My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Heaven's on Fire / Guest Post by Roland Yeomans


BLOG TOUR:

Sage Covered Hills – Author Interview



***************************************************************

Today Roland Yeomans is taking over my blog with a deep guest post about writing, pain, and life that’ll get you thinking. Take it away, Roland!


HEAVEN’S ON FIRE

The bronze mists swirled about my table at Meilori’s like veiled bereaved women going to prayers.

I looked at my blank laptop screen and asked myself the most important question a writer can ask: What do I have to say?

Writers write best when the answer to that is “Something Important” (at least to themselves so that the fire is there at the tips of their fingers and within their hearts.)

To be important, what we write must not only be true to the human spirit, it must also not go over old ground.

How many times can you re-use the same tea bag before the brew you conjure is tepid and tasteless?

What we write must be relevant to the world in which our readers live.  Yet, America has become the Evening Land. 

September 11th.  Ferguson.  Baltimore.  Isis.  A Maryland mother pushing her dead son on a swing all night.  People go on their daily concerns as if the shadows were not deepening.
It is not getting lighter; our eyes have just adjusted to the darkness.

I jerked in surprise as the ghost of William Faulkner sat beside me.

“As I stood behind you, Roland, I couldn’t help but read what you were writing.”

He sighed, “Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained that by now we can almost bear it. Of course there are still problems of the spirit. Yet one question looms above all: when will life end for me?  And how will it happen … by terrorist plot, by Nature’s increasingly hostile hand, by the cruel strangulation of mishandled economics, or by my neighbor’s hate.”

The ghost of Mark Twain sat down on the other side of me.  “A beast does not know he is a beast, son. And the closer a man grows to becoming a beast, the less he realizes it.”

Faulkner nodded, “Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing, because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat of wresting something from nothing.”

He tapped the screen of my laptop. “You must learn them again. You must teach yourself that the basest of all things is to be afraid. And teaching yourself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in your writing for anything but the old truths of the heart ….”

Faulkner’s voice trailed off and then picked back up, “ …the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed - love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until you do so, you labor under a curse.”

Mark said, “You write not of love but of lust, of defeats in which no one loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. Your griefs grieve on no universa
l bones, leaving no scars. You write not of the heart but of the sex glands.”

Title: Death in the House of Life
Author: Roland Yeomans
Genre: Egyptian Mystery / Paranormal
Length: 245 pages


BOOK LINKS:

The poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, sat down opposite me and pointed to my laptop screen.

The blank page is the dragon that faces all authors. But like St. George, we have sought that dragon of our own volition.  Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

He smiled sadly, “I know our novels are like that: they are helpless to shape or birth themselves.  We must do it for them. And they are born of those seeds which are the books we have read.”

Faulkner nodded, “Authors read because we want to be with those who know secret things or else to be alone with our thoughts.”

Mark gruffed, “I’m just a common pilgrim, Bill.  So tell me, what are those secret things?”

Rilke sighed, “Answers to every soul’s basic questions:

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don't know what work these conditions are doing inside you?

Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going?”

Mark Twain blew a cloud of cigar smoke.  “Poet, you got a handle on those questions, but I didn’t hear any answer.”

Rilke smiled even sadder.  “We must each decide for ourselves those answers.  But my answer to myself is:

‘You know that you are in the midst of transitions and as a child you wished for nothing so much as to change, to grow, to mature.

If there is anything unhealthy in my life, I must bear in mind that a fever is simply the means by which an organism frees itself from that which is harmful.

So I must simply ride the crest of that fever until it breaks since that is the way both the soul and body gets better.

Do not assume that any who seek to comfort me live untroubled among simple and quiet words, for such words were born in pain.

Their lives may also have had such sadness and difficulty that it is far beyond mine. Were it otherwise, they would never have been able to find the words to give me healing.’”

Mark nodded his head in agreement. “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things and yet still rise to try again with greater discernment.’”

William Faulkner murmured, “My own answer was:

‘Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart ... live in the question, in the uncertain moment.  That is the human condition … and realizing that fact will make you a better, more perceptive writer.’”

Rilke turned to the ghost of Mark Twain, asking, “And what would your answer be, Mr. Clemens?”

He waggled an eyebrow at me.  “Welcome the blank page, son, full of things that have never been, for the only worthwhile journey is the one within.”

All three turned their eyes to me in silent request for my own answer.  What would you have said in my place?


BOOK TRAILER:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roland Yeomans was born in Detroit, Michigan.  But his last memories of that city are hub-caps and kneecaps since, at the age of seven, he followed the free food when his parents moved to Lafayette, Louisiana.  The hitch-hiking after their speeding car from state to state was a real adventure.  Once in Louisiana, Roland learned strange new ways of pronouncing David and Richard when they were last names.  And it was not a pleasant sight when he pronounced Comeaux for the first time.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Psychology.  He has been a teacher, counselor, book store owner, and even a pirate since he once worked at a tax preparation firm.

So far he has written thirty-three books.  You can find Roland at his web page: www.rolandyeomans.blogspot.com  or at his private table in Meilori’s.  The web page is safer to visit.  But if you insist on visiting Meilori’s, bring a friend who runs slower than you.



Thank you, Roland, for giving us a wonderfully insightful post.

Please leave a comment for Roland!


62 comments:

  1. Great teaser, seems like a really great read. Thank you for sharing that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading Roland's post, blogoratti!

      Delete
    2. I hope you go to my book's Amazon page and try out the LOOK INSIDE feature. Hey, it's free! Thanks for the nice words.

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful read, Roland. I enjoyed all the authors chiming in with their own thoughts. I'll definitely try to look at a blank page differently after this! It's up to us to bring our stories to life, and that's a pretty awesome responsibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed that too, Nick. Roland is really good at making these famous authors/poets come to life.

      Delete
    2. The blank page is a magic world just waiting for us to type it into life, Nick. I hope the sales of your latest book go higher and higer!

      Delete
  3. This is interesting. Faulkner's ghost appears to have learn the value of shorter sentences. I am pondering Twain's last quote (only worthwhile journey is the one within). This, from the man who popularized the humorous travelogue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I'm one of those writers who tend to write in longer sentences, too. During editing, I try to shorten them.

      Delete
    2. Faulkner does love his longer sentences, but he knew Hemingway was there! He decided to save himself some grief from that boxer! Twain's travelogues were amusing because of his inner reflections on what he was seeing .. the products of his own inner journey based on what he saw. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! :-)

      Delete
  4. Nice to meet you, Roland! What a fascinating read. I love your outlook on a writer's purpose. It really brings home the message of the 'power of the pen' and how we view the world is uniquely our own. We can help others with our unique vision just like the famous writers who write and question you. Your book trailer is fantastic, too! Congrats on your new release. Thanks Chrys for this great share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland's posts are always so fascinating and insightful. You should check out his blog, Lisa.

      Delete
    2. Nice to meet you, too, Lisa! My own post today is about how we have lost the magic and how to get it back. Come visit and tell me what you think. :-)

      I'm glad you like my book trailer. Even though Wendy Tyler Ryan was ill, she made it for me ... didn't she do a wonderful job?

      Delete
  5. Avoiding old ground is not a rule they have heard of in Hollywood lol great trailer too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for leaving a comment for Roland, Pat! :)

      Delete
    2. Not at all! You are so right. Poor Spiderman has been rebooted so many times he must be bruised all over! Thanks for the nice words about the trailer. :-)

      Delete
  6. Fun excerpt. Wow, Detroit to Lafayette, LA--I would say that is quite the cultural transition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was! The heat was the worst thing to get used to!!!

      Delete
  7. What an inspiring and fun post, Roland. I'll look at what I write now with a more critical eye. Congratulations on your latest book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With my imagination I am never bored! I thought if I was going to make Meilori's, the haunted jazz club, the hub of most of my novels, I should have fun with it in my blog and in others'. :-) Take a look at my new book on its Amazon's book page, why don't you?

      Delete
  8. okay, this was AWESOME. great post, Roland!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made me blush ... speaking of which ... best of luck with the debut of your AT FIRST BLUSH! May your future be ever brighter. :-)

      Delete
  9. Very interesting; enjoyed the read; makes me want to get a blank piece of paper out and start writing.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blank page is not our enemy but a friend waiting for us to shape it into being. Thanks for the kind words. :-)

      Delete
  10. I think I needed this post and the one at your blog today, Roland, to correct my frame of mind. I have indeed been focusing on the daily tasks, yearning to write, but not finding the time. Good luck with the latest book, wishing you many sales!
    Thanks Chrys, for featuring Roland, one of my favourite writers. He is indeed prolific, and has varied content. I recommend checking out his blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a rare blood courier, I know all about life's demands and hardly any free time, D.G. Moving as you are is so stressful. Don't push it. Maybe sit down and write one sentence or one paragraph. The world within you will still be there waiting for you when life calms down a bit.

      Wasn't Chrys great to provide me her blog to play in for a bit? :-)

      Delete
    2. You're welcome! Both of you. :) When Roland was looking for more places to promote, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to open my blog to him. He's a great blogger, his posts are always refreshing. :)

      Delete
  11. "...bring a friend who runs slower than you." Bwahahahahahaha

    Great post, Chrys and Roland!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was all Roland. I just made it look pretty. :)

      Delete
    2. Cherdo, I'm glad you liked my bio -- I tried to make it unique and refreshing. :-) And Chrys is a wonder, isn't she?

      Delete
  12. Roland, you have a new fan! I could read your flowing prose till cows go to space! Thanks for sharing him, Chrys - this really was a treat!:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed his post, Diedre. :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Dierdre. I look forward to you visiting my blog. :-) I tend to be more Faulkner than Hemingway in my prose ... or a bit like Roger Zelazny.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for spotlighting this post and my book on your Google+ profile page! Since you wrote BEANIE'S BACKYARD, as thanks I would send you the audiobook of HIBBS, THE CUB WITH NO CLUE (the adventures of a magic Grizzly cub in a mystic valley where all the world's myths mingle) If I had your email address, I would gladly send it to you. :-)

      Delete
    4. Oh, you're so welcome! It's just a reflex I have, If I like it I say so :-)
      Bless your heart, I'd love an audiobook of Hibbs!

      Delete
    5. Just send me your email address, and little Hibbs will be winging your way! (the poor guy goes fishing for catfish and lands a dragon!) Robert Rossmann does a stellar performance. My own email address is in my profile on my blog. :-)

      Delete
  13. Great Post, Roland and Chrys. Thank you for sharing! So pleased you took the time to come out and play, Roland. Wishing you both all the best!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicola! And all the best to you. :)

      Delete
    2. As Chrys says: All the best to you, too! I had fun. I hope you did, too.

      Delete
  14. Amazing post. I am dying to run home and read. If only I channeled incredibly talented writers. Thanks for sharing.

    I would agree that we need the trials and without them life would seem less sweet and we could not show empathy to those in need or raise children who have the desire to show empathy to others.
    Taking time to reflect, to help others and realize we are all part of the same community is something that we all have to make a priority.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Kat!

      Delete
    2. Joys make us love the world; pain helps us understand it. I have read and re-read volumes of letters by great writers until I have their speech patterns down. :-)

      I had fun in my 99 cent eBook GHOST OF A CHANCE, putting myself in my own fictional worlds on the run for the murder of the ghost of Hemingway and helped by the ghosts of Mark Twain and Marlene Dietrich.

      DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE has my hero, McCord, teamed with Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Nikola Tesla, and Winston Churchill in 1895 Cairo. It's a fun adventure! Check it out. :-)

      Delete
  15. What a fabulous post and I love the last line of your bio. hee hee :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. He got to the heart of what makes a good story good...originality and authenticity. It's tough to be original since every story has already been told a million times. Often it's the writer's voice that makes it fresh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He sure did! And you're right, Stephanie. Even the most unique stories draw from other stories.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Stephanie. Think Ben Affleck reading the lines of Tony Stark in Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr. made the role with his "voice" and personality as we can do. telling our tales in our own distinctive way. :-)

      Delete
  17. Great writing here. I've read some of Roland's works and have some more titles on my Kindle I need to catch up on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His writing is so poetic and insightful.

      Delete
    2. Medeia, I hope you browse my newer titles. :-) Thanks for the compliment on my writing>

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Chrys, for the nice words ... and for granting me use of your blog to have my ghost friends get around the blog-verse!

      Delete
  18. What a great post. Sounds like an interesting story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the mix of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain in 1895 Cairo plus Nikola Tesla stirred with an otherworldly romance amidst the ruins of the pyramids makes for a fun story. :-) Thanks for enjoying my post.

      Delete
  19. Great post and author biography. There are so many thought-provoking, fascinating ideas and truths in here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, a publisher reading my bio asked me to write a memoir. That soon after he went out of business doesn't say good things about his taste or my luck!! :-)

      Delete
  20. I agree it's easier to get down to the writing when we really want to tell the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why the middle of our novel sags ... our enthusiasm has dwindled and died down. :-(

      Delete
  21. It would be interesting to "converse" with great writers and Mark Twain is one of my faves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have always wanted to talk to the ghosts of my favorite writers ... then, it occurred to me that as a fantasy writer, I could do just that! :-)

      Delete
  22. Great to see you on Chrys' blog Roland. Your post was great, as always. We don't like those saggy middles. Trouble is, some writing books tell you you must have a hook, instead of telling you that you must have hook after hook after hook. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! Novels, like their authors, run the risk of saggy middles! You're right: don't give readers a convenient place to stop ... keep them in suspense, turning those pages late into the night. :-)

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

Popular Posts!

Join!

Follow!