Every once in awhile I like to share, as an MG post, one of our newsletter articles (which you miss if you're not signed up).
This is one of mine from last week.
Tuesday afternoon, 3 PM EST, post tropical storm. The winds are still whipping and tossing the treetops into a ferver, but the sun is out and it’s gorgeous outside. I am taking a break from tele-work to write and drink a glass of wine on the balcony - it’s 73 degrees with low humidity.
I’ve got all the windows and the sliding glass door open in my apartment to let the fresh air in. Glorious. My cat, Mowgli, is enjoying the outside time as well.
7:47 PM EST. Just got in from a motorcycle ride. An amazing evening, weather-wise. Mid-eighties, cool. Fucking perfect and unusual for August. Having a glass of wine and a cigar with my writing before I do a MG Life members only BDSM podcast with Rob. What’s that? You haven’t joined? Well then, you're missing out then, aren’t you?
Thursday, 6:48 PM EST. Cool and comfortable outside today. The tropical storm has moved the humidity away from the area for the moment and I am relishing it.
Writing and plotting the next MG LIFE business venture. It’s 9:14 PM EST and I have just realized that I have yet to eat dinner. I’m slowly demolishing this gin and tonic, however. Hmm. What to eat?
Saturday, 12:49 PM EST. Getting some writing done before the MG LIFE private Fortress/Zoom meeting later at 4 PM.
Time to shift gears a bit. Let’s talk cigars. I sometimes get asked how I got into smoking cigars. It’s a fairly recent interest of mine and only goes back to 2014 when I was seriously studying The Civil War. I was reading and researching Ulysses H (yes, the S was a mistake that ‘stuck’) Grant and took note of his almost obsessive cigar smoking. I wondered why and what the big fuss was so I decided to try one out for myself and see. I was in Gettysburg on a solo writing retreat when I fired up an Oliva out on the back deck of the studio apartment I rent when I travel there by myself (or with one of my girls) - it’s inexpensive, cozy, and right in the heart of the town so I can walk most anywhere. It made sense for me to try a cigar whilst researching the Union General who loved them so much, in a Civil War Battlefield town.
It was a December trip and cold as fuck. A quick aside - Gettysburg is beautiful at Christmas-time.
I stood outside, however, and began my experiment. Had my shiny new stainless steel cigar cutter and my fresh box of cedar matches. I recall it took me almost that whole box of matches to get that fucker lit properly. I puffed a bit and leaned on the wooden railing. Not bad. I puffed a bit more and let the quiet of the cold, Winter night surround me. I turned my gaze upward and to the stars, those icy jewels strewn haphazardly in the black velvet of the heavens, and let my thoughts run free and unfettered. I puffed again and clouds of dense, white smoke wreathed my decidedly un-angelic head. Aha, now I get it. What a calming, meditative ritual. The next day (that Saturday), I purchased another cigar and strolled around the town like I fucking owned it.
I was hooked.
Now, I don’t smoke ‘em like Grant. That magnificent bastid smoked somewhere around 20+ a day. This is most likely what gave him throat cancer in his later years. I have one or two a week, tops. Sometimes 3 if I am writing well. In fact, I am having one now.
And this leads me to another point about Grant and his dogged determination to see things through no matter what - he wrote his memoirs, comprising 2 volumes, while being in excruciating pain. It hurt him greatly to swallow. He claimed that drinking water was akin to drinking “molten lead”. Hell, it was painful for him to breathe.
He wrote to tell his side of the story and he wrote to save his family from poverty. At that time, ex-Presidents did not receive a pension. Additionally, he and his son trusted the wrong man and were wiped out financially from what was, fundamentally, a ponzi scheme.
He was flat fucking broke. And no, he didn’t go begging for money.
His friend, Mark Twain, motivated and encouraged him to write his memoirs.
There was one day where, all huddled up in blankets, he wrote (by hand, mind you) ten THOUSAND words. In one day. He was in horrendous pain.
Read this again. He HAND wrote ten THOUSAND WORDS in one day.
Next time you or I decide to complain about something, how about we not do that? How about we allow ourselves to feel shitty and self-pitying for, oh, say, 10 minutes, and then we stop, think of General Grant, dust ourselves off, and stand the fuck up.
So shut yer yap and keep moving forward. No matter what. And refrain from announcing your petty little problems on social media. No one gives a shit. Nobody cares. It has always repulsed me when I see “men” on social media going on about their personal issues, laying out dirty laundry, complaining about something or other.
Knock that shit off. And go read Grant’s memoirs. You’ll be better for it, trust me.
Most people don’t know jack shit about actual/factual history.
Don’t be one of them.
Also, with the cigar and cancer subject. I get this all the time - “You might get cancer smoking cigars, not me man, fuck that.”
There are quite a few of these fuckers floating around. The “Not Me Man, Fuck That” guys.
“Motorcycles? Not Me, Man. It’s too dangerous.”
“Flying? Fuck that, Not Me, Man. Too dangerous.”
“Dating lots of women? Not Me, Man, it ain’t worth it.”
“Fuck lots of women? No way! Fuck that man, Not Me. You might get a disease!”
The list is almost endless.
Okay, well, you might as well follow all that up with, “Live Life? Not Me Man, too many dangers!”
Could all of those things happen? Absolutely. They also could NOT happen (which is more likely, from my experience).
I’m going to go ahead and live a full life and listen to the positive talk my brain indulges in and not the negative self talk that plagues most of the population. It’s easy to come up with excuses not to do something, not to take a risk and put yourself out there. It’s so much easier to love from afar, this way, there’s no work involved. No possibility of rejection.
I cannot live my life the way I desire if all I do is think on what negative thing MIGHT happen.
Go forth, gentlemen MGs, and fuck the week into submission.
And, as always, Keep The Wine Flowing.