This has been a very interesting series for me. I have enjoyed the characters and the story. I love how seamlessly one book ends and the next book begins like we never left. The author is very good and I enjoyed being lost in his books! * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review* 5/5
Since I’ve been so focused on showing love, I’ll share Diane’s wonderful post about re-editing your already published book. Great insight in here. Love it Diane! #ChooseLove
Like just about anything we do (paint, cook, dance, carpentry, write) we get better with practice. We learn better methods, the tricks of the trade, how to blend color and spices, cut a rug and cut a bevel.
We learn how to craft a tight plot and rich characters, show versus tell, reduce dialog tags, choose verbs, kill the adverbs. If we’re lucky, we get strong feedback from editors, critiquers, and beta readers. We take courses, read books on writing, and write, write, write.
Knowing that improvement is a given, the books we wrote five years ago might not look as polished as those we write today.
As I reclaimed my publishing rights from my publisher, I planned to reread my books to correct typos and buff them up a bit. I didn’t expect to do much rewriting – after all, the books were edited and they’ve received decent reviews.
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Just wanted to share one of the cute images from this site, because this person takes amazing pictures.
©T Ibara Photo（茨原 孝貞）
©T Ibara Photo (Takami Ibara)
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So, I’ve been telling you guys about choosing love for awhile, but I’ve never really articulated exactly what I mean about it. I’ve had several people accuse me of talking about the old hippie adage where you should go and hug everyone you meet, and tell them you love them.
No, I’m not talking about going and hugging that man pointing a gun at you. I’m not telling you to ignore the dangers of the world. I’m telling you to start approaching them with love.
If you’re walking around a dangerous area, you need to be aware of your surroundings. You need to realize that not everyone is your friend, and there are some people who only seek to hurt others.
My point is, you can’t approach everyone as if that’s the way they are. If you do, then to me you’ve given up hope.
I’ve mentioned before I used to work in a psychiatric hospital. I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’ve done some things and been put in situations that were a danger to myself in order to protect others. It’s hard to forget watching a man rip a water fountain out of the wall with his bare hands, and then having him charge across the room at you.
When he did that though, I didn’t get angry at him. I didn’t try to punish him past the moment. I did enough to keep him from hurting me or others, and we sedated him with drugs. The next night he made it a point to come out and apologize to me. No one told him to, he knew he needed to. I didn’t get angry at him, tell him I refused his apology. I listened, told him I understand losing one’s temper, and that I accepted the apology. As a grown man should do for another person.
I started thinking about all the tortured souls I’ve met in my life. People that suffer in life from internal demons, or diseases that warp the body as well as the mind. I’ve seen some who should be caregivers treating these people as if they don’t deserve respect (That never lasted long in front of me).
I’ve also seen the blatant idiot that does way worse damage trying to help, than they would have if they had done nothing.
Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like in order to stop pain later. Choosing love means doing the right thing, not because it’s easy, but because it’s right. It’s why I don’t condemn any officer who fires their gun in the line of duty because they feel threatened. They’re doing a job, trying to police an unruly nation. Don’t mistake it, we are unruly.
So, I’ve been thinking of all these tortured souls, and what should I do, how should I do it? Where should I go with my life? How do I explain to people what I mean by choose love?
And it hit me. Why does a wolf chew off it’s own foot to escape a trap? Because it loves life. Why does a man cut off his arm if it’s trapped under a boulder? Because he loves life. Why does a man spend days swimming in the ocean surrounded by sharks, praying for rescue? Because he loves life. (I actually met that last dude by the way, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.)
The problem with America is we all get stuck in our own little bubbles. With the advent of the internet, those bubbles are getting much smaller. We’re realizing things about each other that we never realized before, and it scares us.
There’s people who fear what you don’t, and you fear what they don’t. There’s people who are afraid 9/11 was an inside job, and other people that look at them like they’re crazy. Yet the same people who say it’s impossible for America to have perpetrated an attack on itself believes that Obama is the antichrist coming to destroy everything America stands for.
It’s all so damned confusing, and it feels impossible to find which side you should be on, or even if you should be on a side. There’s more than two choices, and that’s what frustrates me about our political process. Why are we only hearing two voices? Why are we not hearing from more people? I can’t think of two candidates that were more hated in my lifetime.
So with that, the confusion and the chafe meant to distract us all away from what matters, I chose to ignore it. Oh, if you were to go on my facebook, I’m sure I have a crap ton of political stuff on it, but I really don’t give two craps about it. What I mean is I choose to read both sides, and find the side that fits with what I believe. I listen to the voice I disagree with, to learn what stirs their passion, and I add it to my accumulated knowledge. I make a rational decision once I have the choices in front of me.
I’m not going to try to tell you who to vote for, I really don’t care who you vote for. I want you to do as Ted Cruz (I can’t believe I’m agreeing with this man on something, anything.) said, and vote with your conscious. Vote with love. Don’t give into fear and anger which sap away rational thought.
He may be a fictional character, but Yoda was right when he said, “Fear is the path to the darkside. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I bet you he would understand Dr. King’s words, about hate being too great a burden to bear.
Now that I’ve started to choose love in my everyday actions, I’ve started to notice a difference. I can get angry at someone because I love them. I listen better to other people’s arguments because I’m choosing to love them. I’m even using my past, and seeing people threaten my family and I’m loving them to use them as fuel. It’s helping me to write my next book, a stand alone project to have some fun with.
For some reason I like descents into dark places, for all that I talk about love. I hope that you too start to #ChooseLove in your everyday life. #SupportIndieAuthors!
I’m still choosing love, but I can’t help but feel anger. I chose to avoid my computer this morning, after reading a piece about the death and destruction of civilians and their property. 120 people killed in bombing by France, another 70 by my beloved US of A.
I can’t help but feel anger, as I want to believe better of my homeland. I can’t help but feel sorrow for those who may be stuck in an untenable situation. I posted a picture on social media of some of Syria’s great cities destroyed, compared to before the war.
The number of people who scream for them to go home is appalling to me. I can’t help but feel love and anger, as I hope my own family is never put in that position. I hope we are never forced from our home by extremists looking to become a medieval death cult. I don’t know why we feel such animosity towards each other, but it can be disheartening.
Still, I choose love, I live life, and I go about my day.
I ask for you with fear and anger in your hearts, look at those people, and consider if that was your best friend and his family, would you be happy? I don’t ask you to place yourself in that situation, as I know some would turn, fight, and die. Not all would die, but enough would. I ask if you would be happy for your bestfriend, because we seem to hate watching those we love be in pain. We have to stop killing each other.
I understand there’s a threat in our world, there’s a thought process taking over that calls for death to the enemy. What scares me is a lot are in my country. I wonder when the days will come that we choose to listen to one another, rather than arguing about useless shit.
Extremism is taking root everywhere, and no one is listening to each other. I miss the voices of wisdom I heard as a child, and I wonder if they will ever return. If they do, will they be listened to or ignored? As they were in their own time.
I don’t fear for the world, I believe mother nature will overcome anything man does to her, short of ripping her atmosphere away. But unless we quit murdering each other, whether in peacetime or wartime, we as a society will collapse.
Tonight I made the mistake of clicking a link again, and I watched a caregiver be shot, with both hands up, and I feel anger. Anger at a man whose life was put in danger for no reason. I feel anger because in choosing love, I have grown to not accept some things.
WE HAVE TO STOP KILLING EACH OTHER! Realize we are one people, and those who are in control seek to divide us before we become stronger. It is easier to control a divided people than it is to control a unified people
I ask you to choose love. I’ve read enough science fiction to know where this is going, I ask you to choose love. I see the horrors that lie down the path of hate, I ask you to choose love.
I don’t know how else to say it, really.
Stop killing each other and #ChoseLove
Loved this book as well. I can’t wait for the next one. This series just keeps getting better. Love the little surprise at the end! 5/5
I’m happy I’ve decided to choose love, but I’ll be honest it makes me all the more fearful for all the hate and fear I continue to see. Where are the moderate voices from our leaders? Where is the voice that teaches that hate can never destroy hate. I look back and I often wonder what would have happened if some of these great leaders of peace had not had their voices silenced over the years.
But I digress, I’m happy I decided to choose love as these other great men have shown me. I saw it yesterday when I had a contentious situation with another person. Rather than get angry and unleash a tirade of hate upon that person, pouring every bit of my malice against them, I instead detached myself from my hate, and looked upon their point of view with love.
While they continued in their attempt to rip me to shreds, I remained calm, listening with cool reason to everything they were saying. Some of it was upsetting, but I remembered an old adage about sticks and stones. So I waited, patiently, as spittle flew from their mouth and they continued to yell and scream.
When they finished, huffing and puffing, and out of breath from all the screaming anger, I asked them, “What did I do that angered you so? Have I yelled and screamed back at you in anger? Have I attempted to force aside your point of view and insert my own? No, I’ve done nothing but point out my point of view is different than yours.” I admit, I’m paraphrasing a bit.
Watching them scrape and fumble for an answer, finding they had nothing to say in return, it was satisfying to watch as they fumed. And after a moment, they calmed down and realized I was saying nothing to make them believe what I believed. They continued to relax themselves, and we talked for a bit, and everything was right between us.
Dr. King once said, “I choose love, hate is too great a burden to bear.” again, paraphrasing, and I love those words. I didn’t feel a shame, a guilt, a lessening from listening to this person. I heard their point of view, and calmly pointed out that I believed differently. While they were left fuming and ready to continue the fight, I never engaged them in the first place, so they found it impossible to fight me. It was only when they choose to let go of their hate that they started to listen. I don’t believe I changed this man’s mind. He still believes as he wants, but I do believe I offered him a newfound respect for some people on the other side.
I see these protests between brothers and sisters, people who should love one another. I’ve read just about every holy book I could get my hands on; I don’t know of an atheist handbook, but I would gladly read one to include their point of view. I freely admit I know none of these great books as a scholar should, but I have read them. To me there’s one message in all of them, love one another. Jesus tells us to love one another, Buddah said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Muhammad said, “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself”. None of these men are about hate to me.
Which is what makes the world around me all the more appalling.
When I turn on the news and I see one side saying “Black Lives Matter!” I say YES! I’m with you! You guys deserve to have a voice and be heard, if you feel you’re being unfairly treated!
And when another group stands up and says, “All Lives Matter!” I say YES!! And I stand and embrace my friends.
You would think these two groups would get along, if only they had embraced one another and listened to each other, instead of throwing up walls of hate and ignoring what either side is trying to say.
Now there’s a movement starting for “Blue Lives Matter!” and I can’t help but think that it’s insane it has come to this. It feels like drawing lines in the sand, and I don’t deny there are some shady practices all around the world, but does it really need to be said?
Not everyone screaming Black Lives Matter! Is black, a lot of your allies are white or other minorities. Hell, even with the shootings, I’ve seen some cops siding with you guys. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep the violence out of it.
Not everyone who says All Lives Matter! Is a racist, but for some reason I see a lot of a racist undercurrent in what they say. Doesn’t change what I said before, I still embrace those people as my brothers and sisters, because in a truly free America, they have a right to believe as they do. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep the violence out of it.
Why did Blue Lives Matter need to become a thing? I mean, I’m not trying to deny it’s movement, and what it is calling for, but that nice society that surrounds you on a daily basis? That’s kept by civil servants like the police. I’m not saying there are not sections that may be racist, I’m not saying they should be given free reign. I’m not even saying you should stop protesting against police, if that’s what you believe. I’m saying these men and women are on the streets trying to do nothing but keep themselves and others safe. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep violence out of it.
We need to quit killing one another. We need to start choosing to love. We need to quit giving into fear. Look at your fellow humans, look around and see all the good souls in the world. Realize that all that hate you see on the media, all that destructive force of malice, is but a small percentage of the population.
It only took one moment for me to decide to choose love. I ask that you take that moment, before you start to overreact with violence.