"If you want peace, stop fighting. If you want peace of mind, stop fighting with your thoughts." -Elu "Nothing can bring you peace of mind but yourself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson "The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder." - St. Augustine
As I sat down at my laptop tonight, mulling over what to write for tomorrow's post,
Anything I could write seemed trivial against a backdrop of
church killings and molesting of children by those who felt invulnerable.
I heard one word murmur within my mind: "Peace." I wasn't thinking of inner peace.
I was thinking of what my writing friends might be interested in. Perhaps the Great Mystery answered my question for me. Don't expect any great wisdom here though.
I am not the Great Mystery. I don't have the job qualifications. But I know that, like happiness, you cannot find peace by looking for it.
Like happiness, peace of mind is a by-product of living not its goal.
Be true to you: When we practice congruency, we behave similarly to the way we feel and
When the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us is
the same, we are practicing congruency.
Problems arise when we see
ourselves one way
(for example, as a loving mother)
but behave in ways
that are at odds with how we would like to see ourselves
neglect our children because we are too busy).
Finding ways to keep our
inner ideals and the way we behave similar is one of the keys to peace
Peace on the battlefield:
It is easier to be at peace when we listen to beautiful music, play with our pets,
walk through undisturbed nature, and step away from the world.
But Life is a harsh mistress.
She draws you back into the chaos of conflicts with bosses, spouses, children, bills, ill health ...
the number of enemy troops you face sometimes appear endless. Each battlefield we find ourselves on contains a lesson that will keep us from worse ones
if we but learn it correctly.
Look for that lesson.
Perhaps it is only to take ourselves not so seriously, to learn to laugh at ourselves
(we will never run out of material!),
to learn that some battles are not worth the collateral damage,
or to find we should not fail to plan unless we plan to fail.
Failure has negative connotations, but actually, everyone fails.
How can you improve or learn anything if you never fail?
attitude towards failure encourages bravery.
It’s not you that is the
failure, instead it is what you tried that failed. There is a big
Listen to the Wake-Up Call of Loss
To lose something we had taken blithely for granted is jarring.
It should alert us to look for all the other blessings in our lives that really are so precious.
Forgive: Those who hurt us have taken enough of our time. Why invite them along in your thoughts for the rest of the day?
They have to live in the world they make for themselves with their thoughtless natures. Forgive them, release them from the obligation they owe you, and you will find you have released yourself.
Hate is like drinking rat poison, hoping the rat will die of it.
Think Outside of Yourself
Each person you pass or meet is fighting a battle no one knows anything about.
Be kinder than you might be inclined to be for that reason.
Learn the Power of a Smile
Whenever you are laughing or smiling, something interesting happens.
Not only does something happen on a chemical level to make you feel
but it also stops all stress and negativity from entering your
A simple smile can make such a difference.
‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our
power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our
freedom.’ ~Victor Frankl
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr.
What will carry you through as a writer?
1. A Wild And Mad Daemon of a Muse: If you want to survive, you’ve got to have an imagination that won’t lay down and die. Your cat has exploded? Use it. Zombies are pounding on the door. Ignore them. Think of it as the pulse of your muse murmuring ideas to you. 2. Discipline: No amount of imagination will help you unless you sit your tush in the chair, pound the keyboard, and put prose on the blank screen. Need Motivation? Come up with your own item of visual motivation. It might be inspirational words taped to your computer (“You get what you dare, baby, and if you want big, you dare big”—author Leonard Bishop)
The primary way writers keep discipline going is through the weekly quota. Most successful fiction writers make a word goal and stick to it. Discipline is helped by a healthy body. The imagination is housed in the brain. The brain is housed in the body. The body is the temple of the soul. Treat it as such. Your productivity and creativity depend on it. Take that brisk walk! Both your body and muse need it. 3. A Schizophrenic Frame of Mind: You must be a triad: Optimistic enough to believe your work will eventually be bought/ Realistic enough to know it will not be overnight/ Pessimistic enough to question the purity of human motives when you finally are handed a contract to sign. 4. Inner Strength: You have to be able to pound nail after nail into board after board to build your Ark under a cloudless sky to the sound of derisive laughter behind you. You must believe in yourself before anyone else will. Face the Harsh Law:
What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do You may believe your talent is one in a million, but it is what you do with it that counts.
Make it an inner contract to finish what you start, to wring that final chapter out of your imagination,
and to brave rejection and put it out there either by self-publication or submitting to agents/editors. 5. Curiosity: "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity." - Albert Einstein Most writers are curious by nature. We look at the world around us and wonder at it.
Who are these people?
What are we all doing here?
Where are we heading?
Why do we do the things we do?
How will we achieve our goals?
Remember how curious you were as a child?
Everything you encountered spawned a series of questions
because you were trying to learn and understand the world around you.
Bring that childlike curiosity back,
and you’ll never need to look far for now, inspiring writing ideas.
By fostering curiosity, we can create a fountain of ideas.
It doesn’t matter what form your writing takes or what genre you’re writing in.
By coming up with intriguing questions,
you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed with inspiration. Take the basic questions and put a riveting spin to them:
Who? Who does my main character trust? What does that say about them? About the trusted person?
What? What motivates people to take drastic actions? Where? Where do these people want to be?
When? When does a child become an adult?
Why? Why does this story matter?
How? How do you describe something that doesn’t really exist?
It's a hard pill to swallow. Our prose is an extension of who we are, what we are. When our story, our novel is rejected, it is a pushing away of what makes us US. Have you ever been told by a romantic partner, "It's not you; it's me." You knew the truth: IT WAS YOU. Ouch!
What is the TRUTH about novel or story rejection?
EDITORS REJECT STORIES, GOOD AND BAD,
BECAUSE THEY FEEL THAT THE PARTICULAR STORY
WILL NOT GIVE THEIR READERS
THE KIND OF SPECIFIC READING EXPERIENCE THEY WANT OR
IN THAT PARTICULAR VENUE.
EDITOR'S REASONS for buying a story:
1. The editor knows it will give the reader a Satisfying Reading Experience of
the kind his magazine or anthology was intended to provide.
2. The story has a clear-cut, likable character with whom the reader can identify.
3. The story tells, and solves, a clear-cut narrative problem which the main character
solves by his or her own efforts.
4. The story makes the reader glad he read it, therefore giving the reader a (see
#1 above)Satisfying Reading Experience.
A magazine, an anthology, even publishing houses ... they have only finite space and have to consider balance in their publication(s).
Rejecting your story may have broken the heart of the editor ...
or they may have buried it in their cat's kitty litter box.
You know which option I like to think is relevant to my stories!! You will probably not be given a reason for rejection ... or you will be given a vague, sugar-coated one.
1.) If you were the editor's best friend and you submitted a story she couldn't use, she would reject it. 2.) If you were her mother and you submitted a story she
couldn't use, she would reject it.
3.) If you were Jesus at the right hand of
God and you submitted a story she couldn't use ... come on, she would accept it.
Hey, we're talking possible damnation here!
Bottom line: you were rejected. People in Bosnia only wish that was their greatest problem.
We have to move on ... or don't.
We learn from the blows we take ... or we languish in them.
Deep down you know which option is more healing.
In the end, we get compared to other good stories with similar themes.
If another rings purer or more evocative than ours .... guess what?
This is the real world of publication.
And eventually, you are going to have to fist-fight a bear. Yeah, you're outclassed ... but you entered these woods of your own volition. It will not be just one bear ...
oh, no it will be polar, grizzly, and Kodiak.
Your story will have to run through a gauntlet of judges that just don't care about you at all.
Not a bit.
They care about themselves.
They do not want to choose a story that the readers will label "Awful!"
and in turn paint those judges with the same tar.
May we all someday experience that singular joy of being accepted.
"Bad hand?" asked the ghost of Mark Twain, his eyes twinkling with mischief. "Bad season" Hemingway gruffed.
"Damn NaNoNites are wasting a whole month vomiting out quantity not quality." "Their choice," I said, looking at a hand full of jokers I was sure Mark had double-dealt me.
F. Scott Fitzgerald sighed and sipped his champagne. "They are making a gimmick of an art form."
The ghost of Jung frowned at his own cards,
and I had a suspicion that Mark had jury-rigged another hand. Jung said,
"Perhaps it is the herd mentality which possesses mankind. It can be harmful if the individual gives into it unthinkingly." I said, "It gives stimulus to many to write each day."
Hemingway chewed his cigar.
"If you need a kick in the pants to write, you are a wannabe not a writer."
The ghost of Roger Zelazny said,
"I made myself write three times during each day and insisted on completing at least a page each sitting.
Not even close to 50,000 words a month, but I wrote a good many novels. Even won an award or two."
Hemingway snorted, "And now, you are forgotten."
Roger shook his head. "Roland still reads me." Hemingway scowled, "Roland doesn't count." "You must be talking to my past dates," I smiled
and then sighed as I drew yet another Joker for the one I discarded.
Mark ignored my dirty look and said,
"Words realize nothing, vivify nothing to you,
unless you have suffered in your own person the thing which your words are trying to describe.
And to do that, you must live not chain yourself to a desk!"
He lit his own cigar, saying
"I read that NaNo electronic page. Why they say: 'You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing.'
Am I the only sane person here to think'writing a lot of crap'does not sound like a particularly fruitful way to spend an entire month,
even if it is November?"
Mark shook his head.
"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.
Lord, to condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence is worthy of a prize just by itself." He sighed, "Anybody can have ideas -- the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."
I said, "They say that they can go back and edit ...."
Hemingway looked like he was going to slug me.
"I have gone to their site, too. 'The world needs your novel' is their motto.
The world does not NEED badly thought-through novels. The world only needs to breathe, eat, and sleep."
"The joy of writing is not in deadlines and word counts, but in taking
time to shape your work:
to sit and let the ideas flow and then, when
they ebb away, retreat from your keyboard
until the next surge washes
new fragments of story into your head."
Jung turned to me. "What do you think, Roland."
"I believe writing is not a sprint but a marathon, a way of life for every day of each year, not just a competition for a month. But that's just me."
Jung stroked his chin.
"I believe this competition, where word counts are paramount, forms bad writing habits.
Habits such as overusing adjectives or bloating the pages with needless description.
takes 28 days to form a habit, Roland, so you can see how November can become a hothouse for writing problems."
I nodded, "Many think that NaNo made writing feel achievable."
"I put a gun to your child's head and say 'Write 50,000 words or I pull the trigger.'
You will write that many words. It is all a matter of motivation. If you do not burn to write, you are a dreamer not a writer."
"No one convinced of the worth of this contest is going to be dissuaded by your words.
Sad fact actually.
You see, if their goal is to increase creativity, this contest will not help them. Research has shown that anticipating evaluation -- even the mild stimulus of the Winner's Badge to pin on their electronic newsletter-- has a negative effect on creative performance."
"I am concerned for these NaNites.
I’m afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher
than they are prepared to pay at present.
You’ve got to sell your heart,
your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch
you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner.
is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet
developed the tricks of interesting people on paper,
when you have none
of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have
only your emotions to sell.
This is the experience of all writers.
It was necessary for Dickens to
put into Oliver Twist the child’s passionate resentment at being abused
and starved that had haunted his whole childhood.
first stories ‘In Our Time’ went right down to the bottom of all that he
had ever felt and known.
In ‘This Side of Paradise’ I wrote about a
love affair that was still bleeding as fresh as the skin wound on a
And all of this takes time to distill into just the right magical words to conjure the images in the minds of the readers.
Throwing them like dice onto the felt of the written page just will not do."
Roger nodded his head.
"Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one.
If you have
anything to say, anything you feel nobody has ever said before,
got to feel it so desperately that you will find some way to say it
that nobody has ever found before,
so that the thing you have to say and
the way of saying it blend as one matter—as indissolubly as if they
were conceived together"
Mark smiled at me. "What do you think, Roland?"
I scowled at him. "I think you've been dealing from a deck of 52 Jokers."
He blew a smoke ring at me. "That's the story of life, son. The story of life."
The supernatural predators come out after Katrina. Can two undead legends stop them?
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HIBBS HAS FOUND HIS VOICE!
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Souls At The Crossroads
Where do you need to be?
THE DEADLIEST ENEMY IS WITHIN
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It is 1853. An undead Texas Ranger is on board a cursed ship in search of a murderer who is wearing the face of her last victim as a mask.
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When the world is mad, there is little else to do but show them what true insanity is!
Can a man marry both the moon and the sun?
In the eclipse of myth, he can
What Defense is an innocent soul against the Powers of Darkness?
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Before Indiana Jones or Allan Quartermain
There was Sam McCord and his doomed love for Meilori Shinseen
Alice and Victor in 1834 New Orleans
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Hurricane Katrina has cast New Orleans into darkness. Predators, living and undead, close in on the helpless survivors. Can Samuel McCord and a vampire priest keep the French Quarter from being drowned in blood?
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Enter the dangerous world of a Native American Noir thriller where forbidden love clashes with the politics of crime
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In his beginning is his end
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RITES OF PASSAGE link
The earliest Samuel McCord adventure: Dare to board a fantasy Titanic as it sails into the Bermuda Triangle
BOOK 1: No one talks openly of the misty figures seen walking along New Orleans' iron-laced terraces, casting no shadow. Of the shapes seen rising from sewer grates. And no one willingly visits the crypt of Marie Laveau at midnight. Into this strange world arrives the street orphan, Victor Standish, from Charon's Greyhound. Charon has to keep up with the times ... the End Times. And the teen destined to be called the "Ulysses of the French Quarter" has come just in time for Hurricane Katrina, the End of All Things ... and the deadly love of the Victorian ghoul, Alice Wentworth.
VICTOR AND ALICE ARE BACK!
BOOK 2: Victor's a street kid. Alice is a Victorian ghoul Their love breaks the chain of reason. Their new adventures bring the French Quarter back from the brink of nightmare.
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END OF DAYS is here!
St. Marrok's. The most eerie high school in which you will ever die. Its curriculum? The End of Days. Alice Wentworth plans to get an A+.
ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM link
SEQUEL to RITES OF PASSAGE: Come aboard the doomed DEMETER with undead Texas Ranger, Sam McCord, and sail with her into the depths of madness in ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM.
SEQUEL to FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE: The dead rise. Elder Beings strain to enter our world through Katrina devastated New Orleans. And the Angel of Death is kidnapped to clear their way. Can Sam McCord stem the tide of madness in time?
Buy_THE LAST FAE
Once there was an age undreamed where legends walked this earth … and nightmares, too. Terrible were the battles, tragic the outcome of the wars. Until finally there were only two survivors : the nightmare and one bruised legend. These are the legend’s stories, each one a different facet of the same priceless gem – a jewel that has come to believe herself worthless. So come. Listen to her. Listen to THE LAST FAE.
GHOST OF A CHANCE
What if what you wrote became real?
When dreams are sacrificed, it is the soul that burns.
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Journey with the last Lakota shaman, Wolf Howl. The white govenments call him Drew August. Those who hunt him call him Death. The last day of Man has dawned. Watch as Wolf Howl turns to meet his human hunters. Shadow, the love of his life, returns to aid his hunters. Then, Mankind's death descends. Can he save Shadow before the world's time runs out?
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LAST EXIT TO BABYLON
At the dawn of the End of All Things, the Last Fae finds there is no hope ... but love.
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The trilogy concludes. Not even the eclipse of myth is forever. But love is. And eclipses return. Listen. The voice of Blake, son of Man, is calling across the night skies.
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Only in the eclipse of myth can a young man find himself with both the Moon and the Sun as his brides. Can he survive what follows?
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From the pages of THE LAST FAE springs this paranormal romance/thriller. Fallen, the last fae, discovers the name of the young teenager to whom she lost her heart : Blake Adamson.But she also discovers what happens when you believe your fears over your love : heartache and loss. And so Blake Adamson finds himself torn between two loves : one fae, the other an alien drinker of souls. Their love is deadly, but love, like death, will have its way.
THE BEAR WITH 2 SHAD0WS link
Based on the stories my Lakota mother told me as a child when I was deathly ill in a freezing Detroit basement apartment. Think a Native American LORD OF THE RINGS.
Read the shadowy origin of ROSE RED
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THE WORLDS OF ROLAND YEOMANS
Donna Hole astonishes with her insights on my linked worlds
FANTASTIC REVIEW OF THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH
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LIFE LESSONS taught me by GYPSY
Dedicated to GYPSY
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One lone telepath finds himself a helpless spectator as the race of Man is subjugated into mindless drones by the very blood within their bodies.When the war is over, and he finds himself totally alone ... How can he go on and why?
CALL ME TOMBS
The last Lakota Heyoka faces voodoo and ultimate evil in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania with his Hellhound, Puppy
BLOG TOUR FOR ALEX J, CAVANAUGH'S NEWEST NOVEL
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