Walking with a Purpose

“I guess you’re right,” he said, as she wrapped a scarf around him. “You just get so used to being cold that you forget.”

My heart broke, crying out in pain for another human being. How could we do this to our fellow man? To those who are more genetically similar to us than flies are to each other? These people are our kin.

There we were lined along the donations, over looking the Mississippi and downtown St. Paul. Volunteers on one side and homeless on the other. The street lamps illuminated the stark contrasts; homeless vs non-homeless, brown skin vs white.

We stood around, milling, waiting for someone to need us. To serve them hot food and drinks, to wrap them in clothing, to speak to them. Anything to try to right the wrong society had served to them.

“You said there is a shelter,” she asked me. She was new not only to the organization, but to the United States itself. “But where do they go when that’s not open?” The answer caught in my throat a moment. Partially taken aback by her naiveté.

“No where,” I said. “They’re just trying not to die. They can’t get too cold can’t get wet, can’t get sick, can’t skip too many meals. They’re just trying to survive.” Then silence was stuffed like cotton between us.

To be homeless is more than barely making ends meet. The task at hand, is literally, to not die. And it’s easy to forget that we still have dignity in the face of that enormous task. To desire something a small as “a sports team hat” or “with a pretty pattern”. I understand. I too have sighed and thrown out moldy bread that was donated to me, or refused pants that smelled like pee. It’s the tinniest of gestures that get us through our darkest times.

I believe the lesson that matters here is that we are all brothers. We are all in this together, no matter the underlying problem. And, sometimes, it’s easier to help the unknown stranger than it is to confront our own festering wounds.

If you would like to help the homeless in MN, please donate to Walking with a Purpose.

Reblog: Self-publishing News: New Year, New Predictions | Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center

I just read a fascinating article by ALLi (see below). Some of these trends I noticed in general, such as so many things moving towards subscription. But I love the idea of moving towards more interactive stories and what that means for the writers. There are so many variables to combine and that is what I think will lead to far more interesting and engaging stories.

The more you know!

Enjoy. 🙂

Source: Self-publishing News: New Year, New Predictions | Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center

Late for Work

Lucas packed his work bag, filled his coffee mug, and headed out into the chill.

He hastily sipped his coffee before flinging his car door open. Once inside, he position his items, started the car, and opened the garage door. Each action a smooth, practiced motion that took a fraction of a second.

The engine turned over letting out a comfortable growl. He loved the feel of it purring beneath his fingers through the steering wheel. The radio blared at him, still set to an ungodly volume from his commute home. He sighed as he turned it down.

One more sip of coffee and then he was strapping himself in; foot poised over the brake. He reached for the shifter and clicked into drive with an easy swipe. The backup cam popped up on his dash. At first there was nothing, just the absence of his radio. Then the familiar image of his driveway appeared. It was blurred at the edges where road grime clung to the camera clouding it.

But it was the shape of a person that caught his eye. He had already released the brake and was beginning to back out, when the image registered in his mind.


He hit the brake an instant later. Mere milliseconds had transpired.

What the hell?

Lucas parked the car and opened his door. His breath left him in bursting puffs; white wisps that billowed out before him. The flakes fell thick in the predawn. The only light came from his garage.

He stared down his empty driveway. No one was there.

A wind caught the accumulated flakes and gave them a playful swirl.

Lucas was alone.


The “Year of the Submission” is soon to close out and a new one to come whisking by.

A special shout out to Aeryn Rudel and his blog REJECTOMANCY. You have inspired me to get off my butt, hit the rejection pavement, and start getting acceptances.

For 2018 I have sent 41 submissions and received two acceptances! It doesn’t sound like much, but yay! Two were also personalized rejections. Keep in mind about half of my submission on are standby, having heard nothing to indicate an rejection or acceptance.

For the upcoming year I hope to double my submissions and thereby increase my acceptances. Also, I plan to submit to paying markets only. This is a big change for me. Since I was 11 I have wanted to be a published author and while I have found nothing but opportunity, I would like to show my “talent” as Stephen King puts it:

Image result for stephen king paid a bill quote

Cheers to a New Year and showing our talent. Best of luck, fellow writers.


Writer’s Prompt


  • Characters
  • Settings
  • Items and any other odds and ends that have the “spark”
  • 250 verbs
  • A room full of writers


Five minutes before writer’s group officially starts, hand out printed documents and scissors. Provide three mixing bowls and a colander (or a fourth mixing bowl if you are an adult and own that many) for each category.

Each writer draws one setting, two characters and at least three verbs (some took a “pinch”!) and writes. We do not set a time limits.

Results will be hilarious, dramatic, and spectacular.

Here’s a link to the doc I used with my writer’s group to get you started. I used a Pinterest board to collect ideas.

Illustrate our world

Image result for free images blue water color

Words are exacting with

their imprecision. Capturing moods,

colors, but leaving

measurements and formulas out.

Words illustrate our world as

paintings use the human eye to capture low lighting
though the proportions are disjointed.

This is how the writing goes

painful and broken.

Without sacrifice there can’t be art.

Finding strength with my pen, lifting 10,000 pounds and

carrying it

through time and space.

So that someone too will feel

as viscerally as myself. Will know as intimately this condition

called life.

If only for that moment.

If only for that time we share

like two sets of lips pressed

to the same cup,

living that experience.

Some other mother

It’s so stupid how out of no where it hits you. This wave of sorrow and guilt for something that isn’t even your fault. How tears eat away at brown eyes and you remember when your co-worker made you cry. How it was nothing in particular but really it was the weight of the whole world that made you crack. And how you wished you had just said it, “But my mom! My mom she’s—” And slammed the receiver down. But of course, the words never came.

You can articulate so well who you don’t want to be. That doesn’t make it feel any more fair or any more right. These tears they soothe, they burn, they heal. It makes the new skin itch no less. Are you sitting in this present enough? This pain? Do you feel each cell of your skin as you grow?

You are so much more than she was. And I wish I knew why that can’t comfort you. Why instead that stirs your anger, sinks you in sadness. If only the idea of a mother could come along—some other mother—someone else’s mother–and soothe you. Wrap you up and love you. Banish this nightmare.  If only

you had your mother.

Welcome to the world

Ah, and so there must always be a first. A first deep breath of a spring morning, the first kiss of the day, and even the first blog post.

Things are heating up and getting real in my writing life. It’s certainly not visible to the outside world *cough-cough* you guys, but we are feeling it at home. Lots of deadline and even, I might add, something other than a rejection letter.

Hopefully all is well in your world. Hello and goodnight.