Six Million Dollar Man.

I made my living as a tree trimmer and tower climber for over twenty years. I loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, this career choice has a bad effect on your body over the long term. 

I have had three surgeries on my right shoulder, one surgery on left shoulder, and just last week I had surgery on my worn out neck vertebrae.

I don’t mind surgery all that much. I’ve had enough of it over the last five or so years that it doesn’t seem any more inconvenient than mowing the lawn or painting the living room. 

In some ways, it might even be better than doing those things. I get to lay on the couch for weeks without anyone bothering me or making me feel guilty about not accomplishing anything.

I also get to engage in legal recreational drug use for a few weeks. The pain pills I was given after this last round of surgery were especially potent. They send me off into a blissful slumber while the penguins and unicorns, that magically appear, sing lullabies to me.

One of the biggest down sides to surgery is the stoppage of the digestive system that occurs from the anesthesia. You are constantly asked, “did you poop yet?”

It was three days after this last surgery that I finally did poop. But in those three days, my bowels must have been something like a car pile up on an icy freeway. 

When it did finally decide to move. . . . Oh boy . . . . I have now experienced child birth. For a minute there while I was in labor, I even googled whether or not they perform C-sections on bowel movements that had been piling up for three days.

I have a healthy new respect for mothers.

I am still writing stuff.

I am still writing from time to time, but I thought it greedy of me to hoard my sure-to-be-classic-literature all to myself . . . . actually I’m tickled to death that my nonsense has been chosen for posting by a big blog.

I am fortunate enough to have one of my stories accepted by Sweatpants and Coffee.

Personal Essays | Letting Out the Novel Within

This is a story about finally writing the novel we all have inside.

 

 

300 Glorious Followers!

300 whole followers! Zada is the lucky number 300!

Originally there was going to be a large prize package for follower number 300, but our finance department shut that idea down quite quickly . . . So you will have to settle for a hearty cyber handshake and a thank you!

Thank you to all 300 fans of the ridiculous that have ventured to hit the “follow” button!

I’m really not all that worried about how many people read my blog.

I checked my blog stats and set my phone on the coffee table. The stats weren’t all that important since I had started my blog for fun, and I am not all that worried about how many people read it.

I went back to watching Dancing with the Stars. Well, actually my wife was watching Dancing with the Stars, I just happened to be in the same room.

I check my blog stats again which is odd because I started my blog for fun, and I’m not all that worried about how many people read it. Nothing had changed in the two minutes since I had last checked my stats. I set the phone back on the coffee table.

My eyes were getting heavy and I was just about to fade into my Dancing with the Stars nap when my phone lit up with some sort of a notification. I couldn’t quite tell if it was a WordPress icon that was showing on the screen.

Instinctively I started to reach for the phone to see what the notification was, but then I stopped and reminded myself that I had started my blog for fun and I’m NOT all that worried about how many people read it. I can check it later. I went back to watching Dancing with the Stars.

My mind drifted. I thought about my blog post from yesterday, a post that I was particularly proud of. Who in the world wouldn’t want to follow a blog that offered posts such as the one I had created yesterday? And besides, I had included some new strategic tag words that were sure to attract a whole new demographic of reader.

It occurred to me that I was fretting over my blog again. . . . A blog that I had started for fun and wasn’t all that worried about how many people read it.

“Stop it! Just stop it” I thought to myself.

“Stop what?” My wife asked.

Apparently I had also said it out loud.

“Are you obsessing about that blog again?” My wife added.

“NO! I started that blog for fun and I’m not all that worried about who reads it.”

Just then, the commercial with Jake from State Farm came on the television. I waited with baited breath for him to say “kakis” so I could laugh for the hundredth time and my wife could roll her eyes about me still laughing at a commercial I had seen a hundred times.

Right on cue, Jake said “kakis” and I started giggling.

“She sounds hideous”

I laughed even harder as I reached for my phone . . . . . But then stopped mid-reach. I remembered that I wasn’t checking my stats because I had started my blog for fun and I wasn’t all that worried about how many people read it.

I sat motionless . . . . My hand was partially outstretched towards the place where my phone sat on the coffee table. I hated the thought of obsessing over something, especially my blog which I had started for fun and wasn’t all that worried how many people read it.

As I sat with my arm still partially outstretched, my phone lit up again. . . . Only this time, my slightly more-forward posture allowed me to see that indeed it was a WordPress notification.

My eyes widened.

That made one WordPress notification for sure, and the possibility existed that the first time my phone lit up might be another WordPress notification. I stared at my blog checker . . . I mean my phone. It smoldered with the prospect of blogging fame and fortune.

My hand moved ever so slightly closer to the coffee table. But then I stopped and reminded myself that I had started my blog for . . . . OH SCREW IT! I grabbed the phone. I had to know.

It might be a notification telling me that I have a new follower! Maybe two new followers!

Maybe it was a blog award notification!! Who knows, it could be a notification telling me that Ellen Degeneres had mentioned my blog on her show and i was in the midst of a new follower tidal wave!

MAYBE MY BLOG WAS JUST NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE!!!!!!!!

Frantically, I unlocked my screen. The little red circle told me that I had one new WordPress notification (sigh, I was hoping for two or more). I opened the WordPress app to find that someone had liked my comment that I had made made in response to their comment.

“Sigh. . . ”

“People liking my comment is a good thing,” I told myself . . . . Of course having Ellen Degeneres mention my blog on her show or winning the Nobel prize is much better . . . . .

Fortunately, I had started my blog for fun and was not all that worried about how many people read it. Otherwise, I might be constantly checking my blog stats and worrying about my blog.

 

If you enjoyed this story, there is a whole book full of them available to you at Amazon.com:

Single Family Asylum

Single Family Asylum Paperback World Premiere!

Thousands of anxious readers lined up outside book stores all across the globe in order to be one of the first to get their hands on the long awaited book release of Single Family Asylum. Police in several cities tried desperately to calm the frenzied book buyers by spraying them down with fire hoses and passing out Starbucks gift cards, but the crowds were relentless in their fervor for the new best-seller. . .

Well, maybe it didn’t happen quite like . . . . Ok, that didn’t happen at all. But don’t let that dissuade you from checking out this collection of ridiculous, funny, family-oriented stories for yourself. You are even free to start rioting in front of a book store if you are so inclined. If you would simply like to check out my new paper back online, here is the magical Amazon book link.

Single Family Asylum

Single Family Asylum is a collection of short, humorous stories about the imperfections of family members and family life that have appeared right here on this blog.

Buy the book! Buy 10 books! Tell your friends! Tell them you won’t ever talk to them again unless they buy the book.

A Horrific Tale About Writer’s Block.

The urge to write something epic was over-powering. I needed to create a piece that was unique, but still containing all the time tested components of a classic. I could feel the creative genius building inside me like a pile of leaves that had been ignited with too much gasoline.

A novel! I’d write a novel that would put Melville’s silly fish story to shame. . . . . No, that would take too long and I know from experience, that these bursts of creative energy only last a few hours, or until something catches my eye on TV.

Maybe a poem . . . no, that’s an even more ridiculous notion. I haven’t the slightest idea how to meter, and I think I might be rhyme deaf.

So, I decided that I should stop wasting time deciding what form of literature my writing would be and just start writing. I could always decide later if it was a novel, or poem, or short story. I would just let the spirit take me wherever it wanted.

I sat down at the computer with my cup of coffee. I made myself comfortable, and prepared to unleash the epic-ness . . . I cracked my knuckles in preparation for the flurry of typing . . . here we go.

But nothing was coming out.

The keyboard keys were not clacking.

I thought for sure that this much inspiration was surely the precursor to an earth-shaking subject matter. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I really had no ideas on deck. The desire to begin my masterpiece was unbearable, but there was nothing there!

I began to look around the room as if the dirty cereal bowl on the end table, or the floral print box of Kleenexes would suddenly jar a topic loose, but again, there was nothing.

I stood up and scratched my head. I looked out the window at the overgrown lawn, but all that came to mind was that the lawn mower blades needed sharpening. For a second, I pondered a novel about dull lawn mower blades, but it seemed to lack the potential for being the awesomeness that I was determined to create.

Picking up a women’s magazine from the coffee table, I began to leaf through it. I would write a story about . . . dish soap? No, that’s silly . . . how about “Sizzling Summer Fashion Ideas?” No, even the word fashion itself made me yawn . . . tampons? Good Lord, NO!

I simply had nothing to write about, and it was beginning to make me angry. I was getting angry at my brain. Stupid brain!

After another two hours of seeking ideas from magazines, two glasses of wine, watching the dog sleep, and both sides of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” album, I finally gave in to the fact that I had no idea what to write about, and all the ambition in the world was simply not going to change that fact.

In an act of desperation, I sat down and began writing about having writer’s block, the result of which you are reading now. It certainly isn’t the Pulitzer Prize winner that I was anticipating, but it did occupy me until a documentary about South African Crocodiles came on the television.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can get away with writing about having writer’s block more than once with any degree of success. I guess the next time I have writer’s block you will be stuck reading about a floral print box of Kleenexes.

Spammers are pretty dumb.

I constantly get emails and comments from different websites and services that professs to be seeking blogs that have the following and influence that the Single Family Asylum commands.

I used to get excited about such correspondence, that is until I actually started reading them a little more attentively.

Some would say, “I can tell that your blog has a lot of good information that would be useful to parents and families.”

Really? I write about vomit and poop. I write about my inability to control my children. I write about my wife throwing a coffee mug at my head. 

You spammers are dumb. You would be a lot more effective if you actually read a post or two.

I guess spammers don’t bother me all that much. It’s not hard to delete emails and comments. The problem, however, is that if and when I actually get contacted by a legitimate organization, the chances that I recognize and respond are very small. 

Maybe I’ve already deleted that one offer that would have rocketed my blog to global blog dominance. 

Authors?

Are there any author hopefuls out there? Writer wannabes like myself? I found a website called Authonomy. It is owned by the publisher Harper Collins. 

https://www.authonomy.com

Authonomy offers a place to upload your book, or even a work in progress. Other members can then read and rate your work . . . A lot like many other author websites. The difference, however, is that Authonomy is owned and operated by a publisher, and apparently there is a potential to have your book noticed and published by Harper Collins.

I’m new to the site (blunderdad is my user name if you want to read and leave a review stating that my writing some of the greatest literature that can be found on the planet). Activity on the site is a little slow, but it’s an interesting concept. 

So check it out and tell me what you think. Or maybe you have and already have an opinion.

I got 99 followers, and I just need one.

99 followers . . . . Somebody . . . . Please. 

You could be the one who allows me to say that my followers “number in the hundreds”. 

Do it. Just hit follow. I’ll follow your blog in return. Even if it’s a blog dedicated collecting vintage sporks, or even a blog about Kleenex sculptures. 

I would even follow a blog dedicated to Justin Bieber . . . . That’s how desperate I am for 100 . . . . 

So just do it.