The Dangerous Time of Year.


Shit happens, if you'll pardon the inelegance. I wonder when that saying was first expressed, and am guessing it was around this time of year after the high expectations of the holiday season had once more crashed, burned, left a smoking scar on the landscape. Well, maybe that's harsh. I was a good boy I guess, and got a wholly unexpected iPod Touch and a UE Boom. The equivalent of a Red Ryder BB gun and a motorscooter to a twelve year old. Thanks again, F! I spent four joyous days cherrypicking hundreds of CDs accumulated over the years, ended up with 1,200 tunes on this wondrous wafer-slim machine, and still have three or four gigabytes left.

The list, shuffled, will surprise me with a Chemical Brothers electronic beeper followed by a Jimmie Dale Gilmore twanger. James McMurtry sings about giving kids vodka in a cherry Coke to make 'em sleep on the way to a reunion, June Christy smoothes that over with a 3AM of the soul version of Midnight Sun. And the UE Boom travels with me on the highway, the brilliant cylindrical design bathing the truck interior with sparkling sound. Makes me smile. May get me through the dangerous time of year.

Merle Haggard sang "if we make it through December..." in a gruesome song about hard times and low moods; he could have added January and February to this bleak account. Attention wanders, cars bump together creating more bills. A hit and run, close to home. Probably a tweaking drug-addled child-beating texter in a stolen vehicle. There's a word for it, but not here.

James McMurtry (looks like Mad Dog Wihlm, a dear, dear friend) and The Heartless Bastards. Deserves a listen or 20. He's a poet genius

James McMurtry (looks like Mad Dog Wihlm, a dear, dear friend) and The Heartless Bastards. Deserves a listen or 20. He's a poet genius

I am balancing writing another novel with making a draft horse out of some wondrous parts, signs, toys, Kansas relics. The writing flows some days like something through a tin horn, other days like 40 weight oil in the kind of weather we normally see this time of year. The weather is quite nice, however. So there goes a whiny complaint I can't make.

What about tax time, Merle? Sing about that. Add up those deductibles. The truck that sounds so good inside just notified me it needs an exhaust system outside. The pipes, the pipes are falling, from glen to glen and down the mountainside.

Puns even get worse this time of year. But the days are getting longer, F reminds me. More sun. Light. And, if we're lucky we'll make it through the dangerous time of year with its taxes, holiday bills and arctic winds whistling through the wheat stubble with nothing to slow them but barbed wire all the way from Fargo. Brr. What about that, Merle? Let that sink in.

And a surprising word of positivity: Allow. I remember that if one allows the good stuff to seep, it will. As a 40's Nat King Cole song on my iPod reminds me, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don't mess with Mr. In-between. Old badass Mr. Dangerous Time of Year. Have a good one, Allow.

Oh, and just got a guest blog on KILLER NASHVILLE, a super thriller venue--I'm honored. Wrote it back in August and forgot about it, so it doesn't mention the two books picked up by publisher, otherwise it's timely as all getout. Positive stuff. Take a look.