Finding Beauty

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Nowadays, in this sometimes chaotic, unpredictable world, it’s becoming increasingly harder and harder to find something…..anything in our daily lives that puts a smile on our faces. On my birthday I got lucky and found some beauty today.

A few minutes ago I took a break from my next manuscript and checked my Facebook page. I saw a post from one of my elementary school classmates who I’d had a secret crush on some 46 years ago at Robert E. Lee Elementary in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. She never knew I had a crush on her, and to this very day, I refuse to reveal to anyone who this lady is, but every time I see one of her updates or posts online it instantly puts a big ol’ country smile on my face. (I find it fascinating that after all of these years this young girl who I’d dreamed about in elementary school and wrote letters to, but never had the courage to give them to her, is now one of my Facebook friends.)

From the bottom of my heart, Thank You all for your wonderful birthday wishes, and I sincerely hope that all of you also find some beauty in the simple things in this sometimes complicated, negative world of ours. – Randolph Randy Camp

(Photo: Recent birthday gift from one of my daughters, Randie)

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Shine On Baby, Shine!

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Ever since I can remember I was always attracted to stories that had a bit of truth in them and the ones that left me with a sense of hope that things will get better. And, to this day, when I write my own original stories, I try to embed bits of hope and a sense of truth in them as well. Without a doubt, the book ‘The Little Engine That Could’ changed my life as a kid, and certainly lit the first spark of inspiration for me becoming a successful writer one day.

What are your favorite books or movies? In the movie department, ‘Imitation of Life’, ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’, ‘Butterfield 8’, ‘Billy Jack’, and ‘A Patch of Blue’ are my personal all-time favorite films. Each one of these movies had touched me in a special way when I first watched them so many moons ago, and each of them definitely had a hand in giving me the audacity to dream and possibly think that one of my very own stories would ever grace and come alive on the big silver screen some day.

As 2017 continue to roll out, I sincerely hope that all of you, especially my dear fans,  readers, friends, and followers from all around the globe, become one step closer to your own goals and dreams, and that your life will continue to shine with an abundance of  inspiration, hope and truth.  Yes, indeed, I hope you all shine brightly in 2017! Shine On!- Randolph Randy Camp

(PHOTO: Independent Film Producer Rachel Rand with Screenwriter Randy Camp, 2017)

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Valentine’s Lessons

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Of all the life lessons and love lessons I’ve experienced over the years there’s one that truly stands out. I originally wrote about it awhile back in a post entitled ‘My Spotsylvania Nights’. It was the late 70’s and I was 17 years old, hastily diving into manhood. This particular September night would change my life forever, as it gave me a glimpse of the real world and helped to shape my current views about women and dating. Here’s the original post:

As in countless towns throughout America, Friday night high school games in Spotsylvania County was the place to be, especially when the Spotsylvania Knights was playing their greatest rivalry, the James Monroe Yellow Jackets, from Fredericksburg, Virginia. During these Friday night games, many of us had our first experiences with the opposite sex and got a bitter taste of reality as we tried to shed our juvenile skin.

During my senior year at Spotsylvania High, I would leave school and sometimes go directly to work at the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Fredericksburg. While working as a busboy and dishwasher, I’d worked up enough nerve to ask a fairly new waitress out for a date. The first time I saw her I wanted to be with her. During our lunch breaks we would chat and laugh about our high school lives. We made a date to meet up Friday night at the Snack Shack just before the big game between the James Monroe Yellow Jackets and the Spotsylvania Knights.

I arrived early at the Snack Shack nervous as hell but looking sharp. This was going to be a big night for me because I truly thought that one of my mannish dreams would be realized. As this particular night unfolded however, I slowly became aware that our hopes and dreams come in many shapes and sizes and that we have to prepare ourselves for the different angles in which things present themselves to us. What I’d initially viewed as an awful experience actually was my most valuable lesson.

After waiting for twenty minutes for my date to arrive, the lady behind the Snack Shack service window gave me a look of concern. I instantly looked away, pretending not to notice her look because I was too embarrassed that my date hadn’t showed up yet. The Snack Shack was quiet briefly because the football game a short distance away had started already. From a distance, we could see the bright stadium lights illuminating the dark Spotsylvania sky and we could faintly hear the stadium cheers of the fans. The lady at the counter knew that I was hurting and instinctively knew why I was hurting. She motioned me towards the service window and kindly said, ” You want to eat some fries with me? It’s my break and it’s on the house.” Shame-faced, I shook my head ‘no’ and slowly stepped away.

About fifteen minutes later my date still hadn’t arrived. Once again, the lady behind the counter approached the service window with a large order of fries in her hand. She tapped on the window to get my attention. She could easily read the obvious frustration and embarrassment on my face as I repeatedly sighed at the side patio table. She motioned me to come to the window. This time I accepted her offer as she tried her best to cheer me up with stories of her school days and all of the boys who’d stood her up.

When it comes to dating, still today, some 39 years later, without even realizing it sometimes, I will make my judgments and opinions about potential women in my life not based upon the young lady who’d stood me up, but instead, based upon the beautiful qualities of that wonderful warmhearted lady at the Snack Shack that cool September night.

I’m approaching 56 now, and after all these years, I still think about that kind-hearted lady at the Snack Shack and all the changes I went through during my young Spotsylvania nights.  Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone! – Randolph Randy Camp

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Wet Matches: The Movie!!!

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It’s a go, folks! ‘Wet Matches: The Movie’ is in pre-production with Independent Movie Producer Rachel Rand. Location scouting will begin soon with cast auditions and filming to begin sometime during this summer (2017). Winner of the Writers Network 14th Annual Screenplay & Fiction Quarter-Finals Prize, ‘Wet Matches’ tells the contemporary tale of five homeless teens (all HIV positive) getting a second chance at a better life when a young California couple takes them in. – Randolph Randy Camp

Learn more at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

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The Value of You

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If you’ve ever been ridiculed, bullied, mocked, or if anyone has ever made you feel worthless (“good for nothing like wet matches”) always remember that God loves everybody, regardless of your hair color, regardless of your skin color, ect.  Your  actual value is enormous! – Randolph Randy Camp

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Unattended Tools

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Aside from writing I also enjoy woodworking. The other day I walked into my backyard shed and looked at my carpentry tools. It hit me that I hadn’t touched those tools in quite awhile, which got me thinking about how we sometimes don’t utilize our own God-given, natural talents. Some of you are gifted architects, engineers, painters, teachers, carpenters, mechanics, electricians, writers, ect., but, for whatever reason, we often come up with somewhat-convincing excuses for not using our own tools. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m certainly guilty of this. I told myself that I was going to make at least ten new bird houses this year. After I finish this piece and step away from this computer, I’m going to start making my first bird house of 2017. (I currently have 16 bird houses in my backyard and front yard.)

Do you have tools not being used? Is there a singer inside of you? Do you have a great business mind? Is there a great story inside of you that only you could write? Do you often come up with great product ideas? Is there a great inventor inside of you? How much happier and much more fulfilling and meaningful would our lives be if we started using our unattended tools? – Randolph Randy Camp

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Spotsylvania Dreams

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We’re fast approaching 2017 and Christmas is just a few days away. A lot of us are still filled with anxiety and uncertainty as we observe so much trouble in the world and watch top governments change hands. One of the hardest things to do is to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of negativity. I’ve always used my childhood memories and dreams to get me through some of my most bleakest periods.

In the midst of this cold, wintry day, I sit at my kitchen table and begin to reminisce how certain books and stories warmed me up and gave me enough hope to believe that things will get better. As a kid, one of my brightest days came on a journey through Snell, a section of rural Spotsylvania County in Virginia.

Growing up with limited resources, we made good use of the discarded items people had thrown away at the dump in Snell. During the summer break from school, my brothers and cousins would sometimes make a day trip going to the County landfill. Sometimes we would walk and at other times we would ride our bikes. If we were lucky, we would stop by the Finney and Daughters Store in Snell and would pool our money together and buy a bag of Wise potato chips and a bottle of NeHi soda for the whole group to share. Man, those were the days!

I’ll never forget this one particular day at the dump when I found not only a fancy banana seat for my bike but also something else that have had a profound impact on my life as a writer. After finding the banana seat, I continued scrimmaging through the pile of recently-dumped items at the edge of the landfill. My eyes widen in awe at the familiar blue train! Yep, the blue train on the cover of the popular book ‘The Little Engine That Could’. When I’d excitedly pulled the book from the pile, I noticed that the cover was a bit faded and torn around the edges and that most of the pages inside were heavily marked up with crayon or ripped out. Although the book wasn’t in mint condition, I was smiling cheek to cheek, thinking that it was my best day ever! Ever since I first heard the story ‘The Little Engine That Could’ during story time at Robert E. Lee Elementary School, it touched a certain nerve in me and ignited the spark and gave me the courage to become the writer I am today.

As I’m getting older now, I’ve noticed that my childhood memories and dreams have become much more vital to me. It’s these Spotsylvania dreams that keep driving me and giving me hope. Have a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year, Everyone! – Randolph Randy Camp

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