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Happy New Year! and Resolutions That Work

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great 2017 or at least survived it and look forward to a wonderful 2018.  😀 

Like the blog itself, this will be an eclectic post. Often, the posts here are about my thoughts or opinions–it is my blog after all.  😉 In 2018, we’ll try to reach out and involve others more. What are friends for after all?  😛

Here’s what’s in this New Year’s first post: 

  • A thank you to the friends I grew closer to and valued more, as well as some new ones who I discovered or who discovered me
  • Accomplishments we have made in 2017
  • A blessedly brief reminder of the most frequent topic here in 2017–Trump and the GOP (Greedy Old Plutocrats)
  • A very short synopsis of and link to a post about resolutions that has graced Views before–the point being to regard them as real as you want them to be and how to make them happen
  • My own goals and determinations for 2018–in other words, not what I wish for but what I will do [if you want to skip ahead, it’s at the end of this longish post]

Thank you

Getting more engaged with more fellow writers–a resolution that I didn’t make expressly clear in my own mind but succeeded at (somewhat) in 2017. So thank you to all that visited here or elsewhere among my blogs and websites. We helped one another this year. I will extend myself more in 2018. The value of that became evident to me as I launched The Fountain short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland.

So thank you to Debby Gies, Sally Cronin, Chris “The Story Reading Ape” Graham, Nicholas Rossis, June Randolph, Tina Frisco, Byron Edgington  and many more. For those I didn’t name, please don’t feel slighted; the memory isn’t what it used to be and time is running short to finish this. 🙄 Many of you launched new books this year as well. I will try harder next year to be of more help to you. I know the 80-20 prescription–I just need to follow it.  😉

2017 Revisited–i.e., mostly victories 

  • Lost more than 23% of body weight (nearly 60 pounds), substantially exceeding the goal I set
  • Exercised more consistently than ever
  • Unexpected bonus–the change in our eating habits that made weight loss possible also saved big bucks on the grocery bill!
  • As noted above, published a short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland
  • Made more connections with other writers
  • Made more sales of my books (thankfully, I’m retired and don’t need to sell books to meet expenses, hahahaha)
  • Gave away many more books than ever before, see above 😎
  • My wife and I made a trip back east to visit family and friends that we greatly enjoyed, while the traffic and human congestion reminded us why we don’t miss the DC suburbs
  • Victories were many and defeats few–most of the latter were minor home maintenance issues which themselves were covered by warranties (hurrah)

Trump and the GOP

Just do a search and you’ll find 30 or so posts on them, just last year with more in 2016. I will try to restrain myself to one per month in 2018. Let’s do the first one right now–very short.

  • Let’s make a new fairy tale for the 21st century–“The President Has No Sense.” Today, the GOP sycophants all praise the mindless Trump as if he has wisdom. We all know differently. His tweets reveal the truth.
  • David Rothkopf said this morning on MSNBC, “It’s not hyperbole to say Trump has lost it.” Not hyperbole, just mistaken. Trump couldn’t lose what he never had. How can anyone run a casino into bankruptcy?
  • Steve Bannon says the June Trump Tower meeting with Donald Junior et al, was “treasonous” and that Mueller will “crack him like an egg on national TV”. Quite possible.
  • Consider Junior’s own words, there are people “at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.” Exactly, people like himself, his father and other members of the White House–not to mention the members of Congress who want to destroy the FBI and other institutions. Trump and many his supporters in the GOP would rather America be like Russia.
  • Do you suppose Trump will throw “his own son” under the bus during the Mueller investigation? Take a close look at the jet black hair and the face on “junior.” Was there a sperm donor way back when? Junior somewhat resembles Ivana, but not his supposed father. May make a difference when the fecal matter hits the fan!
  • Did you happen to watch the Bill Murray classic “Scrooged” this holiday season? We did and couldn’t miss this line while Mr. Cross (Murray) found himself below a street grate with an ice-covered Herman (Michael J. Pollard)–“Where are we, Trump Tower?” This movie was released in 1988! Trump Tower opened five years before!
  • To paraphrase Ivanka, there’s a cold place in hell for people who rob from the poor to give to the rich–and saddle grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a massive deficit to pay for. They’re the Greedy Old Plutocrats who passed the “Tax Scam and Millionaire and Up Wealth Enhancement Act of 2017.”
  • Finally, who has the smaller hands and shorter fingers–Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump? We know the latter is worried about the size of his manhood by the tweet about nuclear buttons don’t we? Maybe there’s been more than one sperm donor along the way, eh?

Make Your Resolutions Come True

  • Don’t call them resolutions–call them determinations
  • Make an action plan to attain or achieve them
  • Execute the plan
  • Monitor your progress
  • Forgive yourself for occasional shortfalls
  • Never give up
  • Reread my Resolutions Revisited post from last January–I planned on losing 36 pounds–I got there by the end of July and kept on losing.

2018 Goals, Determinations, Plans

  • Reconnect with our daughter (a blindsided estrangement that happened late summer of 2017–at her instigation)
  • Lose 30 more pounds and tone up the muscles on a home gym
  • Connect with many more fellow writers and bloggers–to support them and gain wisdom from them; I’ll flesh out some target numbers of subscriptions, follows, etc. by February 1st to make this real
  • Make more effective use of Goodreads
  • Read at least 24 books and post reviews of them
  • Transition from LinkedIn to Facebook mid year and retain 500+ connections
  • Publish a novel, The Vacation, for the 2018 holiday season–at 35,000 words of a first draft I have a long ways to go!
  • Post less political stuff and more writing tips here–subject to the winds of change  🙄
  • Continue posting snippets of works in progress on John’s Writing
  • Continue publishing the Eagle Peak Quarterly
  • Take at least one great vacation, location TBD, and a few short excursions
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New on the Shelves–The Fountain Featured on Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore

In case you missed this wonderful feature from Sally Cronin on her website, Smorgasbord–Variety is the spice of life, here’s a re-blog of what she said about The Fountain and my first book, Waiting for Westmoreland.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – The Fountain Short Story Collection by John Maberry

Welcome to John Maberry who is joining the authors on the shelves in the bookstore with two books.. One is his memoir Waiting for Westmoreland and the second, The Fountain, his recently released short story collection.

About Waiting for Westmoreland

Surviving poverty and the deaths of loved ones, the author remains hopeful as he exits childhood. then comes the draft that sends him to Vietnam. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, he seeks answers. College courses are intriguing but offer no solutions. Eventually, hope returns in the form of a life philosophy that comes from a chance encounter at a party. It’s all about cause and effect. Events happen not by chance but as a result of karma. Unseen connections have surprising consequences.

This knowledge comes in the nick of time, as he faces his most serious situation since the perils of Vietnam, the threat of death from a prospective father-in-law. He must take responsibility for the matter, despite being unaware of the underlying reason for it, reform himself and seek only her father’s happiness.

One of the reviews for the Paperback book

I’m apparently about the same age as the author and am always curious to hear someone else’s experience of the times I’ve lived in. In this case, Mr. Maberry and I couldn’t have lived more disparate lives if we’d tried. I don’t think I could have survived Mr. Maberry’s life and I appreciate his sharing the way his inner life as well as his circumstances have unfolded to this point. He survived things that have only scared me from a distance and he has achieved things I’ve only dreamt about from a distance. I’m so impressed with the way he has developed his life. I’m especially delighted to have read his account of his experience of the ’60s and ’70s, two decades I didn’t fit into very well.

Like Forrest Gump, Mr. Maberry made me re-evaluate that era in a more favorable light. In fact, this book made me re-evaluate a lot of things. Even if this were a big book, I would highly recommend it. It would be worth your time. But it’s a small book and reads very fast. No matter what your own experience in life, I think you will find this book interesting and impressive, and it may just lead to a whole new life for you, a new awakening.

A review for the Kindle version

Waiting for Westmoreland is an excellent memoir of John Maberry’s life as a kid growing up in the Midwest, Vietnam War vet, ant-war protestor, law student, pot smoker, and devout Buddhist. The author offers a poignant and eloquent account of the events that shaped his life leading to his enlightenment through Buddhism. I was particularly moved and educated by his observations about the politics involved in the unpopular, yet long-lasting Vietnam War.

The quality of the author’s writing is excellent – it is descriptive and clear. This independently-published work rivals the quality of work produced by the professional publishing houses. I found the story fascinating and it held my interest throughout.
NOTE: I’m posting this review on the Kindle edition because that is what I purchased although I noticed that the paperback has several other reviews.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

Also by John Maberry released on 10th July

The Fountain and six more fantasy & Scifi stories.

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman. A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.” A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.” A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.” What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson. A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.” Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.

One of the early reviews for the book

If you enjoy short stories in fantasy/sci-fi genres, and stories that make you think then look no further than Maberry’s tales which will engross you with stories about karma, greed, time travel, aliens and muses.

In this book you will read stories about: a dog with extra sensory perception, a writer battling his own sub-conscience, a wizard who wonders if the spells he casts for others will work for himself, a man who experiences 2 lifetimes by opening a closet door. These are just a few of the stories to stimulate your reading appetite.

Maberry is a prolific writer who knows how to keep a reader captivated till the end and finishes his stories with an unexpected twist. This book also offers an excerpt to the author’s next upcoming novel. As in true Maberry style, he leaves us hanging in anticipation with more to come. A great read!

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-more-fantasy-sci-fi-stories-ebook/dp/B071KLTTJR

Read all the reviews and buy both bookshttps://www.amazon.com/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

Follow John Maberry on Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1210538.John_Maberry

Continue reading New on the Shelves–The Fountain Featured on Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore

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