I am excited! I am running a contest for the new cover for my book Eversoul. The original design fail to showcase the the subject of the book. It conveyed another image completely. A romance novel is not what Eversoul is about. Take a look at these and vote!
Life for me never gets this far off center. The truth is I need to make a big change to my book. Voices. I need to distinguish clearly the difference between each of my characters voices. Red Beard has a very clear voice that cannot be mistake as anyone else. The Ambassador’s voice is fair but could use a little tighten up.. The Archbishop’s voice is pretty fair too, but it could use a tweak or two. Jack’s voice Casandra’s, and Lunar’s voices need work. Mrs. Callahan is okay but tuning it better will help to bring depth to her character.
Besides that? There is in general some other work too that needs to be done before I get to and editor. While the act of writing is free except for the time spent doing it, the editing and cover work is not free. Money flow has been tighter than it needs to be and we have been reworking our budget to allow for more work on the book. Honestly though, I have to finish it to my best ability before I can send it off to an editor.
The cover that has kept me going is not going to be the cover that will be on the finished book. My reading group says it is a proper cover for a love story or a smut book but not for Eversoul. To that advice I will run a contest at the end of February for my new cover.
When the contest opens I will post everything here and share the designs offered. For tonight I am off to bed. See you all again soon.
It has been too long. I have climbed out of my cave and shook off hibernation.
A new year, the same dreams. A different plan a different approach to the same I am an author. I am working on my first trilogy. Book one was finished last fall until I read through it six times and felt something missing. I had it read by a beta reader without her knowing my position. She agreed it has a lot of potentials but has a flaw. I have worked through the rewrite in my head. I need a new cover for my book because the last one looked like a smut book I was politely told repeatedly. My budget at the end of the year was depleted. It still is in a sorry state. There is hope my income tax return will provide for that. Book two is already forming in my head and on paper. I want to finish that one this year also. So, it begins. I have had too long of a break. I can’t stop writing, and I can’t be an Author if I did. It is a woven part of my fiber.
We have always reached out to help others when we can. I believe it is what we are supposed to do. I hear many people claiming to be this or that but when it comes to stepping up to the plate they never show up. We took in Heather M. Quick when her mother was unable to provide proper care for her. It was an easy decision to care for an infant that needed much assistance. No regrets doing that ever.
We took in many young adults when they were stumped and unable to move forward. Sometimes life tosses us curves we are unprepared for. It is not a matter of getting a handout but more of getting a helping hand up. When people get too comfortable and forget that we are not a permanent solution to their problem, then it becomes less of a helping hand and more of hand out.
People are predictable in that change rarely comes when folks are comfortable. We change the most when we are uncomfortable. When our cheese is moved away from us and we find ourselves in a struggle then we turn toward change and look for that comfort zone we are missing. Sometimes folks will accept the worst conditions before being pushed to move on with their life.
It has been difficult pointing out a need to become self-sufficient to some. Relying on other people to meet any of their needs is not the way to secure their future. It is nice to have a helping hand, but t you have to be ready to take control and responsibility of your life. We have helped a lot of folks long our way down this path of life. Not all were easy to help and sometimes we questioned why we were being so generous. Honestly, I listen to my inner voice and follow the advice I get. When I follow that inner voice, I am less disappointed than when I ignore it.
As we wind down our household, another little folk showed up needing us. Annalynn is an adorable little girl with the brightest blue eyes. She brightens our house in a way that makes both of us young again. She is more than welcome here. It is fun being a parent to an infant again. It amazes me how much patience I have found for raising her at my age. She is not perfect, she has woken up at four AM. She is far from quite though I find her noises, not an issue. It is life beginning again, finding its future in a crazy world full of more division than unity. She is welcome to be here as long as she needs to be. I seriously believe Annalynn is our last project. I am retiring soon. My income is going to change a lot. It is not to be so easy to do what we have in the past.
The world needs a lot more tough love. It needs more of us to help each other than to wait in line for the government where we live to solve our issues. The government needs to be small, not so large it loses track of its mission. The government is to serve the people, not the people to serve it. Senators and Congressmen are vastly overpaid. The part-time positions they occupy were never supposed to be overblown with ridiculous privileges of today’s government. I think the swamp does need to be drained in Washington but it needs to be drained by the people and we should not rely on the government to police itself.
How do you sum up the life of another person? Is it the sum of things did over their years? Is the amount of money in their bank accounts? Is it the number of friends that show up on the day they are buried? Or is it the sum of the loss created when the void takes their place when they depart? Is the sum between the dates with the dash?
It is likely that some or all of these apply to some folk’s point of view. Dave Ryan was not the president of the United States of America. But that does not make him a lesser man. I met Dave many years ago around 1987 at work when he worked in the tech control section next to me. He trained me on varies equipment and schooled me in a conservative view point. He was wise, direct when asked his opinion. He did not beat around the bush, he went straight to the truth and spoke it plain enough there was no mistake.
Dave was a family man, a father, a husband, his words surrounded them with love and hope always. I always felt he was a straight shooter, honest, and full of life. I envied him when he retired, wishing I had planned better and joined him. I enjoyed hearing about Dave in retirement living the good life.
But, we do not come with expiration dates to aid us in our planning. Our time creeps along slowly hiding in the closet, under the bed in the shadows. We might get signs along the way that we will not live forever, most of which we will ignore. Diabetes, heart issues, blood pressure, COPD, just to name a few. We do not realize it would seem, that we can’t go on forever. Our biology doesn’t allow for that. We have a point when our task here are done, whether we agree or not.
What waits for us in death is an age-old question none of us know the answer too. We have to cling to our beliefs and faith to see us through. Dave is on the other side of that veil now. He is free of everything his body held him too. As the door to this place opened and closed, Dave continues on in a rebirth after death.
I feel I was lucky to know him, to pick him for knowledge and his humor. I will not forget him, he left his impression on me that shall be with me until I find my expiration date. Good luck Dave, you will be missed by many you left behind.
I like to think that good can be found in all of us. We were born with it, and then along our path in life, bad things twisted us away from it. This is why I believe strongly, in second chances. Even a snake in the grass deserves a second chance. Until you prove to me that no change has occurred, I will believe in you and what you say. Change is hard work, it comes out of an effort to surrender old habits that have become second nature to us. And to develop new habits that mold us toward what we prefer to be.
This effort is not without its failings. Like quitting smoking, you start, you fail and you start again. That is a manageable habit to change. No one is going to put you in jail if you fail. Anger management is important when making major changes in directions you have followed for a long time.
Felix had spent twenty years in federal prison for a number of charges he gathered in one afternoon. He life surrounded drugs, violence, and assaulting a police officer twenty years ago. He met my nephew in jail and was trying to help him stay out of trouble. Jay (not his real name) is not the smartest knife in the draw and he is impulsive. Jay does the best he can but he has trouble picking his way through the scum that often gets put in jail to serve long-term sentences. He tries to barter when he has little or nothing to work with. Promises are made base on what he thinks he will have to work with instead of what he really has available. Felix solved this for Jay clearing his debt more than once. He was teaching Jay the ropes, steering him away from those who want to use him and do harm.
When Felix was getting out he needed a place to go to. A home plan. I offered him to stay at my house while he got his life together. Felix stated clearly that he did not want to go back to his previous way of life. He could have gone back there and tried to start over, but he was afraid to go back to where he was placed in jail, afraid to get sucked into the same gang again. We agreed to lend a hand and help him get started.
Felix did not want to stay at my house at first. He stayed instead at a shelter for the homeless at night and at our house during the day when not at appointments or work. I work evenings when he was at the shelter and spent my days driving him to appointments and work as needed. The shelter had some weird rules that allowed him only to stay for two weeks. After that, he needed to take a three-day break before returning to them. Or he could move to a more permanent location where he would pray and spend his days learning the Christian way of life, according to their plans. I am not familiar with their direction on the faith. It seems many churches have different viewpoints on what God wants for us or how we are supposed to get there. Felix felt pressured to make a choice quickly. He said no. I can’t say I blame him. It was a bit fishy to me. I again extended the offer for him to live at my house temporarily. He reluctantly accepted.
I never charged him for staying at my house. We took him around to get his medical insurance started so he could get his required medicines. We found him a job at Sonic. He had his own room and granted him full kitchen privileges. Felix had not been around women for twenty years. I think he forgot how to court in any fashion at all. There was friction when he dealt with them. His boss at Sonic was a young girl. He had issues with taking orders from her.
At home, a young single girl he liked said no to his advances and he could not understand that she was not interested in him. I counseled him on both issues. Told him to stop rushing for something that was not there. He was having issues adjusting. We at the house gave him room to work it out. We were firm with him, but not harsh. One night while I was at work, Felix got upset over some issue and wanted to leave the house after the shelters were closed. My wife Shirley called me at work in a panic because it was very cold outside. She knew it was unwise to be out on a night like that.
He is a grown man thirty plus years old. He knew it was cold out and no one was pushing him out into the cold. He wanted to go. He said something about being afraid he was going to hurt someone if he did not leave. I calmed the wife down and we let him leave. If he was worried he might hurt someone, then it was indeed time for him to leave.
We have seen Felix around from time to time. We have not maintained contact with him. We were of two different worlds, two different cultures as well. I wish him well, he did help Jay stay out of trouble and even taught him a few skills while under his wing.
He is the only person from Jail I have attempted to aid/help upon release. It wasn’t a mistake and I would do it again, but differently. Thankfully God looked out for all of us and no one was hurt during those stressful days. I just did what I felt I was supposed to do as a Child of God, and share the bounty the Lord gave me with the needy. It was not to be the last time we did this either.
When we lived in Columbus Ohio on Main street, we met a man at our door one evening. He was clean, polite, and homeless. Owen did not want to intrude on our evening he explained. He was asking about can foods and if we had any to spare. I thought about the many different stories of Jesus showing up in different forms asking for assistance from people looking forward to meeting him. I never hesitated asked him to have dinner with us. We had plenty of food on the table and assured him we were glad to have him at our table.
Owen was a dark-skinned man. I was never sure what he background was. I never asked him because it really did not matter. He was in need and our table was bountiful. My sons set him a plate and brought the spare chair to the table for him. We introduced each other around the table exchanged greetings and dug into dinner.
It felt good to help Owen. He had only asked for a few cans, but I could tell a hot meal was what he needed. When dinner was done, dessert and coffee finished Owen left with a box of can goods. Everyone felt good knowing we did what we could that day for someone we didn’t know and never met before. Owen would not say exactly where he lived, at first but it was okay we knew he was not living high on the hog.
Owen visited us several times over the next few weeks. We gave groceries, gloves, hat, and some blankets. It was late October when we met him and as winter approached it was only getting colder. My son James gave Owen one of those outdoor work clothes that zipped from your neck to your ankle one day. We gave him a lantern and tried to give him a camping stove to cook on but he declined it. Own was thankful always and never asked for anything. We asked what he needed and assumed his lack for some things and provided what we could. We never expect anything and gave freely from our bounty.
2002 December 26th we had a house fire. A stranger stopped at our door and pounded on it until someone answered. He asked if our house always smoked like that. Then he vanished. Everyone made it out of the house even the goldfish. I got there and everyone was on the sidewalk safe and sound. It was heart-wrenching to watch the fireman shoveling stuff out of the third-floor window, but that was only junk I could buy again some other time. What was important was on the sidewalk safe.
Lucky for us we only suffered smoke and water damage. We had to move anyway. The other side of the duplex was in bad shape. The fire had started on the third floor on that side of the building. Lucky for us our landlord owned more than one unit and we moved to another one on the other side of town. Owen helped us with our move loading the truck and unloading. It was the last time I saw Owen. It was a great experience helping someone who appreciated everything we did for him.