Show the World

Lukewarm is no good.

If there’s something out there that you’re really into, let that flag fly. Don’t rein yourself in. Not only are you stifling yourself, you may be missing out on the chance to meet other people who are into the same thing.

Talk about it. Write about it. Share it with the world.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: January 13th.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: The Welsh Rugby Union has extended professional contracts to 12 players. THis may seem like a small step (Considering that 15 players make up a team, and that’s not counting impact players on the bench), but it is HUGE. And history making.

Thing #2: Surprisingly, the vast increase in hand-washing and sanitizing I’ve been doing since…forever ago…hasn’t changed how dry and cracked my hands get during the winter. Of course cracked and barren doesn’t have much of a sliding scale.

Thing #3: It’s worth the effort to try and notice one new thing each day.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Eden by Battle Beast

Thing #5:  Thick socks are worth their weight in gold.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

Conan (The Collected Works) by Robert E. Howard

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I have been dedicating time each day to Myself. Down time. I can play a game, or do whatever. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. I think this is important.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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The Long Game

Happy Sunday (Or whichever day you happen to be reading this) everyone. Here we are kicking off the second week of 2022.

I fully confess that it’s been a slow start. Maybe it’s been that way for you as well. Maybe you haven’t gotten right on those projects that you said you’d get to at the turn of the year.

Maybe, right now, there’s that little voice in your head that’s whispering that maybe you should just give up. That you obviously weren’t serious about your plans–if you were, you’d have done more than you have. That you’ve already missed a day, or two, so you should maybe forget about it. There’s always next year, right?

If that’s you, you’re not alone. To quote Galadriel, “For it is also in my mind.”

Not only does that voice suck, it’s not playing The Long Game.

It’s looking for instant results. It doesn’t believe in doing The Work – whatever it is.

And here’s the thing:

Next Year isn’t guaranteed for anyone. It’s a vague shape ahead. Barely visible through the mists of Time, and you won’t know the shape of it until it arrives.

There is only Now. Today.

There is only the single question: Am I playing The Long Game?

That answer won’t always be, “Yes” for every day. Sometimes it may be “Not Today.” Sometimes, if your priorities change – and they may because Life happens, the answer might be “Not for this. Not anymore.”

But there’s always something else to Play for.

So play The Long Game. For as often as you can – and that may not be every day, and that’s OK.

Every step forward is a step forward.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five Thing Thursday: January 6th.

Welcome, everyone to the First Installment of Five Thing Thursday for 2021!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: I don’t mind the cold. I don’t like Being cold. There’s a difference.

Thing #2: Change comes gradually. Even if you only set out to be 1% better at something, at the end of 100 sessions of that something you’ll be 100% better.

Thing #3: Be open to the possibilities – and they are out there.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Shed My Skin by Within Temptation

Thing #5:  At any time, You can stop, pivot, and head off in a new direction.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

Conan (The Collected Works) by Robert E. Howard

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

The first week of dayjob has been kinda..well…let’s just say that no vacation goes unpunished. I am focusing on Sleep and keeping myself organized. This sometimes means that Present Me gets screwed in favor of Future Me in that some things, like playing games, etc. fall by the wayside so I can keep on top of stuff. Better than scrambling – which I am making a real effort to avoid doing this year.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Looking Forward: 2022

2021 was a bit of a year, wasn’t it?

For me, it was a rebuilding year. Part of that rebuilding was tearing down – not quite literally. There were some health issues which put me off my feet for a few months and had me reacting to life up until, say the final quarter of the year where I turned and made a conscious effort to take control back.

That’s what I’m bringing with me into 2022. I move at my pace and the rest of the world can deal with that.

That’s going to take some work and some planning, which brings me to one of the themes for 2022:

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

That’s not taking anything away from Hard Work – in fact, I expect 2022 to be chock full of hard work. What I want to do is be thoughtful about how I go about it. Plan. How can I make the best use of my time, when seen through the lens of what I want to accomplish?

That sounds like a lot to be focused on – which brings me to the other thing I’m going to bring with me into 2022:

Be More Present.

I started doing that at the tail end of last year when I started taking note of Daily Delights. Doing that, sort of forced me into being more aware of the world around me, Made me more conscious of the present moment. Those days where I’d drive into work and not remember a single foot of the trip began to dwindle – which I count as a good thing. I spent a lot of last year on autopilot.

I haven’t done New Year’s Resolutions for quite some time and this year will be no different. There’s a lot of things I’d like to improve upon, pick up, or begin. To accomplish that, it will take planning – Working smarter, rather than Harder – and being more present in the World so I can experience the journey. Because, let’s face it, the destination will change. There will always be that next hill to climb, that next corner that I’ve got to turn, so I can see what’s beyond.

This is one of the things I love about walking – which I plan to continue in 2022. I can see the details of the trip, if I take the time to look – and it’s always been time well spent.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Posted in LIfe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Looking back: 2021

The first draft of this post was massive.

Now if you’ve ever seen the early drafts of my work – “Short” stories included – this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I’d raised the bar even for me.

I found myself talking about *Everything* including deeply personal stuff, better set down in a personal journal- which I might take up again this year – as opposed to a public post.

At 1500 words, I decided to start over. Speaking of starting…

I started off 2021 so optimistic. I imagine we all did.

Which is not to say that I don’t think we’re in a better place now, than we were back at the turn of the year, but we sure got off to a rocky start.

But that’s normal when you’re just beginning to rebuild.

I think that’s been the theme of the year for me. Rebuild.

Your mileage may vary, of course but, looking back, there was a lot of recovery for me this year.

Health, Mental Health, Happiness, Creatively…

There’s a lot in there that’s interconnected and work in one area will have positive impacts in the others (and in other areas of life that I hadn’t listed…Massive, remember), but there was work to be done.

And, like with all necessary work, it was hard, but it wasn’t a slog – and it’s not done.

Like any other year, 2021 has had its share of ups and downs during which times the work is correspondingly easier or harder, sometimes in tandem (Yes, I know that doesn’t make much sense but there it is).

There were health issues – some of which required a bit of breaking down before we could begin to move forward again. All of which had impacts on other areas of life, just as the subsequent recovery had impacts for the better.

I started out 2021 with the purpose of looking up and out. And that turned out for the good. I got to watch (more than a little misty-eyed) the Perseverance Rover Land on Mars.

I learned about looking inward. To appreciate and show gratitude (harder than it turned out to be) to my past self – without whom I wouldn’t be here today. This is something I strive to do every day.

Finally, I learned to look neither forward, nor backward, but to look at the present. I started noticing – and taking note of – things that bring me delight. I write them down and doing so has enabled a subtle shift for the better. I see more clearly (Sidebar: 2021 also brought a new pair of glasses – with a new prescription – SO much better). I am looking for things that delight me and, in the Buttery, Man-Voice, words of Dave Robison : You find what you’re looking for.

Not only did I find it (My #DailyDelight list has 59 entries in it – and I started this back in the middle of October. That’s more than one delight per day), I find that I’m more open to unexpected delights when they show up. 2021 has ben a stand out year for the discovery of new Music, New Television Shows, New Books, Movies, Comics, etc.

I’m more likely to notice something cool when I’m out walking – that pair of deer in the field 100 feet away, the awesome sound of hundreds of pairs of wings all hitting the air at the same time, spring peepers (I love my peepers).

2021 has been a year of rebuilding. We’re not done by a long shot, but it’s worth recognizing and appreciating what we’ve done and seen along the way. It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been painless, but here we are.

As I type this up, realizing that I’m nearing the end, I find that I’m filled with just as much optimism about 2022 as I was about the approach of 2021. Perhaps for different reasons – I can say with confidence that I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of the year – but Looking forward, inward, and at the present, even as the future approaches.

Celebrate what’s gone by – without it, you wouldn’t be here.

Celebrate the present moment – it’s all around you, unique, and full of awesome, if you look for it.

Celebrate the future – In the words of one of my Musical discoveries, Accept (Yes, I know they’ve been around for a long time, but this year was the year I truly gave them a listen): The Best is Yet to Come.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Sunday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Posted in LIfe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Five Thing Thursday: December 30th.

Welcome, everyone to the Final installment of Five Thing Thursday for 2020 and…

*record Scriitch*

Hold on a second…

I’ve said multiple times this year, that I was going to be on the lookout for New Music, so I’d like to take this time to mention five bands that I want you to know about.

(Author’s Note: “New” is, of course, subjective. What I mean when I say “New” here is “New to me.”)

So, with that out of the way….

Here are Five Bands that I want you to know about (In No Particular Order):

Thing #1: Seven Kingdoms. I discovered this band when they went on the road with Unleash the Archers this year.

Thing #2: Striker. I discovered this band two days ago. TWO DAYS. Coincidentally, I’ve got two things to say about that: First is that you should always be on the lookout for new stuff. Second is that these guys have been around for a while and NO ONE told me. Seriously, Y’All are on notice…

Thing #3: Trivium. I first heard of these guys on the Metal Hammer Podcast. It took a bit of listening, but I’m now seriously considering picking up their latest release.

Thing #4: Battle Beast. I had peripherally aware of this band, but 2021 was the year that I gave them a listen – good thing too. They’ve got a new release coming out in January – AND – will be in my neck of the woods (Supporting Dragonforce) next year…possibly, maybe, hopefully.

Thing #5:  Accept. There are a couple of bands in this list where the “New to Me” caveat applies. None more than Accept. I heard The Undertaker, and then Zombie Apocalypse during an interview with Wolf Hoffmann on the Metal Empire Interviews Podcast and I had to see what else was on that release.

Oh, and what’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? Empty Eyes by Seven Kingdoms.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

Conan (The Collected Works) by Robert E. Howard

Inside Out by Demi Moore

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I am coasting through the last week of the year and that’s been super relaxing.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Five-Thing Thursday: December 23rd.

Welcome, everyone to the Penultimate installment of Five Thing Thursday for 2020 and…

Here are Five Things I want you to know:

Thing #1: Getting used to a new keyboard is rough.

Thing #2: There is no such thing as too much Thai food.

Thing #3: There’s a song out there – you know which one it is – that will run through you like blissful, sonic, lightning. Don’t wait for it to come up naturally. Go put it in your ears.

Thing #4: What’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? Empty Eyes by Seven Kingdoms.

Thing #5:  If you enjoy something, don’t hold back. Lukewarm doesn’t do you any good.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

Conan (The Collected Works) by Robert E. Howard

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I’ve got the rest of the year off work!!! That, by itself is relaxing and well refilling. I’ve got plans for that time, and some of it includes Playing it by ear.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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One Percent

From the title of this post, I can tell that there are some of you who are going to reel back in surprise saying, “That sounds suspiciously like math is going to happen. Who are you, and what have you done with Ken??”

Trust me, nothing’s happened – and there won’t be any math involved.

Almost certainly not.

We’re only a couple of weeks away from the turn of the year. If you’re anything like me, around this time you’ll get introspective. You’ll be looking at the coming year, thinking about things you’d like to improve. Things you’d like to do better, or start doing.

You may be tempted – as a result of these thoughts – to make sweeping changes. Now there’s a lot to be said about change. First is that you can do it at any time – which is part of the reason why this isn’t a New Year’s day post.

But change isn’t always something sweeping through life. Sometimes it’s gradual. Most of the time it’s gradual. Sometimes the greatest change happens in small incremental steps.

So if you’re looking to do something different, consider that you might start small.

Let’s say that you want to learn how to play the guitar in the coming year. Make it a practice to end the week being One Percent better of a guitar player than you were at the beginning of the week.

Keep that up and, over the course of the year, you’ll be a 54 percent better guitar player than you were at the beginning of the year. If you stretch yourself a little and shoot for two percent improvement, at the end of the year, you’ll be one hundred eight percent better than you were at the start of the year.

Naturally, what this ultimately looks like is up to you, but if you take it slow and you’re consistent with it, I think you’ll find that the results are worth the effort.

Ok, yes, there was math, but only a little.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Posted in Inspiration, LIfe | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Five-Thing Thursday: December 16th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to know:

Thing #1: After Several years, my phone case has finally given up the ghost. Lifeproof cases, certainly lived up to the name.

Thing #2: A moment of planning is worth several minutes of hard work. I don’t know why this is so hard for me to remember.

Thing #3: You can only play what’s in front of you. Plans are good to have, but sometimes life has other ideas.

Thing #4: What’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? Rats in the Walls by Seven Kingdoms.

Thing #5: The Best you can do…is enough.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

This weekend has been full of warm clothes and downtime. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been outside – I don’t mind being outside while it’s cold. What it does mean is that I’m packing myself into stuff that can keep me warm for hours while outside.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment