Malia completing her paperwork to be a Junior Ranger
Well, here we go. I am on the verge of yet another release. My short story, "Eyes of Payne", will be coming out sometime in March. We don't have an exact date yet, but we're working on it. The story will be a prequel to Lazarus Rising although it can stand alone as well. I have wrote a sort of memorial to 9/11 in fictional form. Also, it will only be available in digital format on Amazon. I plan to take advantage of what Amazon has to offer with their KDP program. It will sell for a $1.99... but for all you out there who read my blog - just wait! I will be giving it away for free as well. It's a big deal to climb the charts even on free days since it gets your work noticed. So please, take advantage of the price. I will have a certain day I will ask all of you to get your free copy. And yes, if you have access to the internet you can read it! It just takes downloading the Kindle App, which, by the way, is also FREE! Click Here to get it so you don't forget.
I have been thinking about fatherhood lately and how important it is. It seems somewhere in the 60s or 70s our country started to veer off the path. Slowly fathers on television became Homer Simpson. Father's are portrayed as buffoons and in many cases as not needed. I read one article, The Fatherless Generation, that listed a ton of statistics showing the damage being caused by not having a father and the importance of having one. One stat claimed that about 40% of children who grow up in a fatherless home haven't seen their dad in over a year! I think of my own father and how he told me I wasn't nearly as important as the mother in my own case. I often wonder where he got these ideas from. There was a time I thought he was absolutely right. That I really didn't have enough of an impact to make a difference in my daughter's life. I am grateful to those who showed me a different path.
In our nation one stat claims that 43% of children born in 2007 were born into a single parent home. When you look at certain minority groups the number is off the charts. Some will claim a racist element or how the "man" is keeping the rest of us down, but I am sick and tired of spending my time defending the greatest country in the world. Instead of playing the game of standing around complaining about what happened 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, or longer, I say we begin by doing what we can to solve the problem of millions of children growing up without a father. Lets start there and stop subscribing to the debating society. The number one cause of poverty is a single parent home. Period. So the question is how do we start to change it. Well, I started with me and decided to be a part of my daughter's life regardless of other circumstances. Next, it's time we start speaking out and telling it like it is. It is time to stop worrying about people's feelings. That kind of thinking is killing us as a nation. If someone is not taking care of their responsibility as a parent someone needs to tell them. I guess we can be nice about it... the first time. We idolize men like Adrian Peterson who didn't even know one of his children that died. And he has kids running all over the place. In his case money isn't the problem, so what is? Access to contraception? I don't think so.
So where do we go from here? How about we just start talking about it with friends, family, and co-workers. I bet if this became the mission of every community many of our other issues would begin to be solved. Send me your thoughts... ideas... I truly think the time is now.
It's Super Bowl Sunday! One of my favorite days of the year. It's more than just football... it's the day of the Austrian Open Championship... it's the day we actually want to watch commercials... it's the day we are dazzled by the halftime show (except the Black Eyed Peas a few years ago)... This just in - Djokovic wins the Australian Open in four sets. And yet, there is some bad news... once the game is over tonight I go into sport withdraw. It will be two weeks until catchers and pitchers report to Spring Training and TWO MONTHS before the baseball season starts. Since I happen to be a Cubs fan there is no better time of the year than April when we have not yet been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs - that usually happens sometime in May! But there is a silver lining; I plan on using my Sunday's that I would usually spend watching football getting some writing done to get a "head start" on this summer's new project.
Speaking of the writing front, I did finish my short story, "Eyes of Payne," which will be available in March. Yesterday I sent off my new author bio and back cover copy of the story. It will be available exclusively on Amazon and only in digital form. But, stay tuned, I will be literally giving it away shortly after release. And remember... ALL of you can get the kindle app (Click Here for Mac/Click Here for Android). There will be more to report on the release soon. A cover is being made, and revisions are being considered. The best advice I can give aspiring writers is keep writing. It's a whole new world out there for authors. Yes, with self publishing not having the stigma it once had it is easier to get your writing out there, but that also means the market is saturated with tons of choices for the reader. How do you get noticed? I'm still trying to figure that out and will let you know what worked for me if and when something works! What I do know is the more opportunities a reader has to discover your work the better. My hope is to sell some shorter pieces so readers will give me a shot. I plan to release a couple of short stories ("Eyes of Payne" in March and a horror story I am working on to be released in the summer) to reach a larger audience. I find that I am more than willing to give a newbie ten or twenty thousand words, but not as willing on larger stories until they I know more about the writer's style. I just don't have the time which is true for most of us. So my plan is to give reader's variety in hopes of giving my writing more exposure. Now, I don't want those of you who feel the need to hold the book in your hand to worry; my plan also includes a release by the end of the year of yet another novel... I will keep you posted as the story better develops.
All that being said I'm planning on spending the rest of the day on my couch filling my head with useless analyzing about a three hour game that hopefully will have footballs inflate properly. I mean, with the world on fire, ISIS on the move, Yemen falling apart, people's healthcare going up, the scary proposition that Romney might still run, the possible rise of the South, and the latest discovery that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization, what's really important is the possibility that a team might have deflated a few footballs to give their quarterback an advantage. I equate this act with stealing signs in baseball. I'm still wondering why ALL the footballs weren't deflated. That being said, even after suffering through the tuck rule, I will be rooting for New England today.
I hope all of you enjoy the big game today, or at least the commercials!
According to my ten year old daughter. It was her 'best year ever!' At first I laughed; then realized how grateful I am to have been a part of it. Hopefully this year will be better than last year for her. I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I have been asked the question many times about where I got the idea for my story and why did I write Lazarus Rising. Quite frankly I was commenting on what I am seeing happen to this great country. I have never made it a secret which side of the aisle I come from politically, but it is more than just the election of one individual or riots in the streets. It seems as if all of our so-called leaders are busy telling us what we want to hear rather than leading us to where you need to go. No matter who comes up with an idea they are attacked rather than using it as a starting point. I hear people compare the riots in Ferguson with our American Revolution. There is a complete disconnect to our history when comments like that are made. The Boston Massacre is a perfect example of how different our founders were from the people looting and destroying in Ferguson. Five Americans were killed by British soldiers. What did John Adams do? The man who would later call for a document to be written declaring our independence. A man who would serve as our second president? He defended the British troops in court, he was more interested in letting true justice prevail rather than allow for mob justice.
The Boston Tea Party, condemned by many of our founders, was more a protest against the 'corporate' bailout of the East India Company than against the three pence tax. In fact, tea would have been cheaper for Bostonians than it had been before. George Washington and others felt it was an act of vandalism and wanted those responsible to reimburse the company for their losses. It was what King George III and the British government did after the tea party that united the colonialist. To compare the tyranny of soldiers occupying our cities and homes and being imprisoned for our political beliefs to a bunch of looters, I mean undocumented shoppers, is like claiming that Hitler was just misunderstood. The people that destroyed property and robbed their neighbors didn't care one iota about the kid that was shot and killed. It wasn't even a case of revenge over justice.
But I digress...
I was writing about why I wrote my novel. The growing debt, the inability for compromise in our government, and the lack of understanding how it works by the people, will and are having disastrous effects on our country. I believed that when I wrote Lazarus Rising, and I believe that today. I hope we can come together again like we did as Americans after 9/11. Sure we made some mistakes after those attacks due to fear, or anger, but overall we are a country that stands for doing the right thing. Evidence proves that as a whole we are the most charitable people in the world. We are not lost, but instead simply focusing on the negative rather than the positive. I realize it is hard to change. But possible. Just the other day my wife and I spent the day watching a single mom, with her own TV show, restore old homes to their former glory. That is America. It also reminded me that here you can do and be anything you want to be. Certainly for some it is more difficult to succeed based on situations, economic status, skin color or gender, but it isn't, like everywhere else in the world, impossible. And each day we move closer and closer to completely eliminating those old ideas. Let us embrace the strides we have made; concentrate on the positives rather than the negative. When we joyfully celebrate how far we have come it allows us to continue to become what James Madison said so eloquently in our preamble, "a more perfect Union." Those words were written so we would always remember to work towards it. We are closer to it now than we were back then... but it does become threatened by ignoring the rest of the document. By having no concern for a growing debt. By being more concerned with partisan politics rather than standing up for what is right. I always ask myself when 'my guy' signs an executive order or makes any move if I'd be okay with it had the opposition did it. If not, I speak out against it... we have a duty to police our own parties, but that doesn't mean we can't call out the other guy (or gal) as well.
All that being said, I finished another story. It takes place on September 11th, 2001. I hope, for the sake of those who lost their lives and the heroes that saved many, that I did justice to the memories and heartache of that day. Until just recently I hadn't even watched a movie about the terrorists attacks. I couldn't. Now I have written a 12,000 word story about one of my character's from Lazarus Rising, Jack Payne. He lost his wife that day. Abigail, the other main character in my novel, Jack's daughter, lost her mom. I told that story, of course, with a little twist. But I also wanted to give tribute to President George W. Bush, for his actions on that day and those that followed. Our nation came together; he was a big part of that. The plan is to release it in late February or early March. I have titled it, "Eyes of Payne." I hope I have honored that day...
One final note - we were shocked, and angry, and scared on that Tuesday morning in September. But the next day we woke up with a new resolve. Sure, we rightfully wanted and demanded justice be done to those who planned these horrific acts, but we also were kinder, gentler, more loving with each other. We saw how fragile freedom can be. We clung onto family like never before. We acknowledged strangers on the streets and took that extra moment to care for another human being. Let us never forget to strive to be who we were on Wednesday, September 12th.
Until next time... God Bless!
The front side of my bookmark!
I read a book a few years ago from my favorite author, Stephen King. It was titled, On Writing. First, I have to say having him put down on paper the process he goes through to write a book is both fascinating and depressing. But one scene more than any has stuck with me. The book is somewhat of a memoir as well and goes into some detail about how he wrote many books including his first one, Carrie. Stephen King threw it away. His wife found it there, read it, and handed it back to him, "I want to read the rest of this story," she said... or something like that. He continued although he felt he lacked the confidence to write a story with a female lead that was in high school. He continued because he trusted the judgment of someone he knew, in this case, his wife. Today Stephen King is a household name. All I can say is, thank God Amazon wasn't involved in that decision. They would have thrown it out. And yet, since King is a big name, he doesn't get scrutinized as much as the rest of us in the writing world.
I know some of you are wondering what I'm talking about. I spent some time waiting to write this post because I feel that Amazon is more misguided than out to get the little guy. And, quite frankly, I was pissed off. Today I checked and there are two reviews on Lazarus Rising. Two. Many more have been posted but taken down. Because, prepare yourself, they claim the writer of the review "knows" me. As if that should make a difference. I asked, but they would not answer, if Tabitha King's review of Carrie would be taken down. She sat, day after day, watching her husband create something from nothing, was in King's own words the only person he ever writes for (he calls it his IR (Ideal Reader). I stole this description from him because my wife is who I write for. I have to admit I did get a bit carried away engaging in a email war with the powers-that-be at Amazon. I feel this is so unfair to the up and coming author. Of course the first people that read your book are going to know you! My wife spent countless hours reading and listening to so many different versions of my novel. How does her relationship with me suddenly give her no right to let other reader's know her thoughts on it? She told me often when something didn't sound right or when I was off the rails. Her input his valuable to other customers. I have seen in many other cases reading through reviews blatant disregard for Amazon's "written policies" and yet it is my reviews they keep messing with.
So, for those of you who have read my book, please, if you liked it, leave a review on Amazon. I really can't go to the next step of marketing Lazarus Rising until I have more reviews. I can really use your help here. Next, by all means, please, don't mention you know me even if you just happened to see me from across the room. I have had my own reviews taken down on books from authors I do not know. Still, my pleas to Amazon have gone unanswered. I'm just grateful I don't get the letter they once put out threatening to take down my product. Yes, they really did that to other writers.
Also, as you may have noticed my website is different - check it out and let me know what you think!
Have a Merry Christmas! God Bless...
All Oral Interpers are equal... but some are MORE equal than others.
The first time I asked what Oral Interpretation was not even the coach of the team could give me an adequate definition. "You just have to see it," she told me. Over the past two seasons I have had the pleasure of coaching a bunch of teenagers in the activity I could no more explain what it is to someone without giving saying to them, "Well... honestly, you just have to see it!" That considering I'm a writer and according to Stephen King a writer's job is to explain the unexplainable... when it comes to writing. That being said I ran my first Oral Interp competition yesterday. It went quite well and all the schools, even in the midst of a snow storm, showed up. The students from eight different schools gave their all, and it made me grateful for the opportunity to share in such a special moment in the lives of my kids as well as those from around the great state of South Dakota. I had to finish up the day with picking which students will get the chance to compete at regionals. It wasn't difficult this year, however, some hearts were broken. No matter what, I am so proud of each and every one of my students who performed this year. I got to watch all of them grow as competitors and as people. Still, I can't answer the question, "What is oral interp?" But I can suggest that all of you, if given the opportunity, should see these kids in action. IT's quite impressive!
On to the winner of a brand new kindle! After three weeks my book has done well thanks to all of you. A special thank you to Mary Helen, she not only spread the word about Lazarus Rising, but had the entire 8th grade write what I have taught them, advice I what I should do when I'm rich and famous, and a simple congratulations on the book. Needless to say I was overwhelmed. She has been without a doubt my biggest fan... words cannot express my gratitude. The book made it onto the top 100 in three different categories the first week. That's pretty cool. I have also found many places that will be carrying my book. Right now it is available at Mitzi's Bookstore here in downtown Rapid City. I will keep you posted as more places begin to carry it. Many up in the hills are planning on carrying Lazarus Rising starting in April once they reopen for the season. I even have a possible book signing and chance to get into a bookstore in Williston, ND (Thank you Christi). It takes time, but things are moving in the right direction.
Now, first I must congratulate Anne F. (and thank her) for being the first one to review Lazarus Rising. She is the winner of a $10 gift certificate. The kindle? It goes to Ann W. I have ordered it and it is on its way. Congratulations! And... Thank you as well.
Please, please, please, when you have finished the book, if you liked it, please leave a review on Amazon or wherever you got it from. It is vital in getting the word out. And I can't do some advertising until I have so many reviews. Since Amazon has some bizarre rule about friends and family not being able to post reviews, don't mention you know me. Just give an honest review of the book. I will have some tips soon on how to write a good review that is being created by my marketing lady, so if you would like the guidance, please let me know.
I have a book signing coming up this Saturday, November 22nd, from 1pm until 3pm. It is at Mitzi's Bookstore at 510 MAIN ST. Please get the word out! And if you can, stop by and say hi! I would love to see you.
If you don't have your copy of my book yet - here are some links to help you out!
Print Version - http://amzn.to/10v9Lew
Kindle Version -http://amzn.to/1zA1CVB
Barnes & Noble (Nook) - http://bit.ly/1t9mYTz
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Tomorrow Lazarus Rising will be available to buy. The long road that started with this particular story back in January of 2010 has come to the end. And yet, in the words of the Joker, "... this is just the beginning." Hand down, the Joker is the best bad guy ever. I heard somewhere that there is more written about him than Batman. I doubt that's true but it makes his story even that more interesting. I worked hard on the antagonist in my story. The hardest thing to do in writing is make the antagonist a three dimensional person. Why did he or she go bad? What happened to flick the switch from ordinary to evil? How can the reader still relate in someway? I didn't want to do the whole ant-hero thing that is big right now (I do enjoy reading those type of stories) but I wanted the reader to believe Forrest Vance was capable of doing the shocking actions he takes in the book. The idea that a man like my bad guy (Forrest Vance is his name) is willing to literally sell his soul to the devil on the surface appears to be just fiction. But, in so many ways people make this leap everyday. IN some form evil does exist. One quote by the Joker that sums it up is, "We spend years checking underneath our bed for a monster only to learn that it is within us." I don't know if I have it exact, but you get the idea. I have personally battled many of those demons... and still do!
So what do I mean by 'this is just the beginning?' Well, for starters, there still is a ton of work to do. Now it is time to find a nice balance between selling my book and marketing me as an author. Certainly I will be asking people to buy it. But the real trick is to continue having new material for my fans to read. This doesn't just come in book form. This blog is one way to keep in touch, and I hope those of you who follow me have been enjoying it. I have been outlining my next book but also developing possible short stories or novellas that may go more in depth in some of my more minor characters in Lazarus Rising. There could be a sequel to this book... I haven't ruled it out. I want to continue to build my free Newsletter (sign up if you haven't already, form will be at the end of this blog). For those of you who have not signed up... I will be giving away a free Kindle to those who did already. There will be more giveaways and contests in the future. Don't miss out on the next one. So, in a nutshell, I hope that 'this is just the beginning' of a new career as a writer.
Tomorrow morning I will sending out links to the different formats of my book. The print version will be on sale for $12.99. Starting tomorrow and through Friday night the E-book version will be on sale for 99 cents. This is a special offer to all my fans. Thanks to all of you for your support, kind words, and excitement. I hope you enjoy the book.
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Here it is. The new cover of my book - just over two weeks away from release. Those who subscribe to my Newsletter (Click Here to join for free!) have already seen this. There will be other material I will release through my Newsletter... it will be insider stuff that you will only be able to get via my Newsletter, so, SIGN UP!
I'm in Boston this weekend for a workshop. It has been a great trip and I have a TON of pictures to share with my students about the revolutionary war. I have been to Lexington (shot heard 'round the world), the tavern our founders "discussed" politics, Faneuil Hall where the Sons of Liberty met, Paul Revere's house, and so much more. It has been a busy three days. We also went and saw the Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation (correct spelling) today - the ship and all the people role playing was absolutely amazing. It has been quite a trip... I will share some of my pictures here with you next time. For now - I'm keeping this short this week.
God Bless! And... if you haven't done so already - SIGN UP! Yes, you can win a brand new Kindle!
My grandson Sean
It's just around the corner, In fact, it's later on this month. My book, Lazarus Rising, will be released on Monday, October 27th. Of course you will be reminded of this on a real regular basis. Please, spread the word. That day happens to be my mom's birthday as well. I figured that day would bring me luck. Next week (unless you have signed up for my Newsletter, then, you have ALREADY received it) I will have a surprise for you. Make sure to tune in next where I will be blogging from Boston,. MA. Oh, and Click Here to sign up for that Newsletter - special treats, behinds the scenes stuff, contests, previews of cool information before I debut it on my Blog, and get special insights into my characters both in this book and future novels. And, whatever I haven't thought of yet to bring to my fans (in another words, much, much, MORE!).
I decided to write this blog to give other authors some insight into speaking with a younger audience. I was sitting at my desk one day contemplating what it would be like to live in Oceania and thinking of where I would tell Big Brother to stick it when it hit me! Most authors don't have to (I mean get to) speak with teens and pre-teens all day long. I remember my first day taking over the freshman class during my student teaching (don't laugh Rene) and how nervous I was. So I figured I would give some advice to those authors who may write for a younger crowd, but may not know what to expect when the opportunity to talk with them as a group comes along. Wait... before I go any further, I have to confess that the 1984 reference was not how I came up with this idea. Actually, my editor suggested it, but it sounded so cool being inspired by Winston. So anyway, here goes. I have just a couple of suggestions t start with; in the future I plan on adding to this because it is an area I can help in - and that's what we do as writers - help each other:
1. Don't Talk Down to Them - Here I would say it is important to treat them with respect. Instead of assuming they already know something or as if they know nothing ask a ton of questions. In my experience (for the most part) they are hungry to learn, but don't like to be treated as if they're stupid. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders still have a shade of sweetness to them. No, really, I mean it. If you can make whatever your talking about fun and relevant to their lives you won't have a problem.
2. Personal Experience - Use it. This is where I have learned to connect with them in my classes. Certainly you don't need to share with them about that time in Vegas (and, as we all know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas), but how you are just as human as they are really hits home. For example I have told my students about my last week in the 8th grade. We were all excited. I took a yellow marker and decided to make polka dots all over my teacher's shirt. Oops! He didn't take to kindly to it. In a moment of insanity I did something I normally wouldn't do; I didn't even think about it until it was too late. That teacher grabbed me by the collar and off to the principal I went. He yelled and screamed at my parents asking for the $12 for the cost of the shirt, the gas money it cost to go get the shirt (I'm not kidding), and world peace or something. Anyway, I felt terrible. I loved that teacher and in one moment he took all that away. I don't want to be that teacher. I tell my students that before I overreact about a behavior I don't like I think of that moment and how I felt. It keeps me grounded most of the time. I have been angry, but not enough to take away a students trust that I will either make amends if I am out of line or handle the situation appropriately. Our hopes, our dreams, our mistakes, our victories: these are our best lessons. at least that has been my experience.
3. Show No Fear - This is simple... be prepared! The better prepared you are for what you will be talking with them about - the less fear you will show. And by being prepared I mean have a back up plan to the back up plan. Bring more than you can possibly get to in the allotted time. If you think it is a 45 minute lesson, chances are it is 10 minutes.
I always promised myself I would not be the type of writer that does those articles on "7 Ways to Better Abs" or "Ten Techniques to Get Her Out of Your Life for Good." Oh well, life goes on. I hope this bit of information helps all of you for the next time you find yourself needing to entertain a large group of minions (that's a term of endearment). More to come - don't forget to sign up for my Newsletter! Only those signed up will have the opportunity to win the new Kindle I'm giving away!
This is our new puppy Dusty. We adopted him March and he has been a welcomed addition to our family. But... Dusty needs your prayers. He has a problem. Bones. His "habit" has turned to addiction lately and we are afraid this may lead to, well, more serious chewing. Dusty is no longer satisfied with the dental chews that are minty fresh. He has graduated to rawhide and has a bone a day habit. And rumor has it rawhide is just a gateway bone to "windies" or "moo-tubes" or worse yet... Bully Sticks. For his birthday (September 16th) I bought him a bone that, quite frankly, was bigger than him! We're worried because behavior like this usually leads to criminal behavior. And, well, we don't like to 'accuse' him without evidence, but shoes and ties and belts and shirts and power cords have went "missing" whenever his bone supply is depleted. We tried an intervention but to avail - I mean, how do NOT immediately run out and buy more bones when he looks up at you with a face like the one in the photo. So, we ask for your prayers... and we pray that Dusty doesn't chew us out of house and home.
On a serious note I have to pipe in on the retirement of Derek Jeter. For those of you who don't know who he is Jeter has been the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees since 1995. He has been nothing but a class act for his entire career. Some, like Keith OIhateallmen, (it might be Olbermann), perhaps the worst man in the history of political commentary; or as he claimed actual "news," made some comments that were just not necessary. You can watch it here, but personally I wouldn't give this man any more exposure. Just know that a former "newsman"(I use the term lightly) who was fired only to come back to sports to spread his hatred decides he needs to rip a man based only on numbers. And the crazy thing is Jeter was an impressive ball player - well above average. The play he made against the Oakland A's (click here - this is worth watching) is iconic. He hit over 300 for his career and was a true leader in a country (world) that is without a doubt suffering from a lack of good leadership. He lead not only with his play on the field but in his personal life as well. In a world where entire sports organizations have to back track after a video comes out about a player literally knocking out his girlfriend and in a world where I have heard some defend Peterson for abusing his child, a four year old with severe wounds, because that's what "black people in the south do to their children" I wonder why, for one second, we (by we I mean society) feel the need to tear down a man who simply played the game with honor. And I haven't even mentioned the entire PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) controversy surrounding many of the all-stars who have played the game of baseball over this same time period. Jeter's name never even came up!
Now, as many of you already know I am in no way a Yankees fan. I have rooted for the Cubs for as long as I can remember. I have taken my rightful place with many other fans of the game as having my second favorite team being whoever is playing the New York Yankees. But I love sports. I love baseball. And when I see a man give his all to the game like Derek Jeter did, I bow my head and say thank you. Thank you for NOT being a part of the problem, but instead playing the game with grace and determination. Thank you for showing the kids coming up today how a player should act. Finally, thank you for the memories on the field. You were a class act in a country that no longer values that as it once did. Again, thank you, some of us were watching and we did take notice.
Until next time... God Bless... the release date of the book is coming soon! It is still not too late to register - Click Here - I'm giving away a new kindle!
So, here it is. The logo of my publishing company. Of course, my company has only one author. For those who know who John Galt is you may think the ideas here are a mixed signal. And... you may be right. But I have found that all three of these "ideas" if you will have had a profound impact in my life. The idea of America, of our country, has always been a positive in my life. Sure there were times when I was young when I heard so much about the evils of what the United States has done over the years. Certainly we are a flawed country. But what I see is a people determined to be the best. To do good not only here at home but around the globe. Recently I have been reading biographies of our founders. I started with George Washington (book by Joseph Ellis), the Thomas Jefferson (also by Ellis), and now I'm reading one about James Madison. They were not perfect, but they were educated, dedicated, hard-working, well-intentioned, and determined to do what others had only imagined. Washington, quite frankly, was a loser. And yet he learned more from losing that lead to becoming an icon for our country. There men were not "useful idiots" nor did they look to find those who would be in that category. They believed in the idea that man (yes, I mean women too) could govern himself. A radical idea still today. I often wonder if it is possible to keep it up. But one idea that was true then and is still true today is the fundamental idea of freedom I truly feel Americans are born with. And that is what will put us back on track when the time comes.
Ayn Rand. I picked her more for her amazing fiction writing. No matter what in her political beliefs I believe in or don't believe in, because, I have yet to meet or learn about anyone with whom I agree 100%of the time, her ability to create a world and wonderful characters is a rare achievement. The characters (although in some ways "look" the same) are memorable. The storyline is intriguing. And the politics is in your face. She writes without fear; that's what makes it so good. I have never read any of her essays on objectivism - I have no idea what her non-fiction looks like - what I do know is I have read few writers who have the ability to draw me into a story like she did. Atlas Shrugged remains my favorite novel.
The last section of the trilogy is God. Each of these work hand in hand. This completes for me the circle of life (Sorry Ms. Rand). Each of them are given to me from my Creator. Literally I can write this blog because of the freedoms I have in my country. My love to read and write fiction are encompassed in the fictional life of John Galt. Finally, it is God, in a country where I am free to worship as I see fit, that makes it possible for of these to come together for good. Which is what I hope to inspire through the way I live my life today. And through my writing.
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Anthony D. Flores loves to spend his summers writing fiction. His strong Christian faith and love for this great country find its way into his fiction. His work is also available on Amazon by Clicking Here.