curated news for friends & family™ ... because friends don't let friends go uninformed! ™    

Below is everything with this category name in its title or subcategories. For a more strict listing (matching all categories), click here

Elements Of A Story

( culture / writing / advice )
What are the main ELEMENTS OF A STORY? Setting Character Plot Conflict Theme Point-of-view Tone Style : Elements of a Story ... read more

From Hill To Valley, A Long-Winded Postcard From The Road

( culture / writing / travel / blog )
The drive from Spring Hill, Tennessee to Valley, Alabama was uneventful... until we were almost there. So close. That's a fairly generic name for a town, though, isn't it? Valley. It's like finding a good spot for a town, planting your flag, and naming it River or Forest or Hill. I know, that i... read more

Favorite Lines (Written, Spoken Or Sung)

( culture / writing / poetry / music )
Obviously a work in progress but, here goes... in no particular order: You gave me nothing, now it's all I got from One by U2 If you're sleeping, are you dreaming? If you're dreaming, are you dreaming of me? from Calling You by Blue October Used-to-be's don't count anymore, they jus... read more

The Faded Page

( culture / writing / books )
"Free eBooks forever. FP now includes 6312 eBooks in its collection."Books in the public domain. fadedpage.com... read more

Ingredients Of A Novel

( culture / writing / advice )
VARIOUS WRITERS' RULES Write a draft. Then let it rest. -- Stephen KingRead a lot. -- KingNever use a long word when a short one will do. -- George OrwellNever use the passive voice when you can use the active voice. -- OrwellKnow and understand your audience. -- Pierre BertonRecycle and read the go... read more

Random Book Reviews

( culture / writing / books / reviews )
From Lionel, January 2013: I just finished reading The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour, a historical novel. Best book I've ever read.From Doug: Dad, I'm still finishing the David Baldacci book, First Family, and then have his Hour Game to read, but with that recommendation, I'd like you to save it... read more

No Service

( culture / humor / writing / blog )
No Service. That's what my phone said when I arrived at the restaurant to pick up my teenage daughter. I couldn't text her to say I'd arrived. I would have to do the unthinkable: Get out of the car, physically walk in, and risk human interaction. Worst of all, one of her co-workers might see me... read more

All Of My Socials

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
My internet presence: My main blog is this one, FriendsNews.com. My author platform is WilliamArthurHolmes.com. My new social media profiles (after dropping Facebook and Twitter) are gab.com (when I can login, it's so slow), minds.com, and MeWe.com. I'm still on Instagram, too, for now... at in... read more

Alex Pannas Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"If I seem flippant, that's just how I cope. You either laugh or you cry. You apparently start referring to yourself in the second person, too.""I'm a trusting person. I just took my doctor's word for it.""I try to be cool. I now know something about being an outsider. Nothi... read more

Benny Reed Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"You really think the President is in charge of anything? He's a figurehead, a spokesman... he's the country's Vanna White.""Instead of voting for the person they like best, they vote for the one they think they have to vote for so the other one doesn't win. The reason an otherwise ... read more

Colonel Charonne Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
""You're that Commie, Pokorny! I should shoot you where you stand!""Pokorny's still out there selling that tripe and it needs to stop. Now! I want him gone! No more messing around. You know what I'm saying?" -- Colonel Charonne from Another Way: Beyond the Status Quo... read more

Dmitry Shepkin Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"Violence, when done properly, is a work of art" -- Dmitry Shepkin, from Last Train Out... read more

Dobie Pokorny Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"If you're not at least a little bit of a conspiracy theorist these days, you're just not paying attention. Sure, some scoff at the mere thought of conspiracy, but ask any detective, lawyer or judge — if you can find an honest one — and they'll tell you conspiracies happen all the ... read more

Riva Petkovic Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"You might be smart with computers, but in real life you are a complete idiot.""Programmer, data entry clerk, whatever. How have you not gone insane already!?""Put some clothes on! Nobody wants to see that.""All the great military operations had memorable names: C... read more

Semmy Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"Don't be scared when you feel you are about to die. You're not frightened when you wake up in the morning, are you? Pretty much the same thing. 'Life is but a dream!'""We are from beyond the Pleiades, in the eighth dimension...when we're not slumming it down here in the third and ... read more

Ol' Lightnin' Quotes

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"It's not a tree's purpose in life to stand around being picturesque. Not this tree, at least. Maybe that weeping willow up front, or my old friends ruthlessly cut down in their prime when this place was built, but a mighty oak like me, a real tree's purpose is to... uh... is to... um... what... read more

Feeding Horses In The Rain

( culture / writing / poetry )
Feeding horses in the rain is such a painThe horses trot by and splash mud in my eyeI toss all the flakesmissing puddles and small lakesThe wind picks up fast as blankets go on lastI make my way back Put away random tackTake off my muddy clothesWarm up my cold toesWatch them eat from the housePlan a... read more

Lee Child Quote

( culture / quotes / writing )
"Don't get it right, get it written!" -- Lee ChildNEW! Random samples of dialogue from my novels!... read more

The Device For Distraction-Free Writing

( culture / writing / tech )
Article about it here, and the manufacturer's website here.... read more

My Most Recent Ebooks

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Two of my ebooks are available free of charge all month (July) at Smashwords. The links are at the bottom of that page. I've already sold five copies since yesterday as opposed to five copies over the past year. I guess the price is finally right. :) Another Way: Beyond the Status Quo blurb: ... read more

The Good Old Days

( culture / writing / blog / shopping )
Ah, the good ol' days when the shelves were full! Click the image.... read more

More Advice For Writers

( culture / writing / advice )
People read fiction seeking clarity. One of the worst things a writer can do is to create confusion. People also read fiction looking for something better than reality, at least better than their own reality. So, keep it clear and concise and, most importantly, interesting... without getting too ... read more

Political Compass Test

( culture / writing / politics )
"Welcome! It's timely to stress that The Political Compass has been on the internet since 2001. The uniqueness of our take on politics is reflected in the gratifyingly enthusiastic reviews we've enjoyed in the national media of many countries from our earliest years - as well as from many teach... read more

Thoughts On Writing

( culture / writing / advice )
Louis L'Amour once said he could write while sitting in the middle of the freeway. That didn't impress me at the time, but now it does.Not one, but two dogs threw up behind me as I wrote. Was that a commentary on my writing? Wouldn't be the first time.As I told these guys in the job interview, If y... read more

The Lazy Pug Cafe

( culture / writing / books / novels )
My latest short story, based on our real life pugs Daisy, Chandler and Joey, the latter of whom is the only one still alive and barking. See smile.amazon.com/dp/B085XM6QW8The Lazy Pug Cafe was a dilapidated old two-story farmhouse abandoned years ago, lately serving as a sad but charming reminder o... read more

Review My Books

( culture / writing / books / reviews )
If you've read any of my novels, please give them a review on Amazon (click the book's image, below or on the right, then click the Write a Customer Review button on its Amazon page, to the left), on Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you bought it. Thanks! Leaving a review on iBooks i... read more

Good Article About Storytelling

( culture / writing / stories )
"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"Go to the-good-guy-bad-guy-myth... read more

Best Fiction Of 2019

( culture / writing / books / novels )
"The Testaments by Margaret Atwood... wins this year's Best Fiction award for her long-anticipated sequel to the dystopian classic The Handmaid's Tale. The book picks up the story 15 years after handmaid Offred's ambiguous fate in the theocratic nation of Gilead and continues the saga's dar ... read more

No Annoying Prompts

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
Aren't you glad we don't have any of those annoying pop-up ads asking you to join our newsletter? Ironic, isn't it, given that we are an online newsletter?Please support this website... should you be so inclined:Buy one of my books at Amazon or SmashWords, orBuy me a (virtual) cup of coffee, orCli... read more

Best And Worst Self-Publishing Sites

( culture / writing / advice )
Good site showing who to trust (or not) when it comes to self-publishing: self-publishing-service-reviews... read more

Support This Site

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
...should you be so inclined:Buy one of my books at Amazon or SmashWords, orBuy me a (virtual) cup of coffee, orClick on one of the ads sprinkled throughout the site.Thanks!... read more

How To Support This Website

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
...should you be so inclined:Buy one of my books at Amazon or SmashWords, orBuy me a (virtual) cup of coffee, orClick on one of the ads sprinkled throughout the site.Thanks!... read more

History Of Friendsnews.Com

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
FYI for those researching insignificant corners of the web: Wayback MachinePlease support this website... should you be so inclined:Buy one of my books at Amazon or SmashWords, orBuy me a (virtual) cup of coffee, orClick on one of the ads sprinkled throughout the site.Thanks!This, below, is so sad :... read more

All Of My Books

( culture / writing / books / novels )
See Novels/NovellasFeatured book deals on SmashwordsOver the past year, I've made updates and/or corrections to most if not all of my novels (listed below). According to Amazon, You should get automatic updates if 1) your device is connected to wireless internet (Wi-Fi), and 2) you turn on automat... read more

Operation Detour

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Riva, a beautiful young black ops agent on her first assignment, tries to turn Alex into her own asset just to prove she can. When he loses both his job and his girlfriend, she thinks he's putty in her hands. When he decides to go out with a bang, she's afraid she's overplayed her hand.Here's th... read more

Temporary Insanity

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Long before winning the lottery and running for president, Benny was living in L.A. working as a temporary word processor (typist). For his latest assignment, he thought he was taking just another temp job. He didn't anticipate Venelia and the Dynamos. The what?Click here for more. Or, in this case... read more

Last Train Out

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Last Train Out. hrefsmile.amazon.com/dp/B01GNA3LI8 Also available on iBooks, ... read more

1-2-3 Day

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
Today is 1-2-3 day! January 23. Exciting, right? Just think, twenty-six years from today it'll be 1-2-3-4-5 day! I'll probably be dead by then, but somebody will enjoy it!... read more

Recently-Discovered Book Repository

( culture / writing / books )
Hathi Trust Digital Library: hathitrust.org... read more

How To Move A Book Store

( culture / writing / books )
Cool! Human-chain-helps-British-book-store-move-down-the-street ... read more

Best Thrillers Of All-Time

( culture / writing / books / novels )
According to the Telegraph, anyway. An interesting list. Several if not most of these were that author's first published novel. I've actually read half of these, though it's been years. I should read them again.The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon (1959)The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy ... read more

Novels Novellas

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Did I mention I've written a few novels/novellas?Another Way: Beyond the Status Quo"A politically-incorrect manifesto. Anti-corporate crusader Dobie Pokorny wants to save the world. His old boss, Colonel Charonne, wants to stop him. On his truth tour, Dobie meets and falls in love with Kaylie ... read more

Cats Disrespecting Pugs

( culture / writing / pets )
So, I'm lying on the bed with the pug Joey between my legs. No, that's not a figure of speech. I'm referring to an actual dog, in between my calves, okay? Anyway, the cat comes up, thinks about jumping across my legs to the other side, then decides to just step on me, then step on Joey, to the other... read more

Diary, 7/29/2017

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
I just went down the road to the quickie-mart and got coffee. It's something I do most every weekend morning since throwing away my home coffee maker to keep me from drinking too much of it. On the way there, I saw what I thought was a dead turtle in the road. I hate that. Poor things just can't mov... read more

Novellas And Novels

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Free novellaTemporary Insanity"Long before winning the lottery and running for president, Benny was living in L.A. working as a temporary word processor (glorified typist). For his latest assignment, he thought he was taking just another temp job. He didn't anticipate Venelia and the Dynamos. T... read more

Couch Potato

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
I've been a couch potato all day. Well, most of the day. I did finally pull up the dead crops in the vegetable garden at one point. And I did do some recycling, taking the paper, bottles, cans and plastic bags out of the trash cans and putting it into the appropriate recycle bins in the garage.I t... read more

Folding Clothes

( culture / writing / blog / home-garden )
I thought I'd watch some sports while folding clothes (making up for my complete lack of doing chores yesterday). My choices were NBA basketball (where travelling is only called after 6 or 7 steps), bull riding (where I just feel sorry for the bulls), or a dog show (where I just couldn't care less).... read more

Airlines Misbehaving

( culture / writing / blog / airlines )
United Airlines says "Thank you, American Airlines, now everyone finally knows we're not the ONLY aholes!" Yes, the woman was apparently belligerent (just like United's victim), but these so-called professionals need to be a LOT more professional.... read more

Local Pick Up

( culture / writing / blog / shopping )
Just ordered a $10 item on eBay. They offered "Local Pick Up in Las Vegas, Nevada" versus delivering it. I live in Nashville. I need to decide if it's worth driving out there. Suggestions?... read more

Writers Need Followers?

( culture / writing / advice )
Publishers and writing "gurus" preach that writers need followers. The problem is that emotionally-stable people don't want followers, they want friends, compatriots, people who listen, not followers. Especially zombie followers. They're the worst! :)... read more

Fence Guy

( culture / writing / blog / home-garden )
So, the wife texts me saying, "Fence guy quoted $35500 to do the fence. He's coming out Wednesday." This is a fence repair for a small backyard, not a new thousand acre fence. Me: "How much?!" Wife (paraphrasing): "Oops, I left out the decimal point!... read more

Last Train Out (Again)

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Clay and his adopted daughter, Jenna, look forward to their upcoming homeland tour to Russia. His intentions are pure. Hers, not so much. When she goes missing, his worst fears are realized. She is not the innocent little girl he thought she was. Not even close. Their only hope now is to catch th... read more

Recent Tweets

( culture / writing / tweets )
I remember when I didn't know what a tweet was, other than the sound a bird makes. It wasn't so long ago, either. Below is just a random list of tweets. Pathetic, I know, but I felt the need to put something new on the site. Anyway..."Saturday, July 20, 2013: Picked more blackberries this e... read more

My Novels

( culture / writing / books / novels )
WilliamArthurHolmes.comFeatured book deals on Smashwords or go to Another peak at my booksOver the past year, I've made updates and/or corrections to most if not all of my novels (listed below). According to Amazon, You should get automatic updates if 1) your device is connected... read more

Requiem For A Pigeon

( culture / writing / poetry )
by BillWe witnessed a pigeon's demiseRight here on the dock o' the BayThere was nothing we could doNothing we could sayIt just wasn't the pigeon's dayWe tried mouth-to-beakAnd the Heimlich techniqueBut the pigeon had croakedDid you know pigeons float?Well, this one sure did today!... read more

Advice For Writing

( culture / writing / advice )
A writer's narrative perspective (their voice, or, how they come across to their reader) must be: This is me talking to you.That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.It's not: This is me 100 years ago speaking in a classical voice.It's not: Speaking as if from professor to student or from adult to c ... read more

Tweets

( culture / writing / tweets )
My Twitter feed: by @TheBillHolmesSome of my better tweets, according to me ...Never work FOR someone else, work WITH them.I do some of my best work when I'm supposed to be doing something else.Elizabeth this AM: Dad, can you get my other shoe outside? It's frozen to the ground!My biggest worry, of... read more

How Does Writing Affect Your Brain?

( culture / writing / health )
How Does Writing Affect Your Brain? infographic.Interesting ... to me, anyway."Most of us write a little something everyday. It might be a grocery list, a poem, or a write-up on the infographic of the day. As we go through this daily ritual, however, we are probably not aware of the effects w... read more

Just Another Sunday

( culture / writing / blog / shopping )
Wife and kid are off at this thing called church. Maybe you've heard of it. I'm not familiar. Not sure what to make of it. :)I'm basically just hanging out waiting for the new mattress to be delivered. We told the delivery guy, Anytime! He sounded foreign. I hope he shows up before 10pm! Never k... read more

Started A New Story Today

( culture / writing / stories / novels )
I started writing a new story today. Can't say much about it except that it's pretty much sci-fi, though it might wander into religion and politics. So, yeah, it should offend just about everyone.Then I took a break and started cleaning. Did a load of dishes. Vacuumed and cleaned the office carpet b... read more

About My Books

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Go to williamarthurholmes.comAnother Way -- Last Train Out -- Clay and his adopted daughter, Jenna, look forward to their upcoming homeland tour to Russia. His intentions are pure. Hers, not so much. When she goes missing, his worst fears are realized. She is not the innocent little girl he thoug... read more

Cracking Up Over Lottery President

( culture / writing / books / novels )
Here's one of my brothers reading my book, Lottery President. He seems to be enjoying it. I swear I didn't pay him to do this.New book out!Here's my Amazon Author's Page, where you can find both the paperback and Kindle versions of Lottery President and Operation Detour of your own. :)The Kindle boo... read more

Lottery President

( culture / writing / books / novels )
For most people, winning $300 million in the lottery would be enough. They would buy a big house, travel the world and retire. Not Benny. He decided to take the money and run ... for President. The house he had in mind was the White House. He didn't want to travel the world so much as save it ... f ... read more

New Washer

( culture / writing / blog / appliances )
The new washer was delivered today. I let them take the old one away even though we'd just bought it (used) a week ago. That's right, it lasted just one week. Oh well, we didn't really need that $200 (after tax and delivery), anyway. </sarcasm>I say let them take it because I could have had... read more

Guest Posting

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
I've been following and listening to Jeff Goins's TribeWriters program, and he says an important aspect to successful blogging (at least as far as getting noticed) is to guest post on other people's blogs. Jeff is a great resource, by the way.So, if you want to post something on my blog, please le... read more

I Am Now A Published Author

( culture / writing / books / novels )
OK, so it's SELF-published, but still ... :) It's called Lottery President. Hopefully, it's at least slightly entertaining. Tell a friend! Here's one of my brothers reading it. He seems to be enjoying it. I swear I didn't pay him to do this.Here's a link to all of my booksAsk me a question on Good... read more

Blog Content

( culture / writing / blog / internet )
I'm as guilty as anyone about trying to add content to my blog just for the sake of content (because search engines look for and rate highly based on how fresh your blog's content is). But someone whose blog/newsletter I subscribe to has stooped to simply stating the obvious, maybe phrasing it dif... read more

Great Suction

( culture / writing / blog / home-garden )
In preparation for the much-anticipated Comcast installation (Internet, not TV), I do as they suggest and clear out a space where I want them to put the cable wall jack. Once I have that space cleared, I decide to vacuum the area. It's almost an instinctive reaction: You clear out a space that hasn'... read more

Tried To Mow The Lawn

( culture / writing / blog / home-garden )
Well, I tried to mow the lawn, but the lawnmower wouldn't start. I swear. :) It's probably all clogged up from sitting there unused all winter. It was a hand-me-down mower, anyway, probably in need of replacing, but that's just not in the budget right now. Actually, the yard looks better au natural ... read more

Your Novel Blueprint

( culture / writing / advice / novels )
Good article for writers. Your Novel Blueprint WritersDigest.com"Writing a novel and building a house are pretty similar when you think about it. For instance, most builders or homeowners spend a lot of time dreaming ...Featured book deals on Smashwords or go to Another peak ... read more

My Writer's Platform

( culture / writing / books )
WilliamArthurHolmes.com is my writer's platform, with a page showing where you can buy, preview and/or review all of my books.Or, just look below... Where to buy, preview or review my books ANOTHER WAY: Beyond the Status Quo Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Good Reads, Kobo, ScribdLAST T... read more

Fooling Themselves

( culture / writing / blog / politics )
The "elites" are adept at fooling themselves into thinking they know best.This superiority that they bestow upon themselves is a convenient justification for keeping us commoners in the dark, and keeping themselves in power.... read more

A Couple Of Books Novellas On Kindle

( culture / writing / books / novels )
I've published a couple of books/novellas on Kindle recently: Lottery President is a political thriller; and Operation Detour is a darkly comedic adventure (or, the first half of it here, free).Please tell a friend, so maybe I can do this for a living instead of working for one soul-sucking corp... read more

Diary, 7/2/2012

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
It almost rained today. I know, exciting. Apparently, it did rain pretty hard in some places, but not here on the south side. Hopefully, by this time next week it will have rained several times. The possibility is in the forecast, anyway. Just trying to keep my crops healthy.As Mark Twain s... read more

Diary, 6/30/2012

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
It's supposed to be record heat again today. Yesterday was 109F degrees, which is unheard of in Nashville. Today is supposed to be 107F. I've already watered my fruit trees and vegetable garden in the backyard this morning. Yesterday when I came home from work, the garden was literally wilted from t ... read more

Writing

( culture / writing )
Writers on the subject of writingMy author's pageBooksJokes PoetryShort StoriesLast Train Out - Electronic versions, PaperbackLottery President - Kindle, PaperbackOperation Detour - Kindle, PaperbackMy Amazon author's pageMy Goodreads pageMy Lulu profileMy Smashwords profileSome good writing tips ... read more

Kite Flying

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
As it turned out, today was a good day for kite flying. Elizabeth, 6, had been bugging me about flying her new kite since returning from the vet this morning. We had brought all three pugs in to see Dr. Paula: Daisy due to recurrent painful skin irritations, which magically disappeared by the time D... read more

New Rules For Writers

( culture / writing / advice )
Anis Shivani: New Rules For Writers: Ignore Publicity, Shun Crowds, Refuse Recognition And More."These rules totally go against every prescription for writing success you'll hear as a young new writer from all quarters: the conformity-driven MFA system, the publishing industry's hype-machi... read more

Diary, 7/24/2010

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
We all went to the Nashville Zoo today. My God it was hot ... and sticky. Luckily, Blue Bell Ice Cream was handing out free cups of vanilla ice cream, which we grabbed upon arrival and at departure. I think today was literally the hottest day yet this year.When we got home I felt sorry for the veget... read more

Diary, 7/23/2010

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
I'm lying here on the couch - with the pugs asleep next to me - getting my new laptop just the way I like it. A customer was supposed to show up and drop off their laptop today at 3, but that never happened. Shoulda guessed that, but I had to be here in guess they did show up. Anyway, this new l ... read more

Snake

( culture / writing / blog / animals )
I almost stepped on a snake as Elizabeth and I came out of the creek. Yes, we were in the creek. Anyway, I yelled, Aaaah when he slithered past me toward Elizabeth and into the water.Elizabeth wanted to get a better look at him as he lay there half in the water, half out. It was only three feet lo... read more

Screenplay Submitted

( culture / writing / screenplays )
I submitted a screenplay to Scriptapalooza today. See scriptapalooza.com. The first deadline is Friday the 5th. The real deadline is April 15. I think first prize is $10,000, but the main thing is that real Hollywood industry people read all of the scripts, so maybe even if you don't win the contest... read more

My Family Members' Books

( culture / writing / books )
Scared to Life ...and Loving It!: One Man's Journey With Prostate Cancerby Kenneth J. SouzaMy Lifeby Lionel Joseph HolmesHis autobiography, with pictures.Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Areaby Lionel Holmes and Joseph D'AllessandroTales of the Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento area. Man... read more

Thawing Out

( culture / writing / blog / weather )
Hopefully. It snowed a good 5-6 inches Friday in and around Nashville. It wasn't good snowman/snowball snow, though. Not in our neighborhood, anyway. It was too crusty because of the freezing rain that came after the snow. It made for great sledding, though, which Elizabeth and I spent several hours... read more

A Day Without My Car

( culture / writing / blog / transportation )
I'm just testing this Windows Live Writer software. UPDATE: There's now a newer, open-source version here.It was a dark and stormy night ... No, it was an unusually cold day ... yeah, that's it ... for the first week of December when I was forced to go without my beloved - well, maybe not beloved,... read more

A Few Bumper Stickers

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
And one t-shirt, too. That's not me in the picture. :) Here's my store: zazzle.com/holmes3804Make custom gifts at Zazzle... read more

Diary, 10/17/2009

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
Been trying to learn Cisco (network routing equipment) online through skillsoft.com, which I was given access to in my severance package. Maybe I need to just move out in order to get everything done that needs getting done. My 4 year old daughter thinks just because I'm working from home right now,... read more

Diary, 10/15/2009

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
Two weeks shy of my birthday and I'm still looking for a job. I don't know why. I never really fit in at these corporate soul-sucking places. Oh that's right, I need to pay the mortgage, daycare, grocery bill, utilities, car payment and its insurance. And don't forget the exorbitant health care prem ... read more

New Fence

( culture / writing / blog / home-garden )
I forgot to mention that I built a fence last weekend. It only spans about 12 feet from the side of the house to the retaining wall dividing us from our slightly-uphill neighbor. I've still got to cut a gate into it. Hopefully, I can pull that off. I pulled it off. See below. Then, maybe next week... read more

Diary, 4/2/2009

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
Today is Dad's birthday. 90 years old! Amazing. I'm 48, in case you're wondering. Amazing ... ly disgusting! Oh well.Anyway, back to Dad. Longevity runs in his side of the family. His mother lived to be 101. His father made it to 81 or so, as did his oldest brother and only sister ... I thin... read more

Diary, 11/10/2008

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
Parents all worry about how well they're raising their kids; how they will behave; what kind of people they will grow up to be. Well, tonight I discovered a sad truth about our youngest daughter, Sunny. She likes to hang out in gutters. You heard me. Gutters! Oh, the shame of it all!Sunny is a cat, ... read more

Diary, 11/7/2008

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
Well, I had a hell of a day. It started off normally enough, though it was raining, which is increasingly rare around here. I dropped Elizabeth off at school on my way to work, and from there my day took a wrong turn.I took side streets the rest of the way to work instead of the main Old Hickory Blv ... read more

Diary, 10/28/2008

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
We had a Fall Festival party at Elizabeth's daycare/preschool tonight (called that because some parents don't like Halloween). Elizabeth went dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume. She was very cute. But then, she's cute no matter how she's dressed. :) They had a magic show that was cute, but I ... read more

Diary, 4/26/2008

( culture / writing / blog / bill )
I took Joey to the vet this morning for a routine follow-up. I volunteered because I thought his appointment would conflict with Tara's plans to take Elizabeth to meet up with her Auntie, Tara's sister Sandy, at the Franklin Street Fair. Tara conveniently allowed me to think that.When Joey and I got ... read more

Poetry By Friendsnews Members

( culture / writing / poetry )
A Prince in DisguiseA Saga of SevenHatsPeople you'll be missing and whyTHE RUN... read more

Hats

( culture / writing / poetry )
by Jeannie WomackJoseph wore many hats in his life,the first one was of son,next an officer, a Dutch Marine,that to him was fun;In Maastricht, in '49,he married his childhood love,now he was Tina's devoted spouse,and together they set up a nice, clean house;8 years went by, his son, John, was born,3 ... read more

People You'll Be Missing And Why

( culture / writing / poetry )
by Jeannie WomackThe time has come for you to move on,but I'm sure you'll be missing us while you are gone;No more conversation with boss Catherine to really make you think,You'll miss your adventures with supervisor Stella who is always in the pink;The daily reports from Lala about her bodily funct ... read more

A Prince In Disguise

( culture / writing / poetry )
by Jeannie WomackWe met on the race track in '72I couldn't resist his eyes, so blueWe soon fell in love and started a lifeIn '76 he made me his wifeA teacher, leader, rebel and yesA son, brother, father, the bestBoss man, biker, hero and moreLoving, caring, cheerful, no boreHe meant what he saidHe s ... read more

The Run

( culture / writing / poetry )
by Jeannie WomackRunning in the rain isn't the paina non-runner might think it would beI put on my jacket that has a hood,lace up my shoes, and stretching is goodI open the door, expecting moreas the rain comes sprinkling downMy course is not planned yet,I'll try not to get my shoes wetI start out r ... read more

A Saga Of Seven

( culture / writing / poetry )
This is a story in the style called rapthat'll surely encourage an afternoon napof a family of seven, their kids and their wivesand something regarding their travels and lives.Now first there was Greg, a Brooklyn-born lad;and then it was Lucy that Mom and Dad had.She was born at Sing Sing (no, not i ... read more

Books

( culture / writing / books )
Vernon Coleman books Last Train Out. hrefsmile.amazon.com/dp/B01GNA3LI8 ... read more

Short Stories

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
Really old (mostly bad) stories by BillKangaroos Attacked Me( culture / writing / stories / fiction ) from 1993by Greg - not reallyThere I was in Long Beach, California, having lunch down along the docks like I always do. It was a cool Autumn day, early November. I was watching the ships roll in ..... read more

The Legend Of Conan

( culture / writing / poems )
(Irish Traditional)Once there was a kittenConan was his nameHe grew to nearly 20 poundsBut a kitten he remainedHe grew to be ferociousFeared throughout the landHush, my child and you shall hearThe legend of ConanA harder working kittenThe world has never seenHe'd guard the yard from front to backAnd... read more

The Admired Car

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Steve, from 2001"Beep, beep, blink, blink! How the car, George wished she could honk her horn and flash her lights.A car with a name? Yes, she knew her name was George because she heard one of her creators say it, By George, she's a beauty.It was a Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1925. ... read more

The Slow Leak

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Steve, from 2000It was a gorgeous Sunday near the end of September and I needed some exercise. Exercise, just for the sake of exercise was probably best done by running on the treadmill at the athletic club. But on a day like that, just exercise wasn't enough. I would take a bike ride on the Amer ... read more

A Girl Named Lucy

( culture / writing / poetry )
from 1990This is a story 'bout a girl named LucyOtherwise known as The Rappin' WatusiShe lays down a beat that gets your toes tappin'If your toes get tired, let your fingers do the snappin'She says Hey buddy, don't you be no squareIf you can't find a partner, use a wooden chairOkay, so you've... read more

A Day At The Races

( culture / writing / stories / horseracing )
from 1994The first Saturday in May. What does this date mean to you? Probably nothing, except that Spring has finally arrived, unless you live in California where it's been Spring already for two months or more - real Spring, not calendar Spring.But ask any horse racing buff and they will tell you... read more

Catfish

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
from 1994, by Eric McGovernIt was a warm, humid night, as are most nights of August in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. It was ten p.m. and, as I loaded my fishing gear into my truck and looked up at the full moon, I was getting anxious to fish. I started up the truck, drove about three miles, and turned... read more

Kangaroos Attacked Me

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
from 1993by Greg - not reallyThere I was in Long Beach, California, having lunch down along the docks like I always do. It was a cool Autumn day, early November. I was watching the ships roll in... then I'd watch 'em roll away again. Whoa-wo sittin' on the dock of the bay...Sorry. I can't get t ... read more

Aliens Spoke To Me

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
from 1993I just started driving. I don't know why. Boredom, I guess.I left my house around noon. I'd had enough of watching football on t.v. and just felt like getting out. When I hopped into my truck I had no idea where I might go. East, I thought. To the desert, maybe. See the desert, I said t ... read more

Devastating Earthquake Rocks Southland

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1993A powerful earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter Scale brought Southern California to its knees just before dawn yesterday. Hundreds of buildings in the greater Los Angeles area were completely destroyed, dozens more rendered uninhabitable. L.A.'s newly-completed MetroRail subway... read more

Lunch At Jack-In-The-Box

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1993Driving around town the other day, I somehow ended up in Hollywood. I don't get to Hollywood much anymore and don't usually find myself missing it. But it was a beautiful day. And seeing all the quaint shops - each striving for uniqueness - and the many people on the street - each ... read more

Remmy Gets Gas

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
from July 1990by BillRemmy pulled into the gas station and jumped out of his pickup. He went to the rear of the truck, checked his reflection in the camper shell window, smiled, and slid the gas nozzle into the tank.He left the pump on automatic and wandered over to a soda machine sitting next to ... read more

So Much For Sacrificial Rites

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
from February 1990The High Priest announced, We must sacrifice a human life tonight. The crowd of Mibuku natives milling around the fire immediately tensed and fell silent. Suddenly, the High Priest pointed his holy finger at a lowly servant fanning the Queen. The servant shrieked.Royal guards d ... read more

Dinko Goes Shopping

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1990There once was a cat named Dinko who loved food more than anything else in the world. Of course, when you're a cat, food is probably the single most important thing in the world; so none of this should come as any great shock.Sure, being cuddled and petted and sitting on the laps o ... read more

One Of Those Nights

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1990It was late. Claude couldn't sleep. He decided to walk to the corner liquor store for munchies and beer.As he entered the store, he noticed a girl at the phone-booth by the door. She smiled a curious smile and Claude smiled back uncertainly, then proceeded into the store. Grabbing ... read more

Murder, Or Just An Honest Mistake?

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by William Arthur Bill Holmes. © Copyright 1990The following story is rated PG. You figure it out.Madison Ripley Smith was sitting at his desk with his feet propped up when she walked in. Long legs, hourglass shape, luxurious jet-black hair, and matching jet-black eyes.What's with the bla... read more

A Day At The Fair

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1990I pulled into Angel's Camp around noon. I was supposed to be meeting my brother Don and his wife Diane there ... somewhere. We hadn't actually decided on a meeting place. That would have been too easy.I drove south on the main street through town (probably Main Street, though I'm n... read more

The Leaky Weekly

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1990The Leaky Weekly's motto used to be: It's Not Just A Newspaper, It's A Piece Of Us. This was quickly perverted by the locals into: It's not just a newspaper, it's a piece of ass. So the motto was changed to: It's Not Just A Newspaper, It's A Family Newsletter. And that's what... read more

Baub

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
From 1989 by BillIn the vast expanse of Llycete Spaceport's docking yard on this below-freezing winter morning, the Mraclys, a small ship badly in need of a paint job, stood apart from the other ships, mostly because it was so ugly. Green on top, orange on the bottom, with brown patches everywhere, ... read more

Lipstick & WD-40

( culture / writing / stories / fiction )
by Bill, from 1989Sandi strolled out of the motel room wearing her tight spandex pants, high-heeled shoes and a simple peasant blouse. She had just turned another trick and she wanted to vomit. This was not a reaction to just the one trick, but from the life she had been leading these past several m ... read more


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