I’ve had a few inquiries about my absence from my blogs and I thought I would share with my readers at least one thing I did to keep myself busy over the past several months.
I stepped away from writing, but I still had this creative urge so I became a Pinterest junkie and started working on Halloween props. Initially, I looked online to see if I could find a few small projects to try, just for fun. I thought I’d make a few decorations for a potential upcoming party but I enjoyed the process so much I began taking things to the next level.
I should stress that I am NOT an artist and the photos below are my first attempts at making anything like this. They are not terribly good but it was a nice way to create something from nothing (much like writing) and indulge my darker side at the same time. I have taken a break from my creations but I think I’ll be getting back to my “Dr. Frankenstein” days very soon.
If anyone is interested, I will post links to some of the very talented people I found online and you can see how these kinds of things should actually look.
My first pumpkin was very awkward and goofy looking and I learned a lot of “don’t do this” kinds of lessons.
My second pumpkin turned out just a little bit better.
Rather than writing another social/political essay on the evils of the world, I thought I’d just chat with you for a bit.
Many moons ago I worked at a pizza place as a delivery driver. It was a pretty decent gig for a young man in his late teens/early twenties. The money was good for a simple, entry-level job, the work was easy and I ate a LOT of pizza!
Anyone who has performed this work has stories. The one I always wished I could tell later on is a basic plot device for porn films. Pizza guy delivers to a young, single gorgeous woman with a raging libido. Rather than a monetary tip, the man receives something far more intimate. Sadly, this never happened to me.
I was offered my fair share of drugs as a method of gratuity, but I always declined. Not because I had high moral values or respected my body enough to keep it free from illicit substances, but rather I refused to take things from strangers because I learned how unwise that was.
The first time it happened, a guy gave me a joint to enjoy later. I saved it for the end of the night and shared it with my boss after we closed the shop. I have no idea what that rotten little Mary Jewana cigarette was laced with, but after about five minutes of heavy toking, I felt like someone had driven a railroad spike through my head. The three minute drive home seemed to take hours and though I was exhausted, I feared falling asleep because I kept waking up from not breathing. Terrifying night.
Ok, so for many bloggers, this isn’t really a big deal. A great number of blogs I follow have long passed this milestone but hey, this is my little victory, so I’m going to enjoy it.
This landmark post for my blog comes just a few days from the one year anniversary for Dumasaphobic Diatribes. (Feb. 10th) While I started out with the lofty ambition of writing 3-5 posts a week, I have fallen short of that in recent months. In my defense, my energy has been spent crafting fiction for my other blog, The Well of Fiction. (I published my 100th story “Being in the Right Place at the Wrong Time” today as well. Nice timing, huh?)
I began this journey a year ago with the aspirations of a novice writer who wanted find out if my dreams of writing professionally were achievable or if the voice of fear and doubt in my head had been right all along. I’m happy to say that while I’m still not making money with my writing (sigh), I’ve made great strides in discovering my talents and rousing the creative mind within. I now know that I have the talent and the drive to go to the next level.
I plan to continue this blog as an outlet for all of my personal thoughts and ideas that I cannot package into my fiction, but I don’t expect that my contributions will be as frequent as my short stories on my other blog and I’m ok with that. I’m compelled towards verbal expression in all forms, but fiction has become my mistress and she demands so much of my time. I’m sure I’ll pop in over here to the wild side now and then to vent, share, vent some more, entertain, infuriate and utterly confuse my readers.
Thank you to all who have come along for the ride and have either chosen to follow this blog or just wandered in and stayed long enough to read a post. I hope I can keep providing you all with something worth reading.
So if it’s alright with you, I’m going to take a moment and enjoy a small celebration of my accomplishments.
Ok, enough of that self-indulgent crap. Back to work, writer boy!
I’ve decided that the annoyance one feels when hearing the sound of a crying baby is proportional to the joy one feels when hearing the sound of a baby laughing. I was at the grocery store earlier and a small lad (probably just hit the 1 year mark and was barely toddling) was grabbing his dad’s leg, testing out his newfound mobility and cackling like he was having the time of his life (which he probably was).
As I listened to him belly laugh at the absurdity of absolutely everything (Wouldn’t that be nice?) my paternal instincts kicked in and I found myself grinning from ear to ear. I was filled with a pleasant elation that no drug could ever hope to reproduce. I’m still feeling it.
We’re told to enjoy the little things in life. Well this tyke was little and I certainly enjoyed him. Thanks tiny dude. You really made my day. May you never let life strip you of your happiness. 🙂
I ran out of creative juice when selecting an article picture.
I’ve been writing a lot of political and social commentary pieces lately and I’d really like to step away from that for a while. In the spirit of returning to a lighter fare, I thought I’d sit back and bask in a bit of reflection.
So here we are racing towards the end of another year. In many ways, this has been one of the best of my life, despite, or perhaps in some cases because of all of the changes that I’ve endured.
Last January I took a huge leap of faith and left the security of my job with a Fortune 500 company. I won’t say their name, but they ranked 143 this year. I’d love to tell you that this was a calculated decision based on a cleverly devised long-term plan. It was not. My departure was the natural result of a mind (and body) that was no longer healthy.
The internet is a marvelous, mysterious, dangerous thing. I won’t prattle on about that last item. I’ve done some of that already. I want to focus on the first two. Years ago, I owned and operated an entertainment website that featured a chat forum. Through that forum I was able to connect with people all over the globe. I formed some decent friendships in the years I frequented my site (and others).
I stepped away from that world almost a decade ago because I was becoming too consumed with my online life and my real life was suffering. I don’t regret that choice. Now that I’m blogging though, I’m reminded of some of the things I loved about that old life of mine. I’m still fascinated by my ability to connect with people half a world away. Some might argue — validly — that the internet is changing the way that humans interact with one another and I would agree. Like the proverbial two-edged sword, this brings about consequences that are both beneficial and, well… not beneficial.
When I began blogging several months ago, I approached each post as though it were a self-contained piece of work, like product on an assembly line. A better analogy might be that I wrote like every blog post were an English assignment from my college days and I sat at my laptop, fingers stretched and ready to tickle the keys, prepared to crank out another “A+” paper. (I maintained a pretty decent GPA during college). I did this, in part, because I wanted to use this blog to showcase my writing styles and talent for potential employers. This was to be my electronic portfolio. I wrote humor, editorials, articles on science and technology and a lot of other miscellaneous pieces.
I still write those kinds of posts, but I’ve found that lately I’m pulled towards just writing about myself and my own thoughts on life and allowing these posts to flow organically together. I think I’d forgotten that blogging originally started as electronic journals where folks shared their inner thoughts with no purpose other than to get their ideas out of their heads and into a physical space. Journaling has been around for a long time, but only with the invention of the internet did the concept of sharing these thoughts with the world become popular. It was a novel idea. I, with a click of a button, can get a glimpse inside the mind of a perfect stranger and experience their perspective.
Just lie down and close your eyes. This won’t hurt a bit.
People love me… until they don’t. My non-fiction posts are often inflammatory as I tend to discuss controversial topics (and I do so with no small amount of sarcasm). If you share my point of view, you may find yourself cheering me on. It’s always fun to have someone champion your ideals or causes, especially if it’s someone who isn’t afraid to really lay it all out there in a brutally honest way. As I’m busy hacking and slicing away at my intellectual opponents, my supporters laugh and high-five each other and point out that all the “haters” need to develop a sense of humor or better still, wise up to the “truth”. (Whatever that may be).
The secrets of success lie within. Come inside and take a look.
I’ve been blogging for nearly 3 1/2 months now so I think that qualifies me as an expert in this field. In fact, what I’ve learned from the internet is that you are what you say you are. Truth, experience, knowledge… none of those things really matter. The Power of Publishing is all the validation we need. I Am Blogger, Hear Me Roar!
With that in mind I’d like to share with you a few of my secret tips for writing successful blog posts. These are posts that people will find and read in huge quantities.
A view of the prairie garden behind my mother’s home.
I spent over 15 years of my life living in the great state of Wisconsin. These were my formative years. From the time I was a small child to my teen years, southern Wisconsin was my home. Growing up, I never really gave much thought to what was all around me. Maybe familiarity does breed contempt. As many kids do, I would dream of visiting far away places. Warm sandy beaches or towering mountains, just about anywhere seemed better than the hills and corn fields of the Midwest. I longed to leave there and see “the real world”. Eventually I moved away and have since spent my time in warmer climates. Sunny Florida and dry Arizona have been my places of residence now for many years. Both states are magnificent and beautiful but Wisconsin has always lingered in my heart and in my memories like a first love that you never really get over.