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-Bearded Creative Pioneer of the World of Tomorrow-

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amid the Lousy Smarch Weather

A lot has been going on that I will touch on in another blog, but for now here is my newest promptly contribution.

Write a story featuring an author, the ocean, and an antique weapon.

“This is poetic, isn’t it?” I thought to myself. The white peaks of the waves crashed with a quiet power. There wasn’t a seagull to be found, the wind and water filled my ears. I had placed myself on one of the outrageously large boulders that lined the shore. It was cold and hard, but somehow comfortable. A spider crawled across my moccasin, clearly in a hurry. I let him live.

In my satchel, which usually contained my laptop and notepads, was an antique crossbow. I bought it at a Renaissance fair a week before. I guess I was searching for an elegant way to die. Of all the muskets, samurai swords, and Native American daggers, the crossbow seemed to be the best way to go. Everything else was just laughable. The refinement of the crossbow was clear. It had the curves of a woman, the size and sexiness of a James Bond pistol, and the rust of something that had seen some action. I couldn’t think of a better way to die, so I forked over the two hundred dollars to the portly proprietor.

To hold a lethal weapon in your hand is a powerful feeling. You can either save a life, or destroy one. In my case, I was out to destroy one. It was almost like a game of Clue. I found the weapon. Next was the location. The beach was an obvious choice. There is nothing poetic about shooting a crossbow in a small and confined condo with posters of Batman and David Bowie on the walls. I’m not really sure why the ocean popped into my head so quick, but once it was in there it wouldn’t leave. I could see it all. It would take place at dusk, the setting sun sitting on the horizon. Not a soul in sight. Totally poetic.

I took another long look around. This was perfect. With a deep breath I raised the crossbow to my chest. It was a little more awkward than I anticipated. The length made it impossible to hold it like a gun. I held it with both hands, as though I were choking it. Not what I was expecting, but it somehow looked more tasteful to hold out the crossbow like an offering to God. This was it. I cocked the bow. It creaked like a ship on its final voyage. The click was loud and startling. I held my breath as I pulled the trigger. I exhaled.

There was no arrow. I just needed to see what it would be like. I’m a writer, about to start my third novel. Since I saw Stranger Than Fiction I’ve had an inexplicable need to experience the largest moments of my characters. I also need to know the ending before I begin. It really helps me get in their heads. In this case, it also gets the blood flowing. Who would have thought a crossbow suicide by the ocean would be such a great way to die? I sure didn’t, until I tried it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Prompt:For Lent, someone you live with is partaking in the tradition of giving something up for 40 days and 40 nights—and it's one of the most bizarre things you've ever heard of anyone giving up.

On Fat Tuesday, some friends and I went out for drinks. We were all raised Catholic and discussed what we weren’t giving up for Lent. Collectively, we agreed to go out of our way to eat meat on Fridays. My roommate, Tommy, was eerily quiet.

“Tommy, what’s going on? You’re quiet as balls,” I asked.

He sipped his Guinness and wiped the distinctive cream foam from his moustache.

“Well Joe…”He took another sip. “The Lord has put it upon me to take a journey this Lenten season.”

We put down our beers and looked at each other. Tommy never said anything positive about religion in the 15 years we’d known each other, let alone giving in to the practices of the church.

“For the next forty days and nights,” he continued, “I will sacrifice one of the essential elements of my life for the betterment of my eternal soul.”

“And what element is that, Tommy?”


We burst out laughing and continued with our celebration, figuring Tommy got us good. He returned to his beer and didn’t speak for the rest of the night.

The next day, I woke up to the previous evening being a happy blur. The details of what happened weren’t as important as the good time I must have had. My headache was evidence of that. I opened my door to discover Tommy on the floor…reading a Bible.

“Good morning, Joseph.” He turned to greet me, ashes on his forehead. The discussion about Lent started to return to me.

“Hey…Tommy. I’m going to McDonalds for some grease. You want to join me?” He carefully closed the Bible as though it were the Dead Sea Scrolls.

“Yes, Joseph. I believe I will. But I will have to catch up to you, I have some praying to do.”

I nodded and headed out the door. Tommy was freaking me out. I kept piecing together the elements from the night before. I knew Tommy mentioned giving up something for Lent, but my memory skipped straight to laughing at whatever it was. Then I heard some very loud stomping coming from behind me, fast. I turned. Tommy was running towards me with a goofy smile on his face. His arms were flailing and his legs bounced around. He was like those Wacky Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men that are displayed in front of car dealerships. Tommy quickly caught up to me and began running circles around me.

“Tommy, what the hell are you doing?”

“I gave up walking for Lent, Joseph!” He was breathing heavily, but was still smiling. I just shook my head and continued.

Tommy stuck with it. He ran everywhere. We would be on one end of the bar and he would dash over to the bathrooms. I learned quickly to bring him his drinks. He ended up losing twenty pounds. After Easter, he went back to normal, not mentioning Lent ever again. I’m still not sure what it was really all about.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

About Damn Time

Finally Promptly has given me a good prompt. Many of the recent ones have revolved around the premise of one liners: what would late literary greats tweet today? These are problematic for me seeing as I am not particularly well-read when it comes to classic authors. I suppose I could have done something biblical, but it's a little late for that. Anyways, I finally got a prompt I can use. Most of it is a true story, however it happened at a Christmas instead of my birthday.

In regards to other creative output, I've been composing a little different stuff lately. I'm trying to get a new album out there, but also keeping material in mind for my next project with DeNu. I'm kind of waiting on him right now, but that's fine. It gives me some time to feel out this "new direction," which isn't really new at all, just embellishing on some older techniques.

I've also been realizing where a lot of my influences are lately. Music that I haven't really forgotten about, but am starting to hear my own music in theirs. My dad seems to hear a heavy influence from Chip Davis (the Mannheim Steamroller guy) in some recent works. I'm not sure I hear it, but he always hears things much differently than I. Oh, that reminds me. Two weeks ago a complete stranger e-mailed me asking to use one of my songs for a short film he was creating. I gave him permission and he seemed very grateful. The video better not suck. But the point is that it was very cool to have someone from Canada be interesting in my music. Just a cool feeling.

Anyways, here's the prompt: It was a birthday present he’d never speak of again.

No More Alexander Hamiltons

-Nathan Honoré-

There are many ways to fake knowing someone when it comes to birthday presents. The digital age is making it even easier with online gift cards through Amazon and iTunes. Gift certificates were becoming more and more prevalent as I became a reclusive teenager. We didn’t see my extended family much so it was a given that we didn’t know a lot about each other. Gift certificates were aplenty.

However, my Grandpa decided to buy me something on my seventeenth birthday, straying from the usual cash that looked like it had been through every war of the twentieth century. Alexander Hamilton was very worn by the time he got to my wallet. Grandpa’s gift was one of the last of the party. Everyone was in a good mood and laughing. Now, gag gifts were not uncommon on that side of the family. My uncle would present my dad with a twenty-four pack of toilet paper before giving him the newest version of Uncle Jon’s Bathroom Reader. Another common gift was movie passes, prefaced by a singular piece of candy in a gigantic box.

Grandpa handed me his gift. More than the usual card, I braced myself for a gag. Anticipatory giggling filled the room. I ripped open the small rectangular present. An instructional fishing DVD greeted my eyes. I immediately burst out laughing. My brothers and parents all joined in. What an amazing gag! We were almost to tears by the time I looked over to Grandpa. He sat very still in his chair, hands folded, straight faced. He didn’t get it. This was no gag gift. I tried to back pedal and look at it seriously saying things like, “Yeah, this will be useful.” But it was too late. Grandpa was pissed and hurt. And soon after the party, so was I.

Fishing had once been a big part of my limited relationship with Grandpa…when I was ten. I hadn’t touched a fishing pole in at least 5 years, much less watched instructional fishing videos. Since I entered high school, I was all about music. It was my life. Every day I’d go home and play guitar, bass, drums, and tuba (I know, tuba.) I even played at church to gain more experience. Fishing was dead to me, a relic of my childhood. Then I realized something: my Grandpa had no idea who I was. I became angry and spiteful. At least my other relatives went to the trouble to ask what stores I wanted gift certificates for. Grandpa was still convinced I was a prepubescent turd who loved fishing. A little late, old man.

Anyways, I was eventually forced to call my Grandpa and apologize for laughing but pointed out why. He didn’t take it so well. I think this was when he started being a crotchety old man, a good indicator of what was to come. We don’t talk much anymore, but that present will never be mentioned again.