Are We In A Trance?

Trance seems like the most perfect prompt of the day. So I thank you for that Daily Post!

I say perfect, because doesn’t it feel like we have all collectively been in a trance of late?

I’m not sure if it’s the upcoming Solar Eclipse or what. But there has just been a weird vibe.

The definition of trance goes like this:

a half-conscious state characterized by an absence of response to external stimuli, typically as induced by hypnosis or entered by a medium.

Whether it’s my weird workplace or what’s going on in the world … it just feels very out of the ordinary as if we are in a trance.

That’s the only thing that can explain the overall feeling after the neo-nazi, white supremacist activities in Charlottesville, Va. And really the world. People thinking they are more superior than others. We are in 2017. There was a whole World War about this kind of activity. My grandfather fought in that war. And now? It’s being discussed by people as OK. Our president says these supremacists are good people? What the actual fuck.

There is nothing good about feeling more superior over someone because of race or religion or sex.

Some probably feel this is my delicate, white girl privilege showing, as people having been dealing with this time of supremacy for decades. Sure. But it’s never been condoned as seemingly Ok by a United States President. 45 has done that though. And I find that so disturbing. How this has continued without more outrage from his political party, that holds all the control in our government, is perplexing.

We must be in a trance. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so outrageous for our leaders to be human and stand up for what’s right in the world. Supremacy is wrong. Full stop. Our leaders must come together to collectively snap us out of this or things are just going to get worse.  Step up!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/trance/

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NYC Midnight 2017 Flash Fiction Challenge – What Happened at the Dog Show?

Last week I took on the 2017 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. I got tossed in with a group of writers who would be taking on the same genre, setting and include-this-object, as myself. Challenge 1 for me was genre – Horror, setting – Dog Show, include-this – pasta. Yes, I’m no horror writer. But they explained this could take on a supernatural tone. Needless to say, I just tried to have fun with it. Hopefully I do well enough to move on! I’ve already been given some constructive criticism that’s lead me to believe I could have used less characters and description unless I expand past the 1,000 word limit that this challenge had. … Maybe when I write my book, an expanded version of this story will be there! Enjoy! 

What Happened at the Dog Show?

The annual Loviboro Dog Show was at it’s intermission. Moments away from the Best in Show portion of the event.

The dog show has become a huge event every fall. It’s grown into a charity event that funds many good causes in the community.

This year, the show committee served a pasta dinner during the intermission. Everything from homemade lasagnas, spaghetti and fettuccine Alfredo, salads as well as breads and sweets.

The handler for Essie Tealson’s beloved Welsh Corgi could be spotted feeding Sugar a small portion of meatball from her spaghetti dish. On-lookers were shocked. The pup’s handler, Gracie Woodshed, must know the dog gets oddly hyper when presented with beef.

This year’s surprise entrant was Jessica Pennyworth’s Yorkie, Peanut. The dog is seriously cute. But, the little one has real spunk. She will go bonkers at the sound of a mosquito near her ear. Many wondered why Ms. Pennyworth would subject her puppy to the judgment and order of this dog show.

Peanut was being surprisingly docile this evening.

Chris Barry’s little french bulldog, Pepe, was bouncing around playing with a little ball during the intermission. This seemingly normal activity is a must for Pepe.

No one likes to talk about the event two years ago in which Pepe dragged his handler through dozens of chairs to get to a ball that was securely lodged underneath a leg holding up a table with several large cakes atop it.

Boomer the greyhound was chewing on a bone and a St. Bernard named Bernie was looking around, every once in a while glancing and licking his lips at a little girl enjoying an ice cream cone. Bernie could be heard whimpering when the little girl finished the cone, but noticeably antsy when her mother cleaned off the stickiness.

The room started to bustle as emcee Mikey Rains, a local television weatherman, asked for attention in order to let the handlers know it was time to prepare for the Best in Show portion of the evening.

Ball clinched in mouth, Pepe scampered to his handler who hooked his leash as they moved behind stage. Boomer and Bernie attentively caught up with their handlers.

Sugar licked Essie’s face as she hiccuped. Gracie apologized to Essie for the mistaken meatball slip-up. Essie rolled her eyes and let her know there would be no problems if she brought home a winner.

Gracie bowed apologetically, but as she and Sugar made their way back stage, Gracie could be seen rolling her eyes and smirking.

Gracie was Essie’s assistant. A bit flighty, Gracie had become a challenge for Essie as she was spending more time with a new group of friends. This group was known for meeting in a wooded area for several hours most weekends. During their meetings, strange things happened. Talking animals in the courtyard, bloodied body parts showing up in random buildings that would catch fire became regular.

Essie did not seem bothered by her assistant’s extracurricular activities. She just demanded that Gracie take care of Sugar. As well as everything else.

Jessica Pennyworth held her beloved Peanut. Curious as to how tame the little guy was acting, she whispered in his ear. Peanut blinked and moved toward his handler, Chloe Belle.

Chloe, a 22-year-old English major at the local university, was new to town. Her mother, Anna, was one of Jessica’s oldest friends. Anna was apprehensive to have Chloe meet up with her dear friend Jessica when she moved to Loviboro.

Chloe was a little different. She enjoys reading and holds many thoughts that are as unique as her wardrobe. But, Chloe and Peanut seemed to hit it off when they first met over the summer. Peanut’s whole demeanor seemed to change. For the good, Jessica thought.

Jessica was so pleased with how little Peanut was behaving she entered the pup in the Loviboro event and could practically taste the victory of taking down her rival, Essie. Anna knew this was important to both Jessica and Chloe so she made the trip to see this event first hand.

Mikey Rains introduced each dog in the Best of Show event while a local dog advocate, Lizzie Freemont, judged the pups. Boomer was first and dazzled the crowd with his poise.

Bernie was next. He was calm and cool but the little boy on the second row was eating an ice cream cone. Bernie was disqualified for knocking the child over and taking his treat.

Next up was Pepe. His handler had him focused on his ball and the pup amazed. Chris cheered as he saw this as a victory for Pepe.

A row of ladies from Essie’s Sunday School Class could be seen clutching their pearls as Chloe and Peanut were introduced.

The crowd watched in apprehension as Peanut impressed Lizzie with her moves and focus. Peanut was amazing. Everyone was impressed. Chloe even turned a few heads.
Essie could be seen huffing. A delight for many in the crowd, especially Jessica.

Gracie stepped out next. She appeared pink, splotchy and a little sweat could be seen on her brow. She nervously looked over at Essie, shrugging as the crowd could hear Sugar hiccuping. The dog sluggishly came out on stage. Horrified at her precious dog’s appearance, she screamed at Gracie to find out what she had done.

Gracie dropped the leash and ran back stage yelling what sounded like gibberish but moments later the little corgi, morphed into a demented wolf like version of himself. Fangs flashed at the crowd as Mikey Rains appeared to be shaking. Sugar smelled the fear on the local celebrity and growled. Rains dashed off with Sugar chasing behind him, snarling. Rains fell and Sugar attacked. Children screamed, dashing for their parents.

During the commotion, Lizzie crowned Peanut as Best in Show with Pepe and Boomer following second and third, respectively.

Essie balked and the crowd ignored her tirade as police were chasing Gracie who could be seen morphing into a dark cloud of smoke and glitter.

Oh Hey, I Didn’t Forget You!

So. That whole write more goal I had at the beginning of the year. That’s going smashingly well!

Life gets in the way. Sorry, I’m not sorry! But I will give you a little break down of what’s been going on.

Work. You may want to know, I’m a supervisor at a call center. And, this has been an incredibly busy six months. And it should get even better. Grouchy people are grouchy AF!

Race for the Cure. The town I live in had it’s first ever Race for the Cure in May. I was apprehensive about doing this because I had a really bad fall in March. We’re talking an I’m lucky I didn’t break bones or cause internal damage kind of fall. I was bruised and scratched up. I would try to work out and it was too painful. So I had to back off and just let myself heal. And that was no fun. Because I really have gotten in to my workout routine. My Mom is a 15-year breast cancer survivor. This is my hometown and the event was on my college campus. How could I not do it? So I took it easy, as you should do for a Race for the Cure. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I loved the event. I will be doing it again!

Workout Adjustment. Since my hours have changed at work to a more human like schedule, no longer zombie like, I can work out without feeling dead afterwards. I’m re-energized. Therefore, I’ve been adding to said work out. In order to prepare for any situation, I’m walking with an incline. And after the May race, I know I need to actually continue bumping up that incline. Now, if I could just avoid the IT-Band pain. It’s a little nauseating. … OK, a lot nauseating!

I’m also thinking about doing this local running group project. I say thinking about it for obvious reasons. I want to do it, but I worry about being able to and that’s no way to be. I’ve attempted running projects before – Couch to 5K, etc. But this group is … well. Serious. This is why I am just thinking about it. I have a few days! We’ll see!

Other Things. My baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, has not been playing up to par. Donald Trump is still the president of the United States. The GOP is creating health care legislation that could kill people, rather than help. Who knows what’s going on anymore! Keep your head up.

Streaming Stuff. What shows should I be watching on Netflix or Hulu? House of Cards has been way to real so far! One thing has been certain. Robin Wright as Claire Underwood has been absolutely stunning.

I waited all year to find out how Orange is the New Black‘s cliffhanger concluded, and I can’t even make myself watch it, yet! So what should I watch… Stranger Things may end up being it. I watched an episode while at the gym last week and almost slipped off the treadmill a couple of times it was so good.

Thoughts and recommendations are always appreciated!

Reading. I’ve been reading short stories on my Kindle a lot lately. There are some good ones on Kindle Singles. I’ll talk about them later! I’m really needing to get David Sedaris’ new book of diaries. He’s an amazing writer. And, then there are a few other books I’m in the middle of … Amy Poehler’s Yes Please has taken me a while and then others. Yes, I do get distracted easily, why?! Thoughts or recommendations?

Questions or concerns, friends? I’ll be back sooner!

Book Club For 2? Why Not

Melissa with Stirrup-Queens has a weekly MicroBlogMonday idea she throws around. This week, the topic is having a Book Club For Two.

The idea is like this:

Rather than reading the book ahead of time, they read it over the phone to one another.  They can discuss it in real time or just relax and listen to the story.

The idea is great. I can already imagine a few people I could have fun doing this with because it would be fun reading with them, using accents and over dramatizing. I can also think of a few that I would just love hearing read to me and we can share thoughts so… I love this idea.

My one issue though comes from the reminder of a slow night at work a couple of summers ago.

There was a group of about six women and we were just sitting around waiting for phone calls and chatting with each other. We noticed one of the girls had a copy of 50 Shades of Grey on her desk. She had gone to get a drink so one of the girls grabbed it and began reading aloud. Good solid fun.

Then, she decided we all needed to read sections in our sternest customer service voice. She handed the book over to me and marked the page she wanted me to read.

All I remember is that involved Christian telling Anastasia something about having relations on the hood of his car. It was super descriptive and I read it slow, and in my sternest customer service voice. I would glance up occasionally while reading it but in one spot .. that was super descriptive … I looked up at the friend that handed me the section to read and read it looking right in her eyes for dramatic effect.

My part ended and I was flipping pages for the next reading. I looked up with eyes stunned and jaws dropped. I smiled and laughed. The girl I’d read to was fanning herself and said that things are now awkward between us.

Heh!

But yes, Book Club for 2 sounds like a great idea. You might just want to avoid reading 50 Shades of Grey! … Or not! Whatever. It’s book club between friends, right?

What do you think of this idea?!

Overwhelming

I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed all the time, these days!

The news is incredibly overwhelming. Just turning on the news or glancing at the alerts on your phone can send you into a veritable panic attack. There’s everything from President Trump, to the former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, being in bed with the Russians, to our government thinking it’s not a big deal that this has happened. I really think all parties involved, from Congress to our media, need to wake up and realize this isn’t good. The United States is an amazing place founded on principles of freedom … and this is all a spit in the face of it. Just… Come on America. Come on. We’re better.overwhelming-banner

Work. Work is just always overwhelming. I was promoted last year. I learn new stuff every single day. I like and hate the overwhelming feeling all the time. … Being unemployed is more overwhelming, though. I just remind myself of that every time I get stressed out about little stuff at work. Just acknowledging the stuff is little in comparison to other things is a huge step. It works for me.

Working a night shift that causes you to be exhausted all the time? At least, you have a job and you’re feeling these feelings.

And then Life. I love living. But damn, it’s overwhelming, too. Finding the time to do all that you need? Going to the gym to get that much needed work out in so you don’t rage at loved ones? Eating properly? Getting enough rest? Finding the time to write and do photography? Wanting to do every stinking thing you want but logically knowing you can’t right this second?

Yeah. It’s overwhelming. Acknowledge that and just do what you can. Everything else will be ok.

Hopefully!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overwhelming/

Resist

resistToday’s Daily Prompt is Resist. I’m guessing this word was chosen due to the overwhelming feeling of many Americans to resist the wrongs they see happening in the world.

You see our Congressional leaders being asked to resist in the seemingly automatic follow-through of some to want to push through anything from Trump’s agenda. This includes his choices for cabinet, to his southern border wall or the banning of people coming to America.

Trump has people that have no qualifications for the positions they are being asked to take on. Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development? Why? Because he’s African American? Dr. Carson was  a neurosurgeon before entering politics. What the actual fuck is this appointment about! I would have understood if he’d hired one of his real estate buddies, but this one makes zero sense. … But not as least sense as Betsy DeVos as education security. I mean… the lady thinks having guns on campus is OK, because of the grizzly bears. Not to mention all of the alleged plagiarism in her questionnaire answers for her hearings. An education secretary. Plagiarizing. I’m sure this would piss off many an English teacher.

The Southern Border Wall. This was his big selling point during the election. I get why he’s big on doing this. I really do. But. He said Mexico was going to pay for this wall. They aren’t. And they are passionate in not paying for it. One of the proposals to pay for this wall is a tariff on items imported from Mexico. This would include avocados. In a local story I read on what this would do to my local economy in Arkansas, an avocado now costs 79-cents. The tariff would bring the price up to over two dollars. Mexican restaurants, and my home town has a ton of those little authentic restaurants, load up on avocados for guacamole. That damn wall is going to jack up the costs of guac, y’all.

Guac is extra. Yeah, we know. Thanks Trump!

The banning of people from certain countries is … horrible. It’s the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard. We are suppose to be the nation that is welcoming to people from oppressed regions. This has been the fabric of our country. I get wanting to protect the American people from evil. I do. But this is ridiculous. The stories of people being detained at airports over the weekend, including a 5-year-old boy, were heartbreaking. Sean Hannity of Fox News will tell you it’s only 109 people. But fuck that. It’s 109 too many.

The stories of people being questioned – including their thoughts on Trump and then having their social media examined … that’s pretty fucking fascist.

It would be nice to see all of this resisted. For our leaders to stand up for American values.

I would prefer a fucking challenge to the president’s, or Steven Bannon’s,  actions.

In this time of Trump, that’s obviously way too much to ask.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/resist/

Saturday Stuff

So, yeah. I really went off the blogging train this week!

It was a rough week and I’m sure writing would have helped but I had nothing productive to add. Too much uncontrollable stuff. I have faith that those things will work themselves out as they do.

I did have some thing really good happen though. I was able to go back to the gym this week! It felt great to get back in there. I did have to stop myself before I over did it. But no foot pain and I felt energized. I’m glad to know I can get back to that as another way of venting out my frustrations! I’ll set workout goals another time though!

Speaking of frustrations. Today’s topic for the 365 Writing Posts is a good one. January 14. Ripped from the headlines Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

Any news site I go to these days just really infuriates me. But I’ll just lightly go through some of the news items I recall from the week and talk a little bit about it.

Donald Trump’s press conference this week? As someone who studied journalism and has been a journalist, that “press conference” was the worst thing I have ever seen.

I know Trump is an egomaniac narcissist, but seriously. If you want to be successful, you can’t go after the press like that. CNN is a respected news source and Trump compared them to trash. And for what? Reporting the news? The news that there is a dossier that has some, as CNN pointed out, unsubstantiated claims that you are one fucked up individual and Russia is basically blackmailing you. Considering the hacking scandal, I think it’s pretty important. There will be an investigation of this so Trump can’t ignore this. Although. He will probably tweet about it in the middle of the night…

Speaking of that…

Someone please take that man’s twitter away from him. That’s ridiculous that the president elect is tweeting the bull shit he tweets. Barack Obama had his Blackberry taken away from him. Someone take Trump’s Twitter. He’s going to get in more trouble. Wouldn’t you hate to get nuked because the president went off about North Korea at 3:30 AM on Twitter? Come on.

… I did like that President Obama presented Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That was awesome. I will miss those two. … Seriously.

Le Sigh! Here’s a puppy!

Have a great Saturday!

Microblog Monday: Would you Champ?

Champing, according to Atlas Obscura, is the act of traveling to a church and sleeping in said church. Like Church Camping.

www.JosephCaseyPhotography.com

It’s a thing in England established by the Churches Conservation Trust. The trust oversees the preservation of historic churches throughout Southeast England. Champing provides rural villages a way of offsetting the maintenance of these historic church buildings, while offering travelers a very unusual place to stay. So if there is an old church you’d like to check out, maybe you could champ there.

It sounds really cool. There are so many interesting older churches in England. Other than what may haunt you if you champ there, it might be a really cool adventure. The architecture and stories would be well worth it. This also sounds like a potential good idea for churches in New England. Imagine champing at a church in Salem, Massachusetts … especially in October? … Yeah, maybe not! But I would definitely have my camera ready!

I would be up for the adventure of checking out the old churches. But sleeping? The picture I located makes it look plausible. I would consider it.

How about you? Champing? Comment below!

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What’s Wrong With Empathy?

During the Golden Globes Sunday evening, Meryl Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille for her distinguished acting career. Streep took this as an opportunity to call out President-elect Donald Trump and his bullying ways and his lack of empathy, and so on and so forth.

It was a great speech. You can watch it here:

It was great. She gave her opinion. She wasn’t telling anyone how to feel. It was just her saying how she felt about the man taking the office of president later this month. We all have that right to express our opinion. It’s one of those things that makes America wonderful.

But … then you have Twitter. You could find people Tweeting that because Streep is “rich” she has no right to talk politics. And then, there’s Arizona Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan taking to twitter with this:

Seriously? How is telling someone to have empathy wrong? Trump downplayed your father’s service to this country because he was a POW. You more than anyone should respect what she is saying. Turns out the tweet was more of a lure to get people to tune in to her program tomorrow. … Nice!

And then, we got this little tart from The Blaze:

Tomi. You’re a talking head on The Blaze who lectures people how to feel on issues of race. You’re a blonde, white girl. Let’s not.

How about this people? Let’s stop telling each other how to feel or how not to feel. After this election, there is so much disrespect in this country. It’s awful. Let’s let people feel how they want. Let’s go back to those rules you should have learned growing up … to have respect and courtesy and compassion for others. What on earth happened to that compassion? Why have we become so hateful?

It’s past time to show Trump that his hate-filled rhetoric, his lack of respect for common people isn’t what we want in this country.

We’ve got four years for him to at least get that clue. … I hope.

Woops and ‘Orange is the New Black’ Thoughts

Yes, yes I did already fail at writing something new everyday.

It happens. And for me, it will happen a lot. I work a job that is mentally exhausting. But here’s the thing. I know I’m writing more. And that was the main goal.

I saw this article this week about what show had the most viewership in 2016.

To me, that was no shock at all that Orange is the New Black was the top show for 2016. Season 4 of the series was like a reward for sticking with the show through season 2 and 3. While S2 and 3 were a bit of a let down after a first season that really sucked you in, Orange is the New Black was starting to lose me. I love the character development and the real world stories it tells. That is what drew me into this show and kept me waiting for more during Seasons 2 and 3. Disappointed as I had been, I tuned in for Season 4. I already got word from the folks who seriously binge this show that Season 4 was going to be a good one and that I may even find myself emotionally invested. … Emotional investment is never something I need. But they were right.

The fourth season had more character development and story lines that were just amazing. I normally take my time with the seasons, stretching it through June and July. Not Season 4. Yeah, I started and finished that baby in June.

I knew to expect a lot toward the end of the season. I didn’t expect what exactly we got at the 12th episode. What happened at the end of that episode still leaves me gut punched. I am no spoiler, you watch it and you’ll know what I mean!

So yes, I loved me some season 4 and I’m excited for what Season 5 will bring this summer. Hopefully they don’t play with my emotions again.

No one needs that!