Catch the Wave – Relationships, Life, the Journey

 

t

 

Do you ever get curious about life and what it throws at you and why? I don’t mean a superficial blur of a thought th

at passes through your head without as much as a thought. I am talking about stopping and really thinking about what goes on in your life. Good or bad, what were the causes? Were you the reason, part of the reason, none of the reason? Why do seemingly ideal situations sometimes end in failure? Does the universe have a way of disrupting lives, situations, and circumstances to get your attention? Why is it such a challenge to find someone who fits your idea of a match with so many people on the planet?

When you do find that person why does one of you sabotage it? Is it sabotage, or a simple part of the journey?

Life is a blur, and I get frustrated always looking for the next wave. I thought I caught the perfect wave, only to have it throw me off the board near the end of the run. Now, left searching for my board — scrambling for reason and answers that is, do I get right back up on the board, or do I just enjoy the surf for a while and let the board come to me? I know the answer as I write that last sentence, but dammit I don’t want to wait. I want to get back up and give it another go. No matter what the next wave is. One thing I ha

ve learned is that no one wave is perfect. They all have their flaws as does the rider of the board. Perhaps the waves keep throwing me because I am too impatient and haven’t learned yet to enjoy simply floating through the waves as they crash into the shore. Patience. Dammit, who needs it? Apparently, I do.

Left Hanging

Is it just me, or is text etiquette, or lack thereof, maddening. So someone tells me early in the morning, via text, let’s talk later, then proceeds to not reach out and talk. Was I supposed to be the one reaching out? If I tell someone lets talk later, I make it a point to be the one reaching out. I am trying very hard to not make a big thing out of this but I genuinely don’t get it. This seems not only rude but disingenuous which is worse.

The common courtesy of doing what one says seems lost these days. I am left feeling bad about the

situation, and then worse because I doubt myself and wonder if I am being a ninny, (is that a f’ing word?), or getting worked up over nothing. I am beginning to despise texting. I used to think it was a convenient way to communicate and suppose it still can be for those with clear communication,  but for those with less than genuine and clear communication skills it is insanity.

Serenity now! If you say you are going to do something then do it, or at least give a response that something has come up, changed, whatever, so people aren’t left hanging. Ahhhhhhhhh!

Can you judge a book by its cover?

You can’t judge a book by its cover, or is it you can judge a book by its cover? I know, I know, it’s the latter unless you are a Bo Diddley fan. But I digress. I will admit, I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to browsing for a new book. I won’t even pick up a book that isn’t appealing to me. We have become such visual creatures and with such short attention spans, the cover of a book is more important now than ever, possibly. Don’t you hate those damn qualifiers? Stephen King would have already stopped reading this post I am sure.

Anyhoo, one of the things I have learned in my short Indie author career is the importance of the cover and title. Early on I was asked by someone I trust, and with knowledge in the publishing industry, that my first two novels had horrid titles that told the reader nothing. After clearing the lump in the back of my throat, I listened and then went to my loyal readers. All of them said they loved the titles and the covers. So I, of course, left them alone. Three years later now with anemic sales and the books buried in Indie Author anonymity, I have decided to rethink my stubborn strategy. I learned it is easy for someone who has read a novel and enjoyed it, to understand the title and cover. But to try to get someone to pick it off the shelf, or click on the image online is a different story. I may have been better off with the novel cover I originally created, see image included in this post, than the one I professionally paid for. Since I can’t go back in time, I am off to Kickstarter to launch a campaign for new editions. Let’s hope the new titles and covers give a good representation of what the novels are about. Cheers.

 

Who do you write, or read, for?

I can’t remember how many times over the last couple of years I have heard, and read, that you should write for yourself. If you like what you are reading, others will like it as well. This is certainly the direction I took with the Outlaw River Wilde series, and my newest novel, due out late May, early June, Hidden Beneath the Pines. I remember reading Moby Dick as a teen and being surprised and totally enthralled with Melville’s short chapters. I could pick the book up and read for five minutes, or an hour, and always find a good place to stop. At the end of a chapter that is. I can’t stand getting so tired, I can’t read anymore, and have to stop before coming to the end of a chapter.

So in my writing, I write short chapters. I try to move the story along at a good pace so no one will ever read just one at a time, but if they choose to they can. How about cliffhangers? I love them, so yet again this is my style. I always love being left wanting more. At the end of chapters, and the end of novels. Don’t you hate the feeling of a good novel or story coming to an end? The anticipation at the end of the Hunger Game novels for me was exciting. I couldn’t wait to continue with the next book.

I have received harsh criticism, from a few, for The Outlaw River Wilde series, book I, because of the ending. I loved it when I was writing it because, as a reader again; I want more and to continue. My hope was that since people knew going in the book was part, one of a duology and that chances are the first book is going to end with unanswered questions.

Oh well, you can’t please everyone all the time. I still enjoy reading all three books, so I must be doing something right. Cheers.

SHOES

img_20150919_115744The creek rippled with the powerful invigorating force of spring. Winter snow gave up its passive seat as the warmth of the sun penetrated the snowflake layers sending its new form cascading down the rugged slope of the mountain. I properly anticipated the weather dressing with layers, none of which I had yet to peel off.

I removed my sunglasses from above the bill of my baseball cap. A dark blue hat with two smiling baseball players shaking hands. The twinsretro hat, one of my favorites, signifying my Air Force brother’s beloved team from the upper Midwest. Glasses now in place, their effort to block the sun rays piercing through the majestic pine trees appreciated, I could now see, without straining, the creek’s opposite bank. I calculated the distance across, confident I would be able to make the leap to the other side without soaking my feet and brand new shoes.

I struggle with the reasons behind why I would care if my shoes get wet. Water dries eventually and it would not ruin these shoes. My mind settles on leaving my wife of twenty one years less than a week ago. The constant barrage of her negativity and false illusion of normal family lifealien-ont-departure no longer weighed me down. My immersion in the power, strength, and calm serenity of the woods propelled me forward with cleansing thoughts. The first purchase I made with my new freedom was the shoes. A new symbol of my independence. At first, I felt they needed to stay clean. Untarnished have you. The now clear message from my inner-voice preached a different yarn. I looked upward at the sun, penetrating the thick Oregon pines and laughed as I playfully walked through the  creek’s spring chill, soaking my new shoes. The universe nurtured me, tugging my soul as she showed the cleansing, healing force of the outdoors.

I’ll Disturb the Sound of Silence

T4733365he lonely walk on the rough cobble-stoned path to the lab appeared more cold and dreary than usual. The eyes housed in my head could see the path was bumpy but my feet didn’t return the sensation to my brain. Like always. I scanned my memories and found those necessary to push out tears. Feeling no grief, I noticed as the saline solution trickled down my cheeks and evaporated in the cold air. I wanted my artificial heart pumping artificial blood through my artificial veins, to ache. Something I never dreamed I would ever wish. My brain tried to relay the memory of the pain downwards into any essence left of my being. The fake body would never be able to duplicate the human range of emotions I once thought stressful. The last one hundred and fifty years has taught me a number of things about the human mind and existence. I have watched as the artificial technological landscape has become one of perfection, peace. Absent of struggle. There is no longer genuine joy or sorrow. Humans have always wanted to part with sorrow. I understood it as a young man, and I still understand it at two-hundred and one years old. I will only speak for myself. I hear the others, but choose only to speak for me. I hear the whispers at the theatre, fundraisers, athletic events, and social gatherings. Cryptic references made in the social atmosphere of our wired and connected brains housed in micro-chips. None of us are happy, that much I do know. We simply exist. Suicide is strictly forbidden and very difficult to achieve. The greater good propels all of us now to remain connected and intertwined in a binary language that has no nuance of feeling. A language based strictly on survival for the greater good.

I reached the lab, in precisely thirteen minutes and thirty-nine seconds. The same exact time as every other day I had an appointment for programming, upgrades, or a diagnostic evaluation. I grabbed what should have been 4828903a cold metal handle and felt nothing.  Searching the deep recesses of a once fully functional human mind, encased in flawed synthetic flesh, I tried to remember the feeling of snow. The sensation of cold. The chill in the air which spoke to the mind about satisfying, secure, warmth. My mouth turned upwards in a computer driven response. Walking inside I moved through the lobby acknowledging the receptionist. He was more a watchdog than anything. There were no spreadsheets or calendars to check off, no names to confirm or IDs to show. We were already connected. Without asking he knew who I was, why I was there, and where I was going. Entering the sterile room, I sat in a chair, allowed my arm to be plugged into the mainframe and sat knowing this was my sad ongoing life. But for how long? Death came to very few. Recycling was paramount and re-purposing the new norm.

lonely-bridgeLooking in the mirror one final time, my processor chip was reconfigured in the base of my skull. There was something peculiar and faulty in this latest upgrade. The reasons, as of yet unclear, offered the remaining human in me hope. I focused on clarity, allowing the upgrade to proceed so as not to alert the mainframe that a complete reboot would be necessary. I didn’t want to go through the lengthy scrubbing process again. Not so soon after the last one, a short six hundred forty nine hours, fifteen minutes and twenty-nine seconds ago. My once fleshy conscience fought for control as the upgrade concluded. I removed the connection from my arm, and nodded to the young lab attendants who never had the pleasure of sorrow or loss. They were machines through and through.

As I exited the lab, I breathed in with the full force my plastic lungs would allow. I hoped, another dead word — hope, my brain would somehow provide the sensation of cold clean air filling my lungs with the satisfaction of another life-sustaining breath. Exasperation I think. Or was it the absence of? Nothing but a memory. I headed home, thinking in a seldom used partition, not caring I was connected. It was time to die.

 

Featured Friday! Mike Walters

91afedb367485dcb5efc57e5a978612a0122cc07__300x0Mike Walters’ debut duology, The Outlaw River Wilde – Book I, and Still Wilde in Outlaw River – Book II, sprung from an idea while watching Ancient Aliens on the History channel. He intertwines his love of Native American culture and a passion for the Pacific Northwest, primarily his birth state of Oregon in the Supernatural SciFi Mystery. Mike sat down one day and started writing. The characters and story came to life as he wrote.

Mike is the Director of Marketing & Product at a Library Software company, Auto-Graphics, Inc. based in Ontario, California. When Mike isn’t working, he can be found bicycling around Southern California, hiking the Claremont Loop, or writing.

(more…)

A Born Skeptic Confronts the Extraordinary

 stillWord Slinger Publicity

July 12, 2016

Mitch Wilde never believed in aliens—that is, until he was left with no other way to explain the strange events happening around his small Pacific Northwest home. With scattered appearances of ghostly Native American riders, a series of odd break-ins by unknown intruders, and hints that more could be coming, Mitch, along with his cantankerous old neighbor who is becoming a new friend, vows to unravel the mysteries and preserve the comfortable life he has worked so hard to build.

(more…)

The Outlaw River Wilde (The Outlaw River Wilde Volume 1) by Mike Walters

91afedb367485dcb5efc57e5a978612a0122cc07__300x0The Pacific Northwest is Under Attack. Ancient Alien Intrigue: Can Mitch Wilde save humanity?
A very impressive debut. Original and impressively well written novel! – Portsmouth BOOK REVIEW

An original and impressively well written novel, “The Outlaw River Wilde” is a deftly crafted and highly entertaining story by an author who will leave his readers looking eagerly toward his next effort. – Midwest Book Review

Mitch Wilde never believed in aliens, that is, until he was left with no other way to explain the strange events happening around his small Pacific Northwest home.

(more…)

Still Wilde In Outlaw River (The Outlaw River Wilde Volume 2) by Mike Walters

stillJuly 09th, 2016

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Still Wilde In Outlaw River (The Outlaw River Wilde Volume 2) by Mike Walters by Cold Coffee Press on 9 Jul

Still Wilde In Outlaw River
 (The Outlaw River Wilde Volume 2) 
by Mike Walters

Rescued from a desperate situation, Mitch Wilde finds the stakes raised for him, his loved ones, and his small Oregon Town of Outlaw River. Mitch’s wife Mabey is alone and on the run, fighting for her own survival. Jasper, Mitch’s cantankerous old neighbor and investigative paranormal sleuth, and best friend Jack Jenson, also return in Book Two of Mike Walters’ debut supernatural duology.

(more…)

1 2