Revised Paradox Opening Scene – Proposed

Note: As much as I am focused on finishing Lights and Shadows, Paradox is worming its way onto the front of my mind. The more I resist it, the stronger it becomes so here’s something to keep the demon at bay. 😉

His eyes opened into dim light and a pounding headache. The last thing he remembered was a bright flash filling the cockpit and alarm klaxons. He was laying on a cot, the thin mattress barely protecting his back from the metal strips that crisscrossed underneath. He sat up and took stock of the surroundings. No windows in the rounded metal walls and a single heavy door with a slit peephole and a passing slot at the bottom made up the entry and exit points. The room was colder than a metaphor and he resisted touching the nearest wall.

Then he saw her. She was crouched in a far corner, slowly rocking to herself and muttering a string of syllables that he barely heard. Her rumpled yellow jumpsuit was caked with dirt and her long blonde hair hung in equally dirty stringlets that covered her face. When she noticed him, she cringed and shrank farther into the wall.

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Life 2.0

There’s been a lot of changes lately and one must adapt to changes as they happen or there’s a tendency to get swamped and founder in the surf.

A little background context…

For the last 4-5 years, I have been living at the motel that is also my Day Job. Not the most ideal of circumstances in terms of making a living, but I get plenty of time to work on creative projects. I’ve been told by friends and close acquaintances that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be able to deal with it if they were in similar circumstances. I’m not sure if I’m being paid a compliment or not, but when you are trying to reorganize after a series of setbacks, you tend to focus on what you have, not what you don’t. That means devising (and following) budgets, developing plans of action both personal and professional, and essentially removing what wasn’t working in favor of what will.

Sure, I’ve had my doubts and frustrations, but that’s par for the course when you are making major life changes. So when I say that Writing is very important to me, I’m not making that assessment lightly.

A few days ago, I brought back a number of personal items from storage that had sat for about a year. The year-long storage wasn’t intentional; I had only counted on a few months but plans fell through. Hey, at least I got my gaming computer back in my hands again…hehe.

My life is officially centered around Writing now that Paradox is back in my possession. Of course, I always try to strive for balance because the easiest way to kill the joy of what you love is to do it 24/7.

There will always be unforeseen events that will come along to mess up your day, but with an organized foundation in place, those hiccups won’t feel as bad. Plus, worrying sucks and I would rather do more fun things like being creative.

Thanks for your time. 🙂

Coming Full Circle aka I Finally Got My Stuff from the US Copyright Office

I’ve been saying for months that my stuff from the US Copyright Office was on its way and while it certainly moved at the speed of Government, today it finally showed up in my PO Box. As part of my re-dedication to this funky path I’ve been on, I’ve decided to share the opening process with you all.

Cue the Music…

1) The Outer Envelope.

Outer Envelope

This is the packaging that it came in. No fanfare, no big deal. I know it looks a bit tired but I had walked down to the Post Office and had to stuff it in my jacket to protect it from the rain.

2) Return Mailing Address

OE Return Address

I felt the need to show this because the logo’s kind of cool and to dispel any doubts at this point. Did it work? Hehe.

3) Inner Contents

Inner Contents

Thankfully, the inner contents were protected by a clear plastic envelope(?). What you are looking at is part of the final receipt.

4) Inner Contents, Page 1

IC Page 1

The picture is a little blurry, but it’s supposed to be showing Page 1 of Paradox and some of the original copyright stamp.

5) Copyright Replacement Cover Sheet

Copyright Replacement Cover Sheet

I didn’t expect them to get this fancy with the replacement certificate, but it’s pretty cool.

6) Photocopy of the Original Copyright Certificate

Copy of Original Copyright Certificate

Well, that’s it. 25 years and about $300 to get this back into my hands. I started reading it earlier and I have to admit that the overall story is good, but there are some sections that kind of make me cringe a bit. Oh well, that’s what editing is for…again. 😉

Thanks for your time. 🙂

Feeling Introspective

I’ve done and seen a lot of things in my 48 years on this Earth. I grew up in a single parent home (my Dad raised me and two sisters on his own in the 70s with only his skills and ethics to guide him. Looking back, I think he did a great job.), dealt with being down on the low end of the Income Scale, served in The Navy, worked for both Federal and State Governments, and finally, achieved my dream of publishing my first book in 2015.

Wow, what a ride, huh?

In a month, I will be going into the last year of my 40s and as I consider the ramifications of living almost 5 decades I find myself looking back on the people I’ve known, the ones I’ve loved, and the ones that I’ve lost due to my actions or theirs.

I’ve been a “bad boy”, a “nice guy”, and somewhere in between that would make bleeding heart progressives blanch in terror and religious types clutch their prayer beads and rosaries. I’ve been on both sides of the Emotional Hurt Locker and learned first hand how words and deeds can hurt others and how to avoid crossing the line.

But I have few regrets and the ones that persist are those are firmly locked away in The Past.

Life, by its very nature, isn’t static and while we may not welcome Change, we must accept its inevitability. The person I am now bears little resemblance to the person I was at 38 or even at 28. There is no road map to navigating through Life. You make decisions that either work out or don’t, you choose things that either benefit you or give you a life lesson. In the end, the only thing we really have any control over are the choices we make and those choices dictate the kind of Life we lead.

My attitude toward Life is probably why I am drawn to people of action. The ones that spend less time complaining about how unfair Life is and more on fixing what is wrong with them. We don’t have enough of them these days and that’s a damn shame because like a commercial I once saw a couple of years ago, there are more people who would crowd around a piece of litter on the street and complain about it than pick it up and deposit it into a nearby trash can.

The word “All” is dangerous…

When people throw around phrases like “All X are like this” or “All Y are like that”, I believe that they are not after any sort of social or political change, but instead are stating that someone in a particular group did them wrong and instead of dealing with that one individual, they paint an entire demographic. I don’t like this kind of sloppy, angry, lashing out and I often avoid people who make a habit of such expression. I deal with individuals, not groups, and I’ve had a lot success with my interpersonal relations when I don’t let my innate introversion cause me to allow friendships to lapse.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I’m a sweetheart of a guy…hehe.