Monday, October 20, 2014

FROM THE SECOND FLOOR #6

PROMOTE SOMEONE ELSE

I have always been a firm believer in helping others achieve their goal. Amazing things happen when you pay forward and assist others travelling along the same road you are on.

When I was, younger I thought there was no way to help others when you are struggling to reach the same goal. There wasn’t time to help someone else.

I was wrong. One of my studio story editors taught me a few lessons. Help others write a good script, and it helps you grow inside and out.

When I started writing novels, I decided to help others whenever I could, and it has paid off in spades.

You can sell thousands of books and still be on an island all by yourself. Or you can read as many books from unknown authors as you can and then review them – encourage the writer and help when you can.

Promoting someone else is a gift we all have, but most seldom use or choose not to lift a finger to help another writer find his or her audience. I believe when you help others you are also helping the goal you seek to reach.

First I acknowledge I love to read all different genres. I read children’s book with the same enthusiasm I do a thriller. I do have favorites, but never allow those to stop me from looking at the work of others. I thoroughly enjoy finding a raw talent writing his or her first book. Maybe the book was written several years ago, and few noticed it. The writer got discouraged and stopped writing. I read the book and see as well as feel the excitement the author had when the words hit the page. Some grammar mistakes have never stopped me from enjoying the story as I remember only too well being told the story is what counts. I remember being drilled with tiny and constant thoughts that repeated over and over – the story, story, and then the story.

Admittedly I make many mistakes in the grammar department. I can blame it on as many others as I can think of and yet I know it’s me and only me. I’ve hired editors. I’ve re-edited and stepped away from the work. When I return, I discover more reasons to edit some more. When it reaches the print stage along comes a reader or two (perhaps more), and they see the errors of my way. Sadly most of these critics didn’t see, feel or read the story. The grammar spoiled it for them, and I do understand how some can get lost with a mistake. I see it in films all the time – a visual mistake can pull your attention away from the screen for a moment. The other side of this issue is, a good film with some small mistakes is still a good film. It goes on to make money and win awards and everyone forgets about the mistakes.

When a book is printed this happens as well, but sadly a few bad reviews pointing out the mistakes and saying nothing about the story can crush a writer and the spirit of putting words to the page.

I read a book as though I’m on a treasure hunt. I can skip over missing commas, periods, quotation marks and misused words if the story is there. When I find a great story I get lost within all the grammar errors are forgotten, and I silently applaud the writer for a job well done. Later I’ll read a review of that same book and see several terrible reviews that tear the book apart over the grammar errors. Most of these reviews say nothing of the story or the hard work that went into putting all those words on the page. Many reviews written are by non-writers, and the labor of putting words to the page gets lost. My heart breaks easily when this happens. I know how hard it is to write a book. It takes lots of time and thought. A manuscript is truly a labor of love. Writing a screenplay is tedious and visual. Maybe script writing is shorter and harder to write. A novel takes time, weeks, months and even years to complete. The work of a writer is never easy. A careless critic demanding perfect grammar can destroy an author's pride. The work of a storyteller can easily shatter. Once the enthusiasm has been bruised a million wonderful words lovingly placed on each page gets ignored and the whole of a great story missed.

When I find a great story I talk about it. I help promote it and encourage other writers to do the same. I tell everyone who will listen when you promote another writer, that writer and his, and her friends will promote back. Every ten books you promote to help others the number explodes becoming a hundred helping you back. It’s as though a pyramid as been created just for you even though you started it by caring enough to say something good and encouraging to a struggling author.

I recently read a book by an author living in the UK. The book was a year old, and I’d never heard of it. I devoured the pages with the enthusiasm of a hungry child wanting another cookie. The book being well received in the U.K. had not been discovered here. I loved it, wrote a 5-star review and now look for other books by the author. The book title is “The Doll’s House” by Louise Phillips. I seek ways to help promote her name and this book in the U.S. just to let other writers know how something quite different can spark the mind and the imagination.

Louise Phillips isn’t the only writer I promote because my list is long and grows daily. I watch what other writers do to promote not only their books, but also the books of others. When you pay attention to a successful promotion, you see how it works. As an example check out the success of Russell Blake, Jinx Schwartz, Emmy Swain, R.S. Guthrie, Martin Crosbie, Tony Dunbar, Don Mize, Shayne Leighton, T.G. Brown, Nancy Lee Parish or Deborah Brown. There is a whole list of other successful writers, young, older, male and female who know how to put different genres on page. The above list includes thrillers, mysteries, children’s books, fantasy, vampire, and drama. Each of these writers has written reviews and done promotion for other writers. What goes around comes around.

Remember if you love to read as you do write, it’s easy to create a list of your favorite writers. Watch how they do business, promotions and see why they help others.

Some writers only talk about their work while others talk about books, writers and great stories they just read.

When you read, your next book think about the story first. See how far you get into the book, the story and the characters without noticing other issues. Reading is fun. It’s an escape from the daily anger and trouble around the world. Movies take us away visually while a great book captures our heart and soul and takes us on the whole journey not a visual shortcut.

Grammar is important, and I’m not saying we should ignore it, but the story is what takes us on our journey and keeps us there to the last page. I’ve read thousands of books, probably the same amount of screenplays, and I always look for the story. I love to get sucked in on the first few pages and stay there. As a filmmaker, I am guilty of reading scripts that quickly take and imagination in the first five pages. By page 10, if I’m not immersed I pass and move on. I know many readers of novels feel the same way, but in the book the set up is quite different and the more you know, the more you want to read. It still all comes back to the story.

Two famous best selling authors I read recently and have enjoyed most of the books they have written make mistakes. I know they have editors and big publishing houses and then more editing – and yet in their last two books I’ve seen errors, typos, and misspelled words. Even with all the help they have, some typos were missed. Did it stop me from reading their book? The answer is no. Was I disappointed? Again the answer in no and the reason is the story. It got me, kept me and pleases my hungry appetite. My reason for bringing this up is so you won’t give up when someone catches a mistake and makes a big deal out of it.

Promote your book and then pick a few other works by authors you may or may not know about and promote their books. Write a review for books you like and for those you didn’t like. I do this all the time. I’ll read a book and while I don’t like the subject or style find it well written and worthy of saying a few nice things about it.

Promote someone else and watch what happens. Join groups that help writers and promote their work as they promote yours. Your audience will open up; your writer's voice enjoyed, and the books you write will find new homes.

For the love of writing and all those who put words to the page – hats off to you all.

William Byron Hillman © 2014

My new IAN page is: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/william-byron-hillman.html

Just released:
HOAX – Prematurely Terminated a thriller
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KUZY7AY
 
On Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@QuigleyMovie
Website: http://www.williamhillman.com
Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/williamhillman
Twitter Page http://www.twitter.com/@whillman 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BillHillman1

Book Links:
Dream Searcher http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EC19DJW
Let's Sue ‘Em http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009M9E790
Veronique and Murray: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0071F05MU
Zebra's Rock and Me http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004PL08LM
Quigley's Christmas Adventure http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANVNQ6G
In development Veronique and Murray's Honeymoon

Rollie Kemp Novels
Ghosts and Phantoms Part I: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056WR6I6
Ghosts and Phantoms Part II: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056WR7YE
APRIL: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008G50NLM
Bad Rap: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DNIHCYI
Hoax – Prematurely Terminated
In editor’s hands - Looting

In editorial – Cheater

My next planned film is:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure
www.quigley2.com
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#5 FROM THE SECOND FLOOR


MY WRITER TOOL BAG

There isn’t a day goes by I don’t learn something new. So, for those of you of think you know everything – you don’t.

That said, I discovered a few tools lately, and they were right in front of me for a long time. I just didn’t look. We all know writers are stubborn by nature. We like to do things our way and only look for help as a last resort.

As a kid, I wrote short stories and edited the school newspaper. I knew things others didn’t, and that’s not always a great pair of shoes to walk in on a hot day at the beach. You create shortcuts and get in a lot of bad habits. I did get a lot of laughs and assumed I could write about anything. A big head can go a long way.

Then I grew up and relocated to Hollywood. The actors in me struggled but the writer – you know that “other guy” in my head thrived. I sold my first screenplay and remembered sharing with close friends how good and easy it was. What did I know? Aside from knowing everything, I assumed selling the next script would be just as easy as the first. My only excuse was – I was a kid who didn’t know any better. I was also wrong.

My grandfather taught me you never give up when you know the direction you walk in is the right way. I was stubborn and grew thick skin. Rejection was a middle name, but I learned some great lessons along the way. Eventually, I found my niche and became a produced screenwriter. I also had to understand when you sell a script it doesn’t mean it will reach the big screen. Most don’t get their green light. I once again found tools right in front of me I hadn’t seen or used yet and when I did – everything changed.

Along the way, my agent kept telling me to write a novel or two and use some of the screen stories I had created for the base. It took years for me to listen to that advice. I didn’t know how to write a novel. There is a huge difference in-between the art of screenwriting and the compelling ability of completing a manuscript.

Sometimes you write a screenplay, sell it, and after the first, second, or third option runs out the script goes into turn-around. If the studio or production company that purchased, the script doesn’t exercise the final step to complete the purchase – the film rights return to the writer.

Unfortunately, the turnaround option happens quite frequently. I know many screenwriters who make a good living selling scripts that never get produced. It’s not what you want, but it pays the bills.

On one of those occasions, my agent reminded me again. If the studio readers liked the story and script well enough to talk the studio into putting up options money to obtain screen rights, the story must be good. He suggested I to turn it into a novel. He didn’t mention I should look for a few new tools to help me.

Now, after writing several published books I still seek tools to help me learn more. Like I said, you learn something every day if you pay attention. Some of my writer friends were joining groups and clubs to help find their audience. I joined a few, and then I found this one place called Author’s Marketing Club. I checked it out and found over 16,000 authors belonged to the club, so I joined.

I wanted more tools. My writer tool bag is full, but there is always room for more. As a screenwriter I know how to excite the reader, make a strong pitch and write a compelling script. I have sold or optioned over 30 scripts. It’s never easy, and my filing cabinets prove it. I’ve probably written several hundred scripts over the years, and we all know or can guess where most found their resting place – buried in one of my cabinets. What I needed was an author’s tool. I knew there was more than one tool, but you have to start at square one when you enter the tiger’s den with little knowledge of how to feed the hungry animals. I didn’t know how to find my audience, my author’s voice, or basic promotional tools every writer needs. These tools are completely difference than the ones I’ve used all my life. Screen vs. Book and therein lies the battle of confusion. In a screenplay, it is mostly showing a very little fine-tuned selected and tell. In the book, it is all tell, describe, and tell more. Once you find the handle and can tell the difference, you need new tools.

Now my writer tool bag has made more room for all the exciting gifts I am receiving from Authors Marketing Club. There is so much stuff offered you need time to digest all the potential help that is waiting to be explored. How to get reviews is one. They not only tell you what tools you need but provide the main tool to enhance your chances. They don’t get the reviews, but your manuscript and talent are given the basics and shows you how to get it done. They help with advertising, guide you through a book description, offer tidbits of how, where and when to promote, offer workshops for marketing, book writing, cover creation and more. Tools are what you find here that are almost impossible to find elsewhere. When you join as a Premium Member, you get a bag of tools, and many of them are priceless.

Now I know you’re asking – do I work for Authors Marketing Club? The answer is no. I discovered early in my career to helping other writers, filmmakers and actors. You help them, and they remember and will help you back. Sometimes the pay-forward takes years, but the memory is long and a wonderful tool – we never forget kindness or assistance. When you promote your book or help someone else just adding the hash-tag #amcbuzz to a tweet or Facebook announcement creates amazing things, and you get to watch them happen. Even if you belong to other clubs or groups, you help them, and they will help you. To help fill your writer's tool bag, I suggest you join the Authors Marketing Club http://www.authormarketingclub.com and become a Premium Member.

My Writer Tool Bag still has room to learn more, and I’m constantly making room for additional space. Remember – give a fellow writer a virtual hug and that small helping hand will reap untold rewards.

 Copyright © William Byron Hillman 2014

Just re-released with new cover and edits:

Ghosts and Phantoms 1 – the first Rollie Kemp Mystery

New Release:
HOAX – a Rollie Kemp Mystery #5
 

Book Links:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANVNQ6G
In editorial – Cheater
In development Veronique and Murray's Honeymoon

Rollie Kemp Novels
Ghosts and Phantoms Part I: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056WR6I6
Ghosts and Phantoms Part II: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056WR7YE
In development Con Job

My next planned film is:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure
www.quigley2.com
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)

Monday, August 25, 2014

#4 FROM THE SECOND FLOOR

FROM THE SECOND FLOOR #4

Where do I get all those characters I write about?

I recently joined several writing groups like the Independent Author Network better known as #IAN1 for new members and those wishing to connect and spread their wings. They created a web page and new presence for me. The link to my new page is: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/william-byron-hillman.html

I also joined several other groups that included Author Marketing Club where you can grab some unique information and help on an entirely different platform from IAN. The difference is amazing and thus the reason you join both not just one. Author Marketing Club helps with book covers, free book markets, reviews and more. They too have an hashtag #amcbuzz I add to Twitter and Facebook.

Interesting how you can add your site on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn include your username and add these hashtags. Your audience goes right to things you've written, tweeted, posted or can see the books you have available, and read about them.

Right after joining came the questions, so I sat down and gave it some thought. I started hearing questions never asked before, lots of emails from fellow writers and new scribblers asking for details, and filmmakers wanting to know the how and why things happened as they do.

Looking back, I had a wonderful grandfather who taught me many things. I grew up in a totally dysfunctional family where learning and listening was painful at best. My parents were too busy with their lives to pay much attention to their kids. Grandpa, feeling the stress, would take me outside to get away from the commotion. In the beginning, he read to me. He didn't read children's books; he read novels and at times just the newspaper.

When I was old enough to read and write, grandpa would spend hours sharing a story from a book or reading what he had asked me to write. It was all gibberish, but he read every word and then we would talk about what I had written.

When I got older, he started telling me personal stories about his youth. He colored the trouble he ran into and detailed the vivid explanation of the travelling he did around the country. His memory was full of color and excitement, and I heard enough to fill hundreds of books. I questioned him about a few stories as they were hard to believe, but the more he spoke the more I realized my grandfather was an encyclopedia from the past. His street life stuff was what most people never talk about, and seldom share in their written experiences.

Today one of the first questions people ask is – where did I get the idea to write that book, TV script or motion picture screenplay? How do I come up with all the characters, the plots, the sub-stories and the background for my characters? I usually answer by explaining we all have a past to pull from, even if some of it is on the dark side, and that's where I get most of my material. When I feel tapped out, which seldom happens, I visit a local mall. Just buying a cup of coffee or tea and sitting in the middle of the food court can provide information you'd never get asking questions from strangers. It's an excellent source of material.

My dad was this mysterious guy who never talked about his youth. The only way I learned a little of who he was or what he may have done was to sneak into our dark dining room, hide under the table and listen to what he said to men visiting. My mom and grandpa always disappeared when dad got visitors, so I knew it was important stuff. Dad did some accounting for a crime boss named Al Capone. Al and my dad were never close friends because all I heard them talk about was business. Dad didn't mow people down or carry a gun that I knew of, he used his brains to move money around, start businesses and make investments. He helped them figure out how to loan money legitimately. Not everyone listened, and eventually big Al was caught cheating on his taxes. The IRS got him for tax evasion when law enforcement couldn't touch him for committed crimes. I heard some great material while hiding under that table.

When I decided I wanted to be a singer, turned actor, turned writer and then developed into a full blown filmmaker/author I met with people from all walks of life. One man in particular was my mechanic. I owned this old Mercedes Coupe and it needed special care and constant repairing. My mechanic was from Italy and a real character with endless stories just as my grandfather had been. One day my mechanic said his cousin had a great story that should be a movie. He said he'd make the repairs to my timing chain free if I listened to his cousin's story. Even back then the repairs where hundreds of dollars so I agreed to meet the cousin. This became one of the best meetings I ever attended. His name was John, and it turned out he was an active FBI Agent. I soon learned he had been a cop, worked for the CIA, became a Secret Service Agent for a "tour" as he called it, and then joined the bureau. John became a plethora of material, and more stories came right from some of his cases and arrested records. I learned the ins and outs of major crime investigations, and heard stories about crimes so off the charts I could never have thought about creating them for a story.

John couldn't pick just one to start with because he had hundreds all recorded on approximately fifty audio tapes. Before we could pick just one story to begin with, John died from Lou Gehrig's disease. After giving his life a lot of thought, I rolled the whole idea into one character. I didn't use all of his background or name and kept it all original using only the parts that had helped him develop into such a crazy wonderful character. When the dust settled I had a new character I named Rollie Kemp. He came from a crime family but ran from it at an early age. He studied law, got married, divorced for various important reasons, and went into the police academy to try his hand at being a cop. The idea of busting bad guys instead of being one was appealing because his old man was a wiseguy. I couldn't make it that easy so Rollie's police career got interrupted by a drunk driver, so my character got a sensational settlement from an accident. I liked the fact he became well healed so whatever job I gave him wasn't for money. I also wanted him to get well enough to get around and be quick. Now that I had messed up his whole life my strong, muscular, attractive character needed to try something exciting, so he turned to acting. He wasn't about to become a great actor but had one hell of an explosive temper, and that got the attention of Drake Fargo. Pleased with the developments, I had two guys coming from entirely different backgrounds bucking heads. Drake is ex-CIA, FBI, Navy Seal and a Special Forces member. He got fed up with the system and started a superlative detective agency. Now all the studios and celebrities hired him and with the power of a couple of the computer keys he became the go-to guy for the rich and powerful. I wanted a big presence so I molded Rollie into a muscular six feet five inches of movie star handsome while Drake would be six feet eight or nine, and three hundred pounds of pure potential brutality. The two men couldn't maintain the same temperament so I gave Rollie a temper suited for anger management and messed with Drake so he could have a mixture, mild one moment and controlled-explosive the next.

When I wrote the first book Ghosts and Phantoms-I, there had to be more of the same problem. They were fun together, so I did a continuation of the original case in Ghosts and Phantoms II.
I realized Rollie was magnetic from reader responses, so he became the standout partner even though he didn't start having a clue how to hold a gun - bad enough shoot one. The third book APRIL changed all that. Rollie was force-fed into taking his first case without Drake and falling into a swirling pool of corruption, evil and death.

I took a break to write a few other books, but Rollie and Drake we only beginning their rollercoaster ride.

In the fourth Rollie Kemp Novel – BAD RAP – Rollie once again barrels right into the fire and stays there for the entire book. Why make the character have an easy time when it's more fun to keep him in constant trouble? Rollie thrives on trouble much like the real life character John did. What made John's engines churn are the same as what motivates Rollie – overcoming evil while staying righteous and towing the line. Sure a step over the line happens. It did with John as it does for all law enforcement officers, but the real guys always step back in resolution.

I remembered something John told me about a case he worked. He busted a drug dealer only to have that guy return years later with a vendetta grown completely out of proportion from being in prison with nothing else to think about. He came after John with vengeance and miraculously survival came in the form of a little unexpected help.

Keeping that I mind, I wrote book five – HOAX and gave it a sub-title Prematurely Terminated. Using a loose filament of John's experience, I took Rollie's youth and his troubled past, and brought it all together. While he does most of the work, Drake with his wounded foot new wife and pouty attitude gets totally involved. I wanted the bizarre to happen. The reader demanded to know more about the wild and crazy characters accumulated previously. I found a way to incorporate and bring some colorful characters back to life. Bits and pieces of the previous four books roll into an adventurous escapade. We travel around the world in trouble. Rollie not only has his hands full, but his personal life comes back to bite him once again.

Is Rollie done? Not a chance. He's just getting started, and I intend to pull from his confused and very complicated past to continue his journey. The Rollie Kemp mystery series will continue with the fun, the crazy and some dark moments to create a pause and enable the reader to think and recall incidents that answer questions from previous escapes and adventures.

Try pulling from the past for your book or screenplay. It's delicious fun.

William Byron Hillman © 2014


Just released:
HOAX – Prematurely Terminated a thriller
 
My next planned films are:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)


Book Links:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANVNQ6G
In development Veronique and Murray's Honeymoon

Rollie Kemp Novels
Ghosts and Phantoms Part I: http://tinyurl.com/6wxef7g
Ghosts and Phantoms Part II: http://tinyurl.com/d7mtspu
Hoax – Prematurely Terminated
In editorial – Cheater

Just released:
HOAX – Prematurely Terminated a thriller
 
My next planned films are:
Quigley's Christmas Adventure
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

FROM THE SECOND FLOOR #3

FROM THE SECOND FLOOR #3

I just heard on the CNN that food prices have gone up 26% over the last 12 months, and I had to scramble up to the Second Floor to check things out. Gasoline is up 100% from where it was 4 years ago. I wondered what the average yearly income was for someone collecting Social Security and found it to be $12,000. Being nosey, I checked out what a soldier is risking his life for our safety made each year. On average, a soldier’s pay is $38,000. Law enforcement and firefighters don’t make much more yet what would we do without them?

Things look different from the Second Floor.

Yesterday I was in line to pick up a prescription and watched an elderly man struggle at the cash register. He asked the pharmacist if he could buy a third of the pills needed because he couldn’t afford the whole prescription. He explained he had insurance, but they didn’t cover this drug and neither did Medicare. He left with sadness I hate to see. Too proud to accept help and too humiliated being in the position his life journey had taken him.

I thought, “What the heck is that all about?” If a doctor prescribes a particular drug shouldn’t it be covered or at least partially covered? Just thinking about it made me mad.

I know we can’t cover everyone, but there is a need here for better care. I have a neighbor who is missing half his teeth. We got into a conversation about it the other day, and he explained he was on Medicare. Proudly he worked all his life for the railroad. They provided him with limited secondary coverage, but that doesn't cover dental and neither does Medicare. He smiled and said he’d rather eat and keep the roof over his head than save enough for dental implants. A mouthful of dental implants can cost between 30 and $40,000. When he laughed, he covered his mouth so others wouldn’t see the missing teeth. The incident, as the first one had done, made me furious.
 
The entire situation got me into a thinking mode, and it’s scary when I go too deep with these thoughts.

Looking down, as I like to do, I see problems others pay little attention to or don’t want to know about too much.

On the news, there are lots of talk about all these new people coming into the country, and sadly they are not all children. I’m a big fan of being humanitarian about many things. I love to help a stranger. I donate to charitable causes that  spend the donated money to help others as they are supposed to do, and nothing would make me feel better then to help when I can. That said, we now have over 100,000 people without language skills, homes, food and more.

I am proud to be an American. America is the greatest country in the world. We are a strong nation full of noble, generous people, but I’m getting scared that no one is watching the store or our borders.

That said, better look around our own country might in the long run be a good idea. We have many problems here that no one seems to care about them or refuses to address the issues by correcting them one way, or another.

Like many in the entertainment industry, we travel and get to meet people in all walks of life. The one sure thing is, you don’t have to be BLACK, WHITE, or BROWN to be poor. Being impoverished comes in all flavors and does not discriminate. We have millions of people living in our country that are a citizen, born here and remain destitute. They have less than nothing, and some  starve so their children can eat. We have military veterans living in disgrace on the street, handicapped individuals who have been all, but discarded, and  thousands living in actual poverty in conditions even alley rats find disgusting.

That said, let’s try to keep politics out of the entire mess. It easy to do in this case because, frankly speaking; I’m sure not who is to blame. Is it the Congress for another failure? Is it the Senate for turning a blind eye, or is it people hired to help work with the issues that are so corrupt and incompetent? The one thing I know for sure is no one is doing anything about it. I also know both members of Congress and the Senate pure billions of dollars into stupid causes to satisfy their constituents and individual deep pocket supporters so they can stay in office. That doesn’t help the rest, those in dire need to pay for housing, gas, clothing, medicine and dental care. Some serious changes need to take place immediately.

We have people collecting a tiny retirement from Social Security. People who worked all their lives but never made enough to invest in any other type of savings program. Each gave weekly, and gladly parted with the mandatory fees taken for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, knowing they would retire safely and supposedly have enough to survive when the time came to retire. They also counted on having medical care because they had been paying for it for many years. The payments were voluntary – they were mandatorily taken out of each check. Sadly all of this is true, and what is currently being paid out would have been ten or twenty times that if that same amount of money had been put into a simple savings accounts at local banks. The money wasn’t, however, and now they are stuck getting pennies to buy food, pay rent or mortgages, buy gas and pay for utilities and this is hardly enough to go around and each year it gets harder.

Most of these people do not have supplemental insurance and must pay additional fees to buy it from the government. Medicare and Medicaid are not free to poor people so on top of what was taken out of their checks when they were working, wasn’t enough and more is needed.

Okay, I’ll step off the bandwagon but I’m staying up on the Second Floor.

Back to the issue at hand: Someone in our government has found billions yes billions with a capital B, to house, feed and care for our new visitors. Many of these visitors will stay and continue to collect more than our very citizens living here can, and that’s not right.

Don’t get me wrong. I am as big a humanitarian as anyone. All for helping those in need but shouldn’t there be a pecking order? Shouldn’t we be looking out for our own first? The poor, the vet’s, those that worked and served our country all their lives and now find it impossible to make ends meet? Shouldn’t they come first? Shouldn’t “our poor” come first?

If we can give housing, medicine and food to people flooding across our borders, don’t we own those already living here the same thing? Hello? Is anyone listening?

I need someone to tell me why a person can walk into our country and receive dental care, housing, clothes, food and shelter free – when our own citizens can’t get any of it or make ends meet?

I need someone to tell me why dental isn’t paid for in Medicare or Medicaid? If we can find billions to send to countries who hate us and billions more to feed and house people crossing our borders we can find billions to help our own.

I need someone to tell me why those struggling on Social Security haven’t received a decent raise? In reality, they should be receiving 100% more than they get now. Maybe, that is not enough either as everything around us gets costlier? The annual raise should rise with the cost of living index and taken from all the frivolous things we waste money doing.

Is it the public who is at fault for working all their lives? Everyone has had funds taken out of their checks, and all heard it was for their golden years. Social Security was created to build a retirement nest egg. Sadly when people arrive into their golden years they discover someone in the government “borrowed” all their savings. So, while no fault of their own they will only get pennies on the dollar? Don’t we put the heads of corporations in jail for doing this to stockholders?

So, if we can afford this humanitarian movement, and can afford to give untold billions to countries that hate us, we can afford to find billions for the poor. Instantly an increase should be given to those collecting a pittance in Social Security. The veterans who risked their lives to keep us safe and secure need to know they can live a healthy life. Those who never had a chance to know what a comfortable life meant  because they worked the only jobs they could find shouldn't have to suffer at the end of life's journey. Not everyone can figure out or gets the opportunity how to retire in comfort.

I have met people in all walks of life who worked hard, made a decent living but never quite made enough to get real comfortable. They either retire or are too old to land a job and now face this uncontrollable runaway train of expenses that are killing them.

Instead of our glorious politicians looking out for themselves and other selfish benefits, they need to take a closer look at what has been done to those in need. What has taken place didn’t just happen. It’s taken years to get here. Both parties wear blinders and sadly most politicians have never been poor, have never gone without a meal, have never been threatened with an eviction notice or letter threatening foreclosure on their home. Fact is, most politicians are wealthy and come from affluent families. Many never had to work at a job, and the majority never worked for minimum wage or had to hold down two jobs just to pay the bills.

I’ve heard some of these rich guys talking about cutting back on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other services because they put a drain on us and yet they will spend billions sending money to other nations or helping people crossing the border. Hello? Does anyone care?

It’s so easy to look down from the Second Floor and see all these problems. It’s not easy to find or suggest a solution. What is clear is the public has a dreadful track record of electing people with lots of money who takeout ads full of lies people believe and it gets them elected. Now those who get elected must have tons of money and made promises to others for more money – promises they giveback when they get into office. These are the promises that cost us the billions needed to help those in need.

We live in a cycle – so maybe it should be called the circle of life. We keep repeating the same mistake over and over. Most don’t pay attention they just vote because it’s the right things to do. Sadly most don’t even remember who they voted for or the names of those elected. I hope that changes.

We will never have a perfect world. I’m a dreamer, and I admit it. I just want care for those in need. I want those who can’t afford to have their teeth fixed to enjoy an excellent meal and not be afraid to smile. I want those without to have “something” or at least be comfortable. I don’t want citizens to be last in the line for help. I want those who depend on their savings account (Social Security) to receive what should be paid and this needs to be fixed and the funds found immediately or taken from some other careless cause we don’t need. I want those who come into our country to get in line not be at the front of it.

Lastly, I want honor for those who served our nation. I want everyone to salute those wounded and now discarded or living on the street. I want everyone who served in Wether it's the military, law enforcement, emergency services or firemen I think everyone who served should get the help needed and retire with the grace, love and respect of everyone.

No one should live their golden years without teeth or not be able to afford the very medicine needed to stay live or live without pain.

Yes, I also want happiness to prevail, to see smiles in abundance, eyes that dance with joy and spirits that lift high with respected. Oh, I also want us all to get along, work together to make a better home, and a better life. I don’t want much, just peace and lots of happiness.

I’m a dreamer – and dreamers speak their peace and try to get changes done. It’s time we make some changes for the better.

William Byron Hillman © 2014

Just released:
HOAX – Prematurely Terminated a thriller
 
My next planned films are:
Quigley’s Christmas Adventure
(Sequel to the hit film Quigley)
And
Of Light and Darkness
Web announcements are coming soon


Book Links:
Veronique and Murray: http://tinyurl.com/8xrmmu7
Zebra’s Rock and Me http://tinyurl.com/7b28qu6
Quigley’s Christmas Adventure http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANVNQ6G
In development Veronique and Murray’s Honeymoon
Rollie Kemp Books
Ghosts and Phantoms Part I: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0056WR6I6
Ghosts and Phantoms Part II: http://tinyurl.com/d7mtspu
Hoax – Prematurely Terminated
In editorial – Cheater