would not have died.’”
Lazarus was in a tomb.
Surely Jesus could have prevented that.
b. Even though Jesus had not acted in the way Mary had desired,
she still laid at His feet in devotion, submission and worship.
c. The true character of a person’s heart will be revealed
when God acts differently from their desires or expectations.
d. Whenever God is doing things that are beneficial or going your way,
it is real easy to worship Him
and be at His feet.
e. True worship that is genuine and from the heart
comes regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.”
Fall at His Feet!
The best thing about living in Florida is getting to see God’s breath-taking sunsets all the time!
Whether I’m at the beach, on the golf course, at the park, driving across the bridge, or simply taking a walk…
People stop what they’re doing just to gaze at God’s magnificent artwork in the sky!
I can never get enough of it…
Here’s a sampling…
The story of the awakening of a spent nation
I am Nirbhaya.
I am nameless and faceless.
My name stands for today’s India.
My face is the face of the ruled, oppressed and subjugated.
I was gangraped and murdered in New Delhi, the capital of India.
An India that is still fighting for azaadi, a second this time from brown sahibs – the political class and the moneybags who look after each other – who have replaced the white sahibs, who ruled once, but were not corrupt.
In villages and forests, our land and natural resources are plundered by this ruling class, be it coal or forests. The river water meant for our fields is diverted to their silly factories.
In towns, they even steal ‘spectrum’! They build buildings in collusion and allot themselves houses at cheap rates. They plunder everywhere. They stash money in swiss banks. They do money laundering and not one is caught. And they even use the state security!
It is time for azaadi, a second azaadi. Nirbhaya’s India chronicles the deplorable and plummeting state of this nation from June 17th 2012 with three sonnets (verses in 14 lines) for each day.
Feel free to quote these and to forward links and share. I have waived the copyright for the cause is too big and the time, too little.
These verses are dedicated to Nirbhaya, the gangrape victim who died and brought us, the educated class out of hibernation, on the streets, demanding our rights. She gave us the reason to join hands in protest. she showed us the power of people is supreme and the most powerful and moneyed will have to bow to it.
P.S. If you are on this site for the first time, you must start by reading the first post i.e. the foreword
4.45am Singapore time.
Yes she died. Really died. Finally.
And it was 2.15am here, but India cried.
The news, this one time was nightly.
For twenty six nights, not days thirteen,
She fought and still stayed composed
Psychiatrically. Her face that reposed
Faith in protestors remained unseen;
The face unseen, the woman nameless,
From some village, a bus traveller so less
Privileged than the ruling or moneyed,
Was enough to get India up and frenzied.
So my two-bit mind for all its confusion, is clear about
The fact that the rape was but a spark, to begin the rout.
But now the incident like a story,
Is through with its climaxing parts.
And Nirbhaya though an allegory,
With rapes-and-women-safety starts.
But when traced to deeper causes,
Raises questions that progressively
Culminate to answers regressively,
Beyond admin and judicial clauses.
On one side a societal unrest of classes;
A ‘lower’ man prevails on citied classes,
Through the biological force of rape,
Which becomes easy in a state with this inscape,
Where self-seeking representatives thrive on anarchy,
Promote class and caste divide, and rule as a squirarchy.
A telling statement from her grandmother:
‘They left this village for a better life.
Look what they’ve got’ sums up the bother.
When cities and villages blur the line,
While the economic disparity is stark,
Either by encroaching into rural hinterland,
To further the ill feeling in the depraved band,
Or when villagers move citywards to hark
Opportunity, but end up courting poverty.
And with the sleaze, the slums; still the anticity
Is lost among fellow strugglers and comes too late,
Till finally too fat a price has been mortally paid.
For sixty-five years, plaster peeling slums have gaped in this
From small dwellings, at long limousines, gliding into their plush
But to say it isn’t about women is silly
For that’s like saying for civilization
That it isn’t about being civilized really.
Further, blood rushes at the abomination
When someone vulnerable, delicate and lovable
Is brutalized, vandalized and desecrated
By some ruffians, who’re like animals created
To fill their base instincts go to lengths deplorable
And when the shock, ours and theirs
Is mutually so confounding that it stares
Then it’s clear we belong to different planets
To different worlds, to completely different sets
Proving that the way women are treated is a telling effect
Of hopeless root causes infesting a country wrecked.
So three sets of fourteen lines cover each day
From June 17th till December 31st 2012,
To show who’s the hunter, and who the prey,
Candidly reporting not intending to helve.
Going purely by newspapers, equally unfearing,
And of course by the cursed age and sentiment,
That prevails pending verifiable judgement,
Quite conscious it may well not be endearing.
Sure, rile and invectives illustrate the defeature,
But times as abusive, merit abusive literature.
So in this emotive veracity are pre election verses,
That double as a chronicle of an age full of curses.
But those blanks, if you find them obscenely hued,
It’s not my mischief; it’s your mind that’s scre_ed!
For the hitch is with our memory first;
We forget so soon, what all they did.
Then our forbearing makes it worse,
So even slaughter they get away with.
Though high maintenance and cumbersome
They are, to fathom, to know, or follow,
Thriving on ‘one more time’ that they borrow,
Yet portentously they beat their drum.
But now we won’t be duped dear reader,
Even if projected’s a holier-than-thou leader.
Now with folded hands when they scrounge for votes,
These chronicles will then come handy folks.
For us I’ve recorded in dates and verses,
So we’ll laugh and know who to bless with curses.
The day arrives almost innocuously.
Partial decontrol of diesel is the tale,
And Pranab dada adds piously,
Also FDI in multi brand retail.
So this is what it’ll be all about.
While the west gasps itself to save,
We’ll faithfully follow them to the grave,
Of that there seems little doubt.
Then RBI may raise interest rates,
On NRI currency deposits mates.
This should stop the rupee from sliding,
Before to Rashtrapati Bhawan he goes riding.
But suspicious still, let’s wait and watch,
Genuine measures or hurried hodge podge?
In Bombay, striking doctors are inspired
By Air India pilots who’re sitting at home.
And the city rains news again is mired,
As two youngsters drown on 24th June.
When Pranab seeks support of Didi Mamata,
Is he just being decent and sporting?
Or being doubly sure, coz it’s worth worrying,
For anything can happen in Kolkata?
The uncertainty is now felt everywhere
And even India Inc has its share.
Companies’re hoarding cash and reserves
Like bottles of pickle and jam preserves.
Now corruption’s exposed amid uncertainty,
So businessmen shut the f_ck up and sit pretty.
Now here’s another contradiction.
On one side there’s the policy maker,
And on the other there’s regulation.
But the policy maker’s also a taker!
An investor, he speaks in promoter interest.
Now that must mean better profit margins.
But the regulator has no such flings.
For him if prices are lower, it’s best.
Now whenever this is the tussle,
The government is forced to unbuckle
A few ministers from the cabinet,
For conflict of interest cannot in parliament sit.
The is the cursed phase businessmen rue,
But pretend when they speak, it’s all for you.
- New Mango Named Nirbhaya After Delhi Gang-Rape Victim (indiatimes.com)
- Nirbhaya’s India – Foreword (nirbhayasindia.com)
- Nirbhaya Case and Image of India (elaichiblog.wordpress.com)
- She hands over the baton – 31st Dec 2012 (nirbhayasindia.com)
- We should FIX things (kochipost.com)
- #India – The Neglect of Health, Women and Justice #Vaw #Womenrights (kractivist.wordpress.com)
Welcome to a new friend: Kevin Cummings | Thailand Footprint: Impressions left by the books, people, places and music of Thailand and South East Asia
Thailand Footprint: People, Things, Literature and Henry Miller too. Forget Yourself Here
This site is inspired by the above quote of author Henry Miller. I believe it to be true. And while it is my pursuit to forget myself in publishing this blog I do so acknowledging that it can be a selfish pursuit. It is in the process of forgetting oneself, which makes the world become larger and hopefully better. Just like our relaxed frog reading a book from his coconut shell. If in the process of making my world a bit bigger, a bit brighter and a bit bolder, I can provide some entertainment and information to those that seek it, more people benefit from having a literary culture.
Noir is a genre to be enjoyed in books, art, photography, film and at times as a spectator sport. It is an existence that need not be a desired long term destination. I enjoy the fictional world of noir while acknowledging that the real noir world exists. To counterbalance that reality, I find it mutually beneficial to help those less fortunate in Thailand from time to time. You can read about Nong Jo and Nong Loa, below and the good work being done by The BLOOD Foundation.
Please let me know the people, things, literature and music that interest you in the real world, if you are so inclined. Particularly those that have left a footprint in Thailand and South East Asia.
About me: a paralegal by profession, an internet business owner, a basketball junkie, a husband, a step-father of a grown son and daughter, a brother, an Uncle, a traveler, a reader, an appreciator of life, a lifelong learner, a laugh-er, a moment collector, a fast talker and a slow walker. I think most people are pretty amazing if you give them a chance and if you are gracious toward them the chances increase. I have split my last twelve years between Thailand and Santa Cruz, CA; a beach community in Northern California. I have made many mistakes during my time on the planet, some of which I even learned from. More good luck than bad luck has come my way – I take some of the credit for the good, almost all of the responsibility for the bad.
In the long run, John Maynard Keynes is going to be right.
Thanks for stopping by.
Kevin S. Cummings
April 14th, 2013
I have never been convinced there’s anything inherently wrong in having fun. — George Plimpton, author of Paper Lion
The Good News:
Nong Jo, on the top and Nong Lao on the bottom. Two Thai up country kids that Thailand Footprint is assisting with the leadership of Heaven Lake Press School Sponsorship for Disadvantaged Children in Thailand and The Blood Foundation.
If you would like to learn more about how the literary community in Thailand has helped sponsor a dozen children already or how you can add to that number visit: http://www.heavenlakepress.com
Disclaimer: Most disclaimers are not worth much. If I have to take the time to enforce my disclaimer, I have clearly lost the plot as to why I started this blog in the first place. Having said that, do the right thing, do no harm. You may re-blog any and all posts, written by me, at any time for a not for profit basis. This stuff is copyrighted and intellectual property, believe it or not – with or without the legalese. Have a great day.
On the About / Mission page of this blog a Henry Miller quote concludes with, “Forget yourself.” What did Henry mean by that? Only he would know for sure. In my initial interview with Legendary Surfers author, Malcolm Gault-Williams, I asked him if he agreed with the entire quote? Malcolm did agree, except for those two commanding words. It was a good answer but it was not the answer I expected. Not the one I wanted. How often do we ask a question with our answer already in mind? Too often, for me. People can be like the guy at the race track that has already decided which horse he will bet on because of the name of the horse or the color of the jockey’s silks but then goes to the racing form for information to back up his unwavering choice. Malcolm is right – when you write you cannot forget yourself, entirely. You need to add that special ingredient, as he puts it, to make the writing unique. But the best story, in my opinion, is almost always elsewhere.
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”― Henry Miller
Years ago I met someone for the first time at my Bangkok gym. We would later become friends. On that initial meeting I was on a weight machine. Dick, the name of my future friend, was on the next machine over. As he rested he struck up a conversation with me. My first impression of Dick was, “fat cat”. He was older than me by a good 20 years, heavy but in good shape and very tan, which made his blue eyes look even bluer. He wore a singlet and had a thick gold chain around his neck. A lot thicker than the $100 string I was wearing. Circumference does matter to some, I’m told, when it comes to gold. He was friendly enough but I was probably terse with him as I have this peculiar idea that gyms are for exercising not so much for socializing. In short, I was thinking about myself at the time, as we humans tend to do, rather than thinking about the opportunity to meet a new friend that didn’t fit the mold of my friends back in California.
Over the next few years I would share many meals with Dick and my circle of friends in Thailand. And a few beers too. Dick was always fun to be around. I would also tend to run into him from time to time, even when I was out of town. He always made room for a bit of conversation and sometimes those bits would lead to a few more beers. He came to our family Christmas party one year with a video recorder running as he entered the front door and was very entertaining all evening, yet always polite. We shared some things in common, Dick and I. He also split his time between Thailand and the USA – in his case, Maine. Our schedules were similar: winter and spring in Thailand. I always enjoyed catching up after not seeing each other for six months. Dick was generous, with his time and with his compliments. He was the opposite of a balloon chaser – the type of guy who would be a regular at a pub and then stay away when they had a free meal promotion, figuring someone else could use the seat and the meal that day more than he. One year he came back and his thick, heavy gold chain was missing. “Where’s your gold chain, Dick?” I asked when I noticed right away. “Oh, I gave it to my nephew. He always liked it and he’s a senior on his Florida high school football team this year”, he replied with his trademark smile. Dick was always proud of his family members back in the USA. It turned out that Dick wasn’t really a fat cat at all. He was a retired accountant that was more of a cool cat, even at over 70 years old. Dick was one of those guys whom you were always happy to see and when you left you always felt a little better. And I was never exactly sure why that was?
Yesterday, I went to the historic Bangkok Cabaret bar, CheckInn99, which has a colorful history that dates back to the 1960s and had a 1970s flashback – the good kind. In 1979 on a Sunday my best friend left after spending the weekend in San Francisco, where I was living at the time. After he left, on a whim, I went into a comedy club in the Richmond district of San Francisco. On that Sunday there was an improvisational comedy group doing their thing and they were doing it well. I commented to the guy next to me, in the not particularly crowded bar called The Holy City Zoo, “That guy looks like Robin Williams.” The response was, “That’s because it is Robin Williams.” The rest of the evening was spent watching greatness and it wasn’t all Robin; they were all great and improvisational comedy is a tough nut to be great at.
There is another art form that requires improvising, talent, teamwork and unselfishness. It’s called Jazz. To listen to jazz was the goal yesterday when I met a friend to check out the Sunday Jazz on Sukhumvit series that has been going on at CheckInn99 for about four months now. I have no good reason for not going earlier. Shame on me but I am very glad I went yesterday.
Whether it is comedy, basketball or music when you are in the presence of greatness it’s evident. It’s obvious. So it was yesterday; among the talented group of jazz performers that rotated in and out, just like a winning basketball team, was leading scorer and trumpet player Steve Cannon, whom played every minute.
To be in an uncrowded, intimate setting at an historic venue, as I was at the now defunct Holy City Zoo, when I saw Robin Williams is something you never forget. Likewise to find a trumpet player the caliber of Steve Cannon playing on a Sunday afternoon at a place where Bob Hope used to frequent is also a day to remember.
Steve’s musical credits are too numerous to list in this post but a partial list includes: piano playing comedian Steve Allen, The Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown Big Band, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Spinners, Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons, and the Fifth Dimension. He produced his debut CD, NOWHERE MAN in 1999. His 2006 CD, the award winning release, FULL BLOWN by Steve Cannon and the Blow Hard Big Band was named “2006 Best Album of the Year” by “All About Jazz” Magazine. Steve is also among an elite group of jazz musicians that performed a command performance for His Majesty the King of Thailand. And anyone that lives in Thailand knows full well the high regard King Bhumibol has for jazz. The Jazzy King, as he has been referred to, once played side by side with Benny Goodman.
I love living in Bangkok, Thailand for many reasons. The diversity and talent of the expat community is just one. After two long stints in Los Angeles, CA and Portland, Oregon Steve Cannon now calls Bangkok his home. Steve can be found performing regularly with his piano playing brother, Randy Cannon at the internationally acclaimed “Living Room” jazz club in the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok. I will seek out Steve and his brother’s band soon at that venue.
In the meantime, anyone that appreciates good jazz music and the somewhat limited options that exist in Bangkok should make a visit to the Jazz on Sukhumvit series on Sunday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at CheckInn99. You never know when greatness decides to make an appearance.
- Interview by Kevin S. Cummings for Thailand Footprint (muaythaionthebrain.com)
blowing through the cobwebs of my mind
Right, why does this feel like I’m writing a personals ad? “I like long walks, and cuddling in front of the fire…” Feic no I don’t.
I promise to
bitch, complain, grouse, gripe, whinge, and whine(apparently, not so much) on this blog. I promise to talk utter nonsense at times. I also promise to use words that some people find offensive. This IS the way I talk and think: I actually use ‘bad’ words a lot less here than I do vocally. I promise to attempt to be funny. I promise to talk about my pets as if they are kids. I promise to give out TMI on occasion. I promise to drink and blog. I’ll try to make note of the weird-ass things my husband says. He ain’t right.
I might talk about controversial subjects. Opinions & comments are welcome; assholeishment and trolling are not. I wear UK 7.5 New Rock boots and I will kick ye to the curb with them.
I’m an expatriate American living in Ireland. I’ve oodles of interests: some of them are art, cooking, gardening, politics, writing (well, duh) and driving my Harley. And, of course, my furry family.
But life itself is much more fluid these days. I thought perhaps I’d let loose of some of my control-freak nature and just see what happened.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to share my work or not. Again, letting go of the control freak, I decided what the hell. But I still have to give an advance apology/explanation for my efforts. 1. I have NO training on how to paint with watercolours. 2. I’ve not tried to do this in over 30 years. 3. My brain isn’t working quite right.
So. I meant to find hubby’s pastels and play around, because I had some good clean cardboard I didn’t mind wasting. Instead I found his watercolour paints, from… high school era. Black, white, green, red, blue yellow. Not a lot to work with! Also the only proper watercolour paper I have was gifted to my by Socks, and is post-card sized. So I sat down and looked at what she’d sent me. Paintbrushes that hold water in the barrel. Big black pencils that, mysteriously (to me) said watercolour on their sides. Hmm. So I did a quick sketch of the first thing that came into my head, in black, and then filled it in with paint. Here’s the result.
The eye is terrible – but that’s the first thing I drew and the rest didn’t quite follow along those Disney lines. Ah well.
So, next was to find something else to paint. I wanted to do the bell from my local church. While thinking it over, I realised something. I’ve had a small set of expensive Derwent coloured pencils since I was a teen. I recalled that the tin they live in says ‘watercolour’ on it. Holy shit, I’ve had a good set of watercolour pencils for decades and didn’t know what they were for.
So I drew the bell. The perspective is all wrong. I know. I refuse to care.
I actually made the perspective worse! But I learned a lot and it was fast and, dare I say, fun. I’ve another project in mind, way above my skill, but screw it, you have to start somewhere.
Hi, howrya? Please read that in the Mayo accent in which I would say it. I must apologise to all the bloggers I follow: I can’t seem to be able to comprehend very much, my concentration is terrible, and my sense of humour has nearly deserted me (when is the last time I tagged something as humour/humor? It’s been yonks). I do read everyone’s blog, but I can’t seem to summon up much in the way of a response. Sorry, I hate being like this.
What seems to be working for me is visuals. So! More photos. I did a walk through town last time. I’ve taken more shots in town, but I think we’ll go back to purdy flors again. Please read that in the NW Florida/southern Alabama accent in which I would say it.
First photo is a crappy iPad one. But, it is my mystery plant, and the mystery is now solved! First I have to give a shout out to the fabulous website, Shoot, and its plant finder. It didn’t take much time at all to get to the eureka moment and find the answer to what I’ve been wondering for weeks.
Please meet my Mimulus! There are about 150 species and I didn’t have the patience to figure out which one I have. Or is that which ones, as there are three different colour blooms? Common name is ‘monkey flower,’ but I have no idea why.
The rest of my pics are taken on the new fancy-pants camera. Did I mention that it requires you to look through the viewfinder? And actually turn the lens to focus? It has a lovely big screen, like a digital cam should, but since I have to put my eye up to the little hole, the screen is always smeared with nose grease. That’s when my schnozzola isn’t pressing the menu button and changing the settings. Oh! Here’s a picture of the camera itself. I took it for a walk a few weeks ago. No pictures, because the battery, unknown to me, was dead. So I took a pic with my iPhone of the heavy-ass camera I took for a walk, in a bag on my shoulder, like an expensive pampered chihuahua. I thought I should take a pic of it just to memorialise the first time I took it out, since it didn’t bloody well work and I had no other way to record the day’s events. Yes, I stuck it on a stone wall in a cow field. Damn thing.
CLICK HERE FOR TONS MORE GREAT PHOTOS
Yesterday morn I took the dogeen for a walk, and I saw a lot of things that made me think about where I live as seen through a stranger’s eyes. It was a positive experience – but as walking the dog isn’t conducive to taking photos, I didn’t break out the iPhone.
So this morning, I took a walk without her – but I didn’t get to see all the same things as my walk was shorter. Sorry!
One of the very first places I come to is the church. They are painting it. Yesterday was what they could reach with a long roller, but today the heavy machinery was involved.
An example – a business that has come and gone again since I’ve lived here. They sold ink. The pile of unread post inside the door is astounding, and that terrible white-wash window covering didn’t last even a few months.
A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers
Hello! The Eye-Dancers is a Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel, now available as an e-book. As the author, I have decided to create this little space on the Web. It is my hope that this platform will be a meeting place for people to talk about, critique, and learn more about the book. And also a place where other topics are discussed as well, from comic books to the Twilight Zone, from creative writing to quantum physics, from personal memories to short stories and many things in between! Hopefully there is something here to interest everyone . . .
The story of The Eye-Dancers takes place in western New York State, where I was born and spent the first twenty-five years of my life. Many of the characters, events, locations, and themes in the story are inspired from my years growing up in my old neighborhood in the suburbs of Rochester. This was, in short, a labor of love, and I hope that comes across in the pages. Nowadays, I live in the hills of central Vermont with my wife, Sarah, and our regal cat, Luke. But the magic of childhood, of the adventures I shared with my friends growing up, has remained with me well into adulthood. The Eye-Dancers is for anyone who likes to imagine, who wonders, “What’s really out there?” “What is across the void? Another reality? Another world?” It seems to me that when we’re young, our minds are more free and more open to discover the nature of things. The Eye-Dancers asks some probing questions about what we term “reality,” and the four main characters in the novel (Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski)must travel on an extraordinary journey to search for the answers.
Thanks so much for reading!
Michael S. Fedison (“Mike”) — author of The Eye-Dancers
What motivates us to create something? If you’re a painter, why do you paint? If you’re a chef, why do you experiment with new recipes? And if you’re a writer, why do you write?
There are many answers to these questions, of course. Perhaps you want to paint a beautiful scene, something that inspires you. Maybe you want to mix in various ingredients that, at first blush, do not seem to mesh but you strive to complement the yin with the yang. And maybe you want to write a personal essay, a brutally honest and difficult piece dealing with an old wound.
But what if you are seeking recognition from others? You want your painting to be showcased in a gallery. You want your recipe to be featured in a magazine. You want your novel to be the next big thing. What then? Before you begin, do you step back, analyze the market, pick and sift through possibilities, trends, genres? Perhaps. It depends.
Since I am a writer, and not a painter or a chef, I can speak from experience only about writing. And let’s take a look at that word–genre.
When I published The Eye-Dancers, the various retail sites where it’s available all required basic information regarding the book. Obviously, these details include author name, sale price, blurb, and things of that nature. But they also required a genre, a label, if you will, with which to tag the work.
Let me step back. At the point of conception, when The Eye-Dancers was only an idea, a potentiality, with no guarantee that it would ever be completed, did I think of and consider the book’s genre? Yes and no. I did not select a genre ahead of time and say, “I want to write a book for that market.” I had a story–the story came first. But I knew the book would center around four adolescent boys, about to embark on a dimension-shattering adventure. And I knew the plot would take readers on a wild ride, complete with ghost girls, swirling, hypnotic eyes, dreams that are much more than “just” dreams, and alternate worlds and endless blue voids. Given all that, the novel was clearly Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Or is it? Since the protagonists in question are twelve years old, some would further classify the book as middle grade.
When I summarized the plot to a friend, he said, “Yeah, but remember, most young adult readers like to read up, not down. Why don’t you make the characters seventeen instead of twelve? And girls read more than boys. Maybe you should make one of your main characters a girl.” I just shrugged my shoulders. If this were a purely marketing project, perhaps he had a point. The problem is–ideas don’t work like that. Creativity doesn’t work like that. I have tried to alter ideas before for reasons other than the story. It never works. The Eye-Dancers is a story about Mitchell Brant and Joe Marma and Ryan Swinton and Marc Kuslanski–all boys. And all preteens. That’s how the story came to me. That’s what I had to write, and to share.
Apart from the issue of the characters’ age and gender, there is also the sci-fi/fantasy element. But there again, is it science fiction and fantasy? Of course it is. The premise is based on parallel worlds and quantum physics and the ability to communicate across the void. And yet–to me, at least, to classify The Eye-Dancers as strictly sci-fi/fantasy doesn’t tell the whole truth. For instance, there are many mainstream aspects to the story. One of the driving forces that urged me to write The Eye-Dancers was a desire to get inside the four main characters’ heads–to present them as three-dimensional, flawed individuals who are thrust into a dangerous and life-altering predicament, one that will force them to confront their own insecurities, biases, and points of view.
When I first told my mother about the book, she said, “Oh, really? But I don’t like science fiction!” I said, “Mom, don’t worry about the label. It’s not a story about space ships and little green men [not that there’s anything wrong with such stories! I happen to like them!]. It’s a story about adolescence, growing up, learning new things. Hopefully it challenges people to view reality in a more layered way. A lot of it actually feels mainstream. Really.”
This is true of so many novels. Today, more than ever, we like to put a sticker on the fiction we read. Steampunk. Dystopian. Urban Fantasy. Soft Sci-fi. The list goes on and on. Such labels have a purpose, of course. They serve as guideposts to would-be readers, telling them ahead of time what to expect. If a genre (or subgenre) tends to have several dos and don’ts attached to it, a reader feels safer purchasing a book in one of his or her preferred categories. At the same time, so many stories cross multiple genres.
Reading a novel is often like looking through a window, but also, simultaneously, seeing your reflection in the glass.
On the one hand, you are peering into a new world, complete with imaginative vistas and unexpected twists and turns. On the other hand, the characters in the story share some of your own struggles. When you laugh with them, cry with them, care about them, you do that because they speak to you on some innate and mysterious level.
The window into this “other” fictional world has, in turn, become a mirror, reflecting your own.
It is certainly my hope that The Eye-Dancers can create in readers this window-and-mirror duality. For the twelve-year-old who knows, firsthand, what Ryan feels when he desperately seeks favor and fears rejection, sure. But also for the fifty-three-year-old office worker who recalls his own struggles in middle school; for the thirty-four-year-old engineer who often looks at her universe with the same logic-oriented lens as Marc; for the ninety-year-old great-grandmother who remembers her first kiss, all these years later, and is right there with Mitchell when he experiences his.
It seems to me that writing about adolescence is not a narrowly defined subgenre at all, but rather, it addresses a period of life that we’ve all gone through, can all remember, and can all relate to.
Is The Eye-Dancers a Young Adult Sci-fi/fantasy novel? That’s what it says on Amazon. Heck, that’s what it says in the headline of this very website!
But, first and foremost, I believe it is what any creative writing project should be, above all–a story. A story that came to me, unasked for, unplanned.
In the words of novelist Jose Saramago, “The novel is not so much a literary genre, but a literary space, like a sea that is filled by many rivers.”
Thanks so much for reading!
[Terry: I try not to swipe the entire article but the above is really interesting. Promise to go to Mike’s website so I don’t look like a pirate.]
- Interview With Author Michael Fedison~~The Eye Dancers (kjwdailywritings.wordpress.com)
- Character Column: Meet Michael S. Fedison and ‘Mitchell Brant’ (joannafay.me)
- Tour Stop: Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall (whyicantstopreading.wordpress.com)
I’m a 22 year old Communications and New Media student in Southern Maine. I have an interest in photography as well as technology. My first year at college I was a Computer Technology major but decided that I wanted to use computers rather than fix them.
I purchased my first DSLR as a present to myself for my 21st birthday. Since then I’ve been learning all I can about photography and have been going out taking photos as much as possible. Photography is mainly what you will find on this blog. I also have an interest in web design, film, music, and graphic design.
You can also find me at : www.facebook.com/matthewrichardsphotography
25 Jun23 Jun22 Jun22 Jun21 Jun20 Jun11 Jun07 Jun06 Jun
–Found raccoon, Got Lots and Lots of Rabies Shots
–Water stopped running
–Found water fuse (water fuse?)
–Posted “lost cat” signs
–Lost 20 pounds in sweat.
–Took down “lost cat” signs.
–Lost another 10 pounds in sweat
–Computer stopped working.
–Found where cat had knocked out extension cord.
–Considering giving cat to raccoons.
Michael Haden kicked off his brand new blog tour with ONE interview. The interview was, luckily for Novel Ideas, with Nick Wale. What will Michael have to say about his phenomenal success? The businessman from Tampa, Florida who wrote a bestselling book tells all…Q Michael, let me ask you to begin with, why did you have to write “A Deal With God”?A Chapter 2 of “Deal” is a young woman’s actual biography. What stands out is the biography is so fantastic and near unbelievable. Her life , though cut short, was truly amazing. It was important to write the story because she was an orphan. This book is a memorialization to her. It gives her a legacy.Q You have been described as an outstanding author. How do you feel about that?A I don’t know if I am an outstanding writer, but the critics seem to think so. I do think I am a good story teller.Q So, at what moment did you decide to write “A Deal With God”? What was the catalyst for you?A Every June 4th, the anniversary of her passing, we grieve her loss. The third year anniversary for some reason hit me particularly hard.
Along with the adventures, “On the Road” is about a young man who must create his own personality, sense of morality, and an ability to love.
Because chaos doesn’t sort itself out.
The problems of the world are apparent to us all,
yet we choose to ignore them because we ask ourselves;
“What can I do about it?”
Believe me, we can do plenty about it
and if we all informed others and set good examples
then that would be more than enough to change our world.
Real change begins within ourselves,
so be a living example of real progress.
So here I am defusing the chaos as best as I can
and doing my duty to inform you all about what I believe is going on.
So don’t be a barrier in my way but be another light that helps guide us all towards success.
In the ghetto it hurts me
Don’t be cruel, love me
I’m using Song titles by artists to find their hidden Haiku talent.
Wide open spaces
I hope everybody knows
The long way around
I’m using Song titles by artists to find their hidden Haiku talent.
Wow, it is amazing what children pick-up on. There is no hiding anything when they get to be over three years old. Why didn’t anyone tell me this?
Even having scattered conversations with my wife throughout the day seems to rearrange into comprehensible information inside my children’s heads. Then I face a barrage of questions about my work, bills and who is fighting with who.
The only escape is a second language provided the children don’t understand that as well.
Unfortunately for my parents I understood them when they spoke in their mother tongue trying to hide the conversation.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no point in deceiving the kids about things. But when it comes to that which does not concern them such as Bills, Money and other Adult things that is where I stop talking and they don’t get involved.
Because they are children and don’t need to know about the hard struggle, just the happy bits.
Despite how basic their understanding of events and information is; it is a fact that they understand. Whether they just associate bad feelings with a word, it doesn’t matter because the connection has been made.
I’m going to be more careful when I speak and act around my children from now on and I suggest that you do so too.
Breaking down our existence
Due to our bodies mortality we experience time, it takes us time to see, smell, hear and touch. Our immortal souls are connected to our mortal flesh and thus we experience life in moments rather than all at once, were we not bound by time then all would happen at once. The limitations of our bodies also stop us remembering all things we experience.
God is The Creator and is therefore not bound by time like His creation is. He is not bound by a mortal body as His existence is immortal, He is the only immortal. His immortality shows that He knows all and doesn’t learn or forget like we mortals do.
God knows past, present and future as He has planned it out and nothing in His creation is not predestined by Him and nothing in His creation can escape His knowledge.
We have been given freewill
We have all been given freewill which allows us to disobey God and go against what is good for us. We have been given freewill as a tool to test our true character in life, God puts us in easy and difficult situations to reveal to ourselves and others what our true character really is.
By revealing our true characters in this life we collect both good and bad deeds by which God will judge us in the afterlife, earning us either heaven or hell.\
History For Free
A great place to learn about history, government, and economics brought to you by educators.
Erik Randall is a Social Studies teacher and Department Chair at SLHS in San Luis, AZ. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in American History at American Public University.
AP World History Teacher, Cambridge American History Teacher, Education Consultant, & Contributing Author
June 19, 2013 is the 167th anniversary of the first organized and recorded baseball game (1846) as well as Lou Gehrig’s 110th birthday. Over the next few days, I will be publishing posts that analyze the importance of Baseball and Lou Gehrig in particular on American Culture. This is Part One.
In 1845, a group of middle class New Yorkers known as the Knickerbockers began organizing and standardizing the rules to a sport that would become baseball. Shortly thereafter, amateur baseball clubs and organization sprang up around the greater New York area. The outbreak of the Civil War and troop movements furthered the spread of the game, and by the 1870s professional teams and organizations were promoting baseball as a spectator sport.
As baseball spread in popularity, the game itself became a representation of American values. Promoters of the sport hailed it as a democratic institution where players act “like a gentleman on all occasions” never taking “an ungenerous advantage of his opponents.” Baseball’s sensibility and reputation was opined by enthusiasts as uniquely American, and immigrants soon adopted the game through acculturation. Its impact was felt across both class and racial lines (although leagues segregated very early on to reflect the sensibilities of society) as the sport spread through the stadiums and sandlots of America.
In times of both calm and crisis the American public has turned to baseball for entertainment. Its star players have become household names, and baseball’s imagery and language has become part of our national culture. American biographer Gerald Early once remarked, “I enjoy the game… principally because it makes me feel American. And I think there are only three things that America will be known for 2,000 yeas from now… the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.” While baseball’s rules and scope have changed over the years, its cultural impact has remanded a constant.
Long before baseball became an organized sport in the 19th century, ball and bat games were played throughout the American Colonies. As early as 1773, Southern African Americans began playing ball games on Sundays, although participation in such games could lead to punishment. More commonly played in the North however, these games, referred to as “trap,” “townball,” or “base,” were largely informal with rules that varied depending on where they were played. Teams usually played on a square field and all batted balls were considered in play (even balls that went backward). The English game of Cricket was also frequently played in the United States throughout the Nineteenth Century. While baseball has many similarities to cricket, early baseball has much more in common with the aforementioned games. However, many of the skills transferred between both games, and often skilled players could excel at both. Historical drawings and accounts show these games continued throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries.
The year 1861 divided the nation and a great many men were forced to make the incredibly difficult choice as to which allegiance was strongest in their hearts. Men across the country made their choices for numerous reasons such as devotion to the Union, belief in the Constitution, defense of their State, the support of the peculiar institution, among others. As we look at Jubal A. Early, he represents such a man torn between two allegiances. A man who in 1860-1 argued vehemently against secession in the state of Virginia, yet ended up forsaking his military oaths of defense of the country.1 Here was a man who twice left his comfortable civilian life to take up arms for the Republic; the epitome of the American citizen-soldier so glorified during the Revolutionary War, turning his back on the flag he bravely defended only to raise the flag of the newly founded Confederacy.2 What could make a man trade flags by resigning from one military to join another?
Early was raised in the state of Virginia and therefore exposed to slavery throughout his life. Although there is no record of Early himself owning slaves (other than perhaps a servant) his extended family owned numerous slaves as part of their holdings throughout Virginia. He held that the blacks were property and that there could be no abolition of slavery because the Constitution guaranteed to protect an individuals property. “He believed the government established by the Constitution protected liberty and the sanctity of private property, allowing Americans, whether above or below the Mason and Dixon’s Line, to prosper.”3 Along this line of argument he believed that every state had decided for itself whether to be “slave” or “free” at the time of its inception and at the signing of the Constitution there didn’t appear to be any obstinate hurdles regarding the issue of slavery. “Slavery was a domestic institution and should not be subject to interference from the North in the form of ‘moral suasion, legislative enactment, or physical force’.”4 Despite being a centralist in regards to slavery, equally disliking fire-eaters and abolitionists, Early felt that the institution of slavery should not be touched by meddling Northerners.
A West Point graduate from the class of 1837, Jubal A. Early did not strike many as a commanding battlefield figure. Seeing no future in the military, Early resigned from the United States Army just a year after graduating. However short and unrewarding his early military career, Early experienced some fighting against the Seminoles in Florida.5 After his short military service, Early spent the better part of the next 15 years practicing law in his home state of Virginia. This time was broken with another short return to military action during the Mexican-American War from 1847-1848. “Impelled by his sense of patriotic submission, he accepted a commission as major of the First Regiment of Virginia Volunteers” to fight against a Mexican foe who sought to deprive the Texans of their rights.6
As leader of the Third Reich, it is commonly known Adolf Hilter advocated for Lebensreform (life reform). Chief among this belief was that members of the Aryan Race should abstain from drug and alcohol use in order to create a pure and strong race. However, at the same time Lebensreform was being advocated by Hilter and party officials like Heinrich Himmler, Nazi military men were nonetheless being fed the methamphetamine Pervitin in massive quantities during World War II.
Referred to as “pilot’s salt” or “tank chocolate” by members of the Wehrmacht (German armed forces), Pervitin was seen as a wonder drug by officials who freely distributed it to military men. The drug increased German soldiers’ alertness and endurance, and gave them confidence and euphoric feelings No member of the Wehrmacht was immune from the drugs effects: pilots, infantrymen, and civil defense soldiers, were consuming large quantities of methamphetamine by order of the Nazi high command.
The use of amphetamine was not uncommon throughout industrialized countries during the 1930s and 40s. Indeed, Dexedrine and other amphetamines would be given to allied pilots during the War to maintain alertness. However, in the 1938, German paramedical company Temmler Werke began working on Pervitin, a new drug that was structurally different then previous “pep” pills on the market. The Academy of Military Medicine in Berlin, decided to study methamphetamine to determine if it could be beneficial in combat situations. In tests, the academy noticed that subjects dosed with Pervitin were able to perform better in mathematical and memory tests in a controlled environment. As a result, 3 mg tablets of Pervitin were included in medical supplies for German military units during the invasion of Poland in 1939.
The success of the Polish invasion furthered Pervitin’s reputation as a military performance enhancer and consumption of the drug skyrocketed. As Nicholas Rasmussen notes, “In the Blitzkreig’s opening months… the German military consumed 35 million methamphetamine tablets” between April-June 1940. The use of Pervitin was not only restricted to enlisted men. Hilter, who suffered from numerous health symptoms, used cocaine and methamphetamine under a doctor’s watchful eye. On the homefront, non-military personal began taking the drug as part of the civilian effort. News of the new German wonder drug caused both wonder and concern among the Allies.
While Pervitin did produce positive effects, there was considerable concern about its effectiveness. Allied nations testing Pervitin on their own pilots, noticed that it caused agitation, restless, and impaired judgment. A widely circulated rumor told of an entire Germany infantry company surrendering to Russian forces in Leningrad after it wasted all its bullets during a methamphetamine-induced psychosis. In addition, Luftwaffe soldiers were also deemed as less effective and distracted by senior officials after methamphetamine-fueled missions garnered mixed results. It was widely documented that Pervitin produced restlessness, delusions, and insomnia for the soldiers. Withdrawal, unavoidable due to the heavy demand for Pervitin, was also painful for soldiers and may have been linked to poor military decision making and suicides by SS soldiers.
[Terry: I will add to the story of General Early by mentioning that the ferry at White’s Ferry–the only point that you can cross the Potomac between the Beltway and Point of Rocks is the General Jubal A. Early–the second of it’s name to my knowledge. It’s a proud ship even if a rather simple one. There is a cable anchored on either side of the river, the main deck of the ferry holds to the cable by pulleys and is pushed across the river by the small motorboat on the side. At the other side, they simply pivot the motorboat and head back. ]
[Terry: Also interesting is this article in the 2003 WIRED]
The U.S. Military Needs Its Speed
Recalling the American airborne invasion of Normandy during World War II in his 1962 book Night Drop, Army colonel and combat historian S.L.A. Marshall wrote: “The United States Army is indifferent toward common-sense rules by which the energy of men may be conserved in combat.”
Pilots from the Air Force 183rd Fighter Wing felt the reverberations of Marshall’s assessment — which is cited on page 3 of the Navy’s official guide for managing fatigue — last April. According to reports published in Canada, they misidentified a target during a bombing run over Iraq. Meeting with their commanders, they complained they were exhausted, that the “common-sense” rule of 12 hours of rest between missions was being ignored.
In return they got two pieces of advice: Stop whining and visit the flight surgeon for some “go/no-go” pills.
About a week later, two members of the 183rd, Majs. Harry Schmidt and William Umbach, launched a laser-guided bomb on a Canadian training force, killing four and injuring eight.
At a recently concluded Article 32 hearing to determine if the pilots should be court-martialed for manslaughter, assault and dereliction of duty, Schmidt and Umbach’s attorneys claimed it was the Air Force’s dextro-amphetamine (trade name, Dexedrine) tablets, aka speed, that killed the Canadians, not Schmidt and Umbach.
Originally used to treat asthma and other breathing disorders, amphetamines were discovered in the late 19th century. By the 1930s, their ability to stimulate the central nervous system had made them very popular as pep and diet pills. Today they are mostly used to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder in children and, rarely, depression.
Military commanders, football coaches and students have turned to amphetamines for similar reasons: They can keep you fighting long after your body would otherwise give in to sleep.
However, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, serious potential side effects include psychotic behavior, depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, violent behavior, confusion, insomnia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances and delusions. Such side effects long ago banished punch bowls full of Dexedrine from pre-game training tables in football clubhouses.
And those wonderfully accommodating university doctors, who distributed 30 “uppers” to even the most anorexic students for their exam-week “weight problem,” are likewise long gone from the dispensaries.
But the Defense Department, which distributed millions of amphetamine tablets to troops during World War II, Vietnam and the Gulf War, soldiers on, insisting that they are not only harmless but beneficial.
[One final interesting fact–one of the generic forms of Ritalin is Dexedrine and of course, Adderal (“Don’t Go To School Without It”) is a combination of amphetamine and dextro-amphetamine. but it’s always listed as “amphetamine salts” I suspect in order to make it sound a bit less dangerous]
- The History of Baseball (experiencebaseball.org)
- Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70’s (theopnation.com)
- A young Puerto Rican baseball player gets to see his dream team (nbclatino.com)
- Babe Ruth, THEN Lou Gehrig (bergonsports.wordpress.com)
Fire flies in the evening sky
Placed in a glass jar
To light our way
What is the chance
To have fire flies
In a glass jar
Romancing the stars
Fireflies free to shine
Through out our lifetime
Capturing my heart
With each passing light
Released ‘into the night
©Jennifer David 2013
Poetry Friday: Play ball!
Every year I say I’m not going to watch so much baseball, I have better things to do, and every year I break that promise. As a kid and young adult I played softball, but except for a company game here and there, my playing days are over. But I still love the game. My team of choice is the Boston Red Sox, but I’ll happily watch and cheer other teams too.
And what about the New York Yankees, our bitter foes? The way I see it, we all need a worthy contender and rival to motivate us to do our best and keep us on our toes. The Red Sox and Yankees are true rivals. Their games are arduous and long, with each team working hard to tire out the other pitcher and hit that long ball. Without the Yankees, the baseball season wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. So I celebrate the rivalry.
Here are a few selected baseball poems written from different points of view and perspectives. Also, here is a link to perhaps the most beloved baseball poem of all time, Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Batter up!
His art is eccentricity, his aim
How not to hit the mark he seems to aim at,
His passion how to avoid the obvious,
His technique how to vary the avoidance.
The others throw to be comprehended. He
Throws to be a moment misunderstood.
Yet not too much. Not errant, arrant, wild,
But every seeming aberration willed.
Not to, yet still, still to communicate
Making the batter understand too late.
It looks easy from a distance,
easy and lazy, even,
until you stand up to the plate
and see the fastball sailing inside,
an inch from your chin,
or circle in the outfield
straining to get a bead
on a small black dot
a city block or more high,
a dark star that could fall
on your head like a leaden meteor.
The grass, the dirt, the deadly hops
between your feet and overeager glove:
football can be learned,
and basketball finessed, but
there is no hiding from baseball
the fact that some are chosen
and some are not—those whose mitts
feel too left-handed,
who are scared at third base
of the pulled line drive,
and at first base are scared
of the shortstop’s wild throw
that stretches you out like a gutted deer.
There is nowhere to hide when the ball’s
spotlight swivels your way,
and the chatter around you falls still,
and the mothers on the sidelines,
your own among them, hold their breaths,
and you whiff on a terrible pitch
or in the infield achieve
something with the ball so
ridiculous you blush for years.
It’s easy to do. Baseball was
invented in America, where beneath
the good cheer and sly jazz the chance
of failure is everybody’s right,
beginning with baseball.
First Girls in Little League Baseball
(December 26, 1974 Title IX of the 1972 Education Act is signed, providing for equal opportunity in athletics for girls as well as boys.)
The year was 1974
When Little Leaguers learned the score.
President Ford took out his pen,
And signed a law that said from then
On women too would have the chance
To wear the stripes and wear the pants.
Now what you hear, as flags unfurl,
Is “Atta boy!” and “Atta girl!”— J. Patrick Lewis
Baseball for John Limon
The game of baseball is not a metaphor
and I know it’s not really life.
The chalky green diamond, the lovely
dusty brown lanes I see from airplanes
multiplying around the cities
are only neat playing fields.
Their structure is not the frame
of history carved out of forest,
that is not what I see on my ascent.
And down in the stadium,
the veteran catcher guiding the young
pitcher through the innings, the line
of concentration between them,
that delicate filament is not
like the way you are helping me,
only it reminds me when I strain
for analogies, the way a rookie strains
for perfection, and the veteran,
in his wisdom, seems to promise it,
it glows from his upheld glove,
and the man in front of me
in the grandstand, drinking banana
daiquiris from a thermos,
continuing through a whole dinner
to the aromatic cigar even as our team
is shut out, nearly hitless, he is
not like the farmer that Auden speaks
of in Breughel’s Icarus,
or the four inevitable woman-hating
drunkards, yelling, hugging
each other and moving up and down
continuously for more beer
and the young wife trying to understand
what a full count could be
to please her husband happy in
his old dreams, or the little boy
in the Yankees cap already nodding
off to sleep against his father,
program and popcorn memories
sliding into the future,
and the old woman from Lincoln, Maine,
screaming at the Yankee slugger
with wounded knees to break his leg
this is not a microcosm,
not even a slice of life
and the terrible slumps,
when the greatest hitter mysteriously
goes hitless for weeks, or
the pitcher’s stuff is all junk
who threw like a magician all last month,
or the days when our guys look
like Sennett cops, slipping, bumping
each other, then suddenly, the play
that wasn’t humanly possible, the Kid
we know isn’t ready for the big leagues,
leaps into the air to catch a ball
that should have gone downtown,
and coming off the field is hugged
and bottom-slapped by the sudden
sorcerers, the winning team
the question of what makes a man
slump when his form, his eye,
his power aren’t to blame, this isn’t
like the bad luck that hounds us,
and his frustration in the games
not like our deep rage
for disappointing ourselves
the ball park is an artifact,
manicured, safe, “scene in an Easter egg,”
and the order of the ball game,
the firm structure with the mystery
of accidents always contained,
not the wild field we wander in,
where I’m trying to recite the rules,
to repeat the statistics of the game,
and the wind keeps carrying my words away
— Gail Mazur
- Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70’s (theopnation.com)
- The Rise of Baseball as an Expression of Cultural Values Part Two: Baseball’s Post Civil War Boom to FDR’s “Green Light” Letter (historyforfree.com)
- Three Indelible Life Lessons from the Game of Baseball (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
Coming out of the Closet for Happiness
Posted on June 21, 2013 by speakhappiness
Yesterday, I watched Gabrielle Union’s amazing speech accepting the Essence “Fierce and Fearless” Award, and it kicked my ass a little. A few lines from the speech will be tomorrow’s Happy Quote Saturday, but that is not the part that got to me.
The message that came through for me was that you can’t be successful if you aren’t living your truth, and if promoting yourself requires pretending, then it’s not worth it, and you won’t succeed anyway.
For the past few months, I have been promoting a book that I think has a broad audience. It doesn’t matter what your background, race, income, religion, nationality or life choices are, there is something in this book for everyone.
So I made a conscious decision that in the marketing of the book, I wouldn’t offend or turn off anyone. All are welcome as long as they have the resources to buy the book and the willingness to read it. Nobody needs to know my politics and beliefs if that might stop them from putting money in my pocket. So I hid all of that, including hiding the one thing I am most proud of — that I am a straight ally.
I was afraid that fact might cost me book sales. I was afraid that people who still cling to the belief that they have the right to define the marriage of total strangers might not buy my book if they knew.
You know what?
Those people need my book more than just about anyone else and if they want to let their prejudices stop them from reading it, it’s their loss, not mine.
I believe in Marriage Equality.
Beyond believing in it, I have written. produced and directed 44 commercials and PSAs and one documentary in support of it. Forty-Four! I have raised tens of thousands of dollars, donated hundreds of volunteer hours, flown around the country and sat on panels to talk about it, and I am so grateful to Gabrielle Union for reminding me that this is a huge part of my Truth!
The Declaration of Independence, one of the two most important documents in the history of this country, acknowledges that we were granted by our creator with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of HAPPINESS. Denying marriage equality to consenting adults who love each other takes away two of those rights, and I cannot continue to pretend I don’t have a side here, especially not simply to sell a book. About Happiness!
If you’re curious, you can see my work by going on YouTube and searching for “The Wedding Matters,” and on FunnyorDie under “Your Gay Neighbors” and on the website AAH8.org.
And here is the spot I wrote, produced and directed that is closest to my heart:
I hope you enjoy it.And if watching it makes you not want to buy my book, well…I am happy to live with that.