Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day 2018 - some thoughts about fathers... real and fictional

A Reprise of my most-read Fathers' Day Essay - What Kind of Father?


As a person, I have observed many examples of ‘fathers’ and regrettably more bad than good.  On a positive note, a few years ago I was particularly struck by two pieces related to fatherhood, one by LZGranderson at cnn.com, and the other by Dominic Utton at the Mail Online.

As an author, I have often created characters in a father role.  In certain of my books, the father is described after his death. In Playing the Baseball Card, the protagonist describes his father as a man who ‘made sure that his children were the most important part of his life.

In Aiden’s Arrival: Honor Before Gold, a now-grown son describes a man who assumed a father’s role by marrying a women with two young children.  “None of us; my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece; were related to our father and grandfather by blood, but that didn’t matter to him.  He showed us, by his example, that family is about loving people, and caring about people, and living together in a supportive way.  Not always in harmony, but always caring about your family more than anything else.  He lived that kind of life, and today we carry on with that legacy.

In Zac and the Reluctant Prince, Book 1 of the Prince David series, the father is described this way:  “The example of his life teaches us the lessons of responsibility, obligation, commitment, dedication, loyalty, patriotism and also compassion.  In his life, he strove to be the best son he could be, the best husband he could be, the best father he could be, the best officer he could be, and the best man he could be.”

If you know your father, what do you think of him? If you knew your father, how do you remember him?

I believe a real father is one who looks into the eyes of his children, and says to them, “My life improved the day you came into my life, and my life gets better every day that you are still in my life.”  I also believe a real father is the kind of role model I’ve described in the excerpts from my books, above. 

If you have the chance to be a father, or if you are a father, how do you want to be remembered? 

To all fathers, everywhere, Happy Fathers’ Day.

... Wil ...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Getting it right...and making mistakes - - thoughts for every day of the year.


Getting is right almost always starts with getting it wrong.  Unless we put ourselves or someone else into danger, the only bad thing about making mistakes is failing to try again.  And again.  And again.  And as many times as it takes to get it right.

That process, of trying it over and over until it works, has been my mantra in life, and in writing.  How many times have we said, or heard, ‘we learn from our mistakes,’ or perhaps, if we’re lucky, ‘we learn from the mistakes of others.’ 

In life, I've seen many people who claim that they won't try something because they can't do it right. Sadly, they end up not doing something that might have brought them joy, or fulfillment,  or a feeling of achievement, or the belief that they might have made an impact, or, perhaps, a sense of peace. 

As a writer, I often read, to see what others are writing.  I read what is selling and I read what is getting good reviews.  I also read what is new, or does not have good reviews, or what might not be selling, yet.  I read what appeals to me.  This is how I learn from others’ mistakes, and successes.

As I writer, I look at my own work.  I put my work out there.  I see which of my books sell, and which of them earn good reviews.  This is how I learn from my own mistakes, and possibly, from my own successes.

Getting it right, as an author, can be a long process.  It almost certainly very unlikely that the first novel we write is going to be a great success.  Almost any author will tell you that they did a lot of writing before they ended up with a work that they were happy with, or that sold well, or that got good reviews.  But, the key is to keep trying.  That means to keep writing.

In my case, I write because I want to write. I write because I need to write. I write what I want to write.  I write for myself.  But; I share my writing in the hope that some will like it, and perhaps, the hope that I might somehow tell a story that will have an impact.  

But, most importantly, I realize that it’s okay to get it wrong, if I keep trying to get it right.

Wil

Friday, September 1, 2017

Reality based fiction for Young Adults... welcome to the novels of Wilson James, author

Welcome to my writing – the reality based Young Adult fiction of Wilson James

Improbable. Unlikely. But not impossible. That’s what I write. Stories such as Sons and Brothers in Seattle, the tale of an older teen trying to provide a better life for a younger sibling and his own young children. A reader told me that this story truly mirrors much of his own life. I am awestruck to hear that, and amazed by the courage of the young man who actually lived the story.

All of my stories tell of young courage, and tenacity, and support of friends and family, and love. My books are meant to be an expression of what can be, even if it often is not.

I take my inspiration from the lives and deeds of real young people. Some I’ve known personally, or have watched from a close distance, and some I simply know of. The thread that binds them all together is they’ve shown that they can achieve the unlikely in spite of the challenges they face. In spite of the resistance of many adults around them. In spite of the naysayers who doubt. 

These young people have identified a dream or at least a goal, and have worked to make it happen.

So I take my lead from all of them. I use their example to create stories, with the hope that others will read, and find some part of the story that can help them in their own lives. I hope to empower young people with the examples in my stories. I know that some readers have found inspiration in the stories I write, and I take great comfort in that.

I set out to honor those whose lives were examples to me and my writing, and I hope that I will have done them justice. I also hope to honor my readers with the best stories I can create. Thank you for reading.

Wil

____________ 

And, here's how to find my books...



Smashwords - seven of my eBooks are available here, in multiple formats including for Kindle, Nook


Barnes and Noble – seven of my eBooks are available here, for the Nook


Apple US iTunes Bookstore – seven of my eBooks are available here, for the iPad
Apple UK iTunes Bookstore – seven of my eBooks are available here, for the iPad


Kobo – six of my eBooks are available here, in ePub format



 Amazon – some of my print books are now available, with selected eBooks to be available at a future date

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse today... did you see totality?

If you're lucky - that is, if you are one of about 21 million people across the U.S. who live in the path of totality, or perhaps you traveled to see it, and if the weather permitted you a good view - and that's a few "ifs", you managed to see the rare cosmic event. During the 2+ minutes, it was as dark as nighttime, and it may have cooled off a bit, as well.

If you didn't see it, and you want to know what it looked like, then here's a photo...


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Preparing for the August 21st event... Tracing the path of the 2017 Solar Eclipse


The total solar eclipse of August 21st is truly a one of a kind for the U.S.... the first visible across the country in almost 100 years. Approximately 21 million people live in the path of totality, and likely as many more will travel to the path of totality to see the event. If you can't see it live, then try to live-stream it. For me, it's close to home, and so my interest and determination to see it is increasing every day...


the August 21st Total Solar Eclipse... the Path Across the U.S.



The video above is a good visualization of the path across the U.S.

Another good option for making sure you're in the right place at the right time is this interactive Google map... (small scale overview shown below), which will give you the exact details you need...


The Night Sky - explaining America's Total Solar Eclipse (August 21, 2017)


This is one of the best explanatory videos that I've seen. If you can, you should try and watch or live-stream this cosmic event...  August 21st, 2017, starting at before 9:00 am (reaching totality about 10:12 am), near Lincoln City, Oregon. This interactive Google map will help you plot the times for your location.

So, happy watching...

Wil