Friday the 13th-

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friday13 black cat

friday13 black cat

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50 Shades of Concern

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Last week I was asked for my thoughts on the 50 Shades of Grey movie premiere by a friend who is working on a news report which will air today. She explained to me her concern and difficulty writing the outline due to the fact she herself is uncomfortable with the entire thought of enjoying the idea of allowing someone to bind and control her. Why would her news rooms ask her to report on this topic knowing she is uncomfortable with topic; the answer is simple, she fits the demographic. She is in her early thirties, she is an attractive sexy woman and she is not married. After a short video discussion (primarily to see her reaction) she had plenty to work off for her report.

I began by assuring her there was nothing to be uncomfortable with the topic of controlled bondage. I explained how well organized and behaved the dominant partner would be and how they would not allow any harm come to the other. I explained how the amygdala in the cerebral hemisphere of our brain is responsible for multiple emotional responses, like love, fear, anger and sexual desire, and with all these firing at once the reaction is extraordinary. After 30 minutes of discussion I realized she was enjoying the idea of the report and the act of bondage.  She asked me “why do you feel Americans are so uptight over sex but into this book series?” Tricky question to answer, I explained from my view point that Americans have very little understanding of sex and furthermore the Karma Sutra. Much of the world doesn’t look at sex with blinders on like Americans seem too. Many cultures introduce their young to the ways of the Karma Sutra and creative love making before they’re coming of age. This could also be one of the reasons for the high rate of young pregnancies and rape in our country. Pleasing all parties involved in the art of making love or sex is what the aim is, however in our culture it would appear that this is not the case. In 50 Shades of Grey the art of seduction create the need and want for more, something Americans can’t seem to wrap their minds around. We skirt by Victoria’s Secret or Fredrick’s of Hollywood as if we were going to catch something and then hide Adult magazines or erotic fiction stories in secret lock boxes. Americans have no problem talking trash or being the player until it makes it to the bedroom or hotel room, then they want to wrap it up in 20 minutes and go to sleep. Seduction, sex, love, romance, with or without restraints should take you out of this world and only after you are exhausted should you return. Sex and seduction is an art form and should be worked on over time and will create something amazing, it is not something to be taken lightly like many teenagers in America visualize in music videos.

The concerns I have with the movie being released on Valentines weekend is the lack of control many people, lovers or not won’t have. They idea of a romantic or erotic weekend is obviously exciting however with the addition of alcohol, parties and chocolate, I feel it maybe hard for some to perform at a higher level. Many will obviously dabble in the art of bondage submission and sex after attending the movies release and some will find real pleasure and others may lose control. The loss of control can and will result in injures and possibly death. Yes, death is quite possible if the dominant partner doesn’t know how to control the energy being manifested and also if the submissive partner loses control and succumb to fear.

My other concern is for woman primarily, the problem with taking a book story which was extremely successful and living it on the silver screen is the disappointment of the female imagination. Woman are not as visual as men (thank goodness for some of us) and I know many woman who will be upset with the characters and the portrayal of their imaginary Christian Grey or Anastasia Steele.

My final concern is the discussion of rape, which I know will be raised by many critics. Rape is over used and under appreciated in the USA. Rape is horrific and certainly wrong when a woman or man is forced into a sexual act without their consent. I am extremely opinionated on this topic because it is abused by to many woman who are not willing to take responsibility for their personal actions. The argument will arise that Christian Grey forced himself on the young woman using his power, wealth and influence. This has happened over and over through time but the fact still stands that she could say NO and walk away at anytime, thus never experiencing her true erotic energy and still being comfortable with it.

My friend asked if I had read the books, I explained how I had read quickly through them at a book store while traveling but never purchased them because I felt my wife and I enjoyed an excellent erotic relationship already and they didn’t really do much more for us. I also thought the writing needed some work, but that is just my opinion as a writer who hasn’t sold 50 zillion copies of my own books.

If you have read the books and are going to view the movie this weekend, please enjoy it for what it is and remember to enjoy each other safely afterwards.

A. Dragonblood

Don’t Rob Yourself of a Future.

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Change is the process of life; if we only see the past and the present as our guide than we are robbing ourselves of an amazing future. A. Dragonblood

Day after day I listen to people share stories about possibilities and how they can make changes for the future; the problem is they keep using the past as their resource  to bring these possibilities to life. Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy history and have repeated it enough in my own life to understand the outcome never changes so why would I feel the possibilities of the future would change if I keep referring to the past. They won’t; and if anything they will continue to hold us back from an amazing future. Being a writer of Sci-fi and fantasy, I try to marry the genras together to create a possible future for the past. Challenging as it maybe to do this as a writer it is even more difficult in society to walk this fine line. How many times have you heard the word ‘sorry’ from someone or said it yourself after saying or doing something you have done over and over again with the same resolve.

Some of my favorites are in relationships, one party is trying to move forward and the other can’t stop talking about their previous one, good and bad.

How about a parent talking about how big and grown a child is becoming while describing how wonderful a baby and infant they were.

In society we discuss the importance of everyone being equal followed by a remembrance of a past event in time when things were not equal.

We celebrate how wonderful it is for more woman in certain careers and then discuss how women are not having babies or are absent from the home.

We are moving swiftly towards a world of artificial intelligence and social media so we can live easier and better lives and we complain because we don’t want government and others to know our business.

We can’t live in the past and still move forward as a human race. Humans today are more aware and informed than anytime in history. Living with the past and the present and but changing robs us of the possibilities our lives hold for all of us. Human selection is no more, we live to change the future and mold something amazing. We can’t live with our past mistakes, this only takes us on a journey which clouded and unclear. We need to embrace the people we are as it happens and not journey through life in the rear view mirror. We are a people a greatness, some of good and some we should have done differently but that doesn’t matter tomorrow. Living in the past is only a dream and it is a dream that changes with everyone who tells it. The future should be lived with possibility and excitement not fear and hatred.

My sons 1st grade class said it perfectly, “I am a possibility.”

A. Dragonblood

Having a Happy Yulemas

So we have made it through Thanksgiving with only a few hiccups, burned the Yuletide log with only minor damages and successfully skirted any craziness on Christmas in our home so this is a HAPPY HOLIDAY season.

It was touch and gout to the begging of the holidays with more deaths than I care to remember, including Danny Silverwood Lamb who I will miss forever. I told a friend in California; “when you have to buy more funeral clothes in one year, to many people are dying.” We also had our fair share of automobile issues in 2014 but when you never buy new vehicles you expect some wear and tear. Also having a new driver in the house and toting teenagers around to soccer practices and games 5 days a week for 9 months can limit your vehicle life. I can’t forget all the teenage drama from our son and his friends, I am sure I gave my parents a run for their money but I can guarantee social media has magnified the same issues 100 fold since I was young. Health wise we were all pretty fair to good this year, I seem to be the one who has the flu or cold at Yulemas most years. This year I didn’t do as many school visits or book signings in October/November so my life feels this could have an impact on my health. I agree but I still like visiting and talking with young people about writing and reading and can give that up for my health. Financially the year was good enough to pay the bills and have a few minor vacations, though losing a few writing contracts and not finishing book 5 in The Children of The Others Collection did impact the bottom line.    I have learned through the years some simply truths about money, if you have your belly full and your house in order then you are wealthy, we are all right. Since we don’t really buy anything for ourselves at Yulemas we donate to our charities i.e. Toys for Tots, Empty Stocking fund, St. Judes and there is always one more after we tip our service people which needs assistance and we find just enough to help there too. This year we were able to help doubly with Toys for Tots and a young family who lost their father two days before Christmas, leaving a mother with 3 boys and no Christmas tree or gifts.

Though we weren’t able to spend the holidays with our relatives, we have had plenty of friends visit us from all over the country as they travelled through Georgia to family. We have also had several teenage boys stay the night; playing video games by night and soccer by day. There are always cookies and treats ready to be devoured and cold beer and sweet tea in the fridge and they all know it (cold beer for age appropriate guests).

In my world and I hope in yours too, Yule-Chirstmas aka Yulemas has been a success this year and I hope you as wonderful a holiday season or better.

A. Dragonblood and family

The Wolf

“The Wolf”

Feared and hated by men the world over, the mighty wolf has been plagued by many forms of evil stories, myths and legends. Hunted, trapped and killed to the point of extinction, many of these majestic animals are gone forever — their breeds and blood lines never to be seen again.

In spite of the all the horror stories told of wolves hunting, tracking and killing humans, no such event has ever been confirmed. Their eerie and lonely howl, which can make your blood run cold, is merely their form of communication. Each howl, with its unique tone, depth, length and frequency carries a different message to the pack, or to the partner who is out of sight. They’re merely “talking”.

If you carry The Wolf Totem, here are some Characteristics that should sound familiar to you:

You are fiercely loyal — to friends, family, ideals and principles. There is no compromise for you.

You are very territorial. You protect all which is yours and your families at any expense. You are fearless in your protection, but not reckless. You plan your strategy carefully, and wait for the opportune moment for most powerful effect.

You have a strong family structure. There is no doubt who the elders, patriarchs and parents are, neither their roles in the family structure. Disobedience, selfishness and unruly behavior is not tolerated as there are strong boundaries for the young. They are taught well and carefully so that they may assume leadership roles in their own family structures.

You have an unrelenting sense of adventure. You love to explore new things, to stretch out for new horizons.

You have a thirst for knowledge and learning new things, ideas, adventures is a must in your life.

You are eager to share these things, which makes you a natural teacher.

You want to share what you learn and teach others.

Your adventures may take you away from home and family, but it is important that you have this base of security to return.

As with the wolf, you have a keener sense of smell and hearing than the average person. Strong, unpleasant odors can actually make you sick to your stomach and loud or piercing noise is distracting and can “put you on edge”. You love the smell of flowers, rain, etc. and the soft voices of nature — the sound of a creek running, birds singing.

You need balance and find yourself hiding on occasion for a few moments of solitude to re-charge your spirit, be alone with your thoughts and own sense of self. You are so busy being the protector, provider, teacher, and trailblazer, that it’s very easy for you to become exhausted and burned out.
This one side of your nature that must not be overlooked. Even if you go for a walk or lay still for 15 minutes a day, this time alone must be honored if you are to have value to those you care for.

The Wolf is power, strength, integrity, guardianship, loyalty and spirit.

A. Dragonblood

Seventeen Month Experience

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Seventeen Month Experience

 

Eighteen months ago we made a decision as a family to take on a new chapter in our lives. Earlier that year (2012) I was engaged in talks with a production group for a progressive studio concerning a pilot I had written several years earlier. A friend with whom I have worked on screenwriting jobs for television over the years had pitched my idea which she thought was awesome from the beginning to an executive over drinks one night, she did an amazing job too because less than a week later they called me.

My wife was thrilled with the idea of me being offered a once in a lifetime opportunity and my son liked the idea of having his dads name in the credits for once; it had come down to vanity for me I suppose. After several long family talks we agreed that it would be worth the move and the change of scenery for our family, it would be a welcomed distraction but only with a four year contract which they offered. I signed my first non commissioned job in a decade as ‘Chief Writer’ and it felt pretty impressive. Over the next month I started with my goodbyes, or see you laters’ as we called it, because we were coming back. Unfortunately after my wife visited California with me, some things changed with her business and she would not be able to make the move. Long story short-I managed to work out an agreement with my new employer to travel back and fourth until such time that she (they) could move out with me. 

Everything started off pretty well, as I learned the new environment I was writing in, wrote with a brilliant group of artists and picked up on the needs and wants of directors and producers fairly quickly. I also befriended many of the lighting, wardrobe, set designers, sound engineers and many others which are behind the scenes of every production. The project moved along fairly quickly as I was told on a regular bases, even asked to slow down on occasion by my managers. I spent 10-12 days in Burbank and then home for a similar amount of time where I learned how to use many secure servers to keep updated and meet with project staff. I cherished every moment I had with my family when I was home. I worked at visiting as many friends as I could in the short spurts, hell I even worked on building an out door deck on the house which we were going to put off since we were planning on renting the house while we lived out west. Things seemed to be rolling along pretty well.

One afternoon when I was heading back out west I got stuck in Dallas after plane was rerouted do to weather I received a call from my sons school, my son was being disciplined by an abusive teacher for an infraction he didn’t commit. My son was in tears on the phone while still another teacher witnessed the event and sided with my son but wouldn’t confront this said teacher because she too was scared. I made a split decision as a father to return home immediately and deal with this issue. I was taught early in my career to deal with personal issues as if they had 24 hours to live and only you knew it. I called through to my office and explained the situation, I was going to miss a finance meeting the next day, other wise nothing was planned. Made it to the school 18 hrs later, resolved issue without incident. Come to find out, the teacher had been written up for abuse of power on several occasions yet every time no parent had committed to dealing with him. After a night of hugs from my son and wife I left again, only to arrive to a meeting where I was to receive a disciplinary letter for my actions. I excepted my written warning like a responsible employee and when asked why I reacted the way I did, I explained to my managers that my family has always and will continue to come first (which I had explained during my interviewing process). I received a snarl from the one young woman and a smile and nod from the other as I walked out of the office to my cube. Later that night I received a few phone calls from project partners sharing their praise of the situation and how I handled it but also explaining that this company wants me first before family. 

Over the next few months I worked without incident and made every deadline as they arrived early. I watched as my staff writers were moved around to other projects, my managers were changed several times and at one point I was working on my own for several weeks. I met writers and artists from other projects, some were brilliant and others who were nothing more than fakes and story thieves. I enjoyed listening to people in the business talk about their experiences and when asked I shared some of my experiences as a ghost writer and self employed writer and author. I learned many screenplay writers I met were terrified of writing as an author, stating the idea of having to complete a project all on their own was more than they could imagine. 

The day before I was to leave so I would be home before spring break and a well deserved mini vacation I was asked to lunch by an executive producer. After small talk and a few beers he informed me that his niece who is 24 years old is visiting and he wanted her to attend an intimation only event as my date the next night. There were so many things wrong with this picture  I didn’t and couldn’t be part of it. I explained how I had already declined the invite and was not on the guest list. He told me he had already contacted the planner and had me placed back on the list. I explained how I had to leave in the morning to make it home for spring break and our vacation, I also reminded him that I was married and I really wasn’t comfortable with the idea. He didn’t appear terribly upset, however I could tell from his reaction, he was hoping for a different response. I made it home in time to turn around and have a family week. Three days later I received a call informing me of a mandatory meeting the next day, guess who called the meeting, which I obviously was going to miss. When I returned to my office the following week I was presented with another reprimand letter stating that I had agreed to attend all executive meetings on the project. I was later told by another writer, they didn’t really do anything at the meeting except change some wardrobe and delete a minor scene.

The icing on the cake was a month later. I had made sure I was free to attend my sons graduation where my wife and I also make a donation through our foundation and speak to the young people about the importance of a good education. Less than an hour before the event I receive a message explaining the network wanted to discuss the schedule in an hour and I ended to be in my home office for a webinar. Frustrated because I didn’t really have any say in the schedule and it was not discussed earlier I replied carefully by sending my regrets and sharing what I was doing at that moment. My reply fell on deaf ears as they proceed to explain that this was no excuse and we would have to discuss my actions the following week.

I sat down with my 4th project manager and several other executives the following week when they explained to me the project was probably going to be shelved for a period of time. Not familiar with exactly what this meant they explained our project was not trending high enough at this time and they were replacing it with others they had started. They explained to me how I still have part ownership in the project and if I wanted to continue writing with the group I would have to move out to California full time and write as a staff writer. I listened to what they offered and asked to discuss it with my wife.

After 17 months I had learned something I already knew , my family and home mean more to me than any amount of money or vanity ever would. I never disagreed with any of my disciplinary actions because I knew what was right and wrong in my mind. There is a reason for only three staff writers having children and why many of them are not married or even considering settling down. I respect their commitment to the art but I learned it is not who I am. There are certainly way to many secrets as well; I heard someone explain there was only one other place where there were more secrets than Hollywood and that was the Vatican, I believe it. I am a writer, storyteller and obviously comfortable with split personality disorder, but I am a crappy actor, and I found myself having to act more and more. It was a privilege to work with so many talented artists of their craft and learn of the culture, surfing, parties, chilling as I often heard it called.

Later that night I called my wife and explained the situation, this time she asked me what I wanted and she would support it 110%. I told her what she expected to hear “it is time to come home and stay,” I could see her smile through the phone. The next day, when I met with a project manager and the HR person who I believe was also an attorney and shared my experience and decision with them, the rest is legalese. I still own the project in part and I when they decide to continue on it I have the option to move out permanently or sell it. I know what I will be doing already but it is good to have a little vanity. Now I am back to writing on my own projects and working with friends from the comfort of my own home office in little old coastal Georgia, where live roosters crow every morning, horse manure lingers in the air and the sound of gun fire means dinner not sirens but the real difference is having my wife and son only steps away when they need me. 

A. Dragonblood

                       in The Sanctuary. 

 

 

My Recipe for Friendships

I felt there were a few things I should have added, so I amended recipe.

a. dragonblood

My Friendship Recipe

“These days the word ‘Friendship’ is used lightly to describe a person with whom we have a relationship with that is not sexual.”
That statement accompanied a storyboard which I was working on a month ago. At first I didn’t think much of it, but after a little while I was wondering if this issue has become so big they have to remind writers what a ‘Friendship relationship’ really is?

I thought about this idea of friendships for a few weeks and follow up with a short blog on the topic of my own.

Ingredients:

1-Cups of Common Interests

1-Cups of Understanding

1-Cups of Trust

1-Cups of Respect

3/4-Cup of Patience

1/2-Cup of Listening

1/2-Cup of Affection

1/2-Cup of Forgiveness

1/2-Cup of Vulnerability

1-Heaping Tablespoon of Crazy

1-Teaspoon of STML (short term memory loss)

A pinch of so of Laughter, Secrets and Stories

Mix equal parts together…

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My Recipe for Friendships

My Friendship Recipe

“These days the word ‘Friendship’ is used lightly to describe a person with whom we have a relationship with that is not sexual.”
That statement accompanied a storyboard which I was working on a month ago. At first I didn’t think much of it, but after a little while I was wondering if this issue has become so big they have to remind writers what a ‘Friendship relationship’ really is?

I thought about this idea of friendships for a few weeks and follow up with a short blog on the topic of my own.

Ingredients:

1-Cups of Common Interests

1-Cups of Understanding

1-Cups of Trust

1-Cups of Respect

3/4-Cup of Patience

1/2-Cup of Listening

1/2-Cup of Affection

1/2-Cup of Forgiveness

1/2-Cup of Vulnerability

1-Heaping Tablespoon of Crazy

1-Teaspoon of STML (short term memory loss)

A pinch of so of Laughter, Secrets and Stories

Mix equal parts together and let marinate for a life time.

Add Patience and pinches when needed and mix in thoroughly or until completely absorbed.

Ingredients may need to be adjusted as you get older for tastebuds, an in some cases recipe may need to be stored in a special place for a while and enjoyed later in life.

So there you have it, My Friendship Recipe. I don’t have a lot of recipes like this but the ones I have, I thoroughly enjoy.

A. Dragonblood

World of Charms

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Recently I was asked “Why do you wear a weird looking cross around my neck?” I explained the cross in question was actually an Ankh, and it was a symbol representing: Long Life, Health and Wealth. This lead us into a deeper conversation about Charms from around the world, here are 20 more familiar charms which are represented in many of our world cultures.

1.  Horse Shoe- represents Protection and Luck, when worn or placed upwards

2.  Japanese Frog- represents Safe Travels

3.  Rooster- represents Good Fortune and Justice (often found in kitchens)

4.  Lion- represents Long LIfe

5.  Dolphin- represents Friendship

6.  Owl- represents Wisdom and Truth

7.  Pig- represents Wealth

8.  Bumble Bee- represents Luck and Prosperity

9.  Turtle- represents Wisdom

10. Anchor- represents Hope and Optimism

11. Eye of Horus- represents Health and Wealth

12. Sun- represents Enlightenment and Awareness

13. Four Leaf Clover- represents Luck

14. Thors Hammer- represents Success in adversity

15. Mushroom- represents Good Things to come

16. Grecian Key- represents Knowledge and Opportunity

17. Shell- represents Fortune and Sanctity

18. Five Pointed Star or Pole Star- represents Guidance and Safety

19. Celtic Shield Knot- represents Protection and Strength

20. Maneki-Neko or Beckoning Cat- Japanese symbol for luck and friendship

 

A. Dragonblood