Don’t You Just Hate Being Haunted?

Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy from the album Dream Your Life Away released 2015 on Atlantic Label.


Dear Diary,

Yes, haunted.  I am haunted, and not always by dead people.  Most times it is a character in my imagination.  They aren’t real, they are just characters in my stories.  Then occasionally it is a real live person who has moved beyond the circle of a relationship we shared.  We parted, but they haven’t taken their impression made with them.

Souls parted from this earth usually touch my heart with memories and hopes that they know I haven’t forgotten them. It is a bittersweet moment, a feeling of gratitude for our paths having crossed with a little bit of joy for what they brought into my life.

The characters so far have been within the boundary of my imagination.  Usually I am working on a transition between scenes, or figuring out what happened before or next. Their haunting is intentional method, part of work.

Real live people?  Those people can pop up for real, but worse is when not them but their memory pops up.  How do are you supposed to react to someone whose impact is so strong they never quite seem to leave?

You move on without them.  Then something innocent cracks the seam of reality and there they are smack dab in the middle of your thoughts.  Unwanted, unrequested, and very much out-of-place, but there they are again.  Despite letting go, moving on, something reminds you of them.

Hostage to a memory.  No ransom is demanded.  Freedom is on a ‘just visiting’ basis.




Alma stared at Paul’s face, not registering fully his words.  She repeated them to herself in her head. ‘Alma, I am sorry to inform you, Harlan’s body is missing.’
“Paul, what do you mean Harlan’s body is missing. Honey, Harlan is dead.  He died tonight at the hospital.  T. J. and that nice young girl that works at the funeral home came and got him.  Really, I just never would have imagined a young woman like her taking to the funeral business.  But you know, she just has a real nice way of dealing with family. Harlan said to me that she had a calling and that must be it.”
“Alma, did you hear me?”
“Hear you what? What did you say?”  The words still didn’t make sense to Alma.
“Alma, Harlan’s body is missing.”
“No, it isn’t it is at the funeral home.”
“Alma, T.J. called the police when he got to the funeral home.”
“T.J. called the police because the body. Harlan’s body was not in the vehicle.”
“But T.J. and Sam, that’s her name Sam.  Like a man, but I think it is short for Samantha. They took Harlan’s body, . . . what do you mean T.J. said it was missing? That doesn’t make sense Paul.”
“I know it doesn’t.  T.J. said that he put Harlan in the vehicle, Sam walked over to get her vehicle.  She was on call and had met him at the hospital. She drove her car and had parked. She walked over to get her parked car while T.J. went in to get coffee from the cafeteria.”
“Well, I can understand that.  The hospital does have very good coffee.”
“When T.J. came back Sam had pulled her car up to the funeral vehicle. T.J. got in and drove to the funeral home.  At the funeral home, he realized Harlan wasn’t in there.”
“Sam? Is she ok.  You keep telling me about T.J., is Sam ok?”
“Yes, Sam is fine.  She said she did hear something when she was walking away, she looked around the parking lot, but saw nothing.”
“So someone may have taken his body while Sam was walking across the parking lot?”
“Honestly, I don’t have any facts, but that is what we are looking at; I just don’t want to venture any further until I have more to go on.”
“Oh, Paul, you don’t think Sam or T.J. for that matter have anything to do with this!”
“No, not at this time.  They are both upset and very cooperative.  T.J. said to tell you that if you want to talk to him, don’t hesitate to call. He said he was so sorry.  It shook him up quite a bit.”

Explosions Are Imminent

Molecules by Atlas Genius released on their album Inanimate Objects released September 2015 on Warner Brothers Label.


Dear Diary,

Recently life was interrupted for some travel.  (San Antonio, by the way is a beautiful city, –I really didn’t want to leave.)  It was fantastic.  I got to visit some family and chillax.

On the way back, the travel stirred up the sickies.  (Don’t we all love airplane travel during the cold and flu season?)  Not enough sleep, too much to do, laundry . . . does this sound like a broken record to anyone besides me? Argh!

Back To The Future, Star Trek, oh puhleese! Give me them both combined. Let me travel with the ease of a transporter (forget the DeLorean too much trouble).  I want Scotty to beam me somewhere.  (I love the accent.)  Forward, backward, whatever I want at my whim.

Last couple of months were spent coming to a deeper understanding about all this writing.  No different from anyone else, a brief fantasy of being a successful money-making writer had a place in my dreams. That image quickly dissipated.

I accepted right off I was a bad writer.  Then, to my surprise, my writing wasn’t bad enough to incite rude and belittling comments.  Well, damn.  That means I am mediocre. Great. Just great.

Why couldn’t I be really bad and just not care. I could so do that. Mediocre? Oh, HELL! NO! That is totally unacceptable.

Opened my eyes to my mediocre-ness and discerned what I needed to do to  improve. It took a while to get up the nerve to actually do it, but I did it.  I have a love/hate relationship with formal study,

Which is why fall break and no work sounded so great.  Now that it has come and gone, it went by too fast.  I wasn’t ready to start back, yet. (Refer to that love/hate relationship thing.)

Why the hell am I a writer again?



Paul pulled himself together.  Bending over the passenger seat to reach into the floorboard, he grabbed the box of tissues he kept in his car.  Setting himself right before he exited the vehicle, he looked up to see Alma still waiting for him in the doorway.
He had to be all cop now. Well, at least for the next few minutes.  He exited his car and kept his eyes down as he walked to the door, only looking up as he neared  the door way.  He set his face in as an unemotional expression as he could.
Alma opened the door as Paul came towards her.   In the light from the house spilling out the doorway, she saw that  Paul’s mouth was set, his face in a stern mask.  Ah, oh, this was not good.  A chill ran up Alma’s spine; she felt the goosebumps pop  up on her arms.  An inadvertent twitch shook her shoulders and back.
“Alma, lets go sit in the den.”
“Alright,” Alma followed Paul through her house to the room that felt to her as if Harlan was still there.  Paul went to Harlan’s chair, started to sit down and then moved to the sofa next to it.
Alma stood briefly in the door way, finally deciding to sit in Harlan’s chair, so she could face Paul. She felt it she was going to need to look him in the eye. Something terrible had happened.  She sat on the edge of the seat, leaning on the arm of the chair closest to Paul.
“Alma, I am sorry to inform you, Harlan’s body is missing.”

A Short Endurance Run

I look at the ’21’ on my shirt sleeve.  Then at my young adult son.  Having  gone through three miscarriages, I can’t compare the loss of a child held and seen for years to the idea of an baby dead before birth.  I can’t imagine losing one of my children, thirty-something to the barely adult, or a younger child.  It is beyond my experience.

Then it clicks.  That devastation that I can’t comprehend, it led them to this – a fundraiser for research to prevent another parent from walking in their shoes.  This is the battle they still fight, along side parents bearing this burden.

Would I be so strong?  Could I find solace in something so selfless?  I don’t know for sure; hope so. But. Probably not.  While up to now I don’t know anything about this, other than running for a good cause, I hope and pray no other child or parent has to experience the loss.

If every step taken tomorrow could stomp out cancer instead of slapping the pavement, no one would know the twisted theft of life cancer takes. If every foot pounding the pavement could kill a cancer cell, who could ever stop at three miles?


Tired by Adele released on 19 in 2008 on the XL label.  Youtube link  shared by Dogvlog @misterboef. Thank you.


Dear Diary,

Well, there I go again, living outside of a calendar.  I keep doing that. I think the odds aren’t in my favor I will ever learn better.

I have tried any number of methods.  Unfortunately, for me the one that works the best is the most unorthodox.  (It probably doesn’t work best but it makes me the happiest.)  Around here we call it playing it by ear.

A running list of things I need to accomplish, paired with a calendar month spread out on one or two pages at most are really the best tools of organization for me.  That’s it.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Why does any of it matter?  How else do we get our dreams to come to life?  We have to make time for those baby steps that will take us from just daydreaming to living.

So what did you do this week towards making your dreams come true?

Me?  Oh, I read, I wrote, and I practiced self editing. Yes, even though I was tired.

That is one good thing about being tired and disorganized – you realize exactly what your true priorities are– because there are things you do because you have to when you are exhausted, and there are things you do because YOU want them done and you are exhausted.  Even the amount of regret and frustration from not getting things done clue me in on where and what my priorities need to be.






Paul figured that the boys would be at the parents house, but he would try to get Alma alone to tell her.  As he neared the house, he could see light son, but the boys’ vehicles weren’t in the drive.  He really couldn’t imagine Alma going to either of the her sons’ homes.  He pulled to the side of the rode to call Alma, find out where she was.
The phone rang and rang.  When Paul thought it was going to go to voicemail he heard,
“Paul, what’s wrong?”
A typical response so late at night.  Harlan had said the same thing many times over.  Once he told Paul,  ‘Son, when you call after ten, something is wrong.  You have a job to do, get to it.’ when he’d apologized for waking Harlan.  Of late, he’d have to wake Alma, and as often she would be the one to come out to console a family member after a car accident or just help someone through the process after a loved one was arrested.
“Alma, I need to stop by and talk with you.  Are you at home?”
“Yes.  . . .  Paul, you know. . ”
Paul cut her off, ” yes, I will be there in a minute.”
Paul wiggled the phone in his breast pocket where it just barely fit.   He drove the few hundred feet from the drive, turned right and parked again. After turning off the engine he sat for a bit.   Alma had heard the crunch of tire on the drive, and rose to open the door.  When Paul looked up from the gear shift there was Alma standing at the front door, lighted room showing her silhouette in the storm door, for once, there was no shadow behind her of Harlan.  Paul broke down and cried.


“This can’t be good, Harlan. Paul’s calling.  You should be the one here to take this one.”  Alma said to the empty room, as much to Harlan’s spirit.
Paul had thought about the next call in the back of his mind since he heard T.J. tell Harlan’s body was missing.  It went in the long list of calls he didn’t want to make but had to.  It was right up there with the worst.  Not only telling someone their loved one’s body was missing, but it being Alma?  She’d taught him at Sunday school.  Close friends with her oldest boy all his life,  Paul knew she’d be gracious, understanding, sympathetic to his having to tell her.  She wouldn’t show to everyone how it hurt, whatever it was.  Though over the years, being around the house, he’d noticed that Miss Alma didn’t always let on how things really affected her.  They’d had a talk about that when he had first become a police officer.  The putting aside of your own feelings to do the job at hand.  It’s why he didn’t call her son, his friend first.  He wanted to let her have some freedom to just react, for once.
He debated on whether in person or on the phone would give her the most room.  This was not going to be easy to say, much less take.  He took Alma and Harlan’s advice, straight forward and in person.  Not only was that the right way, it was also the best way as far as investigative work went, to see that initial reaction.  In most every case, everyone one is always suspect, even family.
Paul saw to it the investigation was started and decided he wasn’t going to get another call letting him know the body had been found.  Harlan had been officially dead now for two hours.  It was time, he couldn’t put it off any longer.

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