Life’s Like That

Ripples in the sand

A story based on fact and reflection by B. B. Wright

I’ve heard that bad things come in groups of three. To me that was nothing more than a bunch of malarkey. Sure, I accepted the adage that life is ‘what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’ But, neatly packed up and delivered in threes? Now, that’s stretching the imagination. At least, that’s what I thought until the week of my wedding.

It all started on a Tuesday morning about five years ago. I was trimming my beard and moustache and rehearsing my replies to an imaginary interview that would play out for real later that morning at the executive office of the Sun newspaper in Toronto when the phone rang. It was my bud, Peter, who was applying for the other editorial position. He informed me that he had arranged another day for his interview because he was too sick with the flu.  After a few consoling words, suggested remedies and his repeated assuredness that he would be okay for my ‘big day’—after-all he was going to be my best man Saturday—I hung up and headed out into the blustery and rainy March day with a fairly large degree of trepidation; a fear that was less about the interview than the drive in. You see, since Peter wasn’t driving, it meant that I had to drive my less than in great shape 10 year old Isuzu.

On my way to the interview, I stopped at the closest self-service gas station to fill up and get some oil. The fill up went fine but while I was pouring the oil a gust of wind came out of nowhere and slapped the oil over my best shirt, tie and dress jacket.

Actually, it was my only dress shirt, tie and jacket.

Already running late, I had no choice except to show up at the interview looking like a mechanic who had forgotten to change. Feeling already overly self conscious about my appearance, I stumbled through the hour long interview, shook their hesitant hands and left, thoroughly convinced that I had blown it.

Thursday evening I picked up my bride-to-be, Jeanne, and headed to the Fairmont Hotel to meet my future sister and brother-in-law and their four year old son for the first time. They had flown in the day before from the East Coast for the wedding on the Saturday. Their son Tom was the ring bearer.

As we drove to the hotel, my mouth was sawdust dry with nervousness since it was my first time meeting them. And, like any future brother-in-law, I wanted to make a really good first impression.  So, fearful of bad breath and wanting to relieve the dryness, I popped in a stick of Bazooka bubblegum and relished its wonderful ooey, gooey, satisfyingly juicy effect.

What can I say, I have a bubblegum fetish.

Fifteen minutes after arriving at the hotel, I found myself alone with the four year old Tom while Jeanne helped her sister and husband put together a tray of goodies and drinks in the kitchen of the adjoining suite.  In order to entertain the little tyke I decided to blow up the largest bumble I could. Wide-eyed, Tom giggled with delight as the bubble grew larger and larger. Then, for no apparent reason, the kid reached out and punctured it with his index finger.

That ooey, gooey, icky, sticky bubblegum slapped itself like a magnetic ghost slime across my beard and moustache and I spent the rest of that evening attempting to expunge that damn lousy bubblegum from my beard.

I thought: Who ever thought we needed a ring bearer? Well…I’ll leave it at that.

By my wedding day on Saturday morning, I had given up trying to remove that bubblegum excrement and shaved off my beard and moustache.

Later as I watched my bride walk down the aisle of the church, I took a cursory glance at my best man, Peter, who was wavering to and fro in position. Giving me the thumbs up to reassure me that he was okay, I turned to meet my bride who was giving me one of her askance looks as she saddled up beside me.

Damn! I had forgotten that she had never seen me without my facial hair.

“It’s really me,” I whispered.

“I figured that,” she replied. “I just wish you had waited.”

“What’s the problem?”

“My teeth marks are on your chin from last night.”

I had obviously forgotten that amorous moment. I was sure that the bruising hadn’t been there when I shaved earlier.

Beads of sweat poured down Peter’s face as Jeanne and I completed the ‘I dos’ and the ring exchange. Then, just as I was about to kiss her, Jeanne’s head snapped back and she ended up on her back on top of Peter. Peter had fainted straightaway and had fallen on her train.

Later, we learned that he had been still in the throes of the flu with a feverish temperature of 105.

Though our Jamaican honeymoon was hampered somewhat by Jeanne’s neck brace and dislocated back, the three of us made the best of it. The three of us, you ask?  Yes, the three of us—Jeanne, her wheelchair and me. I pushed that damn chair—whether she was in it or not—from one end of the island to the other in the worst possible weather to hit the Caribbean in a century. But, that’s another story.

Looking back on it 5 years later as I sit in my office in the editing department of the Sun newspaper, I have come to accept that life’s like that and that it works in wonderfully unexpected ways.

Do bad things really come in groups of three? My tendency is to reply: “Not really.” Yet, two weeks ago, it took me three attempts to get the spelling correct in a article for the now defunct German word: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.

I’m still holding my breath on that one.

Presently, I’m suffering through the editing of a medical article and trying to get the spelling for a lung disease called pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis correct for the third time.

Oh, well! I can only do my best.

I have come to gratefully accept that those heralding moments in life (whether in groups of three or not), once plucked out at some future date from life’s treasure chest of quirky moments, take on a whole new perspective and energy of their own; often becoming a story told clothed in much laughter.  Moments like these are best described in the following quote:

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?”
Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

Much ‘stuff’ which fills our daily existence often goes unnoticed for no other reason than it is so tightly integrated into life’s daily landscape that it is taken for granted; it is relegated to nothing more than a given in an often unthinking, daily routine that affords little tolerance for distractions. I’m not saying it’s not important, in fact, just the opposite. It is a necessary human attribute for daily existence; it keeps our focus on getting the ‘job’ done—whatever that may mean.

Most of the time life’s like watching the humdrum uniformity of a newscast—the same old same old—that barely registers on the psyche. Then, one day something occurs sending ripples through that daily human landscape; something that glues us to the moment and sends the “mind tumbling” along a range from tragedy to comedy. Wherever the event occurs along this continuum, it is never void of revelation. Whether it is revelation born in the blink of an eye or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that a modicum of truth is learned about ourselves, the ‘community’ we are part of and the role we play in it.

The Trailer for “Betrayal of Trust”

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The 60 s trailer for Betrayal of Trust.

Learn about  Edward Slocum, Charlotte Bradley, Janet Thompson and a cast of hateful and loveable characters in this adventure, suspense series that is filled with romance (naughty bits and all) sharp turns of plot, intrigue, pathos and of course lots of betrayal that will keep both genders-teenager to adult- guessing at every twist and turn.

Betrayal of Trust by B. B. Wright

Fyles Leaf Bed – A Write at the Merge Prompt

Write at the Merge is a creative writing prompt that provides two prompt ideas. Write a response-up to 500 words-using either or both of the ideas.

This week we’re honoring the genius of Dr. Suess, who was born on March 2, 1904.  Our two Seussical offerings are an image and a line from one of his books. Happy writing!

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”
Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

Without further ado the non-fiction fiction: Continue reading

Challenging Norms, Alternative Realities and Consequences

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.”
– George Harrison, Cloud Nine

word diceWhen I was looking for a quote to start off this post on risk taking, writing, and an author’s choices,  this quote most affected my natural reflective and introspective self.  At first, I wondered whether it had anything to do with my recent Beatles music immersion with the Cirque du Soleil’s presentation of Love. Maybe it did. Who knows? The point is that it struck a chord in me that I have never considered before, especially with respect to my writing. You see, I’m an organic writer who more often than not starts off a chapter with images (and ideas) then just lets it evolve according to its natural flow. Often in this early stage of my writing, development is more driven by characters and situations than by me. Strange though that may sound, at this stage I would describe myself more akin to a back stage technician critical to the play’s success out front. To me, George Harrison’s quote tells me that it’s okay not to always know where I’m going with a particular chapter or plot because each ‘thought-thread’— different in texture and creative bent—will eventually take me to a location where I should and must be in that particular piece of writing.

Challenging Norms, Alternative Realities and Consequences: Risk Taking Choices for a Writer

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Writing, Math and Gratitude: Insights from a First-time Author Part 2

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Challenge yourself to become better; the path won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

As a writer, it is important to never get locked into a specific a style of writing. I hope that every book I write will challenge me to climb higher along the learning curve. For me, that will probably include taking risks (stepping outside my comfort zone). Recently, I read Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers. It’s an excellent novel written in first person from the point of view of the protagonist. Telling a story in first person point of view is something that I would like to try. It won’t occur in my second book (or even the third) but I know at some future date it will happen. My aim at each stage is to always work toward being a better writer. How? It can only happen if I continually broaden my base and adapt to the world. It must always be a given that quality must not be compromised. That having been said, I would be naïve to think that everything I write will be liked. That’s life. But, I will do everything in my power to be viable as a writer.

My writing and research feed into each other. In other words, the research provides the writing with the ideas, sense of presence and creditability; while the writing breathes life into the research through the characters and situations. The two of them are constantly evolving in an ‘organic’ partnership to not only provide the initial ideas but others for me to ponder on. Sure, some of the research is garnered from the internet but the ‘real stuff’ comes from actually eating, sleeping, drinking, walking and just generally having both a presence and experience there. In other words, all I’m trying to say is to get out there and live it (just like Hemingway did).

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Writing is Hard Work – Stick with it

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember,
involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin.

writing, work, publishing, author, paper, pen, Moleskin, notebook, ideas, practice, bookAs an educator and now a writer, those words carry a lot of meaning for me, in the context of the interaction between teacher and student and the between writer and reader. Making the process work is not an easy process (and nothing worthwhile usually is) its rewards are lofty and worth seeking. Writing and teaching are life-long learning processes. Once you forget that, both your readers and students suffer because you as a writer (or teacher) begin to lose that “…emotional being—the effervescence, the sparkle,” as Patricia Cornwell describes it, so essential to keeping connected to both reader and student.

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Writing, Math and Gratitude: Insights from a First-time Author Part 1

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Every piece is important to the final story.

Going into the publishing process, I was a bit overwhelmed. As a first time writer, I discovered that there was so much more than “writing” to get a handle on – learning how to develop and deliver an effective pitch, how to interview, learning how to market myself, etc. Early on, I learned that how you deal with disappointment is critical to your success. Failure can either shut you down or spur you on; you can let it define you or you define it. Simply, you always have a choice.

I strongly dislike, no, let me just say it, I hate using the word “failure.” It conjures negative, hurtful images from my time at school and maybe it does for you. Let’s replace the word ‘failure’ with the phrase (at least until I find something better) ‘brain-teaser.’ Why ‘brain-teaser?’ Well, most people enjoy solving puzzles, no matter how many attempts it takes to solve them. The joy and challenge comes from solving it and/or winning. Few people keep a record of your failures (oops, there I go using that word again). Most people will laud your accomplishment and be amazed with your success. In other words, if you’re not successful the first time you attempt something, don’t sweat over it. Watch and learn from others who have been successful and the missing links will eventually fall into place, allowing you to be successful on your own terms.

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Welcome to Betrayal of Trust

What if everything you ever believed in turned out to be a lie?

Betrayal of Trust, indiepub, amwriting, amreading, crime, thriller, suspense, fictionWhen Edward Slocum, executive vice president of KemKor Pharmaceuticals, sees armed men at Building 3C on the company premises he becomes suspicious of his organizations operations. Before long, he finds himself propelled on a dangerous rollercoaster ride of events that will irrevocably change his own life and endanger the future of his entire community.

This is just the beginning! Check back frequently for update, tidbits, information regarding my new book, Betrayal of Trust.

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