So you can read my books

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yesterday as we went about our daily lives :

An innocent man was lynched in a country whose name most of us can't spell.

An impressionable baby was born to a hateful mother.

Three young men were killed by sniper fire.

A hungry old woman opened a can of dog food to eat for her one meal of the day.

And we passed a lonely, hopeless soul, looking for one pair of eyes that gave a damn.

There is empty ground in most souls we pass. Sometimes that leeched soil is within our own soul. We cannot save the world. Often it is beyond us to even save ourselves.

That which we can do, we must do, or else we help the darkness grow thicker. Even one feeble candle can show the way for the next step. And what does this have to do with writing you ask.


We cast out our words into the darkness of the cyber-void. We do not know who stops by our blogs, weary of spirit, drained of hope. We do know that tragedy and heartbreak is an everyday event. We know how to write.

Let us build up not tear down. Write to support, to strengthen, to lessen the load of the unknown reader in the shadows. Maybe even to make lips that had forgotten how to smile break into a laugh, weak but the more needed because of that.

There is war. There is pestilence. There is famine. But none of them prepare you for someone moaning over trifles.

Yet, on the other hand, no one enjoys having their mountain made into a mole hill by a spectator safe on the sidelines.

What did Mark Twain write?

"Nothing that grieves us can be called little. By the eternal law of proportion, a child's loss of a beloved doll and a king's loss of his crown are events of the same size."

Billy Graham once wrote : "Puppy love is real to the puppy."

Compassion. Understanding. Laughter. I try to make them my three writing companions.

And when we write our novels, we need to always keep in mind the living person who will read our words.

Is our story one that touches the heart? Is it real? Even in fantasy, our characters can seem real if their pain is common to our own : alienation, loneliness, yearning for love.

And keep in mind to always include laughter.

After seriously commenting on his strict requirements for perspective hosts, Mark Twain added with a twinkle in his writer's eye :

"When I am ill-natured, which is rare for the paragon of virtue that I am, I so enjoy the freedom of a hotel -

where I can ring up a domestic and give him a quarter. And then commense to break furniture over him. Whereupon I go to bed calmed and sleep as peacefully as a child."

And it is comforting that even a genius like Mark Twain was once thrown out of the office of a publisher.

"I got into his office by mistake. He thought I wanted to purchase one of his books, not the other way around. His lips contracted so fast his teeth fell out. And he threw me out."

Twenty-five years later that publisher met Twain on the street and profusely apologized : "I stand without competitor as the prize ass of the 19th century."

Mark Twain remembers the event this way :

"It was a most handsome apology, and I told him so. I then confided that several times each year since that time I mused over that incident and had in fancy taken his life, always in new and in increasingly cruel, inhuman ways --

but henceforth, I would hold him my true and valued friend -- and I promised never to kill him again -- in fancy or in fact."

Mark Twain had his own take on publishers from his long association with them :

"All publishers are Columbuses. The successful author is their America. The truth that they --

like Columbus --

didn't discover what they expected to discover, didn't discover what they set out to discover, doesn't trouble them in the least."


  1. Poetic justice, beautifully written.


  2. ...and our duty as storytellers is to reap the specifics of those less fortunate, the brand of dog food, the haphazard material draped upon that hopeless soul, and ease it into the drama, for that's what turns a book into a story.

    Truly a thing of beauty, my friend. You stand alone ;)


  3. I'm sure I've said this before on one of my comments; your posts are always so inspiring and wise. I'm left with the words, "Yeah, he's right!" on my lips every time I'm here. Thank you, Roland for sharing with us!

    I thank you kindly for my gift. As soon as my birthday present (either given to me by my girls or hubby, if not myself tomorrow!) is opened, I'll swing over to the big A. and pick it up. Thank you for sharing your story on my post last night. :)

  4. Love the positive message! I have some friends who worry about the narrow-minded reviewers on the internet and I hope their soul finds comfort in your wonderful words!

  5. Donna :
    Thanks your kind words mean a lot.

    Elliot :
    I've just finished SOUTH OF CHARM, and your prose is stunning. Thanks for the kind words. A review for your book is coming as soon as Life stops hitting me with three days in one! LOL.

    Candy Lynn :
    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! In Australia, you are probably on its eve anyway!

    Thank you for the award. I told a bit of myself on YOUR blog to fulfil the requirements of the award. Still miss Hercules and Pebbles -- and Gypsy, too.

    Your words make a long day at work the less gruelling. Thanks. I hope you enjoy your gift, especially the chapter READING IS DEAD (The Turquoise Woman visits me beside the bayou bordering my apartment.)

    The Desert Rocks :
    Boy, do I know what your friends mean! One of those reviewers at ABNA called me a liar, thief, and ugly. Ah, I made that last one up. LOL. Do come back again, Roland.

    And you, too, Donna, Elliot, and Candy!

  6. And we on our author journeys don't find what we expected either.
    Amen to the build up not tear down! While I hope the stories in my books are viewed that way, I go out of my way to make sure that message comes through in my blog. There's enough negative in the world. I don't need to add to the mess.

  7. Writing is a wondrous journey. As J R R Tolkien wrote over and over again, no one returns the same from any journey.

    Your blog posts are positive and uplifting. Since I live so long with my characters and whatever adventures they go through, I try to make the journey redeeming and laced with laughter and humor. I'd much share a road trip with Tony Star, even without the Iron Man armor, than with Hamlet, wouldn't you? LOL. Roland