The Audacity to Dream

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Some of my early childhood years were spent without a television in the house because our father was a very religious man, and he would say that the devil speaks through the TV. However, when I did get a chance to sneak to a cousin’s or a neighbor’s house to watch a TV show or movie I thought that it was the most fascinating thing, especially when I actually identified with some of the characters in the movie or in the TV series. Needless to say, I was hooked ever since. My love of creating colorful characters and original stories had its birth in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia in the mid sixties and early 70’s.

As I grew older I got this crazy notion and would have these wild dreams that I was going to write a book one day, and sometimes my thoughts and daydreams would really get away from me and I would have the audacity to think that I would actually write a movie screenplay one day and see it come to life on the big silver screen or on the small box in your living room. What a dreamer I am, huh?

Regardless of my income level or my past or present day jobs, I was always thinking about or actually working on a writing project. When I was employed as a security guard at a TV station and Studio Lot in Los Angeles, I used that opportunity to learn every aspect of the TV and movie production industry as various TV shows and movies were being taped on our sound stages. My five years as a security guard at this TV station certainly became my own ‘poor man’s film school’.

Today, I’ve been very fortunate to have accomplished many of my literary dreams, but seeing one of my stories (especially ‘Wet Matches’) come to life on the big silver screen is one dream that I’m still working on and truly hope to see realized in the near future.

As we venture forward in 2016 I hope that this year has gotten off to a great start for all of you and whatever your aspirations and goals are in life, don’t let anyone or anything dampen your spirit and your audacity to dream. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

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Speaking of Metaphors: Randy’s Writing Tips

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One of my readers recently wrote and asked me why do I seem to use metaphors a lot in my novels. I replied with this simple statement, “Metaphors make the reader think from a different angle.” I further went on to explain how I’ve always loved imagery in songs, poems and stories when I was growing up. Listening to the songs on the radio was my first lesson in creative writing. I just loved the way a certain lyric describing a specific object or an event could instantly plant a picture in my mind. To me, that was a powerful thing and I fell in love with creative writing ever since.

The beauty of metaphors, for me at least, is that it allows you (the writer) to introduce a serious topic while simultaneously softening your story to make it easier to swallow for your readers. This is what I did in my first book ‘Wet Matches’, a story that covers HIV and teen homelessness.

If you are an inspiring author, see if symbolism and metaphors will enhance and make your story more interesting. And please continue writing and don’t ever give up! Believe in your story, and most importantly, believe in yourself! – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

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My Spotsylvania Nights

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I’m a couple months from my 55th birthday and last night my mind drifted back to the fall of 1978 when I was 17 years old anxiously diving into manhood. I definitely went through a lot of changes during my last year of high school. I seriously think that 1978 and 1979 were the years that gave me a glimpse of the real world and helped to shape my views and attitude toward women and dating.

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 38 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 55 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. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

 

Posted in Author Randolph Randy Camp, coming of age, Fredericksburg, high school, life journey, life lessons, randolph camp, randolph randy camp, randy camp, rcstories, Spotsylvania County, Spotsylvania High School, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

RCstories: 2015 in review

RandyCAMPrandolphRCSTORIESClick here to see the complete report.The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

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Author Randolph Randy Camp with DC Comics character Harley Quinn at the 2015 Midwest Comic Con in Des Moines, November 8, 2015.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 780 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I Love Music!

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I truly believe that music keeps us young at heart. (photo: Author Randolph Randy Camp with grandson Noah, December 2015) I hope that each of you keep music in your life forever! – R. Camp

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Shine Your Light Brightly

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There’s a special light that shines deep inside of each one us. Some of you have been blessed with more than one shining light. Some of us spend almost our entire lifetime trying to find or figure out what exactly is our special light.

I firmly believe that we each have a special gift or talent, and once we discover it and begin to share it with others, it’s then, at that moment, when we are blessed with true inner happiness and peace of mind.

Whether you have a gift of gab, singing, dancing, writing, acting, cooking, sewing, designing, farming, teaching or preaching, please share it with the rest of us and shine your light brightly! – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

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Grateful For The Little Things

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Author Randolph Randy Camp

Being Grateful…

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, several 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.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! – Randolph Randy Camp
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