Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Trust No One

Image hosting by PhotobucketWho Am I? still amazes me. It is one of the finest Jackie Chan movies out there. Why? The stunts are impeccable (at least the finished project) and impressive. Although the movie was released in 1998, I have to admit it is one of my favorite movies of any type, not just in the martial arts or action/adventure genres.

In this movie, Jackie Chan plays a Special Forces team member who loses his memory because of greed on his superior’s part. He is befriended by the Masai in Africa after he loses his memory and is badly wounded after falling out of a helicopter into the jungle canopy below, wraps a rope around his body and launches himself off of the side of a building and then rights the world enough to run off, has an outstanding fight on top of a building, and runs down the side of a building without a rope! Awesome!

Just see this movie!

A Sad Passing

Coretta Scott King has passed away.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Thinking Again

Today has been a day of deep thought on my part. What I want to achieve in this attempt at changing my body for the better; what I want out of my writing life/world; what I want out of life in general. Recently I have been faced with all kinds of possibilities, some of them not really good. I am happy to report I DO NOT HAVE CANCER! Thus all of the ideas that have been roaming around in my head and actually sitting down to decide what I want out of my current life. It never hurts to have a wake-up call every so often. This one, however, was quite scary. Still, I feel like I have a fifth chance at life.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Looking at This Friday

Nothing I had planned has come about, but things that I hadn't planned are occurring. What is that old saying about mice and men?

On the physical front, I am doing poorly, as they say back home, but I have hopes this poorly spell will pass. It hasn't stopped my creativity however, because ideas for stories and poems are still popping up left and right and the lethargy, though it is keeping me from working at a continuous pace, is not stopping the work of the creative at all. This gives me hope things will majorly progress in the coming days and weeks.

We have cable movie channels now and I must admit today has been the first day I have just let myself veg in front of the mind box in quite a long time. It seems my brain needs the break from all of its thinking because I have actually watched a couple of movies. One movie in particular has caught my fancy, The Haunted Palace with Vincent Price. I remember seeing this flick as a child on the Saturday Afternoon Movie Show and being scared senseless. It is a pity it doesn't scare me now like it did, but my heart still beats quickly on occasion at some scenes. I also watched The Picture of Dorian Gray the old black and white version. It was absolutely superb. So, why am I watching all of these "old" movies in comparison to the new movies that are out there right now? Because they seem better in many ways, than current movies who rely too much on the show instead of the tell of a good story. I love modern movies, all of you should know that by now, but sometimes, when you go back into the black and white vaults you come up with some true gems of excellent story telling.

Now, to some news.... Have any of you read about this?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


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

Rising above the ashes,
Never more, never went, never look
Over that edge into the past
Where things live and have already died
Existing in memory
Adorned in gossamer gown and glowing colors.

Newness feels...new
Like a taste newly tasted
Or a scent newly discovered
Resting on the palate
Digesting into current life
Evolving into current existence.

Phoenix risen
Newly born
Ages old
Youth experienced
Life exemplified
Time's ultimate passage.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And the Music Plays

Recently my husband developed a love for Latino music. No, he can't speak or understand Spanish, and neither can I, but he loves it. He loves the rhythms and the sounds, the movements the music encourages you make, as well as the risks the music encourages you to take in doing said moves. He loves the passion of the words even though he doesn't understand them. It is sort of like life I think - we never understand completely what is happening or ahead of us, but we love it, usually, knowing that this isn't going to be the way things are forever; and, sometimes, we dread it to its utmost core. Still, there is something exciting about the not-knowing - it keeps pulling us forward, just like B's Latin videos he loves to watch.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Only those upon the journey can see the dim road.

Last night I was fortunate enough to see a wonderful film called Musa the Warrior. It is an epic film of freedom, love, and what it means to be the person you truly are. Does it say all of that in one simple sentence? Of course not. It comes through in the wonderful imagery and the fullness of the story of Yeosol Image hosting by Photobucketa Korean slave who is released from slavery by his master who raised him from a boy and is a Korean envoy to China. Yeosol's master dies on a long march back to Korea. Why are they going back to Korea? Things did not go so well with the envoys and General Choi, who is arrogant and immature at best, decides they are all going back to Korea.

On their march many fall, those who are still alive are executed and a lock of their hair taken so it can at least be returned to Korea. Also on their march they fall into a campsite, almost literally, of Mongol soldiers. Low and behold, there is a Ming princess being held captive and she drops a silken handkerchief with the words "help me" on it, which General Choi finds and upon catching a glimpse of her pretty face, he decides they are going to rescue her, as well as Yeosol who has been captured by the Mongol soldiers. It is the Mongol general that hopes Yeosol will decide to join the Mongol army because he admires the young man's skill and ability with the spear.

The princess sees Yeosol and appreciates him from afar, but she is a princess and he is an ex-slave, so romance, as we in the West would view it, does not take place. There isn't any kissing or love-making, but there is love and a reality in this love that forces us even deeper into this story. At one point Yeosol, who does not speak Chinese, is yelling at the princess in Korean, and she, in turn, is yelling back at him in Chinese. (Don't we all do that at one point or another in our relationships?)

General Choi also admires the princess, he has a better chance with her, of course, because he is a Korean general, but he also sees how she favors Yeosol. There is some anger, but there is also honor.

This is one of those films where everyone on screen matters to the viewer in one form or another, even the Mongol general who has the "bad guy" slot. You end up feeling for him as well because he does not want to do what he knows the job requires, but he does it any way - he is a Mongol general who is loyal to his people and his Khan.

There is action in this film from minute one and continues until the very end. As for the ending itself, I'm not going to tell you. Being an Asian film, it is sad, but it has an honor and a loyalty about it that cannot fully be brought across here.

And this guy Image hosting by Photobucket is dangerous with a bow! I was much impressed. Actually I was as impressed with him as with Yeosol's use of the spear.

Rent the movie. Enjoy it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


* The coal miners in West Virginia were found dead. The really bad thing is how the press is saying "Well, they had good air just a few feet away." OK wise guys, you be in a deep mine explosion and cave in, and YOU find the good air without a problem. Prove it to me you can do it. Of course they aren't going to even try. So, until they try, I personally believe they should shut up.

* I've been pondering something this weekend. Something important. Something I am going to share later on in the week if not tomorrow.

* My JoJo (canine) has been very upset today. Cappachino (feline) has taken up residence under my wheelchair when I am in the living room watching television. JoJo has been so upset by this that she has literally been grumbling and complaining and very upset with B and me because we are not making the cat move so she can be as close to me as is possible.

This warms my heart really, and makes me smile, even though JoJo is indeed extremely upset.

*Have just watched a fantastic movie tonight. Will review it for The News later on in the week.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Keep Them in Your Prayers

More miners are trapped in West Virginia.

Yeah, I Needed to Share This

I really needed to read this today and now I get to share it with you. Any thoughts? Commmments?

"Action is the antidote to despair."

– Joan Baez

Friday, January 20, 2006

So the 'Net is Propositioning Infidelity?

Today as I was checking my email, as I am want to do several times a day because things come in at different times and I need to check to see if a publisher received this story or that poem, because many actually DO respond with an email (although many don't as well). Sometimes the Spam filter doesn't catch what is Spam and what isn't, I have made it a habit to at least peruse the addresses and subject lines of the bulk mail/spam mail folders. This habit has let me rescue a couple of submission possibilities I would not normally have had because the computer, or service, put them in that particular file rather than the Inbox, where they were supposed to go.

Usually the same things keep appearing in the bulk/spam folder - prescription drug offers, sex offers, dating offers, scams, the usual. Today while I was scanning over the titles and senders of said titles, one caught my eye. It said, Clandestine Meetings. It was from a dating company. This struck me as a little odd, and although I don't usually open weird emails, I did this one and was shocked to discover my suspicions were quite founded: It was a dating site for married people to find other married people (and sometimes single ones) to have an affair with! It supported, touted and even encouraged adultery in couples!

I was stunned and re-read the advertisement several times. No, not to see how to join, but just to make sure I had seen what I thought I had. It was blatant about "getting the satisfaction" each married partner wanted and needed and "why does your significant other have to know?"

Sadly, I am really far behind the times if this is the trend now. I grew up believing that if someone who was married had an affair there were problems in the relationship and that if an affair was had then there could be forgiveness and the relationship could be saved. Having an extra marital affair was never encouraged.

I have known of a case or two when one member of the marriage was in love with two people, but in the end a decision had to be made as to which one to finish out living the rest of their lives with. That is, if their marriage partner had not killed or divorced them upon finding out the matter (and usually they never did). Still, these were exceptions rather than the norm. The norm is - having an affair, the wife or husband finds out about it and there is usually a divorce on the table in less time than it took to have the affair!

But people do NOT need to be encouraged to have an affair.

By the way, remember the commandment THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

We're Graduating Them Dumb

Most college graduates can't read well?

The Truth Is Out

OK, so here's the deal. I've had to have all of those nice girlie tests recently. Yeah, enough said. The only thing is that it turns out I'm not menopausal. This leaves two other possibilities - endometriosis and cancer. I'm shooting for endometriosis. On Tuesday of next week I go back for more tests and receive the diagnosis. I'm a little on edge. Really? Doesn't that surprise anyone? Glad to know.

Since things could end up being bad I've done a lot of thinking since 2:30 this morning. I've really looked at myself and my life and decided serious changes need to be made. It doesn't matter what the results are to the tests I am getting in the best physical shape possible - it has been long over-due as is, and I am going to concentrate on being "the little wife" and pounding out all the stories I can possibly get out there.

Why am I going to be concentrating on "the little wife" deal? It is difficult to explain. It will make the husband happy for one, and happy husbands leave you alone to do what you need to or want to when they aren't with you. He works a solid 40 hours a week, so I think I can manage this without too much of a problem. It is all of this talking he wants me to do to him that may be the hardest problem. It always has been. He never knows when I am being open and sharing my soul. He is always expecting something great and grand in a discovery either my self-discovery of something he has always known, or guessed, or that he discovers something brand new and startling in its revelation. Those things don't happen that often people. Since he doesn't read what I write and he ignores the LJ and this blog, well, he misses a lot on me. He has the excuse he is tired, of course, that he worked all day, but if the places were reversed, he would be down right damn hurt if I didn't look at his drawings and schematics. It wouldn't matter how many hours of work I had put in. Oh well, that's life, I suppose, as a married person.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Growing Worry

Have you ever had one of those days where something you had been worried about seemed to be lifted and then the worry comes slamming back even harder on you? That's the sort of day this has turned into.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Questioning and Not Coming Up With Good Answers

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. Doesn't it seem odd to you?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Shoe Leather Zen

Have you ever noticed how the soles of our shoes reflect our lives? It starts out new and then it starts to get worn in and comfortable. It moves and changes and helps us stay sure footed, at least on the sure footed surfaces, but sometimes it just slips in water or trips over imaginary boulders the size of peas. Then it cracks, sometimes breaks while gunk gets stuck onto it and we have to clean it off sometimes just because the gunk is SO absolutely bad. Finally, when the soles of the shoes have gone as far as the rest of the shoe - usually the sole of the shoes outlast the rest of the shoe itself, but it all gets chucked to someplace else, or to Goodwill, or to the trash bin depending on how bad the rest of the shoe is. Then we go out and get ourselves a new pair of shoes, but it takes a long time for the new pair to feel as good as the old ones. Have you ever noticed this?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Soup De Jour

Cross-posted to LJ.

Let me re-cap, for a moment, about supper last night: Hubby wanted a fish soup. Between myself looking in my cook books and on the 'Net, and Cheyenne looking on the 'Net and emailing me recipes when they would not open on Foodtv.com for me (most annoying that was), I had a pretty good handle on what I could do to make this fish soup. My plan was to have lots of pasta, some cheese, and a chicken broth base that would not be all that fishy tasting. I would fix the fish separately and he could add his into the soup if he wanted, and if he didn't, he wouldn't have to. Since the entire idea of fish soup seems just plain wrong to me, I was planning on the latter. Hubby, on the other hand, had an Oriental taste in mind, so he went to the Thai store and purchased some really odd ingredients for this soup. I prepared the fish separately as I had planned (thank God for small ideas!) and Hubby worked on his soup once he was back from service last night .

The egg noodles, bless him, were cooked until they really didn't have a taste any more, and the broth itself was so spicy and tasted so odd that my stomach felt a little green. Sounds odd, but is true. Hubby kept eating the soup and the noodles and thought they were absolutely wonderful, or pretended to at least. I am still not convinced he enjoyed his meal as much as he seemed to. He put his fish into this mixture and continued to eat with relish. I just ate my fish and some French fries he made with the soup just in case we needed more (possibly he was mostly thinking about me, or we would have a back up to the fish soup if he didn't like it). Needless to say, supper, for me, was not very tasty. But he enjoyed it, which means it wasn't an absolute and total loss. I did notice this morning that he made himself a fish sandwich and took that to work with him - the soup remainders has been left behind in the fridge.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lazy But Productive

I am never quite sure what to make of these sort of days - this has been a lazy, but productive, day. Doctors appointments have been scheduled (yes, plural), I have contacted transportation so I can be out and about for a while tomorrow, and in looking in on the kitchen I can say that it will not be a difficult task to clean what little needs to be done and then prepare supper (it is deciding what to prepare for supper that is proving an almost daunting task). That was the productive side of the day. On the non-productive and lazy side of the day I can say I have listened to much music and decided I simply cannot survive the rest of the new year without Napster. I have lazed, eaten, and contemplated reading a novel or just watch one of the many movies I have stacked up beside the monitor here. So, a lazy but productive day.

Oh! And I have written more on the story that I had started just prior to the flu, or when I was beginning to get over it, I'm not exactly sure which. One of the main characters is trying to break away from me and do his own thing, thus taking the story with him into probable oblivion, but I am being steadfast and strong and, so far, am perceiver against him! Although, I am beginning to think that part of his actions may be somewhat probable and logical, but I do not have the fullest reason to go ahead and let him do what he wants. This is a good story, one of those stories where I know and can feel the words flowing almost like the blood in my veins. Keeping hold of these guys is becoming difficult, but rearing children never are.

One thing I have tried, and failed to do, is to locate something interesting to put into today's slot. Alas, you all are stuck with me yet again. Hopefully tomorrow I will have a good smattering of creativeness to share with you all. .... There IS a poem brewing deep down.

I love poetry.

I love writing.

Sometimes I even love being me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Something Else, Not the Something I Was Going To Do

I had a poem ready to go for today, since it is Tuesday after all, and then in reading a fellow LJer's LJ I couldn't help but post this link


because this is simply too amazing to just keep under wraps! Enjoy it to its ultimate fullest.

This sort of thing makes me want to try my hand at it, but it is all I can do to keep working on the stories, much less anything else!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Short and Sweet

Guess what I picked up this weekend?


Check it out here


Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Differences that Unite Us

Last night was the beginning of the new seasons for Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis as well as Battlestar Galactica on SciFi Channel. I have to admit I was waiting for these new seasons to begin because the shows ended on nice cliff hangers last season. With the new season being here it was also time for B and I to slip into a routine we had come to miss after a while. We love SciFi Fridays on SciFi Channel. But, last night, I slipped away to go to the computer and write some on a short story that had my interest. So, for the next hour, I wrote and missed Galatica, but B was keeping me abreast of what was going on by calling in updates during commercials and even coming in at the end of the show to excitedly tell me the last five minutes of what had been happening. It wasn’t until I was in the shower last night that I realized something: Battlestar Galatica is not one of my favorite shows.

Way back when, sometime in the Seventies, I was a HUGE fan of the original BG but it was mostly because of the guy that played Starbuck (I adored him!) and because I loved everything science fiction and fantasy and it was the coolest (if not the only) sf show on at the time in my neck of the woods. Even back then I didn’t watch it religiously and pay attention to what was going on in the episodes. In fact, to this day I cannot remember one single BG episode clearly like I can the old Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I remember many of those episodes, as well as the original Star Trek episodes (many of those I believe I have memorized, but not to the uber ST fan status, so I suck there).

Battlestar Galatica is not a bad show. It is, in fact, quite good, it just does not fit my particular taste, but it does for B. If I miss a few episodes in order to write my own stories and perhaps get published one day, I don’t see it as a horrible sacrifice like I would for the other two shows mentioned above.

B, on the other hand, can almost quote some of the old BG episodes to you. He can give descriptions of the cylons and the ships and the adventures in pretty good detail. He loves this show, old and new. In being his wife, I love having similar interests with him, it shows our unity, but there are times when we don’t have to be unified - we can like our own shows and our own things and still be just as much the couple – or more so – than we otherwise would be. Realizing that last night sort of removed a weight from my shoulders that I had not fully realized was there, until it was gone, of course. (And, I am not saying I am NEVER going to watch ANY of the BG episodes from this point forth, because I know I will. I like the show, I just do not love the show.)

It is important for us to have fun doing the little things in life, such as watch television together or like some of the same music, but it isn’t essential to our relationship. It is because of our individual interests and natures that drew us to each other just as strongly as it was the similarities in our interests and natures. This had not been a problem for me until I recently noticed just how many of my married friends were complaining that they had to go watch football with their husbands and how much they detested it. In a way it sort of planted a subconscious seed in me that I should like everything B likes, but I don’t. Although I like football, sometimes I do not like to watch the same games he doe, and if there are no stories pressing upon me I sometimes just sit in the living room with him and write letters, read a novel, edit a story I have already completed or do a craft of some type, but I do not ever feel that I should be as engrossed in said game as he is. Quite honestly, I am usually the one watching the football games and he is doing something else while sitting with me! It is good to be different in many ways, just as it is good to be similar in many ways. All in all, we do quite well together with our differences and our similarities, after all, if we were SO much alike what would there be left to discover about each other? Life together then would become quite boring at this stage of the game. Right now, it is just the way it should be, sort of like Goldie Locks and Baby Bear’s porridge, chair and bed – juuuuust right.


I had a lovely post all written out about last night and how my science fiction/fantasy viewing is different from my husbands and an almost epiphanical revelation, but Blogger ate it. Perhaps one day the words will flow again as easily as they just did. If not, well, it's your loss, and mine too, because it was a dam fine good piece.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Moon Warriors, a review

Cheyenne is always picking up interesting movies and sometimes he lends them out. When he was in recently he left a movie called Moon Warriors. B wanted to see the movie for the "kung fu whale" and I wanted to see it because of Andy Lau. There is just something about Andy Lau that pleases me. It doesn't matter if he is a good guy or a bad guy, but, he is cool. Plus, it was directed by Sammo Hung which EVERYONE knows as the brother of Jackie Chan and a martial arts master in his own right, not to mention writer and director.

In this movie Andy plays a villager, a fisherman trying to help a struggling heir to a throne regain said throne. It is one of those movies you actually get to see Andy's martial arts abilities in Wu Shu and acrobatics.

At one point Andy, or Fei, is sent to get the betrothed princess of the hiding emperor-to-be in order to unite forces so the current emperor, the younger brother of the emperor-to-be, can be deposed and the correct emperor enthroned. There is a huge fight, of course, because intrigue is afoot and the princess, who is quite spoiled as most princesses are, slowly becomes interested in Fei who loves her as well.

Once the princess is safe with her emperor-to-be Fei decides he cannot help the emperor-to-be any longer from a close distance because he simply does not want to see his own love marry the man who may one day rule the country. No one wants to see the woman they love marry another!

Meanwhile, the emperor-to-be has a woman body guard who is in love with him and he is secretly in love with as well. The body guard also has a secret (more intrigue approaches!) - she is working for the evil emperor and has sworn to kill the emperor-to-be, but her heart can't do it, so she kills everyone else...except the princess and Fei who has a wonderful moment talking things over away from the hiding place of the emperor-to-be. There is a wonderful fight between the two ladies which the emperor-to-be breaks up and when each woman accuses the other, he forbids either of them from speaking ill of the other. Although they don't like this very much, the women agree and go to their separate places in the hide out and mull things over.

The body guard thinks about what she should do. Should she be a turn coat on the evil emperor and fight beside the man she loves who would be a better emperor for the people by far, or should she carry out her mission and attempt to kill the emperor-to-be, her beloved?

The princess looks at her beautiful wedding clothes and thinks of Fei, but she is a princess and cannot turn her back on her royal duty so she spends her time mourning for the love and life that she could have had.

Enter evil emperor. He has found the hide out and is going to end the battle for the throne and and for all. The bodyguard decides she cannot go against her heart any longer and fights beside the emperor-to-be and princess and Fei. Yay bodyguard!

The evil emperor is not a bad fighter and he uses all of his evil powers to over-come his brother and the women and Fei. He kills the bodyguard who dies in the emperor-to-be's arms just before the emperor-to-be is attacked and seriously wounded. We don't know if he makes it or not.

The princess comes to help the emperor-to-be and is mortally wounded. As she falls, Fei catches her and cradles her lovingly in his arms after blinding the evil emperor. They have one of those quiet moments that you know are special and not to be disturbed. The princess is dying and Fei is holding her, spending a lifetime in one moment. It is the princess' dying that made me adore this movie.

The evil emperor, using his super martial arts abilities, finds his weapon and begins to rush head long at the dying princess and Fei. The princess' eyes close in death, and Fei is not going to disrupt her final peace on this earth by fighting. By the time the princess is gone, the evil emperor is too close and cuts Fei's sword in two and impales him against a stone pillar which cracks and falls off to crush the evil emperor and kill him. And why does the pillar crack and fall onto the evil emperor? Because of the entrance of Fei's beloved pet killer whale who leaps out of the water and hits the bad guy with his mighty tail! Yep, that will do it every time.

Fei is impaled against the stone pillar, magnificent in his heroicism. The princess is crumpled at his side in a sitting position with her head resting against his leg and his hand caressing her hair.

Fei says, "I thought I was finally dead, but I woke up far out to sea because my faith Wai Mei had come for me." Then the movie fades to him walking across a field covered in flowers by a statue of a woman that is supposed to be the princess I think. And he narrates along the lines of: "I stayed away from my land for three years and I came to discover that sometimes the stories and songs are true, especially the tragic ones." And the movie ends.

It was the most depressing ending movies I have seen in many a day! Still, as far as wonderful movies and stories to watch unfold it is a magnificent one. I just wish it wasn't so depressing in the end.

Should you watch this movie?


Just be prepared for the ending.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Poetry, Life's Loom, H.A. Handy

Life's Loom
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Beyond the moment life looms
It weaves and tangles, detangles and grooms
Hoping for us what it will
Weaving for us what it must, good or ill.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

And We Mourn

Only one man of the thirteen miners survived. Being the daughter of a coal miner, I paid very close attention to this story. Back in Leslie County mining is one of the main sources of income still, and each time I hear of a mine accident I pay close attention.

I remember instances when you would hear of cave ins and other wives of miners would end up calling my Mom to make sure Dad was safe, or as safe as she knew he was. There was a time when I was very small a lot of people came to the house to wait. The men laughed and spoke quietly in the yard and the women gathered with my Mom. Was Dad trapped? I don't know. But I knew it had something to do with the mines and I knew my Dad worked in the mines, and I was quiet. Being a child meant you kept quiet and listened and played with your toys even if you really weren't playing with them because that's what the grown-ups needed to see. Being older I know now that it was also a way of protecting us, of keeping us out-of-the-know, but we figured it out. We always did.

And then there was the horrible accident where an entire mine blew and caved and a huge number of men died. My Dad knew a lot of them. He went to keep tabs on what was happening and if he and his men could help dig them out. Everything came to a slow grind. We knew, I knew, Daddy was safe, but that didn't make me wonder if it would happen to him one day.

It seems from as far back as I can remember the coal mining business was important to my family, to my little corner of the mountains, and on around to many other corners I didn't know about. I knew my Daddy worked under ground and I asked him once if his mine shaft reached our house. "No, buddy, it don't. I hope it never does."

"Why Daddy?"

"Because that would mean the hills are gone. The trees are gone. No birds sing and the creek is dry." I thought about this very hard. That is when I think I actually started caring about the land, the ground, the air, the trees, the animals. Everything mattered. Everything was linked because of the ground.

Daddy is gone now, but I can't help but wonder if maybe some of those older miners, the ones who made it out day after day and raised families might be looking over this new set who have it just as hard as they did. Does a miner come for a miner in the absolute dark of the mine when they die? Part of me would like to think so.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

West Virginia Miners Trapped

They are still searching for the miners trapped in the deep mine in West Virginia. Please keep the men and their families in your prayers.


Take Me Back, Poetry by H.A. Handy

Take Me Back
By H.A. Handy
Copyright 2006 by H.A. Handy

Take me back, Shayne, take me back
To Low Gap Mountain way up high.

Sissy, I can't - it isn't the same,
Everything has changed there from the way it was.

Take me then, where the mountains roll
Like endless waves upon the land.

Take me to where you can see the sky,
Blue as any sea

Where the hawks circle and cry as they pass
That greeting I dream of in my sleep.

Take me back, Shayne, take me back,
Back on top of the Kentucky hills
To where my soul can rest a while.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Magician's Nephew, by C.S. Lewis, A Review

In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it. The horse seemed to like it too; he gave the sort of whinny a horse would give it, after years of being a cab-horse, it found itself back in the old field where it had played as a foal, and saw someone whom it remembered and loved coming across the field to bring it a lump of sugar.


Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by the other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn't come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leapt out -- single stars, constellations, and planets, bright and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.


The Voice on the earth was now louder and more triumphant; but the voices in the sky, after singing loudly with it for a time, began to get fainter. And now something else was happening.

Far away, and down near the horizon, the sky began to turn grey. A light wind, very fresh, began to stir. The sky, in that one place grew slowly and steadily pale. You could see shapes of hills standing up dark against it. All the time the Voice went on singing.

There was soon light enough for them to see one another's faces. The Cabby and the two children had open mouths and shining eyes; they were drinking in the sound, and they looked as if it reminded them of something. Uncle Andrew's mouth was open too, but not open with joy. He looked more as if his chin had simply dropped away from the rest of his face. His shoulders were stooped and his knees shook. He was not like the Voice. If he could have got away from it by creeping into a rat's hole he would have done so. But the Witch looked as if, in a way, she understood the music better than any of them. Her mouth was shut, her lips were pressed together, and her fists were clenched. Ever since the song began she had felt that this whole world was filled with a Magic different from hers and stronger. She hated it. She would have smashed that whole world, or all words, to pieces, if would only stop the singing. The horse stood with its ears well forward, and twitching. Every and and then it snorted and stamped the ground. It no longer looked like a tired old cab-horse; you could now well believe its father had been in battles.

The eastern sky changed from white to pink and from pink to gold. The Voice rose and rose, till all the air was shaking with it. And just as it swelled to the mightiest and most glorious sound it had yet produced the sun arose.

The Magician's Nephew was written several years after the Chronicles of Narnia was begun. It is the introductory book C.S. Lewis wanted for his series. I had never read it until this weekend in bouts of fever and flu and found myself totally enthralled with it on so many levels!

The adventures of the children I had not met before, the introduction of the Witch, Uncle Andrew all played their parts and I could see myself as the child as well as others in the story as it began to unfold. Have you ever wondered how the wardrobe came into being? You find out in this book. Have you ever wondered how a lamp post tree came to be in Narnia? You find out in this book, but does it in no way explain anything else that is going to happen. It truly is the beginning of the series and explains so much as well as set the table for one of the most wonderful adventures in reading anyone, old or young, could possibly go on.

The above section is not from the beginning of the novel, but somewhere in the middle. You think you are going to have one particular adventure and discover yourself on a totally different path, which all good adventures should do now and then. In reading The Magician's Nephew I remembered what it was about story telling and reading a good story that made me want to write them in the first place. I can't say it took me down memory lane because I had not read this book before. I can say it was one of the most superb reads I have had in a while.

Go, find it. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Already Some Positives

The New Year of 2006 has begun and already there are positives to report: I feel better. I am not "well" yet, but I am feeling much better and have hope that I am going to beat this nasty thing into submission very soon.

B and I brought it in holding hands because of this horrible cruddy sickness I currently possess. I must admit I really did miss my New Year's Kiss. There is something special about that first kiss of the beginning year - like there are promises made of many more, at least there is hope there will be.

Maybe it is because I am feeling better, but I am quite hopeful about this little Blog and what I hope it accomplishes this year. I believe I am going to add a book review for each week. This is for two purposes - to make sure I keep up my reading schedule, and to actually keep track of what I read during the year.

Can you possibly guess what the first book will be for 2006? Narnia, or the very first section of it. Already there is something that has struck my heart and imagination so deeply it made me actually remember why I started writing in the first place, as well as reading wonderfully lovely novels. I will share all of that with you later. For now, I am just enjoying the read and relaxing and feeling better.

2006 has indeed begun much better than I expected it too, yet hoped for.

Happy New Year All!