Amused and Bemused

I enjoy placing the credit/blame of my creativity on Muse. You loved it? “Thanks, Muse was good to me.” Could’ve done without it? “Yeah, Muse was on something, too bad.” It matters not to me, nor that bossy chick.

Yes bossy. Yes chick.

I mostly tend to refer to Muse in the feminine because of Greek Mythology and the Nine Muses. Even so, every now and again it is certainly a masculine voice I heed in the other classic definition of Muse as a personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative.

I get an idea in my funny ol’ head and it won’t go away until I at least start a chunk of it. Especially in writing. Muse does not give a single frack that it’s three in the blessed morning. I can/have/will be tired as all get out, just about to drop off into the deepest of REM slumber and BOOM an idea will strike. If I’m extremely lucky Muse will let me jot down a few notes and return to sleep. Most of the time, I’m not that lucky. I am no longer surprised to see I awakened and over an hour has passed because Muse whispered and enforced dominance over me.

It happened again last night.

I am a part of several writing groups. As voyeur reader with most, more active with others. Last night, I went through my usual routine: laid out my clothes for the next day, checked my lights and locks, ensured the stove was off (even though I had not turned it on since Sunday – go figure). I was in bed, under the covers, doing a final look with one of my groups when a prompt caught my eye. It was a cute prompt; I could see it going in different directions. I looked forward to reading whatever soul who took up the prompt would do with it. As for me, it was now after the witching hour -this is normal bedtime for me shush(!)- I plugged in my phone to charge, turned off my lamp and tucked in for the night.

Can someone please explain to me how Chapter One, with my name as author, got posted some forty-five minutes later?

Participles are dangling all over the place as though it’s law, wrote Vesuvius Man instead of Vitruvian Man, but there it was – out in the world in shiny glory. How did this happen, again? Yeah, you’ve got it. Dang Muse made me get out of bed, get on my computer, start typing and did not stop until I pressed “Post”. Worse, it’s Chapter One – implying there is more to come and now I’ve got to fulfill on that implication.

Wait. What the…? Dammit! Stop snickering Melpomene!

I already have three WIPs (works in progress), out there. Two, half-finished poems, an idea for another, plus a mental Fort Knox full of plot bunnies. All of them are clamoring for attention. And now this? Not to mention being at the literal halfway point of the annual Slice of Life Challenge.

No one asked my permission! As if Muse ever does. Sigh.

Yes mistress…

Day 16 of 31 – let’s see how others have hit this apex point today….

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Got It Write This Time

For the past near sixty-one days, I have blogged every single day. Last month for Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Writing challenge was arduous enough. That self-promise of thirty-one days straight of blogging, especially when I had posted barely a couple dozen times from all of May 2020 to March of 2021, was truly diving off the deep end to see if I can swim. [I actually did that dived into a 16 foot deep pool without knowing how to swim.] No, I still cannot swim – don’t ask. Luckily I was much better at following through on immersing myself into regularly blogging again.

Because it is following right behind the March challenge, April is its own war as it is all about poetry. Each year for National Poetry Month I look around and enjoy the work of other poets. Each day I also post original work of my own, honoring National Poetry Writing Month. At least I’ve tried to. I admit I in previous years I have been a spotty poster during April at best. If a dozen new works happen it was a good year. C’est la vie.

As I had naught else to do, I also challenged my self to try more of a poetry form I was not fond of the Villanelle. I absolutely knew I could not do thirty days of them, but I have managed one new one per week, the most recent as of today which I published this morning. Which means I now have five villanelles in my poetry portfolio. Having written four more it is better than the single one that has existed for nearly decade by itself, so that is a huge win in my book.

2021 is the only year in which I have participated in National Poetry Writing Month where not only have I not bailed halfway through the month from writing exhaustion. Granted some were posted late, like yesterday’s coming in at nearly 11:30pm, but I will have thirty new poems under my belt, including four new villanelles! With the finish line a mere three days from now, I am confident I will complete it. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for this!

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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

Unimited Funds and Instant Travel….

A year in quarantine has squashed my poor travel bug which is as antsy as a jumping bean right now. Reminiscing/Lamenting past travels brought good conversation and a good question.


If you had unlimited funds, and instant travelling with you and anyone you want to bring along at your disposal, what would your perfect day (24 hours, live it up) look like?

My Response:

Teleportation and some serious Red Bull/5 Hour Power would be likely needed, but I would bounce around the world.

This is a rough estimate timeline as I have no idea of sunrise/sunset times are for most of the places listed and would have to adjust my schedule accordingly.

* 9am – Breakfast on the Nile, with a tour of the Pyramids and camel riding included.

* Noon – Zip over to Antarctica for an hour of up close wildlife watching because I just have to step foot on that continent, not just see it from a cruise ship.

* 1pm – Warm up on Ireland and Scotland coasts mid-afternoon; I want to personally see the beautiful vistas and at least one of the ancient castles I’ve only seen in movies.

* 3pm – since we’re so close, a quickie bite at the Eiffel Tower (and perhaps a different sort of quickie afterward should I have a S/O by then).

* 5pm – New Zealand, The amazing forest shown in Lord of the Rings I believe was shot there.

* 6pm – Machu Picchu – for the amazing history.

* 7pm – Rio, Brazil, Statue of Jesus and the divers – self explanatory.

* 8pm – Sunset dinner in the Potala Palace is in Lhasa, Tibet. Can you imagine how glorious a sunset that must be at one of the most amazing architecturally impressive structures and at one of the highest points in the world!

* 10pm – Tokyo, Japan – Just to see the only place brighter than Vegas at night – lol.

* Midnight – Tromsø, Norway, Aurora Borealis – self-explanatory.

* 2am – Dubai (UAE) – for some serious late-night night life in an unexpected place, gotta get my partay on!

* Twilight/Dawn – Tonga Island – one of the closest places to the International Date Line – to be on the cusp of yesterday and tomorrow simultaneously.

* 5am – Sunrise on Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia. For the sheer beauty and reverence of the place.

* 8am – New York, New York – because There’s No Place Like Home.

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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Muse vs Muse vs Muse vs…

Oooh! Makes me wonder….

I’m in a conundrum I can’t recall having ever been in before.

My table easel is with blank canvas is up raring to go. My color palette rests between my and acrylics and watercolors.

So does my sketchpad with its plethora of markers and scores of sharpened colored pencils that lay in wait.

All while cursors blink on three different incomplete stories, a half-begun glosa, and a line for what is free form verse for now, but may become a villanelle, a tritina, an octain or…or…

Not to mention an idea in pieces malingering in Photoshop limbo.

And in the midst of the creative storm is not-so-little, not-so-old, but very frustrated me as I find myself singularly unable to do any one of the above because Muse wants to do each and every single one of the above…




So instead, I slice and see which comes out on top.

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Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

As It Concerts Me

Yesterday was all about Broadway, but I also miss concerts. I have a long history with them.

First concert: The Spinners with Dionne Warwick, NYC 1970s (don’t remember the venue, I was nine or ten years old with my mother).

Last concert: Tituss Burgess at Carnegie Hall, NYC February 2020 (Thank you D-Fab!)

Best concert: Queen, Madison Square Garden, NYC September 1980 (First rock concert, saying I was underage and had NO business being there doesn’t cover it, but by God IT WAS GLORIOUS!)

Worst concert: I’m happy to say I’ve never been a bad concert, not even a ho hum one.

Loudest concert: Oh that’s an easy one – Metallica 2009 at Prudential Center. My ears rang for nearly three days.

Seen the most: Metallica and Jay Z, three times each.

Most surprising: Isaac Hayes live at Prospect Park Bandshell – June 2008. Surprising solely because of the gut punch of his passing away two months later.

Wish I could have seen: – Hands down Prince #1 I don’t know how I let that sexy motherfucker slip through my concert wish list unseen, *deep spiritual soulful sigh of regret*. Also, Nirvana is another one I really wish I could have seen.

Grateful I had a chance to see: Linkin Park in concert at NYC’s Madison Square Garden in July of 2008. LP had to cancel part their 2015 concert tour which included its stop in NYC. In July 2017 we lost Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington to suicide.

Linkin Park 2017 ticket stub

I still have the tickets for the “Welcome to Blinkin Park” concert at NYC’s Citifield Stadium that was scheduled the following week.

Next concert: Live in person? Who knows… Stay tuned…

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Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Vegetation Station

Remember yesterday when I turned into Domestic Goddess and lost my dang mind cleaning? Remember that I declared today would be a day of vegetation? Remember?

Yeah…about that…

To be fair I didn’t exactly lie. Some vegetation was done by me. Fine, let me start from the beginning. I woke up 7am and remembered we sprang forward into daylight savings. The only time telling devices that advance automatically are my computer, my TV and my phone. All other clocks and my watches are manual. Meh, I already lost an hour, what’s another one right? I lounged around in my bed reading until each time I glanced at the clock in my bedroom with its one-hour off time annoyed me enough to do something about it. So first job of the day around 10am was to go through the place and set everything that needs setting. That was fine until I reached the living room I saved for last because I was going to vegetate there for a bit. That’s where I once again encountered the three 16qt bags of soil I had purchased to repot my plants. The bags annoyed me yesterday as I had to pick up bags of dirt in order to clean under said bags and put the dirt back on the floor. The irony was not lost and now they blocked the way to the living room clock. Okay that’s it, this needs be handled, now.

See those five pots of plants below? There were only two this morning.

Five potted peace lily plants.

Because I knew this was going to be a mess I was prepared. I had enough sheets of plastic on the floor and nearby furnishings to make Dexter proud. If you don’t get the reference let’s just say I could dismember a body and not get a drop of blood on anything. Soil however is not as cooperative. It takes a surprising amount of time to take what was in two pots and split them into five. And in spite of my best efforts, some soil found the one chink in dirt blocking armor and took advantage of it that yes, I had to sweep and mop the floor again when done.

While cleaning I remembered I needed to go to the bank and after the bank was a few errands since I was already out there and when I came back I needed to make dinner and after dinner was made I played tech support over the phone to someone having a computer issue. [Let’s not talk about that – just no.] When I was done, the last thing I wanted to see was a computer, totally forgetting I need to slice. I ate my dinner, Italian sausage and peppers over linguini with a side salad for the curious, and then I remembered I wanted to start on an art project for my bestie. I swear I do know how to relax, I really do!

Incomplete art project: black silhouette of a seated woman against an abstract purple, gold and white background
incomplete art project

I stopped when my 11pm alarm went off reminding me to get ready for bed, I have work in the morning. I also got peckish, so I went to the fridge and took out an orange. Want to guess what that orange reminded me to do?

Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

It’s No Sacrifice

I am not Catholic, but I like the basic idea of Lent. Well, my interpretation of it anyway. The idea of sacrifice, of giving up something. Sometimes, I’m surprisingly good at it.

The year I gave up chocolate was stunningly easy by the Friday after Lent started, Snickers candy bars and I separated from our daily habits. Separated to the point, that once Lent was over, I didn’t pick the habit back up again. It was not a conscious decision, I simply stopped.

On the other hand, the year I attempted to give up my potty-mouth…? I woke up at 5am that Wednesday morning, and by the time I reached work at 8am that same morning – well… Let’s just say, the the less I say about that bullshit the better.

Then was was the year I gave up meat. Not just beef and poultry, seafood as well. I good thing right? How is it I wound up in Atlantic City for a friends birthday for a weekend in early April. A weekend that included an All-You-Can-Eat Seafood Saturday at one of the restaurant. A restaurant where the ONLY thing that did not have some form of flesh in it was a salad. Not the salad, that might have indicated choices. No it was literally A single salad, for the rest had some form of meat mixed in. There was something like seven different salads available. I could only eat ONE in the entire buffet. My friends thought I was insane as I stuck to my miserly guns as they cracked open crab leg after crab leg after crab leg. I was proud of myself, because I did not cave. For any of you who read may have read my About Raivenne page – you know how I suffered.

This year it was junk food.

Because yes, leave it up to mean to give up comfort food the year of Coronavirus. At work it would have been easier. There I have to make an effort to get up and go to the vending machine or the concession stand if I want to munch. I did not realize how much garbage I consumed daily until I noticed had a little something of a surplus in my finances. Thanks to self-isolation that bump also included how much I have saved by not being able to go to Starbucks..

From the files of Good Deed/Unpunished : Lent started on Ash Wednesday as always – my order of Girl scouts arrived that Friday. The following week I had to give away a cake because I could not eat it. I also was gifted a variety snack box of the chips. And because Fate and than wretch Karma like having fun, I was reminded by a friend that it is technically 46 days of no cakes or chips or cookies or…or…or…because why not?

Every single day I glared at the Thin Mints, Dipsy Doodles etc mocking me from atop the refrigerator, and the Häagen-Dazs giving me the cold shoulder for ignoring it in the freezer. All the while thinking to myself how they were going to be Alllll Minnnnnne. Oh I relished sinking my teeth into the salty savor of chips, the sweet goodness of butter pecan, come Easter Sunday.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Junk food.

Easter Sunday came and went and I have yet to touch any of it. Not even to sniff the plastic.

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, a minimum of 90 to break an addiction. It’s now Tuesday night, 48 days since Ash Wednesday and I just started thinking about it. Now I wonder if my junk food days are behind my like Snickers. Let’s see how long it lasts.


Let’s see how others are slicing it up this week – Slice of Life Tuesday

Calm in the Midst of Covid

I went to my office to work. On a much needed break to …

  • get coffee
  • rest my eyes and
  • absorb some sunshine to replenish my Vitamin D stores

… my work wife and I go to the only place that is open around the immediate office area.

Until this past weekend, we have had back-to-back rainy or at minimum dreary days. This did absolutely nothing to ease to ease the cabin fever that was beginning to sink in. Another reason I was grateful when my work wife offered a ride as she was going in as well.

Let’s see… Be in a car for 40 minutes with a person I know is not sick or spend over an hour on mass transit around who knows how many strangers who either are not able to observe the at least 6ft of social distancing being asked of us while riding the subway or who simply refuse to observe. I think you can guess which path I chose to take to work.

Three weeks ago in the New York City before Covid-19 there were scant signs heralding the early spring season; not so any more.

Tulips in The Commons ar Metrotech

The very first of the tulips planted annually had begun to bloom! Even better was the sight of these…

Cherry blossoms in The Commons at Metrotech

The Cherry Blossom trees had blossomed! I had not realized how much I missed seeing these annual harbingers until I saw them. For a moment it felt like a normal spring day. Then a masked person walked into view.

Still, I smiled at the reminder that THIS is what’s normal and we will get back to it soon enough.

Slice of Life Tuesday Story Challenge.

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers


My penchant for Verbal Diarrhea has reached a new high. Or is that an all-time low? You decide.

The Scene: Where a lot of my early morning pre-caffeinated colorful commentary is created – my morning commute on the subway:

The cast: Two women conversing a little louder than they realized. One nosy Raivenne.


Even through I am heavy metal head bopping to Anthrax on my iPod, my smut monitor suddenly pings loudly –  to quickly eavesdrops when the word phallophilia is heard.

Wait… Whaaaat?

I mean it is 6:45 in the blessed morning – who says that? – I must have heard wrong, right? I reach in my pocket, press pause on my music and listen.

Oh hush! Most of you would have listened also for a moment also – don’t judge me!

Sure enough, the two women were indeed speaking on the attributes of a specific person they both knew. I was about to turn my music back up when one asked “Is there a technical word for getting your rocks off looking at dick imprints in grey sweatpants?”.

And I’ll be damned if my not-so-inner Luci-fer and her minions (Sarcasm Siren, Dirty-minded Diva, Verbal Virago et al), did not simultaneously enter my throat and vocalize.

Medectophalia.” Spews out before I can think to stop myself. Worse, I say it loud enough, that even though I am not looking at them, the two women know it’s addressed to them.

“Sorry didn’t mean to listen in.” I quickly say as they both turn and look at me. Damn my mouth!

“What’s the word?” the one sitting closest to me asks.

Naturally, once those chicks open my mouth and drop the bomb, they immediately depart en masse leaving me holding the detonator. Bitches!

Oh, well – in for a pence, in for a pound. –  is one of my many mottos for a reason as I go into pseudo professor mode.

“Medectophalia is a fetish: It is the excessive and uncontrollable sexual desire for viewing the underlying shape of the penis/labium in the crotch region of another person’s clothing. Otherwise known as getting one’s rocks off on moose knuckle and/or camel toe in Urban Dictionary lingo. Whereas the opposite, medectophobia, is the fear of such.”

Now, when I tell you I have NO idea where that bullshit came from, I mean it. While I know for fact medectoPHOBIA is a word, I had no idea whether medectoPHALIA existed.

Naturally, I hear those conniving inner bitches reappear as internal Greek Chorus applauding my aplomb. As always, I am both awed and appalled with how my mind works.

The two women and I then have a lively discussion of technical versus street slang terms we know until they disembark.  I immediately Google Medectophalia only to discover the term does not exist.

* My not-so-inner demons and their minions chuckle darkly. *

It does now.

Today is Day 29 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up this Saturday.
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Queen Me with the Right Note

An online discussion came up regarding vinyl recommendation services. The complaint being what one asks for versus what one is presented with .

I say yes to Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Ed Sheran, and get John Legend as my first recommendation.


Not a damn thing.

I understood – don’t agree with, but understood – music profiling in brick and mortar stores. The two associates (African-Americans) who asked if I needed help had no idea of whom I spoke. I finally had to be blunt and ask for a white associate. The music I actually wanted was in my hands in less than five minutes after. It happens to me a lot given my music inclinations go against my presumed demographic. But that was face-to-face, vinyl recommendation services are online. How jacked up are the algorithms, that considering the exposure people have to so many genres of music these days thanks to the internet – it is disappointing they still can’t get it right, but sadly not surprising,

Today is Day 25 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up this Saturday.
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