Category Archives: blog posting

What to Write When Your Head is Empty

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Sometimes when my health is poor and too many things are already on my mind, it is hard to think of a subject for the daily essay.  I don’t let that stop me.  Yes, indeed, I can write with a completely empty head.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not a stupid man.  But sometimes life’s demands can empty your mind of idea seeds, and the garden of your mind might be slow in providing new blossoms and palatable fruit.  But some people do a lot of writing with empty heads.  Some are toxic to read because there is no substance to what they say.  And some can spin out a tale or a logic trail that fascinates even though the idea furnaces are initially cold and not ready to cook.

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So maybe I have an idea to write about today already.

Maybe I can say something about how I get ideas out of my stupid little head.

But my head is completely empty today.

Oh, well… I already re-blogged something else anyway.

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Filed under blog posting, goofiness, humor, Paffooney, teaching, writing, writing teacher

Reblogging

I have lately taken to reblogging some of my previous old posts, some of the 1,676 I have at the moment and this one probably adds to.  I do it not because I am being lazy, but because now, more than ever, I have people looking at my posts, looking at the pictures, and even sometimes reading what I wrote.  So I take pride in re-presenting some of the little essays I am most proud of or have recently rediscovered myself.

Yesterday was focused on lying as an art form.

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That’s actually Mark Twain in the background of this picture.  Which is a lie.  And if you can’t easily tell that, then no wonder Trump is now our president.

I re-blogged an old essay on telling lies… a how-to sort of piece called Lying as a Form of Social Responsibility  And then I promptly followed that up with a bit about one of the biggest lies I told my classes every year when they asked me how old I was and why I wasn’t already retired.  I called it Mickey is 561 & 1/2 Years Old which is a lie, but probably reasonable to believe considering the old saying, “Old English teachers never die.  One day they just lose their class.”

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On the day I had the weird confrontation with the coyote in the early morning light I wrote Morning With Coyotes and found it to be such a weird experience that I had to re-post What Do Martians Look Like?

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Today I found a piece that I still love very much called Mother Mendocino and re-blogged it, and it already had 9 views before I even finished this essay about re-blogging.

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So re-blogging isn’t just being lazy and fishing for likes, it is about reconnecting old ideas to new.  And to relive past writing moments and treasured reflections.  I intend to do more of it.  Especially with posts so old that you newer readers have never had the chance to look at the pictures and ignore the text.  So now I have fulfilled my moral obligation to warn you of what’s coming.  Now protecting yourself from what I might re-blog next is entirely your responsibility.

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Filed under blog posting, humor, Paffooney

Doing Daily Business

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Today left me with little time for writing because I had to pursue the payment of property taxes and I finally set up non-interest-accruing payments for my faux-heart-attack hospital bill.  But the ideas still come.  I will just have to work them out later in the week.

I want to write a nudist-related idiot’s essay about body image, and I hope to work on g-rated illustrations that will illustrated naked ideas without offending those whose ears catch on fire from encountering nakedness, a breed of people who are not so rare in Texas.

I also want to write about the joys of listening to classical music of Erich Korngold.  I know that sounds like a boring snooze-fest, but I intend to elucidate and surprise you.  Kinda the way I was myself blown away by discovering this turn-of-the-century gem of movie music.

And there are other burning possibilities tickling the insides of my cranium.  But there is business to take care of today that will not wait.  And next week… bankruptcy court.  Oh, joy…

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Leftovers in January

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You reach a point after a hard month has lingered long where you have to eat the leftovers and accept what is.  I face challenges in the new year at least as large as the challenges of 2017.  When faced with such a situation, I need pie.

So here are some of the things left in my January file for use in this blog.  The only reason they are here is because I haven’t used them yet and the ideas have not been knitted together for any rational purpose.

This will be a crazy quilt blog post.  But crazy quilts keep you just as warm in winter as any other kind.

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My newest Facebook friend is the daughter of my wife’s cousin.   I have only known her as the sweet-faced little smiler at Filipino-American family gatherings who sometimes gets my attention by squirting me in the ear with a water gun.  Her father is from Greece and teaches Math in San Antonio.  Her mother, like my wife, is from the Philippines.  I won’t tell you her real name, but we used to call her “Sweetie” because of her resemblance to the little pink Tweety-bird character from Tiny Toons Adventures.

I have also spent considerable time writing to and for nudists I have connected with through their various websites and on Twitter.  These two lovely works of nude art were shared with me on Twitter.  I have collected a number of nude pictures from Twitter nudists that I can’t use on WordPress because I am still entirely too modest to be the unrestrained naked person that some nudists are.  I can’t really claim to be a complete nudist myself.  But I do have stories to tell about naked people, and I have been working on them diligently.

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Of course, I still miss being a teacher.  I was a teacher of English for 31 years.  I taught reading and writing in English to over 2,000 kids.  I also learned how to stare in Klingon.  It is a useful skill for keeping students in line and keeping them from becoming a disappointment to the empire.  I miss teaching kids, especially talkative kids.  Far fewer people talk to me during a day of retirement than used to talk to me in a single class at school.  Those interactions were precious.

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And several things are just too confusing for my old brain to explain.

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But I do like this picture I found on Facebook of Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, playing with multiple kittens.  I don’t know why, but it makes me happier.

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Filed under artwork, blog posting, Dr. Who, feeling sorry for myself, foolishness, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes

Writing Every Day

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Teachers of serious writing will often tell you… or more correctly, give you the Word of God, “You want to be a good writer?  You have to write every single day.”  And having been a teacher of writing at the high school and middle school level, I am committed to passing that on to you also as the inviolable Word of God.  You see, I have long been, well, not a serious writer exactly, more of a dedicated writer with warped notions of reality and a tendency towards goofiness.  You can see by the view of my WordPress insights page that I have steadily, in five years’ time, been noticed and looked at by increasing amounts of thoroughly duped WordPress viewers.

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10,373 visitors have viewed something on my blog 17,383 times in 2017.  And I know that most are looking at the pictures and moving on.  That’s how I get away with writing some of the stupid stuff I post on my blog.  But there’s a secret to that too.  I drew or painted a lot of the pictures I use on this blog myself.  You would think that sooner or later some expert psychologist would trace violence in the streets back to my pictures as the ultimate cause, but that hasn’t happened yet.  I am sure that is mostly because not even the psychologists can muck their way through my paragraphs of purple paisley prose.  You see, I most often use my writing on this blog to commit atrocities of humor and wit.  I only rarely dabble in things intended to be uplifting, spiritual, politically challenging, or sentimental.  I complain on my blog a lot.  It is also a place for expressing my inherent grumpiness and old-man dyspeptic irritations with life.  But viewers tend to take my humor seriously and only laugh at the stuff I am most embarrassed about.

I was supposed to be doing this blog as way to promote my book, Catch a Falling Star, for I-Universe Publishing.  They set it up for me.  But, as they don’t pay me anything for the work I put into it, and it doesn’t really impact sales anyway, I use it now as writing practice.  I have as a personal goal to write 500 words a day.  The blog counts.  So it means that some days, the 500 words I write in my blog are the only words I get written that day.  Though, now that I am retired, 500 words of blog writing plus 500 words of novel writing can get me well past writing 1000 words in a day.  It doesn’t take long at that rate to build up an awful lot of words.   I shudder to think what would happen if the word dam were to suddenly give way, releasing a word-flood of monumental proportions.   Half of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex would drown in Mickian words if that were to happen.

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So, do I think that you should write every day?  Do I think it makes you a better writer?  Do I actually follow my own advice?  Yes!  To all three.  And as I have passed the 500 word mark yet again, I can stop now.

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Filed under blog posting, insight, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, writing, writing humor, writing teacher

Extremely Strange Christmas Gifts

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This summer, in order to decompress a bit over the swimming pool removal crisis, I joined a nudist website in order to be able to write a blog for them. I believe it can be now revealed that it didn’t go entirely according to plan.  Pretty much in the same way that, because I am not Santa Claus I will not be delivering Christmas gifts on December 24th.

The deal was, I needed to give them a sample of my writing to consider, and then be prepared to write a blog post about my first visit to a nudist park.  It was technically a professional writing situation, but because of the cost of membership in the website and the cost of visiting a nudist camp, I was paying out money instead of taking it in.

So, I submitted a rewritten version of my blog post “Blushing in the Garden of Eden”, a piece about the comedy inherent in me being associated with nudist experiences written long before I ever imagined having the courage to actually go to one of these places and be a nudist at the same time.

I took the bull by the horns… okay, let’s not use that trite old expression because of its unfortunate metaphorical connotations… I prepared for the job by contacting a local nudist park, Bluebonnet Nudist Park in Alvord, Texas, and I made arrangements.  Then, while my family was off enjoying roller coasters at Six Flags that I was not physically fit enough to ride, I went to the nudist park for a day visit.

I wrote about all the fool missteps, embarrassments, and gobbledygook I went through to visit a nudist park on one of the hottest days of the summer wearing only a thick layer of sunscreen, hat, and shoes.  I thoroughly embarrassed myself in an autobiographical essay or three about actually enjoying my brief time among the naked people.  And then nudist connections began to blossom.  Who knew that they might be so willing to recruit a spotty old naked man into their society?  My blog post was re-blogged on a popular nudist website.  Twitter nudists began following me by the baskets full.  I became connected to nudist sites in Canada, Great Britain, and, curiously, Spain.  I got tons of ads for nudists experiences in places world wide that I will never be able to afford to go visit.

But through it all, not a word from truenudists.com about my blog application.

Well, now, during this season of Santa Claus and gift-giving, I started receiving some extremely strange Christmas gifts.  Tomorrow I get to go sign the court petition that allows me to be bankrupt under Chapter 13.  No more credit cards for me.  Including the one used to pay for my Truenudist membership.  And then, out of nowhere, the blog coordinator of Truenudists contacts me about being delighted by my submission and being willing to publish my work on their website, Facebook sites, and Twitter account.  I am now officially a nudist blogger.  Now that the nudist wardrobe is about the only thing I can afford to wear.  And my wife added one last gift last night.  A plan to sell our house so we don’t end up losing it to the bank.

So, I wrote a letter to Santa Claus, thanking him for my wonderful gifts this year, and asking him to join me whenever possible at the nudist park so he can truly see how I have benefited from his presents.

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Filed under autobiography, blog posting, feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, nudes, Paffooney

Unfinished Business

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This oil painting is called “The Unfinished Stag”

You never quite reach the end of the list of things you ought to do.  Some lazy days it is hard to even write the words you desperately need to write.  I have unfinished business in this life.  Not just the need to finish bankruptcy paperwork and finish my transition to poor retired English teacher on a fixed income.  Not just the never ending yard work and home maintenance and repair, some of which involves fines from the city for not completing.  I still have pictures to paint, cartoons to draw, and stories to tell.  That last part of me is probably the most important unfinished business, because it represents the legacy I will leave behind.  I know I am only a nobody novelist who has some mediocre art talent.  But it is the immortal part of me never-the-less.

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This is an unfinished illustration that ties into my vast pile of unfinished science fiction dreams.

I did just finish a book.  I reread Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Here’s my Goodreads Review;  Five Stars

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Fiction as great art doesn’t get any more magical and soul-restoring than this book, perhaps the best that Mitch Albom ever wrote, and that’s saying a lot. The last line of this book is worth all the reading you’ve ever done in your life. You must read this book BEFORE you meet your five.

But you read to the end of a book like this, and you realize, you will never be truly finished with it.  For as long as you live you will be drawn back to it, remembering the story, remembering the feelings it evoked, the chances you will have to recommend it to others, and the way it informs the way you live your own life.  There is no way to ever finish a book like that… or like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, or Lord of the Flies by William Golding, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.  I could do a whole book about books I will never be finished with.

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This too is an unfinished painting.  The black at the bottom was supposed to be something else, but I left it black and liked it that way. at least until I cropped it and cut the Dust Man’s legs off at the knees.

And so I have so much unfinished business to take care of, I really didn’t come up with a good idea for this essay.  So what will I write about today?  I guess I will just have to leave it… unfinished.

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Filed under autobiography, blog posting, book review, feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, Paffooney