I now have a premise for a mini-novel that I want to write. I really want to start out with short stories but as luck would have it I think I’ve come up with an idea that should lead to a fairly lengthy piece. I’m meticulous (sometimes to a fault) so there will be lots of planning to be had.
Obviously it would be foolish of me to spill the beans of the entire plot on this blog but I can reveal the two main plot points. The location is a haunted fairground and the main character is a young boy. True, that does sound like a potential Scooby Doo meets Goosebumps fanfic, but I’m confident this idea has good potential.
Speaking of works of horror, have you ever read or listened to any of the Creepy Pasta stories? As best as I can tell (with no research) it’s basically a smalltime horror fiction brand that publishes stories in both written and audio formats. You may have heard of some of their characters such as Laughing Jack and the Smileyman.
The stories themselves are pretty good. No problems there. The problem I have with them are their YouTube videos. The stories are basically brought to life like audiobooks. Somebody reads them while relevant images accompany. You see horror, to me at least, is about sending a chill down the consumers spine. Unfortunately, the guy who reads the Creepy Pasta series sounds like a pre-pubescent school kid. Instead of gravely tones like that of Vincent Price in Michael Jackson’s Thriller song, he sounds more like a Justin Bieber type being interviewed for some teen magazine.
Who knows? When I finish my horror story, maybe I’ll read it for an audio release. But the plan would be for me to sound more like Vincent than Justin.
One thing that I find frustrating is that I should have started creative writing years ago. I mean how hard can it be? All you really have to have is a piece of paper, something to write with and a smidgen of creativity. You don’t even have to be creative. Books are written about fact as well as fiction.
It’s not like I don’t have good ideas. I’ve actually had some pretty great ones. I’ve just always had a problem with procrastination. Another problem I have is self-doubt. Would anybody be interested in reading my ideas? That’s where the self-doubt kicks in. It snowballs. Better yet, it forms a tumbleweed. All of my negative reactions I have about my work get tangled up into one big, ugly, unsightly ball. You can make a snowman out of a snowball, but a tumbleweed is just a ball of dead, useless weeds. A big ball of negativity.
Instead of setting my first goals of writing at a 50,000 word novel, I’m going to start small with some short stories. For the past year or two I’ve gotten in the habit of recording any creative ideas I’ve had (mainly names) with my Notes app on my iPhone. So I do have some starting points.
Whoops! A mother who was in possession of marijuana has been turned into the cops… by her eleven-year-old son. The smell had become so repugnant to her son that the young boy took pictures of his mother’s “crops” and had forwarded them to the police.
A raid on the Dakota County, Minnesota home turned up eight pounds of cannabis, stuffed into supermarket carrier bags. The mother, Heidi Christine Siebenaler, 40, a probation supervisor, has been charged with fifth-degree possession of marijuana while her husband, Mark Siebenlar, 40, is charged with possession with intent to distribute. Mr. Siebenlar claimed that the drugs were for medicinal purposes due to a brain injury he suffered 20 years ago. The couple claimed that Mrs. Siebenlar didn’t know about the drugs and that the marijuana was kept away from the children.
Heidi’s son had forwarded pictures of the loot to his biological father. The father then contacted the appropriate authorities.
Mrs. Siebenlar said: “They said my son couldn’t escape the smell of marijuana and had to go outside for a breather. That’s not true. I live in this house. Never smelled it before. It makes me sick.”
But her eleven-year-old son told police that the house regularly smelled of marijuana smoke.
A search warrant said “Often times, he is unable to escape the smell without going outside.”
It’s great to see a young man take the high road and he should be commended for his bravery in this matter. Usually when I report on children, it’s about some horrible deed they’ve done. But not this time. Well done young man!
When it comes to my relationship with my mother, I guess you could call me somewhat of a “mummy’s boy”. I love that gal so much. And really, I’d expect most people to have the same feelings about the maternal figures in their lives. But apparently this is not so, especially when it comes to the case of Emanuel Cordell Kennedy who has been accused of lobbing a ham at his dear old mum, Brenda King.
This strange episode went down in Union City, Tennessee this past Tuesday when Kennedy, 37, had been arguing with his mother, 55. The mother, Mrs. King, reported to the Union City Police Department that she had been hit in the back with something while walking down the hall. When questioned by the police, Kennedy claimed that he had not intended to hit his mother, but had done so when he tossed a ham in her direction. King was not injured by the ham, the size of which the investigators have not divulged.
Kennedy, pictured above, is being held without bond in the Obion County jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on a misdemeanor count.
There’s a lot of crime in this world, but I love reading about weird crimes like this. I mean, seriously, a ham? I’m not suggesting he should have hit her with something more menacing but good grief, man, a ham? It doesn’t beat an earlier story reported on this blog about a man attacking a woman with a frozen armadillo, but it’s up there!
If there is a silver lining to this tale, at least it wasn’t a canned ham!
Big news came out of the Netherlands this past Monday that effective January1, 2012, only Dutch, German and Belgian citizens will be allowed into it’s fabled pot-smoking coffee shops. Tourists will not be allowed into the establishments because only card-carrying citizens will be accepted. It is expected that the entire country will be policed in this way by 2013, including it’s major dope-smoking capital, Amsterdam.
Their government has passed this bill because they want to crackdown on dangers that their Dutch citizens may encounter. They cite reasons such as unruly tourists, traffic congestion and general crime in the area as the tipping point in this debate. Under the new laws, customers will have to be over the age of 18, they will have to be naturalized citizens and have to be in possession of a government issued ID that proves they’re eligible for entry.
I imagine there are a lot of would-be tourists that are up in arms about this development. Amsterdam is a recreational drug-users dream destination and this isn’t going to sit well. But I have a few concerns about this too. In an age when our economies crash daily, how exactly is this going to affect the Netherlands? According to the Daily Telegraph the move will cost the city about US$41 million (€30 million) a year in revenue, the equivalent loss of 345 full-time jobs. So it looks set to hit the local economies quite hard.
Machteld Ligtvoet, a spokeswoman from the Amsterdam tourism board, told CNN in a recent interview: “The Dutch government has decided upon this for the whole of the Netherlands. Amsterdam doesn’t want it.
“Coffee shops are not actively promoted by our organization and are not used in order to attract tourists. However, the mere idea that one can buy and use soft drugs here is an attractive aspect of Amsterdam and its famous spirit of freedom.”
So is this move set to adversely affect the country? I believe so. And it couldn’t come at a worse time. With all the financial woes that fill our lives and businesses today, I believe it’s going to really hurt Amsterdam. The practice of selling pot is the one trump card that it held over other cities. But now they’re going to take a voluntary hit in the wallet with this new initiative. I’m really not sure what it’s government is thinking. I’d liken it to Las Vegas banning gambling.
And yes, I have partaken of the wares of the Dutch coffee shops. I was a college art student. Go figure, eh?
From time to time I find myself blogging about incidents that involve the school system. Usually the news pieces centre around the bad behaviour of students, but today’s post is about the misdoings of a teacher. A South Carolina teacher of Batesburg Leesville Primary School has been accused of forcing her first-grade pupils to rub her feet.
Brenda Norris, the grandmother of one of the students, became aware of the questionable behaviour when her granddaughter came to her and begged not to be sent to school. The six-year old girl then revealed that the cause of this was that she hated to rub her teacher’s feet.
“It’s just painful, just to know that this woman would have them touching her feet. What was going through her mind?” said Norris. “My granddaughter has nightmares, she cries. She said ‘I have three wishes, Grandma. One of them was not to go to school today.'”
Lexington School District Three Superintendent Dr. Chester Floyd says an investigation has been launched into the matter and meetings have been held with the teacher and the parents and all necessary actions have been taken. The district hasn’t specified what these actions were though.
“The administration took immediate action. Immediately began an investigation, took appropriate action, rectified the situation, had a follow-up meeting with the parent who brought the incident to our attention. We took very stern and appropriate action and that situation has been rectified,” said Floyd. He says the incident was not racially or sexually motivated.
As of yet, no charges have been filed against the teacher so the teacher’s name has not been released.
WTF? Why was this lazy cow of a teacher asking six-year-olds to rub her feet? Did she think it was an acceptable request? Sure, this isn’t a scandal the magnitude of the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State situation but I am just shocked and flabbergasted at this news. This little girl only just started school around four months ago and already her trust in teachers has been destroyed. What a stupid, stupid woman. She should lose her job if she proved guilty and should no longer be allowed to work in the education system.
I ask that the usual readers of my blogs allow me to be a tad self-indulgent today. Browsing the TMZ newsfeed a few minutes ago I found a story that Michael J. Fox (one of my childhood heroes) had last night strapped on a 1950s styled guitar and reprized the “Enchantment Under the Sea” scene from Back to the Future at a charity event. Anybody who knows me personally will be aware that I’m a huge BTTF fan, so seeing MJF performing the musical number he originally performed 26 years ago is amazing. Especially since he’s a diagnosed Parkinsons sufferer.
“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it!”
A New Zealand father of three recently paid a visit to his local health clinic when he began to experience severe abdominal pains, but was left scratching his head when the doctors suggested that his past hysterectomy might be to blame. Yes, I said “past hysterectomy”.
Les Kennington (Les not exactly being the most obvious uni-sex name), 39, has never had a uterus, nor has anyone ever tried to remove one from his body. So why did the docs believe he went through such a procedure?
“A few years ago I did have an operation to correct a hernia, but it’s concerning they could not tell the difference between a hernia and a hysterectomy, nor could they tell the difference between a male and a female,” Mr Kennington tolda local newspaper.
The mistake on his medical records was down to “human error”. Somebody mistakenly recorded his hernia op as a hysterectomy op. Whoops! The kicker is that medical records cannot be altered so Mr. Kennington will be saddled with this ridiculous faux pas for the rest of his life. For the record it was gallstones that were causing his abdominal discomfort.
Well, I guess Mr. Kennington won’t have to go through the menopause when he gets older.
Back on November 1, I wrote a blog about a 9-year-old Florida girl who was arrested for, among other things, assaulting a policeman and school bus driver over a matter of candy. The school bus driver had told her not to eat candy on the bus which made her go ballistic. Well, on the news-wires today is a very similar tale, once again set in Florida.
10-year-old Florida girl, Miesha Bryant attacked teacher Kelly Sanchez after Sanchez had confiscated a bag of Hallowe’en candy. Bryant went on a rampage, hitting her teacher and threatening her life.
According to an Orange County sheriff’s report, Sanchez told investigators that she was holding the candy until the end of the day. She said the girl “went behind her desk and took the bag of candy without her permission.” Bryant then started pelting classmates with the said candy. After Ms. Sanchez once again seized the candy, Bryant started throwing items from the teachers desk. While waiting for a school resource officer, Sanchez was struck in the stomach by Bryant and was told by Bryant that she would “kill Ms. Sanchez and her family.” When police arrived, Miesha, being held in the assistant principals office, was cuffed and taken to a juvenile detention centre, where she was later released into her mother’s custody.
In a TV interview, Sebrina Bryant, the mother, said she was angered over Miesha being arrested for the incident and didn’t believe her daughter was capable of such behaviour. But when the WFTV reported asked the child why she threatened the teacher, she piped up and said, “I was mad.”
I think that last paragraph speaks volumes here. The mother, instead of reprimanding her child, went into self-defense mode. It’s not a parents place to stick up for their child when they know full well that he/she has done wrong. Children need consequences for bad behaviour and Miesha’s mother’s reaction was teaching her that she can get anyway with anything. Discipline should have been the first item on the agenda. Children need to learn accountability and I fear it may be too late for this little girl.
A Melbourne, Australia scientist believes he has made a breakthrough when it comes to the development of premature babies. He claims that wallaby milk could be a vital source of much needed nutrients for underdeveloped children. No, I’m not making this up. One of the dangers of children being born as premmies is that their gut may not have formed properly, making it difficult from them to absorb the nutrients from breast milk or formula. Professor Kevin Nicholas from Deakin University’s Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation reckons that tamar wallabies milk may contain the necessary nutrients to strengthen the babies gut.
The gestation period for a pregnant wallaby is just 26-weeks as compared to nine-months of a human. When a baby joey is born, it’s still developing. After birth it crawls up it’s mother’s body and finishes it’s development stages inside her pouch. Nicholas has made note of this and has linked the underdeveloped joeys with underdeveloped babies. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
“What the [wallaby] mother does during a very long lactation is change the composition of milk progressively, and we know those changes in composition are very important for driving development of the young and of course the gut is a major target,” said Professor Nicholas.
“It’s really those changes in composition that are so important… and we can target those and we can then identify, particularly proteins, that we think are important for developing the gut.”
Isn’t science a wonderful thing? I mean really, how ruddy clever. Now they’re not suggesting that you latch your premature baby to the teet of a mothering wallaby, but they’re going forward with the research as they try to identify the proteins that make the milk so effective. Professor Nicholas’s research stems from a $100,000 AUD grant, and if he can prove his concept work, the Melbourne researcher could be provided up to $1 million dollars to continue his research.
Now for a couple of gratuitous wallaby/baby jokes.
“The milk will certainly put a spring in their step.”
“It’ll help to make them healthy bouncing babies.”
I’m sorry, those were awful. If you have anymore, feel free to post them in the comments section!