Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dinner With The Bishop and Church Beforehand

Being an Orthodox Christian it isn't unusual to have a bishop show up for special events, especially now that we have an actual American bishop who is just in Toledo, Ohio. This man travels to over a hundred Churches in his area and last night Bishop M came to celebrate St. Andrew's Day with us. Saint Andrew is our parish's patron saint as well as the name of our Church. Usually we don't celebrate Saint Andrew's Day on the day because of conflicting schedules, but yesterday was the eve of Saint Andrew's Day and we actually got to celebrate it with the Bishop!

Bishop M is a soft spoken man. He has kind eyes and comes out into the congregation to give his homilies. Even though he is quiet and kind I don't believe I would want to push him to the other side he must have. I think it could actually prove frightening. After all, he is a Bishop of the Orthodox Church.

Last night half of the service, or a good portion of the service, was done in Arabic. I had not experienced that before. It was wonderful to hear. My ear picked up the cadence so quickly and I loved how the hymns sounded. The only bad thing, and I am almost ashamed to say it, was a visiting priest (an archpriest no less) who was back where I sit and each and every time I tried to pray seriously he would talk to his friend and hearing whisperings and the hissings of whisperings made it difficult to concentrate on what I was trying to pray about or to even pay attention to the service itself. It became SO bad that I actually thought of shushing the priest! But, what is the protocol for that? Was it allowed? If it had been anyone else I know I would have shushed them, but should I have gone ahead and done so to a priest? When service was over we went to a wonderful place called Equine Woods Country Club for dinner with the bishop.

It was a beautiful place, as I expected it would be since it was a country club after all. The bishop and priests had a table all to themselves in the very center of the other tables, and myself and B and some others found ourselves at a very interesting, and it turns out, pivotal table. We were the first ones after the Bishop and priests to get out food.

The tables were formal and it was beautiful to behold them. I loved the meal and it was quite warm and almost cozy in the dining hall we were in, which was different from what I truly expected. It was almost as if we had been having a very formal dinner in a friend's home. Christmas music wafted over the room and added the perfect touch to the conversation which ranged from humor to serious and somewhere in between.

As I was looking around the room it was plain there were not many people there from Saint Andrew's in number, but the ones who were there were people I knew, people I talked to every Sunday or whenever we happened to be together. I felt as if I had family at every table, not just acquaintances, but real family, people I could go to if I needed something, even if that something was a shoulder to lean on for just a short time.

Dinner with the bishop made me appreciate even more the Church family relationship I hadn't fully expected to develop, and I am thankful for it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Interesting Piece of News

Fantasy Revealed has apparently caught the eye of an editor because I received an email that suggested finishing up the story and submitting it to a book publisher. Since I don't want to jinx anything I will leave the publisher anonymous. So, you won't be reading any more of the story here, but perhaps some time soon you will have a hard copy of it! Doesn't that just dust your turtles!? It does mine. Of course, this means a lot more work is going to have to be done on it, and Christmas is here almost, so things are really looking up and out all of a sudden. Now, for your reading pleasure, since I am finally feeling well, I will have to come up with something interesting. Anyone have any requests?

Thursday, November 24, 2005


"No one can really pull you up very high — you lose your grip on the rope. But on your own two feet you can climb mountains."

– Louis Brandeis

I am very thankful for the people around me, but these are words I need to remember for myself, especially now. It is difficult to balance how much you should lean on people or ask them to bear for you.

On A Tipsy Note

It is a little late, and I am a little tipsy. Not drunk. Just pleasantly buzzing. No more for me. Even though we haven't eaten dinner or gone to bed yet, I suppose it is officially Thanksgiving. How odd. It still doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. There isn't a sense of joy coursing through me and happy expectations of the day to come. My husband is off from work until Monday. This is good. This is about the best thing that could be happening. Another good thing is that I finally finished the Baldur's Gate video game. I feel accomplished in a geeky sort of way. But it still doesn't feel like a holiday to me. Not really. This makes me feel sad and, somehow, quite determined to enjoy myself. However, this year I don't think I will push it over-hard to be in the Thanksgiving mood, or the Christmas mood. I will let it happen and keep trying to feel glee about the season. I understand why the suicide rate goes up around the holidays: there is much to look forward to, but when something is missing, or someone they are a very difficult thing to take. No, I am not thinking about suicide, it is just - I can understand it. It may be because I am a little tipsy. It may just be that I understand. Hopefully this feeling, or lack there of, will pass relatively quickly and Christmas will be the joy it has always.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Not Just Another Thanksgiving Post, Sort Of

I have been racking my brain trying to think of something I am thankful for that you haven't already ready about. Yes, I am thankful for those things too - a roof over my head, food in my belly, friends, the love of my life in reality (and not just dreaming about it), family, friends I can love and most importantly trust, and to be alive. One thing that keeps running through my thoughts though, is that, well, I am very thankful for words and for anyone and everyone who reads this little blog.




Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Today has been recovery day #2 for my back. Yes, my back. Yesterday morning at aproximately 4:23 AM my back decided life was not supposed to be pain free and went out. This means I spent most of yesterday in the bed and today I have just played video games and let myself recover. I actually needed it so I am feeling much better. Everything will proceed accordingly beginning tomorrow. I hope. It has been fun playing Baldur's Gate for most of the day. Sort of like reading when you have the flu and get to miss school.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Don't Ask, But This Is Appropriate

"Pain is a part of being alive, and we need to learn that. Pain does not last forever, nor is it necessarily unbeatable, and we need to be taught that."

– Harold Kushner

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pre-Thanksgiving 2005 Thoughts

Thanksgiving 2005 is fast approaching. It is truly the beginning of the holiday season. The count down to Christmas begins. It is the magical time of family and when you actually bring to mind just how much you truly appreciate your friends.

Just as we look forward to the present approaching jubilation, our minds - at least mine - are also drawn to the past ones and our memories explode: Family gathered around a table over-flowing with food to the extent people had a hard time finding room for their plates. Voices tinkling and ringing with laughter and stories both true and added to for the purpose of telling. My stomach could never hold as much as I wanted, but that doesn't mean I didn't try.

Back then I took the gatherings for granted because I expected them to always continue. It was a staple of my life. I did not truly comprehend how many wonderful memories were then being created.

For a while recently, these memories made me hurt because two of the people who made this time truly special had gone on to where I could not yet follow. This time made me quite aware they were not here and life, my life, had changed so savagely and permanently. The happy memories of the past were like burning acid to my very Soul. It didn't feel as if anything could ever be good again.

I honestly expected this year to be the same, filled with the same pain, and I was preparing, subconsciously perhaps, for the pain to come, and the tears. But this year, so far, is proving different.

Yes, I miss my Mommy and Daddy still. There are days when the awareness they are no longer on this plane with me tears open my heart all over again. Their absence still affects me and I have not gotten used to it, as some may suspect. I am dealing with it better. Proof of this is that this coming holiday season is not causing me pain. I cannot say I am looking forward to everything, nor am I desperate to make the season enjoyable for everyone else. And all those memories of the past? I smile at them now and I am finding myself encouraged to make more happy memories.

No, I am not used to the past truly being the past, but now I can let new, happy memories be made, and my life to go on.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Another Piece of Poetry

It seems I am hitting a poetry streak these days. Not one to hold in the inspiration, I am letting the pen, or in this case the pencil, do what it needs to do in conjunction with my brain. I hope you enjoy it.

By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy

Counting words
Dreaming dreams of fancy
Escaping Here for Fantasies
Why does it have to be so much work?

Rejection slips
Writers' markets
Research in dusty rooms
Where is the glamor?

Wakeful nights
Wondering about plots
Quick notes in a fuzzy sleepy brain
Is this how it is supposed to be?

Would I change anything if I could?
Is it even possible?
Would life be as interesting?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


A Dollar a Hope
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy

If I had a dollar
for every time I said "I hope"
nothing would be out of my reach
because I would be
as rich as rich could be
sipping champagne
ordering something from my personal chef
the very moment I thought I was hungry.

You would not have to fear
when the bills could be paid
or if there was food in the cupboards
or even if you could go to school
and study to your heart's content
knowing life's hardships were diminished.

Houses would be clean
life would move with greased precision
finally there would be peace for us
and for those we love --
if I had a dollar
for every time
I said
"I hope."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Prayer of Single Persons


O Blessed Lord, who hast set up for us an example of ideal purity, strengthen me, I beseech thee, when temptation besets me, and when strong passions seek to overwhelm me, that I may remain constant in virtue and innocent in thought, word, and deed, doing such things only as are well-pleasing unto thee; grant me growth in wisdom and understanding, that I may serve thee in holiness all the days of my life: through the intercessions of thine all-immaculate Mother and of all thy Saints, especially my patron Saint N. Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Eddie Guerrero - Dead At Age 38

Eddie Guerrero, dead at age 38. God bless you Eddie. Memory eternal.

A friend of mine called me earlier tonight to ask me if I was watching Monday Night RAW. I was watching Surface. He then told me one of my favorite wrestling personalities, Eddie Guerrero was dead and RAW was having a special tribute to him. I switched to see what was going on.

According to information I found at was that Eddie had been found dead in his motel room in Minneapolis on Sunday. The cause of death is currently unknown.

Entertainers touch us in some way. They become like friends we have never met. Sometimes we expel excess energy through them, which, I think, is what I do with wrestling. Eddie Guerrero was one of my favorites. Even when he was a bad guy you found yourself liking him and wondering why on earth he was a bad guy in the first place. I feel as if I have lost a high school friend I had gotten out of touch with.

Eddie Guerrero leaves behind a wife and three daughters, one of which is only three years old.

Flashing Blues and the Smell of Ozone

This past Sunday was an interesting day. Since I don't want to have to re-write everything go check it out on my LJ at

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Luck vs Hard Work

"Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work — and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't."

– Lucille Ball

You know, this is kind of how I view luck. It sort of surprised me it came from Lucille Ball. She must have been one tough lady. I think I need to read a biography or three on her. My interest has just been officially pricked.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Words to the Wind

I couldn't go off to bed without relaying something interesting, nay even amusing that happened earlier this evening.

A storm came up quickly with a little thunder, a little rain, and a little wind. I say "little" because this was nothing like a hurricane in any size shape or form. As the storm came up and as I was in here debating on whether or not it was dangerous enough to warrant me to cease writing and turn the computer off the wind picked up this mournful pace and whispering whistle. The rain pounded outside and in my minds eye I could see the street and how it must look in the rain beneath the street lights when voices began approaching.

There were two distinct voices - a man and a woman - and one that was distant sounding and almost garbled (I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman) and sounded fake. Laughter was in each voice. Finally the man clumped and splashed closer by the sounds of him and his voice verified he was probably just across the street.

"Come on GOD! Do it! Hit me! I dare ya! You don't have the balls to hit me!"

I stopped writing. I stopped moving. I just listened. He said it twice. Each time it was filled with cocky pride and almost hope God really would hit him, and also half afraid.

What would he have done if God had obliged him?

I think he was a little relieved nothing happened, and somewhat saddened. I would be.

CDC May Distribute 1918 Killer Flu

My Mom was born in 1918 and my Mammaw spoke in a different tone when she spoke about "the sickness" that swept the nation and her little part of it in 1918. She was pregnant and terrified for her baby and when the baby was born she was terrified for herself and the new baby (my Mom) and for the rest of her family. Now this very thing that killed so many people has been re-created. For what purpose? I mean, really, what purpose?

Researchers said they believed it would help them develop defenses against the threat of a future pandemic evolving from bird flu, which was found to have similar characteristics as the 1918 virus.

Is this the only reason millions of dollars was spent on re-creating this thing? I can see some good behind it, but not like it was the main reason the virus was re-created. How long did it take?

One of the more disturbing elements from the article (you can read the full article by clicking on the heading of this post) was this . . .

Dangerous biological agents are routinely shipped through commercial carriers like FedEx or DHL, following government packaging, safety and security guidelines.

It makes me wonder exactly what has been shipped along with my book orders.

Not a pleasant thought.

A Late Day's Beginnings

It is a little past one o'clock in the afternoon and I am just having my first cup of coffee for the day. Is this any indication my day has gotten off to a late start? My dear hubby B did not feel well this morning, so he did not go to work. My plan was to lay there for a little while until he fell into a good deep sleep and then slip out of the bed and start the day with the things I needed to do (you know, like write on the new novel, etc.). The next thing I know is B is gently shaking me awake and saying good "late" morning. It was 11:30!

Of course I didn't panic. I mean, I can write today at any time so I just went with the flow and talked and just had a good time being with B and we got the morning started off - it just isn't the normal sort of morning for me - except for perhaps on Saturdays - and I can definitely feel a difference.

I feel rested and refreshed, but when I look at the time I am quite bemused and almost confused! So much would normally have been done by now and I could settle into a good writing span and the scenes would flow quite well and the day would progress - if it was a normal day of course.

You can never plan for these sort of days I have come to realize. You just go with the flow.

So, here I am, flowing.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

One of those Quiet Days

It has been a while since I have actually permitted myself to have a quiet day. I need them every so often, especially when getting over a bad spell of sickness. I need a day just to gather up who I am and what I am going to accomplish, be satisfied with myself and what is occurring around me, and just relax. So, today I have played games and just let my head and heart take a break from all of the fuss. It would be nice if we could just get to do this more often, and, yes, I do realize I am quite lucky to be able to have to have one of these days without risking losing a job or something else detrimental happening. The novel can wait, has waited, for several days, so one more won't hurt it any less. Hopefully, tomorrow, when I rev up and start all over, things will move just as smoothly as butter.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sort of a Thought Mood Today

I am really trying to get back into the regimen of my writing scheme that has fluctuated horribly over the past few weeks. Luckily I can say I am beginning to see spots of change and I am hoping you all will as well.

Since I am being all serious in my head and such at the moment, why not check out the following. I thought it was pretty cool.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Queen Christina Speaks!

"It is necessary to try to surpass oneself always; this occupation ought to last as long as life."

– Queen Christina

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Novel Hooooooooooo!

The novel is progressing! Yesterday I actually got down a solid 2,477 words before I actually had to stop to do a wee bit of research.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Yesterday I received a rejection for a story. It was not the normal, typical fill-in-the-blank rejection slips, it was an actually note, and signed at that! This wasn't the novel I sent out, it was a short story, one I still feel wonderfully about. So, out into the masses it is going to go again, I just quite haven't picked out the destination for it quite yet. Yes, I am encouraged!

Plus, today is November 1st, it is the beginning of NaNoWriMo and I am quite enjoying myself. I have taken the morning off just for myself and am now concentrating on writing this afternoon. The novel is, of course, the second "Turtle" novel and this one is where Turtle actually gets down and dirty and solving some murders in a scary sort of way. I hope the idea that is brewing and ready to steam is really as good as I feel, sense it is!

Forward ho! Y'all!