This prompt asks us to write about an ancestor in an historic context. So I am writing about Robert M. McGucken, my great-great-great-great-grandfather. Or my Mom’s Dad’s Dad’s Dad’s Dad’s Dad.
- Engineers of the 8th N.Y. State Militia
October 6, 1862
Col. Larrabee has us still chasing after Genral Bragg. I heer from one of the captins that we may be in for a brouhaha soon. We myght have our first test of the war. Weve been after them Johnny Rebs all through this state of Kentuky. Im told that our President Lincoln was born nearby.
Im sorry Im writing in English. The colonel has been very strict with censuring our mail and he reads very poor Irish! That will probably be struck!
I still am not sure why Im fighting this war. Im still fresh from the potato fields of County Derry, but Im indebted to Pa’s musket training. I warent long in Milwaukee in Wisconsin when I signed up. Not much for jobs in Milwaukee, Im afeard. But worry not after me. Weere a well trained unit and fresh for the fight!
The Hand of God
“I do not busy myself with great matters, with things too sublime for me.” Psalm 131:1
Faith or reason? Reason or faith?
This prompt (No. 998) asks me to invent a new religion that combines all of my philosophies and beliefs. “What is it called, how does it work, and who follows you into it?”
Would it be lazy for me to call it the Catholic Church and leave it at that? Or the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church? I don’t think so. And as I delve deeper and deeper into my Faith, I am drawn inexorably to the following two conclusions (among others):
- Christ has blessed me, individually, and humanity, collectively, with a beautiful, mysterious and profoundly simple Church; and
- While it is a uniquely rewarding endeavor to plumb the depths of Faith, the endeavor to create a religion that is truer to my philosophies and beliefs truly is “above my paygrade.“
If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, then it was meant to be. If it doesn’t . . . . But what if that something is a moment in time? Or an opportunity? Or a careless word?
My mind was still hazy as I swayed over the toilet, emptying an unusually full bladder. Ok, so it’s not unusual for me. Besides my throbbing headache, I didn’t have much to remind me of what happened last night. How many nights have I lost to that beast? How many girlfriends? Jobs? Friends?
I didn’t even remember waking up. Did the alarm go off?
Stumbled through the morning routine. Shit. Shower. Shave. Bleed. Brush. Bleed. Dress. Inspect the bare cupboard. Cuss. Drive to Mickey D’s.
I finally stumbled into work. Funny looks, side glances. Occasional gasps. Then I noticed the nametag on my door. NOT my name. NOT my door. How could I forget? That question was quickly replaced by, “how do I get out of here without being seen?”
I bought a Kindle e-book containing 1,000 writing exercises. I am now committed to writing one exercise a day for the next 30 days . . . starting tomorrow. Why start today what you can put off until tomorrow?
Words to live by.
Oh, the book is 1,000 Creating Writing Prompts by Bryan Cohen.
June 25, 2011. Two things to keep in mind as you read these, but that I especially must keep in mind as I write them:
1. Purpose. My reason for writing these exercises is to loosen my creative muscles, to try different genres and enjoy a creative outlet. To get my creative juices flowing.
2. Expectations. I am not Wally Lamb or Stephen King. I may not ever be. But I still gain from this expressive experiment.
I will write at least 200 words per exercise. I do not intend that each exercise lead to a best-selling novel, or a novel of any level. I’m just getting the creative juices flowing.