The Great Sins

oak treeA lazy day indeed from this point on; I will do nothing other than lay and rest in shade and satisfaction.

Days before I could but languish in the knowledge that others rested in the shade of the old stand of trees, a cool drink at hand when needed, as I was forced to trek on. No food for days, until this last one, a kill finally; I ate what was needed and then ate some more, not knowing when again I could. I tore at strips of meat; what might have been a satisfying conclusion to those days before without nourishment now turned to a rage to consume as quickly as possible.
Still I wanted more, no longer to quench an appetite, rather, the feel of the kill, abundance, the possession, the power, and the lust of accomplishment.
Oh to have such opportunity at every turn, food when desired, drink when thirsty.
Alas, as leader I must protect my pride.
I step away that they too might eat.
I will of course confess the great sins I have committed here today, if but one in reverse order.
Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth.

The spiritual Atom

atom antI’m on one of those spurts where I ponder the universe.
Big bang. But not like a bomb that detonates; a bomb involves expansion over time. The big bank was expansion everywhere at once, the creation of space. How big? Don’t know – like a balloon we all move out together, and every point is the center. But it’s not like a balloon; more like the surface of a balloon without the space inside. Not really like that either, as that is one dimensional. Still if were able to cover the distance, and started our trip through the universe in a straight line, we would end up back where we started. Why? Silly me! Space is curved.

The final synopsis being that my feeble brain will never be able to truly comprehend it, no matter how much smarter I get from drinking scotch.
Then there is dark matter, which wasn’t enough to explain the expansion and especially the speeds at which outer stars travel so fast around their center – usually a black hole. So we now have dark energy that kicks their ass into motion – or maybe pulls then – or gives them chocolate to entice them to go faster.
And this is only our little universe – only 15 billion years old, a baby in the arms of infinity of other times, other universes.
I find such information euphoric even as it puts me on the verge of madness. I have neither the time nor the aptitude to grasp what the Einstein’s of the world know better. They too in all probability have their limit, and perhaps in a bow to some higher intellect, they experience a passing moment of envy.
I love science and it is not hard to see I have a special love for cosmology. Never took much science in high school, too busy with math, Latin, French, literature, and history. Carl Sagan hooked me and I have been enthralled since. I purchased a few courses on Einstein and his relativity theories; spent some time revisiting calculus, as in University I was busy trying to pick up a nurse or two from the school next door. I should have stuck with calculus, as I never bagged a nurse. (Yes, that is BAGGED)
The little I learn about cosmology coincides with the little I learn about spirituality. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say that in my young school years the atom was the smallest particle, period; and the Catholic Church was the last word on spirituality and god – full stop.
I have been lucky to live in an age where information and knowledge flow from many wonderful sources. Yes, you need to be careful of your sources and take all with a dose of skepticism.
I am a spiritual scientific student of the cosmos.
Damn, I feel good today.

The Druid and the Flower

A_Dark_Mood,_Black_Panther                                                       I have spent the last few years with much of my free time invested in learning to write. I guess that sort of negates the idea of free time; perhaps I should have called it discretionary time.

Writing has always held my interest. Poetry at  first; at one time I much preferred reading poetry to any other form of literature. I think that came from childhood memories where stories being read to me had some sort of rhyme to carry the story along, as when Henry painted his wagon and got paint all over himself, reported..”Bessy I’m a little messy.”

I moved from poetry to short stories. I was not a good steward of all that I wrote, and all of my stories penned more than five years ago have made their way to the trash bin – perhaps for the better. Writing is a craft that must be learned. It is not enough should you have a story to tell. The fact that one might have an excellent grasp on the language is but one more obstacle that does not need to be overcome. The desire to write is also a fickle friend. Keeping the Muse active is much an effort of love and dedication.

What might be hardest to grasp is the art inside the science, and the science inside the art. The art inside the science develops the structure of the story. The reader must be hooked at the very beginning. The character is revealed by showing rather than telling; but the telling must still be present and used wisely to speed up or draw out a scene as required by the story. The character must engage the reader soon after the opening scene grabs the reader, and lead the story from there.The sentences and the paragraphs should vary with the pace; the dialogue should flow with words the reader can use to identify a character scarcely without the mention of her name.

The science inside the art must of course master the obvious. Spelling mistakes, bad punctuation, confusing the reader by jumping from one head to another or one time period to another on a continuous basis only leads to confusion and a lack of passion to continue.

Two of my books  were complete, including editing. The second was on Amazon for less than a week when I made the decision to pull both and rewrite each with the new knowledge I had obtained from critique groups I joined, author and editor groups I became part of, and a few pieces of software and writing tools I found along the way, which added greatly to mapping the story and keeping track of names, places and events.. I also got the “gee I’m published” bug out of my system. It’s real easy to get a book an Amazon – it is a much more demanding task to get a worthwhile book on Amazon.

So dear readers, the first of my books will make its way back from the editor soon. My new editor tells me I have some work to do, as the edit was not only about grammar. I am very excited to meet the challenge.

The Druid and the Flower will be a work I am most proud to release, and I am confident a most enjoyable read.

It was a difficult choice to begin again. I knew I would never be satisfied unless I took what I had learned and put it to work. I am confident there is more to come in the way of learning – it is time to move forward.

 

Friday the 13th

lynx

                     The bus dropped him unto the dirt road that ran adjacent to the park.

The back lights of the bus disappeared around a bend as he walked along. The path he followed was bathed in the soft glow of the park lamps which skirted the park on all sides. He had walked it many times when he worked late.

He loved the quiet change that came over him here; so different from the bustling city life where he spend his days.

The lights blinked once, once again, and his world went dark. He looked back at the sky over the city he had left behind. No lights anywhere, a blackout. No cars came up this way, few people lived this far out.

He let out a small shiver; perhaps from the cold, more likely from the odd feeling of being so alone in the dark with no light to guide him. He would never go into the park at night, too many possibilities. Inside the park was for the daytime. This now felt like inside the park. The lights had always been on as he walked around towards his home.

Nothing to do but keep walking; Let eyes adjust to the darkness. Ahead, huge dark blanketed clumps, surely stands of trees. He glanced at the sky, hoping for light; none promised itself. Rain drops increased in intensity and thunder rolled in from the south. He needed to hurry or the storm would have him.

No sounds. Stop and pause a moment to listen. No movement of any kind; not even birds chirping. How odd. Yes, for as long as he could not hear any sounds he would be safe. He strained his ears to listen and prayed silently for nothing. Somewhere in the strengthening storm he could make out small sounds, most likely the rustling of wind against the bushes and the branches of the trees, nothing more; still he looked behind him, into the darkness, nothing.

Friday the 13th. It came to him in a flash. Each of the Fridays the 13th before had involved a killing in this very park. One had been during the day, a lady on a bike hit and killed by a car losing control. The other woman had been killed at night and the police said drug related. Such a silly thing to be superstitious about a day and a number. Lightening flashed. They were both women anyway; not men.

The rain pelted his head and his face, no raincoat or umbrella. He doubted even if there were light he would be able to see, given all the rain washing down his face. Only the sound of the rain now, coupled with the intermittent crash of thunder. He strained harder to focus on any sounds that might tell him he was not alone. Best to cautious. He turned to look behind him again; footsteps?

“Who’s there?”

No answer, nothing.

He should run; he would catch his death of cold out here. His pace quickened and the urgency that overtook him made him break into a run; stumbling almost immediately on a branch that had been pulled from the tree by the strong gusts of wind riding on the storm. He cursed and picked himself up. He forced himself to stop; he had to face what was happening.

This might be Friday the 13th but he was not a woman. He peered off into the darkness. He was being followed. Best to cut through the park. His home was on the other side. It made no sense to walk around under these conditions. He headed into the park, but quickly found he was unable to navigate without constantly hitting a tree, a bench, a garbage can or some other obstacle unable to be seen in the darkness.

He pushed back out to the path, his clothes now drenched, his mind in tangles. By the time he made it to the bridge, his mind was racing with the possibilities of his own disaster. He had no belief in Friday the 13th, but he knew the sinister nature of people.

The town newspaper had run an article yesterday taking note of the coincidence, but making sure the folks who read the piece saw the Friday the 13th connection; and that two women had been killed.
Some sick maniac would read that and want the coincidence to be more than a chance happening. That sick mind would want to perpetuate the myth and bask in the stories of the Friday the 13th Park Killer.

But the victim had to be a woman.

He tripped over his own shoe lace that had become untied. The urge hit him to kick the shoe off and keep going. The gulp of air he forced into his lungs shook him in place. Deep breaths, one, two, three. Enough.

He turned around to better be prepared for what might otherwise surprise him from behind, and bent down to tie his shoe. He sucked in another breath as he stood back up, and turned to continue his trek; a light moving towards him on the bridge. He wanted to run. His attacker had somehow gotten ahead of him and was now confronting him.

The fear propelled him to full flight. He hit the attacker with every ounce of energy he could muster. His attacker went sailing over the bridge into the water. No hesitation to see if his attacker might escape the water, he kept running, stumbling, and picking himself up. His hands and knees were scraped and lacerated in pools of blood.

Tears mixed with the rain as he made it to the steps of his home. He pounded on the door, struggled to find his keys, managing to finally unlock the door.

The lights blinked back on as he stepped inside.

He almost fainted from the massive release that flooded his body.

Home. Slow down. It’s over.

He called for his wife. No answer.

He went to the kitchen, where a small candle sat on top of a note.

“Honey, gone to meet you with a flashlight. If I miss you I will go to the bus stop and back your usual path.”

Post 2

A post-apocalyptic community will not survive unless Conor can procure energy cells from a Gater clan responsible for his family’s massacre. Maeve must undertake a journey of her own to retrieve their stores of salt – taken in a most brazen and massive theft.
One of the few communities to survive the total collapse of the old world order did so because it was an island situated in the cold northern ocean, where ice packs, snow and long winters grudgingly give way to a warm but short spring, summer and fall.