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It Ain’t Necessarily So – 1

Internet problems delayed the publishing of this blog, but here it is somewhat late.

After long and intense reflection; some of a religious bent might say, “prayerful consideration,” 27 seconds, that’s long enough for any intense reflection; I have decided to tell the world a little about myself. However, before I do I want to give the reader a chance to understand where I’m coming from. The “Warning” to this so-called “book in progress” is something I will suggest every reader of any post in this category read. So, here it is! You are the first to read this Introduction to the very first chapter in my new book entitled – It Ain’t Necessarily So.

A Warning!
Required Reading

It has been said that, “History is written by the winners.” Hell, I said that in my book, A Short Futile Life, soon to be published by Second Wind Publishing. Since I said it, it has to have been said before.

I am one such winner in that I have outlived any who might be able to refute the things I say. I will, to the best of my ability, be honest except when it suits me to be otherwise. After all, I am a storyteller, and the important thing to a storyteller is to keep the reader interested, not be honest.

I will also warn you that the things I tell you about me, my family, my life, my loves, my hates, my accomplishments (there’s very damned few of those so I’ll have to make some up) and my failures (do you really think I would tell you about those) are things that interest me, or at last did at the time.

Now, having been warned, let us begin. Please feel free to make suggestions. They will be welcomed, ignored, but genuinely welcomed.

It Ain’t Necessarily So

CHAPTER ONE
A Biased Introduction

I don’t precisely remember being born, but I have it on good authority that I was. People I trust, who were there, namely my mother, said that it really did happen and I believe her. I also have an official document stating that I was born. It is not a birth certificate in the normal sense, but an American Consular Service form that is a “Report of Birth of Children Born to American Parents”. Since I have that piece of paper (or at least a copy of it) and I’m here, I guess that pretty much settles the mater that I really was born and that I am not just, as some young friends of mine claim, a bird dropping that was left on a fence post to hatch.

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon said, “Age appears to be best in four things: old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” I’ve had a couple of books published, but does that make me an old author? When Bacon talked about “old authors” was he talking about dead and gone writers from a century before him, or old codgers who can’t stand up by themselves?

Now that I am older than most people on this earth, I was hoping that people would listen to what I say just because I’m old. However, they don’t and why should they?

H. L. Menkin said, “The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” I have to agree with that thought. I don’t know that I’m wiser. I’m more experienced, maybe, but wiser? One of the problems with what my experience has taught me is that much of what I know is no longer needed. It is from a time before computers, space travel, cameras that don’t need film, cell phones with the camera in it yet, satellite global positioning, or even automatic transmissions.

Some say that I should associate with more people my own age. Why? All they talk about is the past. “I remember back in…” I knew one old guy that always used to say, “I remember back in aught three…” He was talking about 1903, then he’d tell the story he’d told you a hundred times. He’s long gone, but now I too can say, “I remember back in aught three…” But who wants to be reminded of what became the quagmire of the war in Iraq?

 

If you look at the history books, 1931 (the year in which I was born) was not a particularly auspicious year. Not a whole lot happened that year. I think the Empire State Building was completed that year and work started on Boulder Dam, later named Hoover dam.

Considering that it was an era known as the Great Depression, it is understandable that not much happened of significance. I, of course, being raised in the middle of Africa didn’t know anything about any depression until I came to the United States at age fifteen and had to study History. When I came to the US the Depression was over and all the talk was of “The War.”

I don’t remember much of my early years, by that I mean before I was five or so, and so some of what I tell you about those years is hear-say, or my imagination, both of which are inadmissible in a court of law.

I was told that I was so startled by coming into the world that I didn’t talk for almost two years. I don’t think it was that I didn’t have anything to say; it was just that with everyone else was talking so much I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me. I have learned in the years since then that people are much more interested in what they want to tell you than in what you have to say. That is OK since you don’t learn nearly as much by talking as by listening.

If you find someone that is genuinely interested in what you have to say, then listen to what they have to say. If they talk mostly about the things they want or have, move quietly away and find someone else to talk to. Things aren’t worth thinking about. If they talk about people, listen to what they have to say, but don’t take their advice. People are just slightly more valuable than things. If they talk about ideas, and their ideas stimulate you to thinking, then keep them as a friend. Friends with fresh ideas are worth spending time with. If their ideas startle you sometimes, but are stimulating rather than frightening, and if the person is attractive, of the right age, sex, and of the same disposition, marry them.

I married well both times. My first marriage was strictly a business deal. I’ll tell you more about it later. For right now I’ll just say it was the only business venture I ever entered into that I considered a total success. I think she felt the same way, at least we parted company very good friends and grateful to the other for what each brought to the table, or to the bed, so to speak.

With some of her friends and some of my friends present, the terms of the contract were thoroughly discussed before we got married. There was no written contract, no prenuptial agreements, or any of that BS, but we both considered a verbal agreement as binding as anything on paper.  Now I am not digressing so much as getting ahead of my story. I think, if possible, stories should be told in a chronological order, don’t you?

I’ll try to keep things in better order in the following chapters. As I said right at the beginning, this chapter is sort of an introduction, a biased one at that.

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Paul’s book The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is now available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99. – Soon to be available as an audiobook.

Murder Sets Sail  now available from Second Wind Publishing and on AmazonKindle and Nook versions just $4.99,

Body On the Church Steps coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

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IDEAS by S.M. Senden

People often ask where I get my ideas.

I can’t say that there is one well from which I draw when it comes to ideas.  There are many places inspiration can come from; most of them have some relationship with one another but none is exclusive.  Here are a few of my best sources.

Read.  The more you read, the more you learn, and the more you come up with questions that send you onto something else to read.

Research. The more I read, and research, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I want to know.  So many times in my research I find a nugget of truth to build a story upon.  I love to read old newspaper articles.  Not only do they provide ideas, but also a wealth of information about an era or place.

Play the ‘What If’ game.  This was a game someone told me about years ago when I was beginning to write. You begin with an idea.  I will use one that I recently read about. A family has been living in an older house, built somewhere around 1900.  One day one person got curious about the grate in the hall by the entrance.  It looked like it would be a vent to the HVAC, however they did not have central air.  Removing the grate revealed a deep, dark place below the floor.  One of the family members went down there and discovered an abandoned sanctuary with a large cross on the floor.

Now ~ here is where the ‘What If’ game gets fun.  What if there was a hidden treasure down there?  What if there was a catacomb of bones down there, or tunnels that lead to more secret chambers?  What if they entered an alternate reality, universe or era?  What if they discovered a body?

The ‘What If’ game takes your imagination for a long journey that is rarely dull.  It also can provide for a number of good story lines.

Dream.  Sometimes when I am working through a story I will set it into my mind to look for a solution as I sleep and dream.  Often dreams will provide answers.  More often a good nights rest will allow the ideas to come through as if they had been there all along.  Rarely do nightmares provide a story line, but it has happened.

Have No Fear of looking like a geek.  Arm yourself with paper, and a writing implement that works, so you can scribble down the stray thought that had been elusive and comes when you are thinking or doing something other than writing.  Sometimes a conversation will bring that key phrase or idea sought after for a character, situation or event.  Scribble down the idea, but be sure you can read your writing later on!

There are many more I could list, but these are some of the best ones.  Feel free to employ any of these ideas and methods.  Happy Writing!

Author of Clara’s Wish and soon to be released ~ Lethal Boundaries.

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Pens, Paper, and Word – Oh, My

An unprecedented event happened two days ago that made me realize how dependent I am on my technology.

I live in the Deep South, nestled in a small town above a warm lake fed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Our inclement weather usually involves hurricanes and thunderstorms. Most of the time, we coast through the winter complaining that it’s never really winter weather down here during the cold months of the year.

Many a winter holiday, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, see the Deep South populace roaming around in shorts and t-shirts. The most snow that we might see every decade or two would be around a half-inch that quickly melts as soon as the sun rises.

Not this year. Yesterday, December 11, 2008, my daughter called me at six-thirty in the morning to tell me it was snowing. Expecting to see a light dusting of white on the ground, I was stunned to see three inches of snow already with more coming down. Before the day’s end, I had seven inches of snow in my yard.

Excitement quickly turned to dismay with the cracking sounds of snow-laden limbs falling from trees in the neighborhood. In the white stillness, the sounds echoed like rifle shots.

Shortly afterward, the electricity went out. Now, I’m used to the electricity going out during hurricane season, but not during the winter months. This is not supposed to happen, especially when I am trying to finish writing my latest book.

Although I have access to power and Internet right now at my daughter’s apartment, I will have to go home eventually to a darkened and cold house devoid of power and heat.

I realized how very dependent I am on technology. I rely on Word to help correct my erratic spelling errors and I depend on the Internet for research pertaining to my writing.

Most of all, I need power to keep the laptop going so that I can write. It has been a very long time since I have had to write the old-fashioned way. I am not sure if I have a notebook to write in and I do not know if I even have a pen that is not dried up and useless.

Over the last twenty-four hours, I have come to appreciate the authors before me who wrote lengthy novels with only pen and paper or, in older times, quill, ink, and parchment.

J J Dare is the author of “False Positive” and “False World,”

the first two novels in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy

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