So you can read my books

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Those of you who have written to me here and in emails

do not know what comfort you have given me in the darkness. 

My head is throbbing, spinning, and so light I figure it will lift off my shoulders before I finish this post!

  But I owe each of you a bit of my heart which all of you have held in your cyber-hands these past days. 

So I will finish this ... or it will finish me!  :-)

I have been reading my own HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS to see just what Erica and others who have bought it might be punished with as they read. 

Towards the end, my hero, Samuel McCord, has just "won," making crying, grieving orphans in the process, and he reflects:

This was one of those times in a man’s life when the recognition of his limitations, his eventual death brings him to a high place in his thinking.

His life is spread out before him: the twists and turns of it, the "smart" choices that turned out to be anything but. The ordinary flow of his life stops, and he sees his existence as a whole.

He decides anew what truly gives life meaning and what takes away from a worthwhile life. It was a ritual of reckoning.

I have always believed that, no matter what Elu said, there was only one story in all the world.

Men are caught, in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their greed and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity, too, in a net of good and evil.

 There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dirt and blood of his life, will have left only two hard questions: Was my life good or was it evil?

As I faced the thought of cancer and this surgery,

I have thought about what I have done with my life.  Seeing my former young customer become my surgeon told me one decision at least had been a good seed.

Our choices determines the answer to Samuel's two questions.  Your lives in reaching out and touching mine have been very good. 

In another novel of mine, DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE, McCord has been led into a Cairo alley to be killed by his wife's aide, Hayato:

"My Empress loves you. I accept that lunacy. You make her weak. That is unacceptable now when so much rides upon her thinking clearly."

His falcon eyes studied me. "You and I are killers. It is our nature. The difference is that you fight yours. I accept mine."

Hayato said softly, "I live for my Empress. I see in your eyes that you would gladly die for her. I kill you, and I will die. No matter. If my Empress lives, I die happily."

He stared at the fiery dagger and then back to me. "The world will not miss either one of us. It will be cleaner for our deaths. You and I have done evil things."

"Evil things," he repeated softly, looking into the darkness within him.

I heard the four Ningyo approach me from behind closer and closer. The four Ningyo assassins ahead were doing the same. I was glad Ada and Churchill weren’t here.

Hayato looked up into the stars. "Good men. Evil men. I do not think they exist. I think that there are only good decisions and evil decisions."

He looked deep into my eyes. "What is the good decision here, McCord Pasha?"

The silence stretched long, long in the cold desert night.

Thank you all for making the good decision in regards to me and my crisis.  I will leave you with an exchange with Samuel and his beloved Meilori:

Her wet eyes swallowed me.  “How often, Samuel, have I seen you and not seen you?  There you stand so filled with love for me.  A kind of light spreads out from you.  And everything changes color for me. 

And a day becomes good to savor.  And there are no limits to anything.  And the humans of this world are suddenly tolerable.”
          Her velvet voice thickened.  “And I am not alone anymore.”

I could feel the sand beneath my boots again.  My own eyes grew wet.  The world became possible again.  A great welling silence swept up the insides of the tent.  All became my eyes for her and hers for me.  We smiled.  The others started breathing again.

Perhaps this was the treasure that Man sought the world over, never realizing it was in the heart of another who looked upon him with love.  In this world where anguish and pain seemed to reign, where darkness swallows the light of innocents, perhaps clinging to what love we find is the only light we will ever have.

Thank you for sharing the light of your hearts with me these past days.  Now, I have to rest this spinning, throbbing head a bit!!


  1. I just tweeted you about an hour ago, so I'm glad you posted. I'm sorry your head hurts and hope it feels better soon. :(

  2. Lara:
    Thanks. I have been sleeping mostly these past days. I will check your tweet. Then, I will have to chance a drive to get bandages to replace my bloody ones. Ughh!

  3. You influenced a life in that young man now a surgeon. And you've made a difference in countless others, both online and in the real world. Just think of what you do for a living, Roland - you are essentially a life saver.

  4. How about you rest more than a bit? Listen to your body, and be as kind to it as you would be to anyone else in need.

  5. Rest up Roland. I hope you heal quickly.


  6. It's good that you let us know, Roland so we don't send more emails.

    Do get enough rest. Still sitting up sleeping in the recliner? Keep Hibbs close by.

    Rest is needed for healing. You know that. Thanks for thinking of us.

  7. Alex:
    Thanks. Life is for touching others' lives in healing ways. I thank all my friends for touching mine.

    Elephant's Child:
    I just woke up from a 3 hour nap. I forget just how many times I have nudged my throbbing nose and forehead in my fitful sleep! Ouch!!! Thanks for caring.

    If only I had Wolverine's healing factor! Did you know that Hugh Jackman had a spot removed from his nose, too, recently? Thanks for being concerned for me. :-)

    I must have missed an email of yours! I am so sorry. These past few days have left me a bit foggy-minded! I will look back over my emails.

    I love the emails you and others send me! Don't stop.

    The ghost of Mark Twain has replaced Hibbs as my "comforter"! He gives me no respect.

    "Back in my day, youngster, we didn't pay folks to lay waste to hack at us with knives. We had literary critics for that who did it for free!"

    Your constant friendship means a lot!

    Thanks for visiting and showing your concern.

  8. Hope your pain is replaced by comfort and joy. Such as you share with others.

  9. It's amazing how far influence can reach, good or bad. You have been an influence for good, and I'm sure your good work will continue. Great excerpts.

    God bless, Roland.


  10. Take time to rest and heal, Roland, listen to your body and your heart. There are many out here thinking about you and wishing you well.

  11. Just read your post a couple of minutes ago. I have been away on a business trip.

    Take your time to rest and I hope you heal quickly.

  12. I think a cancer diagnosis has the immediate effect of us wanting to examine our entire lives and change a few things as we move forward. Your doctor certainly affirms good things in your past and I know you have a beautiful soul that will move forward and be kind to others. And I don't think you are ready to go to work tomorrow.

  13. P.S. I see you have the McCord books identified in your side bar, so no need to get back to me on that.

  14. Roland, my prayers for your speedy recovery. I am sending you lots of positive energy. Will buy your books on Amazon right now.

    Roland, I was just thinking of you yesterday. You were the one to tell me that I could download Kindle for PC. When I upgraded my kindle I silently thanked you for letting me know about it.

    Its been a long time since I visited you, so I had no idea you were not well. Hugs Roland.

  15. Outstanding choice of words from the MASTER! These hands and fingers no longer turn the pages. the book opens by itself, these days.

  16. Outstanding choice of words from the MASTER! These hands and fingers no longer turn the pages. the book opens by itself, these days.

  17. Outstanding choice of words from the MASTER! These hands and fingers no longer turn the pages. the book opens by itself, these days.