At the beginning of the year, I decided that I was going to get back to writing more frequently. The plan was to better manage my already overstuffed schedule so that I could do something I enjoy. I have managed to do this a little bit, catching up on shows I saved because I did not have time to watch them when they aired, and catching up on TV is easy to do when paired with a chore like laundry or trimming Boxtops for Education.
The book I have been working on is backed up on my flash drive. I have a separate flash drive for my PTA work, and then one for my personal stuff. It had been right there on my desk…so where did it go? I did a great deal of cleaning and organizing to find it, and still it has not appeared. I have a second flash drive for my own things, and I had planned to sync the two, but I apparently only dreamed that I completed that task. My files weren’t on my computer. This isn’t surprising, as my computer has flipped out and had to be re-formatted more than once (By the way, Apple, THAT is why you think I have multiple devices to the extreme – you can’t seem to figure out that it is the same computer being re-registered after it capsizes…can I please have the music I paid for on my phone now?). Well, drat!
Finally, in a moment of desperation, I asked my dear husband if he had my files on his computer. Success! The files he had were original drafts with none of the advanced chapters, editing, or re-written segments, but at least I wasn’t going to start from scratch! But, here I am, and I haven’t wanted to open those old files because I know how much needs to be done, and I just want to progress in the story, not reconstruct what had already been don elsewhere.
Perhaps this is a lesson in data backup. Perhaps this is the universe telling me to stop fearing the Cloud, and get with the program. Perhaps, once I have re-written everything again, I will step on my missing flash drive in the middle of the night. Regardless, I have promised myself to find the time to write, and write I shall!
Have a lovely day!
I recently found a new hobby. Okay, actually, it’s a new obsession. I have begun tracking my family tree. I have always wanted to do this, but felt I didn’t have the time. In fact, I don’t have any extra time, but I decided it was a more productive use of the time between when my children are tucked into bed and when they are actually asleep. I have always heard that I am related to several famous people. it has been interesting trying to track them, as family trees often only trace the direct line to a famous person, and leave out brothers and sisters. Some connections are hard to find.
I have some copies of old photographs of my family, and they have been very useful in putting an actual face to a name. There are also some photos of people whose names were not noted in the old album my parents had. I am not sure if we are related to them or not, but I love the old styles and the great sepiatone images of people from a bygone era. When I began pursuing a degree in library science, this is what I wanted to do: preserve history for future generations. Right now, I am researching and preserving family history for my children, and future generations as well.
I am most intrigued by my Great-Grandmother, Elizabeth Middleton Purcell. I have been unable to discover which of the many, many Elizabeth Middletons born in the UK in 1870 is the right one, so I cannot trace her parents. I have some family members I mean to check with. It just seems weird to call someone out of the blue and say “Hello! You haven’t seen me since I was a kid, but I want you to tell me about a woman I never met.” The thing is, from every picture I have seen of Elizabeth Middleton Purcell, I look very much like her. That makes the desire to know more about her even stronger.
It has been amazing hunting through old records. I signed up for a membership at ancestry.com, and I have been searching through all of the scans. I knew my Grandfather’s WWI draft card registration was for the right person because the auburn hair and grey eyes (like mine!) were listed. While I knew that we had a WWII hero in our line, and that we are related to some famous people, I did not realize how hard it would be to trace some of the lines I wanted to research. I am supposed to have Mayflower lines on both sides, to be related to two US presidents, and a famous English composer. It is beginning to look like we might also be a distant cousin of one of my favorite Romantic poets. I spend so much time thinking about how I can uncover more, where I might find more verification!
And, I have to tell you, it is a thrill to suddenly find hat missing link that connects you to another chain of ancestors! I was stuck around 1800 for two weeks before I had a breakthrough that took me on an exciting ride back to the fifteenth century! How much past can I uncover? I have only just begun my journey!
Anyone who has been following fun and popular things to do lately has probably seen that pretend moustaches are a big deal. Sunglasses come with one attached, pre-glued ones abound, temporary tattoo finger ‘staches, even gold necklaces with jeweled moustache-shaped pendants! I thought I had blogged about the ‘staches I made this summer, and perhaps I did and simply cannot locate the post. So, here we go…
A friend was having a birthday party featuring moustaches, and I wanted to make the most sparkly, pretty one around! I gathered my supplies, which were wax paper, white glue, and angelina fiber (which can be obtained via craft stores, and even in the supplies section at Etsy). I rolled out some wax paper on top of my super pretty strawberry tablecloth.
I figured I would go with something classic. As much as I wanted a fancy Poirot-inspired moustache (I notice that I am supposed to be spelling this “mustache,” but I started reading Poirot at an early age, so it must be spelled as he would spell it), I didn’t think that the first time trying would be a great idea. I carefully spread the glue into the shape I wanted on the wax paper. I didn’t go with hot glue, because it would have been too thick and too easy to burn, and would have cooled too soon. I also wanted something non-toxic and easy to use.
After selecting a chunk of fiber, twist it firmly into the shape you desire, and lay it carefully over the glue. You will then allow it to dry for at least 8 hours.
When it is dry, it will peel from the wax paper, and you will have a little moustache to bring with you. You can get a cosmetic adhesive, such as spirit gum, with which to apply your moustache. Some people get those little sticky dots to use because they are often easier to find in the non-Halloween season. Being that this IS Halloween season, your local costume outlet (superstore, drugstore, party warehouse, craft store, etc.) will have the right adhesive if they re worth their salt. Or, you can attach your ‘stache to a wire, stick (chopstick, knitting needle, toothpick, fireplace match – painted to match if you wish), or other implement so that it may appear only when you want it to.
I started this blog as a place where I could geek out about things, share ideas, and, yes, talk about the cool stuff I do with my kids. It somehow became much more about the kids than the geekery. Perhaps this is a stage that all parents go through, perhaps it is just a stage I am experiencing. Either way, I have to say that the mommy blog aspect is amusing to me. When I first started writing articles for ComicMix a few years ago, I was determined not to get stuck just doing the mommy pieces, so I carved out a little niche for myself in the world of zombies. I’ve interviewed police stations in major metropolitan areas about zombies, I have been a guest speaker on convention panels and podcasts about zombies, I even worked with a zombie makeup crew for a History channel special. I’ve always thought zombies were fascinating. I went as a zombie for Halloween in 1988, when I first started getting issues of Fangoria magazine at the local bookstore. I was already very into horror movies (like many kids in middle school), and zombies were fascinating because they were so terrifying. So, when I saw the chance to be a zombie blogger instead of a mommy blogger, I jumped!
Now, oddly, I have become more of a mommy blogger (and, occasionally, a nail polish blogger and a cat owning blogger – hence the photo of my nails and my cat’s pretty feet above). This may have a lot to do with the fact that my kids are older. They have a ton of extracurricular activities, and I spend most of my time with them. I am happy to say that I am introducing them to many aspects of geekery that are near and dear to my heart. They made tribbles at Shore Leave convention this summer. They are fans of Star Wars. My son loves Lord of the Rings. They both adore the Avengers, and have their own budding comic collections. I am proud of my little geeks! I do plan to continue posting about what they do, but I also feel the need to get back to the things that drive my own fandom. Things, like the Walking Dead, that are not right for my kids.
Over the summer, I took a creative writing course. One of our assignments was to re-write the ending of Poe’s classic Tell-Tale Heart. I assume many of you are familiar with this tale. So, in the spirit of getting this blog going again now that the kids are back on a regular school schedule, here is my alternate ending:
I fully expected the old man to be dead, as the horrid beating had finally ceased. Indeed! I did not feel the thud of his heart, and thought I had been victorious! But what should happen next? The eye — that insidious eye! It opened and cast its phantom gaze
I have always been fascinated with the endless variations our species has dreamed up about what happens when we move on. The possibilities are limitless. I have also suspected for many years that, upon dying, people will probably experience something similar to what they believe will happen. The topic of what will happen when we die is something everyone wonders about, but few wish to discuss.
When I was a child, I drew a complex diagram. My idea was that our essence split into quarters. One part would travel the places we had been, watching change and reflecting on the past. One part would retreat into the land of dreams, existing in those strange, twisted landscapes and visiting our families and friends as they slept. One part of us would move on to a new body that was just being born, and would become part of a new cycle. The final part would go to the forests and live in the hearts of trees with all of the other spirits, putting down roots, stretching out branches, and becoming a collective consciousness.
When my children asked about death a while back, I gave them a general description of some of the prevailing theories, including Heaven, reincarnation, nothingness, and reliving one’s life repeatedly. They had already found a reference to spirits left behind with unfinished business. Advanced readers will do that, I suppose.
I hadn’t heard more on the subject for a while, but last night during dinner, the kids decided to enliven conversation by talking about their idea of what happens when someone dies. I will share this theory with all of you, because it is very interesting to see how the mind of a child processes the idea, and what they come up with as a result.
My son, who is six, was telling us excitedly of the “Restarting Machine”
According to him, if you die a natural death, you get to go to the Restarting Machine and begin life again as something or someone else. He suspects we alternate between human and animal forms, and we have some amount of selection in what we would like to try. He hopes to be a frog for a while.
My daughter, who is eight, agreed that there was a Restarting Machine for natural deaths (they were a little obsessed with the idea of death being natural or unnatural). She further stated that, if you died an unnatural death, you would get to go to Heaven, provided you had no unfinished business on Earth. If you had unfinished business, then you must stay until it was completed. Then you could go to Heaven. My son shrugged, unconvinced, but interested in what his sister was saying. Our friend Lisa, who was over for dinner, was very impressed with the way they both listened to each other’s theories without arguing, trying to dissuade the other, or getting upset. She mentioned that most adults could not conduct themselves so well on these topics. She was right.
I asked what Heaven would be like, and was regaled with tales of a place where you do nothing but play and have fun. You get to play for eternity, or else become an angel and help people. I asked if I had to play for eternity. My daughter nodded happily. I declared that, according to her theory, I would be stuck on Earth. I feel that I would consider not seeing every library and reading every book to be some serious unfinished business. Sure, I only have to worry about that if my death is unnatural, because I would otherwise go to the Restarting Machine. What animal do I want to come back as after I visit this miraculous machine? Either a housecat or a kangaroo, I think. But I still have questions. My husband and Lisa also have things they wish to ask.
My main question was the difference between natural and unnatural death. The kids were less clear on this definition. My daughter felt that pretty much anything other then peacefully slipping away in your sleep was unnatural. My son mentioned outside forces and injury. I wanted to know if time travel was possible when one was in ghost form with unfinished business, because there were some amazing libraries in the past that I would really like to see. Lisa asked if she would be able to go to the Restarting Machine for a while, have more chance to read books, and then get to go to Heaven. My daughter thought this sounded like an excellent plan.
I know that many parents out there would tell their children the theory presented here was wrong. I know that some families would use this as a diving board into religious ideology. I did not see this as a time to impose my own ideas on my kids. I saw it as a time when my kids were animated, excited, and engaging in a deep conversation. I saw that they were getting along, and communicating their ideas fluently. I saw a great amount of thoughtfulness and creativity. Sure, their ideas might not be accurate, but who am I to know what “really” happens? None of us can be completely sure. We can believe we are sure, but we cannot prove it to be true.
One thing we can do, however, is support the imagination of our children. Let them know we are listening. Take the time to consider their ideas, where they came from, and what tat tells us about the child. By listening, we can learn far more than by shutting the child down. Even if you adamantly believe the child is incorrect, let them have their say. Not only will you bond with your kids while learning how they think, you might also learn a little something about yourself in the process.
What theories did you have as a child? What theories have the children in your life shared with you?