Posted in Culture, fiction, poetry

Saturday Symphony #16 – Together In the Shadows of the Forest

Hello all, happy Saturday!

Jude is the host for Saturday Symphony. Here is ponderous thought for the week :

FAIRY TALE EDITS
Ever wanted to change the fate of one of your favourite fairy tale characters?
This week share with us,
Which character?
In which tale?
And how you’d change their fate.

This week I’m inspired by the story of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt. She is a fierce warrior and can be quite vindictive when someone kills those that she protects or insults her family. She and her brother Apollo killed Niobe’s children when Niobe mocked Artemis’ mom, Leto. You do not want to get on her wrong side!

Artemis remained an eternal virgin and never married. Actaeon, a mortal hunter, mesmerized by her beauty once saw her bathing naked in the valley which was forbidden. Artemis who was very livid turned him into a stag, and he was later killed by his hunting hounds.

In my poetic retelling, I explore what would have happened if Actaeon and Artemis fell in love instead. What if they got married? Would Artemis learn how to be forgiving? Would she take a different, less extreme route to justice?

Below I played around with Magnetic Poetry to create this story. 🙂

Posted in Crafts, Culture, Events, flashback, Food/Recipes

Halloween Fun in the Time of Covid

Stella, my owl pumpkin

Fated to be a darling delight
Sweet owl shares a wisdom so bright

that she is blissfully unaware of her insight
Colorful fiesta greeting throughout the night
Not at all bothered by her short height!

Thanks, Mr.A for this Halloween Blogtober tag! Halloween is over, but this serves as a pleasant distraction from the election.

(,,◕ ⋏ ◕,,) RULES (˼●̙̂ ̟ ̟̎ ̟ ̘●̂˻)

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you and link their post
  • Put the rules after an introduction, then answer the 13 questions
  • Tag 13 more bloggers to participate in the game
  • Use these same Halloween questions, or create new ones of your own

What’s your favorite thing about October or Halloween?
I love October Poetry Writing Month! I always learn new poetry styles and love experimenting with techniques. Didn’t get a chance to fit that in this year, but maybe some other time. I love pumpkin spiced lattes, decorations, costumes, and beautiful fall weather!

How much do you spend on Halloween?
Typically $20 USD for a pumpkin, treats, and materials to make a costume.

What do you think the average person spends on Halloween goodies & does it match what you spend?
In my neighborhood, they go all out spending anywhere from $500-$1000 for decorations, candy, party supplies, and costumes. So no, it doesn’t match what I spend at all! 😉 My neighbors love to organize as a group and create a spooky vibe for the trick-or-treaters. There’s always something new every year. Covid really changed things, but there were drive-thru options.

Does social media influence how much you decorate for Halloween, causing you to spend more?
Interesting question! There’s so much power in suggestion! I personally don’t spend more, but it does give me ideas to improvise.

Do you buy or create your Halloween costumes and what was your favorite costume so far?
Both, depending on the season! I loved dressing up as a ghostly Little Bo Peep and a Renaissance lady!

Share a trick you have played on someone at Halloween.
I’ve never played a trick on someone, but I had plenty play a trick on me. There was a time a boy gripped my ankle from a hole he dug in his parents front yard as I was passing by! Another time, a neighbor told me that I should head over to a particular house because the owners give big candy bars. I arrived at the residence only to be scared by a guy dressed up as Jason handling a chainsaw!

Do you have a favorite Halloween treat?
Butterfinger chocolate bar!

What is something you can do with a pumpkin once Halloween is over?
Stick it in the compost bin! Roast the seeds and season it with soy sauce! Grow another pumpkin from the seeds.

Do you consider pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable?
Fruit because a pumpkin has seeds! Vegetable because it grows on a vine! Vruit-Fegetable! 😉

What is the scariest food you’ve ever eaten?
Balut, a fertilized duck egg delicacy. You can learn more about it here. When I was a kid, I didn’t give it too much thought, and it always tasted delicious! Nowadays, I just can’t do it anymore. I just can’t. It feels wrong.

Do you have a favorite Halloween drink?
So, there’s this drink that I have dubbed the “Eyeball drink” based on how it looks! In reality, those “eyes” are actually basil seeds. It’s an incredibly, yummy sweet drink with gelatin pieces.

People usually spend money on Halloween, but have you ever made money related to this holiday?
Well, there was a time when one of my neighbors ran out of candy, so he pulled out his wallet and gave us cash instead! And…another time where my cousin really enjoyed the party I hosted, and she slipped a $50 bill in my purse.

Have you ever read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or another frightening book?
I read Frankenstein as freshman student in college as part of the summer reading club. I also read a couple of vampire books to get me in the frightening mood. 🙂

I tag:

Happy belated Halloween!

Posted in Events, Quotes, Social Justice

Eve of the Election

For those who fought for our right to vote and gave their lives for this democracy, our gratitude is showing up to vote.

Brene Brown

Hello there! Hope you are well!

This year has been an intense election season here in America. Dangerous polarization led to some lively discussions in my circles. I voted very early back on October 15th at the public library. I’m a very private person regarding these matters. Here, I will be as well, but in summary, my conscience felt like it was trapped in a cage.

Earlier last month, I had the opportunity to listen to the mayor discuss various initiatives to help the city’s economy during the pandemic. He shared with us some important issues on the ballot. It felt great to be informed about those propositions more in depth and not left in the dark. Unfortunately, I think there’s many people who may not understand all the issues on the ballot and vote haphazardly.

This past Saturday I snapped out of my anxiety and decided to phone bank for my friend, a local state representative, for the first time in my entire life. His opponent has resorted to some mudslinging which on the one hand didn’t surprise me, but it did shock me. I’ve known my friend for 13 years, and he’s a sacrificial, public servant through and through. When my friend’s virtual organizer reached out to ask for help, I jumped on board even though I lacked experience phone banking.

In the past, I always wondered what motivated volunteers to call on behalf on the candidate they’re supporting. Previously, I was slightly annoyed at all the phone calls that I received from them. The ones that sound like spam calls, and you wonder if it’s really their business to know.

Yet, after being on the other side and phone banking for my friend, I finally understood. I noticed that I cared about the outcome as I spoke on my friend’s behalf. I wanted to make sure those who were undecided or apathetic felt like they were heard and had all the information they needed to vote.

I’ll just say that the most memorable call was a man with a Scottish accent driving in a blizzard storm, and he asked if I was a spy! He wanted me to state my purpose for the call. I nearly thought he was being a prankster and joking with me until I realized he was dead serious. Regardless of the strange nature of the call, I chatted with him about what was important to him and genuinely listened to his concerns. People just want to be heard.

However you decide to vote, I care about your well being. Whatever the outcome and no matter who wins, I wish you all peace.

For all the things I’m private about, my To-Do List on the day I voted is not one of them. 😉
Posted in Culture, Dance, Events

Halloween Avatoon Fun

Hey all! Hope you’ve been well! “All work and no play” has taken a bit of a toll on me. As the day draws near, I’ve explored some Halloween activities.

Previously, I’ve enjoyed writing some spooky tales like in Ominous Meeting or What Happens in Japan Stays in Japan.

I’ve dressed up as a cat for all my virtual meetings, and I will be carving a pumpkin tomorrow. I would like to go beyond 2-D geometric shapes, and Google has provided me with much inspiration. We’ll see!

Out of curiosity, I decided to check an app that Jude has used to create his avatars. I didn’t anticipate how much fun I was going to have with “Avatoon”. Thank you, Jude! In the Halloween spirit, here is my gallery! Enjoy!

Posted in Culture, Events, Photography

Kinda Square Photo Challenge

Featured Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay

Hi everyone! Becky Winchester over at the Life of B has hosted another square photo challenge (KindaSquare) for October. This month’s theme is related to kindness:

  • Something of the kind (mirror images, carbon copies and doubles)
  • Our imagination kindled (inspire us!)
  • Of its kind (a unique object or could be a picture of nature and wildlife)
  • Kindred spirits (kindness in action or photographs of people)
  • Take kindly to (something you like such as my Warbler on Sunday or Ellie’s cheese)

Kinda Square’ Rules:

  1. Take a square photograph of something that reflects the theme
  2. Create your post for any day in October, and pingback to one of my daily squares
  3. Include the theme’s tag – KindaSquare
  4. Leave a comment on my post as well as your link
  5. Whether you post squares or not, be a kind member of the Square team and make time to visit others and the square galleries

I took some creative liberties with my gallery frames and included all 31 shots! Enjoy! 🙂

1. Volunteered at Habitat for Humanity with this gal! We chatted about our favorite Korean dramas!
2. Our Rotary Club hosted a fundraiser to build these cool mini-libraries around town.
3. 10 Bit Works is an awesome maker space. Members build all sorts of neat projects here!
4. These cute scarecrows are a sight for sore eyes at the coffee shop!
5. These ducks were not afraid of me at all! They waddled right at me expecting a meal!
6. Meet Chi-Chi and Coco, our lovely parakeets!
7. So many monarch butterflies on my morning walk!
8. Lovely flowers that remind me of a trumpet!
9. Gwangju Pagada’s entrance is really inviting!
10. Love the heavy contrast of light and dark! This sole leaf caught my attention!
11. What a peaceful pond! The saturated colors were so calming!
12. These fascinating tree root knots created a woven masterpiece of light and shadows.
13. An incredible fire show at a local Japanese restaurant!
14. An incredibly beautiful and ornate church door of a UNESCO Heritage site!
15. Nothing like an obstacle course to start your morning! It’s harder than it looks!
16. I’m grateful for the ability to vote. I have friends on all sides. It’s been a crazy election cycle.
17. These purple berries look so delectable, but they might be poisonous. So… NO SA!
18. Take a seat! I always welcome a park bench when I see one. Wonderful conversations take place.
19. Such a bright, cheery lot!
20. I was climbing a tree, and I saw this curious tag. I wonder whose studying this tree!
21. This lovely, clay nativity set was made in Mexico. A blend between simplicity and symmetry!
22. I absolutely love pop-up greeting cards!
23. San Japan anime convention poster is stunning! Sparks a sense of wonder!
24. I love how the sun light hits this particular flower. It was such a gorgeous day!
25. There’s always a compelling story behind an old, rusty piece of machinery!
26. I love stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’! Every person has a story to share!
27. During the pandemic, I began to cherish this pink bubble of positivity.
28. This park has a “Kindness Rock Garden” where people can pick a rock and paint it for others.
29. I wonder what the artist was thinking when he made this sculpture!
30. The little boy wants to take the moon home with him!
31. My friends had such a lovely floral arrangement when I visited them!
Posted in fiction, Nature, poetry, Quotes

Journey of Moxie

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”

― Blaise Pascal

Traversing in the fading light of the tunnel
Courageous heart leads down an alluring path
Unaware what lies on the other side
Sprawling trees anchored in place
Within its soaring, mighty arches
Gateway initiates life’s new phases
A dance of duality, perspectives a flutter
Flickering shadows accompany glowing sunbeams
Reasons for renewal are but a possibility
Transition however imminent

In response to:

Posted in Events, Quotes

National Coffee Day – #mugshot

One more post before I go hit the books again! I found out that today is National Coffee Day from Tony Burgess. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but I love the atmosphere of coffee shops for studying and meeting up with a friend. Today, I’m welcoming the new fall season with a pumpkin-spiced French Roast coffee. What kind of drink helps you start your day? Enjoy!

Posted in Culture, fiction

#Saturday Symphony – Voodoo Dolls

Good evening! The horror genre is not exactly my forte, but I want to deliver a story for Jude’s birthday and introduce the month of October! It’s been a long while since I’ve last indulged in this genre and maybe, I’ve purposely chose to stay away. 😉

Lois Duncan and Tess Gerritsen are two of my favorite horror/ thriller authors who successfully gave me the chills. I also interviewed a parapsychologist and learned about some mysterious encounters he’s experienced to discover some inspiration. Hope you enjoy my flash fiction below!

Dicey Appearances

Lightning lit up the sky as the rain from the thunder storm pelted the mailman. The package finally arrived at the man’s doorstep. Weeks ago, he bought a set of adorable, amigurumi voodoo dolls from Etsy. It was the perfect gift for his granddaughter.

Image Credit: Etsy – Creative Chaos Arts

He placed the dolls in her closet and walked away to make some dinner. Little did she know who resided in her closet. A shy, young girl emerged from the dark. She curiously peeked outside and immediately shut the door.

Image Credit: Pinterest

Spinning their webs, the spiders watched as the dolls sprung to life and began walking around. They danced around the girl, and she was happy to have new friends. One of the dolls did a somersault in the air and landed on the dome of a board game.

POP! The magnified sound of the dice reverberate throughout the closet. Five slimy leaches materialized in the dome and slithered away from the closet in search of a host. They found a sleeping dog peacefully unaware of the danger that lurked nearby and stealthily surrounded it.

Pirouetting in the air with the finesse of an acrobat, another doll landed on the dome. POP! A terrifying creature materialized. One hungry demonic sprite flashed its sharp teeth at the ghostly girl and opened his red, gleaming eyes. Ensconced in the tight closet space, it opened the door eagerly waiting to tear into some juicy flesh…

Imaged Credit: Mysterious Universe
Posted in Nature, Photography, Quotes

#FOTD – Passion Flower

Image Credit: Passion Fruit by Elena Belokrinitski watercolor pattern on Behance

#FOTD – Cee’s Zinnia

There has fallen a splendid tear from the passion-flower at the gate. She is coming, my dove, my dear; She is coming, my life, my fate; The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;” And the white rose weeps, “She is late;” The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;” And the lily whispers, “I wait.

Alfred Tennyson

I was walking in the park one beautiful morning and came across these passion flowers!