I wonder if my mother blames herself for using the last seconds of her life to shoot a skunk-eye at a hapless volunteer because he interrupted us. I also wonder if she blames me for attracting the interruption.
I’ve been interrupted so many times in my life that I’ve begun to believe that it must somehow be my fault. I don’t know if Mom shared my view on this, but she never in her life hesitated to take me to task for whatever she thought I had done wrong. It was not in her nature to allow flawed behavior to go unmentioned or uncorrected. Continue reading
When Characters Write Themselves
If you’ve read any of my fiction, you know I have a soft spot for quirky characters–the kind we used to call half a bubble off plum or a couple of bricks shy of a load. These are the most fun to write and perhaps the most instructive, not that anyone is reading my stuff to achieve enlightenment.
In Speedster I have two favorites, Dwayne and T-Ball, a couple of neon-haired slackers who spend their days complaining about the fundamental unfairness of their lives and trying at the same time to achieve fairly lofty goals without putting in any effort. Much like real life, the smarter one, T-Ball, is continually over-ridden by the loud one, Dwayne, whose loutish ignorance is exceeded only by his abiding self-confidence. I imagine that T-Ball’s daily trials are very similar to those of the current crop of staffers and hanger’s on in the White House. I can sympathize. Continue reading
Post Truth Society
We live in a post truth America. Virtually all the information we get these days is suspect in some way. This blog post is no exception. I write fiction after all, so if I ever get to the truth of something, it is usually through the side door and often by accident. At least I am honest in this regard. You won’t get that accommodation from anyone else, certainly not from your president or your legislators. Continue reading
Weapons of Choice
I just switched cable companies, and am saving enough money on my monthly bill to subscribe to HBO again. I haven’t had HBO for several years and was woefully behind on Game of Thrones. Now I’m bingeing on season four, which as you may know, contains a lot of defining moments. My favorite by far is the death of King Joffrey at his wedding.
As TV deaths go, it was pretty satisfying. Not perfect, mind you. I would have made it bloodier, more painful, and longer. Let’s face it, the little shit had it coming. Still, it was good enough to get me thinking about how I kill characters in my books. Continue reading
Death: Startling, Natural, Peaceful
I’ve watched two people die in my life. The most recent was my mother. I was in the room with her the moment she died, holding her hand, trying, for once, to be a comfort to her. Continue reading
Navigating a Tragic Love Life
I’ve been stood up more than my fair share of times. I don’t know why this should be, but my stats are undeniable.
This all started when I was in high school more than half a century ago. I arranged a date with a cute little slip of a blond from the neighboring village of St. Henry, Ohio. I had in common with the girl, whose name is long lost to history, that we both played saxophone in our respective high-school marching bands.
It was my first bona fide date in the sense that I’d manned up through my own force of will, asked her out in a straightforward manner without the usual teenage machinations and guile, and she had accepted in spite of already knowing what I looked like, an obvious fact to me since I was standing in front of her when she said yes. It was a pretty satisfying experience up to this point. Continue reading
The Trouble with Lists
I know a lot of people who make lists. They make lists for everything. I used to do it myself, but I have given it up. Now I just make signs. Signs are like lists, but signs are confined to one idea, one notion, one specific thing to keep in mind. Signs are useful. For instance I have a sign on the inside of my front door that I see whenever I decide to venture out into public. It is just one word: PANTS. Lists on the other hand, create as many problems as they solve. Continue reading
The Best Evidence that God is Real!
Seeking a more logical cosmology.
I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions lately about the existence of God or, conversely, the folly of faith. Mostly these have been fairly civil dialogues on Soul Pancake or The Great Silent Majority page on Facebook. I recommend either or both to your attention if you think it’s fun to think and write about life’s great questions with people who are willing to listen politely, even to those they consider to be idiots. I’ve distilled much of what I’ve posted elsewhere into this little treatise on why I believe in God and why I do not think this is lunacy. Continue reading