Show. Don’t Tell. Write. Don’t YELL.

Do not tell me what you feel. I want to feel what you feel. First lesson learned in every writing workshop.

I like to have the last word in an argument. I cannot be the only one to confess to this personality trait. We may differ in opinions. The measure of success is how persuasive one can be without sliding into vitriol or emotionally violent tactics.

This is why political arguments will never end well. There may be two sides in the room but facts are not talking points. You may feel something I don’t feel. Fair game. When we are challenged to defend the truth by a dark soul consumed by angry lies, it’s time to be the better person and turn away.

Words are precious. I choose to use them as a gift. I do not have time to waste sharing them with the heart of darkness. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

“Words are finite organs of the infinite mind.” Thanks, Ralph Waldo Emerson. You nailed it.

I believe most writers envy artists. As painful as it is to concede to this truth, a picture tells a thousand words. If I could paint, I’d put my brush down now and just let the beauty of nature show you what I feel.

I will go down with -this- ship. Words are forever in flight.

Let the ink flow like waves in the ocean. The pen is mightier than the sword!

Tell me a Story with Happier Endings

“You come rolling across my mind
Your hair flashing in the blue…”

Now playing in my head.
(Chasing Wild Horses, Springsteen)

I wish I could play this song for my dad. Lasso him out of my dreams and memories, settle him into the mustard yellow arm chair in the lonely den where I can still smell his old shirts and loose pajama bottoms, and tell him he needs to listen.

Please listen.

This is my story, I’d say. The one where the girl gets the horse.

He knew I longed to have a horse of my own.

That was a childhood dream that will likely never come true.

I lied about riding horses in preschool.

All these years later, it still startles me he believed me.

My parents always believed in me.

Without them here on earth, sometimes it’s hard to believe in myself.

Sometimes.

I’m less shy than I once was. I have my own imaginary wild, restless horses to tame, day after day.

I think I’m doing a good job.

It’s not easy to let go.
The struggle eases in this song.
I did not write it
but every word is mine.

I’m riding
Riding
Riding

Not off into the sunset.

Not yet.

There are many moons ahead, many wishes to wish and dreams to dream

And I will wrangle wild wishes
Until they turn into truth.

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

“But anyway, my father’d always say, ‘you know, you should be a lawyer. You know, you get… get a little something for yourself.’ You know? And my mother, you know, she used to say, ‘no, no, no. No, he should be – he should be an author. He should write books. You know, you should… That’s a good life, you can get a little something for yourself.’
Well, what they didn’t understand was… was that I wanted everything.

And so, you guys, one of you wanted a lawyer, and the other one wanted an author. Well, tonight, you are both just going to have to settle for rock ‘n roll…”

-Bruce Springsteen, July 7, 1978

Public Writing

In awe of the introverted (raising hand) who share their inner lives here, exposing private thoughts to an unknown, unseen public.
Do you ever read your posts as if they were not written by you and wonder 1: what readers think and 2: wonder what the writer was thinking writing these words out loud? When did writers become exhibitionists? Public speaking frightens me. Public writing does not.


You write into the void. You are unsure if you are talking to yourself. You wonder if people care. You wonder why you are compelled to write to perhaps an empty audience.
The you is me.
If anyone is wondering, I read you and I care.
So.
Keep writing. The words seep in. They are life savers.

Not Red and Green with Envy

When someone subscribes to the relatively recent recurring talking point that “Christmas is cancelled,” please know you’re insulting every non-Christmas-celebrating person who lives in your holly jolly omnipotent shadow, year after year after year after year.

We don’t begrudge your holiday. Not at all. It’s been around a long time. We get it. We like it. We like a lot of traditions. Not all of them ours.

But.

Pretending it is a victim of an imagined cancel culture hatchet job tells me the real cancellation is targeted at people like me. That hurts. A lot. I’ve seen this rodeo before. It never ends well.

If you claim to be a victim of a non-existent Cancelled Christmas movement, your unpleasant and unsubtle anger is directed at the people you falsely accuse as the executioners of the holiday, a holiday that’s been around a few centuries, a holiday that overwhelms the American culture, for better or worse. I do not understand the complaints. No basis. No truth. And yet, the annual delusion of a cancelled holiday persists. I wonder why.

We are not your punching bags. We are not your scapegoats. Does it make you feel better every year to blame others for an imaginary war? Does it instill a sense of superiority in you? Bravo.

A cable channel, GAC, apparently cutting ties from the “Too Woke” Hallmark organization, is currently hyping its impending holiday television season as the Christmas Isn’t Cancelled network. Nice propaganda. Why don’t you call it what truly is: The War Against People Not Like Us. Others Need Not Apply.

Let me be the first to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a sincerely sweet and Merry Christmas. I’ve never been this early in my life for anything. Ho Ho Ho!

My Morning Racket

I feel like Emily Dickinson.
Every time I move my head, something buzzes
between my ears
as if flies are renting space in there and
disturbing the peace

My shoulders and neck are as stiff as wood.
I think that’s a side effect of the antibiotics
and not a permanent stain on my posture.
I am the Tin Man, squeaking in tongues.
Oil me. Oil me.

A gentle cough
A sniffly nose
A little bit of this. A little bit of that.

Grey skies are not about to clear up
so pardon me if I keep my happy face on hold.

When Emily Dickinson died, poetically speaking,
she heard a fly buzz.
Emily, I love you but please stop planting imaginary scenarios
into this hypochondriac’s head.

Buzz off, Emily.



I heard a Fly buzz' | National Poetry Library