The Power of Emotion

1 Jan

It’s been fifty years, this week, since my dad died in my arms.

Some dates .  . . some events . . . you never  forget.

We all have them.  Many times I’ve talked to people who remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was shot, or when the Challenger disintegrated, or when the Twin Towers were attacked.  We remember the finest details of those moments, even though we have a hard time remembering what we had for dinner three nights ago.

The power of emotion!

I remember the first kiss, the sweetness of it, one mystery unlocked.  I remember making love the first time, the frenetic, confusing energy of it, another mystery unlocked.  I remember several broken hearts, a love lost to a young death, tragedies and triumphs, slights and recognitions.  They were recorded in my memory banks, stored away, hermetically sealed in a Mason jar for safe-keeping, called upon from time to time, when story characters need a touch of humanity . . . and when I need a touch of humility.

I saw a “hanging tree” in New Iberia, Louisiana, and felt, at that time and at this time, sorrow for our  species, and I saw mangled limbs on veterans who paid the ultimate price for a government’s hubris.  I saw burned children in a hospital, and learned more about dignity from them than from anyone else in my lifetime.

Stored away . . . the power of emotion!

I’ve known addicts most of my adult life.  I’ve known hookers.  I’ve heard their stories and seen the pain on their faces, and that shit will stay with you forever, just as the testimony of the abused and discarded will brand your soul with the stench of truth.

The power of emotion!

I’ve shaken hands with Death and lived to tell of it.  I’ve comforted those who live in the aftermath of violence, and I’ve celebrated the seemingly mundane events of life with those who didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out.  I remember it all, and it all is reflected in my writing, in my voice, and in my style.

How could it not be?


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

24 Responses to “The Power of Emotion”

  1. Janine Huldie January 1, 2019 at 2:52 pm #

    Bill, I honestly couldn’t agree with you more as all that I have also gone through over the years has indeed shaped me as a person, as well as writer. That said those emotions do run deep and also find their way often into my own personal writings. So, truer words couldn’t have been spoken here. So, thank you for the these musings today and Happy New Year once again, my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc January 1, 2019 at 3:33 pm #

      Awww thank you Janine! You are a woman of depth, no doubt about that, just one of the many reasons why I like you. Happy New Year my friend.

  2. Greg Boudonck January 1, 2019 at 3:14 pm #

    You are so correct brother. I can’t tell you what I ate yesterday, but I recall all the emotional situations. That is why, as writers, we need to excite a reader’s emotions.

    You do so quite well.

    Happy New Year Bill.

    • Billybuc January 1, 2019 at 3:34 pm #

      Thank you Greg! I’m going to finish up a couple articles for customers and then watch my Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl. Happy New Year my friend.

  3. manatita January 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm #

    Once again your brilliant best. Viewed by the discerning, it can be seen as a call to wake up to our own mortality and to be more civil to our fellow brothers and sisters. Alas!
    ‘as the testimony of the abused and discarded will brand your soul with the stench of truth.’

    Some have been brave enough to do this in poetic form at Open Mic. Not easy even when full of art.

    I suppose your resolutions are to carry on writing. (Sweet chuckle) Carry on Bro.

    • Billybuc January 1, 2019 at 3:36 pm #

      Thank you always, Manatita….my resolutions? To be the best I can be in every endeavor…that gives me a little wiggle room for not being the absolute best. lol Happy New Year, brother!

  4. 1authorcygnetbrown January 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm #

    I have recently heard that everything that we experience in our own lives is a gift. Even the horrible things that happen in our lives. For us older writers, I know that is true.

    A number of years ago I was working as a CNA at a nursing home and I had to care for an old woman who couldn’t do anything for herself. She couldn’t walk, talk, feed herself, use the toilet, or even roll over on her side to avoid pressure sores. We CNAs had to do everything for her. At the time I wondered what is her purpose. Why is she still here?

    As I went about my daily job, I wasn’t thinking about her when all of a sudden the realization that she was still here to teach me something about myself. She taught me that I could give love and compassion to someone who couldn’t return that love and compassion. She taught me patience. She taught me to be a more giving person just by lying there and “letting” me take care of her.

    After that, I saw caring for her as a privilege rather than a chore. After that, I started looking at life differently. When things happen around me that may seem negative as learning experiences. This lesson helped me get through the fact that several of my family members died within five months of each other five years ago and it is helping me get through my mother’s recent passing.

    Your article reminded me that every moment, even the uncomfortable ones can be turned into a blessing if we can. As writers, I think we make that a possibility by exposing that emotion to our readers.

    • Billybuc January 1, 2019 at 3:37 pm #

      Beautiful thoughts, Donna, and oh so true.Thank you for sharing that lesson about the ailing woman…that is simply beautiful.

      Happy New Year to you, my friend.

  5. Mike January 1, 2019 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi Bill – I have often said, Artistry with Words is your best forum. This article proves it again. Happy New Year – I am so glad 2018 has been put to rest.

    • Billybuc January 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm #

      Thanks a bunch, Mike. I appreciate your kindness and friendship? Not a fan of 2018, eh? Well welcome to a New World!!!!! Happy New Year buddy!

  6. Sageleaf January 1, 2019 at 4:14 pm #

    Indeed! Yours is a unique and incredible perspective, which is why we need your voice of reason. 🙂
    It’s funny…you said “Challenger.” I was sitting at my desk in Catholic school in first grade and my teacher had the TV on. 9/11. I was eating a bowl of cereal getting ready for my day of work at a marina. Those events…indelibly etched in my memory. Just the words conjure up vivid images.
    Your dad…in your arms. Wow. I once had one of my mom’s nursing home patients die in my arms. I was 15. I can’t imagine a parent dying in my arms…but then again…wowza…we just never know what the hell is going to happen in life.
    Just gotta take it one day at a time.
    Happy New Year, my friend. You have the power to move with emotion. I’m grateful to know you. 🙂

    • Billybuc January 1, 2019 at 5:49 pm #

      Happy New Year, Lil Sis, and thank you! You, too, can move people. I love the path you are on, one of self-discovery, one of education, one of making this world a better place. Keep at it, as shall I, and perhaps one day we will meet.



  7. Honey Lax January 1, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

    Sending you hugs for the loss of your Dad’s physical presence. My Dad died 36 years ago today, New Years Day 1983. I remember it like it was yesterday. The thing about writing is that it’s one sure way to keep alive the people we have lost and to know that we will continue on after we’re gone.

    • Billybuc January 2, 2019 at 2:54 pm #

      Thank you Honey, and may you find peace and love throughout the year. I appreciate you!

  8. Shauna L Bowling January 2, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

    Bill, I definitely hear your voice in this post. I felt as if I were reading one of your novels or novellas. Proof positive that who you are, what you’ve seen, what you’ve done bleeds through your writing just as surely as blood flows through your veins.

    • Billybuc January 3, 2019 at 2:55 pm #

      Such a good friend you are,Sha! Thank you for always being here, and again, Happy New Year to you and yours.

  9. phoenix2327 January 3, 2019 at 6:50 pm #

    Indeed, Bill, how could it not be. These experiences that you bring to the table is what gives your stories life.

    Happy New Year, Bill.

    • Billybuc January 3, 2019 at 9:08 pm #

      Happy New Year, Zulma, and thank you for your friendship.

  10. Michael Milec January 5, 2019 at 2:38 am #

    Ahh emotions/ feelings… you have vividly exemplified that invisible, spiritual reality permanently inducted within our memory bank , only at occasion coming alive as long as we live. In my primitive expression “I remember” (barely a teen) seeing a scene whenever I hear the whistle of the locomotive, happening that Sunday morning as a young woman lying across the railroad tracks only in the next second her head, sharply severed from the body and as we spectators have approached closer to the head, a tongue was still in motion…
    Safe and prosperous 2019 New Year my friend to you and yours.

    • Billybuc January 5, 2019 at 3:35 pm #

      MIchael my friend, that was a chilling experience. My goodness, no wonder you remember it. Thank you for sharing…great example of my point.

      Wishing you happiness and love always


  11. Shell Vera January 8, 2019 at 8:39 pm #

    Emotion is one of the most beautiful things we get to experience in this world. I believe it is a gift. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s absolutely blissful. I, like you, have experienced the breadth of it and use that to file my passion for speaking up and using my voice to help the voiceless. Once you’ve sat with someone [else] whose endured hardship, sometimes even worse than you, you can’t step back and forget how it made you feel. Not without a personality disorder of some sort. It stays with you. The best writers have seen the world and experienced life in ways many never want to, and they’ve reached out to others who’ve done the same. I believe it is what makes them great – their fuel is from a place deeper than them.

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

      Shell, that is perfectly stated,and I believe the same. Emotion, compassion, and empathy have fueled my writing for years now. I seem to have a bottomless pit of it.

  12. Dee January 9, 2019 at 5:17 pm #

    We are creatures that build on emotions. The good and bad (unfortunately) results provide us wonderful thoughts to build upon, to write about with zeal!

    • Billybuc January 10, 2019 at 2:57 am #

      All very true,Dee! Life is there for a writer to pluck from daily.

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