The Mindwars Book 2 - sneak preview

The Mindwars Book 2 - sneak preview

Since I've been traveling quite a lot lately I've had a chance to write some more of book two in the Mindwars series. For those of you that were unaware, as well as managing domain portfolios for clients I relax by writing science fiction.

This second sneak preview takes place at the Concord's homeworld and start off with a single Starfire pilot. It's not long before the action heats up.

I should warn readers that this is the first draft of the chapter and edits will be made in the final copy. With any luck I will have book two ready before Christmas....fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoy another journey into "The Mindwars". You can buy book one, "Battleframe" through Amazon by clicking here.

Have a great weekend!

 

Chapter 9 – Hammer Fall

Lieutenant Barkley looked above at the massive planet filling the upper cockpit window of his Starfire. Swirling clouds spun at unimaginable velocities within dark and light bands of coloured gas. He watched as one spinning storm devoured a smaller cloud before it to, was swallowed. Barkley returned his gaze forward as he shot across the moon, Septem’s barren surface. He loved being alone in space and would regularly volunteer for scouting missions. The majesty and emptiness exhilarated him like nothing else. It could have had something to do with the fact that he was a born and bred spacer.

Barkley flicked a switch on his control column to the wider comnet and said, “Alturus Central, Starfire six, three reporting Kaladon VIII, Septem.”

“CT Starfire six, three, report.”

“Everything looks all clear out here. No sign of enemy activity.”

“CT.”

A brief flash of light caught his eye above and to the right of his present course. “Alturus Central, are there any other ships out here?”

There was a brief pause before the reply of, “Negative Starfire six, three. There are no other vessels in your vicinity.”

“Alturus, I need to check something out…”

“CT Starfire six, three. Waiting your response.”

Barkley pulled back gently on the control column to angle his Starfire towards where he saw the flash.

The central scanning console lit up with a barrage of information and the ships siren immediately blared urgently. In contrast to the urgency, Dora, the onboard Starfire computer stated in a matter of fact female voice, “Warning, enemy missile locked. Recommend evasive maneuvers.”

Barkley wrenched the controls to the left just in time before a missile passed under his right wing. The gas giant spun wildly until it settled below him and the moon’s surface had taken its place. He would only have a few seconds before the missile re-acquired him. He tapped the maneuvering jets and spun the Starfire end for end while still tracking towards where he saw the missile launch. The cockpit siren continued to wail even as the computer said, “Enemy missile locked-on.”

“Oh frap! That was fast!”

Barkley concentrated on finding the missile tracking behind him. “Computer, heads-up display now!”

“Starfire six, three, report.”

“Alturus, I’m a little busy right now.”

Barkley’s controller paused before responding. “Starfire six, three request report immediately.”

The heads-up display in front of him highlighted the missile tracking path behind him. Barkley pushed the control column rapidly first left and then right. The missile tracked him perfectly all the while closing the distance between them.

“Starfire six, three I said report!”

Thankfully, Dora intervened in the conversation in her pleasant, patient tone, “Alturus Central, Lieutenant Barkley is presently distracted by an enemy missile tracking our position.”

Barkley squeezed and then released the trigger for his quad laser canons to fire a short burst. He watched the screen displayed before him to see if his shot erased the target. The missile was still there. “Oh come on! Give me a frapping break!”

“Alturus Central, Starfire six, three continue.”

“Not you Alturus!” Sweat beaded on Barkley’s forehead as he suddenly pushed the controls hard left and swung the ship downwards towards the gas giant. Again the missile flashed past at the unexpected maneuver. “Oh frap that was close! Dora, keep a lock on it before it can speed up again.”

“Acknowledged.”

Barkley spun the ship around again and this time his view was once again in the direction he was travelling. The heads-up display revealed the missile slowly arcing back around and building up speed. Barkley squeezed the trigger and a second later, he watched an explosion form in the distance as his lasers ripped the missile apart. Unnecessarily, Dora stated, “Missile destroyed.”

Sighing with relief Barkley wiped his brow and then pulled back to pull the fighter out of the grip of the gas giant’s gravity well.

“Starfire six, three to Alturus Central.”

“Alturus Central, it’s good to hear your voice Starfire six, three.”

Barkley looked up in awe as thousands of subspace vortices formed around the point he had been heading towards. The Scourge had arrived.

 “Alturus, we’ve got company.”

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Saturday Musings – Unlocking One of Life's Mysteries

Saturday Musings – Unlocking One of Life's Mysteries

I was talking with one of my daughters the other day and she was sharing about some plans she was forming for her future. As a father, there is no greater privilege when your children feel they can openly share with you about their own life.

In the course of the conversation I shared about what I thought was one of life’s greatest mysteries and that is learning about yourself. It sounds quite introspective but I’ve found that learning about myself, my strengths, weakness and capacities is extremely satisfying.

Along life's journey, I can learn how to augment my strengths, guard against my weaknesses and be very aware that I have a limits.

For example, when I was a child I had a really bad temper. If my brother or sisters said anything I didn’t like then I let them know about it in no uncertain terms…..in short, I would lose control.

Over the years I’ve learned about my tempter weakness, worked on it and I’m somewhat proud to say that it now takes an exceptional situation for me to lose my cool. To come to grips with my problem I first had to recognise I had one and then work away at it (maybe the subject of another blog).

A number of people have asked me why I invited a partner to work with me in ParkLogic. When ParkLogic first started I didn’t need any money and what I recognised was that I had a set of skills in one area but needed help in others.

I made the decision to essentially gave away half the company to help me learn about my own weaknesses and improve myself. A great bonus is the fact that David Gibbs (my business partner of 10 yeas) is a fantastic guy to work with and I’ve now learned an incredible amount from him.

There's one thing I've learned over the years, money will come and go but your character will stay with you for ever. So the fact that I could sway some money to help me improve myself was an awesome investment!

All of us have strengths, weaknesses and limits to what we can do. Being aware of these things is the first steps in the adventure of life. Improving all three of them is the second, third, fourth and onwards steps.

What will happen is life will inevitably bring people or circumstances across your path that will challenge you in infinite numbers of ways. How we approach these challenges will really show how far we’ve learned about ourselves and how much we’ve developed our character.

So as I was chatting with my daughter I said to her, “Remember there is no such thing as a mistake, only opportunities to learn about yourself.”

This immediately removed much of the pressure to make the “right” decision from her shoulders as she fully embraced the adventure of learning about herself. She opened her eyes up to how circumstances and other people were teaching things about herself.

For me, I was rewarded with my daughter’s smiling face as she began her first steps towards understanding one of life’s greatest mysteries.

Have a great weekend!

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Saturday Musings - There and Back Again...

Saturday Musings - There and Back Again...

The above title is reflective of my past week and also first written by Bilbo Baggins, a character in from the “Lord of the Rings”. During this past week I’ve been away on vacation and now I’m back again.....so it seems quite appropriate.

There’s nothing quite like a vacation to get the creative juices flowing. While having a really interesting conversation with my wife, Roselyn, I suddenly had an epiphany about the domain industry. It was like a light-bulb was switched on and so I quickly wrote it down so I could dig into it when I returned.

The next day I was playing a mindless game on my Windows Surface and again a great idea sprung to mind about how to extract additional value from domains. I went away and wrote it down next to the first idea so I wouldn’t forget about it. This continued to happen while I was away.

Vacations are more than just having a great time (which we had). They are all about refreshing yourself so that your mind is able to come up with new ideas, solve intractable problems and to really think without the clutter of the day-to-day activities. Even after only one week away I’m feeling refreshed and reinvigorated about the upcoming month.

So what’s happening? First of all, I’m heading to “The Domain Conference” in Fort Lauderdale this Friday. So if anyone is going to be there on the 9th then I’d love to catch-up with you.

Once again, I have the privilege of sharing on domain monetisation. Trust me when I say that 99% of the material I’ll be sharing will be completely new. If the conference is anything like the last one, then it’s going to be outstanding for doing a lot of business.

Thirty-six hours after returning home from Florida I’m heading to Hong Kong for DomainFest Asia. Last year was a complete eye-opener to the Chinese domain community mindset and I’m looking forward to this one more than ever.

I’ve been invited to share a number of times and I wouldn’t be surprised if the conference ends up being one of those special events that will be looked back on as a bit of a bell weather for the domain industry.

So now you can see why “There and Back Again” is relevant for me this month. I’ll be heading out and returning and doing it all again. Although I’m sure the conferences will each be amazing what I’m really wanting to do is get stuck into some of the concepts from my vacation…..

So do yourself a favour, take a break. You may be surprised how you end up transforming your business.

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Saturday Musings – Being Obedient To Our Masters

Saturday Musings – Being Obedient To Our Masters

There’s a solid body of evidence that my cat, Pepper, completely rules the Gilmour household. Each morning Pepper is waiting outside our bedroom door with an impatient look on her face, demanding that we satisfy her need for food.

Cat owners all understand that their feline masters can be most petulant when it comes to the types of food they demand. In my case, Pepper has gone off the gourmet variety turkey dinner and is insisting on salmon.

If I behaved this way with my wife then it would be bread and water for me. As for Pepper, she now has us buying the salmon…..well at least until she gets tired of that morsel.

At the end of a long day it’s always nice to put your feet up and watch a little bit of television. I have to make sure that I don’t sit in Pepper’s spot on the couch or like Sheldon from the TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, she’ll pace back and forth until I move.

Once I’m resettled, she climbs up beside me and demands that I give her a scratch behind the ears. The demand comes in the form of a head-butt until I satisfy her itch. I could be in the middle of a great show but as her underling I must first comply with her wishes.

It’s at this point my other masters, I’m mean children, come into the room and calmly place a vacuum cleaner into my wallet to suck out everything but the lint. At least they give me a smile and thank me for the privilege of leaving me destitute, so I suppose all is good.

Just when I’m really enscounced for an evening’s entertainment at the end of a long week my youngest daughter (ie. Overlord) requests my attendance at the car to drive her to youth group. Sighing inwardly, I take off my moccasins, put my runners back on and head out into the cold night air.

Upon returning home my eldest daughter/master gives me a tongue lashing because I didn’t reply to her text message within the required two seconds. I don’t know what it is about the younger generation but they seem to assume that you’re dead if you don’t instantly respond by typing on a device meant for speaking…..I think I’m feeling my age.

So after settling back in my assigned spot beside my feline queen on the couch, I once again return my attention to the television, completely oblivious to the fact that my wife has been having a conversation with me for the last thirty seconds. I finally get the hint when I hear my name follow by “are you listening to me?”

For most guys this is a really difficult question to answer. If I say no, then I’m in big trouble for ignoring my wife even though I didn’t even know was there (which is really bad). If I say yes, then I have no idea what I’m about to agree to.

So what do males normally say, “Honey, can you please clarify what you mean again?” This provides us with a breather too catch-up on the clearly important decision that you’re about to make. After all, happy wife, happy life :-)

It’s at this point that I become distracted by the fact that I forgot to pause my television show and Pepper resuming her head-butt treatment. I then receive a text from my youngest daughter asking to be picked up because everything is finishing early and my eldest daughter picks up the remote, changes the station and sits down to watch something about “Bachelors”.

After answering my wife while I give Pepper a scratch I depart to pick up my youngest daughter. Upon returning, I excused myself, disappear into my study and buy a domain. Oh it’s good being free again!

Have a great weekend!

Recent Comments
Wolftalker
..is achieved by buying a domain - copy that!
27 August 2016
mgilmour
You got it :-) Nothing like some domain therapy to get you through the day.
30 August 2016
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Saturday Musings – How To Be Successful in Life...

Saturday Musings – How To Be Successful in Life...

I must admit that I was really nervous writing this title today because it suggests that I have the answer to the underlying question of “How can I be successful in life?”. Well, I hate to disappoint you but I don’t have all of the answers…..but I do have some.

To me, success has less to do with bank accounts and more to do with relationships. The most important relationship in my life is with my wife. Roselyn and I have been married for nearly 30 years (big anniversary next year!) and like any marriage it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

We’ve had difficulties to overcome but over the years we’ve discovered an amazing secret. It’s really simple, “Don’t be selfish”. What we found was the more we tried to meet each other’s needs the more our own needs got met. It’s actually pretty cool.

I’ve seen a lot of marriages fall apart and normally the parties say at some point that their spouse didn’t meet their needs. My advice, stop focusing on you and focus on the other person. The risk here is what happens if they don’t meet your needs still…..trust me, they will. This isn’t a solution for all relationships but it goes a long way to helping out.

So likewise, I try and bring this mindset into business relationships. How can I help out this client even if it means I don’t get the business? For example, just today I recommended to a domain owner that they should keep on doing what they are and not move their domains to ParkLogic. They were in a unique situation and trying to twist their arm would have been a disservice.

What focusing on your relationships forces you to do is take a long-term view. I may not do a deal with someone today but there’s always tomorrow. It means you’re focused on building trust rather than just your bank account.

What ends up happening is you do business with good quality people where you have developed strong relationships. Like a marriage, those relationships will be tested at times and if they are strong then they will last for years and years. It also means that you’ll have a lot of fun in business with great people along the journey.

Anyone can do transactions, buy or sell something to someone you will never see again. Business is different. It’s all about repeat transaction where people trust each other and look out for each other.

I have the privilege of counting many of the people that I do business with as friends. They may run parking companies, hold large portfolios or monetise traffic in unique ways but what’s special about our friendships is there is a commitment to the relationship that is beyond just business.

Next time you talk to one of your partners, business colleagues, clients, children or wife ask yourself, “What can I do for them?” You may be amazed by their response.

Have a great weekend!

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