Monday, May 31, 2010

Fun With the Alphabet

Words are fun, as they can create stories that thrill, chill and bring joy to the reader. With that in mind, I took it upon myself - well others joined in and did the same - to create a coherent story using every letter in the alphabet, in order. Then, we did the same thing, only backwards. Below are two that I came up with, what do you think?

Another black colored day,
examinations from gregarious haunts.
Indeed jealous kids limit making new ornaments,
preferring quasi relationships,
secretly taking unique versions,
with xenophobic young zealots.

Zebulon yearned Xanadu.
While venturing umpteen times,

searching religiously, quieted Pike’s
obdurate needs.
Making life keen, jumping into

hellacious gambles, forever engaged.
Discovering constant beauty about.


Here is a contest entry that I submitted - didn't win, but I had fun with it anyway. The concept was to write something that would constitute your thoughts after your head has been severed from your body. Gruesome concept, but fun just the same. The thought is that your brain will continue for about sixty seconds, or so.

Okay, those of you that can hear me, listen up. My afternoon started out normally, until I noticed that there was no more Diet Coke. In my house that is as close to a mortal sin as you can get, in a non-sacrilegious manner. I figured I would run to the store, grab me a bottle of my favorite beverage, maybe even a case for later. I took my bicycle, I never ride my bicycle, what was I thinking? I know what I was thinking, I needed the exercise, well now I don’t, but that is beside the point. The point you ask? Good question. The point is that you never know when a cement truck will decide to take your head off, even when you had the right of way. So now as my consciousness, or whatever it is now, leaves me, all I have to say is, I hope I did something worthwhile. All my love, my dear...

I Used To Think...

Dredging through my archives (not Blog archives), I came across a couple of decent-ish things that I felt worthy of sharing. They will be popping up every now and again (fair warning), because I have to get that motor running again.

I used to think…


I said I used to think.

Actually you thought it. No speaking involved here, except in your head of course.

What are you talking about? I clearly spoke the words; I used to think.

Okay, okay. You SAID them. Only problem is, I’m the only one listening.

And who, exactly are you?

I’m what you might call your conscience. Or maybe your left brain, your muse, the dude that puts those wicked thoughts into your head.

That’s you? I thought I did it all myself.

Really? How have you been these past couple of weeks? Just churning out stories I bet. Better yet, you are coming up with these really dumb contest ideas. I mean ‘I used to think’ isn’t exactly the best sentence in the world.

Yeah, but…

Yeah but I put in the ellipses so that people could just add on to the first four words. You were going to say that weren’t you?


See, I can read your thoughts. I know your deepest fears, your happiest joys. I know that you truly love Pralines and Cream ice cream and cannot stand eggplant.

Everybody knows that.

Sure, only after you told them. You see my friend you are nothing without me. You are just a regular person without much to think about except your lovely wife and kids. By the way, without me, she wouldn’t be your wife you know.


Remember all those letters you used to write to her?

Yes. They were quite good. She even said so herself.

Well, if I weren’t with you they would have been lifeless and she would not have wanted to meet you in person.


Look deep down, because you know that it’s true.

So what.

So what? Are you mad man! Without me you would probably be still be floundering at a job you don’t like, getting paid a mere pittance of what you are worth.

Uh, about that.

Don’t tell me? Come on man! I’ve only been gone for a couple of weeks.

Yeah but, before that you were gone for a long time. I’d guess somewhere around fifteen years. Where were you then? Vacationing in the Barbados?

Actually, yes, they are quite nice.


Okay, I am sorry. I thought that you wouldn’t mind me being gone. I have met a rather wide variety of people, as of late. Can you blame me?


Okay, so what’s your problem? Damsel in distress, world need saving? Oh, how is that Route sixty-six thing going? You finished it right?

Well, it’s not my turn.

Turn! Since when did we start taking turns? Heck Norbanus alone would crank out three or four chapters in a row. Do you think that he was worried about it being his turn? So where is Jamie?

At the airport, doing police stuff.

Oh my, this is worse than I thought. We need to get him over to Lila’s apartment and… What?

Can we put that on a back burner for a while? I have five contests that I have entered, and they are all coming up to their deadlines pretty soon.

Okay, fine. When is the deadline for this ‘I used to think’ story?


Oh, I need a vacation. How about the rest?

Well, I have another contest due today, but it looks like its deadline will be extended due to a lack of entries. Then I have two more due in two days, and another three days later. See it isn’t that bad, right?

Maybe you ought to see somebody.

That’s actually the theme, of sorts, for one of the contests I entered.

Oh yeah. Is it an I’m-addicted-to-Fanstory-contests-and-can’t-stop-entering-them’ contest?

Close. Just the addiction part, but I have been blank for a while. Plus the other entries are so good, that I’m afraid.

Always was a big pussycat. Okay, so let’s see I used to think… Is there anyway you can change the terms of the contest?

No. In fact, I kind of mislead people into thinking that the first sentence had to be I used to think… Without telling them that they could fill-in anything afterwards.

Well, I’m sure that they understand I was away. You did tell them right?

I kind of implied it, here and there.

Maybe I should just ‘kind of’ help you then.

No, no, no. Please. I am so sorry; I shouldn’t have taken you for granted. I need you to be with me, to help me through this mess, because…

Because what?

Without you I’d just be, well you know, floundering.

Hopefully the other contest will get extended, because I’m having a hard time dealing with you, let alone a whole other story.

Thank you. Can we get started? The deadline is in five hours.

I used to think…

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Hello friends. Below is a story that I have written for a class assignment and I would like your opinions. Please look it over with your critical eye and leave any and all comments - I am looking for help with my writing, so don't feel like you will hurt my feelings. I am told that writers need to have very thick skin. Anyway, this story has already been graded and returned back to me, and I wanted to share it with you all for your thoughts. Thanks in advance.


“Are you prepared to die?’

The voice came from the man seated across from me on the bus, and the casual manner in which he asked me the question made me think that maybe I was hearing a random voice in my head. They have been coming back more frequently now that I no longer had a source for my medication so, to me, another random voice in my head was nothing to concern myself with.

“Are you prepared to die?”

Okay, now this was getting a little annoying, I mean having a voice inside your head is one thing but for it to keep asking you the same question over again was borderline redundant and I was not a particular fan of redundancy. Which is ironic considering what I did for a living; there was a whole lot of redundancy built into my job. I wish the voices in my head had warned me about that, it would have been very helpful. Of course they probably wouldn’t be in my head if I had a position with a company that didn’t deal with doing the exact same thing, over and over, day after day.

“Are you prepared to die?”

I must have dozed off or something because when I opened my eyes at the sound of those words, the man was seated next to me. Funny that he hadn't smelled bad from three feet away, but now with this close proximity he reeked of alcohol, cheap cologne and, was that urine? His faced looked as if it had survived a battle with a blender, the scars crisscrossed in a pattern that made me think of pick up sticks from my childhood, except for the colors, which were all either reddish purple or white, depending on how far along the healing process was, I imagine. His teeth were a nice shade of brown, yet his eyes were a remarkable green that seemed completely out of place. It fascinated me just the same.

“Are you prepared to die?”

Again with that question, which was definitely coming from his foul-smelling mouth and not the foul-tempered voices in my head. Now I needed to come up with an answer as it seemed that the bus was moving approximately an inch per hour, and my stop was still several blocks away – an eternity at the current rate. Now the voices started to ask me some serious questions and I had a choice to make, voices in my head or voices from the old smelly dude. I decided to listen to my own community to see if they had any insight into my situation.

“Whew, where did that guy climb out of a dumpster from, the local fast food joint?”

That was the voice I named Justin as in just in time for a mean and sarcastic comment. He never failed to have one.

“Maybe he’s trying to hit you up for some money. You are dressed for business today so maybe he thought he would take a chance with you.”

That was Celeste. Yes, I have a woman’s voice inside my head, doesn’t everyone? She is the practical and no-nonsense mom of the voices, always looking for why something happened and always good for some practical advice when the situation warranted. At least that is what she told me. Besides, I was dressed in one of my more expensive suits, so she really did make sense.

“I told you taking the bus wasn’t worth the risk.”

That would be Fred, my cowardly voice. He always liked to tell me that he would rather be a cowardly voice that is still a voice, than a brave voice that no longer existed.

“You are being rude.”

This voice was new. I was pretty sure that the man’s lips never moved, yet somehow I heard him. In my head.

“You can stop acting all paranoid, Charlie, and just answer my question; are you prepared to die?”

Well that pretty much made today the number one day for my craziness. Some old, drunken, decrepit man with eyes that shouldn’t be, is now in my head telling me that I am being rude and really succeeding in freaking me out.

“Who you calling decrepit? And before you jump back into that mind of yours, realize that I am following along with every conversation, so you might as well talk to me, Charlie.”

“Um, okay,” I managed weakly.

“Now isn’t this better? Talking like two civilized people on a bus, just passing the time until our stops.”

“How do you know my name?” I asked in a slightly less dazed but still weak voice.

“Your name tag.”

“What? Oh my goodness, I forgot that was there,” I tore at the paper adhesive name tag that said: "Hi, I’m Charlie." I was coming back from one of those fancy little seminars where they talk about all the features that their equipment could do that no one else’s can. Boring as all get out, but the free lunches were pretty good and you could usually sneak out at some point in the afternoon. I could still taste the roast beef on rye with a hint of dill pickle and Cheetos.
“Are you prepared to die?”

“Why do you keep asking me that? I mean is it important to you for some reason, do you have a tract that tells me all about your deity and how he/she/it will save me from eternal damnation, but only if I give you all my money and bow down to you, my poppa/granddad/father figure?”

“Are you finished?”

“Yes," I started, “I think I am. This is my stop coming up and I have to get prepared to exit the bus.”

I have seen many television shows and movies where all the action seems to stop, with the exception of a character or two, and always thought it to be a far-fetched deus ex machina that helped move the plot along without having to explain a whole lot of actions/events that occurred to get to this point. In other words, a really convenient way to get from point A to point B in a story.

Well, that just happened. Everything stopped. Except for me and.

“What is your name anyway?” I asked, wondering why it took so long to ask this of the stranger, yet not really concerned.

“Well, I have quite a few; there is Thanatos, Odin, Ankou and, of course, the Grim Reaper.”

“What? Wait? You, you are death?”

“Always knew you were a smart kid Charlie.”

“But that’s just legends, and mythology and fairy tales meant to scare kids, and…” I trailed off not knowing what else to say.

“It’s also pretty cruel. I mean what is there to be afraid of? Everyone has to die sooner or later, so making me into some kind of monster just results in, well, look at yourself.”

“Yeah, but I’m not ready to die.”

“That’s what they all say, kid.”

The End

So, what did you think? Leave a comment and share. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Best Way To Travel

We are gone this weekend, in case you didn't notice.

Why you would notice is beyond me, but hey, you might have noticed.

I digress.

We are in Minnesota visiting with my Brother and Sister In-law, nephew and niece. We are celebrating my nephew's first Holy Communion and my niece's sixth birthday. On the edges, it is six to seven hours of driving.


The trip here was uneventful, unless you consider driving in rain, the.entire.time. to be an event worth noting - in which case, I just covered it.

Anyway, towards the end of our drive here, Danny caught my eye, and I asked Jenni to snap a quick picture on the cell phone, as I felt that it pretty much summed up, for me at least, the absolute best way to travel.

Have a great day, and think of us as we make the trek back south to our little mother ship.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday Shots #14

There is nothing wrong with your reader, just my finger. I apparently hit the 'save' button and not the 'publish' button last night, so these sat in draft status. :)

That would be a good story if it were true, no?

Anyway, I will have you all imagine that it is still Sunday and these are shots from then. Sound fair?

Here is Timmy with his new pillow, affectionately known around here as Kirby, and not-so-affectionately known as motor mouth!

Oh, he's not actually sleeping, he just decided that he didn't want me to take his picture... the stinker. Oh, and Kirby really didn't seem to mind, he was purring the whole time.

Here is Jessie carrying the American flag during the Loyalty Day parade in town. You can kind of make out Katie's head back there holding the American Heritage Girls flag. I had a Daddy FAIL moment and didn't get a picture of Katie holding the flag. Sorry kiddo.

That was it for this past week. Hope you all have a blessed week ahead and don't forget to root for the Blackhawks!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day!

I think that I am ready to sit down and write something again. Granted I am always ready to sit down and write, but I use the lame excuse of not having any time.

Go figure, right?

So what should we write about today?

Politics? Nope.

Religion? Maybe.

Sex? Not in a million years. Sure the traffic would be nice, but really, if you are coming here to read about sex you have some serious issues. Besides, I try to be as 'G-rated' as much as possible. I know that I tow the line in that regard most of the time, but there have been occasions where I have delved into the deep end of insanity at times, but thankfully those times are rare.

Drugs? Do you really want to read about my dependency on cholesterol controlling and mood altering drugs? It really isn't as exciting as it sounds, trust me. Except maybe when I forget to take a pill, then, well it just gets down right ugly. And I am not proud of that, so I probably won't be sharing.

Rock and Roll? We can talk about that. I mean Rush is coming to town in the near future, but I really don't have the desire to spend a boatload of money on a group that I have already seen five times before. Styx is coming to town with Foreigner and, somebody else that I can't remember. But Styx only has two original members and a third that joined after their third album touring, so the magic is gone there. At least Rush still has the main core that has been Rush throughout the years.

So, as you can see I really don't have much to talk about and I don't have any recent pictures either.

Maybe I should have waited another day or two? No, all that would do would make me lose the desire to come back here at all. I actually had this date - somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind - pegged as my return to the blogosphere (sorry for all of you that do not like that word). The only question that remains is, how many of you are still with me?

Hello? Is this thing on?