Friday, February 27, 2015

Mummified Monk

Opinionated Friday

So this was in my Discovery news feed.  This monk, 1000 yrs ago, went through this ritual and mummified himself in veneration to his beliefs.  That some hardcore religion there.  I consider myself to be a fairly religious person.  I have my beliefs, I keep them to myself for the most part, unless I'm asked.  But I'm fairly certain that I could never do this sort of thing to show my faith.  I mean, he spent over eight years preparing his body and mummifying himself.  I have trouble sticking to a diet for eight days.  And the stuff he ate!  Nuts and seeds for the first 1000 days, then twigs and bark for 1000 days, and then poison that made him vomit.  

My hat goes off to this man who lived 1000 years ago.  In this day and age of new stuff every year I'm sure I could never commit myself to something the way he did.  That's some serious madness.

The original article can be found here.  Be sure to check it out.  By the way, I'm sure there's a story in here, perhaps a diary of his experience?  I just can't write anything in which my main character dies at the end.  I wrote a fanfiction like that once and I cried every time I had to read it.  And she died of old age...can you imagine?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writing Challenge Roundup

I needed proof that I wasn't the only one. Compelled to write, no matter the topic. So I joined a group, either their all mad like me, or they're very tolerant of me and my madness. I'm not sure.

This is the result of our first challenge- it was set up by the group organizer WinnifredArtemis, thank you for feeding my madness. She chose the time-frame and the prompt for our group Writers Challenge.

The rules were simple, you had to write within the week she'd set aside for it, and use the prompt, Do Not Enter, otherwise you were free to follow the voices in your head, I mean your own creativity. It could be a fanfiction, original work, poem, song, anything the voices in your head told you to write.

I thought it might be cool to share what others had done, they were all good entries and I encourage you to check them out. The names are linked to their profiles or blogs, the story titles will bring you to the madness.

Gjalt wrote the opening of an original story, Terror Siblings, that I'm sure I want to read more of...I only hope he intends to finish it. Just for the record I want these two on my side if anything goes down. 

Lia wrote a fanfiction about NCIS:LA called Do Not Enter This Room that I almost mistook for our valentines day challenge it was so sweet and romantic. Great job Lia! I have a soft spot for romance anyway and this one made “awww” at the end.

Gina also wrote a fanfic about NCIS:LA called Do Not Enter.  I have to admit I haven't watched this show in years but I enjoyed the story's regardless. Hers was not a romance but rather about the inner struggle Callen has dealing with his history and the memories he carries with him.

April posted a great original story, And the Sign Said, that will keep you at the edge of your seat waiting for the next line. She offers an amazing plot twist at the end that will leave you begging for more.

Caroline posted what I hope will be the beginning of a great book. She draws you in and makes you feel her main character. I'll be looking for more of this one..

WinnifredArtemis herself posted a teaser for a fanfic she's working on based on The Originals called Do Not Enter. I'm not familiar with the story but her teaser leaves me wanting more, is he werewolf, vampire, addict? Inquiring minds want to know!

Mohit wrote a bit of original humor about the Do Not Enter topic. It left me wondering what I would do if I found myself in a similar situation.

And of course my own entry which was an original work Do Not Enter, with a touch of mystery. I decided to leave my usual romance aside for this one and try something new. The madness spreads, who knows where it will end.

I hope you've enjoyed this little wrap up of our challenge. Follow the links, read their stories and let them know what you think! Writing is our passion, it's what feeds our souls but the reviews are oh so encouraging!

Of course in the case of fanfics the characters belong to the original creators but the story's all stem from the madness in our heads. Our original works are ours and must be referenced as such if you share them, thank you.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Manic Monday Musings

Good morning! And welcome to Manic Monday Musings, a place where you can glimpse into the rambling madness within my head. Each week I will offer you a peek into my thoughts, my madness goes far and deep though so be prepared to read about daily life, anime, news and pop culture, and whatever else pops into my head. Consider it an affirmation of your sanity.

Here we go:
Plant Serial Killer

I have a confession to make. It's a serious one, even though it won't sound serious when you first hear it, so don't laugh at me.

Well, I guess that kind of sets you up to laugh at me, doesn't it? I mean, I'm asking to be laughed at simply by asking you not to. Because either you'll laugh at what I have to tell you or you'll laugh at me for thinking you would.

But I digress...

I have a confession to make and it's not a pretty one. I'm a serial killer...of plants. I'm not kidding about this. If you give me a plant you are pretty much resigning it to death. If I buy one my kids take bets on how long they'll last.

It's not like I don't try to keep them alive. I water them, sometimes too enthusiastically which is often the beginning of the end for them. Sometimes though, I forget to do even that... poor things.

It's not as if I intentionally kill them. And sometimes they last a really long time for me. I have a spider plant that I inherited from my grandfather when he died. I've had it for almost 14 years and, although it has come close, it's not dead, yet. It's siblings however have not been so lucky... oops.

It's gotten to the point that when I bring a new plant home and announce the end of my reign as a plant serial killer my kids tell the plant their sorry. As if they know there's no hope for me.

This will be the year...I will end my reign of plant killing.

I hope.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Writing Challenges
Hi there blog readers from the web.  You've come back for another taste of madness I see.  This was written in response to a challenge prompt that a friend of mine put out this week.  You can check her blog out here.  The prompt was do not enter, and the only requirement was that the work be centered around that theme.  I hope you enjoy!


The four friends sat and stared at each other, unsure what their next step would be. They had expected immediate freedom when they'd been released from the cell they'd been trapped in for what seemed like forever. Now they sat in a circle trying to decide their next move.

Florence tossed her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she was glad she'd had it up in ponytail. “I think we should go for it.”

“What if it's a trap?” Stanley, the cautious one of the group, asked with fear evident in his voice. The experience had been the hardest on him.

“It can't be. Why would they do that? Release us just to recapture us?” Helen countered his argument with her usual sensible logic.

“We all just need to be calm.” The final member, the quietest one, added his opinion. “Either it's a trap or it's not. We have to decide and then stand behind our decision.” He stood and walked away from the group recalling the events of the past week in his mind and trying to make sense of them.

They had been walking home from their usual Friday night pizza when it had started to rain.

That's odd. There's no rain in the forecast.” Helen was looking at the sky in wonder.

We could take the shortcut through the forest. It would get us home in half the time.” Doug watched his friends knowing that Stan would be the holdout.

They say you should stay away from the forest on the night of a full-moon.” Stan's voice was shaking and frightened.

That's just an old wives tale!” Florence laughed at him. “Besides the trees are thick and will keep us from getting too wet if we hurry.” She ran into the forest leaving the others no choice but to follow.

That had been the beginning. They'd walked through the forest for less than five minutes when they'd been surrounded by a circle of shadows that slowly closed in on them. Doug watched as Stanley fell to his knees with a cry and then collapsed, unconscious on the ground. Flo was next, she cried a little in fear. Helen followed her to her knees with an unbelieving look on her face and the words “Run Doug!” before she passed out. The last thing Doug remembered was watching the ground rush up to meet him before he woke.

He opened his eyes and noted that Flo was the only other conscious one amongst them.

Where are we?” He looked at her grimly.

In some sort of cell I think.” She looked around them. “I've only been awake a few minutes longer than you.”

I see.” He looked around the dimly lit area noting the hardened dirt floor under them. It appeared to be some sort of cave with bars at the front. “Have you called out?”

No. I was afraid of making whoever caught us angry.” She glanced down in embarrassment.

Doug rose, steadying himself against the head rush it brought on. Standing at the bars he hollered loudly, “Is anyone there? Let us out!” The echo of his voice was his only answer.

Stop making such a racket. My head hurts.” Helen held her head as she moved to stand.

Yeah. Let's not attract any attention if we don't have to.” Stan cowered on the ground.

Obviously someone put us in here, and we need to get them to let us out.” Doug gave his friend an annoyed look.

I agree.” Helen joined him at the bars and yelled as well. “Hey! You won't get away with this! Let us out!”

They had spent the next few hours arguing amongst themselves as to whether they should attract the attention of their captors or not. Doug and Helen had both felt it was their best chance, Flo agreed with them but was afraid, and Stan was completely terrified of the idea.

What if they want us to demand our release?” Helen argued with the two hold outs. They had agreed to be quiet until they'd reached a group decision.

What if they want us to be quiet?” Stan had countered.

It was true, they didn't know their captors reason for trapping them and so they didn't have any idea what the terms of release would be. They all sat and stared at each other wavering in their resolve and how to escape.

Look Stan.” Doug tried to calm his childhood friend. “If they were going to harm us they'd have done it by now. We've been in here for hours. We have to try and get their attention so we can get out.”

I agree.” Flo nodded her blonde head, pony tail bobbing up and down behind her.

I don't know.” Fear danced across Stan's face as he looked into the shadows beyond the bars. “What's out there might be scarier than what's in here.”

True.” Doug nodded. “But you'll never know if you don't try.” He smiled reassuringly at the redhead. “It's like life. You have to keep taking risks. You have to trust yourself and your strength.”

Stan looked up at his friends as they stood around him. “If you say so.” He stood shakily to his feet and approached the bars with them.

All in unison they hollered. “Let us out!”

As if that had been the key to the cell the door drifted open. They all looked at each other in amazement and walked through it, wonder filling their eyes at how easily it had opened. They squinted in the dark and found a corridor leading off the open room their cell had been in. Now they were at the end of that corridor facing a door with an ominous sign on it.


And in smaller letters under it.

Entry offered only to the one who can see what is around them and not be ruled by it.

“I say we open it.” Doug ran his hand through his short black hair. “So far we haven't been hurt for acting on our own.” He rose from the group, striding over to the door.

“What do you think it means?” Helen joined him at the door, squinting at the enigmatic message.

“I'm sure I don't care.” Doug shook his head and reached for the handle.

“NO!” Stan stood and ran to him. “It's a trap.”

“I don't think so.” Flo joined them. “I think it's a riddle and whoever solves the riddle can open the door for us.”

“Whatever.” Doug shrugged and twisted the handle. Click, click, but the door didn't open.

“How can you be ruled by what is around you?” Flo scowled at the sign. “What's around us? Darkness, I'm not afraid of the dark.”

Helen looked at her and smiled. “How can you see what's around you when it's dark?”

Stan looked at the words, light dawning in his eyes. “It's me.” He smiled at his friends.

“Who is?”

“I'm the one that can open the door.” He reached for the knob with a new strength in his hand and confidence in his eyes. “I can see the world around me and not allow their lousy opinions of me to keep me trapped any longer because I have friends to lean on and keep me strong when I need them to.”

Doug, Flo and Helen gasped in unison. “Stan!”

“It’s like you've been telling me for years,” he looked Doug in the eye, “don't let the idiot's get you down.” He grinned broadly. “I see it all so clearly now. I can see the idiots that make fun of me and cut me down but I don't have to let them decide who I am anymore. I can let my friends do that with me.” He chuckled. “I should have seen it so much sooner.” Reaching for the door he paused at Doug's inquiry.


“Why what?”

“Why should you have seen it so much sooner?” Doug held him back with his hand on his forearm.

“Because it's been staring me in the face since our cell opened.” He smiled confidently up at his lifetime friend. “When we worked as a team our prison opened. When I stop looking to the world for who I am and instead look to my friends the cell opened, I trusted you to be there with me when things went wrong. It's time for me to stop being ruled by the bullies and start living.” He crowed like a rooster. “Here I come world, watch out!” He gripped the handle of the door and twisted it.

Light poured in and washed over them as they tumbled through the doorway into Flo's backyard.

“I don't get it. This is where the shortcut through the woods brings us.” Flo looked around them in surprise. “Hey, where's the door?” She was looking behind them in disbelief.

Stan put his arm around her shoulder and shook his head gently. “It's all in my mind, Flo, all in my mind.”

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Valentines Day Writers Challenge

So this little drabble is a bit I've written for a Valentines day challenge.  I had to conceive of it and write it today.  It is, admittedly, too long for a drabble but I've thought about telling Willow and Julian's love story since finishing Catch a Falling Star, maybe this is the beginning of it.  It's just a little glimpse into their story, there are no spoilers for the Falling Star story in it so don't worry if you're reading that.  I hope you enjoy it!  And if you want to know more about them and the other characters check out my story as I'm posting on FictionPress.

The Willow and Julian Collection
Willow was standing on the front steps watching Naomi, her shy friend, greet Julian, Jarrod, and another woman as if she'd known them all her life. She didn't know if she was more surprised by that or Julian's presence. Sure she had seen him at Naomi's housewarming and they'd talked briefly but she was still pretty sure he wasn't interested in her, and she was not interested in getting her heart broken.

She waved and said hi to Jarrod-sensei, smiling as she did, she hadn't seen him in years, since she stopped studying martial arts with him when she'd left for college. That was the last time she'd seen Julian also, at least on a regular basis. They'd run into each other since then but never often and they always just said hi and moved on. The last time had been just before she'd started med school.

Alistair had gotten it in his head to try to get them together again. He could be such a do-gooder sometimes. He'd just started dating Hanna, who was now his wife, and he'd asked Willow to join him and a friend for a ride out to the beach. He'd neglected to tell her that the friend was Julian. It was apparent from Julian's face that he'd also neglected to inform him.

The evening had been a disaster. Julian had brooded all night long even when Willow had tried to get him to talk about his work. He been working as a police officer for several years at that point and she'd figured that since it was what he'd always wanted he'd like to talk about it. His one word answers had told her otherwise. She'd been so relieved when the evening was over and she'd gotten home. She'd also cried herself to sleep that night.

He was the best looking man she'd ever laid eyes on. He was tall, maybe 7 or 8 inches taller than her. He had inky black hair, it had been a messy mop in high school but as an officer he'd had to keep it clean, apparently he'd returned to the messy mop since leaving to work for Sturman Security. She decided she liked the messy look on him. He was fit, he'd clearly kept up his workout schedule since leaving the force and she admired his broad shoulders and narrow hips, it made a nice picture, one she'd like to wrap her arms around.

They'd met in high school when they both joined the same martial arts class with their mutual friend Alistair, they'd been thirteen at the time. She knew Alistair from her neighborhood, and he knew Julian from the private school they both attended. She'd spent the first few years they knew each other grinning at him with a simple schoolgirl crush but at some point that crush had morphed into a full on desire to be his girlfriend. When he was kind to her he was the sweetest man in the world, but sometimes he just seemed to forget she existed. It wasn't that he'd ever been mean to her, just distracted. She'd asked him once why he didn't want a girlfriend when every girl he met practically fell at his feet. He'd huffed and said girlfriends were a distraction and that there was only one thing he wanted. He’d never told her what that one thing was.

Willow came out of her reverie realizing that Naomi had just accepted her neighbors invitation to join him and his friends on a ride out to the beach in celebration of Keiko's audition. Toby was suggesting who would ride with who, he took Naomi for himself, Willow thought there might a little interest there on his part and she hoped Naomi would give him a chance. Then he set Keiko with Julie since Keiko knew her best out of all of them.

Willow stood rooted to her spot, only Jarrod-sensei and Julian were left. The silence was deafening as no one knew what to say. Julian was staring at her with his dark, unreadable eyes. Her heart was screaming ask him but her brain was reminding her that he always broke her heart. Her world spun around her when he spoke.

“Willow, come ride with me.” His voice was soft and he beckoned her over to him with a nod of his head.

She moved towards him as if in a dream, smiling gently at him.

He smiled back at her and handed her a helmet. “Do you need a refresher on motorcycle etiquette? Or do you think you're ok?”

She looked into his eyes and saw that he was teasing her. “I think I'll manage.” She tightened the strap on her helmet and waited for him to start the bike. He'd gotten a new one and she admired it as she waited. When he nodded to her she climbed on and adjusted herself, tapping his shoulder when she was ready.

The hour long drive out to the beach was heavenly. She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned her head on his shoulder. His spicy scent washed over her as the wind swept it off him, and his shoulder was pleasantly hard and warm. She knew she was in trouble again when she found herself wishing their ride would last all day.

Her heart fell when she realized they were pulling into a parking lot and parking. She hopped off the bike and removed her helmet moving to join Naomi and everyone else but he grabbed her wrist. “Willow, can we talk?”

She turned back to him. “Sure.”

He pulled her so close to him that if one of them had moved just a bit they'd have been touching. “I'm sorry.”

“For what?” She looked into his eyes trying to read him, he'd always been an enigma to her.

“For the past. I haven't always been a nice person.”

“You've been true to yourself, isn't that more important?”

“Not when it hurts those around you. And I'm not so sure I've been true to myself. I think I was being true to what others wanted me to be.” His dark eyes penetrated hers.


“Really.” He looked up and nodded at Toby and then looked back. “There were a lot of expectations put on me, and I was expected to keep up with Garrett. I sometimes allowed my goals to distract me from the important people standing right in front of me.”

Willow's eyes were wide with surprise. “Are you saying...” She trailed off afraid to put her thoughts to words.

He nodded and took her hand in his. “I am. I'd like another chance, unless you've found someone who deserves you.”

She looked at him in confusion and then realization hit her. “No, I'm not dating anyone. But look, there has to be some promises here. Every time I let you in you break my heart. I can't do that again, Julian.”

He nodded. “I know. I'm a different person now. More grown up. I promise I'll take it slow but I'd like to see you again, and soon. I don't want to wait another eight years. Lets see if we can work this out? I miss you.” He smiled at her and pulled her hand up to his lips to kiss it.

She wondered, was he saying he'd been waiting eight years to see her again? She smiled back at him and sighed. “I can't tell you no, Julian. I've loved you since I met you. I just hope you don't hurt me again.”

“I promise I'll be gentle.”

“Is that true?”

“Is what true?” He looked at her as they walked hand in hand to the beach.

“That you missed me?”

He nodded solemnly. “It is. You were always a bright spot in my life. You saw good in me even when I didn't. I'm hoping I can return that love now that I've found the good in me too.” He stopped and faced her. “You always believed in me, thank you.”

She sighed and leaned into his chest. “You're welcome.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

This is from an article about a burial ground that was unearthed in London.  Most of the bodies were victims of the Plague.  It caught my eye because I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere just dying to wake me up at night and have me tell it.  Sadly, there are three in front of it drowning out it's infant cries.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I've actually done this.  And not just on Facebook, I've done it with text and email too. 

Ahh, the price of madness.

Toodles my lovelies!

P.S. Autocorrect accepts lovelies but not toodles, it wants it to be poodles which is not nearly as fun.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catch a Falling Star

This is the first chapter of my first novel.  It's called Catch a Falling Star and it started as a fanfic but I found myself moving away from the fandom and creating my own story so I changed things up.  Virtual cookies to you if you can figure out what story inspired me to write it!

Anywho, I'll publish the first bit of it here as a teaser but it is too long to post the entire thing on a blog.  The entire story will be published on under my pen name there, Ladyminecrafter.  I will be uploading a chapter every other day.  It is complete but still requires some editing, IMO, and copy editing big-time.  So as I edit for continuity and content I will update the chapters there.  I hope you enjoy it!
The Lady (Ann)

Catch a Falling Star

 “So, here are your keys. Welcome to your new home Naomi.” Sora smiled at the young woman who'd just bought a condo from her.

Naomi looked at the keys in her hand with disbelief and then looked at her daughter Keiko who was busy texting her friend. “Keiko? Do you want to open the door first?” Keiko looked up with a bored expression but when her eyes met Naomi's she grinned.

“Of course!” She took the keys from her mother's hand and walked up the four steps that led to the door of their new condo, slowly she inserted the shiny new key into the lock. Naomi watched, not realizing she was holding her breath, listening to the lock click open as Keiko turned the key. When she turned the handle the door drifted open and she stood on the thresh hold as if she was afraid to enter for a moment but then with a whoop she ran into the building, circled the main floor and then bolted up the stairs bellowing at the top of her lungs with joy.

Naomi turned to the real estate agent, “Thank you, Sora. I can't tell you how invaluable your help was in finding this for us.”

She smiled and bowed her head, “It was my pleasure. I hope you and your daughter have many happy years here.” She lifted the bag she was holding and handed it to Naomi. “You're first housewarming gift.”

“Why thank you.” Naomi was surprised by the gift and even more so when she opened the gift bag it was in. Pulling out a bonsai tree that was beautifully formed into the shape of a heart she gasped, “It's beautiful! How did you know I loved bonsai?”

Sora's gentle laugh echoed through the empty room. “A fortuitous guess. They make good gifts for new homeowners and they're lucky. Perhaps this condo will give you a new start and the tree will help you find love also?” Sora smiled at her client.

“I'll settle for the fresh start and happiness alone.” Naomi said quietly and then, brightening her smile, “Thank you again. The movers will be arriving tomorrow with our furniture so for now I think we'll return to my sisters house.”

“I'll leave you, then, to enjoy the quiet of your new home.” Sora nodded her head respectfully and turned to leave.

“One more question, Sora.” Naomi hoped she would answer it. “The unit next door, has it been purchased yet?”

“It has. The sale was finalized yesterday.” She smiled brightly as if this were good news.

“Ah, do you, by any chance, know who purchased it? I'd like to know my neighbors and surprise them.” Naomi crossed her fingers hoping Sora would tell her.

“I did hear a name, what was it?” Sora gazed into the distance for a moment as she tried to recall the name. “It was a man, with silvery-white hair.”

“What!?” Keiko had come into the room and overheard her mothers question.

Naomi held her hand up indicating that Keiko should be quiet. “Anything else you remember about him? Did he have a family?”

“Well, he had someone with him but I don't think they'll be living here. What was his name? I remember it rang a bell for me, I think it was the name of a company in town. I think it began with an S.” Sora tapped her lip as she thought about it. “I'm sorry. I can't remember. I'll look it up and text it to you when I get back to the office, does that work?” She held her hand out to shake Naomi's hand.

Naomi's hand shook as she reached out to Sora's hand, “Yes, that will be fine. Thank you.” She wondered if Sora could hear the alarm in her voice or not. She watched her real estate agent get into her car and drive away, waving back as she did. And then she turned to calm her daughters rising panic.

“It can't be? Can it Mom?” Keiko had panic in her voice. “He didn't find us here? Did he?”

Read the rest here

Monday, February 9, 2015

     Writing is my mania. It's the way I live inside my head. I don't just compose stories, I create characters, their lives and the worlds they live in. When I write I'm sharing the world inside my mind that no one else sees or hears when I'm away from my keyboard. In a way that's terrifying, for both myself and my reader. But writing is my mania and I must do it.

     I don't often tell others but there is a whole world inside my head. Characters, friends really, that live in there and occasionally they clamor to get out, to have their story told. They've sometimes been inspired by a character I've met in fiction, but not always. And even when they have been I often nurture them into finding their own identity just like I have with my children. Once they've become independent I can set them free to live their lives.

     When their independent living beings I can share their lives with them, learn their stories, and help them through their struggles as they learn to grow and heal. They're very real to me. I will often catch myself talking to them while I do the dishes or cook and hope my family hasn't overheard me. I wonder, would they think I'm crazier than I've let on or would they just nod their heads and say 'she's at it again'? I don't know. Now and then I lie in bed during the night talking to them, hoping I remember not to talk out loud and wake my husband.

     As I get to know them I get to know their reality. I can't be bothered with trying to fit them into my own world, it's far too narrow-minded for them anyway, so I create their own for them. Mostly it's the modern world that they fit into, but occasionally I've chosen an older one, rarely it's otherworldly, sci-fi or fantasy aren't my strengths, I'm far too inconsistent for them. Sometimes I want to move into that world with them. Does that make me crazy or creative?

     Does this frighten you? It frightens me sometimes. Why? For myself it's because when I write I'm sharing an intimate part of myself, my thoughts, that I wouldn't ordinarily share. I'm making myself vulnerable by letting the world know what's trapped inside my head. For my reader it's because they are choosing to enter that world and possibly be sucked into the madness that lurks there. They may come to love or hate my friends, ahem characters, as much as I do. The story may not be enough for them as it often isn't for even me.

     Consider this your disclaimer. I apologize in advance for any madness that results from reading my creations. I can only offer you this warning and tell you that I take no responsibility for your sanity, I can barely hang onto my own.

Writing is my mania. Why do I say that? Because I write what's in my head. When you read my stories I'm telling you about my friends and their aspirations and struggles. When they've shouted to get out and have their story told I can't tell them no. I just have to type. Writing is my mania and I wouldn't have it any other way.