BEDiM 2013 : DAY 5 & A to Z 2013 : REFLECTIONS

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge & An A to Z 2013 Challenge Reflections Entry)

I will start with the shortest segment of this double combo super punch to the love cockles of the blogosphere; the BEDiM entry.

Today’s prompt:

Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member.

This really is a Combo post. A blending of two challenges into one...

Considering all the new friends I’ve made over the last few months, I feel there is no way to single out any one specific blog. During the A to Z I’ve made even more friends, all varying in their degrees of interaction with one another and myself. So instead of focusing on just one, I plan to highlight a handful of bloggers that I feel have been actively keeping up reading/commenting and building connections (whether during the A to Z or beyond).

Before getting there, though, I shall take a moment to reflect upon the A to Z Challenge 2013.

If I Could Do It All Again

The A to Z Challenge was a great experience, regardless of the pockets of stress, and momentary close breakdowns throughout! It opened the door to meeting many fellow bloggers, each with their own topics/themes/voices/styles. It's amazing really! I'm looking forward to keeping along with their own personal journeys through the blogosphere, as much as I hope they are interested to following along with mine.

That being said, however, I think attempting to follow over 20+ blogs (reading, commenting, and replying) was a bit overwhelming for me. I’m a slow reader, and while normally this is no big deal, combined with daily posts — while having to write my own — I could feel myself falling behind. I’ve already apologized, and plan to catch up where need be, so if some particular blogger isn’t okay with that, well I should reassess my bothering to follow along with them in the first place. I view this whole experience as a fun, sociable interaction with the blogosphere.

This may not have been such an issue had I written blogs in advance as advised by the Host/Co-Hosts in March. I am definitely planning to do so next year (maybe I will start right now!). It will cut down on half of the work, and I could spend more time reading fellow blogger posts, comment, and reply. I am amazed at how many people breezed through these difficulties, and I may be a tad bit jealous of them. So, this is one area of improvement I plan to make for next year. I may also attempt a theme. It seems like everyone who focused on a theme had a blast! We will see what I have going on next April before deciding.

It’s pretty obvious I would partake in the challenge again, pending having the time to do so. Most of the Host/Co-Hosts did a great job at interacting with participants and posting encouraging entries to spur everyone on all throughout the challenge. Overcoming my blocks of writing, by blogging every day, was a huge triumph for me. This is partially why I decided to go ahead with the Blog Every Day in May Challenge.

Overall it was a great experience with great people and am looking forward to next year!

Blogosphere Bonanza

Now to highlight a handful of bloggers that I know personally and/or were highly active throughout the challenge and the months leading up to it! A handful you may recognize from my Liebster Award entry back in March. I hope I didn’t forget anyone. I met many people towards the last half of the challenge, but this — honestly — is focused on those met from the beginning. I will still be catching up on unlisted blogs and following along!

Some you may already follow, but if not, check them out! When I visit blogs I try my best to remember to “Like” and Googlemend (Google Recommend — it will be a word... work with me!) each post. I believe in encouraging and promoting blog entries of fellow friends throughout the blogosphere (and I definitely don’t object to the same in return). So sally forth into uncharted realms of the blogosphere and support your comrades and make some great networking connections! You may find yourself some wonderful gems hidden out there just waiting for you to discover them. ;-)
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall: I don’t think she has shared her name with me, but it may be in the labyrinth of her blog. She has been at it for some time and I have some catching up to do. Looking at her numbers, though, I may want to stick to 2013 and beyond haha sweet lord almighty! Some random facts I’ve garnished: Her and her husband reproduce like rabbits, her family plays barn roof tennis (not for the faint of heart), she is a professional shaver, and is devoted to volunteer work. BUT she has a loud laugh, so only blogger buddies!

A Writer’s Journey: Jessica is still someone I'm learning about slowly as I go back over her past blog entries. She is a sneaky lil devil and has multiple blogs (which in a crazy move, involved both blogs in the A to Z challenge with different, but equally entertaining, themes). Her second blog is Closet Geek Gurl. While the first focuses more on her personal life as a writer, the second is her expression of geekiness to the blogosphere; her escape. What I came to find is that she writes books (and is published) about superheroes! How cool is that? I believe it is called Small Town Hero. She can correct me if I am mistaken. It's shaping up to be a series of undetermined length!

Behind These Pages: I met Tamara a few months ago (via The Warrior Muse). I want to say it was around the time we both (All three of us really) participated in a Flash Fiction contest. She just began her new blog, now partnered up with a friend, and I’ve yet to see which direction they plan on taking it. I had just met Tamara when she had to go on hiatus for a stint. She arrived just in time for the A to Z and is ready to rock out with her... So yeah, I'm looking forward to learning more about her and her friend!

Black Coffee and Cigarettes: Kirsten has at least three blogs, and sharing in Jessica’s craziness, she entered two in the A to Z Challenge! Why people?! Why?! lol Kirsten was the one who presented me with the Liebster Award (thank you so much, again!) and — regretfully — I’ve yet to fully explore her main blog. Short Story Ideas: is just as it says. A blog/site offering help with ideas for short stories. The A to Z focused on various prompts, so I still have to double back to try some of them. Then there is Just Ermie: about a character on the run from thought police, serial killer/spies, and most everything under the sun. It’s a lot of fun! Ermie got too far ahead of me, though, and she is a master of disguise. I’ll be catching up to her yet.

Meetings With My Muse: Kimberly has been blogging for a few years, and I’ve yet to delve into much beyond her A to Z posts (which highlighted a multitude of great resource links for writing, publishing, editing, finding agents, etc etc!) I also need to explore those abundance of links. I am curious to see what she posts about outside of the A to Z Challenge. She writes YA Fantasy and Science fiction, but I’m uncertain if published. I’d like to read some of her work.

One to One with Life: I believe Andy had just begun blogging this year, much like myself. His A to Z was a mix-match of philosophy, history, and random thoughts. I enjoyed reading along and he was very encouraging. He simply seems an all around great guy. Doesn’t hurt he has some tech knowledge and likes Doom! I hope he continues his blog, because I feel he has a lot of interesting stories/thoughts to share. Give him some good lovings! I know it can be hard to find readers/followers when starting out.

Poke The Rock: Jette is German, loves to dance, draws freaking uncomfortable things like a bear riding a tricycle with a smiling poop on its head! GAH! But, she draws many fantastical things and is very talented. She is a master of Finger Puppets, and I secretly plan to coax her into making me a personalized EmoJak finger puppet (hoody, solemn expression, bats, and all!) I just have to find the right bribing (or blackmail) material. She doesn’t think she is “deep”, but I happen to know she is in the “Thick of it” with all the challenges she is participating in.

Pull Up A Toadstool: I met Tracy partway through the A to Z. She was also one of those insane folks doing multiple tasks/challenges at once. She was participating in Nation Poetry Writing Month, I believe, while also doing A to Z! She had a lot of thought provoking topics/subject matter and it was great engaging in discussions about them. I will have to take a gander at some of the writing prompts she was partaking in during the challenge. I know I missed a lot, but should be easier to catch up now. She is so sweet, and was always positive in comments!

Randomness and Lunacy: She’s Random. She’s a Lunatic. She’s a Random Lunatic! Jenn was another blogger that always stuck it out through the torrents of posts and comments. She has been blogging and writing for a long time. I believe she has two books published and she is working on another! Actually I’ve found she is working on a good majority of projects. Very ambitious, this one. I should suck the ambition out of her like a vampire :) Jenn loves hockey, music, writing, and she works in her office (command center?) from home yet “bikes” four miles to and from work every day. Now that is awesome! I plan to adopt that regiment.

Simply She Goes: Kianwi had a fun theme of nostalgia for the A to Z. Not only that, but she worked in a contest to guess her age. Prizes included a grouping of nostalgic items from her childhood. I didn’t guess correctly, and I won’t share her age as I’ve learned that can get you slapped depending on the individual! I'm betting she is a slapper, based on knowledge that she coerces her dog to dress up and post blog posts on her behalf to deflect catching flack. I think she coerced Jette into participating in the A to Z too! How rude! ;-) Seriously, though, she is a lot of fun (even more so than I thought with recently garnished intel!) and look forward to going back over her pre A to Z postings and learning more about her! Even if she did try to get Boba Fett and Princess Leia to fall in love...

The Average Poet: I don’t know a whole lot about Robert. What I do know is that he loves poetry! His blog is chock full of his own personal poetry and it's awesome. He also had some (what seems to be) fiction work sprinkled throughout. If you are a fan of poetry I recommend checking out his work. Also, from glancing at his history, he has been blogging since 2005. That is a lot of freakin’ blogging!

The Mind Meanders: Kristen was one of my nominees for the Liebster Award. She had some interesting topics and even interviews during the A to Z. She recently came to acquire a publishing house and has plans to make her dreams and aspirations as a writer/publisher come true! The name of the company is Fey Publishing. Check them out. I believe they are working on the site and have even opened submissions. With everything going on, Kristen is still catching up on the challenge, so encouragement is welcomed. I wish her luck on her business endeavors and am excited to see how everything turns out.

The Tex Files: Tex was a roit! Their A to Z challenge was Grammaticats, which utilized pictures of cats to teach proper grammar. They were cute and hilarious. Crooks even made a guest appearance, in all his full-bellied glory! It sounds like Tex is taking a brief breather, but then I believe it’s back at it! I really liked the Grammaticats a lot, and would love to see more of them. Or something with a new theme would be great. I appreciate Tex’s in-your-face mentality! A very supportive, fun individual. And honestly, quite hilarious!
And last, but definitely not least...
The Warrior Muse: Shannon was one of my original Jakker Trakkers outside of people I knew personally. I’ve already recommended and referenced her blog multiple times. It's full of fantastic information about herself, her projects, writing in general, event/contest/submission information, and more. She has two pieces of work being published (short stories I believe, while her first novel is being queried — did I use that term correctly? lol) and I'm looking forward to checking them out. Shannon is also a Co-Host of the A to Z Challenge, participates in various writing events, and is one busy bee. She is a horror and Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia fan (how I came across her blog originally), which is very sweet. I'm still learning more about her as I backtrack her blog.
Why Can’t We Be Friends

Most of the below are people I meet during NaNoWriMo 2012. Since that time I feel we have slowly been working on building our connections/friendships. Some of this group have known one another for a long time. I’m kind of the new kid on the block. A handful of the group realized from the beginning how awesome I am. Others take their sweet sweet time, which may be smart. I am a bit odd.
Sideways From Sunday: A friend made from NaNoWriMo more famously known as Number One! I think she is finally allowing me into her “inner circle” now that we are linked by a curse. She has started blogging more often now, and I hope she plans to continue. The topics are random and of a more “journal” format. She may fear whales, but she is good lookin’ and enjoys cookin’!

The Candence Journey: A NaNo 2012 ML and one of three friends of this grouping who joined the A to Z after it began. She is on a journey to unlocking her true inner self, after a lifetime of being what others expected. It’s interesting to keep up and explore her transition along with her as she comes into her own. Her new “self” so to speak. She plans to blog more regularly now that her itch to write has come back. Maybe she will even place up some fiction at some point too.

The Daily Discovery: This blog belongs to a friend I met a few months ago. She is passionate about helping people, and prefers working in the non-profit sector. She is a painter and writer, but her writing fell on the wayside for a time. She was very encouraging to me during the A to Z and I greatly appreciated it. Eventually her words began to flow again, and she even signed on to the Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge! How cool is that? I’m glad she is writing again, and hope she keeps at it this time. As long as she doesn’t neglect her painting!

The Pleasantest Life: This is the blog of Number Three and a new friend made during NaNoWriMo 2012. She became inspired to blog again after a hiatus and joined the A to Z late. At this time she is still catching up, but plans to continue. No set theme, but has some important topics she wishes to discuss (hence the delay —  trying to get them just right). She has a great sense of humor, yells her shouts (or shouts her yells?), owns both a cane and a magic walking stick, and walks like a grandma. Grandma status subject to change based on health.

Unfocus: Ah Number Five. He (also from NaNo 2012) joined into the A to Z Challenge from the outside about a week into the event. I believe he is still working on catching up and always has some random repostings/rebloggings (he uses Tumblr, where it seems reblogging is a way of life). But fair warning, a handful are of a mature nature. Hope he continues through to Z. I think he should blog about some of his occult knowledge/experiences!
Let’s Wrap This Up

Whew! That was exhausting! I hope you can find time, over the next few weeks, to continue following along with both myself and some new bloggers! Spread the love!

If any of the links are inaccurate/broken, please let me know and I will fix them up :)

I appreciate all your support and encouragement :) 

If you participated in the A to Z Challenge, have you made your Reflections post yet? Anything you would do differently next year? Do you have an all-time favorite blog you enjoy to read and would highly recommend?


(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

I’ve sat here, once again, attempting to think what exactly to write. As I was shoveling for 4 hours last Thursday, when Mother Nature decided to dump another load of snow, I came up with what I Recall being a great idea for today's post. If you Remember, I’ve been having this issue consistently throughout April. I tell myself to write it down each time, but then convince myself that I won’t forget. Then, low and behold, I forget.

This inability to remember things has becoming quite problematic. Most of those memories are from my childhood. I still have the ability to remember major current/Recent events just fine, but it's the little things that get lost. Did I lock the door? Did I put the gas cap back on? Did I already take my vitamin today?

When I can’t accurately recall these things it starts to drive me mad, because they are simple. Why would I forget them? Especially when they are within daily Routines.

My gaps in memory from my childhood make more sense to me. A lot of people don’t remember things from so far back. Other memories are gone, possibly buried due to trauma. This is just a guess, but it seems viable. I am actively exploring that possibility, in attempts to unlock some of these.

The 6th Day

When I think about memories, I wonder about some older topics people discussed dealing with cloning. Would said individual turn out the exact same? Would they be soulless?

I always believed that it would be impossible for any clone to turn out exactly the same as another due to the difference of experiences. They would look like a twin, but possibly act/think completely different. I guess I feel like experiences completely make us who we are. A clone would be lacking all of that.

It makes me curious about how cloning would work. Like a computer with an empty hard-drive you could upload whatever information you wanted; imprint them (memories) on said clone.

Then I think about amnesia, and how it is said those individuals act nothing like themselves, which makes complete sense; they don’t know who they are, how to “normally” act. These types of disorders — though, I believe the legitimacy is questioned by some —  intrigue me greatly. Cause I would then ask are our “souls” nothing more than memories? Without them, are we just blank slates?

I don’t believe that, but it makes me think. I believe this is why I really like the movie The 6th Day. Instead of attempting to explain this movie I will post a trailer below. Not many people talked about the movie, but I loved it and the concepts within. Essentially it touches on  the very topics of cloning/souls/memory.

What are your thoughts on cloning? Do you believe they would have souls (Do you believe in the “soul”)? Have you ever seen The 6th Day? As aging, have you already noticed your ability to remember things begin to fade?


(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

T-minus 3 hours and counting. I best get this down while the gettin’ is good. As I type, Winter has decided it isn’t finished toying with me yet. The snow is keeping me from Best Buy and my friends, but I won’t let it stop me from writing! When part of your job descriptions includes tending to the property, Winter becomes a very sketchy season (leaving me homebound often). At least the shoveling is a good workout.

Working out is what this post was originally meant to be about, but I think I will touch on that later. I was thinking of my post HAUNTINGS the other night, and thought it sucked I didn’t have time to add another story. So, I thought this would be a good spot to interject it.

The Black Tower

The earlier stories I gave about paranormal activity all took place in the Stanchfield House I lived in. When you live out in the country, with properties covering vast acres of land, you tend to find a handful of nifty places to explore. Some fun and exciting, others dangerous and scary. For example, the next house down from us had been abandoned for who knows how long. My brother, friends, and I would venture around that property often.

The first time there, we were hesitant to go inside. When looking in the windows we could see a mattress and leftover cans/wrappers of food and drink, in an otherwise gutted room. Naturally we took this as a clear indication someone was possibly inhabiting the house. When reporting back, we were told it best to stay away from the property — trespassing and all — but that it was empty.

Telling a child to stay away from something they are fascinated by is like leaving a cupcake in front of a starving kid and telling them not to eat it while you then go about your business elsewhere; leaving the two of them alone. Someone always dies. Not really, but in this case the house was like our cupcake.

When we built up the courage, we returned to the property, entered the house, and scanned the property. There was plenty  to see. The house itself was completely empty with exception of those items, but the land — grossly unattended — held some gems. There as a silo, a shack, and I had stumbled upon a bomb shelter. That is what we determined it likely was (I guess to this day I don’t know). The entrance was caved in some, but we investigated. Actually, I sent my little brother in to investigate first. In case there was a bear, or something, in there.

Everything checked out and I eventually dubbed it: The Black Tower. Now, this may have been a Wheel of Time reference. I just know it didn’t make sense, being it was an underground shelter. No one cared, though. All our friends (my friends) loved it! It became our secret hideout. One day me and some friends even managed to shove a couch — one we drove past that someone was getting rid of for free and we thought: that’s perfect! — down into the bowels of that shelter. That took a few hours involving digging out the entrance more. Once we got it in there, though, we celebrated with some ice-cold be... Kool-Aid... We celebrated with Kool-Aid.

To be honest, I wouldn’t go into The Black Tower alone. The entire property gave me the creeps. I think had we hung around there more we would have eventually encountered something menacing. Eventually, the house and shed/shacks were burned down, but The Black Tower remained. I imagine it is still there today.

While nothing paranormal happened there, it's those kinds of discoveries that fueled our adventures even further. In doing so, I came to find a location I found even creepier. In fact, with the occurrences and feelings I described at my Stanchfield House, this place gave off that same “evil” negative vibe.

The Hand House

So, our explorations expanded well beyond any close proximity of our house. One Summer, while walking down our dirt road we saw a driveway, but it was overgrown in between the tracks. Know what I mean? We decided to follow it (I believe I was again with my brother... this lack of memory is killing me). We happened upon another abandoned house. This one was larger than our neighboring one, and it looked a lot scarier. This may have been amplified because it was set back in the woods.

What I can’t recall (I’d have to ask my brother in hopes he was the one with me at the time) is if we entered the house at all. It was during the day, and — as you well know —  that kind of thing really plays a huge role on determining such choices. What I do remember (skipping ahead a few months into Winter) is when some friends and I decided it would be fun to visit the house in the middle of the night. We believed it could be haunted and wanted to find out. There was a large group planned for this outing, but only two friends had arrived while the others said they wouldn’t be able to make it over until a lot later in the evening.

The three of us decided to do what any normal courageous trio in our position would do: we went alone. We geared up, grabbed a flashlight, and began the long trek to this new abandoned house. Along the way, we would hide in the ditch if seeing any incoming vehicles (for some reason this was a fun game we always played, whether in town or out in the country. It probably looked very suspicious). Once reaching our destination we began to transverse the unplowed driveway.

At this point in Winter there had been heavy snowfall, and the weather — being so cold — made it hard so you could essentially walk on it.  You may sink in here or there, but overall it wasn’t too bad. As I said, it was set back into the woods; silent and ominous. Once it came into view, the closer we got the more afraid I became. That overbearing feeling of malevolence. The doorless entryway its gaping mouth welcoming us inside. The night was crisp, the moon sailed high, what better snack than three Vanilla Ice lovin’ punks given their pseudo courage a try?

Then we were upon it. Face to face, the entryway just feet ahead. One of my friends stopped and began to have second thoughts. I was definitely on board with that! It wasn’t too late to turn back, besides it was a really decrepit house and could be too dangerous in the dark. But our other friend... he wasn’t having any of it. He was more of the skeptic type and he had just come all the way out to this house; he was going in.

So, he took the lead and we lined up behind him and began to advance towards the house. Then the flashlight began to flicker some. We paused, waiting, and it stopped. Nervous laughs were shared and the advance began anew. Three feet from the entrance... Two... The flashlight began flickering again. At this point, my friend and I were good to go, but the other was persistent. He slapped the flashlight and it regained its full strength.


One foot away, nothing but our footfalls scrunching in the snow betraying the silence. The voice in my head telling me: this is a bad idea. We came to the doorway and our friend scanned the inside with the light. Obviously there was nothing, but it was an excuse to pause again. Then he took a step past the threshold, the light began to flicker again, and we all stopped cold. He slapped it like before and it seemed it was going to work, but then it went dead.

We were alone in the entrance to this house in the moonlit night. And that was all it took, because then we were running. All of us, skeptic included.

Unfortunately for me I have always been a bit more heavier set. Regardless of having decent  leg strength from biking everywhere, I was still behind the others. I would be the first to die. Worse? That hard snow you could walk on? It must not have a fat boy running protection clause, because each step left me knee-deep in snow.

Another thing I learned that night, is when you are falling knee-deep into hard snow... it cracks. Not sure how best to explain this, but it seems to literally crack like a crevice tearing open during an earthquake or something. With each pounding step, the snow would crack and release a deep crackling sound that filled the dead of night (along with maybe our screams, but we won't talk about that). It sounded like you were being chased. I was going to fucken die by god knows what.

Dear non-existent diary, I hate Twinkies. They have killed me.

To be honest, all I could think of was getting the hell out of dodge. Eventually we made it back to the main road and booked it even farther, until we could no longer run. Half way back to my place we laughed about it all. How we were a bunch of chicken-shits. A car was spotted and we barreled into the ditch, once again enjoying ourselves.

Once in the ditch the flashlight suddenly turned on and we all just stared at it. If it wasn’t my ex step-father’s I would have been fine just leaving it there in the ditch for eternity.

Our other friends showed up and we told them about everything that had happened, so we planned to venture there again the next day; during the day. They tried hard to convince us to go back that evening, but our courage was tapped out.

When we went back in the daylight to investigate, we discovered handprints all along the walls leading up the staircase to the second story. These were little kids handprints and it gives me the chills just thinking about it. I assume they were made with paint, but who knows. I try not to think about it.

This is why I dubbed it: The Hand House

The name stuck ever since.

It was a lot less scary during the day and with ten people, but I never went back at night again. Back again, period, for that matter. Some of my friends did after watching The Blair Witch Project in which a similar house (with similar handprints) was featured. They brought some of our female friends out there to scare the hell out of them after the movie. Mission accomplished.

I waited a while before watching the movie. A few years actually. The scene still gets to me, because of how similar it is to that house (which I heard was eventually burned down sometime after I moved out of the Stanchfield House). I can’t help but wonder what the history of the house was. Can’t help but wonder what we may have experienced had we decided to stay that night in complete darkness.

I can’t help but wonder why the fuck I never stopped eating Twinkies.

Here is a clip featuring the house in The Blair Witch Project. By now, if having interest, I’m sure you’ve seen it. If not, this is towards the end of the movie and if you’ve no interest in spoilers just avoid:

Please... there will be no questions at this time... Thank you :)

A to Z 2013 : OLIVE BRANCH

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Olive Branch

From the past you come forth with the offerings of peace.
Let bygones be bygones, we can be friends at the least.
Did I think it was impossible after all of the years
Through the hardships, fears, and waterfall tears.
It may be hard knowing that I’m still so far
But let’s not forget why we are where we are
Choices were made, consequences will be met
Giving things time would be your best bet

There’s no need for rhymes for our story is no fairytale
Nor a children’s book or love song
But the love is still there as it will always be
The place in our hearts where the others still beats
Regardless of time and the pain interlacing
Connections remain true, forever both a curse and a blessing

At this time we both know boundaries have been broken
While respect should be met at the cost of one’s good intentions
Self love is the key to everyone’s salvation
Seclusion a trick of our mind’s disillusion
Train always your heart, body, and soul
In the end you’ll be free and once again find yourself whole

A to Z 2013 : NOSTALGIA

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Childhood. I always remembered the phrase: “as a kid you always want to grow up, but when you do you wish you could be a kid again.” Okay, I’m not completely certain that is exact, but you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes kids try to grow up too fast. I think some don’t get to fully experience being young, whether by choice or forced (forced makes me think of those children beauty pageants that make me incredibly sick to my stomach). They can’t wait to have this profession or that (usually a cowboy or princess), can’t wait to drive, can’t wait to have a family; the aspirations changing through the years.

I can’t recall if I wanted to grow up fast or not. I know I wanted to be a cowboy, a cop, a private detective, and then a bounty hunter (are you seeing a theme here?). Then dreams of being an artist/writer of comic books and novels came about. I don’t think this meant I wanted to grow up any faster, but like I said I can’t recall my state of mind. My family would, but I haven’t asked them previously.

One thing I do know is that I can’t recall a lot of my childhood; just little blips. I see pictures my relatives will post, and I’ve absolutely no recollection of the event/time frame. We aren’t talking only pictures of when an infant to three years old, but where I seem to be ten or older. Not exactly sure why I can’t remember these events. People have tried to hypothesis a handful of reasons, most usually involving trauma.

Resistance is Futile

A good chunk of what I do remember, however, are times I wish I could revisit/relive. Some of my favorite memories revolve around my creativity. For example, I would make games for my brothers and I to play together. These games could involve paper, cardboard bricks, or whatever else I had access to.

The main building block... to many of these creations were Legos. I would use our coffee table to build an entire street of a town. Sometimes I would enact a movie for them, but other times we would play a game. The game had no real name really (that I recall), and it was a variant of one I made with G.I. Joes (we were all boys, so yeah).

I guess it was called Friday the 13th after the movies, because that was my premise. You had a character and you decided which location/house you wanted to be at in town. I’d then use cards, which were shuffled (every day I’m shufflin’), and lay them out face down in front of the locations. I think I sometimes allowed for a character move now and again, but once everyone was ready I would then flip up the cards one by one. Those that were inside the Lego house marked by a face card died. What killed them? You know... ghosts. It was a haunted Lego city no one moved out of... just moved a lot on the same street.

We all loved playing that game. Even the G.I. Joe version it originated from which used books as “cabins” and an “outhouse” was popular among them; the killing being dished out by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-esque Jason Voorhees.

Eventually the games got a bit more complicated; dice were added to the mix. One of my favorite games consisted of constructing a Lego base that was besieged by the Borg (of Star Trek origin, if you weren’t geeky enough). You had a limited amount of space you could move, and if you were engaged by a Borg you would “battle” by rolling the dice. Our characters got 2 or 3 lives before being assimilated. The other characters (I guess Red Shirts by all accounts) would only have one. It all played out like an epic movie. Trust me. I know. I was there!

The Brothers, The Brothers

Through the years, after (and during) all the sibling rivalry/fights, the four of us have gamed together; Magic: the Gathering, board/card games, but mainly video games. Once we all got our own places/families/lives we had a weekly designated Game Night (generally Tuesday evenings). My brothers would come over — their TVs and game systems in tow — and we would spend the entire night gaming together. This was usually the highlight of my week, and I’d like to think it was for them too. If someone couldn’t make it, we would get pretty huffy.

Like with all things losing its appeal, eventually attendance dwindled as life dictated, and eventually we all chose one system (Xbox) to play on. Soon everyone had the internet, were online, and could game together from home. Game Night was reborn!

Again, that too began to flux, to the point where now I may game with one of my brothers every few weeks. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t game as much, and two of my brothers don’t play on Xbox anymore. I’ve just recently made up for it some by seeing those two brothers on Monday’s and playing with them on the horrid PS3. The third brother I see often on Xbox still and we play when able.

I long for a monthly (being weekly may be unrealistic) Game Night where we can all get together and game again. It spawned from our holiday tradition of playing video games at family gatherings — like Thanksgiving — while the rest of the family watched football, and I am a creature of habit.


What I miss the most, though, is that creativity. I guess it makes sense that I would have aspirations to be a writer; writer’s can create entire worlds, people, etc. A game designer was also high on my list. I even began to create a card game, but eventually almost all of that — along with most of my writing — was lost in multiple hard drive crashes.

I like creating things for people, but mostly for those I love and cherish. Over the last few years, I feel as though I’ve lost that creative spark. I get little surges of inspiration, but I never end up following through and finishing any projects. This is where the lack of motivation comes into play. I never have the lack of ideas, just the lack of drive.

I wish I could channel that ability I had when I was a child growing up. To be continually active in creating new things for myself and those I care about; for the world. For anyone and everyone to enjoy if they saw fit. To see or hear about how something I brought into the world touched someone in a very positive way. Touched their heart.

Even if just producing one more additional smile or laugh in this stream of life.

What did you want to grow up to be as a child? What games would you play with your siblings? Any sibling traditions? What are you most nostalgic about?