An obligatory NaNoWriMo post

No, I didn’t have one of these last year. As I was still relatively new to the blogging game (a mere 5 months old at the time), I honestly had no idea what “NaNo” was when everyone first started chirping about it.

This year however, I was wiser – less wet behind my bloggerish ears. This year I was with the “in” crowd, and had actually signed up with NaNoWriMo. I even went so far as to write a post about it. One that would, in the final analysis never leave the status of “draft.” Well, not until now, that is:

Holy Christ.

I just created a NaNoWriMo account.

Now, what in the hell did I go and do that for?

I can’t write. I mean, for a sustained period of time on one subject. Oh sure, I can blubber on and on about any number of random topics – made-up or real – but I can’t actually write an honest-to-God story. Or at least I don’t feel as if I can. I think we can all see that, in the “Stranger Things” tale that is spinning slowly out of control (that’s right, part 2.2 is currently sitting around with a very sour look on it’s face somewhere in “drafts;” being very hard to please and even harder to talk with). With it, I can feel myself falling into that old trap I constructed all those years ago, wherein nothing I create is ever truly good enough. “Sins of the fathers” sort of thing, you know. As a result, each installment is getting harder and harder to beat out through my battered keyboard. True, my “100 Words” tale is coming along nicely, but I’m none too sure if that’s because of me, or more because of the community involved (that, plus the fact that the 100 word limitation makes you work really hard to get your point across!)

So then, why’d I do it?

I have no idea.

Which of course means I have a very good idea. I think it all comes back to that concept about bettering myself. Finding my way. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. I’m finding my way, and in so doing, I want to share my story. A story that I just can’t believe isn’t up there in my grey matter somewhere. I know it is. I can feel it, taste it. I can glimpse it even, but every time I go to write it down, it simply disappears into the ether of my mind, hiding out until it thinks I’ve forgotten about it. But I don’t forget. I keep coming back. Trying to find it again, so that I can plunk it all down, and share it with you.

My fear?

My fear is that my story – the one so rudely involving me in a game of “hide & seek” that I didn’t ask to play – is pornographic in nature. C’mon now, stop laughing, I’m being serious. I believe I’ve mentioned before just how important sex is to me. Hell, look at how many tags I’ve created involving it:

And I also think I could spin a pretty good yarn revolving around it. But you see I wouldn’t want it to be porn. Or perceived as such, at any rate. For me, sex is way too important – and enjoyable – to be muddied by plastic boobs, bleached hair and canned dialogue. That, plus I’m still not sure just where exactly J.C. stands on the whole “sex thing.” I know for a fact that the folks claiming to follow him have it all wrong, but seeing as he nary said two words on the whole subject, I would just never be sure if what I wrote was somehow sinful. Again, stop laughing. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to “play it safe” and as a result have my story perceived as some dime store romance either. Sex is way too important – and enjoyable – to be flounced by bullshit rainbows, happy-ever-afters and over-the-top dialogue as well. You see, it’s somewhere right in between the porn and the romance. Smack dab in the middle of “real.”

Now wait, what in the flip was that last bit all about?

This post is supposed to be about writing, not sex (dammit, C is right, it IS all I ever think about). Anywho, sorry for falling off the map like that. Moving on…

So, there you have it. I signed up for NaNoWriMo. And I did so – I believe – in the hopes of forcing my story out of its hiding spot. Once done, I’m hoping that other stories will come easier. I’ve a darling blogging buddy who wants to co-author with me, and I’ve been a very bad person, blowing her off as a result of this current trepidation. I’m terribly afraid that, similar to my solitary work, I’ll start to short-circuit while writing our story together, and attempt to bail on the whole thing. I simply couldn’t do that to her. Well, I could. So I won’t. Hell, even when she asked me what we would write about, I blanked. I shut down. It’s been over a week since the question was asked, and my mind is still stumbling all over itself in the dark. And I really wanted to do this with her.

Maybe my fear isn’t that my story will be pornographic, maybe it’s that it just doesn’t exist in the first. Maybe what I feel, taste and catch glimpses of isn’t a story at all, but rather a ruse I invented for myself, something to keep me occupied. Who knows? I suppose we’ll find out this November when I’ll have to slam down umpteen words into a fashion that creates some sort of a yarn when they’re all laid out. I still have no idea what that yarn will be, so it had better come out of hiding soon…

•••

As I think we all know, the story didn’t come out. But it’s not because of any failure on its (or my) part. No, instead school came out. And two additional kids came out. And work issues came out. And C’s (continuing) health issues came out. And – well, I could go on – but I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now. Life looked me square in the eye and said, “Son, tain’t gonna be no NaNoWriMo for you this year. Not if you want to keep your family, your job and your sanity.” Duly noted, Life. Hell, if I’m still around Blogsville next year, I might give it another go. Maybe Life might cut me a break. Until then, best of luck to all of you who are participating – I hope your keyboards are still speaking to you by month’s end!

Now, here’s a little ditty – the BEST song the 80’s EVER produced, I might add – to help spur you along…

Briefly… Bootleg Edition

As is my normal habit, after bounding out of bed this morning, I promptly jumped over to Lance’s place to see what this week’s 100 Word Song would be.

But there was no 100 Word Song.

It’s during times like these that you have cut folks some slack (prayers to you and yours Lance). So I decided to use this opportunity to “choose” a song I had been hoping to hear for quite some time instead, leaving Leeroy with the week off.

As such, here it is – my first ever “bootleg edition” of 100 Word Song.

Oh, and here’s a picture of what many Goth’s will look like when they hit their senior years…

The Image of Freedom

I hadn’t thought that I would ever reblog before, but then I came across this. Posting it on Veterans Day seemed only right.
My deepest thanks to all of you who served.

memyselfandela

Have you ever wondered how freedom looks like? We are so used to be free that we take it for granted…

On April 13th 1945, a division of American soldiers was ordered to investigate a train abandoned by German soldiers near a concentration camp. The train was packed with Jewish families: over 2,500 people – men, women and children. The Germans were about to move them to a new concentration camp.

The Americans were able to release them all, and the photo below was taken by Major Clarence L. Benjamin, who participated in this operation.

This is the image of freedom.

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100 words

memyselfandela, 2012

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Autumn

C’mon man. You say these things always start with a sentence – just one simple sentence. So write it down already, and get this damned post out, and off your chest.

OK.

Here goes…

November is wrapping itself around me like some sort of chilled cocoon, and while I can’t properly express it, I feel as if I must let you know of my experience. Each and every time I walk out to be met with the solidity of the season, I feel as if the air, pressing crisply up against me, almost seems to be saying, “It’s time to wake up.” The cold, reaching deep down within my lungs, seems to be saying, “It’s finally over. All of it, over.”

The world around me is once again dying for another year. While there is little difference to my outward surroundings from years past, there is a noticeable difference from within – a grand upheaval of sorts. It is over. I can feel it, know it. 2012 is slowly passing, and I know that all the pain, anger, loss and bitterness that it bore into my life, must go now as well.

But that’s not right. Well, it’s not what I wanted to say. No, this feeling I have is much more primal. This feeling, when the cold air first kisses my cheek, is almost a call from – well – from the dawn of creation or something… Listen, I’m trying hard to not use “religious” overtones, as I don’t want you to think that this experience is unique or exclusive to only one faith. But as I am who I am, I have to use the example I believe to be the correct one. So I suppose what I’m really trying to say, is that this year the frigid air seems to be Jesus’ way of whispering to my soul, “You made it through the storm. I’ve got you now, and tomorrow will be better. ‘I have made all things new.’ I wasn’t lying when I said that, you know. And now it’s your turn pally.”

Now it’s my turn.

Sounds stupid right? I know, but that is the feeling I keep getting this Fall. That it’s my turn. That He’s going to somehow reach deep inside of me, pummel my wayward heart, scrub me down from the stains of my ignorance and small thinking, cleanse me of all the bullshit baggage that I’ve been lugging around for the past year or so, and take me to a better place. I feel so bad speaking like this, knowing that one of my dearest blogging buddies is going through exactly the opposite experience during this time of year. But I feel as if I’ve been somehow commissioned to get these words out, to express to you all this whatever-it is that I’m undergoing just now. I feel as if it is not unique to me, and others could jump in as well  – into this indulgence of being stripped down, washed away and made anew.

The boy who lives with us now has been through more in his short four years than I have most likely had to endure in my forty three, and when he has a “bad” day, I use the same schpeel on him that I did my three so long ago. After all the apologies have been made, and all the tears dried, while kissing him goodnight, I’ll ask, “Hey, is tomorrow a new day?” The answer isn’t always quick in coming, but it is always “Yes.”  And as with my three, while resting my hand on his heart (I don’t know why, I just always have) my final thought to him then before the lights go out and I leave the room is always, “Well then, let’s make it a good one, OK?”

Listen, I know that this post is coming out all wrong, and not nearly as succinct or descriptive as I would like it to be in expressing how I feel right now – like an exposed nerve ready to be bandaged, or like a drought, just minutes before the deluge. But I suppose what I’m failing so miserably at describing to you is that this year, this time, this now, Jesus (or the deity/non-deity of your choice) is telling me – and apparently telling me to tell you – that tomorrow will be coming soon, and Tomorrow will be a new day.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

I, for one, can’t wait.

•••

God bless you my friends until then.

Briefly…

My take on the political landscape in exactly 100 words.

Here’s this weeks 100 Word Song.

And here is the most random factoid that WP has ever decided I need to know:

Thank you BYB and the rest of oHIo for turning the tide. Today is a lot brighter as a result of the choice you made last night.