Relationships

This is something that we all strive to find. Of course relationships cover many different aspects of our lives. From the casual work and after work relationships to what we hope is the lifelong commitment of a mate. The one that I’m wanting to talk about here is the latter, and what I will be stating is my personal take, and years of observing couples. As a writer it is very important that you do observe, since it is here that you develop your fictional characters. But what also comes out of this is thoughts and ideas that one hopes can help us understand these very personal relationships better. I’m not saying that what I’m posting is the definitive solution or answer, but I feel strongly that the points that I make are valid. Of course you who read this have the right to dispute anything I write here. Still it is experience, observations, seeing failures and successes, and trying understand why that I’ve come to these conclusions. Again something a writer needs to think about if his characters are fully developed and seem real to the readers. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I feel that most of my characters, to me personally, appear to be very real, and I would expect to meet them someday out in the real world.

If we start at our beginning, we learn from what is around us, and that usually is our parents. This is followed later in life with books we read, movies (Although this is probably the worst place to learn anything about relationships.), our siblings, peers, and later, once we become adults, friends, observations we personally make, and conclusions whether right or wrong on how relationships work. At the time when we leave home, we would hope that good information from our parents have been passed on. But the problem with this is that doesn’t generally happen,or if it does, not very often, or the information is incomplete, and the reason why is because they really don’t know. Oh they guess, and if they’ve been lucky they are in a strong long-lasting relationship and everything seems to be working. But as to the why, well, they really haven’t thought about it or they don’t know.

So your learn from observing, from those early attempts with the opposite sex, and most of those attempts are clumsy at best, and many times we really learn nothing and just try fumbling through. With puberty, there is a strong drive to couple, and for boys and men that means going all the way. After all one of the main reasons for coupling is procreation. And to be honest men sexually peak at 18. And it’s down hill every year after that. For girls and women they peak in the early to mid thirties, which is probably a good thing, if both sexes peaked at the same time, pregnancies would be so much higher than they are. Yet, because of the length of time it takes to raise an infant to where they can survive on their own, it requires a stable long-lasting relationship. Unfortunately that is not happening in today’s world. Single mothers dominate the child rearing.

This is not a good situation, and Hollywood has a large negative effect on this since most movies show couples jumping into bed every chance they get, making it appear that this is the way of it, and with sex education being moved down to the middle school level, it points children into the direction of experimentation before they understand the true issues and problems that this causes. And by the time that puberty does strike, promiscuity has already been brought into the equation, to the point where they don’t think twice about getting together physically. And with both parents having to work it provides plenty of opportunity for this to happen.

This is not to say that all do it, because this would be a falsehood. Still it has increased the number who do become involved. The problem with much of this is that it paints a wrong picture of what good relationships are, and many marriages fail within their first 5 years. Part of the reason for this is it’s based on sex. And this is a 2 dimensional view, and soon both become tired of sex and with each other, and find that there is nothing else left and so they break up, repeat, over and over again. It isn’t unusual for couples to have been married and divorced 3 times, since they continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and never seeing or understanding why this is happening.

The problem with being physical from the start is how we are built. Such acts produce hormones that draw us close to the pardner that we just made love too. And each time this is performed it is reinforced. When the sex starts, the conversation ends, simply stated. It is important to keep that aspect (sex) at bay until the important parts of a relationship are built, and even after they have been, to tread lightly, because this could still lead you in the wrong direction. Again, when you get physical the rest of what you were building stops.

So let’s look at some basics, and what I mean here is the foundation, what the relationship is built upon. Something that your parents didn’t know, or they just couldn’t explain it. Everything requires building blocks and these are built upon a foundation. According to how strong that foundation is determines the strength of that relationship. An example I’ll use is fire. Fire requires 3 thing to exist. Fuel, oxygen, and a heat source great enough to start the combustion. If any one of these 3 are not present then, there is no fire. And this is what is called the fire triangle – break any of the sides and the fire goes out. Relationships also have a triangle from which the relationship thrives. Again break any one side of this triangle, and while it may not happen at that very moment it happened, in the end it will eventually destroy what was there.

As I see it, the 3 sides are: Trust, Communication, Intimacy. When you look at these, all of you have probably seen the results when one of these sides were broken. Trust is probably one of the ones that is most often broken. And when it is, it’s the most difficult to get back. Communication isn’t me talk, you listen, but a full and continual dialog back and forth to work out issues, problems, and to deal with the day-to-day grind. It is probably the easiest to let slide due to work, children, family, friends, and the daily pressures that this world places on each and every one of us. Ah intimacy – I can see the guys out there smiling and shaking their heads, and the gals grimacing, but this isn’t necessarily dealing with just the sex part. Intimacy deals with many levels, and that could run from a quiet time together watching a movie, a down time after a hard day at work, a time once the children are really in bed, past those requests for more water, another story, and so on. And yes it does have to do with those times of being physical, and having that pillow talk time after wards. And it is so very important that here, especially here that the two of you communicate.

Now what you need to realize that this is only the foundation. There are so many other things that go into a strong relationship. But all things require a foundation, and in my mind this triangle is just that for relationships. Each side will have different priorities throughout your life, throughout your relationship. One will take precedence over the other 2 during your life, but all 3 come into play all the time. So how is your relationship, and when you boil it down are both of you living up to what this triangle represents? If not, then trouble is on the horizon. If so, then yours is strong and how wonderful is that future.

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Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Congratulations California

This post is personal opinion, and should be considered as such. At one time I lived in this state and watched as rights began to disappear. Actually experienced personally what counties were doing to their people who lived in the backcountry as their rights were destroyed.

Congratulations California for stomping all over the Constitution. Congratulations California State Government for showing your true colors as elitists who could care less about the people who you represent, other than as a bank account to tap, as you continue to raise taxes, and continue to bankrupt your state. Who, with the laws you’ve passed or are passing, continue to drive people and businesses out of your state. Congratulations California as you continue to take water from the farmers who support the economy of your state. Congratulations to you California Democrats who have shown your true colors as Socialists and who are continuing to shove those views and values down the citizens’ throats. Congratulations California as you now have made it easy for the thieves, murderers, violent gangs, Mexican drug cartels and other illegal organizations to do what they want, when they want, to anybody who happens to live in your state. After all police do not prevent crime, they solve it. Congratulations California as you continue to push people who live in rural areas out of their homes, by the laws restricting what they can and cannot do with their property, only wanting the tax dollars from the lands, but not allowing those who supposedly own this land to have any right to use it.

Soon you, the California State Government, very soon, by this blatant disregard for this state, this nation, and the citizens within; this continual ignoring of the Constitution, stating that it means nothing, and doesn’t apply in these modern times, so we will ignore it completely, thusly allowing us to make any law we want – you will destroy your state and what you have. In fact you have given the radical group La Raza hope, hope that they can claim your state for Mexico. You have disarmed the citizens, allowing them no protection that every common citizen needs and by the U S Constitution is guaranteed. By your logic all should be walking, since there are more deaths, disfigurements, more permanent injuries caused by that evil automobile than there are by guns. Yet you go after the guns and not the automobile? Again, you go after the very thing that is guaranteed by the US Constitution, you decide that you are above such things, but where is the outrage over deaths caused by transportation? Where is the screams of quote; there ought to be a law? Why do you attack a person’s right to self-protection?

Oh, that’s right, history does have an answer to that. And millions, and I mean millions, paid for that with their very lives. Instead of doing as you apparently desire to do, look to the nations where gun ownership is required. Funny thing, you don’t want to do that. After all it will counter everything that you claim. Since it has been statistically shown that all crime is lower. Hmmm, I wonder why? After all, by your logic, it should be the Wild West where there are gun fights all the time, and violence is prevalent. But it’s not. Oh, that’s right, I’m not supposed to mention that truth. After all it is counter to what the left is spouting and what the government is pushing. So what is this really about? Oh, once again, history has the answer and has shown us that outcome. Do I have to really say it here, since it should be obvious to any who can think. I think not, and that, in the end, is the problem. You think not. You let emotion carry the day, let it control our destiny, you let emotion be the way of life. After all it works in the Middle East. And you know how well it works there and how well they are doing.

So where are we heading? Are we to become the next USSR? When are we going to swing more to the center, and get away from this stupidity that we are seeing everywhere. At one time I had no political aspirations, studied the ballot measures, researched the candidates, but other than that, that was it. Unfortunately, it can no longer be that way. One thing I have learned about the Left, and it is this: They will do whatever it takes, legal or illegal, to maintain their power. They lie, cheat, misrepresent the facts, and if any turns it back upon them they throw a tantrum like a spoiled child, not believing that someone could say such things about them (even though they are guilty of the very same thing). Screaming that they’ve been slandered, yelling that they will sue, screaming for an apology, pulling the race card, and whatever else they can think of. The real scary part of all of this, other than the fact that they seem to be the ones in power right now (Which scares me to death), is that they believe the very lies and lines of rhetoric that they put forth, and when caught in those lies, still continue to push them anyway. After all, if a lie is heard often and long enough it becomes the truth.

Just to add fuel to the fire: Recently additional state governments mostly controlled by the democrats have been passing laws in direct conflict with the U S Constituation, especially the ones that deals with an individual’s right to self protection. They know that if they can be successful in this then all other guarantees made to the citizens of this country by the U S Constitution will fall like dominoes and the government can do as they please with a populace that has no way to protect themselves.

Let’s center this nation, these individual states, get away from either the far Left, or far Right, as either extreme is just that – extreme, and we who must live with this will always suffer the consequences of these extremes. I personally do not know what it will take to bring this nation and the states within its borders back to center, but I do know this: If we don’t, then, we, as a nation, will be no more. 

Published in: on February 16, 2013 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Words and Other Things

We are bound by our language and with this ability to communicate we supposedly rise above the lesser creatures. We, in this modern society, listen to ads all day long, deal with problems at work by communicating, speaking to our friends and loved ones, always trying to be who we are. Words are very important if inexact.  But in truth it is a complicated dance this language thing. Take a word by itself and look up its meaning and there you have it. But if spoken with a certain inflection, a particular emphasis then the dictionary meaning no longer applies. So unconsciously we study the words spoken, how they are spoken, the body language that the speaker is presenting, and the situation in which the word is being used. A lot going on there, and yet, we do this effortlessly. Is it then surprising that we have misinterpretation all the time?

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and many times that is very true. It is so much easier to have a visual than explain it with those inexact words. Again, adding words to those images increases their power to communicate what the artist or author is trying to convey. Then add music, and suddenly the power of the words, the strength of the visual become so much more powerful. After all we are visual creatures, and hearing creatures. Both were critical to our survival in the times when the world was untamed. So as we add each sense to what we are trying to interpret the more accurate our interpretation, or so it seems. Again since we are islands upon ourselves it is our personal interpretation and not necessarily anybody else’s, and so it is with each and every one of us.

As a writer you only have words, but your words are put together in such a way to build strong images within the reader’s mind. So much so that they do not see the words that are written there, but are following your story, your characters, their actions, the world that they live within as images in their minds. Making the story so much richer and deeper than just the words alone convey. So it behoves us as authors, as writers of the word, to understand this and try to present our stories using the best words that help the reader understand what you, as the writer, are trying to make clear. I know personally when I write my stories that I don’t see words, I see the actual living story in my head. I see my actors doing what they must, I see the world, I see every aspect of what they are facing, and somehow I must translate these images into words that will allow the reader to see what I have seen. Yet, as has been stated above, imagery is stronger than words, so how do you make the words do what they inherently cannot? That is the dilemma every writer who has put pen to paper, or in today’s world, using the word processor, out there face. Whether they are trying to sell you something, writing fact based stories, or are creating either short or novel length recreational stories, it is those words that ultimately draw the reader in, makes them want to continue to the end, and ultimately want for more.

So, how are you, as a writer, doing? Sometimes we have a tendency to judge ourselves too harshly, and wonder why what we consider good work on our part just sits on the shelves collecting dust. And being an independent author doesn’t help, since very rarely do you have the ability to move your works like authors who have contracts with the large publishing firms. But, does that mean your works are of poorer quality? No, not really, and with the amount of reading material out there, and with the increases each year of at least a million new publications, it is easy to get lost in all of that. So we must not place ourselves against this competition or we could easily become discouraged to the point of quitting. And there my friend lies the truth of the matter – you only fail if you quit. Maybe when your creative fire finally dies and you didn’t do as well as you thought you should, it would then be time to reflect and be proud of what you did accomplish and be proud that you saw it to the end.

We all fail, fail all the time. It’s what you do with that failure that will determine who you are. So work those words, see the images that are created, step away, come back, edit your works, clean them up. If you are one who is driven to write, give into it. Let it flow, and be in awe of the worlds and stories that you create out of nothing. For if it is well written, your characters are real as is their world, and your readers will appreciate this in the end, even if it is only a few. Take heart of those humble words that you write, put together those images, see your world in its richness, and revel in what is revealed to you and through you. Because in the end, through that chaos, you’ve brought forth a world, and filled it will living creatures, who have lives of their own, and they only exist, live, and have adventures, because of you the writer.

Published in: on February 9, 2013 at 8:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Old Soldier Passed Away

On Sunday 1-27-2013, a friend passed away. He was 52. Young by today’s standards, but past injuries, and present health issues led to his passing. Keenan was a Combat Engineer in the US Army, and due to injuries sustained from that occupation left the military as a disabled veteran. He lived the remainder of his life on Social Security, and a small military retirement. Very little subsistence given for one who had given their country all that they could. Yet, he was the type of individual who wouldn’t let such circumstances get him down, and he helped others who were in similar situations as much as he could. Not a small man at 6 feet 5 inches tall, he was never heavy and actually was under 200 lbs when he passed. He did not drink, is a Christian, and did as much as his body would allow to reach out to others in need.

We’ve personally never met face to face. And if it wasn’t for some of the modern conveniences we probably would never have. And, like so many before him, and so many who will follow after him, who he was, what he did to serve, what he continued to do, even when it was difficult and a problem, will never be truly known or understood. He is one of the many thousands who served and who were forgotten. Our first contact with each other was over the internet, through a small Christian gaming site. I am 11 years his senior, and he would joke that he was no longer the oldest member in this group. With similar backgrounds (age, military, gaming, and such), we fast became friends. We talked a lot, gamed together, and enjoyed each other’s company even though we lived on opposite coasts. Because of that distance, we knew that this would be as close as we would ever come to seeing one another. Yet, as one has a tendency to do, we talked about getting together some time in the future. Now that future will have to wait until I reach the end of my road, my history, since this is a history we all face.

His love for others, and that included animals, was unmatched. As was his will to fight for others who were facing his situation. He had rescued, over time, 2 raccoons, as babies, raised them, loved them, and then lost both to death. In his own words, “Cried like a baby, when I buried Rascal” (the name of the first raccoon). And with the loss of the second, went into a deep depression since he blamed himself. Originally a country boy from Tennessee, he lived the last part of his life in Florida, but remained a country boy at heart, always talking about returning some day to the old homestead where his parents still live. Always ready with a funny line or statement, it belied his health. If one didn’t know about those issues, then one would have been surprised when they were discovered.

This is not to say he was perfect – far from it in truth. And he would be the first to admit to his flaws. And if any are truthful about themselves we all have them. It’s what you do about them that really matters. To understand your weaknesses, to find ways to make them work for you is all one can ask, and he dealt with them with the same strength of character that was part of his whole. As I look back on the short time I knew him, I feel that my life is richer, and will miss his humor, his comments that brought laughter to both myself and my wife. We always looked forward to those conversations and will miss them and him.

It is raining as I write, and it is a fitting tribute to an old warrior, and an unknown hero who did what he could to help without asking for anything in return, preferring to remain unknown, preferring to make the best of what he had been given. He is a God-fearing man who has returned home, leaving behind the pain, and suffering, never complaining about the lot he had received while in life. To now seek his peace and reward with God and Christ, and that is how it should be.

Published in: on February 2, 2013 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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