On Gratitude and Growth

First-things-first:

Hi, readers.

I enjoyed taking a month-off from life after graduating. The break helped me to work on something important: rest. I know you can emphasize with me regarding raising two-toddlers and attending University full-time. I graduated from Liberty University on 4, March, 2022. I walk next week.

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Now, Enjoy My Rambling Treatise on Life

A Season of Gratitude

Attending University, volunteering on the Vestry for my church, serving on Moose Mountain Regional Greenway’s finance committee, publishing my own writing, and raising two toddlers, when all put together, proved challenging. Fortunately, I am happy wrestling and wrangling chaos, because service is joyful and empowering and not busy-bodying. However, none of this is possible without God’s grace, and my wife’s support.

Shall we get into that? I’ll answer on your behalf: Yes!

If your dreams are in the clouds, then only a goddess can help you retrieve them.

I hold nothing back in my writing. I believe in the purity of raw and real words. But, one thing I don’t write about a lot is my wife Emily. Yet, I owe my bride everything. She put me through school and pushed me toward writing. Without her, capitalism’s whispers of monetization and shame for no longer desiring material ambitions —wealth, security, and titles— may have stopped me from living my dream—again.

I should quickly add that without Covid19, I would not be published or degreed; the terrible virus disrupted our lives, but without reprioritizing how we live, as is custom when confronted with death all around, we wouldn’t be who both of us are todayour true selves.

Here’s the thing:

Our families believe Emily and I changed, but we haven’t. Not really. We like to say we found ourselves, and I believe that allowed us to grow into who we truly are without opinions of others influencing and coercing us. We are finally and truly free, so Emily would not stomach me bound, once again, in chains. She inspired me “To Go For It.” To live the one life God gave me, and to follow Him, and His Word, and we made a pact to surround ourselves with people different and more qualified than us for mentoring and counsel.

As nobody, from either of our families, ever asked me about school or how my writing was coming-along, my wife affirmed and filled that emptiness every opportunity she could; she would wake up and help with the kids if I was still writing or studying from the night before. She worked all day and made 90% of our dinners, so I could concentrate on school after watching the kids and cleaning the house all day.

Working and parenting and studying and parenting are no different: they are two full time jobs. So, this season of rest has been wonderful for both of us. Next week, we are taking a nice long vacation before I walk. Again, follow me, because you’re gonna want to see how I reward her over the next few weeks for all her patience, love, wisdom, and sexiness for her upcoming birthday, and the American holiday of Mother’s day.

My wife featured in SKATING Magazine

Most of you don’t know that I married a celebrity (Olympian and professional ice-dancer) and that we, now, abode in picturesque New Hampshire. Recently, she interviewed for SKATING Magazine. I will brag on my wife every chance I get.

I of course take good care of her; I love her for exactly who she is and whoever she will become. Because no matter what changes or challenges may come and go, God blessed us with the ability to bond tight to each other. No-one will ever believe us, but we have a storybook marriage: an incredibly healthy and robust sex life, zero communication problems, we are financially fit, we have our health, and we are best friends. I don’t know how long God has us on this Earth for, but I won’t waste a single second of my life not thanking Him for sending me my super hot, feminist, cuts-her-own-path in life goddess. Only my Emily could resurrect the real me.

So, readers do me this favor: Join me in thanking Emily for not giving up on my dreams, even when I, so many times, too many times, did. Let’s blow up her Twitter: @EmilySamuelson

Thank You, Sweetheart

I’m a college grad—finally

I’m a stay-at-home father of two-toddlers, and until March 18, 2022, I was a full-time student at Liberty University—LUO. Juggling these two responsibilities turned out to be a defining moment in my life. I think it’s worth recapping, don’t you? If not, too bad. You’re here anyway, so keep reading. 😂 Why did I go…

Keep reading

“Writing Books Doesn’t Pay,” and other dumb things haters say.

Now, you might think I’m just another anti-capitalist artist with lofty dreams and impossible expectations. You’d be wrong on all three-counts. First, it’s more accurate to call me an anti-fascist. As for my lofty dreams, loved-ones will call them fanciful, or that my head is in-the-clouds, but I can tell you I am, arguably, next to my wife the most ambitious person I know. This is why my haters think my writing career is impossible: they think they know how the world works. Does anyone, truly? They believe, and I use to as well, that money turns all of reality. But, here’s the thing: money isn’t worth compromising yourself over. I know, I know, I just wrote a privileged statement, but hear me out! I have been dirt poor, and I would have done nearly anything, I mean anything, to get more, so I understand the plight of not having the same advantages others do. But, once I came into a little-money, I realized God was right all-along —wealth is a glass castle, not the fortress men believe it is (Proverbs). It will not help you be or do better.

To serve wealth is to rot your spiritual and mental health. Bottom-line thinking is great for running a company, but humans aren’t numbers, and we should, as Jesus preached, choose to live more generatively.

To serve and love money is to rot your spiritual and mental health. Bottom-line thinking is great for running a company, but humans aren’t numbers, and we should, as Jesus preached, choose to live more generatively with our own lives. Money is a great tool, and I’m certainly not suggesting we go live like hermits. I wouldn’t drive my electric BMW without some disposable income, but wealth can easily ensnare a person and give them a false sense of credibility.

Me, My daughter, and My BMW i3

Warning: when we are too insulated and comfortable, we are over-exposed to Satan’s sin: pride (the arrogant assurance of our own self’s credibility). Greed then follows, and the cocktail you’ve made is spiritual deprivation.

Think of it this way: when Jesus taught about money, what did he say? I point you toward Matthew chapter six. The entire chapter! Read it, process it, and ask God to help you understand what He’s teaching you, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll change your mind on how you see, well, everything.

I’ll close with clarification.

There is nothing wrong with acquiring wealth. There is nothing wrong with pampering and enjoying beautiful things and people. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of the better life. There is nothing wrong with owning expensive things. What is wrong is believing money and luxury, or the choice not to live that way, gives you credibility over another soul. Fortunes of wealth and beauty appeases the eyes of man, but in Matthew Chap 6, you’ll read what pleases God —that is to love and be charitable, not get-yours-first, so you can help others later. Help now and God provides the rest. Proverbs 12:3 teaches us not to trust our own understanding. That means arguments about common-sense are mere regurgitations of fabricated thoughts and beliefs handed to you by your culture and not God. This does not mean common, practical, and reasonable thoughts and practices are wrong —Lord in heaven NO!— but it means you can’t build a holy life living only by the world’s proverbial blabberings.

Dang, I sure do talk a lot about money. Performance anxiety kills creative-writing. I’m at war. It’s because in my life I am surrounded by instigators of performance anxiety, and I’m always trying to reach out and teach there are other ways to live, other than what society says. Why do I bother? I have not a clue, lol.

But before you get too critical, remember this: I have soberly calculated the life toward happy, wealthy, and healthy in my old age, and I found the cost to my personal-self too high of a price. I go the path of James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald. They kept very little of their earnings; giving freely and openly all they had to anyone who asked, all their lives, and they didn’t even believe in God. Take that evangelical-right! Fitzgerald believed money would ruin his creativity, but if it could feed another, then it was better spent on Paris’s poor than on himself. Emphasis mine.

What’s Next for You and W. Alexander?

As I get back into the swing-of-things and continue building-out my writing portfolio, I ask for your patience. I will return to writing a post every week, but I have recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, and that means some writing will come slow.

Updates:

-My story The Day god Died is halfway through the second-act. Although, initially I published on my blog the first two-chapters, that part of the story has been rewritten and edited. Read the original here: The Day god Died: Chapters I & II

-I have partnered with Brainfuse to freelance tutor a few hours each week. A second job should keep me sharp and prepped for my primary career: novelist.

Forbes.com reached out and asked for me to consider a position working as a weekend associate-editor for their online breaking news-updates. I’m weighing whether or not I want to get involved in writing outside of fiction professionally, even part-time. Again, money is not a good enough reason to do anything! I’ll keep you posted.

-I’m confident I will attend seminary in the near-future, but I’m not making any decisions, even the ones I know I will make, until my novel is complete. Only faith and family come before writing.

-I’m preparing to finish my novel, when my kids return to daycare full-time in June. Obviously, I will write what I can before I get those extra hours. I plan to be done before August.

-I’ll keep you posted about my arms/wrists and my struggle with carpal tunnel. This post required me to take many breaks. I lost feeling in my fingers at the part of gratitude for my wife. The rest has been written without feeling. Whoop! Go me. Though, I’ll pay for it later.

Now, thank you for reading this super-long, over-due post. Time for you to get some work done, and me to find some ice packs.

Till next time.

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A Life Lived for Art Is Never A Life Wasted

To write well, you have to write what-you-know, and your knowledge about what motivates, scares, angers, and affirms the individual person are the brushes you will use to paint page after page.

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