Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alligator Shoes-Completed Story

 "You guys sure didn't make it easy for me this month, but my hero won as usual!"
Alligator Shoes never wanted to be Alligator Shoes. It just so happened that when she went to get a ticket that was the only one left. Tough, mean and nasty she roamed the streets on her misfortune. Night time was her favorite because no one could really see the ugly skin that paled across her soles. Night after night she waited in the shadows for something else to come along. The cold and the hunger dodged her attention; all that remained real were the corners on the street in front of her and the sound of her breath as she waited. Tonight she felt lucky. There was something strange in the air, something else was coming, and when it turned the corner she caught her breath in surprise...

There in the streetlight was a pair of Uggs! 

"Hello," the boots said to the shoes. "I've been waiting for this, waiting since the day you stole my greatest treasure." 

"I will lead you to your treaure, but what will you give me in return?" 

"How about this alligator belt to match?" Uggs answered. 

Rolling down the pavement was a wheel of leather with corks wobbling on the edge...an alligator belt cinched around the crown. Uggs looked at the belt and then looked at his own waist sheepishly.
"I think we need a little more gator to do the job." 

When the sun came up and light glistened on her already shinning cheeks the dark turned upside down and knocking her down, caused her to say, "Well, I ain't never!" 

Uggs could hear Alligator teeth gnashing and snapping in the air and his breath caught in his throat. Had the shoes mother caught up with him at last? Suddenly, inspiration settled. Uggs smiled as he reached for his Blackberry. "What a crock! A dial to my favorite magician should do the trick!"   

One abracadabra later a swarm of miniature alligators rained down from the clouds and puddles of miniature alligators formed below him. Suddenly Stiletto appeared! But stiletto was no match for mini gators and soon they swallowed him up! But oh how the mini gators stomach ached. This was worse than the worst indigestion. Stiletto spiked mini gators innards painfully, piercing his intestines...

In all the commotion Alligator shoes quickly grabbed the belt and using it as a leash pulled out stiletto from mini gators belly. She smiled and ran away with her treasured stiletto firmly fasted to her. Some say that to this day if you walk that darkened alley, you can still hear Uggs cursing Alligator shoes from the inside of Mini gators.

Here are the talented writers from CPSWA, Minnies fan club. Thanks for playing, and we hope to see you again next month!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Alligator Shoes

 Since it is almost the end of the month, Minnie is once again ready to come out and play some Gibberish with you. Originally she had decided to use this gibberish as an opening to the A-Z challenge but once again she has changed her mind. You will have to wait and see what she has planned for that. Usually Minnie does not have more than a couple of lines to start you off with but this month she has given you a bit more inspiration. Have fun and if you don't know how this works you can LOOK HERE.

Alligator Shoes never wanted to be Alligator Shoes. It just so happened that when she went to get a ticket that was the only one left. Tough, mean and nasty she roamed the streets on her misfortune. Night time was her favorite because no one could really see the ugly skin that paled across her soles. Night after night she waited in the shadows for something else to come along. The cold and the hunger dodged her attention; all that remained real were the corners on the street in front of her and the sound of her breath as she waited. Tonight she felt lucky. There was something strange in the air, something else was coming, and when it turned the corner she caught her breath in surprise.

"Alligator shoes hurt like hell, as you can see they bit some of my toes straight off! Well, what ya waiting for? It's your turn and I want to find out what happens to those shoes"

The finished story will be posted soon, how soon is up to all of you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lost in Words

You are a time thief.  You forget to eat even though your stomach reminds you. Dirty dishes pile up around you. Often you get annoyed at the telephone or unexpected company, find a place to hide so you can think, and sneak out of bed because an idea hits you. You talk to yourself, carry a notebook and pen at all times, stare into thin air, drift away while others are talking, and talk a lot to yourself. Your computer is one of the first things you say good-morning to, and one of the last things you say good-night to. You indulge your imagination, obsess over unusual things, and tend to drive others crazy. You try to avoid tedious and boring, and find beauty in what others might consider ugly. 

You my friend are a writer and like me, lost in words. There is a lot of blog talk about conferences and workshops for writers and I find myself wondering what it would be like to hang out in a crowd, or even a group of such likeminded individuals. To actually see and talk to other writers in person would be a very unusual experience for me. Through this blogging community I have learned that I am not alone and I have met a lot of great people that are just as lost in words as I am. I have even met one of my blogger friends in person. When I was in Denver I got the chance to meet Nancy Williams, a rare treat for me considering that I have never met a real author before. Her book The Treasures of Carmelidrium is the first book that I bought online for my kindle and if you like to read Fantasy I highly recommend reading this one. You can check out Nancys blog and her book HERE. Nancy is a wonderful person who offered me great advice and the kind of comfort only another writer could give. 

Sitting alone in a foreign country full of words that I will never truly understand, it is comforting for me to know that there are places where my word friends can gather, and for a while be lost in the same words together. You are lucky if given this chance, so to Michael from “In Time” and to all my other blogger friends who are attending the SBCWI Writers Conference, enjoy yourselves! Remember that all of you speak the same language and love the same words. I am not the only person who writes in a language foreign to the country being lived in, so please share your experiences with us. What is it like to go to a Writers conference, a Workshop, a Book fair? Do you get to meet other writers in person on a regular basis, and if so are they your friends? I may be talking to myself a lot, but I like to think that sometimes someone is listening.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Falling Apart

Outside my frosty windows winter has arrived and this time it looks as if it is here to stay. Winter in Norway, cold, dark and slippery, sometimes it is even beautiful, but not today. This year winter has been a tease, throwing rain and thunderstorms one day and flutters of quickly disappearing snow the next.  When it finally arrived on Sunday, I knew it was here to stay by the large suitcase it brought with and planted firmly outside the door. The snow blower quickly went on strike so it was time to get out the shovel and toss this unwanted baggage to the side. Why is it that when you need your machines they have a tendency to break down? We have had a major run of machine strike outs. First it was the new refrigerator, then the oven top, the robot vacuum cleaner, the clothes dryer and now the snow blower. My husband has gotten into the habit of asking me as soon as he gets home if everything is working. 

So what do you do when winter crashes down on you, and your machines fail one by one? Well I decided to make them friendlier and more personal by giving them all names. After all, a lot can be said by a name. You have met Spot, here are a couple more of my friends.
Nespresso, named George after George Clooney

Wilfa Humidifier-"Willy"

We call our garbage disposal "Terminator" a nasty bugger that works in secret under counter. Yes, winter boredom has set in as well. At least I have my kindle and a nice fire to sit by. 

What do you do when things seem to be falling apart around you?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meet Spot M-288

Nani getting to know her new friend

Also known as Intelligent Robot Vacuum Cleaner, the newest member of our family was a Christmas present from our son. At last our very own robot maid (in China.) After several feedings of electrical current and careful deliberation the men in the family resorted to reading Spots user manual. Try and try again, Spot would move around the floor eating dust, crumbs and dog hair. After just a couple of minutes the poor thing would give up, blink its red light and park itself in its little garage. There was something definitely wrong, and the diagnosis was a transplant. We waited patiently for its new heart and prayed that it would take, but it didn’t and Spot slowly just died. Luckily we were able to replace it and today a brand new spot is eating off our floors and shooting our electricity through its body. Hopefully we will not have to suffer another robot loss for a while. Technology, whatever will be next, and will we be smart enough---human enough to deal with it?

Hope everyone has a "Dust Free" week-end!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Looking for Crazy

 Your prey could many things; that blank page, the sketch book, the canvas, the instrument in front of you. They just stare and wait for you to get started. What gets me started is a state of mind, a thought, an inspiration. I am a word hunter, my weapons are forged in ink and I hunt in parts of the mind that many consider crazy.

Let’s face it, if you are a writer or an artist you are part crazy. There is something off about you, and there are many who do not understand you at all so they like to call you crazy. I decided to look up the word. On my hunt for crazy I found some of these definitions and quotes that made sense to me:

Informal departing from proportion or moderation, impractical, erratic, being out of the ordinary, unusual, distracted with desire or excitement, absurdly fond, infatuated, passionately preoccupied, obsessed.

One who is or appears insane: "To them she is not a brusque crazy, but 'appropriately passionate'" ----Mary McGrory

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”--- Albert Einstein

“My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.”  ---Rodney Dangerfield

“If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.” ---Hunter S. Thompson

Looking for crazy gets me started. What does it for you?-----S.Ottem

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Final Chance


Got this in my mail today and as most of you know I have entered this contest:

As a Founding Member of Poetry.com, you have been personally invited to enter the World Poetry Movement $10,000 FREE Poetry Contest. You have one final chance to Win $1,000 or 115 GUARANTEED other prizes to be awarded in the next few weeks. This contest is about to end, and you don’t want to miss out. Share your message with other poetry lovers and see how you rank. Some of the best poems received will also be considered for publication.

If any of you would like to help me out, please click on the following link and rank my poem. I finally figured out the correct link…I think, so let me know if I have sent you off on a wild goose chase.  As always, I appreciate your support and it will only take a minute of your time. I could not get up the direct link but you will find this -Read and rate poems- link on the Facebook left hand side bar so all you have to do is search for my poem THE AIR WE SHARE and then rate it.


Here is the direct link to the search engine

Have a great Wednesday everyone and come back tomorrow to check out my post on what gets me started. I am curious to find out what does it for you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


 Gut-retching, thought consuming and physically painful. Most likely at some time in your life you have experienced being poisoned in one form or another. Like most people I am guilty of keeping a vile of my own poison, but I like to think that I have it stored away in a place so secret that even I cannot find it. Slander and gossip are the worst kind of poison. It is spread by words from mouth to mouth like a virus, and if untreated can slowly cause death. As a writer you are responsible for the words you print, as a human being you are responsible for the words you spread. One person’s poison can lead to the destruction of an others reputation, or even destroy a family. It has taken me many years to recover from the poison my ex-husband tainted my life with. To this day I can still see, still feel, the scars.

Sometimes we need a reminder about the power of our words and the path they take. Rummaging through boxes of old memories this week-end I came across a vile of poison, a stack of letters that I could not ignore. Some people might have thrown them away or burned them with ceremony in the fireplace, but the writer in me cannot destroy words, even poisonous ones. I put them back in their box and stashed them away. They serve their purpose as a reminder to do better and to be careful when I am looking for words to choose. So, what’s your poison? Think carefully.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Must Be Superstition


So is it a good day to watch the movie (or movies) Friday the 13th.  What is it Friday the 13th other than just another day? Let’s take a look at Friday, a day which in many different cultures is both unlucky and a day when evil forces are at work. If that is the case then it is strange that we have adopted the saying, “Thank God it’s Friday!”

In Ancient Rome, Friday was execution day. In Britain it was Hanging Day. From the bible Friday is said to be the day Eve gave Adam the apple and were expelled from the Garden of Eden, it is also the day that they died. The great flood happened on Friday, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on Friday and Christ was crucified and died on Friday.

Witches prefer Friday for coven gatherings. If Friday was a holy day for "heathens" the Church felt it should not be for Christians, so Friday became known as the "Witches' Sabbath." The name Friday is derived from the Norse goddess known either as Frigg - wife of Odin (the goddess of marriage & fertility, the moon & witches) or Freyja (goddess of love, beauty, sensuality, war, good fortune, magic & wisdom). Pre-Christian Teutonic people actually considered Friday to be lucky, particularly for wedding, because of its association with these goddesses. This however changed when the Christian church came into ascendancy. Frigg/Freyja was re-cast in folklore as a witch and her day became associated with evil doings.

As legend goes, the witches of the north used to observe their Sabbath by gathering in a cemetery in the dark of the moon. On one such occasion Freyja came down from the mountaintops where she lived, and appeared before such a group of 12 witches. She gave them one of her cats and ever since then the witches' coven, and every properly-formed coven, is comprised of thirteen members.

Other superstitions concerning Friday include: Clothing made on a Friday will never fit properly. Visiting your doctor on Friday will not have a good result. Never change your bed on a Friday, as it will result in nightmares and bad dreams. One should not move their residence or marry on a Friday, if they expect any good to come of it. Cut your nails of Friday and you cut them for sorrow.  Friday is an inauspicious day to start a trip as "misfortune will follow." Ships that set sail on Friday will have bad luck.

This superstition is supported by the urban legend of the H.M.S. Friday. It is reported that, in an attempt to debunk the many sailors' superstitions centered on Fridays, the British government commissioned a special ship. They named it the H.M.S. Friday; the crew was selected on a Friday, the keel was set on a Friday, and she was launched on a Friday. They even went so far as to hire a man named Friday to captain her. It was on a Friday that she set sail on her maiden voyage, and as the story goes, was never heard of again.

The suspicious number 13 and the misfortune it is associated with are known more or less planet wide. There are so many people with a fear of the number thirteen, and they will go to great lengths to avoid it entirely. This is why there are cities that do not have a thirteenth Street or Avenue, highways often do not have a thirteenth exit, many airports do not have a thirteenth gate and many buildings do not have rooms and in some cases floors number thirteen.

One of the most commonly known and observed superstitions concerning the number thirteen, has to do with dining. It is said to be incredibly unlucky to be invited to dinner and have thirteen people at table. The belief is that the first person to rise from table and/or the last person to sit down at the table are destined to die within the calendar year. The only way to avoid this is for everyone to be seated and to rise from the table at the same time. There is some hope for everyone's survival if two or more of the people at dinner are seated at another/separate table. According to the bible, at the Last Supper Judas Iscariot was the last person to take a seat at the table.

Interestingly enough, precisely the same superstition has been attributed to the ancient Vikings. As one story goes, twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, (god of mischief) had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to thirteen. True to character, Loki incited Hod (the blind god of darkness and winter) into attacking Balder the Good (fairest of the gods). Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and shot it at Balder, killing him instantly. This tale apparently explains why the Norwegians still believe that thirteen people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.

It is said that if you have thirteen letters in your name you will have the "Devil's luck." There may be some truth in that as Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all had thirteen letters in their names. Here are some more interesting facta about the number thirteen: There are thirteen steps leading to the gallows. There are thirteen knots in a hangman's noose. It is thirteen feet the blade of a guillotine falls. Lizzy Borden was said to have spoken only thirteen words at her trial. The thirteenth card in a Tarot deck is "Death" often pictured as the Grim Reaper (a skeleton, often in a hooded cape, carrying a scythe). It should be noted however, that the Death card is rarely if ever read as "death" but as transition, change or new beginnings. The driver of Princess Diana's vehicle hit pillar #13 at Place de l'Alma when she was killed in Paris, France. Apollo 13. In 1970, the thirteenth mission was to be launched from pad #39 (13 x 3). The mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module. The rocket had left launching pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.

A baker's dozen is a term used to describe bakery items such as rolls, or doughnuts sold in a pack of thirteen. Legend tells of a witch near Albany, NY who demanded thirteen items every time she came in to a particular bakery. One day the old baker, who could not afford her extra biscuit, refused her. She is said to have sneered some strange words at the man, and thereafter he suffered terrible luck, until he brought her another thirteen rolls. After that life was once again easy for the baker and word spread around town. The custom is still sometimes practiced today.

The earliest traceable reference to the combination of the number 13 and Friday is from the biography of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. In the book The Life of Rossini, by Henry Sutherland Edwards, it says: "[Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died." 
There is a theory that notes references to the superstition are nonexistent prior to 1907, and argues that the Thomas Lawson novel Friday the 13th is what has given rise to the popularity of the superstition. The book, all but forgotten now, concerned dirty dealings in the stock market and sold quite well in its day. It seems unlikely that the novelist literally invented that premise himself. He treats it within the story, in fact, as a notion that already existed in the public consciousness. This may have set it on a path to becoming the most widespread superstition in modern times; it certainly was readily adopted and popularized by the press.

There is evidence to show that although most people will claim not to be superstitious, businesses, worldwide, show a marked decline in sales etc. on Fridays the thirteenth, as many choose to put off business decisions, investments of money, business and personal travel and even personal events such as weddings. Many others choose not to go in to work, eat in restaurants, and go to movies, theatrical performances or to entertain in their homes on that day.

Do you have a theory about Friday the 13th, some scary tale to tell or do you believe like I do that if you go looking for bad luck you most surely will find it.  Remember to say, “Thank God it’s Friday” 13 times today and see what happens. Have a great week-end and stay safe.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Help The Air We Share WIN

Thanks to those of you that have helped me in making a decision about which of my two poems I should enter in the poetry competition. I could use your help further by clicking on the like button located on my Facebook page for my entry. You can find the banner for my Facebook on the sidebar of this blog or you can just follow this LINK. Thank you guys, I really do appreciate all your help! Once again, here is my entry:
The Air we Share

We do not choose them they are just there
Like quiet desperation or the air we share
A mother, a father a sister or brother
A broken old chair we would give to no other
You hate them and love them, and wipe away tears
You come and you go but they're always there
Life won’t always give you the people you want
Or endings to stories that you would have bought 

copyright ©Siv Maria

It is not to late to join, so if you have some poetry you would like to "Air" hang it out there. Have a nice day everyone and thanks again for helping me out.