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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Martians are Invading

It was on this night, October 30, 1938 that an episode of the American radio drama anthology series, The Mercury Theater on the Air performed an episode which was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel “The War of the Worlds.” (1898)
The Columbia Broadcasting System radio network aired the program which was directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles.
The Mercury Theater on the Air was radio program that played without commercial breaks and had a program playing that was repeatedly interrupted as the main show was presented as simulated news broadcasts for the first two thirds of the 60 minute broadcast, which suggested to many listeners that the news broadcasts were of an actual alien invasion by Martians that was currently in progress.
In the days following the broadcast there was widespread outrage and panic by many listeners of the program who had believed the events described in the program were real.  The program used a news bulletin format that was later described as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures.  This episode made Orson Welles famous despite the outcry and rage focused at the perpetrators of the program.
Orson Welles had played recordings of Herbert Morrison’s radio reports of the Hindenburg disaster for actor Frank Readick and the rest of the cast to demonstrate the mood he wanted to portray with the broadcast.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mayan Pyramid at Coba

During the week of October 20 th to the October 27 th of 2012, I went on vacation to the Yucatan peninsula.  So the next few blog posts that I do will be about observations, relating of activities, thoughts about aspects of my vacation.
One of the excursions I participated in was a visit to the Mayan Pyramid at Coba.

This archaeological site lay deep in the jungle and almost untouched until the 1970’s.  As part of a tourist initiative that started with the construction of the tourist hub in Cancun, the Mexican government built a road to Coba and cleared a section of the jungle to make a site for visitors.  Coba is still an active cutting edge modern archaeological site.  The visitors are allowed more direct contact to the ruins because generally they are more respectful of the ongoing archaeology of the site.  This site is less accessible than Chichen Itza and lacks some of the facilities found at Chichen Itza, but at Coba the visitors can still climb the Great Pyramid of Nohoch Mul, the highest Pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula.  You also have virtually unrestricted access to many of the smaller but equally impressive ruins.

At the top of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid you get the view of a Mayan Priest over 1500 years ago.  The panoramic view of the top of the dense jungle in all directions with buildings and other pyramids poking up through the lush dense cover, with the entire area being completely flat the few bumps and rises in the landscape are other buildings which have not been excavated as of yet.  The Pyramid is only 124 steps to get to the top.  The steps rise at a steep angle to a height well above the canopy of the surrounding jungle.
It is believed Coba became a regional center of the Mayan’s towards the end of the Classic Period.  While the Mayan civilization in the south was collapsing, Coba continued to prosper through the first part of the Post Classic period.  The Classic Era is considered to be the time from 250AD to 900AD which saw the growth and spread of the Mayan culture throughout the entire region.  The site is believed to have supported 50,000 people at one time.  There is evidence there of some sort of trading posts, embassies for far away cultures and traders, but by the end of the 16 th Century Coba had already been abandoned.

A few of the buildings can be entered and have pathways leading into the interior.  Also several examples of the typical Mayan arch, unlike other areas of the world from that time like the Romans, their arch did not have a key stone.

Two of the Mayan ball courts for their game which still today is shrouded in mystery have been uncovered and restored at Coba.

Over fifteen hundred of these courts have been found all over central America.  I was very impressed with the carved stone rings sticking out of the tops of the structures at the top of the slanted section of stones making up each side of the arena.  With almost everything else being built with stones and having distinct edges seeing two elegantly carved rings attached to the stone seemed like a mid-evil marvel of skill and engineering.

The tour company we went with is called Al Tour Native, it is pronounced Alternative, and is a coop with the local Mayan villages and native communities to cater to Tourism and help support their communities.  The community we visited has water, electricity, a school house and some of the members of the community get to work in their community servicing the tourists on the excursion learning about the people and their culture, past – present – and the future.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

When should you give up?

When should you give up?

It depends on the situation, now doesn’t it?

If everything I want is to be President of the United States, I should just give up!  Let’s face it the smartest people in this country would never accept that job even if it was just given to them.
If everything I want is to become the King of England, I should just give up!
If everything I want is to marry some person who is already happily married and has their own family, I should probably give up and find another person.
If I was a small country with an army smaller than the registered hunters in just one state of the United States, but all I want is to conquer the United States of America, I should probably just give up.
If I was a pirate in a single boat with maybe an RPG or two and some machine guns and I run up against a Navy ship belonging to the United States or Great Britain, I probably should just give up and sail back home.
Sometimes when it is a person who is hell bent on killing themselves with drugs, alcohol, some destructive behavior, or worse, sometimes you have to just walk away until they are ready to help themselves.  The lines and issues get fuzzy when it is a situation which involves a loved one, family member, or close friend.  The choices get harder.
How much pain and misery is enough before you have to walk away.  What if their problem cost somebody to lose the life of a stranger, a friend, or a loved one, or a member of your own family.  What if you’re the problem and you don’t want to quit because the drugs and alcohol are all you really want?
There was a battle I read about from World War I where British Troops were in the trenches and had just held against another onslaught by the Germans who were across the field in their trenches.  As they counted up the remaining rounds their troops had up and down the line they had maybe two rounds per man.  They were actually discussing if they should surrender or not because they knew they couldn’t hold off one more attack.  Just then it was reported that the Germans raised a white flag and wanted to surrender to the British Troops.  It was later discovered that the Germans had surrendered their position because they had almost completely run out of ammo themselves.  In light of stories like that – one should never give up!
From a military perspective if you’re ordered to hold, you hold!  I will never forget the plight of the 101st Airborne during the Battle of the Bulge holding on against the Germans to keep them out of Bastogne.  In that kind of a case you don’t give up!
There are virtually millions of possible scenarios with Pro’s and Con’s to both sides.  It truly depends on the situation.  Investigate the details of the situation.  Investigate your chances of succeeding.  Weigh the gains and losses of the situation going either way.
When I was younger I had several people tell me I would make a great writer and I blew it off as fluff.  English was one of the few subjects in the world I couldn’t get my head around or understand the rules of.  It and Calculus were both at the top of the list as far as subjects I wasn’t going to become proficient in.  To be a writer, knowing and understanding English might seem like a pretty large prerequisite.
The ladies of my book club talked me into bringing in Chapters of a book I had started and they would help me edit it.  Soon we were past what I had written and I had to write more to stay ahead of them.  Soon I was writing a little bit every day and I found I really enjoyed writing in spite of how bad the spelling, grammar, and proper following of the rules of English.  So I put that story aside and took my worst story and decided to finish it.  This story was the weakest one of about 20 ideas for books I could write.  Soon, much sooner than I expected, I had finished the rough draft of Whisper.  After three edits it is not half bad and the story is good.  It will forever be my first and worst book.
I still had questions.
What if nobody liked it?
What if my stories suck?
What if I never sell a single book or nobody wants to read it?
I published “Whisper” in January of 2011 after one initial edit from a retired English school teacher.  I was vastly improved but still way below industry or readers standards.  I did publish it early without it being as polished as it could have been but by doing that it taught me a few things.
I got some Great Reviews in spite of the grammar and English issues.  The bad reviews attacked the second rate nature of the Grammar and English, nobody was attacking the story!  It did sell!  People were buying my book and reading it, some leaving reviews that were good and bad.
So I fell in love with writing and I know it is what I want to do with the rest of my life outside of spending time with my family and growing older.  I am still pretty much an unknown, undiscovered writer.  To fix that I just need to write more and better books.
If I never become well known and never make a fortune at writing books that’s okay because I still have my day job.  I may end up retiring from here still being a undiscovered second rate Science Fiction Action Adventure Writer.  That’s alright because I write my books to make me happy, it is what I enjoy doing with my spare time.  If I hit it Big, that would be great!  If I don’t I will have spent my life doing what I enjoy.
So in my case I don’t have to give up.  I am published, e-published, Indie Author, the do it yourself of the publishing industry.  Since January of 2011, I have sold or given away over two thousand copies of my first novel “Whisper”  As of writing this blog post the first half of my second book “No Rules Of Engagement” has been reedited.  I am waiting for the edits on the second half and then I will rerelease it and work at promoting it.  I am not actively promoting as it still is in need of help grammatically.  The sequels to both books are written and at my editors.
Yes it is hard to wait around for something, and even harder to give up when you know it is everything you want.  I would normally say never give up, but as pointed out above it all depends on the circumstances.  What are you waiting for?  What do you want?  Is it possible?  Could it happen?  Can you live and exist while waiting?  Can live without what you want if you were to give up waiting for it to happen?  These are questions we have to answer truthfully of ourselves every day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What are you looking for?

With this new way of reaching out to people it often makes me wonder who is really out there on the other side of all this social media.
There is MySpace, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and many other outlets through which people can connect to others via the Internet.  There are Book sites, like Goodreads or Shelfari, which I am interested in almost anything to do with books, education, the proliferation of useless knowledge, and raising the IQ of the masses.  For those who just enjoy pictures, links, like a giant virtual scrap book there is Pinterest!  For videos of all sorts, serious, funny, promoting, previews, whatever, there is YouTube!
I am not even going to touch on or delve into the sites for particular groups, social SOCIAL sites, or the multitude of specialty things you can interact with on line!  I’m strictly of the mindset that if you don’t want to see it nobody is forcing you to go there, so block it, or change the channel.  I do believe it all needs to be on the internet to keep it a free expression of the human condition for all its good and bad.  Only an open mind can accept and use new information.
Some people reach out because they are lonely.
Some people just like being able to let everybody know where they are and what they are doing at every second of the day because they are that important that we must be curious.  What are they doing NOW!
Some people reach out to share their humor, whether the recipients find it funny or not.
Some people just get on to browse and spy on others because they are nosy, it’s a compulsion they can’t resist.  This goes hand in hand with those who spread rumors they hear, they make up, they heard on break, or that they just believe to be true.  This is basically Gossiping and Eves dropping just on a much sneaker and grander scale.  I remember just two weeks ago when someone told me they saw on the Internet that Morgan Freeman had passed away (Again).  It wasn’t true, but they did read it on the internet.
Some people use the Internet and Social Media sites to spew their hatred, loathing, and general miserable condition they inhabit on this planet.  If they aren’t happy, didn’t do it, or say it then it can’t be write.  This falls in line with the self-proclaimed Internet POLICE of you spelled that wrong, you got that wrong, I am better than you because I noticed and pointed out that your only human because I am a truly outspoken ass!  If you haven’t ran into any of these nice individuals post anything on line and they start swooping in like pigeons for French Fries!
So far there isn’t one all-encompassing site that does everything for everybody.  There is something that does part of what people are looking for and somewhere there is something for everybody who takes the time to find it.
To some the internet is the gate way to the masses to promote themselves, their products, their beliefs and their opinions.  It’s a sales gimmick, advertising medium, a way to connect with you, The Consumer!  Come spend your money with me!
I enjoy bits and pieces of several different social media sites for different reasons.  I am by no means an expert on any of them and each time I think I get a handle on what to do and how to do it, they upgrade and change the damn thing making it more difficult to do what I was enjoying the benefit of trying to do before they changed it.  (Facebook)
I sincerely like interacting through the social media outlets, meeting new people, finding people who appreciate what I appreciate it, who read the same books, who are courteous, polite and helpful to others.  I enjoy it when I can actually teach somebody something, help them discover something I already know, or in many cases just brighten their day by noticing them.  I enjoy learning from others and sharing their stories and experiences especially through the multitude of blog posts I follow.
I am a writer.  I look at the world differently than most people do.  Do I want people to buy my books?  Yes.  Occasionally, if I am working on a promotion, a new release, free book give away, I might flood the social media circles I inhabit with some self-promotion.  Then I’m done.
If one of my books sounds interesting, try it.  If not, don’t.  I do try and help promote other author’s works because I don’t look at it as if I am competing with them.  A regular person can read several hundred books in a year.  I can maybe write and publish two if I work really hard.  Of course people will be reading other books!  I’m just glad with everything going on in the world and the way the world is changing so fast with so many things competing for our time and interests that some people are still taking the time to read books.
I genuinely am concerned and interested in trying to relate to, understand, find common ground, share and have fun with the people I meet on the different social sites on the internet.  Some of these people may end up being lifelong friends or acquaintances.  Others will come and go.  In time I will build a following of readers who like my writing style and the stories I write, but that will happen one book and one story at a time.  Not because I followed somebody on Pinterest, Plused one them on Google, or liked their page on Facebook or Amazon.
I don’t sell stuff on my blog.  I try and write meaningful uplifting, maybe educational, sometimes funny, stuff for my blog posts.  Frankly most people don’t take the time to read all of most posts anyway.  It was probably some tag line I used in a link that caught their eye and dragged them to that particular page in the first place.  Some do read them all the way through.  I write my blog posts as a warm up for writing my novels.  I appreciate when I get a comment or mention from someone who I can tell read the whole thing and they got it!  I made a small connection with the words I typed.  That’s really what it’s all about.
Who do you connect with?
Are you really connecting with anyone?
Are you getting anything out of all this social media stuff?
If you have read this far into this post you probably are connecting and getting stuff and learning and still growing as a human being every day.  The people who clicked off the page just as fast they clicked on to it because to read something is more of an investment than they want to make at the moment are getting out of it just what they are putting into it.  Wow, look at the pictures, later Dude!  I crack myself up!
Thanks for sharing this moment with me.  You are obviously a reader.  If one of my books sounds interesting maybe check it out.  If you enjoyed this or any of my posts please take a moment and follow this this blog!  I won’t and don’t expect followers to read all of my posts or dribble.
Below I have added other links to stalk me with, follow, to get to know me better.  If you do show up in one or more place I will notice you and check you out as well, because I am genuinely interested in other people also!  Again.  Thanks for investing enough to read this and share this moment with me.  Thomas Wilson
Goodreads Member and Author page
Shelfari Mamber and Author page
(I Love Browsing peoples Pinterest Pages because a picture can tell so much more without the words.  I love books because the words let you actually get into a characters thoughts, motivations, and feelings, and that you miss with pictures and film.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Battle of Positive Thinking

I am blessed with several people in my life that I cannot escape from who are flawed beyond repair.  Knowing these people has made me totally disregard the idea of Karma, because of continually seeing rotten foul people get their way and continually being blessed for their horrid in-human behavior.  It has from time to time made me question my faith in what I do believe in.
These blessed people can't comprehend much less handle the TRUTH!

It is a daily battle to remember that their ranting and raving, their negative attitude towards situations, their demeaning and belittling of their fellow human beings is THEIR PROBLEM.  It is their problem, not mine.  If I take it personally, if I accept the crap they spew about, if I take on any of it, then it only perpetuates the negativity.  It will ruin my outlook, my day, and affect my relationships with others.
People just blowing things out of proportion!

I have been forced by circumstances to endure these relationships with these special people for quite some time.  I quit watching the news several years ago in order to prevent hearing about the misery and catastrophes they spend 99% of their time reporting.  I choose to attempt to live a more positive life than most people on this world inhabit.  I did a blog post some time ago about, “What is your Reality?” where I discuss how you create your perception of reality every day.
To some everything is just a series of escalating drama, blaming, excuses, and explosions.

Yes, I have problems, disappointments, chores, responsibilities, and things that pop up that I would really rather not deal with on a daily basis, just like you and everybody else.  It is a daily battle we all have to fight to be happy.  To be encouraging and uplifting even when all around us is this ocean of negativity, differing opinions, and mean and nasty people.  I honestly feel a large portion of these people are mean and nasty just because they can be.  There are no authority figures to get on them or public of people to scorn them for their atrocities and assaults against others.
(example of beauty in one of its many forms.)

I threw out my History Calendar yesterday because every day it had something else with a negative overtone to it.  I have an AP on my phone that tells me of things that happened on this day history and there were plenty of decent, even up lifting inspirational things that happened on this date.  So I chucked the calendar into the trash.  It’s a battle!  You can live your life pissed, upset, hold onto grudges, be nasty and mean just because, or you can be positive, share the love, say “Hi” to others, help others with their endeavors, find your passion, and live a happy more fulfilled life.  I choose to be happy.
(Further example of exquisite geometry of form and material.) 

Thomas Jefferson nailed it, when he wrote “Pursuit of Happiness” in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence.  Happiness isn’t a right.  We have to pursue it, fight for it, fight against the negative and the nasty people who are ignorantly too dumb to be happy and therefore feel you shouldn’t be either.  They endeavor to stifle, hamper, and stomp out all that is lovely, beautiful, joyful, and blow out others candles in the effort to appease their own short comings.
(Lets be blunt - eye candy - one for the ladies, this guy played a God in movies.)

I am blessed for these people being in my life for they daily remind me why I work so hard at my writing.  They remind me to follow my passion, not to accept their crap as mine, to search out opportunities to be kind, and that I am responsible for my own happiness each and every day.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  It comes in many shapes, sizes, and variety.  To enjoy the beauty of the human form doesn't necessarily make you a pervert, adicted to porn, or evil, anymore than enjoying a sunrise, sunset or cherry blossoms.

That even includes the hypocritical sophomores who look down on pictures of the human body scantily clad that bring joy to me from just seeing them.  It bothers me that the high and mighty religious people trying to condemn what God created in his likeness as being more righteous.  Personally I feel God would be pissed with that kind of negative demeaning and small minded view of his creation of the human body in its many splendid shapes and forms.  It is truly amazing at the various ways that one might adorn the body with or without clothes.  The myriad of possibilities for pictures of materials, shapes, shadows, light and dark of the body are as beautiful and mystifying as the pictures of breath taking sites and views of nature from around the globe.
My passion, what makes me happy is writing stories which I hope will be enjoyed by many for years and years to come.  If you haven’t read any of my books please check out “Whisper” by clicking the link at the end of this post.  It is my first novel; it starts slow but builds to where you won’t want to put it down.
What is your passion?  What makes you happy doing it?  What do dream to do or try?
What is your perception of reality?  What does the world you live in seem like to you?
If you are not happy it is your choice!  When you realize this and declare war on the negativity, stop letting the nasty people steal your joy, then you can transform your life into what you want it to be.  You can make your dreams come true.  Be thankful for the nasty mean heartless people in your life, because of them, not accepting their crap, you can change.
The best part about all of this!  It starts and ends with YOU!  You don’t need to buy anything, be given something special, no major event has to happen.  All you have to do is recognize the negative and nasties for what they are, don’t accept it.  Let go of negative things, feelings, grudges, resentments and envy.  Look for positives things, things that make you happy, people who make you feel good, what you love to do.  The switch is in your head!  The change starts with you!
Have a Great Day Today and Every day from here on out.  Class dismissed.
Whisper – a Wiley Randolph Novel
Available in most e-reader formats . . .

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time Travel

As a Science Fiction writer, you could say I am obsessed with the concept of time travel.  Both of the books I have E-published so far contain and deal with aspects of traveling through time.

To the disappointment of my fans I have not described the apparatus of the time machine components in adequate detail, for the sole reason that I do not know how to build a real time machine.  It is my firm belief that Time Travel is possible, and aspects of it have either been done or experimented with already in our knowable past.  Just as I feel that anti-gravity, if that is what you would wish to call it, has been achieved and demonstrated repeatedly.  If and when this kind of technology is declassified to the point it can be spoken about and experimented with in the open and in schools we will be much closer answering many questions of the past as well as closer to being able to travel through time.

What I would really be interested in is traveling across vast distances in space in extremely small amounts of time, opening up intergalactic space travel and exploration to mankind. Unfortunately I strongly feel one is the other side of the coin of the same thing so we can't have one without the other.  We don't want people building time machines for their personal benefit, as much as we would love to travel around universe at speeds which would be considered much greater than light speed if measured by the old tried and true measurement devices which computes distance as speed times time.

What I am saying is it is all related!  Space, the fabric that makes it up, the folding and distorting of space caused by matter and energy moving through space and this alters the passage of time depending upon where you are measuring it at throughout the experience of the mass moving through the said space.

Imagine if the fabric of space is like a giant Rubber Band and by pulling and twisting it like you could with a Rubber Band two where two distant points intersect each other.  Traveling from the point on one band to the point on the rubber band to the other point on the band would be an incredibly short distance.  With a distance so short that it could be traveled easily and quickly with traditional propulsion methods thus making traversing great distances through space possible.  Add in Electromagnetic Fields and dielectrics, dipoles, anti-gravity, and a lot of new turns on really old math and the Universe would become your oyster!

It Equations, so where you alter one side it changes the other side to stay in balance.  Mass, moving through space distorts the passage of time as well as the space being moved through by the Mass.  To create the Imagine Scenario I described above would also allow time travel or movement into parallel universes with different time lines.  Do I have all the answers?  No.  Do I know how to build a time machine?  No.  If I could, would I tell anyone?  No.  If I built a time machine would the powers that be in control of our world let me mess with their well laid plans by screwing around with history?  No.  Are you starting to get the picture?

The sequel to No Rules Of Engagement will have Time Gates in it.  The sequel to Whisper will not have time travel in it.
I also have one more book I plan to write much later on which will be about a guy who does invent a time machine to escape his present unhappy existence in the world and how he has to come back and keep stealing stuff from his time to properly outfit and equip his camp in a different time.  It leads to a lot of fun scenarios to think about and play with especially as a Science Fiction Writer.  It seems to be a popular venue, not so much as Vampires and Werewolves over the past the couple of years but popular none the less.
I will not be explaining about how to build a time machine in my books.  Let me suffice to say there is a lot of good science reading out there and people experimenting with things.  When an idea's time has come, it will arrive with different people simultaneously as all people are connected in some way we can't yet fully explain.  The same day Alexander Bell patented the telephone some other guy did also.  This kind of stuff happens all the time.  When somebody comes up with a great idea rest assured he is not the only one.  The difference is who does something with it.  I plan to write about people playing with it.  It is much cheaper than trying to build time machines in your garage, and probably a touch safer also.

Two good stories about different groups jumping around through time.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did Writing them.

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