Introducing: Author Brandon Ax

Introducing: Author Brandon Ax

Here at Writers After Dark we like to shake things up now and then! It got me thinking, hmm . . . shouldn’t we have someone else we can share our work load . . . err . . . fun creative endeavors with? Haven’t we earned the right to taint an innocent soul?

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I'm a Man and I Love My House Purse

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It’s true, and I’m not one bit ashamed. Well, not exactly correct because it’s less a Man Purse and more a House Purse. I don’t take it out of the house. 

I went to high school and college in the 80s. We still had a fairly strict list of the things a “dude” could say and do without being called gay. 

For example, it was okay to wear a “fanny-pack” if and only IF you were either hiking or skiing. Your socks could be either white or dark—no pinks, purples, or anything  “girly.” And the only thing you could shave was your face.

All that has changed, (not the fanny pack unless you’re over 65 guys) but folks from my era are still a little resistant to the Man Purse. You can carry a backpack, messenger bag, or briefcase. Anything too small qualifies as a purse, and unless you are gay (really gay), ridicule will likely follow—even from guys with a man bun and pink socks.

Which is why I got married. Well, not the only reason but my wife’s purse really comes in handy. Or SK’s bag, I’ve enlisted both. 

Someone, somewhere, at some time long ago decided that because men have pockets, it is less manlike to carry a small bag. I live in Florida. I wear shorts 90% of the time. 

Shorts have two small pockets. I guess you can use the back pocket(s) if you’re “that guy.” I have way too much stuff for two pockets, and multi-pocketed cargo shorts are out. 

And unfortunately, unless you are a cop, a construction worker, or Batman, a utility belt is also out of the question. 

Now back in the day you left the house with maybe a wallet and a key or two. Today, we have a lot more“stuff.” Keys, wallet, mobile phone at a minimum. All adding to the weight of those pockets. 

For me, there are the keys, the phone, the wallet, the e-cig (or regular cigs and a lighter), the reading glasses, and the sunglasses. And that’s for the short trips. I may also need to bring my journal, pen, glass cleaner, and eye drops. 

Go ahead and get all that stuff into your two pockets. I wind up with my hands filled, things rolling off the front seat of the car, and draped in two pairs of glasses. Unless I’m with my wife and then all that crap is in her purse.

But whatever. I’ll wait until the Man Purse is cool—which will obviously require some manly celebrity to start using one in public. Yes, I could just carry a backpack (but not too small). Although then I’ll be accused of acting like a 15 year older skater. Or be followed throughout the entirety of my Walmart trip by store security. Dudes with backpacks are not to be trusted unless they’re at the airport or hiking across Europe.

At home though, I enjoy the privacy that allows for my House Purse. Now you may be looking around your home or apartment while thinking, “why on earth would you need a house purse?”

Let me explain:

I was blessed with a career that afforded me the luxury of a six bedroom, two-floor house. And while it doesn’t make sense to keep it now that the five kids are gone, we are still here. 

I used to walk around from place to place with handfuls of the stuff. A writer and marketer just never know when inspiration or ideas may strike. You have to be prepared. And there are six places at home where I need to be ready. 

    •    There is the office where I work.

    •    There is the sitting area where I start every day.

    •    There is the lanai for when the weather is nice.

    •    The living room where I watch television.

    •    There is one of the spare rooms where I’m working on a new video project.

    •    And there is the bedroom.

 Inspiration can strike anywhere

Inspiration can strike anywhere

And to be prepared there is “stuff” I must have with me. 

What stuff, you ask, is so indispensable that I need a house purse?

    •    IPad (for reading)

    •    Phone (email, Slack)

    •    Mac Air (writing)

    •    Personal Journal 

    •    Idea Journal (story and article ideas)

    •    Work Journal

    •    Notebook (stuff that’s temporary)

    •    Pens (lots)

    •    Glasses

    •    Glass cleaner

    •    Eye drops

    •    Cigs, lighter, and ecig

    •    Earphones

    •    Bookmark

    •    Extra charger

 Important “stuff”

Important “stuff”

If I leave the stuff around I never remember which place I last used it. And I spend half the time going up and down the stairs to get the “thing” I need. 

Plus, I almost always in route with a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, or a bucket of ice (for the podcasting drinks). You need a free hand for that stuff.

A few weeks ago, my wife was going up to her office. A cup of tea and all her “stuff” in hand. Halfway up the stairs something slipped, she tried to catch it, and her now empty teacup came rolling down the staircase.

 Overkill

Overkill

“You need a house purse,” I told her. 

She agreed. Although I think she went overboard.

I mean, scissors seem a bit extreme.

Seriously, I can’t tell you how much easier my life is now that I have a house purse. I’m like an Italian grandmother. That thing never leaves my side. 

I’m not ashamed either. There are people, as we speak, connecting their entire homes to smart devices. Literally, folks using voice commands to turn on a light that is five feet away from them. People who are using their mobile phones and Ring to see who is at the door that they are going to answer anyway. My House Purse isn’t because I’m lazy, it’s because I’m creative.

Besides, compared to my facial care products and regiment, the House Purse is probably my least metro-sexual thing. And, sure, I could pack it all in my briefcase or backpack, but I think carrying them around the house would look kind of stupid.


By Raymond Esposito

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Raymond Esposito is an award-winning dark fiction author and Amazon bestseller. His articles and interviews have appeared in a variety of publications including Family Circle and Sanitarium Magazine. He has a degree in Cognitive Psychology and has spent over 28 years as a criminal behaviorist.

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Breaking Up with WordPress and Finding New Beginnings


Because Life Likes to Bite You in the Ahem and Laugh at You!
 

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Remember June? That time I made a big deal about being “back” to writing posts . . . and books . . . and getting my crap together?
 

Well, immediately following that post (like three hours later), WordPress decided it wanted to do us wrong. We tried to mend things (the usual end-of-relationship kinda way): we cried, they cried, had counseling chats, played the blame game, smiled at the memories, and had the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk.
 

It was them, though, not us . . . so we broke it off.


Then we did what any new “ex” would do. We buried ourselves in ice cream and workouts for a proper heartbreak-revenge cycle (it’s called balance). We had to find a new home, transfer our content, and say goodbye to all your awesome thoughts you’ve shared with us over the past couple years. I would have copied & pasted all the comments but didn’t want to seem like a comment hoarder. It’s just . . . it made me sad. So now we’re back with a new look and we’re in a committed relationship with Squarespace.


With all that, I’ll admit I had a “poor me” moment.
 

If you read the post I mentioned above, I was happy “being back” and was trying hard to let go of my writing insecurities. Then WP* glitched horribly (they lost a lot of our articles, messed with the podcast coding, locked me out as admin, etc.), and I was back to feeling like it was a sign I shouldn’t be writing or creating anything. Ever.
 

Luckily, life doesn’t only smack you around. It also gives you exactly what you need. This all happened around the time schools closed. So I was able to enjoy being a mom this summer. I did a lot of creative work, went on a girl’s trip with my editor, had fun with WAD’s** website possibilities, and had a lot of coffee (yes, I’m pretty sure that is a big factor in my happiness . . . and the survival for those around me).
 

I loved spending time watching my kids laughing, running, swimming, and having conversations with them. They’re seven years old so you can imagine just how amusing they are. Time I would have otherwise spent worrying over a post, a podcast production, or stressing over getting a scene just right. And while these are all things that make me who I am and are my passions, there’s nothing like watching my real-life creations to remind me that yes, I can, in fact, make beautiful things. But since I’m done making little humans and the twins are back in school, I’m going back to creating fictional characters and writing about life . . . through the eyes of this storyteller.
 

So I’m back.
 

Again.
 

Raymond too. He’s hiding somewhere, but you’ll hear from him soon.



*WP = WordPress
**WAD = Writers After Dark

By S. Katherine Anthony

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S.K. Anthony (Shanny) is a writer, a reader, and make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York. She is an award-winning author and a bestseller on Amazon. When she isn’t busy with her toddler twins, S.K. finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders . . . she is convinced they are out to get her!

Website | Books