R.M. Willis's Blog

September 4, 2016

Disappearing Act

I know that I have disappeared for a while. I have been working on some things and hope to have some stuff out soon. I love you all, thanks for being loyal readers!
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Published on September 04, 2016 22:36

August 24, 2016

My Muse...

My muse has left me. Fleeing like the dying starlight at dawn. Her once whispered voice echoing in my ears is now silent. It hurts. Oh how it hurts. To be abandoned. Alone. Lost.

My muse has left me. I sit quietly in the dark, hoping. Hoping that she might come wondering by. A spark of inspiration shinning like a million suns. But it is a hollow hope. The kind of hope reserved for spurned lovers and dejected politicians.

My muse has left me. Our work still undone. The last finished sentence sits lame on the page. It knows it was not meant to be the end. Yet it looks past the lonely period to the remaining white landscape like a
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Published on August 24, 2016 23:57 Tags: gone, inspiration, muse

May 22, 2016

Communication

Communication is the ultimate keystone of civilization. Without the development of a sophisticated transmission of ideas, we as a species would be little more than fire fearing, grunting animals. Over the years we have developed and adopted several different communication tools.

Our technology is centered on our ability to communicate with ease. Mobile phones, text messaging, emails and Face book have all been developed to allow us to connect with one another. Communication is the fabric of our lives, and yet even with all of these tools and gadgets we still fall short of communicating effectively.

Some would argue that it is the very proliferation of this technology that has caused new communication barriers. In an age where we can instantly communicate with one another across the globe we have forgotten the importance of being personal and in the moment. There is great power in connecting with the person across from you, in being human together.

The problem is that words are only part of the equation. That which goes unsaid is so much more important— it is our body language, our tone of voice, the look in our eyes. Without these we are only getting part of the message. Now I realize that there are physical laws to space and time which often prevent us from sitting down together.

We all work different jobs and shifts, have lives to lead and other distractions that are in many ways far more important. So, we rely on the more convenient and less effective forms of communication. This truthfully is okay, so long as we remember the deficiencies that come with it.

Communication must be open and dynamic. It can never be one-way. Each and every one of us should feel comfortable approaching anyone in our lives to discuss any topic. We should all know that as a community we are safe to talk and to listen to each other.

Noted psychologist and international peace maker, Marshall Rosenberg, developed what he called a needs-based language for non-violent communication. He taught us that by communicating our needs without being judgmental, we can resolve any conflict. Once we as a people have our needs met we are able to flourish as individuals. We become happier, more productive and capable of groundbreaking creativity.

This shouldn’t be some cerebral idea that doesn’t apply to our everyday lives. Communicating effectively is vital to what we do every day. In a world fraught with potential dangers a breakdown in communication can be worse than just hurt feelings and misunderstanding. It can mean someone’s job, or even their life. If you have a need that isn’t being met, or you need to acquire or pass on some vital information, don’t be afraid to speak up. No one knows what’s going on inside your head but you, and only you can be the arbiter of how effectively you communicate with others.

So don’t be afraid to approach your supervisor and let them know when you need to be supported or empowered. Boldly tell your co-worker that you need help with a project or a other job duty. Have confidence when you tell your family that you all need a break and should head to Disney World. Whatever the case might be you must clearly communicate when your needs aren’t being met. And, we all must have the courage to listen to others as they share their needs with us so that together we can find solutions for either meeting each other’s needs or alternatives if those needs can’t be met in the moment.

By having this type of open dialogue, we as a community will be in a position to do amazing things together.

I leave you with this quote by author Shannon L. Alder – “When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace…Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.”

And, as always - Thank you for taking the time to read what I've written and please feel free to comment or share.
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Published on May 22, 2016 21:15 Tags: communication, listening, needs, talking

May 12, 2016

National Junior Honor Society

In a packed room at a quite little school my son and a select few of his peers were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. As part of the ceremony current members gave speeches about the five criteria for admittance into the group.

First a young man probably no more than thirteen years old spoke of scholar. He pointed out the importance of learning. The need for all of us to keep our minds open and to never stop thirsting for more. He spoke about grades, and how the new NJHS youth would have to work hard to maintain a level of excellence in school.

Then a young lady, perhaps twelve, espoused upon the virtues of good character. With quiet elegance she lectured a room full of adults on the importance of morals, and doing what is right even when no one is looking. She encouraged the new inductees to personify the virtues of honesty, temperance and courage.

The next young lady to speak was maybe fourteen and she defined leadership as the power to influence others through your own action or inaction. She spoke of the fool's errand of leading a horse to water when you can't make them drink. A true leader would simply wait until the horse was thirsty. Additionally she spoke of the leaders responsibility to admit when they don't know everything or make a mistake so that everyone can learn and grow.

The fourth adolescent to approach the podium was another twelve year old girl. She seemed shier than the others but her voice grew more steady as she spoke. Her topic was of service and how it impacts the community. She told a personal story of how helping a younger girl with cerebral palsy in the local math and science center had taught her so much of the joy one receives from a life dedicated to the service of others. She informed the new NJHS members of the responsibility to actively participate in community service programs, and hoped that they would one day have an experience similar to her own.

Finally the oldest youth to speak, a young woman of perhaps fifteen looked out into the crowd. Her speech was of citizenship and how it bound the other NJHS criteria together. She explained how a virtuous character coupled with a scholarly mind in the body of a leader who lives to serve is the mark of a good citizen.

Quite frankly I was blown away by each of them. They spoke with such confidence, and clarity. In that moment I had two revelations.

The first was that I was awestruck how each of those speeches seemed to talk about my son. How did my wife and I come to raise such a remarkable young man?

The other, while less emotionally satisfying, was perhaps more profound. It was the realization that unlike so many others in the past who have worried about the generation to come and what the world will look like under their stewardship these young people today are far more mature and savvy then I or my peers ever were.

I am confident when the next generation inherits the world they will have the knowledge, skills and fortitude to fix whatever damage we have done.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. I know it's a long one this time.
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Published on May 12, 2016 04:14 Tags: character, citizenship, leadership, njhs, scholar, service

April 11, 2016

To Rant or Not To Rant?

That is the question. I want so desperately to rant about something. I feel as though it would be cathartic to vent my feelings in a public manner. To shout to the world why I'm upset and what I wish I could do about it. But, is that truly the best thing? Will it actually help in any way?

Thanks for listening, however briefly. Feel free to chime in your opinion on the matter.
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Published on April 11, 2016 02:11 Tags: rant

March 25, 2016

Walking

Last week I started taking walks in the morning with my wife. It's good for her back post surgery and I desperately need the exercise. I'm happy to report that in just nine days we've managed to cover 33.83 miles. I've truly enjoyed the quiet moments together with her and I find that I can go a little further each day. I hope that she and I can continue even after she's fully recovered. I could lose about 200 pounds and I love spending time with the worlds most beautiful woman.
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Published on March 25, 2016 13:37 Tags: exercise, marriage, walking

March 14, 2016

The Ways of Power Book Two

**IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT**

I received an email this morning from KnightLand Books that the long awaited sequel to Power Rises, "Power Spreads: The Ways of Power Book Two" will be available for pre-order in the next few weeks.

I know that several of you have been waiting a long time for this, and trust me so have I. But, it looks like our wait will be over soon! I'll let you know more just as soon as I hear anything.

And as always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts!
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Published on March 14, 2016 04:25 Tags: power-spreads, pre-order, sequel

March 1, 2016

Pre-Order Reckoning Today!

Well my second book to be published by KnightLand Books is available for pre-order.

Reckoning is a science fiction novelette based in the near future. Here is the back cover blurb followed by a link to the pre-order. Please share if you or anyone you know would be interested in this exciting new story.

There are turning points in our lives; crossroads that we come to that once picked send us down a certain path. Heather Lawson’s job is to find those points in the past of societies criminals and help them to pick a different direction. Is she ready to help Michael Cordley the first man in the solar system to be convicted of rape and murder in nearly five years? Can she put her pride aside to do what is necessary in order to bring his case to a close? Or, will she be responsible for the first failed criminal rehabilitation in more than half a century?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C...

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Published on March 01, 2016 15:34 Tags: pre-order, reckoning, science-fiction

Goodreads Giveaway!

My publisher, KnightLand Books, has decided to sponsor a giveaway of my first book Power Rises. You can click the link below to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 free signed copies. Also if you have a friend or family member that may be interested please send them the link.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...

As always thank you for taking the time to read this!
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Published on March 01, 2016 15:09 Tags: free, giveaway

February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day Story

The Ox and the Angel
A Love Story
By R.M. Willis

Ox stood alone in his pen, wondering what life was about. He wasn't a particularly smart animal, but he did like to think. It was his favorite pastime, standing and chewing, thinking and swatting flies with his tail. It was a good life for an ox, but he wasn't happy. Even though he had lots of friends, he was still lonely.
He wanted someone to connect with, someone that wouldn't judge him based on his rotund and simple appearance. He wanted to be in love. But who could love an ox? He moved into the shade and leaned against a tree to scratch a rather persistent itch when he saw her. She walked as though she were gliding, moving across the sunflower field, her delicate features glowing in the daylight.
He couldn't help but stare, his itch forgotten, his mouth hung agape, as flies moved in to feast at the cud dropping from his tongue. He had never seen an angel before, and she was beautiful; hair the color of rich earth, skin a smooth caramel, eyes deeper then space itself. She wore a silken white dress, and her wings were folded back like a gossamer cape.
She looked up, their eyes met. He snorted in surprise and suddenly realized that he was drooling. She giggled, and he kicked up a cloud of dust as he fled. Hiding at the back of his stall, he was horribly embarrassed for such a vision to see him ogling her like the dumb animal he was.
"Hello?" a musical voice sang above him.
Ox looked up at the angel perched on the roof of his shelter. Her smile radiated through her face, adding to the glow of her halo. She stretched her white wings and floated down to him. Her bare feet delicately touched the dusty ground, yet left no dimples. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Ox." As soon as he answered, he regretted it. He sounded so dull compared to her melodious voice.
She smiled kindly. She must be taking pity on him. He suddenly felt trapped in his little stall, and wished he were still in his outer pen. He tried backing up, but his rump was already stuck in the corner. She giggled, clearly patronizing his predicament. "My name is Angel," she said.
"Hi." Stupid, can't I come up with anything better than that? Ox shook his head in frustration and caught his horn in one of the poles supporting his stall. Try as he might to pull it loose he was stuck. The angel laughed with abandon at the sight of him. This made Ox furious, and embarrassed. He squeezed his eyes closed, kicked out wildly with his hooves, thrashed his tail, and strained until the muscles in his neck bulged, but he still couldn't pull himself loose.
He felt a light touch on his nose. He stopped and opened his eyes. The angel stood petting him gently. "There, there," she said. "Getting upset won't solve anything. Let me help you." He flushed with warmth where her hands made caressed him. She reached to his horn, and he breathed in her sweet honeysuckle scent. His heart melted. She tugged, and tugged. Her face reddened with effort. "You're going to have to help me," she said with a wink.
They pulled together and he was free. "I love you." He blurted out unable to control himself any longer. She giggled, and his head drooped. He hated that giggle, she would never love him.
"You're cute, but you don't even know me."
His head snapped up. She said he was cute! She giggled again, he loved that giggle.
"How could you love me?" she asked.
He had an idea. "Waite here," he said running to where his pen came close to the field. He stretched and strained and brought her back three sunflowers. "Would you let me get to know you?" he asked, his heart pounding in his chest.
She took the flowers and smiled, "They are my favorite you know." She smelled them, and their eyes made contact once more. "Yes," she said. "You can get to know me."
Ox wasn't lonely anymore.


The End

As always thank you for taking the time to read what I've written.
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Published on February 14, 2016 10:10 Tags: love, story, valentine-s-day