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Monday, October 31, 2011


On my computer there is a file of old letters, and when I have trouble finding the right one to post I post the first one in the file. That is assuming I find a file worth posting.
This is a letter and a letter response from a screenplay contest. They had this thing where you could ask a piece of clipart for advice. I asked my question to get into the spirit of things, and I was the only one that did.  
I think the important thing to remember here is that people who enter screenplay contest are interested in winning not participating.
4th August 2011
Hay Mortimer,

Got a hard question for you.

I've two scripts I could rewrite for this and I can't pick. I got "Levi" Bond meets Alien eats Reservoir Dogs. It's a complicated plot with scenes out of chronological order that makes you keep wondering what will happen next. The other one is "Walker in the Trees" which is a more mainstream horror movie. When Karl's sister is found dead he is haunted with images of her death and obsessed with the idea that she was murdered. Will he find the truth or spend the rest of his life obsessed with a freak accident?

"Levi" is going to stand out and "Walker in the Trees" is easier to understand. The other concern is that I don't know if I can get Levi up to snuff on time but if I had to give you a time table on Walker it would be around three weeks. Ten days if you need it fast.

I don't know, simple or complicated, epic or personal, I just can't decide.

What do you think?


Hey Richard, 

Ya won't have much time to perfect this little baby, cause the idea is you write for a month and say screw it and hit that little itty bitty submit button. 

Learn to let go, my indecisive friend. Hand it over to the big guy in the sky. Yeah, I do mean Robert McKee. Just imagine he’s sitting on your lap, listening to your pitch. Which one does he NOT want to vomit on. That’s the one! 

Sounds like the horror flick would fit into their Horror slot just about right. And the other might give someone a brain hemorrhage. 

But, in the end, it's whatever you can get written in a month that won’t drive you bonkers and gets your creative juices flowing. The juicier the better. The judges can smell a juicy, yummy, passionate piece of writing a mile away. 

Passion is good. Juicy passion is better. Juicy passion with a kick-ass story that doesn’t make the reader want to shoot himself is best! On second thought, flip a coin. Always works for me.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Electric Immortality’

I wrote this when I was eleven or twelve still reeling from the death of my mother two years earlier. I had invented a story about a man who had been kill and reanimated through the use of implants. Those implants eventually became a part of him being truly consumed by his systems until it was impossible for the machine to be distinguished from the man.

To be dead honest, I got the idea from a few TV shows and movies mix with these booklets about surgery that had been floating around my house. They were images of muted tone showing flesh and implants together. I remember having these strange dreams about people who could be taken apart and put back together with screw drivers.

I guess I wished the world was that way. I wished I could have just taken a broken person to the mechanic and had them fixed. If only the world could be so simple that any think broken could be truly mended.

It simple isn’t so with the human body or mind.

Date unknown but some time in 1992.


A sound and then a silence
a ray upon the sky
the fleet has turned to dust
I lie upon the wreckage
bruised and battered am I

what is that at the door
a sinister figure
and I awaken a metal man

who are those people
with blood upon their tools
of healing and of  hurting

My hands are turned to claws                                            
human I am not
machine am I
O' why, O' why, O' why

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Note about Letters

What most of us would give to be fourteen again, and that was the age at which I wrote this letter. To be honest, I would never want to be fourteen again because being fourteen was a time at the height of my disease.

This is the oldest document recovered from my electronic files, and the random nature of its request is a testament to the sickness that plagued my mind. Exactly what was wrong with me at the time is a question that cannot be completely answered.

Some where I have the opinion of a nurse and I will post that soon, but whatever it was I believe that at least part of it stemmed from the fact that no matter what I said or did I had no affect on the world around me.

The world looked on as I suffered, and no one was willing to admit the truth or act against it. I was a thing expendable, and if I lived or died no one would have taken much notice.

As for the letters noted in this text they never existed. I had gotten it into my diseased brain that I should write letters, but the limit of my command of the written word hampered me. I never delivered this letter but the only right answer to so foolish a request would have been no.

1st April 1994
Dear (English teacher),
I have an unusual request, that is I have several letters that I need correcting and you are the most trust worthy of all that I have considered for this task, but if you do not have the time for this I will understand. I realize that you are a busy man with your family and your class schedules, but if you can find time to spare, I would greatly appreciate it.

R. L. Neal

Monday, October 24, 2011

Too Lazy to do Dishes

Before you ask I’m the youngest of the family.

22nd September 2011
Dear Cassi,

I think this time I’ve given up for good. About one week ago I walked into the kitchen and could smell something overpoweringly horrible. The smell was new in only how strong it was, and I finally realized it was coming from the sink.
This again was a pitfall of expecting my brother to do the dishes. Well, I set about to do my brother’s chore and found that once again insects had infested the left sink basin. It was my brother’s practice to wash dishes only when needed and sometimes not even then, and once more he only washed the dishes he found on top leaving those that had sat the longest to putrefy. Even the left basin plug had now been covered with a multicolored putty that teamed with a life all of its own.    
Clearing the sink was not enough to purge the stench, so I opted to plug it and add bleach. In this bog I placed the silverware cage from the dishwasher containing the sponges and bleached the stench out of them as they appeared new. On this I placed a glass jar which quickly filled with water under the tap and held the sponges submerged. To this the worst of the dishes were added until the sink was full. I let this run over into the right basin until both had filled. This mixture was given rumination for half an hour until I drained it and sat about to do the dishes.
I do believe I did two loads that night and have done the dishes every night since. You have no idea what a battle it has been to get my lazy brother to do even that, and now I have finally conceded.
Over the course of my lifetime the reliance on any other living person has always been ill fated. At least I’m looking out for myself.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, October 21, 2011

Let Me In!

Okay, let me point out that this school is new but accredited, and I believe I was number three to apply for the program in its history. They asked me for a professional statement and this is what I gave them.

21st September 2011
Dear (Professional Institute),

It is my intention to obtain an LPCC certification from your institute. I now have both a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and the abnormal psychology class work it entails. In addition, my own brother is mentally ill, and dealing with his Counselors has instilled in me insight into the needs of the mental health community. I have a greater understanding of the importance of this work having lived with and cared for the mentally ill.
I will grant that my academic record does not shine, but over the last four years I have gone from working ninety five hours a week and attending school to having to deal with unemployment. There can be no greater evidence than the events of my life to express to me the importance of this work and the diligence needed when employing oneself in its study.

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bad Father

Way too personal for most of you I know, but part of the process of mental healing is to deal with your daemons. This was a difficult letter to write, and it drudged up a few things that are rather painful. I feel like I lanced an infected wound with this one, and despite the fact that I still feel awful I know that I am on my way to better metal health.

I do have to make the statement my sister put me up to asking to sleep in the parent’s bed room not wetting the bed. The whole bed wetting thing was the result of being young and mentally disturbed.

19th September 2011
Dear Cassi,

The earliest event I can recollect clearly in my life is oddly one that I was ostracized for until the day I broke company with those who had called themselves my family. I may have mentioned the name that my father had for me before I stopped speaking to him. I was ‘that third kid.’ In three words he had stripped me of my identity and disowned me completely.
‘That third kid,’ as opposed to ‘our third’ or ‘my third’ was a dehumanizing statement. Firstly, I was 24 when my father last said that to me, and I was a bit old to be referred to as a “kid.” “When we had that third kid, that was when things got bad,” the old wimp would say to me over and over again. This was a thin attempt to gain sympathy, hoping to place the blame for his shortcomings on my shoulders.
When his ruse failed he described the event that, in his opinion, had ended his marriage with my mother. This was an occasion where one of the children, he claimed he could not remember who, had wanted to sleep in bed with his mother and had wet the bed. This would prompt the old man to say, “one of the kids was peeing all over me,” over and over again.
I do recall this event. I had been the child; it was my sister that suggested this activity. Yes, Cassi, I was a bed wetter; however it is normal for a child of two or three to wet the bed. I remember getting up and putting a towel over the wet spot and telling my mother. I would hear no more about this incident for the next twenty years, but I am told that this is the event that ended my parent’s marriage. After that my father refused to sleep in the same bed as my mother.
After a few weeks of this, so says the old man, my mother finally called my father and told him not to bother coming home. Every now and again the old wimp talks about an incident shortly before where he was unable to perform his husbandly duties, but I do believe his not loving his children was the real reason.
I would think that getting mad at a two year old for wetting the bed is like getting mad at gravity. If you hate the nature of a thing you can only say you hate that thing.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hospital Cover Letter

Working for a hospital is always a good idea when one wishes to become a Mental Health Counselor even if it is as a guard. This application was kind of a long shot but given the fact that they called and asked me to fill it out I obliged.

I have no idea if I will get the job, but for the most part I at least have to go through the motions.

20th September 2011

Dear Hospital,

I am sending my application by US mail because I have no way to know if the submit by email tab on the application worked. I am applying for a job as a Security Officer with your hospital.
I have ten years of experience as a guard, but was laid off at the beginning of this year when my company lost a major contract. I spent the first half of this year finishing my BA in Psychology, and now intend to move on to grad school to get my LPCC.
I grant that it must appear odd that a man with a degree is applying for a job as a security guard, but let me inform you that that last estimate I heard was that the unemployment rate for college grads is around 20%. That is more than double that of the rest of the work force.
The truth is that the world is grim, but there is nothing for it than to square our shoulders and take what comes.

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, October 14, 2011

Qualified to Collect Monkey Poo

I believe that this essay was an assignment in a college course designed to help students decide what they wanted to do with their lives. Reading back over it I believe that there were at least thirty spelling errors that spell-check wouldn’t have caught.

I can’t imagine anyone who had the problems I had passing any college level class, but the low standards that prevail in the college classroom permit this condition. Well, I thought I was being clever when I wrote this, you tell me if I was right.
4th November 2003

(She) is a slender woman of plain features who might get lost in a crowd. To the shallow or simple-minded she would be of little interest, especially in our world of digitally enhanced plastic people.  Yet, the passion with which she speaks of her work draws people to her like cold hunters to a campfire. Many of the people in her field risk their lives to inquire into the nature of humanity, its origins, and future. No, she is not an astronaut or a nuclear-physicist, she is an Anthropologist.

(This Anthropologist) originally studded zoology, but found Anthropology much more interesting, because of its relationship to the nature of the human species. Anthropology itself is defined as the study of the origin of humans (I believe this is a definition from class so it may not be wholly accepted). It is often confused with geology because of the importance of fossils in the field and it is common to mistakenly ask anthropologists about rocks. Christina prepared to enter the field with internships studding captive animals which are far easier than studying wild specimens as they are already habitualized to the presents of humans. Even with its attributes, captive work is no substitute for field research as many animals do not take well to captivity.

Another curious aspect of Anthropology is that after six years of study, training, and the completion of course work for a Master’s of Science (she) was considered qualified to collect monkey poo. This is what one would refer to as fieldwork which is the hardest part of being an anthropologist. It requires getting up when the animals do and trailing them throughout the day. In the study of Chimpanzees, for example, one researcher may follow a particular animal and record the vocalization made by that animal (sounds it makes with the mouth) and the situations in which they occur. Another researcher will then follow another animal and do the same. At the end of the day they will put their data together and see if a conversation has taken place between the two animals.  Others will collect genetic samples (monkey poo) to see who is breeding with whom. Conservation projects present more unique challenges. This would require caring for captive animals and working closely with the local community. Unfortunately for many anthropologists the animals that they study live in countries that have yet to work out their human rights. Needless to say, convincing them to care about animals presents difficulties.

Her degree is in Anthropology, but she considers herself a Primotologist, specializing in the study of primates our closest living relatives. She spent much of her field time researching a small ape known as a gibbon. One of the unique qualities of the Gibbon is that they imprint on (that’s Primotologist for fall in love with) humans more than other Gibbons making it hard to breed them in captivity. The Gibbon, like many primates, can be very aggressive. Caged Gibbons must be restrained when the handlers enter the cage. It can be difficult to see that neither creature, Human nor Gibbon, get hurt.

(Her) love for her work becomes most apparent when she talks about the forest. Describing the humble feeling of being in that great expanse of trees surrounded by a diversity of creatures is truly breathtaking. In fact, at that moment the question is not why she loves Anthropology so much but why anyone wouldn’t want to feel so alive. However, this joy is accompanied by a deep pain that she feels when she sees how we humans treat the environment. The industrial wastelands that dot the world are like a lost dream, sickening requiems of the dark side of human nature. Loss of animal habitat caused by development seems to her to be lost opportunities to inquiry into the nature of humanity.       
Anthropology may seem like a field for dreamers but in reality it has some practical applications. For example, Genetic anthropologists were brought in to search for victims of 9/11. Anthropologists also consult large corporations and governments on the environmental impacts of technology. It would seem that Anthropology and Environmentalism go hand in hand.
(She) recommended that anyone wishing to go into this field should spend a lot of time reading. The journals of the American Anthropology Association and Internationals Primatological Society are a good place to start. Moreover, the smart thing to do would be to take and internship at a zoo or conservation center, and find out about working with animals, it is just not for everyone.     

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love, Work, and Live

If you are one of those people who would like to have children, but have chosen not to due to economic factors then this letter will resonate with you. I know it plays some sad notes with me.

16th September 2011
Dear Cassi,

Here is an event that will strike a note in your soul. You might remember that of the four (family or) children there is one girl, and she is presently now the most likely to place that ever desired accessory of a grandchild in their midst.
On the last, and for that matter every, occasion where I have seen the (family) daughter since the announcement of her nuptial she has counted the same tail as to why no child will grow in her womb. It is the statement that by the time she completes her schooling she will be too old to have a child.  
The true enormity of this falsehood can only be revealed when we examine the vast and unconditional love heaped upon this unappreciative girl. It is noted now that she spends her days as a ward of her ancestors and so does her husband to be an in this loving care she has also left her dog, cats, rats, and I believe at one time fish. It would be of small accord for her to place also in this loving vessel that child or children that could be cultivated within her.
It is then my place to ask myself what to motivation can be for her often repeated thought. Is it that she is explaining to pacify her mother or to convince herself of this untruth? It can be to soften the bed for this child to be lain within or give justification to the reason for its blankets left cold. I have not the notion of why the advantages of family are to be left as old tracts to rot in now baron fields.
It is the sad nature of these folk to place disdain upon the aid they would be given. These are the things that would be so well received by we the less fortunate. In a world where the human race must still have known want to be well with what they have these sad tails are common. It is a great rule of life then to love what you have, work for what you want, and live the best life we can.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, October 10, 2011

Letter of Goodbye

This is a letter I hand delivered to an old supervisor the last day I saw him. There were so many things I liked about working with this person, or was it so many things I hated about his replacement? I was surprised how much I mourned for the loss of a just and honest boss.

The past is the past and we shouldn’t lament.

12th August 2010

Dear (Supervisor),

Well, today is the last day I get to write (your name) in the ‘relieved by’ spot on my DAR. It's also the last Thursday I work here where I don't need an aspirin. I don't think I'll get a send off like you did more because I think I'll get canned by (your successor) then the fact that I don't think I'll be giving notice, but you get the idea.

In the spirit of that let me say that you should hope that I get the hell out of here shortly but in a good way. It could happen even if I don't think it will, but if you intend to keep tabs email me.

Enjoy your retirement and don't let the bastards grind you down.

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, October 7, 2011

Naked Truck Drivers

I remember this, and I’m ashamed of myself for writing it, because it’s not all my experiences. I worked at all these locations, but the last bit didn’t happen to me but to a fellow Security officer. I wrote about it in hope of getting my story on the slick pages of a men’s periodical.

I can tell you that back in 2005, when I wrote this, I was as much a habitual lyre as the rest of my family. Now days I abhor lies because I have been told them so often.

  26th May 2005
Dear (Magazine),

You want crappie work environment I got one for you. I was a security Guard on a loading dock. I had to stay outside in the cold rain or shine. If the ice on by boots wasn’t bad enough, I also had to wake up truck drivers to let them know there load was ready. This would not have been so bad if about a third of the drivers didn’t roll out of there sack naked to ask were their trailer was. Now I had worked in a shopping center were part of my patrol was to walk through the men’s locker room in a gym, so naked truck drivers were disgusting, but I had already mastered the art of looking away. Then one day I walked out to give a husband and wife team there paper work, and the wife got up wearing her night gown, no big deal until she stepped one foot outside the truck to grab the paper work, and I came face to face with the heaven’s gate of an old nasty truck driver. Gee grandma put that thing away, or at least wear some panties.      

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Children’s Book Publisher

Last year I had the bad idea of writing children’s books. To be honest with you I should have hooked up with an artist or something of that nature, but perhaps in the future I will have better luck.

18th May 2010

Dear (Publisher of) Children’s Books,

What you have here is a children’s picture book manuscript written in rhyme and teaching children the difference between three sets of homonyms. You will note that the work is set in twenty-eight sections one for each layout. There are two stories that could be one or two books dependent on how you would like to package them.

I yield to your better authority on how it is to be edited and produced. I have only the experience of reading to children as my guide in the area. I do know something of art work and printing so I can easily understand what limitations you set up.

I have been published three times in the past as a poet in periodicals. Once with my junior high school and twice in high school but have published nothing professionally.

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Professional Cover Letter

In dredging up old archives I found this letter which I did not write. Somehow it found its way onto my computer more than ten years ago. At this point it has moved into public domain or at least the writer should have taken it off my system.

This is a more professional cover letter than I would write so I’m posting it for your benefit. Do note that it was no better spelled than any of my old letters from a few years ago and needed some editing so take the professionalism with a grain of salt.
Dear Ms. (Business Person):

I was very interested to learn about the opening in your company for a product marketing assistant through job search on the World Wide Web. I am currently studying business, specifically marketing and advertising at (a private college). I would like to interview for the position.
Although I have not yet worked for a major corporation, I have had work experience that has developed many important skills. In working as a tutor for high school freshmen I learn to improve my communication skills to better express and explain my ideas. I also learned the value of patience, a needed skill to be able to explain difficult or complicated concepts. As a computer lab assistant I have become proficient in my computer skill, including typing and internet use. I have also learned about customer service issues, such as how to deal with a difficult or upset customer. From these jobs I have also learned the value of punctuality, consideration for fellow workers, time management, personal responsibility, and efficiency. I feel that these skills would greatly assist me in future job positions.
I would appreciate an opportunity to interview for the position at your convenience. Please let me know at (phone number), as an interview time is available. Thank you for your consideration.


(Unnamed pervasion)