Tag: writing

Hamarama © 2022

Carpe Diem

That title won’t mean much to most of my friends, colleagues, or folks who stumble across this post.

It will, however, mean much to those who know what it is.

The cliff note version is straightforward. Amateur radio operators have been around since Tesla and Marconi discovered ways to transmit and receive noise. They didn’t call them that in those days, but I would argue they were two of the first. If you think about it, they were doing what we do today.

No FCC or regulatory board was selling them permission to transmit a signal. No Japanese or Chinese companies were marketing expensive radios or other products, gadgets, etc. There was only raw determination, a pioneering spirit, and scientific discovery.

When I got into the hobby, I built my first transmitter out of TV parts. That might sound impressive, and it was for a ten-year-old, but I built it from a schematic created by an engineer.

We stand on the shoulders of giants.

Many of those giants, in my world, were the attendees at an event called Hamarama. A convention of folks organized by caring individuals for those like-minded is impressive.

Unlike most conventions for different hobbies, ham radio conventions and activities have ‘non-pecuniary’ as the cornerstone of their existence. Their motive is not for profit.

Most have a servant’s heart.

When there is bad weather, and your TV personality reflects his brilliance by what the ‘storm chasers or spotters’ are seeing, those people are genuine heroes. They are ham radio folks performing volunteer service that is risky and costly. They do this to keep you safe. And still, the FCC charges them for the right to have a license to use that same radio. Something is very wrong with our system of government.

Think about that as you try to relate your hobby to this one.

Contrast this hobby with the hobby of writing as an example. I can speak to this as I am a writer and author and out to change how writers think of themselves.

Conventions for writers are ridiculously expensive. Maybe someone can tell me or justify why someone should spend $500 on a ticket to hear these authors. They do public speaking to promote their brand.

I know many of the authors that would speak at this event. The draw for the writers is simple, access to an agent. Whoopie.

I realize that the description is vague, but the conventions for radio operators have the same programs, speakers, and alike that assist those who want to learn more about their craft. A ticket to Hamarama in Ardmore, Oklahoma, is $8, $10 at the door. That money goes back to the convention center rented for the event.

The speakers at writer’s events do it for notoriety, and they have pecuniary interests. They want to sell their books.

I have slogged through the trenches of both hobbies. Being an autodidact, striving for perfection is my way of life.

Marconi, Tesla, and Mark Twain were autodidacts. You could add Bill Gates to the list.

During my last trip to Ardmore, I realized that many of those people I looked forward to seeing were no longer with us.

Time is precious and fleeting. Don’t let it slip away from you.

Carpe Diem


Writers Block

Writers Block


As a writer, I follow many, talk with several; and listen a lot.

There are those who feel that they must complete 5 pages a day.  There are those that don’t.

If you are passionate about it; writing 15 a day or more could be a piece of cake, or a bloody nightmare.

You simply cannot force creativity….

I have crawled out of bed at 3 AM and worked till well past noon the next day, as I was inspired.  I have also stopped, and not touched the keyboard when nothing was happening.

There is a flow to the creative process and “external shit” can mess with that flow.

Maybe you don’t feel good, maybe the neighbor or spouse or sibling pissed you off…

Writing and painting to me are one in the same…I am an artist; I paint with oils…I can paint from my head, or from a model, or from a picture…it depends what I am going for.

I can also paint with words.  In many cases I am much better with words than oils.  My paintings have sold in many different countries, and yet I aspire to invoke emotions through language.  Many artist do it through painting, or music, and that is all great and good.  While I too play instruments; that is not my passion… I love music but telling a story…Ah…That excites me….!

Tonight I had a block…The story stood still and I sat here… I looked at the words and my characters were frozen.  A fluid story stopped … as my creative process stopped….

I walked away…took a long shower and in that shower the next chapter sprang to life as the water danced off my hands and arms and…the rest of me….

Sometimes you simply have to wash the block away…..

Five pages a day….no…..I could force it but it would suck, and be badly created, and poorly read and most probably deleted the next day when I reread it….

You simply cannot force creativity….


© All Rights Reserved 2015 TimeDok


Creative writing II or Happy Place!

Creative writing II or Happy Place!

So, I get this email regarding “good writing”….

It would seem that many of you liked it but, some “at least one” took issue with the example of the bathroom… 🙂

To me that example was perfect in that you have all heard this before or maybe said it, “Find a bathroom that looks clean.”  This is said as you are motoring down the road at some speed at or slightly above posted limits!  That phrase or statement always made me chuckle as in, “how the hell do I know if the bathroom will be acceptable to your standards from this distance at this speed?

If you are guilty of this statement, I promise I am not picking on you…  I actually know what you mean; as men sometimes must sit too…..

I don’t understand however; why some will not lift the seat to pee and instead, pee all over the seat and leave!  It is my fervent wish that all who did or do that have to clean someone else’s pee off of the seat, so they can sit and relieve themselves.

Anyway, enough on my bathroom story.


Creative writing is definitely an art form as I have spoken about in the last post on writing.

I mentioned my happy place.

Before I write, I sometimes will find my happy place, and ponder on it for a while.

My Happy Place

Under a huge tree, up on a hill overlooking the countryside, the sun has risen enough to warm the tall grasses and dry the morning dew that dampened my feet a short while ago as I wondered up the hill to greet the sun from its slumber.  The sky is now a cerulean blue, after shifting from its former oranges and yellows; sporting a few wispy clouds, lazily floating by.  A slight breeze caresses my face and carries with it the scent of salt water, from the beach down the hill.

In the distance, there are a few people setting up their blankets and umbrellas, as they prepare to spend the day collecting shells, digging their toes into the sand, and watching the seabirds call out to the wind, in eager anticipation of their next meal.

My morning watching the sunrise has ended, I too seek the company of strangers, as well as the feel of the sand between my toes; and the warm water circling between my legs and eventually immersing my body in its warm embrace.

I watch from a distance the young families building sand castles with their children, remembering with fondness the days of doing the same with mine.  The sand sticks to my feet up to my ankles as I sit on my lounge, peering into the distant waves as they meet the sky. 

A shriek from a young child brings me back to the here and now, as a small crab scuttle’s by the imaginary moat; protecting the castle against all invaders.  While the white winged dragons in the sky see the invader as lunch; they too are afraid to get too close to the giants wearing pink frilly armor. They seem interested in the morsel as well.  The dragons call out to the giants but to no avail, the invader of the castle has been captured and placed into a small vessel, held by the giants for examination.  The giants speak in a language that only they can understand, as it is full of squeals and single syllable utterances that the taller giants seem to understand.

The dragons return to the skies, looking for less protected invaders. The giants quiet down from the excitement. My thoughts once more return to the waves, the clouds dancing above us in a slow waltz, while a ballerina does a slow pirouette in front the spot light, which immediately cools my skin and brings me once again to the here and now.

Looking around, I see more families and others like myself who are there to simply enjoy the beach.  Some come as couples and others by themselves, and of course there are those with stories in paper format to lose their selves into, while allowing the sun to warm parts of them that rarely is seen by the sun, much less others.

Very soon, their openness comforts me, as my attention turns back to act II: the ballerina morphs into a butterfly!  The other dancers on stage also morph into dogs, and rabbits, and even a shark!  The audience calls out to them, as they too perform amazing acts of aerobatics, not be outdone by the vaporous ghost of the sky.

The spotlight is now bright upon me, and the others who have joined me.  The smell of coconuts and other potions punctuates the fluidity of my thoughts.  I decide to lay on my tummy and allow the sun to tan my back for a while, as I drift off into a deep slumber, with the sounds of the ocean, the birds and the children to lull me into another world, where my thoughts are not constrained by anything physical.  The sounds actually guide my imagination to other worlds, occasionally bringing me back to this one, as I take stock of my own lotions, and my growing desire for food as somebody has decided to light a grill.

I too must return to the real world, and it is this grill and the thought of a sizzling parcel of meat that drives me to sober from my thoughts, wipe the now dried sand from my feet, and leave this paradise for other adventures, in other realities.

May you too find your happy place, and revere in its existence.  When in the real world your happy place is always there, look for it.  It might be in the small flowers attached to tiniest of plants, or simply above you; inviting you to take part as they too dance and entertain.




© All rights reserved 2015

Good Writing

Good Writing

Good Writing

There are too many books that I have trudged through in my life to tolerate bad writing.  Too many good books exist and let’s face it, how many books does one have time to read in the very short time that we have here?

As a writer, I craft the story much like so many other writers in that there are twist and turns, and I try to throw predictability out the window.  One of my friends compared my “style” to Stephen King!  I am not sure that is a good thing but, it is what it is.

I try not to worry with technicalities as I write.  Those will get sorted out in the editing phase.

When I write a story, it is as if someone somewhere out in the “ethos” is dictating it to me.  As I write, I too am enthralled with the story.  The story takes on a life of its own and therefor interruptions cannot be tolerated.

When I craft the words, I am painting a picture.  As an artist I know all too well what has to go into a painting to make it interesting so, when I paint with words, I too know how to create a picture that will form in the readers head.

From the dead flies in the windowsill, the flickering fluorescent light that comes to life with a snapping buzzing sound, and the smell of an un-flushed toilette; you suddenly remember each and every “not clean” bathroom that you have been forced to use, at some time in your life.  

Even my beloved muse, a Russian Blue who has yet to learn the meaning of “no,” has to leave as he too disturbs the process, by trying to chase the words as they trudge across the screen.


One of my writer friends goes off to remote cabins and waits for “the mood” to strike, and then sleep will not get into her way, as the thought process gels, the pages turn into marching characters and symbols that systematically stop and start as the process of transformation of thought to text, occurs.

Many of you here who follow me are writers, and it is to you who I am addressing the following.

We share a common bond and while we don’t personally “know” one another, we do know each other through this medium.

“If you want to get to know someone, you read their book.”

While the story may be as fictional as “Never-Never Land,” it is also, to many of us, our “happy place.”


Character development is a struggle for me.  As a man I can develop the female character and paint a nice picture.  Realistically, I have developed her from what I “see” and know of women.  Doing so for the male character is somewhat of a challenge as I don’t look at men, as women do.  I can however; capture the logic and thought processes of men much easier, as I am one.  The emotional side of the female is a stretch for me.

There are all kinds of readers out there, so character development should be such that whoever is reading your words, should be able to “know” your character.

As a writer, I feel a personal loss when I “kill off” a character.  As a reader, I feel that same loss when the book is over.

Currently, I am working on a trilogy and it is because the story material is that entertaining to me, that I could not end it with one book.  The characters have taken a life unto their own; and I suspect most of the writers out there know exactly what I am talking about.

Writing cannot be forced. 

Mechanically you can write and if you remember your English class’s where that was the case, the stories that you wrote were for the purpose of dissecting your usage of nouns and verbs and punctuation, not for creativity.  Sentence structure was so damned important! 

Screw the rules!

Weaving a tapestry of intersecting thoughts, while making it all grammatically correct is to me a true Rembrandt.   I don’t think being a grammatical and creative savant, is something that you can simply ask of someone, who does not share the passion of writing.

Painting is much the same way.  When painting, I am lost in the painting.  Each and every brush stroke has to be perfect.  The smaller the painting; the more flawless the brush stroke must be.

Write to please yourself.  Making it grammatically acceptable is something that can be accomplished after the creative process is done.

Painting and writing is “me time.”

Sometimes, I feel a little selfish when I carve out “me time.”

As an artist, you will not get rich by your efforts, unless of course you are doing it for some large publication and it is mechanical.  One of my Artist friends has her work re-produced on greeting cards, puzzles, and other things that people purchase in gift shops around the world.  Every so often a check will appear for a few hundred dollars.  She has no way of knowing how many actual unites were actually sold however.

I have also concluded that many feel that if they can just finish their book, they will get rich.  Too many out there “self-publish” and the only people making money “for the most part” are the folks who offer that service.

Lastly, and why I write this is; “write to please yourself.”

If your end goal is money, your writing will be forced and not genuine.  Much like doing a story for some professor to “grade.”

Immersion into the story, taking time to reflect, re-read and edit, and re-read again for the flow of the words is tantamount to making the story your own.

  • I will offer one free tip on the editing process for you, a trick that I figured out.

There are “services” that will edit your manuscript for you for who even knows how much money.

Purchase the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking with the text to speech option.

One paragraph at a time: have it read it, to you.

Go and edit that paragraph until it sounds right and then go onto the next.  When reading your own writing your mind tends to skip over the “you” instead of the “your” or the “the the” mistake that I see too often.  When writing, your words are punctuated with gaps as the thought process starts and stops.  That is when the “the the’s” occur or other anomalies that your professor in college would have a hay day with their “Fucking Red Pen or F.R.P.!”  Of course, there were no computers in my day so possibly, this process would be easier.

I don’t mean to belittle writing classes.  Don’t get me wrong.  Finding a professor that is passionate about their job, and what they are doing is a true goldmine.  Finding someone that will constructively criticize your work and offer suggestions is great.  Finding folks who are genuine, and are there without the need to equivocate for their personal aggrandizement is a definite plus.

There are writing “clubs” where others will read your works or have you read excerpts to the others in the group and they all cumulatively have something to offer.  There may be a pearl of wisdom that you can take away, even if you simply listen to their work and what the others have to say.  I have seen some however; who are so haughty, that just about anything that they said was dismissed without taking the time to weigh it on its merits. It was almost as if they were there to build themselves up, at your expense.


© All Rights Reserved 2015

Staylor at Guard-protect.com


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