New Cover

Hello!

I just wanted to take today to share a couple of updates with you all.  First, have you seen Starfall‘s new cover?

Front Cover

The incredibly talented Jana Raport has joined the team, lending her graphic design and artistic talents to the book projects.  This second edition of Starfall came out just last week, and we’re pretty excited about it.  You can see the full cover (including the back side of the book) by clicking here and then going to the back cover of the “look inside” feature you’ll see.

Second, Star-Crossed is almost out!  In just a few more weeks it will be hitting the market, so keep an eye out in mid September.

What am I doing presently, you may ask?  After some months of preparation, I’ve just begun writing the last book in the trilogy.  I won’t tell you the title yet, just in case it changes, but it’s going quite well so far, and I think you’re going to enjoy it.

As always, thank you so much for your support, your encouragement, and for reading my work.  I’ll keep you posted, and happy reading!

-W.A.

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Happiness

My friends, we have been unilaterally and radically deceived.  We have been told in many subtle outlets for many years, in many forms, languages, media, aphorisms, and narratives that happiness is the point of life.  We have been seduced into agreeing that the most important thing is to be ‘happy’.  “I just want him to be happy”, “I deserve to be happy”, “whatever makes you happy.”  It is a truism shown throughout time that the most invective and damaging lies seem benign.  That’s how they get under the surface, injecting their poison into our supple veins.  We let it in.

Happiness is dependent on circumstances.  Circumstances are constantly changing.  Happiness is dependent on feelings.  Feelings are constantly changing.

This would not be a terrible thing if the world in which circumstances arise was good.  This would be no egregious offense if our feelings were always good and right.

But it is not, and they are not.

Our deception is layered and deep, but some of its layers can be ascertained.  Accept for the sake of argument, my given, and follow me where logic leads.

Men are wicked creatures.  There is some good to be found, but the heart of man is selfish.  Yet, being in the presence of some good, and being selfish, thus, prideful, men want to appear good.  Yet so many desires of man are clearly and evidently wicked.  So many of the things that make him happy are base, foul, damaging, and evil.  He is not conflicted in his heart, for he desires evil, but he is conflicted on the surface, because he wishes to appear good.  What is his solution?  Collude with other men who have different passions and desires, but still wicked, and agree to not look down on their foulness if they will not look down on his. Much of this is tacit and understated, in fact, most of it is.  Yet after time goes by, this sometimes silent, sometimes voiced agreement becomes pervasive, and what was once repudiated, then tolerated, now becomes celebrated.

This is where we are today.  In the name of happiness.

California wrote and approved a law recently, which allows anyone who claims gender confusion to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.  This applies to K-12 public schools.  The rationale is that we would be continuing to restrict the happiness of those involved if we did not pass such a measure.

This concept is not novel.  When I was in high school, several years ago, this same policy was being debated, and it looked like it might pass for a time.  The hopefully obvious concern of my friends and I was that under such a provision, any pervert with half a brain would realize that all he had to do to gain entrance to the girls bathroom and locker room was to say that he was born in the wrong body, that he’s happier around other feminine presences.  The concern of my friends and I was that our female friends were going to be trapped in the bathroom when a rapist saunters in and steals away their innocence.  Our concern very quickly became indignation.  We would not allow such a thing to happen to our friends- or to anyone, if we could help it.  We began organizing a guard to take shifts at the bathrooms during breaks to make sure that no males got past us- for surely no one with a Y chromosome who has the will to assault a woman deserves the appellation “man”.  This became moot, however, when the law did not go forward, and years passed.  We never needed to stand our guard, which was good, because we were the kids, and the adults who were supposed to protect us would have been putting us in harm’s way.

And now, with much sadness, I find that this same law has been approved.  I am no longer in high school where I can look out for those at risk.  I’ve been out of college for some time now, and the only thing I can do is speak.

Follow me closely now, for the issue comes to a head.  The leaders of our day in this once-great state of California have believed the lie that happiness is all that matters.  They have shaken on the tacit promise of celebrating each others’ defects in exchange for the same towards themselves.  And they have placed the lives, health, and well-being of countless children and youths at risk.  They think that happiness is the most important thing, and excusing their own wickedness and that of others, they no longer believe in the concept of evil.  They don’t think that this law will be abused, or if they do, they don’t care.  “Whatever makes you happy.”

Well, your actions, legislature of California, do not make me happy.  In fact, they make me sick.  I pray that you see the error of the lies that you have believed before too many people get hurt.

If I Could Drink You In

If I could drink you in, you would be wine

Warming my heart, lingering on my tongue

But wine intoxicates, and you clarify

You make me sharp, not slow, you must not be wine

Sometimes I take you in doses, like medicine

But this feels lacking, though you cure me

The healing herbs that pass my lips sing of need

Not of delight.  You are not medicine

Perhaps you are a drink of water

And I, forlorn and lost in the desert

You are my most basic and pressing need

And the world knows of no pleasure so rich

As a parched throat being rescued from thirst

By the flow of a cool splash of water.

A Father’s Love

He was tired.

In fact, he could barely keep his eyes open.  But while there was still hope, no matter how slim, he knew that he had to press on, no matter how much his eyes burned.

The trail had gone cold, and they say that after 48 hours it was already too late.  Usually after a day with no contact, everyone already knows it’s a lost cause.  Kidnappers always contact within a day.  When they don’t, it isn’t good.  It had been 46 hours.  No contact.  No ransom.

“Go home, Peter.”

“Hm?”

Peter’s head had started sinking forward towards his keyboard.  Karina’s voice had startled him out of his descent into sleep.

“I said go home, Peter.”  She shook her head sadly.  “It’s over.  You’re a mess.  Go get some rest, go have a good cry, call up that brother of yours, but for goodness sake, quit torturing yourself here.”

Peter blinked his bloodshot eyes and shook his head to rouse himself, refocusing on the streams of data in front of him once again.  The footage blurred as his eyes tried to close, but with a force of will, he kept them open and watched.

“I won’t,” he said gruffly, watching the screen.  “They had to pass through this intersection.  We have a vehicle description.”

“And ninety-five cars matching that description, Pete!  It was a White Camry for goodness sake.”

“We can cross reference the matching cars and pull up data from the DMV’s records.”

“That’s what we’ve been doing for the past twelve hours.  Too much time has passed, even if you figure out which car was theirs.”  Karina sighed in frustration and exhaustion, rubbing her temple as her expression and her demeanor softened.  “It’s too late, Peter.  Go home.”

“There could be a picture, an image of the kidnapper, some clue that will lead us to her.  I have to keep watching.”

“Peter…”

“You could get me some coffee,” he said, holding out his styrofoam cup behind him.

“Let the police do this.  The police who are still actively serving.”

“Can’t do that,” Peter replied tersely.  Endless lines of cars passed across his screen, stopping and going in waves at the stoplight his footage portrayed.  If only they had a smaller time frame…

“Why not?  This is their job.”

“And this is my life.  I have more invested in her.”

“Peter, she’s dead.”

As soon as the words came out of her mouth, Karina regretted them.  And yet they were true.  It had been too long, and there had been no contact.  The circumstances surrounding the abduction had been suspicious to begin with, but now there could be little doubt.

Peter’s shoulders tensed and he hovered his pointer finger above the spacebar a moment, finally letting it fall, pausing the video.  The clacking sound of the spacebar engaging and the whirring of the computer fan seemed a hundred times louder in that uncomfortable silence.

For the first time in hours, Peter turned away from the computer screen and turned around to face her.  his face drooped with fatigue and with worry.  He seemed pale in the room’s dim light, and his countenance was heavy.

“You couldn’t understand, Karina.  You don’t have children.  You don’t understand that even at the age of thirty-four, Melissa is still my baby girl and I’m still her father, her protector.  And if you’re right, and she has passed away, then I’ll make sure that the ones responsible are brought to justice and are unable to harm anyone else’s baby girls.  But we don’t know that she’s dead yet.  Not till I see a friggin’ body.”

Peter turned in his chair and faced the computer screen once more.  The spacebar engaged, and the two occupants of the department’s headquarters went back to work in silence.