Sunday Reviews: Billy Summers

Sundays are for book reviews

Billy Summers by Stephen King

☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I have read most of what Stephen King has to offer. It is rare to find anything I haven’t but I still do and do not use a checklist. Billy Summers is new, and a new type of book out of all that I have read of Stephen Kings.

I was fascinated by the characters and walked into this without a thought about what it would be. I expected paranormal, but got a book similar to many others about people, and a person who lead a difficult life, and how he not only learned to cope, but learned to overcome life.

As with every King book I have read, Stephen King does an amazing job of developing his characters, from the most important to the smallest people involved in the story. If you are like me you find yourself wandering around in your mind considering that person at the convenience store or the flamboyant man at work that overachieves and wonder their histories, and how they react in a variety of situations.

This is a book about characters, and more, about growth. It did not go the way I thought it would and in doing so, I felt good. What started as a normal book about a person dealing with their past became a book about discovery, and a book about a young woman finding her life, and her future. With few exceptions Stephen King continues to give us escapes, and this was no different. As I said, I will not ruin it, but this book is worth every page. The only thing I walked away wondering is where his childhood friends ended up, but it really didn’t matter.

Bellaire…

The sun sets on another day…

I am driving and writing. That should probably be against the law. (Oh no)

Actually I am driving and letting speech to text write, so I am sure this will be a mess to edit later. It will work since I am in the car as I watch the sun set. A few moments ago I stopped at a scenic overlook, and I watched the sunset without a memory card for my camera. Ooops.

Still, I have had a good day. It was not Howard City, and Ingar and I once again experienced those people so lost in themselves that they snub the world, but we also met some amazing people who were engaged, excited, and ready to read.

I found today that my varied readers shift. Areas seem to be interesting in different things or perhaps the people I meet are varied as well. In Howard City and Charlotte I sold a lot of copies of “A Slice of Fear” as well as my Masterson Files series. In Bellaire I had a run on “A Slice of Passion” and many people read my poetry as they talked to me, and bought the book to keep reading. To be honest, I like the variety, and liked the people.

Do you think you are influenced with how you think and read by where you are? Do people opinions guide you often? Have you found those things that inspire you? Just something I will think about as I drive in this twilight, and head towards the end of forever.

So as the sun sets on another day, thank you Bellaire for hosting a small and fun event, it was a good time and I enjoyed your people. Thank you for my new readers and for the several that actually had read Vengeful Son and bought a second book. I hope you all have an amazing weekend, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and keep reading…

Paths…

Sunset was a wonderful and amazing series of colors, and I watched the wisps of light bounce across the sky like little elves and pixies until all the way left was darkness. Then once again clouds closed in for a new day.

I wrote about similar here and here.

I am different. Actually, we all are different, but I tend to be intimidating sometimes as I have to work at recognizing boundaries, and often push harder than many. Sometimes more than most. I have taken a series of different paths in my life, and though it gives me a wide variety of experience, it has also been a lot of time alone.

Last night I spent time with a few other writers, and again I find myself forging new paths. As an author it is sometimes hard to get traction, and I have done ok. Not amazing nor will I be a Stephen King or Patterson this week or next, but I do find my way, and I hope my readers are happy with my work, even though sometimes it seems to stall.

I began thinking later and then again all day about the projects I have going, and about how I often give a lot of leeway to people and less to myself, and I found that too was a path. (Yes, there is a point to all of this) I realized that I could be more successful if my paths focused, but also know that I do focus, just on more than some people.

Last week I went to Howard City Michigan and enjoyed the people there, tomorrow I will be in Bellaire Michigan but I will try a few different things. I intend to start approaching writing and talking to people a little differently. Along the way perhaps I will be working with good people to forge new paths, and maybe improve some more.

In my opinion paths make us complete, and the depth of our interactions create the depths of who we are in life. What do you think? Can we all find a way? Can we all forge new paths and new trails in life or are we destined to avoid those areas that are not comfortable or unknown? It is a question for everyone to ponder, but for me, I will keep trying and pushing each day. I hope to see you along the way.

So as the sun sets on another day, are you finding the path that is right for you? Have you forged a path you believe in? Can you define your world based on your path? I hope you can. Push forward and be that person willing to make a difference. Push forward and make every day an adventure. Make the world a little better as you do so, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and 5AM here we come…

Through a child’s eyes…

The sun sets on another day…

I wrote something similar here.

I was sitting at a restaurant watching 3 women and a baby. The baby was being passed from woman to woman and of course being spoiled with affection. The baby was full of expressions and seemed to be enjoying every moment. I smiled, actually several times, with the knowledge that this child was going to see as many changes in the world as I have, and probably as you have, and every day there would be a new world filled with love.

How much have things changed in your short time on earth? Are you adapting to the changes or do you expect them to adapt to you? Do you see each day with the wonder of a child, or as another day in a long series of everlasting days?

It is this that I would suggest you find, the ability to see through a child’s eyes and not try to change the world, but instead to see the world as a playground of new events and take every day as a learning experience. It is not necessarily easy, but as you do so you will see the world is an amazing place, and maybe, just maybe you will change with the world instead of trying to make the world change for you. Try it, you might be surprised.

So as the sun sets on another day, take a moment and feel the world change, and instead of established bias and old eyes, try to see the changes as potential positives to learn from each day. Try to see the world through a child’s eyes, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and live it…

A piece of the action…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was dark where I was, but in my home city it was absolutely astounding. I am always thrilled with pictures of the sunset, and this one was spectacular.

I am often amazed at how people interact, and in the process how people want to be involved in everything. Many people step up and become involved even if they don’t really want to be. On one side there is a desire to help people, on the other side are people who just want a piece of the action.

What is a person to do? Do we engage where we think we can and be a guest star on the Progressive don’t become your parents commercials? Do we walk by and ignore our fellow man in distress?

For me, I will get involved even if it is not always wanted. After all, walking by may be detrimental to another even though engaging could have an impact to me. For everyone you need to do what is best for you, live your conscience and your best life each day. I know the decision you make will be right.

So as the sun sets on another day a piece of the action can be a fun time, but it may also be an impact that is less than pleasing. Find a path that makes you feel good about you and be a good person, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and live strong…

Unlimited vision…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was high above us, and the rain drizzled across the horizon. I knew it was there, and because I believed, I was happy. I believed, and I know it is real.

We are victims of our vision every day or we overcome our vision every day. These two statements seem mutually exclusive, but they are at the core of who we are today and tomorrow, and even yesterday. We have the ability to create narrow vision, and we have the ability to widen our vision and see more.

It is not like the “glass half empty” idea where we are half empty or full, we can limit ourselves or take on virtually unlimited vision for what could be, what might be, and what is. Our glass is there, but we can see the ocean around it, and in doing so, our glass is just part of something awesome. There it is, before us right now, a solution to help our days be better, all we have to do is see the world through new eyes.

At this point some people will be saying, “he’s crazy” mainly because sometimes our vision is so limited we only see the poor minutes or even seconds in our lives and those become massive obstacles to all we do. It may be that some people actually are living a less than perfect life. Really, none of us really live a perfect life, but it can be perfect for us if we let it. Some people will see that if 10 minutes of your day is awful we still have 23 hours and 50 minutes of good times to enjoy. (Depending on how much you sleep.)

It may come as a surprise that I have been down in my life. There have been times I felt the world was against me. There have been times where I could not see the brightness in my days and in reaching out made them even worse. It was not the best of times. Somewhere from the depths of the worst I decided to see the little positives, and those grew to more, until for the most part a lot is positive. Are there issues and problems? Sure, but in the end I have the vision to see past them and push for more. You can as well.

Take a moment and count the good in today, and if you can, set aside the bad. I know it might be hard at first, but it is worth it. You can find your vision, you can see more, a nd along the way, it will be a bit of fun. Try it, then enjoy all you can every day.

So as the sun sets on another day, what do you see? Is it the little bad things that rule your life, or the bigger fact you are alive. Can you just take a moment and make it yours, because after all, you have right now, and every second you claim from now on. Make today and every day your day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and be amazing…

Grandfathers…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was magnificent, and I enjoyed the setting sun with new adoration for the day, new feelings for every day.

I was fortunate to have 2 very good grandfathers. One I saw often, the other I saw rarely.

One of my Grandfathers was a teacher, and a carpenter. He was a professor of mathematics at a college and took time with students to make sure they understood more than just the numbers, but how to interpret the numbers. I spent my summers with this grandfather and each day when he left he would leave me a math problem. They were advanced and I loved taking my time to solve them. I was thrilled with the challenge to my mind. He taught me to work hard and with him I learned how to lay brick, to work with wood, and to garden. He spent time teaching me to shoot and understood how to challenge me. I worked to be better and was at anything that was given to me. He gave me strength through my splitting wood in the summer, but more he gave me strength of character and humor as he pushed me to be a better person. He taught me manners and how to be a good man, and often I wonder if I lived up to his expectations. He sang, he did not have a super voice but he sang like no one card, and his faith was strong, and his convictions stronger. He was a good man.

The other Grandfather taught me patience. I did not see him as much because of unique situations but he was strong and more silent. He spoke to me as a man when I was young, and taught me to not rush forward. He gave me all he could when he could, and there are times I saw him as a symbol of how people should be. HE could repair most anything, and worked on cars and engines often. In his 90s he was still mowing the lawn with a push mower, and keeping his grounds immaculate. When he spoke with conviction people listened. He was respected always.

I thought about this a lot today, with a tear in my eyes. It is there still as I consider my father as well. He died young, and missed a great deal in my children’s lives. He too was a man of conviction. He too pushed for what he thought was right. It was not always right, but it was his right.

I know a lot of grandfathers. Some are there and make a difference, some when they can, and some are never there. It is all dependent on how they see themselves, and how they see the world. I would like to believe they all try to make a difference.

As of earlier today I became a grandfather and I wonder in this challenging world if I will be good enough. I had amazing teachers, and I have great children, and now there is another that I will try to show the good in the world, and how to be better and best. I will challenge myself to be more each day, not just for me, but for my children, and now my grandson.

So as the sun sets on another day, I hope you all had someone who showed you a good path. I hope you all know the way, even when the way is almost blocked, and find the right way always, even if it doesn’t seem right at the time. Make a difference in someone’s life if you can, every day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love with all your heart, and be there…

Sunday Reviews: Emmett Elephant’s Love

Sundays are for book reviews

Emmett Elephant’s Love by Diana Katheryn Plopa

☆☆☆☆☆ of ☆☆☆☆☆

I like reading younger books sometimes simply because they are relaxing. They do not take long and this book was a very short read. It was impressive that the books was also illustrated by the husband of the writer and he did a very good job. I was not sure what to expect and walked away both happy and sad with this book.

Of course reading always makes me happy and the books introduces you to Emmett and his family rapidly. It also takes a turn to a warm approach on a hard topic for many, death.

There are a lot of books that approach death, but not many for children, and this eases into the subject and brings it full circle. I am not sure if all children will understand, but I know that many will see it a different way after reading this book.

5 of 5 stars for this wonderful book with a cute character and fun illustrations!

Just keep going…

The sun sets on another day…

There are words that describe just about anything, but not many words can describe the people of Howard City, Michigan. Curious? I will tell you why.

Selling books at art events is sometimes difficult. There are people there that realize the work that goes into writing a book of any clarity, and there are people who consider writers to be hacks or that writing a book is a 5 minute ordeal. This was art and craft, and sometimes were are out of place. People making things with their hands while we make things with our minds.

A lot of people in some places walk by, a lot of people in some places say they don’t read, and many more are just plain rude.

Howard city Michigan was not one of those places. The people there are obviously hard working professionals with intense feeling of patriotism and pride in their city. They were all powerfully patient, and curious about everything. Their city was clean and well taken care of, and their demeanor, well, they put many other cities to shame.

I was impressed. Not a little but a lot.

There was an impressive parade, great food vendors, great vendors, fun people, and chicken that smelled too good, really, too good. (and when I went to get some they were sold out! 🙁 Yes, it was that good!)

Sometimes Ingar and I will get “I don’t read” but in Howard City we got “I don’t read, but I should more and may make time.” Those asked for a card. We had many that said they read other genres, but they listened and were intensely interested in our books. In some areas people say “I only read the Bible” but in Howard City they said “I usually read the Bible but need to read more”, they too would interact and listen. Others would come and listen, laugh, tell jokes, and just enjoy the moment. This is an example of how people should be.

One many came and as his daughter listened to the story of “The Traveling Circus” he and I talked. I asked about his day, and he said “I keep going, and it is good.” They got a book and I got a smile.

Book sales were good, and in the end, the people of the city were better. I walked away with hope. I walked away with a feeling that if the people of this small town I drove through a long time ago in the 60s and 70s could be a united city, maybe the county could find a way. Thank you to everyone in the city.

So as the sun sets on another day, people are amazing, but sometimes there are people that are even more so. I enjoyed my day, and in the process will always enjoy this small city in Michigan, no matter what. Thank you for making an outside feel welcome!

Sleep sweet, love life, and thank you…

You are awesome…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was cloudy with a chance of queso, or at least it is how I felt as we ate queso.

I had a dream last night. I was sitting with my grandfather talking about a great many items. We started with math, then some science, then gardening, then books, and just kept talking. I knew I was in a dream but I was fascinated by the interactions and I was also quite taken aback by the detail and color. I did not try to change the dream as I usually do, I just let it find its way.

The conversation worked its way to the kids, and how great they have done, and we talked in depth about how he tried to give me good foundations, and a instill in me the curiosity necessary to find a way even in the dark. We talked for a while about shooting and he mused that I overthink my shots, and when we talked about photography he was impressed at how much I had learned since my teens. He noted he was never that much of a photographer, but enjoyed the pictures later.

As the dream progressed my grandfather, who passed away in the early 80s, told me he was proud of me. IT was at that time that I woke, full of tears and thoughts.

Many of my books and stories come from dreams and I know a lot of it is me working out issues in my mind. I also know there are no explanations for my recurring dreams and things like me resolving system issues in a dream and trying it here only to find I was right and more. This was interesting as I do not think I have a need for affirmations, but apparently my mind did.

With that in mind, I may not know you but I think you need to know I am proud of you. I am proud of your ability to solve problems, to laugh, to cry, to be a part of complex interactions. I am proud of the things you have accomplished, proud of the things you have learned. I am proud you have survived the last year. I am proud of your silence, and proud of your voice reaching out to make a difference. Mostly, I am proud of you, not because you need to hear it, but because it is nice to hear sometimes that we are more.

So as the sun sets on another day, another wonderful sunset. Whether we can see it or not, it is wonderful because it is there. Grab on and enjoy every moment you can, and realize the world is yours to enjoy. Make it right every day, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and be amazed…