stories about facing fear

by Clint Adams

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stories about facing fear : Fear Bytes newsletter

FEAR BYTES: Fall 2007

October 14, 2007

Fear Bytes, a newsletter for middle-graders, teens and all others who BELIEVE they can do anything…or want to.

FEAR BYTES : Fall 2007

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Hey Fear-Fighters,

How’s it going? Are you putting new, unusual and ‘off-the-charts’ things on your TO DO list? Taking any classes at school you thought you never would in a million years? There’s many out there these days. Just recently, I heard that U.C. Berkeley now even posts their videotaped classes on YouTube. Get out!

Life’s ALL about change. But, guess why most of us fight it? If you don’t know the answer, please delete this newsletter from your Inbox immediately. You still with me? Yes, fear…fear of change. In my opinion, ‘fear of dying’ and ‘fear of change’ are running neck-and-neck as the Number #1 most-common fear amongst every person on earth. I don’t know the stats. for folks on other planets.

This summer I began something new, my FEAR BYTES radio show ( on QT World Radio ( I enjoy it so much because I get to invite guests on, interview them, and as a listener, get to learn something new and different. Giving someone else the spotlight makes me feel good. Karma, you know.

If you haven’t listened yet, please give it a try. If not my show, there’s plenty others available that’ll make you think. Invite your friends to listen…especially if you know someone that’ll benefit from the advice or resources offered. If you’re thinking about making some sort of change in your life, get inspired by some of the authors and experts crammed into this one link:

More change is coming. Read on.

I wish you all a fearless fall (not the kind that requires surgery afterwards, OUCH!…you know what I mean),


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Commentary : Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize: it’s interesting the changes destiny has in store.

Al’s life as a teen? Gosh, I’m not really sure about that. Let me Google him, and I’ll be right back.

Yo, (still online) ‘Al-Gore-teen’ isn’t getting me what I wanted. But, look what I found, “EVERY British teen to see Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. U.K. Environment Minister David Miliband said the film, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, would be sent to every school as part of an educational pack about climate change aimed at British teens.” Good stuff, huh?

Done. (Now offline) I discovered many interesting truths about Al Gore’s younger years. Even early on, Al Gore was extremely passionate. His first major at Harvard was English, but he ended up graduating with a degree in government. In the military, he was a journalist for THE ARMY FLYER in Vietnam, and later spent five years as a reporter for THE TENNESSEAN, a newspaper in Nashville Tennessee. His investigations of possible corruption among members of Nashville's Metro Council resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two councilmen for separate offenses. It frustrated him, however, that a journalist could only expose wrongdoing without being able to correct it. (Oops, we differ greatly on that one, Al. Again, karma/karmic justice. Ex. The Goldman family publishing IT I DID IT…and the IMMEDIATE, subsequent chain of O.J. callamities that followed.) That realization led to a leave of absence from the paper to try law school. Before he could finish, he learned that his local congressman planned to retire in 1976. And so, Al’s destiny begins…

He knew he was born to instigate change. Big change. Maybe early on, he was passionate about becoming President, but instead he got something else, something maybe even greater…overwhelming respect. Three days ago, two of the leading Democratic candidates (Hillary Clinton and John Edwards) whole-heartedly congratulated Vice-President Gore. Senator Edwards said in a statement, "The Nobel Peace Prize rewards three decades of Vice President Al Gore's prescient and compelling -- and often lonely -- advocacy for the future of our Earth. The Nobel Committee's recognition of Vice President Al Gore shines a bright light on the most inconvenient truth of all -- the selection of George Bush as president has endangered the peace and prosperity of the entire planet."

Seven years ago, I felt horribly sad for Al Gore and his loss. It seemed so incredibly unjust. I thought it unlikely that he’d ever recover from it. I thought he might give up, go away, and never be heard from again, night after night watching nothing but E! and TV Land. How stupid was I? Although he wanted one thing seven years ago, I’m glad his passion, his destiny, his true purpose, took him elsewhere.

It doesn’t make me proud that most historians regard George W. Bush as the worst president in U.S. history. Instead, I hope we learn from the choices we’ve made. I hope we learn from Al Gore’s example, that we ALL possess the power to instigate change.

Last week, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, held up a photo of Al Gore during the announcement Friday in Oslo, and said, “Al Gore has fought the environment battle even as vice president. Many did not listen ... but he carried on.”

Al Gore may not be president, but in my opinion, he’s definitely got the power, the whole world listens to him (with respect). On the homepage of my website I say, ‘The perfect feeling, the perfect test, is believing, when no one else does.’ There’s NOTHING more powerful. So, whenever you find yourself beginning to doubt, think a little about Al Gore, someone who ALWAYS believed, someone who kept going. I’m hoping he will inspire you to do the same…to keep changing.

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Author Focus : ALICE WALKER

Are you sick of hearing me talk about her? No? OK then, here I go…

Yes, Alice Walker is my favorite author. Yes, THE COLOR PURPLE is my favorite book. And, yes, THE COLOR PURPLE is my favorite movie.

Have any of you read any of her books? Did you know that when THE COLOR PURPLE first came out it was marketed only to teens? It won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award. For novelists, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Alice Walker has written many books, and has told many insightful stories. She made me understand fully that fiction certainly does have the power to change lives. This is why I chose to write novels vs. non-fiction. Plus (tell me if I’m wrong), most teens would almost never pick up a non-fiction (self-help) book if they were offered the choice. Teens read novels. Period.

THE COLOR PURPLE changed my life. Not only did the powerful story inspire me, it made me realize that I could tell stories simply, stories people may read. I fell in love with the uncomplicated voice of Celie, the protagonist, who had been abused in every imaginable way, yet still lived with incredible faith and belief. THE COLOR PURPLE made me realize that stories can be told in a simple, unadorned voice and appeal to teens and adults alike. Modern-day publishing says that if you write in a young voice, then your audience MUST be young as well (Don’t get me started!) Thanks, Alice, for proving them wrong.

Alice Walker isn’t afraid to be political. She tells the truth whenever she can. I admire this so much. One of her newest books is for very young readers (age: 4-8), the illustrated children’s book, WHY WAR IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

For any of you that have a favorite author, please visit them. Meet them at book-signings. Go to their events. Ask them a question. You’ll be glad you did. I met Alice Walker in 1994 at my favorite (yes, another ‘favorite’) bookstore, Kepler’s in Menlo Park, California. She was promoting her novel, POSSESSING THE SECRET OF JOY, but she didn’t seem happy to be there…probably not a big fan of book-marketing. When it became my turn for Ms. Walker to sign my book, I told her, “You inspired me to write, thanks.” Before responding, her face lit up with a huge smile, the only time she smiled that entire afternoon. I’ll remember that smile forever.

On October 27th, I’ll be celebrating a landmark birthday, although I’ll still remain a teen (calculated in dog years, or course). A few days prior to that, my mother, Sue, and I will be going to see THE COLOR PURPLE, the musical for the first time. I can’t wait. I’ll get to celebrate my birth with the woman that gave me life. And, we’ll be doing it while experiencing the story that changed my life, my destiny forever.

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Singer Focus : TERRI CLARK (

Teens and country music? You bet’cha. Terri Clark is one of my favorite country singers, and here’s what she said to the crowd as she gave a concert in Canada recently :

“I see a lot of kids here tonight…I’m going to do this song for all the young people here tonight, because this song was the slogan, actually, for the Canadian Special Olympics back in the year 2000. I wrote it with Mary Chapin Carpenter a few years ago. And all the young people here tonight have their whole lives ahead of them. I’m a big believer in dreams. I left Medicine Hat, Alberta twenty years ago to go off and become a country star. A lot of people told me I was crazy. But, your dreams are the only thing you’ve got that really get you through life every day. And you never, never give up on your dreams and your all your hopes, and what you want to achieve, because it’s your life and not nobody else’s. By all means…go out, and have no fear.”

Then, she sang, what else? NO FEAR, from her CD, FEARLESS. As you recall your own dreams in your head, please watch and listen (

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Fear : FACT or FICTION Quiz (answers at bottom)

1. Eisoptrophobia is the fear of glass shattering. : FACT or FICTION?
2. The most commonly-used acronym for the word ‘fear’ is False Emotions Appearing Real. : FACT or FICTION?
3. George W. Bush originated the quote, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” : FACT or FICTION?
4. Fear of flowers is called "anthophobia.” : FACT or FICTION?
5. “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free,” is a quote from Carrot Top. : FACT OR FICTION?

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What’s up now? What’s up next? : LUCKY NUMBER FIVE

A year ago I was so excited and enthusiastic about my latest book about to come out, MY WATCH DOESN’T TELL TIME…until I met with a friend of mine who created the book cover. We were having lunch in some museum café in Stockholm when he said, “How many books have you published?” “This will be my fourth,” I answered with pride.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” was his response. I was shocked. John seemed forever positive and optimistic about everything, always supportive of what I was doing. We got along great. John Barker is British, lives in Sweden, and has worked at numerous big-name publishing houses in the U.K. and throughout the world. “The FIFTH book is ALWAYS the one that takes off. I’m not sure why,” he went on to say.

Guess what? I now believe this. The book I feel the most passionate about is my current one, THE SEVEN RITUALS (a novel for adults), my fifth published book. You know why? Not only am I passionate about it, I’m doing everything differently, making many changes. My mission is still to help people, but now I’d like to help adults with the words I write. This means, I’ll be taking a substantial break from my objectives with teens.

For the next few months, I’ll continue doing my FEAR BYTES radio show for teens (, writing my blog on (, and send out one or two more of these FEAR BYTES newsletters.

Changes, changes and more changes. I usually do about fifteen drafts of edits and revisions before I work with an editor, so I’ve got a long way to go. But, I’m so eager. I hope you’ll be patient with me. I just know THE SEVEN RITUALS will be able to reach more people, and be able to help them in more ways than I’ve been able to before.

I’ve worked very hard all these years, (for the most part) always believing in my vision, my dreams. But, now something’s changed. I truly feel I deserve the rewards that come with my efforts. Maybe Alice Walker also came to this same realization. After all, THE COLOR PURPLE was her fifth published novel.

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Hey again fearless-readers,

Thank you for reading this edition of FEAR BYTES newsletter. Again, if the links contained herein didn’t translate into html by techno-magic, please cut and paste them into your address bar.

As usual, when in doubt, please remember:

1. Fear isn’t natural; it's ALL learned.
2. Keep your TO DO list full.
3. Always BELIEVE…no matter what!!!

Thanks also, to those of you who’ve read any of my books.

Do your best to be fearless. Keep going. And most of all, KEEP CHANGING!

Until next time,

Clint (please write anytime) (please visit many times)

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1. Eisoptrophobia is the fear of glass shattering. : FICTION (It’s the fear of mirrors or seeing oneself in the mirror).
2. The most-commonly used acronym for the word ‘fear’ is False Emotions Appearing Real. : FACT (followed by: False Evidence Appearing Real, False Expectations Appearing Real).
3. George W. Bush originated the quote, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” : FICTION (Thomas Jefferson did).
4. Fear of flowers is called "anthophobia." : FACT (anthophobia is a word derived from the Greek "anthos" (flower) and "phobos" (fear).
5. “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free” is a quote from Carrot Top. : FICTION (Hardly…it’s Oprah Winfrey).


"You must discover the cause of your unhappiness by the end of this year…or you will not live to see the next.” Disgusted and disbelieving, 34-year old Paul Jacobson dismisses what he’s told by a Greenwich Village psychic. Only days later though, while running in the New York City Marathon, Paul’s mind leads him back…to a past he’s never known. This journey begins the race for his life.
Fiction: Teen/Young Adult
Currently #1-ranked in Korea (Teen Visionary Fiction) “What if time runs out?” is the question that makes 14-year old Miguel Estes sweat almost every night. Life's short. Have you done all you want?
Now TOP TEN-ranked for tenth-straight month in Korea (Teen Visionary Fiction) Who wouldn’t want to be fearless? After overcoming a fear-filled life, 13-year old Miguel Estes uncovers life’s most potent and debilitating fear while sprinting his way to freedom.
Now TOP TEN-ranked for tenth-straight month in Korea (Teen Visionary Fiction) Miguel is unique. He has a lifetime measured by days not years; he happens to live with E.B., but he spends little time thinking about it. For Miguel, living with fear is far more deadly than this fatal disease could ever be.
Amazon/France TOP-TEN-ranked (Action & Adventure) over 7-consecutive months. Now out of print, but still available via special order at all book retailers.
Fiktion: Jugendlicher
Das einzige Hindernis zwischen Ihnen und Ihr Schicksal ist Angst. Beseitigen Sie Angst...und Sie werden Ihr Traum leben.
Romanzi per Adoloscenti e Adulti
Una lezione per Miguel, per tutti: Una persona che non ha paura di morte, non ha paura.
È facile, è la verità: la vita inizia soltanto quando la paura è eliminata.

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