Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer

Striding Through Flickering Flame, #SongLyricSunday

“I yearn for comfort.”

—Sarah McLachlan

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There are a lot of songs with fire as the theme; and, indeed, with the word “fire” in the title or the chorus itself.

Song Lyric Sunday, #SongLyricSunday

Here is my pick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar6a1pkiGf8

It’s about continuing to walk into the fire, again and again, and a little at a time. It’s about doing this until I am immune from the heat of it.

***

Mother, teach me, to walk again
Milk and honey, so intoxicating
[
CHORUS]
And into the fire
I’m reunited
Into the fire
I am the spark
Into the fire I yearn for comfort

Open the doors that lead on, in to Eden
Don’t want, no cheap disguise
I follow the signs, marked back to the beginning
No more compromise
[
CHORUS]
Free the water that carries me to the sea
You I see as my security
[
CHORUS]
I will stare into the sun
until its light doesn’t blind me
I will walk into the fire until its heat doesn’t burn me
And I will feed the fire
[
CHORUS]

LYRICS

***

This is one of her earlier works. It has power. It has punch. It is a force to be reckoned with.

The guitar solos are attention-grabbing. It showed me Sarah McLachlan and the talent she possessed.

I love how she places together fire and the sea. The idea of those two different, yet, clearly powerful elements made me stand up and pay attention to her message here.

I stare at the flames of a fire, in a fireplace or outside, and I watch the bright flames flickering.

Their dark background always made them stand out to me, me and my fading eyesight, and I couldn’t believe something so sharp, its brightness in contrast to the darkness around it. It seemed unnatural, unreal to me, like something supernatural that I’d see in my mind or in a dream of some sort.

I’d imagine reaching out for it, passing my hand through it, passed the pain that would cause, to the other side of something. The smells of smoke, the crackling sound, the heat it’s emitting were all the senses I could trust (in it and in myself), but there was something more to it.

I don’t have to walk through actual fire to grow stronger. All the fires of life test me and my strength for coming out again on the opposite side of it all.

Then I hear of wildfires burning, out of control out west, and the smoke hanging heavy in the air, and I can’t imagine. All I think then is back to that image of the unnatural looking flames, against the dark background of nothingness.

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Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Thanks and Thankfuls – That Was Awesome! #10Thankful

“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”

–John Lennon

Not sure why,

😉

but I love this one.

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“Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”

I often have my eyes closed in pictures taken. I am told this is a pretty good shot, so they should be open.

🙂

The Lighting of the Peace Tower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

Should I say thanks, be thankful for the thanks or thanks for the thankfuls?

This week I am not sure.

10 THINGS OF THANKFUL

Yes, I am Canadian and that means October is when we celebrate Thanksgiving, not November like the US does. Okay, so the actual day isn’t until the 12th, officially, but I celebrated two days early.

For me, this holiday is not and never has been about pilgrims coming across and landing to a grand celebration with The Natives. In Canada, for this Canadian girl in particular, it’s more about celebrating my favourite season (and we get em all in this country), the pumpkins, and the colourful leaves as they fall. Family is the best part, not the pie.

Sure, my family have always eaten turkey and It is true, that I am thankful, but I am just as thankful at Christmas and every other day of the year.

I am a little muddled, as this is my first Thanksgiving as a part of the TToT group – lot of being and feeling thankful going around here. I am a little overwhelmed with that word, “thankful” and all the thankfuls I have running around in my head.

Here I go anyway.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For friendly and down-to-earth writers like Anne Rice.

A couple years back I went ahead and read Interview with the Vampire – my first and only Rice book so far. I am not her biggest fan, but not in a “not a fan” sort of way. I just couldn’t quite let myself grow comfortable with her dark and mysterious writing style I suppose. I look down the extensive list of books she’s written in her three or four decades as a writer and I am impressed, even if the world of supernatural she’s continuously creating remains still unfamiliar to me.

It’s her devotion to her fans, as shown on her Facebook page, that really draws me in and of which I truly admire. As someone beginning to think of herself as a writer, I don’t necessarily think social media is for every author, but I do admire Rice’s dedication to her readers.

Anne Rice Fan Page on Facebook

She is quite obviously the one to handle the page. She doesn’t just post occasionally. She only has her assistant post when she herself isn’t feeling well. She posts daily and is clearly glad to do it.

She engages regularly with her millions of fans, saying good morning and goodnight to them, and having discussions, posing questions, and posting articles.

For friends and graciousness and people willing to help spread the word.

Amy Boviard Author

and

Original Bunker Punks

in particular.

I thank you for your thoughtful shares and I am thankful that you took the time to talk about or publish me, and then go ahead and share that with your website’s readers and then on your Facebook pages.

For the ability to go and turn on the heat.

The weather is turning to the autumn crispness I love so much, which means I have been going back and forth, unsure which type of weather there might be outside my door in the mornings. Things are changing

On a particularly rainy and windy day I broke down and, instead of just loading up on heavy sweaters, took that step and turned on my home’s heat. I am thankful for this because I have it so easily accessible to me. I’ve been going on and on about humidity, heat, and my air conditioning since I began with TToT, but Canadian winters always end up as cold as Canadian summers are hot.

For familial beta readers and editors.

I am not a writer with a publishing contract and an editor on hand to read the things I write, able to give their feedback and offer their suggestions. I don’t have the money to pay people to read all the stuff I’m writing nowadays, but I have managed to cultivate and maintain a number of relationships with these people. I don’t ask them to help, as I am glad to just have their expertise and knowledge to occasionally learn and draw upon. This is where the family obligation comes in.

🙂

Okay, they wouldn’t say it that way, but I still feel bad imposing. Of course, I could impose a lot more often than I do, only asking them to read over something when I really need it.

I apologize eternally to any readers of this blog, as I edit myself, as best I can, but don’t have someone read over my post before hitting publish each and every time.

If a capital letter or punctuation is missed now and then, or perhaps more often than that, I am sorry. These days, with the VoiceOver and Mac, my writing and blogging programs usually catch any incorrect spelling.

As for a week where I have written a piece I’m sending off somewhere to be evaluated and possibly published, to grow a more expanded readership, I look to my family to read my work and offer ideas and first impressions. Usually, this means my big sister. She has a life of her own, you know, with a husband and young son to attend to and spend time with. She works some days and has her own interests, so when she takes the time to help me out I am incredibly thankful.

For my mother and the very fact of her birth. This is worth celebrating and declaring my thanks for, as without this and her, I would not be here to write these words.

For everything she does and everything she is, I am thankful and grateful. I may not always show it, but I mean it from my very soul, with all the feeling words can muster.

I have never been more thankful than for her. Happy Birthday Mom. Xoxoxo.

For purring.

My cat will come over to me and walk across my legs. I don’t know, but I choose to believe he knows the pain therapy he is providing in that moment.

My chronic pain is an all over sort of deal. My legs are sensitive and just the right amount of pressure helps.

As for the purring, when he rests himself against my legs and purrs, I feel better. This is worth a bunch of irritating cat hair on my clothes and furniture.

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For a fun Thanksgiving day at the farm, pumpkin patch, and corn maze with the fam. Got an excellent view of the place from my watch tower perch.

Leaping Deer!

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My first time through a corn maze. I loved the sound of the rustling corn stalks in the cool fall afternoon, but it would have been creepier in the dark. They said you were supposed to give them your names when you went in, presumably in case they needed to find us in the event that we became lost, but we were rebels and told nobody – well, the family knew, I think.

For the pleasure of getting to give my niece and nephews a little something, a small gift, out-of-the-blue.

It wasn’t a holiday where presents were expected, and that made it all the better. They were surprised and I am thankful I got to make them smile.

They are learning and growing, with each Thanksgiving that passes, and that makes me sad, but in a really grateful way. I get to love them and be there, and that’s worth an unplanned and a surprise puzzle, book, or sticker set now and again.

For optimism, without which, I could never find a thing to be thankful for at all.

Whatever else I give thanks for, I am thankful for the TToT and others who have thankfuls in their lives as well.

This one, from this week’s group, is the perfect example of finding the silver linings, all done with beauty and humour.

A Moment In Time – Summertime Wandering

I can use all the optimism I can muster today. I am off to watch the Toronto Blue Jays play, what could be their last game, and the end of any possible hopes their fans had of a World Series win after more than 20 years eager anticipation and hope.

I am thankful for all the togetherness that is shown around here, after being in Toronto a few weeks back and feeling the energy of the baseball fans, the Toronto supporters growing, and I know today is their last hope and the odds are against them, but until that hope is dashed for certain I choose to be positive and optimistic.

It could happen. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Okay, I’ll see where things stand by this evening, a week from now, at next week’s edition of the TToT.

OK…BLUE JAYS…LET’S…PLAY…BALL!

I’ll end this week’s post with one of the most optimistic quotes I know, in the hopes of something sticking, and, as Anne Rice always says to her FB fans,

Signing off.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

Lucy Maud Montgomery

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Fiction Friday, Special Occasions, Uncategorized

Phasmophobia

Welcome to October.

Now that we are in the month leading up to Halloween (historically not always my favourite holiday) I have decided I would take my past issues with it and try and loosen up a little.

Every Fiction Friday leading up to the 31st I plan to write a creepy, spooky, or scary tale.

I have been thinking about this for a while, but this week a blog post from one of, what has quickly become, one of my most looked-forward-to bloggers, landed in my in-box:

5 fears and what they say about us.

This insightful young, twenty-something blogger has given me the five Halloween-themed short story prompts I have been looking for.

***

  1. Ghosts. We breathe easy knowing we’re in the safety of our own home. Confined within walls, behind a deadbolt,, with 9-1-1 on speed dial. Ghosts take that security and leave us helpless. to be in the in the presence of a ghost is the all too familiar feeling of being trapped within ourselves, with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The mere idea of being powerless is enough to break us down.

***

As you enter the house you close the heavy side door behind you with a thud. From somewhere within the house you hear a shattering noise, as if a picture has just fallen off the wall in some room on the other side.

This makes no sense. How could closing this door, barely slamming it at all, how could this cause that?

The room is silent and still, the darkness closing in and that can’t all be coincidence. Something lingers in the room, even as you leave it. It might follow or patiently await your return.

As the television seems to flicker on and off a time or two, your apprehension is growing. All these creeks and alike used to be disguised, perhaps by the simple fact that you were not alone so much. Did the distractions that have ceased only served to remind you that sanity is loosely maintained? After you are alone with only your thoughts to keep you occupied, you start to second guess your grip on your present and the reality or lack there of.

It’s silly to believe in any supernatural beings. What evidence have you really seen of such foolishness? None, that’s what. others’ abnormal little anecdotes aren’t nearly enough to convince you that your usual rational reasoning is faulty in any way.

Suddenly you think of that famous Shakespeare line:

Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

The air feels stifling in the room as you awake suddenly and with a start, a strange shiver running down your spine. That ghostly sound that you sometimes hear when you close the basement stairs behind you, going down to check the laundry and the dryer, is perhaps the thing that has disturbed your sleep tonight. Your ears seem to recognize the faint ghastliness of that reverberation.

You suddenly sense a presence close to you in the dark and a soft coolness seems to slide through your fingers, as if you hold the hand of an invisible bedmate you did not recall lying down with.

The next sign that you aren’t alone is a gentle sweep, as if a finger has reached out, without being spotted, a trick of the mind like when your brother used to tap you on the shoulder on one side, slyly while he sat on the other. Gotcha!

You jerk your hand away at first because there is no explanation that seems to satisfy you. you swipe your own cheek with the back of your own hand. Such a gentle gesture of human contact, but maybe just a dream, seeping through your seconds old consciousness.

If you could bolt from this room at this hour you would, but there is nothing else outside your window, other than more darkness. You could start, heading for somewhere where these things would lose their oddity, but you fear then you might never stop or find your way home again, doomed to wander somewhere out there, forevermore.

If there is a disturbance in the space around you you don’t know how to classify what it is, but your soul seems to freeze in mid sensation. All the synapses are firing and something makes you pull the covers up tight to your chin, as if pulling your limbs to your sides under the blankets will protect you from these unrelenting forces. Why they nag at you more and ore you can’t say.

What is this presence existing side by side with you in the house that you have all to yourself, or you used to think so anyway. Now you can’t get rid of it, whatever you want to call it. You are never alone, but doomed to always be alone all at once.

***

Thank you

Young and Twenty,

for your thought-provoking blog and I will be back next Friday, to tackle those creepy crawly critters that make so many of us jump back in fear.

What about you? Do you believe in ghosts? Have you experienced strange and unexplained incidences at any point?

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Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday: Mine and Others

April is Camp NaNoWriMo, a variation on what I took part in last November. It’s all in how it is set up, with a camp setting, organizing participants into cabins, which basically means writers are linked with other writers, for support throughout the month.
I am not taking part this time. I found the site a little tricky to use with VO (VoiceOver) and had trouble keeping track of my daily word count.
I hadn’t been able to find the necessary motivation before that time to actually write down the story I had swirling around in my head for several years. I went forward and used Twitter and kept track of my word count on my own.
I found it successful in that I managed to reach 50K words in 30 days.
Now it is happening again. They host this event every November, April, and July, along with their Young Writer’s Program.
I am not a camper for several reasons, the technology issues being one of them. The others are, simply put, that I still haven’t finished the ending of my first NaNo experience. I suppose I could have joined up and written another 50K words again this month; maybe the second half of my story or a sequel to it. I still have not decided.
However, I have way too much work I need to get done for school and that must take precedent right now. I do have a first draft of the first part, eagerly awaiting attention and major editing I am sure. I hope to share it here at some point.
***
April is also National Poetry Month in the US, which I’ve previously spoken about. Another event put on this month is called NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). The challenge is to write a poem a day for the 30 days of April.
I marvel at anyone able to pull this feet off, as I struggle sometimes to write one poem, let alone thirty. I love poetry and wish everyone who is taking that challenge on all the luck in the world.
***
I have no more of my own fiction to offer up today, but I can lastly comment on someone else’s.
I am not one of those blogs which exclusively writes and posts book reviews for authors. Some of them, like the lovely young lady I have convinced to join me in the Blog Hop I will be posting for on Monday, she does this. Her site Brittany’s Book Blog, posts and hosts books from many independent authors and she hosts a lot of them for book take-overs. These consist of the author speaking directly to the fans over Facebook, posting teasers and teaser pics from their books, and having give-aways of book related swag and prizes.
I admire her and the work she puts into this, plus a full-time college work load. She is simply a lover of books and does so much to support authors.
I have considered going into this area of blogging, but think, for the most part, I would prefer to focus mainly on my own writing. I am still trying to figure out what this blog is, but it is a bit of a confusing question. I was just hoping it would come to me, without having to consciously think about it.
I hope to be an author myself and greatly admire the authors who do all the work themselves. A lot goes into it. I want to support as many authors as I can and that is why I’ve seriously considered the book review blogging rout.
Today I will give a quick try at it with a book I was just recently given to read, by an up-and-coming independent author. I tried the Amazon/B and N/GoodReads thing, but think I will need extra practice navigating all those sites. I don’t have the largest following on here, but I can give it a try and maybe someone will read this and check her out.
Her name is Komali da Silva and her book is Angels Dawn. (Wow. I feel like I am writing a book report for school.)
If you are a fan of teen/Ya (young adult) you will love this story. It is a tale of young love, first loves, and the turmoil of being a teen.
Dawn is turning sixteen and living a good life with her family, her best friend, and her other life-long friend/boyfriend.
She and he have been friends for years and it finally turned into something more. He is reliable and the good guy, but we all know girls like that bad boy at one time or another, even if it gets her into trouble.
She is swept up in the heat of emotions she feels stronger than she’s ever felt before. He comes into her life, this stunningly good-looking stranger, seemingly out of nowhere, after she is attacked on the school grounds while her family and friends are waiting to celebrate her birthday with her.
When she wakes up in the hospital she remembers very little. It was her trusty boyfriend who came to her rescue, or was it?
This new guy might be the answer to all of her prayers or might just lead her into danger and trouble.
She must choose between the dependable friend who loves her or the guy she feels an intensity for that can not be explained.
The cliff hanger ending comes up upon you as a reader and you are left with another mysterious attack and more questions to be answered about everyone involved than answers.
Who is this mysterious and powerful female who seems to find Dawn as a threat and is doing her best to get rid of her? Is this guy really her saviour and the one she should be with or is he dangerous? Should she follow her heart or her head?
I look forward to the second instalment in the Angels Dawn series. I hope to learn all of this and more.
Thank you Komali, for sending your book over to me and I hope you find all the success for your future writing career that you are working so hard for.
Angels Dawn is the smart and fast-paced story of teen angst and a bunch of the supernatural thrown in to make a winning combination of a developing love story and a growing roller coaster of suspense.
Do you enjoy supernatural beings in the stories you read or do you prefer gritty reality?

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