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.

Surviving the 2020 Holiday season

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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.

Yes, it’s true; I tend to grow a little (sometimes a lot) verklempt each Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. After all these years together, my honey understands, but she still expects a modicum of participative attention from me like all the other months. …


Human Condition

Compelled To Speak Again

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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 again was this little gem. …


EMOTIONAL HEALTH

From dreams of glory to a cautionary tale

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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. There’s a reason for that and maybe to some, it’s not a good one, but hell, anyone who knows me (and so few really do) can tell you I don’t always make the best choices. …


These damn things don’t grow on trees

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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 my perspective we’re all busting our asses here working for that lucky break. …


The allure of easy pickings

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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 folks, before choosing to step back I went from an average of 2 to 3 hundred reads a day, to 20. Yeah, you read that right, 20 reads a day. …


LIFE

Truly Understanding Your Limitations

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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. …


EMOTION|OLD AGE|WELL-BEING

Truly no time for any regrets

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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 entrenched in a passionate belief of equity and fairness after witnessing the degrading manner our fellow Humans have been treated. We want everyone to be treated with equanimity regardless of their sexual preferences, the color of their skin, or the deities they worship. …


A WRITER’S LIFE

Just remember to keep dancing

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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. …


A WRITER’S LIFE

Back on the bottom step

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Right back where I started — Image by wei zhu on Pixabay

It’s bizarre. This month three years ago, I started on a journey only to realize today I’ve managed to climb my way to the bottom of the staircase where I originally started.

It’s not for lack of trying, I assure you. Granted, when I first signed up and put my money down, I was pretty clueless about how to make things work. But I learned, just like we all did, and pretty soon was in the groove.

In the first seven months, I had no routine, no specified chart to guide my efforts, and no real work ethic. So I’m counting those as the learning months. But after spending those same months reading other writers and parsing through all the clickbait bullshit con-artists, I found my way. …


TECH

A review of the HP Office Pro 9015

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Scan Jet technology has come a long way since the beginning. Image by Francis Ray on Pixabay

This piece is a complete departure from the fiction or personal essays I usually write. Today, I’m offering you a few observations from both a technical and layperson’s viewpoint on a piece of technology — the HP Office Pro 9015 scan jet printer.

I must admit, I’m just a tad biased here.

First off, the laptop I’m typing this article on is an HP. I have a laptop and a desktop down in my office (I’m upstairs in the kitchen at the moment) both HP(s). …

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