Saturday, September 28, 2013


I have a “mantra” that I recite to myself whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with life, and illness, and the many balls that I force myself to juggle:
“Calm my mind and my heart, and heal my body.”
I recite this to myself whenever I rest – whenever my heart rate accelerates; whenever the hostiles are closing in; whenever I’m about to walk into a scary situation – pretty much every day, multiple times. Rest is critical for not only my mental sanity, but also my physical disabilities. I believe that stress manifests itself in the body, and my multiple diseases are a consequence of the sh– I have gone through for most of my 49 years of life.
“Calm my mind and my heart, and heal my body.” for me, it says everything that I need.

Sexist Propaganda

Please view the above link before reading my response:

This is a travesty - are people so homophobic that they can't allow children (who at various ages are so eager and excited to try on new personas as they develop their own) to be creative in their own way?  When my 3-1/2-year-old son was chastised by his Aunt for using a dollhouse to play with his action figures (HeMan & SheRa), I taught him the phrase "That's sexist propaganda."  It came back to bite me proudly several times later - when at age 7, he accused a mother sponsoring a boy's birthday party that it was "sexist propaganda" not to allow the boy's sister to join the group; and to me, when he was 10 and wanted to get a pierced ear.  What can I say?  He got a pierced ear!

Today he is a heterosexual 30-year-old who is an advocate for LBGTs and all other human rights.  I am extremely proud of him.  

Kat Richardson's "Seawitch"

Harper Blaine is an exceptional protagonist.  Having died 3 times and come back as a Greywalker, after 7 books, Harper still continues to grow in her use and understanding of the Grey - the thin line between the normal and paranormal worlds.  The Grey is one of the most unique creations about which I have ever read - nothing even comes close to it in any of the other urban/fantasy novels which I absorb on a daily basis.  Without trying to reveal any spoilers, "Seawitch" used the concepts of seawitches, mermaids, and dubhar-chu' (an Irish sea otter) in very unusual and creative ways, which is always Richardson's style with the paranormal.  In this novel, Harper works hand in hand with Rey Solis, the detective that she has kept at a distance in her past exploits.  She is forced to reveal to him the greater world in which she works, and his reactions to her revelations say much about him as a character.  Richardson also does extensive background on the historical and geographical areas in which she sets her characters, so I find myself falling into the stories and emerging with new concepts of both the normal and paranormal world.  I look forward to her newest Blaine novel, "Possession," which came out in August.  Kat, thank you for yet another absorbing story!  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Docket ID FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073 Re: Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

I'm writing to you today, to voice my opposition to the proposal to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife.

There is no other animal on earth that seems more reviled than the wolf species.  As a predator, it rates alongside lions, tigers, bears, etc., but where these species are protected for (or in spite of) their predatory nature, the wolf is seen as a pariah, a "varmint" by cattlemen and others.

Please reconsider your proposal to remove the gray wolf from the endangered and threatened list. They are not yet fully recovered, and given the vehement hatred they face, their removal quite possibly could lead to their total extinction.  I truly hope you will consider my opposition, as well as that of many others, to your proposal.

Thank you for your consideration.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Emma Jane Holloway's "The Adventure of the Wollaston Ritual," a prequel to A STUDY IN SILKS

SUVUDU's latest 50-Page Fridays offered the above-mentioned short story, a prequel to Emma Jane Holloway's "A Study in Silks."  (Found at  I had read the description for "A Study in Silks" but written it off as too much like historical romance.  After reading "The Adventure of the Wollaston Ritual," I think I made a mistake, and I've added the novel to my lengthy list of "To Be Read" books.  

Evaline Cooper, the protagonist, is the niece of Sherlock Homes and a former Victorian circus performer with magic in her blood, who was taken from her father's family when she reached the age that girls become young women and was sent by her paternal grandmother to the Wollaston School for Young Ladies.  

I adore Laurie R. King's excellent series about Mary Russell Holmes, a young American heiress who becomes Sherlock Holmes' apprentice and then his wife through her novels.  These have been the only Sherlock Holmes stories, other than the originals, that have ever interested me.  Although I like the television series, "Elementary," and Robert Downey Jr. makes an excellent case as Holmes in his movies, I just haven't been impressed with many of the Holmesian personas and had written off (no pun intended) the idea of trying anything else involving Holmes.  

After reading this short story, which involves magic, clockwork figures, Victorian strictures that hampered the women of the time, and a feisty heroine who seems realistic as a character, I'm going to have to read "A Study in Silks" - probably right after it comes out on September 24, 2013.  Of course, I'm not a total fool - I'll read it from the library before I decide whether I want to add the actual book to my overly large personal collection (I'm running out of room on my shelves).  But in the meantime, the haunting images from this short story will probably come to my mind as I go to sleep this evening - isn't that what good writing does?  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Asiago's in Boise, ID

While the downtown Asiago's has done the best they can with the brick environment, I miss the atmosphere of their old Cole restaurant.  This restaurant seems a little crowded and noisy, and while the service and food were excellent, I preferred their old romantic, vine-ridden, tile-floor neighborhood gem.  Our first visit, the pork chop was somewhat overdone, while the lemon pasta was terrific and bright.  This visit, the bisteca was fabulous - rare, tender, and flavorful by itself as well as with the bacon-jam onions.  The Coho salmon was good but missing that "zing" that true wild salmon has.  We had to wait quite a little while for them to prepare the dessert to go, but all in all, two good visits.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Steubenville Rape

Letter to the Editor for the Washington Post.
Please censure Cohen for his editorial which used Cyrus’ VMA performance to make a larger statement about Ariel Levy’s The New Yorker article regarding the “Steubenville Rape.”  While he cogently argued Cyrus’ performance perpetuated the same stereotyping responsible for the debacle – "teenage culture that was stupid, dirty and so incredibly and obliviously misogynistic . . . ," he dismissed a young woman’s horrific sexual assault and minimized the crime because "this was not a rape involving intercourse."  Mr. Cohen stated the “Internet -- in e-mails and tweets and Facebook, . . . formed itself into a digital lynch mob that demanded the arrest of the innocent for a crime — gang rape — that had not been committed."  Gang rape was never charged; two individuals were charged with rape and adjudicated “delinquent.”  They were not innocent. 
A young woman was inebriated beyond rationale decision-making.  At least five individuals took advantage and assaulted her sexually.  Three assailants received immunity for testimony against the two perpetrators.  Probably others were present who videoed and tweeted photos, and that data went viral - instantly available to anyone with an Internet connection.  I am dreadfully sorry for the victim and perpetrators – they will never be the same.   
Doreen Queen