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Normally I don’t do much posting over the weekend due to focusing on papers for school and house hold responsibilities but the last two days have led to some awesome opportunities.  First, on Thursday after my post I was contacted by a writing group for to guest blog.  I am also going to help with challenges and publicity.  This is the coolest thing that has happened as far as my writing in quite a while.

Second, I committed to the Novel in a month after reading the comments on the blog. Even if I do not make it my  can’t do attitude has been seriously checked at the door.

Third and this has nothing to do with writing but I have signed up to walk the 5k/10K walk on October 21st. Which means as of Monday October 22nd I can cross one item off the Ms Magoo’s Escapades.


November is coming, November is coming! And I am not ready for it. I mean I should have been preparing for the last couple of months but no not me. Guess what, I know me well enough to know I am going to whine and complain that I wasn’t ready and I can’t do it again this year.

November is novel in a month, month. You are supposed to write 50,000 words which roughly boils down to 1650 words a day. Which as 99 percent of the writers agree isn’t too much on days that the ideas are flowing and everything is going just fine. But those other days, like mid-terms and papers for classes done.

I have this story idea that has been running around in my head for a little bit now and I thought this would be perfect for the challenge. Some of the scenes I can see so vividly that they practically write themselves when I get to a place I can write. But I wanted to try something different.

In the past my writing has been what I keep hearing as organic. When I try to plan it, nothing works. When I let each scene write it’s self I tend to jump all over but it not wooden or forced. My main problem with this is I write and get the chapter; scene or whatever over and then I have to put the writing on the shelf due to some kind of responsibility. When I come back to it… I don’t feel the story anymore or I don’t know where it is going and the muse is gone.

So I was hoping that if I sat down and wrote the story out in outline format even if reality got in the way I could have a place to return to even if it is embellishing the outline.

But I am excited for one thing I am submitting a “short short story” to Writers Digest. The deadline is October 15th and the maximum word limit is 1500.

The PLINKY prompt of the day on September 23 is:  You’re writing your autobiography. What is your opening sentence?

“Jack of all trades, Master of none and that was Fathom’s biggest regret.

From the time I was little, the one expression I heard more than any other was, “if it doesn’t work one way then try another.” This of course was typically when I would whine and complain that I couldn’t do it and my parents were usually at their wits end. This of course moved into other portions of my life and I soon became good at many different things. Normally this came from the fact I would play with something and tweak it until I got the desired result.

But alas, when I figured it out was when I would stop and go on to something completely different. My grandmother called jumping horses mid-stream.  Today it would probably be considered ADD. It wasn’t though or at least not in my book. The thing was I figured out what I wanted to know that was good enough for me. And of course that whole concept continued into my adult years.  By this time, I should probably call it a habit.

When I was young, I thought this was cool that I knew and could do many things. I just thought I was eclectic in my interests. Today I wish I had stopped jumping from thing to thing, just learning what I needed to know and starting the next project.  I wish I really learned it, I mean from beginning to end or inside and out. Hence the Master of none.

I have heard it said that it is a plus to know a little bit of a lot of things but maybe it is just my ego talking when I want to be really, really good at a something.

How would you start your autobiography?

In my post a few days ago I posted about a 30 day challenge. Have you noticed that when you accomplish it once it is easier… that day but not the next. For example, I went into a store in the mall yesterday to buy a hat and the young lady came up to me and asked how she could help me. I told her I was looking for sun hats that weren’t too ugly. Her laugh put me at ease enough I was able to gather my courage and introduce myself to her. Awesome right. I felt so good a little squirmy in the stomach but good enough that I introduced myself to the next three people who came into the store.

The only problem was I was so giddy by the third person he was looking at me and I know he was wondering what I was on. So today, I thought I did it three times one should be a piece of cake right. Nope. I open my mouth, and close it, open to speak only to close it. The woman looked a little uncomfortable said “well have a nice day” and made a beeline out of the coffee area. What could you expect; my imation of a fish was spot on.

Speaking of the 30 day challenge I had debated doing vegetarian and nixed it on the account it was completely impossible to one day to just jump in no holds bar. So like the website said ease into it with a meatless day and I choose Thursday.

Today is Thursday and I implemented it. We had Quinoa and lentil salad.

It included

lentils about 2 cups

quinoa about 1 cup

carton of button mushrooms

bag of dried cherries

red onion 1 full

and an italian vinaigrette to taste.

The reaction was interesting. I am not sure how well it went over and that is saying something since most people around here are very verbal about what they like and don’t. I will post a picture of it tomorrow.

On Wednesday after getting the biopsy, the doctor started stressing that I be more active in my sun protection. That was the plan. It’s still summer here in California but I put away the tank tops. I started looking for hats. That was a joke. Almost none, and what was there forgive me but I thought they were butt ugly. I finally took one that in my opinion was the lessor of the evils and here is what I decided.

Baseball caps shade from about your nose up. It provides nothing for the sides (cheek area and ears) and nothing for the neck. Those cute almost Fedora like ones have almost no brim so no coverage. All that is left is your mother’s sun hats. Those are cute on the beach but how do you wear them with jeans and a tee?

Oh well, not that I have ever had the greatest fashion sense. As a kid, I wore what was comfortable and what we could afford. I have to admit that as an adult not a whole lot has changed. Although, the truth is I think it is comfort over value these days.

So my glasses came in yesterday. YUCK. It’s going to be a long year until I can get another pair. The lenses were spot on, nice and dark. (Sunglass dark.)  But the frames, wozzers as inspector gadget use to say. They sit so far out on my face that there is an opening above my eye and below, which doesn’t help the light sensitivity. Yet as I have been without anything (with the lovely headache that goes along with it) even a small relief might be worth something.

So yesterday on my way home from class I was listening to the car radio when a song by the band Sugarland came on called ‘Stand back up.’ At that moment, I thought it was the soundtrack of my life. But as soon as I thought it I realize there was a different one a couple of years ago and realized movies don’t just have one why should someone’s life have only one.

  • Stand Back up – Sugarland

This is my Eye of the Tiger song. It reminds me that even as life gets so rough that I get knocked to the ground, I am still here. As long as I am then I keep fighting.

Favorite line –I’ve weathered all these storms, But I just turn them into wind, so I can fly,

A thought, a nudge to say only I can define who I am and what story my life will take. Good or bad, it’s my story.

Favorite line – No one else can feel it for you Only you can let it in

How many times have you said that quick prayer “I promise….  If only I can have  or don’t let it be. And it either doesn’t happen or happens any way. And it turned out to have something come of it you wouldn’t trade for the world.

Favorite line –Just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.

Where Stand Back up is about not giving up when the world is determined to knock you down, this one reminds me there are battles and goals I want to fight for and win. Favorite line – There’s always going to be another mountain and I am always going to want to make it move.

This is my Man in the Mirror song. With so much injustice we tend to think there is nothing we can do. This reminds me where my line in the sand is.

Favorite line – When this world’s big enough for all different views

You can either wallow in the difficulties or you can use every last moment to live life to the fullest. But remember no man is an island and how you behave will affect those who love you.

Favorite line – And I became a friend, a friend would like to have

  • If Today Was Your Last Day – Nickleback

Same thought as Live Like you are Dying but this one is more about not allowing yourself any regrets.

Favorite line- Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try

So what is the soundtrack to your life? Don’t worry you’re not committing to anything because tomorrow the could change.

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.

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.