Monday, September 26, 2011

Calling Down the Rain - Magpie Tales - Poetry

Image: wallpaper
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(To read or link up: Mag 84)

Calling Down the Rain

for every tear you caused to well
a thousand biting drops shall fall
although your ears grew deaf to me
the wrathful skies will heed my call

your every lie which rent my heart
and hatefully brilliant bolts of pain
I've carefully tallied; quake with fear
for I am calling down the rain

what might have been we'll never know
I wash away your face, your name
it's much too late for sorry now
for I am calling down the rain

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Some Paint For Your Writer's Canvas - #REN3 Video Trailer

Ahem. If you are sick to death of hearing about the blogfest and have no interest in it whatsoever (but are far too polite so say so), here's a story from the A to Z challenge you might not have read. "Data"
(and if you've read everything I've ever written, I love you, thank you, and you may go now.)
The Renaissance: Rule Of Three Blogfest will be here before we know it. There's still time to sign up by Oct.3. As I write this, we have 50 participants rarin' to go. Fellow host Stuart Nager has created a second video trailer for us to enjoy - and perhaps get those ideas flowing. (For new followers, I have also included the first trailer Stuart created a few weeks ago.)

If you're a writer - or ever thought about writing - we encourage you to give this a try. The blogfest runs for 4 weeks. We have created a shared world; you create your own story. Dream up three characters; one of which is introduced by you each week in a 500-600 (or less if you wish) word post or "chapter";  the fourth week, you tie them all together into a conclusion.

Any genre and any time period of your choice. A colony on Mars in the year 3040? A mining town in Nevada in the 1800's? Europe after a post-apocalyptic event? Romance? Horror? Magical realism? Historical fiction? Steampunk? Choose your poison. We've given you a setting, we'll give you broad prompts to choose from, and Stuart has chosen images for his trailers which might give you some ideas. We've given you a bit of paint and some brushes for your canvas;  the rest is up to you. And, by the way, along with bragging rights there's also the chance to win some gift cards, interviews, and ebooks. So what are you waiting for?

The post with complete information and the linky sign-up is here.

Reminder:   You can stay up-to-date on Twitter by searching our dedicated hashtag #REN3 or by checking on my Rule Of Three Blogfest page.

Update:  We have added some names and topographical details for Renaissance if you would like to incorporate them.

Your hosts, in addition to me, are:
Stuart Nager
Damyanti Biswas

See you in Renaissance.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When the River Horse Swallows the Moon - Flash Fiction

Jainah fingered the blue disk that Mej held out to her. The boy squatted down on his heels and cleared his throat.

"Thunder rolled on a clear day, a thunder so great that the earth shook and the people were deafened. Fire came out from the belly of the great mountain, so high that it burned the sky itself. The waters fled from the fire in great walls and drowned much of the world. Our sun hid its face and retreated into the beyond; our moon turned blue with cold. It was under this moon that my grandfather pledged his love; and when the crops failed and the men went in search of a new village place, he gave her this as his pledge to return."*

Gently, he placed the cord over her head so that the disc fell in the hollow of her throat. Jainah's eyes filled with tears, as she realized that he really did mean to leave her.

"And if you choose to stay among the foreigners?" she asked quietly.

He grinned and tapped her under the chin. "I will return when the Great River Horse swallows the moon."

To Jainah, that sounded like never.


He was gone for so long that the villagers began to ridicule her. Smirking, they compared her to the dried fruit of a tree or called her "the Monkey Mother", since she would take in orphaned animals and nurse them.  They tsked and clucked at her selfishness in depriving her mother of grandchildren; the boys who used to chase her shrugged and found others more willing.

Mej returned one day, arriving in a clattering vehicle which sent the fowl running for safety and churned the village dogs into a howling, frenzied mob. A blare of the horn sent them airborne for a moment; then Mej stepped out, and they swirled around his knees, tongues lolling in apologetic grins. Jainah wanted to throw herself at his feet as well, but her smiling advance was stopped short by the sight of a woman alighting from the vehicle.

The woman was obviously a foreigner, dressed in trousers and a man's shirt. Her thick blonde hair lay in a braid over her shoulder, and dark sunglasses hid her eyes. Mej walked over to her and said a few words, then turned his gaze to Jainah. She shrugged and walked away.  He had returned, but with someone else.


Night fell, and Jainah watched as Mej and the woman, carrying a large case, made their way to her door. He held out his hand to her.

"Come with us. It's a special night."

She thought about refusing, but pride dictated that she show no emotion.

Jainah took his hand, and they set out for the tilled fields, awash in moonlight. When they arrived, the woman began unloading strange equipment from her bag.  Mej led Jainah to a grassy spot, spread a blanket, and motioned for her to sit with him. He reached out and touched the blue disc at her throat.

"I promised," he said, moving his hand to her cheek. "Watch." And he pointed to the sky.

The photographer aimed her camera at the heavens.

And Jainah watched as the Great River Horse began to swallow the moon.

Photo by Pratibhasharma, 11 August 2011. (Wikimedia)
*Passage is a reference to the eruption of Krakatoa. A blue colored moon may be produced by large clouds of particles in the atmosphere; blue moons have been observed after volcanic eruptions as well as after the fires which swept through Canada several years ago.

The prompt "blue moon" was provided by RFW, but I've gone way over the 400 word limit so I'm not officially linking to their site. But I do thank them for the prompt!

Some further notes:  I'm pleased to announcement that one of my first 2000+ word short stories, "Visible Signs" was accepted for an eight story paranormal anthology by Ethics Trading . I'll link it up and provide more info when available. (Although to read the story you'll have to buy the book. All proceeds go to charity, which is pretty cool.)

Also, 5 x 5 Fiction has accepted a microfic "Sounding the Alarm" for future publication in Issue IV. Again, I'll link when it's up. (That one will be online so you can read it for free.)

Natasha at and fellow member of Triberr has kindly accepted a guest post called Origins Of the Jack O' Lantern .  (Do you know why we carve faces in pumpkins at Halloween?) Available to read now. (There's also lots of informative articles on her site.)

Links to published stuff eventually show up on my "Published" page, so if you're overwhelmed now you can always browse later.

Whew! this was a long post. Thanks for sticking it out. You deserve some coffee! (Or a beverage of your choice.) 

Join Or Read Other Stories

Join Or Read More Stories

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloodthirsty Bunnies! - Worst Movies Ever Blogfest

Bloodthirsty Bunnies!

The year was 1972, and the world was in turmoil. US politics was roiled by the Watergate scandal; Hurricane Agnes produced catastrophic flood damage in the Northeast US (unmatched until last week, when Hurricane Lee dumped an equal amount of water in my area); terrorist attacks spread horror at the Munich Olympics; the last US ground troops were withdrawn from Vietnam; Ireland and the UK suffered from bombing attacks; and the shocking movie "Night Of the Lepus" was released in theaters.

When I say shocking, I mean incredibly bad.  The film centers on a small town in Arizona besieged by mutant killer rabbits. Yes, I said rabbits. MGM wanted to keep the identity of the creatures secret until the release of the movie, hence the Latin word "Lepus" in the title instead of "Rabbits". (Back in those days there was no "google", and most people couldn't be bothered to lug out the 20 pound Webster's dictionary and look things up.)

The mutant creatures were portrayed by a mishmash of live domestic rabbits, models, and actors dressed in rabbit suits. Since the story is so weak, I won't go into much detail; suffice it to say that there is the requisite cute pet bunny, science gone wrong, good ol' boys with explosives, and the National Guard.

Look for (feel sorry for?) actors Stuart Whitman (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Longest Day), Janet Leigh (Psycho, Bye Bye Birdie), DeForest Kelley (Star Trek: the Motion Picture and sequels) and Paul Fix (Red River, The Sons Of Katie Elder).

And so, in my humble opinion, "Night Of the Lepus" is one of the worst movies ever made. (It's also ridiculously fun to watch.) In fact, it has become so popular that copies command prices of $15 to $30USD and up. So you might want to rush out and order your copy today!

I will leave you with a little story, of course. (Some of you may be old enough to remember this.)

Once upon a time (in 1979) there was a President of the United States named Jimmy Carter. He was a gentle, peaceful man and loved the outdoors. One day, he went fishin' and was attacked by a rabbit!  It lunged into the water and swam toward him hissing, with teeth bared and eyes blood-red in manic fury.  Pres. Carter heroically defended himself, swinging at it with a paddle and shooing it away from the boat.  The berserk rabbit swam away and disappeared into the brush; several B-52s were called in to carpet bomb the state of Georgia. And that's why Georgia is so flat.

OK, I fabricated the bit about the B-52s.  But the rest? All true. The Washington Post ran, as its headline the next day, "President Attacked By Rabbit". Below is a photo of the rabbit (right) fleeing from Pres. Carter.

Perhaps Pres. Carter had seen "Night Of the Lepus". Or maybe...there really are bloodthirsty bunnies out there. Waiting.

Photo courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Library

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh  for coming up with this great idea for a blogfest.  Please go visit him  here for other great reviews of cinematic mayhem!

Want more blood? There's a 2 year old article I wrote on "Modern Day Vampire Societies" here.

Thank you to iZombieLover for bestowing this post with the Zombie Rabbit Award - one of my more unusual gifts :-)
and the lovely Samantha at What Little Things for the Versatile Blogger award.

Thank you so much!