To all my readers and followers, please keep in mind that I have now moved over to my new blog, Father Nature's Corner, so Cedar's Mountain is now on a semi-permanent hiatus.

If you're looking for the wit and wisdom that Cedar's Mountain is known for, please click on the link up above or to the right, and I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shooting Suburbia: September '09

Yowza.

This past September, I decided to start taking random photos during my weekly walks around town. My original intention was to create a fourth blog in which to showcase my attempts at semi-good photography.

Instead, I decided to explore the Picasa Website to see what I could do with my pictures. I've seen other people use it with a certain degree of success, so I figure I would give it a try.

This is the first in what I hope to be semi-monthly series called, appropriately enough, "Shooting Suburbia."

For best results though, do the slide show presentation with about six to ten second delay.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Weapon of Choice

This next story is part two of the aforementioned W.i.P. that I'm writing for Flashing Georgie's Shorts, entitled "Persona Non Grata". Part 1 is here.

What originally inspired it (and in hindsight, the reason was extremely lame) was a letter. This letter, written by someone else while they were a teenager, was found by me in a stack of 45's and a few LP's that my brother came across and gave to me about a year and half ago.

The letter was basically about a week in the life of the writer, who was writing to a friend of hers at a boarding school. For reasons unknown, it was never mailed. I came across it while I was busy sorting out the LP's, in one of the inner record jackets.

Anyways, I'm not sure why the letter originally inspired me, other than maybe the writer was being pestered by a male classmate (letter was apparently being written during a class/study hall). Maybe I wrote it as a revenge story, I don't know. In any event, this particular story started the ball rolling on writing a longer, more complex scenario involving these two particular ladies. Also, it helped move along another series of stories that I was started to write as a parallel to these two. Those stories have formed the basis of the other blog W.i.P called "The Anointed One".

Only time will tell how these will play out in the end. If I can do something with them, then both stories will probably make an appearance about this time next year. If I can't, it won't.

As the per the custom as of late, no lead in paragraphs and the comments are open here, just the link.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cedar's Mountain Top Searchable Term

Feedjit.

Until I got this widget for my blog, I always wondered about who was reading my blog. I mean, with my sitemeter counter, I knew how many were stopping by during a given hour, a given day, and even the week. But I never really knew when a person was here, or even how they arrived here to begin with.

Then I found Feedjit, through someone else's blog. I said to myself, this would be a good widget to get for my blog. For those of you who might be serious long time readers of this blog, you might (keyword is 'might') recall that I used to have a widget on my blog called "On This Day In History". It didn't last long (only a couple of months if that), due to the fact that I really didn't want to clutter up my blog with pointless widgets that would distract from the content of the blog.

Back to Feedjit. I grabbed the widget, installed the code, and presto, I was well on my way to figuring out who was reading my blogs, and most importantly, what they were reading.

Fast forward to know. After analyzing both my Feedjit widget and my Google Analytics (another interesting tool that I really don't use much, but I like anyways), I was able to determine (in my own eyes) my #1 searchable term.

Truck Stop Cutie

Just go to Google and type in "truck stop cutie" and let me know what you come up with. Go on, I'll wait.

Whistles the theme from the Pink Panther cartoon

Now if you take a look at that first page, chances are you'll see the links for the story "Truck Stop Cutie" pop up. That's right boys and girls, right smack dab in the middle of some very strange websites, you'll find little ol' me.

Now I know that most blog writing websites always say that in order to drive the maximum amount of people to your blog, you must use keywords in your posts. Which means that you should use words that people frequently search the most for.

For those of you who are visiting for the first time or have decided to become a repeat visitor, I have an odd quirkiness when it comes to my blog: I will frequently make a post title and then build my post around that title. Trust me, it does make things interesting.

But I digress. Or do I?

In any event, I write how I feel and not with a specific goal of driving people to my blog and thus becoming popular. If people come to my blog from finding me on Google, or from a comment I made elsewhere and then stay for a bit, or simply move on, that is okay by me. I try not to force myself on anyone who chooses not to be part of my little slice of the blog world here.

And the top five ways that people get to my blog without using a normal search engine?

1} Topix.com: I still maintain a heavy chat room presence, so it does pay off in the long run.
2} Blogger.com: a great way to find new blogs. Did it recently and found ten new blogs.
3} The Followers widget: It pays to be a follower of a blog, because sometimes a person will get curious enough to explore that widget (picked up a few more blogs that way too).
4} Comments: Some people have found me, simply through the comments I left on another blog.

So remember, always write what you feel, and not towards a specific goal of gaining new traffic. You just might be surprised at the end result.

Especially if you write a story about a lady who uses her cooking skills to earn money at the truck stops.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Well, Box My Ears And Feed Me Gruel!!

* denotes a future topic to be covered

I have about two dozen boxed sets in my vast collection of vinyl. There are some that I bought (Jethro Tull & Bob Dylan), and some that were given to me as presents (Dr. Demento & Bruce Springsteen). But for the bulk of them, I acquired them the old fashioned way: free.

Some of the free I acquired from people who were purging their collections and asked me to take them off their hands. And a couple of others came into my possession as barter. The bulk of the free ones, however, came to me through my late grandfather's record collection*.

Back in the day (1980's), Reader's Digest used to offer boxed sets on all kinds of middle of the road artists, and being the sucker that my grandfather was*, he bought all kinds of boxed sets of vinyl.

Now this list isn't quite definitive, but this well give me a chance to show off what kind of recall I possess (remember kids, I write the bulk of my posts by hand at work).

1} The Statler Brothers
2} Kenny Rogers
3} Marty Robbins
4} 101 Greatest Instrumentals
5} Greatest Original Hits of the 70's
6} Roger Whittaker
7} Those Were Our Years: The Early '40's
8} 101 Greatest Classical Songs
9} Nat "King" Cole

Like I stated in my first post, I actually listened to all of my boxed sets from beginning to end. The reasoning behind this was twofold. One, I needed music to listen to while I was painstakingly writing all the album/cassette/45 info down on index cards (cross-indexed as well). Two, it gave me the opportunity to pick out songs for a tape collection I wanted to create (got up to about thirty tapes before giving up).

I did enjoy most of the boxed sets, and the main reason that I did was simply because it allowed me to explore a particular artist's repertoire with a deepness that can only be found if you went out and purchased each and every single piece of music by the artist (which is why I loathe any and all Greatest Hits compilations). A box set really is the next best thing to actually doing what I suggested, simply because it's not a greatest hits collection (which I don't buy to begin with anyways).

I would like to finish up this post by giving you a brief overview and opinion on some of my boxed sets, so in case you wish to explore a particular artist, you can do so at your own leisure.

Please note that all of these sets were produced prior to 1990, and some may have been reissued on compact disc, or not at all.

Jethro Tull "Twenty Years of Jethro Tull": This is five disc set that not only contains the essential hits but touches on all aspects of the groups career. There is an excellent liner notes booklet with it as well. The only thing I can say about this set, is that it reissued on compact disc and the other problem is that there is a similar boxed set as well. Trivia note: they won the very first Grammy for heavy metal music for their song "Farm On The Freeway".

Bruce Springsteen 'Live '75-'85': If you like live Bruce, buy this boxed set. If you don't, it's like a greatest hits packaged. Came out when "Born In The U.S.A." was saturating the charts and the airwaves.

Bob Dylan "Biograph": Excellent overview of his career up to the mid-80's. Vintage cuts, along with B-sides and rarities. Much better (in my humble opinion) than his "Greatest Hits vol 1-3".

Dr. Demento "presents the Greatest Novelty Records of All Time": If you love novelty songs, then this boxed set is for you (currently out of print and as far as I know, not available on compact disc, but one never really knows). Covers the 1940's through the mid 80's, plus some selected Christmas novelty cuts.

The Statler Brothers: I enjoy classic country and this group was one of the ones I grew up listening to.

Marty Robbins: Same reason as the previous one.

And finally,

Kenny Rogers: I like Kenny Rogers for his music. Not for his acting or the other parts of his personal life.

Friday, October 23, 2009

R U Ready?

Part 1

So after I'd agreed to move my fat ass to the overnights, my boss gave me a few days off, so as let me get my body acclimated to the new hours. So towards that end, I picked up a box of No-Doz from my local c-store and got ready to spend the next two nights staying up through the wee hours of the morning.

This was gonna be an adventure, because unlike today, where you could find something to keep yourself awake, either on the telly, the radio or the Internet, back in the early 90's, I really didn't have that luxury.

First off, I didn't have a lot of movie channels to play with. I think I had about four or five (gotta remember this is during the analog days) overall: HBO and Showtime, and I think Encore and Cinemax. Secondly, most of the t.v. channels started replaying the previous night's entertainment starting around midnight. Thirdly, the only first run programming I was getting back then was religious, most notably the Rev. Eugene Scott (who was, and still remains, the only televangelist that kept my attention for longer than two minutes at any given time).

So I got myself a large soda, a bag of chips, and my bottle of No-Doz, and plopped my fat ass on the couch. Putting the telly on, I popped a couple of No-Doz and settled down for a long dull night of trying to stay awake.

Around two o'clock, I started feeling sleepy as my eyelids stated to stay closed longer every time I blinked. So, not wanting for this night to be a bust, I popped a couple more No-Doz. Within a half hour, I started having a few mild hallucinations and a out of body experience as well.

Note: my wife was (and still is) vitriolic in her hatred of No-Doz. This remains the only time that I've ever taken stimulants to stay awake.

It was, in hindsight, the neatest thing, simply because I never took any kind of illegal (or legal for that matter) pharmaceuticals to get to that state of being. Back then, it was definitely a little creepy. Looking down on yourself while you're zoned out is something that one should only experience during a deep slumber, and not when you're wide awake.

Anyways, it took a couple of hours for the feeling to dissipated. By the time five o'clock rolled around, I was ready to crash big time. But I stuck it out until about six thirty, when I decided to have breakfast before going to bed. Now, unlike today, where I'm overly fanatical about monitoring my diabetes (currently on four different meds), back then I was in total denial. So I porked out big time at breakfast before hitting the sack to get about five or six hours of shut eye.

I repeated the process the next day, had the same out of body experience, and by the end of the week, I was ready to be trained at my new position of 3rd shift grunt.
~~~~~~
Up next: Training for 3rd shift.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Furlough Day

This particular story was originally written on July 6th of this year, during the second of our contractual giveback of four paid days to the state. The inspiration for the story was based on an incident at the local playground in the summer of 2008, and which I elaborated on about a year later.

This story is the only piece of creative non-fiction that you will find on the other blog, and is one of only two creative non-fiction stories in the 389 total blog posts (both published and unpublished on all three blogs) that you will find here. If you get the feeling during the reading of this story that there's some anger bubbling under the surface, you would be pretty much correct in that assumption.

No two paragraph lead in this time, just the customary link that brings you to it. Feel free to leave a comment either here or over there.

Enjoy.

The Furlough Day

Monday, October 19, 2009

Do You Know That On A Sunny Day, It's Really Hot?

I went out on a walk with my daughter one day after work, and for the most part, it was uneventful. Except for the last quarter mile or so, when I was in wicked pain from the early evening heat (was still in the low 80's and muggy at about 6:30p), which I wasn't too thrilled about.

Anyways, my daughter has a tendency to talk a mile a minute, and within that minute can touch on about a half dozen topics. People would laugh at my running joke at work, which was I would use my daughter as practice so as to better deal with the adults at work. But it really was true. Learning how to pick out bits, pieces and parts from seemingly disjointed ramblings and actually understand well enough to give a proper answer to the question is an excellent talent to acquire.

But I digress. Or do I?

In any event, off on the walk I went with my daughter. After a couple of minutes of false starts (finding brother's C/C and getting my walking stick), we set off on my chose route of walking: in front of the mountain. Why? It was about ten degrees cooler walking in front of the mountain as opposed to immediately walking down the side road.

Within two minutes of starting our journey, she found a stick and commenced to answering the one and only question I was able to ask, nay, the one and only time I was able to start a conversation, which was, "So what did you do today, sweetie?"

From the point on, I never got another chance to initiate a conversation. Jenelle took the ball and proceeded to jam it down my throat. There wasn't any topic that she didn't touch on for the rest of the walk. She even complimented someone on their bowzer.

When we got to the infamous roadblock (as eloquently described here), I decided to make the turn and go down the side street. At the bottom of the hill is where Jenelle uttered the comment that is the title of this post. Believe it or not, after she'd made the statement, I was actually speechless for about fifteen to twenty seconds.

When I recovered, about the only thing I could say was, "Well...yeah." Which was basically ignored, as she continued on her non-stop tangent for the rest of the walk. She covered a dozen more topics, none of which really stood out then or now.

We did manage to properly discard her stick, simply because it broke into two smaller pieces and thus was unusable. And she made an attempt at telling knock-knock jokes and riddles, of which I was able to turn around and give her the case of the sillies.

By the time we got home, it was starting to drift into twilight. I managed to stagger up the front lawn in pain, while erstwhile daughter sprinted up the front lawn and the steps.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable walk, but most importantly, the lesson that I took away from the walk was this: when you choose to go walking with a child on a hot muggy evening, make sure that you're not wearing your work clothes when you're doing it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What If?

A couple of days ago, I had a rare half day off from work, so I spent that rare time off by catching up on some writing. What I wrote mostly was a couple handwritten pages to my story Blackness In The White Sand, but came to stop when I realized that I needed to do some research in Dante's "Divina Commedia" in order to continue the story. So, with time to kill and a itchy brain to use, I started reflecting on the people that I've met on this fascinating journey called Life.

After a while, I came up with this nice little piece of flash. Let me know what you think of it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
With nothing but time on his hands, he briefly poked his head out from his cubicle and saw her. Not as a co-worker, for he was always seeing her as such, but as a warm, vibrant, sensual woman. Always tastefully dressed in the latest fashion, on dress down Fridays, she turned into something special.

The none-too-tight jeans accentuated her backside with just enough oomph that he always wanted to touch and caress it. The soft sweaters tastefully emphasized the natural goodness contained within. The minimal amount of bling and the natural makeup complimented perfectly the gentle softness of her face.

As a whole, her body and complexion matched up with the latest Page Six* lady from the Caribbean to a T. For the first time, she gave him a look that steeled his resolve and yet melted his heart and turned him into pottery clay.

"Good God, she's walking this way! Better look busy!" he thought excitedly, for a good chunk of the time, she never really visited his cube for any lengthy period of time. A few seconds later, he heard a knock on his wall. Even before he turned around, he knew by the scent of jasmine that she was standing there.

Walking in, she asked him a question, which in turn he asked for a little clarity. She moved in closer and knelt down, so as to better explain her question, and it was all he could do to keep himself focused on the task at hand. The fresh scent, the clean yet not quite so wholesome look, the soft curves and the overall sensuality of her being, drove him to distraction.

Somehow, he was able to answer her question to her satisfaction. Smiling, she used his shoulder as a prop and stood up. Stretching for a few seconds, she gave his shoulder a lingering touch, and left his cube. He wheeled his chair over to his entrance and watched her walk down the block until she got back into her cube.

Sighing, he disappeared back into his cube and then spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about what the future could have been, if different choices were made along the way.
~~~~~~
*The Page Six Lady existed back in the day when I was in my twenties and my father used to bring back the local papers from Jamaica whenever he came home from an extended business trip. Basically, it was a lovely lady showing off the top half of her natural assests, and it was always on page 6, hence the moniker of The Page Six Lady.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Has Reading Become Passe?

Dad: What are you doin' today, son?
Son: Ehh....being bored.
Dad: Why don't you try reading a book?
Son: Pop, I said I was bored, not desperate.
B.C. comic strip, dated 8/13/09

I was trying to think of a way to tie in the above comic strip with a decent post about reading without having it turn into a major rant about the publishing industry. My first attempt started relatively decent enough, but by the third paragraph it had pretty much dive bombed into a temper tantrum about the publishing industry and the overall IQ of the general public.

So back to the drawing board I went. I was basically shooting blanks for about a week and a half, when I happened to notice one dull morning prior to going to work, a copy of a literary journal called Crazy Horse siting on my dining room table.

Bingo! Inspiration struck with the ferocity of a baseball bat (or for my non-American readers, a cricket bat) to the head. I'm gonna attempt to tie in the following topics: reading and the lack thereof, and literary journals.

If it works, it'll be a great post that will get you to say, "that was a very interesting observational post." If it doesn't, you'll get to witness first hand on how my exacting standards caused me to experience a paradigm shift.

If you ask the average person what they read (if anything), chances are that you'll get answers like: magazines, tabloids, newspapers, and the occasional pop culture book. If you ask the average person if they've read anything heavier, they'll probably say something like: "I read the latest {insert the latest hot author} and it was pretty heavy."

If you press and ask, "Do you read the latest from Glimmer Train?", more often than not you can hear the sounds of crickets emitting from the person's mouth. Which to me is about as normal as an answer that I'm gonna get.

When I was first starting out on this adventure called 'writing', the first thing I did was pick up a book called "The Novel & Short Story Writer's Market." One of the first pieces of advice that they give to aspiring writers is that they should enter writing contests.

Now back in 2006, I was a supremely over-confident writer of really crappy stories (seriously, my stuff was gar-bage), so what I did was enter all of my crappy stories into as many writing contests sponsored by literary journals that I could find (New Letters, Glimmer Train, Boulevard, Black Warriors and Crazy Horse, just to name a few). One particular bonus of the entry fee for a lot of these contests was that you got a few one year subscription to the journal.

To be honest with everyone, until I started writing not a single one of these fine journals was so much as a dust speck on my reading glasses. Why? Basically, I was probably like about 85% of the reading public and had no idea about what kind of story mags/journals were out there.

By early 2007, I had about eight subscriptions going. I really tried my best to read them from cover to cover, but eventually I gave up. Why? Because I felt, right or wrong, that most of the stuff that people were writing and having published was 1} way too literary for my tastes, and 2} felt like they were all formulaic. To me, it seemed like the people being published all had M.F.A.'s (that's Masters of Fine Arts for all you normal folk like myself who don't do educational alphabet soup on any kind of basis) and writing the same way (sort of like method acting).

If it sounds like I'm knocking these writers, I'm not. It's just that in my humble opinion, writing serious literary short fiction for a specialized readership and not trying to gain new admirers, really is an exercise in futility. To me, it seems that a writer, no matter what genre or type of fiction/non-fiction, should always be trying to expand his/her audience as much as possible.

Now, most of these literary journals that I had subscriptions to (and still do unfortunately), had some impressive pedigrees attached to them. Almost every single writer that I read had the following things in common: 1} M.F.A.'s; 2} They taught; 3} They won a slew of prestigious academic oriented writing contests. At least one journal turned out to be a semi-personal vehicle for the publisher. This is all well and good, but the average person is probably not going to be impressed with those kind of credentials. They want to be able to read stories that 1} provide a good escape and 2} will somehow in a small way, stick with them. They don't want to read stories that would require some analytical thinking on their part.

This begs the question: Are they any writers that can have feet in both worlds, the high end literary and the normal general purpose?

Note: I wrote this simply as an observational post on the state of reading today. No disrespect was intended, directly or indirectly, to anyone who is an actual answer to the above the question.

Zoom

By now most everyone has read the announcement that Flashing Georgie's Shorts is tweaking the format. Since we're now posting the last several stories (counting this one), I want spend the next several weeks giving you the reader a peek into my thought processes as to how something inspires me to write a story. I started doing this with the last story posted (The Sand), and I thought it would be a good way to end this particular stage of the blog on a high note. Additionally, I'm also opening the comments for the last remaining stories here too.

So with this particular story, you'll see the inspiration tag as being the song "Animals" by Nickelback. Basically, the song is about girl sneaking out of her parents house at night with her boyfriend who just got out of jail, and driving off to parts unknown to make out, but getting caught in the process. I thought it would make a great story idea. Give it a read and let me know what you think, because there's something else about this story that usually doesn't happen to me when I write it.
~~~~~~
"Watch where the F you're going! You about hit a semi!!"
"Better him than me."
"Listen, I want to get wherever it is we're going to in one piece. Alive, not in a body bag."
"Right. Body bag."

Shaking her head, Laurie put on her seat belt and began to pray. When she'd finished, she opened her eyes to see that the car was surrounded by the police. Pulling out her gun, she checked the clip before lobbing a few shots at the cruiser directly next to her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click here for the full story and to leave a comment

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Negative Trajectory, Is A Positive Flat Line (The W.i.P's)

Whereas part 1 concentrated on the blogs, part 2 will concentrate on the writing.

1} W.i.P.'s for the blog. By now all of you should have seen the announcement of the format change coming to Flashing Georgie's Shorts. I think it was starting to move in that direction around early August, when the short stories that had previously made up the blog were starting to dry up, to be replaced by the longer and fleshed out short story.

To that end, I have two W.i.P.'s that I'm writing exclusively for the blog (at least that's the plan). One is entitled Persona Non Grata and the other is entitled The Anointed One, and they came into being in the most peculiar way. Initially, they were four short stories that I had written for the blog: "Double D's", "The Weapon of Choice", "Sedated", and 10pm". But after writing "Sedated" and rewriting "10pm", I came to the conclusion that they would make great companion stories to the first two, simply because the plots, although similar in nature, look like they will dovetail perfectly together, and here's why:

a} Both plots are about a select group of people who hunt for humans (the
first story link can give you an example of what I'm trying to explain), but
the
first story is about two sisters who find themselves on Earth and on the
run.
The second story is about the chosen one who will be sent after the
sisters to
bring them back to the Collective (or Pod if you
prefer).

b} Both stories will be running parallel to each other, thus
there will be
interchangeable parts to each other.

c} If things go
right, both stories should be melding within each other for
a satisfactory
conclusion.


I originally didn't plan it this way, but the deeper I got into both stories, the more it seemed like a natural fit. Like I said, this is the tentative plan that I want to do. But sometimes as we all know, a neat and tidy plan can sometimes joyfully blow up in your face to create something much bigger and better.

Like....

2} The W.i.P's for myself. I currently have two W.i.P.'s at various stages of completion. The first one, A Lascivious Limbo, I've been working on and off for most of the summer. Because of the completion date I gave for myself (2010), it has given me the luxury of taking my time to flesh out the story and make the convoluted plot readable. This was the story that I originally posted in late 2008 called Golden Texas Tea (background and 1st page. if you wish to check out the original, please click on the link called "long short story"), and it's also the perfect example of something joyfully blowing up in your face. This story has done just that, as I have about sixty-five pages written and it's shaping up to be the proper sequel to my first book, Shades of Love.

Just to give you a basic idea on how this has blown up, the original story was twenty-four pages in length. I'm at page fourteen of the original story, which translates out to page sixty-five of the new story. Same point, but more fullness.

Oh and the plot? First, we move ahead five years from Shades of Love; secondly, it starts near the end of the original story, and has her at the corporate headquarters of Limbo, reliving the last three days of her life (think Albert Brooks in "Defending Your Life"), so as to determine whether or not she gets to move on (rebirth), move upwards (Heaven), move backwards a little (Purgatory), or move backwards a lot (Hell).

The second W.i.P. has a working title of Blackness In The White Sand. Basic plot is about a woman who is turned into an enforcer for one of the Devil's proteges, and only has seventy-two hours to get herself back to what she was. Right now, I have about nineteen pages written (a bit stuck right now). It's violent, messy, bloody, and believe it or not, has minimal sex (although that may change once I get unstuck). I'm not quite sure where this is going to wind up at, but this excerpt should give you the basic idea on the level of anger that permeates throughout the story. The prelude to the story can be found here.

All in all, I got a lot of projects to keep me going, because as you know, a bored G, is an unhappy G.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Patience Ain't A Virtue, But We're Trying Our Very Best To Practice It

An affliction that nailed me earlier in the year, in which I went on a short story writing binge (about 35+ stories in about three months) that culminated with the creation of Flashing Georgie's Shorts, reared its ugly head again and nailed me this past summer.

Starting in late-July, I went on a blog post writing binge. The ginormous quantities of free time at work (busy for three days, bored stiff for seven) afforded me the luxury of writing out a multitude of blog posts (like four-five a week). How many I wrote is hard to calculate (but if I averaged four a week for about twelve weeks, then...holy cow, that's a lot of words!), but it's safe to say that only 2% of the posts that you've read since mid-August have been created within a couple of days of posting. The other 98% of the posts that have showed up on this blog were written during this blog writing spurt (which I finally finished in the first week of October).

I figure by the second week of November (I hope), I should have the last of those posts up on the blog for you to read and comment on (unless something pops up unexpectedly, like pics or an idea from another blog, then tack on another week). To help facilitate the process, a brief return to the two-a-days will be implemented on the days when Flashing Georgie's Shorts is being updated, and has in fact already reared its ugly head back on October 7th. By the time the last of those posts are up, I should be well back into my normal routine of writing a post a week in advance.

And I should be able to start work on that new thingy called Looking Back At The Early Days Of Cedar's Mountain (although the tag won't be that lengthy, I hope).

In any event, keep on the lookout for the following topics that this blog will touch upon: Humor, Personal Opinion, Music, Writing, Blogs, Freedom of Speech, and Work (both current and days gone by).

The Creative Juices.

Sometimes it can be healthy as all get out, giving you the energy to conquer the world.

And sometimes, it can become a majorly infected boil on your buttocks.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Why Are You Still Smoking?!

One fine breezy morning about three weeks ago, I was out taking a walk around the block where my office building is located. The block where my building is located is surrounded on two sides by housing projects, a third side taken up by closed businesses and a hospital, and on the fourth by employee parking for the hospital.

Anyways, I was at the tail end of my walk, not thinking much about anything of note, when I was passed by someone who was walking at a rather brisk pace. I looked up, and as I'm want to do when I walk, and gave the passerby the once over.

The first thing that I noticed, was that he was carrying an O2 tank. The reason that I know this, is because of the long plastic tube that I saw running up the side of his body. The second thing I saw, which I was able to confirm by the aroma of a few seconds later, was a cigarette dangling out of his left hand.

You {insert a multitude of select adjectives here, chances are that you're thinking the exact same thing as I am}!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't SMOKING defeat the central purpose of being hooked up to a portable tank of O2? I mean, being hooked up to an O2 tank basically tells everyone that you have serious problems that interferes with your ability to BREATH!

BREATHING is the essential component, above all others, that keeps you ALIVE!

If you're so desperate to feed that nicotine habit, wouldn't it make sense to do something else that wouldn't interfere with you BREATHING?

Like chewing tobacco?

Chewing tobacco, while it can be a lot messier, is on the average a whole lot safer than smoking. Whereas smoking simply interferes with your breathing, snuff simply interferes with your ability to taste. Plus it's usually a couple dollars less per can/pouch than it is to purchase a pack of smokes.

And with chewing tobacco, you don't have to worry about stinking up your clothes or other belongings. No sir, all you have to worry about is making sure that you don't dribble, drool or swallow.

So, my erstwhile useless specimen of a human being, if you're hell bent on not listening to your doctor and making the insurance companies spend money needlessly, then do everyone a ginormous favor and by a sleeve/box of chewing tobacco.

It's cleaner and safer in the long run, because you don't have to worry about blowing yourself up into tiny little pieces, or worry about turning yourself into a BBQ meal for Ed Gein.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Sand

Yowza.

This post is a double rarity in that I'm actually giving you the reader some initial background to this story and I'm opening comments up to it as well.

This story is the direct offspring of a previous short of mine entitled The Beach, which came out in late April of this year. I actually thought this story was pretty good, as it featured one of my many fave settings (the beach) that I like to use in my stories. Unfortunately, no one else did as it became one of the few stories on my other blog that had no comments.

Anyways, a couple of months later, I was searching high and low for something to write about, when I after reading my collections of shorts from that other blog, I came up with the bright idea of writing a sequel to that previously mentioned story.

So off I ran with it. The basic plot was that I had the female lead (Azha) travel to what turned out to be a nude beach, have an encounter (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) with a handsome man, and throw a small wrench into the works as well.

About a couple of weeks later, I got to thinking about writing another longish short story (in addition to the one I'm writing now called A Lascivious Limbo). Bingo! In a moment of clarity (or stupidity, take your pick), I found the story that I wanted to write. My good friends, this story that you are about to read, is now what I consider to be the prelude to my next chapbook, which is tentatively titled, Blackness In The White Sand.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the previous summer's disastrous outing with Javy now safely tucked away in the dark recesses of her memory, Azha decided now would be as good time as any to visit the beach. She was a year older, a year wiser, and most importantly, sans animal, as Javy had met his maker due to an unfortunate encounter with a craze taxidermist less than four months after that outing.

Driving east on U.S. 1, she had the top down, the radio blaring industrial metal, sunglasses on and her now light chestnut colored hair trailing in the breeze. She checked her GPS again to make sure that she was going in the right direction, as her girlfriend had told her about a new secluded beach near the Rhode Island border and she didn't want to get lost looking for it.
~~~~~~
Click here for the full story and to leave a comment.

Negative Trajectory Is A Positive Flat Line (The Blogs)

The hardest thing to come up with for a blog post is, believe it or not, the title of the post. For me, the topic is ridiculously easy to come up with. The title, on the other hand, incredibly hard. Because of the basic understanding I have with a dictionary and a thesaurus, I avoid using certain combination of words and phrases that would imply, however indirectly, saying goodbye.

I do not wish to say goodbye. In fact, let me state unequivocally that the only way I would say goodbye, would be if I was to drop dead. Of course, that would necessitate someone coming onto my blog and saying, "My name is such and such, it is my sad duty to say that (my real name) aka G has gone to meet his maker."

I would hope that before it reaches that point, that I would remember to leave detailed instructions on how I would want this blog (and others) to be taken care of.

Now, with that being said, let's continue this post with a more upbeat tone, shall we?

The title of this post is a combination of things. "Negative Trajectory" is a phrase I pulled from one of my favorite comic strips, Calvin and Hobbes; "Positive Flat Line" is simply the opposite of the first phrase. Put them together and you got an oxymoron.

And now, a couple of general observations from the world of me.

1} I went blog surfing a couple of months ago and found ten new blogs to read. It took me about six hours, over the course of two days, simply because for every six blogs I came across, five of them were either in Spanish, Portuguese, Indian, or some other wonderful language that I have absolutely no clue on. Out of these ten blogs, the following has happened to them:

Two that I decided to comment on have reciprocated and have chosen to become followers. I have in turn, reciprocated that gesture and now feature their blogs as links on mine (Caffeine is Life and Dog In The Hole Studio); Two others I have commented on have chosen not to respond to the comments, which is fine. All bloggers are unique when it comes to running their blogs; Three others I have chosen not to comment on and instead have been simply lurking in the background reading; One got nuked because I decided it didn't really interest me anymore (I nuked it because he had a strange habit of simply making a title and pasting a link), and the last one was nuked for me.

2} Some blogs actually don't like differing viewpoints. I came across a couple of blogs that are, for the lack of a better phrase, left of center. As in, so heavily skewed to the Democrat viewpoint that one might get the impression that the blog is an extension of MoveOn.org or the Huffington Post.

Whatever. Anyways, with one blog, I'm sort of welcomed, but time will tell whether or not the welcome mat will be yanked. The other blog has basically thrown down the gauntlet and said in response to comment of mine, "I come from an old political family, so don't mess with me."

Like WTF?? I make an innocuous comment and the owner says, "Don't mess with me!" What kind of bullshit is that?? I mean, I can give the same lame excuse of "I come from a political family myself. My late father was a heavy player in local politics, ran two successful mayoral campaigns and was a conservative Democrat." So does that make me better than you?

Anyways, we shall see where we wind up going with this one. Trying to read it is usually an exercise in futility, simply because the blogger writes like a southern cracker hyped up on crystal meth.
~~~~~~~
Up next: The W.i.P.'s

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just A Little Teensy Weensy Bit More Info About Me

Once again, thanks to Joey's Pad for the idea of doing a top ten list of things that make me happy.

Yowza.

Since it seems that the tone/tenor of this blog has taken a turn towards a unexpected (by you the reader) sharpness that I usually keep well under wraps, I feel that I should rectify the situation toot sweet.

Today's post will be a bit of an upper as it is simply a post about me. Not as it applies to the blog world, or to the chat rooms, or even as it applies to writing, but as it applies to the real world.

I first saw this thingamajig Top Ten list on Joey's Pad about a week ago, and I thought it would be a great post idea to try. So after giving the prerequisite credit to the proper individual, here is my list of Ten Things That Make Me Happy.

Enjoy!

1} Being able to walk and stand without losing my balance. I suffer from severe muscle weakness and neuropathy in my legs, thighs and hips. So any morning that I can crawl out of bed and actually stand without support or losing my balance is a very good thing. Ditto for walking.

2} Having a song that simply clicks. I love listening to most types of music, but when a particular song just clicks and sens my spirit off on a pleasant flight for those few minutes, that's the best feeling in the world.

3} When people "get" my strange sense of humor. My humor can be at times off the wall and a little cerebral, so when various people experience a collective epiphany and understand it, and most importantly, keep getting it weeks and months later, it's a good thing.

4} A word from a good friend. I have a few close friends who by nature of the organization we collectively work for (state government) have now disappeared to all corners of the state. Occasionally though, they'll drop me a line saying 'hi' or send me a meme, just to let me know that they're still thinking of me.

5} Peace and quiet in a noisy house. With the weather starting to change from summer to autumn, it's becoming increasingly difficult to get the peace and quiet I need in order to work on my writing (or blogging). But when the four other residents of this domicile are occupied at the same time, it makes me very happy.

6} I'm not blogging in a vacuum. Knowing that there are people out in the blog sphere who enjoy what I write to the point to being repeat visitors even at a year and a half later, still blows my mind.

7} Going out on my weekly walks about town, either by myself or with my daughter. Experiencing the simply joy of nature or experiencing the world through the eyes of a child, is something that makes me happy, simply because the memory will always stay with me.

8} Grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is my weekly me time. It lets me decompress and catch up with the person that is me. My private Idaho where no-one is allowed to enter.

9} Being able to write, whether it's a blog post or a short story.

10} Listening to the music I grew up with. Even though my dad has been gone for five years now, I can still connect with him, simply by listening to the music that he loved, which in turn he passed onto me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Flashing Georgie's Shorts

"Sometimes taking the path less travelled can expand your horizons to where you thought not possible"

The random short story that has been the hallmark of Flashing Georgie's Shorts is now being phased out and will be put out to stud by the end of November.

Taking over in its place, will be the not-so-entirely-new-but-incredibly-familiar story format....

DRUM ROLL PLEASE

The longer (8,000-12,000+ word) short story.

It made its stunning debut on this very blog back in April of this year as a ten page serialization entitled Saturday.

Look for a new serialization to debut in December entitled, The Right Thing To Do.

Also making the occasional guest appearance will be excerpts from my various WiPs: A Lascivious Limbo and Blackness In The White Sand.

However, do not abandon all hope of ever seeing the studly short story again. Depending on the whim of the day (not to mention the upcoming fall and winter seasons) it might be possible for the studly short story to majectically raise it's head to come out and play.

This wasn't an easy decision to come to, but considering that my short story writing has been moving in this particular direction for the past month or so, it was inevitable that the blog must too change and adapt to the different path my writing has chosen to take.

I truly thank one and all for the time that you spent at the other blog and I hope that you continue to do so in the future.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain

The rain cascaded down in gentle pine scented drops, coating Jacqui in a cool sheen of aloe as she walked through the forest. Wiping the rain from her eyes, she saw off in the distance, a small globe sitting on a miniature pine tree, and realizes she's almost home.

Walking up the pathway, she notices that one of the rain barrels is overturned and partially smashed. Upon closer inspection, she sees a medium sized red spot on the barrel, and a long reddish-green trail heading off to the left that disappers into the brush.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click here for the full story and to leave a comment

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-16 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at georgebjr2006@gmail.com