You cannot beat a river into submission. You have to surrender to its current and use its power as your own. – The Ancient One in Doctor Strange, Movie 2017.
A little over three years ago, I was overweight, dealing with depression, having suicidal thoughts, and battling my demons, as well everyone else’s it seemed. The news displaying dead black boys, terrorist threats, and political climate didn’t help as well. Veils started to fall, from the people I thought I knew to what I thought I knew about life. Reality came crashing down on my oblivious perception. I was 22, going on 23 and I felt like I was holding in more than I showed to the world.
My go-to form of expression since middle school was music. At the same time, as my world was crashing down around me, I was making strides with my music in spring of 2014. SXSW just ended, the single I had just released was making noise in a few hip-hop blogs and websites, and that momentum carried off into the summer and the fall. It was right before graduating school for medical billing and coding in September 2014 that I looked at my life feeling discouraged and insecure. The hype I had from the months earlier with my music died down. I hadn’t been in any real relationship with a woman since my split with an ex years prior and I didn’t feel wanted by anybody. Getting sudden attention for something I created and then having it disappear like it never happened left me defeated.
I felt I needed to do something drastic to counter the feeling of depression and wanting to end it. Even though I hid behind a big chunky smile, I was miserable. Around November 2014, I did the unthinkable. I stopped eating meat. A friend (now girlfriend) at the time had been vegetarian for a little over a year and she said she felt great. I decided to try it out. To the people who know me, know that was no walk in the park because I LOVED MEAT! Bacon on everything. Meat on everything. Every year since I was maybe 17 or 18 my mom and sister would make homemade hot wings for my birthday. Burger wrappers filled my car. Meat was an everyday part of my life. Little did I know, giving up meat was only the beginning.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
– Toni Morrison
January 2015, I decided to do something else drastic: Start the 10-day master cleanse and stop smoking cigarettes during that time. “Master Cleanse is a juice fast that permits no food, substituting tea and lemonade made with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Proponents claim that the diet detoxifies the body and removes excess fat,” says Wikipedia. As you might tell, I have incredible willpower to do this for ten days. As we all do, which is what I started to discover.
During the master cleanse, days went by not having any physical food. Only the master cleanse recipe. Doing this while working a call center job was challenging, to say the least. I started to discover more about myself and my surroundings. All my senses were heightened. I realized there were strengths I didn’t know I had. I was healing my mind, body, and soul. Weight was falling off. I didn’t just feel lighter in the sense of I just dropped all this weight at once and I don’t physically feel as heavy, but it felt like I was lighter in my heart. I wasn’t as attached to things that didn’t matter. In less than three months I had stopped eating meat, stopped eating physical foods and stopped smoking cigarettes. I loved it. I still made music, and I started doing the things I did as a child again. I began reading a lot of books, researching ancient history, creating, and writing stories. After the cleanse I had a new direction in life. I felt reborn. Not only was I going to make music, but also to write stories, and create whatever it is that I wanted.
My first attempt at writing a book was a dramatized story of me and an ex-girlfriend. Boy meets girl in middle school, until one day he moves away. Fate brings them back together when they are juniors in high school. They start talking only to find out that they had met once before a few years earlier over an online forum, and didn’t realize it. God brought them together three different times over the years; it must be fate! Right? Wrong. They graduate high school and tragedy strikes repeatedly, ripping them apart. He tries to move on, only to have her try to prevent him from moving on, sometimes in violent ways. Never finished it, but I have a 30,000-word manuscript written!
During that time I was reading books like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, and (my favorite) The Stranger by Albert Camus. All these books are deep, full of adventure, self-discovery, and fairly short reads. All incredible reads that moved my soul, but it didn’t speak to it. At least not in the way that I was yearning for. There is a quote by Toni Morrison in which she states, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So I did. Thus the start of my first completed book, Ideas of Illusion.
By July 20th, 2015, I had a 26-page rough draft. I was creating a story that fused my depression, suicidal thoughts, personal tragedies, conflict and contradictions within religions and our government, and turned it into a futuristic psychological-thriller that places the reader in the deadly space between letting go and taking control. The first official full draft of 80 pages was complete in August 2015.
He who gives away shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free; he shall cease to be a slave of passions. –Buddha
Years went by of edits. Bless my girlfriend’s soul and eyes. February of this year, it was finally released.
Ideas of Illusion
What happens when your dream becomes a nightmare and your nightmare becomes your reality?
This is the case for business owner & software developer Daniel King. Once on top of the world of online security with his program Bubble, he finds himself watching his hard works crumble beneath his feet. A life-changing encounter with a mysterious woman sends off a domino effect for Daniel’s life, bringing more business than he can imagine. Now financially secured, he wants to use his money to change the world for the good of everyone. He maps out a seemingly impossible plan that undermines the government, but finds out the cost for such an idea, could be everything Daniel loves. What price is worth paying for an idea of a better tomorrow?
Now ask yourself, “Should I read this book?”
“Those who release control, have it.” – Ideas of Illusion, Novella by Kevin Prince