If I were to see you on your mother's birthday, and you told me:
"I have the greatest mother in the world",
I wouldn't grumble, "My mother was pretty good there too, fella." I would be happy for you. If I met you on your country's holiday, and you said, "I have the greatest country in the world." Being a student of world history,
I would point out a few things that I admired about your country and join in your happiness. I never said America was the greatest country in the world ...
just that it could be (just like any nation could)
if the citizens and leaders put aside their differences and worked together. On her birthday, I wanted to point out some good things about America ... No other country has an equivalent to the Peace Corps which helps poor nations the world over.
There is the European Voluntary Service but it only helps European countries.
There is United Nations Volunteers, but it will not take just anyone who wishes to contribute to the world's needs. I have been told I should focus on being a citizen of the world and not be devisive.
Yet, if you are American, you already are a citizen of the world ... for America contains peoples from most of the world's nations. That America still survives is a wonder.
The American effort to achieve independence from Britain was not
expected to succeed, but it did,
with some timely help from friends
The new country’s grand experiment in representative
self-government was not given much of a chance, either,
but it has
The idea of a nation
— not an empire, but a nation —
from many nationalities, ethnic groups and religious faiths was
to most of the world, but it has been realized over the
239 years since independence was boldly declared in Philadelphia.
Not really. This country seems to have 364 days of that where everyone and their cousin points out all that is wrong with America.
But July 4th is different. That day we celebrate what is good about America. Let there be earthquake, epidemic, famine, flood -- you will see an American flag waving over relief centers in whatever country in which they occur.
Sadly, people will be shooting at our doctors, nurses, and other helpers there, too, at the same time.
America is great because we are a nation of dreamers, inventors, artists, builders and doers. We exalt in achievement, rebound from failure and encourage one another every step of the way, from the little league, to the majors, in every walk of life.
The Declaration of Independence, whose signing we celebrate on Saturday, states that all people are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This pursuit sometimes seems insurmountable if that road is governed by the rich and powerful or when government represents only narrow interests. Unlike other countries such as India, China or Thailand, where one’s station in life is determined by a caste system, government monolith or an outdated monarchy, in America you are free to carve out your own destiny. Wealth carries huge influence, but unlike most countries, where one’s fate is determined by others, in the U.S., if you use your mind with bravery and creativity, you are free to chart your own course.
Other countries possess freedom ...
America's greatness lies in the fact that it embodies a dream.
The dream is of freedom, of safety, and of opportunity.
The dream is built upon the rule of law,
the generosity of our people and the promise of advancement for those willing to work hard.
Of course America has not achieved that dream. Have you noticed that nothing turns out like you thought it would? But the dream persists. Still, a struggling deli owner can send his daughter to medical school, or a Jewish immigrant’s son can become one of the world’s most successful fashion designers, or the mixed-race son of a Kenyan socialist can become president. You may think America is not the greatest country in the world ... And perhaps that is so, but it can be. If we do not give up on it and each other.
I only found time to write one page of my new novel ... but I wrote it. Those long days when I ran my bookstore,
visited my mother as she lay dying,
and walked back and forth to the mall and to the hospital because twice someone had put sugar in my gas tank ... I still wrote.
In fact those ______ who destroyed my cars improved my health with all the walking,
gave me time to reflect on the dying of my mother & to come to grips with it,
and allowed me the opportunity to put my thoughts into coherent order to write in my journal. I do not know what storms hammer at you this season ... I just know they are ... or they will soon. Life is like that.
You must ask yourself:
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?
A SUNSHINE SOUL
ONE FOR ALL SEASONS?
Can you sacrifice who you are for who you will become?
Can you do with 30 minutes less sleep a day to write one page of your novel? Can you transform your lunch half-hour into one of sipping Instant Breakfast
while plotting the page you will write tonight or tomorrow morning?
It's not about how hard you were hit but how hard you can be hit
and still go forward.
Remember: 1.) PICK YOUR BATTLEGROUND Choose where you can do the most good.
You cannot do everything. Help where it makes sense. Be flexible. Be adaptable.
Pace yourself: running yourself into the ground will not help you or anyone else.
2.) PEOPLE SEE THROUGH THEIR OWN EYES You are entitled to your boundaries.
You have the right to say NO.
You have the right to safeguard your own health or sanity. Non-writers think we’re not working when we’re plotting or researching or studying how to write better.
It’s up to you to defend your writing time as strongly as others defend their own pursuits.
Yes, you can be more flexible.
But writing should stay on your calendar for all but the most critical days.
3.) INVEST IN THE PERSON WHO YOU WILL BECOME
Skill is only achieved by hours and hours and hours of honing your craft.
If you are not making your life or someone else's better ... then you are wasting your time.
You're already in grief from your dream. Keep on and get some reward for all that grief.
You want your dream? Then, go on and get the hits, the disappointments that come with the package.
4.) THE HIT LIST
Before sleeping, make a list of three important things you intend to accomplish the next day.
If you’re in the midst of storm and trauma,
break bigger projects down into tiny steps you know you’ll be able to complete in a day.
As the storm eases, you can work with bigger chunks again.
5.) WINNIE THE POOH DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
No one's life is all sunshine and rainbows.
For most of us, the world is a mean, nasty place ...
and life will knock you to your knees and keep you there and laugh as it kicks you ...
if you let it. No one is ever going to hit you as hard as life.
But it is not about how hard you are hit ...
but how hard you CAN be hit and get back up and go forward,
how much you can take and still stumble forward.
That's how you win, how you can stand tall, knowing you gave it your all. 6.) IT'S NOT THE TITLE THAT MAKES YOU It is not the title AUTHOR or DOCTOR that makes you. It's not success that makes you.
It is your character that makes you. Character defines success, defines fame, defines YOU.
And you sculpt your character with every resistance to obstacles you make,
with every sleepless morning as you write,
with all the early A.M. hours when you run dark streets ... with doing something right each and every time you do it whether anyone is looking or not ...
because you refuse to do shabby. 7.) IT'S YOUR DREAM It's not someone else's.
Do not expect help or support from someone who has their own dream.
You must get up early, stay up late to make your dream come true ... no one else will do it for you. 8.) LIFE IS GOING TO SUCKER PUNCH YOU Murphy was right. Life is going to blind-side you when you least expect it. It's all right to show pain, to even unleash a colorful metaphor or two, to suck air. But those times are when the most growth occurs.
You can let the tragedy destroy you or you can learn from it.
We all fall down in life. The question is: who gets back up?
Please, choose to get back up and into the struggle, fighting smarter. The companion to night is not darkness but light, for every night is followed by the dawn.
9.) YOUR MIND SET It is not your circumstances or your situations that determine if you are going to be successful or not.
IT IS YOUR MIND SET.
It's the way you see your dream, your writing, how you feel it, how you nourish it. Your mind is the battleground.
But it is YOUR mind, sow the soil of it with truths that help not hinder you. "I may give up one day ...
BUT IT WILL NOT BE TODAY.
I'M GOING ALL IN, ALL THE WAY!
I'M GOING TO MAKE THE REST OF MY LIFE THE BEST OF MY LIFE." 10.) LEAN ON YOUR STRENGTHS
What are your personal strengths as a writer?
Whatever they are, they’re your leverage for hard times.
If dialogue is your strength,
you may want to write dialogue for the next few chapters and come back later to fill in the rest of the details.
Or you might want to carry a journal and use spare moments
to brainstorm character names and answer “What if?” questions to sketch in a story and its conflict.
AND DON'T FORGET TO REWARD YOURSELF EACH DAY YOU KEEP FIGHTING ...
if only an extra ten minutes of sleep the next day or a dessert you reserve for hard times.
Knowing that I needed my privacy to write my new novel,
the ghost of Mark Twain, of course,
felt compelled to bring a long string of ghostly authors to my table in Meilori's.
I noticed Oscar Wilde when he cleared his throat beside me, saying, "Dear boy, there is a U in humour." I sighed, "If I were British there would be." Mark chuckled, "Well, Ostrich, now that you have the boy's attention, give him both barrels of your wisdom."
"To write well about the elegant world, you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being."
Mark scoffed, "That's it?"
"No, of course not, Clemens. What matters is not whether you love the world or hate it,
but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it."
The ghost of Louis L'amour sat down beside me, shaking his Stetsoned head at my empty page.
"Ignore Mr. Fancy Pants there, Roland. Show up, show up, show up, and after a while, the muse shows up too."
I started in shock and at the contrast when Kurt Vonnegut sat beside Mr. Lamour, nodding to my still empty page.
"Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water."
He flicked ghost cigarette ash my way.
"Here's a secret, son --
give the reader at least one character to root for ... and try not to waste the time of a person who gambled cold cash on your talent."
Louis L'amour nodded, "And every sentence should reveal character or advance the action, preferably both."
Mark and Louis both bristled as Karl Marx stopped in front of my table long enough to gruff,
"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life."
Karl noticed a tall, lnaky aristocratic man strolling our way and huffed off. The man stopped to smile at me. I swallowed hard.
It was Anton Chekhov, physician by day and genius playwright by night. He smiled at me with weary eyes. "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
And with that he strolled towards the bar to refill his champagne glass, calling out over his shoulder,
"Do not ask me for more, young sir. The role of an artist is to ask questions not to answer them."
Hemingway snorted as he sat in the chair opposite me. "So speaks a man who wrote his first stories under the pseudonym, 'Man Without a Spleen.'" Mark Twain scowled, "At the time the man was paying his own way through Medical School AND supporting his whole family." Hemingway shrugged, "The world breaks us all." Louis L'amour shook his head.
"I'd always heard you were harder on a man than corn cob toilet paper, but now I know it." Hemingway got up.
"You want advice, Roland? Do back exercises. Pain is distracting. Or write standing up as I often did.
And remember: Prose is architecture, not interior decoration." Then, he lumbered away nursing a grudge and his drink. Oscar Wilde sighed, "Sad that no matter how long you nurse a grudge, it never gets better."
"Isn't that the truth?" laughed the ghost of John Steinbeck.
"Roland, you have to lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day. It
helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised."
I never did get any writing finished that night. But the company made up for it.
What if Stephen King wrote of the life of a blood courier?
Listen to this haunting tale of horror and love
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.
Listen to the LAST FAE
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?
Let Hibbs, the cub with no clue, show you
Before Indiana Jones or Allan Quartermain
There was Sam McCord and his doomed love for Meilori Shinseen
Alice and Victor in 1834 New Orleans
Do a review and have a 1 in 13 chance to win a Johnny Depp autograph!
Buy_FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE
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?
Buy_LET THE WIND BLOW THROUGH YOU
Enter the dangerous world of a Native American Noir thriller where forbidden love clashes with the politics of crime
You will never see the end coming
In his beginning is his end
My 1st SERIAL TRILOGY continues
There are none so lost as those who refuse to see
The 1st SERIAL TRILOGY!
In the dark, we are all orphans
In Memoriam - Maukie my cyber friend
Maukie - the virtual cat 2 3
RITES OF PASSAGE link
The earliest Samuel McCord adventure: Dare to board a fantasy Titanic as it sails into the Bermuda Triangle
THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT!
Book 4: Victor Standish risks all reality to bring back from the dead those he loves.
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.
BOOK 3: Victor & Alice are in the French Quarter of 1834. Voodoo. Demigods. Revenants. And the hilarious Menage a Trois of Death! Oh, and someone we love dies at the end.
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.
CHECK OUT THE FUN!
Explore if you dare
Buy_THE LAST SHAMAN
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?
BRING ME THE HEAD OF McCORD!
Only 99 cents. C'mon. Take a chance.
GHOST WRITERS IN THE SKY
LEARN TO WRITE BETTER AND LAUGH ALONG THE WAY
LAST EXIT TO BABYLON
At the dawn of the End of All Things, the Last Fae finds there is no hope ... but love.
IT'S HERE TO BUY!!
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.
Buy THE PATH BACK TO DAWN
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?
Buy_LOVE LIKE DEATH
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
FROM THE GREAT BEYOND HOP!
You dare not miss it!!
LISTEN TO THE CDC
THE WORLDS OF ROLAND YEOMANS
Donna Hole astonishes with her insights on my linked worlds
FANTASTIC REVIEW OF THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH
Michael Di Gesu does a masterful review. I am honored by his friendship
LIFE LESSONS taught me by GYPSY
Dedicated to GYPSY
Have Wendy make your book into a trailer that wows the reader!
HELP THE HURTING
100% of the profits for ALL my books this FEBRUARY are going to THE SALVATION ARMY. My Valentine's gift to the hurting.
Buy_BLOOD WILL TELL
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
The Norse Gods Are Watching You!
BRAINE at TALK SUPE
NERDY IS THE NEW SEXY!
BECOME A JEDI KNIGHT FOR TEENS
THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL
Help save the endangered species of Earth by buying THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL!
AMAZON KEEPS SELLING OUT!
Written by the author who could very well turn out to be the new William Faulkner, Elliot Grace
FABULOSITY GALORE bookstore
Visit an online bookstore and help a blogging friend!!