When it comes to writing, it seems to me that there are times I can absolutely make a word dance and sing for me. Then again, there are also times where I find myself on that proverbial rack, being stretched in four different directions. On the main crank, you will find punctuation turning and tightening while grammar proceeds to verbally have its way with me. For all to witness, there lies one frustrated man, with the Wizard of Words pointing and laughing as I cry out for phonetic mercy. Remind me to drown that bastard in a pitcher of milk, will ya?

Words, words and MORE WORDS!

Words, words and MORE WORDS!

I must admit my output for my poor blog space has been pathetic over the last year. It truly has. And that sucks, because real, decent people tend to like reading my tattered hyperbole and clever catch phrases. They must, because they’re always saying so. It’s not as if I haven’t had the time. In fact, time has been my constant companion. And it’s zipped by. Warp 2, lieutenant.

So what’s been my excuse. Well, for one thing, lack of confidence. A complete, total, and utter void in the “I can” department. Oh, I’ve watched myself sit down at this well-worn keyboard, hour after hour, trying to paint a masterpiece out of syllables and syntax, only to find I’ve pounded out a pile of literary oatmeal; cold, congealed and wholly unfit for print. It’s not that I’ve lacked inspiration. I’ve had a lot happening in my world, much of it very difficult, so I do lay some of the blame on that

I suppose. At this moment, my family is facing a triple-header in the cancer games. Admittedly, I’ve had a lot of my creativity evaporate due to this particular situation. However, that in itself is no excuse, either. I mean, c’mon buddy, you’ve faced down some pretty big dragons before, and managed to continue to create.

Could also be that I’m missing some absent friends very deeply. I’ve incurred some heavy losses over the last couple of years, and it’s being felt. I find it very hard to not having these people in my corner. But, life only loans you friendship sometime, and I’ve had to accept that painful fact, and try to live with the knowledge that they’re happier without my drama.

Blockhead strikes again!

Blockhead strikes again!

My lack of output does have some root in my learning about the power of my words. I’ve had the misfortune of seeing my efforts used as weapons against others.I will tell you, the reader, that in all honesty, I nearly turned heel on writing, permanently. I never wanted to hurt a single human being, but with the stroke of a pen, I hurt many.

Life lesson learned, pray for forgiveness, and turn the page.

I have, however, been working behind the scenes. This year saw the finish of my first draft on “ChickenFeetz”. I’m proud of the fact that I saw this through, and got a beautiful bonus when I learned from a trusted friend and very much published writer that I had what seems to be a diamond in the rough. That made my year. Now, the hard work begins….shaping it into the kind of book it deserves to be. I am very much up for the challenge.

I have also been writing a bi-monthly column for an electronic “Bear” magazine. And, to my surprise, I’ve got some great reviews on the work. Colour me shocked! I take a lot of comfort in the fact that I have great writers who seem to admire my work. It tells me that I’m on the right path, writing “The Write Stuff”.

What I now need to focus on is output, and stepping further and further outside my comfort zone, so that I can stretch my creative muscles, and put to paper some good quality work. I want to make my readers laugh. I also want to make them think. Yet, I realize now that first, I must give them something to do both by.

I’d like to take an opportunity to thank Jeff Herman for his constant support, and his belief in my ability. I don’t know that he’ll ever understand just how important his opinion is to me. It’s kept me going when the dry times come, and has spurred  this writer towards that next plateau.

I’d also like to give a BIG shout-out to Kerry Hiatt. This quirky and wonderfully brash woman has been instrumental in helping me to see what I am capable of doing, and always has a constructive word on hand when I hit that wall made of concrete letters. I look forward to really getting myself up over this next ledge, and cannot thank you enough for all that you are. Never stop being you, and always make time for moustaches!

My partner is crime, Claudene. The two of us have seen heaven and hell together, and I can always count on her to see “me” in the murk, and to just reach out and share a plot or two. She’s my editor extraordinaire, and without her, I’d be spewing out run-ons that would never find their way to that period they so need and want.

Jessica Gauthier.

She’s a fellow blogger here on WordPress: http://writtenmusing.wordpress.com/, and one of my staunchest supporters. I wonder if she knows just how much I have always admired her. I love her humour, her candour, and her ability to take her plans, and make them work for her, all while juggling a very active life. She’s about as fine a writer as there is, and I’m thrilled she takes the time and effort to read my efforts, even when they’re not worthy of anyone’s time or attention.

Rob McCarrol

Another WordPress alumni: http://iamscoundrel.com/, and a man who possesses some of the most creative work you could ever hope to read. We’ve always held a bit of a mutual admiration society when it came to the other’s work. I know I always feel a need to step up my game when he posts to print, and I must say, I am consistently inspired by the body of work he generates. It’s always class A stuff, and a joy to read.

Noah Goad-Moore

The only writer that sends me scurrying for my dictionary. There is not a word this man has printed that I haven’t anxiously read. He’s a mix between Mark Twain and Norma Rae. Sometimes, funny, often creative, but wholly talented. I am consistently in awe of just what kind of smarts this man has up in his head, and enjoy that it’s put to good, artistic use. Someday, it’s my hope he writes a few books, because I think he needs to be anything but this “best kept secret’. This man does not post nearly often enough for my liking, but if you’d like a small sample of what he’s capable of writing, please indulge yourselves at: http://nomogoarc.blogspot.ca/

I must make mention here, when paying tribute, to one very funny man. So funny, in fact, that a lot of the laughter that makes its way into my work is in direct response to him and that succinctly unique laugh track he has built into his robust and unapologetic personality. Mark Cantlon has always been one hell of a big cheerleader when I was all out of cheer. He’s made of whoopi cushions and politically incorrect punch lines, and every single time we start on one another, there is always a screen in need of a wipe, a shirt in need of a change, a keyboard in need of a blotting. I’m so glad I have this great gift of friendship and mirth to draw on. I’m always the better for the sharing.

I’d like to thank you, my readers, for standing by me, patiently, while I repeatedly got my act together. It cannot be easy supporting a writer that so rarely writes. And I will try to rectify that when life starts to get back to normal again (if that ever does happen).

In the meantime, know that I am working my fingers into the keys, and pumping out product, even if that product doesn’t always end up front and centre here, at http://www.tazzybehr.com


Stay smilin’
Da Taz!

I want to wish you all the MERRIEST of Christmases, and the best and brightest start to your New Year. And, again, thank you, everyone, for continuing to support and stand by me through these difficult times my family and I have struggled with. It means the world to me.