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Reading, Writing, Pondering: Big Life Themes, Literature, Contemporary/Historical Issues
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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!

Tower View at Rear of Brightmoor Asylum

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February 4, 2019 at 4:02pm
February 4, 2019 at 4:02pm
30-Day Travel Blogging: Philadelphia

During the day we're going to enjoy some museums before having dinner at City Tavern on 2nd Street to enjoy a step back in history before we go ice skating at Rothman's.





Ahh, the City of Brotherly Love! Thankfully we've escaped that Super Bowl traffic. I remember one year that Pittsburgh won the World Series: maybe this wasn't so during the V-E and V-J Day celebrations at the end of WWII, or on Armistice Day at the end of The Great War (which didn't end all wars), but in modern times it seems like a "big win" (World Series, Super Bowl, World Cup, NBA Championship), is just an excuse for folks to unleash that reptile brain and pig out, loot out, assault on, and so forth, go crazy with mass hysteria. It's saddening because it's so clear at these times how narrow is the veneer of civilization, even though the U.S. is considered to be the most prosperous and advanced nation in the world.

If we'd gone to Pennsylvania just two days ago, we could have to Punxatawney and watched for Groundhog Phil. *Smile* So I'll settle for the indoor Philadelphia Flower Show and Philadelphia Home Show; Philadelphia Museum of Art and Please Touch Museum.
Oh boy! It's Black History Month, so let's visit the African-American Museum, the Free Library (yay!), t he African-American Children's Fair. (I think the Institute of Contemporary Art special exhibit Colored People Time: Mundane Futures would be a blast.) A lot of educational activities here!

We can't miss the exhibit Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, & Mermaids, held at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University! I'm going to have to stay the whole month--or longer!!

February 4, 2019 at 3:29pm
February 4, 2019 at 3:29pm
Joy, hope you're feeling much better, soonest!

Prompt: If you were to inherit or were given the ownership of a professional football team, or any other team of your choice, what would your priorities be where your players and coaches are concerned? What aspects of the game would you want your team to focus on, aside from winning?

You know, all my life I've held this bizarre conception that the Environment and people are more important than profits. Gee, what was I thinking?? To my view, professional sports is a business just like Megacorporations. No difference between, say, any professional sports team, and corporations like Facebook, Google, Apple, AT&T, Enron....on and on ad infinitum. Everybody's in it for the profit. It would be great to see ONE team owner who bought the team because he or she or they love that particular sport, but let's get realistic: that ain't happening.

It's profits from ticket sales, it's megacorporation sponsorship, it's how many millions can we throw at athletes (which the team ownership then has to recoup from ticket and merchandise sales). It's NOT about Principles or Integrity or Doing What's Right. I don't think it's even about love of the sport. It's just profit and greed. I got news for all of those greedy profiteers out there, no matter the field of endeavour:

January 18, 2019 at 11:03am
January 18, 2019 at 11:03am
PROMPT January 18th--30 Day

How much do you know about food waste in your country? Spend some time researching this issue and share a fact you learned. How conscious of your access to food are you and in what ways can you be more responsible for reducing your own food waste?

I've been very conscious of food access all my adult life, and not for good reasons. I don't waste food; I don't eat that much, and if I have scraps, the dogs get them.

I expected food waste in the U.S. to be enormous, and I was correct. As of 2015, the estimate is 30-40%. That's more than 1/3, while people are starving!
As of September 16, 2015, the goal is to reduce food waste 50% by 2030. Gee, I thought we only had to worry about plastics, emissions, and greenhouse gases.

Read how bad this is, from the above site:
Wholesome food that could have helped feed families in need is sent to landfills.
The land, water, labor, energy and other inputs used in producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing, and disposing of discarded food are pulled away from uses that may have been more beneficial to society – and generate impacts on the environment that may endanger the long-run health of the planet.
Food waste, which is the single largest component going into municipal landfills, quickly generates methane, helping to make landfills the third largest source of methane in the United States.

January 13, 2019 at 9:50am
January 13, 2019 at 9:50am
Open your local paper or browse online for a news story headline that grabs your attention and share it with us. Try to venture outside your comfort zone and read a story you wouldn’t normally read or even one from another country!--30 Day Jan. 13 2019

I actually do pay attention to the news from the UK. I get the daily email from The Guardian and follow it a little on Twitter (via an author I admire). The news in the U.S. is often so horrendous I'd like to avoid it, but I do follow the state news via email and phone app from a tv station in Macon; the local newspaper's daily email; and of course I get New York Times Morning and Evening Briefings and other NYT newsletters and try to read those faithfully.

I've been reading this past week about a missing mother and children from a county in this state. She is 16, the boy is 2, the girl is 1. So it struck me immediately she was 14 when her first child was born, 15 when the second was born. All three at that time were missing (since December), so it's possible she left voluntarily with her children, but to where? and how? It's also possible it wasn't voluntary at all. This past week the 2 children were found in New York City; which raises the questions: where? in whose care? how did they get from Monroe County, Georgia, to New York City? with whom? are they all right? WHERE'S THE MOTHER?

Designed by me for NaNo 2009
January 4, 2019 at 1:28pm
January 4, 2019 at 1:28pm
PROMPT January 4th

High schoolers graduating this year, in May 2019, are as old as the first iPod. Make a prediction for how technology will advance in the next 18 years.

I hope in the next 18 years Space Travel and Exploration will become a priority again, especially if climate scientists' dire warnings are true. I'd like to see more exploration of the moon and considerations of colonizing there. I'd also like to see manned (humanned) exploration of Mars, with a view to colonization, even if its's underground. More exploration of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and lovely Pluto, please.
December 20, 2018 at 9:59am
December 20, 2018 at 9:59am
Prompt: What is the best thing that happened to you this year?

Totally simple answer: This site right here! Yes, WDC!
February 19 I read SM's late evening letter about reviewing, got inspired, and since February 20 I've reviewed one or more items here per day.
That's not all!
In September I decided I would write NaNo this year, again, so I signed up for October NaNo Prep (and completed it), and so since September I've participated daily, I write again, I endeavour to be both Encouraging and Enlightening; and even though I can't win Contests *sigh*, still I'm active daily and hopefully shine my own light here, where so many multiple others shine too.
December 19, 2018 at 11:30am
December 19, 2018 at 11:30am
Prompt: "It is the sweet, simple things of life which are real after all." Laura Ingalls Wilder Do you agree with this?

Yes, absolutely of course! I'd far rather hug an oak tree, play with my dog, view the welcoming smile on the face of my grandchildren, than watch reality tv or worry about the stock market (neither of the latter I ever do). Far better to enjoy our minds, our spirits, and the greatness of Nature.
December 17, 2018 at 9:32am
December 17, 2018 at 9:32am
Dashing through the sand
On a one-hump camel band,
Over the dunes we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on saddlebags ring,
Making spirits bright,
oh What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-hump camel band.
November 29, 2018 at 8:31am
November 29, 2018 at 8:31am
November 29 2018 Blog City Prompt:
Prompt: "You have delighted us long enough." Mrs. Bennet said this to her daughter Mary after she sang off key while playing the piano in Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen. When have you been delighted by people long enough?

Usually, pretty much before they start. I have never suffered fools gladly, and unfortunately in my lifetime most people I encounter (in "real" life) fall into this category. Of course, as the global population explodes, dumbing down seems inevitable. No one desires to be intellectual any more. As Richard Hofstadter wrote in his champion book, ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM IN AMERICAN LIFE (published 1963, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1964), this change in thinking is a part of American's historical fabric and is also propelled by the democratization of knowledge. He wrote this book 58 years ago. Look around you now.
"Reality" tv, rape culture, killing animals and beating humans on video and sharing it on social media. War. Faux news. Lies. Dumbness. If you don't believe a historian (Hofstadter), try believing Ray Bradbury. FAHRENHEIT 451, 1953.
November 21, 2018 at 3:25pm
November 21, 2018 at 3:25pm
Prompt: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

This will be exceptionally short.


I don't do holiday meals. I rarely eat meat. I certainly won't eat pork products and I seldom eat beef. (I occasionally eat ground beef on a soft taco shell on the evenings we have tacos for supper. Mostly overloaded cheese.)

Tomorrow circumstances allow me to remain at home alone, while Thanksgiving dinner takes place elsewhere (for which I'm thankful). But I'll have a bowl of the Simple Pudding, probably.

Now if only someone would make me a rhubarb pie.

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