Summerland. Are You There?

Image courtesy of sattva/

Godspeed on your trek
across the boggy quagmire.
May the weight of your mortal coil
release you.
You’ve been emancipated.
Exit the lightlessness.
Match your tormentors.
No longer be a victim to anguish.
Clutch the dim radiance
filtering through the fog.
Struggle toward its source.
Pass the souls that are adrift
and that do not know they are irrecoverable.
Ignore the tortured souls’ calls.
You are not one of them.
May warmth surround you.
Do not concede to the cold.
Witness kaleidoscopic ambience.
Are you there?

In 1998, Robin Williams was in the film What Dreams May Come based on Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name (released in 1978). Coincidentally, the novel is about a man who goes on a quest after his death to rescue his wife from eternal torment following her suicide. As most everyone is aware, Robin Williams was found dead August 11, 2014 of apparent suicide. He battled addiction and depression. Richard Matheson died June 23, 2013 of natural causes. Maybe they will meet in Summerland.

Learn more about suicide prevention, warning signs, how to get help for yourself or someone you know:

Learn more about What Dreams May Come, Richard Matheson, and the origins of Summerland: Goodreads.


I’ve waited until nearly the last minute to renew my domain name here on WordPress. It isn’t that I dislike their services or anything, it’s just that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue to pay for a service I’ve barely used.

It’s all me. I just haven’t been writing lately. Not blogging. I have been writing. Writing and submitting and being rejected and waiting and all the fun crap that goes along with writing. I haven’t been posting many new stories here, and even some of the older ones have disappeared, because they are going off into the wild blue yonder to be read and sent back with a note that says, “We really like your creation, but a) it’s not fit for our magazine b) we don’t have room for it in our magazine c) we don’t care d) we hate you. Kidding about those last two. The “we don’t care” usually is communicated by the lack of communication at all, meaning no response whatsoever. No one has ever said they hate me, at least not in a rejection letter.

To say I was at any time disenchanted with the writing world would be inaccurate. I knew and still know the game. Magazines, agents, and publishers are inundated with material. There’s a reason it’s called a slush pile. To say I write as often as I should be would also be inaccurate. I don’t. I procrastinate and get distracted by life in general. I come to choose sleep over writing. Trust me, there was a time when that was not the case. But I’m still trudging along, although slowly.

I’ve thought of self-publishing, been encouraged to, even. Why don’t I self-publish, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. That arena is also inundated, simply over-saturated. Not only that, but it takes money to do it right, and I simply have none.  That’s a lie. I have  some. But, it’s already been allocated to things like food, shelter, and making sure my son is supplied with the things he requires for his  medical condition.

So, I suppose that’s that, then. I renewed my domain here at WordPress because I want to keep writing, and I’m too lazy to go about changing all of the links everywhere on the interwebs to a different address. I also love spam comments, apparently. Kidding. I don’t like spam.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

There are times when I think, This isn’t supposed to be part of my life. Somehow I ended up in someone else’s nightmare. When did I become one of those people things like this happen to?

Wasn’t it enough when my husband’s mistress outed him on the same day I was to leave with my own companion on our “business” trip? She found me in the grocery store buying a bottle of wine she assumed was for my husband and me. Idiotic bitch. Of course I knew he had a mistress. No man spends that much time and money away from home unless he’s fulfilling his needs elsewhere.

I didn’t care. I stopped loving him years ago. Right about the time I discovered his online dating profile claiming he was a widower. I forgave him like all foolish women do for their men. But after a while I got smart. I got a mistress of my own. Except a man. A manstress.

The girl, no more than twenty-five, accosted me right there on the wine aisle between the Rosé and the Merlot. In a resounding voice that came from somewhere beneath her breast implants, she announced she was sleeping with my husband. My response, “Sorry to hear it, Honey.” My husband was a terrible lover. Being touched by him was like being fondled by a fifteen-year-old. Why another woman would want to sleep with him, I’ll never know. I didn’t want to sleep with him. That’s why I found my manstress. He was half my age with the stamina of a varsity rowing team.

The nosey wife of a mutual friend witnessed the event in the grocery store and told her husband who told my husband. When I got home, my husband was waiting for me. He wanted to talk. I wanted to pack my bags and head to the airport. We had a long conversation during which my husband spoon fed me all the same bullshit. He was sorry. He loved me. He didn’t know why he was so selfish and inconsiderate. He didn’t love her. Whatever, Honey. I got two tickets to Phuket and a tanned, toned twenty-three year old waiting for me.

Thanks to my husband’s attempt to keep his ass out of divorce court and free of alimony payments, my manstress and I missed our plane. I used the excuse that I was fed up with my husband’s lies to pack a bag and get the hell out of there. On the way to the airport, I called my lover and we met at a nearby hotel. We couldn’t get another flight until the morning.

“If all the world’s a stage, then this was not part of my script. Somewhere, someone else is reading my lines, playing my part, and I’ve been stuck in their role, for surely this role is not mine. My character was never supposed to turn out this way,” said I.

“But, perhaps it was, and you’re simply unaware because you aren’t able to read ahead,” answered he.

“I don’t like this part of the production at all,” I said as I covered my head with the sheets. “It’s downright miserable, morose and depressing”

“The scales are striking a fair balance; many parts of the production are very good. No production can be completely merry and light. Who’s interested in seeing a performance in which the characters are ideal and perfect?” he asked, pulling the covers from my face. “That wouldn’t be interesting at all.”

“No, we want suffering. We long for it; it’s why we create our own miseries. We loathe them, but they thrill us. I suppose it’s why we strive for imperfection,” I said burying my face in a pillow.

“Perhaps it’s the reason we justify our short-comings. We don’t want happiness; we do everything in our power to remain unhappy, then complain about it.” It was obvious what he was getting at.

“My observations have led me to believe I am not alone in my human imperfection. I would say humanity, but that connotes goodness. The human race is quite lacking in humanity. Myself included. Surely, I understand the failings of my human brethren represent an overall flaw of the species,” I said.

“No one is exempt from these biological, evolutionary, socialized short-comings,” he replied.

“In an ideal world,” I began, ignoring his response, “the term human could be linked with humanity, but in reality – which is never ideal in any way – the term human can be better linked with adjectives such as cruel and bizarre . ”

“Self-pitying, faithless . . .” he interrupted.

“Rude, and worst of all, ignorant,” I finished. “And these are our flaws, as humans. There are more, but I think these cover a pretty wide spectrum of our sadistic, self-serving human behaviors.”

“Are there any human behaviors that are not self-serving?” he asked.

“No,” I answered before rolling over and falling asleep.


I should be blogging more often, but as most of you know my life is kind of, slightly, just a little busy. New readers can learn more about that here, here, and here.  I promise I’ve been writing. Just not blogging. At any rate, I see I have acquired a significant number of new followers lately, and I want to say thanks to you all for following. Thanks to my current and loyal readers, as well. And I hope I can deliver the goods, so to speak, to keep you all entertained and interested in staying on board!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


So I Went Out For Some Tea…

And the strangest thing happened. All right. It wasn’t strange at all. Actually, it’s quite common.

I decided I needed some air and some vitamin D, so I left the confines of CHNOLA and went out into the daylight with the intent of visiting the nearest grocery store for some tea. Tea’s my new thing lately. I stopped drinking coffee because I’m trying to keep my caffeine consumption low. I still drink it, but only decaf, and sometimes it feels like defeating the purpose. Also, I quite enjoy tea, always have. Some days I buy tea in the cafeteria here, but today I forgot, and by tea time, I realized I was out. Hence the field trip.

Went out for tea and returned with Triscuits, Laughing Cow cheese (chipotle!), a bag of sun dried tomatoes, four books, and last but not least, tea.
Went out for tea and returned with Triscuits, Laughing Cow cheese (chipotle!), a bag of sun dried tomatoes, four books, and last but not least, tea.

So by the time I reached the grocery store and saw all the fabulous food there, my stomach decided the salad and yogurt I’d had for lunch just weren’t cutting it. I needed a snack. The Triscuits were a treat, actually. They are full of whole-grain, no doubt, but also full of calories. The sun dried tomatoes were a serendipitous find, as I LOVE sun dried tomatoes and have never seen them sold in the bag before. Snacks galore!

Since I was already out, I convinced myself to visit a used book store just down the road. McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music is a store I’ve been eyeballing for the last year coming to and from CHNOLA. I don’t know why the music is difficult. All music is difficult to me, as I have no musical talent. But I digress…

The smell of old musky tomes struck me as soon as I opened the door, and I’m fairly certain I smiled at the familiar and inviting scent. I love the smell of old books. And new books. But especially old ones. It was rather warm in there, and it only helped intensify the glorious fragrance of the books’ years old pages. It reminded me of visiting the library as a child, and I got the same excited feeling in my gut I’d always gotten back then when my eyes beheld the shelves lined with books.

Hard cover copy of Moby Dick. I opened the book to the last page I'd read online at Goodreads, planted my nose in its binding, and inhaled the intoxicating scent of literature.
Hard cover copy of Moby Dick. I opened the book to the last page I’d read online at Goodreads, planted my nose in its binding, and inhaled the intoxicating scent of literature.

I have a certain love of used books that I don’t have for brand new ones. I love all books, don’t get me wrong, but the old, preowned books have a past. A history, if you will. They are the elderly matriachs and patriachs of literature waiting to share their tales with a new generation. I bought a copy of  The Catcher In The Rye, it’s pages are yellowed and some of them bent up on the edges. While I read it, I don’t just get involved in the story, but also contemplate the book’s past. Was it once an assignment for a high school student who tossed it aside and forgot about it until his or her mother cleaned out the closets? Did a college student sell it to this bookstore in hopes to recoup what little money he or she could in order to pay for basic necessities, a practice not unknown to struggling students? Perhaps it belonged to a professor, and it’s pages are yellowed and bent from being near his or her bedside and read over and over again. These are the kinds of things I consider when I buy used books.

Moby Dick is hiding in that pile somewhere, too.

This is no good for my book hoarding obsession, I admit. I could have walked out with many, many more books. Adopted them from their virtual book shelter, where they’ve been placed in hopes of finding a new home. I promise myself I will read all of the books on my “to-read” list. I will. I’m already halfway through Catcher In The Rye, although I’ve been reading Moby Dick for months. Honestly, there are some books from which I need a short break before picking up again. Such is the case with Cloud Atlas, which I am now finally halfway through, as well. However, in my defense, that one’s on my Kindle app, and after a while my eyeballs are ready to fall out.

Pretty sure I'll be able to finish this one in the next day.
Pretty sure I’ll be able to finish this one in the next day.


My list of books to read is ever-growing, and it will continue to grow. My lust for reading will never be satiated. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who once asked, “What are you going to do when you’ve read up all the books in the world?” I answered, “Write my own.”