Monday, May 30, 2016

Just a Few Old Thoughts....

I have a lot going on in my life lately. 

First of all, have a pleasant Memorial Day. Maybe take the time to use today as it's intended. For reflection and appreciation. We have so many to remember and honor. I was a Cold Warrior as they say, in having been in the military during a period of peace (1975-1981), during the Cold War. I have a framed government certificate on my wall that says just that. Just through my own personal experiences, I feel I have much to be thankful for, to appreciate, for those who served during war, who suffered and died on our behalf. 

I mostly only had to deal with the typical life of someone in the military. One who was stateside, who only had to deal with the stress of the job, the knowledge that my job supported those who "melted cities" as an AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code, the numerical equivalent to my job title), and Soviet spies and their agents. 

I met one of them in the woods once, nice guy, but he was still obviously doing the job he was doing, for money, and not in America's best interests. We didn't discuss what he was doing, but I knew and he knew I knew, and later I found out that the air base knew. They couldn't stop them from gathering ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and mere statistical and logistical information. But they kept an eye on them (there was more than one around the entire base) a few in truck and campers with a lot of antennae and electronic equipment, monitoring anything they could. 

The one thing that kept me going was that my job wasn't directly related to killing, but to saving lives (I was a parachute rigger, survival equipment technician, fabric and rubbergear specialist). At the end I went through the grueling process to be vetted and accepted into the AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations), their FBI. Then I left government service, got a degree in Psychology and writing, and took an entirely different career and life path. 

And so now here I am. Writing and working in IT for the past few decades. 

There's lots of changes in my job in IT. I work for a health insurance company on their servers and web sites. In five years we expect to not be a health insurance company with the way things are going. If America (hopefully) finally goes with single payer health insurance (Medicare), my company will disappear, so we're becoming something new and better. 

I'm staging myself to finally do what I've wanted to do, for so long.

I'm prepping my house, staging it for viewing, packing up and selling my home of sixteen years. It's the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my life. My marriage ended within a year of moving in here in 2000. My kids grew up here from the end of grade school on and even then some more after graduating till they got on their adult feet. Now they seem pretty stable out in the world, one at the end of his twenties, the other approaching the middle of hers. 

That's all a story unto itself. 

This past weekend I went to Crypticon at the Hilton in SeaTac, Washington. It's a convention of horror... stuff. Just about you name it. I went last year. I saw new things, made new friends (finally met  horror icon, Tom Savini), and now I've been in two films because of it. 

This morning I was at the Hilton latte bar waiting on Kelly Hughes, director of the film I was just in (The Mephisto Box), We were going to have breakfast, then I had to head home. 

Lance Henriksen at Crypticon 2016
Lance Henriksen walked up, ordered a latte and started talking to me. Many know his work in Aliens, the TV show Millennium, Near Dark, and well, so very many other great roles and films.

We hung out there talking, waiting on his drink and a bit after he got it. Nicest guy ever and one of my all time favorite actors. So yes, I was pretty pleased to have gotten a chance to talk to him one on one like that and away from fan based interactions. We talking about the weekend at Crypticon, about fans, about perseverance, and about his latest project, Gone Are The Days. He said he was flying out today for California where he is starting on the production of the new western where he plays a bank robber at the end of his career. Check out the IMDB write up, it sounds like it's going to be a fun film. 

Good times all around!

I wrote most of this on Thursday last, before this is to be posted on Monday. Just in case I'm too beat to write a new week's blog after I get back on Sunday. Sometimes I do have them staged even week's ahead of time. But I've been hard pressed lately, I've been so busy working on my house and packing up and all,. I really haven't had all that much free time. 

Well now I am back and updating it a bit and I am beat, and I am glad I wrote this ahead of time and I am happy to update it about my meeting with Mr. Henriksen and eventually I'll get around to talking about my weekend at Crypticon. For now I'll just say it was fun and I learned a lot overall and in some of the panels I attended. Two of which director Kelly Hughes was on the panel for. He's a smart guy. 

One of the panels was about the pitfalls of producing a web series with among others, members from Luchagore Productions. Another about horror westerns where he shared the panel with Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger (one other was supposed to show but didn't make it).

I not only learned a lot in the horror western one (go figure right, who knew?) I also got ideas for two new screenplays. Yes, western horror films, You know I've not written a western of any type...yet. 

Sadly...we missed the Lance Henriksen panel (Aliens, panel I think, with a few of the actors as Michael Biehn was there this weekend too with his wife as is usual). I had wanted to attend that panel but I didn't know when it was and we had a schedule. Turns out we could have made the panel but not the hour of questions afterward (Lance said it ended at 10pm). Nuts. Anyway....

Part of the reason I'm selling my house is for a new beginning, to lower my overhead, to stage things so I can start to write much more than I have for years. Maybe ever.

This past year, past month, past weeks of working on the house, fixing it up to sell, packing up, going through things from my past, packing more stuff, it has all been been an emotional roller coaster ride. I just gave my ex back some of her things that I found stored in my garage, buried beneath my kids and my stuff. My kids who grew up and moved out several years ago. Or more.

Really. It's time to move. It's time because I want to.

One of the things I uncovered during my rummaging through and repacking things was a box with writings in it. Well I found many of those. I'm a writer. But one in particular. It had a page in it from 1994. Along with that I found a folder about an inch thick full of writings I thought I'd lost that were even older, of more writings. Things I wrote that I didn't even remember. Very cool. Very, very cool.

The following is a short rumination I found in that box. From 1994. 

Apparently titled: Epiphany

Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 14:40:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: To myself: Epiphany
You know?
I was just thinking:
I get these little spurts of feeling, of imagery at times. 
Similar in nature to a "Deja Vu" experience.
I'm not nuts. 

My degree in psychology was in Awareness and Reasoning Division, Phenomenology, Alternate States of Consciousness, Systems and Processes. Attending Western Washington University was itself and alternate experience. But then, any college experience is. Or should be. 
Between that education and martial arts training since childhood, it may be easier for me than for many, to "see," to see into other's thoughts. To "feel", to feel things in their mental and emotional processes. That might explain with the head of our psychology counseling department tried so hard to get me to change my orientation to therapy. But I couldn't have taken it myself, emotionally. Day and and day out listening to what is tearing people apart. Of course, there'd be the up side....
Sometimes I can see things that many people don't realize are there, within them. Things that ARE most definitely there. Within them. Things that are in everyone, really. Things we may not want to think are even there. 

But it just takes looking inward.

I know there were people I've talked to in the past who thought they were talking to a real screwball (me). Especially some of the more banal types I've spoken with.

Then it occurred to me.

The only times I'm really happy are when I am writing away at some project. When I am deeply involved in a novel I've developed, a screenplay or a piece of some sort that I have fully conceived of myself. Or a project I've developed along with a significant other in my life. As opposed to a project at work or one given to me by an instructor. I get these little flashes of really... good... feelings from it. Feelings I can only attribute to being "feelings-of-well-being." Of euphoria.

Feelings too that I can link pretty much only to heightened emotional experiences, events from my past.

Perhaps a moment's "Deja Vu" from being in the mountains. Or looking out over a spectacular sunset on the ocean as viewed from a scenic beach. Or watching a waterfall unraveling in the middle of nowhere while I sit, all alone, with no one around for miles, the sun glistening off the cascading flow of water. Or droplets on the moss in the mountains in the early morning dew, the crisp moist air hugging me, the fresh smell of life biting, deliciously, into my lungs.

These Little Flashes of Moments.
Moments that give me this feeling.
Feelings that I can conjure up while writing.
While creating. While making a Universe.
While watching something spring to Life out of nothing.

You know? It just occurred to me.

There must be a reason I like to write.
One other than the pedantic reason of simply being able to do it well.

Perhaps it was taking those little sojourns, those brief intense strays of exotic moments gleaned from books read at a tender young age? Maybe that has something to do with it?

No matter how I look at it though, I will never be happy until I am making a living writing; and writing whatever I want.

Writing what feels like it is being born from my inner being, springing from my mind, from within my chest, separating out from my heart, leaping out from my soul.

It's just a thought.
Just a moment.
Just a comment. Or two.
An Epiphany upon the Downs.
A thought upon the Velt.

A Revelation.
A Splendor in the Grass.
A Triumph at Dawn.
For that is all it is.

An Epiphany.

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