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Archive for the category “Stuff and Things”

Spanish Ladies

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“Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish Ladies.  Farewell and adieu you Ladies of Spain…”

Don’t be alarmed. 

This could be a good thing.

I might not be finishing Nano Poblano this year.

Today is Day 17.  I don’t know what that means to anyone else participating in NaBloPoMo and/or its happier-go-luckier sister with all the smiling Peppers, but for me, today, it means re-evaluation.  Not because of a date on the calendar, but because today I woke up before the sunrise and, in the dark, realized that writing to be read every day for one month out of the year just wasn’t on my top 10 list of things I need to do to get through Day 17.

It’s nothing personal.

I’ve noticed in the course of the last week or so, about the time my second granddaughter was being born, that a few… and then a few more… Peppers were missing from the daily call to post on Facebook.  Then a couple of days later, even more stopped showing up in my WordPress reader.  And then came this morning, and the realization that I might soon be among their number.

Today, in my newsfeed, reading media posts that my non-blogging friends shared, I read more than one thing on ‘self-care’ and ‘gratitude’.  And those got me thinking even more about what I woke up with on my mind, in the dark, before the larger-than-usual coffee and the 6 a.m. showing of Jaws on Showtime Extreme®.  Got me thinking that maybe this was my day to join the fallen.  I mean, nobody wants to go down like Quint.  We all want to be Brody, blowing up the shark and kicking into shore, still alive as the credits roll.

But this month has me feeling a lot like Quint, black smoke pouring out of an engine running on salt water and stripped gears, and the sound of “Spanish Ladies” playing in my head, telling me that I may be done. 

Then again, if this day ends with me blowing up the shark, I might spend the rest of the month kicking into shore on the last two yellow barrels, looking for a sequel to the story of what got us here in the first place.  Till then, 

“Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish Ladies.  Farewell and adieu you Ladies of Spain.  For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston, and so, nevermore, will we see you again.”

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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The Night Ruby Marie was Born

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This is a momentary hiccup in Nano Poblano for me.  A hiccup like the sound my almost-here grandbaby has been making on the fetal heart monitor for the last two days.  Blogging takes different paths for everyone in the month of November.  Some people have equipment failures (me… on day 2 of last year), life failures (people dropping out mid-month), and every other reason imaginable for stopping before the end of this crazy-busy month.

But I’m kind of a ‘hell or high water’ blogger.  As a poet, and most of my blog posts have been poetry, I post when I’ve got something I want to share, not because I have a self-imposed blog deadline I have to keep up with.

But in November, knowing that I’m going to post every damn day, come hell or high water, I have already resolved that nothing is going to derail this blog train. 

Nothing.

And then came Friday.

My daughter… my first born child… was told by her obstetrician that they needed to induce labor. 

That night.

And as she had already designated me as one of the two non-medical personnel in the room, I was on-call for her beautiful, blessed event, my second grandchild.

                                                          *************

And now it’s Sunday night.

My not-so little girl, after 48 hours of induced labor that still hadn’t produced a labor or a delivery, is in the Labor and Delivery O.R. as I write this.  I’m in the waiting room and her man is in the room with her.  I am sitting with a load of family.  Both sides.  And I have no idea what’s been happening in the 45 minutes since the C-Section began.

But I have time now to do more than worry and pray, and so I write… and post.

It’s a hard, strange, helpless position to be in.  Hard and strange I can handle.  Helpless, not so much.  But I have this commitment, so I’m telling you about what’s happening on this day, when my morning post became an evening post, and my full-grown baby is having this second baby of her own.

I’ve seen pretty much enough of hospitals for a while, but for my little girl, I’ll see them as much and as long as she needs me to.

Stick around, and I’ll keep you updated in the comment thread of this post, and let you know how everything went on the night that Ruby Marie was born.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Forty-Eight Beats Per Minute

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I woke up two hours before my alarm.  The TV was still on, but barely audible, and it wasn’t the thing that woke me.  There was a dream.  There is always a dream. 

I had three messages on my phone from three different people, still accustomed to my old hours.  I’m not up all night anymore.  I’m just as likely now to fall asleep watching a movie before I know I’m even sleepy, and be up before the sunrise, before my brain knows what time it really is.

The only thing that is the same in my very different life is the coffee.  Except now, that first cup, and the time it takes to consume it, is as sacred as the silence that surrounds me as I drink.  Now, the only sounds that keep company with me are the clock on the wall behind my head, my nearly silent breathing, and, if I’m truly still, the slow beating of my heart.         

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

#BuddhaBukowski

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“I don’t know a damned thing in this life, but what is shown to me by life, itself.”

#Buddha Bukowski

 

This blogger is writing a novel.

I’ve never done that before, unless you count that failed attempt that ended after a hundred-and-fifty pages, back around the turn of this century.  A novel about a man, his thoughts, and and his coffee.

A man who was also a serial killer, but I digress.

I wrote it while I sat, alone, in a used book store at the corner of Torrance Boulevard and Prospect Avenue.  My store, as it was going out of business, in the midst of the small retail depression of post-9/11, America.

“Get out and buy stuff, people!  If you don’t, the terrorists will win!”

The doors of my store closed for good in April of 2002.  The only things I took with me were a few now-mildewed books, and that half-finished novel.  The only evidence of which is a single, printed copy on a hundred-and-fifty, eight-and-a-half by eleven sheets of plain paper, locked away, never again to see the light of day.

I buried that story, just like I buried everything else from that life.  I buried it under the books, under the years, under a lifetime of unfulfilled dreams.  Until a funny thing happened on the way to becoming someone else.  I became who I already was.  And another book was born.

Another book, and another character.

This day, in this post, I introduce you to the man who sat behind the counter of a failing used book store, invisible behind a computer screen, barely knowing where he’d come from, and not knowing at all where he was going.  The man who would one day write more than a hundred-and-fifty pages of forgotten words.

The man who would become fiction.

Buddha Bukowski.

In the months to come… because this is what the world of indie publishing has become in the years since I started writing… I will be dropping hints about this novel-in-progress using the hashtag #BuddhaBukowski, one of the two main characters in the book.  This, because it helps let the world know that I created a character with a very distinct name, and so that everyone who reads this post, or sees the hashtag across social media, will, by using it, help me welcome this book into the public consciousness before it ever hits the shelves.

More to follow…

Stuff and Things

stuff and things xI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,

“I am NOT a blogger.”

I know that’s confusing, for bloggers and non-bloggers alike, because… BLOG.  THIS BLOG.  THIS BLOG you are reading.  Right NOW.

So, for those who don’t know me well…and that would be most of you… here’s how I have navigated the phrase, “I am not a blogger”.

I am a writer.  First and foremost, beyond all other labels, I am and will always be, a writer.  Not a blogger.  Not a poet.  Not an author.  A writer.  Even though I maintain a blog, and I have a whole book of published poetry.  So what, for me, started out as a blog, then became a place to post what I’ll call, for lack of a better term “content”… like a podcast which ran its course in just 13 weeks, uncategorized things I had written in the past for two websites I was no longer current with, and finally, poetry… it all seemed out of place for the form known as blogging, or at least what I had come to know as “blogging” from a few of my fellow bloggers, most of whom I barely read.

Until this year.

This year, everything I knew changed.  All the stuff and all the things.  About life.  About writing.  About blogging.

I went from writer to author, seemingly overnight.  With the unforeseen help and tireless teaching, editing, and emotional hand-holding of a friend and genuine blogger, I finished and published my first book.  Then, over the remainder of the summer, without warning, I saw what blogging really could be.  Not for expanding my contacts list.  Not for sales and marketing.  Not even for the joy of having others read my words.

But for experiencing life through others, beyond my writer’s walls.

And, with this actual BLOG post, I’m ready to call myself a BLOGGER.  Finally.  Once and for all.  Without fanfare.  Just acceptance that what I’ve been told is true, and there’s an entire world of writers and authors, bloggers and humans, out there.  Beyond my walls.  Beyond their own walls.  Ready to say hello.

So, without knowing what I’m doing, today I am Bill Friday, blogger.  With no agenda, no axe to grind, and no idea what I’m doing.  All I’ve got is a title.  These posts, mixed in with the poems and podcasts, will be known as “Stuff and Things”.  Because, as my friend and genuine blogger has told me on more than one occasion, that’s all a blog, and life, is really about…

The stuff, and things.

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