Nails, He Said I Said, Skyfall, and 70′s TV


Any who thinks remodeling their home is as seamless and smooth as any number of television shows make it seem is living in some other dimension.

Things always happen.

ALWAYS

Sometimes it’s the homeowner who saw Vanilla Ice remodel a home in a few episodes and believes it should be done in that amount of time…

AND

Thinks because they watched that show it makes them qualified to decide what walls need to be taken out to expand a room.

Sometimes it’s the contractor and their crew who create more work at no charge by damaging parts of a room that was not supposed to be involved in the renovation.

Stuff happens….on both sides of the fence…or coin…or business relationship.

(Insert whichever adage suits you best)

Day 2 of our attic renovation contained elements of both.

NAILS

This attic has an enormous amount of lumber attached to help brace the ceiling.

2 by 4′s, 2 by 6, 2 by 8, 2 by 10, and 2 by 12′s….all over the freaking place.

It’s like a lumber monster was living up there and puked up every size board EVER made….and then crapped out enough nails to build an Ark.

Either that or the contractor gave his nearly blind employee a nail gun and said,

“Go shoot a few thousands nails into whatever boards you want. Just make sure that you shoot often and with with no sense or care how many end up in almost the same spot. Even if they don’t connect one board to another. Just….shoot.”

The first half of the day was spent bracing the ceiling properly and getting rid of the excess.

I that process, one of my fellow employees stepped on boards that went through his shoe and foot…more than once.

He is a lot like me….just pulled it out and limped back to work.

HE SAID I SAID

My bosses left the property to talk money issues concerning the job. Once we got to the job, the customer began asking for more than the original contract.

It happens often.

No problem. They deal with that, not me.

While they were gone. The customer started telling me to take out wall studs that he said would be in the way of the stairs we were going to install.

I said,

“No.”

He said,

“Then give me the hammer and I will do it. We need to get this job going.”

I said,

“Sir, I respect that this is your home. BUT….the studs you are wanting to take out are also supporting the corner of the platform that stands above us. If these come out….the room comes down. So….no.”

He said,

“No you are wrong and I am going to take them out.”

And he took the hammer out of my hand and began to bang the bottom out of place.

As he banged it out. He heard the ceiling creak.

I stepped back a few steps and crossed my arms.

He said,

“Is that happening because I’m taking this out?”

I said,

“Yes.”

He said,

“Can you put it back?”

I said,

“If you give me the hammer and walk away, I can.”

SKYFALL

Getting in a hurry is never a good idea.

Walking on attic rafters is not pleasant nor is it safe if you move too fast or do not watch where you are stepping.

As a result of being in a hurry my boss fell hallway through the roof of one of the bedrooms.

Added work…NO CHARGE!

Another employee went through the ceiling over the front porch.

Once again….added work. No charge.

Chicken little was nowhere to be seen.

Luckily, no serious injuries either….unless you count bruised egos.

70′s TV

Despite the troubles of the day…it was productive and we all survived.

After a long 12 hour day, we ate and headed back to the hotel for some R & R.

I’m not a TV watcher but the guys I’m rooming with are. They settled on a channel that ran nothing but old shows from the seventies.

Here is what I learned from tonight’s episodes-

1- Farrah Fawcett’s character on Charlie’s Angels does not own a bra and although the show is based in California the weather always seems to be sunny yet nippely.

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2-The bionic woman’s super hearing does not work unless she moves her feathered hair out of the way, exposing her ear. Aqua Net must cause interference.

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4- Colonel Steve Austin aka the six million dollar man needs to utilize more buttons for his huge lapel shirts.

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5- All the commercials that air during the breaks have to go with falling and not being able to get up….mocking us poor non bionic souls who stay up way too late to watch really crappy old…really old tv shows.

That. Is. All.

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Boys In The Attic


I am not a big fan of working out of town.

In fact, if I knew what abhor meant I’m sure that would be how I felt about it.

Since I don’t….I will just say it’s poopy to work out of town.

Yet..here I am shacked up in a cheap hotel with 2 of the other guys I work with, roughly 250 miles from home.

While they are engulfed in their 3rd episode of Bizarre Foods America on the Travel Channel, I am looking over photos of the room we have to work with along with the photos of what the customer wants to end up with.

What we have is an attic-

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What the customer wants is something similar to this-

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Oh yeah….and instead of the crappy attic access pull down stairs they want this-

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Complete with computer station underneath.

I still don’t like being out of town…..but the challenges that come along with making dreams reality make it much less poopy.

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One in 48


I am a few short hours away from my wife returning from her weekend long conference.

That gives me time to reflect on my weekend without her but with the step kids.

That is…if I can actually call it “time” with the step kids.

Let me begin with the 17 year old young man that resides at our house.

He got out of school at 3:30 on Friday. Called me to say something is wrong with his truck and may not be able to drive it to work.

Returned here at approximately 3:45. I informed him he should use my truck. I have his Mom’s vehicle while she is whooping it up out of town.

Got into shower to clean up for work at 3:55.

Got out of shower at 4:45 to be able to screech in and clock into work at 5.

Called from work to ask if he could stay at a friends house after he got off work. I said, “yes”. Time 10:30.

Came home Saturday at 4 with a gift for me and a request to stay at his friends house again.

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I said, “yes”. Bribing the step dad with gifts is always a good idea.

At 4:15 I text my wife saying I have changed the bulbs in the ceiling fan in our room to black lights and have placed the gift from our son on our ceiling.

Total weekend time spent with my stepson- probably around 9 minutes in 48 hours.

Next, my 15 year old stepdaughter.

She get out from school at 2:50. We get home about 3. She heads to kitchen to eat because she is starving to death.

By 3:30, she is in her room with the door closed.

At approximately 9 pm, she comes out of the teenage girl cave and asks, “Are you cooking dinner or is it fend for yourself night?”

I just smile.

Her reply, “uggggh.” She makes herself a meal of crackers, cheese, a bowl of cereal, and a hot chocolate.

My reply, “Uggh”

The next time I see her is Saturday at 9:15 am, as she is leaving to go work at her grandparents store.

She gets home at 7:15 pm exclaiming, “I have money and I have to spend it!”

I reply, “uggggh.”

And grab the keys to head to the “cool kids store”.

She buys a top that I will never let her wear in public and 2 bottles of nail polish that would make Cyndy Lauper jealous.

I find a pair of Chuck Taylor knockoffs for $5.

I am convinced that the cash register attendant was quite aware that my “cool kid” days were left far behind me. She rings me up with a smile and asks with a twinge of sarcasm of I want to be added to their mailing list.

My reply, “uggggh. No.”

I send my wife a text with picture of said shoes.

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She still thinks I am a cool kid.

8:15 we return to home. She changes into a sun dress for a party she is attending. I drop her off at 8:45.

At 9:20 she calls and says she is ready to come home. The party was mainly attended by older girls who find no time to hang out with one of the freshman girls.

By 9:45 we at the Sonic drive thru so I can purchase her “it’s gonna be alright dinner”.

At 10:30 is when the drunk neighbor came over to ask for a ride to the bar.

When I got back she was asleep.

Total time with my stepdaughter this weekend-probably around 51 minutes in the last 48 hours.

It is Sunday 2 pm. I have not seen or heard from either of them.

That is a weekend timeline of life without the wife.

Honey, how I wish….how I wish you were here.

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Chasing Home 4- Truth And Consequences


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After hearing the snap of the hammer and the voice of the dealer of my past addictive pleasures I stole a glimpse of Misty, who stood off to my left with a sad look in those auburn eyes.

She clasped her hands together and pleaded with me.

“I’m sorry, Mick….I had to…he heard you were back…it was either cooperate with him or he would kill me…”

Victor chimed in before she could finish,

“Come on..ese…even with a gun to our mans head…you still lie? Truth is Mick…she met me at the bar last night…once she came in, I saw in her eyes that something was up. As you can see by her face….it took a little persuading to get her to talk. Consequences, Mick. Keeping things from me has consequences. You have kept things from me for 10 years. You owe me truth. I deal the consequences.”

I tried to get up to speak my truth and face the consequences. As I began to turn around I was met with the butt of the gun, square at the base of my skull.

I saw a few stars and thudded to a heap on the cemetery ground right in front of Chase’s headstone.

My world went quiet and dark.

“Hey, homies…pick up this piece of crap, tie him up, blindfold him, tape up his mouth and put him in the trunk of my Impala….Chavo…you ride with pinche Misty in his truck back to his hotel and clear out his stuff. He’s checkin’ out.”

Chavo puts his gun into the waistband of his pressed Chinos and replies,

“No problem, Boss. You want me to bring her to you after that?”

Victor shoots a wry smile and her and replies to Chavo.

“Nah…you find a way to keep her occupied. I’ll call you when I need her.”

Chavo agrees and walks over to Misty, pushes her toward the truck by the shoulder and says to her,

“Only one way to keep a girl like you occupied, ese. You drive. Let’s go see how good that bed is in the hotel.”

Misty slashes a scared yet angry look over to Victor.

Victor answers her look with a sharp reply,

“Better do what he says, chica…..unless you wanna go another round with me.”

Victor’s other 2 associates slam the trunk of the Impala with Mick securely bound and gagged inside, turn towards their Boss and say,

“All set, Señor Valdez.”

Victor puts his gun back into his shoulder holster begins to walk to the Impala and says,

“Bueno. Let’s go show this gringo what it’s like to be back home.”

Victor gets behind the wheel, starts up his Impala, plays with the hydraulics to get a little bounce. After hearing the body slam around in the trunk, he smiles and puts the car into drive and follows Mick’s truck out of the cemetery.

Misty turns right and heads back to Holiday Inn, like she was ordered to.

Victor turns left and heads toward the abandoned house that Chase learned the meaning of truth and consequences in, when he crossed Victor Valdez so many years before.

To be continued….

“Where is she going – ooh, she looks like she’s lost
Won’t someone help her – somebody give her a hand
She’s got such sweet eyes – look like they’ve seen too much
Knew someone like here – nobody helped, but she’s

Home again….home again.”

Home Again- Oingo Boingo

***************

To start at the beginning of the story, press
here

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The Drunk Driver


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The answer to my wife’s frantic screaming bold faced type reply to my informative text is simple.

Our mid 30′s divorced neighbor had passed out in his parents yard after drinking two 18 packs with his father.

His parents left him there and went to a bar to watch their friends band play.

He woke up.

Walked home.

Drank a few more beers.

And decided that he needed to go see the band play as well.

BUT…..

He forgot to drive his truck from his parents house…because he was drunk….so he walked home.

THEREFORE….

Instead of walking back to get his truck and possibly getting lost on the way or getting a DUI if he made it….

He decided to walk across the street and ask if I would take him…to a bar…to watch a band….and to get more drunk….again.

How could I say no to that??

You want to know how I know that my representation of the events that led to me driving the drunk neighbor to the bar were accurate and not falsified in any way shape or form.

Because that’s the story the drunk neighbor told me on the way to the bar.

Not once…

Not twice…

But thrice.

Uggh…..times 3.

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Chasing Home 3- Misty Eyed


Home is where the memories are. Moving to a new home in a new place to create new memories does not erase the old ones from the mind. They are there until they are dealt with and put to rest.

Mick Donnelly has memories. Although he has started a new life in a new place, he needs to go back to the place he called home for many years to amend some of those memories.

It has been 10 years since he has returned home.

This is the continuing story of Chasing Home.

Part 3 begins-

I was waiting in line, cover charge in hand, just plain giddy about going back into MY bar for the first time in 10 years, when I was jolted back to reality by my cell phone vibrating in my pocket.

I stepped away and back into the parking lot and took the phone out of my pocket to see who it was.

“Crap.” I said to myself. It was my boss from back home. I was supposed to call him to let him know I made it here.

I hit the answer button.

“Hey bossman, what’s up?” I said confidently.

“What’s up is I have been waiting for your call. I was getting worried….what’s all the noise in the background.” He asked.

“Well….I got into town and thought…no better time like the present to pay off that debt….”

The other end was silent for a moment before he retorted.

“So…what you meant to say was you got itchy to be at that bar. Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me…is there anyone home? You dimwit. You’ve been off that booze and crap for over 3 years and you decide it’s a good idea to go pay a bar debt at the peak hours of the evening? Bad…bad idea. You will be knee deep in shots and lines and trying to find that stripper within the hour. Please, go to the hotel and sleep off this dream of being able to go bar hopping. Start your debt reconciliation tomorrow.”

I let his scolding set in. Instead of defending my bad decision as a good choice I thought it would be better to listen to an actual voice of reason instead of the one running my brain.

“Yes sir. Thanks for the reality check. I’m leaving. Nothing good could possibly come out of this tonight.”I replied.

“No, there’s not. Focus, Mick. You are trying to do something good here…don’t fuck it up by getting fucked up. Call me if you need to.”

And he then abruptly ended the call.

I put the phone back in my pocket and reassessed my emotions.

Addiction is tricky. It wants to be my friend but is always ready to stab me in the back. I put my guard down for just a second and WHAM I was ready to head off to the races.

I came here sober. I plan to leave sober.

I quickly turn around and begin to head back to my truck.

Maybe I turned a bit too quickly…

“Oops. Sorry, I wasn’t watching where I aw going.” I said as I almost knocked someone down.

“No you weren’t you son of a….” She stood up and said as she looked me in the eyes. “…..Mick? Is..that..you?”

Those eyes. Unmistakeable. Of all the people to run into while trying to leave….why did it have to be her.

“Hey, Misty…yeah…it’s me…” I hesitantly replied.

“Well, what happened? You disappeared 10 years ago without a trace and then just show up again? You left a lot of people hanging in the balance. Some are more pissed off than me!” She frustratingly asked.

“Long story…I am only here for a couple of days then I am out. Tying up ends that don’t need to be loose anymore.”

“Well….can’t you come in a buy a girl a drink for old times sake and catch up a bit?” She asks with a tilt of the head, a smile and a bat of her lashes across those auburn eyes.

I continued to stare into those auburn eyes and thought about what was between us. We were always attracted to each other….but that was it.

Basically we gave good attraction.

She was attracted to the fact that I didn’t treat her like a stripper. I was attracted to the belief I could change her into something she wasn’t.

“Sorry, I can’t…..I don’t drink anymore and prefer to stay that way. I’m staying at the Holiday Inn down the street. If you wanna catch up, come there. But please come by yourself and no party favors.”

“Ok, party popper. I will see you soon.” She replied.

“Hey…before you go in…do you know where to find Chase?” I ask.

She paused and then answered.

“Jimmy….Chase?”

“Yes. Jimmy Chase….my ‘ol running buddy…”

“Yeah…I can take you to see him tomorrow if you want. We can’t get in to see him at night….”

That kind of perplexed me.

“Why?”

“….just can’t. I will see you later tonight, love. I gotta go, I’m meeting someone here.” She leaned in, gave me a big hug, kissed me on the cheek and sauntered into the bar.

I got in my truck and headed straight for the hotel. No more stops tonight. No more feeble attempts at making things right.

I am beginning to realize that coming back may not have been such a great idea. This town is like a magnet for past temptations…..and I am still drawn to them like junebugs to a bright light in the darkness.

The longer I am here, the more I am prone to stay and be suffocated by my past. I need to get a good nights sleep, go see Chase and get the hell out of dodge and return to my simple uncomplicated small town existence that I have come to cherish.

I check into the hotel and get into my room. I put my stuff down, layed on the bed and glanced at the clock.

11:36

The next thing I remember was the phone on the bedside table ringing.

The time on the clock read

4:06

I groggily answer the phone.

“Hullo…”

“Mr. Donnelly….this is Marco from the front desk. I’m sorry to bother you but there is a belligerent woman down here who says she’s your wife….she says she won’t leave until she talks to you…and….she’s in pretty bad shape…..Mr. Donnelly…are you there?”

“….yeah…I’m here…tell me this…does she have aubur…never mind…do I have to come get her or can you send her up to my room?”

“I can have her escorted there if you will allow it…”

“Send her up….sorry for the disturbance and inconvenience….”

The front desk guy said no problem and within a couple of minutes there was a knock on the door.

I figured by bad shape he meant drunk and high. She was. Maybe instead of bad shape, he should have said roughed up because that was the fact of the matter.

I asked the escort guy if he could get me some ice and handed him the bucket. Then, brought her in and sat her on the bed.

When he returned I took the ice in a washcloth and placed it on her eye and then on her lip. Trying my best to be gentle.

“What happened, Misty?”

She pulled the ice pack off her lip and said,

“Bad date….”

I shook my head back and forth with a grimace and asked,

“I would have believed that 10 years ago….not now.”

“Can’t I just stay with you tonight? I will take you to see Chase tomorrow….I just need a safe place to sleep….”

I ran my hand over my bald head and thought about it as I looked into those eyes.

“Ok…but after I get to talk to Chase. I’m headed back home.”

I got her to take a shower and gave her one of my t shirts to wear and had her get into bed, where she asked,

“Are gonna get in bed with me or do I have to sleep alone.”

I replied,

“I will be in bed in a minute. I just have to think some things out.”

Five minutes later, she was out cold, sleeping like a baby.

I pulled up a chair next to the bed and watched her sleep.

With each of her breathes going in and out I thought about what the past was for us and what the future might hold.

I could take her with me when I leave town……I changed….so can she. Maybe together is what we both need….

These thoughts and many plans of maybe helped me drift off to sleep while watching her.

I awoke at 9 with a bad crick in my neck. I cracked my neck and stared at the empty bed that was in front of me.

Figures. I should have known she would be gone. Hopefully she left a note to where I could find Chase.

As I gathered up clothes up go shower, the door opened and in walked Misty with a bounce and a smile.

Despite the black eye and fat lip she was still quite attractive.

“Did you know they have free breakfast? I haven’t had breakfast in a long time! I brought you a Danish and some coffee!”

I mulled over asking her to leave with me but decided to wait.

“Thanks. Are you gonna take me to see Chase? I really need to make peace with him.”

“Whenever you are ready…then so am I.”

I stopped at the desk to pay for one more night before we headed out.

As we got into the truck, Misty asked,

“We have about a 20 minute ride. You feel like telling me where you have been the last 10 years?”

If we were going to attempt to have a life together I figured she deserved to know.

“I didn’t leave voluntarily. I was leaching off the people on the only bridge that I hadn’t burnt to the ground. They were tired of watching me die and said I owed the wrong people money. One night, they came by that roach motel I was living at and said I needed to leave town and they had a ride for me. All I had to do was get in the car. I had no choice. I ended up in a different town doing the same things I was doing here. On a particularly long drug and booze binge, I got caught stealing, and happened to be carrying a large amount of bagged up and ready to sell coke. I served 7 years in prison. I got out and started over in a place where no one knew me and I didn’t know them. Been there ever since. It’s where I am going when I leave here. I wanted to know if….”

She interrupted with directions,

“Next left, through the entrance. Then drive 3 sections back, he will be 2nd row….3rd stone over….”

“He will be where?” I said as I looked up at the next left. I turned and stopped at the entrance of a cemetery.

“He’s…..dead?” I asked as tears welled up in my eyes.

“After you left….he had no one to keep him in check…he got bad quick. The cops found him in an abandoned house with a needle in his arm. It was already too late.”

I drove in and parked the truck where she said he was.

We got out.

I walked over to the headstone, knelt down and started to cry. The date on the headstone was 1 year after I left.

I tried to gather myself and say what I had to say…apologize for leaving…for abandoning him…for not knowing….I was so into my own emotions that I didn’t hear the ’64 Impala pull up. I didn’t hear the doors open and the 4 men get out.

The only thing I did hear was the hammer of the .357 Magnum being pulled back in my ear and the voice of my one time drug dealer, Victor Valdez, who plainly stated,

“Welcome back, homes….no need to cry….you’ll see him again soon enough….”
______________

“Suffocated – our simple life
No one listens – everyone dies
Never a chance – how could you see?
I’m home – leave it to me”-Home by Sevendust

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To be continued…

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Chasing Home 2-Main Street


To start at the beginning press “here

Even at 10 o’ clock at night the city traffic swells like a volcano about to erupt. Drivers gripping their steering wheels like the butt of a gun just waiting for the one thing that will allow them to pull the trigger.

My city driving skills return to me quickly. Even though I haven’t been in a city setting in over 3 years it’s like riding a bike…you never forget.

The closer I get to the part of town I called home, the more anxious I become. My heart rate speeds up and my hands sweat.

It might be because of the opportunity of seeing old friends

Or

It could be my addictive mind is summoning up my old demons to make one more run at catching the dragon I chased for so many years.

I try not to dwell on either. I just want to check into the hotel and formulate a game plan for my return.

I remind myself that I am here to close old doors.

I am not here to tear them off the hinges.

From the downtown exit, I turn onto Main Street, which strikes me as odd that the Main Street for this side of town is actually called Main Street.

My anxiousness is settling.

I pass the car wash that was one of my meeting points for drug deals.

I think with a grin and think of my old running buddy, Chase, as I drive passed it-

“How did we ever NOT get caught meeting a car wash so often but NEVER washing the car….”

I drive on and start looking for other landmarks I would remember.

The late night taco joint is still there.

Most of the bars were still there, although, the neons were blazing different names.

It got me wondering if my favorite dive bar was still around.

Maybe the hotel can wait a while.

It was one of the major reasons I was back in town.

The owner treated my like a son when I used to live here.

In true son fashion, I screwed him out of a lot of money by running up a tab I could never pay….until now.

Initially I wanted to see him before the bar was open to avoid any riff raff that might occur.

Now I’m thinking, no better time like the present.

I turn down the street, hoping the place is still there.

To no surprise, it is. A wry smile comes across my face.

My eyes dart around the parking lot, looking for people or vehicles I might recognize.

I have to remember….it’s been 10 years….things change.

I park my truck, lock it and head towards the door.

The familiar sounds of a crappy live cover band blare out the door. Loud talking, laughter and breaking glass fill my senses.

I pull out my wallet to get out cash for the cover charge and think…

“I’m home.”
_________________

Hello,
Is there anybody in there
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home

Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd

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Chasing Home


Although my physical debt to society was paid through time spent behind bars, the mental bills keep piling up.

I am parked on the shoulder of the highway, behind the wheel of my trusted yet aging GMC Sierra, looking at the sign that marks the county line for the city I used to call home, before incarceration and before I turned my life around.

The city lights hover on the distant horizon like a beacon….or a warning.

I am not sure which.

I pulled over to figure out if I should once again turn things around and head back to the place I now call home and leave this debt reconciliation idea in my rear view mirror

or

face my past and take the judgement of those who reside in it much like I did the judgement of my felonies…..with my fingers crossed and a half hearted prayer to the religion of “one more chance”.

I served almost 7 years for my felonies to earn one more chance.

Second chances don’t come often for people like me. When they do, the door does not open to a yellow bricked road lined with roses and mariachi bands.

My road was winding, dark and overgrown with thick vines of temptation, crap jobs and little in way of reward.

But,

I made it through the winding road and eventually came across the straight and narrow.

That turn around was not quick but anything worth working for often isn’t.

The future was bright but the clouds of my past deeds muddles it’s progression.

I turn off the engine and the lights of my truck and think back to the conversation I had with my boss which led me to take the 700 mile journey…..

“Look, I know you’ve had a rough going starting over in this town. You have given me bits and pieces about your time behind bars….over the past few months you have finally quit looking at those damn prison tats on your arms, which tells me your getting over it. You are the most reliable employee I have ever had. What you need to do is treat that past shit like my dog does and kick some grass over it and move on.”

With that he turns around and digs the toes of his workbooks into the ground and thrusts his heels back, one at a time, kicking up grass and dirt creating a small pile behind him. He then looks at me and smiles.

I shake my head and reply,

“The problem with that is, every time I go into the yard I still step in that shit. The past doesn’t go away and I can’t keep hosing it off my shoes. I paid my debt….for the crime I got caught for…..what about all the crap I got away with? Time doesn’t give my a do over for all that. I have to take time to amend for it.”

My boss scratches his head to think for a minute then answers.

“Ok. You know we were shutting down shop for 2 weeks so I could teach you to hunt and put some country into ya. I think you should take that 2 weeks and hunt down your past. You can’t be you here when part of you is still there. Go get him so all of you can be in one place……”

I am shaken back to the present when a semi truck blazes by my parked truck.

I become aware that I have been crossing and uncrossing my fingers during my flashback.

“It’s only a chance, if I take it.”

I clench and unclench my palms a few times to get the blood flowing through my hands and brush my left hand across the tattoos on my right forearm.

I raise my head up and look up at the city lights beckoning in the distance through the dirty glass of my cracked windshield.

I take in a deep breath.

Exhale.

I reach for the key in the ignition, start the truck and place the gearshift in drive.

I pull the truck back onto the highway and continue on the place I once called home.

To continue to the next installment, press “here

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Z 50 Lingo


I created this space for the purpose of writing….uhhh….stuff.

I have always been enamored with the prospect of being able to write a story and have the bravado to have others read it.

Being brave enough to put my real name on it….that’s another story.

For now, I go with this blog as my channel for bravery.

Writing about family events and happenings are one thing

(that I do often),

but creating fictional stories are quite another.

I have written quite a few. They are listed on the menu…..

Or…

If you are fortunate enough to not have to use the iPhone app for your blogging experience then most of the bold capital words underneath my blog name and tag line represent the titles to said fictional stories.

It is my belief, than in order to write fiction it is best to read fiction.

Therefore…..

I read a lot of fiction.

We have 1 bookstore in our town. It is a books slash movies slash video games slash music…store.

I go in there often and slash through their bargain novel section.

I buy a virtual cornucopia of books that are not very good….at least to me. I will buy 4-6 books for a total of under $10.

Every once in a while I will find a diamond in the coal.

About 6 months ago…I found THE diamond.

For $3, I bought a book by an author named

Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Go ahead…

Say the name again and just let it roll off your tongue.

Carlos. Ruiz. Zafon.

Here is the book.

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That book…..

That one book……

Has created doubt in my mind about being able to write fiction.

Why?

Because anything I have started to write, I have compared to that book, and have deemed it unworthy.

I know…I know…that is exactly what my wife tells me.

I can’t compare myself to someone else.

Especially not to an novelist that has been translated into over 50 languages, published around the world gathering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers (at least that’s what the back of the book says)

But….

I have.

And because of it, my fictional side has gone on hiatus.

Crappy.

Anyhoo….

Tonight, we went into the slash store.

I went to the novel section, like I always do, and headed for the “Z”.

I have done this for the last 3 months.

Always the same book by Mr. Zafon is there……

The one I have already read.

Until today….

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I paid full price….no mark downs. I never pay full price.

DAMN YOU CARLOS RUIZ ZAFON!

And it’s a continuation with the same characters.

Mr. Zafon…..I will read your continuation and I am quite sure that I will be left in awe of your ability to create…

But….

I will write fiction again….

And you can translate THAT into over 50 languages….

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Life in 6 Songs: Vol. 4 (Guap and Michael)


good2begone:

My life in 6 songs….ready or not…here it comes!

Originally posted on Running On Sober:

In six songs, tell us about your life. 

You remember that challenge from a few weeks ago, don’t you? If not, stop by and take a look, or I’ll quickly catch you up below:

Life in 6 Songs” is a new Spring (and maybe Summer) series at Running On Sober. Each Monday at RoS, Christy, Jennie and Michelle will feature two readers’ soundtracks and invite you all to join in the discussion. If you’d like to participate in the series just let us know in the comments, or you are welcome to fill out our “Life in 6 Songs” on-line submission form via Google Forms. 

The project is simple, though maybe not easy: Tell us a story–your story–in six songs. And then for fun, wrap up your life in a bonus seventh song.

A page from the “Capirola Lutebook”, 16th century. (Wiki Commons)

A page from the “ Capirola Lutebook ,” 16th century.
Look, it has monkeys!

Back…

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