Elevator Pitch

At least that’s what the final post of November was supposed to be called.  It was going to be flash fiction about an elevator pitch to a stranger, but also an allegory of sorts, for scary things that feel like an elevator pitch; a job interview, a first date, even pitching a story to a magazine.  In the story I was going to write, the person making the pitch is ultimately grateful for the opportunity, but is let down.  Not because there wasn’t any interest, but because the one making the pitch was overwhelmed by the moment.

And yeah, it sounded great in my head, too.

But here we are, on the last night of NanoPoblano 2022, and me with a great idea, not coming to fruition.  Or to quote Mickey (Joshua Jackson, Pacey from Dawson’s Creek) in the 1997 movie Scream 2, “It’s a perfect example of life, imitating art, imitating life”. 

My life.

But what am I so afraid of?  Well, for one thing, I hate rejection.  But recently, I’ve begun to get past that by intentionally submitting poetry to contests that unequivocally rejected me.  And something like that has its own way of getting you over the stigma of rejection, if not face-to-face, at least in writing.  So that’s really what the entire post was all about, Charlie Brown.  The way I have learned to talk myself out of failing, by talking myself out of trying, and learning how to try all over again.

And this November, full of words, but no rejections, was attempted intentionally for just one purpose; to get my writing muscles strong enough to write every day, for the purpose of being word-strong enough to endure the pain of rejection.  Maybe a lot of rejection.  But if the words are strong enough, and the elevator pitch is right, maybe strong enough for success.  So even though what I had planned to close out the month with didn’t happen, something honest and real DID happen. 

This post happened.

So with that, I’m about to log off of the blog for the next couple of weeks, but I won’t log off from writing, because I’ve got a lot of writing to do.  And here, on the blog, I will keep everyone who reads, in the loop.  The successes, AND the failures.  Because failures will come, but without the failures maybe the successes won’t.

Now, tell me what your elevator pitch is.

And tonight I won’t conclude as usual with, “Talk to you tomorrow”. 

But I will say, “Talk to you soon”.

Caffeine and Sugar is not for Amateurs

I take my inspiration where I can get it.

For example, @lennnie, on all your social media.  Lennnie is an inspirational blob who makes me feel better about EVERYthing.  Go find them wherever you find your online nutritional needs.

PlutoTV, available for FREE STREAMING just because I own a VIZIO TV!  If you are like me, and have a back-list of 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s… and even 10s… movies and television that you were just too busy living life to have seen in first-run, PlutoTV is 100 percent FREE HAPPINESS! 

Homemade EGGNOG LATTEs.  Easy AND delicious, November 1st is the start of my favorite overlapping season of the year, yep… EGGNOG SEASON (October 31—January 2).  If you live in what I call “civilization”, that means you live within a half-hour drive of a Trader Joe’s, that’s the store-bought eggnog I endorse without compensation.  If you’re more of the frontier eggnog type, there are multiple MULTIPLE nog recipes at your Google fingertips.  The latte part is easy if you have the tools, and sure, an espresso maker is a nifty tool, but not required.  The trick, besides the coffee part, is a 50/50 combo of eggnog and whole milk (or extra thick milk substitute) heated to steaming, then add the coffee.  Stir, or if you’re kitchen-friendly, get out your balloon whisk and, with the handle of the whisk between your palms and the whisk part in your cup, spin it like you’re trying to spark a campfire.  That’ll froth the eggnog right up.  Also remember to drink responsibly because all that caffeine and sugar is NOT for amateurs.

That’s my November Top 3 for National Blog Writing Month and keeping my shit together as I contemplate it almost being my first snowy winter up ahead.  So now it’s your turn. 

What is getting you through the 30 days of blog month?

Talk to you tomorrow.

What is there left to Write About?

Before you think I have the answer to that question, I don’t.  Writing this the way I am now is how I’ve decided to work this problem out, the way I work things out in the opening line, every day in my morning journal.  Each day, my entry begins with a “first thought topic sentence”, totally based on whatever notion pops into my head after I open the book and secure it on the clipboard that holds it still so my pen can fly through the lines at an average of 17 minutes a page.

Or, to quote Indiana Jones, “I’m making this up as I go”.

And if there WAS a plan for this November, that WAS the plan.

So here we are, on Day 29, caught between a plan and a hard place, and me looking to write 3 posts in the next 29 hours, to make it a true 30 for 30, while I ask myself, “What is there left to write about”. 

Usually, I wait till the end of the post to ask you a question, but here’s a question you can kick around before we get to the end, “Are you as burned out right now as I am”?  Because I gotta tell you, I am pan seared and oven roasted over writing for this almost 30 days.  I guess right now I’m thinking about writing the way most people who enjoy their job feel when they know they’re about to start their vacation, and just stare blankly at the cubicle walls, quiet quitting, so the boss doesn’t notice.  Except in November, I am the boss of me, and if I don’t do this, nobody will.

Tomorrow, I already know I will bang out 2 blog posts like the boss I am, and then happily go on a well-deserved BLOGCATION for the first week in December.  But, unlike most Decembers after NanoPoblano, I won’t close the blinds and draw the blackout curtains shut, like in the old days.  I already have fresh things to share with you in the coming month.  Fun things.

At least I hope they’ll be fun things.  So for the first few days after BLOGPOCALYPSE has come to a close, remember to keep your notifications on and your curiosity up. And also, read the hashtags.  Sooooo many hashtags.  The clues will all be there.

So like I asked way early, are you feeling like a “pan seared and oven roasted” blogger right about now?  It’s share time.

And I will talk to you, twice, tomorrow.

Bill’s Hand

It’s the final Monday of National Blog Posting Month, and after dropping hints about it off and on the whole time, I thought I should show you the basis for a lot of the thoughts that go into my posts… my JOURNAL.

Except for a stretch of months in 2019, I have written almost daily in an ordinary Composition Book that can be purchased at any store… stationary, department, grocery… as long as there is that one aisle, the aisle that I became addicted to sometime in the 1980s. You know the kind, the one with all the pens, index cards, and notebooks! 

Anyway, since there are a few folks in my life who love it when I post some “Bill’s Hand” (one day, there will be a font named that) in my Instagram Stories or on Facebook, I’m using up almost an entire post just for one of them. And with almost 2,000 journal entries since the summer of ’17, I had to go with the one entry that got the most positive feedback since I began posting fragments of them on Instagram, back then.

Okay, we’re almost done. So tell me something about your “off-blog” scribbles. Do you journal? Keep “notes to self” on your phone? Maybe just Post-it notes? Everything is legit. A lot like blogging… in November.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Saying Goodbye

We have less than a week left together and already, I don’t know what I will do when you aren’t here.  I’ve gone from tolerating you, to hating, to… what?  Missing you, before the moment comes?  You know how matchbook poets glibly tell us that we ought to cherish the days we have with someone, because no one knows how many days those are? 

Yeah, well I know how many days I have left with you.

It’s too many.  It’s also not enough. 

I don’t think my heart is strong enough for this, because it breaks so easily, that I built a wall made of flesh and Teflon and razor wire, just to keep you out, and these feelings in.  And I was the idiot who also built a gate to let you back inside.  So what am I supposed to do when you use that gate to leave me, one more time?  I guess I could make a bomb with whatever resources I have left, and will run out, when December comes.  But that would ruin everything you and I have built in such a short time, that we could have never made without each other.

Fucking God, I’m gonna miss you.

And yeah, I could tell myself that you’ll be back again; that you always come back.  Except I know that even if you would return to me, I also know that I might not be here waiting.  Because the last time we were here, I wrote a story about how we are all living on borrowed time, and there are never any guarantees. Not now, not ever.  A story I couldn’t finish, then.  So for the time that we have left, I will live with you so hard.  See you, appreciate you, breathe you in.  And maybe just sit silent in your presence, waiting for the end.

Is this how we know that we love?


Have you come to the understanding that NanoPoblano 2022 is almost over? How are you dealing with it? Here’s your chance. I’d really like to know.

Talk to you tomorrow.

All the Leaves are Brown

And the sky is gray.

It doesn’t take a keen artistic eye, or a love for 1960s pop ballads, to recognize signs in the heavens, or atmospheric conditions at the end of a November on the east coast.  It’s not cold, it’s bleak.  The sun rises almost two hours after I wake up, it sets in what feels like early afternoon, and I realize now what I must’ve sounded like when I still lived in California, and the morning cold was chased away by an afternoon Santa Ana blowing 40-plus miles an hour at 90-plus degrees, and my 60 years in the same place mind would think,

“I feel a chill in the air”.

And in my right this minute mind’s eye, I am staring at myself, and thinking,

“You’re an idiot”.

And I’m right.

I hope that, wherever you are as I write this, you are okay with how you’re talking to yourself.  And by the way, before I get too much further into this, let me say that, I believe accuracy is a form kindness.  I also believe that kindness is a good way to approach things, in the same way that a wall that needs paint needs a paintbrush, not a sledgehammer.  That said, when painting, sometimes a wall needs a paint roller, not a fine-bristle edge brush. 

And sometimes, it’s okay to be harsh with you, with words or names that we wouldn’t use on strangers.  Just so, there are moments when, in self-talk, I call myself by the name that appears on my birth certificate, William.  There are other moments, also in self-talk, when I call myself one of a multitude of kinder nicknames, given by me, to me, over years and years of getting to know myself, each nickname befitting whichever subtly-nuanced moment I am experiencing at the time. 

And finally, there are moments when, in the most intimate of self-talk, I call myself names that I might never use on someone I loved, because it could be taken as harsh or hurting.  Or on someone young, because their tender psyche is still in development, and terse descriptives would likely become imprinted upon them in a way that would injure, and cause them to limp through life, not run freely, as they should. 

But I am no longer young, and I am no longer tender.  Not in the sense that I am still a psyche in development, or someone who may, with his own words, say something that others have used, or have not already used, in anger, on myself.

Now I use these words on myself, with consent, and in full understanding of how they might sound in the ears of another, who might not understand that the years it took me to unlearn the hurt in these words from my self-talk vocabulary, have also taken the sting from them, because the power for me is not in these words. 

The power is in my breaking the grip these words once had over me.  In intimate words that once might have swung like a sledgehammer, with angry eyes and a clenched jaw, but now are as soft as a paintbrush, wet with colors that feel like love, accompanied by a smile, a shake of the head, a roll of the eyes.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Some Days

Some days you got it, some days you sit for two hours, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, because you’re looking for a kid you know, carrying a big-ass candy cane, walking somewhere next to the float with Santa Clause on it, but instead, at the last moment, NBC cuts to commercial, and when they come back, the Zombie Queen of Christmas** is singing an old song she won’t even legally allow other artists do a cover of, because Zombie Queen, and then the parade is over, and all you’ve got for a Day 24 post is a picture of the tiny breakfast tostadas you made and slapped up all over social media, while waiting for the nice kid with the Styrofoam and glitter candy cane to walk past the camera during the parade.

*breathe, Bill, breathe*

Well, at least Hoda looked warm.

So were the tostadas.

Seriously, that’s all I got.  The tostadas were good, but I’m a little over-caffeinated for the second consecutive day because for the second consecutive night I didn’t get as much sleep… okay, remember in my Day 23 post, I mentioned how a writer’s writing could change if they didn’t get enough sleep… as I ought to, because of nightmares about death and dying… not my death, other people’s deaths, but no one you know… so I’m not even having my customary eggnog latte while writing this. 

I find it an exceptionally funny thing when, after I overcame what your family and friends would have called a “premature death” in your own life, the subject of death and dying becomes a recurring theme in dreams that used to be primarily made up of work-related fears, car accidents, and dark-leathery demons sitting on my chest.  In any case, at least now the dreams are also better lit and the camera focus of my dream sight is much, much sharper. 

Yep, damn near 4k.

There’s an obscure passage in the book of the prophet Joel which reads,

“…I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams.”

And while I won’t tell you how I remember that… because it’s so much more fun if I just let you all guess… I will say that, as I get older, the dreams keep coming, and they keep getting sharper and sharper.

And even I don’t know what the hell they mean.

But anyway, tostadas.  I recommend the mini flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s.  And remember kids, life is too short to pan-fry your tostadas in anything other than REAL BUTTER.  So, like I said about 300 words back up the page, that’s all I got.  Hopefully, I will get a richly rewarding, 8 hours’ sleep tonight.  A sleep devoid of anything triggering. 

Oh, and one more usual thing, the question.  What robs YOU of the sleep your body needs?  Is it nightmares?  General anxiety.  An enlarged prostate?  Snoring (yours or another’s)?  Maybe something from totally out of left-field?  You know I’d love to hear about it, and maybe compare notes.

Talk to you tomorrow.

**Mariah Carey (as if you didn’t know)

If This Isn’t Nice… to Feel Nothing

And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”.

Kurt Vonnegut – A Man Without a Country

How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five

Yes, the same man wrote both thoughts. 

Literary criticism be fully damned.

A very long time ago, I was a student of literary criticism, which is just another way of saying, “Tell someone you’re a college drop-out without telling them you’re a college drop-out.”

It was fascinating, though.  A lot like Google is fascinating, and can become the greatest time suck in the history of time… that sucks.  Questions like, “Did the Apostle Paul write the Epistle to the Romans, AND the Epistle to the Hebrews?”  Or, “Did William Shakespeare write the works of William Shakespeare?” 

The first one only matters if you’re live-tweeting during the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.  The second one doesn’t matter at all, because, “…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, if the name was Shakespeare of Stratford, the Sweet Swan of Avon, Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, or a bunch of late 16th century fanboys on a perpetual pub crawl through the dirty streets of London.

And we all know that A Rose by Any Other Name was Teena Marie.

How was that for “I digress”?

But the point of my point is, and this is the part that I really want to drive home, in a month-long parade of posts like National Blog Posting Month, writers write as themselves.  Maybe more like themselves than at any other time of the blogging year, because… after so many posts on consecutive days… all the varnish is off the mixed-metaphorical hot dog.  There is no plan anymore, as if you had a plan to begin with.  By today, Day 23, all there is that’s left inside is an imprint of your true self.

Which changes with your mood, how much sleep you got the night before, if you had an argument with your cat during breakfast, or every other potential existential crisis available to post-modern human-kind.

Take a look back up the page, at the two disparate quotes from the very prolific writer, Kurt Vonnegut.  Sloppy literary criticism might try to get you, the reader, to believe that Vonnegut did NOT, in fact, write both quotes.  Even though there are publishers, editors, colleagues, friends, family, and readers over the decades, who could tell you without equivocation that Kurt Vonnegut wrote both A Man Without a Country, AND Slaughterhouse-Five.  And, even more important, your own stories, written daily on the page, or however often you write, are all written by the same author.

And let’s go one step further.

Every You Thought, or You Feeling, every idea or plan, high, low, or in-between, is being thought or felt, ALL by YOU. 

There will be days when you will feel nothing, and still get full credit for being an intrinsically AWESOME human being.  There will also be days when you will not be able to keep The Murmur inside you, The Exclaim inside you, The HAPPY inside you, and all of that is also ALL by YOU.

Beautiful, never the same, yet always, only you.

And after all that letting my brains leak onto the page, maybe tomorrow, I’ll just write a limerick and call Day 24 break-even.

So now, tell me, do you ever feel like you’re never the same person twice, even though there’s always only one of you?  Let me know, okay.

Talk to you tomorrow.

The Poet Returns

Yesterday, I made the grave mistake of not having something with a light-transgressive, semi-autobiographical, literary non-fiction vibe to it, in the pipe, ready to go for Day 21 of NanoPoblano.  I sat in the shadow of the muse who would not come, then went about every day, normal things like watching the Series Finale of The Walking Dead, a brief cry as it was ending, then after another couple of hours of waiting on that fickle genius one more time, watched the finals of Dancing with the Stars and called it a day… without posting anything entertaining or the least bit darkly benign.

Which led me to this morning. 

A day to play catch-up, and post TWICE before midnight.

There’s this thing that I, as one who writes, has had to deal with for practically EVER.  No, not writers’ block.  Well, yes, writers’ block, but no, not writer’s block this time.  The thing that happens, the thing I didn’t want to have happen in the month of November is, my writer’s brain defaults to… poetry.

This morning, I wrote a poem.

But not a poem the way I used to write a poem.  About me.  I’m done with that garbage.  There’s much more important stuff in this world to poet about than one’s own self-serving screed-lets.  Like calling out the world on its shit.  Like pointing my words at a problem the world created, and giving it no room to breathe until the problem changes.  The whole “speaking truth to power” thing, or in my case, telling power to fuck itself.  One thing I’ve learned by living a long time is how truly short time is.  So, this morning, I began showing on the public side of me what’s been changing on the inside for a while now.

And, when people wonder why I haven’t had a book go to print in almost five years, this is why.  And why, even when changes happen years before, it may take some time for those changes figure out how to make themselves known, to the public, even if those changes are common knowledge among the folks who know you best.

So for now, Day 22 of NanoPoblano… The Catch-Up Edition… is complete.  If you somehow missed this morning’s poem and wish to read it, just scroll down below the post you’re reading, and let me know if it, well, just let me know.

And with all that, I really will talk to you tomorrow.


There shouldn’t have to be heroes 

There shouldn’t be a need for them 

There should just be beautiful people

living out their beautiful lives

without need of



allies or

human shields 


There shouldn’t have to be

moments that create heroes at

The Stonewall

at Pulse

at Club Q 

There should be only acceptance

and laughter

and tears of joy 

Of joy 


In our nightmares

heroes are discovered 

In our dreams

heroes are no longer required 


Mothers shouldn’t have to

identify their children by the

tattoos on their skin

but by the smiles that disappear

into shoulders

from hugs that last so long

maybe you forgot how to breathe

when you could still breathe 

When they could still breathe