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E. A. Irwin ~ Dark Fiction Bender

P. A. Matthews
Official site for Riley McCabe series

Dirt Beneath the Shamrocks

Dust Covered

Posted on March 2, 2015 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Please excuse all the dust in here. Currently, I am reworking this site with updates for newly published works as well as sharing what has happened with unfinished works and my goals for the future. I am also looking into moving my pages in hopes of getting feedback from a larger audience.

I will admit I have had some personal setbacks. What is life without those to conquer? :D But look forward to having this little piece of Shamrock Dirt prosper.

Please feel free to share your ideas. And please sign the guestbook when you visit, otherwise I have to guess at who left the finger and footprints on the pages.

Thank you all for visiting. Please return soon.

Ta,

E. A. Irwin

 

 

The Green Grass of Christmas

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Truth, most times, is stranger than fiction. I present to you today something which could never be made up. A strange little tale from the annals of my personal life ... shocking, though true. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

 

 

The Green Grass of Christmas

 

 

 

by E. A. Irwin

 

 

 

“You want what?”

 

 

I stared into the small, bloodshot, piggy eyes of my next-door neighbor. His appearance resembled one of the members of ZZ Top—an out of shape, bare-footed, frighteningly tattooed, cigarette-sucking, beer-swilling member none of the group wanted. I didn’t even mind tattoos. Some ink is quite beautiful; however, his were just plain ol’ ugly. Did I mention his fingernails resembled yellowed eagle talons?

 

 

He’d been rejected by ZZ Top and me. Sans guitar, sans anything that would make his standing on my front porch on a Sunday morning more intriguing, or more attractive, although, he did wear a baseball hat covering his out of control frizzy yellow head of hair which blessedly cast a shadow on his less than appealing features. Unfortunately, the shadow cast wasn’t dark or deep enough to prevent me from gawking at the teeth that matched the level of hair color, rushing quickly toward brown barn boards.

 

 

The urgent desire to vote him invisible accelerated through me faster than if I’d sucked on an extra strong tea bag while eating Sugar Pops. The level of his performance attempted to be somewhat original though; just couldn’t wait to hear the profanity sure to come as he honed his watery, blue pig eyes on mine.

 

  

Insanity began with this back story: I informed the gardener he didn’t need to trim the hedges, since the last time he’d cut them back I waited almost an entire day to look at them, knowing his expertise with a hedge-trimmer was similar to doing chemistry in an Easy Bake kitchen. Let me just say when I did look expletives exploded in my head, raining like the last bright white, phosphorescent bursting Fourth of July firework—causing a really saucy curse word to exit my mouth. But the man really was one of the nicest gardeners we’ve ever had, even if he was shorter than me by several inches, and I’m not tall, thus making it decisively difficult for him to get the correct stance on the stool I’d provided for his gardening feats.

 

 

I have five large hedges. Personally, I like their fluffy outgrowth and usually cut the hedges until I’m no longer able to reach the height differential with the electric hedge-trimmer known by me as the vibrating dead severed leg. I loosed the gardener with his trimmer. Shame on me. Now that I’m positive that his expertise isn’t bushes, we’re fine, just too much angst on my part due to his getting paid for making them ugly.

 

 

Had I tried for geometric puzzle shapes to compete in upcoming gardening magazine design layouts, I was on my way. I now possessed two parallelograms, a trapezoid, and one suspiciously resembling a rhombus. The remaining bush he hadn’t touched (apparently his search for three-hundred and sixty degrees on each bush had boggled his mind to the point of anarchy) so luckily it still remained in a gentle round blob. Geometry gone wild, and he hadn’t even tried. In fact, he’d been quite proud he’d accomplished so much with his hedge-trimmer, and what he’d used to get those really fine cuts down the sides—his weed eater. Truly a man of many talents and wonders, so I’m back to doing them, dragging out my trimmer, holding the vibrating severed leg over my head until I’m finished.

 

 

But I digressed. As I mentioned, I’d interrupted the gardener’s conversation with my neighbor, a dual purpose since the ZZ Top wannabe was preventing him from doing his job. Not that I don’t want the gardener to obtain further employment or mind him having unusual friends, I just don’t want him getting in the middle of what I sense coming; Ol’ Long Beard making some demand of the gardener, me, or the people that live in my house. Basically, I don’t want ZZ around. Period.

 

 

Apparently, the lilting sound of my voice reached the gardener’s ears. He turned, acknowledging my presence with a seemingly desperate and heightened expression. Like, could I come out and get between him and yellow teeth so he could get back to work?

 

 

No. He’s an adult. He’s a man. I’m a short non-confrontational woman who just wants the lawn mown and edged. Besides, my voting ZZ invisible hadn’t worked, and the bag of incantations for insipid bothersome neighbors was truly empty, its last power depleted on my previous attempt at community peace with him. Suffice it to say, ZZ’s last foray into his realm of persecution, while screaming dim-witted and disgusting insults, resulted in me staring into those creepy eyes and demanding he bite me. Simple. Au contraire, nothing is ever simple as we march toward world peace and ZZ’s version of world dominance.

 

 

As the gardener acknowledged me, I quickly turned to retreat into the inner sanctum of my home, my wishes known, and my job completed until he is handed a check for his work. Unfortunately, the neighbor also witnessed me, heard my voice as it spoke words intended for instruction, ignoring the fact it was definitely not an invitation for interaction between us. Hiding on my porch as the bush spoke to the gardener reached fail safe. I heard those words. Words I’d rather not hear. “I want to speak to you.”

 

 

I ignored him. Not nice, don’t care. He raised his coffee cup, as if noticing the odd-shaped pottery thrown on some off-kilter potter’s wheel would grab my attention and hypnotize me into conversation. The cup? One of those clay things in the shape of a triangle with a flat bottom and a small hole in the top so liquid doesn’t slosh unknowingly onto your car’s interior—some weird tri-color combination which clashed with his otherworldly appearance, the only color in harmony that of muddy brown resembling his teeth. Another influx of geometry to make my brain hurt.

 

 

The plea of his triangle cup fell on deaf ears. I stepped inside, watching through the security door to see if he was going to cross the border like a welcomed guest. Yep, the yellow man cometh—straight to my door, his sense of boundaries unknown to him and his kith and kin. Another thing which bothered me far more than any tragically cut hedge could ever accomplish. An infiltrator he was. Come to lay his form of crap on my porch like a member of the Hell’s Angels Taliban. Life was always his way, none other existed.

 

 

Side note: The man has the smallest stride I’ve ever seen in a man. What was with the teeny, tiny steps the likes of which I haven’t witnessed since Fred Flintstone approached the bowling lane to throw a strike? As he pitter-pattered his way toward my door, I couldn’t even think about what to say, too mesmerized by those baby steps, as I imagined him toppling off bright red stilettos onto the sidewalk. Perhaps he wasn’t aware the coffee couldn’t escape the triangle cup no matter how big of steps he took. The sight of him became intriguing in the worst possible way, as I struggled with the urge to laugh hysterically, while yelling something inappropriate. I bit my lip and remained mute not wanting to stoke the fire building in his belly.

 

 

One step, two, up on the porch, I see you. He bore an expression only his odd features could capture. Something was on his mind, and he was going to be a neighbor in the most ingratiating form. Falsely pleasant, with a giant plop of humility on the side.

 

 

I stepped from my living room in an attempt to stop the pollution of his person from entering my sanctuary, while sparing those inside the travesty of his words as he worked up some sort of outlaw conversation. He spoke. The wannabe possessed one of the most unusual voices, muffled, yet strangely piercing as it reached your ears doing a dance of insanity while it pushed along the auditory canal. The man was slightly deaf; most assuredly from listening to head-banger metal most of his life. I listened to the oddity of his speech, suddenly transfixed on his piggy eyes, yellow beard and ochre teeth, the bare feet and vastly protruding beer gut, and longed to pull the baseball cap lower so I no longer had to stare at the freak. The tenor of his voice soon became background noise while my eyes took in the troll before me.

 

 

I stood on the porch, my Tara, waiting for his words to ignite the fires that would inevitably burn. My best conversation was going to be short, an economy of words just to get him gone. “What.”

 

 

“I like Christmas. I really like to decorate for the season.”

 

 

This was September. We’d just had Labor Day, and were nowhere near celebrating scaring each other on Halloween, hadn’t had a chance to honor the veterans, for pity’s sake we hadn’t gotten to eat turkey or be thankful at Thanksgiving. Besides, I’d seen his decorating; the opportunity of not witnessing it again waged uppermost in my mind.

 

 

I’d been known to decorate at Christmas. Sometimes the hedges become giant packages tied up in red ribbons leading the way to my home, though I’ll admit one year wasn’t my finest. I’d purchased sets of lights all strung on a grid, placing them strategically over my hedges, hoping a soft glow of illumination would enhance the winter’s night. I was wrong. I know I was wrong, because all I saw in the winter’s night was a grid for algebraic equations. I couldn’t find X or Y, and am still unsure if I had traversed into negative numbers, and couldn’t remove the suckers since everything got tied up nice and pretty in those red bows. I understood the mistake and those lights never went up again.

 

 

His decorations? Well, some strands of mismatched lights still hung in their catawampus positions from last year, his form of decorating similar to his disarranged mind. Last year a scarecrow sat in its prominent position on the bale of hay along with a reindeer and various other tributes to the holidays. Frightening in the worst possible way, as if someone decorated while on LSD. I take that back. That comment was unfair to those losing their minds on hallucinogens—he’s just tacky.

 

 

I contemplated what to say, his statement expected some sort of response. “And?”

 

 

“I really like to do it up, like things really nice and I want to see a sea of green lawn for Christmas. I spoke with the gardener to have him seed our lawns and put something special on it so it will remain green across both properties.”

 

 

Something special? Wasn’t part of the promise of winter and cold weather simply that the grass stopped growing and you didn’t have to tend to it? Wasn’t this the circle of life for grass, undisturbed by my interfering with water and seed? Wasn’t this Bermuda grass at its finest?

 

“You want what?”

 

 

“Don’t worry about the expense; I’ll pay for everything to get us going.”

 

 

The visions dancing in my head weren’t sugarplums, but invoices for winter rye, fertilizer and all the water wasted on sod meant to die in December. Besides the fact I didn’t want grass, was the mere fact the man had the nerve to usurp our authority as landowners because he’d decided his cockamamie idea was sound. Moreover, he never followed through with anything having to do with money, upkeep of the property he rented, etc., etc. The water flow from his home during the summer season rivaled that of release from the Hoover Dam. I could only imagine how much it would take to sustain winter rye, a grass discouraged by our town because of the water issue.

 

 

Christmas was supposed to reflect a wintry feeling unless you lived in a land down under. My thoughts ran to decorating with snow, a scene from Currier and Ives complete with horses and sleighs, or at least layers of polyester batting to simulate a snowy landscape—not the greens of Pebble Beach. A migraine formed somewhere near my left eye socket as he spoke in a voice that sounded slightly mechanical. But wait! He wasn’t through. He hadn’t even looked in my eyes to notice I wasn’t hip to his request.

 

 

A voice spoke from the darkness of my home. Great, the man brought forth someone dwelling within. My attempt at circumventing the situation screeched to a halt.

 

 

“Get off my property, no one here is interested in anything you have to say.”

 

 

Strangely, by this time, I wanted to hear what was truly going on in that drug and alcohol induced sponge he used for brain. He was beginning to give information, as the person inside thwarted my efforts to extract what was really on his feeble, wannabe brain.

 

 

He pointed to the door. “Why do they have to be like that? I just came over to try to be neighborly, they’re a real—”

 

 

A fight ensued between the dark and the yellow troll on my porch. Expletives escaped him at rapid-fire speed as he cocked his oral gun, shooting rounds of verbal ammo straight into my face. Ah yes, now we were back to reality. I thought I might have had to endure more of his traipsing through nicety while I mentally poked a meat fork between my eyes to alleviate the migraine pain. He continued backing me against the security door. I prayed I’d become liquid and ooze through its holes like a sieve in an effort to escape not only his insulting attitude, but his cigarette, coffee-laden stinky breath.

 

 

“You’re on my property, insulting my family; no one’s interested in green grass during winter.” I tried to be nice … honest.

 

 

His demeanor changed faster than a lighting strike. More expletives completed his neighborly visit as he tiny-stepped his way off my porch, signaling his discontent with a finger well placed above my tidy, shorn hedge. The gardener gaped in disbelief, his speed finishing the yard surpassing his ability to do a good job. I just thanked God his weed eater hadn’t cut crop circles in the lawn while speeding toward a hasty finish.

 

 

I approached the gardener with a tentative grin, embarrassed he had heard the ramblings of insanity from the yellow man. “I don’t think we’ll have green grass for Christmas.”

 

 

I watched the wannabe tripping along, his delicate step in direct contrast to his wretchedly, vulgar person, inside and out. His attempt at world dominance once again thwarted his loss of ultimate control over life on my street a hollow victory to me, his neighbor. He’d never understand, and he’d forgotten the most important thing about ZZ Top wannabes. There’s just something about a sharp-dressed man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© E. A. Irwin

 

The Green Grass of Christmas

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (6)

 

Truth, most times, is stranger than fiction. I present to you today something which could never be made up. A strange little tale from the annals of my personal life ... shocking, though true. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

 

 

The Green Grass of Christmas

 

 

 

by E. A. Irwin

 

 

 

“You want what?”

 

 

I stared into the small, bloodshot, piggy eyes of my next-door neighbor. His appearance resembled one of the members of ZZ Top—an out of shape, bare-footed, frighteningly tattooed, cigarette-sucking, beer-swilling member none of the group wanted. I didn’t even mind tattoos. Some ink is quite beautiful; however, his were just plain ol’ ugly. Did I mention his fingernails resembled yellowed eagle talons?

 

 

He’d been rejected by ZZ Top and me. Sans guitar, sans anything that would make his standing on my front porch on a Sunday morning more intriguing, or more attractive, although, he did wear a baseball hat covering his out of control frizzy yellow head of hair which blessedly cast a shadow on his less than appealing features. Unfortunately, the shadow cast wasn’t dark or deep enough to prevent me from gawking at the teeth that matched the level of hair color, rushing quickly toward brown barn boards.

 

 

The urgent desire to vote him invisible accelerated through me faster than if I’d sucked on an extra strong tea bag while eating Sugar Pops. The level of his performance attempted to be somewhat original though; just couldn’t wait to hear the profanity sure to come as he honed his watery, blue pig eyes on mine.

 

 

 

Insanity began with this back story: I informed the gardener he didn’t need to trim the hedges, since the last time he’d cut them back I waited almost an entire day to look at them, knowing his expertise with a hedge-trimmer was similar to doing chemistry in an Easy Bake kitchen. Let me just say when I did look expletives exploded in my head, raining like the last bright white, phosphorescent bursting Fourth of July firework—causing a really saucy curse word to exit my mouth. But the man really was one of the nicest gardeners we’ve ever had, even if he was shorter than me by several inches, and I’m not tall, thus making it decisively difficult for him to get the correct stance on the stool I’d provided for his gardening feats.

 

 

I have five large hedges. Personally, I like their fluffy outgrowth and usually cut the hedges until I’m no longer able to reach the height differential with the electric hedge-trimmer known by me as the vibrating dead severed leg. I loosed the gardener with his trimmer. Shame on me. Now that I’m positive that his expertise isn’t bushes, we’re fine, just too much angst on my part due to his getting paid for making them ugly.

 

 

Had I tried for geometric puzzle shapes to compete in upcoming gardening magazine design layouts, I was on my way. I now possessed two parallelograms, a trapezoid, and one suspiciously resembling a rhombus. The remaining bush he hadn’t touched (apparently his search for three-hundred and sixty degrees on each bush had boggled his mind to the point of anarchy) so luckily it still remained in a gentle round blob. Geometry gone wild, and he hadn’t even tried. In fact, he’d been quite proud he’d accomplished so much with his hedge-trimmer, and what he’d used to get those really fine cuts down the sides—his weed eater. Truly a man of many talents and wonders, so I’m back to doing them, dragging out my trimmer, holding the vibrating severed leg over my head until I’m finished.

 

 

But I digressed. As I mentioned, I’d interrupted the gardener’s conversation with my neighbor, a dual purpose since the ZZ Top wannabe was preventing him from doing his job. Not that I don’t want the gardener to obtain further employment or mind him having unusual friends, I just don’t want him getting in the middle of what I sense coming; Ol’ Long Beard making some demand of the gardener, me, or the people that live in my house. Basically, I don’t want ZZ around. Period.

 

 

Apparently, the lilting sound of my voice reached the gardener’s ears. He turned, acknowledging my presence with a seemingly desperate and heightened expression. Like, could I come out and get between him and yellow teeth so he could get back to work?

 

 

No. He’s an adult. He’s a man. I’m a short non-confrontational woman who just wants the lawn mown and edged. Besides, my voting ZZ invisible hadn’t worked, and the bag of incantations for insipid bothersome neighbors was truly empty, its last power depleted on my previous attempt at community peace with him. Suffice it to say, ZZ’s last foray into his realm of persecution, while screaming dim-witted and disgusting insults, resulted in me staring into those creepy eyes and demanding he bite me. Simple. Au contraire, nothing is ever simple as we march toward world peace and ZZ’s version of world dominance.

 

 

As the gardener acknowledged me, I quickly turned to retreat into the inner sanctum of my home, my wishes known, and my job completed until he is handed a check for his work. Unfortunately, the neighbor also witnessed me, heard my voice as it spoke words intended for instruction, ignoring the fact it was definitely not an invitation for interaction between us. Hiding on my porch as the bush spoke to the gardener reached fail safe. I heard those words. Words I’d rather not hear. “I want to speak to you.”

 

 

I ignored him. Not nice, don’t care. He raised his coffee cup, as if noticing the odd-shaped pottery thrown on some off-kilter potter’s wheel would grab my attention and hypnotize me into conversation. The cup? One of those clay things in the shape of a triangle with a flat bottom and a small hole in the top so liquid doesn’t slosh unknowingly onto your car’s interior—some weird tri-color combination which clashed with his otherworldly appearance, the only color in harmony that of muddy brown resembling his teeth. Another influx of geometry to make my brain hurt.

 

 

The plea of his triangle cup fell on deaf ears. I stepped inside, watching through the security door to see if he was going to cross the border like a welcomed guest. Yep, the yellow man cometh—straight to my door, his sense of boundaries unknown to him and his kith and kin. Another thing which bothered me far more than any tragically cut hedge could ever accomplish. An infiltrator he was. Come to lay his form of crap on my porch like a member of the Hell’s Angels Taliban. Life was always his way, none other existed.

 

 

Side note: The man has the smallest stride I’ve ever seen in a man. What was with the teeny, tiny steps the likes of which I haven’t witnessed since Fred Flintstone approached the bowling lane to throw a strike? As he pitter-pattered his way toward my door, I couldn’t even think about what to say, too mesmerized by those baby steps, as I imagined him toppling off bright red stilettos onto the sidewalk. Perhaps he wasn’t aware the coffee couldn’t escape the triangle cup no matter how big of steps he took. The sight of him became intriguing in the worst possible way, as I struggled with the urge to laugh hysterically, while yelling something inappropriate. I bit my lip and remained mute not wanting to stoke the fire building in his belly.

 

 

One step, two, up on the porch, I see you. He bore an expression only his odd features could capture. Something was on his mind, and he was going to be a neighbor in the most ingratiating form. Falsely pleasant, with a giant plop of humility on the side.

 

 

I stepped from my living room in an attempt to stop the pollution of his person from entering my sanctuary, while sparing those inside the travesty of his words as he worked up some sort of outlaw conversation. He spoke. The wannabe possessed one of the most unusual voices, muffled, yet strangely piercing as it reached your ears doing a dance of insanity while it pushed along the auditory canal. The man was slightly deaf; most assuredly from listening to head-banger metal most of his life. I listened to the oddity of his speech, suddenly transfixed on his piggy eyes, yellow beard and ochre teeth, the bare feet and vastly protruding beer gut, and longed to pull the baseball cap lower so I no longer had to stare at the freak. The tenor of his voice soon became background noise while my eyes took in the troll before me.

 

 

I stood on the porch, my Tara, waiting for his words to ignite the fires that would inevitably burn. My best conversation was going to be short, an economy of words just to get him gone. “What.”

 

 

“I like Christmas. I really like to decorate for the season.”

 

 

This was September. We’d just had Labor Day, and were nowhere near celebrating scaring each other on Halloween, hadn’t had a chance to honor the veterans, for pity’s sake we hadn’t gotten to eat turkey or be thankful at Thanksgiving. Besides, I’d seen his decorating; the opportunity of not witnessing it again waged uppermost in my mind.

 

 

I’d been known to decorate at Christmas. Sometimes the hedges become giant packages tied up in red ribbons leading the way to my home, though I’ll admit one year wasn’t my finest. I’d purchased sets of lights all strung on a grid, placing them strategically over my hedges, hoping a soft glow of illumination would enhance the winter’s night. I was wrong. I know I was wrong, because all I saw in the winter’s night was a grid for algebraic equations. I couldn’t find X or Y, and am still unsure if I had traversed into negative numbers, and couldn’t remove the suckers since everything got tied up nice and pretty in those red bows. I understood the mistake and those lights never went up again.

 

 

His decorations? Well, some strands of mismatched lights still hung in their catawampus positions from last year, his form of decorating similar to his disarranged mind. Last year a scarecrow sat in its prominent position on the bale of hay along with a reindeer and various other tributes to the holidays. Frightening in the worst possible way, as if someone decorated while on LSD. I take that back. That comment was unfair to those losing their minds on hallucinogens—he’s just tacky.

 

 

I contemplated what to say, his statement expected some sort of response. “And?”

 

 

“I really like to do it up, like things really nice and I want to see a sea of green lawn for Christmas. I spoke with the gardener to have him seed our lawns and put something special on it so it will remain green across both properties.”

 

 

Something special? Wasn’t part of the promise of winter and cold weather simply that the grass stopped growing and you didn’t have to tend to it? Wasn’t this the circle of life for grass, undisturbed by my interfering with water and seed? Wasn’t this Bermuda grass at its finest?

 

“You want what?”

 

 

“Don’t worry about the expense; I’ll pay for everything to get us going.”

 

 

The visions dancing in my head weren’t sugarplums, but invoices for winter rye, fertilizer and all the water wasted on sod meant to die in December. Besides the fact I didn’t want grass, was the mere fact the man had the nerve to usurp our authority as landowners because he’d decided his cockamamie idea was sound. Moreover, he never followed through with anything having to do with money, upkeep of the property he rented, etc., etc. The water flow from his home during the summer season rivaled that of release from the Hoover Dam. I could only imagine how much it would take to sustain winter rye, a grass discouraged by our town because of the water issue.

 

 

Christmas was supposed to reflect a wintry feeling unless you lived in a land down under. My thoughts ran to decorating with snow, a scene from Currier and Ives complete with horses and sleighs, or at least layers of polyester batting to simulate a snowy landscape—not the greens of Pebble Beach. A migraine formed somewhere near my left eye socket as he spoke in a voice that sounded slightly mechanical. But wait! He wasn’t through. He hadn’t even looked in my eyes to notice I wasn’t hip to his request.

 

 

A voice spoke from the darkness of my home. Great, the man brought forth someone dwelling within. My attempt at circumventing the situation screeched to a halt.

 

 

“Get off my property, no one here is interested in anything you have to say.”

 

 

Strangely, by this time, I wanted to hear what was truly going on in that drug and alcohol induced sponge he used for brain. He was beginning to give information, as the person inside thwarted my efforts to extract what was really on his feeble, wannabe brain.

 

 

He pointed to the door. “Why do they have to be like that? I just came over to try to be neighborly, they’re a real—”

 

 

A fight ensued between the dark and the yellow troll on my porch. Expletives escaped him at rapid-fire speed as he cocked his oral gun, shooting rounds of verbal ammo straight into my face. Ah yes, now we were back to reality. I thought I might have had to endure more of his traipsing through nicety while I mentally poked a meat fork between my eyes to alleviate the migraine pain. He continued backing me against the security door. I prayed I’d become liquid and ooze through its holes like a sieve in an effort to escape not only his insulting attitude, but his cigarette, coffee-laden stinky breath.

 

 

“You’re on my property, insulting my family; no one’s interested in green grass during winter.” I tried to be nice … honest.

 

 

His demeanor changed faster than a lighting strike. More expletives completed his neighborly visit as he tiny-stepped his way off my porch, signaling his discontent with a finger well placed above my tidy, shorn hedge. The gardener gaped in disbelief, his speed finishing the yard surpassing his ability to do a good job. I just thanked God his weed eater hadn’t cut crop circles in the lawn while speeding toward a hasty finish.

 

 

I approached the gardener with a tentative grin, embarrassed he had heard the ramblings of insanity from the yellow man. “I don’t think we’ll have green grass for Christmas.”

 

 

I watched the wannabe tripping along, his delicate step in direct contrast to his wretchedly, vulgar person, inside and out. His attempt at world dominance once again thwarted his loss of ultimate control over life on my street a hollow victory to me, his neighbor. He’d never understand, and he’d forgotten the most important thing about ZZ Top wannabes. There’s just something about a sharp-dressed man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© E. A. Irwin

 

 

 

 

Enjoy other authors' Tuesday's Tales here.

 

 

My Karma Wheel is Flat

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM Comments comments (4)

Author Note: Not everything I write is dark ... or is it? I thought I'd share something I wrote a while ago and post it here just for fun. Truth is often stranger than fiction. You'll have to decide whether it's dark or not.

 

 

My Karma wheel is flat. The thing suffered a freakish blow out sending shreds of radial steel bats flying without radar into oncoming and unsuspecting participants in life. Gone flat due to some unknown intersecting moment when my life ricocheted uncontrollably and got caught in the pointy spokes of another’s wheel while trying to avoid the inevitability of it running over me.

 

I heard someone state they wrote a column in a constant stream of consciousness. What the heck was that supposed to mean? Her pen was somehow directly connected to an astral plane? Her writing ability surpassed the mundane of this realm? Maybe I’m feeling a tad peckish and hyper-critical, but come on. Her column was about her life as she saw it, not some missive inspired by God.

 

I think that’s when it happened, the blow out I mean. A nail pierced my brain as she made that statement. Perhaps it was the four-inch stiletto heel on the pair of slides precariously dangling from her big toe, her toenails painted rich carmine as if she’d already done dangerous injury with the thing.

  

  

 

It was late in the night when I saw her; perhaps I hadn’t heard her correctly. Yet, there was that nagging pain in my right temple from her shoe’s steel shank when it penetrated my brain giving the coincidence credence. I refocused on the face from which the claim of higher plane writing had left, sure my first impression had been one of falling asleep while dreaming of a pedicure and the person speaking would actually look like a college professor or at least someone I could take seriously.

 

 

Perhaps she had a college degree, the interviewer never asked. The woman was famous and not known for her intellect, which doesn’t necessarily mean she didn’t possess one. After all, she’d turned her natural and unnatural attributes into a million dollar industry—a phenomenon of blonde babe.A collage of big breasts, big blonde hair, and a self-possessing attitude bigger than anyone could maintain without mind-altering medication.

 

Okay, I’m blonde, have ample cleavage, been known to wear stiletto heels and paint my nails deep red. I’ve even worn too much makeup at times in my life. But as I looked at her I was simply amazed. How could twins look so dissimilar? We had all the same characteristics, yet mine were arranged, or disarranged, into something so drastically different. They were in the same places, however mine just didn’t look like hers. I don’t think anyone’s could. Plus, I never derived astral status as a writer from my physical attributes. Sorry, again with the peckish attitude, my fault not hers.

 

 

So, as I watched in amazement at the interview playing itself out on my television, I began to wonder why I’d been dumbfounded with her saying such a thing out loud and believing it. The interviewer ate it up whole as he baited her with more tawdry talk, encouraging the insanity coming from her mouth while she chewed gum and tossed her crossed leg. Mesmerized, I hone in on the shoe, waiting for it to fly from her bare foot and careen off the interviewer’s head, or get caught in his long curly hair. Frankly, I know I would have appreciated seeing that bit of reality television rather than the ingratiating schmoozing between the interviewer and interviewee quickly dissolving into a sort of soft porn pillow talk.

 

What did I expect from those two, some roundtable discussion on Gestalt, or why certain birds no longer migrated? Although I’m sure those subjects would have been brought up if she’d wanted, and he could guarantee she would remove her clothing after speaking with decisive sincerity on said items. Basically, all he wanted was a nude body sitting opposite him as he spoke inane tributes to her attributes. Her clothing remained firmly intact; a testament to her belief in herself as a sex goddess, all the while soothing his flagrant comments with a little teasing laugh and a pretty pout. 

  

The more I watched the more ludicrous it became. I honestly couldn’t believe she’d ever written anything other than signing her name with an ‘X’, but there she sat with a bestseller and a column firmly under her tightly cinched belt, proclaiming the stream of consciousness ran through with such thoroughness it left little doubt she’d earned her right to write. Maybe she was a good author. I’ll probably never know. Not sure I wanted to know. Think I was afraid to know. 

 

The tire may have also gone flat when it ran over my head while I laid in bed watching the farce before me. Gone flat from striking the pen struck behind my ear, or by the myriad of writing implements I fall asleep with while attempting to pen the next great novel. I was just lucky I hadn’t swallowed the white eraser thinking it was a late night treat of a marshmallow as the insanity of the pair continued to swirl complement after complement into some out of control back-patting ritual. And since it was almost the correct size, I could easily cram the eraser into the bloody hole she’d left in my temple when her shoe impaled me.

 

I finally released myself from television bondage by finding the remote, which had been tossed among the pens and spiral notebooks, and turned the insanity off. Lucky me; the imprint of her still remained solidly plastered against my closed eyelids.

 

What difference did it make if she wrote a book and had huge success with it? Wasn’t that one of the reasons people wrote, for success? I really didn’t begrudge her success, it was just the way she claimed it that bugged me. She could have spoken for days on her triumphs as a writer and it wouldn’t have bothered me in the least. It was that one statement. Eight little words strung together in a sentence sent across the airwaves. “I write in a constant stream of consciousness.”

  

I write in my pajamas, or in my favorite purple t-shirt that has a certain Flashdance appearance to it since I leaned over my car engine to check the transmission fluid and my left breast came to rest on the battery and the result was acid burning in random patterns through the shirt and onto skin. Little side note: It’s just hard to look stunningly kittenish and stylish when checking automobile fluids. It’s still my favorite shirt though, washed to soft perfection along with too big cotton knit pants and a sweatshirt I’ve cut up the center which now resembles a shrunken bolero. My slides are slippers that once bore me up on their bouncy foam soles creating a Tigger appearance to my gait, but are now as flat as my Karma wheel. 

 

Revelation hit. Was I letting my twin down, not fathoming the difficulty having to write that article and book while remaining on the top of her game as a sex goddess? Was she at the pinnacle of success while all the men tried to look up her dress? What was she really like beneath all the plaster of fame she’d spread on her face with a trowel. Even though she had a certain persona, one she’d carefully crafted to perfection in a man’s world, had she wanted to remain there or was it a trap of trash she’d grown used to? Didn’t know … did I care? Did she like the men constantly fawning over her, or did that too grow as tiresome as the interviewer’s insipid questions? I just had no frame of reference. The only constant man in my life was Merriam Webster and he never complained how many times I used him or fell off the bed.

  

Perhaps we weren’t twins at all, but just a freakish couple of blondes with their own set of rules and comfort levels for writing. Each taking a different road toward the end result—getting the book written and published. My fame never would hang on my good looks or body manipulation. My road different as I struggled with the mundane and avoided the temptation to make stupid and trite remarks no matter how many lived inside my twisted brain wanting to strike unsuspecting victims. The wheels had collided in an effort to regulate the universe they dwelt in, the astral and the ordinary, making it somehow even.

 

I’ve kept my wheel flat for now, a reminder of what I want. To keep writing my story, the one I want to tell. The one I’m happy with. Then put it aside while I write another. I think I’ll avoid the stream of consciousness knowing I might drown in its current.  

 

I’m also going to dig in my closet tomorrow and find those slides I put away and paint my toenails deep carmine, practice dangling my shoe for my own perverse pleasure. Even as I laid in bed, I dreamt of a new tomorrow and practiced my interviewing techniques … just in case.

 

I said I was different—not dumb.

 

  

 

 

© E. A. Irwin

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 5:13 AM Comments comments (6)

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

 

 

 

In Flanders Fields

 

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

 

Canadian Army

 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

 

 

 

*To read the inspiration behind this poem, please visit http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm

 

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

 

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

 

  

From this poem she conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died during the nation’s war.

*Please take time to read about “Buddy” Poppy program made by disabled American Veterans to provide them with financial assistance. http://www.vfw.org/Community/Buddy-Poppy/

This is a wonderful site to read through and gain understanding of what Memorial Day truly is. The honoring of those who have died in military service to our country. And it is where I have gotten much of this blog.

http://www.usmemorialday.org/index.htm

 

Today, as I remember those who have died to keep our Republic free, I am saddened by those who consider this just another holiday in our ever-growing list of holidays America celebrates with a beer and a BBQ or a mattress sale or worse yet … a chance to purchase things we don’t need and will eventually sell on E-Bay for a pittance of the cost we paid.

 

A more important question should be: What cost have you honestly paid as an American citizen? Are you willing to lay down your life for your brother in order for your land to remain free from totalitarian regimes … or the ability to speak freely when other countries are forced into intolerable silence by such a regime? What are you willing to give to provide someone with the chance to assemble or worship God without fear of slaughter? Do you count yourself among those who have chosen to honor their country with service without regard for what the ultimate price might be?

 

Today I am fortunate to have the day off from work, our military does not get this opportunity since their job is a twenty-four hour a day seven day a week challenge so I might rest in the prosperity of this country. I am humbled by these brave women and men who faithfully serve because they respect liberty and justice for all. I am doubly humbled by the men and women who have given their lives in order to sustain our freedom from oppression.

 

My family served in many wars and thankfully all came home … all changed by the ravages of what they witnessed in war. Most unable to speak of the deepest hurts their time away from loved ones, while fighting in foreign lands, scarred on their hearts and psyches. I cannot pretend to understand their inner struggles. I can, however, respect their service and honor their lives by paying tribute to the friends and companions they lost over almost a hundred years of service.

 

So this day I challenge you to take the time to remain silent during the holiday and remember why this day is a different. Decoration Day – Memorial Day. A time for recollection, recognition and reconciliation.

 

Ta and Peace,

 

Patricia/E. A. Irwin

 

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

 

Netbound Publishing, who?

Posted on May 1, 2011 at 9:31 PM Comments comments (2)

Netbound Publishing, who?

 

For those not in the know, let me present a few words stolen (umm … procured) from their website, which can be found at http/netboundpublishing.com/Home_Page.html if you are so inclined to check them out. And really, why wouldn’t anyone check out this fast-growing publisher dedicated to the fabulous new and established Indie writers willing to take a different route in the publishing world?

 

Created by Mikel Classen and Mary Underwood, Netbound Publishing cuts a large swath through the publishing hinterland to deliver several new books which should be on your reading list for the next year. But first, let’s find out what exactly Netbound Publishing and Books believes (ahem, here comes the procured part):

 

This is a company that is developed for writers by writers. The concept is to not only publish quality books, but to also put quality writers in front of the public and help them become successful.

 

We Believe:

 

That writing pulp fiction is not a crime! (But it is often about crime)

Genre fiction can be artistic and literary. (Though I don’t know who’d want it to be wordy and boring)

Young Adults have a right to vampires that don’t sparkle. (And we have a duty to give it to them.)

Romance can and should include a body count. (A strong emotional tie to firearms or explosives counts as romance.)

A western can be set in outer space. (with Nazis)

It’s okay to shoot the piano player. (twice, he sucked)

We have a plan for the zombie apocalypse. (We know you do too)

In Werewolves!

Mary L. Underwood – Editor, Publisher - http://[email protected]

Mikel B. Classen – Editor, Publisher - http://[email protected]

Melissa Stevens - Graphics Art - http://[email protected]

Linda Lovecraft - Copy Editor

Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan USA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  

 New Releases

 

 

 

 

We've gathered together the best in independent horror authors to create a fresh and exciting anthology that will leave you wanting to howl at the moon. Your screams will fill the night as you read from one story to the next, each more terrifying than the last, as Werewolves feast on your nerves.

 

 

Netbound Publishing is pleased to announce what will be the first in a series of horror collections that will become an integral part of their “Night Terrors” imprint to be available to the book store market beginning in the spring of 2011. They will also be purchasable through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Nook.

 

 

Teeth, fangs and claws, rent flesh, and howls in the night send fear as the creatures that were once men bring terror and death to those they encounter. Werewolves, vicious demons of the night, hunt for prey as their hell curse drives them to a destiny undreamed by them as men.

 

 

 

 

I Believe In Werewolves

Horror Anthology

 

Cover art by Melissa Stevens

Melissa now has a page on Smashwords. Her writing is as finely crafted as her graphics. Two of her stories, "The Seventh Son" and "Reunion" will appear in the anthology. http/www.smashwords.com/profile/view/melstevens

 

 

Featuring:

Afternoon Tea by Jennifer Tucker, Winter Moon by John Irvine, Justice Comes With The Moon by Jeremiah Coe, The Hunger Within by Elizabeth Kolodziej, Werewolves Of Mauvin by Robert A. Read, The Reunion by Melissa Stevens, No Poaching Allowed by Rob M. Miller, Lily's Angel by Shawn Pfister, The Lycaning by Lori R. Lopez, Parenting - Not For The Faint Of Heart by Scott M. Goriscak, Lakota Justice by Blaze McRob, For The Good Of The Fatherland by Mary L. Underwood, Queen Of The Dogs by Lee Pletzers, Once Bitten - Not So Shy by Sirrah Medeiros, Lie Canthropy by Jerry McKinney, The Seventh Son by Melissa Stevens, Mouretta by Linda Lovecraft, Solitary by Michael Bertolini, Wolf Killer by Mikel B. Classen, The Investigation by Jennifer Tucker

 

Don't miss this must have collection of stories releasing in May.

 

 

Also, be sure not to miss the “Upcoming Projects” tab on the site. Click and find out not only what books are slotted for release, but what new submissions Netbound is craving to receive.

Whether you are a writer or a reader it is worth taking time to peruse the Netbound site. You might just miss out on the next great writer and read and you will be the last to know.

 

You have been warned. Now, what are you waiting for? Scurry to the site and check them out. Tell them I sent you. You probably won’t get a discount, but you will like saying my name … right?

 

Ta and peace,

 

E. A. Irwin ~ Patricia 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"F" Words Dirt

Posted on April 17, 2011 at 8:58 PM Comments comments (4)

Another 'older' blog entry which is still relevant today.

 

~ Quote of the Day ~

 

Life is not an easy matter. You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.  - Leon Trotsky

 

Greetings all;

 

I can safely say that since I last made an entry in my blog, my days and weeks have been filled with ‘f’ words … frustration being at the top of the word list … and yes, I will also admit the mother of ‘f’ words did exit my lips a few times and even entered my writing, not something I’m particularly proud of. But since I attempt a fair bit of honesty here, there you go.

 

So, what are some other words which made the hit parade? Well, there was definitely family, always a source for something, but it seems frustration, feelings, fatal moves, and a touch of finality ruled many of the past three weeks with them. I don’t know about any of you, but when certain elements of discordant harmony are flung to the atmosphere and disharmony moves into the vacuum, the results are never pretty. No one has a black eye, no one has an injury of any type—except perhaps deep in the place people will never see, the fragile part of the psyche unable to hang in there any longer … nor does it wish to continue the futile exercise. Realization the vacuum was filled with such things makes me sad beyond belief. But life continues, hopefully with better boundaries that people will acknowledge one day. The hitch is the family has never seen their boundary breaking as something which needs to be corrected. One day, because the subject of control is important, I’ll write a blog entry and share some of my thoughts there. Until then, I will continue doing what I know to be correct for me, and seek something positive to think about.

 

Then there was the failing aspect of my life with parts of the food pyramid. No matter how I try, chocolate wishes to dominate, thrusting me into a downward spiral where not only frustration rules, but self-defeat pummels me with fists made of Hershey’s kisses. No kisses this time, but York peppermint patties took the lead in the bag of death series. Of course the downfall had been precipitated by the family incident as well as a trip to the doctor.

 

Yes, frailty of body is another contender in the battle of ‘f’ words. After ten years there are still many things my body faces, right now it’s dealing with dragging my leg again, numbness into my foot, lots of pain in the hip and back, lots of depression. After several months of injections into my knee, I finally had another cortisone shot to help reduce the bloody thing and help the pain. My other doctor, who deals with all the other stuff, looked at me with such compassion when I visited him again, it broke me. He knows the struggle, has tried to develop a plan when there is none, has fought for me when no one would.

 

Now we are here again, needing answers, needing another procedure that will kill the nerve in my back for about six months to deal with the pain. I finally admitted the depression of the injury had gotten as bad as the pain. I should have told him years ago, but like many of us just trying to get well, we’re afraid depression will be seen as something that makes us weak in everyone’s eyes, especially when the people are telling you that you’ve given up and that has made you a complete failure in their eyes. I wasn’t a failure in my doctor’s eyes. He’s dealt with those with chronic pain for years, and has requested I see a psychologist who deals with chronic pain in patients and the depression that ensues. I have doubts this will be approved, but I’m holding out hope. If you want to pray for anything in my life, that would be a big one. Mental health is vital to physical and emotional health. But I’m hanging in there, albeit by one hand some days.

 

Amid all this, I came up against a situation with my writing. Unfortunate because I keep really working at writing better and seemingly that doesn’t matter in this world of you’re only as good (maybe if you’re really lucky and all the stars and planets have aligned) as your latest piece. Kind of like here at WDC. I’m not complaining, just unsure of everything as I continue in this world of similes and metaphors, and have absolutely no ability to control my roaming commas.

 

I suppose this is just another step in my writing and publishing experience. But, it has left such a bad taste in my mouth. I’m honestly having difficulty remaining stoked to write. I had several days of saying to myself I was through writing, that in the long run it didn’t matter if I ever wrote another word. Frustration, frantic feelings, a frenetic rush to try to maintain a place in the publishing world I have no ability to control, the feelings of failure that I know many writers experience, all pushed into my head at an accelerated rate as if I were on speed and watching my world drift aimlessly by. And honestly? I don’t want my success posthumously. Okay, I’ve said it. I’d like success while I’m still alive. And yes, I know my success is between my ears, but occasionally it’s nice to have it on paper as well. Say it with cash comes to mind at this point. But I’ve decided to continue writing despite the ill-wind that rushes through me. To stop would be to admit I’m a quitter and a loser—two things I don’t ever want to be again.

 

Thursday I went out to run errands. After my stop at Walgreens for my prescription, I was getting in my car to leave and I heard a woman’s voice ask for some change. I usually don’t keep a lot of cash with me, so I told her I’d check. Most times I’ll ask if they are hungry and get them food so they aren’t tempted to spend it on booze. Yes, I’ve bought booze instead of food in my life.

 

Anyway, I found a few dollars and handed them to her. She thanked me. I hadn’t really paid attention that she was in a wheelchair when I heard her voice, because I was struggling to get to the car. But after I gave her the money, I watched her as I got in my car. She had just pulled something inflatable from the trash can and was inspecting it while talking to the little dog in her lap. She was overjoyed she’d found this throw away item and that it was still inflated. She stuffed it in the large bag at her feet, and it was then I noticed she only had one leg. She dug through the trash a bit more and then rolled away. I hadn’t given enough. I was selfish while she got enjoyment out of finding something thrown away in a trash can.

 

As I work through the frustration of my life, I am always aware of this: To whom much is given, much is expected. That day I came up short. What I had forgotten while I had all my little pity parties was to be thankful for where I was in my life. I still have a mind and intellect. I still have the ability to say I hurt and someone, even though I may have horrible feelings, will come to my aid and help bail me out. I still am able to reason despite my confusion and frustration. I am still able to walk even with pain. I still have a voice to speak for others when they cannot.

 

What I had forgotten, another ‘f’ word, is that I still had faith in spite of my failure at not doing more—the greatest ‘f’ word among them all. God has always been faithful in my life, I on the other hand have not. To be reminded of where I am in all my frustration isn’t an easy thing to accept, but knowing I have someone to turn to when my world falls in on me if I will just lean on His understanding, makes the journey at times a little easier. He has put people in my life on whom I can lean, for that I am eternally thankful. He has given me everlasting life, for that I am eternally grateful.

 

I hope all of you have a wonderful day.

 

Ta and peace,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Cannot Change What You Do No Acknowledge Dirt

Posted on April 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I have decided to post a few blogs from a blog I created several years ago. It's odd looking back and discovering a good portion of what was written remains true today ... either good or bad. But I think it is healthy to know where I was and also where I'm headed as a person and a writer. Most days I have several people inside my head yearning to be number one with a bullet. Finding balance between all those sides is frightening yet something almost everyone, who is willing to acknowledge this trait, deals with. So while I work on other blogs and get back to some writing, I hope you find the truth in my words ... wherever you are right now.

 

 

 

~ Quote of the Day ~

 

"You cannot change what you do not acknowledge."

 

Hello Everyone;

 

Through the years of rambling in this blog, no matter what the theme of the day, or week, or month, I have always said I am no different than any other person. I hurt, I bleed, I swear, I sob uncontrollably for situations out of my control, I fail at many things, I have great highs and debilitating lows, I have compassion and empathy for people, and yet, there are some people who I wish the world would allow their gravitational pull to no longer exist so I no longer have to put up with them by seeing their face, or reading their name, or experiencing their essence on any level. I still manage to see the world as Pollyanna does, often living my life through the ‘glad’ game because I am truly humbled that I continually get to live even when I didn’t want to, and I am glad that God has had His hand of protection on me during my lifetime, and then I see the world through a broken lens where shards of pain, anger, hatred, and remembrance of what I’ve done in my life and what has been done to me and how I thought the circumstances were unjust and unforgivable on many levels, while life sped on and the inability to cope altered the true vision of me.

 

I am an addicted person in several areas—some I have conquered though still have uncontrollable yearnings to slip back into those self-destructive ways and say fuck it all the problems are too difficult to conquer, and some addictions still linger while I attempt to figure out how to deal with the overwhelming problem and remain the person I am meant to be. There will be a mirror blog on addictions in the future.

 

I sometimes roam around a subject hoping I’ll get a handle on my emotions so I am able to relate them to an audience of perhaps just one person reading this blog besides me. And, there are days when I am the only reader—that’s fine. Those days are just as important as any other when I finally get my head around the idea that at least I said something, and even if no one read my thought I read it and it’s out of my head.

 

When I first began speaking about the mirrors in my life I had already been working on me for a while, taking stock of things, how I relate to people, what I have done that has brought me to the brink of despair, and what I have not done to establish good relationships with people and not run from them out of fear. Fear is a mighty powerful entity in our lives, one which needs to be trodden on and conquered for it is that horrible thing which makes us not succeed. And as you know, my motto is ‘success lives between your ears.’

 

I have also shared this phrase or a paraphrase of the phrase many times: You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. I wish I had coined that phrase, but alas I did not. But through listening to many sermons, especially the past several years, this is the main theme running throughout many of them. What a powerful idea, and one which comes with a great price due to the task it entails, with the ultimate prize being the wholeness of mind, body, and spirit.

 

You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. I took that phrase to heart and not only understood that meaning in my mind, but in my spirit where God lives and directs my path. I had to accept the core of what I am … bad, filthy, unrighteous, carnal, and any other negative thing that kept me bound, and look at myself with a critical eye and actually deal with what I saw and hated.

 

Now, I also realize I have also written that I finally like me even with all my foibles, missteps, seemingly unforgivable actions, and then all the good things which permeate my being to make me the sum of what I am and can be. So I have a dichotomy of being living inside me, not unlike the multitudes residing on the planet. And I still like me. That hasn’t changed, but has taken a long time to get to that state again.

 

To accept where we are in life is a daunting experience, and to examine your life under a microscope, so you are able to weed out the destructive aspects of your person, is a mind-altering, spirit-altering, physical-altering experience. However, it is the necessary first step to realizing what you are at that moment and deciding to take action by an honest evaluation of your life and make the changes which will allow you to become a whole person.

 

I’ll share a little story because I know how much you love my little side trips. :roll:One morning, while making toast, a burning smell came forth from my toaster. Okay, no big deal just burned bits of crust lying on the floor of the toaster that obviously needed tending. So, after the toaster cooled, I took off the bottom plate and removed the crumb carnage. Clean as a whistle. The next time I made toast, I smelled the same burning smell. No burnt toast but a definite aroma of charred bread. After letting the toaster cool, I began inspecting the coils in case one was on its way to appliance afterlife. No coil issue. But what I did find was a wooden magnet stuck between the coils that had apparently dropped off the refrigerator into the toaster.

 

You also have to understand that some days I talk to God a lot about my situations, all the things that are honestly bugging me, and why I can’t make my life work on many levels. God doesn’t always answer immediately, and many times there have been vast silences while I wait to hear the answer.

 

I had and have been going through a very difficult time dealing with certain situations that I have absolutely no control over. I want control over them. I need control over them because the situations have altered my life. A very strong emotion being one of the altering things. Hatred. But along with hatred are other situations which have made me weary beyond that which I thought I would ever be able to cope. Years of weariness when all I wanted was someone to hold my hand and say “it’s going to be okay, and if it’s not okay, then just let me sit by your side while you go through this and I can share your burden so you aren’t alone.”

 

So what was on the magnet, you ask? These are the words printed on a little round red wooden magnet … “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galations 6:9. A confirmation, a challenge to me to continue doing what I know is correct while I stare into the fathomless mirrors before me and make the changes imperative to my well-being.

 

I know some will scoff and say it was a fluke and odd little things like this happen all the time. No intervention from God, just a magnet losing its gravitational pull. Perhaps … probably not. For there are times in our lives when we are confronted, even by an inanimate object, when we have been struggling and desiring a word of encouragement and we have to accept that encouragement for what it is—a inspirational moment accepted in faith, knowing the outcome is for our betterment.

 

My sister said something to me the other day which surprised me. We were talking about friendships, and I mentioned some of my friends and their differences with me, and that was part of my ‘normalness’. She looked at me and said I wasn’t really normal, because I was far beyond that in my life. That surprised me, but what she said next surprised me more: “What you are is stable and that’s what others see in you aside from everything else.”

 

So amid all the craziness in my brain, the years of dealing with mountains of poo and people’s perceptions of me, I suppose I can add stable to my list of good qualities.

 

You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. What I leave you with today is this: For every negative trait you possess, try looking at it through new vision and turn it into a positive trait. Don’t be afraid to seek that which will make you grow in a good direction. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Don’t lose sight of your goals. Begin small, conquer that, and continue into the gray mire of middle ground where more goals are waiting your hand. Always keep the long-term goal in sight and don’t go all freaking on yourself if you aren’t able to attain that goal in said amount of time. Life is a long experience on a bumpy road—don’t make fear your companion.

 

More mirror blogs are on the way. You probably think I have become Narcissus after all the gazing. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

 

Ta and peace,

 

 

 

 Greyed Imperfection

 

Tired skin, ashen and taut

stretched across planes of discontent.

Eyes—color of storm-charged clouds

reflect the nebulous deep within.

Gazing into amalgam-backed glass

pensive expression perceived by me,

merely a mirror of my portent, or

a study in grayed imperfection?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now and Then - Remembering always matters

Posted on May 31, 2010 at 2:37 AM Comments comments (1)
Memorial Day, A Day of Remembrance

or, just another day for a beer, a ball game, and a furniture sale?

"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service."

This is the opening statement of this link http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

which gives a great history of the origins of the day, as well as other information regarding the day's name change and what is being done to preserve this as a day of remembrance in our country.


To those who sacrificed their lives with honor in order for 'we' as a free nation, unlike no other in existence, to continually remain free, I salute and thank you for that sacrifice of time, energy, faithfulness, and in far too many cases with the ultimate sacrifice of life.


There comes a point in time when we as a people and nation have to stop our daily routine of pointlessness and consider what it would be like if those who preceded us, and willingly served against all odds, had not done so. What would our country represent if its people had not taken on tyranny in almost every form and tried to make it better for those in bondage to dictators, dilettantes, oppressive governments, attempts at the mass annihilation of a Jewish and Armenian people, as well as slavery and social injustice on our own shores?


War is one of the ugliest situations we as people can imagine or find ourselves in, however, it is also one of the most unfortunate parts of our life in a human world no matter how we wish it not so, or how we attempt detent on every front, or how many songs of 'can't we all just get along and be peaceful at any cost' are sung.


Personally, I would rather stand with someone that sees tyranny in the world and is repulsed by it and attempts to rectify the situation. I have growing disregard for those that turn a blind eye and say 'that isn't our problem, it doesn't affect us, why should be involve ourselves in something dangerous in order to push our faulted values as Americans on other nations.'


While I am human and have grown weary of whatever wars are currently being fought (and with a thankful heart none are on our shores) around the world, I have to consider the fact that those under repressive regimes who lost their lives and that of their loved ones to the horrors of dictators with only annihilation in mind, are far more weary of war than this nation or I could ever imagine.


Since our history began we have been at war. That was the foundation of our democracy-the struggle against tyranny for freedoms. And, while our strivings should always be for peaceful existence, we must always be aware that there are those, even within our nation, who don't have the same regard for those freedoms and would see us as a nation weakened.


So, as I watch the ceremonies on television honoring the veterans and those currently fighting, I thought about those who consider this just another three-day weekend to celebrate with a barbeque, a beer, and a ballgame. I wondered if the children who will take a holiday from school understand what this day means for them - someone dying to provide freedom to grow up in a country where they are able to achieve their dreams if they try, or is it merely three days off like every other holiday now.


When did we as a nation become so nothing? Where interests in buying the latest vehicle, IPod, trendsetting shoes, makeup, hair gel, candles of every scent possible, Botox, vacations anywhere you can find, as well as anything you can imagine to make life better take up so much room in our heart? I'm not condemning any of those items or the need to want them, because I am guilty in many of those areas. However, I am wondering when these items replaced righteous indignation and allowed elements of our society to deem others unworthy because of a disagreement in political policy?


While it is true we as a nation have lost our brave and brightest young people in a war many disagree with, and I mourn for their loss, unable to completely put myself in the place of their parents' horror, I also remember that those people in uniform sacrificed their lives to make it a better world for someone other than themselves or me.


As we remember our fallen of this country, I also remember those without a voice depending on our intervention around the world no matter how unpopular the situation or how maligned a country we become. I salute the many heroes, both deceased and living, who continually challenge their place in this world in order to provide me with the freedom to share my thoughts.


Here's to letting freedom ring. Here's to remembering what Memorial Day is all about.


Thank you for listening. Peace.

P


A Prayer For Our Nation


God bless America

And keep us safe and free,

Safe from "all our enemies"

Wherever they may be.

For enemies are forces

That often dwell within,

Things that seem so harmless

Become a major sin.

Little acts of selfishness

Grow into lust and greed,

And make the love of power

Our idol and our creed.

For all our wealth and progress

Are as worthless as can be,

Without the faith that made us great

And kept our nation free.

And while it's hard to understand

The complexities of war,

Each one of us must realize

That we are fighting for

The principles of freedom

And the decency of man,

But all of this much be achieved

According to God's plan.

So help us as Americans

To search deep down inside,

And discover if the things we do

Are always justified.

And teach us to walk humbly

And closer in Thy ways,

And give us faith and courage

And put purpose in our days.

And make each one of us aware

That each must do his part,

For in the individual is where peace

Must have its start.

For a better world to live in

Where all are safe and free,

Must start with faith and hope

And love deep in the heart of "Me."

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~


Here is another link you might find interesting:

http://www.history.com/minisites/memorial/

Come Monday at High Noon

Posted on December 12, 2009 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello Everyone;

 

Since I last wrote here, much time has passed. Some days and months passed quickly while parts of time slowed to imperceptible increments with almost no measure.

 

As many of you know I’ve not been well, battling several things happening in my body I am unable to control. Well, really, I can’t control anything so why pretend I can?

 

Looking back, there were many times I wanted to write and explain my circumstances, yet between extreme exhaustion and not wanting to bore anyone with my illness, retreated from much of life and most of my friends. For that I am sorry … the friends part that is. Life continues at its own speed despite me participating.

 

When last I wrote, I was waiting for news of cancer in my thyroid. After waiting months for appointments, tests, results, the surgeon presented me with lots of information, most of which he almost resented communicating. He was an absolute jerk. From the first word out of his mouth he was combative, and since I’d been through so many doctors and test outcomes I decided I’d just confront everything he said to me, much of which was inappropriate on his part. I left with the knowledge I probably didn’t have cancer of the thyroid (after him telling me if I were to get cancer thyroid cancer would be the best to have since it was extremely treatable.) Good to know if I had the ability to control which cancer invaded my body.

 

After an hour with him, untold rude remarks, him leaving the room and me trailing after him to ask if we were done, he asked me when he should set the surgery date. Umm … what planet did he hail from that made him believe I was hip to him slicing and dicing my throat and trying to save my voice? I told him I’d let him know and never looked back. So at this point I probably don’t have cancer but will ultimately find out when my thyroid is removed and the biopsy is sent to pathology.

 

As I sit and write I am concentrating on not dwelling on the surgery which happens at high noon Monday the 14th. For the several year’s journey to get to this point I can only pack my bag for the overnight stay and pray for the doctor’s abilities and God’s guidance in his life. By the way, this surgeon is a wonderful man of faith, and has answered all my questions with great patience and given me hope at a time when most of my health and hope have evaporated. His parting words to me when I left his office this week were, “We’re going to take good care of you. I’m going to do everything I can to save your voice. This is the first step on a long road to get you back to good health.”

 

Speaking of the voice, that really is a major concern. This surgeon confirmed what every doctor has told me. We talked a lot about that concern as he explained how the vocal nerve lies alongside the thyroid and it just depends if the nerve is clear or wrapped around other nerves and blood vessels. I may have a voice, it may sound totally different, it’s a good chance I won’t be able to sing or if I can my range will be limited. Or if I’m in the unlucky 1 to 2 percent my voice will no longer exist. But he assured me someone would be there to work with me to get even a small sound back. I have to leave the fear there because fear is a demon which steals everything good in our lives.

 

The surgery was supposed to happen a few months ago, but like everything in my life, oddity happened. I was on the way to work and was in a rear end fender bender. No real significant damage to the car, or seemingly to me. Suffice it to say the 18 year old without his license or insurance wasn’t happy when I finally called the police after him begging for me not to. Such is life.

 

The headache continued for three days before I said uncle and went to see a doctor. The diagnosis of a concussion wasn’t surprising, but that I walked around and tried going to work a little confusing to me why I tried to be Superwoman. Pain pills didn’t work, nothing worked to take away the pain. A C.A.T. scan was performed. The results looked weird and I was sent to a neurologist on a search and find mission. The neurologist, an absolutely fabulous woman, gave me a thorough exam and explained I passed with flying colors … oh but there were questionable things on the scan so I needed an M.R.I. just to make sure I could go into surgery. Yeah, me too doc, I don’t want to die on the table because my brain isn’t working.

 

Had the M.R.I. and went back to the neurologist. Apparently the test showed the same problems and she didn’t know why. A grey area in my brain that was patchy. I looked at the pictures as she explained the scan. When I asked her if I should be drooling, she looked at me and told me I shouldn’t be functioning. Okay, that was unexpected. But she said obviously you are highly functioning and I’ve only seen this in one other case so it looks like that’s how your brain is formed. Sounded like a weather report to me – grey and patchy with a chance of drooling. I don’t mean to make light of brain issues because they aren’t a laughing matter. The concern on her face was real, the pain in my head real, the worse news to follow. She pulled up the next set of pictures, the ones after the grey patch which the radiologist didn’t like. She asked if I’d ever had strokes. I said no, why? Apparently there were too many white spots all over my brain which shouldn’t be in someone my age. Holes in my brain. Scarring with no apparent reason. So many questions, so few answers. Did I suffer from migraines? You betcha, since I was ten. She seemed to think this is what had killed the small blood vessels in my brain and scarred the tissue. Brains don’t grow back, hence the egg in the hot pan announcing this is your brain on drugs. But new neural pathways can form.

 

With a new prescription and an order for more tests to determine blood clotting factors (since we wanted to keep me alive on that operating table) I left her office after receiving two large shots in the back of my head (occipital lobes) to deaden some of the screaming pain. The tests came back marginally well, new tests for RA and Lupus, plus a C.T. angiogram of my brain however prolonged the surgery. The lupus test came back positive, I went to a rheumatologist who stated I probably didn’t have lupus but the thyroid was acting so odd with my diagnosis of hyperthyroid (I’ve had all the symptoms of hyperthyroid and hypothyroid) that he felt that was the auto-immune disease I was fighting. The angiogram was a test I really don’t want to retake if I can help it and I feel for people dealing with cancer or undergoing treatment where they inject heated things into your veins. I kept singing ‘You light up my brain’ as I entered the lab. The I.V. was hooked up and the test begun. About ten minutes into the test, the tech grabbed my head from behind and said not to move, he was administering the iodine dye.

 

The dye makes you suddenly hot with the sensation of wetting your pants while the scan spins around you. I’ve never quite experienced a test like that except one where an isotope was injected into my arm and the tech had six minutes to make sure the crap traveled the right way through my veins. This fiery brain concoction hit my head like a hot hammer and spread across my lungs and to my heart with rapid pulsing. For a few minutes I merely gasped while trying to get cool. Then ten minutes later the test was over and I was weaving down the hall in a stupor. My neurologist called yesterday and gave me the good news that she couldn’t find any misaligned blood vessels or blood flow around my brain and I could have the surgery Monday. Next month I go back for a check-up with her since the headaches haven’t really gone away. If they can’t figure out what’s going on new tests might happen, like a spinal tap to determine MS or something else. But at least I’m cleared for surgery and with a sense of relief that my brain isn’t going to explode while on the table.

 

I will be happy to finally have the surgery and hopefully get off some of the medication I’m taking. Between the extreme exhaustion of the thyroid disease, all the prescriptions to regulate my blood pressure, speeding heart, deep depression, and brain pain has left me dragging to the point where some days I get up and go back to bed after only about five hours. But I’m hanging in there.

 

Needless to say all this has affected my writing. I thought (so foolishly) that after the debacle of the Riley series publisher taking a hike, I would blow the new novel out of my head in a few months. I think most of the ideas got blown out another area of my body. Well I’ve been floundering for almost six months with only about 17K written to show my lackluster effort. Hopefully having surgery will allow me to put things behind me a bit more and on to the next chapter in my life as well as Riley’s life.

 

On a happy news front, I have submitted “Kingdom in a Glass” and it will be published in the premier issue of the Mind’s Eye Magazine in January 2010. I put a poem “Punished” on one Ning website on a whim because the poem is so acerbic. The site owner liked it and asked if he could publish it in the next issue of Cold Coffee Magazine, which came out December 1. I agreed and that poem can now be found between the pages of the magazine and as a download.

 

I can honestly say a lot has happened this past year. A rollercoaster of emotions have left me as exhausted as this lump in my throat. I’ve been angry, hurt, felt insane, giddy, exhausted, had two hours one day when I felt like I did when I was younger and more normal, been in untold pain, and have cried a million or so tears. I think the crying jags are the worst, but I’m getting through them with a little help from the pharmaceutical companies. Here’s to little pills.

 

I’ll close with something I’ve often said. You cannot control anything except how you react to the circumstances you’re going through. You cannot change what you are not willing to acknowledge. Sometimes things just aren’t your fault and give up trying to make them your fault. God is always in control of the situation and if you can honestly relinquish that control you can make it through things you thought impossible.

 

Take care, my friends. I miss you much.

 

Hopefully I’ll be back in the near future. I promise not to take so long this time if I’m able to communicate.

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

A Bittersweet Moment

Posted on July 21, 2009 at 7:07 PM Comments comments (3)

Manic Readers' Review

Myth to Life: The Rise of Riley McCabe - At Death's Door

by P. A. Matthews

4 Star

Braedon Carlisle is a handsome and, some might say, beautiful man or is he? Braedon is definitely not what he appears to be on the outside and the secret of whom and what he is and his unique and unusual way of life will change anyone who comes in contact with him. Braedon is not human and must find shelter during the day in order to survive. He is a vampire and his flock or children are his to protect and care for. Riley McCabe is the one person who he loves and will always protect. But, her secret life is just as unusual and if known to others would cause them to fear her and more. Spending time together and realizing that they need to be apart in order to sort out their feelings, Riley leaves his estate in England and returns home to Scotland. Before she has a chance to really decide what she wants to do, he reenters her life and she is enveloped back into a world filled with the supernatural and more. Riley has psychic powers that Braedon calls upon her to use in order to find out how someone close to him was killed. Sloan, as close to him as Riley, has disappeared or might be dead. He brings Riley back to where he was kidnapped in order to find out what happened and possibly, why. Riley agrees to use her powers and experiences the events of Sloan's death firsthand not realizing exactly what this would do to her and what the realities would be.

The reader becomes totally immersed in the events as if you are really there and experiencing the pain, agony and more that Riley experiences when she sees Sloan?s killer and experiences his death as if it is happening to her. Along with Braedon, his man friend Quinlan and one of his children or flock Desmond are there to protect both Braedon and Riley or are they? With Quinlan?s help and the promise of Braedon's protection the events that unfold will send the reader into a world that is terrifying, dangerous, and unsettling. Riley's secret as to whom and what she really is and what part she really plays in the death of Sloan are revealed at the very end of this book on the very last page. The author leaves the reader unsure as to what will really happen to any of the characters. Motive for murder is often revenge. Riley sees an old adversary in one of her visions and realizes that it is something from her past that has caused these events in what seems like her present and will definitely play a part in her future. I really enjoyed reading Myth to Life: The Rise of Riley McCabe and hope that the author will write a sequel. I want to know what will happen to Braedon and Riley and if they have a future in either one of their worlds. I want to know if her adversary will confront her and what will be the final outcome. I would highly recommend this book to a friend.


This review is wonderful and bittersweet. After requesting the review in January of 2009, my hopes of receiving a review seemed improbable since sites don't guarantee they will review your work. I decided I would take the request off my Outlook task list and close the book on this forever.

Prior to all this happening, I had also decided to terminate my contract with Mystic Moon Press for many reasons, but wanted to wait for "Blood Betrayal" to come out because there were people who wanted to read it. But I had finally decided if I was never going to be published again, I was satisfied with my decision to leave Mystic Moon Press.

Most of you know I became seriously ill in January, so dealing with termination of my contract as well as all the other inconveniences life throws at us got shoved to the back burner until I could physically deal with everything. Then the series took off at Fictionwise eBooks and I related all the great things happening there.

I decided it was time to terminate with Mystic Moon, then I received the wonderful review from Manic Readers the day after I closed the Outlook task. How is that for coincidence and a confidence booster? While in the process of writing my letter to Mystic Moon Press all hell broke loose and everything became a moot point.

Mystic Moon Press had scammed its authors, not paid them, took the money and denied culpability. The entire staff resigned. All the authors terminated their contracts. The owner remained silent throughout all of the turmoil and still remains silent.

Happily, though saddened for everyone involved except the owner and her cohorts, I can report the authors did accomplish something it would have taken attorneys months to fix. Just from last week Mystic Moon Press is out of business (until the owner changes names and starts scamming again) and the site has been taken down. Fictionwise no longer has the publisher listed and all the author?s books have been removed. Mobipocket is following suit. Hopefully, Amazon.com will bring up the rear in doing right by the authors but at least the "buy at" links have been disabled. There are so many affiliated sites and subsidiaries of these carriers that it may be some time before all works issued from Mystic Moon Press never exist.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my writing career and especially with my series "Myth to Life: The Rise of Riley McCabe." I have always said I cannot do any of this without you, nor did I wish to. Through you Riley has been able to have her voice heard and has proven what she has to say is interesting. But do not fear Riley McCabe is not dead. I am currently writing the first fill length novel in Riley's series (something I had planned all along) and can't wait to share more of her life with those interested reading, which I hope is everyone! Sorry, a little self-promotion there.

After the dust settles on this, and I am assured all my rights are back in my hot little hands, I look forward to picking up the manuscript once again and settling old scores with Riley's ancient and new foes. Who knows what evil lurks out there for Riley to encounter? I do!

Thanks again for all your support. Riley and I have had a rough several months, but thither onward, mon amis, we?re out of the gate and not turning back.

I'm carrying my sword high and running full force toward a new day.


Patricia

P. A. Matthews



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