My son was born this year and I’ve never really taken ownership of that fact until this very moment. Still feels weird to say, “my son.” Just weird. I never thought I was the type who would ever be in a position to say it (says nearly every father ever).
Chaos is one word to describe raising a newborn. Insane is another. These are the things you are feeling nearly everyday leaving little time for reflection. I need reflection and I just haven’t had it until now. I’m not stranger to the stewardship of fatherhood. I inherited a seven year old girl a few years ago through the ‘rent to own’ family plan. She is ten now and her level of communication is extremely satisfactory. She has just the right amount of thirst to learn about the world around her and the aptitude to take it all in. That is how I operate and how I want the people around me to operate.
Babies however do not have the ability to communicate beyond the primal grunts and screams when something is wrong or too stimulating. So it is a struggle for me to find pleasure in the interaction I have with my son. He is still quite young (9 weeks). So maybe as he develops more motor skills and personality I will be able to speak his language and develop that “crazy retarded happy parent” attitude where I shove pictures in strangers faces’ and beam with pride that my sperm worked.
But for now I will continue my relentless quest to lose popularity among my peers from my extremely unpopular view on infant parent relationships.
If I were to introduce my son as a character in a novel he would be tiny obese infant regressed old man who had lost all his faculties requiring constant care from others to survive. That doesn’t seem right but it would make for a good story as he gets to experience the world for the first time -again.
Removing the fact that he is a newborn and focusing on the allegorical experiences he is having is probably better.
In Band of Brothers there is a scene where the E Company boys are in Holland at night and they stumble into this old mans farm. He has a boy with him and one of the soldiers gives him a piece of chocolate. The boy takes a bite and chews quickly. But his face. His face erupts into the biggest smile. To which the old man says:
“He’s never tasted chocolate before.”
The world his full of a lot of awful experiences and one of them can easily overshadow ten good ones. So when I think of my son experiencing things for the first time I want it to be like the little boy tasting chocolate.
While I am not the “giddy” type of parent about my children I am a reasonable and logical person.
It motivates me to make sure the boy feels love and is cared if not for the simple fact that EVERYONE deserves to feel they matter. Even though he is a tiny little poop machine that is constantly violating my posted noise ordinances I did have a part in bringing his consciousness into existence.
It is my duty and responsibility to shepherd this little creature into the world, instill him with strong morals, teach him to be a gentleman and do the best I can to nurture his young mind to be ever starved for knowledge.
Love you buddy. 🙂
Danny Machal April 13th, 2015
Constantly I am looking for proof, a sign, or some sort of something that tells me there are forces in this world beyond what I can sense with my silly short bus human brain. Tonight was one of those nights where I just had to smile and say, “Okay.” Let us start about two hours ago.
Come on! Hop in the Delorean, let’s go!
Whoooooooooooooooooooosh! pzt bzt pitsh bachowwwwwwrrrrmmmm
I decided it was time to finally sit down and tackle the problem a lot of us are facing. Debt. The cruel mistress and price of my greed for toys was piling up along with the anxiety of not knowing where I am at. So I figured it all out and figured out a reasonable payment plan to make it all go away. Every expense I have per month, what was left over, and what I had to live on was all planned out and calculated. So now I’m on the road to freedom.
Now, after a person figures out these things the last thing on their mind is spending money. However the hunger was setting in and I desperately needed some household items. So I turn out the pockets and the wallet to discover I’ve got $12 cash money, solid green backs, hard earned bones, mother effin’ doe ray mine. I look at my desk and scavenge the quarters from this weeks pocket change. I also open the junk drawer on my dresser looking for quarters; there were none, but I took a dime and two nickels just so opening the drawer was worth it. Tally before I left the house $13.70!
I decided to go to the only place I knew that could stretch money for days, Grocery Outlet. Trash bags took a solid chunk of the money at $6 bucks but I grabbed dinner and a loaf of bread anyway. The math in my head said I would be close but I should be alright. It isn’t like I don’t have any money in the bank but I wanted to see how far the cash I had would go. It was close! Way close!
So close I just had to say, “Thanks Universe!” You rock my world again!
Danny Machal November 27th, 2009
Since about the age of nineteen I’ve prided myself on keeping memoirs of my life. I’m twenty five now so that is a few solid years of documentation. Depending on how my life is going I’ll make anywhere from 2 – 5 entries per year. When I was in college most of my entries were done around Christmas time while I was home from school and feeling the most reflective. Now I find that entries take place when I have been faced with some life altering realizations or some sort of trauma. The memoirs are a glorified high school girls’ diary. I can boohoo, curse, dream and fantasize about everything and anything. Last night I was making an entry (last one was in May of this year) and I found myself flipping back through time.
The beauty of the memoirs is that I place no rules on them. Some of the text is just blind jibberish where I could not be bothered with corrections at that time. Essentially I have been able to capture a snap shot of my mind during some of the most important events in my life. Reading back I started to notice there was no pattern. It is as though each entry was written by a completely different person. If it wasn’t for the consistency and actual follow up to previous entries you would think it was some sort of anthology where every author just tore a page out of their own personal journals.
I’ve always been on the quest you see. The quest for complete self definition. Consistency in this pursuit is evident at the root of every action, relationship, conversation and intellectual pursuit I’ve ever undertaken. I will only do things in life where the reward for failure is equal to the reward of success. Chew on that carefully.
My memoirs tell me that I’m always changing. Five years is beyond habitual abuse or even addiction to change; it is now a part of who you are. I think there is only one thing to do and that is to embrace it. Be comfortable with who you are today and be prepared to meet the new you tomorrow. We are all suffering from the exact same mild case of personality alzheimers.
Danny Machal November 15th, 2009
With any story you read there is a certain passage or line that hooks you in. That one part that says, “oh hell ya. This is how it’s done.” I just finished Seth Harwood‘s Jack Wakes Up. This was the part that did it for me:
“Yes, sir, this is the man here: Jack Palms,” Ralph says, stepping forward. He has a thick cigar in one hand and a scotch in the other. He sways as he moves. Jack realizes this is why Ralph asked him along: because he’s planning on spending most of his time in the bag.
“Jack Palms,” Al says, “let us share with you some blow.”
More laughs and then Jack watches Al, Ralph, and the others retreat to the couches. He can see a glass-top coffee table in the middle all ready to go, with the lines cut and set. Ralph sits down on one of the couches and starts rolling up a twenty.
Jack Wakes Up follows Jack Palms, the washed up movie star of “Shake’em Down.” Jack finds himself in a financial situation that causes him to get involved with an old friend named Ralph Anderino. Ralph ropes Jack into entertaining some out of town Czech’s interested in two things: scoring mountains of blow and haveing a good time.
Jack ends up in the middle of a story line that takes you to the hard streets of organized drug crime in San Francisco. Czechs, Colombians, KGB, Gangsters, crooked cops, sex, drugs, fast cars, and a lot of guns; Jack Wakes Up was my introduction to crime fiction and “Danny like, Danny like very much.”
You remember that first time you saw Fight Club? You walked out of that theater thinking you were all American bad ass. You looked at every guy, big or small you played the fight out in your head like a movie. You walked close to them on the way out just hoping they would give you a reason. A little comment, a wrong look, or maybe some disagreeable body language was all you would need to get in their face and say, “What mother effer? Take a swing.” This is the same feeling you’ll get when you read Jack Wakes Up.
I find myself shifting between the different characters. Maybe I’m Junius, not taking shit from anyone and demanding respect. Maybe I’m one of the fearless Czechs never backing down from any fight; fists or guns, I’ll stay for that party. Maybe I’m Jack Palms. I’m a good looking actor, I have a ’66 Fastback that melts panties off women, and somedays bad shit happens to good people. Seth does a great job of developing these characters. I loved all of them.
On a personal level Seth is one of the authors I respect the most in the podcast novel community. He podcasted it for free, he got the book deal, and he podcasts from his hot tub keeping it REAL about what the publishing world is all about. Seth isn’t full of the flowery bullshit or whining about his trials and tribulations – we hear that from so many authors these days. He hasn’t dropped off the map and gotten so involved in his success that he forgets about us (I won’t name names but you know when you are neglecting the people who made you). Seth is one of the most educated well rounded guys in the game today and he is a great story teller. When my debut podcast novel is ready I know Seth will have my back.
Jack Wakes Up is the first in a three part series of Jack Palms novels.
Of course all of them are FREE for you to consume as podiobooks. Click the pics below for links to the different Jack Palms novels.
Seth is a game changer for sure. I identify with a lot of his philosophy about writing and publishing. Of course the nature of the game is not to immitate but innovate. This is where I come in as the new blood, the student, and the next BIG thing. “Shake’em Up! Baby.”
Danny Machal August 18th, 2009
February of this year is when I finally embraced making writing a major part of my day to day existence. I had been writing my whole life as a fun hobby and for it’s therapeutic implications but it was time to work, to be better, and to change the world. I told all of my friends, “I’m getting serious about this thing.” I accepted I was a baby, a student, a beginner and wore that badge proudly. I needed to learn from the masters, harness the craft, deal with personal anxiety, figure out what my philosophy toward this new monster would be, and most of all, I needed to always try to be better. My behavior changed in that I started writing and recording ALL the time. That was six months ago. Now I get asked the same question constantly, “How is the writing going?”
The short answer – “Great! Fun! I’m grateful to have reassurance that this is indeed what I am most passionate about. Things are forever changing. I’m learning so much, exploring everything freely, and dissolving all limitation. I’m doing it.”
The long answer –
Things are going fantastic!
At first my intention was to sit in the wings and observe. I’d watch the blogs of J.C. Hutchins, Scott Sigler, Mur Lafferty and all the other influential authors in the podcast novel space. All the while I’d work on my masterpiece and blow them all out of the water when it was ready. After a very short while I figured out this was not going to work. I was sitting in my hobbit hole scribbling but no one was reading it and I wasn’t learning anything about the craft like I wanted. So I started searching for low-risk ways of exposure. This is where the 100 word stories podcast came in and GreatHites. Weekly contests where people voted for fun on the stories and your story was syndicated in a podcast. It was simple: if people didn’t like your story they didn’t vote for you, done. No one screamed at you and no one told you it sucked, it was bliss but also not enough to move forward.
I did that for a while and I started to educate myself more about the writing industry. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest and every podcast I could find about getting better at this writing thing.
So that is where it started and things evolved way faster than I thought from there.
So, where are we now?
I think an itemized list will be more effective than a long hunk of wordy prose.
I think that covers all the bases for now but things are forever changing in this world so who knows what the next day, week, or month will bring.
Thank you all for your constant supportive words and encouragement. That stuff really means a lot, truly.
That is how the writing thing is going. 🙂 – Danny
Danny Machal July 30th, 2009