The Challenge of Climbing Mountains

most think the challenge of climbing mountains
is reaching the top
sweating
aching
heart pounding
pushing past fear
step by step
to finally stand victorious
in the rare air
above the clouds of ordinary being
surrounded by distant views
of unclaimed summits

but
with each descending step
the real work begins
returning to the valley of everyday existence
the spirit begins to shrink
atrophy
for it can no longer be fed
by ordinary life

the real challenge of climbing mountains
is never surrendering the summits of our dreams
to stand alone
bold and free
with only mountaintops
for company

tio stib, 2016, 2019

You might also enjoy  Breaking Trail, Dead Horse Point 

Writing Well 2: 4,000,000 Books and Me

Recently I read a blog post that hit me like a bat on the back of the head. The author, Claude Forthomme, noted that a new book shows up on Amazon every 12 minutes and appropriately called this a self-publishing tsunami.

Claude’s post is now two years old and I expect the tsunami is now even larger. My guess is that Amazon currently has about 4,000,000 book listings.

In the middle of that flood of books are my two quite unnoticed self-published efforts.

That’s a lot of competition.

In another post, Claude shares that only 40 Amazon best selling authors actually make much money. 40 out of four million. I’m not sure what your math background is but even with my meager numbers skills, it seems obvious that the odds for financial success as a self-published writer are about the same as winning the lottery or me being asked to dinner with the President of the United States. It should be mentioned that I’m not his biggest fan.

My current book sales will not allow me to buy a first class ticket to fly to Paris, in fact, those sales barely allow me to buy an occasional beer to drown my writing career sorrows. Perhaps it’s time to throw out all the writing guru marketing crap that tells me that if I only work hard enough and smart enough and, of course, write something decent,, and then have a bit of good luck, I, too will be among the 40 best selling Amazon authors.

Not remotely likely, Grasshopper.

In Seth Godin’s insightful podcast, “Live at Carnegie Hall,” he poses the question of how young aspiring musicians can create successful lives amidst the flood of musical competition released by the same free and easy internet access that has changed the world for all of today’s creative artists. Seth suggests another path for life success. Instead of trying to compete with that tsunami of creative talent, build a tribe of 1000 followers for your unique artistic gift. He notes the careers of musicians who have small but dedicated followers. By focusing on uniquely serving a small group of people with similar passions, such artists have created simple and meaningful lives.

After listening to Seth, I considered my writing career and decided to change my focus to building a tribe of followers around my writing passion, young adult eco-fiction. Here I write for young minds still open and curious about the Natural world, a world that feeds my own soul. I’m building relationships within the eco-fiction community by reviewing other author’s books and being involved with discussion groups. I’m continuing my efforts to support the Save the Vaquita Porpoise! movement. And I keep asking myself the question, how can I best serve the needs of this community, my tribe while pursuing my own life path?

No, Ive not given up on building my writing platform, rather I’ve shifted it’s focus to serving my tribe. Sure, I’d like to sell more books, and I suspect this will happen over time. However, I’m not making plans to fly first class to Paris. I’d rather go fly fishing on the Rogue River.

Here are links to the above mentioned articles- (please make links noted below)

Claude Forthomme’s Blog-

https://claudenougat.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/to-self-publish-and-perish-buried-under-3-4-million-e-books/

https://claudenougat.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/only-40-self-published-authors-are-a-success-says-amazon/

Seth Godin’s Podcast “Live at Carnegie Hall”-

https://vimeo.com/155069902

Good writing!
Tio Stib Signature

Michael Moore’s “Trumpland” Explains Why Trump Won

Yes, like many Americans, I was stunned by Donald Trump’s astonishing election as the next president of the United States. No, I didn’t vote for him. His vile, bullying, and deceitful behavior during his candidacy left me both cold and embarrassed to be an American. No, I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either. Rightly or wrongly, I believed her to be part of an elitist political establishment that had little real concern for me or the rest of everyday America. I was an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter. Bernie is a good man, a decent human being, whose history of committed service to Main Street America, whose honesty and integrity, sparked me to political activism because I truly felt he was working for me. Sadly, Bernie didn’t make it past the Democratic Convention. Sadly, Bernie was not a real choice for president come election day. Instead, it was Clinton vs. Trump, not choices I could support. And Trump won.

This leaves me with two thoughts. First, Michael Moore saw all this coming last July. He correctly posited what would happen when what was formerly white middle class America reared up and roared it’s rage against the political establishment. He noted that this powerful elite had simply stopped listening to their constituency, and this complacency cost them dearly.

I’ve always enjoyed Michael Moore’s work, finding his voice to be insightful, compelling, and often humorous, a beacon of democratic freedom of expression and a reminder that democracy is the responsibility of each citizen.

Here’s the link to a summary of Moore’s “Trumpland” explanation of the election-

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/11/09/michael-moore-trumpland

Lastly, I must now confront my own responsibility for what is happening in America today, the divisiveness, the anger, even hatred, the polarization and tendency towards separation, all thinking and behaviors that run contrary to truly democratic process. I must push myself to pay attention, to listen with respect, to seek common ground and work for collective solutions to whatever challenges face my community, America, and the world I’m blessed to live in.

It is now, in this time of turmoil and difficulties that we each must work to be courageous, to stand for what is right, to listen with respect, to hold dear to the principles of freedom and equality that America was founded on. And we must never give up in our commitment to these ideals.

Be kind! Be strong! Be inspired!

Tio Stib

Third World Shower

the singular measure
of civilized pleasure
a waking human’s treasure

the perfect morning shower

while some grade countries on GNP
the importance of which I fail to see
only one thing matters to me

my perfect morning shower

still asleep
I hear the hiss
signal of my morning bliss
the flood of wet and cozy warm
the deluge splashing off my arms
consciousness begins to shake
my toes squiggle in a little lake
oh joy, the day that starts like this
if not, surely something is amiss

so here I stand expectantly
waiting for what I hope will be
that moment of pure ecstasy

my perfect morning shower

a distant rumble in the wall
my senses spark to shower’s call
the pipes begin to shake and creak
and then there is a tiny leak
a drip
an agonizing
pittance
of lukewarm
dribble

and so, from side to side I sway
trying to soak in token spray
pretending things will be okay

without my morning shower

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy: Morning Bliss, Mystery Game

Two Rivers

ahead
the canyon wall plunged
fell from the sea of sky
the river
dancing from shadow to sunlight
promising a new world
vanished

the rapid exploded

bouncing
white water splashes
rainbow mist
giggles
screams

the raft was spit
into beyond

and she was there
clear, quiet, confident
two rivers
two lifetimes
flowing
swirling
joining
at last

together

a shared smile
two travelers
now one

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy  Life Is Like a Broken Egg, Veiled Vision

The Wave

he watched the wave break
surge up the empty sand
surround surprised toes
sending shivers up his spine
awakening a dormant mind

then silence
the wave fell back
disappeared into eternity
and he wondered
about his life

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy High on Gratitude, Desert of Dreams

 

 

 

desert of dreams

there
there it was
so close
so very near
shimmering
hypnotizing
a feast for a starving soul
yes
finally

lips parched
heart aching
feet moving mindlessly forward
hoping
yes
finally

to touch his dream

he stopped

smiled

or was it the gods laughing

another mirage
on the desert of dreams

tio stib, 2016

You might also enjoy  Footprints, Life is Like a Broken Egg