When “Experts” Tell Me I Must Blog Something.

I laugh and laugh.

‘Tis true, I care not what experts think—especially publishing and online marketing types—as most wrote a book or books solely for the purpose to sit on a perch and collect money from the rest of us without any guarantees whatsoever their methods will make your book a success.

Artists are makers surrounded by takers.

Don’t be a sucker.

If you are an author, in the name of all you consider holy, LEARN THIS BUSINESS before it rips you off.

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Five Long Years

The fall of Western civilization can be charted by the declining number of book readers.

Yesterday was National Book Lovers Day, and on social media it came in like a lamb and went out with a whimper. On twitter, it never made Trending status in the many hours I was on which says a great deal about where everyone’s heads are these days. As expected, facebook and the mainstream media ignored it completely. Why? The answer is a simple one.

Readers a.k.a. thinking people, are dangerous to the rising regime.

“Book Lovers Day is celebrated on August 9 every year. This is an unofficial holiday observed to encourage bibliophiles celebrate reading and literature. People are advised to put away their smartphones and every possible technological distraction and pick up a book to read.” Wikipedia

I did my bit by contributing a half dozen tweets which were repeated on my facebook page that, not surprisingly, ranged from serious to amusing. Most saw no engagement. Yes some genuine book lovers tweeted, as well as some booksellers, but this was an opportunity missed by almost every author, publisher, educator, and library I know and about a million others I don’t.

We all talk a good game when discussing the importance of reading in America, but when it comes to actively doing something collectively about the problem, we fall flat.

Changing how we parent, educate, treat the environment, allow ourselves to be governed. . . all have become political, and this is why intelligent people no longer participate in these discussions. The prevailing rampant stupidity in politics has silenced the majority who need to speak out and be heard.

I thought book people would be different.

I know many are introverted. I also know they are smart. Why is it they do not realize their apathy endangers their beloved books. Here’s how the world works, kids:

If you are not fighting for it, they will take it away.

 

Why be a starving writer when you could be a starving naked artist.

I am so sick of computers and everywhere they take us.

Being a writer means being married to your computer. Things are made worse if you are a published author because you also have long term commitments to social media and publishing sites. My almost one-year-old Dell is an evil wife. She has melted down twice in the short time we have been together; a RED FLAG if ever there was one. So why continue to put up with the daily torment of weak WiFi, boggy performance due to updates and background processes, and the general stupidity of the online world when there is little or no money in it?

I can do other things.

The real question is: What other things can I do which don’t involve computers? I could reinvent myself once again as a post modernist painter. I might use my initials to create a new artist identity: Ethan Alfonso? It has an artsy ring to it. I could add a hook as well: All Alfonso’s are painted in the nude. Post modernist erotic portraits of lonely housewives and  divorcées, painted by a still pretty hot naked guy, should get me laid more than writers do. The fee for such commissioned portraits would certainly exceed what I make as a writer; perhaps several times over. For a tiny initial investment—far less than book publishing—I could whip off a bunch of samples to lean against the walls of my apartment for prospective clients to peruse; perhaps over wine, if they are hot. I could sell some works beach-side while working on my tan. Once summer ends here, I can move into a spacious van and travel to various beach communities down South, chasing the warmth of the sun, and making Canadian winters something I don’t do anymore.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s possible I might be killed by a jealous husband, but this has always been my preferred check-out plan anyway.

Sounds like a worthwhile endeavour to me.

Where is that art supply store?

I’d Google it, but this hunk of junk Dell—soon to be ex wife—sucks harder than the vacuum of space during a hull breach on the Enterprise.

Having trouble defining “true love”?

Visit my relationships blog for a definitive answer.

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Get caught up on my latest relationship misadventure over on my book’s site.

This week on my Ms. Creant blog, I show how our social media walls can reveal a great deal about what we are feeling.

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Your Beliefs Create Your Reality: Part 5

Health Challenges:

My train of thought has been known to derail.

In the previous installment I touched on the subject of health as part of a general view of my personal reality. A few weeks after posting that one, I wrote an e-mail which expanded on the theme which I will share to complete the thought.

First, for those who have not yet read Ms. Creant, my book delves into LIFE–which of course include matters of health. There is more room in a book to go into detail but for the sake of brevity I will give you the key idea which I presented on this subject:

There are four integral parts of a human which need to be kept healthy or else we open the door to major health challenges.

We are bombarded by books and articles about the importance of exercise, eating right, and eliminating the intake of things that we know to be bad for us. These writers tell us that if we look after our bodies, we will be more energetic, happier and will live longer. IF THIS WERE TRUE:

  • None of them would ever have to face significant health challenges but many will.
  • None would ever become depressed but approximately 17% of this group will.
  • All of them would outlive the rest of us but many do not.

The reason is fairly simple to grasp. They focused on only 25% of their being’s needs to the exclusion of the other 75%.

Here is what they missed:

  • They placed little or no value on nourishing their INTELLECT. The more advanced the thought processes, the more power the mind has to moderate the intake of things that we know to be bad for us.
  • They placed little or no value on the exploration of their inner SELF–who they are—their identity.  They were not able to moderate the intake of things that we know to be bad for us on an emotional level.
  • They placed little or no value on nourishing their SPIRITUAL side–the part of all humans that needs to believe in something  greater than themselves so they can remain hopeful. They were not able to moderate the intake of things that we know to be bad for us to offset feelings of hopelessness or meaninglessness.

You cannot nourish that which you do not know or understand.

  • To nourish our INTELLECT, one must simply READ; READ; READ! I would love to tell you that you must read my genre (nonfiction) but it would be self-serving if I did so because there are thought provoking books in many other genres. The key to a good read is its ability to make you think–not merely escape. People who feed their intellect are less likely to succumb to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  • To nourish your SELF, you must explore the who, what, when, where and how of the significant events which affected you emotionally creating your behaviors. You can read a great deal on psychology but it is doubtful you will be able to accurately assess your own behaviors without a perspective from someone trained in the field. People who understand themselves have fewer emotional outbursts, are better at managing stress, anxiety, depression, and are less prone to psychological disorders in general.
  • To nourish your SPIRITUAL side you must first acknowledge that there is meaning–if not a plan–to your existence. Next you must find inner peace in some belief or (better still) beliefs you can call your own. Philosophy; even the philosophies of various religions, are particularly useful in giving life meaning by again adding an outside perspective to your life. Everyone knows of my disdain for religions who profit from fear mongering; who help only those of their own ilk; that endorse sexism and violence while perpetuating the division of humanity . . . but even their books contain worthwhile messages for a seeker of meaning.

Preface over; now on to the subject at hand.

Hope springs eternal. Hope is what keeps us going. Most people consider this a given until presented with challenges they were not PREPARED to face. The least AWARE among us will be quicker to lose hope, while thinkers will take their time to process this new information before ACCEPTING the opinions of the very fallible indoctrinated humans who dispense it.

If you believe a singular prognosis, it is YOU who will make it a reality.

This brings us to the point you were making. Reasonable or cautious optimism are a part of what thinking people wrestle with constantly. We must be cautious yet hopeful. Most importantly, we must be careful not to RATIONALIZE poor choices or behavior as a result of a new-found belief. At the same time, we must not DELUDE ourselves either or we could allow a decline in our condition which could have been prevented. This is a great deal of information which we must process. Fortunately the human brain is capable of this level of cognitive reasoning when the mind has been properly trained to think about the probable outcomes of numerous possibilities.

Thinking people ponder their options while other humans merely react.

A person who is considering several courses of action is undecided about the outcome so they have not yet chosen to BELIEVE anything. Conversely, the person who immediately chooses to believe, will also immediately begin to live a REALITY created for them by someone else.

We have a choice as to what we believe. This is certain and it also implies that we have a choice of realities.

A health challenge is a test of WHO we are: our intellect, our spirit, our emotional stability and our will to continue. No school program ever PREPARES us for these life challenges, even though they should. I wrote my book, in part, as an attempt to create change in what we teach–to encourage life preparedness. In order to achieve this we must place emphasis on creating young people with fully formed and understood identities rather than letting them flail about in the world, HOPING they will find their way.

A prepared mind is less likely to believe in a reality created by someone else, and more likely to see their HOPES come to fruition.

I wish I had thought of the line above sooner . . . it would have saved a great deal of time.

I am salmon. Hear me gurgle? Part 1

What if awareness and obliviousness are related?

What if the oblivious automatons were created with a subconscious awareness that life in a bubble is infinitely happier? This would explain why it is so difficult to pull them outside of their happy place.

Why do I persist in swimming against the current?

Did I chose the wrong electives in the human trait lineups prior to being born?

There are some words I recently posted on my Facebook page as a reminder to myself that I am obviously not as wise as I would like to think.

“God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.”

Known by some as “The Serenity Prayer”, these wonderful words were written by a theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr.

This brings me to my first problem.

I CANNOT ACCEPT I CANNOT CHANGE THINGS!

Nothing remains the same. Change is a part of nature. Evolution and entropy prove this. Everything is in a state of change; except it seems . . . us.

Being aware sucks!

In my next life I am shooting for oblivious because it looks as though all the bubble-dwelling ostriches seem much happier than I am. My personal hell was created partially by my choices and partially by genetics. The choice part is I maintain perpetual hope for humanity. As such, I have EXPECTATIONS for humans which are almost never met, and still I continue to fight the good fight”. I do not know why. It is my nature. Someone once said, and it may have been me:

“If you do not have ANY expectations, then people cannot let you down.”

I believe the underlying message here is you must be self-reliant, self-assured, self-aware etc. These are good “self” words—not on the same list with self-obsessed, self-serving, or self-indulgent.

This brings me to my next problem: I do not believe one individual can change the world; it will take a massive team effort which will force us to EXPECT things from others once again.

It is a paradox.

Humanity as we know it cannot survive without an unprecedented level of cooperation from its fractured and divided membership.

I was born with the ability to learn and retain both useful knowledge and the ridiculously trivial. A short time ago, I was in my car with a friend talking about The Monkeys song I’m a Believer when to my amazement, I discovered I could remember the names of all four members of the band and the instruments they played after more than forty years. This from a middle-aged guy who regularly walks into a room and does not remember what prompted him to be there. I am inquisitive by nature, endlessly asking questions and thirsting for knowledge without, it seems, any control over what will be stored in permanent memory. The human brain is fascinating.

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

School was too easy for me. I found it incredibly boring so I rarely went; yet somehow I managed to just scrape through. My sister by comparison, worked incredibly hard for her average grades, and I could not understand why she found learning difficult. It seems that as intellectually capable as I was, I was not that AWARE. I ASSUMED every human had it as easy as I did. This is yet another character flaw I would carry throughout my young life.

In my teens and early twenties I lived to party. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and Rock & Roll music were my regular escape from reality—a reality I am all too aware of now. I was oblivious but happy.

At twenty-five, I had to clean up my act, cut my hair, and put on a business suit to work with many people who were consummate professionals, and who, on the surface at least, appeared to be my intellectual equals. Almost all had a University degree of some kind so I LEAPT TO THE CONCLUSION they were intelligent people. I did however begin to notice how they frequently “dropped the ball through, what I ASSUMED was, inefficiency, a lack of vision, planning, and/or organization. I could see patterns emerging that would lead to problems for them both professionally and personally, but for some reason they did not seem to see these indicators until things reached the crisis point.

I recalled a physics law which states:

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I was applying this to the humans I met. They would take action without considering the possible outcomes. This is where I became conscious of the fact I had inadvertently become an  student of human nature. I began in earnest to study people while hitting the books to learn about human behavior.

Pre-destination?

In no time, I was becoming keenly aware of the actions and reactions of others while remaining completely and happily OBLIVIOUS that I too had a subconscious program running. I would remain this way until my early forties when I would finally get around an exploration of self where I discovered I had PATTERNS of my own.

The various academic disciplines all have different view-points about how our being is developed. Psychologists and sociologists believe, initially, we are a blank slate and we learn our behavioural patterns as we mature. Geneticists and the brain sciences see us as little more than the sum of our genetic and chemical health. Theologians believe a soul is placed in a human body by a deity. Spiritualists believe we are part of something bigger, a “cosmic being” if you will. Not one of these disciplines has unlocked the truth of the human mind, and some have been at it for hundreds of years. The truth is most likely an amalgam of all of them.

The CONSEQUENCES of my own actions allowed me to write a book and change career paths in mid-life. “The jury is still out” as to whether or not that brave move was a good idea. Did I lead my life according to a plan programmed into my being just so I would arrive at this point—to supply the world with a book encouraging readers to become more aware? I hope not as this makes me feel used, manipulated, and diminished—little more than a character in a “SIM” game—just entertainment for some advanced intelligence, the universe, or whatever.

Reincarnation and or karma:

Somewhere along the line, and I know not where, I picked up a personal philosophy I will share.

We are here to learn lessons, and we will continue to return to this existence until we learn those lessons.

I have had many precognitive events in my life to date suggesting:

1) I have lived these events before.

2) I have a some kind of disorder encouraging me to believe I have seen these events in advance.

3) I have subconsciously imagined ALL the possible outcomes of my actions, and when in a semi-conscious state, I occasionally glimpse a few of them. Later my conscious mind interprets this as actual memories.

I am good with 1 or 3.

Blogus interruptus . . . continued next week.

Have a good week and be brave enough to take notice of something going on in the world around you.