Coffee and Contemplation: Flag Day

June 14 is Flag Day. In the United States, we celebrate June 14 as the day the flag was adopted as the symbol of our country on June 14, 1777. The Flag Resolution by the Second Continental Congress stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Given the recent turmoil in the United States, I think it’s more important than ever to consider the idea of a ‘new constellation.’

The future of the United States is in flux as it was in the 1960s and even in the 1860s. Our country has been through this kind of change before and I know we’ll come out on top. When I say our country, I don’t mean the government. I mean the people; the citizens. The government can change while the country always has and always will belong to the people who call it home. That’s what the flag represents to me at least. I have other reasons for thinking about June 14. And some might feel the same about this as they do about what the flag represents.

June 14, 1775 is the Army Birthday. I imagine many people see the military as an extension of the government. But I know there are good people in the military trying to change things for the better. I served in the Arizona Army National Guard some years back. This was the one weekend a month, two weeks a year. I never deployed and I never served long enough to gain veterans status and do not claim to be a veteran. My job was in the Finance Corps. The Finance Corps Birthday is June 16, 1775. 

If you never served, maybe you don’t care about the Army Birthday and I’m sure you care even less about the Finance Corps Birthday. But for those who have served and are serving, I’m sure you all were happy when Finance made sure your pay was squared away. The two departments no one messes with in the military are Finance and Supply. I hope you all celebrate Flag Day in a way that’s meaningful to you. Peaceful Protesting is always a healthy option for celebration. Our fight for change isn’t over. Never give up. Never surrender.

Coffee & Contemplation: Antelope Canyon

For many birthdays, I never put much effort into myself or what I wanted. I felt no one else would care or no one would put forth any effort on my account. That was the darkness of depression looming over me. On my most recent birthday, I only wanted one thing. I wanted a birthday cake because I couldn’t remember the last time I had one. A friend of mine made me a cake and it was the most delicious thing ever. That one simple thing meant so much to me. I got everything I asked for on my birthday. I don’t think that’s ever happened.

For my next birthday, I’ve decided to make it something more memorable. I live in Tucson, AZ. A few hours North, near the Stateline, is Page, AZ. Near Page, AZ is a beautiful place called Antelope Canyon. See the photo to the left. When I researched this, I realized I may not be able to afford the kind of trip I want. I still plan to go there, but maybe not this immediate next birthday. Regardless, I’m making an effort to celebrate myself. That’s something I’ve never done before.

Why Antelope Canyon? Well, it looks cool. It’s not too far away. And it’s something I could do with friends or by myself. I’m considering a solo adventure because, again, I’ve never celebrated myself before. I’m looking forward to planning a birthday adventure and enjoying myself for once in my life. Maybe I’ll visit some place closer for my birthday this year and save the Antelope Canyon trip for 2021. In either case, I’m doing something that’s all about me and no one else. There’s something empowering about that statement. 

The Tommy Gun: A Novella

On January 22, my first full length work of fiction becomes available to the public. The Tommy Gun is the longest story I have written to date and I’m excited to hear what others think. Available in both eBook and Paperback, however, only the eBook is available for pre-order on Amazon. You can pre-order now on the Amazon Page or you can wait until the release. The paperback might take a couple more days before it’s seen online. I will have signed physical copies for sale after a couple weeks. So, what’s the novella about?

Government corruption. Hate speeches. A country divided. The world Brent White knew is crumbling. He gets his call to action when a friend goes missing. He trains himself to become a weapon against the new dictatorship. He fights through criminals and concentration camps to find his friend and save lives. He becomes a guardian for the persecuted. To end the suffering, he must stop one person. The politician turned dictator. Ronald Teagun. The Tommy Gun.

The story is told from two different point of views. One is from Brent White’s perspective and the other is from Ronald Teagun’s perspective. Each chapter of the book alternates between the two characters and a couple chapters have both characters trading off during the action. I wrote this story during the 2017 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The eBook is $2.99, and the paperback is $9.99. Reviews are requested and humbly appreciated.

I haven’t decided but I may have shirts and stickers with the cover logo available. I guess let me know if you want something like that. My writer shop should be ready to launch within the next month. My goal is to have it finished by February 12. Autographed copies of books, shirts, and requests for custom poetry will fill the store and perhaps other things. So, please tell your friends, write a review on Amazon or Facebook or Goodreads. And I hope you enjoy the novella.