The Lost Journals: The Introduction – Pg. 2


It took me some time to decipher the intent of the writer. I quickly realized that the journals were all penned by the same hand. The time consuming task seemed daunting to me, I have never been a fan of the delicate art of replication, but these journals were obviously the meticulous product of many drafts. There were hardly any errors on the pages and the plain brown covering of the journals gave little indication of what was to be found inside.

I at first thought these books were a series of diaries written by someone and I was very interested to see what the life within held. It was after reading the first two that I realized that was not what I owned at all. What I actually held before me was seven different lives narrated within separate bindings. I was astounded. It basically felt like opening one present, expecting a single gift, and suddenly finding that a box full of toys is inside instead.

The story actually grows from here. After completing the seventh book one early morning I set my cup of coffee down on the breakfast table and walked out onto the deck. I looked up and watched as the sky gave birth to our daily sun once more. I contemplated what I had just read and the amazing impact it had on me. I was aware I had just been given something special, but it was not yet clear to me why this story was so important. I believe after reading The Lost Journals, my readers might begin to understand and to share what I felt that morning. A glimpse into what was, what is, and what could be.

***

This is my blog book I am offering to the readers of my blog. The whole story can be found at the following link http://aopinionatedman.com/category/the-lost-journals/ I hope you enjoy the story. All content is owned and copyrighted. You may re-blog, pingback, or share the contents but please give credit to the author and this website. Thank you, -OM

Page 2 OM 12/18/2013

Why you are Alone on Valentine’s Day!


You think all men are pigs. Well show me a pig that can pick out a Hallmark card, pay for it, sign it, and buy chocolate without eating it and I will agree with you! Otherwise… you are just picky and alone.

You measure men against characters from movies. Look we get it, those men in TV shows and popular movies are suave and slick as hell. They also had twenty men AND women write their lines for them. If I had a committee that filtered every word before it came out of my mouth I might just be perfect as well.

You keep trying to meet guys at the club. I will never understand why women choose to get involved with men that are obviously “players” and then get shocked and upset when they get cheated on. You know who won’t cheat on you? The chess club president that is who. I don’t think a chess club president has ever cheated on a girlfriend in the history of chess!

You hated every boyfriend in the past… and you tell every new boyfriend about it. Yes, unfortunately there are some assholes in the world and you just might have dated some of them! I didn’t come on this date to hear about Richard, Bobby, and Joey ok? If you are alone and you have the habit of ranting about Ex-BFs… maybe a time of self-reflection is required.

You look like a runway model every day. This one might be confusing because what guy wouldn’t want to date a model? Sounds like a lot of drama, I mean fun, but I do feel the need to clarify to women that if you step out of your door every day looking like a fashion model… most “average guys” won’t dare to speak to you. All we see is dollar signs walking around in high heels that none of us can afford to buy you.

You hate flowers, you hate chocolate, and you hate bunnies and you hate… If you hate “everything” or are the type that says you “hate everything” I just won’t try. Why waste my time and money? YOU HATE EVERYTHING!

You LOVE Valentine’s Day. Bahumbug… I hate this holiday. I think many men do too, which is why in the Guycode Book it states “that unless you are married or in a serious relationship you should break all non-important social agreements till after gift buying season is over.” See page 69.

-Opinionated Man

If I could Paint the Sun


Dear You,

“She says she wants to shine a light into the darkness,” but thinks a blog will not accomplish the deed. Does she not realize that with every eye that looks upon her words, a heart might possibly be softened? A mind might be altered slightly? The power to share, to care, and to allow ourselves to affect others… “affect” because we are indeed changing them. It is a scary thought for some and this is not some super power we speak of. It is the power to care and that is a very human quality. That is a character trait that should never be overlooked and instead should be embraced.

A borderless world is social media. This land that we stand in now, these people of all colors and no color at all, their personalities created on fonts called Calibri and Times New Roman. And yet we know them as we do a character from a story we love to reread in the night. These connections are real, as much as some may scoff at silly chains of necessary friendship. These men adorn themselves with lofty titles of “Opinionated Man.” Ignore the wind, it is only the wind from America.

If you want to paint then paint. But if you want to change the world of others then paint the sun. Alter not only their perception, but their reality as well. Do this with pen, brush, keyboard, or word but do it because you do have the power. You have the power to care.

-Opinionated Man

A Struggle to Feel Accepted


Sometimes it feels like life is an endless road of wanting to be accepted. After your family it begins when you comprehend the concept of friendship and with it the pain and harsh reality that not everyone has the same amount of friends in the world. For some who find it hard to form bonds on this planet, this realization comes much quicker than for others. I think regardless of how popular we are there are times at night, when we are alone, that we feel an alienation from everyone else in the world. This includes the ones we love, no matter how strong those bonds might be, for we are human and have those moments. With the severing of the umbilical cord comes a very real release into a world that will often times distrust or hate us. And so we spend the rest of our lives searching for another connection back to what we had at birth, a struggle to feel accepted.

Why do people love the Harry Potter series so much? What could you possibly hate about a story of an orphan child that lives the life of an underdog and goes on to be the hero? His very struggles did not even have to mirror our own for us to accept his life as an image of “struggle” itself, an image we all deal with at some point in our lives. It reminds me of my own obstacles in trying to fit in through life. That feeling of struggle came to a stop on January 3rd, 2013 when I began my blog HarsH ReaLiTy on WordPress.com. It has been an eye opening experience and a period of personal growth to say the least. I have found I can express my opinions without feeling bridled by contempt or disdain and at the same time people can throw back their controversy literally right in my face, since I read their comments daily on a computer screen. This has provided, interestingly enough, an opportunity for this stubborn Korean to open himself to new ideas. I have even evolved some of my own values and outlooks on life, or at the very least provided the seeds for future thought on the topics.

It is amazing to me that I write daily to an audience, but in my daily life I am just another figure. Another number, a body in a chair. My current manager, who is an awesome person make no mistake, barely sees me because I work the graveyard shift. Yes, like a ghost I come in the backdoor of the building, past the working janitors and tired, oblivious late-night workers and I come watch servers to make sure they don’t go red. The only thing that keeps me from going insane is the sound of my keyboard floating into the empty office air, it is music to my ears and provides a promise of something more. Call it what you will but I earnestly seek whatever it is that inspires that feeling inside of me to press on when most would sit back and bask in accomplishment. You are allowed to feel satisfied in life, but too much satisfaction quickly becomes the recipe for a stagnant nature.

My blog has become an outlet for me. At first I created it as an online journal, but quickly it became my fingerprint on the literary world. There is a world out there of writers, readers, editors, publishers, curious minds, and growing minds wanting to keep the written arts alive and an audience can be easily found. We strive to keep this dying art form from going extent against the easily ingested television and accessible online media commonly found on at this moment in most of the world’s living rooms. I understand and I will confess to being a lover of the television myself, everyone needs their methods of falling asleep and mine just happens to be my mistress the TV. That was another motivator for me to create an inspiration that would force me to write on a regular basis, I see this often said on new blogs as their initial posts. The constant interaction and feedback I receive from my viewers has given me the backbone I needed to write this book now, one that might still never see the light of day. But I have to hope that at least by gracing this white screen they are given a life, even one as brief as the time it takes me to delete this word document.

I have often wondered if anyone on the staff at WordPress.com has been or is a manic depressive. There should never be an easily accessible delete button on anything as important as our blogs, and this is not a rib at WordPress who is gracious enough to offer a free platform for aspiring writers such as myself. I must confess that sometimes a depressive like me looks at that delete button with disgust. They make us jump through hoops of fire to cancel a credit card, but a precious blog I have spent countless hours on I can delete at the push of a couple buttons. I don’t stay on that page that long and I hope that the demons from my past don’t come back to force me to ever press that button. It would be a mistake I know.

An outlet to the world and to those beyond our room. That is what blogging has provided for me and has allowed me to achieve right from my rather mundane life in Denver, Colorado. I do love my life, my family, and the relatively safe environment we live in is one less distraction that pulls me away from writing. As a father of a four and three year old, plus working forty hours a week graveyard shifts, I have to find the time to write when I can. This past year has been my first year of addiction to blogging, but it is not at a level I consider dangerous and the potential for success through it is enormous. This provides the needed leverage on the table when trying to convince my loving and understanding wife of the need for the time I a lot to my “passion.” She is an artist and walks the same road I do, but while carrying a paint brush, so she understands in her own way. Besides, she is my number one fan and understands that my family is my inspiration for success and they are also why I hope to create a working profession from writing and not just a continuation of a hobby. That is yet to be seen, but I see a full deck and the game has not been played yet.

When I started HarsH ReaLiTy under the pen name Opinionated Man I had no idea that it would grow to the size it has now. Sure I had a business model and an idea, but I must confess I have been successful at very few things in life. Always the type that thought he was smarter than the teacher, knew better than everyone else, it is amazing I even listen to comments from a second opinion when I consider how closed minded I have been my whole life. I would like to think I have been open to opinions, but in truth I am simply well read. Reading opinions and even learning about other ideals does not necessarily constitute a growth in personal morals. We can read anything with a closed mind and it is just words. The interaction found through blogging, however, has changed the face of words and we are unhindered by a character limitation restraint. We know that the people speaking to us are real people, well at least the ones not categorized as spam by the people at AKISMET, and normally the views being expressed back are heart felt. This has at least been the experience thus far on my website and I hope it continues on.

As the number of people and countries grew that were regularly viewing my posts, I began to evolve the way I viewed the potential for the platform I was writing on. This was not just a few “wannabe” writers and struggling authors pandering out their materiel for free in hopes of book deals, what I found were real people that had real issues and lives that they were relating at real-time speed for the viewing pleasure of whoever cared. I think the concept of blogging is growing even today and is still gaining popularity and the result is that it is easy to connect with individuals from across the planet. I recently ran a project on my blog called “Project O” in which I featured articles that consisted of templates participants filled out and submitted to me by email. One hundred and twenty-eight bloggers from around the world took part in the project and the feedback and conversation that came from it was invaluable not only to my own personal growth in knowledge about the world and the people in it, but I think it also helped to correct some stereotypes we have when we consider other people as so different from ourselves.

The project also offered the opportunity for the creation of new connections and that is what the “social” in social media is all about. If writers wanted to simply write we would do so on a word document or journal, we blog our writing to get it out there to an audience so we can get feedback and free critiques and we use that newfound knowledge to improve our writing. That would be my goal at least, but added to that is the new community feeling that is received when you encounter others that are also trying to complete the same journey you are. I have dreamed of becoming a published author since I read my first fantasy book and thought to myself “I could have wrote that.” It is only now, after writing on a daily basis and receiving positive feedback that I think I have what it takes to put out at least one novel and see how it floats.

Inspiration is an unpredictable emotion because it can come at any moment. I find that it comes far more frequently when we surround ourselves with things that might contribute to that occurrence happening. That is why writers congregate in corners and artists socialize with other artists, we seek out people that understand and relate to us. HarsH ReaLity, yes I can be very Korean sometimes and that is how I choose to spell it, has become an almost forum like webpage of writers and people with many other talents that congregate to discuss topics of similar interest. Since I am pretty much a dabbler in any topic, my interest range from the obvious to the curious, I provide articles frequently that people find interesting. That accounts for the high number of views my website gets in comparison to perhaps a far more skilled writer in a specific genre that only garners viewers from that similar interest. I suppose this book will fall under a genre, we are forever labeled as human beings that cannot be helped, but at least my blog is still free of any such label. That is how I intended it.

I am not a very malleable person nor does my personality lend me to accept differing opinions very often or very well for that matter. I force myself to read CNN.com, even though I am a Republican, because CNN has better reporters than FOX News and I like to see what the other side thinks as well. I have frequently opened up topics on my website that have caused open debate, even some heated discussion and argument. Luckily the members of my more frequent audience show a lot of restraint, but it can be shaky ground when you are dealing with human emotion and ideals. People tend to fire first and ask questions later and that is why I have been rather surprised at how open the bloggers have been when interacting with one another. There has even been a cordial nature between nationalities I did not think really liked each other, to put it bluntly, put Project O showed me that not all individuals within a nation think alike. A concept that should be easy for an American to understand, but is surprisingly difficult for many to realize when we consider nationalities across the oceans. We like to believe stereotype because often times stereotypes are accurate or based on fact and are also the only things being fed to society through the media.

From small to large can basically sum up the concept of the expansion of my mind and views on the world through my personal growth found from my blogging experience. This is not to say that I am some reformed man that has fully changed the ways in which he lives or observes the world, no on the contrary it actually has reinforced some of the views I have conceived but it has also introduced me to some new opinions which I respect and love to hear about. That is the beauty of creating a website that has a “forum like atmosphere” and welcomes the sharing of openly expressed opinion. I appreciate allowing people to say what they want even if it is against the grain and I highly encourage anyone that has the backbone to stand up for their own ideals. That is what is great about blogging and the uncensored content that is floating out on the internet. While some of it might be obscene, others might make you want to scream, yell or curse, but what you really have is a freedom of expression. That is a freedom people will not give up lightly and Project O clearly showed the value that everyone in the world has placed in having an opinion and further being able to express that opinion.

We hate to be labeled and yet we gladly place these labels on people to make them easier to categorize. For instance, it might be assumed about me that since I am Korean, have a successful blog, consistently post a lot, and have a family as well that I must not have any other life. People also assume I am technically savvy, which actually if you ask my brother in law I am not very technical at all. Oh sure I know the basics about many things, which places me at about average in today’s computerized world, but I just bought my first iPhone this October and I will admit it makes me feel dumb. I think there are really only a few things that make me a successful blogger. I type between 85 – 100 wpm, I process information quickly (this has been widely debated), I speed read, and I enjoy the interaction only found through an online setting and creating an atmosphere and writing in a way that welcomes conversation. That is the goal of any blog I think is to seek out comments and the fastest way to shut down conversation is to start labeling people.

I have used my blog as a window into parts of my life, but as one blogger mentioned it is very hard to pry out very many “exact” details about me. That is of course on purpose, as the safety of my family is first in my mind, but I have taken the opportunity on my blog to write some on my adoption and my feelings towards my birth mom and the sister I have not met since we were separated as children. The internet has actually provided a very nice avenue for therapy for me through allowing me to express my feelings about the past openly and accepting the unchecked criticism or encouragement sent back my way. It has been an interesting experience connecting with both adoptees and parents with adopted children and I think we can all agree that each story is different. There can be similarities, but it does an injustice to the lives of those individuals when people try to label and categorize things too much.

My adoption story received a lot of views and was a create way for me to finally pour out how I saw and felt during the course of those events in my life. It was a trying period and no one can really say they understand what I went through because there was only one Korean kid walking in those shoes. I am thankful for such support during those times, my family and mother in particular helped me to see there are reasons for living even in the darkest of hours. It is just very hard to know that when you are living those moments. I was adopted when I was 3 years old, left on the street with my sister by our mother in front of a police station in Busan, South Korea. I did not find out about the part of the story involving my sister and birth mother till I was eighteen years old and was on a trip to Korea with a group of adoptees that were also adopted through Holt International. It took me 9 years and one suicide attempt to get over it all and I can’t actually say I honestly have moved fully forward. Do you ever? I may still write more on my adoption other than the few articles I wrote on it. It would make a good novel, but sometimes you just don’t feel like reopening a door over and over.

I think in many ways blogs are windows into our hearts. We allow people to see our feelings, emotions, and sometimes our personal stories because we feel the need to share without actually physically sharing. We press that publish button and that post is sent out into the web and we half fear, half hope that someone will read it and care enough to respond. That the response back will somehow matter. That is what I hope when I publish any article on my blog and I also seek out other bloggers that feel the same way. Simply because we are unsocial in the real world, and I really wouldn’t fully label myself as unsociable but more on that later, doesn’t mean we cannot still find connections that broaden our world. Who has the time to listen to a whole conversation anymore when instead we can have thousands of conversations at once and more importantly the control to interact with that conversation at our own convience. The power of writing on a website like WordPress is the ability to control your own speed, no one should say you have to post every hour or even every day, what readers look for is content with meaning.

I also find I like to pick on political issues even though I know a very large number of my readers are not of similar political party or mind on many “hot topics” in current news. I still speak strongly on my stance on these issues whenever I feel like and that is something I will never change. Surprisingly this has actually caused many to support me in my stance of at least sharing and standing by my opinions, even if they strongly disagree with them and it causes them occasional flashes of anger. These topics have ranged from abortion, Korean’s having eye surgery, the Russian Orthodox stance on homosexuality, opinion and the importance of having the right to an opinion, and any current news topic that floats my fancy. I also include frequent posts of what I like to refer to as poetry, but I believe might be accessed by a professional as utter garbage. I once submitted my poetry through a computerized website that grades them and it almost shutdown from computerized laughter at how low my score was. I didn’t even know computers had such a sense of humor.

I have labeled people my whole life and even harbored a racist view or two. It is a common practice these days to take on a shocked look of appall at the word racism and anyone that even admits to ever having had a racist thought in their life. Luckily I am not planning on running for any political office and I can safely assume I cannot run for President of the United States of America since I was born in Korea. That leaves me liberated to at least express my opinions and views with those that will listen and I have found an audience that actually accepted my admission of past views and appreciated my progression. Dare I even admit I have found people that have walked a similar path? That is encouraging to me, a person who often thinks not many others consider subjects in a radically different way. To find those that consider it ok to admit that you have had a racist or improper thought and that the world will not forever label you as a hooded demon or extremist is a good thing in a current society that loves to ostracize those that dare to speak against the current “trending view” even if that view is still far in the minority of what everyone feels. The irony of this is actually remarkably bottomless, but it takes a certain type of cynical humor to appreciate it.

The daily interaction I have had with people from countries I have never visited is remarkable because it has broadened my mind and understanding of the different cultures out there. I am forced to recognize preconceived notions as ignorant and the resulting strengthening in character can only serve me in the future. I actually had a feeling the other day that even though I watch and read the news far less than I did, I still feel more connected to the world the individuals within it. I of course do not converse with every human on the planet, but I am speaking to far more people on a regular basis than I ever have in my life. That definitely expands your mind especially when you are not privy to topics that are perhaps not widely known about or discussed internationally. Someone once asked me why should we care so much, “why do you care so much?” I replied that the day we stop caring about a story, about a person, is the day that something dies. That is a sad thing to me.

Blogging has opened my eyes to the fact that it is a good thing for us to have a social fingerprint to be known by and perhaps even to be followed by. It allows me a little comfort to know that there are people that care if I am still alive and kicking, even if those people have never met me in their lives. I once blogged about a Saudi Blogger who received a grossly unjust sentence for simply creating a blog and forum to openly talk about religion. One commenter asked me what good it did to simply write about someone and I responded that by writing about someone we spread notice of their existence and in this case their trials or tribulations. I went on to say that I hope if I were in a similar situation that my readers and friends would also take to social media and campaign for my cause. People easily forget that we have a voice and that voice is as powerful as the engine you put behind it. I went from speaking to three hundred followers to twenty-five thousand in ten months and it is all due to one thing. I cared to get my voice out there.

[END]

Note: I stopped writing this. It won’t be completed.

Dear HW – The Reason Men Nap


I saw your husband is a napper and I can fully relate. We men must rest our busy brains when we can because normally they are overtaxed with thoughts women might not understand… or perhaps dare we say comprehend? I’ll name a few.

  • Men nap because we are busy planning up grand strategies of waging war on distant alien races… on Halo or Playstation. This takes time and any miscalculation can result in the loss of lives women, REAL LIVES! [click click] Gotta go we are about to start…
  • Men nap because our digestive systems are different and after consumption of food some type of deactivate button sets off. This really isn’t our fault, please see our maker about this.
  • Men nap because we are busy doing the yard work. Yea… you know outside… under the sun… “it is hot” sound familiar?
  • Men nap because we are busy thinking of new ways to subjugate women. That takes time, actually an ongoing process. We will let you know how it turns out.

-OM

Part 2 My Feminist Vow – By: Opinionated Man


Part 1 can be found here – http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/03/10/my-feminist-vow-by-opinionated-man/

I vow to never place Mrs. in front of my name. Instead I will hold strong and place “single” (forever…) there instead!

I vow to not do the dishes and clean the kitchen anymore… even though I currently don’t do those things. It is the principle of rejecting them though right?

I vow to aggressively attack other women that are not as feminine as me. If you aren’t with us you are against us!

I vow to keep track of every female celebrity to ensure they are holding up “the banner.” You girls better be waving that thing with pride or else you are obviously a black mark on womanhood. Drop your own agendas, career goals, and instead join the feminist bandwagon! We are accepting members against their will.

I vow to never allow a man to save me in a dangerous situation. If that means I have to wrestle an alligator, well equality has its price! I need some new alligator skin heels anyways… maybe a matching purse?

I vow that when I reach Heaven I will ask God why in the world he created Adam first. Bad move!

I vow to become a geneticist so that we can eventually remove the need for penises. They are evil, ugly, and they move by themselves sometimes!

-Opinionated Man

Three Part – 5.23.2014


I do not even behold her physical image at the first glance, simply a reflection is all that is needed to take passion’s hold. The smell of her French perfume infuses the lust within and with extended finger coaxes forth the rage inside of me. Movements captured forever within a capturing mind, she becomes my prisoner before chains have even clasped her wrists. Delicacy tantalizes the mind forcing transition’s movement in this tale we are about to write. We dance past the necessities of mere mortals and I feel certain you will accept your place upon appropriate pedestal as I take you. Gently now… come quietly into the night and force not my trembling hands to meet in wanted permanent clutch. Not just yet.

Remorse is for those with compassion, instead we meet The Urge. He sits beside me at the bar and whispers words of encouragement and comradery. Another drink to try and quench the fire that still burns hot. I sweat within my skin, not from nerves but from the realization of a dream. And what do you do now that your dream has been fulfilled? Does one return as normal to the everyday robotic life of those that have never lived a fantasy? Thoughts with sugar, taken with two shots of Grey Goose, shaved lemon, stirred with ice and served by a smile that gives life to a fresh want. I ponder dreams mixed with memories as I smile and know in my heart… the reality has just begun.

Darkness comes and then there is a light. It stands before me in greeting and I rush forward with surprising urge. Mere inches away I feel a pull, there are dark chains connected to my back. They keep me from advancing towards the warmth. I suddenly feel them begin to pull me back into the darkness. There is a wrongness that is not worded, but I somehow feel knowledge gained that something is not right. One chain dangles before me and begins to shake with invitation, I grab at it with desperate hands. As I begin to yank upon my possible lifeline I look up at a familiar face, she glows with radiance and  resolve as she stares down upon me. Understanding comes with violent punch upon my soul as the pieces come together of what has happened. I feel a release of pressure and watch as she drops her end of the chain, my last hope, with a dispassionate gesture. The one below allows me plenty of time to understand that her action is the last in my life, as the tale’s last word is penned with my wordless cry.

-Opinionated Man

The Lost Journals: The Introduction – Pg. 1


While auctioning off a house in Memphis, Tennessee last year state officials found an old safe in an attic. Upon opening it they discovered seven very well preserved journals that had been handwritten and obviously cared for by the owner. These items were given to the family of the estate. They sold the “worthless articles” to a small bookstore in midtown Memphis called Burkes Bookstore.

A young man went to that store in the early years of 2000, a store he would frequent often to escape the troubles… nightmares of the world that left him alone as soon as he stepped through that door. The dusty air of peace would settle around him and he would feel at home. It was there he learned of these books and eventually came to own them for himself.

All of this amazingly enough is not the greatest part of the journey of these journals. The best part of the story came when a reader’s eyes, the pupils of that boy, took the time to actually consume the contents of those bound treasures.

It is here the true story began.

***

This is my blog book I am offering to the readers of my blog. The whole story can be found at the following link http://aopinionatedman.com/category/flash-fiction-novel-the-lost-journals/ I hope you enjoy the story. All content is owned and copyrighted. You may re-blog, pingback, or share the contents but please give credit to the author and this website. Thank you, -OM

Page 1 OM 12/16/2013

HarsH ReaLiTy February Newsletter


Dear Employees,

Upper management has come up with a list of concerns over the past couple weeks. We realize that sharing an environment is hard on everyone, but we are particularly sensitive to the minorities in our company. This would of course be Opinionated Man in every situation as he holds every “card” in the “feel sorry for me” pack.

We will bullet point these so that all current employees can better digest these totalitarian rules. Future bloggers that join HR’s ranks may want to ensure none of these conflict with their own morals.

  • Whoever keeps turning the Men’s Restroom sign upside down stop it! It takes real energy to turn that back around. We have a strong suspicion as to the culprit (culprits) and giggling has been recorded in the halls. We Are Watching.
  • Coffee is a benefit people. Management has noticed certain women smuggling packs of coffee out like cocaine. Also we would again like to emphasis that alcohol is not allowed on the work premises unless it is medically prescribed, as in OM’s case. Rules are rules.
  • We have noticed some segregation going on during lunch time. In an effort to force cultural diversity we have decided to implement a “meet another race day!” We have also decided to allow open discussion on these days; no PC restrictions are to be enforced. Let’s go meet some cultures people!
  • Management has been concerned by the overly friendly nature that has started to infest our halls. Hugging, exchanges of kindness, and any form of charity are now prohibited. We hope this will drive employees to better manage their time. Friendship is overrated. Progress reports are always your friend!
  • Employees the Lower Basement (AKA The Dungeon) is now off limits. This area is being used as our new think tank. The screams from within are willing participants. Please smoke outside.
  • We encourage all employees to sign up for this year’s softball team! Those losers at Beautiful Reality, BR next door, won’t know what hit them! Can we please have all participants learn the team chant this time… the correct one? This means you Linda.
  • In an effort to show our appreciation for all of your hard work this year’s Christmas party has been moved to a better location. Instead of having it on the boring 4th floor, we will be moving it to the 5th floor!!! Anything can happen!!!
  • Whoever keeps parking their BMW in two spaces… just to show off your rims STOP IT! How do you even own a BMW and work here…. We may need to speak to payroll.

-Opinionated Man

I Can Read a Woman’s Mind


Obviously I can. I never understand why women flip so quickly from being verbal about what they want and then switching off like a light bulb.

Current Example: Giving Massages. This Ain’t Massage Envy! I can’t read your mind and know what muscles hurt. There are 1,234 muscles in the human back (actually I have no clue how many muscles are in the human back… I couldn’t find it on the first page of Google search and just gave up… just gave up) and no road maps on this side of your world to tell me where to put my hands of magic ok?

Men on the other hand are quick to tell you where to go right? Left… right… down even? Yes, we know where we want things and it doesn’t take us long to guide you there. But women go from being very verbal about the chores we missed and the things we did wrong on our long, bumpy, rocky, still rocky road we call marriage. Interesting how that works.

My reply is usually “well baby I can’t read your mind tell me where to go, I am not a massage therapist ok? I could be playing candy crush… just saying…”

To which we either roll over like perfect synchronized skaters OR she yells “who the hell is Candy?”

Women…

-Opinionated Man

2/21/2014

Imagination Unchained


I think one of the largest hurdles for a writer of any sort, regardless of the genre they write in, would be the lack of an imagination. To those of us that played with Mages, Kender, and Hobbits in our backyards this might sound insanely impossible. What would our worlds be like without our imaginary worlds combined that we lived in, journeyed through, and battled within our entire childhood? We were told constantly through school to focus and stay in the present. The problem is that it then becomes a chore and a foreign process to attempt to imagine as adults. Scientifically it has been proven that children have a higher aptitude for learning than adults by a certain age. We lose the glamour for learning, the need to imagine new things, and in turn our writing suffers.

I haven’t been many places in my life. I can name them and to some they may seem like a lot. Others would scoff and say that only having traveled around North America, a few igloos in Canada, and parts of Korea would be a small portion of the world. Not even worth called traveling perhaps? I said once that blogs are great windows into other worlds that we may never see. It is better than television because the pictures, stories, and the actual personalities you present are unique in and of themselves. It is because you are where you are right this moment that people will want to read your words. That shouldn’t take too much imagination to comprehend, but surprisingly people still struggle with the “why would anyone want to read my words” syndrome.

I have never traveled to the Great Pyramids. Still, I can close my eyes and feel the damp air. My shoulders start to weigh down from the rich history and the thought of so much stone above me. My eyes flicker and suddenly I am standing on the Great Wall of China. I have read a lot about this wall and it truly is remarkable. Although after walking the length of it I wonder how anyone could have thought you would see this thing from space. Still, it I feel like I am standing on so many lives… since I recall that they buried the bones of the workers into the wall itself.

I think there are many of us that live in a state of not always being here. My wife laughs and says I zone out a lot. Actually, not to correct her or anything because women are always right, I am not technically zoning out as much as I am zooming in… like a camera. And I can see images around me all the time in my head. Sometimes it causes chaos, but still other times it is simply amusing. I have always needed something to do and I guess my internal entertainment system set me up for life. Maybe this is a mental disease and some doctor has a really long term for it in some book.

You can keep your term and kiss my ass.

-Opinionated Man

The Sitter


She is coming, I know she is near. I heard my mother whispering to my father about it… actually they were speaking in a regular voice. Curse them for looking down on me. But I understand, I know what is going on. All their fine clothes, smelly perfumes, and playful hugs and kisses don’t fool me. I am on to these two fakes this so called Daddy and Mommy figure I must pretend like I love or they take away my food. I mean what kind of sick world is this where a kid can’t just sit and be left alone. All the sudden the world turns upside down and I am flung around in some kind of centrifuge… much like when I appeared in this world. I would shudder, but that might remind me of the experience further. What was that? God… is that you again? No… no it is the doorbell. It is her. Escape! Help! The floor is shaking! Don’t run at me foul woman! I have been secretly watching that delightfully gruesome MMA sport that the Daddy creature seems to enjoy so much. One day I will tell him he would never last in a ring… pathetic. Put me down woman! Wait! Where are you two going! No! Don’t leave me with this ogre! NOOO!!! …damn.

Stuck with the sitter again.

-OM

The Meeting – HarsH ReaLiTy


Confidential – Boardroom Transcription

February 5th, 2014

Denver, Colorado

Location: Top floor – Tower of Evil

Confused: “What the hell happened? We said we were going to write on both blogs, but now we are only writing on the new one. Did I miss a memo again? I always miss memos… where do we get memos anyway?”

Annoyed: “Oh my God someone shoot me. Not even one minute into this meeting and I would rather be having a colonoscopy. Hey Embarrassed remember when we had that colonoscopy a couple years back and we rolled over and it was two hot nurses? You should have seen your face!”

Embarrassed: “I would rather we be paying attention more to the poetry lately. Who the hell is writing this crap?”

Strategist: “You know if you guys would lean more towards our Asian side we would get things done faster. I swear I think a few of you snuck onboard this ship. Anyways, we are letting the Guest Authors write on HarsH ReaLiTy while we write on A Good Blog is Hard to Find. By the way Thoughtful, that blog title was a good idea. We have gotten great feedback from people on it!”

Thoughtful: “Thanks… I was just thinking how nice these meetings were without Drunk here. Oh well, we can only wish for next time.”

Drunk: “Someone said something about scotch and ladies. Hey Thoughtful I heard that asshole, screw you. Everyone needs a drunk thought once in a while. It isn’t my fault Mr. Action over there is known to also drunk dial.”

Mr. Action: “I would just like to ask when my name got changed to Mr. Action? I prefer Jason or Master.”

Sarcastic: “There he goes again… Mr. Rockstar… Mr. Spotlight…”

Jason: “Zip it Sarcastic. As Strategist said, we keep working on the new blog and let the Guest Authors write for a little bit. What is the big deal?”

Sleepy: “Did I have to wake up for this? Am I awake…?”

Ending transcription… we think.

For previous records for HR meetings see the below link.

https://aopinionatedman.com/2013/12/29/random-stupidity-hr/

New Blog can be found at www.shatteredsmoke.com

The Writer


He struggles; internally his emotions are a tangle as he sorts through the labyrinth of his own mind. On the outside he is calm, a placid lake. He chews his pen and contemplates his next piece. Like the artist, with their visual minds, a writer can see their finished work. It is sometimes a distant horizon, an unsure future over a faraway hill, and yet the writer knows it is there. Much like a blind man can still feel the warmth of the sunlight on his face, so too can the author feel something important is about to climax.

His pen moves like a paintbrush, painting the canvas of the reader’s mind with tales and stories never seen or heard before. It is this foreign invasion of ideas and dreams that draw people to reading. It is why the writer is. The pen may just be mightier than the sword, for daily it conjures up whole armies of men with passion, demonic adversaries, and stories of triumph. What sword has ever lived through as many painful lives, joyous memories, and future aspirations as a pen does for any with the strength of arm to wield it.

The writer remains motionless, but if you could peel back his skull and see the gears turning it would inspire even the oldest clock maker to find his passion again. Beautiful to behold, and yet it is at the same time scary to imagine what such a mind might do if trapped or tormented forever. The words that might erupt from such a mountain, astonishing anger could certainly come from this same source. The writer simply smiles at these notions; to the writer his body represents a beacon channeling thought onto paper, parchment, or even dirt. To record our past is to ensure our future learns and becomes better from it. Well, we can hope this is true. Such notions are for scholars, the writer just writes.

-OM

A Silent Scream


In Afghanistan, a young soldier lies on the ground alone. His blood is seeping through his fingers as he tries to hold his life in for just a bit longer. His last thoughts are of his family, the love for his mother, and his loyalty to a country that has hated him since he got here. He gasps for air. And as death approaches he opens his mouth in defiance, but all that comes out is a silent never-ending scream.

A young prostitute in Thailand weeps in her room. It is nothing more than a shack. Her first customer has just left, her first time ever, and all she can do is hold herself. The feel of her own skin repulses her. The tears have all been shed; there don’t seem to be any left. All she can think of is the shame she has brought on herself and on her family. Her wails turn into a silent scream, a scream that only ends when the next customer arrives.

A young man runs with his friends in India. They are trying to escape the coming sirens that seem to have surrounded them. He had not wanted to come, but his brother had forced him. Now a young woman is dead and all he can think of is the horror he has just witnessed his friends and brother commit. “It cannot be real,” is what he keeps telling himself as he runs till his lungs feel like they will burst. As he rounds the corner a club hits him on the back of the head and he falls with a silent scream, a fall that will last the rest of his life.

In Chicago a young mother waits by the phone. Her son has been out all night and there have been news reports of violence in the surrounding neighborhoods. She is not overly worried, she has a good kid and he does not affiliate with any of those bad groups. The phone rings and startles her, taking a couple years off her life. The voice on the other end is saying something… she makes out two words. Her son’s name and the word “dead.” The phone drops from her hand as she begins to scream… a silent scream that only the angels can hear.

A man walks out onto his porch. He stares into the night and closes his eyes. There are times when you can hear them, the silent screams, they fill the night and slay sleep.

-OM

Erindale – Flash Fiction v1


If you walk from the beaches of Dreadbin and follow the river inland for a mile you will reach a giant forest. There are many names for the trees found here, but most people in this area call them Blackwater Forest. The Queen’s road runs throughout this land so travelers may be surprised to find that the path disappears after you exit the forest. The land ends at a cliff and in the distance a mountain range and a large lake can be seen. It is in those mountains that you will find Erindale, home to Queen Victoria and her people.

Erindale rests against the base of Redrock Mountain, named for its unusual stone color. The Palace of the Queen is built into the mountain itself and the palace blends in with the surroundings with its intricate stonework. Forming an expanding semi circle from the royal grounds is the sprawling town made up of fishing huts, homes, forges, taverns, and businesses of every venture. Erindale is a thriving mecca of trade between the inlands and the distant kingdoms across the Dreadbin. The sounds of life, prosperity, and the faint tunes of a lute can often be heard as you approach the main gates.

The city is protected by a forty foot wall made of a combination of red stone and strong timber found in the surrounding hills. The gates themselves though are the true first impression any visitor receives when they come to Erindale. Two enormous slabs of bright red stone stand as pillars of protection against any harm that may come to these people. They are called the Heart Stones and represent the unity of the town behind the Queen. No force has ever conquered the walls of Erindale and some say as long as the red mountain stands none ever shall.

The Priests of Alta meet with the Priestesses of Sinta every year to perform the lighting of the sand. No one really knows what this ritual is or what is done during the ceremony, but everyone grows up knowing of its existence. Erindale is blessed by the light of the sand and the heart of the stone mountain is what keeps that fire safe. It is a comforting thought for those people that live in the town and it provides a connection between the simple minds of the less educated and those with the will to rule.

The rhythmic stomps of the town guard can be heard in the distance as you walk away from the palace and past the business district. The air becomes moist from Crystal Lake which seems to flow under half the town. The sounds of the working sailors and the intriguing advances of the girls on the dock fill the air with excitement and opportunity. Barrels of exotics can be seen being rolled off one ship as raw materials are being hauled onto another. People can also be seen coming off boats and walking with eyes full of excitement at seeing the palace in the distance. Here in Erindale there is something for everyone.

-Opinionated Man

1/7/2014

People


Stranger
We battle. Our forces lock on, as precise as any engineer, and our souls dance. Their tango is a deadly dance of shadow and light, as we move without motion. Darting, shifting, and turning we probe for weaknesses immediately. Are we such predators that weakness comforts us? Our mood eases, letting out tension as we sense someone that is not a threat. Far better than another predator, an intellectual equal, whose presence immediately sends our guard up. Stranger, know that I am watching you and if you dare to confront me your challenge shall be met.

Friend
We comfort each other, but we know our boundary. We groove in the same mood and commiserate in times of passion or pain. Emotional wall, you are my constant companion and never a burden. Were you to become a burden, I am no saint. I carry no one else’s boulder. Gladly will I share a meal or give a drink, but I do not carry the emotional weight of someone else’s consciousness. Friend, be a friend, and let us keep our dance in balance.

Foe

Beware, I can kill you and sleep soundly at night. I have no remorse, except in regards to myself or my own. You, I do not care for you. Walk swiftly across to the other side of the path, cross not my eyes, for to do so will place your own life in dire peril. I see the potential, this world is full of people auditioning for the role of adversary, and yet I care not about them unless they come into my world.

Lover

You and I dance to a song without words. Sometimes the dance is painful, love can hurt, but most of the time it is a dance we do without thought. It is under your caress and gentle touches that I know why I wake up in the morning. You move me to passion, without passion there is no love. Of course we most continue to stoke the fire, what love does not require the effort of rekindled interest, you are worth that effort. Others have slipped away, faded into the night their names are ink prints on my mind. And although those stains may stay for a time, their meaning and value diminish with each setting sun. There is only one lover here in my heart, it is you.

-Opinionated Man

Clearly I See


Crisp, the morning air almost hurts for me to breath. I blow fog with each breath I take. It is cold, cold and wet; I feel the damp grass slowly soaking my wool jacket. Above a bird of some type circles. He cries, whether for food or for his mate, I know not. I only know he is free. Soaring, his wings carry a sense of taunting freedom I will never know again. I begin to panic and bile builds in my throat.

“Breath,” I tell myself as I calm myself down. I close my eyes, but then quickly open them. I don’t want to miss a single second.

The sky erupts with a burst of light, as if Glory had been given form and his arrival were being announced by a million trumpets and angels singing. It brings tears to my eyes, I don’t know why. I have never been an emotional person, and yet here I lie in the cold with icicles frozen to my cheeks. A spectacle I will look to those that find me I am sure, I smirk with amusement at this image. The smirk quickly becomes a grimace. I return to the show before me.

The lights above have been joined in their dance by the shadows below. Have you ever noticed that you cannot appreciate the power of light without the dark? I notice now, notice more than I ever have before. It is eerie the peace this thought brings to me. Perhaps the light from my few good deeds will press back the tide of darkness that I have also done in this life. I let out a content sigh with this thought.

A hawk cries above, breaking my reflection, and seems to glare down at me from above. He stares as if to say “you can get up if you want to get up.”

I grow angry. Curse his freedom and his taunts from above. But I know I can only curse myself.

I lay here in the cold.

I die alone.

-OM

Get off your Soapbox


Do you ever feel like bloggers are simply lining up to discuss the same topics? People often find me random and sometimes strange in the manner of my posts, but that is because I battle mediocrity before I ever push publish. I don’t want to present the same read as him, her, or them over there. I strive to describe the sun as it has never been penned before. Barring that opportunity let me at least write or rant on a subject half of WordPress is not discussing already. I would rather write a poem about murdered snowmen that no one understands than be placed into the same lineup as the regurgitating authors I witness lately.

How many people write as if they are the first ones to grace a topic with their opinion? Their words hold meaning and even passion, but the similarity in title and subject matter causes the often wary eye to pass over such posts. They wonder and sometimes complain about how the world no longer cares about humanity, autism, racism, bullying, death, abortion, war, and so many other causes, but they have failed to present the hook that is necessary for people to care enough to read their words.

Show us passion, show us a personal view, or present to us something we can’t find on yahoo.com or CNN.com. That is all your reading audience asks of you, to place some effort into your writing and present a point of view we haven’t seen before. If an original thought escapes you well then give us an unoriginal thought expressed in an original way. It really is that simple when it comes to pleasing a reader. We don’t like to be fooled into thinking we are about to read something “freshly pressed” only to find out it is the same rehashed verbage as every other post with similar title.

-Opinionated Man

WC – 1365 (rev. 1)

Writing while Tired


Tired and writing through the tired right now. There is something to be said if you can write even when you are exhausted. It takes a certain amount of dedication and drive in my opinion. I like to write when I am tired because I don’t actually seek the words. I allow them to flow towards me and in turn I accept the writing for what it is meant to be. Not always what I want it to be. Sometimes our writing takes on a life of its own and that is a special occurrence. It means there is a real connection between the writer and the words we strive to put in the correct order. It is a shame when you have a perfect thought and lose it not because it escapes your mind, but rather because you fail to encase its meaning forever.

I am on day two of my writing and have added a progress board on the right if anyone is interested.

-OM

WC – 5086

 

A Candle


It is dark outside and the village is sleeping. The sun has long since given up on man and has retired. The house is pitch black, as most huts are, but memory serves me well as I search for a candle in the dark. Candles are expensive, but the joy of reading is worth the price.

My hands can’t seem to find the candle that I placed in the drawer the previous night. I frantically search in the far back, thinking perhaps it might have rolled while being opened. It is not there. The very feel of the night changes and a claustrophobic grip takes hold of me. Something begins to burn in my chest and I look around desperate for an answer.

I pant for breath and scurry to find my book, the only book I have ever owned. I sit by the open hut door, allowing as much of the moonlight above to bath the pages. It provides just enough of a glow to show me what I am missing, paper worn thin by continuous reading. My hands caress the binding with love, much as I imagine the soft hand of the damsel caressing the cheek of the story’s heroic knight. The feel of a book seems to sooth my soul, I feel the bands around my chest loosen and I am able to breathe again.

Tomorrow I will venture out to the market. But for tonight I content myself with sitting here simply holding my book in the company of the night. Comforted by the presence of the story within and laying to rest forgotten thoughts about a missing candle.

-OM

Start, Stop, Pause, Repeat – Death


They say that you are more likely to get in an auto accident within ten minutes of your home due to complacency. The most dangerous place in America is the four-way stop. It is the only time you can observe utter confusion in every direction. The idea is fascinating, almost like a pinwheel of chance.

To the left we have Nancy who is an elderly woman on her way to a tea date. She is still on chapter one of the “how to drive manual” because she was basically given her licence by the “interested” instructor oh so many years ago. She normally just turns right.

You have straight ahead Tom who is hopped up on meth he just scored. He is on chapter 5,219 which is centered on aggressive driving. It was a chapter never meant to be written and somehow was missed in editing. Tom loves this chapter and always thinks it is his turn.

And on our right is Mary a mother of four with three children in the back. Two are arguing and one is asleep in a car seat facing the rear. Mary is trying to listen to her daily show on the radio. Mary has a good “idea” of when her turn is, but she sometimes just lets everyone go first because she is such a kind hearted woman.

The fourth “car” is a man on a bicycle, but oddly he is in the center of the lane as if he is a car. This confuses two of the three drivers, Tom really doesn’t give a shit about the guy in tights.

God above calls the others around the viewing pool. Bets are placed and harps are silenced. The wheel of chance is spun and a breath is stilled. Which one.

-OM

Hello there…


I see her coming. Her hair is perfect and god… look at those nails. I wish only for a glance, perhaps a growl of approval. No… I must not be too forward. With a chain like that she is no regular dane…

Wait! Where are you going?

What is your name?

And like that… two dogs pass on the airport conveyor belt never to meet again.

-OM

 

 

What Dreams We Have – Life


We all have dreams. Goals and desires in this life. Foolish is the man or woman that can stare you in the eye and say they don’t want for more… for better. I feel this pull every time my kids ask me to stay home and I must walk out the door to go to work or be late. I feel this need with each bill I stack on my desk, one on top of another. Perhaps you that live under the shelter of another do not know the burden one must carry during the days and the night as we spend money freely with a smile on our loved ones. Because to do otherwise would cause us pain, ourselves, that is what this is about. Wanting more so that we can give more to those we care about, those we never thought we would have.

I once dreamed of being a blogger for a living. That dream lasted for about 8 months. I don’t think that is going to happen, so instead I will pick up my wagon and start peddling along with the rest. I will do what needs to be done to combat the growing bills and to still the wonder about how we will pay for this or that. It doesn’t bother me to give myself and to wear myself thin, that is what good fathers do. But how long can we possibly be a superhero when we have no true superpowers? Our backs start to hurt, our hands aren’t as strong, and our minds aren’t as sharp as they once were. Someone asked me my greatest fears in life. I have two. Losing my freedom or being confined against my will and losing my mind either due to mental state or some type of incapacitation. Those were my greatest fears in life. But now things have changed and life has evolved. That is life right? We give ourselves to the next step fully because there is nothing else for it but to take that next step. Fuck it. Walk forward.

I realized that my greatest fear is for anything to happen to my wife or daughters. I realized also that I want to give them the world. I will do what needs to be done and give up wild dreams. I will write till my fingers won’t move anymore and keep publishing till they have their unicorns. And if they want a dragon I will buy that too. I will paint their dreams in words of print and hope that someone wishes to buy them. We will see if failure is on my horizon, it normally rotates with my moon. But this time… this time maybe things will be different.

Jason

 

The Headline Read – Murder!


It was a scene of murder in a snowy backdrop cold enough to freeze the sin that obviously stilled this night. Two adults, a small body, and one fallen over on four legs lay dead at the scene. Bloodless trickles into snowy caverns made their way from the bodies towards the edge of the sidewalk where the onlookers watched. Snow angels graced the scene in morbid beauty, outlining the bodies of the snowmen that had been murdered here. Evidence of the snowballs used still liter the yard, carelessly discarded upon completion of evil deed.

-OM