Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Slowing Time

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

So, if you'd like to make your head hurt just a little, make sure to check out 17 Facts About Time. (Although, it didn't bother me so much. I knew most of those already.) #16 really got me thinking...

What if we could influence the passage of time? Would you? 

If you'd like more "What If?"s, make sure to check out Unicorn Bell this week where some published authors have taken a crack at it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What's on Deck

Summer's here, so it's time to kick back...
(If you want a pair of these, you can purchase them here.)
A couple things...

Last Monday, my sister-in-law Heather joined us. Thank you to everyone who shared the link and/or donated to her GoFundMe. As of this writing, her GoFundMe has passed $7000, and last Monday's post has reached the top of my views. (Which is an exciting thing, as I thought that free pattern for the crocheted water bottle carrier would never vacate the top spot.)

If you commented on that post, Heather did reply to each and every one of you. So, if you haven't gone back to check it out, make sure you do.


This is my week over at Unicorn Bell. Some very nice authors have joined me to do my work for me to ask some "What If?" questions to get those writerly brains working. We'd love it if you'd pop on by and check out some novels that may be new to you.

What have you got going this week? Any fun holiday plans? (If you're not in the U.S., any fun weekend plans?)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Surprise

Thursday was the last day of school. I made plans for Friday. Afternoon plans.

I woke up early. Lazed in bed with the intention of going back to sleep. Picked up my phone. Checked my email, Facebook, Twitter, and played a couple rounds of Pyramid Solitaire Saga. That's when my phone rang.

The caller ID popped up. It was the continuation high school.


They let out two days before the traditional high schools. Why would they be calling me?

Turned out that they were already on their summer school, and they needed a sub to cover a couple different teachers who had to step for a couple hours each for personal reasons. Could I come in to sub?


I'm on the summer school sub list. But I never (okay, not never, but rarely) get called. Unfortunately, I have no good stories to share. Those kiddos were working diligently and silently.

So, now I'm officially on summer and summer schedule. Next week I'll share my year end stats.

And if you haven't seen my Monday post, please make sure to check it out. I'd appreciate any help you can give.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Not Monitoring This Time

Tuesday was the first day of finals. And I actually got to proctor a final, albeit with the "assistance" (read: she did all the work) of a co-teacher. 11th grade English. Their final was on The Catcher in the Rye.

Arriving late was... Tito! Remember Tito? I did. Vividly. And considering how little of his test he got done that time, I wondered how he'd do on his final.

Well, at least Ms. B was the special ed. teacher that knew him pretty well.

I stood over him a bit. Ms. B had him sit in a front desk. And, unsurprisingly, he was the last one done. However, he did manage to finish and before the end of the two-hour block. (I did not see his cell phone.)

Ms. B graded the finals. The class didn't do so hot on them. I think the student with the best score in the class had missed 19 out of 53. (They were to have read the book in groups in class. Seems like they may have done more visiting than reading in the time they were given.) Tito did fairly well comparatively.

At one point, I had a chance to tell Ms. B the story. That story I linked to earlier. About how Tito asked if he had gotten a text while his cell phone was in my custody.

Ms. B thought that was hilarious.

And if you haven't seen my Monday post, please make sure to check it out. I'd appreciate any help you can give.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


It was the Monday of the final week of school. I was covering a computer class. It was a fairly easy day even though most of them were done with the class. As in, there was nothing left for them to do as they'd turned everything in. They had the computers to keep them entertained, after all.

Fourth period filed in. One boy recognized me from the previous time I'd covered one of his classes.

"I forgive you for art class," he told me.

I did remember that art class. So... um... he forgives me? What, exactly, did I do?

Apparently, he had gotten transferred out (to the theater class he wanted) before the class had to write the apology letters. Letters he, apparently, thinks were wrong...?

I don't remember what I said in response. Something snarky, I hope. Because, seriously. I wasn't the one goofing off, dude.

And if you haven't seen my Monday post, please make sure to check it out. I'd appreciate any help you can give.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Murder Plot

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if you discovered someone close to you (a family member, a spouse, your best friend) tried to have you killed? What would you do? How would you react to that person after?

And if you haven't seen my Monday post, please make sure to check it out. I'd appreciate any help you can give.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Please Share and Support

Multiple sclerosis awareness
Image by Donnee Spencer

I don't often talk about my family here. Now that I do a search, I find that I told some stories of when they moved four years ago and a story involving niece and eldest nephew (A.K.A. ArcherGirl and HapkidoKid). (I have four nephews in total: eldest, middle, and the twins.)

Oh, and I also show off the stuff I knit for them. Like last Christmas. Or for Heather's birthday last year. (So, I guess I do talk about them, albeit in a roundabout way.)

Well, the reason that I bring this up today is for a cause. Heather, my sister-in-law, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April 2012. She has an aggressive form of MS, and she needs help for her best treatment option. She's joined us today.

Hello, Heather
Hello to you, Liz!
To fund this treatment, Heather has a GoFundMe. But, Heather, you didn't start this yourself, did you? Who started it and why?
Actually, an acquaintance started the fundraising for me. Her name is Lori and I have gotten to know her a bit through my kids' archery practices and tournaments. She is a very kind lady that felt she could do this small thing to help me and my family. 
 This is not the first treatment you'll undergo. What were you doing this past Christmas?
On December 19, 2014, I began a treatment at UCLA Medical Center. I received eleven, eight hour chemotherapy treatments. It was equivalent to about nine months of chemo, compressed, in order to kill off my immune system. After that, I received stem cell therapy, as part of a clinical trial. 
I found out about a month ago that while the clinical trial is considering me a "success", I only received minimal benefits. In order to see more, long-term, improvement; I need more stem cells.
So, to get more stem cells, you need another treatment. Where do you have to go for this one?
The most affordable option that I have right now is the Panama University Hospital in Panama City, Panama. They are working in partnership with Johns Hopkins University Hospital to give people with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, the stem cell therapy that is my best option; but not yet FDA approved in the United States. 
Why hasn't the FDA approved it?
Sadly, due to misinformation, our country denies permission and funding for stem cell therapies; even though other countries have proven the effectiveness. 
I saw a bit of your travails on getting a passport on Facebook. Did you get your passport? What exactly happened there?
I was able to get all the forms approved and sent off, but it takes 2-3 weeks for processing. I've never had a passport before, and I had no idea how difficult it would be! Not due to the procedure, per se, mostly because the other 50 people applying 1) didn't fill out the forms properly, or 2) didn't bring the proper documents, or 3) didn't read the instructions. Then, they want to argue about their mistake and really solidify your belief that most people are really stupid. 
We all wish you well. Now, where can we go to help you out with all of this?
Here is the link to the GoFundMe page: http://www.gofundme.com/vr6sq2t
Please consider sharing on your social media pages! Thank you for taking the time to help me. 
Thanks for taking the time, Heather. Let us know how it goes.

And thank you for stopping by. I hope you can help, even if just by sharing this for your followers. Thanks.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Not Monica

I have this policy against using actual student names on the blog. They are minors. And while I am telling stories of things that happened in class, I don't want to publicize who they are.

But this story is predicated on the name.

I hate calling out roll. There are many students who have "interesting" names. And I always manage to mangle them. I didn't massacre Makai's name too badly. I was in the ballpark.  

I was closer than one teacher. The one teacher that made him cry. The one teacher who got "Monica" from "Makai".

"Monica? How do you even see Monica? There's no N in there. It's not even close."

Apparently, one of his elementary school teachers on the first day of school called Monica. And a couple of the other students in class remembered this. The boy shook his head.

I told him that I could see it happening. I had mangled so many names that I could totally see me doing something like that. But I understood his pain.

I dread being that pain. And yet, some days I just can't quite get it right...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Graduation Daydream

It's the end of the school year and #ThrowbackThursday, so it's time for my annual school year end post. I was dozing in class (don't worry, it was a prep period), and... Well, I told it better the first time. The end of the school year just makes me think of this, so here it is again...

It starts with a stage filled with teens in caps and gowns. A graduation ceremony. The new graduates look over the audience filled with proud parents. They're excited. They've finally finished school, and they're looking forward to the next phase of their lives.

The new graduates exit at the side of the stage. They hug each other. Many are in tears. They meet up with parents, take pictures, and gradually leave the area.

The stage is empty, but not for long.

Off to the other side of the stage is another group of students a year younger than those who just exited. They climb the stairs and claim the stage for themselves.

The new senior class surveys its domain. Some look in corners. Others go to the edge of the stage and peer out at the audience. Many are cheering, fist pumping, and bouncing up and down. Two boys run at each other and bump chests. They have arrived.

While the new senior class celebrates, the area just off the stage that was just vacated starts to fill. This group looks around in awe and wonder. A few look up the steps, itching to join the new seniors. Several look out over the line that stretches out behind them. It's a long line and it seems to disappear into the horizon.

As each group moves up to the next position, they look over their new surroundings. The new freshman class, however, is so busy celebrating and laughing at the group just below them that they don't notice how trashed their new position is. Then again, their old spot in the line wasn't much better.

The newest middle schoolers carefully take up their new position. They are all wide-eyed wonder. The more adventurous pull their peers along. They take their time looking around, acclimating to their new position in line. There's a demarcation behind them, and they thought they'd never get beyond that border. Now that they are, they're not sure what they're going to do next.

Each elementary grade moves up one. As the former kindergartners take their first grade spot (and make themselves right at home), an empty spot is left at the end of the line. But like all the other spots in line, this one doesn't remain empty for long.

Off in the distance, family groups start to arrive. The parents push their little ones into their spot in line. Some of these children run to take over their spot. Others cling. The families stand there, watching their little ones for some time, not sure what to do next.

One mother shakes her head as she watches her little one acclimate to the line. "They grow up so fast," she says.

Nearby, various people are on their way out of the area. One woman hears the kindergartner's mother, so she turns to her and says, "You have no idea." The woman looks off into the distance where her graduate is off with friends.

"You have no idea," the woman repeats.

Happy end of the school year (although many of you did this weeks ago).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Newest Purse

I'm not sure when I started this purse. But it's been a couple months. At least. I probably started it in March.

I knit my purses. It's a thing. I like them a certain way. I like them to be not too large. I like them to hang across my body. And the best way to ensure I get the fit I want is to make it myself.

I saw this thing on TV about cables. The idea was to knit the cables in one yarn and the background in another. It makes the cables pop. I tried it, but then I remembered that I hate doing color work. After I got about one pattern repeat in. So, that got ripped out.

Then I started again, this time just using the variegated yarn. I made it as long as I thought I needed. It ended up being too long. And too narrow. So, I set that aside and started over.

Finally, I got it about the right size, figured out how to make side panels, and I lined the thing. ("Lining the thing" took me a couple weeks of stitching the lining in the purse.) Then I spent a week crocheting the strap. It was all put together, and I was ready to use it.

I went to the grocery store...

And discovered that the strap was too long. It reached to just slightly below my butt. I prefer it to hit me at my hip. So, I had to take it apart and unravel some of the strap (just one side of the purse--a minor alteration).

It seems to be the right length now. The size seems right. I'll have to use it a bit before I can be certain, but so far so good.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the too long too narrow piece that is still hanging around...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Botched Experiment

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if life on earth is an alien experiment that got out of the aliens' control?

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Few Things...

  1. It's the last week of school. Which means it's time for my end of year stuff: end of year stats and Graduation Daydream. The stats will have to hold off as I have one day scheduled next week, and assuming my alarm clock doesn't fail on me (like it did on Friday...) I may have another subbing story or two for you all.

  2. Although, if this week is anything like last week, I won't have much for the blog. Silly cooperative classes. I mean, when the teacher leaves a lesson plan that says they're to work quietly, you'd think they'd fight this, wouldn't you? And when they start to talk, me telling them that I'm going to take down names shouldn't work. But it did.

  3. I have done a little crochet...

  4. A little something for ArcherGirl's 14th birthday. (ArcherGirl is my niece.) It's a cute little pattern called Spiral Crochet Flower. Follow the link for the pattern and video instructions.

  5. I noticed something interesting on my sidebar. My most popular post has changed. For a long time now, it's been the pillow prop pattern, but suddenly that's dropped and now my water bottle carrier has taken over the top spot.

  6. Followed by the EOS lip balm holders...

  7. For those of you who are not knitters and/or crocheters, I do sell the finished items in my Etsy shop, Zizi Rho Designs. Here are the links: Water Bottle Carriers, EOS Lip Balm Holders, and Cell Phone Pillow Props

  8. I've started posting quizzes on my Zizi Rho Designs Facebook page. Not quizzes made by me or anything (I wouldn't bore you with that). Some of them are actually fun. Make sure to stop by and check them out (and let me know how you did).

  9. And finally, it's almost my week at Unicorn Bell again. If you're an author with a book to promote (or you know an author with a book to promote), let me know either here or at unicornbellsubmissions [at] gmail [dot] com (put "book tour" in the subject somewhere). I have posts open from June 29th through July 3rd.

Friday, June 12, 2015


I'm at the continuation high school quite a lot, but I haven't had reason to mention how students graduate from there. I think this needs a little explanation.

In a traditional high school, credits are earned per semester. At the end of any given semester, the students earn 5 credits per class completed. If a student earns an "F", that student did not complete the class, and that student did not earn those credits.

To graduate from high school, a student must earn 220 credits. Those credits are allocated to various subjects, so for example, the student must complete 40 of them in English, 10 per year. There's a list of the requirements that every student has access to, especially when they sign up for classes for the next year.

When a student earns a lot of F's, that student is in danger of not graduating, so that student gets transferred to the continuation high school. (There is a waiting list to get in, however, so getting that transfer isn't as easy as I just made it sound.)

To graduate from the continuation high school, a student must still earn 220 credits. But rather than earn 5 credits per semester per course, a student earns credits by the amount of classwork completed. So, a student can earn more credits faster. Or, if the student sits and stares at walls, that student earns no credits.

Because earning credits is based on amount of work completed, a student at the continuation high school can earn credit #220 at just about any time. And when that last credit is recorded, that student is finished.

The school has a little ceremony every time someone graduates. (They do have a graduation ceremony with caps and gowns and diplomas in June as well.) Over the PA system to the school at large, they ring a bell. "Pomp and Circumstance" plays. Then a teacher or other staff member (the student gets to pick who) says a few nice words and then announces the graduation of the student. The office staff applauds.

And then we go back to our day.

This happens frequently enough that I don't usually make mention of it. It happens more frequently at this time of year.

So, why am I mentioning this today?

Last Friday, the announcement was for Angel. (Remember Angel from last week's Thursday's post?)

I figured since I had just talked about her here that you all might be interested to hear of her graduation.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day in the Life

It's 2nd period, and the science classroom at the continuation high school is pretty silent. Except for the two girls taking their 12th selfie. Although, that seems to have finally stopped.

Some subbing days are easier than others. And there are some battles not worth fighting. They all know what their assignment is. Many of them are even on task. Those that aren't... *shrugs* At least they're being quiet about it.

The boy just directly in front of me had his head down on the desk. The boy next to him indicated that he was crying. My take on this is if he wanted me aware of his turmoil, he would not be hiding his face. If he needs to talk to someone, he can ask to go and I'll let him. But until then, I'll let him have his privacy.

But then this boy asked to borrow his neighbor's pencil. He set it on top of his own crosswise...

"No! Absolutely not."

So, now the two are playing Tic-Tac-Toe.

Many of them are on their phones. Although, the girl who was actually making a call finally ended it. I could go the put-your-phones-away route; but then I'd spend the rest of the period policing them, confiscating phones, and just fighting them. It's not really worth it. The room is mostly silent. I'd rather maintain the calm.

Besides, I already have six finished assignments in a class of nineteen students, and everyone has a book out.

So, I keep an eye out for the crazy as I write (on paper--I'm inputting this into Blogger days later). Ten more minutes. I hope period 3 is as settled as this.

They were. It was 5th period that wasn't. 

From 5th period I learned a new little tidbit. Did you know that there are YouTube videos where girls are applying makeup? Some of these channels are popular. The things on the internet...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Silent Battle

Advanced English language development and 9th grade English. (Non-native speakers.) We're on end of year countdown, so this teacher has his classes reading.

For two hours.

Personally, I'd love this. Sit and read for two hours? A book of my own choosing (within certain boundaries)? But 9th graders...

They whined. "This book is boring." They fidgeted. But somehow they got quiet and stayed there. (They did get a break in the middle.)

Bernardo. Reading The Outsiders. Well, sort of.

My job: watch the class and make sure no one disturbed the silence. Yes, I was doing other things as well, but I'd stop and scan the room frequently. Noting all the heads buried in their books. Hopefully engrossed by the stories.

Bernardo looked back at me. Not in the "I feel eyes on me so I look up" sort of way. No. His head was up when I looked his way. He looked right at me.

So, I watched. And waited.

Most students know that this is when they go back to reading, or at least making a pretense of reading. Not Bernardo. He continued to stare back at me. And then he turned it into a game, giving me funny or flirty looks.

I mouthed, "Read".

Then five minutes later we'd do it all over again. Deep sigh.

(Silent reading assignments--way more stressful than they ought to be.)

Ah well. This teacher is not the type to put up with this sort of thing, so Bernardo likely had an interesting day the next day.

Funnily enough, several students who started out the day whining about their books told me that they were getting good when I called time. So, at least some of them were on task.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Alien Spam

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

Through the Wormhole is back on. Hooray! It gives me all sorts of interesting things to ponder.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the clip that prompted this week's question, but this clip is from the same episode. (I tried to embed it, but Blogger just isn't having it today.) It gives you an idea of the gist of where this particular question came from...

What if spam messages (the ones that sound like they were composed by someone whose first language is not English) are actually from aliens trying to figure out how to communicate with us?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Checking Back

The things I learn while subbing...

So, there's this sponge thing that if you (and by "you" I mean an African-American teenage boy) apply it to your hair, it creates a soft spiky hairstyle. (I wanted to post pictures, but I don't take pictures in class, and I couldn't find one that I could reuse, so you'll just have to follow this link to see what I'm talking about. Or Google: curl sponge.)

I learned about this last Monday when two boys spent the entire first period using this sponge rather than doing their assignment. Well, they did a little of their assignment. (It was a special ed. study hall, so there wasn't that much to do.)

I had them in class again fifth period, only this time it was an algebra class. They didn't get a whole lot done then, either. (They spent the entire period copying the definitions--something that should have taken five minutes tops.) So, I left their names in my note.

Last Wednesday I had a roving assignment. Sixth period was special ed. biology. And I recognized more than half the class from Monday. Including one of those boys.

He didn't look happy to see me.

In fact, he looked kinda pissed off. Muttered something along the lines of, "Not her".

Me thinks there were some consequences for his lack of work on Monday...

His behavior Wednesday? Well, the friend wasn't in class. They were watching a movie (stuff about the ocean). And I had an instructional assistant who knew him. So, the fact that he sat quietly and kept to himself could be attributed to any of those factors.

But this is why I leave names in my notes. Not so much for punishment (for if they go over-the-top I just send them out). It's more to let them know that their actions do have consequences. And that makes future days with me easier.

A couple of you have wondered that we are still in school. Yes, we are. Another week and a half to go. Those of you who are already out of school--you get out EARLY. Of course, you also start back early, so it evens out in the end.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Not Even Plausible Lies

"But you're the teacher, not her. You don't need her permission to let me go..."

Johnny protested loudly, talking over me after I had said no and he asked me why. My explanation of, "Mrs. V already said no," was unacceptable. But I know this game. I give a reason. They argue the point. (It's why, "Because I said so," is my go-to reason for most things.)

Mrs. V was the instructional assistant (IA). She knows the students. And for things like restroom passes, I follow the lead of the IA. (I follow the lead of the IA for just about everything. They know the room. The routines. How the students are supposed to behave. They are my biggest allies. They have my back, so I back them up.)

It was the beginning of the period. The bell had barely rung. Johnny leaned out the door. Asked to go to the restroom. Mrs. V asked him why had hadn't gone during snack--10 minutes of free time that had preceded the period. Johnny said that he was stuck in testing.

(The Smarter Balanced testing. They've been calling students out of class to make up portions that they missed.)

Mrs. V dug deeper into that. She asked to see his pass. Turned out he returned to 2nd period towards the end. Johnny said that he stayed in at snack to get the assignment. Another student piped up with the information that they had been watching a movie.

So, did Johnny stay in at snack? Well, that's easy enough to verify. Who's his teacher? He didn't know. (Um, it's the end of the school year, and he doesn't know his teacher's name?) Okay then, what class? He had no idea. (Said he sleeps through class.)

Sleeps through class. Doesn't know the teacher's name. Stays after class to get assignment that he missed for being out of class. Which of these things is not like the others?

Clearly, he was angling to get out of class. Before it even began.

(That was a day. I had two other students that I can only describe as jerks in later periods. Sigh.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Putting the Puzzle Together

Students don't generally talk to me. Sometimes it's like being that proverbial. fly on the wall. They talk around me like I'm not there.

Sometimes the things I glean from snippets are brilliant, silly, or entertaining. Or shocking.

Scene #1: Period 4

Stephanie sat down in front of the instructional aide (IA). 

"Do you think we'll make it?" 

Apparently, Stephanie just learned her boyfriend had cheated on her. (I got that from bits of the conversation.) The IA didn't have much advice--more of a shrugging of shoulders. As I had not been included in the conversation (and I didn't know the particulars), I kept my mouth shut.  

Scene Aside: Period 2

Angel was supposed to be doing computer work, but she got sidetracked. She was looking up images online.  

To her friend: "This one looks like my dad's mug shot. He looked this angry." 

They were looking at actual mug shots.  

Scene #2: Period 5

Student to me: "What's the date?" 

I told her.  

"No! It's my father's birthday. I forgot." 

Well, clearly not. I reasoned that the day wasn't over yet, so a "happy birthday" after school should be fine.  

Stephanie: "That happened to me. I forgot my boyfriend's birthday. I would have forgotten completely if he had not called..." He told her it was a special day. She asked if he was being released. No. It was his birthday.  

Released. As in, from prison. Yep, Stephanie's boyfriend is in jail. 

Scene #3: Period 7

Stephanie and Angel were talking. Stephanie was still upset over cheating boyfriend. 

Stephanie: "Is he now homosexual?" 

Angel: "When my dad got out after 12 years, he was fine..." 


So... Yeah...  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

No Charlie, No

The things teens latch onto...

I was at the continuation high school covering that school's equivalent of a learning center. Any RSP student could go there for extra help, and over the course of the day several did. But like the Learning Center at other schools, some of them needed a push to get on task.

"Have you heard of the Charlie Charlie Challenge?"

Not then, but unfortunately now I am very familiar with it. (LINKS: CNN's take. Time's take.)

I forbade it in class, but they're not good with the listening. They'd start. I'd stop them. But 6th period was my prep, so that's what they did while I wasn't there.

(Briefly: They balance two pencils over a paper that has "yes" and "no" written on it. Then they ask it questions. Apparently there are lots and lots of videos, so if you want more information about the fad, Google it. It's everywhere now.)

7th period they were all freaked out.

"Your phone's in the trash." The instructional assistant (IA) informed a student. He did go "digging in the trash" for that. (Teens do have priorities.)

How did it get in there?

Another student: "Charlie did it!"

Sure. I'm certain some fictional spirit took your cell phone and threw it in the trash because you did not "close" correctly. /sarcasm

The boy looked for a logical explanation. Perhaps it fell out of his pocket when he leaned over? Except he keeps the phone in the other pocket.

The whole room erupted in chaos. "We're haunted," they said.

The bell rang to end the day. The kiddos escaped the horror.

The IA turned to me. She indicated that the boy's phone has been precariously perched on the desk over the trash can. She heard it fall in...

So, yeah, no Charlie. I officially detest this "game".

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What a Trip

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

The other morning on my way to work I was listening to some radio show or other (I flip through stations until I find music), and the guys were reading some story of someone who did something stupid while high on drugs. So, of course my mind went a little sideways...

What if hallucinogenic drugs caused people to see into an alternate reality or alternate universe?

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Gift Card Holders Are Now Available

Remember my gift card holder giveaway from the A to Z challenge? If you notice my mini shop widget in the sidebar, you might have noticed those gift card holders popping up lately. Yup, I've gotten around to listing them in my shop...

I'll be listing a couple of them a day until I get all the remaining letters listed. Make sure to drop by my shop and check them out. (And if you use the coupon code GIFTCARDLOG you'll get $2 off.)