Entry 5(This was supposed to be last week’s post. Oopsy!

I planned to write about other happenings for this post, but oh, my God, I had a nightmare. I once read that the average person has two nightmares per month. But it also depends on what people consider a nightmare. 

To me, there’s a difference between a nightmare, and a bad dream. If I dreamt about being trapped in an elevator, with a stark-raving televangelist. That would be just a bad dream, to me. The same goes for, if I dreamt that I was lost in a cicada-infested grocery store, where I get sexually harassed by eewoks, in the soup and pasta aisle. 

For me, a dream has to have either very vivid, life-like evil characters, or very vivid, life-like gore, to feel like a true nightmare. The kind of disturbing dream that haunts your mind, and creeps you out, for the rest of the day.  

The first nightmare that had that affect, happened when I was twelve. It was on a Sunday morning, in May of 1992. We had a pool party at the house, the day before. So it made sense that this dream took place in a pool. I had dosed off, while listening to Kasey Kasem’s American Top 40. Bryan Adams’ Thought I Died And Gone To Heaven was on the charts, at the time, and it was this nightmare’s background music. Making it all the more sick and twisted. 

In the dream, I was swimming around in an above-ground pool, on a clear, sunny afternoon. The pool was exactly like the one in my backyard, but it was in the backyard of a dream-made-up house. The house was gray, and had a very cold, expressionless, very industrial look to it. Instead of a wooden deck, the pool had a gray concrete deck half-circled around it. The deck had no upper level, like my real deck. And there was no patio furniture on it, either, and not a single potted plant. Just a large, baron space of concrete.   The pool was green and cloudy, but stuff like that didn’t bother me, when I was a kid. Our real-life pool was like that, most of the time. 

After swimming around a few laps, this dream-made-up lady came out of the house, to check on me. As we got to talking, I decided to swim back and forth, across the pool. Every time I swam across, I felt something brush against my stomach. I told the lady about this, and she said that somebody probably dropped their flip-flops in the pool. Wherever these flip flops were, I figured that they must be partially submerged. I tried to look for them, with my eyes,  but the water was too murky. When I crossed the pool again, I felt the flip flops brush against my stomach. They were somewhere in the middle. I slowly swam towards the middle, with one hand submerged, hoping to get them. When the flip flops brushed against my stomach again, I stopped swimming, and reached down. Instead of flip flops, I felt human feet. Human feet that were attached to a pair of lifeless legs. The bottom half of a woman had been stuffed down the pool drain. 

I stood in the middle of the pool, in a screaming, crying panic. The lady disappeared, and so did the dream-made-up house. Then the pool with half a dead body in it, was my backyard pool. “WHO DID THIS! WHO DID THIS!” I kept screaming, as I pulled the half a body out of the drain. The bottom piece of torso fell  apart, like slow cooked meat, and one of the legs detached. “WHOOOO DIIIIID THI”IIIIS! I screamed, as I lifted the leg out of the water. When I threw it over the side of the pool, I could clearly see the coagulated blood, and jagged bone, where the leg had been chopped off from the woman’s hip joint. 

After that nightmare, that song’s sexy, romantic meaning had been ruined, for me.  Still to this day, when I hear Thought I Died and Gone to Heaven, it never fails to remind me of that murky, green pool with half a dead body stuffed down the drain.

This most recent nightmare started out with me and mom leaving the grocery store. It was late afternoon, when we were walking to the car. A couple approached us in the parking lot, who were down on their luck. They asked mom if she could drive them home, because their car had been stolen. Mom, being like the kind and compassionate person she is, in real life, let these strangers into the back seat of our car.  

As we started on our way to their house, the afternoon suddenly became night. During the ride, we got more acquainted with these hitchhikers. They were a married couple,  in their forties, but they sounded and acted more like teenagers. The wife knew my sister, Gina, surprisingly well. She told me that the two of them had been keeping in touch, since Gina was studying to be a massage therapist. The two of them had even swopped bodies. In the dream, swopping bodies was something as normal as swopping outfits. I asked her questions about what it was like, being in Gina’s thin and youthful body. And I told her a couple of funny incidences when Gina was mistaken for a teenager. 

This couple seemed pretty cool, and perfectly harmless, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I should kick them out of the car. Minutes later, my intuition was proven right. 

Halfway to their house, they admitted to being in the drug dealing business. They were some sort of middlemen type of people, who transferred the drugs from the people who produced them, to this ruthless, leading druglord guy. (I don’t know if such a job exists, in real life, because I don’t know shit about the drug business.) The hitchhikers had a package of drugs on hand, in a plastic shopping bag. The drugs were in a taped up, beat up looking box, that went to an out-dated I-pad. Now mom had no choice, but to be the hitchhikers’ accomplice, at delivering the drugs, before she dropped them off. They told us how important it was, for them to make this delivery, and do it right. Because their druglord was most likely following us now, and if he didn’t like how they did their job, all of us would be brutally punished. It wouldn’t matter to him, that me and mom weren’t willing participants. 

That’s when I turned to them, and said, “You need to get the hell out. Mom and I were only being kind Samaritans, and giving you a ride home. We didn’t sign up for this shit. Mom, pull over.” But mom just kept driving. The wife started reasoning with me, about our predicament. She apologized for dragging us into this crime, and then got all desperate sounding. Telling me that I needed to understand that she and her husband had only gotten involved with this drug ring, because they were in desperate need for extra money. They really didn’t want to be criminals, and they planned on doing this delivery job temporarily. They both had regular full time jobs, but these jobs didn’t pay a livable salary. And they needed the extra money to pay off medical bills, and credit card debt. Something about the hitchhiker wife’s apologetic tone, and how sincerely desperate she seemed, made me have a change of heart. 

Then suddenly, I saw red lights flashing into the car. Oh, shit! It’s the cops!, I thought. I froze in the passenger seat, too scared to speak. I feared that, if we had to pull over, the cops might discover the drugs. We would all be arrested, because of the zero-tolerance law. And mom and i would end up in prison, for being kind to these dam desperate people. 

As we made a U-turn, and started down a weird, zig zaggy road, I was relieved to realize that the flashing lights weren’t from a police car. Some of the traffic lights had a glitch in them, which made them strobe, and stay stuck on red. Because of this malfunction, people felt free to drive right through them, including mom. 

The drug delivery involved the “hide and seek” method. (OK, I guess I do have a little drug dealing knowledge, from watching the Investigation Discovery channel.) We pulled up to a row of dumpsters and garbage cans, that were aligned against a cement wall, behind a shopping plaza. The hitchhiker wife rolled down her window, and tossed the package of drugs onto a garbage can lid, where it would pass off as someone’s discarded old junk. Then we drove away. Their druglord was going to drive to that same place, later on, and pick up the package. I was so happy that everything went smoothly, and we weren’t being followed. Both the husband and the wife reassured us about that. 

Then we were at their house, at last. Mom parked the car on the street, instead of pulling up their driveway. Their house was a cute, upper-middle class looking home, in a quaint suburban neighborhood. The neighborhood reminded me of my old Sugarmill Woods neighborhood, in Homosassa. An orange streetlight shined directly onto their enormous white driveway. The driveway looked newly painted, and it was bordered by immaculately groomed, dark green hedges. 

I was so happy that our predicament was over, and me and mom were free to go home, and not have anything more to do with these criminals. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and giddy inside. The hitchhikers thanked us, and we exchanged good-nights. Then mom and I walked them to their front door. Or at least mom did. For some weird reason, I stopped walking, before my feet even touched the driveway, and just stood there. The orange glow of the street light on the white driveway, and dark green hedges locked me into a synesthesia trance, for a few minutes.    

When I snapped out of it, and turned to go back in the car, I was shocked to realize that the car had somehow been replaced. In the same spot where my parents’ black Hunday Sanada was parked, only a few minutes earlier, there was a dingy looking white car. The car was the same size and shape as the Sanada. So I assumed that maybe this sudden appearance change was just my dying optic nerves playing tricks on me. So I got into the car. 

The car began to slowly roll backwards by itself. Idiotically, I tried to stop it, by sticking a leg out, and dragging my foot against the road. I called out for mom, but she had went into the drug people’s house. Suddenly, the husband appeared in the front yard. “Looks like you’re having trouble with that.” he said, walking towards me. I thought he came out to assist me… 

The next thing I knew, I woke up in a strange room.  It looked like a living room, but the windows were covered by the same closed horizontal blinds and dark blue curtains, as the ones in my bedroom. It appeared that i had somehow fallen asleep, sitting up, on a couch. The couch looked a lot like the blue living room couch from an old apartment I once lived in, years ago. But this couch was about three times bigger. Despite how dark the room was, I could tell that it was around late morning, or early afternoon. I had no memory of spending the night in this room, or how I got there. I felt woozy and foggy-headed, like I just woke up from a drunken nap. Then I realized that I was wearing nothing but underwear, and I noticed how nasty this living room smelled. Like a mixture of every bodily fluid and function, and musty, unkempt house. 

Something was on my lap. I moved it aside. My brain was too hazy to register that the thing I just moved was my dad’s disembodied head. My eyesight suddenly became clear, and I saw blood, human organs, and dismembered bodies all over the filthy living room floor. But my brain still wouldn’t register it.  

“Good morning, love-stick.” said an old man, who appeared from, what looked like, a small, filthy kitchen.  He was abnormally huge, about 7 feet tall, and built like a wrestler. He had a full head of thick, gray hair, and was wearing a gray flannel shirt, and kaki pants. Despite my mental fog, I knew who this guy was. He was the ruthless druglord that the hitchhikers worked for. 

I stood up, and looked around the room for a door. There was no way out. I was now a hostage. The druglord hugged me, as though I was his lover. Thinking that I was about to get raped, I bit him on the shoulder. However, his shoulder was humungous, and rock hard. So my bite was more like a nip. “oooh, naughty girl wants to play?” He said. Then he took my hand, and gently nibbled on my finger tips. I pulled away, and almost tripped on something. I looked down, and saw that it was an arm. Mom’s arm. The mental fog completely lifted, making me horrifically alert to what had happened. 

The druglord had killed my whole family. Mom, dad, the new Gina, Carlos, and even little Jaden had been chopped to pieces, and strewn all over the druglord’s disgusting living room. “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO THEM!” I said, screaming and crying, at the same time. “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO THEM!” 

I woke myself up, awkwardly yelling those words around my mouth guard. I was in my safe and cozy bed, and mom and dad were just down the hall, perfectly alive. All was well.  Then I realized, wow, what a stupid question. It was obvious what the druglord had done to them. 

Entry 4

Oh, no, shame on me. I took a day off from working on book revisions, on Sunday. I worked on it, on Monday, but yesterday and today, nah. What am I going to do with myself. I told Jo, in an email, that some other author might have to take my place in line, to be published. But in that same email, I also promised him that I’ll try my hardest to not let the revising process drag. 

Instead of letting it drag, how about I just let it dddddrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggg. 

Yesterday was grocery shopping day. I had to get a bunch of healthy groceries to abide by my ridiculously strict diet. And I had to buy some baking ingredients, to make the Christmas cookies that will sabotage the hell out of it. The original plan was to go to the store, around 11:00-ish in the morning. Then we’ll get home before mom’s soaps come on, and I would still have enough time for a full day of book 1 work. Things didn’t go according to plan, of course. 

First thing in the morning, every morning, I pray, and fade out into meditation trances, while drinking coffee. Recently, I cut down on coffee, to cut coffee/space-out time in half. So more time would go toward working. Yesterday morning, I went ahead and made a bigger pot of coffee, because I wasn’t going to start working until we came home from the store. I sure didn’t want to work, before we went to the store, because I have an annoying, anxious quirk in my brain, that makes me unable to concentrate on a project, within a limited time slot. Even if the time slot is two or three hours. So after indulging in a longer coffee session, and then getting ready for the day, I read some of Mistress of the Topaz, By Betty Cross, while waiting for mom to get ready. We’re both total pokes, in the morning. So it was no surprise that she was just finishing up, when it was almost 12:00. By 12:00, I was in the kitchen, ready to dictate my grocery list to her. Before she got out a pen and paper, she wanted to squeeze in getting one or two pittly little tasks done first. By the time we got the list down, it was after 12:30. “You want to just leave at 2:00?” I asked, knowing that we won’t be able to tackle such a big order, and get home in time for mom’s favorite, The Bold and the Beautiful. She gratefully agreed. 

While she watched her shows, and did this and that around the house, I tweaked around with a blog post that I started working on, last week. 

We left the house after 2:30. Wow, was it a fully loaded shopping order, and it did take quite a bit longer than an hour. When we came home, I had to go in my room, and lay down. Not to take a nap, but to kind of, let my Neurons recuperate. Having such a schizophrenic-ish case of synesthesia, makes a grocery store seem like a category-5 hurricane of sensory stimulation. After going to any type of store, or any place where there’s multiple lights and noises, and all kinds of people bustling around, and music, and colors and stuff, I like to just lye still for a while, in a dark and quiet place. By the time I got out of bed, and checked the time, it was 4:25. I was like, “Ah, fuck it.” Dinner was going to be in an hour or so. Not enough time to try and concentrate on being productive. So I went downstairs to drink tea, and hang out with the parents, and then read some more of Mistress of the Topaz. 

This book takes place on a pre-industrial planet, like my book does. I had bought three other sci fi and Fantasy novels, for this same reason. Hoping to find a book I can compare mine to. So readers would have a clearer idea on what HECCTROSSIPY 1: The Legend of the Land is about. So far, Betty Cross’s novel hardly has much in common with mine, but reading it inspired me to Peru’s Apple Books, to find more pre-industrial planet stories to add to my Want To Read list. So that’s what I did, at the end of the day. 

Today, I meant to get back on the ball, but my mind was buzzing too much about the holidays, to get fully emersed in it. The parents are bringing nannie to the house, on Sunday, and she’s going to stay with us, for two weeks. I have four cookie recipes to make—butter cookies, pine nut, orange-spice, and white chocolate-peppermint. Saturday, I have to babysit Jaden, from 9:00 to 1:00. And I haven’t even started coming up with an itinerary for keeping a hyper seven-year-old entertained, for four hours. A kid who rarely stays interested in something, for more than fifteen minutes. Then Gina and I are supposed to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, on Tuesday. On top of all of that, mom is baking cookies too—dark chocolate M&M cookies. So she and I have to work out which one of us bakes on which day. 

So I gave up, and let the brain ruminate about shopping, and fantasize about baking. I finished my Want To Read list, and at least was productive at catching up with blog writing. That’s acceptable, I guess. Thursday and Friday, BACK TO WORK! Thursday and Friday, BACK TO WORK! Thursday and Friday, BACK TO WORK! And may the Babysitting Gods bring good fortune upon Saturday. And make sure that my little nephew never, ever, ever gets bored, while being stuck with his aunt, who’s too blind to play Mine Craft, or battle with Hex Bugs, or act out Ninjoggo dramas. Well, maybe I could do the Ninjoggo thing. My Ninjoggo guy could be a drunk, who has the destructive power to knock over any building, fort, and castle, just by stumbling on it! Ha ha ha ha-(BURP!)         

  

Entry 3

If I reincarnate into a next lifetime, I vow to be a kinder, gentler pet parent, during my future childhood. 

In this lifetime, I was horrible to my poor pets, when I was a kid. 

I used to shove dad’s flip-flops through the poor cockatiel’s cage bars. Because I thought it was funny to watch her fly around, and get all freaked out. 

I once had a finch who was as tame as tame could get. So tame, he let me dangle him in the air, by his tiny tail. One day, his tail broke off, in mid dangle. Thank God he was only a few inches above my bedroom carpet. When my mom and sisters wondered why his tail was missing, I told them that it fell out. We all thought it was funny, how stubby this made him look.  

I used to squeeze the poor dog’s nose. Because she made a funny, “narr nfff” noise, when she tried to pull her nose free. A couple of times, I put a big, blue yarn slipper-sock over her whole head. Because I thought it looked funny. 

I used to pull the poor cat’s tail, just to make her say, “Meow”. Then there were a couple of times when I chased her around my bedroom, with my cane. Because I thought her eyes looked cool, when she looked up at me. Her pretty yellow eyes would get all big and dilated. They only looked that way, of course, because the poor cat was scared. 

When I was 10, I really, really wanted a parakeet. But I didn’t want one, because it was my dream pet. I just wanted one, because my sisters each had one. However, I acted as though it was my dream pet. Every time we visited a pet store, or the pet section at K-Mart, I would gaze longingly at the parakeets. And remind my parents that I wanted one. One day, they gave in, but not completely. They promised that I could have a parakeet, if I got better grades in school. 

When it came to school, I was a lousy student with a rotten attitude. But the dreamy thought of having my very own parakeet, got me enthused about tackling those school assignments. During this bout of Academic ambition, I still stopped to fixate on the parakeets at every K-Mart and pet store. 

Then the glorious day came, when the parents let me pick one out. Christa and Gina had green parakeets, so I wanted one that was a different color. Different, and prettier than theirs. To my slight disappointment, they were all either the same bright green, or white with not-so-bright, blue spots. Then there he was… My dream bird. His head was white, but his body was covered in gorgeous, vibrant blue and turquoise feathers. And he was the only one like that. 

One day, when I came home from school, dad surprised me with him. The bird wasn’t tame. he wanted nothing more, than to get away from me and dad, and figure out how to escape from the house. This didn’t discourage me. His gorgeous, blue wings had been clipped, before dad brought him home. So I was confident that this would help me get the little blue guy tame. 

First of all, I gave the poor bird a dorky-ass name. Twinkles. I was happy to learn how to change his water and seeds, and clean his cage, at first. Then once it sank in, that I had to do this routinely, the thrill of having a parakeet wore off. His wings grew back sooner than I wanted them to. When I tried to tame him, he’d refuse to be handled. He’d fly away, and bite my fingers, and hiss at me. When I let him out of his cage, he’d fly onto a shelf  above my bedroom window, that had my teddy bear collection on it. Once he was up there, he refused to come down, and he’d poop all over Love-A-Lot bear’s head. So I lost patience with him, and decided that I didn’t like him anymore. 

I neglected him. Mom ended up taking care of him. Poor Twinkles became nothing more than a pretty decoration. The only time I paid attention to him, was when I told him to shut up. His squawking and chirping disrupted my cartoons. Eventually, I ended up pawning him off to Christa and Gina. 

After Twinkles, I went through a hamster phase. My cousins from Maine had the cutest, sweetest hamsters that were fun to play with. And my Creative writing teacher was really into hamsters. 

She had a couple of those awful aquarium-type cages full of them, and got the whole class into hamsters too. We kids got to vote on the names of the new breeding pair. We were there, when the female was in labor. We especially loved it, when the babies grew a little, and looked like cute little mini hamsters. 

One day, she had the class all sit in a circle on the floor. Then she took one of the adult hamsters out, and put it in a fun ball. Everybody awed and baby-talked to the little critter, as it awkwardly moseyed about the floor, in its plastic bubble. Then when the fun ball rolled in my direction, I spun it around, really fast. Everybody laughed, as the poor hamster went spinning around, like a breakdancer. That should’ve been the first sign, that I had no business taking guardianship over a defenseless rodent, but the grown-ups in my life foolishly trusted me. After having fun with other people’s hamsters, I wanted a hamster for Christmas. Then on Christmas Eve morning, there she was, waiting for me, under the Christmas tree. I didn’t even have to improve my grades to earn her, this time. 

This first hamster escaped from her aquarium cage, and got eaten by the cat. So the parents took me to the pet store, and got me a new one. The second hamster was the sweetest, most docile little pet. It sucked that he ended up being stuck with me. 

I would forget to refill his water bottle, and I’d let his cedar chip litter get all rank and pissy. I would take him out, and let him Rome around the house, in his fun ball. And then I’d forget about him. By the time I got around to putting him back in his cage, he was exhausted, and his fun ball would be rattling with his dry elbow macaroni Turds. Then one day, I negligently let him wander around in the back yard. This was fun for both of us until he wandered right into the neighbors’ dog’s mouth. The neighbors blamed the poor dog, for this tragedy. They felt so terrible about it, that they immediately rushed to the pet store, and bought me a third hamster. 

I didn’t like this third hamster. He was nothing like my dear, sweet doormat of a second hamster. This little rascal wasn’t going to put up with my crap. If I wasn’t going to show him respect, then he wasn’t going to return the favor. He refused to be petted. He bit me, when I came to close to him, and he was relentless about trying to escape from his cage. In my immature mind, he was an annoying, bratty, demanding pain-in-the-ass. Now as a more mature, sympathetic adult, I don’t blame him for being that way. He was miserably bored. Imagine being trapped in a small, plastic box, day and night, with no water, and nothing to do but eat, run on the exercise wheel, and lay around in pissed up litter. 

It wasn’t long before I wanted nothing more to do with him. By that time, I was sick of hamsters. Sadly, there was no pawning him off to my sisters, this time. They didn’t want the hamster. Nobody wanted the hamster. Not the neighbors’ little boy. Not any of me and my sisters’ friends. Not even mom and dad’s friends’ kids. Nobody. So dad and I decided to let him loose, in the woods. 

We believed that this was the humane thing to do, and that the hamster would be happier on his own. Rodents are known to be clever and resilient survivors. We even drove to a woods, a few blocks away, so our cat would have no chance at finding him. I carried him into the forest, as me and dad looked for a spot where the forest floor was clear of briars and dead tree stuff. The hamster didn’t bite me, or put up a struggle against my grip. Maybe he was calm, because he was so relieved to be free. Or maybe he was scared stiff. When we found a clear spot, dad dumped a pile of hamster seeds on the ground. Then I gently placed the hamster beside it. I thought he would want to scamper off, right away. But instead, he just stood there—and that was that. Dad and I walked away, and drove back home. 

The life lesson about treating pets right, has long since been learned. As an adult, I had a pet lutino love bird, and lavished her with attention and toys and treats. And my two little dogs got lots of pets and cuddles. 

Be mindful with your pets. Animals are not as dull and simple as people think. A pet is not a living toy whose sole life purpose is to amuse their owners, or to be just another cute room accessory. Animals don’t have sharp intellect, and ingenius creativity, like we do. I doubt there’ll ever be baboons joining the army, or software programing swans. But animals have minds of their own, with their own types of intelligence. Like people, they are also complex beings who have individual perspectives, feelings, and senses of observation and understanding about the world around them. 

So to anyone who reads this, if you have a child, or if you know a child who abuses their pets, like they are mindless playthings, or cute decorations. And then gets even more abusive, if their pets express that they’re not happy about it—take that pet away, and replace it with a stuffed animal, or a decorative  animal figurine.                     

Entry 2

This happened on Saturday, but it’s worth writing about. 

This was my other best 40th birthday present. I got to absolutely positively love thrill seeking. So we went to this place in Orlando. I’m still not sure what the name of it is. I can’t read signs, of course, and my parents are at that age where they often call the same person, place, or thing, by three different-but-simolar-sounding names. It’s called something like, Orlando Icon. The family and I went there for my 39th, and I had a bummer of an experience. 

I’m losing my eyesight. It’s been slowly and gradually fading out, over the past 19 years. Now all I have left is light and color, but even my color perception had started its dying process. So last year, for my birthday, I made a pizza-sized, four-flavored, birthday sugar cookie, and topped it with different colored sugars. Then I had my hair died a crazy color. And I went on the Orlando Icon’s colossal Ferris wheel.The Eye, I think it’s called, and I believe this Ferris wheel is about the size of the Eye of London, and it’s the same type of ride. Instead of seat carts, riders go into a room-sized box with glass walls. Then, the higher the ride goes, the more you can see a Gods’ eye view of Orlando. I thought it would be cool to go on that thing, at night, and enjoy the sight of city lights, for the last time. 

Then while we were on the ride, I realized too late, that my vision was much shittier than I thought. While everybody else in the glass box, got an amazing view, I got a lame one. I was hoping to at least see the lights, but no. From a few hundred feet in the air, all I saw was a bunch of gray, dimly glowing dust bunnies. The only beauty that my feeble eye could comprehend, was the colorful light of the The Eye. So I settled for just staring at its inner bars and spokes, because there was nothing else to stare at. It was so depressing. 

When we were off the ride, we past this giant swing ride. From waaaaay high above, I could hear distant screams of terror, and I thought, “Ah, man, they sure sound like they’re having fun.” This ride was beautifully lit too, so I had an excuse to stop and stare at it. But I was really staring at it, out of regret. I should’ve chose that ride instead. The parents had already blown over a hundred dollars on The Eye. So I vowed to myself, that the giant swing will be next year’s thrill. 

Then the time had come. 

The parents are not exactly clear on what the name of this ride is, so I’m not sure either. It’s kind of like the Yo-YO ride, which is pretty much at every fair and carnival. Except that the swings fly in a circle, 250 feet in the air. 

Each swing seat holds two people, but your not allowed to ride solo. I guess this would throw the ride off balance. My sister, Gina, and nephew, Jaden, were going to go on, along with me and mom. Dad isn’t afraid of heights, like mom is, but he doesn’t like rides that go around and around. Mom didn’t really want to go, either, but we had to have a fourth person. To her great relief, Jaden, who is only 7, decided that he wasn’t ready for such a scary ride yet. So then it was just me and Gina. 

When she guided me into my seat, I’ll admit, I got a little scared. I was expecting a full-sized cart, with seat belt straps, a tight hydraulic harness, and a thick seat bar to keep us securely buckled in. Instead, the swing seats are small, like kiddie swings,  but with shallower sides. Each is held up by four chains that are skinny enough to be neckless chains. And we were strapped in by seat belts that are more like straps from a school backpack. Aa puny little bar is attached to the neckless chains at the front. This bar just gets pulled down over the knees, but it doesn’t lock. That’s it. That was all that was keeping us securely on the ride, while it yo-yoed us about 25 stories up. It all felt so, not safe, and a little TOO open. I prayed to the spirit of my grandpa, and to Freddy—the entity who inspired my book series villain—to protect me and Gina, before the ride started. 

It started off slow and easy, and low to the ground. But people were screaming, before things got scary. Then we were pretty much yanked into the air. Once we were high enough to start seeing our lives flash before our eyes, the ride began to spin. 

It wasn’t scary at all. At least not for me. It was beautiful! I LOVE the feeling of flying through the air, far above the world. I love the windiness of it, and how free and liberating it feels. I went on the Sky Coaster, at Orlando’s Fun Spot, for my 38th, and I went parasailing, back in 2008. Both thrill rides gave that same wonderful, freeing feeling too. I woooed and weeed with joy, and smiled through the whole ride. According to my crappy eye, there wasn’t that much to look at, from such a height. Just a difference in shades, between the ground, and the dark sky, but WOW! What a rush! 

We went on for a second time, but that ride wasn’t so relaxing and easy. I was a little on the scared-shitless side, but that’s what I wanted. This time, I made sure I got a better look at the lights around us. To get a better visual concept of how high we were. As we were yanked into the air, I saw the blurred images of lights fall below us, and shrink into dim, ghostly dust bunnies. That part was cool. But then, for some reason, our swing started twisting. I was like, “Holy shit! Why are we twisting?!” It got me really worried about how safe this ride was. Was something wrong with the mechanism that was holding us up? Or was some other mechanism inside the ride, loose? It would not stop twisting, and it felt very unstable. I didn’t woo and wee, and smile, this time. Instead, I screamed with honest fear. It really felt like the unstable mechanism that our chains were attached to, was about to snap at any moment. And we would be dropped to our deaths. However, I did get a better look at the lights below. Their fuzzy, blurred images swirled beneath us, giving me the full horrifying visual awareness of how life-threateningly high we were. This only got my adrenaline even more pumped up. Was it the absolute terror messing with my brain? Or was this second ride really longer than the first? 

When we landed back to safety, I got such a high. Despite the terror, I would gladly do it again. Come to find out, our swing was only twisting, due to the law of physics. Gina is thin, and I’m not. I weigh about eighty more pounds than her. On our first ride, I sat in the outer seat, and she sat in the inner seat. For our second ride, we switched. As we were flying, the swing kept trying to put me, the heavier one, on the outer side to balance itself. There was nothing at all wrong with the ride’s safety. 

Afterward, we all got ice cream, at a Hoggendaas shop. I got two scoops of alcoholic flavors—Irish cream with brownies, and burbon vanilla bean. They were awesome. I recommend the burbon vanilla. As we ate, on outside benches, the family watched other people on the swing ride. Gina spotted another set of people twisting and rocking through the air. 

Next time around, I want an even skinnier person riding with me. Someone 110 pounds or less, to take the outer seat. If my strict diet that I’ve been on, for the past three months, gets me thin, by then. I want a great big fat person to ride with me. Someone 400 pounds or more, to sit in the inner seat. Yeeeaaah! 

It was such a kick-ass birthday, and it made up for last year. Like I said before, I love thrill seeking! Loosing my vision made the world a pretty boring and unfulfilling place. According to a Santarian psychic that dad knew, I’m destined to be held captive in this shitty special-needs body, for another 40 years. So I got to get something out of it. Next on the list, the slingshot ride, which is like reversed bungie jumping. I’d love to go sky diving too, and ride Kilimanjaro, if that’s possible. Kilimanjaro is the world’s steepest waterslide. I think it’s somewhere in Brazil. The slide goes down an entire mountain. Bungie jumping would be cool too, even when my vision completely dies. In fact, that might make it scarier. Falling headfirst, in the dark, with no way of seeing where, or how high I’m falling. A ride like that would call for four scoops of boozed up ice cream.     

entry 1

O-to-the-M-to-the-G! 

I’m starting off this fresh new way of blogging, on a positive note. For my 40th birthday… I SCORED A PUBLISHING OPPORTUNITY!! Best birthday present EVER!! HECCTROSSIPY 1: The Legend of the Land will be released next year, and it will be available in paperback and e-book, and it won’t just be available at Amazon. The Writing Collective, which is the publisher who accepted my first book, will also be distributing HECCTROSSIPY 1 to Ingram Bookstores, Barns & Noble, Apple Books, Nook, and and Cobo. (Being that I’m getting these names off an acceptance email, read by my VoiceOver, I most likely flubbed up the spelling.) 

What a happy ending to this year, and an exciting start to the next one. However, I’m not expecting any fairy tales to come true yet. The pressure is on. Jo, my editor, (St. Joseph), has practically held my hand, and spoon fed me, through this whole writing aspiration journey. Now my Catholic-like guilt complex is nagging me about putting in more of my share of the effort. All I’ve been doing mostly, was work on my books. Jo edits them, re-edits them, and does all the formatting. He had also done the research, looking for publishing companies that are looking for books like mine. He even helped me fill out submission forms, because they’re not always accessibility-user friendly. He and his friend, Ross Jeffrey, founded The Writing Collective. Sure, it’s a fledgling publishing company now, but it’s a struggling author’s jackpot, to me. Not only are they going to distribute my debut novel to multiple book stores, they’re also offering to do the marketing and promoting, and they’ll help me with designing the book’s cover. I’ll also get 70% or more, of the money from book sales. Wow! Seriously, are these guys for real?! 

Right when I decided to give HECCTROSSIPY 1 a full revision makeover, Jo and Ross put it fourth in line, to be published by The Writing Collective. So I got to get a move on, with getting the first book ready. It’s going to be a loooooooong time spent, sitting in my old, wooden granny rocker, at my plastic fold-out table work desk. I’ll just have to risk getting mushroom ankles and secretary butt. Good-by to  Bold and the Beautiful, experimenting with recipes, and wasting time, leisurely putzing around on my phone. It’s going to be a full work day, every day. Getting book 1 ready isn’t good enough. I have to participate, more than my usual few times a year, on social media. Ugh! I know I probably bitched about FaceBook and Twitter before, on this blog, but yeesh, so boring. FaceBook should change their name to Pizza, the way everybody smothers the newsfeed, with their cheesy, smiling-together pictures. And Twitter… I have to swipe through hundreds of tweeted photos and videos, and tweets that are nothing but links, hash tags, symbols, and emojis, before I find one of those rare tweets that consist of comprehensible words. I know I sound like a grumpy old lady, but when VoiceOver reads peoples tweets, it reads every single symbol, hash tag, and emoji, and it gets kind of irritating to listen to. Oh well, tough shit, for me. In order for an author to have any chances of reaching out to readers, you absolutely must put yourself out there, among the digital universe. Maybe I’ll role-play other characters who love Facebook and Twitter, when I get on them. I’ll become Chee Chee, the cocktail waitress, when I go on Facebook. And Angel Mcmaster, the middle school nurse, who loves gerbils, walks on the beach, and chibbotta bread, when I go on Twitter. Then maybe these social media-loving alter egos will break me into loving it too. 

Then there’s this blog. Oh, my lord. I’m a slow learner in the blogging world. Still learning from my mistakes. This started off as a blog, where each post was a chapter to an on-going, long-ass story. Then I changed it to a dream journal. Then a story blog, again. Then it became a blog that would feature short fiction stories, and fun, crazy, and comical stories about things that happened throughout my life. I realized that my stories were too long to be blog posts, especially my fictional short stories. The last short story I posted, Prejudice Patsy Receives Her Judgement, was waaay too long. If it took my VoiceOver about 25 minutes to read it, then it would probably take WordPress readers that long, and who the hell has time for that. 

As a follower of many blogs, my favorite ones to read are personal blogs. When opening up my Inbox, I sometimes skip over blog posts of things like book reviews, poetry, and fictional short stories, and just read the blogs about their authors’ real life details. So that got me thinking, hey, just write the type of posts I love reading. 

Thank you, personal bloggers, for posting updates about what’s been going on in your everyday lives, without so many mind-numbing hash tags, and same-old-same-old type of pictures. Expressing your feelings, insights, and experiences in writing, never gets boring to me. The way some personal bloggers write it, makes me feel as though I’m living through it too, which is kind of trippy, sometimes. So I hope that changing this blog to a strictly personal one, would get readers to enjoy it the same. 

It’s time to sign off now. Time to get to work on perfecting book 1! 

Prejudice Patsy Receives Her Judgement

Patsy, a woman now in her mid seventies, lived her whole life in the quaint, rural town of Chapman, North Carolina. She was a proud mother of two sons, eight grand children, and one great grand-baby who was adopted from Russia. Like a lot of folks in Chapman used to do, Patsy had married her high school sweetheart. Then life was dreamy, from then on—well, up to a certain point. 

Patsy was blissfully happy, taking part in the traditional role as a wife, mother, homemaker, and a devoted member of her Baptist church. When her sons grew up, and moved out, she worked as a substitute teacher. Meanwhile, her husband worked as an auto mechanic for forty-five years until he was hit by an SUV, during his routine early morning stroll to Howdy Jimbo’s Coffee & StickyBuns. Despite the untimely tragedy, Patsy was blessed with living comfortably on her departed husband’s life insurance, a generous pension from his place of work, and from winning a lawsuit against Howdy Jimbo’s. After all, it was the sidewalk in front of that coffee shop, where the SUV swerved off the road, and flattened her husband. 

Widowed, and living alone, she got a job, working at a rinky-dink, Chapman version of a CVS Pharmacy. While at work, she loved to chit-chat with like-minded co workers and customers, who had also lived in Chapman all their lives. The pharmacy wasn’t bustling with business, during most of Patsy’s shift. So she had plenty of idol time to reminisce with the other Chapmanites, about what a wonderful town they once had. 

Chapman was the ideal place to raise a family. The town’s neighborhoods were clean and safe. Schools were small, and never too crowded, and the grocery store, post office, and doctor’s office were no more than a mile away. The town was lively with only the most wholesome of activities, such as church socials, the community garden club, and Chapman’s famous cornhole tournaments. 

So what went wrong with this once-ideal small town? 

Nothing really. Chapman is pretty much the same as it was, some decades ago. Still quaint, with safe neighborhoods, and everything close by. The locals still held church socials and cornhole tournaments, and the community garden club was still going strong. The problem was that Patsy just hated change. The change in society, in general. 

She longed for the old times, when people knew their place in society. White people, foreigners, and people of color stuck to living in their own separate neighborhoods. A time when families attended church every Sunday. Children were more well-behaved, and respected their elders without question. And girls and women knew how to act like proper ladies. Patsy missed how music on the radio used to never have any profanity, and TV shows did not encourage and normalize amoral behavior. 

Now it seemed, to Patsy, that her beloved home town had join the modern times bandwagon, and it infuriated her to no end. She frequently called her sons, and her friends from church, to rant about the latest offensive horror she had come across.         

Her neighbor across the street used to be a sweet old lady, named Minnie, who was a true Chapmanite. Then shortly after Minnie turned ninety-nine, she had to move into an assistant living facility, and her family sold her house. To Patsy’s annoyance, the people who bought the house were an Indian family. Patsy couldn’t believe they had the nerve to invite themselves to live in her neighborhood, and act as though they belonged there. One of the things she couldn’t stand about them, the most, was how they were constantly disturbing her peace and quiet. She would be minding her own business, watching the news, or cleaning the kitchen, and then all of a sudden, those Indian neighbors would start playing their Indian music. And they always had to play it when they were outside, washing their car, or pulling weeds in their front yard. Their music wasn’t really that loud, but it was loud enough to make Patsy grind her teeth. It wouldn’t have annoyed her so much, if they would just play nice, normal music. Of course, Patsy could’ve simply turned up the volume, on her TV, or close her front windows, but that’s not the way she wanted things to be. This was her neighborhood, and she felt that she shouldn’t have to be the one to make compromises. Instead, she would ruminate over how much she couldn’t stand her new neighbors, and stew in her begrudgement until her neighbors’ taste in music put her in a cranky mood for the rest of the day. 

Bob and Stacy, who lived two houses down from her, were a couple of neighbors that Patsy adored. They were good devout Christians, who stuck with a lot of the old principles and values. Stacy was quite a lot younger than Patsy, around in her fifties, but the two ladies were good friends. They often exchanged pie and quiche recipes, and gossiped about people they knew from church. Then one day, Bob and Stacy broke some news to Patsy that made her wonder, whether or not, if she should continue associating with them. They had invited Patsy over for dinner, and wanted her to celebrate with them. Their oldest child, and only son was finally getting married. When Stacy proudly showed pictures of her son and his bride-to-be, Patsy thought she was going to have a heart attack. Bob and Stacy’s son was marrying a black woman. What was even more disturbing to Patsy, was how they acted like this was perfectly OK. In fact, they were all smiles about it. Stacy then wanted to talk about planning the wedding, and shopping for dresses, but Patsy was too upset to stick around. She pretended to feel on the verge of an intestinal flare up, and hurried home. She lost sleep over this, for three nights in a row, ruminating about how upsetting it was. The morning after the third night of little sleep, she had worked herself up into having an intestinal flare up, for real. 

Patsy nearly lost it, one evening, while in the check-out line, at Piggly-Wiggly. In front of her, was a family with three teenaged children, and one child who looked around ten. The children were all talking about a band they liked, and that this band was having a concert, in Raleigh. They asked their parents if they could go, and their parents agreed to take them. Patsy wouldn’t have thought there was anything wrong with this, if it was a band whose lead singer was not a lesbian. She wanted to scream at those parents, and wring their necks. For shame! It was bad enough that they allowed their children to listen to that obscene band’s music. Patsy couldn’t believe that they allowed such an amoral celebrity to be their children’s role model, and they were joining their children, supporting such a disgraceful woman! 

Then the next morning, when Patsy attended church, she couldn’t help gasping out loud, when she spotted the latest new-comers, sitting in the pue behind her. They were Arabs. A whole family of them. If Patsy was not in the presence of the lord, she would’ve wanted to say something rude to them. She couldn’t believe those Arabs had the audacity to show their faces at her beloved church. She couldn’t believe they had the audacity to even come into her country, after what they had done to the World Trade Center. 

Patsy wanted nothing more, than for the president, the government, and the good lord above, to put all this madness to a stop, and make things go back to the way they were. Back to the good old days, when there was more order, restriction, and a higher respect for God and country. She began a nightly regimen of reading her Bible for a half hour, and then praying for a half hour, before getting ready for bed. She prayed for God to fix this modern world, and its many people who had lost their way. She prayed about her ever-expanding list of concerns over everything and everyone she knew of, in Chapman, and from watching the news, and reading the paper. She spoke to God, with humble sincerity, but deep in her heart, what Patsy really wanted was for the world to change to her liking. This is how her prayers were answered. 

*** 

It was another 11:30 to 4:00 work day, at CVS, and business was slow, as usual. It was Wednesday, which was the day when Patsy was the only one working in the pharmacy. She was proud of herself for being able to handle Wednesday’s multiple jobs of giving customers their prescription meds, being the cashier, and just watching over the place. 

Songs from the 1960s and 70s played from a very outdated speaker system, on the ceiling. The sound quality was garbled, and it was a fixed repertoire of the same forty songs, that Patsy had heard hundreds of times before, but she tried not to complain. Tiresome as it was, it was better than having to listen to today’s music. Still it added to the boredom of Wednesday’s shift. She walked through all the aisles, and looked at things she had already looked at, hundreds of times before, because she had nothing better to do. By 12:15, her boredom was starting to make her cranky. 

“Oh sweet Jesus,” she huffed, as she wandered through an aisle that had skin care products, and classic candy. “Please make a customer come in. Any customer.” 

Seconds after her prayer ended, in came a customer. Instead of thanking Jesus, Patsy scowled. It was a dark skinned woman with curly, frizzy dark hair, who was talking a mile a minute, on her cel phone. Speaking, what sounded like Spanish. 

“Oh God. Not one of them,” Patsy said to herself, hiding behind a shelf full of facial scrubs and Pezz dispensers. “Bodda-bodda-bodda-bodda-bodda.” she mocked the woman, under her breath. 

The chatty woman practically flew around the pharmacy, like a crazed hornet. Both she, and the person she was on the phone with, were talking in their loud, fast language, at the same time. This quickly grated Patsy’s nerves, and her teeth began to grind. The chatty customer found Patsy, before the agitated old lady had any chance to find a new hiding place. 

The woman had to get to her second job soon. So she was in a hurry. She and the person she was on the phone with, needed Patsy’s help with picking out a birthday card. She told Patsy that it had to be an extra special birthday card. Her nine-year-old niece, who had been battling leukemia, was now in remission, for a second birthday in a row. 

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t understand you,” said Patsy, irritably. “Could you please speak English.” 

The woman repeated her request, and her miraculous story, word for word. She was speaking English, but her English was broken, and her accent was too thick for Patsy’s ears to comprehend. 

“English! I said, speak English!” Patsy snapped. “If you can’t speak English, then I can’t help you!” 

The woman sighed, and tried repeating herself again. This time, she talked slower, and the person at the other end of the phone went quiet. 

“English!” yelled Patsy, getting up in the woman’s face. “El speak-ee-o Eng-glish-ee-o!” 

“I am speak English!” the woman protested, but now it didn’t matter anymore. Patsy just wanted her out of her pharmacy. The woman started talking on her phone again, which Patsy didn’t want to hear any more of. “Bodda-bodda-bodda-bodda-bodda!” she mocked, yelling over the phone conversation. “Sorry, we don’t have any tacos and burritos here!” 

Exasperated, the Portuguese woman gave Patsy the finger, before storming out of the pharmacy. 

“What nerve!” Patsy exclaimed. “If she doesn’t like the way things are around here, then she needs to get out of my country!” 

Feeling fidgety from her outrage, she busied herself with rearranging a selection of breath mints and nicotine gum, all while grumbling to herself about that rude customer. She jumped, when the sound of another customer coming in, snapped her out of her ruminating. She sighed with relief, when she saw that it was an attractive, white teenager, with shiny blond hair, and bright blue eyes. The girl was also nicely dressed, which was something that Patsy thought young people were lacking, these days. Patsy welcomed this customer, with a broad smile. “Good afternoon,” she said, cheerfully. “Can I help you with anything?” 

The girl kept blinking her eyes, as she turned to look at Patsy. 

“Yeah,” said the girl, sniffling. “I’m like, big-time glitter-balling here. I need to upload my shiz-factor, before it’s time to hit the jungle box. Man, me and my friends are going to get dead-set HJK tonight.”   

Patsy looked at her blankly. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what—” 

“You got any stuff for making cake pops?” the girl interrupted, looking a little anxious. 

“I believe so,” said Patsy. “We do have a few kinds of cake decorating and baking gizmos. Just go four aisles down that way.” she pointed in the direction. “We don’t have that much, but we should have what you’re looking for.” 

“Cool, thanks.” said the girl. Then as she was walking away, Patsy caught sight of a little smirk on her face. 

Patsy headed for the manager’s office, in the back of the store, where there was a computer. She was going to look up this girl’s teen lingo, and figure out what she was talking about. “Dead-set HJK?” Patsy thought, turning on the computer. “Why do young people have to use so much darn slang? Young people never talked that way, back in the good old days. They talked in plain English. Back in the good old days, nobody felt that they had to be cool, or fresh, or fly. Or whatever the slang nonsense is now-a-days.” She paused for a few minutes, to decide which new fangled slang term she wanted to look up first, once the GoogleSearch bar popped into view. “Jungle box… glitter-balling… shiz-factor…” she thought. “Making cake pops?” Patsy laughed with triumphant mirth, when she figured out that “making cake pops” was slang too. It had to have meant nothing other than the latest code words for sex. No wonder why that girl was smirking. She didn’t think that an old lady could figure that one out. Well, Patsy was going to show her a thing or two. 

“Hello?…” she heard the girl call out, from the check-out counter. Patsy hurried over, anticipating to find a box of condoms, or a tube of KY among that little tramp’s order. 

She looked at the girl’s purchases, one by one, as she rang them up. The first item was a box of cold medicine. Then a large bottle of Extra Strength NiQuil. That made sense. The girl obviously had a cold, or a sinus infection. It looked like she had allergies too. The way she kept sniffling, and her nervously blinking eyes were looking a little watery. Then the rest of her order disappointed Patsy. A bag of hard candies, some house cleaning products, an assortment of different pain relievers, herbal supplements, and other cold medicines, and some lighter fluid. No condoms, or any other sex items a girl her age shouldn’t have. “Maybe she realized that she wasn’t so smart as she thought.” thought Patsy, with a smile. Then she looked the girl, square in the eye, and said, in her sweetest tone, “Have a nice time, making your… cake pops.” 

The girl backed away a few steps, looking nervous and guilty. Then she hurried out of the store. 

Patsy chuckled to herself, as she went back to the manager’s office, and turned the computer off. “Making cake pops,” she thought, laughing again. “She knew that I cracked her little code. Running away from me, like a scaredy-cat. It’s such a shame, how girls these days have lost their way. All their morals went out the window. Now they act like a bunch of two-bit hussies. Dressing inappropriately, using fowl language, having sex before they’re supposed to, and with multiple guys too. It’s enough to make me sick. Girls were never like that, back in the good old days. They dressed like nice young ladies, and they acted like they were supposed to. I hope that little harlet doesn’t come back in here again, when I’m not around, and talk her little sex lingo. For Pete’s sake, this is a pharmacy, not a brothel. I wish this place would just stop selling that sex stuff, all together. It’s not right.” 

Just as Patsy began moseying the store aisles again, another customer came in. She clasped her hands over her heart, and almost cheered out loud. This customer looked like her kind of guy. He was  a ruggedly handsome, mature aged white guy, dressed in nice casual-sharp clothes, and a MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hat. Patsy’s cheeks flushed a little bit, as she nervously fluffed up her permed hair. “How can I help you, sir?” she asked, sounding more flirty than she had intended to. Then once the man started talking, Patsy’s heart sank. 

She could tell, by his twangy, backwoods accent, and terrible grammar, that he was from Chaga Mahoya. This was a town, two towns to the north, and a much more rural place than Chapman. So he was nothing but a dumb hillbilly. He asked Patsy if the pharmacy had any ammonia-free men’s hair dye, that he could just comb over his gray streaks. Unfortunately, his backwoods accent was so thick that Patsy had a harder time understanding him, than the Portuguese woman, and the girl who spoke in slang. 

Patsy shrugged, huffing with annoyance. “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t understand what you’re trying to say.” she said, giving the man a disapproving look. 

He tried repeating himself, but that made his accent even more backwoodsy. Patsy huffed again, and stomped away. This was turning out to be the most aggravating day in her whole twelve years of working at CVS. Then her irritable mood flustered up even more, when she realized the man was following her, still babbling in his Chaga Mahoya gibberish. “I’m sorry, sir,” she said, in a snippy tone, glowering at him. “But we don’t have what you’re looking for. here. Good day.” she pointed in the direction of the door. 

The man tried to apologize, if she thought he was being too pushy, or too demanding. He reassured her that he meant no harm. He was just looking for the right hair dye for his gray streaks, but Patsy didn’t want to even bother with trying to understand him. She was fed up with customers who wouldn’t speak proper English. “I SAID… We… DON’T… have… what… you… are… looking for sir!” she said, angrily. “Now GOOD DAY!” she pointed to the door again, giving the man a slight nudge on the shoulder. 

He looked at her, like he thought she had lost her mind. Sighing, he said something that she thought sounded like, “Never mind.” before he left the pharmacy. 

“Oh, boy, what a buffoon!” she said, throwing her hands up in exasperation. “Duh-hurnee-nurnee-nurnee-nurnee-dur!” she yelled, in a moronic voice, imitating the customer she had liked, just a few minutes earlier. “Why can’t he just get a decent education.” 

she wandered into an aisle full of cheap plastic toys, and absently started fumbling through a bin of dusty old fidget spinners. “Oh, sweet Jesus, will you please have someone come in here, who can speak like a normal, decent human being. I can’t take it anymore!” She turned into another aisle, and accidentally kicked over a card board candy display, that still had last year’s generic Christmas candies in it. Patsy groaned loudly, with annoyance. “Help me, God, I’m going to lose my mind!” she yelled, bending over to pick up the scattered candy, and put the display back together. “Can this day get any worse?!” 

Right after Patsy said that, a song came on, that was her least favorite, among the music repertoire. She absolutely hated the song, on a day like this. As she continued putting candy back in the display, she sang along. Deliberately singing the silly lyrics about a cake being left out in the rain, with sarcastic gusto, and exaggerated note bending. This eased her tension a little until she turned around, and saw a very good-looking man standing nearby. She was so into her singing, that she hadn’t heard him come in. “Sweet Jesus. That young fellow is a hottie, as young people would say it, these days.” Patsy thought, now embarrassed. He seemed to not even notice that she had been singing like a banshee, when he walked in. “Hmmm, maybe he’s just being polite.”   

She watched him casually walk over to an aisle that had electric tooth brushes and shaving supplies. “Oh, lord, forgive me.” she thought, once she caught herself looking at his toned little toosh. She wandered far enough away from his range of sight, and fluffed up her hair, and adjusted her bra, before starting towards him. 

He wasn’t very tall, but he was lean and muscular, and had a face that reminded her of a cross between Johnny Dep and Don Johnson. Patsy smiled as she approached him. He was going to be the one who would brighten such an awful day. He would most definitely have no problem speaking in proper English too. “Praise Jesus.”  Patsy thought.

“Good afternoon, sir,” she said, in her most cheerful tone. “Can I help you find anything?” 

He didn’t respond. She figured that he must be wearing one of those new types of wireless headphones that people don’t see, at first glance. He was preoccupied with comparing prices among several brands of men’s electric razors. Not even bothering to turn around, to see who was behind him. “Excuse me… sir?” she tapped him on the shoulder, which got him to turn around. “Can I help you with finding anything?” 

He smiled back at her, and signed his answer. 

That did it. Patsy screamed at the top of her lungs, and didn’t stop until her surroundings blurred, and faded to black. 

The deaf man took out his I-Phone from his jeans pocket, and called 9-11. The old woman had collapsed to the floor, and was as still and unresponsive as a corpse. 

The poor guy was beside himself, as he waited for the paramedics. He had only signed to her, out of habit. He usually came in, during Amanda and Millie’s shift. The two women were knowledgeable about the deaf community, and knew sign language. He could see it frozen on the old woman’s face, that she must’ve been going through a tough time, and the fact that she didn’t understand sign language made her reach her wits end. He wished he would’ve thought to communicate with her, through text messages, but it was too late. 

*** 

Prejudice Patsy didn’t die. She just had a stroke. To her great misfortune, the stroke gave her a little known, rare condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome. Causing her to have an irreversible, thick Transylvanian accent. She also suffered with uncontrollable outbursts of laughter, that sounded more like sinister cackling. 

People didn’t understand that she talked this way, because of a medical condition. She tried to explain herself to pharmacy customers, and people in church, whenever they gave her funny looks, but she couldn’t explain. Patsy herself didn’t understand her condition. People assumed that she was just acting weird, for attention. Or she was losing her mind, because she was old. Her condition made customers and co workers at CVS uncomfortable. The manager and assistant manager had received enough complaints to make them feel they had no better choice, but to fire Patsy. 

Bob and Stacy were uncomfortable with her too. They were polite and neighborly to her face, but it wasn’t long until she noticed that they were having potluck get-togethers and barbecues, forgetting to invite her. But they invited just about everybody else in town, even the Indian neighbors across the street. Patsy became so desperately lonely, that she put her prejudice aside, and tried making friends with them. The Indian neighbors were nice to her, but they spoke to her as though she was a child. They too believed that she had cracked up, and they didn’t take anything she said, seriously. 

Sunday mornings also became lonely and depressing. Patsy no longer fit in, at her church. A church that she had been devotedly attending, for over forty years. And after all that she had done for them. All her volunteer work, putting their special events together, and substituting for the Sunday school teacher, whenever she needed it. The people there were still very nice and polite to her, but they ignored her, most of the time, like she never existed. This hurt Patsy even worse. If they were rude toward her, because of her condition, at least she would feel that her presence was being acknowledged. 

One Sunday, after another lonely morning in church, Patsy decided to take a nice walk in the local park. She sauntered beside the playground, hoping to cheer up. Watching children play and act silly, always made her smile. A group of the most adorable looking kids entered the playground, and immediately broke into a game of mob soccer. There were six or seven of them. Little boys and girls who looked no older than five. They were all still wearing their Sunday best. One little girl in particular, caught Patsy’s eye. She had on the cutest pink dress, and a matching, big pink bow above her wildly swinging ponytail. 

One of the little boys accidentally kicked the ball too hard, and it zoomed across the playground, right towards Patsy. She caught it, as the kids hurried up to her. They all smiled, and thanked her graciously, when she handed them the ball. 

“You’re very velcome,” she said,, in her Transylvanian accented voice. She bent toward the little girl in the cute pink dress, and patted her on the head. “You’re a very pretty leetle von.” she said, before bursting into sinister laughter. 

“She’s a vampire!” one of the little boys shouted. Then they all ran away, screaming. 

Tears began to trickle down Patsy’s face, as she turned away from the playground, and began walking through another area of the park. She came to a scenic nature trail, and started down its winding path. She hoped that the beautiful trees and flowers would stave off her sadness. Then the further she walked down the trail, the happier she felt. Smiling up at the green tree tops, and sunny blue sky, she thanked God for lifting her spirits, with the beauty of nature. Patsy felt happy enough to begin singing one of her all-time favorite hyghmns, not realizing how dark she made the song sound, singing it in her changed voice. 

Her moment of spiritual rejoicing was suddenly disrupted by the sound of someone snickering. Patsy glanced around until she spotted a group of teenage boys, sitting at a wooden picnic table that was partially hidden among the trees. Only one of them seemed to have noticed her. The rest of them were busy scrolling through photos, on a tablet. She decided to ignore them, and continued singing. Another evil cackle burst from her mouth, at the end of a verse. 

The same boy snickered again. “Dude, check out that crazy old bat out of Hell.” she heard him say to the others. Then she felt more eyes on her. When she glanced back at them, sure enough, they were all gawking at her. She stopped singing, and stared them down. “That’s not very nice to gawk, leetle boys. You know zat God eez vatching your every single mooove. And you know vut happens to leetle boys who don’t behave like zay shoooood.” she reprimanded them, her tone of voice making it sound more like a possible death threat. The boys sat perfectly still, and were silent. Satisfied with herself, Patsy went back to her walking and singing. 

Although she had her back turned toward them, she wasn’t far enough away to not hear them burst into laughter. She wasn’t far enough away to not hear their cruel comments, and insensitive wisecracks. 

“We need to call Planter’s, cuz there’s a nut on the lose.” 

“She sounds like she thinks she’s Dracula, or that villain chick from what’s-that-old-cartoon. You know, the one with that retarded moose.” 

“Should we send out a Silver-Alert, or something?” 

“Maybe a freak alert. I passed that lady, a while ago. I saw her lurking around the playground, and ogling at little kids.” 

“Ew, creepy.” 

“Maybe the old farts’ home kicked her crazy, pedo-ass out.” 

Patsy unintentionally laughed again, but deep down, she was ready to cry. Her uplifted mood was ruined, and so was her nice visit to the park. She finished walking the nature trail, but without bothering to look at its beauty. Then she headed strait for her car. It was time to go home. She sat in her car, but couldn’t start driving. She needed to have a good cry first. “Sweet Jesus,” Patsy thought, through her sputtering sobs, and heavily pouring tears. “Why do people have to be so judgemental?” 

The Hiatus Is Over! Wooohooo! Back To Tickling Your Reading Fancy! 

Hello blog people! 

My blogging hiatus is over, at last! YAAAAAAAY! I finished revising the third book in my HECCTROSSIPY series. Sheesh, it only took, like, almost half a year—and I’m unemployed too! Having no man, no kids, no pets, and no job actually slowed down the revising process, because it gave me ample time to be obsessively absorbed in book 3. I added four extra chapters, but then erased a chapter. Because of these added chapters, I had to add more to the book’s Appendix, further explaining things like, deception flowers, zannaspector, how grungols make self-expanding life rafts out of algae, and many other enlightening, made up facts about planet Velva Leena. Then I had to go back, and erase a bunch of stuff from the Appendix too. For example, there is some mild, non explicit sexual content in this third book. So I thought I should explain, in the Appendix, how vervetts and grungols go through puberty, and how they mate. Then the more I explained, the more the content was sounding too adult for a YA novel. So out it went. Maybe I’ll write about a more graphic side of life on Velva Leena, in future blog posts. So the story part was finished, the Appendix was finished, and what do I do? I ended up re-re-revising the wwwhhhooollleee dam thing, aaalll over again, from beginning to the last fic-fact in the Appendix. What am I? SOME KIND OF MANIAC?!! 

Oh, yeah, and I changed the ending too. The original, holy-shit-twist ending was good, but my readers, (A big shout out to all two of you!), pointed out a couple of things that just didn’t quite fit. As I wrote the brand new holy-shit-twist ending, I got my own heart pounding. This new ending is kick-ass! I swear. Come on, I can’t be that delusional. 

Last week, I sent the re-re-re-revised third book to Jo, my editor. I also texted him that I want to make changes to the first two books. It’s not that I’m crazy picky. I’m just not the writer I used to be, when Jo and I first started working together. The first two books and the second two books sound like they were written by two different authors, and I thought the story, as a whole, would just sound weird if I left it that way. 

When I first started writing the series, back in 2017, it was intended to be for children. Then it evolved into being more on the middle grade/early high school side. Still, I kept my cutesy, more child-like narrative. Then along came books 3 and 4. Gritty, edgy, and dark. Clean enough to be read by kids under 18, but maybe not something parents of a 12-year-old would want their child to read. However, Jo advised me to not change books 1 and 2. Ugh! Storgy Kids, one of the publishing companies he works for, has not even read HECCTROSSIPY 1: THE LEGEND OF THE LAND yet. Enough time has passed since I submitted my manuscript to them, to make me think it was a “no”. He told me to wait until they read it first. Then maybe they could give me some good pointers. Psht, whatever, dude, I’ma change’n it. Books 1 and 2 are about my protagonist, Artheena, her adopted sister, Mell May, and their best friend, Audry. Jo, and good old Christa enjoyed those books, for the most part. Books 3 and 4 are about my main villain, Leeandro Paul. Jo and Christa devoured those books. I mean, they practically sword-swallowed them. Jo once told me that he had a feeling that the Leeandro Paul books were going to make a hit. But I don’t want it that way. I want Artheena, Mell May, and Audry to measure up to Leeandro Paul, and have ALL four of the books be a big hit—and the ones that come after, of course. I think there might be like, eight of them, all together… Hello?… Are you still awake… OK, I’ll stop boring the pants off of you, with my writer rambling. How about I explain the new tag line. Like it? Or does it not make sense to you? 

There is an atrocity going on, in my country, the United States. Thousands of people who are escaping from a life of third world poverty, and being subjected to gang violence, seek refuge in the U S, only to be forced into another Hell on Earth. U S Border Patrol and ICE are deliberately separating children from their parents, and then making it impossible for these families to reunite. Decent human beings, who just want a better life for themselves and their families, are locked away in detention centers, and being treated far worse than America’s own prisoners. They are forced to live cramped together in jail cells. Even helpless, innocent babies are locked in cages, and left hungry, and lying in their own urine and fiches. These people are provided with one toilet, for hundreds to share. They are barely given any food or hygiene supplies. Children and women are being sexually abused by these facilities’ staff. This horror story is real. If you haven’t heard of it yet, I urge you, please, to look it up on any news site you can. Spread the awareness. This crises used to be talked about on the news, regularly, and the people in America, who have hearts and souls, were protesting. Now I don’t hear anything more about it. Did Americans give up on standing up for these victims? Or hopefully, I’m not hearing about it, because I’m not watching the right channels. I wish I could do something about it, but I’m not sure what. For now, the only thing I could come up with, is to remind people, through my blog, that this nightmare is still happening.  

Why is this happening? Because there are over-rated stuffed suits, that disparage the meaning of the word, “politician”, who orchestrated this Hitleresc method of keeping certain ethnicities of immigrants out of the country. Underneath their wealth, their power, their connections, and their sophisticatedly spoken bullshit, they’re nothing more than immature, delinquent bullies. The problem with humanity, is that there’s too many people who see the world as though it was a giant, spinning school cafeteria. If immigrants look a certain way, talk a certain way, and believe in some other invisible deity character, then they’re not welcomed to sit at the Americans’ lunch table. 

I understand why people have their gripes about immigrants getting America’s jobs and medical assistance, and government assistance and what-not, but that doesn’t justify crowding them into unspeakable living conditions, ripping families apart, and putting babies in cages. NOTHING justifies that. 

The blogging world is a global world, and I intend to follow blogs, gain more blog followers, and make some blogger friends from all over the world.   As an American, I don’t want my country’s nazi behavior toward immigrants to reflect on me. I don’t believe in this bullshit. There is a lot of things that I absolutely love about my country. And I’d much rather live here, than some of the places I’ve learned about, on the Travel Channel. However, for as long as border patrol and ICE keep going about their dirty work, I’m not going to be feeling all that proud to be an American. 

People are people. We have our differences in language, culture, color, yahda yahda yahda. But we share the same Earth, the same sun, moon, and constellations, and millions of us share the same cyberspace. I believe that tolerance is bliss. Come on, Earthlings, get out of the stank, stuffy school cafeteria, and out into the open. 

No, I didn’t quit blogging again!

 I haven’t posted in, like, a month, which looks bad. One of the main secrets for getting a blog to become successful is, CONSISTENCY! I know. Oopsy, my bad. Despite my embarrassingly low ratings, I’m sure as hell not quitting this blog for a third time. I’ve just been caught up in chasing an obsession, Justin Beeber, (smitten sigh) Nah! Just kidding! I’m obsessed with working on my book series. I’ve been at it for two years. The series has four books now, but book 1 hasn’t even found a home yet. My author/editor/Storgy on-line magazine executive friend, Jo, had given my book 1 manuscript to Storgy Publishing, but they were swamped with manuscripts, at the time he sent it. So no answer from them yet. 

I got even more obsessed, after Jo edited books 3 and 4, and Christa beta read them. Both actually got addicted to those installments. I can brag about this, because neither of them are the type of people that would say things I want to hear, just to be nice. In fact, I pay Jo to be critical. Jo says that I’m the “Queen of Twists”. Both my friend AND my sister were so into the books, they skipped reading book 3’s Appendix, because they were so eager to find out what happened next, in book 4. They gobbled those books up! I mean, like, inhaled them like lit crack! No, I’m not going to get all Trumpotistical about it. It’s just that, after a lifetime of being an inspiration to others, for the dumbest simplest reasons. And a lifetime of never failing to amaze people, when they see how I can perform mindless tasks. I’m thrilled to realize that I can create a complex storyline with plot twists that fool smart and sophisticated people. Like Christa and Jo. 

Writing this series is my fixation,  my passion,  my marriage, my children, and my codependent addiction, all rolled up in one. It puts more life energy into my deadbeat prison-body, than my own soul. I don’t go out, or have a social life. I don’t get exercise, and I’d rather eat what’s quick, than eat what’s right. My hair is unkempt, and my feet look like pterodactyl claws. And my clothes would probably give thrift store shoppers nightmares. I don’t give a rat’s shmeckle. As long as I could get my daily fix of working on the HECCTROSSIPY series, life is a peach fest. 

Jo had finished editing book 3, and sent it back to me, to make revisions. So the poor blog got neglected. I had re-written a chapter, in book 3, and then wrote three added chapters. Hot damn! Writing novels and novellas, re-writing novels and novellas, and then revising them, and perfecting them takes FOR-EV-ER, phew. I don’t think I’m even halfway through with revising book 3. So the hiatus of this lovely blog might continue for another few weeks, but I’m NOT quitting. 

The HECCTROSSIPY series takes place on a pre-industrial planet called Velva Leena, and the story is centered around an ancient mythical monster. The storyline, as a whole, is complex, because it involves more than one plot, and a large number of characters. There’s Artheena and her family, from Village 3, Audry and her family, from Under-Village 3, Leeandro Paul and his family, from Village 16, Mell May’s biological parents, Mell May’s first set of adopted parents, and many other secondary characters, and walk-on characters. As the roller coaster plot twists on, all the main characters are interconnected, in some way. I had already posted the first blurb, a few months ago. But I wanted to post it again, to see how it would fit with the blurbs to the other three books. Even though the other blurbs are just mere blurb ideas… 

  

  

HECCTROSSIPY 1: The Legend of the Land 

In this first adventure, you’ll get to know your way around a tropical land called Continent 15, on a preindustrial planet called Velva Leena. This planet is ruled by two species of people. The grungols, who live underground, and the vervetts, who live above ground, and a hierarchy race of vervetts called Guardians. 

You’ll meet Artheena, a young vervett girl who has multifaceted psychic abilities. Willberry, her cute kid brother, who has an unsettling fascination with the dark side. Their adopted sister, Mell May, and their grungol friend, Audry, who is suspiciously too wealthy for her age. You’ll also get introduced to the hecctrossipy. 

Eight thousand years ago, Jyoseppy, the entity in charge of the negative side of Velva Leena’s creation, created a monster called the hecctrossipy. This monster helped double the evil entity’s strength, which it intended to use to drive out Jumellica, the entity in charge of the positive side of creation. Then take Velva Leena for itself. Having double the evil power was no match for Jumellica, and its countless supporters who fought back, with the power of good. So the hecctrossipy was destroyed. In some versions of the legendary tale, the monster threatens to resurrect someday. However, nobody in their right mind would take this threat seriously. 

The hecctrossipy is now considered just a myth, and a popular villain in children’s bedtime stories. Even so, Continent 15 has a yearly festival that celebrates the hecctrossipy’s defeat. Everyone is excited about going to this year’s Hecctrossipy Festival, especially Artheena and Mell May. They could hardly wait to see Leeandro Paul, the festival’s star performer. He is Continent 15’s most famous heart-throb, singer/songwriter/musician, and the man of both sisters’ dreams. He is also in search of a wife.

On the day of the Hecctrossipy Festival, everyone has the time of their lives. Then when Artheena and Mell May catch up with Audry, it’s obvious that something is wrong. Audry acts very odd, like she’s guilty of something. What happens next, is something that Artheena’s psychic abilities had failed to forewarn her about. Going to the Hecctrossipy Festival changed all their lives, in ways they never could’ve imagined. 

These next three blurbs are not the official ones. Just what I came up with, so far. 

HECCTROSSIPY 2: The Legend of the Land Lives Again 

The adventure continues, on the night of the Hecctrossipy Festival. A night that not only shocked Artheena and her family, but all of Continent 15. After that, everyone’s lives turn in the most unlikely directions. 

Little Willberry learns the hard way, that the dark side is not his friend. Mell May is found wandering the forest, in the middle of the night, with all of her memory erased. Audry betrays her life-long friend, in the most unspeakable way, and Leeandro Paul throws the biggest wedding celebration in the history of the land.   

Meanwhile, disturbing things are happening around them. Things which can’t be explained, and are beyond anyone’s control. 

Artheena has visions of catastrophic changes among the natural world, but these foresights don’t make sense. Children start disappearing without a trace, during Continent 15’s notorious summer storms. A mysterious new virus starts spreading among grungols ravaging their bodies, and taking a tole on their sanity. 

The negative side of creation is rising to power. The hecctrossipy might not be just a myth, after all. Jyoseppy has been secretly growing in strength, and ready to win the battle, this time around. 

HECCTROSSIPY 3: (not officially titled yet) 

This is not a continuation of this saga, but a different angle of the story. The story of Leeandro Paul. 

It wasn’t his multifaceted talent, and heart-stopping good looks that made him become the most famous person in Continent 15. He was an average villager, working an ordinary job, all while his music was going nowhere. That is, until he catches the eye of an alluring young Guardian named, Guardian Jennason. She helps boost his musical success, and the two of them eventually become secret lovers. They plan to get married, despite the strict social rule that forbids marriages between Guardians and villagers. Then Leeandro Paul has a change of heart, about marrying Guardian Jennason, when he takes an interest in Artheena and Mell May, from Village 3. However, there is no right way to break such news to his lover. 

She is his Authority, and according to other Guardians, she has a vicious mean streak. She had the power to make Leeandro Paul famous. So she could easily use that power to destroy him. 

Then Guardian Jennason becomes gravely ill. She has one last request to Leeandro Paul, that leaves him cornered. If he goes along with her request, he would be making the biggest mistake of his life. If he doesn’t, he would be making the biggest mistake of his life. 

HECCTROSSIPY 4: (not officially titled yet) 

Leeandro Paul’s incredible, totally twisted back story continues. The Guardian community morns the loss of Guardian Jennason, except for her brother, Guardian Jobeson. He and Leeandro Paul are the only ones who know that Guardian Jennason had withheld wicked secrets. secrets that could have detrimental effects on all of civilization, if anyone else found out. This leads to Guardian Jobeson and Leeandro Paul’s involvement in the biggest High Tower cover-up that history would never know about. This cover-up forms a bond between the villager and the Guardian, and they become best friends. However, unlike with Guardian Jennason, this socially unconventional friendship is not kept a secret. 

The High Tower cover-up catapults Leeandro Paul’s fame, beyond his grandiose dreams. In this angle of the story, you’ll know about how Leeandro Paul managed to achieve things that are impossible to other villagers. Like how he became the only villager to have his own personal hot air blimp. How he orchestrated a publicity stunt, when such acts are illegal on Continent 15. How he became welcomed into Guardian Society, and became like the Guardians’ Guardian. 

He is chosen, by Guardians, to be the ring leader of a top secret assignment. But is he as trustworthy as they believe him to be? Or could he become as corrupt as his former lover, Guardian Jennason, who still haunts him. 

The adventures of Artheena, Mell May, Willberry, Audry, and Leeandro Paul will continue in book 5, which also has no title yet.