One of the writing sites I am part of issues challenges. Sometimes when I am having issues with writers block or just need a change of pace from the normal stuff I work on, I pull one out of the plot bunnie folder and go to work.  As of yesterday, I started following plinky prompts. Their prompt today (Do you prefer sunrise or sunset) fit one of my challenges perfectly.   300 – 500 words and must include the following words.  Sunrise, Sunset, Pillow Talk, 20 questions, Campfire, and any alcoholic drink name.

Nope, I dont have a title for it yet… not even a working one. Isn’t that funny how it seems to be the case with all of my flash fiction. I guess its just something in the shortness of the stories that wont speak to me or tell me thier names.

“Do you prefer a sunrise or sunset?”



“I don’t know.”

“How can you not know? I mean you chose sunrise, after all.”

Brenda sighed. She hated talking to him after sex. The twenty-question game was not what she would call pillow talk. The only thing to shut him up was more sex or getting up and leaving. Since it was her apartment, she had no intention of leaving and was just not in the mood for more sex.

Kyle’s fingers idly skimmed the exposed skin and felt the moment when she tensed. His hand stilled at the nape of her neck. “It was just a question.”

It was only a slight intake of breath but it was enough to set Kyle off. “What is your problem?”

“My problem? I don’t know maybe the stupid questions. Why can you just be like every other guy I know and roll over and pretend to go to sleep. Oh wait, that’s what you do to your wife.”

There were times when she wished there was a way of getting out of the bed without appearing to scramble. It was hard to look aloof on her hands and knees crawling across the bed.

“Stupid questions? I was trying to do that share thing you women are so big on.”

Standing there in the middle of the floor Brenda debated pulling the sheet off the bed to wrap around her and then decided a shirt would be better. It wasn’t a surprise he completely ignored the part about his wife. “This relationship was never about sharing. We were good in bed. I had one too many Jack and coke’s and you gave me this sad story about your wife.”

He ground his bottom teeth into the top in an effort to avoid saying something he knew he would regret. Which wasn’t made any easier with Brenda’s attitude. “Right now I am supposed to be sitting around a campfire with my wife and kids but I choose to be with you.”

Brenda snorted, “DO NOT act as if this was for me. This is your ego trip. I am not the one having sex with the secretary.”

By this time Kyle was completely dressed when her words stopped him cold. He didn’t kid himself it wasn’t love but he liked her well enough.  “Neither am I. You’re fired. You can pick up your things in the morning.”

Brenda stood in the middle of the floor and just watched as her boss and former lover stomped across the floor and heard the front door slam. “Awe hell why couldn’t I just say because its beautiful. Now I need to find another job.”


So day before yesterday I started a 30 day challenge and I put off writing my post for the day until I could find someone to introduce myself too. My dilemma, I didn’t want to use the people at work because I felt like that was cheating. On the other hand, I spend more than eight hours a day here and there are almost 200 people working in this place. While I know a lot of them, enough to say hi as we pass there are many that are just a face I know.

Truth is it is hard for me to do and I just kept making excuses why this person or that person did not qualify to fit the challenge. So today, I have to do it twice or …. What?

We often give ourselves internal threats but really, does that work? In my personal experience, I can’t remember a time that I didn’t either blow off the prescribed punishment or laugh at my own, attempt to be gruff with myself. I knew if it mattered, I would do it. Therefore, I guess I just have to convince myself that this challenge matters.

As I said earlier in the post I was putting off the post until I could crow about my first introduction and that never happened.  Then I said I would get it done after the doctor visit and before class.  Here is where the best laid plans of mice and men come into effect. (No, I am not missing the fact I could have introduced myself 4 times at the doctor’s office instead of mumbling, “that’s me”)

Did you know that there is more that one type of skin cancer? Me, not so much. I’ve heard the hype about Melanoma and I thought that was it. Nope. Come to find out there are quite a few. Some super serious like Melanoma but others still need treated but not life threatening.

I went into the doctor with a bump on my nose that would not heal (of course it sits right under the pads of my glasses so it gets irritated every day) and walked out of there with Basalcellcarcinoma.

So of course after that doozy it took me most of the night to do some research and process the newest issue in my life.  You know that saying what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.  I have been joking with friends and family, “I’m at herculean what’s left Zeus.” That is when my son pops back and says after that alien and there are five dimensions of those. (from one of his zombie alien games)

Bless his humor. I couldn’t help it I had to laugh and that for a little bit made it fine. I wasn’t quite as angry about it afterwards.

But I don’t want this post to be all doom and gloom because while Eeyore e is one of my favorite characters that’s not me.  I did something yesterday that I just well… I have rebelled against. You see when my kids got into myspace, and facebook I was not very crazy about doing that either. That wasn’t until I joined a writing meet-up group and that was where they posted there writing. Wal-la I went home and joined. So the meet-up group I was in fizzled and so did the myspace.

To be fair I have kept up with my facebook  since I have family connections there. But all the rambling was leading to I joined twitter yesterday. I’m still not sure why besides promoting my blog but hey I did it.  @elfslore  is how you write it (I think). Now I follow @postaday and @plinkyprompts

At work, we are doing this health and wellness thing. Yeah it’s a thing. Why? I am not much of a joiner and these things either bore me or just anger me. To be fair the anger isn’t so much the program it’s the veiled threats and bribes to be part of it. Last year I refused to join. I did not feel that my job needed to know all of my medical issues. Yes last year they bribed us as well. It was 600.00 of the principal of our medical insurance for a year.  I wasn’t tempted because I knew that is when the threats were going to come.  I was wrong… or I should say I was two years early.  You see they are offering the program again this year but the bribe is bigger this time. $1000.00 off your yearly amount to pay for your insurance.

Nice right! Could be but there are strings, major ones.

  1. You still have to let the company know everything about you. From what you eat, to how you sleep, to how many times you blow your nose. Okay that last one was an exaggeration but that is what the health questionnaire felt like. Then they get to take blood for your cholesterol, and whatever other test they want to do, your height and weight, as well as your blood pressure.
  2. Now comes the threats if we don’t join they keep the amount we have to pay for our medical down. If we do not show improvement in our life, we will be removed from the plan and have to pay extra.

But, I digress. I didn’t mean to get on a rant. What I wanted to say right now they have a wellness challenge. It can be to help you improve your life, mentally or physically.  It’s called Change a habit change your life.  Here is how it is supposed to work.  For 30 days you do something you haven’t, something that you keep meaning to do.

So I thought about it. (I did not say the program was totally bad.)

My first thought – do 30 days as a vegetarian. Yeah, I don’t think so. I like meat so I think I would miss it too much.  Especially seafood, which is my favorite. Living on two different coasts gave me a taste of shellfish and other fish as well.  As for chicken and pork, they would be easier to let go but not completely.  Although, I think I am going to institute Meatless Thursday. (I know, normally its Monday but since I have class, I do not have time to stand over the stove and cypher a recipe.)

Then I thought something to do with fitness.  But I am already working on training for the 5k, I don’t want to overdo it. And I am already writing as much as time will let me.

So what to do? I thought it was a good idea and I didn’t want to give it up just yet.  I am going to try something simple.  And for a non-people person like me, it is huge.  Every day, I am going to introduce myself to someone new.  Maybe after that I can work on having a conversation with someone new every day, but for now this will work.

Hi I’m Fathom. Nice to meet you.

Bionic Eye Goes Live In World First By Australian Researchers.

When I was little Sunday night television was sacrosanct. It started with Battlestar Glactica, followed by Buck Rogers and finishing with The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. I can’t say which one of them ultimately was my favorite. But I can tell you that when I catch one of the shows on the Syfi network I can see a couple of minutes and remember the stories.

 So about eight months ago I seen the first mention on the web of the Bionic eye I immediately thought of Steve’s bionic eye.  Now as an adult I am not delusional enough to believe it was going to be all that but one could hope.  On most days I keep hoping for that technology to be invented that will stop me from going blind. Other days, I just wish that I would wake up blind. (I just want the wait to be over so I can start the next phase of my life.

But the one thing I am noticing in all of the studies they are focusing on the eyeball and the retina but nothing for the nerve. So I still have to do the one thing I have been doing all this time , crossing my eyes, I mean my fingers to hope that will be the next breakthrough.

“There’s no place like home,” as Dorothy once chanted to get back to Kanas.  Only thing is when you are moving that feeling of home is so far away. Your stuff is in transit between the new place and the old one. Your new place is not home yet due to scattered boxes, nothing is in the place you are used to and right now, you cannot see the potential it had as a blank canvas. Home is not your old place as it looks like a mini explosion took place.  Every tiny speck of dust and dirt collected behind and under furniture and appliances leaves you with the feelings of never cleaning.

As you can tell from this post and lack of posts for the last two weeks, I have been buried hip and sometimes head deep in stacks of boxes.  The move at work or I should say the second move at work was fairly trauma free. Most likely because we never unpacked from the move to the bullpen area a week before.

I do not know if I have said before but I am somewhat of a gypsy. The picking up and moving has never really bothered me in the past.  This might be why one of my things I want to do is own a houseboat that I can travel the world on its rivers. However, this move has really kicked my butt leaving me not wanting to move again for a nice long time. I am one of those people who live in organized chaos but having to search through boxes to find this or that is really beginning to irritate the life out of me.

It could have something to do with starting classes this week as well. Work from 5 am to 4pm then school from 6-9pm so far every day.  Speaking of school so far, I have gotten all of my classes I will know tonight and tomorrow about the other two.

  • Journalism- PR and Media techniques – got it
  • Biology – got it
  • Psychology  – waiting
  • Nutrition – waiting

I keep thinking if I am going to lose one let it be the Friday Nutrition class, but on the other hand, it is a graduation requirement. I only have a couple of those left and wanted to knock them out this semester so I can work on the core classes next semester.

A couple of years ago after the movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson called the Bucket List that particular trend became supper hot. Everybody wanted to fulfill a “bucket list” To many it became and excuse (and maybe motivation) to try sometimes stupid and crazy things.  I have to say even I was tempted, not a bucket list per say but everything I wanted to do before I went blind. That in itself was not a good idea. The more I focused on the things I wanted to do the more I dwelled on the things I no longer would be able to do. Not a good place to be when you are trying not to feel sorry for yourself.

Last night while I was cleaning out and sorting through old notebooks I ran across mine.  Scanning the pages and the different goals (I think is a better term for them) I realized there were several of them that I still wanted to accomplish.

The funny thing is I entitled it “Ms. Magoo’s Escapades” I of course was making fun of myself but now I kind of like it.  I am thinking that I might restart it. Down on the list like number 15 is  Partisipate in a 5k walk for charity.  Back in June, I would have been able to cross this off my list with the 19th Annual Doggy Dash. It was a charity to support the SPCA and shelters of Sacramento and was very close to my heart.   I would even walk with my two dogs Koda Bear and Coco.

But as all good intentions…  it was just that, Koda Bear, who was battling cancer was not feeling his best, it was also the day of the company picnic and truth be told I wound up not going to either.

I keep thinking that maybe I should try it again; after all I am working out at the gym now. (That is a completely different adventure, trust me!) The training takes 9 weeks, which means I might be ready by the October 21st Making strides against Breast Cancer. Although it means I am going to miss one of my Renaissance Faire days.  If I don’t then I will do the 5k “Run to Feed the Hungry.  Maybe I can stay motivated enough to turn the one on Thanksgiving day into a 10k. Hey after all its only 6 miles.

By now everyone has heard of bread specific legislation. There is not a day that does not go by where some media source is recounting the horrors of a pit-bull attack. Next thing you know somebody is screaming vicious dog, they ought to be banned from_______.  And of course with no investigation into the situation a dog is killed, the owners get a slap, and a whole bread is condemned.

I thought there were only three breeds on the restricted /banned list. Try finding a place to live and you get a list of animals that will not be allowed residency.  The list I received had 75 breeds on it.  According the AKC there are four hundred breeds of dogs and 75 makes up almost a fourth.

Some of the dogs I never even heard of but others leave me shaking my head wondering what people were on when they banned the breeds.

Airedale Terrier; Akbash; Akita; Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog; Alaskan Malamute;

Alsatian Shepherd; American Bulldog; American Husky; American Pit Bull Terrier;

American Staffordshire Terrier; American Wolfdog; Anatolian Shepherd; Arikara Dog;

Australian Cattle Dog; Australian Shepherd;  Belgian Malinois; Belgian Sheepdog;

Belgian Turvuren; Blue Heeler; Boerbul; Borzoi; Boston Terrier;  Bouvier Des Flandres;

Boxer; Bulldog; Bull Terrier; Bull Mastiff; Cane Corso; Catahoula Leopard Dog;

Caucasian Shepherd; Chinese Shar Pei; Chow-Chow; Colorado Dog; Doberman Pinscher;

Dogo De Argentino; Dogue De Bordeaux; English Mastiffs; English Springer Spaniel;

Eskimo Dog; Estrela Mountain Dog; Fila Brasiliero; Fox Terrier; French Bulldog;

German Shepherd Dog; Golden Retriever; Greenland Husky; Great Dane; Great Pyranees;

Italian Mastiff; Kangal Dog; Keeshond; Komondor; Kotezebue Husky; Kuvaz;

Labrador Retriever; Leonberger;  Mastiff; Neopolitan Mastiff; Newfoundland;

Otterhound;  Rresa De Canario; Presa De Mallorquin; Pug; Rottweiler; Saarloos Wolfhond;

Saint Bernard; Samoyed; Scottish Deerhound; Siberian Husky; Spanish Mastiff;

Staffordshire Bull Terrier; Timber Shepherd; Tosa Inu; Tundra Shepherd; Wolf Spitz

I knew my brand new puppy was on the list being that he is a three-month-old American Pitt-Bull Terrier but was completely lost when I found out my Lab mix was on the list as well. When I researched, why some of these dogs like Huskies, Labs, Pugs and Retrievers made the list the answer is they are known for biting.

The thing is I have had dogs all my life and most of the time several at one time.  Dogs do not arbitrarily bite. Their demeanor is based on how they are treated and cared for. If you are moving or just updating your insurance and have a dog, you might want to find out if your dog is on the list. Then move to stop specific breed legislation and breed discrimination.

If it is not a national emergency, do not drop classes. I know you were told it is better to have a “W” on you transcript than an “F”.  That may be true for your grade average but not for your financial aid.  This I found out the hard way. I dropped classes and fell below that 75% completion rate and wal-la the college declined my aid. My first thought was “oh crap, I can’t go back to school.” I am one of those who depend on help to go to school. Fortunately, there is a little thing called a BOG Waiver and it saved me.

The thing about the BOG waiver (and I think there is three of four different kinds) is that it pays for the enrollment fees associated with classes. Mine also gives me a flat fee for parking at the school. (which is the difference between $10.00 a week and a flat 20 dollars) Fortunately the college does offer one appeal for restoring aid.

Like all appeals, you have to jump through a ton of hoops. I guess they think the more difficult they make it the more likely you are to stay with it.  This is funny if you think about it realistically. With everything you have to do, adding something to be deliberately frustrating is going to get more negative results than positive. But the colleges in their infinite wisdom have deemed this policy as the only path to take to prove a student’s responsibility and commitment to their education.

To make a long story a little shorter on Friday I got the email that my appeal was approved. Outstanding if you think about it. Now I can put the aid on the credit card I used to purchase my books.

That brings me to the second ouch.  To coin a phrase “Oh my God” does it really take 92 dollars to print and bind a book. Okay I know the writer needs to be paid, and supplies need to be bought, but really $92.   The Physiology class is 35 students, each of us buy the book which means the publisher gets $3220 and that is just one class. I know for sure that book is used in 8 classes just on my campus. With an average of 25 per class it is an additional $18, 400.00.  Just from my campus alone.  And it not as if they are having to print each addition, they put the pages on a color copier and copy an indefinite amount.  You would think that the e-textbooks would be better. There is no paper; no stocking fees, no printing yet my nutrition book is $118.00.

On that note e-textbooks offer something the hardbound lack, the ability to interface with the web.  I was super excited about getting electronic textbooks. See I have a Nook and I thought that was perfect. One little book to carry instead of 4 heavy ones  but it didn’t quite work out that way.

You see , the Nook is proprietary as is the Kindle and if you buy at Amazon you cant use on Nook and vice versa if you buy at B&N. They both have study tools but neither of the e-readers support textbooks. You have to download a study program from their site. Sounds like the whole windows /apple thing.  But I found something else. It’s called “Kno”  and it is a non-proprietorial e-textbook site. Right now it only works with pc and ipad,(android is in development) You can purchase books there and use them there.

Features of the site include turning your book (any diagram) in to a test, creating flashcards of all terms, taking notes right in the book. I am looking forward to trying it. Here is the website if you are interested in looking into it.

I find that Doctors in general are of two minds when it comes to diseases they are treating.  One theory is tell you every possible side effect that every person who has ever had the disease had and there by so overwhelm you with information in effort to give you all the tools you need. The other is theory is to give you the main side effects and as new symptoms come along they add it to the growing list but don’t want to frighten you with things that ‘might’ happen.

My eye doctor is one who follows the second school of treatment. Which in theory is not bad, especially if you are like me, and dwell on the worst possible outcome.  That does not mean I am a pessimist but a realist with hopeful but doubtful tendencies. My grandmother always called it preparing for the worst.

Now because of this I tend to over analysis things that are new and different. What does it mean? Will it hurt or help. Proof of this particular foible played out last night in a semi-panicked phone call to my eye doctor.

See about 6 days ago one of my eyes began to water, I mean really water. The first time it happened I kind of blew it off. Hey I have allergies and sometimes they are affected. I was not aware of a trigger but I just assumed. Again it happened 3 days later. It started to water and I mean really water. It took a tissue and 15 minutes to get it to stop. This time I knew my allergies did not trigger it. I had taken my singular for several days prior. The other odd thing was my eyes did not itch or become red. It was just as if I started crying.

Last night I got in the car and began to drive home and low and behold, there I was again water leaking out of my eyes to the point where I almost could not see to drive. Again no redness, no itchiness, and nothing to trigger allergies and I am seriously confused.  So here is where the tale shows my jeckle/hyde personality.

I got so excited thinking it was a breakthrough in my glaucoma. You know where the fluid behind the eyeballs was emptying and then pressures would go down.  Then would start the domino effect … pressures go down… optic nerve has less damage… going blind is halted. Woo hoo.  Then the realism, the part that says “woha girl, your cart is leading your horse. Nothing you have researched has talked about leaking fluid without surgery. Water draining can’t be normal.”

So of course now that I had a bone I had to worry it. So after 2 hours worrying about all the ‘worst case scenarios, I called the doctor. She asked all the allergy questions and then went on to the extra stress questions and anything-different questions before she told me what she thought it was.

Did you know that tear ducts can become congested. Yeah me either. Nor did I know that it often happens to people with glaucoma. Go figure.

I follow this blog on wordpress called ” Writers Block Busters ” On it she puts a prompt of a question, a sentence and a paragraph to get the juices flowing. Well, coupled with a program that I have called “write or die” I try to get my thousand words a day written.

Her post on sunday was ….  It’s a pisser having to be the responsible one. And here is my 500 word piece of flash fiction. (15 minutes and 504 words)  I don’t have a title for it yet.  Thanks Cyrannette.  Here is a link to her blog


It’s a pisser having to be the responsible one. Yet here I was again cleaning up after my big brother. So much for being the youngest child.

I folded the woman’s arms over her chest in an attempt to make it look like she was sleeping. Not that was happening considering the gaping hole in the middle of her chest.

“Just leave her and get your ass out of there before someone sees you.” Dustin hissed.

I looked back over my shoulder to glare at the oaf who screwed-up again. “Damn it we can’t just leave her like this. If your drunken ass hadn’t shot off your mouth we wouldn’t be here now. Help me or shut the hell up so I can do this. “

He snorted in the background but I noticed he did not come any closer nor did he offer to help clean up. I added another bloody baby wipe to the pile. All that was left was the face and then we wouldn’t have to worry about Dustin’s DNA to tracing back to him.

“Arn’t you done yet,” his voice hissed in my ear.

If my mother had known the things I would do when she requested I watch after him on her deathbed, I know she wouldn’t have made me promise. “You’re doing it again, you stupid ass. You’ve contaminated the body and left evidence the police can use to put your sorry self in jail. Then tell me who will want to hire a contract killer who can’t keep out of lock up.”

Dustin was chagrined. I knew he couldn’t help it and instantly felt terrible. Richard our oldest brother got him started down this path and then gave up on him when he felt Dustin was too dumb. Richard had a point but abandoning Dustin was too much like kicking a dog. Neither of them understood what they had done or why someone they loved could hurt them.

I gathered the pile of bloody wipes and put them in a plastic bag that I carried around just for situations like this. “Look she is cleaned up. Let me just wipe down the car and then we could go.”

“Thanks Janet. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

I sighed. What else could I do? “I know Dustin, don’t worry about it.”

I surveyed the scene and stomped on a couple of places that looked like they could be a footprint and decided I had done as much as I could.

We had already been here fifteen minutes and our time was running out. “Let’s go.”

There was nothing I could do to eliminate the tracks the pick-up would leave. Truth was I could only hope that Dustin still had that spare set of tires back at his place. If not a trip to pick and pull was in order.

We had been driving out away from my handiwork for about twenty minutes and my cellphone started chirping.

“This is Sheriff Watkins. How can I help you?”