An Ongoing Adventure

Good morning and happy Sunday!
Good, and bad news to share today.

The good news—Overall, I had managed to do, what I had set out to do. I published my first novel. (doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance)

Here are a couple of links for those who are interested. The Surrender Game, Kindle version, is $3.99. Working through some technical stuff on the paperback. Hoping this upcoming week, I’ll have that all squared away.

https://author.amazon.com/home

The companion is in review stages.

And, with the companion, comes the bad news.

This entire process has been a trial by fire. Learning the ropes as I go. Making more mistakes than I can count. Only through honesty, and trying to work around the problems, can I get better at this. All I want to do, is be better than I was the day before.

I was moping around the house last night, lost in disappointment. I felt foolish, embarrassed, and a little detached.

Over the last six months, I had been promising the companion story as a “free” read.

Hindsight always being 20/20, I discovered “free” isn’t always an option. My intentions were sound… and the goal remains the same. The companion HAS to be free. There is no gray area with that. I won’t stop until I can make that a reality.

As it stands, for the moment, I got the companion to the lowest possible price.

$.99

The Amazon standard. I couldn’t get around it. It was a kick to the gut.

Moving forward, if folks want to support me and pay the $.99 price, that will be an option.

Or, every 90 days, I can change it to “free” for a five day period. Using the 5 days all at once, or spreading the five days out, over that 90 day time period.

The paperback companion will also be at the lowest price possible until I can find a workaround. If nothing else, this is indeed an ongoing adventure. A never-ending story.

In the meantime, I’ll be researching alternate venues so I can “guarantee” that free read I had been promising all this time.

I may put it on this site as a forever free read, if I can figure out how to pull that off.

Or, an online reading outlet, elsewhere? (If anyone has a good suggestion, I’m all ears). I have to do, what I had initially set out to do, in it’s entirety. I have to adhere to my promises… somehow. I have to maintain my guarantees… somehow. Sometimes it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m indeed in my infancy. No shame. Only looking for good solutions.

Regardless, The Surrender Game is now in the real world and ready to be shared. I hope you enjoy the read, as much as I enjoyed the work.

Please like, share, subscribe, follow, leave a review, check out my author page on Facebook, and hit the follow button on my Amazon Author page to stay up to date.

Be good to each other. Chase the dream. Chat soon.

peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Choo-Choo

The Surrender Game is almost ready.

The train is moving at full speed.

I’ve chewed all my fingernails down to the nubs. Stomach’s rolling. I’m staring at the screen, waiting patiently for this pop-up to disappear so I can move on to the next level, or fix what needs to be fixed.

It’s been about 30 minutes now. I’m certain it takes a ton of time on their end, but, the primary goal was to press the publish button, and while the eBook took no time at all to upload… this one is taking a bit longer. Either way… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

I’m ok with waiting and jumping through the hoops as they appear. What’s another few days at this point?

I did have one small accident while constructing the details page. I’m hoping Amazon connects with me soon, to rectify the oversight. I didn’t notice the mistake until the review screen popped up. (sigh) Live and learn. A bridge to cross.

I told Nancy, my daughters, my beta readers, and friends I wanted to have pressed publish and upload everything, on the eve of my birthday. Establishing a concrete timeline.

Tomorrow (my birthday falling on Thanksgiving this year), I can say I’ve managed to hit all the targets. Everything fell into place, right when it needed to. If “stuff” needs fixing, I’ll fix accordingly, as it’s demanded. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all this… anything can happen.

My birthday is typically just another day of the week, however, this year, I have a four day weekend to look forward to. Tomorrow, after the turkey has been gobbled, I’ll return to the project and see what else needs to be done.

It’s a little exhausting to be honest.

This last week, I had been dragging my feet. I have friends and family who needed help moving, and I’ve been hustling to help them reach their goals so the transition from point A to point B is smooth as possible.

As a result, the fatigue set in earlier in the evening than usual. I couldn’t commit to sitting in the lair, and seeing this through to completion. Making excuses. Finding other things to do. Putting shit off.

Procrastinating.

I finally dug in my heels and made the decision, today, after work. The eBook is in review stages. I’m waiting for the print preview for the paperback. And?…………. that’s where I am in the moment. Waiting and hoping. Hoop jumping.

More updates to come.

Chat soon…

peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on Liberty’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Cover Reveal

This experience has been an absolute blast. I’m having more fun than one person should have.

Seeing everything come to visual life, all of everything coming to life, has been a bit surreal and, to be honest, a little wild when I think about it.

Here are the two covers. I promised I would display them for my peeps after all was said and done. I couldn’t be happier with the outcomes.

I still have a little work to do, bringing everything together, before I’m comfortable committing to completion. Some more research. A bit more reading. Checking out options. Asking a few more questions. Getting all my proverbial ducks in a row.

I was going to block out the introduction blurb, and save it until later, but after I thought about it, I said, “hey, what the Hell. Let’s get this thing going.”

Here is the cover for the companion:

The Surrender Game takes place in the Vega Grid. The citizens of this region have lovingly named it, the Exterior. A distant location, far from the Milky Way… far from… everything, at the outskirts of the known universe. The Exterior is a place in space where my mind likes to take residence.

Intendant Bell and I have become quite close over the years.

And I can’t wait to introduce her.

All art credit goes to Vitaly, http://vs.darkfolio.com/

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on Liberty’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Battlefield

Friday night.

Raining.

Just the way I like it.

I know it’ll be another early night when I decide to crash. And, once again, I’ll probably be up around 1 a.m. wondering why I’m fully rested. In fact, I could probably put a wager on it.

(shrug) I’ll deal with that when it happens.

I don’t spend much money on myself anymore, other than food, coffee, and random necessities. Wading through the mandates, and preparing for additional life altering restrictions, as a new “homeowner”, with a family, forces me to evaluate all priorities, and ensure my house is in order.

It’s always at the forefront of thought. It’s a part of my thinking which I can’t shut down.

Never fear driven. Just, knowing how the game is played, and how to strategically place my pieces on the board. I like a good, well rounded game. However… when the rules are always changing, and ALWAYS in constant flux, makes the game harder to play.

Constant adaptation.

Constant planning.

Constant restructuring.

My brain never turns off.

It’s a psychological battlefield out there.

Tonight, however, I plan on turning off the mind for a few hours, and delving into something I didn’t think I would invest time in again. I couldn’t help myself. One of those nagging splinters I couldn’t remove.

Once I saw it I said, “Yes. I have to buy it.”

You need a break.

I asked Nancy if she minded if I occupied the Livingroom for a couple of hours and of course she said no problem. She’s comfortable in the master bedroom watching her shows and tinkering with home decorations.

Once I settle into the couch, kick off the socks, kick on the ceiling fan, and activate the system, I plan on getting lost in Assassins Creed, Valhalla, for a short time. I remember watching the trailer awhile back, and something about it resonated with me.

I couldn’t resist the purchase.

I can’t play too long. Staring at TV screens for lengthy periods of time bothers my eyes, and I have to take frequent breaks. But, I figured I could invest in some down time, for one rainy Friday night, and test my mettle on the Viking battlefield.

I hope all is well in your realm. I’ve had a couple of conversations this evening about the cover art and subtle details, and all appears to be happening just the way it’s supposed to happen.

More updates to come.

Be good to each other. Follow the dream. Chat soon.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Dangerous

Took a personal day today.

Slept in a little. Played with the dog. Tidied up the living space.

Then, I treated myself to a diner breakfast around brunch time.

I had the home to myself and brought the chow back to my comfy spot. Sat on the couch, and gobbled down my morning meal. Kicked on a show I’ve seen a million times, and fell asleep wrapped up in a thin blanket, under the ceiling fan.

A glorious day off.

Woke up around two. Took Zoey out for another property stroll, and then had a wild idea. One of those gut speaking moments.

I changed out of my “bum around the house” clothing, grabbed my wallet, and meandered next door to my local grocers.

It had to happen. I haven’t made it in years. It didn’t come out perfect, but I managed to whip up the best tasting batch of chocolate covered Rice Krispy squares I’ve ever had.

Dangerous. Yet, oh so scrumptious.

I’m hoping they last throughout the weekend… but… highly doubtful. As I’m writing this, I’m scarfing down a third square.

Another short post. All is well. After some additional dialogue, I’ve come to find out both covers will be coming back. I was thinking just the main novel’s cover for now, but I was happily wrong.

More updates to follow. I’ll keep everyone in the loop as the weekend approaches.

If you don’t hear from me for a couple/few days after that… it’s because I’m trying to get all my shit together. This entire process is quite the undertaking, and flying solo, has it’s own set of challenges.

The moment the art is in my possession, I’ll post.

Be good to each other. Follow the dream. Chat soon.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Countdown

1:30am.

Wide awake.

I told Nancy I was going to sprawl out and chill around 8:30 last night and zone out to something on the squawk box, possibly pass out cold, and I suppose that’s what I get for thinking I’d sleep soundly through the entire night.

Crash early, wake early.

Par for course.

My mind just… won’t… allow me more than 5 hours of slumber.

I’m fine with that. Just something I deal with.

I find the middle of the night to be peaceful. A quiet home. The occupants are sleeping upstairs, and I’m down in the lair chair with roughly five hours before I have to head off to the jobby-job. I decided against the coffee this time around. While the sweet, sweet elixir of life is screaming at me to brew up a batch, a small part of me still believes I can return to the dream world… in a couple of hours… for at least a couple of hours.

Coffee might screw all that up.

After taking Zoey out for her midnight property patrol, I decided to write this short installment and get my peeps up to speed.

Well… I suppose the moment I’ve been waiting for, is finally here. Got the message yesterday.

The countdown begins.

Initially, my blood turned to ice. One of those moments where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to remain seated, or pace around and ponder.

So, I did both. I sat in my office chair at work, staring out the window for a time watching the few remaining leaves fall from the tree branches to the road, chewing the side of my thumbnail, lost in thought, knee bouncing under the desk, then, I pulled myself to standing and paced around the building. The reality of it all was setting in.

Based on the last message received, my cover art will be complete sometime today, or tomorrow. I’m literally on the edge of my seat overflowing with giddy anticipation and doing my best not to explode.

The completion of this project has been years in the making. Years.

And, quite possibly, some of the best years of my life.

A truly humbling experience. Educational. Emotional.

A lonely journey, but a trek through the wilderness I had to undertake. I can’t recall how many times I muttered under my breath, “Can you really do this?”

Why can’t you?

Good point.

The only thing stopping you, is you.

While the first part of the adventure is near it’s end, the work has only really just begun.

I’m unsure if both pieces of artwork are near completion, or just the art for the Surrender Game, and the Companion cover is coming a bit later. I’m taking it all one step at a time. I know he’s quite busy and I don’t want to poke and prod too much. I must allow the process to run it’s course, and ultimately work with the information as I get it.

I don’t have any deadlines, or time frames to adhere to, so I’m taking everything in strides; literally one day at a time.

Regardless if it’s today, sometime tomorrow, or this weekend, the final countdown has begun.

I still feel as though I have a lot to mull over, more reading to hammer through, double checking everything (again, for the 800th time), looking for anything which might put me over a barrel, hoping everything on the checklist is marked off…

I’m thinking a cover reveal might be on the agenda. If that’s something you want to see, prior to the release, just hit the like button, or leave a comment. I’ll provide what the audience wants.

And, I suppose that’s all in the tank for tonight.

Be safe out there. Be good to each other. Follow the dream. Chat soon.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Lighthouse

I’m not much of a complainer. I like my life.

Though never easy, I can say I did ok with what I was given. I make decent lemonade from bitter lemons.

I snatched up opportunities as I saw them, harmed no one along the way, and transformed negatives into solid positives. What’s the sense in complaining? Serves no practical purpose. Being angry at that, which I cannot control?

What’s the point?

Just personal energy projected in the wrong direction.

I need my energy.

I have people who rely on me.

I refuse to allow any parasitical, modern day vampires, to drain my life force and kill my spirit.

However… sometimes I can get a little down in the dumps. Today, was one of those days.

I always bounce back. No worries there. That level-headed thinking, and breathing, always gets me out of a jam. Once I’m regrounded to the Earth, I can seem to turn it all around for the better.

Since graduating from the local school of hard-knocks I always seem to manage fairly, through difficult times. I suppose it’s one of my subtle super powers.

We all have a super power. Mine just happens to be the ability to get flushed down a toilet, and come out the other side feeling pretty good.

I’ll take it.

Something had been bugging me all day and got me bummed out. A little splinter I couldn’t dig from my mind. No matter how much I focused, I couldn’t locate the irritation to remove it. I knew it was there, but I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t even scratch at it.

It festered, and spread, and around lunch time, I found myself stuck in a traffic jam.

The endless line of cars, added fuel to the growing fire inside my head.

I was frustrated to no end, yet, couldn’t put my finger on it. I live in Maine. Traffic jams, long lines, and road construction is part of the true “Mainah” experience.

When I returned home, the internet was out.

The bills are all paid… just… no interwebs to explore, and work with.

Must be something on their end.

That didn’t help my problem one bit.

I took Zoey out for a neighborhood stroll, and when I got back to the lair, the splinter extracted itself all on its own, and once it was gone, everything fell into place and the bulb flashed back on.

The fog lifted and I was able to think clearly again.

Not having access to the internet, provided a handful of choices: Chores, watching DVD’s, a solo drive, yardwork, nothing at all, another walk, taking a nap, or, opening one of the various folders on my desktop and revisiting other projects. Projects, which didn’t require the internet.

The sequel folder, smack dab in the middle of the screen, stood out like a flashing neon sign, and begged me for attention.

Now, those who are familiar with some of my blog posts of the past (and perhaps those few who are close to me), I’m one of those morons who looks for symbols, and numerology. Signs, hints, clues, and dots of light blinking within the dark areas. I actively seek the lighthouses among the storms. I find my focus drawn to these life “clues” and make attempts to interpret them in a manner of my choosing.

Just a silly thing I do.

When the sequel started whispering, I listened.

When it started screaming at me, I opened it up.

Once I hit page thirty of Volume II, my eyes snapped open wide, my stomach fluttered, and I found that thing I was looking for. The source of the splinter. One, teeny, tiny, trivial item which needed to be rectified.

But, if you change it… lots will then have to change.

Awesome. Let’s do this shit.

Time to kill some darlings again.

I worked through the sequel for a time, about 90 minutes, and now, I feel better. Those problem areas, and tweaks, will be an ongoing process until I feel 100% confident, but as always, it’ll be work worth doing. In order to stay with the flow and tone of the Surrender Game, those little changes are a must.

When I reached that comfy spot within the process, I exhaled hard, hit the save button, reclined in the lair chair, and closed my eyes.

When my notifications started rattling off, one after another, that weird fluttering returned.

The internet fired back to life. Right on cue…

As if it was waiting patiently for me to finish, before allowing me access.

Probably nothing to look into, too deeply. Completely random occurrence.

Or, perhaps some strange entity was hovering around, to help me figure it all out, and guide me in the right direction.

(shrug) Probably random happenstance… but damn sure fun to think about sometimes.

That’s all in the tank for now.

Be well. Chat soon.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

For the People

Having been involved in this blog writing exercise, for as long as I have now, I’ve come to understand some interesting things about the process.

Humbling moments. Real, special moments.

I started this in mid 2016. No clue what was happening, or what I was doing, and perhaps the same can be said today. With every installment, I always questioned if I was doing the right thing.

Always wondering if readers would enjoy it. Hoping, praying, strangers would like me, and what I have to say.

What are people getting from my musings? What is my message? Do I even have a message?

What exactly are you trying to do??

In the beginning, over 250,000 words and 150 posts ago, I made a choice, to deviate from societal norms, and with a blog platform, I had decided to tell a story with my free time. How I got from where I was, to where I am today.

A lengthy, slow burn tale.

I had strange elements intermixed throughout: Fantasy, dreams, made up characters, alternate dimensions, out-of-body-experiences, trauma, correlation/synchronicity, other worlds, hard life lessons, and my hyperactive imagination, was the driving force to everything I did.

Today… that’s all different. Yeah… I’m still “out there”.

No getting around that.

And, if you’ve stuck around this long, or are a recent subscriber, I have to guess you’re a little “out there” too.

The more the merrier. Welcome aboard. I’m actually a little overwhelmed by the new, and ongoing support.

You’re all rock stars as far as I’m concerned. Thank you for everything.

I was once told, “not everyone is going to enjoy your work. Not everyone is going to read your content. Not everyone will like what you have to offer. You will have a very specific audience. Focus on your audience.”

Truer words have never been spoken. A tough pill to swallow initially, but, it’s a truth I now hold close to my chest. I’m ok with that. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am an acquired taste.

Fantastic.

I’d rather be unique, and have some individuality, than be like everyone else.

Having that knowledge, knowing not everyone will enjoy what I do, agree with what I say, or read what I have to write, makes the job that much easier.

Nancy and I were having dinner and she asked if I had an evening agenda, or some work to do.

“Of course. I have a blog post to write.”

“What’s the topic tonight?”

“Don’t know yet, doesn’t matter the topic.”

What does the audience want?

A question I can’t really answer. The only thing I can ascertain, is the audience of this content, wants…

… my ramblings, my late night rants, my coffee fueled esoteric philosophies. They want information about my novel in brief snippets and random updates, and hear about my level of excitement tossed in from time to time.

I believe, in this day and age, people want “real”.

As much as I opposed the idea (wanting so badly to be “different”), I came to realize people wanted to hear about the day to day operations. They want short and sweet. Something simple and quick. Perhaps, they may even desire a hint of inspiration now-and-again.

A random online stranger saying, “I believe in you. You CAN do this. If I can… anyone can.”

That may just be the few words someone needs to hear, to get through a tough day.

It was the words that got me over a difficult bump in the road. Just one person telling me I can do it, if I put my mind to it.

So with that said, I love you guys. You have given me so much to look forward to. Each and every day I wake up and my first thought before beginning the daily routine, “I can’t wait to get home, fire up the coffee maker, light up the incense, and put a post out there. I wonder what it will be this time?… Could be literally anything.”

I was inside social media for about ten minutes this evening before I gave up. Not worth my time. It’s a circus in there. I’ll just be glad when the advertising is over with, and all the signs are gone from the yards.

The world is waiting with bated breath. Following the agonizingly slow results as they creep in.

Hints and rumors flying around. People lashing out at others. Friends becoming enemies, enemies becoming friends, and family members butting heads.

All this chaos and madness, and here I am, in my little corner of the world, seriously contemplating how much cheese to add to my pasta salad.

It’s so difficult sometimes.

“Too much cheese can’t be all that great.”

But it tastes so damn good.

All is on track with the novel. I believe I’ll have the art sometime within the next two weeks.

After that… Warp speed ahead.

That’s all in the tank for tonight.

Be good to each other. Chat soon.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Breaking Point, Part II

I was feeling like a million bucks today.

Calm.

Satisfied with the days events.

I had all my Jobby-job responsibilities completed, ahead of schedule. Was looking forward to the evening at home. Felt productive. Relaxed. Comfortable.

That always seems to be the problem, right? Feeling comfortable.

Hopped into the car after my shift, anticipating my short drive to pick up the kiddo. Grabbed some groceries on the way there.

The trip home was a blast. We always have great chats during the car rides.

On the way there, however, the wind was whipping across the side-roads, and the interstate. Maelstroms of dead leaves flying out, from within the tree line, obstructing view.

At times, a little unexpected.

My little car shifting side-to-side with the wind, as I decided to reduce speed.

Made it home unscathed thankfully. Unloaded the groceries, caught up with Nancy’s day, gave the kiddo a hug before she retreated to her comfy place, and went back outside to check for anything I overlooked, and to lock up the car. As I was closing the trunk lid, something captured my eye in the periphery.

My face heated, and my stomach dropped to the pavement.

I lowered the bag to the ground.

No, no, no, no, NO!!!!

This can’t be happening.

My legs weakened and a wave of nausea hit me.

I slumped into the side of the car, lowered my chin to my chest, covered my face and started cursing under my breath.

It didn’t happen to my neighbors. I even walked to the next driveway, beyond the intersection, just to make sure.

Nope… it only happened to me.

After all that work.

Upon close inspection, it appears as though the wind was not on my side today. Every leaf in the neighborhood, and probably beyond, decided to migrate, congregate, and blanket my yard en masse.

Everywhere. The whole of the property.

I looked across the road… nothing. Down the street? Nothing.

Just my lawn.

I must have angered something.

Feeling like a million bucks again, though. The leaves are staying put and the rake is nestled away for the winter season. I’ll just allow the wind to continue to do it’s thing.

I woke from sleep around 3:30 this morning, so I’ll probably call it an early night tonight. Unless, something truly interesting happens.

I can still hear that wind whipping around outside. I’m hoping the leaves will disperse, and travel elsewhere overnight. Fingers are crossed.

Just a short ramble/rant tonight. Might do some light reading before crash o’clock. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Everything is still the same, and all is well.

Be good to each other. Chat soon.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

84 Miles

It was the perfect day for a road trip.

Nancy and I have a fondness for historic “antiquely” towns, and Maine has a ton.

After the chores and workie-work responsibilities yesterday, I had that itch to escape the home and travel to the coast. Time to be near the water again. Time for another nature cleansing. Five months of winter coming right up. Better get it, while the getting is good.

Nancy will drop everything she’s doing to take a road trip with me. She’ll wake from a dead sleep to drive south, or north. We have a blast out and about, together, and after almost ten years, we still have yet to have an argument.

The scenery in our area is quite stunning, and she loves to explore the small wood carving shops, “Made in Maine” locations, consignment and Hippie shops, the antique stores, and see our state’s nature and history

Forty-two miles to Camden/Rockland. Not a bad ride. Peaceful and picturesque.

Upon arriving at our destination we quickly found a two hour parking spot, gathered up our walking provisions, stuffed a mask in our pockets for those businesses that demanded face coverings, locked the doors, and we proceeded to walk our walk toward familiar locations.

It was a nightmare.

We lasted fifteen minutes.

Now, I understand most of the population is terrified of their own shadow at the moment, I get it. Fear is a huge motivator and it grows and spreads like an infection. We’re always “told” what to be afraid of.

I am not impervious to the fear tactic. I, better than anyone, know the debilitating effects of fear. When I was twelve, I was “diagnosed” with a rare blood cancer and was given six months to live.

Want to discuss fear? I’m your Huckleberry.

However, I don’t allow fear to dictate my day-to-day anymore. I know that puts me in opposition of the crowd, and that’s ok. I thrive outside the masses, far away from group think.

Six foot social distance? Sure, no problem. I don’t prefer closeness to strangers as it is. Six feet, or further, is something I do anyway. Easy.

I don’t like congested crowds. I prefer intimate, small groups.

Mandated masks inside stores? I get it. I’ll slap one on, cause I require supplies and provisions, and I have the trip mastered to less than ten minutes of shopping.

Outside? Wide open? Grassy parks, exploring tall monuments, and strolling along the wide cobblestone paths? Biking the streets, or hiking the trails? Sitting on a bench gazing out to the water and watching the boats? Walking a sidewalk?

Hate me if you will… feel free not to press the like button… but… not in my world.

The mask remains in the pocket.

So, when we entered the silent, slow moving, hunched over, endless swarm of mask wearers, walking outside, dragging their feet across the cross-walks, “avoiding each other like the plague” walking wide berths around passerby’s, while strolling the cobblestone paths, and sitting in the gazebos, and relaxing on the grassy areas, taking pictures of each other instead of the beauty all around them… it was like waltzing into another dimension.

None of it felt right. There was an oddness to the environment which made my skin crawl and give me waves of shivers from my scalp to the tops of my feet.

The statues, and figurines displayed in shop windows, had surgical masks covering the faces. Each sign hanging from every store had mask advertising, done up all pretty and decorative.

Fear sells, who’s buying?

We reached one point along the street, and the human herd splayed out, and dispersed away from us.

Like, we were a rock, thrown into a pond. The people ripples floated away.

Hand in hand, Nancy and I stopped dead, looked at each other, ducked into a narrow, empty side alley, and had the talk.

“You feeling what I’m feeling?”

She said, “I was going to say something, but didn’t want to upset you.”

“Upset me?”

“You drove all this way…”

I laughed. “We’ve driven 70 miles before, one way, just to have a homemade donut and a cup of hot chocolate. You wanna get out of here?”

She nodded, and we proceeded to about-face and vacate the town. There was nothing more to do. There was nothing there for us.

About five miles into the return trip, she says, “one of those homemade donuts sounds pretty good.”

“You read my mind.”

A mile later, a pastry shop pops into view like a lighthouse in a storm.

We pulled in, and bought $13 worth of junk food for the late night munchies and the drive home. Eclairs. No-bake cookies. A few varying other pastries.

All in all, it was an 84 mile round trip, worth taking. The events were unpredictable, but the outcome is what was important.

Upstairs, in her comfy place, Nancy settled in for the evening, crashed a little early, and I returned to my lair and my characters, downstairs.

Perhaps, that’s why I enjoy spending so much time with my imaginary friends. No matter how many times I dive back into their minds, or invest energy in their lives, I’ve come to very specific conclusions about the cast of characters I have created.

A few characters, in particular.

They fear nothing.

Maybe, that’s why I spend so much time with them. It’s more fun being fearless.

Anyway, enough of that drivel. Life moves forward. Another work week coming up.

Not much has changed with the novel. Another couple of weeks, perhaps? Three? I’ll know more as those days approach.

I’ll continue to post updates as I receive them.

Thanks for the ongoing support. Welcome, to the new folks who have joined. I appreciate you.

Love Ya’ll. Chat soon. Be good to each other.

Peace

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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