What Does Accountability and Spaghetti Sauce Have in Common?

I’m reposting an article from my LinkedIn page over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I’ve been reading and thinking about adrienne marie brown’s series of “Murmuration” articles in Yes! magazine. I’ve been on a life-long journey exploring how best to speak truth while holding space for others to speak theirs. She makes some key points in this article:

“Speak as precisely as possible. Especially when sharing information others really need to hear. I remember a poetry teacher telling me to ‘write it, now cut it in half. Now cut in half again.’”

“Speak truth that allows other truths. Hold strong boundaries against mistruths, lies, assumptions. Not every perspective is equal, nor does every viewpoint deserve to be equally held or considered.”

Read More.


From abstract to concrete . . .

The November NaHaiWriMo challenge will be an intriguing adventure of working with abstract nouns. “What’s this?” you say. “What’s an abstract noun?” According to YOURDICTIONARY, “. . . abstract nouns aren’t accessible with the five senses . . . and even though you can’t see, smell, touch, taste, or hear them, they’re still all around you.”

The first prompt for November is “saintliness.” Now, that got my brain pondering — just how to go from some nebulous and socially loaded idea to something concrete?

saintliness/uneven footsteps/in dark places

How would you approach this particular prompt? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Questionable Physics, Plot Armor, and the Searchable File #amwriting

Pay attention, gentle reader! Your science classes WILL come in handy! And that lone physics mag in the doctor’s waiting room — don’t be scared — pick it up and browse . . . thank you, Ms. Connie, for an excellent read!

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

No matter their failings, our protagonist is always endowed with a special power not granted to ordinary mortals: plot armor. They alone are allowed to survive all manner of dangerous situations because they are needed for the plot to continue. 

And if the author has done their job, we believe it, and ask for more.

researchI just finished reading a sci-fi book set ten years from now, in 2032. It was a free Kindle book, but I felt overcharged.

One glaring issue, a blunder that outshone the obscenely poor editing, was this: The heroine’s amazing survivability was made possible by the author’s indulgence in Questionable Physics.

Via Wikipedia: Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. [1]

The science seemed more like squishy magic. Once I…

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Independence for who?

TRIGGER WARNING FOR GRAMMARIANS: Run-on sentence dead ahead. Take a deep breath and go with it. You’ll be okay!

July’s NaHaiWriMo prompter had in a neat little row the following three words for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th: lunch, fence and spoon. Given all the bizarre happenings in the very recent past with state’s rights being granted to determine the freedom a woman may or may not receive but taking them away with respect to a state deciding how safe they want their community to be, I then ponder just exactly “what we got here” that still draws people to take dangerous and frequently deadly trips across an unfriendly border.

Haiku is about the most useful thing I have for taking such complex and overwhelming thoughts and whittling them down to digestible chunks. How are you processing all the goings’-on?

Firework bursts in the sky
no free lunch here/i watch people climb the fence/to find a silver spoon

A productive month . . .

And so June’s NaHaiWriMo prompting continues to inspire . . . just in time for the sun and heat to both beckon us outdoors and make us scurry inside to avoid being scorched and parched. Alas, it is true. We Pacific Northwestern types really do melt when the thermostat starts creeping past 80 degrees farenheight. As you’ll easily see from the first haiga.

sculpture of a seagull flying in the sky

solstice moon/a bowl of ice cubes/in front of the fan

The next haiga is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I must say that one of the joys of settling into a more deliberate pace is learning to enjoy cocktails under a canopy on a dock towards the end of a long hot day.

sculpture of two people clinging to each other as they try climbing an object

stir don’t shake/springs of basil/cling to the rim

However you do summer sun, summer heat, summer bugs and summer fun, I wish you much enjoyment!

June Haiku, con’t

Word play is a fascinating thing, especially when taking the time to trace back to origin and usage. On this Father’s Day, allow me to tempt you in with a little Darth Vader fun before leading you down the June Haiku path. *twinkle*

The June 9 prompt was karaoke. Which naturally brought up any number of memories — some hideous and some hilarious. It’s a sad fact that the more one drinks the better one sounds — but only in one’s own mind. It’s also a sad fact that if you are at all musically inclined, the only way to survive a night out at a karaoke bar is to drink so as to numb the continual pain of flat voices, sharp voices, off-tempo voices and general all-around sloppy musicianship. That said, I took a little dive down history lane to learn what the translation of this unique Japanese word really was: get ready — drum roll — the translation (at least according to Lexico) is “empty orchestra.” Which in turn gave rise to this haiku:

empty orchestra—

i whistle to chickadees

who stare in disbelief


Happy Singing and Drinking! Remember to wear your mask — there’s nothing like the expulsion of air from a singer’s lungs. If you aren’t worried about COVID, remember we’ve all got two years of more typical flu and virus bugs waiting to season us . . . Slainte!

A jaunt through time and space

i play whack-a-mole/with 7 deadly sins/seeds of redemption

Continuing on with June’s fabulous and intriguing prompts, today the word is piñata. What a fascinating array of stories to be found on possible origins, uses and meanings of this word over space and time. Here are just a couple of links, gentle reader, in case you would like to wander down this particular “mole” hole with me.

From Yucatan magazine: The history and significance of the noble Mexican piñata. From China to Mesoamerica and points between, get a glimpse into the wanderings of the piñata.

From Kansapedia, the online journal of the Kansas’ Historical Society, you will find a bit more detail into the different ways the piñata has been made and used.

From Culture Trip, you can explore the Chinese Origins Behind The Mexican Piñata and the use of spilling seeds for good luck and speculate on whether Marco Polo brought this tradition back with him from his travels.

June Haiku

The NaHaiWriMo June prompts are loan words. The English language is a mishmash of words with Germanic language origins, along with medieval Norman French, Latin, and other languages. The prompter is encouraging a bit of research to learn more about the word. Here’s the first batch — some with a bit of research. Some without — this first batch of words is making me (for the most part) salivate . . .

June 1, 2022 chocolate

fair trade —

i taste early seeds

of revolution

Learn more about the history of chocolate here.

June 2, 2022 croissant

slow food —

a fait accompli

melts in my mouth

Learn more about the history of croissants here.

June 3, 2022 ketchup

love apples –

his ketchup fetish

is a turn off

Learn more about ketchup’s history here.

June 4, 2022 cookie

Thin Mints

sold by girls in green —

I watch for dandelions in the yard

Thin Mints speak for themselves and you can find who’s selling them here.