What Lies Beneath The Mist…

Morning Fog Emerging From Trees

There is an enormous stack of books piled on my right and a bookcase that is bursting at the seams on my left. Sunday afternoon and I am in the midst of memories, moments and mystery.

Five minutes ago this post had a different headline. I was going to call it Should You Delete Old Posts and write about how I want to shrink my database.

That is because I have almost 9,000 posts here and the weight of it is creating issues. There are a ridiculous number of broken links scattered throughout the blog and it irks me.

Irks me because one of the central purposes of this place is to tell stories and broken links wreak havoc. It is like reading a story in a magazine or a newspaper and then discovering a chunk of the page is missing. Just when you are really into the tale you discover that your wife/sister/brother/mother cut out the 20% off coupon for Macy’s.

Great they are going to save money on shoes and you are going to be stuck wondering how the star of the story became who they are. You’ll stare at it and wonder what the linchpin of the piece is and be stuck not knowing. Ok, that is not entirely true. You can go online or go buy another copy, but that is a hassle. It kills momentum.

I don’t want to kill momentum in my stories.

Five Posts

  1. Was It A Dream?
  2. More than Heaven Will Allow 
  3. Why Is Daddy Crying 
  4. There Are No Coincidences 
  5. Pray For Him 

I am in dire need of coffee now, need a quick shot of that liquid black gold to lighten my mood and speed along the ceremonial cleaning of the clutter surrounding me.

Ok, it is not really ceremonial because I have filed quite a few papers, rid myself of some old clothes that I don’t need any more and considered donating some of these books.

I am not really good about getting rid of books. I love to read and I love having a personal library that includes more than a couple of paperbacks and some old hardcovers from college.

Some of my favorite blogging stems from posts like this that are more about stream of consciousness than straight storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I love stories. I love reading and writing stories, but sometimes it is fun to mix it up.

Sometimes the best blogging moments comes from just writing without concern for anything other than the joy of writing. This is one of those moments where there are no thoughts about SEO, headlines that will make this go viral or any of the mechanics that we read about.

Those of you who are still reading are here because you are trapped beneath a heavy object and unable to move or because you really like my writing.

The Return of Homework

The 2012-13 school year starts this coming Tuesday which means we face the return of homework. My kids aren’t excited about that and neither am I.

I haven’t missed having to push and sit on them about getting it done. Nor have I missed feeling like large parts of it are being given strictly because teachers are required to and not because it helps learning.

What I want is for my kids to learn how to use logic and reason to think. I want them to learn how to use their minds and not just regurgitate information. Anyone can do that. Take what you know and show me you know how to use it.

Damn, I wish I could make like Gumby and step into a book. Just thinking about homework makes me want to go on vacation. I could deal with some time on a beach or a boat- maybe both. Heck since the two usually go together all I need is one and I can find the other.

Instead I am going to help with learning about the sea, sailing and the ocean blue. That is not a horrible thing, but now that I am thinking about the surf it is hard to focus on work.

Got to run now, I have to get my fix in and the beach is calling.

Linked up with Dude Write #9.

The Day Jack Suffered From Writer’s Block

They didn’t believe the day would come when Jack, captain of the mighty sailing ship “TheJackB” would succumb to writer’s block. It seemed virtually impossible that such a day would come.

It wasn’t just because he said it never happened but because they had never seen it happen. That crazy man could produce content at a ridiculous pace that made people wonder what the hell was going on with him.

Some whispered that he had made a deal with the devil and that in return for his soul he was granted immunity from the curse of the empty page. Others suggested that it wasn’t that at all. They said that Jack had gained the ire and enmity of a gypsy. They said the gypsy had laid multiple curses down upon him and that was why he was so restless.

They said that he ran four other blogs besides his main one and that he almost never slept. They said that some times people would find him passed out, face down upon his keyboard.

Some of those who claimed to know him best said that none of those things were true. They said many years before he had been the Dread Pirate Roberts and that he had sailed around the world.

The Indian barque Tarangini passing under the ...

The Indian barque Tarangini passing under the Newport Bridge — Narragansett Bay, RI, USA — folowed by the Prince William and Picton Castle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They said that in a time that once was and on an island that can’t be found he fought with the Shaman of the tribe that lived there. They said it wasn’t because he tried to plunder the riches of the island. They hadn’t stopped there to do more than find fresh water and pick some fruit.

The natives had attacked the crew, killing most and capturing many. Jack couldn’t let that go. He had an obligation to his crew and a reputation to uphold. No one took on the Dread Pirate Roberts with impunity.

So he led a daring rescue mission in which he saved many lives and created a deeper bond with the men who sailed with him. Those who came back described the final battle between Jack and the Shaman as having been the sort of tale that people wouldn’t believe. Even those who witnessed it wondered what was real and what was illusion.

They said that Jack wanted to spare the life of the Shaman but there was no way to do so without inviting severe risk to himself and the crew. Just before he died the Shaman screamed and flames shot from his eyes. They couldn’t understand what he was saying, but it was clear that it wasn’t a blessing.

Later on Jack refused to speak about the battle. All he would say was that there was a price to be paid for his actions and he was willing to pay it.

Stop Talking About Yourself In The Third Person

During the past couple of days I have written close to 6,000 words or so. The content has just been flowing from my fingertips and I am feeling a bit spent.

To be fair some of what I have been working on includes material that I had been saving for such an occasion so I didn’t create everything from scratch but I did spend a decent chunk of time trying to weave it all together into something that didn’t resemble a patchwork quilt.

One of the reasons I save my drafts is that I often find ways to use them later on. Here is a partial list of some of the posts that are sitting in my drafts folder:

  • It Is The Thought That Counts
  • What Are Your Priorities?
  • The Sins Of The Father
  • The Call Of The Hierophant
  • Three Generations of Men and A Movie
  • The Family Dinner
  • The Relationship Between Father’s Day, Marketers and Storytellers
  • Don’t Put The Cart Before The Horse
  • Meet Me In The Echoes Of The Future
  • A Ten Dollar Cup of Coffee
  • Where Is Your Focus?

I have a bunch of tricks that I use to keep my mind clear and my pencil sharp. These silly stories like the one above or the fictional battle at Starbucks are among my favorites. Those stories are fun to write because I don’t rely upon them to pay the bills.

They are what I use to stretch my writing muscles. It is like a warm up for me.

Sometimes I like to roll through the blog and read old posts and see if they inspire me. There isn’t any rhyme or reason to it, I just grab them and run. For example here are a bunch that I just stumbled onto again:

What Was The Point Of This Post?

Contrary to popular belief, not every post has to have a point. Sometimes it is fun to just write with reckless abandon and see where you end up. If it would make you feel better the point of this post was to share a few thoughts about writer’s block and how to deal with it.

I don’t suffer from it because I don’t believe in it. We can talk about it later, but if you train yourself to look at writing and the world in a different way you find it doesn’t exist.

That doesn’t mean that you will never question the quality of your work because you will. Every good writer has more than a few moments where they look at their content and wonder if a team of drunk monkeys could produce something better, but that is a topic for a different day.

What do you think?

Linked up with Dude Write Six.

What The Hell Happened to Courtesy

English: A KONE Ecodisc elevator in Glasgow af...

English: A KONE Ecodisc elevator in Glasgow after a fire alarm has been activated, causing the lift to enter Fireman’s Mode. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have written many times about the lack of elevator etiquette. There are the people who try to take a cigarette into the car, those that dump buckets of perfume/cologne over their heads and then enter the car and there are those that think that it is ok to hold the door while they finish their conversation with someone who has chosen not to get on the elevator. How is that for a run-on sentence.

But today I encountered a new jerk. Today I rode the elevator with a man who thought that it was ok to share his flatulence with me. It is one thing to share these in silence. I’ll do my best not to cough and turn blue while holding my breath.

It is quite another thing to just let one rip” as if you haven’t a care in the world and it is even worse when you don’t apologize or excuse yourself. That is what happened today.

The man didn’t yell “fore” or “Geronimo” or give any indication that he was about to soil his pants and I am fairly certain that this was “wet.” I apologize for the detail, but I am still horrified by this and as a father who has changed many a diaper I know the signs.

It was loud. It was wet and was most aromatic in a most unpleasant way. I wanted to run. I wanted to flee but there was no place to go. The doors were closed and we were between floors.

As I gasped for breath I thought about my family and a sob escaped my throat. There was something so unfair and so unjust about this. My children were going to have to be told that their father died trying to rescue children from a burning building not that he died as a result of asphyxiation caused by noxious fumes from a common “fart.”

The thought was so upsetting. In my mind’s eye I could see them being teased on the playground. I could hear the vice-principal suspending my son for fighting and saw his mother explaining that he didn’t need to fight every time some kid tormented him about it.

Suddenly the elevator doors opened and I flung myself into the hallway. Gasping for air I rolled on the floor and inhaled the stale but ever so sweet after effects of the cleaning crew. The scent of their passage lingered in the air and I reveled in the gift of life I had received.

In the interim stinky rolled on out of the office and waddled down the hall. I carefully followed him and watched him enter an office. Later today we will show him how we deal with terrorism in this part of town.

The boys and I are going out for burritos and chili. Together we will enter his office and then drag him to a utility closet where we will unleash our own WMDs, mercilessly. And as all good terrorists do I’ll videotape this so that I can create more terror by uploading the file onto the net.

Flatulent Fred, judgment day is coming for you.

(Originally run here)

Linked up with Dude Write.