Monday, January 27, 2014

Our Romance

Our Romance

Not each other’s first love
or even each other’s second.
We both lived a life before
and carried the scars to prove it.

We did not love at first sight --
life would never be so neat --
you grimly committed to him,
and I determined to stay with her.

How we fell into each other’s arms
proved more to be a laugh there,
a shared moment here, a meeting
of minds and battered hearts.

Remember our sweet surprise
when this casual acquaintance
grew into a firm friendship
and fantastically something more.

Not each other’s first love
or even each other’s second,
but if fate is finally kind
we will be each other’s last.

Copyright 2014 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without prior express written permission from the author and publisher. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Full moon tonight

I bet the wolves are howling tonight. Below the photo is a poem from my forthcoming book Undying: Poems of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Photo copyright 2014 by Stephen B. Bagley


She sent the kids to her parents.
Then cleaned the house
spotless like he wanted it.

She cooked his favorite foods,
ham and loaded potatoes,
coconut cream pie for dessert.

She put on the yellow dress,
but wore nothing underneath
because he always liked that.

And when he came home
she waited by the door
with an icy beer to sate his thirst.

After dinner, she gave herself
to him, pretending to enjoy
his uncaring and clumsy hands.

When they finished, he laughed
and said, "I'm glad you learned
your lesson last night, babe."

She smiled as her hands
covered the mottled bruises
on her bare arms and neck.

He rolled over and slept
self-satisfied, while she waited
for the sacred moon to rise.

The silvery light touched
their bed and slid over her face,
her eyes gleamed yellow.

She ran her tongue
over her newly sharp
teeth and tasted the air.

She reveled in her soft fur
as her nails became claws
and muscles writhed.

Then she turned her great head
toward his sleeping form
and smiled a predator’s smile.

When the morning sun rose,
neighbors found his body
here and there and even over there.

Copyright 2014 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. Excerpted from the forthcoming book Undying: Poems of Fantasy & Science Fiction. No copying without express permission from the author and the publisher. 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Discipline requires order, but creativity requires mess.

A particular kind of mess, but mess nonetheless. All writing -- for that matter -- creative endeavours of all types -- are the product of the tension and cooperation between mess and order ... or if you want to be fancy ... creation and entropy.

Here's a good example. I have a huge folder filled with all sorts of news articles, briefs, scraps of paper with curious words scribbled on them, photos from various magazines, movie and sporting event ticket stubs, you name it. When I feel blocked or drab or bleak, I rummage through the folder. I jumble things up. Could this photo be linked in some way to this ticket stub to that word? Rarely do I glean a complete idea from this mess, but bits float up or drift by.

From this mess, I gain an idea, perhaps for a humor column or a short story. And then order comes in. I figure out the length and the words and what I need to do each day to finish the project.

Once in a while, I have the impulse to organize the folder -- which is actually a couple of boxes now -- but I resist. That mess, those odd juxtapositions, spark creativity.

Perhaps other writers -- you maybe -- are ordered all the time. I admire you. But I will never be you. I will be here in mucking in mess striving to make order out of the drifting ideas.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


I've always said I was bloody-minded. Lots of people take that to mean blood-thirsty, which is incorrect. No, it's more of a stubbornness, a willingness to do whatever it takes to accomplish my personal goals. It's not ruthlessness, because that would imply that I'm willing to or even eager to hurt other people, but that's not correct. This doesn't have anything to do with other people.

No, it's the willingness to be ruthless with myself. To ignore my hurts and pains to keep going. Grit might be a better word. Particularly since the dictionary definition of "bloody-minded" seems to be "difficult to deal with : not willing to help others do things." The British define it as someone who is "stubbornly contrary or obstructive." Which are not the meanings I choose.

Yes, sometimes I made words mean what I want. Don't you?

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.” 
― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

But I think I'm going to use grit now instead of bloody-mindedness, if you don't mind and even if you.

It's just a question of who is going to be the master. I think.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Today's report card

Here's how the day shaped up in regard to my goals.

- No writing besides the News on Facebook and this post.
- Did some household chores.
- Called two friends.
- Worked briefly on two books that I might publish for other authors.
- Ate low carb meals every meal and only cheated once and then only minorly. Feeling much better about my health and fitness plan.
- Blood sugar is going down.

Bad news on my blood pressure, though. It's remaining higher than it should. Will have to work on that.

Getting my blood sugar and blood pressure down are my top priorities these days.

Anyway, hope you had a good day and have a great tomorrow. Talk to you then.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Today today today ...

Slept late today after a bad night of tossing and turning. Woke at up 5 a.m. and took a couple of hours to go back to sleep and then woke up with my back hurting and my head pounding. Watched church on TV. Couldn't bear the incredible cold. And the noise. The people.

Cooked a low carb lunch. It was quite good. Fish with peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms with sides of spinach and mustard greens and a lettuce salad. Delicious.

Watched a New Year's concert that I had recorded a few days back. Beautiful music from Vienna. I try to watch that concert every year.

Went to Staples to walk around and get a little exercise. Bought a few things. Came home and watched a recorded show. Elementary. The show is Elementary, I mean.

Earlier I also watched the end of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I had never seen that movie. I know it's supposed to be a classic, but it seemed dated. Still, there were good moments in it.

And that was my day. Aren't you glad I shared? Now it's time for bed. Night.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The last 2013 Christmas

Need to post this and go to bed. Had a great day, if very tiring. My roomie's son and family came for the last Christmas celebration of 2013. We ate at Santa Fe Restaurant and then came home to open presents and spend the afternoon playing games and watching Despicable Me 2 while munching on popcorn, string cheese, and candy. Well, they did. As part of my new fitness regime, I didn't partake. And I didn't miss it. I did drink some bubbly (Dr Pepper 10 and A&W Root Beer 10), and that was enough of a treat.

I will have to start taking down the decorations now. Hate to do that. I have enjoyed having them up, and it's a lot of work to take them down. Well, it has to be done, and there's no hurry. I'll work on it this coming week.

Anyway, hope you had a great day. I did. See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Secret

I've been working on my New Year's Resolutions. They're still a work in progress. I know the general goals, but mapping about a workable plan for each takes some time. Particularly for the large goals like writing a book, taking over the world, becoming a billionaire, etc.

Writing a novel can be as simple as one page a day. Think about that. One page a day the entire year, and you will have a good sized novel about teenage vampires who sparkle. The problem being that takes a commitment that many people lack. That I often lack. What keeps us committed? What makes us motivated?

I think goals are good: you exercise to live longer or be healthier; you write a book for fame or money or communication; you master physics to created a space-time tunnel to Mars from which to launch your robot flying monkeys on unsuspecting humanity, see how they run; and so on, but the process has to be enjoyable.

Yes, I think that's the secret to keeping any resolution or reaching any goal. You have to enjoy the process. "Joy in the Journey" to quote the title of a favorite Christian song of my mother. She believed in heaven, but she also believed in enjoying life in the here and now, also. She told me once that she never got tired of life; she wanted to wake up each morning. If her body hadn't betrayed her, she would happily be with us still. The Mormons have a variation of that: "Man is that he might know joy." And we Baptists love plunging people into ice cold water in unheated baptismal fonts. Feel the joy!

My point is that it's all well and good to resolve to be better -- I think we should and I don't quite trust people who don't try -- but we should also remember life down here is short and we should seek what wholesome joy we can find and share it with those we love. Remember in the end, we're all going to die of something.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Today's the day

Today's the day I change my life. Today I will eat better. Today I will exercise. Today I will be kind. Today I will be humble. Today I will change.

Or maybe tomorrow's the day. I'm busy today. I've got errands to run and things to do. But I can park my car farther away from my destinations. If I'm not in too much of a hurry. Time is short. Yes, I can't waste time. On days when I'm not busy, I will do that whole exercise bit.

Being kind is kind of hard. I mean, how do you do that? It's not like you can run around telling people you're being kind. No, you have to do something kind. To someone else. Which means I have to find someone to be kind to first and then be kind to them, too. Did I mention time is short? Maybe tomorrow. Maybe kind thoughts are enough. I'm thinking kindly.

Although not right now. Right now, I'm mad at that jerk in the black truck who nearly hit me at the four-way stop an hour ago even though it was CLEARLY my turn. I think. Doesn't the guy on the right have the right of way? Well, whatever. He was a jerk behind his black tinted windows. So dark that you can't see in, so he could be doing anything! He could be drinking beer or driving naked. Jerk. Naked weirdo jerk.

Anyway, I will change. Become a better person. Or thinner. Maybe both, but that's a lot of work, and I'm so so so busy. But my mind is made up. I will change starting today.

Or tomorrow.

But soon.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope the new year is filled 
with peace, health, love, and laughter 
for you and yours!