Archive | January 2011

Murder – Poetry Collab

(originally from July 2007)


Murderous Regret

You are my future
a secret hushed among the stars
That which I cannot see
Shaping my every moment
wrapping, reaching, grasping, clinging

Time doesn’t stop, even if you wish
allowing me a chance to forget my past
Yesterday, like glass thrown and shattered
broken lost and tattered,
shining bleakly – tarnished, rusted and used

Yet, your memory can not be erased
My destiny knows your face
You are my yesterdays, my tomorrows
my dreams, my regrets, will you forever follow me?

Veiled in darkness, a weary path
How did we get to this?
The one so unsure,
fallen and faded
burnished, rusty, cold and worn

In my hands, your heart I held,
For all time to come
You were my past.
You were my first.
I was your last.

Lines contirbuted by Lady “Cheryl” Death, chrystine, derocherart, Alba, Jeff, Glenn, chi_shanay, glenn, Here Kitty Kitty, derocherart, glenn, vicki wagner, Julie, chi_shanay, Rogue Angel, Linda C., Scotorum, Larry and me

Images were from a random google search, slapped together illicitly by me.

Fav song of the moment – Kiss of Dawn – HIM

Circle of Guilt: Flash Fiction

(originally from July 2007)

This was written for Reid’s 500 word challenge


Without an echo, she gently faded into shadows through the doorway as if she were a piece of the night. The only trace left behind the hammering of my own heart.

I dropped back into the bed, grabbed a pillow and covered my head with it in mock suffocation. If only it were that easy.

I closed my eyes but I could still see her visage. Blood splattered along her cheeks. Her dead eyes wide with horror as we dumped her into that drainage ditch and left her. Every nuance and detail of that scene was burned into my very brain: the dead leaves floating stagnant, the way her hair tangled in the damp grass along the banks, the way her hand still clutched at nothing trying to save herself from that fate.

“It was just a nightmare,” I told myself loudly, the words comforting and real. She had been found by the chief of police and her body was at the morgue, stuffed in one of those refrigerated drawers, a tag on her toe while they waited for someone to identify her. She wasn’t here and she had never been here.

I climbed to my feet, flipping on the bedside lamp, and made my way from the bedroom.  The air too close and hot seemed to hold the terror close to my prickled skin, but the kitchen throbbed with life, the hum of electronic hearts beating within the machines that made life livable.

The light spilled forth as I opened the refrigerator and grabbed the gallon of milk to take a long drink. Cold liquid reality raced down my throat, soothing my fears and salving my conscience.

We’d had to finish her, after all. There’d been no choice, not after what Chalky had done. He hadn’t meant to, but too much Rum always made him unpredictable. It was her own fault for going with him, for letting him take her out of sight of the rest of us. If only she’d stopped screaming. That loud, shrieking noise still buzzed inside my ears when I thought about that night. Over and over that screeching sound, like nails on a chalk board to make my hair stand on end.

I shoved the milk back where it belonged and stared at the hands that had choked the last of the life from her. I could feel her weak pulse beneath my thumb still and her blood splattered on my skin, thick and warm, a pattern to decorate an eternity of guilt.

Shuddering, I made my way back to the bedroom and was soon wrapped in the cocoon of blankets, heavy eyes closing.

With a startled jerk I looked up to see her standing in the doorway, staring at me, anger in her eyes. “How could you?” she asked, her voice tight, her throat raw from her screams. “Your own sister, how could you?”

I didn’t answer and, without an echo, she gently faded through the doorway and into the shadows, as if she were a piece of the night…

Art Work: The Darkness Within

(originally from July 2007)


This was for the WSM art contest. The theme was “Darkness Within”

Darkness Within

Fav song of the moment – “Twisted” – Entwine

TTTC – Chapter Six

What is the TTTC? It’s a webcomic written by Jonathan Harvey and illustrated by me. we add a page every week, so be on the lookout. Why not visit and subscribe?



Click the image(s) above for full sized Turtley fun!

Summer Storm – Poetry Collab

(originally from July 2007)



Line contributors are: Cheryl,  journey2heaven,  janina, aka little river girl, journey2heaven,  ASTROCHRONIC,  Rebecca, HiStarfish, chrystine, thynkspynk, Julie, Lady Wolf, Rebecca,  and Histarfish. The rest are mine.

Photo is mine

Ashton – Blogophilia 48.3

It’s time for Blogophilia, the weekly blog game where Marvin posts prompts for participants to use in their blogs. This week’s prompts are:


  • Blogophilia 48.3 Topic: ” Spring Fever “
  • Bonus Points:
  • (Hard, 2pts):  incorporate 2 electric wood working tools
  • (Easy, 1pt) : mention a cracked pot

I’ve been writing short stories to flesh out some of my side characters from the Amaranthine universe. This week is Loren’s older brother. WARNING: Ashton and company use a lot of curse words, so if obscenities offend you then just say “hi” and call it good. Also contains violence.



(You can’t actually find Ashton anywhere, except as a mention in Legacy of Ghosts. But, I wanted to see what he and Loren were like before, so he got a story. This takes place in the mid 1990’s.)

“Hey, dickhead, get up!”

Ashton jerked awake to find his younger brother Loren glaring at him from the doorway. “Huh?”

“I said get up, dude. It’s after six. We need to get some shit from the store-”

Loren went on, but Ashton ignored him and swung into a sitting position on the edge of the bed, his head in his hands. God, I’m tired. I’m so fuckin’ tired! I thought I was supposed to feel like fucking superman now?

“Are you listening?”

He wanted to Loren to go to hell, but he held back and muttered, “Yeah, sure. Look, go to the store and get whatever we need, a’ight? I got some shit to do.” With too much effort he climbed to his feet and rifled through the rubble of his bedroom for something to wear, his back carefully placed to his brother.

“You’ve always got shit to do!” Loren snapped. “How about look for a fucking job? We’re almost out of money and-”

“And you’re still in school, blah, blah, blah.”  Guilt washed over him the moment the words left his mouth, and he forced his voice calm. “Look, I’m sorry, a’right? I know this shit’s hard on you, it’s hard on me, too. If we run out before I get a job we’ll just pawn some of Mom and Dad’s stuff.” He turned and met his brother’s dark eyes for a moment, then turned away again. “A’ight?”

Loren seemed to shrink from the idea. “I don’t wanna pawn their stuff.”

“I know, but they don’t need it anymore, and you need to eat.” He shrugged and went back to dressing. “I’m gonna go up and see Jessie and the guys for awhile.”

There was a moment of silence and then Loren said quietly, “You’ve been off with them every night for like a month. You’re different since they showed up. I never see you anymore. It’s like you’re avoiding me.”

“You’re seein’ me now.” Ashton tried to sound casual. “Don’t turn all girly on me.”

“I’m not turning all girly! I was just saying, you know…” he trailed off.  When Ashton didn’t fill in the silence he sighed with resignation. “All right. I’ll go get the stuff. But, I’m taking your bike.”

Ashton cringed, but didn’t argue.  When Loren sensed his victory, he disappeared, but Ashton didn’t relax until he heard the door shut, and the motorcycle roar to life.

“Fuck,” he muttered to thin air, as if he thought it might answer him. “What am I gonna do?”

It was a good question, and one he’d been working on for three weeks. Loren was right, he was avoiding him, but how could he face him – really face him – now? How was he supposed to explain that he really was different?  Fuck, how did he tell his kid brother that he was a vampire?

Vampire. Yeah, that’s a word that makes a lot of sense.


The moon hung heavy in the sky, and a chilly wind blew across the beach. Ashton took notice of neither as he tugged open the torn screen door and slumped inside the dilapidated house. The rooms were cluttered with broken furniture and old junk. The floors crunched under foot with a mixture of garbage, bits of plaster, mouse droppings and the occasional hardy roach.

He paused in the doorway of what had once been the living room. A single hurricane lamp splashed wavery light over a stained mattress and two ratty chairs, and threw twisted shadows across the walls. Despite the gloom, Jessie sprawled in one of the chairs, as though he were the king of a grand castle, and warbled a terrible attempt at a song.

“Well if you feel the wanderlust, just grab a car or hop a bus. In every town there’s excitement to be found, so much is happening-”

Ashton flopped into the other chair sand snickered. “What the fuck are you singing?”

Jessie’s head snapped around instantly. “Spring Fever.” When Ashton only blinked, he nearly exploded, “Elvis Presley, man! The King! What’s wrong  wi’ you, huh? You never heard a’ it?”

Ashton’s hands went up and he drew back involuntarily. “Sorry, dude. Sorry.”

“Yeah, sorry. You always sorry. You come in here, interruptin’ my vibe, man, wit’ your dumb ass questions. Don’t you know nothin’? And call me Master, fucktard. Remember your place, huh?”

Ashton rolled his eyes, but let it go. Jessie was in one of moods again. Great.

Jessie went back to his song, and the other guys started to trickle in. They were all smarter than to comment on the music, even as Spring fever gave way to Teddy Bear. But Wesley, Jessie’s “right hand man”, didn’t have a problem kicking Ashton’s chair and snapping, “Hey, get outta my chair, loser.”

“Fuck you.” The words were brave, but all it took was one fanged snarl from Wesley and he stood up. “It’s fuckin’ uncomfortable, anyway. And it smells like cat piss.”

“That’s you, man.” Wesley laughed and smacked him in the back of the head, then dropped in his newly claimed chair.  “Yo, Jess, cut the concert and let’s do something, huh?”

Ashton moved away to slouch in a shadowy corner and glare. This was why he didn’t want to tell Loren about what he was. The first time Wesley smacked his little brother in the back of the head like that, he’d have to break his wrist, and then he’d be in the shit.

The singing stopped and Jessie slowly rolled his head over to face the newcomer. “And what we gonna do, huh? You got any ideas?”

Wesley smirked as if he’d been waiting for this. “Yeah, I do.” He raised his voice and shouted to unseen vampires, “Yo, bring her in!”

The screen door banged open and closed, and feet shuffled through the house.  Ashton peered around the others curiously as someone whimpered; a soft, high sound, and then two of the guys appeared through the doorway, lugging a fourteen year old girl between them. Her hair was strawberry red and hung around her face like it had just fallen out of a ponytail. Her clothes were rumpled and dirt stained, and she had only one shoe. Tears and dirt streaked her face, and traces of blood were smeared under her nose. It would have been bad enough if Ashton hadn’t known who she was, but knowing made it worse.

The guys dumped her on the floor in a heap in front of Jessie. He gave Wesley a look of surprised approval, and caught the girl’s head under her chin, forcing her to look at him. “Well, look at this.”

The girl’s eyes darted fearfully around the room and Ashton hid in the shadows. Don’t see me, Jenny. Don’t see me.

It seemed to work.

“Please,” she whispered, her voice tiny, even as she begged the whole room. “Please, just let me go home. I won’t tell. I promise. I won’t. Please.”

“You won’t tell, huh?” Jessie mused. “I tell you what, honey. You be a good girl and maybe you can go home in a little bit. How’s that sound, huh?” His lips curved into a smile and his fangs glittered in the light.  At the sight, Jenny’s eyes grew wide, and then she screamed and tried to get away. Wesley grabbed her and hauled her up into the air, her legs kicking furiously as she shrieked.

Ashton shuddered and tried to disappear into the wall. If he just closed his eyes this would all go away. Go away. Go away. Oh God, make it go away!

But, when he opened his eyes, he was still there. Wesley had Jenny pinned to the floor and Jessie and a couple of other guys were hovering over her, their lips drawn back from their fangs as she flailed and pleaded.  Goddammit  He had to do something.

“What the fuck?”

At his words the room went silent, and everyone turned in unison to look at him. He suddenly wished he’d stayed quiet, but it was too late, so he pressed on. “What the fuck are you guys doing?”

Jessie straightened up and eyed him with semi-amusement. “What’s it look like to you?”

Ashton forced back the fear and took a step forward. “Christ, man, she’s like fourteen. That’s just sick.”

“You think so?” Jessie asked in what seemed like a reasonable tone, though something in his eyes was off kilter. “Anyone else think that’s sick? Huh?”

No one moved.

“Looks like it’s just you, loser.” Wesley snickered, but Jessie silenced him with a gesture.

“Maybe he’s right.”

No one knew what to say, Ashton included.

“Maybe he’s right,” Jessie repeated. “Let her go.”

Wesley started to argue, but then he held up his hands and backed away, smirking. Jenny jerked to her feet quickly, swaying in place as she stared uncertainly from one face to another. Her gaze brushed over Ashton and he saw recognition in her eyes; recognition and fear.

Jessie laid a hand on her head, ignoring her whimper. “I say you’re right, man. She’s just a kid. A fucking little kid!” He snapped her around and put her in head lock. Her eyes went wide with terror as he shouted. “Just some fucking little kid you’re soft on. You too soft to watch, huh? You too soft to join in and have some fun? You know what? You piss me off. You always comin’ around here, ruinin’ the vibe, man! The vibe! You’re such a buzz kill, and I’m fuckin’ sick of it. We’re all fuckin’ sick of it, man!”

He paused for them to agree, but everyone was speechless, so he bellowed, “You don’t want us to have some fun wi’ her, then we gonna have some fun wi’ you, you get that, shit face? You get that?”  There was a loud crack as he snapped the girl’s neck, then he flung her aside. “You got a five minute head start, then we comin’ after you. We gonna hunt you down like a dog, and if we don’t find you, then we gonna hunt down your brother instead. You read me, man? You better get runnin’. Run, bitch! Run!”

It took Ashton a moment to digest the words, but once the meaning slammed home, he did just what Jessie said: he ran.  He pounded out of the house, and across the beach as fast as his legs could carry him. But, no matter how fast he ran, he couldn’t get the picture out of his head of Jenny standing there, her eyes wide with accusing terror.

He got to the house just as Loren was pulling in. He climbed off the motorcycle and unstrapped the bag from the back. “Hey, I thought you-” but Ashton grabbed him.

“We gotta go. We gotta go now.”

Like the ever annoying sidekick in an action movie, Loren blinked stupidly and asked, “What?”  But, unlike the movie, Ashton didn’t have time to explain.

“Just get on the fucking bike!”  And before Loren could argue he was in the saddle and pulling his brother on behind him.  He turned the key, flipped the kill switch, and kicked the bike into gear while Loren grabbed onto him.

They peeled out of the driveway, Loren clinging to him and screaming, “What’s going on!” but Ashton still didn’t have time to answer – or was it that he didn’t have the words?

The road sped away beneath them, and the dark trees were a blur in their peripheral vision. Loren soon traded questions for screaming at him to slow down, but he ignored that, too. As he drove, one thing became apparent to him: he was going to have to tell Loren. No, not only tell him, he was going to have to change him, too. It was his only chance. There was no way he could fight them like he was. The change would take a full twenty-four hours to finish, but after that he’d be better. He’d be stronger. Faster.  They just had to get through those twenty-four hours.

Ashton pulled off the road into an abandoned lot and parked the bike behind a dilapidated shed. The skeleton of a burned house squatted nearby, but it offered no protection.

He swung off the bike and Loren did the same.  His brother stared at him, eyes wild and his curly mop of hair a windblown mess. “Can you tell me now what the hell’s going on?”

Ashton glanced over his shoulder, paranoid, but there was no one there. “Look, I gotta do this the fast way. Jessie and the others… they’re not what you think.”

“You mean they’re not a bunch of asshole tweakers?” Loren asked sarcastically.

“Okay, they’re a bunch of assholes, but they’re not tweakers. They’re not… they’re not even human.” Loren started to interrupt, but Ashton went on quickly. “Look, Loren, I’m sorry about this, a’ight?  I never meant to get you involved. You know I’ve done my best since Mom and Dad got killed, but I fucked up. I fucked up bad.” He shifted from one foot to the other, and sought for words. “Jessie and the others, they’re-”

“Holy shit! What’s with your teeth?”

Ashton froze, his eyes wide. His first reaction was to hide it, but he knew he couldn’t. Not this time. “It’s part of what I’m trying to tell you. Jessie and the others – and me – we’re vampires.” The word sounded much sillier than it felt. It failed to pack the punch of cold terror that was twisting in Ashton’s gut when he thought about them.

“Vampires?” Loren echoed cautiously. “Dude, what are you on?”

“I’m not on anything!” Ashton insisted. “You have to listen. You know Jenny Willinger from down the road? They got her, dude. They got her tonight and they fucking killed her. I told them not to. Jessie was already pissed at me, and now he wants to kill me, and he wants to kill you, too.”

Loren didn’t believe him. “Seriously? Look, let’s just go home and you can sleep this off.”  He reached for his brother, but Ashton didn’t have time to convince him. No time, No time. No time!

With a roar that was half anger and half impatience, he grabbed Loren and spun him around, so his back was against him, then he forced his head to one side, exposing his neck. His brother shouted something, but he didn’t listen. He couldn’t. He had to act.

Loren screamed when he bit him. He struggled, at first, but slowly he grew still and his body sagged back against Ashton. His blood was hot and coppery, and Ashton gulped it as though his life depended on it. He was doing it fast, maybe too fast, but he didn’t know, and he didn’t have the time to find out.

No time. No time. No time.

He lowered Loren’s slack body to the ground and quickly searched his pocket for a knife. Fuck! He didn’t have one! And then he thought of his teeth. It took him a moment to work up the courage, but then he tore into his own arm.


It hurt more than he thought it would, but there was nothing else to do. He tried to duplicate what Jessie had done to him; what he’d seen Jessie do some of the other guys, but Loren was too out of it to take his arm willingly, so he crammed it in his mouth.

“Fuck,” he muttered. “Come on Loren, drink. Fuck, drink! Drink!”

Like he’d done before to the family cat when he’d given it pills, he pressed down on Loren’s adam’s apple, forcing him to swallow. Forcing the blood down his throat.

Loren’s eyes popped open, like someone on the cusp of a seizure. He gasped around the arm in his mouth and choked on the mouthful of blood. Something shifted in his eyes, something that made Ashton think of Jessie, and suddenly he clutched his brother’s arm and sealed his lips around the wound.

Like the bite, it hurt more than he thought it would, but he endured, until he started to feel light headed. He had to wrestle his arm away from his brother, but it had been the same with everyone else when they were turned. After that first taste you never wanted to stop.

Loren fell back to the grass and lay, gasping. His eyes slowly cleared and then he murmured, “Oh shit.”

Ashton dropped into a sitting position next to him. “You alright?”

Loren wiped his face, and stared at the blood on his hand. “I don’t know. What – what just happened?” he swung his gaze to his brother.  “What was that?”

“You’re one of us now,” Ashton said with a sick sort of finality. He pulled off his flannel shirt and used it as a makeshift bandage for his wounded arm and stood. “Just rest for awhile. They’re a lot slower than the bike, so they’re probably not even halfway here. We’ll wait awhile, then we’ll head back the long way, grab our stuff, and then we get the hell outta Dodge.”

Loren nodded and rolled over onto his side, too tired to argue. Time was short, but they couldn’t move now. He had to wait.


They pulled into the driveway two hours later.  The house was dark and the bag of groceries still lay on the pavement, the contents scattered. Ashton shut off the bike and motioned to Loren to stay put. He approached the house cautiously, but didn’t hear anything.  It’s okay, he told himself. They’re not here.

The front door was locked and he’d left the keys in the bike, so he went for the attached garage. He threw up the door and took two steps inside.

He didn’t see the vampire in the shadows, or the cracked flower pot that crashed down on his head a second later.

Ashton opened his eyes slowly. The light was bright and made his head hurt. He tried to raise a hand to block it, but he couldn’t. His hands were tied uncomfortably behind his back. Tied?

“Hey, shit face is waking up.”

The voice belonged to Wesley, and so did the face that leered over him. The rest of the room came into focus, and Ashton realized he was in his own garage. Jessie was there, as were some of the other guys and Loren, who was covered in blood. Ashton didn’t know if it was fresh, or if it was left over from the turning. Regardless, his brother stood on shaky legs, held upright by two others.


Jessie stood over him, something large and bulky in his hands. “Good evenin’ sunshine. Nice job wit’ your brother.”

Ashton spit blood out of his mouth, and tried to sound brave. “Just leave him out of this.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Jessie nodded to someone and the thing in his hands sprung to life, whirling and roaring.  It was an electric drill. “Now it’s your turn to entertain us.”

Ashton screamed and bucked as the drill chewed into his leg. Shreds of his jeans wrapped around the bit and burned. He thought he heard Loren screaming, but he couldn’t be sure. There was too much noise in his head. Too much noise. Too much pain.

Then it stopped.

Jessie stood back, a frown between his eyebrows. “Nah.” He threw the drill aside and it landed on the floor with a clatter. “What else you got?”

Wesley answered him from further back in the garage, probably at the work bench. Dad’s work bench. “We got a sander?”

Jessie snorted. “Nah. Fuck that. Fuck this pussy shit. We want something heavy duty, man.”

“Chainsaw?” Before Jessie could answer Wesley suggested, “Lawn mower?”

Jessie’s face lit up. “Oh yeah, man. That’s the fucking ticket. That’s just what we want. But not in here.” He motioned to the others. “Bring ‘em outside. We gots to do this right. Time to mow the yard!”

Someone grabbed Ashton under the shoulders and dragged him outside, leaving behind a trail of blood from his damaged leg. He struggled, but he was too weak to really fight them. If he hadn’t changed Loren he might have been strong enough but, if he hadn’t changed him, Loren would be dead already.

They threw him to the ground, and he caught a glimpse of his brother. They’d dropped him in a heap on the ground. Too weak to stand, he wasn’t a threat to them, or they didn’t think he was. Maybe he could get away and get help.

The others were busy trying to get the old lawn mower to start, so he took the opportunity to catch his brother’s attention. Loren started to crawl towards him, but he shook his head no. Run, he mouthed. Run. Loren shook his head, but Ashton just repeated it and added, find help. Though where he could find it was the million dollar question.

Reluctantly, Loren started to crawl backwards towards the beach.  Yes. Yes. Go. Get the fuck outta here! Go! If he could just save his brother then it wouldn’t all be a waste, would it? If only he’d been more like Loren after their parents died and put himself into something productive instead of running away and hiding out in drugs and alcohol.  Jessie and his crowd seemed so extreme. They were the ultimate high: blood, danger, death.  Like the death that was waiting for him. Fuck. If something didn’t happen soon he was gonna get the biggest high ever. That one that ended in a bright light.

The mower choked and he felt hopeful, but then it roared to life, amid cries of surprise and rough laughter. Wesley ran it over the grass a couple of times and then he and Jessie exchanged a meaningful look.  It only took one of them to lift it up. Ashton squinted up at the undercarriage, but there was no high. He was just numb. Odd bits of grass stuck to the inside and the blades spun so fast that they were a blur. They whipped up a miniature hurricane that blew his hair and threw old clippings in his face. No high, just grass in his mouth and in his eyes. Just the taste of dirt and fear. Just the sight of Loren slowly backing away on his hands, his eyes wide and terrified.

And then they lowered the mower.

No! God, No!

Ashton screamed.

Help! God, help! Help!

And then everything went black.

There was no light.

Song playing at the moment – “Buried Alive by Love” -HIM

If You’ve Never Seen a Kindle

This is a new post (oh wow!) but also a cross post with my author blog (not so wow, but, oh well!)

Yeah, it may seem far fetched, but there are plenty of people who’ve never seen one of these bad boys. Until recently, I was one. Sure, I’ve seen the display models at wal-mart, but they never work, do they? So, when I ordered mine I really didn’t know what I was going to get. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some basic kindle information with you. This is not a “how to use” the kindle article, but more of a “this is what it all looks like” post.

(of note – it is my scanner bed that is smutty. I thought about cleaning it, but I didn’t notice it until these were all scanned, so it would mean doing it over, and I’m too lazy for that.)

First we have the home screen, where your categories – or folders – are listed:

As you can see I am forced to share this with my hubby.

I was a bit concerned when I heard that the screens weren’t back lit, and I wondered how the words were going to show up. sure, everyone says this eInk stuff is great, but the general collective and I don’t always agree. however, they’re right. the eINk shows up just fine without a back light, and is not only readable, but easy on the eyes.

Page one of Shades of Gray

Pictures do display, but with grayscale they’re kind of iffy. For instance, the Shades of Gray cover doesn’t look so good:

More contrast, please!

while some of the images from The Do-Nothing-Day came out pretty good:

The Do-Nothing-Day, soon to fall under a pen name

Okay, enough of the books. Let’s go check out the home screen menu:


Yes, it says experimental. You see, you can do more on the Kindle than just read books. For one thing, you can listen to MP3’s. Or, if you’re not in the mood for music, maybe you’d like to surf the web? Though it’s grayscale, the Kindle 3 has a decent browser. It displays html pages, like wikipedia, with ease:

The wikipedia page on Vampires

It even displays my google app email

some names have been blanked out to protect privacy

However, it doesn’t like ALL webpages doesn’t show up at all

There’s one other nifty thing I want to share with you. You may have noticed that all those non functional display models have a picture on the screen. You might have assumed that this was a sticker, or that the device was actually turned on and just locked, but nope, it’s actually turned off. Once the eInk arranges itself on the screen, it uses no power to continue to display it, so amazon has added these nifty little pictures to… wel… I don’t know why, but they’re cool. Here are a few examples:

There’s several images of famous authors, including Jane Austen

One of my favorites

soem cool birds

I wonder if they have a picture pack you can get to add new images? That’s something I might look into in the future just because I can.

And lastly, I want to demonstrate the ever weird text to speech capabilities of the Kindle.

Pretty snifty, huh?  There are other things, like adding notes, etc, that I haven’t tried yet. Right now, I’m mainly just trying to catch up on my backlog of eBooks!

Song playing at the moment – Behind the Crimson door – HIM

War – A Collab Poem

(Originally from July 2007)


Death & War

Through the echoes of history
what is it they were thinking of?
“It wasn’t personal”, they say
as millions of skulls are watching from above
the lines written in pain
the many words that have been said
Paragraphs written in blood
All fade, as ashes, from our hands
lessons never learned
with hindsight eyes, you’re still reluctant to see
Mankind still follows the path of destruction
While we stand looking at nothing but misery.

The lines were contributed by: Cheryl, journey2heaven, alba bama, Charles, Vicki Wagner, saint/jesus, DayLove, and Chi Shanay.

My second collab poem. Yay!

Musical Blog Tag


The rules are simple – fill it out and tag five people, can’t be much easier than that, so without further ado I present my….

Music to….

Sing along to: Gin Blossoms, any album

Dance to: Um… not much of a dancer but…. Utada Hikaru (Simple and Clean) and Jade (Real Emotion)

Drive to: Disturbed’s first album The Sickness– especially  The Game

Be angry to: Matchbox 20 “Mad season” – that disc is so bitter and angry!

Cry to: “Daddy can you see me now” Anita Cochran – shut up! *sniff *

Laugh to: Weird Al

Make you feel melancholy: “Freshman” by Verve Pipe,End of the innocence” Don Henley, “Empty Chairs” Don McLean, anything with violins. Violins are the saddest, most melancholy instrument ever. They’re actually my favorite.

Make you feel better: HIM – especially wicked game, oooh yeah!

Put you in the “mood”: HIM, Disturbed or Placebo

Write to: depends on the scene. Don McLean or Simon and Garfunkle are good for flowery descriptions, HIM for dark scenes and slightly twisted romance, Gravity Kills or Disturbed for fight scenes, Roxette, Queen of the Damned soundtrack or Placebo for sex (depending on the kind of sex)

Work out to: Hmmm, whatever is on my play list at the time.

Surf the net to: Anything… Breaking Benjamin, Cold, Negative, you name it.

and I’m adding one – Draw to: The Rasmus.

I originally tagged people back when I first posted this, but I am now tagging Sassy Sue and Jissilly, as they are the only two who might read this. Anyone else who wants to do it is welcome!

And for the segment I happily call “Random Things from My Hard Drives” that one person has gone on record as liking I present


Fluffy flower

wet web.jpg

Wet web stuff

twin trees.jpg

blurry but I like it

frog better.jpg

Hang on!!


A bug plant!?!

Fav Song of the Moment – “Ever the Same” –Rob Thomas, “Passion’s Killing Floor” – HIM

Disappearing History

(Originally from July 2007)

I’ve been buried in writing projects lately and organizing my 1930’s research – have most of the pictures put into documents which I am planning to turn into html and send off to my co-author, but lord is that time consuming! I swear it’s taking longer to do that than it did to find the stuff!

Though I found an interesting resource yesterday I’d never even thought of – my paper doll  connections! First of all, what a better place to look for clothing examples than paper dolls? And secondly a lot of the ladies in the paper doll groups are fairly, erm, older and whereas we’re getting to a place in time where most of our world war II vets are now dead, the older ladies are more likely to know things – even if just from stories people told them. I find, disturbingly, that my generation and the ones afterwards really haven’t bothered to listen to a lot of this stuff, so it’s all disappearing.

I did, though, and still do when I get the chance. I suppose it comes from church, as odd as that sounds. We went to a small Episcopalian church that was 90% elderly ladies, so I spent a lot of my youth surrounded by them and listening to them – and often hearing things I didn’t want to. But, I also used to know all the gossip.

Anyway, these old ladies would get to gossiping, and if I was very quiet they’d forget I was even there at all, and when you’re six and there’s nothing else to do but listen you learn to get rather good at it, and to even enjoy some of it (Things like some of the old men’s sexual preferences – never discussed in detail, of course, but hinted at, were more than I needed to know!) and because of that I am really a store house of odd information. I know who had affairs with who and why, who was mad at who and why. I knew all the inter church politics, who was doing and saying what to who, heck, I and my brother even ended up cloistered in the midst of the top secret priest-choosing meetings, including the interviews.  But aside from that, I also listened to all kinds of stories from different parts of people’s lives – which I find intensely interesting. Maybe it’s my penchant for history that makes me enjoy odd antidotes, or maybe that’s what makes me enjoy history. Either way, I’ve listened since early childhood to varieties of stories about people’s lives, little snapshots of people who are now dead and moments that are forgotten. and, though no one cares, I am going to share a few that pop randomly into my head.

When Mable Broeker was a child she and her younger brother built themselves a “car” from an old wagon and they’d take turns riding in it while the other one would pull it. But, they knew a car needed gas and so they got themselves a tin can and punched a hole in the bottom of it with a nail. Then they’d fill it with water and as the water leaked out they considered it gas consumption. When it ran completely out of water they’d both have to walk back from where ever they were to the rain bucket and get more, since the car was out of gas and couldn’t be driven anymore. That was the same summer they had the overabundance of cucumbers. She said there were so many that they had them everywhere and in everything until her mother didn’t know what to do with them and finally gave a bunch of them to the kids to make boats out of.  I’d like to see a cucumber boat; that has to be interesting!

When my grandmother Josephine was a tween she and her sisters all had freckles and hated them, so one day someone told them that on the night of the full moon they should slather their faces in cow dung and sit outside for an hour and the freckles would all disappear. So of course, desperate, the three girls waited patiently for a full moon and all snuck outside and headed to the cows where they smeared the disgusting stuff all over their faces and sat  outside, waiting for their freckles to disappear. Luckily for them, no one ever caught them, but of course the freckles didn’t disappear. The next day my grandmother’s sister confronted the person who’d suggested it to them, and everyone spent the next several days laughing at them for trying it.

When Mrs. Holt was in high school she was ahead of her class and the school was short on teachers, so Junior year she got promoted from student to part time teacher and would spend half of her day teaching classes to her peers and the other half attending classes. When she graduated, naturally, she went on to teaching out in Nebraska, and one year they were in the middle of their lessons in a rural one room school house when one of the kids who was looking out the widow started screaming. She looked out and saw a swarm of snakes, she said she’s never seen anything like it before or since, but it was a huge twisting mass of serpents just barreling straight across the ground. She gathered all the kids up and hauled them outside and heaped them all up on top of a large rock that was out of the path of the snakes.

The snakes finally passed, though it was a full two days before they could get all of the creatures out of the schoolhouse as a good chunk of the “herd” of snakes had gone straight into the building through chinks and then it took them awhile to find their way out. She said they’d pull books off of shelves or move something and there’d be another one of the things.

I’ve never had a problem with snakes, personally, but my Great Grandmother hated them with a passion. She had diabetes and back then the only treatment for it was to eventually put you in an insane asylum. Well, as it was progressing, of course, she eventually went blind. One day she was sitting out on the porch and suddenly pronounced loudly that there was a snake. Everyone looked around and assured her that there wasn’t, but she was determined that there was, she said she could just “feel” it, and she insisted that my grandmother and Wanda and June look more. Finally, sure enough, June found it – it was a big bull snake that was sleeping quite happily under the porch! Of course, they killed the poor thing, but after that whenever Great grandmother said there was a snake they took her seriously, and oddly she was always right.

Speaking of my grandmother’s sister, Wanda, here’s a strange one. Wanda was born, oddly, with a dark, olive complexion. It’s obviously some kind of kick back because my Aunt carol has it too. Anyway, when they went to send Wanda to school they wouldn’t let her in because they accused her of being “half-black” and forced her to take a blood test in order to go to school! How weird is that? Just shows you how stupid people were back then, and how much times have changed.

Here’s another one for how much times have really changed. My dad’s mother was a bit of a “bad girl” when she was young. Her mother had left her and her sister under the care of her father and disappeared, so her father moved them in with his sister, who was a tyrannical old bat. Well, my grandma had a friend who happened to be a boy that she palled around with and one day he showed up with a new bicycle. Of course, my grandma was itching to ride it too, but her Aunt wouldn’t let her (my grandmother’s quote was “girl’s didn’t ride bikes in those days” but I’m sure some girls did) and so she started sneaking around behind her back and learning to ride it anyway until one day when she finally got caught at it. The Aunt let out a bellow and demanded she come in the house that second and then she used a switch on her “backside” and forbid her from ever riding a bicycle again because ladies didn’t do such things. Needless to say she rode it when she wanted anyway, she was just more careful about not getting caught. (Guess who I take after?)

I guess it just fascinates me sometimes how much society’s perceptions have changed on things, you know? Like when the ladies I went to church with were children there was a man who went to church there too and he would always carry candy in his pockets and tell the little girls they could have a piece if they’d reach in and get it themselves. They all laughed about it and made jokes about how much candy they’d probably gotten off of him before they all got old enough to realize what he was up to.

My Grandfather Muthcler’s family were real hillbillies, they never lived in the same place twice. One year they spent under a bridge and another they spent living in a house that was missing part of an upstairs wall so that when they woke up they had to shake the snow off of their blankets.

One summer, when he was sixteen, my grandpa took off up the train tracks looking for work – he’d done this every year since he was 12 – only this year he ended up Minnesota by the end of it, working for a guy who paid him off at the end by giving him a motorcycle that he then rode home and had for a few years. That idea fascinates me – he didn’t register it or have a motorcycle license and yet no one cared. There was no paperwork trail or anything else! Another year he wound up learning to fly crop duster planes in Kansas – again with no license.

I don’t know, people say it was the good old days coz things were better, but they weren’t better. People had the same things to deal with then that they have now, but I think the real difference was the complications on things. But even that’s a double edged sword, depending what view you take. For instance you have unlicensed people on a motorcycle, on one hand this is freedom, isn’t it? Anyone who wants to can ride one – assuming they have one – but on the other hand it means people who might not know what they’re doing can be on it, and isn’t that a risk to our collective safety?

I’m sure anyone who knows me can guess my attitude on it, eh? The way I look at it is we’re not safe anyway, are we? Let’s say we lock up everyone who’s ever committed a crime and when we’re done and no one’s left then I guess we’ll all be safe, protected by the prison guards, politicians and judges.

Hmm, not sure how I wound around myself to that subject, but I’m not in the mood for a tirade, despite my recent reading of the Times, so I’ll end this here. I had no intention of this being long at all. Actually I am supposed to be working on brushes for paint shop pro.

I have to say though, my recent writing rash has been caused by Don McLean – I recently acquired his album Tapestry, and pairing it with the American pie album back to back causes one to want to say long flowery and oddly depressing things. I finally got round today to listening to the “new” one, I mean actually listening to the words, not just having it play, and wow, it’s just as down and social commentating as the other one *big grin*. Quite delighted, really. I am such a sucker for the folky string-driven stuff  😀

And for the segment I like to call Random Things From My Hard Drives” here is…

This is my very first poetry collab for Cheryl’s Pals. The way it works is that poets contribute lines to the “give me one more line” blog, and then use those lines to compose a poem of their own. It’s a lot of fun.


In the darkness of the night
That’s when they come to me
I see your face by the candle’s light
Dancing shadows amuse my fears
Your warm embrace, the taste of your kiss
The pale light erasing the trace of years
The sweet caress of the moonlight mist
you come into my dreams

memories whisper astride a cool wind
ghostly signs of my obsession,
your touch, my sin
from the shadows, your face emerges
your beauty beyond sight
whispers to me in magnolia mists
and fades away with morning light
although you’re not with me
I can feel you by my side
But I couldn’t hold you…
you belong to the night

(I’ve lost who contributed the original lines, sorry 😦 )

Fav Song of the moment – Three Flights Up– Don McLean

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