Sometimes Heartache Is The Best Medicine 

So this week it was back to reality after seven days in the Caribbean. I could say I am sad and depressed to come back to my normal life but that would be untrue. My life excites me, especially what lies ahead.


Originally my plan was to get tons of work done on my novel during this trip to St. Thomas but I didn’t. Honestly, I didn’t add one word to it. The only writing I got done were a few poems here and there and social media posts. You know what? Typically this would leave me filled with extreme guilt but not this time, relaxation and fun is exactly what I needed.


Burning the candle at both ends for the past few years as an author-prenuer with a day job has caused my writing career to grow significantly but it’s also taken a toll. The price I’ve paid willingly and it was very much worth it, I have no regrets. Basking in the warm Caribbean sun and floating in its pristine turquoise waters was a realignment for my soul and I needed it badly. After the trip I feel recharged and ready for what’s next. What comes next for me is setting and achieving some pretty awesome goals. One of those goals is beginning to consciously realign my life to make way for even more writing, more growth, and more travel.

What I’ve found is writers are always working, even if it’s subconsciously. When we’re not writing we’re usually taking mental notes about nearly everyone and everything that crosses our path. While I was in St. Thomas I met many interesting and a few wonderful souls. I also had some true growth experiences. The wonderful souls were strangers at first but we parted as friends. When this happens you’re enriched because, in a way, these people’s stories and experiences become your own.

We met a young couple from San Diego, she was a competitive swimmer and he was a personal trainer. Then there was a man from Romania and his wife. He had immigrated to the US when he was nineteen and almost died during a failed attempt to escape Communist Romania in the mid-eighties before the Berlin wall fell. He suffered abuse at the hands of nuns who taught at the school he went to as a child, and corrupt Romanian police and military officers later in life. Against those odds he still went on to immigrate to America and build a successful construction business. During a brief chat over a delicious breakfast he told me two or three ways to immobilize an attacker with my bare hands.

The last and most profound of the connections we made was with our AirBNB host, Lecia (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3139209?s=p6pABAhB). She taught in in St. Thomas for decades and retired but is still very involved in the community. She cares deeply about the children of the island and their future, she also cares about the environment. Her home is almost completely self-sustaining, she eats a plant-based diet and drives an electric car (which is charged by her solar panels.) Even better, through very smart decisions and hard work she’s built a life that gives her freedom to do what makes her happy. This entrepreneurial path is the one I’m walking on now and I need to surround myself with these kinds of people and soak up their wisdom.

I’ve always loved travel but didn’t fully understand why. I’ve always been fascinated by new people, places, and experiences. Exploration runs deep in the DNA of humanity. I think our ancestors found out long ago that seeking new places and new experiences make us better and stronger, they deepen our knowledge of both ourselves and of the Universe. Growth doesn’t come from doing more of the same things. Yes, ordinary life hands us its share of lessons but when we’re traveling those lessons are condensed in significantly higher doses over a shorter period of time.

I came back from this trip feeling inspired and prepared to take more chances. Dreams have their place but I’m tired of dreaming. I want to make more of a conscious effort to build the framework that will bring about the birth of Eric version 2.0. (or is it version 3.0?)

I’ve learned many things through my two plus decades of struggle as a writer. Dreams only provide a temporary respite from a life that is less than ideal. For dreams to work they must be paired with smart decisions, follow through, and lots of hard work. Over the next few months I’m going to be shuffling many of the priorities in my life around to make more room for writing (of course) and travel.

I’ve learned during the St. Thomas trip that travel isn’t as much a luxury as it is a necessary element in my life equation. Now that I’m back into my weekly routine of being rushed and pressed for time my heart literally aches when I look at the pictures from our trip and recall the freedom we felt. I’m going to use that heartache as a motivator. From now on I’m going to be budgeting for travel just as though it was healthcare coverage or groceries, in my opinion it’s just as important.

I’m honored that so many of you wonderful souls are here with me to take part in my journey. I’m excited to see what the coming months will bring for us all. I promise you, the second novel, Truth Is Stranger, will be completed soon come Hades or rising tides.

~Eric Vance Walton~

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The Drum

I still remember
the sky was a deep sapphire
that afternoon when
the dead drone
of the drum began,


their coffers were far from empty
but they were still hungry
for power and dollars,
their only Gods


not a hint of regret
laid across the
lips of lady liberty
but it did her people,
they are good people, mostly,
simple people


the propaganda machine
had spewed its stinking filth
for years leaving us so numb
we were willing to believe anything,
but this time was different

divisions were melting away,
our world was shrinking
and people were thinking,
yearning badly for a lasting peace
so the powers that be
brought us only war


after all it’s never been
their sons or daughters
who get the blood
on their hands,
only the simple people
are sent to inflict the wounds
and collect the scars that
will cause hate and pain
to rip through generations,
like a tsunami


our deepest level of trouble
were the false flags of fear,
their hypnotic switches
causing one to doubt
wh
at they know to be true

 

in their hearts,
this is all they need,
easy belief of these kinds of lies
have always been the
weeds in our garden

but the peace has always
been there within us,
we see the shine of it
from the corners of our eyes
deep down like a
gold nugget flashing,
nestled in the smooth rock
of the river bed

to uncover it, we need

less logic and more ramble
but we must learn this quickly

before our world lies

smoldering in shambles,


this time
there will be
no second chances,
no Phoenix rising,
not this time


through all of this
they failed to realize
that this is just the sort of thing
that turns peaceful souls
into revolutionaries,


our righteous and beautiful voices

may just shout them down in unison,
most of us, we are just

simple people after all,


simple folks who want
the chance to succeed or fail,
fill our lungs with clean fresh air,
and slay our demons one by one,
have ourselves a bit of fun


but in the distance
I hear the dreaded drum,
the dead drone
of the drum.

War Drum

~Eric Vance Walton~

 

A Writer’s Life

Shaky with apprehensions,

poorer this year than the last,

existing in the place between

what will be and what has passed

 

it’s an author’s life for me

I have given the benefit of every doubt,

and during fevers of eloquence,

found myself electrified absolutely

by the lightning bolt of muse

 

this current flowing through me,

greater than any currency

it has given me friends that span oceans wide

there are no borders here, no blind pride

we are bound by our love of words,

and have found an all embracing tenderness

that shows us

there should be no other way.

 

~Eric Vance Walton~

Alarm Clock Dawn

Focus is hazed 

as wing-tip 

dreams come calling

softly, persistently 

those starched seams of 

material obsession

trite expressions 

that seem to echo 

so endlessly

I’ve left it all behind, this time, 

left it all behind in my mind

the alarm clock dawn methodical 

in its wringing, starving, stealing time 

so stealthily that you hardly notice 

until one day you wake up faded, 

to a jaded, gaunt and hungry hue

I’ve left it all behind, this time,

left it all behind in my mind

So this is how it feels to be free? 

To be set adrift like some Coltrane riff 

when need’s an endless song

can’t tell you where I’ll be tomorrow 

I may be drawn back into the yawn 

of the alarm clock dawn,

balance is my only hope 

to end up somewhere 

in the middle.

~Eric Vance Walton~

Unbroken

The world has grown up around us
leaving us with our memories
and the beauty of broken things,
dusty relics of the time we knew

even the sky is different now
but yet we cast the same shadows
and these shadows still stretch
as we walk away from the sun

the crowd grows younger each year
but I feel a warmth that only wisdom brings
to have weathered all the winds life has blown
and still be able to smile…to find joy
means, today, I’ve won. I am not broken

These years have taught me
to feast on the marrow of life
to wring out the glistening drops of happiness
and not trouble myself with the trivial,

the day’s events slither,
they are shallow and fickle
sometimes difficult to grasp
they do not even know themselves

in the end all that matters
is the sum of the words written
on the pages of our book of life
and their unique and personal truths.

~Eric Vance Walton~

Join The Indie Publishing Revolution!

We’re in the middle of a publishing revolution. Publishing houses no longer hold all of the keys to success as a writer. The world is changing. Every writer has a chance to be part of the new publishing world. This book is not about publishing contracts and million dollar book deals. This book is about creating a life as a writer. One Word at a Time is a deeply personal guide to success as a writer. In this book I share my hard-won lessons about creating and sustaining the writer’s life. If you want a practical and personal guide to success as a writer, this book is for you.  Available now for Kindle and in paperback.

One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author
One Word At A Time: Finding Your Way as an Indie Author

Rush Hour Train

Happiness is an empty
rush hour train
only the scent of the past remains
and stains of a crushed Cheeto
on a vacant seat,
a crumpled can of pop
and graffiti covered shops
that rush by, unbroken

Happiness is an empty
rush hour train
a subtle sway to hush the pain
as life’s maelstrom
briefly slows its swirl
the fringes of my soul
begin an upward curl, a smile

Muse strikes,
a welcome distraction
from mortality
pulls me back from
the edge of never
to maybe…just wait and see
please save me from obscurity

Happiness is an empty
rush hour train
the pause I prayed for
spared me again
from being life’s prey
sweet Muse diffuses the illusion,
and I return to the conclusion
that I spell out the meaning
of my existence,
one word at a time.

~Eric Vance Walton~

Too Simple To See

Time is cruel
in that there are
not enough minutes
in a lifetime
to learn all
there is to know

the best of our
years are spent
sifting through
the bullshit, the fluff,
the liars, and the takers
until one great day
our hearts reveal
to us what it is
that truly matters

even if our eyes witness
the truth of only one sunset
there would be immeasurable worth
in all of the struggle and pain

there is such beauty in this world
if only it weren’t too simple to see.

~Eric Vance Walton~

The History of the Chapbook

In preparation for the launch of my handmade poetry chapbook for Valentine’s Day I’ve been researching the history of them. I’m glad I took the time to do this because there was much I didn’t know about them. Hundreds of years ago chapbooks played an integral part in the spreading of literacy.

For my first chapbook project I’m partnering with artist Kristi Casey to craft a truly one-of-a-kind book that will harken back to the chapbooks of 16th century Europe.

This will contain 21 original poems, will be a very limited print. Each copy in the series will be numbered and autographed. More details will be posted as the project progresses!