Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My First Audio Book Production - The Mea Culpa Document of London

A few weeks back I got into doing audio books. I heard good things about them and I've used them before when I was commuting four hours a day. I found them, incredibly enjoyable. Especially, James Marsters reading Jim Butcher's excellent "Dresden Files" series of books. So not expecting the quality of my readings to reach that of the incredible skills of James Marsters, I thought I could do something reasonable and worthy of a listen. I also found that the more I did it, and when doing an audio book you redo and redo to get it right (or at least to eliminate gross errors), that I did get better as time went on.

So, my first audio book is now up on and iTunes. I chose for my first attempt, "The Mea Culpa Document of London". As for iTunes, I'm easily found there by a quick search. I just tried searching under "Books" for, "JZ Murdock Mea" and it popped right up. It's priced at $6.95 which I had nothing to do with setting the price. But I have to tell you, after having written the story, making the audio book is a lot of work.

"Mea Culpa" is a story about an apprentice Witch Hunter in the Middle Ages who takes over for his well respected Master and one day, finds himself in the same sorry situation that he once observed his Master painfully have to go through.

This, took a lot of research, following the directions on Amazon's site, learning to use Audacity software and just doing it properly, using the right filters, and so on. It was at first quite intimidating. You not only have to know what to do technically, but then you have to be not only a writer, but a voice actor.

You can alternately offer on ACX to make a deal with a producer and actor but I decided to try and do it myself. In that way you also don't have to split the profits. That was a positive reason but I just didn't want to have to deal with others on this project. Full control is always best if you can swing it.

They say on the ACX site that if you take say eight hours to read a work, you will probably spend double that in the technical side of processing the file. You need to boost this, filter that and make it sound professional. Which I'm all for but figuing that out by yourself was a nightmare (for me anyway).

Still, with the help of my cover artist, Marvin Hayes, an artistic and technical genius himself, I finally figured out what I thought needed to be done, did the work, which took a while, uploaded it and waited. And waited. A few weeks later (today) I got notified that it was accepted and now up for sale on and on iTunes.

 If you check it out, I hope you will appreciate all the work that went into producing this work and find it pleasant and worth it. I had thoughts of sound effects, music and all that, but as it was, this was a lot of work. However, I am the type that falls easily into "mission creep" and one of these days I'll probably get around to special effects.

But for now, I'm just pleased to have finally seen this on the "shelves" and avaialble to the public.

As always....


Monday, January 28, 2013

Where is the Great Art?

Why is it (why do we allow it?) that so much Art is produced with the funds and involvement from those who seem to have the least capability to do it, and therefore have the greatest power to shape it?
Do we really want this?

So rather than some incredible Art being produced to affect us the most deeply (though in smaller numbers, I'll grant you), we  are generally left with diluted Art that affects the greatest possible numbers... but the most shallowly, because it is the most "cost effective" to generate the most amount of money for those corporations who fund it. What starts out perhaps with the greatest of intentions, inevitably ends with the poorest of products.

How can we stop this?

The sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said that, "Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence."

"If they're worried about their test scores and want a way to get them higher, they need to give kids more arts, not less," says Tom Horne, Arizona's state superintendent of public instruction. "There's lots of evidence that kids immersed in the arts do better on their academic tests." - From the article, "Why Art Education is crucial and Who's doing it best"

One current possibility is crowdfunding. But it is not the best solution, either.

I guess we're just back to the starving artist model. Those who are willing to produce what the Artist believes to be Art. But in this world today of little discipline, desire for immediate gratification, luxury in life as a default, how well is that going to happen?

Consider that the first thing Republicans in the last election were going to cut was money for the Arts. I'd argue we need the Arts as a society far more than we need sports in education, or even some other subjects. Yet, schools say that sports bring money in to support their other programs, like the Arts. Isn't that really inherently dysfunctional and undesirable? I'm not saying just get rid of sports, but between our primal, base functions and our higher even spiritual ones, which should we all to take us over? And if you can't see that, I think that just might prove my point.

Think about it.

Just how much "Great Art" DO you see in YOUR daily life?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome back, Mr. President - Guns, Guns, Guns

Pres. Obama has been Inaugurated. A second term for the Harvard Law Professor. On an appropriate day, Martin Luther King Day. Especially so, as he was killed by a gun (we'll get to that in a moment).

Let me absorb that a moment. We have now gone from the buffoon from Texas who has pretty much devastated this country, with prior help admittedly, to an actual intellectual. Sigh....

Congratulations to us for staving off the ridiculous right wing extremists, overly conservative conservatives, and the way too pro religion nutzos.

On the other hand, if you are one of those, well, my condolences. Read a book

Oh, come on! Just having a bit of fun with this....
Now, I am trying to stay away from politics. I'm a writer. I really just want to write. But I see so much stupidity lately in government (especially in the GOP), in our society, it's hard not to speak out sometimes, to get distracted.

So, because today is a special day and we thankfully have an intelligent man once again sworn into office as President, I am going to speak out. Regardless what you think about the President's orientation and policies, that is important, that he is an educated and intelligent individual and not a lame brain jackal. Okay, maybe that's a bit strong, how about, jackass? So, I'm going to say something today, then next week hopefully get back to mere writing issues.

Is life perfect now after one term in office? No, not quite. Have we expected too much of Barack Obama? Yes. And, no. He took on the job, so that's that. But we do need to be reasonable. We've handed the man an almost impossible task and after all, you never can please everyone. Had Bush still been in office, I doubt we'd be in this good a situation. I fear it would have been far worse, so compare now to that sad possibility.

Consider the President's position now on gun control, against that of groups like, the NRA. There's a group for you. Let's ban assault rifles? No? Why? Because we should what? Put assault rifles in schools to protect children from the very few crazies out there who MIGHT attack one of thousands of schools? Isn't THAT crazy?

Actually? Yes, it is.

But but before we consider the Second Amendment, I want to say one thing. We shouldn't be so worried about losing our Second Amendment rights, as we should be worried about losing all our other rights. Privacy rights, legal rights, rights against corporations who have wrangled their positions to have more rights than we do as citizens, which this country was founded upon. That might be the most important right we are losing, protection against big money, monopolies and the definition of what a monopoly now a days, is considered to be.

But Privacy? What little Bush started with taking away our privacy and rights to being arrested with due process and so on, Mr. Obama has apparently not gotten rid of either. I think it's time we address that rape of the constitution. I hope he does address it in his next four years, but I don't have high hopes. Even if he does that, will Congress allow it to happen? But that is another issue. Like, what the Hell is wrong with THOSE people?

Another author friend of mine just mentioned to me an article he read the other day on how the Second Amendment had a lot to do with slavery and the militias that hunted down runaways, etc. Interesting.

From the article The Second Amendment was Ratified to Protect Slavery, by Thom Hartmann:

"But [Patrick] Henry, [George] Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government.  So Madison changed the word "country" to the word "state," and redrafted the Second Amendment into today's form:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
"Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as "persons" by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their "right" to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren."

Okay, if we ban assault weapons of extended magazines, that isn't the end. There are still other ways. For hundreds of years people knew you had to carry multiple weapons as extended magazines weren't available. Multiple guns, hand guns, shotguns, no guns? Bombs. Or something we haven't thought of yet that, and don't be surprised, some nutzo will eventually come up with a new way to kill.

So, you don't want to lose your right to own an assault rifle?

Some are saying, okay, if you want to shoot one, you should have to go to a licenced firing range where the weapons are protected and locked up when unused. Well, that actually won't stop the crazies. Actually, most gun laws only, as people say, crimp the style of legal, law abiding gun owners.

But here is something to consider. And consider along with this that I am a gun owner. I have been since I was in Jr. High and I had a 20 gauge shotgun (with shells) as well as a .303 British (a rifle type that was powerful enough to have been used many decades ago in Africa to kill elephants). Being so into guns as a kid (gun crazy as she put it) my mother made me join a young people's local, police sanctioned shooting club. She actually called the police department for a recommendation: "If you're going to be so nuts about guns, you'er going to learn about them properly."

That training, made me not be nuts about guns. I still liked them, but I learned they are tools, not toys. Killing tools. Which I learned to turn into a sport. I kill paper not, not critters. Or people. But if the Army ever showed up and handed me a gun and said let's go, we've been invaded, or something, I can definitely hit what I aim at.

I have belonged to firing ranges. I'm ex military. I was headed into a career that would have semi frequently ended me up on the wrong end of a gun as a career. Most likely in a dark alley in a foreign country, somewhere. I own what would be considered an assault weapon, several even. But it's always been my contention that although I enjoy owning and using them, legally, properly, safely, if they were taken from me due to laws, fine. But I won't allow someone to break in and take them, especially if I'm not home. They are protected.

If I ever found myself, after having my guns taken from me, in a situation where I need assault weapons, I'd find another way, should it come to that. See, there are always alternates  You just have to be smart, knowledgeable, educated about the things you need to know about. A gun, isn't always the right answer. If things are going wrong, use your mind, talk. And if you do need to start killing people, you don't have to have a gun. It's helpful certainly, but it's not always the way to go.

If you need to kill groups of people, a gun is actually somewhat ineffective. If a revolution starts, if we are invaded, if our country simply fails, or the "zombie apocalypse" hits, there are always other ways. Guns are just the easiest and laziest WMD. Yes, I'd prefer one in an apocalyptic situation. But I'll make due, either way. I am a survivor. Worst case, others will always have them and if they decide to cross my path, that is their own fault for losing their own life and weapons. You have to think ahead, look before you leap in those situations. Always have a plan B.

See. Things are never that bad, in any situation. Till you stop breathing.

Now, all that being said, if we don't have guns, and someone wants to kill groups of people, there are other ways to do it. I'd actually prefer someone open fire on me with a gun, rather than a bomb, or a chemical or biological weapon. Both of which can be produced in the home, by a semi intelligent individual, from information freely available off the internet, or from a library. And let me tell you, a less than average individual who is insanely dedicated to finding a way to kill groups of people, can act as if they were much more intelligent, than they normally are.

Okay, here's a suggestion about gun control. You want an assault weapon? Fine. Then you have to use it. The second amendment says what?

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." (as sent to and ratified by the states and Thomas Jefferson)

Okay then. That second section is dependent upon the first section. Right? So. Get your fat ass out to a militia, and I don't mean Joe Bob's militia, no getting high, or drunk. Guns, are serious business. I mean a designated, functional, real ass militia run by the military, designated by the military, for the people and essentially by the people, but the real, functional people (trained professionally) who know what they are doing. Which is, the military.

Militia, should have Military Advisers, just like third world countries get from us, Advisers with teeth though, authority. After all this isn't a third world country, it is OUR country. And if you're not up to snuff pal, if you don't have appropriate attitude (yes, attitude), or security at your house to store your assault weapons, then you lose them. Oh, you can still own them, you just can't house them, because you have been deemed ineffective in their being secured.

See, what is intrinsic in that amendment are several issues related to those words used, their meanings and the functionality of those words and meanings. A bunch of yahoos playing soldier (and drinking beers) is not a "well regulated" militia. See? Get it? Comprende?

Think about it.

It just dawned on me how many have no clue what this really meant back at the birth of the nation, or what that translates into now. Things change. $100,000 back then is like $6 million, now. Possibly like the meaning of the word, "Militia", as I indicated above in that article reference from my friend.

If they had these kinds of assault weapons back then, and if people were shooting them off at public houses and Inns killing people, this amendment would have been rewritten 'tout de suite' (you know, toot sweet), just so you could finish your beer before having to deal with whipping out your own assault rifle. See, you don't get to have rights to WMD's without appropriate justification and capability and that is stated right there within the amendment: "a well regulated militia".

Consider too that back then, a WMD was multiple men with weapons. It took, multiple weapons to be a weapon of mass destruction, not just one. Now, with assault weapons, it really only takes one weapon, one assault rifle, to be a WMD.

People think that means (whatever they want to think it means typically) "well regulated" is from, without. But it also, or more likely means from, within. And that means, training. So guess what? Grab your assault rifle and get ready for some getting yelled at and, actually hitting some targets and, making it over some terrain to practice what it is really like to be in a modern day militia.

One might consider that with our greater understanding of things and technology, this would mean a Military Reserve Unit.

But it doesn't have to.

Just enough training to make these weapons safer in the public arena and secured from all the nutzos who are using them inappropriately (or too appropriately, depending on how you view it). And, if you're nuts, your Sergeant, I guarantee, is going to see it out on the practice fields. At that point: "You can just leave your weapon(s) at the armory till we look further into this.... Pal."


Obviously I don't think the Pres. went far enough on his gun control suggestions. Okay, executive order. Or whatever.

And much of this is a moot point anyway. Because what we need isn't so much gun control, but a fundamental change in our entire society.

Why, if I had some serious killing weapons in my room as a child (no that isn't the issue), why didn't I ever use them to kill anyone?

Maybe because I had the same angst as people do now a days. I just didn't believe in using a gun to exercise my frustrations. Why? I think partly it has to do with having taken away too much control from children. That explains our children turning their frustrations inward to themselves ("cutting", etc.), rather than allowing them to spill out and be seen, through acting out in their obvious social behaviors. Now things are hidden. Till it's too late. They tend to react inwardly, till they can't take it anymore and the explode outward, into the public.

Yes, that is all theory and it is an argument I've given in prior blogs and is for another time, not really for here.

But ask yourself, what has changed in our society? We need to change how we think, at a very basic level. We need to think, to consider how we raise our children, how we show them to view their world, our entire world. Who we are.

You see WE, need to change. As a People.

But I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Just, think about it.

And congratulations once again, to President Obama, and to us.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New JZ Murdock Video Book Trailers

Last week I posted links to my two new Video Book Trailers of my writings on YouTube. There were only two then, one for Death of Heaven, and one for Anthology of Evil. I have made a longer one for each now and updated last week's post. I offer them again here along with my new ones for many of my eBook short stories and my novella, Andrew, which is a lead in to the book, Death of Heaven.

First of all, should any of these links change, you can get to their latest replacement versions and any new one on my TheJZMurdock YouTube Channel. See if I change or enhance these videos, I have to create new versions which would supercede these older versions.

From - EarVu
I now have more I would like to share with you. I hope you find them intriguing. If you would like to keep track of my channel, go to: TheJZMurdock on YouTube.

UPDATE 1/18/2013: Before I get to the fiction video book trailers (book trailer videos?), I have just created two new ones for a couple of my non-fiction articles:

Synesthesia, and the Need for More Information - Video Book Trailer
This article is free and also included in:

Some Notes on Field Theory, Albert's Mind and the Status Quo - Video Book Trailer

Okay then, here are my fiction trailers:

Anthology of Evil - Video Book Trailer

Death of Heaven - Video Book Trailer


Andrew - Video Book Trailer

Short Stories

EarVu - Video Book Trailer

Gumdrop City - Video Book Trailer

In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear - Video Book Trailer

Japheth, Ishvi and The Light - Video Book Trailer

Poor Lord Ritchie's Answer to a Question He Knever Knew - Video Book Trailer

Sarah - Video Book Trailer

Simon's Beautiful Thought - Video Book Trailer

The Mea Culpa Document of London - Video Book Trailer

I have a few others to do and I will let you all know when they are ready, too.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Video Book Trailers for two Horror books

I had been thinking about making a video trailer for my books for a while now, but I've been pretty busy. Most recently with producing audio book versions of my books and stories.

First of all, should any of these links change, you can get to their latest replacement versions and any new one on my TheJZMurdock YouTube Channel. See if I change or enhance these videos, I have to create new versions which would supercede these older versions.

Well, today I finally got around to looking into it. Here are the results.

I used some the music my son Nikolas, also the model on the cover of my ebook, "Simon's Beautiful Thought" (which was shot a few years ago) and who I got the title from for one of my books, Death of Heaven. The other book video trailer is for Anthology of Evil.

As he put it on Facebook today:

"A couple of my dad's books now have vids to show them off. He used a title of mine for a metaphysics write up I did but it wasn't going anywhere. So he asked if he could use it and I figured the title anyway, would be more likely to get out that way. He even used a couple of songs I composed in high school for the vids. Enjoy and buy the books!"

I like his attitude.

I don't think they came out half bad. Enjoy!

Anthology of Evil video book trailer

NOTE: I just thought I'd add that today (1/9/2013) I uploaded my first audio book to through Amazon/ACX. It was "The Mea Culpa Document of London" that first appeared in my "Anthology of Evil" (see above). Below is what I also posted today on my Facebook page:

Over the past week or two I've been learning about producing audio books. Today I have uploaded my first audio book to through Amazon/ACX.

It is The Mea Culpa Document of London and has a somewhat extensive history. The actual audio book is less than half an hour in length. I'm not sure when it will be available for download however. I obviously wrote, but also narrated and produced the audio book and continue to learn as I go. My first version last week was, well, passable. The current one is not too bad and I hope to get better at it as I go.

For now I can only offer you the ebook version available on Amazon.

This was a story I first wrote at my University and got one of my Professors, Perry Mills interested in it as he was a student of medieval literature and it led to interesting discussions in his office in the PAC Theatre building at WWU in Beillingham, WA. I also wrote another story, "Poor Lord Ritchie" at about this same time and Perry and I had talks over that story, also.

It was Perry who suggested the concept of a "crucible sword" into the story which turned out to be a very good idea. I will always have fond thoughts of Perry. He had also wanted to do a one man stage show of the "Lord Ritchie" story, but it was never to be as I could never get the staging just right and then I graduated and moved away.

This story grew over the years since the early 80s and I have added on to it, telling the story of the Dr. of History who either, forged it, or discovered it, which is part of the story in Death of Heaven called, "Vaughan's Theorem", and tells the tale of his violent descent into insanity.

The original "Mea Culpa" story is contained in my book, "Anthology of Evil" (as is "Poor Lord Ritchie" which I have also read into audio book format this past week); a collection of short horror tales, many of which you wouldn't normally consider, perhaps, a horror story, in the traditional sense. But I'm seldom that traditional.

Thanks for reading and soon, thanks, for listening.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Is deluding yourself good?

Humans are very good at two things. Delusion and repetition. We tend to reproduce what we have done in the past, we have a tendency to repeat our mistakes, for instance. We don't like to admit we have screwed up, we don't like seeing what we don't want to acknowledge as real, and so we tend to delude ourselves about reality. These are both, bad things and they take control away from ourselves. We freely give up control just to avoid feeling bad. But we can use that, use what is bad, for our benefit, too.

So how do we do that? How do we control ourselves in areas where we seem to freely give up control?

It's been said that focusing is the best way to achieve a goal. Focusing and sticking with it. Exclude all else and only see one thing, your goal, however you need to do it. Trick yourself if need be. Alter your perception for what you want to focus on. In a word, delude yourself, but consciously and with purpose and intent, not just to avoid, embrace.

So instead, delude yourself and become repetitive.

Use your "God given abilities" to be somewhat OCD. You see, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, can be a good thing. Unless you actually have OCD of course, in which case you have to be very careful. OCD is not a great thing to have by a long shot. But I believe we are all susceptible to it. So, why not make use of it? To go with nature is the best way, after all, to do things.

For instance, if you want to lose weight, you of course need to adjust your diet, but you can do that and you will continue to gain or at least, to not lose weight. So you need exercise. Which it seems is most people's problem. No matter what they try they tend to not do enough proper exercise.

So, convince yourself that your one and only problem in losing weight is that you have to exercise. Now, go with that. Exercising could solve all your problems. Delude yourself, if need be. Tell yourself that you have nothing to worry about but getting in your daily exercise. That once you get a regular habit of exercising going, your money, your life and your health problems if any, will go away.

It doesn't matter that it's not true, it only matters that you convince yourself that it is. Now, what about after you lose the weight, after you get where you want to be and the only thing it has solved is, your weight?

Well honestly, you KNEW you were doing this to delude yourself, but now that you have lost the weight, you can delude yourself about your next step. Just remember and be aware that YOU have to control your delusions. You are for all intents and purposes, tricking yourself into doing what you want to do, anyway.

As for the repetition part, you have to start and repeat your exercises. You have to make it a bit of an obsession. Not that you have to do it every minute of the waking day, but you have to design a workout routine and stick to it, obsessively almost 

You should work out the same hours each day, but then doing the same exercises wears off after a while, doesn't it, and you need to change it up. Because your body is built to adapt. So even though you obsessively do the routine at the same hour each day, if and when possible, you need to alter that. So it's okay, to say, not exercise at 4 PM but instead go to a movie, as long as you exercise enough, before or after. But you have to exercise, daily.

See the danger in obsession is specificity. You have to be aware of that, of what the bigger picture is.

Get it? As I said, once you get there, then you can move on to your next issue. Just maintain, continue with your exercising. Once you achieve your desired weight, you can cut back as you don't have to work out so hard to maintain as to lose.

But don't think that your bad habits, capabilities are just simply, bad for you. Use what you have, good and bad, so that in the end, YOU achieve what YOU want to achieve.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2 - 99 cent Horror ebooks for a limited amount of time

For a limited amount of time this New Year I am putting two of my Horror ebooks up for $.99 each. The first is:

The other book is:

I just thought you might like to know.

Have a Happy New Year and...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year's eBook Anthology Giveaway!

How about a New Year's Day eGift, right?

UPDATE 1/1/2013 - 1PM So sorry all, I forgot to set "Anthology of Evil" up for free last night, for today. It is now though and will remain available for today and tomorrow. Cheers! Happy New Year's!

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow called, "Anthology of Evil" that includes some of the short horror stories I've given away this past week and then some.

That's all I have to say on this one but you can see more about it on the Smashwords page for the ebook.

I would like to wish you all a very prosperous and happy New Year for you, your family and those you care about.

Happy New Year's!

Also, Death of Heaven will continue to be free through today!

I yam what I yam....

First off, Happy New Year's!

This is no big deal, but I want to address this, so you’ll understand if you already don’t.

This will be a little odd, for a reason. I'm a little odd, but I try to be useful.

I don’t want to turn anyone off from reading me. Without readers, there's no sense in writing. But that’s the talent, to say things people may not want to hear, and yet make them hopefully, thank you in the end for saying it.

I failed that in a blog I did recently, surely. But sometimes it's just good enough to start a thought about something. Or better, a conversation.

When I got into all this I told myself I wouldn't keep my mouth shut when I saw a wrong, I’d try to call the truth out, as I see it.

I deep down seem to have a true journalistic attitude in the Edward R Murrow sense, though I hated the idea of journalism when I was in college. They write in an upside down pyramid style, big info then details, where fiction is details then big picture. It’s just backward. And kind of boring.

But after years of tech writing, of also putting the most info up front, which I hated as there’s no suspense, no fun, I guess that after a while, I just got used to it. Because it doesn't bother me so much anymore.

After these past three plus years of blogging, I guess I've become a journalist of a sort.

So when I see that something needs to be stated, at times in the toughest terms possible (I mean sometimes people just need to be hit in the head with a brick), well then I feel I should do just that.

THE PROBLEM with that as you know, is walking the double edged sword of journalism/public service, along with having fans in writing fiction and entertainment. I mention this because someone pointed it out to me recently. They were concerned for me and I said, I'm not, because I'm doing what I need to be doing.

Now technically I should NEVER do anything to lose fans, yet I probably will if I tell the truth. I mean, you're going to piss someone off sooner or later, right? Which leaves me pretty much in a quandary.

My brother is an artist. He could have put his art in galleries and such and made a group of money, but then he'd have had to contend with himself, as a person, not wanting to conform the the gallery style of being an artist. So he is happy doing what he can do as he has been doing it and he works with that. Well? Me too, it would seem.

So the best case is for me to never lose readers, but the reality will be that sometimes I will.

But hopefully some people, will stick with me, even if and when I'm pushing some limits. And perhaps some others will feel attenuated to me somehow, in some way, and continue to return.

I was once told many years ago that what is important in picking a movie critic to follow, is not that you agree with them, but that they are consistent in their views. Then you will just know, if they hate a certain type of movie, so will you, or maybe you will know that you will love it. As long as you have that certain consistency from them, then you can know more about a movie than you would otherwise. Sometimes you can learn more from someone you disagree with, than from someone you tend to always agree with.

The thing about me is that I’m less afraid to lose readers as long as what I'm saying is the truth. Even if it's what’s on the edge, or calling the kettle not just black, but perhaps a green fuzzy, or simply just to be me. But I'm always pretty much what I am.

It’s a conundrum. For me at least.

I believe in calling them out, putting them down, showing them up for who they are, the bad, the cruel, the insane, the lost or misdirected. This political stuff from this past election, is a prime example of what I'm talking about. I'm kind of glad it's over now.

Anyway as Popeye says, "I yam what I yam and I ain't no more". More correctly:

"I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I got a lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I'll never hurt nobodys and I'll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and me bottom to me top / That's the way it is 'til the day that I drop, what am I? / I yam what I yam."

But I jest.

All we can ask is that people try to be informed and make good decisions, then share them openly and listen to reactions. Then to act appropriately, in an inspired fashion. Life can only get better from that small effort.

There is so much ignorance being shared as intelligence, seek to separate the one from the other. It can only serve you well. Seek not to be selfish and try to consider that the greater good can be good for you and not just something to be put down as a bad thing because you do not benefit directly from it.

Here's an inspiring video online that someone did. In thought of the year we are about to make use of, either for the best or the worst, whether we plan our actions or fall into reaction.
Words of Wisdom ☮ Peaceful Hearts, Enlightened Minds

To the past: I hope you have had a happy holiday season!
To the future: All the best to you in this near year.
To us all: Cheers! That is, be of good cheer and blaze a trail forward with accurate and good intent.