21 SEP 2011…2020

Above are our goats, they amuse me.

Today I could use a little amusement. I could post some stupid Army picture, I could talk about soldiering and how it left a mark. I think I’ll devote one paragraph to the subject, and then I’ll move on.

On this day in the past, I huddled with my team in the darkness, the Colonel was giving a combat brief. I chewed on an MRE hamburger, guess that was my equivalent of the traditional steak n’ eggs. He sliced the total mission into chunks, each of us received an assignment. The job at hand? A deliberate attack against a fortified hilltop structure. I swished the beef patty down with some water, I made my contribution to the plan, and the party broke up.

It was show time. The evening of the twenty-first. I shivered in the cold, I looked up and beheld the Milky Way with no light pollution.

Magnificent.

Below, the humans struggled in the dark.

In the valley.

OK, that was a little over a paragraph. But that’s alright, it’s my website. Other things are happening, of course, few remember or were even ever aware of the nameless struggles in those foreign crags. The writing continues apace, this lurks in the background as well. Words are like trauma. If you stuff the bag too full, eventually something will leak out.

I think there’s something like 300,000 words hanging out in the archive, waiting to see the light of day. For reasons financial and tactical they have built up, layer upon layer, like sludge in a tailings pit. The dam strains to hold back the words.

The peaceful village, populated by my faithful readers, sleeps in the valley below. As I write, I am heedless of the consequences of my actions.

One final sentence, one last manuscript, and the dam breaks.

All of the creative good stuff gets dumped on the placid hamlet.

Right now, I am not sure of when this moment will happen. I want it to be within the foreseeable future, and I think it will be. The ultimate test of an author’s work is what the readers think; you are important. An integral part of the process.

This is one of the reasons I love John Birmingham’s Patreon site- it’s two parts entertainment and one part master’s level class on creative writing.

I know I’ve said this before, but I strongly suggest you pay the two bucks and join up. Yeah, JB’s stuff is featured. Of course, it’s his website. But there’s other stuff in there as well, including some of the material I’ve kept behind the dam and he graciously posted on his site.

On these sunny, cool days, thank God for the outlet of writing, entertaining. As I chewed my BBQ sauce and cheese packet smeared cold ration burger back then, I could have never imagined all of this.

So I guess what I want to say is thanks, readers.

At some point the dam will break. When it does, you all will be the first to get wet.

Promise.

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