This summer I started watching The Walking Dead which is an AMC series about survivors and victims of a zombie apocalypse. I’m a little behind. A lot behind. Netflix is helping me catch up. Season 10 will air starting October 6. The show is making me feel like I had some good ideas back when!

I generally like scary but not gore. Never liked gore.

Zombie movies are chock full of gore what with all the eating of people’s innards and brains. So I traditionally steered clear of zombie programs … and actual zombies too for that matter. But this past year a friend suggested that I watch Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland too. Which I did. Several times. I loved the humor!

I like the premise of zombies — the allegory. The suggestion that the “living dead” exist as a result of society’s ills deadening our brains — killing our ability to think for ourselves and to behave rationally. People walk around deadlike. Extra pertinent in today’s political climate.

But oh, the blood and guts and bits of bone and brains! Still NOT my cup of tea.

I started writing a post-zombie apocalypse story several years ago. Key word on POST because my story is set in a time a bit more after zombies than most zombie stories. I don’t want too many actual zombies chowing down on my characters’ innards. But I really liked some of the ideas of living in a zombie world.

I even blogged about zombie fruit which can look like gore but tastes delicious and might come in handy in a zombie apocalypse. https://alightningbug.org/2015/09/26/summer-remnants-zombie-fruit-recipe/

As I watched The Walking Dead I realized I might actually have some good ideas if I could manage to get them into words for a story or useful if I need to survive in the real deal.

9, yes 9, years ago I posted some ideas on the blog Whatever in response to a prompt by a guest blogger. Some of my ideas turn up in The Walking Dead. Great minds?

That’s here but you have to scroll down or search to find my response:


Prisons! Right? I was thinking that. And I posted it. I didn’t read the comic before either. (Stating such either makes me more cool or less. I’m not good at judging.)

Watching The Walking Dead and their prison stronghold and beyond made me feel like I had some good ideas. Which makes me feel like I should write more. Finish the story and all that.

And it makes me wonder why Walking Dead doesn’t listen to more of my suggestions. I call out to the characters on TV what they should do next. Couch coaching! Sometimes they listen. This either means I have some good ideas or I’m a TV zombie and watch too much Walking Dead. Maybe both.


Hello, blog! Summer ahead.

WordPress sent me a notification that my stats were booming. While “booming” is relative, and I typically don’t get tons of visitors, it’s darn cool to know I’ve reached a few somebodies out there searching for an answer in the sea of information that is the www. Hopefully these visitors found a useful bit of info or maybe chuckled. Thank you!

I haven’t posted in a while. My daughter has been in her junior year of high school plus she participates in activities like dancing and tutoring which means it has been a super busy year for her. As I am mom-taxi, and I worry a little right with her, it was a busy year for both of us. I’m proud of her for pushing through some challenges. There are 8 days and 2 hours left in her junior year. Senior ahead!

My balcony garden is growing. I cut back the number of herbs, peppers, and tomatoes and added a couple mighty little trees and a jasmine from friends. Much like my stats were booming, several plants are blooming. Orchids inside. Comfrey, tomatoes, and a hydrangea outside. They are pure garden magic, sparkles & all.

Last week I purchased and put together a portable gas grill. I tried to video the process. I’ll edit that. Maybe post it. But mission accomplished. I have a grill! And it should work much better than the inefficient community charcoal grill.

Then I cooked food on that very cool (hot) and compact grill. If there’s a food that encapsulates the joys of summer, it’s food cooked on a grill in open air and the mosquitos bites that go with it. In my case it was chicken marinated for 35 hours and cooked to deliciousness with a few hickory chips and skewered zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and sweet onions. So good!

Set sails for summer!

Panera x2

Today was a NaNoWriMo Write-in at a local Panera Bread. Write-ins seem like a cool idea to me — get to meet other people who are trying to write a novel this month plus actually get writing done.

Panera had sent me an offer to get a free bagel every day of November.

Apparently, Panera had sent me this offer for the month of October, but I forgot about it and didn’t use it even once. So they re-sent me the offer for November. Thank you, Panera. I guess I haven’t been in one for a while, so they started throwing bagels at me to get my attention.

It finally worked today. I figured it was the perfect combination of reasons to go to Panera this morning — get writing done and collect a free bagel.

The NaNoWriMo thing started at 6:30, but this morning I decided I just had to clean part of the kitchen before I left. A bowl of fruit and garlic had been sitting around for way too long and the bowl was becoming a catch-all. It had crumbs on the bottom and some splatters. Plus I don’t think I ever meant the fruit and garlic to live together in the first place. It was supposed to be a fruit bowl. Time for it to go. So it did. Now there’s a tiny clean spot.

Then I needed a shower — there’s only so much that can be done with dry shampoo, and I rode on a hayride yesterday. It always seems like a good idea to bathe after one of those, and I was too tired last night.

Then I needed to give one of the cats his morning medicine.

I finally arrived at the Panera within the 6:30-8:30 timeframe, but distinctly late.

The free bagel could be any flavor. I got an Everything bagel with cream cheese.

It turns out that one little 2-oz-mini tub of cream cheese is about $1.40, and the free bagel doesn’t come with it. So it was a grand total of about $3.50 for my free breakfast (cream cheese + coffee+free bagel), but it was yummy and hit the spot. When I asked about the cost, the cashier told me that the bagels cost about $1 and that the butter is free. She said I could change my order. But my taste buds were primed for cream cheese.

Not knowing how the NaNoWriMo thing was supposed to work. I just picked a table and wrote. I got a few hundred words written and then headed in to work.

It was a busy day.

At about 5:30 my phone chimed with a schedule reminder — NaNoWriMo at Panera at 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Yes, PM not AM. Writing just seemed like more of a morning thing to me, so I hadn’t double-checked the time. I saved the event directly from the website into my calendar, so it was correct there just not in my bagel-filled head.

After work I stopped at the Panera again. I’d already used my free-bagel option for the day, but after ordering soup I found out that now they were giving me a free coffee or soda. Well, that worked out well.

There was a small NaNoWriMo area sign on a large table. I got to meet a few other writers (Josslyn?, Jannet, and Greg) and a random man who came there for NaNoWriMo, but didn’t actually come to do any writing. That was awkward for those of us writing. He just sat at the table and looked around. I think he was expecting a Meet & Greet not a Write-In. But I’m not even sure why he came to a Meet & Greet because he said he wasn’t even trying to participate in NaNoWriMo.

But we all seemed to get some writing done (except for the random guy).

So NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo I wrote words for both of you, YAY!


Another Awesome Day and Cats

I have over 500 words for NaNoWriMo so far today (only about another 1,500 and it will meet a daily goal except that I’m behind on my total goals). It’s early, so I have another chunk of writing time planned for later.

Plus this post counts for NaBloPoMo Day 6 which probably seems silly except that this way it’s done. That’s better than not done. (And actually I wrote more than I thought I would. So I may post again later today or not …)

I’m trying to squeeze a lot into this beautiful day. I’m planning to get several things done at home then maybe visit a farmer’s market. Then maybe take my daughter to Cox Farms to enjoy some Pumpkin Madness (a day of pumpkin smashing and fall activities). There’s a market there too though so maybe I’ll just skip the farmer’s market beforehand.

Our cats are completely battling it out in the kitchen as I type this. I can hear them squealing and thumping on the floor and on each other. Glad they still have some spunk. They finished the old-man gruel that we like to call “cat food,” and now they’re just full of it (piss & vinegar along with the food).

We have old kitties, so we mix their food with lots of extra water and some added clear fiber (like Benefiber only generic).

Dave recently purchased a mini-blender for the sole purpose of mixing up the cat food. The cats gobble this stuff down, and then they don’t know what to do with their extra time.

They feel like they should be eating for longer, so they pester us and each other in the time they would have used for eating. It used to take them about a half hour to an hour to finish their food because we’d have to add more water and give a little stir. They’d leave and come back a couple of times.The blender has changed that. 

Plus, our cat Mojo doesn’t like to drink water the same way most cats do. He likes to stick his paw in the water, splash it a while, then lick the water off. Sometimes he’ll even leave his paw in the water as he sucks on it, almost like a straw. It makes a mess. When he’s done, there’s  water on the floor and a path of wet paw prints.

Our other cat, Fletcher, usually looks at us as if to say, “Do you see what I have to put up with?” He doesn’t like drinking the water after Mojo’s had his paws in it. Today, Mojo was especially splashy with the water. So we took the water away for a few minutes. That’s when the cat fight started.

They’ve calmed down now and will probably take their old-man naps in a few minutes.

Maybe they can sun on the balcony for a bit while it’s still warm out. Kind of what I’d like to do.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

November is NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

So aside from meaning that Halloween has passed,  Thanksgiving is on a fast track, and Christmas & winter holiday items are flooding retail stores, November is NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo.

What are these strange words that start with “Na,” end with “Mo,” and have extra capital letters in the middle?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Read more about it here. Write a novel in a month. It doesn’t have to be great or finished publication quality — just written versus not written. 

NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. Read more about it here. Post to a blog every single day of November. 

I participated in NaBloPoMo before  and posted almost every day. 

I very loosely tried NaNoWriMo too, but I don’t think it’s fair to say I actually participated in NaNoWriMo. 

It was more like I had a fantasy, and I called it NaNoWriMo. Some days I nursed the fantasy and wrote stuff, but lots of days I didn’t. Kind of like I might name a plant “BuTterCup” and then not water Buttercup for most of the month. Then by the end of the month it’s cold out and buttercup would have probably died soon anyway (but maybe not), but it died faster because I forgot to water it.  By “forgot,” I mean sometimes I actually remembered, but I ran out of time because I had to get to work, drive my daughter to dance, buy food, cook food, eat food, sleep, pick up daughter from after school activities, take cat(s) to and from the vet, do laundry, and much more.

But I am going to try to write more this month. I’ll attempt NaNoBloMo even if it means some of my posts will be wee little things with lots typos.

I might try more work on the novel, but I can practically guarantee that I won’t write enough total words for it to count as a novel. I can still try. Maybe I can beat last year’s “attempt.” I shall name it ButterCup II. 

So without further ado, this completes, NaBloPoMo Day 1. Thank you for reading my post. 🙂

Please enjoy this photo of local fall colors and visit again soon.

Tra for Tuesday: Bananas

One of these days I’m gonna post exactly what what goes down the first time around without fixing the many typos that proliferate from typing in WordPress on my phone’s tiny keypad. 

As it is now, each time I type I feel I have a one-in-three chance of hitting the letter I wanted. 

I’ll bet you’d never guess but this is actually supposed to be a post about tea (and on Tuesday) — Tea for Tuesday. But I made one typo then another and another and, combined with autocorrect, pretty soon the topic completely changed. 

It’s like 100 monkeys in a room with 100 typewriters. Something’s bound to happen but not what I planned. My fingers are the money’s, wait, see … My fingers are the m-o-n-k-e-y-s, monkeys.

Somebody needs to give my them a bandana, no a banana. No, that wouldn’t help either. 

Wait, I know what I want.

Perhaps you’ve seen spikes or horns? Some people have objects surgically implanted under their skin. (Do they find tattoos and piercings too blasé or mainstream?) Either way, useless fluff!

I want a stylus tip implanted in my finger! If that goes well, maybe I’ll do all ten. (Actually, maybe three or four would be good — thumbs and index finger. See, I’ve put some thought into this.)

Release the monkeys!

(I’ll drink more tea and write about it again soon, maybe even on a Tuesday.)

In Other News – Three Things

Two Three things of note happened:

That’s right. It’s an empty washer and dryer at the same time!

I didn’t even realize until I opened the washer to put clothes in the dryer, and it was empty. This is a rare thing.

Also, I finally painted my fingernails (which I’ve been wanting to do since July). I know that seems trivial. But I thought it worth mentioning since, well yeah.

I also reached 100 Followers here on WordPress which is even cooler than the washer and dryer being empty at the same time. (Empty didn’t last long anyway.) More

Notes from the Middle

Here I am having just crossed over the center line of November which is also mid-NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo if you’re cranking out words for either of those.

What I’ve learned so far is that I can wedge more writing into my schedule than I might think I can … but not always. And sometimes maybe it’s better not to squeeze so much in. It’s good to push to do more, but I need to be careful not to drop too many balls in the process. More

NaBloPoMo – Whereby I try to write every day in November and other people do too

I’m going to try NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Po Month?). I’ll have to find out what “Po” stands for. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Teletubbies.

So this is my first post here on November 1, 2015. It’s not a fancy post. I have more things coming for November, though I’m sure some days will be harder than others. Writing everyday is not the worst goal in the word. I already have it has a basic goal whether it involves posting on my blog or not. (Hmm, does “Po” stand for “Posting?” I’ll have to find out.)

I have other goals too. I’d like to participate in NaNoWriMo which is the National Novel Writing Month (aka November). But while I’m going to work on stories I’m not very likely to be able to write enough words per day to complete an entire novel in November alone. I mean, HELLO, November — that’s the month before Christmas and the one that contains Thanksgiving. There’s other stuff to do like cleaning our home and getting rid of stuff. And that whole food and eating and feeding my family thing. Bathing (hopefully). Laundry. Always with the laundry. And more other general getting caught up on stuff that I need to get caught up on. That list is too long.

As a start NaBloPoMo, I’m putting some handy links here because I have a feeling I’m gonna need ’em. I have a tendency to misplace things. I may update this has I find more stuff. Anybody else out there doing this? Yes, I know the answer is “yes,” so “hello and good luck!. May the force be with you!”

DailyPost WordPress: Making It Through NaBloPoMo.

Blogher’s page on NaBloPoMo.






One Possible Future, With Trees

Here I am — already one week into this thing called “the future” that our Day-20 assignment, from WordPress Writing 101, asked us to look toward. I’m a veritable time traveler. Look out world! Bam!

I still have more posts both to finish and to start. Some from Blogging U. and some that I just want to do. I expect this to be the case for a while longer. Possibly a long long time.

First there are ideas. Then starting to write. And then finishing a post or story…

All that life stuff keeps happening too — feeding the foundation, pumping fluids, circulating air.

It’s a cycle kind of shaped like a Christmas tree for me – lots of ideas form the wide bottom, somewhere in the middle I have all the stuff I’ve started. At the top are the those I’ve finished — this section is a little sparse. But if I plant enough trees and help them grow, hopefully I can keep some alive and some might thrive and maybe I’ll even manage to put a shiny star on top once in a while. (Then I’ll just have to manage to take it down before February, right? Oh, wait.)

I’m happy when I manage to finish a blog post and even happier when I finish a story. So going forward that’s what I’ll continue to aim for. More of both with special emphasis on stories. I’m even working on a schedule for myself.

Along the way, I look forward to gatherings of friends and family, old and new.

Way in the future, perhaps I can look back at my little Christmas tree farm and remember each one with fondness — even the ones that twisted and turned unexpectedly. And hopefully I’ll manage it all well enough that the laundry still gets done, some of the fish survive (gotta pick your battles), and the cats and humans in our family are happy and fed.

The cats do love to play with Christmas trees. The humans like them too (just not quite so much February to September … Or maybe October.)

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