Friends left their mark upon my table,
strangers left theirs upon my skin.
Covered with indelible cuts, gashes and stains,
my heart has been likewise mutilated,
blade to wood and needle to skin.
But here, pen to paper,
but here, I leave my own.

(From the POV of my main character in Beyond The Bridge, Gordon Hammond.)

Mag 213

Copyright © 2014 SK Waller


Giving it One More Shot

I've decided to accept the challenge. Not that any particular person has issued such a thing, I think I'd like to give this daily word quota another stab. I need structure in my life, a little self-discipline, and after reading an excellent blog entry Kelly Sedinger tweeted this morning, I decided to give it another shot...



I am here.
Holding court,
receiving pilgrims.
Creatures whom,
having sprung from my imagination,
I sent on my bloody crusades.
They return to haunt me like ghostly Templars
who at last recognize the
sodden, lascivious humanity of their pope.
They ask me how, why, and why not,
driving me more firmly into the throne
of memories and vices and madness
of my holy cause.

Mag 212

Copyright © 2014 SK Waller


Ah! The Muse!

After living an entire lifetime as an artist, I've finally discovered the identity of my muse.

Ah! The muse!
The beneficent guardian spirit who protects my ideas and inspirations.
Ah! The muse!
She who indeed breathes that inspiration into mine ear as I lay in gentle reverie.
Ah! The muse!
The repository of every lofty idea I shall ever imagine.
Ah! The Muse!

Yeah, right...


Beyond The Bridge in Laurel Canyon!

Do you live in the LA area? If so, and if you're looking for a worthy cause to help support (as well as great time!) check out the website of Laurel Canyon's Wonderland School.

This Saturday evening, Friends of Wonderland will be holding a silent auction to help support, among other needs, their recent hiring of three full-time teachers in the fields of music, art, and gardening, and the Special Edition of my book, Beyond The Bridge will be under the gavel. If that doesn't jibe with my main character, Gordon Hammond, I don't know what does! If you've read either (or both) of the first two books in the series, you know that these three subjects are what make Gordon tick.  He in fact spends a significant amount of time in Laurel Canyon and falls in love with it. For a while he even entertains the idea of moving there, only one of two places in the entire world that ever nearly lures him away from his beloved Chadwicke Park. What's really awesome is that the organizers of this auction had no knowledge of this little fact when they approached me.
"As you may know, many schools in the Los Angeles area have fundraisers to enhance the education of their children. With the current budget crisis in LAUSD, the funds that we raise are crucial! Fundraisers not only guarantee the much-needed day-to-day supplies, but also basic curriculum, like art, P.E., music and technology, as well as our unique gardening curriculum. Wonderland Avenue Elementary School is proud of the accomplishments of its remarkable students and teachers. Our school is public and located in Laurel Canyon. We serve the neighborhood as well as attracting children from all over the city to our Gifted Magnet program. Our 550 students broadly represent the many cultures and ethnic groups within Los Angeles. We also have a very active parent body that donates time, energy, and resources to our classrooms and both the PTA and to Friends of Wonderland, the school booster club." - Friends of Wonderland
When they came to me asking if I'd like to donate a copy of my book, I leapt into action. How could I not? Not only have I been a resident of Laurel Canyon, but the state of education in our country is of great concern to me. We need more public schools like Wonderland, but to create and maintain those, we need to donate what we can, and help support them with our time, money, and involvement.

If you'd like more information, check out the school's website, which I linked above. The event, called "All That Jazz", will be held at the famous celebrity A-List venue, The Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City. Tickets are $85 if bought in advance. At the door they will be $100. Entertainment will be provided by The Looters.


Song of the Excommunicant

When Jesus sat at the supper table
to serve them bread and wine,
He said, “Among you is the one
who will betray me tonight.”
The disciples didn’t point at each other,
daring to judge or try,
they just looked within themselves asking,
“Master, is it I?
Master, is it I who would run from you
just to save my life?
Master is it I who would thrice deny you,
or sell you for the highest price?”...


Want to Fall in Love This Weekend?

After extensive rewriting, re-editing, and re-wanting to shoot myself, Beyond The Bridge is on Kindle. This single-volume Special Edition includes book one, With A Dream, and book two, With A Bullet. If you've already purchased the paperback (Special Edition only), the Kindle version is free. Otherwise, the price is $3.99. Hey, it's two books, and you get to fall in love with the handsome guitar god, Gordon Hammond!

Onward, now, I march bravely into writing book three. It has been hiding in the corner for too long.


Rap Session

“Hey, man, do you remember that place you used to live?”
“What place, bro?”
“You know the one. That crappy little place on Stanley Avenue. Back in 1969.”
“Yeah, I remember it.”
“Do you remember all those nights we spent getting wasted? Man, we had some high times in that apartment!”
“Yeah, it was pretty cool. That was a decent time in my life.”
“Me, too. Weren’t you still in school, man?”
“It was my last year at the university.”
“What was your major? Wasn’t it philosophy or some shit like that?”


One Small Time

"One small time," (as my mother told me I used to say when I was a very small child) when I lived in California, I used to be visited every Friday night by my circle of friends (La Boheme) whether I was in the mood or not. This meant a night of drinking and of waking up the next morning to see several bodies strewn around my living room floor.

Of course, the things that irritated us in the past become the stuff of nostalgia when we're older and are no longer living the life we knew. Things we took for granted become the things we most long for. Nearly every Friday evening takes me to that wistful place in myself...


Self-Flagellation and the Work Ethic

Even today in the 21st century, our Protestant work ethic continues to set the standard of how we define ourselves both as individuals and as a society. (Don't panic—this isn't a political post. Not entirely.) Based on the Calvinist tenet that hard work and self-sacrifice is necessary to our calling, success, self-esteem, morality, and social acceptability, the Puritans considered it to be a visible sign of the salvation of their very souls, their "rightness with God." Even atheists and non-religious people pick up the cat-of-nine-tails and flagellate themselves into a bleeding state over the sanctity of the work ethic...


The Gypsy From Kenya

There once was a gypsy from Kenya,
Who traveled the world, even India,
With lute and with wine,
He crossed paths with a lion;
Well, I'd rather have seen ya than been ya!

Mag 209

(Sorry, I'm just not feeling very serious today.)

Copyright © 2014 SK Waller