T.G.I.F.

Well dangit, I couldn’t even make it a week writing every day, oh well. Yesterday was just too busy. I suppose if I was worried about it I could stockpile a bunch of posts and have them scheduled to drop each day. I’m not though and that would somehow detract from the purpose of the writing I think. Whatever.

Happy Friday and Happy Birthday to me! I say that not in blatant self-promotion, reaching and grasping for public attention, but only to note that this is the day I was born 44 years ago and it makes me reflective. Do I feel 44? What’s that supposed to feel like? Is this where I thought I’d be when I made it this far? Did I ever really think about it? Do I remember what I thought about it?Ā mirror

I’m not having any existential crisis, just thinking about these (and other) questions. I should probably reflect more often but today seemed like a good day for it. I’m so thankful for my wonderful family that I’ll get to share this and all my days with. I love you guys SO much! I don’t get to *see* a lot of my friends very often but I feel like I have a good amount of them, which is nice.

What is about self-reflection that keeps us from doing it more often? Probably only speaking for myself but maybe there’s folks out there sharing my insecurities and thoughts on the subject. Perhaps it’s fear of seeing what we’d rather not see or admit? I honestly don’t think that’s why *I* don’t do it, I really don’t have a lot of demons and I’m pretty happy with my life as is. Maybe we are too busy, to caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life (that sounds like me!) to sit back and think of the past. That then begs the question, would be benefit from it? Would it hinder our progress? Make us sad, angry, discouraged?

I think living in the now and planning for the future is what works best for me. Hopefully mistakes I’ve made stick in memory easily enough that I don’t have to dwell on them for them to have taught me lessons on how to avoid repeating them. I feel like I’m barely halfway through my life and that actually makes me smile. I’m not famous or rich but I’ve done a fair amount of stuff in my life šŸ™‚ Gained knowledge, shared it, made friends, loved, found the love of my life (hi babe!) and will raise our kids with her. Still an awful lot of stuff I *haven’t* done but I truly feel I’ll be doing most or all of it eventually and with my best friend, which is a nice bonus. It feels good to think about it.

Make it a great weekend. Happy Epiphany šŸ˜›

100 WORD CHALLENGE: COLD

I cannot feel my fingers or toes. StumblingĀ throughĀ the blowing, blinding blizzard, woefully ill-dressed for such weather, wishing I’d heeded the warnings as I ventured out alone into the woods. Limbs and trunks creaking as the temperature drops, trees shiver and snap as I brush hastily past. Ice clings to my beard and lashes as frosted, labored breath painfully plumes from my mouth, lips already dry and chapped..

Faltering, my hips and ankles seizing, I slump to my knees and fall woodenly to the ground in a puff of powdery snow. I wonder, how long until my bones freeze?

 

This weekā€™s word is:

Cold

What to do:

Using ā€œColdā€ for inspiration, write 100 Words ā€“ 100 exactly ā€“ no more, no less. You can either use the word ā€“ or any form of the word ā€“ as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Link back to Thin Spiral Notebook to share.Ā If you donā€™t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.

Another New Year 2017 Edition

fireworks

They just keep coming, don’t they? I suppose it’s a good thing and I’m certainly thankful to be a part of another one. It’ll officially be 44 years on the planet for this guy come Friday and while I’m probably not where I thought I’d be 20 years ago (who can remember that far back?) I’m very happy to have the life I’m living right now. It’s never easy but it’s rich, lively and I vow to get in better shape to keep up with it (no, not making a Resolution to hit the gym this year!)

As I do at the start of each new year, I’m thinking about blogging more, maybe trying the post-a-day type thing, something to get my thoughts out on a more consistent basis, though as of now I’m already a couple days behind. I’m also trying something I saw a friend on Facebook mention: short (like 2-3 seconds) videos of my life, every single day for a year, to compile and review at the beginning of the next. Very interesting and I *am* on pace for that one, so there you go.

If you’re reading this, thank you for taking the time. There’s a LOT of blogs out there, most with more direction and purpose than mine, and I do appreciate your “ear.” Please, comment and engage me during the course of the year if you read or see or hear something that strikes you in one of my posts. I tend to write these mostly for self-reflection, self-therapy if you will, but I do enjoy interacting with readers and friends. Hell, even if you’re an enemy I’ll still join you in debate.

Also as usual, I can’t (won’t) promise you’ll see anything specific on these pages. It could be a recipe or restaurant review, something about music, movies, books, or *maybe* television, though I tend to leave that category to the experts. I might share original fiction- whether generated for a Prompt or just something off-the-cuff or I might wax poetic on the woes and wonders of the St. Louis Blues. Maybe the Cardinals too, who knows?

Here’s to another new year. May it be filled with fun, love, success, happiness, good books, music and laughs.

Music Reviews at Glacially Musical

Friends, bloggers, music lovers, rejoice! I’m doing some writing again as a contributor over at Glacially Musical, an excellent source for band interviews, album and concert reviews. The site has a distinctly metallic tang to its flavor but there’s definitely something for every musical taste. Go check them out and spread the word!

As a #FF suggestion try @bluenotebackerĀ (that’s me) orĀ @Nik_No_CĀ (he runs the place) You can also follow Glacially Musical on Facebook to stay up to date when new posts hit the air.

I’ve reviewed a Southern Rock album from theĀ Italian band,Ā Smokey Fingers. I think you’ll like it and I hope you enjoy my take. Visit the site through the link above or check out my review directly HERE.

sf

Smokey Fingers – Promised Land

One-word Prompt: Storm

This one is almost too easy considering a beast of a storm ripped through the St. Louis area just last night. While we did get crazy high winds at home that tried to rearrange all the flowers and plants on our front porch we didn’t lose power, unlike nearly 100,000 people in and around the St. Louis area.

Large swaths of destruction could be seen both on my evening commute yesterday and my morning one today primarily comprised downed branches and piles of leaves, sticks and trash but there were some major incidents of property damage as well. Some trees snapped nearly in half and one fell over this house only a few blocks north of mine.

housetree

There were several HUGE old trees downed in and near Forest Park. Sad to see such majesty felled so easily. And the property damage continued as some unfortunate citizen had gambled on a parking spot and lost.

cartree

Storms are always prevalent during the Summer months in the Midwest but it sure seems they’ve grown in intensity over the last year. Thankfully my friends and family are all safe today after Mother Nature’s wrath but She’ll be back. She always comes back.

This post was in response to The Daily Prompt.

Storm

100 Word Challenge: List

Disappointed

Confused

Terrified

Resentful

Angry

Vengeful

The emotions hit me rapid fire and though I know somehow I watchedĀ the building go down as I stood on a cliff high above the city I was still in it.

As the shoreline roiled and waves overtook the rubble of the tower sirens wailed. A cacophony of horns and alarms blasted out through the dark and the rain and then, impossibly, I began to rise up out of the lagoon.

You wouldn’t have recognized me. Gone was the suit and tie. In fact, gone was my humanity. I had become The Creature!

 

100 Word Challenge
“Using ā€œlistā€ forĀ inspiration, writeĀ 100 Words, no more, no less.” Link back to thatĀ post, or leave your submission in the comment section there.

100 Word Challenge: Dream

The suits milled about, oddly calm, the rumbling sounds of thunder and a mild tremor underfoot creating only a low murmur of concerned voices. The bank of windows, darkened by night and driving rain lit up with intermittent streaks of lightning casting erratic, jerking shadows across the floor.

As pairs began to form, a ladder carrier with a rope holder, and the suits streamed up to the roof for rescue, I began to panic. Every pairing seemed to come together slightly faster than I could move. Every suit made it out of the now crumbling building but me. I died.

 

100 Word Challenge

Using ā€œdreamā€ forĀ inspiration, writeĀ 100 Words, no more, no less, then link back to this post, or leave your submission in the comment section. Remember to keepĀ spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow wordsters.

Thankful For You

 

Yes, if you’re reading this the title of this post pertains to you. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who bothers reading my blog. There are (way more than) a million blogs out there and it’s meaningful to me that you would choose to read mine. I wish I posted more often or more interesting things and who knows? Maybe moving forward I will.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving this week and will spend it with friends, family and loved ones be sure to take a moment and reflect on how good we actually have it, whether we realize it every day or not, compared to those who are suffering around the world and in our own towns.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the holiday.

Being Real, Really

I was turned on to a blog post about a week ago that compelled me to expound on the idea of real, particularly or perhaps specifically because of my claim to be a realist, as the title of my blog would imply. The post, I Don’t Know What it Means to be RealĀ was something I saw re-Tweeted I think by fellow blogger @hanolsyĀ and I would urge you to click-through and follow her, her blog, AND of course @GunmetGeisha and her blog as well.Ā Thanks again to GG for the inspiration!

How many times in a given day do you think you act on some impulse, or on some external motivator and portray yourself as something you’re not? I’m not necessarily talking about lying to someone (or even yourself!) or knowingly putting on a face for a situation that’s not how you usually consider yourself. I’m talking about those on-the-fly, unconscious moments of action and thought. You’d have to guess because we aren’t keeping lists (probably) of the things we do unconsciously every day.

I’d say there are plenty of times I say something out loud to myself or maybe DO something as I’m walking or driving that only I see or experience, things that don’t necessarily embody the person I believe me to be. But if those things are coming from our unconscious, don’t they really reflect who we are much more than anything we might take time to prepare for display?

Part of me hopes that’s not true. If it is, I’m probably not nearly as good a person as I think. all too often I allow my emotions to control what I think and say BUT it’s 99.9% of the time for my ears only. I suppose I have control enough not to share those things publicly and thus avoid whatever potentially unpleasant consequences they would otherwise carry. Maybe I’m over thinking it but in those moments it’s unlikely I’m thinking much at all.

Being real with people is pretty much how I try to live my life. I don’t want to give off the wrong vibeĀ when I’m meeting a stranger, who does? At the same time, I don’t want to intentionally do something fake, be someone I’m not, specifically to impart the impression I agree with something or like something I don’t. But am I really controlling that? Is the REAL me saying what I intend to say or is it being filtered, unknowingly but necessarily by some part of my brain so that I don’t simultaneously light a match, flick it at the person I’m speaking to and squeeze a long stream of gasoline out of a bottle at the flame?

Not sure why that scenario was so easy to envision, maybe I should be concerned, but if it’s a real thought, should I want to suppress it? I suggest in the title of my blog that I’m a Realist specifically to combat the idea readers might develop, from their interpretation of my opinions, that I’m a Pessimist. I don’t think everything is bad or that everyone is bad, but if I’m seeing something In Real Life, can I really even know if it’s real or not?

This was far more existential than it seemed in my head before I put it here. I’m not trying to piggyback on the (conspiracy) theory that we actually live in The Matrix. I was spurred to wax theoretic on the subject by something interesting I read, which is where the majority of my musing comes from anyway. If I had too many original thoughts I’m afraid I might write a book or something. Ha.

The Company You Keep

My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.

The third assignment fromĀ Blogging 101Ā this year is toĀ follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.Ā I’m constantly finding and following new blogs almost every day. Writer blogs, gaming blogs, parenting blogs, whatever I’m turned on to by other blogger/writer friends, usually through social media.

I’m going to give you five relatively random blogs/sites that you should check out and follow if you wish. Following and connecting with other bloggers and connecting with authors through social media is one of the best ways to grow your own audience, but try to remember that interaction is still the engine that drives the whole blogging machine. Comment and converse with your fellow bloggers!

Studio30 Plus

Okay, that was actually six, we’ll call one extra credit. But it’s not about “how many followers can I get?” It’s about reading what interests you and sharing and connecting and writing. I don’t have nearly enough time to keep up with all the blogs I follow and want to read every day, but it’s always rewarding to do so.