A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO DIE

Sometimes we live our own miracles, and sometimes we don’t. There is a passage in the bible, Ecclesiastes I think, somewhere around the third verse, I’ve read it many times, and it goes something like this:

A  Time  for  Everything

“THERE IS a time for everything, and a SEASON for every activity under the heavens. There is a time to be born and a time to die,  a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal.”

I have been living that verse for along time. Born so long ago the sun is burning my back, I know how that scorch feels. I feel it because the metal meets the bone within me.

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

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RJ in the ICU post surgery

There was a time I considered Everything as meaningless. That we all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?

It’s getting on into the new year and I know most of you have been worried. There have been whispers and nudges… many of them on the money, but much of it second or third hand and passed down the line. So here you have it from me, I’ve been out of the loop for most of the last year, getting on day to week to arrive at another medical procedure. Having my last Christmas at the Medical Center, I suppose I felt like I was fighting to survive.

Indeed, I fought every day just to breathe and swallow.

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RJs neck now

I wont go into the particulars, but its been tough GETTING THROUGH the last eighteen months. I am back now, and in much better shape than before. With a new piece of hardware holding my neck in place, much of that pain has subsided and I’m feeling like  that “Christmas Miracle” the nurses spoke of when I came through the other end.

Life and death… I write about it, I suppose the horrific glare of the monsters and demons that live in these shadows.

Yet never have I come before their countenances like I did this last month.

I’ve seen the orbs of life in the E.R. and the Darkness of the Intensive Carehallway Unit… I felt the spirits moving along the long corridor that rested just outside my hospital room door.

Sometimes, I’d catch a glance at the bag and stretcher which carried away the remains of what we are.

And if I stretched your ear to the corridor, I heard a soft cry, imagined a tear that streaked a cheek of a loved one.

It was scary stuff.

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I saw a lot of this

Writing contemporary Horror and Suspense, well.. it brings things into perspective a bit. It makes the edges a bit less blurry.

For the entire month of December I saw and heard many things, sometimes it would be a muffled cry and a glimpse of families struggling to understand.

I was terrified I found myself slipping into that groove.

It’s a scary place to be, late into the night, when the lights go down and its just you on the bed, lines running through your veins and the outcome uncertain. I’ve been there, it will remain with me forever, and now that I have come out the other side, I wonder… who will be there in the end?

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RJ after 20 days in and surgery

There will always be fine nurses by your side, maybe a doctor or two… I’ve met them by the dozens, they tend to your every need and try their best. But what can they do when the boogie monsters come out of the shadows?

So where does this leave me, late into the wee hours when I sit here and stare out my window for a miracle? With collapsed veins, bags hanging, and a cell phone at the end of my fingers, who should I call when the end come knocking like it did for me?

I lost 25 pounds in December and gave up my soul.

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A few days into the scare.

In the end, the heavens spat me back to Earth to tell the tale.

Maybe one day I will, perhaps, if the edges ever become clear.

Right now I’m just grateful to be here with a few new fans and the knowledge it wasn’t my time.

THEY’RE IN THE WOODS

images (2)Bigfoot investigators have searched for a Sasquatch in upstate New York and Vermont since Frank Siecienski of Hubbardton, Vermont, reported sighting Bigfoot in his backyard.

However, Bill Brann, the director of the National Sasquatch Research Society, says the video is likely an owl shot close up to make it look bigger.

Really? Take a gander, Dear Reader… and you tell me this looks like an owl?

A tissue sample is believed by researchers to have been taken from a real-life Bigfoot. The hair is described as far more coarse like a horse’s than a human’s.

images (3)Bigfoot sightings were thought to be a phenomenon regulated to the Pacific Northwest. But a group of investigators, say the creatures pop up on the East Coast more than one would think.

Frank Siecienski, of Hubbardton, said to the Daily News that “Both my wife and I, when we looked at it on the computer, said, ‘What in the world is that?’ Right now I have a picture that everyone is telling me – and I think it is – a female Sasquatch with its young.”

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Frank Siecienski & picture of his backyard, before the female Sasquatch appeared.

Another memorable investigation dates back to 1976, when two teenage boys, Marty Paddock and Paul Gosselin, saw a 7-to-8-feet tall creature stalking through a field on the outskirts of Whitehall. The boys, who were driving home from a camping trip, also reported hearing an odd noise, a “cross between a woman screaming and a pig squealing.”

Screen-Shot-2012-11-03-at-10.56.04-AM-300x256Three different law enforcement agencies joined in the investigation, which was never able to confirm what exactly was in the field – a struggle most Sasquatch investigations face.

“People always ask, ‘How can anything this large be moving around and not be seen very often?’” Brann said. “I don’t really have a clear answer for that.”

Early this fall, New York’s chief wildlife biologist vehemently denied the existence of Bigfoot in a letter to businessman Peter Wiemer of upstate Maywood, N.Y. “The simple truth of the matter is that there is no such animal anywhere in the world,” Gordon Batcheller wrote, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I am sorry to disappoint you.”

Brann, however, insists that the statement was “premature.”

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Paul Bartholomew, author of “Monsters of North Woods,” shows the Whitehall, N.Y., field where two then-teenagers say they saw Bigfoot in 1976.

Ketchum studied about 109 samples of purported Sasquatch DNA and from those, obtained “three whole nuclear genomes” that she says had never been seen before.

kansas-bigfoot-picture-102011d-254x157The genome sequence showed that the mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down from mothers, was human, according to Ketchum. The nuclear DNA that was passed from both parents was a mix of human and “other primate species.”

“Whatever the male side is, they made it with human women,” the Texas veterinarian explained. “The resulting offspring is Sasquatch.”

She hopes that her study, which has raised eyebrows among the scientific community, will help to combat people’s skepticism and eventually, lead to the protection of the Bigfoot.

“I know they exist,” maintained Ketchum, who says she has seen two such creatures with her own eyes. “There is not a shadow of doubt.”

images (4)In my humble opinion, as a novelist and screenwriter, I think the large hairy beasts are back stalking the mountains of New York. That was my sole reason for planning the summer 2014  trip to those mountains and visiting The McQuade Foundation — I was invited up there to write my next novel, Mountain Monsters… but as you all know I had no choice other than to cancel two book tours over the last 18 months, and my trips to these mountains, along with the six month investigative fact finding mission to Oklahoma where I was scheduled to meet with two killers and shoot a TV Pilot with Film Producer Rick McIntosh and then write the true crime book of The Good Friday Killers.

Unfortunately, after two surgeries on by C-Spine and Lumbar Spine to try and correct Bulging Discs and Flattening of my spinal cord from the bicycle accident in June 2013, I’ve been physically unable to travel anywhere for long hours of signing and events. The surgeries DID correct some of the damage, and I’ve gotten back some sensation in my left hand and left toes… but I still have a lot of pain and loss of motion in three fingers on my left hand. However, the good news is… I hope to recover some motion and this might happen when I can have an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion on my spinal cord in my neck to be performed by one of the best Neurosurgeons in Tampa. The problem is, I don’t have the $159,000 to have this surgery. I’ve lost over $100,000 on my advertising campaign, investments on The Santa Claus Killer that released in 2013 and CATACLYSM in 2014…. all because of my inability to tour, sign books, carry boxes, set up my display or travel across the globe. I was super excited to finally be going to London, where I was going to do interviews and attend the London Book Fair.

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Hopefully, one day, after all the surgeries and correction of the damage to my spine, HOPEFULLY…  God will give me a miracle and heal me. I worked too hard, and came too far, and was just about to become a bestseller. Barnes and Noble had started advertising my book beside Stephen King and John Grisham, I was being selected to be on that level because of my talent and hard work.

Now, all I can do is search the internet and research a lot of things relating to the unexplained, so that one day, hopefully, I can get back to doing the thing I love. Writing entertainment for all of you out there who are my fans. I love you guys!  Please keep me in your prayers; perhaps, one day, after many more surgeries and a lot of rehabilitation, I might be able to get my life back.

RJ Smith – November 2104

FUNNY AS HECK!

THE CHRISTMAS GIVE-A-WAY

 

 

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Hey FANS… It’s getting on towards the holiday season of 2014, and as I do every year, it’s time to start building Santa’s list for my Ultimate Reader Experience Give-a-Way!

Here’s how it works.

From October through December 15th, all you have to do is click over to my ULTIMATEiStock_000010699577Medium-657x318 READER EXPERIENCE and sign up by entering your e-mail.

This automatically enters you into my Christmas Ultimate Reader Experience give-a-way which includes autographed copies of my novels, an amazon gift card and a KINDLE reading device.

On December 15th my US and UK Literary Agents will randomly choose 25 names from those who sign up for The Experience.

On December 16th, those names will be sent to my US Editor who will then draw ten names as finalists. That same day, the list will be e-mailed to Santa who will randomly pick  three names.

events_santaEach name Santa draws will WIN either a brand new KINDLE pre-loaded with my e-books, an Amazon Gift card or autographed copies of my books.

Only Santa knows which you will receive. But at least one Kindle will be awarded, two gift cards and ten novels.

Santa will also draw two more names from those who follow his favorite author on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TheRealRJSmith 

Good luck everyone!

Now, here is the link to sign up for the drawing:

http://www.rjsmith.net/connect-with-rj-smith/

CATACLYSM In The New York Times

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CATACLYSM In USA Today Book Section

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CATACLYSM in The Los Angeles Times

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THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

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RJ with David Childress

It’s 12:32 a.m. here on the East Coast of America… the night sky is packed with thick, dark clouds, and rain pounds the roof of my modest home in Belleair.

I love the rain, it washes away the sins of mankind and brings renewal, offering new beginnings when the streets are washed clean and the soul senses reinvigorating hope.

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RJ & Nick Pope

Life… no matter what it throws at the human spirit, we bounce back and fight for another dream, reaching into that vast universe of courage to continue the good fight.

I often quote the following :

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

I’m a huge believer in redemption… and I support the old adage that it doesn’t matter how many times a person is knocked down, but how many times they pick themselves up to fight another day.

No matter what one faces in life, we have to keep on chasing that elusive dream, you’ve got to have that fire deep inside your soul.

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A friend recently noted that I’m listed on Wikipedia as a “famous resident” of Belleair, Florida.

I’m flattered and grateful for the recognition.

RJ & Richard Dolan

But I have to laugh.. FAME?

Really?

As I tap this on my trusted custom built laptop, my pledge to the fans who buy my books is to encourage the hope of the future.

I’ll try my best to recover from the injuries I sustained in 2013 and do my best to get back to writing great books. It’s difficult, the pain is atrocious, but I’m trying to recover.

I continue to be humbled by everyone who reads my work, and I thank those who’ve sent get well notes, or took the time to post reviews of my novels.

It means the world to me, and this is me saying thanks.

The only thing that matters in life are the friendships we form and being kind to one another. If someone has shown you kindness, pass it on, make someone else smile. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the small things, we forget our lives are nothing more than a particle on a strong gust of wind. We’re only on this little blue planet for a brief moment, and in the end, what’s important is whether or not we made the best of our lives.

I love you all for your well wishes.

THE HALTING OF A GREAT CAREER

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A Personal Message to my Fans!

R.J. Smith

Today, as I struggle to sit at my desk, I’m in quite a lot of pain as many of you have come to know.

This year, throughout the summer, 2014, starting in June, I had scheduled and was looking forward to a string of appearances and signings at books fairs, conventions, events and book stores in support of Cataclysm.

Unfortunately, I was forced to cancel ALL THE DATES of the book tour again this year due to the very serious spine injury I’ve written about that traumatized me in June 2013.

The injuries  have ruined my personal and professional life. 

Caused by the neglect of a paving contractor who left a huge hole in the sidewalk in my upscale neighborhood, they had dug  up the sidewalk and failed to rope off the area.

Unfortunately, while riding my bike on the sidewalk that evening, and unaware of the hole waiting up ahead (because there were no darn signs or caution tape… nothing) my bike went into that hole and the last two years of my life have been hell on earth.

Thank god it wasn’t a child riding their bike down that sidewalk. 

Just a few days ago I was at another of my endless doctor appointments to try and fix the damage to my spine. Off to the MRI machine again, making sure a surgery went as planned.

You see, by the time you read this, I’ll be laid up recovering from that back surgery which will hopefully correct some of the serious disc damage and spinal cord impingement’s in my back.

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RJ Pre-Surgery

This is my second surgery, as last year I underwent neck surgery to alleviate an enormous amount of pain caused by disc impingement on my spinal cord. 

But it’s not over yet, I still have to undergo neurosurgery for injuries to my spinal cord in my neck and discs which has caused motor issues with my hands… and as you all know, if I cannot type normally, the novels will come very slow and the tours stop, everything ends.

I am not sure what the future holds for me anymore, I just had to turn down a movie script offer from Totem Films…. my whole career has come to a sudden stop because of these injuries. I can’t sit for long periods, which means I cannot write books on a ten month deadline or movie scripts in 90 days. I have trouble standing for more than thirty minutes, can’t pick anything up (like a box of books).

Last Fall, I was scheduled to travel to Oklahoma to write the true crime book, The Good Friday Killers. But because of the accident, that entire project has been cancelled until further notice.

This summer, I was supposed to be in New York to write my next novel, Mountain Monsters, a Horror novel and movie script about monsters in the woods who take over a town and invade West Point. But, everything has been postponed or cancelled until further notice. Travelling, or lifting boxes of books and setting up tables is just not possible.

Please send your prayers this way, I need them.