D fail

So, it has been almost a month since we laid my mother to rest. It goes without saying it has been a tough month.

This morning, I was browsing the inter tubes for a better idea of the floral rules and regulations of a national cemetery. They are few, but they are very particular and precise. Also, they have zero examples of what a metal disposable container is. That in essence was what I was trying to find. A metal disposable container to put some flowers in for my mother’s grave.

I do not belive anyone has been to the site since the burial. I am afraid to go, honestly. There are a lot of emotions still being held back by some inane force of will. I did not know I had that. This strange will that has overcome all normal reaction.

So, that may be the problem. Normal reaction would be what? I am not sure what that means at all. I feel a little like Meursault in The Stranger. Better stay away from Algiers. It has been a month. There have been some bad days and some good days. There is no anger and no despair. I am not wringing my hands and screaming out “WHY!!! WHY!!!” I know why. It is called cancer. It happens. It happens to just about everyone these days. If you live to be 80 are not touched by cancer you are an oddity.

Searching the web, looking for some flowers. Right.

I stumble on this nice little search application for gravesites in national cemeteries. I enter in the data on my mom and hit the button. I see D. There are absolutely no D’s in her name. There are no D’s in my name, my father’s name or my brother’s. Her middle initial is R, which is most certainly not D.

I look over all the other information and it is definitely my mom.

What a fail.

Had to wait two hours to call the cemetery so I could cool down. It should be fixed. I am not checking it though. Not for at least another day or so. Don’t think I could take seeing that D there again!


So, the day after my second submission is out over the intertubes, I see that you can preorder my first ever short story!! Just go here to get it. That’s quite exciting for me as it’s my first ever published for resale work. Ever. I can’t wait to read all the other stories included in the anthology.

I have to say that my second story is just fantastic. I’ve loved every moment that I’ve managed to work on it these last few weeks. It’s been quite a few weeks too. Quite a few weeks. But, it’s done and out the door. Now, it is in the hands of the anthologist/editor. It’s just a fun story about some cats and a girl that’s been possessed. What can I say. Who doesn’t love cats and possessed girls?

And, I’ve got a thrid story that’s about 1/4 of the way done getting ready to submit as well. This one will be quite dark…totally 180 degrees from the first two.

Stay tuned!

chill – pt 2

Venice 1987So, here’s the second photo.

The Bridge of Sighs is there again, a couple of gondolas and some tourists on the far bridge.

Take a good look at the bridge. That’s the bridge I was propped up on some 16 years earlier looking back over my shoulder. Over my shoulder back to the bridge where I’ll be standing, 16 years later to take this picture.

I was speechless.

I think there’s something about me and Venice. Think I might have to go back and figure it out.


Venice, 1970Until two days ago, I have never seen this picture of me, my mother and grandmother taken by my father. We’re in Venice, Italy. Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, really. My father is now retired from the Air Force and he happened to be stationed outside of Madrid, Spain when I was born. This is just a family trip before he is re-assigned back state side. My maternal grandmother had made the trip over the pond to help out the new couple with their new addition (me!).

Prior to their returning to the states, they went on a whirlwind tour of Europe. They brought me along. Hopefully they didn’t stick me in the Kelly green pants and sky blue wind breaker for the whole trip. Well, I know they didn’t because I’ve seen pictures of me in lederhosen in Switzerland. Since having know about this forced march across Europe at the ripe old age of two, I’ve never questioned my love of road trips. Also being informed of the conditions of my trip back to the states, I don’t question my dislike of flying. It’s a strange story. One that my parents now dismiss.

Again, the picture is nothing important. Just a proud mom and grandmother. Bizarre twists and turns of fate positioning them in this image. I’m turning around looking down into the water. Grammy never looked at the camera when she had her picture taken. Mom looks like she’s either trying to get me to look at the camera or to just stop squirming around, both hands holding me tight.

Behind us is the Bridge of Sighs. You can use the link to get info about it. It has nothing to do with this post. It really is quite an interesting tourist attraction in Venice. But, as I said, really nothing to do with this post.

This post has everything to do with another picture.

But, that’s another post.

Oh, if you’re wondering, the photo I made the scan from is actually quite old. The damage you can see around the left and top is from water. I’ll cheat a little and forshadow the next post by telling you it was damaged when we moved. My father was stationed in England while I was a teenager. Oh, and I love photography.

the message under the message

Here’s the article I’m going to go on about in this post. It is a good article to read through, just too many names getting thrown at you all at once, but a good thing to read.

So, it’s a great story along the David vs. Goliath thread. The good guy wins in the end. Everyone goes home happy. “Authority” is shamed. Yeah little guy!!


Let me draw your attention to the poster that DID make it through their so-called threat assessment team. Yes, “Kill the Bill” using the movie “Kill Bill” to illustrate their message. The bill that was being threatened with violence of course would be the budget bill that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had sent to be ratified. I’m sure we all know about that bill.

So, the threat assessment team must have been sleeping on the job? Just a little snooze? Just resting your eyes?

Seriously? How can that be justified? There actually was violence during the protests at the Wisconsin state capitol. Real violence, not that on the silver screen. No fake blood, rubber knives. This was really happening, now, right there on the steps, right there inside the chambers, right there live for everyone to see. I guess the threat assessment team didn’t see that. Just sleeping? Hit the snooze button one too many times?

Could that be it? Just not paying attention?

Or, was that violence down there on the steps of government…acceptable? Was that alright with the powers that be at the University of Wisconsin? I believe it was.

It’s ok to scream bloody murder in the streets and put up violent posters at a University when your view aligns with the current rulers. As long as you both fit under the same umbrella, it’s ok to be unruly, it’s ok to be violent and ugly.

Kill the Bill!! WOOO!! Yeah! Eat the rich! WOOO!

Yeah, no violence there. Nope. Just us progressives sticking it to the man. ( which has no connotations of violence either! ) The message under the message is that we can do whatever we want, you however, must abide by our rules, and we can change them when we feel like it.

Me #Author

So, I’m still pretty high on being published.

I think it’s one of the most important goals I’ve had in my life. I know some people do make actual lists of “things” with “dates” and “priorities”. Me, I just can not get that organised.

Or, maybe it’s my personality. I definitely do not fit the Type A mold. I just know that I’ll get around to whatever it is I want to do in my time. That’s been a hard part in my still infant marriage to get the wife to understand. Timetables are things for a tour guide, not for a life. I just like to catch that 6:57 train to work, and be out in time to catch the 4:12 train. Other than that, I simply don’t care.

Mow the lawn when it needs it, wash the car when it’s dirty, put the dogs out when they whine. That’s my philosophy. All else is just silly.

But, your mileage may vary!





Silver streak

Shoots, strikes suddenly

Slash; ( is that a smile ) swish – skid – slam

Swiftly, silent, spry – she sprints, surely sanctuary she seeks

the fall





darkest time

met without conflict

shamelessly hiding our faces

shunning the light, embracing the dark, we bring the fall

Got nothing

Yup, nothing at all.

Well, I have been fixating on guitars again!

Don’t know why I do that from time to time. I was browsing through some over at Heritage Guitars. Especially this model. It’s just amazingly beautiful. A piece of art. Even have the image set as the background on my laptop…it’s that gorgeous. Now, if I could only just go back thirty years and start taking lessons 😉 then I might throw down the hundreds and hundreds of dollars it costs to own one of these beauties.

Ok, guitars and trying to stop using conjunctions.

I think that “I do not know what you are talking about.” carries more weight than “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

It’s stuff like that that keeps me up at night. Well, and using “that that”. Where did “that” come from anyway. It’s an ugly word. I don’t like it. I wonder, could I write a story without the word “that”? It’s…It is a challenge, and I think I’ll…I will accept!

Damn apostrophes!

Submission to Timid Pirate!

So, my first submission in 25 years…seriously. It’s been that long. I found http://www.timidpirate.com was accepting submission for an anthology called Benevolent Apocalypse and the rest is history. Well, the rest is a 3,200 word short story!

I know. That’s a seriously long time. Lets see…1987, Terry Waite is kidnapped, supernova 1987A becomes the first “naked eye” supernova in almost 400 years, Ronald Reagan is president, the Dow Jones breaks the 2,500 mark ( yeah, 2,500 ) and I get a short story published in my high school’s annual literary magazine.

Fast forward 25 years and I decide to break out the thing that you use to imagine things that don’t exist and write it all down. I have no idea what that’s called. But it’s fun as hell to whip it out and slap some words around, throw them onto paper and hand it off with a fevered wish to someone else who reads it and determines if it’s good enough to print. I have no doubts that my original work was published because it effectively doubled the size of the magazine.

I may write fiction, but I’m grounded in a bleak reality.

So, the submission dead line was yesterday. So, yeah. I’ve been living in my inbox for the last 10 hours or so.

Wish me luck, stay tuned etc. etc.