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-ĂȘtre 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, " 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.