On Haitus

As you can tell, I haven’t made many entries in the last month. A few things have come up, and I don’t need to go into detail about them here, but I’ll give a quick update about some of the highlights.

Kim and I went to Key West last week for a manager’s meeting. I really enjoyed the trip, and I must admit that Key West during Fantasy Fest (possibly NSFW) was an eye-opening experience for a small-town Colorado boy. The most tasteful expression of Fantasy Fest clothing that I saw was a woman wearing only a custom-made brass ring mail halter top and a sarong. (There was nothing under the halter top except flesh, of course.) Believe it or not, it was a very classy and beautiful outfit.

The least tasteful personal expression of Fantasy Fest that I saw was a burly, bearded guy handing out 2-for-1 drink coupons outside a clothing-optional bar — with his manhood hanging out for all to see.

The sunsets were beautiful, the weather was perfect, and we had good times shooting pool and having dinner with some friends from my work.

On the plane ride to Florida, I managed to finish the rough draft of “Chesterfield Gray.” I’m not happy with it, but at least I now have something that I can look at and revise.

That is, assuming I do much writing in the near future. I’m not sure I’m going to have the time or energy for a while, so “Chesterfield Gray” may have to sit and percolate. Consider this an official statement that my creativity journal entries will be sporadic at best in the near future. Please keep checking back, but don’t expect an entry every day.

Sick Again

I stayed home from work today with a sore throat and stuffy nose. One of the lessons I learned earlier in this year was to take care of myself when I get those early symptoms so they don’t carry forward for weeks. So, I stayed home today, drank yucky TheraFlu, and slept. I also did about an hour and a half of work, via the Internet, but it won’t count since I stayed home.

When I wasn’t sleeping or working, I read. I got through most of The Two Towers today, a pretty big reading achievement for me. I’ve mentioned before that I am a slow reader; I think this is partly because I am a very sensory reader. I like to hear the dialogue in my head and see the scenery as I’m reading, smell whatever the book is describing. I think that slows me down, but it also gives a very rich reading experience.

Tomorrow night, we plan to go watch Dot Com at Brewski’s. I should be well enough to go.

Avoidance, but Sydney Warner too

I’ve been avoiding you. Nothing personal, I just have been avoiding writing in general, which means my Creativity Journal has been neglected. I’m pretty embarrassed about that, and I feel guilty. I’m sorry.

I don’t need or want to go into details about why I haven’t written in so long, so I’ll just leave it at a blanket statement: I haven’t felt like it. I’ve been feeling like it’s a losing battle to write anything, like I should just concentrate on doing my job and spending time with my family. I haven’t wanted to write, despite desperately wanting to finish my “Chesterfield Gray” story. I have been been doing everything except writing, in fact.

“Get used to it.” I can hear you now, and you’re right. If I’m going to make it, I need to write every day, whether I want to or not. Writing must be a habit that burns so fiercely that I need to release it every day or face the danger of being consumed by it. If I don’t do that, I don’t deserve to be called a writer, and I don’t deserve to be published.

The whiner in me says, “It’s a lot easier when you don’t have to work 40+ hours per week and still save time for your family.” True, but that’s just an excuse. The key question is whether I would still be avoiding writing if I had all the money I needed. I really don’t know, and I don’t expect to find out any time soon.

Enough grousing. Onward.

The most significant creative event that happened since I last made a journal entry is that I sat in with Sydney Warner’s band at a club called Balls Sports Bar on Colfax and Simms. I know one of the sidemen through a mutual friend, and he invited me to come down and play with them. I thought I would only be playing a couple of tunes, but I wound up sitting in two full sets with them. Thanks to Sydney, Franco and the rest of the band for letting me play the blues with them!

Last weekend, I purchased a Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot controller for my Cyber-Twin. I spent part of the day learning how to program, and part of the next couple of days tweaking it to make it work correctly with the amp. Thanks to Harrier and RVWinkle at the Fender Discussion Page for the help in getting it straightened out. Now all I have to do is personalize the patch setups for my own gigging style. (I have a gigging style? Wow!)

The Words Not Spoken

The Words Not Spoken

(after Robert Frost)

Whose words these are, I think I know.
She couldn’t bear to speak them, though.
Instead, she let me find them here,
And she departed with the snow.

My friends will likely find it queer
To see me walk without her near
Down to the park and by the lake
Where I proposed to her last year.

The hands that hold her missive shake.
I’m sure there must be some mistake.
Her graceful letters swirl and sweep
As whirling winds would toss a flake.

My heart is lonely, dark and deep,
But I have only words to keep
And memories plague my fitful sleep,
And memories plague my fitful sleep.

— Stace Johnson, 2002

(Please take the time to read Frost’s original poems,
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” at
www.favoritepoem.org and “The Road Not Taken” at

Silent Treatment

Silent Treatment

They lie in bed, back to back,
Together yet apart
The only sound is the
Of their love seeping away,
Mixing with the dirt in the floorboard cracks.

Each wonders what happened;
Where did the “us” go?
But they don’t discuss it.

That would be too much like

— Stace Johnson, 2002

This poem appeared on the now defunct RomanticShortLoveStories.com website in January 2006.