Amazing authors…

Last night was an author jamboree. If you can try out local authors all you can, reviews will resume ASAP. I finished 8 books last week and did not write a single review,oops.

Life is like that sometimes.

Please keep reading and I will catch up when possible!

Amazing People…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was, well, full of snow. At the same time it was full of laughter, suspense, mystery, grieving, and a lot more.

I was at an Author Jamboree tonight. These events are always interesting as they allow you to peer into the hearts and minds of other authors. As I did so I came away with positive platitudes of each and every person who spoke. I also felt good about my approach, my sales, and my future. Fun huh?

As I was leaving I met two women who encompass some of the thoughts I would love to see echoed by all who read, write, listen, play, paint, admire, and enjoy art in all the massive myriad of forms it can be experienced. They were there to listen, there to enjoy, and there to enjoy the company of others.

I walked away with a feeling that people could meet mind to mind still in this complex world of devolving interpersonal interactions, and that there was hope for us all.

There are still amazing people, and a lot more.

So as the sun sets on another day, let us all remember, the world is amazing and fantastic, and we are part of that world. Be someone who changes the world with your positive voice, or makes a difference otherwise. Mostly, be you, and make your voice unique always, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and be wonderful…

Versions…

The sun sets on another day…

I wrote about similar here.

Sunset almost had umph, and the clouds crowded in like majestic battleships looking for a war. As sun set the light was blocked, but the color, well, the color was amazing.

When I have written before about versions it was defining the best version of you. I was thinking tonight that maybe the version of you should be your choice, not someone else’s. Sometimes though you have to look at yourself and determine if you are becoming someone else’s best version of you. Hmm, how does that work? Can you be molded by someone into a version of you? Can you be you, if you are not defining you?

The answer is probably quite complex. As I approach it I suggest the answer is more no than yes, as your life is rebuilt in someone’s image, it can be difficult to hold on to who you are, and who you want to be. IT can start easy, with simple suggestions but I ask you when you look at yourself in the mirror, do you see you or a version of you? When you walk around your home, do you see the echos of you, or someone else’s idea of what they want you to be.

Some may see this as compromise, some may see it as taste, but in reality it is an expression of who we are, and who we continue to be. With that in mind if you are being pushed for change, shouldn’t you question your reasons for changing? If you are trying to change someone to your mold of them, why?

We are all expressions of our own passions, and anyone who defines another persons passion, well, it is not a good thing. Perhaps improving with growth, but not trying to change someone for who they are each day.

So as the sun sets on another day, I am me. It is a pretty good me. Are you you? Can you see the you you want to be or the you you are being made to be? In the end, only you can decide. Determine your path, and make your world yours, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and live it…

Thankful…

The sun sets on another day…

Snow snow snow, and a little more snow. Not much of a sunset but a clear and exciting day.

I had a big post, and it turned out that it was pretty sappy. Instead I just want to say thank you.

Thank you to my good friends who reached out, and the others that did not. Thank you for my family, those here and those I could not be with. Thank you to all my readers, who prod and poke and I push hard for another book. Thank you to the readers here, a lot I know, thousands more I do not. I appreciate you all, and thank you for another year.

We can choose each day to find the bad in all around us, or choose to rise up and realize how thankful we should be. Even in the darkest moments, there is a light if you look for it.

So as the sun sets and the snow falls, we can be thankful for just a moment and in that, there is all the difference.

Sleep sweet, love life, and be there no matter what…

Forgiveness…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset passed in the blink of an eye today. The wind whipped around us and the clouds muffled the air like some woolen blanket in the sky.

Forgiveness is tough. As I sat here today I talked to one of my kids about forgiveness, and how it is often hard, but sometimes necessary. There are some things that blare out at you when you think of it, and some that you have to consider more carefully.

Some people have an easy time forgiving. They decide how to approach people and will give their forgiveness freely as they decide it is not important to hold onto any malice. Some people get lost in their pain, and forgiveness is not an easy journey, and sometimes one that is not taken at all.

It is for you to decide how you approach life, but holding on to the pain, or to some memory may not be the most effective path. Holding on may be safer, but it often causes more harm than good.

3 examples from my life:

My father and I had major issues for a long time. I will not bore you with the details but the rift between us was often large, and I fanned that rift by never letting go. He would apologize over and over, but there came a time that he said, “You have a choice, you can either forgive me or not, but I am done apologizing. I made a mistake, I will not pay for it forever.” I had a hard time that day, but decided that it was time to let go of my issue as it was really my issue now, no longer his. Sometimes you are not holding a grudge, you are the problem.

I have tried to help many people before. At one time I tried to help with money. Today I do not loan or give money unless it is a really serious issue as each time I have helped someone they either fell off the radar, lied until the end, or blamed me for wanting them to honor their word. In the end this was not my problem, and I learned a lesson that was hard. If I was paid back for everyone I would smile, but it is to a point that they have to live with their honor or dishonor now. Sometimes it is not a grudge you hold, but a lesson you learned.

I knew many people at work that were very positive and good people. I found an employee that was rough, but skilled and trained them forward. I found later they were taking my work and saying it was theirs. It was not a big effect, but it made me consider if I should continue interacting with them. They apologized but it was not in earnest. In the end I walked away, and they ended up failing. Sometimes it has nothing to do with forgiveness, but instead paying attention.

We all have hundreds of these stories, they make up who we are each day. M<y point, besides the one on my head, is forgiveness is something we should do, but perhaps we have to decide who we are forging. Sometimes it is not what we see at all, and we need to be aware of that, and react properly. Is it time to forgive.

So as the sun sets on another day, I am an old man now, I forgive most except a very few who could not understand what they did. I move on though, and mostly I try to forgive myself for the sometimes incredible paths I have taken in life. It is truly and amazing journey and I hope you are enjoying your moments, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love to the moon and stars beyond, and find your heart…

Stumbles

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was exciting as color painted the sky.

There was no post today, why, because parts of a major server complex went down, and with it my hosted cloud server.

I will write on the next day, but think of you today and every day.

Sleep sweet, love life, and ooops…

Passion and Fun…

The sun sets on another day…

The sunset was pretty cool, but the air was even cooler as winter begins to show its head. Soon there was be snow, and then, well, then the fun begins!

I like to pay attention to people and wonder about their motivations. No matter how much I experience I know there is always more, and always more to learn. Recently I noticed a few sentences about passion and fun and applied it to my life.

If you did not know I had a photo studio for a few years with another photographer. I took a lot of pictures that did pretty well, covered costs and camera equipment, and still had a super time. Photography has been a passion for a long time for me, and I could think of no better way to have fun and live passion at the same time. After a little over a year things changed. Working with models became a task, some were amazing, some were not. As I engaged it became more work than fun, and not as fun to work. A client stiffed me for a significant amount of money, and with that bigger issue as I now had to be a collection agent as well as a photographer. It was difficult but eventually the passion I felt for what I was doing was fading. I did not want it to fade away. Given that I made the decision and the studio was closed. I felt the passion return.

At work I have always tried to have fun and press those who reported to me to do so as well. This has given me passion at work, and in almost every case I have enjoyed my job as large scale systems are not only fun, but I have learned more all the time. With writing I have done the same, I have always been passionate about writing and as such, I have fun with my characters, my writing, and the people involved. I have not done bad, but I haven’t sold a million copies yet. Still, having people come up last weekend and ask for the 6th book was nice, and knowing people enjoy my writing is even nicer.

My point (besides the one on my head) is that if something is your passion, it should make you feel good. IF you feel the picture form around you, or the words form to make a story, or the knitting needles make something, or paint that vision of awesomeness, it is passion, a near uncontrollable emotion that has to be expressed. Passion is power, passion is ability, passion is a need to be more, and do more, and passion has to be expressed.

I see so many people let their passions be taken away. I have seen photographers lose faith in their work, technologists fade away into the mundane, and writers be beaten down for their art. Don’t let it happen. If you can take a picture that means something to someone else you have a gift, if you can make something with your hands it is an amazement,. If you can write and in the process open your mind and others minds you are creating new worlds, worlds that others can explore with you, and you can define and divine together.

What is your passion? Is it fun? If it is fun, super! Find people who will help lift you higher. If it is not fun, why? You passion defines you, and you define your passion. In the book “A Wizard of Earthsea” Ged realizes as he comes to terms with darkness, that it is all part of who he is. In that moment he becomes whole. Your passion is part of you, don’t deny it. .

So as the sun sets on another day, there are people I see slowed from their fantastic abilities by others who just can’t understand. Our passions are OUR passions. If th3ey align with others, so much the better but find your way to live you passion, and make your world amazing. As your passions grow, grow with them and in the process never stop believing in yourself. I probably already believe in you as well, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and fire it up…

Book Reviews: A question for all

Sundays are for book reviews, but not today.

Today I was in Kalamazoo selling books. Sundays are always unpredictable. Sometimes they are busier, but often they are less engaged. I did well, but not near as well as I would have liked. As I sold I considered the books I have read this week and have a few questions. Help me out here:

1
Details or Summary

I have written many polls and tried to avoid telling too much of the story or giving away spoilers. Would you like to see reviews like this, or more detailed reviews that could compromise the book?

With that in mind I wonder about honesty or avoidance.

1
Honesty First

In life if you ask me a question that is direct, I will not lie, but I may not answer. I also may tell you the truth even if it is painful. There are also pointed questions I will always ignore, just out of general purposes. (Am I fat/thin etc etc) If I lie I will never remember what I said. With that in mind some of the books I have read by indie authors are less than perfect. Most of the authors at shows are polished and have worked hard on their books. Some people have not, or lose the purpose of the story in favor of something else. (I will give no examples)

Would you rather see these reviews knowing they will be painful to some, or leave them alone and try to talk 1-1 or drop these items. I now have hundreds of indie books and I have read most and am a significant number of reviews behind so it will take time anyway. Just let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for any help that you can give. I appreciate it!

I hate…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was a series of interlocking clouds on a crimson wall of color, and as it set I considered this day. There was of course, a lot to consider.

I was at a show today, and as an author I am more than willing to try everything to talk to people, and perhaps sell a few books. I actually sold quite a few today. What’s more I saw people, and watched them interact in a near chaos situation as lots of shoppers did what they do best, shop. A lot of my inspiration comes from people, and meshing many characteristics of people into a new idea, or taking it further and enjoying the outcomes of my semi strange imagination. (It may be more than semi strange.

Today I had an interesting pair that left a lesson for us all. Two woman came to the booth next to me and began saying how much they hate pasties. Of course, that is what the woman in the next booth sold, but as I listened I became more and more amused at how the two women played off each other. “I hate pasties”, “Potatoes in a crust, who would have thought of that”, “I can’t even take one bite”, “Why would anyone do this to themselves” and so the tirades of semi taunting testaments flowed until I had to ask, “Have you tried them before?” and watched them scramble. “I am from the UP, and of course”, “but have you tried these?”. The women stumbled but still talked about the negatives of the perpetually tasty pasty until finally they walked away to another area, berating the next vendor with the pitfalls of their product presentation.

The next booth’s operator and I laughed. We talked about the why and why not for a moment then I considered, this is a way of many now, and here is the lesson: If you look for the bad, it will always be there. It may not be as bad as you think, but it will be as bad as you think it is. I laughed about this for a while today, because I can imagine the two women going home and firing up an oven and baking their pasties in private so no one would know, they actually like pasties. I can also imagine they never taste one again and years from now realize what they are missing.

We all have the ability to see the good and bad in everything around us, how we interpret that good or bad is what makes us who we are each day.

For me, I will enjoy a good pasty from time to time with some yummy gravy to dip it in, and the vendor next to me had tons of flavors, so how can you go wrong?

So as the sun sets on another day, find the good that you can, but if the bad is there, so what. There are lots of opportunities to consider the other way. You can find each one and make them yours, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and yummy…

Why 29000 Sunsets

The sun sets on another day…

The sunset was fantastic, filled with amazing colors reflecting off every surface. The night came quick as winter nights always do as though the cold stole away the light and life of the day.

I have found myself talking about 29000 sunsets often as of late. There are two topics that come up often:

I named the site 29000 sunsets as this is how many sun sets each man and woman should get. It is based on the average life of an American citizen, 79 and 3/4 years which translates roughly to 29000 sunsets. My idea was simple, if you knew your life was finite and you only got 29000 days to live and today was day 28999, what would you do differently today. There is no perfect answer, for each person that answer is unique, but the next question is why aren’t you doing it today.

I have seen so many people struggle in life waiting for the day they can do something special, but this hit me hardest on September 25th, 2003. On September 21st 2003 I received a short email from my father. I spoke to him a few days before on September 17th. The email was simple, he had been in Missouri and decided he would be licensing his motorcycle back up and we would be trailering them to Missouri and taking a bike trip together. I was excited. We had a difficult relationship for so long and had never done anything like this together. On the 25th I got a call from his number. It was his wife, she told me he had passed away. He worked super hard his entire life, lived a dream, built many businesses, did a lot, and then as he saw events fall into place, died. He had massive dreams, and those dreams would now be unrealized, but, and this is a big but, he lived an amazing life, touched many people, worked to do the right thing, and so much more. There is a tomorrow, but it may not be for everyone, how can we make sure we live our best life and never put anything off to the next day if possible.

The second question I get is if I have written books, why isn’t this a book? I will be at a show tomorrow selling (hopefully) a lot of my books. I have not written a 29000sunsets book, but perhaps one day I will. I did start one and started collating all these thoughts into a series of positive stories, but this was getting at least 250 words a day already, so other stories came first and there is a finite amount even I can do daily. With that in mind and with over 600,000 words in blog posts, I am good for now working on my other projects. It will be a book someday, one way or another.

So as the sun sets another day, why wait for love, life, fun, excitement, to travel, to plant a garden, to tell someone how special they are, and so much more. Why wait another moment to love yourself and realize you are the most special person to you in the world, that’s right, you. For without you there is nothing else. Be the best you that you can be, make every day count, and don’t stop at 29000 sunsets, take as many as you can and make them all special, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love deeply, and keep living…