Friday, June 30, 2006

Gaming Update

Yesterday, instead of having a major role-playing session we had a character up-dating session. Despite four players being on the missing list, a.k.a. vacations, there was a good number that showed up to make sure their characters were up-to-date. It wasn't uproariously funny, but it was still a good day had by all.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pet Notes

I was tooling through the email today and trashing a good quantity of it, when I discovered an email talking about first aid for your pets. Since I do not have an equine and my husband does not yet have a salt water tank, the only one I really paid close attention to was for the cats. It is here, for cats and I have to admit it got me to thinking - what about dogs?

I think this is pretty much a good thing to have set aside for the canines as well. Along with the sharp tweezers, for the dog emergency kit I would also have a pair of blunt ones because with dogs they need to have burs and things removed, and scratching or upsetting an animal that is larger, usually, than a cat, not irritating a wound would be quite good. If anyone has any further additions to the kit for dogs (or cats), I would be most interested.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Poetry by Jewell Asher Foley

By Jewell Asher Foley
Copyright (c) 2006 by Jewell Asher Foley

Sometimes the future seems uncertain,
And we're not sure of what tomorrow holds,
Then is the time to look beyond tomorrow,
Where the certainty of our salvation unfolds.

It's not for us to see behind the curtain
That covers the future things.
For we who are weak could never bear
The burden that knowledge would bring.

Joseph was sure he had a bad day
The day his brothers sold him.
He could not see his future,
Though in a dream God told him.

We creatures of the present
Count many things as loss.
When, instead of wishing, when God says,
"Go Fishing,"
We should take the tartar sauce.

Jewell Asher Foley
April 20, 2000

Monday, June 26, 2006

Yeah, it's Monday.

I've survived it so far.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Really Easy, Totally Vegetarian Taco Salad

4 cups lettuce, torn into pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup pinto beans, drained of juice
2 oz baked tortilla chips, broken into pieces
1/4 cup salsa

Instructions:In a salad bowl, mix together the vegetables, pinto beans and tortilla chips. Add the salsa and stir gently to blend.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving:
203 calories
2 g total fat (0 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
40 g carbohydrate
11 g protein
11 g fiber
213 mg sodium

Note: You can also spice this up and add cheese and more vegetables. It is filling but not fattening or heavy during the hot summer days. Try it and tell me what you think about it. For other recipes, check out The Ox and Hare Inn.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi

The written word is calling. Last night I purchased a novel to read at Barnes & Noble and found myself, while grazing through the stacks, that I was being extremely careful about my selection. True, we have very little money to spare at the moment, but books should never be skimped, especially if they are under $10. Still, I was careful about what I chose to read. It was important to me what went into my brain and it felt wonderful to take an interest in the books out there.

At one point I had about four books in my possession. I read and re-read the backs and the prologues (if they had them) and the first few pages if there was no prologue. Finally I decided on The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park. It is about this woman's life in the Renaissance. Yes, it is fiction. Since the last book I read was a biography, it seemed like a nice change to actually select a novel, a piece of fiction to let my brain wander and imagine, other than in my own worlds, of course.

I think the next novel I read will either be campy or science fiction or fantasy oriented. Life needs some SF and F in order to make it through it. This is my belief at the moment.

When it is finished I will share with you the book.

Here is the blurb from the back

The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi is a sweeping tale of intrigue and romance set in a time rife with court politics, papal chicanery, religious intolerance, and inviolable social rules. Grazia, private secretary to the world-renowned Isabell d'Este, is the daughter of an eminent Jewish banker, the wife of the pope's Jewish physician, and the lover of a Christian prince. In a "secret book," written as a legacy for her son, she records her struggles to choose between the seductions of the Christian world and a return to the family, traditions, and duties of her Jewish roots. As she re-creates renaissance Italy in captivating detail, Jacqueline Park gives us a timeless portrait of a brave and brilliant woman trapped in an unforgiving, inflexible society.

See any reason why I would have chosen this particular novel to read, say, over the science fiction novel and thrillers I had in my lap at the time?

Some Writing News

I was going through some e-mail and several different sites recently and discovered some very interesting and useful information. You can check it below by just clicking the links. See, I really do care for you all. :)

Writer's Weekly


Friday, June 23, 2006

Game Report

Last night we gamed. A good time was had by all. In the middle of it, the main idea for the game hit me like lightning! I KNOW THE BACKGROUND AND PREMISE NOW! In games you either start with this crucial fact, but usually it hits you between the first and fourth gaming sessions. So it was this time. Of course, now that I know what should happen this means I am going to have to put in a good amount of time, more than just the day before the game, in putting the game together for the players. The plan is to work on it some every single day once the major writing projects are done. This is a good plan. Hopefully things won't develop to hamper the GM from doing her job.

One of the more memorable things about last night was a 22+ year gamer gave me the comment of "Your games are never boring." The next gaming session is really going to be a character session. People who have leveled up and need help selecting skills and special things have requested help, so we will spend some quality time on working on characters and getting everyone to play on Thursday, which is going to be a wonderful and much needed thing because on the next session we will begin hitting the serious plot of the story. As for the players, this is a good thing because the ones who have never played before are beginning to get a good idea of what is done and needs doing so that when the major bad guys begin to appear, as they should appear in the third full-fledged game session, they will have a much better chance of surviving.

One of the most memorable moments of the game was when "SwordBoy" said, "I am going to turn my motorcycle toward her {the bad guy at the time} and do a back flip off of it and land on my feet while it crashes into her." He rolled a 3 - the back flip didn't quite work and he landed on his butt with the bike missing the bad guy totally. "SwordBoy" gave the BEST of expressions to add to what had just happened. He makes me laugh and everyone else. SwordBoy isn't "comic relief" but he sure does add to the gaming experience in a positive way.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


USA = 1
Ghana = 2

The US is out of this World Cup. It was a good game, except for the refs and some coaching decisions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nacho Libre

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I went to see Nacho Libre with Jack Black playing the main character - you know, the one the movie is all about. The previews looked funny, and since I am a big wraslin' fan it seemed like a piece that could actually entertain instead of just be brain fluff.

It was more than just entertaining and funny, it was downright GOOD. Jack Black wasn't playing Jack Black but a real character named, "Nacho Libre" who was really a poor and humble orphan growing up in an orphanage who always loved the Luchadores (Mexican wrestlers) and wanted to be one when he grew up. Instead of that he became a friar, but he still had his dream.

Being the cook, without money to buy the orphans proper food, he found a way of getting his ingredients by being a masked wrestler. He lost many matches, but won something else instead - the desire to fulfill his dream.

God is not the bad guy in this movie, and those who are religious are not seen as evil and to be made fun of. They are people, trying to live their faith the best they can and be honest about their own hopes and dreams and serving God. This was something that was refreshing. However, many chuckles and belly laughs do come because the characters are just people trying to do the best they can.

Jack Black surprised me most of all, and his paper-thin (I mean this guy is skinny!) partner really made the movie work. Jack Black ceased to be "Jack Black" and actually let himself explore the character of Nacho. He has a wonderful chemistry and timing with "Stephen", his partner in the ring, and eventually his best friend. It was wonderful watching them together. It would be interesting to see the two of them in another movie I think.

Nacho made me laugh, and almost made me cry, and when we came out of the theater I felt uplifted and happy. In many ways I was reminded of my own dreams and how, despite the hardships for going for your dream, they are worth it; if you don't try, all you are is miserable.

Want to see a good movie, not just brain fluff? Then go visit Nacho and tell me what you thought when you get back. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You Can't See What Happens in Life - You Just Live It

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success."

– Henry David Thoreau

Monday, June 19, 2006

"The Greedy Ones" Made Me Think

There was something else I was going to write about today - but that was before I read Michael Yon's piece entitled "The Greedy Ones" on his web site. This really made me stop and think. Think serious things about life and love and people and friendships and how you never know how things are actually going to turn out.
It came from Poland, a message, via email—zzzppt. They were searching for her, a woman with whom I had recently made friends of the sort one finds while traveling abroad in wild nations. She had disappeared. The investigators had found my contact information in her hotel room.

Now, that is what you call an opener. From there Michael Yon goes on to describe, in a knowing manner, what happens with a car bomb or the suicide bombings that are happening in Iraq now. There is a photo in the article also of empty shoes. Sometimes the only thing left behind by the victims of a car bombing or bombing is their shoes.

The morbid part of me always wanted to know what really happened in a car bombing like those happening in Iraq and elsewhere. Now I know. I am glad I know, because this makes the happenings, the deaths over there, the senseless killing even more real and far more senseless. More ruthless and cruel than what I had already imagined in my unknowingness.

Beneath a photo of the shoes which was taken by an unknown soldier after a car bombing (read the article, please, to get the full text of everything that happens) are the words, "Empty shoes can always be found after car bombs rip through victims, and normally the genitals of the terrorists remain intact." Serves them right. Let them have their "seventy-two virgins and two youths" (that's right two youths) and not be able to do anything about it! How fitting it is.

Read the article. Let him explain everything as only he can in this poignant piece as he mourns for a friend.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

!!! WOW !!!

Ghana beat the Czech Republic! It was an awesome game to watch. However, the refs for the USA vs. Italy match are being, well, too damned difficult for BOTH sides!

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Sound of Fun

There were ten people gathered around a couple of long tables that made a T shape in a small room of a gaming shop last night. There were new players and older ones to the game gathered together to continue the adventure from last week.

As I opened in to the beginnings of the next phase expectant faces were looking at me. Time slowed, as it usually does when you role play, and everyone eased into their alter egos, which, to be honest, is merely a continuation of who they are.

Dice clinked and bounced on the tables. There was excited laughter that reached out and drew people from the store into the depths of what was happening in the game.

Laughter would erupt at wonderful moments, at hoped-for moments, and then spontaneously with botched roles and results from actions not quite thought through.

Chatter and excitement, quiet moments when all attention was focused upon the expanding and unfolding story they were somehow taking part in.

When it was all over and books were being put away and characters were handed back and forth, time seemed to return to normal and everyone went on their way back to their normal lives.

We didn't need a long and continuing game or one that would last for forty-eight hours - we all just needed a moment to escape into a novel we were all creating, and it was absolutely wonderful. It seemed as if, for just a moment, that small back room had expanded to an entirely different universe and we filled it with good friendship, laughter and the makings of one heck of an adventure!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rustle of swords in the dawn light
Riding the equs beyond the misty mountains
Landing safe and sound back in the normal, boring reality.

This is gaming!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Open for Submissions

I've been in a poetry mood of late, so, tomorrow, or possibly later today, you will be treated to some more poetry goodness. It feels good to put the poems down here. It doesn't feel as if they are wasted. I should really start sending off some poetry. Yeah, I know, need to get off my butt and DO it, not just talk about it.

Any way, Wednesday is coming up which means I may or may not have something interesting for you to read.


No rights purchased.

Fiction - 5000 words max (but if it is good can serialize)

Non-fiction - 5000 words (if longer query me)

Poetry - 40 lines maximum

Submit full piece in the body of an email with your name and pen name if you decide to use one to

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Needed THIS Weekend

It has been a seriously long time since I have had a weekend like this past one. There wasn't anything done that was of major consequence, it was just one of those FUN weekends where there wasn't a hassle needing to do one thing and then another, or having to be some place and then somewhere else within a very short span of time. It was one of those weekends where I wanted to play and have fun and, quite surprisingly, that is exactly what we did.

On Saturday Hubby and I just relaxed and waited for a visit from one of my sisters that didn't materialize. While we were waiting for a score of other people too, this time friends, we watched loads of movies on TV (thank the Good Lord for cable), then got all gussied up and went to eat at our favorite Indian restaurant called Tandoor here in Lexington. After eating we went to the $1.50 movies and saw Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas. It had been quite a while since I saw pure elegance in a film and it was beyond refreshing.

Hubby liked the movie, too. He laughed and pulled for the kids and we ended up bobbing to some of the movie soundtrack. We had a wonderful time in the movie, although just prior to going into the movies there was a bit of tension, but that is for just a little bit later.

When we came out of the theater there was LOTS of lightning flashes and a crash of thunder directly over our heads that almost made me pee on myself! It was intense and we laughed, because even my darling Hubby flinched at the sudden sound of it.

Sunday we went to Church then went out to eat lunch at our favorite Chinese place, #1 China Buffet, and then dived over to a game store for Hubby to pick up a memory card for his PS2 and I picked out a game for myself on the XBox and he grabbed a new game for his PS2 (it was a used game, just new to us). After that we picked up his pants from the tailor's and then on to Barnes & Nobles where we met some friends and finished making their characters for the role playing game I am currently running. It was beyond fun.

When our friends left Hubby and I just tooled around Barnes & Noble's and looked and books. We didn't buy anything, of course, but we still had a wonderful time. When we came home we ate some wonderful sammiches and watched things we had recorded on the DVR.

This was a weekend of play for me and Hubby. It was the sort of weekend we've needed for quite a while. I suppose we could have tried to plan such a weekend and see if we couldn't make it happen, of course, but it is so much more enjoyable when it just happens spontaneously and life gives you a breather.

*** *** ***

OK, when we go to the movies there were two police cars there and several police officers. According to a black family, there was a woman taking pictures of her children who had gone to see Ice Age 2 and just before going in, a while family came out with the mother crying and the father upset because a woman had also been taking pictures of their child. Also, a man had offered to expose himself to some other man's daughter. It was a black man and he was ready to collect his friends and wait for the guy to come back to the theater just so they could dole out a little justice. The police convinced them otherwise, but, quite honestly, I was with the men who wanted to teach the perv a lesson!

Is it my imagination or is it getting almost impossible for children to be children these days without having to worry about perverts?

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Happy Moment (poem)

untitled poem 1
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Blue skies
Hope abounds
Life continues
Even in the heart and depth of surprise.


Yesterday was the character generation for the role playing game of Chaos Earth which I am running. I was a little uncertain in the beginning, not because I was uncertain whether or not I could run the game, but whether or not people would come. Guess what! People came! And much fun was had by all! Even the GM, me!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Imagination (poem)

By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Imagination -
Paint brush dripping words
Hovering over expectant canvas.

Imagination (poem)

By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Imagination -
Paint brush dripping words
Hovering over expectant canvas.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Not Remembering, Not Forgetting (Poem)

Not Remembering, Not forgetting
By. H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Sit quiet
Bird song trilling
Echoing that longing,
That longing of some deepest memory
Where something is almost remembered.

A pleasant something,
Flowing and coursing
With unending depths
Some song of long ago
Something perfect...

Lost within the eternal memory
Locked away almost accidentally
By hands or thoughts once thought or did,
That closed the memory,

Just behind the consciousness
Almost seen, glimpsed, touched
A thousand times a thousand times
But never fully grasping hold of it
We've almost brought it forth, time after time...

And we feel it -
That moment of remembering and moment
Now and Then
Existing simultaneously
Within the depths of our very Souls!

And we smile.
We lift our heads to the sun
Not remembering,
Not forgetting,
Enjoying the moment of Current Time.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The New Blade

Blade: The Series is going to be on screen soon at Sci Fi Channel. Although Wesley Snipes is not going to be Blade for the series, they have a very interesting gentleman, Kirk Jones, a.k.a. Sticky Fingaz, to take over his part for the film. And, according to Jones, he is doing a good deal of his own stunts.

I am going to miss seeing Wesley Snipes in the role of Blade for the series, but I am still going to watch the show. How could I not? A muscular bald man with a sword to combat vampires? Yes, I may be the only person who watches, but I will watch. If it is totally crappy I will be very disappointed.

Note: I tried to upload a picture of Mr. Jones for you all to see, but the computer trixies decided against it.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Since my dear hubby has been not working he has become a Latin music junkie and, much to my surprise and happiness, a movie junkie. We have watched good movies, bad movies, really good movies, and movies that make me blush that we even turned it on there to see what was happening. We have watched Porky's again for the first time in, oh, say, a decade, and we still managed smiles. It was most surprising that some of the lines were still remembered. Not many. Thank goodness.

Today, however, we watched an excellent movie called Mindhunters starring LL Cool J, Val Kilmer, and Christian Slater. The movie came out in 2004. I don't know how well it did in theaters, but if you can find it on DVD or catch it on Starz this month, I highly recommend it. Trainees in the FBI's psychological profiling program must put their training into practice when they discover a killer in their midst. This is what the teaser said on Starz and on Imdb. It doesn't give justice to the thrilling character of this movie or how well acted it really is.

To be quite honest I was surprised at LL Cool J's (James Todd Smith is his real name) acting abilities. Christian Slater buys it most gruesomely, but not so gruesomely you can't watch the rest of the movie. The killer that must be found is horribly wonderful and you can catch the clues slowly. But, you don't really figure out who the killer is until the end of the movie, but it isn't an ending that cheapens the film or makes the viewer feel dumb or stupid. Oh, and Val Kilmer's character also dies.

The movie is taut with psychological evaluations and how people, very intelligent FBI people at that, can fall apart under extremely trying circumstances.

And, for those of you who are curious - LL Cool J makes it to the very end. He is one of two survivors.

This is a movie I may go and watch again simply because it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, without making me dive to cover my eyes at the gore. Blood was present and dead bodies, but it was done without being "gory" and, somehow, this made the movie even more scary than what it would have otherwise been.

I can't recommend the movie enough!

If you like a good thriller and want to help catch the killer before the end of the movie, go check it out. Like I said, it is on Starz this month.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sorry for Vanishing Like That

I wish I could say I had been in the very center of writing and have many pages of productivity on The New Novel to report, but, I do not. I enjoyed the long weekend. I enjoyed my 9th wedding anniversary and received pearls. Then I came down with a hearty something that gave me a nasty fever and made me feel like death warmed over with an icing of absolute frozen frigidity. Today I am better. I am not well, but I am better. And, with being better I feel guilty. Why do I always feel guilty for being better? Maybe because there are no longer any excuses for not having time to do productive things.