D.H. Said

Personally, I think many writers worry about where they’re going to land, so they avoid jumping over the edge. It is safer, but it doesn’t take you very far.

You have to make that jump, whichever one that you see holding you back.

Yes, I am addressing myself.

Pocket Change

Some loose thoughts rattling around in my mind’s pocket.

  • Trivial Pursuit was released on this day in 1979. My wife and I love the game. We eat at Brothers, where old cards are on the table so we can ask and answer the questions. Trivial Pursuit replaced Risk as my preferred game. My friends and I used to have monstrous Risk parties when I was stationed at Kadena AB. Empire became my favorite computer. It ruled for a few years during my Germany tour.
  • The Risk and Empire parties always featured beer, wine and cigars. Risk was an iffier proposition where beer was considered. We were on Okinawa. This was the early 1980s. There weren’t many great beer offerings. My friends drank Miller Lite. Gads. I was always searching for something. We didn’t have this problem in Germany, where plenty of decent beers of all preferences were available.
  • I was a great cigar smoker back in those days. Churchills were favorites but I liked Madura wraps.
  • My beer group met last night. We collect money from our weekly meetings to donate to local STEM efforts. Last night, two representatives from Southern Oregon Area Robotics came and collected $500 from us and give us an update about their progress, victories, plans and losses. This money helps them with material and transportation costs as they compete in robot competition.
  • One of the SOAR students last night is graduating high school this year and will be attending design schools. She loves designing cars. I love car designs and my friends do not, so it was terrific to discuss the Ferrari J50, BMW i8 and other designs with her.

  • You always need to figure out how they like it. Maybe it’s just me, as a buddy at Onizuka Air Station used to say, but cats don’t all like to be petted the same way. Tucker enjoys a good belly stroke but you must first follow certain protocols to be permitted belly access. Deviations can be dangerous. Whereas DO NOT TOUCH BOO ON THE BELLY. I repeat, DO NOT TOUCH BOO ON THE BELLY.  Don’t attempt to scratch his chin, either. We don’t know what happened in Boo’s past life, but he’s tremendously leery of being touched and he will attack you without any warning, so I’m warning you. Yet, someone will always try.
  • Quinn, on the other hand, is a little love bug, throwing himself down at your feet, visiting with strangers on the street, whatever. He’s a happy little loving cat.
  • A decent dark beer remains absent from our beer offerings where we meet each week. The porter on hand has a cream soda flavor that we detest. Enduring wasn’t a problem, as we imbibed the most excellent Ashland Amber Ale from Caldera and Ninkasi  Tricerahops DIPA. As always, the conversation was interesting and the time was gone as fast as the beer.


I’ve been mentally hemming and hawing, doing an aw shucks shuffle self-effacing, anxious shuffle off to one side, afraid of being in the spotlight, afraid of being ignored by the spotlight, and frightened that if the spotlight finds me, it will illuminate all my shortcomings, limitations and errors.

I’m a person of hypocrisies and conflicts, dreams, judgments, anxieties, hopes, optimism, and pessimism. I’m trying to let go, hang on, and move ahead. Ultimately, I have accepted myself as a failure. That’s important, and reassuring. And it’s a lie.

I don’t consider myself a failure (at the moment, although that can change in a moment). But without realizing it, that’s the crux of what’s bothering me the last few days. Publishing another book. Self-publishing, with all its baggage, an epub, with all of its connotations. Some of these perceptions are fossils I acquired in another era, and I know they’re not true on one level, but they’re hard to let go. But sometime yesterday, I literally said, “Fuck it.” I was speaking to myself, and allow myself to use such language with myself and around myself. So, “Fuck it,” I said. “Publish it. You’ve done your best. Will there be errors? Maybe. But maybe not. Will people like it? Maybe. But maybe not. But what will happen if you don’t publish? You will stew and fester and keep re-living the pro and cons of the possibilities. So, fuck it. Do it.”

I feel much better now.

At least, today.

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