50 Shades of Love

I am going to go out on a limb today and ponder a question.  Is the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey a reflection of a bored society?

As a writer, it is my attempt to understand human nature so that I can provide a narrative to connect with readers emotions.  I ‘ve have not only read, but have been told that the book will spice up a marriage.  Are marriages in that much trouble?  I recall watching the movie based on Phillipa Gregory’s novel,  “The Other Boleyn Girl”, in a scene Anne confides with her sister that she finds herself doing the most unspeakable sexual acts to keep Henry’s attention in her.  I found this scene rather interesting, in the fact, that some women believe getting kinky is the way to keep a man’s attention in her.  Is this the message young women and middle aged women are lead to believe is the secret to lasting love in the modern era?  Some have suggested since I haven’t read the story, I have no room to critique it. I beg to differ.  I asked one of my friend’s wife would she sign a contract with a man she barely knows to agree to never speak about what is done in the bedroom?  What is the triggering signal that something is not right?  Somehow the backstory to Christian’s life and his abuse justifies the story line.

Let me give women something to ponder.  You read it in the news everyday, where some guy rapes a woman because he felt the woman was in the “right frame of mind.”  Where does this male thinking come from – movies, books, music, or conversations at the company water cooler?  Are men in the right frame of mind when we hear that 50 shades will “spice up” the bedroom?  How far should our experimentations go?

My wife and I discuss these topics often.  For 35 years we have openly discussed sex and love.  With a divorce rate of over 50%, will kinky sex decrease the trend, or will we opt out of a marriage as the easy excuse to justify when our partners no longer interest us?  We will continue to pretend that our careers and material possessions provide us happiness?  Will we find ourselves with the thought that a sexual partner’s only purpose is to provide self satisfaction?  Will women still believe they can “change” a bad boy?

I have read women defend the book as pure fiction.  Avatar too is complete fiction, yet many people suffered bouts depression after watching the movie.  Sales of adult toys are at record highs.  Pure fiction? The human mind is affected by many things. What we see, what we hear and what we read will impact us. Young minds interpret the signals differently.  My wife’s aunt was incredulous because we had no intention of seeing the movie, as though we wouldn’t have anything to discuss in social gatherings.  Are we truly this bored?

My perceptions of love are very different.  I am throwback to a different time.  I am an educated man, I recall much of what I learned in college including Maslow’s hierarchy, as described as follows:

1. Physiological needs, such as needs for food, sleep and air.

2. Safety, or the needs for security and protection, especially those that emerge from social or political instability.

3. Belonging and love including, the needs of deficiency and selfish taking instead of giving, and unselfish love that is based upon growth rather than deficiency.

4. Needs for self-esteem, self-respect, and healthy, positive feelings derived from admiration.

5. And “being” needs concerning creative self-growth, engendered from fulfillment of potential and meaning in life.

Maybe in the near future there will be a maturation in the stories our society wants to watch and read, supported by music which brings more love out in us.  When I was first listening to music as a teen in the 1970’s my favorite band was “Bread.”  Why?  It was at this time I began to notice the beauty of the opposite sex and how I felt when someone actually had interest in me.  After being with a girlfriend, which meant maybe holding hands or exchanging a short kiss, I was euphoric and the words in the music matched those feelings.  I discovered over the last few years a song by David Gates, that to me, expresses the highest level of love, of my own self-actualization, that one day I will leave this physical realm and be united for all eternity with my wife, whose smile to this very day can soften my anxieties.  I still want to feel the softness of her hand and take simple pleasure of displaying that love by holding her hand in public.  She has my admiration and respect when she is not in the mood.  Am I bored? Never.  There is so much more to life and love than sex and all its experimentations.  Maybe it’s time to make your own 50 shades of love list and share with your partner.

 

 

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Hope for the Human Family

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At the heart of my mythology is a story of the mortal family including our races, our young, our old and those that are so much very different from ourselves.

I created the character Bothar, a giant who is not fully developed mentally. Arimar selects Bothar to be his guide on his journey. He is the seventh son of the seventh generation of the race of Bermules. Arimar sees in him what others do not. Yet, it is his simple nature and gentle mind that endears all to him – to always do good, no matter the cost.

Watch this video.

The boy in this story is the metaphorical embodiment of Bothar. Also watch carefully how one child reacts. In the final book of the trilogy, Last Stand of the Living, this was the reaction I worked so hard over three stories to achieve.

We do not always understand why certain people come into our lives. They change our lives for the better and rise to the stature of giant. And when we realize that the human family must work as one, we will have peace at last.

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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Is Chivalry Dead? Knight Up!

Knights

As an author that loves the romantic ideal of the legends from the medieval period, I routinely scope out various words in Twitter that illicit a response from those that engage in this social media.  This process allows me to get a glimpse of what our current society is all about.  I posted a tweet on #Chivalry and then reviewed the comments from this hashtag.  Honestly, there is hope. Some people want a change in the way we behave as mature men and women.  Many women believe chivalry is about being a gentleman, which is a knightly quality, but they miss out on some other aspects of a chivalrous man.

I am posting the contents of a wikipedia narrative and highlight the key traits of a knight:

Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized German custom. It was originally conceived of as an aristocratic warrior code — the term derives from the French term chevalerie, meaning horse soldiery — involving, gallantry, and individual training and service to others. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as the knightly virtues of honor, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.

The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages; they not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless.

Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “of noble bearing”. Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honor of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe. Knights despised pecuniary reward. They persevered to the end in any enterprise begun.

It appears knights were virtuous men, whose value in life wasn’t determined by fame or material possession, but by deeds and the expectation of a higher glory than that found in life.

A reader of my stories once commented that she had issue with my hero, because he wasn’t completely focused on his love for the lead female character. My hero, Arimar – The Chosen One of Allivar, carries an oath to the highest of authorities, his creator.  He knows not of the reward for his loyalty, but he faithfully executes in every respect; to honor and protect women, children, elderly, the powerless, and the enslaved.   My trilogy is an idyllic and allegorical story of that which humans stand to lose, where sometimes reason and science, too, can lead to the extinction of mortals.

Here is where the conversation should begin.  Chivalrous behavior will only return when father’s must teach the code and mother’s demand their son’s honor it.  Mother’s must teach the ways of the damsel and their father’s demonstrate how a knight treats a damsel, by the way they honor their wife.  Both men and women should look beyond the physical appearance and “court” one another long enough to discover the inner qualities of those they intend to vow for life.

It is said that the age of chivalry is dead and the age of enlightenment (reason and science) took its place.  I cannot speak for others, nor condemn their beliefs, I can only speak for my values.  I’d rather live by the code of chivalry, than by the code of science and individualism, where it is said that our natural behavior is primarily governed by self-interest, where we first seek to ensure survival, and then we seek to dominate.

Does this mean the revival of chauvinism and the loss of women’s rights?  Of course not, it means the revival of romanticism and the striving for human perfection, both in mature men and mature women.

We hear and read it all the time – Man Up!

Well, I say it is high time toKnight Up,” and become the men we were born to be.  In this process we may discover that damsels still exist in this realm.  They are just waiting on you.

Just a thought – a daily thought.  What are your thoughts?

Being Original in an Unoriginal Age

Satan

When I read Paradise Lost  for the first time I was blown away by Milton’s originality to the fall of man story. I continue to be fascinated by Dante’s Inferno and concept of the underworld  and of course, everything in Tolkien’s world.

As I begin the fifth story of my nineteen story mythology, I laugh at all the movies that are soon to be released like “Batman XXII,” or “The incredibly, incredible Spiderman.”  Appears to me that people no longer want anything original because they might be disappointed, so they stick to the unoriginal and play it safe. I read all the time where editors and publishers literally trounce certain writer’s works, yet still publish them anyway if the consuming consumers buy and demand more.

Let me be frank. I publish this blog to bring attention to the stories I have written. I am bored of the same stories rebooted with more current special effects.  There are few stories that catch my attention these days, so I had to write my own.  Whether anyone wants to join me in my imaginary journey is up to them. Those that have, want more, so I am now putting my writing cap on turbo.  I want to finish this writing journey in my lifetime.

My fifth story is the second story of a series of nine chronicles that supplement the epic trilogy I wrote from years 2000 to 2010.  The readers asked me, “How did the nine heavenly worlds fall?” Being original is always on my mind.  What have I not seen or read in my entire lifetime?  What twists and turns can I inject to make a story attractive to the reader?  In books four and five I explore the concepts of heroines.  My wife, who is the initial editor of my stories has said the fourth book will touch a woman’s heart.  She cried at the ending, which was my intent.  She was also surprised at the originality of how I am approaching the writing of the the chronicles.

To keep my own attention, each story must outperform the one before it.  Each one must lay the ground work that effects not only the full understanding of the trilogy, but effects the subsequent stories and leaves the reader recalling something they read before. When completed, this mythology will become a series that readers will review over and over to catch the subtle hints as though they were on an exploration or a hunt – a hunt for clues and knowledge.

Each one will come with new characters and plots.  Central to the chronicles is the exploration into the seven deadly sins or vices (evil) into the fall of nine heavenly worlds and the seven virtues (good) which apply to the heroes and heroines.  If you didn’t know what they are, here is list:

Lust (Vice) and Chastity (Virtue)

Gluttony (Vice) and Temperance (Virtue)

Greed (Vice) and Charity (Virtue)

Sloth (Vice) and Diligence (Virtue)

Wrath (Vice) and Patience (Virtue)

Envy (Vice) and Kindness (Virtue)

Pride (Vice) and Humility (Virtue)

In other words, an exploration into humanity in a mythological setting.  You might ask, what is original in that? The originality to the story comes to basic questions of life – why are we here and what is our purpose?  Is life merely a test?  What will our purpose be in the afterlife?  Why must heroes and heroines die?  Why must there be pain and suffering?  Will good ever triumph over evil?  Be prepared for thought provoking and fast paced entertaining action stories.  Most of all this mythology covers the topics of love of people, family, the environment and of things unseen.

Come join me on an original epic journey through the seven ages of Allivar.

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,

Chillin2

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.

The Fall of Helloria Prologue – Spoiler Alert

AllivarChroniclesRiseofEvilI am not a fan of prologues.  As an author I want a story to unfold and the reader to grow into the story.  However I understand their purpose to assist readers in a purchasing decision.  Below is the first draft of the prologue for the upcoming release of the 4th book of my 19 story mythology.  It is my hope to have this book released no later than July of this year.  We are in editing phase and then onto eBook conversion.  The title of this fourth story is the Fall of Helloria, the first chronicle of Allivar.  Many readers of my trilogy stated they wished the story never ended.  So I purposely crafted in the trilogy the possibility of a line of stories that brought to perspective a different viewpoint which can only be understood by grasping the complexity of the trilogy.

****SPOILER ALERT*****

In the trilogy I gave a compressed history of the falling of nine heavenly worlds and of six ages of history before the main character was introduced.  This chronicle and the next fifteen will go into the telling of the nine tragedies and the six ages of defiance on Allivar.  These stories are of the heroes and heroines of those world and ages, the origin of monsters, and the plots and rebellion of the forces of evil.  Those that read the trilogy know the armies of the seven races appeared on the last day of battle and that the Unseen also unleashed the armies of light.  These stories are about their perspective up to the moment when they arrive in the final  battle of good and evil.  In the trilogy I left hints and clues about them.  Now you will know the full story.

Let the journey begin, again.

Melin awoke in complete darkness, frightened and in severe pain. She could taste the thick steely blood on her lip and the smell of death in the air. At first she had to clear her mind and think back how the best day of her life had become this nightmare. One moment she was the talk of Peartown – she wore a lovely new tunic and was turning the heads of eligible young men. One man of a prominent family was even eager to introduce his son. She had come of age and was more alive than ever. All she dreamed about seemed within touch. Now, she sat silent and still for fear of what would happen next. Above her was a monster and he had taken children in his delusional state and in that darkness they called for rescue. Her mothering instincts came to life and she vowed she would not let evil harm them again. She went from fear to defiance.

Above in the daylight was the young man Gahar, once shunned by his father for the unjust cause of his mother’s death at his birth and then shunned again unjustly by the one he had loved all his life, Sondria. After a long struggle in his mind between good and evil, he succumbed to the darkness, for Haggarfuse, the immortal steward of Helloria, promised him all his desires – immortality and power. He was now the monster Melin feared, fallen and separated forever from the light of life and love. For his perceived torture, he now set upon the path of destruction against all for the source of his pain – all living mortals. Here in this world his path of vengeance began.

***

     I am Arimar, the Chosen One of Allivar and you know of my story, but there are stories of worlds and ancient times that must now be told and never be forgotten. Our future is not yet certain and all depends on what we learn from our history. Come now and take your seat for the telling of the first tragedy of the heavens is about to begin. This is the chronicle of Helloria, the first fallen world, where by evil’s influence the lives of a young man and woman shall cross and the first battle of the heavens shall rise.

     Do not fool yourselves, this story does not have a happy ending, yet where there is tragedy, there is also hope. One shall exit darkness to enter the light and be protected forever. The other will be separated from the light and enter an eternal darkness. Here on Helloria the first mortal judgment has taken place and the battle of good and evil both in the living and ethereal realms begins, with consequences that will span millennium and the heavens. Here on Allivar is where the fate of all the forces of good and evil collided for a final confrontation. Now you shall know the entire story of the rise of evil and its rebellion against the heavens… and the gathering and defiance of the good armies of light.

Well, what do you think?  Are you eager to return to Allivar?