Who is the Half Hearted Girl?

The Half Hearted Girl

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I want to tell you all about an amazing project I have been fortunate to observe from conception to  completion, It has been so much fun for me  to be behind the scenes and watch this all come together.

doorhalf

 

The Half Hearted Girl ( 2 words not hyphenated) is a black and white fully illustrated book. The story, writing style, and art are relevant to people of all ages, however I think the target audience is probably around 11-20 years of age.   I wish it was easier for me to classify this book, but it simply stands alone. I want to be clear that this book is by no means some Obscure novelty book. With a page count of just under 100 and with so many illustrations it is hard to classify by modern literary classifications.  I think of it more like a modern fairy tale. This is a book you would have seen in books stores 70 years ago.  It is similar to some of the works of Hans Christian Andersen as far as word count and art. I call it a modern fairy tale because their is no physical antagonist in this story. The challenge our Protagonist has to face is that of an internal nature.

QUESTIONS

The main theme of this story is about love and soul mates and how meeting another person can sometimes help us become a more complete person ourselves. The story follows the life of The Half Hearted Girl and her quest to seek out wholehearted things.  When one day she discovers something special.  ( I do not wish to be more detailed about her discovery for Spoiler reasons) This discovery sends her off on an adventure.  The author now tells a  parallel story of The Half Soul Boy. Who one day also discovers something that leads him off on an adventure of his own.   Layered inside of the main story line is a  coming of age tale with some very significant and meaningful  insights about life, the emptiness we all feel inside at times, and the great mortal coil . There is a real  longing so many of us feel to try something new, to meet someone new, to go someplace new, and to find out what is over the horizon.  We often think that somehow we will find what ever it is we are missing if we just keep looking, but somehow  it’s always just one more step away.

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We choose the path that leads to the right, and after we have been on it for a while we think we should have gone left instead. So we go back and go left, and after being on the left path for a while we think we should have probably stayed on the right path all along.  Often times as humans be do not appreciate who and what we have around us, and how amazing our lives are until we seek out the unknown. What do most of us find out there beyond the rim of the world?  Well, some of us do find our Soul Mates,  but we also find  the answer to our own unique question, the same question that set us on our journey to begin with.  The answer more often than not is that all we need, all we love, and all that matters was always there all along we just needed to see the world and to gain knowledge; we just needed to meet new people to gain experiences, so that through comparison we can see who we are, where we come from, and what matters most to each of us.

Adventure-Book

We often get restless and start feeling trapped. This is something a lot of us deal with all of our lives. Perhaps we feel like the daily routine is like  living with half of a heart or half,  of half of a soul.    Sometimes we just have to get far enough away from those things, those people, and those places  and to realize there is nothing out there in the unknown that we will find under some rock that will somehow complete our lives and make everything perfect. Even when we find the one thing we seek it always comes with a choice.  After all isn’t life often about giving up something you want, for something you want more?

That is my own interpretation of the story,  I do feel the author may have had a more literal meaning in mind,  but that is one of the wonderful things about every story I have read from Sandra Harvey.  Ultimately it is for you to decide.

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Do not miss out on this incredibly wonderful and life changing story, with amazing illustrations by Calum Jones.

available on amazon 1

 

 

 

 

Who is the Half Hearted Girl?

The Half Hearted Girl

hhg

 

I want to tell you all about an amazing project I have been fortunate to observe from conception to  completion, It has been so much fun for me  to be behind the scenes and watch this all come together.

doorhalf

 

The Half Hearted Girl ( 2 words not hyphenated) is a black and white fully illustrated book. The story, writing style, and art are relevant to people of all ages, however I think the target audience is probably around 11-20 years of age.   I wish it was easier for my to classify this book, but it simply stands alone.  It is by no means some Obscure novelty book. With a page count of just under 100 and with so many illustrations it is hard to classify by modern literary classifications.  I think of it more like a modern fairy tale. This is a book you would have seen published in books stores 70 years ago.  It is Similar to some of the works of Hans Christian Andersen as far as word count and art. I call it a modern fairy tale because their is no physical antagonist in this story. The challenge our Protagonist has to face is that of an internal nature.

QUESTIONS

The main theme of this story is about love and soul mates and how meeting another person can sometimes help us become a more complete person ourselves. The story follows the life of The Half Hearted Girl and her quest to seek out wholehearted things.  When one day she discovers something special.  ( I do not wish to be more detailed about her discovery for Spoiler reasons) This discovery sends her off on an adventure.  A parallel story of The Half Soul Boy is told and of course one day The Half Soul Boy discovers something that leads him off on an adventure of his own.   Layered inside of the main story line is a  coming of age tale with some very significant and meaningful  insights about life, and the great mortal coil.  The emptiness we all feel inside at times. The longing so many of us feel to try something new, to go someplace new, and to find out what is over the horizon.  We often think that somehow we will find what ever it is we are missing,  but it’s always just one more step away. 

signtop400dpi

We choose the path that leads to the right, and after we have been on it for a while we think we should have gone left instead. So we go back and go left, and after being on the left path for a while we think we should have probably stayed on the right path all along.  Often times as humans be do not appreciate what we have around us, and how amazing our lives are until we seek out the unknown. What do most of us find out there beyond the rim of the world?  Well, some of us do find our Soul Mates,  but we also find  the answer to our own unique question, the same question that set us on our journey to begin with.  The answer more often than not is that all we need, all we love, and all that matters was always there all along we just needed to see the world and to gain knowledge; we just needed to meet new people to gain experiences, so that through comparison we can see who we are, where we come from, and what matters most to each of us. 

Adventure-Book

Often humans get restless and start feeling trapped. Perhaps like we are living with half of a heart or half of a soul.    We just have to get far enough away from those things, those people, and those places  and to realize there is nothing out there in the unknown that somehow makes our lives perfect, because even when we find the one thing we seek it always comes with a choice.  After all isn’t life often about giving up something you want, for something you want more?

That is my own interpretation of the story,  I do feel the author may have had a more literal meaning in mind,  but that is one of the wonderful things about every story I have read from Sandra Harvey.  Ultimately it is for you to decide. 

as

 

Do not miss out on this incredibly story, with simply amazing illustrations. 

available on amazon 1

 

 

 

 

Where is God in all of this?

No matter what God you believe in , if you do believe in a God than you probably believe that God created humans. I am 100 percent sure, your God does not want you killing his creations for any reason, and especially not in his name. To Murder another human is the ultimate rejection of God, and to murder a child will earn you a trip to what ever version of Hell you believe in. An interesting fact is if you look at the global peace index, nations that have a higher percentage of people who follow Christian and Islamic Beliefs are the least peaceful and most war-like, while countries that have a higher percentage of Agnostic and Atheists are the most peaceful. And while I have noticed that MOST Atheists certainly are not quite about the fact that they think anyone who believes in God is a moron. I do not think I have ever seen a bombing or shooting of a doctor in the name of atheism. I also do not see atheists trying to dictate the lives of gay people because of things they believe in a book. And just in case anyone is wondering. I am NOT an Atheist, I try and just look for truth, and all I want for this planet is acceptance, and peace. Is that to much to ask after thousands of years of killing each other?

Remember life before social media and selfies?

Recently I got into a brief conversation with someone on Facebook about selflies.  After I made the statement: ” Please stop taking puckered lip selfies everyplace you go,  God knows we have enough of them already.”  The young women replied by telling me that a lot of these people are lonely, a lot of them take these pictures to help themselves feel less lonely.  I can see her point to some extent.  But the Duck-lipped-fawn-eyed pose the women do,  and the Smolder-faced-squinting-glare that men make is for lack of a better term… Silly. These people are taking the same picture over and over, day after day, and sometimes hour after hour. It seems part of these peoples brains must not be functioning properly to think that this is normal. Most of these pictures either take place in a bathroom medicine cabinet mirror, or are just at the end of the persons reach, so they are so up close you can not even tell the persons location. So clearly these pictures are not about “Look where I am today” – They are more likely about “Look at me, Like me, do you think I’m Attractive?” 

When this started, I just dismissed this behavior as  pure teenage vanity and pop culture.  This was something that just 5 years ago people were not doing this at all, it started with teenagers (Who by the way are not doing it anymore).   Remembering my teenage years I can acknowledge that I did all kinds of dumb things. I also took part in some really stupid events, and had some really stupid ideals about life. So it was easy for me to over look these Selfies as things kids were into. This like most things teenagers are into would surely only last for a few months until it was deemed not cool anymore. Then it would be sure to pass from existence, with only an occasional joking reference to remember it by, much like the mullet. 

(I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I did not have a camera phone or the internet when I was a teenager to document my stupidity.  My teenage behavior only exists in my memories and the memories of a few of my friends.)

What started as a bit of teenage culture has turned into an epidemic. This is no longer teenage girls looking for approval and compliments,  or teenage boys showing off their fit stomachs, not  anymore…  This has turned into something that these teenagers parents have started doing. These are grown men and women, And they are not just doing it occasionally. So what is this really all about?    

 

I would make the case that if this is rooted in some sort of loneliness, that a lot of these cases of loneliness are actually self-inflicted, and are a direct result of social media addiction, as there is nothing really social about social media at all. Of all of your Friends, and Followers, how many of them do you actually see in person, or do things with outside in the real world? The continuing breakdown of society year after year seems to just grow stronger, and it is being fueled by cheap and easily accessible technology. As we delve further and further into digital life,and are further and further removed from organic life where will we end up 10 years from now?  We are already replacing cashiers with machines, things like this removes us from interacting with other humans, and intern removes us from our own humanity. 

 

There can be a lot to be said about this cheap, easily accessible, and over-saturate world of technology being a form of brain washing,  while our governments and the leaders of the world  fight wars, drain our resources, and refuse to listen to the people of the citizens of the world, we find complacency in the escape we make into the  fantasy worlds of: social media, world of warcraft, and, netflix.  80 percent of world lives in Poverty, with no hope, and no quality of life.  But hey…. Here is a free phone to keep you from thinking about your situation.   The rest of the world is made of people who actually can pay their bills , put a little in the bank for a rainy day or a family vacation.  while the .1 percent live in God like wealth, with 10 families that control the entire global economy. People do not even know how to make eye contact anymore, or have a conversation without a screen involved, or leave their homes without technology in their pockets.  So how on earth are these people going to stand up for change, and make a difference.  How are people who are so dependent on technology ever going to be able to be away from it long enough to make their voices heard? (okay I am getting a bit off subject now,  Ill try to come back to this in a later post)

I see so many children trying to get their parents attention while their parent sits on their phone ignoring them.

This problem goes far deeper then me being annoyed by people taking pictures of themselves. I love technology, I love video games I even love being able to have silly debates on facebook, or writing this blog that probably no one is reading.But, I do not let any of those things replace life, real experiences, or real friendships. When I leave the house, I leave my phone in the car. When I go to sleep I turn the phone off.  And guess what nothing bad has happened! I haven’t missed anything important, and there was no emergency I was unable to respond to. I worry about people , I worry about humans, I am not trying to put anyone down , I am not trying to attack anyone.  There are people I have known personally for years,  that I know for a fact  have created their own loneliness through media addiction, not the other way around. I am not here to judge anyone, as I am far from a perfect human being. However we do not allow people to lay in bed all day when they are depressed, we recognize the problem and do what we can to help them. Selfie addiction has been proven to be an OCD like addiction behavior that can lead to diminishing quality of life, depression, anxiety, obsession, eating disorders, exhaustion, and in some very rare cases even suicide attempts. Why is it not okay for a depressed person to lay in bed all day, but it’s okay for a media addicted person to not be able to take step without checking their phone or taking a picture of themselves? This is not about Self portraits. People have been taking self portraits since film cameras, and painting them before cameras even existed. This Selfie issue I have, is not about if you take a picture of yourself doing something fun, or with a friend. It is about the people who are doing it non stop every hour. This is not healthy, and someone needs to wake them up. I have a “friend” that has posted over 2000 selfies in a 3 month period of time. There is a new picture of himself just about every hour yesterday including one of him during the middle of a medical exam. I am sorry but this goes far beyond loneliness. We have interventions for alcoholics don’t we?

 

Growing up, Moving on, Letting go

Today my oldest son graduates from High School and the complexity of emotions is one I find very hard to sort out.

I met Colin when he had just turned 11 years old.  He barely came up to my chest, he had curly long hair and sad eyes.  Colin’s Dad has been killed in a car accident just a few years back.  Over the years Colin and I have had lots of ups and downs. I think that is to be expected.  I made some mistakes with him, and we have both hurt each other.  But no matter what we are family, and I will miss him more then I knew I could miss someone.
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His mother and I are California natives, Colin and his Brother were born in a hospital overlooking the sea. So the Ocean, and the Califonria life style is in all of our blood to some extent. Because of some continuing behavior problems in 2009 we decided to moved him and his younger brother away from the fast-paced life of Orange Country. With the idea we could give them a better childhood if we raised them in a low pressure, low stress, and more organic environment. I will always wonder if this was the right choice. (Isn’t that the curse of a linear existence? never knowing which path to take, and then looking back and wondering if you should have taken a different one?) So we moved to the mountain town of Asheville North Carolina.  The cost to me personally was it would mean I would give up a big salary job to spend the last 5 years barely able to scrape together an income.  This would drive a wedge between his mother and me, that has just gotten deeper over the years. I do not have regrets over my sacrifice,  but  I wish I could have given him so much more, If I could have just found a way to just made a little extra money I think of all the adventures I could have taken him on, and all the memories we would share together for the rest of our lives. but I hope what little he got from me is enough to help him in the world.    You see Colin has big dreams, and he is just itching to go out on his own and slay dragons.  He wants to see whats out there,  and no matter how much his mother and I tell him that he can stay with us, and go to college.  He just wants to leave.  His soul is much like mine was at that age. Always looking for the better life, always looking for the big adventure, always  thinking life will be better if…  For me it never turned out that way,  if I had learned to appreciate what I had around me rather then looking for more I would have had a much happier life.  But you can’t take your wisdom and make it someone else’s experience.  I have always encouraged him to dream big, to set no limits, and to live life on his terms and his rules. And just because I never slayed any Dragons, does not mean he wont. 

He wants to return to California,  and I can not blame him.  It’s a very appealing life style for a young man.  I miss it myself, The ocean, the culture, and jobs.  But I still have 1 more child in the house, and for now its probably best for him if we stay put. 

Colin will most likely live with his Grandmother on his Fathers side.  A women who has made it a point to belittle me, injure me, and assault me every chance she gets.  A women who has showed me more cruelty then any other human being.  She once told me that the boys had a father and they were not allowed to call me that.  After driving them 7 hours to a family Christmas in West Virginia, she greeted me with “it’s to bad their real dad could not be here”.  , Once while visiting her house, and teaching Colin to shave she walks in and says ” Its to bad his real daddy didn’t get to teach him that”. These things echo in my mind every time I see her. Never once a thank you, never once a your doing a great job.  I try to understand her pain of losing her son, and seeing me in his place.  I try so hard to forgive her,  maybe someday I will be able to be a big enough person to be able to.  After all not being able to forgive someone really just hurts us, it does not hurt the person who has wronged us. This is a women with an abundance of wealth, and she uses it for control,  and now in these moments I wish for nothing more then that same wealth so that I can provide it to Colin out of the kindness of my heart,  with no expectations, no manipulations, and no control.

You always hear about the things parents give up for there children,  but you don’t often hear the stories of what step parents give up for their children.  There are days I have so much resentment over my complete lack of quality of life.  But at the end of the day, I know this is the best place these kids could have been, even if at times they hate it.  But this blog  is not about what I have lost, because I have gained so much just by having Colin in my life.  It’s funny how much you can learn from a child if your just willing to talk to them like an adult. 

 

Now just before his 18th birthday,  and the day of his graduation. I will stand next to his grandmother and smile for his sake.  As I look  up at Colin ( as he is now at least 2 inches taller then me). I recognize how proud of him I am.  He is handsome, clean cut, fit, remarkably intelligent.  He marches to his own drum, he does not follow the herd, he does not follow trends.  He is an incredible musician, and an amazing artist.  He reads more books in a month then most people do in a year. Things come so easy to him from athletics to art. He is kind, and he is in no way your typical teenager. He is a much better person then I was at his age.   I will miss you, and you will always have a home with me, no matter where your travels take you. I love you so deeply, I wish I could have been able to tell you that so much more.
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May you be guided by your passion, may you stop and smell every rose, stop and watch every sunset. May you stand on top of the highest mountain and yell as loud as you can, may you love, and fall in love, and LIVE, may you see people that love you for who they are, and be capable of returning that love.  May you never let life harden you as it has me. And as someone else said” May you dance like no one is watching”

 

Congratulations Nathaniel Colin Hall class of 2014, I am so proud of you.
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