In 2206, Tampa Bay has become a paradise for organized crime. Isaac Pierce, the billionaire CEO of the conglomerate Pierce Corporation is also the kingpin to the largest most dangerous syndicate the world has ever seen.
Eliza Christie is a fifteen year old, spiteful and impulsive. When her father, Det. Emil Christie begins to theorize the existence of a possible syndicate and that Isaac Pierce is indeed its benefactor the good detective is murdered. Eliza bore witness to this murder. Only, she views it as a theft. The syndicate has stolen from her the only man worth staying out of juvie for. The only man worth exercising restraint. The only man who could be called family.
She doesn’t run and hide. She doesn’t go to the police. She doesn’t think to ask anyone for help. Instead, Eliza Christie takes up the sword and rides the train out to Ybor City in search for satisfaction. To Eliza, “Revenge is a dish best served when I serve it.”
No one is safe from the wolves of the syndicate. In the four years that the vindictive Eliza Christie was sent to live abroad, the syndicate’s power and influence has only continued to increase with bolder more public acts of terror. Young up and coming enforcers become superstars of the underworld. Forrest is a dagger-wielding maniac who revels in up close and personal kills. Sean Pierce is a sharp shooter whose swag and careless attitude belies his serious gift for precision and accuracy. And Braden Pierce…the deadliest of them all. The mere mention of his name sends a paralyzing chill down the spine of those who oppose his uncle. Unlike Sean and Forrest, Braden lacks a criminal record and his physical appearance has never been officially documented. He’s managed to avoid the press with many believing his existence was just a myth created to scare opponents to submission. But at least one person believes he’s real. Eliza Christie has seen him. Braden Pierce was the teenager standing over her father’s dead body with a bloody sword in hand.
Welcome to Ybor City! Over the better part of the 22nd Century, this downtown Tampa club district has prospered as the American Empire’s new obsession. What happens in Ybor City doesn’t just stay in Ybor City but chances are they’ll never find you again. Whether you’re caught in the crossfire of some turf war, entranced by the abundance of sexual indulgence or swallowed whole by the fortune to be made on fights and street races, Ybor City is the world’s favorite addiction with the common side effect of death.
Violence erupts when the vindictive Eliza Christie finally confronts her father’s murderer in the VIP section of a packed nightclub. Pandemonium ensues as the crowded sea of flesh and revelry bear witness to the spectacular swordfight that gives birth to the urban legend of the “Three Kings of Ybor”. After unleashing her fangs for the first time, Eliza enlists fellow freshman Robby McCloud to help her create an underground militia to take on the Pierce Syndicate. Of course that’s easier said than done, which Robby explains as he educates her on the history of the Five Pillars of Minority. The Five Pillars of Minority were the last legitimate threat to the syndicate’s supreme authority. They came close to destroying everything the Pierce set out to accomplish…but in the end…
Everyone remembers the killers. No one remembers the victims. August the 18th stands to change all of that.
Comprised of battle hardened ex-military and off-duty police officers who have lost all faith in the constitution, August the 18th is an underground militia in which every soldier has suffered from the abrupt murder of a loved one. The dearly departed all have one thing in common. Whether they were in the wrong place at the wrong time or sacrificed themselves in the line of duty, the husbands, wives, sons and daughters have merely become a statistic in the body count attributed to the infamous Pierce Syndicate.
With the cutthroat Eliza Christie leading as their commander, August the 18th finally takes a stand to unleash destruction and disruption on the terrorizing world of organized crime. This of course, starts with raiding a notorious casino, exposing a corrupt police superintendent and rescuing a political prisoner from a Haitian hit squad over freezing waters. In spite of their impressive start, August the 18th Captain Priest Edwin voices his understandable concerns toward the longevity of their merry little band. With the overwhelming presence of a modern day Caesar, Eliza Christie declares that she is the 1st Generation Commander of August the 18th. The idea of future generations continuing on through the sands of time sparks an undying fire in her men. If there are to be future generations…none shall surpass the first.
“The Literary Tempest and Combative Seas” A Stage in the Sky Update by Rock Kitaro Date January 23, 2017
DNA ft. Suzanne Vega – “Tom’s Diner – Long Version”
If this is your first time here allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rock Kitaro. I’m an author specializing in the themes of revenge, rivalry, and rebellion. However, I’m thinking about adding romance to that list because “love” is almost always the main source of motivation for my characters. They just don’t know it. Neither do I.
I haven’t reached my goal of signing with a traditional publishing house yet, but I will. And when I make the best-sellers list you can look back on this piece as a proof of perseverance. I hope it encourages others who are coming up to plan on running the marathon, don’t quit after the sprint.
Allow me to begin by saying that the reason why I’ve exercised restraint in posting so much this past year was because I thought it would be prudent to say as little as possible. Ever since I was 23, I’ve committed myself to succeeding as an author in the publishing industry.
I’ve sacrificed weekends, holidays, vacations, money, and heart-felt relationships to get this far and I don’t want to ruin it by shooting myself in the foot. I thought that being an artist meant freedom and liberty through self-expression, but that’s a problem if your opinions aren’t welcomed by those whom you need to progress in this industry.
It’d be one thing if I was a non-fiction writer in which my platform was built upon provocative opinions as if that’s exactly what you were going to pay for with my books. However, I am a fiction novelist. I have to present myself to agents and publishers as someone worthy of investment. Allow me to explain.
“Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan” – popularized by John F. Kennedy
They say that silence is a sign of consent. I don’t think so. I believe that a wise man knows when to exercise patience, bide his time, and strike when the time is right. At present, the scene is chaotic. The waters are rough. Those who sail these seas are bound to get lost, stranded, or shipwrecked. Some have made it though. Some because they had head start. Others, because they don’t mind riding the waves created by the first adventures. And there are those who have emerged because they’re that damn good, far better than myself. Like, Roshani Chokshi. Her writing is ridiculously beautiful. And that’s alright. That’s okay.
With so many every day bravely joining the fray, I can’t help but wonder if my patience is really a sign of cowardice. As I get older I see my peers entering the next stages of their life while I continue on this road I’ve been traveling for seven long arduous years. Then, I think of the scene from HBO’s “Rome” where a young Octavian says, “The graveyard is full of middling swordsman. Best not to a swordsman at all than a middling swordsman.”
When I started self-publishing in 2011, I had no idea what I was up against. I didn’t think of trends or what was in-demand for the market. I simply wrote what I wanted in my own voice with the hopes that others would like it too. I had no idea about the highly selective nature of agents or publishers. I assumed that if you created a great, original story and show them something new, you’re in.
I won’t go so far as to say I was naïve, but I will say there’s more to it than that. It appears that after the success of books-turned-movies franchises like “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight,” and the “Maze Runner” everyone and their mothers have flocked to the publishing industry with the next best idea.
In 2012, when I self-published“The Three Kings of Ybor,”my e-books were just seven of 300,000 published that year on Amazon Kindle. I predict the number has only increased over the years as Hollywood continues to blast trailers that start with that deep husky voice saying, “Based on the best-selling novel.”
This isn’t a complaint. To realize what you’re up against and state it clearly shouldn’t be considered complaining. It makes things difficult but not impossible. In fact, it only makes the reward of success that much sweeter. If Lord Byron’s climb to success was but a hill on the beach, then mines will be to the top of Mount Everest. And beneath my feet will be the millions of books published by those shipwrecked, stranded, and lost.
But still…just as one wouldn’t climb Everest in the middle of winter, it’s best not to join the arena when destruction and obscurity is certain and swift. Until then its best that I build my ships, fortify its defenses and stock up for a voyage in which I might not reach land for many years. And build, I have.
By the end of 2015, I finished my flagship masterpiece called, “The Pierce Syndicate.” I promoted it to Literary Agents for a just a little over a month. This isn’t nearly enough time for me to call it a viable campaign, but something happened to me.
I confess, I became doubtful. Not because my story wasn’t ridiculously awesome but because “The Pierce Syndicate” is a huge project, well over 46 chapters and separated in two volumes. I put myself in the shoes of an editor at a traditional publishing house and asked “why would I take a chance on such a big project from a new author?”
The answer is, I wouldn’t. Not without recommendation. Especially these days where the entertainment industry leans heavily towards pop culture, an area I don’t like to be associated with.
Thankfully, God took pity on me. In the depths of my doubt, I honestly feel that the greatest creator noticed me standing alone under that single lamppost in the night’s freezing rain. He saw me look up to the sky and ask him, “What should I do?”
I think he smiled. Because in the span of a three-day weekend I dreamt of a new story in its complete entirety. I couldn’t believe it. The entire story, beginning, middle, and end just hit me like an epiphany. If that’s not a blessing, I don’t know what is.
In February of 2016 I set about writing “The Slave Quarters,” a crime mystery featuring my characterCloud Beaudry and his bundle of sunshine, the conniving ghost Maggie. I’m afraid of writing the plot here because it’s never been done and I don’t it to be stolen. But the coolest thing about this story isn’t even the plot. It’s the first-person narrative in which you’re put in the shoes of a very manipulative (for a good cause), misanthropic detective who’s chalk full of hidden agendas and ulterior motives. I think that’s what makes him so human though. Because I believe almost everyone has ulterior motives. The only difference between Cloud Beaudry and most people is that he’s aware of it. It’s very entertaining, just wait and see.
The “Slave Quarters” took me only three months to write from beginning to end and it was the coolest thing about 2016 by far. I enjoyed it so much. I’ve never been on a cruise. I’ve never been to Disney World. But if I had to pick between a cruise, Disney World, or spending three months writing that book, I’d gladly choose writing the book. Because I am able to travel through time and space. I smell, hear, and see things that don’t exist, that haven’t happened. My ability is that good. Articulating it is always what I have room to improve on.
By July 2016, I started querying it to Literary Agents. This was a campaign that lasted from July till the end of October. And while I know this is a process that every author has to go through, it wasn’t enough for me. The period of July through October is four months. To spend four months of my life just mailing query letters and receiving rejection after rejection (which is to be expected) would drive me insane. I needed to keep creating, keep writing, keep building more ships! I needed more cowbell!
Thus…by the end of July and after reading the “wish-list” of over 100 literary agents who clearly want strong female protagonists or stories centered around women as the main character, I revisited a dream project that I conceived back in 2009. Lol, again, this is an original story that hasn’t been done and the last thing I want is for someone to read this and steal my characters, thus ruining a genre that I’m hoping to resurrect.
I will say that the title is called “The Knights With No Lords”. The main character is a strong female protagonist, but if you know me, then you know I’m a practitioner of the Byronic model. My characters struggle with a sense of what’s right and wrong, mainly because their dark selfish desires are obstructed by the knowledge of what’s good and decent.
I confess, “The Knights With No Lords,” is probably the toughest project I’ve ever worked on because the female lead is seventeen. I already told you about my imagination. Sometimes I have to go places I don’t want to go in order to write emotional dialogue that feels true. When it comes to the romance, I drew on my own personal experiences. While frustrating, it’s also funny as hell. There’s always some virtue or personal conflict preventing me from being with the woman I want. Again, not pleasant, but still entertaining nonetheless. It’s led to thoughts like this:
“If good girls fall for the bad guys, then who do the bad girls fall for?”
I’ve presented that question to a friend of mine and he said, “nope. The bad girls still fall for the bad guys.”
Haha, I don’t know. Either way, “The Knights With No Lords” explores the idea. I’ve finished it just before Christmas and I’m now in the process of editing it. I’ve even enlisted one of my closest friends to help on that endeavor. By April, I plan to have it copyrighted to start sending it to query agents.
We’ll see if my female protagonist is good enough to win the hearts of those agents. And I do feel a little sad in saying that. Part of me acknowledges that I wrote this book for agents more so than the reader. But maybe that’s what I needed to do all along. Either way, I won’t stop building my ships. My android and thumbdrive is full of premises and projects just screaming to be developed. It’s all a matter of patience, diligence, and perseverance.
That’s the main thing I wanted to share with you. I haven’t been posting on this website in a long while because, as you can see, I’ve been a busy man. And I know there are producers and agents who would say, “But still. You gotta keep giving people something. You have to keep your online presence known.”
And to that point I won’t say I that disagree…but more so I just have a greater deal of self-respect for my work. I’ve come a long way from launching vessels that wind up lost at sea. Twitter and Facebook may have been a viable marketing platform in the past, but now it’s
oversaturated with peddlers of their products.
If you tout your own work it doesn’t have the same strength as someone else saying on their feed, “You gotta check out this author!”
In my seven-year journey I’ve been through the trials and errors. I’ve marketed myself through social media for at least two years and you need money to advertise and draw customers to your books. You really do have to spend money to make money and I’ve racked up a debt. I’ve done crowd-funding campaigns. I’ve reached out to my family and friends. I’ve contributed to other blogs, supported other authors, and made myself a part of writer communities.
Again, these aren’t complaints. Football players practice in the sweltering heat to prepare for Sunday. Olympians train and sacrifice so much just for one summer to reach gold. Singers and actors exercise discipline and practice for their roles. If you make up your mind to do something and fully commit yourself to it, you’re going to have to work hard and it won’t happen overnight unless of course you know someone or wore born into money.
There have been so many times I’ve thought about quitting. The pressures of life, commercialism, societal expectations, familial responsibilities, devotion to God, intimate relationships, and the tense corporate ladder that I’m expected to climb. It’s like they’re all a bunch of Apaches firing arrows at me as I ride my steed with no cover in sight.
If you were to ask why am I trying so hard…because there are a multitude of authors who have succeeded and maintained healthy relationships with spouses, children, and cool circle of friends. They’ve attained that proverbial balance that people keep telling me about. So why can’t I?
The easy answer is that I’m just different. I wrote another article about that so I won’t get into it. I will tell you there’s a quote from Pres. Theo Roosevelt that resonates deeply with me. He wrote: “Dark care rarely sits behind the rider whose pace is fast enough.”
Pres. Roosevelt wrote this after his first wife and his mother died in the same night. To cope with the pain, he ventured into the Wild West and kept himself busy with the rigors of frontier life.
I dare not compare my pain to Roosevelt, but there is pain in my heart. That’s why I can’t even go on vacation for more than three days before the angst surfaces. I wonder if this is the case with other workaholics. For me, keeping my mind focused on a story or project keeps my mind from wondering about old flames. It’s morphine to regret, loneliness, and despair.
I recently told one of my exes, someone who’s still one of my best friends, that I see her face everyday. I know that sounds creepy by today’s standards, but she understood and was touched. And I wasn’t lying. When I think about my exes, or enemies, or failures and embarrassment, the emotions rush over as if it’s happening all over again.
Oddly enough, this doesn’t work so well with the positives for some strange reason. For the positives, I have to seek in the real world what I’ve done and remind myself of how far I’ve come, or those who do support and love me. I’m not sure why I’m like this. But it doesn’t matter.
At this point, I’d like to point out that I’m not a miserable person. In spite of all the pitiful sad stuff I just told you, I really do like the man I’ve become. I’m tall, strong, caring, and generous. The few friends who have stuck with me over the years, I treat like jewelry because they are rare and extremely valuable. I laugh at just about everything and I have a strong relationship with Jehovah our heavenly father. I started reading the bible from start to finish about a year and a half ago and I’ve just started 1st Timothy.
Also! I’ve taken up boxing. It’s tough but I enjoy it. If you scroll down, you’ll read one of my essays about how I used to weigh 378lbs. Now I’m down to 215. I can run, jump, and fight like a son of a gun. So don’t pity me. I have my scars just like everyone else but I wear them like a champion! Not to mention, God’s blessed me with the ability to turn my negatives into a positives. Even when I step into the boxing gym, depleted and fatigued from the work-out the night before, all I need to is think about certain group of people and I’m Mike Tyson in his prime if only for an hour.
It’s like my life is a steamroller. To keep going I have to chuck coal into the furnace. With all the times I’ve stumbled and fallen down, my fuel supply if infinite. I have no doubt that I really am going to live life till the wheels fall off. But still…I plan to live life my way, seeking first the kingdom of God. We can’t all be party animals and thrill-seekers. Not all men are in it for the thrill of the chase. Some of us like to stay put and build.
There’s one other subject I’d like to discuss. It’s about Facebook and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying what I’m about to say.
Facebook has become a platform of pictures and political correctness. In 2016, I’ve posted hundreds of thought-provoking questions and theories that get little to no interaction. But let someone post a picture of their vacation, their material things, their visage (as if we forgot what they looked like yesterday) then people flocked to that with likes and comments.
People say, “You shouldn’t expect praise or likes or…”
All of that’s bullshit. Why post anything if not with the hopes that someone in this expanded universe would see it? There’s nothing wrong with admitting you hope people will like what you put out, and what’s worse than people not liking it, is people completely ignoring it. And as an artist, I refuse to rehash old gems once I’m published as if I just thought of something new, when in reality, I’ve had it for years. For that matter, I’ve decided on my 30th birthday to stop posting on Facebook. I’ve decided to stop scrolling down Facebook to see what my friends and family are up to. And dude, I’m telling you…it’s done wonders for my health.
If you try it, you’ll find yourself washed with that nostalgic freedom, to a magical time where you only found out what people were up to when they friggin told you. Ignorance is a bliss! A magical bliss where you can walk to work and smile at other humans without worrying how they feel about some stupid current event/fad/trend/movement.
It really was one of the best decisions of my life and I’m lovin every minute of it. So while everyone is riled up on a daily basis about what’s going on in Washington DC, New York, or Los Angeles, I sand down the rails of my ships and check the hulls for leaks. I smile knowing that I’m drawing closer to God and wait patiently till the day that I cast off.
“But Rock. What if that day never comes? What if the seas stay rough and only continue to get worse? Don’t you think you’re wasting time? You’re going to waste your life waiting forever. There will never be a perfect time. You need to just go for it!”
I smirk, wipe the sweat from my forehead, and peer outward to those dark stormy clouds.
“You might be right. Knowing me, at some point, I am going to say fuck it and just go for it. Maybe I am wasting time building all these ships that might never see the open seas. My ambition isn’t so dulled that I’m contempt with having these magnificent pieces linger away despite the immense pleasure I’ve derived in constructing them. I guess that’s what you should look out for.”
“In the thick of the chaos as ships become tangled with ships, and cannons blare, and the torrential downpour becomes so heavy that you can barely see the light of day, look out that you’re not caught in the way of my formidable fleet. At least you’ll be able to hear me coming. I have a tendency to laugh out loud when I’m scared out of my mind.”
I confess. Sometimes when I start a new chapter, an overwhelming fear grips me and prevents me from moving forward. I know people get tired of me talking about being a writer, as if I’m bragging about some gift that no one else possesses. But it’s more than that. It’s like setting sail across the Atlantic at a time when people still believed that there was an end to the world. It’s like crawling to a tunnel to get to the other side with no light to guide you.
It’s that kind of fear. Today, I literally stared at a blank page for over half an hour. I know what I wanted to say, what I wanted to convey, but how? Sometimes I think I get so bombarded with my predecessors and this obsession to surpass them that I think it erodes my own God given ability. My own voice. My brutal honest, that incorrigible honesty that lands me in more trouble than I care to recall.
I can’t say that it’s all courage and bravery, because even when I finish the chapter, the fear still lingers. But it’s different. It’s no longer a debilitating fear, but an exhilarating one. It’s about commitment. There’s no aborting it when your life or livelihood is on the line. You have to see it through to completion. You have to follow your path or at the very least go as far as you can without knocking on death’s front doors. And since the fear isn’t going away, you just learn to embrace it like a comrade or companion.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…that without this fear, none of what I’m doing would be fun.
Straw Man Tactics – Facebook Arguments That Have Nothing to do With Your Point
By Rock Kitaro
July 12, 2016
How many times have you taken the time to post your honest thoughts on a subject, any subject, only to have someone debate you and make points to an argument that has very little to do with your original position? It’s like someone shouting, “CHECK MATE!,” laughing and seal-clapping all proud of themselves while you sit back and seethe, wondering whether or not you should remind the person that you’re playing checkers, not chess.
This is called the Straw Man tactic. I’m seeing this a lot in online debates, so its time for a little exposure.
The Straw Man tactic is a fallacy in which someone appears to have shot down an opponent’s argument, while its actually refuting an issue not proposed by the opponent. It fails to address or disprove the original proposition even though it “appears” to be the same issue.
For example if I were to say, “If you feel like you don’t have a place in this world, keep your chin up and build your place in it. Suicide isn’t the answer.”
And then “Betty” responds with, “Clinical depression is a serious issue. It can’t be controlled or fixed with medicine or religion. We never know what people who suffer with depression go through on a daily basis so we have no right to judge them from committing suicide.”
This is a Straw Man tactic. Anyone reading her post could nod their heads, thinking “she’s right. Clinical depression is a serious issue.”
But the thing is, my original post made no mention of clinical depression. I never said that clinical depression can be controlled or fixed with medicine or religion. Nor did I say anything remotely judgmental about those who have committed suicide so the issues “Betty” points out disproves arguments that I never made.
Furthermore, it distracts from my original message about keeping your chin up and refrain from committing suicide which is fairly positive and uplifting, to promote a message about clinical depression and how sometimes suicide may be acceptable. (which is quite grim, to be honest. Seriously, stay away from my future children).
Another example could be, if you were to read my provided example and say, “your example isn’t a good example because some could say that ‘not feeling like you have a place in this world’ is a sign of depression in which Betty is right to stress her point.”
This too is a form of a Straw Man tactic. It’s the “selective form” referred to as the Weak Man tactic. It’s when people selectively focus on any hasty generalization you make as a way disprove your entire argument, when really its just the generalization that’s interpreted as flawed.
“So Rock. What are you saying? No one should oppose your arguments?”
Not at all. I acknowledge that I have no control over what you say or do.
I’m only pointing out a trend practiced by way too many. I think there’s too many people entering debates and discussions with closed minds, ready to project their thoughts but refusing to hear or attempt to understand the other side. Especially if the opinion is based on faith or empirical experience. Because they don’t want to believe or lack the comprehension to put themselves in the other’s shoes, they lash out with clichés and recycled arguments that have very little to do with the main topic.
America Needs a New Movement – One that Puts God First
July 8th 2016
By Rock Kitaro
We all know what Black Lives Matters means. We know/knew what their intentions were. But I don’t think it’s working. It’s bringing more attention to a problem, sure, but what about the solution? I fear that it’s digging up an old enemy, old resentment. If it continues on, we won’t progress. We’ll only slip back to a way of time where everyone dreaded walking down the streets the old South. All lives matter. This is the message that should shine through, but the glaring fact that so many choose to ignore is that the very name of the movement, in of itself, is “racist”.
Why? Because there’s the emphasis on Blacks. And no matter how much you try to steer your motives or intentions into the area of positive, the movement was doomed from the start. Tell me…what’s the difference between someone shouting “Black Lives Matter” and “White Power” to the ears of the uneducated? Tell me…if you feel that a majority of Americans are sufficiently educated, would there be a need for a movement in the first place?
The problem with today’s Politically Correct society is that it’s not equal across the board. Some things are okay to talk about while others are deemed offensive and thus has no place for a platform. I believe this is a grave mistake. The PC society is stifling a voice of growing dissent. This voice is severely underrepresented in the media because the media knows that it’ll take away their precious headlines to draw in web traffic and receive money from advertisement.
I’m talking about the Christian voice. The heart of a true American patriot is Christianity. Christianity is being removed from schools, from the workplace, from politics. It’s being removed for the forefront of our lives when one of the core beliefs is that we should be putting “God First.”
It means that God should guide our ways in all things. But our Christian voice is being stamped out. It’s a voice that’s being stamped out in all arenas of today’s society and that, my friends, is a scary thought. Just go and read the book of Jeremiah and you’ll see the exact same ethos thriving in an immoral and corrupt Jerusalem just before the Babylonians invaded.
Regardless what anybody says, what anybody wants to believe, America was founded on Christian principles. And I get it. The racists in the old south were mostly Christians, so why should we follow that mold?
The answer to that is because we are living in the future. We know what they did was wrong, so now its up to us to end the cycle instead of perpetrating it. Otherwise, we’ll become no better than those in the Middle East in a revolving cycle of hate and revenge in which no one has the courage or the strength to simply forgive and let peace flourish.
I used to think that the Israelites were so foolish to disobey God after they had witnessed with their own two eyes the miracles and supernatural destruction God put on display. I told myself that the Israelites had an advantage as to why their faith should be stronger than ours because we haven’t seen such phenomenon. But I’m beginning to change my view.
Unlike the Israelites who’s civilization was relatively new with very little precedence to go on, We, Us, All of us living in the here and now have the gift of the Bible. We have a time machine that allows us to peer into the past and see what happened and why? But the Bible is being neglected. It’s collecting dust while we stupidly cry on our hands and knees wondering why all the bad things in the world is happening.
If you’re wondering why God is allowing so much wickedness and harm to litter this planet, I’ll tell you its because God is patient. He is incredibly patient and I admire and love him for that. I well know what it means to be rebellious and caught up in following my own path, thinking my way was right and everyone who followed the good book was a fool using it as a tool to live their lives. But God was patient with me. After years of my wondering alone and aggravated by how stupid I felt everyone was, I opened the Bible, to the very first page and started reading.
Everything began to make sense. The hatred. The genocides. The bombings. The preying. The greed. The corruption. The immorality. The self-interest. The hardships. The pain. The suffering.
All of it is foretold in the Bible. It’s exactly what God and his prophets warned what would happen if we neglect his word and turn our backs on him.
EVERYTHING the media and your friends and family are telling you about how all of us are equal in the eyes of God is wrong. And it wasn’t until I started reading the Bible that I found that out.
If you turn your back on God, he will turn his back on you. If you ignore his commandments, he will ignore your prayers. Unless you turn away from what is bad and learn to fear him again, you will perish.
I know…who the hell do I think I am to be telling you this. My name is Rock Kitaro. I’m not some ordained minister. I don’t have any theocratic certificates or qualifications under my belt. All I am is an ordinary man from the outside looking in. A pragmatist, an objective and open mind who’s dabbled in many religions, many philosophies, but never abandoned the word of the true God. And when it comes to my boldness in talking to you…its because I’m doing as the Bible commanded. I’m using it as my sword and my shield.
Don’t take my word for it. Just start reading on your own and you’ll see. Your eyes will be opened and everything will start to make sense. If you must, because in your heart you know you’re a bit lazy, and you want to take baby steps which is fine, just jump into the book of Jeremiah. You’ll see how quickly everything in the news sounds unnervingly familiar.
For instance, you may have noticed how today’s society is talking about shame and how it’s taboo to “fat-shame, body-shame, slut-shame,” etcetera. But what if I told you that a little shame is actually good. It’s that voice inside of your head telling you that what you’re doing is wrong, and you need to change. Perhaps its cynical for me to think you’ll even consider the notion.
Only because Jeremiah Chapter 6 verses 13-15 talks about the people don’t feel shame for the detestable things they’ve done. They don’t even know how to feel humiliation, so they will fall among the fallen.
As far as the messages of assurances from the horrible oxymorons like “gay pastors” and Liberal priests who preach tolerance and acceptance of an unclean, immoral society, Jeremiah Chapter 23 verse 16 and 17 warns us. He says:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are deluding you. The vision they speak is from their own heart and not from the mouth of God. They are saying again and again to those respecting Him, God has said you will enjoy peace. And to everyone who follows his own stubborn heart, they say no calamity will come upon you.”
That was back then during Jeremiah’s time over 2,000 years ago. I wonder if we have spiritual leaders today telling us its okay to indulge ourselves in sins and “its okay, we will still have peace”.
Even after tragedy strikes, we have leaders and presidents telling us, “We will pray for the victims.”
Am I the only one thinking to myself, “What good will that do if you’re not following God’s word? Who are you praying to? And more importantly, if God has no place in today’s politics, the classrooms, the workplace, why should he come now when us children have fallen and scraped our knee after disrespecting him, mocking him, tearing down his followers, and using every label in the book to shut them up.”
I believe this country needs a new movement. A movement accepting of all race, but not all lifestyles. Anyone who wants to join this movement must shed themselves of their sins. They need to stop trying to conform Christ’s teachings to fit their personalities, but conform their personality to Christ’s teachings.
This is a movement of logic and wisdom. A logic that will ignore stupid arguments that make no sense or are irrelevant to the topic at hand. A wisdom that remembers to put God first, remembering Job 28, verse 28 “The fear of God is wisdom. To turn away from badness is understanding”.
This movement, I’m talking about…we can’t let in people motivated by self-interest. Those seeking fame and the power to influence others for their own impure ideals. This movement needs to be intelligent, its members walking with class and dignity. It’s a movement of gentlemen and ladies where we show respect even to our enemies and know when to leave the arena because it’s pointless for us to stay.
We have to be a shining example of civility. Lead by example. Dress with pride and bottle our anger, our rage, for a private outlet. We have to stand together and refrain from taking rash actions that will bring ruin to our brethren. We have to think as a community, and not individuals.
“Rock. Why don’t you start this movement?”
It’s a nagging question I keep hearing in my head.
The answer is, “I just might.”
But before I do anything like that, I want to finish reading the Bible through to completion. My views and opinions may adjust based on what I learn. I’m in the middle of Jeremiah and I haven’t even gotten to the significance of Jesus Christ’s teachings. I was shown 1st Corinthians Chapter 6 verses 9-11 by a friend last night and that made me smirk.
You guys…God’s waiting for you to repent. The reason why so many good people on this earth are suffering and enduring is because God’s patiently waiting for the wicked to turn away from their wickedness and come back to him. The door to Noah’s Ark is not yet closed. There is still time to jump on board before the deluge. If you take anything from this little essay, I hope that’s the message you take with you.
An Obvious Flaw with Democracy – A Romanticist Point of View Date- Jan 21st 2016 By Rock Kitaro
NOTE – Stage in the Sky is not a political blog, nor does Rock Kitaro pretend to be an expert in political science. These are just the opinions of a Romanticist philosopher based on what’s observed.
As much as I try, I cannot ignore the news. Its so obvious, the agenda of each news outlet. Fox News absolutely hates Hillary Clinton. CNN abhors Trump while putting Clinton on a pedal stool. And the general public supports Trump behind closed doors, according to his polls, while the popular opinion seems to be in favor of Bernie Sanders. Feel the Bern, they say.
America is divided, as it’s always been. Only in times of a common enemy do we stand together like our favorite heroes. Some examples of this are The American Revolution after the oppression of Great Britain, WWII after Pearl Harbor, and most recently the Iraq War after 9/11. But on social issues, economic issues, and issues relating to nationalism and religion…we differ.
And that’s alright. Such is a democracy and its good that everyone’s coming up with their own opinions…or do they?
This election, like the last one, touts a certain presidential candidate as a racist, bigot, who hates specific groups of people the same way they said Mitt Romney was launching a war on women.
What I believe is happening is that the news, Hollywood, and everyone in a position to influence a following are culprits with perpetrating a narrative, a conclusion, or in some cases a fiction in which the masses mindlessly swallow it up and regurgitate. Just today, I was checking my facebook messages when, in the side scroll, I see Kerry Washington and a number of celebrities calling for people to “Stop Hate Dump Trump.” Of course when I clicked on the link to see if Washington or the other celebrities had a solution by supporting another candidate other than Trump, there was none to be found.
This is a problem when it comes to Democracy…
The problem with Ms. Kerry Washington’s campaign is the same problem I had with Samuel L Jackson’s commercials in the 2012 elections where he shouted “Wake Up” in favor of voting against Romney. I believe these are forms of manipulation or propaganda, quite similar to the popular kids in school promoting some fad and calling others lame if they don’t jump on board.
It would be one thing if the general public took their campaigns for what it is, that being their own personal opinion. However, in our society, people are afraid to be alone. If there isn’t a “popular” celebrity promoting an opposing opinion to the likes of Ms. Washington’s…people may feel like they’re alone on an island in their own thoughts. So they abandon those thoughts and join in with the crowd just like that.
Another problem with democracy is that in today’s society, you’ll be hard pressed to find people who both love democracy and have a strong sense of national pride. It may be just me, but I get the feeling that people these days care very little about the collective community, but focus more about themselves as an individual when they choose to vote.
Well Rock…People have a right to their opinion. Democracy succeeds because people have a right to let their opinions be known. If you don’t like Democracy…what system of government would you propose? Are you a communist? Gasps! Are you a communist, Rock?
Hahaha. No. I’m not a communist. To be honest, I don’t know much about any alternative types of government. So you know what I’m going to do? EDUCATE MYSELF! It’s as I always say, the best part about being alive is self-improvement. Thus, I adjusted my glasses, drank some ice water, turned on some Nujubes, and dove into research.
First thing I wanted know was whether or not I’m alone in thinking there’s something wrong with the picture of Democracy. My friends at Wikipedia helped me out. Yes, I used Wikipedia. Give me alternative resources and I’ll take consideration to amend my thoughts because unlike many, I adjust my views based on what I learn. Here are some excerpts I found.
“The 20th-century Italian thinkers Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca (independently) argued that democracy was illusory, and served only to mask the reality of elite rule. Indeed, they argued that elite oligarchy is the unbendable law of human nature, due largely to the apathy and division of the masses (as opposed to the drive, initiative and unity of the elites), and that democratic institutions would do no more than shift the exercise of power from oppression to manipulation.”
Hmm…Manipulation. You don’t say.
In the essay “Federalist No. 10” by James Madison, he contended that republics “were superior to democracies because republics safeguarded against the tyranny of the majority.” After Shay’s Rebellion in 1787, Madison openly argued that government ought to “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority” and that unchecked, democratic communities were subject to “the turbulency and weakness of unruly passions”.
While I agree with James Madison’s essay, because it in fact has come to fruition the way citizens vote for representatives who then vote for laws, it seems to be human nature for people to come together to create a majority…you know. Like a gang. Not to mention, senators and congressmen can keep running till their heart’s content. It may just be the folly of congregations that this will always be the case. A popular and unpopular…
I just came across an opposition to Madison’s article that I’d like to share with you. According to Garry Willis’s “Explaining America” he argued that Madison’s framework does not necessarily enhance the protections of minorities or ensure the common good. Instead, Wills claims: “Minorities can make use of dispersed and staggered governmental machinery to clog, delay, slow down, hamper, and obstruct the majority. What Madison prevents is not faction, but action. What he protects is not the common good but delay as such”.
I can’t retort Willis’s thoughts on the matter, however, I will say that I failed to come across a solution. It sounded as if Willis’s position was just to shoot down Madison’s idea without offering a solution himself. Maybe he has offered a solution and I just couldn’t find it. If he didn’t, I hate that. Yeah, I get that pointing out flaws in an idea can help stave off from bigger problems the solution has the potential to create…but give us your grand idea as well. Bring something to the table. Again, it brings me back to Ms Kerry Washington’s campaign of “Don’t vote for Trump” while at the same time refraining from publicizing who to vote for in his stead. I wonder what campaign they’ll come up for Cruz if he gets the Republican nomination, but I digress.
Also, I want to point out that when I say “Majority,” I’m not necessarily talking about a race as I’ve found on many articles that broached the subject. For me, the majority refers to popular opinion and the mob mentality that seems to dominate our airways, social media, and cultural census.
It brings me back to a facebook post where I asked if it’s true that “There is no right or wrong, only popular opinion.” People responded that it’s not true. They said there is a right and wrong and its defined by the Bible. The problem is that more and more it seems like the majority of America is turning away from religion and the word of the Bible.
Thus, one could argue that Christians are increasingly becoming the “Minority”. Of course, I could be wrong. It could be that the United States is still dominated by Christians who have been dubbed, I think pejoratively, “The Silent Majority” or simply “Conservative Christians.”
Finally, I’d like to bring Plato to the forefront as I’ve come across and article in which he lists the top five forms of government from best to worst. It goes
In Plato’s Aristocratic State Plato idealizes is composed of three caste-like parts: t
The ruling class, made up of the aforementioned philosophers-kings (who are otherwise identified as having souls of gold);
The auxiliaries of the ruling caste, made up of soldiers (whose souls are made up of silver), and whose job in the state is to force on the majority the order established by the philosophers. T
The majority of the people (souls of either bronze or iron), who in contrast to the first two classes are allowed to own property and produce goods for themselves, but are also obliged to sustain with their own activities their rulers’ — who are forbidden from owning property in order to preclude that the policies they undertake be tainted by personal interests.
Essentially it stresses the importance of education, for leaders to be selfless and upright individuals. Two qualities, you’d be hard press to identify in our politicians today.
Plato states that “Wealth, fame, and power are just shadows of the Good and provide only hollow and fleeting satisfaction. It is only the knowledge of the Good in itself that gives man enduring and real happiness. Thus, the philosopher who is exposed to metaphysical contemplation is not tempted to abuse his power in his pursuit of material goods, and his state policies are therefore dedicated to establishing only the Good in the state, not his personal interests.”
When talking about democracy, Plato goes on to say, “Oligarchy then degenerates into democracy where freedom is the supreme good but freedom is also slavery. The democratic man is the son of the oligarchic man. Unlike his father, the democratic man is consumed with unnecessary desires. Plato describes necessary desires as desires that we have out of instinct or desires that we have in order to survive.
Unnecessary desires are desires we can teach ourselves to resist such as the desire for riches. The democratic man takes great interest in all the things he can buy with his money. He does whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it. His life has no order or priority.”
I’ll end my essay on that note. I really like the idea of Plato’s Aristocracy, but at the same time, something tells me there’s more to it than what I just read. My thoughts are not cemented and I’m open to discussion if you have any thoughts on the matter. I suppose I mainly wrote this essay to convey my frustrations of living in a society where the media’s manipulation is so freaking obvious…and when I read the comments on published articles, it feels like the manipulation is only obvious to me.
That’s a dangerous sentiment with deep-thinkers such as myself. Because my interpretation of “crazy” is exactly that, when reason and logic only makes sense to yourself.
Braved a Detroit snow storm to attend the wedding of my best friend from college. I could just leave it at that and not make this a melancholy post. But if all you see is what I want you to know, how can you say that you know the real me. While it was a happy occasion, Why is it that I can never just be happy? Whenever I feel proud and joyous, sadness and angst is right beside it holding hands. Even now I can still feel my heart lodged in my throat. I smile for the camera. I seem like I’m at peace. But really, I’m always on fire. I think that’s why I hate taking pictures of my face. It betrays my personal constitution, to never lie to myself.
Nevertheless, I fulfilled a promise I made years ago. I don’t forget my friends even though I can understand their arguments to the contrary. I didn’t even stay for the reception. I bore witness to her union and left without saying goodbye. Who does that? What kind of friend…and she was supposed to be one of my best. Ten years I’ve known this one. The first true friend I made when I left the nest.
Anyways…Here! I smiled for the camera. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? I know my family appreciated it. I believe that’s worth the fiction.
In this essay, I attack several popular opinions, mock those who are surprised by the silent majority, expose the code ruining courtships, rip up the race cards, and encourage people to think for themselves. There. You were warned.
There is no right or wrong, only popular opinion.
A while back I asked my facebook community if there was any truth in that statemet. For a majority of those who contributed, they said it was false. They said, there is a right and a wrong and the distinction between the two is defined by the Bible.
I want nothing more to agree with them, but here’s the thing. What if a majority of society isn’t reading the Bible anymore? What if Christians and Bible reading scholars have become the minority in American mainstream? I’ve only recently turned twenty-nine, and too many times, I’ve seen comments and heard arguments from adults decades older than me who often pose questions with the prefix of … “Did the Bible ever say..?” or “What does the Bible say about…?
You know…as if they have no clue. Which is sad? But at the same time, misleading. Because I refuse to believe a majority of Americans don’t read the Bible or follow Christian principles. I believe they’re just keeping silent. I say that, because for the longest time…I’ve kept silent.
Why have I kept silent? Probably for the same reasons as everyone else, but my situation is a little more delicate. You see, I want to become a famous author and succeed in the world of publishing. I could be wrong, but it seems that even the literary world is part of the entertainment industry. It’s a business where the potential to make money is more important than art, creation, and presenting new stories to the masses.
The masses…the general public. Thanks to the internet and social media, an author’s personal beliefs and lifestyle is taken into account. It’s important that the general public likes who you are and what you believe in. Publishers value whether or not you can sell yourself, if you’re marketable to a mainstream audience. If I came out with some “outlandish” thought that’s against the popular opinion, it can seriously hurt my chances of either getting published or selling books.
Another problem I face is the reluctance of the silent majority. When I say, silent majority, I’m talking about the general public that makes up the majority of Americans, who have their gripes, complaints and suggestions about improvement, but they don’t take a stand to do anything about it. Yeah, you’ll hear them down at your bar, on the basketball court, or around the water cooler at work. But if it’s to get anything down on record about how they truly feel about an issue, they really don’t care to go through the trouble. If all they had to do was show up at a meeting to put in a ballot, nope. They got better things to do, which is mostly true especially if it doesn’t have an immediate or individual effect.
A good way to get that silent majority to move is to provoke them. And when it comes to provocation, yours truly turns out to be a pro at it. I know “provoke” or “provocation” seems to come with a negative context. When you think of someone who’s provoked, I’m sure someone bumping into your shoulder or calling you names comes to mind. Don’t worry, I’m not like that. Even when people call me condescending or insulting, that’s really a matter of interpretation. It could just be that they’re too sensitive or they grew up in a world where they were taught that everyone owes them an apology for every little thing they find offensive. ☺
What I do is toss out a grenade in the form of a hypothetical question or theory that goes against whatever the headlines are trying to brainwash you with. The questions or ideas are usually subtle, but potent. I aim to penetrate your subconscious and dig through the useless things to pull out what you really need to think for yourself.
But even “thinking for yourself” might not be enough. I say that because of the many recent news events in which the public seemed “surprised” by the outcome. Adrian Peterson spanks his child? The guy from Duck Dynasty doesn’t believe in gay marriage? People in Baltimore are rioting after a black guy died in police custody? What the hell is going on in America?
If your circle of friends, if your associates, if you opened your mind to learn about cultures outside of which you’re already familiar with…none of this would come as a surprise.
This is America. We have multiple ethnicities, multiple religions, dozens of cultures and subcultures and we were founded by rebels and free-thinkers. I have associates who are liberals and conservatives. Republicans and Democrats. Religious and Atheists. Homosexuals and Heterosexuals. I have associates who are for gun-control, and those who are against it. I have associates who are even racists or make fun of stereotypes. Some of them are even my friends.
Why is this a good thing? Because it broadens your horizons and widens your perspective. I don’t necessarily agree with all of my associates, but it helps me to understand who they are and where they’re coming from. It gives me the ability to comprehend how others feel or how they would feel about a given issue. Not to mention, there are so many nuggets of useful information that you can take from even the most ignorant individuals. All of it helps shape who I am and builds me up. That’s why I hate people who jump into conversations and criticize the opinions of others without offering their own stance on the matter. Not just because that person’s an asshole, but also because I learned absolutely nothing from the person other than the fact that he or she likes to belittle others.
Most played song during the creation. – Piano Guys “Moonlight Sonata” –
Around this time last year…I came to a crossroad where I presented myself with two options to take in life. I could have gone to Afghanistan to work for a private contracting company and made a lot of money, obviously from hazard pay. My second option was to stay in Tampa, Florida and commit myself to finishing a novel that I’ve been outlining for two years.
After writing my first novel, “The Three Kings of Ybor,” I knew how difficult this task would be. The difficulty, mostly coming from the fact that I knew I’d have to isolate myself. As difficult as isolation is to myself, its even more difficult when you have to explain yourself to people why you can’t hang out with them or visit. They look at you like you’re weird and hit you with cliché lines like “tomorrow isn’t promised and we may never get the chance to see you again.” They’re of course oblivious to the fact that I’ve considered this when I was weighing my options.
Two circumstances happened that aided in my decision. The first was the sudden emergence of ISIS that heightened tensions in the Middle East. The second was the amount of vacation days my current company finally provided. With the vacation days I was afforded, I knew I’d be ten times more productive on consecutive days off. Its takes time to fully enter one world from another.
Thus, I took the path of finishing a novel that I’d already written six chapters to. It’s called “The Pierce Syndicate.” Here’s what I’ve accomplished.
This is the Pierce Syndicate Synopsis:
In the year 2210…Three years after the Kennedy St. Massacre, the imperial government has taken notice of the lawlessness and organized crime that infests the largest city in the American Empire. Major Gideon Rose of the Sedona Unit has been dispatched to infiltrate the syndicate with permission to eliminate the worst offenders. He soon finds out the bloody way that this is easier said than done.
Tampa Bay has become a powder keg of rival clans, genetically enhanced enforcers and corrupt corporate figures with their own horde of bulletproof cyborgs. In a volatile world where the various criminal factions control nearly every aspect of commerce, all enterprises are taxed and governed by the board of directors of the Pierce Corporation with CEO Isaac Pierce serving as the head of the syndicate.
The criminal empire Isaac has worked so hard to build hangs in the balance as his health begins to deteriorate. This sign of weakness is just what his enemies and disloyal allies have been waiting for. If that’s not bad enough, the cutthroat Eliza Christie is still using August the 18th as a vigilante militia to wreak havoc on syndicate affiliates in a devastating war of attrition. Despite having an ambitious heir apparent who’s eager and waiting to take over the Pierce operations, all eyes are settled on Isaac’s more popular and feared nephew, Braden Pierce, the syndicate’s most prolific assassin.
Contrary to all of the hype, Braden is actually a calm, respectful, scholar who only comes out of his shell in the heat of intense combat. The fragile peace and stability that’s kept the clans from going at each other’s throats over the years goes up in flames when someone tries to kill millionaire socialite, Alma Monteiro. Aside from being one of the most beloved philanthropic figures the world has ever seen Alma is also Braden’s sole love interest.
Thus, Braden is placed in the middle of a bloody power struggle where he’s forced to choose between leading figures in a splintered syndicate and protecting the ones he loves. In this action-packed epic that spans three months, the body count racks up as eccentric billionaire, a rogue mob boss, and dangerous fugitive comes out of hiding, all with their own agendas to replace the Pierce Syndicate.
I knew I was committing my entire 28th year of life to finishing this book. I accepted it, embraced it. And I tell you…it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I’ve cried so many times through out the year from pressure, through personal failures, and tragedies I’ve witnessed in the book and outside of it. I’ve fallen to depression and daydreamed about how this world would be without me. With my other books, it wasn’t so difficult because I had already written the outline and scripts for them years before I started working two jobs. I was more or less translating a piece of work from one medium to another.
But with the Pierce Syndicate…for nearly an entire year half of my mind was in one world, the other in this one. Every waking moment where someone didn’t demand my attention, I was in the shoes of another character. When I walked the halls in a mood, I wasn’t angry or sad…but I had taken on the persona of one of my characters and hadn’t snapped back to reality yet. I felt exposed and possessed. I did wonder from time to time whether I was going insane. On my best days was when I was conflicted the most. It was usually after I attained a bit of knowledge that made me feel superior over my peers, yet battled myself to hide that superiority and appear meek and humble. It made me question whether or not simply thinking of a bad deed was just as bad as acting on it. It was so silly. But its what I had to do.
And throughout such agony and ecstasy, I created this 669-page masterpiece. On August 3rd when I finished…hahaha! I know it sounds crazy, but I really did imagine myself getting off a train at Grand Central Station. It’s like I’ve been gone for so long and I’ve finally come back. I know its hard to believe how much of an impact this story will have on the world. Perhaps…by reading me declare it, every fiber of your being will deny its greatness. I’m sure you’re thinking that I should probably keep my high opinion to myself and let the readers decide…but modesty in regard to my work has never been one of my talents.
On August 3rd when I finished…hahaha! I know it sounds crazy, but I really did imagine myself getting off a train at Grand Central Station. It’s like I’ve been gone for so long and I’ve finally come back. I know its hard to believe how much of an impact this story will have on the world. Perhaps…by reading me declare it, every fiber of your being will deny its greatness. I’m sure you’re thinking that I should probably keep my high opinion to myself and let the readers decide…but modesty in regard to my work has never been one of my talents.
What I learned this past year…
Everyone is blessed in his or her own way. No one on earth has everything. Even a man born rich will lack the sensation of starting with nothing and building himself up. I know when I share my literary accomplishments it might seem like I’m bragging, but that’s only because I’m probably the only one doing what I’ve done. If you knew a lot of writers who were posting about their written accomplishments… it wouldn’t seem like I was bragging. It would seem normal.
Think about it. I don’t post selfies of concerts and events I’ve gone to. I don’t even hang out with friends nor do I have a girlfriend who I can post photos of. I’m sure you do. And I’m sure your friends do. So it’s normal. It doesn’t seem like they’re bragging or boasting, does it?
The truth is I’m deprived of what so many are blessed with, and yet it seems people still…let me put it this way. A girl once told me that I complimented myself so much that there’s no need for her to do so. That truly made me feel sorry.
My accomplishments don’t come with trophies. I don’t have spectators for my triumphs. My creations won’t pay off for years to come, but it will pay off. Of that I have no doubt. I can’t doubt myself because doubt is venomous to me. Being an author, I don’t enjoy the luxury of instant gratification that other jobs have. If a farmer plants seeds, he reaps the harvest in a matter of months. Most jobs of a 40-hour work week enjoy the reward of a paycheck once or twice a month. But as an Author…and a single/unmarried author at that…I won’t see the fruits of my labor for years.
All I have to go on is my passion and confidence. These might seem like strong qualities, but if anything, this past year has taught me how fragile I really am. I had no choice but to remove myself from anything and anyone who could be perceived as a threat to that passion and confidence. Cynicism, skepticism, and opposing expectations about what I should be doing with my life are all threats. If it sounds like I’m being sensitive…you’re right. I am extremely sensitive in the textbook definition of the word. Nothing escapes my gaze. Your choice of words, your expressions, your enthusiasm or lack there of…I receive it all. My mind focuses more on the “why” than the “what”? I wish I could ignore it but I can’t. Accepting it is the best way I can hold my head up and smile.
The reason why I’m writing this is to reach out to you. My friends, family and associates. I can’t blame you for not comprehending if I don’t at least try to explain why I’m so odd. I want you to know that if I go out of my way to avoid you, to avoid speaking with you r to avoid making eye contact with you…its not out of hate, but the love I bear thee. It’s because I care too much about what you think. Seems I was deprived of the ability to “brush it off the shoulder” when it comes to those I want to impress. Unbeknownst to these coveted ones, their opinions can create obstacles, obstacles that take time and a great deal of mental effort for me to get over. That time is precious to me, time that I could be spending creating, building, progressing.
Eliza Christie – Age 23, Commander of August the 18th.
Eliza’s theme music – Baby Metal – “Headbanger” –
You know those teen movies where the main character is the cute and innocent girl attending a new school where she finds a rude awakening in dealing with a group of rude and mean-spirited popular girls? You know how that group of rude and mean-spirited popular girls always has a ring leader? Well…Eliza Christie used to be that ring-leader. She doesn’t ask for equality or respect, she doesn’t even demand it. She walks with this powerful emanating confidence that makes you think that she simply knows everyone else is inferior. There’s a reason for this.
Eliza Christie is the sole daughter of a Det. Emile Christie. Since her mother died when she was too young to remember, Det. Christie raised her like she was one of the guys in his unit on the police force. Since the time she could walk, she’s interacted with hard-nosed detectives, speaking their language, talking back to them and cursing up a storm when her father wasn’t looking. When other kids were playing games and watching cartoons, Eliza was absorbing the hard gritty reality of the world by listening to their grim and bloody narratives. She was an anomaly, not bothered by photos of dead bodies or rape victims. The detectives in return, treated her like she was on their level. They didn’t worry about hurting her feelings or even pushing her out of the way, she welcomed it and gave as good as she got.
When she was in middle school, she got in a brutal fight with a few high school girls and messed them up pretty badly. This began a stint of bouncing from alternative schools in which she dominated each one, even leading a riot at the age of 13. By the time she got to high school, she was considered more popular than the actual celebrities attending her school. Everyone bowed down to her. The slightest disrespect was dealt with through bullying, embarrassment or ostracism. It wasn’t until she was fifteen that her life was flipped over.
One night, while she was in bed, she heard a scuffle taking place in the living room. Reluctant at first, she entered the living room to see an assassin standing with a bloody samurai sword in hand. Her father, Det. Christie was slouching on the floor with his back against the trophy case. His chest was sliced wide open as if he had just taken a diagonal cut from a battle ax. A splatter of blood came upward and stretched across the ceiling suggesting that his killer was trained, that the attack was a rising backhand cut.
Turns out, the killer was also a fifteen year old, a teenager named Braden Pierce known in the criminal underworld as a rising star. Det. Emile Christie was conducting his own private investigation on billionaire CEO of the Pierce Conglomerate, Isaac Pierce. According to Det. Christie’s notes, he suspected that all of the Tampa crime families were ruled and answered to Isaac Pierce, making Isaac Pierce the head of a supposed crime syndicate. Allegedly, Braden Pierce is Isaac Pierce’s nephew, which was why he’s later given the moniker, “The Godfather’s Sword.”
Witnessing the murder of her father by a teenager no older than herself changed Eliza Christie. From that day forward, her list of enemies elevated from rival teen pop princesses and backstabbing boyfriends to experienced assassin Braden Pierce and everyone associated with him. She conceals her identity and adopts the name fans on social media give her, the Jaguar.
Within the stretch of eight years, Eliza Christie has grown from that spiteful little brat to a brutal headstrong warrior. She’s received proper instructions; she adopted her own philosophy on what’s right and wrong. And she’s acquired her own unit of masked ex-military and off-duty law enforcement officers to disrupt and take on the Tampa families. They call themselves “August the 18th.” Everyone in her command has either lost a friend or loved one to the Pierce Syndicate.
Eliza Christie has gone through numerous hells in the form of betrayal, heartbreak, the loss of more loved ones, and being beaten to the brink of death. And throughout all of that, she still keeps going. Her soldiers would lay down their lives for her cause, fully aware that her ideals are selfish and hypocritical. They do this because Eliza Christie doesn’t just talk about taking action, she makes it happen. She puts herself on the front line and stands toe to toe with the strongest, the most biogenetically enhanced, the most dangerous figures in the criminal underworld and she never backs down. The thought of making a mistake in the field doesn’t enter her mind, because in the heat of combat, her way is the right way.
And when it’s all said and done, and the Jaguar takes off her mask from a night of hunting, Eliza Christie is still a mess of emotions, self-doubt, and impulsiveness. Only her childhood friend Aida Jannazzo can keep her centered…and Aida risks her life to do it. Seriously. In my upcoming novel, towards the end of the book, Aida confronts Eliza about all of the stupid selfish decisions she’s making and Eliza gets so mad that she rushes for Aida. The problem is, Eliza is bedridden in the hospital, in a body cast from a previous battle. But she’s so mad at Aida that she literally falls out of her bed to get to her. Aida doesn’t even try to run, she just continues to yell at her for being stupid while Eliza is struggling to get her as if Aida is the surface and Eliza is struggling for air. I know that sounds silly, but when you read it, and how intense they both are, you’ll literally be spitting with laughter. Because even though Eliza is powerful and important and oh-so strong…she’s still human. And she’s still a college student. College students are immature, yo.
Eliza Christie is a character I created six years ago in 2009. I speak of her as if she’s a real person because…I’m sorry. I don’t know why I do. I know it sounds crazy to say, “she’s real to me” but that is how I feel. Even on December 17th, I remember it as her birthday. I whisper to myself, “Happy birthday, Eliza.”
Every time I think about her, I smile. I see her green eyes shimmering like emeralds on display, her long wavy blonde hair blowing in the wind. I see her draping bangs doing a terrible job of hiding that natural spite and resentment embedded in her default bitch-face expression.
She’s a hypocrite, a walking contradiction. She’s aware of this and just doesn’t care. In an attempt to find some sense of happiness in a world where she constantly feels like a high school senior forced to walk amongst 5th graders, she’s come to terms with the fact that she’s selfish and simply stopped coming up with reasons to try and justify herself.
The happiness she seeks, the happiness that continues to elude her is the brand of romanticists. It’s a calm uplifting sensation that no one else can give or buy for her. It’s shedding of the chains that bind her to world that prevents her from flying. It’s an inner peace that simmers the internal furnace of outrage and allows her to smile, to laugh, to hope, to believe.
You see, Eliza Christie isn’t the type of person who just accepts things they way they are. She isn’t a woman who likes to depend on anyone, but she’s wise enough to know that she can’t do it all alone. She doesn’t pretend to have all the right answers and even when she makes a decision, she changes her mind based on what’s observed. Her frustrations are comical. Her disrespect towards authority figures gets worst with each confrontation. Her formidable spirit can’t be defeated. No matter how old she gets, she will always in so many ways remain a fierce tyrant in which men will bow down before her.
Her father figure, Angel Gazi, always tells her, “Eliza. Stop trying to take on the world! You can only do what you can!”
And She shouts back with, “Yeah, but that’s the thing. There’s nothing I can’t do!”
That cliché saying of how easy things are for beautiful people doesn’t apply to the resentful Eliza Christie. She’s only twenty-three but she expects herself to behave with the commanding presence of a fifty-year-old general. From her stunning physique and eye-catching fashion sense, no one could ever tell that she harbors this deep grudge towards the general public and capitalism. And perhaps what’s even more deceptive is the fact that the person she struggles with more than anyone is herself.
Is she aware of her feelings? Absolutely not. Impulsive and headstrong, she doesn’t take the time to reflect on her actions until things have gone too far, like the death of a loved one, or an incident she could have avoided if she simply exercised patience and consideration. Even then, guilt has to fight to enter her subconscious. When it does, it’s like a powder keg just erupted in her heart. She spirals out of control and lashes out violently, destructively.
Despite the serious intensity of the challenges she’s faced with…there’s always this childish playful immaturity that surfaces when she should project an air of professionalism. Even in the face of death she’s always finding something stupid to say in which the only person who finds it hilarious is her.
There’s this deep gravitational effect she has on people due to her exuding confidence and courage, the way she seems to absolutely have no fear. It’s like her brain with deprived of comprehending the commons fears of heights, guns, getting fired, getting a failing grade, rejections, her well-being or her safety. That’s why its difficult for her to empathize with the victim mentality. It’s not that she’s being insensitive, but more like she simply doesn’t understand. And when she doesn’t understand, she becomes angry. The urge to stand up and do something about it can’t be contained.
Anyone can write. Just like anyone can sing, anyone can act and anyone can dance. Whether they do it well or not is truly a matter of interpretation. But can anybody “create”? I believe they can. However, I also feel it takes proper instruction, skill, commitment and the determination to follow the creation through to its completion. Some of the common sayings I hear all the time is “I used to write. I just can’t find the time. I have a good story, but I can never finish it.”
*pats on back* It’s okay. Writing a book isn’t something that can be done in a night or a fortnight. The book I’m working on right now, I started writing over two years ago. Writing a book is a project, the same as building a car by yourself or planting a garden. You have to tend to it and help it grow.
Thus, I’ve written this little manual to help you out. This is the process I use to write fictional books and I’m only ending the steps with the completion of the first draft. Keep in mind that this process may not work for everyone, but it’s the seamless flow that’s worked for me since I graduated from film school. To my credit, I havethirteen completed works on Amazon.
Step 1. The Premise – The premise is the general concept or idea of what your story is about. It’s that “what if” question that’s found while brainstorming. Think of that summary that’s found on the back of a DVDs. The length of it can vary from writer to writer. It can be one or two sentences or it can be a whole paragraph. Personally it takes me about 2-3 pages because my stories are always complex with multiple perspectives wrapped into one. Hang on, let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. For instance in the “Ghost of Cloud Beaudry”.
Cloud Beaudry promising young law graduate with aspirations of becoming a successful defense attorney. On the surface, he looks like a bright, respectful and virtuous young man. Under the surface, he’s cursed and tormented by the sights and sounds of dead killers and their victims. When his single promiscuous mother is murdered with the local sheriffs reluctant to do anything about it, Cloud strikes up an unlikely partnership with spiteful young ghost who was murdered by her sorority sisters fifty years earlier. Together they solve a string of mysteries and use the paranormal to get back at the unrepentant.”
When you write you’re premise, I’d try to get down as much as possible, as much as you can remember and want to put in your story. Don’t worry about completing a beginning, middle or an end. Don’t even worry about it making sense yet. As long as you have a conflict and a resolution in mind, as long as you have a character who wants to achieve something or overcome some obstacle, write that down.
Think of it like the seed. This is the starting point by which your story will eventually grow. I don’t focus on character names or even the character’s backstory yet. This is just the part where I talk about what’s happening and why is it happening? What is it that the main character wants to achieve and what’s stopping them?
Step. 2 – The Inspiration – After jotting down the premise, I always like to make sure I write down what has happened to me in my life that sparked the idea of the story. It’s not like I’m just laying in bed and a story just comes to me. There’s always something I learn, or something that’s entered my world that stimulates my imagination. Writing the inspiration down is important because very often, I’ll be in the middle of writing a book when a new premise comes to me. I can’t just abort the book I’m writing to start a new one. So I write down the premise and what inspired me to come up with the premise.
Thus, when I’m finished with a book, I already have my next project lined up. As time passes, you change, improve, grow more mature, thus your mindset and way of thinking won’t likely stay the same. So reading what inspired you to come up with the story can bring you back in time and refuel your imagination for the story. It’s also good for if you’re working on a project and you’re a six-months to a year into it…and you find yourself losing sight of the original intent, or direction of your story.
Examples of inspiration can come from an enlightening debate or argument that you had with some one. It could come from a new study or article you read. It may be an escape from a painful experience, or an entertaining a new movie or TV show. Then there’s music. New music is always a good imagination churner. I can’t tell you how many battles I’ve seen when I listen to metal music. I know I can’t be the only one who dreams of movie trailers to a songs of any genre.
For instance with the “Ghost of Cloud Beaudry,” I was inspired to write it after I read an article about the top ten most haunted college campus in America. UGA of Athens, Georgia was one of them. My main character was inspired by the intellect and misanthropic views of “Light Yagami” of the “Death Note” series. And of course, there was a girl who was my object of affection at the time. If I ever forget (I won’t with this story) I can easily re-read the ghost article or watch me some “Death Note”.
After I read the article about haunted campuses somehow I ended up wandering around this giant building that I was working in at night. In some of the hallways, the lights were off so my mind started to toy with me a bit. Was that a shadow? Did I just see another face by mine in the reflection of that window? Am I scared? Why am I scared? They’re spirits while I’m a solid tangible being. That’s when it hit me. There are so many stories and movies about people running scared from ghosts. What if I wrote a story about a human who not only wasn’t afraid of ghost, but he commanded them to do his bidding. Viola!