Sunshine Blogger Award

Dawn Photos 004

My All-time FAVORITE sunshine shot

I’ve an award!

My favorite demon-runner nominated me for this prestigious award, and I’ve had a great time visiting her little slice of the interewebz.  Go have a read, I promise it will be worth it!  Outrunning My Demons

As for the Sunshine Blogger Award?  Yea, it’s one of those bouncing blog posts that cycle through the ‘net, full of questions to be answered and more to be asked.   The ‘rules’ are simple, if one wishes to follow them:

Here are the rules for being nominated…

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you in the post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
  • Nominate 8-11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog

Usually, I take a browse through the questions, and if something pokes the goofy muse, we dutifully apply fingers to keyboard.  So, congrats, (not)Alissa…you woke the sleepy one, who quickly downed an entire pot of coffee and started digging through movie posters in search of answers, because after all that caffeine, she was too twitchy to type properly.

I was asked…

1. What is your favorite topic to blog about?
life_282017_film29 

Anything and everything I come into contact with is potential blog-fodder…so I write about life…all life, not just the alien kind, although I’m certain there are certain celebrities who’ve forged their birth certificates to more closely resemble humans…

 

 

 

.

2. Do you prefer salty or sweet?
salty-movie-poster

Wave crispy, salty, starchy snacks in my face, and I fold like an origami sculpture.  I have no defense against the humble potato.

 

 

 

 

.

3. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
dx4bjxgv4aaknaz

Don’t ask me about the weather, the traffic, the news or politics, and I won’t have to pretend I didn’t hear your opening salvo into that dread social contrivance called small talk.  Seriously, I’d rather endure non-anesthetized invasive surgery while listening to Beethoven’s 9th symphony being whistled off key.

 

 

.

4. Where is your number one place you would like to visit?
gods-of-egypt-2016-movie-poster

I have to give co-thanks to Steve Martin and my 4th grade teacher, with an additional nod to the Egyptian National Museum for allowing King Tut to get out of his dusty tomb/exhibit and travel the world, for my absolute OBSESSION with all things ancient Egyptian…so if anyone out there is willing to spring for tickets/lodging/meals/passport documentation/ immunizations any some discretionary spending funds…I’ll be the first on the first plane heading out there.  I’ve got the extra vacation time, because I NEVER GO ANYWHERE.

 

.

5. Where is the most beautiful place you have ever traveled to?
dc14929b6c97caebf340bb70819ca2e7
I say again:  I NEVER GO ANYWHERE.  My last ‘adventure’ was the funeral in February, travel time >2 hours.  I simply don’t travel well.

Been to some pretty locations in this state, however.  The Dells (as long as you veer away from the tourist traps), up the thumb, and the Chippewa Valley are all jam-packed with some awesome vistas.  And…if you’re like me and love water, come spend some time with me meditating along the Fox River or on the banks of Lake Michigan.  Leave the Speedo at home, though, because they MEAN it when they say “Cooler by the Lake.”

.

6. If you were forced to pick one…Are you beauty, brawn, or brains?
eat-brains-love-20100812-165420

“Braaaaaaains….”

Actual quote from me before coffee….

 

 

 

 

 

.

7. What is your birth order?
s-l300

I am 3rd.  I was the most awesomest child in the entire world…the one that the parents decided was the perfect child and that they couldn’t improve on with future offspring…until my little brother came along and foiled this joke.

I’ve spent the remaining years of my life becoming the hugest pain in the ass the family has ever seen.

Maybe my weirdness is because I’m a Sidhe changeling?

.

8. What book/movie closely resembles the story of your life?

l-184220
weird-al-yankovic-alpocalypse-2011

OK, I’ll admit…the muse and I argued back and forth over this one…so we decided to add them both to this answer.  The first, because it’s as apt as apt can get in this day and age, and the second because Weird Al is my idol.

Seriously.

How can you NOT love a guy who’s made his way through life absorbing the artistic creations of his peers, then improving them with a healthy dash of Weird?

.

9. What is the temperature outside right now?
b-sstzuicaa4asl

This may have the letters G, I, N, P, R, and S arranged in an order I have refused to type out, but I didn’t officially TYPE the letters in that order.  And, there are other letters jammed right up against them, so I’ve managed to keep the ban against that word intact.

According to the Wunderground, it is 56 degrees and sunny.  Should make a fantastic walk home tonight.  I think the slinky has officially started down the stairs here in Wisconsin.

 

.

10. What is the last thing you ate?
tumblr_inline_mhg6ztzrj11qz4rgp

I’ve followed the Ketogenic style of eating for almost 2 years, now…so the bacon should come as no surprise.  I have a few slices every morning, coupled with a hard boiled egg and a slice of low-carb bread, and wash it all down with a large cup of coffee with cream.

Any ‘diet’ that encourages the consumption of bacon is a diet I can stick to.

 

 

.

11. What is your favorite hobby?
mondo-heavy-metal

Unless you literally fell into my blog last night, you’ll know that I have an obsession with twisting little metal jump rings into slinky, twisty, comical and sometimes extremely colorful patterns.

In my world, chainmaille is not just a hobby, it’s a deeply held conviction that life could be better if everyone just wore handmade chains.

 

 

 

Nominees to continue the madness?  Well, this is the part I normally don’t like to do, because it sounds way too much like assigning homework to an unlucky student.  Blogging is supposed to be fun and spontaneous – not a chore.  If this wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t have maintained the T&T for the 4 (?) years I’ve been pounding the keys developing it.  But still….there are a couple of vict…er…bloggers out there I’m dying to spread a little sunshine to.  So…without further ado…I’d like to award little patches of sunshine to:

Hello Dearest Hurricane
Danseur Ignobile
The Shameful Sheep
Fatty McCupcakes

Patience of Willow

The Real Reality Show Blog

 

You guys are ALL awesome bloggers, and I’m pleased as punch to browse the dusty corners of your respective webspaces.

So here…satisfy my curiosity…and feel free to skip any questions that require the use of a slide rule, advanced mathematics or a crystal ball.

  1. make me the yummiest sammich to ever grace a plate.
  2. Do you like your handwriting?
  3. After that glorious morning pee, what’s the first thing you do?
  4. If you have 20 apples and some bully comes along and bruises half of them in New York, how long does it take the train travelling to Albuquerque to make a savory picnic pie from the remains?
  5. Tell me what’s in your iPod/MP3 player playlist, or the CD in your car stereo right now?
  6. Keeping with the music theme…shuffle or straight through albums?
  7. How soon after the advance ticket sales did you buy your seats for the opening night of Avengers: Infinity Wars?
  8. Have you watched all the other Marvel Universe movies in preparation for this event?
  9. Why won’t WordPress let me skip a number in this numbered list?
  10. Boxers or briefs (or other, I totally won’t judge!)?
  11. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
  12. What makes you unique?

 

Have fun with it…can’t wait to see what ya’ll come up with 😀

 

Peg-sters Dictionary

Well, I am a sucker for vocabulary, after all.  When I was younger and stuck in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa, I rifled through the dictionary for fun.

It was either that, or watch the corn grow…

From time to time, I go through this considerable assemblage of large words bouncing around in my cerebral cortex, and add or subtract vocabulary constructs from my personal dictionary of curse words.

I’ve decided to add a new word to the list of four-letter words too vile or repulsive to ever be typed, spoken, or otherwise acknowledged.

This is serious bidness, folks.  I didn’t think I’d ever put a season in there.

That time of year when we finally shake off the snow and cold, and celebrate the beginning of the growing season will no longer be a mention-able word.  Because every time I type out the word that is the same as a tightly coiled micro-slinky of wire, Mother Nature gets wind of me being all hopeful and dumps more freaking SNOW on me.

This latest storm started Saturday afternoon, shifting from rain in the morning to rain/ice mix in the afternoon to full blown flakage in the evening.  All of Sunday was more white drifting stuff on and off, and it was STILL snowing this morning!

You gotta draw the proverbial line in the sand (well, OK…SNOW) somewhere…

28hdjt

 

 

More Salty Goodness

13935755981354602742spam20image3-md

I flitted through the dread spam filter again, just because I was slightly terrified of recent home events, and needed the distraction.  The spammers kinda disappointed.  There was the usual offerings of little blue pills to get my dick hard, hot Russian wives, and word vomit.

I still can’t believe there are THAT many rant generators on the ‘web.  Check out this one for machine-existentialism:  New Age BS Generator 

 

and then…there was this little piece:

ᎳE WILL.? They eacһ shouted and they ran to the bed room
bickering about who gets to go firѕt.

This…I can actually use.  It’s the perfect opening sentence for a flash fiction piece.

That particular muse is, right now and at this very moment, yawning and demanding bacon and coffee.  She needs breakfast (and a LOOOOONG shower) before getting back to work, but she’s been in hibernation for quite some time, so should be equal to the task.

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

 

Kindred Spirit

question-marks-01

Did you ever embark on a solitary adventure on a sultry summer evening?  A random, spur-of-the-moment event with your only concrete intentions a vague desire to spread your consciousness across the terrain of your choosing?  And whilst upon such an unplanned sojourn, was another unspoken goal to blend into your selected area so expertly that the surrounding mankind were only aware of your presence on the very outside periphery of their understanding?

Have you ever taken such a event in with a companion – your only communication the poetry of expressive body language?

Might you oft believe that such observational activities are an unrecognized and unconsciously highly-sought after art form?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you ever pad the sidewalks or Greenspaces within your targeted territory with all your senses wide and receptive, opening the very core of your being to those communications from anything natural and wild?  Do nightly dreams tickle your sleeping self after this absorption, as your mind tirelessly works to adapt itself to these ruminations?

Have you woken to the sun caressing your face, and felt more alive than the previous years?

Might you celebrate the solidity of the rock, dance with the spirits of the wind, sing the hidden song of the stream, or bask in the wild fire of the setting sun?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you a creature of deep Earth – open to the Natural, yet reside within the heart of a city?  Are contradictions such as these accepted without understanding?

Reading this – do you nod your head in solidarity…and posit questions of equal gravity in return?

Then I’d like to experience you – a kindred spirit well met.

Rocks

 

Tuesday’s Dutch Photo Challenge

Whatinhell’s wrong with me….I’m actually on TIME for a photo challenge???

The stars must have aligned or something.

Dutch goes the Photo’s Tuesday challenge this week is steps.  Yea…I’ve got plenty of photos here at the T&T that can fit the bill.

And stories, as well.

Steps were instrumental last year, as they brought my body’s condition (or lack thereof) into sharp focus last spring.  These were an Herculean obstacle when we moved.  They’d cause my knee to complain loudly.  The knee would then rally the support (again…lack thereof?) of the back, the hips, and the heart.  All four would go into a rather hostile revolt every time this set of risers appeared within my visual field.

20160526_172555

Dontcha just hate it when individual body parts gang up on you?

This same set of stairs featured again in one of my flash fiction pieces…this time from the bottom up.

stair dark

Steps have been present throughout my year.  It was October when I discovered on a lark that I now had it in me to walk an entire mile without passing out due to exertion.

In February, when we had a weird warm-up – I got to don my flip-flops and walk further – I made a mile and a half…and decided this year’s goal was to walk the 1.6 mile to work.

Feet

Every good step starts with the right pair of shoes

And now, of course – I regularly walk every chance the weather permits me to…

20170503_072318

Puppy feet left in the frost on the footbridge

 

May (Insert Supernatural Being of your Choosing) keep your feet moving!

Hospitality

maxresdefault

A single foot, fur-clad against the outside elements, crossed the threshold.

The second foot, likewise insulated against the frozen ground, hesitated to cross the boundary.

Snow pressed around the bundled figure in the doorway, blowing into the hearth-room of the ancient keep.  The brutal winter wind teased the glowering flames in the fireplace, setting spidery shadows dancing along the thick stone walls, yet the gale blowing at her back was nothing compared to the dire stories being shouted at her from the dim hall.

Slowly, deliberately, she slid her recalcitrant limb through the doorway at the urging of a tiny form of indeterminate gender, waiting to slam the heavy wood door against the raging blizzard.

**THUD**

With the surcease of howling storm winds and punishing ice crystals, she stood, dripping slush, and listened to the stones of the hearth.  They spoke eloquently (as only stones can) of the recent past they had witnessed.

It sang to her ears only, using the tongues of flame burning solemnly above the grate.  As it whispered its dark tale, it highlighted the scattered bits of evidence around the room using the shadows cast –  a filament of iron embedded in the hard-backed chair.  The faint outline of a hastily-scrubbed pool of fluid on the flagstones.  Flakes of ash, not of wooden origin, scattered about the floor.  As damning as these small vignettes were – they paled in comparison to the single spot of scarlet overlooked on the hearthstone itself.

A chair, to the opposite end of the hall, it’s seat enshrouded in shadow the flames light feared to touch, took a deep breath, speaking the ancient rite in the Master’s own thin, reedy voice…

“Enter and be well by my fire on this miserable night, stranger.”

Frigg dropped her snow-covered cloak on the flagstones, preparing for her ‘work.’  The stains of false Hospitality would be cleansed by fire and blood.

107c643869fd332c0eb8233fea87b5b9

 

My Stuff – Flash Fiction

Greg at Almost Iowa offered up a challenge on his post the other day…pick an object, and write an essay or a bit of flash fiction about it.

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Greg…ya had me at Flash Fiction 😀

Sooooo…live and in living color, straight from my work desk to your screen…I present you with:

20170417_142741

The Smurf and the Wookie…

…A love story

A story by Peyton

A very long time ago, in an office far, far away, a little girl sat, eating her happy meal, trying very hard not to look at the toy.  It was brown and horrible-looking, and, worst of all…it was the toy given to the boys at McDonalds, not the girls.

But Mommy had promised to fix it after work, IF she was good…so she ruthlessly shoved a few more french fries into her mouth, and tried very hard not to look at the boring plastic shape.

 

“Maybe,” she thought, chewing through her last bite of hamburger, “the nice lady by the front phones will talk to me?”  So, looking carefully around the cubicle wall for Mommy, she darted across the hall and up to the front desk, boring brown plastic shape still clutched firmly in a fistful of ketchup-stained fries.

Today, the nice lady was in Daddy’s office with Mommy, talking about boring things.

AH!

On the nice lady’s desk, perched proudly next to the plastic cup of paper-clips, a little form in blue and white.

“Well…that Smurf is a LOT prettier than this old brown thing…”

So, up on the nice lady’s chair she went…

The Smurf and the Wookie had a glorious time that Wednesday afternoon at Mommy’s office – they danced on the nice lady’s desk, they played hide & seek in the file cabinet, they squished the french fries because they were really, REALLY big worms.  AND…the best part was when the smurf tied the Wookie in a big chain of paper clips.

After all that – the little girl decided the Wookie couldn’t go home with her and leave his best play-friend behind… (and, besides, Mommy said she’d fix it, so she was getting a new toy!)  With the logic of youth, the Wookie had to stay, happy and proud to be on the nice lady’s desk with his buddy the Smurf.

And the nice lady said she could play with the both of them anytime she had to come with Mommy to the office.

 

 

To this day, the Smurf and the Wookie hang out on my desk, smelling slightly of that epic, long ago french fry/gigantic worm ketchup-smothered battle.

They’re still best buddies.

toys at the bar

This Chick Walks into a Bar…

Book 2

The Arcanum Infernata says:

“Those who encounter daemon, Those scored by tooth or claw, Those fortunate enough to walk from the beast, Those burdened of stolen magics, forevermore.”

For those of you not fluent in cryptic Grimoire-speak – it means:  You survive a fight with a demon, and you get their powers.  Do not sell your soul to Satan, Do not die & work your way up the Hell Ranks…just go directly to power.  Do not pass Go…and do not collect $200.

Cool, huh?   How could a girl resist?

What the damned Arcanum failed to mention was the damned thing you stole powers from would chase you to the damned ends of the damn Earth to regain it’s damned abilities. That’s a hell of a catch there.  A rather important bit of a codicil to the ole’ contract conveniently penciled in extremely fine print in an unreadable font.

Trust me on this one…you do NOT want an extremely pissed-off demon dogging your every move.

I see you squirming on your barstool.  Rethinking that pick-up line?

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction-Pyromaniac

inhospitable2bwonderland

I’m back to digging through some of the older Flash Fiction pieces again.  This week, I’ve been reminiscing over fire.

As it’s been cold up here in Frosty Wisconsin, is there any wonder why my thoughts were turning to extreme heat sources?

The flash piece below was my offering for Flash! Friday’s 2014 anniversary celebration…and was the 2nd piece I officially submitted to their weekly frenzy.  I have to admit – I was shocked senseless when my entry was chosen as one of the 12 semi-finalists.  Now, I don’t have access to the original photograph, but it was stunning.  A small building (think: cabin in the deep woods) fully engulfed in flame in the dead of night.   I do remember they had a strict word count on this one (150 words on the nose…no more, no less) and the usual 24 hour time period to submit.

I can’t believe I never slipped this up on the T&T – it’s one of my favorite pieces of flash.

And, accompanying the piece is not my usual flash banner – the image is one I got a mind-shot of when someone on Google+ shared a picture of a close up of the front grille of a pot-bellied stove.  I just had to create something in ‘Shop to bring that vision to life.  One of my first attempts at actual drawing in ‘shop.  I think it turned out well 🙂

 

Pyromaniac

150 words

Flame.

Orange against black. Subtle licks of cerulean, scarlet, saffron and emerald flare into being to vanish in an instant without a trace. Elongated fingers of incandescence stretch into the void to momentarily paint their essence onto the obsidian night sky.

Inferno.
It is alive with movement – sliding, shifting, waving, weaving – its hypnotic, primal dance both beautiful and terrible as it crafts a timeless, mesmerizing, elemental ballet of destruction.

Blaze.
The voice of combustion, a low, throaty growling howl of clean air transformed to sweltering luminescence, whispering secret desires into the ears of those who worship it.

Immolation.
They listen, comprehending the flare’s song in that most primitive portion of the brain. They stare, glassy-eyed and slack-jawed, into the complex twisting leap and swirl of the living flame. They are powerless to resist the compelling demands of spark, ember, pyre.

Intentional.
Some men just need to watch the world burn.

Visitations

 

First…I’d like to personally thank each and every unique visitor to the T&T – these poor scribblings from this humble scribe are a sloppy attempt at a clumsy gift for such lofty and Auguste Personages.

51zrtjquull

I couldn’t resist borrowing (and MASSIVELY paraphrasing) those words from Taita, slave to the Lady Lostris, from the book River God by Wilbur Smith.  If you want a tale of Ancient Egypt, SET in Ancient Egypt, that really comes alive in your head – go dig this one out.

And the sentiment is genuine – if I didn’t have regular readers on this, my tiny slice of the blogosphere – I’d probably have abandoned it by now…

I’d like to think my personal blend of sarcastic whit & photography, wrapped up with a chainmaille bow & served with a slice of keto-cake is at least a “smidge” entertaining…

And…because you guys come and read and like my stuff, I get to return the favor – checking out your blogs and your words and your brand of entertainment…so thanks for writing, as well as reading…your work is appreciated!

Reading & writing – like 2 peas in a pod…

 

Unintentional Funnies attracted some unusual attention, in the form of several very Christian Bloggers.  As I visited their sites, I was flooded with a deluge of scripture and pondering of the faith.  I’ve no reason why this particular post drew in those who find comfort writing about God, as there wasn’t anything even remotely faith-like in it…

NOT that I’m complaining – everyone is welcome here at the T&T to read, share, comment, or even condemn if I’m WAAAAAAAAAAAY off base.  I try to avoid subjects that have measures of conflict built in rather like the way certain subjects were forbidden at the dinner table when I was a child.

Typed my Mom’s voice:  ‘Two things never discussed in polite company:  Religion & Politics.’

So you’ll never see the T&T fall into the political or theological pathways.  There are other, more hardened writers out there, to handle both these spectrums.

I’ll just keep observing my little bit of world, and share those with you…

You’re welcome!