Friday, March 27, 2009

Stingray migration photos:

Dear Bratty Friends,

It would be most helpful not to fall into this little school, if you plan to continue your life on Earth at this time.

I sure wouldn't want to even be in the boat!

Here are photos of a stingray migration in Mexico that my pal Nancy Jarmin sent me:

Here's a link to the original article:

And here's a link to Wikipedia's stingray article:


You know what's weird about this though? If you Google "Mexico stingray migration," these same images come up over and over again. Some of them are from June of 2008.

Hunh. Is this the on-demand information highway, or recycling central? --- Now that's a good take for a sci-fi story. Recycled info - how can you tell if it's new or not? Maybe it's not. Maybe it matters but then again, maybe it doesn't.

Can recycled information save your life or threaten it?

I dunno. But my cholesterol is high and I'm not supposed to eat cheese.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good websites for writers

This has articles by many writers on a plethora of topics:

Now I'm going to go finish Story by McKee.

And BTW there's also Megan Hawke's site at:

And for Historicals there are some resources listed on the Jane Austen World's blog:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writing prompt


How about this photo?

See any fodder there for some story? Dusty old cars in a storage building down by the waterfront. Soon to be torn down. And look at that electrical panel. How old is that?

I see thriller/mystery written all over these shots.

What do you think could go on inside here? Hmmm???

This building is part of the Morse Steel property in Wenatchee, WA. Here is the space where the Bellingham developer sees a future open-air farmer's market:

Good luck,


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My horoscope says....

Act like an Aries, that what it says.

(Obviously Rob Brezny isn't talking to Ken before he writes this stuff!)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Maybe someday you will allow yourself to act more like an Aries. You know, you'll barge ahead along a path of your own
making. You'll follow the siren call of your good instincts instead of the waffling questions of your fine mind. You'll relish the scary sounds from up ahead as potential opportunities to triumph over your fear and hone your willpower.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The strawberry story

Dear Bratty Friends,

Do you happen to recall the following zen koan?

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

In one of the books I have, the commentary is basically to live in the moment. Don't worry about the past or future; happiness comes from acting in tune with your circumstances.

In a book I previously owned - I guess I no longer own it, since I can't seem to find it - the commentary was quite different. The black mouse and the white mouse stood for life and death, I think, or death and time maybe? Anyway, two enemies. And the strawberry I think showed how easily distracted we are from our real problems by bright shiny objects or promises of satisfaction --- when of course there can really be none in this life.

I also see on the Internet that several sites mention the strawberry in the story as it was originally told was poisonous.

Anybody know anything about that?



Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Dear Bratty Friends,

There is embarrassing stuff that happens in daily life that actually is kind of funny when you think about it.

For instance, going to McDonald's for breakfast, and then going to the gym, and going back to McDonald's for lunch. And as luck would have it, the same ladies still on duty at both drive-up windows.

Yeah. Happens to me more than I care to think. But what's not to love about an egg McMuffin and a decaf coffee for breakfast - so you can get your protein fix before hitting the gym - and then a salad for lunch (after the gym)? Huh? I ask ya.

The only thing NOT to love about Mc-e-d's is that the 2 for $3 specials are not good here. No. They taunt us with them on the telly but the specials are only good in Seattle. Harumpf.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seattle PI - Last print edition 3/17/09

Here is a link to the story w/a video:

Seattle P-I to publish last edition Tuesday

Bourbon and whiskey

The Seattle P-I's staff has been in limbo for two months. After the closure announcement, breaking news editor Candace Heckman pulled bottles of Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey, Wild Turkey bourbon and George Dickel Tennessee Whisky out of a bag and set them out at her desk.

"I'd been saving that for a while," she said. She'd just sent a "farewell" e-mail to the staff that said, "Come by the city desk for a drink: bring your own glass."

Cover of final edition

The front page of the last edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Some staffers who had imbibed ventured outside the newsroom to be met by camera crews and reporters from numerous media outlets. Some laughingly said they regretted things they had said.

Reporter Claudia Rowe, who wasn't drinking, said she got news of the P-I's closure in mid-exam at her obstetrician's office. Due Saturday, she said the news was a blow, even though she was expecting it.

Copy editor Glenn Ericksen, a P-I staffer for nearly 25 years, said he had mixed feelings about the closure. Most recently working as a copy editor, he said, "I'm sad the print product will go away. It's the end of an era, and I'm not sure it's a good thing."

He said the Web "lowers the standard of literacy all around. Who needs copy editors on the Web?"

Normally stoic business wire editor Maren Hunt cried at her desk. "I didn't think I would cry," she said. "I thought I had already moved on and I think you just can't when it happens like this. This really makes me sad, and I knew it was coming. Everyone knew it was coming."

Employees will get severance packages worth about two weeks pay per year worked.

At least they drank when they heard the news!

Good for them!

Makes me think of the good 'ol days when Washington Mutual downsized the wholesale loan center at Lynnwood and moved it to Bellevue. The asst. manager Elfie used to invite us to her desk every Friday and say, "the bar's open ladies!" We drank to our own sorrows every Goddamn Friday.

And it helped. *hic*


Friday, March 13, 2009


Dear Bratty friends,

Sometimes it's hard not to get the feeling that everybody thinks you are dumb. And that they think it's all right to treat you as though you are.

Maybe that's why writer's write.

Their keyboard doesn't think they're dumb. Neither does their mouse. Or their monitor.

They don't make snide comments.
They don't repeat things.

They just sit and accept.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coffee Beans and wine

Dear Bratty Friends,

Bratty drank too much wine last night. And it was good wine too. And best of all it was free!

Thanks to Stemilt Creek Winery for bringing two bottles of their best reds next door to Dreamscapes Cabinets last night for the WOW! meeting. Yum!

Now that I've had a coupla aspirin, here's a photo to set your heart a-flutter: coffee beans ripening on our very own coffee plant at home.

Aren't they just so nice and red in the morning light.

Hey, at least it was sunny this morning.


Monday, March 9, 2009

OLTL - Friday and today

Friday: Geez! Could they have stabbed Blair any more times? Gack!

And what's with the bad Anthony Perkins scene? Or, is it the fact that ALL shower stabbing scenes are evocative of Psycho now since it's in our collective subconscious?

Today: What about that Marty? How about that line she screams by Cole's body? Gack! "Help me save my son!"

And where the heck is Matthew?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Book Review: Ghost Walk by Heather Graham


Ghost Walk by Heather Graham

Firstly, this is the only book I’ve ever read by Heather Graham. Yes, I realize I am a little bit behind the times. This book was originally published in 2005, so I am four years late, to be exact.

Second, a question: Is this style of book what’s called a “cozy”?

Now, on to the meaning of the book as I saw it.

  • She’s a best-selling author.
  • She writes long – it’s 393 pages.
  • She writes pretty well, but don’t expect any deep secrets about life to be unveiled as you read.
  • She makes a few mistakes -not too many though- here and there.

The one big mistake I saw was on page 166, where Julian speeds off after Brent and Nikki. Then mysteriously, that is totally dropped. He never catches up with them, or can’t find them, or whatever. That doesn’t make any sense to me, as Brent and Nikki went to Nikki’s apartment, and Julian was staying with Nikki at the time. So how could he not have found them if he knew where she lived, and on top of that, his clothes were stashed there? I find it sort of odd that she has a character run off in search of someone he should be able to find, but the matter is never mentioned again.

Then much later in the book, page 378-379, Nikki begins to suspect Julian and hits him over the head with a tree branch.

If the prior event was supposed to create in the reader a suspicion about Julian, then I have to say that for me, it didn’t quite work.

On to other things.

The sex level was fine, less than Sherillyn Kenyon by about 200 miles, but still a couple of pretty explicit scenes. However, the rest of the book was filled with soap-opera type let’s-close-the-door-now scenes, which is fine, except in some ways it’s incongruous. Why switch back and forth? Is it in the interest of time/space preservation?

And lastly the mystery itself. It seemed more like a version of Agatha Christie, the butler-did-it type of mysteries than a more modern-styled one. Basically the reader follows all these events without a clue to who’s causing the murders, and then at the very end of the book, the whole plot is revealed on pages 284-289 through dialogue. Hunh. Well, it’s okay…’s just that I might have preferred to read a mystery where the author throws in a lot more clues so that the reader follows the wrong guy and then at the end we learn it’s actually so-and-so who’s responsible. Or, that the plot wasn’t the whole plot, but we saw snippets of the real plot throughout the book, so we suspected but were never sure. Maybe it takes a lot to surprise me. I dunno.

I don’t think I could be an author who writes mystery works, so I leave the craft up to Ms. Graham and her counterparts. I do have an Elizabeth George book on the TBR shelf as well. It’s been sitting there since last year, and I still haven’t cleared a path to it. One of these days I just might.

In the meantime, I may re-read Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible or Pigs in Heaven again just for the fun of it.



Dear Bratty Friends,

There's just something about British humor that makes the world feel all right to me. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Been listening to Robyn Hitchock this morning and I must say it makes me peachy.

Now on to the angst. After all, isn't that what blogs are for?

So I was watching Rick Steve's last night on PBS and the show was one I hadn't seen before. He was in Spain, and went to Salvador Dali's house. Pretty cool stuff in there. All decor by the artist of course. Steve showed a fresco on the ceiling of Dali and Gala ascending to the heavens - you could just see their feet, legs, and hip area from below. Pretty funny. Anyway, Steve made the comment that Dali's blue shorts had a hole cut in them, showing that his groinal area was empty - meaning that he'd given everything to his art. I assume he means his sexual drive, his potency, all that stuff, not literally his gonads. Still, that's enough to freak me the heck out. Seriously.

As humans, we have a choice of what to do with the tremendous amount of energy roiling around in our groinal regions every day. Most of it, I'd say gets spent on sex. But wait. The Buddhists tell you to become celibate and harness this energy to attain enlightenment. Or, you can choose the Salvador Dali route and put (supposedly) all of that energy into your work.


The link for this shot of the fresco is here:

But seriously folks, I suck at using my energy for other things. Most of the time it just gets wasted in dirty thoughts, or used for art, and less often for attainment of enlightenment. But I guess it's something to shoot for.....

My problem is figuring out where I really want the energy to go. What should I be doing with all that energy? Writing books? Attaining enlightenment? Helping refugees? What?

Back in oh, about 1988 or so I remember writing in an old notebook a list of things that I could do with my life. Actually, it became a list of things that I didn't want to do at all, since that was far simpler to come up with. What I don't like, I don't like. (I know it when I see it!) But what do I like? What do I want to do? In the notebook, I wrote the question, "when will I find an idea that I'm willing to midwife?" That was about 20 years ago.

I'm still stumped.

Yes, I'm older, have a firmer (I'd like to think anyway) grip on reality, and a more cohesive view of myself (argh, I know, I know, there is no "self") but I still don't know where the meaning in life lies. What's the greatest good to go after?

Some days it's a hot dog.
The next it might be rescuing a cat.
Still others, it might be trying to escape the country before the shit hits the fan.

Who knows?

Not me.