Gandalf says, “This Cannot Be Filmed!”

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J.R.R. Tolkien once said his works could not be made into a film.  Of course the technology at the time was not sufficient for the grandeur of his imagination.  The movie trilogy is said by some to have stripped the deeper meanings of his stories to appeal to the 15-25 year old masses.  Even in the upcoming second Hobbit movie, there is a female elf added to the plot, to appeal to the female masses. Here is something else people didn’t know about Tolkien from a letter he wrote:

Tolkien included neither any explicit religion nor cult in his work. Rather the themes, moral philosophy, and cosmology of the Lord of the Rings reflect his Catholic worldview. In one of his letters Tolkien states, “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”

This brings me to my epic high fantasy mythology.  My story could never be made into a film for the following reasons:

  1. It is too epic.  Consider part of the source for my final battle, the Bible.  That’s right, you are now automatically turned off, right?  We live in a era were any reference to religion is an automatic turn off.  Yet, the Bible has at its end the most epic battles ever written.  I incorporated this imagery into the siege of Masara, where one hundred and fifty thousand men, women and children of seven races unite to combat the gathering of all evil, some four hundred million.  Their task; to hold ground for forty days and nights, to make a stand for all that is worthy of life.  I will not tell you how it ends, other than it is a crescendo of emotions and visual imagination over load, as the mythical creator and his forces of good make their appearance. Such a film would be expensive.
  2. It involves deep hatred.  In order for us to recognize evil, we must recognize the most vile and hateful acts of humanity.  This includes torture, and the death of women and children. My stories are not graphic, just implied. We live in an era where sheltering ourselves from evil is to act as though it has or never will exist. Yet when evil does rear its head we question everyone, but ourselves, for allowing evil to enter our world.
  3. Beloved characters die.  To write a deeply emotional story, one must sacrifice even the most beloved characters.  Allowing ourselves to experience deep loss is shunned upon in modern society.  I recall reading how people had to have counseling after watching Avatar.  If Avatar so deeply affected your emotions of what is good and evil, then my story might also affect you.  Many viewers stopped watching the Game of Thrones because of the red wedding scene.  It was too horrific and many felt what was the point if the characters of good do not live and justice isn’t served.
  4. It is spiritual.  Whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or other; the story confronts our most often asked questions.  Who are we, what is our purpose, and does God (a creator or supreme being) truly exist?  Why are we allowed to suffer pain?  Is faith strong enough to survive life and are we altruistic enough to give our life to save others?  What is the purpose of an afterlife? Those who have been raised studying the Abrahamic religions will find areas of the story to connect with.  But for a Christian, they will discover it is not a christian story.  Christ or a Christ figure is no where to be found.  It involves the concept of complete and total free will, so that the mortal characters have no excuses for rising to the occasion, but my Christian friends do love the story and it does not offend them.
  5. There’s no sex.  Sorry, there are plenty of other stories you can read for that. There are references to the effects of sexual misconduct on society as a whole, but there is not a single reference to the one’s society constantly battles over in our present time.
  6. There’s no cursing. Again, I’m sorry. I wrote these stories to confront deeper issues than the use of boorish words thrown around so easily these days.  I kept them clean so that they can be told to children.

I constructed this mythology with numerous references to beloved stories who have influenced my thoughts.  You will find similarities to stories you already know.  The story encases spirituality and our most primal needs for love, acceptance, family and life.  It is story that attempts to point out the frailty of life on this planet and what we will lose if we do not stand together.

If you love the tales of Tolkien, ask yourself how deeply affected were you when you watched the Ride of the Rohirrim in the Return of the King?  Here’s a reminder of the scene:

I promise you this much.  I constructed this mythology to have the same emotional impact – times three!  But, I am not done with the battle or your emotions, as the ending will surprise you.

Take a chance if you are curious and stay committed to the very end.  Judge me then.  Don’t prejudge a book by its cover or the content of book one’s first nine chapters.  If it is not one of the better stories (conceptually) structured in the last several decades, then don’t take a chance on any of the upcoming chronicles series.

If you are one that is looking for new material for a major motion picture, read the story and tell me if it would not be an awesome one to film and cast.  I’ve now presented six reasons, six challenges, to why you won’t do it.  You can remain safe with comic book reboots and politically correct story lines, or you can take a chance, like those who did with Tolkien’s stories and deliver something a little deeper, yet thoroughly enjoyable for all members of the family, young and old, and for all the races of humanity. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer.

One of my biggest fan’s is a 16 year old female. Her review can be found here on Goodreads.  Now 16 year old readers are not literary giants, they do not spot many grammatical errors, they just read to enjoy a story, but she gave me the ultimate compliment of my life:

“I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, but I have to say that this was 100 times better than the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion combined!”

Now you be the judge.  Is it a story worthy of the big screen?

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Context & Construct

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I visited with my sister this weekend and we spoke about my trilogy.  She has a masters degree in creative writing.  She has tried to read my trilogy but states all the other authors and editors do not write the way I write.  That you must hook people quickly into your story.  I understand completely her viewpoint, this is what the majority opinion is.  But I have to ask a simple question.  How creative is this? If we all march to beat of the same drums, aren’t we just robots catering to the machine?  Do you ever feel like you are reading the same story over and over again, with just a few new character names and locales?  Don’t you know what sex is by now?  How many ways can you spin eroticism and vampires?  I’m not knocking these authors or readers, but don’t you want a change of pace?

I am a CPA.  I am analytical, linear and logical.  I have done computer programming which must be controlled by logic with “”If this, then this, else this” type construct.  I literally despise stories without context and logical construction.  I have heard people say,

“I want a quick and fun read.  I do not wish to think.”

If this is true then my stories will not appeal to you.  If you like books like the The Shack or the Life of Pi, then you are seeking a book with a deeper meaning of life and spirituality.  Yes, it has to be entertaining, but don’t you want the ground work established first?  Here is how I constructed my trilogy based on my love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s wonderful and mesmerizing world of Arda and Middle Earth.

Book 1 – Rise of the Fallen, Chapters 1-9 are the history of the universe and Allivar.  Think of the Silmarillion in a compressed form.  A mythology must have an origin narrative. There must be a narrative on the source of evil and the history to create the myths of immortals and heroic mortals. These chapters establish the construction of all that follows and provides subtle clues to the surprising ending of the story.  If you rush through this, you will definitely miss the point of the story.  Sorry, I didn’t spend ten years just to have battle scenes, sex and a pointless battle over a throne.  My story is much deeper than this.

Chapters 10-16 begins the story of the hero in the dawning of the seventh age of Allivar.   Like the Fellowship of the Ring there is the bonding of characters of various races on a journey the Chosen One was selected for, which is to determine if mortals are worthy of life.  If you wish, just jump to Chapter 10 and begin there.  Then maybe one day you will want to go back and have context of the origin of my mythology.

Now this book cannot be more exciting than book two, nor can book two be more exciting than book three.  There must be a crescendo of action and emotions.

Book 2 Bound to Forbidden Lands ratchets the excitement after all the ground work was established in book one.  The Two Towers gave readers the thought that all would be lost, but that the faith in men would rise to counter the acts of evil.   We were left begging for the conclusion with the Return of the King.

Book two introduces romance and the continued rise of evil, an epic coliseum battle, fighting with dark demons and a journey through lands, guarded by dragons and watchers, the hero has been told to avoid.  But he has no other option.  The ending of the story must compel you to read the third story, so it has a cliff hanger unlike any you will ever read. He lives!

Book 3 – Last Stand of the Living is the culmination of the entire mythology with the greatest mythological battle ever to be written, where the fate of the universe will be decided, and where mortal and immortal alike come to battle. Here you will finally understand all that was written in the first nine chapters of book one.  I recall the Return of The King’s influence on the ratcheting of the battle scenes and emotions with the arrival of the Rohirrim and the eventual defeat of Sauron.  Readers who have taken the challenge to read my trilogy are utterly exhausted emotionally in this third story.  For the creator of the universe makes his stand with the seven mortal races.

I can guarantee you this much; you will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer.  You may even contemplate life as we know it, for it is allegorical to our times.

But I am not done with you yet.  Forthcoming are the Chronicles of Allivar, sixteen stories, equally as intriguing as the trilogy. It introduces a parallel journey of the Armies of Light and the heroes of the six ages.  Here the compressed history is expanded, laying a blueprint for the construct of an equally exciting series.

You see, I have constructed a mythology using a linear approach from origin to the end of time, with proper context so that you don’t end the series wondering what happened to certain characters who dropped out.

You have a choice. Follow the cookie-cutter formulaic stories and construct that the masters and literary gods tell us that must exist, or take a chance on something new, independent, original, and frankly – creative.

My final point is this.  Many people take life way too seriously.  They seek affirmation from others of their worthiness in this lifetime.  They wish to dominate life by determining who is allowed to participate in the private clubs of industry and intellectual institutions.  They control who will be successful and who will not, through regulation, etc.  The publishing industry loves to bully, yes I wrote bully, to tell you another person’s attempt at writing is garbage because they weren’t involved in the editing, distribution and profit-sharing aspects of your creativity.  They belittle every person or story that reaches success independently.  I do not like erotica, but I applaud E.L. James for dispensing, once and for all, that only the publishing Gods know what stories will interest you.

Self-publishing has provided an opportunity for those of us who love to tell stories, even with grammatical errors, to remain independent and reap the potential success of our own risk. This was once referred to as entrepreneurship, not vanity publishing.  Vanity should be described as the envy of others who have not found a way to piggy-back on your imagination.

In the end, it is you the reader who independently defines what stories are good or not.  I am going to keep writing because one day I can tell them to my grandchildren.  Like Tolkien, these are the stories I want to read, but are not being produced by the publishing Gods.  I hope one day you will find my stories appealing enough to tell to your children and others.

To my sister, I have to say this, do not waste another second of your life looking for the accolades and affirmation of others.  Their aim is profit-motivated and honestly, quite vain.  The only one responsible for your happiness is you.  Life is risk and by not taking any risk, for the fear of the opinion of others, including your own family, is not living.  Stephen King said it best in his story, The Shawshank Redemption:

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

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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The Significance of Seven

Seven

I am in the midst of writing a mythology that will consist of nineteen stories.  Nineteen has no significant meaning, but here is why there are nineteen:

  1. A trilogy (The Chosen One of Allivar) with the brief history of creation of ten heavenly worlds and through the first six ages of Allivar, prior to the introduction of the seventh age and my main character, Arimar. (3)
  2. A chronicles series of nine stories that explore the fall of nine of ten heavenly worlds. (9)
  3. A chronicles series of seven stories that represent all that took place in the six ages before the messenger and what was taking place that the messenger was unaware of as the seven races gathered and united to arrive on the final day of battle. (7)

And that is how I arrive at nineteen stories.  But let’s explore the number seven a little deeper.

Seven is a very unique number in mythology and religion.  Seven represents perfect completion as in the number of days of the creation of earth (whether you believe or not).  There are seven deadly vices and seven virtues.  If one masters the virtues, they are said to be perfect.   I have been fascinated with this concept in an Epic Fantasy setting.

Seven is a number found in many of our most popular stories, such as Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings and the Songs of Fire and Ice. In The Silmarillion, there are seven Lords and Ladies of the Valar. Feanor has seven sons. In my trilogy, Arimar is the seventh son, of the seventh line of the prophets.  My mythical creator creates seven races as a test of racial harmony, and creates 686 total beings (7 races times 7 males and 7 females) = 343 times 2 = 686.  I did this so that each race had seven couples from which procreation could take place without any inference to incest.

Arimar befriends the seventh son of the seventh father of each race.  He has six captains that follow him they position themselves at seven points of the Wall of Masara, to combat Haggarfuse, the leader of the seven fallen Charafuse (angels).

In the final battle the Unseen, three of his loyal Charafuse and four Seramen come to battle (seven) and the armies of light, comprising the spirits of all the seven races who died not only on the nine fallen worlds, but in the seven ages of Allvar.

In the last chronicles series, you will be greeted by other references to seven, such as the seven swords, the seven underworlds, the seven hidden cities of gold, and the seven staffs of the prophets.  Who knows what I will add next, I’m only on book number five.  Come join me in this journey.  You will have a lot of fun along the way.

If you are intrigued by the number seven and how you can use it in a story of your own, here’s a wikipedia link

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Spiritual vs. Christian (Preconception)

Satan

We live in an era of heightened preconception: An opinion or conception formed in advance of adequate knowledge or experience.  In other words, we are as prejudiced as ever.

No matter how hard I try to explain most do not understand the difference between a spiritually based story and one based on Christianity.  I’ll do my best to explain.  My series of stories are a mythology, nothing more and nothing less.  It is an exploration into creation, our roles in this creation as mortals and our dealing with the consequences of immortal influence into our lives.

At the center of my trilogy is the main protagonist and hero, Arimar – The Chosen One of Allivar.  Some people love to argue that the title alone refers to Jesus.  I cannot disagree anymore.  Moses was chosen and he certainly was not Jesus.  If I had named the series Cassandra – the Chosen One of Apollo, would you be so quick to prejudge? How about Anakin Skywalker – The Chosen One?  That’s right! You love Star Wars, but behind all the high tech graphics is a story of good and evil, and prophecy.  This is also my story, set more in a Tolkien medieval fantasy theme.

Why my mythology is NOT a Christian story?

Christ was God incarnate sent to earth to take on the sins of mortals.  He died and carried our sins with him to demonstrate his love for us. Almost every fictional Christian story revolves around bringing us back to this concept.

Arimar is not God incarnate. He is as human as you and I.  In book nineteen, yet to be written, I will reveal why he was the chosen one by the creator – the Unseen.  This is as simple as I can explain it.  Arimar converses with his creator, but he is not sent to save the world of the living, but to deliver a message.  He is only a messenger.

Why my mythology is a spiritual story?

I believe in a creator, good and evil, and in an afterlife.  This means I believe in both a physical and metaphysical life.  I believe we have a purpose to play in life and thereafter.  What is that purpose?  The end of the third book of the trilogy gives you an idea of this author’s concept of that purpose.  If anything, it is meant to challenge our minds.  At the center of my story is the concept of free will.  Will we, the mortals, choose to do the right thing when the end of times is at stake? Do we really love this paradise created for us?

I created the Vanavaran race, what we might call the race of Africans, to demonstrate evil’s use of preconception.  Why do people fear black people?  What is our source of preconception?  It is innate or taught?  Where was its origin?  In my story evil immortals convince the other living races that they are demons amongst us from the abyss of darkness, willing to take souls to keep them mortal.  It is obviously a lie, yet a valid point – we are all inclined in one way or another to have preconceptions.  We do this every day if you are honest with yourself – we take sides on political, religious, racial and other societal or moral issues.  We rarely engage in civil debate, because we have convinced ourselves the opposing viewpoint is already flawed.  Life is full of propaganda, yet we are given free will to seek the truth. All that is necessary is for good people to have an open mind, free of preconception, and inclined towards action to making a better world.

Here is one of my favorite quotes of all time:

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

This is often attributed to Irishman Edmund Burke, who was a statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher . Although it has not been found in his speeches, writings, or letters (and is thus apocryphal), in 1770 he wrote in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents that “when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Burke was not referring to the good and evil in the spiritual world, but the corruption of government, specifically the House of Commons.

Tolkien said it best in the Fellowship of the Ring, “Nine rings were gifted (given and freely accepted) to the race of men, who above all else seek power.” Power being the ability to dominate all life and control its outcome (to be one’s own God.)  Saruman preconceived that he too could share power with Sauron.  All to his own demise.

We are quick to believe in evil.  Our theaters are filled with stories of evil, yet very little exploration of the source of good and the battle taking place in the invisible realm.  Hopefully you will take a chance on these series of stories and learn that mortal preconception is not a good thing.  It can and will be used against you, evil knows this, for you are so willing to be deceived by your own preconceptions.

This September, I release the fourth book of this mythology – The Fall of Helloria.  The first in a new series of nine stories that chronicle the fall of nine heavenly worlds.  I will explore many spiritual and philosophical concepts presenting both an exciting and mentally challenging journey.  I hope you choose to come along with me.

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Sex Cells

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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.

I can, I will and I did

I just finished watching Les Miserables.  Something struck me from the lyrics to the song, “I dreamed a dream” which ended with, ” Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”

This last week I came to the realization that it is not life itself that kills the dreams of dreamers, but people.  I subscribe to various websites, blogs and Facebook pages about writing and publishing.  My sister has a masters degree in creative writing.  Every step of the way I took from the year 2000 to the present was to live a dream of becoming a writer.  I have a vivid imagination. I day-dream of stories that entertain me and I want to share that imagination with others. Over ten years I wrote and completed the epic high fantasy trilogy, The Chosen One of AllivarI can, I will and I did.

Article after article tells the dreamers that if you are not one of them, the highly educated perfectionist in writing and grammar, then you are vain and self absorbed.  When did the simple enjoyment of telling a story become vain?  Who sets the rules?  Self publishing technology has opened the doors for those of us who are story tellers.  We have no goals of becoming a teacher, a doctorate or member of an elite club where people congratulate each other over their own self accomplishments.  Now, who are the vain again?  How many books, other than academic, have many of these people actually written and shared with the world?  I can, I will and I did.

Life is not always about perfection, but the pursuit of perfection.  We will never obtain it.  If you have a story in your mind, it will never be perfect.  Why?  Because their are seven billion people in this world that will have a differing viewpoint that they want to inject into your story.  To compensate for their own inabilities they trash your story, your grammar and anything they can including the easy cop out of calling you a vain author.  Those that do this stand before mirror of self pity and envy.  It is how they compensate for their own fear of rejection because they cannot tolerate how in the world no one can see their perfection.  Let me tell you, I’m not perfect, my stories have flaws, but did they entertain you?  That is truly the question.  Did my stories give you pause to consider humanity and uplift you in a period of history where so much conflict exists, where degrading our fellow man or woman is now considered entertainment?  I want to write different stories.  I can, I will and I did.

Some of you might think that I am a starving writer.  I am CPA, an investment advisor, a technology consultant and now a licensed realtor.  These professional designations is what feeds my family. I have climbed the ladders to the top of the various walls.  On the other side are countless opportunities to experience more in life.  There was nothing to prevent me from experiencing all that I have, because I had the will to do so. I can, I will and I did.

In 1998, I went independent and have been ever since. Has it been a fairy tale?  Hell no. There were those I was employed by who controlled my career, who held me back, who never mentored or offered encouragement.  Why?  Let’s face it, businesses make money when they control those that perform most of the work.  They retain enough knowledge so that you cannot outshine and replace them, or attempt to go independent.  They further justify their agenda by convincing you that their management of your work is what will bring you success.  Does this sound familiar?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read comments and articles by those in the publishing industry, who rant and rave about how poor the grammar is of self published authors and the justification for their services. I chose to be an independent author simply to tell a story and control my destiny.  To date, I’ve made a few thousand dollars from my efforts, which some will say is not a success.  I’ve not won any awards or accolades, or have been patted on the back by fellow writers, including those in my own family.  Who defines my happiness and self worth of accomplishment and success?  Is money the only measurement?  Is a plastic award, a paper certificate, or trophy what you seek?  Is it the inclusion in some monthly newsletter or trade journal that you seek?  Is it the trips to writers conferences in the Bahamas you seek?  Whatever it is go for it!  Just do not belittle those that have a simple dream. Life is hard enough without all the human induced misery. Separate yourself from those that choose to live life dictated by others and those absorbed with the word “Can’t.”  I can, I will and I did.

I dreamed a dream of one day, before my death, of writing an uplifting and inspiring story, because I can, I will and I did.  My success can be summed up in the words of a 14 year old aspiring author,

“I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, but I have to say that this was 100 times better than the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion combined!”

Should I die tomorrow, there is my accomplishment, there is my reward.  I was loyal to myself. I used my own capital and took the risk to live my dream.  So next time you stand before the mirror of self doubt because someone called you vain, remind yourself that it is you who controls your destiny and then boldly proclaim – I can, I will and I did.

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