Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Calgary, Alberta

Another stop in our November tour was Calgary, Alberta-- the home of The Calgary Stampede and my Hubbie's Cousin Sandie.

Sandie and her hubbie Larry allowed us to use their home as our base of operations. We all went to Kamloops together and after we returned to Calgary, we tripped over to Banff which is about an hour as the crow flies. You can add another half-hour if you take the scenic drive.

The folks of Calgary are known for their hospitality. But, heehaw was it ever cold when we visited. (-20 to -24C) We loved the company though we were happy to head south to Las Vegas and warm our bones.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Banff, Alberta

This is the view from my window at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta.

Hubbie Doug and I passed a most agreeable two days here after Vimy's Birthday. Put this on your "must-do" vacation lists. The majestic Rocky Mountains have God's hand written all over them. What bliss to curl up by the fire with your lover and look out on nature's splendour.

I wasn't writin' but I sure have memories. The plot thickens.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Birthday Girl

Vimy's 90th Birthday

Here's a nice photo of Vimy Alexander on her 90th birthday.

We plan to attend the 90th birthday of her husband, Clarence, in July.

It was wonderful to listen to the stories of this couple. Life has changed a lot over the 90 years they've lived. Amazing.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Aurora Borealis over Kamloops, British Columbia

aurora over kamloops
Originally uploaded by Spatial Mongrel.
Here is a nice shot of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

We attended my hubbie's Aunt Vimy's 90th birthday in Kamloops. I'll find a pic of Vimy to post. Vimy was named by her father to commemorate the WW1 Battle of Vimy Ridge in France where many Canadian soldiers gave their lives. This battle was said to be a defining moment in Canadian nationality.

Another Bellagio Fountain Spectacle

Bellagio HOTEL Las Vegas fountain show

Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas water fountain show America song. Las Vegas Nevada. November 2006. View from Las Vegas avenue.

Friday, December 08, 2006

NaNoWriMo update

Thanks to everyone who cheered me on. Sadly, I didn't achieve the goal. At the outset my odds of finishing weren't great, but the challenge was worthwhile. I was diverted mid month by diversional travel which I will never regret. Despite my intentions I never found the round tuit.

I am tempted to give myself another 15 days after the holidays. My last word count was 14,888. I'm happy with it. Congratulations to those who achieved the 50K goal and to all who gave it a shot. I loved the process and the strange twists that occur in the plot when you allow the process to flow freely. I recommend you try it.

This is a photo of one lovely gentleman (my Father-in-Law) who provided me with a lovely distraction 10-11 November when we honoured veterans on Rembrance day.

Over the next couple of days, I'll show you more photos of my other non-writing activities. It was a hectic month.

Monday, November 06, 2006


This blog will lay silent while I participate in NaNoWriMo.

If you are participating my userid is marcail69 on the NaNo boards. I'll be lurking there.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Los Dias de Los Meurtos Nov1 -Nov2 Pics

Los Dias de Los Meurtos Nov1 -Nov2

Los Dias de Los Muertos (1-2 Nov) is a time for remembering friends, family and ancestors. At first glance, Day of the Dead decorations, colored paper garlands, little skeletons performing daily tasks and sugar skulls inscribed with names remind visitors of Halloween.

This holiday is a perfect example of the complex heritage of the Mexican people. The beliefs of today's Mexican are based on the complicated blended cultures of his ancestors, the Aztec and Maya and Spanish invaders, layered with Catholicism.

The Aztec, Mayan and other indigenous traditions have enriched the Mexican's attitude about death. They believe that souls continue to exist after death, resting placidly in Mictlan, the land of the dead, not for judgment or resurrection; but for the day each year when they could return home to visit their loved ones.

People die three deaths. The first death is when our bodies cease to function; when our hearts no longer beat of their own accord, when our gaze no longer has depth or weight, when the space we occupy slowly loses its meaning. The second death comes when the body is lowered into the ground, returned to mother earth, out of sight.
The third death, the most definitive death, is when there is no one left alive to remember us.

Many families honor their ancestors and dead with home altars, laden with harvest fruits, traditional bread with crossed bones on dough on top, all to greet the spirits as they return to the home for 24 hours each year.

The act of preparing an altar by placing photographs, flowers, candles, favorite foods and drink of the loved one provides a special time to remember, and to transform grief into acceptance. The living invite the spirits of the family to return home for a few hours of laughter, tears and memories.

Some families prepare the altar of offerings at the family grave site, lighting a candle for each dead one, remembering the names, and placing flowers or coronas (wreaths) at the cemetery. Many stay to visit, eat, drink and pray while they keep a vigil during the night. All night, throughout the cemetery there is a grand family reunion of huge extended families, alive and dead, as one by one, through stories, memories and dreams, the dead return. On this night, those who wait realize the importance of living to be well remembered, working to be well respected and loving to be well missed.

The hand crafted skeletons, Calaveras are funny and friendly rather than frightening or spooky. They represent the beloved dead ones, their occupations and hobbies. As they are placed on the altar, the delightful skeleton figures bring back fond memories and cause the grieving ones to smile. The figures with the smells of favorite foods, help the spirits find the right house.

While most altars are laden with the favorite foods, sweets, drinks, and harvest fruits of each family spirit, even the most basic altar includes these basic needs:
• WATER to quench the thirst and for purification
• SALT to season the food and for purification
• BREAD to represent the food needed for survival

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween Tale: Soul Cakes


By Marcail (Hallowe’en 2006)

The flickering candles bring your face in and out of focus on the walls about the room. Your anger is etched in the hard lines of your mouth and in the twitching of your left eye. When I think you’re banished, I catch of glimpse of you crouching in the corner. My rosary slides faster through my fingers in pace with my keening prayer.The others seemed not to notice. Their evil laughs punctuate the stories of past visitations by the ancestors as told by the older folks. It’s All Hallow’s Eve. We have gathered to guide the souls back to visit their earthly home. A bottle of wine is uncorked on the table to refresh them. Little "soul cakes," Barmbrack, wait to be discovered by the living and the dead. We wait as midnight approaches to eat and learn our fate for the year.

I fear my secret will be revealed. That they will attack like a pack of wolves. I have prayed nightly since your dispatch that you’ll not find the way back. Others, it seems, have the ear of God. I sense your presence getting stronger as the time approaches. Your Da fiddles and taps his foot and I am transported to our wedding night. The night they gave me to you. I hear the fiddle and the dancing getting louder and more frenetic as you pound into my folds and bite and tear at my flesh. I see my spirit depart my body. I’m never the same, but I took back the soul you stole from me that night.

I’d do the deed again. I pray harder that you never return to defile me with your loathsome spirit. Your Ma's soul cakes are said to be the most powerful. They’ve brought you back, so there must be some truth in the rumour. To me, her baking fails to nourish. Her offerings are as meager and as mean-spirited as her family. I’m trapped in her bosom -- smothering. I tried to return to the orphanage where she, who is the miserly cook, found me. It was not my fate. The Mother Superior claimed I was bound to my new family. The seed was planted.

The clock strikes the hour. In unison, we break bread and eat. I see the look of surprise on her face when I pull the gold ring from my soul cake with my teeth. Choking and gasping, all assembled fall on blue faces until a peaceful silence descends. Smiling, I pick up my candle and walk to your corner dispelling the shadows. You are gone. I sit and gaze in the mirror. My fate -- the man assigned to be my second husband looks back. I do not know him, but he has a gentle smile and kind eyes. If it doesn’t work out, I know what I have to do. A minor change of ingredients is all that’s required.


Daylight Saving Time vs Dali Time


The clocks were turned back this morning, for the last time (in my part of the world), the last Sunday in October. Next year, the clocks go back the first Sunday in November to further save energy and go forward the second Sunday in March rather than the first Sunday in April.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Countries have different change dates.

If you live near the equator, day and night are nearly the same length (12 hours). But elsewhere on Earth, there is much more daylight in the summer than in the winter. The closer you live to the North or South Pole, the longer the period of daylight in the Summer. Thus, Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) is usually not helpful in the tropics, and countries near the equator generally do not change their clocks.

My mind turned to works of art that featured time as a theme. Naturally, this piece by Dali entered first. Of course, time is a human construct and therefore subject to interpretation. Just ask my husband about DOUG TIME

Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a Catalan-Spanish artist best known for his surrealistic works where he created images from dreamscapes. He was deeply influenced by the theories of Freud about the unconscious especially as related to the erotic.

He is perhaps best known for The Persistence of Memory (1931)

One sees the image of the soft melting pocket watch. Dali was moved to include the famous melting- clock imagery after a vision he had following a snack of Camenbert cheese. The painting shows four soft watches, one of which has a fly showing that time flies and another is being devoured by ants that shows decay. This is widely seen as a commentary that time is less rigid than people usually assume.

In the center of the picture, under one of the watches, is a distorted human face in profile. This face, widely understood to be a self-portrait, also appears in Dalí's earlier work "The Great Masturbator." (taken from Wikipedia)

Dalí returned to the time theme of other paintings.

Friday, October 27, 2006

WORD DAY: Mesmerize




–verb (used with object), -ized, -iz‧ing.

[Origin: 1820–30; MESMER(ISM) + -IZE]

—Related forms

mes‧mer‧i‧za‧tion, noun
mes‧mer‧iz‧er, noun

Synonyms: allure, beguile, bewitch, charm, dazzle, delight, draw, enamour, enchant, enrapture, enslave, ensnare, entertain, enthrall, entrance, fascinate, gratify, grip, hold, hook, hypnotize, infatuate, intrigue, lure, magnetize, mesmerize, please, rope in*, seduce, spellbind, take, vamp, wile, win

Antonyms: disillusion, offend, repel, repulse, turn off

The word derives from the 18-century practise by the Viennese physician called Franz Anton Mesmer who postulated the theory of animal magnetism.

hold on a minute

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Short Story for Charity- Week Nine

My friend Dazrah hosts a weekly Short Story Competition for Charity. This is my entry for this week.


(Fiction for Charity by Marcail as sponsored by Dazrah, October 2006)

“Heaven is in my mind. I put it together; construct it like the hells in which I’ve lived out of wishes, prayers, ideas, out of voice, motion, tears…” shed silently and then forever banished. Where the mind flows, so I go. I choose the Light.

It required a paradigm shift. Failure no longer an option.

Now, I summon my angel minions to fight the invader. They scour my body in search of errant cells—sleeper cells—turncoat cells. With lightning speed and deft aim, they hit their target. I see my enemy vaporize.

Sometimes collateral damage ensues and I temporarily succumb to exhaustion and my own body, confused, betrays me and fights the valiant efforts of my angels. This is when my secret heaven is most needed. I retreat and regroup. I lie down in its green pastures after walking defiantly through the Valley of the Shadow.

Here I sing, dance and laugh. I thumb my nose at Death. I party with my loved ones and my friends. We are positivism embodied. Sunbeams and moonbeams of the Great Source.
The Great I Am. I’m through the Looking Glass in the land of endless possibilities and contradictions.

The Stooges visit with trade secrets of irony, sarcasm and satire. The Marx Brothers tell amusing anecdotes while Harpo plucks at my heart strings. Lucy ‘splains my situation to Desi and though the story sounds wacky coming from her lips, it makes sense here and love wins in the end. Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George break all the rules to steal a bowl of healing broth from The Soup Nazi’s kitchen. The story of the quest for the bowl levitates me. I giggle and float on clouds of mirth like Mary’s poppins. Just a spoonful of sugar… la la la la la.

Mozart plays so I may waltz with my man. Tchaikovsky tickles the ivories as the Swan Queen pirouettes. Louis Armstrong trumpets as the Saints march in. All the while, Irish dancers stomp on the pesky straggling invader cells as they try to creep in like spiders seeking my life’s juice. We play, sing and dance to crescendo in praise of life’s sanctity and beauty.

All my champions-- like chessmen-- move, countermove, check and checkmate. I am winning. We are legion.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Septet Poem


The challenge this week, courtesy bartzturkeymom, was to write a septet about an inanimate object giving it human qualities. The Septet is a poem, containing seven lines. The French word Sept can be found in it, which means seven. The Septet doesn’t have to rhyme and can be about any subject. This is how the Septet is built up:

Line 1: 3 syllables
Line 2: 5 syllables
Line 3: 7 syllables
Line 4: 9 syllables
Line 5: 7 syllables
Line 6: 5 syllables
Line 7: 3 syllables

by Marcail

My handbag

mouth shut or open

speaks volumes, whispers myself,

compartmentalizes my stuff

multitasks without effort

and never tries to

fight my shoes.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Brothers and Sisters


“Brothers & Sisters" was the first single ever released in English by alternative music band, Coldplay. A newer version of "Brothers & Sisters" appears on the “Trouble” single.


My elder brother visited this weekend with his wife. I have a younger brother as well as two younger sisters. In honor of my brother’s visit, I devote this blog to the topic of BROTHERS.

A brother is a male sibling. A sibling is a male or female who shares at least one parent with the person being referenced. This is usually taken to mean that the two people are genetically very close, though it is not always necessarily the case, ie. adoption.

In most societies throughout the world, siblings will usually grow up in the same household. This closeness is marked with the development of strong emotional associations between them. However, closeness may not always develop in sibling relationships, particularly between those with an age difference of five years or more.

In Islam, those who are breastfed by a woman other than their biological mother become siblings to the biological children of that woman provided that they are less than 2 years old and have been breastfed five times or more by that woman. According to the shariah these siblings are not allowed to marry each other.

We took my brother and his wife around our town on a wine tasting tour. There are over seventy wineries in our area.

We went to view Niagara Falls. It was rainy day, so we viewed them from the bar at The Keg restaurant in the Embassy Suites Hotel.


We also went to the Butterfly Conservatory.


A butterfly conservatory is specifically intended for the breeding and display of butterflies. They fly freely around and may land on you if you ressemble a flower. Many species of butterflies are found inside the tropical greenhouse that also houses butterfly eggs, caterpillars, chrysalides, and specific plants that are favored by each species. It's exciting to watch the butterflies emerge from their pupae.

If you go to a butterfly conservatory, wear a light floral perfume, and wear bright-colored or bright-white clothing, to encourage them to land upon you, but never touch a butterfly. Butterflies are attracted to a bright Hawaiian print shirt for the same reason they are attracted to flowers, but your touch will cause damage to their sensitive wings because of the oils in our skin and their easily-damage scales.

Adult butterflies live only one to two weeks, on average, during which time they must produce a new generation. Some species like the familiar Monarch butterfly, however, can live as long as six months in the wild.

We had a pleasant evening at home dining and catching up. We braved the cold autumn temperatures and took a midnight swim in the pool. Thank God for pool heaters. Visit your family while you still have the opportunity.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Promises: a Short Story

It's been a while since I've written a short story. Please comment freely.


By Marcail

Another business trip. They seem endless and have taken their toll on our marriage. Lost time and lost money. Sometimes I say he’s Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. He’s a dreamer. I remind myself often that what I love most about him, is what also drives me crazy.


I’m teary as he unloads his luggage, turns and takes my hands. Instead of another promise, he takes my face in his hands and brushes my tears away with his thumbs as he hushs me with a lingering kiss. Still dazed by the kiss, he easily slaps on handcuffs and turns me to slip on a blindfold.

pink cuffs

Arm around my waist, I’m escorted what is probably a short distance, but seems interminable as I inch along, testing the ground beneath my high heels. I’m speechless. Struck dumb is what they call it. It’s true, I think; you can be struck dumb.

I feel him fumbling with the cuffs and just as suddenly, my hands are freed. “Step up,” he directs, “two steps.” He tone is firm. Officious. He brooks no argument and places my hands on a cold metal, narrow opening. Sniffing , I detect a chemical odor. Airplane fuel?


A second, unfamiliar male voice says, “Here’s your seat. Turn slightly and sit, please.” He places my hands on leather and I make out the shape and dimensions. Gentle hands, I figure my man’s, guide my ass into place.

“I’m going to attach your seat belt. Just sit still, sweetheart.”

It clicks in place and a door slaps shut. I jump. In seconds, there is the sound of a door opening on my right side and the ‘whoosh’ of air escaping leather. His cologne, Givenchy Gentihomme, follows him as he closes the door and snaps in.

“All set, Captain.”

h pilot

He takes my hand and squeezes it like an excited child. Warm lips touch my cheek.

“You’re going to love this, babe, but for now I have to keep you blindfolded. I’m going put a headset on. Here goes.”

He pushes my hair behind my ears and eases on cushioned earpieces. “There’s a microphone. So we can talk. Can you hear me?”

I find my voice. “Yes, I hear you. Are you crazy? Where are we going? What about work and the kids?” My mind races.

“Don’t worry about a thing. Trust me. I promised you things would get better and this is just the first step in a lot of better,” his canned, tinny voice reassured.

Helicopter rotors whine and thwack in preparation for lift-off. A helicopter for fuck sake. We can’t afford this shit. Can we? I feel the earth give way and a slight forward thrust. I clutch his warm hand and he squeezes back a few times. I feel safe and my apprehension shifts to anticipation.

“In about 15 minutes, I’ll remove the blinders. Is that all right? Can you handle it?” He asks.

“So far, so good. I’ll let you know if I start to panic.” I smile. He squeezes my hand again.

The pilot gives coordinates to ground control and talks ‘pilot talk’ from time to time. I sit quietly and let my other senses go in to overdrive. I try to control a rising nausea as time ticks by slowly. Fifteen minutes, my ass. I’m about to say “enough” when Doug speaks.

“Okay, Janie. It’s time.” His happiness is palpable.


Unmasked, I blink and focus on his grinning face. He hands me a chilled flute of champagne and my labia quicken to his just-you-wait-for-it eyes. I'm thrumming. I look out the bubble window surrounding and below us. The visual feast makes my eyes water and my breath quicken. Lake country looms ahead in autumn splendor. The earth’s on fire and so am I. My body is electric. I think I might wet myself. “Wet myself more,” I correct myself. I haven’t been this turned on for a long time. I push the mike away and crush his mouth against mine. The kiss softens as it deepens. I want to take him then and there, but realize that it’s damn near impossible. He knows what’s in store for him though. I see his pupils dilate and his face soften with love as he goes to that secret place in his mind.


We fly in companionable silence and awe for another half hour and then I see it. I recognize this place. We set down on a postage-size level spot next to the cottage. I see the real estate sign with its sold banner striking out the opposition. Lost to bank 7 years ago. This sacred place harbors all our firsts and whispers tales of love and loss. He’s kept his promise. It’s ours again.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back from Virginia


Here’s my Scarecrow display for my front yard in Niagara. I'm back from setting up my home away fro home in Virginia. Here's a photo of the house.


Like many, I love the Scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz. Here's the lyrics to his song.

If I Only Had a Brain
(from The Wizard of OZ)
I could while away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head, I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel ev'ry riddle
For any individ'le
In trouble or in pain
With the thoughts you'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln,
If you only had a brain.
Oh, I could tell you why
The ocean's near the shore,
I could think of things I never thunk before
And then I'd sit and think some more.
I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain--Whoa!

Thanks to all of the kind and generous friends that have expressed their condolences to our family on the loss of my father and their grandfather.

I'm looking forward to getting back in writing mode. There's much to do. Like get that syn and partial off to Silhouette. Time's 'a wastin'.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Book Tag

I've been tagged for this one by Southern Writer. I 've been busy and I've also needed a few days to think about this one.

One book that changed your life.
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

2. One book you have read more than once.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

3. One book you would want on a desert island.
A journal. If that doesn't count. The Bible.

4. One book that made you laugh
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

5. One book that made you cry.
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Michell ( I was pretty young at the time, 10 if I recall, but I still cry when I see the movie esp when the little daughter is killed while riding)

6. One book you wish you had written
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

7. One book you wish had never been written.
I wouldn't censor anyone, although there are a number I've read that wasted valuable reading time

8. One book you are currently reading
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell in conjunction with Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

9. One book you have been meaning to read
The Giver by Lois Lowry

10. I'm supposed to tag five people, so if you're reading this and you haven't been tagged let me know so I can choose YOU.

Heading to Virginia

Thanks to all for your condolences. I'm heading to Virginia for a few days. At this point, I'm unsure about internet access. I will be writing though. Keep on blogging.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm Back, but Off Again

I'm back after a 10 day absence. I intended on updating you about the writer's conference I attended sponsored by the Ottawa Romance Writers.

However, my father died yesterday and of course, the funeral rituals take precedence. Instead I leave you again with a poem befitting a life's passage.

No Man is an Island (John Donne)

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

Friday, September 22, 2006



1591, anomy, "disregard of law," from Gk. a- "without" + nomos "law"
The modern use, with Fr. spelling (from Durkheim's "Suicide," 1897), is first attested 1933 and means "absence of accepted social values."

an‧o‧mie  /[an-uh-mee] –noun Sociology
a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people.
Also, an‧o‧my.

Well ladies and gentlemen, given the state of our world, I deduce that many unfortunate souls are suffering from anomie. War, famine, natural disasters are at the extreme end of social breakdown causes. Family dissolution/separation and personal isolation may be considered at the other end. Whatever the cause, the resulting anomie can result in self-abuse and suicide or outward anger expressed in violence towards others.

Anomie is a reaction against, or a retreat from, the regulatory social controls of society, and is a completely separate concept from a situation of anarchy which is an absence of effective rulers or leaders.

The nineteenth century French pioneer sociologist Durkheim borrowed the word from the french philosopher Jean-Marie Guyau and used it in his book Suicide (1897), outlining the causes of suicide to describe a condition or malaise in individuals, characterized by an absence or diminution of standards or values (referred to as normlessness), and an associated feeling of alienation and purposelessness. He believed that anomie is common when the surrounding society has undergone significant changes in its economic fortunes, whether for good or for worse and, more generally, when there is a significant discrepancy between the ideological theories and values commonly professed and what was actually achievable in everyday life.

Anomie in literature and film (source Wikipedia)
In Albert Camus's existentialist novel The Stranger, the protagonist Meursault struggles to construct an individual system of values as he responds to the disappearance of the old. He exists largely in a state of anomie, as seen from the apathy evinced in the opening lines: "Aujourd'hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas" ("Today Mother died. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.") Dostoevsky, whose work is often considered a philosophical precursor to existentialism, often expressed a similar concern in his novels. In The Brothers Karamazov, the character Dimitri Karamazov asks his atheist friend Rakitin, "'...without God and immortal life? All things are lawful then, they can do what they like?'" Raskolnikov, the anti-hero of Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment, puts this philosophy into action when he kills an elderly pawnbroker and her sister, later rationalizing this act to himself with the words, "...it wasn't a human being I killed, it was a principle!"
More recently, the protagonist of Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver, the protagonist of the film Office Space, and the protagonist of the novel Fight Club, written by Chuck Palahniuk (and later made into a film), could be said to suffer from anomie.


I'm off to Ottawa for a writer's conference and then to Carriage Hills, north of Toronto for a golf holiday with the man. I'll be pitching my romantic suspense, Monkey Business, to editor Brenda Chin of Harlequin. Send some positive energy my way if you have any to spare. I'll pop in from time to time. Have a productive, happy week.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pantoum Poem


While wailing winds whip at the gate,
The cold grey sky's about to cry,
The fallen ones meet autumn's fate
Winged warbled warning: death be nigh.

The cold grey sky's about to cry,
Spent buds bend to the final blow,
Winged warbled warning: death be nigh,
In fading light and near shadow.

Spent buds bend to the final blow
Withered, browned and downed to knees
In fading light and near shadow
Plump pillows made for sleeper's ease.

Summer spoils spill on the ground,
The fallen ones meet autumn's fate,
Where saprophytes in spring abound,
While wailing winds whip at the gate.

Well I Never

My friend Christopher sent me this.

Copy and paste everything below into your blog and "BOLD in RED the things that you have NEVER done. Leave the things that you actually HAVE done unbolded and in black.

I’ve Never Kissed A Member Of The Opposite Sex
I’ve Never Kissed A Member Of The Same Sex
I’ve Never Crashed A Friend’s Car
I’ve Never Been To Japan
I’ve Never Been In Love?
I’ve Never Had Sex In Public
I’ve Never Been Dumped
I’ve Never Done Cocaine
I’ve Never Shoplifted
I’ve Never Been Fired
I’ve Never Been In A Fist Fight
I’ve Never Had Group Intercourse
I’ve Never Snuck Out Of My Parent’s House
I’ve Never Been Tied Up
I’ve Never Regretted Having Sex With Someone
I’ve Never Been Arrested
I’ve Never Made Out With A Stranger
I’ve Never Stolen Something From My Job
I’ve Never Gone On A Blind Date
I’ve Never Celebrated Mardi Gras In New Orleans
I’ve Never Been To Europe
I’ve Never Skipped School
I’ve Never Slept With A Co-Worker
I’ve Never Cut Myself On Purpose
I’ve Never Had Sex At The Office (well technically, it wasn't my office)
I’ve Never Been Married
I’ve Never Been Divorced
I’ve Never Had Sex With More Than One Person Within The Same Week.
I've Never Posed Nude
I’ve Never Gotten Someone Drunk Just To Have Sex With Them
I’ve Never Killed Anyone
I’ve Never Received Scars From My Sex Partner
I’ve Never Thrown Up In A Bar
I’ve Never Purposely Set A Part Of Myself On Fire?
I’ve Never Eaten Sushi
I’ve Never Been Snowboarding
I’ve Never Had Sex At A Friend’s House While They Were Throwing A Party
I’ve Never Had Sex In A Dressing Room
I’ve Never Flashed Anyone
I’ve Never Met Anyone From Online
I've Never Smoked A Cigarette
I've Never Stolen A Car
I've Never Seen Someone Die
I've Never Been To Canada?
I've Never Been To Mexico
I've Never Taken Pain Killers?
I've Never Cheated While Playing A Game
I've Never Been Lonely
I've Never Used A Fake ID
I've Never Been Tickled
I've Never Been Robbed
I've Never Been Misunderstood
I've Never Been In A Car Accident
I've Never Had Braces
I've Never Danced In The Moonlight
I've Never Liked The Way I Look
I've Never Witnessed A Crime..serious crime.
I've Never Been Lost
I've Never Swam In The Ocean
I've Never Felt Like Dying
I've Never Cried Myself To Sleep
I've Never Played Cops and Robbers and Post Office
I've Never Done Something That I Told Myself I Wouldn't Do
I've Never Been Told By A Complete Stranger That I'm HOT

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Worm Pic for previous post

The common earthworm variety doing a stellar job of adding nutrients to the soil. Why do they always come out on sidewalks and driveways after a rain? Would they drown underground?


Fringes post about her cat's tapeworm remind me about how much I dislike worms as a result of the horror I felt after reading Poe's poem, The Conqueror Worm. The thought of worms squirming about in another live creature appalls me. I definitely wanted to be cremeated after reading this poem--even though it does upset the circle of life. Come to think about it , there are many nasty poems about worms... the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out... etc.

I have always been a Poe fan, even though he wasn't highly regarded in his own time. The Stephen King of his times. Any other Poe fans out there.


Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly-
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Woe!

That motley drama- oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out- out are the lights- out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Short Story Competition

For all you writers in this mystery/horror genre, this may be of interest.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Banned Book Week

I've just read that Banned Book Week is 23-30 Sep 2006.

Here is a list of the top 100 Book Challenges between 1990-2000.
Which books from this list have you read?
Should the books that you've read have been banned? Why do you think it was challenged? Should any book be banned?
Pick one of the challenged books that you haven't read and read it. Let us know why you think it was challenged.

You'll notice that a number are children's or young adult books. Do you think that a parent has a responsibility to know what their child reads and to read the book either before or with the child? If you are a parent, does your child's school send home a reading list? Are books banned in their school? If so, have you been provided with a list of banned or challenged books?

I chosen "The Giver." I'll get back to you about it soon.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Game Thursday

Fringes reminded me of Floods Game Thursdays and suggested we play a game introduced by Chad.

Make five statements about yourself. Three must be true. Readers are to guess which statements are false. Here goes:

1. I was as a military nurse during the Gulf War.
2. I've bungie jumped.
3. I've been married three times.
4. I've never been on a boat.
5. I've seen live concerts of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Cream, The Beatles, Styx, Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Poetry Wednesday- Song Lyrics

Poetry Wednesday- Song Lyrics

I often am told that people don't read poetry anymore. It just isn't true.
The mass production of music has brought poetry to everyone at an early age. It continues to be in the background of most peoples lives on a daily basis. I'm talking about the poetry of music lyrics. Young people in particular devour song lyrics. Just like when I was young- the more rebellious and antistatus quo the better. And who can get enough great love song lyrics.
Performance / Slam poetry is big. I think this is in response to the phenomena of the Rap and Hip-hop cultures-urban poetry. It's gritty, raw and unlike the stuff the parents listen to. Perfect.
So this poetry Wednesday, I bring you the lyrics of Coldplay.


When I was a young boy I tried to listen
And I wanna feel like that
Little white shadows that sparkle and glisten
I'm part of a system plan
Do you ever feel like there's something missing?
Things you'll never understand
Little white shadows that blink in the distance
Part of a system plan

When all our fears are waking up
All the space they're taking up
I said I cannot hear you, you're breaking up


Maybe you get what you wanted
Maybe you stumbled upon it
Everything you ever wanted
In a permanent state

Maybe you'll know when you see it
Maybe if you say it, you mean it
When you find that you keep it
In a permanent state
A permanent state

When I was a young boy
I tried to listen
I don't think I'll ever feel like that

We're part of the human race and
All of the stars and outer space
We're part of the system plan

When all our fears are waking up
And all the space, they're taking up
I said I cannot hear you, you're breaking up

Maybe you get what you wanted
Maybe you'll stumble upon it
Everything you ever wanted
In a permanent state

Maybe you'll know when you see it
Maybe if you say it, you'll mean it
When you find that you keep it
In a permanent state
A permanent state

I swear I'm only seeing faces
Tired of the human races
Oh, answer now is what I need...

See it in a new sun rising
See it breaking on your horizon
Oh, come on love, stay with me...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Vanishing Act (Another Tanka)


by Marcail

Wavy images bobbing
Dancing on sunbeam mirrors
Eluding tender touch.
Seductive water sprites swim
In dreamscapes morning vapours.

Like the title of my tanka, "Vanishing Act," I am vanishing for the weekend. I will be working on the short story, "The Uxorious Husband" while away and hopefully have a post ready for Monday.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Word of the day


ux‧o‧ri‧ous [uhk-sawr-ee-uhs, -sohr-, uhg-zawr-, -zohr-]

doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one's wife.

I am going to write a short story based on the word of the day- UXORIOUS- and this painting. I invite you to join me. If you do, post it on your blog and then let me know. Great word isn't it.

My friend, bartzturkeymom, has inspired this entry.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lonely Moon Short Fiction Contest

If you haven't entered this contest, drop by and enter or read some fantastic flash fiction. My entry is #42 Moon Time. Leave a comment or enter a reader's choice vote.

Many thanks to Jason Evans and Anne Frasier (author of Pale Immortal) for organising and judging this contest. Kudos and good luck to all the writers who have submitted some very fine work.


Moon time becomes us
It's written, we're blood,
Little Puddle and Gammy
And of course our dear Flood.

Celtic Horoscope

I'm An Apple Tree

You are quiet and shy at times, but you have lots of charm and appeal.You are quite attractive: your pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, and adventurous spirit draw people in.Sensitive and loyal in love, you want to love and be loved.You are a faithful and tender partner - who is generous in sharing your many talents.You love children, and you need an affectionate partner.
My Celtic horoscope. What's" Your Celtic Horoscope?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Song Title Challenge

This challenge came to me from my friend Googs. I was to create a story from the song titles on my computer. Here's my story.

Mona Lisa and the Tambourine Man were Makin' Whoopie at Moon River. I was Missing You in My Way. I looked at your photos because My Eyes Adored You. Why did you take A Magical Mystery Tour? I sent A Message in a Bottle and played Moonlight Sonata until The End.

I'd love to read yours.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sarah Brightman - Moon River

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I'll Be

I love the sentiment of this song. To lovers who need to shout it out it out. I'm with you.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Poem: Let's Pretend

By Marcail

Let’s have a war of language and some violence-
Then we can use the warning:
Rated PG18 may be offensive to some.
We can cast the lead actors
And who may be right for supporting roles.
Don’t forget the camera angles…
And special effects.
The trailers are ready for screening;
Stay tuned-coming to a theatre near you.

Monday, August 14, 2006

New York

I just spent 4 days in NYC reconnecting with my husband. Life doesn't always play out to our expectations. But we are resilent much like NYC.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fandango (duet)- Boccherini

Someday, I'll get it together. For now enjoy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An A to Z poem


By Marcail

A bold choreographed dance--

erotic fandango gyration--

had inflammed jealousies,

kindled loins mania.

Neon orbs pulsated

quickening raucous strains

tempting undulating vamps

with xylophone's yelping zenith.

Well, that was fun. If you have an A-Z poem, I'd enjoy reading it. I'm still learning the audioblog ropes. I tried to add a nice fandango tune, but failed miserably. So hum something yourself while I keep at it.

Norah Jones - Don't Know Why (Live)

Thought you all might enjoy this beautiful song.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting - All For Love

All for Love. # of my favorite performers

Saturday, August 05, 2006

My Favorite Poems

Irish poet William Butler Yeats is definitely on my list of poet geniuses. I have a CD of his reading of the poem that reinforced my belief that poetry should be performed. I wish I had the tech skill to include it as an audioblog, but I don't so here is the written poem. Appropos in these dark days.


By W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert

A shape with a lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless in the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Friday, August 04, 2006


By Marcail with thanks to Will
My disappointment was an enormous fink wad splat upon the ground,
Its colour, sheer size and shape attracting attention,
The cause becoming the duty of my relentlessly keen bloodhound
That ran, and sniffed, and dug, and howled in furied desperation
Until the meaning was lost to drastic dramatization
And everyone enjoyed the thrill as the play chaptered my life,
Even I, starry-eyed, wallowed in status and perfect characterization
And watched enthralled, as disappointment evolved to all-out strife.
Now as I don the robes of clever Kate, the untameable fishwife,
I understand that such roles take on a life of their own
Until stupidly, we ready to impale our flesh upon the knife.
So daughters, I implore, control your passions lest they become overblown,
Love's disappointments, tho' sad they be, are not high tradegy.
Love freely and fairly as you garner your lessons and live graciously.

Blame It on Aging


Wrinkles and furrows are a huge problem
Rheumy red-rimmed eyes are too much
Misplaced hairs are especially disturbing
But what can I do.
Blame it on aging

Gray rain beats on me
Like a Hemingway's old man
Like William Shatner's ass
Sagging under the gravity of it all.
Blame it on aging

I think flaccidity is going to drive me crazy
And told-again tales grate my nerves
Like Hemingway and Shatner smiles
Cruel, cold, distant and whiskey mad
Blame it on aging.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lying Lips


By Marcail

I feel miserable

Lying lips made me ill

I feel miserable

Twisted tongues tore at my foundations

I feel miserable

Angry eyes dragged me down to the depths

Where death lurks.

Is this jealous possession or

An obsession of with unwillingness

Or am I adrift in Joyceland

I don't know so, but feel so.

He broke my will to live

He corrupted my brain

He plundered my soul

I was getting better then

He broke my will to live.

I feel miserable

Callous cheaters rot my brain flesh

I feel miserable

Hollow hearts defeat my purpose

I feel miserable

Pathetic players impale my spirit

Releasing my will to live.

He broke my will to live

He corrupted my brain

He plundered my soul

I was getting better when

He broke my will to love.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


by Marcail
I lay scrunched up on my squeeze-snake sheets
in a mad menacing mood
Turbid thoughts crowd out sleep
Rabid rousings upset REM.
I regard red-rimmed reflectors in the mirror
in a mental-minded mood
Bleary blinking black holes return stare
Are you still here?
I amaze to aurora's arising
Shuddering sobs allow sullen spirit's escape
Resignation respires in a readily-rapt mood
Calm careful considerations come.
I awake aroused on my squeeze-snake sheets
in a joyful jubliant mood
Translucent thoughts clear as slumber lifts
Radiant radiant rhymes race to my desk.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Walking Away



It was the day you went away
Bleak Depression came to stay.
The Black Dog launched upon his mission
And unleashed Fury entered the fray.

Hound from hell, you howling submission
Weakened me who lacked volition.
Reclined by Dark accepting Fate
You're lost to Love’s attrition.

In woe and tears, I rued my fate
Dire plans began to fulminate.
From Misery came bright Gestalt-
A Life my own did I create.

Light pierced deep within the vault
And I no longer claiming Fault.
Head up, chest out, hips all sashay,
Cerberus’s guard I called to halt.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sky Flight (Haiku)


by Marcail

Tight spring trampolines
Silver wings of aeroplanes
Smash a summer sky

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Onomatopoeia and Alliteration Poem


By Marcail

You glowered and murmurred mumblings
About my yakking and yammering
So I clobbered you with spewed spitting sounds
Until you skampered and skittered out the door howling
Holding your ears pierced by my shrill shrieks.