Monthly Archives: February, 2012

I’ve already commented so I’ll just be a little immature and say, “It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday, uh-huh, it’s my birthday!”


Words are like local shops – it’s a case of use them or lose them. I was shocked to hear that ‘charabanc’ and ‘aerodrome’ have been expunged from the Oxford English Dictionary. But how can that be, when there is a sign for Haverfordwest Aerodrome just down the road from here? And last summer Marc and I went with a couple of friends on what can only be called a charabanc, a (hilarious) local coach trip to the Brecon canal. 

But clearly we didn’t use charabanc or aerodrome enough so both those have gone and the problem is that once they have gone, however much we suddenly realise we loved them, we can’t easily get them back. 

The people behind the  ‘shop local’ organisation are trying to promote local shops and businesses, maybe we should have a similar campaign for words. Some kind of system of encouraging people to use…

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Commenters On My Birthday

Today is my 49th birthday and I’ve started to notice that I’m getting more followers. Is this a function of Twitter alone or am I getting more interesting? Or is my writing getting more interesting even if I am not. Oops. Long pause there. I don’t think you’re supposed to do that with Julia Cameron’s morning pages. Where was I?

It IS my birthday, so it would be nice if more people commented today. So THAT is the extent of my appeal. I’m told that when you ask people to be your followers or to comment, it’s not as strong as when they do it on their own. I’ve noticed a lot of people on Twitter asking people to follow because they follow back. Lots of them don’t have more than 1000 followers. I have also noticed that if you simply follow people, most follow you back. Some have quite a few followers and aren’t following very many people. I think that’s an ego thing. Guy Kawasaki is an interesting guy to follow, IMHO, and he is a very successful entrepreneur. He has just a few percentage points more followers than the number of people he follows. Last time I looked he had more than 120,000 followers, I think. So I urge everyone to emulate guy Kawasaki IF you want more followers. Don’t worry if the number of followers and following are similar. So we’re not all Angelina Jolie. On the other hand, I had a guy yesterday say that he didn’t really need any more followers right now.

That seemed sort of a waste of time. He didn’t block me or Tweet Geist Guy. Why would he go to the trouble of telling either of us that? Just let it go. I just heard the familiar bloopy sound from Facebook. Someone is trying to talk with me, but I’m determined to do my morning pages before I do anything else today. OK. I had a little yogurt first. I really am digging this, though. It’s much easier than when I did it years ago. Maybe I just had to get rid of the judgement. I studied Marshall Rosenberg some a few years back. He wrote Nonviolent Communication. If you really take it to heart, you will find yourself judging less. And then, you can start to apply it to yourself, too! So what if this doesn’t impress everybody. It’s not going to impress everyone. Even if you write something that impresses vast numbers of people, you may still have to contend with people like Fran Leibowitz. I watched most of a documentary last night about her. Actually, it was mostly her talking. She loves to talk and she’s good at it. She is judgemental and she thinks that’s a good thing. Maybe judging is good for some things. Like understanding quality. But, if lots of people are making a living or a partial living because of writing and she doesn’t think much of what they write, that’s ok. People have to make a living. At least, 99% of us do. Or maybe 97%. I don’t know the exact percentage of people who can live the life they want to live and simply live off the interest on their investments. I won’t get technical there, but you know what I mean.

There are people who no longer have to work, but they have to curtail their lifestyle quite a bit in order to do so. I’m not actually referring to them. I have no problem with people living simply if they want to do that. Unfortunately, too many people are not in a position to choose. However, if you read, that can be an inexpensive form of entertainment. (Most people can figure out a way to make stuff more expensive if they try…) I hope more people are reading these days. I know some aren’t, but aren’t more people becoming more educated in the U.S. and around the world? More educated people would seem to mean more readers. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this…

I’ve encountered people who say that they’re bored. READ. It seems so simple. I do feel sorry for those who truly have a learning disability that interferes with reading. But, what’s the real percentage? Aren’t many people simply making a choice NOT to read? I made a choice for years at a time not to write. There were smatterings here and there, but now I’ve finally made a choice. I made a choice months back to read the 23rd Psalm everyday and that evolved into often reciting/praying it in my head. Maybe I’ll still be doing these morning pages when I am writing something that turns into a book. A work of fiction. And/or a collection of stories. Which reminds me. I am looking for story contributors. This won’t be a work of fiction. I am looking for people to contribute stories of redemption in their lives or the lives of others. I would prefer to speak to the “horse’s mouth” whenever possible. So…do you have a story of redemption in your life or do you know someone? I want to get this published by December 30th.

In this way you can help me…invite your friends to follow my blog. Just for the reason that they might have a story of redemption or they might know someone. That would be a great birthday present. Lots of people following my blog for the purpose of helping me get this book published. It will be a collection of real stories about redemption in the live’s of real people. Maybe someday I’ll create a collection of fictional stories of redemption, but for now, let’s stick with nonfiction. If you are reading this, this would be way cool. I didn’t plan this. It just came out during this morning pages session. I don’t mean that I didn’t plan on putting together a book like this. I originally got the courage to tell a couple friends a little over two years ago. I just haven’t found a really effective way of getting the word out before. It seems to me that a lot of writers that I encounter online do, in fact, help each other in ways similar to this.

So, WHO do you know that has a story of redemption or who might you know or who do you know that MIGHT have a story like this? You can put them in touch with me. You can have them follow my blog. I’m – so there are ways you can contact me.

I’ve had a vision of a fictional story where a lot of people help someone build a castle-like structure. After it’s built, the group helps another person do something similar. We could do that for each other. Will you come alongside me and help me finish this book of true stories? Then, we can all get together and help someone else. And so on, and so on.
We could be doing something good for each other. And, it doesn’t mean that every work will be the most incredible work of art that everyone will approve of as a literary masterpiece. We might please Fran Leibowitz, but my guess is that she’s pretty hard to please. I’m not sure what she thinks about redemption. She does say that she approves very much of revenge and she’s not that fond of forgiveness, it seems. She’s very interesting, but probably not interested. So, let’s invite people who might be interested. What say you? Don’t forget – and here’s my shameless appeal – it’s my birthday!

Monday After The Oscars

As I write this it’s just after 7 am and I’m not fully awake, or at least, pretty tired. Really enjoyed the Academy Awards last night. Much better than last year. I had hoped for Hugo to win, but glad that Meryl Streep did and Hugo did get some statuettes.

I don’t really understand why my computer sometimes sends a letter back several words – even into the middle of a word. What key am I accidentally hitting with my big fingers? Does anyone know? This is actually NOT rhetorical. LOL

Darkness in our room with sunlight emerging. Our house is situated in such a way that light hits the back like we’re up in the mountains – we do have a little hill in our backyard. You could say that the little hill is most of our backyard and the rest is a pool and a barbeque. I joked with my cousin that it starts to get dark around 2:45 at our house.

We do love our little house. I would say that it’s not tiny, but it is small. Just about right for my wife, our son and me and the dog. Hypothetically we have cats, but only hypothetically.

Well…all of a sudden I don’t quite know where to go from here. Exercise is good for the body and I guess it’s good for the brain, too.

Do you ever become self-conscious about the way you write? I think I’ll come back to that another time. Be like the buddhists. Notice it and let it go. Forgive yourself if necessary.
Is that right? That’s what I got from Meditation in Plain English. I like to call it Meditation For Dummies. I guess that wouldn’t be considered polite for that readership, but it seems funny to me.

I have done a lot more praying than meditating and it seems to me that maybe you can get more of the same thing you get from meditation in other things. It just seems that being cross-legged for a long time with your eyes closed takes up too much time for what you get in return. Though I do appreciate the idea of “noticing and letting it go”. I’m pretty sure I got that right. Observing yourself without judgement is interesting. Although I guess it’s not supposed to be interesting. It’s just supposed to be, right? 🙂

OK. Right there. That’s what I’m talking about. I had a couple more sentences written and they just disappeared. That’s frustrating, but I’m going to let it go because I’m in the middle of an exercise.

To me, that’s bad design. I’m assuming that there is not a virus. This is not actually the first computer to do this. But the other computer actually had a keyboard even smaller than this one. This one is just barely too small. Apparently I hit a combination of keystrokes that somehow captured those sentences and then got rid of them so fast that I barely saw it happen. If this was designed better, that simply wouldn’t happen or it would happen once every two years because the odds of it happening by accident would be slim. Instead, it seems to happen once an hour or more and sometimes I just seem to by typing slow enough at that particular moment to catch it before it takes the words away.

I recognize that not everyone is the same size, but there should be a warning with computers: If you are larger than the average person, this keyboard is not for you. I understand phones are phones and they are the size they are. Ostensibly this is a normal laptop computer, but it’s really just a smidgen too small. I know that it can be different because I had a HP that I took for granted that was pretty wonderful in that regard. Then one day I was here in the bedroom and it was connected to the wall by the cord and I got up and went to the bathroom. When I came back I somehow caught my foot in the cord and helicoptered that laptop right into the floor with amazing force. It was over so fast and yet there was that slow motion thing that happens in your mind where you see it happening and you want to stop it, but it’s too late. The speed and force that it hit the floor with was really something to see. Heartbreaking and amazing.

So now I have this Sony VOMIT, er, VAIO. I won’t share all the reasons why I don’t like it. Being too small for my fingers is just one problem. Let’s just say I warned you.

Now…where to from here?

Luck is interesting. The program on HBO. It may be too dark. Or maybe I’m too close to that world. Or have been. I grew up around Del Mar and have been to the racetrack many times, though not for years except one special combination poker tournament and day at the races with my brother and Ocean’s Eleven casino a few years ago. When I was a teenager I went with my dad and brother fairly regularly. At least, that’s what it seemed for a kid who couldn’t legally bet. I guess it wasn’t THAT often, but maybe spending time with my dad and brother and seeing my uncles there gives the memories more emotional impact. I hadn’t really noticed the dark side of the track through first-hand experience. My life was happier than what you see on HBO. I heard of the possibility of corruption.

One time someone told me about – jeez- all these computer interruptions are annoying – would you like to restart your computer now or in 4 hours? your cpu is working really hard – how he watched how much money was bet and you could tell from betting patterns if there was corruption and you could bet on that corruption. I don’t know if it was true, but it seemed plausible. After reading and watching Freakonomics, my guess is that he was onto something.

Apparently, when you have the knowledge to do something like this – you know who is going to win the race – you wait until the very last 30 seconds to place your big bet. If my memory serves me they used to “flash” the amount bet every 30 seconds and you would be able to see how much money was bet on each horse to win, place and show up to that moment. You could also see all the money bet on the – High CPU usage message AGAIN – I guess the CPU on this computer is just too weak for my taste – exotic bets. I won’t go into all of those here.

If you saw that a bunch of money was bet on a horse in the 30 seconds before the race went off you could be sure that somebody knew something. Now, did that mean that the race was fixed or that the owner or someone close to him or her or them was supremely confident that their horse would win? IF, and you definitely had to be ready, if you were in line very close to the window, you could then bet on the same horse that all that money came down on seconds before. You had to be in the right place and you had to follow through and you had to hope the person in front of you was not taking too long. You could only have one person in front of you. This involved letting people go ahead of you in line in the minutes prior to this so that you would be in exactly the right place at the right time.

Get to the window too early and you had to awkwardly let someone else in front of you. Letting people go ahead of you was something that was better done several people back in line, so you had to be good at estimating. If you didn’t know how long people took on average, you wouldn’t be second in line just as that semi-final “flash” came down. If you were too far back in line or the person in front of you took too long, you could hear the cashier say, “We’re closed for this race” or “No more bets” or something like that. Can you imagine doing all that planning and letting people go ahead of you and then the person in front of you takes just a few seconds too long? I think my brother told me that once or twice in the old days of the 1970s, he actually missed a bet because the ticket only partially printed. This was before the computer sophistication of today.

Again, was that final, hugely disproportionate sum of money bet in the last minute from corruption or supreme confidence. I’m not sure you could prove it without some corroboration. Thank you, spell check.

I guess I haven’t told you WHY they waited so long to place the bet. Some have probably figured it out. They waited that long to place the bet because the bet changes the odds. I won’t explain the ins and outs of a parimutuel system here – just know that if a horse had $60,000 bet on it and the odds were 3-1 and then $50,000 more placed on it, you would no longer be getting 3-1. You might be getting 5-2 or 2-1 or less. And with that large of a bet, that makes a real difference in the money you get back. You might be wondering what difference WHEN you bet makes.

Well, people see those “flashes” and they see when the odds change and that can change their behavior. They might decide to bet on that horse if someone is THAT financially confident. BUT, if you put the money down very, very close to the time of the actual race, the crowd doesn’t have time to react. They may go stand in line, but it will be too late for them to place their bet by the time they get to the betting window.

I’m not saying it’s true, but it was what I was told by one guy who seemed fairly sharp. However, it could just be wishful thinking on the part of gamblers. I’ve noticed that many gamblers seem to see patterns where other people don’t. The question is – are those patterns useful?

This Is Still An Exercise

Some of you know that I am involved in writing every day no matter what comes out. This exercise is from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. And here it is. Today I’m in the second day of a cleanse and I’m wondering how that may affect my output. I don’t know where this will lead. I just keep thinking and typing with very little time in between. You can do this, too. If you feel stuck creatively this is a great way to get unstuck. I think it helps you with patience, too. You need to do it every day for 30 days. Recently I started learning Tai Chi from YouTube and I like that. I can see how that will take patience as well.

Patience is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and it’s not easy to learn when you want to go at 100 miles an hour or even 50 or 30! Tai Chi is what may be required to finally get me on a more permanent road to consistent health. I don’t like routine, but I may have to have more of that in my life. So…where to go from here.

I took karate for a little less than a year in high school and the beginning moves of Tai Chi remind me of a kata. Though it looks like all the moves of Tai Chi could be quite long when strung together. I don’t know if the uncomfortableness in my back is from the Tai Chi or something else. Time will tell. Patience.

The idea of Tai Chi is interesting to me – that we can do these basic moves to strenghten our bodies a little at a time and become very, very healthy. I can’t help noticing how many times I’ve written Tai Chi here today and we haven’t even reached the 10 minute mark. If you are wondering if this will get better, I don’t know. I really don’t know what’s going to come out. That’s the way the exercise works. Keep going.

A little over 3 months ago I started reading the 23rd Psalm every day and then I got to the point where I have it memorized. So I now recite it mentally most days. Did you know it takes 45 seconds to read it? 45 seconds a day. By day 66 I had it memorized. I check back occasionally to see that I’ve still got it right. I decided on the NIV version. Don’t know what that is? Google It. Here it is:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You annoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love with follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

45 seconds a day. You can check it. I expect it’s correct. I don’t have time right now as I’m still in the middle of this exercise. I could be talking about The Tubes next or bowling or cookies or just about anything. It is freeing to do this. The important thing is to not judge it and just keep going. I don’t do much editing, except in my head and I do correct most spelling errors if it doesn’t take me too long. No set rules.

The original method involved a paper and pencil and not much else. Blah Blah Blah is ok, too.

I wonder how much we miss because we judge ourselves and others too harshly. People can shut down their creativity because of the judgements they run into.
Let’s not do that.

Today the sermon at SBPC was about the Holy Spirit and how creative He is. I had forgotten some of the passages and perhaps not heard others.
Did you know the biblical account has the Holy Spirit involved in the second sentence of the bible? I guess I knew that, but it had never been pointed out so explicitly before.
Or I hadn’t been paying attention…

So it’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve got a little quiet time with my wife taking a nap and our son gone to a friend’s house. I guess we have to make time in the time we have
available to get done the things we want to get done. That goes for writing just like anything else. Boy, my fingers are really moving along this keyboard. Little did I know
in seventh grade how much these lessons would help. I know many people who have never had typing and do this two fingers at a time. My old supervisor & friends, Dave, is still
a two-finger typer. He goes pretty fast with those fingers. But, this is second nature to me. Did you know that they originally designed the keyboard around human capabilities?
They couldn’t have the expert typists go too fast so they designed the keyboard with that in mind. If you went too fast, those old mechanical hammers(?) would get tangled up with
each other.

When I was in seventh grade I was using an old typewriter at home that did just that. I remember using whiteout and ever before that – special tape you inserted to mostly erase
the letter you just typed and if it got too looking too “corrected”, you had to start the whole thing over. It was amazing when we got an electric typewriter and then an electronic
one. I guess that’s just the way my family was. My mom was using a sewing machine in the 1970s that was foot-powered! She pumped a – can’t think of the word right now – oh, pedal.
She pumped a pedal with her foot and that powered her sewing machine.

My dad loaded his own shotgun shells in the garage with a device you attached to a workbench. It attached with a vise-like apparatus that was part of the machine. You loaded the wadding and the shot into the shell and hand-cranked it shut. He taught my brothers and I to do this and it was fun once you got the hang of it. I didn’t realize until much later that my dad was a semi-survivalist. We didn’t even live out in the country when we did this. My cousin said when she told people about how we butchered a flock of chickens on a weekend, they would inevitably ask her where we grew up. Encinitas, California! (Technically, Leucadia, which is part of Encinitas.) Two miles from the ocean – maybe less.

My mom had sewed all kinds of things for me ever since I could remember. She even sewed me a Spiderman costume when I was about 4 yrs. old. I was not as appreciative as she would
have hoped as it didn’t look like what I saw on the cartoon on TV. I told her maybe I could be Tarzan instead. She was not happy about that and I did go to Halloween as Spiderman.

That was when we lived even closer to the ocean and had no idea how fortunate we were. We could walk to the beach in minutes when I was very small and it’s only in recent years that
I found out that when I was a baby and the years preceding my birth, people believed that living near the ocean was for poor people. I kid you not. Ask someone old enough to know.
Amazing what that judgement cost people. If you had bought a house on the beach in 1962 for say, $30,000 or maybe even less, it would be worth at least $2 million today. That’s in San Diego County, but I’ll bet there are similar stories around the United States.

I guess I’ve reached about the end of my time. Let’s not judge our creativity too harshly. It could cost us dearly. Besides, you can edit it later.
Don’t edit yourself out of your masterpiece!

A View From The Other Side Of The Bed

Today I’m writing while reclining on my wife’s side of the bed. The right side – of course!
Nice afternoon. Breeze & sunshine flowing through the bedroom. Reflection of water shimmering
on the ceiling. The pool is still too cold, but give it a couple months.

I wonder what the dog is doing right now. He seems to dig when we aren’t watching. I’ve heard
that you can get cats to stop doing something when they see you and they will start right up
again when you’re gone. UNLESS you use the “hand of God” method with a spray bottle or something
and that teaches them that they are not going to get away with it, period! You have to make sure
that they don’t see you or it goes right back to “Are they gone now?”

Maybe it works the same way with dogs. I am not a dog whisperer, so I don’t really know. We love
our dog, but we never thought we’d have a dog like this. He was supposed to be 1/2 labrador
retriever and 1/2 golden retriever, but his great-grandma must have been chow or maybe she dated
a chow. I always assumed that if my dog bit me I would get rid of it.

Some of you may find this harsh, but I’m pretty sure my dad would have shot it and buried it in
the back yard. A couple months back our dog, Mellow, apparently did not want to go outside at
that particular moment and he interpreted my attempt to get him to leave my room as threatening
and he bit my hand quite noticeably.

I felt faint after the tussle and went in to take a shower. I washed the blood off and even took
a picture after I felt more normal. You can see it on my public figure profile on Facebook. If
there’s any interest I’ll post the link in the comments section.

After my wife and son got home we went out to dinner at The Olde Spaghetti Factory and after that
I went to the doctor and got a tetanus shot. I was not happy with the dog for a little while and
didn’t feed him or do much for him for a couple days (my wife did). But I got over it and we
kept him. I think my mistake was that I didn’t have any fear, so I wasn’t cautious enough.

If the lady at the credit union had been honest with us we might never have decided to take a look
at her puppies. Mellow was really the quiet black one in the corner when we went to check them
out. He seemed really sweet.

He rode home in the cardboard box at our feet. He was really precious as most puppies are. Not
too long after he started to grow we noticed that he didn’t really like our son. He was jealous.
Our son didn’t have that much experience with dogs and didn’t really know what to make of it, so
he just tended to stay away from the dog. They never build a good relationship and he growls
when he smells our son much of the time.

Mellow absolutely loves my wife and I, though I am the favorite. We are his pack and he doesn’t
like that we insist that our son is part of the pack.

Not too many months after we got the dog my wife took him for a walk and got the metal chain
wrapped around her fingers. Another dog came by and Mellow noticed and he took off running after
the other dog. He snapped my wife’s finger and she came to my crying. Her finger was almost at
a right angle to the others and I was not pleased and very concerned. I found out that the
reason she was crying was because she thought that I would get rid of our dog.

I could see that she really wanted to keep him and it wasn’t really his fault. He was a growing
puppy and just ran off. It was just unfortunate that she had the chain wrapped around her

When he was really small I remember our neighbors asked if we could bring him over to see their
dog and my wife was concerned because of something she read about a dog’s immune system. So,
I begged off until he was bigger, but I don’t think those neighbors were very happy with me.
I wondered if they thought that I had something against them and all that was really happening
was that I was pleasing my wife. Later on Mellow was way too big to play with their little
white dog. To compound matters he had an encounter with another little white dog when he was
very small and after that dog bit him he didn’t want to have anything to do with little white
dogs. Actually, that’s not completely true. After that he would have liked to fight with
little white dogs had we let him.

We never got him neutered. We just keep an eye on him. I think the laws are too restrictive
around this. We pay more each year because he is not neutered. My belief is that you are
responsible for your animals. You keep them under control or THEN you are fined. Our dog
has never impregnated another dog. I don’t think he has ever been close enough to a dog in
heat. To me, this is about personal responsibility.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s ridiculous that some people have truly dangerous dogs. If
my dog ever bit someone else and the authorities wanted to have him destroyed, I would accept
it. The fault would be mine. I can’t believe that people walk down the street with dogs
that are ready to tear your head off or at least tear into you.

How can you have an animal as a pet that is a real and present danger to other human beings?
Or at the very least, how can you not confine that animal to a backyard where only a
trespasser would potentially pay a penalty when they encountered the animal? People who get
a kick out of having a truly vicious animal? They should go to jail if their animal attacks
someone when they are out walking it.

We need to care more for our fellow humans. At least, that’s what I think.

1453 People Follow This Blogger!


Here are just a few more books in my Kindle. What’s in yours?

“The Templar Agenda” by John Paul Davis

“Summer With Fidel” by R.G. Lawrence

“The Collective” by Maxwell Cyn

“The Butterfly and The Bull” by Stuart Haddon

“Red Mojo Mama” by Kathy Lynn Hall

“Daniel’s Dream” by Peter Michael Rosenberg

“The Girl Called Christmas” by Simon Poore I just read this one today! Great short story!

And last but not least…

“Storm Rising” by Kenneth Hoss

Still a few more but these should get you started! Happy Reading everyone!

Oh and don’t forget mine…

“Kyle & Kelly” it is just 99 cents right now! Love to hear your reviews!

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You Can Do It On A Train

Just like Dr. Seuss said in Green Eggs & Ham. Or you can do it on the kitchen table like me. Did Erma Bombeck write here? You can write many, many places and I suggest you do.
Wow. This is my third day of this exercise. It can be this easy if you simply let go of the idea that you have to write something that makes sense. It doesn’t even have to be words.

I guess this is related to brainstorming. You might not know that when you brainstorm, the first part of the process contains no criticism whatsoever. The criticism will often stifle the flow of ideas. You can winnow them down later. Right now, building a moon base for 14,000 people is ok. That’s here – in the idea stage. NOT in the public debate stage!

That does bring me to this year’s crop of presidential wanna-bes. I do sort of feel sorry for the Republican party because it’s part of the American system and our system deserves better. I forget who said it but, they really do seem like a bunch of junior varsity at best. I don’t vote Republican for president. I would have voted for John Anderson in 1980 when I was 17, but that was a phase. Still, our system should have a capable candidate from either side. Many would argue that that didn’t happen in the two elections prior to Obama, but I’m sincere. I don’t think it’s good for the American system to have less than presidential presidential candidates.
And I’m not talking about simple partisanship. Some people will never admit that Obama is presidential. Gee. I wonder why?

When I sat down I didn’t know that politics would come out. Interesting. But maybe I should talk about Game of Thrones or something.

I have been blown away at the characters who died in the first season. I haven’t read the books and couldn’t have imagined that three big characters (as I saw them) are gone.

Maybe it’s because of my age. I told my son yesterday that maybe my age makes me view those around my age as leaders. Or maybe I see those as significantly younger than me as non-leaders or non-stars. Do I do that in real life, too? Something to consider.

Is that what some older people are doing to Obama and (presumably) others?

I do believe that there is still a lot of prejudice in this country and I live in California! It’s just that people tend to overlook their prejudice. Or they say, “That’s not prejudice. I’m not hanging someone from a tree, for God’s sake!”

A while back I had a discussion with a couple friends with whom I met regularly and I said that I think there are patterns of behavior in families and that if you come from a family that was abused (putting it mildly, I know) by slavery, there oould still be repercussions (still putting it mildly) today.

While one of my friends didn’t say it overtly, it seemed to me that he didn’t really buy it or thought the effect would be negligible or just didn’t really see this as something we had to do anything about. I think a lot of people wonder about many things that seem so big or intractable and decide to throw up their hands.

Here’s the thing – even when you throw up your hands and say that there is nothing that YOU can do personally, that doesn’t mean that the problem goes away by itself.

Pretending that it’s not there is one level, it seems to me. Actually saying overtly that it doesn’t exist is a lot different than choosing to look away.

I honestly don’t know exactly where I’m going with this. This is a writing exercise and this came out.

When I did this type of thing in the 1990s I would probably have a lot more literal gibberish or swearing. Hopefully, the incredibly poor use of the word literally in recent years won’t create any confusion here.

That amazes me. So many people use the word “literally” and they clearly don’t mean literally. I think they might resort to saying “literally literally” when they actually mean it.

I don’t literally think I’m a great writer. I do believe that I could be some day. And I can fall back here on “this is an exercise” as I am mostly editing in my head and I just keep going. This is because I do want to be a writer. I’m working through some stuff here.

Still hate it when everything disappears on this Sony VAIO because my hands are too big and I somehow rested some part of me on the wrong part of the keyboard. At least I expect it now.

Somewhere inside of me I wonder if what I write here will somehow come around full circle. Not counting on it. Wondering though.

Over the years I think I’ve forgotten how to punctuate properly. Maybe I overuse commas and parentheses or whatever. Wait.

There’s another word. Whatever.

Especially when you say, “WHATever…”

Now that magically disappearing screen I did not expect. That one actually concerned me a little bit. Just for a second I thought I might actually lose all this stuff. There!
It did it again. I have to remember that WordPress has my back.


Actually, that’s not true about WordPress. I do not think “whatever” when it comes to WordPress. I’m so glad I rediscovered it. Amazing that it’s free. I know that you can pay more if your website ends in .com instead of and that’s fine. But, I think you’re paying the hosting and domain name company, right?

WordPress is elegant. Beautiful.

Yesterday I noticed something that is 165 degrees opposite. 7-Eleven.

Not perfectly opposite. There’s just so much that’s screaming for your attention in those bright colors and packaging.

Is your 7-Eleven like that?

Is this whole thing a digression?

What is this supposed to look like.

I guess it’s supposed to look like wwhatever comes out. I think I’ll leave that extra w in there. I should have checked to see when I started this exercise.

That might be interesting. And, for those of you who might be skeptical, I have simply kept writing whatever comes out with small pauses.

OK. That little interruption by my computer was just crazy. Who do they make these keyboards for?

I took typing class in 7th grade at Oak Crest in Encinitas, CA. I learned how to type fairly well with a man who might be described as 3 parts Fred Flintstone & 1 part Frankenstein.

I’m only talking looks here. He was professional and nice enough. I’m pretty sure he only taught typing. Maybe he was a coach of some kind, too.

Where did my thinking about Game of Thrones go?

I know that not everyone wants to see all that graphic stuff on HBO, but I think the story is at least good.

Though why did King Robert talk to Ned alone? Why? Why? Why?

Couldn’t he have had some witnesses?

My kingdom for a witness.

Everything changes because he spoke to Ned alone.

Was he simply that unwise? Maybe. Maybe that’s pretty consistent with his character in the show.

Of course, if they lived happily ever after we would have a show.

That’s the challenge with my novel about aliens among us. Where’s the conflict?

I have some conflict ready for the second book. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am writing a series of books.

I need to get more of the ideas out of my head and onto the computer screen.

I guess this writing electronically isn’t so bad.

Part of me misses writing on paper.

Of course, (I just erased and rewrote it the same way – exercise, you know) now I forgot what I was saying.

Yes, I AM almost 49 and both my grandfathers died in the 40s. So what. Doesn’t bother me.

Hardly notice. Except for using Isagenix for 20 months and maybe…I should go for a walk after this.

Shower later. Yeah. That sounds like what I should do.

And I’ll be Toastmaster later. 11 Years as a Toastmaster. Who’da thunk it?

Now I say I want to write because I want to write. NOT because having a book allows you to speak “behind” it.

Boy, there has been a lot of crap written for money.

Mark Twain wrote for money. All the time.

But, how much of it would we actually call crap?

Not much I’ll bet.

Maybe that’s part of the problem with where the Republican party is at. The money.

Is that why we’re getting a lot of crap?

You Can Even Write In Bed

Whether you haven’t really gotten up yet or you just want to rest, writing in bed is one possibility. I think Joe Eszterhas sometimes wrote this way. He also said that if you’re a writer, that’s what you should be doing. Not networking or anything else. Maybe he is a better negotiator than the rest of us. In case you are wondering, this is day two of my writing exercise a la Julia Cameron’s method. Just keep writing. I don’t know if my thinking is getting in the way or if using a keyboard was what she intended, but here I am.

Lots of luck to all of us. It’s not easy to keep going no matter what. I feel like I need to type faster than I am and not worry if gibberish comes out. Some of you may not realize that any editing that’s taking place is simply happening in my head. I do correct the occasional misspelling, but not necessarily. If you will allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes and not judge, maybe that’s how you get to the place where it simply flows out of you.

You must push yourself and push yourself in a good way. This is a challenge and yet it is not. Let go to let it flow. When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt like two balloons. Loved that Pink Floyd stuff. But this is the opposite of comfortably numb. Perhaps. What is coming out is not comfortable and yet it is becoming more so. Thank God for the automatic draft saver. Just lost and recovered a couple paragraphs! THAT wouldn’t happen on paper! Oh, Sony VAIO, how do you suck? Let me count the ways. Are you prejudiced against my fat fingers? LOL

Sometimes you just have to keep going. You don’t want it to dry up. And yet, maybe this exercise is a way to access something in your brain that let’s this become automatic. Except, that it will make more sense eventually?

How many pages did Julia say to do? At least 3? Is this the equivalent of one yet? 😉 Of course, there were no emoticons when she wrote The Artist’s Way.

Do you remember writing in middle school? I remember being very ambitious to start and forgetting about the assignment and finishing it a couple hours before it was due. I think my beginning was much better than my ending. Maybe we DO simply need practice. I’ve heard that most of us draw like third graders because we stopped drawing in the third grade. Is that what people do with writing, too?

So Darwinian ideas are wrong for this. We need encouragement to keep going. At least, some of us do. Not false praise, but finding what we did right and going on from there. Plus, we don’t want to be too hard on ourselves. We should encourage one another. I have a friend who doesn’t like the word should. He says that we should all over ourselves, but I think we should do good things to and for one another and ourselves and encouragement is one of those things. Maybe I believe that because my spiritual path includes the idea that I have the spiritual gift of encouragement.

However, there are problems with the survival of the fittest. Einstein wouldn’t have done very well without help. They say he used to walk out in the snow in his robe while he was lost in thought. SOMEbody must have believed in him because they thought he was retarded in (was it?) first gradeou?. I think we can all agree that he had something to contribute.

So, what is stopping you? Not doing is what stops us from doing. We have to get out there and get going. Get SOMEthing down. Get the words out. If you’re not a writer, then what is it that YOU have to get out into the world?

I’m not sure whether or not I have to lose the instructional part of this in order to do this exercise to the best of my ability. Is that just who I am? I want you to know something that will benefit you? Whatever it is, I must keep going. Please keep in mind that most people do this exercise privately, so don’t worry if you’re contemplating doing it. Also, sorry if any terminology offends you. I am attempting to stay true to the exercise and unlike Bowie’s character in China Girl, I don’t really have “visions of swastikas in my head. Plans for everyone.”

I guess you could say that music sticks in my head. I love music. I had a personality test that measured, among other things, my love of music. I’m in the 98th percentile with regard to my love of music. What about you? My love of clerical work in down in the 9th percentile. 91% of you love clerical work more than I do! Can you believe it?

And I want to write. It’s taken me a long time to figure that out. Have you figured it out?

I’m not exactly sure where this is going and that’s ok. What would Clint Eastwood say? What would Clint Eastwood do? WWCED? LOL

I’m not sure if this is winding down. No. I’m determined to go on. Must keep writing. I have visions of Captain Kirk struggling for something. Some goal. Life or death.

Though we are freer, because this is not life or death. It’s just an exercise. But it could mean the difference in having a book published by this December or 5 years from now.

So I’m going to keep practicing. Keep doing this exercise. What about you? Can you trust yourself enough to let go and let it out?

Will you judge it as silly or impractical or a waste of time? I honestly think & believe Julia Cameron’s methods have value and I don’t necessarily agree with every bit of where she’s coming from spiritually. Let go and let God? Let go and let your unconscious mind loose?

Will you be running through the back yard naked? I don’t know. That’s for you to decide.

Right now I’m reclining in bed and I think it’s time to get up and go for a walk. Or, maybe,

It’s time to shop!

Writing When You’re Tired Is Possible

I’m doing it right now.  I don’t just mean physically tired, but when you can feel the fatigue in your brain. I remember reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron years ago and she says that you want to write every day.  No matter what.  If what comes out is gibberish, so be it.

Write no matter what for 30 days and see what happens.

What happens is that the habit helps you.

Less of what you write is nonsensical and more and more of it makes sense.

All you have do is write.

If the changes in the back office of WordPress have set you back on your heels, that’s ok.

Write about that.

If your right ankle or heel are hurting, you are free to write about that.

Although you could maybe uncross your feet and see if that helps.

If you think your paragraphs aren’t proper, that’s ok.

If Sony VAIO should be renamed Sony VOMIT, just put pen to paper.

If it doesn’t make sense the way you KNOW you can – go ahead.

If your punctuation is not looking good…do it anyway.

Whether someone likes it is not the point.

Writing is the point.  Do the exercise as I am doing it now.

Years ago I wouldn’t have even thought of attempting to be instructive

in the middle of an exercise like this.

Yet here I am.

Amazingly, my wife and son left me alone instead of taking me along to Trader Joe’s.

So here I am. Desperately seeking growth.  Though I miss Susan. 😉

ASDF is acceptable.

You see.  You have to get out the stuff that’s in the way to get to the great stuff.

So, my apologies. I want to BE a writer and I know I have a way to go.

Are you a writer?  Would this exercise help you?

I like potatoes! No! You’re ruinin’ it!

Thanks, big funny man whose name escapes me right now.

I started this in December, really.

That’s when I let a space alien speak through me on Twitter.

Twitter, er, TweetGeistGuy has been a help in opening me up creatively.

Maybe Sony VAIO sucking is helping me, too!

And Donald Yap! And Fran Cannon! And my wife?!

I’m so glad we went to Big Bear this last weekend.

It was so nice to be among Democrats! LOL

But, it doesn’t matter who you vote for if you want to write.

Just write.  And keep on writing.

Find an exercise that works for you.

I recommend Julia Cameron.

Maybe you’re a fan of somebody else.

We’re all attempting to do something we haven’t done before.

For some of you it’s writing.  For some writers maybe it’s skydiving.

Put it out there. Take a risk. Let it flow.

Make your dreams and maybe someone else’s dreams come true.


Change Is Good!

The Blog

I’m pleased to announce the latest addition to the ever-growing collection of free themes here at Retro-fitted by Justin Tadlock mixes subtle textures with clean lines and shadows to create a beautifully balanced composition perfect for all types of blogs.

Retro-fitted can be personalized in a variety of ways. Customize the look of your blog by uploading a header and background image. Take control of you navigation by configuring the dropdown menu. Add widgets to the sidebar for a two-column layout or leave it empty for a single column design.

Check it out in the Theme Showcase.

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