Life in progress


#SoCS – Bizarre Bazaar

One of the books I’m reading right now is The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. I remember the first time I looked at the title, I wondered if he was talking about bizarre bad dreams because these two words cause a glitch somewhere in my noggin’ that makes me not know which is which. Or which has which meaning. If I think about it for a few seconds, I remember which is witch; I’m sure people all over have those words.

Did you see what I did back there? It was deliberate. Honest.

I wonder if it was some kind of witchery that made whoever came up with the English language (or any language?) invent words that sound the same that are spelled differently. You know, just to confuse us. Someone who, one day, was at a bazaar maybe and picked up a clementine and a tangerine and thought, “Well that’s bizarre. Two fruits that look the same and taste almost the same but have different names. I can come up with a language that’s that confounding!” And so English was born. From a little orange. Which is something else altogether.

And that’s the sort of post you get from Linda when she’s tired. 😛 Because really, she loves making up stories. They just sort of … fall out. Or leak out through her fingertips. Why the hell am I referring to myself in third person all of a sudden? It’s like I’m not me. Sometimes when I write fiction, I’m not me. I disappear and stuff comes out of me. Bizarre, isn’t it? Stuff of words and language and characters and sometimes it’s like I’m being taken over by something outside of me, something that guides me. Sounds scary, but it’s not. It’s freeing.

I wonder if this is how horror writers write. To think up something that we’d never do takes a certain je ne sais quoi. I know this because I write horror, but when I started this paragraph, I was thinking about Stephen King, who started this whole idea for a post in the first place. Damn it, Stephen! Yeah, I know it’s not his fault, but what to do?

But back to the whole “how am I able to come up with horror ideas that I’d never do in real life” question. I think it comes from fear. Fear of having things done to us by others who are capable of them. And with a vivid imagination comes a lot of fears, I’m afraid. Ha! I’m afraid. Get it?

Probably time for bed.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link and join in! And while you’re there, check out some of the other posts in the comments.



Worldwide – #AtoZChallenge

Though we may be divided by seas, by cultures, and by religion, the language of music is universal.

You may read the above sentence and wonder why I put “religion” in there. There’s a method to my madness.

When I looked up the A to Z Challenge word of the day in my thesaurus, I got “worldwide.” My initial thought was the Internet, naturally. But then I glanced at the synonyms and got a bit of a shock. The first one is “catholic.” How in the *ahem* heck, I thought, is “catholic” a synonym in the same list as “pandemic”? I immediately looked it up in the dictionary.

According to the English Oxford, it originates from the following:

“Late Middle English: from Old French catholique or late Latin catholicus, from Greek katholikos ‘universal’, from kata ‘in respect of’ + holos ‘whole’.”

It’s an adjective, defined as:

“Including a wide variety of things; all-embracing.”

For example, “‘her tastes are pretty catholic’”

Back to my original sentence. So by rights, I could get away with writing, “Though we may be divided by seas, by cultures, and by religion, the language of music is catholic.”

What do you think?

Hey, guess what? My A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette, “All Good Stories” is available internationally! It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here:


Just Jot It Jan 19 – Rubbish?

I always used to think it was a myth — rubbish — that someone’s hair could turn grey overnight. But guess what? I looked in the mirror this afternoon and I’m almost positive my hair is greyer than it was yesterday. Or even this morning. Either everything has caught up with me, finally, or there’s something in my Pantene 2 in 1.

Don’t you just love the word “rubbish,” though? It sounds so much better when you call something inaccurate or that you don’t agree with rubbish rather than garbage. The English have such lovely curse words. It’s not even a curse… I looked in the online thesaurus to see what else I could call it and came up with some interesting words. “Whammy”? “Obloquy”? “Naughty words”? Oh, here we go, “expletive.”

Let’s go back to obloquy. Look that up and I get… “animadversion.” I HAVE to look that up. And it means… “blame.”

I blame the bloody rubbish!

Now that was satisfying.


Thanks very much to Wendy for today’s prompt, “rubbish.” Please visit her post for today and say hi! You can find it here:

And don’t forget, even if you haven’t been participating in Just Jot It January up ’til now, it’s not too late to start! Click here for details and to read the other amazing posts:



Ultimately a Living

I have a passion for language. Ultimately, I hope to make a living through it.

“Ultimate” is the word of the day for the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt. Click here to visit our lovely host, Stephanie, and join in today!

Okay, now for my news:

I’ve been busy these past couple of months taking a course in editing through Simon Fraser University. I received my final mark last week and I passed – with 95%.


I realize it seems a bit self-indulgent to share my mark publicly, but there’s a sound reason behind it. I have no practical experience in editing anything but my own work and as it turns out, I need that just to apply to get into the Certificate program at SFU. I plan to hang out my proverbial shingle in the new year, so posting my results will, I hope, inspire confidence in my abilities. I’ve just started my second course of 12, but I can’t take the twelfth one until I qualify.

I have a passion for learning, for the English language, and also for helping people fulfill their own passions. I think I’m on the right path.


Communication – #AtoZ Challenge

My A to Z theme concerns the joys and challenges of being the hearing mother of my Deaf son, Alex.

When I discovered Alex was Deaf, I knew I would have to learn Sign Language. However, there was no point starting a formal education too early. I knew from experience that if you don’t use a language, you lose it pretty quickly. So in lieu of classes, I devised a few logical signs of my own. I think the first I ever taught him, before he came home from the hospital at the age of eight months, was to let him know when I was leaving and coming right back. I simply held my index finger up as I walked out the door. When I was leaving for the evening, I waved goodbye so he would know the difference. It didn’t take long before he needed to know why people were exiting his room; he began to cry whenever a nurse left, even for a moment. “Just a second” was the first of many I would have to teach the nursing staff over the years. I found the signs for “mom” and “dad,” and a few others so I could add to both my vocabulary and that of the people caring for him in the hospital when I couldn’t be there myself.

Even now, fifteen years later, it’s necessary to teach the nursing staff how to sign whenever he stays in the hospital. And not just one nurse, because signing is usually the last thing they have time to relate to each other when they change shifts. They normally have 15 minutes to go through the medical history and changes of all the patients on the floor. If Alex is admitted for a few days, there’s a fair bit of staff rotation. When a hospital is close to a border, such as the Ontario/Quebec border in Canada, the staff are expected to be bilingual, yet there is no provision for teaching hospital staff Sign Language. At the very least, it should be mandatory to have a reference book on every floor. I had to buy one of my own and lend it, always hoping it would come back home after Alex’s stay.

For a child without diverse medical needs, this would only be a problem occasionally. For us, it’s an ongoing concern. I honestly don’t understand why it’s not mandatory to teach Sign in schools. If you follow my A to Z, you may agree with me by the time the end of April gets here that they should.


NanoPoblano Day 6 – It’s not just for kicks!

It’s a bit of a no-brainer – we all need the internet. Right? I mean, it’s a basic necessity, right there near the bottom of the pyramid that is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. So what if we’re in Japan and, say, our WiFi doesn’t work in our hotel room? This was my Japanese lesson for today, so it will also be yours.

WiFi o shigoto o shimasen* (Wifi o shee-go-to o shee-mass-en) -keep in mind the “o” is always long.

Translation: Wifi doesn’t work. This phrase will obviously be accompanied by much red-faced hair-pulling jumping up and down, whilst gently cradling your laptop in one arm. I’ll leave you for a while to picture this…

So as I was saying, if such a thing occurs, and you manage to get your point across, chances are the person manning the front desk (assuming they don’t call the police on the crazy lady/man with the portable computer) will hand you your very own modem to plug in in your room, giving you the best WiFi you’ve probably ever experienced.

Conclusion: This phrase is definitely worth learning.

*I’m learning Japanese – if this is wrong PLEASE let me know. I don’t want to pull my hair out (or worse) for nothing.


This essential post has been brought to you in conjunction with Nano Poblano. Try it, for a healthy diet!


NanoPoblano Day 5 – It’s not Alaska

It’s the fifth day of the nifty challenge, Nano Poblano, and we’re back on track with our next Japanese lesson. Today there will be greetings. But not just any greetings; today we will practice saying “Good morning.” Translated: “Ohayou gozaimasu.”

I’m going to do this kind of like one would play charades, in that we’ll start with the second word, only because I’m not sure quite what it means but it keeps showing up in polite conversation. “Gozaimasu” (go-za-i-mass) is also stuck on the end of “Thank you very much,” so it’s gotta be important, right? So with that out of the way…

The first word in the Japanese phrase for “Good morning” is “Ohayou” (o-ha-yo). It’s pronounced like “Ohio” in the good old U. S. of A. Ohayou gozaimasu is used obviously before lunchtime and can be uttered to anyone you wish to be friendly with or just in passing on the street.

Conclusion: if you can leave off the aforementioned politeness factor, all you have to do is remember which state you need to state, and you’re laughing. Note: I had actually thought of saying “Cincinnati” to people in the morning, but they may not get the joke.


This farcical yet incredibly factual post is brought to you by Nano Poblano.