Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why "Ways of War"?

Earlier this week I had lunch with a friend who recently read “Ways of War”. We had not been sitting at the table long when he asked me what made me write the book. At first, I thought it was a bad sign; one that meant it wasn’t good, but after just minutes of conversation relative to the book he informed me otherwise. My greatest fear as a writer is that though I think a story is good, it may not hold the interest of the reader who expects and desires entertainment. 

He told me the story was very good. I will not go into great detail about the personal conversation because of the topic. I will however expand upon the initial question asked, “What made you write this book? Why this topic?” 

We as human beings struggle with conflict every day. We desire to be kind, caring, loving individuals. Somehow we fall short of our own expectations almost daily. When we fail to live up to our own ideals, we become weak. We lose hope and then patience. When this happens, we often lose sight of our original goal and lash out. I believe this is the beginning of what become wars between nations. 

Disconnect between the ideal we hold up to ourselves and that which the world sees causes dissension among the people of many countries. The nations of the world are all guilty of ignorance to one degree or another, the United States is no exception. We think because something works for us it will work for the world. A nation; a people may desire freedom from poverty and persecution, but they may not be ready for the responsibility that comes with it. We as a nation became what we are over time; over centuries. We did it in increments and with great loss of life and ultimately compromising. We can’t go into other countries and force our system on those people when they are not ready. 

I wrote “Ways of War” because I had a story to tell. I may have been a child during the Vietnam Struggle, but I remember. I remember two uncles going off to fight and being terrified for them. I remember seeing the fighting and riots on T.V. and listening to the conversation that always seemed to return to the same topic. Someone always brought the Vietnam War up in conversation.

Today we hear some of those men and women referring to our present day wars as “another Vietnam”. If we can’t learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Maybe time and distance has caused our government to forget about Vietnam and the conflict within our country during that time in history. In writing “Ways of War” I hope to refresh the memories of people that may not remember that time in history or were too young to remember. We shouldn’t forget any war lest we repeat the error of our ways.

The Vietnam War is long past. But mistakes made during the War left lessons unlearned. “Ways of War” is just another way to revisit the past and remember. It is not my desire to open old wounds and cause pain to anyone. It is my desire, however, to cause people to respond differently. I have great respect for those that gave so much without receiving the respect they deserve“Ways of War” is my small contribution to their sacrifice. I have dedicated it to those that have served and those who serve today.

The story always continues. The names change, time passes, the sun rises and sets and the seasons continue to change, yet the one consistency remains. The desire for peace is the goal. Sometimes I think it’s a mirage. We will never see it if we can’t even learn from the past.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Gift To Share

We all have a gift to share. A talent that sometimes remains hidden away for years, never to see the light of day, until something forces us to bring to light the gift that hides in darkness.

What a shame that so many people are denied the novels, paintings, photographs, and sculptures. So many people will never see the beauty of those who are afraid to share what their talent and treasure can create.

I encourage anyone who has ever had a desire to create something from nothing, to do it! Don’t over analyze and criticize yourself. You are your own worst critic. I think we all are. The creator often creates the negative insights. They are a figment of the mind that takes over and keeps us from producing a wonderful work of art!

There will always be someone who doesn’t like your work. Not everyone sees what you see. Not everyone views the world from your spectacles. You may wear rose-colored glasses for a reason that the critic is not aware of. Therefore, they don’t see what you see. But there may be ten others who are farsighted as you are and see what you see. They will get it. They will understand you and your characters and images. They will fall in love with your stories or pictures and that is when you as the creator will finally let go. It will no longer matter what others think or say. You can be what you dream.

Don’t hide or hold your creativity prisoner in your own mind. Release it and share it with the world. That which you share with others will set you free!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Newly Released: Children's Anthology: Memories of Your Childhood

Sand Box
I look out my back window
At where you used to play
I smile as I remember
All the sunny days
I recall your laughter
As I’d sit and watch you play.
In the sandbox I built for you
Where you’d want to spend the day
At times the sand became a tower
And then it would be gone
Only to become a creation
That came from your precious mind
No matter what you built or made
I loved to watch you play
In the sandbox I built for you
Those were special days
You’ve since grown up
And moved on
But the memories they remain
The sandbox I built for you
Will never be the same.

 poem from recently published Children's Anthology: Memories of Your Childhood
Find it today on

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Very Cold Night! Especially for the Homeless

I sit here tonight in my warm house listening to the wind blow just outside my window. I know quite well it’s cold out there. Just before settling in to write this blog I looked at the thermometer which reads negative 4 degrees!

Now I sit here typing as I listen to the wind. I can’t help but think of the people that may be out on the street. I don’t mean people that are out for an evening of frolic and fun. I'm thinking of the homeless right now. I can’t help but worry about those that have no shelter when the weather is like this. If you think about those, who are cold tonight if you put yourself in their shoes…

I pull the thin parka around me as my muscles tense up; my body’s reaction to the cold. My jaw gets tight as I try to keep my teeth from chattering while the wind whips through the street. It creeps in behind my neck forcing its way down my back. I reach up and lift the collar of the coat stretching it to reach my exposed ears as the cold air burns through my flesh. I’m torn between protecting my cold ears with the jacket and the desire to push my hands deep into the pockets to keep them warm. It’s no use. There is no relief. The cold is too much.

I continue walking hoping to find shelter from the cold wind. My face is burning now from the cold air. My nose is running. I reach up to wipe away what has dripped off the tip of my nose. I have to laugh as I realize ice has collected just there. I keep going if for no other reason than to keep my blood moving. If I don’t stand still; if I keep walking my blood will continue to work its way through my body, keeping me, well not warm, but alive. I turn as the passing car interrupts my thoughts. They don’t even notice me. They look right through me as if I'm not standing here freezing. I'm not surprised. I see that all the time.

I've now reached the alley I'm hoping will at least shelter me from the wind. I lean against the brick as I slide down that wall and sit, curled up hoping I can produce enough heat to keep my blood moving. My teeth are chattering again. My joints are getting stiff. Maybe I shouldn’t sit still.

 I’m really tired. I need to rest for a little while then I'll get up and move around some. I sit quietly with my thin jacket wrapped tightly around me. I can hear the noise of the night floating away. I can see my breath, so I must still be alive. It’s getting colder. I’m so tired. My eyelids are getting heavy. I force them open and look around one more time.

I see no one, I only hear voices as they slowly drift off into the night. 

My feet are tingling. Maybe it’s warming up. My neck hurts, I need to straighten up. Instead, I lean over and lay down, curling up tighter into a ball. I think my breathing is getting shallow. No, I’m just tired. I can’t stay awake; I don’t want to stay awake. If I sleep, I won’t feel the cold. I don’t want to be cold anymore. I’ll rest for a while. It’s okay, just for a few min….

The image above is the life of a young girl freezing in an alley. Will she wake up and walk to stay alive? Or will she freeze there curled up in a ball against that brick wall? You won’t know because this is where the vision ends.

Her story is the story of many homeless people in this country that fight to stay alive during the long winter months. Each of singularly may not be able to do away with the reality that is portrayed in this short vision. But collectively we can make a difference. 

Please take a few minutes this winter to locate a shelter in your area and donate what you can to help those in need of a warm place to stay during the frigid winter months. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Great Dreams Carry Great Risks

The risk is great and you open yourself up to ridicule when you share your dreams. There will always be those who don’t see your dreams for what they are to you. In your eyes, your dreams are all that you strive for; everything you work so hard to make happen.
The dreamer is the creator; maker of that which others live through. The dreamer is the one who, though afraid, sticks his/her neck out and risks mocking and ridicule. Where would the world be without dreamers? Every modern convenience we enjoy today started out like a dream. What a world we would live in if every dreamer got discouraged at every snide remark.
I am a dreamer just like millions of people across the globe. For many years I kept my dream under wraps, not letting anyone know what my deep desire was. It remained stored away deep in my heart while I raised my children while working and maintaining a household. Like me, many people chose one dream over another, at least temporarily. My children were a dream at one point in my life. Now they are a reality that lives and breathes and are now adults who take care of themselves as they experience their own dreams. Now it is time for me to return to my dream of writing and creating.
So now here I am. One novel published and the second one coming straight behind. The process is just beginning as I promote “Ways of War”. I am on a new journey as I feel my way through a new world. Watch for me out there as I make my debut. Keep me in your thoughts as I continue to grow with the characters in my stories.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Ways of War" and All it Implies!

Anna Windsor lives through a time that tests her ability to survive a great loss. She is also living in a time where women are still fighting for freedoms we now take for granted.

There was much dissension within the country as you will see in “Ways of War”. The riots were proof that though we as a people desired change, those that worked toward change were still in denial about living in peace with each other. It always amazes me how narrow-minded we really are as a society. We preach peace while we kill each other to get our point across. I suppose things never change.

As you work your way through “Ways of War” you will notice similarities with our generation. Side by side generation by generation we see the same struggles. Our boys (and now girls) go off to fight battles that are not theirs to fight. They return home to a country that may have learned its lesson in one way but it still can’t accept the responsibility of its people who return maimed and in mental distress. Our military deserves better than this. They go off to do the bidding of the politicians and return only to be pushed aside in the name of budget cuts.

“Ways of War” may be a novel that touches on a time forgotten, but it brings to light the things that for years were in dispute. This story will continue to move through the generations and ultimately focus on that which affects us today.

The idea that all men are created equal and deserve to be treated with respect is a novel idea and one we as a country promote. at least it appears so outwardly. Our government is forgetting one thing though. You can’t force progress down the throats of those that have never experienced it. It must be a gradual introduction and one that is invited. We can’t presume to go into a country and force our ideas on them when they are not ready for them.

The United States became what it is because the people desired it and fought for it. The people stood up and involved themselves in the fight. they planned it and caused the change they wanted. We now go into these countries that are suffering and say they want change. My question is are they fighting the battle? Are they heading up the fight for change? I am all for helping those in need. I don’t believe we should fight someone else’s battle though.

We pulled together as a nation to create the Republic that resulted. We fought for the ideals and values we wanted to see. If a country truly wants to change, they need to do the same thing. Yes, we can assist if they ask however we should not be sending in equipment and men to train people that truly don’t want to change enough to fight. We are arming the enemy by doing this. If we look to Afghanistan, we see a perfect example. We sent in men and arms to train men that ultimately turned on us and has drawn us into a never-ending battle.

In reading “Ways of War” you will see situations and arguments that still exist today. “Usher of Truth” will bring to light information that proves that often the connection to the past creates haunting situations in the present. People and connections in past situations result in current events and cause distress to the innocent.