Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction
Tom Week – Detours


Medical Detours and Adventures


We are official Floridians. Thank you Janet. We all have our new IDs. The RV has a new title and tags. We’re registered to vote. Yee Hah!

Unfortunately, Abbie was barking and running after a dog and she hurt her leg. It’s looking a little better this evening but we may going to see the vet tomorrow.


No sleep last night. Random acid reflux. Usually this only lasts a couple hours before fading, but last night it lasted all night.

The new lights arrived today. No more wandering around with flashlights.


Slept much last night. Only woke for a while cause Tonya was having a conversation with someone who wasn’t there. Abbie got me up at eight for food and a walk, but went back to bed for a couple more hours.

I installed the new ceiling lights today. They are SO bright!

We went to a seafood place for supper. The waitress brought Pat and Tonya the kid’s portions and it was still way much food.


Great touristy bike ride today. Lot’s of funky pictures. Then it was laundry time.

My weight is down to 189. Yee Hah! That’s 76 pounds gone so far.


Good news: Abigail won’t need surgery for her leg.

More good news: New diabetes meds are working.

Bad news: There was something odd about my EKG so I have to see a cardiologist.


Up at 6AM to get to Jacksonville for Tonya’s 9:30 Social Security appointment. Some traffic but we still got there early. Surprisingly we were done before 9:30. Amazing.

Lazy afternoon. Some of us took naps.


Visited the cardiologist today. It seems that I’m going to be OK. One the what the doctor called fibers is misfiring. There are many things that can cause this. Most likely an imbalance of electrolytes, which may be caused by my blood sugar issues.

So no more tests needed and I don’t have to go back for a year.

And no, I’m not unaware of the irony of going to the heart doctor on Valentine’s day.


masonic lodge

How many plots have been plotted in this old building?

bike seat

My bike seat has been pollinated.


I appear to have cycled into an Italian neo-realist Roadrunner cartoon.

stone bull

Up close, this is one sad old bull.

abandoned businesses

If you need bike insurance you’re double out of luck.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 14, 2019

Short Story – Camping Karaoke

camping karaoke microphone

Camping Karaoke

The sunset on the lake made me sad. Another day and no alligators spotted. What’s the use of camping next to a swampy Florida lake if there aren’t any alligators?

Music from the bar up the road tempted me out. My friends’ arguments about how drinking in bars isn’t part of camping did nothing to deter me. I left them to their smokey, burnt marshmallow sharing of tales of their decades-gone glory school days.

The road back to the highway was starlit and noisy. The insects and frogs seemed to be in tune with the twangy guitars ahead. It was one of those weird moments when I knew I was supposed to be afraid of the deep dark woods, but I wasn’t. Too much noise and vision for that.

The roadhouse was across a four lane highway that wasn’t all that busy but the cars came fast out of the growing dark. They didn’t all have their headlights on yet. It took a while for enough of a break to sprint to the medium. On the medium the fear hit. I was surrounded by speeding cars who had no expectation of a person being here. I could almost hear the thump of my body bouncing off a hood.

Finally there was a break and I made it to the dirt parking lot. Oddly, the music seemed no louder as I got closer. That changed when I opened the door. The music blared with all possible noise then stopped. It wasn’t for my presence, just the end of the song.

Or maybe it was me. By the time I made my way to the nearest bar stool I noticed that I was the only man in the place. I had wandered into that rarest of rare bar experiences, the Lesbian Country Music Karaoke night.

Surprisingly, nobody seemed to be bothered by my presence, so I took the same attitude. I successfully ordered, payed for and drank a beer. Listened to some loud off-key drunken sing-sobbing. Had another beer and realized that I was having a good time. Didn’t know any of the songs being sung, but so what.

Then it happened. This tiny little woman came up to me and said that I had to do the male part of the song she wanted to sing. I told her I didn’t know the song and she said, “That’s why they have the words on the screen you dumb breeder.”

I looked around for support but found none. So I followed the little woman up to the stage. The woman in charge set up a second microphone and pointed out the back-up singer’s monitor. I didn’t know such a thing existed.

The music began and the little woman sang, badly. I’m talking raccoon in heat bad. Then words appeared on my screen. I more spoke them than sang them. I sounded like William Shatner on an off night. The lyrics were somewhere short of Dick and Jane on downers. It was hard not to laugh.

The song ended and the audience clapped. The bartender came up to the stage and dragged me out the front door. She gave me a shove and said, “OK, we’re done with ya.” She shut the door and I heard it lock.

I was halfway across the scary though now mostly empty highway when I realized that there was no music. Apparently nobody wanted to follow our train wreck of a duet.

Back at the campground everyone was already tucked in. I sat watching the dark lake, trying to figure out what I had done to earn the karmic punishment of that bar. Then my mind wandered off into the universe trying to figure out everything else. At some point it got very cold but I didn’t notice.

Then the sun came up. It was beautiful. I wished for the next adventure and climbed into my sleeping bag.



Comments and critiques are welcome. Please be cruel but not abusive.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 4, 2019

RVing – Ambulance Visit

dog park


Another ambulance visited to RV park. I guess that’s a regular thing here in retirement land. Good long bike ride today. Dinner from Boston Market. MMMM, tatoes!


Still waiting to hear back from the glass people about fixing the windshield. We’re staying in the current park but we have to switch spots tomorrow.


We were supposed to move to another space today but they called and said the other people had canceled so we get to stay put. The new windshield will be here in 4 to 6 days.


Meeting neighbors. Watching RVs come and go. Walking the dog. Life in motorhome suburbia.


Temps in the upper 70’s. So nice.


Pat and I both realized that we are feeling restless because we’ve been staying at parks too long. Time to start moving again.

High Temp, 80 degrees, love Florida in January.


Cooled today, but still in the 60’s. Today we talked about buying a car to tow behind the RV. The rental car fees are adding up.


bear crossing

These signs are common here but apparently the bears are not.

betty boop

Just a couple panels of the miles of painted fences along the bike trail.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry and Sophia watch from their wooden moments in time.


Caught in the act. After my protein bars again.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 14, 2019

RVing – The Crack Grows



Last night the RV’s toilet turned on us. Thankfully the internet was full of ideas and after a few of them we got it functioning well enough. Today I bought a snake and that seems to have cleared it up.

The window crack is growing.


Today we drove to Sanford FL. Fortunately the window crack didn’t get any bigger during the ride. We’re just three miles from the repair place, so we should be all set.


Laundry day. Had to go out to a laundromat because the park only has four little washing machines. Got to talk to three guys who hang out outside the laundry every Friday night to try to meet all the hot women doing laundry. They’ve been doing it for nearly a year without success.


So it turns out that Sanford FL is site of a famous murder. Tourism is fun. Took Abigail to the dog park. She was very happy and met many dogs. We also drove by the very big lake. Very pretty. The hot humid weather is gone.


Avoid the Stake N’ Shake in Sanford FL at all cost. I spent over 30 minutes in the drive through and they still got more wrong than right.


We went today to arrange to get the windshield fixed. The woman at the RV dealer looked at us like we were crazy. Turns out we have to call the insurance company first and let them handle all the details. Having never had a broken windshield before, how would we know this? We learn.



An angry cat guarding a grave

fire truck

Bad day for the neighbors

Sandy squirrel footprints. Protein bars still safe.


A wonderfully friendly campground

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 7, 2019

Writing Excuses

no excuses

What do you do when you run out of excuses?

I want to be a writer but…

There are so many reasons not to write. Time, money, distractions and hundreds of other minor procrastinations keep us from doing what we want to do. Or do we? I’m talking about me here. I don’t know about you. These reasons not to write are not right.

Nothing but myself is stopping me. Oh yes, there will be sacrifices. There will be problems and conflicts and all that shit. If I want to write, then I should write and accept the consequences.

For me though, I need a plan. I need to know there will be an outcome. Doesn’t matter if that outcome is good or bad, but there must be a goal.

Here I get into a sticky bit. I’m learning that I should never talk about my work in progress (WIP), because it is always changing and people think I lied to them when I told them about three revisions ago. So no details.

However, thinking this all through has given me a plan, not only for this project, but for the next few as well. This is good. Now I just have to internally justify spending more time on writing.

In the last month I’ve gone from half an hour to a full hour. Now it’s time to add another half hour, but what do i give up? I do many things during the day that I don’t “need” to do, but enjoy.

Maybe I could do what I do but cut out five minutes here and there. That sounds so easy and logical. Of course I don’t believe any of it. To my detriment, I’m a list maker. If I’m going to add to my writing time, piecemeal just won’t do.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: December 26, 2018

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