Thursday, September 18, 2008

In God We Trust

In God We Trust

“In God we Trust, all others pay cash”, is a famous, yet humorous sign seen in many bars. It simply means no credit. Of course this was before the day of plastic. Let’s examine that title a bit closer. It says more than you might realize.

Take a close look at American money. That statement is on every bill and every coin. How many, if any, other countries in the world would dare to use either or both words, God and Trust on their currency? These are not just idle words; it is what defines this country. It is our way of life.

Banks want everyone to know your money is protected and safe with them. To do this names are ‘some bank and Trust company’. As further assurance, we are informed the federal government insures our money. We know, from experience, that the countries government is stable. Thus with a stable leadership, we the people can trust in the federal insurance of our hard earned money. Beyond banking and currency, what does all of this really mean? It tells me and I’ve heard from others, that we are a God fearing nation. We put our faith and our trust in the lord to keep us free.

Big Brother is here. Everywhere you look there’s a security camera. Economic hard times have pushed a few people over the edge into the world of petty crime and shoplifting. But no one has a store employee or officer of the law follow them home after a purchase. You can buy your husband a shirt and if he doesn’t like it, you can return it with no questions asked. They do ask for a reason, but if you tell them that the cobalt coffee maker you just bought totally clashes with your hot pink kitchen décor, they will, after they stop laughing, accept the return. This is unusual because many countries do not do this.

In America, we do trust in God. We also rely heavily on security cameras. But the first four words of the pledge of allegience says it all; one nation, under God.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Save our Women!!

The following link is very important for all women, no, everyone, to see! There is too much domestic violence. This has got to stop and it is up to everyone to do what they can to help. If you can't get your family or friends out of a situation, help at a shelter, send contributions, work to change the laws. Everybody can do something to help. If you live online, spread the word. We must stop this now!!

Please visit:

To see what is happening next door.


Monday, September 15, 2008

God - a personal perspective

God – A Personal Perspective

Have faith my son. Right. In what? I started life attending a small Methodist church. I heard the words the adults used but that’s all it was. I aged a bit, understood the words, watched the adults and their hypocrisy shine like a halogen light. Who, what, or where is God?

I was never foolish enough to say there is no such thing as God; I did however, often question it. It conflicted with science or so it appeared. I would try different churches and it was all the same. Words of love, of caring for your fellow person yet nothing changed. The people sang the praises in church and start cussing like a sailor the minute the walked out the door.

Church is not for me. God is not in a building. But where is this elusive entity? At the end of a tumultuous relationship I was told to ‘have faith’. What does that mean? Have faith in what? There is nothing out there but despair. Then came the move of a lifetime. The details of the life there are not important but the aftereffects are. I hear, then listened to the gospel in song. I found my faith. I learned what God is and the power inherent. God is within me. I saw and felt the power of prayer. I listened and God spoke to me.

Where is your faith? Who is your god? Shut down your mind, open your soul and truly listen. The voice of God cannot be mistaken.

God - a personal perspective

God – A Personal Perspective

Have faith my son. Right. In what? I started life attending a small Methodist church. I heard the words the adults used but that’s all it was. I aged a bit, understood the words, watched the adults and their hypocrisy shine like a halogen light. Who, what, or where is God?

I was never foolish enough to say there is no such thing as God; I did however, often question it. It conflicted with science or so it appeared. I would try different churches and it was all the same. Words of love, of caring for your fellow person yet nothing changed. The people sang the praises in church and start cussing like a sailor the minute the walked out the door.

Church is not for me. God is not in a building. But where is this elusive entity? At the end of a tumultuous relationship I was told to ‘have faith’. What does that mean? Have faith in what? There is nothing out there but despair. Then came the move of a lifetime. The details of the life there are not important but the aftereffects are. I hear, then listened to the gospel in song. I found my faith. I learned what God is and the power inherent. God is within me. I saw and felt the power of prayer. I listened and God spoke to me.

Where is your faith? Who is your god? Shut down your mind, open your soul and truly listen. The voice of God cannot be mistaken.

Can We Go Now

Can We Go Now?

”I’m ready. I’m all warmed up.”

“Stupid small keys on this thing!”

“Let me see it John. What are you trying to do?”

“I’m trying to send a text message to that dadblamed car that we’re NOT going anyplace.”

Yes, it has gotten that bad. Cars now have a mind of their own. John’s been home for a couple of hours but that darned car wants to go for a drive! These things are so high tech they can turn themselves on. At least they can’t drive without a human behind the wheel. They are so high tech that the gearshift ‘reads’ the fingerprints. That is the ultimate theft protection.

John didn’t know about all of this when he bought the car. He saw it in the showroom and paid for it right then. He had his quarterly royalty check and needed a good car. Unfortunately for him, he’s an impulse buyer. That’s why Debi, his wife, handles the finances. But she turned him loose to get his car. Big mistake!

“I want to go visit my sister.”

“Y O U D O N How do you do apostrophe’s on this danged keypad?
“Here, let me do it. Your fingers are too fat.”

“Go to Sleep”

That’s all she had to do. The car would stay asleep until told to wake up. Unlike John, Debi read the instructions. So to make his life easier, she programmed the letter A to tell the car to wake up and the letter B for it to go to sleep. That’s all he needed until the car troubles start. But, that’s another story.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Peace Among the Stars

From Joyce's weekly questions comes this story.

Peace among the Stars

Thank goodness humans invented language otherwise I couldn’t properly express this story. Now I must admit that to make it available to others I had to rely on a pen, paper, and the modern equivalent of moveable type, MS Word.

This summer has shown some real revelations in my life. Going from one place to another usually calms me down, but a ride on an old steam locomotive could really bring back some pleasant memories. Now I admit I’m a bit emotional but when my worst enemy called me oversensitive, that hurt. I have lot of difficulty controlling my emotions. I’m a very honest and friendly person but I have a lot of difficulty expressing how really feel. I truly do try to be kind.

As I was in school, I found out that Gym class was not for me. I did great in history. They weren’t my best subjects, but I preferred science. At that time, I wanted to explore outer space. But I had a few strange things happen to me.

I’ve been a bit under the weather so I was sitting out on the back porch. One the two women I truly love was with me and that put my emotions into balance. I’m alone as I write this and this story must be told so I don’t want to be doing anything else right now.

A radio station just finished a contest to see who could sing the theme song to Gilligan’s Island. Why my other half was singing the title song to Mr. Ed, I don’t know. We should be singing the Brady Bunch theme, everyone here is doing something different. I hear the opening to the Flintstones on the television.

I should have been singing the theme to the Jetson’s. I looked up, startled as a spaceship landed. Granted I’m an intelligent person but when she stepped out of the vehicle, it was hard to tell she was an alien. Andromedan’s morph to the shape of the creatures they stop to help.

But, as she spoke, I actually understood this mysterious mind. I’ve been going through some trying times. Her mission is to help others achieve peace and self-harmony. It was suggested I spend a week in the wilderness of my mind in meditation. I followed her advice and I am now at peace.

Saturday, September 13, 2008



She’s your friend, your wife, your neighbor. How often have you said that would meet them someplace, go with them or drive them somewhere then back out at the last minute? It’s understandable that things come up from time to time. But do you make a habit of breaking your commitments often? Put yourself in their place and see how you feel.

Commitment is another word for trust. Breaking your word on a regular basic earns you a reputation as untrustworthy. It carries over to the business world also. One of the greatest advertising tools is word of mouth. How do you want to be known?

I’m using commitment and trust interchangeably but what do they mean? A commitment is a promise – you say you’ll do something or be somewhere and the other person(s) acts upon that promise. You make a commitment to drive your neighbor to church. She in turn gets up and prepares herself by being dressed and ready to go. You fail to live up to your commitment and she either misses church or has to find another ride. How often do you think you can violate her trust before she realizes you didn’t mean what you said? Show up after not following through on your original commitment and she will more than likely tell you has made other arrangements. It’s a bad twist on the cry wolf syndrome. You’ve probably lost a friend in the process.

Trust is closely related to commitment. Your friend(s) and colleagues expect, trust, that you will follow through on what you say you will do. You expect the same from them. Break that trust and it is very hard to earn again. Think long and hard before you allow that to happen. Do you want to be respected, trusted? How do you treat others for whom you’ve lost trust? Do you want to be treated this way?

The two ultimate commitments are friends and marriage. What you say in the vows of marriage applies to friends. Commitments made in good times and good health are easy to keep. It’s the ones when the world turns upside down and your friend’s life becomes hell on earth that your commitment means the most. Do you value your friend, your mate? Look inside yourself and ask what kind of person you are. Are you trustworthy? What are your true commitments? Answer this honestly and you’ll discover what kind of person you truly are.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Words we Use

Words we Use

A sound, a simple utterance of vocal chords that vibrate the air that vibrates the eardrum, is one definition of a word. Ink upon a piece of paper or a visible drawing on a computer screen we humans have defined as characters. So much for clinical descriptions. What really, are words?

Using predefined definitions, letters are assembled into groups that are then given a meaning that over time can morph into something quite unlike what started out as. Let’s look at a few examples. Turf used to be a safe word referring to ground. Now its gang-controlled territory. Ever twist your back? You can easily, doing the twist, a dance. Then we have bad, when used today we don’t know if it’s bad, or good. If something is cherry, is it red, edible, old, or just what?

These are the words we use. When you say something, make sure everyone involved in the conversation uses the same set of definitions, otherwise what you say may not be what you really mean. If in doubt, ask the other person to tell you what they think you said. You may be surprised.

It’s even more dangerous in written communication. The same words, read by two people can be read differently. Some people read word for word, literal reading. Others read between the lines and see a different meaning to the same words. With written communication, one does not have the benefit of enunciation or vocal inflection. Nor can one see or hear the tone of a voice and that also can change the meaning.

The bottom line is, be careful of the words you use. You may say something very much unlike what you want to say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A special blog

A friend of mine made a very interesting post. There are several major events in our country's recent history. The question asked is, where were you when they occurred? Check it out at:


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Good Life

The Good Life

I’ve been around. I’ve lived in Chicago; Erie, Pa; Norfolk, Va.; Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’ve been to Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas (Virgin Isles), Naples, It, and Des Moines. I’ve been married three times, and lived with three others. But in all of that, I always come back home to Cedar Rapids and the one woman who loves me.

Here I am accepted for who and what I am. I am not judged if I have a meltdown. She is there, ready to pick up the pieces. This woman is amazing. I’ve left and come back too many times. I don’t know what I was looking for but know it’s right here. I think the depression has gotten so bad that I would cut and run at a moments notice. I’ve stopped running.

What I have here is an ex-wife that cares, that understands me, that loves me. I’ve been many places, seen a lot, and met many. But the good life? It’s right here.

To have a friend

This may be updated from time to time.

When things are going smoothly, it’s easy to be friends. It is even easy to be there when tragedy strikes one of them. But when words get twisted or even if one thinks they are twisted, communication breaks down. It is at these times when the lines of communication must be open the widest! That is when a friend is needed most.

When one friend is emotional and the other totally logical unable to deal with emotions, it is very hard to communicate. Emotions are such a driving force that it can be hard to keep them in check. For those non-emotional people, it is not possible to understand this.

It is easy to say you know someone. But to truly know and understand them requires years, especially if one of them is driven by emotions. These are the romantics. They talk from their heart.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

words I pen

Words I Pen

I write the words, yet they are read wrong. I cannot say them any plainer. I know not the simple way of speaking. I have tried to be direct yet it is taken wrong. Do I write such drivel as to be thought mad? Or is the pen I use more poisonous than I would ever conceive?

I speak from the heart yet I appear to be throwing knives. From the depths of my soul do I feel the heat yet it comes out as ice. Fear not for I am but the holder of the feelings. I share them willingly but they are thrown back at me in anger.

Lest I be thought the spirit of evil, nay, lest my heart be stilled, I cannot belay the heart and soul of the love that dwells within. It is the fire of a thousand suns but is taken as the ice shelf of the universe. Can not I say what I mean and have it taken as I mean it?

For what lies in the heart of one man is not felt in the heart of the woman. The feelings cannot overtake the logic of the mind. I dwell alone in this sea of pain and sorrow. Hear me not for my words are but ink upon paper. What they have in meaning is but for my heart to explore.

True Love

True love

Have you ever experienced a love where your first concern is how the other person feels? A love where you know what they will say before they say it? A love so strong that just being with them lights up a room? A feeling that when the other person is happy you are happy but when they are sad, or hurt it affects you twice as bad?

Have you ever felt a love so strong that you want to tell the world about it? But yet you don’t because you want that person solely for your self?

I have, twice

Have you ever felt a love so strong that the pain of the other is your pain also? A love so deep that it transcends all of nature? A love that depends not on distance? Have you ever experienced a feeling that cannot be expressed in words? Have the feelings of the other person been so important that to make a mistake affects the very soul?

Have you ever experienced a love so strong that the loss of the other makes you want to tear your heart out?

I have, once

Have you? Comments welcome

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Marv Wilson - interview with greatness

I have been honored to have the chance to interview Marvin Wilson, author of I Romanced the Stone and Owen Fiddler on his worldwide Blog tour!

1. Marv, You’ve come a long ways. I read I ROMANCED THE STONE (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie) and you have survived, no, thrived, after the ultimate downhill trip. Was Owen Fiddler based on some of the people you met on that journey?

Mmmm, not based on the same people, but similar to the types. Not based on that specific journey, but similar in the scenario. Both books, I ROMANCED THE STONE and OWEN FIDDLER, are stories with the same message about choices and consequences. We are free will beings with the knowledge of right and wrong. We create Heaven or Hell for ourselves with our choices.

2. Owen Fiddler seems to be the composite of all the down and outers with no direction, yet throughout the book, I can sense the spiritual message. Was this intentional and why?

It was intentional. That’s the whole point of the book, and I’m glad it was clear to you. There is a bit of Owen Fiddler in all of us. The degree and intensity of “Owen Fiddler” in each of us is the measure and barometer of our spiritual depravity.

3. I sense urgency in the words in Fiddler. Is this book a self-cleansing of sorts?

All my books are “self-cleansing.” The “self” – the isolated estranged “ego” is the bane of humanity, which you and I and everyone are a part of. There will always be urgency in my writings, because there is urgency in this fleeting temporal condition of human existence. What do we get – 50 to 100 years to figure things out? If we’re lucky? Most of those years spent in hormone-driven, self-centered, pleasure-seeking insanity? And we have ETERNITY to answer to based on our little puff of dust lives here on earth! If that’s not an “urgent” situation calling for some serious “self-cleansing” I don’t know what is.

4. Owen Fiddler, like I Romanced the Stone, is very well written. Are you planning on doing sequels to either?

Thoughts along those lines are in the works. There is a whole other “life after STONE” memoir to be written by me, after all, I’m not that old and not dead yet. Perhaps after (and if) I gain considerably more notoriety as an author I will publish a “life after death” memoir.
Owen Fiddler, of course, begs for a sequel, maybe even a series. I could see it being a TV sitcom-dram. (I just coined that word – you read it here first!)

5. I’ve read your words, in your books. Let me ask, considering the road you’ve traveled, is there, in your opinion, a good way to get the message across to the younger generation, about just how bad that type of journey is?

Old or young, the message is the same: Love and forgive your self, and love and forgive others as your self. Do good to those who harm you. Love your enemies. Pray for and help the weak and needy. How do we best get this message across to the young? ACT THAT WAY AS ADULTS! Nothing new in my message – Jesus said it more than two thousand years ago.

6. In a paragraph, can you sum up the Marvin Wilson of today vs the Marvin Wilson of say twenty years ago?

Marvin Wilson today is the product of fifty-eight years of trial by error learning and bumbling and stumbling his way through life’s lessons. It is said that there are three stages of growth from ignorance to enlightenment: 1) Not knowing that you don’t know and thinking that you do; 2) Knowing that you don’t know, and; 3) Knowing what you do know and realizing you will never know everything. Twenty years ago I mistakenly thought I knew everything. Today I know I don’t know everything. So I guess I’m half way there.

Marvin has written two (that I am aware of), great books. I highly recommend them to everyone. Here is how to contact Marvin and/or order any of the books he’s written.

Ron, I certainly appreciate the privilege of being able to come onto your blog and interact with your readers. Your questions were good ones, they gave me pause and thought, and were fun to compose answers to. I ROMANCED THE STONE (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippy) is available on and for more info or to obtain a signed copy direct from me, go to: The OWEN FIDDLER Ebook is now available at –and will by the end of January sell at and Print copies should be available sometime mid-year 2008. For more info about OWEN FIDDLER go to:

To contact and get to know more about me the person, my MySpace is at: - My Blog is at: and my favorite email address is:

Monday, January 07, 2008

The secret is out!

The secret is that I have been honored with a visit from Billie Williams, author of Small Town Secrets (if you don't have any of Billie's books, get thee to and buy them!!). She is an amazing writer and will keep you spellbound from the first hot, smoldering house til the very last page! Let's meet this lady.

1. I’ve read Small Town Secrets and Bed and Breakfast Murders. Do these books, and your others, have some basis on past real events?
Intentionally they do not, but they seem to reflect some things or a mix of things that have transpired in the places I’ve lived. I have plenty of small town places I’ve lived that fed things to me, they appear as a composite in the books, but not the whole story by any means. I think the only book I wrote lately totally based on reality – well okay there are two Fire at Thunder Ridge (currently out of print – being revised) and Tung Umolomo – this South African adventure story was based on The Witch Hunt Conference held the year I wrote the book. It grew out of a small article about it.
2. The characters in your books have some interesting names, like Taaktu (pronounced take two) in small town Secrets. How do you arrive at such intriguing names?
These particular names needed to suit the twins (they are patterned after my sisters in law {smile}) I thought they were unique. But usually I try to come up with names that mean something that will give the reader the essence of the character using the name. For instance, Chaneeta Morgan in small town secrets named her illegitimate daughter Hope, she wanted her to have hope, she wanted to hope she would be adopted by loving parents. In Bed and Breakfast Murders all the names of the major characters mean something in the ethnic background of the character. I love doing this because it imparts more meaning to the character, for me, if not for the readers. The characters just seem to be more true to life if I do this.
3. I’ve only managed to read the above two books, although I hope someday to read more. But, based on those two, it seems your plots all occur in small, Midwestern towns. Do any of your other books now written or planned on, envelope us in some big city intrigue?

I’ve only ever lived near large a metropolis a time or two in my life. I don’t like big cities. I don’t do well in crowds. I may someday use a city like Chicago, Illinois or Milwaukee, Wisconsin Or Denver Colorado because those places conger up thoughts of dark and sinister — or perhaps Las Vegas with it’s gambling and mob connections to create an atmosphere – but I’d have to do a ton of research to get the flavor right. I am not a big city person.

4. From what I’ve seen in your books, the cases are solved by local sleuths and in small town secrets, it still took a small town detective to beat a state police force in deciphering the clues. Have you considered a series using these sleuths?

All my sleuths are accidental sleuths; they are ordinary citizens with a vested interest in solving the current mystery. So while they are all similar, they are not a series though I have series developed around a couple of those sleuths. The Secrets series while connected will probably not have the same accidental sleuth in any of them. Skull Music has the same sleuth as Ghost Music of Vadeville (release date April 2008), The Bed and Breakfast books (Pink Lady Slipper and Bed and Breakfast Murders) have the same sleuth. Death by Candlelight and Candlelight and Shadows have the same sleuth.

The very nature of the sleuths in my mysteries (accidental) doesn’t lend them to be easily serialized – I don’t want to wind up with a Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote – though I love the series desperately and have started a collection of the books written under her character name with a co-author) You begin to wonder how she has any friends left, and why any one would invite her everywhere she always brings a murderer into the mix.

5. In Small Town Secrets and Bed and Breakfast Murders, there is untimely death and much destruction, but it is only stated. There are no graphic details. This makes these books ‘safe’ reads for the younger audiences. Are all of your books designed this way? I do hope so.
Yes, I do not like a lot of violence on stage and I don’t think it’s necessary to get a point across. While I enjoy reading some of Stephen Kings books – I couldn’t write them. Though I enjoy watching adventure stories I don’t want to see Arnold Swartzineggar get beat up forty times with never so much as a black eye or a gasp for breath or Rambo/Rocky star Sylvester Stallone be killed to with an inch of his life and walk away none the worse for wear. What is the point in all that on stage violence – like sensationalism in journalism there is a place to draw the line and I prefer it this side of the rough stuff.

Small Town Secrets and Bed and Breakfast Murders are very good books. Once you start to read them, you won’t want to stop until the very last word. Below are where these two and all of Billie’s books may be found.
Thank you so much Ron for your kind words and the use of your blog space to talk with you and your readers. I appreciate the opportunity.
Your readers can visit my website where I have information about all my books, my publishers and some free stuff for the taking at Sign up for the Book Club or the writing course if you are so inclined. The chapters and lessons will be archived for those who come in late, also available on my website.
There is a study guide for readers groups, classes, book clubs to download for free on my website front page also. So some on by and take a look see. You may be pleasantly surprised. At least I hope so.
Thanks again Ron.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Free Gifts from a Fantastic Author!!!

Ladies and gentlemen!!!

It is time to announce a very special set of gifts! Marvin Wilson has written two great books, "I romanced the Stone" and "Owen Fiddler". Check this spot for my interview with Marvin on the 8th. Marvin has some special gifts also.

1) Please announce to your readers that everyone who leaves a comment on your blog-interview with Marvin D. Wilson will receive downloadable PDF file sample first chapters of both my published books, I ROMANCED THE STONE and OWEN FIDDLER. Make sure to keep a list of all commenting visitors – come Feb 1, send me the list and I'll send them the thank you gift.

2) All commenting visitors are eligible for a drawing from which I will select three winners.
2nd runner up will receive (his/her choice) either a print copy of I ROMANCED THE STONE or a downloadable PDF copy of OWEN FIDDLER.
1ST runner up will receive the same option/choice.
Grand Prize Winner will receive BOTH books.

The drawing will take place during the first few days of February, as soon as I have received the lists of commenting visitors from all the hosts.

Also (and this is for you guys) – whichever host receives the most comments on their blog-interview will receive from me (your choice) – either a print copy of I ROMANCED THE STONE or a PDF copy of OWEN FIDDLER or a copy of my CD, The Average Praise Band – RHYTHM & TRUTHS (We'll Praise the Hell out of You!)

Tomorrow (ok, midnight), Come see the interview with Billie Williams!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's coming! It really is!!

Coming soon to a blog near you is an interview with a fantastic writer! January 7th, stop by this blog and meet author of Small Town Secrets. She is so excited that she is even offering special prizes! Look at what is up for grabs for you, the readers:

Everyone who comments on your blog will get a PDF sampler of the first chapters of all my books published so far, if they want one.
Everyone who comments on your blog and leaves an email address with you, will get a copy of The Golden Kettle Café Cookbook designed with recipes from Small Town Secrets for the holidays (all of them St. Patrick’s day to Christmas and New Years and everything in between.)
I will draw a name from the commenters on February 1st one person will receive a copy of “Adrift” – a book of flash fiction and short stories (download copy)
A second drawing will be for a book of poetry titled “Feathers in the Wind”
The third place winner will get a copy of Magic Carpet Ride – a children’s story

I will draw a winner from any one who comments and sends an email to the host with Writer in the subject line—a copy of my writing book Writing Wide Exercises in Creative Writing. (stateside only- Over seas it will be a download copy-sorry folks postage is a killer now days)

The grand prize for one lucky person who comments on your blog will be a download copy of Small Town Secrets (I will draw a name from all those who comment on February 1 – so keep a list of the email comments on your blog)

Now the Grand Prize for the BLOG HOST/HOSTESS for the blog that has the most comments will be to the host/hostess — Your choice of any of my published books (novels – in the format you prefer) and any of my writing books published so far.

The second place winner will receive her/his choice of my writing books in whatever format you choose.

Third place winner will receive a beach towel to help when you want to relax and let the words flow— beach side or tub side.