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New Leaf

My mother said I’ve turned over a new leaf. I told her no, I have not. I chopped down the tree, built a fire from the branches, made paper from the pulp, and am now writing a new life’s chapter beside the fire’s light.

Well . . . I had to tell someone! Take care. We will talk soon!

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Monday’s Finish the Story – Did Someone Say Challenge?!

A new challenge I ran across in my WordPress travels: Monday’s Finish the Story. I heart writing challenges like I heart sunshine. A day without one is like . . . well, I think you get it. So, this one is new. In 100 – 150 words, like the blog title implies, finish the story using the photo prompt and starting sentence which is “She was unaware she was being watched.” My story follows right at 150 words.

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The story:

The Thief

She was unaware she was being watched. Ellie entered the shop – one of the more interesting shops that Gatlinburg offered. She turned at the shopkeeper’s greeting and realized she had not been alone the whole time. The shopkeeper was in back but the wolf that sat by the backdoor was no stuffed hunter’s prize. It moved toward her beside the shopkeeper. Slight fear pitted Ellie’s belly.

“It’s okay. Connelly wouldn’t hurt a fly. I have to bring him to the shop or else he tears up the house. He worries when I’m gone. I’m his pack and therefore he’s very insistent on being with me twenty-four seven,” the shopkeeper stated with a chuckle.

“Wow, he is beautiful. Are you sure it’s okay?” Ellie asked.

Connelly groaned and looked at the shopkeeper.

“Are you lying, Connelly?” the shopkeeper asked.

Ellie swore Connelly said a drawn-out “no”.

“Okay, Ma’am, what did you steal?”

This little short flash is loosely based on a true story. I went once to Gatlinburg with a friend. We entered a shop and there lay a wolf. The shopkeeper was present, though, and we didn’t steal anything. But that was the most interesting shop and animal. It was so very docile and calm. The guy said he’d rescued the animal and now he was the wolf’s pack. The wolf went most everywhere with the man. A great memory, for sure.

Until next time . . .

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The Future Is Organic

I saw a bumper sticker, today, as always. Around here, one would think having a bumper sticker is a vehicle registration requirement. It’s not however people feel the need to tell everyone that “My dog is smarter than your honor student” and “I’m republican, therefore, I’ll shoot first and pray about it later!” Okay, I made up the second one but you get my drift. Well, the bumper sticker in question probably wanted to imply a health message, I’m guessing. The driver, probably vegan, wanted to tell the world that the future depends on organic foods, maybe. The sticker read “The Future Is Organic”.

Well, as always, my mind rode waves from subject to subject, mainly from foods to something more philosophical. The broad plastic of my creative brain (like it or not) shaped the sticker’s message from organic foods and farming to the Fates and the Almighty. Taking this idea into a broader definition, the idea somewhat antiquates older ideas – the idea of an All-knowing Almighty, for example. Now, by no means am I trying to imply or sell the idea of happenstance and simple coincidence. The Universe, I am sure, has a Designer. And She’s hot (elle oh elle)! Seriously, I cannot see Her being the Creator of the world, Designer of the very ideas of Love and Beauty, and deciding not to dress Herself accordingly.

At any rate, in a linear mode and manner of thinking (which may be the problem), one cannot think of an omnipotent, all-knowing god with having to incorporate the ideas of knowing the future of each of us. If this is the case, then one also can’t ignore that an all-knowing god would have to, as well, not only know the future, but choose that very future for us. There is no other line of thought. If She knows our future before we do, then, intrinsically, She would not only shape that future but free will would not exist. Think of choices as something tangible that you could hold in your hand. Two masses of matter cannot exist in the same space, right? Then my choice cannot exist in Her mind previously and still be called my choice. It would’ve been Hers all along, correct? Now, there is the argument that “oh, God knows our choices but doesn’t make them for us”. Hmm. Does that make sense to you? Me either. For free will to truly exist, it cannot first exist as an idea or choice elsewhere in another entity. Sorry. Free will cannot work any other way than in our own minds and hearts as our own intrinsic choice.

Now, it may very well be that She knows all the choices and paths of said choice upon choice, all bazillion and four of them, upfront. Meaning this path of choices and intertwining “mistakes” and/or “triumphs” can be clearly seen by Her initially, possibly by some highly advanced mathematical algorithm, because most things, in my opinion, can be broken down into numbers or patterns somehow, usually. When you get down to the meat, the Universe itself is a pattern. It has to be. No other possibility, even taking into account ideas like Chaos theory and the Strange Attractor, can really exist. This may sound like the two cannot coexist, though. Free will and patterns. But thinking non-linearly, as if choice and patterns of choices are finite and tangible, like an interwoven spectrum, She may hold the paths but the choices of those paths are in the here and now, and are mine alone to make. She hold the lock and keys and my hand alone chooses which specific key, and I alone take responsibility for those choices and actions.

Why am I going off on this rant? I don’t know. Why not! Anyway, just my two cents on an old idea with new factors thrown in.

As always, take care, everyone. And I hope your Sunday is worry and bullet-free!

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Dishin’ It!

Okay, I am not the Bullgod but, man, do I feel Kid Rock’s pain! Specifically the line “A lot of people poke fun and that’s all right but when I start pokin’ back they get all uptight”. What is the deal?! It’s  fair for you to slight me in fun yet when I defend myself, you’re gonna get pissed off??? Yeah, screw you, you entitled elitist bastard! “Well, as long as you don’t cut back too deep.” Well, what’s “too deep”? Define that. We are all different therefore you’re too deep may not be the same as mine. Therefore, your logic is flawed. Go away, jackass.

Example, picture it: Sicily, 1942 . . . Wait, no, wrong series. Friendsville Elementary circa nineteen-eighty-something, I, a diminutive fourth grader in stature compared to the average eighth grader, yet, not so diminutive in heart and spirit, stood on the dark playground before classes that morning beside a tall eighth grader nicknamed Booger. At least I hope it was a nickname. If not a nickname, that may explain his fucked up actions. At any rate, Booger greeted me that morning with a, “Hey, shorty! How are you, today?” He knew my name, yet, chose in his booger-y wisdom to slight me with his generic wit, to which I responded with a, “I’m okay, totem pole. How are you?” I know, I know, totem pole. It’s not the best comeback, nor has any current concrete inferences to being tall, but it’s all I could think of at the time without missing a beat and having my ass handed to me by a trite and complete cliche of an insult. Well, hearing this, in his booger-y wisdom, Booger proceeded to tell me that, “You know, your smart mouth is gonna get you in trouble. Somebody’s gonna kick your ass one day.” Oh, okay, Booger. So, you’re gonna try to sell me on the idea that I have no right to defend myself and you’re gonna further try to sell me that idea through a threatening, unfair, unacceptable currency of “Somebody’s gonna kick your ass one day”. Whaaaa?! I have two words for you, Booger. No, I’m not gonna say fuck you even though I’m completely thinking it. Those two words are (actually, to be correct, in the case you’re counting, it’s one hyphenated word) “self” and “respect”. Sorry, jackass, but I have/had enough self-respect to stand up for myself. And no, I refuse to apologize for having that self-respect nor will I apologize for having a quicker wit than you, and coming up with something that, at the time, I thought was hilarious. And apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought the cut down was hilarious because my crush and confidante Susan Hyden (I think she was who I was standing with . . .) thought it was cleverly funny as well. Sorry if I embarrassed you, Booger, but it was totally your own damn fault. Also, sorry, but just because you are/were my elder, Booger, does, by no means, mean I have to kowtow to your dumb ass! So, sorry, but eff you, you morally skewed mofo! Trust me, Goliath, when I say that I’m by no means intimidated by you and your size because I know how to use the proverbial sling and I’m by no means scared to do so. You’re barkin’ up the wrong damn tree with your ego reassurance-seeking ass! ‘Cause cliche or no, this little jewel of wisdom is always true: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And that goes for any person, institution, ideology, state, nation, and the like! You think I’m joking? Just look at the Viet Nam Conflict!

Sorry, I am ranting. But this is a rant that needs to be put out there for me, you, him, her, them and anyone else who’s ever been made to feel that they are less than entitled to verbally, or otherwise, defend themselves. It shamed me a bit. And it shouldn’t have. Booger shouldn’t have tried to shame me in this way. I mean, maybe he had good intentions. Maybe not. But if you are ever being picked on, even by those who are “just kidding you . . .”, let me tell you so you know concretely: *ahem* it is solely your right and responsibility to defend yourself at all costs. Because it is as my father and brother told me once, and this is undeniable truth, that no one will take care of you but you! And that bleeds over from one aspect of one’s life to every aspect, pun intended, even and especially if that means making someone bleed. I’m a pacifist and one of the most easygoing people I know but sometimes making someone bleed is your only option . . . especially when they punch first. No one will care for, defend and be responsible for your well being but YOU. This is mainly due to the fact that everyone else is doing the exact same thing – taking care of, being responsible for, and defending themselves. It is not your mama’s responsibility to defend your borders. When someone encroaches on those borders, you have every right and ultimate responsibility to defend those borders with every vigilant verbal and, if necessary, physical swing that is within the law. No one else will do it for you and shouldn’t need to. I think this idea has been put down, put aside, lost, swept under the rug for too damn long, and I think political correctness has much to do with this. We’re so scared of hitting a nerve or trampling rights that we do our own selves daily injustices by allowing people to hit our nerves and trample our rights. Why are young people grabbing automatic weapons and acting out fatally in malls and other public venues??? This, I believe, is part of the reason. Subjugate? Ha! I don’t think so. Instigate! Instigate your very own self worth. And, by God, defend it! Jesus said, “Turn the other cheek.” Well, this is all well and good, but He also, at one time, overturned tables in synagogues in defense of the sanctity of those very synagogues. Yeah, turn the other cheek, sure . . . when you’re outnumbered, maybe, and want to leave with all limbs and facial features intact. But even then, leave with some modicum of diligent self-respect. Shout an obscenity or cut down at them as you quickly duck into the car and peel away hurriedly. All I can say to Booger and anyone else that’s ever said similar things about my getting my ass kicked just for being myself: I’m going to be forty-something years old on February something, Booger, and my ass has yet to be kicked because of my smart mouth. If anything, I’ve earned more respect from would-be bullies who thought that I’d cower to their verbal and physical assaults. Therefore, your argument is flawed. Go away, jackass.

Moral of the story: beware of the feeble ego and self image of guys named Booger and of like individuals. And, by all means, defend your damn self vigorously as if your self respect, your personal well being, and your very ass is always on the line because, essentially, it is! And anyone, and I mean any damn body, who tries to sell you on the idea that you are any less worthy of personal self respect than they are, tell them to sell their fuckin’ snake oil elsewhere ’cause you ain’t buyin’, and you know their stamp of approval from the FDA for said snake oil is a sham with zero worth and/or credibility. Hmm . . . then again, what FDA stamp isn’t a farce! But that’s fodder for another post. Yeah, Booger, your dose of snake oil may have sounded like a just and proper admonishment for my own good but it was totally misguided and useless. It’s morally and ethically unhealthy advice and I’m glad I didn’t heed it. Basically, to all the Boogers out there, don’t tread on me, dude. You will reap the whirlwind! As in you will be utterly blown away and I will unapologetic-ally beat your ass verbally and, if necessary, physically in defense of myself. Thanks, dad and bro, for the advice early on, and I hope I’ve made you proud in exercising my own self respect.

So, yeah, to end the rant, a cliche that always applies: Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. And that is basically because one day, the guy you dish to, then get pissed off and take a swing at, could very well justifiably hand you your friggin’ ass on a plate with a used toothpick of his own. Yes, you just got your ass eaten like a Big Mac and fries on Mickie D’s half-price Wednesday! If that happens, y’all, please post the event on YouTube so we can all laugh in unison at dumbass bullies everywhere! (Elle Oh elle!) I absolutely love to see bullies get their asses handed to them, literally, figuratively and in any other way possible (smiley face)! On that cheery, healthy note, take care, y’all. And, feel free to leave me a comment with your personal bully story, whether triumphant or not. Let’s dish, pun intended!

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New Writing Challenge – Bring It!

First off, just sayin’ . . . had to post it!

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“All is forgiven.”

 

 

With that bit of business concluded . . . Onward!

Ten Quote Tuesday hosted by A Writer’s Path. I stumbled onto this writing challenge in my email. The challenge was undertaken by a talented blogger I recently began following. Thanks, INSPIRING my EMOTIONS for posting and turning me on. Well, I’m always down for a new challenge so thought why not?!

The task: Read ten inspirational quotes to wake the Cosmic Muse, and start slingin’ words.

“Introductions inhibit pleasure, kill the joy of anticipation, frustrate curiosity.” -Harper Lee

“Dialogue should show the relationships among people.” -Elizabeth Bowen

“What I don’t write is as important as what I write.” -Jamaica Kincaid

“To write simply is as difficult as to be good.” -Somerset Maugham

“What I adore is supreme professionalism. I’m bored by writers who can write only when it’s raining.” -Noel Coward

“I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience.” -Annie Proulx

“Any time two characters are talking about a third, the scene is a crock of s***.” -David Mamet

“Language is the mother, not the handmaiden, of thought; words will tell you things you never thought or felt before.” -W.H. Auden

“If there is no possibility for change in a character, we have no interest in him.” -Flannery O’ Connor

“A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage.” -Sydney Smith

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The parameters or prompt choices:

  • Include all these elements into a scene: sports tickets, a candle, discouragement, and drawing.
  • Have a scene with a self-conscious politician.
  • Start your scene with this line: I don’t remember my birthdays. 

Reading other entries, I gather these are choices, anyway and, therefore, it’s not necessary use all prompts. I however have always chosen, consciously or un-so, to make things as difficult as I perfectly possibly can. So, in that regard, I’m throwing my entry into the ring and am using all prompts. Only because I love flexing my creative muscles, though, not necessarily showing them off. So, flex and here we go! The title of this piece: This, That, the Other, and a Druther.

I don’t remember my birthdays. Not lately, at any rate, and this is mainly due to the fact that I’m often soused by six o’clock on those days. This is by design. It’s not because I am inherently evil and going against God’s (or Baptists’) no drinking law, nor is it because I’m a sot. I choose to lose consciousness for at least one day out of the year and tear Hell through a bar and society, and leave the chips falling in my wake. Will I end up in the news the next day? I generally don’t worry about it.

“Tickets! Who needs tickets?” the man shouted from the corner as I passed reminding me that the UT game would be soon in full swing, and that this Saturday would soon be a memory – win or lose. Birthdays. Bah! Who the hell needs them?! They just remind you of what you haven’t accomplished. That mountain you never climbed. And all those other things you have, despite all their names. In my drunken revelry I fully intended to make yet another social mistake and climb on the nearest, most (or least) willing woman I could attract . . . or buy. What?! I’m not opposed to using cash to get what I want. Hell, just look at my political record. I get kickbacks on just about every bill I have a hand in creating. And of course those that “kickback” make a ton of cash in the process.

She stood there like she held up the building with her very image. Arrogant, maybe, but, damn, she had reason to be. A courtroom sketch artist, or at least that is what she said she did as a profession, she held youth by the neck and, as much as it struggled, did not let it go. Not quietly, at any rate, and this was mainly due to the slit in her skirt that peek-a-boo-ed her panties at just the right angle. And, I looked, yes. Well, of course I did.

“I’d not buy me that drink. It will get you nowhere, mister,” she said as I asked what her favorite drink flavor happened to be. Well, fat chance of that stopping me.

“Well, then I’ll just bring you one of every damn thing! How’s that?” I said.

“Suit yourself.”

Leaving the bar with Janie the sketch artist under my arm (I mean literally under my arm. I carried her out as if carrying a load of laundry in the basket. She cackled loud laughs) and entering my flat, I lit one tall candle. She slurred as we undressed, “Wow. You’ve got a tiny penis! I sure can pick ‘em!” What?! My penis shrank at her words as her eyes grew in disbelief.

So. There you have it. This is in my opinion the worst story I have ever written. Yet, what can I say? The Cosmic Muse dances however and to whatever rhythm she so chooses. Until next time . . .

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Recent Events

I am a writer and artist, as y’all know hopefully by now. I paint and have done a few cartoons that still live under the Russ tab on this blog. Due to certain circumstances, I do most blogging now from a public computer. I don’t have the means currently to add a rebellious, retaliatory cartoon stating my feelings on the Paris incident. All I can say is . . . Je Suis Charlie, and that no matter how many bullets terrorists decide to sling at people who speak their mind, shoot me and you’ve put a hole in my body. Kill me and you’ve liberated my soul. But neither of these gets you any closer to making your violence holy in the eyes of the One True God. You do nothing but sign a death warrant for your very spirit. Sorry to tell you, but 72 virgins are not going to greet your heart when you leave this earth. Hate is hate, no matter what guise you drape it in! Murder is murder, no matter what propaganda you drape it in! I’m a proud infidel and will be till the day I die. If you wish to attempt to speed that whole dying process, good luck!

Pro tip: No true God would sponsor and/or perpetuate killing another of His creations! Terrorism as a religion and way of life makes you laughable and insane. And from what I understand about Islamic ideals and principles, you do nothing but twist and distort your religion to fit your violent agenda. You are not holy. You perpetuate nothing but evil. And that very evil will ultimately devour you. You are brainwashed (see Adolf Hitler for reference).

At any rate, I felt I wanted to say something. So I’m rerunning an episode of Russ titled Hijack. Hopefully this won’t offend anyone. When I did this particular episode I thought (obviously) that it was harmless enough to post, yet, funny enough to serve the purpose. I hope it doesn’t give the impression of making light of a terrible tragedy because that is not my intention. ISIS or ISIL, you may kiss my ass. Thank you all and enjoy the ‘toon!

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Take care and until next time . . .

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Oh My God – Hell Bound!

So, it’s been a minute since I checked in. Happy holidays, new year, birthday, congratulations on that job, child, marriage, what-have-you, since it has been so long. That should cover some of what’s going on, hopefully.

Well, figured I’d stop in and step into a SlimJim Friday Fictioneers, that old fave! And as usual I have no idea from where these snippets come. But, as shallow as this little picture of life is, it probably will hit home with some. So, yeah, Friday Fictioneers: they put up a photo prompt; talented writers destroy said prompt in about 100 words or so. That said, here’s mine in exactly one hundred!

The prompt:
begin-the-route

The story:

That road less traveled would be much more popular, perhaps, if female nudity were promised somewhere along the way. I know this, from a male stand point, because . . . I’m male. But, in all honesty, isn’t it promised so much along the way already? Even without media dropping the sex bomb at every turn, women drop it constantly – knowingly and unknowingly.

When she bent down in front of me on that street corner, I couldn’t think and tried to discern if this was done purposefully. When I spoke to her and she didn’t acknowledge my existence, I got my answer. Bitch!

There ya go! A shallow squalor of dubious demented-ness. Until next time . . .

EDIT: I in no way, shape or form feel this way about women (not sarcasm!). I love them for every crazy, cool, eccentric, beautiful thing they do. The guy in the story is a jackass, in my opinion, for the thought that breezes through his head (the correct head!) – the word ‘bitch’. I think men like this have an ego problem and it’s probably permanent. Thank you!

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