Sunday, May 1, 2011


Here it is, Sunday, and I don't have to post, but I'm still posting.

I've been back to blogging for 2 months now, and it feels good again. I like the shorter format. When I go back and look at old entries, it feels like I was trying too hard. Attempting to impress the potential publishers. Well, fuck that. I want to be short and sweet. Give my readers something to remember in a fistful of paragraphs...

Yesterday, April 30th, was the 1-year anniversary of my friend Scott's death... So much has changed in a year. I've been through huge changes, lost friends, gained friends... over the last twelve months, I've been tempered by fire. Every time I think about where I am, I'm grimly proud. I wish Scott were here today to see how things have changed. I wonder, if he was still here... would things be entirely different?

Here it is, the first of May, the beginning of summer in the South, the tail-end of the cap of wind closing out the storm that uprooted my life... starting six months ago. I'm still here, damaged but whole, bruised but intact. Thriving, in fact. I'm reporting to you from the front lines of pain central, and I'm here to tell you, things are finally starting to look brighter again.

I love you, Scott... and you're missed. To the rest of you... I know you think this is a generic message, but it's not... I love YOU, too... and THANK YOU for the positive energy you bring into my life.

Happy Summer, y'all.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


We've come to the end of this year's A to Z blog challenge.

I've gone back over and read my entries, and I'm proud of what I've done. No cheats, no repeats, and every entry was straight from the heart. Whether I was sharing a song, offering encouragement, or just spewing out what was on my mind, my voice rings clear in every post.

It's something I've grown used to... the sound of my own blogging voice. Next month will be its own challenge, because it's easy to keep up with something that already has structure. But I'll be here. I hope you will too.

This project has helped me towards balance in my creative life. While storms have raged around me this month - literal and figurative - I've continually updated, and hit every letter. When I blog, I'm in my own little warm center of the universe. It's nice here, and I'm glad you decided to stop by. The visitors to my blog, even those who don't comment, are more than welcome.

Come back anytime you want.

Friday, April 29, 2011

You Are In Control.

I've been giving out pep talks left and right in the last couple of weeks. Gonna have to remember to go back and read these in the months to come, when I really need some words of encouragement. Today the thing I want to tell my future self (and everyone else reading this entry) is the lesson posted above.

You are in control.

When circumstance throws a wrench into the gears of your life-engine, it's easy to panic and react without thinking. Anger, frustration, negativity are quick to invade. Blame and Fault are the first things we want to look for, am I right? And before we know it, we're stuck with a mess even bigger than the original wrench in the engine. We get bogged down. Our work suffers. Our life suffers.

But we have the ability to choose our attitude. There are some things beyond our control, yes. But we still have the ability to choose how we react to negativity. We don't have to be negative. Let the anger and frustration pass through you. Process it. 

Then let it go.

Shit happens, yo. But each of us is in control... and it's remembering this lesson that will keep me going, the next time a crisis occurs.

I hope it helps you too.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X Marks the Spot

You've been traveling for a while.

That dog-eared map is the last thing you have still telling you you're alive and not buried in some fever-dream out on the rim of the jungle. Squinting at the squiggles of rivers, faded to transparency in the creases and folds of the map's corners, you wipe your forehead for the millionth time. Insects buzz around your face; you wave them away absently. You stare up the peak ahead of you, daring to hope you've finally found the path. Beyond, you know, is the greatest treasure you've searched for.

The story.

This is writing at its finest... a tattered map to guide you, cutting your own way through barely charted territory. Hell, if you want, you can throw your map away and leave all convention at the foot of this jungle path. Give in to the savagery of your passion and search for a perfect treasure hidden away in your imagination.

And don't listen to Indiana Jones. X does mark the spot, sometimes... even for him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whatever Works.

Hey, I wanna talk to you. About your writing... I want to remind you of something.

There's nobody standing over your shoulder, critiquing your grammar. No one is going to point out your misspellings. You're the creative boss here. There's no schedule. No set of rules brought down from on high by anyone. The voice is inside you, and the only thing you have to do is let it out.

So write. Write when you can. It doesn't matter what it is. There's no Writing Police. Writing for fifteen minutes every day before dinner? Fine. Four hours every second Tuesday? Great. By the light of the full moon, on a cross-town bus, in the window of an ice cream shop, as the last thing you do before you turn off the light on the bedside table and turn over to slip into the blissful solace of sleep...

It doesn't matter. Don't second-guess yourself. Anything goes here. Whatever works.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Voice, Validated

It's difficult at times to block out everything but that little voice in our minds that wants to tell a story.

"I've got bills to pay," your brain grumbles, "the kitchen to clean, laundry to do, kids to run around after... my God, is it already that time?! I have to call the repair shop before five!"

Life gets in the way. Okay. That happens with everybody. But for just a few minutes today, stop and listen to that voice in your head.

You know the one I mean. That voice, the one that makes you look at cloud-shapes in the morning sky on the commute into work and think of what they could be. The voice that makes you wonder - when you see an airplane painting a long white stripe across the sky - who those people are up there, and where they're going, and what they're thinking. The voice that makes you stop and stare for a second when a particular shade of deep purple jumps out of a nearby sign. The voice that makes you look around at the stoplight, thinking about the people around you in their vehicles, living their lives in their sterile little car-aquariums. 

That voice. You know which one I mean. It talks a lot, if you listen to it. And the more you listen, the more it talks.

Now here's a revelation:

It's YOUR voice. And it's a valid one. 

Give it an ear.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Under Pressure

This song has been a friend to me in troubled times over the course of my life. Maybe you need to hear it just as much as I have... when things get rough. It helps me remember who I am, and that even though things are hard, I *will* keep going.

Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love?
'Cause love's such an old-fashioned word,
And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night,
And love dares you to change the way of caring about ourselves.
This is our last dance, this is our last dance
Under pressure.

I'll take that dare.