Category Archives: Stories about my life

Brief update, with loads of wisdom and motivation

Hey, guys!

I apologize for the EXTREMELY long delay since my last post! Let’s just say I’ve been going through a bit of a valley in my life (<—– massive understatement!) and it’s been so trying that I’ve struggled to stay positive as each setback piled atop the prior.

When I’m in a situation like this (super down and out), I stay silent. Especially on such a wonderful platform as this. I’m so fortunate to have a few fans and followers, and I never want to turn cynical on here. It’s hard enough to stay positive in our personal lives, but in a sacred place such as this? I’ll stick to pushing positivity and motivation, thank you very much. 🙂

As we all know too well… The world has enough negativity in it already. It’s my goal to avoid EVER adding another ounce to the pile. (Lord knows I’ve added enough already!)

I’ve debated during the past couple of months explaining what I’ve been going through, which could mostly be summed up as I’ve been life’s punching bag of late. It’s been like a Rocky fight, but you’re only about 3/4 of the way through the film. So far, all you’ve seen is Rocky getting the living crap beat out of him by a big Russian.

While I was considering this fully honest update, I wrote three different drafts of everything that’s been happening to me, but each post was long, painful, and not worth sharing. As such, I’ve decided to just leave it at this: I’m going through a bit of a valley.

You’ve all been in them. And while our details may vary a bit, we all go through them.

Hey, I’m a dreamer and I’m an artist. If you pick those courses in life, you better damn well be able to take a punch.

So, I’ve taken quite a few of late, and in truth I was due. My past couple of years have been wonderful! Frankly, it was just my time to exit my luxury suite and go work down in the hot, nasty boilers for a while.

Believe me, I’m still down there, but I think I see some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m pretty sure I’m on the way out and back to the luxury suite, where I once again do well at not taking it for granted. At least for a while! lol

The bottom line for you guys is that my super awesome, motivating posts (and possibly videos) will begin reappearing soon!

Until then, keep the faith! And let me leave a few wonderful pieces of wisdom and motivation from Sifu Shi Yan Ming, a Shaolin Monk. 🙂

  • A foolish person wishes for good things to happen to them, but fortune, success, and happiness, rarely just fall in your lap. You must grasp your life and sharpen it.
  • Do the best you can today, and do a little better tomorrow, polishing your body, your mind, and your life every day.
  • Discipline leads to joy, and joy, in turn, leads to more discipline.
  • Don’t be afraid of going slowly. Be afraid of standing still.
  • Tackle your problems. More chi. Train harder.
  • Nothing is difficult or easy in itself. We make it difficult or easy with her attitude. If you don’t want to do it, then nothing is easy.
  • Never say never.
  • When your body is weak and tired, so is your mind.
  • Strong body, strong mind. Weak body, weak mind.
  • If you find yourself getting stressed out, take a moment to relax. When you are tense, you can’t celebrate your beautiful life. Loosen up. Relax your body and your mind. And once relaxed, the task will be easier.
  • Dripping water bores a hole in rock. Little by little, you can improve and make progress. Slowly, gradually, with patience and perseverance. Not one drop. Not 10. Not 100 will bore a hole in the rock. Practice, practice, practice. Your improvement will be so gradual that you don’t even notice, but don’t give up.
  • Life is so beautiful. It may seem like a long time, but it’s very short.
  • When you are a child, you have no serious responsibilities. You are loose and relaxed and you have a lot of fun. As you become an adult, you begin to think too much, worry too much, and forget to enjoy all the beautiful things that have come into your life.
  • Life is short. Once you’re an adult, you may have 40, 50, or 80 years. That seems like a lot, but subtract the time you sleep, work, eat, spend with family, don’t feel like doing anything, etc., and how much time do you really have?
  • Get up! Life is for living. Life is action. Life is exercise. Our bodies are a gift from our parents and from Buddha. Don’t waste the gift! Use it. Free your body and your mind. Enjoy your beautiful life every day, every hour, every second.
  • If you run away from a problem or a challenge, it’s not going to disappear. It will follow you into feet you, so don’t run from your problems. Otherwise, you’ll never make progress and transform your life. Don’t turn away from it. Don’t think about it. Just do it!
  • You create your own life. You make it heaven or hell. Destiny is not something that happens to you. You make your own destiny.
  • A foolish person wishes for good things to happen to them, but fortune, success, and happiness, rarely just fall in your lap. You must grasp your life and sharpen it.
  • When you polish your body and mind, you polish your life. Your goal is to radiate calm, confidence, and peace.
  • Confidence is the most important key to success in all areas of your life. Believe in yourself. Trust in yourself. If you lack self-confidence, you can’t get the job done. You will find it difficult to succeed in any endeavor. Face your day today with the confidence that you can handle any task, solve any problem, overcome any obstacle!
  • Have you ever seen a lazy bird? There’s no such thing. Birds are constantly active, is constantly expressing their beautiful lives in songs and soaring flat. Birds are bursting with Chi and they don’t have time to be lazy.
  • Physical laziness, mental laziness, and spiritual laziness all reinforce each other. When your body has no energy, your mind is dull. You have no Chi. You have no interest in anything. You just lay around.
  • Observe birds. The beautiful, strong ones always land in the top of trees.
  • Be like birds, exploding with Chi, storing, singing, spreading their colorful wings. Express yourself through your body. Live your whole day with the same level of dedication, focused, and energy that you’re putting into your Shaolin workout. Apply the cheer of “More Chi! Train Harder!” to your whole life.
  • We always want things because we think they will make us happier, but they are just distractions in momentary fixes. True happiness comes from polishing your life. A life of action, not distraction.
  • True happiness is savoring this moment, here and now, for the beautiful gift that it is. Happiness is spreading peace and love to the people around you. That’s the Warrior’s way.

All of the quotes above are from a book I’ve been raving about for more than five years now. (See here: The greatest gift I’ve ever received: The $10,000 book that changed my life.) It remains one of the most important books in my life, so if the quotes from it pique your interest, consider checking out my link and buying yourself a copy.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Enjoy my writing or videos?! You can leave me a tip at this PayPal link. : )

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Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story. Learn more at http://stanrmitchell.com.

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Filed under Motivation, Stories about my life

Author of “Watership Down” dies…

One of my favorite authors died yesterday.

Richard Adams, who wrote “Watership Down,” died at the age of 96. (I like to think that watership_down_coverHazel, Fiver, Bigwig, Dandelion, and several other rabbits he created met him at the gates of heaven.)

Watership Down” is one of my all-time favorite books. Definitely in my Top 10. I’ve read this book probably six or eight times and bought at least three copies. (Just this Christmas, I bought one for my niece. Trust me, I’ve been waiting about four years and harassing my sister to no end, asking her if my niece is the appropriate age to give a copy.)

Not only did “Watership Down” inspire me to have rabbits as a kid, I also bought two rabbit bookends a few years back because of the book.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, last Christmas my sister-in-law ordered a hardback from the UK that he’d actually signed. (Now I’m more thankful than ever that she did that.)

Yeah, it’s kind of sick how obsessed I am with that book. I hate to hear he’s died… 😦 And I think it’s every author’s wish that we could write a book that makes such an impact.

watership-down-collage

A photo of my signed book, other copies, and one of the bookends that I had to buy (and now treasure a little too much).

One final thing to add, as if all the above isn’t bad enough… Danah often calls me her “bunny goat,” because I’m infatuated with rabbits and also as stubborn and hard-headed as a goat.

Honestly, the nickname is pretty accurate. I mean, I’m just crazy about rabbits. I’ll be driving and constantly scanning the yards around my home for them. And when I see them, I often pull over and just watch them. Or shoot a quick video on my phone.

It’s also true that I’m as stubborn and hard-headed as a goat. (Only a hard-headed goat would start a newspaper and think it’s a good idea to spend a quarter of their working life trying to make it pay off…)

Sorry, guys. I’ve rattled on too long, which is the classic sign of a writer who’s too close to something. But, clearly, I’m too close to this topic.

If you’ve never read the book, check it out. And if you have kids in about seventh or eighth grade, and especially if they hate reading, hand them a copy of this book. It’s probably the primary childhood book that completely hooked me on reading as much as I did.

Here’s the link again: “Watership Down.” (For those wondering about child-appropriateness, my school required us to read it in 8th grade. I’ve also seen online that some schools require it in 7th grade. So those two facts are probably pretty good guides on whether your kid is the right age or not to tackle it.)And if you’re an adult, I think the book will blow you away as well. It’s that good.)

Oh, and if you’re an adult, I think the book will blow you away as well. It’s that good.

Just be prepared to become obsessed with rabbits after reading it… 🙂

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Enjoy my writing or videos?! You can leave me a tip at this PayPal link. : )—————————

Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.

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Filed under Random posts, Stories about my life

Writing update for the week of 9/12/16

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well! Wanted to update you with where I was on several writing projects, especially since it’s been forever since I put up a post. And since I get pretty regular emails from folks asking for updates on my books and release dates.

So, I’ll tackle them in the following order: Nick Woods 4, Detective Danny Acuff 6, Little Man 2, and two new projects none of you know about. : )

Nick Woods 4

The Nick Woods 4 book is fully written and in edit mode. I’m hearing it’s pretty good from my absolute toughest critic (my wife!), and she’s currently helping me flesh out some characters.

As my close friends know, I’m a plot guy. Action. Gun fights. Etc. Danah is more a character person. Why did this character do this? Let’s make this scene funnier. Let’s amp up this argument. Etc.

Without question, this book will be done by Oct. 15. That’s the deadline for when Audible is expecting it and:

A ) We’ve already pushed back the date once.

B ) We’ve already “cashed the check!” D’oh! lol. (Okay, it was direct deposit, but doesn’t “cash the check” sound so much better?!)

Bottom line, Nick Woods 4 drops Oct. 15 unless the Marine Corps calls me back into service.

Admin note: If you haven’t started the series, begin here with Book 1, Sold Out. And if you’re not aware there’s a Book 2, Mexican Heat, and Book 3, Afghan Storm, then you seriously need to subscribe for blog updates and keep up better. If Nick knew you weren’t paying attention, he’d knock you upside the head.

Detective Danny Acuff 6

I had pledged to stay on the Detective Danny Acuff series with greater focus, getting you all the sixth book much faster than I have with earlier editions. And that was certainly my intention.

But I wanted Book 6 to have a hand-to-hand showdown between Danny and Forrest Holding, the prior Green Beret Sergeant Major.

As readers of the series know, there was a multi-chapter hand-to-hand scene between Danny and four brutes in Book 5. I wanted something similar in Book 6, but instead have the fight between Danny and the bear-like Forrest. But how do you get two men who would ALWAYS typically be toting pistols into a hand-to-hand situation, where they slug it out until only one is standing?

That’s what held me up for several weeks. I emailed friends. I called old gun-toting Marines who have helped me in the past. I knew I needed to get the book out, but I didn’t want to let go of what could be a pivotal, incredible scene.

It took me nearly forever, but I’ve finally worked it out, even though it led to a much greater delay than I would have preferred.

Regardless, I’ll get that to you guys as quickly as I can.

Admin notes: If you haven’t jumped on board the series, you can begin with Books 1-3 here. And here are the links to Book 4 and Book 5 in case you missed them.

Little Man 2

I had hoped to have Little Man 2 written by now, but I got 10,000 words into it and wrote myself into a corner. I’m not an outliner (nor is Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, or about a dozen others), so don’t judge me.

Regardless, I had to come up with a different idea for the villian since I came to realize my original plot just wasn’t exciting and epic enough. I’ve since been lucky enough to come up with an incredible idea that’s beyond ambitious and should have people talking about this book when I finish it. Give me a couple months or so and it’ll be done.

Admin note: If you haven’t read book 1, you’re missing out on a pretty good book. SOME say it’s my best ever. Just try the sample on Amazon. I dare you.

New project 1

I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the TV and book sensation written by George R. R. Martin. I was recently re-reading the series (I’m always re-reading books and studying them) and decided to finally pursue a small nagging thought that had been bugging me for years.

Namely, I’m going to write an epic fantasy. Swordfights. Charging warhorses. Kings in castles.

I have no idea how it’ll do, but I’ve come up with an incredible premise: what if a young man from a poor district decided NOT to do what he was supposed to do, which in this case is become a blacksmith; what if he wanted to carry a sword and see the world? How long would he live? How would all this change him? How far could he go?

I’ve already begun work on this and will be releasing it in serial installments. There’s a couple reasons for doing so: One, I don’t want to spend five years on something that might completely flop. Two, it’s far less audacious to write sixty or eighty pages at a time than write eight hundred, especially when you have to keep several other series going that currently pay the bills.

One lesson I’ve learned with serials is I’m done with cliffhangers. Each serial from here on out with no longer have some massive, leave-you-hanging ending. Those seem to work on TV and Netflix, but they don’t seem to translate as well to books.

So Book 1 will be his leaving from home and landing as a foot soldier. I’m honestly pretty excited about this project and get a little nervous about how epic it could be.

New project 2

This is a total “me” project. It will probably totally flop, but sometimes we have to write for ourselves (same as new project 1). 

This is about a Shaolin Monk who comes to America. It’ll be about an American who leaves the United States to get away from the busyness of our culture and a nasty divorce and business bankruptcy.

Just as the man finds peace and his place in the world in China, his master asks him to come to America. With no money. No destination. No goal except to go into the poorest, most dangerous areas and help those in need while spreading light and goodness.

This project will be somewhat similar to the TV Kung Fu series with David Carradine (Kwai Chang Caine).

I seriously have ZERO expectations about this project, but I’ll be releasing it in serial form (without cliffhangers) as well.

A parting gift

And for those amazing supporters who read down this far, I’m leaving you with a pretty amazing gift. This video completely blew me away. Be prepared to laugh is all I can say. (Hat tip, Kristina.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

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Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.

4 Comments

Filed under Stories about my life