How Much Do You Believe?

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If it took no discipline, time, or energy to accomplish, everyone would be writing books. But that also goes for just about everything else, too. It takes the true belief in yourself that you can accomplish what you set out to do and that you have a unique perspective to share.

I am not the first person to ever decide to write. I may never be able to claim the success of more famous authors but that’s not what drives me. What propels me to spend hours by myself, developing characters and building worlds in which they inhabit is not the desire for fame, glory, or riches. Now, don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t mind becoming renowned and be able to live comfortably from my creative output. However, it’s not why I do what I do.

There was a line from a movie, delivered in Sean Connery’s Scottish brogue, in which he replies to Nicholas Cage’s promise to do his best. “Losers always talk about doing their best.” On the same token, Yoda’s reply to Luke’s whining about his attempt to accomplish was zen-like and simple: “There is no try, only do.” Ain’t that the truth!

The rubber meets the road when it comes to having faith in yourself. If you set out to do something that’s worth doing, plan it out and attack it passionately everyday. Be willing to learn and get around the people who are achieving the goals you’d like to accomplish. However, never envy someone else’s life. God is good enough and the universe is designed to allow you to get whatever it is you set your mind and actions to.

The journey to losing those love handles (I, myself, am working to lose an entire orgy!), to gaining financial independence, to telling your stories comes down to the core of what you really believe you can do. If you believe you can lose the weight, you’ll begin regulating your food intake and committing to an exercise regimen. The results won’t be evident right away.

Goal-setting and affirmation are key to the process of reprogramming your mind. My suggestion is to check out Nicole Decandas’s book, I Affirm Today.

https://nicoledecandas.com/

As for me, I have books to write and adventures upon which to embark. When I finally begin to power down and end this life, not only will I have a literary legacy in place, but the only regrets I want to die with are stuff like having not gone to Paris for the umpteenth time, having not taken that other cruise, and having gotten caught, as a spry, 105-year-old man, running out of the home of a rather willing 25-year-old who didn’t tell me she had a jealous boyfriend! BWHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Jokes aside, believe in yourself and you can do most anything. We were told that as kids but many of us have forgotten all the books we were read, the cartoons we watched and, if we were really fortunate, the mentors and family members who bombarded us constantly. It’s time to rediscover what you can achieve. And that journey begins by allowing your faith to influence your first step.

Now, go do it!!!

Brandywine: Drink Deeply

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The things that take the most time to grow and cultivate are often the ones that matter most. It took lots of blood, sweat, and joyful tears, but the baby finally arrived by figurative stork earlier this month. He’s a handsome little tyke, too. But then, my opinion is definitely biased. I invite you all to take a swig of Brandy–not the beverage, necessarily, but I encourage you to take a sip, then drink deeply of my novel. Come up with your own opinion. And, when you’re done, please let me know what you think.

Gracias!

Definition of Destiny

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Today is the 18th anniversary of the September 11 Attacks. If we’re old enough to have been around and not in diapers, we all have a story of what we were doing the moment we watched the second plane hit the Twin Towers. The realization and the horror of it not being an accident was like a nightmare come to life. For this generation, it was our version of Pearl Harbor.

I had just gotten out of the military after almost 13 years of active service and had no intention of going back to finish up that career. Instead, I had taken to working several sales jobs and was actually miserable doing so. There were large-screen televisions throughout the call center where I was working. With the news constantly and quietly running on all monitors during the work day, we were all watching when it happened.

For some, it changed their lives temporarily. However, for me, it meant one thing: going back in and doing my part. It redefined my grind and reminded me that my destiny was something bigger than I’d expected.

Today, we will remember. Tomorrow, allow that memory to realize and redefine your purpose.

Ground Zero, New York City, Terrorism, Attack

Brandywine: A Destiny Fulfilled

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Writing a book is about the closest a man comes to giving birth. I have four natural kids and a slew of adopted and godchildren. As much as I love them, I’m neither physically nor mentally prepared to carry and deliver. It’s just not me.

When I penned my first novel, Dead Assets, I did it in a rush. I also had two other possible novels that could’ve been developed. I decided that, since a set of zombie tales would allow me to be outlandish and irreverent with my descriptions, I would go with those. After realizing all the mistakes, I went back to the drawing board, edited, revised, and extended that book. I went from having an ugly kid–the kind that an old lady would refer to as “precious”–to having one I could live with.

Not wanting to make the same mistake of rushing my detective novel, I revised two stories I’d written before Assets evolved from a short story, and wrote a new one. My editor kept me to task, doing all she could to ensure we were going to release a quality product. With the writing, editing, artwork, and formatting stages complete, the final review and submission is all that’s left. I am quite enamored with this “child” and hope that you will be, too.

So, why am I name-dropping my latest project and sounding a bit braggadocios? Well, the name-dropping is to keep you in the loop on what I’ve been up to, while the bragging–well, it’s not really that. I’m just breathing a sigh of relief at finally completing it. After all, it’s spent most of the past decade on the back burner. My hope is that, upon reading it, you won’t hit me with the “precious” comment.

I’ve mentioned before that your hu$tle should fit you. For me, writing is the perfect fit. Like giving life to a baby, it’s a labor of love. Time will tell how that child will be received and what it will grow into. In the meantime, I’ve started on the next volume in the series.

Sidebar: I believe everyone has a story to tell. Maybe writing could be a hu$tle for you; however, moneymaking ability aside, I think you should tell it. Soon, I will be posting an interview with someone who can help you with developing and sharing your unique voice. Stay tuned.

Living Nightmares?

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I have an overactive imagination and can come up with all sorts of storylines to leave readers unsettled. I even joke about how I help to keep therapists employed because folks seek their counseling services following the tales I weave.

But I say that as a joke.

I’d much rather make you THINK than to give you bad dreams. The problem is, stories of supernatural monsters and creepy situations aside, there are some actual nightmares being had during the waking hours.

Yesterday, several members of a synagogue were murdered simply for being Jewish. One was a Holocaust survivor. In another city, two black people met a similar fate due to the color of their skin. They were both grandparents and one had recently retired from years of service with the Veterans Administration.

Amazing. Thoughtless. And sadly, American.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a country that is supposed to be the shining example of how united we could be, regardless of things like race, religion, or sexual preference. Yet, for all the technological advancements, for every probe we’ve sent into space, and for the strides we have made, we keep falling flat.

It’s a fucking shame.

I wrote a similar post a few years ago when a young white kid shot a bunch of people in their house of worship, simply for being black. Like the folks at the synagogue and the shoppers, they weren’t plotting some nefarious takeover. They weren’t molesting kids or poisoning anyone’s drinking water. They were just living peacefully.

The stuff I put on paper has limits. It seems like the real live monsters who live, breathe, and walk among us, do not.

Read books like The Turner Diaries and watch how acts of domestic terror and real live horror keeps being enacted with real blood and actual death. I can’t make that sort of shit up…

A Gentleman’s Revolution

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Gentleman-ANIMATION

Back in the day, men were gentlemen and women were ladies. Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost that and men are overgrown boys, sagging their pants and gripping their Lyndon B. Johnsons to prove they have one; women have devolved into hoochies who think the video vixen and porn star are the apex of culture.

The saying goes, “Ladies First,” but I’m wondering what would happen if men took the initial step and began acting more like gentlemen.  I’m not talking Sir Walter Raleigh (if you don’t know, look it up) or anything that deep, but what if men:

– Took off their hats when they entered an establishment?

– Held the door when they saw a lady approach?

– Actually intervened when they saw an abusive situation happening in public (my cousin recently saw a man kick his woman in the back while at WalMart; I envisioned two muscle-headed cats beating the brakes off his punk ass)?

– Stood up when a lady entered the room?

– Stopped using foul language in the presence of ladies (a lyric comes to mind from an old Staples Singers song: “You curse around women and you don’t even know their name / and you’re dumb enough to think that it makes you a big old man…”)?

– Asked his lady her opinion, actually wanting to hear the response?

Gents, what do you think would happen in our own relationships?  Ladies, what would you think?  For both sexes, what else should be added to this list?

I have a lot of growing to do myself. However, I’m considering trying this on for size. Pass on the idea of a Gentleman’s Revolution and let’s see what happens.  I’m curious to see if it would change some things.