Thursday, December 20, 2012

Second Draft

With my bubble popped and asked to work with a program completely foreign to me, I was intimidated to begin my re-write.  I didn't even know Track Changes existed on my computer.  My editor walked me through it on the phone and I thought I understood it until I hung up.  Unsure of myself, I waited for my son-in-law to give me an in-person tutorial.  That's when I got brave and dove in.

Looking at the train wreck I called "Chapter One", it's a wonder I wrote another, let alone twenty more.  Decided the pro knew the proper punctuation, so I accepted all those changes.  That made the screen much easier to deal with.  Then, I just had her comments to consider and there were plenty of them.  One at a time, I dealt with each as most required changes.  I was open to her suggestions and with new eyes saw where she was coming from.  Because I usually write with pen and paper, it was awkward at first to make changes on the computer screen, but I have grown more comfortable with the process.

Took four days, but I think I am nearly done with two chapters and they are much improved.  The issues I need to address in future chapters are far fewer, but I do have major character development changes to deal with.  The end product will barely resemble the first draft.  I am enjoying the process and time permitting around family and holiday festivities, I will soon begin my first attempt at a second draft of my third chapter.        

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Editor

That's right kids, I have one.  After I decided who to work with, my patience was tested.  My editor actually had to read the manuscript before responding.  The waiting was rather brutal, but not as much as her report back.  I have never seen so much red in a document in my whole life.  Made me feel like an illiterate taking a doctorate course.  But, my editor is thorough and experienced.  She also discussed the substance of the story and to read the main character was flawed did not boost my confidence either.  All added up, I wondered if my dream was worth holding onto.  We have been down a long road together and, like a loved one, you don't let go easily.

After a day of introspection, I asked the editor for a phone conference.  She wasn't the big, bad, dream killer after all, just trying to improve the marketability of my book.  I like my editor and I like to say "my editor"!  She is the first completely non-biased person to read my story and although her comments felt harsh initially, she was honest and professional with her analysis of my work.  So, like every other writer, a second draft is in order.  I never envisioned how much more work I'd have to do, but it will be worth it in the long run.

The main thing is I have the final say with this publisher, but I do need to listen to their advice.  That's what I pay them for.  Thus, it's back to the man cave for me to make fixes.  I hope there aren't too many more surprises along the way.  It'd be nice to publish this in my lifetime and write another.  I will be so much better informed the second time around.

Stay tuned, the dream lives on.   

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Step Forward

Yesterday, I put my money where my mouth is and committed to self-publishing my book.  That’s how 50 Shades and Hunger Games started before they got picked up by traditional publishers.  Print on demand felt like trying to swim, but only getting your toes wet.  To believe in myself and my abilities, I had to dive off the high board and order pre-printed copies.  Professional editing and cover design are critical to a book’s success and those are the steps I am taking right now.  I am anxious to get feedback.  In two months, I could have a paperback ready to share with the Universe.

Apparently it is mail fraud to take pre-orders if you can’t supply product within eight weeks, so I am unable to ask you for that support quite yet.  But, as soon as it’s sent to the printer, I will.  I am hoping you’ll send a little love my way when the time comes. 

Kingsley Amis said "If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing."  My book won’t be everyone’s mug of Earl Grey, but I refuse to believe the dozen or so who have read it are the only ones in the world who will enjoy it.  

In the meantime, I’d like to share the first painting that my book inspired.  Australian artist, Uta Mooney, titled it Intimacy.  Click on her name to learn more about her and her craft.  She is doing a solo gallery exhibit completely based on images drawn from my story.  I should acknowledge that she painted the header I am using on this site. It is only a portion of a much larger painting that will be unveiled at her show in February.  How cool is that? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Comments About Cabin 108

This...well, THIS! If the reader is not hanging by their nails at the end of this chapter, something is very, very WRONG with them! I had to highlight the whole thing because this--at the middle of the story--has returned to the initial passion of chapter 1, but with an added twist. The writing has flowed from hot and passionate to more relaxed, to real-life-daily~~the whole gamut of emotions have been visited, and I was wondering if you would raise the pace back up or just give peeks and hints, but this DEFINITELY raised the pace! DAMN!
And now I am left wondering, how on earth is the ending going to top this mid-section interlude? (which I know it will, but still, I'm wondering...thinking....)

This chapter really grabbed me and took me on the roller coaster ride.  Here's to the rest of the story~~~CHEERS!

Wow....this sure provided a thrill ride. Good work, good writing. I am delighted to see it progressing and in such a way that I cannot gauge what is around the next paragraph.

I love the visual quality of him scanning the land by moonlight. This is delightful poetry for the mind to soak in and bring forth our own personal landscapes softly glowing under the moon. Beautiful......really beautiful.

I know writing is a hard game but if he stops writing he's a dick head. Here is someone who can write and he needs to keep doing it.

This is something I want to continue reading. I want to know what happens. Does he see everything in images before he writes it? How good to be able to produce this out of your own imagination. The visualization you get from his writing is brilliant.

Intrigue is everywhere with relationships. Developments all over the place. Great reading - good work.

Follow Gordon through this part of his life. Meet his array of friends and enjoy his experiences, varied as they are. There is a piece of all of us in this book, one you must read. Find yourself wanting to travel through life with these characters chapter by chapter. You won't put it down.

I hate romantic books and yet you have captured my interest with this story.

I just gasped and read on with my mouth open. My mind started to scramble to try and find a way the story line could continue.

You sure know how to shock a girl!!! And I don't shock easily. Far out Glenn!!!

I started out totally shocked and outraged, thought it was unbelievable but I ended up understanding something deeper.

You are getting so damn good!!!  I did not want it to end. I was totally engrossed in this chapter. Forgot about everyone and everything while I read it. Totally zoned out. Roared with laughter again.

Your phrasing just cracks me up. I love that about your writing.

You are now delving into emotions of the characters which makes them even more real.

I love reading this book Glenn. I get so much pleasure from it. No wonder you are enjoying writing it so much. To be able to make up characters and make them so real that I can't imagine the world without them is amazing. I can see them. You make me see them. That's really quite astounding isn't it???

ITS BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! I held my breath, the suspense was killing me ... is killing me. Damn that's good.

In true Glenn style we have - They are wise beyond their feathers and leather. Do you realize I look for these treasures now??? I love this quirky little way you have those lines. That sure is your trade mark I reckon. Enjoyed it. 

Another strong chapter with the story gaining depth and the characters worming their way deeper into my heart.

Another turn of events that means you have to read on to find out how it turns out.
Bugger, now you have sucked me in and I can't wait to find out what happens.

Those clever poetic lines are more enjoyable than ice cream!!!

Seductive. impassioned and amusing, Cabin 108 is a tale that will capture you from the very beginning. The characters come alive and are thoroughly entertaining. Their presence grab you and stay with you forever.

You mongrel dog! What an ending (or is it?) I certainly did not have that ending on my list. A great final chapter, one that takes your book to a new level ... well done. As soon as I get time I will read the whole book again and put it all together. It will be interesting.

I read it again all in one go. Oh Glenn its fantastic. The ending is perfect.  I want to read the whole book again from beginning to end.

Your imagination knows no bounds!

It's the story of a man who suddenly finds himself free from a loveless celibate marriage and how he goes about finding his spirit with help from many provocative women.  

Love the sweet and tender and hot, hot, hot all combined!!!  No wonder I love's like my dream come true!!

Meet Gordon, a man as charming and irresistible as the story he inhabits. Follow along on his quest to stop being what everyone wants him to be and starts finding out who he really is. The changes happening in his life have him on a real roller coaster ride of ups, downs and wicked thrills. Cabin 108 embodies a little bit of everyone’s hopes, dreams and fantasies and will grab you from the very first page.

Cabin 108 introduces you to a lost soul named Gordon, and invites you to tag along for the ride as he tries to figure out this thing called life. Full of irresistible characters and astonishing situations, this page turner will keep you guessing 'What's next for Gordon?' right up to the end.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The C Words

 I wrote a complete novel and that is so freaking awesome, the conductor should let the flugelhorns blow.  For the past six weeks I have been contemplating what to do with my manuscript.  Didn’t really write it for coin, but I could use some about now.  Currently, I don’t have much cash and it takes a considerable amount to self-publish.  My friends have offered to start up a collection to contribute to the cause because they know I poured a whole lot of soul into this effort over an entire calendar.  The characters in my book are comedic, confused and conflicted like me.  I tried for years to find another traditional career and couldn't.  My personal financial cliff is closing in as my checkbook suctions cups my meager assets in a choke hold.  The coolest thing about Facebook is discovering uplifting comments.  Today I saw this post from a friend.

It is exactly the correct thing for me to consider.  Thank you, Universe, for letting this catch my eye.  A few days ago, I called out to my friends that I had decided to make a decision.  I couldn’t promise when.  I have done my calculations, considered my options and am committing myself to take the next baby step toward creating a paperback.  I am choosing to take a colossal chance.  I hope you’ll purchase a copy when they are available and keep me out of your trash cans looking for food.  This is my year of change.     

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Melding Art Forms

The working title for my book is Cabin 108.  As I wrote it, Uta Mooney painted my imagination with hers.  I describe my story this way.

As the life he has known disintegrates around him, Cabin 108 chronicles one man’s journey seeking to rediscover himself.  Passion guides him in a new direction.  Grateful for a fresh start, he trusts the path will lead to answers, but it is as crooked as llama teeth.  With a new found freedom, his once famished physical desires feast.  Searching to nourish his spirit with truth and tranquility, his adventures change him, his morals and his boundaries.

Uta describes it visually below.  These are small details of much larger paintings offered as a sneak preview for her solo exhibition early next year to be held at Gallery M in Adelaide, South Australia beginning February 8th.  Be there!  It'll be worth the trip.   

Chapter 1 - Unleashed

Chapter 3 - Goodbye

Chapter 6 - This Sucks

Chapter 9 - Trust

Chapter 15 - Direction

Chapter 16 Exposed

Chapter 21 - Up and Down

The Writer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Due Date

               I have a new found appreciation for authors.  Words do not magically appear on the page, although they seem to when one gets lost in the zone.  It’s not easy braiding thousands of words together coherently.  It requires a passion and persistent drive to persevere.  The time, effort and brain space demand a significant commitment.  I did it and am now trying to learn how to share it with the world.  The most quoted person of all-time, Anonymous, said, “Any fool can write a book, it takes a genius to sell one.”  I never thought about selling my book as I wrote it and hope I am not the next fool who finished one.  It does appear Anonymous was right that selling it requires a bit of genius.
               Traditional publishing companies won’t give a novice writer the time of day unless you are famous for some reason.  Self-publishing has become a respectable alternative for the rest of us.  That’s how 50 Shades of Grey began.  There is hope for the little guys.  But, it requires just as much, if not more, time, effort and money to make it happen.  This is what I am learning now.  Like any other, it is a crowded dream and a challenge to be successful.  How do you stand out, promote, publicize and market your product without yelling from the rooftops like everyone else? 
               I said my sad goodbyes to my amazing tribal members from Chicago when I returned them to the train station a week after their arrival.  As planned, Uta Mooney, from Adelaide, Australia, stayed with me for two more months.  She is a rising star in her community as a painter.  Before she ever came to America, she had begun doing paintings inspired by the images in my unfinished book.  Uta even applied to do a solo exhibition of her work, based on my book, in an Adelaide art gallery prior to leaving and was accepted.  The concept is novel and our collaboration was in full force.  While she was here, I wrote and she painted.  We talked about our art forms till the wee hours of the morning.  Maybe I don’t have to shout, maybe we can team up and promote each other as we try to further our artistic endeavors by melding the two art forms.  I’m back to that freak of nature.  Please read about Uta's journey.  A month after she left, my healthy 83,454 novel was born October 4th, 2012.   

Monday, November 5, 2012

Second Trimester

A year ago, I would have laughed had you predicted I’d write a book.  I had no aspiration nor intention for such a lofty project.  There was no outline, no underlying message, no plot.  What I had was lots of time, an imagination bigger than I knew, a few blank notebooks and lots of pens.  I write longhand and then edit at the keyboard with two index fingers. 
Through it all, the tribe studied the book that brought us together.  Although it focused on artistic endeavors, it applied to life in general.  Isn't life itself an art form?  Some of the group dropped out for personal reasons, but six of us bonded, three in or around Chicago, two of us the northwest corner of the U.S.  and one in South Australia.  It was an unlikely combination and I don’t think any of us dreamed how close we would become.  We all shared our art and our lives. 
I sent each chapter to them as it was completed.  Sometimes we’d get together and chat online.  It fascinated me when they discussed the characters like they were real people.  They were mad at her for this and concerned about someone else’s feelings.  My words evoked emotions in my mini-audience.  The tribe speculated what might happen next.  Occasionally, I would tease them with a line or two of the next chapter I was working on.  I liked coming up with a shocking development and then leave it hanging.  I threw in some humor, sometimes not knowing where it came from.  A piece of my soul is this book.  That is the definition, the pure and simple essence of art.
It took a year to write my story.  I had multiple lives occurring simultaneously, the real one, the one I was writing in my head, the one that made it to paper and the version I typed on my computer screen.  My real life consisted of my oldest daughter moving two hundred miles away for a good job, my youngest getting married and my wife getting sick.  I coped by escaping into my world of imagination.  It was far better therapy than a shrink or medication.  With three-quarters of the book written, I was transforming into a full-fledged writer with hermit characteristics, long hair and beard, short pants and no shoes.  Artists are not programmed to be conformists.
The tribal bond was strong and plans were put in place to congregate.  None of us had red flag fears of meeting online friends.  We had grown together as a group for ten months.  The original plan was to gather in Chicago where most lived or could turn into a day trip.  Uta, our Aussie contingent, booked a flight.  But, life got in the way for me and I couldn’t attend.  Four of the six made it.  Then, three of them took the train to my house in Seattle.  The four of us drove to Oregon to meet the other non-attendee in Chicago.  While we were there, I sacrificed my hair and beard during a video conference with our one missing squaw.  It all had to come off anyway to please my daughter for her wedding day.  What does this have to do with me writing a book?  Everything!  These five women were my pre-natal vitamin, my believing mirrors who are responsible for motivating me to keep writing.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Birthing

Like everything I have ever done, my first novel is a freak of nature.  Sitting at home, depressed that no employer seemed to see value in me, I decided to figure out how I got to this place in time.  Hoping it would generate answers and clear the path to my future, I began writing about my life, beginning at birth and pulling out old memories I had completely mothballed.  I wrote like a madman, creating a document 70,000 words long and quit before I entered the rough spot I was in.  Little did I know that writing it was a tune-up, but I still saw no clear path out of my predicament. 

Music heals the soul and I am a huge Greg Brown fan as you will see when you read my book.  I’ve been part of an online fan group for years and befriended many over the years and met lots in person at concerts.   Greg has no idea how vast and varied the community he has created from his art.  I met my dear friend, Jan, there through our common interest in Greg’s music and we became online buddies.  One day, she told me she had been invited to study a book written by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way and wasn’t sure she should do it.  I had bought this very book a year before at the recommendation of another pure soul I had met through my association of Mr. Brown’s music.  I had read the first chapter and set it down when I got a temporary job working for the Census Bureau.  I told Jan how jealous I was that she was invited to study the book and that she just had to do it.  She took that advice.  What she didn’t listen to was my request not to weasel me into the group.  The ten women members took an informal vote and by the smallest of margins, I was invited to join.  Okay, I don’t really know how the vote went, but I’m certain there were trepidations about letting a guy in the group.

I had never met any of them and I had concerns too.  The leader of the group knew I existed because I had commented a few times on her blog.  Other than that, I had no idea who these women were.  Having never been in an online study group, let alone being the sole male, I followed their lead and introduced myself.  All accomplished artists, I realized right away I was out of my league.  They were in various stages of their artistic endeavors  and careers.  I had dabbled with water color and calligraphy, but knew my art was best served stringing words together, mostly in rhyme.  We began to study the book which encouraged us to let our inner artistic child play.  The tribe, as we call ourselves, began to share their visual art efforts, so I got brave and comfortable enough to expose a short story I wrote.  It got mixed reviews, but all constructive.  Their encouragement led me to share another story I had written a year and a half earlier.  The gates opened.  Curious to know more about the characters, the tribe insisted I write more.  My inner child frolicked and my second chapter was written.  Synchronicity, fate, a freak of nature, The Universe aligned.  I was on my way to birthing a book.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Who are these creeples
That say we’re special people
Then give us their rules
Make us go to school
Try to change us into sheeples

Too many conform
Broken spirits deform
Feeble the norm
They call the rest freakles
Calm precedes the storm

They put lines in the sand
Arbitrary understand
You need papers to cross
They demand
Without them your loss
They are the boss

Who are these creeples
That live on the hill
In their mansions with steeples
Look down at the rest
And call them all dweebles

They are greedy in power
Their souls have gone sour
They have no compassion
They are meeples
Not peoples

They think different is bad
One thing is for sure
There’s only one cure
When enough get mad
They will be had

Friday, October 5, 2012

Writer, Author, Novelist

These are three titles I am bestowing next to my name because I finished my first book yesterday.  It took countless pens, multiple notebooks and a year to complete, but I kept going.  In the beginning, I said I couldn't write a book or even consider myself a real writer.  But thanks to some creative friends, they inspired me to try.  I shared each chapter with them as I finished it and they cheered me on to write another.  They spoke of the characters as if they were real people and thought out loud what might happen next in the story.  I had no outline, no master plan, just my imagination dripping ink on the page.  Some days gobs spilled out fast as a waterfall, others nothing at all. 

With over eighty-three thousand words, it is now a legitimate length novel.  Who knows how many hours I spent creating it, but it was therapeutic to escape from all of the challenges life presented me the past twelve months.  And it was not easy keeping all the puzzle pieces straight as the story developed.  It kept my mind sharp.  The commitment to write a book is enormous, but each one begins with a single word and then a sentence is formed.  And then another and it begins to grow.

Maybe you say my new titles are lofty because it is unpublished.  I will defend them, as no book has ever reached the shelf without a first draft.  My two finger typing skills require much editing and then I will find a way to get it published.  In the meantime, my words will be visually displayed in an Australian art gallery next February.  Completely based on my story, a friend is painting my imagination for her solo exhibition with all new work.  What an honor, I am keeping my new titles.  I didn’t think I could write a book, now look at me.  I did it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Aussie Speak

Just finished an intensive two month course in Australian.  I love language and the variations of word meanings, pronunciations along with accents.  Here’s what I retained from my study.
I woke up this mahning feeling a little toey in the covas and thought about wanking cos I was alone, but I put on my nickas instead and opened the cootins.  Went to the loo and schowad in wahm whadah.  My clothes weh in the wahdrobe and I put some on.  I walked on the foot path so my shoes didn’t get wet in the mohning dju.  The buhds were singing and the skweerels weh prahncing around.  I went to the stoah and got a trolley to load everything I wanted to buy at the mahket.  My list had tomahtoes, cheese from Frahns, rock melon, chook and bum nuts.  I bought a slab of tinnies too.  Been dry as a dead dingo’s donga lately.  When I went to load the boot, I forghat to buy the googs and lollies. Figured I could just skull the tinnies latah, but didn’t want to be a chucky.  Sawr a cute baby in a nappy with a dummy in ha mouth.  Shoowah is a lot to see he-a on Uhth.  I went to get some medicine at the chemist’s and then to the pageant wheha I bought some fairy floss.  The wind kicked up and I put on my jumpha.  Had a picnic in the pahk and sat on my rug because I didn’t want ahnts in my bits.  My mobile battry died.  Bloody hell!  I wrapped my leftovers in aloo minium foil to eat lateh.  All the bee-ah made me have to have a slash and I went behind the shed.  I was close to being off my face.  It was dahk out, so I got out my torch as I drank a spidah on the deck.  Had my own pahdee pretending I was beyond the black stump.  Sawr the yahd needed trimming, so I decided I’d pull out the whippa snippa in the mahning.  The mozzies were thick last night.  Bloody oath.  Good on ya, bloke.  Oi!  I reckon I will be called out as a dibba dobba, septic tank dag now.        

Monday, September 10, 2012

Random Stitches

Not only do clothing marketers get creative with their lack of size uniformity, they also pull the wool over our eyes with insane product names.  Pants is what my dog does after a good run.  How can one thing be plural anyway?  Generally women put on a wedding, evening, summer or night gown and they are dressed.  When I throw on my blue jean, singular intended, am I pantsed?  That word is not even in the dictionary and it happened to me once at Waikiki and it was the opposite of being clothed.  But, I digress.  Guys are supposed to have pants, shoes and shirts that are dress.  What does that have to do with the traditional cover garment of the fairer sex?  Far as I’m concerned, shoes and socks are feet prisons.  Wearing both is like double lock down.  When I have to wear them, I tie my shoes.  I knot my tie and they should just be called nooses.  Shirts have collars, so we are back to the canine age.  When was the last time you saw an athletic competition with the participants wearing sports coats?  And when did they drop “clown” from “suit”?  I get tube top and t-shirt, but I have no idea where the term tank top came from.  Neck lace makes sense, why isn’t it wrist lace?  They got the wrist part right with the timepiece many wear, but I’ve never heard of anybody having a grandfather watch.  It all seems a little cuckoo.  Sweatshirts, sweat pants and sweaters all imply over heated bodies.  When was the last time you played tennis in those sneakers?  If the mood strikes, I’d prefer not to visualize my mate with teddy or muumuu.  Who is this teddy guy?  Formal occasions demand attire of collars, cuffs, imprisoned feet, a noose and a clown suit while resisting excessive sweating, panting or getting the urge to pick up a racket.  Just random stitches that hum through the sewing machine of my mind.                                 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Boy With No Name

There was boy
Who had no name
His parents forgot
And it was a shame

Teacher took attendance
Each day at school
Raised his hand
With each name called
Like a fool
Just wanted a name
Like me and you

He didn’t need three
Or even two
Just one, just one
Just one would do

Like an ant
He roamed aimlessly
Give me your name
He asked desperately
No, no I can’t
He heard repeatedly

Until one day
He met a girl
Who made his head twirl
When she did say
If I can have yours
So he married her
Of course

They went to the bank
To open an account
Teller said fill this form out
Name, address
And deposit amount
Mr. And Mrs.
Oak and a sumly sum
The wrote in
And they were all done

This isn’t enough
Information for me
I need a name in my system
Don’t you see?
 And Mrs. spoke up
I used to be

Priscilla Sue
Angela Marie
But my mama
Called  me Beverly
When my daddy put me
Down to bed at night
He said sweet dreams
Penelope delight

But I married this man
Understand if you can
He is Mr. and I am his Mrs.
So we shall take
Our sumly sum
And put it under the mattress

They walked home
Along the crooked path
Climbed up the tree
Where they took a bath
Bank full of fools
With all their rules
They laughed

Started a family
Babies galore
Named each one ten times
Sometimes more
They didn’t forget
Like his parents did
When he was a kid

Without a name
Is not fun
People treat you like
You are no one

Friday, June 1, 2012


There was a curious man
Who lived in a strange land
It snowed when Santa came
Except when it rained

He had a friend  who said ‘read this book’
And he decided to take a look
But, he got a job to knock on doors
Counting people till there were no more

He had another friend with Rapunzel long hair
Love of music in common they shared
With llamas and dogs,  she lived in the forest
Her gentle kindness was far from the poorest

She told curious man one day
About a book she might study
Along with internet buddies
And he shouted in excitement ‘hey
I have that book
Collecting dust on my nook’

Curious man was jealous of her
He wanted to too, that much was sure
So she asked the fearless leader
If he could belong
But the tribe was all women
His gender was wrong
They voted as a group
And invited him along
He hollered and hooped

Learning he’d been given a chance
He couldn’t help, but do a silly dance
Every week he did his homework
Tried so hard not to be a jerk
There was something about his words
A little crazy, definitely absurd

There was an adventurous one in the clan
Who dreamt out loud ‘yes I can
Meet these artists in a strange land’
She believed it and opened her eyes
And sold paintings galore to her surprise
So she bought a plane ticket to fly
Far away to meet these women and one guy

They talk so funny
Drive on the wrong side of the street
And the birds sound different
The way that they tweet
Indeed, a very strange place
Chance of a lifetime
To meet face-to-face

So off she’ll go to who knows who
To a land with no kangaroos
But on the other end
Everyone is excited to meet her too
She’ll make lots of new best friends

She’ll return one day in September
A trip she’ll always remember
All because out loud she dreamed
They are attainable that way it seems

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Here's The Poop

Ever want to believe something, but you knew deep down it couldn't be?  A writing job fell out of the sky into my lap last week and I wanted to believe.  I applied and was asked to write a test article on irritable bowel syndrome using three key phrases highlighted in red.  Wasn't really taking it too seriously as you'll see below.  I got hired!  Found out the next day the whole deal was bogus.  If you find this article on the web, you'll know I was the author.

Accused of being full of it figuratively is one thing, but literally having ibs-c symptoms is no laughing matter.  Irritable bowel syndrome, left untreated, can lead to death.  Symptoms include stomach cramps, bloating and gas due to constipation, irritability, fatigue, headaches and even depression.  The human body is not meant to store its waste and when one has ibs with constipation symptoms, the result is lack of, infrequent or incomplete discharge. 

The cause of this disorder is unknown.  There are theories there may be an unidentified infection in the digestive track.  Other studies point to hormonal changes as ibs symptoms women are more commonly diagnosed.  It increases bitchiness and decreases sexual desire in women.  Of course, unscientific research indicates men are susceptible to this disorder, especially those who partake in the consumption of liquor.    

Irritable bowel syndrome is a multi-billion dollar industry annually.  One treatment is diet control, limiting lactose and fructose, while increasing fiber intake.  This helps some with metabolism difficulties, but not all.  Another treatment of ibs-c symptoms is medication including laxatives, stool softeners, anti-depressants and magnesium aluminum silicates.  Again, loosening of excrement in the intestines relieves some who suffer.  It fails others who begin to spend all their focus and energy on successfully expelling.  When they fail, they become even more obsessed with their problem, resulting in depression.  Big pharma has magic pills for that, as do mental health professionals with psychotherapy.  It does not treat the unknown cause of the illness, just another symptom of it.  Other treatments include exercise, acupuncture and naturopathy in attempts to reduce stress and improve sleep.  

It is estimated twenty percent of the America population suffer from ibs with constipation symptoms, many undiagnosed.  We all have difficulty sometimes with indigestion and  constipation.  It often appears prior to reaching thirty-five years of age and can control one’s life, even making them incapable of employment.  It is no fun and such a relief to discharge our excrement.

The colon plays a large part in successful bowel movements.  It is approximately five feet long, connecting the small intestine to the rectum and anus. It is recommended that old farts at fifty years old begin having regular colonoscopies.  So much for just a finger up your anus to check prostrate health for men.  It is an invasive procedure and they take pictures while you are sedated.  It should be called endoscopy.       

So the next time it hits the fan, you choose to shoot it, run your diarrhea mouth off, take one or accuse someone of being full of it, have some compassion for those who actually suffer from this debilitating disability.  It is chronic and uncomfortable and verbal comments only contribute to the need for further therapy and medications for those who suffer from it.  Making fun of the constipated is simply crude, rude and unacceptable behavior.  It’s about time people grew up and accepted irritable bowel syndrome as a serious condition and felt comfortable discussing it.  Do the world a favor and show some compassion for the people who can’t  give one.          


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I just collected another one and am beginning to feel like a greedy hoarder.  Started off innocently enough with the cake face in my highchair, as my Mom captured that occasion in black and white.  I progressed, with pail in hand, grabbing Easter eggs on my fourth.  If I survive another seven years, I can revert to my old ways and do that it again.
Birthdays seem to make one look forward and back.  Bought my first car on my eighteenth, a Mini-Cooper in 1971.  Transferred the title that day and when I came out of the licensing office, it wouldn’t start.  I loved that car, but it didn’t love me.  The next year, my parents bought me a gold watch, flexible band and all.  Didn’t take much time after that to get in trouble.
Got married after collecting twenty-three of them, had thirty when my mom was alive and one more before I became a dad.  My forty-eighth was big.  As the house manager for a benefit concert, the performer sang an impromptu song about me to 1,200 in the audience.  On my fiftieth, my dad was a surprise dinner guest.  Didn’t know it at the time, but we only had two more together.
Now my birthday is sandwiched between National Weed Day and Earth Day.  I fit in there somewhere and share the date with John Muir, Queen Elizabeth and my attention whore, little brother around here, the Space Needle.  Learned over the years world’s fair is a misnomer, but even so, I was flooded with love via phone calls, packages and internet messages from near and farther away than ever before. 
Don’t know how many more birthdays I’ll collect, but I was acutely aware and appreciative this time around the sun.  So, in seven years, I’ll pick up the pail and hunt for more Easter eggs.  And then eleven years after that, I’ll finally hang up my bucket of birthdays as my grandchildren, who haven’t been born yet, will take pictures on whatever the newest gadget is of me bibbed in a wheelchair getting cake faced.  Flying my own flag, I collected years like no other.  Simple, complicated and priceless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writer Dos & Don’ts

            Writers should never do yard work.  It gives them too much time to think things like mowing the lawn must be traumatic for the bugs that live in it.  Their forest is being destroyed.  And as the rotary blades behead the dandelions, they must be stressed that their sun has been murdered.  Mole hills must be like volcanoes and earthquakes combined.
Writers shouldn’t do laundry either.  They throw whatever colors together and let them soak and spin.  When it’s time to fold things up, they seldom do it neatly and always leave the lint filter clogged with loose strings. 
Writers should never do housework.  They are good at creating a mess, but seldom clean everything up.  Sure, they dust here and there, but come on.  They never leave things spotless.  Although a writer may be a gourmet cook, never ask them to do the dishes for the same reason.
Writers should never be given ultimatums, deadlines or set bedtime hours.  Their creative time should be treated as sacred.  Never interrupt one when they are in the flow as this can be dangerous for all involved.
  All of the don’ts mentioned above are activities that tend to be slow in getting done anyway because they stop to take notes on the front porch after seeking bugs in the grass, watching the washing machine rattle in spin cycle, inspecting the parts of the vacuum closely or playing with the soap suds in the sink.  
               Writers should always have access to little people.  It is through young eyes that the wonderment of life is intended to be viewed.
Writers should always have something to drink handy.  Whether it water, juice, coffee, tea, beer, wine or hard liquor, they need something to prevent their words from becoming dry.
Writers should always be allowed to express their ideas and thoughts freely without fear of critics or authority.  It is only through this pure process can one’s truth be told.                      
Writers should always have some knowledge of their topic.  Because of that, I looked up the controversy of apostrophes or not in the title of this post.  The grammar police tell me “dos and don’ts” are plurals not possessives, thus need no extra apostrophes.  I am going with that.
Writers should be loved at all times for they are the acute observers of the human condition disseminating their wisdom through words.  They paint mental pictures, sculpt scenarios while juggling a collage of issues singing out their imagination, planting seeds for thought.  Be sure your writer always has an ample supply of pens and paper.  They get snarly otherwise.
Of course, these dos and don’t are just a partial list, but someone had to start compiling this vital information.  Just another example of how important writers are in this world.  You are welcome in advance. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Absence

Hello all, I've been gone for awhile.  Life has been wild, challenges galore, added up to one great big compost pile.  You probably thought I ran out of words or things to say, but I've been busy writing away.  I'm writing a book and I'm half done.  It's a lot of work and a whole lot of fun.  Will it get published?  I don't know, got nothing to sell if it's not whole.

Other stuff going on too.  Sickness came to my house and flung open the door.  It's ugly, it's sad, but to even the score, I had to learn to smile even more.  Kids left home, now an empty nest.  They still come around, they are the best.  Car got stolen ten days ago.  She came home yesterday.  Expensive joy ride for those bozos and I got to pay.  Been too busy to cut my hair, never before gone a year.  My beard aint appreciated much either around here, but I don't much care.  Been a friend coach, teaching what I can share.  Student is learning I am a bear.

So that's the latest from dandelion farm, hope my absence didn't caused you alarm.  As you can see, I haven't lost my charm.    

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I recall at a vey young age being told I was special, unique and I should celebrate that.  It was pretty cool.  Then we got herded up and sent to schools with structure and rules and expectations trying to make us all the same by treating us that way.  Wear these clothes, learn this stuff and act this way.  Don’t be too weird in your uniqueness or we will have to control you in other ways, like magic pills to dull your imagination and tame your spirit.  And the sad thing is most of us buy into it.  When we grow up, it’s only okay for each snowflake to be different, but not people.  We all live in boxes, are fed the same crap by the powerful, told when to sleep, how to behave and what to look like.  Different is frowned upon.  For the most part, I played their game.  I cut my hair and painted my picket fence while I was making others richer and being led to believe this was my “happy”. 

I had buried me in their clone-ness.  But, their plan was not my dream.  I am different and darn proud of it.  When I walked away, I went through a long mourning period and then began to realize a rebirth.  I am still that special and unique kid.  I am different and it bothers others that I celebrate my uniqueness.  They aren’t me and I refuse to give the boundaries that are rightfully mine.  They have no right to shove their expectations on me.  I will groom as I please, I will love who and how I please and harm no one.  Hey, Easter people, isn’t that what Jesus did?  Our political leaders wear their clown costumes and are war mongers while they shout “peace and freedom” as the get obscenely rich.  Put me in the martyr column with John Lennon. 

Everything will remain the same until enough people wake up to the reality and question, even challenge the status quo.  I have been rich and I have been poor, it’s my turn to be happy.  Now that my friend, is different. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Positive Kind

Another spin around the sun, a new year has begun.  Reflection and introspection seem to permeate as we recycle calendars.  Resolutions made and then broken.  A new concept was introduced to me in 2011 as an alternative, a simple word for the year ahead.  I liked the idea, but had no intention to choose one for myself.  I let it go, but I free write every morning to purge my skull so I can start fresh for the new day.  All of a  sudden a word chose me.  Funny how the subconscious takes over. 
You must plant a seed for it to grow.  Mine were planted unknowingly when I joined an online book blog in September.  The synchronicity of how I was invited is stranger than fiction, but the Universe meant for me to be there.  We studied a book on how to discover or recover one’s creative self.  I love to write and want to get better at it.  Seven women and me dissected a chapter a week.  I was transforming and the encouragement, kindness and open honesty, in what we call the tribe, became a safe haven to even share my words.  I have been remiss in posting here because I am engrossed in writing a novel. 
My tribe is beginning the second book of the series next week and I am anxious to study and find additional guidance with them again.   Yes, the seeds were planted and I am looking forward to sprouting this year.  My focus and word for 2012 is change, the positive kind.