Friday, November 8, 2013

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo

There are a number of idea's floating around in my head for today's post. They will have to wait, though, as I explain yesterday's double post. (as if you noticed, right?) Some background information might be helpful. Monday I took Gwenn to lunch. (you can meet Gwenn at this link)

It was a small way of thanking her for the work she put in formatting "The Last Enchanted Forest" in a way acceptable to Smashwords. Believe me when I say it has been a "battle royal." We actually started with Amazon and had it available there. But I wasn't happy with the results and immediately had Gwenn pull it. Nearly 6 weeks later, and with a different distributor, we can be located on a public vehicle. The upside about Smashwords is they can offer the book in any format under the sun. (i.e. Kindle, E-pub, etc.)

During lunch we discussed a number of different ways to market the book. One thing I mentioned was I would like to do a post about the book (Ask And You Shall Receive) but I didn't want to link it, I wanted to have the image (book cover) appear on the page as part of the post. Boom! Yesterday Gwenn e-mails me to look at the blog. Viola, there it was. I responded I had wanted to create a post around the image. She told me to go in and edit it.

And I guess, from a distance, that seems fair enough. To me it was a case of; the cats out of the bag. Fait accompli. I hadn't got to do things the way I wanted and it irked me! I had a scenario in mind and it had been waylaid. Why hadn't Gwenn run this through me? She had given me a ton of grieve for doing the exact same thing to her regarding the printer. (I had 10 copies printed for marketing purposes) What had she been thinking? Why did she feel authorized to post without my expressed approval? I was moving towards a temperamental, artistic snit-fit.

Well, you probably guessed what happened. The blog I posted earlier in the day was, Lighten Up. And it had a cartoon that harpooned the very essence of what I was grappling with. If Gwenn ever left, I would be over. She made the web site possible. She made the e-book possible. I had been hoisted on my own petard. I simply had to let it go...

So what does it all mean? That I struggle like you. That I am a human being with flaws. That the phrase, "physician heal thyself," constantly plays in my mind when I blog. Still, with humility, I contend that the blog is of value. I believe that it is possible that an entry (like yesterdays was for me) can be a reflection of our own foibles and steer us toward more positive outcomes. At least I hope so. Willie (the protagonist in The Last Enchanted Forest) expects no less.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

People Don't Learn

I suppose that is why I have come across another "elder" that I hadn't heard of before. First Louie Zamperini and now Alice Herz Sommer. Both defined to a large extent by their World War II experiences. I wonder if her "everything is a present," (Gift) adds gravitas to the theme of this website? Or do we hear the words, think "how nice," and promptly forget them?

I am going to include another link below. It is a 21 Day Gratitude Challenge. It starts tomorrow. Might be time to stop reading and start doing. Of course, that implies you actually want to learn something. And we all know how Alice feels about that.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013


I feel like sharing some supplemental information with you. Here is an overview of Louie Zamperini and the book "Unbroken."

To the larger point of today's post, I am going to provide context by sharing excerpts from page 166 of the book. This, so you have a better understanding of the paragraph from page 374.

One morning, (between day 35 and 40--the book is not specific) they woke to a strange stillness. The rise and fall of the raft had ceased, and it sat virtually motionless. There was no wind. The ocean stretched out in all directions in glossy smoothness, regarding the sky and reflecting its image in crystalline perfection. Like the ancient mariner, Louie and Phil had found the doldrums, the eerie pause of wind and water that lingers around the equator.

It was an experience of transcendence.

For a while they spoke, sharing their wonder. Then they fell into reverent silence. Their suffering was suspended. They weren't hungry or thirsty. They were unaware of the approach of death.

He remembered the day when he and Phil, slowly dying on the raft, had slid into the doldrums. Above the sky had been a swirl of light; below, the stilled ocean had mirrored the sky, its clarity broken only by a leaping fish. Awed to silence, forgetting his thirst and hunger, forgetting he was dying, Louie had known only GRATITUDE. That day, he had believed that what lay around them was the work of infinitely broad, benevolent hands, a GIFT of compassion. In the years since, that thought had been lost.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Since October 24th with the post "Handle With Care," an unmistakable influence has been at work on this blog. It culminated today when I happened across this link...

I know--the commercial is a pain. And, except for the age involved, (middle school kids) it isn't all that novel. I've seen similar celebrations of the spirit at the college and high school level. No, what makes this particular incident so remarkable is Justice Miller. Hang on to the end of the video and watch Justice.

The authenticity of his emotion is what is relevant. I said in Handle With Care that the "truly astounding occurrence is that you, like the wasteland, are redefined in the process." I don't want this lost on you. I am not suggesting Keith Orr was a "wasteland." Only that he could be PERCEIVED as such. (see; Alonzo and Shane) No, the metaphor is how quickly people dismiss certain segments of our society. Retard. Fatty. Loser. Fag. Slut. And by doing so, the Gift is missed. Justice Miller saw the gift and was transformed. His me became a we and an aspect of God was revealed. The kid that was never "cool" or "popular" taught Justice that. What has Justice taught you?