Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Truth Is...

The truth is... you can't believe anything you see, hear, or read these days. If you base your logic and perceptions on what some talking head has told you, you've officially transformed into a lemming. So, the problem is, how does one go about thinking for one's self, especially if the data that is parceled out to the general public is faulty -- and you can bank on it that it is.

How can we make good decisions in our daily lives? I mean, is the market headed up or down? Should I buy or sell? Should I go to college or should I find a dead-end job? Does she love me or does she just like my pick-up truck? Am I too fat? Should I cut my hair? Should I always try to be honest or is it all right to take shortcuts by lying, cheating, and stealing? Everybody else does. Why shouldn't I be selfish too? Does God exist? Why can't I see him? Or her? Who can I trust?

The truth is... nobody can give us the answers to those questions. You've got to figure it out for yourself. Sometimes you're going to make mistakes; sometimes you're going to make the wrong choices. Make them often enough and this life you call your own will be cut short. So, considering all this bad news, what are you going to do?

Well, you can improve your chances for success (Ah, success! That is a term to be defined in another essay.) by learning to think clearly and by avoiding the many poisons and traps this material world has to offer. Only you can determine how much risk you want to take. Only you can determine what direction you want to go. Just where do you put your energy so that the returns are the greatest? You can research, pay for professional advice, learn through hard knocks, or learn to be satisfied with living in a hole which may get you out of the line of fire but you'll wallow in the dirt with the rest of the pigs.

Remember this. When it comes to human affairs and the dynamics of life on the planet, there is nothing new under the sun. If you think you are the first to experience a particular emotion or to be caught committing a crime, please check yourself. Whatever is happening to you has happened to others a countless number of times. Admittedly, you need a guide. We all do. However, parents, friends, and teachers can lead you astray. You can't trust the company you work for; after all, they're just using you. You can only believe the schools only so far because propaganda and socialization is what drives the machine. And your friends are just like you: selfish and needy.

So how does one learn anything of value? Here's a tip: work on balancing your nature, your natural tendencies, with established systems of discipline and wisdom. If you want to be an engineer, study mathmetics and physics. If you want to be a minister, read the Bible. If you want to be a medical doctor, study biological sciences. Once you've become an expert in your field, do not make the mistake of thinking your expertise automatically qualifies you to be an expert in other areas.

It's difficult to stop being so judgmental. I mean, you can be biased towards the lessons of your own experiences, but you should not cling to your biases or your desires. Be flexible. Be like water, says Bruce Lee.

The truth is... you'll never know everything, but there will be times in your life when you think you do. When you catch yourself with a busy mind and find that you're making decisions for everyone around you, maybe it's time to slow down. You're not as important or as smart as you think you are. Acting as if you are the center of the universe is a lot to take on. Relax.

Lastly, in the words of the Great Lebowski, remember this, "That's just your opinion, man."

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Thought this would go well with TommyBoy's last post.

Not to Hurt

Not to Hurt
by St. Francis of Assisi

Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals)
Is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.
We have a higher mission:
To be of service to them whenever they require it.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Sandy Pearl Audiobook Release

Sandy Pearl and the Blades has been released as an audiobook! Follow this link to get a subscription at Audible and purchase the book. Also available as a paperback or ebook at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Apple, and other fine online book retailers.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Two More of Stone's Books Into Audiobook Production

Two more of my books are now in audiobook production! Smolif and To The Stars will be available as audiobooks sometime this Spring. Release dates are pending but the contracts have been inked and the process has begun. Don Alfredano will be the voice of Contra Marlo in Smolif and Stacey Krejci will narrate for To The Stars and become the voice of the young Harry Irons. I am very excited and looking forward to hearing the new offerings. I hope you are too!

Friday, February 14, 2020

For TommyBoy

The Cane Patch Collectors at Audible

The Cane Patch Collectors is written by Thomas C. Stone and narrated by George Johnson.

Murder in small town Texas. It's tough being a single mom. But it's also tough being the only son of a single mom when your dad is dead and you're the new kid in school. To make matters worse, kids are disappearing in your small town and surrounding county. All you want is to have a normal life. Good luck with that.

The Cane Patch Collectors is suitable for a general audience and is available as an audio book at Amazon and Audible!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Hello, Goodbye

And the Winner Is...

Big surprise! Not really. Joaquin Phoenix snags Oscar for Best Actor.

Best representation ever of me at 16 getting released from Sunday School.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Smolif in Paperback or eBook

Smolif (by Thomas C. Stone) is a sci-fi tale about Contra Marlo, a retired, alcoholic, security specialist. Contra was the best before he dropped out and became a full-time drunk. When a company rep offers him an off-planet job, Marlo must deal with sobriety, inexperienced team members, and a lack of information -- as well as the dangers of an alien world and the man who would be king of that world. PG-13.

I got the idea to write Smolif from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness -- the story of a company man traveling to the wildest parts of 19th century Africa to confront another company man who had gone rogue and whose methods of quelling the natives in order to facilitate trade had become "unsound". If you may recall, Apocalypse Now -- the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola Vietnam war movie -- was also based on Conrad's original novel.

Smolif is available in either industrial paperback or ebook form.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Review of Important Stuff Socrates Thought by Dr. Glenn Rogers

I ran across Dr. Glenn Rogers on LinkedIn as I was looking to reconnect with a cousin of mine. I don't know much about Rogers except that he taught philosophy at the university level. Once in a while, he'll offer an ebook in a free giveaway and so that's how I came to get a copy of Important Stuff Socrates Thought (The Important Stuff Philosophical Series Book 1).

The book is not terribly long -- it took me about two and half days to get through it reading at an on-and-off pace. It is written in an easy-to-understand style with a simple layout. As the title suggests, it is about the Greek philosopher, Socrates, or rather, what Socrates had on his mind, as well as his method of discourse which was mostly made up of a strategy of questions designed to influence inductive reasoning into discovering the truth of the matter.

What matter, you might ask? Well, the matter of anything (or everything), but suffice to say mainly the big questions. Like, who or what are we? Why are we here? What's the world all about? How are we to proceed?

Rogers reminds us that Socrates was among the world's most important thinkers when it came to those kinds of questions and it was his direct influence that led to conclusions by his understudies, i.e., Plato and Aristotle. Now, I was a philosophy student in college and so I am familiar with Socrates and many of the earlier Greek philosophers but I can say Rogers' book was a great refresher for me and has renewed my interest in classical philosophy and what I consider the roots of logic, reason, and even the cornerstones of civilization. The truth is, you just can't understand western civilization without studying a little Socrates.

If you do not know much about Greek philosophy (or philosophy in general), Important Stuff Socrates Thought is a great place to start. I enjoyed it so much, I plan to follow up by reading the next book in Dr. Rogers' series.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Down the Rabbithole...

Click to enlarge.
Hi there.

The first book in The Xylanthian Chronicles by Thomas C. Stone is entitled Xylanthia. Catchy, huh? It's a big book, big enough so even if you sat up all night reading, you probably wouldn't finish it before the sun came up. Plus, like I said, it's the first book in a trilogy so if you do commit to it and read it all the way through, you'll likely want to read the following two books.

So what is the Xylanthia story anyway? Good question. Well, it's a sci-fi thriller set in a future nearly 400 years from now. You may be surprised to learn that in many ways it is similar to the present; that is, human affairs are still governed by intrigue and conspiracy and competition. Space travel and exploration is a big thing in the future and we've finally figured out how to get to other star systems. One thing we haven't figured out is how to survive once we get there. That's what Xylanthia is about -- how a team of scientists and explorers manage to unravel the mysteries surrounding the binary system at Sirius while being picked off by a hostile alien environment.

Yet, that's not even the half of it. The Xylanthia books are a wild ride down the rabbithole into an adventure that will stretch your imagination. If you love science fiction and an original story, you'll love The Xylanthian Chronicles.

The Xylanthian Chronicles is a three book set comprised of Xylanthia, Return to Xylanthia, and The Galactic Center. Each book is available in either industrial paperback or as an ebook and can be found at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Apple and other fine online book retailers. As in incentive, the price has been lowered for the ebook version of Xylanthia to just $2.99 for an entire month! So, please, order your copy today and begin an astounding reading experience.

As always, happy reading!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Stateline Blues

"Stateline Blues"

Fancy Dan, gamblin' man
Top hat of the peanut man
Talk about your pot of gold
With a silver linin'

Tumblin' dice, hit it twice
Boats and the flushes, they sure look nice
On a pot of gold with a silver linin'

State line give you hard times, stay too long
Goodbye, pretty women
I ain't stayin' on, come on

Get a hunch, bet a bunch
Come to gamble, better pack a lunch
For a pot of gold with a silver linin'

Less you bet when you stayin' in
The more you lose even when you win
On a pot of gold with a silver linin'

You don't know when to stop
Lady Luck, she gonna see you're taught
That there ain't no pot of gold and no silver linin'

Easy money can make you mad
Come too quick turn a good man bad
For a pot of gold with a silver linin'

Gamblin' man, Fancy Dan
Top hat of the peanut man
Talk about your pot of gold
In the silver linin'

Thursday, January 2, 2020

“Book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel; book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages.” -- Stephen King