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Change of Environment = Increased Productivity

Maybe you are sitting at the living room table doing homework. Maybe you’ve been working for an hour but have hardly gotten anything done. Maybe you are procrastinating. Getting distracted. Maybe you’re getting the icky feeling that comes from being behind in schoolwork and being in a noisy environment (or maybe you’re not like me in that way). And maybe you need a solution to this problem of procrastination and getting distracted.

I may have one. I may want to procrastinate giving it to you for the fun of it. I may not. I won’t. I will now tell you.

If all that I said in the first paragraph relates to you, there’s a good possibility you need a…

Change of environment.

Think about it. It’s easier to get distracted when there are more distractions around you. Possibly your talking siblings. The movie your other siblings are watching. The sizzling of the food your parents are cooking. You might be hearing this and thinking, “Isn’t it a bit obvious that that person should move somewhere else?” Likely. But sometimes people don’t realize something obvious until it’s pointed out to them… and a solution is provided. I’ve pointed out the obvious. Now for a solution. Multiple solutions, actually.

  1. Go to a cafe. Whenever I go to a cafe, I can concentrate much better. Cafes are nice, fancy, and offer yummy stuff too (for a price, of course). For me, whenever I tell friends that I can’t concentrate, they always suggest a cafe.
  2. Just move to another room. If there is another quieter room you can go to, go there! The quieter, the better.
  3. Build a desk, or buy one. “What do you mean?” you might be asking. Well, this is the solution I went with. My brother, dad, and I have been renovating my brother’s and my room. A cool feature we thought we’d add was a desk *“ooh”s and “aah”s are heard from the crowd*. Concentrating is easier here than in my living room, where all family members living in this house (6 of my siblings and my parents) work, pass through, and just be. (Being honest, I didn’t actually do too much for the desk… mostly my dad and brother. They like carpentry and are much better at it than me.)
  4. Clean up! From what I observed, the cleaner your surroundings are, the better you can concentrate, because the cleaner it is, the more comfortable you feel, the more productive you become. If you’re like me and you share a room with someone else, and while you are always very tidy they are not, just have a conversation with them. Try to get them to understand. Figure out a resolution.
  5. Talk to those you live with. This goes beyond the person you share a room with, to everyone in your household. Explain to them the problem, and offer a solution. Don’t be too nit-picky or impatient, though. The kinder you are, the more likely it is that they will listen.
  6. Spruce things up a bit. If you work in your living room and your table is always dirty, your chair is chipped, the painting on the wall is ripped, there’s toilet paper on the floor left by the dog, the picture frame is crooked, the plant in the corner is dying, and so on, your going to get the icky feeling that comes from being uncomfortable, and comfort can help you concentrate. Clean the table. Get a new chair. Trash or mend the painting. Sweep the floor. Straighten the picture frame. Get a new plant (and don’t let it die!). Buy a nice candle. Then take a moment to admire the nice vibe.

And there are 6 tips and suggestions! I hope they helped, and increased your productivity. If you have any other suggestions, comment them below, and I might add them to this post!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional nor have I put significant time into studying these things. The above are simply advice from one teen to another (even if you are not a teen, this post can still apply to you).

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

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Adam Toledo: A True & Tragic Story

Our neighborhood — Little Village, La Villita, South Lawndale… it depends on who you ask — has been spotlighted more than usual during these times. Sometimes for really good things, sometimes for truly tragic things. Like the death of a young teenager, Adam Toledo. You all may or may not recognize the name. It is the name of the 13-year-old boy who was shot by the police. He was shot in my city, Chicago, in my neighborhood, Little Village, just two blocks away from my home.

It was around 2:30 a.m. in the morning on March 29, 2021. The same shooting was reported by multiple people; roughly 6 shots directed to cars driving by on Sawyer and 24th. Two cops were sent to the crime scene. They pulled up into the alley between 23rd and 24th, and quickly jumped out of the car. They ran down the alley, towards the two people there; the older one walking casually (pretending to be guilty of nothing) and the younger one running.

The policeman who was driving shoved the young adult to the ground and continued running after the teen, who was carrying a gun. The policewoman, the driver’s partner, kept the man on the ground and handcuffed him.

The policeman strode after the boy, shouting, screaming even, for him to stop. Almost at the end of the alley, the boy slowed down and quickly threw the gun behind the fence. He had begun to lift his hands and turn to face the policeman when a bullet from the officer’s gun shot out, piercing Adam Toledo’s chest, and the boy collapsed to the ground.

The officer went over to him and turned him over, looking for the wound. He called several other officers, and they arrived momentarily. The officer began CPR as the other cops knelt beside Adam, saying encouragement like, “Stay with us, big guy.”

Another officer took the policeman’s place, doing CPR on the boy. The policeman stood and began slowly wandering around, and the loudest sound heard by the cop’s body cam was his heavy breathing. His wanderings led him a bit around the alley and through an opening in the gate to the parking lot of Farragut High School. For a while he stood in the parking lot, just breathing. His partner walked up to him and rubbed his arm. After several minutes, she suggested that he sit down and then they get a drink of water from the squad car. He sat down on a concrete parking block and sat there for a while, his partner standing beside him. At some point the sergeant stood beside him as well. It was evident: Adam Toledo had died.

Then came the order for all the officers to turn off their body cams because the situation was secure, and…

*beep*

*crackle*

***

And that was it. Our city is in uproar. Several marches and protests have occurred because of Adam’s death. Many voices and opinions fill the air. What do we make of this?

A memorial for Adam Toledo near where he was shot.
Mural of Adam Toledo at the spot where he was shot.
Adam Toledo was shot right beside the pole.
A protest march through Little Village.

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Credit to Daniel L. Amador for all photos in this blog post.

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A Few Fun Poems

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

As many of you may know, I’m a poet, though I don’t always own it (sorry, I just had to do that XD). I believe I’ve only shared a couple poems (if not just one) here, and I want to change that by sharing 10 poems I wrote for two classes. Five from Literature first, followed by five from Illinois History.

***

Recently, we (my classmates and I) have been learning about poetry in our Literature Class, and our teacher gave us a fun assignment. We were supposed to rip a few pages from a few books (imagine that; ripping pages from books in a literature class. It was an incredible experience, and we all revelled in it) and then circle different words, so that the outcome forms a poem, of sorts. Basically blackout poetry.

Here are the five I wrote for my Literature Class (I added the commas, periods, and such afterwards; I also formed them into lines they weren’t formed into before):

  1. The Coat Carriers. (Put together from page 29 of From Time to Time by Jack Finney.)

Almost at run,

Almost immediately,

The porters,

Dressed in white,

Haughty,

Jeweled turbans,

To the eyebrows,

Carried coats.

These woman,

The men,

A very few,

I suppose,

Were presented

With bouquets

By uniformed boys,

Some carrying

The dock entrance

Heavier luggage

  1. That Titanic. (Put together from page 30 of From Time to Time by Jack Finney.)

Sweating men,

With names

Of the city London,

Remember their streets right.

A few truly believe

I didn’t.

Couldn’t.

Along the ship,

Visored caps

Stood directly just short of the block letters.

But I,

No difficulty.

And of course yes.

That Titanic.

  1. Crazy Kites. (Put together from page 189 of From Time to Time, by Jack Finney.)

She mundanely talked

Of the English Channel

On accident.

Frank smiled

Toward the pier.

The presence

Of these crazy kites,

Awful;

Condemned;

Helpless

Over the evil construction

Of rough wood planking.

I want to fly

Like a boat!

He thought I shouldn’t.

I was seasick.

  1. Motions. (Put together from page 190 of From Time to Time, by Jack Finney.)

Frank,

The kind you’d find

In an electric chair,

Waited.

It seemed swift,

Our motion,

And I had

A hundred tons of sun

On my face.

I could feel the engine,

Loudly sailing fast,

Again.

Slow,

Slowly,

Engineless.

  1. Mundane Business. (Put together from page 140 of Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes.)

The weather

Is the same.

The figs,

Apricots,

Lettuce.

The girl gave up eating,

As do clean, medieval buildings.

Stone.

Darkness.

The end.

Wooden customers.

Quality cares.

Shifting day

Gargantuan,

Misshapen tomatoes

Ever select produce.

Each.

***

The next five are haikus I wrote for my Illinois History Class. (Disclaimer: they’re not that good. I honestly didn’t have a lot of time to write them.)

  1. The Prairie State.

The Great Prairie State,

Founded in eighteen eighteen,

Is almost all corn.

  1. Illinoisians.

Obama and Abe…

Reagan and crazy Capone…

All Illinoisians.

  1. Chicagoland.

Great Chicagoland

Home to more than eight mill. peeps

What an awesome place.

  1. Cairo, Not Cairo.

Cairo, southern Il

Not the Cairo in Egypt;

Get it right, people!

  1. Things and Things.

Baseball, Wrigley field

Sadness in the Civil War

Meat from big stockyards.

And there you have it, friends! Ten poems for you to read simply for fun. I hope you enjoyed them!

With God’s Help,

Daniel L. Amador

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February- Black History Month

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Wow. It’s just like me to post an article about the month of February less than an hour before February’s end. I sincerely apologize. I’ll try to get better at punctuality.

***

Black History Month, a.k.a African-American History Month, is observed and celebrated by the United States and Canada in February and Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands in October.

These two months in these two continents are dedicated to honoring and celebrating the culture and history of black people.

It was chosen to be celebrated in February, as that was the month when Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Doulgas were born.

For this post, I would like to acknowledge one very influential black person from every country that observes BHM (Black History Month).

  1. Canada. Viola Desmond. You see Viola Desmond everytime you pick up a Canadian ten dollar bill (sadly I haven’t been able to add one of those to my foreign coin collection). Desmond was born in 1914, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to a black father and white mother, which was uncommon at the time. She was a businesswoman and beautician, and was also likely a Christian.

She is famous across Canada primarily for the event that took place during 1946, in Roseland Theatre, Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She was driving when her car broke down, and being told that it would take several hours to repair, so she went to a theatre to spend some of that time. She requested a ticket for the main floor, but was given one for the balcony, where all the black people would sit. Desmond sat on the main floor anyway. When she wouldn’t leave, she was forcibly taken out of the theatre (causing a hip injury) and taken to jail, where she was kept all night, given no access to a lawyer, bail, or other. She was also charged $26, which is around 300-600 Canadian dollars today.

Because of this, she is often compared to American Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks.

Desmond died in 1965.

  1. Ireland. Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali and Barack Obama -though Americans by birth and residency- both have Irish roots. Let us take a look at Muhammad Ali. If you don’t know what he is then you have more in common with me than you thought then you are clearly not a fan of boxing, or at least not of boxing history. Ali was one of the best boxers, if not the best, in all of history. He was born in 1942 and died in 2016, at the age of 74. One of his most famous actions in the Civil Rights Movement was refusing to join the army when he was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, believing that it was unjust, and also it was a move by the white government to make black people work for them.

Ali had a score of 56 wins and 5 losses. Some of the many awards he received were Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year,  Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and the Millennium Bambi Award. About his Irish heritage, he is descended from an Irishman named Abe Grady, who moved to Kentucky in the 1960s and married an African-American woman. They had a family, and one of their daughters -Odessa Grady- married Cassius Clay. Cassius Clay Jr. -their son- changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1942 when he converted to Islam.

  1. Netherlands. Boy Ecury. Boy Ecury was born into a big and wealthy Catholic family (I’m not sure if he remained a Christian for the rest of his life, but I definitely hope that he did for his and his family’s sake) in 1922, in Oranjestad, Aruba, an island owned by the Netherlands.

His story is a sad one, but noble. He went to the Netherlands for college, where he got a diploma. He did a lot of travelling in the Netherlands (funny, because the Netherlands isn’t very big) with his brother Nicky, and where there when World War II kicked up. At that time Boy befriended a boy (man, really, but I couldn’t help it, even if I could) name Luis (nice name) de Lannoy, who was part of an underground resistance against the Nazis.

In the resistance they would often go on dangerous missions, which included planting bombs on German trucks. Though colleagues would often betray them. Luis was once betrayed, imprisoned, and tortured, but he eventually managed to escape. When Ecury was betrayed and imprisoned, he was tortured for information, but did not betray his friends. He was executed the next day at the age of 22, in 1944. Ecury was buried and given military honors in 1947, and a statue was made of him in 1949. A movie was even made of him.

  1. United Kingdom. Mary Prince. 1788 – 1833. Born into an enslaved family in Bermuda, she experienced horrible, inhuman treatment. In 1828, her masters took her with them to England. There, she ran away and found freedom, though only in England. She campaigned against slavery, joining the Anti-Slavery Society. Prince was the first black, English woman to ever present an anti-slavery petition to Parliament. She was also the first black, English woman to write and publish an autobiography, which she called The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave. Maybe I’ll read it… after everything else I have planned to read. XD Anyway, it was a huge part of her campaigns. It helped raise awareness in England, that, even though slavery was banned there, it was still practiced elsewhere. (Uh, well, duh! Come on, peeps. Get your head in the game, por favor. Gracias.)
  2. United States. Jackie Robinson. Hmmm… I know a lot more notable black people from the U.S. than the other states… which one… how about Jackie Robinson. Yeah, that’s cool with everyone, right? Yeah? Cool.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919 – 1972) was the first African American to make it to Major League Baseball. (Aaayyyy good for you, Jackie! Nice! *back pat*)

A few fun facts featuring him… 1) Robinson’s older bro, Mathew, was a huge inspiration to him. Mathew won a silver metal in the 200 meter dash- just behind Jesse Owens (look him up; fascinating guy, that Owens), in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. 2) He played American football for the Honolulu Bears, though his time with them was short cut when the U.S. joined WWII. 3) He was a second lieutenant in the US Army from 1942 to 1944.

I don’t want to make this too long, so I’m just going to share a few interesting things about his baseball career.

At the time he started professional baseball in 1944 (hey, isn’t that when Ecury died? Wow. Strange how history overlaps), it was still segregated, so he played in the Negro Leagues. Though, he was soon chosen by Branch Rickey (Han Solo [Harrison Ford] in the movie about Robison, 42, in which T’Challa [Chadwick Boseman; RIP] acts Robison), the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to join their team.

Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel suffered so much racism, but they pushed on. Jackie was countlessly tested and mocked, though he persevered. A line I found interesting from the movie was when a reporter asked what he’d do if someone threw a ball to his face. He replied, “I’ll duck.”

Some of the people who stuck by his side included Leo Durocher and Pee Wee Reese.

When members of the Brooklyn Dodgers were saying that they didn’t want to be on a team with a black man, Leo Durocher, manager of the Dodgers, said that he would sooner trade any of them than Robison.

When people were yelling at and harassing Robinson on the field, team captain Pee Wee Reese walked up to him, and put his arm around him. That act then became famous throughout baseball.

Another interesting thing is that two of Robison’s children have the same name as two of my grandparents. Sharon and David, and sadly Robison’s other son Jack Jr. died in 1971, at the age of 24, the year before his father died.

To finish this part up, I’ll say that Robinson really did make a huge difference in baseball.

***

Though history can be boring at times, it is also very fascinating. Let’s give a round of applause for these five!

The photo’s credit goes to Pexels Free Photos. More explanation on this to come in the next post.

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In Which I reveal to You Where Odyssey (from AIO) Is

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Alright, before I start, I’d like to say a few things. 1) CWW HAS ENDED!!! *sad* Neither the Fire, Water, nor Air Team won. The Fire Team was ahead in words, while the Water Team was ahead in hours. 2) I JOINED YWW AGAIN!!! After…*counts* *despises math* Um… around four months… yeah.

Now on with the post!!


I know, I know, this doesn’t have anything to do with writing, and not really much about Christianity, but I did say I would post random things every once in a while.

Anyway… I shall begin!

Many people have argued over where Odyssey (from Adventures in Odyssey) is located. I had an assumption based on several different facts. Then… I listened to an episode where it revealed the location. (Coincidentally, it was one of the very first episodes that started AIO, and is only available to members of the AIO club).

Where is Odyssey?

.

.

.

Odyssey,

.

.

.

 My friends,

.

.

.

 is in Ohio.

.

.

.

Yep. Before I reveal in which episode I found out factually, let me give you my reasons why I believed it was in Odyssey before.

  1. Odyssey is a drive, plane ride, and train ride from Chicago. It takes a day to get there by car and less by train and plane, and that’s the time it takes for people from Odyssey, not to mention that they often go to and talk about Chicago. To prove the car distance… when I went to Ohio once, it took a day to drive there, and planes and trains are quicker.
  2. In the episode Unsinkable, part 2, a character mentioned that Odyssey was around halfway between Chicago and New York, but closer to Chicago. That also means that Odyssey is east of Chicago, limiting many options.
  3. Just their general lives could be considered very midwestern.

Those are a few bits of reasons.

Now for the hardcore fact: Here is the first sentance in the episode (bonus, really) BONUS! Whit’s Visitor: “This is family portraits. A look at life as it’s lived day to day in the small town of Odyssey, Ohio.”

*when he hears this for the first time, his eyes widen and his jaw drops*

Of course it’s in Ohio.

***

As for the more absolute location of Odyssey, this area is where I believe Odyssey is (I sent it to a friend before I actually discovered  that Odyssey was in Ohio):

My reasons are basically the same as stated earlier( 1) around halfway between New York and Chicago, but closer to Chicago 2) day-long car drive from Chicago 3) midwestern) except for one: in at least one episode they mention that Odyssey is close to the state border.

***

There you have it friends. Tell all those questioning listeners about this post (and don’t forget to tell them to subscribe!) so they will know them FACTS. *whispers* The not-that-dirty secret of Odyssey!

With God’s Help, 

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO DANIEL L. AMADOR FOR ALL PHOTOS IN THIS BLOG POST.

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Heaven… a Story and a Short Message

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

I thought it was about time that I post a short story here! This short story is about Heaven. I wrote it some time during the summer, so it isn’t one of my best works, but I still like it.

Content Warning: Talk of death; cancer.

My short story is called…

Ready to Go

Isaac Redwood lay on his bed in his hospital room, watching TV.

He was suffering from a form of Cancer and didn’t have much time left. The doctors had done all they could, but it was too late.

The show he was watching ended, and an ad came on. “Want to be Cancer free? Then jus-” Isaac sighed, turned off the TV, and flopped his head on his pillow.

“Why me, God?” he thought. “I turned 13 just 5 days ago! I’m still so young, and now I’m dying?! And what about my parents? And my little sister and brother? What will happen to them? Why me, God? Why me?!”

He clenched his fist and slammed it down on his bed. A bolt of pain shot through his weak body.

“Ow!” he whimpered. A nurse heard him and poked her head through the door. “You shouldn’t strain yourself, Isaac. What you need is rest!” she said, then left.

All the nurses and doctors had been very friendly and kind to him, but he was still so sad and angry. He closed his eyes. “God, please tell me, show me, why? Please!” begged Isaac. He opened his eyes and just lay there, looking at the ceiling and listening to the constant beeping of the monitor near him.

Trust me, Isaac, he heard someone say. Isaac looked to his left, but no one was there.

Then he looked to his right, but no one was there either.

Trust me! He heard the voice say again. 

“Jesus?” he asked. 

Trust me, Isaac. The voice echoed for the third time.

He began to feel drowsy, and his eyelids started to slowly close. The slow beeping increased speed, and beeped more rapidly. Lights started flashing.

A nurse rushed in, and his eyes closed for a short time.

They slightly opened a few moments later, and he saw the doctor frantically typing on a computer, while the nurse was pacing, talking on a phone. His eyes slowly closed again.

 His eyes slightly opened again, and he saw the doctor sitting alone on a chair, facing the computer, with his head in his hands. Isaac’s eyes finally closed shut.…                                                  

***

Isaac’s eyes suddenly opened wide. He was lying in a seemingly never-to-end field. He got up, and in front of him was a gigantic, golden wall with massive golden gates, that had intricate carvings of angels and horses, and trees and flowers.

Two men with wings and armor, who seemed to glow, opened the gates for him. “Angels!” he thought. He walked past them and into the boundaries of the walls. 

Within the walls was a magnificent city made of gold, jewels, and beautiful, natural greenery. 

Along with radiant skyscrapers and buildings, there were gorgeous gardens and rivers, and all the streets were paved with gold.

In the center of the city was an enormous, noble castle, wider and taller than anything else in the city. Isaac walked towards it.

Children ran and played joyously while adults walked and talked merrily.

When he got there, two of the other kinds of men Isaac thought as angels opened the doors for him.

Inside was a Grand Hall with many elegant chandeliers and windows, keeping the place well-lit.

There were many kingly tables, and there was a proud fireplace in the back.

Around the tables sat many people, doing many things such as games, talking, and eating.

Those who saw him smiled and nodded.

He looked around the room and saw someone he recognized: his best friend, who had died around a year earlier.

His friend saw him, smiled, and winked.

A tear slid down Isaac’s cheek. ”He believed!” Isaac thought.

He continued his gaze upon the room, and he recognized two more people: his grandparents, who had led Isaac to the Lord, and had died five years ago due to old age. His other grandparents had died before he was born.

They smiled at him warmly, and more tears slid down his cheeks.

A man walked up behind Isaac and put a hand on his shoulder. Isaac looked up at the man.

He was very tall, dressed in white, glistening armor. He had a white mustache and beard, and his majestic, white hair reached a bit past his shoulders.

His eyes were bright blue, unlike any other, and they shone and sparkled.

Wrinkles and creases under his eyes showed age and wisdom, greater than any other. His smile was loving yet playful.

Upon his breastplate was a symbol: there was a cross, and where the four branches of the cross met, there was a large open book -the bible- at the end of each of the top three branches of the cross there was a circle, and there were lines connecting the three circles to each other, forming a sort of triangle; the three circles represented the Trinity. 

At the man’s side was a large, beautiful sword, grander than any sword Isaac had ever seen in the movies and such. The hilt was gold, with a large, colorful gem on each branch. The blade itself was a majestic silver, that would shimmer brightly in the sun.

“When you join me here, there will be no more tears,” said the man in a rich, yet gentle voice.

“Really?” asked Isaac, wiping the tears out of his eyes.

“Yes. Now, follow me,” said the man. He led Isaac to a garden where they walked together in peace.

They walked and talked together for several hours.

Isaac asked the man many questions, and the man answered all of them, though some more cryptically than others.

They eventually came to a part of the garden very near to the gate in the wall, and Isaac asked, “Why do I have to die?”

The man put both of his hands firmly on Isaac’s shoulders, and looked him straight in the eyes.

“This, I cannot tell you. You will just have to trust me. Trust me, Isaac. Now you will return home for a short time. And when you are ready to come back, say so. You will know when the time is right. And, trust me, Isaac, trust me…”

Isaac felt himself being pulled back out of the city and into the field. He could not see in detail now, only in blurs.

He was laid down in the field, and he whispered, “I trust you, Jesus.” His eyes closed shut.…

***

He started to gain consciousness, and his eyes slowly opened.

He heard a few people gasp, and someone said, “He’s awake!”

Isaac turned his head, and saw his family: his mom, his dad, his 7-year-old brother, David, and his 3-year-old sister, Stephanie.

They all ran to his bedside and showered him with numerous hugs and kisses. They eventually stopped, and the doctor started talking.

Isaac turned his head to the other side so he could see him talk.

“Isaac, you were unconscious for about 2 hours and a half, and you were dead for 15 minutes of those 2 hours and a half.”

What?!” gasped Isaac.

“It’s true, God must have sent you back, for however short a time!” exclaimed his dad.

“Yes, but here comes the very bad news. You should all sit down and brace yourselves.” The doctor sighed, took a deep breath, and continued. 

“Mr. and Mrs. Redwood, Isaac, David, Stephanie, we recently found out that Isaac only has 15 minutes to an hour left to live.”

A tear ran down Isaac’s cheek.

His Mom started sobbing, and his dad was in shock: a pale face, dropped jaw, and wide eyes, while tears poured down his face.

“Wait, but he just came back, what’s going on?!” asked David, desperately.

Mr. Redwood shakily put a hand on David’s shoulder.

“I guess Jesus just brought him back for a little bit to say goodbye…” he said.

“Goodbye? Whewe Isaac going? Momma, why you cwying?” asked Stephanie.

“He’s, he’s going to be with Grandma and Grandpa and Jesus…” said his mom, between tears.

They all cried for several minutes, but inevitably stopped.

Isaac shakily started talking.

“Mom, Dad, you have been great parents throughout my entire life, you have always been loving and caring to me and my siblings, through good times and bad.

“No matter what happened, you both always tried to remain calm and patient.

“I pray that, even when I am gone, you will continue to be great parents, no matter how hard it may be.

“I love you both.”

“We love you too, son,” said his dad. 

“We truly love you,” said his mom. They both kissed him, and he kissed them.

Then Isaac turned to David.

“David, you’ve been a fun, enjoyable little brother to me, and a caring older brother to Stephie.

“I pray you’ll continue to be the good son and older brother Mom, Dad, and Stephanie need.

“I love you, David.”

“I love you too, Isaac,” David choked out.

They hugged each other.

Lastly, Isaac turned to Stephanie.

“Stephie, you’ve always been a fun, silly lil’ sis’! I pray you will be the joyful, happy little girl every family needs, And, when I’m gone, pl-please d-don’t forget me, okay?” Tears filled Isaac’s eyes.

“Okay. An’ don’t wowy, I won’t foget you! Say “hi” to gwama an’ gwampa an’ Jesus fo me!” she said.

They hugged, and he kissed her on the head.

He looked at his family one last time, and strangely, he felt no pain: physically or emotionally.

“This is it,” he thought.

Isaac looked up, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath.

“Jesus, I’m ready to go.”

The End

And now, as I promised by the title, the short message.

Some people are afraid of Heaven because they think it might take away everything earthly that they love, such as pizza, technology, or maybe a special relationship, and they think everything will be all grand and happy and only nature… but what if Heaven still has the things they love?

I had an image go through my mind one night that was possibly given to me of what Heaven could be like, even if it might not be; even if the image is just to bring comfort and security.

Two encouraging and accurate points of what Heaven could be like are… 1) What if? And 2) Why not?

What if… Heaven still had things like technology, marriage, writing, publishing, or boats?

And why not? Those things, if used/done correctly and justly, can bring a lot of joy and happiness. And everything in Heaven is “correct” and “just”. So, rhetorically, I ask you: why not?

Never did God forbid those things… in fact, He actually encouraged several of them!

The Bible says that it will be a New Earth… and why can’t a new Earth include things ( such as (clean in all aspects) pizza, motor boats, or trains??

I’m not saying that Heaven will for sure have those things. And I doubt everything I’ve said is accurate. I’ve never gone to a theology school or anything, after all. All these things I believe are from God, and my mind. Technically, all I’m trying to say is that Heaven will be a place of amazing joy, peace, happiness, and love.

Beyond human imagination… beyond the human. Or, as part of the meaning of my book indicates (I will probably have a post about the meaning of my book title sometime), beyond the wolf.

Heaven is a place beyond great… Heaven is God’s eternal home and He invites it to be ours, as well.

With God’s Help, 

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO CANVA.COM FOR PHOTO.

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The Four Fundamental Reasons for Writing a Book

        Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

From all my experience as a writer, I have witnessed four reasons for writing a book. I believe that these are the four largest and most common, if not the only motives.

        Laid out plain, here they are:

  1. As a source of income
  2. For yourself
  3. For friends and family
  4. For people in general

Now let me get a bit more in depth by what I mean for each point.

  1. As a source of income

Or, in other words, as a way to make money. This one seems pretty self explanatory. One writes a book, gets it edited and such, then publishes it, and then sold! (cha-ching!)

Eso es kind of the gist of it.

The goal is to make money off of the book, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the main or only source of income, maybe it’s to buy gifts for friends and family, or maybe it’s to buy the latest Nintendo thing (don’t judge me, I know hardly anything about video games). It doesn’t really matter, as long as it rakes in that cash. (cha-ching!)

Eso es posiblemente el most obvious of the four.

  1. For yourself

        Ah, the old “for yourself” trick, eh? Alright, I can handle that.

        Like it says in bold print, one of the motives for writing a book is for yourself.  Perhaps you have a bunch of random thoughts flowing through your head that you just have to write down; perhaps you are writing it for your own pleasure, because you just enjoy writing; perhaps you are writing it for your future self.

        For example…

        As I said in my first post, Me, Myself, and My Blog, I started writing my first serious book in April. I don’t entirely recall the reason I started writing that book in the first place, probably for money, but recently I have rethought why I want to write my book: for myself. It was simply getting too complicated, so making it for money had to be pushed aside, for now, at least.

Here’s the short story (uh oh): It was (and is) just so fun to write it, and so many ideas for it were (and are) flowing through my head. As I reached my 15,000 word word-count for it, I realized that it was just getting too complicated, and would take years before it would be finished; I have a way of often overcomplicating things. So I just decided to continue to write it for my own pleasure and just let those ideas flow, however long it would take.

Now, enough with my boring examples!

  1. For Friends and Family

        When you open a book, one of the first pages has a sentence that goes something like, “To Annie; You are the brightest star in my life.

        That’s called a dedication, because you are, um, dedicating the book to whoever. Maybe “Annie”. Who knows.

        Basically, you are writing a book for a friend, or family. Take, for example, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In one of the first pages, one can see a note Clive Staples Lewis (yes, that is his full name) wrote to Lucy, his Goddaughter (it’s actually kind of amusing, the letter, so I  suggest reading it. And then maybe the actual book), hence, writing the book for her.

        And not just writing it for family or a friend, but also possibly writing it with one.

        Take, for another example, the book I am writing with my coauthor, a friend I met on the Young Writers Workshop. Our goal isn’t necessarily getting it published, but just writing a fun book with a friend.

        (I am not the best at explanations, so if you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. 🙂 )

  1. For people in general

By this I don’t mean physically in a general store, but I guess they’re included too… just let me explain.

Autobiographies. Biographies. Historical fiction. Religious books. Those all teach about something. One of the main reasons many people write a book is to educate people. A large audience of people, if not everyone. An example of this would be one of my great grandfather’s books. It was a biology textbook (I’m not necessarily a fan of biology, but, you know, he’s my great grandfather) which actually became well known in the country he lived in.

        Even if it is for school, it is still a book (*cough* *cough* textbook).

        What I mean by, “for people in general”, is just what it says. For people. To inform or teach people about something.

        (Again, if further explanation is needed, the comment section is always there.)

        And those are the four reasons.

        You might be thinking, “Hey, Danny-boy, this is interesting and all, but how exactly does this help me in the long run?”

        I have three words for you: outlines and expectations.

        Knowing why you are writing a book can really help you in outlining a book. Also, understanding your expectations and such.

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO A RELATIVE OF DANIEL L. AMADOR FOR PHOTO.