You can’t win them all…

My latest reviewer slammed “Sold Out” and gave it one star. And I have the honor of being the first book the person has never finished. (Now THAT’S an accomplishment!!!)

Get knocked down seven times, get up eight. : )

And in all seriousness, a review like this two or three years ago would have killed me. Absolutely crushed and devastated me.

I’m so glad so many of you have complimented my works and given me the kind of confidence that allows me to just smile at such a review.

(DO NOT COMMENT or vote down this review, please! In my opinion, the reader is always right, and he actually wrote the review in a witty way — attacking the fact that I write super-short paragraphs! BTW, that’s something I’ll never change, but it’s not for everybody. Kudos to him for taking the time to leave a review, and bringing some heat on it! Love it!)

And seriously, it’s nothing, guys. At least in this point in my career. I’m not looking for sympathy or anything. Matter of fact, I had four reviews today and this was the only negative one. (The three others were on “Mexican Heat.”)

I guess we all have to remember that you won’t make it anywhere in life without getting punched in the face a few times.

And as I love to remind myself, “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and thanks again for all that you all have done for me. You motivate the shit out of me and I hope I never let you down.

Oh, and I’m 1/3 of the way through the next Nick Woods book!!! Hope to have it done in about three months. (As a reminder, Nick Woods and the men of Shield, Safeguard, and Shelter are in Afghanistan in this book, taking down the leader of a terror movement that threatens to destabilize the entire country. Nick is being Nick. I’m cramming in a ton of action — in short chapters and graphs! And there might even be another woman.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

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Filed under Motivation

Love, faith, and service to others can be so inspiring…

Love, faith, and service to others can be so inspiring…

(Hat tip, @TheMajPain)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

2 Comments

Filed under Faith in the world, Motivation

Stephen Hunter’s tribute to Carlos Hathcock, a true American hero

I wrote last week about “Two major pieces of wisdom from Bob Lee Swagger and Stephen Hunter,” and I wanted to do a quick follow up.

A long-time reader and friend of the blog (Old Gyrene) pointed out in the comments another piece of beautiful writing from Stephen Hunter that I was unaware of.

In the piece, Hunter writes just an amazing tribute to Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, one of America’s most famous Vietnam veterans.

Here’s the piece: The sniper with a steadfast aim.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

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Filed under Marine Corps

Two major pieces of wisdom from Bob Lee Swagger and Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter crafts some of the best books out there, and he easily ranks among my favorite authors.

I studied his novels extensively as I undertook the more mature phase of my writing career in my early twenties, and I’m now re-reading “Point of Impact” for at least the fourth or fifth time.

Quick sidenote: For those who don’t know, Hunter created Bob Lee Swagger for Point of Impact, as well as the books that follow in the series. And Swagger, aka “Bob the Nailer,” remains one of the best and most iconic characters you’ll find anywhere.

Here are two major pieces of wisdom from the great Marine Sniper, Bob Lee Swagger, that I just unearthed. Please note, in both scenes he’s describing a trophy buck that lives up above him, and that he’s named Old Tim.

First piece of wisdom: Strive to be tough

“Old Tim, scarred and beat up, with many an adventure behind him. Tim would be alone, too: Tim didn’t have a harem, and didn’t need one anymore. One year Tim had had a prong of antler shot off by some lucky city dick from Little Rock and looked out of balance for a whole season. Tim had limped another whole year because Sam Vincent, not as spry as once he’d been, had held sloppy and put a .45-70 softpoint — too much gun, but Sam loved that old Winchester — into his haunches, and only bled him bad enough to kill any normal buck.

“Tim was tough, Bob knew, and that was the kindest word he had for anybody, living or dead.”

Second piece of wisdom: Live in the present

“Bob loved their magic. When he had hunted men, there was no magic. Men were stupid. They farted and yakked and gave themselves away miles before they moved into the killing zone.

“But the deer, particularly the old Ouachita stags, appeared like ghosts, simply exploding out of brushy nothingness, as if they were superior visitors from another planet. And they were superior, in their way, Bob knew: their senses were so razor keen, everything focused on the next two minutes. That was their secret. They didn’t think about the last two minutes, which had ceased entirely to exist in the second after they were experienced, had evaporated entirely. They only thought about the next two minutes. No past, no real future. There was only now.”

One final endnote. For those who hate the thought of Bob Lee Swagger killing this fine deer, fear not. Bob only shoots it with a plastic bullet designed to stun the deer. And each year, he hunts it, shoots it in the spine with this plastic bullet, and then in the few minutes that it’s immobile, he saws off its antlers.

Bob doesn’t believe in killing, and he hates the thought that scores of hunters ascend into the mountains to kill this trophy buck. So his act of hunting and removing its trophy rack is one of mercy.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

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Filed under Eastern philosophy, Motivation

Could this be the most motivating Marine Corps speech of all time?

Nearly one year ago, I intended to post this speech by Gen. Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis.

But in the stress and worry of closing our business and trying to find employment, I somehow saved the link as a “draft blog post” and never finished writing it.

I crossed its path today and re-reading one year later, the speech touched me as strongly — or stronger — than it did when I first read it.

And even if you’re not a Marine, you can learn some serious lessons from this speech. ESPECIALLY in regards to humility.

Without further delay, here’s the speech: Gen. “Mad Dog” Mattis just gave what may be the most motivating speech of all time.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

12 Comments

Filed under Marine Corps, Motivation, Random posts