The Three Cs

Got my three Cs – coffee, computer, and cookie. The cookie is an indulgence. I ate breakfast – granola and yogurt with blueberries – a few hours ago, but I feel hungry, so what the hell, I indulged myself and ate a cookie. Salty caramel, if you must know.

Admittedly, eating the cookie was a little bit of stalling. I was stalling my start today because yesterday’s writing events surprised me. Handley attacked Kanrin with a sword. Kanrin killed her. What was going on with Forus Ker? He just sat there watching. Meanwhile, the ship’s alarms continue to go off. Kanrin’s nets have been compromised. And where are the rest? What are they doing?

None of this was planned. The destination is known but the path is a wildly winding way.

Once I finished writing those pages and concluded that chapter, I cleaned up errors and checked continuity. Then I walked, and wondered, where are we going now? What’s supposed to happen?

All of this took me down paths about immortality and death. Born with a fear of dying, and still capable of suffering injury and pain, one doesn’t abandon those fears, despite the evidence of past experiences. Even if you’ve died and returned before, or you’re not sure that what’s happening is reality, virtual reality, or a hallucination, and even if you’re doubtful if the outcome matters because of everything else happening, coping with the natural emotional and intellectual stresses inherent in these paradoxes challenges your will and sanity. Put yourself in that position and imagine. And remember, whatever the brain or personality might decide, the body may have different ideas. We’re not the masters of ourselves that we’re told as children. It’s a lesson we learn as we age and our bodies and abilities decay. It’s a lesson that’s reinforced as we meet others with lesser and greater abilities than ourselves. Exploring these avenues of similarities and differences and the impact on our decisions and actions is one of the most exciting and delicious parts of my writing experience.

When I walked and thought, I struggled to know what was to happen next in this story? It’s stupid of me to wonder, but I can’t resist. I know, though, I’ll slip into the moment and begin typing, and things will come out that I never foresaw. Consciously, I don’t know what’s next, but once I assume the typing posture, out it comes, if I just let it.

Yeah, it feels like weird fucking magic, typing something when I don’t know what I’m going to type. After all these years of writing, the process still astonishes me. I hope it never stops.

Now fortified with sugar and caffeine, it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

The Chaotic Dream

What an exhausting dream it was.

Being nowhere in particular, but planning to go somewhere, I was trying to pack and prepare myself to leave. People surrounded me. None of them paid attention to me, but kept walking around, having conversations and calling out to each other, or laughing. None of them addressed me.

Phones kept ringing. Weirdly, I recognized the phones from my life. Mom’s cherry colored wall phone, with its long cord, rang. Later, a beige Trimline with pushbuttons, of the sort my wife and I had in our house at one point, rang.  Another time, it was a green Trimline phone with a dial that rang. Cell phones and Blackberries would ring, along with black phones and red phones without dials used as hotlines in the Air Force.

I answered the phones but never heard anyone on the other end, something that angered me more and more as the dream progressed. “Why is the phone ringing?” I would ask aloud. “Who’s calling? There’s never anyone there.” I was trying to pack and would think that I had forgotten something, and then remember what it was, and go to get it, only to get diverted by a ringing phone. Nobody else would answer the phones.

While all of this was happening, I kept checking the weather, because I worried about it changing. Meanwhile, I kept saying, “Oh, I need to go write, but I don’t have time. I need to make time to write.” While I was packing, saying this to myself, checking the weather, and answering phones with people walking around and past me, I kept giving car keys to people. Different people, they needed the keys for different reasons. The keys didn’t look familiar, but I knew they were to my shiny red car, and they were my keys. I kept handing the keys to someone, and then someone else would approach me a little bit later and ask me for my keys. Every time I picked them up, the keys would jangle, and I’d check them to confirm they were the right keys.

All of this culminated in me waking up thinking that a phone was ringing. There wasn’t one ringing. The house was quiet except for rain falling on the roof.

Thinking about this dream now, I chuckle at what I see as its meaning, that I resent intrusions to my writing, because to go somewhere, I need to write, and I feel like it’s been a life interrupted. Yes, all the decisions made to bring me to this point were my decisions, but those decisions were all driven by other events and people.

Funny how my mind speaks to me when I go to sleep at night.

Floofstop (Update)

Floofstop (catfinition) – 1. An animal that leans against something, preventing it from opening or closing; a cat in the middle of something, like an unmade bed, or a floor, keeping activities from being completed.

In use: “The door couldn’t be opened nor closed because Tucker decided he’d be a floofstop, and his languid, confident demeanor made it clear that he didn’t plan to change vocations any time soon.”

2. A change of activity to quickly address an animal’s needs.

In use: “Getting out of bed, he opened two cans and fed the dog and cats, returning to bed in less than fifty-two seconds, which he considered a very good floofstop.”

Bless You

Where does everyone stand on blessing people when they sneeze? I mean, I say, “Excuse me,” when I sneeze. I notice many people don’t. I tell others, “Bless you,” when I’m near someone who sneezes, even though I’m agnostic, with tendencies that slide toward being an atheist. It’s something mom taught me to do. It was considered polite. That training, though, was almost sixty years ago. She could have been conning me, for all that I know. I was young and just learning the language.

Also, if someone is wearing headphones and can’t hear you, should you still say, “Bless you?”

Should I just drop the whole thing because it’s an outdated custom?


Flooflop (catfinition) – a gallop cats employ while racing around the house; a stop, stretch and roll motion cats use to get humans to pet them.

In use: “The thundering noise was like a herd of miniature buffalo stampeding through the house, instead of an eight-pound cat flooflopping about.”

The Story Left Behind

I’d been watching him because of his motionless manner of waiting. Dressed in jeans and a long sleeved gingham shirt, he stood straight, feet apart, clutching his box. Others fiddled, fidgeted, looked around, and shifted. Some checked phones. Besides that, the other eight people in the post office line were women. He and I were the only men.

He looked about my age, and had short grey hair, but I didn’t know him. Equal parts of bewilderment and resignation seemed poured into the man.

“Next,” the clerk said.

The man walked up to the counter and put his large box onto it. The box didn’t seem to weigh much.  As the clerk slid the box onto the scale, the man said in a loud voice, “There are eleven items in this box. Nine of them are glass bottles or jars. There are jams and jellies, pancake syrup, blueberry infused balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. All of those can break. I think the only things that can’t break are the Branson Chocolates and the pancake mix. It’s a thank you gift for my brother. We stayed at his house last week. My wife picked everything out. She said he’d like them. I guess I believe her.”

The postal clerk said, “Is there any alcohol, flammable materials, lithium batteries, or hazardous materials?”


“Do you want it insured?”

“Yes, I was told to insure it and get a tracking number.”

“How much do you want to insure it for?”

“Fifty dollars.”

The clerk pressed buttons and applied labels. “Thirty-one ninety-five.”

The man paid.

“Have a good weekend,” the men said to each other as the postal clerk handed the other a receipt.

Nodding, the man folded the receipt, slipped it into a pocket, and walked out with equal parts of bewilderment and resignation, leaving me to wonder about the story he was leaving behind.

Friday’s Theme Music

Hope the day finds you well.

I saw a spotlight show on the Eagles at Camelot Theater last night. A local band, East Main Band, played the Eagles hits while the Eagles story and anecdotes were related to the audience.

I wasn’t originally a big fan of the Eagles musical group. Their early music were too mellow and country-oriented. I admired their harmonies, and they had memorable lyrics about relationships and living, but they didn’t do much for me. That didn’t stop me from hearing them on AM and FM radio, or at parties, and learning their songs. Eventually, the Eagles acquired a harder sound that appealed to me more. That’s when I actually acquired the music. Their shift culminated in their hyper-hit album, Hotel California. 

The song that hung in my stream from last night was “James Dean”. This was my favorite Eagles song from their first four albums. So here we go, with the departed Glenn Frey on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Happy Friday.


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