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A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.


It’s a lot like finding your keys

Ah, Success, where the heck are you? Image by Stefan Keller on Pixabay

This morning when I logged in to pull down an assignment I expected to get from a freelance client I’ve picked up recently, I wasn’t very happy. I’ve received consistent work from them for several weeks and have made some pretty good money, but today nothing was in the hopper.

Okay, I didn’t let that slow me down. I immediately turned my attention to another client and perused the list of potential work. I perused and perused until I picked a skimpy four hundred word assignment and knocked it out in about forty minutes.

It’s Okay To Take A Time Out

After finishing I sat back and…

A Writer’s Life

Eight Months in and I’m Learning the Hard Way

Self Employed or Self Inflicted? Image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

Eight months ago, I told myself I needed to prepare for the worst. My job at an aerospace manufacturing company was about to end regardless of whether I wanted it to or not. Over the last fifteen years or so, I’ve written four full-length manuscripts and self-published three. I wrote daily on this platform for three years and was convinced I was an accomplished writer.

I asked myself the one question I should have never asked when it comes to freelance work. I’m an accomplished creative writer, correct? So how hard could it be?

I’m willing to bet many of…

Surviving the 2020 Holiday season

We’re all hunkered down in our own little cubicles waiting for the crazy to stop — Image by PIRO4D on Pixabay

I’m no psychiatrist. In fact, I barely passed (I didn’t pass) Psych 101. After realizing I was as screwed up in the head as the people I intended to help, I ditched thoughts of medical practice and turned to something for which I was better suited — Information Technology.

Since I don’t play a psychiatrist on television either, I’m certainly not the penultimate authority on all things right (or wrong) in the head. I can only speak to how I usually feel during the holidays and admit I suffer from a seasonal affective disorder.


Human Condition

Compelled To Speak Again

You either don’t know where you are or can’t remember where you’re going, but either way, you're searching — Image by Jan Alexander on Pixabay

To a beloved writing sister of mine, Sherry McGuinn, I bestow the sincerest and most heartfelt gratitude for every damned word of this piece. It was one paragraph Sherry wrote. One tiny little well-written paragraph that kicked up a dust storm in my brain and compelled me to speak again. Now, it’s not like this paragraph was the only thing that caught my attention span. The whole damned piece is covered in that unique gold-plated McGuinn style that I love so much. Read it, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

But the one paragraph that kickstarted my creative noggin…


From dreams of glory to a cautionary tale

Lost in a sea of voices and still struggling to find a path — Image by Comfreak On Pixabay

First a warning. I’m going to tag a shit load of writers at the end of this, but it’s not for the reason you’re probably thinking. I’m really not that interested in a multitude of folks reading this missive, but I do want to send this message to a few of my friends — yes, I said friends — on this platform and I really hope they’ll read it.

Hope the damn notification system still works around here.

This is the first thing I’ve laid down on Medium in over a month…

These damn things don’t grow on trees

If you feed it guess what? Sometimes it won’t grow. Image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

How many different ways are there to make a statement about the benefits of hard work?

  • You reap what you sow
  • You only get out of it what you put into it
  • Hard work pays off whatever you do
  • A dream doesn’t become a reality through luck or magic; it takes hard work, sweat, and determination

And then there’s my favorite about luck and finally catching that ever-elusive break:

  • If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all

It occurred to me a few days ago (I’ve been AWOL on this platform for a bit) that from…

The allure of easy pickings

While we’re hunting the almighty dollar someone else is hunting us — Image by Comfreak on Pixabay

It’s been eleven days since I’ve posted a single thing on Medium. I probably wouldn’t even be writing this story right now if I wasn’t between freelance assignments with a newly acquired client. Over the last two business weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to secure writing work outside my creative niche which has actually paid me 50 times more in two weeks than I’ve ever made here in an entire month.

So why even spend my time writing this? Because I can, that’s why. I can and I will.

Am I concerned nobody’s going to read what I write? Shit…


Truly Understanding Your Limitations

You won’t always have that Ace up your sleeve in the game of life — Image by Pexelson Pixabay

A lot of times in life we all get dealt some really shitty hands. You know, like when you get passed over for that promotion you really wanted, writing for a living, losing a job, a loved one, writing for a living, working three jobs to put food on the table, your car breaking down in the middle of rush hour traffic, or even writing for a living.

Subliminal messages, ain’t they a hoot?

All joking aside (at the moment) the single most ubiquitous statement many of us know by heart is that ya gotta pay to play. …


Truly no time for any regrets

Sometimes you just have to fall forward— Image by Stefan Keller on Pixabay

Never let it be said (or accepted as a fact) an aging creative can’t stoically stumble through the rest of his or her life. Just by virtue of living as long as some of us have we’ve gained a lot of the traits that define stoicism.

Many of us have gained wisdom from the insanity we perpetrated when we were younger. We’ve learned discretion from the many times we spoke out of turn or slipped up and told someone an embarrassing secret either about ourselves or someone else.

We’ve gained piety and wisdom from years of self-reflection. We’ve become firmly…


Just remember to keep dancing

Every day a writer’s got to sit down and do the dance — Image by Clarence Alford on Pixabay

Some of you more historically inclined may remember reading about the dance marathons of the twenties and thirties. Endurance contests where couples danced for hundreds of hours, sometimes sleeping in each other’s arms as their partner dragged them around the dance floor.

All dancing in hopes they would be the last couple standing (or even moving) and earn prize money.

They Shoot Horses Don’t They, a movie directed by Sydney Pollack, hit the box offices in 1969. It was a critically acclaimed period piece that highlighted the crazy antics of these dance marathons. …

P.G. Barnett

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