I stood watching the tall swings going round and round.   I just watched. White knuckles.  Heart racing. Panic. I just watched.

“Employees ride for free!  Just show your ID!”  I knew it was a free ride.  I had been on every ride in the park but that one.

When I was 10, I had been in line to ride such a thing, then it broke.  Utter chaos followed.  Screaming, crying, things falling from the sky.  Sirens.  It had taken me a long time to return to a carnival, longer to get on a ride.  This one was not going to happen.

Word count: 100

This post is part of Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneer blog hop.  Each week she gives a photo prompt and challenges readers to respond to the prompt in 100 words.  Give it a try.  It’s fun!  You can find Rochelle’s post here.


Today I am over at Part Time Monster with a post about the Portland underground tunnels, or Shanghai Tunnels. Come take a look.

Originally posted on Part Time Monster:

Editor’s note: Today’s post is a joint effort from Allison and from a brand-new-to-the-Monster contributor, Corina! You can find out more about both of them on the contributors’ page or on their blogs!

 Just what are the Shanghai Tunnels?

Allison:   Farmers, lumberjacks, and other blue-collar workers in the 1800’s would come in from the surrounding communities to Portland, Oregon in order to spend their earnings in the many bars that filled downtown. Sometimes these men would find themselves victims of Shanghai, captured by the “Crimps” and sold off to serve on ships leaving port.

The stories of these Crimps often sound like tall-tales such as the group of men who accidentally drank formaldehyde rather than beer and were sold to the ship-captains as being “dead-drunk.” Names such as Joe “Bunco” Kelly and James Turk were well known to Into The Tunnelsbarkeeps, police, and the general public.

There is no debate…

View original 1,401 more words


1966 was an interesting year for me. I was in fourth grade and not the most popular person at the school.  We had just moved to that neighborhood during Spring break.  On my first day of school, I was walked to my classroom which was empty and told that my class was on a field trip that day so I would have to spend the school day in another fourth grade class. I did and when school was out, I still hadn’t met my teacher or any of my new classmates because the field trip was an out of town one so the bus wouldn’t be back until later.  Not only did I not get to meet my class and teacher, but I had to go through the “first day” twice.  And to top it off, I missed a field trip to one of the California missions.

I had left a school where I had a lot of friends and good teachers so to come into a school where I had no friends and no history with any of the teachers was frustrating.  It stayed that way for the rest of the year and then through sixth grade.  I never made many friends.  I was the odd one out.  I knew a few people but they were in other classes and they didn’t play with me or hang out with me at school.  My older sister’s friends accepted me so I knew them but they weren’t in my class either.

I’m pretty sure the girls in my class didn’t want to hang out with me because something horrible happened.  It was about a month after I started attending that school. I was sitting in class and when I got up to go to recess, I felt the back of my dress stick to me.  I pulled it away then I felt it was wet.  I didn’t know what it was.  I knew I had not wet myself.  So I stood against the wall all during recess.  The rest of the day went on like normal, but I was aware of everyone staring at me. Even my teacher stared but she didn’t say anything.  I went up to the board during math to solve a problem.  No one said a word to me about my dress. Then it was time to go home and I walked home.  When I arrived home, I went into the bathroom and realized that the wetness I had felt was blood.  I didn’t know what was going on.  No one had told me anything to let me know that at some point I would bleed.  After that day, I wore my heavy coat in class all day.  I even wore it during P.E. to run around and to play ball in. I wore it every day left in fourth grade and every day in fifth grade until we saw the movie that explained what was going on. Then I knew to count the day.

To this day I cannot get over the fact that the teacher said not one word about it.  Not that day.  Not on any other days after it happened.

Inspired by a prompt in The Daily Post: Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

This Week

This week signals a few beginnings for me.

  1. I started an online Writer’s Digest course on copy editing.  My income will go to zero in May of next year when my ex husband retires so I will have no more income.  I need to start preparing to earn some money some way and I thought copy editing might be a natural for me.  So here I go!
  2. Thursday I begin my regular volunteering in Anderson’s classroom.  They want me to read a story each week then help with some literature lessons.  Yay!  Right up my alley!
  3. I have a co-authored post over at Part Time Monster on Thursday.  I’m excited about it because it was one of those that I thought of on my own then executed with Allison‘s help.  You should go take a look at it.  I will probably post a link to it on Thursday or I might re-blog it.  Look for that, please.
  4. This week I started taking walks and hikes on my own.  Now that Anderson is in school, I can’t wait for him to go with me or it will never happen.  So it’s solo hiking for me.
  5. I’m starting to brush up on my tarot reading.  I used to be quite good at it and I’m thinking if I review and practice, that might be another avenue for some kind of income in the future.  I can do individual readings or maybe hire myself out for parties.  We shall see what is in the cards for me!




Rose B. Fischer

Today, please help me welcome fellow blogger and author, Rose B. Fisher.  She is an avid fan of  foxes, Stargate: SG-1 and Star Trek.  She would rather be on the Enterprise right now.  Since she can’t be a Starfleet Officer, she became a speculative fiction author whose stories feature women who defy cultural stereotypes.

In her fictional worlds, gender is often fluid, sexuality exists on a spectrum, and “disability” does not define an individual. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial.

Rose is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities.  In the early 2000s, she became homeless afer leaving her abusive spouse.  She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing.

She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays.  She blogs about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture. You can find her blog here.

Meet Rose

Hello, everyone! I’m Rose B. Fischer, science fantasy author and lover of princesses. Corina’s invited me to talk to you about my serial, The Foxes of Synn, and I’m going to do that. I promise. But first I’m going to talk about PRINCESSES. And Witch-Queens.

The first movie I ever saw in theaters was Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I couldn’t have been more than four, so I really shouldn’t remember, but the experience had a permanent effect on me. I was familiar with the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White from storybooks, and I had a fairytale coloring book in which I only ever colored the pictures of ladies — preferably the ladies in fancy clothes. That movie was different. The characters were huge, both because they were on the big screen and because they had life that the storybook versions often don’t. The Wicked Queen fascinated and terrified me. I pitied her. I wanted to know the story behind her odd relationship with her Huntsman. I wanted to know why, on Earth, Snow White’s father couldn’t see that the Queen was nuts. I wanted to know what had made her like that! In the space of about an hour, I developed a whole head canon about the Queen’s life prior to her marriage and how she was in love with the huntsman. I wanted her to stop being so vain and learn that she and Snow White could both be beautiful, or if she couldn’t do that, I wanted her to at least find a way to make peace with Snow White’s existence. I’m not the only one. There are a crap-ton of re-imagined fairytales that want to make the Queen an antihero.

Snow White fascinated me too. I admire her for all the reasons she’s often dismissed as “weak” and “silly” today. She’s quiet, kind, and gentle (I am not.) She’s an optimist (I am not.) She works hard without complaining (I work hard. Complain A LOT.) She can get animals to do whatever she wants. (Are you seriously going to tell me that you never envied her for that?) She can manage a large household. (This is actually something I can do, and it’s one of the skill-sets I’m most proud of. Snow White was my mentor. >.>)

I had head canon for Snow White too. I imagined that the huntsman would come back to the woods and mentor her, teaching her his skills and trade while she lived safely with the dwarfs. Then, the Queen would find out, and all hell would break loose, but Snow White would be kickass by then, and…

Well, that part didn’t happen.

But I’m a writer. And anyone who writes will know what I mean when I say, the stories that grab us first are the stories that stay with us. Witch Queens and Princesses have stayed with me my whole life. They permeate the world of Synn, and the kick-ass Snow White that’s been in my head since I was four is at the heart of Northern Synn’s history.

I’ve always been drawn to stories with compelling female protagonists. For a lot of my life, that meant royalty. Queens, princesses, duchesses– because that’s where powerful women were to be found in literature and in history. There were also sometimes nuns, like Bernadette of Lourdes and cross-dressing warriors like Joan of Arc, but for the most part I was exposed to princesses.

Princess Leia is the one everyone recognizes. Princess Allura is the one I saw the most, and the one I wanted to love because she could rock this dress:


She could also be kind and sensitive, yet still stand up to her sexist guardians, and fly the Blue Lion. I could never fully get on board with Allura, though, because as hard as she tried, she was always the first person getting knocked out, captured, made naïve mistakes, or would otherwise be the weak link on the team. And I don’t like pink.

Fast forward a few years to the mid-80s, and there’s Princess Adora, who remains my go to example of a well-rounded, compelling female character whose writers handle the Princess Trope well.

Fast forward a few more years to the mid-90s and there was Belle and Nala, then Esmeralda and Mulan, who expanded Disney’s definition of Princess, but at the same time popular culture was turning on the Princess. Suddenly, girls could do whatever we wanted. We could be doctors, lawyers, police officers, truck drivers, wrestlers, but GOD FORBID that any girl want to be a princess. Nooo, we must make sure our girls are self-sufficient and empowered. Because, you know. Being able to manage a house and rule a kingdom wisely don’t have anything to do with self-sufficiency or empowerment. And saving your friends (or the kingdom) only counts if you do it with a sword, by yourself, with no help from a male, especially a love interest. Smart girls didn’t like princesses. Smart girls didn’t like pink or glitter or fancy dresses, oh no. Smart girls were going to resist being stereotyped by trading feminine stereotypes for masculine ones.

Wait, what?

Yeah. But I bought into that, so I let my Magic Princesses and my Witch Queens go, and I don’t think I found them again until I was spending time with my niece in the mid-2000s. She was as smart as I was, and she was one of the “in crowd” in a way that I’d never been. She loved the trendy things, followed fashion, enjoyed popular boy bands. She was also interested in science, religion, sociology, and would read any book you put in front of her. She liked to read about princesses. Heck if I was going to tell her no, she could like anything else she wanted but NOT THOSE. So, I had to reevaluate my stance, and I’m glad I did.

Even with that settled, it was a long time before the Foxes of Synn came to be. It wanted to be a story that took the things I love best about science fiction and fantasy, blended them together with fairytales, and asked a lot of questions about gender roles, sexuality, romance, and whatever-else, for which I don’t have answers. I already had two major speculative fiction projects at the time, and I wasn’t looking for another one. I wanted something light and fun that I could sell in a traditional publishing market. I wanted a book that a publisher would take a chance on, that would be a stepping stone in a traditional publishing career, not another weird, unclassifiable spec fic project. What I got was a mishmash of animal fantasy, wormhole physics, traveling to other universes via magic mirror, and…well…fun. At least I got the fun.

Eventually, I decided that I needed to let the story be what it wanted to be. About a year ago, I took the plunge into creating serial fiction and self-publishing for Kindle. I have had a rockin’ time so far, and I couldn’t be happier with the direction that Synn has taken. If you’d like to learn more about the serial, it’s characters, and the world literacy live, you can check it out on my blog or my Amazon author page.

Silent Sunday



If we were having coffee, we might sit out in the front porch.  We would have to put on a sweater or maybe take a throw out to cover up as it’s a little chilly (51 at the moment.  But it’s sunny and the skies are clear so it’s nice out there.

If we were having coffee, you would see that I am a little bit down today, thinking about the shooting at Umpqua Community College this week.  It’s about a two hour drive from here. Roseburg is a small town, as are many along I-5 up and down the state.  I keep thinking about how devastating it must be for the community.  Then, the day after that shooting, my niece, who lives in Las Vegas, posted about a friend of hers who was shot and killed in her neighborhood that morning.  Her friend’s 7 year old son was also killed in a murder-suicide situation.  Again, that community is in shock over a senseless killing by someone who was, in retrospect, not well.

I haven’t written much about love rocks on this blog.  I’ve mentioned them in passing but I haven’t talked about them much. Love rocks are rocks that have a fabric heart glued to them (I use modge podge).  They are a very simple token of love.  They are left anonymously for people to find or sometimes given to someone who needs a little lift, a smile, a hug.  The idea was started by the mother of two young girls who were killed by a car in front of their house a couple of years ago.  It happened in Forest Grove, a small community west of Portland.  The girls were playing in a pile of leaves and the car didn’t see them, ran over them, and kept on going, not knowing they had run over two girls. It was devastating to the community and the mom, in her grief, remembered how her girls had made “love rocks” for their parents’ wedding (a blended family) and how they had loved making them.  So she started love-rocks.org.  I make them and spread them around, often helped by Anderson and Spencer who love leaving them.  Last night I made over 100 of them and am making more today.  They going out to the Umpqua/Roseburg community along with a lot of others which are being made by the love rocks community all around Oregon. I will also be sending some to my niece in Las Vegas to spread around her neighborhood. It’s not a lot but it makes me feel like I am doing something to help.

Love Rocks  I made last night.

Love Rocks I made last night.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are all settling in to Anderson’s school schedule.  Currently, the big problem is getting him to eat at school.  He’s a very picky eater.  He doesn’t like trying new foods.  He will eat hot dogs or corn dogs when they are on the menu.  There was also a day when they had French Toast and scrambled eggs for lunch and he liked that. But he doesn’t like anything else so all he has is the milk from his lunch tray and sometimes the fruit or cookie on the tray.  So we are trying to get him to try new foods.  On October 1st, the new series of Mixels was released. So now the deal is that he can only open a new Mixel on days that he has tried new foods which have protein.  So far, he still hasn’t been able to open any of the Mixels because he hasn’t tried new protein foods!  So the battle continues.  I must say that he comes by his stubborness honestly…he gets it from my side.

Two of the Mixels that adorn my car.

Two of the Mixels that adorn my car.

This week I will be posting another one of my Introducing posts (Monday).  I hope you come by and check it out.  I will also have a co-written post up at Part Time Monster which I will probably reblog here.  I’ll be spending some more time making love rocks each day and I might take a drive to Roseburg to deliver them. And I think this week I will find out what my volunteer assignment will be at Anderson’s school.

So now it’s your turn.  What are you up to?  How is your weather where you are?  I know there has been some very wet weather on the eastern side of our country.  Are you in it?  Are you prepared for it?  I hope you stay safe!  Have a wonderful week!


#WeekendCoffeeShare posts are part of a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster.  You can read her post here.  For more weekend coffee shares by other bloggers, click here more are added throughout the weekend.


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