Sacrifice

Unseen

A few days ago I blogged about the role of faith in an epic high fantasy story.  Now, if I mentioned faith and sacrifice in the same sentence would you automatically think, “Oh no, here comes a Jesus Christ reference!”

Think for a moment of a soldier.  A soldier is one who goes to battle to protect those he loves from what appears to be of evil intent.  He has faith in his commanders judgment and is willing to lay down his life for what he believes is the highest of chivalric and noble character – to give one’s life for something greater than himself.  Now, this certainly is no reference to Jesus Christ, who died to save mankind of its sins.

Now go one step further.  If a person received a command by the highest authority, his creator, and was supplied with gifts to set off on a journey to free seven enslaved races, knowing full well there will be tests and possible sacrifice, would you still insist the story was about Jesus Christ?

Here’s the setup.  The Unseen, the mythical creator of my universe, pondered the creation of life, both immortal and mortal.  What would happen and which would be more noble?  His first thought is that the immortals would be, so he creates ten to steward over ten heavenly worlds, until he sees very quickly that from free will there are those that will not submit to his authority.  He then creates mortal beings and for the immortals to be their stewards.  He then proclaims that one day from the line of the first prophet, in the seventh line, a seventh son, Arimar, the messenger, will be born and that all evil will attempt to destroy him and his followers.  The rebellious steward, Haggarfuse, unwilling to submit, designs to destroy everything and one-by-one nine worlds fall to complete death and darkness.  It is on the final world, Allivar, which means The One Family, converges with their created beasts and demons.  Arimar at birth is rushed and veiled until he reaches the age of wisdom and is then called to set off on his task.  Having free will he almost commits suicide for the stress is too high with the expectations placed on him from prophecy, which is no more than a test.

Now that you have an idea of the brief history, Arimar sets off on his journey, which is just as perilous as any you have ever read.  There is a journey to the north to confront a possessed king and then there is a journey home through a land where evil’s creations are Bound to Forbidden Lands, with every step being a test of faith.

Then the final battle of good and evil arrives in Last Stand of the Living.  Here all the captains, the seventh son of he seventh generation of each race, rises from the fallen ages, to stand united. There in the battle, that is being lost, Arimar sees all that he loves: his captains and Elissia, whom he hopes to marry one day, sacrifice all they are, but appear to die to in a vain attempt.  When he could easily lose his faith, Arimar is given a choice, to leave with the Unseen and not experience death, or to stay and die with all that remains of his mortal family.  He then bargains with the Unseen that if he gives his own life, would the remaining peoples of the races be saved.  The Unseen asks if he would truly do such a thing.  Arimar offers it freely.

This is where I will tell you no more, because the battle takes a turn you will not see coming, yet was hinted over and over again in the first nine chapters of Rise of the Fallen. All I can say here, is that the battle is the largest I have ever read, which includes those found in the Lord of the Rings.  How is that for a teaser?

The moral is simple, are we the living more worthy of stewardship than the immortals?  Will the pain of loss and death teach us more of racial harmony and the stewardship of worlds?  Are we able to withstand every test and stand for our faith?  Will we, the living, stand against evil in all its forms and do what is right?  Are we worthy enough? We will not see the fleeting nature of life, and the futility of war and hatred?  We will understand the gift of life with all its pains?

This is the gist of the trilogy, then there are the upcoming Chronicles of Allivar, which is a parallel journey of history and events of the nine fallen worlds, the first six ages of Allivar and the final story in the seventh age – the age of light.  When you complete the trilogy you will understand the nature and path of the chronicles.  The first in this series is titled – The Fall of Helloria.

Seven is a significant number for it represents perfect completion.  This is a hint for you as a reader.  All you need to do is take a leap of faith and enter my world of Allivar.  You will think, you will cry, but I promise you this too… you will cheer.

This is a mythology covering creation, life and the end of the ages.  Those who love The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings should easily understand the context and construct of my stories.

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Declare Independence

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Today we celebrate an historic moment where men seeking freedom made a declaration of independence.  They backed up this declaration by winning a war over their idea:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Today, we may have lost all knowledge of what it must have been like to seek independence from suffocating control.  Yet as we move to the future, it is certain that control is creeping back in. By majority we are seeking the government to intervene into almost every avenue of human activity and beliefs. We have passed too many laws and regulations and created a monstrous bureaucracy to manage them.    One might refer to the declaration and its five parts, including a more detailed look at the preamble and the indictment.  When we revisit this declaration, we just might find some resemblance to past history.

At this very moment our government has debt and unfunded liabilities to the staggering amount of $73 trillion.  Our founding fathers had grievances against King George for a variety of reasons, but taxing the colonies for the heavy debt incurred from the seven years war, without representation, was one of the biggest.  Yet today, people do not seem concerned with the indebtedness of our nation.  Every time we insist government intervene we must expect further indebtedness to foreign powers and lessened benefits.  There is a price for voter appeasement, and that price will at some point become reality. When that arrives you can expect the price to effect numerous generations.

Government mandates are born when the populace will no longer accept their independence.  Too many are now on board the a runaway train of dependency.  Maybe one day we will declare our independence again.  Imagine a day if we all practiced healthy habits of diet, exercise and moderation of vices, there might not be the need for so much healthcare, insurance, nor the mandate to control what you have the Liberty to do now independently. Maybe one day we will be energy independent that will keep our sons and daughters from defending hostile foreign shores.  Maybe one day our treasury will not need as much money as it does now, nor create tax laws and regulations that deprive of us the pursuit of happiness. Maybe one day we will see all politicians are in the business of promising more than they can deliver and we will declare independence of party and demand accountability, performance and obligation to the people.  Maybe one day soon these truths will be self-evident again and each year we will remind ourselves to commit to our declaration of independence. We should never stop dreaming of the day. It is our unalienable right to pursue happiness.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. Thomas Jefferson, composer of the original draft of the document.

In Memory of the Fallen

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Today we celebrate Memorial Day.  However, it is a somber day. A day we remind, or should remind ourselves of those that died defending our country and the cause of good around the world.  It began shortly after the Civil War and was changed to include all those that died in any war. We have Veterans Day in which we give thanks to the survivors of wars.  Yet with Memorial Day the dead cannot hear our thanks, unless you believe in an afterlife.  Therefore all I can do is submit this thanks to the families of those who have died.  Your pain still remains.  For you it is not likely a day of celebration, unless you celebrate the extraordinary life of a hero. This one day each year I feel much different and yes, I shed a tear.

We have many people we admire and even idolize in the USA; the athletes, actors, singers, etc.  Yet, none do I hold in higher regard than those that have served and sacrificed so that I may celebrate a long life.  All I can truly do is to support through a contribution of money to an organization that helps our fallen heroes and their families.  This is such a small sacrifice on my part.

One day in the afterlife, that I believe in, I will be able to give my direct thanks and listen to the story of how they fell in battle.  Maybe one day, men of power, influenced by evil, will come to realize the need for a common peace, and that we are indeed one family, and this is the only world we have. Then and only then, we will lose all nagging doubts that their lives were not lost in vain.  Therefore, hoist your flag, not to politicians and administrators, but to the heroic warriors who have kept our shores free. Most of all give a silent moment of thanks to the men and women who have sacrificed for you.  Maybe in the heavens they will hear you and know they are never forgotten.

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?

Why You Should Read My Trilogy – Spoiler Alert

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I just finished watching the Life of Pi and was moved deeply by the story. I have the book on my Kindle, but can’t seem to find the time to sit and read as I fulfill my professional duties and the little time remaining to writing.  The story to me is an exploration in faith, not necessarily about religion.  One can have a belief in a creator and not have a religion.  In my trilogy, the Kassaran race, which I relate to those of Asian races, practice the Jita, a form of spiritual meditation.  All the races on Allivar believe in the one creator, The Unseen, but how they practice their faith differs.

Since its release in late 2011, my mythological trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar, has slowly garnered reader attention.  Many books have a prologue meant to entice a reader at the very beginning.  I chose not to include this, but an author’s note instead.  By including a prologue, the secrets embedded in the story are given up.  For those readers who cannot wait for the conclusion, I give it you now:

“The Lord of All has heard your cries. He has brought all the powers of the heavens against his foes. Witness them now and rejoice. The Lord has come to stand for you and you shall doubt no more.”

This pronouncement is given by the hero Arimar who appears when hope is all but lost.  He arrives at a pivotal moment with the armies of the seven mortal races and the armies of the ethereal world – the Armies of Light.  They converge upon the forces of evil. Here, the creator, The Unseen, The Lord of Light and Life, also engages in the decisive battle against evil.  Let me detail the themes of this epic adventure story for you to decide if the $2.99 price per eBook is worth your time.

Faith and History

This is a story about faith in something greater than oneself.  If you have no interest in such stories, thanks for reading this far. The first nine chapters of book one are devoted to the establishment of a mythical universe and the fall of immortals on nine of the ten heavenly worlds created.  This also chronicles the rise of evil through a condensed history, so that the real story can then begin. I often refer to these chapters as my “Silmarillion”, or J.R.R. Tolkien’s origin story.  Where did everything come from? How did we get to this point in the hero’s journey?  Context to me is very important in any story I read.

These first few chapters involve the origin of moral behavior and the concept that even the creator had to determine if life itself was worthy.  Those who are of one of the three religions of Abraham will definitely see many similarities.  But it is not a story of Christianity, Judaism or Islam. If you believe a story involving faith cannot be exciting or deeply moving, like the Life of Pi, then I hope to prove you wrong. In the end, I place myself into the mind of the mythical creator which provides a viewpoint I have never read. Therefore the story is unique and original.  However, I am not pushing any religion with all their rules and institutions, just the concepts of morality, mortality and immortality.

Free Will

The story revolves around the theme of free will and the consequences of our actions. Therefore it is also a thinking readers story.  If you like stories that are entertaining and philosophical in nature, you may truly enjoy this journey.  I did not write the story to question anyone’s beliefs or values.

Action, Battles and War

As the Lord of the Rings became progressively more exciting, so does my trilogy. Book one has action, but is mostly character and plot development. Book two ratchets the action and introduces more characters. Book three involves the greatest battle scene you may ever read, with continuing twist and turns.  Readers who have dared to complete the trilogy stated they were exhausted emotionally, as was my intent. As the excerpt above states “you shall doubt no more.” It is also a story on the futility of war.

Death and Resurrection

Like the Game of Thrones, I spare no character.  The story is about life, death and what might be a purpose of an afterlife.  I will say no more on this, because the ending would truly be ruined.  As Gandalf is brought back to life by the Valar to finish his task, so are characters in my story.  Death and resurrection are key themes to an epic hero’s story that evoke our deepest emotions. So if you feel the word resurrection applies only to Christian stories, do not read the story.

Emotional Attachment

I purposely set out to make a reader cry numerous times.  I do this by creating an emotional attachment to one or more characters, no matter your age. There is one character who I put more effort in than any other, Bothar, a gentle giant who has child-like thinking and mannerisms, and knows nothing more than wanting to be good and help. He is the representation of the best ideals of mankind.  I freely admit to crying while watching the Life of Pi.  It is story that will stay with me forever.  It is my hope this one will also make that mark on the reader.

Humanity

This a story regarding life as we know it, complete with hatreds and prejudices. It is story of racial reconciliation and living together as one human family.  It is often said that we don’t know what we had until it is gone.  This applies not only to family, but the loss of paradise.  In places, the story line is brutally honest.  We cannot hide from the ugliness of life, all we can do is to stand against it and support one another.

Family

It is a story with a major theme of family, not just our immediate family members, but of the entire human family which we take for granted. Allivar means – “The One Family.”

Monsters and Demons

The book involves the interaction between the forces of good and evil.  Therefore, central to the heroic tale is the battle with seemingly superior forces of evil’s creation or as a result of punishment by the Unseen.  As with any mythology there must be a narrative on the origin of the demons and monsters.

Love and Romance

Love is depicted throughout this story.  The main romance between Arimar and Elissia is a unique one that I hope both men and women can appreciate, for it involves an altruistic love.  At the center of Arimar’s love is his faith which guides him to the completion of the task given to him by the creator.  He must sacrifice his love for Elissia until he has completed his task.  Elissia too has to sacrifice her love for Arimar.

Conflict

Whether it is the conflict between the creator and the immortals, or the conflict of love over duty, or the conflict over our relationships with one another, conflict is a major theme of the story.  How do the characters overcome their weaknesses and rise to heroic feats?

Sacrifice

All great heroes or heroines sacrifice their own needs for a greater good.  In the end, they are usually rewarded or they carry a great burden. What will Arimar’s fate be?

Justice, Forgiveness and Redemption

It is a story that ends with justice and forgiveness of many characters actions who hold on to the smallest of their faith.

Surprises

I love reading books where I can say, “Wow, I never saw that coming.”  I can promise you this much, you may spend a lifetime tracing the clues I embedded.  I spent 10 years in the writing of this story, all 273,000 words of it, attempting to provide meaning or purpose for almost every sentence.

A Unique and Conclusive Ending

I do not like stories that leave me hanging.  I wanted a conclusive ending with very little questions unanswered.  Because it is constructed as a mythology, it has the elements of mortal creation, history, and end of times. What sets my story apart is the message given by the creator to the world of the living.

There you have it.  A story constructed around the basic themes present in all great epic adventures.  If you are looking for something new, give my stories a try. If you have questions before or after the story, contact me.

The trilogy is constructed so that future stories are not necessary for their enjoyment. If you like them and want more, just know the Chronicles Series is what awaits you next.  Sixteen stories to chronicle the condensed history of the nine fallen worlds and six for the ages of Allivar.  The final book, The Age of Light, will chronicle the behind the scenes story of the gathering of the seven armies and the armies of light as they appear in the final battle.

So if you enjoy the world of Middle-earth, mythology, and an exploration of faith such as the Life of Pi, you should give my trilogy a try.

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Caffeine is not a crime – withholding Caffeine is

Coffee

Recently I was interviewed by United Kingdom author Jane Isaac.  Her blog is titled Caffeine is not a crime.  Well I have to disagree.  Withholding caffeine from addicted coffee lovers can lead to a crime, mob chaos and World War III. Many of you may not be old enough to remember a mad scientific experiment gone completely wrong, called freeze dried coffee.  I believe the name for the coffee was Sanka. It might have been better described as Skunka.  It was nasty, vile, horrible and unpalatable.  It might have been better used as a mouth wash, for kids who you are trying to break the habit of swearing or back talking.  There are some things in life that just should not be, such as caffeine free coffee.

My grandfather, a Captain in General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army, introduced me to coffee, with just a touch of cream. I had no idea at the time that would be referred to as a Latte.  Soon I was drinking coffee straight because my father stated it would put hair on my chest, which I’m still waiting for.  Nowadays young men shave body hair, or have it surgically removed with lasers – what a bunch of wimps!  They should be slapped with the gloves of Patton for not being a true man.  Nowadays so-called men are into coffee art and coffee bars, where they can talk about seeing the Mona Lisa in their Mocha Latte Grande, with just a pinch of cinnamon and ginger, and the few remaining hairs they have left to be removed. They can compare who has the smoother legs, along with their girlfriends. Someone please shoot me.  I can’t understand young women who want decaffeinated coffee and dehaired men.  It’s just not right!  Give it to me straight and hot, piping hairy hot. Caffeine can lead to digression, its only drawback.

If it were not for coffee, I would not be holding two college degrees, a CPA license, a securities license and soon a realty license, and be a writer, blogger and self-publisher.  I have coffee to thank for my success and really bizarre dreams.  Some of the greatest stories ever written were induced by caffeinated dreams, I’d lay odds on it.  I needed the caffeine to stay awake for all the studying.  I even supplemented my coffee with No-Doze, which contrary to my intent, knocked me out cold. Go figure.  When my two demonic possessed children came along that would not sleep, that’s right, you guessed it, coffee was my constant companion.  People at work wanted to know if my insulated coffee mug was surgically attached to my hand.  Of course it wasn’t, how absurd, couldn’t they see the duct tape? We were inseparable pals.  I don’t cry often, but if I spill coffee, which is a Class I Misdemeanor punishable by forcible Sanka consumption, I would shed tears.

We are remodeling our kitchen and in the new pantry must be space that holds our commercial quality coffee bean grinder, on a remote control sliding shelf, because we have to top load 20 pounds of beans. Yes, I am that dedicated and addicted. Instead of hoarding dried food for the next apocalypse we hoard coffee beans.  We feel it is a safe investment in the event we need to barter.  Should our grinder or the electric grid fail, I would gladly chew on the beans, with a hot water chaser.  That’s how dedicated, committed, and addicted I am to coffee.  I give special thanks to God each night before I go to bed for Juan Valdez, and the rich and supremo soils of Colombia.  For without caffeine, we’d all become a raging felonious mob of zombies.

Welcome to Coffee Chaos Monthly, Allivar Creative Publishing’s newest monthly blog journal.  As a new and committed subscriber to this nonsense, what coffee chaos have you witnessed this month.  Come on, don’t be bashful.

Now please stand and sing with me our coffee pledge (think O’ Christmas tree)

Oh coffee bean,

Oh coffee bean,

I need chest hairs that can be seen.

Oh coffee bean,

Oh coffee bean,

Without you I’d make a chaotic scene.

I feel so lively and high strung,

I’ll even risk a scorched tongue.

Oh coffee bean,

Oh coffee bean,

You keep our bowels really clean.

Have a great coffee filled day.

Empathy for a Creator

Unseen

Empathy, sometimes a forgotten word in this self centered world, were sympathy and apathy are more common.   Here’s the definition for the sake of this post,

The power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.

Recently I posted a thought on my Facebook  page regarding the power of creation that we experience as mortals:

“When you hold an infant in your arms for the very first time, you feel the awesome power and the love of creation. Never allow that sensation to escape your mind, for one day, without warning, and from all your efforts to protect from shared wisdom, you might lose that which you created through the corruptible forces of the world. Should that moment ever happen, have empathy for the creator of that world, no matter which you choose to believe in, for the loss that creator had to endure for the fall of the mortal family. Hug and kiss someone dear to you today.”

As I have mentioned many times before, my trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar, has many underlying themes topical to our current time in history and allegorically relevant.  In my years on this world I have seen many changes, none as rapid as the loss of the prospect that we were created by an unseen power.  Scientific theory has replaced faith in anything other than oneself, yet science has not advanced the manner in which we treat one another.  For once, imagine being a creator of earth, what would you do?  Would you hold on in the expectation that mortals would one day see the light and finally seek peace? Would you wipe out all humans from their actions?  Would you allow demons to continue their quest with the corruption and destruction of that which you created? How long could you take being cursed by your own creations?  What test of faith would you give mortals?

My trilogy is an epic fantasy adventure and a mythology.  It is not Christian fiction.  However, it is influenced by Christian and other stories of faith.  Yes it deals with creation and the viewpoint of the fictional creator – the Unseen, the Lord of Light and Life. The first nine chapters of Rise of the Fallen may give the impression it is biblical, but this was done solely to create familiarity and nothing more of the creation story, the fall of immortals and the birth of evil.  To create a credible story I engaged in much research, including the understanding of the hierarchy of Angels and the classification of Demons. From this research I created my own classifications and gave them entirely new names. I scoured for banned stories to improve my understanding of ancient people’s view of their world.  Like J.R.R. Tolkien, I wanted my very own mythology, so I created one.  The type of story I wanted to read.

One of my family friends who is now 79 years old and a devout Christian stated he hoped one day a story would be told where one is wrapped in the full armor of God.  Funny he should say that, because part of the story plot involves this very concept.  What he was referring to was a passage from the Bible in Ephesians:

The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Many people today believe the Bible is no more than a myth and literature.  No matter your beliefs, the Bible is one of the most fascinating reads you will ever undertake.  As a writer, you must experience different viewpoints to enhance your story. However, the main premise of my story came from the Jewish story of the siege of Masada. Some of the story is influenced by the Bhagavad Gita and many, many other sources including pagan mythologies.   The hero of the story Arimar, has been given powerful gifts by the Unseen, including the shield of faith, derived specifically from this passage in the Bible. It is from this passage that the title of the final story, Last Stand of the Living, was derived.  I can guarantee my friend, that in the end all the powers of good and evil collide, with a surprising and thought provoking ending.

In the ten years of writing this trilogy (2000 – 2010), I poured many of my various beliefs, opinions and philosophical thoughts into the story.  Today, many people want simple and entertaining reads, yet very few can recall the detail of the story they had just read.  I am slow reader, when I find a good story, it is engrained into my memory.  I like to think and have all my senses evoked.  In my opinion, too many modern stories are short of story and too quick on sensory stimulation. My story will challenge you, only if you are ready to be challenged.  It will certainly entertain you, once the foundation of the creation story has been read and understood. I have embedded clues and hints that will keep you guessing maybe for the rest of your life. In the end, you should be touched emotionally and philosophically if you can have empathy for a creator of worlds.

Are you ready to challenged?

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