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Signs and Dart Guns

July 18, 2020 by in category Writing tagged as
Kidd for President!

You know those signs on doors? One says “In” and one says “Out”? But exactly half of the time, I think those signs are wrong. Stay with me here. Aren’t you always going “In”? If you’re always going thru the door, and you can’t go thru something unless you’re “In” it, you should always be going “In”. I mean, theoretically, you could be going “Out” once you’ve passed the halfway point. But unless we want the signs to electronically change when we pass exactly halfway over the threshold, we should always go “In” the “In” door, regardless of whether we are entering or leaving a building because we are always going “In” the door itself. These subtleties appear to be lost on sign makers. Many times I’ve been inside a building and I’ve tried to exit by the “In” door. Nope, won’t budge. Inevitably, a bunch of well-meaning people will point to the “In” sign over my head. Yeah, like I didn’t see it!

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with signs most of my adult life. Take those diamond signs that classify chemicals. You know, the ones that say things like hazardous or oxidizer. I love those signs. I think we should use those signs to classify people. The friend who whispers about you behind your back—Toxic. The boss that plays video games on his computer all day. Obviously, an inert substance. How about the person that keeps nagging and nagging until you give in? Corrosive. Then there’s my neighbor—Irritant. Know anyone that’s explosive? I think we should abolish the entire field of psychology and just hire those sign guys to observe people and stick colored diamonds on everyone’s forehead.

But more than bad signage I detest bad drivers. That’s why, in addition to changing half of the “In” and “Out” signs, and hiring thousands of chemists to observe and classify the population, I believe every licensed driver should be issued a traffic dart gun. Here’s my idea. When you get your driver’s license, the state would give you a dart gun with three darts. These darts would have super strong suction cups on the end. When you see someone committing an obviously stupid, illegal, driving maneuver, you’d pull out the ole dart gun and stick one to the offender’s car. Three darts; automatic ticket. See a car with fifteen darts on it? Hey, it’s time to pull over, get out of the way, and let that dude drive on by. I’d even be willing to pay for my dart gun. Wow, a new source of revenue for the state. Need more darts? Make your check out to the IRS.

Why am I telling you all these things? Haven’t you guessed? November is coming up. I’m running for office. Yes, you too can have correct signage and dart guns! Vote for Kidd Wadsworth.

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Writing Truth

June 18, 2020 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth, Writing

The elusive goal in writing appears to be the creation of magic moments: the beauty of ice coating the bare branches of a tree in winter, the thrill of racing down a basketball court, jumping, and YES! perfectly blocking an opponent’s layup.

But magic moments are pretend writing, like a little girl playing dress-up in her mother’s high heels and pearls. When we grow up, we write truth. More accurately, we sneak truth by the enraptured reader.

We humans like to feel good—think whole body massages. We covet delicious food: prime rib, strawberries, did I mention chocolate? We seek to be entertained: music drifting through high quality ear phones, comedians doubling us over with so much laughter we cry out in pain, “Please, please stop.” We are hedonists content to drift along on the surface of life. Truth? We don’t want truth, that’s way too much work. So, we writers, ensnare our readers in the emotions of our main character. Then as the character encounters truth, so does the unsuspecting reader.

But so powerful is the art form, that if we write without knowing the truth, sometimes the truth reveals itself. 

Several years ago, I sat across my kitchen table from a wonderful woman as she told me that she had been sexually assaulted. “Well, I was stupid,” she said. “I shouldn’t have gotten in the car with him. I was trained in self-defense, but I…It was really all my fault.”

I gripped the edge of my chair to restrain myself. “It wasn’t your fault,” I whispered. “He committed a felony. He’s a criminal.”

“No, you don’t understand. I had been drinking.”

“Did you say no?”

“Well, yes.” She shook her head back and forth, put her head in her hands, self-disgust in every movement.

“So, you did try to fight him?”

“Yes,” she stood, looking for her purse. “Don’t you see, I knew all these Kung Fu moves.” Her voice got louder with each word. “I should have been able to get free. It was my fault!”

“It wasn’t your fault. He attacked you.”

She found her purse, but not her keys.

“I’ve got some fresh organic lemon. Let me get you some for your tea.” Remembering the cookies, I put three on a plate in front of her, tempting her. “Want some, two kinds of chocolate chips?”

She collapsed into her chair. I brought a box of tissues; gently touched her arm. “Why don’t you write that story.”

“No,” she shook her head. “I couldn’t.”

I tried again. “Perhaps if you wrote it, someone who read it, might stop blaming herself. Maybe she’d realize that what happened to her wasn’t her fault.”

But that’s not what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say was, “Perhaps if you wrote your story, you’d realize the attack wasn’t your fault.”

A few minutes later she made an excuse and left. I get it, even speaking about what happened thirty years ago was overwhelming. But still she doesn’t write her story; she doesn’t write her truth. And I know as I pen these words that she still believes the attack was her fault.

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Gore by Kidd Wadsworth

May 18, 2020 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth


I’m talking gore today. I’m going for yuck, gross and gag me with a spoon. This isn’t about obscenity or shock, it’s about making your reader vomit. Yes, I really said that. Gore is often used to identify the villain. Today I’ll talk about layering gore, like layers of paint.

First lay down the primer, a sentence which prepares the reader.

Her stomach threatened to spill its lunch at the smell of the thing.

Apply the first top coat. The description is still general only a few details are added.

The witch was no more than four feet tall and nearly bald. What little hair she had was filled with sticks and clumps of seaweed.

Now for the finish coat. Note the added details, the adjectives stacked up one after another.

Two weak, watery eyes peered out of a face covered with pus-spewing sores. A rat sat her shoulder, her belt was a live snake, her clothes made from the skin of a deer to which pieces of green, maggot-laden rotting meat still clung. She had no shoes.

Later this story returns to the gory witch.

This time she’s attempting to get home. The same pattern emerges. First the primer: sentences which prepare the reader, which set the stage for what is to come.
The witch’s breath came in ragged gasps. Lying on her belly, she clawed up clumps of soil, her fingers relentlessly searching the ground. Yes! Warm air touched the skin of her middle finger. Following the vent of air, she pushed her finger into the ground.

With the first top coat, details are added, and the reader begins to feel nauseous.

Her eyes rolled back in her head. She reached for the change, sticking out her tongue so far she gagged herself. Tongue first, then teeth, nose and eyes, she dissolved, the warm goo oozing down her arm, following her finger, dripping into the vent, into the pit below the soil. Head and neck followed. Feet, ankles, knees and thighs liquified, rushing up her middle and down her arm. The hand which had not found the vent and its arm also turned to mush and dripped into the earth. Her core dissolved and with it the rat, which had sat on her shoulder, and the snake she’d fashioned into a belt. These also dribbled into the vent. Finally, the arm, hand and finger trickled away. All that remained were a few bits of seaweed and a poorly scraped deer hide.

Now for the finish coat.

But wait, how can we possibly improve on all that gore. Yes, but of course, we reveal the depths of her villainy, she’s not a witch at all. She’s something much worse.

Two hundred feet, seeping through cracks, dripping from rock to rock, she drained into the hot bowels of the Earth, and the bubbling pit of lava which lay directly below dragon’s keep. Around the pit, the antenna of lava beetles shot up, awakened by the scent of a dragon. The witch goo, now floating on the lava’s surface, congealed first into a shapeless glob. Within minutes, the dragon’s large backbone formed. Weakened of magic, it was a mere 20 feet long. Over the next two days the head formed, the energy required to reconstitute its immense brain, cooling the lava more than a hundred degrees. As the belly, limbs and wings grew the lava beetles began their work, scraping off and eating ill-formed scales—of which there were many—allowing the dragon to regrow newer stronger ones. At last the claws formed, only one made of obsidian. Whole again, the dragon slept, drawing energy from the heat of the pit, dreaming, tasting the young girl and her magic which would soon fill its aching belly.

All that gore has accomplished its goal. It has prepared the reader. The villain is coming—and she’s a dragon.

Happy writing. I love gore, it’s addictive. Please respond with a bit of your best. I look forward to vomiting over your work.

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Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

April 28, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as ,

Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

You can read Kidd’s monthly column, Infused with Meaning, here on the 18th of every month. More information about Kidd is found on her website, make sure you take the time to read her “about me” section.

A selection of books that include Kidd’s short stories.

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Kidd Wadsworth, Featured Author of the Month

April 21, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as ,

Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

You can read Kidd’s monthly column, Infused with Meaning, here on the 18th of every month. More information about Kidd is found on her website, make sure you take the time to read her “about me” section.

A selection of books that include Kidd’s short stories.

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