The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: May 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Positivity: Small Doses of Positivity

Sometimes you have to take Positivity in small doses.

We all go through things where we find ourselves feeling displeased, unhappy, frustrated, sad even.  There are lots of times where we would love to uncover and experience some positivity, but DAMN is it hard to come by!

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What do you do?

You have to take into account the little things.  Moments in time that may, when they occur, feel somewhat insignificant, but in truth they can carry a tremendous amount of weight.

What do I mean by that?  For example, during a game of cards with my mom the other night we had a moment of extreme silliness where we both got struck with the giggles.  It was late at night, it was utter nonsense, but it was a moment of pure, unbridled joy and positivity.

Another example: went to the Minnesota Science Museum, and the very first thing we see as we walk into the place is a t-rex skeleton.  It’s been a long standing joke, in particular among the fencing community, that I have very short, t-rex arms and accompanying reach (or lack thereof).  So seeing my ancient “ancestor” gave me a laugh, which I immediately shared on social media.

Very small moments in time, but still moments of worthwhile positivity.  I was not having a day of negativity, per se, but it was unpleasant weather and a few other stressors occupying much of my mindset during the day, so these moments, brief small doses of positivity, improved my overall day rather a lot.

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Sometimes the small doses come from outside sources.  Silly pictures on social media, an episode of a TV show or a movie, something you read in a book, maybe a snippet of someone else’s conversation that provides a moment of nonsense and from that comes positivity (favorite random conversation of all time – leaving a movie theatre in college, some guy walking past my party says to his friend “so I walked into the bedroom with a movie and two-by-four…”  We laughed about that for YEARS afterwards!)

In a world where we are barraged with bad news, where the man-made powers-that-be frequently employ fear and negativity to maintain their power, it is up to each of us individually to find positivity in our lives.  This is what we have available to us to improve our days, and to make the world a better, happier, more joyful place to be.

Even the smallest doses of positivity can have a tremendous impact on our overall experiences.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that Positivity can be found in small doses every day, we can take those moments and hold them close.  When we give our energy to those moments, no matter how small, we wrest control of our emotions, and whenever we take control over how we feel we empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the one hundred twenty two entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

In relation to Positivity, check out my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

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Pathwalking 230

Just breathe.

It is not cliché.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is to just breathe.

I have been feeling off for a few days now.  I have gotten a lot of things done, and I haven’t had anything bad happen, I have just not felt quite right.  I have felt off.  My energy has been low, and my spirits too.

We all have bad days.  We all have times when we are off, and while we can seek out the solutions to our issues, there are times when all we can do is to just breathe.

Yes, I have written many times that it is best to find ways to not just go with the flow, and that nobody by I am responsible for how I am feeling.  Despite this, I am, after all, only human, so there are still going to be days where I cannot get out of my own head, get out of a funk, and I feel low.

One of the keys to Pathwalking is to work on living in the here-and-now.  Rather than getting caught up in the past or stuck thinking about the future, I want to work on being wholly present in the present.

That being written, when the here-and-now feels bad, feels low and is hard to break out of, what do you do?  This is when you just breathe.

Focusing on just breathing allows me to regain my perspective.  There may be a negative situation at hand that is making me feel down, it may be cloudy weather, it may just be old data I am having trouble getting out of my head.  Whatever it is, when I stop and just breathe I have an opportunity to reset, to pause, to get back clarity within the moment.

When I focus on just breathing, I can clear my head of anything that is getting in my way.

I am my own largest critic.  When I am not living up to my own expectations of myself, I can get annoyed, get disheartened, and that is often the place where I begin to sabotage myself.  I do not believe in my own abilities, and I become fearful of both failure and success.

When I just breathe, I am able to re-assess my position on myself.  I am able to take a more favorable view of myself, and while I am still likely to be somewhat critical, I can still do better with being less judgmental of myself in any negative ways.

Just breathe.

Sometimes I need to remember that this is sufficient.  If I just breathe, and do the things I need to do in a day I am doing well.  I don’t need to be a high achiever, I don’t need to be a super-hero, I don’t need to be amazing…I just need to be me.  I only have to do the best I can do in being me.

This is the key of this statement.  There is no need to be someone I am not, for myself or for anyone else.  I just need to keep breathing, keep working on being the best me that I can be, and that is what is most important.

I want to be important, I want to have an impact on the world in a positive way.  I want to do great things, some altruistic and some probably selfish.  But the more important thing I want to do is to be true to myself, my ideals, and the paths I have chosen.

I just breathe, and I can better see the work I am doing to achieve that.

Today may not be the best of days.  But so long as I just breathe, and work through, I can still maintain and improve upon who I am and what I want to do.  I alone choose what is best for me.

I think I often expect too much from myself.  When I fail to live up to the notions I have for myself, I don’t simply get discouraged, I have to contend with my depression.  I have to arm and armor myself to do battle with the black dog once again.

I have been fighting this battle all of my life, and I am not ashamed to admit that.  But when I allow myself to just breathe, when I can live in the here-and-now, I can always come out victorious.

Just breathe.  There is tremendous power in this very simple notion.

Do you allow yourself moments to regain perspective?

 

GOAL LOG – Week 20:

Diet: I am continuing to write out what I eat daily.  I have a large change I plan to implement in June, a temporary idea to jumpstart getting myself into shape.

Exercise: Fencing happened twice last week, and I made it to the gym once.  I also got in some additional physical labor.

Writing:  Only got in one day of writing.  Need to work on that.

Meditation:  Only 2 days of meditation, at least 6 minutes each day.

Gratitude: I wrote out 5 or 6 things to be grateful for nearly every day last week…but I missed a day.  Made up for it by writing out 10 things the next day.

 

This is the two-hundred thirtieth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

Positivity: Blank Canvas

I am a blank canvas.

Often this is where I can develop some of my best creativity.  I have nothing in particular in mind, and before I know it I have something I didn’t have before.

Today, though, my blank canvas is remaining blank.  Nothing has been coming to mind.

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I am feeling positive overall.

That’s great, I am happy that for the most part I am feeling well, but I have had no idea what I should write about to focus on my positivity today.  I am not drawing from my blank canvas anything creative.

This is not a negative, however.  I could probably view it as such, but it could just as readily be a positive.

Why?  Because I have a blank canvas before me.  This might not be anything at the moment, but it could be something amazing.  It could be an astounding work just waiting to be revealed to the world at large.

I have infinite possibility to work with.  I have a ton of options, I can do anything I set my mind to doing.  My blank canvas may feel less like possibility and more like a blockage, but I can choose to make of it what I will.

Sometimes it is easy to let that tired feeling dominate your actions.  Sometimes that blank canvas feels far more like potential failure and inaction than success and possibility.

Once again, it’s all a matter of perspective.  Do I see my blank canvas as open premise and vast possibility, or as inactivity and a lack of creativity?  It’s entirely up to me to choose what it will be.

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It has taken me far longer than normal to do anything with the blank canvas before me.  But that’s ok.  I know that it can be nothing but positive, if I choose to treat it as such.  This blank canvas is not an ending, it is any beginning I might choose for it to be.

How do I perceive this moment?

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that I can take this blank canvas and make whatever I can imagine out of it, I have nothing but a ton of choices before me.  When we take the blank canvas and do not let it thwart our creativity, but instead use it to create something fresh and different and new, we empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the one hundred twenty first entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

In relation to Positivity, check out my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

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Pathwalking 229

Everybody has comfort zones.

We all have places where we feel most comfortable.  Some are literal, some are figurative.  Each of us have places where we can go to feel comfort, to feel calm, to just be without overtaxing ourselves.

The problem with comfort zones is that sometimes they can be very hard to break out of.

One of the things about Pathwalking is that it is my way of choosing my own destiny, going my own way as makes me feel happy.  I am on a path that allows me to do what I want with my life.

However, sometimes my path is my comfort zone.  I do my thing, I wind up with my own patterns and routines, and take comfort in the way things fall.  This is my path, and I will traverse it.

Unfortunately there are situations in my life where I have to take different courses along my path.  What do I want most?  I want to write.  I want to create new stories and edit existing ones and share my worlds and my imagination with a wide ranging audience.  However, until I expand my sales and begin to sell my writing at a MUCH higher volume, this is not going to pay my bills.

Pathwalking is not about pie-in-the-sky ideas.  I’ve written before that while we all have goals and aspirations we can strive for, there is a certain reality involved that cannot be ignored.  You can manifest almost anything you need, consciousness creates reality…but it has to be believable to you.  If you are not involved in politics you probably cannot become President.  If you don’t actually write things down you probably cannot become a writer.   You probably cannot become an astronaut if you aren’t taking steps in that direction as your path.

At present, I have to work a day job of some sort in order to pay my bills.  I have to pay for gas and food and other essentials of a modern life so that I can do fun things like fencing and weekend events and such.  This is where I think I sometimes get stuck in my own comfort zone.

I’ve been working on and off for the same business for more than a decade.  There have been multiple occasions where I left that job, but I always return.  I have held several titles and positions within the business, and I continue to do a pretty wide variety of tasks there.  I know the business inside and out, hell I even helped build the space before they ever opened their doors.

Why have I left more than once?  Because in some instances it was to step out of my comfort zone and try to do something else.  In some it was because I thought the proverbial grass might be greener elsewhere.  Sometimes it was frustrations with the business and the hours that led me to walk away.

In many respects this place is a physical comfort zone for me.  The people are great, both clients and staff, and it’s a holistic, open atmosphere I enjoy.  Downsides are evening and weekend shifts I would rather not do so frequently, but it’s a part of the business and working there.

This job is, apart from my writing, the most consistent job on my resume.  Because I have a tendency to experience a sort of wanderlust, my skillset is wide-ranging and varied, which to a very limited number of companies is advantageous.  Unfortunately, to others, I look a bit flighty.

I began writing sci-fi and fantasy at the age of nine.  Over the years I expanded my range, and I now write a number of non-fiction pieces, like this blog, a number of business-related works I’ve composed over the years, and even SEO website optimization and blogging.  To write outside of fiction, in particular sci-fi and fantasy, was a step out of my comfort zone.

One of my primary jobs at the business I’ve so long been with is IT.  I maintain and repair the network and the dozen-plus computers on it.  I also deal with other technology infrastructure matters of the business.  I have a knack for it, I’ve even built a couple of computers over the years.

More than once it has been suggested that I get deeper into IT.  I started to do some freelance work with a tiny IT company, but it didn’t pan out to anything greater.  I can do quite a lot, more than I often think I can, but to advance into this business further I need to get training.

The big question is – do I dislike IT beyond a hobby as much as I think I do, or is it a question of my comfort zone?  I know, for example, that sales is something I dislike.  Yes, it does sometimes pull me out of my comfort zone, but also I just not a fan of most of the sales jobs and the pushiness they require.

So what’s my point this week?  My point is that I think I might be trapped within a comfort zone, and I need to break myself out of it.  How can I be trapped if it’s a comfort zone?  Because I think I might be holding back or otherwise procrastinating and not growing as I need to.  I think I might be hiding inside my comfort zone to avoid scary steps that might lead to failure, but could equally lead to success.

I am still walking my path, but I may only doing so half-heartedly.  I think if I let go of my anxiety and my fears and force myself out of my physical and emotional comfort zones, I can better realize both the path I am on and the goals at the end of it.

Do you know where your comfort zones are?

 

GOAL LOG – Week 19:

Diet: I am continuing to write out what I eat daily.  I think I’m doing better with eating healthier and with eating less.

Exercise: Fencing happened twice last week, but I never got to the gym.  However, I did a TON of walking more than three days during the week.

Writing:  No writing or editing occurred.  I spent a bunch of time promoting my newest published book, however.

Meditation:  Five days of meditation, at least 8 minutes each day.

Gratitude: I wrote out 5 or 6 things to be grateful for every day last week.

 

This is the two-hundred twenty ninth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

Positivity: Actions

Every week I conclude with this: Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.

Action can take on a number of different meanings in this context.  It may not be any kind of physical act, it may be an active change in thought or an active change in feelings.

When I am feeling particularly down, or anxious, or uncertain, I find that I can’t just hope for the best and await something to provide me a mood changer.  I have to take action to make change.

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Sometimes the action is a change of thoughts.  Instead of thinking about things that are making me uncomfortable or that cause me to feel negative, I need to work to think about something else.  I might need to turn my thought process towards something positive, something that will build up creativity.  Different things will work at different times.

Often a lack of positivity is in the emotions.  So it is in my best interest to change my feelings.  I have written pretty frequently that we are each more capable of controlling our own emotional states than we allow ourselves to be.  So we do not sufficiently empower ourselves by taking ahold of our emotional states and making changes where necessary.

Feeling anxious, feeling sad, feeling frustrated, feeling uncomfortable?  It is wholly within our own power to find ways to change how we are feeling.  Whether we put on music, focus on a pleasant memory, or employ some form of attitude shifter, we can take action to generate positivity for ourselves.

Of course, this can be literal, too.  Go for a walk, get out in the sun or the rain, spend some time with an animal like a cat or dog, change your surroundings to shift to positivity.  Literal action can be extremely helpful for developing more positivity in our lives.

Why bother with positivity?  Because I am pretty sure most of us want to live in a world of hope, a world of possibilities, a world of good and abundance and people helping each other out.  The world of the greedy, the selfish, the destructive and the angry serves no one but a very select few, and we need to work to empower ourselves more than we empower them.

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Action can be simple, but it focuses change and as such is an outstanding tool to build more positivity.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that we can take action on multiple levels, we can act to alter our thoughts, feelings and doings to generate more positivity.  When we take actions, whether they are physical or otherwise, we consciously choose to seek out more good things for ourselves, and more importantly we empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the one hundred twentieth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

In relation to Positivity, check out my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

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Pathwalking 228

Just be.

Two simple words that convey far more power and meaning than we realize.  Two words to sum up our very existence.

Our culture feels equally obsessed with the past and the future.  Frequently we are inundated with messages about how we need to go back, return to what we were, restore something how it used to be.  On the other side of the coin we frequently are deluged with the messages about how we need to go forward, prepare for the future, look ahead to what can be.

There is nothing wrong with having nostalgia for the past and considering the future, but we cannot live in either of these places.  We live in the now.  And in the now it is important to learn to Just Be.

I’ve written before about the idea of living in the now.  Rather than giving our intentions and attentions to the then, be it past or future, we need to focus on living in the now.  Seeing the world as it is here and now, and taking that into how we live each and every day.

When we Just Be we are more able to live in the here and now.  We can better cope with what we have going on around us, and we can more thoroughly experience the wonders of the world we live in.

When I Just Be, and keep myself in the present I have had some simple experiences that take on greater depth.  For example, I grabbed a bite to eat on my way home last night.  Often when I do this, and I eat on the go, food is simply fuel.  I eat, but I really don’t experience the food.  Rather than just wolf down my late dinner, I took my time, I ate slowly, and I chewed every bite.  As such I didn’t just refuel myself, I enjoyed the taste and texture of my meal, and appreciated my food for more than just the sustenance it provided me.

I live in a society that is all about rushing.  We’re constantly in a hurry, frequently striving to do things as quickly and simply as possible.  When we’re on the go it’s at a rapid pace, because we want instant gratification and prompt results.  This society then gets frustrated when the end is not achieved at the desired pace, and from that we become stressed.

In the process of exploring Pathwalking, I have come to see the value of working on living more in the present, and striving to Just Be.  I am discovering that I don’t need to pay a visit to Sedona or some other fancy place to experience a deeper, richer world, I have the power to more thoroughly experience life every day by just being.

I have been striving to meditate more frequently.  I really want to do this daily, because in meditating I am completely and totally Just Being.

A lot of people believe that meditation is this complicated process where you need to clear your mind, stop thinking, and focus on nothing.  You meditate to still the mind, to calm yourself, yes, but in truth the process of meditation is to Just Be.  In this moment where you have chosen to be still you get comfortable, whether that’s the traditional lotus position or lying down or seated in a chair, and be completely present in the moment, breathing.

I focus on my breathing when I begin my meditation routine.  Putting my focus on my breathing puts me completely in the here and now, and I begin to just be.  As I go through this I sometimes take mental trips to explore my path, to speak with unseen guides, to review what was and what may be, but no matter what my mind may explore for a time I am Just Being.  I always return to focus on my breathing as I practice.

Meditation lets me renew myself, allows me to be in the moment, and to free myself from concerns and worries and stress and everything else negative that I might be working with.  The reason why this is so powerful is that when I meditate, I Just Be.

When we can Just Be, and we are in the moment and in our own heads and in the here-and-now, ultimately we empower ourselves.  We can take the moment and build our lives up, and better choose how we want to live.

Pathwalking is a means to self-empowerment.  In this crazy, often bizarre and confusing world each and every one of us is best capable of making our own lives. Nobody else can live my life for me, nobody else knows my mind and what I want to do and who I want to be…so why would I give away my own empowerment? When I Just Be, I am complete, I am whole, and I am empowered.

Just Be.  It is amazing where this can take us all if we put just a little more time and effort into this notion.

How do you go about just being?

 

GOAL LOG – Week 18:

Diet: I am continuing to write out what I eat daily.  I am working on doing better with eating healthy and eating less.  Had a complete and total cheat day last week, however.

Exercise: Fencing happened twice last week, and I got to the gym twice.  Since acquiring a Fitbit I have been more attentive to walking every day as well.

Writing:  Four days of writing and editing again.  Lot of focus on completing my Steampunk novel.

Meditation: Only got in 2 day of meditation last week.  And I noticed the lack, and need to improve on that.

Gratitude: I wrote out 5 things to be grateful for every day last week.  I am past 30 days in a row of this practice, and I feel really good about keeping up with this process.

 

 

This is the two-hundred twenty eighth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

Available Now: Clouds of Authority – A Vapor Rogues Novel

I am absolutely delighted to announce that my Steampunk novel is available for purchase!

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Clouds of Authority – A Vapor Rogues Novel can be acquired for your Kindle or in paperback.

I am really excited about this series.  While it is primarily Steampunk, I have also worked in elements of sci-fi, Cyberpunk and even fantasy.

This weekend I will be attending the Steampunk Worlds Fair.  On Sunday , May 15, I will be reading a selection from the novel at 10:00am.  I will also be selling and signing copies of the novel as well.

I really think this unique series will speak to a wide audience.  Please read and enjoy – and please review on Amazon if you like it.

Thank you for your continued support!

 

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Positivity: Not Holding Yourself Back

The only thing that holds most of us back is ourselves.

We live in a world that is so full of possibility, opportunity and potential that it’s rather staggering.  Yet we often believe that the world is actually full of lack, or limitations and impossibility.

I am not writing about pie-in-the-sky, rose-colored glasses optimism, I am writing about reasonable, fully accessible options we often overlook or disregard or simply don’t completely see.

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I have been writing for most of my life.  I submitted countless inquiries to publishers and agents and the traditional route to publishing.  It’s been a tough road to hoe, and I really wanted to get an agent and/or a major publisher behind my work.  I still want that.

But I decided that rather than sit on numerous completed works and do nothing, I would use the tools available to me and publish myself.  I could do all the necessary assembly and self-promote, and voila – I am now a published author.

This is not without risks.  Sales and marketing are challenging, and wholly on me.  I have to find and make ways to promote my works and to get my name out there.  But when all is said and done I am not just an aspiring author – I am a published writer.  I may not yet have tens of thousands of sales of my works, but they are out there, and the possibility of further success is in front of me.

I could have chosen to stay the course, continue to write my books and seek an agent and open calls from publishers and focus my attention and intentions there.  However, I decided that while that is still a course of action to pursue, I should also take the opportunity before me to put my works out there and use new methods to achieve the same goal.

I have over the course of my life on more than one occasion held myself back.  I didn’t think I was good enough or I let some fear of the unknown or succeeding or failing stay my hand.  But knowing that the only thing generally holding me back is me, I can choose a different course and do and be more.

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This is an enormous generator of positivity.  I am doing things that make me feel proud and happy and accomplished, and those are positive feelings.  When I feel more positive I feel more confident, and that in turn will let me do the things I want to do with my life and be the person I most wish to be.

Positivity can be found in many unexpected places.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that we are most held back from our desires by our own selves, we can work to overcome self-imposed limitations.  When we see that we are held back by our own self-judgements and beliefs, and we work on finding and taking actions to change them we empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

 

This is the one hundred nineteenth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

In relation to Positivity, check out my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

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Coming Soon: My new Steampunk novel, Clouds of Authority

I am very excited about my newest book!

The first novel of my Steampunk series, called The Vapor Rogues, will be coming out in the next few days.  I am particularly excited about this series, because it is, I believe, a rather unique entity.

Back in 2012 I was given my second opportunity to have a short story published.  Like the first that was published in the anthology Rum and Runestones, the topic was pirates and magic.  Since I was newly into Steampunk, I determined that this would make a great background.

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And so The Vapor Rogues came into being, published in the anthology Spells and Swashbucklers.  I spent quite some time building a really elaborate, unique world for this story, mixing together elements of fantasy and science fiction into the wide open mold that is Steampunk.

As an author, I tend to write out my scenes and my story, and somewhere along the way the world comes together.  But with The Vapor Rogues, I laid out a pretty elaborate world in the beginning.

But just one short story in that world was not going to satisfy the work I put into its construction.

So I began the first novel, and Clouds of Authority was born.  I revisited the characters of The Vapor Rogues short, and expanded not only their story, but the story of the world three years after their first adventure.

 

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Clouds of Authority – A Vapor Rogues Novel:

Over eight hundred years ago, war raged across Amasheer.  In an act of unspeakable violence, a chemical agent was unleashed, poisoning the atmosphere.  To contain the spread of the toxin, the magic wielding, dark skinned Maju-Orcericians created a perpetual cloud layer to hold the poison beneath it.  The Maju-Orcericians took as many people as they could to the highest peaks of the world, above the cloud.  The survivors constructed immense floating cities over the next eight centuries, starting new lives and rebuilding the population…and a new era was begun.

But the eight centuries of stability created and maintained by the Maju-Orcericians is faltering.  Technology has changed only very slowly over the years.  The people have been relying on steam, solar and wind for the majority of their power, and dirigibles and biplanes for travel. The scion of an old family line is employing new technologies, and using them to gain control of multiple floating cities.

A young Maju-Orcerician may represent the next evolutionary step of her people.  Unaware of her importance, she seeks her own destiny.

Stampunkfinal-MW

The prospector crew of the former warship Thunderbolt lead fairly normal lives.  Yet they have in their explorations uncovered secrets from the surface below that could change life for all above the cloud.

The winds of change swirl through the clouds of authority.  The world above the cloud will be forever altered, but no one can predict if it will be for good or ill?

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I have REALLY enjoyed creating and playing in this world.  I think the world I have built for The Vapor Rogues is pretty unique.

What’s different about this Steampunk story from others?

I have worked to blend the Victorian England elements of Steampunk, like the costumes and dirigibles and fantastical steam-powered technologies that never quite got built, with sci-fi elements like cold fusion, floating cities, energy weapons and computer technology, along with the fantasy element of sorcerers wielding unique powers.

Amasheer airship v3

Clouds of Authority is the first book of a planned series.  The second book, Clouds of Destiny, is complete, but as-yet unedited.

Clouds of Authority – A Vapor Rogues Novel will be available for print and Kindle shortly in just a few more days!

 

PS: Special thank you to George LaVigne (for those in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) you know him as Don Orlando Sforza).  I commissioned art work for the cover, and what he delivered exceeded anything I could have hoped for.  Not just one of my favorite fencing buddies, he’s one of my favorite artists, too.

Argent Hedgehog Logo

Pathwalking 227

Pathwalking is in no way a selfish act.

Yes, I am working on living a life of my own choosing.  But I am not doing anything that is selfish in the process.  In fact, I believe that in working to choose and walk my own paths, I am a better listener, friend and confidant.

How can you be doing more for yourself but still suggest you do more for others?

None of this is about quantity.  On the contrary, this is really all about quality.

In choosing my own destiny and walking my own paths I am working on improving the quality of my life and the experiences I am having.  When my life is more as I would want it to be, I feel better about it.  When I feel better, I can offer more to my friends and loved ones because I have more to give.

We are taught that it is important to be selfless.  That we should give as much and then more of ourselves to others because that in turn makes us better.  That we should not keep for ourselves when we can give to others.

And that right there is the biggest problem.  People do not realize then when you are giving from an empty vessel, you’re not giving out much of anything at all.

It’s all well and good to give and give and give, but when you have nothing for yourself, how can you have anything to give away?  This is illogical because it’s an important truth.

We need to have energy, we need to have the ability to cope, we need to have power of our own in order to share or even to give it away.  We need to be complete before we attempt to provide completeness to others.  We need to feel feelings before we share or give them to others.

So Pathwalking is about building your own destiny.  When you are building, you in theory can build plenty of extras, so you would then have more to give.

You have to have something instead of nothing, before you attempt to share or give to others.  It is better for you, and for the people you want to help or otherwise effect when you are not running on empty.

Another important aspect of this is the idea of sacrifice.  In addition to believing that we should be selfless, we are also taught by some that we should sacrifice for the good of others.  We should go without if it means that someone else is not wanting.

This poses several issues.  The first is the implication that the Universe is limited.  That there is only a limited supply of things, whether tangible or intangible.  That there is just enough or that there is not enough of whatever the thing is for everyone.

This is simply untrue.  The Universe is abundant.  It is infinite.  As such, limitations are wholly our own creations.

I am sure an argument can be made about limited amounts of tangible goods.  I believe that in an abundant Universe even the tangible only is limited if we make it so.

The second issue sacrifice poses is the notion that it is better to go without for the good of another.  Is it really?  Because I would think that it doesn’t really do either of us any good for either of us to go without.

Sacrifice does not make us better people.  Why?  Because usually with sacrifice comes resentment.  I had the thing, then I gave it up so YOU could have the thing, and I am perturbed because I don’t know if you are sufficiently grateful for my sacrifice.  Would you do the same if our roles were reversed?

This is a part of human nature.  But it is also why it is folly to give when we haven’t anything TO give, and why sacrifice does not serve.

It is important to strike a balance.  Share.  Give, but not so much that you are sacrificing.  Make choices that will be beneficial to everyone.

I certainly haven’t all the answers, but I think that I can prove Pathwalking is not a selfish act.

Do you give from a place of plenty or from a place of lack?

 

 

GOAL LOG – Week 17:

Diet: I continue tracking my intake, and I’m seeing there is still improvement in my choices and portions.

Exercise: Fencing happened twice last week, plus one trip to the gym and a lot of walking.

Writing:  Four days of writing and editing.

Meditation: I spent at least 6 minutes meditating five days last week.

Gratitude: I wrote out 5 or 6 things to be grateful for every day last week.

 

This is the two-hundred twenty seventh entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

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