We can’t control our lives, things happen to us. But what defines us is how we deal with them, what action we take, and how we come out of it at the other end.
I want to share with you some stories about a couple of people who were forced into making changes that required some hard decisions as well. These film stars each have a different story to tell but the outcomes have a lot of similarities.
Why does Danny Trejo get all the ‘hard guy’ parts?
Danny stars in many movies, appearing mostly as a tough prisoner, a hitman, gang member, or drug dealer. Razor Charlie, Johnny Six Toes and Crazy Joe are just some of his screen character names. His movies have grossed over $2 billion, and he can count himself as very successful. But this hasn’t always been the case. Danny didn’t go to acting school, he didn’t have parents that ploughed every last cent into his education. He had to learn life the hard way.
Danny had needed to make drastic changes to his life before his acting career took off, and a result his life changed very much for the better.
Who put Angelina Jolie together?
Angelina is today the very picture of togetherness. She is unarguably a great actress, a humanitarian, a UN Goodwill ambassador and a good mother.
What a lot of people don’t remember is that not that long ago things were very different. It would be fair to say Angelina was somewhat weird. She came from an acting background but parental separation, isolation at high school and a series of addictions and depression left her looking like one of life’s ‘also rans’ as far as acting was concerned. She wore vials of blood as jewellery, and by 20, had a serious drug problem and twice tried to commit suicide.
Whatever happened to Rick Moranis?
Whatever happened to Rick Moranis?
Who doesn’t remember Rick? During the nineteen eighties and early nineties he was possibly the top supporting comic actor in major box office hits. His repertoire includes Lewis Tully in both the Ghostbuster films, Wayne Szalinski in Honey I shrunk the Kids, and he also featured in a heap of other big screen hits such as Parenthood, My Blue Heaven, Spaceballs The Flintstones, and Splitting hairs, to name but a few. Since the turn of the century he has done very little by way of acting. So what happened?
Well, Rick suffered a tragedy. His dear wife Ann died of breast cancer in 1997 aged just 35 and Rick was left with two young children. He decided to make the best job he could of bringing them up and being the Dad they deserved.
It got me thinking about my own life situations now that we are near the end of the year. I haven’t got anything terrible or crazy going on but I come across problems – stuff that doesn’t work out, things that get in the way, almost on a daily basis. So how do I do when it comes to dealing with such things?
I look back on 2017 and feel that it has been a bit like a river rushing by and I’m supposed to be on a boat sailing along with it, but I’m not, I’m stuck watching from the bank. Or it feels like I’m that small child again in the playground waiting to hop on the roundabout when it slows enough for me to make that leap . . . but I never did quite get on board, too much stuff just got in the way.
In summary, I missed out on a few things, especially in the writing world. But what I take from all this are the positives. Some things have gone very well, I’ve sold some books and I have kept writing. My other little business is doing okay. The family is all good and I’m about to become a grandparent again (before Christmas please . . . !).
One thing I have learned is exactly what I talked about at the end of the summer in my last blog post:
‘You have to try and make the right decisions for the situation.’
As I sit here writing this, really, I’m quite happy. Not because I’ve achieved all my dreams for 2017, I haven’t, but because I made a change and I’ve seen it through.
The last three months have been tough, I haven’t been to bed the right side of midnight once. Many hours have been spent working hard late at night or early in the morning on top of all the family commitments and my day job. It was necessary to complete the challenge I set myself.
I managed to get my mini-series completed.
The idea was hatched in August when I realised my larger work was nowhere near ready to launch and I wanted to get some fresh stuff out there for my readers. The first story was released in September, and the 3-week cycle of stories was only interrupted once, by myself when I rejected one of the proposed stories at the eleventh hour. That was a hard decision to make, it threw the next couple of weeks into turmoil but I think the resulting fourth story was more pivotal as a result, and it became longer, giving readers a bit more to chew on before the finale.
Well, I wanted this latest offering of stories to be a bit more than just a collection of stories, so I had the idea of involving the whole concept of needing to change and regretting missed opportunities into the story plot.
I will be honest, I had no idea that it would fit together so well. Sometimes you find the message you want to give finds it’s way through in the writing whatever you do.
Those who know me well will tell you I don’t always do things by the book. This isn’t a deliberate ‘be different’ action on my part, things just seems to work out that way.
As I was putting it together I realised the book had to be called after the last story, not the first one, (which is more usually the case.) I didn’t write it in chapters, I wrote separate stories as they came to me, but connected them by keeping the same unnamed character and linking some of the events throughout.
I’ve had these stories out for free and at a reduced price over the last few weeks and I’ve decided that a couple of them at least will remain perms-free.
Doesn’t everybody deserve a second chance?
Find out why Christmas 1975 was, for one man, like simply no other. . .
However you are planning on finishing your year, a very merry Christmas to you , and to many more to come.