The Peacock

The Peacock

I fell to my death
Upon the sharpest arrows
Of whom I guarded

My knees black with dirt
From the very same ground
Where I once stood tall

Through the darkened clouds
The moon met my weary soul
With soothing shelter

I turned and peered deeply
Into the shore’s quiet reflection
Of my destruction

And I whispered

“If we meet again
Put your weapons down,
And your feathers, too.

Let my tired soul rest
I would never fail you,
Except fail by you.”

My body crumbled there
And my weakened heart played
Its final notes.

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One Lane Highway

One Lane Highway

Where’s the traffic
Whores and spastics
All but plastic
Twisting away

Moving faster
Too much laughter
Coming after
Drilling away

And I can’t get off

Her confidence
My dissidence
His diligence
Shiver then sway

Sure sucks to be
Self pity is me
Awaken reality
Can’t go that way

Water on glass
Oil and gas
Both burn fast
On a one lane highway

File Under ‘Sarcasm’: Why You Should Never Give A Clenched-Fist Salute

So I saw this picture, today, and it has me wondering about some things.

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If this picture is evidence that the First Couple are either Communist or
Black Panthers, then I wonder if all these people with fists raised high
know they might be seen as such, too…

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What are we teaching our kids???

“Don’t raise your fists if you win, honey, they might think we’re Communists.”

I highly doubt it, but when people are looking for reasons to hate on other people, they will twist anything around in order to generate more hate.

To which, my prefered salute looks like this:

2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders

Placid Black

Placid Black

Beneath the icy surface
Lies depth beyond imagination
A universe of emotion
Untouched, unexplored
The lady knows not her own lake.

She chooses to inhabit
The forests and deserts
Castles and caverns
For the wolves and bears
And dragons there
Are safer than her own…

And the lake is peaceful
Beneath an icy sheet
The gleam off a sliver
Is a glimmer of a smile
Or is it just a shiny trace
Of what lurks beneath the ice?

Will not one ever know?
For the lady knows not her own lake.

-S. Hall 2014

StM: Meet Garryn

My name is Garryn Dragon.  I was born June 23, 1990 in Weatherford, Texas.  When I was 27, I was supposed receive my masters degree in political science and give a speech at UT Dallas about the importance of human diversity and net neutrality.  That never happened.  I was assassinated as I was getting out of my car to go into the coliseum, that day.  Who am I that I’d be assassinated?

I thought the same thing.

It seems I was killed and cryogenically frozen, then kept as a gift — a time capsule of sorts — for the future. I feel like was literally born yesterday, and all I know is that everything has changed.  Apparently that apocalypse we all made fun of or prepared for actually happened, and somehow, my body survived whatever brought Baylor Hospital down.

The City of New Dallas is being run by faceless individuals — everyone from maintenance workers to government officials have these opaque faceplates covering them — actually, their whole body is covered by clothing or armor — it’s weird. Even their leader is nameless and speaks through a digital talking head.  Almost everyone who lives here has a gun or some kind of weapon on their hip.  I’ve only seen motorcycles and bicycles on the streets which are still littered with debris from destroyed buildings. Everyone is shady as fuck. If they don’t know you, they don’t want anything to do with you.

And nobody knows me.  Well, except for Miri, my next door neighbor.  She works at Osiris Hospital as a cybergenetic engineer for a company called UniTech.  She brought me home from Osiris and told me to take a day or two to get used to my new surroundings.  I’m pretty sure it’s going to take more than a day or two.

I’m here!

I moved to my new house on Wednesday.  I say my new house, but it’s not really mine.  It’s a recovery house shared by 6 people — didn’t know there were six of us here until today.  I know all of them from the rooms, and I think it’s a crazy diverse group of people, but we all get along great.  We generally keep to ourselves, except in the case that there’s a meeting to go to, or we’re all hanging out in the living room or eating.

I’m sill working on setting up my room (and computer, for that matter) in a manner that will allow for easier access to the monitor.  I have to sit in an awkward position when I write or surf, and I really need to get a laptop or netbook…or a desk…but the room is tiny, so I think the former two ideas are the most efficient.

Anyway, I have been hitting meetings right and left since Thursday, and I am rather exhausted from all the endorphines, so I may or may not go tonight (at 8pm).  I may just stay home and do step work and work on my new idea that has grown like a mushroom a couple of nights ago.  I might share a teaser in a minute.

Aside from that, not much going on. Everything seems really smooth, not much to be concerned about.  Hope all is well!

Moving Day

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am living in a halfway house of sorts (it’s a sober living facility geared to help addicts who really have it rough or have recently come out of prison), and while my situation was a bit different, I was still considered qualified to move in there.  I lived alone, had no impulse control whatsoever, and my addictions were ruining my life. My family loves me, but they were simply too busy to address my needs, and that is okay — not only is it okay, it’s expected.  We are adults, no matter what crap we get ourselves into, and we have to get ourselves out of our own messes.

Although I was scared to death of packing only what I needed and moving over here, I have to say that I am glad I did.  I still have character defects, I am still a newcomer, I’m still working steps (step 2, for those who are wondering), but I am aware. I am aware because I am sober-minded.  Tomorrow, I will be moving into a three-quarter house.  These are the meat and potatoes of recovery housing.  This place that I am moving into is not much to look at on the outside, but it is a big, beautiful two-story house on the inside. Full-sized washer and dryer, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, big comfortable living room.

There is a much smaller group of people to deal with (my inner introvert is very excited about having only 4 house mates as opposed to 90), all have significant clean time (as a matter of fact, I have the least — I have just over 4 months clean, while the next person has 6 months, and the other two have a year or more).  The need to move is less stressed — at the halfway house I am at, they don’t want you parking and pitching a tent for long, they encourage you to get active in recovery and in your life — there is no need to be on your haunches for too long.  Life moves, and you should, too!  But at the three-quarter houses, it’s like “okay, you’re in a house, now. Time to show your stuff.”  You get to reintegrate into living on your own.  Since most of the planet lives with someone else, so this is a more normal setting, except in this case (obviously), there’s no drinking or illegal substances.  There’s lax requirement for meetings (which, the way I work, that means I will want to go to even more meetings because I can), and we supply everything else to take care of our needs.

What I like best about it is that I am learning to live on what I need, and not feel like I have to be extravagant in my spending.  I buy nicer things because I know I am not going to destroy it like I did when I was full on in addiction.  I don’t feel responsible for everyone else’s problems, anymore.  Finally, I also feel the empowerment to be who I am. These two things are lifelong issues that stemmed from abuse I dealt with as a child (and was medicated rather than rehabilitated for it).  Undoubtedly, these two things are also most likely why I fell into addiction.  Trust me, I didn’t want to be an addict.I didn’t wake up overnight and decide it was a problem; rather, it developed over time, and I am very happy to say I am a recovering addict.

So…I’m moving tomorrow (or as of now, later today), and I will definitely share some pictures!  Perfect timing, because I wanted to try using the gallery option on WordPress.

Have a great evening, everyone!

How to Actually Write

Having the space and freedom to write are very important when it comes to writing.  But once you have that space…how do you actually write?  Yesterday, I posted some things I do to make the space to write.  Here’s how I get something actually written:

1.  Sit down at the computer or keyboard or journal or notepad and start typing or writing.

That’s it. Want to write? Then write!  If you have excuses, distractions, or things that are more important, then you will not write. Your car will sit in the garage or parking space if you never drive it. You don’t get in shape if you don’t work out or walk or run.  You have to simply write.

I know, but…

So simply writing is not a good enough answer?  To dive a little deeper, then, here is a list of how to actually write. In this case, I’m discussing how to write a blog post or magazine article.

1.  Have a topic.  I have a diverse set of interests.  I am constantly reading about them and whatever else I fancy at any given moment.  This way, I have a mental bank of topics.  Like, right now, I want to get my blog rolling, and I have a lot that I could write about, but I don’t feel like it, so I’m writing about writing.

2.  Write an introductory paragraph.  I have a topic.  This is my topic and why I am writing, today. This is what happened that made me want to write about this topic. Here are some reasons I am going to explore this topic. (except be more creative)

2.  Write down the key points. Come up with three (or more) things about that topic and write them down. These may end up be the main sentences for each paragraph of the post/article body. Then elaborate on those points.

3.  Write a closing paragraph. When you’re finished with your first paragraph, and you’re done with the body (key points), then you need to close the article off with an ending paragraph.  ‘As you see, I wrote about this topic. I explained three main things about the topic, and now I am highlighting those three main things again so that I can make sure the point of my topic is being driven home.’

Congratulations, you just wrote something!

While that was a good anatomical approach to writing something, there was some sarcasm intended.  I’ve noticed in myself that I can write easily if I can stick with some personal rules:

I will not write because I have to.  I will write because I want to.

I will not write if I don’t have anything to say. Just because I have topics doesn’t mean I want to talk about them (see above).

Don’t be afraid of what comes out of my mind. I have a lot in my mind. All I need to be concerned with, if anything at all, is the delivery. (for example: will I be making a list, or will it be an actual article?)

I will not explain myself. There are instances, such as academic writing, where people will require an explanation.  People who require me to realign my views or opinions to their side, or people who attempt to put me on the defense, are people who take up way too much of my time and mental energy.

Don’t be afraid of what the final draft is going to look like.  I can’t have a final draft if I don’t even have a first draft.

Quit calling myself aspiring. An aspiring writer wants to write.  A writer simply writes.

Don’t be afraid of negative feedback.  If you post it in public, you’re going to get negative feedback.  You can be the prettiest peach in the crop, but there’s still going to be people who don’t like peaches (paraphrased quote, I don’t know who originally said it).

Write to learn. People miss a key element in writing, and that is learning. If you write because you want to drive traffic to your site, great. But typically the reason for that kind of writing is for traffic only.  You have nothing to share, other than key words and overused examples of everything, and you’re probably earning a quarter for each of your posts. Don’t be that writer.  Write because something really interesting came your way, and you want to write about it. Or write because you have an opinion on something, and you want feedback from others. Write because that something is so interesting that you want to know more about it — which starts a discussion, which helps you and others *learn* more about it.  Write about an interesting character you drummed up in your head, and you want to find out where he ends up.

So…there you have it.  How to actually write (with some sarcasm and humor thrown in for good measure).

 

How to Make Space to Write

blank page and pencilI’ve been writing in public in some form or fashion since I got on the internet back in 1995.  Be it blogging, storytelling, poetry, or even writing articles for online magazines and print publications, I’ve always been writing.  I can write like a banshee, and I usually do.

It’s not always easy to write.  I can create a spectacular looking blog, complete with ideas for posts, series, photo galleries, etc, but they often stick as just that:  ideas. Quite often, I find that I cannot actually write; however, once I take care of a few things, I find myself able to write again.

Here are some things I do to make serious space and freedom to write, and what I do when I get that space.

1.  The first thing I always do is declutter my writing area.  Note that I did not say clean.  I do that as needed.  Decluttering simply means clearing off surfaces (like my desk).  The reason this is important is that visual clutter takes a lot of energy for our minds to process.  It can be exhausting just looking at it, and it gives the sensation of feeling cramped.

2.  I grab a cup of hot coffee, yerba mate, or chai. All three taste great, are warm enough to soothe my throat, and are infused with enough caffeine to invigorate my mind for a great session at the keyboard.

3.  I put on music for the mood I want to attain.  If I am writing a meditation or devotional piece, I probably won’t be listening to big, heavy beats.  You can find my music for meditative writing at StillStream.com.

4. I turn other electronic devices off and close social media. Nothing jars my ability to write more than other people. Since I’ve decided I am no longer responsible for other people, it is easier to take control of my time. Close social media, turn off the phone. By allowing my self to be first on my list,  my writing becomes more of a priority.

5. I take the time to brainstorm.  Instead of writing content, I make lists and links.  I have great ideas, but those ideas need some attention in order to grow.  I often read what other people have written on the topic just to make sure I’m not bat wacky with my own interpretations.

6.  I give myself a sense of accomplishment in other areas. We should all have long and short term goals. The sense of accomplishment I’m talking about, however, is that of the immediate. Complete a sudoku puzzle. Level up in Candy Crush (yes, I said that). Do a quest or get a certain number of lobsters in RuneScape (yes, I said that, too). But do something that brings a sense of immediate achievement. The point in these kinds of achievements is that they are “can do”s, not “have to”s.

So there you have it: six things I do to make space to write.  What are some things that you do when you prepare to write?

…So what have I been up to, lately?

Let’s just say everything between June 2010 and January of this year was either a part of my life that I wasted or a life lesson that I needed to learn.

So I will say I have been in the process of a mental, physical, and spiritual healing since January 2014.  I’m living in a sober living facility, not cut off from the world, but from things I had been previously addicted to.  I’m working out the things that triggered the addiction. I have changed jobs in this time, and am loving the hours and stress-free environment of my newest one. I am writing like crazy, but not in a spot that is public — it is amazing what I can pull out from the depths of my heart, mind, and soul when I write for myself.

Aside from that, I shelved numerous botched projects that I simply could not maintain in my previous condition.  By doing so, I can take the time to focus on what is important.  I realized in all that shelving that I really need a place to write.  Blogging is addictive, in a way, I guess!

In the short four months that I have been here, I’ve learned to loosen my grip on expectations.  Some have turned into quiet hope, while the rest I did off with. This has opened up my ability to negotiate success with myself without fear of opinions or negativism.

Mentally, I am taking a less brutal approach to my flaws and personal (here’s that word, again) expectations. I know I will not wake up tomorrow  and be my end goal.  I also know that I have things I must achieve on a daily basis if I ever want to be my end goal. While my end goal is multi-faceted, my strategy is simple. I use a daily planner to log daily tasks and track progress as I go.

Physically, I’m well into getting back in shape.  I’m following a very strict diet and exercise regimen, and maintaining an 8-hour sleep schedule.

Spiritually, I am finding calming solace as I learn more about God’s abounding grace and love for us. Other Christians drove me away from God by preaching religious rules over my Father’s love. I came back to God and God alone, and have learned so much that people don’t even talk about without throwing out prerequisites and requirements.  Even now, I’m getting hit from the far-right about things, it’s as if they forgot James’ words warning against being God’s middle man — He does not need a middle man:  He is God.  The way I see it, if the Church wants to save people, they need to stop holding the unsaved under the water. Love others as Christ loved us, let God do the changing.  THIS is why I prefer to simply call myself spiritual and leave it at that.

Finally, I have made a HUGE lot of new friends and acquaintances.  My roommate is awesome. Because of our situations, I’m resigned to the probability that she’s only going to be in my life for a chapter, but I hope she’s one who I can keep up with long after this chapter is done.