I belong to a writer’s research group on Yahoo, hosted by the fabulous Rayne Hall (I reviewed her book here). Even when I don’t have an open question for the group, or the topic isn’t one I can contribute knowledge to, I still read the posts. That’s how I came across the following story, courtesy of Pedar Bloom.
An author had asked about details concerning rat hunting, and Pedar posted a true tale so amazing that I repeatedly pulled it up on my smart phone and read it to people. Everyone loved it. Thanks Pedar, for letting me share:
Imagine thousands of these. . .
“My wife’s cousins used to hunt rats for bounty. Their city had a problem with
rats in the sewers and paid per rat killed. They were given access to the sewer
system, vests, hard hats like miners wear with a flash light in them, and were
otherwise expected to bring their own gear.
The first time they went they brought 22 caliber repeating rifles. They entered
at the access point. The access point was about two blocks from where the big
rat colony was, and was used because it gave the hunters a way in and out away from
the main colony. They could hear the rats down the pipe even two blocks
away. Continue reading →
I love books. When I was little, the book-of-the-month club was not enough. I practically lived at my library, I borrowed books from the school. And when I was around 12, I started working my way through the hundreds of books on my parent’s book shelves. Which weren’t always age appropriate. While my peers were sneaking peeks at Judy Blume, I was wide eyed over Sons and Lovers, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. One day I found a whole new stash, hidden away in the basement next to the how-to electrical and plumbing books. I spent a lot of time in the basement from that point forward. Continue reading →
My second Book-On-The-Beach this summer was Matriculated Death by Maryanne Wells and Naomi O’Connors.
You’d expect to see vampires and zombies at a law school, right? Ghosts too? I mean, all that student ambition fueled by excessive caffeine and jumped into overdrive by sleep deprivation is bound to create a breeding ground for the paranormal. It’s true. Maryanne and her friends have more to contend with than impossible research assignments and finals. The second floor of the library his haunted at this Texas law school, and Dean is not what he seems. Luckily for the students, neither is Maryanne. Continue reading →
(Winner of Swiss Film Prize for Best Film of 2007)
Vitus (played in part by piano virtuoso Teo Gheorghiu) is a child genius whose life is carefully guided along by his loving, but ambitious parents. He chafes under the regimented schedule by sassing his teachers and occasional displays of stubborn independence. One by one, his world is narrowed and choices taken away. His teenage babysitter, whom he secretly loves, is dismissed. His beloved piano teacher is replaced by a more fitting one. The only relief that remains is the time he spends with his Grandfather, carving boomerangs, making model airplanes, and discussing a dizzying array of life choices that Vitus finds outside his reach. As the pressure grows, Vitus makes a dramatic choice, launching himself off his balcony with play wings to land crumpled on the courtyard below. His injuries are minor, but he has lost his genius and testing reveals he is “normal”. As his parents struggle to come to terms with the change in their son’s prospects, Vitus’ grandfather discovers the truth. It’s at his home that Vitus can truly be himself, playing the piano and amassing a stock market fortune in his grandfather’s name. Will Vitus be able to live both worlds? Can he break free of his parent’s expectations and pursue the life he wants?
This is an amazing film, showcasing not only how parental excitement over the possible future of their children can blind them to their real needs, but how kids are kids. Vitus stubbornly refuses to play for the exalted piano teacher his mother has worked so hard to provide an interview with. He argues against taking his exams at such a young age, not wanting to be thrust in with kids twice his age. He wants to connect with other children, make friends, have an unrequited crush on his teenage babysitter. Just like everyone else. Is it sad that Vitus sabotages what could have been a stellar piano career? Not really. He loves piano, gets great joy out of his music. Sometimes living up to your potential is another person’s dream, not yours. And that is probably the hardest thing for us parents to realize.
There was a lively (and somewhat heated) discussion on Twitter this past week concerning vampires and their choice of food. The discussion took an abrupt turn when I opinioned that blood was probably a better source of life-essence then, say, toenails. And down the rabbit hole we went, my Twitter friends and I, conjecturing on what toenails could possibly contribute to the nutritional requirements of vampires and how a writer could spin this into a story. The whole thing ended with a tie:
An erotic short of vampires and their need to nibble on toes.
A horror short of vampires consuming a human’s life essence by eating their toenails.
Sophisticated vampires might use these. Others may have a more primitive extraction method.