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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The Twilight Zone

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/100-word-song-woke-up-this-morning/

Hush dominated Silas’ scene. His panting couldn’t complete with the quietude around him. Blood pooled around Bart. Silas swiveled his head to look for passer-bys or the two men who had walked into the warehouse before incident. No one had seen him shoot the gun. He looked at the wound on Bart’s neck but gushing fluid hid the bullet. Silas’ breathing picked up, cutting across his chest like dozens of tiny blades.

“I’m so sorry.”

His apology bounced off the pavement. Silas ran to the driver’s side of the Cutlass, dropped his keys on the ground, picked them up then made another frantic head turn to look for witnesses. He saw none.

Silas cranked the car then made a U-Turn heading back to Ft. Myers. Tears reached the corners of his mouth. He replayed the gunshot in his mind, trying to figure out how the bullet made its way to Bart’s neck. He slapped the steering wheel with his hands and whimpered.

“Damn it! Damn It Damn It! I’m so sorry! Yes! She killed him, Bart! I wanted to go the police and tell them he was blackmailing her but she wouldn’t let me!”

He caught himself from saying more. He could feel Olive’s presence in the car, watching him, disappointed in his sensitivity but cheering his heinous act.

He stopped at a gas station two miles away. He bounded from the car and ran to the payphone. Digging a quarter out of his left front jeans pocket, he called Bart’s house in Ft. Myers. Zola answered.

“Hello?”

Silas couldn’t catch his breath. He thought Zola would figure out what he did, just by him asking for Olive. He slammed the gray receiver back into place and dropped to the floor of the booth and sobbed.

A phone book dangled next to the him. He read the ad on the back.

BEACON MOTEL: $24 ROOMS, CASH ONLY, FREE HBO, 941-5555

He got up and went back to the inside of the car. He remembered the sign for the Beacon Motel when he and Bart had gotten off the exit. It was less than a mile away. He pulled away from the gas station and started planning out loud.

“I’ll hunker down at the motel, call Olive, figure out how to get out of town and start all over.”

The motel’s décor was blue, white and yellow. A moon and stars motif belied a lack of upkeep. He pulled into the backside of the business, got out and counted out the money in his pocket that Bart had given him.

“Fifty-six dollars and thirty-four cents, I can make this work.”

He opened the Beacon’s front door. A bell tinned and a middle-aged woman of maybe fifty-years-old grinned after taking a drag from a Virginia Slims cigarette.

“Hey there, handsome. Need a room or are you lost? We get as much lost as we do business, these days?”

Silas let go of a sheepish smile, pulled a twenty and a five from his money stash then responded.

“No, ma’am. I need a room for the night.”

The woman pulled a ledger book from under the Formica counter and puffed smoke around her words.

“Sign in here, sweetheart. Since you’re paying cash, all I need is a name.”

Silas hesitated, then handed over the money and picked up the black ink pen and wrote what he and Olive talked about for him if they ever changed their names.

Evan Butler

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

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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New Sensation

I was sweating, babbling and at one low point, almost crying, but after a speech to my 18-year-old daughter and her best friend about the potential dangers of driving into downtown Atlanta for a Miley Cyrus concert, I realized I was a dad. And suddenly, I was okay. Not really.

I think I need to stop reading my teenager’s Twitter feed because I’m starting to get more envious than worried. With two months left of her high school senior year, she’s starting to become an independent young woman, having fun, making mistakes, and doing it all with the same wide-eyed reckless abandon I did, a generation ago.

taylorwalkhallway My daughter at the schoolhouse.

She came home yesterday after receiving induction into the Spanish Honors Society. I think this means she has to order from Mexican food menus in the appropriate accent but it also means she’s very smart. At the end of this week, we’ll revisit her college, Georgia State University, where she’ll spend the next four or so years of her life becoming more grown up and really ready to be her own person.

After soaking up some academic pride, she started getting ready for her first ever no parents around concert. It was Miley night. Nothing had ever been more important. What struck me the most is how it reminded me of Def Leppard night, or Motley Crue night, or INXS night, the three concerts I went to when I was her age, a senior in high school, in 1987/1988.

Instead of ripped, bleached jeans, a baby mullet, and a touch of eyeliner, she was packing blue jean shorts, flannel shirts, and a touch of eyeliner. I felt some pride, which was weird.

Then, I lost my mind. Bad.

The speech was bizarre, like Frances McDormand from Almost Famous meets Sam’s dad’s from Sixteen Candles.

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At some point I created this scenario where guys would try to entice them with better tickets by asking them to get in a van. It was awful. But I guess sometimes you have to go over the top to get the results you want.

I ended it all with “don’t do drugs and don’t take your clothes off” and I gave them some extra cash for emergencies. I’m sure they spent that on snacks. Just snacks.

I don’t know what happened to me. But my transformation into stereotypical dad scares the hell out of me. It doesn’t matter how many tattoos I get (I’m on 8 right now), how many blogs I write (two currently , go see my other place www.leftypop.com ) or how many medias that are social accounts I try to rock, I’m going to be the dope who told his daughter and her BFF to not do drugs and keep their clothes on with tears in his eyes.

tayandleimileyshow  My kid (right) & her BFF (left)at Miley last night.

Parenting is hard. Some of it because I wish I was 18 again, getting ready for INXS in March, 1988, at the OMNI in Atlanta. I promise, dad, I spent the extra 10 bucks you gave me on snacks.

My fingers may or may not be crossed.

Here’s a song from that show 26 years ago. RIP Michael Hutchence. I wanted to be you so bad, back then. Just like my kid wanted to be Miley Cyrus last night.

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

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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Do I Wanna Know?

You want to know how traumatizing it is to transfer secrets onto a blank screen? Hitting send is opening your veins and your only hope for survival is the acceptance of other cutters.

*****blogger’s note****

After four years, a special community I found by chance on the internet is closing it’s virtual doors. Thank you Trifecta Writing Challenge http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ . Go see them ASAP and find a bunch of other writers who will make you smarter and more entertained.
This is my 33 word goodbye. Trust me, they’ll understand and dig the melodrama. Good bye Trifecta.

Here’s the best song you aren’t listening to, The Arctic Monkey’s Do I wanna Know?

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

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 – Anything

I owe Lindsay Lohan an apology. Every time she or some other celebrity check into the hospital for “exhaustion” I make fun of them. I could qualify for a bed, tonight. I traveled back to New York City last night and this morning, worked all day, then collapsed in my hotel room. Thus, 100 word song didn’t get posted in the morning, per usual.

One of 100 word song and My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog’s most loyal readers and writers, Carrie, from The Muse Unleashed http://museunleashed.com/ chose this week’s tune. Her Rachel story has been built through prompts and one day she’ll publish it all together and blow us away. It’s brilliant. Her choice for this week’s song is Hedley’s Anything, an infectious pop ditty.

For my 100, we go back to Silas and Olive on the run in 1989 Florida, my fiction short story tentatively titled Light of Day.

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/gigantic/

Bart put up his hand and shouted.

“Stop! Streetlight’s out. If we need to run, this’ll be perfect.”

Silas pulled the Cutlass into an industrial area and turned off the engine. Bart watched two men walk into a warehouse office. Silas noticed a flyer flapping on a telephone pole in the light Florida wind. It settled enough for him to read its advertisement.

Go Back To School. Prepare Yourself For Anything. Florida Technical College. 233-2323

Bart swigged the last of his coffee and opened the door.

“Follow the plan, Silas, and we can do anything with the money we’ll have.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Hedley’s anything. Use the medias that are social to brag about your 100 then link up to the green Mr. Linky below.

Marigold

Any therapist worth a minimum of $50 an hour will say that talking through it helps you heal, but the stone cold truth is, I don’t think I have the right words to describe what The Walking Dead did to me last night with their episode “The Grove”. It’s like they punched me in the stomach and stole my lunch money. It’s been fifteen hours since the greatest show ever about the zombie apocalypse went off the air and I’m still winded. The rules of the internets dictate that I start this with *SPOILER ALERT*, because I didn’t watch last week’s show until right before this week’s so some of you are gripping your DVR controller. So, here we go, dudes, plot points are contained within.

all photos courtesy of AMC

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Let’s wash off the blood off our eyes and hearts of what the writers and producers put us through. The hour centered on Carol and Tyrese with their adopted brood of 3 girls, pre-teens, Lizzie and Mika, and baby Judith. They come along a Grove, it looks like Covington, Georgia, but I could be wrong. It was beautiful, the kind of place I played at one of my relative’s old farms growing up. I live right outside of Atlanta, where the show is filmed.  Anyway, the place they find has it all, a place to cook, garden, plenty of water, and little to no walkers aka zombies. But there’s a killer in their midst and well, okay, let’s not be coy, it’s bat crap crazy Lizzie.

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Throughout the four seasons of The Walking Dead, man’s humanity among mass inhumanity and vice versa is the theme explored over and over. But in the past few episodes we’ve watched more about what being on the run and beheading the re-animated dead can do to kids, like Carl, Lizzie, Mika, and will one day do to baby Judith. Mika and Carl have turned into warriors, perfectly capable of icing, axing, shooting, stabbing, and killing things that are dead, while maintaining some civility toward the living. But Lizzie, as we say in the south, bless her heart, her wired got smoked. She doesn’t seem to mind killing the living and her affinity for the zombies is straight up creepy and completely wrong.

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Carol is the most complex character on The Walking Dead. Her Facebook relationship profile has “it’s complicated” in every column. She appeared to us for the first time in season 1 a battered wife, so timid she could barely speak. Her brutish, abusive husband eventually dies. Then supposedly the real Carol shows up. But not really. Her stark realism of “I do what has to be done” isn’t appreciated by anyone other than Daryl. They almost get a romance started when a flu overtakes the prison everyone calls home. To save hundreds of lives, including Tyrese’s kinda sorta girlfriend, Karen, she kills Karen and another infected with the super flu person. She’s banished from the zombiepocalypse cool kids despite teaching the children how to read, write, make dinner, and kill walkers like there’s no tomorrow, because, most of the time, there isn’t one. But ol’ Carol gets redemption but not really, yet. She meets back up with Tyrese and the youngins and what happens? Crazy Lizzie and in progress Mika.

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What happened in the last 15 minutes will be talked about for years. The Walking Dead has been setting bars, leaping over them, and resetting more for a while. Every mistake has consequences on The Walking Dead. Carol and Tyrese left Lizzie, Mika, and Judith alone. They come back and Lizzie is covered in Mika’s blood with a harangue of “see, it’s going to be okay when she comes back”, meaning reanimated as a pre-teen walker. Uh, no, Lizzie. That won’t happen. Carol and Tyrese know what has to go down. Carol’s words, “she can’t be around people” are the new “soylent green is people” of this generation. Well, that and when Carol takes Lizzie out back to “pick flowers” for now dead Mika’s memorial.

“Just look at the flowers.”

That’s what Carol says to Lizzie. Try saying that to your kids this weekend at the park if your knees buckle and your stomach knots.

The good news is they spared Judith, for now.

Let’s be straight about one thing. If Melissa McBride, the actress who plays Carol, isn’t on the red carpet in Los Angeles in the fall with an Emmy nomination, they should cancel acting awards, forever.

What did The Walking Dead do to us last night? They showed us that anything is possible when a TV show isn’t JUST a TV show. I can’t wait for next week. If I can recover.

Just listen to this song that’s not really about flowers.

Here’s the Nirvana.

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

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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I Palindrome I

Unironic rebel flags, velvet Elvis paintings, unprotected hunting knives, a Duck Dynasty racecar, snakeskin everything, and axes, out in the open, for conscientious slashers.

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Being out of my element lifted my doom mood.

*****blogger’s note****

This morning I accompanied my wife and 18-year-old daughter to a rural Georgia Flea Market. I laughed throughout and lifted myself from an exhaustion induced depression.

This is a 33 word piece with 2 palindromes for my friends at Trifecta www.trifectawriting.com. They’re going out of the internet business very soon so please go by and find some excellent writers and good humans.

Here’s the perfect song for this weird post from They Might Be Giants, I Palindrome I.

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

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

My Best Friend

It’s been my experience that the best blog posts start with a confession so here’s mine; despite being on my second wife, I never wanted to be married. I mean, I think it’s a worthy institution and I’ll continue to fight to my last breath to make sure my gay brothers and sisters get to do it legally, too, but for myself I’ve never been a fan.

When I was in college I was engaged. It was a silly relationship with someone much older and I found myself talking marriage at an age when everyone else I knew was trying to figure out how to come up with the best ramen noodle recipe to go with the cheapest beer. When that liaison played out, I found myself happily single in a social circle that was getting married, divorced and married again.

The first time I tied the knot I did it because everyone else I knew was married and I figured to have someone to hang with on a regular basis, I needed to “grow up”. Simply finding other single people was way too heady for my 27 1/2 year-old self so I said I do to someone I didn’t know very well. Surprise, it didn’t work out despite it’s 8-year-reign of whatever. I didn’t cheat, beat, drink (too much) or gamble and the union produced my now 10 1/2 year-old daughter who is straight up awesome. But the fact is that marriage was doomed because we weren’t friends. Forget the word best in front of that, we weren’t even casual buds.

In may 2008, I’d broken up with someone who was a cheap knockoff of a Sex and the City character and swore I’d never marry again. I was becoming a good father, something I always thought I’d be. But I didn’t think I was a very good married person. I was working through mental health issues, making my crazy work for me in an everyday get through life, way. So when I met the woman who would become my second wife only six months later. I knew there’d be only one way it would work.

We’d have to be best friends.

My wife and I have some deals in common but not everything. She listens to country music for crying out loud. But she enjoys long, meaningful conversations.

Check.

She appreciates parenting, the hard stuff, like getting all “mom” or “dad” on a kid when they need it, and canceling “date nights” when the budget requires we pay for doctor bills, school stuff or prom dresses instead of hitting a movie and a steak at Longhorn.

Check.

She knows that curling up on a couch and binge watching gangster bikers on Sons of Anarchy or killing walkers on Walking Dead is just as sexy as getting as dressed to the nines and clubbing.

Check.

I’ve been traveling for work and I’m pretty much miserable because I miss my best friend. When I was married before, I traveled for work and enjoyed it because I didn’t have to be at home with someone who didn’t dig me the most and vice versa.

My wife doesn’t understand why I was depressed for two weeks after Lou Reed died last fall. She doesn’t get my compulsion to get up in the middle of the night and write. I know she will never comprehend my yelling at the television during Braves baseball games or Jets and Crimson Tide football. But the fact I’d rather sit in a room and blog while she and my 3 daughters, now 18, 10 and 9, put episodes of Pretty Little Liars into their eyes like a junkie puts smack in their veins means that I got married for the right reasons. I’m with my best friend. Now, I just need to make sure I don’t screw it up.

bestfriendsaa

Here’s the Weezer.

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

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

Gigantic

Last time: https://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/100-word-song-lonely-boy/

Silas moved the Cutlass’ rear view mirror to see what Bart was putting inside the trunk. After it slammed shut, he watched Bart stick his right index finger inside a baggie of white powder then pull it out and run the finger over his teeth. A grin escaped Bart’s thin lips before folding the baggie and shoving it in the waistband of his jeans. Bart got in the car, fidgeting as he gave instructions.

“The name of the place in Sarasota is Paul’s Bar & Grill. Head north and  do the speed limit. Between my pants and the trunk, we have about 3 to 5 years of jail time.”

Silas sighed and said under his breath, “yay, another 100 bucks.”

He liked driving with the windows up so he could listen to the radio but Bart rolled his down and stared at Silas until he did the same. After a couple of minutes of silence, he stopped at a red light and Bart broke the awkward tension.

“This guy we’re going to see, Paul, he’s a hippie type. He hates confrontation. So when we get there follow me inside and don’t speak. That shiner under your eye and your high school football muscles will be all the leverage I need.”

The light turned green and Silas pressed down the accelerator. The soft Florida wind whipped about the car and they didn’t speak for almost ten minutes when he reached the interstate on ramp. Bart pulled out the baggie of white powder from his jeans and offered it to Silas. He who waved Bart off, then watched him sample the material with his finger over his teeth, again. Silas pulled into traffic as Bart’s question cleaved the night air.

“So, is Olive like your old lady or just a thing?”

His gall punched Silas in the heart. He swung back at Bart with a blunt sentence that shouted over the swirling wind.

“She’s mine and I’m hers so let’s just leave it right there!”

Bart laughed and said something in return but Silas didn’t hear him. He increased the speed of the Cutlass, passing an old pick-up truck using the far left lane. Bart rolled up his window and yelled.

‘Slow down, rookie! We get popped for speeding and we’re both dead!”

Silas’ sweaty palms relaxed on the steering wheel and he let off the pedal, watching the speedometer go from 75 to under 60 in seconds. He rolled up his window and replied.

“Look, Bart, I appreciate your place for us to stay and the chance to make some quick cash, but Olive and I are off-limits when it comes to your other stuff. She starts her new job tomorrow and maybe I should look for one in Tampa, too? You know, one where my face doesn’t get beat up and speeding tickets don’t send me to prison?”

Bart didn’t respond. Several minutes passed when they both saw a sign for an exit advertising a truck stop. Bart sat up straight in his seat, smoothed out his thin, greasy hair over his scalp and neck, then said.

“Get off at this exit. I want to get some cigarettes and something to drink. By the way, just so you know, running junk is my only business. I just help Zola with hers. So if she turns your girlfriend out, that’s not on me. It’s been my experience that women make up their own minds with that. But shit, I could, be wrong. Maybe your girl is special.”

Silas pulled the Cutlass onto the off ramp and looked up at the gigantic truck stop called Heroes. He shook his head and thought to himself how nothing in Florida is as it seems.

****blogger’s note*****

This is a new story episode of my serialized fiction, Light of Day, about two 19-year-old lovers, Silas and Olive, on the run in 1989 Florida. There’s no prompt but Merriam-Webster’s aka @merriamwebster on the twitter’s  “word of the day” is cleave, so I used that.

Here’s the Pixies with Gigantic.

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

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

What A Liberal Looks Like

snowempirestastatebuilding

Last week, I stood on the 81st floor deck of the Empire State Building watching a morning snowstorm blanket New York City when a voice behind me snarked “beautiful city, too bad the liberals ruined it.” It reminded me of the last Halloween when I was in a Haunted House maze in rural Georgia, bumping into a wall in darkness and someone spat behind my shoulder “this place is set up like the Obamacare website”. That reminded me of last summer when I was in Washington D.C. with my wife and three daughters visiting the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and a middle-aged woman remarked “it’s his fault why everyone has their hand out these days”. I wasn’t sure if she was talking about me or the 32nd President, whose New Deal helped the country deal with the Great Depression. But, I took it as a compliment because like FDR, I’m a liberal.

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Being a writer, I’ve shoehorned my better instincts into a pledge to enjoy the medias that are social; the Facebook, The Twitter, and Google+, because I advertise my books, blogs (this one and the other one I tri-operate www.leftypop.com) to family, friends and followers. I do so without shame because who needs that that when you’re on the internet. I try to not complain too much about discourse, political or otherwise, online. For every ten like-minded, smart, funny, interesting connectors, there will be one hundred trolling knuckleheads. It makes art fun. Not really. But it’s a lie I tell myself so when my $5 amazon and lulu royalty payments appear in my bank account I can justify going through these motions as a tortured soul for the sake of being what I always wanted to be, a writer.

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It’s offline that really blows.

I live in a very conservative place, politically and culturally; suburban Atlanta, Georgia. It’s nice to look at. The dogwoods are blooming, the kudzu is awakening, and little league teams have started in the numerous parks around my house. The schools are good, here. But the way people talk to and about each other politically and culturally is getting worse. For the first time in my life, I’m sick of being too punk rock for the room.

This morning, I got up, showered, then helped get my 9-year-old daughter get ready for school. We playfully argued about her dressing too light for the rainy day. We analyzed a rerun of Victorious. Then we got in the car, drove less than a mile and dropped her off at third grade. I don’t think I screwed up society during any of this, despite what the guy in line at the convenience store said about me to his friend while I pumped my gas.

“Stupid President is letting Russia invade Ukraine. The liberals are going to get us in another war.”

I should’ve been impressed he knew about current events and got the name of the country correct but I wanted to tell him the last two wars were conservative creations. But my handle clicked then I dropped my gas card then I just got tired.

John Kennedy, another liberal President I admire, once said.

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

I agree with the guy who slept with Marilyn Monroe. That’s what I am, a liberal, not a philanderer.

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As my conservative friends tell me they aren’t anti-gay but pro definition of marriage as a man and woman for religious reasons, I resist the urge to get anthropologically indignant with them, pointing out the original Aramaic the Bible was written in, was likely misinterpreted when it was printed into Greek and later English thus the gay is sin stuff may be wrong. But I draw the line at “religious freedom” bills recently vetoed in Arizona and Kansas and one sitting in the Georgia legislature. They’re Trojan horses containing everything the worst of in society, bigots, believe about same-sex and non-white Christian relationships. I’ve had it with wanting to go back to pre-1954 living and using my religion, Christianity, as cover to do so. This is why I’m a liberal.

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I pray a lot. I make sure my kids are fed, dressed, educated, and don’t rob liquor stores before breakfast. My key worked when I left the house this morning so my wife seems good with me. I’ve never voted against anyone’s lifestyle or their right to make choices with their own body or their own families. So the next time you use the word liberal in a derogatory fashion; out of fear, ignorance, frustration or all three. just remember, you know what a liberal looks like. You’re reading one, now.

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

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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