Nov 30, 2009


Well, NaNo is over for another year. At least for me it is. For a few of you, there's still a couple of hours left, so git writin! :-)

And you know, you'd think the pressure would be off, now that Nano's done, but no. I still have writing to catch up on, and now a whole new novel to edit. And let's not forget the blogging to catch up on. I started out keeping up not only with my blogging, but reading and commenting on my friends and favorites, but as the month went on you might have noticed a slacking in that department.

Anyway, I'll blog more about that over on the Random Writings once I've caught my breath. Tomorrow perhaps. For tonight I'm keeping it short and sweet and getting right down to this week's goals.


Tomorrow will be another in my Deadly Sins series, this time the Sin of Gluttony.

Wednesday I'm hoping to find something whimsical to post.

Thursday on Passion for Poetry, the form will be a surprise, for both you and me. :-)

And Friday, of course, will be Chapter. . . um . . . 16? in my Space Opera.

In between times I will be catching up on my blog reading and commenting. And would you believe, I'm already thinking of a sequel to The Faery Heart?

So, how are you all doing? Still on that euphoric NaNo high? Or are you feeling the let down now that it's all over. Don't be afraid to speak up, I'd really like to know.

Nov 27, 2009

Post Delay

Sorry folks, there'll be a slight delay in the next chapter of the Space Opera. The writing just wasn't going well yesterday, in anything. I'll try and get it posted after school - probably mid to late afternoon.

In the meantime, you can read the three excerpts I posted from my NaNo novel, The Faery Heart and the angsty posts that go with them. :-)

Nov 26, 2009


This week's Passion For Poetry is the Villanelle.

Strange as it may seem for a poem with such a rigid rhyme scheme, the villanelle did not start off as a fixed form. During the Renaissance, the villanella and villancico (from the Italian villano, or peasant) were Italian and Spanish dance-songs. French poets who called their poems "villanelle" did not follow any specific schemes, rhymes, or refrains. Rather, the title implied that, like the Italian and Spanish dance-songs, their poems spoke of simple, often pastoral or rustic themes.

While some scholars believe that the form as we know it today has been in existence since the sixteenth century, others argue that it wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that the villanelle was defined as a fixed form by French poet Théodore de Banville.

The lines are grouped into five tercets and a concluding quatrain. Thus a Villanelle has 19 lines.
Lines may be of any length.
The Villanelle has two rhymes. The rhyme scheme is aba, with the same end-rhyme for every first and last line of each tercet and the final two lines of the quatrain.
Two of the lines are repeated:
The first line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the second and the fourth stanzas, and as the second-to-last line in the concluding quatrain.
The third line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the third and the fifth stanzas, and as the last line in the concluding quatrain.

Got that now? :-)

The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem's two concluding lines.

I should caution you, before you read my example, that I'm not entirely happy with it. It was a rush job 'cause I'm behind in my NaNo. Which, when you think about it, it's kind of ironic. :-)


This is not for the faint of heart
A novel, written in thirty days
November first is when we start.

Just thirty days to do your part
The writing comes in such a haze
This is not for the faint of heart.

Writing itself is quite an art
E’en when done in such a blaze
November first is when we start.

Winning this sets us apart
Writing without hope of praise
This is not for the faint of heart .

Some will not finish what they start
Others have their secret ways
November first is when we start.

What wisdom is there to impart
A secret, key, a magic phrase
This is not for the faint of heart
November first is when we start.

Nov 25, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

These gems came from my e-mail. Enjoy!

Try to have a little fun each day...

I went to the store the other day, and I was in there for only about 5 minutes. When I came out there was a damn cop writing out a parking ticket.

So I went up to him and said, "Come on, buddy, how about giving a guy a

He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. So I called him a pencil-headed nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires! So I called him a piece of horse crap. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first.

Then he started writing a third ticket! This went on for about 20 minutes... the more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

I didn't really give a hoot. My car was parked around the corner. I try to have a little fun each day. It's important.

* * * * * * * * * *


This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my lawn.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.
As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.
My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.
I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need to be watered.
I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the living room where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

the lawn isn't watered,
the car isn't washed,
the bills aren't paid,
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only one check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
I don't remember what I did with the car keys,
and my neighbor called to tell me he turned off the hose that was flooding the driveway.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!

* * * * * * * * * *

West Virginia FARM KID in Marines


Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically Nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.

We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing.. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake .. I only beat him once.. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6' and 130 pounds and he's 6'8' and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,


Nov 24, 2009

The Sin of Lust

The Sin of Lust

The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Exodus 15:9

And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. Samuel 11:2

The woman, if you know your bible stories, was Bathsheba; and what does David do about this?

And he [David] wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah [Bathsheba's husband] in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. Samuel 11:15

Easy to see why Lust is considered the most deadly of all the sins.

Monsignor Wojciech Giertych, the Pope’s personal theologian, notes that men are more prone to commit sins of lust, while women of pride. While I'd have to agree with this on principle, I really have to wonder if that's true considering the steady rise in romantic erotica sales. :-)

Lust is the self-destructive drive for pleasure out of proportion to its worth. Sex, power, or image can be used well, but when they are out of control they become the sin of Lust.

The sin of Lust occurs when one intentionally initiates and continues to fantasize about another person in a lustfully sexual way, knowing that it is wrong, but choosing to do it anyway. Even thinking lustful thoughts about another person is sinful, but acting on that thought is even worse because it has social consequences.

If you’d like to check to see how “lustful” you are, check the Lust Test.

Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be smothered in fire and brimstone. Not kisses.

To combat Lust, you must practice:

The Heavenly Virtue Chastity

Chastity is refraining from sexual activity until marriage and then enjoying a lifetime of sexual activity within the bounds of marriage.

Chastity is also moderation in dress, speech, thoughts, and sexual activity. Without chastity, humans are not unlike animals which copulate purely out of instinct. Chastity compliments the higher intelligence of humans.

Let us be careful of the company we keep, and avoid all occasions of sin to preserve virtue of chastity. Let us form the habit of temperance in all things, so as to strengthen our self-control. We should often have recourse to prayer and the sacraments, receiving these frequently. "Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Gal. 5: 16)

Nov 23, 2009

Maligner's Monday

What a week. The harder I worked, the behinder I got. :-)

That sinus infection is hanging on tooth and nail and last week it was causing me a lot of grief, namely, in the form of migraines. Hopefully if I keep taking my sinus medicine I’ll stay on top of it this week.

I also had a crisis of faith with my Nano story, but I finally got over myself and I’m back to being confident of a Nano win. It helped that I got a package in the mail from the Offices of Light that contained my writing machine T-shirt and my author’s travel mug. :-)

Besides working (rather sporadically) on my Nano novel, I also got my next Deadly Sins post up, and did a virtues quiz for Whimsical Wednesday. Thursday had the Japanese poetry form, Choka, and Friday was Chapter 14 of my Space Opera.

In addition, I managed three assignments for Business Communications, a PowerPoint presentation on the subject of videoconferencing (which I presented on Thursday) and had an exam on Friday.


Continue catching up on my Nano - I guess that pretty much goes without saying. :-)

This week’s sin is the Sin of Lust.

Our poetry form this week is the Villanelle, another one of those insane French forms.

And Friday, of course, will be the next chapter in my Space Opera.

This week I’m writing without a safety net. None of my posts are pre-written, not even my poem.

I'll also probably post another Nano excerpt on my Writings blog. In case you missed the first two, you can check them out HERE and HERE . I've listed them here in the order they appear in the novel, not the order I posted them on the blog.

As well, I have a poem to write for my poetry group Tuesday night, and I’m starting Microsoft Project at school, so I’m sure there’ll be an assignment or two for that.

So, how did your week go?

Nov 19, 2009



Choka is a form of Japanese long poetry pre-dating, but related to, haiku. As with haiku, the lines of a choka should not rhyme but should follow a syllabic pattern (onji).

The most widely accepted pattern for the Choka is to start with a katuata of 5-7-5 syllables and continue in a 7-5 syllable pattern. It can be any odd number of lines and finishes with a 7-7 syllable count.



A pregnant silence
after the crash of the storm
a door slamming shut
on turbulent emotions.
A rainstorm of tears
washes away the past sins
but never enough
to wipe the slate clean again.
The eye of the storm,
cold emotion withdrawing
leaving in its wake
a desiccated spirit
without redemption
until the storm clouds gather
bringing chaos in their wake.

Nov 18, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

I find it interesting that I'm able to find more information about the Deadly Sins than the Heavenly Virtues, for my Tuesday posts. :-)

Last week I helped you discover which of the Deadly Sins you had to watch out for and which level of Hell it would send you to. I thought it only fair that this week I offer you a chance at redemption and let you discover which Heavenly Virtue you most likely possess.

Having seen my results I have to wonder how accurate this test is! :-)

The 7 Heavenly Virtues
Your Result: Chastity

Your most powerful virtue is the virtue of chastity. You display courage, and you can control your sexual desires. You should be proud of yourself, because chastity is a great virtue.

The 7 Heavenly Virtues
Quiz Created on

And just for the heck of it, maybe you'd like to find out how you're going to die.

How will I die?
Your Result: You will die in your sleep.

A peaceful departure into the next life. You are blessed with the good fortune of passing from sleep into eternity. Do not fear sleep. To dream into the next life is a rare gift.

You will die while having sex.
You will die of boredom.
You will be murdered.
You will die while saving someone's life.
You will die from a terminal illness.
You will die in a nuclear holocaust.
You will die in a car accident.
How will I die?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Nov 17, 2009

The Sin of Sloth

Part three of my series on the Seven Deadly Sins is the Sin of Sloth, also known as the sin of Idleness.

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. Ecclesiastes 10:18

The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. Proverbs 21:25

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said Sloth is "sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good... [it] is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses man as to draw him away entirely from good deeds."

A slothful person is loose, meaning a waywardness with a view to doing what he wants, since slothfulness is tied to gluttony. Apparently he can be a gossip, having a loose tongue and can't trusted to be told anything in confidence. He is also deceitful, using lies and deceit in order to get what he wants and to enable him to do only what he wants to do. He appears to be a follower, subjecting himself to other people's rule because he doesn't really think for himself.

The modern view goes further, regarding laziness and indifference as the sin at the heart of the matter. Sloth is often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission.

Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be thrown into snake pits.

If you don’t want to end up in Hell because of your slothful ways, you must practice

the Heavenly Virtue of Zeal or Diligence

Zeal is shown by a diligent and careful nature as proved by one's actions and work. It includes a decisive work ethic, budgeting of one's time; and monitoring one's own activities to guard against laziness. It the decision to fulfill all of the responsibilities in your vocation or state in life.

Diligence includes suitable recreation, particularly on the Lord’s Day after Mass, after you have fulfilled your responsibilities.

The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude. It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment. By his deliberate actions, the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience. Matthew 5:3-12

Nov 16, 2009

Magnificent Monday

Wow. Monday already.

Because of my internet fiasco, my only real goals for last week were to catch up on my blogging (both posting and commenting) and catch up on my NaNo.

The blogging was easy to catch up on. It is, after all, one of the all time greatest ways to procrastinate. The writing, however, did not come as easy. No matter how hard I tried, I always seemed to remain about 5,000 words behind. Until Saturday.

Saturday was kind of grey and uninspiring. I puddled around until the mid-afternoon when the husband left for a bowling tournament in Toronto, then I put a pot of coffee on, put a Celtic CD in the stereo, and started writing. And writing. And WRITING. By the end of the day I had almost 6,000 new words.

Yesterday I had to take the daughter and her husband to a near-by city to shop, so I didn't expect to get much writing done. It's usually feast or famine with me anyway. And after spending six hours shopping I sure didn't feel the urge to write.

But I pulled out my lap top anyway and much to my amazement I churned out another 2,000 words which caught me right up to the day 15 target. Go me! :-)

Trust me, no one is more surprised than I that I did it.

Okay, so I stayed up until 1 a.m. to get those last few words in, but who cares? Other than my Business Communications teacher who will have to put up with my snoring in class today.

So, Goals for this Week:

Tuesday we'll have another in my Deadly Sins series, I believe it's time for the Sin of Sloth.

Thursday's poetry form is the Choka.

Friday will be Chapter 14 of my Space Opera.

And you might want to check my Random Writings blog once in awhile. You never know when I might post another excerpt from my NaNo Novel.

I also have three assignments due on Tuesday, a presentation to make on Wednesday, and an exam on Friday.

Looks like I'm back to being busy! :-)

How's your week shaping up?

Nov 12, 2009


In the 16th century, the Burmese conquered Siam, and their subsequent knowledge of Thai romantic poems gave rise to a new verse form called the Ya-Du (the seasons). They borrowed only the theme, however, and not the form, and they developed it as an emotional poem, passionate, yet with something of the cool intellectual strength of the poems of the English metaphysical.

The Ya-Du form will always have some reference to nature. (Mother nature, not human nature). Most Ya-Du will have only one verse and never have more than three verses. Each verse will have five lines.

The first four lines have four syllables in each line. The last or fifth line, which will rhyme with the fourth line, will have five, seven, nine or eleven syllables.

Lines one, two and three have rhyming syllables at four, three and two respectively. Lines three four and five also follow the pattern of the first three but also add an end rhyme to lines four and five.

Line 1: x x x A

Line 2: x x A x

Line 3: x A x B

Line 4: x x B C

Line 5: x B x x x x x x x x C or: x B x x x x x x C or: x B x x x x C or: x B x x C.

Seriously, who comes up with these things? :-)

The best I could do was a two stanza Ya-du.

The winter comes
Air becomes chill
Cold numbs, snow falls
I recall past
Snow squalls, snowing us in fast.

And then the spring
Sun glinting bright
Melting the snow
World aglow with
The slow arrival to life forthwith.

Nov 11, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

I can’t remember the last time I offered a quiz, so today you get not one, but two quizzes. I thought them rather appropriate given my Tuesday series on the Seven Deadly Sins.

C’mon, all you NaNoers out there. You know you want to do them. And if I could find the time not only to find these, but do them and post them, then you can find the time to do them and leave me a comment as to how you did. It only takes a couple of minutes. Promise!

First we have, what level of hell are you going to when you die:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Fifth Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Extreme
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Extreme
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Extreme
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Extreme

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

And now you might want to know what sin will send you there:

Greed:Very High
Gluttony:Very High
Wrath:Very High
Sloth:Very High
Envy:Very High

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Apparently I'm quite the sinner, but Wrath appears to have edged the others out. So do the quizzes, or else! :-)

Nov 10, 2009

The Sin of Wrath

Part two of my series on the Seven Deadly Sins is the Sin of Wrath

“Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment" - Matthew 5:22

"A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1

Wrath (Latin, ira), also known as anger or "rage", may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest as vehement denial of the truth, both to others and in the form of self-denial, impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the workings of the justice system (such as engaging in vigilantism) and generally wishing to do evil or harm to others.

So in other words, Wrath is pretty much the way I felt about the cable company after they sent that do-nothing technician to my house on Friday. :-)

The transgressions born of vengeance are among the most serious, including murder, assault, and in extreme cases, genocide. Wrath is the only sin not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest (although one can of course be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy, closely related to the sin of envy).

Dante described vengeance as "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite". In its original form, the sin of wrath also encompassed anger pointed internally rather than externally. Thus suicide was deemed as the ultimate, albeit tragic, expression of wrath directed inwardly, a final rejection of God's gifts.

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said Anger is "the name of a passion. A passion of the sensitive appetite is good in so far as it is regulated by reason, whereas it is evil if it set the order of reason aside."

Wrath is ruled by the sign of Mars. This is the Sin most likely to harm other people, particularly when mixed with another Sin. It is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury.

Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be dismembered alive.

To combat a Wrathful nature, we have

the Heavenly Virtue of Patience

Patience is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.

Guardian of faith, it is the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, and the teacher of humility. It governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, and subdues pride. Patience also bridles the tongue, refrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom.

Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the State, and harmony in families and societies. It teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured.

Patience, my lord. Why, 'tis the soul of peace.
Of all the virtues 'tis near'st kin to heaven.
It makes men look like gods; the best of men
That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true gentleman that ever breath'd.

Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton The Honest Whore Part One, act V scene II

Nov 9, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I have my internet back. Life is good once more.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging . . . starting tomorrow. Right now I have 61 e-mails to answer.

And a crap load of commenting to catch up on.

And did I mention I'm behind on my NaNo?

But at least I'm smiling again! :-)

Maleficient Monday

First of all, I would like to apologize to anyone (Jamie) who visited my blog on Friday expecting to see the latest installment of my serial. Get a cup of coffee and get comfortable, 'cause this is going to be a long story.

Okay, first, as I've bitched about whined about mentioned, my internet has been on the fritz for the last couple of weeks. A technician from my internet service provider *cough*cogeco*cough* was scheduled to appear Friday afternoon. Friday morning was my Business Law exam, and I didn't have time to post my serial segment before hand because, let's fact it, I was cramming for the exam. I also fully expected to have internet service by the afternoon.

Mid-afternoon, the technician finally showed up. He came in, he spent less than five minutes in the house, and said we had bad wiring. Then he left, saying I had three choices: I could pay a professional to fish a wire through the walls; I could have the cable run around the outside of the house; or I could have my service moved from one end of the house to the other.

Say what???

First, we already had fished the wire through the walls to reach my office.

Second, is a wire running along the outside of the house really a better idea than having it on the inside? Wouldn't it be more vulnerable to things like weather and little forest creatures?

Third, move my service? Seriously?

By Saturday the more I thought of it the more fuming I got. So I unhooked the modem from the cable in the office, took it and my lap top down to the basement where the cable entered my house, and hooked the modem directly into the cable as it entered the house, bypassing the splitter the cable service provided. Then I plugged the lap top into the modem.

Big surprise. I still was not able to get the internet.


So, they have someone coming back this afternoon and they will either be fixing my internet or I will be finding a new service provider.


Okay, 'cause I left early for school so I could steal use the school's internet I didn't get a chance to check my word count for NaNo or my goals or anything of that stuff.

I know I'm falling behind with NaNo - I'm probably just as happy not knowing by how much.

Right now my goals are catch up on NaNo, and catch up on my blogging.

Hope your week has been better than mine.

Nov 5, 2009

Pathya Vat

The pathya vat is Cambodian in origin, and as with most Cambodian forms was meant to be chanted or sung. It has four lines of four syllables each, with the second and third lines rhyming. That's all there is to it.

Longer poems are made by chaining them together, with the last line of each rhyming with the second and third lines of the next.



and so on. The beauty of the Pathya Vat is its minimalist form, and the fact that you can make it as long, or as short, as you wish.

As you can see by the length of my example, I rather enjoyed this form. :-)


I walk the path
that others shun,
my story’s spun
of mist and dreams.

This way is not
quite what it seems,
and yet it teems
with joy for me.

And if the world
does not agree
I still am free
to choose my way.

When from my path
I chance to stray
I may delay
but not for long.

Where will it end?
Where I am strong,
where I belong,
when I am home.

Nov 4, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

This is another gem brought to you via my son-in-law. Good thing I saved it as a document instead of in my e-mail!

Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That' s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stellas for the past year:


Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.


Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.


Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more...


Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Clara Ward of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Ward had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?


Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

Ok. Here we go!!


This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down? $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Is the legal world going mad?

Nov 3, 2009

The Sin of Pride

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I do not have a computer virus, I have a screwed up internet connection (the support guy said he’s never seen such a low connection speed before), probably an outside line. The bad news is I have to wait until Friday for them to come fix it. So looks like I’ll be posting my updates from school this week. On the plus side, no internet means no gaming, which means more writing this week.

As promised, today I’m starting a series on the Seven Deadly Sins. I came up with the idea while doing some research on them ‘cause I thought they’d make a cool subject for a poem. The poem didn’t work out, but fortunately I saved a bunch of the information.

We start with the Sin of Pride.

Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." ( Prov. 6:16-19).

Pride, also known as Vanity, is considered the mother of all sins, the sin from which all others spring. It is the sin that turned the archangel Lucifer the “seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” into the devil, the one for whom Hell itself was created. We're warned to guard our hearts against pride lest we too "fall into the same condemnation as the devil."

It was the sin of pride which first led Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. In Genesis we read, "Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”

The sin of pride is a preoccupation with self. Pride is all about "me, myself, and I." So even as the word "pride" is centered upon an "i," the sin itself is also centered upon "I." It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self

Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be broken on the wheel.

To save yourself from being sent to Hell for the sin of Pride, you must practice:

The Heavenly Virtue Humility

The term "humility" is derived from the Latin word "humilitas", a noun related to the adjective "humilis", translated not only as "humble", but also as "low", or "from the earth”. It is defined as: modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect - giving credit where credit is due and not unfairly glorifying one's own self.

St. Bernard defines it as: "A virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself" while St. Thomas says: "The virtue of humility consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one's superior"

No man can humiliate another, but only himself, and this he can do properly only when aided by Divine grace. Humility removes pride and according to the words of St. James: "God resisteth the proud, and giveth his grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

Nov 2, 2009

Medicated Monday

Looks like I’m going to have to break down and have my lap top looked at. I cannot access any of my e-mails, can barely get blogs to load, let alone comment on them, and am totally unable to access the AW forum or the NaNo website. In fact, I came to school early today to get this post done.

I have spent the weekend doped up on Benylin because the stupid cow who sits behind was so sick the instructor finally insisted she go home (she refused when he “suggested” she’d be better at home two days before) and the other stupid cow who sits beside the door kept closing it to keep all those germs inside the classroom. Grrr!

If you’re sick, stay home people! The thing that really gets me is that A, the school instituted a policy that if you miss classes because of illness it won’t count against you, and B, this woman is the first one who would complain if someone else came to school even slightly sniffly. /rant

NaNo was off and running on the weekend. Not only am I going to attempt (note the emphasis is on attempt) NaNo this year, I’m going to do it in WORD.

Yeah, I know. Most of you are looking puzzled right now and asking, “What? ” Here’s the thing. Every since I was forced to buy my first upgrade from Microsoft, I’ve been anti all things MS, especially Word. I use Corel Word Perfect to write in.

However, since taking the course in Word in school, I find myself drawn more and more to Word for writing, rather than Word Perfect.

Okay, enough of my rambling. On to the good stuff.


Last week’s goals were: finish poems for November, poetry form of Sedoka, posts done ahead for Random Tuesdays, start writing in new journal, switch Random Writings site to encompass my NaNo progress, try and get extra chapters done on Space Opera.

I have all but one poem for this month finished, and it’s my own fault for not getting the fourth one done because I kept changing my mind as to what forms were going to be featured this month.

Have started writing in the new journal. This is not an every day thing, more of a ‘when the spirit moves me’ thing.

Started using my Random Writings site for my NaNo progress – haven’t updated it yet today ‘cause I forgot to check my word count last night and, of course, my novel is on my computer at home. I do have a picture of my hero and a picture of my book cover up there though.

Saturday night I was a writing machine! Not only did I get a good start on NaNo (after midnight of course) I got a couple of extra chapters done on my serial. It would have been so nice to keep up the momentum on Sunday, but unfortunately a friend in need took precedence.

Goals for this Week

All things NaNo! I’ve made a good start on my NaNo novel, I want to keep up the momentum. I would like to be ahead of the game by the weekend because I have a wedding to go to this Saturday. Now that the characters are coming to life on the page, they’re acting a little differently from what they were in my head, but I guess that’s to be expected.

Read for at least an hour every night. Woman cannot live by writing alone. No matter how well the writing is going I need to take a break once in a while and reading seems like the perfect solution.

Starting a new series on Random Tuesday about the seven deadly sins versus the seven heavenly virtues. As you might guess, this will be a seven part series. 

Continue writing ahead in my serial. I’m about halfway done chapter 15 and would like to keep going while I’ve got some momentum. I’m kind of disappointed that my timing is off by one week. This week’s chapter will be number 13 – it would have been so cool to post chapter 13 on Friday the 13th!

Get my computer/internet fixed!

There’s my week in a nutshell. Any other nuts out there that would like to share?