What Do Broken Condoms Have To Do With Blogging

Le pissoire des Broken Spoke

I shouldn’t be blogging now. It is after midnight and I am in a foul mood that started yesterday and hasn’t improved with fatigue.

Can’t say I am surprised by that because I know better. Experience taught me long ago that exhaustion is not a solution but sometimes I am the guy who refuses to take the ski lift because it is more fun to climb the damn mountain than take the easy way.

Watched some videos from Ferguson and it just made me shake my head. I have had more than a few conversations with my children about how sometimes life doesn’t make sense.

You haven’t lived until you have had to explain what a gas chamber is to your kids and then been asked how many of our relatives were murdered there.

I have a ton of respect for law enforcement, it is a difficult job and I wouldn’t want it. Sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t but hell every time I watched this one video of a Black kid being body slammed I wanted to shake the cop.

Wanted to grab him and ask him what benefit there is in hiding behind the power of the badge. Wanted to ask him how he builds trust and respect for authority when his response to questions is to attack. Is he really that scared of people and if so, maybe he is in the wrong profession.

Of course my tolerance for the shenanigans of the world is at low tide but even if it were not I would have no patience for people who misuse and abuse authority.

What Do Broken Condoms Have To Do With Blogging

I  intentionally did not use punctuation for the headline or the subhead. I like thinking about how it would read with a period, question mark or exclamation point.

If you want to know what made me think of it you should read Pray For Him. It is a post about how I almost became a father before I was ready to be one.

I like it because as I told the story I shared what happened during the present and talked about watching the State Of The Union with my kids.

What really distinguishes it in my head is that I think it is a post that demonstrates an improvement in my writing. If you haven’t been reading along for years you might not see any difference, especially since the definition of good writing is subjective.

Several hours ago I helped my son work on his English homework and reviewed some of the 5 things I know about writing and the importance of building your vocabulary.

When he asked me for advice on how to become a better writer I told him he needs to quadruple his reading and write far more often.

I think he was surprised to learn how much I read and about how often I blog about writing. I really am the guy who blogs because he loves to write.

The only proven method I know of to get better at anything is to practice, which as I remember is something I told the girlfriend who shared the broken condom experience with me.

A Sleepy Writer

Because I am stupid stubborn I am going to spend a few more minutes here at the computer. Sleep must come soon because exhaustion rarely leads anywhere truly exciting but before I go I need to share a few more thoughts and ideas.

Sometimes it feels very strange to me not to have any living grandparents any more. I was 42 when the last one died and now all the generations have moved up a notch.

I do my best to tell the stories my grandparents used to tell me but I am still not the storyteller my grandfathers were. I practice and work hard to do so because as long as someone knows the stories they aren’t gone.

The other night I had a dream I was moving back to Texas. It might sound silly, but I was riding my horse under a moonlit sky when a pack of wolves showed up.

We weren’t going to be able to out run them so I jumped off the horse and spent the night battling wolves. The last thing I remember from the dream was waking up in the forest, a pile of dead wolves surrounding me and vague memories of the battle.

I knew I had broken the necks of two of them but couldn’t tell you more than that. All I know is that I saddled up and resumed my ride towards Dallas.

Just writing that down makes me feel like my grandfathers are near. I can feel them nodding their heads and smell their cigars.

And now my friends, Traveling Jack must get some rest. Every year it gets a little bit harder to fight off the wolves and though I write and rewrite my obituary yearly it is not time for the real thing so it is time for me to go.

Don’t worry, I will be back, even if I have to move heaven and earth to do so. I know things.

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4 Comments

  1. TheJackB August 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 The two most important parts of becoming a better writer are lots of reading and lots of writing.
    Brevity is useful but sometimes people kill a good piece by adhering to guidelines and not rules.
    Some posts do better when they are longer. People will always read good content.

  2. Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 August 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I love your advice to your son about what it takes to improve your writing. 
    I, like you, enjoy writing. Well, there’s one bastard part of writing that I don’t like. Of course, I lust for the times when the words are flowing and time is effortlessly floating by. I think everyone who writes regularly does. 
    The times I hate are when I’ve got a bunch of shit in a place where it doesn’t work. I know it doesn’t work here, but I know it works for the piece. That time between me figuring out it doesn’t work here and where it does, is a bastard. 
    But as always, with time away from the piece, I come back to find that it either needs to be axed clean off the page, or I find precisely where it works and how to bracket it so that it fits seamlessly. 
    And I think this mainly a problem for me as I write some long ass pieces. I admire the people who are meaningfully brief. Not just brevity for brevity’s sake, but brevity in favor of getting the job done precisely and succinctly. 

    Maybe I’ll get advice/coaching on how to do this but until then, I’ll enjoy my process. 

    Thank you Jack for reminding me that I need to get reading more as I’ve seriously been neglecting my books lately.

  3. Larry August 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I hope you finally got some sleep and are feeling better.
    You are fortunate to have had your grandparents for so long. I was 19 when my last grandparent passed. My kids only know one of their grandparents. I feel sorry for them that that is the case.

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