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AP – Fairytale Land – For Immediate Release

Fresh from witnessing the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East, Glenda the Good was faced with a family crisis that may tarnish the reputation of her entire family.

“I normally would have stuck around Munchkin Land to help the farm girl home. But I got an urgent call from my home town, requesting my help. Little did I know what kind of stew was simmering right under my own nose. Sometimes it takes a wake-up call like this to understand that the ones closest to us may need more of our attention,” Glenda told reporters.

At approximately 6:23 AM yesterday, the call came in that a young man in Fairytale Land had been robbed of his main means of living. Jack arrived for his early morning climb-commute to find his carefully nurtured and tended Beanstalk cut into foot-long pieces and stacked neatly where it had once grown so tall that the top disappeared in the friendly clouds of the Fairytale Land sky.

“I was shocked! How could this happen? Do you have any idea how long it would take to commit this crime? The noise it would have generated? Yet no one seems to have any idea who might have done the dastardly deed. It smells like a cover-up,” Jack told reporters after the police had announced they had no clues, no motive and no suspects.

The case took an interesting turn hours later, however, after Glenda had been called in to assist. “Give me a few minutes to go home and get a cup of coffee and I’ll be right over to the consultation,” she told Chief Wolfe.

At home, The Good Fairy found a series of clues that led to her shocking revelation.

  • Her teen sons, Merlin and Arthur, were sound asleep when they should have been in Algebra class.
  • Her mother, Hilda Broom, was busy canning the largest crop of green beans Glenda had ever seen.
  • None of the three would look her in the eye, even when the two boys propped theirs open.
  • When she went to get her car out of the garage, she noticed the axe was missing from the pegboard.

At the precinct, when Glenda read the report Jack had given police, it mentioned that he had had an altercation the day before with her son Merlin. There was also the ongoing feud between her mother and Jack’s, over the cow Jack had sold for the beans that resulted in the beanstalk. The women, best friends for decades, had bought the cow together many years previous. Jack’s mother insisted she had long ago paid Hilda back the money that had been lent to her for the purchase of the cow. Hilda insisted that it had not, and she was therefore entitled to a portion of whatever proceeds came from Jack’s adventures on the beanstalk.

Sad, but determined to learn the truth, Glenda gave police permission to search her home. There they uncovered evidence that the three relatives of Glenda the Good were responsible for the demise of Jack’s Beanstalk.
The trio however, insist they were saving Jack, his mother and the entire town.
Awakened in the night by a distant “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum” they took matters into their own hands and chopped down the Beanstalk–ever so quietly so as not to wake their neighbors–to prevent a visit from the fabled Giant who lived in the land at the sky end of the stalk.
The investigation is ongoing. It is unclear yet what charges, if any, will be filed in the case.
“It’s a wake-up call,” Glenda said as she concluded her interview with the press. “I had no idea that my boys would take action this drastic without consulting the owner of the property or his legal guardian, much less that they would be assisted and perhaps encouraged by my own mother. I am horrified that the bitterness and contention that I so detest have flourished within the four walls of my own home.”
With the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East, and the reported impending doom of the Wicked Witch’s sister ruling the West, perhaps our Good Fairy will have time to work her magic at home once again.
Photo by Witold Barski

Photo by Witold Barski

First posted on December 19, 2006. From Serendipitous Tabloid Fairytale Headlines at WritingFix.


Wish I was sleeping.

I should be doing critiques.  Mind won’t focus, but when I try to sleep it likes to skitter about like the loose coffee beans that took off when the canister fell out of the pantry and the lid came off.  (I am still finding coffee beans in the oddest places.)

I have enjoyed April’s blogging endeavor.  It is the one thing that I got right.

In the doghouse, but at least he's getting to sleep! photo by constantin jurcut

In the doghouse, but at least he’s getting to sleep!
photo by constantin jurcut

I intend to take a brief break, but I am scheduling popular posts from a previous blog and I want to get started back up on Monday of next week.  Or Tuesday.  We shall see.

It helps so much to have a theme to work with like the A to Z challenge, even though I never got around to signing up and never used the hashtag.  It still gave me a goal and a reason to set aside time most days to get something posted.

Any ideas?  Does anyone know of any challenges for the month of May or do you have prompts/themes that worked for you?  Please commment.  I would love to hear about them soon and give the ideas time to start cooking.

Thanks to all those who started following my blog in the recent days.  I appreciate it!


Check It Out

DearEditor.com is giving away a free full manuscript edit. <–Click for info on how to enter! 

And here’s to A-Z April to get me back on track.  I am signing up for that next. I think. Watch for details. 

Yesterday’s Strange is Tomorrow’s Normal

Photo by Pawel Kryj

Photo by Pawel Kryj

Everyone was busy looking back on a year she’d rather forget.  From the sounds of it, there wasn’t a whole lot of wonderful for the rest of the world to look back on either.

And yet they believed in a “better” year to come.  Wouldn’t take much to make it that way, sounded like.

If only it were as easy to start life new as it was to start a year new. Turn a page and there it was: fresh, clean, not marked, marred or smudged. But here she was, sitting in a history class with a coach who would rather discuss plays than teach anything that they were supposed to learn how to handle the future from.  Her mother was at her second of three jobs by now, but at least she had work.  Her current step father was probably on the couch in his wife-beater and boxers watching court TV and “working” on his next invention.

Invention.  There’s a book she would read: How to Invent a New Life. She already knew the mantras: Act, don’t react.  Pursue your dreams. Be the change you want to see…

She wanted to see the lazy man out of the house.  She wanted to see her mother on ocassion when she wasn’t too tired to do anything other than get high.

Maybe it was time for her to leave.  How long before they’d miss her?  How long before they got the courage to call the police to report her missing? Exactly as long as it took to need her to cook, and then to move their “goods” out of the trailer. They’d have to be sober to do any of that.

She could turn them in.  Truly she should.  But the stories she heard about state care.  Oh my goodness.  This was bad, but she knew this bad.

No one should feel this hopeless, not on the second day of a brand new year.

photo by ginny warner

photo by ginny warner

She closed her eyes for awhile, but not long enough for her teacher to think she was sleeping in class.  When she opened them again she started looking at the way the light shimmered on the glass pencil holder on the teacher’s desk, at the way sunbeam lit up the dust mote glitter, making it look like tiny confetti falling by the window.  The girl in front of her must have had corn dogs for lunch.  The smell reminded her of ferris wheels and warm funnel cakes.  Her jacket felt soft against her arms and she was warm, and full. In another ten minutes, she would know the material her math teacher would demonstrate.  Yesterday, not so much.  But she studied it last night and worked problem after problem after problem till she had it.

Yesterday’s strange was today’s familiar.

Tomorrow could be different.  With a little more study.


“Self education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ~ Isaac Azimov, born January 2, 1920

Hello There, 2014

I wonder how many posts have 2014 in their title today.  I should be more original.  But I have been working with numbers all day and I need a nap, which pretty much drowns the creative spark.

However I have taken some nice cloud shots today.  I miss taking my cloud pictures.  So I was thankful for a reason to snap away today.

My Oklahoma Clouds - Just Love 'Em!

My Oklahoma Clouds – Just Love ‘Em!

I have decided that I will spend January established a firm personal Bible study habit and doing an indepth revision of my first NaNoWriMo manuscript which has been edited to death, and put aside for too many years.

There are places where the manuscript is very much outdated. Things change so quickly these days! But emotions transcend time.  Growing up spans the ages.  Our perspective changes throughout our lives as we grow and the circumstances in our lives force us to look anew at what we believe and adjust accordingly. Sometimes that includes our view of the people we love and trust.  That is pretty much what Viewfinder centers around: changing perspective.  I am looking forward to the read-through this week and jotting notes.

Lots of changes are on the horizon for this year.  But I have a good feeling about them.

Changes On the Horizon - Beautiful!

Changes On the Horizon – Beautiful!


I have been scribbling away, admittedly losing my enthusiasm for trying to squeeze the “production of words” in with everything else.

Then a dear friend sends this to me, and my enthusiasm is renewed.

Choosing, arranging, using words is a joyful business, not a chore.  Words make a difference when chosen wisely.

Thanks Hawkeye! 😉


1173 words tonight.  They came easily from a scene that played out in my head through the course of the day.

Photo by barun patro

I am getting off to a slow start, but I don’t feel anxious. Yet. I do want to get a better grip on my timeline and plot arc, and once I do that, I believe the words will continue to come.  

Of course it’s only the 2nd.  There is no real reason to feel anxious with 28 days out ahead.

Don’t forget to fall back tonight, my American friends who don’t live in Arizona! 

Sleep sounds like a lovely idea!

If you are digging into NaNo, how have the first two days gone for you?


Excitement! + a little fear + anticipation + pre-occupation = countdown to NaNo

How will I find time to write when I can’t seem to find the time to cut my toenails? 

We shall see….



AND woot! Only missed one day for NaBloWriMo.  Much better than last year!


Back to Butterflies

I heard another interesting tidbit about a very common butterfly the other day. It’s worth sharing, just to prove there are still things out there to discover, right on our own planet.

The painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) is very common and perhaps the most widespread butterfly on the planet.  Wikipedia says that it is commonly used in classrooms to demonstrate for children the life cycle of a butterfly and shows up frequently in science fair projects.

So what makes this little run-of-the-mill butterfly discovery-worthy?

First, here are some fast facts about the Painted Lady:

  • weighs .04 ounces, with a brain the size of a pin head
  • is found on every continent except Antarctica and South America
  • is known for a distinct migratory behavior
  • has a strange pattern of flying in a sort of screw shape
  • it takes six successive generations of the butterfly to complete the migration from Europe to Africa and back again
  • weather impacts their migration pattern, hence global climate events such as El Nino may affect their migratory behavior
  • European butterflies use favorable wind currents to fly at a rate of around 30 mph to travel up to 9,300 miles annually (Monarchs travel about 6,000 miles on their migratory route.)
  • research seems to indicate that the butterflies use a solar compass to guide their journey

Secondly, until about four years ago, it was thought that the European Painted Lady simply died out when the weather got cold because no one witnessed the southern migration. However, scientists at Rothamsted Research used entomological radar, while Butterfly Conservation encouraged volunteers to report sightings, and it was discovered that these butterflies migrate at an altitude of more than 1,600 feet, for the most part invisible to humans, to their African destination.

What amazing tiny travellers!

We still have so much to learn about the world around us.

For further reading:

Concerning Opinions…

Photo by quil

Photo by quil

  1. Opinions aren’t facts.
  2. Everyone has them.
  3. If you share an opinion, you have invited the listener to share his/hers.
  4. If you want a listener to respect your opinion, then the you must respect your listener’s right to have his/hers, whether or not you agree with it.

You may feel strongly that a person’s opinion is provably wrong–in the realm of fact rather than opinion.  That still doesn’t grant license to be disrespectful, whether or not s/he wants to change.

It’s never wrong to be kind and considerate.

In my opinion.