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Holiday songs

I wrote a few songs and posted them last year. I share them again here.

Note, these are the lyrics to what never became songs. So, they’re tuneless. If you know someone with musical talent and they’d like to write the music… Feel free to share.

And because I’d rather not just repeat myself, I’ll tap out a new one…

~~~ Christmas Boxes ~~~

From the boxes in the basement,
from the attic, from the shelves,
come the treasures, and the trinkets,
of past Santa’s Christmas elves.

There are lights all snarled and tangled,
balls and baubles, and tinsel tied,
the colored candles and tarnished holders,
from last Christmas, stowed with pride.

And this box here, the one with ribbons,
has the snow globes, Rudolph dear,
but one has leaked, its glitter powdered,
we’ll get a new one, and shed no tears.

There at the bottom, a color riot,
ornaments both gay and calm,
with photos faded, and pasta mated,
a poem penned, a phrase, a psalm.

All of theses boxes, taped and beaten,
contain our memories, our stockings too,
Unpack the holiday, our decorations,
Happy Christmas from me to you.

Writer’s Log: 1359

Continuing the sharing tradition.

Shadow Shoals 1.3:

If you have beta reading you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to announce it. I’m happy to spend an hour or two in trade, periodically.

City Afloat – Part One – a teaser

When the waves settle, and the dappled sea shimmers like silver cloth, there are the tales of ages past…

Dave Cline - lost and found

City Afloat

Part One

~ Flood ~

barrelRaft“Baba, tell us again.”

The wee ones scurried about the woven planks like hermit crabs. Every night it is the same; Baba, tell us the story of how we came to be. Only the little ones beg so. The older ones, those more than seven or eight, slip like eels from the hut when I begin the story. They know better. They know the why of it. And that knowledge has settled in their hearts like stones. Stones to drown them.

“Once there was earth, rich and brown, almost black, like night, like a shadow beneath the high, bright sun. And this earth was like the sea; it stretched further than you could see. And on this earth, and in it too, grew the food. Life. Well, life of a different sort, life made from green not silver.”

The wee ones knew that…

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A Hot Beverage

How about a spicy soda?

I was daydreaming, again, and came up with these, what do you think? (my lame Photoshop skills at work…)

Cap Cola

Which uses capsaicin — the same chemical in chilies or peppers that make them hot.
“A volcano in your mouth”


Pepper Pop


Which uses piperine — the chemical in black pepper.
“A spicy dance in your mouth”


Waz’ UP soda

That uses  allyl isothiocyanate from the Wasabia Japonica,
“A punch in the mouth”



And lastly (no image)

Ginger SNAP Soda: with gingerols from, well, ginger root of course.


Sheesh, Capitalists!

“Here’s What Stocks You Want to Own in the Event of a War With North Korea”

What a load of aristocratic horse hockey! Cramer’s TheStreet is trying to tell you “Hey, here’s how to make money on the up coming end-of-the-world — get in now while you still have air to breathe!”

  • Do these people even realize how like human scum they are?
  • Is there a more despicable slice of humanity than capitalists?
  • Do capitalists even have souls?
  • What do you call 1,000,000 capitalists at the bottom of the sea?
    A good start. (an oldie but tasteless joke).
  • Are there conscientiousness capitalists? I guess… I’ve never met any. They “say” they are but most likely would read an article like that and, if it made sense, take financial advantage of the information.
  • Do I despise capitalists? No. Only those who own capital.


The Age of distraction

We now live in the Age of distraction.

How long can you go without reading email, listening for or checking your phone, checking facebook or twitter or the news or paying attention to your pets, or your kids or your partner, your co-workers, or your boss or the idiot driving the Hummer behind you?

Let’s realize that we WILL be distracted. So, let’s prepare for it. Plan for it. Or even better, intentionally include it in our calendar, in our day-planner, in our personal rhythm of work or play.

It’s not going away you know. In fact, I’d wager it’s going to get worse.

We Will Be Distracted.

However, by WHAT will we be distracted? That’s the question now isn’t it?

Know that distraction is a political tool.

While I’m nefariously negotiating with drug companies, tobacco companies, investment banks… Or if I’ve got collusion with such corrupt entities to hide, or, (hold your breath), I’ve got interests with foreign antagonistic country’s agents or leaders… Then I had better give the people something to get riled up about, over there — while I go about my business, over here, out of the limelight.

While we all get twisted up regarding the latest media promulgated HOT TOPICS of the day, remember, the insidious agents of our current government are secretly planning further subterfuge, erosion and destruction of our country’s ideology.

Yeah, we’ll be distracted by these. But don’t let it become a permanent distraction.

Plan to get back to the work at hand, plan to get back to what matters.


Writer’s Log: progress hour 852

It’s been a year since I began my writing <quote>career</quote>. (tags intentional)

What have I learned?

Well, writing is hard. No, that’s not right. Writing WELL is hard. Writing is pretty easy. You just sit and pour your thoughts out and there they are, a scrambled mess. Writing well is a whole other recipe.

So how have I learned to, if not write well, write better?

I’ve learned that one can become two-brained while you write. Half of your mind is focusing on what you want to say, your story, your character’s dialog, your allusion to conflict, or intrigue or an unknown darkness. And the other half you can tune to be paying attention to the way you write. Your grammar can become more accurate. Your awareness to style becomes more refined. And the triggers which you slowly add to your writerly-mind will increase in number.

Triggers? Yes. Over time I’ve added triggers to my writer’s awareness, which alert me when my wording strays into novice territory.

Like what triggers? Passive voice triggers. Point of view (POV) swapping triggers. Lofty word triggers. Dialog tag use triggers. Verbosity triggers.

Benny contemplated the swarm of gears and parts on his bench. He was overwhelmed by the complexity and intricacy of the clock. “I can’t fix this!” he griped, vehemently.

Doris tsked in her mind. “Will he never learn patience?”

You read that and it doesn’t read poorly. You can get the picture and the emotions right?

But it’s full of problems. And a whole chapter of this style of writing, a whole story? Eventually, you’d be put-off, and maybe not know why.

Passive voice: “He was overwhelmed…”  Better to have the clock’s complexity do the overwhelming.

Redundancy: “complexity and intricacy” Just skip the second word.

Dialog tag: “…griped,” We’re to avoid dialog tags that are not “said, told, asked.” Show how Benny was overwhelmed, don’t explain how he said something.

Superfluous adverb: “…vehemently” Again, this is explaining Benny’s frustration not showing us.

POV swap: “Doris tsked in her mind” We were in Benny’s head, then we jumped to Doris’?


Benny contemplated the swarm of gears and parts on his bench. The complexity of the clock, its tiny exact wheels and jewels, overwhelmed him. Violently shoving the array of brass and gold pieces across his desktop, he said, “I can’t fix this!”

Doris trundled over and rest her hand on his shoulder. “Patience, dear. You’ve fixed works like this that were much more detailed.”


Seeing this in its altered form, we get a better picture of what’s happening with Benny, the clock and Doris.

These are some of the highlights I’ve learned so far. It’s been a massive slog, but, hopefully worth it.