She bit her lip and spat the blood onto the pavement.  It splashed dark red but she didn’t notice.  She was already seeing red.  The day had been trying.  The night before had been too short and everyone and everything seemed to be against her from the moment she opened her eyes.  The house had lost power at some point during the night and her alarm had failed to go off so she woke up late.  She’d raced to get ready only to find there wasn’t anything in the fridge she could grab for an easy breakfast.  Her stomach grumbled its protest but she didn’t have time to fix a real breakfast.  It would have to wait.  She’d gotten into her car only to remember and then see the glowing icon that meant she was nearly out of gas so she’d have to take the bus from the stop up the street, which was also late and full, so she’d had to stand which became nearly impossible as she was jostled by the sudden stops and starts and sharp turns the driver made navigating rush hour traffic.  Then, getting off at her stop she had collided with a man.  The contact had been accidental but it had been jarring enough that she’d bitten her lip.  Her mouth filled with blood, she spit it out and stepped over it.  She was late.  She didn’t even realize she had done it.

The morning did not define her, though.  Nor was it a reflection of who she generally was.  Normally, she was poised and precise.  And once she settled into her desk and got caught up on what she’d missed that morning she tried to regain a semblance of normalcy.  Her mind, however, kept running back over the events of the night before and all the issues from the morning.  Was she losing it?  Why had she agreed to stay out so late?  How had she not noticed the power go out?  Why had she let her fridge get empty?  Why had she let her gas tank also drop so low?  Why hadn’t she been steady on her feet on the bus or watched her step as she got off? None of that was like her…  She was too young for her mind to be slipping, wasn’t she?

Round and round her thoughts tumbled and then, in the middle of a delicate email on an important topic, her fingers froze, hovering over the keyboard.  Had she spit?  Had she actually spit blood onto the pavement right in front of her office?  She was so distraught by the idea that she actually stood up, ready to march back to the street and see if her blood was still sitting there, splattered and dried.  Then she sat back down with a little shake of her head and completed the email.

No.  Going to look for the blood was definitely something a crazy person would do.  She refused to be crazy.  She was far too poised and precise to let her sanity slip away.


and now it is December…

I always get done writing my November posts and think, “That was fun.  I should keep it going.  I should post more often…”  And then December comes and goes and the year turns over and the Kingdom goes quiet for a long time.  Well, the online Kingdom anyway, the part that extends into the blogosphere.  This year will likely be no different, as I’m actually writing this on October 19th, long before the fervor of holidays and birthdays and travel plans and anniversaries and everything else that build up this time of year here kick into full gear.  But, we can hope, right?  Hope that this year will be different and I will keep posting.

Before November I had been writing and scheduling posts to go live on Monday of each week.  That was working out well for me.  It gave me a schedule that I wanted to keep but wasn’t so daunting that it was doomed to fail.  So, I will try to keep to that going forward.  Matticus Mondays…  Something like that.

I’m hoping to have some good news in the weeks and months ahead.  Projects that have been swirling around are growing nearer to completion all the time.  They are going slower than I’d like but as that slowness is mostly a result of my own making, it is what it is.  I’ll keep pinging at this keyboard and letting these words show me their worlds.  Some of them you will see here on the blog and some of them you will eventually see in print.  Thank you for being patient with me as I keep teasing and then failing to actually deliver new stories and books.  They are coming.  Promise.

Here on the blog, I’d say you should be on the lookout for some more character study posts.  That’s how I ended November (for the most part) and I was enjoying diving into an idea and creating something from it.  So, you will likely see some more of those at first.  Then I’m sure you’ll see some adventure photos and journals and musings.  Adventure is never far away here.  And then… well, then we’ll see how this year ends and the next begins and what comes of it all, what comes of the words and what they choose to show.

As always, thank you for reading.

Made it!

We made it to the end.  A whole month of blogging daily.  Good job.  Good job, indeed.  Yes, this is another filler post.  But, as I promised and fulfilled with the previous two, I shall here as well.  What was your favorite post this month?  (Not of mine!!)  From around the blogosphere or something you wrote that you are really happy with, proud of – leave the link in the comments and I will click through and read it.

the watcher

A perfect web, symmetrical and flawless, stretched between the garage and exterior light.  The spider that had woven it hung nearby under the eaves of the garage waiting for day to turn to night.  Then it crawl down to its delicate creation and walk across to perch in the center and wait for its meal to arrive.  It was a process the little boy had watched for several dusks in a row.  He was captivated by the tiny creature.

The little boy was captivated by all sorts of creatures.  The spider that had adopted his garage was just the latest.  Before, he had watched a hummingbird build a nest in a tree in his backyard until eggs appeared and then hatched and the even tinier birds filled the next and grew and flew away.  Before that, he had watched a caterpillar build a chrysalis and then later break free and fly away as a butterfly.  It had danced in the breeze, graceful, beautiful, and then fluttered lifted up and over his yard’s wall and out of sight.

He had lots of time to sit and watch life.  The vantage point of his chair, his constant companion since the accident, gave him the perfect opportunity to observe, to learn.  At first he had hated the chair, of course.  It had been a prison cell, his punishment for the mistakes that had led to the accident.  Over time he had grown used to it, though, until he had become a part of him.  While that was happening he began to see things around him more clearly.  He never would have noticed the caterpillar if not for the chair.  He’d have been too busy running and jumping, climbing and swinging, dashing about in his normal frenzied play to have seen the slight movement, the less than a breeze stirring it created as it inched down the leaf.  But he had seen it and he had watched all that happened after.  That opened the whole world to him.

bag man

They called him the bag man.  He didn’t carry trash bags or push a shopping cart.  He didn’t live on the streets.  Where his next meal was going to come from was never a question.  He dressed nicely, had a roof over his head and people who he loved and who loved him in return.  His work was steady and fulfilling.  Money was not a problem.  They called him the bag man because he always had bags under his eyes.  Sometimes barely visible, sometimes they were deep and dark and hanging so low they seemed capable of falling off his face, but they were always, always, visible.

He knew about his bags, the lines and circles and smudges of color, under his eyes.  When they had first appeared years before he had worn them as badges of honor.  Then he had grown embarrassed of them but had been unable to resolve the underlying issues that created them.  Then he had accepted them as part of who he was, not quite the badge of honor he had once seen them as but more like a sign of who he had become, who he was.

So it was, day after day, he carried his bags with neither pride nor regret.  He went about his life and those around him, behind his back, from the shadows, called him the bag man.