For most of this week, a nasty viral infection knocked me out of commission. The lymph node on the right side of my jaw swelled up to about the size of a golf ball, and the pain from that was pretty severe. I’m on the mend, thankfully, and was able to get back to work today, but the illness put me pretty far behind where I want to be on clearing the new section of vineyard.
I’ve gotten back the first set of edits from my editor, so the book is that much closer to coming to life. Also, he is pleased with the quality of this book. Now that I’m getting over the infection, I will get on my part of the polishing. Sometime this coming week, I will reveal the cover, which is absolutely gorgeous and exactly what I want for the final installment of this series.
Finally, today my beloved Memphis Tigers knocked off the #25 Naval Academy. For the first time in team history, the Tigers have defeated two ranked opponents in the same season and have now beaten three consecutive ranked foes. When I was a student there, we were pretty much a basketball school, and I never dreamed I would see the day that we would legitimately be the best college football program in the state of Tennessee. Go Tigers go!
In the last year, I’ve completed manuscripts for two different books (both to be released soon), launched a vineyard, and begun the process of clearing more of the property to make it usable. I’ve taken advantage of my improved health and embraced the time allotted to me each day. I’ve marched forward to the best of my ability, and while I’m still a long way from where I want to be, I’ve lifted myself up from the rock bottom.
My apologies to those who wished ill upon me or believed the worst about me or turned your backs on me. I’m sorry but I won’t remain in the past and won’t allow anyone or anything to define me wrongly. I will always strive to live a positive and optimistic life. I will always choose love over hate. My apologies that I won’t wallow in the mire.
To those who have believed in me and supported me and encouraged me over the last year, thank you from the bottom of my soul. You are the ones who matter to me and the ones I consider family. Here’s to the next year of achieving goals and writing books and building something special to pass down to my kids.
Happy Independence Day, my friends. My apologies for not posting sooner, but the last few months have been a whirlwind. In addition to finishing up book five (editing is almost complete), I’ve been in the process of starting a vineyard here on the farm. It will be far easier to show you the process than to attempt to describe it, so here is the journey in pictures:
Many of my blog posts are meant to be motivational and inspirational because the world is so overrun by bad news, and I have lived my life in an effort to serve as a source of light for others. I don’t always live up to that standard, but I never set out with the intention of hurting anyone or merely fulfilling my own self-gratification. As I take my final breaths, I hope to feel as if I’ve lived a life of substance. Hopefully, this blog reflects my wish to be more than an illusion of superficial benevolence.
One point I wish to stress, and this applies to anyone struggling with negative people in your life, if you want to find peace and serenity in your heart, you absolutely must purge the influence of negative people from your life. It doesn’t matter what your relationship might be–friend, lover, parent, sibling–you cannot allow someone else’s pessimism to erode your outlook on life. You cannot allow ungrateful people to drain you. You cannot allow other people’s selfishness to steal your tranquility.
You must give yourself permission to erase those people from your life. You must give yourself permission to be free from their influence. Life is too fleeting for you not to seek happiness and contentment, so find the courage to stand up for yourself. Find the strength to rid yourself of those who want to drag you down into their own misery and despair. Stand strong and be the light you seek.
If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind first. One of the most important steps is learning to think positively, especially in negative situations. When you learn to see opportunity in every moment and teach yourself to make the best of your circumstances, your life will begin to improve. Seek the positive throughout each day, and cherish all of your blessings.
My apologies for the delay in a new post, but with the warmer weather, I’ve been extremely busy with things on the farm and at my job.
Just a quick update, editing on book five is progressing nicely, so hopefully, the book will be ready for release by the end of this month or early May. I can’t wait to share this final installment of The Brotherhood of Dwarves series with my readers, especially those who have been waiting since book four was first released.
Because I’m back to being a self-published author, I had to find some cost cutting measures to get this book ready for publication. I decided to knock off some rust and polish up my artistic skills to do this cover myself. I think I managed to mimic the style of the first four covers quite well, and I think readers will love it as much as I do. So without further ado, here is the cover for book five:
When I was still an educator, I stressed the importance of persistence to my students. Every semester, I would share the famous quote from Calvin Coolidge:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Life has a way of placing obstacles in your way, and they will test your resolve to follow through on achieving your goals. It’s no secret that I’ve faced my fair share of adversity, and many times, I’ve thought that I would never overcome some of the challenges I’ve faced. On the darkest nights, I felt as if my life had been meaningless because I hadn’t been able to complete all five books of the Brotherhood of Dwarves series. That shortcoming irritated me like a splinter in my psyche.
However, last night, I finished the rough draft of book five. It took a total of 14 years (probably twice as long as it reasonably should have), but through perseverance, I was able to see it to the end. No matter what else, that story has been told the way it was envisioned when it first came to me. Obviously, there is still a lot of editing to do, and then the hard work of promotion begins, but the story is there. At this moment, it still doesn’t feel real, but I have achieved the primary goal I set for myself.
Finishing a book is a great rush. There’s a sense of accomplishment that not much else measures up to. Finishing a series is something else entirely. These characters have been a part of my life through so many ups and downs, and in some ways, they were the solid ground beneath my feet when everything else felt like quicksand. To have finished their tale is bittersweet, albeit more sweet. Now, I get to begin the other projects that I’ve wanted to work on and start achieving the other goals I’ve set for myself. And as I conquer these new challenges, I will press on with persistence.