Category Archives: Ramblings of Thanks

My birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year (anyone looking for a last minute gift, cash or gift cards to the Home Depot are welcome), and to celebrate, I’m going to reprise something for the blog that many of us did on Facebook last year. Each day, I will center my blog around something in my life I am thankful for. In this manner, I will attempt to be more grateful for the many blessings in my life. Hopefully, this series will provide a little positivity and inspiration to your day.

Ramblings of Thanks 2011

Today, I’m thankful for many things.  I have two wonderful sons who call me nearly every night to talk and play games.  I have both of my parents who are still here to enjoy this day with me.  I have a great sister and four amazing nieces.  I have some of the best friends a man could wish for.  I also have some great extended family members who care for me and encourage me.  I have a steady job with good benefits.  I have an excellent new publisher that works hard to produce a quality product and generates promotion and marketing campaigns for their books.  All of these are my reasons for thanks.

I’m also thankful for the years I got to share with my grandparents.  Nobody can make you feel loved the way a grandparent can, and I’m blessed to have had Carl, David Sr., Betty Jo, and Helen as mine.

I’m thankful for my readers, who give me the reason to keep writing my books and this blog.  Without them, I would have given up long ago.  I’m thankful for the ability to write and all of the teachers who honed my skills.

Most of all, I am thankful for my life, which nearly ended 23 years ago.  I’m grateful for all these years, even the difficult ones.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Thank you for being part of my life.


Thursday Morning Ramblings – Thankful #25

I’m thankful for Collin Patrick and Whitley Finnegan Adams.  They are the light in my soul and the two greatest sons a man could ask for.  Every moment I have with them is cherished and savored, and even though the time is never enough, I am grateful for what we do get to spend together.  Of all the jobs and roles I’ve filled, “Daddy” has fit the best, and I’m thankful that I have gotten to experience it.

If you boys ever read this, please know that there has not been one second when you weren’t the most important thing in my life.  When we are apart, there is not one fraction of a second when I don’t miss you.  And even though I am 500 miles away in body, I am always with you in spirit.  No man has ever loved his sons more than I love you boys, and I am proud of both of you.

I hope with all my heart that one day we’ll have more time together.  There’s so much I want to teach you about life and manhood, lessons your grandfather and great-grandfather taught me.  There’s so much I want to teach you about the world, about the possibilities and potentials around us.  Please know that I am doing everything I can to have that time with you.

Today is my birthday, and I wish you were here to share it with me.  There is nothing else I’d rather do on my birthday than play with you guys.  You both are the funniest and sweetest children in the world, and I am blessed and thankful and grateful to be your father and daddy and parent.  Thank you, my sons, for being so wonderful.  I love you.

Wednesday Afternoon Ramblings – Thankful #24

I’m thankful for life.  Twice in mine I’ve nearly lost it, and no matter how dark things may get, I’m grateful to still draw breath.  When I was eight, I developed severe anemia from a tick bite and very nearly didn’t make it.  To this day, I have no memories of that summer, other than stories that have been told to me.  When I was sixteen, I suffered a terrible head injury that quite literally almost killed me, and for a couple of days, my future was very much uncertain.  I’m a slow learner, so it took a few years after that accident for me to realize just how lucky I am to be here.  I spent too many years of my life mourning for what I lost, instead of being grateful for the life I still had.  Today, I am wise enough to know that as long as we are on this earth, we have the greatest gift possible.

I’ve seen hard times.  I’ve been about as desolate as a man can be, living in places that would have been considered condemned by many.  I’ve spent many long, dark nights alone, weeping over my children and missing them more deeply than any words could describe.  I’ve watched my career stall and sputter and go nowhere despite my best efforts to make something positive happen.  I’ve been through difficulties, and no matter how badly things have gone or how dark my nights might have gotten, I’m glad to be here alive experiencing this life.  Living life, breathing it in, and feeling it course through my veins are enough to be thankful for.  Everything else, as they say, is just gravy.

I’m grateful for my life because it gives me the opportunity to continue giving my love to the people who deserve it: my sons, nieces, parents, sister, and friends.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow old near the sea and sun, sharing my love as best as I can.  I’m truly the luckiest man alive and have been blessed with more than any one person deserves.  I would endure the dark days and low points again a thousand times just to have the good once more.

When you are feeling down or overwhelmed or fed up, come back and read this post.  The peaks and valleys are inevitable.  Difficulties and sorrow will come to everyone’s life, and all of us have moments when it seems like too much to endure, but that’s the price of admission.  This journey we get to experience is priceless and amazing, and no matter how many people try to tear you down or make you feel as if your life isn’t important, you have to remember that you are a strong person who can overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal.  Those people are not worth your time and energy, so only share yourself with those who enrich you and give you strength.

Life is beautiful.  Life is precious.  Life will be what you make of it.  On this day, I am thankful for the life I have.

Tuesday Morning Ramblings – Thankful #23

I’m thankful for my imagination.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a creative drive, an insatiable need to express the thoughts and ideas that bubble up in the mad scientist’s cauldron that is my mind.  Awareness of this creativity began around eight or nine, when I first began playing with Star Wars toys, and instead of replaying the movie over and over, I would create my own storyline and remake the characters into what I wanted them to be.  Then, my cousin Sam introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons, and my imagination found an outlet that to this date is unrivaled.  Despite the stigma attached back then (I don’t know if it’s still the same today), role playing games were the most positive and productive form of entertainment I ever encountered.  Developing characters and then later sketching out adventures as Dungeon Master brought me out of my introverted shell and helped me learn how to interact socially.  And being encouraged and praised for my creativity gave me an inkling of self-confidence at an age when I had none.

I’m a writer because of my imagination.  Writing is my form of expression for those bubbles in the cauldron.  I’ve attempted a couple of times to walk away from writing and not look back because the life is difficult and often lonely, but each time, the need to release my pent-up imaginings would gnaw and gnaw and gnaw at me until I had no choice but to pick up a pen or sit down at the computer.  I write this blog for much the same reason.  Right now, with my current career in education, I simply don’t have the time or energy or concentration to work on a novel day in and day out the way I need to, so the blog allows me to release  my creative desires and maintain my writing skills without having to focus as much as I would for a full book.

The only downside to my imagination an creativity is that I have difficulty remembering details precisely as they occurred.  For instance, I can rarely quote a movie line verbatim because I’m usually rewording the line how I would have written it.  So my friends often have to correct me when I attempt to quote something.  To me, that’s a small price to pay for this amazing gift.  I love being imaginative and creative, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.  I’m eternally thankful and grateful for my imagination, for my creativity, for my ability to make something where before there was nothing.  It’s a special gift, one that I cherish and revere.

Monday Morning Ramblings – Thankful #22

I’m thankful for my intelligence.  Please, don’t take that as arrogance, for I am well aware that there are many, many people much smarter and more talented than I am.  I am simply grateful for the intelligence I do have.  I feel like I have a good balance between book smarts, street smarts, wisdom, and common sense.  I’m able to learn new skills fairly quickly and can process information fairly well.  I can carry on conversations over a wide range of topics and enjoy learning new things.  I’m not a specialist in any one area, and in this age of hyper-specialization, that has probably held me back in my career, but I’m thankful to be able to perform fairly well in many different areas, as opposed to being limited to one rigid career-path.

I also don’t need any “news” commentator to tell me what to think or feel about current events, whether it be Keith Olbermann or Bill O’Reilly.  I am quite capable of thinking for myself.  I can also comprehend that life is full of complex shades of gray, and virtually nothing is as simple as black and white.  The more I learn about him, the more I respect Richard Nixon because he was much more dignified and statesman-esque  than the cartoonish buffoon that has been painted all these years.  Other than his deeply rooted paranoia, probably born from the Cold War, he was a strong leader and a good president who inherited a terrible mess.  I believe the same of Bill Clinton.  Sure, Faux News and Talk Radio painted him as a radical liberal, but he was much more of a moderate who strove for compromise and cooperation over strict ideology and partisanship.  That’s why American companies posted record profits, unemployment shrank, and wages rose during his administration.  Everyone prospers from cooperation.  I’m grateful for the intelligence to see these complexities, instead of blindly following party propaganda.

Every single morning, I thank my creator for blessing me with the intelligence to be self-sufficient.  Few situations arise where I don’t have the intelligence and common sense to develop and follow a plan for overcoming those obstacles.  Each day, I encounter a throng of individuals without that capability, people who are dependant on others for their day-to-day existence.  On the other end of the spectrum, I’m also smart enough to know my own limitations, which to me is more important than knowing what I can accomplish.  Having the wisdom to accept that I don’t know everything and can’t do everything allows me to find assistance from someone who is an expert in that field.  I’m thankful to have the intelligence to know both my strengths and limitations.

Knowledge can be a powerful tool, and each and every day of my life, I’m thankful to have a brain that functions fairly well.

Sunday Afternoon Ramblings- Thankful #21

I’m thankful for my passion.  In all facets of my life, I’m a passionate person.  It’s what makes me a writer and a teacher because my passion for language drives me to share it with the world.  It’s what made me a decent football player.  I wasn’t the most physically gifted person and was certainly under-sized for a lineman, but my passion pushed me to lift weights and run mountains and push my body to its limit to be the best I could be.  Passion is what makes me a good father because the love for my children fills up my heart and spills over the edges.  There’s no containing the passion I have for my sons, and I’m thankful every moment of every day that I have gotten to experience that level of pure love.

Of course, being a passionate person does come with a few disadvantages.  It’s not something that can be turned on and off at will, so when I’m upset, the passion amplifies my emotions and I get really upset.  It sometimes makes me hard to be around because I get so consumed with whatever I’m doing that the rest of the world disappears.  And when I get hurt, the pain is deep and enormous because it too is amplified.  Those things sometimes make being a passionate person a difficult burden to bear, but I wouldn’t trade.

I don’t do anything half-heartedly.  When something sparks my passion, I’m full throttle, head down, no-looking-back 110% going for it.  That doesn’t mean I always succeed, but it does mean that anytime I fall short, it’s not from lack of effort.  In every aspect of everything in my life, I am passionate, and to me that is one of my strongest positive attributes.  I live my life to die with no regrets, and a major part of that comes from allowing my passion to stir me.  I realize that some people who don’t know me very well may be surprised to hear me describe myself as passionate because I often come across as so laid-back and mellow, but underneath that calm exterior is a highly emotional person who squeezes every drop I can from life.  Still waters run deep, and I’m thankful to be such a passionate person.

Saturday Morning Ramblings – Thankful #20

I’m thankful for Red Sky at Dawn.  That book was written under some of the most difficult conditions possible and turned out to be a pretty good book.  It was written one to two pages at a time each night between 2-4 AM after I had put in at least a twelve hour day at work.  Some nights, I had to pinch my thighs to stay awake long enough to hit my page goal, but I knew that if I didn’t at least get the rough draft finished before Finn was born, the odds of me ever finishing it would have been slim.  I learned a great deal about my threshold for pain and endurance with it.

I also found my voice with that manuscript.  The narrative moves swiftly, barely allowing readers time to catch their breath between intense scenes, and some of the intimate moments with the characters are very powerful.  The Battle for Hard Hope is one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever written, and the chapter arc where the captain saves Master Sondious is one of the best pieces of prose I’ve created.  I have noticed a few typos and minor errors in the manuscript, but I’ll chalk that up to the time-frame in which the book was edited.  When all five books are complete, I’ll polish out those mistakes for the next edition.  Personally, I feel like those minor flaws don’t take away from the book, but they do bug me.

Overall, I’m grateful for Red Sky.  It’s a strong work from the opening page to the final scene, and I am proud of if as a literary work.  I’m thankful that it will be one of the legacies I leave behind for my sons.