Housekeeping / New Petition Plan / Old Man Clam Jam

I don’t got much time and I don’t got much to say today but I do need to know: is the font on this blog annoying as fuck? I love it but I wear two pairs of glasses at all times so my visual accuity is off the charts. Y’all got to let me know because I’d hate to make it even more difficult than it already is for people to really appreciate this fantastic blog.

Next thing is how come y’all not signing this goddamned petition I created? You know how much time I spent on this? I think I know why you don’t want to sign it, and I understand. I created a false identity in order to set up an iPetitions account because I didn’t want the government to put me on its list of subversives. Only the babe is crazy enough to sign her real name to something like that.

New plan: comment on this post if you want Tony Single to make a new crumbcast.

What else then? Nothing.

Oh but for my readers in Saskatchewan if you do happen to see a tall, arrogant old man with a white beard and a mischevious glint in the eyes, that black jacket he’s wearing is not fucking Armani I don’t care what he says. Don’t be fooled.

Daily Post is the Hot Ticket

I am on the train to work now. Life is going past like a black dye through my veins. Work home tv sleep take a shit and do it again.

It’s cool to see how much the daily post has increased my visitors. I had another fourteen people come by just yesterday. I guess just having your blog be one of a hundred choices on a page that gets heavy traffic is worlds away from hoping to get picked up on google search or random chance.

Yeah so go ahead and do that shit if you want an extra ten visitors a day.

There. Now I can tell people I have a blog about social media.

Just Need 8 People to Look at This, Thanks

Ah sheeit tonight had a good night, and now about to go to bed and in six hours or so I will get up and go my ass to Cape Cod. GF and I are going there for just a couple days to chill and celebrate her graduating from culinary school. If the weather is nice, I’ve got a ring and I’m going to propose. Pretty nervous about doing that. I feel like I should do some hot air balloon count of Monte Cristo type shit but I’m just not really that kind of guy and despite all girls being into the big romantic gesture even though they say they’re not, well I guess maybe she’s really not, or anyway I just don’t want it to get cheesy, especially since we’ve been together for seven years. Anyway she really liked Jim and Pam from the office and how he proposed at the gas station in the rain, so maybe something weird will happen like that.

But anyway I didn’t start on here to talk about that. Truthfully I got on here to post something so that I would get a reasonable amount of views today and finish out the stat week strong. If I can get at least eight views today I can finish with an average of ten views this week, and that will make me feel more like a real success in life, or some bullshit, I really don’t understand how I put so much stock into getting ten views when a real blog gets a million or whatever, and when really what is a view, and why is that shit like an endorphin creator. But there you have it, I just wanted to post something so people will look at so I will have a ten view per day average for the week.

I have always liked numbers in a weird way, like stats and how many times I’ve played a song in my iTunes database. I don’t know.

Anyway at the bar tonight it was pretty fucking crazy, but me and my partner handled that shit and made some good money. The worst thing is that I made more this week than I ever have in a week, but I made less last week than I have in a long time, so my two week paycheck will look about even and not reflect that I had a kick ass week.

Oh well, fuck it. I need to watch The Cosmos again, or just plain Cosmos, whatever that Carl Sagan shit is. That’s some real shit. But anyway have a nice couple of days without me.

Four Years of Wordpress

The inner censor has really gained control these last few weeks. With my little notebook I sit somewhere and try to make sense of the thoughts in my head and only write down that little bit of sense. It’s easier on the wrist, that’s for sure. Even now I’m thinking of going back and erasing “thoughts in my head” since that’s kind of redundant. Where else are the thoughts going to be? Also, strange that we experience all our feelings physical and emotional in our brain but assign it to different parts of our body. My hands don’t really feel the keys, but I associate the feeling generated in my brain with my hands so that it seems to me that I really do feel with my hands.

Today I got an award from WordPress: happy anniversary! I was like WTF? It appears I’ve had a WordPress account for four years. FOUR YEARS. I can’t imagine what would be going on in life if i had just posted once a day for four years. Probably nothing much different I suppose.

It’s funny that the WordPress spellcheck does not recognize the word WordPress.

I think I have too high expectations of each day. I always feel like I should be the best at everything, but really I’m not ready to put in that work, or that’s what I tell myself, when really I work harder than most people, just not as hard as some people, and that’s what kills me I guess.

The Thrill Is Still Gone

Blog stats have flat lined.

Damn it.

And the worse they get, the more fiendishly I check them.

How did it come to this?

In my other blog attempts, I would have been happy with two followers as long as one of them was someone I didn’t know. Now I have thirty followers but if I don’t get a new like every hour I’m a sad panda.

In the beginning, I was writing more than I ever had. Just pushing out posts. Then, as I realized how much interesting content was already out there, I followed more and more blogs. Still, I don’t follow as many as most bloggers. But I spend a lot of time reading now, way more than at the beginning, which, let’s keep it in perspective, was only about a month ago. And even more time than that…well ok not really more time but certainly an unhealthy amount of time is spent checking my stats. Seeing what people searched for to get here.

With all that I haven’t been writing near as much.

On the positive side I have been getting out more. Doing more stuff.

And I am trying to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And the more I think about that, the more I think, what am I trying to build?

The harsh and shameful truth about my mentality is that in the back of my mind, no matter how therapeutic and lovely this blogging experience has been, I’ve been thinking, how can I make enough money doing this so I don’t ever have to leave the house again?

It’s hard for me to be honest about this, because I’d like to think I do things just for the pleasure of doing them. That I blog for the beauty of the connections I’ve made with other minds.

I forget if I mentioned it in another post, or if I wrote it by hand in my super luxurious leather bound diary, but I feel more and more like I am many people. Each of me inhabiting me at different times. I don’t think I have multiple personality disorder, which would be more interesting, but rather, it’s just a way of conceptualizing or grasping the different ways I feel from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.

So one part of me, or one person of me, one person I am…shit, what’s a good way to say it? I don’t know. I’ll name them. Fred. Damn it. That’s another thing, I don’t really like the name Gordon Flanders and I don’t really like the name Fred. But they both just came to me. I should pick a bad ass name like Black Elk. Or Crazy Horse. But Crazy Horse is too awesome for anyone but Crazy Horse so I can’t use that one.

Insecure Money Bastard. That’s what I’ll name that one me. The me that gets worried I’ll never have enough money to pay off my debts and the same one that wants to just stay home all the time and never go to work. I’ll name that me Jerry.

Nah this will get too confusing.

Anyway there’s always that part of me in the background saying, “How can you turn this into a ‘tribe’? How can you turn this into money?” A bunch of buzzword bullshit.

The worst part is no matter how many lessons I learn or insightful things people tell me, I can’t shake this bastard. And so I think, shit if I had 10,000 followers I could just write a book of me just saying whatever came into my mind and sell it for a dollar and I’d have $10,000.

And that’s why I check the stats every day.

Or maybe just one of the reasons. Another reason is it feels really good to have someone ‘like’ your post.

Yeah I think that feeling has more to do with it.

I am chemically dependent on ‘like’ endorphins.

At the same time I still would like to just do this instead of having a job.

A friend once told me that I was still young enough to think I could get rich without working really hard for it. I think I am slowly getting too old to think that.

The problem is I do work really hard when I’m at work, at manual labor type shit. But it’s very easy to be mentally lazy. To zone out and just do your job and get through.

I remember thinking last week that even while I folded napkins I should make it so that I was like a napkin folding artist. Then yesterday I remember thinking, I’m going to be a getting through the workday artist. Fuck folding napkins like an artist, I’m just going to get through the day on autopilot and that’s how I’m going to earn my money.

Well, a few days ago I decided I would never make money from writing. I decided to give up on making money at writing and just do it for the sheer pleasure of writing. Then I thought I should get a part time job during the day to make money, and then invest that money to make more money. I’ve known all along that writing stories is a bad way to make money, and anyway I haven’t written any stories and that’s an even worse way to make money. So I got pretty excited about finally giving up on it. I love giving up on things, it brings such a peace. At first anyway, or maybe it’s just a peace in disguise. Maybe it’s a little death. When you finally give up on everything, you can transcend this world and exist as an indistinguishable part of the all-soul in complete tranquility, or what humans call not having a pulse any more. Hm sometimes it’s pretty tempting.

Yes and then the very next day, I saw that the restaurant put me on a lunch shift where I usually work a night shift. So I thought, well that’s going to be hard to reconcile with the new part time job, if I’m not on a set schedule every week. And then I thought, because I was thinking at first about what Seth Godin said about the days of the journeyman writer being over, or in other words that only the greatest of writers will get paid, the ones that persist through insurmountable odds and such, and the rest of us will just do it for free because it’s so available now that no one really has to pay for words…okay I’ll restart that sentence. So as I thought about the days of the journeymen writers being over, I thought, well what about David Gaughran and Dean Weasley Smith. They make at least a little money from selling their books. I could eventually make enough money to at least account for what I would be making at a part time job.

So then I was back on the “I can make money writing” train.

And I’m still on it. Because it works perfectly with my new “Rome wasn’t built in a day” kick. Who cares if I don’t make any money at it this year or the next or the next? In ten years I’m bound to make a few hundred a month at it. You just can’t do it that long and fuck it up.

This is the kind of writing I love to do. Just writing down whatever comes in my head and having people actually read it is a dream come true.

To an extent, writing a story or a well researched essay is a craft. If you work hard at it, you can make a product that someone will pay a little money for. And even though I’d rather just sit here and write random bullshit all day, I guess I’d rather work at writing that kind of stuff than work at another coffee shop.

Then again, I was reading this book today about women and guns and it was talking about how this one lawyer works for free to defend women who have been charged with using a gun against an attacker unlawfully. And I thought, shit I’d like to do that. I never once thought about becoming a lawyer, but GF is in grad school, fuck it, maybe I will too.

Yeah I pretty much got it all figured.

My First Adult Writing Contest (The Post Where I Write My First Flash Fiction Story)

Well, I never gave much thought to this flash fiction business. Thought it was so much window dressing. Thought it was a bunch of malarky. I would have thought the same thing about all poetry if my English teachers hadn’t told me it was meaningful. And then poetry hit me like a smack in the face last year. And it was good. So, I read some of the winners of this contest and they were good. So now I will try to write a story in under 250 words and win the contest! I’ll save this as a draft in case there’s a rule about publishing your story beforehand.

I’m pretty sure I won’t win the contest at all, having never written a story like this before, but I was pretty sure no one would like my blog, so fuck it.

Addendum: here’s the prompt and the quote for the contest:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW

I want to put a ding in the universe. –Steve Jobs

Oh by the way I found the idea for this on WetInkPress. So you have to write a story under 250 words and use at least four of the prompt words and you can either try to use the quote as inspiration or not, if you do and you are the best at it, you get an additional award.

Ok I think it’s two guys talking, one guy thinks he can change the world, the other doesn’t, then the first guy leaves and feels like he’s already changed the world.

Here goes then.

Tides of evening wash over the graveyard in a sudden flurry. The men spoke with strong Irish accents.

“Mom would be proud of us wouldn’t she.” He tossed it over his shoulder like so much dirt. Not a question, jus

Pause. Outside they are digging themselves out of the snow, so this works well. Me and GF are like fuck it, we ain’t going out in that shit! I don’t know why people are in a hurry to get out. We hibernatin in this bitch.

Anyway

Rolling tides of evening washed over the austere graves in a vengeful fury.

The two men spoke in Irish accents.

“Mom would be sah proud, wouldn’t she.” He tossed it over his shoulder like so much dirt.

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. “Aye, don’t you think so?”

“I should be glad to never learn one way or another.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

“Our world is as beautiful as hers,” he said, handing the flower to Dennis.

Dennis glared at his brother and threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “Our world is shite.”

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

“Exactly that. One day closer to death. One more step into the grave.”

“So we act meaninglessly?”

“Of course we do!”

“Do we not celebrate our mother with every minute we spend here, digging, in a kind of prayer like way, don’t you think?”

“Ah.”

“And by celebrating her, throughout our lives, don’t we make the world a better place? Don’t we then change the goddamn world?”

“Shut up and keep digging you fool.”

Patrick smiled, sccoped the rose carefully into his shovel, and replaced it upon the pile.

Ok, obviously lost the thread there at the end. But that was about 310 words, so only sixty to cut. Now to make the language more poetic, and more dark, and more graveyardy. Nothing like what I had in mind, but fuck it, I guess that’s what flash fiction is all about. It’s some kind of flash of a scene that makes an impression in your mind. But it’s still supposed to have a middle and an end, according to the writer interviews I read about people who have won last year’s contest. The middle is supposed to be the ending, and the end is supposed to be basically giving you some time to wind down from the hock of the middle/end, instead of being a punchline at the end like an O Henry story or something.

Rolling tides of evening washed over the austere graves in a vengeful fury.

Hmm. I like the idea of a tide of evening. Probably read that somewhere else.

The rolling tides of blackish violet announced the evening

The rolling tides of black clouds ferried the evening in among the austere graves. Two men dug shoulder to shoulder near a humble stone.

In his strong Irish accent, Dennis muttered, “She deserved so much better.”

In the beginning I was thinking he was a gravedigger and he was saying sarcastically his mother would be proud that the Irish brothers had gone to America and could only find work as gravediggers. But now I think she should have died without enough money for a funeral and they are burrying her. Maybe she had big dreams and never got to do them. Maybe she died in America after making the voyage to follow her dreams.

In the accent of the old world they had just left, Ireland, Dennis gritted his teeth. “She’d be sah proud of us making the journey.” He tossed the words over his shoulder like so much dirt.

I like the idea of tossing words over his shoulder, but then old Patrick better not be shoulder to shoulder, because then why is his brother tossing words over his shoulder at him.

Ok they are digging graves back to back. Ha! They can’t be back to back tossing dirt over there shoulder into each other’s hole! That’d be a story in itself.

Ok they are face to face.

“I guess she found what she went looking for.” Dennis tossed the words over his shoulder like so much dirt. Nope got to go!

“I guess she found what she went looking for.”

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. “Aye, don’t you think so?”

Dennis glared. “Should’ve been buried in Ireland at least.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

“She found a new world, to her it was more beautiful, probably because she’d never been there, and having died as soon as she saw it, she hadn’t the time to be proved wrong, and so she probably died happy.” Patrick handed the flower to Dennis.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “This world is shite.”

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

I was thinking of the dwarves from Lord of the Rings when I said, “And further we delve…” but then I put dust, because ashes to ashes and dust to dust, from dust we came and to dust we go. But of course Patrick shouldn’t say anything about dust, that would be Dennis’ line.

“Exactly that. One day closer to death. One more step into the grave.”

Of course here I was thinking of the song “Time” by Pink Floyd,

You run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking

Racing around to come up behind you again!

The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older

Shorter of breath, one day closer to death!

But exactly here is where the image kind of fell to pieces, and I overstated his line and then of course Patrick would never ask this question:

“So we act meaninglessly?”

“Of course we do!”

And then with this next line I was trying to find out what the whole point that Patrick is trying to make:

“Do we not celebrate our mother with every minute we spend here, digging, in a kind of prayer like way, don’t you think?”

“Ah.”

“And by celebrating her, throughout our lives, don’t we make the world a better place? Don’t we then change the goddamn world?”

“Shut up and keep digging you fool.”

Patrick smiled, sccoped the rose carefully into his shovel, and replaced it upon the pile.

I was thinking this would make a good ending image, differently worded of course.

Patrick scooped the rose from the grave and placed it carefully at the foot of his mother’s…stone…headstone…rock…the humble stone…the crumbling humble bumble of a tumbling stone.

Ok if this story is to work I’m going to have to let go of trying to keep with the “ding in the universe” theme. At least so closely. It’s a good image, and it can work if I let it, at least marginally, though it may not be a contest winner. This is, after all, my first contest.

And that’s a line that Hunter Thompson used frequently: “We are, after all, professionals.”

Round three:

The rolling tides of black cloud ferried the evening in among the austere graves. Two men dug near in front of a humble stone.

Dennis muttered, his Irish accent harshening the long ‘o’: “She deserved so much better.”

Why am I fixated on this long o shit? Maybe I’d better use a different word from the prompt. Or maybe: “Two men dug close to a humble stone” Or near the entrance, there cowered a humble stone, and two men dug gravely. Hahahah gravely. Dug with seriousness. Dug in earnest. Dug in painful earnesty. Dug integrally. Dug it like it was Dizzy Galespie in the wild blue night and the mad ones running hurdy gurdy down a street of internal pain and wondering…all of us suffering, all longing, and Dean’s long last old man wandering the streets nearby, somewhere in the mist beyond reckoning.

Or maybe, There cowered a humble stone, and two men bowed low to the hard earth, digging stolidly, digging stoicly. digging. There cowered a humble stone, and along it two men bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving, to wind up here. And us, her only kin, her only friends, the only ones who care enough to bury her.” This is of course too drawn out, but he would say something like that. He would grit his teeth and hurl the dirt, heft the dirt, bring the dirt out of his very soul, which he has been keeping there all her life, only to dig it out now at her grave, digging into his own soul and finding nothing there but dust, all is dust, all is fleeting. What a bitch.

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. This is good, glinting may be the wrong word, but cool moonlight on bared teeth is both bright and creepy. Patrick’s a creepy mother fucker to be laughing in the moonlight. Which of the two is right? Well, that’s in the eyes of the reader. Life does not present us with judgments. Like Jet Li says in Fearless, basically my favorite movie of all time (maybe after Crocodile Dundee), “Does the tea judge itself? No, we judge the tea.” Or something like that. So what then does Patrick say here, if Dennis life can be…or rather Dennis’s thoughts can be summed up with all is dust…what does Patrick mean to say. “But she does not die in vain, for she has us, and we are who we are because she lived, and because she loved, and we live because she lived, and we love because she loved, and here in the night, working together to celebrate her life and honor her with the sweat of our brows and the strain of our backs, we prove to the world that she was here, that she made some difference in the world.” Ah what a cop out, dear Patrick. Just by getting knocked up someone makes a difference. “No, anyone can stick a hanger up there or fall down the stairs, but no one who raises two boys against the threat of silence and death, against the hungers and terrors of this world, has lived in vain.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

Well he’d have to be stealing this rose from another pile, because roses don’t just grow in graveyards. So what does it signify if he is taking a rose that someone else has gathered, and giving it to his own mother. Well, it could be very political. Robin Hood and the merry men. As this is a very austere graveyard, and his mother’s grave cowers among the other stones, because they are so much bigger and richer, he is taking from the rich, like their view of welfare or some such. They pay the taxes and he takes it. Yes but I don’t know if I want to make that point. Like Kurt Vonnegut said, or something like it, when this country was born you’d better have taken way too much, or you’d get nothing at all.

And why is he giving his brother a rose. He is taking a part of his mother’s soul, say, if they brought the flowers there to lay at her grave, then he is taking a part of his mother and giving it to his brother, how is it he can bestow this blessing? I suppose it is because he took from her her caring nature, her optimistic view on the world, or perhaps is currently blessed…I mean possessed by her spirit and therefore is acting in her stead towards his troubled brother.

Patrick held the rose delicately and proferred it to his brother. “Like this rose, she is now dead, but her beauty lingers with us.” Hm that sounds good, but lingers has a bad connotation I should think.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “This world is shite.” I think I can just take out “this world is shite” since Patrick has refrained from saying anything about the world now and they don’t have to be talking in Irish accents. But slowly opening is good, not for the wording but for the image, it’s like a mouth that opens to swallow them, not a new image, but a strong one nevertheless.

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Here of course I was thinking of the song “Weak and Powerless” by A Perfect Circle. And the graveyard isn’t really a horrible place of death. But to Dennis it is. Should the story be more biased towards Dennis view of the place? If not, then I’d have to say how it sounded to Patrick. Maybe: Patrick laughed and the sound echoed in the cold night, off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens, clear and delicate as fine crystal. Dennis was unnerved. “Don’t you know it’s bad luck to laugh in a cemetary?”

Is it? I don’t know if anyone thinks so. But Patrick would scoff, “Ah but what’s the use, Dennis, since it’s all dust to dust up in here anyways.”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

Maybe: Patrick sunk his shovel into the earth, the soil, the terroir, the fertile ground ready to grow a briar and a rose, like the song about Barbry Allen…sorry…Patrick sunk his shovel into the dirt, “Every action has meaning. By merely thinking, and the remarkable and instantaneous aquiescence of my capable muscles, I have thus caused this ground to clear the way for my mother’s broken body. Further and further we delve, where if we had not been, if she had not been, no delving would be done.”

Delve. Acquiesce. Hm…Wordpress spellcheck does not recognize the word aquiescence.

“Further and further we delve in to the dust to which we too will soon return,” Dennis spat. “Stroke after stroke, each stroke one stroke closer to death.”

Patrick scooped the rose from the grave and replaced it carefully at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Round four then:

The rolling tides of black cloud ferried the evening in among the austere graveyard. Two men dug in front of a humble stone, decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers.

Close to the gated entrance, there cowered a humble stone and two men bowing low to the hard earth, digging.

Cose to the gated entrance, a clean and proud, if relatively diminutive stone, decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers, watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving to make a difference, just to wind up here.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight.

Cool moonlight reflected off of Patrick’s crooked teeth as he smiled. Oooo. Patrick’s crooked smile reflected cool moonlight. Patrick’s toothy…Patrick’s sawtoothy…Patrick’s snaggle-tooth grin reflected cool moonlight.

“We live, because she lived. We love because she loved. Tonight, brother, we celebrate her life and honor her with the sweat of our brows, the strain of our backs. The woman who raises two boys against the hungers and terrors of this world, she has not lived in vain.”

A little preachy, but getting there I guess.

Patrick plucked a rose from the arrangement at the stone and proffered it to his brother. “She is as dead as this rose, but similarly, her beauty lives on.”

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “The rose will fade in a matter of hours. From dust we come, to dust we return.”

Patrick laughed and the sound echoed in the cold night, off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens, clear and delicate as fine crystal.

Dennis was unnerved. “Don’t you know it’s bad luck to laugh in a cemetary?”

“Even here we make a difference,” said Patrick as he sunk his shovel into the dirt. “Each stroke clears the resting place for our mother, who we can bury properly because of this difference we have made.”

Shit still don’t know what to do with that.

“Further and further we delve in to the dust,” Dennis spat. “Stroke after stroke, each stroke one stroke closer to death.”

Patrick shrugged and scooped the rose from the grave, replacing it carefully at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Oops. 378 words now. Round 5, and at this point I’m just going to go with it. It’s been an experience anyway. And I’ve been working for…two hours?

Ah but shit that 378 included asides by me so not so bad after all.

Final round, all cut up:

A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among the austere graveyard.

Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s snaggle-tooth grin reflected cool moonlight. He plucked a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He proffered the flower to his brother.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “The rose will wither in a matter of hours. We will wither in a matter of years.”

Patrick’s eerie laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the dirt. He emptied his shovel to the side. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”

Dennis agreed. “Further and further we delve in to the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”

Patrick lovingly scooped the rose from the grave, replacing it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Now for the title. Got to be good since it’s such a short story. Basically my thinking for this final cut was don’t overtell the story. The line about the terrors and hungers, I really liked that, but it’s not something someone would say, unless they were really damn smart. It’s something the narrator could say I guess, but there’s no place for it. So sadly it goes. And I want to leave some to the imagination, about the relationship of the rose to the person, and I didn’t want to get to sappy about we love because she loved, because I think that’s a Kirk Franklin and The Family song.

But the title, what a bitch.

Twilight in the Garden of Souls

Like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Digging

The Brothers Who Think Differently About Death and Other Things, Too.

That title endebted to Zoolander’s school for kids who want to learn to read and do other stuff, good, too, I’m sure Matticus will come through with the accurate quote there.

A Proper Burial

Like digging, these two titles at nothing to the story.

Laughing in the Cemetery

The Dusty Rose

Dust on a Rose

The Petal and The Rose and The Stone and Casper the Friendly Ghost

The Hand The Furnace The Straight Face

That’s a Project 86 song, by the way.

Burial…It’s a Real Bitch When You Do It Yourself

DIY Burial

The Hipsters in the Cemetery

Burial for Fun and Profit

Further and Further We Delve into the Dust

That’s fun but doesn’t add anything either. Son of a bitch.

But then the guy who wrote last year’s second place entry: Dutch Baby, also had those exact words in his story, so his didn’t technically add anything, even though he said that you have to make your title work for it’s pay.

Death Makes People Think About Their Lives

Making A Difference

Vanity

Pride

Pride Turns to Ashes in Their Mouths; and Their Bones Littered the Desert Until Judgment Day

The Cold Hard Earth

The Entrance

The Exit

Coming In Through the Out Door

Entrances and Exit

Exeunt

Farewell

By The Sweat of Their Backs

By The Strain of Their Backs and The Sweat of Their Brows, They Confront the Terror and the Hunger of The Cold Hard Earth

Strain and Sweat, Tears and Toil

Hey there you go. And I used another word from the prompt.

For this to, is the lot of a man. And the cemetery is a sort of a lot isn’t it.

A vacant non-vacant lot where the kids can’t play baseball.

Well I wasn’t going to post this until the contest was over but fuck it. I’ve had so much fun I don’t care whether I win the contest or am disqualified. And I can’t wait to see what you think. And just in case everyone doesn’t want to read all this muck about, I’ll post just the story first and then this.

And I just printed it out and realized a few things. Lovingly was used twice. And two adverbs right next to each other “decorated lovingly with freshly” not good.  And dirt used twice too! Shit. And did I mention there’s kind of an incestuous homoeroticism going on here? “…loved.” He proffered the flower to his brother.” Well shit. Sounds like a proposition to me. Oo if he extended the flower to his brother we could add some further sexual innuendo there. Patrick’s totally gay for his brother. What’s a better word for “lovingly scooped?” Oh man if he “ladled” it out it’d be like he was eating homemade chicken noodle soup straight from his mother’s grave, how nourishing is that.

Hm, shit. This story is actually not a story. It’s more like a poem, an arrested image. A photograph in words. And that’s fine. And I’m still going to submit it. But I think it’s not actually a story.

Strain and Sweat, Tears and Toil

A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among an austere graveyard.

Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s toothsome smile reflected cool moonlight. He took a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He extended the flower to his brother.

Dennis accepted it and dropped it into the slowly opening grave at their feet. “The rose will wither before dawn. Our fate is the same.”

Patrick’s laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed eerily off the faces of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the loam. He tilted his shovel and watched the stuff accumulate along the mound. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”

Dennis nodded. “Further and further we delve into the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”

Patrick scooped the rose from the pit and replaced it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Ha, so I went to post that, and these suggested tags came up: Neurological Disorders, University of Auckland, Cannabis.

WTF

Public Consumption

Readability Index: To blazes with this index as it’s not doing shit for anybody.

Sounds like this post is going to be about tuberculosis. But what I’m talking about is also a kind of disease that I’ve come to recognize, first in myself and now in the blogging world at large.

Me and people like me, we are scared that people won’t want to read our shit. We are pretty sure they won’t want to. We are also nice and we don’t want to waste people’s time. So we try to warn people not to read our shit.

This could end up being the subject of my first essay as a part of my new project.

I was just looking at pricklymooseprincess’s blog…I think I got that right, but can’t look it up because time is running out and anyway I’ll come back and do all the proper research before posting to my new blog…which I haven’t decided yet how to handle…but anyway her tagline says, “This will not enrich your life.” It was a very familiar sentiment to me, because I could have used it for my own blog. I thought before I started blogging that all this amateur feelings driven diary type bullshit was meaningless to everyone. I wouldn’t want to read someone else’s bullshit so why would they want to read mine?

Seth Godin calls these kinds of blogs “Cat Blogs” because you basically tell long stories about your cat and have pictures and people are just as bored by that as they are by you in real life. He says these blogs add little value to the world. And maybe he’s right, he’s pretty fucking smart. And he has the most viewed blog anywhere, or he did two years ago when I was reading his posts every day.

So you think, well shit I’m going to go ahead and throw up some words on a blog and tell everyone not to read them, that way they can’t blame me when they find out that I can’t write for shit, that I have nothing interesting to say to anyone. That’s what I thought when I started.

But there I was reading pricklymooseprincess’s blog and I thought, well god damn, this shit has enriched my life. Who would have thought?

And hers is definitely not the only blog that I have found this to be true about.

For my essay I’ll give specifics, but just to get a general idea…well when I look for new blogs to read I just type in “Random Bullshit” or “Rambling” or “Not fit for public consumption” and there are lots of blogs to choose from. Everyone is hedging, they want people to read their writing and be moved by it, but they think that this is a lot harder than it is. I think so even now as I type and imply that it isn’t. Because maybe it isn’t.

So anyway you got a guy who fancies himself a writer but has never published anything because he doesn’t think it’s good enough. And then he can just get on a blog and hit publish all day and no one can stop him. But he still says every time, well this shit’s no good, but if you want to waste your time reading it…well I won’t stop you.

Next thing you know people are liking that shit. Now this doesn’t always happen because a lot of writers will hit publish and then never go around reading other people’s shit. I did that a few times before I made this blog and no one has looked at those blogs to this day. So in order to have people connect to what you write, you have to at least make an effort to connect to what they’re writing. And personally I didn’t think it would be worth my time to do that, since I already knew my blog wasn’t worth anyone’s time, and I held a deep seated belief that even though my work was crap I was a better writer than most people. Even authors who have been published. So this arrogance and this self-loathing…or work-loathing leads to isolation. No one does look at your work and you’re proved right all along.

But it’s crazy. I had some free time and I started this blog and said fuck it I’m just going to write whatever dumb shit comes to mind and I don’t care what Seth Godin says. And forget all the advice I’ve read about blogging and capturing audiences and creating tribes and all that shit. Fuck that shit. Fuck making money on this…fuck everything. And then after I wrote it I decided fuck it, I bet I can get some people to read this dumb shit. So I went out and to get some comments going on and to like some stuff purely so people would come back and read my shit. But when I got out there on the blogosphere suddenly I found myself engaged in these other writers. Then I really did like what they wrote. Then I decided to comment the same way I was blogging. I’ll just say whatever comes to mind, no matter how dumb it is, no matter how uncool it might seem. And bam, what the fuck, here I am with some real shit going on. My whole outlook on blogging and even life has changed to a degree. And definitely my idea of writing.

So anyway, I have to go to this god damn super bowl party now. But I’ll be back tomorrow to further explore this idea this thing I’m trying to get at. And to call out some people who seem to be going through what I was, too.

Hot damn. Blogging is the shit.

What I’ve Learned So Far About Blogging and Life

Readability Index: Unreadable Due to Length

Alright what I’m going to try to do here is create a unique field theory…I mean a unified field theory of blogging by me. A unified field theory of my life and what blogging means to it. What has writing this blog done to me over the last week and how can I make it useful to my life. How can I enjoy it more fully. How can I do something…how can I feel good about it.

Well, like the first time I started blogging on this mother fucker, I’ve got The National keyed up. Playing “Anyone’s Ghost” over and over again. Great song. I can lose myself in the rhythm of it.

Sometimes I feel like cursing and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I feel nice and sometimes I’m itchy. Someone just called me. I hate phones because they interrupt everything. People are mad at me all the time because I don’t pick up my phone. But I can’t plan for that shit. I don’t know how they made it back in the day with regular phones just ringing all the time and you couldn’t even see who was calling. Screening your calls meant listening to the answering machine.

But that’s all beside the point of course.

I washed the dishes and ate another muffin. I should eat again before I go to work. I was thinking I should enjoy work and stop dreading leaving the house, but that’s just part of me, dreading leaving the house, I can have as much fun as I want when I get out there but the next day I’ll be dreading it all over again. Much like taking a shower.

I still feel like this blog is a kind of fleeting addiction. I have them all the time. Sometimes I’m really into drawing, or basketball, or wine, or…well anything. The one activity I have done throughout my life is writing. So maybe that bodes well for the blog. Because this is a good kind of writing. A kind of writing that motivates me to keep writing. I really like just spitting out my thoughts. And the craziest thing about it is that people read it. It’s there for people to read, like a well dressed pamphlet fluttering down a busy street, but unlike the pamphlet that gets stomped on and waved away and stuck to car bumpers, this blog gets read by people from all over the world. They take time to read the words that came straight out of my head, without any revision or intense labor over them. It’s crazy to me that people like to read that much. Now I like to read that much, but I never thought that so many other people did. It’s the difference between knowing something and feeling it, is something I always say. I know that people are like me, but I don’t feel it.

But along with the addiction idea, is the feeling that perhaps this isn’t healthy. Perhaps I should be going outside and running around, or cleaning the house, or getting a part time job, or toiling away at writing a novel. This is just a part of how I feel about everything except actual paid by the hour work, the feeling that I should be doing something else, that I could be doing something more productive at that moment. The times I snap out of this feeling are usually when I consider that some people don’t have any time or any choice of what they do at any time of the day. A man with no lets can’t decide to cut his toenails, and a starving child can’t decide whether to eat coconut almond muffins or just skip lunch. So that usually gets me focused back on the crazy thing about my life which is that I have the world available to me, as unfair as that may be to other people.

And I use the word crazy too much. It’s kind of a catch all for things I don’t understand or can’t grasp, as well as something I aspire to, like ‘damn that dude is crazy!’

So I don’t want to feel like this is an addiction. Something I think about all the time, that I can’t wait to get back to, that I’m unhappy if I’m not doing it…unless I do want to feel like that. Isaac Asimov felt like that about writing fiction and I’ve always admired him. A lot of people say about writers: “If you can’t not write, then you’re a writer.” I’ve always replied, “well I guess I’m not a writer because I could sleep all day, wake up drink and watch Downton Abbey reruns and I won’t be worried about a damn bit of writing.” Writing is usually something I do because I’m good at it and I like it. Not because I need it. But maybe being addicted to this blog will be like needing to write, which would then put me in the company of great writers, which would then perhaps make me a great writer.

The most wonderful thing about this blog, and I mean wonderful in the truly literal sense as in it creates within my mind a great sense of…wonder…is that I have been able to in some way make at least one person’s life a little more interesting. It’s really weird, actually, to have the effect on someone through writing. I like to think that I make people’s lives better in general when I know them, because I’m hardworking and nice and charming; but it’s super weird to think that my writing has affected someone I don’t know outside of the written word relationship of blogging. Of course I’ve always known that that was what writing is all about, but I didn’t feel it. And when I say feel and know, of course they are happening in the same place, in the mind with the chemicals and neural pathways and all that, I’m really differentiating between theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. In theory writing is communication with other minds…but I’ve never before felt the practical application of that knowledge. Just had to make a note for those Ayn Rand types who would laugh at my use of the word “feel.” Ah see, sometimes I worry about impressions for long periods of time without even realizing it. Then again, you can’t say you’re not thinking about the impression you’re making if you’re writing for people to look at it. You’re writing expressly to create an impression, whether in your own mind or someone else’s. What I don’t want to do at least on this blog is to worry that I’m making the wrong impression. Because as I’ve stated before I spend most of m life doing that.

The practical uses of this blog, and by that what I mean to say (or meantersay, as Joe Gargery would say) is the uses of the blog that I would be happy with even if no one ever saw it, are numerous. Being namely that words look pretty on this blog, my thoughts are organized with tags and categories, and even while I’m typing this information is being saved on the internet so that even if my computer should spontaneously combust, I would not lose any of this. So those are good things. Before I started blogging I would write this kind of random bullshit gibberish, but I would save it on a Word document. I would lose all those with my computer. Also with this infinite display of the articles in reverse chronological order, I can more easily reread these posts than I can read all those word documents that are separated and whatnot.

Hm yes but what is the overall idea. What is the purpose? Of course, we all know how I feel about the purpose of life. Since we’re doomed it really doesn’t matter what we do. Except that we can’t. But that’s a load of horseshit.

What then is the difference between bullshit and horseshit?

I do want to create something of value. And I do love writing in this extemporaneous style. Revisions have always been a bitch to me. I have always thought of art as revision, controlling the impression you’re making on people. And that’s well and good. You can’t have a wonderful novel like Freedom without revision. You can’t have an awesome movie like Spartacus without editing. Hm but maybe you can have an incredible novel like On the Road if you practice writing a lot a lot and fill your head jam packed with experiences and information and then sit down at your computer with a gallon of coffee and type for a week straight.

Maybe I will write something in the vein of On the Road, with a Hunter S Thompson slant, with a subject that is truth, that is not fictitious. I will be like Chuck Klosterman, perhaps. The more I blog the more I like that mother fucker and I never once really thought about it before, except right after I got done reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. I’d pretty much forgotten about him until it came up while I was commenting on someone else’s blog and now I find myself quoting him a lot. And what he does is pretty cool. He talks about the world we live in in a funny way. And an insightful way. I bet I could do something like that at least 10 percent as good as him if I really worked at it.

I think my style of writing is pretty engaging. If I were to talk about something people cared about, I think at least some people would find that worthwhile. Hrmph well…shit

Wordpress is Having Issues

Readability Index: Unreadable

It seems WordPress is having some issues, which is a real bitch right now. I got this crazy looking stat bar up there that I can’t even see what’s going on. WordPress just keeps trying to load itself. And I can’t look at my reader either, so I can’t see what’s going on out there. I feel cut off. Abandoned. Shipwrecked. Floating on an open sea. Everyone has a destination but me. I alone…shit I’m trying to quote the Tao Te Ching or however you spell it and I can’t remember how it goes.

Before I go to work I have to do…the dishes…

And then tomorrow I have to pay another thirty five dollars to the bank and close the account and hope they don’t ask me about American Express. The bastards.

Ah shit. Just another pile of bullshit.

Here I am picking my nose with about five windows up in this office right on ground level. Smart.