Ten openings plus one

  • The copper dome above the courthouse had faded to green long ago, testament to the bare fact that new and shiny doesn’t last.
  • The old writer resolved to fill his page with the first lines of 10 stories and quickly second-guessed himself – “It’s finishing that I need to work on, not beginning” – but then decided a resolution’s a resolution.
  • In her mind everyone’s eyes were drawn to the mole on her upper lip. “It’s a beauty mark, Shanna, you’re beautiful,” Mother would say, but it made her self-conscious anyway.
  • She saved the world. Not just my world, the world in general – your world, my world, and the world of a whole lot of people you and I will never meet but we could meet because she ensured they didn’t die.
  • He remembered being born. His first thought was that it was too bright, and while smiling creatures in masks cooed, “Oh, he’s got a healthy pair of lungs, isn’t he so cute,” all he wanted to do was vent his outrage at the disruption.
  • It still stung that, rather than understanding that he and his team had developed something special, they laid him off and sent the team to the four winds, but he didn’t feel the sting in a vengeful way, just a wistful coulda-been way.
  • “They’re coming!” the newcomer said after flinging the tavern door open and racing to the bar without so much as a howdy pardner.
  • Eight pelicans floated in the sun overhead, lazily turning toward the bay, seemingly not in any hurry, just wafting along in the wind currents.
  • “Nein!” the commander barked, and everyone froze.
  • She heard the oncoming rumble and felt the ground shake before she saw what was coming and wished she hadn’t.
  • “You don’t get eleven chances, son,” the judge said as he gaveled the hearing to a close.

Further realization

I’m still reeling a bit over my realization about the word realize.

When you finalize something, you make it final. It wasn’t final to you before, that is to say, it wasn’t what you understood to be complete.

When you realize something, you make it real. It wasn’t real before, that is to say, it wasn’t part of what you understood about reality.

I just realized.

It’s fun, to me, to discover new nuances about familiar old words and gain a deeper understanding about their meaning.

Sometimes the discovery is a correction, as the time I referred to a colleague as my “erstwhile” co-worker, having always understood it as a synonym for “esteemed,” only to learn the word may indeed refer to an esteemed colleague but more accurately refers to a former colleague.

And sometimes, as this time, it simply tells where the word came from. I always knew what realize means, but I hadn’t noticed its kinship to finalize, with the “ize” performing essentially the same function in both cases.

Your reaction may be, “Yeah, so?” What can I say? I’m a word nerd. Are you just now realizing that?


Today is full of promise first thing in the morning and full of regret or satisfaction at sunset. Tomorrow is a wish and Yesterday a vague memory, but Today is where the energy resides.

Today you can act – Yesterday you either did or didn’t, and Tomorrow you might, but Today you can.

Even better: “I’m going to do it today” is good, but it’s still just a promise. “I’m going to act Now” is most powerful. You’re acting Now; it’s happening Now.

Understand? Now – is. You reach for a coffee cup, lift it to your lips, and draw the warm comfort down your throat – Now. The moment passes, and you acted or you didn’t, but it’s still Now, whatever that means to you.

Now. Today. while the power is in your hands. You have no direct power over Tomorrow, and Yesterday is out of your control. Only Now do you realize.

Realize = To make real.


Are you there, Muse? It’s me, Warren. I straggled out of bed before light to see if we could have a chat. They say showing up is half the battle, but I think it’s more like three quarters, because I know for a fact that you’re not going to show up unless I do. So here I am, and here we go, right?

It’s kind of fascinating that people are OK with invoking the Muse or Mother Nature or the Spirit of Gaea but get uncomfortable with the idea of God, who could be all of the above. Maybe it’s their idea of who God is, or how the concept of God has been co-opted over the years, seeing as they’re just fine with the idea of Someone or Something supernatural and bigger than us.

I had more than one dream last night that I was sure I’d remember this morning because they were so vivid and interesting. More water under the spilled milk, um, more crying over the bridge — hmmm, looks like I need my morning dose of caffeine.

That which has dissipated into the ether likely will return someday, disguised as something new. I find myself finding old blog posts where I said something I thought I’d thought for the first time just recently. I guess it’s a variation on “There’s nothing new under the sun”: There’s nothing new in my latest thoughts.

(The Muse and I had a marvelous conversation after this. I promise to share it someday.)

How to be safe and free at the same time

You have been told to stay safe. You have pushed back because you value freedom more. I am here to suggest that safe AND free is an option.

You are free to take what steps you deem appropriate to be as safe as possible. Educate yourself and take the necessary steps.

The choice is yours. Or should be.

If someone orders you, you may be safe but you’re not free. If you are not educated and aware of the potential danger, you may be free but not safe.

Only by taking responsibility for your own safety can you hope to be safe and free.

That little anxious feeling when you consider that it’s all in your own hands? That’s not fear. That’s the beginning of exhilaration. That’s freedom.

Autumn sunshine and the promise of snow

The sun is back today. Yesterday was Gray close your eyes and rest in the gloom, and today is slowly building into Look at all the glory come and run in the light — although now the green is starting to fade to yellow and red in anticipation of future brown.

On days like today, everything looks like potential, although deadlines are hinted in the approaching fall colors. Many of the tasks at hand ought to be done before it’s too cold to be outside comfortably for long – and so we’re talking a couple of months to do them – others must be completed before the work involves tramping and digging through snow.

It’s hard to imagine snow on a day like this – just as in a few months it will be hard to imagine green and flowers and a warm breeze from the south and ice cream melting in our hands. It’s the circle of seasons, time marching on and opportunities rising and being missed all in a row.

Let today be the one (or one of many) where opportunity is seized and grappled into life.

A dog’s life

Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars, stirs in her sleep, curled in a chair, her flag of a tail brushing her nose. Does she dream of running miles and miles, making friends with everyone she meets and eating everything that moves? Is she sad because she spends so much time in a house full of comfortable places to sleep but not exactly full of crazy things to do while waking? Does she think we need more crazy things to do, or is sleeping and dreaming of wild adventures enough? She is not wanting of where her next meal will come from, which makes her more fortunate than millions.

“It’s a dog’s life,” people complain sometimes, and I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. There are days I would like nothing more than to curl up and dream all day.