November Madness in Thailand

I Won last year and will do it again this year
 

 

 

 

 

I want to thank you all for your support and good thoughts and prayers during this hard time Thailand is going through now. It does continue. The Government has promised the water to be gone by the New Year—of course they had promised it to be gone by the end of November.

I have not written these stories to try to elicit sympathy on my part. The suffering of the Thai people does deserve thought but they are recovering and smiling again.

I’ve been asked by a few why I don’t move back to the States and the answer is this land has touched me and revived me. There’s always a little suffering to make us appreciate the joys of life.

While we’ve waited on the waters to leave we have spent most of the time on out little farm planting harvesting and admiring the beauty of the mountains and people. Our tapioca is thriving and we anticipate a bumper crop sometime after the new year. Our small crop of corn is in and mostly consumed by us. We did give some away to neighbors. We have cucumbers, peppers, beans, papayas, coconuts, mangoes and many bananas coming in and we do sell much of that to help sustain our small farm. That’s really all we asked of the land. To provide enough money for us to plant again.

I’m a writer in Thailand and book sales have been good. I’ve gotten some great review for In Search of a Soul and am finding it is a story that appeals to women—which is a pleasant surprise. Women like the main character Douglas Durian and I quote from reader, Kathy Lynn Hall: “Douglas is unknowingly strong, sensitive, noble, honorable, wounded but a retrievable man” and readers like the strength I give to the female characters.

My other book, Tyler Hill’s Decision has also received some wonderful reviews from readers and that truly is what it’s all about. Many, many novelist know they will never be rich from their work and money had only a small part to play with why they write. It’s the words from readers that we live for. It’s funny how we writer live for the words of readers just as much as we live for the words that flow through our fingertips.

I haven’t been very active this month on my blog or the social media. November is a time of pressure, pleasure and uncertainty for thousands of novelist—new and experienced. We join one another to participate in National November Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). During this month we push ourselves and one another to write at least 50,000 word of a fresh new piece of work and to be declared a winner, The prize…? A small sticker we can put on our websites that announces we won. The true prize is that this great organization, The Office of Letters and Light, collects donations from the participants and sponsors and they use the money to help and educated young potential writer and give them a chance to learn to let their dreams and daydreams reach paper to thrill friends, family, and readers. So far this fine group has collected $500,000 this year. And so far over 2 billion words have been written!

Without writers can you imagine how dull and lifeless this world we live in would be? No movies, songs, books and every other type of media would exist without someone to put them into words first. To teach our young ones this form of communication is one thing we can all do to help make a better world.

My twelve year old Granddaughter, Nickaisha, recently wrote a wonderful article on prejudice and it was publish in the school paper and held a place of honor in the school display case. Can you imagine the pride I feel for this beautiful young writer?  

The story I’m writing for this November may never see the light of day because it is so different from my normal writing. I have taken a monster—a predator of women and children- and try to ask the readers to like him and have sympathy. This goes against everything I believe. What worst crime could there be? I am only a few thousand words from completing it and I do believe I have done what I set out to do. Do you think you could find it in your heart to forgive and understand a fiend? Perhaps one day I will offer this story to an agent and find out. The working title is On The Menu.
I’m writing this post today to give you another view of a writer’s life in Thailand. I have come to see that I live to write and write to stay sane—not sure if the sane part has worked out, Ha! I’ll only leaves this post as a feature for a few days.

I had planned to publish my third book this year. A fantasy that I’m sure readers will enjoy. It is an Avatar-like tale about a people fighting for the freedom and their very lives. I am holding it back for a short while I do some final rewrites. I expect quality in my reading and so should you! Look for Outer World Prairie very soon.

Next post I want to tell you about a plant we grow on our little farm. Wars were fought and colonization took place because of this plant and others. This plant and its fruit is still a mainstay in every society today. It is what we call black-pepper. And it is amazing.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the life of a writer and I really hope you’ll give my books a try as a paperback or ebook. And I would love to hear from you about my writing. I and many writers are blessed to be living in this age but we all put the readers at the top of the pedestal and give you thanks!

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Flooding in Thailand- Going to Our House

 

I'm heading to see our house- behind me near the water tank. I'm so excited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A nice policeman gives us a ride-- half mile from the house

 

A view from our front balcony

 

 

 

Our neightbor, Pit, gave us a ride back to dry land in homemade boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our house

Our house- a view from, Pit's boat, We're going in to Bangkok

 

People living and parking anywhere the road is dry

A view of Don Muang Airport- Oldest airport for Bangkok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customs House, Don Muang Airport. Roofs of cars visible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another post about the devastating floods of Thailand from a personal point of view. My wife and I had to return to our house to get paperwork for a Visa. We have a one year Visa but we are required to check in with immigration every 90 days because—well I really don’t know why but that’s the way it is. We also wanted to check on the condition of our house.

We left our farm in Pak Chong at 6:00am and had to take a van into Bangkok. I didn’t drive my truck because we had no idea of the conditions. The van driver knew every back road to avoid the floods- almost. We skirted the floods but did have to travel through a foot or two of water from time to time. We had to take the van to Bangkok but found we were passing close to our house on Klong 5 so the driver let us out.

We took a city bus to within ½ a mile from Klong 5 road. We had to wait from some kind soul in a pickup or larger truck to offer us a ride and were soon standing at the entrance to our road. Water was everywhere but we were there and off we went into the water. It wasn’t as bad I as I thought but it wasn’t clean water. The water had gone down about 1.5 feet from its highest point. We waded through waist deep water to find the water level was below the entrance of our house.

We had earlier reports from ‘eyewitnesses’ and they told us the water was three feet deep in the house. What we found was it had only been about 7 inches deep inside. It was very dirty but the power was still on and we had county water still working. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the refrigerator door and the light came on. And the ice was still cubed.

All in all we lost very little, but have a big clean up coming. The only thing I lost was my motorcycle. The engine was full on water and oil. I have a big rebuild job coming.

[The worst part of this is the water is not moving. It went down about one inch while we were there. The city of Bangkok is doing all it can to keep water out—and they aren’t succeeding. What they are doing is letting the water backup and settle outside the city. There are people and houses that have been in the nasty water for more than 3 months. This can’t all be blamed of the government but for the first three months it was every community for itself trying to save their little piece of land at the expense of the farmers and others. Industry has taken priority over people but the factories are flooded now. Allowing factories and housing to be built in the greenways and flood channels is a real problem that must be solved in the future.]

None of our neighbors were there but two women, in a house on the road behind, never left. One’s name is Pit and she was so happy to see us. She had made a raft out of 4, 55 gallon drums and offered to take us to the dry road when we were ready. I say hello to everyone and try to speak to our neighbors and it paid off in kindness.

We stayed 2 days on the second floor of our house while we cleaned as much as we could. That smell will take a very long time to leave the house and my mind.

Pit showed up early in the morning with her raft and we gave her what bottle water we had, packs of dry noodles and a few cokes to help her and her sister. She would accept no money. She will remain as a shining star in the misery of the flood.

We again had to wait for someone to offer us a ride across the water and then make our way to Bangkok. We didn’t have to wait long. A very nice man took us all the way to the main road and we started bartering to get a ride into the city. A very old red government bus stopped and the drive announced that the bus was going to where we wanted to go—Victory Monument. And the ride was free- provided by the city.

It took two hours to go about five miles to the toll way because only a few lanes were open. People were forced to park their cars and trucks on every piece of dry road.  Once on the toll way—which was also free to everyone—we passed over the terrible flooding almost to the center of Bangkok. We passed Don Muang Airport—the old airport, which is still used for many flight in and out of Thailand. The name means High Ground, but the floods had swamped the airport with aircraft left there.

Cars and trucks were parked everywhere and people were living on the elevated roadway. Report of looters kept many people near their property. Many people are still living in their flooded homes for this reason and they are suffering in the fetid water.

We were able to finally take care of our Visa paperwork and head back to the farm. It took over five hours—normally a 2 hour trip—to reach Pak Chong. We passed the main airport for Bangkok and the water is headed that way.

I hope all of you who read this little post will think about all the suffering that is going on in Thailand and really around the world. There are many people facing natural disasters that we never hear about.

We are safe and we are lucky and this has not changed my mind about Thailand or the wonderful people that live here. The smiles are returning.

I would like to add. I don’t mean to sound bitter about the government actions. We have met Military and Policemen and women who have extended every kindness to us outside Bangkok. Many are helping bring food to the people, get the old and injured to hospitals, and give rides in and out of the flood waters. Thai people do care for one another and it is good to see.

Also these floods are only affected the central flood plains and most of Thailand is free from the flood waters. Come to Thailand for the time of your lives!