Icarus’ Guide to Flying, Lesson #2.

Welcome to Lesson #2 in Icarus’ Guide to Flying. If you have passed Lesson #1, you will have learned that flying is nothing more than flapping your arms really fast. In this lesson, we are going to apply that to a real world scenario. Are you ready? Then, LET’S FLY!!!
Step #1: Make sure you have purchased your mandatory set of wings at the beginning of this course. If you have not purchased your wings, or have had them measured, you will not be able to proceed any further. To purchase your wings, please give your credit card information to the 1-800 phone number found at the back of this guide. Once you have received your wings, and insured a proper fit, you may proceed to step #2.
Step #2:  Take your wings and find the highest point in your town. Most residential rooftops are not recommended as most houses are commonly no more than two stories. You will need at least 10 stories (100 feet) in order to attain proper velocity. Mountains and cliff faces are best, but the roof of any fat-cat banker’s offices, mega-conglomerate hospital, or insurance building will do in a pinch. Climb to the highest point of the structure, affix wings to your body, stand at the edge of your structure and flap your arms.
Step #3: Jump…
 ~***~

So, this is what I’ve been working on when the words aren’t coming…

Over the course of a few months, I have been slowly, piece by piece, building an online store. Yup. Pretty soon, I will be hanging out a shingle, and I will be selling wares that I have crafted. I know, I know… one or two of you out there are saying to yourself, “Heeeeyyyy… he said he was doing this a couple of years ago.” And, you would be right! Back in 2011, I publicly proclaimed, rather spontaneously, that I would be setting up shop and everything in my life would be all honky-dory. “I finally have control of my own destiny,” I would say to myself. “I have ideas and ambition and everything from here on in will be challenging and awesome!” Of course, that was back in the days when I had all the drive in the world and no idea what I was doing. Kinda like now.

Back then, I was using MS Paint along with the tools provided to me by Cafe Press. Back then, Cafe Press’ idea of providing would-be content creators and artists the tools to successfully build an independent business, let alone to make a halfway interesting t-shirt, were pretty rudimentary; at best, they were clunky. At worst, they were a joke. Back then, I had one idea for one design, and it was pretty lame. Back then, I had nothing going for me.

Over the course of a year, I have been absorbing all I can about what I can. I’ve fallen victim to this way of thinking before. Its a feeling that’s driven by fear and hunger. It’s survival. I’ve gone to school learn how to do a job that will facilitate the earning of a living wage. Try as I might, it didn’t work out that way, and I spent years in debt as a reminder of it. These days, I’m pretty much agnostic when someone says, “Hey, why don’t you go back to school? They’re always looking for suchnsuch in whatchamacallit field…” I know they are, that’s why I went back to school; It was this carrot on the stick that got me to fall for it the last time. I used to think that if I wanted something that was out of reach, I’d go to school and immediately jump into the work force upon attaining a degree. Y’know, like our fathers did. I can get all the training I can at becoming-let’s say-a nurse, study and work hard, complete my training when I turn 50, eventually find a job, and get forced into retirement while I’m still buried under so much debt that my grandchildren will be paying for it long after I’m gone.

As it turns out, that old paradigm that worked so well for our fathers and their fathers doesn’t really work in this Era of Convenience. “I’m doing this for the money” and “I have a degree” are no longer the raison d’être for doing anything. A random online voice recently reminded me:

“If you’re working really hard at something and you’re only doing it for the money, you’ve already failed.”

this is for sale too…

That line has been a driving force in my life for the past few months. I can’t help but think that it’s an updated version of the famous Coolidge quote that’s plastered on so many college dorm room walls and franchise gymnasiums. I also can’t help but think of how much time and money I’ve wasted in my life convincing myself that the path I chose for myself a long time ago was wrong and I should have traveled down the road everyone else was just because it was more lucrative and/or more socially acceptable. What I’m trying to say is that I have persisted, I kept moving forward to the best of my ability. I have done all the things that have been expected of me, and now I’m tired of waiting for things to get better and I’m not ready to roll over just yet…

…but I digress… I’m tired of screaming at the rain…

Anyway, new store, new name, new logo, new designs being added regularly, new page being added soon.

Step 3b: Keep flapping.

Picture Credit:

Munjoy Hill seen from the Portland Observatory by Christian Milneil.

So Glad You Asked (Warning: Contains Lame Top 5 List)

There’s a dozen things on my plate that are begging for my attention at the moment; not least of which is trying to find gainful employment.

  • I just bought stacks of index cards this weekend, so I’m pretty serious about writing Chapter 2 and beyond for my current piece of fiction. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
  • I have to finish a company logo for a re-launching of one of my brands. I love the process, but designing is still “French As a Second Language” type of thing for me. Left to my own devices, something that should take minutes, takes hours.
  • There are courses that I started weeks ago and have yet to finish; Not because they’re boring, which they are, but because I have begun to question the validity of such and endeavor to begin with. I’m I helping myself, or am I kidding myself?

And cooking and cleaning and on and on… Oh, and not to mention that something had better change for the good soon because I’m going to be welcoming another child into my life within the next few months. Full agenda today as always. But at the moment, I got hung up. Again. Earlier today, there was a question posited by Amanda Staley; a moderator for one of my Goggle+ Communities. There are a few writers/bloggers who I tend to give long, rambling responses to when asked a question as it pertains to how I write, and she is one of them. I could offer a more condensed version of an answer under her question, but here are the Top 5 Reasons Why I Don’t Wanna…


1. Sometimes I have to check myself. The responses I have been leaving on people’s posts have become longer and longer. I am literally a breath away from “tl;dr” land, however, I have no intention of changing my zip code, so instead of turning off everyone else that comes by to offer their two cents, I decided my blog would be a better platform for it.

2. There are other times whenever I hit the “Publish” button, I can’t help but feel like I’ve spammed these guys a little too hard. I mean, yes, I’m doing what I should and posting to a place where the chance of something of mine being read are multiplied greatly, but still, there is that feeling of, “oh…YOU again.”

3. That last reason wasn’t really a reason at all, was it? It was more like I had a good intention and a sound motivation as to why I’m doing what I’m doing, but instead it sounded like a bicycle tire deflating. Well now. It looks like I don’t have enough to fill out a Top 5 list…again. That was seriously all I had. I had a brilliant idea that other reasons would just fly out of nowhere and slap me in the face, but it’s just not there.

4. I had sushi for lunch…just thought I’d point that out…

5.

Anyway, her question caught me at the right time as always, right when I should be doing something else. She asked…

I must not answer. I have stuff to do. I have ssstuffff tooo dooo. I have ssssssssoooo glad you asked. Oh, who am I kidding? Questions like this are like chocolate covered pretzels; I can’t help but indulge…

~***~
There are two reasons why I started my current work in progress. The first is easy, the second is rather more cerebral and can be incorporated into the second part of the question. The first is my youngest daughter. There are times when I’m in absolute awe at the gold that flies out of her mouth; a product of an unspoiled imagination.
The family sat down to dinner the other night. As per our practice of talking about our days at the table, her mother started things off. “Hey Lainey,” her mother asked. Lainey’s head snapped to attention. “Tell daddy what you saw today.”
That’s my girl.

My youngest has been going to preschool for a while now. During that time, her parents have found a couple of different ways to get to her school. The first is what she refers to as the “Pretty Way”. It’s a section of State owned park land that has yet to be spoiled by the presence of another strip mall; long stretches of straight-away roads that are covered in perfect canopies of trees that seem to emulate Gothic architecture. It’s a nice and relaxing drive, but it’s a little out of the way to where we need to go. The second way is more direct, but it lacks in the scenery. The second way is straight up US Route 1. Most of the time, you are speeding along too fast to notice anything, not that there’s much to notice, just sleepy clam shacks, biker bars, RV showrooms, and, as my daughter tried to explain, an ancient establishment that fabricates headstones.

“I can’t remember what I saw today,” was the reply to her mother. She needed a little prodding.
“Sure you remember,” said her mother. “Remember that place you pointed out? The one with all the graves?” It took her a second and then she lit up, “…oh YEAH! I ‘uhmember!”
 “Good,” said mom. “Can you tell daddy what you told me when you saw it?” She looked at me and said, “That’s where all the zombies come from!” Her tiny voice was resolute, as if she just pegged Professor Plum…in the library…with a wrench. I laughed. I couldn’t help it. At first it was because she was being adorable. But the longer it stayed in my head, the longer the phrase “What If?” had time to play with it and the less cute and the more interesting it became:
What if she was right? What if that place WAS the place where all zombies came from? WAIT! Better yet… what if that wasn’t the place where all the zombies came from, but what if it were a place where zombies were employed? What if that this place was where all the zombies…worked? What if this was the place that all the zombies in this particular area code just had to be employed at? Like a new Starbucks opened or something. In some small way, it was something I could relate to in my quest to find another job. Ideas just started popping after that…
“Wanna Take a Riiiiide?”

Now, my daughter’s imagination was merely a vessel to convey a message that I’ve been trying to express for a couple of months now. It was based on or inspired by something that happened to me that I would like to turn into a story. Sure, I could post something to the effect of what happened as it happened verbatim, but where’s the fun in that? Like what Hadden said to Ellie Arroway in Contact, “Why make one when you can make two at twice the price?”

Based on Actual Events

While I’m on the subject, even though I’m not completely, head-over-heels in love with Science Fiction, (I mean let’s be honest, some of it is absolute crap) I still believe that the best of the genre, the best Science Fiction stories have at its core, a message that isn’t very science-y or fiction-y at all. The best stories are the ones that deal with social/economic/political/philosophical subjects as they pertain to current events or mores at the time. Gene Rodenberry was a pro at this. So was Philip K. Dick, George Romero (of course), Alan Moore etc. I decided to go this route to tell my story because analogy grabs the imagination tighter, makes it listen to what it has to say, and as a result turns something as simple as a morality play into a classic piece of story telling.

A couple of months ago, I joined another social site. I have very little in common with most people on this site, but I feel that given my situation, I thought it would be best to at least make an effort and start networking. That means walking the walk and talking the talk, or at least faking it. One day, someone posted an article that just stirred up passion in me. Not the kind of passion that sweeps lovers off their feet and rips bodices, but the kind of passion that starts a revolution and divides countries. It was an article that asked the question: “Are You A Boss Hater?”

It was this page and half long, meandering piece that was written by someone who has way too much time and money on their hands. It was less like and article, and more like an Internal Report issued by a company CEO and passed out to everyone in middle management. As I was reading, I noticed that great care was taken to recognize and assess who might be considered a liability to your company. However, nothing was mentioned or offered as to different ways to nurture and probably rectify the issue into a positive outcome. So, the longer I was reading this, the less it sounded like an informative piece, and the more it sounded like propaganda. As a result, I decided to express my passion in the form of a comment; taking a measure of comfort in knowing that whatever I say will just get swept under the rug by legions of sycophantic yes-men, so it wouldn’t matter anyway. My response was brief, but pointed. I hit Reply and left it alone. The next day, I had accumulated 16 likes and two responses. By the beginning of the second day, I had gathered close to 40, by the end of the day, close to 90. By the end of the week, I had gathered close to 150 likes for my comment. It was unprecedented. I expected to scream into a vacuum, as a result…

“…Walked out this morning
Don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles
Washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
A hundred billion castaways
Looking for a home…”

And I know and I know and I know that this is nothing new or special or unique, but stuff like this rarely happens to me. I’m just happy in my validation. Plain and simple. I’m just happy that one simple decision that I made was acceptable to so many people. From here on in, whenever I get the urge to second guess what I’m thinking, I’ll remember this moment, and know that I’m on the right track. I guess you can say that was my motivation.

Photo Credits:
Want Ads
Long Cat 

The Bus Stop Outside Frank & Sons

“Hey Joey, guess what?” It was the question he’d always start with.

“What, Tommy?” I said giving in to the inevitable cycle of our conversation.
“Chicken butt.” The chortling would literally not stop for minutes. And I will admit, it was infectious.

We just walked passed the lawn and garden store. It wouldn’t be long now. Tommy and I would cut through vacant parking lots on our way to the school bus stop every morning, it seemed, until we went to separate high schools many years later. We lived on the outer edge of a suburban labyrinth that would stretch out for acres. From where we lived, it was a mile (or so) walk from the edge of the community, through vacant strip mall parking lots, to where our bus stop waited; at the edge of an aging industrial park.

When we were young we had to hoof-it, as our parents would say. They had to walk everywhere they went when they were kids, so why should we be bestowed the privilege of a ride to someplace that is practically in our back yard. It’s not like we argued. A few years later, and we could ride our bikes to school. A few years later, and we could drive ourselves. We walked. It’s what we did. Of course, these were the days when it was safe for children to walk to school unattended. We walked. It’s what we did.

Our feet just hit the sidewalk outside of the local Burger King. Closer now. Tommy was a bit of a nervous talker. Without fail, from the moment we left our neighborhood it was non-stop about what was on TV last night, pieces of wisdom his father imparted on him, what he had for dinner last night, what he had for breakfast this morning, all spun together in a dizzying stream of logic, that is seemingly delivered without pause for breath. “…and my mom said if I ate my vegetables, I could stay up and watch Knight Rider. Which I think is pretty cool because I think that the Trans Am is the best car that was ever made, at least that what my dad says because he works on cars…” and on and on. Tommy didn’t have very many friends. That responsibility fell to me. Tommy was helplessly overweight, socially awkward, smelled vaguely of rotten milk, waddled when he walked, and yes the volume of his voice increased whenever he got excited so much so that it practically squeaked. As for myself, I was a latchkey kid, a conciliatory prize in a messy divorce that was packed up with the rest of my mother’s belongings, and forced to start all over again in another town which essentially makes me the new kid in town, which means nobody talks to you, which means for good or ill, Tommy and I were close compatriots. We needed each other.

“…yeah and so I totally used that as the answer in my test last week…” Tommy was a bit of a nervous talker. He would fill every empty space with white noise as best he could. I suppose it’s because I was the only one in his as-of-this-point short life who would give him free reign to do so. I let him go and do his thing, occasionally throwing in a “yeah?” or a, “nuh-uh.” just to let him know that I’m still here. I let him do his thing because right about now, mere feet away from our bus stop, at the edge of an aging industrial park, is where he would start to fade and sputter like a light bulb. It wouldn’t be noticeable at first, then the stammering, then the half-hearted grunts, then nothing. Silence. Unnerving silence.

Courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

I would suspect that at one time in history, the average industrial park was like the shopping mall was during the 80s; powerful monoliths of industry, until time takes over and man invents new methods of efficiency. The malls have more going out of business signs than actual storefronts. While the same fate isn’t completely parallel to that of the shopping mall, time effects the industrial park the same way. Warehouses, auto repair garages, salvage yards, all seem to be eventually bested by Mother Earth by taking back what’s hers; vines and overgrowth devour that which is left behind and unattended. Across the street from us are rows of industrial warehouses. Beside us, a kitchen appliance wholesaler who has gone out of business years ago, but his faded, lighted sign with missing letters still stood, and window display of kitchen sinks and mock-up refrigerators can still be seen through the encroaching mold from the corners of the glass. Behind us, well…behind us was something you don’t see everyday, and it spooked poor Tommy down to his soul. Behind us was a manufacturer, handcrafter, and purveyor of custom headstones.

A short, tire-worn dirt path connected the road to the front entrance which was this gaping maw cut into the side of a building; it was presumably there for pick up and delivery. The sign above it, beaten from years of neglect and in bad need of a fresh coat of paint bore the name “Frank & Sons”. In front of the not-too-welcoming facade, lay a display of their handiwork; rows of blank headstones, each with a cherub, or a cross, or a pair of baby shoes carved into its face ready to go, ready to mark eternity. It resembled a small graveyard, or a front lawn Halloween display made by someone who REALLY gets into it. Slightly macabre, but nothing out of the ordinary. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad were it not for a pack of older kids putting the fear into Tommy’s head that this place is where zombies come from. Typical cruelty from typical privileged bullies in training. The poor kid has an irrational fear of monsters to begin with, but for someone to give that fear an actual address to live in is just disheartening. It’s been two years now, and he still hasn’t gotten over it. He still stands rigid with his back turned from it, right hand clutching the bus stop sign, eyes clenched. It would be a few more minutes before the bus comes; an eternity to someone gripped in fear.

I still have a fear of big dogs, drowning, spiders that are bigger than my fist, big empty houses that have big, spooky basements, and for some strange reason, chickens. Don’t judge, they just freak me out. Outside of these things, there wasn’t much that scared me…well…not much that surprised me. Not anymore. When you’re a kid and your parents do nothing but argue, which in turn leads to having mom and dad sleeping in separate rooms, which in turn leads to mom and dad sleeping in separate houses, which in turn leads to repeated visits from a strange looking man that mom called a lawyer, which in turn leads to one day, you’re down to one parent and very little explanation as to why. Since then, The Boogey Man and all his crazy cousins including The Monster Under the Bed, The Ghost in Your Closet, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, a Heaven where your pets go, all tend get smaller in stature with every day until one day the monster you fear most isn’t purple or has fangs, he wears a three piece suit and carries a briefcase and calls you, “buddy”.

I never gave the warehouse a second thought. To me, it looked more sad than scary. I’ve stared at it many times, mostly because Tommy checks out for the rest of the morning, and I’ve never seen so much as Frankenstein’s Monster or the Mummy come rambling from the headstones. In fact, I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen any life in the place ever. Which is why it doesn’t surprise me to see mostly darkness from the gaping hole every morning. What does surprise me is that on rare occasions such as this morning, I do see a pair of eyes staring back at me. They are the type of eyes that reflect light like a cat or an owl and I reason them as such. But today, today the pair of eyes seemed to follow me. As if they were on to me. And they didn’t fly away on massive wings or scurry away on furry feet when our gazes met, they instead shuffled. Slowly. Sideways. These eyes were attached to something human, something slow, and something a little creepy. Creepy enough to make me take a step back to Tommy, and make me put my hand on his shoulder. For a brief moment, I considered that it might be a zombie, and for an even briefer moment, I considered telling Tommy. But reason had my ear today. That wasn’t a zombie, that was just some guy sweeping the floor. If I told Tommy, it would put him in therapy for the rest of his life. I had to say something, he was noticing the expression on my face and he was beginning to breathe funny.
“Hey, Tommy?”
“Yeah, Joey?”
“Guess what?”
“What?”
“Chicken Butt.” There was much needed laughter as the bus opened it’s doors.

 ~***~

Author’s Note: Admittedly, this took me a little longer than I should have. However, this is the first sort of fiction where I didn’t have a framework to start out with, say for instance like a flash-fiction contest. All I had to go by was the glorious and unfiltered vision of my daughter and I was off and running. For most of the week, I was riffing while at the same time, drawing a blank on a title, which took me an hour to come up with. 

Many years ago, I had a job that was located in an industrial park. A co-worker employed the services of one of the businesses in our little warehouse cluster. The business was a family run moving company and it’s name is (wait for it) Frank & Sons Moving Co. Now, my ears are a little lazy and start acting a little screwy whenever someone speaks too quickly. Someone asked our freshly moved in co-worker who she used as a moving company to which she responded, “Oh, I used Frankenstein’s. They’re a few buildings down?” I couldn’t help but ask, “Frankenstien’s?”
“No sweetie, Frank and Son’s.”

badda-nah-nuh-nah-nuh…NEEP! [cheese shrug]

Anyway, I swore to myself that I would use the play on words one day. It just took me forever to remember that. I would also like to point out that I have never worked for the company, nor do I know any employees or affiliates. This is a work of fiction and bares no reflection on said establishment. So. There. Please enjoy and as always, I welcome any and all feedback. Thank you.

Photo Credits:

Walking to School (sorry, couldn’t find the right one that had two kids in it.)
Stone Angel

I Can’t Stand To See You This Way…

My body doesn’t know what it wants to do. Of course it doesn’t help that the weather in Florida is manic these days. “Yeah, I know I’m supposed to be in the 80s and sunny right now, but I don’t feel like it, dude. Go screw.”¹

Last week, I could finally open up my windows and let some fresh air in. This week, a massive cold front rolling in from the west said, “We’ll just see about that.” When I first moved down here from the great Northeast, there was nothing El Niño could throw at me that I wouldn’t laugh at. Having blood as thick as corn syrup might have had something to do with it. “Ha HA! weather in the 50s is nothing! I come from Maine! When the thermometer hits 50, we break out the Hawaiian Shorts! You call this a front? Bitch, you don’t know what ‘front’ means! Bring it on, chump!” Then about 10 years later, when your diet has to change to accommodate for a more tropical climate (less chowdah, more bisque), you’re curled up in a fetal position in your bed, bundled up from head to toe with a space heater on wishing somebody would break into your house and shoot you in the face just to take the pressure off your temples from a migraine that just won’t quit…and its in the 60s.

Nevertheless, I forge ahead undaunted….
          TO DREEEEEAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREEEEEAM WALKIN DOWN THE ROAD ALL DAY DOODAHDOODAH!!!!

So, my plan was to describe how I was feeling miserable all morning because the Tylenol wasn’t kicking in yet, and how I turned on Pandora and the first song up was Elvis Costello’s Allison and how I felt infinitely better after channeling my younger days and belting it out to an empty house….crowd still went crazy, though. Was going to into a fit of nostalgia on what the song means to me…

…but it is not this day.

All that stuff that I blogged about earlier? About writing the new fiction with the cats and such? Scratch that. Shelve that and go previous. Why? The ideas I had before were okay. They are better as separate subjects in their separate corners. They are stronger on their own, put together and they lose their meaning. Also, my youngest daughter is a genius; an untapped well of ideas that I have barely scratched the surface of. Earlier this year, she uttered something in the backseat that I will one day turn into a children’s book. Tonight at dinner, she shared something that on the surface sounded adorable, but filtered through my obsessive mind, it is a world that I would like to paint. And besides, what she came up with is, for lack of a better word, is simple; it was clean, it was easy to follow, and if handled correctly, could be the best thing I’ve ever written…next to this.

I’ve got some work to do. Mostly on this, maybe a little of something else, but in the meantime, let’s all wake the neighbors, shall we?…

¹Yes, I realize I used a Boston vernacular on a southern storm system…deal with it…

It’s 2 AM and I’m Seeking the Wisdom of The Elders (Warning: May Contain Kittehs)

*Knock Knock* Anybody home?

I stated in my last post that I have not, nor do I have intention to sell any products on my page, and that’s not necessarily so. I spent Thursday night and most of Friday streamlining, tweaking, constructing new designs for projects I’m working on…to sell. Don’t get me wrong, I can sell. I mean, I possess certain characteristics that allow me to facilitate the negotiation ofohgodI’mquotingmontypython…….cheesy convestibles…sigh.

I’ve read Zig Zigler’s so-called definitive work on salesmanship; biggest pile of crap I ever wasted money on. I am not lying, I actually spent money to see Daredevil at the theater…I KNOW!!  Here’s a guy who professes himself a “Man of God”. So much so that he’ll use such upstanding, honest and Christian tactics like blackmail in order to make a sale; “I will turn your own children against you, make you impotent in front of your wife and steal your dog to make you buy this car because JEEZUS said it was okay.” Paraphrasing, but not much. I’m sorry he’s passed, but he made me want to vomit. Reading his book just reinforced my loathing of re-entering the workforce in a sales capacity. I can sell, I just refuse to devolve into a bottom feeder to do so. 

…Okay, not what I wanted to go off on. Over it now….[shakeitoffshakeitoffshakeitoff]

A few more designs, a little more tinkering, maybe a company logo or the beginnings of one, and I’ll be on my way to making pocket change in no time!

I stated in previous blogs that I have no items to sell, nor do I have any intention to sell merchandise on my blog. I also stated previously that I have started down the path of writing fiction. The past 24 hours have been a little dry. Same excuse as always; where to start? After Stumbling tonight, I might have a lead…

Photo courtesy of RocketNews24.com

Normally, I would breeze right through all the cat articles that land in front of me (because let’s face it, I’ll see a few hundred more cat related things before I pass out for the night) but this one caught me at the right time. As of this posting, this article was written a few days previous. It’s about the cat population of Forbidden City, China, and how the cats have become the unofficial guardians of the area.Visitors and tourists delight in being surrounded by hordes of purring creatures who, more than likely could care less of their presence. I mean after all, they’re guarding The Forbidden City. It’s kind of a big deal.

                for a cat
                               I would imagine….

Okay, yes. I’m like 98% of every human being when they jump on the internet and they see kittehs; it starts innocently enough, one or two memes, maybe a video, then its off to serious work. Next thing you know the sun’s no longer in the sky, your entire family is in bed, and you realize that you haven’t taken the time to pee.  I have a story that I need to start and I have no idea where it is, I can’t be sitting around here wasting time reading a story about a clowder of cats…guarding…Forbidden…City…?

For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Polydactyl cats at Hemingway Home. For some reason,
I couldn’t help but tying these places together. For some reason, for some strange reason, I couldn’t help but want my story to incorporate such a notion. I don’t know if it will work, I don’t know how it will tie into what I wanted to write, but I have to try.

Now, here is the audience participation part. I would like to know if there are any other places like this in the world. If there is anybody out there who knows of a place in the world (it doesn’t have to be an historical landmark, although it would be helpful) like Forbidden City or Hemingway Home? If there aren’t, then no big deal, I’ll make stuff up because…y’know…fiction.

I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credits:

Hairy Truman by Rob O’Neal

Ancient Ruins of Petra via Vittorio Sciosia / Alamy