Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
So, I'm proud to present ...
THE EMPIRE STATE OF JADE
Jade stood on the sidewalk and looked up at the towering sculpture in the sky. Since coming to Earth, she had spent all of her time in San Fransisco. But since Devan's death, she had been floundering, unsure of the direction of her mission.
When the "spaceship crisis" finally passed, and officials wrote it off as a "secret military project," Jade decided she needed to visit other areas of Earth before her time was us. New York was just one stop in her year-long track across North America; there was still other continents to explore.
Looking up at the enormity of the Empire State Building, Jade was overcome with emotions. The thick fog encircling the top portion of the building reminded her so much of home, she was suddenly overcome with a wave of homesickness. Although Jadacon was a planet in near desert conditions, the swirling sands surrounding all the buildings looked just like the moist fog hanging over New York. Of course, the fog was different from the over layering clock of smog that was always present over San Fransisco.
"I've only got two more years before my mission is over," thought Jade. "There is just so much more to see and learn."
As she walked the crowded streets, she was amazed at the differences in the people in this hustle-bustle town compared to the laid back life-style of San Fransiscans. Here, everyone was in a hurry, racing from one place to another. Cars, trucks and yellow cabs choked the roads with honking horns, screeching brakes and yelled obscenities.
As she got closer to the Empire State Building, Jade found a small park and sat down on a bench facing the soaring building. "Devan, I never thought I could miss a human so much." Sadness overwhelmed her as her mind drifted away from her ten-year mission and settled over an image of home.
Home - seemed like a million miles away, and I guess in a way, it really was.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
In the past three weeks, I've had dozens of people tell me they are against the proposed health care reform because, "I don't want my tax dollars paying for abortion." (For the record, I DO NOT think tax dollars should be used to pay for abortions.) I realize abortion is a touchy subject and everyone has their own opinions. I also think there is a small percentage of these people who very hypocritical.
Case in point - I personally don't believe in abortion, but I am a strong supporter of pro-choice. And no, I'm sorry, being pro-choice does not make you pro-abortion. Coming from a health care background, I've seen 11 and 12 year olds raped by a family member, I've seen women raped by strangers and I've seen mother's lives on the brink of death because of a pregnancy. I think there are exceptions to every rule. I would not want one of my daughters having an abortion and I would work with her to find an appropriate solution, but if her decision was abortion, I would respect that decision. I may not be happy about the decision, but I would respect the decision.
I have a lot in common with the sensible pro-lifers, but it is the "fringy" pro-lifers I have a problem with. The ones who say abortion is killing, but use birth control, which in essence is also killing a life. The ones who say abortion is killing, but have no sympathy for the 11 year old who was raped by her father. The ones who say abortion is killing, but overlook all the abused children in our country and pretend the orphanages are not overflowing.
Sorry, but this has been on my mind too much lately ...
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
However, yesterday I was overcome with such raw emotions for a person in my past, I wasn't sure how to contain myself. This was a man extremely close to my sister and he was truly evil incarnate.
For many years, this man was physically and emotionally abusive to my baby sister, but it took even longer for her to realize she was better off without him. If you have never had someone in your life who has dealt with "battered woman syndrome," then thank your lucky stars. It is not a pretty thing to deal with.
Two years before my sister died, this man was in a near-fatal car crash. For days, I did the unthinkable - I wished he would go ahead and die and leave my sister in peace. But God must have had other plans. My sister cared for and nursed this man back to health and it is a miracle he survived. His family should be eternally grateful that my sister gave them back their son.
Six months before my sister died, she finally had the courage to leave this abusive scum for good. Her life was not easy, but at least she was getting it back together. It also helped that HE was spending some time in prison.
After my sister died, and after HE got out of prison, HE started showing up unexpectedly at my house. The first time was maybe 6 or 7 months after the funeral and just the sight of him on my front porch sent me into a tail-spin it took days to recover from.
Anytime I would see this man in town, my heart would start pounding and a full-blown anxiety attack would grip my soul. How dare this man be free to roam the streets, while my sister was dead!
Fast forward to 2010. The 5th anniversary of my sister's death has just passed and how ironic that the man who caused her so much pain decided to take his own life during the same week. May God forgive me, but I hope this man rots in hell. I feel very sorry for his poor mother, who was the one that walked in and found him. She was a good woman and tried to help her son, but he was beyond anyone's help.
And even though I'm glad the living earth is rid of this scum, I'm also angry that he took the coward's way out and squandered the life my sister worked so hard to restore.
Monday, January 18, 2010
You caused so much heartache and pain,
you ripped my family apart.
Your lies and manipulation
were things we never understood.
You could never be trusted
or depended on
you really were no man,
but when you pulled her into your life,
nothing was ever the same again.
From booze to drugs to all the things you stole,
you dragged her down into your world,
into that angry pit of deception.
There was a time I prayed for your death
when the drunken crash almost took you away,
but she nursed you back to health,
thou you were never again quiet whole.
She was finally able to escape and turn her life around,
but the hand of fate had other plans,
and the grief remains today.
Not even a prison term
could change your shoddy character,
and you emerged just the same,
not worse, but no hell of a lot better.
I tired very hard to avoid your presence,
but whenever I'd least expect it,
there you were in my face
triggering the volatile emotions
I couldn't wrap my head around.
But now you've taken the coward's way out,
thrown away the life she gave you back,
and I wish I could feel compassion for you -
I am sorry your family must suffer and
I am sorry your momma had to find you -
but now I don't have to worry anymore
about the affect you have had on my family.
I know she may be feeling sadness,
as she looks down from above,
but she'll never see you again
because if there is a God up in Heaven,
then your elevator went down.
A bright and happy future
has turned to nothing;
the truth hangs like a shroud
over a life of mistrust.
Eerie light of a watchful full moon,
leads the mind to secrets unknown,
A thick cover of darkness
has filled the night with terror;
elements will clash,
as death waits to take prisoners.
Wishing for an aura of peace and tranquility
to encase a mind
entrapped with hidden fears.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
(This is the closest picture I could find to match V V, without the black V on her head. As soon as I can scan a picture of the real V V, I will post it.)
1969 - 1986
I’ve always been a cat person. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, too, but cats are my favorite pets of all. I’ve had many pets over the years, but my first cat will always hold a special place in my heart.
When I was seven years old, my parents allowed us to have an indoor cat. I’m not sure where the little kitten came from, but she instantly became a part of our family.
A solid white Persian cat with faint black markings on top of her head, this little bundle of white fluff was so cute and my brother and sister and I argued over what to name her. They wanted cutesy names like Snowball or Fluffy; I wanted something unusual.
Because of the black markings on top of her head were in the shape of the letter V, I convinced my siblings the name V V was appropriate for our beloved cat. And V V she would be all through my childhood.
For those of you who have cats, you know a cat chooses her person, not the other way around. V V tolerated everyone in our family, but she loved me. She would sleep at the foot of my bed or lay on my stomach whenever I was reading.
She loved to sit on the divider between the living room and the hallway – a little half wall with spindles. She would sit very still and then swat at people with her paw, as they would walk down the hall.
Or she would hid in a corner and jump out at your ankles whenever you passed by.
V V was especially bad at Christmas time when she would try and climb the Christmas tree. In the early 1970s, most ornaments were glass and we lost quiet a few ornaments because of her adventures with the tree.
By the time I was married, V V was over 10 years old and becoming slow with her old age. My brother and sister wanted a dog for a pet because V V was no longer fun to play with. My new husband did not want an indoor cat and V V was too pampered and set in her ways to start being an outdoor cat.
So, V V went to live with friends for the remainder of her life, and she lived to the grand old age of 17. Although I’ve had many cats since that time, V V was the first and I will always remember her fondly.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
"Please, please let me go. I promise I won't tell anyone."
He looked at his trophy, pretty and bound, just the way he liked them. But he wished she would keep quiet. They always ruined the situation by begging and pleading.
"Tell me you love me," he said. "Tell me you'll do anything for me."
"Wh ... what?" She trembled with fear.
"You heard me! Tell me you love me, or no water for you today."
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Itsy Bitsy Pun
The itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout
Down came the snow and froze the spider out
On stayed the clouds and blocked out all the sun
And the itsy bitsy spider went on to make this pun
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
What is nonconformity? According to dictionary definitions, nonconformity is:
- Refusal or failure to conform to accepted standards, conventions, rules, or laws
- Failure or refusal to conform to an established church
- Refusal to conform to an established or conventional creed or practice
What others have to say about nonconformity:
"Nothing pains some people more than having to think." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"When all think alike, then no one is thinking." - Walter Lippman
"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions." - Adlai Stevenson
"People would rather be wrong than be different." - Henry Jacobsen
"Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to." - Alan Keightley
"Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion." - Charles Kuralt
"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw
"If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success." - John D. Rockefeller
"He who never walks except where he sees other men's tracks will make no discoveries." - Unknown
"I may not be better than other people, but at least I'm different." - Jean Jacques Rousseau
"Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity." - Christopher Morley
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." - Mark Twain
"One who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints." - Proverb
"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." - Herman Melville
"If you keep doing things like you've always done them, what you'll get is what you've already got." - Author Unknown
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." - Friedrich Nietzsche
"Conformity is that jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - John F. Kennedy
So ask yourself, are you a conformist or a nonconformist??
What would you like to rediscover?
Hmm ... I think I would like to rediscover my youthful spirit. I will be 48 years old this summer and for the past 20+ years, all I've done is work to pay the bills. I've forgotten there is more to life than just work with no play. So, for 2k10 one of my goals is to do more writing for myself. I know I can't quit my day job to write, but I can still dream.
I want to rediscover one new thing every day. Maybe it will be something on my 5 mile trip from home to work that I take for granted, or something in my very own neighborhood. I'm going to open my eyes to the wonders around me and not center all my life on going with the flow.
I want to rediscover myself ...
Monday, January 4, 2010
With the New Year here already, do you have any reading resolutions or goals (challenges aside) for 2010? Perhaps a new author? Genre? Want to read more non-fiction? Write more reviews?
Although I haven't officially made any New Year reading resolutions, I do have several reading goals in mind.
I want to have my book reviews appear in more publications. I currently have a weekly book review column in The Harrodsburg Herald and an occasional review in Kentucky Monthly magazine, but I would like to do more. I'm making a list of publications that do book review and I'm going to try and find the right fit for my style of writing. Of course, I will continue to have reviews on my book review blogs - Bobbi's Book Nook and Mercer Public Library Reviews - and on online sites such as GoodReads, JacketFlap, Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.
I would also like to do more reading of non-fiction books, in particular, books about my home state of Kentucky. I am working on a book for Arcadia Publishing about Harrodsburg, so I want to read as much information as I can.
I am always looking for new authors, especially Kentucky authors. My state is full of awesome writers and it is a lofty goal to follow in their footsteps. I want to read their works and study their styles.
I don't see myself changing from Young Adult books this year. It is a deep, dark dream of mine to write a Young Adult book series because I enjoy these types of books so much. I am also looking forward to writing stories for my grandchildren.
pigtails with ribbons
freckles across a nose
sparkly blue eyes
skinned knees, mosquito bites
tanned skin the color of leather
days spent with friends
nights spent with family
lawn darts a'flying
hide-n-seek after dark
fireflies by the millions
dew on the grass
basketball hoop near a driveway
tennis ball against a brick wall
sardines, potted meat and Vienna sausages
playhouse in the woods
fantasy in a half built house
skateboards down the hill
roller skates in the basement
hula hoops going 'round and 'round
pretending to be the Partridge family
walking around the block
Eagles, John Denver and America
leather bracelets and ID bands
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
laughter, tears and song
swimming at the pool
walking across the damn
motorcycle rides through fields
climbing trees to hide
Barbie dolls and the Wizard of Oz
Trixie Belden in the shade
handstands, back flips and cartwheels galore
no fear, no worries
rolling down a grassy hill
making swings go higher and higher
running through water puddles
young love's first kiss
you love's first heartbreak
long ago and far away
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
How strange a Yellow Finch would be the first bird I saw on New Year's Day 2010 - I don't normally see Finches during the dead of winter. Maybe it will be a good sign for the coming year.
As far as animal totems go, Air Totems are some of my favorite. According to legend, when a Yellow Finch is spotted it is a sign that enthusiastic times are head with days full of bright, high energy. I could definitely use some high energy days!
I have never followed a project from point A to point B because I seem to bounce from one thing to the next. This is the same way Finches fly, typically bobbing and weaving through the air. Watching a Finches free-form flight can fill you with a sense of freedom and happiness.
Native America Indians called the Finch the "bird of happiness." They thought the bright yellow color of this bird was a gift from the gods and would bring bright joy and freedom into their lives. They also thought the song of the Finch was the sound that announced the upcoming bounty of the spring season.
If a person has been concealing his or her creativity from the world, Finch may be the sign to start making their value more vocal and available to the public. The Finch sing can lighten your heart and lead you on a bouncy path of creativity.
Finches are also sociable creatures, so a Finch Totem could be a signal to get more involved with social activities. This is a huge area I need to work on, because I'm more of a solitary person, usually avoiding crowds at all costs.
Here's to a bright and shiny New Year where all our hopes and dreams come true.