Priority management, step 1

Priority management

After reading a chapter about setting goals the other day, I pondered:

What are my goals, anyway?

Ultimately, I thought, the goal is to have time to sit and read and listen and compose music and write.

… To have time to do what’s important to me …

To have time … except we all have time. 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, etc.

“To have time to …” is a false barrier, isn’t it?

Every day, every hour, every minute is composed of a series of choices and actions. You choose to act this way or that way. The choices you make determine the time you have.

You probably didn’t intend to jump down an internet rabbit hole, but you did choose to jump. And there went the opportunity to make another choice.

“Finding time” is easy: Decide what you intend to do. And do that, not the other thing.

The futility of violence

irevolution 2016Happenings around the world, including the attempted assassination of U.S. congressmen at a baseball practice this week, always remind me of the opening lines of my little anti-war anarchist novel The Imaginary Revolution, which I was merrily writing along five summers ago now.

This was the first fragment I wrote on the ImagRev blog, and it never got dislodged as the book’s introduction:

I always thought war was stupid.

I mean, think about it. You and your adversary disagree about something, and the solution is to send your citizens to fight each other to the death?

You’re never going to succeed in killing each and every one of your adversary’s citizens, so even if you win, there are thousands of people who still believe in whatever it was you were trying to obliterate.

You can’t kill an idea.

The book is told in the first person by the main character, Ray Kaliber, but on this point (among a few others) the author and his character are in complete agreement.

scene 7

scene 7

(scene 1, part 1)  (scene 1, part 2) (scene 2)(scene 3)(scene 4)(scene 5)(scene 6)

The first thing I heard that damaged my calm was the sound of two doors slamming. The sheriff had help with him.

Up until when I opened the door to the cabin, I half expected the big, four-armed, whatever-it-was to be standing behind him, electric ray gun at the ready.

But it was just Maynard, the chief deputy, looking stern, a step behind Sheriff Belloc like he always was.

“Hey, Francis,” I said to the sheriff. He hates being called Francis. “Hey, Maynard. What are you guys doing out here this early?” I figured it wasn’t 5 yet, by the light or general lack thereof.

“Mind if we come in, Hank?” Continue reading scene 7

scene 6

(scene 1, part 1)  (scene 1, part 2) (scene 2)(scene 3)(scene 4)(scene 5)

To make sure the sheriff and his four-armed pal didn’t notice us, we pushed the truck in neutral for a couple of blocks before I turned on the ignition and we hopped inside. And I didn’t turn on the headlights until we were a mile away.

We didn’t say anything for a long time. Then, as I slowed to make the turn toward my place, Stella said, “No, not yet – we need to get to Pete’s. I have to tell him about this.”

“Pete? Why?”

“Just drive, Hank.”

It didn’t make sense, but nothing else was making sense that night, so I drove.

“Should we call ahead?” I said and immediately realized how stupid it was to ask that.

“Pete’s off the grid,” she said, stating the obvious at the same instant I said, “Never mind, how dumb am I?”

And then I finally pulled out of the shock enough to blow up. Continue reading scene 6

Scene 5

dreamstime_s_29452427 scene 5
Photo © Erikamit |

(scene 1, part 1)  (scene 1, part 2) (scene 2)(scene 3)(scene 4)

We piled into the truck, Stella, Buzz and me. We all had black on – Buzz and I with our black floppy T-shirts and black jeans and black gloves. Like everything else about her, Stella’s outfit was efficient – the T-shirt fit just fine, and so did the jeans. I know I’ve been using the word too much, but she looked trim. The clothes fit her trimly, and her blond hair was tucked into the black baseball cap so that the only thing that would reflect light would be her face.

The strap for the 9 mm Luger at her ribs lay comfortably across the center of her chest, accentuating her trim – well, accentuating her trimness, let’s say.

She also had a hunting knife strapped to her belt.

“You came loaded for bear,” I said, looking at the gun and the blade when she walked up to the cabin.

“You didn’t,” she noted. “Never hurts to be prepared.”

“I’m more of a run and hider than a stand and fighter,” I said.

“What if you have no choice but to stand and fight?” she said with a glint in her eye that suggested maybe she’d faced such a choice more than once. Continue reading Scene 5

Scene 4


(scene 1, part 1)  (scene 1, part 2) (scene 2)(scene 3)

She walked up to the cabin same as before, a week pretty much to the minute since she first appeared, not a word until we were face to face. The only difference was she walked up to the porch this time.

“Hi, Kathy,” I called, and she stopped dead in her tracks.

We looked at each other for a few seconds, calmly.

“I see you talked with Pete.” It was hard to make out her eyes under the baseball cap, so it was hard to tell what she was thinking. Continue reading Scene 4