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Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1197218
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland

Modern Day Alice

Welcome to the place were I chronicle my own falls down dark holes and adventures chasing white rabbits! Come on In, Take a Bite, You Never Know What You May Find...

"Curiouser and curiouser." Alice in Wonderland

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.

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January 21, 2019 at 12:10pm
January 21, 2019 at 12:10pm
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 21st
Today in the US is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday celebrating the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience. In August of 1953, King delivered his famous speech “I Have a Dream” calling for civil and economic equality for all Americans and the end of racism. On this Motivational Monday, write a speech advocating for something you’re passionate about and use the phrase “I have a dream” in your entry.

"I have a dream" that one day human beings will collectively come together to acknowledge the toll we have taken on the planet's resources. I hope that one day the reality of climate change is no longer a political pawn but a passionate crusade for all of humanity to consider. I hope that it will only take only take one more mass extinction, one more dying coral reef, one more catastrophic environmental event to open our eyes to the need to conserve and protect our Earth. I have a dream that we will work, all the nations of the world, to make sure there are still magnificent creatures our children can be lucky enough to observe in their natural habitats. I hope there are millions of acres of protected lands that are preserved for the future generations. I hope we find ways to radically reduce harmful toxins and pollutants, limit the devastating effects of our agricultural/livestock industries and explore effective sources of renewable energies.
January 21, 2019 at 11:58am
January 21, 2019 at 11:58am
30-Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 20th
What event from history do you wish you could have witnessed?

There are so many things I would have liked to witness. If I had to pick, I'd say it would be one of the defining events of the birth of my nation...like the Boston Tea Party or the signing of the Declaration of Independence for example. The problem is that so many of the defining historical moments take place during battles or wars...and I can't imagine going really wanting to be present for that kind of death and destruction, even if it did give rise to a nation. It is difficult to put myself into another time like that, especially as a women - unless maybe to go back to that first time women were allowed to cast their votes? That would have been epic. I think I would have also liked to witness the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty, that would have been tremendous as well. I'm interested to see what my fellow bloggers have chosen on this one.
January 17, 2019 at 9:24am
January 17, 2019 at 9:24am
"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2251 January 17, 2019
Use these words in your entry: redundant, serviceable, nonsense, fantastic, repulsive and hello.

Each day I make the fifteen minute jaunt over the bridge to my daughter's school. In her early years, she would be dismissed into the gym and I would park and patiently wait for the doors to open so I could sign her out and take her home. When she hit the third grade the dismissal procedure changed, dramatically. Now, at approximately 3:46, they 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are discharged from the side of the building in a loud, chaotic herd and utter nonsense ensues. Some parents believe this new system gives them license to no longer follow the rules. Several of them are prone to the repulsive habit of double parking - or simply idling in the middle of the street until they see their child emerge. They sit there, engines running, spewing exhaust over the parents who actually parked and stand in the cold properly waiting for their own children. In the winter, when the snow makes street parking that much more elusive, this behavior becomes even more redundant. It isn't very safe, children are often running into the road to climb into vehicles while others are trying to maneuver and jockey into position. The other afternoon, several of us called out in alarm when a 4th grader nearly collided with an SUV that was passing a double-parked and waiting car. We have repeated asked the school to review this procedure or at least issue a more serviceable set of rules and guidelines that can be easily enforced. For now, I dread the school pickup hassle even though I look forward to seeing my daughter's fantastic smile and hear her happy "Hello" at the end of each day.
January 17, 2019 at 8:56am
January 17, 2019 at 8:56am
30-Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 17th
Do a bit of research on your Zodiac Sign. What are the associated characteristics of people with your sign and how do you exhibit those characteristics?

Leo is a fire sign and while I whole-hardheartedly embrace a lot of what characterizes Leo's, its not something I place a lot of stock in...ya know, scientifically and all. It is fun though, to imagine we are put together with more than our genes and our ancestral DNA.

In keeping with my Big cat sun sign, I tend to be more outgoing and I certainly have a fiery temper. I am fiercely loyal to my friends and family and naturally protective of those I love but in almost all cases, my roar is worse than my bite. I tend to take the lead on projects for work and for the most part, really good at my job. But in true Leo fashion, I'm not always the best listener, especially when the voice isn't as strong or confident as my own. I often suspect I may steamroll my coworkers in the pursuit of results. I am also my harshest critic. I don't ever let myself off lightly. I love bold colors, all things vibrant red and shiny gold. I am a very passionate person in my pursuits. I love with lioness veracity. These Leo-esque qualities, I would admit are pretty much spot on. However, after taking a few minutes read through the link...I can also see how I am a direct departure from the typical Leo in other ways.

"Leos put themselves first, and will turn down a plan that doesn't fit with their agenda or idea of fun."
No way this is me. I can't tell you the amount of time I find myself doing something for someone else or because I failed to say "no". If I were a true Leo I would never have been guilted into a second year the dreaded PTO board. I would have never seen half the bad movies I have. I wouldn't have taken the road trips I've been stuck on. I never would have ended up on the infamously endless river rafting trip with a zodiac full of intoxicated idiots on the slowest, lamest river in the western hemisphere.

"You never run out of energy. As a Lion, a 20-minute catnap will fully recharge you so that you can dance all night long." Hells No. I run out of energy...often. I'm not a great sleeper, even though I may rise with the sun...I also could go to be with it most days. The last time I "danced all night long", I was prob 21 - decades ago! A 20-minute catnap would be more of a tease than a refresher. I'm prone to bursts of energy, especially when the pressure is on but this is not a limitless supply. I will hit the wall and I will hit it hard, with the force of a crash of rhinos. Fun bit o'trivia...a group of Rhinos is called a crash. What do you think a group of ducks is called? A group of crows? But, I digress...

Overall, I think I'm probably a pretty decent match to the Leo sign. There are definitely most positive traits than negative ones associated with the sign which is a good thing. I know there are lots of things I need to work on though, one can only blame the stars so much after all.
January 16, 2019 at 9:19am
January 16, 2019 at 9:19am
Both these prompts seem designed to really make me think this am....

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 1857 January 16, 2019
Prompt: What Hollywood classic movie remake would you like to have the leading role in?

I realize sadly that I need to see more classic movies...I'm not sure I've ever watched The African Queen or Gone with the Wind all the way through. I feel like my choices are limited to Hitchcock films and old Hollywood musicals, maybe that is not entirely a bad thing?

I think my first choice would have to be the Wizard of Oz. It is such a beloved film and Dorothy is one of those iconic characters that every girl wants to be at some point in their childhood. Even though part of me says remaking the original is something akin to sacrilege, I'd love to see how today's advances in movie-making could make this film so epic! Of course, who wouldn't want to be the plucky, young heroine? However I would have to give serious consideration to being the Witch. She's got a legion of flying monkeys at her disposal for one and I can imagine her updated version would be even more badass. Who wouldn't love the chance to play a big, bad villain once?

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2250 January 16, 2019
You've just been given a new job, you're a destination adviser aka travel agent. Where would you recommend we travel to and why? What do you think we should do that will be useful in our writing later down the road.

Hands down...I'd recommend a European Viking River Cruise. Think about all the inspiration you can find hiding among the banks of the Rhine or the Danube, taking in the medieval castle ruins and exploring old world cities like Prague and Budapest? Budapest! Just the name of that city alone sets my creative juices a-boiling with promise! Of course, I would have to work for an exclusive travel company because those trips are ridiculously expensive sadly.
January 16, 2019 at 8:38am
January 16, 2019 at 8:38am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 16th
I have a stressful day at work today ... What strategies do you use to manage stress in your life?

I've spent nearly twenty years in a demanding industry and have grown accustomed to stress to a degree. There are days though when it peaks, like the end of the fiscal year or around the holidays or during show season. The best way I cope at work is my Spotify playlists. Having the ability to have music playing really helps me stay focused and centered. I find I like a general acoustic vibe for background music most days and then when the pressure starts, I will usually switch over to something more edgy. My coworkers have learned if they walk by my office and hear Saliva or the Pretty Reckless playing...they should steer clear.

At home, my stress management doesn't change much even though my stressors tend to be very different. I still use music to soothe and keep me moving forward. I also like just taking a moment to sit on the back deck or in the sitting room and sip a hot coffee. Sometimes I take the time to write about it, especially if the stress is the kind that is elevated by thinking about and processing the problem. Keeping busy also does wonders for shifting my focus away from stress...there is always laundry and floors to clean, cabinets to rearrange...no shortage of household chores to take one's mind off stress.
January 15, 2019 at 10:33am
January 15, 2019 at 10:33am
30-Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 15th
Where in the world would you like to visit the most? Assume you are not worried about money in any way. While you're traveling, give me a status update on January so far. Smooth sailing, or turbulence? is prepped to reward another contestant with a MB today!

Traveling on an endless, imaginary budget is the best way to travel!

This would be a toss-up to me because I would love to travel to my husband's birth country of Turkey. I am entranced by the old world mystery of Istanbul with its impressive mosques and parks, ferry boats and the great expanse of the Bosphorus bridge.Turkey is a country with amazing biodiversity from the lush, Mediterranean fueled coast to the rugged, mountainous out lands that border Syria. The cuisine is simply wonderful from adana kabobs to dolmas and crisp baklava dripping with honey and nuts. I would love to explore, and eat my way, criss-crossing this country. I'd visit the tea houses and the baths. I'd take in the fairy houses in Goreme and the enjoy the spas of Pamukkale.

Coming in at a very, very close second would be to take one of those outrageously expensive European Viking River Cruises. I would love visiting the old world cities of Budapest or Nuremberg along the Danube or exploring the castles from the Rhine, Prague, Paris or Zurich. Cruises like this start at over two thousand dollars and that doesn't include the international airfare to get there from the US. It is a bucket-list item, an "if I ever win the lottery" caliper dream. I can't imagine the adventure it would be to cruise along these ancient rivers and get to explore these old world destinations from luxurious staterooms while enjoying 5-star service.

Who knows...maybe one day I will come into a surprise windfall of money and then I will have to choice between my two travel dreams. *BigSmile*


As far as how this year is going...I'm staying on top of my blogging challenge which is a goal I set for myself and I'm feeling good about getting it done. We've got a jump on some repairs with the new house and I'm feeling almost completely settled which feels pretty great. Overall I'm cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.
January 15, 2019 at 9:51am
January 15, 2019 at 9:51am
This month my daughter turns nine. In keeping with tradition, and in my ongoing effort to temper the bittersweet forward march of time, I like to author at least one blog wholly devoted to marking the milestone of her birthday. If I am to leave her anything of real value when I am gone, it will be this ongoing testimony of an immensely proud mamma who was fully invested in her journey and loved her in every second and with every fiber of my being.

This past year has been filled with trials..from the sheer physicality of moving twice this summer, to our ever increasing battles over her hair and clothes, to combating her near obsession with online games and YouTube. We have started most of the mornings in this fresh New Year with an argument about one thing or another. I have lost my mind over her stomping feet, exaggerated eye rolls and disgruntled faces. It seems we endlessly debate why leggings are not appropriate winter attire. We battle. Sometimes it gets loud and the dogs, sensing an epic throw down is looming, take off to hide upstairs until the storm passes.

Still, before our turns comes up in the drop-off line, we manage to sort it out. Regardless of how angry she may be, she still shoulders her backpack and leans in for a kiss before throwing open the door. These days I find it is more about finding victories in the delightful surprises then consistently winning arguments with her. Eventually she listens to me…and besides, there are so many delightful surprises…
Jaden is becoming her own person and that person is most definitely not a mini version of me. She is entirely something new and improved, a hybrid of both her parents with a balance of our features and various traits blending together in this beautiful new way – along with things that seem unique to her.

She is athletic and competitive in a way neither one of us ever were. She is drawn to things that challenge both her body and her mind at once, like obstacle courses and horse-back riding. I can see her mind working as she puts her body through the physical paces, concentration is as evident on her face as enjoyment is. She has become more fearless in this environment, trepidation giving way to a growing confidence. I can see pride blooming there as well, in that telling Mona Lisa smile when her instructor cries out, “Yes, Jaden!”, the moment she achieves the perfect posture or executes the perfect transition or canter.

Music continues to be something she is drawn too. She pushes back on practicing piano but once she sits down and begins to coach the notes from her instrument, I can see her lose herself. She started ukulele lessons in school recently, and she has really taken to it. She talks a blue streak about chords and likes to play me the YouTube tutorials they use in class. She has asked for her own ukulele for her birthday this year and I look forward to hearing her strumming away on those chords.

Like mine, her taste in music is highly varied. She has a wide scope of what she likes. For now, she gets by on my playlist but makes the occasional request for me supplement it with a new song she has discovered. For the most part, I enjoy her selections. They reflect someone who listens with a critical ear and harbors a true appreciation for musical composition, regardless of the genre. The other day on one of our drives, “Under Pressure” came on the radio. I immediately turned it up and began singing along, as one simply has to do in appreciation for genius collaboration of David Bowie and Freddy Mercury. I glanced at my daughter in the rear view and was simultaneously shocked and elated to find she was also singing along in the back of the car. She caught my eyes, and smiled back at me. It was a moment of kindred connection, one of those delightful surprises.

At her core, she is still that child that loves to snuggle. She still prefers to fall asleep between us. Even when she goes to bed in her own room, we find her wrapped about us come morning, one leg or arm draped over us and her hair falling in sheets across our faces. The “I love you’s” still come unsolicited, though not as frequently as they once did. She will still take my hand in a parking lot or store. Randomly, during a movie or in the throngs of deep sleep, I will sometimes suddenly feel the slip of her hand – her long fingers lacing up with mine. These are the moments I treasure most.

She is magical in so many ways these days. Even in her stubborn fury, her green eyes flash and pierce with a mysterious loveliness. Her heart-shaped face has changed so much, it is hard to find a trace of my own features there anymore. I see a version of her teenage father in her lanky silhouette but she has a grace to her movements and a flavor to her beauty that must hail from more distant ancestors.

As she turns nine, Jaden is still more reserved and quiet than most girls her age. She still holds herself back, but less so. Her confidence is growing and she engages more freely with those people she feels most comfortable with. She readily chimes in on phone calls with my sister or responds with unchecked giggles at her new uncle’s antics and teasing. She tells stories and jokes. She asks for things she wants and responds to questions from adults without my prompting her to answer. She will occasionally surprise me by breaking into nutty dancing in the aisle of home depot or quoting “Napoleon Dynamite” with a deadpan accuracy. She still likes slime, unfortunately, but has showed a renewed interest in things like painting and her pottery wheel. She is creative but draws more pleasure from exploring the mediums than by finishing the final pieces. Jaden has an explorer’s heart.

At nine, Jaden is our whirling dervish, our musical student, our budding equestrian. She is warm and loving. She is intelligent and she is kind. She will not back down from an argument but she won’t hold a grudge. You may wait half a lifetime for an apology but when one finally comes it will arrive accompanied by a fierce hug and kiss and a throaty, heart-melting, “I’m sorry Mamma.” And it is absolutely no surprise that life with her is simply delightful.

January 14, 2019 at 9:29am
January 14, 2019 at 9:29am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 14th
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” -Ernest Hemingway
What are your thoughts on this quote by a writer many consider a master? Who are some other writers you admire or consider masters?

I love prompts like this because I get to talk about those authors I consider masters of their crafts and it feels a lot like paying them homage in exchange for having given me such inspiration. So the opinions expressed here are solely mine...

I love the classical writers first and foremost. They crafted stories that lived beyond their time and place. C.S. Lewis is unmatched in his imaginative storytelling. Anis Nin and DH Lawrence are the keystones of their genres, both of them are pioneers for all those romance and erotica writers who have found success since their works were published, banned and republished. My favorite among these classical master is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His words are beautiful and full of such color and life. The first time I read his "Love in a Time of Cholera", I was completely awed at his amazing prose:

“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Aside from those classical writers, I have long list of active and prolific writers I consider to be masters at their crafts. For the sake of not writing a novel here, I'll just gush about a few....

James Lee Burke had the ability to transport his readers to locations and places where your senses seem to delight with the sounds and smells all around you. His characters are quirky and memorable, easy to invest in and care about from the very beginning. They are compelling enough to keep you coming back, novel after novel. This is a writer at the very top of his game. The very first line of the very first novel I read, Tin Roof Blowdown, took my breath away with the visceral melody of his prose:

"My worst dreams have always contained images of brown water and fields of elephant grass and the downdraft of helicopter blades. The dreams are in color but they contain no sound, not of drowned voices in the river or the explosions under the hooches in the village we burned or the thropping of the Jolly Green and the gunships coming low and flat across the canopy, like insects pasted against a molten sun." Tin Roof Blow Down

Mo Hader is another of my favorites. She has a very sharp and unforgiving style. Her stories stay with you, beyond the last strains of the final chapter. She has a great hook...and then delivers a full fleshed out, uniquely original story. "The Devil of Nanking" was one of the first novels I've read from this British crime author and it has never left me completely. It is not for the faint of heart but there is simply amazing writing throughout, stunning in all its horror and its grief.

Lastly, I love Gillian Flynn's twisted talent. She is a master of creating those characters we hate to love. Her beautiful prose always belays the darkness of our natures. She lurks you in and keeps you hooked until that final gut punch at the end. She's just amazing and dark and gorgeously demented. I love all her books but Dark Places and Sharp Objects are my favorites.

January 14, 2019 at 8:51am
January 14, 2019 at 8:51am
30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT January 13th
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!

I'm playing catch up from the weekend here, it is hard for me to blog on the weekends so I try to catch up on Monday morning on the two prompts I miss. I don't typically get the newspaper but I do read the news online. I actually get the bulk of my new from listening to NPR. I listen to it a little obsessively at times. I love NPR because they cover the world, not just the same stories as the other national news channels. They have journalists going all over the globe to pursue stories I really don't hear covered anywhere else. This past weekend I hear stories from the front lines of the immigration debate...a family of immigrants waiting on asylum on the other side of the wall. It is these kind of stories that catch my attention, the personal stories behind the political grandstanding. It is particularly moving to hear the interviews, to know that there is a journalist standing with them in the shadow of the border, capturing their story first hand. I'm always impressed by the compassion and honestly the NPR journalists convey during their story making. There are many times I'm listening in my car and even if I've reached my ultimate destination, I sit there and continue to listen. It is news but it is also compelling story telling at the same time.

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