First Printed Draft!

This is a photograph of my first printed draft of my novel. I did all of my own edits and drafts digitally, so I must admit that holding this physical copy was far more emotionally rewarding that I ever thought it would be.

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An Allegory of Opportunity

Beginning a new work-place adventure after 6 years in one place can be a terrifying and marvelous prospect. I immediately waxed poetic on the feeling. Below are my thoughts.

The ship I stand upon is opportunity.

The spray of this unknown sea promises thrill, torment, magic and malice alike.

A cold wind blows, doubt. The sun breaks the clouds, hope.

Behind me is not safety, but familiarity. I think I should like to be unfamiliar.

The creaks of the decking whisper the responsibility of adventure and the horizon is mystery incarnate.

Too long has fear kept me moored where it may have hauled an anchor.

Now the sea she calls, and I will answer.

I trust to three things; my hands, love, and a lust for adventure to spurn me on.

Fare well, the setting sun I knew so long – I’d see you rise for me now.

Haul anchor!

*It’s important to note that I have an immense fascination with maritime exploration, hence the obvious and much used metaphor of ship and sea.

Early Onset Winter, 5 Ridiculous Ways To Enjoy Snow

Tis the season! A 100 percent chance of complaint meets a disgruntled front emanating from homes to create a perfect storm of unseasonable misery guaranteed to pile your social media feeds under feet of colorfully profane descriptors of mother natures loathed precipitation.

A snow lover, such as I, can only hope to make the miserable masses find glimpses of glee within the crystalline water that blankets our earth, In this spirit, I make an attempt to help the seasonally challenged view the snow through rose colored glasses, that they might venture out into the snow for more reasons beyond having to. Here are 5 ways  to fight a surly attitude toward snow.

1. Consider using your hatred to incorporate war cries into your weather preparedness routine : Right before I leave the house, I always take a moment to stare mother nature in the hairy eyeball and speak in a lusty breath “CRY HAVOC! AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR”! I find that my mind becomes more geared toward accepting challenges I may encounter on my commute. I’m serious. I do this. Shakespeare not your thing? Perhaps Bill Pullman can rile you up… substitute alien references with snow.

2. Don’t have time to work out? You do now! Snow is even better than Gillian Anderson when it comes to screaming at you to get off your ass and work out. Bonus, a half hour worth of shoveling generally burns 288 calories. That amount of work earns you a serving of Ben and jerry’s, or a damn fine pint of beer!

3. Pretend you’re in an 80’s action flick while gearing up!  Ever since I first saw Batman Forever I’ve enjoyed the process of gearing up for ice fishing, camping, shoveling etc… let’s be honest, the film sucked, but it glorified the procedure of adorning clothing you most likely wouldn’t need. Throw on a kick ass soundtrack and mount up. Im a personal fan of the 80’s training montage playlist on Songza.

drinks of the season

4. Have I mentioned beer yet? How about seasonal beer?! Beers that are released for the winter months stand among my favorite that are available all year. There is nothing quite like tucking into a well deserved pint after some hardcore shoveling. I’ll also take an eggnog, whiskey and honey, wine, really anything to take off the chill and add some levity to the season. Bonus – the world becomes a massive fridge in the winter! Damn the confines of you ice box and load up!

5. Spend time with the ones you love outside.  All kidding aside, there is something truly romantic about the falling snow. There is a magic within the change of the world that defies explanation as a snowflake defies holding its shape in the warmth. Instead of binge watching(which is also an awesome reason to love the snow) take a night to play in the snow with the ones you love. After all, nothing will make you feel warmer, happier, more prepared, or jovial than the embrace of loved ones, regardless of the falling snow.

My Wife and I in the snow!

Experience Lust

799px-Kon-Tiki

“Watch Kon-tiki” John said early last month. A day’s doings drove the idea from my mind.

“Doug, you have got to watch Kon-Tiki!” his more recent assertion fired the “must-do” section of my brain and drove me home to do exactly that.

The film is a wonderfully realized narrative that depicts the events of a post WW2 fact finding expedition helmed by a man named Thor Heyerdahl. You might be thinking, “Oooh this sounds interesting, I think I’ll cap off the night by parking a ruler next to a blade of grass and charting its progress”. Allow me to describe it once more, and this time I’ll put some stank on it. Thor, and his team of willing (mad) accomplices built a raft, a vessel devoid of any means of steerage or propulsion, with the express purpose of DRIFTING in the open ocean from the coast of South Africa to, they hoped, the Polynesian islands. Six men would reside on a raft no more than 9 Balsa wood logs in length for 101 days while battling unhospitable seas, wavering morale, vessel degradation, visits from the creature of Peter Benchley’s obsession, and little to no radio contact. For emphasis, in 1948 this band of men, on a vessel created with materials that civilizations would have used hundreds of years previously (no metals or modern trappings), successfully drifted a distance of 3,770 nautical miles to reach a destination almost no one believed they could. There is only one word I know that accurately encapsulates such efforts: Adventure.

John telling me to watch that movie may very well have been him asking me to spend hours digging into the legacy of the expedition. It is as though he asked, what will you take away from the knowledge that this world has bred such heroes as this? A lust for adventure would be my answer. It is staggering to learn of the accomplishments inspired by the crew of Kon-Tiki, and I ravenously devour documentation of those that set out into the world in order to damn and bolster our perception of the earth. However, I find a most curious sensation bubbles beneath my flesh. The more I learn, the more I yearn to be away from page and screen. Each article inhabits deep recesses of my mind and it is though I can feel the spray of the sea on my skin, hear the call of a gull, and see before me a horizon that is beautiful and dreadful. Goosebumps riddle my flesh and a smirk smears itself across my lips as I defiantly slam shut the book of others accomplishments. It is time I had my own adventure.

I also have to be at work in a half hour.

Shit.

Though I walk out the door with the knowledge that there is an 8 hour obligation between myself and some grand sweeping adventure I am sure will lay itself before me, I feel alive even only confronted with possibility of tackling something alien to me. This whisper of risk addles my bones and I take a right where I would normally take a left. Another deft maneuver finds me down roads I never take in a city I live in every day. The proverbial path less trodden rewards me with the sight of a glorious magnolia tree in full bloom. Less than 5 blocks and ten minutes from my door rests a reward worth risks. I could have been late to work, but for my rambling I discovered. I wonder what fruits the next wrong turn will bear, and for this restlessness I have John to thank.

 

For those interested in learning more about the Kon-Tiki adventure,  visit this address – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki Continue reading