All posts filed under: Strange Events

Indoor Gardening

Usually when the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens hosts a special exhibit, visitors can expect to find something extra peaking out from all the greenery, like the Chinese Latern show I attended in 2017. But on my most recent visit I found myself in a small events room, surrounded by small folding tables. Lined up on each one were delicate, twisting bonsai trees cultivated by local gardeners. Each one came with a small card showing the type of tree, and how long it’s been “trained” by it’s owner. Training is the process of shaping the bonsai tree, primarily by pruning and then wrapping the branches in wire until they set in the desired shape. If you look closely, you can see wire wrapping some of the trees in my photo’s below. Some of the trees (like the one shown above) have been painstakingly cultivated for 30 years.  I’m sure any writer with their own WIP can relate to the dedication and patience that would require! Hades Cypress, 20 years old, trained 15 years Crepe Murtle, 4 years old, trained one month   …

Earthshine

Every month I post a list of events to look forward to; offbeat holidays, astronomy events, new movies, TV show, and book releases. My favorite item to research are the astronomy events. I’m always looking for something anyone can spot with the naked eye, no special equipment needed. I do look for the astronomy events that I list, and even manage to capture a few with my camera phone. One of my best shots is from last spring, a crescent moon aligned with Venus. I also caught a glimpse of earthshine, sunlight that is reflected off the earth onto the dark side of the moon, slightly illuminating it. You have the chance to see it any time the moon is in a crescent phase, but the best months to spot it are April and May. Although I didn’t quite capture it last night, I realized I had another photo where I did last winter, without even knowing quite what I was capturing. This is why I enjoy writing the Strange Events segment so much each …

Legos for Villians

I don’t remember playing with Legos much as a child, so I’ve never really understood the appeal of bins full of plastic bricks my nephew and other children collect. So when my husband suggested that we step into the Discovery Place’s Architectural Lego exhibit on a whim, I was a little skeptical. When we entered I was blown away. The exhibit featured detailed replicas of famous skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and Willis Tower in Chicago. Some of the buildings created a skyline above a curved, lighted counter where visitors could construct their own Lego building to add to the exhibit. We took a seat and began designing our own skyscrapers. I gathered up gray bricks and windows to form a lair worthy of a bond villain. I envisioned the floor with blue windows as a tank that I could slowly drown my enemies in (giving James Bond plenty of time to escape!).  

WWII Cinderella

Earlier this year I attended a performance Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, and it was fantastic. I have been a huge fan of Matthew Borne and his ballet company New Adventures since I saw their production of Sleeping Beauty on tour in 2013, and The Red Shoes in 2017. Matthew Bourne’s productions are known to feature avant-garde storylines, in the case of Cinderella, the fairy tale is set in London during WWII. The LA Times describes Bourne’s version as a “Valentine to the power of love,” but the real power behind the show is the darkness surrounding the central figures in the story. Sergei Prokofiev’s score was written during WWII, so setting the story in 1940’s London fits perfectly. The audience is dropped straight in the time period by the sounds of airplanes over head before the show starts, and a news real that opens the show reminds show goers and the actors on stage of the perils ordinary citizens faces during the time. Sounds of anti-aircraft fire and exploding shells pepper the score though out the film. Bourne …

For the Birds

One thing that almost every zoo has in common is birds. Whether they are the main attraction, one of many exhibits, or merely wandering the grounds, every Zoo has them. Often overlooked in favor of larger animals, they are every bit as interesting as the larger animals that usually overshadow them. This week I’ve rounded up some of my favorite bird photographs from some of zoos I have visited in the past. Make sure to give the birds a good look on your next zoo visit! Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – Cincinnati, OH North Carolina Zoo– Asheboro, NC Tiger World– Rockwell, NC Carolina Raptor Center– Huntersville, NC

Year in Review

I am still amazed at the transformation this blog has undertaken in the past year. I went from merely aspiring to get back into creative writing to posting three to four pieces a week. While looking back at my most successful posts, I realized that they all had a personal element that made them resonate. This is especially true for my most read post of the year, a haibun I wrote that dealt with my own Imposters Syndrome. It was very unlike anything else I had posted, and I wasn’t sure how it would be received. The response to it was so overwhelmingly positive, it has truly encouraged me to write more personal pieces in the future, and inject more personal themes into my horror writing. The spread of photos above are my top nine posts on Instagram, and the quote in the middle is pretty appropriate for my entire foray back into creative writing. No planning, no research, just decided the day before Napowrimo started that I would participate. Once the month was over …

First Snowfalls

The first snowfall of the season is always exciting, although the first snow we had here in Charlotte was less than picturesque, snow mixed with a miserable freezing rain. This got me searching back through my old pictures fore some of the more ideal first snows I’ve experienced. The one shown above was taken in front of Faneuil Hall in 2012 during my time working in Boston. Charlotte, NC 2018 Charlotte, NC 2016 Charlotte, NC 2014 Taunton, MA 2018

First Snowfall

My visit back to Massachusetts has been bittersweet. I traveled back this week for the funeral of my husband’s stepfather, and although saying goodbye was difficult, there were a few silver linings. Visiting with family, eating favorite foods we can’t find down in North Carolina, and a literal one, the first snowfall of the year for Massachusetts.

Star Wars in Concert

Two years ago I hit the pinnacle of Star Wars fandom at the Charlotte Symphony, taking in a performance showcasing music from all seven films. Conductor Christopher James Lees took pauses between some of the pieces to give the audience background and insight to some of the pieces featured. I personally gained a new appreciation for Rey’s Theme from The Force Awakens after hearing it performed, but the highlight of the night had to have been Darth Vader storming the stage to conduct the booming Imperial March with his light saber. John William’s music is intricate and breathtaking, and the Charlotte Symphony shined while performing it.  

Monday Night Raw

This past Monday I attended a taping of Monday Night Raw, the WWE’s flagship show airing weekly on USA. The show is part sport, part scripted drama, with a fan base that exudes as much enthusiasm as a science fiction franchise like Star Wars or Dr. Who. It was an interesting change watching the show in person instead of onscreen, everything had a little bit of a back stage vibe. Seeing the announcers backlight while giving on air commentary, cameramen getting up close shots and moving around the in-ring action, and how the commercial breaks were inserted during some of the entrances gave insight into how much work and planning goes into airing Raw live on TV. The show is three hours long, but flew by. As the final Raw before one of WWE’s biggest pay per views of the year, Summer Slam, there were plenty of the highlights.  Ronda Rousey faced off with Alexa Bliss’s new security guards, and introduced a match between Bliss and Ember Moon.  Finn Balor’s always epic entrance and his subsequent tag team match with Braun Strowman vs …