Evolution of Self Image

This Friday’s background playing theme song was One Day One Step by Etta James. Listen to my background play list at J.Kolb’s Blog Playlist 

Dear Diary,

What is harder than writing? Growing up, of course! Maturity is fluid.

Right now, mine is waxing and waning according to hormone levels. This sucks.

My mind is crammed full of unnecessary information, leaving not nearly enough room for writing.

What is it that makes us actualize ourselves? Ever wonder how you came to be you? Deep questions.

Questions a writer might ask about during the development of a character.  Distinguishing an imaginary person from a real one maybe a thin line within my mind, is that a sanity issue? Moments of doubt can make me wonder me whether or not I am writer, as well as sane.

Learning it is ok to be awkward when you start something new is a really good lesson to learn.  No, it is not too late for an adult to learn that lesson either.



OOOPS! This Is Late!

This Friday’s music background can be found at my playlist on Youtube (as can all previous music). As always I will give the song, the artist, the album, label and release date. To listen to the song/video you can follow a link to my playlist from youtube.

Jump Off This World performed by Amber’s Drive off their album by the same name released January 2015.

My playlist on youtube – J.Kolb’s Blog Playlist


Dear Diary,

So this last week was our 29th Anniversary. A thought struck me, I know as much about our future now, as I did standing on McCracken County Court House steps after Judge David Reed married us— that would be: absolutely zip.

The future was a big unknown. My first experience at marriage was disastrous. It came with inherent problems I had no clue about, much less how to deal with them. What I did learn from that first fiasco was to always go with my gut. I hadn’t and it set up a domino effect for everything else. So in my second, I just went with it, my gut.

Then I made my first mistake, I tried to plan. Make my situation and circumstance fit the normal process of become a writer. Pleasing people that are important to the cause, follow the accepted ways and means of doing business as a writer, even straddle the fence between accepted normal approaches and going rogue. My development as a writer has been stagnated by that desire to be a ‘writer’ by the numbers. Attempting to half way follow the course of traditional wannabe to active published writer has left me stressed and too busy with details to do the real work and study I need to do.

Thus my level of frustration was also increased. Frustration with my skill level, annoyance with my inability to have my finished pieces sound like my imagination, and above all, stay true to who I am. Trying to check off too many boxes of what and how I need to do this. So, I am trashing the list and going back to my gut instinct.

I am not an expert about much. I am an expert at imagination, and myself. What I am capable of doing and the manner in which I can work. I am also willing to broaden that familiar base and improve, expand my knowledge and skill. Right now I am working on writing in a genre that is totally unfamiliar to me. Why? Because the idea concept of the story requires it. I love the idea. I love the concept. So, I have to grow into it.

This brings me round full circle; when I was on the cusp of my marital life with The Hub, I didn’t know I would grow this much as a person. Briefly, for a while I have dealt with personal setbacks that appeared as an internal struggle. Questioning myself, quite frankly because I didn’t see events coming that I felt I should have. In retrospect, I wasn’t shocked at other’s actions; I was disgruntled with my own hurt feelings and disappointed, questioning what I had done to be treated so badly. What was wrong with me? Time resolved most of that, and distance has aided my perspective greatly.

One underlying factor in all of it was understanding the motivation and how those dominoes fell. This is something writers/storytellers do. They pay attention to the nuances and dynamics of experiences knowing that at some point in the future, they will be able to parlay them into a story plot, flesh out a character or use in a scene to more a story along.

Learn at your own pace: about life, about writing, and especially about marriage. Happy Anniversary to my old man, The Hubs. Love you oodles and gobs, bunches and bunches,



The knock at the door startled Margie.  She jumped, in her seat looking to her Dad on her left and over to the couch where Leo was napping. It couldn’t be Wayne, he wouldn’t knock.   The knock came again.
Margie couldn’t remember hearing a vehicle, but the rain was coming down so hard, she may not have heard it.  She rose and went to the window over the sink to check the drive; no car.  The knock came again closer to the door she could hear voices.
“There may not be anyone there.”
“No? Well, there is a vehicle in that shed over there, see? There is somebody here.”
The first voice sounded like a woman’s, but the second was deeper, a man’s.  It sounded familiar.  The knocking became louder, stirring Leo and her Dad behind her.
“Who is that Margie?’, her dad’s raspy voice filtered by the rain barely reached her, but was apparently loud enough for those on the other side of the door to hear.
“Open up!  Let us in, our vehicle is in the lake.”
Margie moved to open the door, Leo now standing behind her, prepared to take down whoever came through the door.  The lock clicked.  The door didn’t budge. So, whoever it was, wasn’t cautious or not here to harm them.  Margie slowly pulled the door a crack open, just to peek. Then threw it open wide.
T. J. and Sam stood feet up to the threshold soaking wet.  Margie grabbed each by an arm and pulled them across.  She pushed them into the room.  Leo stood between the three and the room.
“Leo, get out of the way, they are cold and wet! We have to find them some dry clothes.  T.J. go sit by the heater, I will bring you a towel, you in the bathroom and take a hot shower.”  Margie pushed across the room to the bathroom under the stairs, grabbed towels from a shelf and turned on the hot water.  She shut the door on the way out with a quip, ” I will be back with some dry clothes.
Leo after fighting agains the crowd of three shut and locked the door.  He took the towels from Margie, taking them to T.J.  “Your car is in the lake?  Are you ok?”
“No, I am not ok.  I just landed in a ditch.”
“I can see that, are you hurt anywhere?”
“Man, I am hurt all over. If you are asking me do I need medical attention; no, I do not.”
“T.J. let me at least check you out.”
“T. J. you know that your wife will have my hide.”
“Fine, then you check out Sam too.  I landed in a ditch of muddy water and some thorny bush.  So a few scrapes and scratches are all you are going to find. ”  T.J.’s voice lowered.  “Sam landed on the other side.  She may have blacked out, she didn’t answer my calls right away.”


Paul met Fred in the hospital security.
“Paul, I’ll walk you down, we can talk on the way,”  they left taking the elevator down to the the basement.
“Fred, tell me,” after the elevator doors closed.
“I pulled the tapes from the corridor to the morgue.   We had only initially pulled exits.  I thought better and pulled all cameras.  You probably won’t need them, but, well, you got ’em.”
“Thank you.”
The ‘team’ was really a part timer and the deputy that stood guard duty at the courthouse Monday through Friday except for holidays. The part timer was the town photographer.  They had taken pictures, dusted the foo and waited on the coroner to arrive. Once there the coroner looked the room over, nothing was out of place and checked the body to verify it was indeed Harlan’s body.
Paul and Fred passed him in the hall.
“Looks like they just broke in to the leave the body.”
“Did you check?”
“Yes, and it’s Harlan.”
“It’s Harlan, what more? . . . OH! No, there was nothing done to the body.  If you ask me, they thought they were taking another body, realized it wasn’t the person they came for and ditched what they took.”
Fred nodded his head, “They though they were taking Danny. My money’s on it.”
“Danny died?”
“No, Paul, but he was here last night. Left shortly after T.J. and Sam left.  Hospice.”
“You don’t say.”


Tighten Up by the Black Keys off the album Brothers released 2010 on Nonesuch label.


Dear Diary,

Do you know what reality and people have to do with dreams?  They are both limiting.  Quite frankly, I have had my fill of all things limiting.

I do a fine job of limiting myself.  I know very few who have such a fantastic hold on their own lives that they have any business trying to handle anyone else.  Those do have told me in no uncertain terms they won’t take responsibility for telling anyone else how to live their life.  Ask them why, and they say because they know better.

We all have our own experiences to get through. We can help, accept and commiserate as needed. What we can’t do is make anyone live their life, or write their words according to our rules, not really.


I am taking back my power.  Power to make my own decisions.  Power to write as I see fit.  Power to be me.

It isn’t pretty. It isn’t heroic. It isn’t even newsworthy.  It just is.

I write.  I don’t care if you like it or not. I write.  It will either speak to you or won’t. I write. How big will my circle of readers be? I don’t know. I am not worried about it’s size, or financial impact. One is good, what I have right now? That is fantastic!  I am happy, not because of the number of followers, profit, or recognition. I am happy because I am doing what I love.

This is it. Writing. I am happy.

How I do that, is my way. Whether it is judged by anyone else as the best way, or could be improved, doesn’t matter. This is me. This is how I write. This is what I write.

The process of getting here has been interesting.  I think there has been growth. Definitely there has been confidence budding deep within.  That is what I needed.

The catch is – no one could give me, grow me, or create within me that confidence.  We all have to find our own.  We all have to build it up.  How we do that is as unique as each of us.

No advice. Just encouragement. Live your life as you see fit. Be a good you. Be the best you ever. Start today.





Alma sat up until Paul left the kitchen and disappeared into the garage. Her hands pushed back on the chair arms and the foot rest popped up. Leaning back into the chair she sighed. Harlan’s body missing or not; dead or not, she was tired. Too little sleep, too many people, Alma felt like she just need a few minutes rest before she had to face the next bit of news.
Alma’s mouth dropped open and a light snore filtered out just as Paul walked into the room. His mouth was open to speak as he came near and realized she had fallen asleep. It’d been a hard week on her. Probably a hard few months to be honest. Walking over to the couch where he had been sitting, he checked his watch as he sat down again.
Fifteen minutes. He could spare fifteen minutes. They both needed it. Her more so than him. He set his watch alarm, leaned his head against the back of the couch. For the next fifteen minutes they both took much needed power naps.

Half Way There

Drag by Day Wave a single released on iTunes May 4, 2015 – Jackson Phillips solo vehicle.  Link provided by Day Wave. (Thank you! Such a gracious artist.)

Dear Diary,

Sick. I am so worn out, that I am now I am physically ill.  Yuk.

The end result of pushing myself.  I want to find my voice within my writing.  So much emotional baggage held me for longer than I have been able to tolerate. I am dealing.  I have been coping.

Truth, yes, I have tried to rush it. That is probably why it has held me back, like being in a holding pattern over O’Hare Airport. Once landed, your departing gate has moved two terminals over and you have less than twenty minutes to make the next flight. You make it and then the plane sits on the tarmac for another hour while the craft awaits mechanical care; something important like oil. Then you use the wrong parking receipt in the machine to get out of long-term parking.  You pay for ninety-six days instead of four.  Feel me yet?

It’s like that.

It been a series of negative events over the course of years.  My Pollyanna rose glasses fogged and cracked.  Thankfully, I have had some longtermers that held on despite my attitude and acting out.  They have had faith in me when I lost mine.  Pulling me out of hermit-hood.  They who have read my little poems and short stories.  They have held the carrot and baited me forward.

I am so very lucky.

Maybe being sick is a good thing.  Time to rest, recoup and realize how much progress has actually been made, more than I thought. Life is good, again.

Love you, my peeps. Thank you.




“Alma, do you want me to call the boys for you?”
“I really need to ask you some questions, the boys too. Are you sure you don’t want me to call them?”
“No, I really don’t.  I needed to be alone before you told me that, I need to be alone for a bit more after this.  Even knowing Harlan was dying, it is still taking a bit to adjust to it.”
“Alma, I really need to ask you a couple of questions and then I will let you go, ok?”
“That would be nice considering,”  Alma’s mouth formed a straight stiff line. Her patience level of being kind, considerate, had already reached it’s limit many times over the last days.  She had felt her nerves start to unbind and she had just begun dealing mentally with all the ways her life would change now with Harlan gone.  Now this. ” Go on, ask your questions.”
“Do you know anyone who might pull this kind of stunt, taking Harlan’s body?”
“Not off hand, no.  There were some citizens unhappy with the proposed zoning changes that were coming up before the last election. Those stopped once Harlan announced he wasn’t running for re-election.  Same thing with the church, but once he revealed why he was leaving the pulpit, their sentiments changed.”
Paul jerked.  He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out the phone, checking the incoming call.  Looking up at Alma as he rose, “I need to take this.”
Paul walked thru the kitchen out a door on the opposite side of the room and into the garage shutting the connecting door as he went. “Give me something good, Fred.”
“I think we found Harlan’s body.”
“Well, damn! Where?”
“In the morgue.”
“Hospital morgue?”
“Yes, the crew I sent to check the building found evidence someone broke into the morgue.  No one has touched anything, but they could look through the window and there is a body in there with a Johnson Funeral blanket over it.  We haven’t had any one else die tonight.  The last dead body I can recall in that morgue was over a month ago that I can recall.”
“Ok, just keep that secured and I will get someone out there to start processing. Fred, thank you for the call.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

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