The Tyranny of Fire and Fury

Looking back in human history, one can see that war is the quickest way a Tyrant can assert power to destroy democracy and rule as dictator.  However, how does a nation recognize a Tyrant?  Here are some famous quotes to consider.

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.” Alexis de Tocqueville

“In every age, it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.” Eugene V. Debs

The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything. Clarence Darrow

Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free. Bill Richardson

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.  Albert Camus

It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. Henry A. Wallace

Tyrants always have some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them. Voltaire

Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of.  Bill Moyers

“Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.” Lysander Spooner

“The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law.” Christopher Hitchens

 

 

5 TED Talks Everyone Should Have Already Watched — Kopitiam Bot

(Source: dollarsandsense.sg) #1 The Secret Of Becoming Mentally Strong (Speaker: Amy Morin) “Good habits aren’t enough. It only takes one or two small habits to really hold you back.” Amy Morin starts off by sharing how everyone has a friend that seems to have a perfect life, and how we kind of don’t like that […]

via 5 TED Talks Everyone Should Have Already Watched — Kopitiam Bot

A Summary of K.M. Weiland’s  “Write Like a Master”

 

My summary of K.M. Weiland’s excellent article presented in Writer’s Digest, Work Book: Exercises and Tips for Honing Specific Aspects of Your Writing presents the key points of her exceptional article via Writer’s Digest 2014 Reblog. It is especially for writers penning their first novel, but also for seasoned writers to again remember a classic, Jane Eyre, a novel that was ahead of its time, by Charlotte Brontë.  Often, reading classics, as most of us do, gives us fresh insight to dramatic storytelling par excellence. K.M. Weiland gives us 10 distinct techniques for dramatic masterful writing.

  1. Hook: Start in the middle of some type of interaction within environment, statement, or internal angst to provoke reader curiosity.
  1. Characteristic Moment: Reveal/show a personality trait of the Protagonist.
  1. Setting Description of Scene: Start broadly, and then zoom in.
  1. Symbolism: Small details set story’s tone and foreshadows its course.
  1. The World Protagonist Inhabits: demonstrate character’s interior and exterior world.
  1. Back Story: Intersperse with dialogue, don’t dump back story in long paragraphs in chapter 1.
  1. The Premise of Story: Present the Dramatic Question early on, involving the moral foundation, the impetus that drives the story forward.
  1. Physical Actions: The physical movements of characters interspersed throughout dialogue increases depth of character traits.
  1. Protagonist’s Belief: Once Dramatic Question is identified, writer presents obstacles for protagonist until she/he can relinquish belief/misconception and meet deepest needs.

10.Extraordinary Factor: What makes the Protagonist important? How at odds is protagonist in his/her world with others that creates friction, tension, and thus the central conflict of story premise.

***see Writer’s Digest, October 2014 edition, for full article.

Twin Flames & Karmic Soul Mates – What is the difference?

 

 

 

When I first saw you, my soul said, “There you are, I have been looking for you!”  

 

“What is the difference between a twin soul and karmic soul mate? Can I have more than one soul mate?” ​We have many soul mates, or karmic soul contracts, but only one twin soul. To better explain is to understand what each one is. via http://www.powerofpositivity.com

Signs of a Twin Soul Relationship (Twin Flames)

Many also refer to Twin Souls as Twin flames. This is because the level of passion and radiant light that is involved in these relationships. Not everyone will experience a twin soul reunion in their lifetime. This only comes to those whom are ready to ascend from this realm onto the next, by sharing and completing a mission which requires the help of their twin. There are many legends and myths about twin soul relationships and a lot of them share a common theme. While they do share these qualities, each relationship is different any may not be exactly by the book. Not to mention, a lot of these qualities may just be karmic soul mates – there is really a lot more to a twin soul- relationship than some of the info explains online. If most of these signs relate to a relationship you feel is of twin soul quality, then you just may have met your twin. However, if only a few stick-out, then you more than likely have a karmic relationship.

The ‘Knowing’: You just know from the depths of your being that “the one” or some romantic fairytale was meant for you. There is a strong urge to love, to be loved, and to find your healing cure of true love.

Repeated Visions or Prophecies: Many Twin Souls have foreseen one another or had dreams which manifested upon meeting their mate. Your dreams and daydreams are filed with passion and spiritual love. You may have even encountered previous karmic mates who have matched many of these “visions”.

Folk Memory: Twin Souls are usually very evolved, or ancient beings whom are connected with their past lives. When you have met your twin in the past, and did not complete the mission you were destined to, then you get a chance to repeat the lesson in a future life. This is much like karmic soul mates and balancing the debt, however with your twin soul you have a mission to fulfill together, rather than just personal growth and life lessons to partake in.

The Runner & the Chaser: Now here’s the thing, I don’t necessarily believe that twin souls run from one another when the connection gets too deep, or the shadow work becomes too intense. If they run, they are simply karmic soul mates here to teach you about attachment or rejection and loneliness. The ‘theory’ is that when they first meet, they are given a mirror image of what needs to be worked on within, and then they will part ways to evolve and come back to one another evolved, and ready to do the soul work they were destined to do with one another. I feel that information was placed there to give those hope whom are desperately chasing after someone who doesn’t want to get “caught”. ​Twin Soul relationships are more powerful than karmic ones, and that is because each soul much do the self-work and soul evolution before the meeting can even take place to begin with.

Shared Life Purpose:  Twin Souls reunions are more than just a mind exploding love that transcends time and the universe. They are work. Not just self-work, they are work in serving humanity as a whole. Your life mission becomes apparent, which is shared and amplified with your twin. You don’t have the share the same trade or modality in healing, but you two together as a team enable each of you to push forward with your best self for doing what you do. This is the key ingredient to make a twin soul relationship – without a mission or some urge within to help mankind together, the relationship is then just karmic.

Ascension: When the mission is fulfilled, the souls will combine into one, and leave this plane or realm. You would not have to come back to this Earth again to undergo karmic lessons and soul evolution.

Signs of a Karmic Soul Mate Relationship

Before you reincarnated on this earth you had discussed the lessons and goals you aimed to achieve with your soul group. Many have different ideas and theories on what a soul group is, or how many you have in your group, but mainly these souls are reincarnated with you to fulfill soul contracts of spiritual evolution, growth, and life lessons.

Karmic soul contracts:  are some tricky relationships, can be anything as well as romantic. A karmic mate is someone you had made a contract with to balance karmic debts and life lessons. They are here to teach you, to change you, and to evolve you into new levels of consciousness and growth. Often these are relationships are the ones where you feel as if you have known one another lifetimes before because the connection is so deep and painful.

Karmic relationships: can also be your most challenging and life-altering. These can be the people who have hurt you the most – but through that pain and experience you are able to find your strengths and redirection towards your higher path. For example: Your mother may have rejected you or withheld affection growing up, and so you had spent much of your life with toxic or difficult relationships with women when it comes to attachment and that need for affection or validation. Your mother had taught you what you needed in love, by giving to you the opposite.  Often, you will meet many of the same personality or tone in relationships until that karmic lessons are learned within yourself – each one of those relationships are placed there by contract to push you of the repeated mistakes/lessons so you can evolve and grow.

 

 

 

A Review: Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd is the first of Hardy’s novels to gain him widespread popularity. What can one say about the incredible writing of Thomas Hardy. This story is lavish and romantic with characters that are unforgettable. The historical details are rich in nuance and fascinating for the period. Hardy’s use of the English language is exquisite. When readers discover Thomas Hardy they always comment, “I fell in love with 19th Century English literature because of Thomas Hardy.” And, so did I.

The Story is set against the backdrop of the beautiful landscape in Wessex, England. The overall theme of the story questions rural values and is striking for its singular sensibility. The story revolves around Bathsheba Everdene and her suitors, as well as the Bathsheba’s difficulties managing a large farm.  One of her suitors, Gabriel Oak is attracted to the very modern sensibility of the independent and spirited Bathsheba. She is also charming, beautiful and vain. However, he must compete with the roguish and dashing soldier, Sergeant Troy, and the wealthy, respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. While their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she must learn the consequences of vain flirtations with all three.

 

For Earth Day: Tears of Morning

early-morning-dew-5

 The world awakes each day,

Wet with tears of morning,

And in the silent dawn,

Upon the earth’s sweet tears,

The world begins a new,

For with the promised sun,

The earth renews its hope,

In life itself,

And dries its tears,

In the morning air,

To begin again,

For what have we,

On this earth so rare,

Is to forgive,

And be forgiven.

 

 

 

 

7 Things to Do When You Want to Give Up (Instead of Giving Up)

 

 

 

 

 

By: Brian A. Klems | April 20, 2017

There are a lot of challenges and rewards to being an author, and one of the greatest (and sometimes brutal) challenges is getting published. I think we’ve all seen people magically picked up by publishers out of nowhere, but my experience is that they usually know someone in the business. For me, it was a slog that took more than ten years and hundreds of rejections from agents and editors.

Then, in the past two and a half years, I signed contracts for fourteen books with three different publishers. Eight of the books are out now, and the rest will be out shortly. When people think that because I started selling books in my twenties I must have somehow cheated to get ahead, I tell them my history: I started submitting to agents and editors when I was in middle school. I was already writing novels then, and despite having a growing readership and being highlighted by the Los Angeles Times at the age of 14, I was still up for years of constant rejection. That’s how hard of a business this is, and it shows that if you want to write, never give up.So, if you’ve been submitting and not getting anywhere, here are some suggestions of things you can do instead of giving up, and all these things can help you on your path to publication.

  1. Revise

One of the most important things I learned — and one of the things I used to resist most — is revising. If your book is being rejected, it might not be because it’s a “bad” book. It might just be it needs some revising, because all books do. For me, revising often means cutting back so that the prose moves smoothly. Don’t say something in a paragraph you can say in a sentence. It sometimes can also mean adding to a scene because its full meaning isn’t there yet. There are freelance editors out there (some of whom worked as professional editors for publishers beforehand) who will help you edit. This can be expensive, though, so there are also options of joining writers’ groups in person or online. You can also talk to people you know who are knowledgeable about your genre, as long as they’re also willing and able to give you good constructive criticism.

  1. Publish elsewhere

Even if you can’t get your book published (yet), that doesn’t mean you can’t publish elsewhere to build up your résumé. When I was in high school, I started writing for a local newspaper. I’d take these articles and send them to bigger places, showing them that I was a professional writer and could work for them, too. By doing this, I eventually worked my way up to writing for MTV, CNN, The Onion, Publishers Weekly and Booklist, among other places. Once agents and editors see that big-name places are willing to hire you, they pay more attention. (A lot of these places I got into initially by writing about manga for them — I have an interest in Japanese comics and they needed people to cover this. Your interests might be what you can sell, which is win-win.) But keep in mind I didn’t reach MTV overnight — I started out with that local paper and kept moving up. Blogging is also a way to potentially get your name out there. It doesn’t necessarily have the same oomph to publishers as a paying market, but if you get enough followers, publishers ought to take heed.

  1. Build a Platform

Publishers and agents often say they want to see a platform. In other words, they want to see you brand yourself and have followers. While working on your book and submitting, find good ways to get yourself known. Publishing elsewhere (see above) can be a useful move for this part, but it’s not limited to that. Some people also use social media to build their own platform by finding an audience there. Other people have gotten attention through important work that they do. This is quite limitless.

  1. Network

Book conventions are a great place to network, because there unfortunately is truth to “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” However, I couldn’t afford to travel and go to conventions, and I know many writers have this same issue. So almost all the networking I did was online, and LinkedIn was especially useful. I would ask someone to link with me, and if they did, I’d send a brief and polite message thanking them, telling them a little about myself (a sentence or two will due) and saying I’d be interested in networking. Don’t just make it about you — help them, too. A lot of times I would help publicize work of theirs I admired for one of the places I wrote for, so it’s mutually beneficial. The best business, I believe, comes from helping one another.

  1. Have More Than One Project

I was writing full-time for MTV, freelancing for other publications and submitting a YA novel through my agent . . . when I sold my first book, which wasn’t the YA one. It was actually a book on manga, based on my background reviewing, reporting, adapting and editing manga. Sometimes the things that get you in the door are not the things you expect. Have an open mind and have some fun!

  1. Remember You Are Not Alone

Sometimes after getting rejection letters, it helped to hear from other writers experiencing the same thing. I worked toward being an author every day for years, without break, and it was often exhausting and demoralizing. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you think everything you write is perfect and you can do no wrong, but it means you know you can make this work. Rejection is not a sign that it will always be rejection. The writers who get published as the ones who don’t give up and who keep bettering themselves, not the ones who get rejection letters.

  1. Love Writing

Because being a professional author can be such a challenge, always remember the number one thing: you want to be a writer because you love writing. Now get out there and show them what you’ve got!

Brian Klems, is a contribution writer and author, to Writer’s Digest