So many distractions hardly time to put pen to paper - at least in the imitable style my many fans expect of me. That would be my sis Pluma, matriarch of Mountainburg.

Yet before style there must be something to write about and despite a chaotic and color-rich planet so full of it you couldn’t make the stuff up, inspiration labors at the bottom of a dry hole held at bay by a thousand prickly annoyances. What to write, how to write it, how to make time for it. How to stay mentally focused enough to get it done and in the end how to maintain the high caliber of intellectual sophistication that has come to be the trademark of an old backwater boy all the way from the backwaters of McCaslin Branch and to such prestigious assignment here at the ‘Bottom Rung."

Oh, I might use the same formula as other small town novices if it were simply a case of being mad at somebody, but righteous indignation was never a part of my repertoire; early on my sainted father advised not to cuss or use the Lord’s name in vain - even if others were deserving of it. My father could "advise" rather forcefully.

The easiest writing is done when one feels passionately about whichever he’s writing about, when emotion as love or hate picks up the reins and drives the wagon. On the other hand if one cannot find a subject which tickles his own fancy the process becomes doubly difficult. Disinterest is a killer. Couple that with an inability to stay awake during strenuous mental exercises, a curse of the old and aging - well you get the picture. An exercise in hocus pocus.

What he said: There are plenty of sources one may access that make writing a column easy if one is willing to "cheat." The word is plagiarism, or at least a form thereof. Rather than expend one’s own labor and sweat, let others do the heavy lifting. To heck with conjuring from one’s own talent, just copy from the talking points and ideas of your favorite guru. You know, "what he said."

Say one feels passionately about his politics, or more likely about damning another for his, just go to the proper website, magazine, TV or talk radio outlet where labors some credentialed spinner with perspectives much as your own, copy verbatim and let the dude do the work for you. Just add your own inflection. Why, even a novice may write a clinical essay in no time at all using this one easy formula. People do it all the time; cover the philosophies of another, perhaps not word for word, paragraph for paragraph, but idea for idea, talking point for talking point. So what if the topic has been vetted and jetted by history, ‘cussing’ feels good is easy to "write" and personally healthy in that it relieves the pressure of pent up anger and helps to calm the nerves.

As previously stated, there’s plenty of interesting stuff going on in the world, locally, nationally and internationally so there’s no shortage of material to kibitz, no shortage of perspective, and within the workings of this keyboard, word processor, typer at which I strive, no shortage of ink to deliver a contracted product. Today, there’s only a shortage of the hand that writ to stay focused upon the project at hand.

What this means is that the long meandering essay is out of the question, at least for the moment. When one becomes care giver for an aging companion, emotional, as well as time consuming interruptions happen on frequent basis and even when time is found for construction there’s no energy to swing the hammer; drowsiness sets in, the urge to sleep overtakes, subdues all other ambitions and within it all, mounting stress for the feeling of urgency of being wanted and needed elsewhere.

Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.: The previous weeks have been hectic; a long series of health related setbacks for my bride of 62 years who for two weeks now resides at Alma Rehab. Doing well (under limited expectations), after surgery for a fractured hip suffered in a fall during the - wee hours of night. Traveled down and had breakfast with the gal this morning, then delivered her to the keeping of a capable staff, and back home to this bi-weekly scribing project which I dearly love doing but stressed now that I’ll get it done at the appointed time. An hour in, drowsiness again overtakes but after ten minutes of drifting and dozing I shakes myself awake and attempts once more to regain some semblance of mental concentration.

Whilst I’m preoccupied with things of a personal matter, interesting things continue to take place outside the little cocoon wherein I live, move and have my being: Serious stuff of national and international impact mostly, but often amusing in its management (or mismanagement) by representatives we the people assumed had the intellect and integrity to do the job when we assigned them to their positions of public trust.

Thing that scares the hades out of me is that many of these loons are loonier than I am - and that, as not a few readers of these articles may allow, is pretty dang loony. Nothing embarrasses anyone anymore. Their failings clearly seen are often warned of before the fact, verified after but are soon forgotten or forgiven because of lackadaisical social attitudes which refuse to hold a "brethren" accountable for his actions and well—forgiving of his ineptness. (Charitably) Everybody "does it" and it’s wrong only if the larceny is committed by someone other than me and mine.

The recent inability to focus, plus my nervous fingers have driven me to posting short commentary or observations within my online social network. No, no it’s nothing like the political propaganda of special interest groups who post their little hit jobs, knowing that the more partisanized of the faithful will jump on it like Old Rover on a bone and explode it outward across cyberspace like winds gather sand from the Sahara and scatter them to ever corner of the globe.

Rather, give me opinion and philosophy of a personal nature, what one sees, hears or observes, something that wells up from the creativeness of ones own heart and soul which identifies character and substance, not some regurgitated, one sided propagate taken from an activist source, even if the jive reflects my own political sympathies. But life in all its uneven ways continues on, and even in a field taken by cockleburs the ancient one manages to maintain his sweet disposition:.Apparently that is not always easy for older guys to do.

According to a recent report there is a growing trend amongst men of the baby boomer generation toward surliness. MSNBC.com reports that according to a scientific study the malady kicks in at about 60 years of age and is generally referred to as "grumpy old man complex," and more imaginatively, irritable male syndrome. Welst, I’m far beyond 60 often stressed but greatly blessed. Amazed but often amused by the eccentricities of myself and my fellow man I am well entertained by his antics and today quite pleased; despite the distractions that continually disrupt and interrupt, another column is in the mail.