Know Thyself

Whom do you trust? What do you believe? Why do you believe anything at all?

Religion, politics, and sex. Those three things often avoided in conversation, rarely do I get to the bottom of why anyone has the opinion of them they have. Perhaps it’s because I want rational answers, and all I get instead are emotional outbursts.

I understand personal experiences will shape opinions, but what I hear generally is that people have a gut feeling about their beliefs. You’re Christian because it feels right. Well perhaps you are that way because you were raised in an environment that made it appear to be normal. It would be the same for any belief.

It’s normal to be Republican or a Democrat when you are raised in a family like that. Heck, even if you weren’t, you see others who are, making it appear a valid option to be different from your family. But again, that is all based on feeling. It’s not rational. The only rational thing to do would be to sit down and work your beliefs back to a point that doesn’t contradict.

I’ve done this with my own opinions. I hope I’ve done it well, but one never knows. I started out saying to myself, it’s bad to do such and such, and I asked why. It all lead back to a point. The point being respecting another’s autonomy.

I won’t steal from another, because they don’t wish me to take from them. I won’t kill another because of the same reason. I won’t LIE because it hinders the other person’s view of the world. It is a form of abuse to lie. If you lie to yourself you are hurting yourself, but you are free to do so, though I think that would be less than intelligent.

What I really am saying is that I would hope you take time out of your day, and think about why you are religious, or not religious. Why you have a political affiliation, or why you don’t. It helps if you can find someone to talk to about it, but don’t let them sway you one way or another. Just use them as a sounding board. Find someone you think has different opinions than you do. Argue your side, and let them do the same, then switch sides. Debating can lead to some interesting insights.

The only one you are guaranteed to be with all your life is you. So know yourself. Know that, and things become much easier.

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 – 1,014 words written for the new book.

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
― Noam Chomsky

Steven Oaks

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Latest book update

The latest book I’m writing seems to want to come to an end already. I’m almost at the word count I want, but I felt it should be longer.

I’ve struggled with this idea for several months, all based upon a dream. An interesting dream, but I think this first draft needs a lot more love than the Outsider series did. Those books I had been thinking about for years, and they flowed easily. This one is much more complicated.

The final battle rages as I write this. At least I think it is. The characters may decide they have unfinished business elsewhere, I just don’t know. They might write themselves a happily ever after, or they may find they can’t go on. I can’t decide that, they’ve minds of their own.

As always I’m surprised by the personalities of people I’ve made up. They come unbidden, well, I’ve bid them come, but I don’t make them consciously. They just are born from the world I’ve written. I look forward to re-reading what I have, and seeing if it is as good as I recall. If it isn’t, I will just make it so. That’s the power of a writer. You can always change the world.

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 – 1,088 words written for the new book

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

― Stephen King

Steven Oaks

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Creative Exhaustion

Pouring my soul into my words

Empty and bare becomes my mind

I succumb to the feel of depression

and am bound by the darkness I find within

The only escape is that of logic

Goals formerly set light a path

and force me to place one foot in front of another

I then move ahead in hopes of the light’s return

I burn like a torch to light my own way

when each morning brightens to day

but soon the fuel is gone

and smoke is all that remains

ash and gloom fill the room

and I want nothing more than to do naught

I hope the effort I put forth is worthwhile

but I worry it is not

I want so much to be

but doubt is all I have

At least each day has a dawn

and like a moth to a flame

I am drawn

Ever to try

ever to go on

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 – 1,018 words written for the new book

“It wasn’t that she was sad—sadness had very little to do with it, really, considering that most of the time, she felt close to nothing at all. Feeling required nerves, connections, sensory input. The only thing she felt was numb. And tired. Yes, she very frequently felt tired.”
― Nenia Campbell

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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I’m getting hot, and I don’t like it

It’s getting hotter. It seems it might be time to start running the a/c again. I’ve kept the house cool so far by having the windows open at night, and then closing them in the morning before it gets too warm. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to work any more.

I tossed and turned all night, uncovered, and wearing only shorts, and yet the heat got to me. I hate running the a/c for multiple reasons. The first being that it costs money to do so, and the second because I should be able to survive this type of weather.

I complain that I’m cold almost all the time, but now that the heat from summer has come, I’m always hot. Generally I can get away with running the fans on my ceiling to get through the hottest part of the day, but I’ve begun to sweat. I hate sweating when I’m not up and about exercising. Working out is something that I don’t hate, but it should be done when you’re warm.

Maybe I could get away with not cooling the house down with power if I just exercised all day, but I don’t think the cat would be happy with that. Me bounding about, and the temperature going up would probably make her attack me in my sleep. That’s to be expected from a psycho killer, as all cats are.

Cats are little monsters that keep us around only because we know how to open bags or cans to feed them. They’ll happily go outside and murder small animals on their own, even when fed, but they seem to like the treats we give them more. Heck, even when you let them out they’ll likely return, so it’s not like we are keeping them prisoners, unlike dogs. Dogs are loyal though, cats aren’t. They give affection only when they want something. Truly they are manipulative little bastards.

Anyway, I think you might be able to tell I’ve not slept well. The heat is starting to cause my irritability to shine through my usual calm demeanour. So let us hope a bit of the cool air will flow this way, so I might return to my normal self.

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 – Pancakes for breakfast. Letting my mind take a break so I might use the relaxation to create more plot points.

“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.”
― Terry Pratchett

Steven Oaks

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Want

Fighting, another day comes

Struggling with self

and the world we live in

No rest for those of us who want

and those of us don’t

are already dead inside

Never give up desire

it’s the only reason to live and try

without it we are hollow shells

that can’t even enjoy a smile

Seek the best

but the worst will come too

so secure yourself

so you might become new

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 – 1,031 words written in the new novel.

“The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.”
― Willa Cather

Steven Oaks

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Attitude Issue

I’ve a problem. When I have nothing good to say, I generally don’t say anything. I try to stay positive, and say nothing if I know it might harm another. I think I care about things a little differently than another. My emotions are mostly locked away, and even when someone is dying I don’t think I get too upset, unless they have something to give the rest of us,  like Robin Williams, or Terry Pratchett.

This attitude can be hurtful. So I generally keep it to myself. I can’t give any good words when it comes to death. I don’t feel sorrow when a person dies, not really. I feel more regret that no new memories will happen with them. They will never be gone for me though, as long as I remember them.

I have no wish for anyone to die, rather I just don’t seem to feel the intensity that others do around these circumstances. For this I apologize. I will be silent around discussions about such things, and that would be the reason. I simply don’t feel what you do. I do have sympathy, but apparently that isn’t empathy because my emotions are not parallel to others.

Just know that I wish everyone well.

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 – 1,012 words written in the new novel.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
― Mark Twain

Steven Oaks

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The loss of now

Time ticks forward

with each flourish of hand

Passing slowly at first

but faster with each grain of sand

Fearing the new

but dreading the old

the present is all that we know

Sometimes good

and more times bad

I try to remember

all the fun that I’ve had

And yet the moments come so fast

Nothing good will ever last

Now must I put pen to paper

to illuminate to my future

what I have done that meant so much

but my mind won’t remember

Days eat at my thoughts

and soon all is lost

Who am I again?

I am only that which I know

but knowing nothing

I must continue to grow

The me of the past is gone

The me of the future is not yet here

The me of the now knows nothing

That much is clear

The embrace of the night

enfolds me well

for the next day

I’ll be new, with a new story to tell

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 – 1,189 words written in the new novel.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
― Rumi

Steven Oaks

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The new book is growing

The latest novel is taking shape. I’ve discussed what it is about with a few people and they seem to think the idea is interesting. This makes me excited to complete it.

It’s quite a bit different from what I’d been doing with the Outsider series. First of all it’s in the third person. This leads to much more fiddly bits to work on for the background. Another is the tone. It’s more full of dread, and has a sense of drama and is more tense. While we never knew much about the Outsiders, there was always a sense that they could be beaten. In this new book, we know very little, and keep trying to find out what is going on. We don’t even know if the enemy we see is who we should be worried about, or if it’s those the main character is working with.

Once more it’s dealing with death, slightly, but the perspective is more closely related to those the story is about instead of being apart of the background. I’d outline the whole book to you here, but what would be the fun of knowing before you read? I might spoil surprises, and no one wants that, right?

With Outsider I was trying to write something different. There were motivations, and there were worries, but the tone was supposed to be more light-hearted. It gets a bit more tense at the end, but in the beginning it was just a call to action. Starship started Michael down the path of doubt and worry, but Warship. Oh Warship. I love that book. Even if you don’t really enjoy the first two, get to Warship. I promise it’s fun. It might even lead into more stories about that universe. I’m excited to write more about it, but I want to work on a few different worlds first.

It may take some time, but if there is a ground swelling of fans that want more from that universe I’ll put off some of what I’m doing now to make sure your happy. It’ll make me happy to come back, I miss the people I made in those books. Maybe some back stories would be called for, but I’ve exciting things to do in a future world in that universe.

I hope you enjoy reading my little books, and I look forward to hearing from each of you.

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 – 1,009 words written in the new novel.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman

Steven Oaks

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Tribalism in the Modern World

Perhaps the best things in life are free because we evolved without money for so long. We may not have been loners, but we grew from tribes. In tribes we had to share for our mutual survival. Giving things without expecting returns, except for continued relationships, is one of the greatest feelings we have.

The idea of gift giving, especially in the winter, seems to have multiple purposes. We give gifts to grow closer to those we care about of course, but it could also help survival during a harsh season. Also, it gives us the opportunity to see if they were making it, or if they needed any help. We give what we have, to share our prosperity and to gain from others. This is the communal ideal.

These days we’ve grown out of tribes. Most of us living in large enough communities perhaps know our immediate neighbor, but you wouldn’t be expected to know everyone on your block. We unconsciously isolate ourselves from those around us.

So how do we live now? Living communally or in tribes does not make sense anymore, though emotionally we all still strive for it. We seek out others of similar mindsets to our own, and make friends into family, or focus all our attention on family. We find these people in real life, or on-line. They become our tribe, and our state or country means less than what our little group does.

We then can’t understand how anyone else could view the world differently than we do. We are less able to affect change in people because we find it harder to get our points across to those that view the world differently. We all want happiness, but what makes us happy is different, so we try to pass laws that we like, and don’t worry when others are oppressed because it affects us not. We get angry when people begin to hate us, when all we were trying to do was help. We think we are being persecuted so we oppress more. Conflicts grow to war, or revolution, and the cycle begins again.

I think some new form of government, or civilization will arise from all of this. Systems rise and fall all the time, and even if it is centuries hence, I do believe what we have today will go the way of so many of those in the past have.

The Internet allows us able to have these tribes again, and yet it isn’t the same thing. You can certainly count on them. They are friends like any other. But it can also lead to an insular view of the world, where everyone not like you is so wrong because everyone you know agrees with what you say.

In the end, a tribal viewpoint of the world was a wonderful thing, but only when we were less populous. Now there are simply too many of us to ban together. We aren’t even geographically close to those who might share our viewpoint more wholeheartedly. But it may be the starting point for something new and wonderful.

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 – Pancakes for breakfast, and a long weekend ahead. Worries filling me with dread.

“But in some great souls, who consider themselves as citizens of the world, and forcing the imaginary barriers that separate people from people…”
― Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Steven Oaks

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