–This is another draft of the “Thus Begins the Writing Project” post on June 18th. I like this version much better.


Alone in his room he sits. Feet on the floor. Arm’s on the rests. Eyes straight ahead. Breathing shallow. In his room he contemplates. Out of the corner of his eyes he sees the blackness that grease-like seeps in through the crevices of his life. Piling up as it oozes from the niches before it tumbles over under the pressure of the increasing dark pushing in behind it.

The piles grow and cascade, grow and cascade as more and more advances inward. Calmly, in his chair the chill warmth of the blackness slowly pools around him then climbs, enveloping his legs and the legs of his chair. Absorbing the pain of wanting to run away. Growing warmer from the anguish.

Unmoving he is increasingly submerged in the ebony. Thinking his thoughts. Being his nothing. He remains seated. The blackness swallows his lap as the magma flow continues. Urges long gone. Extinguished, denied, or unfulfilled.

It laps the armrests. Licks his fingertips. Morasses of regret of things that have slipped through his hands. Regrets of those left untouched. Eyes open. More blackness, less light. It’s inexorable. Unblinking, he sits.

It consumes his abdomen and gnaws its way up his chest. The heartaches. The forlornness. The unpatchable cracks. The cavities. It feeds. It caresses. It comforts in its seductive way. It is legion.

It has found its way around him this amniotic dark. How long before it finds its way into
him? Where it will stay. Where it will live until he dies and when they bury him, his carcass will feed it so it can wait, hibernate, and fester until it finds its next host.

He can no longer tell if the ooze is still rising around him or if he is submerging into it. It laps his chin. He wonders briefly if he should stand. It kisses his lips.


Mystery pt II


Mystery part II

Okay, so Mystery wasn’t here when I got home from the writing institute on Thursday. I figured he either moved on or he went back home. Suddenly on Sunday he was back in the yard. This time he had a collar on him. One of those electric fence collars that are supposed to keep a dog in a yard.

So now what do I do? He obviously doesn’t want to be at his real home. He obviously wants to be here. It was one thing to believe this dog had all that matted fur, worms, and was beat up because he had spent an inordinate amount of time wandering in the woods. Now he has a collar. That means he has an owner and probably one nearby.

What owner would let his dog debilitate into the condition this dog was in? Why does this dog choose to be here even if it means fighting his way through an electric fence to get here if he was being treated appropriately at home.

Do I find the owner and ask him if I can have his dog? Do I call the Humane Society?

Questions, questions.

A Children’s Story

–This is one of those quickwrites again. Somehow in ten minutes I had to work a hedgehog, a can coolie, and a….well we’ll see if you can figure out the third object I had to include by the time you finish the story.

Buddha the Cute Little Hedgehog

Buddha the cute little hedgehog was not deserving of his namesake. He was crabby and violent and not at all a calm and happy sort of hedgehog. Buddha was never happy. Esmerelda the Eagle would say, “Hi Buddha!” every morning and Buddha would just harrumph. Sammy the Shrew, would say, “Good morning, Buddha.” and Buddha harrumphed. Sally the Squirrel would say, “Good day, Buddha.” and Buddha just harrump, hump, humphed.

Eventually the other animals got tired of Buddha’s unmannerly manners and surly sassiness. They all met in Esmerelda’s tree for a meeting to decide what to do bout Buddha’s bad attitude.

“Maybe he’s just hungry? I don’t feel very nice when I’m too hungry.” said Sammy.

“Maybe he’s not sleeping well? I get crabby when I don’t sleep.” said Sally.

“Maybe he’s too cold. I hate being cold, too.” said Esmerelda

So they all decided to do what they could do to try to make Buddha happy.

Sammy brought Buddha a meal fit for a king and the next day, Buddha harump, hump, humphed all day long.

The next day Sally brought Buddha some wonderful down she found from an old pillow hoping it would help Buddha get some rest. The next day Buddha harump, hump, humphed all day long.

Esmerelda brought Buddha an old can coolie and pecked out armholes and a neckhole for Buddha so he could wear it like a shirt. The next day Buddha still harump, hump, humphed all day long.

But the next day, came and something wonderful happened. A cute little boy was walking through the woods. His eyes lit up when he saw what he thought was just the cutest little hedgehog he had ever seen. Then the little boy raised his 30-30 rifle and blew the living hell out of Buddha. There was nothing left of Buddha except a few tufts of bloody fur.

When the boy walked away whistling, Sammy, Sally, and Esmerelda came out of hiding and danced around the pieces of Buddha’s still warm corpse and proceeded to live happily ever after.

The moral of the story: Just because you are cute, doesn’t mean you aren’t still a bastard.

Things to do when you are bored.


Things to do when you are bored:

If you are male, walk through the lingerie department until a salesgirl asks you if you want help. Tell her, “No thank you, just sniffing.” Either that hold up a crotchless pair of anything, tell the salesgirl she is about your mom’s size and ask her if she would mind trying them on.

The last hardware store, department store, gift shop that screwed you over on a return or sold you a piece of junk…go in at a random time and just casually walk around moving things from one shelf to another. If you are feeling poetic you can try to work on dramatic juxtaposition of the items. For instance, put a baby basket on a shelf next to the shotgun shells, or put a bra hanging on the same rack as some jumper cables.

Go to a court case, sit way in the back and cough “bullshit” every time some defendant offers an excuse.

Take some light fine wire to the grocery store and subtly wire some of the shopping carts in the cart corral together. Bring a lawn chair and a drink with and umbrella in it and watch the fun.

Walk behind someone in the grocery store and every time they move their cart, make squeaking noises. If that doesn’t eventually get them, then follow them and grab all the same items off the shelf that they grab.

Every time you back your cart up go BEEP, BEEP, BEEP really loudly. Go VROOM, VROOM every time you go forward.

Hitchhike on the side of the road. When someone stops just look in the car, say, “Not you.” and wave them on.

Go to a bar and make up drink names one after the other just to perplex the bartender. Can you make me a Squirrelly Nutburton? No? Okay, how about a Crosstown Traffic Jam? No? Okay, then I’ll take a Flaming Bag of Ass. The challenge is to continue listing imaginary drink names as long as possible until the bartender catches on and kicks you out.

Walk through a crowded mall and ask random people if they smell smoke. When they say they don’t, smile mysteriously and say…Oh, you will, then walk away.

Rinse out a bottle of industrial strength cleanser like Formula 409, fill it with your drink of choice and walk around the Seafood Festival or Art on the Rocks, take a huge swig, shout, “Damn, that’ll put hair on your chest.” and offer other strangers a drink.

Seven Year Story

Here is a first chapter of a collaborative effort between my seven year old daughter and myself. This is a first draft and keep in mind, I’m trying to get my daughter interested in the process of writing so yes, it moves a little quickly and I do allow her to compose 50% of the stuff in here so if you choose to bash this one, just keep in mind, she’s seven and I’m very protective. If you feel like bashing, bash some of the swill I’ve put up here in the last couple years.
The bunny
Alanis Jean Harris
Dale James Harris

Chapter One

One day at a beach there was a girl named, Marissa. She was walking along the shoreline
alone as her brother played in the water, and her parents lay on their beach chairs. She was a little scared walking off by herself, but since she knew she wouldn’t go in the water alone, she thought would be okay…she was wrong! The trouble wouldn’t come from the water at, but the trouble would come from the woods just up the shore. The woods where she heard the noise.

Walking down the beach, Marrisa kept her eyes on the sand as she looked for pretty rocks in the shallow surf. She almost stepped on a pretty shade of blue rock. She thought it was a blue rock, but she managed to keep from putting her weight down on it. Hovering on one foot she slowly moved her foot to one side and there she saw a robin’s egg. She saw a path from a tree straight to the robin’s egg. She gently picked the egg up and she saw the nest and put the egg carefully back where it belonged.

She was just lowering herself down from peering into the nest when she heard it. The noise!!! The bushes rattled and out of them popped something she wasn’t expecting to see. It was a little bunny. It looked like a lot of other bunnies, but this one was just as blue as the robin’s egg she had replaced in the nest. The bunny, sat up on its hind legs and looked Marissa right in the eye. It looked like it had something to say.

Marrisa didn’t see it at first, but hanging around the neck of the bunny was a small gold charm. “Hi, blue bunny. Don’t be scared. Watcha got there little guy?” Then something very unexpected happened.

The bunny, wiggled it’s nose, it’s whiskers twitched and the bunny said,”What I’ve got here, little girl, is a charm. A charmed charm. It lets me talk to humans. I came to talk to you, Marissa.”

“How did you know my name?”

“I was sent by the great hart to fetch you. Follow me.” With those words, the bunny hopped away a few meters, stopped looked back over it’s shoulder to see if Marissa would follow and hopped and stopped again waiting for Marissa.

Marissa didn’t know what to think. She was scared, but just then she took a step forward. Then another and another she took as a many as she had to till she caught up with the bunny. The bunny went slow enough so Marissa could keep up. It seemed like they went a long way into the woods. Just when Marissa was scared she would never find her way back to the beach, she and the bunny came into a clearing. Standing in the clearing were more animals than Marissa had ever seen outside of the zoo.

There were foxes, bears, more bunnies, countless birds including owls, robins, eagles, pheasants, sparrows, hummingbirds and all sorts of other birds that Marissa had never seen before. In the center of the clearing was a small glassy pond. In the pond floated a wise looking swan, some assorted ducks, and a few ducklings. Around the pond stood yet more animals. Quietly standing in place were badgers, coyotes, skunks, beavers, rodents of all sorts, like field mice, shrews, chipmunks, and moles peeking out of their holes. There were many deer there, too. But the most special deer had yet to make his appearance.

The animals began to divide into two groups, making an opening and then of all things….they began to kneel! The clearing was even more silent than before. Marissa was wondering what in the world was going on. Just as she was about to open her mouth to ask a question, the blue bunny announced, “All hail the great hart!”

From deep in the woods, a majestic looking buck strode forth. He was the biggest buck Marissa had ever seen. He was at least as tall as her dad. He was almost the size of a small horse! On his head, were antlers like any other buck, but not like any other buck, were the colors of those antlers. On the right side of his head, the antlers were a brilliant gold. The antlers on the left side were as red as blood. Striding purposefully over to the blue bunny, the massive deer bent his great head and lifted the charm from the blue bunny’s neck with one of the tines of his special horns so he could talk to Marissa.
“Marissa, we have been waiting for you,” his deep voice rolled. He turned his head to the blue bunny. “Good work, (need a name). You have done well.

There is grave trouble afoot, Marissa. We need your help. (end chapter 0ne)

Mystery pt I


About three weeks ago a dog showed up in my yard. Friendly dog and obviously one that was used to being around people. My dog, Sassy, was in heat so it wasn’t unusual for dogs from the neighboring fields to come visit during this time.

The dog is and Australian Sheepdog also called a Koolie. Well, I figured the koolie would be here until Sassy wasn’t in heat anymore, but another week went by, Sassy hadn’t been in heat for days and the koolie was still here. I wasn’t polite to him nor did I feed him. If he belonged to one of the neighbors I didn’t want him feeling so welcome here that he never went home. I don’t mind dogs in my yard at all. In fact I don’t chain up my own dog. That’s one of the huge benefits of living in the country in my opinion. But the koolie would get right up close and want attention.

Once when I was lying on the ground dropping my lawn tractor deck he lay down right next to me and put his head on my belly. I would push him away and tell him to cut it out, but he seemed nonplussed about my rudeness. Another time I opened the door to go into the house and he just walked right in like he owned the place.

Keep in mind, it’s been three weeks and I haven’t fed him nor even been civil him nor even taken a good look at him yet. The other night I had some friends over and I invited the koolie in to get their opinion of what I should do and I took my first good look at the dog. His fur was matted beyond what one would even think a neglectful owner would manage. He had scratches, scabs, and wounds all over his body. Apparently my little koolie friend had been living in the woods for quite some time.

My friends agreed that this was a lost dog and more than likely abandoned as Australian Shepherds are noted for their loyalty and just aren’t the type of dog to go wandering off and not come back. Paully was talking about adopting him and I thought, “Perfect, as long as he is out of my yard.”

I then got up and go to the bathroom leaving my friends and what was to be Paully’s new koolie at the counter. When I got out of the bathroom there was the koolie lying on the floor by the door. Both of my friends were looking at me and chuckling. Paully backpedaled from her earlier words of adoption and told me it was too late. The koolie had already adopted me.

So here the newly names Mystery lies on the floor with my daughter napping next to her. I’m glad he is here and wondering how I am going to afford getting him fixed and getting him his shots. Loyalty is far to scarce a characteristic in the world for me to go throwing it away. I’ll put an ad in the paper on the off chance that whoever lost him wants him back, but I’m not too worried that is going to happen. Mystery found me for a reason. Now let’s see where this new path takes us.

WP Pt 3


Okay it’s been over a week since the first class and the only entry into my writing log has been the smoothing out of something that happened in class. I have no creative energy right now it seems. ‘too many real world issues to deal with. Whine cry wah blah. So I’ve finally determined that if I can’t wrtie well or can’t write creatively, I’m going to start by just writing period.
What comes next is pretty much stream of consciousness pablum.

Wings just scored a goal….uh oh
franzen took a sucker punch in the face. Why do teams have to get dirty like that when they are getting their asses handed to them?

Been a real up and down emotional time lately. The more I know the less I know. House, life, work all out of control right now. I’ll get a handle on the work stuff in the coming week. I’ll get a handle on the home stuff in the next two weeks. The emotional stuff I’ve been working on for a year. The more things change in that regard the more confused I get. How come I feel like I get wiser every day in matters of work and in matters of work and self, but iin matters of the heart I just get stupider and stupider?

I feel so much love and so much hate sometimes within split seconds of each other. Maybe even at the same time. I want to die. I want to live. I want to be better. I want to live a “normal” day without being a “normal” person.

I want time to ride. I want time to read. I want energy to think. I should probably quit whining.