Archive | April, 2021

Just Practicing My Craft

20 Apr

Don’t be concerned as you read this. I’m simply practicing something that’s been kicking around in my head. Maybe it will make it into a story one of these days. I shared this on the HP website, so if you’ve already seen it, I apologize in advance.

I remember thinking, there’s no way this turns out well.

Have you ever experienced that? You’re suddenly faced with a situation, a decision, a fork in the friggin’ road, you take a moment to ponder, your neurons engage, your options flash by in a millisecond, the computer between your ears comes to a conclusion, and that conclusion is nope, no way this turns out well no matter what the hell I do.

That’s where I was two months ago, a knock at the door, me on my fourth beer of the night, turn the tv off, get up off the couch, open the door and there she was, breathtaking, a catch-of-the-breath beauty, raven hair flowing over her shoulders, green eyes illuminated by the porch light, her exhales pluming in the nighttime cold, maybe five-six, maybe one-twenty, hard to tell with the bulky clothing.

She didn’t raise her head enough to look directly at me, choosing instead to keep her head bowed, raising only her gaze, an odd gesture I thought at the time.

And my first thought, the aforementioned there’s no way this turns out well.

Such a strange thing to think, faced with loveliness, nothing out of the ordinary happening on the street, nothing at all to trigger that thought, and yet there it was, harkening back to the cave man, hunter-gatherer of yesteryear, trusting instincts fueled by life and death experiences, fight or flight, choose right or become a meal for others.

There’s no way this turns out well.

I should have listened to that voice.

Why do I write random scenes from a non-existent short story?  I’m just practicing my craft.  “Use it or lose it,” the doctors will tell you. Don’t let muscles atrophy, and don’t let your writing skills go stale.  Use it or lose it.

Will I ever use that opening scene in anything? Maybe, maybe not!  All I know, with any certainty, is it does no harm for me to practice.

Have a great day and thanks, so much, for spending a few minutes with me today.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

The Sound of Being Alone

6 Apr

I have been remiss of late with this blog. I doubt many have missed it; I am certain most didn’t even notice.

Life just gets in the way of my plans at times, and as an organizer and a planner, one who sticks to a pretty strict schedule, these disruptions can be unsettling. I would love nothing more than to sit at my computer and crank out story after story after story, but the last few months have not allowed that.

That’s a long way of saying “oops” regarding this blog!

I was thinking of a song, from long ago, a song which has a very powerful and significant lyric, at least for me.  It comes from Neil Diamond’s song “I Am, I Said,” and the lyric goes like this:

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I’ve tried
But it won’t let me go
And I’m not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared
For the sound of being alone


Mr. Diamond could have been writing about me.

That one line, “I never cared for the sound of being alone,” is a brilliant line . . . the sound of being alone. I know it so well.  There were times when I craved that sound, but there were also times, an increasing number of times as I grew older, when that sound was deafening and unwelcomed.

As much as I wanted to believe that I was a self-contained island, a man who did not need others, the fallacy of that thinking became, eventually, too strong to ignore.

I need people!

Yes, there has always been an emptiness deep inside of me, but that emptiness is filled when I interact with people.  It’s strange, even now, to write that statement.  People fill me.  People fulfill me.  People, to borrow from a Tom Cruise movie, complete me.

The emptiness is not nearly as deep in volume today.  I have Bev. I have my son. I have some pretty damned good friends who allow me to be me.  And I have my dogs!

The sound of being alone isn’t nearly as deafening as it once was, and that is cause for celebration.

What’s all of that have to do with creative writing?  Emotions, baby, emotions!  If a writer can tap into those kinds of emotions, that is some powerful writing being done.  It’s a goal of mine every single time I sit down to write a story or novel.

Thanks for “listening.”

Thanks for being an integral part of my happiness.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”