So you can read my books

Sunday, June 16, 2019

How to be A FATHER

Hobbes is still trying to come to grips 
with finding out 
about his furry brothers
 and fatherhood


You may already know that a male lion that recently became head of his pride 

will usually kill all the cubs sired by the previous leader.

My own step-father tried to kill me twice jealous of the love my mother had for me so I can emphasize.

 Once the mama brings home her kill, the male lion is always the first one to eat.

 If it’s a rough hunting season, an alpha lion will let his wives and children starve first.


Hibbs is not much happier finding out about Grizzly fathers!

It’s rare for any animal-kingdom father to eat his own young when he isn’t desperate for food, 

but the male grizzly bear will do just that. 

That means mama bears have to be extra good parents, 

not only making sure to feed their cubs and teach them how to survive on their own, 

but also ensuring their youngsters never happen to stray into their daddy’s bachelor pad.

My own mother tried her best with my biological father, 

but even so he tricked my babysitter into trusting me to him ...

And he abandoned me on the roughest street in Detroit.


It is not like they train boys how to be good fathers in high school.

And with so many absentee and abusing fathers in our culture, 

it is no wonder that young boys have a fragmented idea of what it means to be a father. 


 Sandra's mantra to young girls is:

"Once you become a parent, the days of thinking just for yourself are over."

In Stephen King's DUMA KEY, the hero continually wrote:

Wireman always says ...   

Wireman's motto is ...   

Wireman laughs that ...


It is not until the end of King's novel that you find out that Wireman died before the hero recounts the adventure.

But Wireman became such an integral part of the hero's new life that his friend always stays in the present of the hero's thoughts.

So Sandra stays in the present of my thinking of life.


Fathers, both good and bad, are like that, too.

They never fade in the past.  

Their words, their actions are like mental Muzac continually playing in their children's minds.

Fathers may wash their hands of their children either physically or emotionally ...

but those children never stop feeling the touch or lack of touch from those fathers.


Every generation seems to become more and more focused on the self, doesn't it?

Is it any wonder that the grown children of those parents do not know how to be responsible in their own parenting?


How many men in your world are boy-men --

unwilling to accept discipline or restraint, forever in search of pleasure?

They rationalize finding sexual pleasure while denying the consequences of that sex.


Perhaps that is why so many choose not to believe in God, for that would predicate living life according to concrete rules. 

Yet, our God is what we worship in our deeds ...

and seeking consequence-free pleasure seems to be the new God of today.


It is said that the Age of the Essay is over.  Not so.

Our blog posts are truly mini-essays.

Michel de Montaigne's essays are both personal and urbane.

He neither wanted nor expected people beyond his circle of friends to be too interested.

In his preface, he echoes our thoughts when we write our own posts:

 Reader, you have here an honest book … 

in writing it, I have proposed to myself no other than a domestic and private end.

 I have had no consideration at all either to your service or to my glory … 

Thus, reader, I myself am the matter of my book: 

there’s no reason that you should employ your leisure upon so frivolous and vain a subject. 

 Therefore farewell.


In writing about fathers, I am not judging anyone or proclaiming my thoughts are the gold standard of life.  :-)

I am merely reflecting in prose on my own views, born from my own life experiences much like the father of the essay.

The great and glorious masterpiece of any life is to have lived with purpose and love.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Is America Falling Apart Around Our Ears?

“You can no longer see or identify yourself 
solely as a member of a tribe, 
but as a citizen of a nation of one people
working toward a common purpose.”
idowu koyenikan

Do you stand and stare at 
a cultural/political landscape 
that seems to have gone insane?

‘Why bother with a milkshake when 
you could get some battery acid?’

Jo Brand's comment when speaking about
 the current trend of throwing
milkshakes at those 
whose political views
differ from yours. 

We are at an unprecedented moment in America.

Though our nation has made great strides in fighting discrimination, 

the voices of our fragmented society are becoming more and more strident.

 In America today, every group feels under assault to some extent. 

Whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, 

Christians, Jews, and Muslims, straight people and gay people, liberals and conservatives – 

all feel their groups are being attacked, bullied, persecuted, discriminated against.

When everyone is screaming, no one is listening.

Now, Hollywood says the term X-MEN has become outdated since there are women in the group.

No longer should there be Men In Black ... 
but People in Black.

 Somewhere along the line, 
common sense has become 
not so common anymore.


Thursday, June 13, 2019



The usual reasons:

1.) The Love has gone -- 

2.) The other party has grown into someone(thing) different.

Once we blogged for COMMUNITY

Now, we blog for 

Remember how thrilled you were when you got your first comments on your blog?

How you joined bloghops to meet others, posted their blog buttons on your sidebar?

How you emailed special blogging friends?

You got to know those friends from their comments and their newsy posts on their blogs.

Then, they started to DRIFT AWAY from your blog, 
your received comments.

 In the blogverse, it's gotten like that cliche in Western Movies:

It's quiet out there ... too quiet.

The community has dissipated to other outlets of SOCIAL MEDIA or other concerns.

Specifically to Facebook ...

where it is hard to get blog notice without paying extra for it ...

and not even then sometimes!

 The demise of Google+ has relegated many of us to the shadows, forgotten in dim memories.


Know that good writing is true writing.

   Do not be a weather-vane spinning crazily about, buffeted by the winds of the current fads.

Stay True to Ourselves.

Write posts that please us --

   Seasons change, but we grow from surviving their storms. 





Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Do you humans feel it?  The Sense of an Ending.

The iron snow of despair swirls all about and within you.  

You do not sense it, of course.

It is like dining in a dim restaurant.  

The longer you are there, the lighter it becomes ... to you.

The interior has not become brighter.  

Your eyes have just become accustomed to the darkness.

Just as the eyes of your spirits have become accustomed to the darkness of the ever colder world in which you exist.

I would say "souls" instead of spirits, 

but you have become much too sophisticated and hollow 

to believe in anything which you cannot fondle or deposit in your banks.

Each of you is falling from this world as aimless and blind as a shooting star.  

You speed through the darkness of your perceptions ...

burning yourselves up, drawn by the gravity of your deeds to the harsh destiny born of your choices.

Living this way is much like leaping off a cliff, hoping to build your wings on the way down. 

 It did not work out very well for Icarus ... nor will it for you.

Who am I, you ask, to speak thus.  

I am sometimes called Guanyin.

The Chinese name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, 

meaning "[The One Who] Perceives the Sounds of the World"

What I hear of late is the Soft Goodbye of that Concept for which I am considered the Goddess ...


The Christmas Season is the Time when I call out to you with the most hope of being heard ...

But the sounds of cash registers and bitter recriminations 

have all but drowned out my Voice in your ears.

Selfishness is catching; it rubs off on people.

Yet so does Love: 

Infect those about you with Mercy, Compassion, and Love before it too late.

The Winter of the Soul is all about you ... 

brighten what you can of it with warm acts of kindness and caring ...

Let the Soft Goodbye of the Soul have at least the glow of one caring soul to light its way at the End.

If you wish to read more of me, you can find me in THE THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT

Monday, June 10, 2019


Since Man first looked up at the stars, he wondered at the moon looking back down on him.

We yearned to fly up there somehow to see for ourselves what lay upon those distant shores ... 

and one day, we finally got there ... 

because we did not give up.

We yearn to make an impact with our writing, our casting of sparkling tales into the darkness.  

If we do not give up, we will reach that goal ... 

but only if we continue to grow.



Here are some of which you may be unaware -- 

BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott:

Anne is the Bette Midler of the writing world -- and no, this book is not about birds.

 “Almost every single thing you hope publication will do for you is a fantasy, a hologram--it's the eagle on your credit card that only seems to soar.” 


Marilyn is the standard bearer for the power of words.

 “Loving language means cherishing it for its beauty, precision, power to enhance understanding, power to name, power to heal. And it means using words as instruments of love”


Vivian weaves the magic of how the internal story gives birth to the external one.

"Every work of literature has both a situation and a story.  

The situation is the context of circumstance, sometimes the plot;  

the story is the emotional experience that preoccupies the writer:  the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say." 

THE WRITING LIFE by Annie Dillard

In fluid and dream-like prose, Annie relates the harsh world of writing.

 “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. 

 One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all ... 

The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later."

What are some of your favorite inspiring books?


Like those Go-Go Dancers of the sixties, shake it up.  Only first person for you?  Do third person.  Only prose.  Write a haiku.


Forget about selling your book, about your audience, about what is hot. Write the best story you know how.  

Tarantino says that you should make your story for you.  There are others like you that will like it, too.


Yes, I know what I just said.  

But we are story-tellers.  We do our best work thinking of how best to stir the listeners.

Imagine you are telling your tale to a very sick friend, trying to get her mind off her pain.

 Can't be boring.  Can't be pedantic.  

Must conjure a world that takes your friend from the sickbed of pain to a world of wonder.


We all have words we fall back on over and over.  Work at expanding your vocabulary.

Wordle helps there:

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. 

The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.  

It will help you see your crutch words while giving you a fun time.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Your GPS is shrinking your BRAIN!

In a 2017 study, researchers asked subjects to navigate 

a virtual simulation of London’s Soho neighborhood and monitored their brain activity, 

specifically the hippocampus, which is integral to spatial navigation. 

Those who were guided by directions showed less activity in this part of the brain 

than participants who navigated without the device. 

They wrote:

“The hippocampus makes an internal map of the environment 

and this map becomes active only when you are engaged in navigating and not using GPS.

Studies have long shown the hippocampus is highly susceptible to experience. 

(London’s taxi drivers famously have 

greater gray-matter volume in the hippocampus as a consequence of memorizing the city’s labyrinthine streets.)

Meanwhile, atrophy in that part of the brain is linked to devastating conditions, 

including Post Traumatic Syndrome and Alzheimer's disease!

When people use tools such as GPS, they tend to engage less with navigation. 

Therefore, brain area responsible for navigation is less used, 

and consequently their brain areas involved in navigation tend to shrink.

If we are paying attention to our environment, we are stimulating our hippocampus, 

and a bigger hippocampus seems to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease.

When we get lost, it activates the hippocampus, 

it gets us completely out of the habit mode. 

Getting lost is good! 

Done safely, getting lost 
could be a good thing.


Friday, June 7, 2019


The Rules, 
as they are wont to do, 
have changed. 

Any time from today until June 19, you can post for the JUNE 'CAGED BIRD' challenge 

which is a combined undertaking by WEP and partners, the IWSG!

{998 Words}

The first time I saw the Ghost Train, I was 11 years old, a shepherd along the slopes of the Lombardy Alps in 1911. 

The next minute, I was a 25 year old British aristocrat.

Confused?  Welcome to my world.

Like the passengers of the Titanic the following year, the 106 passengers aboard the Zanetti train racing into the new tunnel were never seen again.

Except for:

Sir Lionel Atwell, pushed from the train by his fiancée, 

and the British traveler, Samael Froth, who’d tried to keep him from falling.

Samael tumbled harmlessly into my sheep.  Lionel’s head slammed into mine, changing our fates forever.

 A heartbeat before, I’d looked up to see the train rushing into the tunnel whose mouth billowed in white fog.

As Lionel’s head hit mine, the world grew bright white.  I fell onto my back.  

 I heard my voice come from feet away.  I saw myself screaming in English.

“Bloody Hell!”

I staggered to feet I did not feel, grabbing my head.  La mia testa!”

I felt insane seeing “myself” stare open-mouthed towards ... me.  “I” stiffened, falling to the grass in spasms. 

 I watched “myself” die.

The new me fainted.

Strange whispers dug into my mind.

I awakened as the bunk beneath me rocked, and I groaned, “Mia teste.”

“Finally!  I thought you’d never wake up.  How do you feel, Sir Lionel?”



I fought for the right word.  “Dizzy.”

Two voices warred inside my mind, as if two caged birds furiously pecked at one another.

I croaked, “Where are we?”

 “Zanetti Railways sent a special train to bring us back to Rome.  Me, they gave a free pass to continue my trip.  You, my unlucky friend, are going back to your testy aunt.”

I studied his mocking face, and a name came to me.  “Samael Froth.”

“The one and only.”

He got up.


“Sorry, but your Aunt gave orders I was to leave as soon as you awakened.  Should you need it, the loo is behind the sliding door to your right.”

He gave me a cheery wave and left.  I looked about, marveling at the intricate wood paneling, deluxe leather armchair, silk sheets, and wool blanket for the bed.

Bed.  Grass had usually been my bed.

A Loo?  It was the bathroom.  Its mirror froze my blood.  A strange man looked back at me.  I was no longer a child but a man!  One I did not know.

My waking world having become nightmare, I collapsed back into the bed.  What was wrong?  I didn’t just look different; I thought differently.

The second time I saw the Ghost Train was in my dream.

The platform between the cars trembled beneath my feet.  The sickly pale blonde beside me spun, glaring sheer hate.

“You!  What does it take to kill you?”

Samael chuckled behind me.  “Why do humans ask such useless questions?”

I turned and saw the flesh over his cheekbones squirm as if worms slithered beneath it. I recoiled, nearly falling off the train again.  He caught me.

“Oh, no, little shepherd.  I have things to show you.”

He smiled, and the frail blonde turned to mist.

He led me by the arm into the car. 

“Even a peasant child must be realizing Samael is not my true name.  A cruel clue since you are not learned enough to know that according to Jewish myth, Samael is a fallen angel. In fact, Samael is the chief seducer, accuser, and destroyer of Man. Yet, what you see is but a froth of my essence.”

Above us came an unseen chorus as of voices trilling from bleeding throats:

 “To Nyarlathotep be all glory. Putting on the semblance of man, the waxen mask, the flesh robes, he comes down from the world of Seven Suns to mock."

“A-As you say, I am only a shepherd boy.  Do not put yourself out on my account.”

“But a boy caged in the flesh prison of a man.  I grew bored.  You are my new toy.”

The door to our right burst open and out staggered a wizened old man, and my guide smirked, “Ah, my old toy.”

The old man held out a portrait with paint-stained fingers.  “I did as you asked!  Free me from this hell!”

“Oh, my dear Watts, you earned this hell when you married a sixteen year old girl in your dotage.”

Nyatlathotep studied the portrait, frowning.  

 “No, you have merely re-painted your Dweller Within,  I wanted the spirit of this boy housed in a man’s body.  Like so!”

He flicked long fingers, and the paint blurred to become his description:

The shepherd boy I had been, misty within the body of the man I had become.  Instead of the former wings, numbers and symbols arched around his shoulders.

“Algorithms,” said Nyarlathotep, giving me a cold side eye.

He touched my forehead with hot fingertips.   

“Remember them, and you will be able to deduce where and when this train will next appear.”

“W-Why would I want to do that?”

“If you manage to physically board this train, you will stop its maddening trip through time.”


“As we speak, this train is racing through Medieval Modena.  Monks will chronicle it as ‘a sled with a pipe, dragging three smaller ones behind it’.”

Nyarlathotep faked concern.  “Oh, two more passengers have just jumped off to seek refuge.  Sadly, they will be thought devils.  Monks burn devils here.”

His lips pulled up in a snake’s smile.  “Next stop is to be 1841, Mexico. Of course, the authorities will be much too civilized to burn them.”

“W-What will they do?”

“I do not think they will keep them long in the psychiatric facility.  After all, this train’s third stop is Balaklava in 1955.”

He slapped me hard.  “Time to wake up, shepherd!”

My eyes snapped open to see a painting of my pale “fiancée” at the foot of my bed in the style of the old artist.

“Tick, tock,” whispered an unseen voice.