Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lose yourself in other worlds, do good in this one

Have you ever felt so passionately about something that you wanted to shout it out for all the world to hear?

Well, that's how I feel right now.

Author Mark L. Van Name is taking a bold step. He's donating every cent that he receives (including the advance) from the sale of copies of the Children No More hardcover to Falling Whistles to help rehabilitate and reintegrate child soldiers.

This excites me.

This is the fourth book in the Jon and Lobo series. I came to these books late. I started reading them just before the third book came out and I ended up reading them out of order as quickly as I could get my hands on them. They were that good.

I'm not normally a fan of Military Science Fiction, which is what the books have been sold as. I am, however, a huge fan of Science Fiction, adventure stories, and mysteries; which, in my mind, these books bear a closer resemblance to. They are wonderful books individually and as a group.

For me, Children No More is the most emotional powerful of all four books. It touched me deeply. Mark is an excellent writer. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up all night reading it.

If you haven't read any of his other books, don't let that stop you from buying this one. Children No More stands on its own.

Visit his site. See what the book and the charity are all about.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quick and Easy

Those  are my two favorite words when faced with a challenge. They are, however, rarely the most accurate description for what needs to be done.

It seems like the important things in life take me longer and require more effort than I initially anticipate.

I'm not talking about work projects or home-improvements here. I'm talking about down-and-dirty self-evolution and creative output.

I have been known to force the square peg into the round hole. This gives me the illusion and satisfaction of quick and easy, but it's not. It's actually quick and sloppy, the ugly step-sister to quick and easy, that bites me in the ass and I have to start all over again.

While doing creative or growth work, my enthusiasm to get it done can only take me so far. There also needs to be room for introspection, contemplation, and especially inspiration. 

These important elements measure time very differently than I do. They have no sense of urgency. 

I am constantly fighting the feeling of not doing, being, creating, or learning fast enough. I try to remind myself that these are processes, not tasks; they have more to do with sitting and being open than with the forcing of my will.

As Fran Lebowitz once said, "The oposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting."

For me, once again, it's proof that the journey's just as important as the destination.   

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Sleep knocks
not like a lover
but like the tax man
insistant and 
Dreams beckon
not to soothe
but to dash me 
on the rocks of unconsciousness.
Awareness sits

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dogs are fantastic role models

They play with their whole hearts.
They protect what they love. 
They ask for what they want. 
They nap when they need to. 
They love without reservation.
They eat without worrying.
They run in their dreams. 

Friday, December 18, 2009


I'll only link to the first episode. For extra credit, identify the voice actors without looking at the credits.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I'm not talking about sleight of hand or illusion. I'm talking about those moments in life where you are overwhelmed by feeling or emotion unexpectedly.

And not just typical day to day joys like the sound of a child's laughter or a gift from a co-worker of chocolate or Diet Coke on a hard day.

I'm talking about that song that touches your soul or a movie that transports you to someplace other. That book that engulfs you so fully into it that your heart breaks a little when it's over.

I love these moments.

And I love storms.

I had one of the most magical moments in my life during a freak thunder and lightning storm on the same day that I chose to go see "The Red Violin" at a movie theater a few towns over.

The storm was so bad that you could hear it raging from inside and it knocked the power off for a few seconds during the movie. It didn't matter to me. I loved The Red Violin so much that it transported me. I was still in it's thrall when I drove away.

I have never seen anything in my life as powerful and glorious as I saw that night.

My route home took me along foothills with an unobstructed view of The San Francisco Bay as lightning danced across its waters. It was nature's fireworks show with blinding sheets and forks of lightning illuminating the night sky in staccato bursts of light and sound. Rain pelted my car so hard that I couldn't hear anything, but that didn't matter because Joshua Bell's violin was still playing in my head.

I didn't stop to watch the storm because I felt like I was part of it, racing down the highway, chasing some unknown quarry for the joy and exhilaration of it.

I revel in these unexpected adventures.