Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This blog is moving!

I'm leaving past entries up, but from here on out, you can find my content over at Random and Crafty. Join me there, will you? :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Unconscious Mutterings - Miserable Allergies

Ugh. Allergies have been horrible, this year. Asthma, too. I'm so tired of not being able to breath properly.

Anyway, on to the word association. Thanks to Luna Niña, as always for hosting.

  1. Waste :: Water
  2. Excess :: Money
  3. Play :: Hard
  4. Heartbreak :: -ing
  5. Purchase :: Proof
  6. Fear :: of change
  7. Ages 2+ :: Kiddos
  8. Conform :: Why?
  9. Reduced :: Cost
  10. Change :: Happens

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Street Harassment Chronicles: The Drive By Slutting

I'll be chronicling the street harassment I put up with here. Every time I experience something troubling, I'll post a picture of what I was wearing when it happened, because too many people try to blame the victims by saying they're wearing risque clothing, and a description of the event.

I'd love to see more women speaking up about this, too, because I know I'm not the only one this happens to.

Yesterday, I headed to the store to pick up some ingredients for ratatouille. Since it's always easier to carry heavier groceries on my back, I carry a backpack with me.

It was relatively warm, so I figured I'd don shorts for the first time this season. I've always had a sort of antagonistic relationship with that article of clothing. I don't care for my scrawny legs, so I don't show them off often, and when I do wear shorts, sleazy comments seem to follow.

Heaven forbid I dress for the weather.

That day, things went relatively smoothly. One guy honked his horn and waved at me, which wasn't a big deal. He could have been my neighbor, but I didn't get a very good look at him, so I waved back anyway. Otherwise, I thought I'd get home without incident.

As I was approaching the intersection to my neighborhood, a car turned, and a young male voice yelled, "SLUT!" at me as they passed.

By the time I could react, they were already gone.

Seriously? What about my appearance prompted that outburst?


I wish there was a way I could get back at the cowards who do that stuff.

Would that guy do the same thing if we were on equal footing? If he faced the possibility of being yelled back at, or having a third party step in, would he be brave enough to yell profanity at women he didn't know?

Bah. At least the jerk didn't get to enjoy the tasty food I cooked up with the ingredients I was carrying home when he felt the need to defecate through his mouth.
A photo posted by Emilie Peck (@peckemilie) on

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings - Malcontent

Ever feel like you need a change in your life?

Yeah, that's what I'm feeling right now. Think I need to get out more.

Anyway, on with word association.

  1. Relief :: Restlessness
  2. Flutter :: Butter
  3. Match :: Stick
  4. Viewed :: With contempt
  5. Soul :: Searching
  6. Recognize :: -able
  7. Ambitious :: Ambitiousness
  8. Dancing :: Like you're drunk
  9. Paths :: Crossing
  10. Joke :: Just about everything, right now.
Here, have some Fall Out Boy. This music's been helping me stay moving today.

Maybe I should hit the trails for a run.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Well, that was kind of creepy...

Today wasn't all that stellar, though it wasn't terrible, either.

I mean, it's not good when you start it out knowing you're going to get a needle stuck in your mouth and a tooth drilled, but I like my dentist, so that always helps.

Anyway, aside from a few scheduling SNAFUs between a misunderstanding on my part and a tardy bus, I got that part of the day done in peace. Since my hands have been bothering me since I attacked the weeds Saturday, I decided to wear my braces today.

As far as street harassment went, there wasn't much. A couple glances here and there, one guy singling me out to try bumming a cigarette off (I don't smoke), but nothing too bad, until I was walking home from the grocery store.

The store is, oh, maybe a mile or two away from home, and the easiest route is along a moderately busy street. There are sidewalks and crosswalks, so it's relatively safe for pedestrians.

There are also other establishments along that stretch, and they're not always all that busy. As I began passing one with a mostly empty parking lot, I noticed a middle aged guy sitting in a pickup, watching me.

Maybe he was waiting for someone, but he was the only one there, and he was practically hanging out his window to watch me. The scene reminded me of something straight out of Law and Order, or maybe the first five minutes of Supernatural.

"Hey!" He shouted at me, and continued when I glanced over, "Need a ride?"

"No, thanks!" I offered a tight smile, still numb in places from the dentist, "I'm good."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I appreciate it." I picked up my pace a little.

"Those bags look heavy for sore wrists!"

"I'm good, have a nice day!" I refused to look back at this point, but listened for any sound of him trying to follow me.

"I don't mind!" Then, he said something else, but at that point, I couldn't understand what it was.

Maybe he was just trying to be a nice guy, but I've already met enough "nice guys" to know how quickly they can turn. Plus, he was SO persistent, and the way he was looking at me set off all kinds of warning bells.

I mean, really? If someone says "no, thanks", take that for what it is and leave them alone.

I wasn't playing hard to get, dude. I don't know you, so I don't trust you, and I won't go anywhere with you. Thanks for the offer, but no.

That's one of those situations that seem completely harmless, but could have turned into something else entirely. It's sad that we live in a world where we have to suspect something that could just be an act of kindness.

Ugh, still. I'm tempted to look up local predator alerts, just in case.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Blue Shards

Had an odd dream last night. I was sitting on our front steps, staring into space, because I was so tired. Some of the neighborhood guys passed by and kept commenting about how far away I looked.

The jerks refused to believe it was because I was so tired.

I woke up annoyed and sleepy.

Ah well. That has nothing to do with today's Friday Fictioneers, which are still hosted by the awesome Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. By the way, her book is available for pre-order!

Please Say Kaddish For Me is based in 1899 Russia, and follows a young girl whose family was killed by the violently antisemetic Russian government of the day. It looks very interesting.

Anyway, on to my own story. Playing around with another of my characters from that series I'm working on. If you've been reading these regularly, you'll know a little about my Diana.

These little flashes aren't really related to each other. I'm just experimenting with ideas.
PHOTO PROMPT – © Douglas M. MacIlroy
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 98

Blue Shards
            The sky is always the same. Even in this world, with its barren landscapes and blowing snow, a tiny sliver of belonging warms her when she looks up. Today, blue splinters shot through the cottony blanket of clouds.
            Diana shivered and rubbed her mittened hands together.
            “We’re done here. C’mon, kid,” her deceptively slight companion grunted from the garage.
            Tearing her eyes from the comforting heavens, she turned back to the clunky machine rumbling to life within the enclosure. “Ok. Be right there.”
            Her breath’s lonely mist dissipated as she climbed the steps to the vehicle’s cold cabin.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Outsmarted By Crows

Every year, we head up north of Duluth to camp on the shore of Lake Superior and hike the trails. We've been doing this for a few years, now, and every year, the crows crack us up.

They don't have the usual "caw! caw!" call that you'd expect of them. Instead, they scream "AAH!" We were pretty freaked out the first few times, because we couldn't figure out what the yelling was, but we eventually got it sorted.

Last year, my husband got the fire pit ready before we headed out for our first, short hike the day we'd arrived. He tented the wood, balled up paper, stuck it in the hollow and off we went. As we left, we noticed a couple of crows watching us.

As far as hikes go, this one was pretty uneventful. We did some climbing, got the below pictures from one of Shovel Point's overlooks and headed back to the tent.

Pretty, yes? It's a gorgeous area, but we were tired from the long (long) drive and dealing with unfortunate circumstances before we left.

As we crossed the bridge, we heard an "AAH!" not far from us. Across the street, a crow bobbed its head at us and hopped along the fence parallel to our path. It even stopped long enough for us to get the below picture.

Entertaining, social bird, right? We called back, and returned the looks it kept giving us. We've both always had a fondness for those birds, but we didn't linger too long. We were hungry and needed some stationary time.

When we got back, we heard a suspicious shuffling around the corner. By the time we arrived at the site, we discovered one of the crows that had been watching us ripping through the kindling before flying off with bits of it!

We're pretty sure that tease at the bridge delayed us so its buddy could get some choice nest building material. Troublemakers.

That's the last time we make that mistake. Wonder how many other campers these birds have conned out of things.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings: Cute Kitty

Guess my lap is especially comfy, today. He doesn't usually stay put long enough to conk out like that.

Usually, I wouldn't mind, but my leg is in such a position that it feels like his weight is slowly forcing my knee out of joint. Ow. Ow. But he's so cute! Ow. Ow. Ow.

Debate between pain or disrupting adorable sleepy kitty aside, today's Monday, which means word association! Thanks goes out to Luna Niña for hosting Unconscious Mutterings!

  1. Roller coaster :: Emotional
  2. Notification :: Beepbeep
  3. Yellow :: Paint
  4. Humor :: -ous story
  5. Parental :: Guidelines
  6. Blow :: Hard
  7. Duck :: Sasuke
  8. Height :: Difference
  9. Wolf :: Call
  10. Troubling :: turn of events

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Love the Stray

Ok! A few housekeeping things.

I've been quiet on this blog, because of a combination of business and allergy related shenanigans. Stupid allergy related shenanigans. As a result, I've also been woefully negligent in replying to comments. So sorry!

Speaking of comments, it's been brought to my attention that not everyone can use the blogger platform, and I'm looking into installing Disqus or something else instead. I won't be moving to Wordpress, because...I just don't like it. ;)

I've also had an article, Incredible Edible Flowers, selected as Hub of the Day over on HubPages. (Yay!)

Next, if you follow me on Facebook, you'll know that I've had a vignette published! You can find it over at Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and it's titled Swallow the Rot. If that sounds familiar, that's because it was originally work done for Friday Fictioneers quite a few moons ago, now.

Finally! Speaking of Friday Fictioneers, that's what the rest of this entry is dedicated to! Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting, as usual.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 99

Love the Stray

            Edwin cringed, tugging his ear in discomfort. “But mom, he looked so sad! I couldn’t just leave him in the rain.” He pouted up at his red-faced mother, edging between her and the slumbering creature behind him.
            Sure, the air was thick with smoke, and yeah, maybe they needed to move, but hadn’t she just been complaining about the neighborhood? Fluffy couldn’t help his heartburn.
            She struggled to calm down. “Son. Love of my life. You know I tolerate most of your pets, but,” volume control failed here, “NO DRAGONS!”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings - Old Pictures

I've spent most of today feeling absolutely terrible. Stomach is finally objecting to the awful diet I've been feeding it, and the rest of me is objecting to the horrid sleep schedule I've been keeping.


On the bright side, I've discovered some pictures on an old cell phone. Here are three of my favorites.

I love how quirky cats can be. I'm still not entirely sure of what our black and white kitty was doing in that last picture, but it's still amusing.

Anyway, here's today's installation of Unconscious Mutterings, as hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. Science :: Fiction
  2. Everywhere :: Nowhere
  3. Seed :: Starting
  4. Comedian :: Everyone
  5. Philadelphia :: Wow, that word messes with my dyslexia
  6. Disillusioned :: Illusioned
  7. Rolls :: Dinner
  8. History :: Untold
  9. Eagles :: Music
  10. Disappointed :: School

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Baleful Boredom

We live about two miles from a rail yard, so we're treated to the creepiness that is a train horn in the middle of the night on a regular basis.

That's exactly what happened when I first looked at this prompt late Thursday night, and since I felt like playing with two of the characters from one of my novels in progress, here's the result.

Thanks, as always, go out to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 100

Baleful Boredom

            “Wooah,” the train’s baleful call echoed through the darkness. They hadn’t yet figured out the scheduled runs, but Clara was getting used to the creepy sound. Head propped on one hand, she flicked a balled up wad of paper at her half-elven companion’s perfect nose.
            Revelyn ignored the irritating human to the best of his ability, only pinning her with a sharp glare when she nailed him between the eyebrows. “Why do you insist on doing that?”
            She took another shot. “You’re a good target.”
            Sighing, he deflected the projectile and wished for the thousandth time for a different partner.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings

Still recovering from yesterday's trip. Here's hoping for more productivity tomorrow.

As for now, enjoy the Unconscious Mutterings, as hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. With me :: Are you?
  2. Goodbye :: So long.
  3. Cap ::Steve Rogers
  4. Idiotic :: people
  5. Forever :: 21
  6. Bleeds :: on
  7. Expected :: turnout
  8. Touching :: things
  9. Shells :: turtles
  10. Awake :: not really

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Shave and a Hair Cut

The one time I spent a weekend in Lilydale, NY with my mom, we stayed in two of the only hotels they had. One of them had actually been a stable at one point, and when the owners decided to turn it into lodging, they elevated the old stable to become the top floor, and built a new addition as the first floor.

If you stayed on the top level, you could supposedly hear the long dead horses moving around at night. My mom said she'd heard them the next morning, but I'd only heard snoring by the floor on my side of the bed.

The snoring was a bit unnerving, since my side was against the wall, and on the other side of said wall was a stairwell. It could have been a trick of acoustics, but hey, who knows? It was pretty creepy.

Today's prompt for Friday Fictioneers reminded me of that hotel, because of the Door to Nowhere.

The title comes from the idea the tapping our frustrated wife heard was to the rhythm of "Shave and a Hair Cut", which would drive anyone to distraction.

Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

PHOTO PROMPT © Lauren Moscato
 Genre: Paranormal (...or I guess Realistic Fiction if you believe in ghosts)
Word Count: 100

Shave and a Hair Cut

            Her stupid husband and his stupid obsession with the stupid ghosts is what landed them in this stupid haunted house. For the last week, she’d been kept awake by knocking and followed by cold spots that behaved more like lost children than household drafts.
            Now, she lay in bed, cursed her husband for sleeping through anything and grit her teeth against the urge to scream.
            Stupid. Tapping.
            She’d had enough. “Will you knock that off?!” She screamed, startling her husband badly enough to send him to the floor.
            When he popped up like a disheveled gopher, it was blessedly silent.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Difference a Month Makes

Every month since the New Year, I've been wandering down to the creek not far from my house and snapping a picture on the first. It's interesting seeing how one setting changes from month to month. Even during the winter months of January, February and March, there have been some marked changes.

I'll probably compile a calender or something at the end of the year.

Anyway, I just got back from taking this month's picture, and I'm pretty amazed at just how much difference last month made.

Here's the picture from March 1st:

Snow? Check. Ice? Check. Depressingly naked trees? Check.

That day was pretty cold, but it wasn't the frigid, "My eyeballs are freezing out of my head" cold that Minnesota's famous for.

Now, here's the picture from today:

Open water, cloudy sky, and if you look really, really close, you might be able to see buds on the trees.

The weather today is summer-like. I even wore sandals today!
A photo posted by Emilie Peck (@peckemilie) on
Weather in this area can change at the drop of a hat, but it's still pretty wild to have photographic evidence of that.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Unconscious Mutterings - TMNT Edition

Today, I'm wearing my one and only TMNT sweatshirt. Since it's so hard to find geek gear in my size, I snap it up when I can find it. As I was making a pit stop in the bathroom, I glanced at my reflection and noticed something rather...interesting about the boys.

Of course, Raph is all "GRR! I HAVE ANGRY TURTLE-EYEBROWS! YOU BETTER RUN! GRR!" As he does.

Leo's all, "Don't mess with me. You won't like what happens if you mess with me. See this foot? Would you like it to meet your face? No? Then step off, pal."

Even Mikey's getting into the Angry Eyebrow Party with the whole, "Dude, I'ma CHUCK YOU" vibe he's giving off.

And then.

And then, there's Donnie.

Oh, Donnie. Donnie, Donnie, Donnie.

"Hey, look! A butterfly! I wonder if it'll land on my bo. C'mere, perty flutterbye! I won't hurt you!"

Donnie. Babe. Sweetheart. Turtle genius.

Just WHAT have you been cooking up in that lab of yours, and why haven't you shared it with your brothers? My goodness.

TMNT shenanigans aside, today is indeed Monday, and that means some Unconscious Mutterings! Thanks, as always, go out to Luna Niña for hosting!

  1. Twins :: Run in the family
  2. Seven :: of Nine
  3. Canceled :: Concert
  4. Video :: killed the radio star
  5. Mistress :: of disguise
  7. Sadness :: Cured with coffee. Lots of coffee. Then maybe a nap.
  8. Cleanse :: Facial
  9. Impostor :: INTERLOPER!
  10. Fruitless :: train of thought

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

(Belated) Teaser Tuesday - Good Omens

Well, I haven't done this in a while, so why not? I'm reading a few decent books, right now. Thanks to A Daily Rhythm for hosting!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"It is said that the devil has all the best tunes.
That is broadly true, but Heaven has all the best choreographers." - p. 88, Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

This is such a great book. I'm not entirely sure why those two lines crack me up as much as they do.

This is only the second book I've read in which Terry Pratchett had a hand in writing, but the man had an amazing way with words. May he rest in peace.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Unconscious Mutterings - Brr!

I am SO cold today.

Brr. It's supposed to warm up to about 40 degrees (4 Celsius), so I won't be quite so frozen later, but for now? It may be time for some hot tea. Hey, at least my seedlings are enjoying the show.

Anyway, it looks like I missed Friday Fictioneers again. I might try popping a flash fiction out tomorrow, but today is all about Unconscious Mutterings, before moving on to some other writing projects.

Thanks, as always, to Luna Niña for hosting!

  1. Ringtone :: RING, RING, RING! THAT'S ALL I DO! DO YOU THINK I WANNA RING?! PICK UP THE PHONE!! (and that's what my default ring tone is)
  2. Slab :: o' meat
  3. Harness :: Horses
  4. Couple :: of doves
  5. Shovel :: it in
  6. Game :: on
  7. Patriotic :: flags
  8. Bleed :: it out (...I swear that's a song lyric)
  9. Top :: hat
  10. Leafy :: greens

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Walking Downtown While Female

Since I work at home, I have the luxury of being able to choose when to run my errands. I prefer going out during the work day, because the creeps are usually busy doing other things.

Today, I had to run downtown for something, which meant catching the bus and doing a little walking. I took a book with me as a way to keep myself entertained during the ride and discourage unwanted attention.

For the record, here's today's outfit:

Now with bonus cat!
Nothing all that special, right? That's pretty much my go-to look.

Here are the reactions I got.

Pedestrian Bridge
I prefer catching the bus at the transit station about a quarter mile from my home, since it's safer to cross streets around there. To get to the station, I have to cross a pedestrian bridge that goes over the highway.

During the few minutes I was hoofin' it across, two cars honked at me.

Why do people do that? Why are you paying attention to me instead of the road? What are you hoping to accomplish? I just don't get it.

But whatever, it happens so often it's almost expected.

The bus let me off about a block from the place I had to visit, so the walk didn't even take five minutes. During that time I got a "Hey, cutie" with the requisite visual undressing and sauntering over, a dude mumbling something at me of which I could only understand a couple of crude words and a group of about five business men openly staring and leering at me.

One of 'em licked his lips as I passed by. No. You're disgusting. Go do your business things somewhere far away from me.

There was only one guy who I could tell was trying to read my shirt, and another who gave me a very kind compliment on my jacket. The only one I had acknowledged with a polite thank you was that compliment, but I still kept walking after that. The rest wasn't bad enough to respond to.

This was all within the distance of a city block. I'm so glad I didn't decide to drop into someplace for some lunch. Leftovers aren't bad, and now I don't need to deal with potential unpleasantness.

That kind of behavior always grosses me out on some level, but really, it's gotten to the point where it doesn't phase me much anymore unless there's following, groping or aggressiveness involved. And that's kinda sad.

The thing is, if I had run that errand over the weekend, or when most people are off work, I know from experience that it would have been much worse.

I don't think I'll ever understand why this kind of behavior is accepted, and sometimes encouraged. Even if I was dressed provocatively, that doesn't mean I would deserve to be bothered by complete strangers for just walking down the sidewalk.

To make matters worse, I know all too well that I'm not alone in that experience, and that today was a very mild example of it. It's just wrong on so many levels.

That said, most of the men I see on the street or the bus aren't like that. It's just those few who decide it's ok to treat me like some sort of eye candy or sex object every time I'm out and about that make me want to hit things.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings - AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Today did not start out well. Hubby borrowed my computer when I went to bed last night, and didn't return it until maybe half an hour ago. I have about an hour before I have to start getting ready for an interview, which doesn't leave enough time to update the two blogs I'd wanted to this morning.

Maybe I can at least get a couple of outlines done.

Hello, frustration. Of all days, you had to visit today. Guess you wanted to see your cousin, Nerves. I wasn't expecting this anxious reunion. You couldn't delay it for me?

Deep breaths. I got this.

Hubby can make it up to me this evening by watching Monsters University or Monsters Inc while we indulge in a beer (or maybe tea, depending on how my stomach feels) and dinner. Comedic animation always soothes a frazzled mood.

At least I have time to update here. I mean, Monday DOES mean word association via Unconscious Mutterings, after all. As always, thanks go out to Luna Niña for hosting the game!

  1. Hunt :: It's wabbit season. (...is it? I don't know.)
  2. Spinal :: Column
  3. Groom :: 's men
  4. Red light :: District
  5. Delayed :: Gratification
  6. Forgetfulness :: Was I supposed to remember something??
  7. Tennis :: Balls
  8. Best of luck :: Thanks!
  9. Badge :: of honor
  10. Autograph :: Well, if you really want one, sure.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - We Do What We Must

I swear, this tiger stripe kitty is why I am constantly wearing some sort of fur coat, whether I want to or not.

She's such a lover, but I still have no idea how one animal can shed so much while still having such thick fur.

Anyway, today's the day for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I've been working on my first novel, so this character has been on my mind a lot. For those who've been reading for a while, you may recognize her from this FF installation.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook
Genre: Well, I guess it COULD be realistic fiction, though the overall story is Urban Fantasy/Fantasy.
Word Count: 100

We Do What We Must
            She hadn’t been home in years. She had lived in a city with her adopted family, but they’d visit the country every spring. Those days started with bird song, and sun kissed trees.
            This morning started with icy toes and fogged breath, but the woods reminded her of those happier days. Diana learned to fill her heart with frost, much like what coated the long grasses around her.
            Tugging her cloak tighter, she glanced at her silent hiking companion and stepped onto the bridge. The sooner she finished her task, the sooner she could return to the ones left behind.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings: Emotions Left and Right

Took a break from social media yesterday, and if what keeps popping up is any indication of what today will be like, I may need a break today, too.

So many serious topics I'm just not up to dealing with on an emotional level. What can I say? It's been a rough few weeks, and I need some more time to recover.

I think I'm going to dedicate this afternoon to fiction. Gotta work on some submissions, anyway.

Before that, though, have some word association, thanks to Luna Niña.

  1. Neutral :: Color
  2. Renovation :: So much work
  3. Metallic :: a (get it? Metallica?)
  4. Filling :: I can't tell if this is filling or filing.
  5. Designate :: Design
  6. Bee sting :: anaphylaxis (oh, look, there's the anxiety again...must bug hubby to find his epi-pen before those things wake up)
  7. Neighbors :: I swear there's a song about them
  8. Bracket :: Sportsball
  9. Call me :: maybe (aaaand now that song's in my head)
  10. Pretty :: cute

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Lingering Effects of War

When you grow up in a generally peaceful country, it's easy to forget just how long the effects of war linger.
Hans Thoma [Public domain], via
Wikimedia Commons

As a child, I was always warned about strangers, and as a very young looking teenager, there was a man plaguing our community by taking an unhealthy interest in the local children. I seem to remember hearing about a couple of missing girls who were around my age, too. Overall, though, I was generally pretty safe.

Even as I kid, I sometimes thought about the tragic effect war has on families. My dad received terrible injuries during the Vietnam war, from which he still suffers, and both my grandparents on my mom's side were profoundly impacted by WWII, since they both suffered through some horrible experiences in Germany and Poland during that period of time.

Even though my siblings and I were born after these conflicts ended, they still had a profound effect on how we grew up and who we became.

There's no way that couldn't have happened. Something as profound and life changing as war always leaves ripples for generations upon generations. Once a conflict ends, it's not really over until it fades from memory, and even then, its echos linger.

If you stop to think about it, conflicts like the Crusades still have a lasting impact on the world. Christianity is still one of the majority religions, and Pagan beliefs were either co-opted into holidays, like in the Easter and Christmas celebrations, or wiped out completely.

A huge part of the ongoing mess in the Middle East is rooted in those ancient wars, too. People are still fighting over which religion deserves which turf and who's right about what. (Don't get me wrong, there's also a massive money motivation and more complexities than I'll ever know about.)

If you look at almost every country's legends, folktales and histories, you'll probably find war mentioned at least once. I know the American culture glorifies it to a shameful level.

With the ongoing conflicts overseas and the continually rising fears of terrorism, I don't think those who glorify what's going on truly understand the human cost inflicted. Civilian's lives are ruined, and even children born later will feel the repercussions for their entire lives, whether they realize it or not.

I think that's important to remember whenever the topic comes up.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Unconscious Mutterings - Winter Scenery

Monday, Monday. Nope, sure can't trust this day. Hey, I got a few rather nice pictures on my walk yesterday, though.

Temperature wise, it was a little on the chilly side, still below freezing, but after the sub zero weather we had been getting, it felt pretty nice.

Maybe I'll be able to start running outside again, soon.

Anyway, I just couldn't take my eyes off the sky.

That aside, it IS Monday, which means Unconscious Mutterings, hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. Jude :: Take a sad song and make it better.
  2. Erased :: Pencil
  3. Addiction :: to wood
  4. Curls :: unwieldy
  5. Hotel :: California
  6. Bloomers :: Undies
  7. Membership :: Club
  8. Family :: Member
  9. Handle :: Who's throwing handles?
  10. Questioning :: What the point is
Welp, that's it for today. Off to get one more blog updated, a story or two polished and some articles written. Busy Monday is busy.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Remnant Hunters

Wow. I think that kid has the same hiking boots I do. Hope she got repairs done before she got the blisters mine gave me.

Anyway, today's Friday, which means you get treated to a little flash fiction in honor of Friday Fictioneers! Thanks, as always, go out to Rochell Wisoff-Fields for hosting.

PHOTO PROMPT -© Dawn Q. Landau
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100

Remnant Hunters

            “You know we’ve been hiking too long when the dog starts shuffling his feet,” Gracie grumbled.

            Sam shrugged.  “It’s not much further. You want to find fossils, right?”
            “I guess.” Gracie scowled and tried to ignore the pebble in her boot. “This spot’d better be worth it.”
            Her friend glanced over her shoulder, and grinned. “Oh, yeah. You’ll see.”
            On they trudged along the railroad track, until Sam ducked onto a side path and called back. “C’mon!”
            Gracie followed her dog along the trail, down a rocky hill and to a clearing littered with stones. She pumped her fist. “Jackpot!”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You know what would make winter better?

If it gave me superpowers.

I mean, look at the ridiculous amount of static just brushing my hair generates.

I already zap everything I touch, including the poor cats, so where would the harm be in being able to control it? Y'know, mastery of electricity would be a lot of fun.

And I wouldn't hurt anyone (much)!

It might even inspire me to brave the cold and hit the town a little more often.

Sigh. A girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Unconsious Mutterings - Didn't go as planned.

Today did not go as planned.

At all.


Ah well. Guess that'll just make today's Unconscious Mutterings all the more interesting. Thanks to Luna Niña for hosting.

  1. Fatty :: Acids (Omega-3, Omega-3, Omega-3, rah rah rah!)
  2. Injection :: Mold
  3. Fearless :: ...wasn't that a movie?
  4. Overflow :: Dam.
  5. Contract :: Demon (too much anime? Me? Nooooo...)
  6. Steal :: The heart
  7. Heartless :: Not my fault. Someone stole it.
  8. Flap :: the wings
  9. Baseline :: beat of a song
  10. Merger :: Mr. Business

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Question of Descent

I'm actually doing Friday Fictioneers this week! Neat. Many thanks, as always, go out to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting.

Since I was about 12 years old, I've been fascinated with metaphysics and the spiritual paths that parallel them. One of the spiritual tools I used regularly when I was more active in exploring those pathways was visualization.

The cave represents the darker side of the feminine, in many belief systems. A number of years ago, I came across a meditation that involved going deep into my personal caves to confront and deal with the darkness within myself.

As soon as I saw the below picture, that's what I thought of, but I decided to put a different sort of spin on the idea.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Marie Gail Stratford
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100

Question of Descent

            Stone steps slithered along the steady downward slope before her. Heavily diluted daylight reflected off their wet surface, like the kitchen light off of last night’s grease slicked chicken. Turning on her headlamp, she descended.
            Grandma told her to come to these caves to find answers for her questions. Annetta didn’t understand how it would help, but out of respect, she went.
            Upon finally reaching the floor, something glinted to her left.
            When she turned her head, she discovered a crystal formation glistening in the weak light. Staring at the gleaming structure, she again wondered what she was doing there.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings - Ouch

Wow. I only updated here once last week? Bad, bad. I almost passed on updating today, since that migraine from this morning seems to be returning.


Ah well. It is what it is, and today I'll be doing my usual word association. Unconscious Mutterings is faithfully hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. Tripple :: Dejavu!
  2. Ownership :: Car
  3. Promising :: Carreer
  4. Bonding :: Teeth
  5. Flurry :: Ice cream
  6. Weather:: Snowwwwww
  7. Conclusion :: Every thing is awesome! Everything is cool when you're part of a team! (...I don't get the connection, either.)
  8. Scolding :: My oversensitive nerves (seriously, my keyboard isn't loud enough to cause this much discomfort. Staaahp.)
  9. Nipple :: Bottle
  10. Freezing :: Ice cutters
Well, now. That was fun. I think I'll go hide in the dark for a while, now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Unconscious Mutterings - Fictional Musings

Funny how everyone loves the jerk in fiction, but not so much in real life. Then again, I can kind of understand that, since less than pleasant characters are just so much fun to write.

Ah well, gotta love quirks in human behavior, huh?

Well, it's Monday again, and I'm running behind. So, here's this week's Unconscious Mutterings, hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. Tripple :: Tribble (this is what happens when this dyslexic Trekky sees this word)
  2. Rationing :: Food
  3. Wrong :: Turn
  4. Mother :: Didn't mean to make you cry, but if I'm not back again this time tomorrow, carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters.
  5. Lotion :: On its skin or else it gets the hose again. (And now I have the strangest image of some sort of Silence of the Lambs/Wayne's World crossover in my head.)
  6. Hesitate :: Don't
  7. Home :: on the range
  8. Stumble :: fall
  9. Procedure :: hospital
  10. Faithless :: dog

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Longing for Lunch

This has been quite a text heavy week. One story's been polished and submitted to a place, I've been sending applications out and I've been invited to take part in a downright awesome campaign on one of my other blogs, called Across Women's Lives. You can read more about it here.

Much as I love reading and writing, my poor brain's ready for a break. Once I get this entry up, I'll be stepping away from the computer for a while.

Anyway, today is Friday! That means it's time for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the wonderful Rochell Wisoff-Fields.

I have to admit, this prompt made me want to nap in a nice, quiet place in the sun.

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Melanie Greenwood
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 100

Longing for Lunch
            He lounged in a patch of sunlight peeking between the tall hedges. The sky was a brilliant summer blue, and an easygoing breeze set tiny leaves aflutter.
            Sighing, she nudged her lounging friend with the toe of her boot. “C’mon, Danny. My girlfriend’s waiting for us. We can’t get to the restaurant with you lying there.”
            He grinned, plucked a long blade of grass from the base of the wall, and tucked it into the corner of his mouth. “Relax, Katie. They won’t leave without us.”
            The nudge became a kick to his thigh. “Yeah, that’s ‘cause YOU’RE the driver.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Belated Teaser Tuesday - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Yesterday ended up being quite a bit busier than I thought it would be, so my contribution to Teaser Tuesday, hosted by Should Be Reading, is a day late.

Before I get to that, though, I'd like to point you to the #womenslives campaign I'm currently taking part in over at Alternative Wiring. If you're interested in women's rights, stories and associated issues, please take a moment to check it out.

Anyway, I've started reading an amazing book about one of the most influential, and least well known, ladies of science. She had her cancer cells taken from her without her permission, and they've survived in labs across the country today. These cells have helped scientists develop the polio vaccine, explore cancer treatment methods and a huge assortment of other advances.

They're called HeLa cells, but more importantly, her name is Henrietta Lacks, and she was a Black woman living during Jim Crowe era. She struggled with racism and poverty during her tragically short life, but still let kindness rule her throughout.

The book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is all about her.

"He told Henrietta her cells would help save the lives of countless people, and she smiled. She told him she was glad her pain would come to some good for someone." - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot


(Print Book)
I highly suggest picking this book up. Rebecca's a fantastic author, and the story is extremely engaging. It offers a vivid picture of social as well as medical history, racism in America and the spirit that keeps people going in the face of adversity.

(Those two images are affiliate links. If you end up purchasing anything from them, I'll get a small commission, which would be a huge help in running this blog.)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Unconscious Mutterings - Snow's Avoiding Us

Monday, Monday. Hello, there!

To all of those who got snow, I hope you're shoveling out alright. It barely missed us.


Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of snow, but since my husband plows in the winter, I really wish we'd get hit a little more often. This has been a very unimpressive winter, so far.

Ah well. We'll get by somehow.

Anyway, here we have Unconscious Mutterings, courtesy, as always, of Luna Niña.

  1. Greatness :: Great responsibility (Curse you, Spiderman!)
  2. Struggling :: Temporary
  3. Noise :: Make it stop!
  4. Doorway :: door frame
  5. Soap :: water
  6. Cancer :: needs to go away for good
  7. Sipping :: Sticks
  8. Stacks :: fire
  9. Perfect :: Disaster
  10. Test :: evil