on writing about being homeless in plain view in Key West and beyondsky, a rather strange tale



Yours truly, at Smathers Beach, Key West, 2009, across the road from where I once slept in tents in the woods and just off the dirt road next to the woods. The photo was taken by Josie Koler, Bureau Chief for the Weekley Newspapers re an article she was doing on the Key West mayor’s race – that was my third time to run. The first time, in 2003, I was living in a Florida Keys Outreach Coalition shelter. Maybe the only homeless person in history to run for mayor of a city in America, perhaps anywhere. God made me do it that time, and the other two times. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Gloria Reiser messaged me on Facebook about what I wrote in yesterday’s homelessness in the eye of the beholder hidden in plain view in Key West and beyond post re her encouraging me to write a book about homelessness and homeless people:

Gloria Reiser

Sloan, I’ve had strong prompting to encourage you concerning that book project. And specifically via Amazon Kindle edition at low price, or perhaps even free (which is a possible option for Kindle books). I think what that prompting is about may be that of bringing awareness to a broader audience. I’ve done my part in mentioning/encouraging you. The rest is up to you and your guidance team!

We’re going around Orlando now. Noting all the exits to Disney World!?! Somehow seems synchronistic, ya know?

BTW, Michael Gruber has been on my “To Be Read” list for awhile. Think I’ll cut to the finish and download one of these titles to read while traveling. Glad you mentioned him.

Sloan Bashinsky

I would read Gruber’s Tropic of Night first, of the two novels I mentioned today, as the second novel is a sequel, of sorts.

Dreamt of you, not clear about what, in nap dream a little while ago, awoke looking for something from you online.

Perhaps a novel? Dunno, the last novel the angels had me write was far better than the first three novels, I was “led to believe” it would be made into a Hollywood movie, put me on easy street, $-wise. That turned out to be a cosmic joke, like the mandalas you dreamt in the fall of 2002 I would draw and sell for $20 a piece, and people who bought them later would return and give me much more money turned out about the same. Maybe I did something to screw up both “dreams”, but how they ended up, so far, is as described. I dreamt maybe 2 nights ago of a recurring scenario of Thomas Jeffersons, which could be $20 bills, pointing at you and your mandala dream, perhaps coming back around in some way. Will see what dreams hold tonight.

Something loomed on No Name Key yesterday, the county lost a lawsuit in appellate court, it will have to pay a developer for not allowing about 14 lots out there to be developed, all left is for the trial judge to determine amount of damages, which might run as high as $5,000,000.

I told you the day we were out there on NNK that I had dreamt of a mean fellow who lives out there and wants electricity run out there, the husband of the daughter of a Marathon City Councilman and the new Sheriff, sitting beside me in a movie and trying to take all for himself the arm rest between us in a movie theater and I pushed back, said the arm rest was big enough for both of our arms. I told you I figured something not pretty was coming down re NNK, and how I had come to be involved with that Key, and that the reason I kept being involved was because I was terrified of what God would do to me if I quit being involved.

Likewise, I am terrified of not writing a book about homelessness, if that’s what God wants me to do, but so far, I just don’t feel the Muse for it, or what kind of book it would be. Let me know if you dream about that. Or have a vision. You have had both happen re me from time to time. Ciaosky

Gloria Reiser

Sloan, the inspiration or awareness I experienced concerning the book on homelessness was fairly specific; though I realize now, that due to traveling, I’ve not detailed that vision to you. As it presented to me, it’s a book of short chapters/stories involving various aspects of homelessness. Some your own experience of encounters with the homeless and being homeless yourself. Some the stories of others. Some chapters addressing facts and specifics, exploring issues such as the foolishness of attempting to house families who perhaps became homeless as a result of personal economic collapse in the same shelters as addicts. However, even though this presented so strongly I could not NOT mention the impression, I believe as Richard Bach has suggested in some of his writings, that sometimes we are given glimpses of POTENTIAL FUTURES. Some stronger than others. However, regardless of strength as a potential, unless or until they manifest in the physical with or without our assistance, they are just POTENTIAL. And can be altered or changed. Funny you should mention the soul drawings. While àwalking on Duval Street and again while at Mallory Square, I experienced flittering fleeting visions of those again. Same as back in 2002. You set up with a get up much like one of those caricature portrait artists. Nice large artist’s sketch sheets. I’m unclear concerning the medium, though I think same as used by sketch artists. Definitely multi colors. Some quite vibrant, others calm, peaceful, relaxing. Shreds of impressions concerning how this works. I suppose the drawings are channeled. A souvenir some times purchased on a whim. Sometimes purchased with awareness. The long term result being that of encounter with the Deep Soul more times than not.

Sloan Bashinsky

Thanks for filling in those details. I used 9 x 12 acid-free 140 lb watercolor paper, which came in 12 sheet tablets. I set up on Duval Street sidewalks and on other high tourist traffic sidewalks. I sold one soul drawing on the street in Key West. For $20. I am wondering if our back and forth, and my posts related thereto, might be chapters in a book about homelessness. I can’t imagine the angels having me recount my experiences with homelessness and homeless people just in mainstream jargon/perspective, nor just confined to people who do not have a physical home in which to live.


My cool-weather duplicate bridge partner, Allan Morgan, published a series of spy-terrorist thrillers through Amazon last year (if you are inclined, start with The Baby Phoenix), and those books also are on Kindle. Al has the 4th and last book in the series almost ready to go to Amazon and Kindle. He is working on a cookbook headed in the same direction. He got an engineering degree from M.I.T., then a Masters, then a PhD, in chemical engineering. He worked a while at Oak Ridge. I ain’t entirely convinced he wasn’t a CIA spook. You might not be entirely convinced he wasn’t either, if you read The Baby Phoenix and its sequels.

Michael Gruber and his two very interesting (to me) novels described in yesterday’s homelessness in the eye of the beholder hidden in plain view in Key West and beyond post are an entirely different cut of cloth. Salty, deep, Gruber blends detective and terrorist intrigue with spirit realm intrigue in those two novels, the first of which showed up in my life not long before Gloria and her husband Marty arrived in the Keys last Monday.

So, yes, it sure looks to me like something salty is in the wind, but writing a book is not something I decide I want to do, or somebody else decides they want me to do. Every book I wrote, about 20 books of various sizes, shapes, tones and sounds, and lots of salt, sat me down and wrote itself through me. That’s how the “mandalas” came through me, as well, hundreds of them after Gloria had that dream in late August 2002 of me drawing one mandala, which was the seed mandala for all the mandalas to follow.

However, the mandalas didn’t really look like traditional mandalas, which created some disagreement between Gloria and me, as she said my mandalas were supposed to be in the ilk of the one she had dreamt. Alas, I drew what came through me, that was all I could do. I came to publicly call them soul drawings, but I knew they were shaman drawings, and I told some people that was what they were.

I came to see each drawing was alive, caused movement in my dreams and the spirit realms, and explained to me stuff going on in my life. Some people, to whom I gave “their” drawing, noticed changes in their lives, positive changes. Over time, hundreds of drawings later, I was jaded with drawing because my trials and tribulations seemed to continue and even be exacerbated, for the most part, by the drawings. So, I stopped drawing in 2009, as I recall.

Maybe 12 of the drawings hang in my trailer. Maybe another dozen are in a file. The hundreds of others were given away or destroyed. At one time, the bathroom in Sippin’ Internet Cafe in Key West was my own personal art gallery. Some of those drawings were pretty wild. Salty. I was really moved to capture the female form.

A fifth novel started worming its way through me in early 2009, a sequal of sorts to the 4th novel, which I had been told in pretty plain words would be a Hollywood movie. Told in lots of ways. That 5th novel never felt entirely okay to me, I didn’t really like it, it did not gush through me like the previous four had done. I dribbled out of me, sometimes only a few paragraphs at a time. Some days I wrote nothing. Some several days I wrote nothing.

Simultaneous suitcase nuclear bomb attacks in all major American cities had destroyed America financially, about 35 million northern state Americans had starved to death the first winter following. China did it, but made it look like Islam did it. The states bordering Canada had become part of that country. The new White House was in Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD, Colorado Springs. Neo Nazis had taken most of the old Confederacy for their new nation. I had become the behind scenes President of what was left of USA. Nancy Pelosi was the apparent President. I had a disagreeable Barack Obama sent through the Star Gate to wherever. I had two other shamans working with me in a covert shaman op to save what was left of USA and to save humanity from China. It was seriously metaphysical, something Michael Gruber might have appreciated, but not my duplicate bridge partner ex-CIA spook, alleged.

Like I said, I didn’t care for the 5th novel all that much, although parts of it were pretty darn interesting, if you were batshit crazy. Whatever, someone stole my daypack at Sippin’,which had my laptop in it, which had a flash drive in it, which had the back up of that novel in it, and that was all she wrote for that bizarre tale I was moved by something to start writing, but only maybe 60 pages got written. My novels tend to run about 210 pages. Shortish, fast-paced, wild. Poems, actually, those novels.

It’s probably fair to say, after the writing and soul drawings didn’t produce a living wage, I got the message, stopped trying to make money, and just did what was in front of me.

When Erika Biddle approached me several months ago about participating in Hidden In Plain View, I felt almost immediately, and told her, that I probably would do a shaman drawing, aka a soul drawing, for the exhibition. It didn’t just up and jump out of me, though. It incubated, and finally I had a glimpse of a couple of parts of it in my mind’s eye, and around Thanksgiving I got out the drawing pad and pencils and erasers and a black writing pen and Crayola watercolor markers and started the drawing, which I completed the next day. Salty, in another way.

Then, I wrote a spontaneous story about the artist and poet on the back of the drawing with a purple watercolor marker. Then, I circled the story with poems from past times, which had fallen out of or gushed through me. Just as every one of hundreds of salty poems and the 20 salty books had fallen out of or gushed through me. At the Hidden In Plain View opening, I told Todd German those poems surrounding the artist/poet’s story constitute the core of my theology.

That drawing and its poems are in the center of the lobster trap book in the exhibition. A curious one-of-a-kind salty book Erika gave me credit for sponsoring, unknown to me until I saw the credit at the opening. I was one of three, as I recall, sponsors who contributed $1,000 to the exhibition. As I understand from Erika, my donation covered the out of pocket cost of creating the lobster trap book.

The drawing I did for the lobster trap book is a mandala. It doesn’t look like a mandala, if you are a purist about mandalas. But is is a mandala nonetheless. It is alive. It is going somewhere. Where, I know not. Hidden In Plain View itself is a mandala. It is salty. It is alive. It is going somewhere. where, I know not. Maybe one place they are going is I write a book about homelessness and homeless people. I know not as I stop writing tonight, Dec. 7, 2012, Pearl Harbor Day … Maybe I’m the Pearl Harbor Lookout tonight … Maybe I don’t see a sneak attack coming from the angels, but I sure as hell feel something coming, and it has poisoned my liver and G.I. track …

Later …What’s the point in writing a novel, if it’s not to sell it and make a living off the royalties? What’s the point of writing any book, if you don’t expect it to pay the rent and buy groceries? Well, I write everything not expecting it to pay the rent and buy groceries. Everything I write is nitty gritty dirty in this world, and not of this world. There is no way in hell or heaven I can, or will, write a book about homelessness and homeless people, in the mainstream sense. It’s not in me to write such a book. This drivel is how I write. Multi-dimensional.


Now it’s the next day, grey light, Saturday morning, December 8. I only remember some of my last dream. My sense right now is, yes, there is a book to be written. My sense right now is it might start with my meeting Cathy. My sense right now is it will be a heaven and earth treatment. Perhaps it will begin with this post, perhaps it won’t. Perhaps I don’t yet see it clearly. No perhaps, the Muse will drive it, if it happens. Cathy was the Muse’s instrument for the 5th novel that I was told was to go to Hollywood, which fell out of me in clumps, six days a week, for six weeks, on a borrowed computer in a public library in north Georgia, where I was sent to spend that summer. Summers in Key West were brutal on homeless people. Now they have Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter, or Key West police hunting them down like they are terrorists if they don’t sleep at KOTS – both options are brutal.

Disney World is Mickey Mouse’s domain. There is nothing whatsoever Mickey Mouse about living on the street in Key West. Just as I wrote that, this Facebook message arrived:

Gloria Reiser

When you mention homelessness encompassing more than just those who have no physical residence, I think you are on to something. Perhaps there is one book of many facets attempting to be birthed. Or perhaps there are two: one directed toward Mundanes, as a primer for a second book that plunges deeper into soul stuff


I imagine the odds of the angels having me write a primer are zero minus. There are plenty of homeless people who could write primers if the angels pushed them to do it. There are no homeless people, as far as I know, other than me, who could write the kind of book about homelessness the angels trained me to write.

Or, maybe as I wrote yesterday, the book is www.goodmorningkeywest.com, which anyone can read, for free, at any time. 1965 chapters about homelessness and homeless people, counting today’s raving.

Sloan Bashinsky


About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningbirmingham.com. If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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