Tag Archives: books

Destiny: I just don’t believe in it.

Don't waste your life pondering your fate; take risks and take everything into your own hands.

Don’t waste your life pondering your fate; take risks and take everything into your own hands.

Destiny. It’s a cool word, it really is. As a writer, I admire words that carry power, and among such words, ‘destiny’ is a heavy-hitting word that is both melodious and haunting in sound.

I just don’t believe in the notion of destiny.

Sure, we’re all born into different families and in different identities. Our early lives may be ‘fated’ because we were born into specific roles. But by no means do I believe in destiny.

I believe life is all about the opportunities you take, and the opportunities you don’t take. Once you start making the choices in life and break out of the role that you were born into, you become the master of your own destiny. The cards of fate no longer rule over you; you rule over yourself.

You know, a lot of people go through life blaming destiny for everything. They hang their heads and say, “I’m not even going to bother. Fate has cursed me.”

Fate curses no one; fate is just a convenient scapegoat for people’s frustration. It’s so much easier to throw your hands up in the air and blame fate for wronging you, than it is to accept that the situation can be mended with ambition and endurance.

These are lazy people. Hopeless people. If they consign themselves to a terrible destiny, then they will indeed chain themselves to that destiny until they die.

But people who don’t believe in destiny know that they have all the power in their hands. These people know that they are the drivers on the road of life; that their lives are like clay and can be molded into any shape­— as long as the hands shaping the clay are hard and unrelenting.

I say this to inspire you. Those of you who are in a low place in life right now, have faith. Stop cursing your luck and start making luck play in your favor. You hold all the power to dream, to work, to accomplish.

Destiny is an enemy of dreaming; if you accept destiny, you have no use for dreams. Destiny is the notion that everything is predetermined and locked in place— while dreaming is the opposite notion that anything is possible. And I stand by this, now and forever: anything is possible.

If you don’t have your dreams, you are nothing. You are just another pawn, controlled by the false notion that destiny is your puppeteer. You are no puppet. You are free to dream, to achieve, to conquer the mountains towering above you.

-G.D.

Photo credit: Francisco Diaz

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Gotta go slow in LIFE

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You won’t win if you go too fast.

Has anyone ever played Milton Bradley’s The Game of LIFE, simply known as the board game LIFE? Fun game, isn’t it? It’s certainly one of my favorites. And there’s even a lesson to take away from it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, when it’s your turn, you get to spin the spinner and move anywhere between one and ten spaces. But the thing is…you really don’t want to get the number 10 all the time. In fact, if you do, you’ll probably lose.

Ideally, you’ll want to go as slow as possible, so that you can collect as many LIFE tokens (to be traded in for cash, later) before you “die.” This board game is different from others in that it actually has a “finish line,” and once you cross it, you’re done. So you don’t really want to race through the game, you want to slow down and smell the roses.

 

Real life is like that too. Strangely, people think of real life more like Monopoly than the game of LIFE. People want to get the high rolls and spin again on doubles and just whizz through life to make dough. Well, let me tell you…this is not a good approach to life.

Life is full of many different aspects and hidden treasures. It’s not all about ascending to the top of the corporate ladder and buying a private jet and a house in the Caribbean. Make sure you slow down, too…or else you’ll surely lose everything. Like in the game of LIFE, if you don’t go slow enough, you’re just racing to your death. And you must be sure to fill your life with as much happiness as possible before the end.

 

So, as you go about life…make sure to enjoy every little thing that passes your way. Say hello to people you’ve never met before. Pick up the phone and tell three people you love them. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t talked to in forever.

‘Cause, you know what? Any day now, it could all be over. And when you die, you’re not going to take your dollars with you. Only your smiles.

Gotta go slow in life. Enjoy the distractions. Indulge in the moments.

-G.D.

Photo credit: Morning Toast

 

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Filed under Board Games, Books, Games, Life, Writing

Success really does happen…sold my first copy!

After having my recently published book on the Kindle Marketplace for two days, I recently discovered that I have sold my first copy. Of course, I hope to sell more than just one copy!— but the incident of this one sale to get the ball rolling has really set me in good spirits.

For me, it’s not about money. I don’t write for a living, and I have more than enough money to live on. Sure, the royalty is nice— but for me, it’s more about reaching an audience with my writing. I want people to read my work, think on it critically, share it with their friends, and send feedback back to me: what did they learn from the book? Did they identify with the characters? And I welcome criticism as well: what can I work on? What just really sucked about it?

After all, most of us don’t just write for ourselves— we write to be read, to be shared, and to be enjoyed. And these elements involve a reader!

So I offer this as encouragement to anyone who has a work out there that they’d like to publish: if you believe in it, other people will give it a chance. You just have to put it out there and see what can happen. It’s you who has to take the first step from being a closeted writer into a published author.

I’m still in the amateur stage, and proud of it…but I hope to reach greater heights soon! And the best of wishes to you as well.

-G.D.

 

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Filed under Books, publishing, Writing

Breaking into the Business

Two days ago I finally worked up the nerve to publish on the Kindle format. I’d been working on this novel for about 3 years (started it in 2009!) and I submitted it to many agents. One gave it a bite and wrote me back, saying “I’d love to read the rest of the manuscript.” I was excited and prepared the entire manuscript to send off, but a few weeks later I got a notification from that agent saying that she’d left the agenting business.

That crushed my ambitions: I had wanted to see my name in print ever since I was a kid. But I didn’t give up, and I was convinced to cut corners around the “traditional” method and instead go for electronic self-publishing. I am excited to have my work out in the market now! I’m working hard to build an audience.

The book is called Of a Greener World, and click here to reach its page on the Kindle Marketplace. It’s available for $3.25, or free for Amazon Prime users. If you’re interested, please take the time to go through the free first few chapters!

I’d love to hear your publishing war stories. Or maybe they’re success stories? Tips, encouragement, criticism…it’s all welcome here!

-G.D.

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Filed under Books, Writing