31 Jul

I see sunshine and beautiful colors

I was talking to someone the other day who suffers from clinical depression.  It was a fascinating talk, for me at least.  The thing is, I have no frame of reference with that particular malady.  I can’t wrap my brain around that kind of darkness of the soul, the almost crippling nature of it, the hopelessness of it.

Yes, I am a recovering alcoholic and yes, there have been days when life seemed cumbersome at best, but I always knew that if I just stopped drinking, if I could find the help to get me started on a clean life, I could turn things around and life would be sunshine and lemonade once more.  I never truly felt like there was no hope for me. I never felt the overwhelming, oppressive weight pressing down on me, leaving me incapable of even getting out of bed on any particular day.

What does that have to do with writing?  It’s just food for the idea gristmill.  At some point I’m sure it will come in handy.  What it mostly is, though, is a realization, on my part, of just how different we all are while at the same time so similar.  We humans are complicated animals for sure.  If you want a lesson in writing tossed in, make sure your characters are complicated as well.

On the flip side, and I laugh when I say this, I can’t wrap my brain around the Pollyannas of the world.  I will never understand the constant good moods of people like that, how they always manage to see a silver lining in the worst of circumstances, and how they are always smiling.  That just doesn’t register with me.  I’m not finding fault in it at all, but when I’m around the Perpetually Happy folks, it always leaves me with a sense that I must be broken, that there is something profoundly wrong with my personality profile.

While someone else sees darkness and muted colors


I guess what I’m trying to point out, in my own circuitous way, is that my muse is always taking notes. She is always observing, and she is always questioning.  I suppose that has given me a valuable tool as a writer.  I do know people who don’t notice things like that at all.  They have very few introspective moments, seeming to be about as deep as a mud puddle with regards to philosophy and sociology and other studies of the human species.  The word shallow comes to mind when I think of them, but perhaps that is a bit too judgmental of me. My humanness is showing again, I’m afraid.  The fact is I simply do not understand them.  It seems odd to me that they wouldn’t notice the things that are so obvious to me, but then I’m sure they find me a bit strange as well.


Out at the farm (Bev’s son’s goat farm where we keep our 100 chickens) there is a new addition, a two-year old guard dog.  Her name is Sasha and she is part St. Bernard and part Anatolian Shepherd.  A big dog for sure, seemingly a gentle giant, but I would hate to tangle with her. I’ve seen her breed in action, on YouTube, taking on a bear.  A BEAR!!!!  And not backing down one bit.

Sasha loves me.  I spend quite a bit of time with her when I’m out at the farm, just rubbing her ears and talking to her.  She puts her massive head in my lap, drools all over me, and more often than not slips into semi-conscious mode . . . but if you pay attention to her eyes, she never really stops scanning the farm looking for predators. She is always on alert.

I pity the next coyote who decides to walk onto the farm in search of a cheap meal.  That coyote is in for a very unpleasant surprise.

And yes, I’ve known people like Sasha.

My muse is a lot like Sasha.  She never takes a vacation. She is always on alert for the next inspiration.

Kinda cool!

Have a great week!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

17 Responses to “Awareness”

  1. Janine Huldie July 31, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

    Sasha sounds a bit like Elsa. As even though our girl is a bit of a gentle giant. She still is a big dog, who if provoked could and would be more than an unpleasant surprise. That said, my muse is always working her, too and love how you wove this all together. Happy Tuesday now, Bill 🙂

    • Billybuc July 31, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

      Thank you Janine! It’s good to have you back from vacation. Give Elsa a pat on the head for me.

  2. ericdierker July 31, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    Bill I liked ready your file on maladies from drunk to too happy. I am certain that in my writing I “suffer” from all of the above. But my old Sensai taught me that bad shit happens but suffering was a decision. And one of my favorites for writers; “The good news is you feel so much, the bad news is you feel too much”.

    • Billybuc July 31, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

      Eric, if given the choice between feeling too much or not feeling enough, I’ll take the first one every single time. Thanks for the great comment.

  3. Rolly A. Chabot July 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Bill…

    Great article and like you I understand far to well the devastation addictions can grab ahold of you and draw you into places you rather not be. Depression is fed by only more negative thinking. In real terms it become what we call “Stinking Thinking.” I am thankful I sought after nature and the wilderness in total isolation. I had to learn to live with myself all over again as the person I had become was not someone I wanted to associate with. I will soon be 43 years sober and I have never regretted one day of finding who I have become.

    Writing has allowed me to look deeply into my own life and yes even into the not so fictious characters I have written of. As often as not when I have been stuck I write of myself… lol… I do protect the innocent and create characters who are colourful. What transpires is a very deep look within.

    Sasha sounds like a great friend to have at hand. Animals have this unequivocal love we can learn so much from. They have such loyalty and willing to go the distance for us in companionship and protection.

    As always Bill I pass along great respect for the man you have become… proud of you my friend…

    Love and hugs from Alberta

    • Billybuc July 31, 2018 at 4:54 pm #

      Rolly my friend, thank you for sharing your wisdom,a wisdom earned from 43 years of self-reflection. Give me experience over book learning any old day. I was not able to read away my problems; it took some very long looks into a mirror to finally figure it out.

      Peace my friend, and love from Oly

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown July 31, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

    Pollyannas don’t make good fictional characters unless, of course, everyone else around them are not that way. Just a thought

    • Billybuc July 31, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

      And a good thought it is, Donna! Thank you!

  5. phoenix2327 July 31, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

    Sasha sounds gorgeous. Pictures! Pictures! Must see pictures!.

    • Billybuc August 1, 2018 at 2:00 am #

      I’ll take some later this week, Zulma, provided I remember to do so. 🙂

      • phoenix2327 August 1, 2018 at 9:14 am #

        Thank you. 🙂

  6. Manatita August 1, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

    A cute round about way of expressing things. Nice one Bill.

    • Billybuc August 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

      Thanks so much, Manatita! Peace always my friend.

  7. Andrea Stephenson August 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

    This post does illustrate just how different we are and how hard it can be to see from another’s perspective. Sometimes I think it would be good to be ‘shallow’ and to not think too deeply about things, but then I think you’d miss out on a lot of the nuances of life!

    • Billybuc August 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      I not only think that, Andrea, I am convinced of it. I can’t imagine going through life with a shallow view. Thank you for your thoughts.

  8. Sageleaf August 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

    Big Bro, I’ll be honest. I’ve been called a Pollyanna a time or two in my life. But I’m not perpetually happy. There are plenty of days when life is just life. I suppose that “looking within” helps me to see a more positive side of life. And I really don’t like being the person that potentially brings others down. I’ve always rather wanted people to have had a better day for having encountered me. However, to the perpetually sad ones, I’m afraid my smile can be off-putting. In the end, I just try to be myself and some days I’m happier than others for sure. But when I wear my rose-colored glasses (yeah, I really do have a pair), people say, “yeah, so not surprised you wear those.” lol.
    Your writing muse is awesome, Big Bro. My muse says, “yeah, non-fiction, please.” Perhaps my muse will get a stroke of inspiration and understand complex characters and finally eke out a good visionary fiction piece…so I’ll just keep writing some flash fiction and hope for the best. lol.

    • Billybuc August 13, 2018 at 2:52 pm #

      I don’t know what others feel when they meet you, Lil Sis, but I’d love to get the chance one of these days.

      Hugs heading your way!!!

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