Tag Archives: Humour

Suburban Sorcery: A Review of My Evil Mother

My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood book cover. image on cover shows a 1970s style casserole dish that’s yellow, covered in witchy symbolism like moons and a hand, and has a white lid. Title: My Evil Mother

Author: Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

Publication Date: April 1, 2022

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary

Length: 32 pages

Source: I bought it.

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb:

A bittersweet short story about mothers, daughters, and the witches’ brew of love—and control—that binds them, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments.

Life is hard enough for a teenage girl in 1950s suburbia without having a mother who may—or may not—be a witch. A single mother at that. Sure, she fits in with her starched dresses, string of pearls, and floral aprons. Then there are the hushed and mystical consultations with neighborhood women in distress. The unsavory, mysterious plants in the flower beds. The divined warning to steer clear of a boyfriend whose fate is certainly doomed. But as the daughter of this bewitching homemaker comes of age and her mother’s claims become more and more outlandish, she begins to question everything she once took for granted.

Review:

How do you spot a witch in the suburbs, and what do you do with her if you find her?

I adored the playfulness of this short story. When we first met her, the main character was a teenage girl living in a single-parent home in the 1950s and desperately trying to be normal. Sometimes her mother toed the line of what a woman was supposed to be like in that era, and sometimes she subverted those expectations in the most unusual ways. Was the girl’s mother really a witch? I’ll leave other readers to come up with their own theories about the answer to that question, but do solidify your decision before you move forward in the story. No matter what your answer is, it will be important to understanding what happens once the girl reached adulthood.

The plot twists were fabulous, and there were a surprising number of them in thirty-two pages. No sooner was I pretty sure I knew what was going to happen next than Ms. Atwood once again surprised me. This is one of the many reasons why she’s one of my favourite authors. There is definitely something to be said for anticipating the audience’s expectations and then playing around with them while pushing the plot in directions that many storytellers wouldn’t think to explore.

Tucked underneath the inventive storytelling and the humour were some serious messages about motherhood, girlhood, the complexity of family life, and how society slowly evolves over time in ways that older generations may not always fully understand and younger generations may take for granted. It’s difficult to discuss these things without wandering into spoiler territory. All you need to know is that there is plenty of substance beneath the fluffy exterior of certain scenes, and it’s well worth exploring after you’ve enjoyed the silly moments for what they are.

My Evil Mother was the perfect read for anyone who has ever wondered what’s really going on behind the scenes on quiet, unremarkable streets.

Making Things Right: A Review of The Canterville Ghost

Vintage Science Fiction Blog Challenge badge. It shows a rocket ship against a red background. There is a bubble city in the background. Vintage Science Fiction month takes place every January, and has a few guidelines:

 – read, watch, listen to, or experience something science fiction / fantasy that was created in 1979 or earlier

 – talk about it online sometime in January

 – have fun

If any of my readers are also interested in participating this month, let Little Red Reviewer know about your posts if you’d like them to be included in her official roundups. 

Title: The Canterville Ghost

Author: Oscar Wilde

Publisher: The Court and Society Review

Publication Date: February 23, 1887 and March 2, 1887

Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical

Length: 54 pages

Source: This review was inspired by Little Red Reviewer’s post about The Canterville Ghost last year. Go to Wilde Online to read this story for free for yourself.

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde book cover. Image on cover is a black-and-white photo of Mr. Wilde holding a cane as he bends over and gently touches his face. Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

Horace B. Otis, a wealthy American, purchases Canterville Chase, an ancient English manor-house, despite warnings that the house is known to be haunted. He moves into the house accompanied by his wife, his eldest son Washington, his daughter Virginia, and his two younger twin sons. Immediately upon arrival, the family is confronted by a bloodstain in a sitting room. The housekeeper, Mrs. Umney, explains that the stain has been there since 1575 and is the result of Lady Eleanore de Canterville having been brutally murdered by her husband, Sir Simon de Canterville.

The Otis family takes a pragmatic perspective and scrubs the stain away; they repeat the process when the stain continues to reappear every morning. The stubborn reappearance of the stain, as well as other strange occurrences around the house, leads them to consider that the rumor of the ghost may not be totally unfounded.

Review:

Content warning: Murder. I will not be discussing these things in my review.

What happens when the ghost haunting your new home might not be as scary as he thinks he is?

I adored the way Mr. Wilde played around with the tropes of the paranormal and fantasy genres. Most character are at least mildly alarmed by the presence of a supernatural being in their home, so I was delighted to meet an entire family who genuinely didn’t care who or what roamed the halls as night so long as they didn’t wake anyone up or make a mess. Honestly, they actually seemed to enjoy playing pranks on their new roommate of sorts whenever he irritated them too much with his various haunting activities. This is so rare for this genre that I can’t remember the last time I read anything like this story.

One of the things I was never quite able to do with this tale was categorize it into one specific genre. It went into far more investigative detail than I’d normally expect to find in the fantasy genre, but it was also more metaphysical than I’d expect to find in the science fiction genre. In my experience, classics science fiction often does this, especially as you read further back into time when this genre was closer to its infancy. I’m the sort of reader who usually prefers harder science fiction, but this was well told once I accepted the fact that the characters weren’t going to perform the same sorts of scientific experiments I would if I were in their shoes. If the writing style had been a little firmer about what sort of speculative fiction this was actually supposed to be, I would have gone with a five-star rating.

The ending threw me for a loop. Normally, conflict between ghosts and humans escalates over time in tales like these. Sometimes it can even do so violently depending on what the author has in mind, so I was thrilled to see how everything was resolved for the Otis family and their resident ghost. It made perfect sense for the plot, but it also gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Those aren’t emotions that happen very often in stories about the restless souls of murderers of all things, so it was satisfying to have it here.

The Canterville Ghost was one of those delightful pieces of speculative fiction that defies categorization. If you like stories that leap between genres and sometimes swirl them all up together, this classic short story might be right up your alley.

Search Engine Questions From 2021

Man looking quizzical as he holds a cup with a string attached to it up to his ear. Every year I take the last two weeks of December off from serious blogging to recharge. One of the lighthearted topics I write ahead of time and save for the end of the year is related to answering search engine questions.

The phrases and sentences in bold below are the most amusing and thought-provoking queries that have sent new readers to this site over the last year that didn’t quite warrant their own blog posts.

There are a few mild spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale, The Others, and The Little Stranger in this post, so reader beware. Oh, and this post will be a long one, so settle in for about two thousand words of frivolity.

 

Hope Santa brings you lots of presents

This one is about a week late, but I was pleased with my haul this year. It included the perfect amounts of chocolate, tea, and warm socks. Ha!

 

What does autumn taste like?

I think autumn tastes like candy corn, fresh breezes, fun-sized Halloween candy bars, apple cider, all of the produce that ripens then, and, if you catch any of the illnesses that are so easily passed around during cold and flu season, cough drops.

 

 If you liked the fall you will like….

I was going to say Halloween, but I know that not everyone loves that holiday the way I do.

I think people who like the fall might also like:

  • The mild, friendly temperatures of spring
  • Places on Earth that have mild temperatures in general like Vancouver or Seattle
  • Endings (since autumn happens at the end of the year)
  • Looking back at your accomplishments
  • Long, dark evenings
  • Rainy days

 

 

How much perfume is too much

Too much cologne

Strong, heavily-applied scents can make me wheeze and, even worse, trigger a migraine.

I hope that anyone who wears them remains mindful of how much they use and how their choices affect others. A little spritz or dab is plenty.

Ariana Grande spraying copious amounts of perfume on herself

 

Don’t brag about your morals.

Agreed. I’m always a little suspicious of people or organizations who loudly proclaim how moral and upstanding they are.

Shouldn’t that be self-evident through their actions? Why are they drawing attention to themselves Iike that? Are they trying to divert our attention away from something with all of this humble bragging?

 

Wholesome succubus

Someone needs to write a story about this immediately! I’d never think to put these two words together.

 

Man meditating while sitting on a blue yoga mat How long should I meditate each day?

My name is Lydia, and I might be the world’s worst meditator. That is to say, I only do it occasionally and generally not for more than 10-15 minutes.

How long you should meditate depends on your attention span. May it be better than mine in this scenario!

 

Does baby Angela die in The Handmaid’s Tale?

In the book, a medical professional discovered birth defects in baby Angela soon after she was born. She did not survive them, although it was never clear if the birth defects alone killed her or if someone helped that process along.

In the TV series, she was born healthy and has thrived so far.

 

Is voting worth it? 

Yes, I’d say that it is.

Voting is not a panacea or a quick fix, but it is one of the ways we can share our wishes with elected officials. I mean, would there really be so many attempts to suppress voting if it didn’t work?

 

A frothy pineapple drink in a pineapple. The pineapple is sitting on sand at a tropical beach. Fantasy winter holidays

Is this question asking what my fantasy winter vacation would be like? Is it asking which winter holidays I like? Or maybe it’s asking what the winter vacations and/or winter celebrations are like in fantasy worlds?

My fantasy winter vacation would involve bringing my side of the family to somewhere warm and tropical for a few weeks. I miss them terribly, and what better place to connect than on a beach or in a villa that has never so much as heard of words like freezing rain or blizzard?

I don’t really do traditional celebrations of any winter holidays, but I do like to take note of the Winter Solstice due to my Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s nice to know that more sunlight is on the way. I also enjoy things like eating feasts, baking cookies, and pretending that the socks and chocolates I gave to myself on Christmas morning came from Santa.

As far as winter vacations and celebrations in fantasy worlds go, it really depends on the fantasy world and when exactly you visit it. Narnia was a very different place when the White Witch made it perpetually winter there for a hundred years in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe than it was, say, when her spell began to break down and Father Christmas was finally allowed to visit once again.

 

The Little Stranger plot explained

An elegant, old mansion might be haunted by the malevolent ghost of a child who died from a disease that young infants are now routinely vaccinated against.

Then again, the people who live there might be imagining things and/or accidentally misinterpreting perfectly ordinary accidents. (Go read my review of it for a deeper analysis).

 

How to say jólakötturinn?

This site gives a pronunciation guide, but to heck if I know how accurate it is. Icelandic readers, can you help?

 

The Others husband explained.

He most likely died in battle. His spirit eventually returned home to be reunited with his wife and children, but he was too traumatized by his last moments on the battlefield to reconnect to them.

I choose to believe he eventually healed enough emotionally to seek them out again. (My review of it is here).

 

National bird of Canada 

Canada has no official bird, although we tried to change that in 2017.

I think that pigeons should be our national bird. They thrive here in Toronto, and I think they’re kind of pretty.

Pigeons walking on a cobbled stone path

 

Is it unprofessional to not wear makeup?

Y’all, I mentioned this once on my blog about a decade ago and still get hits on the topic. Isn’t the Internet a funny place?

In some workplaces, it would be considered unprofessional for a woman not to wear makeup. Those companies are sexist and ableist in my opinion. Some of us are allergic to makeup, or have sensory difficulties with it, or have any number of other medical reasons why we can’t wear it. No one should be pressured to wear (or not to wear it) no matter what their sex or gender identity happens to be.  It has nothing at all do with how effective someone is at answering calls, stocking shelves, frying eggs, writing TPS reports, or making sales goals.

If someone enjoys wearing makeup, good for them! However, I think we should all be judged on the actual metrics of our jobs instead of what colour our lips are.

 

The Land of Painted Caves movie

On several occasions, I’ve blogged about my desire to see a miniseries or film series on Jean M. Abel’s Earth’s Children. I would still love to see the first few books in this series brought to the small or big screen. If the later books could be transformed into scripts that explored the themes and conflicts that were present in the beginning, I’d happily watch them as well.

 

 Is being late acceptable in your culture?

No. I grew up in a family that was generally 10-15 minutes early for everything. It was interesting to grow up and meet people from other cultures who have completely different thoughts on what it means to arrive on time. I’ve met some people who will show up at 3pm when you originally agreed to meet at 1 or 2pm due to assumptions they make about the meaning of time and how closely it should be kept track of!

If these things are clearly communicated ahead of time, I’m cool with it and will simply mark down a later time in my calendar because I am a stickler for arriving when my calendar says I ought to even if the people I’m meeting have a much more flexible interpretation of our meeting time.

I don’t socialize with people who are habitually hours late, refuse to communicate about it, and will make me miss something like dinner or a movie because they can’t arrive on time for things that only happen at certain times or that will cause my blood sugar to crash. (I’m a bit hypoglycaemic, so skipping meals makes me feel sick).

 

Fairies with fangs

Wouldn’t that make them tiny little flying vampires?

 

Describe me in a gif

I have no idea how to describe someone with a gif when I don’t know who I’m describing or what they’re like.

My brother once said that Merida from the animated cartoon “Brave”  reminded him a little of me.

Merida from Brave tossing her curls around.

 

Maybe my readers will respond to this post with gifs that are somehow similar to their looks, personalities, interests, or hobbies?

 

schoch soda

I have no idea why anyone would search for this, but I do have a cute family story about it.

When I was a kid, we’d sometimes ask my dad to open cans of soda for us. He’d always agree so long as he could have the first sip of it. Seeing him drink a little bit of our treats gave us the motivation to learn how to open aluminum tabs as soon as possible!

 

A toy robot walking ominously on a reflective black surface. What happens when computers get smarter than we are?

I’d argue that some of them already are more intelligent than some of us. Eventually, this will happen more routinely. It’s nothing to worry about so long as we program them correctly and treat them kindly.

 

What rhymes with Lydia

Plenty of words rhyme with Lydia, but most of them aren’t words you’d hear in most ordinary conversations. For example, telosporidia or Numidia both rhyme with Lydia.

 

When mindfulness is a bad idea

Anything can be a bad idea in excess.

I’d say mindfulness is a bad idea if you dwell in a moment that needs decisive action. For example, if someone is choking or if you’re in some other situation that requires you to get up and do something about it right now.

 

Tips and hints for aspiring writers.

Stop calling yourself an aspiring writer.

if you write, you’re a writer.

You don’t have to be traditionally published, hybrid published, or self published.

Writers write. That’s all you need to know.

 

Is William Golding still alive?

Only if you’re a time traveler from 1993.

 

Let’s end this very long post on a cheerful note.

 

There’s always hope gif

Aragorn saying “there’s always hope” to another character in Lord of the Rings

This is the perfect gif to end this post and this year with.

 

Search Engine Questions From 2020

a cartoon face that looks concerned. it has question marks over its face and a raised eyebrow. Every year I take the last two weeks of December off from serious blogging to recharge. One of the lighthearted topics I save for the end of this month has to do with answering search engine questions.

The phrases and sentences in bold below are the most amusing, thought-provoking queries that have sent new readers to this site over the past twelve months that didn’t warrant their own blog posts.

My responses are below them. This is a 1500-word post because new visitors, and therefore I, had a lot to say this year.

how to fly in air by meditation.

Some people do believe it is possible to levitate or even fly while meditating.

I’m quite skeptical about claims like these, especially if they’re made by anyone who is making money by selling anything that will teach you how to do this. When in doubt, do not pay anyone to give you magical powers unless you are a self-aware character in a story you know will end well.

 

Lydia’s barber shop

I do not own a barber shop, although my spouse and I did start trimming each other’s hair during the first wave of Covid-19 and have continued that practice to this day.

 

Lydia’s apple orchard

I also do not own an orchard. When I was a child, I lived in a few different farmhouses that were  originally built in the 1800s. At least one of them had a single apple tree on the property, but that was the extent of their orchard-like properties.

 

how to fix a Mary Sue

Step 1: Start working to unlearn sexism (and all other forms of prejudice). If you are human, this is an ongoing process. If you are not human, please comment and tell us what your species is like.

Step 2: Hold male characters to the same standards you hold female characters to.

Step 3: Write characters who have realistic and meaningful flaws no matter what their gender identities might be.

 

Star Trek fluffy creatures

The word you’re looking for is Tribbles, and I will talk your ears off about them if you allow me to. They’re delightful.

Captain Kirk slowly emerging from a large pile of tribbles

 

why do I prefer to be alone?

You might be an introvert. Alone time is what recharges us from socialization.

 

reasons to go to the mall

In pandemic times, you should only go if you truly need something there and can’t find it anywhere else.

In non-pandemic times, you should only go if you truly need something there and can’t find it anywhere else.

(Can you tell I’m not a fan of malls?)

 

what being an adult feels like.

Uncertain. I thought I’d have it all figured out by now.

 

You can learn a lot from Lydia.

Thank you. You use proper punctuation and grammar which easily puts you in the top 1% of search engine queries. We might be life partners and/or chosen family now. If you wish, I’ll even start trimming your hair. 😉

 

why are gym teachers so mean?

my English teacher hates me.

Teaching is a skill that is not possessed by everyone who is employed at a school by any means. I also wonder if some teachers aren’t terribly burned out and should be retrained for different careers.

I had an awful teacher in school one year. When I was much older I learned some things about her personal life that helped me develop a little compassion for her, but I still think she should have sought employment that didn’t involve children in any way.

However, understanding why someone may have behaved the way they did is never an excuse for the harm they cause.

Volleyball hitting the top of Lisa Simpson's head and then deflating. From the animated show "The Simpsons"

what make a good gym teacher

Someone who genuinely enjoys teaching and spending time with children.

Someone who is cognizent of the fact that their students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and ability levels and who takes all of these things into consideration when lesson planning.

Someone who is responsive to their students and adjusts their teaching methods to appeal to everyone, especially kids who have not had positive experiences with gym class or exercise in general. Athletic kids will continue to enjoy working out regardless, so I think it’s important to help non-athletic kids discover the many other types of exercise out there.

 

mindfulness gif.

I could talk about this topic all day. I love mindfulness gifs.

the word breath. there is a feather above and another one below the word, and all three items slowly expand and contract in a gentle breathing pattern.

 

cool things to collect

Memories. Photos. Delicious meals and snacks. Smiles. Random acts of kindness. Amusing stories. Hugs (in non-Covid times and with consent, of course).

 

how to have a friendly face

Smile gently and make eye contact. Use these powers carefully if you’re a woman or non-binary person who wants to avoid the occasional odd encounter with a stranger.

 

the bear who wasn’t there

This sounds like something my dad would google. He likes to sing lighthearted folk songs, so I choose to imagine that one of them is about an invisible or missing bear.

 

seven rabbits

rabbit gif

There are more than seven rabbits in this gif. Is that close enough?

seven rabbits eating food while crowding around a small bowl

 

how to make playground equipment

I haven’t the foggiest notion how to do that. May I refer you to my brother who builds all sorts of things out of scrap wood for fun? If you ask him for a poem or story about it, he will refer you back to me for an artistic interpretation of his work. We’re a good team like that.

 

children’s prehistoric fiction books

I don’t remember reading anything on that topic until I was a preteen, but I think that Grandmother Fish: A Child’s First Book of Evolution by Jonathan Tweet sounds intriguing.

strongest caveman novel

I love this query and hope one of my readers will have a suggestion for it. This is also a great segway to the second portion of this post.

 

Jean M. Auel and Earth’s Children Questions

On that note, let’s end this with some of the many questions about Jean M. Auel and Earth’s Children I’ve received here since the Internet has decided I’m an expert on this topic.

Beware of a few spoilers from a nearly 40-year-old series if you want to read Earth’s Children without knowing anything in advance.

Where does Clan of the Cave Bear take place?

Answer #1: It takes place between 29,500 and 26,500 years ago in what is now known to be southern Europe.

Answer #2: A regrettable film from 1986 that seemed to have only briefly skimmed the blurb for this book instead of, you know, actually reading and comprehending the entire story.

Answer #3: Your imagination.

young Ayla touching a cave bear's skull
Young Ayla from the aforementioned film.

 

When was Clan of the Cave Bear written? 

It was published in 1980, so I’d guess it was written in the late 1970s. If you meant the geographic location, I’d assume it was either in Jean M. Auel’s home or at the libraries where she studied all sorts of stuff related to hunter-gatherers and prehistory while writing this tale and its sequels.

 

Is Jean Auel still writing?

Is Jean Auel writing a seventh book?

What happened to Jean Auel?

Jean Auel is in her mid-80s now and retired from writing new stories so far as I know.

 

Does Ayla see Durc again

Canonically, she does not see him again, but there are many fan fiction stories out there that give this mother and son a much more satisfying resolution to their forced separation.

 

What happened to the clan after Ayla left?

Based on the foreshadowing in Clan of the Cave Bear, the current leader probably wasn’t in power for very long due to his narcissism, impulsivity, and bad temper. Based on promises their mothers made when these characters were babies, Durc was assigned a mate who was half homo sapien and half Neanderthal like he was. As an adult, he may have left his tribe with anyone who wanted a more stable living situation and moved elsewhere.

 

Earth’s Children’s series book 7

There is a fan fiction book written to wrap up all of the loose ends that were left unresolved in Jean M. Auel’s official sixth and final book in this series.

 

Clan of the Cave Bear movie remake

The Valley of Horses movie

Is Clan of the Cave Bear on Netflix?

Will some streaming network please buy the rights to this series and turn them into films or a TV show! There’s clearly demand for it from people other than me.

 

Is Ayla a common name?

It depends on which culture you live it and what your definition of “common” might be.

Ayla is a traditional name in Turkish,Hindi, Spanish and Scottish cultures and sometimes pop up in Hebrew ones as well.

In 2017 it was within the 100 most popular names in Scotland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

If I had a dog, Ayla would be a top contender for her name.

 

What is Ayla’s real name?

No one knows the answer to this for sure. I suspect that Ayla was part of her original name. For example, she might have been called Shayla or something by her birth parents before her adoptive (Neanderthal) parents shortened it because they couldn’t pronounce those extra syllables.

Thanksgiving Dishes I Can’t Cook

American Thanksgiving is only a few days away, so I thought I’d go a little off-topic and share something that wouldn’t normally fit into the scope of this blog.

I’m a perfectly serviceable baker and cook. The food I whip up isn’t fancy and it won’t appear on the cover of any magazine, but it tastes good and gets the job done 99% of the time.

As far as that other 1% goes, keep reading.

 The Pie Mystery

close-up photo of a fruit pie with a lattice crustI grew up in a family filled with people who made amazing pies.

Sometimes I’d help them work the dough or put the filling into the pie before baking.

Shortly after I got married, I decided to start making pies on my own. They’re such a delicious end to Thanksgiving dinner.

Unfortunately, the crust on my first pie burned. This trend has continued with every pie I’ve attempted to make since then no matter which tips and tricks I use to protect the crust while the filling firms up.

It’s gotten to the point where I will buy a nice pie for Thanksgiving without an ounce of remorse for not serving something homemade for dessert.

The Revenge of the Cornish Game Hens

close-up shot of roasted birdI live in a small household, so roasting a full turkey would create far more leftovers than our stomachs or our freezer could hope to handle.

One year I thought I might roast some Cornish game hens for Thanksgiving instead of a too-large turkey.

I followed the instructions of the recipe I found online perfectly. I even set timers to baste the birds so they’d be nice and juicy.

When the buzzer sounded on our oven, I opened it and checked the internal temperature of one of them. It was a little lower than the recipe said it should be, so I left it in a while longer.

When I took them out, they seemed to be hot enough to safely consume according to our meat thermometer.

It only took a few bites for my spouse and I to realize they weren’t fully cooked. We weren’t sure what the rules were about reheating half-cooked birds and so didn’t eat any more of them.

We were lucky not to get sick from that experience! Ever since then, I’ve shied away from roasting full birds of any size. It feels safer to only roast pieces of them instead.

Now that you know my two deepest Thanksgiving secrets, which Thanksgiving foods do you have trouble making?

I’ll Show You My Drafts Folder If You’ll Show Me Yours

Why, yes, I did write the same sort of post last summer! It was such a smashing success that I’ve decided to do it again. Last year’s peek at upcoming posts has since been edited to include links to everything that I ended up writing. Some of the stuff listed below are ideas from last… Read More

An Exclusive Interview with Summer

Over the past year I’ve interviewed  spring, autumn, and winter. Today I’m back with an exclusive interview with summer! Lydia: … Summer: … Lydia: So about the pineapple head. Didn’t we agree that you’d show up in human form today? Summer: Technically, yes. Since pineapple heads are more interesting, I decided to improvise. Lydia: Okay, will… Read More

Why Writers Should Eavesdrop Regularly

Incidentally, I’ve also pick up some fabulous ideas for poems and stories as well by watching people! You’d be surprised by how much you can learn about writing dialogue as well as human nature in by quietly observing how they interact with each other in public. Perhaps this should be the topic of a future post? What… Read More

Creative Star Trek Parodies to Watch for Expanded SFF Month

Earlier this year I learned that May is Expanded Science Fiction and Fantasy Month. This challenge is a simple one. Pick any science fiction or fantasy universe and read or watch stories that were set in it but that were not part of the original canon. To give one example, you could read Star Trek… Read More

On Mindfulness, Light Therapy Lamps, and Being a Human Houseplant

My name is Lydia, and I’m a human houseplant. Or at least that’s what it feels like at this time of the year. You see, I get the winter blues. While other people are outside revelling in the snow, ice, and cold weather, I’m inside quietly counting down the days until spring. If winter in… Read More