Faith

Unseen

Since late 2011, I have been promoting my trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar.  The story is a mythology which requires creation, life and end of times.  I’ve sold quite a few, but reviews and ratings have been very, very difficult to receive.  I’ve been told it is very good, but apparently posting a review is too difficult.  I have restrained myself from marketing it as a faith based story, because too many would never read it.  Chapter one in Rise of the Fallen starts out very similar to Genesis.  The tale of the fallen Charafuse (Angels) is very similar to that of the Satan story, and there are many inferences to stories in the Bible.  I did this for a marketing purpose, to bring familiarity to my story of the three Abrahamic religions of which there are more than a billion potential readers, nothing more.  What may appear as a religious story, is not. Here is a definition of religion:

Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality.

Since we live in a period of history where mythologies, even with the slightest hint of a creator, is deemed religious by the secular society, I will then market the trilogy and the upcoming 16 chronicles stories as a series of stories of faith, hope and spirituality.  In the end, the story is about mankind’s ability to be proper stewards and provides thought on immortal life.  It revolves around free will, family, spouse, children, races, and even the animals.

In the year 1999, I was challenged by a friend to write a story centered around a creator as the source of good, rather than the benign references in many stories.  Stars Wars has the “Force”, Lord of the Rings had the power of the elves given to them by Eru (The One), and Narnia has Aslan the Lion who is a representation of Jesus.  Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time has a creation story very similar to Christianity. George RR Martin refers to the old and new gods.  Gods lay down laws and the expectations of their creations.

In the end, the story is one about faith in something greater than ourselves and how one man is chosen to deliver the enslaved and a message to all of the living. The words Chosen One, do not refer to Christ.  Christ was God incarnate.  My hero is a mere mortal, asked to rise to the greatest challenge of all – to unite the seven divided races and stand against evil, before there is nothing left but death, darkness and eternal silence.

You will notice many inferences to other mythologies such as King Arthur and that created by Tolkien.  You will see the influence of Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost.  In its simplest of form it is derived from this popular quote:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

It is spiritual, highly emotional and so very human of a story.  It is allegorical, it has meaning and a moral behind it.  Will we the living finally become the stewards we were meant to be?  This is the question and should challenge all those who have faith and hope that there is greatness in and after life.

So now I submit to all those who love stories of faith, whether it be Life of Pi, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wheel of Time, or another story I have not yet read – take a chance on a timeless story of good and evil and faith in things unseen. I am not asking you to convert to anything, follow me, or start a cult, but to enjoy a story – that’s all.  I promise you will be crying and cheering at the same time.

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Just Chillin

Chillin

Whoever said, “like father like son,” was a genius.  Except now it is like grandfather, like father, like son.  Here is a weekend photo of the Greenlee men just chillin out, as my son would say, on a hot Saturday afternoon.  My generation might call it hanging out or hanging loose.  Who knows what my grandson will call it, but this is as priceless a generational picture as one could take.  My daughter took this photo with her Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  If she wanted to be, she could become a photographer, she’s got talent.

The weekend before the water was too cool and our grandson decided to anoint our bed when his dad allowed him to go Full Monty just a little too long between diaper changes.   That’s okay, I did the same with my son, in fact, one time as I was acting like all witless father’s do and while cooing my son, I was anointed in the face – like grandfather, like father, like son.

My readers need to put on Ray Ban sunglasses to keep from going blind, because we are three of the whitest white men you will ever see .  I am so pale  that my  grandson had to put on his Baby Ban sports shades.  Now, is that a hip grandchild or what?  Now notice the genetic inclination to place our right hands behind our necks? Like grandfather, like father, like son.  And how about that float?  Top class, eh?  It’s part of the grandparent oath to spoil their grandchild rotten.  One day he’ll ask daddy for a BMW and when he says no, I’ll remind my son of the floatie his grandpappy bought for him.  Am I rotten or what?

As one gets older we refer back to photos such as these.  One day I’ll be much older.  My son will be in the prime of his career and my grandson will be chasing some  young pretty lady.  They won’t have much time on their busy schedules (sniff, sniff) for poor old papa. A tear will come to my eyes about the days the Greenlee men trio were just chillin and grillin together.  Then I will pull out this photo and show to my grandson’s girlfriend,

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My mother always said you need to live long enough to become a burden on your children and grandchildren.  I’ve decided to start early and embarrass him now – in front of my world wide audience. He’ll be so embarrassed he’ll become a monk and save himself much grief later on.  Oh by the way, he doesn’t have to pay any fees into the man club – there’s a nepotism clause.

Hey – just chill out!  I didn’t go the Full Monty with him.  That’s later!

Today, please love a child, a grandchild or any child who looks like they just need someone to smile at them.  They are precious gifts that supply lifelong unforgettable memories, laughs and smiles.

A Moment of Reflection

Unseen

May 22, 2013 – I live in Norman, Oklahoma.  As you may have read, our neighbors nine miles to the north were just hit with a devastating tornado.  I am speaking of the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, OK.  This tornado had winds higher than 200 miles per hour and was as wide as two miles in some portions of the 40 minutes and 20 miles it remained on the ground.  Our weather channel issued a tornado emergency, which is rarely used.  This was issued with the warning that if you could not get underground, death was likely.  Watch and you can easily understand why this issue to the public was given.

Moore, OK is famous for two other storms:

May 3, 1999 – in which the storm was declared an F5 tornado with winds that reached 318 miles per hour, or the fastest winds ever recorded on planet earth.  Over $2 billion in damages resulted.  This 2013 storm will most likely surpass this.

May 8, 2003 – yet another major tornado swept through the town.

Tornadoes are a fascinating weather phenomena, yet one you only wish to view from a distance.  I was close to one in 1986 in Edmond, OK.  Edmond was also struck on the May 19, 2013 storm.  What I saw in the 1986 storm boggled my mind.  I saw a 2″ by 4″ lumber stud lodged into a tree, with no damage on either end.  Tornado’s can turn the ordinary household item into a missile. My friend in Edmond captured this funnel cloud as it was forming over Edmond on May 19, 2013.  He too was present in the 86 storm and now another one in 2013.  Soon this storm went over I-35 and became more powerful, finally to level Carney, OK.

Many of you might ask, why live there?  No matter where you live on earth, you have the risk for some  form of major catastrophe.  It is just the violent nature of the world we live in.    Our state has many great qualities.  It is part of the bread belt of America.  It is the nation’s wind corridor producing new alternative sources of energy.  It has vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Tornadoes do not happen everyday.

But for me it is the people.  The people of Oklahoma are tough, but caring individuals. On May 20, parents lost children and some children lost parents.  We all lost neighbors and neighborhoods. Did we lose our faith or our determination?  I surely hope not.  I hope those effected by the storms have found comfort from those they do not even know and that generosity overwhelms them.  This is a moment of tragedy, but also a moment for the display of the finest qualities of being human; to recognize that we are all part of one family, trying everyday just to survive.  Most of the times these people we do not know ask no favors from us, but today without asking, we must give back and reflect what if we had traded places?

This tornado began near Newcastle, the sirens went off in my neighborhood, as they had 5 times the night before.  Could this have been me and my family?  Yes, it could have been.  This is why I take not a single moment for granted. Today is not about me, my feelings, or my needs.  It is a day of the needs of others, those that I may have religious or political differences, yet today they have the very basic human needs of food, shelter and clothing.  Will we come to the call for aid of the human family?  I cannot speak for others, but I must offer something, even if it’s just money to buy a blanket or a toy to calm the nerves of very scared child.  They will forever be changed. Events in our lives have a way of giving us deeper reflections of life than what the media focuses on.

Next month I turn 54.  Those 54 years have flown by, but they are flying faster now than ever before.  Yes we suffered a tragedy, but it is also a learning moment that can have a positive impact on our lives.  Take nothing and no one for granted.  Bury your hatreds in the piles of the torn neighborhoods and be reborn to the needs of others.  When you reach out and help another, you will receive blessings in return.  Soon admiration for you will grow and in the hour of your greatest need, those blessings will be returned.  We have suffered a setback, yet the fallen will rise again.

Sex Cells

Lips

I am an author.  They tell me that I needed a blog to sell my story’s, but all people seem to want to read about is sex.  Don’t you ever get bored with all the talk about sex, the books about sex and the shows about who has had sex with who? Some of you may have more sex toys, than pet or child toys.  Can’t there just be references or innuendos about sex?  Do you really need narrative after narrative, and graphic detail about sex? We have erotic vampires, werewolves and even zombies (I don’t even want to know.) Don’t you get it yet, or do you need recall on what sex is?  Sex in a story is fine if it actually leads to assist the plot.When Rhett Butler rushed Scarlet O’Hara up a flight of stairs and then the next scene shows a glowing and devilishly smiling Scarlet, surely you know they had sex, and probably good sex.  Now isn’t that actually more sexier than seeing it?  Don’t tell me you don’t have an imagination?  Sometimes I am disappointed when a woman gets naked after appearing in sexy lingerie.  The mystique and the mystery then disappears and I find myself wanting to get back to the story.

In my current draft [In edit phase] of the fourth story of my mythology, The Fall of Helloria, I make references to sex just twice. The first to display the sick act of taking sex from another by evil force.  All I use in the narrative are the words defiled or defilement.  I go into no further details.  If needed, use your imagination, you’ve seen enough on TV to last a lifetime.  The other narrative is of the love making by a husband and wife, the gathering of two into one mind and body. Again, I supply the innuendo, you supply your own imagination.

In the fifth story, now in writing phase, you will meet Queen Maggith and she will be consumed by lust and envy, which lead not only to her demise, but the demise of an entire world.  She will make Bella look sane by comparison with her obsession of Talon.  This is why I write Fantasy. I control the absurdity of the characters.  But graphic sex is not my thing.

What was the difference in the minds of people when the Lord of the Rings was released in 1954?  What was so compelling that rock stars made lyrics about the story? How has the mythology created by Tolkien captivated so many without a single narrative on sex?  Some have compared George R.R. Martin with Tolkien.  Well if they wish to that’s fine, but I think they are vastly different.  I am sure Mr. Martin was bombarded by sex in stories for a much longer period of time due to our current moment in time and over the last 40 years.

These days we read about new “adult” hotels and resorts, adult clubs, etc. We have had a long period of time in which popular music and the beat are geared to body grinding and not much more than that.  STD’s appear to be a norm in our nation (110 million people infected as estimated by the CDC).  Somewhere the term adult has lost its meaning.  As a noun it means,  a person who is fully grown or developed.  Is this just the body, or the mind?  How can so many have so much access to information and still refuse to use it wisely?  Just yesterday a study concluded kids as young as 8 are now actively watching porn on the internet and actively lying about their age to get on the sites.  Soon there may be no creative imagination in our youth, because they were not given much of an opportunity to slowly develop.  Can we adults expect them to be fully developed in the mind at that age?  Who are their protectors?  The adults? How can they protect when they are the ones begging for more?

Don’t get me wrong, the marketplace determines what sells.  It is just somewhat confusing why some good stories go unread. Today, you would think our brains have evolved so that every message from our ears or eyes had to pass through a sex cell.  How many current day stories, when you remove the sex, were truly stories? How many were formula novels that just shifted around the names, the locales and even the sex? Don’t you ever feel duped?

Just a thought – a daily thought.

Coffee Chaos – May 2013 Edition (Children)

Coffee Chaos The Monthly Journal

Coffee Chaos
The Monthly Journal

We have been watching our grandson while our daughter-in-law continues in Dental School.  She will be responsible for taking care of the chaos in my mouth for the remainder of my life.  Part of that chaos is surely attributable to my love of coffee.  For a very long time neither of my children liked coffee.  As a matter of fact, they thought my wife and I were crazy.  Well we are, but that is beside the point.  Now that they are both adults, they have learned to love coffee.  My daughter who is 25 and SINGLE is going to dental hygiene school.  Between her and my daughter-in-law, my mouth should be well taken care of.

However, they are now loving my Colombian Supremo beans a little too much.  My son stops by each morning to drop off my grandson and has a large cup as we discuss the daily drudgery of being accountants.  I now know why they call us bean counters, because I am starting to count the depletion of my Colombian Supremo bean inventory with great angst and anxiety. We are now up to three pots in the morning and our commercial coffee grinder is being put to the test and depreciating rapidly.  We are already on a monthly shipment of the beans from Coffee for Less. I hope they see I’m a good referral source and ship one free 100 pound bag to me this month.  One can hope right? Then my daughter now has her own Keurig machine, but still consumes MY supply.

Now I love my kids, but they are making me draw the line. Kids or beans, beans or kids?  Whoever said children are a blessing should have their beans removed for a month. Then let’s see how they truly feel?  It’s enough to make a parent become a closet coffee addict and hide from the children coffee conspiracy.  Now our time of watching our grandson ends this next week and my supply of beans will stop depleting as rapidly.  My son will have to find his caffeine fix somewhere else.

This leaves me only with the issue of my daughter.  If there are any rich doctors, dentists or computer engineers seeking a beautiful, fun loving, and intelligent soul mate – puhleeeeze reply to this post. I’m taking applications and interviews for a son-in-law. Those with saggy pants need not apply. Attach photos of your coffee accessories and bean supply. I will make exception for Starbucks franchise owners or employees of Coffee for Less.  I’ll even throw in the 100 pounds of beans Coffee for Less ships me as her dowry.

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Are you reading this Coffee for Less?  Geez, gratitude for shameless promotion is so hard to find these days. Oh the chaos that coffee brings to world.  Yes I am very shameless, but hey, every bean counts.

What madness has coffee brought to your family?

For the Love of Children

insanity

This picture says it all.  Children age us, they break us and they make us insane.  The only reason we have children it is said, is to have grandchildren.  This grandparent phase of life is great.  You get to watch your children age, go broke and insane, and you high-five your grandchild.  Your kids come to you with all the horror stories of the day and how tired they are from the little sleep they get, how much and how far their child hurled Gerber haggis that morning, followed by neeps at noon, and tatties by dinner time. They tell you of the lost video game playing time they are suffering. Oh my poor, poor deprived child.  They reenact with facial expressions the sight and smell of the fully loaded poopie Pampers or haggis Huggies. We grandparents try to act as though we are concerned and sympathetic by nodding our heads lovingly.  As soon as our kids leave, guess what we grandparents really do?

We laugh our asses off! That’s right! We howl and cry with laughter about your child raising sob stories. Been there and done that.  That’s when we go to our knees and give thanks to God that the circle of life has come full circle, the prophecy of revenge has been fulfilled – can I have an AMEN!

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Recently you could see the agony in my son’s eyes when he could no longer just take off and go see the Hobbit at will. Welcome to parental prison my son (snickers).  We explained we had already seen it twice.  Oh how sweeeet was that?  I recall my first house had sheets on the windows and I stomped on aluminum beer cans to buy savings bonds for my kids education.  So what happened to the bonds?  Repairing auto accidents, that’s what.  We were insane for caring about our kids.  We never spent on ourselves until they were taken care of first.  This why I suffered for a decade eating macaroni and cheese, which I swear has child addiction chemicals added in the processing phase.

We had a curfew for our son who kept exceeding them.  We kept extending, until we finally said 2 a.m. was enough.  So what does Einstein do?  He drives home from his girl friend’s home some 30 miles away and arrives at home and on time, and shows us how he accomplished this task with a ticket for going 110 MPH in a Chevy Lumina. That’s right a Chevy Lumina that wasn’t made to go 110 MPH, let alone 55.  Holy cow, he’s lucky he’s alive. The Lumina is a short name for a cheap auto made from aluminum beer cans supplied by yours truly. When I questioned him about the speed he said, “I am very confident with my driving!”  That’s great, I hope he was very confident his bald tires could handle the speed. It was at that very moment I could hear the gray hairs popping from my pores, or others falling to the ground.

His greatest intellectual and most frequent comment was, “Let me live my life!”  Easy to say when the parents are footing the bills and buying the large bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos that he devoured in less than 30 minutes. He even licked his fingers and the bag clean before I could get near them.  I recall a time when he met a 14 year old girl on a chat room, over at his friend’s home, the one where his parents were the unconditional type.  She lied and said she was 16, which makes all the difference in terms of maturity.  His friend would have nothing to do with her, so my Einstein again shows his logical reasoning skills, as she wants him now, and he willingly accepts like a hound dog on the scent of a murderer.  So Einstein was willing to defy me and drive the Lumina from Dallas to Missouri to visit this mature woman he had fallen in love with at his ripe and wise age of 16.  How romantic!  Except he had no job and no means of getting past the Texas state line, unless he somehow learned how to make the Lumina run on Doritos Nacho Cheese gas.  So being the cruel parent that I am, I called said mature girl’s uncaring, unloving, immature and conditional mother, who was aghast at her daughters online habits.  I was now a heart breaker.

Then there’s my lovely daughter who wrecked her car before she could make it out of our block.  All she had to do was shift to reverse and BAM!  She is the reason automotive engineers toiled with those rear vision cameras and detectors, or AAA – Automatic Accident Avoidance.  She totaled the next car too and more AAA testing was ordered by the universal society of safety engineers. Drivers on Mars weren’t taking any chances. I am certain she is also the inspiration for the next era of self driven autos by Google technologist.  I am sure one of those engineers she dated and was with her in the car screaming for dear life as she switched on the ignition and screamed, “We are all gonna dieeee!”

Then there was the self-piercing episode in which she claimed she had the “never ending” pimple. She wanted a tattoo, a sore subject with me, to be a conforming nonconformist and be sooo different from all the other tribal members at the high school.  Even more hilarious was the MySpace era where kids had multiple personalities.  The one you see, the one her friends see, and the one the wild, wild, world-wide, wide, wide web of strangers see.  I swear people open up more of their intimate details online than in the mirror.  Here, my lovely Einsteinette of a daughter changed her name and age hoping I would never find her.  All you had to do was look at her friends page and see that that friend had a new friend named Kiki DeFrounge from France and she was 99 years old, but still in high school and bearing a striking resemblance to my lovely daughter. She was just way too clever for me, for sure, whatever.

My children wanted unilateral unconditional love.  You know the kind. Where if they get what they want, they love you, if not, you were some creepy cruel demon spawn, meant to do only one thing in life and that was to torture them. So after all the late nights of sleep and 401(k) savings lost to raising our children, when I hear their sob stories I try so very hard not to laugh, as I tell them we are going to Hawaii for some R&R.  You can see the want in their tearing eyes, because they are about to burst their eye sockets. You might think this is rather selfish and cruel of me to be so vengeful.  You know what, you are right.  This is very selfish and cruel of me to want revenge, but you know what else?

I plead guilty by reason of insanity.

The Birth of Hope

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For the past twelve months I have been providing small snippets of the background to my trilogy fantasy – The Chosen One of Allivar.  It is a mythology primarily concerned with family.  Not just an immediate family, but the human family.  This month we celebrate a day that many choose to believe and many choose not to.  This is the price of free will.  I like to think of this season as the season of the Birth of Hope.

This year, 12/12/12 specifically, my grandson was brought into this world.  A world that has many problems and many challenges.  His parents, my son and his wife, now know what it means to create.  In their arms is a human being that is 100% dependent upon them for everything. This should be a profound moment in both their lives, as it was for my wife and me.  It is a moment the meaning of family takes a new route.  It is the moment a parent should contemplate the issues of creation and of being a parent, to guide and protect their child from the evil that surrounds us, and finally understand the world is more than about “I” and more about “WE.” It is also a moment when our grown children will hopefully connect with us of the challenges and sacrifices we made to guard and protect them, to give them wisdom from our experiences for them to witness this very moment.  Many parents cannot enjoy the season as they are missing from their family those taken too soon from this world. My heart goes out to them.

The quest of being a parent is difficult, as my children will learn.  Whatever wisdom they try to pass down to their children will be met with skepticism.  They will not understand you, call you old-fashioned, and out of touch with current times.  They will learn to say “no” and then be treated as though they mortally wounded their child.  They will learn what it means to be disliked for not being like other parents. The grass is always greener in some other family’s home.  They will know what it is like to plan for a child and to have that child go the exact opposite direction.  Yet it is a quest we parents must take head on with determination and courage.  We must never give up hope that the next generation will find the answer to our problems and end the evils that continue to tear families, communities and country’s apart.

In my story the hero, Arimar, is separated at birth from his family.  He lives a life in complete secrecy until he is old enough to understand the purpose of the prophecy that he would one day free the mortal family from all evil.  All around him is love and family, yet he is denied this basic human need until his quest is completed. Allivar means – The One Family. His quest is to reunite the mortal family and become one again as was intended by the creator.  I won’t spoil the outcome, but there is a scene where he holds one of his twin infant sons and he is overwhelmed with emotions.  It is at that exact moment that the profoundness of creation, life and family fills his soul.  His sons represent the birth of hope that the generations that will follow will no longer allow evil’s presence in their world.

I write a lot of silliness and humor in this blog.  I hope you have enjoyed some of my humor.  I also hope that one day in the near future that you will give my stories a try and stay loyal to very end.  They are not literary award winners and still contain some imperfections in the editing and eBook conversion process, yet the message is clear, never take for granted life and family.

Therefore celebrate this season with your family, celebrate the miracle of creation, celebrate the miracle of life, celebrate the memories of those that have passed on, and celebrate the hope of the future.  Begin making resolutions for the actions needed for the betterment of yourself, your family and mankind.  Be the change you want to see in this world.  Give more of yourself than you expect in return.  When you do you these things, you will experience a different world, and within you peace and hope will grow.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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