Thoughts

Sorry-Drgonfly has not been fling for a long time

I would like to apologize, a year late in some instances, for the non-responsiveness of this dragon fly site. There have been multiple illnesses and interruptions for a long time.  I will see if the people who tried to get a free book for joining Dragonfly finally get something if I can.  The person who does that is not available now and may not be for some time. Maybe forever, who knows?

A new full size book is being worked on that started at 150,000 words but it is being cut down. This book began in 2011 and it’s not in publishable form yet. It may never be, which saddens me greatly. To see such a great amount of time and work hitting a brick wall is depressing.

For various reasons I have lost the assistants the were part of the project. So I believe now, unless things get back on track soon, the project will be over. Along with Dragonflybooks and art.

I am not sure if the end of the offer for a free book was ever put on this site. It was supposed to be a short time offer in any case. I don’t mind giving them away, but I don’t know how to do that and the person who does is gone. (I am not very knowledgeable about computers.)

Maybe sometime this site will be operational again. I’ll look at it from time to time if anyone wants to send me nasty messages.

Thanks to anyone who took interest in Dragonflybooksand art. I hope we will meet again.

D.F.B.A

 

 

Happy? Holidays…

Well, the holidays are almost over. Maybe they already are by the time I get around to finishing this. How was your holiday season? From my point of view I say we all make a new plan for next year. We shoot Santa, roast the reindeer, freeze-dry the elves, and make celebrating New Year a felony.

We’ll burn that sleigh while we’re at it. That would help quite a bit.

You can’t get to the store near Christmas time to get something as simple as a bottle of orange juice. Every spot in the parking lot has been taken, and when someone is backing out to leave, fifteen cars bash each other fighting to get the spot. Merry Christmas. In the stores people fight over turkeys in the meat department, cakes in the bakery area, and everything else. Everything is sold out so it gets down to fighting over canned beans.

The store puts out some obnoxious Christmas items. There’s usually a real special decoration for $29.99. No one buys a damned one of the ugly things. After Christmas they go on sale for $1.99 and all of a sudden they’re beautiful. They all get snapped up. The thing is, they were probably made in China for fourteen cents.

People used to put up a string of colored likes on their home. They looked nice. Nowadays, people have so many lights in their yard that airplane pilots get blinded if they look down.  The power company has to start up a spare nuclear power plant every Christmas. And why do people put up those giant blow up Santa’s, reindeer, and seven foot tall Sponge Bobs that are bigger than their house? What does that sponge have to do with Christmas, anyway?

It doesn’t work anyway. The neighborhood kids poke holes in them with Swiss Army knives.  Then the giant balloons look deflated and defeated. They lay on the ground as a plastic mess that doesn’t get cleaned up until spring.

People get horrid looking knit sweaters as gifts. They always have a big red and green argyle pattern on them, with Christmas trees and different colored Christmas tree bulbs in the background. There are the Snowflakes falling, along with elves playing happily in the snow, all around the bottom. There are those dammed elves again. Luckily it can be returned to where it came from. Probably Hell. But these sweater receivers have this urgent  need to take it out back, pour gas on the thing, and burn it! They can’t stand having it around, it’s hurting their eyes.

Aunt Edna insists the receiver wear the sweater. The person, looking a fool, has sweat pouring down their face in minutes. The thing isn’t useful unless the temperature is below zero.  No matter. Aunt Edna always comes up with something like, “Oh, you look so darling in it. Keep it on all evening. It’s just perfect for you. I was going to get you the latest GPS system, but this is much, much better. Don’t you think?”

Aunt Edna may go the way of Santa.

Christmas and New Year. Bah! Humbug!

How Is Your Year?

How is your world? Mine is mostly crap. I mean, how can it not be when the most exciting thing I do all day is clean the cat’s butt. I know something isn’t right with my world when I sit around wondering if I should dust this month. Maybe I should because I didn’t last month. I don’t think I did the one before either. A lot of the time I wait until I can’t see the surface of the furniture.

I don’t put holiday decorations up because then I have to take them down a week or so later. Why put them up in the first place? As for New Year’s, I’m usually sleeping by ten o’clock. I’m not a real exciting person to be around.

My cat bites me, the dryer doesn’t get warm any more, and the oven, not having been cleaned since Nixon was president, looks like a pig exploded in there. Someday I’ll vacuum, but that’s not something you just get up and do. You have to plan for things like that. You have to mark your calendar so you will be able to see when that unusual event is coming about. Next October seems about right, but I haven’t determined the day yet.

‘I’m sorry. I can’t meet with the surgeon on Tuesday. Can we reschedule? I’m vacuuming that day.’

At the end of the year, at the required ‘intoxication party,’ someone always offers a toast to the New Year. It’s always the same. ‘Here’s to the New Year—the one now behind us was full of trouble and pain. Let us hope the New Year is better than the last, and brings us all a year of joy and laughter! And, um… significant financial gain.’

The problem with that is they say it every year. That means they’ll say it at the end of this year, too. So you know right from the start we are in for a bad year—full of trouble and pain. Everyone is going to be glad when this year is over because it obviously will be full of crap like the one before it. There apparently is no such thing as a better future year.

You should never toast the years, good or bad. It’ll just make trouble.

Maybe this year will be the year of getting a new computer. This one is getting old and doesn’t work too well anymore. Sometimes it takes a half an hour to get the lid open. I’d get a new one, but it’ll take me the whole year to figure out how to use it. (See? A year of trouble and pain.) I’ll get so frustrated I’ll throw it against the wall and ruin it, so I’ll be back to this one anyway. Always think ahead. You can save yourself a lot of and money and trouble.

Maybe all this terrorist stuff will be over this year. Haven’t most of the Islamists blown themselves up by now? How many more can there be? It doesn’t matter. There will always be some new phenomenal war starting up somewhere. The Swede’s will get in a row with the Mexicans or France will start to get irritated with the Eskimos. It’s always something.

Well, here’s to the New Year. May it be better than the last! Ha! If you believe that I got some land to sell you on the moon.

It’s Almost Christmas Eve

Christmas is supposed to be a time of cheer, happiness, reverence, and comradery. It is for many, less so for others. At the bottom end of the scale are those who don’t care, or don’t know, that the day exists. It might as well be any ordinary day. Or worse yet, it can be a day of pain and loneliness for some. For those people it would be best if the holiday didn’t exist at all.

On Christmas Eve Levon watches the night-time street below his apartment window. Light snow is falling. On an avenue now void of daytime shoppers, the street has turned from a pleasant place, to one best not traveled after dark.

After dark ‘they’ walk the byway. They are there in the day as well, along with the general populace on the avenue. In the day, the homeless in dirty rags with unwashed faces can be lost in the crowd. It is easy not to see them if that is your choice.

From Levon’s perch he had a different perspective. They sauntered or scurried by one at a time giving him no choice but to see them, and therefore contemplate their existence. Instead of pretending they didn’t exist, he saw them all through his ‘magic’ TV set and had to acknowledge their presence. Who are they, where did they come there? He felt as bad off as the lost and lonely. Broke, no job, and living alone in a decrepit dark apartment over a pharmacy, he had no need for Christmas nor expected any Christmas miracle.

He didn’t expect to survive the night.

He felt mercy for many of the strange characters that passed by in the night, more than he did for himself, but never thought to intervene in their lives. What could he do anyway?

There was a way out of the mess. The world can change or end as one stands of the razor’s edge of life or death. Each possibility is equal in its probability. Somehow events happen, however, by chance or by some other means, who knows really, that push one towards one side of the razor.

Levon had a choice to make. Amazingly, the choice was made for him from unextend source. Does Levon survive Christmas Eve?

In the end, it’s not really up to him.

Read CHRISTMAS EVE by TOM REITZE  author of the ‘Stories of a Different Nature’ series. Look for CHRISTMAS EVE on Amazon this December.

 

 

 

 

 

Look for MAURICE BERRLY, the New Story from Tom Reitze, on Amazon… Friday the 13th

There are some nasty people around. Then there are some really nasty people. Why that is? Who can say? But it seems as if these obnoxious beings delight in making everyone else as miserable as, well, they are themselves. And that’s pretty miserable.

Then there’s MAURICE BERRLY. Ol’ Maurice, who lives in a small town in New Mexico in the mid nineteen fifties, is as miserable as they come. Besides being a petty thief, a troublemaker in general, and one who insults everyone he comes across just for fun, he delights in simple accomplishments like scaring little kids and making them cry.

“Ah’m the boogeyman, Sara. Don’t ya be sleepin’ with your eyes closed too tight t’night. An’ don’t think daddy’s gonna save ya with his shotgun. Cain’t kill the boogeyman, don’t ya know.”
Sara’s face turned red and tears started to roll down her face. Her soft whimpering grew louder until she was bawling uncontrollably.
Maurice walked away whistling.

He lives in a broken down cabin outside of town, with rats running around inside that he knows personally. Bart, Cora LeBleu, and the Buchelli family. Even being his ‘friends’ he considers eating one. Why not, he eats scorpions and various other un-delectables such as road kill. What’s the big deal about eating your rat friend?
Being as mean as he is, Maurice considers the most appropriate place for everyone, aside from himself of course, is six feet under. Suddenly, Maurice finds that he can predict who will die next. And the problem is… they do.
The townspeople are not too pleased with Maurice’s new ability. The Sheriff can’t stop him and even attempting to bribe God for Maurice’s early departure isn’t working.
Our hero spends quite a lot of time in a graveyard named Boot Hill. (Aren’t all graveyards of the old, or not so old west, named Boot Hill?) There lie (HA!) the people he prefers the most. The ones literally lying six feet under. Those folks don’t give him so much trouble.
Unique in its methodology of murder and humorous at the same time, the short story MAURICE BERRLY will keep you interested, hopefully give you a bit of a surprise at the end, and keep you chuckling at the same time.
Get MAURICE BERRLY – appropriately starting Friday the 13th, on Amazon.com.

SOME THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND

The other day I went into one of those expensive coffee shops. I’ve never gone to one before. I ordered a cup and expected it would cost around twenty-five cents. The last time I bought a cup of coffee from some little street vendor that’s what it cost. You can tell I don’t buy ready-made coffee too often. The cashier told me it was six dollars. I couldn’t believe it. It’s wasn’t too long ago you could by two, one pound cans of coffee for that price. I think someone is trying to rip us off. I told her to put it back in the pot.

Here’s another thing I don’t understand. Paying for all that bottled water. I saw a bottle of that stuff in the grocery store that was a dollar thirty-nine for sixteen point nine ounces. Why sixteen point nine ounces? Why not sixteen or seventeen? I’m sure somebody’s try to pull something over on us with that one.

That bottled water amounts to a cost of ten-fifty-three a gallon. These days you can almost get four gallons of gas for that price. Don’t you see something a little strange here?

I found out the cost of the water that comes into my house from the water company. It’s point zero-zero-one-one cents per gallon. That makes the bottled water cost nine-thousand five-hundred seventy-three times more than the water that comes out of my kitchen sink faucet. If you ask me the profit margin is a little high on that one.

The thing is, one of those bottled waters has a label on it that implies it came from some bubbling spring on the top of some mountain. It has a pretty picture of a bubbly spring right on it. Actually, it’s sold by one of those big soda companies. The water is really New York City tap water. They filter it though, to make it clean. I suppose they use the same filtered water to make their soda. You can buy one of those filters that sit on your kitchen counter and you can make all the filtered water you want. They advertise them as producing water that’s ninety-nine percent pure.

Your home made filtered water would probably be better than the bottled water. I suspect there’s a limit on how clean you can get New York City tap water.

You can by a six pack of their soda for about three dollars when it’s on sale, which it usually is. That’s fifty cents per can. It’s got flavoring, coloring, and something that makes it bubble in it. The New York City spring water they sell doesn’t have anything in it. I wonder why we have to pay an extra eighty-nine cents more per bottle of water to have them not put anything in it. I don’t get that one.

I’m going to start a money laundering business. Not the kind the mafia has. I’ll get money from the bank and I’ll find a way to clean it. Money is awfully dirty and germy. If people will pay for filtered tap water I suspect they’ll pay for laundered money. They can buy the clean money from me. The trade is one clean dollar for one dollar ten cents of their dirty money. I don’t see how I can lose.

Snake Hunting

3640282100_cbdf66520a_bI haven’t seen a snake around here for some time. There is a wood behind my house and there used to be quite a few snakes on the driveway, in the grass, in the bushes, everywhere. I would catch one from time to time. It’s not easy, those things are fast. The can bite too; luckily I was able to avoid that. I found the best way to get one is to use a sturdy stick maybe two feet long. It needs to have a fork at one end, two stubs that are about one and a half inches long. That makes a good snake stick.
When they were plentiful, I could go on a snake hunt around the yard and often find one. You have to act quickly. Run after it, they always run away… well, slither away, and take a good aim and pin that sucker to the ground with the fork end of your stick. Pin it on its neck. Actually, I suppose the whole thing is neck, what I mean is pin it right behind its head.
Now you can grab it behind its head and hold it in a position where it can’t bite you.
Grab the tail end of it in your other hand. Maybe it’s all tail, really, and not neck. I’m not sure. Maybe its tail is its neck, I really don’t know that much about them, just how to catch them.
If you get a small one, a foot or so, it’s no problem. But one time I got a three footer. I got it behind its head then grabbed the tail end and picked it up. Well, let me tell you, those things are strong. It pulled its tail out of my grasped and wrapped its whole body around my arm. I couldn’t let go of its head or it would bite me, so I had to unwrap it from my arm using just my left hand.
It didn’t want to be unwrapped. Just imagine how difficult it would be to perform
that action. Holding it by its head and unwinding it off your arm with one hand. This was no weak thing. It had bone crushing power. Probably was a baby anaconda.
I couldn’t get it off. What to do? Go and knock on a neighbor’s door and ask, “Will you help me get this snake off?”
I fought with it for quite some time and finally got it pulled out in a straight line again, with its head in one hand and its tail in my other. I gently tossed it onto the grass length-wise. I didn’t want to hurt it because let’s be honest here, it wasn’t as if this whole situation was the snakes fault.
I didn’t fool around with them too much after that. The only other one I caught from that point on was a six incher about as big around as a pencil. That kind I can handle.
I’m pretty sure the one that gave me so much trouble was the Adam and Eve snake. Best to just leave those things alone. Adam and Eve didn’t and look what happened to them.

 

I’m trying to sell short stories. Don’t ever try it. It’s like trying to sell steak to a cow. Moooo… In order to sell steak to a cow you’ve got to be a good salesman. I’m not. So the solution to that is trying to get someone to do it for you.

“Here Daisy, here’s a nice T-Bone. Mmmm… Only twenty-eight dollars a pound.” I can’t even afford that. When was the last time I bought a steak? It’s more likely Daisy will get a juicy filet before I ever do. She’ll get the money by selling one of her cutlets to the butcher.

You can’t sell books to anyone. You might as well try selling a fire extinguisher to the Devil. What the hell is he supposed to do with that? You’d be more successful selling a porno magazine to Jesus. “You better give me that, son. I wouldn’t want you to be tempted by such a thing.”

If you find someone to ‘push’ your product you have to be pretty careful about understanding the terms of the agreement up front or you might be in for a surprise. I found someone who would do the work for me. The fee was about a hundred dollars. I thought that wasn’t too bad a price for getting my material more easily noticed on a search site for a year. Then I found out that it wasn’t for a year, it was for a month!

In any case, writing is a cursed activity. Everything is overpriced, nothing you do goes as planned, and there are dozens of things you didn’t know about when you started and that no one told you about. If you did know those things you wouldn’t have started writing at all. That’s why no one tells you all the problems you are going to come up against. If you knew, you wouldn’t try, and if you didn’t try they wouldn’t make any money off all your failures.

“Oh, sure, you can do it. Anyone can. It’s easy. Just give me a thousand or so up front and you’ll be Ernest Hummingbird in no time.” More like a thousand dollars poorer with a trash can full of books you can’t pawn off even on your family, is more like it.

You’re better off with a career writing sappy, sickeningly sweet, sugary prose for the insides of glitter covered greeting cards. You know the kind where all the cheaply glued sparkly things fall off and make a mess all over your floor.

“May the sun shine bright on this your special day, and may the birds sing in the tress, so delightful and gay.”

Christ, you got to be kidding me.

“Remember – when the road is tough and the sky turns gray, He is with you this and every day.”

Oh for God’s sakes, that’s worse yet. But see? It’s easy to come up with this crap. And seventy-five year old grandmas buy this trash by the bucket load.

“Sweet sixteen, so precious and dear, don’t get knocked up for at least another year.”

There, that’s better.

Give up on books and short stories. No one wants them. Write gut churning putrid greeting card poems instead. You could make millions.

“Here’s a birthday wish just for you, have some cake and some ice cream and a bottle of wine, too. Eat it all in one big swallow, then put your head in the toilet and stay there ‘til tomorrow.”

That’s my favorite. I’ve been there.

The Pendant

_DSC0025edit2In my picture (I’m the one who’s head is higher) there are two items hanging from my neck. No, they’re not the garrote Editor Dorothy is planning to choke me with. Don’t give her any ideas, though. They are two, whatever you call things that hang from your neck, that I often have with me. Normally, they’re inside my shirt. It appears on picture taking day, one was inside and the other outside. The one in my shirt is a very small one-inch locket with a print of an all-black crow on a black tree branch in it. Sorry, I lied. It’s not a locket because it doesn’t open. I’m not sure what you would call it then. Locket works for me.

I think it’s the moon behind the crow if I look closely at it, but then again it could be just a water stain. I got it on ebay from someone in Lithuania. (The postal markings said so.) The person who sold it to me said he did not know who owned it previously. I hope a vampire didn’t. Isn’t that where vampires come from?

Anyway, supposedly my animal spirit guide is a crow. Figures. So that’s why I got it. If my sprit guide is really something else, like… oh… an eight legged, green eyed, poison killer ocean squid, then I wasted eight bucks. But maybe not, I like crows so having a crow PENDANT is okay with me. Ha! I remembered the word for ‘the thing that hangs from your neck.’

Did you ever notice that words that begin with ‘pen’ have a commonality? They represent items that have the mutual attribute of being longer than they are wide. Like PENCIL. PEN, or PENDANT, or peninsula, or pendulum, or PENI… See, they all have a degree of similarity.

Look at a map someday. Florida looks like one big, whatever.

In the small leather pouch is something very special. A true and honest piece of the one and only actual authentic moon. It’s true. Well, I’m 99.99% sure it’s true. You never can be absolutely sure of anything. If you think you are sure of something then at best you can only be 99.99% sure that you’re sure. See? You never can get past that.

It’s a piece of a moon meteorite blasted off of its surface when a comet or asteroid banged into the night time orb. It’s a piece of meteorite NWA7948. (It stands for North West Africa where it was found. No one knows what the numbers mean.) It’s been verified by the University of Washington and the ‘people who get to decide if something is really a moon meteorite, association.’ When people pass me in the grocery store, they will never know they were three feet away from a piece of the quarter of a million miles away moon. I feel sorry for them. I would think you would want to know something like that. However, explaining that to a stranger in the soup isle gets you arrested and gets your mug shot on the five o’clock news.

Oh, probably the main thing you are really wondering about is my horned friend. It hangs on the wall in one of my rooms staring down at me whenever I’m in there. Where did it come from? I have no idea. I understand the moon meteorite better than I understand that thing. I don’t remember ever buying that dreadful object. As far as I can recall, it just appeared there one day. Isn’t that something?