Reading, Writing, Pondering: Big Life Themes, Literature, Contemporary/Historical Issues
Welcome to the 14th century, in a farflung outpost of the Holy Roman Empire, and a new Convent outpost of the terrrifically powerful Roman Catholic Church. Sound historically dull? Hopefully not so--for this is NOT an ordinary 14th Century Convent.
Back after a six-year hiatus....
From NaNoWriMo historical Supernatural novels in Scotland, Michigan, South Alabama and historical horror in Standwood Station, GA-to the Phantom Northern Woods-to singlehandedly refighting the American Civil War-to exploring Social Justice and standing for First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution-we deal out horror, Supernatural, Historical, fantasy, mystery, and more. We do not fear outspokeness.
And always, always, always, We Do History.
Find it here.
We write it. We read it. We hold strong opinions. We orate.
Meanwhile, whether we're writing or just reading, we love to rave about books and authors right here!
|May 28 2019
Is inaction a form of action? What do you think of inaction or rather giving up? Can it sometimes work? Can anyone be blamed for inaction in real life or in history.
Yes, Neville Chamberlain: pre-WWII.
Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." And "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
May 29 2019:
Prompt: "Everything's good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August." Jenny Han What are your thoughts about this quote?
Absolutely not so for me: the magical months are September, October, November, December, and secondarily January through March: long nights, short days; cold, and if only I could live farther North or West, snow and ice and blizzards. Winter is my favourite season and Autumn is a close second. Spring and Summer mean unbearable heat and humidity.
|Prompt: Einstein said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
Can you think of a few things about people that show stupidity? What about the universe’s stupidity?
What doesn't constitute human stupidity? *snark* Other than a few geniuses (currently, the late Stephen Hawking; authors/thinkers such as Tim Powers, John Connolly, Dean Koontz, Neal Stephenson) whose work expands my intellect and awakens my imagination, the mass of humanity is just .
The Multiverse's stupidity? Please: Entropy! What is the sense in creation and evolution only to eventually wear out and collapse?
I'm not real happy with the course of evolution so far either.
In the graveyard
For the Dead.
Weeping or solemn,
Stone, they beckon.
|Prompt “Ego never accepts the truth.” Buddha
How useful are our egos if they can’t accept the truth? What do you think?
Truth nowadays exists like the Shadows in Plato's Cave: barely glimpsed, only vaguely, and many wouldn't recognise it if actually experienced. Almost everything is "fake," or as the current saying goes, "Photoshopped." My grandsons see in terms of real or "fake," and certainly most of us know the Media doesn't always give facts, let alone Truth.
What does this have to do with Ego? I see Contemporary Society as for the most part, a Cult of Ego: a Cult of Self-Centeredness, Narcissism, Egotism, Conceit, Vanity, a complete lack of compassion or empathy.
Yes, that is a sad and cynical outlook. Yet, it is mine.
|Blog City May 11 2019:
Everyone is addicted to something in some shape or form.What are the things you can't go without?
I don't call mine "addiction." I think addictions often grow from habits, rightly or wrongly adopted, and can sometimes, like habits, be overcome. Even when they're not overcome, sometimes they can be mitigated or reduced.
What I couldn't live without is Reading and Books. I literally cannot live without those and maintain any sanity. What I desire but unfortunately have had to live without for my lifetime are mountains and solitude and Winter (I haven't lived without Winter all my life, just the last 14 years). I also don't want to be without my dog, although over the last nearly 8 months he has had to live in the shed instead of indoors with me.
I consider these not addictions, but part of my nature.
|Blog City May 9 2019:
Prompt: "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream." C. S. Lewis Do you agree with this quote?
Yes! Had I not believed that, I wouldn't be a writer. I wouldn't have been an online reviewer for the past 12 years. I wouldn't be approaching my 12th Account Anniversary at WDC. I could not hope for positive change in my living circumstances or to ever achieve all that I had not. If I did not believe, then why not curl up like a snail and dissolve?
|“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
Carl Gustav Jung
What are your thoughts on the quote?--Blog City May 7 2019
I don't see how any two personalities coming into contact cannot be changed in some way, similarly any reader not be changed by any book (positive or negative), or viewer not be changed by watching tv, film, or playing a game (the latter three not applying to me). Like DNA being transferred from one to another, or air molecules in transit, something of the other and something of oneself will be transferred, and possibly transmuted as well.
|Blog City May 2 2019:
Prompt: What things in life make you feel at peace?
This has been the same all my life. Books & reading; pets & animals; Nature & Environment; Outer Space; Horror & Weird Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction.
Prompt: "Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrong." Charlotte Bronte What are your thoughts about this?
I am not certain whether nursing grudges, bitterness, and resentment physically shortens a life; certainly it exacerbates or possibly even creates health problems and disorders. Certainly it makes for an embittered life. I've known people who've carried grudges against family members for 40 years or more. Were they embittered? Yes. Happy? Didn't seem so. I suppose it's a matter of whether one chooses to change one's attitude and perception. If one considers oneself a "victim" then one will perceive any event as victimizing one. If one chooses bitterness and resentment, life will seem to provide those qualities.
Choose well and choose wisely is the lesson here.
Prompt: "If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow." Beyoncé Do you agree with this statement?
Most definitely. Suffering promotes growth. The Fires of Adversity (or the Crucible of Adversity, as I term it) is the process that foments our spiritual evolution and the development of our psyche (our personal growth work).
We are not born perfect, we have to work to achieve it.
Chosen from Billboard's Year End Top Hits of 1956
For the Poor People of Paris
Is that they survive Heartbreak Hotel
After the Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.
Memories Are Made of This,
they must remember how Notre Dame had always been
Don't be cruel, don't wish to destroy;
Standing On the Corner,
they almost lost their minds
at the destruction.
of the Ivory Tower Cathredal
On the Street Where You Live.
|For Blog City Prompts: April 19, 20, 22
Write about a family heirloom or simply an object that's been passed through the generations in your family.
Anything tangible is long gone, but I carry my lifelong love of reading from parents. I grew up in a household in which both parents read, daily, and provided books (hardbound and paperbacks). I learned my love of mystery and science fiction at home. I was taken to the Library early on, till I was able (early) to go to the Library myself. I shall always be extremely grateful for this foundation.
David Burns say, “The reason fantasy is an old but thriving literary genre is because fantasy stories speak to emotional truths.” Do you agree?
Not just fantasy: science fiction, horror, mystery, literary genre--all books speak to our emotions, awaken our psyches, inspire our souls, provide us not only adventures outside ourselves but awakening to possibilities that we might manifest in our lives.
Prompt: “Sometimes it is good to fly close to the flame, see and experience the heat, but then fly away again, to survive, to be wiser in the art of heat,” says Robert Black.
Doesn’t flying close to the flame take courage though? From where can we find that courage and how can we know when to fly away again without getting hurt?
As I read this I immediately thought of certain emotional/psychological disorders, which "encourage" the sufferer to fly far too close to the Sun, only to suffer worse. Perhaps that is what Icarus felt? I think in many cases it should be enough to "see" the heat, not to "experience" it. Example: I can read about crime in fiction and non-fiction. I don't want to be a killer or a victim, but I can read and experience empathy, shock, revulsion, gratitude I am neither.