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What does it mean to live a full life? How do we stay happy and content in a world that often seems to be throwing more at us than we can handle?  Thirty years in the making, Universal Principles of Living Life Fully explores different aspects of our selves as human beings, aspects that we are able to develop and expand when we need to in order to make ourselves more comfortable in the world we live in. It explores 57 different elements of who we are, from love to mindfulness to adversity to prayer, in an effort to help you to figure out just where to focus your energy and attention when life is being difficult for you.  Use the link to the left for the Kindle edition, or click here for the print edition.

Welcome to the Universal Principles for Living Life Fully!  This book has been several decades in the making, ever since I started studying books and articles and passages that have been written about how to make our lives happier, healthier, and more fulfilling.  This has been a constant study of mine for many years, and my goal with this book is to provide a synthesis of the principles that I've read about and seen in real life among friends and acquaintances.

The book is based on the principle that we all have many facets of our selves.  In my life, there are things that I do really well, such as study and grow intellectually, while other things have come much more slowly to me, such as my ability to love myself.  And while I'm familiar with the reasons for the latter problem, as far as this book is concerned, a look into my past isn't the most important thing--what really matters is that I learn how to love myself here, today.  Then I'll be able to make the most out of the life that I have.  (Of course, this doesn't mean that I feel it's not important to explore root causes of issues--but expanding the book into those areas would have made it at least 1,000 pages long!)

In this book I examine 57 different aspects of our selves, from awareness to mindfulness to friendship to love to oneness to nature. . . all topics that are found on the website.  My goal is to examine them in ways that help us to understand their importance in our lives and to possibly developing strategies that will help us to make each element a strength rather than a weakness--or if we're not able to do that, then at least developing strategies for compensating for these areas of weakness.

Over the years I've read hundreds of texts from hundreds of authors, and I've done my best to pull out their universal messages that apply to the greatest number of people possible.  There's very little on religion, for two reasons:  first, there are no universal religions, and second, spirit is going to be the specific topic of an upcoming book.

So please enjoy this book--it's definitely a work of love, and I sincerely hope that you find material within it that's helpful and useful to you!

When Taylor is out walking her dog early one cold November morning, she's perplexed to see that Sarah's door is still closed--after all, Sarah's always the first one up and her door is always open, no matter what the weather.  When Taylor investigates, she finds a scene so horrible that it's beyond anything that she ever could have imagined.

And thus starts the day of horror for the town of Canyon Bluff, a small, dying Colorado mountain mining community.  Sixty years earlier, events had been set into motion that would take six decades to unfold, and now it's time for the current residents of the town--and the law officers who come up to investigate--to pay the price for what had happened all those years ago.  And they're paying the price with their lives.

Nogglz is my sixth novel, a book that was written to flow quickly and smoothly through the events that happen as a result of a terror being unleashed upon the inhabitants of a small town.  While I wanted to write a horror novel, I also wanted it to be a horror novel with a bit of class--strong character development and believable action, as well as a bit of humor sprinkled through it.  While people being killed certainly isn't a humorous situation, there is room for humor in such a story because people are people, and we find ways of coping with things that are too much for them to process fully--and humor is one of those ways.  I also didn't want to write a gorefest; I didn't want the book to be gory murder after grisly murder.  There are some unsettling images in the story, but I did my best not to take them too far.  They're necessary for the plot, but it wasn't necessary to expand them.  Alfred Hitchcock terrified people with the movie Psycho without having to show the knife plunging into the victim's body, and I've always kept that lesson in mind, especially when I watch works by others who haven't learned--or choose to ignore--that lesson.  People's imaginations can supply everything needed to make them afraid.

The setting of this novel is intended to be almost a character in itself.  I grew up hearing stories of Crested Butte, Colorado, where my mother grew up, and Canyon Bluff is named thus as a tribute to the original CB.  My mother's stories were always about the people there, but the town itself was an integral part of every story that she told.  Somehow the diverse collection of human beings who lived there turned the town into something more than just a town.  It had personality of its own, and it was never just a place, neither to my mother nor to me.  (And I write of the Crested Butte of the coal-mining days and after, not the modern-day tourist resort that really doesn't resemble what the town used to be at all.)  I remember visiting the town when I was a kid, before the money and the skiing came in, and it was a fascinating place full of ruined houses, older people, and innumerable stories.

In Nogglz, I use Canyon Bluff as an idea of what Crested Butte might have become one day if the money for the skiing had never come in.  Who would still be there?  Why?  What would their lives be like?

I don't want to go into the characters too deeply because I think that would give away too much of the plot.  Let's just say that from the Sheriff to the townsfolk to the Nogglz, I tried to make them believable in a situation that they were wholly unprepared for--nobody could have been prepared for what's happening to them and around them in the town.

The Nogglz themselves are also kind of unique, as I wanted them to be somewhat sympathetic villains.  They weren't good guys by any means, but they certainly didn't choose to go through what happened to them to turn them into what they are now.  A book like this needs its monsters, but it's possible to create a bit of sympathy for those monsters--this was a lesson that I learned from the original King Kong, as well as other, similar stories.  The monsters are rarely purely evil.

There are also many life lessons here.  Many of the characters are older, and they're facing their own imminent deaths--and each is doing so in a completely individual way.  The law officers who are also trapped there, though, are very surprised at how calm the people seem to be--the officers are young, and they can't yet understand what it means to have led a long and full life, and to realize that the end must come someday, somehow.  The perspective definitely isn't intended to be fatalistic or negative, but rather realistic and somewhat uplifting.

All in all, this novel is a tribute, but it's also a page-turner, an action story that is compelling and frightening.  One reviewer uses the word "convenient" to describe some of the occurrences, but believe me, there are specific reasons for everything that happens to every character.  I didn't want to take the easy way out on anything--everything had to be explained clearly and adequately, while still maintaining an extremely strong pace so that the reader won't become bogged down in lengthy explanations or descriptions.  It was quite a challenge to write, but I'm very happy with it as it turned out--and I hope that the readers are satisfied with the story.

I hope that you enjoy this novel!  I certainly enjoyed writing it!

Nogglz--A novel of terror sure to keep you turning the pages!  The residents of Canyon Bluff have been teasing their kids for years with stories of the Nogglz, the town's own version of the Bogeyman.  But now their worst fears are being realized when the Nogglz actually show up and start taking their revenge on the townspeople.  What would you do if your worst nightmare was suddenly roaming the streets of your town?  Click the image for the print version, or here for your Kindle. (And don't worry--there are still many life lessons in the story!)