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.

For a limited time! In Jerry’s Corner is only 99 Cents on Amazon!

Cover Art_SouthardHi everyone. Okay, drop everything. Seriously, let it go.

Now race to your Amazon account and grab a copy of my new novel, In Jerry’s Corner, RIGHT NOW!

For only the next few days, In Jerry’s Corner is just 99 cents.

That’s right, you can grab the book for only a dollar!!! 

You can grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2OIxYbu

Tell everyone! Throw it on your kindle! Give it as a gift!

Published by KGHH Press, In Jerry’s Corner is the story of a very special friendship and the power of an individual to impact not only the people around them, but the universe. I am really proud of this work and I am asking for you to give it a shot. I promise you will not be disappointed. It is unpredictable and very unique, not something often promised in today’s book world.

Here 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.

You can check out an excerpt on my website here, but why do that when you can just start reading now. Grab your copy on Amazon today!

Read about In Jerry’s Corner in latest Black Books ezine!

Black Books Cover SUMMER SPECIAL (1)Hello everyone. My latest novel In Jerry’s Corner has been out for a month. Have you checked it out? What did you think? Uh huh? Really? You don’t say…

Anyway, it is discussed in the latest issue of Black Books ezine! You can snag a copy on Amazon (free for those with Kindle unlimited- those lucky, lucky people).

AMAZON UK:

https://amzn.to/2WPTXEo

AMAZON USA:

https://amzn.to/2FhqEjm

Okay, now for those that have not grabbed my latest novel, read it, or reviewed it… Well… I am looking at you and my eyes are doing that beady eye thing that scares my kids. You can grab a copy on Amazon here-

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

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

In Jerrys Corner BUS STOP MASTER 2

Remember, it is free for Kindle Unlimited. For the rest of us it is incredibly well-priced (some would call it a steal… I will call it a steal) at $2.99 for ebook and $10.99 for the beautiful paperback copy.

I hope you will check it out… and check out the ezine… and tell a friend… and maybe throw me a review on Goodreads or Amazon… and buy it as a present for friends, family members, and enemies (it could help release tension).

 

Free for Kindle Unlimited! Grab a copy of my new book In Jerry’s Corner!

My new novel is available via amazon.com right now! But for those with Kindle Unlimited they can snag a copy free right now!

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

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

For the rest of us, the price is really great. $2.99 for the ebook and just $10.99 for the paperback (I’m a print guy, myself. It looks super great!)

Published by KGHH Press, In Jerry’s Corner is the story of a very unique friendship and the power of an individual to impact not only the people around them, but the universe. Here 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.

You can check out an excerpt on my website here.

BOOK GIVEAWAY! 5 will win an autographed copy of In Jerry’s Corner!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

In Jerry's Corner by Scott D. Southard

In Jerry’s Corner

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends May 05, 2019.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Now through May 5, 2019, there is a book giveaway on GoodReads.com for my latest novel, In Jerry’s Corner! FIVE will win an autographed copy of the book. You can enter by clicking the link above or by visiting this page- https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/291958-in-jerry-s-corner

In Jerry’s Corner will be released on May 3, but you can still discover my new book.

  • You can read an excerpt here.
  • You can also read an exclusive interview about the work (and learn more about me) on the publisher’s website page.

Cover Art_Southard

Here is the back cover description for the book:

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.

In Jerry’s Corner is available for preorder now:

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

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

 

“Bill called it ‘collecting’ but to Jerry it was something more magical…” An excerpt from In Jerry’s Corner

The release of my latest novel In Jerry’s Corner is getting closer! Just yesterday, I received my copies from the publisher. I think every author does a picture like this with their new book. Who am I to break a tradition?

Yeah, I’m super happy with it. (And I hope you will be too.)

Below I am sharing for the first time an excerpt from “Ten” of In Jerry’s Corner. At this point in the story, Jerry is ten and he has an invisible friend named Bill. Bill is green and dressed like a superhero…

You can preorder a copy a copy of In Jerry’s Corner on Amazon today.

I hope you enjoy this snippet from my new book.

An Excerpt from “Ten”

When Jerry opened his eyes, Bill was over him, his face a little too close to Jerry’s. Good morning. How about we go to the library today?

Jerry rolled away from Bill. “I still have a pile of books to read from our last visit.”

I would like to visit a new library, Bill said.

Jerry moaned, “Super Bill…”

It is necessary for my research. Bill waved his hands and one of the pencils on Jerry’s desk rose in the air, along with a small notepad. They both landed in front of Jerry on the bed. Take note, Bill said.

Fifteen minutes later, Jerry was downstairs. His mom was in the kitchen making pancakes. He knew where his father was, they both did. After drinking he snored like a beast, and they knew all the problems that would occur if he was to wake before he was ready. It always reminded Jerry of the stories about waking a sleeping bear. His father was the bear and he and his mother were stuck in the cave with him.

Even though Jerry knew the routine, his mom felt she still had to say something. “Dad just needs to sleep, so let’s try to be quiet. Pancakes?”

Jerry nodded, and his mom brought him a plateful at the table. She kissed the top of his head. “Maybe we should get out of the house so he can sleep in peace? What do you think?”

Jerry looked to Bill in his corner and sighed. “Maybe we can go to a library?”

“We just went last weekend.”

“Yeah, but I want to go to one we haven’t been to before.”

His mom whispered, but there was a hint of humor in her voice. “I think we’ve been to all of them in the area, Jerry.”

Jerry pulled a piece of paper out of his back pocket. “I wrote down the address.”

His mom took the piece of paper, a little surprised and impressed at the same time.

“There are directions too. It opens at 10.”

***

“Mom, I don’t want to do baseball anymore.” Jerry said, while looking out the car window.

“You just had a bad game, Jerry.”

“I’ve had three years of bad games, mom.”

“Sports teach a lot of things. Teamwork, fair play… It’s good you stay in, alright?” Jerry’s mom looked down at the directions from Jerry and made a turn.

“It’s just not fun for me. It’s boring.”

Jerry’s mom gave a small smile. “It can be a little boring, yes.”

Jerry looked at his mom in the driver’s seat. “Plus, the other kids care so much more than me. Dad cares so much more than me. They all do. I don’t think any of them wants me there.”

“I’m pretty sure your dad would be disappointed if you did quit.”

“Can we at least talk about it?” He was pleading now.

She sighed. “He’s the assistant coach, Jerry. He needs to be there. It would be odd for him to be there without you being there too.”

Jerry couldn’t stop himself. It was like everything he had wanted to say for years was coming out all at once. “But he signed me up, I didn’t ask to play.  Sometimes I think dad loves that stupid game more than me.”

His mom took a quick glance at him. “You know that’s not true.”

Jerry turned back to looking out the window and saw Bill standing on the corner. Noticing Jerry’s gaze, Bill pointed in the direction they needed to go. Jerry stuck his tongue out at him.

As the car moved forward, Jerry’s mom said, “It’s only a few more weeks. Let’s just get through the next few games and talk about it afterwards, okay?”

***

Bill called it “collecting” but to Jerry it was something more magical. It was as if, for a second, all of the characters in all of the stories in the library came alive and breathed one great breath together.

The collecting would begin with Bill moving quickly to the center of the building. He would then raise his long arms much like a pastor welcoming parishioners into a church. Every word had a home with him, every single one. He was calling them all to him.

Then, like a stream of wind, there would be a rustle through each book. No matter the shelf, none would be missed. Each page in the building would feel that breeze. If a person was sitting at a table reading, he would have to grab his book in that second, to keep from losing the page. A few librarians would look around quickly, wondering if a window had been opened.

And then it was done. Each collecting would be the same, and it never lasted more than a second. Jerry liked to call it the breath of literature.

“Did you read them all again?” Jerry whispered to Bill. His mother was already browsing through the movies.

I have collected the information, yes.

“I’d like a few books on drawing comic books. Which books would you recommend I check out?”

I will show you.

You can learn more about my new book on this page- https://sdsouthard.com/in-jerrys-corner/.  Grab a copy of the book today.

PRESALE BEGINS! Snag your copy of my latest book, In Jerry’s Corner, now!

Cover Art_Southard

The presale begins today for my latest novel, In Jerry’s Corner. I am really proud of the book and I can’t wait for you to discover it. (Yes, I am talking to you.) It is currently available from Amazon in both paperback and eBook.

On Amazon’s US Sitehttps://amzn.to/2OIxYbu

On Amazon UK Sitehttps://amzn.to/2U7zcCO

Grab your copy! Maybe grab two!

Here is the back cover description for the work:

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.

You can learn more about the book (and me) on the publisher’s website here. I can’t wait to share this latest work with you.

Coming this May! My latest book- In Jerry’s Corner! Read a Sample!

“In a house on a dusty street, there was a quiet stranger.”  

Coming this May from KGGH Publishing, my latest novel In Jerry’s Corner! Today, I get to share not only more information about this very unique book, but an actual sample from it!

Here (for the first time) is the back cover description of In Jerry’s Corner:

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.

On the KGHH’s website (right here- http://www.kensingtongorepublishing.com/scott-d-southard/4594572642) you can read an interview with me, 7 fun facts about me, and a sample. Yes, I said sample!!! I hope you will check it out… and then have your family check it out… then close friends… then not-close friends… and then strangers. Oh, just tell everyone!

I am really proud of this latest book and I can’t wait to share it with you.

So click here, and check it out today! May is right around the corner….