No Complaints

How often do we complain about minuscule stuff? My morning started off just like any other morning. Hardly anything was going right, and the complaints quickly began to pile up. I woke up to a nagging knee pain, and then, later, I had to go back inside to put on a thicker shirt because it was a bit chillier than normal this morning. By now, I was running late for an important meeting so I reluctantly skipped my routine visit to the coffee shop…and then, it hit me. It was at this very moment when my ‘wiser self’ reminded me of the morning, a couple years ago, when I was working at the Buffalo Veterans Hospital.

As usual, my mornings at the Veterans Hospital started off with me going down to the cafeteria to get my large cup of coffee. This one particular morning would be permanently engrained in my memory because I was in a hurry and I didn’t do my typical ‘sip-test’ after I’d hastily mixed in a little cream and sugar.

When I got into the elevator to return to my work station on the ninth floor, I had a chance to take a test-sip of my coffee and it was just plain awful! Needless to say, I let out a profound ‘f-bomb’ as the others in the elevator turned their heads to me. When we finally reached the ninth floor, the elevator door opened and a wheel-chaired double-amputee cheerfully greeted us with, “Good morning, ladies n’ gents!” as he wheeled himself into the elevator. After seeing this man with no legs, I immediately felt ashamed at myself for complaining about the taste of my coffee.

No, today I’m certainly not perfect and I still sometimes complain about life’s minuscule things. I wish that my ‘wiser self’ would pop up more often to remind me that I truly have nothing really to complain about.

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Start A Conversation

wetmatchesRANDYCAMP

America’s teen runaway and youth homelessness issues are increasing. Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away each year. There are a number of reasons why these kids were motivated to leave home, and the long list of risk factors involved doesn’t seem to be getting shorter anytime soon.

There are agencies, shelters, and various youth-oriented organizations out there trying their best to reach out and help these troubled and at-risk teens but, in reality, the true helping process simply begins with you and I.

Every day we see these homeless kids hanging out on our city streets, sometimes panhandling or begging for change or food. Personally, my actual concern for these young people stems from ‘the survival question’, meaning that once a kid runs away how will he or she now survive? This is my main concern and objective in bringing more awareness to this issue. After a kid runs away, he or she will face many questionable methods of survival on the streets. And this is one of the reasons why I wrote ‘Wet Matches’.

I truly understand and am very much aware of the fact that a lot of people may feel sorry for these runaway and homeless kids but feel somewhat helpless because they feel that, as one person, their impact won’t make a real difference to such a big tremendous social issue. At one time I felt that way myself, but trust me, the helping process is honestly simple and your ‘little’ personal impact will start a tidal wave of healing and help. It starts like this: The next time you see a homeless youth in your town, instead of ignoring him or her, just simply try to start a conversation. – Randolph Randy Camp

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Posted in at risk youth, Author Randolph Randy Camp, bullying, coming of age, homeless youths, social issues, teen runaways, troubled teens, troubled youth, wet matches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Tip: Take The Metro

Author Randolph Randy Camp

Author Randolph Randy Camp

If your words and thoughts aren’t flowing, and you feel yourself slipping deeper into writers’ block, take my advice: Park the car and take the metro.

Too often we isolate ourselves from the very world in which we are writing about. For one day at least use public transportation for your daily errands. The many voices and sights you’ll see and hear while riding the bus or metro train might enlighten and possibly ignite a new spark in you. In short, don’t isolate yourself too much.

And if you’re already using public transportation to get around your town, and you still find yourself sometimes in a bit of a writer’s slump, then try taking a long walk in the city park. A good walk is one of the best ways to clear your head from all of the built-up clutter and let new thoughts flow in. – Randy Camp

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The Wishful Traveler

Randolph Randy Camp at Travis Air Force Base

Randolph Randy Camp at Travis Air Force Base

I grew up poor in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia. I was a nerd and absolutely loved going to school because it was an escape from my sometimes dismal surroundings. I loved reading books about different cultures around the world and I would dream about going to these exotic places one day.

When I’d joined the US Air Force (after high school) I was able to travel the globe and actually visit some of the places and cultures I’d read about as a child.

I was fascinated by the Australian Aborigines, and when I was fifteen years old, I took part in my own ‘walkabout’. Let me explain: When I was 15, I went on a ‘journey’ from my rural hometown in Virginia to the bustling City of Philadelphia. Well, the juvenile court system said that I was a ‘runaway, and you should’ve seen the look on their faces when I tried to explain to them that I was simply on ‘my walkabout’.

Thank God for the US Air Force because during my numerous overseas tours, I was very fortunate to visit one of my favorite places, which is Japan. Not only did I visit mainland Japan while traveling in the Air Force, but I also got a chance to see the Island of Okinawa, Japan as well.

I certainly know what it’s like to ‘want to see the world’ but you maybe stuck in a financial bind and unable to fly and travel at will. Please take a lesson from me and just go to your local public library and you’ll be amazed at how far those books will take you. – Randolph Randy Camp

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Those Rappahannock Dreams

wetmatchesRandolphRandyCamp

Jalan had Shelly’s back. Crystal had Jalan’s back. And God had Crystal’s back as they joined together to give five homeless teens a second chance at a better life. Robbie is one of the homeless teens in ‘WET MATCHES: A NOVEL’ who plays the guitar and sings…

RAPPAHANNOCK DREAMS
Leaves fallin’ down and tears in my eyes
I sit by this river and cry and cry
But just like running water…running water
These Rappahannock dreams keep passin’ me by
But some day soon I’m gonna get away from here
Just like running water…clear and clear
I sit by this river and cry and cry
Somebody please…please
Tell me why these Rappahannock dreams keep passin’ me by

*RAPPAHANNOCK DREAMS was written for the character Robbie in ‘Wet Matches: A Novel’, an award-winning story about a colorful group of homeless teens getting a second chance at a better life.
US Copyright Reg# PAu003585960 R. Camp

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Posted in at risk youth, Author Randolph Randy Camp, bullying, coming of age, Rappahannock River, rcstories, Spotsylvania County, teen fiction, teen runaways, troubled teens, troubled youth, Virginia books, wet matches, writer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Turtles

falsedandelionsRandyCamp

A few years ago, I remember telling my friend that I was thinking about writing a story about a character named Turtle. She misunderstood me and replied, “Randy, I know that you love to write but I didn’t know that you wrote children’s books also.” Our conversation was brief but ended on a positive thought so I left it as that and didn’t bother to explain myself further. Actually, Turtle is one of the main characters in my novel FALSE DANDELIONS, a Southern tale about the lives and dreams of underdogs. Turtle is an aging street dog who is tired of always being somebody else’s errand boy and struggles to break out on his own.

Sometimes, we all may find ourselves in a place where we don’t want to be. And at times, there’s no difference between people like Turtle and you and I. Every single day of the week somebody is struggling to climb out of their hole. I believe that there’s a little Turtle in all of us, and that’s why I wrote False Dandelions. The better we understand people like Turtle, the better we can reach out and help them.

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Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, Books, country star, Crime Fiction Novel, emerging writer, False Dandelions, Fredericksburg, Interracial love, interracial love story, Novel, Rappahannock River, rcstories, Southern Crime Fiction, Southern Noir Fiction Novel, Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania County, writer, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staying Humble

Author Randolph Randy Camp

Author Randolph Randy Camp

No, I don’t drive a fancy car or have an assistant or an entourage. Instead, my riches come from my readers who take the time to send me an email with a question or two about my writings and sometimes a question or two about myself. It always brings a smile to my face when I check my email and there’s a long list of messages from my readers. Coming from humble beginnings as a child I try not to let my head swell too much when I’m getting any attention or requests for an interview or a book talk.

A couple weeks ago, I’d received an email from a young lady in Amherst, New York, which is a very affluent area outside the city of Buffalo. She’d explained to me that her small book club had just read one of my novels and they would like to have me come in person for a meet-the-author book discussion.

A few evenings ago, I went to this young lady’s residence (which actually is a mini-mansion) in Amherst and I took part in their book club’s very lively and engaging discussion. When I first arrived there I saw colorful finger foods and appetizers that looked so delicious but I surely didn’t know what they were or how to pronounce their names, and I was treated like I was really somebody.

The very next day, just to keep myself in check, grounded and down to earth, I went to volunteer at the popular soup kitchen near Utica and Main Street in Buffalo, and I helped the staff there with serving lunch to a sizeable crowd of homeless and street people. I truly know what it’s like to be standing in line at a soup kitchen, and sometimes I have to physically revisit that reality just to keep myself humble.

Learn more at http://www.goodreads.com/randolphcamp

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, Books, emerging writer, Modern Writer, Novelist, rcstories, reading, teen fiction, writer, writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment