Lost Opportunities

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This morning, I read a post on Facebook by my friend Leah Hart about an experience she recently had. In that post she revealed that two days ago, she had a terrific idea for a new novel. At the time, it was crystal clear in her head and she knew exactly what to do to write it.

However, she’s also a terrific wife and mother. At the time, her young children were ill and needed her mothering, which she gladly supplied. Family first. I get it and I agree completely. After tending to her children, helping them get through their discomfort, she took a moment for herself to write down her ideas.

Oh sh!#.

Those ideas are now what I call ‘vaporware’. In tending to her children, the story idea didn’t get a chance to imprint itself onto her brain, and the brain did what normally does. It cleaned house.

IdeasOur brains are wonderful organs. They capture and store significant amounts of information. Information that we use each and every day. It also stores memories, experiences and all sorts of stuff so that we can learn from our mistakes and improve our every day lives.

The trouble is, our brains also have only so much capacity. Granted, some brains have more than others. Still, it’s a fact that if we don’t use those thoughts and apply them to our lives when they first bounce around in our noggins, then our brains are trained to clear them away to make room for new stuff.

It sucks. I know all too well. I have been a victim of this phenomena many times over.

I used to keep a notepad on me all the time to write these notes down for followup later. The result as you might guess, page after page, notebook after notebook of ideas that clutter up my home and rarely get referred to. So, then I tried using a white board. I have it prominently mounted in my home office where I do the bulk of my creative work. As I walk by, I can glance at it and recall at an instance, just what that idea was. ‘Better’. That board is so full of notes that it’s hard to see the white behind the black of the dry erase marker. Now, it’s almost a chore to keep it up to date and if anyone knows me, I hate doing chores. I do them, but I hate it.

With the advent of the smart phone, ‘Siri and Ok Google’ where speech to text has evolved to be practical, I began using the ‘speech to text’ features of my smart phone to capture and write down ideas. Much better and almost doable. I have my phone set up so that as I dictate my notes, those notes are written down and uploaded to my cloud account.

It works though I do have a funny story to go with it. One day, I was sitting in a café eating lunch, when an idea flashed through my brain. Great. A perfect opportunity to write down my idea. I whipped out my phone and tapped the icon. Who doesn’t keep their phone with them at all times? As soon as I did, I opened my mouth to begin speaking when lo and behold, I saw words appearing on my screen. And I wasn’t talking. Huh? Turns out the microphone was so sensitive that it was picking up the conversation of the people at the next table over. Wow! I thought. How cool is that. I was reading on my phone what they were talking about. All the personal details of their lives were being captured, converted to text and uploaded to my cloud account. I erased them but still ….

Since that day, I am careful to watch what I say, not just to the people whom I am sitting with but also to the strangers at the tables nearby. Word to the wise!

What have I concluded from these experiences my brain captures every second of every day? I get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and write. Many of my best ideas, dialog and scenes appear in my mind while I am in that half awake / half asleep state. I’ve trained my mind that if those ideas are good enough, to get the hell out of bed and write it down.

The scene, dialog, whatever won’t be perfect and will need editing. But, I’ve captured the idea and I can use it productively.

So, in the evening and right after dinner, when I seem to be checking out, my eyes drooping and it’s obvious I am looking for my bed, just know this. My day started at 4am and it’s been very productive. By 8pm, I’m tired, run down and ready to shutdown for the night. It sucks some days but that’s the way it is.

And oh, btw way. I started writing this about 5am, about a half hour after I woke up with an idea and I saw Leah’s post. Oh, shit. What was that idea that I had at 4am anyway?

Inspirational Authors

Methuseulah's Children 1958 book cover

Inspirational Authors

I woke up this morning with thinking about my early days of reading. They started out when I was about seven years old. I read lots of YA books in those days, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew (yep her too), Tom Swift are some of my more memorable books. I grew from those quickly and looked for more interesting stories. I soon discovered authors Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov.

Robert A HeinleinIt was when I discovered Robert A. Heinlein that I found my favorite author of all time. My very first book of his that I read was ‘Methuselah’s Children’. I was immediately hooked. I still have that particular 1958 edition in my library. It’s been republished over and over since it was first written in 1941.

Methuseulah's Children 1958 book cover‘Methuselah’s Children’ was Heinlein’s early stories into what became his ‘Future Histories’ books. Over the decades, this author managed to weave many of his other books into the ‘Future Histories’ line.

It was his character, Lazarus Long and his many incarnations, that really captured my interest. He was a ruthless yet caring character who could live, love and protect his family and friends. His story lines are filled with polyamorous love and sex of various flavors and experiences. Lazarus Long was a loaner and a family man. He was a father, a son, a husband, a widower, a soldier, a tradesman, a lover and a sinner. Deep down, he was a pacifist but would ruthlessly act to protect the worthy and the needy. He loved life and abhorred violence for violence sake.

As I read everything I could find, I was enamored with his books. I couldn’t get enough of Robert A. Heinlein. I was saddened when he died.

As I think about those days, reading his stories, I now realize that Heinlein helped shape me to be the person I am today. Instinctively, I’ve always known that about him. Now I understand it.

Who is the person that most influenced you in becoming who you are? I would enjoy reading your comments on my site www.richardverry.com.

How I came to write ‘The Taste of Honey’ (part 1)

I wrote ‘The Taste of Honey’ at a time in my life when I was bored with painting and was taking a break. That’s about the time I stepped up my reading, voraciously consuming book after book.

At the same time, my brain kept intruding my thoughts with imagery and scenarios that I captured with my drawings and paintings. I couldn’t capture them fast enough and so many slipped away.

Taking a break from drawing and painting, I started browsing the net for anything that might interest me.  I was reviewing the things I used to do as a young man and realized that I used to write stories. Keeping that in mind as I browsed the net, I stumbled upon a series of adult graphic stories that I absolutely loved. As I devoured them, I thought, I can write this, too. I began by keeping a running dialog in my mind of possible topics.

Whenever I thought of a fresh story idea, I would research the subject and usually found that many people had already written and published a story that was too similar to my idea. So … I went back and kept looking.

Somewhere along the way, the title ‘The Taste of Honey’ jumped into my head. I had the title, now I just needed the story! As I thought more about the title, the story started to materialize. I don’t know how other authors do this, but this is how I did it. I would enjoy reading about various methods used so feel free to share.

More to come tomorrow. Please join me then.

Please check out ‘The Taste of Honey’. The first chapter is available for free on this site as well as on Amazon and other e-book retailers. ‘The Taste of Honey’ is available right now on this website as well as Amazon and other book online retailers.

What would Mona do?

Broken Steele book cover 6x9

Mona just found out about a catastrophe in a neighboring community. Turns out it’s the same community that her bed-mate Renee has been getting those terrific custom-made heels that both she and Mona love. The question on their minds are whether her shoe maker who creates these wonderful shoes that everyone raves about survived the catastrophe. Information on just what happened is sketchy but apparently lots of people were involved with an unsanctioned killing spree.  Up-to-date Information is sketchy at best but what they do have is that a small group of people crashed a community celebration systematically went around killing the celebrants.

Broken SteeleHer housemates in shock, Mona puts aside her disbelieve and organizes the house in a show of support for the survivors. The tragedy they suffered ripples throughout the land and everyone vows to find and put down the perpetrators. Gathering her housemates together, just as she would do to honor one of their own recently departed, she calls them into action. Before long, a memorial is planned, a house colors are temporarily transformed to the those of the stricken community and moments of silence are scheduled for repeating days at the hour of the tragedy.


Enlisting the aid of her investigative team, she re-prioritizes her staff to stop whatever they were doing and focus on determining whether their own communities vulnerability to a similar attack. Additionally, she charges several of her key investigators to find the perpetrators and report back to her. Uncharacteristically, she warns them that they must find them, even to risk their own lives. They agree knowing that there must not be a repeat occurrence of this tragedy.

After sending them on their way, she meets with Master Charles and together, they put together a plan to take out the perpetrators. Their ire inflamed, they both feel that this is something they must do in order to protect entire community. Not something either of comfortable with, they both believe it must be done.

Personal Responsibility

Inhale
  1. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. … I am hopeless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
  2. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend to not see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
  3. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there and I still fall in. … it’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
  4. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
  5. I walk down a different street.

Unknown Author


I recently came across this autobiography in 5 short chapters. I was taken with it’s poignancy. There is a lesson here and I know what I think. But what about you? Care to share what you think?  I’d like to know. Please leave a comment.