And they’ll make a martini out of you and me.

Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash

All the scientists say that we’re nothing but a chemical reaction.

That we’re just bundles of brain cells and molecules randomly colliding.

All the scientists say they know me; they know my mathematical composition, my mind, and my meaning — they know the “formula” to my soul, the recipe to recreate me

And they say that one day they can make me, gather the necessary ingredients and bake me, load me into an oven like a loaf of bread, until I rise again.

Well, they’ll get a rise out of me.

Because I’m heated.

Because who do they think they…


A pandemic, a corona-convenience, our philosophy

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Dear Family,

We obviously didn’t need the coronavirus to keep our distance. Let’s be real — for a second, at least.

If anything, it’s been a corona-convenience for you because before the world went asunder, we literally never saw each other anyway, and you actually had to search your repertoire of excuses, the deep well full of reasons for why we don’t see each other anymore, and that well appears limitless to me…

One of my favorites that you pull from the well’s bucket every time we talk is how your schedule is somehow booked every month, weekend, day, hour…


T.D. Stump’s rise to power

Photo by Aaron Munoz on Unsplash

He was the truest jack of all trades.

The man knew everything better than anybody — better than anybody could know anything — ever since knowledge was invented.

Because he invented it. Well, he was at least the first to make it either fake or real.

His expertise literally knew no bounds because he created the concept of “boundaries,” and though he crossed many of them, it wouldn’t count against him…

Unless he said it should. But he never made mistakes, so why would he?

And when he stepped forward to speak, your best bet was to count backward, and…


Taken from Clark’s toolbox

Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash

“Poorly written reports, memos, announcements, and messages cost us time and money. They are blood clots in the body politic. The flow of information is blocked. Crucial problems go unsolved. Opportunities for reform and efficiency are buried.” — Roy Peter Clark

Writing’s pretty important.

That was an understatement.

If the world and society and all its peoples were a vast and varied and interconnected collection of textiles, then words would be the threads weaving them — and therefore us — together into a collective and cozy blanket.

The goal, then, is to make it as seamless as possible because, as…


Your plant-based star signs from a lost civilization

Painted canvas of “Zodiac of Plants.” Image courtesy of the author.

Did you know that the month in which you were born will tell you who and what you are?

It’s easy. You just have to read the stars.

That’s because the 12 months that make up a calendar year each contain a unique star sign, under which you were born. And each star sign resembles a particular animal — that animal tells you who you are.

This constellation of star-sign animals is referred to as the Zodiac.

But you already knew that. You’re already familiar with your star-sign animal and what it tells you about yourself.

But wouldn’t you like…


Sharing the silent perspective

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

She walked into a quiet classroom. The silence started to scream at her, then whispered this into her ear: “They’re all watching you.” Then the other students stared, glared, and gawked — she felt their collective gaze penetrate her skin, shirt, and soul — but their eyes, together, screamed louder than the silence.

Her thoughts seemed crippled because she couldn’t manage a sentence. The teacher asked her to tell the class where she was from, what her favorite food was, and how many siblings, if any, she had.

But when her words were somehow made, they came out wounded and…


Relax and make a fair trade with them

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Some writers write, read, revise, reread, go for a run, come back and write, and repeat. Others just shoot it out on the page, then revise. It depends on the writer. Yet all writers are giving words to their readers like I’m doing for you now.

You get it.

The process of rendering words on a page for you, dear reader, is done a little differently by each writer. As William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well, puts it:

“Some people write by day, others by night. Some people need silence, others turn on the radio. Some write by hand…


John Rawls, the veil of ignorance, and judgment

Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

One of my more profound moments in life — one that changed me to the core and influenced my very perspective on the people I share this world with, came from considering a thought experiment that went something like this:

I’m a member of a divine team of decision-makers. We want to construct a social contract that will inform the social structure for already-existing animals called humans. We’re interested only in providing what’s best for them, and we act as beneficent curators of the human condition.

But there’s a catch.

I must voluntarily submit to a sort of radical ignorance…


Write less and say more

Photo by Jess @ Harper Sunday on Unsplash

The dead horse of simple writing has been beaten ad nauseum — I just want to make sure it’s dead. So I’ll make a case for simplicity again because, if you’re like me, knowing something is not the same as doing it.

Especially in writing. Tell me to write something simply, and I tend to fill pages with long sentences, unnecessary words, and complex jargon.

It’s as if the default mode of the writer is to create words in excess, and only by editing and decluttering the needless noise can we consider a piece polished.

This is the writer’s dilemma…


When a mommy star and a daddy star love each other…

Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

All matter as our primate minds conceive of it was once concentrated into a nearly infinite point (the unwritten work that would become writers was also there — and so damn small).

This point inflated in an instant, and literally grew to universal proportions, like a large, black balloon from Party City blown up and filled with extremely bright LEDs.

We’ve collectively come to call this inflation the gang bang — uh, I mean the big bang.

This cosmic calamity was the genesis of all physical laws and properties of matter, including that which became pen and paper, an intelligent…

Dalton Orvis

Writer of the random, lifelong learner and thinker of things, gamer, scientist, humanist.

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