Complex Puzzles to Ponder

28 Aug

More naps these days

I’ve been told, by some, that I have very little patience.

It’s not true!

I have very little patience with incompetence.  I have very little patience with laziness.  And I have very little patience with rudeness/disrespect.  Other than those three things, I’m a pretty laid-back kind of guy.  Is it my fault that so many people are either lazy, incompetent, or rude?


I’ve also been told that I look grumpy all the time.

Also not true!  I don’t smile that often because I don’t like my teeth, so rarely will you see an openmouthed smile or laugh from me.  But I do smirk quite often.  Someone once said I have a RBF . . . if you know what that means then you get it . . . if you don’t know what it means, I can’t say it because one word is a bit insensitive.

Oddly, if you listen to me talk, you’ll notice that my voice sounds friendly and happy, in contrast to my resting face.  Someone also told me I have friendly, loving eyes, so toss that into the mix.

And what is this all about?


We are complex creatures, and I always try to remember that when creating characters for a novel or short story.   Characters need to seem real.  They need to seem human, and in order to achieve that, they must be as complex as real human beings.

Just something to ponder as you go about your week of writing.

A former middle school student of mine, from 2012, just got married this weekend.  I cried when I saw the notice.  Complexities . . .


I’ve said that many times, but actually it’s not a true statement.  I probably could write poetry if I chose too.  I’m not certain it would be any good, but I could manufacture something if the spirit moved me in that direction.  Heck, I could write song lyrics if I really wanted to do so.

But I don’t!  I love creative writing.  This is what I’m good at, and I suspect part of the reason I’m good at it is because I love it.  Since I have a limited number of years remaining, I see no reason to venture down a brand new path and attempt poetry.  I think I’ll just try to become the best damned creative writer  I can be in the time I have remaining.


I was watching a documentary yesterday about the defense lawyer who represented Bundy in the late 70’s, John Henry Browne.  Several times during the show, Browne called Bundy pure evil.

As many of you know, Bundy was our paperboy when I was growing up in Tacoma, Washington.  He has always fascinated me . . . this concept of pure evil fascinates me . . . people do evil things, for sure, but are they pure evil?


Many people believe Evil exists. Some call it the Devil.  Some choose to not name it.  Many do not believe in it, choosing instead to believe that man is capable of evil, but it is silly to believe in a malevolent being.


Just something to ponder as you go about your work week.


While someone else sees darkness and muted colors

Forest fires from British Columbia . . .the wind is coming from the north, so today’s clear day is anything but clear.  The sun cannot be seen . . . the mountains cannot be seen . . . and the air quality is downright unhealthy as we are under a health red alert in this area.

Times they are a’changin’ . . . complexities!

“Don’t let the sun, catch you crying” . . . thank you Gerry and the Pacemakers . . . “The sun ain’t going to shine anymore” . . . thank you The Walker Brothers . . .

More random musings from an old man thinking about what it once was like, what it is now like, and what it could be like.

You can hear John Lennon singing “Imagine” in the background.

John McCain died.  Old school politics dead and buried soon, the politics of compromise and integrity . . . random musings . . . complexities of life.

Time for me to get busy. . . . I have chickens who are more complex than some politicians I know.  Have a great week!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

28 Responses to “Complex Puzzles to Ponder”

  1. Janine Huldie August 28, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    I think you already know just how much I enjoy your way of thinking. So today isn’t any different here. Love that you quoted both John Lennon and John McCain here together. Plus, you being the epicenter of this one is simply perfect! Happy Tuesday now, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm #

      Thank you Janine! With loyal followers like you behind me, how can I fail?

  2. Mike August 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

    Well, Bill there are certainly complexities surrounding us. I am told there is big money in song writing. haha I have taken a couple of cracks at some lyrics in a couple different stories, but the Rolling Stones have not called. ‘We’ here have the Slavic resting face down pat. There is a grumpy look about us.

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm #

      I like that Mike…Slavic resting face. lol It’s a cross we both carry, my friend.

      The Stones are probably just busy, buddy. Stay by that phone.

  3. Emese-Réka August 28, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Wildfires in British Columbia and unhealthy air in your neck of the woods make me cry. A few years ago I was in BC during their bad fire-season, the air was terrible. That place is paradise in my mind – but even paradise is not always perfect. Complexities. Grumpy resting face and no open-toothed smile – join the club. In my book, it’s the sign of a thinker. Or an introvert. Or a shy person. Or someone who didn’t grow up in a society where showing your teeth was important. Of course, all of this is me, too – I’ve been told I’m self-centered. I enjoyed your post today – as always. Thanks for bringing out the thinker in me today 🙂

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

      Emese, I’ve heard that as well…far from the truth, I might add, but I can probably see why people think that of me. 🙂 I’m told the fight on the forest fires is improving. Let’s hope the end is near. Thank you always!

  4. Ruchira Khanna August 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

    I agree with your thoughts and observations, Bill

    If life would have been simple with no complexities…we would not strive to row our boat of life each day to that shore which many would tag it with many names: success, happiness, peace of mind etc.

    Happy Tuesday!

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

      Happy Tuesday to you, Ruchira, and I agree completely with what you said.

  5. Greg Boudonck August 28, 2018 at 4:52 pm #

    Bill, you are one of the least complex persons I know. Something I love about you.

    Keep on keeping on my friend.

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

      LOL…thanks a bunch, Greg! Does that mean I’m simple-minded? 🙂

  6. ericdierker August 28, 2018 at 5:03 pm #

    Bill I snarl. My kids just laugh and try to do it back to me. My youngest cannot do it yet. My oncology yoga lady told me it was very strange that I smile during meditation. People piss me off when they are no kind. I get over it quick and do that fun kind thing to them.
    Buddy we are having a blast throwing curve balls to folks who do not love. Put me on the mound Ted Williams and we will have a great day – life.

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

      All in a day’s work,Eric! We are on a mission, you and I, and I love having you as a traveling companion. Keep on snarling, buddy!

  7. Audrey M Howitt August 28, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

    You have a lot on your mind today Bill. I hope the fires are starting to be contained. This has been a terrible fire year in California as well.

    • Billybuc August 28, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

      Audrey, my mind is a firestorm most days, just like California. Hoping for rain for you guys soon. Thank you!

  8. 1authorcygnetbrown August 28, 2018 at 11:43 pm #

    I’m with you! I don’t write poetry either (even though my Dad was known as a verse writer, but then he never tried to write a novel) I like the depth and complexities of novel writing, (sort of like a Lays potato chip, I can’t just write one plot twist!

    • Billybuc August 30, 2018 at 2:32 am #

      I love that description, Donna…bet you can’t eat just one…too funny!

  9. Sageleaf August 29, 2018 at 1:54 am #

    I forgot about Ted Bundy there. Wow! Anyways…writing poetry to me is definitely easier than writing creative fiction…incidentally. And I usually have a happy smile on my face, even if I’m feeling torn up inside. Don’t know why – I’d rather spread a little smile than a frown and I know that everyone’s different. Same as the characters in a book should be. And this is why you’re so good at what you do: you pick up on those nuances and differences and it’s pretty awesome! You make me smile!

    • Billybuc August 30, 2018 at 2:33 am #

      Lil Sis, every once in awhile I think I’ll give song lyrics a try, but then I slap myself and come back to reality. 🙂 You make me smile too, my friend. Keep being you, please!

  10. manatita August 29, 2018 at 12:27 pm #

    I have a piece on good and evil in one of my interviews with Sean. Your word ‘complexities’ probably explains it and lots of other things too. Have a great day, Bro.

    • Billybuc August 30, 2018 at 2:34 am #

      Thank you Manatita, and I wish you a brilliant Thursday!

  11. Andrea Stephenson August 29, 2018 at 5:34 pm #

    Having read Shadows Kill I can definitely say you practice what you preach in terms of complex characters. I would also say that I can’t write poetry – the truth is I’ve never tried, and like you, I enjoy what I’m doing so don’t see the need to diversify!

    • Billybuc August 30, 2018 at 2:35 am #

      Andrea, we should form a group, Those Who Cannot Write Poetry”….we could commiserate with each other. 🙂

  12. phoenix2327 August 29, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Bill, I don’t write poetry either. I have no talent for it. I prefer to leave that to those better suited to it.

    RBF, lol. I’ve been accused of that as well. Nor do I suffer fools gladly or smile broadly. I was given tetracycline as a young child and my permanent teeth came in discoloured.

    We should form a club. 😀

    On another note, I just read an article on how to spy on your characters. The object is to catch them in unguarded moments to get more insight into their motivations. I copied the main points and I’m going to give it a try. I can email it to you if you’re interested.

    Enjoy the rest of your week and try not to breathe in to deeply.

    • Billybuc August 30, 2018 at 2:36 am #

      Zulma, there are so many reasons why I like you; I wouldn’t know where to start in listing them, but a club would certainly be in order. I like the idea of a club of two. 🙂 As for that article yes, please email it.

      It’s getting late; it’s been a long day; ta ta for now.

  13. Dee August 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm #

    You do not strike me as “grumpy” ever. Guess I see you through all your writing: a guy who loves life and inspires readers to make the best of it. Complex? Who isn’t?

    • Billybuc September 1, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

      Dee, I think in this case, grumpiness is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t feel grumpy, but maybe looks are deceiving. 🙂

  14. Sarah Potter Writes September 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

    Lol, a great observation … “I have chickens who are more complex than some politicians I know”!
    For your information, Bill, I’ve always mistrusted people who have a perpetual grin on their faces and perfect teeth. There are so many different ways of smiling than with your mouth. Eyes … you can tell so much about a person. I’ve met people with what I call “switch-on smiles”, who have the coldest, hardest, or most blank expression in their eyes.
    I like writing haiku and tanka as a form of meditation but would never spend hours perfecting other types of poetry. Novels are what I feel most driven and inspired to write and really I shouldn’t keep getting distracted by other things. I agree with you, that time is short and we should concentrate on the things we love the best.
    As for people who have been classed as pure evil, I think there are many reasons for people turning out bad. I’ve often wondered how many of them have been born that way due to being exposed to some unidentified contaminant in utero, or suffering some oxygen starvation during birth, not enough to brain damage them in a way that’s obvious but enough to damage a part of the brain that governs conscience. Hell, I guess there might be evil for the sake of evil, and those people need locking up for the sake of society, but… so many buts. In the ethics module I took while studying theology, I had to write an assignment on the death penalty and argue both sides. When I started the assignment I believed in the death penalty, but by the time I finished it, I didn’t believe in it anymore.
    Anyway, I’m rambling, and I’m sure you don’t want to have me list all of the pros and cons here, or I’ll be writing a longer comment than your post!

    • Billybuc September 13, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

      Sarah, feel free to ramble all you want on my blogs. I love hearing from you and reading your thoughts.

      The longer I spend with animals the more I’m convinced of their lofty status in the hierarchy of life, or perhaps I should say the stronger I believe that they should be higher on the hierarchy. I wish I thought more of my fellow man, but I don’t. Of course there are exceptions, but there are also thousands upon thousands who are motivated by greed, lust, and anger, and they all fill me with sadness.

      So I keep to my chickens, our puppy, and a small circle of friends I love and trust.

      Thank you for being one of the good ones!


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