Tired of ads? Upgrade to paid account and never see ads again!


The continuing adventures of a husband and father.

This is my journal. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Lilypie 6th to 18th PicLilypie 6th to 18th Ticker

Click These Icons!


This is almost always a friends-only journal. If you wanna be friended, post a comment, and I'll probably let you in!

This link kills spam

[A Paper Muse] A Need To Assay.
Here's something I don't say very often.

I want to hit someone. I want to approach someone with intent to do violence unto their person, and strike them stoutly.

I'm a pacifist. I don't hate guns, but I have no desire to own one. Were I young enough to be drafted, I would be a conscientious objector and would try to find non-violent ways to serve in times of war. I've never lifted a hand to my wife or children. Most ultra-violent movies sicken me. I've only seen Saving Private Ryan once, and I've never been able to sit through Schindler's List.

But I want to hit someone.

I'm an educated man. I believe in diplomacy and sanctions, and while I do believe that some wars are necessary, I certainly don't think that either Gulf War fell into that category. When presented with the "a murderer is going to kill your children and you have a gun, what do you do" hypothetical, I say "I'll find another way. I live "turn the other cheek".

I really want to hit someone.

I have told parents to be more gentle with their children. I believe that corporal punishment is wrong, and have never spanked my children in punishment. I work very hard to teach them all that hitting is wrong. I try (and often fail) to not raise my voice to the boys.

I absolutely positively want to hit someone.

I want to shift with the weight of the polearm as it swings around. I want to pivot my hips and tense my arms as I sent it cutting towards my opponent. I want to feel the shock of impact rock the haft in my hands, and I want to see my opponent's head recoil from the impact.

I want to feel the ground roll under my feet as I charge with my shield and sword before me, crashing into the opposing line, breaking it with my compatriots, and hear the roar of the army behind me as they sweep into the hole that we have made. I want to be crushed at the bottom of a pile of holy dead who have fought to the last man against un-beatable odds.

I want to see the herald stride out into the list to announce myself and my opponent. I want to feint and guard with my dueling spear. I want to scream like a berserker, sweeping my footman's mace from side to side, clearing the way.

I want to feel the weight of my armor on my hips and my shoulders and my forearms and my head, sliding my helmet down to rest solidly upon my skull, my face spreading into a grinning death's-head as I pick up my sword and shield and form a bulwark against all comers, jostling and pressing against the enemy and my brothers and sisters in the Red Pale to either side.

I want to hit someone. I hunger for it. I thirst. In the morning, I awake to the thought, and at night, I dream of slaying thousands, laughing.

I have forged my weapons. I have donned my armor. I carry my lady's favor on my belt, and my honor in my heart.

I want to fight.

[A Paper Muse] On Humility, Mindfulness, and Assumptions.
Mindfulness. Being mindful. Being aware of who you are, what you say, what you do and how you do it. Every time I think I'm doing it, every time I think it's getting easier, Loki laughs at me, and Odin lets me make an example out of myself.

I was so full of myself yesterday. I was proud of myself. I had spoken about how I was working on being the person I wanted to be, of living up to the expectations of others.

Over the last seven years, I have constantly tried to climb out of the hole I put myself in. Scrabbling at the dirt, sometimes gaining the lip of the crater, every once in a while, even getting an elbow or two out onto the grass. Hey, it's pretty up here. I should try to get out of the hole. But every time, I reached too far, or pushed too hard, and slipped.

Until this past six months. This past six months, I made good career building choices and followed through on them. I lost thirty pounds, I got back into the SCA, I started writing music again, and I made some excellent new friends. My fencing has improved. My poetry is better. I feel happier about myself and my skills and my accomplishments.

And then yesterday, I made an assumption, did an about face, and walked right back into the hole.

It's not important who I've offended, or how. I've apologized, and sworn to do better, sworn to make recompense.

It's not good enough.

In my Knightly Virtues Cycle, I wrote about Humility, and I joked that it's "Knightly" Humility, which is different, of course, than "regular" humility, and there's something actually to that, but Humility, I lack it. I lack it a lot. There's something in me I need to fix, something that automatically thinks "this thing is now about me." It's not. Most things are not about me. At best, some things might be about me AND someone else.

Perhaps it is my eagerness. Perhaps it is my desire to be liked and respected. But lacking humility and mindfulness doesn't get me there.

I thought I was doing better. That was just my pride. That was just my arrogance. That was me falling back into the hole.

I must be self aware. I must be humble. I must be mindful.

[A Paper Muse] Yesterday was a Parenting Failure.
Yesterday was a parenting failure. In order to explain how, I have to give
some background.

TL;DR: I need to treat my ex-wife as a rebellious teenager, who will not do
what I ask for the sheer satisfaction of refusing me. In other words, I
need to deal with her the same way I deal with our son.

I was married to #1 son's mother for nearly ten years. He was six years old
when we separated, and seven when we divorced. He didn't take things well.
My ex-wife – let's call her J – struggled, even though I was giving her
$2000 a month in child support. Well, I say “struggled” when what I mean is
that she decided to take the money, which was supposed to pay the mortgage
and the car payment, and spend it on clothing, hair dye, makeup and
whatever else you need to spend money on when embarking on a career in the
adult entertainment industry.

Now, don't get me wrong – J is following her dream, and there's a part of
me that envies her that decision. As a 9-6 office drone, I'm certainly not
doing that. And I've got no issue with her chosen line of work – “an' it
harm none, do what you will”, right? But her decision to pursue that career
didn't harm none. Instead, it led to the car nearly being repossessed, the
house being foreclosed upon, and in the end, me moving back to the same
town they were in, and suing for residential custody of #1 son. At one
point I visited the house they lived in to get some stuff, and it was a
giant cat-box. Literally urine sprayed everywhere, she'd sold the
appliances and the gas-line pipes for money, and #1 son was sleeping on the
couch in the living room because his room was so filthy.

So as part of the lawsuit, of course, the child-support stopped, and J was
swiftly out of money. Getting custody was easy at that point, because she
no longer had a lawyer, and my current wife and I #1 son into our place. J
has one regular day a week, one floating day a week, and the last weekend
of every month visitation.

Over time, we grew flexible with the visitation. #1 son likes to be with
his mother – mostly because she doesn't impose any rules or regulations –
and he still struggles with the idea that my current wife is an authority
figure, so for a while, he spent more time with J. The problem was, J
couldn't stick to a schedule, so she'd say that she'd keep #1 son from 6pm
on Friday till 6 pm on Sunday, but then show up at 10 am on Saturday to
drop him off without any notice – and then would be verbally abusive when
we weren't available to receive him, even if we told her she could bring
him to whatever local grocery store or mall we were at.

That led me to return to following the letter of the law in the Joint
Parenting Agreement, to the point where I actually refused to let her have
a weekend out of schedule with #1 son.

So earlier this week, I asked J if she was going to take #1 son on
Thursday. He's having mid-term exams, so he's finished at 11 am. She asked
if she could take him after school and return him on Friday around lunch
time. I agreed, if she would take him to his pediatrician for an
immunization shot. She didn't respond, so I followed up yesterday. She
announced that she wasn't going to take him to the doctor, and that as
custodial parent, that was my job to do, especially since I've “restricted”
her time.

“I had not planned on taking him to the doctors in my time since there is
less time with him now ill be doing the things he and I planned together.”

Of course, I've done nothing of the sort, and I responded as such. The
conversation escalated, as such conversations do, and I reached my tipping

“Very well. Floating days do not include overnights. Have him back by 9pm
on Thursday. You may pick him up at 8am on Friday.”

J, predictably, freaked out, and decided that she wasn't going to take #1
son for any time at all. She informed #1 son of this before I had a chance
to talk to him, so #1 son was very angry with me.

Now, this visit to the doctor wasn't going to cost J anything except some
time. I pay for all of #1 son's medical bills, all of his medications, all
of his school fees, I provide 90% of his clothes and school supplies, and
of course, all of his food and shelter expenses. Somewhere in there my wife
and I even found the money to get him a $600 laptop this year. J pays for
the food he eats when they're together, and whatever gifts she decides to
get him, which is sometimes clothing.

All I wanted her to do was take him to get the shot. And so I got mad when
she behaved exactly the way I expected.

When the custody battle was in full swing, J refused to let me take #1 son
for half of his birthday, and I asked my lawyer what to do. She told me
that while I could file a petition in court, it would likely get rejected,
and then she said this:

“In most family court cases, one party acts like adults, and the other
party acts like children. One party takes responsibility, and the other one
seeks to avoid it. In this case, you're the adult, and J is the child. It
will do no good to get angry with her; she's not going to change.”

I forgot that message, and so now I have to take #1 son to get the shot
anyway, and he's angry with me. I understand that it's not my fault that J
can't behave like a responsible adult, but that doesn't assuage my guilt
one bit.

Everything happened exactly as I thought it would. I should just learn my
lesson. That's what I need to do. I need to be the parent., because she's
the child.

I know, I know... correlation, causation, etc...

A question for your liberal "friends"
Originally posted by melvin_udall at A question for your liberal "friends"
Would you have let your daughter date Trayvon Martin?

If they say no they admit calling him a thug is accurate and okay, or that they are a racist. Their rules.

If they say yes... well, let's face it, that makes them either a liar, human trash, or some kind of batshit self-loathing, child-sacrificing zealot.

Not only would I let my daughter date Trayvon Martin (an honor student who was going to college, by the way), I'd let my son do so if they both chose it. Fuck you, Udall.

[A Paper Muse] Book Reviews
I just wrote two book reviews for works by Masha du Toit, a fellow member of the Literary+ writers collective. Go check them out!

Review of Strange Neighbors.

Review of The Story Trap.

have a dancing wookie.

[A Paper Muse] Blog Tour Day One
Literary+ is holding its first blog tour featuring author JD Savage. He'll
be talking about the new book: The Seeds and much more.

JD's first guest blog post can be found on Scott Roche's blog and is
entitled: Profanity in YA Novels

Literary+ is a writer based project brought together and lead by Shen Hart.
It brings together passionate, quality self-published writers to help each
other promote their work, bringing more readers to every member. It was
sparked by the simple fact that there are many top quality self-published
authors being over-looked because they do not have the time and resources
to efficiently and effectively market and promote themselves. With ambition
and passion, Literary+ will take its members to the heights they deserve
through a tight-knit community of like-minded writers.

(no subject)

Happy Birthday


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.


Chrome issues
shoot up
anyone having a hard time commenting on LJ from their Chrome browser? I'm actually using (shudder) IE to post this becasue it won't work in Chrome either.

[A Paper Muse] 6/30/2012 04:33:00 PM
So this poem is a direct result of my wife making me clean up because we've got family coming in for the holiday. I found this buried in a stack of papers that I'd pulled out of an old binder. I'm pretty sure it's nearly 20 years old -- from around 1993-1994.

Now, don't get me wrong. The poem as originally written is HORRIBLE. Extraneous words, bad placement, etc. But it gave me the opportunity to edit and rewrite, which is something I need a lot of practice doing.

So here it is.

The Dark

(c) Drew Nicholson 2012

The dark makes everyone beautiful
soft focus the crags of age into the gently rolling hills of earlier years
clouds of eyelashes scud gently across your seafoam gaze

The dark makes everyone younger
brushing good full dirt into the cracks of accountability
encasing the resonant memories

The dark makes everyone quiet
enveloping sound with silence, deafening even those who do not hear
but listen, there! crickets hop across the meadow, I can tell

The dark makes everyone real
hands soft and gentle as I brush through the weight of tears
exposing everything masked by the light

The dark makes everyone open
the only place where you completely relax
no fear of the dark for you or I.

Please Share This. Thank You!
Originally posted by teleens_journal at Please Share This. Thank You!
Spreading Romney has gotten off of the front page of Google.  Whatever your feelings on Dan Savage, the reason behind him starting this site is a just one - Mitt Romney shared this story about strapping his dog to the roof of his car as a way to "connect with the common man." 

I don't want an animal abuser in the White House, how about you?  Anyone who is that cavalier about abusing animals won't give a crap about abusing humans, either.  

Please share this far and wide.  Thank you for your support.

[A Paper Muse] Link Dump! Writing Tips for All of Us
Writing and Creative Writing are two of the topics on this application I
have on my iPad and my Android phone called "Zite". It's a
news/site aggregator that works off of your selections and also your Google
Reader feed, if you have one. I've saved up some of the better links about
writing that I've found, and here they are.

Ray Bradbury's Seven Rules for Writers. (http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/ray-bradburys-7-rules-for-writers/)
A lot of people have posted about Ray Bradbury, who, of course, just died a
few weeks ago. I loved his short stories, especially "Fire and Ice". The
rule I find most difficult to do is rule 5 -- feed the muse daily. I'm not
the only writer who has a full-time job, and I'm sure everyone else finds
it as difficult as I do.

Writing Conflict. (http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/spice-up-your-fiction-simple-ways-to-create-page-turning-conflict/)
I'm still absorbing this one, but I like her ideas on how to keep the
conflict reasonable, and yet still generate tension.

Writing in the First Person. (http://www.wordstrumpet.com/2012/06/anwering-your-writing-questions-first-person.html)
Interestingly, I don't feel like writing in the first person is difficult
-- in fact, I find it harder to write in the third person, to the point
where I wrote a short story where at least four separate people took turns
being the first-person narrator. However, for those that do, this article
gives some good techniques for not falling into the "and then I did" and "I
thought", etc. (Hint -- it's a lot like writing in third person, which
makes me think that I'm a wuss for not doing it.)

20 Tips to Sharpen Your Writing. (http://www.writermag.com/Articles/2012/06/25%20tips%20to%20sharpen%20your%20writing.asp)
Finally, a tally sheet of tips designed to help writers draw readers in,
and keep them reading. I'm working on #3, and I do #9 all too often!
While it feels aimed at non-fiction writers, there's definitely stuff in
there that's good for us make-believe types too.

Only four links; I don't want to inundate anyone with too much information.
Got a good site for tips? Post in the comments!

[A Paper Muse] Fertile Ground
I wrote this about a year ago. In between my first marriage and my second one, I had a torrid, passionate, flame-out affair that sometimes still stuns me with the level of ferocity and pain it enabled.

When I think about how we could have been
how we should have been
I realize instead how we would have been

Five years on
the pain has dulled
the confusion diminished

but every so often
something will remind me
of you or us

and the recriminations
and the what-ifs
and the whys

spill to the surface again
an underground spring
flooding a desert

until, thinking of how we could have been
how we should have been
leads to realizing how we would have been

And the desert drains
leaving behind fertile ground
for a new life
to be lived.

(c) 2012 Drew Nicholson

Book Review: Stars Rain Down
Check out my review of the space opera ebook Stars Rain Down by Chris Randolph, at A Paper Muse.

New Blog
So I've got a new Blog -- A Paper Muse -- which I will be linking to from here regularly. That blog will be devoted exclusively to my writing and related topics. The first substantive post is On the Subject of Independent Author Payments, specifically how Amazon.com is taking a huge cut vs. other, more indie publishing venues.

I will continue to post here, at least as infrequently as I do now, of course. :D

Okay people, I do not like asking for money even when it's not for me, but...
Originally posted by yes_justice at Okay people, I do not like asking for money even when it's not for me, but...
Originally posted by auntiesiannan at Okay people, I do not like asking for money even when it's not for me, but...
...based off my previous post about the congregation that encouraged a toddler to sing homophobic "hymns" during services, I am issuing a call to arms. Or rather, to wallets.

That "church" is located in Greensburg, Indiana. You know who else lived in Greensburg? A young man named Billy Lucas.

Billy Lucas may or may not have been gay, but he was bullied with gay epithets, among others, to the point where he took his own life. It was his suicide along with a rash of others (Asher Brown, Tyler Clementi, too many to list) that inspired Dan Savage and his husband to create the It Gets Better project.

So, my friends.

If you have a spare five bucks on your credit card, or more, it doesn't matter, please take a minute today and donate to Indiana Equality.

On the form, put in memory of Billy Lucas.

Put in honor of Pastor Jeff Sangl and his email address pastorsangl@apostolictruthtabernacle.net , and include the address of the "church" so they get notified by mail:

Apostolic Truth Tabernacle
1114 W. Westridge Pkwy.
Greensburg, IN 47240

I didn't come up with the idea, a commenter on Joe.My.God did, but it bears merit.

And please boost the signal.


Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Originally posted by greeneyedsadie at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Originally posted by brenden at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Originally posted by theljstaff at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, frank is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.


Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

-The LiveJournal Team

(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)

Writer's Block: Critical Acclaim
Which television show doesn't (or didn't) get the love it deserves? Why do you think more people should know and love it as you do?

Rubicon. It wasn't wiz-bang, you had to pay attention to it to keep track of things, there were no polar bears, and I loved it.

(no subject)
shoot up

Writer's Block: Bookmarks
What is the last great book you read?

I'm reading the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin.

Writer's Block: Do Not Forget
What do you never leave home without?

My head. Everything else is variable.

Writer's Block: Play Catch
If your pet had thumbs, what would it do?

Hold her ass in place more securely while she licks it.

Writer's Block: Back to the Future
Given the choice of time travel, would you go back in time or forward?

Forward. It has to be better in the future, right? Not like this?

Writer's Block: You’ve Got Mail!
How many times a day do you access your email account?

This question implies that there are points of time when I'm NOT accessing my email account.

Writer's Block: Singles Awareness Day
Do you love or hate Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day is what you make of it. I got my wife some nice things, that I would have gotten her anyway at some other time. We had lunch. It was nice. And then I went back to work.

And on Valentine's Day, too.

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Writer's Block: Sh*t Happens
What is the best way to develop a positive attitude?

Fake it till you make it.