Are You Better Off Today?

Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  This is a question that’s being asked a lot in this political arena.  It’s a question that was asked over twenty-five years ago when conditions were pretty much the same as they are now.

As I’ve heard this question asked more than a dozen times in one hour it got thinking, am I really better off today than I was four years ago?  That’s a heavy question to answer and one that could not be answered easily.  Taking all politics out of the question, so I could get a true honest answer, am I better off today than I was four years ago?  The answer is YES.

Like I said, I’m taking all politics out of my answer so when I say Yes, it has nothing to do with the policies of ANY political party.  Now, when I answer, “Yes I’m better off,” it’s because of my own hard work and nothing else.

The year was 2008.  I had been writing as an author for two years now and had less than twenty followers or fans.  I had lost my house and was now living in the heart of the ghetto of North Houston, Greenspoint, better known as Gunspoint.  There was only one car to share between my wife and I and since she had my daughter she got the car, one that was barely running at the time.

To pay the bills I was working for a security company that was barely keeping it’s head above water.  I had no health insurance, close to eighty security officers who reported to me and hated my guts, a bunch of properties that were under my care to improve on their conditions.  I worked close to eighty hours a week, twenty four of those hours were straight, but only got paid for sixty of those hours.  I was on call 24/7 and if I got four hours of sleep at a time I was lucky.

Thanks to my hard work the company was expanding and expanding fast.  By the end of the summer I had helped to double the size of our branch, we were no longer treading water.  Just as things were looking up Mother Nature threw us a curve ball, Hurricane Ike.  After the storm I went to work protecting our interest.  I made sure all our properties were being looked after, personally driving in a patrol vehicle twelve hours straight and having the other patrol officers take up the other half.

That hard work earned me a full time office position and a raise.  Our accounts doubled again because of my hard work.  In January of 2009, thanks to the raise, I was able to get my family out of the run down apartments in Gunspoint and into a house we rented.

With my hours now reduced I was about to concentrate on my writing.  I had self published two books and learned the hard way about self publishing.  If I wanted to sell my work I had to sell it myself.  Selling myself I did.

I was already an avid blogger on the MYFOX sight.  Houston was my main source of blogging but I was making appearances in New York, Los Angeles, and much to my surprise Raleigh, North Carolina.  I went from having less than twenty followers in a two year period to having over fifty followers, as well as a few haters.  I’ve always said, “You haven’t made it big until you have a few haters.”

I was living high on the hog for the next two months.  Life was great until one day I came into the office and the gates of hell had broken loose the night before.  Long story short I was now without a job because I did the right thing.  I refused to allow the loss of a job to turn my life upside down again.

I made a few new contacts due to my actions after Hurricane Ike.  I managed to gather a few favors while I was at it.  I decided to try to cash those favors in.  While there was a hiring freeze going on; through the contacts I landed my current job and am still here today.

A month after my new employment I received an email from my publisher that they were going to make a deal with local book stores to buy back any unsold books not sold during a book signing IF they gave me a chance to have a book signing.  It was my job to get the store manager to agree.

I hussled and emailed every Barnes and Noble in the Houston and surrounding areas but they were pretty much all booked up for the summer.  There was a Barnes and Noble where I worked and after meeting with the manager face to face he decided to give me a chance, even though self published authors was frowned upon by B&N.

I was excited.  I was interviewed on an internet radio show and by the local newspaper where I was going to have the book signing.  I just had one major problem, my publisher was screwing me over on the price of the book.  They were charging $25 for the paperback book and I had no say over the price.  It was MY book and even I would not pay that price, so I came up with ideas for freebies.

The book I really wanted to push was The Guardians, and I had not found a publisher yet, refusing to use the same publisher I was using.  I figured if I could drum up enough interest in the book I had a better chance of getting an agent to sell the book to.  I hand printed booklets on my printer with the first two chapters as a teaser.  I had T-Shirts made up that said I <3 a="a" angels="angels" back="back" book.="book." bought="bought" first="first" for="for" guardian="guardian" of="of" on="on" people="people" set="set" span="span" style="mso-spacerun: yes;" ten="ten" the="the" who="who" wings="wings" with="with"> 
Also I had book marks, a cloth shoulder bag to carry the books in, and booklets of poetry I’ve written for everyone who bought a book.

Invitations were sent out to all my contacts in the Houston and surrounding areas.  The day of the book signing came and it was time to see if all my hard work had paid off.  I had twenty books to sell and only four hours in which to do so.  With support from my family and hard work I sold eighteen of the twenty books, the other two selling a few days later.  I made new fans that day and am very grateful to all whom came out, including one who drove almost an hour to come see me.

There was one person who walked past me and smugly said, “If I can’t read it on my Nook then it’s not worth me reading.”  That comment stuck with me.  Right then I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I was no longer going to be at the mercy of some publisher who did not care about me.  I needed an agent.  Over the next few months I pounded the pavement with both fist trying to get an agent for The Guardians.  I was rejected over and over.  Finally I received a rejection that hit me hard.  While every rejection I’ve gotten so far was a form letter this rejection was hand written and was a personal attack on me and my book.

That rejection letter hit me hard, I was about ready to give up, put the cap on my pen and never write another word.  I went into my dark place and didn’t come out for two weeks.  When I came out I decided to do everything myself, after all, no one will work harder to sell me than me.

Over the next few months I was working hard to get the books I had completed so far to print, in paper and electronic form.  Granted I rushed, and have been trying to fix my mistakes ever since.  With my books printed, my ebooks available for free, I started to gain more followers. 

In 2008 if you did a Google search for Max M. Power it took you five pages before you found me.  Now, four years later, if you do the same search it takes three pages before I’m not on the page.

I have a steady job, three years so far.  I own two cars, and will be getting a third in February of 2013.  I have my own house, in a nice quite area, far from the ghetto I have lived all my life.  I have health insurance, it may be shitty insurance but it’s still better that the none I had four years ago.  So YES, I am better off today than I was for years ago but this is due to my own hard work and nothing any political party has done for me.

Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

Weapons vs Police Officers

A few things the average person does not know about weapons vs Police Officers.
1. A person with a knife can clear 21ft and stab an officer in the neck before he can clear his holster, even if the officer backs way while doing so.
2. A BIC pen can be shoved in someone's neck with very little force.
3. A knife CAN go through a bullet proof vest but most knife attacks are not to the torso but other vidal areas.
Keep this in mind. When an officer tells you to put something down or show your hands it's for everyone's safety. An officer does NOT have allow you to attack them and kill them before they act. At the end of the shift EVERY officer would rather go home on their own two feet than in a body bag.

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To My Fans

First I would like to start by saying Thank You to all my fans. Without you I would just be a big mouth with no one to tell my stories to. Your support has been overwhelming, again, Thank you.
This year has been a rough one. I had a lot thrown at me all at once and I have been taking things one problem at a time. In my heart I keep telling myself, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That's how I'm taking these issues, one at a time. Now that we are nearing the end of the year I am coming around to my final bites.
I know I have been an advocate for free materials to anyone who wants to read, and I am still very serious about this, which is I created Please Read To Me. Through this venue I will provide free books and ebooks to those who make a request on my website,
With that said, it is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement, as of January 1st all my ebooks will now cost $0.99. I have been giving away my books for free since 2008 in hopes of gaining fans of my work. I know it's not the best in the world but I am always trying to improve for you, my readers.
My grammar is still, for a lack of a better word, lacking, and that too is something I am working on for you, which is why I am reediting all my books and if you have a copy of my current email me with the titles you have and I will send you a copy of the revised version.
With the new year will come new projects. Hopefully you will like what I have in store for you. Thank you for your continued support.
Forever your humble author,
Max M. Power

Dear Customer Service

Dear Customer Service,

I understand that when trying to get new customers you offer special promotions to draw customers in.  I am in no way saying this is a bad thing but you are creating a huge problem.  While you are offering your promotions is everyone else.  For every NEW customer you draw in you have to ask yourself, how MANY are you losing? Why are you losing customers? Simple answer, you are screwing them over.
If you have a customer who has been with you for 2 plus years, I would call them a loyal customer, regardless if they have a contract or not.  They make their payments every month, they don’t cause any problems, they don’t ask for something every few moths. THESE are the customers you decide you want to screw over.
Customer: Can I have an upgrade? You: Suuuuure, just pay full price for the item. Discounts are for NEW customers only.
Customer: My bill keeps increasing, can I get a break of some kind since I’ve been with you for so long? You: Noooooo!!! But here is a rate increase for you. Be sure to pay your increase bill on time.
Customer: I’m paying out too much every month, I can’t afford to keep this service. You:
All the customer hears is crickets chirping. I’m informing you that if you continue to treat your loyal customers like second class customers then your competitors will soon have NEW customers. Please offer your loyal customers rewards too.


A Loyal Customer

My First Graphic Novel

I have a small dilemma and I am asking for help. If this decision involved just myself I would not put so much thought into it but I have two brothers, artist just starting out, who need me to make a well informed decision.
First off, The Guardians has been turned into a graphic novel. Seems people really like the concept of this series being made into a graphic novel but if you put a gun to my head and told me to draw a stick man I would be dead, I just can’t draw to save my life.
Artist after artist read The Guardians and agreed it would make a great graphic novel but none thought they could do the book justice, until these two brothers. I know NOTHING about printing a graphic novel and need to be pointed in the right direction. Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcomed.
Thank you.

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Have You Ever Been In Love?

Have you ever been so in love that no matter what happens you still love them? A love so strong you know you've been together in a past life? A love so pure you know you will meet in the next life? A love that makes you babble on and on and you can't make any sense no matter how hard you try? A love that is so innocent you smile when thinking of this person. A love so hungry that the slightest touch drives you insane? A love that can not be crushed my time, death, or even the person wishing to move on away from you? Yea, it's like that. Have you ever been in love?

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The Border Crossed Who?

 There is a saying that is being repeated over and over in California, and is making its way over to Texas.  “California is full of Mexicans back when it was Mexico.  They didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them.”  People are finding this statement funny and repeating it but when you repeat it have you really thought this through?  Let’s break this down shall we?
First off, I was born in the beautiful state of California, I lived there a total of ten years, bouncing back and forth between Texas and California, until I was eighteen.  Texas is my home but California is my birth place.  I was fortunate enough to study both state history’s in school and I’m proud to have done so.
Now when the “Border crossed them,” it was called a Revolution.  Both California and Texas fought for Independence from Mexico.  What does that mean?  It means they no longer wanted to be a part of Mexico.
Both became their own Republic.  They no longer called themselves Mexican because they did not consider themselves to be a citizen of Mexico, but instead called themselves Californians or Texans.  They were proud to be their own people, their own nation.  They fought and died for that freedom to be separate from Mexico.
Do you see a pattern here yet?
When the United States was spreading west bound they asked these Independent Countries, make no mistake they were their own country once they left Mexico, to join the Union.  So they now became citizens of the United States, again, no longer calling themselves Mexicans but the more common term of Americans.
With all this said, let’s look at what California and Texas is full of, um, not Mexicans, because let’s get this straight people, being a Mexican is a nationality not an ethnicity, they are full of AMERICANS!  That’s right they were born here as Americans not Mexicans.  So when you see the truth this statement falls apart.
Please don’t repeat a false statement, it doesn’t look good for anyone.

Love's Flight Path Revised

The first 3 chapters of the revised Love's Flight Path are ready for review. Reply with the email you want me to send it to.

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This is why people need to read

Sadly some people truly believe this:
In case it gets taken down, here's the text by +IMDb user brian__007:

"Overall, I like "Lord of the Rings." However, I do feel that Tolkien kind of rips off "Harry Potter" in many ways. There are several parallels, such as elves, dwarfs, wizards, goblins, trolls, magic (especially invisibility), etc. Sauron is referred to as “Dark Lord” just like Voldemort is. There is also the elder white-haired bearded wizard who serves almost as a mentor, Gandalf, who is reminiscent of Dumbledore. Some of the character names are similar, such as Wormtongue as opposed to Wormtail, too. There is even a gigantic spider (Shelob) at the end of "The Two Towers" that reminds one of Aragog from "Chamber of Secrets." I even noticed that the plots of both series begin with the protagonists’ birthday. Now I see that Tolkien, this unoriginal bastard, is coming out with "The Hobbit" in December. This would be fine, but why didn't he just write this book first to begin with? I still like "Lord of the Rings," though--don't get me wrong--but I wonder if Tolkien has ever said in interviews whether he borrowed elements from Harry Potter. I’ll be watching the extended DVDs later this week and I think he’s featured on the commentary track, so I look forward to that."

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Please Read To Me

There is nothing more frustrating for an author to hear than OH I DON'T READ! In an effort to combat This is why I am launching my Please Read To Me campaign. I hope my fellow authors will join in and spread the word. Repost if you agree with me. We need to get America reading again.

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Zombie Hunter

Thinking about becoming a certified zombie hunter. Anyone know how I get started?

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I want all my friends in Houston, who are able, to join me for a few hours for good food, fun, and SPIDER-MAN.  The Carl’s Jr at 3011 Ella Blvd, 77018, off the 610 loop will be hosting a Spider-Man event on Tuesday, June 5th from 2 – 4pm.  I will be there with my camera pretending to be Peter Parker covering the event, and sneaking in some free food while I’m at it.  Leave a comment below if you can come. I will be posting to my blog during and after the event.  Can’t wait to see you there.

Max M. Power

Spider-Man Taking Over Houston Restaurant
on “The Amazing Spider-Man Web-tacular” Tour
Fan event at local Carl’s Jr. to include larger-than-life, interactive spiderweb installations, movie ticket giveaways, burgers and more

What:  Carl’s Jr. ®in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, is hosting “The Amazing Spider-Man Web-tacular” fan event in Houston on Tuesday, June 5, to promote the release of The Amazing Spider-ManTM in theaters July 3, 2012.
This stop on the Web-tacular tour will feature spectacular, giant spiderwebs encasing the Carl’s Jr. location, complimentary “photo booth” opportunities of fans “caught” in the webs and spins on the Wheel of Awesome prize wheel, featuring Amazing Spider-Man advance movie tickets, t-shirts, hats, posters and other prizes.
All guests will receive coupons for Carl’s Jr.’s newest menu item, the Amazing Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger, which will also be available for free sampling at the event. The Spider-Man-themed burger features a charbroiled beef patty, bacon strips, American cheese, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise, all on a toasted bun.
Fans will also have the chance to be among the first to experience the Amazing Spider-Man video game at exclusive Sony PlayStation® game kiosks before its release this summer, courtesy of Activision. In-restaurant markers will also allow fans to unlock exclusive 3D Spider-Man interactive experiences via their smart phones with The Amazing Spider-Man Augmented Reality app.
“The Amazing Spider-Man Web-tacular” will also be swinging by Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants in Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Sacramento later this month.

Visuals:   Carl’s Jr. wrapped in extensive spiderweb installations
Fans interacting and taking photos in the webbing and with the Spider-Man standee
Fans spinning the Wheel of Awesome and receiving Carl’s Jr. and Spider-Man-themed prizes from the Wheel of Awesome Girls
Fans sampling the Amazing Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger
Fans playing at the Activision game consoles
Fans lined up to partake in the activities

When: Tuesday, June 5, 2012; 2-4 p.m.
Where:Carl’s Jr.: 3011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX 77018

Pro What?

I honestly don't get why those who are Pro-Life think they have the right to judge those who are Pro-Choice and then use the excuse of religion as to why they are so judgemental. Doesn't the man whose example you follow, Jesus, say Judge not lest you be judged?

You are NO ONE to judge and condemn others. I'm against abortion but I'm Pro-Choice. In the end when we meet whatever God we believe in it is between them and God what they have to answer for. That is free will God gave us ALL and YOU are not above God.

- Max M. Power

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Sara's Revenge - The Guardians II

Chapter 1

The cave was dark and cold. So deep is the darkness that natural light can not penetrate into it. The coldness radiated to the point Demetrius could feel it in his soul.
Demetrius needed the cold, longing for it. He wrapped it around him like a soothing blanket. The cold made Demetrius numb and he did not want to feel a thing. The pain of losing Sara was too great. Two weeks have gone by and still the pain remains, fresh as the day it happened.
By his own hand he had killed her. Demetrius knew that the woman he struck down was not the real Sara but instead Lilith in disguise. Still, Sara's fate was tied to Lilith's.
Azazel knew this too, that's why he sent Lilith to Demetrius. Azazel knew the pain of being betrayed by Sara would drive Demetrius insane. Azazel also knew that if Lilith was making herself into Sara that their souls would be linked. If Lilith died then so would Sara.
Demetrius' eyes began to glow red in the darkness. Anger for his brother began to consume him. Light began to fill the cave, every inch of darkness dying out to the light.
"You should try harder to control your anger."
Demetrius took a deep breath as he closed his eyes to concentrate. The powers he gained would take some getting use to.
"That's better. You don't want this cave to explode."
The light faded and the cave was once again thrown into darkness.
"I don't need your sarcasm Gabriel," Demetrius snapped. "I wish to be left alone."
"Raphael has given you plenty of time to be alone," Gabriel answered without pause. "I was sent to find you and bring you back."
"Raphael is no one to command me to do anything," Demetrius shouted through clenched teeth. "I'm done following him. He doesn't need me anymore, I already did his dirty work."
"It wasn't Raphael's dirty work to begin with," Gabriel snapped back as he sat on a rock in front of Demetrius. "You said it was Father who asked you to complete the final task. It was Father who showed you the future, a future you refuse to share with the rest of us. It was Father who made you into an Archangel."
"And now you are free to fight Azazel and his army on your own," Demetrius interrupted. "I started the war neither one of you were willing to start. I started Armageddon and it cost me my wife."
"We have all lost..."
"Really," Demetrius snapped, cutting Gabriel off as his anger began to grow again. "What have you lost brother? You can come and go to Heaven as you please. Kimberly remains safe in Heaven where she never has to see this war. so tell me brother, what have YOU lost?"
Gabriel sat in silence. There was nothing he could say that would ease Demetrius' pain. The light Demetrius' anger was producing began to fade once again. The two brothers sat in darkness for a while, letting the coldness wash over them.
"I have a plan for revenge," Demetrius finally whispered.

Soul Mates

The concept of soul mates is an old one. Someone who understands us, is a part of us, someone we belong with. Most people believe we only have that one true soul mate and we spend our entire life trying to find them.

In my opinion we have more than one soul mate. Yes they understand us. Yes they are a part of us. Yes they belong in our life. No, you would not be the same without them.

A soul mate is not a lover. They are there for you. They know when something is wrong, even from far away. They can lift your spirits by just being in the same room and never speak a word. They just get you in every way and will be there for you no matter what.

With that being said, a soul mate can be anyone or anything. A parent, a sibling, your best friend, your aunt or uncle, a grand parent, a pet. This soul gets you, understands you, and doesn’t need to be told what’s wrong but will do whatever they can to protect.

There are also two types of soul mates: True soul mates and Regular soul mates. You can be someone’s soul mate but that does not mean that they are your soul mate. This is a Regular soul mate. A True soul mate means you are their soul mate and they are yours. This is a small group who will follow each other from life time to life time. You will always find each other in each life.

Now the romantic lover soul mate, the one that most people believe in is in this True soul mate group. With each life this soul may change unless you both decide to exclusively tie yourselves to one another for eternity, imprinting all your emotions and memories onto one another. The other souls in your group will surround you both and unconsciously help you find each other in each new life.

This is my view on what a soul mate is.

Max M. Power

In the Name of Religion

To all you self righteous hypocrites who want to shun family in the name of RELIGION I have a few choice words for you and your stupid blind following.

I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness but they are NOT the only ones who do this. If a member of your family leaves YOUR faith and no longer wishes to be know as a member of YOUR church then that is between THEM and God and you have nothing to say about it.

NOWHERE in the Bible does it say to shun them, turn your back on them, or even treat them as if they are dead. Oh trust me, I know what you are going to say, “It says to treat the non believer as if they are a leper so as they do not infect you and your faith.”

This means IF they are trying to take you away from YOUR Faith then do so but it does NOT mean that you are to treat them harsh, cruel, or unfair. See, what’s keeping you from doing the right thing is that self righteous RAFTER in your eye.

Jesus said to love your enemy. If you think so poorly of this family member that is a NON believer, and let’s be clear here, unless they change to a different sect other than Christianity then they are NOT non believers, they just no longer agree with what YOU believe, then that family member is your enemy and you should love them.

Let’s not forget about the Prodigal Son, who left his father’s home and yet the father still loved him. Was that NOT a reference to God, being the Father who loves and forgives us? So if God can still love them and except them because they still believe in Him then why can’t you?

"Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is Love.” Have FAITH that your family member will still believe in God, HOPE that they will return to the church, but LOVE them anyway, for by YOUR Love do you set the example.

I was always told that you can not pick and choose what you want to believe in in the Bible. Its pretty much an all or nothing deal. If you claim to be a follower of Christ then why do you not follow his teachings? Why do you let some CHURCH rule you with fear over what you know isn’t right, turning your back on your family? And if you do NOT know that that isn’t right, well you got bigger problems than anyone had first thought.

I have “turned the other cheek” so often that my face is numb. Share this if you agree.

Max M. Power