Strange Days Are Upon Us

I was sitting, writing the other day and came up with a really awesome idea. What if I came up with a character to play in live segments who was otherworldly and read books? So I set out to design a persona I could portray on youtube,Instagram, and Facebook. Well, it took three of us to come up with the right character type.

The day before yesterday, I was talking to Sunny, my cover artist, and he suggested an Incubus/Reaper…sort of a Soul Reaver.  Thus, Souljourner was born.  The projected “show” is entitled Souljourner’s Dark Story Time. I will be reading  stories, recommending books, and whatever else I can think of as Souljourner.

I am not sure exactly how long the little vignettes will be, but I do know that there will be a lot of mischief and mayhem, trying recipes, introducing new books, and talking to Headley.

Souljourner:

Souljourner template

Headley:

718YHnaQBKL._UY500_

Who knows? I may even share really great music…

Hmmm….Again.

Did I lose y’all? I mean, I introduced you to Sal who is Matt’s bandmate and also happens to be a homosexual. Now I intro’d you to Matt’s Uncle and his lover. Are we having a tough time processing the sudden (but not really) appearance of a couple?

I warned you back when I started writing The Morrow Family Saga that I was not going with the sugar coated world. I was going to touch subjects that might actually make you uncomfortable. Well, I may not have reached too many in the 50’s, but I will begin hitting a few in the 60’s and 70’s (namely what took place during the “Summer of Love” and also during the sexual revolution of the late 60’s and 70’s that seemed to end with the death of the discos but continued underground and is even around today). I open on the 80’s with death and the revelations about different family members.

Natalia, Matt’s mother, is dying of AIDS during a decade where little is truly known about the syndrome. the 80’s were a time of uncertainty and few treatments. Now, we have a plethora of information dealing with recent (and not-so-recent) discoveries about how the virus works as well as new treatments used to keep it at bay. But then, they had just discovered and begun to study the virus.

Natalia, like many in the late seventies and early eighties, contract the virus through the porn industry and her inability to get away from the “free sex” mentality she has become used to. She is now in the latter stages of the illnesses that normally wouldn’t be fatal but which have become so due to her advanced state with HIV/AIDS. Her mother and father, fully aware of her lifestyle, still do not know that they will be seeing their baby girl for the last time even though Nattie’s siblings do.

Matt, too, is devastated because he realizes that this is one fight he cannot help her win and that he is about to lose the one person who matters most to him. Even though his first marriage has fallen apart, and a divorce is eminent, it doesn’t matter. He has already dealt with that and is now face-to-face with reality like never before. He is at a breaking point and everyone but him knows it.

If you don’t feel comfortable with things thought to be taboo, then by all means. Don’t read any more of the story. Otherwise, remember: this is history seen through a fictional family’s eyes. Reality tends to blend with fiction in this type of series. And also remember that I do not candy-coat things to make it acceptable to those who are of a religious nature. Long live the truth.

Math Madness

Sorry for the lack of chapters. Business math and Biology have gobbled up my time and brain cells like Pac Man going after the power pellets and the ghosts. I haven’t really felt like writing due to the amount of energy the two combined classes took. I am not the best at math and am finding myself in wonder because I am doing better than I had expected.

Next term, I will be better able to take time to write more. I will be better rested as well. Until then, here’s hoping to give more updates soon. Oh, and one more thing. Be sure to keep up with character development for The Vampire Wars to see if I talk about your fave VW/Angel of Death character. so far, I have profiled Voodoo and Angel. Who will I profile next? Check it out at:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Vampire-Wars-372567059776842/.

Also, feel free to check out the following FB pages for my books:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Morrow-Family-Saga-1717838618532943/

https://www.facebook.com/Seven-By-Jay-Seven-Short-Stories-1226651870761670/

https://www.facebook.com/So-Heres-To-Twilight-and-other-Poems-383591408646229/

https://www.facebook.com/Unofficial-Faces-In-The-Crowd-series-260354184380721/

https://www.facebook.com/Seasons-of-Life-570495813150042/

https://www.facebook.com/Jesus-Saves-crimesuspense-novella-2145107959047725/

https://www.facebook.com/Mexican-Radio-Vols-I-and-II-660452754114426/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Price-You-Pay-and-Other-Short-Stories-1230359687051800/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Devil-913901315411340/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Daniel-Hargis-series-1788525131407459/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Faust-Syndrome-237583800005300/

https://www.facebook.com/Tales-From-The-Renge-339811053041054/

https://www.facebook.com/angelofdeathbooks/

My Crazy Brain

So here’s the skinny. While I am posting the serialized version of Ohio here, I am serializing another SHORT story, Final Countdown, on Wattpad. I began writing FC last night after I finished posting here. It has been a story idea that has been festering in my mind for a long time and now I am writing it. I am unsure just how long this story will be, but know that I do not foresee it being a full length novella or novel.

I do, however, see more than one story in this line but have no clue how many or how it will end. Don’t worry, though. It isn’t going to affect Ohio or any of the stories in The Morrow Family Saga.

Projects

I am not looking forward to returning to Once Around the Ride or Life Loves a Tragedy. Or even the nine books following Life. They all deal with pain. Once deals with the death of Matt’s mother and the impact it has on him and those in his family. It also explains the anger he exhibits toward his mother in Long Cold Winter. Life Loves a Tragedy begins a second time of loss for Matt. It is about the beginning of the end of his relationship with his greatest love, Juanita (also talked about in Long Cold Winter).

Once Around the Ride begins the 1980s series of The Morrow Family SagaLife Loves a Tragedy begins the 2000s series. Like all good procrastinators, I will continue on Ohio (the first book in 1970s series) and on These Eyes. Not sure I want to start crying every chapter while writing the other two books.

All I Want For Christmas

There are days I wonder why it is so hard to make it as an author. This is the hardest time of the year for me, the stretch between September and April. So many people close to me died during this stretch of time. My grandfather (who encouraged me at an early age to follow my heart and my dreams) died in September of 1978. My son died in March of 1997. My father, uncle, and aunt died within a year of each other between sept.2012 and Sept.,2013.

So much has happened the past year that has made it bittersweet. My grandma’s passing brought a mixed feeling of relief and sadness.My marriage was a touch of paradise that was overshadowed by miscommunication and differences in opinion among family members. Watching my wife walk across the stage and accept the diploma she had earned gave me great pride while the political debacle that was our chance to find change became a battle between two of the same. Even more sadness has developed as I have watched the “winner” pick less than stellar people (the same politics he claimed to be going in to drive out of DC) for his cabinet and a scandal rise in the form of allegations of vote tampering that implicates Russia.

All I really want for Christmas is for business to pick up. I am writing a Christmas themed book in the Morrow Family Saga since I have had a devil of a time getting the much needed information about the local rodeo and nearby State Park in the 1950’s (1953-59). Since I have a delay on that, I have decided to change the scene a bit and do a softer, more peaceful book…with very little mention of the French family or the mob or even anything more than a mention of the main plot of the ’50’s set. I am thinking that there will be a couple of quiet books, allowing Natalia to grow a little and show her potential in a few areas, then I will return to the storyline I started with and finish the 50’s out with a dark surprise.

I have started FaceBook pages for each series/book I have written and have added a “buy now” button that takes the visitor to my author’s page on amazon and all the books I have written. I did it that way because I couldn’t do separate buttons for each book in the serieses. this way, they can see all the books and choose exactly which ones they want to order. Later, I will post each link to the pages here. But for now, I will take my leave. Here’s hoping for a better New Year.

No FaceBook

In years past, at least the last six years, I have spent part of Thanksgiving on FaceBook. Not this year. Today, for me, is a day of peace, rest, and reflection as it should be for us all. We should hold our peace on all subjects that cause strife. We should rest from our battles. We should reflect upon exactly why this country was founded.

All too many of us forget that the Pilgrims, those purveyors of Puritanism, came to this land so that they might worship in the manner that they wished, without the meddling or the governments of Europe. We forget that the world at that time only allowed one to follow, without harassment, one of two “Christian” religions. The Catholic church and the Church of England suppressed all forms of Protestant beliefs, calling them-openly-heresy. Many sects were massacred on the continent without the privilege of a trial by jury simply because they were seen as heretical and the church thought that they needed to be stamped out. The Church of England, England’s answer to the Catholic Church in every way except its being run by the king, was no better toward Protestant churches…the Puritans included. Thus, they came to this continent for the sole purpose of freedom. This religious freedom, however, did not extend to all. It seems that all were free to worship as they pleased within the colonies as long as they worshiped as the Puritans did.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me back track a bit and delve a bit deeper into the motives of the king that allowed the move. After all, he had a reason, or a series of reasons, to allow the colonization.

Gold, timber, riches–these drove every European empire and England was no different. the more land the empire had, the richer it was esteemed to be. If that extra land just so happened to produce gold, silver, lumber or gems, then the empire was seen as being far richer than its neighbors. And so, the governors sent by England, and even the first governors chosen from the colonials, had a second objective: to seek riches and those things that would create those riches. Gold. Silver. Timber.

It seemed that the new colonies were rich in lumber, but not gold. Or silver. Or anything else that would make England richer than its neighbors.Not that lumber wouldn’t make the empire rich, but gold and precious metals and stones were far more valuable and far more sought after.

But the desires of the empire and the wishes of the new colonists took a back seat to sickness and starvation. Of course it was recorded that at least 1/4 to 1/3 died en route to the “New World” from disease and another 1/4 to 2/3 would die of illness and starvation once they landed…not to mention freezing to death that first winter. They had not planned ahead far enough to bring enough provisions for the first winter season or enough seeds to plant that first spring. They had only thought of one thing: The desire to worship as they wished. Beyond that desire, there had been nothing else.

In our modern age, we forget that had it not been for the natives, the colonies would have died off. Without the natives, this great country would not exist as the country it is today. Had there not been a feast to make peace between the colonists and the natives, Thanksgiving-as a holiday-would not exist. We take for granted the freedoms we now share. We preach our selfish vision of Christ to those around us, making our selfish expectations for others his expectations instead of giving of ourselves selflessly and without condition. We do not respect the beliefs of others, the lifestyles of others, the openness of others, the freedoms of others to believe and live as they desire. We see only our own selfish wants. Our own selfish religious desires. In essence, we see God in our image, not ourselves in His image. We have placed our own desire to believe freely above the desires of the entity we so desire to claim as our God and Savior.

We refuse to see life from the point of view of another, preferring to create the world in our own image and then press others into molds far too limited to be realistic or even true to what humanity should be. Instead, we prefer to see those around us as the infidel, the unbeliever, while we chase false gods and prophets because we like the message they give.

We have supplanted faith, replacing it with self-desire. We have rejected belief, replacing it with gluttony and greed. We have erased the spiritual lifestyle and created a religion that relies on physical icons, rites, and rituals-physical changes to herald spiritual changes-to prove that we are on the right path. But religion was not the intent of those who started spiritual movements. Christ did not intend for the path he exemplified to become a religion, nor did Mohammed or Krishna, Or even Buddha. All was meant to be a spiritual journey of slow imperceivable changes that would culminate in a  different person where the believer/follower was concerned. Instead, Christianity and Islam became physically oppressing caricatures of what they were supposed to be. They ceased to be ways of living and became religions that desired the eradication of everyone who refused to bend to their selfish wills. Neither deal with the will of God anymore.

But, again, I veer off subject. I suppose my point is that we waste too much time complaining that when Thanksgiving comes around, we no longer know exactly what we have to be thankful for. We treat it like a vacation when it should be a day of reflection. We tend to see it as another day we can use to push our agendas. Another day to wage the endless war we have engaged ourselves in, allowing ourselves to be separated from our fellow human beings because they are black or red or Mexican or Native American or Jew or Republican or Democrat or Muslim or gay or Trans or a sinner or whatever we see them as. We never see them as just another fellow traveler on the same path called life. We cannot seem to see that we no longer have to validate them with our personal views in order to accept them as a member of the human race. Because if we have to validate them, then we are actually trying to validate ourselves. In trying to validate ourselves, we realize that even we are not worthy of whatever mercy we are shown and thus cannot seem to find within ourselves an ounce of mercy or understanding to show another.

So, Today, reflect. More than that, go and relearn this country’s history and the history of the world. Learn about the times spoken about in your Bible and learn about the customs of the time…seeking out the customs of the surrounding nations. learn why the imagery is as it is and why the book is so hard for even theologians to understand. Learn to question what you were taught. Learn that the truth is not bound to just one source, but can be found everywhere in every form of teaching. Forget your pride and learn humility.

Moreover, find a little peace. Remove yourself from the battle for a little while. Step back and take a look from a different perspective. Rest from it all. Give yourself a little time to reboot. Tomorrow is a new day, even if you can’t see it as such. begin a process of change. Look in your own heart and find your own faults, choosing to work on those before you attack anyone else for the faults you perceive in them.

Finally, look inside yourself and reflect back on your life to see what you have to be thankful for. If you can’t find anything, then you have spent too much time focused on things you should not have been focused on such as the color of your neighbor’s skin, his place of origin, his beliefs, or his sexual orientation/[preference. Or perhaps you have focused on other nonessential idols such as gun rights or forcing your belief down the throats of all you come in contact with. Whatever consumes your heart is your god, therefore whatever consumes your heart consumes your mind and takes away any reason to be thankful, thus you become a slave to it. Free your mind.