Random Concerns of Late Summer

The good California folks rescuing my intellectual property from the fried hard drive called yesterday to tell me the data rescue had been successful, that my data is on the way back to the Right Coast, or thereabouts. Now I need to figure out why my external hard drive wasn’t saving that most important data. Or maybe I should invest in some cloud or other. But those are concerns for next week.

Next week will also provide a peek at the area around my bionic knee. It seems, as the orthopedic said, I have a loose screw. There! On the knee! Damn you, joke-mongers!

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Otherwise, things look good. The mended heart is slowly, maddeningly slowly, strengthening, although I’m still occasionally gasping for breath. What with my current inability to finish the 60s novel’s first draft (I’m already thinking of a  few revisions), I have leisure time now and find myself drifting toward my classical guitar for the first time in ages. It’s always good to reacquaint with old friends. And by the way, my comments on the publisher’s “improvements” on my  WWII novel are made and emailed to the publisher. Ball’s in your court once again, Omonomany.

The Olympics spectacle is over, the Braves are sitting all too comfortably in last place, and I’m not yet thinking of football. How long before college hoops begins?

 

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A Moment of Mental Self-Stimulation

I’ve just been reading a friend’s blog. He’s written something rather arcane as the blogosphere goes, i.e., about the connectivity of past, present and future. Which of course sets me to wondering: I’ve never quite considered his angle before. So let’s do so: Many spiritualists exhort us to live in the moment. And the question for this Sunday morning is whether each of an infinite series of “nows” is separate and discrete or whether “now” is essentially an illusion.

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Is it possible to live in an eternal now? If so, then if “now”is a long string of such moments, isn’t it possible, indeed likely, that there can be little or no connection between them? Similarly to the discrete nonsense that are thoughts that just pop into your mind, having no relation to one another? If this is the case, then how can the past, present, and future be connected?

But what if this business of “now” is simply a state of mind? A mood or attitude? We all know that each moment’s experience doesn’t have to be continuous. For example, you’re driving to work, thinking about a problem you’re to solve in your profession. Suddenly, someone T-bones you at an intersection. You’re unconscious, and the next thing you know  you wake up in the E.R.

If living in the moment means approaching such discord with equanimity of mind, then the continuity we’re considering is transcendent to the ups and downs, the random and disconnected events of life. Such things as past, present, and future, then, become mental constructs, a way of speaking about the way things in life already considered and  dispensed with bear on what our mental energy seems currently preoccupied with, and how that experience and preoccupation build expectations.

You see? We’re so hard-wired to think of life in terms of past, present, and future because we’re so attached to the physical objects and situations of our minds. In mind, then, you can begin to build an attitude that allows you not to be swallowed by such end-result attachment. Then this whole thing of past, present, and future goes away.

 

Visit my website here. On it you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you. And there’s a gridleyfires Facebook page, too, if you can find it.

Waiting

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Here I sit, thrumming bony fingers on my desk. No word on progress in retrieving data from my fried hard drive. And after repeated phone calls to the water works to have them answer for an outrageously priced water bill, the phone’s not ringing with said explanation.

Perhaps it’s some wry form of poetic justice that I’m also waiting on some promised comments from reviewer/readers of a WWII novel I’ve written, and – hopefully – will see in print before year’s end. The comments I’ve received so far on the novel are an odd amalgamation of identified typos, added narrative that someone or other feels will make the novel more informative. Not so when they recommend sticking a bit on extraneous narrative in the midst of a scene’s dialogue. Someone out there doesn’t understand fiction writing at all.

Ah, well. It’s all in the spirit of turning out a good book.

 

Visit my website here. On it you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you. And there’s a gridleyfires Facebook page, too, if you can find it.

A Technical Interlude

For those wondering why the sudden cessation in the story, I have this to report:

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My hard drive fried. It works in tandem with a fusion drive, which makes things happen quicker, but it’s hard to retrieve data with this configuration. Both drives had to be sent to a specialist in California, who has  to piece together the data from both drives.

It’s costly, and time consuming.

Hopefully I’ll be back blogging in a week or so, with my bank account lightened severely.

Serialized Story – Chapter VI

CHAPTER VI

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The door had creaked open, the rectangular gap sundered by Archie’s gangly frame. He grinned at Donnie. “You bragging on your mama again, huh?”

Donnie didn’t reply, so Archie, in his socially awkward way, looked to Sam. “I don’t ‘member much about your mama, Sam, but I bet she was smart as a whip, too.”

Donnie picked up his cue, held it to the rafters and, rolling it with nimble fingers, sighted down its taper. Then he chalked up and stroked the cue ball. A pair of striped balls rattled toward the corner pockets. As they disappeared, he winked at Archie. Then he threw a glance Sam’s way. “You the only one here,” he said to Archie, “who’s gonna have people around to sing your praises when you hit the dirt side of the sod.”

Archie eyed them both and nodded. “That little daughter of mine, and them twins of hers, they’ll be Johnny on the spot then, ‘specially them two little ones. Don’t know what I’d do without ‘em. You two ever get lonesome for grandkids?”

Donnie leaned his stick against the table, fingered a smoke from his shirt pocket, and lit it. Another wink. “I got my Mama. Sam here ain’t got squat, ‘cept Lu, and it ain’t for sure she’s gonna stick around.”

Sam bristled at that, picked up his paper, and sat. He shook a pair of pages apart.

“Hey Sam!” said Archie. “If Lu packs her bags on you, I know this cute little gal you could run off with.”

“She ain’t gotta be cute,” said Donnie. “Ol’ Sam can’t see too good nohow.”

“Pull yourself a beer off that tap,” Sam said to Archie, “and y’all shut up.”

Archie’s chin quivered.

“He’s been that way all morning,” said Donnie. “Don’t know what’s come over him.”

Archie blew out a long breath and then drawled, “I guess a fellow that runs a pool hall’s liable to have a mood now and again.”

 

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Serialized Story –Chapter V

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CHAPTER V

A half hour passed. Sam readied a new keg for the tap. He wiped down the bar and made a few swipes at the dusty floorboards with his broom. He took out the trash and burned it. When he returned, Donnie was absently whistling as he filled another cup.

“All right, then,” said Sam, “let me ask you one more time. If Wesley Wilding and that church bunch of his is so all-fired important to you, then what do you get from hanging out with ‘em?”

Donnie sniffed, worked his mouth back and forth as if chewing. “I like singing. I get to sing a little bit.”

“That ain’t much of a answer,” said Sam.

Donnie began an awkward shuffling.

Sam smirked. “That’s what I thought. You just hide out there when you think them sins’ve been mounting up and they about to tumble all over you.”

Donnie stomped a boot, sending a thunderclap through the rafters. “Dang it, Sam, what’s crawled up your ass this morning?”

Sam leaned, arms braced on the bar. “Just tell me, has all that done you any good?”

Donnie sighed. “Not according to Mama.”

“And she should know,” Sam said, as if it were a question.

Donnie nodded. “She’s the smartest person I ever knowed.”

 

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Serialized Story – Chapter IV

CHAPTER IV

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Donnie didn’t look up. “Sometimes I got to look after more’n the here and now, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Bull,” said Sam. “You just get scared Hell’s gonna scorch your britches. Then you let them sons of bitches twist you ever which way.” Sam waggled his fingers for Donnie’s beer cup. He refilled it and handed it back. “Myself, I ain’t been much on religion since I come back from the ‘Nam, ‘specially the kind of gospel they spew around here.”

Donnie probed the gap in his lower teeth with his tongue. He frowned. Then he shrugged and sipped his beer.

Sam snorted. “You think you can have it both ways, don’t you? You think you can chase women and gamble, drink and carouse, and then you can run off to church, and you won’t stay up nights worrying ‘bout what’s gonna happen to you when you die. Worse yet, you let that ol’ preacher and his deacons lord it over you – until you get tired of it, that is. Then you thumb your nose at ‘em and waltz on down the road and don’t give a thought to whether they’ll take you back next time you feel the need for a little religion.”

Donnie backed up to his table. Sam was becoming a scold, and Donnie didn’t like it. “It ain’t exactly like that. It ain’t, Sam, and you know it.”

“Okay, let me ask you, then. Just what do you get outta Sunday mornings hollering them hymns and amen-ing ever other thing that comes outta Wesley Wilding’s mouth?”

Donnie threw back his beer, crumpled the plastic cup, and tossed it in the general direction of the trashcan. “I’m going back to shooting pool.”

 

Visit my website here. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.