Compassion, Prejudice, Judgment

Sometimes, the most unexpected emotions com from equally unexpected places. I'd like to tell you a story about the last 7 days in my house, a snake, and an unexpected lesson from my son, Jefferson (he's 10 years old). As a kid, reptiles always fascinated me. Cold-blooded creatures are strange, no doubt, and there's such a stigma around lizards and snakes that it's hard to get past feelings of anxiety around them if there's an ingrained feeling that these critters are dangerous, or terrifying. Truth is, they're scared of humans because they see us as giant predators that could eat them. That can make them defensive until they get used to you (I don't blame them). They don't eat people, dogs, or cats, unless you're in…

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A Spud-Like Short Story

Because sometimes, you just have to write a noir scene about a detective and potatoes... ********** I pressed the red circular button on my small audio recording device, set it down on the detective’s desk, and looked up at him. The street lights outside were mostly blocked by the drawn shades in his dank charcoal-grey office, and a slow trail of cigarette smoke was curling it’s way from his bandaged left hand, past his square jaw, until it finally stretched out and blanketed across the paint-peeled tin ceiling above us. Private Detective Poe Tatum looked as if though he’d been run over by a delivery truck with an Idaho license plate. Twice. He brought his bandaged hand to his mouth and took a long drag…

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Writing Exercise – Something’s Missing

So I'm in a small local writer's group (when I mean small, I mean small - most weeks it's 2 or 3 of us, the max is 4), and we decided to issue a kind of "homework" assignment week to week to stretch our writing brain. It's nothing terribly burdensome, so it doesn't affect the WIP (Work In Progress, for those of you who are bad at acronyms OMGWTFLOLBBQ). This week's assignment - write a scene in which there is a character focused on something that is missing. For me, I decided to focus it on loss (eh, I'm an oft-downtrodden INFJ, it's a thing). Here, without any further explanation, I give you my 500-ish-word scene featuring poor Sam ... ********** The screen door creaked…

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Back to Life, Back to Reality

You know, that title should be in a song. Anyway. I'm six-ish weeks removed from family tragedy, and as I'd anticipated (for myself at least), acceptance has settled in, and the day by day is going by well enough. I'm still having these moments where something small and largely inconsequential hits me and I just break down, but for the most part, I'm back to moving forward, though with some periodic somberness attached. I'm a firm believer that your objective reality (oh here he goes, preaching Ayn Rand again), is what should guide you day to day. Aligning your principles with that objective reality, and rocking your truth, so to speak. So I've been trying to do that. Health considerations have been at the fore…

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Broken Feral Writing Guy

I have managed to crawl out of my hole from time to time to catch glimpses of the real world, but for the most part I've been spending my time either working, or working, or doing kid stuff, or decompressing from all of the working and kid stuff going on. Oh, and there was this: Which, underneath all that purple fleshy stuff, looks like this: Which honestly isn't all that great for trying to fly through typing and shove down 1200 words or so every couple of days. Crushed middle knuckle (dominant hand) aside, I have been getting some writing done on the Big Damn Book, which is lovely, but it has been difficult to get quality steady writing time in with all of the…

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Holidays are Over, Back At It

So one of the things I'm learning through my own writing journey here is that there is no perfect way for me to write. I always found myself incredibly jealous of people who have a dedicated writing space, a quiet house, a time set aside to pen their Great American Novel every day. Maybe 2000 words each day, flowing perfectly from their hands, with not a pressure in the world but to create. But, this is real life. There's holidays, kids, work drama, arguments, shit breaking everywhere (hello, house, I'm looking at you), snow falling, personal insanity (injuries!), and more. Yeah. Injuries. Right before Christmas I slipped, fell, and destroyed the knuckle in my middle finger on my right hand. I'm 3 weeks away from…

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Published Writer

Sometimes, awesome things happen.  Like this: Last year, I submitted an article idea to a martial arts industry magazine (I own a dojo, so it's a thing), to see if I could get an article in there about a subject I am quite passionate about - mental toughness and personal accountability. I wrote an email asking if they accept such submissions from plain non-writing folk like me, and then ... Nothing. A few weeks after sending that email I received a response from the Editor of this magazine, and he basically said, sure, send a full pitch idea of the story (a few paragraphs), he'll bring the idea up to his roundtable of staff writers, and if it's greenlighted, he'll have a staff writer contact…

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A Break, Now Back At It

I've probably written a paltry total of about 1,000 words in the last, I don't know, three weeks. Pathetic.  Pitiful.  Embarrassing. However, I did manage to go on a vacation with the kids, get a lot of business-y work done, and oh, get married.  So that was a thing. Sometimes, life takes over, and you've got to just kind of roll with it.  It doesn't mean that writing and story progression hasn't been in my head. With everything else swirling around, my brain cannot handle the break, focus, and concentration it takes me to shut it all off, sit, and write.  Even though I should. So I afforded myself this little break for a few weeks to get some life stuff in order.  Sailboat rides,…

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Writing and Blogging and Video, Oh My

So I have this idea for a project, and it's mostly formed around the fact that I'm a technology junkie with a whole bunch of equipment that I MIGHT AS WELL USE for some kind of non-nefarious purpose.   Here's a portion of my basic set-up.  Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera for relatively close-up, documentary-style video, a Newer mic I picked up on Amazon for about 20 bucks, hooked into a basic 4-channel mixer that's plugged into a lovely Tascam DR-05 Linear PCM Recorder. If all of that sounds super fancy, it's not.  Okay the camera is super fancy but I've had that anyway and didn't purchase it for this particular project which I'm kind of starting but kind of re-doing (it's a thing with…

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Some Days …

... ya just wanna burn it all down. Ugh. Calgon take me away, Jesus take the wheel, etc. etc. On a GOOD note, I am a total of 5,550 words into my novel. On a SLIGHTLY LESS GOOD note, that's actually all outlining and character descriptions.  Mostly notes for myself.  I'm an outliner.  My brain is going so fast most times (INFJ, big picture stuff, not great with details), that it's very hard to keep track of it all. So, I outline.  List the characters, describe each one.  List the locations where the story will be taking place.  Tie in how the characters will meet/interact.  Get a basic structure down, and then fill in from there. Like this guy:   Does Bob Ross paint the…

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