Monthly Archives: May 2013

A picture too cute not to post

My wife captured this photo and shared it on her facebook, and I couldn’t resist sharing it, as well.

Clay with Sold OutHer caption for it was as cute as the photo. She said, “Clay decided that he wanted Mommy to read him ‘dis book.'”

Nice to know our crazy little warrior cat loves Marine Sniper/CIA thrillers like his Dad.

But who doesn’t like Nick Woods, the main character in the book? For that matter, who doesn’t like the book? : )

As one reviewer said, “With a go-for-broke pace fast enough to leave Lee Child choking on dust and enough gun-love to make Stephen Hunter fans pay attention, ‘Sold Out’ is a swift, relentless, bullet-riddled helping of treachery, conspiracy, and scorched earth vengeance.

“Protagonist Nick Woods is not your stereotypical hero; he’s more than a little paranoid, blunt to the point of rudeness, and is perfectly willing to blow large-caliber holes through anyone remotely associated with double-crossing him and leaving his wife dead…even if some of those ‘anyones’ are law enforcement officers just doing their jobs.

“Yeah, Nick Woods is pissed off, hellbent on vengeance, and woe to anyone who stands in his way. Author Stan R. Mitchell’s writing style is sharp, snappy, cinematic, and impacts with all the blunt force trauma of a hollowpoint to the head. If you’re a fan of action novels, you need to read this novel ASAP.” (Link here.)

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.


Filed under Stories about my life

What Are the Odds of Success? … Really?

Statistically speaking, I have no chance of making it as a big-name writer, and yet that is my stated goal. Whether I’m talking to friends or family members, I’m not afraid to say that this is my goal.

I could make a number of points as to why I personally believe it’s possible, but a skeptic could rightly refute them with ease. (And this has happened, and such thoughts are like a cancer to a hungry searcher like me. They can make even a crazy believer like me start to doubt, so I don’t usually discuss my chances much with skeptics.)

But I’m getting off my point, and my point is I have a dream and I think I can achieve it. Despite hurdles that are probably as steep as trying to make a career in the NFL, I believe it’s totally possible.

And the following article splendidly explains why. And if you have a dream, I assure you this article can apply to whatever road you’re working your way down.

Here’s the article: What Are the Odds of Success? … Really?

Read the article and get moving on your own dreams. I really think you’ll find the article very motivating.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.


Filed under Motivation, Stories about my life

Admin note about my new foreign policy blog

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday.

I wanted to make a quick admin note about the site. In the past, there have been a lot of entries about foreign policy and national security here, which didn’t mesh well with what the rest of the site was focused on.

So, I’ve launched a second site to keep up with those subjects called Marine Watch: A blog on American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps. I’d love to have any of you who are interested in those topics over there. (And just like this one, you can subscribe in the upper left corner to follow it and receive updates on when I make posts there.)

Big thanks to my good friend Melissa, who helped me see I needed to do this.

I’ll try to keep this blog to the following topics.

  • My life, with the ups and downs of my long-term dream to become a best-selling author.
  • Motivation and dreams. (Living life to the fullest).
  • Eastern philosophy. (That is, trying to balance the nut-case, Marine side of my life with the Eastern-philosophy idea of slowing down and living in the moment.)
  • And a new category that I’ll call great writing, in which I post some amazing examples of writing that I’ve across in all my reading.

Sorry for the interruption and thanks a million to all my friends who have followed me, cheered me on, and made some excellent suggestions as I keep pushing forward on this journey to (hopefully) the top. (Here’s that address again for my new blog: Marine Watch.)

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.


Filed under Random posts, Stories about my life

The gift of aggression

Talk about a post that will make you think… Wow. Take a look at this one about wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs.

The gift of aggression.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

1 Comment

Filed under Fighting and training

20 characteristics of a real man

My great friend April sent me this list called “20 characteristics of a real man” and I thought I’d share it.  She was even sweet enough to say that it was a great list, and “every one of these things describes you.”

And that’s saying a ton since April has seen so many of my faults, and seen me under more stress than I couple possibly describe. She’s seen me when I couldn’t make payroll, when I wondered if my company would survive, when I thought I’d never get my first novel done.

It’s one thing to be admired from afar, when someone doesn’t see all your shortcomings. But to be admired from a close friend who has seen you fall short so many times, that’s really one of the best feelings in the world.

But I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself though since one of the 20 items listed is:

Many of the greatest accomplishments of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”

A man gets depressed, he gets sad, he thinks about quitting and folding, but he never does. He pushes through adversity.

So, no more being hard on Stan, Stan. : ) Not to mention Danah gets so pissed when I’m super hard on myself, which I almost always am.

Without further adieu, here’s the list: 20 characteristics of a real man. Go take a look. I think you’ll find some great stuff on it.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.


Filed under Motivation

How to be an optimist

I’ve posted this once before, but it’s worth sharing again. Today, I was trying to pump myself up to counter the quite regular resistance that life places on us — yeah, even half-delusional Marines like myself can get pulled down by all the punches life delivers, not to mention the unceasing chattering from pessimists and whiners in the world.

And under my categories on this site under “Motivation,” I found this great read: How to be an optimist.

Definitely worth reading, in my opinion.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.


Filed under Motivation

Latest Amercian General believes Afghan Army will step up — For the record, I don’t

The New York Times wrote a piece in today’s paper called, “Hope Seen for Afghanistan After Coalition Exits.”

Despite the positive headline, the article starts off with an air of skepticism.

Under Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the new commander of international forces here, the American-led military coalition is no longer aiming to change Afghanistan. Its focus now is on a far more narrow goal: readying Afghan forces to withstand the Taliban regardless of the country’s looming political and economic troubles.

Clearly, a serious dose of reality is sinking in and we’ve given up on the grand idea of creating a perfectly functioning democracy.

This newest American General in Afghanistan said the goals for the military endgame come down to three questions:

Will the Afghan troops be able to assume lead responsibility for military operations? Will the Afghan security forces be able to give security to the Afghan people nationwide for the presidential elections scheduled for next April? And, will the international troops be able to transfer all authority to the Afghans at the end of 2014, when the International Security Assistance Force mission ends?

The General said “the answer is yes” to all three questions, and I’m sure the reporters (, The New York Times Bureau Chief in Kabul, and ) tried not to laugh. Being professionals, they probably pulled it off. Barely.

After letting the General get his talking points in, the reporters thankfully brought some balance to the article.

First big uh-0h: Attrition.

The army loses 2 percent to 2.9 percent of its soldiers every month, according to the Pentagon’s most recent semiannual report to Congress in December. That added up to more than 54,000 soldiers from September 2011 to September 2012, out of a total force that has hovered at barely 190,000, putting great pressure on the military’s recruiting and training operations. (Emphasis mine.)

Apparently, the Taliban doesn’t even need to fight these guys. Just sit back and watch them all go home, and bear in mind, by Afghan standards, these men make great pay.

Second big up-oh: Money.

What is less clear is how such a force could be paid for. The international community, led by the United States, has agreed to pay roughly $4.1 billion in aid per year for the Afghan security forces after 2014, based on estimates of what a smaller Afghan security contingent would cost.

I seriously doubt any of my readers believe a word the General is saying, but for those out there who may, let me remind you of the Pakistani example.

The fact is that Pakistan cannot even defeat the Taliban in its own country. And let’s not forget that Pakistan has a far more advanced military that’s fully a hundred years better equipped and trained (including attack choppers, F-16 fighters, and armored vehicles).

Several times, Pakistan has tried to advance into it’s northern regions and each and every time they’ve been embarrassed and departed just weeks later after claiming victory.

The bottom line in my opinion is that Afghanistan is headed for a civil war after we leave. That’s what it looked like before we arrived, and that’s the state it’s basically been in for years and years.

Afghanistan is a tribal country. That’s a fact, and at best the government will be lucky to control the capitol and a few other cities. If you want a serious dose of reality, read this article: Is Afghanistan headed for civil war again?

My position remains the same: Let’s get out of Afghanistan, like now.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give, a book I believe to be worth $10,000.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support. Please continue to talk about them, share links to them, and review them where you can. Oh, and don’t forget to follow my blog — you can do so by email up at the top right of the page.


Filed under Random posts