Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Night Trek in a Storm and a Recognizing a Life Metaphor

I went out last night for a several mile night trek, as I tend to do most days.  Usually average about 6 miles, sometimes more, sometimes a little less, but it is part of my world and a great time to reflect on things.  Everything is quiet and conducive to settling into a thoughtful mode.

Last night I headed out earlier than usual, about 9pm, as I was set to have a conversation later that evening with a friend of mine who has become, in a manner of speaking, a kind of life coach with the insights, understanding and guidance she displays about my journey.  (She's one of the wisest individuals I have ever known and tough as iron.  Though just in her thirties, she's like a modern day Shaolin Monk in some ways!).

Little did I know, but I picked the exact hour that Lexington got hit with a wave of storms.  I had my rain gear on, but as I got underway I got hit with quite the downpour.  I might be a little crazy, but I tend to tough things like this out, and I continued.

This particular storm came in bursts, with periods of downpour separated by periods with light rainfall or no rainfall at all.  These shifts occurred, I began to reflect that this particular night trek was, in a way, a metaphor for my own journey and it made it all the more imperative that I complete my mission.

The periods of downpour are like the big storms that events in life can bring to your personal life.  When the weather is clear, I love to look far ahead and even above into the trees and sky.  In the downpour, I had to bring my vision close in, keeping a better watch on each individual step, and in pulling my jacket in closer and with the rain beating down I was not afforded the chance to gaze about and upward.

In a way, that's like the way it is during difficult times in life.  You go into a different mode, sometimes having to pull in a bit, concentrate on getting through the day to day rather than being able to take the bigger view.  You have to watch each step to make sure you navigate your path while you tough it out and wait for the storm to break.

The pattern I experienced on the night hike, of a downpour, followed by either a clear zone or a period of light rain, definitely reflected the path of life in this regard.  Sometimes there are times where it is not a downpour but neither is it smooth sailing, and that was like the zones with the light rain.  I wasn't as restricted as I was during the downpour to get through, but neither was I afforded the ability to fully take everything in like in the clear zones.

The trek continued, with a few big downpours, a few clear zones, and a few periods of light rain, and then deeper into the hike everything settled.  The last part of the hike was completed in a clear zone and I reached my destination none the worse for wear.  I also discovered that I pulled off one of my better per mile paces.

I saw this as a reflection of the idea that despite storms and difficult periods, if you press ahead and continue through, enduring the storms in the process, you can reach the destination you are seeking and find out that you performed a journey much better than you thought you might have.  You grow along the journey, you develop and build strength, and eventually you come to a place where things settle in a little better. The storms will come, but they will pass, and the journey will meet with success.  Keep moving forward, Onward and Upward.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Coming to Cincinnati with Michael West and Selah Janel on June 13th!

Have a very special event coming soon that I wanted to highlight.  June 13th, a Saturday, at 7pm, I will be making an appearance at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati !

As I've said many, many times before, the Joseph-Beth family is foremost in my heart as an author.  I have made one previous appearance in Cincinnati's location a few years ago, but I have done every launch event for my books at the Lexington store, and have come to know and love the entire Joseph-Beth world!

On this one, I'm teaming up with a pair of friend who are also cohorts of mine at Seventh Star Press.... Selah Janel and Michael West.

For Selah, this will be a hometown appearance as she is based out of Cincinnati.  She's a fireball and a brilliant writer.  Her novel Olde School is a wonderfully fresh and creative approach to the cross-genre world, with it's blend of folklore, urban fantasy, contemporary fantasy, and so much more.  Selah knows her stuff for sure!

Michael is a bestselling author, fresh off a top ten Amazon run for his novel Spook House.  He writes the Legacy of the Gods Series and the Harmony, Indiana novels (Spook House, Cinema of Shadows and The Wide Game) and has become one of my best friends in the book world.  A truly exceptional writer.

We will be giving a panel on writing speculative fiction.  There will be a presentation, time for Q and A, giveaways, and a period for book signing.  Afterward we will head over to the awesome Bronte Bistro for an after-event gathering.  Going to be a great, great time.

There is a Facebook event page if you are on Facebook that we encourage folks to join and share, as we will be giving more details and updates as the event nears;  Here's the link! :)  https://www.facebook.com/events/803124373099462/

Really looking forward to this one and hope those within range of Cincinnati can make it out on the 13th of June!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

God to Gravity - Talk About An Incredible New Hard Rock Release

One of the things I want to post more often about is the music that fires me up.  As most of my readers and friends know, I have a big passion for hard rock and metal, and it is always a great moment when I discover a new band that shines through and through.

One such moment occurred recently when I came across God to Gravity.  The band's members are not so new to the music world, as it includes members whose resumes reflect bands like Stuck Mojo and Tremonti (both of which are also bands I really love).

I ordered the new CD, which you can get directly from the official site of the band at www.godtogravity.com    You can also order the digital version at iTunes.  

I absolutely love this band and release.  It has infectious harmonies, great vocals, positive lyrics, and wonderful musicianship, including memorable lead guitar work (something I find to be rarer in an age where so many believe a display of technical proficiency is more important than a flow that truly grabs you). It has it all, including an arsenal of catchy hooks and a driving hard rock vibe.  

Adding to my joy is the fact that this CD exhibits good production and ... thank heaven ... was well-mastered in a way that preserves the dynamics of the music.  (I've had far enough of the brick-walled mastering and volume wars that pervade so many releases these days.).

Personal favorite tracks are headed by the song "Ready or Not", which I find to be a stunning song musically and lyrically. If I am ever blessed enough to get married, I want this song played at my wedding.  It sums up so much of what I've found to matter and be real in life.   Yes, it is a positive energy song, probably not going to win points with the nattering nabobs of negativity that are often found infesting the comments section of Blabbermouth.net, but I don't lose any sleep over that type of individual to begin with.  Love the positive vibe for sure and kudos to these guys on a truly beautiful song!

My other favorites on this release include "Take What's Yours (Rise Up)", which the band SHOULD put out as a single for sure.  Great chorus and theme!  "Everything's Old" and "Until You Know" also contain a great balance of hard rock, melody, and solid choruses, which are the types of songs I tend to lean toward.

Another track that rocks kick's off the CD,  a tune called "Dying Light":

God to Gravity's debut is an amazing new melodic hard rock release and one that I recommend in a HUGE way to fans of hard rock and heavy music.   I give this one a solid 7 stars!  (Note: I use a 7 star rating system, so this is tops!)

My rating out of 7 possible stars:   7 Stars! *******