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Archive for February, 2019

Letter to Family – Thank You Christmas 2018

Dear Da, Ma, and the twins,

I wish to thank you for all the well wishes and prezzies you have sent. Ye dinna have to as postage is nae cheap, but I do appreciate it and am glad for all especially the sweets. One canna get them here. Here, they have sugar in them and are unhealthy for me wool, teeth, and insides.

The bow tie fits quite well. I put it on right away and think I am quite handsome with it. See Hamish for a picture. I am also wearing me Christmas tam the twins knitted. It is quite smart especially when one considers they worked on it together, at the same time. I will wear the Christmas tam all through the season.

I had me a fine Christmas, tho’ I did miss me family. I listened to baas and saw several Shaun the Sheep episodes, just like at home. There are no sheep close by so I couldna visit them. I did have photos of you around me.

The person with whom I share a space let me celebrate with her family. I helped decorate the tree and got a Christmas plate of hay, oats, and wheat, and other grasses and grains. They were tasty. There was even mountain hay, but not from Scotland. It is not as sweet.

Thank you again. I look forward to our New Year’s telephone call. You can tell me what the Queen said.

Your son and brother,

Angus. McSheep. (Wee Angus)

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There was something strange about the lady who wanted to sell a small jewelry box to Thelma Bee’s father. The sale to him wasn’t anything suspicious in itself, he owning an antique store. It was that she wanted cash quick and brought the asking price down so fast. Then it was what happened afterwards, when eleven-year-old Thelma went home. And saw the ghost in the mirror. And watched her father turn to smoke and be sucked into the box.

I will admit that I didn’t have high hopes for the book when I picked it up. It seemed like one of those formula books where the main character is a super spy, scientific genius, or the like who has to solve a great mystery. So glad the book proved me wrong. It made me realize I should not judge the book just by the blurb on the flap.

Thelma is a budding scientist and it was funny to read how she broke down the events, showing cause and effect, like when what started as her tossing her book bag on a cafeteria table, ends with a fire. That was funny.

I really didn’t know what to expect in the story, especially with the twists in it. Once I settled in the story, I expected a ghost story, which it is, but there was more to it and that made it a fun read.

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Animal Encounters

It being a warm day, the 5th of February and north of seventy degrees, I went walking. Rounding a curve, I began to think of last spring. There I was, chugging away, and as I am about to turn a corner, not this one, but another, I slow. There’s a cat on the road. How nice.
There are a number of feral cats in the neighborhood. Some of them are quite big, maybe pets gone wild. They slink away when I get close, eyes wide. Today, as I take a few steps closer, I spot movement to the side.
Bunnies. And the cat’s not eyeballing them. Strange. The last time I saw a bunny/cat encounter, my sister and I were taking a walk about the neighborhood. We’d spotted a rabbit and stopped to admire it.
Awwww, we said. How cute.
Bang.
Live bunny. Dead bunny. We were left with our mouths hanging open, not believing what just happened.
Back to my walk. I took another slow step forward, thinking the cat will be running off, scared off. The bunnies on the lawn step off and I see they are not rabbits. Kittens. This is even better.
But.
Wait.
I finally figure out this is not a cat, but a gray fox. I’ve heard there are foxes around, but I’d never seen one here and I was thinking more red fox because those are the only kind I’ve seen in the wild myself.
The fox looks at me. I think maybe I better start backtracking. The fox begins to lope toward me. Now, I really think it’s time to vamoose and thoughts of rabies and whatnot is going through my head. How fast can I climb a tree? Can foxes climb trees? I think yes.
Will the fox stay by it’s kits? It does.
After I get calmed down, I have to marvel at my encounter. Next time, though, I’ll be a bit more cautious.

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Writing Update

Another year has come to end, plus another passed as well, and it’s time to reflect on my writing goals for the year. I’m pleased with my writing, but wish I could push myself to go further, get something published. I keep saying, next year, next year. I must do better.

Should I do self-publishing? A friend of mine who knows someone who does that, says it’s like a full time job. They’re constantly calling people, promoting their book. Not easy when you’re working and I dislike telephoning people. I’m a horrid seller of things. I guess I have to see where exactly I want to go. I think, no, I know, my writing is good. It’s just a matter of getting it across to the right person.

I guess that will be my goal next year. Getting ‘stuff’ out to the right people.

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Middle School is tough in Chapel Spring, Lousiana. It’s a lot tougher if you’re the only girl with slanted eyes. It gets even rougher when twelve-year old Apple is put on the infamous Dog List. According to the boys in her grade, she’s the third ugliest girl.

At home she’s too American. At school she’s too Chinese. And she isn’t even Chinese, she’s Filipino. If she had the guitar she’s been begging her mother for, life would be so much better, Now it’s just getting worse, much worse.

By coincidence, I’d just listened to the Beatle’s White Album, the one Apple references in the book. George Harrison is her favorite Beatle. I found myself humming some of the songs when I read the titles, the ones I knew that is.

The story sucked me right in. I really felt for Apple. I got embarrassed with her and angry for her when her ‘best’ friends treated her badly. I liked how Ms. Kelly put in how the kids couldn’t tell the difference from where she was, referencing to other countries just because she looked different.

I liked the ending, when the pizza is being ordered for Apple and her friend, where the reader realizes that Apple isn’t the only one embarrassed about where she comes from. It’s subtle, but a real a-ha moment. There’s also an interesting twist at the end that I didn’t expect.

 

This book can be used for stereotyping, body shaming, and bullying.

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