Tag: 2019 October Group Writing

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Just Judge

 

Queen Elizabeth once famously referred to 1992 as the annus horribilis, one upon which “[she would] not look back with undiluted pleasure.” Among other calamities, it was the year of Andrew and Fergie’s separation, of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips’s divorce, of explosive revelations which set the already on-the-rocks marriage of Charles and Lady Diana hurtling towards the ash-heap of history, and to top it all off, the year that Windsor Castle burned down.

Right about now, I’m trending (see how woke I am?) in that direction with regard to my feelings about 2019. Not sure that the magnitude of disasters that have beset the denizens of Chez She are of monarchical or even royal proportions, but there has been one, after another, after another, and it will live in my memory as, if not the annus horribilest of my life, probably one of the top five.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trick or Treat: The Art Thief and the Wild Swordsman

 

Are your dreams tricks your sleeping brain plays on you? Or are they treats? Mine are usually treats. They are cinematic extravaganzas. In fact, I am not always in my dreams, and sometimes famous actors are, even if I have no idea who they are at the time and only recognize them later. Or, there was the time after James Gandolfini’s death where I saw him playing the romantic lead in a RomCom dream. Sure, my dreams don’t always make perfect sense, but they are far better than the dreams I hear other people tell about where they are late to a test for which they haven’t studied and they happen to realize they are naked. Those other people’s dreams are definitely tricks. If that is the sort of dream you have, it’s time to sit back and read about another type of dream.

My first realization in this dream found me standing in a 1920s style convertible. It was the type where the opened roof was opened all the way back to the end of the car since, in those days, the trunk was literally a piece of luggage that one tied to a luggage rack on the back of the vehicle. The convertible was bright yellow. It was a larger car with perhaps as many as three banks of seats. At the very least, it was what would have been called a seven-passenger touring car. It was also moving. My middle brother was driving.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Chicago Trick or a Autumn Treat

 

How do I spend my Halloween? With Autumn (name changed to protect the guilty), my good friend and all-but-adopted little sister. She is married and an RN, but she likes to joke about being “perpetually 11.” Autumn is what happens when a tomboy stays a tomboy without crazy parents or society interfering. She likes fireworks, amateur bartending (I always get a gin and tonic when there), heavy metal, and talking about politics. Lest you think anything untoward is going on, she is a conservative Catholic married to a conservative Catholic convert with an ample firearms collection. (We were in College Republicans together.) Autumn is affectionate with all her friends, which is awesome, and also loves to dress up for Halloween.

Visiting Autumn’s old place for Halloween is an experience in and of itself. Her parents have a house that is already partway to haunted, and the decorations make the ancient bungalow look positively spooky. Her Mom is a blast and an awesome host, and Autumn is an incredible extrovert and organizer, so the party is always fun, with all kinds of guests. Autumn’s Dad, well, he makes Archie Bunker look like a woke hipster. Getting into politics with him can be either amusing or result in a barrage of invective. The guests are from all over the social/political spectrum – Autumn has maxed-out charisma – so the party would be fun regardless of what we did.

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Squeak! The mouse ran up the clock and back down. “Oh my goodness!” Wanda Witch yelped. “It’s already one o’clock! I wish it didn’t take me so long to put this face on.” More

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Member Post

 

Alex ran down the stairs, despite his Boswell warning he was exceeding safe velocities. Metal clanged under his shoes as he passed the patch-up job near the exit. No stopping me now.  He all but leapt out the door, where the fading light cast his long shadow over the school. He caught his breath outside, […]

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Member Post

 

Weird outfits, spooky decorations, scary movies – none of these affect me the way that music does. I’ve always loved this time of year for the All Hallows’ Eve music, and could hardly wait to pop my mixtape of creepy tunes into the cassette deck. And there is a lot of it, lurking in the […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Pumpkin Chucking

 

If you would enjoy some October entertainment that isn’t geared toward cheap horror or sugar highs, have I got a treat for you. It’s a little book of poetry called Pumpkin Chucking, by Stephen Scaer (Able Muse Press, 2013. You can get it here.)

I don’t remember how I ran across this wonderful volume, but according to my Amazon account I bought it in March of 2014. I read it in one sitting, which is not usual for me when it comes to poetry.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Uncle’s Trick or Treat

 

Did you know there’s a beautiful orchid called Trick or Treat? There are several different types, but they mostly have one thing in common: they have the bright Halloween orange. And my first sight of one was at my uncle’s home.

Uncle Al had raised orchids for many years. He had a greenhouse at his home in Massachusetts, but when he moved to Florida, he didn’t require a greenhouse. By the time we followed my aunt and uncle to Florida, he had over 100 orchid plants. And I wanted to have some of my own.

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Member Post

 

You’ll find my name under the Wimp Column when it comes to scary movies. I had to turn one off recently about the Ouija Board after ten minutes. My friend had one growing up and I swear we didn’t move it on purpose. We learned that it was a portal to bad spirits and her […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trick or Treat: A Conversation with a Young Man

 

I happened to fall into conversation with a young veterans’ organization member, who turned out to also be eligible for the veteran’s organization to which I belong, due to service in Korea. My outfit needs more fresh blood, so I had an ulterior motive to sit and listen, just prompting him for more of his thoughts. It was a treat to hear a well-spoken young man’s perspective on his own life, work, and service. The trick, really the pleasant surprise, was to then find an amazing breadth and depth to this fellow veteran, who I took from the conversation to be in his mid-20s.

That places him on the cusp between Millennials and Gen-Z. Folks, he was none of the negative stereotypes routinely riffed about his age cohort. He started on active duty, then (fairly recently) transitioned to a reserve component. He was highly focused on leveraging the mutually reinforcing training, certifications, and experience of his civilian and military careers. He had mapped out paths of advancement in both, taking advantage of the commonality in the two technical occupations. Oh, and he had not even needed college to get on this path, but already had thought through the evening/weekend/online schooling that would punch his ticket to the top of his chosen field in both the military and civilian life.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

We have a lucky seven days open for this month. I have not yet rolled out bears or outhouses as part of October’s theme: “Trick or Treat!” Do your part to keep it that way! Treat yourself and your friends to a post, nothing tricky about it. Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits. The clock […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Amazon Video’s Halloween Movie Recommendations: Trick-or-Treat!

 

Hey, Ricochet! I’m in the mood to watch a Halloween movie. Anyone want to watch one with me? You do? Yay! Let’s go over to Amazon’s Prime Video page and pick one out. I hear they have a lot of movies to choose from.

Whoa! Look at all those movies! How in the world are we going to find the Halloween ones? Wait a minute; I think I found them! If you scroll down, you’ll find a row called “Halloween Collection.” I bet we can find something to watch there. Don’t know why they didn’t put it closer to the top of the page, given the month we’re in – but oh well. We found it. Let’s see what they recommend.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Earlier posts this month broached the subject of Halloween loot. The question before us now is: what is the best and worst of Halloween loot, present or past. Herein, a few candidates for your consideration. Back in the early 70s there was a brief movement towards healthy alternatives to candy. Hence apples. But then the […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: One Man’s Treat to Me Made My Life Complete

 

I woke up on the bus. It was silent, unmoving. I was right across from the driver’s seat, so I had an unobstructed view out the windshield. I was not looking out on the expected scene of night streets of New York City. I felt a moment of dread. I must have fallen asleep and slept past my stop, and now I appeared to be in a parking garage.

It was a Friday evening, and I had had conflicting social obligations in different boroughs. One group of friends on the Upper East Side was hosting several Japanese friends whom I hadn’t seen in a year or two, and there was no way I could miss that party. The other party was a house-warmer for my former roommate, who had just moved into her own apartment near mine in the Bronx. I felt obliged to be there as well. The Express Bus was my answer: a more expensive alternative to the subway, but much safer, and a direct ride from the UES to my neighborhood in the Bronx; no train switching, no riding with weirdos in the night. Since my grandmother lived in a nursing home in the UES, I took the Express Bus at least once a week after visiting her, so I knew how great it was.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Folks, you know me by now. I am perfectly ready, willing, and able to descend to outhouse humor, of a sort. My notion of an amusing story can be downright un-bearable! If Friday’s musical entry was more trick than treat to you, consider that I am perfectly capable of putting on my platform shoes and […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

After looking up a piece by the Guckenheimer Sour Sauer Kraut Band,* remedying an oversight in my “Colorful Korean Meal” musings, I happened upon this first item, since I had in mind the link between kimchi and sauerkraut: More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trick or Treat

 

“Ah! It’s you! My friend Al told me you might be coming. Al is his name, you know? Do you speak English? Well, Al isn’t really his name. It’s what we call a diminutive. Can you say diminutive? His real name might be Alan or Allen or perhaps Albert. Well, it could be a lot of things. We have a lot of names that we cut down to ‘Al.’ There are also Alfred, Aloysius, Albin, Alphonse. Hmph! It could even be short for Alexander, although normally that would be shortened to Alex. Or Alec. Or Xander. Or even Sandy. I had a friend who went by Sandy, although his real name was Alessandro. That’s the Italian version of Alexander. It means the protector of man. Alexander means that, that is. Well, so does Alessandro. And even Alejandro, which is a Spanish version of the name. They all have the same meanings.

“But not Aloysius. That was originally a German name: Chlodovech. Means ‘Famous in War.’ Which the most famous Alexander was. Of course, he wasn’t named that. But Chlodovech became several other names over time, such as Ludwig, Luigi, and Louis. One version of Louis became Alois, and that was Latinized to Aloysius. Latinized means that someone tried to make the name sound as if it were Latin, as if some old Roman had been named Louis.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, managed by @vectorman. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with […]

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