Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 15th - A Perspective

In America, April 15th has been famous for being Tax Day, the deadline when citizens have to have their income tax forms filed with the federal government. Henceforth, it will be known as the day that the Boston Marathon was bombed. Yesterday evening, like most Americans, I spent my time watching the continous coverage of the tradegy that was broadcast across most of the major television networks. As is normlally the case when an event such as this occurs, the news networks, for a lack of information, try to fill the time with speculation. During the first few hours of the bombings, there were rumors that additonal unexploded bombs were found, a fire at the JFK Library was thought to have ben caused by a third bomb, and one commentator boldly stated that this was the work of ultra right-wing terrorists.

The video and photos, which were repeatedly displayed on the internet and television throughout the entire night were horrifying. Yet as the scenes of the carnage played out on television, it was uplifting to see the men and women who rushed towards the blast zones to assist with the injured. What a sign of what America is all about! Putting aside concerns for one's self and providing aid to those in need. Perhaps, I should change my statement slightly, What a sign of what human nature is all about. We saw the same behaviors in London a few years ago after the bus and underground bombings. We also see it frequently in Iraq after a roadside bombing. We see that same behavior in some of the worst war zones on the planet. Human nature at work.

However, it is also human nature that is the root cause of such atrocities. The quest for power or money seem to be at the heart of most violent events. Think about it for a moment. What is the ultimate purpose of a roadside bomb in Iraq? The quest for to destabilize the existing government enough that someone else can come into power. Ultimately, the reason for the yesterday's bombings in Boston will probably be, not about inflicting pain, but about making a statement in the hopes of having the power to influence something in this country.

It is unfortunate that the same human nature that instinctively leads one to run towards danger to help others, also drives some to perpetrate violence for the sake of power. Will the violence ever stop? I doubt it. Until we can change human nature, the need for greed and the lust for power will always be there. Despite law enforcements best efforts, as long as humans exist in their present form, there will always be bombings, mass shootings, hijackings, and violence. It's a sad realization, but it is true. The only consolidation is that, as long as there is violence, there will always be those who will put aside their own concerns and rush headlong into danger to help others.

My prayers and thoughts go out to those who were injured or killed in yesterday's bombings.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shedding a Few Pounds

So, I need to lose weight. Who doesn't? I do. The problem that I have with dieting is that I am on the road constantly, which means that I am eating out all the time. That doesn't always go well when you are dieting. Other than eating salads (which gets old after a while), there usually are not a lot of healthy items on the menu that stay within the boundaries of a diet.

In the past, I've tried counting calories in the past. That was a mistake. Calorie counting always makes me feel like I can't eat anything. By the time you have added up the calories from breakfast, you find that you can only have enough left to eat a slice of bread, a slice of cheese, two pickles, and a carrot.

So, I joined Weight Watchers for Men. It seems like it is more flexible than just counting calories. Plus, I am wearing a FitBit now, which helps me track my activity throughout the day.

Hopefully, the combination of this two things will help me to shed a few pounds off this aging mess that I call a body.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Synchronicity" - My Big Experiment

You may have heard me mention my next project, which is called Synchronicity.  This is a bit of an experiment for me as I am diving into a genre that is unfamiliar to me.  For those who have grown accustomed to my straight forward mystery books, you will probably be a bit surprised.  The new book is more of a supernatural horror.  There is no detective tracking down clues.  

My experiment has become an interesting journey for me.  I did quite a lot differently with this book than with my previous ones.  For starters, I tried using a new software called Scrivener, which I will say was AWESOME.  I also spent quite a bit of time planning and mapping out the story with virtual index cards before beginning the writing process.  This was very different in that with the first three books, I simply sat down and started writing.  I won't say that the index card method was any better or worse than what I did before, but I definitely think it will be something that I do going forward.  

So, I just finished up the writing of Synchronicity this evening while sitting in my hotel room in Buffalo, NY.  Next step is to drop it into Microsoft Word for spelling/grammar checks and formatting.  Then off to beta readers (whom I am still in the process of identifying).  I still need to wrap up the cover artwork, send everything of for proofing.  And then, one final review before putting it on sale.