Authentic Writing Provokes…

Indeed it does!

I arrived to the group as the November writing Challenge finished, so I did not take part in that. In the month of writing since , I have discovered the power it has for me. In the words of Mr. Mouse from “Twas the Night before Christmas”, “As we say when approaching a tall piece of cheddar, we better start from the top.”

I had this grand design for my first post about a perfect experience of cross country skiing. The weather in my mind turned frigid and words froze in place and could not make their way to my finger tips. I faced the same scary nemesis that to many people face to often, writer’s block.

My first entry changed from a joyous time about cross country to an now important entry on writer’s block and how I planned to overcome it.  As I wrote, the once frigid winter in my writer’s mind turned to a glorious spring. The words first started as a tiny trickle, but soon started to rush like a full raging river. My juices started flowing again.

That would be a victory in and of itself, but as sure as summer follows spring, I noticed a change in my life, also. Somehow, clearing the writers block, cleared live obstacles that stood in the way of life’s progress. That one little post on over coming my writer’s block, had brought me to a level of productivity that had been unseen for a few months.

Another time in my first month, I faced one of those scary life struggles, perhaps you know the kind; it brought all life progress to a near screeching halt. The blackness of the discovery made it hard to see any way out. It felt like I would be stuck forever.

I remembered my experience of earlier in the month, how writing became a tool to not only free my words, but to free my life. I had to try it again.

Write, Stephen, Write. About anything. Get the juices flowing again. Start making those black pixels form patterns on the white screen that people recognize as words. And, though my mine kicked and screamed, wanting to stay in its dark place, I finally started writing again. This winter felt deeper than the first so it took a little effort and time to get the solid juices moving once again, but it happened. The screen began to fill up with words, a trickle, and words became sentences, a steady flow.

And as sure as summer follows spring, the burden that life had become began to lose its weight. I felt light in step and the once frozen stream began to rush again, like a raging river. With that, the life obstacles that once seemed like huge, immovable blocks of ice, were now the size of ice cubes, just the right size for a tall cold drink. With that, the life obstacle had been cleared away and productivity returned.

What a great discovery! What a wonderful tool! I had long recognized the importance of creativity in my life, as a way to preserve my fragile sanity, but writing offered so much more. Not only had writing promoted sanity, but it became a destroyer of life’s obstacles. Writing cleared my mind to bring me new levels of clarity and productivity.

Authentic Writing Provokes…Indeed it does!…In wonderful ways!

The Boyz Christmas

This years Christmas would have been like any other Christmas. Thankfully, we had the  boyz to lighten and brighten our day.

Jimmy and Sherlock are our boyz. I purposefully end it with a z so people don’t think we have ordinary kids. Our kids are so much more than ordinary! For starters they have four legs. Our family doesn’t have some weird genetic anomaly that makes that happen, unless you would consider a love for dogs as a weird gene. Yes, our boyz, Jimmy Dean and Sherlock Holmes,  are dogs. Really, they are so much more than dogs, they are Wired Haired Dachshunds.

Their actions, on a normal day, brings a smile to my face for some of the things they do. It could be Sherlock falling to sleep on his back as he so often does or Jimmy for not yet learning that it helps to get his butt off the blanket if he wants to get under them. It could be the way they are  sentinels and do not let anything happen in front of our house without us knowing. Jimmy has his sentinel position and Sherlock often finds his own tower. They are but a whiskers hair away from letting out a shower of barks to anyone that happens to walk in front of our humble abode. I pity the person who happens to have a dog at the end of a loose leash as they are showered with an incessant stream of rapid, forceful barks. This lets the unexpecting canine know that their presence has been duly noted.

This Christmas started as many Christmas, waking with presents under he ornamented tree, knowing what hid behind the cheery paper of some, but not others. Mary shared with me early that morning about a new found bag of unexpected gifts on the front porch, an unanticipated arrival from a dear friend.

Shotzie, our last dog taught us about keeping or not keeping doggie presents under the tree. One year, we left a present of hers under the tree. Needless to say, returning from a short trip to somewhere, we returned home to shredded paper and one less present.

The next year, we got wise. When her present from her auntie arrived, we kept it top of the entertainment center.  Much to our surprise, after another short trip to somewhere, Little Shotzie had ripped into a couple of presents, the ones that had traveled with her gift in the package from Southern California. That day, we learned about guilt through association; no gift that traveled with a pooches gift could be safely stored under the tree.

Those draconian rules, a least in the dog’s eyes, have been in place ever since. Because of this year’s events, radical rule changes may have to go into effect. Let me tell you why.

The season started with the boys wondering what all the nicely wrapped gifts were under the Christmas tree. They had never bothered the presents before, but for reasons unknown this year their behavior had changed. Sherlock, fitting his name and being more inquisitive, got caught under the tree a time or two sniffing presents. It got a little bit more strange when jimmy, the more reserved one, got caught under the tree, also. We just kept a close eye on them to make sure no additional funny business occurred.

Then came Christmas morning. I opened a couple of gifts while the boyz, patiently, or not so patiently waited. Jimmy does a little bit better at waiting. Sherlock kept lunging a the still unopened gift, wanting it before it could be unwrapped. Eventually, I finished unwrapping the gifts and gave them a taste of their treats, and they were happy. They showed almost more join in the anticipation of the unwrapping of the gift as they did in finally getting the treat hidden behind the wrapping paper.

I knew they were unlikely to tear through the inner package of the next gift, so I  opened a couple of flaps and just let them go at it. They did a pretty good job of getting it open. By the end of that opening, it became obvious that Sherlock had quickly developed a great interest in the paper, far greater than the contents, even though the present enclosed had edible treats.

He quickly became picky about his paper. Glossy paper did not turn his crank. He would grab it, and then let it quickly fall to the floor, kind of like the underwear the six year old gets at christmas time. But, he developed a lust for tissue paper or some of our rough paper having a three of four newspaper sheet thick feel to it.

As Mary and I open subsequent gifts, Sherlock would sit at our feet, panting, and waiting for the gift to be open. At that time, he would grab the now discarded paper and happily take off with it to all four corners of the house, tearing it to tiny shreds. One time he could not wait; as I explored my newly open gift, he jumped up and grabbed the paper from my hand. I am sure, a Jack Bower thought ran through his head, “Give me that paper! Now! Or i will Kill you!”, as he sprang for the paper.

Soon, all of the once, perfectly wrapped gifts had lost their thin shell to be appreciated for their content, at least for Mary and Jimmy and I.  Sherlock had found joy in he remnants of paper now found here and there.

At times, the frugal side of me comes out and I try to save some of larger sheets of Christmas paper. Not this year. As we cleaned up the living room, Sherlock still lusting over his new found friend, we would be lucky to find a piece of paper big enough to wrap a ring box or maybe a singular mini Christmas Bulb. But in short order, the room had been returned to its previous state. As Mary wandered away, she kept finding paper here and there, first in the dining room and then the far end of the hallway. It appears Sherlock had a grand time taking his “gifts” were ever he wanted to.

So, next year we are left with a dilemma. We know that doggie gifts can not be kept under the tree, for curiosity would over take the dogs and would need to find out what dog treat lurked behind the pretty paper. I fear for next year year surround Sherlock’s new found love for most wrapping paper. I can imagine come home from a short trip to somewhere with many of our gifts open and paper found in all four corners of our house. We have created a MONSTER!

As you can hopefully see, the boyz helped to make this Christmas anything but plain and ordinary. Their zeal for life and gifts, in what ever form they came in, have made for a unforgettable day. It will be a memory I will cherish for ears to come.


Call Down the God of War and Burst Open the Consensual Reality

Call down the God of War? Dare to crack open reality in the search for God? What happens next?

I’ve crafted and posted two articles to my blog challenging commonly accepted notions of reality and may happen. Sometimes people go mad. Sometimes they become One with the Divine. Sometimes both. And sometimes they end up as next year’s Santa. The Holy Daze ain’t over yet.

So dive on in below:

Calling Down Mars, God of War: Questioning the Nature of Reality

Once upon a time on a hot, late summer night we gathered in a cutover cornfield and called down Mars, the God of War. I remember clearly seeing the Red God as he made his appearance. What disturbs me most, however, is not that we accomplished such a feat, but I can’t recall what we did it for and why. My ego has great pride in my memory of events, especially as I have an almost-photographic memory. I say almost, as I seem unable to remember numbers, mathematical formulas, musical notes, the names of people as I’m more of a face guy, and the titles of songs, poems, and books, especially who wrote what when. What I do know is one night in a Virginia cornfield in the vicinity of old Civil War battlefields the God of War came down in a blaze of sparkling, red haze.

Pull out your sword at:

Cracking Open Reality

“Enlightened people become non-functional,” said Tina Rasmussen to our group as her husband Stephen Snyder nodded in agreement toward the end of a Buddhist Meditation Retreat . “They inhabit the crack in consensual reality.”

Let’s go burst open these cracks! Together we can bust open reality! What happens to how we perceive and experience reality when our mutual consensus for it breaks down and dissolves?

Jump in at:

Thank you.


William Dudley Bass

December 28, 2011

Seattle, Washington


© Copyright 2011 by William Dudley Bass.


Moving-I hate it.

Moving-I hate it. Well maybe that is a little strong. I don’t enjoy the process for sure. But I do enjoy being in a new place, getting to know a new neighborhood. The last week of December is not the best time to move being as busy as it is. I have had extra shifts at work, which I do love. That left very little time for packing.

It’s amazing what you can accumulate in a year and a half. I moved here with what would fit in my car and then shipped a few boxes later. No more. I had to rent a truck. I’ve pressed a couple of friends into service to help me. (I will have to do something extra nice for them) Wanting to make it easier for them I moved the majority of my belongings down to our lobby to speed the process.

After tomorrow’s major move there will still be things  that I don’t want to pack in the truck. So I will be back and forth for a couple of days, taking care of the precious items. All the while I will be…

Please continue reading at Suspended Soul

Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

The three Buds…they were fixtures in my neighborhood for several years. I lived in an “Our Town” kind of place where people sat on their porch in the evenings and waved hello to neighbors passing by. When a new family came to town there was a visitor with cookies or cake at the front door the next day. So it wasn’t unusual to see the same people on a regular basis. Three of those people were named Bud. Not really their proper name but the one they were known by none-the-less.

Bud # 1 we called- Bud who Walked. Everyday like clockwork he would walk briskly past our house. Always friendly, but he seldom had time to stop and talk. He was on a mission. All of a sudden we stopped seeing him. It was several months gone by before we found out he had suffered a heart attack. Not knowing his last name or exactly where he lived we couldn’t visit to wish him well. Then one day here he came again. He was really on a mission now to stay healthy and take advantage of his second chance. Only now he had a little more time to stop and chat once in a while.

Bud #2 we called Bud in Mud. He was the husband of a voice teacher at the college where we were on the faculty. We often saw him at concerts and arts events with his wife. He also wrote a column of musings for the local paper. He was an excellent, insightful writer that could put an interesting turn …

To continue reading please go to Suspended Soul

At the bar…People watching…

Just for the record: This post could be published at any point in time I push the “publish.”

I promised Scott Bell, my co-author I would not post it without some distance between the scene we took in and the publishing of the commentary. Has enough time passed?

(It’s Sunday night, a week before Christmas.) We connected for a holiday beverage at The Crossroads Neighborhood Bar and Grill on a Sunday night as Scott is off to Nebraska as of early this week. He is set to continue his rants and postings, so we won’t miss a bit of his humor and daily gifts will be arriving like secret Santa packages, so I am assured.

Imagine the following:

And just to be clear…I am not on a date with Scott Bell, in fact he is receiving texts from his Lady Friend whom I hope to meet someday. She’s as funny as he is in a direct and sarcastic/satiric way. Can you say paraprosdokain?

Meanwhile, up against the far wall of the bar area here at the “Neighborhood Grill” are three short booths, best for pairs facing each other (or two very slender people per seat) with couples in dialogue.

Couple #1: Well, they were mirroring each other perfectly and are now sitting on the same side of the booth….SCORE eminent suggests Scott. (Men!)

Couple #2:  We can see they are making contact, fondling fingers (Scott says that is clever Deb), and she allowed her phone to be taken from her (by her date) as she texted. Question is, as we observe them checking out the bill, did they split it and is this an equal relationship in all areas.  Five minutes have passed, the bills are gone, and the body language is…..divided yet “smiley.”  He won’t call her.  Unless no other options pop up during Xmas break. (Scott’s take)

Couple #3:  We are “seeing” the thought bubbles: “Thank god the food has arrivved, now we can stop attempting to talk and I can stop avoiding letting the guy touch me while we eat.  I SO should not have worn a white sweater with holes in it.  Maybe after this “cosmo” I’ll let him get as handsy as he wants.”  (And then she ate all but the bread and carbohydrates of the plates she ordered. What is up with that? Why not simply order then a salad?)

So after taking in the three most interesting pairs, we moved on to other possible blog topics…satisfied with our abilities to read body language or at least make up stories of what we thought was happening.

The Game of Observation: It is a thing I do some times to test my skills of observation and imagination as a strategy for keeping my creative writing skills as sharp as possible. Speaking for myself, my ability to vividly capture details has gotten only better and some pretty interesting insights have come my way, as I take in the environs and scenes about me.

Do you ever do this? You might like it and learn something about yourself from it as well. And ultimately at the end of the day our powers of observation will help us in all our relationships, which can be good for business too.

What does your body language say?

Bottomline: Cultivate being aware of what is going on around you and it might not only help you but help your business!

Next theme we may each tackle: What do I do to replace myself? I can’t be everywhere I want to be at the same time.

Sometimes this feels SO true!

Feed Me! Using RSS Feeds With Tuesday with Deborah

Ever have an itchy trigger finger, checking the Tuesdays with Deborah website only to find out there are no updates? Wouldn’t it be great if there would be some way to passively watch the site and see if it’s been updated? Well, there is! It is known as an RSS feed.

RSS, originally known as RDF Site Summary, often dubbed Really Simple Syndication will do such a thing. RSS, feeds or news feeds  have an URL, formatted similar to the URL for a website. There is some work required by the server side in order to support RSS. When trying to access an RSS feed, if the website does not support the RSS protocol, you most likely will get back a server not found error. But, if the website supports the RSS protocol, new doors will be open.

RSS “webpages”  are based on a slightly different protocol than the familiar HTTP. Because of the difference in protocol, the newsreader, the program used to access feeds, gets an update when the webpage changes; no need to constantly check the website to see if it’s been updated. It can kind of be thought as a magazine subscription that only notifies you when new articles are available, but not when ads or the masthead changes.

Since I can’t know every newsreader program out there, let me try to direct you the best I can. If you are using a newsreader application, the most important feature is adding a feed. If you see a plus button in the main window, that is likely the place to add a new feed. Secondly, check the menus for an item labeled new feed, add new feed or add feed. With that, that is enough to get started on the client side.

So why is at all important to Tuesdays with Deborah? Good question, to which there is a good answer. Say you want to track when new articles become available on Tuesday with Deborah? There’s a feed for that, Like a particular author? There is a feed for every author in the blog. The RSS feed will be updated when they have added a blog post. Want to track when new discussion happens on your recent blog post? There’s a feed for that, also.

The feeds exists? How can you use them? That depends on the program. If they support drag and drop, the URL can be picked up from the browser and dropped on the program you are using for your newsreader. For instance, dragging the URL to Mac Mail and dropping it on the RSS Feed area in the sidebar, with add the feed. With Outlook, drag the URL to RSS Feed icon, which looks like this:

`There is only one minor edit that needs to happen. Right now the URL is a web URL; many newsreaders do not know how to handle that. For a WordPress feed URL to be recognized by a newsreader, a feed/ must be added to the end of the url. For example, the web address for Tuesdays with Deborah is, and the feed address is Notice the feed tacked on the end? That’s all that has to happen.

There are also feeds for authors, blogs, and for extra credit, categories and tags. Here are the feed addresses for each of those.

So, now with this new found power, you can set up RSS feeds to follow Tuesdays with Deborah, authors on the site, and comments for a particular blog entry.

BUT WAIT! THAT’S NOT ALL!! I am also exploring adding some code to the site so that adding a feed for any of these will be just a click away. Stay Tuned.

Meowy Catsmas

The damn cats have been here for exactly a year. Oh, joy! And tomorrow is also the 1st anniversary of the release of my first kidney stones. Thank God that’s over.

My little Grinch didn’t want to put up a tree this year. She was concerned for her cats. I was concerned for the glass ornaments.

We managed to get our 5 foot, fake, pre-lit tree out of the box today. I usually set it on top of a small skirted table. An accident waiting to happen, right? My brilliant idea was to screw the base of the tree to the cheap table. That was a small project. (Never the right tool when you need it.)

Later, as we worked in the other room, the meowing turned to crying. “Go check on the cats, please,” I said. Moments later, she screams from the living room, “Dad. You have to see this!” The tree looked like a blind man trimmed it with a chainsaw. One cat was on the skirted table, at the base of the tree looking up at his brother. Oh, brother. The other one was tangled in the wires, hanging upside down from his haunches.

It took the two of us, one at each end, to push him backwards past the wire to freedom. He wasn’t grateful. He was still trying to hang on.

The tree stands sturdy, all lit, gathering gifts in its entire naked splendor. (Ornaments would be too risky this year.) A full, plastic, quart-size squirt bottle stands nearby to defend the tree from would be feline climbers.

Damn Cats and Meowy Catsmas.

ciao, Pete

Efficiency Expert







Mommy, My Tummy Hurts Baby Jesus Keeps Kicking Me!

Let’s Rock and Talk, honey.  Time to rest for a while.  Time to calm down now.

Mommy, my tummy hurts.

I’m sorry honey. Let’s relax a minute instead of jumping around and see if that helps.  Jump up on the rocker with me.


Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Mommy? Why does Baby Jesus keep kicking my tummy?

Kicking your tummy, what do you mean honey?

He keeps kicking and kicking inside my heart and hurting my tummy, can you tell him to stop?

more baby jesus

William’s Marathon Bloggieroo Wreck

Been writing too much. Obsessed. Out of balance. A glass of whiskey warm from the bottle ‘ll be nice. Except I hardly drink anymore. Won’t let anything slow me down. Not even running out of money. Cuz I can run on empty. Prolonged meditation can do that. Cracks open reality. Mighty fun, though. Especially ten articles and 23,135 words later.

Feeling like an ol’, rangy hound dog, I’ve been salvaging and scavenging around in the junkyard of my old bloggy blogs from Blogmas Past. Consolidation in locomotion. Instead of migrating, however, I’m keeping the old blogs open. But revising, rewriting, expanding, and re-publishing. Reposting the revampers to my new WordPress bloggiewoggie.

I’ve published them to my primary WP site at

Come on in and check ‘em out. Here are three:

“The Grinch is Gone!” Checking out the Christmas extravaganza with the kids and making an unpleasant discovery. Find out for sure @

“How did Republicans become Communists?” I can’t believe what those daggone Red Staters have done! That scoundrel Sen. Joe McCarthy must be rolling over in his grave (well, maybe he turned a little bit and got stuck as the ground’s frozen solid back yonder in Wisconsin). Squirm and chuckle @“how-did-republicans-become-communists”/.

“Remember the Pygmy Holocaust.” This ongoing nightmare in Congo continues to be underreported in the mainstream mass media. In the violent anarchy of the overlapping conflicts known collectively as the Great African World War, Pygmies are enslaved, treated like pet dogs, and are hunted, cooked, and eaten by cannibal rebels and government soldiers alike. Some discretion advised as this is not to be read to little children on the night before Christmas. Enter @

Another zany thing I’m experimenting with is I created a “Table of Contents” page for my Blog. With almost 60 posts there since late October I need a faster way to organize my material so I can find it, too. Not sure if I’ll keep like this, though, as there’s still a lot of scrolling, but it’s good at a glance.

To see my “Table of Contents” page and how I organized it go to What are your ideas here?

Thank you all, and enjoy.


William Dudley Bass

Seattle, WA

December 18, 2011

© Copyright 2011 by William Dudley Bass.