Category Archives: Creative Writing

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

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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

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

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Dying Light


Where does the light go when a candle stands without his flame. Helping others to matter when I don’t matter at all. A shadow on the wall and a whisper in the night is the life I lead… have led. What course could have been taken that was not taken by circumstance. I ponder the thought sometimes. Using flowery language to hide veiled meaning, I hide from myself behind my own words. There is no story of sacrificial lambs and people that die on crosses for the greater good found here, no that is one blog over. I live pages that surpass a genre that have by chance become a blog. I blog.

-OM

  

The Sociopath


Journal Entry 48

TS: 11:21:13

… and I will never change. I see the world through tint. The different colors of my shades present the many facets of my personality. What mood am I in today?

The doorman calls me “Mr. Banks” as I leave the building. He is a Category D and would never make the collection. Still… what would it be like to play along his ribcage with my knife? One can wonder… I roll the idea around my tongue.

I stroll amongst them, a shining example no one notices. But they will notice me one day. All shapes, sizes, ages, nationalities, I see them all and shudder trimmers of desire.

Not just any can make the cut. An audition worthy of Broadway is held each day as I allow my sensations to take over and visualize the moment with each… Not a Category B today, no I will indulge myself and will not settle for second class meat.

The decision has been made and my hands start to sweat with the sheer joy from the anticipation. There is no stopping me from having what I want… what I need. It will be quiet in the night once more… soon once again.

Mr. Banks

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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

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1/7/2014

Inspiration found


Where is inspiration found. We think as we seek it in the night and day. Chasing periods for a hidden thought, finding a hidden thought where there is none. Drawing motivation from the unmotivated as they use their talent in a halfass way.

Do we seek inspiration or does inspiration find us. I ponder this even as I find my answer. She walks beside me and in front of her is a shopping cart with the Target logo on it. We don’t talk for several minutes, but at some point our pace becomes the same. Our walk of life is the same. Two different souls, probably with different stories… I don’t know. But what impresses me the most is that I feel a soul walking by me when in a normal day I pass a hundred shadows attached to bodies I easily forget. It is so rare to find something that touches me anymore in this layered world of artificial pleasures. Our bodies forget what true feeling really feels like.

Going anywhere special?” I ask her daring to break the silence that may have secured our companionship for the moment. Had I broken it? But I have to know. She has such a look of determination and hope on her face that it almost baffles me. Ok, it does baffle me. Weren’t the homeless supposed to be distraught and depressed? Was there an answer here that she held that I might need to find a different type of happiness in life?

“Forward. Always forward. Never back,” she responds as if she has said those words a million times. It tickles my mind. And with each step a new letter begins to make sense. By the second word I know she has given me a gift. When I turn to thank her she is gone. I look behind me quickly, to the right, and left. Hell I even look up… Nope. Nowhere. She has vanished, but the thought she has given me has not. The inspiration of a moment that was meant to bless a page. And so it has.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

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Her


She smells of stolen moments and goodnight kisses. I catch her scent upon the back of one of her sentences as it flies randomly in my direction. I savor it. Each word, down to the letter, I taste it so I can taste her. I hover around her conversation. Never daring to speak to her directly, I flutter listlessly until she draws me in. And like a moth to the flame I find myself conversing with her shadow in a corner. I fix a misplaced hair on her head and imagine her amused grin. I sit there and speak to her all night. She never hears a word.

-OM

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

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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.

 

The Lost Journals: Chapter One – Pg. 7


Santa Monica, CA

Linda Borra Conaughey

2/7/1995 – Journal Entry One

My only comfort is the companionship of my sorrow. It has been five years since he passed and also five years since I have painted. My hands ache for the feel of a brush, even as my soul rejects the comfort that may come from it. A single canvas, still pure white, sits in the sunroom waiting for my attention. I have left it there since the night I received the phone call of his passing. The moment he died the will to paint died as well.

I see images that beg to be captured all around me. We artists see still images, even as the pace of society moves around us. Sometimes it feels as if we are an island in a sea of chaos. We strive to find that one thing worth seeing each day and on those days we do not find our hart of pursuit we die just a little more that evening. Passionate of heart, we cannot keep that same passion from affecting our lives. And thus when tragedy comes we embrace that tragic sense with a foolish bravery that we do not recognize till after the damage is done. Here I sit damaged.

My counselor tells me that to get over the pain I should try to write in this journal that she gave me. I wanted to throw the notebook in her face and scream “I am an artist… not a writer!” But who am I really mad at? As I pen these words I feel my heart tremble just slightly… as if awakened by the tease of a thought. What is it that moves me now?

My pastels sit unused next to the dull acrylics. They sit lifeless having lost any desire they had due to neglect. As I neglect my art, I also neglect my soul. But what color would my painting become when mixed with my tears…

Trinity

The Lost Journals: Chapter One – Pg. 6


St. Jude Hospital

Memphis, TN

1/7/2001 – Journal Entry One

My name is Sarah Clark and I am from Nashville, TN. Lately it has felt like I am from Memphis though… well not really from the city itself. I live in St. Jude Hospital. My parents and my sister Julie won’t say why I am here, they think I am too young to understand things still. I am almost fourteen and I feel like I am growing older each day. Well I know I am growing older, that is a silly statement, but I think I am learning things that I shouldn’t be at this age. It doesn’t take long to realize what a place is for… when you have been living there for three weeks. I know too much now.

My mother gave me this diary when I was twelve. I remember throwing it in a drawer and muttering something like “diaries were so last century mom.” I am glad I didn’t throw it away in some childish spurt of anger that us kids are so prone to. We commit these acts without thought of future consequence because what is the future to the young? It is simply another day away… But not when you are dying. Not when you suddenly know that each day is precious. The young shouldn’t understand this and normally I would be speaking of myself… but I am not. Another patient here Adam is only ten and still there are younger patients in my wing.

The laughter that fills these halls daily is still a bit haunting to me. I am learning that it is like laughing in the face of death and it strengthens you simply by doing it. It makes you appreciate the moment. The moments are precious lately. I wish my father would come around more, he has withdrawn a lot since we arrived. My sister tells me that he spends a lot of time alone in his hotel room. The times that he comes by are glossed over by small talk and attempts at jokes that only bring pain because they are connected to some memory of the past that we share. It seems to remind us that we will soon only have memories. Him on this world and me wherever I shall go. His eyes appear as glass from the constant film of tears that he holds back in my presence. I can see the reflection of his fears and my own in his eyes. I don’t know who I am more scared for, him or me.

I find this diary serves as a nice release. It can get crowded in this wing… sadly. I think I will continue to write if only for the pleasure of it.

Sarah Clark

***

 

Page 6 OM 01/06/2014

The Lost Journals: Chapter One – Pg. 5


St. Matthew Island, Bering Sea

11/25/1975 – Journal Entry One

We have been out for a few weeks now. The weather has been fair so far and I feel right with the roll of the sea beneath my feet. I sleep better when I am on a boat. I try to forget my troubles when I come to work… it is hard. There are few things to do but work, play cards, drink, tell bullshit stories, and work some more. There is little time for sleep, but we are having a very profitable trip so far. The traps are full and the crabs we are bringing in should pull me a nice bonus for this year. That should finally make Cindy happy… ungrateful bitch.

She gave me this journal years ago, I don’t remember why, probably a Father’s Day gift or whatnot. I never thought I would use it, but I have actually taken to writing in it during my down time. Ships are small places, even if you are alone… especially when you are alone. I will admit I never thought I would find it as it pleasant as it has been to write out my thoughts of the day and release some of the pressure that hours of hauling in traps hasn’t helped relieve. I may continue to do so during this next few weeks.

Cindy has filed for divorce. She claims I am never there for her anymore and the children are unhappy. I am not sure what she expects. I pull in nearly $80,000 a year and we live in a nice neighborhood with good schools that our children have always attended. I work on a boat, I can’t teleport myself home each night. Sometimes there is no pleasing women. Actually, scratch that there is no pleasing a woman period. I am not sure why I thought an American woman would be different, Canadian women are the same. That isn’t why I left Canada, but it definitely contributed to the inspiration to find new cities to explore. I never thought I would end up on a crabbing boat in the middle of the Bering straight.

There were many steps that led to me coming here. Maybe I will take the time to relate some of those, but I wouldn’t want this journal to come off as some kind of whining session. That would be unfair because honestly I like my life. It is other people that seem to be unhappy in my life.

Peter North

***

Page 5 OM 01/04/2014

The Lost Journals: Chapter One – Pg. 4


12/03/1981 – Journal Entry One

Memphis, TN

It has been a good year so far and I am thankful that it isn’t as cold as it normally is here in Memphis this time of year. I walked a lot today. The life of the homeless seems to be walking sometimes. It was nice to see the holiday lights and decorations on the store windows lining Poplar Avenue. A kind white man gave me an early Christmas gift today, and although it was not food I could not have been happier to have received this new red journal. The pages are so clean and fresh… it almost seems a shame to write on them.

I have decided to record my thoughts and what has happened throughout my day. I think I will try and keep this diary updated as it seems to provided some comfort in knowing my life might not be lost when my light is gone.

My name is Herald King. I am homeless, but my home is still within my heart. I am a veteran that served this country proudly and I still love this land… even though this nation has seemed to have forgotten me. That is a sad statement to make, but it is the only theory I can accept. I was a school teacher before the Korean War and never considered that the reserves would be called to go overseas. I was a younger man then, full of ideologies and principles, so I actually was willing to go fight originally. That quickly changed as the reasons for our presence there became unclear.

I took a near hit by a mortar shell while in a firefight near Seoul and was quickly sent home to heal. I had no clue you could be discharged so fast, but two days after returning stateside I was given my papers and “thanked” for my service. I thought things would return to normal, but as with anything in life the unexpected happens. I really can’t recall what happened or in what order. I do know that the result of the those events was that I lost my wife due to my anger issues, I was let go from my job teaching because of flashbacks from the war that no one believed, and the house of cards came down when the very government I served allowed the bank to lock me out of my own home. What was a thirty year domino effect felt more like one giant slap in the face.

It is cold at night in Memphis, TN. People think that it is always hot down south. While that is technically true most of the time in all actuality the humidity in the air is like breathing in ice sometimes. I don’t know why I stay here in this city. I have walked to the bridge connecting West Memphis and Arkansas and stared at the distant shore for hours, but I could not “will” my feet to continue across it. There is something that keeps me here, a hand resting upon my soul or some unfinished business. The feeling is a burden and yet at night… when I am sleeping alone, it is sometimes a comfort to know I might yet still be needed.

I truly hope that one day someone might read this journal and see it for what I hope it shall become. A window into my life and perhaps a last faint whisper in the dark before I depart forever.

Herald

***

Page 4 OM 12/26/2013

The Lost Journals: The Introduction – Pg. 3


Her name was Linda Conaughey and she is the one that wrote and compiled these journals chronologizing the lives of these people forever. It became clear why she did it upon completing all the books, but the interesting part was that Linda decided to actually write out what each page of the journals meant to her with a parallel page of her own. All seven journals are forty pages long and are thus forty pages of the lives of what turned out to be some very interesting individuals. Lisa decided to sign her pages with the pen name “Trinity” for which I can partially guess the reason after reading through a window into her life. It was a beautiful life and I could only wish to have met her.

This will be the eighth journal that I will add to this story. Maybe one day someone will find all of ours and write their own. I was inspired by the sights, sounds, and smells that these people had experienced and that I will probably never see in this life. Another man’s “everyday” is another person’s paradise… and now I have dreamed of those painted images and they haunt me. If we cannot actually travel to those places and our mind yearns for something stronger than the mundane images of another person’s halfhearted imagination, we then escape into our worlds of words. That is what led to this day, this threshold and moment where lives will connect. They already have.

And with all that nonsense out of the way I will add my name to this book. Book eight will be authored by Jason, that would be me, and I will add my forty days to this already perfect company.

***

 

Page 3 OM 12/19/2013

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.

***

 

Page 2 OM 12/18/2013

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.

***

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

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

Observing Death


I once watched a sparrow die. She fluttered in the wind and fought against the inevitable. It was inspiring to watch the struggle of life. Why is it that it flares so bright right before it is snuffed out before your eyes? Why must we wait for motivation to come from some sort of sacrifice or lose? Still, I accept the moment for the moment. I observed death with a stare and did not blink before his approach.

-OM

“How I Write” By OM


 

I hope Jami doesn’t mind, but I will reference her comment for this post. She requested it and I am always willing to write about things I am not good at. I will post here comment first.

“I still watch it sometimes, as she is just freakin hilarious! Good blog, btw…I admire how eloquently you can rant and make us all come back for more. I would love to know more about the mental process you go through to create a post of this nature – do you have a post on that topic? They all just read so so effortlessly.”

“I thought so, as they do read like a stream of consciousness. It would still be interesting to read a post on that process though. Perhaps you learn something you hadn’t thought of, and it might be helpful for those of us who overthink/over-craft, which is my issue. I let my ego bully me. It tells me I have nothing interesting to say, or that I can’t say it with any sort of finesse. It’s about fear, or maybe misplaced need for validation instead of that pure need to just write, as you covered in a recent post on blogging and followers. Anyway, I’ll keep a look out!”

I obviously appreciate the compliment and that is also why I am writing this post. People will generally throw small chat at you or give you a passing compliment, we writers are jealous creatures, but when someone asks me a question via comment or email I always try to respond.

I’m not sure I would say it is effortless. There is still effort in that you must take the time to write and keep up a steady pace. Right now I also write still at my host site, http://aopinionatedman.com/ which is where I gained a lot of confidence through posting eight times a day. I just decided I would go right at it, which is in my personality. I think we portray our personalities into our writing and even if we cannot write at a high level we should be encouraged in the fact that there are many different levels of readers out there. There is a reader for everyone. I also like to control the “tone” of my articles and it allows me to “influence” my audience into the perfection of my reality. That is a connection that only comes through writing with heart I think. Heart and not being afraid to be judged because you know what? Fuck people’s judgment.

Topics are easy for me. When I don’t have a topic I write a poem. Then I browse blogs. I look for current issues mainly from CNN or from many of the main websites, but I don’t generally write on issues like that right now. If you notice I have actually moved on into the fiction, inspiration, and humorous types of posts. I also have laid out my game plan on my front page which shows my categories and that helps me to focus on what I write about. Those categories are a mixture of what I do well and what I am learning.

As for how I write effortlessly… that is easy. Two answers for that and I will give the easy one first. I generally have an opinion on most things and have read at least a book or a page on it. That doesn’t make me an expert, but it triggers my mind when I hear a topic and I have read something on it and it generates an easy topic. I then write my posts on my “not so private” journals…

The other answer isn’t as easy to explain. I wrote a post once on http://aopinionatedman.com/ about The Glass House. It was some “Asian Book,” I might have the name wrong, and I have no clue what ethnicity but I think it was Chinese. Basically you placed objects in a mental room and were able to remember long lists with this technique. I loved the idea, because I am a fantasy lover, and decided I would use it to create my own Glass House. In it is different rooms and my study where I have a mental file cabinet. Now here you can choose to believe me or not, it doesn’t really matter does it? I basically have a file cabinet with a paragraph of ideas and I can hold up to 100 or so of these pages. I don’t generally have to or need to, but I have, can, and I do it now. I don’t have photographic memory, I am not a genius, so you can take it for what it is. But it is a mental trick that I have practiced since I was 16 and I am now 33. Maybe there is something to be said about strengthening through practice perhaps. Smarter minds than mine could probably tell you, but that is generally where I pull my articles from.

I don’t hesitate to publish and I only edit once. I will generally go back and relook sometimes for errors. I might even edit an article two days later, maybe that is bad journalism, but I am a blogger and my audience would rather read current than read perfect. I have had “discussions” with other bloggers about this and what they don’t realize is IF they are after traffic they have to drop a little of the perfection. Many of them write beautifully and make perfect articles, but a singular article is limited to the moment. Unless of course it goes viral. But hey, what do I know. I am just another blogger on WordPress.

I hope you don’t mind my referencing your comment Jami and thanks for the mental prompt. I am going to place this article on both websites. One less page in the cabinet.

-Opinionated Man

My Day as Mickey Mouse


Dammit… I am late again. Mr. Hollenger is going to have my ass if he catches me clocking in late today.

No time for coffee, gotta get that heavy ass costume on. Another bright and sunny day in Florida. Another day boiling my ass off in this stupid suit. Whatever… let’s get this over with.

Which direction do I want to walk in today?

“Hello kids! It’s Mickey!”

This grown ass man is not about to hug me…

“OH!!! Thank You Sir!!! Mickey Loves Hugs!”

Get.. off.. me… help I am being molested!!!

“Ok Sir… Mickey has to go!”

“… Mickey is going to lunch now…”

Oh Hell No!!! Not the mother with twelve kids! Every year it never fails!

“Of course Mickey can take pictures with EVERY SINGLE ONE of your kids.”

“Mickey Loves Hugs!”

They should install a toilet in here.

“Hey Kid Easy! Mickey’s EAR doesn’t come off!”

“I mean… Mickey Loves Hugs!”

This job blows…

 

-OM

Disclaimer: Obviously I went to Disney World at a very young age and have no idea what Mickey Mouse says to kids today.

Creativity in the Night


He pens his heart in the darkness and releases the light from within. Searching for the perfect words, he closes his eyes to the noise of this world and seeks a better one in literature.

She holds her paintbrush like the artist that she is and traces the glancing rays of moonlight that sparkle upon her canvas. Lost in the moment for a moment… she loses herself to the dream that is her art and the painting that will tell her story.

His fingers dance like raindrops across the strings of his guitar. He plays quietly in the night and the only audience that is there to listen is himself… and the ghost of his father who taught him to play. He feels the vibrations of the music, just as he feels the presence of his dad. They sit in the darkness, under the canopy of opportunity, a place shared in the same song.

She loses balance and falls. Picking herself up, she refocuses and again immerses herself in the ballet. Her life is literally being told as she works to perfect her final examination. As she leaps and spins across the room she removes the burden of obligation and returns to the place of joy… a joy that is still there for the dance.

He walks amongst them, but always apart. Recording what he sees and hears, examining his every emotion from that in which he encounters. They form impressions that wave like banners inside of his head. Ideas, words, and phrases that will never vanish until they are penned. He files them away in his glass house and waits until he feels the safety of his four walls before pulling them from the file cabinet. Changing personas, and yet never a different person, he becomes what he wants to be. What he needs to be. He writes in the night and publishes his words for the moon to read.

-Opinionated Man

Erindale Burning – Flash Fiction v2


Scar stared in the distance. The city of Erindale sat nestled peacefully against Redrock Mountain under the light of the moons Alta and Sinta above. Rage filled him for a second, so strong it caused his hands to shake. He griped the ship rail as he continued to study the night sky.

Suddenly, in the distance, a single flash of light could be seen arching its way into the night sky. The fire arrow slowly peaked and then dived into the water of Crystal Lake.

Mad Eye has succeeded.” Scar hissed with satisfaction as he turned from the glowing lights. His eyes bounced off the gathered crew before him. They were the roughest group of sailors, cutthroats, murderers, and rapist he could find in the scattered fishing villages of the Dreadbin.

Are you bastards ready for some fun?” he growled as he loosened his cutlass.

The sounds of scrapping metal, crude jokes, and mutters of appreciation were all the answer he received. The ship’s crew began to shuffle restlessly as they made their way silently up the outlet from the Dreadbin Sea. The Crystal Lake and Erindale beyond were now open for the taking. The sound of beating wings caused Scar and some of the more perceptive crew to glance up. Shadowy spots could be seen in the night sky as the Flyers fanned out into battle formation. They had been expensive to hire and had refused to enter the battle until the harbor was secured. Well Erindale’s gate was all that stood between him and victory now and they would lose some of their share for being cowards, thought Scar.

Finally Erindale I will have my revenge. You thought to send me away as a slave for life, but now I will tear down that damn mountain around your silly fire. I will piss on that sacred flame and kill every wretched Priest and Priestess we can find” whispered Scar to the wind. He ran his finger down the scar that gave him his name on the left side of his face. A gift from a Priest of Alta that he desperately wished to return… he had dreamed of this moment his entire life.

Scar’s ship, the Ragnaut, hit the ground with enough force to beach it. His crew quickly made their way up the beach and then the screaming began. Chaos ensued as Townsfolk began pouring out of their homes. Everywhere people begin to die as pirates ran by carrying gold and fine clothing in their arms and still others sprinted by yelling as they chased the women around.

Tell the men to stick to the business at hand first. Pleasure can come later,” Scar snapped at his first mate sending him off to do his bidding.

The majority of his crew quickly made it to the Heart Stones gate. A group of chained rowers carrying a large battering ram ran to the front of the horde. They began hitting at the door until a loud cracking sound could be heard. Guards inside could be seen between the beams as the loud clank of running metal on the walls bounced through the night. The gate broke like the sound of lightning as the pirate crew surged forth with a shout of triumph. The bodies of guards quickly littered the courtyard.

The rape of Erindale had begun.

-Opinionated Man

http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/01/07/erindale-flash-fiction-v1/

 

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

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