Vacation

I woke up this morning on the second day of what is to be nine days away from work. Nine blissful, stressless days away from the ball and chain, the necessary evil, that is my job. This year, we decided not to muck up our time off by taking a vacation. You know, the relaxing trip to the Gulf of Mexico where you spent three weeks planning, stressing, and being agitated over getting there and then fuss and fume over what you are going to do while you are there. Where are you going to eat? Are we going to the dog races? Can I really afford the condo and the deep sea fishing? Then, when it’s over, you’re just ready to be home, you realize, hell, you are a day’s car ride away from home. This year, we decided to skip that relaxation and opt for more trips to the various lakes in Kentucky.

Anyway, I woke up Sunday morning, put on a pot of coffee to burn last night’s alcohol session with my brother-in-law from my brain, turned on the air conditioner in my sunroom – i.e., writing place and waiting for the fog to clear from my mind. It is July 1st in Kentucky. The temperature will hit the uppper eighties to low nineties with the humidity somewhere between one hundred and one hundred and twelve percent. People who aren’t from the southeastern United States have no concept of just how much you sweat, especially in the summer.

Another anyway, with all this in mind, I did the only thing a sane person could do. After my room was cool enough, I put the computer on my desk, poured another cup of coffee – it would soon turn to something stronger – and built a fire in the fireplace. Yes, you heard me right. Air conditioner, summertime, and fire in the fireplace.

Then, I sank into my stories.

I have no idea how people who cannot create their own realities, visualize them and put them onto cyber paper even get through the day. It must be a very lonely, empty existence.

 

As always, I thank you for reading. Have a great July, whereever you are.

 

Tim

 

 

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First Ever Repost

I usually don’t repost anything, preferring my ideas to be fresh and new. If I said it once, it is probably all I meant to say, so it is time to move on. But I was looking through some old posts seeking new ideas when I came across this one. Posted on in July 2016 just before the United States elites on both sides of the aisle got a political kick in the nuts and good hard shoulder shaking all at the same time (wake the hell up and listen to us, damn it!), I thought I’d repost.

I am not a real political man, but your comments and thoughts are, as always, welcomed. But just to let you know, I am on neither side of the argument. I merely make observation.

 

 

 

 

I Had Nothing to Say

I tried to make a difference today

From my podium above the fray

But for you down in the trench

With your fists firmly clenched

My words had nothing to say

Tim Keen

7/21/16

A shout out to our politicians

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The Write Amount

     While I was bottling homemade wine and drinking beer along the way, a memory came back to me from my early adulthood. Back in those days we used to play a lot of Trivial Pursuit, the game of questions and answers, pies and colors. It fascinated us for two or three years, then became…trivial and unimportant. But during that time, every Sunday afternoon for a very long time, we played the game. It was during one of these games that a question came up and it’s one that had stuck with me for…well…decades.

What famous writer was an alcoholic?

My cousin, seated next to me, who was just trying to be funny, said, “All of them.”

Wow! Just like that. Everyone who has ever written anything, anyone who has ever been good, was an alcoholic. No one that had ever written anything had ever done so merely because the mood hit or because he was a good writer, full of brilliant ideas all his own. Just because they were alcoholic.

To be fair, there are a number of writers – great writers – who were alcoholic or, at least depended on stimulant of some kind. Edgar Allen Poe and F. Scott Fitzgerald certainly wrote while under the influence. One of our own contemporaries – I won’t name the name even though he has famously addressed and defeated his demons – wrote brilliant books, one of which he admitted to not even remembering.  My point is to not denigrate these artist or their work, only to help us understand why some people might think that all who write are alcoholics. It’s the same way some think that all rock stars are drug users and sex addicts. It doesn’t make either of them correct. It just makes them perception and we all know where that goes.

I have to admit that I have written with success – at least in my mind – with or without alcohol. There was a time when I was young when I wouldn’t pick up a pen and paper or sit down behind a typewriter (Yes, I am that old) with any sort of alcohol in my body. Not so much later, I wouldn’t even think about writing unless I was drinking something.  These days, it’s either or, I don’t have a preference. I can write as well as Tim Keen is capable of writing with a beer beside me or a glass of water.

As always when I post, this is not a judgment on you or alcohol. I am not interested in that. I just want to know how you write.

(Ah, shameless plug. Tell your friends about those Kindle books. Unless you didn’t like them. In that case, skip it.)

 

Thanks for reading as always,

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks

There are people out there who are reading Tim Keen After Hours and Campfire Tales on Amazon Kindle. I want to thank you. Whether you liked it or didn’t like it, all a writer can ask is to be read.

Again, I thank you for taking the time. I hope I was entertaining.

 

Tim Keen

After Hours

Campfire Tales

I am working on more.

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Hello, all. Once again, been away for a bit. Trying to make a comeback. Sorry for my absence.

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A New Beginning

New Beginning

 

When I am finally done with a story, I am done with it. At that point in time, is has gone from concept to completion and, due to my way of editing, it has been a grueling process, one lasting anywhere from a few weeks to months depending on how difficult the editing has been.

I love the first part of the story writing. It starts the same for me as with any writer, I think. The idea comes to me from nowhere. Not exactly true, of course. I read. I write. I watch the news. I do all the things necessary for the idea to come but it must come to me. I can’t go out and manufacture an idea. I have never written a good story when I told myself I was going to write about X. The good story comes when the idea just shoots into my head like a thunderbolt, complete with enough details to write it. I know how the story is going to flow, what the beginning middle, and end need to look like and, more importantly, the twist at the end. It can take several days after completing the last story to months for the next idea to come, but when it does finally come, I am like a little kid with a new toy. I can’t wait to get to my computer and start pounding the keys.

It is a feeling like no other. I am sure those of you who create on any level will understand. I get to my writing room, start a fire in the fireplace (yes, even in the summer) and go to work. Only it is not work. It is a high like no other. The ideas and thoughts in my head are at one with my fingers. I am a terrible typist as a rule, but during this time, I will put my skills with anyone. I don’t make mistakes. My fingers rarely miss the keys. During this time, I can close my eyes, see the story in my head, and my fingers will work as commanded. I typically write one to three hours a day. Depending on the length of the story, I will complete the first draft in a week.

Here is where the fun starts to wane. The most horrific words for any writer must be writer’s block and editing. True writers fear one (writer’s block) and dread the other (editing). I am not one to pour over my work and make notes. My preferred form of editing is this. I print the story onto paper, put the written words up in front of me, and write it again. I write the entire story from front to end. When I go through it the second time, if the warm feeling is not there, I write a third time. Maybe a fourth time.

By the end for that process, I might have spent two to three months with the same story, the same ideas, the same characters. Like a marathon runner, I start with a good pace, keep going when the it feels like the keys on my computer are made of concrete, get bogged down towards the end, and trip across the finish line, exhausted and elated the whole thing is complete.

After that, I take a deep breath and wait for the next idea to come so I can start the process all over again. I do all of this knowing I wouldn’t give up this ability, the gift, this course, if my life depended on it.

Thanks for listening and, please, tell me your story.

 

Tim

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What I Learned from Watching Zombie Shows

Here are some fun and often unrealistic things I have learned from watching Zombie shows, as if anything realistic can be learned from watching Zombie shows.

 

Shotguns, pistols, and rifles hold an infinite number of rounds. They can be fired at will for as long as is needed to fend off the attacking herds of Zombies. No need to take time out for the pesky and potentially deadly reloading. Just keep firing that magical weapon. It’ll kill for as long as you need it to kill. No reloads required.

Along that note, in Zombie world, there is also an infinite supply of ammunition. Forget the fact that all the people who used to make things such as shotgun, rifle and pistol shells are now all Zombies and the factories that used to make them are in ruins. No matter where the survivors roam, they never run out of ammunition. I know there are a lot of bullets in the world, but sooner or later, you’d think they’d run out. At least they’d run out in more remote areas. Remember, those truckers aren’t moving material up and down the highways anymore. They are Zombies, too.

Staying with the weapons theme for the moment, I also noticed this. In Zombie movies, anyone who picks up any kind of weapon firing a projectile – including pistols, rifles, shotguns, crossbows, bows and arrows, even slingshots – becomes so accurate as to make a marksman jealous. People who have never fired anything in their lives can hit a moving Zombie at fifty paces. Not only hit them, but hit them in the head, a must for a Zombie kill in all the shows I have ever watched. If I could shoot that well, I’d be in touring Wild West show.

The last thing I will point out about Zombie movies is really the most interesting. Zombies only get made when people die and get the virus, at least in the version of the shows I watch. No one is having babies and everyone is dying sooner or later. Isn’t this just a waste of time? Won’t the Zombies win sooner or later? Won’t everyone have to die eventually?

Since they are Zombies, will they even know they have won?

 

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