Welcome Seekers of Ookiness! You’ve come to the right place!
Of course I have to mention that Halloween at our house was special this year—with the new addition to the family having just arrived a few days before—Brielle, our furry, tail wagging Australian cattle dog sister. She got here on the Sunday before Halloween and strutted out the door with the family to meet various ghosts and goblins during the Trick or Treat excursion.
This year we had Rosie the vampira and Joey the fireman. Quite a stretch for Rosie: trading in fairy wings for bat wings and pixie dust for blood to drink. And Joey was the cutest fireman ever I saw!
While everyone else gallivanted about the neighborhood I hung at the house and enjoyed a parade of superheroes, zombies, witches, and other assorted pirates and thugs. Next year, though, I’m going to have to pull together my witch’s costume and work on my cackle. I love Halloween and it’s been awhile since I celebrated it fully.
Three days later marked the 29th birthday of Stephanie, my daughter-in-law who passed away last fall. While we can no longer celebrate with cake and gifts, we celebrate the memory of her sweetness, her talent, her loving ways, in our hearts always. And I personally hope that the organs she donated are keeping her spirit alive with the hearts of very needy recipients who are better for Stephanie’s having lived. I know she’s an angel now, watching over all of us.
Social Security Disabilities is STILL stringing me along, three years, seven months and counting. I’m so grateful for Joe and Cait and the wonderful home they share with me. But I wonder what happens to others who have limitations like mine—or worse than mine even. The system takes money out of paychecks like clockwork, but when it comes to living up to their end of the deal when payouts are needed by people who’ve busted their asses all their lives, the bureaucrats really are supreme pricks. I notice congress has enough money to vote themselves a raise every session, but not to put case workers and judges in place to relieve the hearing backlog for disabled people who lose their homes, belongings, and end up on the street. And it isn’t just disabled—it’s like that in all branches of the social services. This government is supposed to be for the people, by the people, and of the people. Perhaps politicians need to re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Okay down off my soap box—sorry. Just extremely frustrated, and letting anyone reading my magazine know that if you’re going through similar experiences, I feel your pain. Jeez, I can’t write an on-going nightmare better than the labyrinth of the Social Security system.
Okay, enough whining for me.
I’ve been taking a break from watching DVDs at night and turned to reading. I dug out books I got at library sales in
before my accident three years ago. I
read “Altered States” last week. Saw the
movie years ago, but never read the book, which was quite good. I also read and highly, highly recommend a
book by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin called “Three Cups of Tea.” Mr. Mortenson is a former mountain climber
who came up short climbing Everest, and ended up in Korphe, a little mountain
village in Baltistan, owing his survival to a guide who hailed from there. During his stay in the little village he saw
children, desperate for education, crowded together, scratching their lessons
in the dirt, on their own. Their teacher
only came a few times a week. The rest of the time the children worked on their
own, outside in the elements. Mortenson
promised he would come back and build them a school. And spent the next year in the states trying
to raise the money. His story is
I will warn you that if you Google his name, there is a story about his mismanagement of money, and perhaps there is truth to it, but I will say this: When his critics were sniffing around building their ‘case’ against him, he was in Baltistan and areas of Pakistan where there are land mines and gunfights going on, scoping out locations for the schools he’s built. He started with nothing and busted his ass at some risk to his own life, not to mention time spent away from his family, to built schools that educate little girls for the first time in Muslim history. These schools offer a neutral education instead of the limited education offered in the often militant fundamentalist madrasses, that often don’t educate little girls at all. Perhaps some of the money Mortenson raised was used inappropriately, but I personally think if even only a handful of little girls were educated properly so that they grow up with self-esteem and the knowledge that there is life beyond their village where women have choices, then Mortenson has done his job.
At any rate, the book is a fascinating read, and quite inspirational. I highly recommend it, and hope you will consider this cause. Every time a child, especially a little girl, is educated in isolated villages, it takes power away from militant fundamentalists who would turn that child into a potential terrorist. Education is most definitely the way to turn the world around. To eventually bring peace.
I’ve been plugging away on “Zeeons”. It’s going more slowly than I would like. Lots of research for Part One scenarios. But I’m getting there. On the other hand, ideas for “Malaise” keeping crashing into my mind like thunderbolts, and I’m building an ominous stack of notes. Muahaha!
And then of course there are all the columns and stories for Owl's Eye View to keep me busy. And believe me, they do—frantically busy.
Like this issue. As you’ll see below, there is some seriously ooky stuff! Take a peek! Chills!
Larry Nunn interviews Reverend Raymond Raven of the Goth group “Funeral,” in this month’s “Screech On!” (Please note that the article was written before Larry’s demise, he did not return from the grave to make deadline…)
Janet Myers gives Nathan Williams her spot-on analogy describing Dan Wynthrop in “Swooping Through the Years.”
A creepy little poem will drive you buggy from Lisa Galloway this issue in “Visceral Verse.”
Melanie Mirth has a story about a woman who feels violated by the authority of Civic Associations—you’ll want to take notes on “Macabre Mirth.”
Meredith Alden shares a bit of her family history in her poem “The Beast” in “From the Perch.
“HMO Boko” will make you question every Prior Authorization your insurance company requires. Muahaha!
What does an executioner hear others say—as their heads roll? He who orchestrates the Dances with Lady Guillotine has a word for you in my short story, “Quoth the Executioner.”
What you read is what you get in the fifth installment of my novel “True Crime Shelf.”
There you have it! Enjoy the ooky!