Mar 31, 2011

Kimo Verse Form

The Kimo verse was developed in Israel. This post-Haiku poetic form evolved from the need for more than 5, 7, and 5 syllables to create a Haiku in Hebrew. It consists of three lines of 10, 7, and 6 syllables.


Kimo usually describes one frozen scene that has no movement in it. Rhyme not necessary. Give Kimo a try. Stretch your poetic Haiku legs a bit and explore this lesser known poetic form.

My examples are a little on the dark side, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

Mind encased in a cage stronger than steel
The bars made by unwanted thoughts
No escape in sight

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

When darkness falls it’s a welcome relief
The daylight makes it too hard
To keep up the pretence

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

Standing on the edge of the soul’s abyss
Unable to see forward
The light fades to darkness

Mar 29, 2011


As I said yesterday, it’s time for a new series on Tuesdays. I’ve got lots of ideas, but I need help settling on which one to start with. So, I’ve decided to open a poll for voting and to help you help me to decide, I’ve even done a blurb about each of the choices.

1. The Zodiac
What’s your sign? While you probably already know what your astrological sign is, I’ll bet there’s all kinds of information about it you’re unaware of. Personality traits are just the tip of the iceberg here.

2. Prophets
I’m sure most of you are familiar Nostradamus and how it’s believed that he predicted the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He’s probably the most well-known prophet but there are many others out there. Aren’t you curious about what others may have predicted? I know I am.

3. The Chinese Zodiac
For many years I thought I was born in the year of the Boar, but that’s because I was following the Western calendar which has the New Year on January 1. The Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year and it turns out I was actually born in the year of the Dog. It’s amazing the difference a few days makes.

4. The Seven Wonders of the World
Think you know what they are? I thought so too until I started doing some research. And just so you know, there’s more than one list out there. :-)

5. Other
So maybe you don’t like any of these ideas. This is your chance to come up with something better. Seriously! I’m open to suggestions, so if you want to choose this option go ahead . . . but you have to leave your suggestion in the comments.

The poll is in the upper right corner and will be up for a week.

Mar 28, 2011

Micromania Monday

micromania ~ pathological self-deprecation or belief that one is very small

If you missed the piece I did for the 30 minutes of free-writing with the Scribes, you can find it HERE. It will also be featured in the Northumberland Scribes online magazine, if when we get it finished.

Earth Day was on the weekend, which made last week’s Guest Post on Living Green even more appropriate. I’d like to thank Samantha Harris once again for her words of wisdom.

I can now make calls on my cell phone. I might even be able to answer calls, I don’t know yet ‘cause no one’s called me. :-) . Still can’t access my voice mail because I need Telus to reset my password.

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Time for a new series. Only I’m not sure what the series will be about. I have a couple of ideas and I can’t decide which one I’m going to start with. So I think Tuesday we’ll have a poll and you can vote for the one you like best.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form this week will be the Kimo.

Friday: Chapter 17 of Fire. Poor Rayne, all revved up and Pyre doesn’t appear to want to co-operate. What’s she going to do about it?

Elsewhere in my week:

It seems to be feast or famine with me, doesn’t it? Last week I was busy as all get out, and this week . . . nothing. No meetings, no freelance work, no place to go. At least not so far. It’s only Monday and you never know what the rest of the week will bring.

A couple of carry-overs from last week:
I think I’m behind on my e-mail again, so I’ll need to make an effort to catch up on that
Get the password changed on my cell phone so I can access my voice mail. And while I’m at it I should figure out how that text-messaging works.
The taxes really need to get done. Have I mentioned how much I hate taxes?

I just want to say that Jamie DeBree is a BAD INFLUENCE! First it was posting on a regular basis, then it was starting an on-line serial, now it’s exercise! I’ve been reading her new blog Body In Motion and it’s made me start thinking bad thoughts, like, it’s time to get off my lazy butt and get some exercise. So this week one of my goals will be to either walk or row every day.

And all you slackers out there who, like me, whine about “one of these days” or “I don’t have the time”, I say phooey! Jamie has something like 8 blogs, a website, 3 on-line serials on the go (each of which have two instalments a week), a day job, other writing projects, and a house, a husband, and two dogs to look after. I don’t know whether to be inspired or appalled. :-)

Okay, I think I’ll be inspired. Come on everyone, let’s get moving. We have nothing to lose but our fat! Let me know how it works out for you.

Mar 24, 2011

Ekphrasis Verse

An Ekphrasis poem is one which is based on another work of art, usually a painting or sculpture. This style of writing is characteristic in such works as Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," Byron's “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage”, and Shelley's "On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery."

For the last several weeks the Human Bean, a local coffee shop, has been exhibiting a selection of paintings by Susan Caron. Since several members of the CPW (the poetry group I belong to) can often be found at the Bean, it was only a matter of time before someone suggested that we all have a look at the paintings to see if we’re inspired to Ekphrasis verse.

My chance finally came Monday, when I went down to the Bean to have coffee with a friend. The paintings had changed from the selection that was offered at the beginning of the exhibition, but there was an interesting selection. I looked at the paintings and their titles, that was it. I did not want to know the story behind them, nor did I read the poems that were already written about them. I did not want my own impression to be influenced. I’m not even going to describe the paintings for you, but I am using the painting title for my poem’s title.

Against the Odds

Trapped in the box -
browns and yellows and red
bursting the confines.
Pour without restraint now
changing the landscape.
A river of autumn
free at last.

Trapped Within

sea of green
sea of blue
sea of the unseen

time spirals
out of control

spinning red dream
red of my passion
red of my blood
red left unread

waves flow forever
into eternity

Mar 21, 2011

Methinks It’s Monday

methinks ~ I believe; I think

Happy second day of spring! Did anyone else out there do anything special to celebrate the change of seasons yesterday? We had the first outdoor barbeque of the season at my in-laws, and at home I flipped the mattress on the bed, replacing the flannel sheets with regular ones. :-)

And what about the Supermoon? Did you get a chance to see it? I stuck my head out the back door a couple of times and it didn’t look any bigger than the average full moon. I will admit it was very bright though. And its effects were stronger – the cats were crazier than usual.

After a week of neglecting my WIP, I finally found my inspiration on Saturday and got some major editing done on it. Go me! There was one scene in particular that was giving me fits, and I finally got it going in the right direction.

I vaguely recall making a promise to report on my time wastage for the week . . . I really have to stop making such rash promises. :-) My two biggest time wasters turned out to be gaming and napping. Now the napping was due to the medication I was taking for migraines last week so there’s not much I can do about that except not take it. The gaming, however . . . Specifically, the gaming consisted of Farmville, Frontierville, and Cityville on Facebook, and Ocean Express, Jigsaw, Word Twist, and Bubbletown on MSN games. By Wednesday I was utterly appalled at the amount of time spent on games, especially the Facebook ones, so I stopped playing them. (It helped that I was getting frustrated with how slowly they were loading).

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: I started running out of inspiration for my Home Remedies series, so I think I’m going to call it done. This week, I’m very pleased to present a Guest Post on Living Green.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be Ekphrasis.

Friday: Chapter 16 of Fire. So, are they finally ready to leave the village behind and set out on their journey?

Elsewhere in my week:

I’ve got a busy week this week.

Tonight I have a Scribes meeting and I can’t for the life of me remember what the topic is. I have until 6:30 to not only remember it, but also write 150 words about it. I also need to type out the 30 minutes of free writing I did at the last meeting. Both these pieces will be posted on my other blog tomorrow. I caught up sending our web master some of my scribe-work, and I even sent in a short story and an article for our on-line magazine, which has been in the work for um, a long time now.

Tuesday I have a poetry meeting, for which I still need to write a poem based on my horoscope, which was our poetry prompt from the last meeting.

Wednesday I’m chauffeuring my father-in-law to Toronto to a doctor’s appointment.

Because of the poetry form I chose for this week, I need to get to the local coffee shop that has an exhibition of art from a local artist. You’ll know why on Thursday. :-)

As well, I WILL be learning how to use my cell phone this week. What is the point of having one of the damn things if you can’t use it? I can get it to tell me I have 20 voice mail messages, but I can’t access them. It might have something to do with forgetting the password. And I can’t seem to get past the voice mail to make an actual phone call. When did I become so technologically challenged? I used to be really good at this stuff!

Okay. That’s my week. How’s yours looking?

Mar 17, 2011

Traditional Mongolian Meter

Traditional Mongolian Meter is thought to date back to Ghengis Kahn but the first record of this more sophisticated form is the 17th century. It is a little different than most forms in that the lines are head rhymed – which means the first syllable in each is the rhyming one.

It can be written in any number of quatrains. It is syllabic, usually 7 or 8 syllables per line. Each quatrain is head mono-rhymed – the first syllable of each of the four lines has the same rhyme.*

The schematic is this:


. . . And so forth.

This was an interesting form to work in - a change from the traditional rhyming and syllabic forms.

Moon Psalm

Opalescent silver moon
Owning superstitious minds -
Old as time and subject to
Omens leading us to fate.

Chasing stars across the sky,
Changeless in both shape and form,
Chained to earth by gravity,
Chafing to be free to roam.

Softened light reflected back -
Solace in the gentle night.
Songs of praise are sung to you,
Sonnets writ by ageless men.

*Source: Poetry Magnum Opus

Mar 15, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Twelve

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


Texas Remedies:
* Take a dipper of water from the bucket, close your eyes, take three swallows, open your eyes, look at the bottom of the dipper and then replace the dipper.
* Hold your left elbow for seven minutes
* Spit on a rock and then turn it over
* Put a dime in the roof of your mouth and hold it there for thirty minutes.
* Roll a piece of red string into a ball and wet it with saliva. Stick it to your forehead just above the eyes and look at it.

One of the common home remedies for hiccups is the consumption of water. This should be done rapidly in short bursts.

Block both ears and drink 6 ounces water without stopping to breathe.

Take some ice and crush it. Now, you can suck this at regular intervals to instant relief from hiccups. You can also drink icy water or you can apply a piece of ice on the back of the neck. This may shock your body and also cause you to take a deep breath.

Close your ears with your fingers, and drink water directly or through straw. It has an immediate effect on treating hiccups.

If you have a hiccough, think of your lover. If he loves you, you will not have it anymore. – Kentucky Superstitions, 1883

Take a draught of cold water and rub the breast and stomach with pepper and vinegar. – Farmer’s Directory, 1851

Hold your breath as long as possible, and let it go out. The lungs expand and push down on the diaphragm, stopping hiccups immediately.

Take a deep breathe through your mouth, lean forward and push down your stomach. Hold in that position as long as you can and then slowly exhale the air through your mouth.

Breathe into brown paper bag. This will increase the carbon dioxide in your body and your respiratory system urges the body to take deep breaths. Those deeper breaths may stop the diaphragm spasm.

Another way is to simply close your eyes and hold your breath. Wait for few seconds and then exhale. This too shows fast effect.

Infuse a scruple of musk in a quart of mountain wine and take a small glass every morning. – Primitive Physick, 1745

A powder to stop the hiccup in man, woman or child: Put as much dillseed, finely powder’d as will lie on a shilling, into two spoonsful of black cherries, and take it presently. – A Collection of Receipts, 1749

A spoon of sugar may also work to stop hiccups. The sugar should not be eaten or swallowed. Instead, the spoon should be sucked on for as long as it takes to dissolve the sugar and ingest it.

Take a piece of ginger and try to suck it slowly. This home remedy for hiccups would stop the hiccups and provide relief.

For some eating a spoonful of peanut butter stops hiccups immediately. It can work for children also.

Black pepper is wonderful herb which is commonly used in hiccups. You can inhale some black pepper as it can induce the person to sneeze and as you know sneezing is a violent movement of respiratory tract and finally it vanishes hiccups.

Mar 14, 2011

Migraineur Monday

migraineur ~ one who suffers from migraines

Last week tried its best to kick my butt with weather induced migraines and a flooded basement, but I still managed to get all my posts up on time. I even managed to get something original written for my poetry form and made a couple of entries into my journal.

I felt like I had a really busy week, but other than my blog posts (and some work done for another editor) I really didn’t have a lot to show for it. Then Saturday I decided to stop worrying about the writing for the weekend and slowly started to catch up on a few things I’ve been letting slide lately. I’m not fully caught up yet, but I’m getting there.

I even managed a post on other blog and check it out – the lovely Nofretiri gave me a Stylish Blogger Award. You just need to scroll down to yesterday to see it. :-)

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part Twelve of my series on Home Remedies. This is something we’ve all suffered with from time to time – hiccups.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be the Traditional Mongolian Metre.

Friday: Chapter 15 of Fire. Hmm. I wonder what’s in that letter the Mother left for them?

Elsewhere in my week:

I have a writing friend who’s doing a book signing at a local bookstore on Tuesday. You can find out about Linda Hutsell-Manning’s book, That Summer in Franklin HERE.

Thursday there’s a poetry reading which always seems to energize my writing, so I don’t want to miss that.

I’ve decided to go back to making lists. Really, the only sure way to keep me organized is for me to be able to see what all I should be doing. I’m actually going to start out with two lists: one of what I should be doing, and the other of what I’m actually doing. I know I waste a lot of my time when I could be doing something productive, so I want to keep a record of not only what I’ve been doing, but how much time I spend doing it. And, to keep me honest, next Monday I’ll report back on what I’ve been wasting my time with.

So . . . what else?

* Work on business website
* Work on poetry chap book
* Work on Forever and For Always
* Work on taxes

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? ;-) Let’s see how much of the above list makes it to my report next Monday.

So how about you? What are you up to? Do you have your taxes done? Did you give up anything for Lent? I really want to know!

Mar 13, 2011


The wonderful Nofretiri, of Nofretiri’s Dream of Writing has awarded me with the

The wonderful Nofretiri, of Nofretiri’s Dream of Writing has awarded me with the

Thank you so much Nofretiri!

Here's what you gotta do:
1. Thanks and link back to the blogger who passed this award onto you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award other recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself:

1. The most pets I have had at a single time are five cats, three rats, and a dog. And yes, they all got along fine. Right now I’m down to just four cats, but I’m lobbying hard for a dog.
2. I can’t pass a Starbucks without wanting a Chai Latte (in the winter) or a Chai Frappuccino (in the summer). The nearest Starbucks is 45 minutes away. :-(
3. The pride and joy of my plant collection is an orchid I grew from a seedling. It took seven years before it bloomed. I almost lost it over the summer due to it being in the path of the air conditioner, but I’ve been nursing it back to health and there’s a new, green shoot on it.
4. My favourite desert, bar none, is the home-made coconut cream pie from the restaurant in Harrison Park in Owen Sound. And yes, it is totally worth the four hour drive.
5. The only thing worse than shopping is Christmas shopping. *shudder* I get very claustrophobic in crowded stores/malls.
6. My dream is to one day be as organized as Jamie DeBree. Seriously! If she could bottle up her organizational skills and sell them she’d make even more money than she will with her amazing writing.
7. I have four sets of Tarot cards and yes, I know how to use them. Some day I would like to design my own set.

I know I'm supposed to pass this on, but I really couldn't decide who to pick out of all the wonderful blogs out there. So I'd just like to add that if you're reading this and you don't already have this award, then you deserve one!

Mar 10, 2011

Tercet and Triad

Though there are some who claim that a Tercet is any three-lined verse, it’s actually a poetry form with Italian roots. The classic form of a Tercet is a three-lined poetic stanza in which the first and third lines rhyme and the second line is a blank (unrhymed) line.

Today, we call this rhymed form an enclosed Ttercet because the two rhymed lines enclose the blank line. An even more stringent form of the Tercet is the Sicilian Tercet. The Sicilian Tercet incorporates the enclosed form, but also requires that the poet write in iambic pentameter.

The Tercet is rarely a complete poem in itself. Instead, poets write multiple stanzas of Tercets to create longer works. The best example of this is Dante’s Divine Comedy.

The Triad (Welsh and Irish) is a form composed of three Tercets. Welsh versions of the Arthurian legends make heavy use of this form.

The Triad is one of the lesser known poetry forms, but it is an enjoyable outlet for expression. You can add as much challenge as you wish. You can simply write in three-line stanzas or you can use iambic pentameter and enclosed Tercets if you wish to increase the writing challenge.

Spirit of Summer

The wind sloughs softly through the trees at dusk
Chasing the lingering rays of the sun
Filling the air with the garden’s sweet musk

Soon stars will appear and spirits will rise
To caper and dance beneath the moon’s light
To celebrate life and all it implies

Too soon the stars fade and vanish from sight
The moon runs its course and sets in the west
The revels are done until the next night

Mar 8, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Eleven

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


* Cut a wart off a horse’s leg and rub it on the gums.
* Choke a mole with your hands behind your head and hang one of its feet around your neck.
* Stand with your back against a tree and have someone drive a nail into the tree just above your head.
- Kentucky Superstitions, 1920

Cloves have been used to treat toothaches since ancient times. Cloves are in fact included as an ingredient in almost all toothpastes and are therefore still the most widely used ingredient in dental care. The effectiveness is due to a compound called eugenol, which is present in cloves. Eugenol is a powerful anesthetic that also possesses antiseptic properties. This means that it not only offers toothache pain relief, but it also helps fight off germs that could contribute to an infection. Clove oil, put directly onto the affected tooth or dabbed with a cotton ball on the decayed tooth, relieves toothache.

You must cut a little off each fingernail and toenail, and wrap it up in white paper and rise in the morning before sunrise, don’t speak to any person or any person to you, and go towards sunrise and bore a hole in a thrifty oak tree and put the paper in the hole and drive a pin in the hole and use one of the highest names at each stroke, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. – John Stoner’s Sympathy, 1867

Garlic contains a powerful compound called allicin, which exercises a powerful antibiotic effect. This compound is released upon crushing the garlic and it is believed that this could help slow down any bacterial activity. Almost all traditional methods involve crushing the garlic, and applying or placing it against the affected tooth. A clove of garlic with a little rock salt is also effective for relieving pain and may even cure the toothache.

Since onion has antibacterial properties, chewing raw onion for three minutes is sufficient to kill all the germs in the mouth. Onions are high in sodium, rich in vitamins E and B12, and are low in fat or calories. Toothache is often allayed by placing a small piece of onion on the bad tooth or gum.

Stir the sore tooth with a needle until it draws blood; then take a thread and soak it with this blood. Then take vinegar and flour, mix them well so as to form a paste, and spread it on a rag, then wrap this rag around the root of an apple tree and tie it very close with the above thread, after which the root must be well covered with ground. – the Long Lost Friend, 1856

A salt water mouthwash gets rid of tooth infection and helps cure toothache. Mix about 3 tsp of salt with a glass of warm water and use it for gargling. The salt helps cleansing the infected tooth and reducing the swelling and pain.

A pinch of pepper powder mixed with common salt is an excellent cure. It’s especially effective against the increased sensitiveness of the teeth.

Eating a raw lime, along with the peel, can offer some much needed toothache relief. The effectiveness of lime for toothaches can probably be best explained by its rich composition of vitamin C and the lower levels of acidity as compared to lemons.

Take some newts, and those nasty beetles which are found in ferns in summertime. Calcine them in an iron pot and make a powder thereof. Wet the forefinger of the right hand and insert it in the powder and apply it to the tooth frequently, refraining from spitting it off, when the tooth will fall away without pain. It is proven. – Albertus Magnus, 1763

Rinse your mouth with your own urine three mornings and the teeth will never again ache. Fill a pipe half full of tobacco, then put a little brimstone into it and the pipe up with tobacco, light it and hold the smoke in the mouth as long as possible. – Mrs. B. Smith, 1841

Squeeze a wad of cotton wool soaked in brandy and hold it against the affected tooth to help numb the pain. You can also make the gum numb by taking a swig of whiskey and holding it over the painful tooth.

Both vanilla and almond extract contain about 35% alcohol and work wonders as a home remedy for toothache. Dip a cotton ball in either one of the extract and place on the affected tooth.

Write down with a goose-quill and ink, new-made, on the outside of the cheek, where the pain is situated, the following signs: mot, tot, fot. After this being done, light a candle, and precede therewith under the chimney. Burn the pen by the light under the hearth, until not a vestige thereof remains. All this must be done noiselessly, while the person who suffers the pain must at once put the head in a bandage, retire to bed, and remain quiet and by no means speak a word to anybody for twenty-four hours. – Egyptian Secrets, 1880

Apply a dab of “Vicks vapor rub” on the side of the face where the pain is. Place a paper towel on top and lay down in bed. The heat from the vicks absorbs into the skin and brings you toothache relief.

Gently rubbing an ice cube in the area between the forefinger and the thumb for into the V-shaped area where the bones of the thumb and forefinger meet on one hand for 5 to 7 minutes is an effective toothache remedy, as it eases toothache. It acts by overwhelming the pain impulses that usually travel along the nerve pathways. It has a 60 to 90% success rate. Ice placed directly on a throbbing tooth also helps ease the pain.

Mar 7, 2011

Mesic Monday

mesic ~ adapted to life with a moderate supply of moisture

What is going on with the weather? Windy days, followed by mild temperatures but grey and dismal, followed by sunny and cold, followed by pouring rain that turns into freezing rain that turns into snow, followed by sub-zero temperatures, followed by sunny days, followed by wind – cut it out already!

I knew I was going to be busy last week, so I tried to get as many of my blog posts written on the weekend as possible. It seems to have worked out pretty well . . . everything was up as expected and I even wrote original examples of the Gzha poetry form. The serial was a day late because I only got half of it written ahead of time and then I got struck by the dreaded migraine Thursday.

I got some reading in last week - finished Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, finally. I’m usually a very fast reader but this book was slow going. It was a good thing ‘cause I like making a book last, but it was a bad thing ‘cause I’ve got a lot of other books to read too. Yesterday I started reading Taken, by Lilith Saint Crow, and didn’t put it down until I was finished.

I didn’t get much writing or editing done for myself last week, but I did get a crap load of formatting done for someone else. I also managed to get myself addicted to Frontierville on Facebook. And because I used up all my “energy” in the first couple of days and you have to wait to get more, I checked out Farmville and Cityville as well. :-)

This Week’s Goals:

Tuesday: Part Eleven of my series on Home Remedies. I have a friend who had to get a wisdom tooth (or what was left of it) pulled last week so this week’s focus is on Toothaches.

Wednesday: Another Hump Day Hunk for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday: The poetry form of the week will be the Tercet & Triad.

Friday: Chapter 14 of Fire. So, the Mother just went up in flames, what’s next?

Elsewhere in my week:

I have a Scribe’s meeting tonight. It feels like ages since I’ve been to one – I think I missed the last one so I really need to get there tonight.

I’ve been barely managing to keep up with the reading of other people’s blogs, this week I’d like to get back into the swing of commenting. I also have a ton of e-mail to catch up on.

I’ve explored 73 different poetry forms so far, and I think it’s time to get one of my chap books done. I have three different chap books in the planning stage and I need to pick one and get ‘er done.

It’s getting to be that time of year again, so I need to start gathering my paperwork for tax time. This also means getting my account books up to date . . . again. *sigh*

I started using the rowing machine on the weekend and I’d like to keep this up. I want to work my way up to thirty minutes. Um, probably won’t happen any time soon. :-)

And that’s pretty much it for me. What’s up with you these days?

Mar 4, 2011

Post Delay

Sorry folks!

Due to a migraine beyond my control, I didn't get the next installment of Fire finished last night. I started it earlier in the week, but it's only about halfway there. And I'll be out of town working today so I can't get back to it until tonight.

I promise to get it finished tonight and it'll be up first thing tomorrow morning.

In the meantime . . . here's a couple of shorts I've done for my Scribes group recently. Every couple of weeks we're given a prompt and the challenge is to limit ourselves to 150 words.

Prompt: Write a bad novel opening in the tradition of "It was a dark and stormy night". Bonus points if it's all in one sentence

It wasn’t a dark and stormy night, but it should have been, thought Lady Fairweather as she smoothed the slippery, silk folds of her deep cerulean blue evening gown with her soft white hands, hands that not one of the Duke’s hundred guests would ever guess had only hours before been caressing the brawny, well muscled chest of the stable master, a man who deserved the title of master on so many levels, although it had been his excellent work with the horses that had gained him the position in the first place despite the rumours that followed him, a tidbit of illicit gossip regarding the wife of the Earl of Bothwith and what she and the stable master had been caught doing by the sister of the Earl, who had gone in search of the stable master, although the excuse she gave was that she had thought to go riding and was in search of a horse, even though everyone knew what kind of “riding” she had in mind and it had nothing to do with horses, unless you wished to describe the stable master as a stallion, and Lady Fairweather now knew first hand that such a comparison was more than warranted.

Prompt: Hindsight

If only I had done things differently, things might have turned out differently. Who can say? Even the fortune the gypsy tells you is not carved in stone. Once you know your future, every step you take opens up new possibilities. I could use a new possibility right about now.

If only I had gone straight, instead of turning right, things might have turned out differently. But straight was the expected path, safe, normal, and right was an adventure into the unknown. I’ve been playing it safe all my life; I was tired of playing it safe.

If only I’d listened, instead of ignoring the warnings, things might have turned out differently. But hindsight’s always twenty/twenty and by then it’s too late.

If only I’d stuck to the path, instead of cutting through the woods, things might have turned out differently. I might not be lying here . . .dying.

Prompt: Infidelity

The staccato popping sounds behind the glass door began to slowly taper off.

“Three, two, one – done!” Jessie yanked open the door to the microwave and grabbed the steaming bag of popcorn. With finesse she ripped it open and dumped it into a bowl, sprinkling it with the shaker of cheese flavouring.

“I thought you were a loyal Orville Redenbacher fan?”

“The store was out of the cheese flavoured popcorn, so I got this instead.”

“It’s not the same thing,” Howard told her.

“No, but it’s close enough. Want some?” she offered.

Howard shook his head. “No thanks.”

Jessie stuffed a handful of popcorn into her mouth and started munching happily.


Howard rescued the bowl as she put a hand to her mouth. “What happened?”

“I think I broke a tooth!”

“Ah,” Howard said wisely. “The price you pay for your infidelity.”

Jessie threw a handful of popcorn at him.

Mar 3, 2011


Tibetan poetry is called "snyan-ngag" (ornamental language) implying ornaments of rhetoric and phonics. Metaphor and simile are common but rhyme is rarely employed. Like in most cultures, the poetry is delineated by folk or literary compositions. While all Tibetan poetry is syllabic, folk verse is usually written in 6 syllables or less while the literary compositions carry longer lines.

The Gzha is:
written in four lines.
six syllables per line

And, my examples:

Pearls of wisdom fall like
drops of blood from a wound,
bruising whatever they
touch with unwanted knowledge

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Thunder calls - storm coming.
Too bright lightning striking -
no consideration.
Thirsty earth absorbs the rain.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Winter waiting dormant
fragile buds grace the trees
unfurling slowly until
all at once the greening.

Mar 1, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Ten

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


Texas Remedies:
* Urinate on your finger and stick the finger in your ear.
* Fill ear with mud made from bird droppings.
* Hold a baby over a hogpen to cure its earache.

Put into the ear a clove of garlic or a small fig toasted and bathe the feet in warm water at bedtime, taking care to stop the ears with undressed wool and to keep the head very warm at night. – The Housekeeper’s Almanac, 1842

Take some licorice and warm it slightly in ghee. Prepare a pasty mixture of the two. Then apply this mixture externally around the ear. After some minutes, relief from the earache is ensured.

Pluck some leaves of the castor plant. Introduce this in some warm sesame oil and dab the oil around the ears. Apply it as though you are giving light fomentation with the oil.

Take a piece of lean mutton, the size of a large walnut, put it into the fire and burn it for some time till it is reduced almost to a cinder; then put it into a clean rag, and squeeze it until some moisture is expressed which must be dropped into the ear as hot as a patient can stand it. – Dr. Chase’s Recipes, 1880

Put a few drops of olive oil or mineral oil in the sore ear; the oil will act as a lubricant and may help to eliminate dry, itchy symptoms of the ear infection. Warm the oil up like you would a baby's bottle, under the hot tap water for a few minutes. Make sure you test the temperature of the warmed oil before using it in your ear. The warm oil should be at body temperature. Apply it with an ear dropper and only use enough oil to coat the inner lining of the ear.

Puncture a piece of garlic, squeeze the juice out of it, and pour the juice in the ear that hurts. Garlic is known to have a natural antibiotic in it, and using the garlic juice may help the antibiotics to fight the infection.

Easy method for attracting earwigs from the ear: A person lately having an earwig creep into his ear, and knowing the particular fondness that insect has for apples, immediately apply a piece of apple to the ear, which entices the creature out, and thereby prevents the alarming conequences which might otherwise ensue. – The Family Magazine, 1741

Take a large onion and cut it into slices; put a slice of onion, then a leaf of strong tobacco, then a slice of onion again, then tobacco, until the onion is all laid up, then wrap in a wet cloth and cover in hot embers until the onion is cooked; press out the juice with heavy pressure and drop into the ear. It gives instant relief. – The Farmer’s Advocate, 1876

Hold a hair dryer set on the warm setting a little ways from your ear to allow the warm air to blow in. Do not use the hot setting because you may burn yourself. You may also apply heat to your ear using a heating pad: turn it on warm and lay the side where the earache is on the heating pad. The warm air from the hair dryer and the warm heat from the heating pad will ease the pain. Do not use the blow dryer for more than 3 to 5 minutes.

Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel. Use the towel-wrapped hot water bottle as a pillow by laying the sore ear on it. The heat from the hot water bottle will ease the pain from the sore ear.

Warm up an oven-safe plate, wrap it in a towel, and rest your aching ear right on it. The plate should be warm and comforting, not hot.

Soak the feet in warn water; roast an onion and put the heart of it into the ear as warm as it can be borne; heat a brick and wrap it up and apply to the side of the head. When the feet are taken from the water, bind roasted onions on them. Lard or sweet oil, dropped into the ear, as warm as it can be borne, is good. – Brockville Almanac, 1866

Mixture of equal parts of chloroform and laudanum, a little being introduced on a piece of cotton. The first effect is a sensation of cold, then numbness, followed by scarcely perceptible pain and refreshing sleep. – The Canadian Farm, 1864

If your ears hurt when the pressure changes, especially during descent and landing during an airplane flight, chew gum or suck on candy. The chewing or sucking will activate the muscles that send air to your inner ears, when you hear your ears "pop," you'll feel better.

If you are flying at 32,000 feet when your ears begin to ache, there's help, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Pinch your nostrils shut. Take a mouthful of air and then, using your cheek and throat muscles, force the air into the back of your nose as if you were trying to blow your fingers off the end of your nose. A pop will tell you when you have equalized the pressure inside and outside your ear.

Don't sleep during an airplane descent. If you must doze off while flying, close your eyes at the beginning, not the end of the trip. You don't swallow as often when you're asleep, so your ears won't keep up with pressure changes during descent and they may hurt.