Posted in Author's Notes

Burning to tell you every-nothing

There was a time when I had a burning yearning desire to share my whole world with anyone, with everyone. It was a brief period sometime in the crustacean era when I still found myself visiting Facebook too many times a day to say. I had a lot of things I wanted to write down and say, or so I thought. However, there are some flaws for a guy like me to share every little thing on my mind with a public audience. For one thing, most of my thoughts just aren’t that important. For another thing, they aren’t that interesting either.

For another thing, the kinds of thoughts I kept coming up with were inciting by nature. I wanted to cause people to stop and take notice of me. If I’m being honest it’s because of the way the platform works. There’s something about how you have to work hard to get people’s attention. You have to ‘shout’ loud enough in the virtual space to get any notice. You still have to, but here on my own website, it doesn’t seem like shouting. Here it feels more considered, more thought out, and less like boasting of a life-well lived via images and inane paragraphs. Here you just get the straight truth. A man with his various flaws does his best to entertain you, if at all possible, whenever he can.

I’ve tried making a youtube channel, starting podcasts, and even talking with a friend and letting them record me over on their website in an effort to get my thoughts across to anyone who might listen. After evaluating the various offerings I’ve given over time, very few of them appear to have relevance to anyone’s own life. So here I’ll place thoughts down that I expect less than one person to ever read. This space is just a dedicated area to let the muse flow over and through me and doesn’t need to be more. I’m not attempting to create a new brand or be that young enterprising entrepreneur. I do offer a cool new service, so if you’re into it, check it out here.

Today has been a good day off from the work grind. Recently I had to take some eye-drops due to an allergic reaction I had while wearing contact lenses. Yesterday was the first day I was no longer on the drops and it kicked my ass pretty hard. I became a zombie as, presumably, the steroids exited my all too sensitive system. Supposedly steroid drops aren’t supposed to have adverse effects on most people, but I’m not most people. For whatever reason, these drops were the worst medication I’ve had to take in my life. And I’ve been on amiodarone!

Taken a few evenings ago around where I live.

I went on a long hike this morning in the glorious weather (72 and partly cloudy, low humidity etc.), shortly after I got a haircut and went to the library to write in my upcoming novel (over 1300 words today! Whoop!) Later this evening I will attend my wife’s yoga class because Monday’s are good days for this sort of thing. Tomorrow I’ll be off to work again, and in a couple weeks, I’ll be taking a visit with the family to Sacramento California to enjoy a family wedding.

Okay, that’s it for today. My fingers might fall off if I write any more words after these.

Posted in Author's Notes

Wizard & The Jewel update

This book has undergone some needed surgery. I’m pleased to announce that the due date will now (hopefully) be February of 2020 for publication. If all goes well, the final draft will be completed in a month or two, and edits will continue through January until it can be released. Stay tuned for more information by subscribing to the blog posts from this site.

Posted in Author's Notes

A new service

For a long while now, I’ve been working on another site that I’m finally happy to share with the aspiring self published author in you.

I could tell you all about it here, or I could simply call attention to it now and say check out my new service. Simply click the link or point your browser to: www.proformattedbook.com

I have more to say, and soon I’ll be saying it here.

Posted in Author's Notes

I almost gave up

Giving up is an idea. It’s whatever the opposite of an act is. If you take action on an idea you have, you typically get to a point where you’re not sure how much further along you want to make it. For instance, this website was something I’ve long debated giving up. Why?

For one thing, I haven’t been offering healing services–so this website sits here and promotes old items, or new blog posts, neither of which generates more interest from passersby or income as a result of sales. I was planning to take down this website with no further ideas about where I might end up. However, the fact of the matter is simple: the internet isn’t going anywhere. I am known to a select few people, and people are going to check in on me now and then and see what I might have on offer. What if I suddenly decided to start working with people for healing again? What about the next time I publish a book? (I know it doesn’t seem like I’ll ever publish another book, but I promise, I have a number of them in the works). I gave up on social media.

The opposite (and antidote) to giving up is taking action. I’ve been writing several new books, all of them are exciting and potentially going to be great fun for anyone curious about my life, interested in fiction, or curious about the healing work I used to do. I’m considering making a YouTube presence and tinkering with different ideas about what might be useful and exciting to everyone. I might concentrate that channel on healing work, or writing and reading. I haven’t decided yet. When I do choose, you might benefit from subscribing over on the right-hand side of my blog to get notified in your email that something is up. That will also be true for new books I put out there and of course new blog posts.

Giving up because something is expensive or not going the way you planned only happens because you forget to breathe fresh life into it. And that’s what I’m committed to doing from now on. I did quit social media because it was sucking the life from me, and now that I have, I can continue to focus my energies on the digital parcel of ‘land’ I’ve cut out for myself. My website is my digital domicile, the pulpit on which I (virtually) stand and share my thoughts and feelings. And I intend to do much more of that. So, if you happen along here and decide you still like to read (or possibly later ‘view’), then I pledge to make it worth your time to do so.

Posted in Author's Notes

The Dubious Social Life of a moviegoer.

Like most people, I enjoy going out to the movies with friends or my family. In the olden times (when movies were first made, and small patches of gray began to show in my beard) I loved going to movies alone. To be near other people in a dark environment was always pretty good, but it wasn’t really being social. Then I came across this article about what movies even are in the era of Netflix (and I assume other streaming services).

The article is fresh, interesting and got me thinking about it. On the one hand, I can see how not staying at home and actually hitting the road to spend a little time next to total strangers in the dark can feel somewhat like you’re being social. But then I wondered about the fact that (at least from my own memory) I never actually spend any time observing the people around me that I don’t know, don’t speak to them, and they don’t speak to me. I know there are gregarious people who do sometimes make a quip or comment in an offhanded manner to anyone and everyone who might be around to listen, but it’s not the same level of social interaction you get at a restaurant, the grocery store, or even your local pub.

Having really tried to understand Sergi’s point of view I have failed. Here’s a quote:

“Consider the fact that we live in a time when we are so divided. What are the opportunities for people to go and share a communal space and enjoy an experience together, without worrying whether or not you voted for Trump or for Brexit? Almost every country right now has a fundamental issue of a lack of social cohesion and a lack of opportunities where people can remind each other that, fundamentally, we love stories. We love laughing; we love crying; we are not aliens here. If you remove that element, if you say, ‘Cinema can die, it’s not a problem, we can still watch films online,’ what you are doing is, you’re removing the social contract—and you do that at your own peril.”

To his first question, how about a diner, or any restaurant? What about the grocery store (I work at one)? How about the Laundry Mat? The Shopping Malls of America are all places where you can, as a citizen of these United States, visit in a day and truly speaking actually engage with more people than you ever will at a movie. Then there’s your local park, or–I know this might sound crazy–even your local public library? These are just some basic ideas off the top of my head. I don’t hold the view that there’s a shortage of places for people to go and hang out around each other. Think of the various cute towns where people go to shop, mingle, look around, eat, and in general be around each other in broad daylight?

I get it though. Sergi’s point is that movie theaters are yet another bastion of public space (but the cover price does make it feel pretty exclusive, am I right?) where people can go and forget themselves and everything but what’s on the screen for a little while. To my mind, movies are an arena of escape.

In fact, movies are a great way to escape other people. Same thing for books. And really, we can just stay home to experience these non-active-activities. Wait, are there non-verb-verbs? Probably, but here’s my point: we go to the movies to get away from it all, to experience other people who can’t see us, who don’t know that we even exist. That’s incredible! Just think about how you’re viewing people who don’t know anything about you. But you’re looking at them in ways that they can never really see themselves (unless they too watch their own movies). I’m not attempting to get into an article about theory of mind. Maybe Chris Hemsworth is on screen and wanting to scratch an itch but can’t and so instead he delivers his line a little heavier than he might otherwise. It’s a slam dunk for the movie director so they keep it in. But what you and I see is that he’s exasperated or some other such emotion.

Yesterday, as it turns out, my family and I went and watched Avengers Endgame, and it was entertaining (if a bit long) but there were aspects of it I didn’t specifically appreciate–no spoilers here. And then I had just read this article (linked above) before we went to see it. It got me thinking about how strange the argument by Sergi is, and how I’m not buying it. Kind of like I’m not buying the hype on the movie either. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad movie, it just wasn’t amazing. And I’m not sure why we all bought it. But I’m not exactly buying the argument that cinema is here to stick around or that it makes you a more social creature–I don’t think so.

What do you think?

Posted in Author's Notes

The Social (Media) Experiment

There are repercussions, consequences, and outcomes of using our speech that can be far less than favorable to our agendas and desires. What we say these days can be instantly spread to larger and larger circles of people with perfect fidelity. On the internet, there is no ‘whisper down the lane’. What you say is captured forever, potentially misconstrued out of context, and bashed back over your head like a heavy club, or at times like a sharp ax. But all too often, your words will simply fade back into a sea of words. Voices that cannot be heard with the human ear. Voices that can provide little in the way of substance. Voices which are self-directed and self-interested. 

Those who choose their words, their timing and the conversation to enter into poorly, know this simple truth well. The internet isn’t a court of law, but you are being judged by what you say, how you say it, and where you say it. 

Social media, Facebook, in particular, has become (for me at least) a den of unhappy echoes. Voices that crowd in with opinions that are less than ‘fully baked’. If we are to use critical thinking or even just common sense, the words people put in tweets, in random posts, and in comments within posts, paint an ugly or stupid picture, and so end up characterizing and perhaps, in a sense, ‘typecasting’ a person’s image. How you are perceived online is how you bleed through into everyday life. 

We don’t get our words right when we speak out loud among people either, but usually, we can catch on to what we’re saying and correct ourselves. When you are more familiar with people, friends or even coworkers, for example,  they hear a great deal more than just your words. Facial expression, body posture, and movements all add that missing depth to what it is you’re attempting to communicate.

Have you noticed, for example, that everyone is usually just trying to make everyone else laugh? We are using our humor as a species to deflect and ease the inordinate pressures of a modern world we can barely keep up with and weren’t designed by nature to endure on a permanent basis. Yet, we have created this new world and we are constantly striving to adjust to its rapid shifts and changes.  

Now, to be perfectly clear, I’m not here to make any of this sound like its a bad thing. People are social creatures. We are all familiar with the argument that much is lost in translation through the written word alone when it comes to socializing ‘virtually’. And yet, virtual is all we have. If you don’t believe me, look up the word virtual in full, and you’ll see I’m technically correct.

This same argument about words not communicating the full import can be turned to media like books. If an author/writer isn’t entirely sure of herself, what she wants to say, how she intends to create a sense of context, how to describe body language that goes with dialogue, then so much really is lost in translation. Those books often end up with poor reviews.  We’re not all writers. Especially on social media. The war is of words, and if you’re not especially skilled in using them, you will waste your voice to a cacophonous sea which makes no audible noise.

While you may now be thinking to yourself how pointless this all is, just realize that life could also be seen that way. We’re here one day and gone the next. All our carefully laid plans to acquire materials and goods become forfeit when its over. Similarly, when our words meet blindered eyes and stuffed ears, we are a garbled distraction for a few moments at best.

If you’re a writer, someone who is doing their best to communicate, then really go all out. Use social media, your blog/website, as a way to really take your time and articulate your perspective, your vision, you understanding. Make it clear that when someone reads your words, they are reading your mind, your heart, your sense of being. It will at least give you more connection to others. 

I wrote the following in my journal today…

I think we take for granted the ‘relationships’ we have online nowadays. These are mostly false relationships because the words on a screen can only describe as many dimensions as we can (or are willing to) absorb.

Video games provide a similar allure to online social media sites like twitter and Facebook. It’s glamour wares off when people stop listening to us. We are indeed social creatures, but that doesn’t mean are socializing can happen only in the virtual realm. There is something powerful about seeing, touching, smelling, hearing and generally being around another human being. Smell, or the olfactory sense, is often subtle, but what most people forget is the pheromones we give off. These don’t have to have a sexual affect on our being, but they are psychosomatic. We get a pleasant feeling around some people because of this subtle sense.

In the same way, the way a person looks, and the way they speak, what we hear when they talk, make a funny voice, make a silly face—these are all part of the social aspect that is completely missing from the virtual atmosphere. No amount of emojis can truly suffice or supplant the range of body language that we get to imbibe from our real life friends through the written word alone.

Especially because these written words are often inarticulate, ill timed (often) and constant. One thing I didn’t mention is that we can also appreciate the silence or the gaps between what we say out loud and how we spend time with someone in person. There’s an intimacy and an immediacy absolutely missing from the virtual environment that no amount of rationalizing can replace or explain away. 

Video games are false and provide a false sense of accomplishment. This was one reason of many I quit playing them ages ago. It seems like you have completed your objective until you realize that nothing in your life has made any change. To seek that sense of change you return to a video game (herein lies the addictive factor) until/unless your pre-frontal cortex kicks in and reminds you that there are actual accomplishments to be made in the world around you with real results: cleaning your room, going to work and earning your money, saving up for travel experiences, creating artwork in some form or other—these become items that can be seen and shared by others. If you’ve gone to another country, your own inner psyche gets broadened by the experience and you take on new character traits and can share that with…your friends.

Looking at a picture someone took is great, but it almost always leaves you feeling like you wish you had been there to see it for yourself. And that’s the great thing about a picture, it can evoke a feeling, inspire an action, or repel you in some fundamental way. Often the pictures we see of smiling happy people on facebook or memes are fun, but short lived ‘thrills’. All of these things serve to drive us away from the moment. A comedian famously said that the present moment sucks, and that’s why you want to get away from it with your phone, a movie, a video game—anything to not actually ‘be here’. So we have to look at ‘why here’ sucks so much. What is it about life that we can’t stand?

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now myself. I’m not sure. I don’t know what it is about life that is so incredibly boring and bothersome. I think there’s an acute awareness that inactivity is a total submission to the straightforward movement unto one’s personal physical and eventual absence from this planet. In the end, it reduces down to a fear of death. A fear of ‘not living’. And so we have to cram absolutely every possible thing into our daily life in order to be or feel ‘ok’.

However, back to social media, cramming in time for this platform leaves us feeling a mixture of emotions. Because it’s life condensed onto a screen, you’re seeing everything at once, and not most of what you want to see. Instead you end up seeing what the company has decided was a good filter for you. And this helps nothing at all. Think about it for a moment: you visit facebook, you see a few posts you agree with, a few you could have thought of yourself, a few that ask for people’s opinions (which you may or may not have been in the mood to participate in), and one or two old memes along with a smattering of ads you couldn’t care less about.

There’s a lot more to say here, but there are other projects that need my attention and time. What do you think? Even if Facebook and Twitter have connected you to friends and family from afar, how often can you keep up with them? If you’re young and have a busy career life, how do you manage personal projects, immediate family time, and time with your friends you can spend time in the same room with, sans computer? If you’re retired maybe the social media experiment is a boon for you. Everyone’s different. These are just my musings.

If you have a different idea I’d love to hear it in the comments section below.

Posted in Author's Notes

Why we don’t know what we want anymore.

How often have you pined for ‘the golden days’ or ‘the good old days’ only to think back and realize how badly you wanted to be somewhere else: preferably the future? If you think about it, even during ‘the good old days’ you were looking for something else–another when. Now you’re in a radically different place and chances are things haven’t gotten better as a result of moving forward. The good old days were when you dreamed of the future you’re now living, only your dream didn’t exactly go as you mapped it out in your head. Instead, it’s the way it is exactly at this point in time.
So here you are and here it is too. Life on life’s terms without your consent or permission. Is it what you wanted? Are you looking for the golden days again? You probably can’t recreate them if you tried. Because not only did they never exist, they only existed in your imagination of hindsight. The past always has a charming glow, a thin chimera of ‘better experiences’. But it wasn’t so. And to think it was is dishonest.

And what do you want for your future now? We’ll perpetually fall into this trap, so let’s not kid ourselves otherwise. We want a future bright and certain and filled with happiness. Happiness is an idea when all the causes and conditions come into alignment to support our desires and needs in an effortless and harmonious way. In other words: brief, and unreliable from an external point of view. Happiness, as it is said, is ‘an inside job’. It’s also an idea. Joy on the other hand is something you can bring into your awareness by taking a step back, a breath, recognizing what you already have and filling yourself up with gratitude. Your friends, your family, your accomplishments, your possessions–all these can bring you joy if you allow yourself to revel in them. Happiness is more akin to a giddy sensation and almost always fleeting. Again, it’s just a concept. Move past the clinginess you feel toward your pursuit of happiness. Instead recognize that life is full of strife, suffering, with bouts of needless and senseless destruction. Entropy, good people getting the raw deal. Sane people losing their minds. Also recognize that life is full of amazing people who bring inspiration, education, erudition, illumination and groundbreaking changes to those who suffer right along with them.

In other words: the opposites of life are side by side, clasping hands and batting hands away from each other. You’re not going to have a great life without opposition, and if you think that’s the case you’re delusional. You will not have all your desires and wishes come true. No one does. Thinking it’s possible or likely is worse than a pointless endeavor: it’s dangerous. We don’t grow without strife, without struggle. We can’t even comprehend purpose without strife and struggle because without those elements a person is grown in a vacuum–like a carrot grown without dirt, in some kind of tube.

You don’t know what you want anymore in life because either you have everything (and are still suffering/unhappy etc.) or you have nothing you actually want (in the end it amounts to the same), or you have just enough to know you want more but can never attain it. If you’re reading this you’re not likely to be starving. You have a computer in front of you–even if you’re at a public library, you’re still better off than so much of the population of earth.

You can’t know what you want anymore because, if you’re living in the Western World (North America) you are constantly told what you need in order to be happy, successful, liked, approved of and everything else. You don’t know what you want because you want everything or you’re turned off by all the incessant media suggestions. This leaves an ever widening gap in your psyche, does it not?

And to fill that gap, that black hole of uncertainty and desire, you’ll do anything. Well, almost anything. You’ll climb the highest mountain, read the most books, paint the best pictures, watch the most Netflix, eat the best food, run the fastest 5K, bench the most weight at the gym, be the best at your job, and so on and so forth. And when you tally up all your accomplishments you’ll still be you, no different than when you embarked on the journey to do it all, see it all, experience every pleasure…and at some point you’ll have to recognize that death is staring you down. Either from what seems like afar or from a’near. Who knows? It’s the only thing you don’t know. And with so much stuff available in this world, how can you possibly truly know what it is you want?

Even if you practice joy each day, looking around and calling forth joy, you’ll look at that as an attainment, as a possession. Will you not? And then you have to ask yourself how valuable is it to experience joy every day?

Suggestion

I submit to you that you already have more than you could ever want right now, and that the only thing you haven’t got yet is true recognition. Just recognizing all you have. Take some time each day to really look at what’s available to you. Look at who is available to you. Recognize that there’s a monumental, gargantuan, hunger roiling away inside you. Recognize that the hunger doesn’t want to be fed all the shit from the world. It doesn’t need that. The hunger you have inside only wants you. All of you. You and you and nothing but you. You are the only answer to the eternal question; ‘what do I want?’ You are the only water in the desert of your own mind to slake your thirst and the only meal prepared right enough to fill the gap. You right now as you are, with all your endless thoughts and feelings and memories and experiences and quirks–you’re enough. When you take some time to be with your hunger and feed your attention and presence back on yourself, the flame of hungry desire submits and grows weak until its died out.

I sit in meditation just to feed my never ending hunger. It quiets the less palatable demons that drive me.

This is a temporary affect, however. It requires constant application until you’re dead. Because all hunger is cyclical, all thirst comes back again.

There’s No End

Nobody gets a pass at desire. We’re born with it and will die with it. The only element I’ve found that stabilizes that hunger is vigilant meditation, pouring myself back into myself. And from it arise major insights about how to be and apply myself in this world. Not just for the sake of doing good and being accepted in society, but for the sake of evolution, art, and providing something perhaps less tangible to those I’m surrounded by. The joy of meditation is absolutely not an escape route: it’s a way back into this world, where I can also be with you. Where I can be with myself. Where you can be with you.

Posted in Author's Notes, Health & Healing

Healing —The Early Days

I haven’t spoken about this topic in a while. There’s a story to our personal healing, and whatever that is or looks like for you, I think there are quite a lot of commonalities between the stories. Common threads, elements, and experiences. Most people know me as the guy who came back to life from all those heart attacks.  The man who survived the odds. Prayers from all over the world, from people I never met and never knew all helped make the difference.
Long before the heart attacks, however, there was a young man who grew up all over the place. You might say I was a ‘mixed bag’ of upbringing. This mixture of places and times, a childhood uprooted and moved all around, led to a lot of adventures, character building, and sheltering. My parents were protective of me, and I know they were for good reasons. On the other hand, I also got to experience the latchkey childhood for a time. I don’t know anyone in the early ’90’s who didn’t have some exposure to that themselves, and if not them–their friends.

From 6th to 8th grade I attended grade school on Roosevelt Island, PS/IS 217. Here’s some pictures if you want to see what I mean. PS stands for Public School, and it’s unclear what ‘IS’ stands for to me. Maybe industry standard? It wasn’t the best or worst school, I liked my art and music teachers, and most of the rest of the time they stuck us in front of computers or had our heads lowered to text books while the teachers droned on. I don’t know what learning there is like anymore. They had an adequate gymnasium and it’s a very contemporary styled building–the architecture seemed very futuristic to me back then. In class one day we watched Bill Clinton get sworn in as our 42nd President of these United States. I remember thinking, man, what a trip!

Those were good years to myself and my family. Living in NYC was pretty amazing. Roosevelt Island, while it had its unwelcoming side effects, was otherwise pretty cool. There was a local pool that the islanders could enjoy during the summer, for a fee of course, but who cares, right? It was a pool by the riverside! I loved it.

By the time I was 15 and going to high school in Manhattan it became apparent that I was much too tired to be attentive in class. I would try to sit up and write notes and do my work, but I just could not for the life of me keep my eyes open at all. A whole year of very poor grades began to draw a circle around a deeper and more disturbing issue. Finally my father had me checked out by a chiropractor who specialized in determining whether someone had chronic fatigue syndrome. I failed all the good tests and passed all the bad ones. I was diagnosed with CFS and I had a new choice to make.

Home Schooling

It didn’t take me long to decide on myself. I was now 15 and realizing that it took all my energy each day just to make it to school. By the time I’d climbed 3 flights of steps just to sit down in science class, or five flights just to attend gym, I was so exhausted I could hardly focus for wanting to fall asleep. Choosing to take school at home wasn’t just a no-brainer, it was my only option. I think my parents must have known that too, but I remember the talk I had with them pretty clearly. There was no pushback from them. They agreed that a program where I stayed at home, made my own schedule, communicated with my teachers directly and applied myself at my own pace was the best of all words. This was 1995, and the Internet was just beginning to be used for more than AOL and later on CompuServe. It was still dial-up connections and speeds, but my mom and dad researched which homeschooling options made sense and finally settled on Oak Meadow High School for me. There website now is nothing like what I remember from back in the day. The curriculum was sent to me via syllabi and that’s what I had to go on. My parents got me all the text books, enrolled me, paid for tuition etc, and off I went on a solo journey through the rest of high school from 10th through 12th. I completed my journey by the time I was 17, and by that time I’d completely reversed and healed myself from CFS.

But how did I do that? Well, it was not easy, that’s for sure. It took a lot of effort on my part. There were 3 primary areas that I had to bend my will and concentration to in order to achieve full healing. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome knocks you on your ass–and that’s a polite way of putting it. No matter how hard you try to get through it, you still feel tired at the end of the day most days, but each new day offers a new promise for the intrepid healer. Here are the 3 areas I worked diligently in without any compromises or letup. It was a militant lifestyle.

#1 Food & Supplements

I was on a bevy of supplementation. I don’t recall all of them, unfortunately, and there’s no way to track down a list of what I was on. The supplements had to do with establishing metabolizing minerals, especially trace minerals into my body. There were multi-vitamins, and other metabolic styled supplements that were tailored to my specific needs. I was also taking a lot of herbs, which helped tremendously, and you can check this website out for more information (NOT an endorsement of these products, by the way, you need to be tested for what will work best for you, if you are someone dealing with CFS!)

I was strictly vegetarian. I would eat eggs, and cheese, but I drastically limited or completely (in some cases) eliminated all soy from my diet. No red meat, no fish, no chicken or pork either, in case it’s not clear. Dairy was limited considerably. Also, and this is extremely important: almost no sugar in the diet. Very little salt either. All of that was crucial to getting better. And as torturous as that seems to a 15 year old, I was able to get over my tastebuds and cravings pretty quickly and not look back with longing, or drool over a loved one’s dinner plate. Oh, and I had a super strict policy about not watching more than an hour or two of TV per week back then. I mostly read or slept or did home-school work.

#2 Meditation

Yes, back in 1995, yours truly was an every day meditator. I read a book that changed my life forever. I got really into doing the daily practice exactly as it was detailed in the book. By the time I was 15 and a half years old, (or 6 months after being diagnosed, entering home-school, and being militant about my diet and rest routine) I was meditating earlier and earlier each morning, and my energy was increasing day by day. This sounds counterintuitive, but try and remember that I was 15. I was going through puberty, growth spurts, and all kinds of hormonal sequences were all kicking in around the same time. I was experiencing rather profound insights about everything. One day in meditation in 1995, I had an insight about our universe and that there were multiple universes. This kind of stuff was not covered in any of my syllabi from school and I had not been watching television either. Actually, at that precise time, scientists were not speaking about this publicly yet anyway. It was more than a theory in my estimation–it was a dead certainty I had. Only a year or two later did I actually learn that my insight was proven by science, and this bolstered my faith in meditation immensely.

Meditation, along with diet, no television, and plenty of rest and supplementation were my life savers.

#3 Writing As Therapy

At that time, my other resort was writing. I wrote poems, short stories and class related essays. I wrote to myself and then deleted what I wrote. Sometimes I even used the computer to write my thoughts, and after a while I taught myself how to type on the keyboard with blinding speed. I discovered that writing was a form of therapy I could always count on. It soothed my agitated mind and heart when meditation seemed to push stuff up to the fore. It helped me articulate the deeper questions I had (think existential) for which no answers ever seemed (or seem to this day) to be adequate enough. I discovered I had a powerful mind and because of this powerful mind I could use it to help my body and nervous system to heal. Writing was where I began to develop my voice. When my voice got stale, I’d read books and I’d try again. When my voice sounded like other authors, I’d stop reading and practice just writing and listening to how my own actual voice sounded in my head as I wrote. It was a form of exquisite torture, because no matter what I put down on the page, it never sounded right or felt quite right.

I still write every single day, and it still saves my life every single day. I also still meditate nearly every day, with the idea that writing is just another form of meditation for me.

By the time I was 19 I was fully recovered from CFS, an almost unheard of feat. By the time I was 26 I wrote and self-published my first book on a unique aspect of healing.

I’ll continue the journey of healing every day, and I know so many of you will too.

Posted in Author's Notes

The Short & Long of It

7 Years ago today, my mom departed from this world and left me behind. I feel happy to know that she got to see one of my books published when I was much younger. I know she would be proud to know what I’ve been up to lately. I miss her, but I know she looks on in approval at what I’m doing these days…speaking of, let’s talk about that a moment.

I’ve been a busy guy lately, and as a result my presence on Facebook has been mostly absent, with brief peek ins. I don’t say this because I think many people care one way or the other, but because I have some fun things I wanted to share with you that might be cared about.

Like…?

There are some entertaining short stories I plan to release here on my blog for free. Stay tuned for more information (I suggest the newsletter signup on the right side of this blog ===>)

Aside from that I’m waiting on PLIGHT, the 3rd and final installment in the Owen Hunter Trilogy of books to get the finishing touches, last minute edits, beta read, and then out to whoever wants to read it.

More exciting news is: I’m writing a novel about a wizard. Not your standard run of the mill wizard either, and this definitely has an intriguing plot twist even I wasn’t expecting! I’m hooked and don’t want it to end. That being said, the first rough draft will be finished by December 31st.

That’s the long and short of it. Stay tuned for more!

Posted in Author's Notes

Hodgepodge

The struggle is real.

That’s the meme everyone likes to repeat, isn’t it? I hear people saying it for silly shit, ‘issues’ that aren’t, you know, in actuality, issues. Our language is devolving into something I hardly recognize, and my soul laments! I need to read more books, all kinds of them. When I’m done reading Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla, in the Dark Tower Series (number 5), I plan to read Moby Dick. When I’m done that I swear I’ll finish reading the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Why? Well because it’s important to expose my brain to as many words and ideas as possible. Because I’m a writer, and that’s one thing us writers need to be able to do: expose by reading.

Today’s the eclipse, the big solar one everyone’s been talking about. 8/21/2017. A lot of co-workers plan to go out and see it. A lot of friends I know plan to watch it as well. I won’t be bothering with that. My opinion: it’s a good time to be inward drawn and paying attention to what’s important in my life. For me that’s writing the next thing. For others, well I don’t know exactly.

I’ve been writing several different pieces of fiction lately. All this while waiting for my wife to start editing the (almost) final draft of the Owen Hunter Series. The last book in this trilogy, and (, fingers crossed!) three out of many in the actual series. Most of the rest after this point will be standalone novels, and threaded back to the world of Owen Hunter. That’s the plan for that. And I also intend to write a great deal more stories that aren’t related at all.

Writing and reading. Someday I’ll know my audience well. I’ll write to them, knowing it won’t be guess work. No easy task, that. Yet it’s what’s needed nowadays. More art. More creativity, more of everything related to constructiveness.

I do worry though. I’m not sure I’ll ever make a career from my habit. I’m not convinced that I must make it a career. It’s what I’d like. What I am convinced of is that I have to tell the stories in my head to whomever will listen, or read. That’s how this works. Painters have to paint, dancers have to dance, and writer’s gotta write.

The struggle is, as always, about timing. When do we write? When do we read? When do we publish? When do we have the time to do the things we’re compelled to do?

I can’t answer these questions, and I challenge you to try.

Here’s a list of my TO-BE-READ list (not in any particular order). It’s pretty long.

  • Moby Dick
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Sand (Hugh Howey)
  • Hillbilly Elegy (Vance)
  • The Complete Jules Verne Collection
  • The Complete H.G. Wells collection
  • The Complete Charles Dickens collection
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Doyle)
  • Afterlife (Sakey)
  • 1984 (Wells) This is my 2nd time.

There will be many more, but if I can get through the above before I’m 45, that’ll be quite a feat. Not to mention I have a lot of stories I want to write and, when they’re polished enough, share.

I began this blog post on the day of the eclipse and have finished it at the end of the week on Friday the 25th, August.

To borrow an idea from a famous writer; finishing what you start is successful.