Clinton Ernest Murphy

Author on Reedsy Prompts since Apr, 2021

20 Stories

1015 karma pts


Author bio

I was born in the Chicagoland area, mostly the suburbs, but sometimes in the actual city, which just so happens to be the best city on earth. I may or may not be biased. LOL The first non-Chicago place I remember living was Hollywood. Well, I don't really remember it, except there was this one time that I fell asleep in the hallway of the building we lived in. I was looking to see if my friend was home. I do remember that for some reason. Oh, and the elevator with a metal accordion gate that you had to close before you could operate it. Oh, and this one time we were at some sort of fair or something, I seem to remember it being in a school. My parents had six kids at the time, so the eight of us entered the cake walk. My dad said that with eight of us there was no way we couldn't win. He was right of course, and I remember the cakewalk (not the conversation about our chances of winning, that detail was filled in later in life by older siblings). Then I remember walking home with our cake. It's funny how our memory skips over parts. One minute I remember entering the cake walk, the next thing I remember is walking home with the cake. I don't remember winning the cake or leaving the fair. After six months, we moved back to the Chicagoland area into a home near the end of a street. There was a path which I rode my bike and could get to almost any suburb of Northern Chicago. It may only be several miles long, but as a young child it felt like hundreds of miles. It was the place I fell in love with adventure. I spent many hours riding my bike on that path. That's how you raise a kid in a big city setting and get him to fall in love with the outdoors. To this day I still love outdoor activities despite being a city boy at heart. Then there was Oklahoma City and Arkansas, which were quite a lot different than Chicago, let me tell you. Try being a kid from Chicago moving to the south. That was one turbulent year. The only thing I really remember from my time spent in either of those two cities was playing with my brother on the rail yard. Talk about living dangerously. I'm still amazed that somehow neither my brother nor I were injured by a train. We used to run and jump onto and off of the moving trains. They would just be starting, so they wouldn't be going very fast. I have no idea how we never got caught. It almost seems like I must have made it up but I confirmed it with my brother and he has the exact same memories as me. Of course, there was also the incident of my brother lighting a roman candle underneath a carport. Too bad there weren't cellphones and YouTube back then, or for sure we would have had a funny video to enjoy for years and evidence the cops could have used to probably put us in juvie. LOL After that year we moved back to the Northern suburbs of Chicago for a short time before my mother moved us out to Baltimore. I was in fifth grade and the most prevalent memory is taking $100 down to the corner store...wait no, that’s not right, it was only 100 pennies. It feels like I did it time and time again, each time purchasing 100 gummy bears. I'm almost the opposite of a creature of habit, so it's odd that I'd do something so habitual. It was around this time that I discovered two things. The first was the weird and strange. I was introduced to this world through the Dr. Demento Show. If you've never heard of the Dr. Demento show, it's where Weird Al started his career. If it wasn't for the Dr. Demento show, it's possible that there'd be no Weird Al. The second thing I discovered was reading. The Time Machine, Tom Sawyer, 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Sherlock Holmes. Who knows what person I would have become without that time in my life. Sometime later my mom moved us to Hershey, yes the chocolate town. If you've never been and you're able to, you should visit there. It was the best of times, it was the strangest of times. Some things should remain buried in the past... Eventually I grew up and married my high school sweetheart, except we didn’t meet until well after high school. In fact, we didn’t go to the same school together or even grow up in the same town. However, we both lived in Oklahoma at some point in our lives, just not at the same time. I feel that since I’m a writer, I can just make up a story that sounds better than, we both met after failed marriages and got married with lots of baggage we had to work through. In the end though, we both found each other and fell in love. We have eight children, the youngest of whom are twins and are fifteen years younger than the oldest, who’s also a twin, except her twin is just her reflection in the mirror. *** I’m not very good about writing about or talking to strangers about Jesus, but He is the most important person in my life. He loves me no matter how crappy of a person I've been. He’s always patient with me and it amazes me how so deeply He loves all of us, so many of whom either refuse to believe in His existence or would nail him back on the cross if they believed it would silence the voices of His followers. *** Some day I'm going to be the world's greatest author...well, at least in my mind that's going to happen. They say to shoot for the stars, right? Hehe. I love fantasy, science fiction, drama, thrillers, and comedies. However, I have a hard time motivating myself to write because I doubt myself so much. I'm hoping that entering these contests will build up a little of my self-esteem. That's probably not a very good plan, but it's a start. Here's hoping for the best. Wish me luck. In the words of Theodore L. Steinberg, "I like to bake bread, but there is something about baking bread that I do not understand. I can assemble all the ingredients—the yeast, the flour, the salt, the sugar, the water—and I know how to mix them, how to knead them, how to let the dough rise, and how to bake it. But I do not feel that I totally understand how those ingredients and those processes combine to make bread. Somehow all those separate ingredients, each of which I can hold in my hand, combine to create something totally different and more delicious than each of them can be individually. I find the same “mystery”—if I can call it that—in literature. I think that I understand words and sentences, characters and plots, but I am not sure that I understand how an author combines those elements to create a world that I can visit and that comes to have a special reality for me. I have never actually lived in a world like the one that Jane Austen describes, and I am pretty certain that I would not particularly want to live there, but when I read her novels, I like visiting that world, and I enjoy being in the company of her characters, or at least of some of them. But I do not understand how Jane Austen, or any other great writer, actually achieves that effect." I wish to become a better story baker, so if you've come across my words and feel that I need to increase my baking temperature, decrease my baking time, or use a few less eggs, please feel free and let me know. I welcome any and all criticisms.