Thursday, March 26, 2020

Essential Services & Needs of the Community:

With all of the fuss with being self quarantined and staying home, I hope most people are not going too stir crazy, and are getting to the things you've wanted to do, such as reading, home improvement, relaxing, etc.  It's good to catch up.  But, if you're looking for something more to do, may I suggest supporting one of a kind organizations?

While I'd love to be more involved within the community, some of us who are in the essential services are working in overdrive to help those in need.  As I've stepped it up a little for the Hospitality Center due to this Covid19, we still serve food & coffee without being able to be a warming shelter.  Carry out to-go containers are being served.

Another agency near and dear to me, where I'd love to have the energy to tutor regularly again, is the Racine Literacy Council (RLC).  It is an awesome place for those who want to learn, and it's not just for the students who want to polish up their grammar, or reading & writing skills.  It's a place where those who are English language learners can get acclimated to our society.  Tutoring is available for returning students who want to get their high school diploma.  For those who tutor, it's a place to learn more new things for yourself, and to share camaraderie with others, who just want to make this corner of the planet a little less angry, hectic, and scary.  I really love this place.

But, in this day of social lockdown, the annual fundraiser, the Open Door Event, was canceled.  This is an excellent community resource we have in RLC.  Normally, there is this really cool outlet at Memorial Hall with dinner, cash bar, guest speakers, honors & even live music!  This year, the silent auction is online only.

There are over 70 items you can bid on, and they range from Peanuts Kohl's Cares Program Set to Greenbay Packers memorabilia and a lot of things in between.  Please have a look at the items, because not only are you supporting a great cause, you're also getting a unique item to talk about.  And, when things get back to normal, please help support the businesses that generously donated to the cause to raise money to help people learn!  There are 50 items on page 1, 29 items on page 2.  Please check out everything, and hope you can bid on something, and if you're not interested for yourself, it makes a great gift, and if you can't afford to give, a donation to the Literacy Council is appreciated in any amount!

And while supporting literacy, don't forget to check out my friend Soldwolf's story, Meeting the Parents (ch 1), a military sci-fi in the making about a human hero in a united Earth space Navy, with a lovely fiance from Tamal, and with lots of intercultural relationships, action, and so much more coming out of this story!  From the Morning Edition (ch 2) to what is going on at the SSQH (ch 14) to a Family Meeting (ch 25) to Parties, Friends & Guests (ch 33) to Takedowns (ch 40), something is always happening, like in the newest chapter -
Hammer Punch 1 (ch 51): 
So, the Heavy gets there to the system.  The Tamalnii are already in combat.  Did they get there on time?  The injury & fatality lists are coming in...  Which side takes the most damage?  The pirates or the hero & his lovely?  Things are happening at each station & substation...  Read in to find out what all the action is about!  Does the relief come in?  Any eye-candy around?  I hope the lovely couple & family are okay...

Exciting things are happening, and after he's done wrapping it up, with enough interest, a publisher might pick it up to turn it into a real book, where I get a free, autographed copy!  And, it would be super cool, if the students of the Racine Literacy Council were able to read it, too, because who doesn't love an action-packed story with a plot, subplot, and so much more?

Please be dears and take care of yourselves, and hope that somethings to think about can help you alleviate your cabin fever...

Saturday, February 1, 2020

A Belated Happy Holidays

It's been a while since I've posted, and hope everyone had a nice holiday season celebrated just the way you wanted it!  With winter in full swing and being strange, I've been very tired and fatigued the last few months and wish my energy would come find me again.

I spend the holidays quietly, with just the people in my house and a small number of other people to join my dinner table.  It was nice.

When not entertaining, I caught up on some reading, mostly, my friend Soldwolf's story, Meeting the Parents.  It is a military sci-fi novel in the making, where the hero, Scott Eckert, a decorated space Navy officer from Earth and his lovely, Quen'tra, a young woman from the planet of Tamal, who is part of a prominent family from her world.

You can meet the characters involved in The Morning Edition (ch 2), listen in on the Big Sister Interrogation 3 times (ch 5), learn about the Cultural Differences (ch 16), how the Tamalnii celebrate the couple's First Night Out (ch 17), the various Preparations (ch 23) necessary both on the personal/family end as well as political/military aspects, the merge of various types of Celebrations (ch 32), the various Lessons (ch 46) to be learned and so much more...

It is a captivating story, which has the potential to catch the eyes of publishers to be turned into a real book.  I'm hoping that someday, I will be a proud owner of a signed copy of this novel, and in reading, I review the newest chapters in hopes of grabbing more readers to help make this come to fruition.

In chapter 49, Return Firethe battle plans are in place, and they're doing so subtly.  Loyalties are scarce and possibly outnumbered.  Will the humans be able to fight with/for the Talmalnii?  Or will the futuristic pirates pummel through weak links?

The heavy ships are lined up.  Ready. Set.  When do they go?  Mission:  Save a Planet.  Tours are canceled, but only for tourists, the military tour is a full go for action.  Do the pirates go undetected? Blown out of the air?  Do cloaking devices exist and work or are the trails still detectable?  

In the meantime, the kids are getting into stuff.  Will they ruin it for their parents to do their jobs correctly?  Are they causing too much trouble?  Or is it all for the right reason?  Read on to find out!

Chapter 50, Firefight is exciting.  The numbers are in.  Assessments are being made.  Will it be more of a cleanup or will they have to battle hard? Is this war or a rescue mission?  These explosions aren't the ones we hear about from the Revolutionary War.  These aren't your ordinary rockets, and these bombs bursting in air do a lot more damage...  

Defense strategies are in place.  The tactical offense is set.  Will the Hero & his family persevere in this mission?  Is there going to be a family feud or will they read each other and make it work?  Curious minds sitting on the edge of our seats want to know...  

I wonder, though.  Are far away lightning strikes and explosions really advanced species at war out in the stratosphere?  Maybe they're not really any stars imploding on themselves.  As for the casualties, the enemy line suffers more.  Let's just hope not all is demolished and the hero & his lovely are safe with family & friends!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned - I appreciate your patience and Happy Ground Hog Day!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Good, Bad & Ugly @ the Holidays

With the holidays coming up, it can be an exciting time coming up, but also stressful.  There are travel arrangements, what you're cooking, if you're hosting or bringing stuff, and gifts to possibly bring with you.

Often, we are happy and excited to see people we don't normally get to see unless it's a family or other type of gathering.  Other times, it's stressful because there is that one (or more) person(s) that you really do not care to deal with for whatever your good reason is.  If you're lucky, you're in town and can create an escape plan.  Other times we are stuck for a few days out of town or sharing a space with those who cause stress.

In case you need to create that buffer because you can't exactly leave, I suggest that you have a tablet or laptop to bring with that can go online so you can read my good friend Soldwolf's novel in the making, called Meeting the Parents (ch 1) - a Military Science Fiction story in the making.  The futuristic setting is a United Earth, with intergalactic allies and foes, cultural nuances and keeping peace among the planets.  The action is solid, relationships forged and established, and the characters endearing.  Aside from the daily paper, this can be your Morning Revelations (ch 7) and get to know what happens Later That Day (ch 9) in one sitting.  If you're missing your Grandmother (ch 11), maybe you can connect with this one, who has a big enough heart to accept her granddaughter's new guy right off the bat. 

Sometimes it's nice to be able to have family Meetings & Arrivals (ch 31) but then again, it's a stress reliever to make your Goodbyes & Travels (ch 21)

Maybe you're more interested in what happens strategically, at SSQH (ch 14) or more action pact like Takedowns (ch 41).  If you're more into detective work, you'll like Explorations & Discoveries (ch 44) or executive moves like Discoveries & Decisions (ch 45).

For those of you with toxic people in your lives where you've had to walk away, and miss the hustle and bustle, I feel you.  Maybe reading this will help take up some of that time to feel less lonely.  As for me, I'm taking strays for the big dinners and growing my chosen family.  Enjoy the read, the more clicks that happen, the better chance he has of being found by publishers to get a real book deal!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet, Gimme Some Snowballs to Throw!

It snowed on Halloween... That was too early! Now it's snowing again, and it's not Thanksgiving yet. While yes, it happens. This is Wisconsin, it can snow in summer. I'm just not ready for this yet. It's not like I'm 12, and ready to take a big scoop of snow in my hot bare hands, pack it tight and throw it as hard as I can... Plus, I'm the catcher, not the pitcher, and I'm not getting any younger. As much as a good round of fun throwing frozen objects at other people sounds, I'm ready for a nice fireplace listening to the logs crack with some good things to read.

If you ask me, people who don’t read aren’t very interesting. Whether you’re a lifetime student, teach preschool, read for fun, read to learn, write (therefore you read something), reading makes you more interesting to talk to. Can’t think of anything? Check out my friend Soldwolf’s story called Meeting the Parents (ch 1) and enjoy scenes from the Backyard (ch 10) and eat up the food from the BBQ Pit (ch 13). No, it’s not just a lighthearted thing, it’s a military sci-fi packed with action, relationships, and intergalactic politics, so whether you like learning about Cultural Differences (ch 16), what all goes down in making Plans & Tours (ch 37) or the actions like Opening Moves (ch 43).

Here is the new chapter, Opening Salvos (ch 48): The news is broke - a lot of people are severely busted for war crimes. All systems are on go, to find the scandals. Will justice be served? There are repairs to be done. Will they get there in time, or will someone arrive too early or too late & raise a scene? Sometimes a tactical explanation on how things work is nice... With various teams working together, and the best of them on the same one, things ought to work out... Tactics. It's all about the tactics, understanding what works best, good instinct, and knowing the situation. Those who are being sought do not have good things coming. You just have to read this chapter, because the military action in this section is big-screen movie worthy!

Of course, sometimes it's good to take a break from reading on occasion. Here is a fun game to play on Facebook - Hero Wars. It’s a fun RPG slide game, hosted through Facebook, where there are several fun activities to do daily, with your own team of character heroes, titans, dungeons, towers, and more... A fun diversion for sure, in between reading.

A book I liked reading when I was young was IQ84 by 村上 春樹 Murakami Haruki - a fantasy novel filled with mystery and self discovery of a girl with a learning disability who ends up being an unlikely hero in a dangerous world, which began as a taxi ride that led to a suggestion made by the driver that took her on this humongous adventure... You may just end up loving her side-kick, too. Maybe I need to read it again, with my childhood favorite treat, fresh tangerine/Mandarine oranges, and hot chocolate... Better yet, make it a mocha!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Music, Music & More Music, and Read!

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting two people from the German college band called Aka Blas.  It is located in Braunschweig, Germany, and let me tell you, such talent and fun music they played for us!  It's kind of like unplugging the Trans Siberian Orchestra.  It was fun taking them around, showing off Racine.  They played at UW-Parkside, and I hope they come back someday again.

This is Louis and Helen, a drummer and clarinetist, and the fun part is that my husband Mike and I are also, a drummer and clarinetist also!  It's fun to get together with other musicians.

I was also able to get a spot in the UW-Parkside Community Band, where I'd played way back when.  After 15 years of not playing, I am happier than a clam to get to play 4 concerts a year with my Alma Mater's community group.  Here I am, at my 1st rehearsal.  Please check the website for the concert schedule.

To make it even better, pretty soon, I will be subbing for a part with the Racine Concert Band (our very own semiprofessional classical group).  The concerts are:
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, @ 7 pm @ Washington Park High School in Racine
Tuesday, February 25, 2019, @ 7pm @ Horlick High School in Racine
Thursday, May 21, 2019, @ 7 pm @ Case High School in Racine

I'm reading a story that a good friend of mine, Soldwolf is writing, called Meeting the Parents, a work on this story in progress, which will hopefully get published. It’s a military sci-fi, with a lot of workings of a futuristic space Navy and a lot of interspecies relationships, not just intimately but as different humanoids learning each other’s customs and culture. You'll enjoy the references to American culture such as building a BBQ Pit (ch 13), an alien species called the Tamalni's custom of an engaged couple's 1st Night Out (ch 17), the Plans & Tours (ch 37) of tactical moves, and the most recent chapter (47), 2nd Moves - The reports are in. I think they're top secret, but the mission is also top priority. Sometimes it takes an irregularly timed, classified message is what it takes to get the attention of necessary people to look at the red flags. Oh, the intel they collected and action plans put in place!!! Will they make it on time? If so, will they succeed? Read on and find out...

Please read... Once the story is finished, with enough views, the powers to be might pick up the book to have a professional editor go into it and get put out into an actual book! Just remember to keep supporting the arts. They are what makes cultural people interesting!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Music, Cultural Exchanges, & More!

After not playing for several years, I was finally able to play with the UW-Parkside Reunion band.  I'm hoping to be able to keep playing again, this fall in the Parkside Community Band, as well as get on the substitute list for the Racine Municipal Band.  It's fun.  Here is me, at the event:

In participating in the reunion event for the Parkside 50th anniversary, I was able to get on a list to host a couple of members of a German municipal band, which is actually a community-based band.  They will be here September 14th - 16th.  I'm looking forward to it, and hope people will come to the event.

Not only will I be hosting them, I'll be helping to pick them up, take them to their appointments here (which includes a concert), and back to where they need to go to depart to the next stop on their tour.  It will be a nice lesson in cultural exchanges for my son & husband, also.

Speaking of Lessons (chapter 46) - In chapter 46, Lessons, in my friend, Soldwolf’s story, Meeting the Parents, it’s more than pizza, for those who aren't used to "Earthling" food... Maybe it's the cheese, and they should visit Wisconsin? But wait... tactical issues need to be discussed, and lessons need to be reviewed... More training on tactical issues is also in order. The hero's lovely is sweet, yet, she knows how to keep him in line while keeping their best interests in mind.

Speaking of homemade pizza, my son did a good job not long ago on his. I also miss cooking with him when he was little... To be able to have good family relationships... Well, I guess I'll just have to live vicariously, this way.

Be dears and read it, okay? Don’t worry about Big Brother, because I’ll be the one to give you the Big Sister Interrogation (Ch 3). But the best type of A Mother’s Gift (Ch 20) I can give to my son is to keep pursuing my options to set the example. Maybe I just need some Celebrations (Ch 32) to lighten up the mood? And if you don’t comply, we’ll haul you to Zrik'hlfa, the capital of Tamal (the planet that the hero's lovely is from), for some major Takedowns (Ch 40). For now, I have some major Discoveries and Decisions (Ch 45) to make for myself... Kind of like how April showers bring May flowers. What do May Flowers bring? Pilgrims... I wonder what kind of pilgrimage I ought to go on?

Sometimes, personal touches can help move professional connections forward. Read on to read all of the details! I guaranty you, more than heads will be rolling here, and maybe some people will be turned into sausage! I just hope it doesn't end up on the pizza... With enough readership, the publishers on DeviantArt may pick up the story to publish it into a real book, which I'm hoping will happen!

I'm also a co-administrator for a support group, and the founder of this Sibling Abuse Survivors is on a Blogtalk Radio show.  Please have a listen, HERE - Thank you!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Things to do... What do you like?

I was finally able to go to a Racine Raiders football game as a regular fan...  The last game was over 30 years ago, when I was still in my high school pep band and the Lighthouse Brigade Marching Band and went to play as part of one of those...   I remember I used to have so much fun because watching the games in person is more fun than watching on TV.  I've had the pleasure of going to every home game in high school, went to watch the Wisconsin Badgers regularly while in college, and even went to a Green Bay Packers preseason game once.  So, to be able to take my son to one of these, since I'd pulled him from regular public school to do the public virtual school thing, he never had that opportunity...  It's a great family event as well as for groups of friends to attend.  I had fun making some noise with my miniature cowbell that sounds more like a wind chime...

I enjoy instilling the love of reading in young people. Teens & young adults who don't fit the social norms or haven't been introduced to much would like something a little different, such as Soldwolf’s current story in the making, Meeting the Parents (Ch. 1) In this military sci-fi story, there is a lot of action, tactical movements both from a personal & strategic perspective, and the main couple along with their Circle of Friends (Ch 36) are endearing. In Discoveries & Decisions (Ch 45), the details of the discoveries from the last chapter(s) are gradually being revealed. Certain conclusions can be drawn from these, as well as understanding the gravity of the key players' impact was on finding the intel. Some might be nominated for awards, others might be glad that they don't use guillotines in the future... A ton of info is sifted through, and this operation was bigger than anything you'd expect, so the plans on what to do next will have to be a delicate balance.

In the chapters leading up to the current point, the “bad guys” whether they are outright enemies, infiltrators, or inside traitors, The Wrath of Khan will look tame to what they are going to end up getting. Whether you’re about the military aspect, sci-fi action or personal relationships, you’ll find this to be a good read. Even though Spock says, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” (Star Trek), I think, in this case, the need to keep this couple safe from harm would be best for this futuristic society.

Go find that thing to do, you might find something you enjoy, and be inspired to pursue something new, get a hobby or just expand on what you already have.