Thirty Days Hath September

Am I the only one who has to recite the ditty whenever I need to know how many days in a month? Thirty days hath September, April, June and November . . .

I thought the above was a clever way to begin a blog on this last day of September, but I have no more cleverness with which to follow it up. The month is almost over and tomorrow begins another month, but that’s nothing new or clever. It generally happens every thirty or thirty-one days. Though I must admit, turning over a clean page on my calendar is rather nice.

Not on a lot is written on my calendar for October yet — a couple of birthdays, a notation of when I next need to turn in my time sheet, a reminder to post a pre-blog-for-peace blog on the fourth. (Every year, bloggers all over the world blog for peace on the fourth of November; and this year is no exception.) I also have a note that at the end of the month, my sister will be 21,000 days old. I’m trying to think of something special to celebrate the day, but in the end, I’ll probably just send a text. Since it’s not exactly a Hallmark occasion, no cards or gifts for the special day are readily available.

Missing as yet from October’s calendar is the day of publication, the day my newest novel will be available for sale. When I get that date, I can assure you, it won’t just go on my calendar, but will be blasted all over the internet. Well, blast might not be the word, but I will announce it especially since I know people will want to read a book about God deciding s/he’s fed up with humanity and decides to recreate the world. To be honest, with all that’s going on, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened in real life rather than simply in my febrile imagination.

This upcoming novel is a real departure for me — no mystery or suspense other than the suspense of wondering what God and his right-hand entity are going to do next to our luckless hero and how the poor guy is going to survive the re-creation. But maybe it’s not that big of a departure now that I think of it. A minister once told me, “You have a marvelous ability to write the longest parables in all of literature. You unglue the world as it is perceived and rebuild it in a wiser and more beautiful way.”

This new novel is definitely about ungluing the world and rebuilding it (though whether wiser and more beautiful is still to be determined), so the parable nature is one way it ties in with all my other books. It also has an underlying humor to it, maybe more so than my other books. In earlier blogs, I referred to it as a whimsically ironic apocalyptic novel, also as Humor Metamorphosing into Horror Metamorphosing into Allegory. My publisher is classifying the novel variously as absurdist, urban fantasy, humorous science fiction. Which is another sign of a Pat Bertram novel — one that can’t be easily categorized.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is still the old month, even if it is on its deathbed. I still have September time left to water my plants, walk, work my few hours, and read.

Sounds like a nice way to spend a lovely fall day. Hope you too enjoy your thirtieth day of September. Toodaloo until next month.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Blogging for Peace and Other Matters

It’s only the second day since my resolve to blog every day until the end of the year, and I’m already finding excuses why I should bail on idea. Too tired. No ideas. Nothing to say.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve been planning on doing a follow-up to the Blog4Peace project I participated in on November 4th, but the drift of life had me in its grip. I suppose now is as good a time as ever to offer my retrospective, even though that day is long past.

I’ve been a peace blogger since 2012, though I’m not sure why I decided to participate in the first place. I don’t believe in “world peace” as a cause. People always talk about the human race as if we are warmongers, and yes, some people are, most notably those who make money and take power from wars, but think about it. How many wars have you personally started? For the most part, we (you and me, anyway) are peace lovers. We shy away from violence. Most of us don’t even start personal conflicts, though sometimes we do unwillingly get involved in contretemps we don’t quite know how to end.

Nor do I believe that nature itself is peaceful.

Just think about it — there you are, having a nice pleasant walk through the woods, having a picnic in a meadow, or perhaps standing on top of a mountain. All is peaceful. Or is it? If your ears were hypersensitive, as is the hero from my decade-old work-in-progress:

All seemed silent, still.

His ears became attuned to the quiet, and he heard insects cricking and chirring and buzzing.

Then other sounds registered, sounds so faint several seconds passed before he comprehended what he was hearing: the relentless hunger of nature. The larger prairie creatures and the most minute devoured each other in a cacophony of crunching, tearing, ripping, gnashing, grinding.

At the realization he was sharing space with things that must be fed, he took a step backward and bumped into a tree, a gnarled oak that hadn’t been there a moment ago. Leaning against the ancient tree, he heard the roots reaching out, creeping, grasping, wanting, needing. He jerked away from the tree and fell to hands and knees. Blades of grass moaned under his weight, and the screams of wildflowers being murdered by more aggressive vegetation almost deafened him.

He opened his mouth to add his own shrieks to the clamor, but closed it again and cupped his ears when he became aware of a long sonorous undulation deep beneath the ground. The heartbeat of the earth.

Yeah. Peace.

If we expand peace to a microscopic or even a cosmic plane, we see a stasis created by opposite but equal forces in conflict.

And yet . . . and yet . . .

On November 4, hundreds, maybe thousands of people were peacefully blogging about peace, creating peaceful images, sharing peaceful words, contemplating peace, visiting each other’s peace blogs. A lovely day. A peaceful day.

We may not have stopped wars or violence. We may or may not have attained peace within ourselves, may or may not have been at peace with our world.

But we mattered.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.