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Choosing Peace

A while back, I was driving through the side streets in a shifty part of town. It was pitch black in those alleys, and when I looked out into the night, I saw a lone, dark shape smack in the center of the road. I squinted, hit my brakes, and looked closer. The shape was distorted, as if there were too many arms. I looked closer. Crutches. Then I saw that she wasn’t an adult woman at all. She was a girl around 13 years old, and she only had one leg. The right one. There she was, wandering around in the dark, hobbling on her crutches, and from the hip down, on the left side, there was nothing but air.

Alone, she slowly made her way down that dark street. For a moment, she stopped, looked through my windshield, and stared at me. Hard. Strong. Not a twitch, a flinch, or a break in her look. And then she turned, making her way forward into the shadows.

As I drove on, I thought about the tough look on her face, and I wondered what had happened to her -- how and when she lost that leg. Then I thought about what it might be like to be her -- a young teen making her way through the world with a disability that was so fiercely apparent.

Of course, I could never really know what it would be like to be her. I could never truly understand the exact challenges she would face in the neighborhood, at school, and everywhere. And then I thought about her strong countenance, her steel-sharp look, and the way that she moved forward in spite of her disability, trooping through the dark street and the danger all about her. No, I could never fully understand the way she must feel, but I felt a raging connection to her. I couldn’t shake the vision of her. It touched me. It stuck with me.

Today, thinking of her, I'm reminded to pick and choose my battles. At times, when I see injustice toward those with disabilities, I stand up, speak out, speak up, or write about it. This past Sunday, I spoke up, and it felt right and true, and I wouldn't take it back, not for a second, although it was incredibly difficult, and it has affected me for days after. Building strength here. Other times, I let go, or "let things slide," as I like to say, and I trudge forward in spite of the darkness that may be around me, like her. I can share my story and help when it feels heart-right, but at other times, I can hold it close. Indeed, it is hard to find that balance, but I have certainly learned a lot over the years.

So let me be strong in the darkest of alleys and speak up when it’s right and true, when the moment calls for it, but also, let me be aware of the times when I need to allow myself to settle into peace. That little girl reminded me that whether I'm fighting strong or listening and meditating, I can choose to be true to myself, and I can choose peace.

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Girl on the Bus

Girl on the Bus

Saturday, when I was on a school bus shuttle, I saw this girl in the reflection on the huge mirror. She was young, but her seriousness seemed to add some years, and I wondered about her story. Well, I'm always wondering about people's stories, but she intrigued me. Guess she reminded me of myself some; I admit I'm always thinking up a storm, when I'm not cracking up about something ridiculous. Not much in between.

Hey, you just never know what that person in front of you might have been through in his/her life. And you never know what he/she is going through right here and now. Tonight I was reminded of this:  Love. Always. Wins.

In the spirit of strength, and in the spirit of standing up for that which is right and true, much love,
C.A. MacConnell

Photos: Cowboys Skate & THE HOUSE OF ANCHOR.



Who's next?

Howdy. It's me. Met these insane guys yesterday. They were, shall we say, very enlightening. F'n wild and funny as hell. Skaters dressed up like cowboys, they were riding on some truck with unicorns attached to the side, and there was a skate ramp attached to the truck as well. Their "cowboy/unicorn theme" made absolutely no sense, and it was a total mess -- people doing awesome tricks, people falling on their asses, and nobody seemed to care if they sucked, or if they rocked the ramp. Whoever came up with the wagon/mythological creature/old west/crazed theme must've been totally loaded.

In doing research for my second novel, THE HOUSE OF ANCHOR, I spent a good part of many years hanging out with skaters. The research for the book has been dangerous, heartbreaking, loving, difficult, terrifying, invigorating, and hilarious.

Sending some energy to THE HOUSE OF ANCHOR. Working on getting this sucker out there. Here's what it's about: Set on the Seattle streets in the 90’s, full of crafty dialogue, a fiercely-paced plot, and vibrant, dynamic characters, THE HOUSE OF ANCHOR is an achingly real, gritty, emotional murder mystery centered around two young adults who share a sarcastic, humorous, intriguing, and often dangerous, love-torn relationship. They both move into The House of Anchor, a Seattle hostel/inn with three floors of residents – skateboarders, musicians, travelers, and misfits; these minor characters weave in and out of the main story in a web of clever subplots. The skateboarders’ highly artistic, inventive language grew out of many years of painstaking research – interviews, studying magazines, and living in the environment, and the absolutely unique, rich voices of the characters reflect this passion.

Yo...the entire book is not in the voice that I created for the street skaters...only certain sections, certain characters. Overall, my fan, it is an epic adventure!

I love you, even though I know you're packing that blade in your sock like a goddamn Teenage Ninja,

C.A. MacConnell
To contact the author regarding books or writing, go here.


Photo: Today

C.A. MacConnell

One Sentence Movie Reviews: Continental Divide (1981)

This is one of my favorites because when I was 7, it taught me that great sex has to do with flying eagles and moving trains.

-- C.A. MacConnell


One Sentence Movie Reviews: LadyHawke (1985)

There is a nice use of chickens in the scene when The Mouse is trying to flee from the dickhead knights from Aquila, and I like this movie a bunch, but Captain Navarre's horse, Goliath, is supposed to be a good horse, but he's kind of terrifying, and he rears up a lot, which is mean-spirited and not helpful to the story, but oh well -- win some, lose some.

-- C.A. MacConnell

Lois at the Gym

She sees the noontime
The museum trip, the first
That no one wins,
And she envisions the close
Night after --
Tossings, achings, lickings,
Neck to neck,

They could be
That corner couple, and people
Would love to hate
Them because
"Their song” is any tune that blends
With the noise,
The way that laughter fades into any
Crowded room,
To keep her

C.A. MacConnell

Last Two Tickets

In August of 2009, I came across a sobering NPR article that read, "For two-and-a-half days, about 800 doctors, nurses, dentists, and optometrists treated 2,700 uninsured and underinsured people, most from Appalachia. No one was asked for an insurance card. There were no co-pays. And there were no bills." The effort was organized through a Tennessee-based group, Remote Area Medical (RAM), and the help was offered at the county fairgrounds in Wise, Virginia. The medical team treated approximately 1600 people on Friday alone.

This part really choked me up:

"'You got the last two tickets!' the guard said. 'For eyes.'

'The last two tickets?' the driver responded. She seemed stunned by the prospect, and she was speechless, at first.

'Ma’am,' the guard said, as the driver simply stared ahead. 'Ma’am,' she said again as another guard joined in. 'Ma’am, we’re trying to tell you what you got.'

Finally, the driver spoke. 'I want to give the two eye [tickets] back because somebody may need them more than me.'"

Amazing selflessness. Put a lump in my throat. In the spirit of giving. In the spirit of gratitude for available help. In the spirit of gratitude for all within us and all around us that is beautiful.

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Juliet


-- C.A. MacConnell


Flash poetry. Getting the old noggin in gear. :) Hope you have a great day. It's all good w/ me, despite my obsessive nature, ha, just troopin along, job hunting, and the like. Love, C.A.


Experience in high
and low places,
or the bruise of black light.
I've known
many Mikes,
and three Aarons,
and they were far from
imaginary friends.

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Couple

Nothing special about this. I just like it. So I guess it is special, now that I think about it. Together, but alone, but together. The shared moment when someone else is with you, but they still allow you to be completely who you are and to have your own experience. Beautiful.

C.A. MacConnell

Sign Patrol: Baby for Sale

Looking for a new addition to your home? According to this yard sale sign, these people are selling their baby! Might be a used baby, but it's still a baby. Sale hours 8-5. Msg me for address, and I can get you the baby.

C.A. MacConnell


Photo: Drive Thru

Drive Thru

Man, I get crabby when I'm job huntin'. But then I went for a walk, and the details around me reminded me of how unbelievably blessed I am. Even a drive thru can be interesting, if you really look. Have an awesome night.

I am lucky,
C.A. MacConnell

F'n Rad Text Relationship


Sue:  Hyi. !!! ;;;;666^^^^

Bill:  What up, girl. been waiting for u to get back me for like 3 days. three days and 2 hours. We had that heavy convo and then nothing from you for three days. WTF princess.

Sue:  :)

Bill:  I knew somethings up. You never send smiley's. Tell me whats up.

Sue:  :0

Bill:  OH, now scared face. That's just like you, spreading anxiety like disease.

Sue:  ;)

Bill:  Oh, hi winky, now you're cute. For a yr, I been trying here and seems like I'm only one in this relationship. been like that this whole time. can't do it anymore. tired of games.

Sue:  <3

Bill:  Oh right, now you trying reel me back in. Back and forth, pick one way or other. I been to therapy. I been to doctor, and I took care of back hair and rash. i been through all this for u, and now all you do is use cutesy hearts to try suck me in again? Why don't you send fuckin unicorn and leprechaun too? Well, it won't work this time. lucky charm bull shit.

Sue:  :-*

Bill:  Now that's low. a heart is one thing, but a kissy? Wtf, hows about you take look at YOU for once? U U ALWAYS BLAMING EVRLYTHG ON WAY I KISS. CAN'T HELP IT IF THEY LEFT MY BRACES ON TO LONG. just the way I learned to kiss. back then, we had to wear headgears too. had to wear the fucking thing to school, and THEY ALL called me Short Circuit until COLLEGE. i kiss the best I can. Will it ever be good enough?

Sue:  &

Bill:  Aw, girl, now you wannna superpretzel or some shit? You think I'm Mr. Moneybags? Everytime we go to the movies, you buy like $50 million snacks.

Sue:  :) $$$

Bill:  OK, move on, find a sugar daddy. I want someone who loves me who I am. We're done. DONE!

Sue:  What u mean we dun? My daughter got hold horse of phone. Oh, so u brake up w/ me over text? Now that's the beanest thing anyone ever do to me. In front of my lil girl two. At least wait pill I'm house.

Bill:  :-* I knew you'd come around. Leave you. Should I pick you up at heaven?

Sue:  Better cake it do later.

Bill:  Meant love you, Betty

Sue:  Who the fuck is Betty? ARe u seein someone else? wish you'd just be straight up.

Bill:  I think I love you is pretty straight up. I meant Baby.

Sue:  Yeah, that's what they all say. Even Betty.

Bill:  Dude, I'm driving I better go to leave. I'm gonna crash.

Sue:  :)

Bill:  You happy I'm gonna crash? What's that all abt? So passive-aggression

Sue:  It's a frowny on my phone. You know what, I'm tired of this BS. You always doubt me. You never trust me.

Bill:  <3 I love you.

Sue:  Was that for me or Betty?

Bill:  That's it, we're done.

Sue:  I oven you.

Bill:  There is no Betty. There is no one but ukelele.

-- C.A. MacConnell


F'n Rad Painter.

Back in the 90s, I used to get completely shitfaced on whatever, and then I'd pull out my art supplies and paint all kinds of crazy-ass, horrific pictures. I used spray paint, acrylics, oils, whatever the fuck I grabbed. I thought I was Picasso or some art god, and I worried I might have to take off an ear or a toe to prove it.

Well, around that time, near Christmas, on one of my manic, booze-induced art sprees, I painted gruesome pictures for everyone in the family, as well as for some others who I barely knew. At the time, I was so fucked up that to me, they appeared to be absolute genius. I even framed and wrapped the monsters, and when I handed them over to my lucky recipients, my face was a proud, beaming beacon of light (mixed with downers and uppers).

One particular drawing was supposed to be an utterly unique portrayal of a certain musician; however, I drew his mouth so close to the microphone, it looked like he was get the drift. Deep, let me tell you.

A few months back, Mom whipped out one of my old paintings (yes, she had it in the basement). It was supposed to be a painting of her, but it sort of resembled a dead Gidget doll (the Sally Field version), and it was about at the five year old level, but it was much creepier than any kid could do.

In the family, I am now a supreme legend as the worst painter/drawer they have ever seen. I even tried taking classes, and after a while the teachers just shook their heads and left me alone. I heard things such as this:

"Lighten up, MacConnell."


"Hm, why don't you just go with that. I'll be back."

And he never came back.

Here is my one actual masterpiece:

Yes, that's right. This one is the best of the bunch, the cream of the crop. If anyone wants his/her portait done, I'm open for biz. I know one person that might jump at that chance. He's seen some of my award-winning, genius work.

C.A. MacConnell

One Sentence Movie Reviews: Spy

Spy was great; in a good film, there's always an obvious chicken, so hows about that genius reference to Popeye's chicken, holy crap.

-- C.A. MacConnell


Back in the Bedroom

Hi. Wrote this today. Love, C.A.

Back in the Bedroom

Back in the bedroom, she

Turns gray in the yellow
Light. Today,
Under cover, she is deeply

Smoking, dying, getting


Howling the best
She can, words come easy --

That was,

And wide open --

Here lies her starving heart.
Such a clean
Party --
Flat on the back,
And the nasty
Clock is stuck on the stupid beat of


traumatic. Good enough.
Shaky hands,
Headache, please, fuck you.

Right now, someone tells her that all she needs
is air.
Right now, someone tells her that all she needs
is everything.

There is a place we call
Up there,
and a place we call
Down below, and somewhere in
Lives a human,
A canine,
Vicious desire,
And a small, empty

For sale.

Hold her hand when you take her
To the showing.
Make sure the lights are
Make sure it is brick
Or stone.

C.A. MacConnell