Redbeard's Journal

Seriously. I have red hair and a beard. What did you expect?

A Short Blurb
ghost of redbeard
I'm not sure what to do with this. It could be a paranormal thing, could be straight ahead fiction, could be any one of a half dozen things. Anyway, I'm going to put it here while I've got the chance.


When Frank got back from the wake, he sat down on the sofa and put his hands in his lap, palm up. The grooves and wrinkles of the skin looked like wrapping paper that had been balled up and then spread out.

He sighed.

Fran sat down next to him, reached over, and took his hands in hers.  "Dad?" she asked. "Are you okay?"

He reluctantly pulled his gaze up to her face. "Yes, kiddo," he said. "I'll be fine."

Her lips screwed into a small frown.

"No, really, Franny. I'll be okay."

"You went from 'fine' to 'okay' in five seconds."

"They mean the same thing, Dear," Lil said from the rocking chair. Her eyes were focused on her needlepoint as she kept a good rhythm with the chair. "Did I ever tell you that your father didn't want to name you after him, but I did?"

"Not now," Frank said. "Maybe later."

Fran's frown grew deeper. "Dad, do you need me to stay tonight? I'm sure that the others won't mind."

"Sweetie, I'd be delighted to have you stay over!" Lil replied, setting down her needlepoint. "Let me turn down the bed for you, and you can stay there."

Frank stood up.  "I'll turn your bed down, you stay there."

"Dad, you do know that I don't have a bed here anymore, right? And I'm not going to kick you out of your bed. I'll use the couch." Fran patted her father's hands.

Frank glared at Lil. How like her to make him forget.

What This Morning is Like
ghost of redbeard
I'm sitting at the table, editing some documents for my job, while the Boss is in another room reconciling finances.

I hear a frustrated sigh, open my mouth, and shut it with a snap. No.I'm SO not going to get into the middle of that one.

Then she elicits an "Oh!" and the waves of tension in the house dissipate.

Or it could be the sun burning off the morning fog.  Either way.

Another "Oh!" and a sigh with a sharp edge to it. "Dear? Do you have a calculator? I'm going to need one to figure this out." Not a request so much as a demand.

My eyes flick over to the TI-30 next to the phone, wince, and reach for it.

She's still muttering when I deliver the calculator, her attention on a pile of slips and a balance sheet. I think there was a "Thanks" in the middle of that stream of consciousness, but I'm not certain.

Retreating into standard operating procedures never sounded so good. Hell, even taxes would be better right now.

A Bit of Closure
ghost of redbeard
Has it really been since late October since I posted?  Yeek.

Anyway, I feel I owe an update to NaNoWriMo at the very least.

In what has become a broken record, my work suddenly ballooned a week into November, and I was forced into giving up my latest attempt at NaNoWriMo only a couple of thousand words in.


My youngest set a goal of completing 11,000 words, and she reached 10,800 before she typed "The End" on her story. I'm very proud of her for reaching the kids' level goal, as she and I worked side by side while she wrote. (I worked at the time, but since I wasn't in meetings, she was able to focus.)

I think that next year I'm going to try again, and I'm going to encourage her to officially sign up for the Young Writers' version of NaNoWriMo, so she can track her progress that way.

November Ho!
ghost of redbeard
Yes, I've decided I'm going to try NaNoWriMo.


However, this time I've got a secret weapon: I'm not doing it alone.

My youngest wants to give it a try as well.

So. If nothing else, I guess I'm going to have motivation, because I'm sure she can outwrite me in a sprint.

Autumn Musings
ghost of redbeard
Fall has arrived, and with it marching band season, late nights for homework, and (for me, anyway) late nights staying up while other people do their homework.

But at least I can sleep in on Saturday and Sunday, drink some coffee, and (try to) chill for a little while.

I'd also be grilling a lot in the brisk weather, but the grill died.*  I've been limping along using the old bullet smoker that I have, but it's not the greatest for grilling.  And since I've no patio in the backyard, only a deck, I'm sure some of the neighbors now think I've got full redneck on them by grilling in my driveway, but it's for safety's sake.  (Really!)

What I really need, however, is an afternoon doze. I've not had one of those in a while, and it sounds like an awesome idea.

*The exterior of the grill was stainless steel, but the firebox was porcelain coated steel, and over seven years the thing rusted out completely. The price of replacing the firebox was about the cost of replacing the grill, and I've been thinking about switching back to charcoal anyway, so I've been sitting on the fence.

A Short Blurb
ghost of redbeard
I think there's something here, and I wanted to write it down before I went (back) to sleep.


"What the hell is wrong with me? Do I have some sort of cosmic kick-me taped to my back?"

"It's the magic in you, wanting to come out."

I scooted away, just a smidge. "You've been hitting the bottle. I don't have any--"

"--Yes you do. I can see it on you, like a silvery sheen in the darkness. The magic is there, lying dormant, but it wants to come out. So it tries to force its way out of you."

"Now I know you're crazy.  Everyone knows only the Gifted can see...." My voice trailed off as I watched him stretch out, snag a cup, and pour some port into it. No, he can't be.

He set the cup in front of me, held up the flask in a tired salute, and took a swig. "You're finally paying attention," he said, collapsing back into his chair.

Oh Gods. My day just went from bad to worse.

On Creative Writing Degrees
ghost of redbeard
Maybe it's just me, but every time I read about a Creative Writing degree, I think of creative ways of trying to BS clients/employees/customers/etc. Probably not what the people who are promoting those degrees have in mind, but given that I've seen enough "creative writing" in the jobs I've had in the 20+ years I've been in the work force, I can't NOT think about it.

Not Quite Sure What to Think of That....
ghost of redbeard
That was my reaction when I stopped by our local Walgreens for something and saw Game of Thrones action figures in a prominent endcap display.

Now you know Game of Thrones has jumped the shark.

A Short Quip
ghost of redbeard
The kids are watching X-Men: The Last Stand for completion's sake, as they want to eventually watch Days of Future Past.

Well, about 20 minutes in, my oldest turned to me and said "I can tell this is a bad movie. It's like the Prequels."

Can't argue with that.

Character Quips
ghost of redbeard

I was driving my oldest to a band function --I can't remember which, there have been so many-- when she asked me if I've ever finished that book I was writing.

"No," I replied. "I haven't had the time to finish. And besides, I think I'd write something different now, since it's been so long."

Which set us off to discussing a main cast.

"I'd prefer to write someone who is a combination of people I know, so I have a feel how they will react."


"Yeah," I said. "For example, a combination of you and one of your friends for a female lead."

"Oh, I know!" She sat up straight in the car. "'All men have a weakness, and only I can exploit it,'" she said, with a wicked gleam in her eye.

"Wow."  My mouth opened and closed.

"I know, right?"

"Yeah, that is just so perfect.  Mind if I steal it sometime?"


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