We take walls for granted.  Wall separate the area you sleep in from the area you shit in.  Walls were erected throughout history to keep foreign invaders out of a kingdom.  Walls make sense.  We also build up metaphorical walls around us so we do not get hurt.  Often after a painful event, we build walls around us to keep us safe.  Even though these walls make sense, are they good?  We all do it.  It could be from a nasty breakup, the death of a family member, a tragic event, or a friend’s betrayal.  We don’t want to get hurt again.

While walls might stabilize our present state of mind so we can deal with our own emotions, they are detrimental to our development.  Just as we cannot grow if we stay within our walls, neither can we let people in.  We have all been hurt by someone, and while we say we want to let people in, our actions contradict that.  This isn’t to say we shouldn’t have walls, but we need to know when to tear them down.

I have been following my character’s (Evan Willcox) approach, and it has not been helping.  I followed the approach because it is me.  It is how I would have reacted to the underlying situations in the books.  Sometimes it takes an unbiased outsider to make you see your mistakes, to tell you that you’re doing it wrong, to think.  I have built walls that have been standing for years.  I built walls so high that I could no longer feel.  I did not want to feel.  Unfortunately, it has been unfair to my family, friends, and those who have tried getting close to me in the past.

How long have these walls been standing?  After a lot of reflection (and still more to go), close to twelve years.  Not knowing whether my youngest son would survive for nearly two years takes its toll.  I thought I had to be the unwavering rock the family needed to survive.  I could not show weakness.  I buried my emotions deep in the dungeons of my soul and built the strongest walls I could.  Unfortunately, I took care of those walls for too long.  Every time someone knocked some bricks loose in my wall, I would repair it and add another layer.  This practice is self destructive.  Over the last twelve years, I have grown, but I have been confined by my walls.  I can no longer do that.  I do not want to end up like Evan Willcox in my books.  It is weird how a sci-fi action/adventure book can be a prophecy of what is to come even though I had no idea at the time.  What is even more surprising is that in this fourth book, Evan Willcox either self destructs or tears down his walls.  I guess I wanted to tear down my own personal walls, but I had forgotten they existed.  I wrote about it without knowing why I wrote about it.  I believe everything in life can teach us many lessons.  We just have to have our eyes open enough to see them and our minds open to accept them.

Responsibility and Others

I read an article that a robbery suspect might be suing the good Samaritan who subdued him during a robbery for “excessive force.”  Excuse me?  The guy tried to rob a Starbucks with a knife, and when a hero tried stopping him, the hero was stabbed in the neck before stabbing the suspect a couple of times with his own knife.  Son, if you did this in Ohio instead of California, I would have just shot your ass.  Technically speaking, I would have drawn my legally concealed firearm and held you there until police came or you can running after me.  At that point I would have shot your ass.  Well, if Starbucks didn’t allow conceal carry, I wouldn’t be doing business there, so I guess they can feel free to rob Starbucks.

ANYWAYS… I guess I should get to my point.  Responsibility.  TV shows and movies portray a myth that if you take responsibility and accept what you have done, you will sleep better.  That is not the case.  Look, I can understand the desire to not be blamed for bad shit that we cause.  I really do.  I have done some shit in my life that I did not want to take responsibility for, but I did.  As much as it sucked, I did.  Mistakes from my past still haunt me to this day, not because I haven’t accepted it or taken responsibility, but because they were stupid mistakes I should have never made.  I am embarrassed by some of my mistakes.  I can still feel the consequences of these mistakes.  Having asked both God and those affected for forgiveness does not wipe out my guilt.  Some say that beating yourself up and reliving the sin is a sin in itself.  The pain of the mistakes will fade over time until it comes back at 2:00 AM and hits you in the face like a shovel, waking you up with the feelings of panic and dread.

These pains and struggles follow Evan Willcox in The Event series.  (Yay!  I actually tied something back to the books!)  The character of Evan Willcox is based off me.  I have made a considerable amount of mistakes since I began writing the series, but the torment I feel over some of these mistakes are shown throughout the books.  One of my goals in writing is to show people that they are not alone with their struggles.  We all have our demons, and we all have our crosses that we must bear.  I do not lay my soul out for everyone one to see because I am brave (because I am not).  I do it in the hopes that one day, I can help at least one person realize that even though life is hard, and we make the dumbest of mistakes, life is still worth living.  I do not want pity, nor do I want others to take pity on the people struggling.  I want those who are stronger to lend a hand to those who are currently weak, for people to think about the welfare of someone else instead of their own–for us to act like compassionate human beings once again.

Optimistic vs Pessimistic

I try to be optimistic about my future.  Sure, I am going to make mistakes, but I hope I am smart enough to not make catastrophic mistakes.  It is much more difficult to be optimistic about the future of our species when it is filled with so many stupid people.

In the mid-1950s, our country had the brightest minds creating and implementing the B2 spy plane.  This thing flies so high that, without a pressure suit, the pilot’s blood would boil.  That was 1955!  We figured out how to put people in space just a few years later!  Less than a decade after the first man being put into space, we walked on the moon.  Less than a decade!

What have we done since?  Nothing much.  Yeah, we created the Internet and found out a lot more about the universe, but I would argue that made things worse.  The Internet full of more useless information than useful.  It is like we stagnated after a major milestone.  Stagnation breeds disease and parasites.

When we are more worried about posting a picture of our kids taking a shit on five different mediums on the Internet instead of trying to better ourselves, we have problems.  I am no saint in that arena, but at least I feel like a piece of shit when I decide to waste time on worthless things while my grass needs mowed.  Our laziness just exasperates our problems.  We not even care our world is turning to shit.  We just shrug our shoulders and click “Like” on the next thing we see on the Internet.

Being Prepared

One of the major themes in The Amanai Resistance is being prepared.  When it comes to survival, you are the only one you can really count on.  Your neighbors, family, governments, etc might all be dead or unable to help.  Do you have generators, gas, stabil, food, water, water purification methods, shelter, heat, ammo, and anything else you might need to survive a long stay at home with no outside contact?  This Ebola deal is about two steps from the edge.  If people are not smarter, this can easily spiral out of control.  That might mean a couple of months of staying put.  The government might be able to help a couple of town or cities, but it cannot help 300 million Americans.  If this turns south, don’t come knocking on my door.  There will be a no-visitors policy at my place, and with the survival of my family on the lines, I will not hesitate to defend my castle.  Make sure you can survive on your own.

How Dark is Too Dark?

I finished the outline of The Amanai Resolution last night.  I cannot say that I am as excited as I was with The Amanai Deception.  Maybe it is because I have so much going on right not to really thing about it, or maybe it is because the story is so much darker than the previous books making me feel depressed.  I will mull it over and try a few other ideas before I start writing it.  I can always change the story as I am writing it.  That has happened before with great results.  It will be a while before I can start the book.  I still have to expand the barn, build the leanto on the back of the garage, close the pool all while working my regular job, taking care of the family, and going to school.  No wonder this round is dark and depressing!  Too much shit going on in real life!

In the Face of Adversity

Most people like to talk the talk.  It is human nature to exaggerate a little.  It makes us feel better about ourselves while helping promote our qualities to potential mates and negate the competition.  It is only in the face of adversity do our true quality appear.  Will we wither and die?  Will we fall into the fetal position and cry?  Will we rise to the occasion but fail?  Maybe we rise above the situation and take control.  Very few rise above in a consistent manner.  Everyone has their kryptonite.  Everyone has their flaws.  I would rather be fighting beside someone who knows their weaknesses than someone who thinks they have none.

Back to Basics

I hate hearing that term.  It seems over used, but perhaps, because no one listens to it.  Our lives are very complex.  Some tiny-ass country half way around the world can have an effect on how munch money is in my retirement!  With our lives all intertwined to a degree that few of us can comprehend, it is no wonder why our lives are so complicated, confused, and just plain difficult.  It would be nice to hit a small reset button and get things back to basics where how you live is based on what you do more so than what some leader 10,000 miles away does.  I highly doubt that’ll ever happen.  I discuss in my second book (which no one has obviously read yet)up.

Can’t Believe It…

I guess it doesn’t matter how many times something is read, the mind fixes mistakes on the run, and it is amazing how many stupid mistakes are left.  I wish I could be perfect every time, but I’m never perfect once.  I hope it will all be fixed before the final publishing, but knowing there is probably a mistake in almost all books out there, I do not hold out hope or perfection.

I found time (somehow) to start the process of creating the third book in the series.  I have through chapter 7 laid out, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way.  I am combining about five different ideas into one cohesive story.  That is the plan anyway.  Execution of that plan might change things a bit.  As of now, the third book will be called “The Amanai Resolution”.

Hope and Time

I hope for a lot of things before time unapologetically stabs me in the kidneys and laughs at me as those hopes dwindle.  That is very melodramatic, and in most cases, those hopes are not based in reality.  I really hoped someone would just give me a billion or so dollars before I turned 21.  That didn’t happen.  For this instance, I’m going to fight back time.  I am determined to get the second book absolutely completed and off to publishing before I head back to school to finish my bachelor’s on the 25th of August.  Time might have a knife, but I always carry my .380 (when the law permits) in my back pocket.

100th Post and Editing

I just realized, as I was going to start this post, this is my 100th post.  Should I be thrilled or depressed?  Frankly, I doubt anyone gives a shit.  It isn’t like this is my 100th episode of a TV drama that I star in.  Not to be negative, I have stuck with this for 100 posts.  I do hope at least a few people out there enjoy reading some of the crazy things I post.

Having said that, and now building on my previous post, editing of the second “The Event” book has resumed.  Sometimes, we just have to force ourselves to do things we do not enjoy.  I much rather create a story than acknowledge my mistakes and fix them.