If you like to read, and enjoy quirky, welcome. There are about 30 random things here for you. After you read a short story you may even find some personal comments/insights! The main purpose of creating this blog is for writers. I see so much written about writer's block, and honestly, I don't have it. Occasionally, I write short stories, longer stories, books, plays, one act plays, monologues, and sometimes I even think one is good enough to submit somewhere. Of course, when you submit a story to a magazine that receives 200 stories a month and publishes five, you'd better enjoy the process of writing. I'm not suggesting that I'm a good writer, merely that I can sit down and just start writing.

It is important to write, to constantly be working on your art. If you are constantly plagued by writer's block, perhaps you are being too selective in what you write about. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some examples of my writing, from someone who can write all the time. Occasionally the topics are a bit strange, but I don't let that slow me down, I love to write and get to a finished product. Hopefully, by looking at some examples, you will say to yourself that phrase that all artists who visit MOMA in NYC say: "Well, I can do this!" That would be good, because you can! One of my posts is about a talking tomato. (You have to be able to do better than that!)

In part I'm trying to get some of my stuff in one place, so keep in mind I never claimed it was going to be an incredible read. You can decide that. I will tell you that occasionally I have a story in me that seems to fit the goal of a publication, and I try to write specifically with that goal in mind. Lately I've been considering publications that publish nonfiction memoirs, so some of the entries you'll find here will have that flavor. Perhaps this is a way to get past writer's block - find a publication looking for something that you'd like to write. It seems like memoir-based publications may be a good place to start, because we're all experts in our own families. I'm using a blog here to share some of the things I've written; the blog format is not ideal, so you need to poke around a little at old posts, to see if you can find a story or something else that may interest you.

Two last items. None of these are finished products. I usually get to a point where I have something written, and then stop. If it is something I may decide to submit for some reason, I'll finish formatting, following the specific rules of the magazine or organization (the rules are alwaysdifferent). If you do see something in here that you may be interested in using, don't hesitate to contact me.

So welcome to my blog. Welcome to my writing. Write, people, write! It feels good.

Please also consider getting a copy of my first book, Saturday Night at Sarah Joy's. All Royalties go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Please check out the book's blog at:

Thank you!

© 2012 John Allison

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sailing on the Edge of Numb

(just thinking out loud)

I'm sitting in the back of my sailboat, relaxing, looking for a bird - a bird in a tree, on another boat, anywhere - just so I can plan my day on the bay. You see, birds always face into the wind so they're handy little wind gauges (just something that sailors know).
For some reason, it hit me. It hits me occasionally, but not often. I look around. This is amazing! I have a sailboat! I sail! I'm on the water where I always want to be. I rarely appreciate where I am or what good fortune I have. Do I even know how to fully appreciate?
I suppose we have to be like this. We have to be on the edge of numb concerning the world that swirls around us. The rape, torture and mass murders, the genocide that pervades Africa alone takes thousands daily. People are killed every day right here. A shooting death may get 15 seconds of coverage on the news, but so many lives must be turned upside down in the aftermath. There are so many out there who could use help - my help, our help. If you really let yourself feel it, you'd be more than overwhelmed. Perhaps the appropriate response to the pain around us would be far too muchfor a person to feel.
So, to survive, we distance ourselves from our own world.
The distance filters our joys too. Perhaps that's not necessary. I'm allowed to be excited for every second I'm on my boat (and for many other things as well), but I have to work to feel what I have.
It was a small thing, but I realized that I was sitting with my back to the wind, so I moved to the other side of the cockpit. I sat with the wind blowing in my face. It is good to be right here, like this, to feel.
The storm clouds started to seriously think about getting to work; a light mist began to fall. It blew into my face. I let it. There was nothing between the rain and me.
The cool, pure water dripping off my face left me wondering when humans lost the instinct to face into the wind.
This has been an interesting little exercise.  I posted this story on Readwave and I was very surprised at how many people responded.  This is one reason why I write.  You just never know when something you share will strike a chord with readers.  People seemed to think I was a more insightful writer than I am!  I had a simple idea.  It is natural to not face into the wind for humans, but it is for birds.  It's interesting.  It seemed to me that we turn away from what we should not be afraid of fully experiencing.  This then connected with how we perhaps deal with life.  When some read this, they see many other interesting implications.  If you think of sailing, the wind is supposed to blow at your back, moving you forward.  So from the actual context of sailing, if you look into the wind you are looking back, looking at what is moving you forward.  All very interesting.  It wasn't intentional.  You can never tell what a word or a visual or a concept can mean to another person, but it is always fun to find out! I didn't think this was other than a very small personal observation, but I've had a good response.  So, don't hesitate to share/develop thoughts and ideas, you just never know where your story will go.

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