Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cat Superstitions

Happy Halloween Everyone,

We all know there are many black cat superstitions. Many people believe it's bad luck when a black cat crosses their path but there are some who believe it's good fortune. lol What do you think?

Some people in Germany believe a black cat crossing their path from right to left is a bad omen while from left to right, and the cat is granting favorable times to you. In Italy some believe if a inky feline lays on a sick person's bed, death will follow. In China, some believe black cats are harbingers of famine and poverty. Lavtvian farmers that find black kitties in their grain silos dance with joy because they believe these felines are the spirit of Rungis, a god of harvests.

In Japan, black cats crossing your path will probably make you smile, and think that good fortune is on its way. In Scotland folks believe finding black kittens sitting on their porch is a sure sign of riches and happiness to come.

Some people around the world believe that there is a single white hair to be found on a black cat and you pull it without getting scratched you'll be in a long, happy and prosperous marriage.

There are superstitions surrounding cats of other colors, too. For instance, dream of a tortoise shell cat and you will be lucky in love, dream of a ginger cat and you will be lucky in money and business and dream of a black and white cat you'll have luck with children. There are many others.

In ancient Egypt, where cats were first domesticated about 3,000 years ago, cats were considered sacred. One Egyptian god in particular, Pashe, was not only cat-headed but was attended by cats. Some believed that the life-giving rays of the sun were kept in a cat's eyes at night for safekeeping.

Ancient Hebrew folklore tells of an incident in the Ark that resulted in the creation of the first cats. Apparently, before the flood there were no cats but there was a pair of lions and there was fear the shaggy beasts would attack the other animals, so Noah prayed to God for a solution. God answered by putting the lions into a deep sleep. When one problem was solved, another arose. The Ark was overrun with mice. Noah knelt and prayed for a solution. God suggested that Noah whack the sleeping male lion on the nose. He did, the lion sneezed, and out of his nostrils came the first pair of cats. The rodent problem was solved.

Another version of the creation of cats comes from the Christian tradition. Apparently the devil, in one of his periodic attempts at creation, was trying to make a man. As usual he failed miserably and, through his bungling, ended up creating the first cat. (Unfortunately, the poor animal was hairless. One cold day St. Peter happened upon the poor animal shivering in a doorway. He had pity on it and gave it a fur coat.)
I used to dislike cats intensely and the reason I did is because I saw a cat kill a pigeon when I was young. Yes, I was a bird lover and still am, but now I understand why that poor cat did what he did. He was a stray cat without a home, and he was trying to survive.

No matter the mystique surrounding cats and black cats in particular, most owners of black cats consider themselves lucky and blessed to have one. It's a blessing to own a cat, black or not. Smile.

Some information on cat superstitions found at Essortment and at Maxellah.tripod. There is so much more out there so don't be afraid to Google cat superstitions. Also, I blogged about black cats at Romance Books R Us on the 29th at and at Paranormal Romantic at Noon on the 30th,

A gentle reminder to get out and vote.

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.


Sunday, October 24, 2010


Hello Everyone,

For the last month, I have been judging contest entries for my local RWA chapter. Three times a year, I judge in contests. Soon, I'll be judging the Golden Heart contest, which will be coming up soon. It's the most prestigious contest for unpublished writers along with the Rita's contest for published authors. Both are contests offered by RWA, Romance Writer's of America, an organization with over ten thousand members world wide.

Judging is a job that takes time and patience if you are going to do it right. I'm only going to tell you about my local chapter contest (MARA), although, I'm also a member of the Wisconsin chapter. Contest entries send in a manuscript with a synopsis of no more than thirty-five pages. The contest coordinator sends the entries along with a score sheet to our members. I received nine this year because we had 97 entries and all of mine were sent through email to the contest coordinator, so I read mine on the computer.

While reading the manuscript, I make comments directly in the content of the manuscript using blue font, and I also mark words in yellow if they are overused. Another thing I start marking my score sheet for the different things, I'm looking for, such as beginning hook, pacing, characterization, emotion, dialogue, narrative, action, and how they pertain to the characters and story.

Every item on the score sheet may receive a score of one to five (1-5) with a possible total point score of 250, which I didn't give this year. There were a couple who came close, and they may very well be finalists in our contest. I hope so anyway. When I judge entries I'm routing for them all the way, and I am so sad when they can't make it.

After reading, commenting and scoring our entries, we write a one to two page critique for the author. In this instance, I pick the biggest problems (two or three at most) to write about. I like to give examples how to correct these trouble areas if I feel this will help the entrant understand what I'm telling them. The reason I do this is because reading the terminology is not always enough for beginning writers.

Most of all, we encourage these budding authors to continue writing and learning their craft. It takes time to learn even the basics. Even published authors continue learning more of their craft.

To all those authors out there who aren't published yet I have three words to say to you: Don't Give Up.

Until next Sunday, have a great week.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Name Stephen

Hi Everyone,

Today, we are going to have a bit of fun. I'm going to tell you all about the name, Stephen. lol You might wonder why I picked this name. Well, it's because every Sunday when I send out a message about my blog I find more first names of Stephen for men in my addresses than any other male name.

Stephen comes from the Greek word 'stephanos', meaning 'garland; crown'. Stephen is also the name of the first Christian Martyr whose feast is celebrated on December 26th. Namesakes include Stephen Fry (comedian), Stephen Hawking (physicist), Stephen King (author).

In my dictionary it says Stephen ca 1097 - 1154 king of England (1135 - 54), so I'm not sure just how far the name Stephen goes back. It is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, book of Acts that St. Steven died a martyr.

Do you have a Stephen in your life? Do you like the name Stephen for a male name? Do you think Stephen represents a hero in your life? Is he handsome, strong and tender; a take charge kind of guy?

Tell me about your Stephen. I have known Stephen's, Steve's of all types. Some are dark-haired and brown-eyed, and others were blond and blue-eyed. All were great guys, but I don't have a Stephen in my family, so tell me about yours.

Have a great week until next Sunday.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hi Everyone,

I know, you're saying she wrote about ovarian cancer last month and now breast cancer. This is serious folks, and I intend to write about it. The Big C has been around a long time, and it's way past time to eradicate it. The whole shebang, all of the different kinds of cancer should be erased from our lives.

Why can't the researchers find a way to prevent cancer then they won't have to find ways to treat people once they have the Big C. Preventive measures should be developed as well as ways to kill the cancer after it's in your body. I know the researchers have come a long way, but isn't there a way to remove a cancer gene from our bodies stopping the chance of cancer? Obviously not since in my research I found nothing. They say diet is important in preventing cancer. Oh, and if you're overweight you're a candidate for breast cancer. Bummer! I've gained a lot of weight.

This is one disease that I want eradicated more than any other. I have had so many friends and family members suffer from these diseases that I'm just sick of it. There is no rhyme or reason to why a person may get breast cancer or any other cancer. Most times there isn't a family history of cancer, although the risk is even greater if you have a history of cancer in your family. Then again, many people with a history never get cancer. It's no wonder the research community is stymied.

Thank you for listening to my rant on this subject. For all of you who are battling breast cancer, I pray a cure is found in time for you, or that you will go into remission without fear of it returning.

Until next Sunday, have a great week.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

What Do You Want In an eReader?

Hello Everyone,

Do you know what you want in an eReader? I don't have one yet, but I do know what I want.

My eReader is for reading only. I don't want to do anything else but read with my eReader. When I read it's escape time. I don't want an Ipad where I can get the news, internet, music, email, etc. Leave me alone, I want to read. Do you understand?

Something else I want is an eReader for under a hundred dollars or less (preferably around $50.00) with wonderful formatting that will not mess up when it's downloaded. I don't want the battery to die and take away all the books I paid good money for when I bought and downloaded them.

Next, I want an eReader where I can buy my books anywhere I want to. I don't want Kindle because I have to buy all my books at Amazon. I don't want a Sony where I have to buy a book at the Sony store, and I don't want a Nook, so I must buy books at B&N. I don't want my choice taken away from me. I want to go anywhere to buy a novel. It's my right.

Okay folks, what do you want?

Until next Sunday, have a great week.