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  1. Field Trip

    My wife and I checked out some properties today. We don't have an agent yet, this trip was just to get an idea of what we are looking at in-person.
    I mean, looking at stuff on-line doesn't cut it. At least not for me.

    The first property was larger, and the agency said it had special tax status for being "working woodland" (harvestable timber). So, we could periodically sell timber, and pay less tax. We need less than an acre for our homestead, and that leaves ...
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  2. A bric a brac conga...

    Friday night and heading up the High Street, just one more shift, then weekend, I thought. No yippee, no singing and dancing, I'm just so relieved to have got through another week of work. As I walked, I saw a young man up ahead of me exiting a Chinese takeaway carrying his little white plastic carry-out bag also holding an i-phone with his left hand and typing into his phone with his right. And that saddened me.
    "Don't cook just eat.
    Don't talk just tweet."
    I thought ...

    Updated June 23rd, 2019 at 09:00 PM by dither

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  3. Change of Title

    Even though I'm heart-sick that I haven't completed any of my novels, there is a fortunate side to this. It's not too late to change the title. In looking at Wattpad, I find there are over 100,000 stories posted either titled Zodiac Chronicles or some variation of it. Whether title this or not, this is an excessive amount of stories revolving around characters based on the Zodiac signs. So, how do I make mine stand out?

    First- change the title, or switch it around. This is what I intend ...
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    Novels
  4. The worm is still a worm but...

    OH DEAR,
    THIS IS LONGER THAN THE LAST ONE, I'M SORRY.

    How weird is this? I DO think about things like this because, well? As cynical as I might be, you just never know. I HAD been hoping that the woman I got talking to at the bus-stop last weekend, the one with purple parka, would be there again this Saturday, although I'd never seen her before in my life, so why would she be there? It had been a random occurrence and that was that. Anyway, if she had have been there, and look! ...
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  5. YA Book Review--Consequences by Darlene McGarrity

    SUMMARY:

    Second chances lead to new beginnings… sometimes, they lead to murder. Seventeen-year-old Rose Jackson is a self-righteous, nature-loving truth seeker whose rocky relationship with her mother, Doris Murphy, is tested after Rose is court ordered to a youth house.

    With six months left before she goes in front of a judge for potential release, her patience is tested between an in-house bully, her neglectful mother, and an inappropriate therapist.
    ...
  6. Daydreaming to Planning

    It would be hyperbole to say that I "hate" where I am now. There's a lot of positives to our neighborhood: Close to the grocery store, public transportation and public safety (fire & police). Traffic ain't bad, even though people drive faster now (and / or, I'm just getting older).
    When we first moved here, our kids were young, and the neighborhood was new. There were a lot of young couples, and our kids all played together. Now, the kids are grown, and a lot of of our ...
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  7. Harm Monica

    A few weeks ago in my drunken enlightened state of mind, I decided to go on amazon for a few items I've been putting off buying. Nothing crazy, just a handle for my 5 gal carboy and some sugar free Heinz ketchup (Don't judge me), but I needed to buy one more item to get free shipping. I thought long about what I need and couldn't come up with anything, so then I considered any items that I want.

    It was at the moment between draining and filling my tumbler that I remembered that I've ...
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  8. Easy. Life really can be, what you make it.

    THIS ONE CARRIES A " BOREDOM WARNING".

    If you really do intend to read this, I would recommend a comfortable seat, a light snack, and a warm drink. Good luck.

    I have just had the nicest weekend, and it isn't OVER yet. Friday night, my final shift of the week, the weather was fine, dry, and certainly not cold, although within a few minutes of my clocking off and starting the short walk to my bus-stop the rain had started to fall, only a light drizzle to begin with ...

    Updated June 10th, 2019 at 10:20 AM by dither

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  9. The Awards Are Here And They Call Them The Effy's.

    Hello fellow scribes. I'm now eligible for the EPIC FANTASY FANATICS READERS CHOICE AWARDS. I would be solely indebted for your one-click nomination for Screamcatcher. My team thinks we can pull a spot in this prestigious event. Please tell your friends to do likewise. Your nominations will get me into the quarter finals. from there on, the semi-finals will be in sight. We have about two hundred entries and each entry must stockpile 100 nominations to advance. I couldn't tell you what this ...
  10. Dear Anonymous (The spoken word)

    The words many think, but can never say because of the control this fellowship takes over people and their recovery. These vulnerable people don't even know it, because they are told, AA is the only way to heal.

    I am a recovering alcoholic and I wrote something in regards to Alcoholics Anonymous. I read it to a community of recovering addicts. It was my second time reciting on a mic, and as my energy and emotion ran high I stumbled on a couple words.

    Here's the link:
    ...
  11. Same Rant, Different Numbskulls

    A few days ago, a Chicago Cubs player hit a foul ball that connected with a young child. The player (Almora) was visibly shaken, but honestly was just doing his job. You know who wasn't doing their job? The kid's parents.

    OOOOOH! Winston is parent-shaming! Yep. Someone has to.

    I'm donning my Captain Obvious hat here. The lower rows of a baseball park are dangerous. Balls, sometimes bats fly unpredictably into the stands.
    Even the most dim-witted, distracted ...
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  12. a little tour of work

    ...


    What's all this stuff?

    Cabinets.

    Oh...

    They're Italian.

    Why?

    I don't know, because they're Italian.

    Fancy.

    So's the faucets.

    What?

    Italian, and expensive.

    Oh... Why?

    Gotta fit the house. It's expected.

    What's wrong with American?

    They can't do the finishes.

    Why not?

    I don't ...

    Updated May 29th, 2019 at 02:18 PM by Kevin

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  13. Absence Explained

    I am making a major move: Iowa to Florida. I'm moving in with my Mom and Step-Dad. So, I won't be around for the next week or so. They are going to allow me to install cable. So, it all depends on when I'm able to get it connected.

    Monday, June 3rd, I clear out of my apartment. So, Athena and I will stay at a pet-friendly hotel for the night.
    Tuesday morning we fly from Sioux City to Chicago with a brief lay-over then on to Florida.

    My best friend is flying with my ...
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  14. Pitchin' Ain't Easy: Musty Worts are Teeming with Life!

    It's been an interesting week. I decided to make the most of the Victoria day long weekend and cash in 4 vacation days to get 9 consecutive days off. I used the opportunity to fully commit to Operation: Hoarder's Bane. I managed to get all the junk removed and recycled. All that's left is a final sort of things to donate and I'm home free. I actually feel more rested by getting all that work done than if I just lazed around all week. I'll file it under the humans are weird category of psychology. ...

    Updated May 27th, 2019 at 07:10 PM by Stygian (Changed link colour)

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  15. Karaoke

    I just had another one of those time-travel moments. Not a real head-screw like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse 5. Just a step back.

    I was in that bar in Okinawa Japan, circa 1987. Karaoke was a big deal back in-the-day, and Japan was the birthplace. A handful of old drunk guys in sloppy suits were wailing at the bar. They were so drunk, the three of them took turns holding each other up. Lean to the left. Lean to the right. Almost fall off the barstool. Laugh. Sing. Cry. ...
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  16. From Manuscript to Published Work: A Mindful Progress Report - week 2


    Hello Friends!


    How is the rewrite going? Well, since you asked… It’s not. It’s horrible! Not how I had planned the week at all! Without boring you with the details, let’s just say I became very busy after my last blog post and that, folks, is that. In the evenings, too? Yes, in the evenings, too. (Sigh.) Not to mention one very exciting trip to a very interesting junk store that sparked more of an interest in writing horror than fantasy. It was literally falling down; I could ...
  17. wild things

    ...

    I grew up in the city where wild animals only came during the wild fires in the surrounding hills. The creeks and all the water that flows from down those hillsides goes into concrete channels built to get rid of that water into the sea as fast as possible.

    There used to be floods. Flood planes are nice and flat for building.

    Anyway... I'm on the edge of those hills and no longer nature-deprived except for cockroaches, worms, earwigs; or small birds and ...

    Updated May 28th, 2019 at 02:23 AM by Kevin

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  18. The Mysterious Teenage Hominid

    Writing For Teens:

    There was no question why I wrote YA fiction in the first place. When I got into it, it was a thrilling, lucrative and expressive category. Harry Potter was dominating the charts. The Hunger Games appeared, along with Divergent and Twilight. Writing young adult fiction then was like being on s speeding freight train which had no breaks and a throttle that only went forward.

    There are no estimates of how many writers jumped on that band wagon. ...
  19. From Manuscript to Published Work: A Mindful Progress Report Journal - week 1, post 1


    Hello Friends!


    I’ve heard that one great way of staying on track and accomplishing your goals is to share them with other like-minded folks who can help keep you accountable to what you’ve planned. Not that I expect or am looking for that degree of commitment from any readers here (in fact, it would be overwhelming), just the idea of reporting my progress seemed beneficial enough. Who knows—maybe it will help some other writers accomplish their goals?

    ...
  20. Another Finger on The Scale

    I don't know how many of you saw this little turd deposited in our societal punchbowl:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...wix?li=BBnb7Kz

    No, this wasn't posted on The Onion. It was in The Wall Street Journal.
    This stuff is both asinine, and scary at the same time. It seems each day that we are inching closer to being finished as a functional, sane society.
    ...
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  21. What if... ?

    I wasn't sure if I should post this in a prompt, conversation or game area... It could be either or, so I decided to post is in my blog. It would make an interesting game.

    Some ideas can be had by completing this question. I had one come to mind and was wondering how others completed this sentence?

    What if a woman gave a sample for a DNA registry.... and the results came back as inconclusive?
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  22. 3 wheeled bike

    Walking to the gym I cross a bridge and as I go over I can view a over a block of flats..(apartments) and garages...the other day a young lad was riding around the car park while a few adults watched from the open garage door..all smiling at him an I thought he is going to get the piss taken out of him if he peddles around on a trike...today I noticed coming back an estate agents for sale in the main room and then I realised they were there to see what was on offer and the thought crossed my mind ...
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  23. fine photos messed up...

    ....

    Today on my Facebook someone posted fine pictures of Ararat.

    But then l looked closer and it was something there, man-made.

    What is this- I said to myself?

    No, it was not the Ark ( as I'm sure all of you were thinking) it was garbage in a ditch grown over with wildflowers.

    How sad, how embarrassing. Here is the mountain where Noah and his sons landed after so many days and nights of rain as it was written about, and all Noah ...
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  24. Fan-Fiction Without Knowing It?

    I’ve known for a long time what fan-fic is and what it’s not. I know what channeling is too. And we know what plagiarism is all about. Fan-fiction is an honored tradition of carrying on a single book, series or saga with well-known and loved characters in a similar setting to the original. 50 Shades of Grey actually started out as Twilight fan-fiction, and then developed a life of its own. Channeling happens when you’ve written something very similar to a book or story that has already been ...
  25. The good stuff in life hurts

    Five months ago to the day, I was hit by a falling tree. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or Mother Nature was aiming for me. The top of a dead maple tree snapped off in the wind. I never saw it, never heard it. I woke up in pain, laying on the ground, struggling to breath and coughing up blood, never a good sign. I struggled to move my left side. Digging my phone out of my pocket I called a friend of mine who knew the land behind my house. I told him where I was and told him I was hurt ...
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