When Does A Quest End?

September 25, 2016 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


When Does A Quest End?

When one has found the Holy Grail?

When one has slayed the dragon?

When one has rescued the princess?

When one has found the Unicorn?

When one has reached the goal?

I started this blog at the end of September 2008 with this thesis in mind:

Why? Why am I doing this? Why write a blog? Why delve into the essence of who I am? I’m intrigued by memoir and confession and living vicariously. My real life is quiet. My fantasy life is legion. My inner life, like everyone else’s, is gigantic.

My one goal when I started was to blog weekly. I’ve done that.

I’ve published 425 posts and I have 150 draft ideas sitting around waiting to be used. This will be post number 426. Its been eight years since my first post.

But most of this year’s posts have been photo challenges and small (somewhat) fun posts.


I think I may be done.

More often than not, I put off writing a blog post until the last moment.

I think I may be finishing this quest.

This may be my last blog post. It may not.

If I post again, my next post will probably be a Halloween post.

How do you know when your quest is ending?


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The Things We Leave Behind

September 4, 2016 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The things we leave behind — buildings, people, experiences — rarely disappear altogether. When we look back, we find ruins. Remnants. Echoes.

Hope Chest

I’ve moved a lot since I graduated from Grade Twelve. At least twenty times. I downsized every time! I gave away things. I gave up things. I sold things. I lost things. I don’t miss most of those things.

I gained as much as I lost!

There are two things I miss.

Two manuscripts.

Words. I miss words.

Words that I wrote.

The first is a short story I wrote when I was sixteen; there was an unicorn and a black rose in it. For years after, I searched out information on black roses. (This was before the internet). Were they possible? Could you grow pure black roses? This was a topic I researched from 1975 until the 1990s and I still don’t know the answer. I know you can create black roses by dying them. I know that there are red and deep purple roses that will look black in certain types of light. But to grow a genetically perfect black rose; still impossible I fear.

But back to the story. I sent it into Seventeen magazine. I got back a form rejection slip with a very encouraging note written on it in someone’s handwriting. I’ve lost the note as well. I remember thinking “Now, I am a writer!”

The second of my words that I lost was a romance novel.

I wrote it as an experiment. I wanted to see if I could write 50,000 to 70,00 words. This was the length of a Harlequin romance novel back then.

My first draft. My only draft. I write shorter now: blog posts, essays, memoirs. I’ve not attempted anything longer. Maybe I will. Maybe this November. It was a typical 1980s romance. It was probably staid and priggish. My friend Twyla liked. She was the only one who read it. I did nothing with it.

Though, it might be in my hope chest. So might the short story.

I’ve moved the hope chest here, there and everywhere but I seldom explore deep in its depths. There are bombs in there – my wedding pictures, my parent’s after-divorce letters and other such emotional flotsam and jetsam!

I try to stay away from bombs even though there might be treasures also strewn within the minefield!

Thus, these things I’ve left behind may never be found!

Image result for bomb emojiImage result for explosion emojiImage result for bomb emojiImage result for explosion emoji

I was born in 1949, and by the time I was 10, I figured out that my hope chest was not aimed in the same direction as everybody else’s was. And that life was going to be very, very complicated. And that I could either be provocative and declamatory, or shy, retiring and scared. ~Dorothy Allison

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My First Obsession

February 14, 2016 at 8:15 am (Fun) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Ailsa’s latest travel theme reminded me of my first obsession.

Like many of you, my first obsession was horses (not ponies)!


I loved the magnificence of them, the largeness, the feel of soft nose and soft breath on my hands. I grew up poor in a small town. The town was four blocks wide times six blocks long and surrounded by farm land. There were horses living just outside of town and when I had a bad day I could walk to their field and stroke the horses and instantly feel better.

Horses 02

I was too poor to even think about having a horse of my own; never going to happen poor! I knew, even as a young child, that such things were impossible to dream on and so I didn’t dream on them.

Anyway, even now, I don’t necessarily need to own dreams.

It is enough to dream.

Having horses to visit and lean into was enough.

Grandpa's Horse

I think I came by this obsession honestly. The horse, above, was the first gift my then adult mother bought for her father after she had left home. I don’t remember if he had a fascination with horses but I do remember his occasional tales of army horses (WW1) and handsome farm nags.

Around grade four when we started studying mythology, my obsession with horses led to a fascination with Pegasus and other pegasi (flying hoses). This was long before the My Little Pony phenomenon so I never collected any Flutter Ponies!

The idea of flying away on a horse was very exciting.


As were the thought of unicorns – mythical, enchanting, fey unicorns.

As a young teen, I had an official Unicorn Hunting License. (It looked like this one)! This was before the internet made acquiring one easy. I had to use actual snail mail to send for it and then waited months for it to arrive and then nobody else cared about this enchanting piece of geeky paper that I possessed.

Horses, pegasi and unicorns, oh my!

Light Border

Schmendrick: I know you. If I were blind I’d know what you are.

“We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us, but life is full of common enchantment waiting for our alchemists eyes to notice.”

Jacob Nordby

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?”
J. B. Priestley

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Penny Arcade: Question Answered

March 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm (Book Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )




This was not the post I planned for today.

But then I was in the library Friday and a book jumped out at me; a pretty, pink book with Unicorns. How could I refuse the temptation to take it home to peruse?


I read it in an evening (it is March – there is nothing interesting to watch on TV.)


At the back of the book there is a question and answer section and I felt compelled to answer one of the questions – thus this post.

What do you think when you encounter non-gamers who are fans of your comic?

M. I think, Whaaaaaa?
J. …And I say, “Boogedawaah?”
M. I say, “Really? Then what do you get from it?”
J. Exactly … what they tend to say is that, if you don’t follow games, a lot of that stuff is just like a non sequitur. It just makes it more surreal if you don’t understand it.
(p. 115)

The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade
The 11 1/2 Anniversary Edition
By Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins
N. Y.: Ballantine Books, 2010

I am a non-gamer. I read Penny Arcade three times a week which is when a new comic is posted. So, Mike and Jerry, here’s why I read your comic.

I am not a gamer. I am barely a geek. I am, in fact, a gray headed, middle-aged, middle class woman.

I am not who I look like. Does that sentence even make sense? I mean, I look normal but I feel different. In truth, I’m a bit strange and kinda goth, a musical buff and a library stalker.

I have eclectic tastes. How do I differentiate? What are the dichotomies? How far apart are The Princess Bride and the Terminator Universe? Is Heart‘s family that different from Burke‘s? As far as books, movies and comics go, all I ask is that you tell me a story that holds up within its own universe/mythology.

I have this unquenchable thirst for information, perhaps even, for knowledge. How much culture do I absorb from the ether because I read EVERYTHING?

I read – everything, any thing. If there are words, I will try to read them. I’m a fan of the strange and the weird. I’ve been reading horror and fantasy since I was a child; Ray Bradbury, Jane Yolen, LeGuin and all the Kings – Stephen, Tabitha, Joe and Owen. I also enjoy faery stories, mysteries and historical works among many other genres.

How do I know what Samurai/Ninja are? What is an Orc? What is d & d? Can dragons fly and why do they keep kidnapping princesses? Science Fiction, fantasy, all things fey, mystery, murder and mayhem reign rampant in most computer games and references as well as in the words I read elsewhere.

Look at the Penny Arcade top keywords list. How many words do you recognize at a glance? I recognize more than I thought I would. Clicking on the links though doesn’t always get me to a comic that I understand.

For example, when I click on the word candy, I get taken to The Breaking Point which was first posted on Oct. 15, 2008. Do I get the whole joke? No, but I can relate to the premise of having to explain Halloween costumes and parents getting between you and treasured candy. The gaming reference is incidental, for now, for me, to the joke.

I can live with not knowing everything because it gives me something to look forward to learning. I anticipate that gaming may be in my future, as well as many other geeky endeavors, like conventions.

I am a late majority adopter (scroll down). The person who introduced me to Penny Arcade is an early adopter. She’s introduced me to many new and fun technologies. I have another connection, as well, to Penny Arcade. I read Whatever, John Scalzi‘s blog – he wrote the amusing foreword to this pink unicorn clad book.

Yes, Mike and Jerry, I am a non gamer. I admire the self confidence it takes many gamer/geek convention goers to dress up and embrace this strange, new world but I’m not there yet. Maybe, one day you’ll see a little old gray-headed lady playing games at PAX and it’ll be me. I already tried LARPing, enjoy reading the musings at Epbot and love the mish mash of technology and Victoriana that is Steampunk. Is gaming next?

P.S. For further reading about this book, by gamers, go here and here.

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