Saturday, December 19, 2009

Here is part of a recent email:
Hello Mr. Moen,
I met you yesterday onboard HMCS SACKVILLE. I enjoy meeting people who truly experienced life & sea in times of crisis. You certainly were in the eye of the story many times during your long life.
I basically read "A Sailor's Stories" in 1 sitting without putting it down. It caught me on the first page & although it was quite unexpected at times there was a power that kept me turning the pages. I don't really know what to make of it all yet? You have vividly written quite a story to say the least. The naval history was captivating, just trying to imagine what it was like to be truly in the hands of fate...
I plan to check out your BLOG.
It was a pleasure meeting you & I am looking forward to your next book.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


From: "Arlo M. Moen"
To: "Tom"
Subject: Re:
Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:53 PM

Garry and Irene,
Condolences ! I am devastated too!

From: Tom
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:39 PM
To: Arlo M. Moen

We haven't met but I am Irene's son Garry. Mom wanted me to send you a message and let you know Tom passed away early this morning here at home where he wanted to be. We talked about you often. He will be missed.
Garry & Irene.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I just checked into my writing blog and I see I haven't written
in it for some time.This makes me feel kind of like Hank Webber.
After I retired from the Navy we moved into a cottage on a lake
outside Halifax. A few days later our neighbors, Janie and Hank
Webber,came over and Janie introduced themselves. Hank didn't say
anything but he was very pleasant nodding and smiling. Janie did
enough talking for both of them. The next day Janie came over by
herself. When I observed that Hank was a pretty quiet type she
told me Hank stopped talking ten years ago. She got him checked
out by two doctors and they couldn't find out what was wrong,so
she just got used to it. She didn't mind it because she could talk
without any interruptions.
After we lived there about six months, one day Hank was breaking
up granite rocks for me using a ten pound sledge hammer. He carefully
laid the sledge hammer down then turned to me and said, "I've been
thinking of moving away and leaving Janie here".This surprised me a
little, so I said,"Why?" Hank said, "She talks too much."
I couldn't stand it any longer, so I said,"How come you didn't
talk for over ten years?. Hank replied, " Didn't have nothin' to say."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another page of new novel in progress

During the first years of World War II I served in ships on convoy duty and there I found out where Hell was. I first served as a Seaman in HMCS St.Laurent. The ship had no heating system. During peacetime it had gone south every winter to avoid the cold. In the spring and fall we had a pot-bellied stove set up in the messdeck that supplied some relief from the cold while in harbour. It could not be used at sea.
When the war started the stove disappeared. From there on no respite from the freezing cold and wet was available. The misery lasted for weeks at a time.
At war's beginning the Canadian destroyers escorted the convoys part way across the North Atlantic and then were met by British warships that took them the rest of the way. This allowed the Canadians to return to Halifax to re-supply and re-fuel, before escorting the next convoy. Later on when the enemy submarines were operating in "Wolfpacks," we accompanied the convoys all the way, then went in to Greenock, Scotland for four hours to re-fuel. In addition to the misery of cold and wet, the St. Laurent had no refrigeration so after a few days at sea there was no fresh milk or bread. Powdered miklk was invented later on and it tasted like chalk. The absence of refrigeration also affected the meat and vegetable supply and stormy seas on the North Atlantic during the winters made it mpossible for the cooks to bake bread. If the cooks had been adequately trained the diet might have been suitable but hunger for real food often added to the misery of cold and wet.
At the start of war the ships were inadequately crewed. There weren't enough men for a four watch system of two port watches and two starboard watches, so we were in port and starboard watches of four hours on and four hours off. In rough weather, after four hours in a wet or damp hammock we would go on watch and get cold and soaked for four hours before doing it over again. This is where Canadian sailors learned all about the elasticity of human endurance.
After a few weeks of being constantly cold, wet, hungry and tired twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, I knew where Hell was.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Page 2 of novel in progress

Stage I
When I emerged the doctor said, "It's a Cyanotic baby". The old woman assisting grunted as the doctor continued, "A blue baby". While the doctor busied himself the woman started a fire in the kitchen stove. When the doctor was finished she bundled the baby in a blanket and put him in the oven saying, "He's cold".
As he prepared to leave, the doctor informed my mother, "You'll never raise it." He called me it. He returned on the eighth day and deprived me of my prepuce.
On this hot summer day of 1920 it was probably reasonable to conclude that I would die and nothing more could be done. Medical science was in infancy compared to today. It is possible the extra heat from the kitchen oven gave me a start in life. Did the old woman do it? Or did God do it? And who was God anyway? Was the old woman God? If so, did she not have more important work to do? If not in this world; perhaps in some other world in some other galaxy out of the unending billions in the universe. For those who are able to accept what they read in the Christian bible or any of the other "holy" books, there are no questions. What "Hubble" tells us must be ignored. One must close the mind and rely on faith. The results of its advanced peering into deep space must be ignored as scientific fantasy.
To believe Hubble, would destroy the blind faith of the Creationists and possibly wreak serious damage to other established religions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Page 6 of new novel (in progress)

was a cataclysmic year in my life!
In the fall, the C.P.R. moved Nellie Caton's father to our town. Nellie came to my classroom in grade XI and occupied the desk across my right hand aisle and just ahead of mine far enough so that when she straitened that long left leg out in the aisle and pulled her silk stocking up to the top of her leg. I immediately became acutely aware of my manhood.
I completed the classes and endured my Confirmation in the Norwegian Lutheran Church.
I completed my first reading of the family bible.
Harford Grundle had bullied me since we were in grade I. One day I decided I had had enough so I bloodied his nose and nearly pulled his ears off. I believe I enjoyed it.
After Herman died I decided I had to swim across the Saskatchewan River because I was afraid of it, so I began to eliminate my fears. I had nightmares about swimming in the river with snakes and I cringed at the sight of a garter snake, so whenever I saw one I picked it up and put it inside my shirt and let it slither around to get comfortable. I knew they were not poisonous but wondered why they never bit me. Now I know they liked the warmth. When they settled down and I became unpetrified, I pulled my shirt out of my pants and the snakes fell to the ground. In spite of my persistence, I still prefer to put my heel on their heads to squash them.
I was part of the Boy Scouts Acrobatic Troop and became quite good at it. One reason for this is that I developed a routine of exercises that I performed daily at home to the point of exhaustion. This kept my body supple and prevented injuries but I never achieved the strength I hoped to. I played right wing on the town's Senior Hockey Team that winter. I was good at stick handling and weaving my way around the ice but I lacked the strength to be fast enough. I played center field on the school's baseball team since I had developed a good throwing arm, but I never made the football team because
I was steam rollered nearly every time I got the ball. I also played tennis whenever I could work it in. Despite the fact I attacked these sports with all the vigor and enthusiasm I possessed, the only thing I was able to excel at was Acrobatics.
Nellie Caton had it all! Long blond hair, sparkling eyes with deep pools I could drown in, a Varga body (You are too young to know what that is. Varga was an artist who drew young women with bodies like Nellie's - short top, slim waist, exciting hips and those lovely long legs; but his bodies were fantasies because there were no women with bodies like Nellie's. Never was. Never will be).You couldn't beg for more! I can't imagine why but, Nellie wanted me.
This was not good because, before Nellie arrived I began confirmation classes in the Lutheran Church and had decided to strengthen my character by resisting all temptations until I figured out good and evil. In the Catechism that I suspect Martin Luther wrote, he said, if you look at a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery already in your own heart. This was really a tough one for me because I couldn't look at Nellie any other way. I don't remember the number of the commandment that says "Thou shall not commit adultery," But I reasoned that, if Luther was right, I had smashed that one all to hell! Fortunately, in due course I decided Luther was wrong about a lot of things.
Nellie kept me in a stew the best part of that year. When there were not too many people around she would bend down and kiss me on the lips, but had one hand hanging down so she could grab me in the crotch. Nellie was much taller than I. When we were dancing at school dances or at parties, sometimes during a waltz as we pivoted, she would put her free hand behind my neck and push my face into her buxom cleavage. She continued to get me aroused at every opportunity and when I felt I could not withstand any more, I told her it was never going to happen.
The Hunk was the hero of the football team. Although he was very much in demand, Nellie had him hand fed soon after. No doubt he gave her what she wanted, but it didn't last long because her father was moved again and Nellie disappeared.
Confirmation in the Norwegian Lutheran Church ended the misery of twice weekly exhortation and questioning by our dedicated bible

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Surfer's comments, preferably congratulatory,
will be thankfully accepted.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ah Spring

Spring has sprung,

the grass has riss.

I wonder where

the birdies is?
In the beginning there was a writer who published A SAILOR'S STORIES. Then he wanted to publish A SAILOR'S SHORT, SHORT STORIES composed of short, short stories he had already written buit he decided he couldn't because all the short, short stories that he included in his first book were considered by the readers to be poetry, whereas he had intended them as condensed versions of short stories and he didn't know anything about poetry. Since he couldn't call his second book A SAILOR'S SHORT, SHORT STORIES, if it turned out they were in fact poetry, he took another direction and decided to write a new book on his musings about religion and creation that he had written in his first book, A SAILOR'S STORIES, as PENUMBRA I and PENUMBRA II. PENUMBRA I being his story of creation and PENUMBRA II being his story of the origin of mankind. To make two long stories short, he had written them as short, short stories and readers referred to them as poetry. You may think this is a long and convoluted story but if I tried to tell it as a short, short story, you night think it was poetry and I'd be back where I started.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Write a fifteen word poem

An Angel entered my life,
but left with my heart.
I was merely a man.