Bizarre Love Triangle

This is a new story episode of my short story, Light of Day, about Silas and Olive, 2 19-year-old Georgia lovers on the run in 1989 Florida.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/lips-like-sugar/

Broken sleep and a morning beer buzz greeted Silas as he rose from the floor the Sarasota, Florida Beacon Motel, room 37. He pushed himself up to a standing position and located the Atlanta Braves baseball cap and dollar store sunglasses Olive brought him from Ft. Myers. He stepped over a snoring Zola and whispered into the ear of Olive who’d commandeered the bed for herself.

“Going out for a few minutes. I love you.”

She didn’t move but a muffled “love you, too” came from her.

Silas walked outside, let the door close behind him in a ginger manner to avoid waking the women, then looked for police. He spied a newspaper stand then dug into the pockets of his jeans until he found a quarter and a dime. Anxiety rolled over him so he pulled the cap down close to his eyes and donned the sunglasses. He paid for the newspaper then found a shaded alley behind the motel’s laundry service. Pulling the sunglasses off with his right hand, the left searched for a story of a body of a man named Bart found in an industrial section of Sarasota, Florida, shot in the neck.

The newspaper article never appeared. Silas ran through scenarios in his head just like Olive had taught him. When he stumbled upon one that made the most sense, he took off the baseball cap and sunglasses and walked back to the room. Olive opened the door as he arrived. She shook her head and pulled him inside, letting the door slam.

“Silas,  what the hell are you doing? Are you trying to screw things up?”

He pulled his arm away and watched the newspaper splay across the floor. He furrowed his brow, then pulled her mouth to his. The kiss was long, deep, and purposeful. Olive smiled when he let her go.

“Not anymore, Liv.  Get your stuff and Zola together then meet me at the car. I’m going to check out of the room. We’re driving to Tampa to deliver you to your first day of work at The Jade. I’ll find a job or some way to earn quick money and we’ll follow our six month plan to run away, together.”

Behind Olive, a groggy Zola pulled herself onto the bed, wrapped her shoulder-length dark red hair into a pony-tail, lit a cigarette and announced.

“I know where we can get money, a lot of it. It’ll take a few days and some planning. But once we get our hands on it, you have to take me with you.”

Silas and Olive stared at each other. He let out a large, audible sigh but before he could respond, Olive jumped on the bed with Zola, hugged her and said.

“Silas, I told you that you’d love Zola.”

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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100 Word Song – Lips Like Sugar

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Greetings from King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania. I’m here for work. Don’t worry, thank to my 9-year-old’s jokes, I have plenty of pencils. This is why 100 word is 8 or so hours late. I let Leeroy pick this week and he loves 1980s new wave/alternative acts. He picked Lips Like Sugar by Echo and the Bunnymen, perfect for Easter week. I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and chocolate, in case you were offering or wondering.

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For my 100 we go back to the Beacon Hotel in 1989 Florida with our felonious 3, Silas, Olive and Zola, my short story noir, Light of Day. It’s also linked to velvet verbosity’s “recognize” one-word prompt http://www.velvetverbosity.com/blog/2014/4/14/100-words-374-10-delicious-poetry-readings

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/achin-to-be/

The sugar-high conversation darted about the room. Olive giggled between cookie bites  and beer sips while Zola plotted.

“Liv, you’ve got to be at work by 11 in the morning. I’ve got a client at noon.”

Olive crawled to Silas and straddled his lap.

“Okay, Zo. We’ll crash here, hit Bart’s for clothes, then head to Tampa while you pack your stuff. No one will ever recognize we even knew Bart.”

Olive’s sweet kisses annoyed Silas as he mouthed “we need to leave, now”. She glided off his lap and joined Zola next to the bed where they planned their getaway.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from today to write 100 words inspired by Echo and the Bunnymen’s Lips Like Sugar. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and tell a friend or 50. Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

Original Of The Species

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I have a blended family. My 10-year-old daughter’s with us only half the time. I’m introducing her to the original Star Trek. She either becomes an astronaut like she wants or a blogger, talking about it to her therapist in 20 years.

 

****blogger’s note****

This is my 42 word gargleblaster for  yeah write’s prompt “Do You See Her Much?”

You’re No Good – Five For Friday

Self-awareness is a superpower. I believe this. One of the things I learned in therapy was if you own your crap, then you can get past it and concentrate on what you’re good at and try to be happy. I suck at a lot of things. But for my friend, fellow writer, and neighbor (she lives in the same town as me), Melissa, aka @realgirlmelissa from Quick Stepp http://melstepp01.wordpress.com/ and a fellow columnist at Lefty Pop http://www.leftypop.com just wants me to list five. For her “Five For Friday” blog hop, here are five things of which I’m no good, at all.

5) Relax. I’m 90 mph all the time. I don’t like sleeping in, lying around, hanging out, or chilling like a villain. When I watch a ballgame, I’m on Twitter, writing, helping my kids, running errands, or folding laundry. I fidget, pace, wander, flutter, loiter and babble. My wife and 3 daughters can sleep half the day and do nothing, very well. Not me.

4) Remember. This started a few years ago due to middle-age but I’ve always sucked at names. I’m great at faces or peculiar things regarding a person. But matching a name to someone is nearly impossible for me. My kids are known as “that one”, “what’s her name”, and “you know, her”. This is usually encompassing people I like and love. So if I forget your name, it’s because I dig you and include you in my wacky world. Roll with it.

3) Art, other than writing. I’m a writer so technically I’m an artist. I’m also a solid bad guitar player. But when it comes to any other artistic pursuits, I’m awful. I can’t draw, paint, sculpt, or design. I’ve taken acting classes, done some improv, and been onstage doing standup comedy 3 times and didn’t bomb, so I guess I can gab, but anything else, I’m terrible. We’re doing a photo shoot for my third book, Woman of Troy, this weekend. My wife, 18-year-old daughter, and her BFF are handling everything.

2) Style. T-shirts and blue jeans do me just fine, thank you. I live with 4 women. They dress me. I’m not allowed to leave the house without their permission. They handle my haircuts, clothes, and demand I wear a beard because they like it. My wife says it’s sexy and my 3 girls say it makes me look like a dad. Honestly? I don’t think they trust me to shave, There was a bloody incident in 2009 that we don’t talk about.

1) Handyman. Let’s be clear. I can do the basics. I was raised the son of a used car dealer and both my grandfathers worked on and sold cars. I can change a flat and tinker with preventative maintenance. My yard is cut. The mower runs. I just changed out a door knob with key lock after an hour of thinking I broke it. Point? I have no patience to be handy. I’ve worked with Habitat With Humanity because I’m a killer liberal but other than hitting nails, don’t trust me with power tools. I’m more of a helper than a builder.

There you go, Melissa. Five things I suck at.

Linda Ronstadt joined Nirvana, KISS, Cat Stevens, Hall & Oates and others in the rock hall last night. Here’s her version of You’re No Good. It’s the best one. I rule at music. So, at least I have that going for me.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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Achin To Be

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/100-word-song-im-shaking/

Zola dropped her shirt on the floor next to a six-pack of beer. She sat cross-legged in her bra and blue jeans in front of Silas, offering him a can while he rocked against the door.

“You okay, sweetie?”

Olive sat next to Silas, swigging her own.

“It’s a thing, Zo. He gets like this.”

Silas snarled his upper lip, spitting his response to Zola while popping open his beer.

“I just shot someone but I’m fine. Why’d Bart burn your back?”

Zola smiled, looked at Olive, then answered.

“Not everyone’s aching to be a good guy like you, Silas”.

****blogger’s note****

This is a new story episode from my serialized noir short story, Light of Day, about Silas & Olive, two 19-year-old lovers on the road in 1989 Florida. It’s off the one-word prompt from my friend Velvet’s Velvet Verbosity “Burn” http://www.velvetverbosity.com/blog/2014/4/7/100-words-373-national-poetry-month

Today;s song comes from my love of 1980s The Replacements catalog. Here’s Achin to Be.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad

American Blogger, The Real Thing

With a post due tomorrow morning for my politics and pop culture site I run with friends, Lefty Pop, my third book, a fiction novella, Woman of Troy, about a twenty-something female rock star,  currently in rewrites, and this post burning a hole in my head, my biggest obstacle is a 3-year-old cat who wants my leftover pizza sitting next to me on the couch. Shooing her away with my dirty workout panted leg and answering questions from my wife and 9-year-old daughter ranging from “did you put chicken out?” to “which one is Snow White on Once Upon A time?” to “what’s that smell?”, I lose my place and mutter a PG-rated curse word.

This is blogging to me. At least, it’s my experience.

My legs hurt from working out back to back days on a 43-year-old body, after taking 7 weeks off to travel for work. And I seem to be aging quicker than ever, as gray hair laughs with the aches and dance with my forgetfulness. Did I call about that thing I was supposed to?

Yet, I write. And it looks nothing like this.

The video you just watched is a trailer for an upcoming documentary moronically titled, American Blogger. My post is one of many already dotting the virtual landscape of Bloggerdom. Don’t worry. There are no technical English rules in blogging. We get to make them up as we go along. Bloggerdom is as much a term as selfie. Like the other posts you’ll read on this subject, I find that trailer and the movie it represents laughable and not reflective of the community I’ve been a full-time member of since May 2010, and a part-time member for five years prior.

I have no idea who the bloggers are, highlighted. I didn’t realize that children of supermodels also posted their lives, or portions thereof. But pretty people in fedoras, basking in natural sunlight tearing up at the notion of being a blogger isn’t my gripe. God bless them all. It’s the guy and his wife, The Wiegands, who made the film. I don’t know them. I think I’ve seen the wife’s blog around the corners of the internet over the past few years, but I’m not a regular reader. They say that they interviewed over 50 blogging friends. I don’t think they’re lying. But calling a flick about their clique, American Blogger, is a very bad joke. My first thought when my blogging friends showed it to me was that it belonged to Saturday Night Live as a digital short or some mockumentary. I started looking for my favorite cast members.

Being a writer, or a blogger, and yes, sometimes they’re the same like a real estate novelist and other times they’re as different as real estate agent and novelist; is a job. You have to treat it as such. I write every day, post every other day, and take it as serious as I can without upping my usual medication. I haven’t made a lot of money doing it. I’ve sold some books, made some money as a freelancer named Lance, here and there, but mostly, it’s a labor of whatever that can, at times, resemble love.

American Blogger is to blogging as Nickelback is to music. It’s bad. It has Kardashian depth in a milieu that’s diverse, unique, and impossible to film in less than two hours, much less a 3 minute trailer.

No, I haven’t see the whole film but the promotional material suggest something that isn’t what I know of the blogging world. Take away the good-looking folks, impressive cinematography, voice of God narration, and super duper clean homes, and it’s mostly hip, young, white women talking about their fashion and lifestyle sites. That’s a subculture of a subgenre.

If you really want to know what blogging looks like, check out the people who read this place, my http://www.leftypop.com site and my social media accounts for a community that’s very difficult to classify. Then go read and follow many other sites that I don’t even touch with my limited scope.

I wish I could write more, but my cat has won this battle of nitwits and I’ve got to take out the garbage. Real bloggers know how this is done. It’s more like the real thing.

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Go Insane

I walk into the kitchen, trying to remember why I should be there. A bowl of cereal with milk disaster is splayed over the linoleum floor.

“Girls!”

All three are upstairs. I turn around and see my golden retriever licking his yawn.

 

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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100 Word Song – I’m Shaking

The one thing you can’t explain to non-writers or people who don’t spend time online is how you can form relationships with like-minded people that don’t live in your neighborhood, shop at your big box store or have a kid on the same little league team as yours. Dawn aka @mooivrouw is a textbook example of this. She writes at The Dawnie Project http://www.thedawnieproject.com/ and is one my closest music freak writer pals. She lives near Chicago and gets to see all the coolest concerts. We share a major love of Jack White and his 14 different musical projects including his 2012 solo album Blunderbuss. Leeroy asked Dawn to pick this week’s 100 word song and she chose Jack’s I’m Shaking from that album.

For my 100, we go back to Silas in that seedy hotel room in Sarasota, Florida.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/100-word-song-flowers/

Silas closed the door. He buried his forehead into fiberglass and watched his hands tremble.
Olive grasped his waist and cooed.
“Everything’s okay, Silas. No one but us know, And trust me, Zola’s not talking.”
Silas pushed her arms away and turned around.
“Really, Liv? She’s living at Bart’s, doing God knows what for him, and I k…..”
Olive jumped within inches of him, placing her left hand over his mouth.
“Bart’s gone and that’s okay. Zola, show him.”

She pulled off her blouse, turned her tall, lithe figure until her back displayed three cigarette burns.

Silas’s entire body shook.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from, NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Jack white’s I’m Shaking. Use the medias that are social to advertise your brilliance and link up with the green Mr. Linky button.

Wanted! Outlaws, Whereever They Are

A grudge is a hell of a thing. It’s heavy to carry and I’m probably too old to still have one. But, what I have against country music is strong and at least I’m man enough to admit it’s there. The anger has built so much, I didn’t realize it had been 30 years since it started. But maybe if I get this off my chest, explain to you why I feel so much hate and disappointment toward a genre and a generation of lost souls, then I can move on.

My wife and kids make me listen to country music in the car and watch country awards shows on television. They’re heavily engaged in the Academy of Country Music Awards right now. They talk about people who couldn’t hold the spit cups of the country music heroes I grew up with like Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, Leon Russell, Steve Earle, and  the Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser.

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I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in its suburbs. Rock and R&B competed feebly with country music in my family’s 1970s and 1980s homes and 8-track car stereos. My memories start at the age of five so when Wanted! The Outlaws was released in January 1976, it was like I was living with a really cool Aunt and some bad ass Uncles. It played every day in my house. It became the first country album to sell a million copies and radio stations, pop and country, played it all the time. My parents were young, still in their mid twenties, high school sweethearts who had me, their first child, when they were only 21 and 19 respectively. The appeal of gritty, brutal truth tellin’, dope smoking Christians who sang about drinkin’, cheatin, and being on the road must have been overwhelming. Because they let Willie, Waylon, Jessi and Tompall raise me for hours on end.

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A couple of years later, my grandparents bought a summer-house in the North Georgia Mountains town of Hiawassee, about an hour and a half away from where I lived with my parents. It was a major fixer-upper. It’s where I learned how to fish and work hard. There was a concert hall a mile from the house called The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Jeannie C. Riley, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, and every other major country artist of the 1970s played there. It’s where I learned about real country music. But something happened. I grew up, but country music didn’t. I guess I should be a snob, an arrogant punk, since I learned about that genre as well as alternative and college music as I got older; and say that I evolved while country music did not. But it just never got better. George Strait seemed okay. So did Reba McEntire. But the good stuff, the music the Outlaws sang about was banned from Nashville and the mainstream. The drinkin’, cheatin’, dope smoking lefty Christian stuff that was about real life became “alt country” that you had to search for like Indiana Jones in a Peruvian jungle with the rolling boulder of Garth Brooks chasing after you. What was around seemed bland, apolitical unless it was conforming to conservatism, and produced for mass consumption rather than anything artistic.

My grudge grew.

I think the only thing I hate more than modern country music is nostalgia. But they don’t make country artists like they used too. Even the ones that seem scraggly and contradictory dudes and gals that try to sing about Sunday Mornins’ Coming Down the way Kris Kristofferson did when I was a kindergartener seem inauthentic. You just know they have a manager dialing the Betty Ford clinic if things get out of hand.

Maybe this a me problem and it’s time I got over it.

Waylon Jennings died eleven years ago still asking a question no one’s been able to answer “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?”. His longtime wife, Jessi Colter is semi-retired but supports their son, alt country outlaw star Shooter Jennings. Willie Nelson is known by this generation for his weed use and his troubles with the IRS, two things that would’ve made him a hero back then, but tours and has the respect of several genres of music. Tompall Glaser retreated from the spotlight of the late 1970s and became an in demand songwriter and producer in Nashville. He died in August of this year.

Did country music devolve after Wanted! The Outlaws or am I just overprotective of my not really Aunt and Uncles? Did the next generation of artists sell out the Outlaws? I don’t know. I act like I do, but I really don’t. Thank God for YouTube and iTunes, huh?

But maybe I need to stop treating today’s country music of today my wife and kids seem to enjoy as enemy white noise. But like I said at the start of all of this, a grudge is a hell of thing.

A version of this post originally ran on the website http://www.raisedontheradio.com on November 24, 2013.

 wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

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Drain You

Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994.

I woke up this morning sad, but fully aware, so I went for a run around my neighborhood. I tapped the buttons on my iPhone music library until the Nirvana songs came on and jogged as hard as I could until my middle-aged gut gave up. It didn’t seem like twenty years since Kurt Cobain died until I realized that I could run longer back then listening to his music on a Walkman.

The top search phrase for this blog is Kurt Cobain Sycophant. Sometimes, you just have to be who are and play the hits. As much as I wanted to do as he and his band did on the MTV Unplugged Special in 1993 and play covers, rarities, and unusual songs, I miss him too much not to bring my usual game.

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In five days, the living members of Kurt’s band, Nirvana, as well as his widow, Courtney Love, will put aside years of acrimony to be on hand in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to accept induction of the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nirvana, and Kurt’s memory, will be forever enshrined. To many music fans or the casual observer this caps two decades of chatter about the man Rolling Stone Magazine once ridiculously called “a spokesman for a generation”.

He was small, moody, weird, and cared about and sang for society’s underdogs. I identified with all of it. But his suicide twenty years ago, today, April5th, ended rock stars as heroes for me. As great as his music was, the fact now I know he was selfish, petty, a junkie and poor parent makes my admiration for him simplistic; confined to his art.

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I’ve lost a lot of friends and family. Together, we had personal memories full of inside jokes, intimate thoughts and fun. With Kurt, it’s very different.

The songs age well. I miss his articulate interviews, political positions, and unique perspective. But I stick with the music.

Grief can drain you, but when it’s for someone you didn’t really know, you rejuvenate through what they left behind. Kurt gave plenty for me to remember. I miss him now, as much as I did then, thanks to it all.

 

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com

bookcoverpicajjhkasfpaperbackpicturesad