Sherlock By Moonlight

For over a year I have had trouble falling asleep.

There are many things I can point to as possible blames for my restless evenings. Three jump quickly to mind.

  • The obvious one, and the one we probably all share, is the 2016 election and what happened afterwards. For more information on that, tune in to NPR on any day (or hour).
  • The second is more personal. With my writing, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my latest book (which I believe is probably the best original fiction I will ever create). It’s a very unique position, where each reader (agent or publisher) says it is important, some even say they love it, but it has yet to find a home. It’s like being the nice guy in high school; everyone wants to be its friend, but no one wants to date it.
  • The third one is I changed jobs last year. While I am very happy with the results of that experience (and it turned out to be a very good thing for me), everything around those stressful months still wears on me.

I wouldn’t say all of this is dramatic enough to call it PTSD, but it does linger in the gut sometimes at around 11 o’clock when my entire family is asleep and a part of me feels like I need to stay awake to keep an eye on all of them. I don’t have time to sleep. It feels like a luxury I don’t get right now.

I’ve tried a few tricks to fall asleep. The first was I got a sound machine, one of those devices that can do the sound of rain or thunderstorm, etc. (Strangely many of them just make me feel like I have to use the bathroom.)

The sounds did work for about a month and then my nine-year-old son discovered it, and I have not seen it since. It lives in his bedroom now, and while I am struggling to fall asleep he is experiencing a peaceful summer night with crickets.

Analyzing myself (which I love to do), overall, I need to put my mind in a sense of peace and harmony. Give myself the “okay” to fall asleep. Just lying in silence doesn’t do that for me. Reality bears down too much in the quiet moments.

…Strangely what has been working has been solving mysteries with literature’s greatest detective. Continue reading

Advertisements

Lawn Signs

clinton-kaine-yard-sign-in-yardI’m going to share with you my one real crime.

And I got away with it completely. There has never been an arrest or a warrant on this one. So the big secret is about to come out. Are you ready?

I once stole political lawn signs from neighbor yards!

Yes, I am a thief. Here is what I would say to a judge:

But your honor, I was young! Only 18! And it was a joke. A practical joke, honest! You’ve done bad jokes in the past, right? Well, that is what this is! Just a simple laugh.

See, I had this friend in high school who had very strong opinions about the election that year (she was one of those souls that has a strong opinion about everything).  She wouldn’t stop talking about it. It drove me crazy! If I wanted to get her goat about it, I would point out that she would not be able to vote, she was only 17. But I would be able to. It actually was my first time voting and I was pretty excited about it.

This was the first election of Bill Clinton, going up against President George Bush and Ross Perot.

The friend detested those who were considering voting for the President. While I was looking forward to voting for Clinton (even though my first choice was Paul Tsongas), that ballot felt like my first step into adulthood. I vote… then graduate from high school… and then enter college. A real American grownup.

Anyway, so one day I had heard enough about her opinion about the election; and after school thanks to a free hour, I went out and collected about half a dozen lawn signs from the yards of strangers. I stuck them all around her mom’s front yard.

That was my one crime and I was never caught.

Judge, can I plead the fifth? I already talked and admitted it? Damn…

Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, November 2013

A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingThanksgiving bothers me.

Last year, I wrote a post on the holiday where I summed up all of my feelings around it (You can find that piece here). I wrote about how odd it is to see Woodstock eat another bird in the Charlie Brown special for the holiday and I did this deep thing about how maybe we should reconsider the holiday; as compared to the starting mark for Black Friday. In other words, a typical Southard post.

Well, that post did some good numbers on the site, so I thought it might be fun to take it on again… So I thought… and thought… and then banged my head on my keyboard. Seriously, I have nothing else to say about the holiday. Nothing. Nada. Zip.  I then considered just reblogging that post, but I already did that once before. As Charlie Brown would scream “Argh!”

This year my wife is making the turkey for the first time. I’ll probably attempt to watch some of the Macy parade with my kids (which always seems to have more commercials than floats). I’m not a football dude, never have been. I think that goes back to a memory I have of one of my cousins tackling me which knocked the air out of me. After that I rarely showed interest in the sport.  I was done. So I’ll watch the kids, help my wife when I can in the kitchen, and countdown the days until I can write about Christmas.

I always have something to say about that holiday.

Here are my five things that interest me this November. Continue reading

Reposting Political Article

I’ve been dying to write about politics this entire year, but since I just started this site really this year, I wanted to avoid the controversial stuff. This early article, where I compared the election to a story and why that is important in our American worldview (actually, even though some of this is dated I still believe much of it), is one of the few times when I had no choice and gave in. And, to be honest, I still stand by a lot of what I say in this post and believe the result will still be in Obama’s favor.

Here are other things I have considered:

• I wanted to write about truth and how it really, really bothers me that people could justify changing the truth for the sake of the result and how others can go along with that untruth fully knowing that it is a lie. Without truth, what do we have?
• I even started work on a comedic piece about why I think conventions are usually structured like a bad high school award night. (It’s why I was inspired to reblog this post for those curious.)
• I even had to fight myself from at one point comparing Romney—and the fact he has run away from his past and old beliefs (pro-health care mandate, pro-choice, supporting gay rights, believing in global warming, etc.) to achieve his goal—to a Greek tragedy. Think about it: when you abandon everything you have done in the past and changed all of your beliefs for the sake of a victory, who are you in the end since you are no longer yourself…. See classic Greek tragedy. God, it could be one heck of a play! You would just need someone next to him telling him that he is making a mistake (probably the narrator of the play, maybe the character can be one of his sons?) and he would have to abandon that person… and after he loses that one person comes back to remind him that it is gone, and no one (including himself) knows who he is anymore.

Who knows? Before November they might appear on the site. For the time being, they are on my list of possible future topics.

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

As children we are raised to think of our history as a story.

I’m not sure when this way of teaching American history began, but it was definitely prevalent throughout my education. Textbooks would present events, not as simple linear moments but as stories with beginnings, middles, and endings; each with their own book or chapter.

Consider, for example, how we look at the Civil War: The Civil War has a beginning with the election of Lincoln and Fort Sumter; a middle with Gettysburg; and an ending with Lincoln’s assassination. Everything else that occurs is seen in the context of that storyline. You can do this same trick with other wars and major events and you will see how it has affected your view on history as well. We all do it, we were taught to do this; we probably just didn’t realize it at the time that is what…

View original post 1,042 more words

Really? Wow! What?!: Dealing With Negative Comments on a Blog

This morning I woke up to a stranger calling me a moron.

See, I have an iPhone app for my WordPress blog, and I get notifications when a comment comes in. It rarely happens that I get a comment in the late evening, so I haven’t bothered to change my settings out of sheer laziness. Well, this morning I did get a comment waking me up; actually two came in but they were from the same person, so I think of them as one. The first said what I had written was “bullshit” and the second called me a “moron.”

Do you like irony? The piece that he was commenting on (here) was about how Bruce Wayne has anger issues and could do more with his billions of dollars to help people if he really wanted to do than becoming Batman; so the fact that someone with the screen name of “Bruce Wayne” called me a moron and swore at me, kind of proved my point… Okay, maybe it’s not that funny a point but I think it is at least a little interesting to note, right? Continue reading

Seriously Bruce?!: Taking on the Logic of Becoming a Batman

Growing up, Batman was always my favorite superhero.

Why was I always drawn more to Batman?

Well, frankly, because under the right circumstances I could have been Batman. But that is true not just for me; you could have been Batman. We all could have been Batman!  (The same can’t be said for Superman or the Flash sadly.)

All we just need is a heck of a lot of money and a devastating experience in one’s childhood and we are in that dark cape… Sadly, for me, my parents are perfectly healthy and I am not rich.

Of course, this is the logic of a kid discovering a comic book at the age of eight, it is not the logic of a sane adult. I mean, we adults, when considering becoming a masked vigilante, would think about the police, fingerprints, what if we get shot, what kind of training, how do we buy supplies, how do we get medical attention…. The list goes on and on when an adult tries to consider this employment opportunity. In the long run, it does not feel like the best option or more people would be doing it, besides the random “unique” individuals we see on television roaming our streets. Continue reading