Sunday, August 28, 2016

Love: A cautionary tale...

This is an open letter to any who would utter the word love without being certain that they mean it:

Be careful when telling someone that you love them, because they might actually believe you… and they might just love you back.

Being loved by another is a rare and precious gift, and the heart and soul that believes that it is loved, (that has faith in that love), is given wings upon which it can soar to impossible heights, because for the spirit that is loved, nothing is impossible.

Loving another gives us strength, hope, and purpose, but being loved by another emboldens us with the intoxicating knowledge that we are not alone on this journey… that someone else has our back, and that someone else might miss our presence should we cease to exist.

Be careful when you tell someone that you love them, because if they believe you, and you decide that you were mistaken, the rescission of that love can devastate the unsuspecting spirit.  To have love, (or even the mere perception of love) ripped away, is like drowning, with the face of your loved one just above the surface of the water, staring down with detached, soul-numbing indifference.  We reach, we plead, and we struggle as if our very existence depends upon their love, but ultimately the weight of our grief rushes in, crushing our spirit as the cold, dark waters of despair fill our lungs, reducing our cries to hopeless, muffled whispers.

Be careful when telling someone that you love them, for if you were indeed mistaken, (no matter how many times you tell them it was you, and not them), they will always wonder what they did to make you leave…
You did say that you loved them after all…

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Perspective, they say, is everything...

Growing up is painful.
No fluffy adjectives or colorful metaphors required to expand upon that statement... truth is truth, it requires no flashing neon lights or mighty trumpet blasts to make it so.
I speak from many years of experience: both as a father who desperately wants to shield his children from the inevitable fallout of the trials and tribulations of modern-day life's ludicrous mock-rites of passage, and as one of many former children who has fought tooth and nail to retain some of the fleeting innocence and glorious wonder of my youth.
Innocence is not dead, but it is indeed moving slowly, taking shallow, painful breaths. Children are so much more worldly at a young age than ever before. They are exposed on a daily basis to information and ideas that were 'once upon a time' reserved for more mature minds... minds that have had enough life-experience to form a realistic and balanced opinion, and to make informed decisions based upon perspective, deduction, and rationalization. There is a vast distinction between maturity and worldliness. One does not automatically denote the other.
Sighing audibly...

I love to write, create and have adventures, but my children, as many of my readers will understand, are my life. I would kill or die for them without question - yet there is only so much that I can and should protect them from. There is so much in life that they must experience for themselves in order to become capable, well-rounded human beings, equipped to cope with an all too uncertain future. If we absorb the impact of life’s experiences too fully, or too frequently, then we inevitably do them a gross disservice, never allowing them to evolve, and eventually become grown-ups who can navigate, and master this world in our absence one day. That’s our job as parents after all, to prepare the next generation for their ultimate inheritance, the stewardship of this world. We must pass them a torch that burns hot enough and bright enough for them to one day pass onto the generation which follows after them... and so on, and so forth...
By the way; this particular blog comes courtesy of my nine year old daughter, Jordan, so I might as well get down to the brass tacks. She is currently experiencing something that my younger brother went through when we were very young men, but of course I was too wrapped up in my induction into the big bad world to notice... now, as a father, I have been blessed with a rare perspective, and an opportunity to make a profound difference in a unique situation in my children’s precious and fragile lives. As I said, Jordan is nine, and my son, Jakob, is thirteen. They have a four and a half year age difference between them, which is precisely the same age-gap that exists between my brother and me. Both of my kids have always been intelligent, and for that I am grateful. Intelligence can aid in (but does not guarantee) their quest for success as they make their individual ways through life. Intelligence is to me, the equivalent of starting on the track team with the very best shoes, or snowboarding with new and comfortable bindings, or even conducting research with a speedier internet connection... in other words, intelligence can help to grease the skids - to make their impending lessons and transitions more comfortable... but if the possessor of said intelligence is lazy, then no amount of smarts is going to help any more than lightning fast internet, tight new bindings, or shoes with good arches.
I'm not writing this to brag about my children's respective IQs. Yes I'm very proud of my kids for many, many reasons, as I know you understand if you are fortunate enough to be a parent yourself. I was actually addressing it simply because years of observation of my children have shown me an intense level of cognitive and situational awareness, and any of you who know them well enough understands that they are both intensely deep thinkers and feelers, and my recent conversation with Jordan is a clear indicator that her contemplative nature is beginning to get the best of her.
She was born to be a competitor; as a toddler she was constantly put off by the fact that her older brother was capable of so much more than she... from riding a bike, to swimming, to reading, she wanted to do everything that Jakob could do, and her young age would not hold her back, because in her mind, she and Jakob were the same... the age difference meant nothing to her. So by a sheer force of will, Jordan has always sought to compete with her brother in every way possible, but the result was not a classic sibling rivalry as one might anticipate, but a beautiful camaraderie... they have been best friends from the day she was born. Butch and Sundance, Bonnie and Clyde, Donnie and Marie... Jordan stole her brother's heart almost as completely as she stole mine.
But lately things have been changing between them... the dynamic has been shifting. Not in a horrible way, but a natural, yet undeniably painful way... much like the way a forest fire clears away old debris in preparation for new growth.
Jakob is a teenager now, and as a budding member of young America, he has a shiny new perspective on life. He has new friends, new goals, new interests, and a new tune to strut to. He has just started High School, and his little world and its range of possibilities has grown in its scope by leaps and bounds, and as a result, Jordan is beginning to feel left behind.
It broke my heart as she cried into my chest, sobbing and sorting through new and completely foreign emotions. In her eyes, her brother is stepping into a new and exciting life, (to her, he might as well be ascending to Mount Olympus as a God, to a land where she is forbidden to set foot, held back by a limitation that she had never before been forced to contemplate), to her, she's losing her best friend.
In Jakob's eyes; he's on an exciting new path, clutching the keys to the kingdom… the world is his proverbial oyster.
Perspective, they say, is everything.
Of course Jakob is doing nothing wrong. He's growing into an amazing young man, and when I privately shared the details of my conversation with Jordan, his first response was to go to her and hug her. No words were spoken; he just hugged her, and she hugged him back. It was one of those fabled 'perfect moments', where time stood still, and all was well in our little corner of the world.
Unbeknownst to me, my brother went through a similar bout of separation angst when I moved from San Jose to Los Angeles at age 19. I think that because of a lot of newly defining factors which are available to today's youth, (and perhaps the gender difference), we didn't go through the same issues when I entered High School. But regardless, I didn't realize just how deeply my move would affect him.
Our siblings are most often our first 'best friends', and it is my contention that our relationships with them provide a unique glimpse at just how we will conduct ourselves in our future personal relationships.
What I had never considered prior to Jordan's lamentations was that our first sense of relational loss can quite feasibly come at the hands of an otherwise well meaning sibling.
Everything that we do and say can potentially affect our children's perspective of the world and how they conduct themselves as they grow and navigate the vast and uncertain sea of life. They look to us for answers to questions which they do not know to ask, and to provide a solid foundation upon which they can build their futures. Little do they know, we don't have all of the answers. All we have is the perspective that we've gained thus far, and the love and (hopefully common sense), to guide them and teach them that which one cannot learn in school. This isn't the 'Lord of the Flies' after all, they shouldn't be left to learn life's lessons from their friends and adolescent social circle, who incidentally don't have any better answers than our own floundering children, and depending upon their foundation, might provide answers that we wouldn't want our children exposed to, or worse yet, to have our children asking new questions that we don't want them considering.
We act as a buffer, a filter… an emotional shock-absorber, between our children and the rest of the world and it's ideals. We can't protect them from everything, nor can we even hope to have all the right answers to their impending questions, but we can communicate with them, listen to them, be honest with them, really get to know them and anticipate their needs… be proactive instead of reactive (as so many of our parents were).
Proactive parenting… what a concept…
Communication (as with any relationship), is key, and raising a child who is not afraid to communicate, and is not above listening, will help to prepare them for the pain that inevitably accompanies growing up. A wise person once said, "it all begins in the home"… but for them to be willing to communicate with us, we must first prove to them that we value said communication… that they are not an imposition, nor a burden… but rather a cherished and fleeting blessing.
Growing up is painful, but when handled with love and attention, it can also be beautiful.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tenacity, Superpowers and Failure

It's difficult to admit to our failures.

Of course we can always force a smile, and triumphantly parrot Thomas Edison, who once famously said: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work"… which truly is a wonderful way of looking at the learning and doing process in general, but when one has set forth a specific set of goals, (goals which are steeped in our most treasured dreams and laced with an unbridled yearning that stems from the deepest recesses of our soul), and one has failed to meet those goals, then such clever exposition will only serve as a verbal Band-Aid, effectively masking, but never actually healing the wounds that remain.

I'm terrible at accepting failure. I stubbornly refuse to veer off of what I believe to be the right path, often pulling out my proverbial machete and hacking my way deeper and deeper into the dark and forbidding jungle of denial, just for the sake of moving forward.

Whether it be a business venture, a personal project, or a special relationship, I tirelessly, and senselessly forge forward, like a faithful and impeccably trained dogsled team, fearing nothing that lies between me and my goal, but the bitter sting of failure itself.

I never give up.

That's not to say that I don't take the occasional extended detour and park my trusty sled in a cool, dark cave, and hibernate from time to time, shutting out the rest of the world like some crotchety, old hermit.

I suppose that's my way of dealing with failure or disappointment (either mine or that of another person involved)… I disappear… which leads me to my next admission… okay, before I toss this concept out there; please don't take any of what follows as either boasting or self-depreciation, I don't intend this to serve either purpose, just a means to facilitate a dialog… to instigate some thoughts… to further bare my soul.

A co-worker asked me recently, as we all have been asked at one time or another, "If you could have just one ability - one ‘superpower’, what would it be?" So I'll lead off by saying that I'm strong, both physically and in terms of raw willpower, so strength has never been a specific wish of mine, we typically wish for a power that would counter something that we view in ourselves as a weakness, or a limitation, whether it be physical or emotional.

Based upon my propensity to disappear as a typical response to failure or disappointment, or the shadowy perception of either; my default superpower of choice would likely be flight, or perhaps invisibility.

I thrive on privacy, yet here I am exposing my life - my desires, my dreams, and my fears for all the world to see in my blog, I suppose it's largely cathartic, but still inviting a clear and blatant invasion of my own admittedly coveted privacy… we are all a bit of a dichotomy, aren't we?

We all seek approval in our own way… we long for validation, we crave relevance. We desperately strive to be individuals, and want to believe that we are wholly unique and special, yet we also want to believe that we share in some universal link to humanity itself. None of us wants to be an island in a vast sea of souls, though most of us wouldn't mind owning an island... ah, the ever-present dichotomy... but I digress.

Our hearts, our minds and our souls travel around in this vehicle that we call a body. C.S. Lewis once said: “We do not have a soul - We are a soul, we have a body.” We share experiences with other people in one of two ways, as an active participant, or as a passive observer. We are mostly powerless to decide which of the two types of experiences we have, as we are forever bound by the unbreakable laws of physics. But occasionally we are granted the power of choice in this matter... which do you choose? Participant or observer? Do you allow the fear of failure, or worse yet, the fear of change, or human exposure to coerce you into a perpetual observational status?

I will never profess to having all the right answers... or any of the right answers for that matter... I'm the guy who disappears into my Fortress of Solitude when things go awry. I'm one of many individuals who would do well on a private island, alone with my thoughts and dreams, and a select few treasured and kindred spirits and loved ones (starting with my kids).

For all of my lofty ideas and good intentions, I do occasionally make choices which I regret, and as I previously shared, when the guano hits the fan (or when life itself becomes all too overwhelming), I sometimes return to the Batcave to sort through my thoughts, plan out my next moves, and carefully contemplate my oh-so important next words.

But from time to time I fall into the precarious trap of over-contemplation - of waiting too long to act or speak, simply because I'm not sure of what to do or say, and so I say and do nothing. When I finally step up and take action, there are usually more than a few confused individuals, scratching their collective heads, and sometimes even shaking them. I’ve done it with people, pulling on my handy cloak of invisibility and fading utterly and completely from sight, and of course I’ve done it with situations… It’s a nasty pattern of mine that I’m just becoming cognizant of, and writing these blogs, however difficult putting my soul on display for the whole world to pick apart might be, it’s also extremely revealing… not just to you, but to me as well - know thine own self first.

I, like you and everyone else out there, am a work in progress… I’m pretty well fearless under most physical circumstances, I boldly rush into danger without much consideration for my own safety, but emotionally, I struggle… I struggle because there is nothing in this big-bad world that will ensure that my darkest fear will never come to pass… because my darkest fear, aside from being unwanted, unloved or irrelevant, is failing my loved ones.

It’s likely that I’ll never get past that one, because I already have a baseline from which my fears can operate. I’ve failed at love, I’ve failed at business, I’ve failed financially, and I’ve failed when it has come to judging people and anticipating their ulterior motives. But disappointing my loved ones… that’s the worst of the entire bunch.

Thankfully for me, my loved ones are relatively forgiving of my failures. They understand that when all is said and done, I'm only human; I sometimes need my privacy to recharge, and I occasionally engage my faithful (but fictional) cloaking device, going as silent as the former U.S.S.R. after the cold-war - but on the flip side; I never give up, I never stop trying, and though I might fail miserably, my loved ones can always count on me to faithfully rise to the occasion when they really need me.

Yes, it's difficult to admit to our failures, but if we always strive to learn and move forward without compromise, then perhaps failure doesn't have to be how things end, perhaps failure is just another word for opportunity...

Hmmmm, maybe Edison’s words will serve me best after all.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Blog Entry 2 Years in the Making - Courtesy of My Inner Cave-Dweller.

So it's been a long while since April of 2013 (the date of my last personal blog entry).

An awful lot has happened since then, some of it was actually awful, and some has been outright wonderful, but even the most 'difficult' times came with amazing learning opportunities cleverly woven into their tarnished silver linings.

Companies have been dissolved, relationships have failed, friendships have been proven false, but through it all I've maintained a virtually blind faith in the path that I've ultimately chosen, and I never gave up on my hopes and dreams.

Along the way:

  • I found and lost one of the great loves of my life. 
  • I lost a friend, a business partner, a business, and an entire book series, all due to treachery and greed. 
  • I have reconnected with estranged family members and friends (many of whom I pulled away from after the shame of having my dreams stolen became too much to bear)... (I still have important steps to take there)
  • I hit rock bottom both physically and emotionally after my creative losses and betrayals; I peaked at 280 pounds, and simply accepted that I was done; I had trusted the wrong people and was destined to be a failure.  I built a metaphoric campfire, unpacked my bedroll, and camped out in a cave constructed of my own desperation... it was there that I came close to giving up, overwhelmed by my despondency.  Ironically though, I rediscovered myself in that self-imposed mire, finding my true inner strength (when all else has been stripped away - dignity, hope, etc... - all that remains is our basest, most primal nature, the part that must survive at any cost), and now, thanks to my inner cave-dweller, and a few very supportive friends, I'm back, stronger, and infinitely more focused than ever before - determined to succeed. 

It's amazing how being stabbed in the back and left to die (metaphorically speaking of course) can spur a person on.

I have been shown who my true friends are, and I've even earned a few new ones along the way.

Now I've got a new reality series in production, four new budding businesses, six new books, a blog, an upcoming VLog, a nonprofit organization, two screenplays, a half dozen websites, and a partridge in a pear tree on my plate.  I've surrounded myself with talented writers, artists, and filmmakers, just to name a few, and this time around, I've taken care to ensure that there are no over-inflated, megalomaniacal egos poised to steamroll the others.  Synchronicity and creative harmony prevail, and some amazing work is on the horizon, courtesy of the aforementioned talented people.

I'm blessed to have learned the lessons that I have, and I wholly embrace the cost of those lessons.  Yes, an awful lot has happened since April of 2013, but I wouldn't trade any of the experiences (good or otherwise) for anything... well, maybe the lost love... that was a different kind of pain entirely, but even so, there was a lesson to be learned there as well, or at least a new level of clarity and cautious strength.  In fact, through that particular pain, I have reconnected with my own empathy, and I've been reminded just how many conflicts, misunderstandings, and ugly disagreements can be avoided by simply stepping into the other person's shoes.  Everyone has their own unique perspective of the world; they have their own pain, their own fears, and their own way of dealing with their own baggage.  To assume that anyone's perspective is completely aligned with our own, is inviting trouble and miscommunication into any relationship, be it a friendship, a business arrangement, a parent / child dynamic, or a passion-laced romance.  My problem is that in being empathetic by nature, I stroll awfully darned close to the 'pathetic' precipice, allowing myself to frequently become a friend-zone shaped doormat.  So aside from an opportunity to exercise my capacity for empathy, I would have rather bypassed that particular pain.  Make no mistake; I didn't allow it to completely jade me, or harden my heart, though it has caused me to re-think my desire to always be the nice guy, the accommodating guy, the hero on the white horse.  I'm more tempted these days to be the not-so-nice, not-so-accommodating guy... the anti-hero on the black hog.  But that's not me either, and I know that.  I can't be false; what's the point in having someone be attracted to something (or someone) that I'm not?  I'd rather just be me, and believe that by doing so, everything will eventually fall into place, like missing puzzle pieces appearing at just the right times.  But of course being a creative romantic, that's exactly what I must believe... like my characters in my books; I'm written the way I'm written, no ifs, ands, or buts... and my life will play out according to my pre-programmed nature.  I'm a dreamer - a nice, accommodating guy who believes in faith, trust, and whatever else forever is made of.  Don't get me wrong, I might just be onto all of that already, but the events of the last year have given me a lot to think about when it comes to love, and just how easily and carelessly that socially acceptable four-letter-word gets tossed around.  My heart is tough, years of offering it up as a relational hacky-sack has made it so, but even the toughest leather can be redeemed and restored in time.

Speaking of restorative redemption; I'm down almost sixty pounds, since last Fall, and if anything has been particularly good for my heart, it's the reduction of physical strain upon Cupid's favorite, if not wholly ill-advised target.

Consequently; earlier in my blog I mentioned a reality series (which has been the primary reason for my weight-loss), and I must admit, I'm very excited about it.  The series is called 'Method Writer', and will feature yours truly, my children, and a few of my closest friends and fellow authors on a quest to experience life through the eyes of our characters.  Live research done in first person.

Yes, there is much to be grateful for and excited about, so please follow my blog, and share my Facebook and YouTube pages... like, follow and share... that is all I can really ask of you, and I do ask because I cannot do this alone.  I need your support, because without you: my audience, my readers, my friends, I am nothing.

Thank you for joining me on my perpetual journey.

Monday, May 5, 2014

BLOODLIES: The Birth of a Deception

Rod recently experienced what he believes to be a grand epiphany, though he isn't too big a man to admit that he just might have finally been slipped a heavy dose of common-sense.
Everyone has their downfalls, and Rod's biggest problem was that he wanted 'everyone' in his life to like 'everyone else' in his life... so much so, that he took to making excuses to mask each person's shortcomings from all of the others... in other words, much like a politician, he would lie to make other people like those whom he feared they wouldn't like based upon their own merits.
It worked for about 45 years, only causing some mild confusion along the way, confusion which Rod accepted responsibility for under the guise of simple misunderstanding and good-natured bumbling.
But about a year ago, when numerous, bright red-flags began to pop up around his writing-partner, Shaun McGinnis, Rod put on his trusty 'rose-colored' glasses once again, and began to sell himself on his writing partner's merits, and downplay the serious issues at-hand.
Needless to say, the deception became wide-spread, and Rod put his own reputation and personal relationships on the line by hiding his concerns, and 'selling' Shaun to those around him.
Well, as lies always do; this one finally came around to bite Rod in the hind-quarters, when his so-called friend took advantage of a much needed move, (prompted by Shaun's growing need for drugs and alcohol, and increasing displays of aggression towards Rod's children), and sent their book off to the publisher minus more than forty pages of Rod's edits, switching the names on the cover to give himself first billing, and locking Rod out of his own Facebook pages (Dark Whispers, which was mentioned in Rod's April 2013 post was one of the accounts in question).  He has even gone on to tell the fans on the pages that Rod 'vanished', 'refused to cooperate with edits', and 'was only on the book as a contractual obligation'.
None of which is true (Evidence which supports all statements both above and below is available).
Shaun's (and his girlfriend's - yes, girlfriend - Shaun and Vicky are not married, yes, they lie about that too) lies will come back to bite him one day as Rod's did, and perhaps he will learn a valuable lesson as well... but in the meantime, Rod has decided that he will no longer play 'politician' to his friends and family.  Those around him will like who they like, and if they dislike someone in Rod's tight-knit circle, then perhaps there's a reason.  Maybe if he had taken his true friend's initial assessments of Shaun and Vicky into account instead of glossing them over with a layer of B.S. and Sunshine, he would have avoided a whole lot of heartache... then again, he still wouldn't have learned this valuable lesson.
So while he is sorely disappointed in Shaun's unscrupulous actions, Rod also owes him a debt of gratitude for showing him the err in his ways, breaking him of the need to 'lie' on behalf of friends and family, and bringing him to this new, 'misunderstanding-free' phase in his life.

So on behalf of Rod, and those of us who love him; thank you Shaun McGinnis and Vicky McGinnis Parker.  We wish you well in your Machiavellian life of dipsomania, crapulence, addiction, duplicity, thievery, chicanery, debauchery, backstabbing defamation and slander.  We hope that you get all that you deserve out of life, and more.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Edits Edits Everywhere! Dark Whispers. & Peace of Mind…(Revisited)…

So here we are; really close to finally getting the first book in the ‘Bloodline’ series
‘Bloodline - The Birth of the Vampir’
polished off and sent back to the publisher once and for all. 

(Yep, believe it or not, there were actually a few requested edits)

This is getting to be positively nerve-racking!

What was it Owen Wilson’s character said in the movie 'Armageddon'?.. 
Something to the effect of: "I'm not sure if I'm 49% scared and 51% excited, or 49% excited and 51% scared... I'm so confused!"
Yep... that pretty much sums it up for me.
But I feel safe in saying that the excitement is seriously outweighing the fear at this juncture.

Speaking of excitement; we’ve poured several months’ worth of research into the history and mythology behind these stories, and... hmmmmm…
Okay... I have to deviate here for a moment and provide a little backstory –

A few years ago, I had this crazy idea for a little vampire story called ‘Nights of The Round Table’... yeah I know, a corny play on words, but it sounded good at the time… and it revolved around the legend of the first and only vampire to be knighted by King Arthur.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll still do something with that story…  I know, I’m a dork, but anyway…   
That evening I called Shaun McGinnis, my business partner, and now writing partner as well, and shared my thoughts.
Three hours later, the ‘Bloodline’ series had been born… fleshed out from beginning to end.

As I said earlier, since that fateful evening, hours upon hours of research have been conducted, and countless spirited conversations have taken place that have ultimately shaped our characters destinies, and dictated the impending course of the story…

And of course, all of that was said to simply say this:

I am sometimes still amazed when Shaun and I break new ground in the story, and build upon an already rock-solid foundation… sharing another one of those serendipitous conversations which we both realize is a new and necessary turning point in an already richly twisting tale. 

We are boldly, and confidently forging forward, deep into the mythology of one of the fictional world’s most beloved and equally feared inhabitants, and retelling it as it has never been told before. 
Consider it the ultimate reboot. 
More to come on that subject as I’m able to share…

Since my last entry, a  very talented group of authors and I have founded "Dark Whispers - The Dark Hall Writers Fan Group".   
Please take a moment (if you have not already done so) to join us there, and show these authors some love!  There are some great books being represented there that you've probably not yet heard of... particularly if you love the Horror Genre.

**I made a statement in my last blog which I wish to revisit, and perhaps re-state:
I said:  "…while I do understand that money doesn't buy happiness (yes, so sorry, it’s true), it can buy peace-of-mind… and that’s what I dream of… peace of mind…"
I received more than a few comments with regards to that phrase, and it’s surprising how many unique definitions of happiness there are floating around… J  But one comment made particular sense:
"If Peace of Mind is what you truly seek, and Money can provide that Peace of Mind, then isn't Money, in effect buying Happiness"?
So if:
Money = Peace of Mind
Peace of Mind = Happiness
Money = Happiness!

Well I’ll be darned… 
I was wrong…

Or of course you can just go with my seven-year-old daughter's philosophy:

Until next time!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peace of Mind...

Greetings and Salutations!

It's been a long while since I've posted anything, but I'm at a stage in my career where that's going to change now, so my ‘Dragonherding’ blog is about to be re-born!!

As many of you know, my writing partner (Shaun McGinnis) and I are getting published later this year, and as excited as we are, the concept of our respective careers finally taking off in a big way, is positively surreal.

We're at a crossroads in our lives & careers, but must wait patiently for things to unfold, before it's revealed just how much things will change and/or how quickly, but of course, patience is a relative term, considering the fact that we’re both living in today's horrific economy and surviving by the skin of our teeth.

When one moves into a room at a friend's home, simply to avoid the harrowing choice of paying rent or eating, then something is wrong. When one receives more phone calls from creditors than loved-ones, something is amiss. And when one finds himself missing work because he can't afford gas or car insurance, something is definitely rotten in Denmark.

Now don't get me wrong...I'm not actually complaining...I swear! I am truly one of the most blessed people that I know. I'm just attempting to illustrate my current situation, so that as my life changes, I (we) can look back, and fully appreciate the differences for what they are.

I've seen things from the bottom of the food-chain my entire life, and if I am ever fortunate enough to make that all-coveted climb to the top 1%, I'll always appreciate whatever opportunities and adventures life presents me and be grateful, because I wasn't born with a silver-spoon.

I’m also not one of those shallow, callous, socialites, who actually believes success is based upon how many zeroes are in his bank-book…but rather…I'd say I'm a realist, and a humanitarian, who bases his success and his worth upon his measure as a father, a friend, an employee, etc. So, given the fact that I’ve endured days (um…years) with one big goose egg in my bank book, I’m ready to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and believe that it is no longer an oncoming train.

I would like to finally take my children on vacation without having to use my car-title as collateral, or agree to wash dishes at a restaurant, just to enjoy a decent meal.

Yes - as grateful as I am for my amazing-life, and the blessings that so abundantly surround me, I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck, robbing Peter to pay Paul (so sorry Peter, but you always get the short end of the stick)…

All of that said, I am well-aware of the fact that being a writer is not necessarily a practical remedy for one’s financial woes, it would be nice in helping to alleviate them a tad, however small, what I can hope for most with the Bloodline series, is to know that we've created something that people enjoy and believe in, and that we've put something out there that we're proud of.

You see, while I do understand that money doesn’t buy happiness (yes, so sorry, it’s true), it can buy peace-of-mind…and that’s what I dream of…peace of mind. Oh, and True Love too…but that’s a blog for a different time…

So there you have it…the first little sliver of my soul.

My heart’s desire in a nutshell…

I’ll share more of course…a lot more…probably more than I should, because that’s what writers do - bare their souls to the world.

Ironic, but one of my last posts was on 11311.

Well, today is 31313 – and what better day than today to get back into the swing of things?

Rod R. Garcia