A Chance

I used to play a lot of music when I was a teenager. It ranged from tuba, sousaphone, piano, bass guitar, guitar, and singing. I mean, I really enjoyed it. Loved it! Back then there were no worries. Just passing classes and the typical drama. I’ve been thinking a lot about different things that have been happening the last year or so since I stepped down, but I want to go even further back. I want to go as far back as when I started my first band.

The band was called Into the Primitive. Now, it wasn’t a very fancy name or anything crazy, but it was just three guys who loved music. The drummer and I played in the marching band,(he was in the drum line) The bassist happened to be his friend, but he didn’t play much unless we were all jamming together. The foundation of this band was just to hang out and try to create music. We didn’t play any gigs unless it was a small birthday party. It was actually pretty nice just to hang out and jam. Then, play some Elder Scrolls on the Xbox, or Halo. Plus, we’d have our daily ritual of dipping Chips Ahoy cookies into a jar full of Nutella. I discovered that combination playing in that band.

We had high hopes for our band. I mean, my mom spent almost $800 for us on a demo that sounded like glass scrapping against the inside of a plastic bucket. I have no clue why we went to this supposed audio engineer, but he acted professional on the internet. Ah! The days of myspace. Everyone use to advertise themselves there and pretend they were some high end business that could turn us into stars. Some people use their trickery to their advantage.

Anyways, the reason I titled this post A Chance is because all of us have goals in life. Whether it’s to be the next rock star, the next all star baseball player, the next professional football player, or the next big author. I wanted to start with saying that sometimes we all have to give each other guidance and a chance to learn our craft that we want to be great at.

I remember in many bands that I performed with, it seemed like every two to three months we were dumping members like we were in some short term relationship. In the band Into the Primitive we ended up kicking the bassist out because he was not performing as well as we wanted him to. We pretty much gave him three months to get it together, but he never rose up to our expectations. It was one of the hardest things to do as a kid. How can someone tell someone they aren’t good at their instrument, when you’re the one that can hardly read the music for a guitar. You only play by ear?

I didn’t think about it so much when I was younger because I was arrogant and cocky. I didn’t care about anyone else except for myself. I was a brat and I was spoiled. I can openly admit this because I know I was. My parents pretty much did anything that I wanted them to do, and eventually it crawled up and bit me in the butt.

Anyways, we found a new bassist that we thought would be a great asset to our band. He knew how to play bass. He was pretty well known at school and I kind of had a crush on his sister at the time. Our band seemed to be getting better, and we were happy with the new change we had done, but graduation came around, and I decided to take it upon myself and have my band play at my graduation party. The only problem was, my drummer’s brother’s birthday was that same day. IN my mind, I only cared about myself. I didn’t care about my drummer’s own personal events.

We ended up getting into an argument because he wanted to be with his brother and family. I told him he should have said something, but I already know why he didn’t say anything. I was a hard person to please. I didn’t take no for an answer, and I was selfish. As bad as I want to say something good about me during that time of my life, I can’t. In my mind was fame, glory, and wealth. Nothing else.

Well, we ended up dropping the drummer who was probably one of the closest friends I had ever had then. He went on to perform in a pretty successful metal and. I ended up performing in two different bands. The next band I performed with was Radiolarien. (We got our name by flipping through a dictionary) Anyways, we were a very pop and alternative band, but things fell apart just as quick as they had started. I ditched the bassist and drummer. I think for me I got tired of getting talked down to so I moved on. I went on to pull in a guitarist that I knew from thee high school Orchestra. We’re still best friends today. I was even the best man in his wedding.

We wrote and performed a lot of our own material. Our band went through a lot of different performers, but we always stuck together. We performed multiple gigs around Georgia and the Atlanta area. Things were going pretty well, but we could not keep a set band. We constantly kept kicking people our until we finally just decided to stop performing completely so we could start careers. We were called The Calling Card.

I realize now that I probably should have given many of the musicians we played with a chance to proven themselves. I was always so quick to jump the gun and kick them out. It was because I had a goal and I didn’t want anyone holding me back. The only problem is, you have to build each other up before you can be successful. I should have given a lot more chances to all those musicians in the past, but I was self absorbed into my own goals. I didn’t care about how anyone else felt. It was almost like  sickness or a plague. Now, that I think about it that was truly one of the downfalls of my band. I was not patient enough to let my members learn the music.

Give everyone a chance to learn and grow. Don’t think that they are going to be able to learn as quick as you. Patience is a virtue, and if you want to do great things, you have to start with the fundamentals. You have to bond with the people around you and help each other. You can’t just continuously move on to the next one that looks like gold in your eyes. You can be rich, but wealth comes from happiness and the ones that love you. Hold on to the people that follow you because they will teach you so much more than what society is trying to push into our brains. Even if you think you know it all, you can always learn something new from each other.

Rant About Writer and Editor

This goes both ways, finding a good writer and editor are like trying to nail Jello to a tree. You’re going to have writers that believe their work is the next J.R.R Tolkien or J.K Rowling. Then, you’re going to have editors that believe they can turn your work to gold of you take their advice. Okay, here’s my experience with editors, they know they have more experience and knowledge of writing. My experience with writers as an editor, they know they are more creative. Now that we’ve laid that out what to expect when working together.

I know for sure that if I need an editor I don’t expect the sugar coated, over exaggerated, and pleasing critique of “oh this is fantastic. You are professional and your words speak to me ” If I hire you as an editor, you better turn that paper into a mess of red, blue, green, or yellow scribbles. That’s what I expect. I hear enough praise from my mother  and father just because I actually wrote a book.

On the editors side, if you hire me to help you, listen to my critique. Lower cases at the beginning of the sentence, jumping from past to present tense, and losing me before chapter one even begins, is unacceptable. I will tell you what to fix and turn your manuscript into a maze of rainbows. I do this to help you and teach you. If you decide to whine and not take my suggestions into consideration, don’t be surprised and blame me for your low sales.

Now that I’ve made that clear, writers and editors work together to create a story. We both try to bring life to the story so or readers don’t struggle and work to hard to understand what the story is about. Please hire trust editors. Don’t tell your mom to look at it and fix the simple errors and then publish. Have a professional look at it because family and friends sugar coat everything.

Editors remember to not get frustrated by a writers lack of knowledge when it comes to grammar. That’s why they need you. Both have to be on the same page for the success of a novel.

Marriage

My cousin just got married yesterday, and I’m very happy for the guy. I was sitting down the other night with beer and pen in hand, thinking what’s the next step to getting Nadine and me to the alter. Well, after discussing it with my beautiful fiance we are currently ahead of the game as far as planning. Haha which I didn’t know.

I don’t normally give speeches, or talk much about what’s rumbling around inside me, but the last two days made me want to write.

My cousin Alex married his love Emma yesterday. It was a wonderful day for the Lloyd and Nolt families. I can remember a few glimpses in the past with Alex and still am in shock that we are already at this point in our lives. We were born two days apart, we had birthdays togethers, we experienced mischievous moments, some tearful losses, and a immense amount of time playing video games and watching football.

There’s a lot of love that is spread by the Lloyds no matter what obstacles we face, or what views we have. We experience life to our fullest and usually have someone by our side whether it’s a close friend, or our true love. I remember my Uncle Lee’s girlfriend saying once, “I’m a northern girl, but these Lloyds are true southern gentlemen.” Now, I don’t know much about that first part, but I will say we are the ones that will hold the door for you, be at your side every waking moment, and kiss you good night even after a fight.

Marrying someone you love is a commitment, but a Lloyd will always do their best to leap over those obstacles, and keep that fire alive.

Congratulations, Alex and Emma Lloyd and to both of you may everlasting love continue to brighten your path.

To Mom and Dad

I don’t say this enough to my parents, and I probably look like an ungrateful son for not. Thank you. Thank you for everything you have done from raising me to being here whenever I needed a ear to ramble to, or a shoulder to cry on. The last few days I thought a lot about things that have happened in the last year that scare me to utter death like someone calling my job to tell me my dad’s heart has stopped and he’s in the hospital, but really it was a hoax from a sick son-of-a-bitch. That isn’t the point though, it scares me to death to think that one day I will be alone on this earth. I will not have someone to dial and talk to about personal things. I will not have someone there to help me when I’m having tough luck in life. Honestly, I don’t know how my parents do it sometimes.

All the secrets and events that I have shared with my mom and dad are what make me who I am today. They spoiled me as a child, but I do appreciate all of the places we went to and the unique things I got to experience. If it didn’t happen then, I may not have experienced them now. It’s funny how they prepared my sister and I for everything ahead. They sacrificed time and money to give us the life they may have wanted as a child. From what I know, like anyone else, they both had struggles in life that they faced. Somehow they both overcame them and raised my sister and I very well. Honestly, I beat myself up so much just to be able experience the life they had again. I wish I had the work ethic and strength my dad had. I wish I had the talent and charisma my mom has, but I have never really been as successful as them two.

It’s funny though. No matter how many times I fall, they always are there to try and bring me back on my feet. They always seem to know how to turn my wheels or press my buttons to get my ass back in gear… even if it’s something I don’t want to hear. I hope that one day I will have something to be proud of like they did. They owned a moving company and traveled to many exotic places. It seems like just yesterday that I was on a beach with them belly surfing on the waves with my dad, or hearing my mom scream from the stands to “Hit that ball, Will!” or “Strike him out!”

I know my dad threw baseball’s with me and helped me practice. My mom always was the moral support that wanted to make me better. They have both contributed to molding me into the person I am today. I will admit that I still have my rough edges, but it is all just part of that journey. I love you, mom and dad! No matter how stubborn I am with certain subjects or sarcastic I am, I will always love both of you.

What’s Important?

I have contemplated this question for a very long time, and I think I have found the answer for myself. I know everyone has their own goals in life and I did too, but I feel like I lost sight of what truly was close and dear to me. In high school, all I thought about was the next step in my life. How I could make millions, and how I could become famous. I think a lot of us may have been there at one time, and a lot of us had more ideal views of what would happen once we went to college. Well, for one, I don’t think I have too many friends from the same group I hung out with back then. They have all kind of found their own life and no longer exist in the life I’m trying to build for myself. I know for a lot of us it may have been tough to hatch from our shell and move on with our life to start anew. Then again, some of us it was probably easier.

I just want to say at this current moment, I am satisfied with most of the things in my life. I know when I became an assistant produce manager, I was very miserable and unhappy. My work schedule interfered with a lot of the family activities that were going on. I would miss birthdays and even vacations set up for us all to go to. I think I missed a few of my cousins graduations as well because of work. So why did I do this? Well, simply put, I didn’t have the freaking balls to tell upper management to shove it up their ass. Now, I’m pretty sure I’m more vocal than I use to be because honestly, I have discovered something more important than a job that requires you to skip family events and to miss out on once in a lifetime moments.

Yes, I stepped down as an assistant to pursue writing and a better job. I am still searching for that better job, but I feel like my writing has strengthened and I actually enjoy writing now. It wasn’t like this back when I was an assistant though. No, no, no. When I was an assistant, I was working between 53-60 hours a week. My pay was cut in half after every 10 hours after 40 hours. Everything I did was wrong, and I was pretty much claimed as the idiot of the group. The reason all of this happened was because of the lack of training, the lack of help, and the lack of competent upper management. Plus, the corporate stranglehold was a huge reason I decided it was time to let it go. Now, I’m just working part time for the same company and waiting for that moment to be able to walk away and enjoy that job that is waiting for me.

Anyways, back on topic. What is important in your life that makes you live and breathe?

I live for my family, and I live for my fiance. I am no longer under the impression that making loads of money and being the spotlight of every magazine is the life I need. Oh no, that could never be the life for me. I know that I would rather know that someone loved me for me, and I had people around me that actually cared enough to help me in dire times than be around people that made me feel empty inside. I remember having people in my life that told me they actually truly cared about me and in the instant of a single argument have disappeared from my life for good. I’ve been in arguments with my family, and they have always been there for me. Even my fiance has been there to help me through everything that is going on right now. The crazy thing is, even her parents have been there for me!! I look back at the people I thought I knew very well growing up, and I have realized they all have no true place in my life because they really could care less if I rot in a storm drain.

Wow, I’m really ranting right now. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but I really just have a lot built up inside me. Sorry about that guys.

So what I’m trying to make clear here is: Don’t let fake people make you feel wanted when they actually make you feel alone inside. If you needed help tomorrow, would those people be there?

If you lied, and the truth came out about yourself, how many of those friends would still be there and understand why you lied?

Remember, your family will always be there, and if you can’t keep your family in your life, then what do you really have? Maybe you have lots of money, but can you talk to money, can it make you warm, and can it give you an ear to talk to? Maybe your famous, but how many of those people that love you so much will love you after you’ve been sent to jail for a mistake that everyone has made?

Family, you need them so don’t ignore them.

The Questions That Are Boiling in My Head

I know I have been away for a bit on here. I thought I would give you guys an update. At the current moment, I am working on an award for my blog that I was nominated for, but I can’t seem to get the ten lucky bloggers that I need to nominate. I’ll be working on that and once I have it together it’ll be posted. Football season has started so I’ve been watching my Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons bring their A game this last weekend. So I’m stoked for this next weekend when we go up against Cincinnati Bengals.

Work has been rough the last week. Let’s just say I’ve kind of been thrown on some pretty crappy shifts because good people have quit or have been sick, so I’ve pretty much been stuck with the crap shifts. It’s whatever though. I’m use to it. I haven’t gotten much writing done these last few days due to everything that has been going on with work. Hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and do a major writing haul tomorrow on my day off.

At this current moment, I am struggling. I’ve been trying to really keep that a secret, but I am. It’s on every spectrum of finances/job/social. I think that everything that is going on in my life right now is hopefully temporary. Every problem that I am facing right now is stemming from each one of the things I posted. My job status has changed so I’m making less than I use to, but I am happy that I get to write and spend more time with my family. It seems like there is always some kind of sacrifice you have to make with any decision in life. If you are focused on money and success, your social life will suffer. If you are focused on your family and social life, your financial situation may suffer. How do you find the medium to be able to survive though?

I’ve been reading a lot of articles about people who risked everything by leaving their current job and getting away from it all. They took their life in a different direction and let a job that felt almost like a trap for them. I read one today about a woman who worked as an insurance auditor in New York City, and she had many friends and colleagues die when the twin towers came down. She decided to leave her job because of all the heart ache and decided to go skiing. There she met a man and became a ski instructor. From what it sounds like, she is living a happy life at the moment. So my question is, how do people find the courage to do this? Is it at the brink of knowing life is short, or when you mentally just hit the edge of no return?

I don’t think I’ve really reached that point yet, but I know I want something else for myself, but I keep playing it safe. I keep telling myself that i need this job. It’s job security. I always tell myself that how can afford insurance if I don’t have a company helping me with it. I’m so lost right now, but then I watch these people take these risks. Is it because they have nothing to lose? Maybe I should think more like them and live for myself and not for someone else. I try not to be a selfish person, but I think my happiness would be selfish. I think that anything I do right now could cause the life I have already built for myself to crumble. But is that what I need to do to pull through this rut?

Sorry for all the questions. It’s kind of hard to think that I have one life, and I’m living it through work and stress. Everyone says enjoy life and take it in as much as you can because tomorrow could be the day you die. It’s scary to think that we all want to do big things in our lives, but why? My question has always been why do people want to make a name for themselves? Is it for fame, glory, and fortunes? Is it so no one will forget about you when you do pass on? Why do we HAVE to be remembered? Once we’re dead it won’t matter anyways. The fame, the money, and everything we’ve done. We can’t take anything with us, so what’s the point in it all?

I know for me, it’s to hold on to Nadine, and hopefully build some kind of legacy for my children and their children. For me, I could be forgotten, but I want my family’s future to be secure and to have a name follow them, so they can live their dreams.

Working Yourself to Death

I  haven’t had too much time these last few days to get on here, so I’m going to stick a post in this morning. I’ve been overloaded with work, so I’ve been having to spend a lot of time with fruits and vegetables lately as well as trying to dig deep into writing Eversoul. Saturday one of the guys at work had a stroke, so I’m filling his shifts till Friday, which I beg to ask the question, why do people continue to work after 80 years old. I mean, I understand some people will work 20 hours a week just so that they can keep their retirement, or stay busy. This guy was working 40 hours a week lifting case that were between 40-50 pounds. You would think there is a point in your life, where you can enjoy the rest of your days with family and not have to bust your butt till you land in your death bed. I sometimes even wonder why we expect so much from these people when they are too fragile to even walk. This is probably the second reason why i stepped down from my position at my job. I don’t want this job to be the last thing I do before I die. I want to be able to either make a difference in this world, or create something that will inspire and innovate the people around me. I know there are reasons that people do what they do daily, but shouldn’t your health and family be the first priority no matter what?

Alien Encounter… What?!

I watched this movie on Netflix yesterday after work called Alien Encounter. This was after I had a horrible stomach ache from a greasy burger I had for lunch earlier. This movie was like a Blair Witch Project, mixed with a Cloverfield. Since you guys don’t know me that well, I hate these kind of movies. It’s just what is the point of shooting in the perspective of one of the characters. I mean, it is almost like eating a burger without the meat. WHERE IS THE FLAVOR?! Seriously, every movie that attempts to do this kind of style fails terribly. Either the kids are in the woods, at a party, or about to play a prank. It just gets dull after a while.

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Anyways, back to Alien Encounter. I think this movie received 3 stars overall on Netflix. (I watch a lot of the three star movies because it’s on the fence and maybe there is some kind of value to take from these films.) SPOILER ALERT: The movie takes place on Brown Mountain, North Carolina. Apparently multiple disappearances happened in the camp sites up near this old tunnel. Every night there would be flashing lights coming from the sky. No one knew what they were. (They’re aliens) This movie was so pathetic it put me to sleep halfway through it. It happens like any other movie that is filmed this way… One person goes missing. The people run away. Another person goes missing. They all run away. Someone gets their body bent backwards like a pretzel and sucked into the air. Everyone screams and hides. Uh-oh little Billy dropped the camera! Now, we only hear muffles and leaves rustling. There’s screaming in the background. 

Is this not the typical first person film? It is so annoying I almost wished the authorities never found the camera in the field. 

I think a three star is way too generous for this movie. I would have given a .5 star. Just for having a decent concept that was executed very poorly. 

Starting Out as a Self-Published Author

 I know a lot of my friends and family in my life have probably heard me ramble on social media or on the phone about this new venture I am trying to build. This line of work is the hardest and most cruel profession that I have come to realize in the last few months of publishing my first novel, Horizon. I have had many fantastic reviews and the occassionally bad ones. I remember back in March my first edition had a ton of typos and errors concerning the barcodes and copyrights. I mean, hell, I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. Now, I’ve honed in on everything and I’m trying to build a substantial audience. 

     I will say there have been multiple people that have helped me open up many new doors to get my novel out there. Once, Eversoul hits the market, I hope those same people will be there to raise my spirits through the gruelling and exciting moments of producing my next novel. It’s funny when you watch authors beg for reviews, and I will openly say I am one of those authors that beg, but if it doesn’t happen, I at least get a phone call, or word from the grape vine about how much someone’s daughter loved my novel, or someone’s mother. Everything circles back around, and if you are looking to write and plan on making millions, even thousands on your first novel, don’t hold your breath. 

     I love writing. Yes, my weakness is procrastination, but somehow I find a way to stick my butt to a chair and stare at the computer screen for hours on end. I’ve had people ask me, “Do you list your book for free, and do discounts cause you’re going through a rough patch?” My answer: No, it’s not for that reason. I see my book as a pilot for somethingAMAZING!!! When I sit and write, scrambling through all of the excitement, it drives me crazy not to be able to share these ideas to my growing audience. I know, I give away a lot of surprises by sharing chapters and hinting at upcoming events in the next novel but that’s only because I’m excited about my baby. My wonder bread. My life for the last five years. I don’t think there is one day, where I haven’t thought about characters, names, and settings as I driving to work, or simply walking through the park. Many of my friends, co-workers, and family don’t know they have atleast one character that relates to them in my stories.

     Right now, patience is the only thing that keeps me going everyday. The struggle is real sometimes when it comes to bills and having a life, but honestly, I spent most of my life rotting in a job that was killing me deep inside. It pushed me at times to the point, where I didn’t think I could survive in this world. My dad told me recently that you have to work hard to hold on to the things that mean the most to you. It was mostly because I have a fiance and my parents really want to have grandkids, and they want the best for my fiance and me. I sat there and thought about it real hard, and he is right, I have to push, push, push until I bleed to have a better life for my future family. 

     If you don’t love writing, and your just in it to hopefully make that huge deal and make those fat checks. You are going to fail. There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of writers out there have that mind set. They write a book, don’t proof read, and publish it with typos. It deters from what readers want. I know reading is something that seems like it’s slowly fading away with social media, and video games these days, but it’s still there. I know it’s still there. I still have multiple friends who trade books like it’s religion. I know people who hardly read, and after they read my book they’ve said, “Wow, I can’t wait for your next novel, Will.” Not saying I don’t have the occassional, “I had a hard time following it, but it came together well.” But isn’t that what a writer wants, people to learn their style of writing and come to a light bulb that makes them hate or like what you’re doing?

     It’s a wonderful feeling to sit there and watch all of those kindle downloads build up in your sales report, even the free ones. Then, you see all the paperback and hardbacks being sold as well. It’s not even about what kind of revenue I’m making, it’s that fact that there’s atleast one person out there that has an interest to read my book! That to me is success. I couldn’t be more grateful for those people that give me those feelings. Also, I can’t forget my cheerleading squad that consists of my mom, my dad, Corey Wallace, Leanne, Daniel, Nadine, my family, Stevi Clack(Photographer), Luke and Alyse Griffin/their parents, Nadine’s family. I mean, I could rave on with all the names that have been a huge impact on my growing career in writing. Four years in the making and a backing of people that strive to see my novel succeed. I love you guys. I even love the people I didn’t name that at the moment I’m trying to think of that have helped me. If I forgot you, just leave a comment. You can call me an idiot or bad mouth me, it’s okay cause I think you’re awesome just to make it to this point in my note.

     I will say I do have a lot of orders I am having trouble with sending out at times and I’m sorry to all of you that haven’t received a book yet. I’m still learning how to be an entrepreneur as well. It’s alot of work and time to create, market, and achieve a devoted fan base. 

     Anyways, I know this note is long, and I need to get back to work on Eversoul, but I wanted to say that your word of mouth does matter. I thank all of you for being a part of this with me, and I may do more notes throughout this venture. Also, all of the negative feedback I’ve received. I appreciate your tough love. It makes me want to give you something more in my future novels and win you over. Everyone have a good night, and if you ever want to talk, don’t hesitate, I’m still high off of the launch of Horizon and still want to hear from you guys!