The Gift

A Locked Box

The man who taught me martial arts once gave me a box. A locked box to be precise but he did not give me the key. He told me that inside the box was something I would love and that would change my life, but I had to wait for 1 year top get the key for my next birthday. In the meantime, I should try and guess what was in the box.

At first I guessed the mundane things one might initially think of . . . money . . . treasure . . . a wide variety of material things. Then, I started to let my mind wander and began to imagine all kinds of fanciful things that might be hidden within the box. Secret and unexplainable things filled my mind . . . it could be anything within the box. There was no way of knowing. It was like some mirror view Schrodinger’s cat . . . it was nothing and anything all at once. Physics and pragmatism gave way to impossible possibilities and I imagined things that I could not even describe.

A year later he kept his word and offered me the key. I declined it. . . I knew what he had given me, I didn’t need to look in the box to see. He had given me dreams. . .

Monday coffee thoughts…

matter of perspective
Monday thought

Something I was thinking about while sipping coffee this morning

First Try At Carving A Spoon

Hand Carved Cypress Spoon
My First Try. . . Hand Carved Cypress Spoon

I tried my hand at carving spoons today. I have to say, I am really happy with how the first try came out. The cypress wood gives it a really cool swirling grain to it. Best of all. . . .no Blood! Not a single cut. . . .which for me, trying a new type of carving, is something of a miracle.

Flash Fiction – Random Picture Story

So this week’s flash fiction challenge on Chuck Wendig’s blog was to write a story for a random picture. Now, I know this is actually a Peruvian Chullo hat or something like that but that is not the first thought that came to mind. . . I went a little more fanciful with my story. . .

The photo url:

The Glitter Man
The Glitter Man

For the record it should be stated he did not ask for it. He had, on many occasions begged them to stop. It was to no avail though. They kept doing it every time he fell asleep. He’d wake up and find himself covered with random bits of color. Sometimes it was just glitter sprinkled on him and other times, like today they went all out.

His hair was actually woven into the yarn bits and portions of the hat were glued to his head. He guessed it was to keep it all in place while he slept but, was not quite sure. It happened like this sometimes. The bush fairies would get in a color-fueled frenzy and go crazy.

It was his fault. Had he listened those many years ago and not given milk to the cries in the bush he would have had a much less complex life. He was young and foolish and didn’t listen though. He knew best and he put the saucer of milk by the bush. He had fed them and they had stayed with him ever since.

At first it was just flowers in his bed. Bright little bundles of wild flowers left for him and he had thought it very quaint and special. Then it was flowers woven into his hair. While a little less quaint it was still, interesting and harmless. Then they discovered textiles. That is when it started to go a bit odd.

Hats were the first things. Random colorful hats would be on his head when he woke up in the morning. No matter where he woke up. At home, they were there. At a friend’s house, they were there. Serving in the military, they were there and his drill sergeant was not at all amused. They were always there and he had no way of stopping them. People thought he was insane, they sent him home from the Army. No one wanted an insane man around, even if he was stylishly accessorized with colorful headwear.

Then, just as he thought things wouldn’t or couldn’t get worse, they discovered glitter. He remembered it was a cold day in early fall and there were no colorful wildflower blooms in the fields. He had always thought that was why they found glitter. They could find no color they wanted in nature so, they found it in some craft supply store. Then glue was next because the glitter fell off too much he assumed. Beads, pom-poms, tassels, and streamers followed in quick succession as they branched out their artistic efforts.

Soon after that they began to combine things. Beads in his hair and glittery cheeks. Pom-poms tied to his ears with nasal streamers of rainbow colors. The list was almost unlimited of the things they did. He couldn’t stop them. He tried staying awake but eventually, he had to sleep. He tried having someone watch over him but everyone thought he was crazy and wanted nothing to do with him. He set up cameras to capture them doing it but they stole the film and made streamers out of it and decorated him with shredded plastic tassels.

He was too old now to worry so much about it. He left it where they put it and just went about his life. The people around town all thought him completely mad but harmless and nothing he would do would ever change that view. Once you were mad, you were always mad. No one in a small town ever came back from being bug nut whacko. You just were always assumed to be hiding it better. So he didn’t try. He went about his life as best he could.

He would fish alone and sell his catch to a man in town. He would hurry into the store and buy what he needed and milk to put out in a saucer for them. Even though he didn’t appreciate all of the things they did, he also still couldn’t let them go hungry. It didn’t matter if he did, they didn’t leave so he might as well be right about it in his heart. He was a good man.

He had built a fence around the bush where he had heard them crying those many years ago with wood he found washed up on the beach. Over the years he had added much of the color from his morning gifts to it so that it was a patchwork of aged wood, dried flowers, bits of fabric and yarn and threads and, of course, lots of glitter. He kept adding to it until the fence completely hid the bush and the layers of adornments muffled any crying inside.

He was a good man. He would feed them because he had no choice but he would also hide them away. He would make sure that when his days were done they would not find another to do this too. He was neither angry nor bitter about it. He thought of them as his children and had genuine affection for them in his own way. He also wanted to make sure that no one else would ever suffer the same harshness in their life.

They meant well. Of that he was sure. They meant all of their efforts in love and affection as a way of thanking him. They didn’t know what it cost him and like a good father, he would never tell them even if he could. You accept. That is what parents do. They meant for him to be bright and cheery like a smile or a summer’s day. He saw it. After all these years he saw it and understood it and accepted it. He cherished not being alone. He cherished what they meant to do because, they meant well for him.

The children of the town called him the glitter man. They thought he was quite mad.

That was ok.

He would make sure they never knew the truth behind the glitter.


Getting Back On Track Writing

cover design for Sparrow
Rough Idea for the book cover design

Trying to back on track writing my novel but. . . it can be hard to pick things back up again. Working on a cover design. . .that usually helps me find the mindset again. Focusing on one image that would speak for the story helps me strip down what the idea was to start off with and get back to the basics of it all.

Flash Fiction Challenge Ten Titles You Made Up…

This is my story for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge Ten Titles You Made Up… Which was to take the title and do a 1000 word or less story for it. . . .so. . .this is what I got…

It’s a bit of a different take on the “sitting outside” part of the title. . .


They Sat Outside Eating Cake

“The monkeys are agitated again.” Nix hissed from several of her thousand mouths.

“They are always agitated about something.” He replied.

“Ya, but this seems like one of those big agitation things not just a little ripple.” Nix replied as she looked across years of time, watching the pattern bubble to the surface. “It’s building and building without any place to go.”

Cthulhu made a vile gurgling noise of annoyance.

“Don’t get mad at me.” Nix hissed.

“I’m not.” Cthulhu shuffled over to peer at the bubble Nix was describing. “It’s just damn annoying. They are finally getting it right and they are going to implode, yet again.”

“Maybe we should go talk to them and explain.” Nix offered without much hope the idea would find any acceptance.

“Ya, that’ll work.” Cthulhu chuckled and inadvertently caused a mud slide in Peru.

“Stand back you. Geesh!” Nix scolded him. “Look what you’ve done.” She said surveying the destruction. “You’ve got to keep a handle on that. Just because the monkeys are being stupid doesn’t give you the right to do that.”

Cthulhu twitched his tentacles apologetically. “Sorry.”

“It doesn’t do to vibrate the veil too much. Nothing good comes of that.” Nix smoothed the veil out again, purring soothingly until it was still.

“So what are the monkeys upset about this time?” Cthulhu asked.

“Oh, everything. Apparently they have separated themselves by every possible way of classifying each other to point out every difference so they can properly despise each other in every way. Right now apparently they are upset that people who look too much alike want cakes when it should be people who look different that get cakes.” Nix explained.

“Can’t they just share?” Cthulhu threw up half of his tentacles in frustration.

“I told you we should have used something a bit more group friendly. Monkeys are just nasty little cusses when you get down to it.” Nix told him.

Cthulhu shook his head. “Wouldn’t work, trust me. I’ve done the math. It has to be an omnivore that has a sweet tooth and is smart enough to figure out butter cream frosting or it’s just not worth it. Herbivores would make nasty cakes with no eggs and fluffiness and a carnivore would make it out of meat.“ He sighed a musical chorus of sighs that would, had it been heard by a lesser being, driven the listener mad. Nix, mother of night, she of a thousand whispers, however, found it somewhat soothing.

“We should go talk to them.” Nix said again.

“No.” Cthulhu objected again.

“Why?” Nix asked.

“Because every time I do that they go insane and start eating each other and every time you do they all start thinking the world is ending and then they stop making. . .”

“Cake.” Nix finished the sentence for him.

“Exactly. Hopefully they will stop caring about stupid things and stop worrying who has an inny and who has an outie and get back to the job.” Cthulhu said and Nix rippled the darkness in agreement.

“They are good at making cake.” Nix said after a few moments of non-time.

Cthulhu nodded in agreement.

“Can we. . .?” Nix let her voices drift off, the unasked question hanging in the air.

Cthulhu gurgled in amusement. “I suppose it can’t hurt too much.”

“I mean, they are already all worked up.” Nix said and Cthulhu nodded. “So what’s the harm?”

Great Cthulhu nodded in agreement.

“Let me make the hole though, you keep jiggling things too much.” Nix told him and Cthulhu stepped back to let her slide her many hands into the time space fabric so he could reach in.

“Get chocolate this time. No more of that tutti-frutti weird stuff. That’s not proper cake.” Nix said and Cthulhu sighed. He kind of liked the weird flavors but, he nodded. Chocolate was good too. As Nix slipped the veil ever so carefully outside a downtown bakery and made an opening, Cthulhu slide several of his huge tentacles in, deftly grabbing at the cakes within the shop. They both tried to ignore the screams and other assorted odd noises that followed as he pulled out a cache of cakes into the dark with them.

“Ewww.” Nix winced.

The monkeys were all upset now. Those in the shop apparently had gone quite mad and gone on a zombie like rampage through the city eating people. Cthulhu looked embarrassed.

“I told you. They freak out when they see me.” He said by way of explanation.

Nix shrugged and began to lay out the cakes in proper fashion so they could see what they had gotten. There was a wide array of flavors and styles and, thankfully, some good old fashioned chocolate cake as well. Nix purred in excitement.

Cthulhu though was watching over time and troubled by the monkeys growing instability. He wished he could just tell them to stop but, he knew they wouldn’t listen. They were all howling and hooting about their own vision of their purpose, their destiny. Nothing was going to calm them down but time and maybe less caffeine.

“We should just tell them.” Nix said.

“Can’t.” Cthulhu shook his head. “They’d never believe it.”

“But if they keep going off they will end up doing something drastic again.” Nix warned.

Cthulhu nodded.

“And then…” Nix started.

“…No cake.” Cthulhu finished.

“Right.” Nix nodded. “ So we should tell them before they get all twisted up about their purpose or destiny again and start lobbing bombs.”

“They wouldn’t listen.” Cthulhu sighed.

“Then we slap the shit out of them and tell them Oiy! You! Shut up and make cake. That is what you little monkeys are supposed to do. That is all you are supposed to do. Now stop being fussy and make more cake!”

Cthulhu took a slice of cake. “They wouldn’t believe it.”

Nix sighed, he was right.

They just ate their cake sitting outside of space and time and watched the monkeys.


Poetry Print – Shattered


Steam Punk Journal Cover

Steam punk journal cover
A design idea for a Steam Punk Journal Cover

I was just playing around with a Steam Punk themed journal cover idea. . . sort of a captain’s log in the royal air navy theme. Mixed a lot of different things. . . .quite a few Leonardo sketches in the background. . .Just figured he would definitely be Steam Punk if he was around today.

Politics and getting out tough stains

infomercial picture

So. . .maybe it is just me but it seems like things have changed. We used to listen to political leaders for speeches that were inspiring, well written, and profound. They were things that school children would later have to memorize in some public speaking class.

Now. . .it kind of reminds me late night infomercials. Every candidate, no matter what party or level of office could, at any point in time, pull out a rotisserie or box of stain busting laundry powder and I would not be surprised at all. I actually would find it oddly comforting because then at least I would know what all the shouting was about. Hell, everyone wants their wash to come out cleaner and their chicken to be roasted to perfection.


Its just kind of up in the air why everyone on all sides is so angry. At least the other way we get cleaner clothes and a good meal out of it. . .

Painting – Vampish

Vampish – Pastel on 8 ply art board

An older piece. . .I have always loved this one though. Pastel on art board that was treated with acrylic ground for texture. Was one of the first pieces I did that ground on and when I got done I realized I had actually sanded my finger prints off. LOl I had no idea it would be that course but it does allow a lot of layering of colors.