Sunday, December 30, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 22: That's Just Wrong

Happy Holidays!

I'm finally able to transfer this post from my brain to the laptop. Usually I get to it earlier but we had a power out and I've been sitting around studying physics and hoping for the lights to flicker indicating that I can charge my dead cell phone and that my heat would come back on. It's cold here in Canada this time of year.

Last week ended with Andie relieved at the sight of boy and pup snoozing on the new sofa. What horrors could possibly come from that?

Missed last week? You can find it here.

~

I slowly walked around the couch to toss a blanket over the sleeping duo when the malodorous stench assaulted my nostrils. Tempest, curled into my son, had had an accident. All over the brand new couch.

It wasn't a pee accident. It wasn't even a solid accident. No, Tempest, the little hellion, had streaked slimy green crap all over the week old sofa, and my gorgeous baby boy was sleeping in it. My eyes slammed shut as I breathed through my mouth.

~

Clearly there are some things I know about from personal experience... I just tell myself that I love my dog. Then I leave and hope to god someone else stumbles across it and will clean it for me...

I hope you're all enjoying the holiday season, see you next year.

Happy New Year! (And Happy 10th Birthday to MY baby boy, who celebrates on January 1st!)

KSJ

Check out what I'm reading today by clicking here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 21: Stuffing

Happy Holidays!

It's that time again, and I'm not talking about it being Sunday. It's Christmas vacation and I'm off school until the New Year. I'm so stoked!

~

I walked into the living room with my eyes closed, wondering with every step what horrors awaited me.

Jeremy had been diligent about cleaning up after Tempest, even after she had torn all the filling out of the couch and dragged it through every room in the house. She had shredded all the laundry in his hamper and had spent a week crapping out fluff and denim. He had cried when he found his favorite stuffed animal headless but hadn't turned his back on the dog he had rescued - by stealing.

I opened one eye because that always seemed to trick my brain into thinking that things could be significantly less terrible than they actually were.

Boy and dog were both sleeping on the new couch, which seemed to be intact. I breathed a sigh of relief and my other eye popped open.

~

I hope you're all enjoying the season. We have had our first "snow fall" and my pup (who turned eight months yesterday) didn't know what to do with himself. Today we are going to the park. I'm hoping that the dogs have left some snow for him to roll in.

Check out what I'm reading today by following this link.

Merry Christmas!

KSJ


Sunday, December 16, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 20: The Tempest

Christmas break is around the corner, and I'm pumped for it. A few weeks off school, I'm taking a week off work, and I'm hoping to get some much needed down time to study and (possibly) finish Fall From Grace.

I signed up for Six Sunday late this week. And by late, I really mean that it was three hours and five minutes to the deadline. I was considering not participating, because I'll be honest. I haven't put pen to paper in almost a month. Not seriously, at any rate. My notebook has bits and pieces that I've come across here and there, but if I was looking for at least six sentences strung together cohesively, I was looking at Cornwell's Unnatural Exposure or Evanovich's One For The Money (just watched the movie, it didn't disappoint).

And so my lovelies, today I am making this up as I go along. Enjoy!

~

Tempest ran circles around my feet as I tried to get from the front door to the alarm pad. Someone was home, or someone was in trouble for not crating the beast while the house was empty. She had already proven herself capable of tearing the place to shreds in under two hours.

I tripped over her again, and felt the now familiar twinge in my still tender foot. This was not going to be a good day to be me, I could already tell. The baby started howling somewhere, and I reached down to make sure that mine was where she was supposed to be.

~

I'm being hustled off the blog to play with the Boomaster. He's growing up so fast. Later on, when he's in bed, I'll catch up on reading here.

Have a great day, guys!

KSJ

Sunday, December 9, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 19: Felix

The last two weeks I have been posting sentences from a conversation between Andie and her five year old son, Jeremy. (To get the full effect, read them in order starting with Episode 17 and Episode 18.)

This week I'm posting the final six from this conversation.

~

"You can't fire peristalsis Jer."

"Why not. My dad says you can fire anyone."

"He does a very special job and he's the only one in the whole world who can do it."

"So you don't have a Perry? I bet yours is called Felix."

~

I hope you're all having a great day :)

My dog is going bananas (he ATE a pair of eyeglasses on Thursday and seriously needs some park time to get those lenses to pass). (Kidding about the lenses. Not kidding about bananas.) While he plays I will be reading posts from other authors by going here. Spend some time checking them out.

Thanks for stopping by this week, and leaving your feedback.

Have a great day,

KSJ

Sunday, December 2, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 18: Firing Mr. Stalsis

It's Sunday, again, and I would be excited but I have to work later, which means my beautiful weekend has been cut short. Too short. Yes my lovelies, it has been rudely tampered with. But I digress.

Last week I posted the first six sentences of a conversation that the five-year old Jeremy was having with his mom. You can find that by following this link. This week is the continuation.

~

Who indeed, I thought, and found myself smiling, almost against my will.

"The dude who puts the food in your tummy." It was almost the whole truth.

"Can I replace him? He is working too slow. My dad would say he needs to be fired."

~

I have long found it amusing how kids have to specify that someone is theirs. My dad. My mom. My younger brother used to do that all the time, and I constantly had to remind him that his dad was my dad too. To this day he still specifies, as though I don't know who his dad is...

Until I need to race off to work I am reading fabulous groups of sentences by the glorious authors here. I invite you to go see their work.

Until next time!

KSJ

Sunday, November 25, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 17: Who is Perry Stalsis?

Sometimes conversations that Andie has with her son, Jeremy, remind me of conversations that I've had with my son. I wonder why that is.

~

"Mom I'm still hungry."

"Wait twenty minutes," I told him, swallowing the snarl. He was trying my patience, which had been worn thin by the unexpected visit the princess had paid me earlier.

"Why does it take so long?"

"Blame peristalsis," I said, hoping that the twenty minutes it took for him to google the word would give me at least that much peace and quiet.

"Who is Perry Stalsis?"

~

Come back next weekend to find out who Perry Stalsis is ;)

I hope everyone is enjoying this last Sunday in November.

Besides The Hobbit and Physics textbooks, you can see what I'm reading this weekend by going here. Bring your coffee!

Cheers!

KSJ

Sunday, November 18, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 16: Smile, They Can Hear It.




Welcome back. I hope you're all having a great weekend!

I'm going to launch right into the six, no background needed (at least I don't think so).

~

“Doctor Ross,” I chirped, plastering a smile onto my face because some dink with a psych degree said that the caller could hear it in my voice. Like I gave a damn.

Whomever had already hung up. I rolled my eyes and slammed the receiver down, before picking it back up. I thought I felt my brain pop while I strained to recall Alex’s extension number.

Finally I was too irritated to even bother. I punched in the number to reception and snapped into the phone. “Transfer me to Alex,” I snarled, after hearing the smile in her damn voice.

~

I have had so many moments like this, lol. 

Check out other posts by hitting this link.

Thanks for stopping by this week, and leaving your feedback.

Cheers!

KSJ

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 15: Say It Ain't So

The following six takes a place soon after Andie discusses the feeling of death walking through her house. (You can catch that post, from two weeks ago, here.)

~

I checked her pulse because I was a doctor and obligated to save her if I could, but I already knew by the blood coating the entire surface area of the floor that I was too late. The feel of my best friend's cooling hand beneath my finger tips told me that I was right. There was nothing; no pulse, no rise and fall of her chest, no response whatsoever.

That's when I noticed her eyes. I knew better than to touch her but the black marks were too familiar. The hairs on my neck prickled.

~

There's another storm about to roll over us, the thunder is getting loud. Today will be spent inside with great reading material and silly amounts of coffee. (See what I'm reading today by heading over here with your beverage of choice.)

Thanks for stopping by :)

KSJ

You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on this link. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Exam Cram and How I Contaminated #Toronto

I typically have less trouble with exams than tests. This year it feels as though all my knowledge has spilled out in my non sleep. On Monday I needed to re read all my notes AND the text to prepare. By Tuesday.

This wasn't cool because I worked that night and, as mentioned, was sick.

And so, because I'm a master procrastinator, I sat on the subway writing a blog post instead of reading.

I'm pretty sure we've had the procrastination conversation before.

This procrastinate thing is one of the reasons I only have a single novel in publication. A novel that took three weeks to write, five years to edit, and two years collecting dust to get published. My NaNo writing from 2011 was five years in the making. My Camp NaNo project is supposed to be the sequel to Unclean. Already I'm plotting the next installment in the Fall From Grace line - and I haven't finished the first yet.

Apparently I'm a forward thinker...

Today is Wednesday and I've been working on this post since Monday on the subway. So I will update while I wait for my coffee to brew.

Yesterday - exam day one - I left home feeling relatively confident that I would get to read up on passive and active transport - the only thing I was grossly uncomfortable with - when I arrived at school twenty minutes before I needed to be there.

Instead I arrived fifteen minutes late and didn't know passive transport from a wet noodle.

How does that happen?

My tardiness on exam day can be summarized by three words that any Torontonian will know:

Toronto Transit Commission.

Yes, my lovelies. The TTC had issues and several hundred people at the station - including yours truly - were delayed by thirty minutes before we could finally carry on.

I don't know about anyone else, but I personally can't handle being stuck in an overstuffed sardine can. I can't handle it at anytime, during flu season makes it worse. But this time I was the sick person trying not to cough all over the innocent sardines surrounding me.

The woman standing in front of me kept elbowing me in the chest. Not her fault, it was packed. The back of her head got coughed on, the doors opened, and fifty million germs went racing through the train, latching onto dozens of unsuspecting patrons. It was a virus's dream come true.

My mom always taught me to share. I hope she's proud.

Seriously though, I feel bad. Unfortunately, living in a sterile bubble and never leaving my room isn't an option for me at the moment. So off to places I go, and hopefully, I don't get elbowed again.

Eat your veggies!

KSJ

Monday, November 5, 2012

#NaNo 2012

I participated in NaNo last year and did well. By 'did well', I mean that I walked away with 64,000 words strung together to form reasonable sentences - for the most part.

Since then I have done major rewrites and figured out the actual ending.

In August I signed up for Camp NaNo, which turned out to be a nice way to get 25,000 words for a third manuscript.

Whether or not to torture and sleep deprive myself this month was considered - for about thirty seconds. In the end, after the lengthy debate with myself, I opted out.

Here's why:

Like last year I'm a student. I also work full-time. My exams start this week. And, the reason I'm writing this at 3:30 am is because I'm waiting for serious sinus medication to kick in. If it doesn't soon we are going to have issues, and, in the words of Russell Peters, "Someone gonna get hurt real bad."

For all you crazy kids out there participating, good luck and God speed. See you December 4th.

KSJ

Sunday, November 4, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 14: Yes or No?

Hey guys!

I hope everyone had a safe and relatively dry week. I know Sandy hit here, without leaving too much damage in her wake. Not in my neighborhood, at any rate.

This week I have exams so I have been "studying" (haha) more than writing anything new. I still have plenty of sentences left over from last week though, so now it's just a matter of figuring out which to post without giving too much away.

~

I could tell just by the look on his face that I'd be heading out to get kibble and a leash that very night, while he sat at home and played with the dog.

"Want me to stick around?" Sarah's hand rested on the keys dangling from the ignition as she exercised her uncanny ability to read my mind.

I sighed and waved James over. "Are you staying?"

He grinned and looked like our five-year old. "You should take Jer, he'll probably want to help pick out bowls."

"So you're not coming?" I was moderately irritated with his inability to answer a simple yes or no question with a simple yes or no.

~

I think in the last two months, Andie has learned that what is even more irritating than the above is when people say yes when they really mean no, they just weren't paying attention to the actual conversation. Maybe there will be more on that later, lol. For now enjoy other excerpts from the fabulous writers here, and have an excellent Sunday!

As always, thank you for stopping by.

KSJ

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Does Bird Mean Camel?

I made a mistake. A big one. One that I probably didn't learn from but that I doubt I will make again.

My teacher - we will call her Alesha just for brevity - assigned a research project on the animal kingdom in September. I proudly handed mine in early, got home, and realized that my pride was short lived. Instead of putting the word camel, I had put the word bird.

Who does that?

Apparently me, on days when there is only half a brain cell still active after a long day.

The next morning I went to Alesha and advised her that anytime she saw the word bird she needed to think of a camel.

Thankfully she is incredibly understanding. I have no idea how - or why - she puts up with me.

Really though, bird instead of camel? Who does that?

The weirdest thing about the whole issue? My project was actually on the moose...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 13: Where Death Walks

I think I wrote more this week than I have in a long time. It was funny because one minute I was sitting on the bus heading to school, and the next I had pen in hand and was murdering a character. She was a pretty big deal and I was shocked that it happened. I hoped that I could force them to change their minds but it seems as though she was voted off the island... At least it freed up some space for new characters in my head.

~

There was something off about the feel of the house when I unlocked the door. I knew as I stepped in that my private sanctum had been violated. I felt it in the hairs pricking on the back of my neck. It was in the very energy of the house. Somehow I knew that death had walked here.

I saw the movement from the corner of my eye.

~

On to dog parks, cleaning and studying; all of which have been neglected this week due to work and classes.

While you enjoy this final Sunday in October, take your coffee here and check out the links to other contributors. You'll be happy that you did.

Thanks for stopping by!

KSJ

Sunday, October 21, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 12: It Came From Inside The Garage

I am still having issues with tomorrow being Monday. I've had an extended weekend - I blew off school on Friday and booked the weekend off work. It's not like I caught up on sleep or anything, the puppy still likes his early morning wake up calls, but it was a good idea, in theory...

Background:

Andie has just found a stowaway in her garage. This 'stowaway' happens to be a puppy that her son Jeremy found locked in a cage. So he did what he thought was right. He stole it, brought it home, stashed it in the garage and fed it Oreo cookies. He also called it Sneaky and 'forgot' to mention it to mom and dad.

Oooops.

~

James was supposed to discuss the reality of taking on the furball with his son. When I had called him at work and told him about 'Sneaky' his first response had been to laugh.

James was about to be duped by his only child's stolen pet, I thought, unsure of where to go from there. There was no way we could keep a puppy.

But Jeremy had been through so much in his five short years. I felt myself slipping, starting to sympathize with the boy who dognapped puppies.

~

Thanks for stopping by this week! Your comments are always appreciated :)

See more posts here.

Have a great Sunday!

KSJ


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Flint Versus The Sock



My fabulous puppy ate a sock last night.

Yes, a sock. A white-ish sports sock that he liberated from the floor of my niece's bedroom.

And yes, he ate it. I'm not talking a shred job. I'm talking part of the digestive process.

How does this happen? It was hanging out of his mouth one minute, all in his mouth the next. And then it was gone and he was licking his lips.

I phoned my sister to spazz. I lost my four year old Akita to cancer over the summer so I'm a little over protective. I phoned her and lamented over this sock's life cycle. It was a disgustingly smelly sock, I told her, and I wondered how close it was to naturally degrading due to the malodorous stench contained in the fibers. She assured me that it was probably pretty close, since she hadn't actually bought my niece any white sports socks that she could recall. If it had been grey, she advised, she would be much more concerned for the health of his digestive tract.

I supposed all we could do was wait for nature to take it's course, and hope that it did. Meanwhile, I would be scrutinizing every bowel movement my pup took while I waited for the sock to emerge. Earlier today, though, he appeared with a sock that clearly teleported from his stomach - clean and dry, I might add! - to play 'keep away' with me.

It's not yet clear if this is the same sock or another sock. How many freaking filthy white sport socks does one twelve-year old have? For anyone wondering though, he is eating, drinking, pooping, and has a vet appointment booked.

Thanks for reading :)

KSJ

 
Flint the sock killer.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 11: Attack of the Coffeeless

If tomorrow wasn't Monday I would be much happier about today being Sunday.

I'm just saying...

~
I pretended to look horrified. “I could not survive without a continual supply of coffee. How could you even suggest that I go without? Do I look like a zombie?”
At least her laugh was genuine this time. “Well... If you want an honest answer... Sometimes you do, Andie.” 
She winked and I glared at her until we had pulled into my drive. 
~
Thanks for stopping by :)
Follow this link to see more sentences.
See you soon!

KSJ


Sunday, October 7, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 10: You Did What?

Happy Thanksgiving!

This weeks six is between mama and son, and the little guy is in some hot water.

~

When he didn’t answer my panic ratcheted up another few notches.
“Jeremy,” I tried to keep my voice even. “Where by the school did you find this little guy?”
“By the bridge,” he answered slowly, wringing his hands.
Jeremy thought he knew how I felt about him leaving the school yard, but truth be told, he hadn’t the slightest clue until he admitted to me that he had left it. If murder wasn’t against the law I probably would have been down a dependent.

~

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend (it's a long one here in Canada :)

Spend some time perusing the links here for great weekend entertainment.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback.

Cheers!

KSJ

~

You can find me on Twitter or Facebook. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 9: And Then There Was Nothing

Hey guys!

It's been a crazy seven days and I am super excited that it's Sunday. It's my first day off so far this week and it's my only day off until Saturday at least.

I'm finally getting used to having no life and being completely sleep deprived - I'm even becoming okay with that. Life, they say, is all about balance.

But anyway. The selected sentences for this week find Andie back at work after six weeks off and buried under paperwork. This is causing her plenty of anxiety - she's just not that into piles of papers and files everywhere, and someone made sure to fill her desk with piles of papers in files. How terribly rude of whomever that was.

Instead of having an anxiety attack, Andie decides to be proactive and get things organized. What happens after that is where we come in, and she's not a happy camper when we get there:

~

The only way to describe the noise my computer made was as follows. It belched. Yeah, that’s right. My computer belched at me. Didn’t even excuse itself. I watched the lights on it flicker and then die. It had shat the bed.

Definitely a male computer, I thought, frustrated.

~

I hope you're all enjoying your day.

Please take the time to click here and read the work of fabulous writers :)

Cheers!

KSJ

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Update: Gone with the WIND mobile

While I was at work last night my sister heard from WIND.

Here is the email they sent:

Thank you for this information.
I've taken a look at your account and see the last time you had spoken with someone from WIND was yesterday.
I am sorry that there is suspected fraud on your account, however the way to resolve this issue is to file a police report.
Once you have filed and obtained the police report, please either fax it to us at 1-866-216-9923 with attn: Collections
or email us a scanned copy to info@windmobile.ca
 
However, I do want to let you know that the line that was activated without your permission was also a pay before line.
 
If this is a situation of Fraud (and not just an in-store agent error) the issue itself has been contained in sense that, we have cancelled the pay before line. No monthly re-occuring charges will be charged to
 
For this reason, it is not necessary to go through with a Police Report.
Pay Before lines must be topped up by the Customer in order to be active and even if you had Pre-Authorized payment set up on your account, only the last 4 digits of the credit card would ever be displayed to anyone from WIND looking at your account.
I would advise that you call Customer Care and change your 4 digit PIN number and your two security questions if you are worried about account security.

~

I'm not sure what she sent back, and what I would have sent is probably unsuitable for public consumption.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression of what they are saying is that they fixed the issue by removing the fraudulent activation from our account, so case closed. Oh, and we should change all our passwords with them.

Why? Obviously changing our information isn't going to make it more secure within this company. Has the employee who accessed and then used our information been terminated? What are you going to do to ensure that this doesn't happen to anyone else? Also - your apology means diddly to us, we've spent over three days dealing with your gargantuan error. We still have to pay to have our identification changed to make sure that your employee doesn't use it again. What are you going to do about this?

Today I did further research on what other people are tweeting about WIND.

As it turns out, a fellow in Vancouver is experiencing the same issue. They hooked up an account using his info without his knowledge or permission. His posts are two days old. He's getting the same run around as we are. WIND replied to him saying they are a few days behind in their emails.

WIND mobile - when it comes to actually serving your customers, I give you negative five stars.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gone with the WIND Mobile

At the beginning of the school year we went to activate a cell phone for my 12 year old niece. She was taking the TTC to and from school and her mom wanted her to have a way to contact us or the school should the need arise.

On Friday, as we were at home cleaning up the huge mess the dogs made while we were at Walmart, we received confirmation from WIND that our new cell phone had been activated.

Ours had been working fine for weeks so we were a little confused as to what was going on.

My sis called the phone company and was told that someone - most likely an employee - had taken her private information and used it to activate a new phone. The fellow she spoke to told her that this was unacceptable - but they couldn't do anything until we had filed a fraud report with the police.

That night she called her bank and discussed with them precautionary measures they could all take in case her credit card number had been compromised. Saturday morning at 0712 an unhappy officer in dire need of wake up juice with sunshine in it showed up to take the report.

She has spent today on the phone, calling the fraud squad, the credit bureaus, and the DMV. She's been told that she needs to pay to have her drivers license changed. So she called WIND back to see what they could do, since it was confirmed that one of their employees was responsible for the breach.

They will do nothing in customer care, because its not an issue their office deals with. She's been told to email the presidents office.

Your company - your employee - compromised personal information. You took someones credit card information, their bank information, address, email, name... And opened up an account linked to this info, then gave that out. But you aren't responsible for this?

If you post a privacy policy, which WIND does, shouldn't you be able to back that up? Apparently, that's gone with the WIND.

This ordeal is a great reminder of how complacent companies have become over accountability.

How sad.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 8: Behind Bars

Good morning!

What a crazy week it's been. I'm so glad it's the weekend.

The following six feature Marie Goodyear - she's a new character working with Andie. Her oldest son - a child she has fostered for several years - has been arrested. In this scene she's at the jail, having chats with him. And by chats I really mean... Well, you'll see. Hopefully it will all work out. I'd hate to have her end up in there ;)

~
She hit the plexiglass window so hard that even the bars shook. The blood drained from his face.

"If the miscreants in this shit hole don't kill you, I will," she bellowed, punching the glass again. The guard poked his head in.

"Everything okay in here?" He  eyed them, warily.

"Please don't let me go home with her," he begged.

~

Thanks for stopping by this week. Your thoughts are always appreciated :)

To see more offerings, go here. Happy reading!

KSJ
 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 7: Another One Bites the Dust


Good morning!

I forgot to set my alarm this morning after forgetting to post my sentences last night. Thankfully, the puppy gets irate if no one is awake with him by exactly 7:12 every morning. He gets upset and then, just in case I can't hear him, our other dog, Lady Jaye, busts into my room and jumps on me. It's one hundred pounds of wake up call.

This weeks post is a few thoughts from Lacey. She's one of Andie's best friends and works with James, Andie's husband. She's been in her first 'long term' relationship (which has lasted all of five months) and is about to have her heart broken.

~

Matthew, she thought again, gritting her teeth. What he had said to her on the phone when she was racing off to the crime scene with with James the day before was that he thought they needed to talk. About seeing other people.

Seeing. Other. People.

The words still hung around her like a cloud of nasty rancid smoke from a bonfire full of Styrofoam.

Who said those types of thing, she wondered. Who? WHO?

~

This is the worst thing that's ever happened to Lacey in a relationship. What about you? Posting the worst that's ever happened to me will probably get me in trouble. Runner up was when a guy broke up with me (I was 18, he was 21) on Christmas eve because '[I] spend more time with [my] family then with [him].' o.O

Go here to see the works of other contributors.

Thanks for stopping by this week and sharing your thoughts!

KSJ

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flint




Earlier in August we said goodbye to my four year old American Akita, Nikki. She had osteo sarcoma, lost twenty pounds in the three weeks before we caught it, and we couldn't make her comfortable enough, or justify hacking off bits and pieces of her, just because we wanted more time with her.

Some day, when I'm ready, I will explain more about how Nikki bounded into my life. Today is simply not that day.

Nikki, last year.
But anyway...

In my Six Sunday post last week I mentioned that we had welcomed Flint into our home.

Flint is a four and a half month old white shepherd crossed with a lab (for now - the vets disagree and are pretty sure he is just the shepherd). He is full of energy and about five minutes ago, when I was reaching under the couch for his Kong, he decided to use the back of my head as a chew toy.

We got Flint from a guy who had posted him on Craigslist the day we received Nikki's diagnosis. I knew we had 48 hours left with her, and I was wrecked. This little guy caught my eye. There was something in his eyes that called to me. Truth be told, he reminded me of Nikki.

The owner had moved to the city and didn't have the time or space for his dog. I'm sure most people are familiar with this song and dance.

Needless to say, the dog needed a new home. The dog was free, his stuff cost $250. My sister went to work securing the dog for me, but we weren't willing to buy a bunch of crap for that price, when we are already dog owners and have all that kind of crap. We offered a hundred dollars less. He said fine. Ten minutes later he said no.

I was already on an emotional roller coaster, but I'm wasn't about to beg for the dog. If you want a loving forever home for your dog - which was the claim - that's my house. If not, I have no real use for you.

In the week that followed I looked at at least a thousand dogs. I was perplexed by the amount of people who had gotten a pup then decided a few months later they didn't have time to meet the dogs needs. We went to see one male Siberian Husky who would end up at the pound if we didn't take him that night. He was a year old and went straight for our throats. My son was attacked by a Newfoundland lab a few years ago and needed stitches in his face. No dog that terrifies me is coming into my home. Just saying.

Finally I resigned myself to not getting a new dog. I stopped looking, stopped discussing it, and gave Lady Jaye (the pup that Nikki had raised) 100% of my attention.

Days afterwards the guy contacted us to ask if we were still interested. It took us the afternoon to decide if I really wanted to put myself back on this roller coaster, but in the end his Nikki eyes won me over.

Last Saturday we met the pooch at the dog park with Lady Jaye and my son. I was already won over, it was them that needed to be comfortable with him joining the family.

Lady Jaye was great with him. My son took less convincing. The moment he laid eyes on Flint he was in love. As we interacted with Flint more I knew we would not let him leave with anyone but us.

Why?

Flint is a name that I gave him because I love the 80's G.I. Joe cartoon. Lady Jaye's boyfriend in the show was Flint, and she kicked his ass a good few times. I had zero trouble renaming him because he didn't know what his name was to begin with.

He had been living with the owners parents and hadn't gotten out much. He hadn't interacted with other dogs, isn't great on a lead and had never been in an off leash park. My understanding is they let him out of his crate a few times a day to potty and that was it.

The first time I threw a ball for him was the first time anyone had thrown a ball for him. Ever. I know this because the owner told me so.

We got Flint home and he stood over the water dish with his tail between his legs, sneaking water and looking around to see what we would say. He drank over a gallon that afternoon alone. Anytime we went near him he would cower.

His underbelly was covered in hives because he was allergic to the food he was eating - which was corn and innards. Yay, Purina Puppy Chow. We have taken him off that and put him on a grain free chow.

Flint is TERRIBLE on a leash. He cannot figure out why he just can't poop on the balcony. We have all been struggling with getting him to walk on the left, or to walk at all.
The last few days we had as many people as possible walk through the house. He greeted them all with caution but eventually came around.

This morning I called him my shadow, because he follows me around like, well, like my shadow.

The adjustment has been easier for me than for anyone else in the house. I'm used to the high energy breed, they have all learned how to live around one lonely pooch. I was still bounding out of bed to walk my dog every morning. Mind you, 'morning' before Flint was any time I wanted. Flint gets up at 712, or earlier, if he knows someone is up, and he demands your attention at that time. Also, since he's still content to defecate on the balcony, you can't just get up and have your coffee - a luxury I had with Nikki.

This afternoon Flint is making his second appearance at our local off leash park. It's completely fenced in so I've never had a problem bringing the dogs there.

Flint on one of our 'walks'.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 6: This Came as a Surprise.


My desk is currently buried under everything I've taken away from puppy this week. This is not a cool scenario because I started school on Friday and there's just so much to do. Cleaning off my son's stuffies, socks and Pokemon toys were not on my list of things to do today. Neither was clearing my desk of all MY socks, shoes, now-broken-pens, etc. But you gotta do what you gotta do. We are going to the dog park in a little while and I'm hoping that he burns off some energy, but I doubt he will, because he has an endless supply. See below for a picture of Flint sleeping after his trip to the vets yesterday.

And now for the sentences:
~

"Andie," his breathe was muffled by my throat. "I can't let you go."

"You don't have that choice anymore," I reminded him, struggling to find my will power. "You already decided what you wanted, and it wasn't me."

"Can we please work this out?" he pulled back and stared at me.

"Not in bed," I finally whispered. "I would do almost anything to keep you, but I can't do this. Not this."

~

Check out other Six Sentence posts here

Thanks for stopping by this week!

KSJ


Sunday, September 2, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 5: Waffling

Hello Sixers!

Yesterday was a long day for us. We had a new addition to our family. His name is Flint and he is a white shepherd crossed with a lab. He is four and a half months old and he is very VERY busy/curious/mischievous/other stuff. Our three year old rotti cross (Lady Jaye) is having some issues adjusting to this little ball of energy, so at the moment, instead of playing with her he is playing with my shoe (the one on my foot). More to follow on Flint.

Today Jeremy has decided to tell his dad how he really feels about Eggo waffles.

~

"Come on buddy, I'll make you some waffles," James called.

"I don't want waffles," he replied, inching his way off the couch anyway. "I want pancakes."

"I don't do pancakes."

"Mom makes pancakes," he looked at me as though willing me to get my lazy ass of the couch and get cracking in the kitchen.

"Mom needs to rest, bud, sorry."

"Fine I'll have stupid waffles then. But I won't like them."

~

I hope everyone is enjoying the last weekend of summer break. The house will be empty Tuesday morning. If you have spare time, check out the links here to be vortexed into the stories of fabulous writers.

Thanks for stopping by and giving me your feedback. It's always appreciated :)

Cheers!

KSJ

Sunday, August 26, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 4: Somebody is Having a BAD Day...


It's the last week of Camp NaNo and I am struggling to hammer out those words every day. Some day's it's easier than others. Some days I stare at the screen for hours and only manage two hundred words. The point, I hope, is that I'm at least getting those two hundred words. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

At the beginning of the month my character was having a particularly rough day, with a visitor that she wanted nothing to do with, whatsoever. The following six are her thoughts, and they mirror mine in so many ways:

~

There was nothing that I could say to her, because if I opened my mouth I would go straight for her throat, with my teeth, and didn't see that passing over well.

She smiled, satisfied that she had successfully rattled my cage. The last thing that I wanted to see from this bitch was a genuine smile. I wouldn't have minded a genuine "I'm sorry to disturb you, ma'am," even though I hated being called ma'am. This woman should have been calling me ma'am. With her jaw wired shut.

~
Check out some other offerings here.

Thanks for stopping by :)

KSJ

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 3: Kids Say the Darndest Things



Good Sunday morning :)

Jeremy is one of my favorite characters to interact with. He's five and in so many ways he reminds me of my son. This week I selected six sentences featuring Jeremy. He's being his charming - and brutally honest - self.

Enjoy ;)

~

"I heard you and my dad talking and I saw you fell on the floor.

Why, that little eavesdropper, I thought, smiling to myself. I issued him a stern look. "It's rude to spy on people."

"I was not spying on purpose, it just happened." He shrugged his pajama clad shoulders and yawned. "You  must be very heavy to make such a loud bang when you fall."

~

What's the most honest thing you've had a child say to you? My experience was similar to the above. I love my son ;)

Thanks for stopping by. To see sentences from amazing authors visit here.

Cheers!

KSJ


Sunday, August 12, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 2: Stand Still So I can Shank You.

It's been such a long and emotionally draining week. I was on target for Camp NaNo until Wednesday. I honestly haven't done much of anything since then. I think another day of sleep is in order and maybe Monday I'll start to play catch up.

For now, it's on to the sentences.

~

"You need a haircut," I said. "With pruning shears. Come over here and I'll start with the fuzz over your carotid."

He slowly stood up, making sure to stretch all the muscles that I wanted to shank with a dull spoon.

"Andie, what are you doing on the floor?" He was laughing at me.

"I'm trying to find a new husband," I snarled, "since my first one disappeared."

~

I'm a little slow getting back to comments this week but I will be responding. I appreciate every one :)

Have a great Sunday!

KSJ

Sunday, August 5, 2012

#SixSunday - Desolation - Episode 1: Coffe, Anyone?

It's the first weekend in August and a few days into Camp Nano, which means I'm posting sentences from my Camp project.

Desolation begins 43 days after Unclean ends.

Background:

The main character, Andie, has been in a cast. She's having some trouble sleeping without kicking her husband in... places... so he's started sleeping on the couch. Early in the morning (READ: six a.m.) she crutches down the stairs to wake him up for work. He tells her to keep it down.

Oh boy.

The following is six sentences of what happens next:

~

I slammed my crutches into the tiles and made sure to drop my casted foot as hard as I would be able to stand. Coffee; I tried to focus on anything but bashing him in the head with a crutch, my cast, a kitchen chair or the coffee pot. He mumbled something into the pillow.

"Would you like a cup of coffee?" I seethed, thinking I might just dump it over his head. I wouldn't, only because I would be stuck cleaning up the mess. And I hated wasting coffee.

~

I personally am not a fan of having coffee dumped on my head (yup, for real, I've had it dumped on my head. It was a gift to me, for me, love me when I was 16 months old... Whoops...). I'm also not a fan of wasting it. Coffee is just sacred.

Do you think the husband deserves such a punishment?

Stop by the Six Sunday website here to check out the offerings of some very talented authors.

Have a great Sunday :)

KSJ

Sunday, July 29, 2012

#Six Sunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 11: About Charlize


Hello Sunday!

I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Camp NaNo starts in two days and I'm nowhere near finished re-writing the parts of this manuscript. My beta reader has been waiting patiently all week, and now it appears as though she needs to wait until September. o.O

Last week I mentioned that I might introduce Charlize today (you can see last week's six here). Before introductions, let me give you the very basic background: Reed has been in the hospital for quite some time and Ranger - who is about to be deployed - visits.

~

"Hey did you meet my new girlfriend?" Reed turned back to look at Ranger.

"You mean Steph?"

"Hell no, I mean Charlize."

"Who in the hell is Charlize, one of the nurses?"

Reed grinned and pointed to the I.V pole that was beside his bed. "Negative, maggot, Charlize is my pole."

~

Ranger and I are both wondering if Reed has lost his mind. Maybe he got hit in the head a little too hard. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts - they are appreciated :)

Check out the snippets from other participants here.

Cheers,

KSJ

P.S: Did anyone have dessert for breakfast this morning?  ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 10: Everyone Loves Cake

I've gone through Fall From Grace with my beta reader and have my work cut out for me over the next week (before August 1st and Camp NaNo begins). My beta got a good laugh out of the following exchange, and I hope you enjoy it as well. Please let me know what you think - your comments are always appreciated!

Background: The infamous Steph has used her mama's cake (which happens to be Ranger's favorite food group) as a bribery technique. When she tells her mom that Ranger is expecting cake - before oh-seven hundred hours, she is met with some opposition:

~

"You cannot go around bribing people with cake for breakfast," Suzanne eyed Ranger for a minute, then shook her head. "I can't, in good conscience, feed you cake for breakfast."

"That's okay, Ma'am, I knew that it was too good to be true."

"You can have cake for dessert, if you'd like."

"Dessert after breakfast?"

"I have never seen a rule book stating that you can't have dessert after breakfast," she told him.

~

I may have missed the memo, but I've never seen a rule about this either. Anyone else?

Thanks for stopping by every week and leaving your thoughts :)

You can check out the other six sentence Sunday offerings here. Happy reading!

KSJ

P.S: Next week, I'm hoping to introduce you to Charlize. See you then ;)

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Son Needs MA - Minecrafters Anonymous


My fabulous son and I were having a discussion over breakfast. It went something like this:

Him: 'I can play Minecraft for the rest of the day.'

Me: 'No, I said you can't play all day.'

Him: 'I didn't play at 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8. So I won't be playing ALL day.'

Me: 'Okay, you can't play for the rest of the day.'

Him: 'What? I can't play at all?'

O.o

He then walked away looking so dejected I said he looked like Quasimodo. He told me he was being Steve. (That's the main character in Minecraft, apparently. I didn't realize he even had a name...)


Lesson learned: your attempts to be reasonable and sane around a nine year old addicted to a video game are futile.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Heat Wave - Update

The last few weeks I have mentioned that we're in the middle of a heat wave here in Toronto. Last night, while I was posting my weekly six sentences (you can see them here) I discussed the possibility of finding a puddle in which to swim.

This afternoon the puddle came to me:



I managed to take a short video clip of it as well, so you can hear how angry the skies sound. Just a short one, though, thunder and lightning above make me want to go hide under the bed. I won't - but that's only because the dogs are already there.

video

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 9

Have you ever felt that the very act of breathing is making you sweaty and uncomfortable? We are in another heat wave here in Toronto (yay us!) and this is seriously how I'm feeling. I want to flood my apartment so I can swim without having to go outside.

That's not going to happen for so many reasons so I have distracted myself by working on Fall From Grace. While doing that, I found this beautiful little snippet that I had actually forgotten about. Background: Steph has kept Ranger out until the wee hours drinking. A few hours later she is at his door, ready to go, and he is still, well, he's still Ranger, and he's drunk to boot.

~

"There is a god," Ranger crossed himself as he had seen many Catholics doing on the T.V. He pulled socks and a t-shirt out of his drawer and flung the door open, almost crashing into Steph.

"There is a god," she muttered, barely loud enough for him to hear. "She's standing in front of your damn door waiting for you to move your sorry ass."

"Good morning, Captain," he chirped.

She grunted.

~

I'm going to find a puddle to swim in, if they haven't all evaporated.

Check out the wonderful offerings of other participants here.

Cheers!

KSJ

Sunday, July 8, 2012

#SixSunday - Episode 8 - Fall From Grace

We've been in and out of heat waves the last few weeks here in Toronto and it's killer. I think my air conditioner is a prototype of a 1970's design and even when it blasts full force, I still sweat even when I think. Needless to say, I'm not getting too much thinking done.

Thankfully, I didn't need to put too much thought into this week's selection. Ranger and the girl he has been chasing after are right on the outskirts of a national park, and one of them has just discovered something...

~

For real, deep down inside her, she knew she couldn't live her life without this idiot man named Ranger. No matter how infuriating he could be at times, he was the person who possessed the rest of her.

"Fuck," she said to the flowers.

Ranger whipped around, slipping the phone into his pocket.

"What's wrong?" He started towards her until something in her eyes stopped him in his tracks.

"I'm in love with you."

~

Hoping to go to the beach, the pool or the arctic circle for the rest of the heat wave. While I'm off doing that, you can check out the wonderful offerings by other authors here.

Have a great one!

KSJ

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#SixSunday - Unclean

It's Canada Day! Happy Birthday to the wonderful country I call home!

Today I have picked six from the thriller, Unclean, published in 2010. Background: James and Lacey (the detectives) are looking for leads to help solve a murder. James is attempting to force Lacey outside of her comfort zone - so that she will do the work he doesn't want to do. The conversation starts with him asking about slasher flicks from the eighties, most specifically, Friday the 13th.:

~

“Does it look like I care, because I don't. Now can we please get back to work?”

“Sometimes you need to look outside of your anal retentive box, Lacey, so you can put yourself into the head of the killer.”

“How is watching a cheap slasher flick going to help me get into the head of a killer, James? The killer is a zombie. You want me to pick his non brain while letting him nibble on mine?”

~

Needless to say, James doesn't have any luck, but we can give him points for his attempt.

Enjoy the other Six Sunday offerings found here, and have a great day!

KSJ

Sunday, June 24, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 7

Some background:

'Pretty Boy' (AKA Ranger) and the object of his interest have worked together for four years. She has already decided that while she REALLY likes him, he's not her type. (That has something to do with his ability to charm Marilyn Munroe out of her grave to have coffee with him). Ranger, on the other hand, is in love. They spent a week in the middle of nowhere and he thought he proved it to her, but when they got back she took off on him. She's about to be deployed.

Enter the Captain, who has been having this "chat" with Ranger for the last few six Sundays. Her best friend is the girl Ranger just spent the week with.

~

It was all she could do not to smack him in the head. "You're the most notorious womanizer known to all species of female this side of the fifth moon of venus, Ranger. I'm pretty confident that you know how to charm a woman."

He half smiled. "Well see, Ma'am, the problem is that she isn't just a woman. I want her to be my woman. Forever."

~

Check out sentences from others here.

Enjoy your day!

KSJ

Sunday, June 17, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 6


Happy Father's Day!

This six is a little bit farther in then the last. Still the same characters (she's my favorite ;) Let me know what you think! (Missed episode 5? You can find it here.)
~

"You hurt her, Pretty Boy, and you better hope to gods that I am deployed somewhere so I can get it out of my system before coming back here to kick the shit out of you."

He winked, to do nothing besides goad her into rage. It flickered into her eyes and just as quickly it was gone.

"I don't want to hear from her in a month that you broke her heart while she's in that field. I'll break your neck," her voice was eerily calm. A chill rippled up his spine.

~

Thanks for stopping by and offering your feedback. You can check out the other six sentence Sunday offerings here.

Enjoy your Sunday!

KSJ

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Walk on the Beach


I spent a few hours the other night in Ajax, Ontario. I spent twelve years there and you can find some similarities between Ajax and the unnamed town in Unclean.

A lot has changed in the years since I lived there and wrote the book, and even though I lived there for a while as an adult, I never really took the opportunity to explore the new Ajax.

In January I realized that I have two choices:

Have my characters move to another city or town - one I'm more familiar with;

Or

Go explore.

I entertained the first option for a while but frankly, I'm am not familiar with any other town or city either. (Not even this one, and I've lived here for the last three years...)

The other night, even though it was raining, I went down to the lakefront and walked. It was interesting to be back in an area that used to be so 'mysterious' (read: wasn't allowed there, so went anyway).

I didn't go far and didn't stay long (it was raining, after all), but I did see some interesting things and even had a few interesting ideas.


Truly amazing - this tree survives.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 5


Last week I left off with my protagonist getting caught 'stalking' a colleague by his Captain, who then decides to join in on the fun. The following six start right where the last ones ended. (Missed last week? You can read episode 4 here.)

~

"How in the world did you manage to do that without me seeing you?"

She winked. "Sneakily," she laughed. "There is training that separates the men from the boys. I'm more than just a fabulous face with bars attached. Now stop looking at me like we're up to something or people will start to talk."

~

Thanks for stopping by :) You can check out other "Six Sunday" participants here.

Cheers!

KSJ

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Irony

Back in April I shared a post that touched a little on the court action currently taking place against me. You can read that post here, but the compact version is as follows:

My novel has been introduced into court record as fact, by someone who is either going for shock value or who doesn't quite understand the difference between fiction/non fiction. Perhaps both.

The action actually has very little to do with me, which is why I am starting to find it rather amusing that the Justice now thinks I "dissect dead bodies for the military" (say what?) or that someone in my house has been pregnant for a prolonged period of time without producing a baby. (Character in book, people, character in book...)

My "sanity"/"stability" seems to be what has the "scales of justice" tipped slightly in our favor (by our, I mean myself and the other respondent). I'm taking this to be the reason why the complainant has painted me as a raving lunatic in her monstrosity of an affidavit to the courts.

Anyway... In the April post I wondered when I would be asked if there were eyeballs in my cupboard, as the killer in my book has an obsession with harvesting eyeballs in his home.

Last week, sometime between having fresh bull poop slung at us by the complainant and having the building I live in on fire, I made a grisly discovery.

There were no eyeballs in my cupboard, but there were plenty in my fridge!

Somehow a mouse climbed into the insulation of the fridge and made a nest. She died (I know - I disposed of her remains) but left the nest - full of new arrivals - intact, in my fridge.

Approximately how long does it take for the smell of decomposing mice to over power air freshener? About two weeks.

I spent the remainder of last week foodless, fridgeless, and worried that the complainant would come and get a whiff of the malodorous stench wafting sublimely out of the unit, or get dive bombed by the hundreds of small carcass flies zooming around the entombed nest. "Worried" is actually the wrong word. I was almost hopeful that they would. That way at least one thing they put in the affidavit to the courts would actually contain some semblance of fact.

"Your honor, the respondent has eyeballs in her cupboard."

"No, your honor, I do not have eyeballs in my cupboard. I keep them in my fridge. Why? I can't say for sure. It's not like they stay fresher longer, or anything like that."

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Cheers!

KSJ

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace Episode 4

Hey guys!

This weeks six (seven, actually o.O) are from a little farther into the story.


~
"I didn't realize they were training us to stalk the females these days," the woman's voice in his ear turned into a laugh. "Now let me join you before I call the MP's to toss you in the brig for a few days. Maybe then you'll think twice about spying on your co-workers."

The chill that slid up his spine was short lived when he realized who was talking.

"Should I salute you now, Captain, or would you rather us have a more relaxed stalking environment?"

"Relaxed is fine. I won't tell if you don't."

~

Thanks for stopping by every week, and leaving your comments!

You can check out the other Six Sentence Sunday participants here

Sunday, May 27, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace - Episode 3

Another Sunday, another six sentences.

This week I wanted to post something from the same project, but a little lighter. Let me know what you think!

~

"Look at him," Alex sputtered. "He can have any girl he wants, he's practically beating them off with his M-16. It would be ridiculous for me to attach myself to a man who could charm Marilyn Munroe out of her her grave to go have coffee with him!"

"I wouldn't put it past him," she agreed. "But he's not in love with other girls, or with Marilyn Munroe. He's in love with you."

~

You can check out the other Six Sunday participants here, and I strongly recommend you do, there's some awesome sentences to be discovered!

Cheers!

KSJ

Monday, May 21, 2012

Saturday Painting

I spent Saturday "painting" my niece's room. And by "painting", what I actually mean is cleaning so that eventually I could paint the room. She is eleven and she is lazy as hell. Two days of her "cleaning" still had her mother and I spending eight solid hours actually cleaning.

Anyway...

Towards the end of the first coat (around dinner time), she decided that she wanted to help. And by help, what I actually mean is accidentally letting the dog in the room and then pushing her against a wall of wet paint to try and get her back out of the room, amidst mine and her mother's shrieks of outrage.

I'm standing on a ladder with a roller, mom is hunched over trim on the other side of the room, and pooch face (a rotti blue heeler cross) is stuck against the wall next to the door, wagging her nub of a tail, while my niece holds her against said wall and cries because the dog has now ruined everything and I am yelling.

Mom and I are far more concerned with the purple paint on the dog than the black hair stuck in the paint on the wall. We go on the balcony with one dog, struggle to drag the (well-behaved) dog into the house, all the while trying to explain to the blubbering eleven year old what we mean when we ask for "a bucket of warm water with a washcloth".

Short story made even shorter:

It was a great photo op and the paint came off the dog with relative ease. By the time we got it straightened out, the hair stuck to the wall had started to dry, so that took significantly more elbow grease to remove, but we got that done too.


Dog or oddly striped zebra?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

#SixSunday - Fall From Grace

This six takes place shortly after last week's.

~

"We need to prepare ourselves for the probability that he won't make it. If he does he may never walk again."

The six soldiers turned to stare at the man lying in the bed on the other side of the glass. They could hear the slow steady beeps of his machinery get slower.

Alex's heart ached as she saw Reed's mom lift her head and gaze, bleary-eyed, at the monitors. The lines went flat and through the rush of bodies and the sound of alarms, Alex watched a single tear slip down the woman's cheek.

~

To check out the talents of other six sentence Sunday participants, click here. Happy reading :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

#SixSentenceSunday - "Fall From Grace"

Happy Mother's Day!

This is the first of hopefully many six sentence Sundays.

Following are (you guessed it) six sentences from my NaNoWriMo 2011 project that is so far titled "Fall From Grace".

~

The knife was slick with his blood and sailed back into him gracefully. Three times, four. He wondered how his parents would feel, knowing that he had survived a bullet in the line of duty just to end up beaten down and stabbed to death by a gang of hoodlums.

At least his mother's major worry would never materialize, he thought, wryly, as a foot sailed towards his face. He wouldn't be sent home under a flag.

Then he saw the guy holding the baseball bat over his head.

~

Be sure to check out some of the other SSS participants posts. You can find them here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Justice For Some

Last night I was educated on courtroom protocol. Not because I was in court (although it was my court date), but because I was curious to know what the hype was about. Why can't someone tell a Judge to pound sand? Why are you supposed to sit straight, not fidget, and dress conservatively? What does the courtroom actually look like?

I was curious because I had previously heard that an applicant appeared in court wearing stiletto heels and a mini skirt, and then draped herself across the seats with her legs splayed. NOT very ladylike. I wondered - out loud - if she had any sense of decency at all. Or if she was deliberately trying to show off her hoo-hah to the Justice.

This led me to wonder the following:

1. Are there tablecloths in court to hide that display and if not, are the tables one sided so the Justice can't see that?

2. Did someone watch "Basic Instinct" the night before and hope to go down in the books as the woman who showed her hoo-hah to the Justice?

These should not be concerns but they are, because there are serious flaws in the "Justice System" in Canada. There is not justice for all. There is justice for some, legal quagmires for the rest, and hoo-hah displays for the lucky.

I have so much fodder for my creative cannon that I fully intend on using -- this is, after all, what writers do. We write -- So I wanted to make sure that I clearly understood what it was like to walk into the courtroom, and what the atmosphere would be like. 

And so, armed with the mantra that writer's write, I have sat my butt in the chair and tackled the sequel to "Unclean". In doing this, I have finally started to see my current ordeal as a writer, and not as one of the "rest" in Canada's warped legal system. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stupidity, It Gets You Everywhere

A girl I go to school with summarized her thoughts a few months back, and I have found myself asking the same question in the recent days:
"Why am I forced to share the planet with other people?"

Why indeed?

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Day In The Life

My day started at stupid o'clock. That's four in the morning for those of you who wear a watch. I talked myself in to laying in bed like a lump for about a half hour before I realized that all I was doing was using my phone to research things I could have been viewing on a bigger screen. So up I got.

I turned on my computer, made a half a pot of coffee and went for a smoke. When I arrived back at the computer I sat down freshly nicotined, coffee in hand, and said: "I am going to be productive!"

I proceeded to play games online for three hours.

Productivity fail.

I took my niece to her therapist appointment. I have only been there with her once or twice but I feel we had a real breakthrough session today. The therapist and me, that is. My niece sat on my phone and played this silly little game that my son downloaded onto my phone called "Stair Dismount". Every so often, my niece would shout: "YES! I broke his head off!" (The game requires you to knock someone down a flight of stairs - or something equally diabolical. You can add a face to the fake person from your photo album.) My niece kicked her cat down the stairs. At her therapists appointment. Good job, kiddo. 

Almost two hours later, when we were leaving, I was trying to explain what she was talking about before it was assumed I had corrupted her. Thankfully, the therapist's kids also find the game really amusing. One less thing to worry about.

The mailbox spit a copy of "The Forensic Casebook" at me when I arrived home. The lovely Kristy Lahoda sent it to me as a prize for a contest she had run on her blog Explosive Faith

I gloated to my niece about it for a few minutes - she has recently taken an "interest" in forensic "something with bodies" (even though she has no idea what that actually entails - she says she wants to do it because it sounds cool o.O) - then I went to my room, turned on my computer and told myself: "I am going to be productive!"

And here I am, forty-five minutes later, wrapping up my second blog post in just over a day. (I used the book as bribery... Bribery, it gets you everywhere...;)

Maybe I'm on to something. While we wait to find out, you can catch up with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Cheers! 

KSJ

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Excuse Me, Ma'am, But Are Those Eyeballs in Your Cupboard?

I have been preoccupied as of late, and when your mother calls you to inform you that you are well overdue for blog posting, you know you're in trouble. I felt like a teacher calling me out for not doing my homework, trying to spin together an excuse better than "my dog ate my blog post".

My dog has eaten many things, but the blog post isn't one of them.

Truth is, I have a dozen posts written, but I don't know what I can and can't post.

It's not because I am afraid I will offend my readership. It's because I'm caught up in a court action where some of what I have written and discussed as an auther with the complaining party has been entered into court record as fact.

For anyone who has read my book, you will know that this does not paint me in the best light. Even M, the Kiwi I spent 10 days with on a portage trip in Algonquin Park over the summer, has told me that my book is not the best look.

So I am nervous. What if I write the wrong thing? What if I think the wrong way? Is my blog going to be entered into court as fact as well? It has me worried to the point that I will draft a post, then allow it to collect dust with the other recent posts. I don't want to make things worse.

For a few weeks I stopped writing altogether. Sounds silly, right? But I had to print off all my works in progress so I could justify certain things that have come up in a 72 page long affidavit that I find to be highly critical. Does that mean that anything that I have written since then is also going to be scrutinized? Does that mean that if my characters say something my motive will be called into question?

So many questions, and I still can't get any answers.

I am the kind of person who finds it hard to articulate a point unless I have gone over it two or a dozen times in my head first. I need to be able to write things down and revise them until I feel more confident in my response. I feel as though my fate has been stripped out of my control and handed off to a lawyer whom I know nothing about. This is scary stuff.

Today I decided that I would say something - anything - on my blog. To hell with what it says to anybody else. It's my blog, it's my book, and those are my characters living in my head. I feel strangely liberated, even while I debate the stupidity of pushing the post button.

If my world doesn't implode overnight, maybe tomorrow I will start dusting off some drafts and posting those as well.

If you don't hear from me for another month, then you will be able to find me collecting shards of my life and trying to reassemble them with super glue.

Until then, you can find me on Twitter or Facebook

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The World Has Lost One Of Their Few Good Men

It is a gorgeous day. I'm sitting out back, the sun is shining, my dog is laying beside me, and its dead quiet.
I need this today. I need to enjoy the absolute silence while I write and study. 

Over the weekend I found out that William Crutcher passed. A 75 year old Marine Corps vet, Bill kept his fighting spirit until the end. Like so many Vietnam vets, Bill had been exposed to Agent Orange. He had the same type of leukemia that many other warriors of that day get.

Bill is partially responsible for raising one of the most dedicated and focused women that I have ever met; his niece, Sarah, taught me how to sit down, shut up, and make my hair southern belle big. She and her husband welcomed me into their home for months on end, for no real reason other than they wanted to. It's hard to find those kind of people around now a days. Those adventurous, never-give-up, never-give-in, stand-up-and-kick-them-in-the-balls attitudes are a dying breed. I may not know them personally, but I blame the Crutcher boys for Sarah's. There is just something to be said for being raised by United States Marines.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family as they gather in Kentucky to bid this man his final Ooorah.

Today, then, is a day for reflection. The windows are open and I am content to just be. A few years ago I learned that life is short. It is over in the blink of an eye. Let's make each blink count.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Problem with Doctors...

Robert S. Mendelsohn is credited with saying:

"The real reason doctors are so dangerous is that they believe in what they are doing."

I just came from a neurologists appointment at the world renowned Hospital for Sick Children.

To make a long story short:

I would much rather have someone gouge out my eyeballs with my own freshly torn off toenails than go to this hospital. I would even do the tearing and gouging myself. Someone give me some pliers, please.

The Reader's Digest compact version:

Niece was on seizure meds. New doctor decided that since no epileptic activity showed up in EEG scans niece no longer needed the medication. She is no longer on the medication. Niece is eleven years old and is having "issues" (I would elaborate here but some of her friends read this and I don't really wish to embarrass her. Too much). Apparently her mom and I are the only people who see these "issues" and there is no reason at all for them. Take her in for a psychological evaluation, we were told.

That's right. The answer we have gotten every visit for the last ten months is not an answer at all. It's merely them passing the problem on to someone else. Surprise.

In December the niece had a sixty-six and a half hour long EEG. A big fat ugly warning appeared on the monitor on numerous occasions telling us that seizure activity had been detected. One of those times was when she was reaching for the phone and experienced a period of light headedness. The explanation that we got, today, is that EEG's frequently mistake movement for seizure activity. I'm not a neurologist. There's nothing I can possibly do but take the doctor's word for it.

But according to my research - which I've done because I am the kind of person who needs actual answers to my questions - an EEG won't show activity unless it's happening during the scan. Any activity that does happen has to travel through bone to have the sensors register it (meaning that if it happens deep enough in the brain, you're SOL)...

Now don't get the wrong idea. If there isn't anything going on neurologically then that is awesome. But don't make a butt groove on your chair doing diddly while taxpayer dollars pay you to help children who are.. well.. sick... Do something more productive than tossing out a seven year old diagnosis because there is no technical evidence to support something as temperamental as seizures. What happened to the master plan - where you look at the symptoms and start treating them? When something doesn't work you try something else?

I'm either missing some vital information or there "something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Old Cases, Revisited

I've been sitting on this news article for the last few weeks. There was something about it that just stuck with me like a shred of food between flossings.

Toddler Disappearance

Last week I wrote about the Azaria Chamberlain case (you can find the post here) in Australia.

Lindy and Michael Chamberlain brought their nine week old daughter Azaria on a camping trip and she disappeared. Her mother claimed that a dingo took the baby. A week later a tourist found some of the clothes the baby was said to be wearing at the time of her disappearance. Several years later, during a search for a missing person, the jacket she was wearing was found in an area with dingo lairs. Her body has never been found.

Investigators believed that Lindy had killed the child and then ditched the body during the hunt. Her parents were convicted but the convictions were overturned when the jacket turned up.

To this day, the Chamberlains maintain their innocence but there are still people who refuse to believe that a dingo would harm a human - despite evidence to the contrary.

Which leads me to this case in New Zealand.

In 1968 a toddler went missing and was presumed drowned. His mother believed that the neighbor had something to do with the boys disappearance, but police ignored the claims. His body was never recovered.

A witness claims to have seen the man burying a package in the garden about two days after the search. Recent geophysical scans of the property have revealed an anomaly in the soil. Police are planning to investigate further.

This new evidence in a 44 year old case made me wonder: If New Zealand can pursue unsolved cases using up to date equipment, why hasn't this same scan been conducted in the area where Azaria went missing 32 years ago?

With the development of more accurate forensic capabilities, much of the evidence presented in the Chamberlain case was found to be incorrect, yet the case remains unsolved. A fourth inquest is taking place in Australia now, with the hopes of some closure.

The new evidence being introduced is based on dingoes attacking infants and children in the 32 years since Azaria went missing. Not much was known about dingo attacks in the early 1980's, and in fact, there are still some that are skeptical that a dingo would harm a child. This, however, is not the case, since the wild dogs are responsible for the death of a nine year old boy a decade ago.

But it is enough evidence? Dogs attacking children is not a new phenomenon, and just the other week in Alberta, Canada, a nine year old husky caused the death of a two day old infant. If the case is closed based on this new evidence, does a whole new series of excuses for people who are accused of murdering their children get opened up?

In 2005 a twenty-five year old woman claimed that she was Azaria Chamberlain, but DNA testing has never been done. Her story matches with one that was brought up during the initial trials in the early 80's -- that a baby was found by Aboriginals and later was fostered out to a family. She has scars that could be from dog bites. Azaria's family wants justice -- is not pursuing all avenues of what could possibly have happened to her actually giving her memory justice?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Dingo Case

In 1980 Michael and Lindy were camping at Ayers Rock (Australia) with their young family in Australia. Their youngest child, a nine-week old daughter named Azaria, was sleeping in the tent on the night of August 17th. Lindy claimed to see a dingo leaving the tent. She went to check on her daughter. The bed was warm, Azaria was nowhere to be seen.

What she cried in the minutes following has been immortalized in the media:

"A dingo took my baby."

Witnesses claimed that the wild dogs had been seen in the area that night. They also claimed that they heard a baby crying before the hysterical Lindy announced that her baby had been taken.

Lindy and Azaria
Forensics - keeping in mind that it was the early 80's and science was nowhere near as developed as it is presently - pointed it's damning finger at Lindy.

Blood was found in the car. Azaria's clothes were found with a slit in the throat area. A bloody hand print was found on her dress.

Azaria was never found. The coat that she was supposedly wearing was also never found. Lindy didn't portray the grieving mother well to the public. The family was Seventh Day Adventist - a religious branch that wasn't as well known in Australia during that time.

Lindy Chamberlain was sentenced to a life of hard labor in prison. Michael was found guilty of being an accomplice.

Some years later in 1986 a coat that proved to be Azaria's was found by dingo lairs. Her parents were immediately exonerated of all charges and released from prison.

As well as forensics not being in the best of shape, cases of dingos attacking humans weren't well documented at the time.

The case is being revisited again this year for what is now the fourth inquest

A decade ago dingo's attacked a series of human, and mauled to death a nine-year-old boy.

More modern forensic tests have torn through the evidence and proven it to be inaccurate.

In what some call "trial by fury", Lindy Chamberlain was convicted because, simply, she was the most hated woman in Australia. She dressed her baby girl in black, belonged to a wierd religion, and was accused of being a witch and sacrificing her daughter in some satanic ritual. The forensic work has been proven to be highly unreliable. Defense testimony was ignored...

This case is still a black eye on Australia's judicial system, and you can bet that the inquest will be followed closely. Azaria needs justice, even 30 years later. Let's hope she finally gets it.

See:
A Nation's Guilt