Once More Around The Sun

HAPPY NEW YEAR BABY!

Baby Evelyn Rose sends her love on her first trip around! She just celebrated her fourth month on her journey from cradle to greatness. Her smile brightens my world. Every day brings something new as she grows into the wonderful person she will be. Granny Bee (that’s my Rosebud) has been on nanny duty and is in her glory. Her worn out, how did I do this before, can’t wait to see her tomorrow glory, that is. I may be a little jealous.

Let’s see… where do I begin? For the last half of 2020, I was a bus drivin’, bait slingin’, bow sellin’, demolishin’, sheetrockin’, re-constructionist Grampa. My daughter and her fiance bought a house that needed “some work” before they moved in. Between that, work, and work, my time and energy were at a premium. As a result, I let myself get out of the habit of posting to my blog, keeping up with my blog friends (that means you) and being creative in general. I’ll admit, the concurrent s*!# shows we’ve all had to endure put a damper on me. I miss getting together with the local writing group. We socialized more than we wrote, but they helped me keep my eye on the ball(point) in a far more real, human way than getting together via social media.

I’m a terrible social media friend. I’m stubborn about using it, impatient with writing a conversation, waiting on replies and generally getting left behind in the conversation because I can’t type responses as quickly as I can think or speak them. I’m a dinosaur in that respect, my fault, no-one else’s. I miss having live conversations with people and the few people that I am able to talk to regularly receive the brunt of my pent up desire to converse. It’s not like I word vomit on my friends, I’m fine with silence and long periods of quiet when I’m with them. I like to just speak, cuz when I start to type, the internal editor takes control and what could have been said in a few seconds, takes a loooooonnnnggggg time to say and there are too many distractions and I don’t say what I wanted to say and by the time I have the time to say , what I wanted to say is no longer relevant!

perhaps i should just engage in stream of thought speak and not bother with spellng or punctuashun or stuf and then I can say what i want even if its hard to read and understand but im not even good at that cuz I have to try to keep ahhead of the editor that has already meda me go back and corrrect some of the mistakes ive made typing this thought and the sad thing is that what ive spennt time writing is not of much use ecxept as an illustration…… see i had to take abreak to take care of a customer now where was i

Anyway, I’ve been starting to read more of your posts and I can see that you are all still amazing. By the way, does any one know how Rachel, In Mind And Out, is doing? I haven’t seen anything from her in a while. Like I’m one to talk, HA!

My commenting on posts has been limited and I’ve missed many during my self imposed exile. I do, however, plan on being better in this new year. I guess that’s my resolution. I’m not off to the best start, I began working on this post, let’s see, about 12 hours ago. It’s late and I’ll have to finish it tomorrow!

9:00 PM the next night… I just woke up my computer since tucking it in at 11:00 last night. I better finish it up so I can move on. I started writing this post to say Happy New Year to all of you and to show off my grand daughter, Evelyn Rose. I had to leave it for a while and when I came back to the computer, I started reading recent posts. One that struck me was a poem posted by QueridaJ, intotheindigo, called Never Be Me. I could hear it in my head as I read it, and I decided to record it to hear how it sounded to my ear. I told QueridaJ that I liked the poem and recording it so I could hear it. I also said that I thought it would sound better in her voice than it does in mine. She asked me to post the recording so she could hear it, so hear it is. Please go to her blog and read it yourself, aloud, record it and replay it so you can hear how it sounds in a better voice.

‘Never Be Me’ by QueridaJ, intotheindigo.

Thank you, Querida, for helping me get back in the saddle.

https://intotheindigo.wordpress.com/2020/12/28/never-be-me

https://inmindandout.home.blog/

The Break-up Poem

So, I have this friend named Grace. She is part of the writing group that convenes weekly at the local Barnes and Noble. We call her ‘Giggles’, cause she does, a lot, and we love her so.

Says Grace; “My boyfriend broke up with me last night.”

Says I; “Are you alright? What happened?”

Said she; “We were up until 5am on Facebook and he said he thought we should end it. He was having a crisis and couldn’t deal.”

Then said I; “How do you feel about it?

And she replied; “Sad, a little confused and a little mad”

Me; “I’ll bet. Let’s write a scathing break-up poem about him!”

Her; Giggling, “Yes!”

What follows is the tragedy inspired chronicle of the end of a romance.

WARNING!!! Angst and ‘F’ bombs ahead!

And, Don’t mess with my friends!

Erasing Grace

It’s not you, it’s me
He said with self-deprecation
And heavy was his sigh
At least that’s what he wrote
In the text that he sent
Announcing the end of us
 
We can be friends
NO, WE CAN’T!
You’re special
FUCK YOU!
I’ll call you
DON’T BOTHER!
See you around
WHAT AN ASSHOLE!
 
The next day, I saw him
And we nervously spoke
Was that a glint
Or a tear
In his crocodile eye
Either way, he’s toast!
 
Is there a chance
NO FUCKING WAY!
I’m sorry
NO YOU’RE NOT!
It doesn’t have to be this way
A TEXT, A FUCKING TEXT!
I was a little scared
FUCKING LOSER!
 
What the hell did you want
When you asked me out
I’m not here to waste my time
If you ever grow a set
And stop acting like a teen
Call me.

Tim Blodgett 2/16/20

That was fun to write and Grace loved it. She doesn’t hate him so the ending is appropriate. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Boy is he lucky that she’s a nice person!

I’ve had a bit of a dry spell lately, sometimes you got it and sometimes you don’t.

Requiem for 178

For the want of a bend, a cotter pin was lost.
For the want of a cotter pin, a retaining pin was lost.
For the want of a retaining pin, the gear shift linkage was lost.
For the want of the gear shift linkage, the transmission was lost
For want of the transmission, a school bus was lost.
and all for the want of a cotter pin.

My school bus, my school bus for a cotter pin!

And, so I sat on Rt. 32, yellow, obstructive and immovable with fifteen middle and high school students eager to get home. Thankfully, I was a mere five minutes from the school and a replacement bus was delivered post haste. A student revolt was forestalled, and the mechanics were able to manually shift the bus into gear and drive it back to the garage.

It’s very unusual for a bus to break down. They are meticulously maintained by crack technicians, but, because they are constructed with thousands of parts and pieces, s*#! happens sometimes. I find it amazing that a 29,600-pound behemoth can be laid low by a part that weighs a gram or two. Just goes to show, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s always somethin’.

My beautiful girl repaired and back in her place!

It always seems like I pay double for taking time off. Last weekend, I was at the Am-Jam Tattoo Expo in Syracuse, New York. Consequently, I had to play catch-up, on work and sleep and I neglected my blog, not that the world stopped turning or anything, but it was on my mind. Like it or not, I’m Baaaaack!

You all write a lot and I’m so far behind, I may not catch up. I’ll try though!

I’m working on another short story project that was ‘sposed to be a long story project. At last week’s writer’s workshop, our assignment was to bring the first page or few paragraphs of a story in progress for the others to critique. I’m writing a dark comedy about the extinction of the human species. It was agreed that in order to keep the pace and comic nature of the story, it would work better as a short 5000 to 10,000 word short story, or possibly as a novella. I’m not interested in trying to justify a scientifically plausible argument beyond positing the possibility that what happens, could happen. Ya just hafta go with it.

The story prompt was, ‘Write an apocalyptic story using an idea that you have never read or heard of’, or something like that. It took me about 3 seconds to come up with an idea. It’s taken me two years to get this far. I’ve got a solid idea though, and I want to finish it within a week or two. I don’t know if I’ll submit it for publishing or share it here, yet. If I share it here, most publishers won’t accept it as a submission.

Once it’s done, I may need beta readers…

Hints:

Title: Service with a Smile (unless something better comes to mind)

Mortician’s POV

Viral video

♫And the cats shall inherit the earth♫ (to the tune of 2112)

BUUAAHHHHH HA HA!

Winter’s return

Snowy night from my window

Finally the warm spell broke and polar weather returned! Winter is Good!

Winter without snow is like jelly without peanut butter. It’s okay I ‘spose but it’s not right. Everybody and everything suffers when the season is unseasonable. We need winter to be wintry.

So, there I was, comfortably seated in my chair, when Rose says, “Come look out the window, it’s really pretty”. So I did. I didn’t expect the camera to take that good of a picture. It actually captured the scene as I saw it. The next morning, the view from the same window looked like this…

Snowy day from my window

Now, that’s more like it!

And now for your reading pleasure, an All Outdoors column that I wrote January, 2017, when we had a similar weather pattern.

Winter?

All Outdoors by Tim Blodgett

Here we are again. We should be doing wintry things but we can’t because Winter seems to have to have taken a vacation and left Spring to mind the store. I’m a big fan of Spring, but I don’t like it dropping in unexpected right when I’ve got winter on my mind. My winter weather loving compatriots have been moping about for the last week or so watching the snow and ice turn to slush. If I could control the weather, winter would arrive a little early, stay in character for the duration and leave before its welcome runs out. Unfortunately, I’m not in charge and Winter has made a hash of itself. Why does this happen every year?

Singularity!

 I went looking for an explanation of what the weather was doing and this is what I found. A “Singularity” is what the weather phenomena, “January thaw” is known as, meteorologically speaking. This is a very different type of singularity than the one associated with the demise of massive stars, crushing inescapable gravity wells and X ray bursts that would fry our planet to a cinder. Winter started off the way I would have made it, early and in character, followed by a cold early/mid January and then it stalled. Weather statisticians predict that the coldest day of the year should fall on January 23rd so, what happened this year? A “Singularity” defined as “a characteristic meteorological condition that tends to occur on or near a specific date more frequently than chance would indicate” is what happened! The January thaw doesn’t happen every year but when it does it typically happens roughly about January 20th– 24th give or take a few days. It’s right on schedule and perfectly inconvenient, again.

Now that we know what’s happening to winter, the next logical question is, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? The simple answer is, (you’re going to love this) nobody really knows why the January thaw is a thing. Meteorologists can point to weather maps that diagram advancing fronts, stationary highs and lows and predicted storm tracks. Weather satellites and stations relay the latest weather data giving us constantly updated weather information, feeding our weather obsession. We could clearly see, in the case of the recent weather, a warm air mass dominated the northeast and pushed the cold air in a polar direction. Many people would point to climate change as the driving force behind it all but it is likely to just be the inherent unpredictability of the weather. The January thaw tends to be more pronounced and happens more frequently in the northeast and north central parts of our country so, there you have it. I’ll take our unique weather singularity over other weather extremes even if it is inconvenient to all my ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling and snowman building friends. Maybe we should just plan on it happening every year so we can be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t occur. I went to several websites to research the information above. https://weather.com/science/weather-explainers/news/is-january-thaw-real-or-a-coincidence and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaw_(weather) are just a couple of the sources available. Satisfy your inner weather junky and check them out.

What’s next?

You will often find yourself on the losing side of the bet if you wager on the weather, at least in the short term, but general trends tend to be stable. Fear not, the cold will return and if the patterns are favorable, the ice will firm up and snow will again blanket the land. I will patiently wait for the ice to refreeze before resuming ice fishing this year. Before the warm spell, most lakes had safe ice and fishermen were catching limits of panfish and walleyes. A village of ice fishermen sprang up on the south end of Saratoga Lake as word of excellent fishing circulated through the fishing community. Big walleye, jack perch and gorilla bluegills were in a cooperative mood and were featured as the batter dipped, crispy golden fried guests of honor at many a dinner table. Small jigs tipped with spikes were fooling bluegills in 8 to 10 feet of water while perch were falling to tip-ups baited with small minnows in 15 to 20 feet. Rapala jigs were working for the perch also. The walleye bite generally started around sundown at 12 to 15 foot weed edges. As it got later in the evening, the walleye would move shallower as they foraged. Savvy anglers moved their tip-ups shallower in response catching hungry walleye in 6 to 8 feet of water. When the ice is once again safe try those tactics again but remember, the walleye will start moving toward the north end of the lake as spawning season approaches.

 Cossayuna Lake in Argyle is another lake to visit once the cold weather take hold again. Cossayuna is full of bluegills, crappie, perch and big northern pike. You even have a chance to hook into a Tiger Musky there. Panfish tactics will be similar to those used on Saratoga Lake. The pike and tigers will be looking for a big meal. Use tip-ups baited with large shiners or suckers for these trophies. When you hook one and bring it through the hole, try to handle it carefully, get your pictures and if you don’t plan to eat it, quickly return it to the water. They are ferocious predators but they can’t take rough handling and that 20 pound fish may be older than you. Even if the toothy fish aren’t biting, you can count on the bass to keep you busy. You can’t keep them this time of the year but they are fun to catch.

All you ice fishermen waiting for Lake George to freeze are going to have to think cold thoughts to help it along. Lake George is one of the premier destinations for the local and not so local crowd and usually doesn’t freeze until mid January most years. Our little singularity hasn’t helped things so we’ll just have to wait and cross our fingers for Lake George. If you must go ice fishing, head north and up into the hills. I won’t recommend any waters right now but use extreme caution if you venture out, just don’t expect me to join you any time soon.

Archery leagues are starting up at the local sporting clubs and are always looking for new people to join them. If you are not one for the snow and ice, this is a great way to keep active during the winter and your skills honed for next deer season. New 2017 bows will start arriving at the archery shops very soon so if you’re looking for something new, there will be a lot of choices. If you are looking for a new challenge, consider traditional archery. Shooting a re-curve bow or long bow is as much art as skill and can give a sense of satisfaction you won’t get from shooting a modern compound bow. If you want to see an interesting branch of archery’s evolution, stop down to my shop in Schuylerville. I just received a bow made by Martin Archery in 1974 called the Kamact MK2. It’s an interesting mash-up traditional and modern (for its day) technology. The technology wasn’t quite up to the concept so not many were made and very few survive today, I’m fortunate to own one and will be happy to show it off.

In conclusion.

They say “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” so I say “thank you for the lemonade” and will be eager to make snow cones if we get snow and Slushies if we get slush. There’s plenty to do this season even if it’s not what you were expecting. Old Man Winter and his boy Jack Frost will soon return to rid us of our singularity and brighten the landscape with a fresh blanket of snow. Until then, stay healthy, happy and enjoy a little lemonade. 

Fixin’ whut aint broke

As you can see, I’ve been messing around with my site. I figured, ‘what the hey’ and added some cool widgets that the rest of you cool kids have on your sites. Now I have to figure out how to add pages, content and whutnot (yeah, I know) without crashing my site. I can be dangerous with tools, time and a little knowledge!

Anyhow, I’ve been struggling with a story idea that I want to work on for November’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I also want to use the same story idea in a short story format and submit it to PUB518.com for consideration in their upcoming, Guide to Useless Sidekicks, anthology. I have the short story part figured out and am off to a start. One of the conditions is that it must be unpublished and a blog is considered published, sooo…, I won’t be able to share it with you in my blog. Sorry. I will keep you posted on my progress though. So far, I did a dramatic reading of it’s opening salvo and cracked up my wife. Good thing she wasn’t drinking something! I would like to write the long version as a novel, spoofing the super-verse, or, as a graphic novel, doing the same. I have some unique characters and a twisted sense of humor, look out Marvel! You too DC!

About 518 Publishing. Their idea is to tap into the creativity of upstate NY writers in the 518 area code, but they will take submissions from writers wherever they may be. The last one, Influence of the Moon, has a piece from a writer in London, England that is, so if you have a story idea, check them out and submit it. You won’t get rich, but you may get published and that is really neat. I have a short story titled ‘Selene’ and a poetry piece, ‘I Should’ve Quit and Gone to Bed’ in ‘Influence’. Check it out on Amazon, I already got my free copy and Amazon gift card, so I’ve been paid. Buy it if you want for yourself, not for me. I won’t be able to put up those pieces for a year.

Please check out Eugenia’s BrewNSpew cafe https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/69221687/posts/55850. She puts weekly prompts out there for you to expand or expound upon. This week’s prompt is ‘Ghoulish’. I have something in mind to submit. For now, I’ll leave a teaser that’s part of a series of poems that I’m trying to convince my insanely talented daughter to turn into a graphic novel with me. Check her work out at; https://madisonrose225.wixsite.com/violetrose/gallery

Ahh, teaser smeaser, I’ll just let it rip!

I am what I am

Torment drives me relentlessly, beyond all hope, beyond care
a wraith, I drift, by impotent fury consumed
preying on dreams, turning faith to ash,despair
remains, it ravages still, it's thirst un-slaked.

Oh, foul beast, the demon inside runs rampant
in catacombs of my un-redeemed soul. without remorse,
I tread in its wake of wreak and ruin, unrepentant,
led astray, without the will to reverse my awful course.

In battle, I engaged my foe, headlong, Hell driven,
unyielding, iron cold, no thought for mercy or compassion.
My creed; No quarter asked, no quarter given.
Alas, hollow victories were naught but crimes of my own commission

Reflection reveals my conscious choice to ignore
the consequences of my actions. I'll live with them forevermore.

BrewNSpew Cafe https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/69221687/posts/55850

1667

That’s how many words I need to write each day in the month of November if I’m to reach the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words!!!

I’m a slow writer. I’m type with 2 fingers and I’m good for about 10 words a minute. I can type more words than that in a minute if I know exactly what I want to say, but I usually don’t know how I want to say what I want to say until I’m saying it and then I think of a different way of saying it and have to change what I said and in the end I didn’t say what I thought I was going to say when I started to say it. I actually exceeded my average wpm count just then!

The problem is that I stop and think about what I’ve written or what I want to write next, and the average dwindles away. It’s kinda like being stuck in a traffic jam sitting behind the wheel of a (pick your favorite vehicle), Changing lanes and advancing a short distance and then coming to a stop and watching the car you were previously stuck behind move ahead and out of sight.

The way I figure it, the math goes something like this:

1667 divided by 10 equals a little less than 3 hours. Factor in correcting spelling errors, coffee and then the subsequent bathroom breaks, brain cramps and staring off into space, I figure the time required to reach the daily goal will fall roughly between 3.5 hours and forever.

I’m not liking the odds, I know me and I also engage in a lot of wishful thinking. That doesn’t mean I’m not gonna try. Remember, the point of the journey is not to arrive, right? Anyhow, It’s getting late so I’ll wrap this up with a heartfelt thank you to those of you who read this and my previous posts. I’ve visited some of your blogs and read what you shared. Wow! There’s some powerful, thoughtful, wrenching, and wonderful posts. I look forward to viewing more of them as time allows and giving back in my own way.

I call this ‘Sidelong’.

Peripherally,
out of the corner of my
eye, see you and smile

You brighten my world when you
grace it with your brilliance

Now I remember

It’s all coming back to me now. I’ve always had a hard time with small talk, starting or participating in. I’m not shy or uninterested in conversation, I find what people say fascinating, even when what’s said leaves me shaking my head with bewilderment. I talk to people all day, customers, the students I drive to and from school and co-workers. I solve problems, resolve conflicts, pass information and if I’m lucky and the timing’s appropriate, I get to cut loose irreverently. Pique my interest and words will flow, otherwise, I am content with silence.

As I said at the beginning, I struggle to start polite conversation. If asked what I want to talk about, you will either get silence or more than you bargained for. If you say to me, “write something”, I will usually draw a blank. If you give me a prompt, well, that’s a different story. I’m full of words, but, I don’t know what ones you want to hear or read. I think that has also been what has held me back from posting. Have you struggled with the same thing?

Habits are easy to break and hard to make. This posting will make two days in a row for me not a habit yet, but it’s a start.

I’m working on a short story that I plan to submit to the next 518 Publishing anthology, ‘A Guide to Useless Sidekicks’. I have a book’s or books worth of ideas that I have to winnow down to 5000 words or less. Wish me luck! Speaking of anthologies, I will, once again, shamelessly promote 518 Publishing’s, just released anthology, ‘Influence of the Moon’, in which I have two submissions. One is a poem and the other a short story, both influenced by, you guessed it, the Moon! Please look it up on Amazon and buy a copy or two. If you live in the upstate New York, 518 area code region, you may be able to pick one up and get it autographed by one or more of the authors at an event held at a library, convention or even a farmers market.

I’ll leave you now with this moon inspired haiku,

For Selene:

Basking in the cool

Caress of moonlight shining

Dreaming of your touch

I hope you enjoyed, let me know what you think!

PS. Sorry about the format, I couldn’t figure out how to get the spacing right for the haiku, I’m still learning.