My life, aka The story of Two Chairs

I realized that my life revolves almost completely around two chairs.

During my life those two chairs have changed. I get a new job and my chair changed or its location changed but I’m still in a chair. I go home, and my chair is there, sure it moves when we change around the room or when I buy a new chair but its always a chair.

From one chair in the past I made my money, from the other chair I lived my life. Granted my life might have been Video games and books, but I spent most of my day in one chair doing those things. When I was not in that chair I was in another chair trying to get to back to that chair.

Perhaps this comes from being raised by “chair people”, my father has a chair as does my mother. My grandparents had chairs. Everyone I know has a chair.

Is it just me or is the world filled with “chair people”???

I love to hike, but I’m always happy to get back to my chair. I love to travel, but I normally find a temporary chair in my hotel rooms. I even have a chair in my car when I travel, and if I travel with people….. woe to the person who sits in my chair!!

My goal is to get to one chair, and maybe a bed…. unless my chair is really comfortable then just the chair. I want to live and work from the same chair. This is my one chair dream….. as insane as that might sounds.

Them-“Jerry what’s your goal in life?”

Me- “To only need one chair”

Brother and sisters of the chair speak up, tell me your chair stories!!!!! Share this with other chair people you love, we must unite!!! Stand up with me (Or sit), and let the world know that we chair people have a voice…. and we just wont stand for anything anymore….

P.S. Yes I’m ashamed of that last line. I also might have set a record for the most times “chair” was used in a blog post….

Ice Dragon

“Ok Malic you’re up,” Simon said.

Malic latched the pull cord to his harness and prepared to enter the mouth of the serpent. This would be his last dive into the belly of the frozen beast, and his last time on the expedition. Three times out was all that was required to receive a lifetime of extra rations. He knew that he would not survive, but any extra rations were worth it if he did.

“How did the last miner do?” Malic asked Simon

“Made it to the wall, but died before he could grab any” Simon said

“Ok, I’m attached” Malic declared after checking the connections to the pulley system used to drag miners back out.

The colony’s last ember of brimstone was starting to flicker out, they had only days left. After crash-landing on this barren, sunless wasteland centuries ago the discovery of brimstone was what had saved them. At first, it had been easy to get, near to the mouth but had dried up . Over the many centuries, they had nearly hallowed out the belly of the beast. One single coal of brimstone could power their crippled ship for years.

“My last run Simon,” Malic said.

“I know, good luck” Simon responded.

Malic closed his visor on his helmet and made a run for the mouth. Looking up he could see the outline of the giant. The world had become fuzzy to him since his first run, but he was lucky that he was still able to see. Most miners lost all vision the first time on the wall.

The Giants had been long dead when they had crashed on the surface, unknown watchers of a bygone age. Seven other giants rested on the surface, but this was the only dragon. Stories where told to children, but nobody knew what had happened in this place.

Soon the belly of the beast would be mined out, and the city would become another frozen relic. Brimstone was able to power their broken ship but was deadly to all organic matter. The only place it could be found was here, inside this ancient reptile. Without it, there was no other source of fuel. No way to create heat or run the labs that kept them alive.

Malic jumped the teeth and started the long slide down the neck. The deeper he went the more the familiar pressure started to become pain. The scientist might not know what powered brimstone but they did know what it did to people. It would cook a man from the inside out. The longer inside the beast and the closer to the wall the worse the effects.

It was little comfort that no matter what happened they would get him out. No man would be left to cook and then freeze inside the hellish fossil. The only thing renewable was people. Generic engineering in the incubation labs provided both people and food. Malic was happy to have been made a miner. Although in the end, everybody was food.

Malic found his footing and started the run toward the wall.

“How close are you,” Simon said on the intercom.

“Three clicks” Malic managed to say between gasps of pain as his blood started to feel like acid.

Then he could see it, the brimstone vain that embedded in the wall of the beast’s stomach. Malic reached over his head and pulled out his pick. He set the vain in the line of sight of his one good eye.

He screamed out in pain as his skin started to blister. He could smell his body as it began to cook.

“Hold on, Malic” Simon yelled across the intercom.

One click out, his vision went dark. The wall and the brimstone vain would be the last thing he would ever see. He judged his distance and brought the pick down at the right angle to make contact with the wall. Feeling the pick strike true he gurgled a cheer as the brimstone gave way.

Scrambling as fast as he could, he reached into the pouch on the front of his suit and snagged the brimstone bag. Grasping at the ground he found the chunk he had broken off. Generally, he would use tongs, but now blinded, his only hope was to get it in the bag. Grasping the brimstone he screamed as his hand started to break down. He Jammes it into the bag and sealed it.

“Go” He shouted over the intercom as blood started to weep from his skin like sweat. Everything stopped, and there was silence.

He awoke to darkness and sat up gasping for breath.

“Be calm” a voice he recognized as Dr. Hall said in the darkness.

“Brimstone” he managed to say.

“You got it Malic, big chuck, enough to run the ship for years” Dr. Hall responded.

Malic let out a painful sigh of relief, then the darkness took him.

 

Based on writing prompt found here.

 

 

Blood Red Muse

My muse chose me, and her name is the blood red muse. In the annals of history, a muse inspires art and is a singular figure. My muse, the blood red muse, is a soul that hides behind the eyes of those I choose against my will. Its a great irony of life that who we love and who we choose are not necessarily the same. Its here in this space of irony that I find my words I put to paper.

She appears attached to individuals, and when I see her familiar scars I know she is near. She moves with grace through their life, creating mistrust, loneliness, emptiness and suffering all around them. She casts a spell of protection on her new wards, inspiring them to trust her but to love only her.

The blood muse appears to them at their lowest point and rebuilds them. She haphazardly glues back the broken pieces in her own image. She wraps them in an invisible cocoon to protect them, cutting off their ability to connect to others. She teaches them to find happiness in chaos, meaning in despair, and truth in unanswered questions. Broken vessels once filled with hope, she gives them dreams to crash them on her rocky shores.

It is my muse I’m in love with, and the people she touches is who I choose. In their voice I hear her whispering, in their touch her heartbeat. She taunts me when they leave, and tosses another of her pack into my path to lay waste to my happiness. Ever pacing in the background of every conversation, yanking the chain of her new pets if they dare get to close.

Then in the vacuums of her presence, I create words, because it is for her that I write and because of her I dream. So I sit here waiting for her to reappear behind the eyes of another, powerless to her timing. Knowing she is out there preparing the next one, rebuilding the broken pieces, driving them towards me. This is how I know my muse loves me too, because she sends them to me. Broken, untrusting and in pain they will find me; she finds me.

Then silence.

Dont Stack Sins

Life is a tangled mess of pain with brief points of sunlight. Lived better if our sins don’t stalk us. To those ends, I have created rules that I strive to follow.

Rule: Don’t Stack Sins

Life is better if driven by routine, while this is sometimes a matter of debate, it simply is. I eat, write, read, clean and work all based on a routine. My todo list structures my day and I am better for it. Now, and here is the kicker, sometimes I don’t finish my routine or check everything off my list.

Somebody needed my help, I had too much extra stuff to do, I turned the TV on too early (the idiot box will steal your life), or I was just lazy. In my life, I have found that the easiest way to destroy something is to feel guilty about what you did or didn’t do. We then try and push those sins forward as a method to justify our actions. As an example, if my routine is to read fifty pages a day, and it doesn’t happen, my natural instinct is to push those pages forward to the next day…. 100 pages.

So on down the rabbit hole, we push sins forward and stack them with a new day. I have seen this happen with time as well if we don’t get to spend time with our family or kids we push that time forward. Sleep.. oh my goodness sleep.. everyone pushes that forward.

Stop it, do your list, spend time with your family or sleep but don’t stack sins. Nor should you feel guilty about not finishing whats todo. Life is a cumulative process of small things that happen over a long time, and guilt is a useless emotion because it lacks structure.

Live life as a broken series of days, not as one long narrative. Your life won’t be decided today, but the story of your life will be written one day at a time. Yesterday has no place today, and tomorrow will take care of tomorrow. Forgive yourself of unfished lists, words spoken, words unspoken and deeds that are done/undone. Forgive yourself each morning and start new. That list needs to be worked, and its heavy enough without the sins of the past stacked on top of it.

Packard Rules:

R1: Don’t Stack Sins

Demon Authors

I write because I read, and I read because I write. Intertwined inside of the balance of the two I find meaning. This meaning isn’t internal, its a very real external reality that I can feel. The written word has weight, smell and a temperature that is as real to me as a touched flame.

While I write, words flow without my being a part of the process. Only after the words are on the page do I play a role as I read and edit. Almost alien to me where the ideas come from I cut and splice and plot and rewrite until it makes sense until it is mine.

Reading is a very personal thing, almost intimate. Scripture creates hope, allowing me to ignore the noise of daily life. Then during the day, tombs of fiction remove me from my current location and take me to an imaginary world. A world very much alive with details from novels consumed over the decades. Characters draw water from the kitchen of Dean Koontz the Watchers. Another stops for gas at the gas station from the Stand by Stephen King. The characters in what I’m reading move in and out of other storylines without apology.

Audiobooks are my popcorn, listened too as a snack between meals of reading. They float in the background as I buy groceries, drive or walk on the treadmill. I’m often forced to listen several times because I missed a part. Normally while studying how many carbs these chips have or the calories in that juice. They work as a shield against the others. Earbuds in nobody bothers me, my popcorn armor against the mass of humanity that doesn’t add value to my life.

These types of books give me hope that I can write. My crafted worlds come from the towns and locations partially created by these creative thinkers. Then at night, the lights go out and my demons come. In the darkness before sleep I clutch my iPad and read in suffering silence. Shakespeare, Jules Vern, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, Orwell, Steinbeck, and the other masters pummel me with artfully crafted words that leave me both ecstatic with awe and in complete depression at their talent. These writing Gods unparalleled in their ability to craft words, leaving me emotionally drained and broken.

Then sleep, and the morning. To do it over again… my writing, my fiction, my popcorn and my demons.

I Am Legion

My alter ego… lets call him Robert…. sneaks around the edge of my brain when I’m writing. When I’m working on my current project, he likes to slide memos about a zombie books we should be working on under my door. He fidgets and refuses to pay attention when I’m working on my plot and outlines.

He wants to google author salaries and tell me how writing for my chosen genre is a disaster. He agrees with the demons that crawl out from under my bed at night that I’m simply not good enough for anyone to want to read. Robert laughs when I get writers block, and cackles when I slam my IPad shut with frustration. He smiles when I just cant find the words to take the beautiful things I see in my head and convert them to the blinking dot on the page.

He is however the one to steps up and thumps his chest when somebody asks me what I’ve been working on. Robert likes to tell everyone that we are a “writer”, even tho I have never published anything.

I’m terrified when I think about how much work I have to do still, while he is off planning to write four novels a year.

Robert is a jerk, but I cant write without him. He protects me from having to worry abut that stuff myself, so I can just write…. everyday…. day after day. He worries about the things of the world, so I dont have too, so I can play in the field of ideas and bleed my ideas onto the page. Always right there over my shoulder, telling me I’m awful but whispering in my ear when I cant find the next word.

When I give up, he takes over and works on his projects. He tells me to rest, that my work for the day is done. He makes me a cup of tea, and finds me a blanket to crawl up under. Then and only then does he put his fingers to the keyboard. I rest in the sound of the keyboard clicking as he writes about things I dont have the heart to face. The demons slide out of his fingertips onto the page, without effort. Then when he puts the last period on the last sentence they stay on the page. I’m jealous of that gift, for he is my demon and not so easily silenced.

It’s a love hate relationship. He intimidates me… and i have to have him. In the morning when I’m drinking my coffee he tells me how many words I have to write that day. He looks over my shoulder and tells me to stop editing and finish something….. anything. He makes it ok for me create crappy first drafts because, he just wants them done. Then when he is distracted with a shinny bobble, I hide off in the corner poking at the squiggly red lines trying to make them go away.

I do not now, nor have I ever feared him. The only fear I have, is not that Robert doesn’t exist, but that at the end of the day, when all the ink drys. I might find that there never was a Jerry.