Brain Freeze

Pen poised in hand. Clean paper waiting. Brain empty.

This is the predicament so many writers find themselves in on a near daily basis. Harris Green was facing his worst dilemma ever. He had finally been awarded the book deal of a lifetime and he was required to start putting together his ideas into a format that could be marketed. The problem was, here he was sitting in front his fresh sheet of paper, a ream waiting next to it and he could not muster the strength to write down a single word.

Writing had always come so simply to him. His stories seemed to flow like water from a tap without having a care in the world. Then he realized what the problem was. He has always written for him. There was no pressure. Now, he was required to get down at least 150 pages to turn in to the editor in the next three months. He was locked up with fear.

He walked around the room and lit a cigarette. What he needed was inspiration. What he needed was something to knock everything loose. Just then it hit him. He called up his friend Doug who was also a writer. His brown eyes bore into the phone as the number was dialed, and he waited with bated breath until Doug Answered.

"Hello", Doug Breathed into the phone in that familiar way.

"Doug", Harris started with anticipation, "I have hit a wall and I need some help. Do you have any suggestions as to how to get out of writer's block?"

A sigh and then silence.

"Hello?" Harris was worried the line had disconnected. He even glanced at the phone.

"Just write something." Was the reply that finally came filled with a lithesome tone.

Confused, Harris replied, "But, that is the problem. I can't. I don't know what to write! Help!"

"Just write words down on a piece of paper. Any words! Write a freaking grocery list if that is all you can come up with. The idea is to just write. It doesn't have to be good, but you gotta exercise that muscle, bro. Look I gotta go. Good luck and all."

With that the line went dead, and Harris returned to the paper. It still looked intimidating with the pen laying on top of it. Slowly, he sat down at the desk and picked up the pen. He wrote random words at first and then the words formed into something that made sense. He wrote for ten solid minutes before he gave any thought to what was happening.

He was free and he could not wait to get started on the actual project. Excited he grabbed another piece of paper and laid it down in place of the old one. He shook his head, leaned forward and put the pen to the paper and his brain emptied. Again!

Making a Difference

The easiest thing in the world is to turn the other cheek. While this advice is given as a way to help people to learn how to turn their back on those who are making trouble for them, it is all too often used to escape from something which is causing problems for someone else. Think about all of the times when you have heard someone cry out in the night and you did nothing. Why didn't you? What are you afraid of? This is a question easily asked of others, but is hard to ask of yourself.

Take some time to think about life in the big city. There are so many people all living together. People who are living happy lives without a care in the world. People living in abject poverty wishing for the welcome closure of death. People with severe mental disorders which allows them to feel nothing when they take a life or cause pain worse than anyone can imagine.

Then there is you. You go about your life without thinking about these other people. You think about what is important in your life and in the lives of those you know. You concern yourself with making sure that everything in your world is right and block out what else is going on. After all, it is a big city and someone else will take care of the little things, right?

The problem is that when you are in trouble and you are screaming in terror, this is exactly the mindset someone else will have when they hear you. They believe you are going to get help from someone else. Because everyone seems to have the same mentality, no one calls the police. No one hears anything. No one sees anything. No one wants to get involved. This leads to killers which get off scot free. It also leads to wives and children who are victimized to the point of needing years of therapy to recover to a normal state of mind.

Can you live in a world where everyone is like this? Can you allow yourself to keep turning the other cheek? Now is your time to shine. Now is your time to rise above the excuses. You can make a difference in the world simply by paying attention and taking action. You can remain anonymous while still helping to stop those who are up to no good. The more you do this, the more you let others know it is okay. This will help you to be able to get the help you need should you be in trouble. Keep this in mind the next time you hear something which does not sound right. Make a difference.

Staring Down a Block Hole

Rick Novarrus had a very bad day. The morning seemed to stretch on forever with one problem after another. As if it were not enough the stress he was under from work, he also had to listen to his wife gripe all morning and fight his son just to get out of bed. At work, one emergency after another piled on until he was so behind that he could not even see straight. He skipped lunch to try and get back on top which only added to the edgy feeling he had had all day. Near the end of the day he was called in to the boss's office to call into question his performance during the past week.

Defeated and demoralized, Rick made his way into the bathroom. He splashed cool water on his face and studied his reflection in the mirror. He noticed the worry lines which were creasing his brow. He analyzed how his dark brown hair was now more salt than pepper. His once tanned skin was gaunt from all the hours spent behind the desk. He felt as if he needed a vacation, but what he really wanted was to escape from it all. Even the weekends in Vegas with "the boys" didn't seem to cut it anymore. He longed for his bachelor days when he did not have kids and a mortgage to worry about. With college looming ever closer, there was no room left for mistakes and less room for fun.

Returning to his desk, Rick was able to make his way through a commendable amount of work before deciding to call it a day. While he needed to work more than two hours after quitting time, he knew that there was no way he could have a decent night at home if he came home too late. He resolved to pick up a bottle of Wild Turkey on the way home to ease his nerves once he got home.

He walked in the door to the usual scene. His daughter was splayed out on the couch. She was talking on the phone, looking at a magazine and worrying over her nails at the same time; ever the multi-tasker. His son was playing rock-rap music way too loud in his room and the smell of something burning wafted from the kitchen. "Welcome Home!", he muttered to himself as he made his way through the motions of saying hello to everyone. Much to the way things had become he got no response from anyone more than a head nod when he greeted each member of his family and asked them how their day was.

Rick added the Wild Turkey to the liquor stash after pouring a large glass for himself over ice. He did not even want a mixer. He wanted to feel the burn of the bourbon to remind himself that he was still alive. He welcomed the numbing embrace that followed each sip. Slowly he was able to let go of the stress and the feeling that his life was worse than in a rut. Before long, he was on his third glass and actually starting to feel pretty good.

Dinner was predictable and boring. There was overcooked chicken, overcooked vegetables (canned), and something that was intended on being baked potatoes, but was now more of a hard casing with a nugget of edible potato somewhere in the center. He poured another glass of Wild Turkey and trudged on. He even tried to make conversation with the family. They all had their own lives. His daughter could hardly be torn away from texting long enough to take a bite of food. His son more frowned at the food than ate it. His wife just seemed to stare at him like he was the biggest disappointment she had ever encountered in her whole life. Typical weeknight dinner.

At the end of the dinner after Rick has done the dishes and put away the leftovers, he found himself completely alone in the kitchen. He felt as if he could have just gone completely mad right then and no one in the home could have taken a break from their own lives to care. Rick slipped away to the shed he had built for himself in the backyard and stepped inside. He peered through the dark curtains to the house and when he saw no one was paying attention to him, he clicked on the light. He dug behind a couple of dead plants in planters and removed a section of wall. He reached inside and pulled out his well-cared for pistol. He sat there for what seemed like hours staring at it and drinking.

Rick woke from what seemed like a black hole to find the pistol in his mouth and his thumb cradling the trigger. Shaking, he threw the gun to the floor. He was never sure why he bought that gun, but he was sure that this was not it. Thinking back, he never thought of himself as the kind of person that would even attempt this. He buried his face in his hands and wept. When his eyes were dry and there was nothing else to rummage through his mind about, he straightened his clothes, picked up the gun, replaced it in its hiding spot, replaced the wall and the plants. When he emerged from the shed, it was like nothing had ever happened. The crickets still chirped and the house still burned lights. The world was oblivious to how close he had just come to killing himself and he aimed to keep it that way.

Rick stepped inside and with a smile gathered everyone in the house and told them to go to the family room. He did not tell them why. He did not even allow them to argue with him. He simply told them to go to the family room and to wait for him. He then went out to the shed. When he returned to the room, everyone stared at him with confusion. That was when he pulled his arms out from behind his back. They are laughed at the site of the Monopoly game. He set it down on the table and told everyone, "It is time we start acting more like a family. I love you all and I do not want for anything to happen to us."

That night they played Monopoly and felt better together. Rick was able to return to work the next day and complete his work without the feeling that his life was a disappointment. The next day, he sold the gun back to the store he bought it from and never ventured down the black hole again.

Changed My Look

Hey everyone! I did not like the plain look of the site and after much searching I was able to find a template that I really liked. I hope that you like it too. If you have any suggestions as to what you would like to see on the blog, I am open to suggestions. I will have a post up soon.


Dashboard Delights

Summer in the South is something that you experience. It is something you think you are looking forward to when you are bundled up in the winter. When the summer actually hits, it is not anything you actually want to endure. Anyone who has lived in the South knows what I am talking about. The heat does not so much surround you as it hangs off of you. You feel it in every pore and fiber of your being. What the sun doesn't get to, the humidity does.

I remember when I was a younger man living in the South, I had a piece of fried chicken. I know what you are probably thinking… "Fried chicken in the South; how cliché!" Well, clichés happen for a reason, so let me get on with my story. I sat my piece of chicken in the dashboard of a friend's car while we went indoors to do something. I do not remember at this time what we were doing, but I am sure it is wholly unimportant to the direction of the story, so just get it out of your head. The important thing is that when I returned to the car, the chicken was crispy and delicious like it had just been removed from the grease.

Being an adventurous guy, I ventured a bite into the chicken. It was by far the best tasting piece of reheated chicken I had ever tasted. Little did I know I was being green in the days before being green was cool. From that day forward I tried all manner of foods in the dashboard for a reheat. I even kept a log of the different kinds of foods, the temperature on the mercury and the model of the car. I even mentioned the direction of the car and the tint of the window. I tried front dash, back window and even the seat. I became a dashboard foodie.

As it turned out, the optimal environment for reheating foods was on the front dashboard of a black, Lincoln Town Car facing in the northwestern direction in the later part of the day when the temperature is between 95 and 105 degrees outside. The effect was like putting food in a 350 degree oven. Pop something thing the dash and come back later for a delicious treat. While I did not get many people to catch on to my food craze, it did give people food for thought the next time they were about to leave their dog in the car while they ran inside for a few groceries.

Returning to the Classics

Stories these days are all about twists and unexpected endings. They do not take the long-winded approach that they used to. This is partly because of the short attention span that many have these days. They do not want to deal with a long story because it means they will need to make a huge time investment. The bad part about this is the more of a time investment you make in something, the more you get out of it.

Take for example when you read a really long story like Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. Now, most people just do not have the patience for Charles Dickens and his windy approach to literature anyways. Then you take into account all of the forgotten references or local slang and you have a book which is difficult to read. However, once you get about 500 – 600 pages into the story you are completely invested. You are now a part of that world and you are in tune with the characters. The only bad part about reading a really long story like that is that after a week or a month, depending on your reading speed, you are left feeling lost and wishing there was more.

The bulk of modern fiction published today as novels is between 300 – 500 pages. This allows readers to easily finish books in a few days rather than a few weeks. While it may feel satisfying to have a stack of books that you have read on your nightstand, consider nourishing your sole instead. Feed your imagination by allowing yourself to become engrossed in a story that is well crafted. While yo will still be able to enjoy the works of modern fiction authors, you are likely to find yourself yearning for the classic style of the longer works.

The blog is an even further truncated version of what is happening in the modern world of fiction. However, the great thing about blogs is that they allow you to become engrossed in a world that seems to go on and on. Tune in every day and there is a new chapter that you can read. You can return days later and have many postings that you can read all at once. The modern blog is a broken up version of what the classic novel stylings used to embrace. So, check in often and let's see where this rabbit hole takes you.

Seeing With Morning Eyes

In the morning light everything tends to look different. Things that were scary the night before look tame and boring with the new morning. It is always interesting to observe your surroundings when you wake up in the morning. Think about all those times you went camping and were nervous about the way a few branches looked like a web filled with spiders. Spooky noises might keep you up throughout the night. When you get up the next morning everything looks fresh and clean without a thing to worry about. The big difference is when you wake up with a hangover.

This is what happened to Rick Artright. He woke up one morning after having been out drinking all night the night before. He met beautiful people and hung out in the swankiest of clubs. He even went to a beautiful woman's house and hung out in her million dollar pad. But, that is not what he woke up in. The shower was running and he was scared to see what would come out of the shower. He scanned the scene around him and saw dingy walls with trash everywhere and panicked that in his drunken stupor he might have made a terrible decision.

Panicked, Rick ran from the scene as fast as his legs would take him. He was not leaving anything to chance. If there was the possibility that he could get away, he was taking advantage of it as soon as possible. With shirt and pants barely on, shoes in hand and socks in his pocket, Rick was out the door and on the street. Luckily, he was in the city so he could easily catch a cab. Since his wallet was in his pocket and still had cash in it he hailed the first thing moving that he saw and was free.

Meanwhile back in the apartment a beautiful woman emerged from the shower and surveyed the damage that was done to her room by the guy she met the night before. Even though the room was a mess, there was one thing that was already looking up. The guy that she met the night before - that had turned out to be an uglier, harrier and smellier version of the fun, handsome devil she thought she had brought home - was gone. She noticed the cab pulling away and at the same moment she and Rick shared a collective sigh of relief that they had really dodged a bullet.

The Society of Non-Society

The harsh reality of the world is nothing that people want to deal with on a daily basis. This has led many people to use drugs or to drop out of society. While these are certainly options, it seems like a much better idea to start your own society. This is exactly what William Bobble did in 1832. He was tired of everything that he had to deal with in the modern society of his day. He put out an ad in the local paper and found a few dozen people that felt the same way that he did. Thus, the Society of Non-Society was born.

The first rule of the Society of Non-Society was that you had to quit your job in an elaborate way. This was in a time when people did not just storm off of a job because they were fed up. So, when people just started flipping over counting machines and announcing to the boss exactly where he could stick his low wage, it gathered a lot of attention. The point was to make sure that the society would be ignored because no one would want anything to do with the members. At this, they were highly effective.

The next step that William Bobble put into effect was to make sure that the society had everything it needed to be able to start over in a new society. The members of the Society of Non-Society purchased everything they needed to be able to start a garden. They also bought different animals that they could use for breeding and for food. In addition, they purchased all the implements they would need in order to dig deep into the earth. With this, they had everything that they needed to move on to a new world.

In order to break ties completely with the old world, the members of the Society of Non-Society each burned their homes to the ground while dancing in the front lawn naked and painted blue. Those that were not arrested and held for mental observation met back at the rendezvous point so they could move along with the next step in the plan.

Over the course of the next year, the society dug through the earth and created vast underground caverns which they were to use as a living environment. These were created so that they would not represent the old world. This was so that they would be able to start the new society with a new attitude and a new mindset. After they entered their underground caverns, not much is known about what happened.

In 1963, the underground caverns were discovered and all of the materials that were present were more advanced than anything that was presently in use. As it turns out, when the distractions and pressures of society are removed, it helps to focus the mind on the projects you are on. It is believed that the society believed that they were now too advanced for the society that even they had created and transported themselves into the future. All that is left behind is the remnants of a society that valued thought and imagination more than anything else.