Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Daily Bump and Grind is Scary on its Own!

This isn't really a place for me to vent my frustrations, but I think I will tonight. Please bare with me while I list off some of the things that have previously kept me away from my blog.

I've got so many things going on! I'm sure I'm far from the only one with about a million things to do. All of you, my lovely readers, are busy too, I'm sure. Let me know if any of this sounds like you, or if you are my complete opposite.

I'm very much a "yes" person. If someone comes up to me to ask me to do something, it's very likely I'll say yes. I'm a leader of two different social organizations, and I'm also an advocate for one of those (yes, two different positions within the same organization). It's a lot of work! My seven year old son is a member of one of those groups, and we meet each week.

On top of that, my four year old daughter takes dance classes for two hours on two evenings of the week. She will soon try out for the competition team, and likely be accepted. That will bring us up to five hours total and three nights a week. But these are my children, and I want them to be social and form good friendships.

I also love to bake and I'm not too bad with cake decorating, if I do say so myself. Along with making birthday cakes for my kids, I have many friends who come up to me and ask me to bake something for their kids, or sisters, or whoever. Don't get me wrong. I love this! It makes me feel good and puts a smile on my face. But it's also more stuff that I say yes to without really thinking things through first.

If all of this isn't enough yet, I adore entertaining. This past Saturday, I hosted my son's birthday party (with one of the most involved cakes I've ever made). This week, I've committed to hosting Easter dinner. Again, I invited people without thinking about what I was actually saying first. Two of these friends have husbands who aren't home. The other family doesn't have anywhere else to go. No one should be lonely on a holiday (even if that holiday merely means a breakfast of candy and deviled eggs, and a huge dinner in this house...hey, I'm Pagan...I was just raised to celebrate the day, so that's what I do). With all of that being said, I'm totally excited to be having some great friends over this weekend!

Yes, I love being involved and helping people out. It's kind of what I do. But sometimes I give so much of myself that I don't have anything left over for me. Or to clean my house for that matter. And I'm having people over this weekend! I better get to cracking!

Does your social and/or every day life get to be too much for you sometimes? Are you like me, or do you easily say no?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Leprechauns are mythical creatures of Irish folklore. They are generally male, aged, dwarfish, and drunken. With a knack for making and repairing shoes, the sound of a tap, tap, tap-like a tiny cobbler's hammer-can signify their presence.

If you're lucky enough to catch one of these magical, jokester creatures, he will be happy to grant you three wishes in return for his freedom. Most people are said to ask for knowledge on the whereabouts of the leprechaun's pot of gold. The riches are usually said to be at the end of a rainbow.

Most creatures of fairy tales like these are far from what we've come to expect from Disney. These fables were often used to scare children-and maybe some adults-into behaving themselves. In the case of leprechauns, listeners and readers are cautioned against "get rich quick" schemes and informed of the dangers of stealing from others.

Leprechauns can be seen throughout pop culture as well. Falling in line with the creep factor of these tiny magical beings is the 1993 movie, Leprechaun. It stars Jennifer Aniston and features a tale of a serial killer leprechaun. On a much lighter note, there's a different kind of cereal, Lucky Charms. I've got a box or two in my house right now. After all, they're magically delicious!

What do you think of leprechauns? Are there any tales you can come up with?

Friday, March 6, 2015


Doppelganger (AKA: a person's "fetch") is the German word for "exact double." It is a term that found its way into the common vernacular from the 1848 best-selling book, The Night-Side of Nature by Catherine Crowe.

There have been reports of people claiming to see someone in the act of doing something, only to later find out that what they thought they saw would have been impossible. For instance, say a woman comes home from work and sees her son, sitting on the couch, playing video games. She walks upstairs, and her son calls out to he's sitting on his bed. The vision of her son on the couch would be his doppelganger.

Throughout history, there have even been people who have claimed to see their own doppelganger. And, no, these people weren't strung out on the latest high-fashioned drugs, either. In fact, it has been said that Abe Lincoln reported seeing his double! When you add to that the legend that seeing a doppelganger foretells the death of the person in question, the fact that America's sixteenth president allegedly saw his own is just a little creepy.

There are two examples of doppelgangers within pop culture that float around in my brain each time I hear the word. The first one came in the form of a literary character in Anne Rice's The Witching Hour. One of the only male Mayfair witches, Julian, was able to be in two places at once. And the second doppelganger to resonate with me was created by Joss Whedon for his television series, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. The sixteenth episode of season three, "Doppelgangland," centers on Willow and her doppelganger, Vampire Willow.

At times, I've had dreams where I run into my doppelganger. While I'm dreaming, it's as if I'm watching a movie and I'm the star. Only when I wake up does the chilling realization come to me that I've encountered my double. I've had dreams like these a number of times over the years, and I'm still alive. So, I don't believe the legend about foretold deaths.

Do you believe in doppelgangers? Have you ever encountered one?

Monday, February 23, 2015

First Post in Eight Months? Unthinkable!

Wow! Okay, so I know I've been slacking with the blog lately, but to go eight months without blogging, that's bad. Please allow me to take a moment and explain some of the things that have kept me away.

First and foremost, I have NOT stopped writing! I am still working on my current WIP and second novel. I also have a few short stories I've been working toward finishing up, and hope to have those published at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. It seems to be harder for me to think in short terms, so short stories are some of the hardest things for me to write. With that being said, I have two stories I'm working on now, both different genres, and three stories that are finished. I also have an idea brewing in my head for something entirely different from anything else I've worked on before. Right now, it's looking like it might be a historical/time travel stand-alone novel. As for the novel I've been working on, I'm a bit stuck for the moment. This is the longest period of time I've been stuck, and it's absolutely terrifying! I do, however, have faith that my muse will return.

Aside from being a wife and a mom of two small children, my personal life has been buzzing with activity. I am the leader of two different community organizations, so I sometimes have mountains of things to do with each of those positions. With everything going on around me, I do plan to return to this blog and keep it running. Please look for my posts in the near and distant futures.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Succubus and Incubus

A topic within the paranormal that I have seen grow immensely over the past couple of years is the one involving creatures like the succubus and the incubus. Stories of these beings have been found in Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Assam, Chile, Ecuador, South Africa, and probably more. I've seen these creatures described a couple of different ways, from demons, to witches, to vampires. Where do these myths come from, and what is it about these beings that holds such fascination?

One of the first occurrences of an incubus and a succubus comes from Mesopotamia and the Sumerian King List (2400 BC). Here, the incubus, Lilu, is said to disturb and seduce women, while the succubus, Lilitu, appears in erotic dreams. An older mention of a succubus is with Jewish mysticism and the creature Lilith. According to this story, Lilith was the first woman and didn't want to be submissive to Adam. She left the Garden of Eden and had sex with the archangel Samael, resulting in her transformation into a succubus. Another mythological representation of an incubus comes from the stories of King Arthur. It has been said that Merlin was the son of an incubus, and that's where he received his powers and abilities.  And, of course, Christianity is rife with tales of demons and how one can avoid them.

Some more recent mentions of succubus-like creatures have popped up recently. The SyFy show Lost Girl portrays a female protagonist, said to be Fae, that gains energy by taking the life force of the people around her. She can do this during her sexual encounters, or sometimes by mere touch. American Horror Story: Coven also explored a succubus character. In this show, the succubus was only beginning to understand her powers as a witch. As for the incubus, I haven't seen this type of character come up in movies or television as much. However, I have read a number of books that concern an incubus or two (yes, the same would go for the succubus).

In the days before science, people would often look to the unexplained for answers to their questions. For instance, if a woman's husband passed away and she became pregnant outside of another marriage, it would be acceptable for her to claim an incubus visited her a night. Also, when a man would need to explain why he had a wet dream, a succubus could be an acceptable scapegoat. Today, these explanations seem laughable. However, there are still people that claim to be visited by such demonic entities. Doctors have dismissed these reports as hallucinations, waking dreams, and paralysis.

As for the fascination of these beings, I think it's now becoming more acceptable for people to discuss sex in public. With social norms shifting, many people are now given the freedom of wondering what it might be like to be visited by, or even be, one of these creatures.

What are your thoughts on the incubus or the succubus? Do you know of any other places where these creatures take center stage?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Church of Bones

Okay, guys. When I first came across this topic, admittedly not too long ago, a mixture of excitement and terror enveloped me. Let me tell you about it!

In the suburbs of Kutna Hora, in the Czech Republic, is the Sedlec Ossuary. The chapel is also known as the Church of Bones because it has been artistically decorated with over 40,000 human skeletons. One of the most unique pieces in the chapel is a big chandelier of bones. It's positioned in the center of the ossuary and contains at least one of every bone in the human body. But even though this may seem like a morbid, scary place to visit, it's actually said to be quite peaceful.

In the year 1278, a Cistercian abbot named Henry, went to the Holy Land. Like many tourists, Henry brought back a jar of earth from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. When he arrived back to Kutna Hora, Henry sprinkled the cemetery with the earth. When the word of his actions spread, Sedlec became the place to go for burial.

Eventually, there were so many human remains, something had to be done about it. So the ossuary was created, with a monk assigned the task of arranging the bones. More than 300 years later, a woodcarver, Frantisek Rindt, was asked to arrange the bones in a decorative way. You can read more about the Sedlec Ossuary at The pictures are extraordinary!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Own Nightmarish (Dreamy) Experience

First off, let me apologize for my extended absence. I became sick for a while, and it was quite miserable. Then I needed to get a few things together in order to attend my very first writer's conference, the topic of this blog post.

Over the past weekend, I was lucky enough to have attended the 22nd annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Write Here, Write Now, Make It Happen. I signed up for the event months ago, and that's when the giddiness began in my tummy. I was so excited about the idea of hanging out with a bunch of other writers, people just like me. As the date approached, the giddiness mixed with nervousness.

When I registered for the conference, I marked the little box that would allow me to submit the first page of my Work In Progress (WIP). The option I chose would permit me to remain anonymous, while another person read my submission to a panel, which consisted of an agent, an author, and an editor. So, at least I wouldn't need to read my WIP out loud while industry professionals tore it apart, and the audience laughed in my face, right? But the thought of this critique still had me nervous. What if they didn't like it? What if I was told that I was the worst writer ever, and I should just go back to being a regular stay-at-home mom? Gasp!

Another option I chose at registration was a pitch appointment. A pitch is when a writer speaks with an agent or editor about their book. If the industry professional likes what they hear, they can ask to see the writer's work. Simple, right? I could talk about my writing. Trouble is, I'm terribly shy. Again, what if the agent/editor I talked with laughed at me? What if I forgot what my book is about? Hey, it could happen!

Like I said above, I'm a shy person. I liked the idea of talking with other writers, it always makes for a great time. But what if I didn't run into anyone I knew and had to sit alone in a corner? Or what if I was talking with someone and I said something wrong? I didn't want to offend anyone.

But here's what really happened:

I did have my first page read to a panel for critique. I received some great advice for strengthening my writing, but the ridicule and laughter I feared definitely did not occur. I was nervous when the time for my pitch appointment neared. But a wonderful friend sat down with me and helped me practice what I would say. She really calmed my nerves, so when I walked into the pitch room, I remembered what I needed to.  As for being alone and without friends, I couldn't have been more wrong. I've been a member of an online writing community for about a year now, and where not many of us knew each other in person, we knew every one's names. I was able to meet at least half of my online friends face-to-face at the conference, and each of them was as excited to meet me, as I was excited to meet them. I'm sure I put my foot in my mouth while talking with someone over the weekend. But no one called me out on it, so I'll let it go. Finally, not a single person at the conference would have told me to stop writing. The amount of support and encouragement present was empowering! 

My experience has reminded me that, we humans, fear the unknown. I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone, always a scary thing. But whether we are writers, doctors, soldiers, students, or what-not, if we don't step out of our own little boxes every now and again, we will never grow as people, never reach our dreams.