Blackbirds: A Poem

All your birdseed is going to the blackbirds, he said,
They’re birds too, I replied.

The crowd of grackles
perched upon the wrought iron
weaved and hopped.

Fluffing up their feathers,
like black balloons,
until they deflate with
a metallic screech.
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Why I Avoid Time Travel Stories and Why We Should All Try Writing One

When I told my wife I was going to do a writing prompt for the blog about time travel her response was less than enthusiastic.  She’s not a fan of time travel stories, and neither am I and for a lot of the same reasons.  She explained to me that she didn’t think she could be much help in reviewing whatever story I came up with from the prompt because of her feelings about time travel stories in general.  The word hate came up.  Several times. Continue reading

The Octopus Garden: Your Creative Zone

Good Friday to you, my Inklings, thank you for stopping by.  Now, you may have guessed from the tentacles on my banner and the fact that I call myself “The Octopus” that I take a great deal of inspiration from nature.  In particular, I view the octopus as a marvelous mascot for wordsmiths everywhere and not just because they can squirt ink (but that’s totally part of it).

Octopuses (that’s right, the preferred plural is octopuses!  Not octopi, octopodes, or even octopeople) like to collect things.  They’ve been seen piling stones into protective fences before they go to sleep and amassing all sorts of crustacean shells and coral bits and anything they find interesting or useful.  Some researchers have called this collecting and arranging behavior “fortress building”.  Others, due to the eclectic nature of the collections, call these mysterious museums “octopus gardens”.

Now, as writers, we really shouldn’t surround our workspace with the discarded remnants of our food (white cheddar cheetos bags go in the trash!) so a literal application of this habit may be less than helpful.  However, I have noticed that I have more than a few near-requirements and writing rituals that serve as my own octopus’ garden.  Continue reading