Oct 29, 2009


The Sedoka is a Japanese form that predates the haiku by at least a century. It is actually formed of a pair of two shorter poems known as katauta. This is a style of Japanese poetry often over-looked in the wake of the haiku or tanka.

A katauta is a three-line poem that has a syllabic pattern of 5/7/7 and is seldom seen on its own. This makes the sedoka a six line poem of 38 syllables. The katauta can be written together, or with a break in between.

Sedoka can be mood poems that express a certain feeling on a topic, or they can be song like and about nature, similar to the tanka. They most often address the same subject from differing perspectives.

The only rule that is known is that each katauta should be able to stand on its own as a poem. When the two katauta are placed together as a stanza, they should be logical and tell a complete story.

You can have a two stanza sedoka poem, or a 8 page sedoka poem, so long as each stanza is two complete poems put together to make a whole

To give you a little perspective, I did one with a break and one without.

Can start with a single word
Said in haste, spilled in anger.

To gain forgiveness
Harsh words must be forgotten.
Forgiveness is forthcoming

Look around and see,.
Beauty is all around you,
It’s a universal truth.
When their eyes are closed,
Men cannot see the beauty
That solitary poets can.

Oct 28, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

To make up for missing last week I have two Hallowe'en stories for you.

True Australian Halloween Ghost Story

John Bradford, a Sydney University student, was on the side of the road hitch hiking on a very dark Halloween night and in the midst of a storm. The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a car slowly coming towards him and stopped. John, desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got in the car and closed the door, just to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on!

The car started moving slowly. John looked at the road and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before he hit the curve, a hand appeared through the window and turned the wheel. John, paralysed with terror, watched how the hand appeared every time they came to a curve. John saw the lights of a pub down the road so, gathering strength, jumped out of the car and ran to it.

Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and asked for two shots of tequila. He then started telling everybody about the horrible experience he went through. A silence enveloped everybody when they realized he was crying and... wasn't drunk.

About 15 minutes later, two guys walked into the same pub. They were also wet and out of breath.

Looking around and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other, "Look, Bruce. There's the idiot who got in the car while we were pushing it."

* * * * * * * * * *

And this one is an oldie, but a goodie:

A man is walking home alone late one foggy night when behind him he hears:

Bump . . .

BUMP . . .

BUMP . . .

Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.

BUMP . . .

BUMP . . .

BUMP . . .

Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him

FASTER . . .

FASTER . . .

BUMP . . .

BUMP . . .

BUMP . . .

He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him.

However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping!

clappity-BUMP . . .

clappity-BUMP . . .

clappity-BUMP . . .

The terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, the man locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door.

Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup!

Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket . . .


The coffin stops.


Oct 27, 2009


The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia; cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. Almost every nation has associated blood drinking with some kind of revenant or demon, or in some cases a deity.

The Persians were one of the first civilizations to have tales of blood-drinking demons: creatures attempting to drink blood from men were depicted on excavated pottery shards. Ancient Babylonia had tales of the mythical Lilitu, giving rise to Lilith and her daughters the Lilu from Hebrew demonology. Lilitu was considered a demon and was often depicted as subsisting on the blood of babies. However, the Jewish counterparts were said to feast on both men and women, as well as newborns.

Ancient Greek and Roman mythology described the Empusae, Lamia, and the striges. Over time the first two terms became general words to describe witches and demons respectively. Empusa was the daughter of the goddess Hecate and was described as a demonic, bronze-footed creature. She feasted on blood by transforming into a young woman and seduced men as they slept before drinking their blood.

Lamia preyed on young children in their beds at night, sucking their blood. Like Lamia, the striges, feasted on children, but also preyed on young men. They were described as having the bodies of crows or birds in general, and were later incorporated into Roman mythology as strix, a kind of nocturnal bird that fed on human flesh and blood.

The natives of Slavic countries believed that ways of becoming a Vampire include being conceived on a certain day, being buried incorrectly, being born with a caul, teeth, or tail, or an irregular death. Preventative measures included placing a crucifix in the coffin, or blocks under the chin to prevent the body from eating the shroud, nailing clothes to coffin walls for the same reason, placing millet or poppy seeds in the grave, or piercing the body with thorns or stakes.

Romanian vampires are called Strigoi based on the Roman term strix for screech owl which also came to mean demon or witch. There are two different types of strigoi. Strigoi vii are live witches who will become vampires after death. They can send out their soul at night to meet with other witches or with Strigoi mort who are dead vampires. The strigoi mort are the reanimated bodies which return to suck the blood of family, livestock, and neighbours.

One Gypsy vampire was called a mullo (one who is dead). This vampire was believed to return and do malicious things and/or suck the blood of a person, usually a relative who had caused their death, or not properly observed the burial ceremonies, or who kept the deceased's possessions instead of destroying them as was proper.

Female vampires could return, lead a normal life and even marry but would exhaust the husband. Anyone who had a hideous appearance, was missing a finger, or had animal appendages, etc. was believed to be a vampire.

India has many mythical vampire figures. The Bhuta is the soul of a man who died an untimely death. It wandered around animating dead bodies at night and attacked the living like a ghoul. In northern India could be found the brahmaparusha, a vampire-like creature with a head encircled by intestines and a skull from which it drank blood.

The most famous Indian vampire is Kali who had fangs, wore a garland of corpses or skulls and had four arms. Her temples were near the cremation grounds. She and the goddess Durga battled the demon Raktabija who could reproduce himself from each drop of blood spilled. Kali drank all his blood so none was spilled, thereby winning the battle and killing Raktabija.

Various regions of Africa have folkloric tales of beings with vampiric abilities: in West Africa the Ashanti people tell of the iron-toothed and tree-dwelling asanbosam, and the Ewe people of the adze, which can take the form of a firefly and hunts children. The eastern Cape region has the impundulu, which can take the form of a large taloned bird and can summon thunder and lightning, and the Betsileo people of Madagascar tell of the ramanga, an outlaw or living vampire who drinks the blood and eats the nail clippings of nobles.

The Loogaroo is an example of how a vampire belief can result from a combination of beliefs, here a mixture of French and African Vodu or voodoo. The term Loogaroo comes from the French loup-garou (meaning werewolf) and is common in the culture of Mauritius. However, the stories of the Loogaroo are widespread through the Caribbean Islands and Louisiana in the United States.

Similar female monsters are the Soucouyant of Trinidad, and the Tunda and Patasola of Colombian folklore, while the Mapuche of southern Chile have the bloodsucking snake known as the Peuchen. Aloe vera hung backwards behind or near a door was thought to ward off vampiric beings in South American superstition. Aztec mythology described tales of the Cihuateteo, skeletal-faced spirits of those who died in childbirth who stole children and entered into sexual liaisons with the living, driving them mad.

The Bhuta or Prét is the soul of a man who died an untimely death. It wanders around animating dead bodies at night, attacking the living much like a ghoul. In northern India, there is the BrahmarakShasa, a vampire-like creature with a head encircled by intestines and a skull from which it drank blood. The Nukekubi is a being whose head and neck detach from its body to fly about seeking human prey at night.

In the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia we have the mandurugo, which takes the form of an attractive girl by day, and develops wings and a long, hollow, thread-like tongue by night. The tongue is used to suck up blood from a sleeping victim. The manananggal is described as being an older, beautiful woman capable of severing its upper torso in order to fly into the night with huge bat-like wings and prey on unsuspecting, sleeping pregnant women in their homes. They use an elongated proboscis-like tongue to suck fetuses off these pregnant women. They also prefer to eat entrails (specifically the heart and the liver) and the phlegm of sick people.

The Malaysian Penanggalan may be either a beautiful old or young woman who obtained her beauty through the active use of black magic or other unnatural means, and is most commonly described in local folklores to be dark or demonic in nature. She is able to detach her fanged head which flies around in the night looking for blood, typically from pregnant women. Malaysians would hang jeruju (thistles) around the doors and windows of houses, hoping the Penanggalan would not enter for fear of catching its intestines on the thorns.

The Leyak is a similar being from Balinese folklore. A Kuntilanak or Matianak in Indonesia, or Pontianak or Langsuir in Malaysia, is a woman who died during childbirth and became undead, seeking revenge and terrorizing villages. She appeared as an attractive woman with long black hair that covered a hole in the back of her neck, which she sucked the blood of children with. Filling the hole with her hair would drive her off. Corpses had their mouths filled with glass beads, eggs under each armpit, and needles in their palms to prevent them from becoming langsuir.

Jiang Shi (literally "stiff corpse"), sometimes called "Chinese vampires" by Westerners, are reanimated corpses that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life essence (qì) from their victims. They are said to be created when a person's soul (pò) fails to leave the deceased's body. One unusual feature of this vampire is its greenish-white furry skin, perhaps derived from fungus or mould growing on corpses.

So if you meet a vampire this Hallowe’en, be sure to ask them what kind they are and let me know, before they bite you. :-)

Oct 26, 2009

Malingering Monday

I apologize for the tardiness of today’s post, but I’m still having computer/internet issues. I’m not sure if it’s a computer virus (which I can’t afford) or a problem with my ISP, but either way I’m not able to receive my ISP e-mail (nor can I access their site to get it) and everything else on the internet is pretty much hit or miss. *sigh*

But computer problems wasn’t the reason I got no writing done this weekend. My New Brunswick sister and her husband were supposed to stop for a quick visit on Friday (on their way from Toronto to Kingston) but came Saturday instead and stayed the night. Then Sunday I’d promised a friend I’d take her to Michael’s (a ginormous craft store) and she’s one of these people who like to browse. We had to drive Belleville for Michael’s and since it’s right across the street from the Quinte Mall, we stopped in there as well. Where she also browsed.

Oh well, I guess it could be worse. We could have planned to do this during NaNo. :-)


Last week’s goal were: finish poetry for posts in November; poemwork for Tuesday; Lai verse form for Thursday; journaling; writing prompts; extra chapters for Space Opera; assignments for school; and finish reading my current books.

Did not finish the poetry for the November posts, but the extra two were started. And in doing the research for the one poem, I came up for an idea for my trivia posts for the month of November. Got my poemwork finished in time for my poetry group, and once again inspiration didn’t actually strike until about a couple of hours before the group met. Got my Lai form up, although I admit it my example wasn’t exactly stellar. :-)

Journaling. Yeah. Didn’t happen.

Nor did the writing prompts, although in my defense, half the time I couldn’t access the two prompt sites.

Sigh. Only got half a chapter ahead in the Space Opera.

Got my assignments done for school and got 100% on both of them. And I got 95% on my exam. Go me! :-)

I also finished the two books I’d been reading and started a new one.

This Week’s Goals:

I shouldn’t have any problem finishing the poems for the November posts. This week’s Passion for Poetry form is . . . the Sedoka.

Depending on how my computer holds up, I might get the November posts done for Random Tuesdays . . . I’m going to give it a try at least.

While at the mall on Sunday, I found a new journal I fell in love with so I bought it as a treat. I couldn’t really be expected to go into an Indigo/Chapters and not buy anything, could I? Anyway, I’ve been thinking for a while about combining my writing journal with my regular journal to make it more personal and this is the perfect journal to start with. I was going to start it when I started NaNo, but I think I’ll start it this week instead.

I give up on the writing prompts for now - I’ve got too much regular writing to get done this week - but starting November first I’ll be using my Random Writings site for my NaNo progress.

And of course I need to work on my Space Opera. At this point I really don’t think I’m going to come up with four extra chapters before Sunday, but you never know . . .

So, that’s my week in a nutshell. How’s your week shaping up?

Oct 22, 2009

Lai Poetry Form

The Lai is a form of French origin. It is not to be confused with the Breton lay, a quite different form of which Chaucer's Franklin's Tale is an example; or the lay, a term sometimes used for a short historical ballad, such Sir Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel; or with the word lay used simply to mean a song.

Now that we’ve got that straightened out, the Lai is made up of one or more nine line stanzas. Each stanza is made of three triplets. The syllable count in each triplet of lines is 5, 5, 2, and each triplet rhymes aab. You can have any number of stanzas in your Lai, and the rhyme can vary between verses. To illustrate:


where each "x" is a syllable and "a" & "b" the rhyme scheme.

Before I give you my example, I’d just like to say there should be a rule (amongst all those other poetical rules) that states a form can have a strict syllable count or a strict rhyme, but not both. Just my humble opinion. :-)


We oft misconstrue
the things people do
for love.
Instead we imbue
a meaning or two
And then bid adieu
to one who was true
in love.

You thought to suggest
that I would be blessed,
I’m not.
You do not impress
and now you protest
your plot.
You said things in jest
that were perhaps best

But notwithstanding
A new day will bring
an ease from the sting
I ken.
And we’ll have by spring
forgot the whole thing
by then.

Oct 21, 2009

Wham Bam Wednesday

Sorry folks, no whimsey today.

I've been having internet issues at home so I'm typing this up on my brief break at school.

The only reason you got yesterday's post was that I scheduled it on Monday night - which is a good thing because Tuesday morning I tried to do some on-line banking and couldn't even get the site up.

Last night I couldn't even get this site up.

Now I have to run and get a coffee to take the taste of the melon chunks I bought at the grocery store out of my mouth. Unless canteloupe is supposed to tingle on the tongue?

Oct 20, 2009

More Random Halloween Facts

On All Hallows’ eve, the ancient Celts would place a skeleton on their window sill to represent the departed.

Originating in Europe, Halloween lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body, containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the "head" of the vegetable to frighten off the embodiment of superstitions.

Welsh, Irish and British myth are full of legends of the Brazen Head, which may be a folk memory of the widespread ancient Celtic practice of headhunting - the results of which were often nailed to a door lintel or brought to the fireside to speak their wisdom.

* * * * * * * * * *

The name Jack-O'-Lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk.

Jack made a deal with the Devil - he would let the Devil down the tree, if the Devil promised to never tempt him again. After Jack died, he was not permitted into Heaven because of his evil ways. He was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the Devil. The devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the freezing blackness.

As Jack walked his neverending journey as punishment for his trickery, he carried the burning coal inside a turnip to help him see along the roads everywhere he traveled. Soon he was known as "Jack of the lantern" or Jack O'Lantern.

In Ireland, turnips were used as their Jack's lanterns originally. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger - making them easier to carve than turnips.

Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark.

* * * * * * * * * *

'The Dumb Supper' was brought to America by the Africans. This is an eerie Hallowmas meal where nobody is allowed to speak, not even whisper. It encourages spirits to come to the table.

In Britain, people believed that the Devil was a nut-gatherer. At Halloween, nuts were used as magic charms.

If a girl puts a sprig of rosemary herb and a silver sixpence under her pillow on Halloween night, she will see her future husband in a dream.

Some believe if you catch a snail on Halloween night and lock it into a flat dish, then in the morning you will see the first letter of your sweetheart written in the snail's slime.

Many people used to believe that owls swooped down to eat the souls of the dying. If they heard an owl hooting, they would become frightened. A common remedy was thought to be turning your pockets inside out and you would be safe.

Oct 19, 2009

Procrastination, Thy Name is Author!

Friday night I decided it was time to check out the NaNo web site, and then I started thinking about my novel and how this year I’d like to have a cover for it. I have a vague idea what it’s going to be about and one thing started to lead to another . . . *sigh* Several hours later I finally had a finished product. If you want to take a peak you can look me up on the NaNo site - I’m Lady Cat over there - and while you’re at it, add me as a buddy. And if you do and you’re not already on my buddy list, let me know and I’ll add you back. You can never have too many buddies. :-)

I actually took the time to read the on-line version of the Toronto Star yesterday, and I’m glad I did because I found a really interesting article on writers and writing. It’s too long to steal borrow for my blog, but the link to it is HERE. Take a couple of minutes to read it, you won’t be sorry. I know I wasn’t. It’s nice to know I’m not alone out there with my procrastination.


Let’s see how I did on last week’s goals . . .

Pick one more poetry form for November and finish the poems for the posts. Give journaling another shot. Daily writing prompts. Finish chapter 10 and do the next two.

Although I do have all four poetry forms picked out and the posts written for November, I don’t have all the examples written yet. I wimped out of the Luc Bat for Passion For Poetry, and discovered that one of the forms I’ve chosen is even worse than it.

Journaling? Sigh. Let’s not talk about journaling. I just don’t seem to have the time for it right now. As a writing goal the only one it affects is me, which is why I’m not making it a priority.

Writing prompts . . . another sigh here. I did them once last week but to be honest they’re not high on my priority list right now either.

Did finish chapter 10 and the only reason it got posted late on Friday was because I was rushing to get an assignment done that was also due that day. I got chapter 11 done as well, and then fell off the wagon again.

Goals for this week:

Poetry: Finish the examples for November. Write the “poemwork” poem for my poetry group for Tuesday night. This month’s prompt was to write a poem with a few examples of synecdoche in it. No, I’ve never heard of it either. Apparently it’s a figure of speech in which the word for 'part' of something is used to mean the 'whole' of something. The poetry form for this week will be . . . the Lai verse form.

Journaling . . . I don’t know why I’m just not ready to give up completely on my journal. No promises but I’ll try to give it another shot.

Writing prompts . . . six minutes of my life every day. Is that really too much to ask? I’d like to get back to these just because they keep my mind limber. I’m going to aim for at least one of the two writing prompts every day.

Let’s see how many chapters I can write this week. Let’s face it, they’re short because space is limited when posting to a blog. In fact, there are less words in a chapter than in the daily word goals I’ll need to make for NaNo. All things considered, if I can’t churn out a couple of extra chapters this week then how can I expect to meet my NaNo goals?

Other stuff . . . I have two assignments due for Small Business Management, one of which is due today. I’ve got friend obligations on Tuesday afternoon, my poetry group Tuesday night, and family obligations on Friday afternoon. I’ve also got an exam on Friday. I’ve also got a couple of books I’d like to finish reading.

Looks like I’ve got a busy week ahead of me. How about you?

Oct 15, 2009


Yes, I know I promised a Luc Bat, but there's been a change in plans. There's two reasons for this. One, the Sijo was one of the forms I was going to use for November, but the examples I came up with were October themed so it makes more sense to use them in October. And two, I, uh, well, the thing is . . . I still haven't managed to come up with an example for the Luc Bat. Not only does it have a syllable count, it has a ryhme scheme as well, and though the one site I did some research on said it was easy, THEY LIED!

Now, without further ado, I give you this week's Passion For Poetry, the Sijo.


The Sijo is a Korean tercet, each line having 14-16 syllables in four groups of 2 to 7 (usually 3 or 4) syllables. There is usually a cæsura (natural pause) at the end of the second group and a major pause after the fourth group. Sijo poetry is like Haiku, in as far as it is a three line poem, but each of its lines average 14 to 16 syllables, for a grand total of 44 to 46 syllables.

This lyric pattern gained popularity in royal courts as a vehicle for religious or philosophic expression, but a parallel tradition arose among the 'common' folk. Sijo were sung or chanted with musical accompaniment, and still are. In fact, the word originally referred only to the music, but it has come to be identified with the lyric as well. Today, even common folk chant Sijo poetry accompanied by music.

In content, the Sijo is either thematic or narrative. Line 1 introduces a situation or problem, Line 2 provides a conclusion, which usually begins with a surprise, and Line 3 resolves the problem or releases the tension by providing a memorable ending.

And it’s such a short form, I came up with not one, but two examples.

Dark clouds scudding across a lowering autumnal sky
Change is inevitable, whether we will it or no
A storm is fast approaching, you can smell it on the wind.

The veil between our world and the next thins on all hallows eve
spirits are allowed to roam, circling the hill top fires of bone
before returning to their realm, where we cannot follow.

Oct 14, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
According to WikiAnswers:

I think that the woodchuck could chuck as much wood as he wanted! By the way what is a wood chuck? Is it like a gopher? This is difficult to question answer. The amount of wood that woodchucks would chuck on a given day varies greatly with the individual woodchuck. According to a Wall Street Journal article, New York State wildlife expert Richard Thomas found that a woodchuck could chuck around 35 cubic feet of dirt in the course of digging a burrow. Thomas reasoned that if a woodchuck could chuck wood, he would chuck an amount equal to 700 pounds.

Some say it depends on three factors:
1. The woodchuck's desire to chuck said wood.
2. The woodchuck's need to chuck the aforementioned wood.
3. The woodchuck's ability to chuck the wood.

Others say:
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
If he could chuck wood, the woodchuck would chuck as much as he could!
A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood that the woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
If a woodchuck could chuck wood, he would and should chuck wood. But if woodchucks can't chuck wood, they shouldn't and wouldn't chuck wood. Though were I a woodchuck, and I chucked wood, I would chuck wood with the best woodchucks that chucked wood.
If a woodchuck could chuck wood, then s/he'd chuck all the wood, s/he'd chuck and chuck and chuck and chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
It would chuck the amount of wood that she sells seashells on the seashore divided by how many pickles Peter Piper picks.
One quarter of a sycamore if you give him a quarter for every quarter of the sycamore he cut.
It might depend on how many female woodchucks were present. Or, it could depend on whether the woodchuck's mother-in-law was around or not. If she was, he'd be chucking all day. If not, he'd be watching the football game.
Some maintain that woodchucks could not and would not chuck wood at all.
It depends on how good his dentures are!
A woodchuck, would chuck, as much wood, as a woodchuck, could chuck, If a woodchuck could chuck wood. But unfortunately, woodchucks do not chuck wood.
About 5.72 fluid litres of wood
About as many boards as the Mongol hoards would hoard if the Mongol hordes did hoard boards.
Um....... 23????
Tons. More than you can count. Honestly. No one can chuck more wood than a woodchuck.
If the woodchuck's name was Maurice, then it could chuck all the wood that it wants to. However, if its name is Frank, no chucking would be for it.
Due to the average size of a wood chuck and the general density of wood (not including cork) if a wood chuck could chuck wood it would probably get through about 6.573 pounds per day, assuming the wood chuck is functioning correctly.
Using the formula: (W + I) * C where W = the constant of wood, which is well known to be 61, as agreed in many scientific circles. I = the variable in this equation, and stands for the word "if" from the original problem. As there are three circumstances, with 0 equaling the chance that the woodchuck cannot chuck wood, 1 being the theory that the woodchuck can chuck wood but chooses not to, and 2 standing for the probability that the woodchuck can and will chuck wood, we clearly must choose 2 for use in this equation. C = the constant of Chuck Norris, whose presence in any problem involving the word chuck must there, is well known to equal 1.1 of any known being, therefore the final part of this calculation is 1.1. As is clear, this appears to give the answer of (61 + 2) * 1.1 = (63) * 1.1 = 69.3. However, Chuck Norris' awesome roundhouse kick declares that all decimal points cannot be used in formulas such as this, and so it must be rounded to the final solution of 69 units of wood.
"Sixteen and 1/2 board feet a day except on groundhog's day since groundhog is another name for wood chuck."- This answer is according to no less an authority than the 'Junior Wood Chucks Guidebook', a publication often consulted by Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck and referred to yet again by them in answering this very same question.
How Chuck Norris got involved-A woodchuck would only chuck as much would as Chuck Norris would allow it to, because the woodchuck shares Chuck's name. Therefore, Chuck must punish it and make it chuck as much wood as Chuck can. So, a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as Chuck could.
None cuz a wood chuck can’t chuck wood! :P
Approximately 3.9675 pounds every 5.6843 seconds. So there.
2.865 lbs every 11.3686 Seconds?
It depends how good his dentures are!!!
As much as he needed to be satisfied
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood
Are you kidding? Everybody knows a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
But it definitely couldn't chuck Chuck Norris.
A group of people actually did a study on this. None of the wood chucks ate any wood planks so they never upchucked it but some of them chucked them (threw them) at people.

Oct 13, 2009

Really Random

Why is a Rabbit's Foot considered lucky?

Superstitions, such as a rabbit's foot being considered lucky, grow out of man's attempts to explain the unknown. When man disproves the old belief, and some still cling to the belief, it becomes a superstition.

In Western Europe, prior to 600 B.C., man considered rabbits to be sacred, because of their belief that spirits inhabited the bodies of animals, and also because of their belief that man directly descended from a select few of these animals.

Later, the ancient European Celts adopted portions of the older belief, that rabbits were sacred, and that spirits inhabited their bodies. The Celts, based upon the fact that these animals spent an inordinate amount of time in their underground burrows, held the belief that the rabbits' bodies were inhabited by numina, underground spirits with whom they communicated at very close proximity.

Another reason the Celts held the rabbit to be sacred, was because of their prowess in the field of reproduction. They believed that the numina intended for rabbits to be put upon pedestals and revered as symbols of procreation, reproduction with a high turnover rate, of health, and of prosperity.

Since the rabbit itself was considered to be lucky, it follows that any of its body parts would also be considered lucky. People selected the rabbit's foot to tote around for good luck, because of its capacity to dry quickly and its small size.

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Random Halloween Facts - Where'd the name come from?

The term Halloween, originally spelled Hallowe’en, is shortened from All Hallows’ Eve, from the Old English term eallra halgena fen meaning All Hallow' Evening, as it is the eve of All Hallows’ Day"or All Hallowmas, which is now also known as All Saints’ Day, or All Souls’ Day, observed on November 1.

In old English the word 'Hallow' meant 'sanctify'. Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherians used to observe All Hallows Day to honor all Saints in heaven, known or unknown. They used to consider it with all solemnity as one of the most significant observances of the Church year. Catholics were obliged to attend Mass.

The Romans observed the holiday of Feralia, intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrifices in honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them. The festival was celebrated on February 21, the end of the Roman year.

In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints' Day to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was observed on May 13. Later, Gregory III changed the date to November 1. The Greek Orthodox Church observes it on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

Despite this connection with the Roman Church, the American version of Halloween Day celebration owes its origin to the ancient (pre-Christian) Druidic fire festival called "Samhain", celebrated by the Celts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Samhain is pronounced "sow-in", with "sow" rhyming with cow. In Ireland the festival was known as Samhein, or La Samon, the Feast of the Sun. In Scotland, the celebration was known as Hallowe'en. In Welsh it's Nos Galen-gaeof (the Night of the Winter Calends).

According to the Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society: "Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May. Faeries were imagined as particularly active at this season.”

Oct 12, 2009

Melancholy Monday

I’m sitting here in my office with my lap top, looking out the window at the birch tree outside whose leaves are more gold than green now as a prelude to falling. The day is overcast (again!) and I’m paying more attention to the Celtic mix CD playing than I am to what I’m typing. In the background I can hear Panda howling as she drags one of the husband’s black socks around the house like it’s her kitten.

This is one of those blah days where all I want to do is just curl up in a chair and do nothing, but I already spent part of yesterday doing that and it’s not as satisfying as you’d think it would be. Besides, I have too much to do today. Not only is it Thanksgiving, it’s the daughter’s birthday as well. So let’s get down to brass tacks. :-)


Last week’s goals were to seriously start working on those extra poems to post during NaNo, catch up on my journaling, do the writing prompts at least 4 times, read a book, get chapters 9 and 10 done of my serial.

Have I mentioned before that my productivity seems to tank when I’m on afternoon classes? :-)

Deleted one of the poetry forms I had for November, added two more, and wrote two poems. The one poetry form I’d picked was an acrostic form that was so simple it felt like cheating, so I replaced it with something a little more complicated. Yes, that’s right, I’m a glutton for punishment.

Did no journaling, although I did think about journaling once or twice. Lost Wanderer made an interesting post about writing journals and I was thinking maybe this year I might keep a journal specifically for NaNo.

Did no writing prompts.

Didn’t finish reading a book, but I have two on the go.

Got Chapter 9 done on Monday, believe it or not, and I’m almost finished chapter 10.

Goals For This Week:

I’m back on morning classes so I have no more excuses for any lack of productivity except lack of focus and sheer laziness. Yes, I freely admit it. I am lazy.

Pick the last poetry form for November and finish the poems for that month. This week’s poetry form will be . . . The Luc Bat.

Give journaling another shot. Yeah, I know I’ll have to do one big, catch-up post, but after that I shouldn’t have a problem - if I update on a daily basis.

Writing prompts . . . they’re not really a priority with me at the moment because of the extra writing I’m trying to do in preparation for NaNo, but I’d like to give them another shot as well. I was thinking that for the month of November I’d combine the writing prompt blog with my journaling and keep a NaNo journal online - just a daily account of how it’s going.

Finish chapter 10 and aim for the next two of my serial. I wrote chapter 9 in one evening and chapter 10 is nearly finished, so I really don’t have any excuses not to get two more done this week.

I’m back on morning classes this week so that should help with my productivity. How’s your week shaping up?

Oct 8, 2009


Zéjel is a romantic Spanish form with Arabic influence and adopted by the Spanish troubadors of 15th century. The first Zéjeles are attributed to the Spanish Arabic poet Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Malik ibn Quzman. They were considered part of a movement looking for freedom from the classical forms of the day.

The Zéjel is distinguished by linking rhyme established in the opening Mudanza (change) in which the theme is established in a mono-rhymed triplet.

Eight syllable lines are common, but others have been used. It can have any number of verses.

The first stanza, known as the mudanza, has three lines, rhyming aaa. All the other stanzas - as many of them as you like - have 4 lines, rhyming bbba, the a rhyme harking back to the first stanza. So the overall rhyming scheme for the poem is:

eeea... etc.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds, in fact I rather enjoyed writing in this form. My only problem seemed to be in knowing when to stop. I finally just brought it around full circle. :-)


The Wild Hunt makes its ride tonight
underneath the pale moonlight
a rare and yet a chilling sight.

First the horn sounds loud and fey
Then the hounds begin to bay
And soon the riders are away
To seek a soul, as is their right.

I hear them as they thunder past
They take their freedom while it lasts
These hunters that are unsurpassed
The huntsmen on their quest this night.

Damned are these souls that come from hell
who, in dishonest battle, fell
and now condemned to ride the dell
in search of one more fallen knight.

Merciless, they seek their prey
or any soul that’s lead astray
They’re focused on the need to slay
to set the ancient wrongs aright.

Beware the Hunter’s moon, my friends
Take heed to what the sight portends
The Wild Hunt rides when it ascends
A rare and yet a chilling sight.

Oct 7, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

I got today's whimsy in my e-mail and I believe credit goes to the BFF for it. So you can blame thank her for it. :-)

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Important Women's Health Issue:

1. Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
2. Do you suffer from shyness?
3. Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness, and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately, and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past, and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living—with Margaritas!

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:

- Dizziness
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Incarceration
- Erotic lustfulness
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of clothing
- Loss of money
- Loss of virginity
- Table dancing
- Headache
- Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- And, a desire to sing Karaoke

* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please check with your doctor, then share this information with other women who may need the benefits of Margaritas

Oct 6, 2009

NaNo Tuesday

In preparation for National Novel Writing Month next November, Ben Solah thought it would be fun to look back at previous NaNo’s and answer some questions about how he takes part in the event.

If you want to do this meme, please leave a link in the comments on Ben’s blog so he can keep track of where its going. And he’s offering double points if you post a photo with your answers in some NaNoWriFic action shot. :-)

When and how did you find out about NaNoWriMo? How did you go?
I signed up in 2006 and I’m pretty sure I found out about NaNo from the Absolute Write forums. I think I did respectably for a first timer. :-)

How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?
Technically, I’ve done it three times, although 2007 doesn’t really count because I don’t think I did much more than the title and maybe the first few paragraphs.

How many times have you won? If you haven’t won, what was your best result?The first year I did it I reached 32,00 words before I ran out of story. Last year I surprised even myself by winning.

How did you go last year?
Last year I reached 52,000 words a couple of days before the end of November and my novel topped at 57,000+ words.

Where do you write and with what do you write?
Last year I wrote mostly in the living room, really late at night. That won’t be happening this year because I can’t stay up that late. Mostly I’ll be writing in my home office, on my beloved laptop.

How do you find time to write?
Last year I had all the time in the world - I was unemployed. This year I’m in school plus I’m trying to juggle four blogs. I have no idea where I’ll be finding the time!

Are your partners, friends and family allies or enemies?
Good question. Wish I had a good answer! I guess only time will tell. :-)

What are your strengths and what do you use to help you get to the end?
My biggest strength is persistence. I think I’m a little better disciplined than I was last year - hopefully I won’t be wasting as much time because I won’t have as much time to waste. I keep a two-column pad on my desk with what my word count should be and space to fill in my word count for the day - this lets me see how I’m doing.

What are your weaknesses, obstacles and challenges that hinder you from finishing?
Time is certainly going to be the biggest obstacle. And procrastination. I really need to suck it up this year and apply some time management skills if I’m going to finish.

Do you plot/outline/plan or do you write by the seat of your pants? How much do you plot or how unprepared are you?
In 2006 I had a nicely detailed plot which worked well until I ran out of story before I finished. Last year I didn’t plan on doing NaNo - I was struggling with my writing and for the last two weeks of October I hadn’t written a thing. There was an idea stuck in my head but every time I went to write it down I hit a wall. Then November 1st rolled round and suddenly I was writing like a fiend. This year, I plan to have an idea by November 1, but the plotting will be all in my head.

Do you participate in the real life community, go to write ins and meet ups in your area?
I always mean to . . . but to be honest I live in a small town and it’s a 45 minute drive to the nearest write-in or meet-up. Not to mention the fact that I’m just not comfortable writing in public. And once I get into NaNo, I barely remember to check my e-mail, let along participate in the NaNo forums.

What are your writing aids? Special snacks, music, totems, rewards or punishments?
My secret weapons are Spider Solitaire and gummi worms. Solitaire focuses my mind when I run into snags, and gummi worms are just plain yummy. :-)

This year I’m seriously considering buying a NaNo shirt - or maybe a NaNo travel mug for my Chai tea. Maybe I can use that as my reward. As for a punishment . . . feel free to mock me if you finish and I don’t. :-)

Oct 5, 2009

Mainly Monday

I am definitely not enjoying being back on afternoon classes. I can’t seem to get anything done in the mornings, and I get home in time to make supper and by the time that’s done I really don’t feel like doing anything else.

Normally I catch up on the slack of my week on my weekend, but this weekend was pretty much spent either driving or working on PowerPoint. I have a presentation due on Wednesday that’s worth 40% of my mark, so I figured I’d better get to work early on it. I’m glad I did because it was more time consuming that I thought it would be.

I ended up with two presentations, one for the Zodiac and one for NaNoWriMo. Anyone who’s curious, send me your e-mail address and I’ll forward one or both of them to you. :-)


Last week’s goals were to finish the poems I started for extra posts, write a Dorsimbra, keep up my journal and writing prompts, get the book review ready for the blog chain, read at least one book, work on Space Opera.

I am shaking my head sadly. Wow, I did bad!

Did not finish the two extra poems, although I did get my Dorsimbra posted on Thursday.

Fell off the journaling again, mostly because I didn’t really have anything to say. A question for you journalers out there, do you feel the need to write in your journal every day, or do you occasionally skip days when nothing much is going on?

Did my writing prompts three days (not in a row) which was one day better than the week before.

Did get the book review done before my turn came up, so when my turn on the blog chain came up it was all ready to go. You can read my review HERE.

I read not one, but two books! :-)

As for Space Opera . . . let’s just say I was lucky to get the one chapter done, let alone extras. I don’t know what it was about that chapter, it just didn’t want to come. The good news is, I’ve already started the next one so cross your fingers.

This Week’s Goals

Seriously get to work on those extra poems. This week’s poetry form will be the Zejel, which is a Spanish form. Let’s see if it’s easier than the Italian forms. :-)

Catch up on the journaling and go back to writing in my journal every night before going to bed.

I’m aiming for doing the writing prompts four days this week, not necessarily in a row. Maybe I should try and make them the last thing I do before shutting off my computer at night - it would get me in the habit. Or I could try doing them first, when I turn on my computer in the morning and before I do anything else.

Read another book. Yeah, I know, what a chore! :-)

Get chapters 9 and 10 of the Space Opera done by Friday.

So, that’s my week all lined up. How about you?

Oct 1, 2009


The Dorsimbra, is a poetry form created by Eve Braden, Frieda Dorris and Robert Simonton. It is a set form of three stanzas of four lines each.

Stanza One: Four lines of Shakespearean sonnet (iambic pentameter rhymed abab).
Stanza Two: Four lines of short and snappy free verse.
Stanza Three: Four lines of iambic pentameter blank verse, where the last line repeats the first line of Stanza One.

Since the Dorsimbra requires three different sorts of form writing, enjambment (a flow from line to line or stanza to stanza without any sort of end-line punctuation) can help to achieve fluidity between stanzas, while internal rhymes and near-rhymes can help tie the stanzas together.

I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of iambic pentameter, I prefer eight syllable lines to ten, but after a couple of false starts I let my current mood take over and muddled through. As you can see, my current mood is rather dark (hence the darkness of the poem) - I put it down to a combination of the crappy weather, being stuck in afternoon classes again, and just a general malaise.

That being said, enjoy the poem. :-)


The deepest cut is delivered by one
Who matters, for whom we care the most
And once it’s made it cannot be undone;
It festers, tormenting us like a ghost .

You wield the knife
with such precision,
a maestro
with the blade.

Some people are key in shaping our lives,
Others have the charge of our hearts and souls.
There’s only a few I care for like that;
The deepest cut is delivered by one.