Sitting here today, I think about all of the reasons why we don't do what we love or want to do. For many people who, like me, have Parkinson's, we put ourselves on a clock of how much time we have left until the next stage. While it's true that we only have so much time left, we don't know how much we have, so it's time to curse Parkinson's very existence and be great for all of the days that we can.
I, for one, am done with imaginary time lines. I know what I feel is here and coming tomorrow, and just like pushing myself to hike until dark, I'll take my chances with the time I have and carry a flashlight if I overestimate my time.
Why sell myself short with giving things up today, which I need tomorrow?
For many of us, we live in fear of sharing our emotions unless they're to vilify others. Heaven forbid, we say nice things to others or share potential hopes for love. How could we possibly be good to ourselves or reward ourselves for something? We're "loathsome, miserable slouches," so why would we deserve anything good?
In a world that sees itself as holier than thou, incapable of making mistakes, and fully capable of passing eternal judgment on others, be it out of political or personal vendettas, it seems to make a lot of sense that we would think we're not perfect and wonderful enough to win big at the game of life. Seeing as our poop stinks, we live under the imaginary thumb of those whose bathrooms smell like roses or talcum powder, if they even use bathrooms at all.
In a summer with no happy song to guide us to purpose, it's all part of the dealio.
For those of us who don't qualify with the former group's lack of fecal odor, we are beautifully imperfect. We made / make mistakes, we did / do dumb stuff, we changed / change our ideologies from ones that don't work, voted / vote for the wrong person, and we weren't / aren't always as nice and wonderful as the Internet comment people think we should be (says he who fits all of those requirements), so instead, we are doomed to a life in Purgatory, where we are condemned to be mediocre.
The same applies to our professional lives. We think about our business dreams, but we live in fear of not being worthy of someone's time, interest or money, not knowing how to play the game of promotion or innovation, and not knowing to ask other people for help. When it comes to making our grand dreams happen, we don't spend money to make money. We don't express ourselves for fear of not wanting to be heard. We worry about what the haters will say. Then someone steals our ideas, and we come to feel that we never had a chance (even though we did).
In a world where Godzilla and King Kong could rampage tomorrow or some blowhard could create havoc with 140 characters or less, what do we have to lose? Additionally, for my fellow Parkies and other people with disabilities, time is a ticking.
You may not want to write a book or own a business, but how about a bucket list trip or a new hobby or a friendship / relationship? Time is wasting for all of us.
Make the most of yours!
So, like the mega-rich folks at Nike say...
The point is that the game isn't over until it is. Until that time, make your dreams a reality. I believe in both of us! Let's show 'em what we got!
FOR THOSE NOT INTERESTED IN MY STORIES OF HOW I'M MAKING MY SUPERNATURAL WRITING GOAL A REALITY, STOP HERE.
Last weekend, I ponied up to do my first book fair. To get in the door with 1 extra vendor for 2 days was about $100. That included electricity in my area. Seeing as my wife and I would have gone to see the events at Pennhurst anyway, it was really only about $50, considering the cost of tickets.
I also got to see my friend Steph (who helped out on Saturday - pictured below), and meet John Zaffis (pictured above), Grant Wilson (pictured below with my wife), Jessica Felice (pictured below with me), and Mark Avrilla (not pictured).
For those who don't know, they're ghost hunters / members of the paranormal / supernatural / sci-fi / horror genres. Granted, this won't appeal to everyone, but I was a paranormal writer on 9/26/2016, and I don't intend to let Parkinson's keep me from being a writer in that genre (or this one).
Besides, being an English teacher at heart, I'm still about Aristotle's rules for drama. In case you're interested, I placed some of those rules at the end. The most important is not letting elements of the story affect the emotions in a way that makes the action destroy the emotion and purpose of the story. This is why Oedipus doesn't gouge out his eyes onstage.
In the end, I didn't make money since I had to buy a lot of stuff to make the game happen (though I moved books in a nice quantity). Also, I bought a pair of posters of my book (24x36) to advertise with, and I bought a Square Reader, too. Can't not make credit card sales for people who don't have cash. For only $10 and less than 3% of a sale, why not?
OK, so let's put that in perspective. In 2018, I can get Staples to make me business cards, Officemax / Office Depot to print posters, and I can go to any department store and buy a tiny jack for a phone, which is essentially a supercomputer already, so that I can make my own sales on the spot (thus turning it into a cash register, too)! For a guy who graduated high school in 1989, that's too cool.
Another way to look at that is like this:
1) The World is Flat (Tom Friedman, not B.O.B.), so I can author and disseminate content as well as read it... blogs, websites, you name it.
2) Facebook lets me see what everyone I know and don't know is doing.
3) My photos and video are digital.
4) Long distance calls don't exist
5) I can shoot them both from a 2x3 inch waterproof "real" camera OR a less than 3x5 inch phone.
6) I can upload in the moment video through a system that doesn't require being physically connected.
7) I can sell stuff anywhere since devices exist and banks are online
8) I can type messages and send files to people.
9) I can speak messages when I don't want to type.
10) I can stream music and video.
11) I don't need to buy CDs, DVDs, or books since they can all go on a device.
12) I can print out my book and sell super-sweet looking physical copies of it.
13) Unless you want them in a frame, there's no need to print pictures.
14) A lot less trips to the post office.
15) The ease of creating a website.
16) Instant news from all over the world.
17) Video conferencing.
18) Airline scheduling.
19) Concert / event ticket sales
20) Netflix / Hulu and other streaming channels
21) Groups for advice
22) Finding businesses / people we're into to understand services
23) Travel daydreams
24) Long lost people connections
25) Job postings from anywhere.
For all of this, I feel like I was ripped off during my USAF and post-USAF days with how much media and mail and phones cost. This doesn't even get into paying British prices for CDs and books. And yes, I love Amazon. We're BFFs. I love when the box smiles at me.
My only gripes about the Internet...
1) Russian and Iranian trolls
2) Cyber bullying
3) Q Anon
5) Lack of spellcheck
6) Baseball box scores aren't all on 1 page
7) Everyone can be a Yelper.
8) The Kardashians
9) Hypochondria medical sites
10) Anti-science sites
11) Miranda Sings
12) Curt Schilling's post baseball career breaking my heart (though he still belongs in the Hall of Fame).
13) Whacko conspiracy nonsense on 9.11 / Sandy Hook / Holocaust spreads like wildfire
14) Graffiti artists in National Parks upload their crappy art to it.
15) The Tide Pod Challenge
16) The non news sites that masquerade as miracle news sites (i.e. cure for Parkinson's a day away stuff - not Trump's calls of "fake news.")
17) People who don't take responsibility seriously
18) People who think their definition of a role model is the be-all, end-all.
19) News sites that use tweets from the public as opinion.
20) Sponsored content
22) Viruses / Ransomware
23) The Dark Web
24) Political partisan nonsense
25) Pretty much all entertainment gossip
Anyway... back to selling. I can continue to move my books at sales like THIS ONE or THIS ONE, which are local and cheap. I can even do THIS ONE or THIS ONE (though Walking Dead conventions are major bank to get in).
It's not always about getting rich, but it is always about hanging onto my Netflix series or Destination America show dreams!
The only problem I face is to write about Parkinson's or the supernatural or blog when I have time to do my writing.
In the end, the point is clear. If we keep believing and keep learning, we can make our future happen. It's not an overnight thing, but all journeys begin with a single step.
What are you doing to make your dream a reality?
Best of luck in all that you do!
1. In comedies, men are reduced to worse than they are.
2. In tragedies, men are made better than they are.
3. Comedy consists of a defect or ugliness, but does not imply pain.
4. Once the improbable has been introduced, we must accept it despite its ludicrousness.
5. The unraveling is the course of events that make up a play.
6. Tragedy is serious action, which arouses pity and fear to affect the emotions.
7. The complication is the telling of what has happened before the play opens.
8. A tragedy must not only be of a certain length, but must also have an orderly arrangement.
9. Unity of plot deals with the idea of only one event going on at one time in the story.
10. What has happened is not as important as what may be possible according to the law of probability or necessity.
11. A plot is simple if a change happens without reversal or recognition.
12. A plot is complex if it happens with a reversal or recognition.
13. Reversal is when the opposite of the intended action occurs.
14. Recognition is a change from ignorance to knowledge.
15. The downfall of an utter villain should never be exhibited.
16. The change of fortune should never be from bad to good, but rather from good to bad.
17. The right ending of a tragedy is an unhappy ending, of which Euripides is a master.
18. For a tragedy to be effective, killings should be done with people who are close, rather than with people who are mortal enemies.
19. The plot must arise out of the plot itself and not by supernatural means.
20. Characters must be good.
21. Characters must also be true to life.
22. Characters must be consistent.