100 Word Challenge: Lost


All semblance of my humanity is gone, lost to the dark, icy waters of the lagoon. From a towering height I glare down upon the feeble defenses of the city as I cut a swath of destruction through their ranks. Wickedly taloned feet the size of tanks smash their barricades and emergency response vehicles. I care little for lives lost as a result.

Bullhorn enhanced shouts to “Halt!” are lost in the din created as I slam elephantine fists into buildings lining the streets. A hail of debris rains down as they retreat, realizing their resistance futile, the battle lost.


Using “lost” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back to Thin Spiral Notebook, and add your story to the Mister Linky list there. If you don’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.

Musing Mondays (July 20) Bluenotebacker Style

MusingMondays-ADailyRhythmThis is my response to a weekly prompt I found at A Daily Rythm. Be sure click through. Play along if you’re so inclined.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Are you able to read while in a vehicle (in motion)? Have you always been this way?

First things first, I’m currently reading the “Fate of the Jedi” series of Star Wars novels. It began about a month ago with the first book, Outcast, by Aaron Allston. It was okay, but at the time I wasn’t sure I planned to continue reading the series. For reasons I cannot pinpoint, I’ve never been a big “Science Fiction” reader, though I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan. I’ve also never been big on plot when choosing my favorite fiction, and while there were certainly familiar characters in the book I just couldn’t sink my teeth into what they were doing. It happens to me often when trying to read Sci-Fi and unless the characters are extraordinary I usually lose interest.

Not surprisingly, knowing many of these Star Wars characters (and the fact there were Jedi and lightsabers involved) drew me back strongly enough to give the second book, Omen, by Christie Golden, a try and the rest has been fantastic. Allston, Golden and Troy Denning alternate writing each book and I just today finished Allies, by Golden, which is number six in what became a series of NINE consecutive novels.

If you know anything about Star Wars you’ll recognize many of the characters, places, races and historical tidbits in these books but I’ll wager you will not know them all or be able to picture them anyway. On many occasions I’m prompted to look up a particular alien race online, to “put a face” with the name, so to speak. It certainly helps to visualize when you have such a widely diverse cast, even within one group- the Jedi, for example- much less the entire universe.

To put the setting into perspective for other fans, the “Fate of the Jedi” takes place an estimated 40 years after the events of what we know as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. I urge every reader though, Star Wars fan or not, to give the books a go. They’re for the most part well-written fiction, and good, fun Summer reading. I *am* a big fan though, and they’re definitely whetting my appetite for the new Star Wars movie coming this December.

RANDOM QUESTION ANSWER: I cannot read in a moving vehicle. I don’t know if I did as a kid but I know as an adult, I can’t even ride in a car without feeling a little dizzy and sick. I have to be driving to avoid being uncomfortable.

Thanks for reading!

Commenting with Confidence

Thanks again to Blogging 101 via The Daily Post & WordPress U. This course has been fun and I look forward to more each day.

Today’s assignment: read six posts written in response to yesterday’s prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them.

Going to list the six blogs I read for yesterday’s prompt response, just to give a little linky love:

Brainwashed Beautiful Mind

Rock, Paper, Scissors (Lizard, Spock)


Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

The Sunny Narrative.


I chose to comment on more than 2, because the posts jarred some bit of memory loose from the clutter in my brain. Interacting with readers and other bloggers is part of what I enjoy about the entire experience, especially when you come across those of like mind or interests.



Building a Better Blogroll with Blogging 101

Readers and (especially!) commenters help to enrich my blogging experience. I’d write without them, though perhaps in a different voice, but over time I’ve come to derive more enjoyment because of the opportunity to interact with other writers and bloggers. Blogging 101 continues to be a fun exercise in tightening up my blog, dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s.

Today’s assignment: share a few links you love.

Below are three links to blogs you should be reading if you’re reading mine. Which you are. In the past you’d be able to see my entire blogroll in my sidebar, but I don’t want to beleaguered the point I’ve changed things up. I’m happy with the new look despite my penchant for reminiscing about my now hidden widgets.

I wanted to highlight a few that don’t usually get linked but that I enjoy and appreciate. Start clicking!

Only Here, Only Now. Thomas Ross provides much-needed affirmation, relaxation, and stress relieving posts here. I hope they have the same calming, introspective effect on you that I get from reading there.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog. This is one you’ll find me linked to from time to time because of Lance Burson’s feature there: The 100 Word Song. I thought I’d share a portal to his world of fatherhood, music, and leftist snark because it’s (sadly) been a while since I made time to join in the 100 Word fun. 

Thin Spiral Notebook. I like Tara R.’s blog because it’s full of photographs and still contains her writing. I’d like to take a cue from This Spiral and put more of my own images on my blog.

I wanted to throw this last one in there because not only did I used to write for BleedinBlue.com but I remain a huge Blues hockey fan. They have great articles about the team, the NHL, and all things hockey. Give them a follow!

The Missing Sidebar & Making it Count

During the course of Blogging 101 I’ve completely revamped the look of my blog. In doing so, I’ve done away with the Sidebar feature in the spirit of drawing focus on the content of my posts. That makes this a little difficult:

Today’s assignment: add and/or customize two widgets, one text-based and one image-based.

I have a long list of widgets already set on my Sidebar, but my current Theme doesn’t show them. That could change moving forward if I decide on another make-over, but for now I’m sticking with my look. Please enjoy the following post as I completely ignore today’s task 😉

Photo Challenge: NIGHTTIME

I enjoy taking photos of the sky, be it daytime, nighttime, cloudy, sunny, or any combination of those conditions. I tried capturing a shot of the last Super Moon of 2014 recently with my iPhone camera. I’d love to have a DSLR, but until I get a job as a professional photographer I can’t justify the cost! 

Super Moon, Saint Louis, MO Sept. 23, 2014


I’ve been participating in Blogging 101 from WordPress U, and yesterday we were asked to make comments where we hadn’t previously. The new task is to “Be Inspired By the Community:”

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

I found Live & Learn, where David Kanigan will often share inspirational quote, poems, and some fantastic photography. I enjoyed his post and it prompted me to think about how I feel we’re shaped by the choices we make in our daily lives.

Whether good or bad, past choices make us who we are in the present. You can certainly choose not to think about or dwell on the unpleasant ones, but unless you’ve reflected on them enough to learn not to make those same mistakes again, shutting them out and denying them as an integral component of your current makeup isn’t healthy. Just as we enjoy remembering the positives, we must embrace the negatives as growth opportunities. They’re all part of us.

I made choices over 10 years ago to get married and have a child. My marriage didn’t last, and ended in divorce, but had I not taken that path I might not today have my wonderful daughter. I might also have pursued a direction that wouldn’t have led to the amazing woman I’m with now. Those choices play a role in how I look at the world and challenges presented on my present road.

What kinds of choices do you think about? Does one stand out in your memory? Regret isn’t a productive emotion, but sometimes we can’t help feeling it. The key is to try to focus on how we can use the choices we’ve made to make new ones we feel better about now.

Blogging 101: Be a Good Neighbor

I love to interact with my readers and with other bloggers through the comment section, so Blogging 101 has tossed up another easy one for me.

Today’s assignment: leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

I had one down before I even read this, commenting over at Blue Chicken Ninja about a poll question. Great way to prompt a conversation with readers, using polls.

Live & Learn is a new blog I’ve found since starting this course, and its creator gives us meaty food for thought today.

101 Books shares something from an author you probably know but aren’t immediately aware of.

Searching for the Happiness gives us some advice I know I’ll heed in my continued quest to figure out just exactly what in the world do I want to do for a living!

I plan to continue blogging well beyond the completion of this course, and I will always welcome comments from my readers as well as commenting on their posts too. The interaction often provides inspiration.

Almost the end…

The end of 2012, that is. I’ve survived the Christmas rush and I’m grudgingly back at work this week. Over the last few days I managed a bit of the Spirit of the season and wasn’t (I hope) a total Scrooge during the long weekend. Now I have a brief moment to reflect on the status of my blog and the NaBloPoMo challenge.

I take my inspiration to write for my blog from numerous sources and I enjoy prompts of all kinds. The wonderful people at BlogHer had posed the challenge of posting once a day, every day for the month of December with the underlying theme of WORK. Today is the 26th and I’ve fallen well off the post-a-day pace at this point, due largely in part to, well, working.

The month of December is often “soft” as we say in Sales, and it takes most of my mental capacity to churn out as much business as I can for the end of the quarter and the year, often meaning that I have little energy left over for doing things I enjoy, like writing. When I’m not working I’m at home with my family and have really been enjoying that time, so my writing has taken a back seat, especially this month.

I’m not complaining, just perhaps explaining to myself and setting the tone for where I am mentally with regards to blogging, writing and my job as we try to finish up, squeezing every last sale and dollar out of 2012 while preparing to start a New Year next week. I have irons in fires now I didn’t have when this year began, all of which are very important to me. I have plans for 2013 I couldn’t have anticipated back in January, and I’m thankful for the opportunities that have and will present themselves.

This isn’t my last post of the year, but I had some writing energy pent-up from the long weekend and needed to get it out. It’s been enjoyable, therapeutic and personal, but I know that at least a handful of people read along with me and I appreciate that too. I hope your yearly goals have been reached and that you’re busy working on your own big finishes.



A Time For Thanks

Thinking about gratitude and being thankful (hopefully) comes naturally this time of year. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, a day we ostensibly gather with family and perhaps friends to celebrate how thankful we are for all the things we have, the people we know, etc. I guess that’s what it’s about, right? The pilgrims were going to die and the Native Americans showed up and saved them so the Pilgrims were thankful, right? Sorry, I saw part of the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show tonight and frankly it was a little disturbing, but I’m not really here to talk about that right now.

I am very thankful right now, thinking about all that I have, despite the things I seem not to have. I’m healthy, I have a wonderful girlfriend in my life, I have a beautiful daughter, I have a roof over my head, a job… I’m grateful to have those things. I’m grateful to live in a country, despite its shortcomings when it comes to the way the government works, where I am allowed to have these things and wear what I want and talk to whom I choose, and believe in God (relatively) without fear of being persecuted or killed for my choices.

I’m sitting here listening to Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, and while the blues tumble from Bob’s fingers and tongue I find myself very happy. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday primarily for the feasting, but I really am grateful for the chance to visit with family I don’t always get to see every day. I’ll have the opportunity to spend it with my girlfriend, and my daughter, and those facts make me smile. My dad is deep-frying the turkey tomorrow, and provided he’s not like the 15 people who apparently burned their homes down last year doing it (according to All State Insurance) it should be delicious. My dad is an awesome cook, that could be why I enjoy it, hard to say. My daughter might not eat much other than the pumpkin pie he made but you know what? That’s okay. I look forward to telling him how grateful I am to be a part of his Thanksgiving and for the meal.

I suppose it should be easy to be thankful during this time. I’m disappointed that as soon as dinner is over there will be people elbowing each other and stomping on toes to get super deals on material goods we can’t live without. After we waxed eloquently about how thankful we are for the things we already have. It’s unsettling, sort of like the Charlie Brown special tonight, but it’s the way of the world. I’m grateful I wont be standing in any lines tomorrow night or Friday morning. 

Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude for the Write on Edge online community for this very timely writing prompt. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Me, grumpy? Be quiet!

Some people think it’s funny to say that I am a grumpy old man. I’ll be 40 in less than two months and I’ll admit, there are times I feel old, though I know 40 isn’t old. Old fashioned, probably, in many ways, but and old man? No way. I’m in the best shape of my life, how could anyone (you know who you are!) think I’m old? I’ll tell you how, and while I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, it IS pretty funny when you step back and think about it. Unless you’re me, and you just can’t *stand* when things are TOO LOUD.

I live next door to a supermarket. My bedroom window looks out over the parking lot and while there is a barrier of some skinny trunked trees and a privacy fence, those do not block all sound coming from the lot. The one saving grace is that it’s not a 24-hour store, but it’s still noisy. Laying in bed at night I’ve been treated to the sounds of the street sweeper truck and/or the truck that literally drives the lot VACUUMING up trash (I’m guessing) and this seems to happen around 11PM. They also patrol the outer edges of the lot, which again is directly adjacent to my apartment building, with LEAF BLOWERS. AT 11PM. It’s TOO LOUD OMG DON’T THEY KNOW I’M TRYING TO SLEEP?

On any given day, from 6AM until the store closes around 11PM you can hear car alarms going off, always for too long, over in the lot. Almost every night after closing you can hear the night crew, who apparently all park along the side of the lot that faces my bedroom windows, leaving work, (slowly) getting into their cars, laughing, carrying-on (that’s an old man kind of term, right?) revving their engines, and just generally being TOO LOUD for 11:30PM-Midnight.

Sometimes, when I’m home at lunch time on a weekend, the store employees hang out in their cars during their breaks, BLARING their stereos and smoking cigarettes. One day I went over there to tell the person off (like a grumpy old man would) but of course by the time I got there the guy had shut it down and was heading back into the store. I left well enough alone, but I was grumpy.

I have had daydreams of shooting a bazooka from my bedroom window at the cars with alarms going off, or yeling with a bullhorn at the people being TOO LOUD while I’m trying to sleep. Apparently I’m the guy who would actually be found yelling, “Cut out that racket!” or “Get those damn kids off my lawn!” I supposed it’s a good thing I don’t have a lawn.

This post was inspired by the weekly prompts at Studio30 Plus, you should go there and join, read, and enjoy!