So you can read my books

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I'm a writer. I have the business cards to prove it and everything.

Which means I'm about as popular at work as an Amway or Avon salesman!

Once a well-meaning soul asked, "What are you writing about?"

I know my eyes must have lit up like a sadist at a masochist convention.

"Oh! It's about a street kid in haunted New Orleans right before Hurricane Katrina!"

Her eyes glazed over. Her face took on a "Call 911! Call 911!" expression. She even backed up.

It reminded me of an important lesson. Not taught ... because haven't you noticed that you only need to be reminded of most facts of life?

Long ago, I learned that 99% of the people I meet will not care about my $2000 blog contest or my latest book.

No. They want to know if anybody in this stressed-out world gives a damn about them.

You see, most people are having a harder time than it appears. And for the most part, their wounds are invisible - and more painful because of that fact.

So I keep quiet about me and ask about what is drawing blood in my co-workers' lives. And in today's world something is always wounding those around you.

No sympathy for my dreams. But like I've said - those around me (and you) have larger wounds needing tending to than my quixotic quests for publication.

So those of you reading this -- don't worry.

Yes, I am a writer, but you will read no hype about my books.

My trailers at the top of this blog will give you an idea if you're curious. Wendy Tyler Ryan crafted them into works of art. Tyler and Ryan are the names of her two sons.

What's her last name? I don't know.

My code is that of the Old West. I don't pry. Need someone to listen, to give a damn? I'm your man.

You want privacy? I'm still your man. I will give your invisible wounds breathing room.

What did Wyatt Earp say? "Never crowd a fellow unless you got a first class reason."

So what's the point of this little post?

That life is easier for those around us when we take time to listen -- really listen -- not crouch impatiently for a pause in the breath of the speaker to leap in with something important ... something about US.

But you see,

we all have our dreams. Mine's being a self-supporting writer. You have yours. Your neighbors and co-workers have theirs.

More important,

we all have invisible wounds and silent sorrows.

If we are tolerant of the dreams of others and healing in our words and actions to their wounds --

then the pursuit of our dreams will not be a lonely one nor will it be in vain --

even if the end of the rainbow forever eludes us.

We will have journeyed towards it with friends.


  1. Hi Roland .. you raise such a good point .. everyone is tied up in their own lives and their own world - they almost certainly have worse lives and stories to relate. Two ears are features we need to use a lot more, and let those sounds into our brains to unravel in our minds .. and then give back through our one mouth an understanding of their challenges.

    Another aspect is that people are tied up in their world of self-importance and don't give a 'fig' for you ... my mother and I experienced this in Canada in the train going over the Rockies .. we couldn't be anything but English - but this couple (plastic surgeon) did not ask us one question! It became a game for me .. I just kept asking them questions ... gave them a few times to ask us things .... not once over two full meal times ..a couple of hours. Staggered me! Completely self-interested ..

    Cheers and you deserve to succeed - the 1% will come out of the shadows sometime soon ... have a good weekend .. Hilary

  2. It is very hard keeping our excitement at bay. I know how it feels. But I guess the only people you are going to get support from are fellow writers, as most of us are in the same boat. Chin up, Roland. We're all here for you!

  3. Hilary :
    It is understandable in a human nature sort of way. But your experience had to hurtful to last so long in a spot you could not leave!

    Jessica :
    Thanks for the support. People feel their pain so, of course, it looms large in their minds. We all just have to remind ourselves of that from time to time. LOL. Roland

  4. Listening probably comes easy for me since I'm a quiet person. But since aging has made me a little more out-going, I'm better able to speak to people. I drive a transit bus for college students. I've gotten to know some very nice, and not quite so self-involved students who--for some inexplicable reason--were able to take time to say hi, thank you, and then some were just fun/funny to be with. I enjoy my job better when such people are around.

    Now telling people I'm a writer opens up doors, and have had interviews in the NIU paper and other nearby papers also because of it. I have not had that many people not be interested in what I write about. Because I usually say I write about vampires.

    I'm published, yes, but it was a very long and hard path. It didn't happen instantly, and it still is difficult to get people to know about the book.

    The one thing I've found, the difference between 20-30 years ago and now, we have this medium in which to communicate with each other. Sure, it might be a gathering of same-minded souls, but we need it. Some times it's a desperate need.

    So, take whatever friendships you find here, and in your life. Hold them dear because a rich man isn't measured by his success as by how many friends he has. (I forget who said that)

  5. Great business card! What a lovely post. Yes, sometimes our troubles pale in comparison to everyone else's, but being someone who has listened to more than my fair share of tales of woe, I sometimes find myself thinking "Grow up, crybaby! Is that all you're griping about?"

    On another note, I released a horror novelette this week, and put the usual promo blurb up on social media sites. I was speaking to a friend today who noticed it, and he asked why I hadn't been telling everyone about it.

    "Because I didn't think they'd be interested," I replied, "plus I feel uneasy about shamelessly plugging my wares."

    "Then how are you going to sell your book if you don't like talking about it?"

    Good point.

    My point is that there should be a happy medium: we are all human, and as much as we'd like to empathise and help others, sometimes we need to talk about ourselves too.

    And on that note, might I draw your attention to the event below, which I'd love for you to take part in, or to help spread the word about! :)


    Join me in the Trick or Treat Spooktacular! Could you help make the Grand Prize a brand new Kindle Touch?

  6. Well said, Roland.

    Listening is so important. Not only are you giving the other person an opportunity to vent, but you, as the listener, might have some healing words for them.

    If not, it may make you feel how lucky you are. I have my share of problems, and I have has many misfortunes in my life, but I'd like to think I'd learned from them and made me the sensitive and caring man I am today.

    Like you, I keep positive. That is one of the biggest gifts you have to give. I know you well enough to know of your many hardships, but here you are, helping others achieve their dreams.

    We are all on this journey together. Keeping our writer friends close will make that journey far more interesting and successful than doing it alone.

    Alone is such a LONELY place to be in one's life.

  7. Lorelei :
    Hey, I write about vampires as well. In my case, to stand out from the crowd, I call them revenants, putting a power to them that mere vampires do not have.

    It sounds like you have a fascinating job. With me, no prophet is honored in his home town. LOL.

    J.C. :
    I have you to thank for that business card. You did a post on business cards for writers, and I was so taken with yours that I went to the company you use.

    Of course, I will help. But I am on solo duty until my one day off, Monday, so it will be until then that I can fully read your post and absorb what I have to do!

    Work is bruising my mind! LOL.

    Michael :
    I knew you would understand. Alone is a hard mountain top to live atop. But you can't complain about the company. Ah, unless you are schizoid!

    My training as a counselor helps me read body language and use the skills for which I was trained.

    Have a healing Sunday, Roland

  8. "invisible wounds and silent sorrows"-- beautiful!

  9. KarenG :
    Thank you. I believe we all have too many of them. Have a great Sunday. Me? I'm working. Whew!

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  11. Hi,

    It's true what "they" say about Karma, but who are the "they" we all so often refer to?

    Confucious say: give and receive ten-fold in the pleasure of the gift! ;)


  12. Your business card is awesome Roland. I've been wanting to get some cards, but I'm just not creative enough to design one.

    I've been graced with many supportive people for my writing life. While I stressed over the re-writes for the Scent publication, my family, friends, co-worker, and crit group listened to me rant and cry and generally be a whinny sot. Now all that stress is over, and we're back to the "How's the writing going Donna; what are you working on now?" It is enough that they think to ask, and I don't usually bore them with details - unless I'm picking their brain for story line :)

    You are astute in mentioning that everyone has their share of hidden pain and sorrows, and it is important to be there to listen to the people who make up our family and social circles. I like to believe I'm open to to listening and sharing some encouragement.

    True friends will always be there for you Roland. I hope you consider me that kind of friend.


  13. Donna :
    J C Martin gave me the idea. At the time I got them, I was speaking at a Sci-Fi convention, and I thought it a good idea to have something attendees could use as a handy bookmark! Hey, you get your foot in the door any way you can! LOL.

    I think of you as a true friend, Donna, and always have. I know you are there for those you rub shoulders with day to day, too.

    I caution myself that hearing the constant narration of ourselves it is all too easy to miss the pain in the eyes of those around us.

    Thanks for the birthday wish, Roland