A Love Story

It’s been said, every good story is a love story. Love animates nature itself, so is it any surprise that it is the motive to the flow of human life?Screenshot 2017-04-03 at 8.43.16 PM

A good story sees a hero fighting obstacles to attain a goal. Those obstacles appear insurmountable, and typically they are. The hero will fail. He will fall flat on his face,

even though he wants that goal with everything inside of him.

The obstacles are insurmountable until the hero develops from he is now, to where he should be. The hero will never conquer the obstacles without growth. Without change. Real, deep change.

But possibly even more important than conquering the obstacles is the hero’s motivation. Why does he want the goal? A story driven by greed or selfishness repels us. As well it should. For these are never good enough reasons for the hero to change. And without that change, the goal remains captive behind the obstacles.

But a hero driven by love, real selfless love, knows ~ there’s no way around, there’s only through. And going through means pain, loss, suffering. Change is never comfortable, never easy. But a hero driven by love remains undaunted. The pain, loss, suffering, are worth it in the end, because the goal is worth it, because love is worth it.

 

 

Two Births and a Funeral

Life seems to be a never ending search for balance. Never is this shown more than when we feel the heart wrenching pain of loss right alongside the heavenly ecstasy of new life.

Life and death – the two ultimate extremes. Life is seen all around us. Everyday the sun rises, its rays coaxing the winter hardened ground to softness, caressing the tiny buds to blossom, giving the wildflowers the strength to bloom. A baby’s first breath, a changed life. Life is joy itself when lived to the fullest.

Yet parallel and opposite, death stalks our every day. Friends, loved ones, pass on and are with us no more. Their memories linger, growing fainter everyday. Love, once fervent and bright, fades to whisps of regrets.

Death is our sternest teacher, bent on showing us the lessons we must learn to make this life count. And though death is pain, it is only this pain that reveals the flaws, the errors, that hold us back and prevent the joy of life.

If we become humble students of this grim schoolmaster, we will find that death is rarely final. Rather it is a passage. For the Christ lover, a passage to new Heavenly life. For the flower and the tree, death gives life to the soil so new growth can follow. For waning love, death within reveals what we cannot live without.

Life and death – the two ultimate extremes. The pain and hope, the joy and sorrow, they are all here for us, the living, to observe. To observe and learn from. To observe and improve our own lot here and now. Wisdom is a tree watered by trial, error, success, failure, and careful observation.

It is for us, the living, to see death and then to love life.

It is for us, the living, to see life and then to be free of fear.

 

Pain

As humans, we tend to avoid anything that causes pain. Conflict, physical strain, buried emotions. Our lives seem to be a constant pursuit of a state of rest and comfort and a constant retreat from anything and everything that threatens that state of rest and comfort.

This is not living. This is not life.

Without conflict, relationships stagnate, wither, and die.

Without physical strain, our bodies stagnate, atrophy, fail.

Without a reckoning with our emotions, our hearts stagnate, fall into depression, and rot.

Pain should not be avoided, else you will spend all your days running from what will grow you. Strain should not be shunned, or else you will never know the true heights you could achieve. Without wrenching heartache, joy and happiness can never truly be experienced.

We ought not to seek that pain-free status of rest and comfort. Rather, we ought to seek to grow from every experience and trial. Soon, we will find that rest and comfort can be found amidst the pain.

 

Overwhelmed…

Whoever thought writing would be so much work? You’re supposed to be able to sit down, string some words together, mail it off to some “book person”, then watch your novel soar to the NYT bestsellers list while you sip a Mai Tai and sign autographs!

Right….

Maybe not so much. Writing is a labor of love. Emphasis on the “labor” part. Countless hours are invested thinking, and thinking, and thinking. Countless pages are filled with chicken scratch and ideas that you’ll never use. Fingers are calloused tapping out a story, then fingers are strained holding the “backspace” key so that you can start all over again.

But we love it. And keep coming back for more.

The monumental task of writing and actually finishing a coherent, engaging book that people will want to read can be overwhelming at times. But now, thanks to that crazy little thing called the internet, authors get to Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, and Snapchat while they do it.

Because keeping up with the actual writing part wasn’t enough to keep us occupied, busy little beavers that we are.

Thanks a whole heap, internet!

Speaking of Facebook and Twitter

Don’t forget to like, follow, etc. etc. etc.

Instagram and Snapchat will have to wait, I’m afraid. Hope it doesn’t hurt their feelings.

 

Writing

Often in life, I’ve found it just plain boring.

I think every kid dreams of excitement, adventure, maybe finding buried treasure, or having to defend something you truly care about. However, these lofty fantasies are rarely realized, especially in childhood. Instead, we experience school, chores, music practice, and more school.

And that’s why they invented books.

Remember how it was never enough to merely read a good book, listen to a good story, or watch a good movie? What happened after that? You have to experience it. You had to buy the toy, wear the costume, role-play your favorite scene. You had to become part of the story.

I like to think that no one ever truly outgrows that desire to not only hear a good story, but to be a part of a good story. I know I haven’t.

What makes a good story for you? What draws you in and gives you a desire to enter into the world you find on the pages of a book? I’d love to hear your feedback!

greenwoodtales@gmail.com

Brad S.

 

The Next Phase

The Greenwood Tales are not just one story. They are many stories, interwoven and interrelated in a world quite different from our own. Song of the Dawn is the first book telling the tales of Edmund Mactirre and the Emerald Isle of Glastir.

But there is more to come.

Right now, I’m working on a set of (hopefully!) weekly serials that will end up as a complete novel. This (as of yet unnamed) novel will provide a look into the past of some of the characters that you will meet later on in the Greenwood Tales.

I am so excited about this new project and really can’t wait to share it with you. Updates will be forthcoming!