Monday, January 30, 2012

An Inkling of You (Minstrel Mondays)

Sometimes, a poem is best left without explanation.  Read it and glean what you can from it.

Your graceless beauty
haunts me every day
Your saintless sultry
brings me a supple smile
When your train has left the station
I will still remain
committedly yours

There have been others
there will be others still
but everything I dream for
is waiting under your skin.
Elsewhere, I'll never find
that solitary look
you have in your eyes

For there are dreams we share
without even knowing
but we are worlds apart
beyond believing
and I'm never going to find
a single piece of mind
in all the days
that we are through
I can't look upon you

We have a heart to keep
locked up in our minds
trapped away from reality
timeless and unkind
We'll never know each other
so long as we're alive
but I know
we won't let go

To have an inkling of you
I know I'm a lucky man
yet you know only the shadow
I cast upon your plans
a caricature of compassion
lurking in plain sight
but never will we bring
ourselves to partake
of our inherent right

There will come a day
where nothing will be said
if we should stand
hand in hand
going forward forevermore
in broad daylight

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Fun at Jackson Park

Here's a look back in time.  These are a few old pictures from my Forthman collection, taken at Jackson Park in Chicago during the winter of 1915.  Pictured is Anna Louise Littlefield Forthman (my great-grandmother) with her five older children (this was 4 years before my grandmother was born).  The top photo is handily labeled, so you can tell who's who.

Those with a keen eye may notice a thumb print on the middle photo.  I'm not sure who left their mark on the picture, but it was undoubtedly some relative of mine, and it occurred long before I ever saw the print, probably before I was even born.

While not the clearest or most pristine photos, they're a fascinating relic of the family's past.  Have fun out in the snow!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Where Do I Go From Here?

Lately, I've felt like my life is in limbo.  Everything seems to have just plain stopped around me, and I am left wondering if I'll ever climb forward, or remain on this lonely plateau of existence.

A lot of this has to do with my writing career, and the state of my monetary prospects.  There are several big things that might be happening in the next few months, but if they don't happen I'll be stuck in the same place I've always been, wanting and waiting.  I can't express in words the torturous nature of my current predicament.

More than ever before, I know that now is the time; a make or break moment is coming, and it will forever determine the course of my life.  The utter uncertainty can be absolutely frustrating, but at least I have hope.  Without that glimmering inkling of possibility, there is no point to life, so as long as I can strive for the mark, and actually have some rational chance at success, I'll find the strength to carry on.

It is a lonely road, for certain, and in recent months I've felt very much alone in all things.  The friends of my past are long gone, and the associates of recent years seem to have shirked away, either distracted or disinterested in me.  I know there are those of you out there who really understand, and I thank you for your consideration.  I just wish there were a lot more of you.

Art has its price, and I fear I have sacrificed so much in my personal life in the name of my own creations.  I have lost face to some, and at times I feel that I've compromised my self-respect for the chance to keep writing.  Every day, I must ask myself, "Will it be worth it?" knowing I have no alternative but to find out.  This is a tough gamble I've made with my very life.  I'll either succeed in the end, or I won't.  Either way, there is no other path open to me at this point.  I've gone too far to turn back, so I'll just have to stick to my guns.

I know that my big break is just around the corner, but whether I'll ever turn that corner is another question entirely.  I yearn for the day where I'll be able to share the big news, something that will make everyone interested once again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Guns of Mars (Peek 2)

So far, this week has been a lot of prep work.  I've been writing a lot of pitch material, and crafting some more in-depth treatments for various projects I have in the pipeline.  I managed to get a few paragraphs down on the Six-Gun Conjurer, and hope to finally settle in to finish it off in the next few weeks.  Things are getting interesting.

Moving on to this week's Sneak Peek, we have another sample from The Guns of Mars (a book you should all consider buying, as it's one of my best).  This snippet is part of an intense exchange among some of Villas Colony's more prominent citizens.  Congress has just cut the space program budget, and the colonists of Mars must find a way to make ends meet to survive.  When economist Petra Euchland proposes an elimination of all salaries and that the colony be run as a "moneyless" society, Police Chief Timothy Keene doesn't take it lying down.

“A lot of us aren’t going to take a cut in pay lightly,” Tim added. “We may not have anything to buy now, but come retirement age, this planet will be hopping. A nest egg would come in handy.”

“What do you plan to buy?” Petra asked, amused by Tim’s defiance. “We’ll always have everything we need and simple luxuries. In fact, if we put our salaries toward the needs of the colony, and the next Congress decides to restore our budget, we’ll have a healthy surplus to provide all kinds of extras.”

“Hey, now you’re just talking crazy,” Tim countered. “Putting our salaries toward necessities is one thing, but if we get our funding back, I expect my salary reinstated—along with all my back pay! You’re not confiscating my wealth to buy luxuries for everybody else. I earn that money. I decide how it’s spent.”

“Wouldn’t you rather everyone in the community benefit by pooling resources, rather than you alone wasting it frivolously?”

“Who says I want to be a part of this ‘community’ forever? What if, in another fifty years, I get tired of that little gray box I’m living in and want to buy myself a hunk of land and go prospecting? There’s a future in micro-dome housing, and plenty of Martian real-estate to purchase.”

Petra laughed rudely. “You’ve been reading too many fantasy novels, Tim. Real-estate on Mars? Really? This isn’t the wild west. You can’t go out and stake a claim. Private property is never going to be an option in this kind of environment.”

“That’ll change someday!” Timothy shouted.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Surrender? Never! (Minstrel Mondays)

Today is the opening day for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012 Contest!  I've already gotten my submission safely delivered, and can now sit back and dread next month's first cut, where 4 out of 5 entries will be dropped because their "pitch" doesn't pique the curiosity of the anonymous judges.  I feel I have a good shot this year, but I thought that last year when I failed to crack the first round threshold.  It's all pretty random, and heavily based on personal tastes.  I just have to hope that I receive the right judges, who'll like my sales pitch.

I'm still waiting to hear back from someone before I reveal some pretty exciting news.  Stay tuned for that.

Now, back to Minstrel Mondays, with a general poem about the entertainment industry.  Whether you're an aspiring writer, actor/actress, singer/songwriter, comedian, etc... you'll find something familiar in this piece, that I dedicate to everyone who has a dream and still strives to fulfill it.

it's what I need
it's what I'm seeking
each and every day.
Let me on
the stage again
so I can pull off
a miracle.

Never in my life
have I ever asked for more
but never have I ever asked for less.
It's nothing to receive
this immaterial thing
but we're all hoping.

Throw it out again
trying hard to win
at a game that has
no ultimate winner.
Losers still abound
and failures come around
to the realization that
no one ever knows.

You could be the hit
they've been waiting for
the superstar of tomorrow
waiting in the wings
but by chance you turn out
to be yesterday's star
you'll never know
how far you could go.

Giving it your all
is only thinking small.
You've got to get out
and give it someone
else's hundred and ten.
How can you do it alone
when your competition is overgrown?
There's no comparing numbers
with the borg!

Step into the light
and keep fighting
for your moment.
There's nothing worse
than thinking "I could've tried."
If you try and fail again
even if you never win
at least you'll sleep soundly
knowing you did all you could.

When history is written
the worst of the losers
are those who never tried
and are left forgotten.
If you keep striving for the mark
even if you never reach it
will at least know you were

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cousin Contact

As I continue to uncover new data regarding my various family lines, I am hoping to find more living descendants.  Those who have managed to contact me thus far have been helpful and a pleasure to correspond with, and I'm hoping that many more cousins will announce themselves in the future.

To that end, I'm going to go out on a limb so to speak, and give out a contact email.  I know from personal experience that the blogger messaging system can be a pain to operate, and in many cases it doesn't work right.  Some cousins have reached me via Facebook, but even that isn't always convenient or comfortable.  Those relatives who find this blog and wish to contact me directly can do so at inghamediting (at) earthlink (dot) net.

I am always looking to expand my knowledge about divergent ancestral lines, and welcome your emails.  Let's pool our resources and build a better tree.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life Gets in Your Way

It has been a hectic week for me, so I must apologize for not maintaining my regular posting schedule.  I was sick for several days with a stomach flu, and that set me back a bit with various projects.  There were several other pressing matters I had to deal with, but things should settle back to normalcy in short order.

That said, I should have some exciting news next week.  It could be the beginning of something big if all goes well, so keep your fingers crossed, and check back for the full report.

I hope you're all enjoying yourselves out there, and stay in touch.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Lee Cousins

This week, I'd like to share another rare family photo, and introduce you to a few of my cousins, the Lees.

This photo was taken about 1897, and shows the 4 Lee children at bath time.  Gertrude Beulah Lee is on the far left.  Donald Willis Lee is in the tub, Robert Nelson Lee is standing straight, and Rowland Vance Lee is the one leaning over on the right.

The Lees are an interesting line of the tree.  Their mother was Marie Elizabeth Nelson, aunt to my great-grandmother Mary Alice Nelson.  Marie and her husband, Clarence Willis Lee, were stage actors, who moved out to Hollywood during the early days of film.  Rowland became a successful director, and has his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.  You can read about his film history here.

Robert was a writer (mostly screenplays), and he was nominated for a Best Writing Oscar in 1931 for his work on the screen adaptation of "Little Caesar," starring Edward G. Robinson and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. 

Donald was also a screenplay writer, though he didn't garner as much success as his brother Robert.  IMDB has him mistakenly listed as deceased in 1934.  Perhaps his screenwriting career died at that time, but he lived until 1978.

Gertrude married Guy Oran Koepp in 1924, and they had several children.

My knowledge of their lives is pretty sparse, and I'd really like to know more about my Lee Cousins.  Hopefully, some of their descendants will find this blog someday.  Don't be afraid to say hello!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pitches, Revisions, And A New Poll

Happy Friday the 13th!

I've been coming out of the slump this week, taking on some little writing projects to help get me back into the swing of things.  I started out working on a new promo for Virtual Domination, which I may enter into the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.  Earlier this week, I wrote 2 different versions of the pitch.  For those who aren't familiar with the contest, the "pitch" is the initial hook, much like a query letter.  With the ABNA, the first round is judged purely on that 300 word blurb, and nothing else.  I can't say I'm really satisfied with either pitch I wrote, so I might go a different route (depending on my instincts, and feedback from a couple of writer friends).

Bringing us to the "different route," yesterday I started looking at Prisoner of Time.  I self-published it three years ago, and in that time I realized there was something missing from chapter 2.  The first page was a dull narrative, used as a bridge to the previous volume, Virtual Wiles.  Reading it through, a new idea came to mind about how I could rework this hunk of text, and incorporate any relevant data into later conversations.  So, I made the first change to Prisoner of Time in years, and fixed what I believe was the book's only real flaw.  It reads smoothly now from beginning to end.

With Prisoner of Time newly improved, that has got me thinking.  Maybe I should enter it into the ABNA!  The contest does accept self-published titles, and Prisoner of Time is something I've thought about submitting for years.  I initially considered submitting it in 2009, but I instead went with The Guns of Mars, which subsequently became a semi-finalist.  Perhaps it's time to put Prisoner in the spotlight, and see what happens?

Again, the pitch is the problem.  I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon writing up the Prisoner of Time pitch, working with the blurb on the back cover.  In retrospect, it isn't all it could be.  To advance in the ABNA, you really need to impress the judges, as only 1 in 5 books make it through the first round.  There are a lot of writers who fail to succeed, simply because they aren't the best at advertising.  Yes, there's also the luck factor, since there's no telling the tastes of the 2 judges you'll get to read your pitch.  If I can get through the first round, odds are I'll run straight to the semi-finals again, maybe even break through to the win, but that damn pitch needs to be perfect!

Okay, so that's what I'm doing right now.

Bringing us back to the blog, you might notice the new poll to the right.  It asks what your favorite Martin T. Ingham novel is.  It's a fun feature that'll stay there in perpetuity, allowing my readers to give a little bit of feedback.  Don't be afraid to vote!

Well, back to the grind.  Send me your hopes and prayers, and together we'll survive this experience.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Virtual Domination (Cut Scene)

It's the previously-unreleased 4th volume in the Morgan Asher series, and the 3rd book in my "Virtual Saga."  Virtual Domination is one of my personal favorites among my various works, even though I've yet to see it in print.  I haven't put forth a rigorous submissions campaign for this book for various reasons, but in the coming months I hope to change that, and find someone interested in releasing it.

In the meantime, I'd like to introduce you to one of the supporting characters in the book.  Selena Griswold is a new addition to the cast, appearing for the first time in this volume.  My original introduction to her was a long narrative that comprised the first part of Chapter 3, but as it was something of an ungainly info-dump, I removed it; writing a new intro and interspersing any relevant data from it into future chapters.

Still, the original, rough draft introduction is interesting to some extent, and it'll help you glean some insight into this character long before the book ever comes out.  Get ready to meet Selena Griswold!

Selena Griswold was a confident woman, in all aspects.  She knew what she wanted, and went for it, and her desires were always predicated on the notion that she knew what was right, above and beyond what anyone else told her.  This had gotten her into quite a bit of trouble as a child, as she'd been apt to correct her elders when their opinions disagreed with hers.  Fortunately for her, such rebellious behavior was a trait her parents appreciated, or she might have found her spirits crushed.

            Where her parents accepted her cavalier attitude in all things, college professors were another matter.  They didn't always give her leeway when she challenged the establishment theorems, and after two year of butting heads she decided psychology wasn't for her, and instead sought out a more adventurous life, one inside a computer.  She had enough saved in her college account to fund an indefinite stay in Fantasan, where her robust demeanor would prove to be an asset.

            The occult had always piqued her curiosity as a child, so it was natural that she selected the life of a sorceress in the fantasy realm.  Though, she soon learned that the ways of magic had nothing to do with real-world witchcraft.  It did not involve demonic spirits, or reverence for Mother Nature.  It was just another learned mental ability, like mathematics or pattern recognition.  You figured out how to manipulate a new plain of existence that didn't exist in the real world, and it was quite easy for those with a knack for it.

            Selena definitely had a "knack" for magic, as she spent years traveling the imagined realm, performing day-to-day activities to keep herself fed.  There wasn't a lot of excitement at first, as she labored without the use of her hands.  Tilling soil is quite simple when you can dig with invisible mental force, and hammering nails was just as simple, when you had nails.  Of course, she also learned to manufacture the required building supplies from raw materials, to aid in her contracting tasks.

            After a decade of honing her talents, she journeyed beyond her "native land," and ventured across the Pendelor Mountain Range, a daunting and dangerous task few inhabitants of Taloraz ever pursued.  It was a rite of passage for daring tradesmen and wild adventurers, who sought to reach the western cities of the adjoining kingdom; the fair land of Rickard.

            The trip took her three weeks, but only once did she have the chance to battle a nasty dragon.  It was a silver sand-spinner, which had come up from the southern deserts to prey upon whatever wildlife it could find.  The beast spit sulfuric acid, and would have been lethal to someone without mastery over magic.  Selena's skills allowed her to neutralize the acid on contact, and she quickly did the same to the acid percolating in the lizard's veins, killing it.

            Death hadn't been her intention, and seeing she had vanquished the dragon left her feeling sullen and remorseful, even though it had tried to eat her.  A day she spent playing with her spells, seeing if she could somehow revive the beast, and when that proved futile she moved on, but not before cutting off one of the dragon's small claws, to forever remind herself to be cautious, even in the heat of battle.

            Truly, she was a gentle soul, whose desire for adventure had borne more fruit than she'd intended.

            Coming down out of the mountains, Selena found the bustling trading center of Candovar, on the shores of a crystal clear lake.  This was the northwestern tip of Rickard, a land notorious for its prosperity and freedom.  Rumors told of a gregarious monarch who ruled this vast expanse, and she decided to go see if there was any truth to the stories.

            It took her nearly a year to gain an audience with the king, after which she regretted the wasted time.  She didn't appreciate his romantic overtures, and ended their meeting in a huff, drawing the attention of the more mannerly Archmage of the realm.   Her first impression of Alan Rome was far more favorable, and after a short talk she accepted the man's offer of invaluable tutelage.  He'd lived almost a hundred years, most of that in Fantasan, and his understanding of magic made her realize how little she really knew.  They worked closely together for three years, and then one day it all ended.  Her austere instructor refused to teach her further, and ordered her from his sight.  No rhyme or reason, just go, he commanded her, and with a teleportation spell she did as he asked.

            Selena had no idea why she'd been sent away, and the rejection left her sorrowful.  She'd grown attached to Alan in ways she was reluctant to admit.

            The place she now called home was a small farm on the northern edge of the Vastuar Tableland, an aged farmhouse on the edge of the woods.  A babbling brook trickled through the back yard, and a healthy orchard filled the front.  It was a pleasing retreat, where she found herself wiling away day after day, enjoying the peace of it all.

            She was sitting on the southern patio, rocking back and forth in a wicker chair, enjoying the rising sun with a cup of tea, when two men came walking up the driveway.  She immediately recognized one of the men, but didn't move to greet him.

            "Hello, Selena," Alan said as he walked onto the patio.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Out In The Cold (Minstrel Mondays)

It's an off-beat love ballad, for those who have loved, left, and returned.  It doesn't really apply to anything in my life, but I've had book characters undergo this sort of situation, and I'm certain some of you out there can relate to this.  Ah, sad regrets...

I never meant to leave
I wanted to stay home
but the nagging voice
inside of me
had other things in store.
But the calling of the moment
will sadly slip away
when the tide of change
leave us wanting.

You might think this is the end
our day will never come again
and I can't say anything
that'll make you feel assured
but as I slip away
I'll be left dreaming of the day
your eyes will be once again in mine.

For the bitter winds of autumn
sing a tune of sorrow
even as the afternoon glows
iridescent blue
The lonely howls of winter wind
will chase me back to you again
and if you let me in I'm certain
we'll forget about our fallen fate
amidst the comfort of the night

Don't leave me out in the cold
dreaming of our yesteryears
when tomorrow could be our brighter day.
Take me in your waiting arms
and we'll make this life go far
even if we say farewell again

The bitter snow is falling
upon my naked soul
as your cold shoulder shows me
a sad refrain
The frost stings my lips
as I wait for your last kiss
wondering if you really mean it
For you didn't put me out
I chose this cold I know
but it wasn't cold that day
when last I saw you.
How quickly seasons change
and the pleasure turns to pain
when one bad choice comes to
a bitter end

No one would blame you
if you shut me out
left me to this fate my mind has chosen
but letting me back in
will surely warm your heart
as I rekindle the love you're
sorely lacking
I'll make it up everyday
when we're together

So don't leave me out in the cold
and I promise, we'll be here when we're old
even if I'm gone from time to time
for even when I go away
you know I'll come home straightaway
so long as you leave your light
shining my way

Know that I'm in your heart

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dear Deborah

There are people in my life that have drifted away over the years.  For various reasons, we've fallen out of touch, and at the moment I have more contact with some distant cousins than I do with relatives who are relatively close.

One of those people who is absent from my life is my half-sister, Deborah Ruth Perron.  I haven't heard from her in years, and the cause of our estrangement is complicated.  Our lives are far divergent on many fronts.  She's ten years older than me, and had a very different upbringing.  We were both essentially only children, even though we had the same mother.

One thing we both inherited was artistic aspiration.  While mine has been focused on writing, Deborah always dreamed of becoming an actress, like our grandmother Nadine.  Yet, much like the literary fields, acting is a career plagued with a critical supply and demand problem.  There are too many people trying to do it, and not enough need for their services.  For every actor who makes a living or becomes famous, there are a dozen others who never get the chance; not because they aren't qualified or suitable, but because they just aren't chosen.  Call it fate, luck, God's will, whatever.  It is a sad truth that so much talent goes to waste.  Last I heard, Deborah had given up on her dream for the most part, as so many people tend to do.

I don't know if Deborah will ever discover this blog, or care to contact me again, though much like the Moody Blues song says, there are letters I've written never meaning to send.  If the chance ever comes that we should meet again, online or in person, it would be a welcome experience.

Wherever she may be and whatever she may be doing, I wish her happiness.

Deborah Perron with Aaron Rogers
November 2000

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sad and Depressed

I have a confession to make.  I haven't written anything this past week.  Well, no fiction, anyway.  I've been taking some down-time, and doing nothing of consequence.  It's a horrible waste of time, and I can't say it recharges my batteries, as I seem to feel more drained after fiddling around with non-writing activities than when I'm producing something.

I wrote a column years ago, explaining how our little distractions and wasted time really isn't a waste at all, and that still holds true for the most part.  However, my current lack of productivity is troubling.  It doesn't seem to be preparing me for bigger and better things.  Instead, it's becoming a rut which I'm loathe to get out of.  Maybe I've gotten one too many rejection letters, or seen my bank account drop precipitously, and I'm left saying "what's the point?"  Doom and gloom set in, and nobody wants to read about that.

My unshakable foundation is cracked.  It has been for years, though I often throw a coat of paint on it and pretend I'm fine.  The scourge of depression isn't something that is conducive to book sales, and when nobody really gives a damn why say anything?  Really, I'm sure most readers will run screaming from this post right now, uninterested in sharing such sad emotions.

I am a tortured artist who toils in obscurity, blessed with creative talent that should be the envy of the entertainment industry, but like so many others I'm marginalized.  On occasion I've joked about being a Van Gogh of words with two ears and a sobriety complex, though fortunately I haven't the temperament to go the way Vincent did.  I'm too stubborn and spiteful for suicide, so there's no need to call 911.  But where I don't have nihilistic tendencies, I do have "screw it" days, where I just don't care to do much of anything.  I lose the will to do what I should, for what's the point of writing when nobody's going to read it, or pay for it?  When I get tired and cease to profit from the work either mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or monetarily, I give up, if only for a while.

Plenty of writers go through this sort of thing.  It is one of the hazards of the freelance life, and it's the dark side of the curse that plagues those born to do what we do.  Nobody in their right mind would choose this path; it has to be fated.  Damn, I should've been a physicist!

So, here's to feeling better in the coming days, and maybe producing some literature again.  If you'd like to help, maybe say something to let me know I'm not just talking to myself.

This seems appropriate.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Guns of Mars (Peek 1)

Certainly one of my better works, The Guns of Mars is a hard science fiction tale in the libertarian tradition of Heinlein.  It hasn't taken off as one might expect, but it received some pretty stellar reviews in the US and Canada, and one lukewarm review from the UK.  I think it just needs a few fresh readers to rekindle the fire and get sales moving again.  It's the story that everyone who hasn't discovered me yet should pick up (either in print or for kindle), to get a taste of my writing at its best.

For those who haven't yet read this fantastic story, here's a brief snippet from Chapter Eight:

The marines marched across the frozen wasteland for hours, making good time with little strain, thanks to the lighter pull of Martian gravity. By sunrise, they were less than a mile away from their objective. A rocky hillside stood before them, showing no obvious signs of life or that man’s hand had ever touched this section of the planet.

“This is it, men,” Avery shouted. His voice carried through a closed circuit communications network built into their suits, permitting them to speak to one another and block external eavesdropping.

“I don’t see it,” Lieutenant Barton said, his deep voice turned into a growl by the communication system.

Colonel Avery tapped a few buttons on his sleeve, activating a complex sensor array inside his helmet. The readings superimposed themselves on his visor, and enhanced pictures of the landscape ahead revealed several anomalous energy signatures along the ridgeline. “It’s there,” he told the others. “Keep your eyes sharp for...”

Before Avery could finish, Barton’s head exploded. A bullet had zipped through the air and blasted a hole through his helmet. The shot killed the lieutenant instantly, but the sudden decompression increased the gore tenfold.

The dozen men hit the ground, seeking whatever cover they could locate. There were several boulders nearby, which protected them from the sniper in the hills.

“We’ve been made!” Captain Biggs shouted.

Those who are interested in reading more can check out The Guns of Mars Page.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dawn's Returning Light (Minstrel Mondays)

Happy New Year, everyone!  Here's a fresh piece of poetry for the coming days.  Enjoy it, and relish in the newness of the season.

A new day is dawning
A new way is calling
and time is slowly
ticking down to a fall.
The end isn't nearing
but it's starting to look
like the beginning.
I hope I will be here
when the stars come shining through.

Break out now before it's too late
catch the wave and claim your fate
seize the moment that you know
is yours for the taking
and your life will be great.

But if you shirk from the light,
hide your eyes,
lurk amongst the shadows
that loom over your time,
you'll never know the
glory of tomorrow.
Stand up for what's right
for you and those that
really matter.
The little secret you hold
is that the light of the world
lies deep within you.

The tree grows tall
straight and narrow,
supported by his neighbors.
Cut down those around him
and he'll quickly bend and fall
under his own weight.
I have an axe to grind
and it's getting near harvest time.

Don't be the tree,
be the lumberjack
and give her a whack!