Showing 1 - 10 of 308 posts found matching keyword: walter
Tuesday 19 January 2021
Sunday, I complained that my horoscope calendar was leaning a little too heavily into love and real estate. I should have read further ahead.
January 19: "It's the best time of the year for single Scales to find love and for Librans to make family plans."
January 20: "This afternoon First Quarter Moon is the best time to buy or rent a home."
I think January 21 is the day to put a calendar in the trash can.
Sunday 17 January 2021
January 5, 9, 10, and 14 were good days for love. On those days, I was encouraged to start dating someone — or, "if you're in a long term relationship," marry someone.
January 8, 11, and 13 were good days to buy or sell my house. Because "The New Moon in Capricorn" or something.
January 18 is a good day to "try marriage on for size" or "go house hunting."
At this rate, by the end of the year, I'll own 26 houses, one for each of my new wives. That sounds expensive. I sure hope the stars point me towards some money-making opportunities soon.
Monday 4 January 2021
The following is based on actual events:
My friends and I sat, talked, laughed, and otherwise enjoyed the convivial environment engendered by the rustic treehouse lounge Keith had constructed in his backyard in suburban Cumming, Georgia. Despite the good company, I knew the neighborhood had problems. I had a passed a bright red demon on the streets leading to Keith's house. Fortunately for me, it was preoccupied enjoying its meal of unwary domestic cat. Still, I felt safe up in the treehouse — until we were startled by the sudden appearance of a bright green dragon.
Keith saw my fear and laughed. "Relax. It can't get to us here. I've wrapped the whole tree in a dragon-proof net."
He spoke the truth. Although the dragon bit and bit, it was unable to chew its way through the protective wire. We soon ignored it and went back to having a good time.
When I woke up, I realized the treehouse and dragon had all been part of a very vivid dream. Amazed by how realistic it had all seemed, I decided to drive over to Keith's to tell him about it. I passed no demons on the way, and as expected, there was no treehouse in Keith's yard.
Keith met me in his driveway. You cannot be too cautious these days, so I was careful to wear a mask and stand a socially-accepted distance away from him in the cold December weather as I told him of my dream.
Keith enjoyed my story and laughed. "That's ridiculous. There's no such thing as a dragon-proof net."
Naturally, that's when the dragon swooped down upon us.
I woke up a second time and am now typing this story. But I'm still keeping one eye out. I can't shake the feeling that there's a dragon out there somewhere.
Saturday 2 January 2021
For Christmas, my aunt gave me a Libra 2021 Calendar ("Personalized Daily Horoscope Presented by The International Astrological Alliance, a Leading Resource on Astrology and The Zodiac").
Personally, I have never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. But maybe that's because I've never been exposed to someone who really understood it all. Reading the back of the calendar, it says that "Libra can be possessive, smothering, insulting and sarcastic." If that wasn't written for me, I don't know what was.
Yesterday, on the first day of the year, my horoscope recommended that I should hang out with friends so that I could meet "someone who brags about every little thing." That doesn't sound like fun, but hey, maybe because I now know about it, I can avoid it, right? Thanks, horoscope.
On the other hand, today's entry reads:
Wedding bells may ring for many Librans in love. Others might get engaged. You can also meet interesting people at the wedding reception of a friend.
Um, I thought this was supposed to be personalized. Not only does that not sound like me or anyone I know, it also doesn't seem to have anything to do with 2021. Doesn't my horoscope know there's a pandemic on? "May ring"? "Might get engaged"? "Can also meet"? I've read things in cookies that were more definite and useful.
But maybe that's just one bad entry. Rather than throw it out, I've decided to hang the calendar in the most appropriate place I can think of: in my bathroom over my toilet. May the stars continue to be my guide in 2021.
Friday 4 December 2020
Now that I'm no longer tending for a sick dog, I finally have some time to get stuff done. Stuff like publishing a novel!
Apprentice to Murder: The Tale of Robin the Rascal in the Wizard's Own Words, my latest novel, is now available in both a $15 paperback edition and a $2.99 Kindle eBook on Amazon.com. Just in time for Christmas!
This is my fifth novel, after the Central Kingdoms Chronicles quadrilogy (The Wizards of Ranaloy, Prince Thorgils' War, A Quest Before Dying, and Specter of the Lich). Those were all about wizards. I admit that this one is too. But it's also a cozy murder mystery!
According to the book cover (which I also wrote):
Life is easy for young Prince Robin. Growing up with the luxuries afforded members of the royal family, he dreams of one day becoming a knight like his late father. But the young nobleman’s dreams are derailed when his cousin, heir apparent Prince John, dies under questionable circumstances. Fingers quickly point to Robin, who inconveniently happens to be the next in the line of succession and the last person to have seen John alive.
To prevent civil war, Robin abdicates his birthright for an apprenticeship under Royal Wizard Septimus. Robin’s sacrifice saves the kingdom, but one by one, the inhabitants of Windwick Castle begin to die, each new death seeming to further incriminate the fallen prince. The only way for Robin to save himself is find John’s real killer.
The apprentice wizard is going to learn the hard way that even magic has its limits.
If that's not enough to whet your appetite, you can read the first chapter of this or any of my other books for free at JamesWalterStephens.com.
Thank you to all who have supported this project.
Tuesday 3 November 2020
Sunday 27 September 2020
While watching the University of Georgia football team struggle in the first half of Saturday's season opener, it crossed my mind that maybe they were playing poorly because I had forgotten to wear my usual red gameday underwear. I immediately dismissed the thought because it is crazy.
There is nothing I, as a distant observer, might do on my sofa that could possibly affect the outcome of a football game in progress being played hundreds of miles away. There's even less my underwear could do about it. If it could, that would mean that there are intangible, undetectable threads connecting my very being to the game like the strings on a marionette. That's the stuff of superstition and religion. Like I said, crazy.
Of course, it's a seductive kind of crazy. It's easy to think that the world revolves around me, that I'm an integral piece of the cosmos, that my behavior and desires are strong enough to change the outcome of distant events. There are certainly narcissistic people — well known people, powerful people, *presidential* people — who think this. Those people are crazy.
Even if the energy that makes up the sentient being that calls itself Walter Stephens is indeed intertwined with the background radiation of the cosmos in significant ways (and that's a pretty big "if"), it's ridiculous to think that my energy is more relevant to the outcome of a football than the physical/mental energy expended by the 22 people playing it. My wants and desires will never be stronger than a motivated linebacker who has sacrificed significant portions of his life on the way to his goal of being able to charge through offensive linemen so that he can hug quarterbacks. That guy's crazier than I could ever be.
So, just because A) I'm not wearing red underwear, and B) the Bulldogs are playing poorly, those two things don't have to have a causal relationship just because I want them to. It's that sort of magical thinking that gets people in trouble. If you're one of those people, well, you know what you are.
Wednesday 23 September 2020
In order to ensure that my 45th year is happier than the year that came before it, my birthday present to myself was deleting Twitter from my phone. Now I just need to hope that 2021 is also an improvement over 2020. Maybe it will get rid of Twitter, too.
So all that and a bag of chips. By which I mean I also bought a bag of BBQ potato chips at the Little Giant grocery store down the street as a birthday treat. I'm sorry to say that it made me feel about as bad as Twitter has lately.
Note to self: don't eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting. You're not 15 anymore.
Friday 14 August 2020
My coffee maker broke, and the machine we bought to replace it, the only one Target had left, is defective.
Goddamn it, 2020, you need to fucking step off or we're going to have some real beef.
An Innocent Man is an underrated masterpiece.
Saturday 8 August 2020
There should have been a new post here, but I have been struck down by a debilitating case of vertigo after one too many hours gaming too close to a video monitor. Mom was right: It is bad for your eyes.
Next week I'll update you on running with scissors.