Failing and Rising

Failing and rising, you select a place in the curl and fall on your ass, get back up and try again

hunting balance, trying to keep the ride going or find another one

but the winds die and fall, and the seas grow tranquil

leaving you becalmed and lost

you can wait for the next wave or you can paddle out to meet them

pushing yourself to find a wave to ride

failing and rising, paddling and jumping up, striving to get your balance and keep riding

crashing and going under, afraid that you’ll never come up again

getting up and trying again

riding in search of a beginning

and end


The Selection Dream

There I am, in a bathroom with George Clooney.  We’re dressed in matching outfits: tight white shorts that end in mid-thigh, black knee-high socks, and blue Oxford shirts open at the collar.

I’m watching us from one side. That perspective never changes. The bathroom doesn’t have a fourth wall because we’re on a movie set. Clooney is filming and waiting to go out, and I’m sitting on the commode with the seat down, reading a book. He’s doing a series of scenes that requires him to go out, react to something or throw off a one-liner, and then return. We speak between scenes but I have no idea what was said.

The dream was about that quick, too. With a flick of the dream selector, I was now on another set. On this one, a woman in a sparkling silver suit escorted me to a man in a tuxedo at a control panel. Behind us was a huge wall of large monitors.

I was in a spotlight. The impression that I had was that I was on a television game show, which confused me. I asked about it, and the man and woman clarified, “No, this is your dream selection headquarters.”

Between the two of them working as a team, I was told, “What kind of dream would you like tonight? Prophecy, zombies, monsters, disasters, school, alien interaction, offbeat humor, adventure or thriller episodes, something mysterious or new-age? Name it, we have everything.”

My confusion remained too deep for a quick response. I needed to validate what I thought was happening. “I’m in a dream but in this dream, you’re giving me the option of choosing what to dream?”

The man and woman laughed. The woman said. “You act like you’ve never been here before.”

“Have I?”

“You come here every night,” she said.

The man said, “Yes, usually several times.”

“Why I don’t remember that?”

The man said, “It’s your dream. You decide what to forget.”

I was left then thinking about my recent streak of dreams. They’d been of the episodic adventure type. Sometimes I’m not even apparently in them but watch as others act and react. Then I asked, “If I can choose what to dream, why have I made the dream decisions that I did?”

Looking amused, the man and woman shrugged. “What can I say?” the man said. “They’re your dreams. You decide where you go.”

Dream end.


Saturday’s Theme Music

I was on the road today. Naturally, that opened my music stream to road songs. One of them that popped up early is by Canned Heat. AM Radio and the growing pop revolution introduced them to me in my early teens. I didn’t appreciate how much the blues inspired them until about six years later, when I was listening to ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers Band.

Besides Canned Heat, I was singing “Hit the Road, Jack,” “Truckin'”, “Little Red Corvette”, “American Pie”, “Little GTO”, “Beep Beep”, “Uneasy Rider”, “The Way”, “Sweet Hitchhiker”, “Life Is A Highway”, “One Headlight”, “Drive My Car”, “Mustang Sally”, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “Pink Cadillac”, “The Leader of the Pack”, “Dead Man’s Curve”, “On the Road Again”, “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “Route 66”, “Born to Be Wild”, “Ninety-nine Miles From LA”, “Midnight Rider”, “Fast Car”, “Runnin’ Down A Dream”, and “Radar Love”. You can place the performers to the songs.

You have any favorite road songs that I should have been streaming? I’d like to know them. Sharing is caring, friends.

Here’s Canned Heat with “On the Road Again” from 1968.


The Next Book

I’m working on two novels right now. One is an “official” novel, destined for publication. The other novel is the unofficial, not-to-be published parallel story to that novel.

Coming to that point has been an interesting process. My normal process generally has several documents. First, of course, is the beta document. This is expected to become the book. Another document is about brainstorming and epiphanies. A third is a bible of terms, characters, settings, relationships, and major milestones and turning points. Fourth are snapshots. These include expanding thinking about characters, relationships, settings, historic references, just a handy guide to easily find information. I’ll often add notes about why something was decided, and where it’s included in the novel.

Last of my many documents is the deleted scene compilation. These are chapters that didn’t work, wrong turns, if you will. Sometimes they’re overcome by new concept or plot developments. Sometimes they’re deemed redundant, or they’re telling about something that I already showed. Sometimes they’re the original chapter that I wrote, which was then edited and revised. I keep them for just-in-case needs.

Why so many? I don’t know. This is what my process evolved to be. It works for me. That’s the critical component.

To this mix of documents, I’ve added the parallel story. It originally began as the deleted scenes document. I found it added a mystique, an intriguing veneer to the true novel to explore what’s happened in parallel and then have the original novel react to it.

I don’t work on the parallel novel much. It’s not meant to be a final document. Scenes are not deeply fleshed out, but are taken far enough to enable my understanding of what happened that will affect the novel in progress. Characters are sharply defined, because their thinking, decisions, and actions affect the real novel.

This is all part of the organic writing process, what some call pantsing instead of outlining. In looking at total word counts for all these documents, I estimated that I write two and half words of background and thinking material for every word in the novel. The beta draft of April Showers 1921 is forty-four thousand words. The others total about one hundred ten thousand words when added together.

That aligns with my last project’s results. Incomplete States is a series of five novels that total four hundred eighteen thousand in their latest draft. The supporting documents are just over a million words together.

Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

“This coffee tastes like piss.”

I wonder, as many probably do, how my piss tastes. I also pondered whether I’d ever eaten my boogers as a child. Mom has never mentioned it, but many children do, and I was a child who did a lot of things because I was curious.

I’m not sure how I feel about eating baby feces.

This isn’t a gross-out post. Honestly. Perhaps it is, from your point of view. That’s why I bring it up, not to gross you out, but to bring the subjects into the light.

The three subjects, tasting urine, eating boogers, and eating baby poop, are part of a larger subject, the human body, and trends. Thinking about them came from conversations and reading. I finished reading An Instance of the Fingerpost this week. Book One is about a doctor. He mentions tasting people’s urine as part of the examination process in the sixteen hundreds. Yes, I remember from other reading, doctors tasted urine when they were examining patients long before the sixteen hundreds.

I don’t think many doctors do that these days. Most people are probably horrified about it, but I dipped my finger into my stream this morning and gave it a lick. I thought, why not? I’ve tasted my blood, sweat, and tears before, because I wanted to know how they tasted, so why not my pee?

I have ideas about how urine should taste, based on statements like, “This coffee tastes like piss.” I’ve read a few things about it, and we’d discussed it once while talking about survival training. Today’s piss reminded me of a bitters beer. I don’t know if that’s normal. An ongoing cold and head congestion are sabotaging my taste experience this week.

That done, I turned to the question of eating boogers. A friend, talking about his grand-daughter, mentioned that she often picked her nose and not infrequently ingested her boogers. Another friend present, a retired doctor, talked about that and said that some booger eating can be beneficial.

That second person is also the one that talked about eating baby feces. He and I had read about probiotics in infants’ fecal matter, and he’d read other periodicals about how a small amount of baby poop could be therapeutic restoring digestive systems. I pondered what kind of beer or wine would go with baby poop.

Well, I didn’t eat a booger, and I haven’t sampled baby feces yet, that I know. Tasting my piss was my step forward today.



I don’t know what’s going on with Winter. He’s just not the same. I worried for several weeks that he was sick or injured because I saw so little of him.

Then, suddenly, here he was again, acting sooo crazy, to employ a retro-phrase. He was randomly tossing snow around, piling it up on one mountain and ignoring the rest. Sometimes it snowed when the sun was out. He seemed to be mocking forecasts. If they called for heavy snow, he gave us light rain. When no snow was forecast, he dumped a bucket on us. Everyone was asking, “WTF, Winter? What’s wrong with you?”

I’m beginning to suspect that Winter’s been replaced, and that we’re seeing a new Winter impart. I wonder about who took the job. Since Winter has always been an old white man, have they decided to modernize and replace him with a woman? They could have also decided to stay with a male but surrendered to the youth movement, because, you know, demographics. Maybe they decided to break out complete and replace old man Winter with a young, black woman.

The other part of this speculation is whether one Winter is responsible for the entire world, or has Winter been reorganized, with a Winter assigned to countries or geographical areas.

I don’t know. It could be those things or something else that I haven’t thought of. All I know is that old man Winter doesn’t seem like the guy I used to know.

Super Rant

I have a super rant today about the overuse of super. Things are super-clean, super-neat, super-simple, super-priced, and super-super. It’s super-irritating. Like literally, super has lost its super meaning, becoming another empty word used as a synonym for that overused word, very. Guess this is progress, or just change. It’s how the language grows, mis-employing words that aren’t understood to give them new meaning.

I guess I’m an old crab. Coffee, and make it super-quick.

Genius Drinks

So you know that they’ve come out with Genius Coffee. It’s about time, innit? But, I hasten to inquire, where is our genius booze? I’d like to walk into my fav beverage hangout and ask for a Genius IPA.

Wouldn’t it be excellent if McDonald’s and Wendy’s began selling genius milkshakes? (Picture those television commercials.) Have a Genius Coke with your Jack? Prefer a Genius Red Bull? No doubt we’d need to have genius wine, vodka, tequila, to be fair, along with genius water, for those who don’t partake.

Maybe, then, if all these genius beverages work, we can make progress on what humanity is doing to each other and the rest of the world. Doubts force me to say, probably not. More likely, some will declare, “I don’t trust geniuses, so why should I swallow a genius drink?”

I don’t blame them. I’d be dubious of genius drinks. God knows what I’d learn about myself that I’ve worked so hard to hide.

Melting Away

Did you ever think about what it might be like to actually melt away?

Would you melt all over simultaneously, or start on the outside? Do you begin melting at some specific body part, like your heart? Perhaps your brain starts melting first, giving the signal for the rest to proceed to melt, like the green flag at a car race.

Maybe you start melting from the bottom, growing shorter as your feet melt in a pool below your ankles, causing your pants’ hems to drag along the ground, lowering your inseams by several inches. It starts with your toes, soles, and heel, and then you melt up through your legs. The ankles melt, followed by your shin and your calves. Then your knees droop and dribble away. Next are your thighs, pursued by your butt, hips, and your pelvis.

Everything is melting from your bone marrow out. Soon, you’re just a torso in a pool of your liquid self, a being whose head looks too big, with arms that are two long. Then your abdomen and back joins the melting. Eventually, all that remains is your head on your neck, sticking up from the ground like a flower blooming toward the sun.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: