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Entries from blogs tagged with “Unsolved”

It’s Halloween Night in Your Neighborhood

The wind picks up leaves

swirls them around

teens commit pranks

while adults act like clowns

You make chicken chili

heat up spiced cider

put beer in the fridge

stock up on candy

Carve pumpkins to

look like a fright

bring in the cat

turn on the porch light

Get in your car

Dirt roads wind you around

Take you far out of town

Where haystacks seem bleak

Until scarecrows peek

from around them!

Witches on horned owls

screech high overhead

Demons pop up from

under the hood

Clouds cover the moon

You hear a loud thud

You have a flat tire

in three feet of mud

You arrive back at home

It's time to disrobe

You sneeze once or twice

You've caught a damn cold!

Have one last beer

with your favorite candy

Pull on warm socks

Put your feet up.

Oops, turn out the light

Blow out the candle

Put out the cat

Spirits creep in, see you're asleep

Let themselves out with

hardly a peep.

Your snoring is loud

you're all tuckered out

Your dog jumps into bed

howling in fright!

Realization sinks in

it's gonna ba a long frekin night

On Halloween night in your neighborhood

(10-28-2007 - Ronda Miller)

Reply 30 comments from Ladyj Pywacket Ronda Miller Class Clown Riverdrifter Jay_lo Tange Frankie8 Roedapple Bevy and 1 others

In a Perfect World

Friends of mine seem surprised, and certainly questioning, when they learn I'm pro life. The questions my stance, which is a life style choice not a political siding, garner include the standard ones. I'm asked why I feel it's okay to tell someone else what they have to do with their body - my response is that I'm not telling anyone what they should do with their own body, just what they shouldn't do to a body too small and defenseless to stand up for itself.

Hasn't that been the American way since the beginning of the American dream? Don't Americans put themselves into harms way and travel across the sea to protect those who don't have the physical abilities to defend themselves against cutting swords or toxic poisons another entity uses on them?

It's easy for me to answer the 'when life begins' question. My response is that as a human development major I was taught that life begins with the zygote. I believe that.

I appreciate people come from different belief systems, lifestyle choices, opinions, cultures and religions.

In a perfect world the smallest form of human life would be cherished, protected, coddled, nourished. Once that perfect world of respect for the most fragile of human life begins, then our climate of a world at war begins to change.

Our focus shifts and we begin to look inward towards the smallest movement, the slightest sound of a beating heart.

I don't want or expect the reverse of our present culture where women for the most part retain secondary rights in respect to equal pay, sexual bias, and exploitation. They don't need to be put on a pedestal.

But our culture would be vastly improved if our focus was placed on the family - the smallest of life's form was cherished to the ultimate end of giving it the optimal in physical, emotional and educational care. Women wouldn't be subjected to the fear of rape or incest because they would be cherished as the sacred houses where honored life begins.

In a perfect world no one would need to defend their reasons NOT to kill an unprotected life.

I know we don't live in a perfect world, but let us begin doing what we can. It starts at home - it begins within.

Reply 16 comments from Ronda Miller Ken Lassman Ronaldo Ignacio Jay_lo Bearded_gnome Riverdrifter Roedapple Armstrong Tange Rockchalker52

Kansas Authors Club state contest winners

Writers throughout the state of Kansas converged in Salina this past weekend for the yearly Kansas Authors Club convention and presentation of awards.

The convention was hosted by District Four under the leadership of President William Karnowski.

Key note speaker was Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. Goldberg is state of Kansas Poet Laureate.

Winners for the state poetry contest (open to the general public and members), are as follows:

Haiku: Judge Irma Hudson First - Box Turtle- Yvonne Green, D1 Second - Snow Drifts from the Sky - Barbara Brady,  D1 Third - Moonlit Cottonwoods , Roy Beckemeyer,  D5 First honorable mention- Flurry of Feathers - Diane Palka,  D2 Second honorable mention - Coolness in the Fall -Annabelle Corrick Beach,  D1

Theme: Judge Timothy Pettet First - Brushing Away my Fears -  Judy Hatteberg, D5 Second, Such Power, Yvonne Green, D1 Third - It Takes Two To Tango, Jane Bandy, D7 First honorable, Hope, Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Second honorable, Encouraging Words, Barbara Brady, D1 Tied for second honorable mention, As a River Runs, Laura Patterson,

Lyrics: Judge Barry Barnes First - Shipwrecked Love - Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Second - Saturday Night Dreams - Audrey Collins, D6 Third - Editor's Lament, Annabelle Corrick Beach, D1 First Honorable Mention - Courtin' Country - Kay Towle,  D6 Second honorable mention, Tall-grass Spring, Theodore Farmer, D5   Classic Forms : Judge Timothy Pettet First - Roy Beckemeyer - Winter's Weft, D5 Second - Prairie Fire Pantoum - Roy Beckemeyer,  D5 Third - Half Joy Wing, Kristine Polansky, D4 First honorable - Molds - Dennis  Etzel Second Honorable He Drinks Again - Pat Bonine, D1

Poets Choice: Judge Timothy Pettet TORNADO WARNINGS - Roy Beckemeyer,  D5 Second Place, Wedding Picture, Diane  Wahto,  D5 Third place - May Morning - Diane Wahto,  D5 First Honorable Mention - Sharing a Drink - Sarah Langley Second honorable mention - Grease - Dennis Etzel

Free Verse: Judge Paul Goldman First - East off Highway 77, Dusk - Kevin Rabas, D2  Second - Somewhere in the Water - Duane Johnson,  D1  Third - City People - Judy Hatteberg,  D5  First honorable mention - The Yellow Cat Naps - Roy Beckemeyer,  D5 Second honorable - Curry's " Prelude to Tragedy": John Brown - Marilyn Page

Narrative: Judge Carolyn Hall First - Sweat For Sale - Diane Palka, D2  Second - Second Year Blues - Ronda Miller,  D2 Third - Where the High Plains Meet Heaven - Ronda Miller,  D2  First honorable mention - If Not for Tears - Ronda Miller,  D2 Second honorable mention - That Time Again - Jean Jackson, D2 

Whimsy: Judge Carolyn Hall First - For Women Only - Audrey Collins,  D6 Second - DFTT - Kristine Polansky, D4 Third - The Handyman - Paulette Mattingly, D5  First honorable mention - Evaporating Issues - Annabelle Corrick Beach,  D1 Second honorable mention - The Awful Truth - Yvonne Green, D1 

Additional information about the club and how to become a Kansas Authors Ckub member may be found on-line. Kansasauthorsclub.com. (D stands for one of the seven districts that the club is divided in throughout the state)

Reply 2 comments from Ronda Miller Ron Holzwarth

Where is your common sense in judging tax payers?

Oprah earned $222,000,000 last year. She likely paid a lower percentage in taxes than you or I did. Do you hate her for being intelligent enough to become wealthy and give mega money to the charities of her choice (many of them are outside the United States) rather than the government?

Do you despise Romney or Brad Pitt for being wealthy and giving their money to the charities of their choice?

Do you feel people lose their common sense during the months prior to Presidential elections in political debate?

Reply 98 comments from Moderate Jafs Tange Paul R.  Getto Bevy Snap_pop_no_crackle Agnostick Verity Tbaker Beatrice and 19 others

Area poet Timothy Pettet finds more than BBQ at Linwood fundraiser

Poet Timothy Pettet, Kansas City, Missouri, is drawn to the prairie, small towns (think Cottonwood Falls and Linwood, Ks),  their cemeteries and their history.

Pettet, who is in the process of finalizing an Opera entitled Mona and Zero, made his way to a cemetery  outside Linwood today to research the Chance family.  By a differing means of chance, Pettet met Stuart Sweeney (Union Pacific car inspector), who has information about the approximately 30 members of the Chance family Pettet is interested in. 

Pettet, who made his way into Linwood with the intent to research the lone cemetery, that sits atop a cottonwood treed shaded hilltop, at The Linwood Library, was directed to one of the town's yearly fund raising events hosted by The Lion's Club when he asked a member from the Sheriff's department to direct him to a restaurant.  

Wes Knight (stonemason) invited Pettet  towards a cooker of pulled pork, homemade potato salad and a selection of desserts even though the fundraiser doesn't  start for several hours (it is open from 3 -7 pm Saturday evening - donations accepted).

Knight, Sweeney (sons Jacob and Andrew) and fellow BBQer Phil Rosewicz (Civil Engineer Amy Core), all of Linwood, spoke about a shelter, prescription eye wear and other uses the money from the Lion's Club fundraiser has provided the Linwood community since the mid 1950's when now deceased charter member Casey Jones helped set up tents along the road in which chickens were smoked..   

These days, the smokers are filled with pork and chicken and club members remain downtown with their specialty smokers. 

Pettet left Linwood with an affirmation of why he is attracted to the prairie and small town comraderie.

Pettet will be reading poem 'Switching Way Back' and discussing additional projects on KLWN live from The  Runaway Pony Sunday, July 29th, between 8:30 and 9:30 am. 

Reply 2 comments from Frankie8 Ronda Miller

Mike Finnigan (Phantom Blues Band) and Monophonics: a must see, The Bottleneck @ 8 pm tonight

If you've lived in Lawrence for any length of time, you've heard the stuff legends are made from. Amazing keyboardist, song writer and vocalist Mike Finnigan (he originally landed in Lawrence to attend KU on a basketball scholarship) makes it big.  Ok, make that huge!  

Back in the day, we danced to Finnigan and Wood and held our breath. We knew he was bound to leave us. And we wanted him to. He had music to share with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Taj Mahol, Cher, Ringo and Leonard Cohen (yes, I picked a few at random). 

Finnigan and Woods hit, Crazed Hipsters, is a frekin classic. 

I was thrilled to hear Finnagin and his band were playing at The Bottleneck last night and again tonight. I hadn't heard him play for years. 

He may be the old kid on the block, but he brought a new kid with a newbie old sound along  His son, Kelly Finnigan, and band Monophonics (mono phonics.com/).  

The pride with which father introduced his son last night was obvious - and for good reason. Kelly has stage presence, voice, soul and talent to die for.  He may not resemble his dad physically, but he inherited the music gene and then some.  

In a society where offspring of famous talents (think Julian Lennon and Presley), often disappoint, Kelly surprises and just keeps bringing it. And bringing it.  His performance of My Baby Shot Me Down was my favorite of the night, but each performance was brilliant.

Monophonics isn't 'just' Kelly Finnigan - here then are the rest of the band, each one a stand out in their own right: guitarist, Ian McDonald,  Myler O'Mahony, bassist Alex Baly, saxophonist Ryan Scott, trumpeter drummer Austin Bohlman. 

With voice and soul reminiscent of Joe Cocker, Kelly oozes stardom. 

The Monophonics music is described as psychedelic soul - known these days as black rock. 

Students, if you've completed summer finals, treat yourself to this two in one concert for $16.  If you have a final tomorrow, you know you either know it by now or you don't!

Music lovers of any generation really do not want to miss this concert. 

Reply 8 comments from Ronda Miller Alceste Grammaton Kernal Consumer1

We have a winner for Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s The Divorce Girl: a story of art and soul

We had 25 entries from fifteen different contestants in The Divorce Girl giveaway. The Divorce Girl: a story of art and soul is Kansas State Poet Laureate's latest book which has been released as of July 7th by Ice Cube Press.

Goldberg has scheduled readings from July 7th, 2012 through January 13th, 2013 in Kansas, Missouri, Vermont. Minnesota, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Florida, and Tuscon. Additionally, Goldberg will host Skype book group sessions through WOW program. Her book may be purchased locally at The Raven bookstore.

Drum roll please.....

Our winner is Frankie8!

Congratulations to Frankie8!!! I'll be in touch via the secure ljworld messaging service to find out how to get your book to you. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I have.

Thank you to the other contestants. I encourage all of you to purchase the book and embrace it at upcoming book clubs. Goldberg does make appearances at them to discuss her book.

Reply 3 comments from Ronda Miller Frankie8

What you’ve recently done to deserve a round of applause

I was zipping back across town early this morning when I noticed a gentleman with a long tool changing gas price numbers on the sign at Westside 66 to a lower number.

My first thought was that if I had not been driving, I'd have given him a round of applause. I then wondered what, if anything, I've done recently that would warrant applause; that of course led to this blog topic.

So go ahead, toot your own horn, break your arm patting yourself on the back.

What have you done recently that makes you deserving of a bow and a round of applause?

Reply 58 comments from Ronda Miller Frankie8 Roedapple Floridasunshine Pywacket Ladyj Ron Holzwarth Benjamin Roberts Camper Ronaldo Ignacio and 9 others

GIVEAWAY!!! Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s novel ‘The Divorce Girl: A Story of Art and Soul’ free book GIVEAWAY!!!

No, I'm not giving away the book's entire plot, but if you leave a comment, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of State of Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's soon to be released novel, 'The Divorce Girl: A Story of Art and Soul'.

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of the book a couple of months ago. I made time to read 'The Divorce Girl' when I recently house sat east of Lawrence on my friend Richard Gwin's gorgeous property. I alternated between picking blackberries, (and ticks) and reading the exquisitely written novel. It was one of the best weeks I've had in years!

'The Divorce Girl' is told through the eyes of main character Deborah Shapiro. This isn't your run of the mill coming of age story about a girl growing up and surviving turbulent times. It is set in New Jersey and is a tenderly written, intricately woven masterpiece of blending varied cultures, poignant human flaws, child abuse and a never ending search for oneself through internal and external processes.

Goldberg's idea of giving main character, Deborah, a camera, which then enables her to carefully scrutinize every person, place and thing without (too much) suspicion, was not only brilliant, but masters movement throughout the book as well.

This novel is officially set to be released July 7th by Ice Cube Press (www.icecubepress.com) Be the first on your street to own a copy!

Goldberg is the author of 14 books, including upcoming non fiction "Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other'.

Besides being our state Poet Laureate, Goldberg is the founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches. You may follow her at www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com

Books may be purchased from The Raven Bookstore - 8th E. Seventh St., Lawrence - at a ten percent discount. Goldberg is happy to make an appearance at your book club.

Entrees may be continued until midnight Saturday, July 7th. The winner will be announced Sunday. Happy summer reading and good luck!

Reply 44 comments from Oldguysrule Ronda Miller Hedshrinker Ladyj Redrondafan Roedapple Partlow Kdrasko Smila Frankie8 and 7 others

When was the last time you experienced a bait and switch?

It had been decades since I'd seen Bill Lynch play. I'd stopped going to dances and local performances once I had children and only recently did I fall back in with the 'in' crowd who enjoy meeting and dancing our caloric needs and weekend nights away.

I was excited this past month when I learned Lynch would be coming to town and would perform this past weekend.

I was disappointed however at how a local business used a big name performer such as Lynch for their bait and switch.

Here is what happened. Online tickets were a few dollars more than those purchased direct from the business - which opens daily at three for drinking and ticket purchases. My son is more likely the age group who frequent the establishment, so I sent him in - three days in a row - to get tickets.

The problem was that their computer 'was down' and they couldn't run any tickets off. I wised up and started calling in advance rather than send my son in a fourth or fifth time in the heat. Each time I was told they still had no means to run the tickets off, but the problem would be solved the next day. There was even discussion that they were bringing in another computer specifically for the purpose to run off tickets.

Saturday, the day of the concert, I called and still no tickets had been printed. I expressed concern that the performance would be sold out. I was assured that it would not be and that I could even wait until that evening to purchase my ticket at the $13 fee.

I arrived early to insure getting a ticket and to save seats for additional friends. No one was at the door at that time. At some point I went to get water for our group and the bartender asked me to go get my wristband. I went to the doorman/ticket taker and was surprised when he told me the price was $16. I mentioned all the times I'd tried to purchase tickets. I was referred back to the bartender (perhaps he is a manager). He wasn't interested in how many times I'd attempted to get tickets or that I'd been assured I could purchase them that evening for the original fee. He said they still had to pay for the price of running off the tickets. I asked why they couldn't just f' ing stamp my hand. I got a look that told me if I didn't back down, I'd be escorted from the establishment. I went to buy my ticket. The doorman said, "So you get the $13 price?" I could have lied, but I did not. I told him I was required to pay the $16.

An hour later, I mentioned to a friend in the bathroom what had occurred. Several other women spoke up and said they had the same experience.

My questions: How much extra money did the establishment make by doing this? (there were probably a couple of hundred people there)

How could they say the extra charge for tickets at night cost $3 more than tickets during the day that they never had?

When did they become able to run tickets off?

Is this a common practice used by this establishment?

I would gladly have paid more for a performance by Bill Lynch. The issue wasn't about the price, it was about the practice by the establishment that cost many people time and effort.

Please share your experiences with bait and switch practices.

Reply 60 comments from Oldguysrule Ronda Miller Poppet Purplesage Paul R.  Getto Overplayedhistory Budwhysir Ron Holzwarth Jackmckee Blue73harley and 14 others

When online friends die: a goodbye to Multidisciplinary

In this world of online formats where anonymity allows people to share the utmost in personal likes and dislikes, family histories and life experiences are cried about, laughed over, examined intellectually or thrown out as an off the cuff remark, it's easy for members of a forum such as the ljworld to become family. 

Upon graduation from The World Company Citizen Journalism Academy five years ago,  I began writing blogs.  I was naive, inexperienced and technically challenged to say the least. 

One commenter who immediately assisted me with support and knowledge was Multidisciplinary - multi. 

Her off beat sense of humor, knowledge of online forums, quick wit, astute wisdom, array of sites to supply photos and links to back up conversation really added much to our blogs. She even invited me over to her house on numerous occasions to teach me first hand how to scroll blogs and put folders together.

I have to admit, I first thought, because of multi's handle, that she was a he and also a police officer.  She got a kick out of that.   

I was saddened to learn last evening that she passed away on Monday of this week.

I know there were times multi and I gave each other digs, other times she managed my song title blog sites when I was too busy to alphabetize it myself, and she suggested numerous blog topics for me to write about. She also became much like the twin sister we always joked that we, as Scorpio woman, were.   I'll miss her in ways I'm just beginning to realize. Her outgoing personality, outrageous sense of humor and embracing hug made her a popular favorite at our backyard group gatherings. 

Many of us have special memories of Multi, please share yours. 

http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/at-random/2012/jun/27/when-online-friends-die-a-goodbye-to-mul/edit/#discussed

Reply 165 comments from Ronda Miller Riverdrifter Roedapple Whitney Mathews Ladyj Rockyinn Pywacket Thebcman Grammaddy Camper and 47 others

50 Shades of Blackberries: just in time for Father’s Day

Ok, the blog title was simply to get your attention. Although there are numerous shades of color as the blackberry ripens from a tiny green pod, moves into an array of reds (they almost look like raspberries), to a dark purple, and then to the deeper shade of black, for the purposes of this blog, berries are either ripe or not.

I spent an agonizing hour, ok, that's an exaggeration, last Sunday picking a berry here and a berry there, everywhere a berry berry, but the majority were not ripe. Today, oh what a difference a week makes!

I place both hands palm side up, fingers curved upwards under clusters of the ripest berries. I wiggle my fingers ever so gentle and both hands are filled with delicious, warm ripe fruit. Take the right hand and place the berries into the bowl beside you. Take the left hand and fill your mouth with berries. Begin again.

When the fruit it ripe, it is truly that easy.

Items to take: water, long sleeved shirt and heavy pants, shoes with hard soles or boots, socks, sun screen, strap around bag or back pack for keys, cell phone, etc., a friend with compulsive disorder (they just don't stop picking), bug spray (ticks are as thick as the berries), plenty of containers (not too large as your berries will become heavy and squish the bottom ones), and a healthy appetite.

It seems as though berries give off heat. Regardless of how cool the morning is, I find I'm covered in sweat from head to toe within minutes of entering a berry patch. Maybe it's the speed in which I'm picking, or the extra calories I'm getting from the berries, or the competitive spirit as my cousin Teresa and I knock each other into the brambles when we spy the fattest, juiciest berries hanging, as always, just out of reach.

Please share berry picking sites, any items I forgot, and your favorite recipes - I hear there is a great blackberry yogurt soup.

If anyone is interested, we can have a berry picking contest. Find someone willing to time you for half an hour and then count your berries once your time is up and report back to me. The winner will receive a gift to be announced.

Reply 1 comment from Ladyj Fosterrhoda Ronda Miller Riverdrifter Thuja Tomato Camper Collinsalissa Oldguysrule Cait McKnelly and 13 others

Have you spotted a bear recently in Douglas County?

I'm serious. I'm a face book fan and read one friend's report about finding bear scat numerous times the past couple of weeks. Apparently her husband has heard a bear making ghastly bear sounds, the horses are too afraid to come out of the barn, and the family dog has returned home smelling to high heaven and scared.

I'm hearing reports of the bear scat sightings north of Baldwin City and surrounding a several mile area running east and west of a friend's farm. My friend reports her berries are still intact.

So reports of cougars and bobcats may be taking a back seat to bear sightings.

I didn't realize this was bear country, did you?

What's the strangest animal you've witnessed in your own back yard?

Reply 1 comment from Jean1183 50yearresident Frankie8 Pywacket Ronda Miller Tange Blue73harley Liberty275 Jackmckee Hollowaydora and 29 others

Horse Racing Enthusiasts Abuzz for I’ll Have Another’s Running of The Triple Crown - it’s gotta be heart - BREAKING NEWS - IHA scratched because of tendonitis

Like a giant horse fly descending for a feeding, the world of horse racing enthusiasts is abuzz with weather reports, strategies between jockeys, trainers and owners, the fresh horse meat coming into Saturday’s third leg of the Triple Crown, nerves, and jokes such as Letterman’s about his pick for The Kentucky Derby – ‘the horse I picked to win was so slow, the jockey packed a sandwich.’

With IHA’s (I’ll Have Another) winnings presently at $2,693,600 – including first place purses from the last three races he won, Santa Anita Derby, and of course the first two legs of the Triple Crown, which include The Kentucky Derby and Preakness – he wins a mere $600,000 in contrast this Saturday at Belmont when he noses his way across the finish line.

Why such a vote of confidence when only eleven horses have won the Triple Crown in the past 137 years? (Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed) Because I’ll Have Another has the heart.

I’ve read horse racing blogs and rags about IHA’s eleventh spot coming out of the shoot, how 25 year old jockey, Marion Gutierrez, and trainer, Doug O’Neil, are pre running the race, while IHA rests, beginning today with the assistance of retired jockey Richard Migliore who will assist Gutierrez with strategy. Migliore has personally won more than 4,450 races – many of them at Belmont. (Jockey Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey was their first choice, but he was required to decline because of his position as NBC analyst)

There are those who say I’ll Have Another’s post position, 11 out of 12 (the higher the number, the further the horse has to run to covet the spot by the rail), is no big deal since the Belmont is a mile and a half long race. This race allows plenty of time to compensate for a rough start out of the gate.

IHA was purchased for a mere $35,000 early in 2011. For that amount one can buy 3 nice Harleys, one decent shotgun of English manufacture, a used fifth-wheel camper, or a pre-owned Corvette. In other words, IHA was a damned fine investment. With more than a hundred million wagered on Saturday’s race, breeding fees following his win at more than his purchase price per shot still take some time to add up.

Only 11 horses in the 137 years running of the Triple Crown have captured horse racing’s greatest achievement, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. None are presently alive. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978 and 11 horses have managed to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since before losing at Belmont.

What does IHA get out of a win? Likely a run in the Breeder’s Cup, retirement and stud service on a farm in Kentucky – not a bad life after this past year’s whirlwind ride on the fast track of horse racing.

So while people in the know discuss how if it rains IHA doesn’t have a chance (the race he did lose was on a muddy track), how he has competed against 40 horses to take the winner’s circle this Saturday, and how jockey and trainer are strategizing the running and the winning, it gets down to the heart of one horse on one Saturday in June.

The weather can be perfect, the trainer can be an expert, the jockey can be the most experienced in the field and know his horse inside and out, but it comes down to IHA. We know he is fast, we know he has stamina (this is his third race in five weeks), but does he have the heart that when given his nudge will take him across the finish line first making him the twelfth to take The Triple Crown. There are many who are betting he does.

Reply

Writing your erotica: an afternoon lead by Dixie Lubin in the company of other women

It was Sunday afternoon the last weekend of April. I had been looking forward to Dixie Lubin's erotica workshop ever since I'd heard about it and immediately had signed up to attend. I was running late, having been at a committee retreat meeting at our local District Two Kansas Authors Club President, Susie Nightingale's house.

I parked in the lot adjacent the house where I attend poetry sessions twice monthly, let myself quietly in and grabbed the closest chair. Dixie Lubin (one of my favorite poets who has the most lovely open and accepting demeanor) was leading the group of approximately ten women, ages ranging forties, fifties and sixties, in an awareness exercise. The other women were sitting quietly with their eyes closed, faces open and relaxed. Dixie smiled serenely in my direction as I immediately dropped the hustle and stress of everyday life and allowed myself to be carried into another world. She was talking about allowing a rose to unfold within our heart and chest area, as well as in our minds. When I think of rose petals unfurling, I think about a specific body part opening and as we came out of the relaxation and awareness guidance, my writing about my sexuality began to open and unfold.

Writing erotica was an enlightening and profoundly moving experience. As the women took turns going around the table reading what they had written - a blend of fact, fantasy, desire - I learned a great deal about them, myself, social taboos and just how similar all of us are in terms of our sexuality.

Erotica can mean many different things to different people - I tend to look things up in the dictionary, and I noticed another word for erotica is porn (really! hehe), but erotica isn't porn to me. Erotica is the softer side of sex. It isn't just about the thrusts, inserts, positions, numbers, it is about touching another, oneself, love making, pleasuring, titillating, caressing, openness, experimentation, non judgement.....perhaps even going someplace no man has gone before.

So, not only did I learn a great deal about myself, the wonderful sharing ability and life experiences of the other women within the group, but also about what often is missing from our lives. As a Life Coach, I frequently discuss how short this human experience is, how important it is not to allow fear to control and box us in within our lives, how we should put away the judgements we feel toward other people - and often, feel even more harshly towards ourselves.

I shared my erotica writings with male friends over the next few days. I was delighted and surprised when they shared some of their own with me. It wasn't porn, it was an appreciation of the absolutely wonderful sensations our bodies have the capability to feel and assist another to feel. It was an appreciation of the beauty of our sexuality in all its vast ability to give and receive. And, I suspected that if I were to share what was written by the males and females, no one would have known the difference of which sex it had been written.

I've heard a lot of positive media about the book, "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E L James. I have not read it. I don't have the time. I'm too busy writing and experiencing my own erotica.

Please share your own favorite memory of an erotic time (remember this is a community forum with restrictions and young readers).

What have you done to enhance your sexuality recently?

Reply

How I missed the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby and safeguards to win The Preakness

We all have our specific superstitions on what we think will help a winning team, or in today's case, the horse we want to cross the finish line first in The Preakness.

As a four year old living with an aunt and uncle in Ft. Collins, Colorado, it meant I rode my stick pony for days in advance of the race. When that stick pony tripped me up and I landed chin side down on the cement behind our house and had to go to the emergency room for stitches, I demanded my aunt burn my pony in the backyard incinerator. Fast forward three years, I rode my Shetland Pony, Blackie - short for Black Beauty, in preparation of the big races. When he bucked me off and then fell on top of me (I forgot to release the reins as I toppled head first), I wanted my Grandmother to burn him as well. Luckily she did not and told me to get back in the saddle.

More recent years have found me watching The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in pool halls, at the houses of friends, even in airports willing to risk missing my flight in order to see which horse crossed the finish line first.

The past several years find me likely to watch and ride from the comfort of my own home. I don my silk burgundy racing shirt, massage and dress my favorite steed (we wear matching bandanas), and begin chomping at my bit in anticipation as the newscasters drone on in pre race information.

So how did I miss the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby? I was dressed for action, ready for the start of the race and already mounted on RoBoCop (my steed of the hour). I was relaxed and confident that today I'd be on the winning horse. I rode through the opening announcements, was beginning to sweat and salivate...then ......we were off and running. I moved as one with RoBoCop, and then it happened, seconds before the race ended, a wrong move and I was in the zone, totally unable to comprehend or look at the ongoing race before me.

Today's safeguards? RoBoCop stays closeted. I'm riding Creative Cause. I can feel Daddy Nose Best breathing hard as he comes up behind me on the inside....we move closer to the rail....Teeth of the Dog begins to nip at Creative Cause's hindquarters.....it only spurs him further ahead...... somehow RoBoCop breaks out of his holding pen and begs me to ride him.....I toss a match at him as I throw my hands high into the air and look in the direction of the winner's circle.

What are your superstitions about winning a race or game? Which horse are you riding to the win in today's race?

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Kansas Authors Club District Two Contest Award Winners - 2012

Following is the list of winners for the KAC (Kansas Authors Club) District Two writing contest:

Prose - Memoir

1st Defining Middle Age - Tracy Million Simmons

2nd Lucky Lee - Susie Nightingale

3rd Rabbit, Rabbit - Cathy Callen

Prose - Feature Article

1st Death of a Small Town - Marsha Lytle

2nd Sunrise, Sunset - Joann Williams

3rd Exchange Student's American Christmas - Lorranine McVey

Prose - Inspiration

1st Random Acts of Kindness - Susie Nightingale

2nd Let Your Avocation Be Your Vocation - Susie Nightingale

3rd Raspberry Conflict - Teresa Oliver

Prose - Short Fiction

1st Pickup Man - G. E. Murray

2nd Supernatural Soap Opera - Steve Laird

3rd Shackled - Joann Williams

Poetry - Haiku

1st Winter Light - Susie Nightingale

2nd Haiku - Diane Palka

3rd Autumn Sunset - Jean Jackson

Poetry - Narrative Poetry

1st Where the High Plains Meet Heaven - Ronda Miller

2nd If Not for the Tears - Ronda Miller

3rd Tip Bucket - Kevin Rabas

Poetry - Free Verse

1st The Walker - Tracy Million Simmons

2nd BBQ, Southern Illinois Style - Iris Wilkinson

3rd Meeting Schnackenberg - Ronda Miller

Poetry - Rhymed Verse

1st Ain't Life Grand, Son? Lee Mick

2nd Is There Anything Else? Ruth Bahr

3rd Author's Soul - Vicki Julian

Congratulations to entrees and winners in this year's District 2 contest. Submissions are currently being accepted for the statewide contest for both prose, poetry and books. For additional information: skyways.lib.ks.us/orgs/kac/contest.ht

You need not be a member of KAC to submit entrees. Please submit all entrees no later than June 15th, 2012. (correction: the address for poetry submissions: Poetry Contest Manager, 214 Lawrence Ave., Lawrence, KS 66049, rather than 219 Lawrence Ave.

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What about bi-sexuals, Mr. President? Where is their right to marriage?

I wasn't particularly surprised when President Obama made the statement about his personal feelings on the issue of gay rights. His opinion that they have every right to be happy in a legal marriage along with all the amenities that affords is held by about half the population.

Marriage: the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.

The above definition is about to change. My interest lies in just how far it will.

Wikipedia definition of bisexuality:

'Bisexuality is a sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to males and females - especially with regard to men and women. It is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation, along with a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation - all a part of the heterosexual-homosexual continuum. It has been observed in various human societies and elsewhere in the animal kingdom throughout recorded history.'

Does our President hold the belief that marriage is sanctimonious to a union between two people only? Do you? I know the word monogamy generally comes up in discussion about marriage - gay or otherwise. Can a bi sexual relationship among three consenting adults be classified as monogamous?

I believe as with heterosexual and homosexual individuals, the bi sexual individual is born with the sexual imprint of who they are and where their sexuality lies. The definition of what we hold marriage to be is about to change.....just how far is the change gonna come.

(This is a beginning blog about an ongoing in-depth investigation about bisexuality that I've been undertaking for the past several weeks. I became aware of how predominate it is, when I went out with a gentlemen several weeks ago who decided to place an ad on Craigslist stating we were a married couple seeking another male to participate with us sexually. For clarity sake, I do not consider myself bisexual nor did I encourage the male's action. I was initially shocked and surprised by the overwhelming response my 'friend' received. I decided to not continue my relationship with my acquaintance, but I have subsequently made contact with several of the gentlemen and have been interviewing them about their bi sexuality. They are all married men)

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District Two Kansas Authors Club Writer’s Retreat Enrollment Deadline Rapidly Approaching

retreat: 'the act of withdrawing or going backward (especially to escape something hazardous or unpleasant), withdrawal for prayer and study and mediation, withdrawal of troops, an area where you can be alone, a bugle call, a military signal for withdrawal, a place of privacy, make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity, pull back, move back, move away for privacy....'

Urban Dictionary - retreat: move forward, progress in self awareness and creativity, the act of writing the best damn prose and/or poetry you ever dreamed possible, to bond with other writers, professional and novice, to enjoy the guidance and camaraderie of like minded and accepting spirits, to delight in the healing and creative aspects of nature, to form new friendships and strengthen existing ones, to become a vessel of newly written material.

Where: scenic Lake Doniphan Conference & Retreat Center, 12856 Doniphan Lake Road, Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

When: June 1 - 3, 2012. Registration forms should be completed and submitted by May 15, 2012, for the June 1-3 retreat.

How much: the one day retreat is available for $65 and includes breakfast and lunch Writers may additionally choose to stay Friday night and/or Saturday nights for an additional fee.

The retreat is sponsored by Kansas Authors Club District Two as a yearly fundraiser, but one need not be a member of KAC to attend. (membership fee is $25 annually)

Background information on KAC:

Kansas Authors Club has several hundred members statewide within the 7 Districts.

District 2 has approximately one hundred members. District Two encompasses the following counties: Anderson, Boubon, Coffey, Franklin, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Wyandotte, Osage in addition to Douglas.

The statewide association has been in existence since 1904. The club offers writers from all walks of life the opportunity for a discussion of problems unique to writers. Writers from backgrounds such as creative, technical, academic, journalistic and poetry are welcomed.

Districts offer contests as well as support.

As Susie Nightingale, District Two President, states, "I think the main thing the club provides is networking with other writers and opportunities for improving writing skills."

Well known poet Bill Karnowski will be Master of Ceremonies.

Questions may be directed to Susie Nightingale, District Two President, at swimmer10@sunflower.com or (785) 760-1274.

Additional information can be found at: kansasauthors.org "District Two News"

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138th Running of The Kentucky Derby - Under a Full Moon

I know the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby is going to take place this afternoon, not this evening. I also know the way my mind works. Years from now, I'll picture all those pretty thoroughbreds running on a blazin fast track under the largest moon 2012 has ever known.

For now, I won't let the reality of a hard rain falling overnight in Churchill Downs, knowledge of a humid, 86 degree day with continued chance for thunderstorms and a questionable run by some of the horses this morning affect that photo finish I have going on in my mind.

Like most people, I have used several methods of picking Derby winners over the years. I've gone from choosing the filly, merely because she was a filly (Eight Belles was a tragedy), to a pick of the horse reminding me most of the stallion from The Black Stallion series, to just picking one based on best personal, and often heart wrenching, story about jockey and or trainer/owner.

This year, I'm going with the alignment of the stars and the moon as to which horse will be pulled into the winner's circle.

Here we go: the Kentucky Derby is a 1 and 1/4 mile race - ten furlongs (and you can bet your mint julep the track will be fast and dry by gate time), the super moon is 221,802 miles from Earth this evening, it is referred to as the Perigee which sounds like pedigree which remind me of thoroughbred......Have I lost you?

Even the names of the ten most likely horses to win (isn't that a larger than average field), seems to reiterate the cosmic connection: Alpha, Liaison, Creative Cause, El Padrino and SaberCat. (that last because I think cats are cool)

So....I may go with the horse in second post position because of all the twos in the above mentioned series of moon and earth and track alignments, or Liaison, because it sounds like it's meant to be, or Creative Cause, as that is what my life is about, or El Padrino - the Godfather should rule on Cinco De Mayo.........ok, the last didn't work.

Crap, does anyone have a coin I can borrow......

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