Just Cuz

I love it when rich people tell us that it’s “the other rich people” who are treating the poor badly, not them. But there are a lot of people who for idealogical reasons will refuse to admit that the sky is blue, “just cause.” Like in a court of law, simply opening your mouth and saying something does not make it true. Liberals hate having to prove what they say.

As Trump peels back all this corruption, it’s shocking not what Obama got away with, but how easily those on the left bought it. That’s embarrassing and pitiful.

Admitting you made a mistake, that you were wrong, and apologizing for it, shows a hint of character. Doing otherwise labels you as fool, much like an avowed racist, an old person stuck in their ways or a hermit who hides from reality.

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Writer’s block doesn’t exist here

Thank God I’ve never had a problem with writer’s block. When I taught English composition at the college level I motivated my students to start writing within seconds by offering to pay the one writer who wrote the most words. The words didn’t even have to make sense even though in most cases a writer automatically writes things that approximated making sense. Just the fact that we are alive, just the fact that we have eyes and experience the world around us makes it impossible to not be able to write about an infinite number of subjects. Granted if you want to be a writer who is read and rewarded monetarily in the writing field then of course you have to organize your thoughts better than just splashing them out on the paper. But I never have understood how someone could gaze off into the distance trying to write the perfect sentence and continue that on to creating the perfect paragraph or the perfect essay or book and become blocked due to their own preoccupation or fetish with having everything they write be perfect. It simply doesn’t have to be and it never will be. Even the great writers have moments when they’re writing is either so so or downright bad.

Perfection in writing like in other things in life is simply unattainable. It should never stand in the way of you being able to put your thoughts down on paper. As you continue to write over the years you will get better at it, you will get better at expressing yourself and having your reader know exactly what you mean and even in some cases read between the lines. But you’ll never get to that point if you simply stare at a blank sheet of paper waiting for perfection to spew forth from your brain and travel down your arm to your fingers and allow you to type the perfect words. Just start writing.

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Who’s Your Favorite Liberal?

In order not to become stale nor myopic, you need to have a friend who thinks differently than you. It keeps you humble. It helps you to grow. And they need you just as much as you need them.

I’m conservative. I would like to think that my arguments are the best in the world. I watch Fox News because I like what they say on there. I like the way they report the news. But no one would believe that Fox News is fair. I happen to think they are but again they’re heavily weighted on the conservative side. I get it. To not admit that is being blind. The other major news reporting channels are very liberal. I’ve watched them, I know.

But I’m wise enough in my old age to know that in order to still grow as we get older you have to surround yourself by people who might not think the same way you do. It keeps you fresh. It keeps you honest. And it mentally challenges you.

So my favorite Liberals are Kirsten Powers, one of the greatest writers on the planet. I so hated to see her leave Fox and still miss her. And Bob Beckel. Who could not like Bob? Geraldo Rivera. What I like about Geraldo is at least he will admit when he’s wrong. He’s friends with the people with whom he debates.

Yes we should all have friends who don’t think like us. In this day and age when people are becoming more intolerant of any disagreement I think it’s vitally important to keep friends around you who have different viewpoints on all the issues. It goes back to my Christian faith and the tenant of remaining humble throughout your life. None of us have all the answers. Only by discussing the issues with people who have a different way of looking at the issues do we remain humble. And humility in discourse is a virtue.

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Imaginary Wife

Tim Daughtry

“Last night was great,” Jason said to his wife Anne. She was just rolling over and waking up to his words which reminded her of their amorous lovemaking the night before.
“Yes it was,” she smiled agreeing with him.
Jason didn’t want to get out of bed. Waking up in the arms of his beautiful wife on a cool, fall morning in southern California, with sounds of the Pacific Ocean just outside their window, made him want to stay in bed with her all day. When you’re in love, there’s no one else on the planet. No one else matters. Nothing else matters. Activities become meaningless unless your lover accompanies you. But this morning, Jason wanted to stay in bed with Anne. And do what? Talk?

Anne responded to Jason’s compliment by pulling him in closer to her. For women the idea of staying in bed all day with their man, being the center of his attention, was a dream come true. They thought about it often. But part of the problem was getting their man to agree to it. Right before lovemaking they would agree to anything. But you can’t make love all the time. And staying in bed all day is irresponsible. You have things to get done. Or at least this is how men think.

Women on the other hand, can take a break from responsibility and enjoy their lover for a whole day, especially when they are in love. And that’s the key- when they are in love.

At the beginning of a relationship, either when sparks initiated the attraction or when it just felt like something was happening, love is at its peak. Sustaining that level of attraction for your lover is a whole different feeling. Anne still loved Jason more than she did herself. She would admit that she was a better person having met and fallen for him. They had been married for eight years.

Jason had never met a woman like Anne in his life. He was blind to women around him who would have previously turned his head, once he met and committed to Anne. He changed as a person when they started dating. And it wasn’t anything he tried to change; it just happened.

“Is there anything that could ever make you stop loving me?” Jason asked Anne. She had to laugh before answering. Boy could he kill the mood.
“Well, asking me questions like that right after agreeing to spend the whole day in bed with me might do it,” she half-joked.

But Jason wouldn’t give up. He figured that between all the fooling around they would do today there would be a lot of time to talk. And unlike most men he was a talker. He knew he was also facing several chick flicks throughout the course of the day and while he was okay with those kind of movies he had already put on his thinking cap and Anne could see more deep questions forming in his inquisitive head. She also anticipated that his line of questioning would at times result in him getting answers he didn’t really want. That always happened with men who loved to talk. He might ask something about a past boyfriend or get her to admit that she had had a life before him. Then he would go in to a blue funk, but just temporarily, until she jumped in and saved him. She would assure him that she meant nothing by telling the truth and if she had to she would adjust the truth to make him happy once again.

“So are you going to answer my question?” he insisted again.
“Well of course you cheating on me would kill my love for you.”
“Not that, of course we all agree on that. But is there anything else?” he asked in a way that implied he might be at risk of doing it someday.
“Well let me think.” Anne had drawn a blank. So she tried to distract him by putting her thigh on his. Nothing like a little sensuality to take a man’s mind off the rational world. He caressed her knee but still looked like he wanted an answer. Knowing how much he loved her body, her mind, her jokes, her moods, even her stubborn moments, Anne could not come up with anything other than infidelity that would cease her loving him. But there had to be something. Now he had her brain working. It was actually a very good question….
“Yes, there is one thing that would kill it for me. Really kill it.”
“Well what is it?” Jason insisted.
“I’ll tell you at the end of the day.”
“WHAT? The end of the day! What the hell, tell me now!” (See, never ask a question you might not want the answer to.)
“Anne, it’s a simple question. What’s the one thing other than infidelity that could kill the love for you?”
“Check back with me when we go to bed.” She laughed, knowing her answers were pissing Jason off to no end.
“We’re already in bed.”
“Exactly.” Anne answered.
“Exactly? Anne you’re not making sense.” Guys are such easy targets for stupidity.

“You’ll understand later dear” Anne replied in her calming voice. “Now where’s that massage you promised me?”

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Writing Sense Into Nonsense

I’m not sure what to write when I have no clear idea where I’m going. I do know that it’s more important to keep writing, to keep my pen in motion- even when I don’t have a plan. Otherwise I’ll get bogged down before even starting in the unrealistic goal to make every sentence perfect.

Half of writing is overcoming the impulse to be perfect in what you put down on paper. If your goal becomes simply perfection, your writing suffers.

Writing is sharing, sharing your life and your experiences with strangers in a way that will interest them. That’s a challenge. Imagine sharing your life with a stranger in a way that makes them become interested in your life. Believe me, not many of us are that interesting. At least not to total strangers.

Or maybe in our similarities we actually are appealing to one another. We can learn from each other. We can share mistakes and not-so-happy times and share our vulnerabilities. Or we can share successes and ecstatic times and recreate the same together or inspire one another to new successes.

Like not being certain where my writing will take me, it’s just as important to know when it’s time to stop. And then maybe by writing when I have no ideas and stopping soon after I start, I actually am able to create a moment of sense out of nonsense.

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Hit Replay- It’s Christmas


Tim Daughtry

I love Christmas; but then who doesn’t. Peyton and I had just finished watching Groundhog Day, when her mom, my ex-wife Beth, came into the room with a festive platter of Christmas snacks. I was most interested in the heavily spiked egg nog, but the divinity, the fudge and the homemade jalapeno cheese sticks were way too tempting to resist. Christmas is not a time to be on a diet; one can suffer through the misery of dieting the rest of the year, but not on Christmas.

“What ya’ll watching?” Beth inquired.

“Groundhog Day,” Peyton, our fourteen year-old daughter answered.

“Oh, that’s a cute movie.”

“Yeah, it is. But why Groundhog Day? Why not pick a better holiday to replay over and over? Why not Christmas, the best holiday of the year?” I chimed in. No one needed to answer. I mean really is there ever a better holiday than Christmas? No holiday holds a candle to all the lights, smells, surprises and emotions found under the tree. If you don’t like Christmas, I don’t want to know you.

No sooner had Peyton switched the channel over to the Kardashian marathon than my idea of a never-ending Christmas started to percolate in the intoxicating egg nog I was working on. I thought my idea was a good one. But like too many of my creations, this one too didn’t seem serious. My problem though, throughout my whole life, was that most of my creative bursts of energy ran out of steam way too early. Blame it on my astrological sign (Aries) or genetic attention deficit. But it had always been challenging for me to carry through and finish my creative beginnings. (Unfinished)


What’s the conflict going to be? Maybe someone who doesn’t like Christmas?
Conclusion…remember to try and repeat the opening message of your story in the conclusion to bring the whole story together.

To be changed but must keep the theme that the story began with.

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Only One Person

This sucks. How something this good could suck didn’t make sense though. But whenever memorable things like this had gone from a seed to a sprout to a full blossoming flower this rapidly, Matt knew he was in trouble.

This doesn’t suck. For a flower to emerge out of a tiny seed was as miraculous as a child being created from a man and a woman. Imagine all the seeds that never became flowers. Like most of us Matt was reminded of a handful of events in his life that had he acted differently at the time, would have changed his life. This was fast becoming one of those events.

“I’m screwed. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this,” Matt thought out loud. Just saying that made his stomach do another flip. This was not something Rolaids could cure. And the lively, internal dialogue he had with himself in his head would have made anyone who he chose to share this with, certainly run for cover.

“So I can’t share this with anyone. Probably wouldn’t like what they had to say anyway and can’t talk to her.”

But wait a minute. Amy had talked to him. Just because she used fewer words to say what took Matt pages to say didn’t diminish what she did say when she spoke. Matt had just missed it.

Of all the people Matt could have recruited to help him with this there was only one person who could give him the relief that would make everything okay. It was Amy. And she had already done it.

Matt thought back to all the people in his life who had offered him advice. Some of it was wanted. A lot of it was not.

There was always only one person who had the answer Matt had to hear. No team of doctors, therapists, friends nor family ever had the right key that would open the door to the answer he would listen to. Whether or not Matt got the answer he always wanted to hear, he knew only one person had that key.

”Okay, here’s what I said…and then she said…”

Carole interrupted Matt, “It’s obvious she likes you.” Later Matt would find out Carole was wrong. At 16 relationships come and gone, no encouragement from Carole would prevent Matt’s eventual breakup with a high school sweetheart. Only one person could have prevented it and she was already gone.

“Carole, I feel like this is such a waste of time. The very person who caused this is not even here.” Matt was making the revelation that most people make at one point in therapy. The one person who has all the answers, the one person who can fix it, is so glaringly absent.

Matt knew from experience that only one person has the answers that will make us smile, that will make us cry. When that one person speaks we listen. When others speak for them or when we speak for them, it’s what we hope they would say.

“So what had Amy said?” Matt asked himself. Supposedly he cherished everything she said. They had known each other for only two short months but he could remember so much that she had said. Two months seemed like so much more time. When you’re happy, time slows down.

“Chill out.” That’s it? That’s the answer we’ve all been waiting for? As usual Matt was trying to get a consensus of opinions from all those he dialogued with in his head.

“Chill out.” Hardly advice that will appear in a convincing self-help book. Not words of wisdom that will get you invited to Oprah or Dr. Phil. “No,” he thought, “it’s not those two words that matter. It’s who says them.” Only one person could give those words any credibility- Amy. There were other suggestions embedded in those two words and he knew what they were. But only one person had the key. Only one person had the answer. She could have said anything. It was easy for Matt to ramble on and on. Not so easy for Amy to do the same. But she didn’t lie when she spoke.

Matt knew Amy wasn’t running away. But what was happening between them would not always be easy. But he knew one thing- only one person had the answer to his questions and that was Amy. And as long as she was speaking to him he would listen.

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” Carole offered. But just as soon as she had said those words she saw from the look on Matt’s face that he wasn’t buying it.

“That’s the best you can do and you’re my therapist?” he sarcastically answered.


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