I applied to 9Rules for Word Grrls

Word Grrls is about creative writing inspiration with the focus on writing prompts/ exercises. I’ve been writing on the web since 1998. I admit I can be opinionated (some claim eccentric and some are kind and say I’m wise) but I love web writing and publishing, particularly blogging. To me blogging is still about free writing and creativity.

I have been publishing Word Grrls with a daily entry since November 2007. Before that it was weekly. I’m used to having a publishing schedule and I like the discipline of having that schedule to stick to.

I would very much like to be part of 9Rules and the community here. Not only as a help in promoting Word Grrls but to be part of something bigger again. I miss working within a larger network of sites. People get a lot of feedback and push to keep going in an active community. I also like to be part of building something. I was an active editor at Dmoz.org for over ten years cause I enjoyed tidying and adding to the categories and finding new ideas and hobbies for myself.

I can’t pick a favourite post. In a blog each post should be able to stand on it’s own. Most people only skim the first post before they decide to read more or click off. I like my current post about the goldfish. It may be a bit dorky but it was what I thought about at the time I saw the baby goldfish in the backyard pond.

I don’t know what else to babble on about. I’ve done more than a few sentences. I would appreciate to hear back from someone. I applied March 8th 2009 and was pretty disappointed when nothing happened and there were no updates on the 9Rules blog. I really hope 9Rules is going to revamp and start up again. Being part of 9Rules was one of the goals I had for this blog at the time I started it. 🙂

Would you Like a Cheshire Cat/ Dragon?

Well, once again we’ve come to the time to blab.

Tonight my brain is tired. My best thought is that the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland is like a cross between a cat and a dragon. I think the Cheshire Cat would be my best choice as a pet, other than a goldfish swimming outdoors in a pond. You just can’t go wrong with either of those. They don’t really need anything from you/ me in this case. With the Cheshire Cat however, you have the added bonus of a creature that lives to cause trouble and be generally irritating in a good, even helpful way. You just can’t find any other pet that enjoys tormenting you. Try to beat that with some drooling, slobbery dog that wants you to pick up it’s poop.

I am tempted to play Maple Story now. Zack and I were playing it often this week while he was here. But, my brain really does think it should sleep. Silly brain.

Pond Snails

All the goldfish survived the winter. I was tossing in a bit of fish food and watching them when I noticed a snail in the pond too. How it got there I have no idea. I read that they came come when you buy pond plants. But, we haven’t bought any plants except for one last summer. I counted at least five snails when I looked for them. I don’t know what kind they are or if I should get rid of some, how many are too many? Anyway, interesting to find them living in the pond. If they are purely scavengers they are welcome, tons of dead leaves in the pond for them to feast on. But, if they eat the fresh growth we will have a problem. There are only two waterlilys in our pond and one is pretty sensitive. Anyway, will see how the new tenant works out. I took a photo, if anyone knows what kind of snail it is let me know.

(As always you can click on the photo to see it bigger).

Quietly an Earth Witch

I don’t blog about being Pagan very often. It’s a personal decision and something I mostly keep to myself. But, now and then I think of something to say to more than just myself.

When the Internet was newer there were some really good sites for Pagans. Also, many personal sites which were a mix of good and flamboyant. I don’t see many good sites still around. It’s a shame. Some of those which were my favourites have been gone a long time. It’s not an easy road to take, to put yourself out there as a Pagan and an authority on what being Pagan is. When I wrote a column about Wicca I would get a few upset emails but more often it would be questions from young women who wanted to know how to cope with family who disagreed with their choices.

I still think about those young women, now and then. I sent them replies, did my best to explain that for me being Wiccan (as I called myself at that time, it’s a bit more generic and easily understood) was all within myself and I did not need to tell anyone anything. I did hear back from a few of them, nothing long term though. I wonder how they did, if they understood what I was trying to say and if they stuck with being Pagan or changed/ evolved in another direction.

Anyway, for any young women who come across this and have the same issue. What I would most like people in general to understand about being Pagan is that it is personal and does not need to be displayed. You don’t need to buy the “Kiss me I’m Pagan” t-shirt, or the “I’m a Witch, I can put a hex on you” poster or all the fancy tools, jewellry and books available in Pagan and New Age stores. You don’t need to create elaborate rituals and altars. You don’t need to work on casting spells. I’m especially against spells as those are always about changing something in someone else. You can only change yourself.

Being an Earth Witch, as I call myself now, is inside of me. I’m quiet about it because I don’t need recognition for it. I don’t need to join a club to have someone else tell me I’m who I am. I don’t need to stick it to Christians. I don’t think I’m better than they are. I don’t want to upset them or try to make them understand what being an Earth Witch is about.

Being an Earth Witch, quietly, means I only change myself and all the magic comes from me as I work on being a better person and do my part to make the world better. If I am being the best person I can be then the world is that much better too. I don’t need to change the world or anyone else. I don’t need to broadcast who I am or stir up others. I let them do their best too and when I can I encourage them too. I don’t cast spells. I have love and respect for everyone, letting them have the benefit of my optimism.

Of course, there are people who let me down. There are people who have gone too far down the wrong road. I can’t even try to change them or feel I should. I can keep myself going, on the right road and in that way be a good example. I’m not perfect and don’t want to be. I just keep working on it. We are all works in progress after all.

So for young women who want to buck the system, insist their family accept them as Pagan and so on, stop! If you really do want to be Pagan, do it quietly. Be the best example of what being Pagan can be. Once your family see you doing well and being happy they will be happy and eventually they may see that being Pagan is part of that for you. If they see no reason to fear you being Pagan it will be just a little quirk, rather than a stand of aggression and rebellion.

A practical idea… if you want an altar and don’t want it to seem out of the ordinary, get a goldfish. A small goldfish bowl with water, rocks in the bottom, a red feather beside it gives you all the elements represented. You can think up something that will work better for you. But, as an example it shows that you can have an altar without anyone knowing it is anything more than a goldfish.

Best of wishes to all the quiet Pagans and Merry Season to everyone. 

Sentimental about PC Dinosaurs

Why are we sentimental about old electronics? I’ve seen them at the Goodwill, those thick monitors side by side, the old towers with their dirty keyboards leaning against them and the mouse dangling like a spider. I’ve seen photos taken by others who have found old computers, video game consoles and assorted technological anatomy discarded on sidewalks, rummage sales, tossed out of windows. It’s funny that they bring more feeling than the other debris, the general run of the mill stuff like cracked dishes, beat up furniture and half-dead clothing.

It’s funny that we do care. I get a funny feeling seeing those discarded dinosaurs, unwanted and hopeless. Of course, they have no thoughts about the whole thing. Whatever emotions or passion they ever had were from the people using them. Maybe it’s because they became something more than a hunk of plastic, a tool. They became familiar, like a family pet you give attention to every day, worry about when it’s sick and feel happy spending quality time together.

Still, they are totally useless now. Unless you can make some kind of modern art with them, deconstruct them and build a new system using some of the old parts. Those old clunky monitors are too far gone though. But, they could make a very unique fish bowl for your goldfish. So there is always hope, if you really want to save your old PC.

Ode to the Goldfish

The last floating goldfish is still in the pond, making me feel bad. I did my best by them, tried to find out what we would need to do for keeping them alive in the pond over winter. The nice young man at the garden centre was very sure the pond was deep enough and as long as I could dig a hole through the ice and snow once the Spring thaw started, the goldfish would be fine. Well, something went wrong. Maybe it was the long winter and all the tons of snow we had this season past. Everyone is saying it was a very long and cold winter. The taxi driver who gave me a ride from the grocery store today said he hasn’t seen a winter this cold and snowy since 2001. It’s really unfair of those goldfish to die this way.

Before the winter I made sure to keep them fed. I was even getting to know them a bit, on an individual basis. I never did quite manage to count them all. They just didn’t stay in place long enough and then there always seemed to be a few hiding down deeper in the pond. I was feeling kind of sad for that one guy that always seemed to be alone, the left over one, the guy no one else would play with. But, really, the more I watched the more it seemed to be all his own fault. He just kept swimming out from the group, didn’t give any of the other fish a chance to be friendly and get to know him.

Now they are all gone. All just floating bodies, buried in the garden now. My brother used a shovel to flip them all out on a day when there was still ice in the pond. He missed three. Or they were just stuck somehow. I tried to get them with the shovel but they kept slipping off the end. Plus, the pond really stinks. More than just stinky, it’s gut wrenchingly gross. Not so bad now that time has passed, the ice has melted and the water has been exposed to the elements a few weeks.