Smile – It’s a good day

‘Great ideas come and go. Execution hardly happens.’
-M. Taggart

I’ve spoken these words thousands of times. At one point I taped the quote on my computer. Forcing myself to take the book I was writing seriously. To ensure I wouldn’t fowl my intention. I did finish the book. And since that time I’ve written two additional books. I know one of them is not good. I also know the other is very good. However, I’m learning it doesn’t fit the current market.

I’m now on chapter five of a new project. And yesterday morning I pushed myself to again submit a batch of poems to a publication. The only shame would be if I hadn’t. I cannot be that man who says and never does. I cannot. I will not.

Finish your chapter. Finish your poem. Let it live. Once you’ve found completion you can relax. Submit your work. And submit it again. The feeling of rejection is art.

If interested, below is a link to the only book of mine that’s available online.

 

 

Or you can visit this-
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/category/dont-be-a-sally-based-on-true-events/

Thanks for reading,

Matt

An Alive Blizzard – Short Story

An Alive Blizzard, A short story

Written by -M. Taggart
Fiction. Copyright 2017

 

It was snowing. The snow had started earlier than they said it would. I had asked my father about the storm and why it was different from other storms. Dad had said to mom that it might be a Blizzard. I didn’t know what Blizzard meant but I felt it. I felt it deep in my chest when Dad said it.

I saw from our window sill that already the snow covered the roads and sidewalks. Tree branches were beginning to become white. The birds were chirping loudly. I watched as they seemingly bounced from branch to branch. I wondered if they knew about the Blizzard.

Dad had told me it was going to be a Nor’ Easter. He said it was a true one. Not like the clippers that rush off the coastline quickly. He said a true Nor’ Easter doesn’t rush. It sits. It spins. He said it was even alive.

I looked out the window at the darkening woods. The sun wasn’t yet down, but the woods didn’t care. They were preparing to become pitch black. I didn’t want to be in the woods. Normally I’d be the first out the door and rushing to find an evergreen to climb under. Their branches were always soft and the bottom row would be connected to the ground. Snow would pin each branch and you could carve a hole through the snow and hide inside the bottom of the tree. If you did this without anyone seeing you, you could hide there all night and you wouldn’t be found. But not tonight. Not with the Blizzard being alive and the woods being alive and me right in the middle of both.

‘What are you doing, Nick?’ his father asked.

‘Watching snow.’

‘And what are you thinking?’

‘I’m thinking about snow forts under the evergreens.’

He wanted to ask his father about the Blizzard being alive. How he would know when it was alive, and what might happen.

‘What do you mean the storm will stop and spin?’ he asked his father.

‘A real Nor’Easter will crawl up the coast. It’ll aim at all of us in New England. Pressure from the north, Canada, will blow toward the system crawling up the coast. The real ones will stop and spin when the pressure from the north hits it. Instead of rushing out to sea, the storm system will press slightly north west. The pressure from the North sits it down, right over us, and it’ll spin like a Hurricane. The longer it sits and spins, the more snow we’ll get. And sometimes the two hit so hard it’s as if their fighting and the wind will drive and the snow will drift and before you know it you can’t see more than a few feet and it’s not safe to be outside. Because you’re in a real Nor’ Easter. A Blizzard.’

I set my eyes on the tallest of pine trees that I could see from the window. The top of the tree was moving, but only barely. The winds were not yet fighting. Maybe there would be no Blizzard tonight. But if it was alive, when does it decide to turn itself into a Blizzard?

‘Is this storm a Blizzard?’

‘It’s too early to tell. We can watch it on the radar and if we see it turn inland a bit, we can watch out the window, or go outside and listen to the wind. We’ll be able to hear it churning and getting stronger.’

My heart dropped. I did not want to go outside and listen for anything to churn. Many inches were already on the ground. And yes, now I see some wind pushing the top of the pine tree.

‘How can a storm be anything but a storm? It can’t be alive.’

My father rested his hands behind his head. He smirked, took a pull from his beer and said, ‘But it can. Did you know tornadoes suck dirt and grime and bacteria into its funnel cloud? And you know bacteria is alive. Bacteria clings to mud and dirt and particles so small we can’t see them. Think about it. Snow is developed high in the sky. First as droplets of moisture. But, it’s not yet snow. It’s to light to fall. It needs something heavier to help it drop. Something like dust. Dust just floating around hoping to hitch a ride back down to earth. The moisture clings to the dust and they both start to fall, together. Eventually turning into a snow flake. You tell me that dust doesn’t have bacteria and you tell me that a storm isn’t alive.’ His father took another small pull and smiled wide. ‘Don’t break yourself over this. It is just a storm. But every storm has a personality. You just watch.’

I held my questions. I needed to catch my thoughts and sit them down. I still didn’t understand what a Blizzard was, but now I knew what a Nor’ Easter is and thoughts of bashing winds, like that of a Hurricane, flicked through my mind. I had heard that a tornado sounded much like a train when approaching. Was that the voice of the tornado? If it was, what would the voice of a Nor’ Easter turned Blizzard sound like? Would it scream? Could it speak? What if I did go out into the woods tonight and let the Blizzard overtake me. Should I? I felt the wrinkles in my forehead pressing together. My face was a twisted and confused face. I didn’t even know if it would be a Blizzard, though somehow I felt it couldn’t be anything else.

An hour later everything changed. The wind was howling. Snow flew sideways and whipped by the window so quickly it was dizzying. My father had to go check on the roof of our garage and hadn’t come back yet. The woods were pitch black and no longer needed to prepare; rather I’m sure now the woods were completely alive and begging me to visit. Over a foot of snow had fallen and the storm was still new. I did everything to not listen for a voice in the howls, but it was too late. I told myself to not put my boots on. As I looked at my feet I saw my boots were laced. I asked myself to not put my coat, hat, or gloves on. I turned the door-nob with a gloved hand.

It was cold. Very cold and the wind was so thick and crisp it rushed into my lungs without permission. Wind pressed me so hard I was doubled over while walking. I didn’t need to see where I was going. I knew the wood line even in the darkest of nights. Instead of asking why, I simply kept going. It was too late to ask and to early to reflect. I knew only one thing. The storm was alive and I wanted to know it well.

 

**

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to read more of my writing, please consider my short story found via the link below.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

 

 

 

 

 

Last Summer – Don’t not write what you know best.

Last summer I was asked, ‘What made you, you? How did you get this way?’

It was 2 in the morning. I hadn’t seen my childhood friend since his wedding six years ago. He hadn’t changed and the years were good to him. It was 2 am and we’d outlasted his family. His brother was getting married and they came to the coast for the bachelor celebration.

My memory works with imagery. Often I try to not remember. I’m told I have a memory that’s abnormal. I don’t think of words or places, I see. Then, I’m there. A thousand images. I wanted to answer and I did. I said, ‘I ought to write a book about it.’

 

I had been struggling with my second book. The story is complete yet the editing proved most difficult. It wasn’t clear to me until recently when Megan said, ‘You are good when you write what you know.’

My imagery flashed and I was back with my childhood friend and I saw his face as he again asked, ‘What made you, you?’

I’m on chapter 22.

William Faulkner – As I Lay Dying

I recently read this remarkable story. Faulkner’s use of basic verbiage mixed with philosophical inner thoughts from character to character was amazing. I noticed Faulkner was using words of his creation, which I’m a fan of doing myself. It’s a trick of sorts. It’s as if the word(s) exists and has every right to live within the story. Because it does.

But none of the above is the reason for this post. I’m writing this post to make aware (anyone who’s interested) in something I read within the editors notes.

Editors Notes:

He wrote As I Lay Dying at the University of Mississippi power plant, where he was employed as a fireman and night watchman, mostly in the early morning, after everybody had gone to bed and power needs had diminished.

For me this is massively relevant. Without boring any of you with my personal details, I think it’s safe to say that many of you are currently working in a field that has nothing to do with your writing goals. I had assumed Faulkner was a writer and had been nothing other than a writer.

I often say, ‘Read on, it’s good for the brain.’ But in this case it’s ‘Write on, it’s good for the brain.’

William Faulkner – Wrote What?

I’m reading ‘As I lay Dying’ by William Faulkner and out of his pages comes this paragraph smashing me.

‘In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. I dont know what I am.’

That stopped me in my tracks.

And the ‘dont’ was written exactly that way.