I've written a few horoscopes lately, Gemini, Cancer and Leo being my third. Since several people have asked me to write about their zodiac signs - Virgo is next. They can be found at this link https://vocal.media/humans/leo-jy57qm0z5b
Although I've researched each one, I've taken some liberties with their traits, hoping most people will find them a little amusing and laugh at themselves...peace eh!
I just finished writing this short story, RACETRACKER for a writing competition. It was like taking a long trip down memory lane to my racetrack days. Those years were as colorful as a jockey's silks and as exciting as a thoroughbred bursting out of the starting gate. I hope anyone that reads it gets as much enjoyment as I did writing it...peace, eh! https://vocal.media/motivation/racetracker
June 16th, 2021
There was a time when I used to gallivant here, gallivant there, why hell, I’d gallivant most anywhere but now that my britches are plumb worn out and I’ve become a real old codger, I’ve given up all that rigmarole. There was a time I could hoodwink almost anybody and sometimes even the slightest skullduggery did wonders for my ego. However, when things took a really bad turn, I jumped into my jalopy and put the pedal to the metal and just drove off into the sunset. Quite often, it’s best to put a kibosh on the whole thing, I mean bejeebers and flibberty-jibbet, jumpin’ out of the frying pan into another hullabaloo could wind up being threatening to one’s health. I’ve seldom been bamboozled but I have been flabbergasted with some of the outcomes of my risky actions and we aren’t talkin’ a slight brouhaha either. Sometimes I’ve been mired down, a little discombobulated but that was when I had a mind to lollygag and not take things too seriously. There have been times during my younger years when my life took a catawampus direction, but I may have been a nincompoop at the time. The smart thing to do was to probably skedaddle before all the shenanigans broke loose but being flummoxed and stuck in my craw like a hunk of pumpernickel, I occasionally went berserk. Other instances, like a garden full of carrots and one periwinkle I was securely rooted and could not escape my unscrupulous decisions. When all seemed lost, feeling sorry for myself, I’d just grab a hold of my thingamajig. What’s that you ask? Well…when you’re confuzzled, in one kerfuffle after another, the world appearing to be full of perpetual poppycock, it’s good to get a hand on things, don’t you think?
Whew! Now some of what I’ve written so far has been completely bogus, utter balderdash and up to my neck pure baloney, and yet if you’re an old fuddy-duddy like myself - I mean thunderation – there is a mote of truth in my words. There have been times when my life took a major skewwiff and if there hadn’t been a railing, I would have been dastardly derailed and lambasted for my decisions. I wouldn’t call myself a flim-flam man, con man or any whatchamacallit but when one is caught up in a concoction of tiny fibs, I’ve sometimes grabbed onto any doohickey within reach until I was gobsmacked and brought back to my senses. Puzzled and slightly disoriented, needing an immediate sense of fulfillment I’ve often had to grab a hold of my thingamabob. What’s that you ask? If you have to ask, then you’re most likely a woman.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie of many a knucklehead and wishy-washy individual. Fiddlesticks, let’s face it, anybody with a bottle in a brown-bag caught my attention and some of those destitute, down-behind-a-dumpster souls were a lot more interesting than the bleeding-hearts that were constantly caterwauling over their tiniest misfortunes – I mean a chipped fingernail or an overdone T-bone steak - is hardly anything to get upset about. But let’s get back to some tomfoolery, bodacious, fiddle-dee-dee, willy-nilly, off the wall misinformation. Why hell, I may be a decrepit, persnickety, fill my “Depends” at any given time, wrinkly, saggy-assed old bastard but egad – I have a twinkle in my eye that won’t go out until the day I die. Now I may have had the audacity to write this load of tripe but you my friend are a numb-skull for reading this far…cheers, eh!
1.5 PER CENT
I started writing 1.5 Percent about the same time I was diagnosed with rectal cancer, which was a real bummer (chuckle, chuckle). Needless to say, between the operations, medications, chemo and radiation treatments, my mind at times was not only blurry but a little fucked up to say the least. I think revising the finished manuscript was harder than writing the actual novel. I almost gave it up when my computer completely crashed and the revised manuscript was lost. However, after months of rewriting, it's finally finished.
I enjoy writing and paint as well - the cover of the book is one of my paintings, which I did when I was a very young man. Even then, I could see that our world was sliding towards a catastrophic situation. Like the painting, this novel was inspired by events, which have been steadily unfolding since the Second World War. All through history, we have been threatened before by cataclysmic wars and deadly diseases but never was the entire planet put at risk until now. Between Covid-19 and dim-witted leaders with too much money like Trump and many other politicians, like many, I fear for the future of our children. This novel depicts the horrible aftermath should deadly viruses, anarchy, germ and nuclear wars break out on a global scale.
The meaning of the title is only 1.5% of all living things survive the holocaust and my story begins after the worst thing a person could imagine happens. It's about an aging farmer living in New Brunswick who loses almost his whole family to some unknown disease. He sets forth by foot on a 100 mile journey with a goat, the only survivor of all the livestock on the farm. He doesn't have much hope of finding his last son and his young wife alive but he has to know. If per chance they have survived, his intention is to bring them back to a hidden refuge he built in a forest , which is stocked with supplies to last for about a year. Certifiably distressed, almost committing suicide, he is surrounded by death and devastation on his journey.
Upon reaching the town his son was living in, he kills a man, is attacked by a wild hag wielding a butcher knife and bonds with a much younger woman, who acts like a small child and doesn't speak. During their walk back to his hideaway, they are attacked by a group of marauders, possibly cannibals and then by a neighbour of all people. The old man has been shot twice and stabbed once and while only about a day away from their destination, winter sets in with a vengeance even though it is only August. Out of food, slogging through deep snow under almost blizzard conditions they continue to struggle, his injuries taking a heavy toll. When all seems lost, a hope for the future remains.
1.5 Percent, MY LATEST BOOK PRELAUNCH is a 306 page, 6"x9" soft cover novel, which will be ready to release on April 15th. The cost is $25.CAD plus shipping and each book will be autographed. Email email@example.com to prepay and reserve your copy...cheers, eh!
GREEN MOUNTAIN HIGH
Every morning I take McGee for his poo-poo-pee-pee walk and this morning was no exception. When we stepped outside, a pock-marked half-moon glowed in a lavender sky and the air was as crisp as the snow. We usually walk to a nearby lake but because of the heavy snowfall yesterday, we headed the opposite way towards Green Mountain. Since cancer hit about 3 years ago and ever since then, I've had one foot on the grave and the other on a banana peel, Green Mountain looked as ominous as Mount Everest.
Clayton Clark's house is situated on the top of Green Mountain and I used to visit him occasionally when we were both in about the same condition; a light breeze could have blown us over, and come to think of it, when I was undergoing treatments and stepped out of a car in St. John's, a gust of wind blew me over. There I was lying flat on my back counting raindrops falling in my face. I used to kid him about having a race to the top of the mountain and we figured it would take about a week for either of us to get to the top and like sherpas on Everest, someone would have to carry us.
Now Green Mountain isn't anything like the toon portrays; quite the opposite in fact. And, it's hardly a mountain, more like a steep hill with a road that stretches up it and beyond to Forest City (hardly a city - doesn't have one store or even a gas station) more like a subdivision on the US border.) But fortunately, it's still green, that is until it's clear-cut like a lot of land around here. (Sniffle, sniffle) Makes my heart break every time I see semi's rolling by with a load full of baby-trees - they certainly haven't matured.
I don't know what possessed this achy back and stiff legs but as I planted one foot in front of the other towards Green Mountain, next thing I knew they just kept on a going, McGee happily pooping and peeing along the way. When I reached Clayton's place and looked at the window where he often sat, sadness surged through me like a burst dam because my friend is no longer with us - he passed away less than a year ago. He had a heart of gold and was the first person who greeted us on the day we moved in - even helped us get the pump working so we'd have water.
The view from the mountain is quite spectacular. East Grand Lake lies below and camps (hahaha - if that's camping, I sure did something wrong when I hiked the West Coast Trail with a pup-tent on my back) they circle the lake like settler's covered wagons. I like the way it is at the lake now - don't have to listen to the continual drone of seadoos, party boats and motor boats and then if you can believe this, fireworks at night. What I don't understand is why cityfolk always bring the city with them and it's odd when I hear them say, "I like to get back to Nature."
Not sure when I'll walk up Green Mountain again - I know it won't be on a windy day - why hell, I could get blown clean away...cheers, eh!
DRUM ROLL PLEASE AND THE WINNER IS...
My brain doesn't seem to work as well as it once did since the operations, radiation and chemo treatments about two years ago and I just realized that I'd forgotten to draw a winner's name for a wooden sign ($15. value) for subscribing to my blog. I just drew a name out of a hat and the winner is Kim Atkinson - congratulations Kim and I'll be personally contacting you immediately! I've decided to have another draw for a sign of the same value to be held on Valentine's Day. All you have to do is sign up for my blog and share - people already signed up have their name in the hat.
I've been debating whether or not I should have a hot bath today. I don't know about anyone else but having a hot bath is something I've always enjoyed. And I'm not just talking hot, I'm talking a lobster red hot bath. If it was any hotter, I'd be nicely boiled - just punch some cloves into the tender meat and sprinkle some hot spices over me and I'm ready to be served - a hungry cannibal just might enjoy munching away on one of my arms and then picking his teeth with a finger bone. I often knock back an ice cold beer while reading a book to pass the time. I once read Tolstoy's War and Peace, 837 pages, in a single soaking and looked like a wrinkled prune when I emerged from under the bubbles. I've had some naughty baths too, the water sprinkled with rose petals and champagne was the drink of choice. The water of course wasn't as hot because I had company then, and then again - hahaha - it did get rather heated up. However, as much as I enjoy hot baths, I'm not sure if I should turn up the heat in the old claw-foot because the last bath I had about five days ago, didn't quite have the happy ending I expected. At almost age 80 - a battle with cancer - when I very gingerly lifted one leg out of the tub, I felt a little light-headed. Trying to fight off the dizziness, I flopped down in a chair by the tub and stuck my head between my lily-white knees. Thinking I was in the clear, after a few moments passed, I sat up. I felt quite hot as the pesky dizziness returned. The next thing I knew when I came to, I was lying on my side in a fetal position on the cold floor, the towel tangled up around my body. The coolness felt great but not my head or my jaw. As I lay there kinda twisted up and getting my bearings, I began checking to see if my legs and arms would move. They seemed OK as I slowly managed to pick myself up off the floor. I guess the moral of this little tale is whether or not I should have a real hot bath alone or get my wife to join me - that way I'd have someone to help me out of the tub...cheers, eh!
RUDE, CRUDE AND LEWD SIGNS
This old hippie-dippie sign painter has been lettering old looking signs on recycled wood, which takes me back before computerized signage existed and one had to really know how to use a brush. Check out my website where you'll see signs like "Coca-Cola 5 Cents", "Grampa Was a Rum Runner"and Harley Davidson Motor Cycles . Come to think of it, when I was a kid, a coke was just a nickel and jaw-breakers were 3 for a penny and I could get a plate of french fries for a dime.
Head on over to the sign page and let me know what you think. I have over 50 signs, a little something for anyone's home decor, eclectic and hard to buy for. Cheers, eh!
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Len Sherman is an artist and author in Fosterville, NB, Canada. He spent his first 70 years on the west coast of Canada and now resides with his wife and little dog on 50 rural acres in western NB. Life is good, but even better when you read his work or view his art!