All posts filed under: Strange Thoughts

End of Year Wrap Up

Every December I read the same article by David Wong from cracked.com, 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person, to get myself motivated for the new year and set goals. He originally wrote it in 2012, and since then it has received over 25 million views, and cracked.com has been reposting every year since. The part that always resonated with me the most is this quote: I’m asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? That was my resolution from last year, more demonstrating. More submitting, more improving, more doing. COVID-19 really put a damper on my goals, but I tried to take small steps here and there. One of my baby steps landed right, and two of my poems were published in an anthology earlier this fall. So that’s my resolution this year, to keep taking any little steps forward towards my goals that I can. Do you have any big goals for 2021? Any small …

Winter Songs

I like eggnog, but I can’t drink it as is. I always need to add a little milk, or it’s too rich for me. The same goes for Christmas carols. I need to break them up with some songs that just make me think of winter. Songs about winter, songs that were used in a movie set during winter, or songs that just played a lot during the winter season get mixed in my Christmas playlist to break up all the Christmas cheer. When the holidays are over, they make a great playlist on their own. My 2020 additions to the list are ‘Tis the Damn Season by Taylor Swift, Holy by Justin Bieber, and Danse Macabre performed by Béla Fleck with Ben Solle. Winter Playlist: Winter- Tori Amos This Year’s Love- Davis Gray Daughters- John Mayer Transatlanticism- Death Cab for Cutie Danse Macabre- Béla Fleck with Ben Solle If I Ain’t Got You- Alicia Keys Palace- Sam Smith Into the Mystic- Van Morrison Ophelia- The Lumineers Poison and Wine- The Civil Wars ‘Tis the …

Four Quiet Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

Traditionally, pagans celebrated the winter solstice, or Yule to pay homage to the Sun King’s journey to restore light to the world after the longest night of the year. It both marks the start of the dark winter months, and celebrates that every day forward will be a little brighter. Since this year’s solstice is next Monday, the 21st, I’ve found a few quiet, relaxing ways to celebrate next week. Make Dried Oranges I shared instructions for drying orange slices last year, and you can use them to decorate in several ways. One way is to tread them with a little string or spare ornament hook and hang them on your Christmas tree as ornaments. The lights will make them glow gorgeous sunset hues. Another way to use them is by decorating a solstice wreath. I ultimately bought a fake wreath to attach mine too (I’ll redecorate it every year!) but you could follow the instructions here for making one with a wire hanger. Eat by Candlelight Yule is all about celebrating the slow return …

6 Ways to Celebrate Krampusnacht

The first time I watched the 2015 film Krampus, I had a feeling the legend referenced in the film was not dreamed up by a Hollywood screenwriter. It just seemed to old world to be the product of a modern imagination. It turns out, Krampus, and the holiday dedicated to him, Krampusnatch, are part of holiday celebrations that orginate in alpine regions of Austria and Germany. Krampus is the hairy, horned companion of Saint Nicholas. Krampus is tasked with punishing misbehaving children with coal and bundles of sticks, while St. Nick rewards the well behaved ones with presents. Originally part of pagan traditions, Krampus was folded into Christian holidays and Krampusnatch is celebrated the night of December 5th, before the feast of Saint Nicholas. The characteristics of Krampus varies, but he is usually described as being hairy, with the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. He typically wears chains and bells, with a long, pointed tongue lolling out and bared fangs. For a period of time Krampusnatch celebrations were banned by fascist governments and …

Reconciling the Thanksgiving Day Myth

Much like Columbus Day, more and more Americans are experiencing a more fraught and complicated relationship with Thanksgiving. Particularly in 2020, the knowledge that this American tradition is based on more myth than historical fact, and obscures the fraught and violent relationship that early colonists had with Native Americans is tough to reconcile. I don’t want to dissect that relationship too much here, mainly because there are so many articles, like this one here, that already have better than I can. I’m posting a call to action instead. If this year has taught me anything about social justice, it’s that education of a social justice issue must be matched with action. It’s not enough to know how Native Americans have been wronged, actions to assist them are needed too. So I’m taking a cue from actress Hilary Burton, and donating masks to Native American reservations that need them. These communities have been hit especially hard by COVID-19, and donated masks will help greatly. Below are addresses where donated masks can be sent, originally posted on …

Now Available: As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

I’m thrilled to announce that an anthology that two of my poems were included in, As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad, is now available on Amazon. Thank you so much to the editors for including my poetry! Indie Blu(e) Publishing is thrilled to announce that As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad in now available on Amazon … Now Available: As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

How Haunted Houses Prepared Me For Emergancies

Every time I visit a haunted house, one thing inevitable occurs. No matter how big the group I walk through with is, I always wind up taking the lead at some point.  Usually this occurs during the dreaded pitch black room/maze/hallway that most haunted houses feature. Everyone freezes, as I slowly edge forward and feel for the wall. This is undesirable to most, since each dark room has the possibility of a hidden ghoul waiting to pop out. Some of the really sly houses leave it empty, and let the anticipation heighten exponentially as you move further in. Occasionally the floor has been altered and sinks, or fishing wire is hung from the ceiling (to simulate spider webs). The sudden surface changes and sensations are very disorienting. But I love pushing ahead to see what hidden scares are in the dark rooms. Until 10:30 am on Friday, June 8th, this was not a skill that had real life applications. That morning, I was kneeling in front of a filing cabinet in a storage closet searching …