Saturday, January 28, 2012

Writing, goals, and how life turns out

When I was much younger, my expectations of my future life were high. I thought that one day, I'd be a writer, at least be able to make a living as a novelist. I thought that I'd quit my job working for the U.S. Postal Service, and be able to have a lucrative and fulfilling career as a novelist. Now at 52, I look back and am dismayed and depressed that the dream has gone unfulfilled. Of course, one has to realize that other more important things may have kept me from accomplishing that dream. Raising a family and making sure that they were taken care of (which I wouldn't trade for all the writing in the world), doing my duty to God and other responsibilities, exercising for good health, and of course, my full-time job. All those took me away from writing for long stretches of time.
I'm not the kind of writer who can easily sit down for five minutes and have something good written. I need at least an hour or two of free time, which throughout my adult life, has been difficult and sometimes impossible to find. And I get down on myself to easily, whether or not it's the writing aspect or the exercising aspect. Somehow, through all that though, I've been able to write one novel (still unpublished), and complete large chunks of two others (still in the process of completing them), a bunch of short stories, and numerous articles on my real passion in life--outdoors activities. So, I've written. I've even published one of my short stories for money.
But that isn't what my goal originally was. My goal was to be making a living writing. My goal was to be out of the postal service at a young age, living my dreams. So what am I trying to say? That sometimes dreams don't come true. That sometimes a modification is in order, and in order to be happy with those modifications, we need to decide to. We need to try and be happy in other ways. I think I can do that. I just need to figure some things out and decide where I'm going with my writing. Should I continue floundering in the world of fiction, or should I go where I've been more successful in my writing career, writing the outdoors articles? I'm leaning toward the outdoors articles, but then a part of me will always be wondering, could I have been good enough to be a novelist had I only persevered?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Contradictions in liberal thinking

Just contemplating today that liberals rarely make sense. One liberal point of view is that there should be light-rail trains and high speed trains everywhere in America, replacing cars, trucks, motorcycles and the like. But this idea would never work. The reason why? Other liberals would stop it. Yes, liberal environmentalists would find a gopher burrow, or a rare aphid colony--years of study would need to be done to figure out the environmental impact, new routes would need to be changed, involving more studies of the impact on the newly proposed routes, on and on and on. But wait a just might work. I nearly forgot that the environment can be overlooked as long as the liberal agenda is pushed forward. Just look at how many windmills around the country went up without a thought in the world about the displacement of kangaroo rats, jackrabbits, or horned toads.

Kind of like...

Liberals are in favor of equality. Take from the rich, redistribute to the poor. In favor of equalizing the money supply. In favor of taking from the haves and giving it to the have-nots. Yep, in favor of equality. So in order to get it, they'd like the rich to pay 30 percent or more of their income in taxes, and the less fortunate to pay next to nothing. How is that equal treatment under the law? So, as long as equality means what they define it to mean, then they believe in it.

Another thing is...

Work. Many liberals believe that traditionally low-income jobs, such as dishwashers, or parking lot attendants, should be getting paid a lot more, like twenty dollars an hour. I heard that from one of the Occupy Wall Streeters. And NBA players should be getting a lot less. The liberals want to take from the NBA players, and Oprah (wait a minute, Oprah is one of the rich that they don't want to take anything from because she agrees with them), and give that money to those on the low end of the financial scale. Sound like a nice concept, only can't we ask the wealthy to help the poor voluntarily? But it's not only that. Liberals would like those who refuse to work to be subsidized  in their efforts by those who do the work. That's you and me. As Dennis Miller says, "I'm fine with helping the helpless. I just don't want to help the clueless." Equal work for equal pay, how about that? If you can play a sport well enough to draw thousands to watch you, employing hundreds if not thousands of other employees to sell snacks and beverages, show you to your seats, provide security--well if the job you are doing provides so many jobs for so many other people, maybe you might be worth a little more on the job market than the guy who stocks shelves at Wal-mart for a living.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Here I am writing blog posts again instead of working on my novel

There are just too many important things to comment on and not enough hours in a day to do it. So my novel sacrifices, and thus my chance of making a living writing, goes out the window with it. Too bad, I guess. I've just got to get certain things out there that are bothering me. I hope you have a great day.

We live in a world of two-year-olds

"That's mine!"
"No. It's mine!"
The cries are heard everywhere now. Whether or not it's the new Michael Jordan shoes people are fighting about, or violence breaking out over the iPad 2. Here's a clip of another incident in China: Hysteria as Beijing iPhone Release Canceled. Each year we hear of more people being involved in tussling over the good deals on Black Friday. The world has become more narcissistic and it's not pleasant to look at.
Our own Congress has shown plenty of signs of this trend, with Harry Reid of the Senate blocking every spending bill the House sends him. Under Reid's "leadership" the Senate has failed to pass a budget for nearly 1000 days. That's approaching three years. By law, they are required to pass a budget every year.

People everywhere are slowly, inexorably, reverting to the toddler stage. They either want government to take care of them (feed me, clothe me, wipe my rear end), or they expect something for nothing from the world. With an ever increasing pace, more and more people are deciding that they shouldn't have to work for what they get. "Mommy," they seem to say, "Pick me up. Take care of me. I can't do it by myself."

Remember when it was shameful to have someone else do something for you that you could and should be responsible for doing yourself? Remember when your mom made you clean your room? If she did it for you, she's part of the problem we have today.

Whatever happened to self-respect? Whatever happened to character? Somehow, it has been replaced by greed, avarice, and a self-centered "me first" attitude that's destroying the world, slowly, like an advancing cancer. How can anyone have any self-respect when they react in such a manner? They can and do certainly have self love. Sadly, most lacking is the love for their fellow travelers here on the earth. Things have become more precious to them than others. Having "mine" is all that is important.

 What to do about it? Well, we could start a war that would send us all back into the stone age. Then people would either have to learn to work again and cooperate again or they would perish. But that's a drastic measure that no one wants. So the only solution is to have a truly vibrant leader, leading from the top, showing the way. That and a return to being a religious and principled people. Not that you can't be principled and void of religion, however, evidence has shown that for the most part, those who follow a code of ethics inspired by godly principles have been more responsible and self-reliant. With them, giving is for the truly needy, not the indolent.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Gorilla glue, plantar fasciitis, and the depths of despair

Yup. I'm feelin' sorry for myself this morning. I'm tired. Last night I came home from work at about 6:00 and did nothing for myself except take a bath. The rest of the time I worked--dinner, dishes, bills. I finally said, "I'm going downstairs to play my guitar," and then couldn't really play it, because I have a dry-skin crack right under the thumbnail of my picking hand. Frustrating.

So, I woke up this morning tired from yesterday, not really wanting to go to the gym. Well, really, tiredness isn't all of it. I've also developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis over the past week, and I don't like doing things other than running for my aerobic exercise--things that would cause less stress on my plantar. So I wussed out. Honestly, I'd like to call in sick today, but I won't do that. I'd like to go back to bed, but no. I've accomplished something though--I got my writing done for the day. Worked on my novel a bit. Not much though. Not enough. My depression has deepened and is causing me to lose my drive. I think I'm going to put some Gorilla glue on my crack, so that I can at least be pain free (ha!) for a day. What a whiner I am. I really need a vacation.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Mitt Romney, can you lead us out of this morass?

I sent this message to the Mitt Romney Facebook page this morning:

We definitely do need to ask these questions. Are we going to continue to be the free-loading loafers who despise the wealthy job creators because they are wealthy, or are we going to kick government out of our lives and stand on our own two feet like the rugged individualists of yesteryear? I propose that those of us who are wimps quit crying, and get to work supporting ourselves, and that we throw those people out of government who want to handcuff future generations with the lead weight of a massive national debt spawned by entitlements. Rise up and be men, you men, and rise up and be women, you women. This is not the day to forget our roots and depend upon a despotic government for our every day care. It's not the time to turn away from our God-given rights guaranteed by the Constitution. It's the time to stop the taking away of a man or woman the right to live and breathe free. It's the time to remove the shackles from the feet of the American businessmen and the citizens. It's the time to return to the Constitutional free market system that made us great. Mitt, I hope you will spend more time talking about returning to a time when our Constitution wasn't battered about like a flag in a hurricane. Many of us would love to vote for you if you would emphasize your desire to return to the laws and rights that were created at the founding of this great country. I pray for such a man to lead us in this great nation of ours.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Time, resolutions, and goals

As I reflect on the things that I've done this past year, and contemplate what I'd like to do the coming year, I feel that many of them are the same things. I've been thinking about the words Jesus Christ spoke, when he said, "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." In many ways, my treasure hasn't been where I'd like it to be. I've focused too much on the trivial, and not given enough time to the truly significant. In some ways, this is because my time is so limited that I think I can't do something because I would just get started and have to quit to go and do some mundane task, that however ordinary it is, still needs doing. Many of us have the same challenges, and yet, with a little effort, with a little whittling of the stuff that's of no worth or of small value, we can find more time in our days in which to work on things that are more important. I suggest in my life that the things that are most important are 1) God, and 2) Other people. My focus needs to be strengthened in those two areas.

With that in mind, I go forward, attempting to be a better follower of Christ, and in so doing, I will quite naturally become better at serving others. Sure, I have other goals. I will spend some time on them. But they are far less important than the God I love, and the people I love, who after all, are His children too.

I have always been a reactionary, instead of a good planner. Which lends itself well to rescuing people who are in danger, but does not always bode well in encounters with irate people. Responding to anger with anger isn't a Christlike attribute, and when I do such things, I don't have much self-admiration. So, I guess I need to try and keep the good qualities of being reactionary--such as being able to jump into a burning building should the need arise--but jettison the bad qualities of reactionism--the swift anger response in particular. That's what I will work on this year.

I have other goals, but  I will need to think more about them before I can put them down in written form. No one says that you can only start goals at the beginning of the year, after all.