The Little Troubles in Life

Howdy folks. Again I’ve returned. I’m sure you’re all surprised and all that.

So, another week, and more writing complete. My latest book is a quarter of the way finished, at least the first draft. Neat. I’m quite happy with it, and there’s some stuff in it that I quite enjoy. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on my own, writing wise, and it’s nice to see, at least to my eyes, I’ve still got it. It’s already about 5% longer than the other book I was working on a few years back, and I’m much happier with where it’s at than I was that book. The old one, when I go back to it, will likely have to be almost completely re-written. It’s a rambling mess, and has very little direction. Though when I went back to look at it I was at least happy to see some of the more visual descriptions I was using. Something I think I was lacking in the first few books I wrote. So at least it has that going for it.

And here is where I complain a little again. Nothing to do with books I’m reading this time, more to do with car trouble… again. So a couple weeks back my poor little beetle lost a battle with another pothole. Nothing too serious, but it did pop a tire. Unfortunately the spare tire wasn’t holding air either, so I was without a car for a couple of days. They apparently didn’t have the tires in stock I needed. But luckily a loaner car was available, but just not that first day. So I lost out on a whole day of work since I couldn’t make it in. So with both loosing those hours and the cost of repair, that was a bit of a hit to my bank account.

The next thing that happened in the amazing adventure of my life was the refrigerator went out. The request for repair was sent in, and a message left on the apartment’s emergency maintenance line. Sadly they were apparently having phone problems and didn’t get it until the next day. So I lost a bit of sleep, I was awake for 24hrs in a row, and I lost quite a bit of food. Another hit to the old bank account.

But there’s a bit of good news. The co-author is mostly better and we were able to do a bit of editing on the book. We’re more than halfway through, so we are mostly back on track. They made an attempt earlier in the week, but all the coughing had us quiting early. We only got a few paragraphs in. But this last session we knocked out a few chapters, so that’s nice.

There’s always something going on it seems. But change, good or bad, is the only constant we can be assured of. I just hope more good things start to happen. If things keep going this way for much longer I’m going to find myself at a loss.

Heh, maybe I should work on my patreon, or set up something else. Maybe even push my other books a bit more. Not that many are out there who can help little old me, but I appreciate those that do. Perhaps I’m just stubbornly working on writing too much, and should do other things that bring in a bit of cash. But I guess my passion for writing wins in most arguments with myself. I hope that my selfishness doesn’t get me into too much trouble.

In the end I just want to be content if not happy, and with where I am at now I am. If not a little poorer than I could be otherwise. I hope you all have such a passion, and can make enough to be contented.

Have a great week, and perhaps make a little time for your interests. It really does make life worth living when you have something you like doing.

TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: The book is 60% edited. And I’m 25% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

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Nerding out about anime, and talking of work

It’s been another week since the internet was installed. I’ve watched so much YouTube just catching up on my favorite channels, but I apparently couldn’t put aside the anime I was watching.

I’m in season 3 of Ranma 1/2 again, and I’m still entertained. I recall at some point it all seemed repetitive, but so far I’ve not reached that again. The quality of the VHS’s isn’t great but they’re good enough for me to enjoy the show. It’s been years since I’ve wanted to watch an english dub of an anime, but the cast they have for this show is actually quite good. The only other shows I can think of that I would want to watch dubbed are Tenchi Muyo, and Trigun. Everything else seems better to me in Japaneese. Though I am partial to the original Dub of DBZ, and it happens to have been done by the same company that did the Ranma 1/2 dub, so I suppose that’s no surprise. Ocean Productions has done a fair number of good dubs, and they will always have a place in my heart for their work.

Speaking of work, it was yet another week of hard labor. I’m not complaining, but my body is rather more sore than last week. However I’m feeling stronger most days, though I may reek of Icy-Hot many mornings. This is one of my favorite jobs in recent memory, I just hope to be able to continue there for a long time. I’ve no plans of leaving, but life has a way of kicking you down sometimes. I like who I work with, and I feel I do an excellent job at what I do. If at any point I don’t it’s mostly because I’m waiting for direction. Not anyone’s fault there, and luckily I can mostly move around at will to make sure everything runs smoothly, at least to my own eyes.

Now onto what perhaps some of you are interested in hearing, my book. Yes I’m working on it, and in fact I was able to complete another chapter of editing today. Mostly during the week I’m far to exhausted to want to do much but eat dinner and go to sleep. So it appears Saturdays, when there isn’t weekend overtime, may be my only chance to do so. However you’ll be happy to know I’ve someone who is going through some of my own, and others, edits. They haven’t gotten very far, mostly because they somehow work more hours than a human should, but at least they got some looked through. Looking over her shoulder I saw there were a number of things she changed/corrected, and some questions marked in red. I’m going to let her do her thing until she gets through a bit more. Then I’ll jump on it and try to make things even more palatable.

The only thing stressing me out is some of the bills. I’m making money, (yay), but at times it seems I’m spending more than I should. I’d give you a list, but that’d be tedious. Luckily one worry seems to have been alleviated. There was a sound of running water in the bathroom, but the first bill wasn’t very much. At least it’s not this apartments problem. I’m guessing it just happens to be the sound of the entire building’s drain behind my wall. Fingers crossed that it isn’t something more problematic.

With that I leave you to your week, unless I come back sooner. Have a wonderful one!

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: I’m now ready for chapter 9 out of 13 in my edits. Another editor has stepped up, and things are moving forward.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
― Anonymous

Steven Oaks

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Selling Used Books

Money is getting tight here, so I decided to pack a few random things up and see if I could get some money at Half-Price Books. I had three large boxes full of old books, newish books, hardbacks, classics, CD’s, and DVD’s. I brought them to the counter, and was told to wait while they appraised all I brought.

I walked around the store for about an hour. I saw GRRM had a few books out that I hadn’t seen before, those not in the Song of Ice and Fire series, but mostly things I wasn’t interested in. Heck they had a few e-readers for sale at a decent price, and I thought that was neat.

Eventually I was called back, as my offer was ready. The lady who apparently been looking through what I had brought told me she would give me $30 for everything. This shocked me, since I have brought things there before. Much fewer at the time, and things that were not as valuable, and received over $100.

I looked at her and said the DVDs alone would be worth more than that. She asked if I would accept the offer, and I said no. I packed everything back up, and she even helped with a box. I loaded them back up into the car, and went in search of another place to unload these items.

I wound up at Disk Replay. They only accept games and movies, so I lugged in the 10 or 20 DVD’s that I had, and after about half an hour, they offered me $57 dollars. Not horrible. I was able to buy groceries with this, and I’m well satisfied with them.

If only there were a place that wanted to buy my books for a decent price, instead of the insultingly low amount of money Half-Price offered. I had somewhere around 100 books in those boxes, let alone those DVD’s and CD’s. I don’t think I’ll be going back there any time soon. I know it wasn’t the lady’s fault, she was probably following their current policy, but I still felt very frustrated and upset most of yesterday because of it.

Perhaps I’ll just have to set up an Amazon seller account. I’ve some very wonderful things in my collection that are worth so much more than $30. This will be more inconvenient, but at least I can be assured that I’m not getting screwed over.

What I’ve published

Poetry

poems_front2

The Outsider Series

Deatship - Book 1 of the Outsider SeriesStarship - Book 2 of the Outsider SeriesPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00072]

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update – 1,043 words written for the new book

“I’ll trade you one dollar for five dollars. What, is my money no good here?”
― Jarod Kintz

Steven Oaks

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It’s your time

Running is hard once more.

I eat too much, I move too little

Sloth is taking over, yet I’ve much to explore.

I need more sun.

I need more energy.

My skin is pale and I’ve spent too much time alone inside.

Sick and full of pain

what shall I do to be free again?

I must work at something

Shackles made of currency

hinder the growth of my humanity

I’m free to think

but to think I need to not be exhausted

and to get the time to think I need money

and endless cycle that seems fruitless

At least I can try, while others have died

However each life is personal

and each horror we face is our own

compare not one’s sorrow with another

we experience life differently, you and I

What is easy or hard for you may not be for me

Give love, and you shall receive love

Life is easier with this than it is with hate

or all our accomplishments will be negated

You will only be remembered by your actions

make them good ones, and instil compassion.

 

Help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

 

What I’ve published

poems_front2Deatship - Book 1 of the Outsider SeriesStarship - Book 2 of the Outsider Series

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Update – I reworked the last few words in the last book of the Outsider series. I like it sooooooo much better now. Now I just need to get my editors eyes to finish up this book.

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”
― Daniel H. Pink

Steven Oaks

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Bill worries

Life is going well right now. I’m doing what I love, and I find myself happier than I have ever been in my life. The worries I have are more long-term than the day-to-day ones I had while working some place. My social anxiety is doing well, but that is only because I have no call to interact with others. The long-term worries of money, and what job I might have to take to secure a living are beginning to nag at me. I am a little more than half way through the funds I had saved, and if any emergency happened I would be in a truly harrowing position. Thankfully my book is nearly fully ready to publish, though it still will be early August when it’ll be available. Paying bills becomes a task I now hesitate to do. I watch my money drain away so quickly. I felt it was a good amount, and yet it seems to rapidly pass through my fingers. I suppose without a stream of income that is always how it is. I am lucky I calculated so accurately how much I needed, and am still in good standing. I hesitate to hope enough people will purchase my books for me to survive, but the number is not astronomical. With luck some will read it, and recommend it to others. I live very simply, though I do have my own vices. I do not require much to live, and I am happy enough to live as I have been these past 6 months. Yes a pizza now and again, but mostly my bachelor chow, ramen, and oatmeal is what I subsist on. Perhaps not the healthiest things in the world, but I do not seem to have gained weight. Perhaps that has something to do with running and getting out on the trail with my bike for a few hours. Any-who, wish me luck, and I will wish you the same. We only have this one life to live, so I plan on living it the way I want to, writing. Find your passion and see if you can make it your living.

Update – 1,000 words written of the third novel. Life is good, the only issue is I’m halfway through my funds now.

“Don’t care what people think about you. They don’t put food on your table or pay your bills.”
― Vikrant Parsai

– Steven Oaks

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GenCon musings

I have completed my run through of edits again of the first novel. Now for my other two friends eyes to do the same. Yesterday was a huge step forward on that front. She had come over and we read though 23 pages, and made some small changes. She’s excited for me, and wants to start a campaign of sorts to get me more widely known. Something to do with GenCon is her idea. While I have gone a few times over the years, I mostly like going when I have friends who I meet up with from around the world. This year they are not coming, but last year was a blast. While I tend to hide away from the crowds in the Anime section, I enjoy walking around talking with these people in person. I can only take so much of the milling masses, so eventually I have to find solitude somewhere. Luckily I have my phone on me, and am able to listen to music. That seems to be seclusion enough, though watching whatever they’ve set out for us in the Anime viewing rooms is great. Walking the showroom floor is something of a challenge for me though. Left to myself I tend to avoid it, but with a companion it is amusing enough. Last year I even purchased Nyanko-Sensei, and had several people come up to me to ask where I had gotten him. He now is in my writing room, and stares down at me with his happy smile. I hope to go to GenCon again soon, but right now there are no funds for it, nor a way to get there on my own. Hopefully in the future perhaps I’ll have a booth in the Author section, and will be able to sign things for people.

He watches me write everything. I don't notice him much, but he never leaves.

He watches me write everything. I don’t notice him much, but he never leaves.

Nyanko Sensei rolling about being annoying.

Update – 23 pages edited last night, and the final 8 pages edited today. I am getting so close that I begin to doubt myself. Oh well, I promised I’d do this thing, and I will.

“You are who you are when nobody’s watching.” ― Stephen Fry

– Steven Oaks

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Money is the root of all evil?

It has been said money is the root of all evil, but is it? Evil acts in my opinion are those that break another’s autonomy. Such people lack the empathy to see they are harming others, or if they see the harm, lack the ability to care. It is not money driving them, it is the acquisition of that money. We are told to win at this game of life we must become rich. We forgo concerns with others to try to accomplish this goal. Certainly we need money in this current environment, but it does not mean it is the end goal. If you have everything taken care of, why must you gain more money? And yet some of us who become incredibly wealthy persist in its acquisition. What would the purpose be? Perhaps they see others have more, so to be the winners, they must get more for themselves. Life is not a competition with each other, it is merely living. This may all come back to our evolution of society. We all were tribal long ago, and still can only think of  a little over a hundred at a time. We only empathize with that number, and the rest we consider outsiders. Those not in the group are not your people, so then we care less about them. I think in part that is what is happening with politicians. They are then in those groups, and will do whatever it takes to stay there. The only thing they would care about is their own problems, and care little for anyone else. They will say whatever is needed to keep them in power, but will act only in their own self-interest. What would then be the cure for this mindset? I really don’t know, but I think if somehow we were able to all use autonomy as the main moral compass this would cut down on many problems. Even if you don’t care about others, if you understood your autonomy would be broken by public outcry by acts that hurt another’s ability to choose the way they live, then it would significantly cut down on harmful acts. This question may not be answered, but I still ponder it. I still say lies break autonomy, so those that lie should not continue to be our representatives. Vote if you can, and do it for those that will not take away your ability to choose the way you live.

Update – 10 pages edited of book 3. This post is brought to you by a conversation had last night. No conclusions reached, but I think I was more eloquent then. I might have to start recording myself and transcribe it here, as it seems I do not recall my arguments as well the next day.

“Making money isn’t hard in itself… What’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón

– Steven Oaks

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Share your Ideas

What do we owe others? Do we owe anything? We live in a society with many people, and through their hard work we have risen to great heights. Does that mean we must give back in some way? I think perhaps we can’t help but give back. Each of us working does something to carry the whole forward. No matter your job, you are part of society. As a writer I hope to contribute ideas. Making something that is in part enjoyable to read, but also gives something of my own opinions to others. Does this mean I am owed appreciation from others? Not necessarily. I am owed nothing. However to those that appreciate my perspectives, whether agreed upon or not, should contribute to their continuation. If you can afford it, give some of your hard earn dollars to those that you enjoy. If you cannot afford to do so, share the ideas. I am not saying you must repost anything made you like, but at least converse with others to spread the ideas. Personally I want to live in a world where we can all respect one another. If someone is different, and has come to different conclusions, they should be free to live in their own way. You do not have to talk with them, but it would benefit understandings you may not have. I am not religious, and yet I respect others who feel the world is different than I perceive it. I take the time to talk with those that have faith in things I do not, and I feel I have a greater understanding of how the world looks to them. That is if they give me the same opportunity to communicate my thoughts. If they stonewall me, then there is little to trade, as they will not answer my questions about why they feel that way. It is easy enough to say that you believe in something without reason, just admit to it. If you have a reason, please explain. Each person is worthy of getting to know, but I cannot know you if you do not describe your understanding. To not listen to one another is the same as viewing another as inhuman. Not worthy of talking with. Those of even the same faith find it hard to converse when there is a mild difference. In large part I think that is because of the unwillingness to listen to their side. We all have sides, and should take the time to discuss them all. Let not the old saying of “In polite company never talk about religion, politics, sex, or money.”, rule you. These things must be discussed, or there will never be an understanding. Delve deep into each others psyche. Nothing is gained when you reduce your conversations to simple topics. Discuss the hard ones. Listen with a careful ear, and learn to understand the people around you.

Update – 10 pages of the 3rd novel edited. I’m trying to make my way back to the conflict, and discover a means of pushing ahead.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ― Ralph G. Nichols

– Steven Oaks

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What is a Person?

What is it that makes us people? Is it our form? Having bodies that walk upright, and hands that can grasp. These merely allow us to utilize tools we create. Then is it the shaping of tools, or of ourselves into animals that can live anywhere on this Earth? Without our minds we would be unable to utilize such tools and abilities. So then is it our minds that allows us to call ourselves people? Thinking thoughts that can not exist in the world presented. Then struggling to make them reality. We then trade these ideas and tools amongst ourselves. Language allows such trade. So then is it language alone that stands as the pinnacle of society? All these together will make a human, but will it make a person? We need the good will to trade, and not just steal from another. We need to recognize that someone has the right to own items. Is it then a far stretch to say a person owns themselves? I take not from you what is not freely given. You take not from me what is not given gladly. There is no inherent right for thievery of any sort. Murder is another form of theft. You steal another’s life away when you murder or kill. Money taken from you without consent is of course understood as theft as well. However many of us feel taxation is okay, even though you would not see the money used as it is. Why do I talk of trade, murder, and taxation when I was talking about what it means to be a person? Because there is one more trait that I think is often overlooked. That is of autonomy. The ability to freely choose how to live our own lives. We would not think it good for someone to be stolen from, and yet we allow such things to happen daily. I do not wish the money I worked hard to earn to be taken away from me without a benefit I personally desired. If I saw there was something that would benefit the masses I may very well contribute to it, but I should have a choice to do so. The old saying as to why the United States fought the revolutionary war was for Taxation without Representation, though the truth was otherwise. But if you agree with that statement, in this day and age of communication, can we not represent ourselves, instead of voting in some person with their own concept of what is best? We should all be involved in politics, our own. I choose who I spend my money on. I choose what stores I shop at, and if I do not agree with how they are running things, I stop giving them my money. Let those who do nefarious things fail by the act of not utilizing them. Trade is the one way we can enforce our own will upon the greater world. I say no longer spend your well-earned money on those that you disagree with. Want less war, don’t spend money on it. Want less starving people, spend money on it. Do not be selfish with what you earn, but it is yours to do with. What makes a human a person is our ability to choose how to live our lives. Choose to live it the way you will.

Update – 10 pages edited in the second novel. Now I’m off to do something not book related.

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” ― Winston Churchill

– Steven Oaks

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Killing and Theft

Is it ever moral to kill? Certainly we have a system of law set up now to murder murders. Though sometimes they are held away from society for life. Also it seems that we can kill another if they intruded into our house armed. So what makes these actions moral? These individuals are out to steal your life, or your attained wealth and goods. So examining that, according to law it is then moral to kill another who is out to steal from you. Only there are certain types of theft  that are legal, and are used against the regular citizenry. I speak of forced taxation. I will say there are some programs I am of course very willing to see funded, but that does not mean any money that I make from my hard work should be taken away from me by force. What force you might ask. I speak of the force of law. Law can have you arrested and placed away from society. They can also take away anything you own if they seem to think they have a right to it. Do we then own nothing, and the wages that we earn are only by their leave are we allowed to keep? Of course it can be said the law is there to protect what you own, but does it not also show that they then own it themselves? A single citizen is powerless against the organized force of a government, and on many occasions they use that power to trample down those who disagree. Perhaps I am in the minority of people who would willingly fund programs from my paycheck, and you worry that no one would then agree to pay out to have something done. But let us think of this differently. The United States where I live is increasingly in debt. Perhaps instead of allowing those in our current government to continue to spend the taxed money from us on programs the public finds less than popular, we were allowed to focus what money we give to them on things we find important to handle first. A shrinking of military spending, and the pay these public servants seem to make for one comes to mind. The United States already spends more money on the military than any other country in the world. I think we could do with a little less of that, and a little more to make us stable. Certainly there is something to be said about us being continually in a state of war, as that allows us to ensure our interests elsewhere, but how about we ensure our interests at home for a time? Using the money we make to fund things directly is in a way a truer form of Democracy than we have right now. I would be less against the idea that perhaps a set percentage of our checks are used as tax, and we can then decide what we are funding through that. However that still has the forced idea involved. Anytime you use police or law against an individual you are using force, and pointing the barrel of a gun against your fellow person. In my mind force should be only used if another is trying to take away your ability to choose your own path. That includes rape and murder, as those steal that most precious of our abilities away. The right to choose the way you wish to live. This diatribe of mine boils down to the idea of autonomy and my personal belief that everyone should have it. If you indeed believe in freedom, you believe in autonomy. If you wish to build the land of the free we all speak of, please support your fellow person, and their ability to be individuals. We all have the ability to decide for ourselves what is right, and as long as it does not interfere directly with another’s to live their life free, it should of course be allowed. I do not ask that you agree with me, but I do ask that you think upon the things I have said here.

Update – 1o pages reviewed and edited.

“The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without: to follow one’s own path, not that of the crowd.” ― Nicholas Tharcher

– Steven Oaks