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!
Is there a TV show/movie/book from your childhood that you still enjoy today? Tell us why it resonates with you.
STAR TREK! CLASSIC, ORIGINAL STAR TREK!
Yep, you got it. IF I had access to watch it again, would I?
Probably, maybe so.
Also One Step Beyond, Alfred Hitchcock, original Outer Limits, all that fun stuff.
Vincent Price films, Hammer Films. Yep.
All that sci fi and horror and sci fi and horror any mystery books is why I am as I am.
Paperback Gothic suspense.
Oh, yes. Bring it on.
|What's your favorite holiday/ seasonal movie? Does it include a cherished tradition with family? What made it special for you?
I have three favourite Holiday movies—2 for Christmas, 1 for Halloween.
Halloween: “It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
I don't believe in Santa, but I believe in the Great Pumpkin and Krampus.
Throughout every October, I walk around reciting
“Every Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin arises from his Pumpkin Patch,
and flies across the sky,
bringing presents to good little girls and boys.”
Unfortunately, he has yet to deliver mine.
For Christmas, it's two antiques:
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Christmas in Connecticut has three of my favorite things:
Snow (in abundance)
Barbara Stanwyck (my all time favorite actress)
The original Miracle on 34th Street I love, but don't know why. Maybe because I don't like It's A Wonderful Life. Miracle gives me all those warm interior feelings other more normal folks find with Wonderful Life.
|Blog City Prompt November 16 2018
On this day in 1959 "Sound of Music" musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II first opened at Lunt Fontanne Theater, NYC, for 1443 performances. What's your favorite scene or actor from this famous musical? Why? Was there a song that spoke to you?
I don't think I've ever watched it. (sigh) So I did research instead (my natural inclination): the ORIGINAL Broadway production, which is the one referred to here, won FIVE! Tony Awards, including BEST MUSICAL.
In addition to the collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the book for the musical was written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The original stars were Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. Wow.
Thinking about the fact that I was alive when THE SOUND OF MUSIC debuted on Broadway, and earlier for another blog prompt about the Moon Landing, and composing a short story on Mars for Blast Off!, I've realized what a terrible disappointment it is to me that 49 and a third years after the Apollo Moon Landing, that's it? No colonies? No up-close-and-personal exploration of Mars? Of Jupiter? It's been OVER 49 YEARS!
GIVE ME SPACE!
OR, GIVE ME ----
|Only 66% of 18-24 year olds in the US are certain the Earth is round. Thoughts?
PS: Congratulations to our very own PWheeler ~ nano gold team for Winning Nano! You put the rest of us to shame!
You Rock, Pippi!
Only 66% of 18-24 year olds in the US are certain the Earth is round. Thoughts?
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
ARE THEY SERIOUS?
I suppose they think the Round Globe and the Moon Landing were Photoshopped. Some folks of the recent generations lean toward thinking reality is fake. (oh yeah, and certain politicians.) I've heard youngers say some item or other was Photoshopped; but the Earth? Have they never seen a map of the Polar Jet Path? Or is that Photoshopped too.
Maybe these younger generations are all born Theoretical Solipsists.
That's really worrisome, because if they think Reality is Faux, then how are they going to “lead the world”?
Makes me glad to be Aged.
|Prompt: "I had always imagined Paradise as a kind of library." Do you agree with this? Write anything you want about this.
Oh my yes! The Universal Library would be Paradise and Heaven all rolled into one. I ask to live there for an eternity, plus to be given perfect eyesight and "all the time in the world." Oh wait! Eternity would give me even more time than that.
I want to be able to read everything I ever wanted to read--both fiction and nonfiction--yes, even poetry; and I want to be able to read multiple books at once and comprehend and never stop reading.
I read of The Universal Library once years ago in a science fiction novel. I always thought it was by Gordon Dickson, but I have never been able to find it again. Oh well, I'm certain I can find it once I reach the Universal Library.
|PROMPT November 14th
It's time for another prompt from the War Chest! Take a stab at this one:
Share your first experience with love. No ... not like that.
Reaching way back into childhood:
I never had a pet until I was 21.5 and married. But as a child, a neighbor girl who lived down the street from me, at the corner, had a beautiful little brown-and-white puppy. At the time of course I didn't know its breed, but thinking back I'm going to guess Border Collie (a friend I made at eighteen had a Border Collie too), a friendly and enthusiastic, just lovable breed. I was so enamoured of that puppy. Unfortunately, that family didn't stay long; they moved out and a large family moved in. They didn't stay long either. Eventually the three houses in a row on that street (the main highway through town, which became part of the famous Lincoln Highway past the city limits) were razed and a convenience store and car wash replaced the residences. All these many decades and an entirely new century later, I STILL with fondness remember that delightful little puppy, the cats who owned the neighbors on the other side, and I remain a dog & cat person. After all this time.
|Nearly every "hero" protagonist in the work of H. P. Lovecraft should have tattooed on their foreheads (so they can see it in their mirrors) "Ignorance Is Bliss. Knowledge Is Madness." Take the Professors in "Shadow Out of Time," "At the Mountains of Madness," "The Thing On the Doorstep," or the Police Inspector in "The Call of Cthulhu." Take the poor misguided and terrified narrator in "The Picture In the House," or the accomplished, gifted, and cursed artist Richard Upton Pickman in "Pickman's Model." Everybody wants to gain knowledge, a passion to which I wholly adhere. Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, we thirst after Knowledge, Cosmic especially. "Inquiring minds want to know." However, in the Lovecraft Mythos, Knowledge is often accompanied by Death and whether or not Death, almost always by Madness. Mankind is simply not qualified nor equipped to discover Truth.
Along come poets and scientists, intellects all, to decide Knowledge is All.
William Blake, 18th century poet:
"If the Doors of Perception are cleansed,
All the world will be seen as it is-Infinite."
(Truly Lovecraftian, even though a century plus early-1790-1793.)
Aldous Huxley, brilliant 20th century intellect and philosopher, the man who gave us BRAVE NEW WORLD, among other classics. Huxley (member of an equally brilliant family) apparently took Blake at his word, and in May 1953 experimented diligently with mescaline, recording his results and publishing the account in 1954 under the enterprising title THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION.
Dr. Timothy Leary, Harvard clinical psychologist and professor. Experiments with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) 1960-1962. Goal: Mind Expansion.
Dr. John Mack: noted Harvard professor. UFO believer. Psychiatrist. Died a victim of an intoxicated driver, in London. The John E. Mack Institute, dedicated to him, has as its Mission statement a purely Lovecraftian approach.
Knowledge Is All. Ignorance Is Not Bliss. Or is it?
Inspired by Question of The Day November 14 2018
|PROMPT November 13th
"If you do what you really want to do, you feel like you're playing." - Stan Lee (1922-2018).
Stan Lee passed away yesterday, Monday November 12th. What is your opinion of superhero movies? Were Stan's stories a part of your life?
I am not a real comic book or superhero fan. What I take away from Stan Lee's life and legacy is that here finally was an individual who "followed his bliss," lived his purpose, and as a concomitant, lived a life of vast fulfillment AND gave joy and purpose to others, not just to himself. He was not greedy or selfish, and subsequently he blessed millions of others as well as himself and his family. That's the Life Lesson I gather here.
R.I.P. Stan Lee!
|Prompt: What are your impressions of the Veteran’sday? Do you think we are honoring our veterans the way they truly deserve?]
I think it is all well and good that we non-veteran citizens support our current military and veterans. However, it would be preferable if the Federal Government which has assigned military to combat and to peacetime stations more extensively supported servicepersons, present and past, with health care, benefits, employment, housing, and other necessities.
I read an article yesterday on the ways in which Agent Orange is still impacting, both in the U.S. and also in Vietnam, soldiers, children, grandchildren. Insufficient research and insufficient funds have been directed to combating the diseases caused by dioxin (Agent Orange) and I think the Federal Government should do much more on this crucial situation. The service of the parents is being visited with disease on their children and grandchildren, who had not themselves been exposed.
Sunday is Veteran's Day, let's honor the men and women who have served by mentioning either someone you know personally or a poem, a simple thank you letter, it's your blog you know what will work the best. Thank you to all the men and women who have served or are serving.
November 11 2018 marks the Century Anniversary of Armistice Day ending World War I. “The War To End All Wars,” World War I was termed.
History tells us that War has been with us as long as history has been recorded, and almost everyone knows that War did not end with “The War to End All Wars.” In fact, less than 21 years later, Hitler invaded Poland, and shortly the next World War began.
I've brought some research links and then I intend to talk about a famous World War I soldier.
Readers who are aficionados of Weird Fiction, Phantasy, or early 20th Century British Fiction will remember the illustrious William Hope Hodgson. A prolific and excellent writer, Mr. Hodgson volunteered to serve England when World War I commenced, despite his age (37). After suffering injuries, he persisted in returning to the front and served in France. In April 1918, he and a fellow soldier were killed by a German shell. He was only 40.
To his beloved mother, he had written:
“The sun was pretty low as I came back, and far off across that desolation, here and there they showed–just formless, squarish, cornerless masses erected by man against the infernal Storm that sweeps for ever, night and day, day and night, across that most atrocious Plain of Destruction. My God! talk about a Lost World–talk about the end of the World; talk about the ‘Night Land’–it is all here, not more than two hundred odd miles from where you sit infinitely remote. And the infinite, monstrous, dreadful pathos of the things one sees–the great shell-hole with over thirty crosses sticking in it; some just up out of the water–and the dead below them, submerged….If I live and come somehow out of this (and certainly, please God, I shall and hope to), what a book I shall write if my old ‘ability’ with the pen has not forsaken me.” (OUT OF THE STORM, Donald Grant. West Kingston, Rhode Island, 1975. Pg 115.)