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Two sides to every coin. Two sides to every life story. The only thing is if we choose to flip again should we end up with a side not so pleasurable.

My name is Brandon, and I am a short story crime fiction writer. And, in my researches, I have come across numerous cases of people who didn’t wait for opportunity to knock on their door; they went out to make some for themselves. I write about ordinary people on their quest for the ultimate prize–righting a wrong. 

I also write inspirational quotes & create quote banners to uplift and encourage. I hope my posts here enlighten, as well as entertain.

Second Chance Article: A Tennessee Turnaround

I came across this article from a few months back, and as an avid fan of people, animals, or even businesses getting another shot at success, this really made my day.

According to Tennesean.com, David Harris went from breaking the law to becoming a defender of it.

[Read the article here.]

Starting in the 90s, a string of armed robberies lead this Nashville father of two to back-to-back convictions and a whole lot of time to think about his future. Today, he is successful lawyer advocating for the innocent he once turned an unlawful eye to. This is an awesome tale of trying, failure, and the wanting to try again. I highly recommend this article to anyone faced with a similar fate–a problematic past that may hinder better days from forming. You have to want to set things right, not just hope or wish for it, as Opportunity is often in dire need of GPS. Just think of life like Newton’s 1st Law of Motion: things won’t move until something moves it.

 

Daily Prompt: Evoke, & The Hapless Valentinians

via Daily Prompt: Evoke

 

It’s nearing Valentine’s Day, a time of year that evokes some bad memories for the unlucky few who’ve never tasted that bliss-inducing feeling of being with a lover.

Elementary school (or grade school, for some). Around V-day, the students usually by cards or candy for whom they like. And on the holiday, they hang a bag on the side of their desks in hopes of it being filled with things from admirers, then run around the classroom dropping things off until finished. My hats off to teachers who put at least one thing in each students’ bag as so not to have someone left out. Excitement builds with each passing minute, and when the chaos finally subsides, and all are back in their seats, it becomes a class-wide Show & Tell extravaganza. But what happens when one’s bag is barren, dangling with nothing but air and gravity to befriend it? No cards or candy. Nothing from even the teacher. These are the origins of an HV’er, or a Hapless Valentinian–those of society who are forgotten or even shunned on the biggest–and most expensive–love day ever created.

heart-with-plaster_1878471

This trend moves on into middle, and high school, where HV’ers find themselves alone, year after year, ultimately paving a path unwanted futures. I started smoking cigarettes at 14 because of a sour day in biology class, not able to quit until around 30. I know some guys who got into cocaine and heroin addictions from being left out. Are we THAT ugly? Do we not make enough income to be included?

Eh, forget V-day. St. Patrick’s Day is better anyway. Erin Go Bragh!

StPatsDayIsBetter

January is National ______; Happy Peculiar People Day (LMBO)

iH8Jan_meme

  • Blood Donor Month
  • Soup Month
  • Braille Literacy Month
  • Hobby Month
  • Staying Healthy Month
  • Mentoring Month
  • Glaucoma Awareness
  • Oatmeal Month (My fave: Kroger’s Chocolate Chip flavored)
  • Stalker Awareness Month
  • Slavery & Human Trafficking Month

 

NewYearsGym

dwight

The Time I Went 72 Hours Homeless

via Daily Prompt: Forlorn

 

As a writer, I am always looking for ways to better enhance my workings, the best being to flat out experience from what a particular character or situation holds. So to better bring the character of Wallace the Humble in one of my short stories, I spent a weekend living with the homeless. Mind you it was in December of 2012, so naturally, I was freezing my bayou-born butt off, while flaming on why those who can afford a few Christmas lights always decide to make a pageant of a spectacle. Worst yet, it rained for a day and a night without end, so the ground was just as damp as the holiday spirit. I’ve been saddened before, but to physically see sadness as deep as it comes on those of the extremely less fortunate put me in a world of which I’m not too familiar with.

It started when I saw a homeless man outside of a Walmart chatting it up with a Salvation Army worker. For a man with nothing but the clothes on his back, he was in a surprisingly good mood, giving me the idea for the character. A few days later I saw him again on the side of a road lugging a rusty shopping cart around that was loaded with a few blankets, small pots, a couple of water bottles, and an old Louisiana vanity plate that read ‘LUCKY ME’. Still smiling, BTW. I convinced my friend to pull over so we could at least take him to the city shelter. He refused, not wanting to be a burden, and when he pointed just where he was staying, the sheer thought haunted us for days. He, along with a few other homeless people, had set up a makeshift camp underneath a covered part of an overpass, the bitterness of the infamous North wind driving directly through it. As we drove off, we couldn’t help but to look back and regret our own selfishness.

I came back later that week to locate that man, having the idea of a happy homeless character fueling what would be the most faith-testing adventure of my three decades alive. It was like a small community under that overpass, and in a sense, it was. The few that did reside there knew each other like neighbors, and I was an out-of-towner alienated their territory. I found the man a few feet from the front edge, singing Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable while boiling homemade coffee in one of his pots. I asked a series of questions about life in general without a home, and when I was finished, he invited me to find out for myself by staying with him for a night. No phone. The same clothes for days, even months. No shower. Little to no food. A bed is a flattened cardboard box that doubles as an umbrella. And, no matter how many coats you have on, it seems as if you can never get warm. As I left, the things he told me practically sunk whatever Christmas cheer I had.

The next day, it was Friday. I had nothing with me but some old clothes in a plastic bag; in case of an emergency, I told two friends about the endeavor and had them drive around the area every few hours to be my only connection to the world. My plan was just to spend the night with the homeless and in the morning catch an IHOP for breakfast. Nope. Wasn’t gonna happen. It rained for most of the day, so finding a dry place to settle in was almost like solving a Rubix Cube–every spot had good points and equally discerning bad points. I was able to make a spot next to the man, and thankfully, he offered to be my guide through all of this. Saturday Morning came with the stench of defecation, one of the women had a bowel accident overnight. The rains were off and on, so getting out and about was not an option. Sunday morning didn’t smell, but it did hold its fair share of stray dogs that wanted us as chew toys. A typical morning for me consists of coffee, breakfast, and a quick check of the day’s local news and weather. This morning consisted of being damp, surrounded by trash drivers tossed overnight, and watching an old lady argue with herself about why the wheel should be reinvented. One man suggested a walk to a food pantry, Abraham’s Tent, about a mile or so away. I took it with a grain of salt–walk on the side of a busy highway while drivers splash sitting water, becoming a speeding blindsiding wall of cold wetness. Even damper than before, we eventually made it to the pantry. Rightfully named, it serves as a welcoming place for any in need.

We stayed there through the day to keep as warm as possible, as I managed to chat with people from all walks of life, seeing first hand how poverty doesn’t discriminate. Some folks were homeless, some with disabilities, some had children & just needed a meal, yet the craziest thing is that most had a smile on their faces. Despite being dealt a terrible hand in the game of life, every dark moment has some light in it–you just have to go looking for it. I didn’t want to go back to the overpass, seeing the cold temperatures drop even colder as the day continued, but had to in order to complete this mission. The ones I arrived with to the pantry didn’t want to either but told me this is how they live. Without aid from the fortunate, they starve, freeze (or dehydrate when it’s hot) and succumb to numerous illnesses, which can spread among them quicker than wildfires. One of the younger homeless men cracked one about some Sundays having church sermons under our cold overpass: it is almost impossible to clap hands and rejoice when you can barely move your fingers LOL. A few hours later, we were still at the food pantry when an SUV drives up. My buddies rolled by the overpass to check on me, noticed I was missing and had decided to check with pantry staff on my whereabouts. They too were floored by seeing just how good they live when compared to the pantry patrons.

I was done, grateful to be launching myself into my own bed, but experiencing all of this gives me a powerful perspective on how to format my character Wallace’s personality, background, lifestyle, and whatever else I could come up with. He would be down on his luck, but happy as a kid in a candy store, and hoping to make others feel the same as not to allow the obvious keep spirits low. Since then, I still pass by that overpass, never to forget that weekend nor the people with me, and feeling I owe a debt to society just for being a bit privileged, I rack up volunteer time at some of the local pantries and shelters. To be forlorn about things, no matter how bad they seem, only further enhances problems. And, I strongly believe THAT theory is what will make mankind rise above from the challenges that plague us today.

 

Author’s NoteBeing that I was exposed to the elements, I prepared myself by getting whatever shots and vaccines I may have needed before venturing out. I advise anyone attempting the same feat of being homeless to do the same–take whatever precautions necessary.  

 

 

Introducing Mini-Stories: 130 Words Or Less for Quick On-The-Go Reading

This is an idea I’ve been flirting with for a few weeks–miniature stories, or fully developed readings with 130 words or less. These works will feature protagonists, antagonists, and plots & conflicts, as whatever else can give it a complete personality. Mainly for OTG, or On-The-Go reading, they can be a quick pick-me-up. A little humor on a bad day or some drama and suspense to engage the cerebral cortex, or perhaps one just feels like reading about somebody else having problems, these mini-stories can be a great way to escape the confines of life, liberty, and the pursuit of getting out of debt.

Most will be fiction, however, I am working on a few non-fictional pieces to be posted at a later date. As far as genre goes, it will vary. I’ll try to post as often as I can, some posts containing multiple stories. The content will be G or PG rated; nothing too vulgar, obscene, offensive, or just flat out messed up since a colleague notified me my blog may have some younger readers. So, as an avid foul-mouth, I guess I have to perdere et maledictionem.

[“lose the cursing”]

Didn’t think I’d be making New Year’s Resolutions AFTER New Year’s.

 

#Childless

A reason to reduce overall life stress.

A reason to be more financially stable.

It’s the reason how so many people remain independently strong.

Plus, that holiday check or bonus won’t go to some damn toy that’ll be forgotten by the time they return to school.

 

#Childless

cryingbaby

     Forget the mushy stuff they show on TV and movies about how beautiful parenthood can be, I’d rather have only one mouth to feed, one person to buy clothes for, and not have to watch what I say or do for fear of the repercussions of repetition (apparently kids love to say the things you don’t want to be repeated).

Now, don’t get me wrong–there’s almost nothing more mood-enlightening than spending time with the entertaining antics of children, their curiosity & endless energy making adults temporarily forget their adult world problems. But, wouldn’t be nice if you didn’t have to allocate a chunk of income to a creature who you spend a year teaching to speak, and the next several telling to shut up? May the Good Lord above keep you sane should you have more than one; since alongside with parenting is the job of refereeing. Forget Jerry Springer. If there is to be an ongoing series of brawls about the most ridiculous crap, siblings in the same earshot of each other make the best combatants. Want to have a night on the town, travel abroad, or just relax with a favorite beverage & entertainment? Not without a babysitter.

I can hear the breath of airs of regret at this point LOL.

     So, if you are like myself & the Burden of Baggage is not a part of everyday life, you can celebrate each day with a little more emphasis. On the flip side, to the parents–just know that someday you little boogers are going to be grown up and having to take care of you. Revenge is beautiful.

 

 

 

Why I Write? I Can’t Draw Worth a Lick

wrtr

One of the most basic shapes to draw is a tragedy to me, often killing my pencils & erasers. I swear/affirm to (insert your preferred religious deity here) that I wouldn’t be able to draw a perfect one to save my life. And my bff crew from college didn’t make things any better. They had the gift. I mean, a flippin’ GIFT. Shapes, foregrounds, backgrounds, scenery, anime–if you can picture it, they can draw it. 

I was a spotted snow leopard in a group of tigers.

Read: LiveScience.com’s Article on Why Are Some People Better At Drawing Than Others

     There is a silver lining to being different in particular situation–if it wasn’t for my ability to utilize words to paint a mental movie, they English Lit essays would sound like gas pressure being released [Fffffffff……].