Archives for September 2016

“Blogging” Secrets & Stories For Your Review

I’m locked in a space between frustrated and angry battling the urge to storm the gates of Hell.

It is not fear of failure that holds me back or concern about consequences that makes me leave my sword above the hearth.

No, it is reality and reality says it won’t matter if I tear down the gates and lay waste to all whatever comes across my path.

Won’t matter how hard I fight or how smart I am because this battle isn’t one I can fight.  All I can do here is offer support and hope and that is killing me.

I am not good at sitting back and watching.

I am good at being relentless. I am good at patiently waiting for things that impact me personally, but not so good when it comes to others.

writingplath

“Blogging” Secrets & Stories For Your Review

If you are new to the blog you might not know that sometimes I can be feisty and that I don’t suffer fools very well.

Maybe that is because sometimes I am the biggest damn fool around and my fragile male ego doesn’t like getting tweaked.

A short time ago I got into it with a kid who declared blogging dead.

Don’t ask why I bothered to engage or how every year for a decade or more people write 83,832,392 posts declaring blogging to be dead.

Most of those are crap people post because they have unrealistic expectations about how many clicks, comments, likes and shares their posts should have received.

Write better content, sustain your effort, market your work and stop expecting millions, tens of thousands or even thousands to find your work.

Write and they will come isn’t realistic for most of us but then again it is not impossible either.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King

I have posted that quote more than once but that is because it is important.

Because experience has proven when I open up and write pieces like How to Be A Man people respond to them.

The hardest things to say and to write sometimes lead to some of the best blog posts but not because of what other people say or do but because of what we, the writers get from them.

Whenever I go looking for the write stuff I remind myself of this and now I have to go because I need to move my body and sweat or go to battle.

Exercise is better.

Write With Your Heart

There is something about The Ecstasy Of Gold from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soundtrack that touches me.

Today it set off an echo of thoughts and ideas in my head that reminds me about a place in my heart I locked up a while ago.

These thoughts pinballing around my head have caused some ideas to shake loose and fall off of the shelves where I had placed them.

The time has come to dust them off and do more than say I’ll tend to them one day.

They live in gardens that have been forgotten and are overgrown with weeds and things that obscure the beauty inside.

aboutawriter

Write With Your Heart

I haven’t done a good job of writing with my heart for a while now.

Haven’t followed the rules of the blog by sharing the deep, dark and personal stuff the way I used to do it.

Sure you can say I have been busy and distracted and that this is why I haven’t but it is not entirely true.

I got tired of feeling like I was getting beat up and beat down about a variety of things so I just stopped writing about them.

You might ask if that means I didn’t follow through with my mantra to live your dreams and not dream you life and the answer would be no.

I never gave up on it, but I did stop writing about some of it.

Stopped putting pen to paper or hand to keyboard because of that aforementioned beating.

That twenty-something I used to be long ago would have never done that. He would have screamed at the world that he could take whatever was dished out and then proved it by taking it.

I can still take whatever comes but I no longer need to prove it to anyone so I figured it was time for a different approach.

But I made a mistake by not writing the same way, made a mistake by pulling back farther than I should have.

Bradburyonwriting

Time to get drunk on writing again and dive back into the stories I used to write. That sentence would read better if it was “The Stories I Write.”

It is time to write with the heart again.

The People That Are Important To You

Some people might say I am the chicken in the picture above because I haven’t had some important conversations.

It bothers me not because I care about whether people think I am being a chicken but because I think I am.

What we think and how we feel about ourselves is almost always more important than what others say or see.

That is a lesson I impress and reimpress upon my children because it is that important.

Our self-esteem impacts everything about us and while it can be problematic to have an inflated sense it is just as bad to have none.

people think

The People That Are Important To You

I have watched my children navigate friendships throughout their entire lives and have seen it evolve from the playdates of their very young childhood to middle/high school relationships of the present.

Some friendships fizzled out and others have endured for all of the same sometimes inexplicable reasons we have experienced in our adult lives.

Sometimes it has led to hard moments for the kids and they have asked me for help in managing things.

Go the distance for people that are important to you. Don’t let friendships wither and die because you didn’t say the things that need to be said.

That is what I have said to them.

I have told them about D and how he died and how 18 years later I still miss that guy.

I should have told him I loved him like a brother and made it clear how much I valued his friendship.

Not because he didn’t know, because he did but some things mean more when we say them out loud and in person.

And the reason I am feeling torn up is I haven’t taken my own advice.

Ask me why and I’ll tell you it is a timing thing and I’ll say that it is not an excuse because timing can be critical.

Timing affects whether people are ready/willing to hear what you have to say and the words I haven’t shared yet haven’t been said because I don’t think they would be heard now.

But it isn’t easy for me to sit and wait.

And now a musical interlude.

Force The Circle Into The Square

If my 12 going on 30-year-old daughter was here she’d ask me how I could listen to Toby Keith and David Bowie right after each other and I’d tell her dad is a man of diverse tastes and complications.

I suspect she and I are heading towards a time when we’re going to have some more serious conversations about certain similarities in our personalities.

And I imagine that there are going to be some real interesting ones involving the differences between how boys and girls approach friendships/relationships.

Sometimes I think the big challenges come from those differences and how it can feel a bit like we are trying to force the circle into the square and vice-versa.

That is probably part of why I am feeling unsettled about this and why I am frustrated I haven’t been able to say what needs to be said.

But I am going with my gut and listening to my heart here. I am holding back because I don’t think if I tried to start the conversation it would be accepted.

Eventually there may come a time when I’ll have to speak my piece because timing doesn’t always cooperate with us, but for now I suppose I’ll sit on hands a bit longer.

That is really not easy for me. I am the guy who wants to say what is on my mind and get it out on the table because you can’t deal with things unless you talk about them.

Or maybe the real problem is the chicken thinks it is easier to say he can’t talk now because he fears what will be said in response and it is easier to blame it on timing.

Fathers Go The Distance

The other thing to share here is I can’t be the father who ignores his own advice.

I won’t say I never do the old “do as I say not as I do” thing but I make a real effort not to and in this case I am going to do as I say.

I’ll wait a bit longer and then I’ll go the distance and we’ll let the chips fall as they may. I always feel better when I have failed and tried than failed to try.

Damn, life can be so unnecessarily complicated sometimes.

You Ought To Comment

Work is the reason why I am living by myself again.

In theory it will be like this for close to a year or so but you never know for certain.

Life has a way of making your well-laid plans look a little less well laid and well thought out so it is possible this could be shorter or longer.

Don’t mistake that for having been said with a frown or tears because it wasn’t, there is a lot of joy and optimism behind it all.

I worked my ass off to put myself in this position and I am thrilled that things are going as they are and my fingers are crossed that they continue because of the benefits it provides my family.

This is the first time in years I can say I feel like I am providing for my kids the way I want to and the first time I have had such optimism in far too long.

Why wouldn’t I be happy and or excited.

opportunityknocks

You Ought To Comment

Steiner the minor has developed a bad habit of not acknowledging the texts or emails he receives from people.

I told him I don’t like this habit because it is rude and obnoxious and it is a good way to lose friends.

He told me it is common behavior so I compared notes with some friends and discovered it seems to be the truth.

I shouldn’t be surprised because parents seem to have trouble RSVP’ing for parties so why should I expect different behavior from their children.

We have been building a world in which we live in electronic bubbles where we point, click, slide and text our way into and out of conversations with others.

I won’t say I am not part of this society or don’t share any responsibility for any of this.

Nor will I say this is the first time I have noticed this because it is not, but it feels different to me now.

Maybe it is because I am walking around a new city and I realize what impact technology has had on my life.

*****

Thanks to social media and texting I don’t talk to people with the same frequency I used to.

Why call when Facebook has shown me the latest moments in their lives and or a quick text lets me know they are thinking of me or me of them.

If I was in LA I’d think about getting together and maybe put it off because I figure it is easy for us to get together for a few.

Yeah we’re busy, but we can find time, if we chose to that is.

Now I am 1,500 miles away so the in person stuff isn’t so easy but social media and texting makes it feel like I am right there.

It is almost like nothing has changed, especially when you hit the same chain of markets and stores here as you’d find there.

Homogeneity at its finest.

loveaurelius

The Best Cover Letter….Ever

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Many years ago in a galaxy far, far away there was simple farmer named Luke. I am not talking about the Luke Duke who drove the General Lee, but the man who blew up the Death Star and defeated the emperor.

Those are pretty big accomplishments for a simple farmer. I can be that guy for you. All you have to do is hire me and I can be your Luke. That is a pretty good deal for you because that would make you Obi Wan-Kenobi. Of course I can’t promise you that I’ll save you from Darth Vader or anyone going postal in the office.

gladiator-1249010

In fact if someone freaks out I just might hide in a cubicle. But the good news is that I am a pretty good shot with rubber bands and paper clips. So if you keep me supplied I might be able to shoot someone in the eye. So in reality that is of benefit to you.

Let’s take a moment to review some of the other reasons why it would be stupid not to hire me.

The class of 1986 voted me Most Likely to Drive an Ice Cream Truck. That is the kind of honor that not everyone receives. It is proof that they believed that I would be great at running my own franchise and that I am a conscientious worker. Not everyone can keep the ice cream from melting or do simple math. Give me a $1.50 for a Bomb Pop and I’ll give you proper change, unless of course you charge $1.65 in which case I’ll ask you for more money.

As a boy scout I always won the campfire contest. That is the one where you are tested to see who can start a fire the fastest. Not every carries a Bic Lighter and some hair spray around, but I do because you never know when you might need a fire.

I am really good at microwaving popcorn. Not everyone knows how to do it, but I do. I won’t make the office stink. Unless you take me out for Mexican food or feed me dairy. But heck, lactose intolerance is a certifiable medical condition. And since you are a professional you must know that we all deal with occasional bouts of flatulence. That is why I like to play the radio at my desk, so that no one has to listen to uncomfortable noises.

Unlike other employees I won’t lie about why I am missing work. Sometimes I just don’t feel like coming in, we all need personal time. I am sure that you agree that this is the sort of honesty your company needs.

Which I suppose is why you really don’t need to interview anyone else for the job. Really, you should just call me and tell me when I can come in to sign papers. Probably better to do it sooner so that my medical benefits kick in. That way I can be sure to bring you a real doctor’s note when I am out sick.

Do you see how I just proved my honesty again. I won’t fake a doctor’s note, I’ll get you a real one that you can show everyone so that when I am out on disability no one feels badly. Anyway, it sounds like we have worked most of this out. Call me and I’ll tell you what bank I use so that we can set up a direct deposit account.

Thank you for being so cool. I look forward to coming in. May the Force be with you.

Sincerely,

Jack, the guy who can’t wait to be your Luke.

Originally published here.