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. 

Hey, everybody! How about a nice fresh batch of bad jokes!

Q: What’s the best way to kill a clown? 

A: Slit him in the juggler vein! 

Q: What flavor of dough could make a woman horny? 

A: Dill dough! 

 

Q: What do you get, when you plant marijuana at a coffee farm? 

A: Baked beans! 

Q: Why did the farmer roast a donkey, but then refused to carve it? 

A: Because he likes to eat ass whole! 

Q: Where do scarecrows go to have a good time? 

A: A cornival! 

Q: What is a virgin lady’s drink of choice? 

A: Wild cherry pop! 

Q: What do you call it, when a band plays their instruments with their feet? 

A: Toe jam! 

Q: Why did the good Christian decide to stop driving, and travel on foot? 

A: Because the streets had plenty of crosswalks! 

Q: What do you get, when a cargo plane full of butter crashes onto a psychiatric hospital? 

A: Butter-nut-squash! 

…I won’t quit my day job. I promise.  

 Embarrassing Blind Moments

Dear blog followers, 

I fully intend on posting more fiction stories, and a little less of these self indulgent true ones. But as for now, my brain just feels like being lazy. True stories are so much easier to write. All I have to do is remember stuff, and transcribe memories to text. I have cool fiction stories in my mental movie data base. The action and dialogs, and mind’s eye HD images are all there. It’s just going to take more zoning out into deep hand-wringing trances, and more sugar and caffein, and more meditating to Lacuna Coil, to help transform mental pictures to words. While I’m waiting for my brain to be a better collaborating partner, here is a few short tales about my embarrassing moments, due to having a visual impairment.  

First off, one of my embarrassments is Page’s spellcheck. As far as I know, it’s not all that accessibility-user friendly. I can correct misspelled words, and look through the list of correction options, but I can’t get my screen reader to read the spelling of the options. For example, if I flubbed up on typing the word: simpleton. It might give me the correct option, along with options: simple ten, simple ton, and simple tin, pronouncing each option too similarly. So sometimes I end up choosing a correctly spelled word that makes my writing sound more idiotic than, if I left the word misspelled. In one of my blog posts, I mentioned something about, running Aaron’s. And I think I described the blue of an angel’s gown, like a Celeste you’ll ocean. Woops! If there’s a way to get the VoiceOver to read the spelling of the spellcheck options, I hope someone out there in the blog-o-spheer could let me no. So I could stop actually sounding so clueless and low-tech.

*** 

Mom and I came out of our stalls, in a public restroom. When I found the sink, and went to go wash my hands, I was like, “Boy, is this sink really shallow.” 

“That’s a changing table.” said mom. 

Me and my boyfriend-at-the-time, Bill, were out on a date, at Red Lobster. Bill was totally blind. So it was up to me, to know where we were going. I had eyesight, but obviously not enough. 

We took a cab to the restaurant, which was no problem. Then when we got in, it was going to be about a twenty minute wait. I was given a paging device that would vibrate and flash a red light, when a table was ready for us. “You could have a seat, right over there.” said the host, not giving us any further direction on where “there” was. “We’ll come get you when your table is ready.” Then I was left on my own, to search for the waiting area. I spotted a fat man wearing an oversized Hawaiian T-shirt, and a matching cap that covered half his face. He was sitting on a bench by himself, so I figured he was waiting to be seated too. “Do we wait over here, to be seated?” I asked him. He didn’t answer. I didn’t know that I was talking to a giant stuffed lobster. Thankfully, I found the waiting area, a few steps away. It  was the only area in the restaurant that had chairs and couches, and no tables. The wait was shorter than twenty minutes, and our dinner date went on wonderfully, up until the end. 

The tab was paid, the food server was tipped, our bellies were overstuffed, so it was time to leave. Then I realized that I didn’t know where the door was. When we arrived at the restaurant, there was daylight outside, that illuminated all the windows, and the glass double doors. The dark wood paneled walls offered enough contrast that made it easy for me to  spot where the doors were. Now it was dark outside, and the windows and doors, and dark wood paneled walls all blended together. Still, I had Bill take my arm, and I chose a direction to walk him, trying to act like I knew exactly where I was going. 

I thought I knew where the door was, from our table, but I hadn’t been spending our dinner date paying attention to the layout of the place. My perv mind was too focussed on Bill. I was hot for the guy. He was a soft spoken, southern gentleman to people’s faces, but a frrrREEK behind closed bedroom doors. And his long espresso hair was the silkiest.            I wanted to lose my twenty-year-old virginity to him, but my cherry couldn’t get popped, unless I figured out how to get out of Red Lobster.  

The direction I chose was the wrong one, and we clumsily collided with a wall. So I thought we could just follow the walls until we found the door. Bonk, a lot of the walls had booths against them. So I walked around them, and made one wrong turn after another. Silly me stubbornly wanted to think that it was a better idea to go all around the restaurant, bumping from wall to wall, and table to table, like we were in a giant pinball machine. Rather than just simply asking someone for help. Getting desperate, I dragged Bill toward every space of dark wall I spotted, but there was no sign of any door. It seemed like the damn thing disappeared, and we were going to be forever trapped in Red Lobster. 

Finally, a kind food server asked us if we needed help. I let go of my pride, and accepted that I was lost and confused, and couldn’t see for shit. To my further embarrassment, the door was just a few paces behind me. I was dragging Bill in every direction, except for the right one. Sure enough, there was the fat stuffed lobster in a Hawaiian T-shirt, sitting on the same bench. And there was our freedom! 

As Bill and I stood outside, and waited for our cab, I think my dignity was in another cab, somewhere across town. Too embarrassed to have me cramping its style. 

It was a few months after the Red Lobster incident. By this time, Bill and I had broken up, and I had moved on to dating Billy. The one with the schizophrenia, who I mentioned in my Psychic Dreams post. 

During that time of life, I had an artificial lens implant in my more visually functioning eye, which was causing one problem after another. One of those problems was bouts of temporary colorblindness, which was really weird. It wasn’t like being in a black and white movie, but certain colors, like blue and green, would turn gray. Incandescent lights sometimes looked like harsh, white florescent ones. Then there were times when I would look at an object, and watch its color fade and come back, and fade and come back. Like the object had an enchantment put on it. 

One night, while I was at Billy’s house, we went next door, to visit his neighbor, Bob. Once we parked ourselves on Bob’s living room couch, out came the coolest looking dog. Her soft, thick fur was solid silver, like she came from a different planet. I was in awe. As the guys chit chatted about things that couldn’t hold my attention span, I stayed preoccupied with petting Bob’s space-dog, and baby-talking to her. Saying things like, “What a beautiful dooowog… What Galaxy are you fwom?”  

I figured that she must be some kind of new hi bred dog. Or maybe her silver coloring came from a genetic mutation. Like with cinnamon cockatiels, and white zebra finches. She looked like a dog that would be Uber expensive. I wondered how Bob, who lived in a trailer, and was on a tight budget, had managed to get such a unique breed of dog. 

Before Billy and I left, I said to Bob, “That is the most unique looking dog. I never seen anything like her. What breed is she?” 

And Bob said, “She’s a golden retriever.” 

I was attending classes at the Center for the Blind, in Ocala, but mainly for computer training. Waaaaay back in 2007, the digitized world was not at all warm and welcoming to accessibility users. If us blind folks wanted to learn our way around cyber space, and learn how to do everything on-line, like the rest of civilization, first we had to go through a government under-funded service called Division of Blind Services. From my experience, I would say that DBS wasn’t horrible. They did their best with what they could offer, but they were just a little on the stuck-in-the-1980s side. Once you got through an unreasonable amount of DBS paperwork, and waited an eternity or so, for your doctors to fill out more paperwork, and send it to DBS.  , then you were eligible for enrollment into an educational, or job finding program for the blind. Computer classes consisted of learning about a prehistoric screen reading program called JAWS for Windows. However, this center’s curriculum didn’t allow me to spend all my hours there, just taking computer classes. I had to choose other classes to fill the time. So I decided to take a refresher course on learning to be a better solo pedestrian. Since I’m never going to get a driver’s license. 

A sweet, fifty-something man who went by the name, Butch, was the mobility teacher. Everybody loved Butch, but he did some things that embarrassed the hell out of me. 

One of those things was, how he wanted to get us students all PUMPED UP about things like, learning to find our way from Publix to Wic&Stick. After we were dropped off in front of whichever public place, Butch had all us students get in a group around him. Then he would give us an over-enthusiastic pep talk, like we’re a football team. Then we had to make one of those team comrodary, hand stack thingies, and yell, “ GooooOOOO TEAM!” as we raised our stacked hands to the sky, like a bunch of dorks.  

During one mobility lesson, at a shopping plaza, Butch had no problem with opening random doors to stores and other businesses, and asking the people inside, “Where are we?” 

On another mobility expedition, we went to an office building. After us students spent most of our lesson climbing the building’s many flights of outside stairs, Butch lead us into the receptionists’ area of an A M radio station. I mean, we just went ahead and showed up unannounced, and took our seats in this little waiting area. The lady at the front desk was cool about this, but she was probably thinking, “What the hell” When she asked us, “How can I help you?” Butch told her that we just came in there to cool off in the air conditioning. He introduced himself, and his mobility class, and told her a little about the Center for the Blind. Then he and a couple other students started asking stupid annoying questions about the radio station. One of the students asked if the receptionist had any coffee for us, and another asked if we could go in the neighboring room, where we could clearly hear a radio show going on. It was no wonder that the receptionist spoke to us, like we were Elementary school children who were on a field trip. She politely declined giving us permission to barge in on the radio show, and gave each of us a tiny cup of water, and a computer keyboard dusting brush, before we thankfully left the building. 

The worst trip of them all, luckily was my last mobility class. The lesson for that day was to find our way to an ice cream shop called Scoops. When the lesson was over, we were going to celebrate completing our last mobility lesson, by treating ourselves to some ice cream. However, neither Butch, nor the person who drove us, told us students that this lesson came with an adventurous surprise. 

We were dropped off several streets away from Scoops, forced to take a rout that nobody in their right mind would take, blind or sighted. This route to Scoops had a shitload of construction projects in the making. There were cyclone fence barricades, piles of God-knows-what, that were covered with sheets of white plastic,  bright orange cones, and all kinds of loose building materials everywhere. I didn’t think we had any business walking through this area. We were the only people in there. We must’ve looked like a bunch of assholes. For what seemed like almost an hour, we trudged through the construction sights. Knocking over cones, stumbling over stray building material, banging into barricades, and trying not to trip over each other’s canes. Even though we were the only ones there, I felt embarrassed about how we were setting a good example of why people assume that a blind person is an accident lawsuit waiting to happen. I was so mad at Butch, for putting us through this. We were blind! Not fucking nuts! There were other ways to get to Scoops. Routes that were fit for traveling. If we wanted to independently go out for ice cream, we would’ve simply gone a different way.  

Halfway through our idiotic journey, the marshmallow tip of my cane got stuck in one of the cyclone fences. When I pulled it free, the tip popped completely off, and went rolly, rolly bounce, bounce into the frame working of a new building. Now the end of my cane was just a nubby spike that kept getting stuck in every little crack and crevice it touched, making me stumble like a drunk. All the more adding to the humiliation. 

When we made it to Scoops, at last, I planned to treat myself to a heavenly chocolate overdose, after going through this hell. Butch congratulated us, with gusto. Then he informed us that Scoops wasn’t going to be open for another fifteen minutes. I wanted to choke him. 

I don’t mean to sound uppety, and ashamed of my fellow members of the blind community. I’m just conscientious. I’d rather go on the computer, and look up information about which store is on what street, or in what plaza, and take notes on directions to get there, before I go there. Rather than wander around town, and figure it out, as I go along, and risk having to ask a stranger, “Where am I?”  I’d rather go to a place, like a mall, or an airport, with a sighted guide. Rather than go about, independently, and risk having to ask people for help, if I get lost. Guide dogs are great for a lot of blind people, but not for me. They can’t read signs. I just like to know exactly what I’m doing, and where I’m going, while out in public. Preferring to blend right in with the shuffle, without having to parade my disability around.  And yes, maybe I am a little too conscientious about what people think, which brings me to this next story. Oh, boy. I saved the worst for last. 

My old friend, Carrie, was opposite of me. She strutted her blindness, loud and proud. She didn’t care what people think. If she was going about in public, and needed help, she was never too proud too ask for it, like I am. Carrie had no shame in making a spectacle of herself until help came, if that’s what it took. 

It was June of 2002, only a few years after Carrie and I graduated from FSDB. She was among several people from school that I kept in touch with. That June, I had my parents drive me to Gainesville, to visit Carrie and her husband, Al. I stayed with them, for a week, at their humble apartment, which ended up being more crowded than I had expected. Natasha and Narissa, two girls that had also went to school at FSDB, were staying over for the week too. Al and Carrie’s neighbors, Marion and Corrie, were the type of neighbors that would drop on by, at any time. And my friend-at-the-time, Donald, often came to visit. Lucky for him, he missed out on the mall trip from Hell. I was having a nice time during this visit—until then.  

I had a bit more vision than I do today, but it wasn’t enough for in case someone needed a sighted guide. Carrie, Al, Corrie, Marion, Natasha, and Narissa were all totally blind, but I had faith that Al and Carrie, and their neighbors knew their way around the mall. Since they had been living in Gainesville for quite some time. The mall was only a couple of bus rides from their apartments. So I assumed they made frequent independent trips there. Then come to find out, I don’t think they even knew their way around the city bus system. The moment we were all off the first bus, and starting toward a cluster of busses at a bus stop, Carrie yelled at the top of her voice, like a panicking banshee, “WIIIIIIILL SOOOOOOMEBOOOOOODYYY PLEEEEEAAAAASE HEEEELLLPPP UUUSSS!” A kind Samaritan immediately came to our rescue, and lead us to the next bus we were supposed to get on. I was able to look past this, because at least it helped move our trip along. Then when we were in the mall, the whole seven of us were as lost and confused as earthworms in zero-gravity. We had no idea which direction to go first, and where was what. Then Al had to go to the bathroom. Canes-a-swinging, we held onto each other’s shoulders, or purses, and walked about the mall, in an insecure, huddled clump. Once we found a row of stores, Carrie had to go in each one of them, and scream, “WHAT STORE IS THIS?!” That was embarrassing enough. She also had to alert all shoppers and mall staff, that her husband has to take a piss, and that he won’t be able to hold it in much longer, because he has diabetes. One store after another had a bathroom, but it was for staff only. Carrie got all the more frustrated, and went stomping out of the stores, like a two-year-old. I was among the back of our people clump, but that didn’t make me feel hidden enough. If Al were to piss himself in the middle of the mall, I would’ve hauled ass to the nearest pay phone, and called for a cab to take me to the nearest high bridge. Luckily, a compassionate guy from Radio Shack allowed Al to relieve himself in their bathroom. 

After that, we drifted around, in our people clump, and managed to figure out where some of the stores we wanted to go to were. That part of the trip wasn’t so bad. After we shopped around, at a few places, we were ready to head to the food court, for lunch. The food court was easy to find, because it’s the most crowded place in every mall. 

We all got our lunch from Wendy’s, which was no problem. When we were finished, I was unpleasantly surprised to know that I was the only one in the group who wanted to know where the trash can was. The rest of them had no problem with leaving their fast food garbage lying around, for someone else to clean up. That was what they did all the time. Once again, I was embarrassed to be among this group.  My friends were nice people, but I wished they had a little more class than that. To my relief, I saw the blurred, vertical rectangle shape of a trash can, less than ten feet away. So I gathered up everybody’s garbage, and threw it away. I thought the worst was over. 

Nah! 

We figured out how to get into the food court, but we had no idea how to get out. We turned the wrong direction, and ended up in this extended part of the food court, that was just more tables and chairs. This area was bordered by  walls that were maybe about 4 feet high, and large indoor plants that were potted in brick pillars. The walls had railings above them. So we assumed that there was a stairway somewhere, that would lead us out. The clump of us stupidly wandered from wall to pillar plant to wall, and found no such stairway. The more persistently we searched, the more clumsy and idiotic we got. Bumping into every wall, plant, table, and chair. There was a set of stairs that lead out of the enclosed area, but like with my episode at Red Lobster, we were going in every direction, except for the right one. A security guard had to come to our rescue, and lead us to it. I was so humiliated, it was a struggle not to cry. 

Al, whose arm I was hanging onto, could tell that I was miserable. He asked if I was OK. And I whispered to him about what was wrong, and how badly I wanted to get out of there. He whispered back, that he would get us out of there. Raising his voice to the rest of the group, he fibbed, “Hey guys, we really should start heading home right now! I think it’s about to rain!” So then the security guard helped us to the main entrance, and outside to where the busses were pulling up. This worst, last story at least had a happy ending. Coincidentally, Al was right. It    really was about to rain. 

              

Easter Memories

1987 

A week or two before Easter, my grandparents got me this big inflated blue Easter bunny. He had a cute, drawn-on cartoonish face, and he held a carrot in one of his featureless, oblong nubs that were his arms and hands. I was thrilled with this surprise inflatable toy, because it was given to me, right before my bath time.. So I played with him, in the tub, even though there wasn’t much room in there to play. This bunny was almost as tall as me. 

I named him Blue Cloud, and I used to pretend that we were rock stars. We did concerts in the little windowless bathroom that me and my sisters shared. I’d turn off the light, close the door, and shine a flashlight all around the bathroom, as our stage lights. Blue cloud and I made the crowd go wild, as we sang our terribly botched up versions of Van Halen and Bon Jovi songs. 

I insisted that Blue Cloud was a boy, because he was blue, but Christa and Gina pointed out his drawn-on pink fluff of hair, and his feminine, long pink eye lashes. Whatever, this was the glam rock days. 

On Easter morning, I was surprised by another inflatable Easter bunny. It was the same size and shape as Blue Cloud, and it was holding a carrot in its nub too, but this one was Easter pink. I don’t remember what I named this one. Probably something generic sounding, like Pinky. I made Pinky the girl bunny, just because she was pink. However, Christa and Gina pointed out that the pink one should be the boy instead, because its drawn-on face was more guyish. She had no fluff of hair. Her black lashes were stubby, and she had more masculine looking, thick black eyebrows. I won this argument, of course, because they were my bunnies, and I was the spoiled rotten youngest kid in the family. PLLLL! 

My sisters and I had a walk-in doll house that we used to play in. This wasn’t one of those cutesy little playhouse type things. Dad had built a two-story shed, with one half of it being his tool shed, and the other half being our dollhouse. The downstairs floor was a full sized room, furnished with all the comforts of a pretend home. The upstairs was just a partial room that we climbed a short ladder to get to. For us kids whose parents were on a tight budget, this dollhouse was a luxury item. 

I used to play with a boy named, Mark, who lived only a couple of houses away. One day, we pretended that Blue Cloud was my husband, and Pinky was Mark’s wife, and us two couples moved into the dollhouse together. Once we married the bunnies, it was time to have babies with them. We both had older siblings, so we knew a little about where babies come from. We just didn’t realize what kinky little seven-year-olds we were.  

Mark and I took our spouses to the upstairs room of the dollhouse, for baby-making time. We kept our clothes on, of course, but we laid on the floor, and put the bunnies on top of us. Then we hugged and kissed them, and wiggled around underneath them, for a few minutes. 

“I’m done. She’s pregnant now,” said Mark. “Are you pregnant yet?” 

“Ok, now I’m pregnant too.” I said. 

After a full five minutes of gestation, Pinky gave birth to a Mr. PotatoHead, and I pushed out a Cabbage Patch doll from under my shirt. 

1995 

While in Home Ec, I was very impressed with this Easter decoration that some other student from a previous class had made. It was this large hollow egg, made of baskety material. And it had a hole on one side, where someone could fill the egg with candy, or potpourri, and whatnot. The basket was woven together, like mesh, so you could see what’s inside the egg.  

I thought this must’ve been extremely complicated to make, and probably took several weeks to finish. 

So I asked the teacher how such advanced craftsmanship was done. She told me that, all it takes to make one of those eggs, is simply glueing a bunch of yarn around a balloon. Then when the yarn dries, the balloon is popped, and instant basket egg. 

This inspired me to make a homemade Easter basket for my grandparents, who we all call Nannie and Poppy. The day before we went to their house, for Easter weekend, the basket making began. I got a balloon that was inflated to the max, a bunch of purple yarn, and some runny craft glue. I put the balloon in a factory-made basket, to hold it in place, while I glued the homemade basket over its top half. First, I poured way too much glue in a tiny disposable cup. Then dunked the first long strand of yarn in it. Coating it thoroughly, and dribbling glue all over the place. This gloppy strand was stuck around the middle of the balloon, as the basket’s brim, and my starting point. 

One sticky, dribbling strand after another, was carefully laid over the top of the balloon. It didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t as easy as the teacher made it sound. It was tedious. An hour into the project, my basket only looked like a mere frameworking of a basket. The yarn was as thin as dental floss. It looked like I was going to need the whole damn skein of it, to fill in the many bald spots. This was too much for my fifteen-year-old attention span. So I half-assed the rest of it. Just plopping the wet, sticky strands onto the balloon, not caring which way they laid. 

When the basket was dry, and the balloon was popped, and pealed off, I realized that I didn’t glue the brim as evenly around the middle of the balloon as I thought. And the thing was all flat and lopsided. 

When we arrived at Nannie and Poppy’s house, I proudly handed them a purple, discombobulated spider web pancake, topped with Easter candy. 

That same Easter, Poppy had a creativity disaster too. Poppy always enjoyed dying eggs with us kids, but he didn’t like just dying them solid colors. He used to have fun mixing the colors, and making the eggs two toned, and multi colored, and all artsy. It was cute. That year, he bought an egg dying kit, specifically made for making rainbow tie-die eggs. Supposedly, you were to heat up water and oil, over the stove, and put all the dies in the same pot. The oil was supposed to prevent all the dies from mixing together. I took a peak at the concoction, after it was made, and was amazed. The oil really did separate the colors. It looked like golden oily liquid with rainbows swirling around in it. 

I don’t know what went wrong. Did poppy misunderstand the instructions? Or was it just a crappy product that didn’t work? Once he got to dying the eggs, all the colors did run together, and covered the eggs with a blackish brown blotchy cow pattern. 

That was all right with me. I pigged out on them anyway, because it’s what’s inside the eggshell that COWnts. 

2003 

Usually, our Easter celebrations included me and my sisters, our parents, our Nannie and Poppy from mom’s side, and uncle Frank, aunt Joanie, and cousin Sean. That Easter, our family get-together was slightly larger, with the additions of Nannie and Poppy from dad’s side, Christa’s boyfriend at the time, Tommy, Gina’s first husband, Eric, and Eric’s mom, Terrie. Because there were more people, my parents and sisters wanted us all to get together for one huge, happy family Easter picture. 

I hate family picture time, with a FURIOUS passion. It’s the same old boring, cookie-cutter pictures, over and over and over and over again. Everybody stand close together, in a neat little row, like a bunch of stupid bowling pins. Then smile, and look nice. I know I sound like a teenager, but, BLECK! It’s so cheesy and phony and degrading. 

Unfortunately, there was no getting away from participating in this special family moment. We all went out into the back yard and assumed our bowling pin positions. Poppy from mom’s side was going to be the photographer. This was 2003. So quick and convenient, smart phone cameras didn’t exist yet. Poppy used this big honk’n boxy camera that was propped up on a stand. It had a timer on it, so you could set the camera up to take the picture, and be in the picture, at the same time. 

Poppy set up the camera, and hurried over to get into picture pose, with the rest of the family. But he couldn’t hurry fast enough, because of his gimpy knee. When the camera took a picture, poppy’s ass was blocking its view of the family. So he tried a second time. Again, he couldn’t move fast enough, and the camera gave his ass another close-up. Then it happened a third time. Everybody else was cracking up at poppy, but I was getting impatient. After a couple more old man butt shots, Poppy finally succeeded at getting into the picture in time. The thing I hate even more, about family picture time, is when the picture has to be re-taken. It seemed like we were going to be standing and forcing nice smiles, out in the back yard, for a damnation eternity. I was so annoyed that I regretted not practicing my mind-over-matter skills enough, to give me the ability to blow up the camera. Then I would’ve been the one cracking up. 

No, I take that back. 

That wouldn’t have been cool. Poppy would’ve had a gimpy knee and flaming ash-cheeks.  

2012 

I was staying at Gina and Carlos’s house, during the week before Easter. Gina was pregnant with Jaden, at the time. She was always into healthy eating, and doing things the natural way. Being pregnant for the first time, made her even more fearful of all the preservatives, nitrates, and artificial colors lurking within our everyday products. So for Easter, she and I were going to die eggs, using all natural ingredients. 

We looked up how to do it on-line, and it looked easy. You could die eggs with fruit juice and vinegar. All you have to do is hard boil the eggs, mix a certain amount of juice with one tablespoon of vinegar, put the eggs in the juice, and make sure they’re all completely submerged. Then let them soak in the juice for a couple of hours, in the fridge. 

To make egg die, using fruits, vegetables, herbs, or flowers, you put the natural ingredients in pots of water, with uncooked eggs. Then you boil it all together. The boiling bleeds out the colors of the natural ingredients, which will absorb into the eggshells. 

We tried the juice method, to make the red and pink die, using cranberry juice and cherry juice. Then we crowded the stove with pots of eggs, and their other natural dies. We used fresh spinach to make green eggs, turmeric to make yellow, paprika to make orange, and red cabbage with blueberries to make blue. 

It was a total disaster! 

First of all, the spinach sucked. It only gave the eggs the slightest, faintest, boogery green tint. The cabbage and blueberries had potential to work, but it seemed like the combination triggered the wrong chemical reaction. The eggs came out a nice earth toned, stoney slate blue, but all their shells had multiple cracks. A few of them were salvageable, but most of them formed cracks that oozed out egg white, while they were boiling. Then the whites had morphed into gross lumpy, purple, gelatinous tentacles. Making the blue eggs look like a gene splicing experiment gone wrong. 

The cranberry and cherry juices could’ve worked, but I believe I screwed it up. The recipe said one tablespoon of vinegar, per such-and-such cups of juice. The vinegar helps the color soak into the eggshell better, and I like Easter eggs to be extra, extra vibrant. So I used two tablespoons of vinegar. I guess this made the mixture way too acidic. It died the eggs, but it also gave them a chemical peal. The outer-most layer of eggshell flecked off like dead skin. 

The only natural dies that worked out were the turmeric and paprika. They made beautiful golden-yellow and yellow-orange eggs. The only gripe about this was, it was a pretty expensive way to die eggs, because you have to use the whole jar of spice. Gina likes to buy the good stuff. So we probably used, like $20 worth of spice, just to make two colors of egg die. 

The exfoliated eggs were salvageable, once Gina rinsed off all the flecks, in the kitchen sink. However, the whole experiment was a regretful waste of food and fruit juice. We had a couple dozen more eggs to go, but nothing to die them with. It was the evening before Easter. The stores were sold out of the evil artificial egg die, by now. 

So what were we to do? 

We drew beautiful, brilliantly colored designs all over the eggs, with lethally toxic comic book illustrating markers.         

Coming Soon…

 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.