Why you failed as a blogger #stopthefail 200 Words or Less

April 18, 2015

Why you fail as a blogger and a human being

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna
Dear me, you or, in fact, both of us:
You fail because you lie to me. You fail because you want to ascend the clouds, alone. With great strides. Without me. You fail because you seek to ascend to high places by means of intimidation, manipulation and deception.
You fail because you don’t know more than shit and shit isn’t helpful, useful, encouraging, healing or building up anything. You fail because you never put in the sweat, tears and trembling to become a you that truly cares about me. Or a you I can admire without much reasonable doubt. You only know your own vanity.

Who speaks when the words come out of your mouth? Who speaks when you type the words that you type? Is it you?

Are you the liar, slanderer and that monster? Or is it another which you have mistaken for yourself? Or, perhaps, they are many which you believe to be you. They are not you.

I never once believed you were a monster.

Only a truth of the patient, good and encouraging kind will set us free.

With much love and truth, and anxious concern,
Hope
Stan Faryna
18 April 2015
Fairfax, Virginia

Prodigal Daughter: A Bedtime Story for Independence Day

July 4, 2014

The Prodigal Daughter

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Cold Play, Atlas

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.
Luke 21:10-12
“What do you think of the novel I lent you? Exodus?”
“It’s naive. To put it kindly,” answered the black bearded man.
“I remember how it was before the walls came down. Before we came to America. Your mother, she never forgot what it was like to live under a dark spirit of lies, slander and accusation.
She never forgot the fear, ambition and terror of the party members. Oh how our neighbors and colleagues proudly wore their red star. They wore the sign of their fallen master like a badge of courage! Yet they lacked any courage. They lacked chests.

Here, we are again.

 

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

Now there is a good book!

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

Have you read it?”

“What?”
Sarah unhappily sipped on her iced venti caramel latte. She glanced at her candy apple red iPad. 6 new email.
She glanced at the first email.
 …
DHS Sector 3 Battalion 3 Nimrod Protocol
Does he check out?

As she reviewed email on her iPad, Sarah fidgeted with the key to her company car – a sleek BMW X6.
The key to her car was a source of decisive inspiration for her- especially her lucky key ring charm. A black cat of Swarovski crystals.
She so loved how it sparkled!
Sarah was working things out in her head.
How do I get him to understand, she wondered to herself.
The Christians must be stopped before they start a civil war. They needed to be detained. The radicals. The Christians that believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was supposedly resurrected and who will supposedly come again.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah noticed a tall, dark and handsome man nod to her from a nearby table. He looked like Apollo – the god of war. He was hot.
“You’re hot”, he texted to her.
She texted back.
Me too! I think so too. Here’s my number. Call me, maybe. 😛
“I’ll carry your world…” he texted back.

Sarah rolled her eyes and winked at Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Then she slid a button forward on the side of her iPad and the monitor became a mirror. She checked her look and smiled. Her azure blue lip gloss was killer. Dangerous. Sexy. Forbidden Fruit.
I am that hot… she replied with a grin.

The black bearded man lit a hand-rolled cigarette. The smoke was fragrant. Notes of anise and chocolate reminded her of childhood and Sundays. Sarah played with a lock of her black hair and impatiently turned her attention back to the suspect.
 …
“But don’t you see – it’s prophetic. Christians can’t be trusted. They’re the problem. They’re standing in the way of progress. The Christian threat to our nation’s peace and security can not be ignored.
The Christians – they want to swallow us up and force our culture to fit their vision. They have no right to protest against the will of the State. The will of progress!
They must be rounded up,” she blurted out.
The facts and, obviously, the final solution was incontrovertible. He’d get it, she hoped.
She sucked on her latte and savored the sweet caramel.
“Prophecy belongs to the Lord. False prophecy, on the other hand is the territory of demons and ruthless ambition,” the man replied – interrupting Sarah’s thoughts.
“Who is trying to swallow who? Who is trying to force who’s culture to fit who’s vision?
Why are the intellectuals being rounded up? Why men and women of conscience and moral character?
You know; they did that in the old country. But the Communists could not contain the human heart.
Because the human heart longs for eternity and deliverance!
The human spirit hungers for the beautiful, the good and the true. It cries out for deliverance from evil. It cries out to God – who is the only one that can save us…”
Sarah rolled her eyes.
There he goes again, she thought to herself.
Yet another speech to the invisible but presumably doting Noble Prize committee.
The black bearded man paused and took a gulp of hot espresso. Then he continued.
“If I am the problem. If we are the problem…
Or if Christians are the problem and the problem is not the compromised wealth, dignity and welfare of the nation, then the so-called problem will be resolved in reconciliation, dialogue and love.
Your detention camps are not a solution.
They are the factories of evil, houses of horrors and, ultimately, a curse upon the nation!
Wars, unjust laws, and prolonged detentions – these are never the instruments of peace but our self-defeat. A defeat of our humanity. All of us.
These instruments of evil must be protested.”
Sarah expected a grand quote about now. It was a burden she had long ago become accustomed to suffer.
“I remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was during his mountain top speech when he had spoke these words.

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

 …
“No!” Sarah replied.
“America is great, because we make it great. Because we’re taking out the trash!”
She was shocked and stunned by his outrageous, dissident and dangerous reply.
Professor Celan was a lost cause, she thought to herself.
“Don’t tell me you’ve converted to Christianity!?” she exclaimed.
In her pocket, she secretly texted her office. It was automatic, practiced, unapologetic, and professional.
Pick up the dissident.
The GPS location and street address for the Starbucks was included with her text message. A white van was dispatched and would arrive at the destination in five minutes.
“No, no. I remain a Jew but I will stand by my Christian brother and sister,” he replied with a gentle, warm smile.
“We are, all of us, members of the same human family. One family.
Remember these words – of all the words I have asked you to reflect upon.
Because these words may unlock your heart. Not today but someday. These words will help deliver you from hate.
Chaplin spoke them in his film, The Great Dictator.
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.”

Tears welled up in the blue eyes of the black bearded, Russian American immigrant. But through the salty tears, a light shone bright in the eyes of Paul Celan, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Harvard’s School of Literature and History.

“Daddy?”

“I forgive you, Sarah. And before your friends come to detain me without reasonable cause or by due process of law, I need to bless you, my dear princess.

There’s not much time, is there?”

The black bearded man stood up, raised his open hand and blessed his daughter with an ancient Jewish blessing.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace…”

What’s up with the Jesus freak? Want me to take care of that… texted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.

Stan Faryna
4 July 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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Can we be true?

June 16, 2014

Can we be true?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

One Republic, Counting Stars

 

How shall we be true to others if we cannot be true to ourselves?

My thoughts turn to Shakespeare’s Hamlet which suggests that we can’t be true to our own self. Hamlet is torn by self-fragmenting experiences of human desire – often contradictory and, sometimes, violent and self-destructive desires. Hamlet goes mad. Hamlet is lost and consumed in darkness. Hamlet is lost even to himself.

The Gospels suggest that we can be true to our own self but only when we are true to God and, secondly, in our being a gift to our neighbor and those in need of help. Truth, Love and Hope shines from Jesus’ naked and beaten body nailed upon the cross. Jesus dies, but he is resurrected. The darkness that would feed upon him is defeated and Jesus is glorified.

 

African Child stalked by a Vulture-Sudan

 

Can we be true to ourselves? Is there a self which is true, truly ours and unsullied?

 

Stan Faryna
16 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Why blogging is so 2010

June 7, 2014

Why blogging is so 2010

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Awolnation, Sail

 

This is how Jack does it

Jack, TheJackB, also known as Jack Steiner throws the click bait out there like a pro. Actually, I think he is a pro. He’s a problogger. More important than that – he’s a fine writer. His most recent pitch – what is your blog about?

I like to imagine that Jack is going to be a 12 week New York Times Best Selling author. Of course, he’ll help me get a fair and awesome contract for my pending novel – just as soon as he hits that homerun.

Meanwhile, I have to explain why blogging is not dead per se, but the sharp edge is gone. It has a bite as serious as a spoon. That’s not your fault. But your chances of making it big as a blogger (if you had sticky rice to throw and awesome sauce on the side) are as good as scratching off a $1000 cash prize on a lottery ticket. For those who don’t like the math, let’s just put it at not very good. It was highly unlikely in 2010. But if that was then, it’s worse now.

Blame it on the geeks.

I reflected on what a geek is here. I plunder the mojo of the new geek. And geeks got really, really mad.

 

This is how I show my love

It’s one way I do it. I deconstruct lies and delusions – especially those beasts by which I am, myself, self-deceived. Or was.

I plunder them like a pirate. If what I share here burns like salt on a raw wound – just imagine how I felt as I explored my own wounds with the imprecisions and derring-do of a 19th century surgeon.

Blame it on the ADD.

Even bloggers don’t read as many blogs as they did. If you don’t believe me, ask the invisible blogger. He can tell you all about them apples. Lesson number three from Bill’s long and successful career as an insurance salesman may apply to this post: Don’t look back.

If bloggers are not reading five to ten blogs per day, imagine how few blogs are read by ordinary people.

 

Moore’s Law

Moore’s law suggests that the processing power and speed of a computer doubles approximately every two years. I will suggest Moore’s Dilemma which implies that human attention, comprehension and knowledge decrease proportionately with the increasing use of computers in everyday life.

This is not sour grapes speaking. Nevermind that I miss the days when I had 100,000 people read one of my posts. And it didn’t happen just once. But those days are gone and I’m lucky if 20 people will read this post today.

We know this – people have less time, shorter attention spans and decreasing intellectual capacity as far as blogs or anything else goes. People think less and reading is a modern superpower. Have you seen the Will Wheaton Project?

TV, video and pics remain dominant communication formats regardless of the stylistic adaptations which reflect the accelerated and incoherent regressions of the internet. But, seriously, I never doubted that their sovereignty could be deeply challenged by text (or hyper text). Even the new Twitter format is a want to get out from under the deadweight of text.

People need it to pop. Who got time for the deeper thoughts?

he …

himalayan blue poppy faryna gabalots

Himalayan Blue Poppy

What’s the point of blogging?

I’m going to keep it simple.

 

1. Search position

2. Ad link landing site

3. Build up the credibility of your marketing message (or fraud)

4. Because you have something to say and no one in your offline to share your big ideas with

5. Because you have something to say and you don’t respect the opinion of those who give you offline feedback

6. Because no one in your offline respects your opinion

7. Because you don’t know about WOW or some other totally immersive, lifestyle MMORPG

 

Speaking in Tongues

That’s tongue in cheek, right? Maybe. And maybe is all I can honestly say about the subject.

Want audience?

Video is the shizzle. It is where it is. The audience. And I shall hope I’m very mistaken.

But the skills and equipment you need to rock the video isn’t as plug, play and fake as the blogging.

Just ask Yogizilla. Or check out Yomar Lopez, Fred Rojas (Gaming History 101), me and some other peeps hanging out uncensored one evening on TwitchTV.


Stan Faryna
7 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

 

 

 


We must love one another or die, wrote W. H. Auden

December 11, 2013

Reflections on Auden’s poem September 1, 1939

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

J.S. Bach, Saint Matthew’s Passion

In the face of impending war and for his contemporaries who did not know, a world war, Wystan Hugh Auden reminds his reader of several things which we, today, will also benefit by.

Oh – Auden is considered among the important writers of the 20th Century.

1. We must love one another or die

2. Though we are busy in each our own everyday trials, comforts and leisure, things are going on in the wider world and, quite possibly, terrible things

3. Despite all our pretenses, happy talk, busy-ness, and self-deceit, most of us were never happy. And, more importantly, that we were never good and, thereby, we shall not be spared impending terrible evils and torment that defy our present imagination.

September 1, 1939
by W.H. Auden 

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
‘I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,’
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

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The Prodigal Daughter

September 12, 2013

The Prodigal Daughter

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Cold Play, Atlas

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.
Luke 21:10-12
“What do you think of the novel I lent you? Exodus?”
“It’s naive. To put it kindly,” answered the black bearded man.
“I remember how it was before the walls came down. Before we came to America. Your mother, she never forgot what it was like to live under a dark spirit of lies, slander and accusation.
She never forgot the fear, ambition and terror of the party members. Oh how our neighbors and colleagues proudly wore their red star. They wore the sign of their fallen master like a badge of courage! Yet they lacked any courage. They lacked chests.
Here, we are again.

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

Now there is a good book!

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

Have you read it?”

“What,” Sarah thoughtlessly replied.
Sarah unhappily sipped on her iced venti caramel latte. She glanced at her candy apple red iPad. 6 new email.
She glanced at the first email.
DHS Sector 3 Battalion 3 Nimrod Protocol
Does he check out?

As she reviewed email on her iPad 3, Sarah fidgeted with the key to her company car – a sleek BMW X6.
The key to her car was a source of decisive inspiration for her- especially her lucky key ring charm. A black cat of Swarovski crystals.
She so loved how it sparkled!
Sarah was working things out in her head.
How do I get him to understand, she wondered to herself.
The christians must be stopped before they start a civil war. They needed to be detained. The radicals. The Christians that believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was supposedly resurrected and who will supposedly come again.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah noticed a tall, dark and handsome man nod to her from a nearby table. He looked like Apollo – the god of war. He was hot.
“You’re hot”, he texted to her.
She texted back.
Me too! I think so too. Here’s my number. Call me, maybe. 😛
“I’ll carry your world…” he texted back.

Sarah rolled her eyes and winked at Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Then she slid a button forward on the side of her iPad and the monitor became a mirror. She checked her look and smiled. Her azure blue lip gloss was killer. Dangerous. Sexy. Forbidden Fruit.
I am that hot… she replied with a grin.

The black bearded man lit a hand-rolled cigarette. The smoke was fragrant. Notes of anise and chocolate reminded her of childhood and Sundays. Sarah played with a lock of her black hair and impatiently turned her attention back to the suspect.
 …
“But don’t you see – it’s prophetic. Christians can’t be trusted. They’re the problem. They’re standing in the way of progress. The Christian threat to our nation’s peace and security can not be ignored.
The Christians – they want to swallow us up and force our culture to fit their vision. They have no right to protest against the will of the State. The will of progress!
They must be rounded up,” she blurted out.
The facts and, obviously, the final solution was incontrovertible. He’d get it, she hoped.
She sucked on her latte and savored the sweet caramel.
“Prophecy belongs to the Lord. False prophecy, on the other hand is the territory of demons,” the man replied, interrupting Sarah’s thoughts.
“Who is trying to swallow who? Who is trying to force who’s culture to fit who’s vision?
Why are the intellectuals being rounded up? Why men and women of conscience and moral character?
You know; they did that in the old country. But the Communists could not contain the human heart.
Because the human heart longs for God, for forever, and deliverance!
The human spirit hungers for the beautiful, the good and the true. It cries out for deliverance from evil…”
Sarah rolled her eyes.
There he goes again, she thought to herself.
Yet another speech to the invisible but presumably doting Noble Prize committee.
The black bearded man paused and took a gulp of hot espresso. Then he continued.
“If I am the problem. If we are the problem…
Or if Christians are the problem and the problem is not the compromised wealth, dignity and welfare of the nation, then the so-called problem will be resolved in reconciliation, dialogue and love.
Your detention camps are not a solution.
They are the factories of evil, houses of horrors and, ultimately, a curse upon the nation!
Wars, unjust laws, and prolonged detentions – these are never the instruments of peace but our self-defeat. A defeat of our humanity. All of us.
These instruments of evil must be protested and deconstructed.”
Sarah expected a grand quote about now. It was a burden she had long ago become accustomed to suffer.
“I remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was during his mountain top speech when he had spoke these words.

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

 …
“No!” Sarah replied.
“America is great, because we make it great.”
She was shocked and stunned by his outrageous, dissident and dangerous reply.
Professor Celan was a lost cause, she thought to herself.
“Don’t tell me you’ve converted to Christianity!?” she exclaimed.
In her pocket, she secretly texted her office. It was automatic, practiced, unapologetic, professional…
Pick up the dissident.
The GPS location and street address for that Starbucks store was included with her text message. A white van was dispatched and would arrive at the destination in five minutes.
“No, no. I remain a Jew but I will stand by my Christian brother and sister,” he replied with a gentle, warm smile.
“We are, all of us, members of the same human family. One family.
of all the words I have asked you to reflect upon, remember these words.
Because these words may unlock your heart. Not today but someday. These words will help deliver you from hate.
Chaplin spoke them in his film, The Great Dictator.
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.”

Tears welled up in the blue eyes of the black bearded, Russian American immigrant. But through the salty tears, a light shone bright in the eyes of Paul Celan, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Harvard’s School of Literature and History.

“Daddy?”

“I forgive you, Sarah. And before your friends come to detain me without reasonable cause or by due process of law, I want to bless you, my princess.”

The black bearded man stood up, raised his open hand and blessed his daughter with an ancient Jewish blessing.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace…”

What’s up with the Jesus freak? Want me to take care of that… texted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.

Note: My attempts to write flash fiction are mostly inspired by John Magnet Bell of Start Your Novel. This particular foray into flash fiction was also inspired by the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Josh Wilner, Garland DeCourcy, Michael Jackson, Derek Prince, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Jack King.
More Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna
I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky
Stan Faryna
12 September 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Get Lucky

August 25, 2013

We’ve come too far to give up who we are…

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Daft Punk, Get Lucky

For the purpose of the peace and security of our nation, our families and our hope for tomorrow, I have declared a national emergency and enacted Martial law. Shelter in place until further notice. Food, water and medical care will be made available to the public at designated locations, dates and times which will be announced by local authorities following my message.

Stand strong, America! Stand together. Stay calm and follow the instructions of your local authorities. Together, we will get through this difficult time. We shall overcome even this.

It had been three days since Mary Elizabeth Arlington had heard the emergency Presidential broadcast, four days since the failure of electronic banking transactions and the lock down on the internet, and five days since trading had been halted on the NYSE after a 10 percent dip.
… 
She adjusted the rear view mirror and checked her lip stick. Metallic Strawberry. Her smile was perfect. She was hot.
Mary tuned her radio to the station indicated on a large sign at the entrance of the distribution center. Her DHS and national identity cards were duct taped to her driver side window. The former entitled her to double rations.
… 
Someone honked their horn from behind her car. Mary rolled her eyes.
Mensch!
… 
In front of her, 100 cars waited anxiously in the priority lane for National Guardsmen to distribute the emergency rations: two 5 gallon bottles of water, 12 MREs, three 15 oz can of beans and a small bag of rice. That was the standard ration.
On the other side of the distribution center, the queue for ordinary civilian distributions was ten blocks long.
… 
An announcement repeated on her radio.
Please stay inside your vehicle. Unlock your doors. Guardsmen will directly load the supplies into your vehicle when you reach the designated loading zones.
 …
Do not leave your vehicle for any reason. All violators will be sentenced without exception. If you need medical assistance, please proceed to the medical center which is located at the other side of the distribution center. 
… 
Once your car is loaded, immediately leave the loading zone in a calm and orderly manner. Thank you.
Mary slid a bible study CD into the dash slot – she would put this wait to good use.
… 
An hour later, Mary rolled up to the loading zone. Her bible study ended with a quotation from Revelations.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
A guardsmen opened her back door and proceeded to load six boxes into the black seat of her black BMW X6.
“Nice car, Miss. See you next week…” the soldier remarked before he closed the door and waved her to move forward.
Mary smiled. He was cute and he smelled nice. Like lemons and verbana.
It’d be nice to have a man like that at home, she thought to herself.
A real man – not like her husband who was ten years older than her, diabetic and a stroke survivor. It’s not like her husband’s money was good for anything now… 
What she needed now was a strong, young man and a good…
Mary drove forward and out of the distribution area. She slid another CD into the dash slot – Daft Punk.
… 
Two blocks down the road, she stopped at a stop sign. A woman walked in front of her car carrying a hand written sign in one hand and an infant in her other arm. The sign read, Please help, my child is hungry.
… 
The back door opened and a man grabbed a box and handed it off to another man. Then, he grabbed another box. He smelled like piss and sweat.
… 
Fuck!
I didn’t lock the door, Mary thought to herself as she stepped on the gas and hit the woman with the hand written sign.
The woman’s face hit the hood and then her body went under Mary’s car. The child was thrown on the windscreen. Her little face was pressed against the glass in front of Mary’s face. Her innocent, big blue eyes met Mary’s tear-filled eyes.
… 
This doesn’t make me a bad person, Mary thought to herself as she jerked the steering wheel – hard left and right. The blue-eyed infant girl slid off at the car at 60 mph and the back door slammed shut.
Mary remembered the wisdom of the Desiderata as she pushed the door lock button.
… 
I’m a child of God and I have a right to be here…
…..
Note: My attempts to write flash fiction are mostly inspired by John Magnet Bell of Start Your Novel.
More Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna
Stan Faryna
25 August 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

I’m a creepy, lonely man!?

July 23, 2013

Flash Fiction

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Duran Duran, Come Undone

I’m a creepy, lonely man!?

That question rocked his being.
That’s what she’s thinking about me. Right now.
He reflected on her words, weighed each one like it was a roll of one ounce, gold eagle coins. And he cringed, at the same time, like he was sucking on a lemon.
What made him… so creepy?
Unembarrassed by his reply of silence to her playful comment, she smiled at him. Then she lifted the champagne flute to her lips and took a sip.
… 
The Nobel Prize meant nothing. Three New York Times Best Sellers didn’t matter in the slightest bit.
The framed picture of him shaking hands with the President could not redeem him from her seemingly impetuous epithet.

Is my hair creepy? My smile? The sound of my voice? The folded Doctor Who scarf draped over the railing

“What do you want to do in five years?” she asked – hoping to get the conversation going again.
He let a minute pass by in silence. It felt like an hour. To both of them.
“I’m just going to be me,” he finally answered. ‘Hopefully, more truly me. With the grace of God…”
He knew it was the wrong answer. It was an honest answer. Courageous. It was even a profound answer.
It was still the wrong answer if he had wanted to live what truth and beauty would out. In a first kiss…
Maybe, I should have said, founder of the Facebook killer. Inventor of hyper-intelligent eye wear. The genius that engineers Yahoo’s comeback.
This was prolly the last time he’d answer a personal ad seeking “a real man, an honest and sincere man, a man of character, passion and wisdom…”
Because when you are a creepy, lonely man, those things count for nothing.
Right? 
“Can I be me too?” she asked softly.
“Can I become undone?”
“Why not?!” he replied.
She gave a big sigh of relief, stood up and slipped off her dress.
Then she unzipped her shoulders and her six wings slowly unfolded to their full, silvery magnificence.
###

If you enjoyed this flash fiction, you may enjoy my novella, F.A.B. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071S75DWB

FAB ebook cover 200

Note: My attempts at flash fiction are mostly inspired by John Magnet Bell of Start Your Novel.
Stan Faryna
23 July 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

How to write bad poetry like a nobody

April 28, 2013

How to write bad poetry like a nobody

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Andres Segovia, Asturias for Spanish Guitar

The poet blogger, Anthony Wilson of the Lifesaving Poems blog, writes today about his encounter with Michael Symmons Roberts’ poem, Ultramarine. His blog post is here:

Michael Symmons Roberts’ ‘Ultramarine

Anthony’s post reminds me of my first encounter with the same poem years ago. Roberts’ Ultramarine provoked questions about life and death, self-reflection (not to be confused with navel gazing), and [gulp] a necessity to write – to write (bad) poetry.

If a poem does that to you (like what Roberts’ Ultramarine did to me) – it’s good poetry.

When I say I do bad poetry, I say this not out of false modesty in anticipation of future praise. But I do say so with the lingering shame of those many, many letters of rejection taped to the bedroom wall of my younger Patsak self.

Nonetheless, I share my prose with you (below) – that you can get a feel for how not to write poetry. Also – I share this to share my self with you. Perhaps, Johnny too will discover it someday.

“Nobody” is everyone, a person without accomplishment, and also a reference to the Odyssey when the cyclops, Polyphemus, asks Odysseus for  his name. – in case you wondered about the alternate title.

the-dream-of-solomon-luca-giordano

Cerulean Blue

or A Self-Portrait of a Nobody

I knew him well, better than you. Knew him
like a warm wool scarf wrapt around the face
on a cold January morning stroll
along Spuistraat, passing Magna Plaza.

I knew the hidden smile sweeping the street
with tassels of saffron, burnt umber, thyme,
gold, sandalwood, dark plum and a little gray –
the man wasn’t as tall as Tom Baker.

And the scarf had stretched beyond twelve feet.
Knew him like the dull pain – its claws gripping
his ankles and its teeth burying into his calves
as he left the Willis on South Wacker –
an exhausting, inescapable friend
that persecutes, tries and tests your patience.
There were times he couldn’t take one more step
down a fragrant spring path in Cismigiu
and he would linger with a cigarette –
as if he meant to. And maybe he did.
I knew him like a Solomon searching
for a perfect blue – cerulean, in fact.
Ultramarine may be a misadventure
like forbidden, swollen areolas,
like a shuddering gasp of completion.
With someone that does not belong to you.
Does anyone?! Ever belong to you?
Cerulean is ubiquitous – not cheap
like kitsch (to be displayed) in a Florentine curio –
not even a cabinet adorned with angels
or six winged seraphim gilt in gold.
But he had tried anyway. Wouldn’t you?
Cerulean is effervescent, sweet, fleet
like light glinting on an artichoke’s crown
in the afternoon gardens of Monticello
or the first, unsteady flight of a robin.
That’s how I knew him. A cerulean blue.
Like the old dog that still chases his tail –
going round and round in twirling, whirling,
unabashed circles like a dervish
in prayer; like a twister on the sea,
moving over the face of time and space,
blinking like the light of a distant star
that prevails against the darkest of nights
and is gone when you take a second look.
Like a nobody.
That’s how I knew him. Did you know him too?

Stan Faryna
28 April 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Recent blog posts:

Beauty, Come and Get Some

Freedom is Solid7

Season 3 Finale of The Walking Dead

Click and buy the mug shown below and help feed kids.

Faryna Mug - love never fails


this week runs over with strong feelings and pounding hearts #HearOurPrayer

April 19, 2013

Progress, Prosperity and Hope

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

This week. Like a overflowing cup, this week runs over with strong feelings and pounding hearts.

Imogen Heap, Just For Now

Sorrow and tears were shared. But also kindness and at least one smile. Or two. And prose – if it is not poetry – made certain demand upon me.

Please visit the awesome bloggers (Jayme Soulati and Kaarina Dillabough) who are kind and generous to allow me to guest post and share words of hope and happy.

The Happy Friday Series: A Chat With Pooh

What If Today You Got More Than You Asked For?

And the prose?

Bear with me. This too shall pass. Quickly.

Progress, Prosperity and Hope

I stretched out my hand to poetry
this early morning
and I felt the distance grow between words
and understanding.
Were those miles there before I had begun?
Like glass shattering, the shards scattering
across the kitchen floor; like a people
fleeing, retreating
from a more perfect union – but they say
Lincoln’s a poet and poetry mends
hearts, ways, hopes, families, neighborhoods and peoples.
That would be progress!
Or prosperous by any other name.

Technology, commerce, innovation –
cannot tow a star-faring ship of state
up a creek like a stubborn juggernaut.

Yes, star-faring ship –
that is what I wrote!

The seas are sailed
and the seas run red.
The shining cities
of Mars
are not soon enough
nor the Orion
starports blinking in their ochre glory.

At dock, hum the engines of Enterprise,
ready to carry our hopes even further.

Beyond poetry. Fiction. And Boston.

Stan Faryna
19 April 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Recent blog posts:

Beauty, Come and Get Some

Freedom is Solid

Season 3 Finale of The Walking Dead

Click and buy the mug shown below and help feed kids.

Faryna Mug - love never fails