Just to be clear, I am not getting soft in my old age. I am as grizzled and stubbornly determined as ever – more so now that Victoria and I are delving into a new string of unsolved cold cases.
When I crossed into my fifth decade of life, I started to come to the grim realization that I could just drop dead at any moment. Seriously. The sheer amount of Diet Mountain Dew in my system at any given moment defies the medical community. Death can come randomly or be long and dragged out. I personally hope mine is somewhat spectacular, involving an epic last stand or bringing a heinous criminal to justice, but we don’t get much of a choice do we?
As a sidebar, I have instructions with my wife that if that happens at home, drag me down to my work PC and take a photo so that she can claim that my employer caused my demise. Not lying one bit here. It is worth her strain on her part for the extra insurance money having me die at work…trust me. If she calls you to help drag my body to my office, just come over and help. No questions need be asked.
I’m not preoccupied with death or anything. I have written about death many times in my author-career. In my sci-fi novels I have covered the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands. In true crime I have stared at autopsy photos and interviewed people about horrific demises. Death doesn’t frighten me. What is scary to me is that the knowledge and wit I have accumulated over a lifetime will simply disappear. That seems like a terrible waste.
My kids are grown up and pretty smart. Well, mostly smart. We all have our moments, don’t we? For the most part they have mastered life quite well. My son is a successful stylist/entrepreneur and my daughter is a nurse/mother/NYT Bestselling author. There’s not a lot left that I can teach them. We are now at a point where they are teaching me things.
My grandson has not mastered life yet. He’s just a little guy and the thought of not passing on what I know to him was depressing. So I started to write it down, everything. Each tiny tip and hint I could think of to help him through life. I don’t know why, but it seemed like a great idea at the time. Little did I realize it would take five years.
Thus The Life Book – A Grandfather’s Gift, was born.
I will admit, some of the content is snarky, all of it is candid, and some of it is funny. I wanted to give him a guidebook to life itself, an instruction manual. It was intended originally to be just between us – a gift from me to him.
I started talking to some of my friends and others have thought about this idea, but no one seems to have the time to do it. Part if that is none of us like coping with our own mortality. I am quite content to undertake that retrospective. Life is hard enough. Why not make it easier for others?
I will grant you, it’s not the usual book I write. I have never considered myself locked into authoring in one genre. Sci-Fi, military history, true crime, business management, horror…yes, I have done them all. So now I can add spiritual/self-help to the list.
Here’s some sample nuggets:
- Your two greatest enemies in life are impatience and self-doubt. The best part is, you have complete control over both of these monsters.
- When someone is stroking your ego the most is when they can be trusted the least.
- Success is its own punishment. I have learned that once I demonstrated that I was good at something, people expected me to do more of that thing.
- Idiots swarm. They are attracted to other idiots like moths to a flame. It’s almost like they have their own form of gravity. As such, all gatherings are subject to suspicion of being filled with idiots. As a corollary: Never underestimate the power and risk of idiots in large crowds. Large groups of unintelligent people will do things that individuals would never consider. Riots, beatings, arson, and even murder can take place when groups of dullards gather. Large groups are difficult if not impossible to manage and if left on their own, they will do things that defy stupidity. Avoid mobs of people when possible.
- When you deal with the government, understand that it love rules and processes much more than human beings. Bureaucracy is the machinery of any government. Corollary: Bureaucracies always exist at the expense of individuals or their rights. As such, most bureaucracies cannot be trusted.
- Your best friends are those that are willing to tell you the truth about yourself.
- When dealing with idiots count on them doing something stupid, and you will never be disappointed. Expectations in life are important. People of low intelligence are, by their very nature, going to do things that validate their stupidity with intelligent people. Just make sure you’re in the number that is validated.
- Most people say they want the truth, but really they don’t.
Below are the links on Amazon and you should be able to order it through bookstores sometime in the next few weeks. If you are into this kind of thing, let me know what you think. In the meantime, I’m crawling back into researching and writing true crime.
Kindle: The Life Book – ebook
Paperback: The Life Book – paperback