|Posted by EHancock2 on July 2, 2018 at 12:10 AM||comments (3)|
Fair Warning! This entire concept just came to me in a flash of what I hope to be brilliance, but I haven't planned anything out. As with most of my blogs, I keep the ideas fresh, raw and unfiltered. I hope the message is as helpful to you as the idea is logical to me.
People often ask me how do I choose what events to do and which to avoid. The answer is mostly trial and error, but it's also a matter of knowing myself, my books and my audience.
Now, if you've known me or read my blog for any length of time, you know I don't believe in limiting my audience to some meaningless demographic meant to prove to some random agent that I have a viable marketing plan when really I'm just hoping they'll sign my book. No, I'm not talking about marketing in that sense. I'm talking about knowing where to find your readers.
You do that in one of two ways. (And occasionally in each of these two.) You either go the places that appeal to your personality, interests and hobbies or you go see and do the things you've never tried or never cared for. More than likely, if you're talking about marketing books you like, you're going to be going to places and experiencing events you will enjoy. That enjoyment will almost invariably translate to sales. (Not always, but it sure helps when people see you having a good time.)
Usually, when marketing books, people will advise you to go places that tie in to your books. If your books involve a skydiver, go to a skydiving school and sell books. Only problem? they're not there to buy books. They're there to skydive. So you might sell a few. You might not. There's no guarantee. If your books are about a police detective (as mine are) the "experts" might advise you to go to your local police station and ask them about celebrations, events or planned formal affairs they have on the calendar. Ask if you can set up a table and sell your books. It's not a horrible idea by any means. All they can say is no.
Now, let me be clear. By no means am I telling you to ignore the advice of the supposed experts. What I am telling you is that I've been on the road. Many of these supposed "experts" have not. I've seen what works for me and I've seen what works for authors with which I've toured.
I've been at music festivals. I've been at festivals celebrating the deliciousness of peaches, yams, pecans, syrup and watermelon. I've been to holiday-themed events, patriotic events, balloon races, even a KITE FEST! (That was fun, but it sure was a windy day!) I've been to festivals where 500 people showed up all day and I've been to BIG events in the Dallas area where I never say the same person twice because 80,000 people lends itself to quite the sea of faces.
Over the course of about 4 years traveling, this is what I've learned. I've learned I'm a serious nerd, but I know nothing about Indy music. I may be a geek master supreme but I can't knit, sew and know zip about delicious jams and jellies. Too, I've learned my genuine love of Christmas seems to be infectious to others.
What works for me are comic cons, Anime fests, Geeky fairs, Christmas festivals, holiday in the park, and cultural events such as theatrical plays. Occasionally, Library events work well for me. I love libraries. It just depends on how well (and widely) they've been advertised and the community involvement as a whole. The more your community loves its library, the more likely people are to turn out. (EDDIETOR's Note: Libraries need people... VISIT YOUR LIBRARY OFTEN!)
These things work for me because I'm passionate about the tie in to those things. I'm a geek. I love Christmas. They often occur in-doors or during a time of year when it's not too hot outside.
Want to have a writing career you can enjoy? Choose events you enjoy. Even if you write detective stories, as I do, you may not enjoy the formality of a Policeman's Ball. You might prefer something more informal like a City-sponsored fun day benefit, celebrating the police. Even if your books aren't about delicious jams and jellies, if you are into canning and the likes, who's to say you wouldn't do well there? You're talking to your people. You're talking to people who share your interests. No, they're not going there for books. But you have a common interest. There's always a chance they'll buy your book simply because they enjoyed the conversation about Elderberry Jam.
Maybe you're into sewing. Do you have a sewing club? Ask the leadership if you can come talk about your book at the next gathering. Or just invite folks over to your house for a book party.
That's another thing. Don't be afraid to get a friend to host a book launch party for you. Invite your friends, sure. Maybe offer a special deal like "Bring a friend and each of you get the second book free when you buy the first one." Yanno, whatever floats your boat there.
Now, maybe you're not comfortable doing that. To be honest, it doesn't appeal to me, really. It's a lot of books to buy ahead of time. People have family emergencies or get sick. You just can't guarantee that every book you purchase is going to find a home that night, so it runs a risk of leaving you with a lot of books to tote home at the end of the night!
That's a good time to mention this very important fact. No event is a guarantee. I've had events where I completely sold out of books and the next year I had another book out but only sold two the entire weekend. On the other hand, I've seen an event I expected to go poorly be one of the hottest events of my year.
That's why it's important to go places you're going to enjoy. If you're having a good time, sure it'll still suck if you don't sell books. That's why you're there afterall. But you'll make good friends and, all too often, you might just get a contact for the next pecan festival or Catfish Eating Contest or Comic Con. I can't tell you how often that has happened to me. I've been at an event where the books just were not selling, but I'd get leads on two events that just about singlehandedly saved my year!
Like I said when I began this particular writing, I wasn't exactly sure where I was going to go with it. I know I've been a bit scattered and all over the place, but I hope that the main point has not been lost. You need to not just go to places that "tie in" to your books. Sure, try it. See if it works. See if that appeals to you as something you'd like to continue. THEN go to places that you enjoy. Maybe you're an outdoor girl that enjoys fishing and hunting. Even if you write romance, you might do well at a gun and knife show. Why? If you write romance but enjoy guns and knives, what are the chances that you're the only person in the universe that writes or reads romance but likes guns and knives? Chances aren't very good. You just physically can't be the only person. Think outside the box!
Now, something else to consider are booth fees. You have to look at fyour available books. How many books have you written? Have you written one book or ten? Maybe twenty? Okay good if it's ten or twenty. Maybe you can afford to pay the $300 to $500 booth fee of some of the bigger comic cons and events. If you're looking at maybe 1 or 2 books to your credit, you have to ask yourself can you make enough sales to get that money back, plus gas, hotel fees and any food for multi-night stays? By the time you pay for all that AND buy the books to stock up, you're starting out maybe $1,000 to $1,500 in the hole. Can you sell enough books to climb out of that hole? Do you have other supporting merch like shirts, mugs, keychains, etc? Can you move enough product to make up for the hole you've dug yourself into? Enjoying the event is great, but you do still have to pay the bills. So don't let your excitement for a certain event pull you down into the poor house.
I didn't mean to get off topic there, but it's important to mention and, at the end of the day, very related. Because I've been advising you to go places you enjoy, but I also want you to be smart about it. Ultimately, your goal should be making money. Making your career viable. Don't be afraid to build your audience slowly. Trust me when I say it's better to be a big fish in 7 small ponds than be a small fish that gets overlooked in the ocean of a larger event.
In short, go where you enjoy, but be smart about it. build your audience. After a number of years doing event after event, going places I would never have thought to go if Patty Wiseman or some other author hadn't suggested them to me, I've found where my best audience is. I no longer need to go every weekend. I probably should go more than I do. Maybe 2019 will have me busier than I am now. We'll see. For now, I'm good. For now, I have a good, loyal following and a structured schedule that allows for slow, steady growth and discovery by new fans. It works for me. As with anything, you need to find what works for you. The first year I set out with a group of authors, we were on the road 50 of 52 weeks that year. We were literally somewhere every weekend except a birthday weekend and once when I frankly just needed a rest. Every year since, we slowed down a bit more.
Eventually, we all separated, as our writing libraries got too much to allow 3 and 4 authors to crowd into one booth. I miss them but the freedom of being allowed to go and do as I please has increased my sales tremendously, as it has theirs, it seems.
As with a number of things I write about here, I think Bruce Lee deserves the final say when he advises, "Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is uniquely your own."
I hope my advice has been useful. I want you all to do well with your chosen career, and part of doing well is feeling good about the career choice to become an author.
Til next time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on June 14, 2018 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
So, for this post, we have comic con updates and site updates. There's really more than 2 updates all together, but the focus is in those two areas, hence the admittedly misleading title. LOL!
Site updates: I've gone through my links and deleted (I think) all of the dead links on the page. I'm also in the process of adding a few things to the page that will help me in a goal of being more cyber-friendly to my readers and fans. I want to add a store to my page for one. That'll be coming, but I don't know when yet. Initially, it'll just be for my books. It may, in the beginning, contain amazon and other such links rather than a link to buy the book directly from me. HOWEVER, my ultimate goal is to work with my team to enable us to get set up where you can buy books directly from me. I know Amazon and what not are easy and familiar, but there are so many taxes and fees that are just horrendously egregious. You wind up paying about twice the price for the books than you really should, by the time you buy them from Amazon. (Speaking specifically of the paperbacks). The kindles are still very reasonably priced, so there's no need to rock the boat there. But the paperback prices charged at most online markets are just inappropriate on my personal opinion. So, I'll be working on a way you can get the books from me. I may give you the option of buying them from Amazon OR from me. I know some people would just rather buy from Amazon. I get it. It may cost more, but by god, it's amazon.We'll think about it on this end and see what we can do.
I may have some other surprises for the site, but I don't want to say too much until I'm sure they can be added to the site directly.
After my Dallas post, I attended Kilgore Geekend and Longview Comic Con. I have been a fixture at the Kilgore Geekend since its inception. It's a small con, but always fun to do. Had a great time this year, as always. It's not a con where you meet big celebs or whatever. It's an opportunity to celebrate geekdom, comic books and shop cool products. Don't go to this con unless you're planning on spending a lot of money. This year alone, I was one of four authors there. There were several voice actors too, including Josh Passmore. If you haven't heard of him, google him. Great guy and very talented person.
Just a couple weeks ago, I attended the Longview Comic Con. A new event put together by AVC Conventions. They also run Alabama Comic Con, Mississippi Comic Con, Louisiana Comic Con and Arkansas Comic Con, as well as several Anime Festivals and I think some other events. These guys really have their stuff together. On top of having my own booth, selling books and such, I also gave 2 presentations. As a fan, I enjoyed it because I was also able to meet WWE Legend Jake the Snake Roberts!
So, needless to say, I've had a wonderful time over these past two months. The rest of June and July are freed up to write and do some of the web work I spoke of above. August, I'm planning to go to Geek'd Con, but only as a fan, not as a vendor/artist/guest. As of now, I don't have anything planned in September, but that's subject to change. I have a busy October, though. More on that as it approaches. November and December are up in the air at the moment. I don't have anything planned but, again, that's subject to change as we get closer.
That said, i'm already looking into events for next year. It'll be a repeat of this year on some level. Many of the events I did, or will be doing, this year are on the calendar for next year. But I hope to add several others that I was just unable to do. ArlingCon for one.
I have a couple of health issues that I have to get in check. My doctor recently diagnosed me with Low Testosterone. Not a surprise, honestly. I've known that since they found a pituitary tumor in 2004. I was on Testosterone previously and it helped me a lot. Recently, I've noticed brain fog and general weakness, poor sleep. Just a ton of symptoms. But the brain fog and lack of focus has really been a detriment to my writing career.
I go to the doctor on the 20th and hopefully I can get the testosterone flowing again. Ideally, that'll help me think more clearly, opening up the creative flood gates. I can tell you the books I'm working on, even amid the brain fog, will ultimately be great books. I won't finish them (purposely) until after I've begun the Testosterone treatments. That way I can look at them with clear eyes and work without brain fog.
I want the books to be their best and, frankly, I just cannot deliver that in my current state.
So, for now, I look forward to the future. Lots of changes, but all fo the good!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM||comments (1)|
Life has been very busy the last couple of months. Fact is, if you're a writer that's not busy doing something, you're probably doing it wrong. You can be busy writing, busy promoting, busy researching, busy reading, or just busy living life, so as to refill the well of experience from which to draw. But you better be busy.
For the last several weeks, I've been writing. I've also been prepping for what was to be the biggest stage I've ever attempted. The biggest mountain I've ever climbed, so to speak. I'm not going to sit here and say it was a rousing success and I'm a millionaire and signed by RandomHouse or inked a movie deal, blah blah blah. Nothing like that occurred. But I was able to meet with and make innumerable potential fans.
One such fan was a firefighter, Chris Macias. During a pleasant conversation, he felt compelled to buy the entire series, which he will now be able to read in what he describes as "down time" at the station. Firefighters have down time? Apparently they have a lot of it, from what Mr. Macias tells me.
The whole experience was a major test for me, personally. Having broke my back (for the second time in my life) 2 years ago, I had to see how I would hold out on such a stage. I'm proud of myself, to be honest. I hurt. Today, my bones and muscles and joints are reminding me all too loudly that I am 44, fat and crippled, and still not fully recovered from a broken back. Physically, I wasn't ready for such a taxing event at such a large facility. Physically, I feel like I failed, to a degree. But then there's the number of faces I saw, conversations I had and books that i sold. I loved it! I can't call that a failure. It wasn't.
I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but the pain was too great by Sunday morning. That said, I did enjoy myself. I enjoyed proving to myself that a big stage like Fan Expo Dallas was accepting of a virtual unknown author.
Next up is Kilgore Geekend in May and Longview Comic Con in June. I have nothing scheduled in July. I've decided to keep it that way. I was planning another big event in August but, after the results of Fan Expo, I have decided to let my body rest and get stronger. My PLAN is to pick up again with Ark-La-Tex Comic Con and in October with Tyler. Sure, there may be other events as well. We will see.
The rest of my year is going to be spent writing. I've been unable to keep the schedule I had hoped, but I want to get back on track, so that's the plan from here.
Folks, I want to encourage you to live your dreams. You've seen me write, in this very blog, about suffering broken backs and intense pain as I work to become better known. The fact is this is important to me, so I MUST do it. If something is important to you, don't let anything stop you. I have spina bifida, a pituitary tumor and have broken my back twice in my life. I'm 44 years old and greatly overweight (though that's about to start changing). But here I am living the dream. Working my butt off to build a better life and a better future. You are your own worst enemy, but you can also be your biggest fan. Change your "Bah Humbug" into a "Rah Rah Rah!" Change your fears into CHEERS!
Am I hurting today? Yes. Am I re-evaluating? Yes. Did I say I was putting off a large event, due to health issues? Yes I did. But this is not an end. I'll be back to Dallas and I'll be at other big venues in the future. In the meantime, my energies are going to be focused elsewhere. Don't worry. You'll enjoy what you see!
Follow those dreams, boys and girls! And remember a detour is not an end. Even a dead end is just a chance to take a u-turn and blaze a different path!
I wanna thank you all for your wonderful support!
Onward and upward! Look out, Kilgore, Texas! Ed's on his way, this May!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on February 11, 2018 at 7:25 PM||comments (0)|
There can be no victory without sacrifice and a lot a lot a lot a LOTTTTTT of effort. This past weekend, the efforts I've been making for the last several years really began to pay off.
Thanks to my sister and her husband -- owners of Davill Kitchens -- I was able to get booth space at the Home Show event at the Maude Cobb Activity Center in Longview, Texas. Honestly, I didn't expect much. A home show? Who goes to a home show to buy books? Well, nobody. Let's be honest. Nobody goes to a home show thinking, "Yanno, I really hope some random local author I've never heard of is at this show so I can buy all of his books."
Most people go to look. they go to see what this and that window shop has. They go to see the deals on kitchen cabinets my sister and her husband have. They go to look. They go knowing that most of the things they're going to see cost thousands of dollars and require a lot of work to create and/or install. And this weekend they found my books..................................................
And boy did they buy! Oh my Lord did they buy! I met so many wonderful people this weekend, y'all and, if you were one of those that I met this weekend, THANK YOU for taking a few precious minutes to talk to me. You made my weekend so wonderful! You will just never know what each of you meant to my life this weekend. You were each such a blessing to me.
One of the best things about the event was the complete lack of the bickering that so often occasions social media interactions. Nobody cared if I was black or white or brown or yellow or red. Nobody asked about my relationship status, politics or preference as it related to religion. Nobody asked my feelings on DACA, taxes, Trump or what toppings I like on my pizza for that matter. (Pineapple does NOT go on pizza, dangit!). Nobody asked who I voted for in 2016 and nobody asked who I was considering in 2020.
This weekend, I had such wonderful interactions with people who, on facebook or twitter, might blast me for my feelings on any number of topics. And it reminded me of the importance of human contact. Putting the social back in socializing. And respecting the differences of others.
I am an unapologetic conservative. If you've read any of my blogs, you would know that about me. What you might not know is that several of my best friends are diehard liberals. A guy I went to school with -- someone I consider to be like a brother to me -- is a black man, born to black parents, raised in a black family, living a black life. He was an athlete in high school and both a veteran and gang member after high school. He and I could not be more different if we tried. But we are friends to the end. Brothers from different mothers.
There needs to be more of that in this world. Can we all just stop letting ourselves get divided just because GOP can't get along with DEM and Liberal can't seem to get along with Conservative? Can we all just open ourselves up to being kind again? I don't care if our president is blunt and brash. I'm blunt and brash. Sometimes, I would make him look kind by comparison. But I've never been mean as an action. Only as a reaction. SO here's a thought. Let's let kind words escape our lips from now on. Kind words begat more kindness. Let's be kind...
Kind doesn't have to be soft or weak. Kind is strength. So be kind. And, yes please, be grateful when others show you kindness, as person after person showed me kindness this year. Y'all, A ton of people showed me kindness this year. Without knowing a thing about me, they were simply kind. And I was kind in return. And yanno what? It felt awesome!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on December 29, 2017 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
With only 2 days left in the year, I find myself looking back over my accomplishments, failures, dreams, hopes and tragedies and triumphs. I also want to look forward to the coming year. I've made a great list of comic cons and events, many of which I hope to attend in 2018. My books have enjoyed marked success and the next books will be released in reasonably quick succession. That is, assuming I get them done like I hope to! LOL!
The next book is almost done. A few editing passes on my part, then I send it off to be edited. I have to work on the cover. That's something I have been putting off, because it's not an uber pressing matter. But I will work on it while my editors handle their part.
I expect to release 2 books next year, with one following rather quickly in 2019, but I MIGHT be able to squeeze that third one in, as these next ones will be somewhat on the shorter side. But, I'm not going to rush it just to get a third one out. If it's not quality, it won't be released.
So, here's hoping 2018 is a wonderful year. Not just for me, but for all of us. God Bless and May the Force Be With us All.
Until next YEAR, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on December 13, 2017 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
So, this past weekend, I wrapped up my touring year at ShreveCon in Shreveport, LA. It was a small con, compared to Dallas or San Diego CC, but it has grown a lot over the last couple of years. This year, they expanded from one day to two. That expansion allowed for a lot of people to come out and see the event that couldn't have otherwise made it out on Saturday. While I don't have any numbers to reference, I personally believe the crowd looked bigger on Sunday than on Saturday. But, it is difficult to judge when you're a busy author, greeting fans and making new ones.
I really enjoyed my year. It felt good to return to the road in Kilgore and it was interesting to break my usual tradition by scheduling a tour date after Thanksgiving. I feel blessed to have been able to explore new Cons and events. I feel really good about the year to come, as I near the completion of (the first draft of) the next book in the Mendez Series. My goal is to put 3 books out next year, but that may be ambitious. The next few books will be shorter than my usual tales. That's the plan. That's intentional. The stories just lend themselves to brevity. But my fans know this and they seem really excited to see what's to come.
Initially, I planned to do 3 stories in one book, and I may honestly have that option eventually. But writing the three stories will take time. Releasing them individually allows for a bit of instant gratification, albeit a brief moment thereof. LOL!
My plans for 2018 are forming even as we speak. Aside from releasing the next books, I am already looking at dates, marking my calendar and what not. I will be busier than I was this year, but how busy will just have to depend on my back.
For now, I want to wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you ALL so much for your help and encouragement this year. Without you, there is no me. Never forget that!
As usual, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on November 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
Well, you know the year is winding down when the East Texas Rose City Comic Con is in the rearview mirror. I'm both elated by the experience and really sad to have it end for the year. The ETRCCC is truly a family. There are people who are from every walk of life in that group. There are gay, straight, able and disabled, black, white, brown, yellow and red, male and female, married, single, dating, divorced and "complicated". There are Christians like me as well as agnostics, atheists and every other walk of life.
I had a very long conversation with an atheist named John. Great guy. Hard worker. I believe he said he had three jobs. Very creative guy too. Entered the short story contest, though he never came back to my table to tell me how he did. I shall have to ask him next year.
Met a really nice woman, Kacee, and her husband. While not anti-christian by any means, their policial and world views are in rather stark contrast to my own.
But there was none of that at the con. Sure, I met some rude people. Some socially awkward people, who weren't really sure where the boundary was. But overall, it was a family environment, as it always is. I enjoyed seeing my fellow author C.N. Pinckard. She's just about as busy as I am, and she drives to cons I often consider to be out of reach for me currently. I have mad respect for her work ethic, lemme tell you.
Honestly, though, I couldn't have done it without my friend, Jennifer. She kept me sane throughout the whole three days. She is very valuable to my career. As much as she is to my life as a whole. Something in her just sets her apart from much of the world. She is genuinely giving. Selfless. How many of you can say you have a friend in your life that is GENUINELY selfless? I can and I am grateful.
So, now it's on to ShreveCon in December. That will effectively end my 2017 touring season. I have not finalized any 2018 dates yet, but you can bet I'll be in Kilgore for the Geek Fest in May and be back in Tyler next October. I would LIKE to do certain other events, but we'll have to see.
For now, I'm gearing up for the holidays and working steadily on the next Mendez books. There are a couple of things I'm not quite ready to announce there, but there will be another series I'm going to work with that ties into the Mendez Series. It opens up a new market and opportunity for me to experiement with some different types of stories. I believe people will like it.
In the meantime, I hope to see some of you in Shreveport in December! For the rest of you, stick with me. 2018 is going to be a banner year for the Mendez Series!
Till Next Time, This Blog Is Brought To You By The Letters W, E and H...AND By The Number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on October 19, 2017 at 2:50 PM||comments (1)|
Yeah, I know, I'm usually better about my titles, aren't I?
Well, actually, that one is pretty creative too, given the subject matter. I finally got around to updating the website with the NEW covers and information for Mourning Reign and Heart Beatings. All of my books are home again. That is to say, I own the rights to all of them and am fully a self-published author now. After the less than ideal experience in traditional publishing, I am so glad to now say I can control the works. I control release dates, editorial teams and promotional efforts. I control supplementary merchandise such as T-shirts and I control distribution and movie rights or TV rights. I don't have to ask permission to do this or that. I don't have to run anything by a publisher or negotiate through a middle man that doesn't care if I have something to leave behind when I'm gone. I don't have to check with anyone on my work anymore and, honestly, that's a great feeling.
I have written about screenplays in the past. My original vision for the books were a series of big screen movies, with explosions and visual effects and full on movie theater distribution. In the past several months, that vision has changed. A series of dreams has truly pushed me in the direction of pursuing TV or streaming services... i.e. the small screen... as the way to go. I actually see it. I've even dreamed about the intro to said "TV SERIES". (That was actually the first dream I had. A couple years ago. But I ignored it as I pursued the idea of a movie.)
I feel like God is pushing me toward a TV deal. I just feel it. There's no POINT in pursuing a movie deal because TV or streaming services is where I belong. With the success of books like Outlander and Game of Thrones, and the adaptations of things like Agents of SHIELD and Inhumans, TV is becoming a power player in the book adaptation industry.
Yes, you have movies like Twilight and Hunger Games. But you also have the example of the Divergent series. With the third movie being labeled a box office flop, producers are looking to move ahead with some sort of TV movie or I've heard possibly a series based around Tobias. (Just a rumor but I have heard that.) I've heard many things about it. PERSONALLY, I think you made 3 movies. The third was a lead-in to the 4th. It's OKAY that it suffered. Wrap it up with a 4th movie and recoup your losses from the 3rd. That would be my theory. I think it's too late now. They needed to make the movies together and release movie 4 a year after. That way they could have bank-rolled. But they didn't. Oh well.
As for me, I can't announce that I have a TV deal. I wish I could, but that's still a dream at this point. But it is a dream. A SERIES of dreams. Dreams I believe will prove prophetic. I haven't yet dreamed of the actors playing the roles of Lisa or Alex. I can't see their faces or anything. But what a hoot that would be if God gave me that dream, eh?
For now, I'm hard at it. and I have to get back to it. These things won't write themselves and I'm a one-man show now.
I hope you are happy with the series, as I am to bring it to you. I know there's some negative commenting going on. That's okay. Even the greats have their detractors. Ultimately, it's about finding my audience.
At the end of this month is the Tyler Comic Con. That will be fun. ShreveCon in December will be new. I sure hope to see some of you there! In the meantime, I'm hungry and I need to write. So, here's to lunch and hard work!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on September 25, 2017 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
More people need to watch the shows I grew up on. Or the shows my parents grew up on....The shows I shared with my grandpa in the years prior to his death..... We need to get back to watching Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Welcome Back Kotter, Dukes of Hazzard, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Archie Bunker/All in the Family, Eight Is Enough, Diff'rent Strokes, A-Team, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Cheers, Magnum P.I., Knight Rider, Three's Company, Perfect Strangers, Punky Brewster, Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Laughin, Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, The Love Boat, WKRP in Cincinnati, Fantasy Island, Dallas, One Day at a Time, Charlie's Angels, Trapper John M.D., Bonanza, Benson, Mork & Mindy, and who can forget Saturday Morning Cartoons? There are a ton of shows I watched that I haven't listed here. There are probably a ton I didn't watch or maybe never knew existed back in the day.
But we need to get back to that..... Those were family times. We gathered as a family to watch the M*A*S*H finale.... and wept as one. We gathered to watch the Dynasty cliffhanger and we asked that age old question as a nation.... WHO shot J.R.? (Lost a bet to my sister on that one btw.)
You really wanna know why this country is erupting into chaos? We don't do family time anymore. Not as a nation. We don't Universally gather to watch the Walton's Thanksgiving Special or a Dukes Of Hazzard Christmas. We don't gather, in our homes, in a universal "Yes". We don't gather with our kids and our parents and just spend that time NOT absorbed in the politics, religion and he said, she said of the world. I know some of you do. When I was with my second wife, I insisted on family time. I believed then (and I believe now) it was important for us to spend time together and time apart. It was important that my wife and I have time AWAY from my son, to just be us for a little bit AND I believed then (as I believe now) it was important to be at every practice and every game and every scout meeting my son participated in. I believed in He and I having father-son moments with ice cream, homework and The Wiggles or whatever show he was into at the time and I believed it was a great thing when his mother took him on her walks in the evenings. But we had our time. Not a day went by without my son going to bed KNOWING he was richly and deeply loved by both his mother and by me.
He graduated with honors. He is now a United States Marine. Even though my ex and I split when he was 12, and she forbid me to see him after that, I can say unequivocally that I contributed greatly to his current life. I loved him. I guided him, I educated him, I supported him, I disciplined him and I encouraged him. His mom and I had many differences, and she did not like it when I wanted to spend time "away from him". She saw it as more a slam against him than needing to get to know her and experience her and bond with her as something other than his parents. So, we argued about that. But I will never say, in my life, that she didn't love him. That's not in question. She loved him different than I did and it took me a while to figure that out, acclimate to it. But she loved him. And so did I. And no matter how much SHE and I fought, my SON never doubted our love for him. He did ask me once if we were arguing because of him. He even apologized for getting in trouble that day. I told him flat out that no matter what his mom and I didn't agree on, we both agreed that we loved him. On the day that his mother took him away for what turned out to be the last time I would see my boy, I held him as he cried, not wanting to go. And I told him no matter how much time passed, no matter what was said or done. No matter where he was or where I was, I was going to love him until the day I died. And I also told him that I was his dad until he told me otherwise. It took a couple years, but I realized I lied to him that day, unintentionally of course. But I lied just the same. When I told him I was his dad until he told me differently, it was a lie. I am his dad because my heart tells me I am. Even if, at 19 now, he were to tell me he was a man and didn't need me to "play daddy" or whatever, he's my son. And will be till I die.
And I will always have the memories of the family time we shared, just as my parents shared it with me as a child and their parents did likewise with them.
We've lost that. Can we please get it back? Please?
Till THAT time, this blog continues to be brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on September 14, 2017 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
Well, I wouldn't call this "More Disciplined" but at least I didn't wait 47 months before my next blog, right?
Anyway, I decided to write this afternoon about a topic that has really been bothering me for years. In a nutshell, it's Amazon's practice of deleting VALID reviews while leaving reviews that contain personal attacks and NOTHING about the product being sold via Amazon's platform.
For years, I've been an outspoken conservative. I do NOT apologize for that. I never have. I never will. Many authors tell me I am alienating part of my audience. I tell them quite bluntly, No, I am DEFINING it.
That aside, many people who disagree with me PERSONALLY, POLITICALLY, RELIGIOUSLY or what have you have spent many hours posting fake reviews on Amazon. One star reviews bashing me as a person, not the book that they never actually read. Over the years, I've managed to get SOME of them taken down, but it's been horribly taxing on me to try and keep up with all the bull. When I was less busy, I had the time to check amazon every single day. Nowadays, not so much. Still, I found something yesterday that caused me to check myself on my book numbers.
As of 2 weeks ago, Mourning Reign had over 70 reviews. Doesn't seem like many, and it's not, compared to authors of greater renown. But, to me, it was phenomenal! I'd passed 50 and was on my way to 100! As of the writing of this blog, I now have 57 reviews showing on Mourning Reign. more than 13 LEGITIMATE reviews, most from strangers I met at book signings, speeches etc, deleted by amazon, because they woke up with a burr in their saddle for ol' Edward Hancock II! And that's not all. When I saw that, I started to check my subsequent books.
Sure enough, they were hit too.
Heart Beatings (released in paperback JUST this year, despite being second in the series) had a whopping 3 reviews. As of this writing, it has ZERO.... ZERO! NOT A SINGLE FREAKING REVIEW!? are you kidding me, Amazon? So now I can't have ANY?
Connection Terminated had just crossed 10 a few days ago. As of this writing, it stands at 6, including one that is, in fact, a valid 3-star review by a reader that just didn't connect with the book. I'm okay with that. Fine. It's a legit review. But, they deleted 4 reviews of 4 and 5 stars that were also LEGITIMATE readers. People I'd met at various book signings and such. So, their reviews are not valid because they bought it from me instead of paying Amazon's exorbitant prices, taxes and shipping fees? Really?
I dunno if they've finished with Target: Mendez, but I had 4 last time I checked. Now I'm down to 3. The one they removed was LITERALLY an amazon VERIFIED PURCHASE! I can't even complain that Amazon is picking on people that bought from me here, because they bought from AMAZON and yet AMAZON deleted a legitimate VERIFIED PURCHASE review? It's like they're drunk at Amazon and are just like throwing darts at a dartboard or something to decide which reviews to remove.
Here's where we really get crazy. Last time I checked, Mendez Genesis had 7 reviews. As of this writing, it still has 7 reviews. But I have tried getting them to remove a review which reads as follows: (Titled "Unfair Review") I am not into this super naturar stuff, so I did not finosh the book. Not a fair review.
Not into "super naturar stuff" and thus didn't "finosh" the book. So, I'm guessing reading is likely not a common hobby of this person, or they just are not concerned with editing their own comment. They just wanted to be heard. One, they SAY they didn't finish it. I'm assuming "finosh" means finish. They say they didn't FINISH it because it was (I assume) supernatural? Yes, and it says that right in the intro and BACK COVER COPY.
The back cover copy of this Two-books-in-one story reads as follows:
SPLINTERED SOULS: Tina Miles is a young girl starting a new chapter in her life. When she encounters Devin Snow, everything changes. Deep down, she believes there is more to Devin than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Det. Lisa Warner is convinced there is more to Tina's story. People are dying. No one has answers. What mysterious force binds these Splintered Souls?
BREATH OF GOD: After a horrible accident leaves him partially paralyzed, it takes the enigmatic power of heaven to bring Lieutenant Alex Mendez back from the dead, unlocking a secret as old as time that may have been hidden inside his four-year-old daughter. To make matters worse, Detective Lisa Mendez, Alex's wife, confronts her own demons, all the while chasing the most unlikely of suspects in connection with multiple homicides. Is it possible a seventeen-year-old boy with Spina Bifida is singlehandedly responsible for the worst crime spree to ever hit the small east Texas community? Lisa Mendez believes it is possible, though a thousand questions remain. As with Alex, the answers to Lisa's questions lay buried deep within the innocent soul of her daughter. While Alex searches himself for strength to battle physical and emotional uncertainties, Lisa must search inside herself, taking charge of courage and faith she never dreamed existed.
Enigmatic Power. Demons. Mysterious Force. Answers buried deep within their innocent child. None of this clues a person in that you MIGHT not be dealing with natural forces? Really? You couldn't read that and put 2 and 2 together that MAYBE you might wanna skip it? And the title of the review is "UNFAIR REVIEW." So why is it Amazon will not delete this UNFAIR REVIEW but will delete LEGITIMATE reviews from VERIFIED FREAKING PURCHASES!?
I'm tired of Goliath taking advantage of all the Indy Davids out there. And I tell you, it's about time we unite and do something. Take note Amazon. Publishers are a dime a dozen. You need us. We can publish and sell our books on Barnes and Noble and untold other websites, including our own. We can do as I do, publish our books and then sell them in person at any number of events. You would do well to let your policy of deleting legitimate reviews die. But, hey, that's for you to decide.
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on September 5, 2017 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
Well, we've reached September. In 6 days, we will mark another year since the tragic events of 2001 that saw our country put aside political divides and sing "God Bless America" on the steps of our government's capitol.
Why does it always take a tragedy for Americans to cast aside partisan bickering and just be Americans for once? As seen in the recent Hurricane Harvey, tragic events often bring us out of our political foxholes under a flag of truce in order to rebuild what God, Nature or an outside evil (depending on your perspective) has destroyed or sought to wipe out. Now I'm neither here to bash religion nor wax poetic about God's existence. Fact is God exists. I believe. I don't know if He is behind Harvey or not, because I don't concern myself with that discussion. My point is that it took those tragic events for people to quit worrying about statues and debating which lives mattered to an omnipotent God. (Jesus settled that argument for me. He didn't die for one race or another. Jesus didn't die for this or that race to have forgiveness of sin. He died for the WORLD.... "for God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten son...." Again, that's the end of it for me.
As of this writing, Hurricane Irma is churning and burning, making her way toward an as yet unknown location. Will she hit Texas again? Maybe curve in the gulf and hit Alabama? Maybe she'll punch Florida, lose steam and crash into Texas as a Cat 1. And there you go. Kumbaya in the Senate all over again. Two weeks later, it's more partisan bickering.
Just today, President Trump announced the rescinding of the Executive Order enacting the DACA program. He did so in an effort to encourage congress to make official laws governing the treatment of illegal immigrants and their resulting offspring of an illegal border crossing into America. People are still under feet of water in Houston, but the partisan bickering was loud and proud. Now there are those that will argue that Trump should have waited to do something about DACA. It's an irrelevant argument at this point. It's done. Whether or not he should have waited, he didn't. So now here we are bickering when we should be helping Texas Flood Victims and prepping for Hurricane Irma. Oh we'll sing songs and offer prayers, probably hold Moneythons after Irma does whatever she's going to do. But then we'll be bickering soon enough. Unless a fat Asian idiot in North Korea gets twitchy with that trigger finger, in which case we won't have time to sing songs. We will have to bend over and kiss our butts goodbye.
But therein lies the point maybe. At any moment, we could suffer another 9/11. At any moment, we could be the ones picking ourselves out from under the rubble of an atom bomb, large enough to make the hiroshima bomb look like a bottle rocket. Is that what it's going to take for us to finally get it? Is that what it's going to take for us to finally understand that United We Stand, Divided We Fall?
I read a quote attributed to Napoleon in which he said, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Years ago, I adapted it to "Never interrupt your enemy when he is tearing himself apart." And let's face it, we are on the verge of doing that very thing. We should worry about North Korea, Iran and Russia, sure. But we should also worry about our capacity to tear ourselves apart. Because, as Abe Lincoln said, If we ever falter, it will be from within. Our greatest strength is our unity.
In the Civil War, many nations considered aiding the Confederacy. Few really aided them on any helpful level, but the fact remains, Nicholas Cage was right (In National Treasure 2) when he states a divided confederacy would have been weaker."
Folks, it's still true today. We are a group of 50 states and multiple territories. We are stronger together. That is our strength. That is not our weakness. We are strong because of our diversity AND in spite of it. Not just one. We literally are strong BECAUSE OF and INSPITE OF our diversity. I know a lot of people won't get that, but it's not something that can really be explained. It simply must be observed.
So get off the computer. Get off facebook or whatever social media platform you are surfing these days. Get off, get out and pull the dang headphones out of your ears. Plug in to life and experience the fullness and richness and depth of America. Because, in the flash of one bomb, she can be gone.
Don't let that happen, okay?
Do your part to make us what we are...The United States of America.
Til next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 22, 2017 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
Daniel J. Nations was my 2nd cousin 6 times removed. He was born around 1835 and died in 1863. He died as a prisoner of war, following an attempt to capture a fort in Louisiana during the Civil War. One report has him dying unmarried and childless. (Though another suggests he may have been married and possibly had children.)
Got me to thinking. Many young men have gone off to war in this country. Think about the thousands of 18 and 19 year olds that stormed the beaches of Normandy. Think about the young men that served with my great grandfathers in WW1, including the biological father of his stepson, George Beene. (My great Grandmother's first husband, who died in WW1.)
Some of those young men never returned home. Many of them died unmarried and childless. I want you to think about that. I really want you to think about that. I've made this analogy for Anne Frank before, but it's applicable here too.
Let's use Daniel J. Nations as an example. He died in 1863. Had he survived the war, he would have returned home by 1865. He would have been 30 at the time. Old enough to start a family for sure. So let's say he had 6 children over the next decade or so. Large families were common at this time. The more children you had, the more hands you had in the field picking corn, cotton, peas and wheat. So let's just give him six hypothetical children. His last would be born in 1875. By 1895, 60 year old Daniel would be a grandfather many times over. If he was lucky enough to see 80, 1915 would bring about Daniel's Great Grandchildren. His grandchildren would fight the "Great War" just 2 years later, perhaps leaving behind a wife and children. They return home in 1918, making more babies as often happens. So, between 1918 and 1928, more babies are born. My grandfather (Hancock) was born in 1926. My grandmother in 1928. Both would be in this generation. By 1942, My grandfather and namesake was in training for war, having lied about his age to enter early. But let's say Daniel had descendants in 1941 that are 18 to 20. We now have his great great grandchildren fighting ww2. His Great Great Great grandchildren would have fought (Possibly) in Korea or Vietnam and his Great great great great grandchildren could have possibly been in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Think about that for a second. his 4th greats would have fought in the 1990's Iraq war. His 5th greats could be in Iraq and other theaters of combat today as we speak.
See this is who died, folks. One man did not die in that camp. Generations died in that prison camp. GENERATIONS. Literally hundreds of people died in that camp, much the same as generations died when Little Anne and Margot Frank succumbed to hunger, disease and untold horrors.
I think of the Hatfield and McCoy feud post-Civil War. Tolbert, Alafair, Calvin, Randolph (Bud) Jr., and Pharmer McCoy were killed as a direct result of the fued. They all died between 1870 and 1890. And, with them, Generations of McCoys.
Generations, folks. I cannot let that go. I can't not think about that. When you take a life, whether by war or an Abortion, you are not killing one person. You are killing them, their children, their children's children and so forth.
I believe in fighting for what you want in life. I believe in struggling. I believe, if somebody threatens your life you need to defend your life with everything at your disposal. Even if it means killing them. But I really believe we all need to think about what we're doing. Actions have consequences, folks.
When you eat 19 tacos at lunch, and don't exercise, you're gonna get fat. That acttion has a consequence. When you rape a woman and are caught in the act, you're gonna go to prison for a very long time. If you charge the arresting officer with intent to harm him or her, you're gonna be six feet under. Actions have consequences. But, when you take an innocent life, you take that life and every life they were going to be responsible for. Was Daniel J. Nations an "Innocent" Life? He was, afterall, a soldier. He was fighting in war and those in the opposing army were charged with the task of stopping him and the men with whom he served. I can't really say that Daniel was innocent. I can't say he was not. I can say his death meant the deaths of generations of family members I will never have. For me, that sucks.
till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 1, 2017 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
I didn't do a single update in June. Wow! Well, it wasn't from laziness, I can tell you that. Neither was it for lack of trying. There have been a lot of projects going on recently. While that's good, the bad side is it's taken me away from blogging to let people know what's going on.
First, I've decided on my schedule for the rest of the year. I'll update more as it gets closer, but my next event will be scheduled in September. For now, I'll just stick with that.
When not writing, I've been working on my genealogy a lot lately. Not sluffing off, mind you. A couple of new projects have come into being that involve my family history. They'll involve some books that most of you will not be interested in reading, but I suspect some of you might.
I don't know when they'll be written though. There's a lot of confusion, particularly in the Hancock line. For years, I was stuck with my Great Great Great Grandfather, Isaiah Hancock. I had no idea who his father was. I "believed" I knew he had been married twice, first to a woman who bore him three children. Following this marriage, he appears in Texas, where he has a son I have come to know as my Great Great Grandfather. And from there my family line descends.
HOWEVER, some confusion has arisen recently. Perhaps that is why I blog today. to clear up the confusion. See, the first family lists their births in Mississippi, while Isaiah was, himself, born in Alabama. A recent suggestion is that he married his second wife while IN Alabama in 1855. And I know that, from his father's death records, Isaiah was in Sherman, Texas sometime between 1875 and 1879, because the paperwork tells me this. He's listed as an heir, and his location is Sherman, Tx. It is suggested that my Great Great Grandfather was born in 1866 and was born in Gregg County, Texas, which is not far from Sherman in Today's standards, but was a bit of a jaunt back then. Still, not impossible that Baby Hancock was born in 1866 and then Isaiah up and moved the gang to Sherman. It's also entirely possible that he abandoned this family and moved to Sherman on his own. No wife is listed for him among the papers, but no wife is listed for his half brother either.
Here's the weird part. In Isaiah's first suggested family, he had a son named George Washington Hancock, born circa 1845. When George later married, he had a son named George Isaiah. Coincidence or honoring his father? Truth is I just don't know. Letters between my Great Uncle and a descendant of George in the 1980's strongly suggests they were confident Isaiah was George's dad. But, was he? And if he was, how is it there's no divorce from his wife? She was very much alive in 1880.
So, you see, Genealogy is a fun "game" of sorts. I am drawn to the mystery of it all...probably why I write mystery and suspense books. I am drawn to the mystery of it all. Who am I? That whole thing. Too bad so many record were destroyed during the civil war and in various fires. If I could go back in time, I would do so to meet the people from whom I descend. And I would spare the records that perished in the fire.
Would that I could...
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the searching letters W, E and H and by the curious number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on May 17, 2017 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
Recently, I have had several people (mostly strangers) tell me that prayer doesn't work. That it's garbage. That it's just talking to yourself, etc. That prayer is pointless. This is not new. I've heard this my whole life. Over the years, I've responded in many different ways. Most recently, I've noticed a new answer departing my lips, when someone tells me prayer doesn't work or is ineffective. The last several times this has happened, I've said, "No, prayer is ineffective for YOU. Prayer doesn't work FOR YOU. That doesn't make it universally ineffective. Prayer works quite well in my family. My grandmother and grandfather could move storms with their prayers. A 104 degree fever left my body while my mother and grandmother were still on the phone.
Folks, you are talking to a guy that medical science gave up for dead when I was born. I would not live past my 2nd birthday they said. Probably wouldn't even SEE my 2nd birthday. To date, I've seen 43 of them. As a baby, I survived more surgical procedures than even I probably know. I survived at least one serious infection at 8 months old that, by my doctor's own words, should have killed me. I've been in countless car wrecks. At least 4 where I was driving, 3 within a year of each other. I survived a broken back TWICE now. The first one led to a kidney infection which had me in bed to the point I got pressure sores the size of my FISTS on my hips. IF that wasn't bad enough, the sores got infected, the infection went into my blood and to my lungs. I very literally should have died in that moment. I was living in Oklahoma City and that weekend my first wife (now ex) had chosen to strike out to Kansas to meet some guy off the internet and cheat on me.
I've survived multiple suicide attempts, including one attempt at hanging myself from a tree, but the branch broke.
Folks, I should be dead 100 times over, but I'm not. And why? Because, from the day of my birth until the day she left this earth in 2009, my granny was covering me in prayer. From the day of my birth, until he left this earth in 2015, my grandfather was covering me in prayer. From the day of my birth continuing even today, my parents care covering me in prayers, as are my aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and, yes, probably many of you.
Prayer doesn't work? Folks I'm a living example that prayer works. And my LIVING IS the example. I'm not going to sit here and talk about prayers I've prayed. Some of them have come to pass. Some have not. But, on the day of my birth, DOCTORS told my mom and dad to prepare to bury me. And only my granny said no. Only my granny, HOURS away from the hospital in which I was born, had the faith to declare "God has a plan for this boy." And only Granny was right.
If prayer doesn't work for you, all I can say is I'm sorry you haven't seen the miracles I have witnessed in my life. But I have seen the proof. It isn't chance. It isn't accident. It isn't even fate or whatever. It's God's power that has kept me alive. God's mercy and God's Grace and God's will. The same will that takes a 2 year old home to Glory following a Seven-car pileup on the freeway. The same will that allowed my grandfather 100 years of life on this planet -- far more than I believe I will get, but who knows? God's will and faithful prayers.
The Bible says God doesn't change. He is the same today that He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He is not a man that he should change His mind, nor a son of man that he should lie. Does prayer change his mind? Jesus said if we have faith and tell a mountain to be moved, it will move. So, can God's mind be changed?
When Abraham pleaded for Sodom, he bargained with God. God, for the sake of 50 righteous men will you spare the city? What about 20? What of ten? God agreed. For the sake of an agreed number, He would not destroy Sodom. What would have happened if NOAH had made a similar request and found 10 righteous men? Would the whole of the earth been spared? I dunno. So, I dunno if sparing me was in God's will all along or was He moved by prayer, but I believe it was a little of both to be honest. But who was praying for me when the branch broke? Who was praying when I held the bottle of pills in my hands? I dunno. my point is Prayer Works. I don't understand why it works. I don't really understand the mystery of how, truth be told. But it works. Because this world gave up on me. Too, I gave up on the world. But God....
Two of the most powerful words a believer can ever speak....
I should have died...BUT GOD...
I should not be here...But God...
What is your "But God"? And how does it shape your view of faith and prayer?
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on May 15, 2017 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
This past weekend, I attended Porch Fest in Kilgore. The event was nice. It was the second weekend in a row that I was able to get back out there and sell books since my back injury. The previous weekend, I attended Kilgore Geekend. You talk about a blast! I sold so many books that weekend that I almost didn't have enough for Porch Fest! But it worked out and I had enough. If only just.
I have to say I was a bit surprised that I held out. Yes I was dog tired after Geekend but I held out just the same. I made it. I hurt like the dickens after both events, but I made it. for me, that was progress. I hurt today, but I made it. That is nice. That gives me hope. I don't know if I'll ever get back to full-time touring. But I love it. I love doing it again. For now, that's enough.
It felt good to be back on the road after so long away from the fans. As of today, I don't have any other events scheduled, but that's okay. I've got a lot going on, so I wanna make sure that what I do is not overdo it.
My physical therapy is progressing well. Ending this round of approved sessions soon. I truly hope insurance doesn't deny me further sessions. I feel like I could really benefit and get a lot of my life back that I've lost over the years. So your prayers on that would be appreciated.
Anyway, back to work for now. Promise I'll try to write more often.
Until next time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 29, 2017 at 2:40 PM||comments (0)|
So, it's been a while since I last wrote. Been busily promoting the re-release of Mourning Reign and the paperback release of Heart Beatings. It's been fun, actually. But it's been busy! Also, I started back to physical therapy for the first time in years. I hurt so bad most days. But I'm using muscles I haven't used in a while, so that's good.
Now, I wanted to discuss something today that makes me curious. As many of you know, if you read my blog, like ever, I'm a Christian. But unlike many Christians, I am NOT afraid to pretend or ask "what if?" In fact, many of those "what ifs" have led to some of my best writing within the Mendez Series. (And some of the most controversial.)
This morning, I thought of something and I wanted to write it down, because it is something that I definitely want to study more deeply.
In short, I want to ask does the Christian religion REALLY not promote reincarnation? I know what you're probably thinking. You're thinking I'm off my rocker, yet again. Just trust me. I'm going somewhere with this.
Let me start here, with a verse taken somewhat out of context.
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45
Keep in mind, I state explicitly that this verse is intentionally taken out of context. Because I want to look at it for a minute. Just this message alone. Don't worry. I'll add context in a bit.
Here, we have Christ being referred to as the second Adam. The Last Adam. And given the assignment of the life-giving spirit. Christ WAS made flesh. We know that to be fact. Christ was given a flesh body, in order to become sin and carry sin to the cross to be crucified. But Jesus was NOT flesh. Jesus was spirit. Jesus was God's indwelling. But Adam was created from the dust of the earth, then given life through the literal breath of God. What is the breath of God if NOT God's life force? Breathe in right now. Hold it for a couple seconds. Then breathe out. Inhale. Exhale. You are breathing. Guess what. The only reason you are breathing is because GOD first breathed life into ADAM. And Jesus took your sins and mine to the cross. So, was ADAM the first "indwelling" of God's spirit? In a very real sense, yes.
Now, Adam never healed anyone. When CAIN killed ABEL, Adamn did not bring him back to life. So far as the Bible recounts, Adam never walked on water or fed five thousand people. Adam and Jesus did not share the same purpose. Adam's purpose was to begin mankind. To propogate the species. Jesus' purpose was to save man from Hell, a necessary salvation after Eve gave in to temptation and the pair essentially doomed us to a finite existence and the recipient of the wages of sin. The world of "First Adam" was different than the world of second Adam. Thus their missions and life paths were different. But does that mean they are not the same indwelling of God?
Okay, now for the context of that verse that I promised. You can google the entire chapter if you want, but I'm going to add a good deal of context here:
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall weg bear the image of the heavenly man.
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1 Corinthians 15:35-50
So God gives the body as HE decides and not all bodies are the same. And we can see that there is a natural body and a heavenly (spiritual) body. They are not the same. So, does this mean that First Adam and Second Adam are not the same or that their fleshly bodies are not the same, but the same God that dwelt within one did also in the second? I am not going to answer or even conjecture, because that's not the point. The point is I don't really know. I know that Jesus is my savior, not Adam. In that sense, they are not the same. But was it merely their purpose that made them different? Not their actual spiritual indwelling?
God is infinite. Humans are finite. And there's also this:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
So, God does not change. Jesus Christ does not change. Jesus is and was the Truth, the living Word. He was with God from the very beginning and WAS God from the very beginning. So, was the breath breathed into Adam the very breath that came from God? And does that mean that the spiritual indwelling of Jesus, who is God, was breathed into Adam?
It is believed, by many, that Jesus appeared in the Old Testament, centuries before the flesh and blood Yeshua walked the earth.
Jesus is first seen in the Old Testament as the person who appeared as “the Angel of the Lord” in his sudden confrontation with Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar (Gen 16:7). Thereafter, he continued to appear intermittently throughout the earlier books of the Old Testament. These real occurrences, initiated by God, were characterized by the fact that they were convincing revelations of his person and work, as much as they were also transitory, fleeting, but audible and clearly visible appearances. He came temporally in the form of a human, much before his final incarnation as a babe in Bethlehem, yet this same “Angel of the LORD” is called and is addressed often as “the LORD/Yahweh” himself (Gen 12:7; 17:1; 19:1; etc.).
This “Angel of the LORD” was a title that stood for his office, but it did not describe his nature. The Hebrew word for “angel” (mal’ak) had the basic idea of one who was “sent,” a “messenger.” Of the 214 usages of the Hebrew term used for “angel,” about one third of them refer to what is labeled by theologians as a “Christophany,” a temporary appearance of Christ in the Old Testament. It is certain, however, that this special angel of the Lord is divine, for Hagar “...gave this name to the LORD, who spoke with her [as the Angel of the LORD]: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ as she observed, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’” (Gen 16:13).
Also, It is written that Jacob wrestled with God. This was not a spiritual battle. This was not a battle of wills inside him. The Bible depicts this as a literal physical battle with a flesh manifestation of God. Read it here:
Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. . . . And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”
And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:24–25, 28–30)
Adam walked with God. Abraham followed God. Jacob touched God. Moses spoke with God but could not look upon Him.
But, if all of these were God, why did Jesus come? More to the point, why did Jesus need to die? Well, for that, you'll need to look at Hebrews 10:4 which states, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." Chapter ten continues later, "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified". (Hebrews 10:10, 12–14)
The others before had their purposes. Adam, as I said before, came to begin man. Many others came to act as a guide, for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For Moses and even for Joshua, Samson's parents, and even Jesus himself appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus.
So, I know this is a lot to take in. A lot to digest. And, yes, it's a bit disorganized. This was a "new" thought, I guess you could say. One that I needed to get down so that I could see it and find out where it makes sense and where it doesn't. Ultimately, what matters is this: Jesus was born, he lived and died for you and me. Jesus is my savior. Jesus, not Adam, not Moses, Not Samson, Abraham, Jacob and not Noah. Jesus' sacrifice perfected forever those of us being sanctified. So, were these other "Angels of the Lord" and Adams the same indwelling? It's an interesting "What if" to ponder, and I will long ponder it. But one thing it won't do is change my faith in God. I am a sinner saved by GRACE. And neither Adam nor any that came after gave me that GRACE, until the Lamb of God took my punishment to the cross.
And that leads me to that moment where I remind you that this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 11, 2017 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
Last night, I received news that an old high school friend was tragically killed in an automobile accident. As of the writing of this blog, her 5 year old daughter is undergoing what will likely be multiple surguries to repair broken bones and such. If you're a praying person, please keep her in your prayers. I've long wrestled with the right words to say to memorialize my friend, Marion Collins. Ultimately, I posted this on Facebook:
Sickened to learn that my friend Marion Edwards Collins lost her life in a car wreck a few hours ago. It's weird to say, but we did not get along well in school. Too much alike I guess. But in adulthood, she became not only a treasured friend but a valuable part of my sanity. She always asked me about my books. When was my next event. She was a huge encouragement when I failed, floundered or fell.
I know many can say this. So I'll say it for us all. I lost a friend today. A part of me I can never get back.
Thank you for being a part of my life, Marion. It's not goodbye. It's just see ya later.
She was 6 years younger than I am. Not yet 40 years old. A wife. A mother of two. Things like this are so senseless to me. Why does a mother in her 30's die in a car wreck? Why does a 19 year old boy die in war? Why does a 6 month old baby die of an undiagnosed disease? The Bible says, "With long life will I satisfy you." It is the only verse I insisted on being included in my grandfather's funeral when he died in 2015, at the good, old age of 100. With long life did God satisfy him. But why Marion? Why was she only given 37 years? I don't know. I never will, to be honest. But it always makes me angry. Please, if you're a praying person, send prayers to Marion's husband, children and extended family. And maybe toss one in for me, that I will learn to accept this better.
Of course, I've been trying to make a concious effort to blog about more than issues of life and death. With that in mind, I wanted to update folks on the situation with my books. As I reported in an earlier blog, I have obtained the rights to Mourning Reign and Heart Beatings. The first two books in the Mendez Series. They are in the process of being re-released. All I am waiting for is the cover for Mourning Reign, which should come any day now. I'm excited to see these two books finished and re-released. Big plans coming. Getting together with a friend over the weekend to discuss some of them. Hopefully I'll have some good news for you the next time I blog. We'll see. Might take a while. But just now I am steadily working behind the scenes!
And the good news is that, once I get the two books re-issued, I'll be able to get running on the next 3 mendez books, as well as returning to the screenplay... PROVIDED my back holds out. Prayers appreciated there too.
In the meantime, I need to get some non-writery stuff done today. Y'all take care!
As always, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 27, 2017 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
The last few blogs of mine have been somewhat dark in tone. Focused on death and on your purpose to live out while you're still alive, etc etc etc. There are many reasons for this -- more than I care to go into -- but the simple fact is it's what's been on my mind.
Today, we switch gears a little to talk about something else that is very near and dear to my heart. Passion. Now, before I go any further, I want to clarify that I'm not talking about lusty, sexual passion between two fictional lovers in a romance novel. Neither am I talking about the idiocy that is 50 shades of crap. Rather, I guess you could say I am talking about a deep, burning desire and love and appreciation, borderline obsession, with a certain thing, person, group, occupation or way of living. Whatever a person is passionate about. Passion in people is attractive to me. If you look at my very best friends, my closest circles, you'll find they're all passionate about something. My friends Jennifer, Becky and Julie are passionate about me. Yes, me. Me, and all of their other friends, family and loved ones. They're passionate about people. About loving people, and making sure people around them know they are loved. My friend, Mary, is this way too. She's exceptionally passionate about her grandkids. It's infectious to the point I enjoy her posts about children I have never even met. Too, Jennifer and Becky are passionate about their children, a son and a daughter, both teenagers now. They do not spoil their children necessarily. But they love their children. And they are raising them to be good people. Because they are good people. Because they are passionate about loving people. (and round and round we go.)
But it's not just personal passion, or people passion, or people that are obsessed with me. A good friend of mine for the last few years, is a man named Phillip Sullivan. Phillip is roundabout my age, give or take a couple years. He's also a former professional wrestler. Now, when I say professional wrestler, I don't mean the backyard, trampoline, back yard, jackass youtube kind of wrestling. I mean he wrestled back in the days when wrestling had legitimate territories. I mean he wrestled with the likes of the Von Erichs and Freebirds. I mean he ran up and down the roads with greats like Skandar Akbar. I mean he was a legitimate professional wrestler for years. These days, he's pretty much hung up his boots and tights for a more relaxed suit and tie look. See, wrestling is in Phillip's blood. It never leaves him. It's what he wakes up thinking on. It's what he goes to bed thinking on. It's the thing that occupies a great majority of his life. And that is why Phillip started the Lucha Pride wrestling organization. Phillip is aligning himself with some of the best talent you can find on the indie circuit. He's got an eye for talent and you really know you've been to a show by the time he's finished entertaining you. And it's a family show. It's the kind of show you can take the 8 year old nephew to. Or the kind of show an 80 year old grandma of 5 will ask him about in a walmart or something. It's not blood, guts, gore and boobs. It's wrestling. It's SPORTS entertainment, not sports ENTERTAINMENT. And there is a difference. If you're in the East Texas area, or in driving distance, you really should check this out. It's a good homage to the days when wrestling was a family show. You can find out about Lucha Pride here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1650244231936791/
Another friend of mine is a friend I've known maybe a couple years. I honestly don't recall exactly how long. But honestly he's an insanely driven person. Like ungodly insanely driven. Like I don't know how he does it, he must be three people in one body kind of driven. His name is Chris Barnes, but I know him as "Boston Chris."
You see, Boston's passion is music. He is one of the central figures behind a group known as "ETX MUSIC". It's hard to really say what ETX Music is. They have a podcast, a facebook page, a youtube channel. And they interview local musical artists and have recently expanded into other genres such as books, when Boston's girlfriend, Louise, interviewed me in an spin-off program known as "Out of the Box with ETX Rocks." Chris is everywhere. He goes to bars, clubs, restaurants, or anywhere a local band is playing. He interviews the band, or the musician or the singer and really gets to more than just "how'd you get your start?" He gets inside their head. He gets inside their heart. Boston Chris really takes it to the next level with his interviews. And, I have to say, he isn't just interviewing "unknown" talent or "indie" folks. He has also had on Country music legends Joe Nichols and Moe Bandy. You can learn more about the ETX Rocks gang here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/662051080641024/?ref=br_rs
Or HERE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCao6fJOfevnE7dkMYz3vnQQ
And here: https://www.facebook.com/etxrocks/
The next person I wanna mention is a good friend and fellow writer. A man by the name of Caleb Pirtle III. Caleb is a bit more low-key than, say, Boston or Phillip. He's a bit more laid back. I don't know if I'd call him SHY, but I do believe that all writers are naturally introverts by nature. But, if there was ever a motivated and extroverted introvert, it is definitely Caleb. He's been around for decades, truth be told. He is the author of more than fifty-five books. He is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He served as sports editor for The Daily Texan and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing.
He began his career in the newspaper business, working with the Plainview Daily Herald and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, winning both the Texas Associated Press and Headliner’s Awards. And those are just the highlights of his accolades. Caleb is an accomplished and recognized person in both the Journalism and Creative Writing fields. And what has he done with those accomplishments? He's given back. Caleb is a friend. Of that, I can truly attest. But he is also a mentor, to myself and just about every writer or aspiring writer in East Texas. If you live in East Texas and do not know Caleb Pirtle III, chances are you haven't been in the field very long. Caleb is everywhere. But so is his website, Venture Galleries. It's hard to really say what Venturer Galleries is. It's a website that helps promote authors, but it's so much more than that, really. Caleb's passion is seeing authors succeed. And he will do just about anything he can to make that success happen. Venture Galleries is his main tool. You can find out more about Venture Galleries here: https://venturegalleries.com/about-venture-galleries/
If I were to talk about all the passionate people I know, we'd be here a long time. But the point is that PASSION drives life. Where there is passion, there IS life. And these people make my life better. Them and the many people I did not have time nor space to mention. Rest assured if you are in my life and did not see your name here, I DO recognize everything about your passion and may just take the time to mention you in a future blog. Passion makes me happy. Passion makes me passionate.
So, what about you? What are YOU passionate about? What wakes you up in the morning? What forbids you sleep at night? What is your burning purpose in life???
What is your passion? And who, in your life, inspires you to be better?
Until next time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 25, 2017 at 8:50 PM||comments (0)|
When I created this page, I named my blog "The imperfect blog." I decided that, for the most part, I would not really edit my blogs much, when I posted them. That this would be raw, unfiltered and filled with mistakes. Well, in all honestly, I've changed that somewhat. Oh, mistakes still seep through, but I've noticed that I do tend to get a bit "editorial" with my more recent blogs. (I've made about 12 just typing that. I went back and changed those that I caught before continuing.)
Life has thrown me quite a curveball in the last couple of years. Ever since my grandfather's death in October, 2015 my life seems to be littered with health issues, business failings, familial controversy, etc etc etc.
To some of you reading this, you're probably thinking "Well, that's life, dude. Get over it." And you're right. It is life. My life was not without its tragedies while Grandpa was alive, to be sure. Afterall, Granny died 6 years before he did, leaving a gaping hole in my heart and many others. I didn't think I would recover from that, but I kept on living. Not sure if that's "recovery", but I did keep living. That's something.
That brings me to my point. Are you breathing? Is your heart still beating? Are you able to get up and leave your house? If not, are you able to log on to a computer to touch the world via facebook or other social media? Well, guess what. You're not done yet either. I talk about that a lot, don't I? But it's the truth. And I guess I keep saying it in various ways because people understand things differently. And a message that reaches one group may not reach this or that individual. Conversely, this particular post might inspire one person, just one, while making everyone else think "okay this dude is boring me now."
Folks, I want you to live your potential. Live your destiny. Live God's plan. But let me say this. Do not let anyone's expectations OF you turn into a guiding principle FOR you. You are responsible for your life. For your choices. For your outcome. Your parents' abuse is not responsible for your situation. Your grades in school or your guidance counselor's limiting advice is not responsible for your current situation or past failures. And none of it governs your future. A divorce or even the death of a mentor is not the end. It is not the end for you. If you're still breathing, you shouldn't feel stuck. You should grieve. And then you should get about living for yourself, and for those who no longer live. You should experience things they never did.
Make no mistake, people will judge you. That is why I began this blog the way that I did. To remind my readers that, in fact, I was not trying to create a perfect blog but to admit and acknowledge my failings and flaws. And people have judged me, believe me. But I don't let them dictate my self worth. I am who I am. My grandparents loved me. My friends love me. My family (living family) love me. But that does not mean I haven't known pain. I've known more than my share, believe me. I've also known my share of bullying. And that's really what inspired this blog, I think.
On social media. people love to bully others. So many actually seem to get off on it. Just a few weeks ago, I had a disagreement with this woman who lives just a few short miles from my house. I can't remember her name. Doesn't matter. The point is she read my profile and knew I was a writer. She threatened to essentially attack me in public. To tell the world that I was bullying her, when the truth is quite honestly the opposite. Imagine that. A woman bullying a man? Surely it can't be! Well, yes, it can happen and it did happen and, honestly, DOES happen to me quite a lot. People love to belittle the "poor little crippled boy", not realizing that not one ounce of my self-worth is tied up in them or their opinion of me. It's odd to think that this very fact actually makes them even angrier! They actually make it a MISSION to tear me down. It almost never works. But I must admit something about this particular woman got to me. I didn't admit it to her, to be honest. It was online. Easy to mask. But that's when my friends rushed to my aid. Not only my friends but my readers... My FANS! People I've never even met face to face! People that know me only from facebook or from the books I've written. Yeah. they came to my aid. After that, all worry was gone. I really felt God telling me, "Don't worry, Kiddo. I got this."
I encountered that woman a few days later. Oddly, she posted an agreement on the particular issue I'd commented on that day. I don't know what's up with that. I don't know if she discovered tact, or if she'd forgotten me or if she was legitimately unnerved by the many people who came to my aid in our previous encounter. Whatever it was, I'm grateful that God reminded me that it's much more important what God's word says about me than what some silly facebook troll says about me.
So, get out in the world, my friends. Put yourself out there. Dance like nobody is watching. Make your mistakes. Be silly. Be spontaneous. Be you.
And don't ever rob anyone of the you that is YOU.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on March 17, 2017 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
In 1999, I was living in Oklahoma City. I was a newlywed with big plans and bigger dreams, but very little to show for it. I was also a huge history buff. Going back to the 3rd or 4th grade, I have pretty much always been interested in knowing more about my family history. Fast forward to 1999. My dad's uncle contacted me regarding his own genealogy efforts, having talked with my dad about my internet searches. At the time, mine had come up relatively empty. I'd managed to trace back a few lines to the early 1900's or even the mid 1800's, but that was about it.
Thanks to my great uncle, that changed. Soon, I had several of my dad's lines traced back to the 1500's and even earlier. (One originally connected to charlemagne, but that proved to be a false lead. Thus is the nature of internet genealogy where everybody is a genealogist and almost nobody is a researcher.)
Soon, I began to find some actual leads that led me to actual people in my actual family line. And believe me when I say I was actually quite happy to be able to confirm that.
Still, one line had me at a loss. Oddly, it was my namesake line. See, while my Great Uncle John D Hancock had information on lines such as Bouknight and Caffey going back to the 1600s and even 1500's, the Hancock line seemingly just materialized from thin air with the Anakin Skywalker-type birth of my Great Great Great Grandfather, Isaiah Hancock. I knew he was born in Alabama, where he'd left a wife and children. I knew he'd fought in the Civil War and I knew he'd settled in Texas thereafter, because there is where he filed for his civil war pension application. But that is where the information ended. I couldn't even confirm the woman who gave birth to his son, my Great Great Grandfather, Jerry C. Hancock. I could confirm his existence. Jerry was a real person, born in 1866, dying in 1954. I know because my great uncle and great aunt and grandmother professed to meeting him. (My grandfather and namesake died in 1994. I never got a chance to find out if he had met Jerry. But they did name their first born, my uncle, Jerry, so I assume they met him.)
Jerry C's actual birth name was Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a mystery himself, but at least I could say he existed. In 2001, when I moved back to Texas, I actually managed to obtain a copy of Jerry's death certificate. Still, it appears that no such certificate existed on Isaiah Hancock. I searched for months. Before you know it, months turned into years. Finally, long about 2006, I gave up my search. In the years between 2006 and 2013, I lost touch with my great uncle. Life happens... Life is what happens when you're busy raising kids.
Then I got the news that he had passed away. He had sent me everything he had on genealogy back in 2000 or 2001. Now, in 2013, I'd essentially failed him. I'd failed to find anything of substance beyond what he had sent me. I'd found nothing to even point me to the possibile name of Isaiah's dad.
Nothing. Not a thing.
Zero. Zip. Zilch.
Fast forward to 2016. In November or December to be exact. I was talking to my friend, John, about genealogy and about Isaiah being a sticking point. He'd helped my fellow author friend find her past, so I asked him to take up the case of Isaiah, if only to see if he could do any better than I had done. He certainly couldn't do any worse, right?
The next morning, I woke to an email. "I think this is the guy."
I clicked the link to a will. I read it. There was mention of a son named Jesse. A daughter and her husband. And then I found it. A son, Isaiah, who lives in Texas.
I read it again and again. I clicked other links he sent me. Some were provable deadends. Things I could unequivically say were not my immediate family. But I had found him... No, JOHN had found him. Isaiah's Dad was a mystery no more. And what's the best part? Isaiah's dad and son shared the same name...JEREMIAH.
I honestly didn't want to believe it. How could it be that I'd searched for the better part of a decade and John had found in a single night what had eluded me all this time? At first I thought, "okay, surely he's joking. Surely this is a prank. He put this information up himself right?"
Nope. The posts were there. Some dating as far back as 2001. Others from after 2006, when I'd quit digging. I had FOUND my 4th Great Grandfather!
As John and I continued to search, we chased down several leads that suggested who his father might be. At one point, we had it traced to an immigrant killed in an indian massacre in the 1620's, but that lead did not pan out as truth.
Still, I had found Isaiah's dad. I had found him. Nearly 20 years after I began the search, but I had found him. The only sad part about it is the fact that J.D. hadn't lived to see his genealogical desires come to fruition. In many ways, I felt like I'd let him down. But, in other ways I began to understand something. Even in 2000 or 2001, he had understood he would not live forever. His brother, my namesake, had passed away in 1994. J.D. knew, as I know, that any day could be his last. So he passed the duty of the search down to me.
Odd, isn't it? As time passes, things are always passed to future generations. You pass down heirlooms like the kitchen table in my house, where once my grandmother sat as a little girl. You pass down jewelry, like the ring that same grandmother passed down to her only granddaughter, my sister. You pass down stories, like the one my dad often tells of riding a horse, or the one where he played baseball, but was a slow runner.
In many families, you pass down a legacy, like the name given to me by my grandfather. But J.D. had passed me something I did not appreciate until a couple years after his passing. He passed me the keys to unlocking the real truth to exactly who I am. Jeremiah the first seems to have been an interesting character. He bought a ton of land in Alabama, only to sell much sof it later on. He was married twice. The first wife being the mother of my Isaiah. She died when Isaiah was a boy. He grew up with his stepmother, a woman named Morning Glory Thomas. I often wonder what his life was like being raised by a woman that was not biologically his mother. He had two half siblings. A sister that shared his mother's name and a brother, Jesse. What must it have been like to have grown up in that house? Was she a good mother to him? Was she the proverbial wicked stepmother? Did she favor her own children over him and was that why he left Alabama for Texas?
These are questions that Ancestry.com cannot answer for me. Frankly, these are questions I guess I'll never answer. Not really. But, now I have a new mission. Now the mission is to find Jeremiah's father. Recent suggestions are a man named Thomas Hancock, born somewhere between 1750 and 1770. Three or four websites suggest Thomas's dad was Josiah Hancock, but one website says Josiah married a woman that already had children and did not father any children with her. That website does not connect to my Jeremiah though.
So, who are my roots? And when exactly was Jeremiah the first born? Was it 1797 or 1782, as FindaGrave suggests? How old was he when he married Isaiah's mom and how old was he when he died, 3 years after Isaiah's older brother? Every discovery leads to ten more questions. But, unlike Dr. Ducky Mallard, the dead do not speak to me.
I'll keep writing about this, I'm sure. Hopefully with more good news to report. In the meantime, may all your genealogy searches lead to a better understanding of the person you are today.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.