When Discovering Aberration is a Good Thing!

LADIES AND GENTS: Prepare yourselves for a wonderful treat! One of my dearest and earliest bloggers I met here on WordPress in the beginning, has done all I set out to do except he actually, actually accomplished it!

He is the hardest working, most dedicated author I know of and one of my fave authors sharing that honor with Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Cussler, and yes my main man Charles Dickens.

Sit back, enjoy your read, and please dearest readers, please repost!  Let’s spread the word!

SCBarrusPortraitsOriginals0050

 Creating

There is this thing out there floating around the universe hiding secretly behind every passion. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s there planting seeds and fueling flames. The Romans called it a Genius (origin of the word Genii), a spirit that would inhabit the bodies of passionate people and make them feverishly create things.

I don’t know if I was ever possessed in such a manner. All I know is my life has been driven by a singular passion since I was young. Maybe it was planted when I was very small, this urge to create things and share them with others. Maybe it didn’t take form until I was older. Whatever the case, this passion, this creative drive has fueled every major decision in my life.

Hi, my name is S.C. Barrus and I’m a writer. I remember writing my first short story back when I was still in elementary school. It was a satire about the growth and bankruptcy of Microsoft and it was all of 2 pages long. I wrote it grinning all the while, convinced that the work was genius.

I was so excited to hear what others thought, I ran to my dad and began to read the work aloud. He listened patiently. He didn’t laugh, didn’t so much as smile. As my jokes fell flat, part of me fell through a hole.

I quit reading midway through. “Maybe I should write about something else…” I said nervously.

My dad looked at me with a quizzical half smile and said, “Maybe you should.”

For some reason, I didn’t stop writing that day. And my dad has been a huge support since (didn’t want to leave him hanging there ;)

I was in highschool when I really sat down and began writing a novel. I wrote it with a deep passion convinced it was a masterpiece. It was full of teen angst and sex and drugs, all the things my adolescent mind obsessed with, and was written with a style stolen directly from Chuck Palahniuk, my teen hero.

When I finished writing, I started exploring the strange world of publishing with a fervour. I taught myself about publishers and editors and agents, about queries and rejection. The process struck me as strange then, but I accepted it because I supposed “that’s the way it is”. It felt strange that I had put in so much work and alone created something, but when the book sells I’d get 15%. But then again, what did I know?

Despite my drive, the book was never picked up, and I was left with nothing but a stack of pages littered with ink. To this day, I’m glad I littered those pages with ink, because I learned so many valuable lessons. But I’m also glad it didn’t make it, because that taught me even more.

Despite the outcome, my creative writing teacher got behind me, and my school counselor began giving me gifts; books of poetry, pamphlets to writing contests, and an award for literary excellence. It might have been obvious, but I didn’t recognize it at that time. There were people guiding me from the beginning, people who believed in me.

Ira Glass once said that artists start creating art not because they are talented, but because they have good taste. It takes years before an artists work is any good. I was going through the motions, hoping to make a great work of art, writing and writing all the while. I pushed new stories into the world one after the other, sometimes publishing, but usually merely for the act of creating.

Then, two years ago, I began crafting another story. About midway through the writing of it, I realized that this was it. I was creating something worth standing behind and sharing with the world.

Check back next week for part 2 where I share with you the story behind my upcoming novel.

Cheers,

S.Cody Barrus

 

 

I Worry

It’s cold here in Southern Ontario. Nothing ‘southern’ about this -11C (12.2F) sunny day here.

I worry about children who went to school not warmly dressed, about the homeless, about small animals left outside, on a day like this.

I am grateful for everything I have that keeps me and mine warm.

It is so cold….’how cold is it? Below are photos I just took. The dryer is on and as the warm air flows out of the vent the air cools it so quickly that the moisture cloud freezes immediately on the ground and the door.

Jan 22 2013 001                               Jan 22 2013 002BRRRRRRRR!

Of course a few days ago it reached 15 C (59F) which felt like summer to us Canucks.  The perfect environment to spawn a new wave of colds and coughs, which right this moment afflicts me.

Winds are 44 – 54 km per hour ( 25-30 mph) in some places and at least one highway has been closed down.  We have a few more days of ‘arctic air.  Bundle up everyone.  To my friends in warmer climes —ENJOY!

The Idiot Speaketh or rather he doesn’t

English: WordPress Logo

English: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received this message via FB today from our good friend and favorite Idiot Mark Pakulak from Texas.

*** Due to issues with WordPress, I will be deleting this blog in the coming days. I will continue my bike ride across Europe and will post daily updates on my Facebook page at Mark G Pakulak (Runaway Bay, Tx). See you all on FB! ***

If you are not aware of the difficulties Mark has had in the last few days you can catch up on his Face Book.

To me, Mark was WordPress so I will sorely miss his presence here but will follow him anywhere.  It is important to read what Mark has written on the rules and policies of WP because I think a lot of us really I not aware.

He brought a lot of class, laughter, and tears to us and a day with out The Idiot was like a day without..well you know what I mean.

The worst of it is that he has lost all his valuable insights.

When I began blogging I used to write my posts out on Word first and then copy them into WP.  Eventually I got comfortable enough to write directly on to the post entry and I know many of you do the same thing.  It saves time.  But not in the long run.  WP can at anytime vaporize your blog as can any similar site.  So just a cautionary word to be sure you have what you create safe somewhere in addition to your blog site.

MISS YOU HERE MARK but will see you in the funny papers..I mean on facebook.

Daily Prompt: Take Two – In and Out

I am late getting to the Daily Prompt at WordPress.com because I slept late.  Now the why of sleeping late is rather embarrassing but it goes something like this:

Yesterday I ached

And knowing it must be

From the warm front

Moving in.

So as I finished

The last of my three

Library books,

I laid

All day

Reading.

By the time

I should have

Been sailing off

To the Land of Nod

I was wide,

Wide Awake.

Anyway now for the prompt: Run outside.  Take a picture of the first thing you see.  Run inside,  Take a picture of the second thing you see.  Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.

Grabbing my camera I ran outside.  Literally ran since that was the instruction and I am basically a rule follower.

Snow going!

Snow going!

The first thing?  Yup.  I mentioned warm winds the other day and the thirsty force of nature gobbled up my snow.

My  winter

My winter

It’s a far cry from the photo I posted the other day (as above).

Next I ran again. (instructions and rules you know)

 

Windows open

Windows open

 

And this is what came up on the second look: Open windows, every where in the house beckoning in this false spring.

Birds are singing.  Residual snow in the first photo is even less this few minutes later.  The darned old Magnolia tree is again in bud as are so many other trees.  False springs are such a danger for crops due later as a freeze is certain to follow and the rhythm of nature will be off and in the long run it will mean more failed crops, less food and higher priced food in the future.

BUT on such a day (it is 12 cenlsius which in real language is 53.6 F) it is impossible not to let ones heart soar in the glorious warmth.  Yup for Canucks this is almost shorts and Tee weather!  Because after all we Canadians are a hardy lot!

Daily Prompt: Morton’s Fork – To Read or To Write

Elizabeth Browning

Elizabeth Browning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Daily Prompt folks picked a suggestion by Courtney that certainly seems a lot easier than that old Shakespeare quote: To Be or Not To Be.  Although really if one is then you already are Being which of course is a very very superficial interpretation.

Today’s Challenge from WordPress is: If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not your own), which would you pick?  Why?

For me there is no challenge.  I am definitely a reader.  I’ve tried writing…okay..so I continue to try.. and it is difficult.  Okay Okay…sometimes it is fun.  Well most of the time it is fun and there is a certain satisfaction to be had in creating but, and this is a pretty big BUT, I am a reader.  Of many things.

If I have four books at hand then I will devour them within a week.  I know, we are not talking about books.  The Challenge pertains to blogs.  Your blogs.  And yup I will surrender my pen or rather keyboarding digits to read what you write.

Reading (blogs) is more than information gathering and it brings to mind yet another poem.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning‘s How Do I Love Thee.  If I had one thing I have not had in this life it would be the relationship she had with her partner, coauthor, and husband Robert Browning and the passion and devotion she so sweetly shared with the public.

You see for me, reading your blogs, inspires, educates, motivates, consoles, comforts, exhilarates, invigorates, provokes, prompts, excites, and generates a whole mess of thinking great thoughts.  Why I wish I could list all of you and what you do for me (although that is what I am seeking to do in my Friday Following in the FootSteps series – about to be continued this week). To name names in a single post fills me with fear of forgetting even one person and besides it would take pages and pages and pages and … well you get the idea.

To read and not write, if it had to be one way or the other is a no brainer for me because in addition to all the reasons there is one even more important.  In sharing yourselves, your thoughts, you are allowing yourself to be known.  To be cherished.  And therein lies the real truth.  You have become part of my world, part of my existence.  And my life would be poorer without you.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Bowning (1806-1861)

Hopelessly Devoted to You..

This song came to mind as I started my day, considered all the could do and should do things and decided nope..today I am hopelessly devoted to you.  You being my bloggers and some wordpress organizational things to do.  So in order of priority 1) complete this daily post 2) read and respond to my comments (something I have been lax about in the past) 3) Enjoy the Reader aspect to read my ‘I follow list’ and comment 4) do some maintenance on my site especially blog roll as some there have now gone and many treasures are not listed at all.  All in all a perfect day planned I say.

FITFS – following in the footsteps – First, before any of that I must pay homage to my practice of recognizing one of my fave bloggers who also works around themes (have I mentioned this is something I am seeking for moi?)  Emily Cannell  This amazing woman and her family moved to Japan sometime ago.  I first got to know her at the beginning of my blogging career when her ‘Hey from Japan – We are being shaken and stirred here’ was Freshly Pressed.  The woman knows how to report and without invoking whining and sniveling was able to give us a birds eye view – or an Emily ey’s view of what is going in her adopted home.  She has been FP’d a number of times since – and for good reason.  She is inspiring, hilarious, and talented.

**By the by – big news!  Yesterday’s post was about Judith Baxter and her book review by author Zoe Sharp and how wonderful it was that Zoe had commented on Judith’s post.  Well guess what!!  Zoe commented on my post about Judith’s post about her!!!  So now it would seem I have two – that’s 2 published authors as my new besties -Zoe Sharp and my bestie bestie Joss Burnell (whom you will hear more about…should it be whom?)!

***Now in looking back at my first two posts on Following in the footsteps… I just checked the links I put in to Judith and Jaime’s sites and it does not seemed to have worked. So I just tried it again and it worked….go figure.

Oh my am I going to ever get to the rest of today’s post?  The air is cooler and less humid to day and I hope the weather conditions every where else lets up a bit.  Some places too cold, some too hot, some too dry some too wet.  I hope it all settles a bit for everyone.

We were lucky yesterday to have a pool here at the house and when DIL wanted to take G2 in he whined and cried until his foot hit the water and he bobbed along in this floatie vest thing and called. ‘Grandma, Grandma, look I decided to come in and I can swim!!’  Uh huh – just like a man!

Hope y’all have a good Saturday or Sunday – which ever day it is for you my friends.

 

Okay! Really? I Swear I Left..

I am the first to admit I am behind the times.  For a very long time in my life I was able to pretend I understood or knew things.  So first of all today I discovered an easier way to read comments from WordPress (which really is much easier than reading my emails), which was a plus.  This is a good thing.

Not such a good thing is the time I decided to spend on Facebook to answer birthday wishes.  (Other than that my Facebook is a pretty quiet site). So what do I find?

Messages that you would find on a dating site.  For a couple – will maybe a few – years I went on dating sites such as Plenty of Fish and one other I can’t quite remember.  I do know I tried Eharmony and that was a total rip off. To sign up you have to give your credit card info then they tell you that if you click on a particular link they will not renew it…liars they are as they kept renewing without permission..but that is beside the point.

The point is I have not done the dating sites for several years. (Not to put such sites down as I made new friends that will last forever though no partner), but I went to my Facebook and there was under Messages  “other” several from it seems people looking to link up.

Now I have pretty much outgrown this whole on site dating thing.  So where does it come from?  Are all of you finding the same thing?  I think Facebook is wonderful but really..this???

Foolery, Tom Foolery, A Day of…

When I was young I thought April Fool’s Day a nuisance and really had  no patience for it at all.  Then I had a period where I have heartedly engaged in some sportful way.  Mostly now I like to laugh at the ingenuity of others.  You know, people who put some actual planning into it.  Its a day for pranks with a twist to the good natured side.  Not spiteful or mean.  Just funny.

I was surprised to discover the day actually has a long history to it going back as far as 1392 found in Chaucer‘s Canterbury TalesWikipedia naturally has a detailed listing of it ( who are these people and how do they get such information?) and it seems to be world wide.  There are so many usual pranks but the funniest for me was that on April 1, 1698 several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to ‘see the Lions washed.’

It seems people have been sticking notes to the backs of others’ clothing for centuries, so nothing original there.  Wiki also tells us about jokes in other countries around the world. The Iranians call the day Sizdah Bedar and is stated as the ‘oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today.  Alas France and Spain seem to largely follow tradition by sticking paper to the victims’ backs, but the Flemish have children locking out their parents and teachers and only letting them in when they promise to bring treats that evening or the same day.  Some of the countries celebrate the same idea but on different days of the year.

Perhaps it is just people saying, “Let’s have a little laugh and forget our troubles for a bit.”  I do enjoy the planning and originality of some.

Do you remember what Word Press did on this day last year?

Are you a prankster?

What is the best April Fool’s you have ever taken part in or heard of?

Happy jokester day my friends!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools’_Day

Souldipper, Regina and No Fear

Amy at http://souldipper.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/occupy-blogosphere-thursday-march-29-2012/#comment-8507 has a brilliant post today including an amazing use of egg shells that I would never have thought of.

She also talked about Regina Dugan and her TED talk on:

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

asks Regina Dugan.

Amy of course had a brilliant answer as will most of you and it was not until I was completing my comment to her that I realized Regina’s question was for me, unsettling.  When I first saw the presentation my heart thrilled to the potential of it all and then the strangest feeling settled over me.

Yup.  That feeling was fear.  It scares me to think I could do something, achieve something, without fear.  Yes Regina, the very thought is freeing.  Or it should be.  If I let go of my fear?

I’m thinking that before I can leap to fearlessness I am going to require some guidance on getting there.  Does anyone else understand the fear of fearlessness or am I just not grasping the whole idea?  Am I afraid of being fearless?  The answer has to be ‘yes’.

Logically I understand that those who excel have set aside any fear preventing success. Would I like to overcome fear.  I sure would.  It just all seems a little too scary.

Any and all advice is sincerely welcome.  There must be a way around this road block.

I can see overcoming fear of some tangible thing or at least trying to overcome it but my fears in some things are actually a security.  Or perhaps an excuse.

Genuine or Versatile Many of Us are Both

When it comes to awards I have been blessed many times.  When it comes to blogging awards I have also been blessed.

Linda Cassidy Lewis at lindacassidylewis.com has awarded me the Liebster Award..meaning loved or beloved

And how can I not love that?  Regardless of stats there are always a favorite few who are loyal in comments and sharing their own kind of wisdom.  When I get an award I always graciously pass it on to those loyal few who comment regularly.  There are so many more I regularly read and love and Lord knows there will be more..insatiable appetite I have..and I would like to share all of them with you..but then you could not possibly read them all without abandoning your own loyal following.

In addition there are a couple of new blogs I have been following with great pleasure written by twins Autumn and Gabrielle who passed on another award to me.  They can be found at http://autumnsunshineandgabrielleangel.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/genuine-blogger-award/ These gals are the coolest twins ever so please visit and enjoy.

I have to apologize to others who have passed awards on to me.  I went through a period of totally being overwhelmed so know I missed someone.  (today I cleared out almost 4,000 emails from posts and bloggers that came in in the last month or so).  Do let me know so I can credit you.

I can’t possibly give you a list of things you don’t know about me…damn my transparency but I can give you a list of folk to follow in addition to the addys above:  (Many have already received awards and may want to pass. For the others I send you blessings and thank you for making my day that much brighter!)

Both awards are passed to:

Judith Baxter at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com who has won award on award..but I am sorry darlin you just keep deserving.

Barb who is sweet and writes a heck of a blog that will warm the cockles of your heart..passionateaboutpets.wordpress.com

Kathy who really knows and who I look forward to hearing from and reading every  day.. reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com

Colleen Brown at http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/ who has been a buddy since the beginning and who does enough exercise for the two of us..so I can take it easy.

Lois who is also a fairly new friend and who makes me wish I looked that good and who you will enjoy visiting at lroelofs.wordpress.com

Cecilia who if you haven’t met yet must do so Right Now! at thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com

Tori who you also MUST visit..I swear!! at torinelson.wordpress.com

My Bulgarian Buddy Patrecia who will make you laugh and cry probably all at the same time with her honesty at misswhiplash.wordpress.com

Also Words from Australia wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com who is a new friend I am looking forward to learning more about.

Jackie Paulson who has been near and dear to my heart for a long time now… postadaychallenge2011.wordpress.com

Darlene who is a new friend also at darlenefoster.wordpress.com

Winsome who delights me every time winsomebella.wordpress.com

Okay now the exit music is playing at the OscarsMeryl Streep and I are trying to get in a few last words…

This dear dear soul must be here also..souldipper.wordpress.com/

OH OH dear Georgette.. georgettesullins.wordpress.com  good grief I cannot forget Georgette!

Oh yes and Joss…if you read me you know all about Joss… my hero..or heroine… at crowingcrone.wordpress.com

Okay I know time to stop…. if I could I would send blogger love to so many…Mark are you listening..even though I don’t think you do the Award thing..how can you with millions of us…

THANK YOU!

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