About Scott D. Southard

Scott D. Southard is the author of In Jerry's Corner, Permanent Spring Showers, Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors, Megan, and 3 Days in Rome. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog "The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. His blog can be found at http://sdsouthard.com.

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (6th installment)

Moon

Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan and Kurt Vonnegut, The Art of Being Alone is a novella about a lost soul living on the Moon and what he found there. You can read the earlier installments here. Our narrator is a member of the 5%s, wealthy individuals that own a majority of all of the resources and economy on the Earth. The rest of the planet is in turmoil, with the environment and the poor (everyone else) struggling to live or fight back. It is under these conditions that our broken narrator moves as far away as a human possibly can… 

21- A Lawyer’s Bang

My grandfather used to complain about lawyers all the time. He would do it at the table during dinner, on the phone, in his sleep. It was strange to me, even as a young child, because he surrounded himself with so many of them. Why surround yourself with someone you can’t stand? And yet, wherever my grandfather went, a lawyer was soon to follow.

I had my own issues with lawyers, but I definitely annoyed them more than he did. He would just tell them what he wanted to do and they would make it work. I never considered having conversations that way.

The lawyers certainly had some questions for me when we began preparations for my Moon departure. Their questions were never about the trip, my plannings, or me, it was about my money and the estate; in other words, everything I was abandoning.

My money and estate? I explained that nothing happened to it. I wasn’t dying. I was just going up there (and I would point up). Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (5th installment)

SelenitesInspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan and Kurt Vonnegut, The Art of Being Alone is a novella about a lost soul living on the Moon and what he found there. You can read the earlier installments here. Our narrator is a member of the 5%s, wealthy individuals that own a majority of all of the resources and economy on the Earth. The rest of the planet is in turmoil, with the environment and the poor (everyone else) struggling to live or fight back. It is under these conditions that our broken narrator moves as far away as a human possibly can…

18- I Am THE Selenite

Jules Verne and his two books about traveling to the Moon (From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon) always seem to get misremembered. This is mainly because people confuse it with the black-and-white silent film that was loosely based on the series, Le Voyage dans la Lune by Georges Melies.

In the film, our heroes land on the Moon and meet some Selenites, which is the name for moon dwellers in most scifi (the name comes from the Goddess Selene). They have an escape and bring one of the poor creatures back to Earth to show to all of us humans, traumatizing that poor creature forever for science. Hurrah!

In the actual book, this is not really how it works out. Our heroes never even land on the Moon!

In typical American fashion, they decide to solve the trip to the Moon problem with a giant gun. For what in an American’s mind is better for solving a problem than a gun? It’s certainly solved the problem of my grandmother. (More on that country and guns later.)

So the heroes of the story, who by the way are obsessed with the military because of the Civil War, shoot themselves out of this giant gun at the moon. Bang! And in the sequel of the book, it is described how they make their way back, I believe it is by using the gravitational pull of the Moon to pretty much fling themselves to the Earth. So at no point does a Selenite make an appearance.

There is a dog in it though. It, of course, dies, starting our grand tradition of killing cute animals for the sake of space travel. Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (4th installment)

2028238Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan and Kurt Vonnegut, The Art of Being Alone is a novella about a lost soul living on the Moon and what he found there. You can read the earlier installments here. Our narrator is a member of the 5%s, wealthy individuals that own a majority of all of the resources and economy on the Earth. The rest of the planet is in turmoil, with the environment and the poor (everyone else) struggling to live or fight back. It is under these conditions that our broken narrator moves as far away as a human possibly can…

14- Moon Arrival

Everything was done so well. I am a little surprised, honestly. If someone hated me this would have been a great opportunity to get rid of me with little complication or comeuppance. For example, a simple miscalculation in my landing and I would have died, but I didn’t. Or in the design of my suit or my habitat. I could go on and on. So many ways to kill me and yet, here I am.

I landed perfectly by my already created habitat. My robots were standing outside and off since their jobs were done. Everything was waiting for me, as I ordered.

The first steps on the moon were difficult.

I was light and I was not used to it. They tried to get me to take some tests in the suit and in different environments that recreate the experience but I always said no.

And you could not argue with my no. Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (3rd installment)

2028238Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan, The Art of Being Alone is a novella that strangely fits very well with this time in the world. I began it over a year ago and through this website and installments, I hope to force my hand in finishing it. I will be sharing 5 or so pages of it, each week. The first two installments can be found here and here. I hope you enjoy it.–

10- Walking

I enjoy walking on the Moon. I enjoy the “bounce” in my step. I enjoy listening to my breathing in my suit. It is steady and strong, never over excited. It was during one of my walks that I began to see the flashes on the surface of the Earth. They are like the flickers of little lights.

When I lived on the planet there was always a concern about bombs and power. Now and then a leader would come to see me and ask for money. I would usually give it, just to get them to leave. They would then appear on the news saying I support them or a cause.

Blah. Blah. Whatever.

Now there are flashes on the gray surface of that old planet in the distance and I am happily bouncing on the Moon like a child in a giant inflatable castle. Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (2nd installment)

2028238Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan, The Art of Being Alone is a novella that strangely fits very well with this time in the world. I began it over a year ago and through this website and installments, I hope to force my hand in finishing it. I will be sharing 5 or so pages of it, each week. The first installment can be found here. I hope you enjoy it.–

6- The Quiet

When you read and/or watch stories about people living alone, they… do things.

They maybe sing little songs. They talk to themselves about important matters. They might even have friends (maybe just in their corrupted minds) or memories that give us glimpses into their psyche.

I wonder if that is a sign of human weakness. The fact that we need “something.”

We just can’t be alone as people, even in a story. I wonder if we feel too much and that is why the isolation and the silence becomes overbearing. It makes us look inside and we don’t want that! Heaven forbid! We want bangs, flashes, shouting, sex! A person can’t simply “be” in a tale.

For me, I am simply being. I am this and nothing else. I will prove it.

I get up when I get up. I have no sense of time here, but I can say that when the sun begins to spread across the ground and I feel it coming through the plastic glass of my dome and reach my feet, I rise. I stretch one part of my body and then the next. Somewhere I can hear the electronic buzzing of the mechanics that make my home a reality. I couldn’t tell you how the things work, I have no need to know. I simply asked for it and people completed the needed task. Transaction complete.

I then walk in my weighted slippers to the dispenser which takes the food that is grown in the greenhouses and makes it into designated dishes. I eat whatever I want and then I sit, write in this journal and look at the regolith.

There is no noise, no talking, no music, no wind. Just silence.

It is glorious and that is all I need in my story. Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (1st installment)

2028238Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan, The Art of Being Alone is a novella that strangely fits very well with this time in the world. I began it over a year ago and through this website and installments, I hope to force my hand in finishing it. I will be sharing 5 or so pages of it, each week. I hope you enjoy it.–

THE ART OF BEING ALONE

“I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you- Nobody- too?” – Emily Dickinson

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” ― Mark Twain

1- What I Need You to Understand

I want you first to realize I am not here out of hate. I came here because I was done with humanity.

It wasn’t a sudden decision to leave Earth. I had been up for days watching screens (in front of me, at my fingers, on my wrist) and I began to wonder why am I still dealing with this shit. (By the way, that is the only time I am going to swear in this journal. My grandmother told me a long time ago that swear words were the vocabulary for those with not enough education to find other options. I am not sure that is true, but when I lived on Earth there was a lot of swearing.)

I also didn’t come here to hurt anyone. Yet, I know a lot of people were hurt by my decisions. When I was on Earth they called me one of the 5%s because we had everything. I couldn’t argue with that because it was true. I could buy anything, own anything, even sleep with anyone. Everything had a price and I could pay it. And I did… And I did again and again…

But I had reached a moment and…

I should talk about my grandfather first.

Grandpa Jones.

It begins with him. It all begins with him. He was the reason I was a 5%. Even as a child I could tell he was fighting for something, but I had no idea what. He would sit at his desk on the phone or pace on the phone and shout. He always shouted,

When I was young I had no idea what he was shouting about, but it worked. Our houses (for I lived with them, they had bought me from my parents by then) kept getting bigger and bigger until they stopped. Pools, servants (grandpa would call them slaves and barely paid them but they were still happy to take the money), land, pets. Everything.

When my grandfather finally reached 5% he found me in the pool taking swimming lessons from my swim coach (it was his job to teach me, he had won an Olympic medal once. I asked to see it, but he said he had to sell it for food a long time ago). I saw his shoes first on the water edge. I swam to the shoes, I was 9 so I had to hang onto the edge of the pool.

He was looking down at me with an expression I had never seen before. It was a smile. “Son (that is what he called me), I did it.” His smile got bigger. “I finally did it.”

It was then that he jerked, twitched and fell face down in the water next to me.

He died right there.

2- The Surface

You get used to the lack of things here. I don’t mean items and products (I have had enough of those). I mean things like oxygen and gravity. For example, I have become very good at bouncing.

There is no beauty here. The rocks everywhere are not beautiful. They are just rocks. It is a very rocky surface.

I remember the old photos of Earth taken from the moon surface, the Earth looked beautiful then. Now it is gray and sometimes red in spots from the burning lands, the areas too hot for anything.

People used to say 5%ers like my grandfather caused that with their greed. They are probably right. I was never taught to care or feel guilty about things. I just accept things as facts. So, yes, that is probably a fact. I would acknowledge it like that (if I have to). Acknowledging it though doesn’t change anything.

Another fact! They don’t have the resources or capital to fix the ugly earth. It is what it is and I do my best not to look at it when I can.

Another fact! The moon is cold, but the sunlight is warm. I have solar panels for all my needs here- food, heat, energy. So it could be said the sun is killing everyone on earth but saving me here.

I am sure my grandfather would have been happy about that.

3- When you have…

When you have all the money, you simply have to make a decision. It is not like “want”, it is not that overwhelming. It is a simple decision. You point at something in a store and they hand it to you. You don’t have time to feel.

So when I decided to leave the shouting and burning of the world, I simply made a call and then pointed at the Moon.

There were some nods, a bow, and it began.

4- The Filth of Man

When I decided I was done with humankind and ready to leave everything behind, I began to collect Moon facts. It was inspiring to me; I was a person preparing a move to a new land, except this one was farther away.

There was one fact that impacted me a great deal. And it really said to me everything about why I was leaving that destroyed burning planet with its failing mankind.

Did you know that during all of those amazing Apollo missions to the Moon, that the astronauts left their poop there?

See, they couldn’t take the remains with them (they had to consider the weight in the spaceships they were using; at least that is the excuse they used), but there… during the greatest achievement in history, we left 96 bags of filth behind. Think of that next time you imagine Armstrong’s great words. He left his footprint and his poop there.

Let me say that again, 96 bags of trash are scattered over the Moon surface. Astronaut poop, food waste, wrappers. They just left it there, like people littering at a park. And just like awful vacationers, they took pictures, and threw their trash around and left, not bothering to clean up. It is all so awful a concept, it makes me want to vomit.

There are family pictures, golf balls, and even a feather and a hammer around as well.

Again, we litter. We litter in places of beauty, we litter around our own homes, and we liter on the Moon.

When I was selecting the spot for my own lunar home, I demanded that it not be anywhere near the trash and Moon landing spots. Imagine having to deal with those American flags just hanging around in my backyard! Also, every telescope in the world points at those flags a few times a year, the last thing I wanted to be was a show for the people. All those people staring up at me, as I picked up old astronaut poop and raked away the footprints on the lunar regolith. (Of course, I would remove them. This is my home now, not theirs).

Exploring those famous Apollo locations would be like visiting a friend who has big dogs, carefully stepping to avoid a surprise under foot.

Consider how poetic this is (and here is the poet still lingering in my mind coming out again after a deep yawn)- If the world blows up (which will probably happen) and mankind dies away (which will most definitely happen in time), all that will remain to show we were even around are almost 100 bags of filth and flags.

5- The Moon Surface

The proper term for the Moon rocks and dust is “regolith.” It is incredibly inhospitable. It even contains glass that could do major physical damage.

It is as if the Moon is saying, “I don’t want you here. There is nothing here for you.” No air, no water, just a dirt that wants to damage anything you need.

This was all a great concern actually when they were designing my habitat. There were questions about what the lunar regolith would do to my equipment or even me, (If I breathed some in would the glass in it damage my lungs, etc.?).

The decision was made the create an entrance room that cleans the regolith off of my suit. It takes five minutes, but it is thorough. It is like standing in a hot wind for a while, strangely soothing. It reminds me of a time when I was young and my grandfather took me on his boat. (He worked the entire time, of course.) But I was able to lie on the boat and feel the sun rays hitting me.

I got very sunburnt and my tutor (who was supposed to be watching me) was fired. I was never allowed to experience that again, but I remember the feeling. I thought at the time it was like a kiss from the sun, a bit of happiness, but it really was the sun telling me I was unwanted here and was trying to give me pain.

Again, not surprising. Everything on Earth is pain.

Another fact! The astronauts of the Apollo missions brought back quite a bit of regolith. Almost 800 pounds of it, if you can believe it. But while that is a wonderful achievement, they also did not take very good care of it. Most of it had been exposed to air and was really unusable for scientists.

Honestly, they had one thing to do on those trips and they failed at it.

Hello, mankind, hello.

Available now! New novel for eBook and print! Grab your copy of My Problem With Doors…

This is a plea for help.

If you have found this manuscript and think it to be only a novel or an ancient piece of fiction, it is not. This is the story of my life and I hope in your reading you will be able to help me…

My Problem With Doors MASTER TAKE 3

Yes, the world is in crisis but there is also the argument to be made that this is the perfect time to discover a new book. Okay, okay… I get that it is a bad and possibly insenitive joke, but we live in bad and possibly insensitive times.

My novel, My Problem With Doors, is now available on Amazon for eBook and print! Published by KGHH Publishing, this unpredictable time travel book might be just what you need to help pass the time and get your mind onto something other than the mad news. Here is the back cover description:

Jacob is lost in time.

He has been lost ever since he walked through a door as a toddler and ended up in the office of a British officer in 1870. My Problem With Doors is the exciting story of Jacob’s life as a time traveler.

Adventure, humor, romance, and surprises, Jacob never knows where he is going to end up or who he will meet next in his 30-year search for a home and purpose. From pirates to poets to even Jack the Ripper, Jacob will experience all of the best and worst of humanity in his journeys. My Problem With Doors is a book like no other, filled with both literary and adventurous twists and turns.

It is available in print for only $10.99 and ebook (perfect for those screens right now) for only $3.99, which is barely the price of three songs on iTunes. You can find it on Amazon here- https://www.amazon.com/dp/1912638746/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_3cYIEbQ00MWKY

I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please tell a friend or consider giving it a review on Amazon or Good Reads or share on social media. It is really the only way that books like this are found in the world today; you need that word of mouth.

I hope you enjoy My Problem With Doors!

“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” –The Voracious Reader

My Problem With Doors to be released in April! Book cover reveal!

Hello everyone… so a little bit of big news… 

I am pleased to announce that my novel My Problem With Doors is set to be released this April from KGHH Publishing!

My Problem With Doors is so many things and I can’t wait for you to discover it. It is unpredictable and in many ways the kind of book I love to discover when I go to the library. Here is the draft of the back cover description for the work. (I’ll share the cover after this bit, I promise).

This is a plea for help.

If you have found this manuscript and think it to be only a novel or an ancient piece of fiction, it is not. This is the story of my life and I hope in your reading you will be able to help me…

Jacob is lost in time.

He has been lost ever since he walked through a door as a toddler and ended up in the office of a British officer in 1870. My Problem With Doors is the exciting story of Jacob’s life as a time traveler.

Adventure, humor, romance, and surprises, Jacob never knows where he is going to end up or who he will meet next in his 30-year search for a home and purpose. From pirates to poets to even Jack the Ripper, Jacob will experience all of the best and worst of humanity in his journeys. My Problem With Doors is a book like no other, filled with both literary and adventurous twists and turns.

This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars. –The Voracious Reader

I will keep you updated as the publication date moves up. Until then, let me just add a “Yahoo!”

For a limited time. My latest novel In Jerry’s Corner is only 99 cents for ebook!

Cover Art_SouthardIn a house on a dusty street, there was a quiet stranger.

Young Jerry Sleight never knew the stranger was there, nor did his parents. Of course, being only a few months old, little Jerry had no good reason to notice anything besides lights and the smile of his mother. For his parents though, the reason was basically that the stranger was invisible, hovering, and silent. And who looks for something unseen and unheard?

The stranger’s job was to observe and observe he did. He watched the parents feed, change, and fawn over the infant. He was there for each cry and each laugh. His time was passed floating in the northwest corner of the rooms, taking note of everything around Jerry (height, weight, reactions, etc.), watching as each day passed into another and another and another. Until a day came when the stranger decided to introduce himself…

Hey readers! Interested in reading something very new? Unpredictable? My latest novel In Jerry’s Corner is available as an ebook for only 99 cents for a limited time!

Published by KGGH Press, In Jerry’s Corner is the story of a life, but this is unlike anything else out there. I am really proud of this novel and the paths it takes. My aim in the book was to do something very different…and… well… you will have to check it out and see. And really for 99 cents, how can you say no? This is cheaper than most songs on iTunes, people!

On Amazon’s US Site– https://amzn.to/2OIxYbu

On Amazon UK Site– https://amzn.to/2U7zcCO

I can’t guarantee when this kind of sale will happen with the book again, but this is for a limited time. Grab a copy, buy it for a friend or a loved one. If you have read the book and liked it, please tell someone. I would love for more people to discover Jerry and Bill.

BillHere is the back cover description:

Ever since Jerry Sleight was a baby, Bill was there. Bill is tall, quiet, unblinking and green. He is in the northwest corner of every room Jerry visits and only Jerry can see him.

It might sound strange, but Bill is an alien from a planet without a name and his task is to watch a human life from beginning to end. But why he is observing Jerry, and what does he hope to see? Only Bill knows the true answers to the mystery.

Filled with laughter and surprises, Jerry’s days with Bill will represent all of humanity and the impact a life can have, not just on others but on an entire world and universe.

In Jerry’s Corner is about the importance of a single life… and the amazing green individual watching it all take place.

Thanks for reading and please snag a copy of my latest book! Cheers!

 

Is blogging still a thing?

I still struggle around this. I do miss writing on the site and sharing my thoughts on a given topic. (Mandalorian is awesome! People are too mean to Star Wars… Have you heard the music of Pink Martini, I am obsessed?) But it is hard in today’s world. The world is burning, who cares what is playing on my Sonos…. Well… I do, but…

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

BloggerIt was not so long ago that I could lose an afternoon writing a 2000-word blog post about a video game I was playing. Another 1400 words on why a TV show annoyed me. (Yes, Game of Thrones I am looking at you.) 2500 words about a musical group that feels like family to me (Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews never show up though or call me). A blog post with writing advice (I did a lot of those). And how about one about a strange thing that happened to me, or something that made me the person I am today.

That was my life for years! And for a while, I was averaging a few blog posts a week. It was a fun time with likes and shares and comments and followers. But now something has shifted and nothing feels the same.

The thing that shifted is not just…

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