Fearless Thinking, Stress-Free Living Exercises: An Experiment



Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

I am currently reading the above book as a member of the Online Book Club review team and have decided to take part in some of the exercises and see if I find them helpful. I already like the book well enough that I feel confident in recommending that you preview it and see if you might benefit from it as well.

I have decided to participate in the first recommended exercise, which involves recording one's thoughts for a minute four times a day. I can't promise that I'll do this four times a day, but I can commit to doing it daily. I will sometimes share these thoughts.

This is not a writing exercise. It is not meant to be edited. It is a means of determining where the mind is currently focused. Here is my first entry.

Unedited thoughts, one minute
08/29/2019 16:12

The bandage on my finger is making me feel crazy.
Will this stupid wart dissolve?
My ankle hurts, my right foot hurts. 
It feels like there is something sticky on my fingers.
Will things be all right after we move?
Will we actually start eating better?
Why the hell can't I just finish packing? What's stopping me?
I'm worried about the move.

I'm not going to try to analyze this very much. Lots of worry and trepidation is the theme of the moment, and I can't say I'm surprised.

~Cie~

Castle Necros Reveal: Rocket Woman

Copyright Mystic Arts Design on Pixabay



Leah and Dale followed Marc, Lleu, Miro, and Robert through the gates of the castle. Initially, it appeared that Dale might be correct in his assessment that the place was unoccupied, but Leah felt that it was too well-maintained. She didn’t have time to give the matter further thought, as when the group entered the tower, their startled eyes beheld a control panel and a digital counter. The door closed and locked behind them, and a computerized female voice began counting down from fifty.

“Holy crap, this tower must be a rocket!” Marc announced, his voice a good octave higher than its normal register.

“Marc, at this moment I am finding your gift for stating the obvious far from charming,” Leah snapped. “I don’t suppose that any of you gentlemen might know how to stop this thing from completing its countdown. Lleu, before you open your mouth, zip it. I’m aware that as a not particularly bright revenant from the thirteenth century, you wouldn’t have any idea what to do with this equipment.”

“I’m afraid your guess is as good as ours, Leah,” Dale said with a shrug. “Marc and I are spies, not rocket scientists.”

“I’m a disenfranchised go-go boy,” Miro stated.

“I’m a high school gym teacher who probably no longer has a job,” Robert revealed.

“Very well, I will try,” grumbled the disgruntled Voodoo priestess.

“I for one believe in Leah,” Marc declared. “Provided she did exactly as instructed, she should be able to get it right.”

250 Words

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

Prompt Used: 

Notes:
This prompt sparked the creation of the first two chapters of Castle Necros, the new WIP which will become the sixteenth installment in Naughty Netherworld Press' Carnal Invasion series.
Here is an introduction to the characters.
Leah La Sirene is a 60-year-old Voodoo priestess from New Orleans. One cannot miss her striking vermillion afro.
Lleu Redgrave is a vampire born in 1212 who is hung up on his creator, the vampire sorceress Paraji.
Dale Dicking and Marc Cumming are both agents from the super top-secret Alien and Supernatural Search Squadron.
Miroslav Korošec was an exchange student from Slovenia during his and Robert Cody's junior year in high school. The pair developed feelings for each other at that time but drifted apart. They have been happily reunited fifteen years later. 

Weekend Writing Warriors 1 September 2019 (ER, FA, LGBT, SF)


The two women suddenly became aware of the presence of a wolf. The animal did not behave in a hostile fashion. It stood in place, studying the pair. Ka looked directly at it and communicated telepathically.

“I am unsure if you could understand my words, but I know you can understand my thoughts,” she imparted. “I know what you are, and I believe you are aware of what we are. Can you tell us where we are?”

The wolf hurried off into the woods, and a short time later, a kind-faced young man with a porcelain complexion, wavy dark-brown hair, and glowing, lime-green eyes appeared. He wore an unadorned brown tunic. Ka again addressed him telepathically.


~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

Notes:
This is a snippet from Naughty Netherworld Press' current WIP, Along the Silk Road, which is due for publication on September 1, 2019. This short but spicy story is the fifteenth installment in the smoking hot Kindle Erotica series, Carnal Invasion.

Ka Barnard is a 420-year-old Caucasian-Japanese fox maiden who was drawn through a wormhole when the volcano containing the infamous Base Lust-69 erupted at the end of Carnal Invasion XII: Paraji's Prisoners. She was accompanied by her werewolf girlfriend, Tiffany Walton. The women now find themselves in a thick, deciduous forest in what Tiffany believes to be a pre-industrial time.

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Corncockle


a flower whose name
is sure to bring a chuckle
at least if you are
the sort whose mind is often
somewhere down in the gutter

~Cie~




Ghost Town Grover sez: "That's it, Ornery, I'm declarin' y'all a lost cause! Y'all find one flower with a kinda silly name and yer sittin' there smirkin' like a schoolgirl! Now me, I ain't thinkin' nothin' filthy about this here flower's name. I'm thinkin' this here flower reminds me of corn and roosters, 'cause it's got corn in its name, and roosters say cock-a-doodle-doo."


Cactus Clem Sez: "Now, Grover, I don't think it's entirely Ornery's fault. Every time we invite that ole Beavis an' Butthead over fer a poker game, everything seems kinda down an' dirty to me fer a while too!"


Butthead: "Huh huh huh! You said 'cock.'"
Beavis: "Yeah! Yeah! Me too! He said 'cock!'" 

Great news! The plumbing in the Grover Hotel is mostly updated (still a little minor work to do) and the big move-in day is September 6!

Carpe Diem Renga with Jane Reichhold: Reflections from a Dim Lantern in a Dark Mind


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Reflections from a Dim Lantern in a Dark Mind

I
Chinese lantern
the brightness within
a bee
you sting my heart and then leave
stealing the nectar from me

II
barbed wire
the best berry bushes
double-thorned
your love so sweet like berries
comes at the price of my life

III
in foggy moonlight
blackberries float in cream
her nails are blue
such a delusional mind
she could never be pretty

IV
flowers by the door
nameless except for the color
of these blue days
blue fading ever to black
flowers fade in the graveyard

V
late summer grasses
above their roots the seeds
nearly touching
they wind and twine anywhere
not giving a thought to me

VI
sheaves of grass
water that does not break
flows in ripples
a heart broken too often
becomes hard and cold as ice

~Jane & Cie~


Notes:
The hokku (three-line stanza) of these renga were created by Jane Reichhold (1937 -2016). The dark and depressing ageku were penned by me in a dark garret in a depressing town where everyone probably died of the plague.

Real Cie Reviews: Empowered



Rating: Four of Four Stars

Check out my exclusive Online Book Club review of Empowered: The Business Owner's Guide to Leadership and Success by Dominica Lumazar.

Main positive takeaway: This book is geared towards small business owners who have a staff, but it can be helpful to sole proprietors and individuals who work in a supervisory capacity for an organization as well.

Main negative takeaway: Other than the occasional typo, I found nothing negative in this book.

How Not to Write About Neurological or Psychological Differences


Definitely, don't include the above statement in your piece. However, the points I'm discussing are a bit more subtle.
I recently read a review of a book about a woman with bipolar disorder. I have not read the book myself at this juncture but am taking it on myself to do so for the reasons stated below. 

The reviewer made this statement:
"Individuals affected with this disorder, eventually take up the nature of a 'zombie' because of the effects of the drugs given to control it. They are also known to be suicidal."

I left this reply to the reviewer.

As a person with bipolar disorder, I would suggest doing further research on bipolar disorder before making blanket statements regarding how people who live with the disorder behave. There are several types of bipolar disorder: type one, type two, and cyclothymia. There are also a variety of medications used to treat it, and some of us who live with the condition do not take medication.
There is an increased likelihood of suicide ideation with bipolar disorder, however, this does not always manifest in the same way. Speaking for myself personally, I have frequent suicide ideation but it tends to be situational. I have learned coping techniques to deal with it. I never "become a zombie" because of medication because I refuse to take medications which allow me to become a zombie.
As I have Kindle Unlimited, I feel the need to take it upon myself to read this book because if this is the sort of picture it is painting of people with bipolar disorder, that is troubling indeed. We already face enough stigma. We do not need the world viewing a varied population in an extremely negatively stereotyped fashion. 
As this book appears to depict a single case and one person's manifestations of bipolar disorder, please do not stereotype all persons with bipolar disorder as behaving in the same way. We are as varied as any other population of individuals. Your review was concise, but the sentences stereotype an entire population of people. Instead of saying "people with bipolar disorder are known to...", personalize the review by saying "Geraldine experienced feelings of lethargy due to the side effects of her medication" or "Geraldine was suicidal."
I would also avoid using terms such as "suffering from" when referring to neurological differences such as autism or psychological aberrations such as bipolar disorder. Such a description can be offensive. Persons with these conditions often are not suffering due to the condition itself, we suffer because of the negative ways in which we are treated. I have told people that if I could have a cure for my diabetes, I would take it in a heartbeat, but I would not take a cure for my bipolar disorder. Having bipolar disorder disappear would change the way my mind perceives the world, and I would not know how to function in the world. I am not going to say that bipolar disorder is a "gift," but it is an oversimplification to say that bipolar disorder causes suffering, implying that eradication of bipolar disorder would eradicate suffering. Many things cause suffering. Bipolar disorder simply causes a shift in the way a person perceives the world, which may or may not cause suffering.

Cheers.
Cie


Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Sunflower and Foxglove


at this time of year
sunflowers line the roadside
golden soldiers march


too much is toxic
but given in small doses
it can help a heart

~Cie~


Note:
The cardiac medication digitalis is made from the foxglove plant. Patients taking digitalis must be monitored closely for symptoms of toxicity.

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Baneberry


withstanding extremes
a plant may make its debut
within my garden

~Cie~


Notes:
I am seeking plants suitable for Zone 5. They need to be able to withstand both heat and cold and not be too thirsty. The Baneberry seems like a possible addition.

Real Cie Reviews: The Bubble Match



Disclosure:
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
The following is a duplicate of my review on Amazon for this book.

Rating: 
Four of five stars

This book is immensely readable. I finished it within two days. There is a good flow to the various elements of the story, and the author handles dialogue well. 
The protagonist is a tremendous womanizer and his behavior towards his conquest at times not only borders on but crosses the line into verbal abuse. Unlike in my younger days, I do not tend to romanticize the idea of a woman standing by her man (or intended man) regardless of how poorly he treats her or how many times he pushes her away. 
The protagonist's unwillingness to open himself up emotionally is understandable. His blowing hot and cold is understandable if enraging. The things he says to the object of his reluctant affections are, at times, toxic.
The overall storyline is reminiscent of the popular Thai Lakorn (soap opera). Lakorns always have elements of tension between the male and female protagonist, and a villain who threatens the well-being of the female protagonist, prompting a rescue by the male protagonist. Lakorns are fun, and so is this story.
The manuscript contains a few typos, and there are some formatting errors which should have been picked up on before publication, including two chapters running together with the chapter title in normal text print between them. (Chapter six.) 
Overall, this book was an enjoyable bit of escapism and an easy read. I recommend it.

~Cie~




If you purchase the book through my link, I earn a small commission.
Here is what you do if you'd prefer to have the less pricey Kindle book.
Go through this link, which will take you to the book's page. Then choose Kindle instead of paperback. I still earn a small commission, and you get the Kindle version!

What Pegman Saw: Tbyyff

Riga Cathedral

At sunrise, Duke Myzal Krowley reached the Ukmyd monastery in Tbyyff, the wounded golden firedrake Bhauca cradled in his arms and Bhauca’s mate Tuceju flying alongside. As Myzal neared the garden gate, he was startled to see his brother hurrying across the grounds.

Never content to do things the easy way, Xed tossed up an anchor to catch the edge of the balcony and climbed the wall. Myzal rolled his eyes.

“You are fortunate that we are visiting benevolent monks and not tyrannical warlords,” he remarked. “We are not armed to take on the latter.”

“I am my own greatest weapon,” Xed bragged.

“You’re super clumsy, make terrible decisions, and you’re not even good at talking your way out of things,” Myzal retorted.

“I’m a weapon of my own destruction!” Xed replied.

“At least there is one thing on which we agree,” Myzal sighed as the pair entered the gardens.

Gem Moondreamer
Jewels Stardancer
The Real Cie
Tempest LeTrope

Prompts Used:

Notes:
This character study for Team Netherworld's hybrid fantasy/science fiction WIP, The Weaver, and the Water Bearer, involves a bit of banter between brothers Myzal and Xed Krowley, both reluctant royalty in a world where magic has taken the place of technology. Myzal is darker in both appearance and personality. He tends to be serious and depressive. Xed is golden-haired and manic in manner. The thing that pleases him most is making his brother laugh. 
The brothers are elflike in appearance but "don't look like them tall, blond blokes from the movies," as Gerry Clifford, a character from another of Team Netherworld's WIP's (Fetch) would be quick to point out. They are smaller in stature and plainer of face.
This story is part of The Yadira Chronicles.



Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #99: Crossroads of Summer


I
buttercups
peeping through fog
opening to the sun

buttercups
I missed my turn once again
may I back it up?

peeping through the fog
on the way to take boxes
last stop on the way

opening to the sun
my heart opens very slowly
fearing further pain

II
sunshine lights
on hibiscus leaves before their
own dark

sunshine lights
but sometimes the sunshine lies
as much as shadow

on hibiscus leaves before their
time comes to fade for autumn
fall's first frost comes soon

own dark
indeed, I once thought I could
instead, dark owned me

~Jane & Cie~


Notes:
The "sleighs" of this team of Troku were created by Jane Reichhold (1937 - 2016). The wild horses pulling the "sleighs" were wrangled by me, or, more likely, I was wrangled by them.

The second stanza of the first Troiku references a favorite song: Aqualung by Morcheeba. This song has deep personal significance, and we'll just leave it at that.


Real Cie Reviews: Mission Tango


Disclosure: 
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
The following is a duplicate of my review on Amazon for this book.

Rating: Two of Five Stars

This story had a strong start with an exciting and terrifying scenario involving Le Docteur's agents launching coordinated attacks in Paris. Le Docteur initially seemed a compelling and complex villain, but after the first segment of the story, there were a lot of unanswered questions, the first being this: 
Why were so many people so easily convinced to follow Le Docteur unquestioningly? To me, he became rather transparent after delivering his televised speech about NEMESIS. He seemed a modernized, mustache-twirling melodrama villain, and I truly did not understand why the people working for him were compelled by him.
As well, following the attack on Paris, I noticed that the dialogue did not flow naturally. It was stilted and methodical. The author does well at creating action-packed scenes, but his manuscript could do with some adjustment where dialogue is concerned to make conversations between characters more realistic. 
I realize that the scientist, Nubia, had the possibility of being accused of murder hanging over her head, which would, understandably, make her more compliant than she might otherwise have been. However, it went against her initial independent and self-reliant nature to allow herself to be continually and, for the most part, unquestioningly, led around by Amir, including into his bed. One minute she was rather uninterested by him, the next she was falling all over him and disappointed that he wasn't responding to her advances. Her changeability was not in keeping with the way she was initially depicted.
The author might wish to ask women of his acquaintance if they would find having their nipple nipped, even playfully, to be sexy. Personally, I cringed when reading the scene which employed this description. It would likely be my reflex action to strike anyone who did such a thing in the head.
I would have rated the book three stars, but it employed far too many negative tropes. The women, regardless of how intelligent or self-reliant, were all very dependent on and needful of male companionship to the point of allowing themselves to be taken in by a murderous sociopath, i.e. Camille with Le Docteur, or a man in whom they previously had zero interest, i.e. Nubia with Amir.
It is true that there are Muslim extremists. However, even extremists have multifaceted personalities. Le Docteur's operatives were two-dimensional. There was no nuance regarding the reasons behind their involvement with Le Docteur.
Further, I found the medical aspect of the story poorly researched, tropish, and insulting. The large gentleman (of course) who eats the three cream cakes and ends up ill presents initially with high blood pressure. I am not a doctor, but I am a former nurse and emergency medical technician. Overconsumption of sugar is unlikely to significantly elevate the blood pressure. It will significantly elevate blood sugar in persons with diabetes. Not every fat person has diabetes, and not everyone who has diabetes is fat. Albert states that: "I have been diagnosed as having a tendency toward developing type 2 diabetes." 
Having early-stage diabetes which does not require insulin would not result in the blood sugar elevating significantly enough to require hospitalization. This red herring was thrown in to suggest that perhaps the bacterial strain interacted with sugar, but it was later stated that this was not the case. The "fat people eat everything" trope is insulting and tired, and the idea that anyone can eat themselves into diabetes is erroneous. The only people who develop diabetes are those who have the code for diabetes in their DNA, and they come in all sizes.
This story started out strong, but I had trouble getting through to the end. After the initial interesting scene, the pace slowed significantly, dragged down by multiple tropes. 
The author has shown that he has the potential to write an exciting story. He should incorporate plenty of action, trim down the dialogue, do better research, and flesh out his characters.

~Cie~

Maia and Electra: Soulmate Flower


250 Words

One day when we were still living with Mother and Kade, Maia slipped an invitation under my bedroom door. The handmade card directed me to meet her in front of the Cairo University Administration building.

Cairo was named after the city on Homeworld. Maia was fascinated by the history of our people, and Kade was obsessed with the idea of returning to Homeworld as a conqueror. He denied it, but I saw his communication with his companions. He was enraged at having his plans exposed. What had happened to him at that moment was what happens to people when they are unexpectedly caught in something very shameful. He grabbed me by the throat and snarled that I’d best forget what I’d read if I wanted my head to remain attached to my body.

I was glad to leave my psychotic stepfather and meet with my gentle sister. Maia loved animals and enjoyed pointing out those which had originated on our Homeworld.

“Look, Electra, a duck!” she declared, grinning as the silly creature waddled its way along the shore of Cairo University’s ornamental pond before taking to the water and paddling away. “I love them so!”

 “I like them too. I like the way they paddle.”

Maia found a blood-red flower lying on the ground near a yellow vine which wrapped itself around an apple tree like a snake. She handed me the flower.

“A soulmate flower for your birthday, Electra,” she declared. “It is a fortunate omen, my charming sister.”

~Aurora Hylton~
~The Real Cie~

Prompts Used:

Notes:
This is a chapter for another long-neglected Team Netherworld WIP. This one is the brainchild of Writing Sister Aurora. It is a science fiction story about two sisters in their late teens who have latent powers which their abusive stepfather hopes to exploit for his benefit.


Weekend Writing Warriors 25 August 2019 (ER, FA, LGBT, SF)


Ka looked into Tiffany’s eyes, giving a weary smile. She caressed her companion’s cheek.

“I am well enough, Tiffany, only a little rattled by that terrible trip,” she said reassuringly. “Do you know where we are, Darling?”

“I do not. I only know that the stars glow brighter here than I have ever seen, and the night is so very black. I hear no motors. I hear shouts and the beating of drums. I am afraid we may be in a place completely unfamiliar to us.”

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

Notes:
When Base Lust-69 exploded at the end of Paraji's Prisoners, those occupying the base were thrown through wormholes to different places in time and space. Vampire-werewolf hybrid Tiffany Walton and fox maiden Ka Barnard ended up in a mysterious dark forest somewhere in Earth's past.

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Forget Me Not


I have a tattoo
of your name on my deltoid
but even without
I could never forget you
though you couldn't remember

~Cie~




Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Weeds


I dreamed in my youth
of being a wildflower
I am but a weed
something ever unwanted
in any garden or field

~Cie~


Notes from a Numb Mind:

Sorry, Folks, your girl doesn't do well with love poems on her best day, and I just wasn't feeling the quote today. Have a depressing Tanka instead.
I'm tired and have an approximately 260-mile round trip ahead of me. I already wrote a book review this morning. There ain't much gas left in my tank, but now I need to go put gas in my car's tank. It's an FML kind of day.

WEP Challenge August 2019: Red Wheelbarrow

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
The story's protagonist, Ed, is a little batty

Before we begin:
This is the story of Ed and his red wheelbarrow. The story is composed of a series of limericks about a vampire named Ed and his love for gardening late at night with his red wheelbarrow.

Here is what I want in a critique.

I want to know about technical and formatting issues and the sorts of things which would improve the story's readability.


Here is what I do not want in a critique.

"I don't like limericks or poems. I don't like silly stories. I don't like stories about vampires with red wheelbarrows."

If you hate vampires, red wheelbarrows, limericks, poems, or silliness, do us both a favor and don't read this story. I don't want you reading stuff you don't like. You aren't doing either of us any favors. If that's what you're here to say, please move on down the line to the next story on the list. 

If you're still here, I assume you want to read 1000 words about Ed and his red wheelbarrow. So, here you go.

There was a vampire named Ed
Who had a house with a garden and shed
He planted flowers at night
Underneath the moonlight
Hauling dirt in his wheelbarrow so red

Everyone thought Ed was up to no good
Hauling dirt and stakes made of wood
What could he be doing
Besides slaying and slewing
And not sleeping when folks thought he should

Ed planted colorful posies
Pansies, daisies, and rosies
He planted fruit trees
And big pink peonies
To delight every passerby's nosies

Halloween was Ed's favorite day
He put dried flowers in a bouquet
He picked pumpkins and squashes
And went out in his galoshes
To spruce up the yard the right way

Ed's house was festive and spooky
He was harmless, though a bit kooky
But everyone was afraid
So away they all stayed
Leaving Ed feeling lonesome and ooky

The next day, Ed found a letter
He hoped it would make him feel better
But the letter was mean
Called him a blood-sucking fiend
As Ed read, his cheeks became wetter

Ed knew he had to explain
He didn't eat people or even their brains
His blood came in sealed bags
Labeled neatly with tags
From biting he always abstained

So, one day in the middle of winter
Ed invited the neighbors to dinner
He served a nice stew
And apple pie too
As a chef, Ed was no beginner

Ed printed booklets to tell his story
He was a vampire but not so gory
He presented no danger
To friend or to stranger
And he didn't go hunting for quarry

I must drink blood, it is true
But no harm will come to you
I must garden at night
When the moonlight is right
I can't be out when it's sunny and blue

I drink blood which has been donated
Or proper payment negotiated
I don't sleep in a coffin
At least not very often
I'm friendly if a bit understated

I haul dirt in my wheelbarrow red
To make a good flowerbed
I mow my lawn in the dark
Sometimes walk to the park
I promise you've nothing to dread

I like to cook cakes and pies
When night falls and the moon starts to rise
But sometimes it gets lonely
Cooking for myself only
I'd love to share my food with you guys

A few centuries ago, it would seem
Ed was a chef for a queen
He tended her gardens
And signed all her pardons
Tucked her in and wished her sweet dreams

While visiting a strange land
Ed was attacked by a vampire man
Who drank up Ed's blood
And left him in the mud
Out in the barren wasteland

Ed bit the vampire while fighting
On that night so terribly frightening
Ed didn't die
And so, by the by
He awoke to a sharp crack of lightning

Ed knew he'd become a vampire
And the sun would make him catch fire
He found an old mausoleum
Where no-one could see him
In the daytime, he would there retire

At night, Ed went out and drank blood
But didn't drain folks or leave them in the mud
He couldn't go home
He felt sad and alone
His life had become quite a dud

Ed moved from town to town
Slept in any mausoleum he found
He slept in ship cargo holds
And castle strongholds
He traveled the globe all around

In modern times, Ed settled down
He was tired of traveling around
He didn't need to hypnotize
Unlucky girls and guys
When it was time to chow down

Ed found a house where he could stay
And get his blood the modern way
He bought his wheelbarrow red
And flour to make bread
And thought that things would be okay

If you're nervous I understand, you see
Said the booklet Ed passed out for free
I'm glad you've come by
Please have a slice of pie
And maybe a nice cup of tea

Folks soon discovered Ed was quite nice
His house smelled of sugar and spice
He was a genial host
To both the living and ghosts
And his pie had each guest enticed

Then there came a knock at the door
A voice said, "have you room for one more?"
It was a voice Ed had known
In his long-ago home
He almost fell in a faint on the floor

"My Queen, how can you be alive?"
Ed inquired his eyes wide with surprise
The Queen shook her head
"Not alive, I'm undead.
I wonder, will you invite me inside?"

Ed asked the Queen to come in right away
She smiled as she stood in the foyer
"I knew you wouldn't leave me alone
So, when you didn't come home
I went looking for you the next day."

The Queen said she met a vampire
Who drank her blood and threw her into the briar
But she bit him back
While he made his attack
When day came, she hid in the church with the spire

"I searched for you for year upon year,"
The Queen said, her eyes filled with tears
"It was bad luck, I think,"
Ed said, and gave her a drink
"For with you, I can never feel fear."

"Ed, you were a wonderful chef,
And as a gardener, you were the best
But I must tell you the truth
From the time of my youth
I loved you and none of the rest."

Ed married the Queen Christmas night
And everything was all right
Then when spring began
According to plan
Their garden was a glorious sight

There was a vampire named Ed
Who had a wheelbarrow painted bright red
He used to be lonely
But he has his one and only
And his neighbors think he bakes the best bread

Ed and the Queen now have a pet crow
And they adopted a werewolf, you know
Instead of howling at the moon
He sings a cool tune
And dogs follow him wherever he goes

 With love from Ed, the Queen, and their family





The Writer’s Alibi: My Terrible, Dreadful, Hope-the-FBI-Doesn’t-Look-at-This Search History | Writer's Digest

The Writer’s Alibi: My Terrible, Dreadful, Hope-the-FBI-Doesn’t-Look-at-This Search History | Writer's Digest: The internet search histories of novelists can be quite disturbing. Writer Kathleen Valenti shares the methodology behind web searches for her newest medical mystery.

LOL, I certainly resonate with this! My eyebrow-raising searches within the past month have included such things as 1984, groupthink, the Chernobyl disaster, the black death, poisons, nuclear warfare, biological warfare, natural disasters, birth control throughout history, and sex toys in the middle ages. 
I'm pretty sure I'm already on the FBI's shit list due to my participation nuclear disarmament protests during the Cold War. I always leaned left proudly until recent years when the left started becoming the regressive left and adopting stances which marry McCarthyism with doublethink. Now, since both the right and the left regard free thinkers as suspect, I don't identify with either and stand my own ground.

Corrupted


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

You think yourself genuine and virtuous
A beacon of light for all the good people
Good people like you, that is

You're a real shooting star
You pride yourself on being a straight shooter
Straight from your mouth into their heart

And if someone is hurt by your callous words
Well, whose fault is that?
These special snowflakes need to toughen up

Some people have everything they need
Right from the start, pretty in a certain way
Always knowing they're wanted

For some people, it's always the edge of summer
Always hoping that this year will be the year
When everything finally changes for the better

You, amazing, wonderful, virtuous you
Dismiss these wannabe losers
With a sniff and an offhand gesture

You congratulate yourself for your ability
To agitate, to debate, to concentrate your hate
Onto the tip of your poison tongue

I'd rather go blind
Than be anything like you
For even a micro-portion of a nanosecond

You believe your vicious declarations are a gift
Truth straight from a horse's ass
To the hurting hearts of the world's outcasts

So sanctimonious, so contentious
No matter how you beautify the outside
The inside is still corrupt as a decaying casualty
 Of your insidious verbal war

When your words cause people to hate themselves
To consider suicide rather than live one more day
Among monsters such as you

I submit that you, not they
Are the failure, the loser, the washout
The unwanted, the unneeded, the parasite

Turn your eyes inside
And judge the real ugliness
That you find in your dead, putrefying soul

~Cie~

Prompts Used:

Notes:
These words are not directed at any specific individual. They paint a composite portrait, illustrating a certain type of personality: the kind of person who believes in being harshly judgmental and "brutally honest," which, in reality, translates to: "I want a license to behave cruelly. It gives me a sadistic kick to destroy others. I act as if I'm the picture of perfection. In reality, I am covering for my own inferiority complex at the expense of vulnerable people."

Closing Comments on This Blog

At this point, this blog is only a place for sharing links, and the only comments I've been getting are comments like the following fro...