Note: I'm debating whether or not to make this a weekly feature. You can find my Quora profile here.
Question: What are some amazing young adult fantasy novels/series?
My answer: I’m not going to say my young adult novels are amazing, because that’s not for me to decide, and would thus be arrogant and wrongheaded. I can say that I am very proud of them, and that I have worked very hard (thirteen years now) on them, and that those who have read them and contacted me have been very impressed.
Best of all, and for a short time, (Kindle only.) It’s about the power of friendship to save the world; and indeed, in the end, is the only thing that can.
Question: What's your take? Did Kellyanne Conway get Trump elected by making him shut up for a while?
My answer: Conway did nothing to get Trump “elected.” Trump wasn’t “elected.” He colluded with the Russian government and cheated his way into the White House. He is therefore not the legitimate president. Hillary Rodham Clinton is.
It is important that people stop calling him for that reason “President” Trump. He isn’t. Not rightfully. Not truthfully. Not morally. Not even legally. He is a squatter and must be removed by any means necessary.
It is time for revolution, folks. It’s also time to call out moronic questions like these and hammer home the point that Donald Trump is not the legitimate president of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton is.
Question: Have you seen God? Can you describe him?
My answer: I see God daily—
—in the walks I take along the Rogue River;
—in the rare decency I observe in other people;
—in the pages of a great book;
—in an inspired movie or painting;
—in the endlessly beautiful smile of my partner;
—in the birds that visit the feeders I’ve got out for them;
—in my favorite music;
—in science and scientific discoveries;
—in the starlight;
—in the heroism and activism of those who oppose despotism, especially Trump, Putin, and all like them;
—in the altruistic actions of others;
—in the peace I feel deep inside;
The list is endless. But then, it would be.
Question: Should we get rid of the evil gene? If not why?
My answer: It’s interesting how materialists try to reduce everything to matter, when, demonstrably, that is not possible.
An ‘evil gene’?
Fortunately, your scenario won’t play out.
Human beings are gifted with free will. Evil is a choice, not a gene.
Question: If you could give a 16 year old person one piece of advice, what would you tell them?
My answer: Realize that if you choose, honestly and genuinely, to do what you truly love, that the world won’t reward you. Indeed, it will punish you.
You’re on the cusp of the Great Sellout. The Great Sellout occurs as you get on from high school and enter into early adulthood, and continues for the next decade or so. The vast majority of your peers—like 99% of them—are going to sell out. They are going to deny their purpose, their true joy, their calling in life because it’s just too damn hard, to paraphrase Colonel Frank Slade from Scent of a Woman. And when they do, to continue on with his great speech, they’ll join that long, gray line of American personhood. It’s a line of utter mediocrity over lifeless, flat, desiccated land, and will utterly kill their souls, not to mention the planet, as is evident everywhere today.
Yeah, it’s “safe,” that Great Sellout. It’s what the herd wants, and so you’ll be rewarded for choosing it. Or you’ll think so.
In reality, it’s a fool’s bargain. A deadly one.
If you do what you love—if you truly, honestly, genuinely, and with all your heart and soul do what you love, get ready for a hard life. But it’s the only life worth living, believe me. It’s the only life that offers real love and friendship in return. It’s the only life that offers true creativity in return. It’s the only life that grants grace, freedom, peace, meaning, and an inestimable inner joy that has no price.
I’m not a Bible-thumping Christian, but Jesus’ words are perfect, and summarize my advice to you much better than I have done here.
Enter by the narrow gate.
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leadeth to suffering,
and those who go through it are many.
But the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leadeth to true life,
and those who find it are few.
The best of luck to you.
Question: Why don't I get upvotes? (Note: 'upvotes' are the way site members approve of another's response to a question.)
My answer: Don’t sweat getting upvotes. Release yourself from trying to be popular. Stop caring about that garbage. Trying to be popular is the same in today’s world as trying to get the attention of cattle. It simply isn’t worth it.
Focus instead on offering quality content. Focus on helping others. Focus on providing well-written answers to worthy queries—of which, admittedly, there aren’t many.
Upvotes are not an accurate measure of quality. Most heavily upvoted posts are so only because the questioner or some person answering the question gamed the system. This happens a lot with Trump supporters, who believe by doing so they can sway public opinion about their Orange Fuhrer.
Question: I've forbidden my son to visit the house of the child of Trump-supporting parents. How can I tell him why without hurting his feelings?
My answer: His feelings will probably be hurt no matter what you say, given that he is close to this other child, so simply be honest and compassionate without talking over his head.
Consider what you’d say to him were those parents criminals, or child molesters, or con artists, or swindlers, or racists, or bigots, or who were tax evaders, or who loved dictators, including Hitler, or who saw others as lesser, who condemned the poor and the downtrodden. Consider what you’d say to him were those parents guilty of treason against the United States, or were involved in organized crime. What would you say then?
Because those parents, by supporting Trump, are basically and incontrovertibly saying that they support all those horrible things. Any sane parent wouldn’t let their kids come within a hundred miles of such an abode.
Question: How can I focus on a single idea to finish writing a novel?
My answer: My answer to you is this:
Don’t write anything you’re not head-over-heels in love with. Don’t write anything that doesn’t come from the very core of your being and if it isn’t written, you will have sinned very grievously against yourself and, ultimately, the world.
If you focus on writing those things and only those things, you’ll never “get tired” of them. You’ll struggle to get them written, yes. You’ll feel exhausted many times, yes. You’ll suffer anxiety and depression, of course. But you’ll be in love, and like any relationship, you’ll learn to grow together and overcome together.
Take years, if need be, to find out what those beloved novel ideas or plots or prompts are. Then love them into being as a parent loves a child. Treat them accordingly: they come through you, but they are not yours. Give them the life they deserve.
Very simple. But easy? Not on your life. Or theirs.
Good luck; and I look forward to your first finished novel!
Thank you for reading!