DebisZoo

Fantasy worlds. Magical inhabitants. Timeless battles between Good and Evil.

Category Archives: Muses on Writing

A Room with a Scream

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When we moved to our idyllic little house in the mountains, I was so happy (still am!). A small slab of mountain behind us, and one across the freeway. Freeway? Yes, the freeway, or at least a small section of road, is visible from our front yard. And our picture window. But when we were viewing the house, we sat inside with the doors and windows closed, and then with the windows open, and we couldn’t hear anything, so we decided that really didn’t matter. We’re still in the beautiful mountains, in our sweet, little village. NOTE: There is also a substation next door, but I’ve addressed that in an earlier post.

The day comes when we move our furniture from the city to our little cottage in the–yeah, yeah you get it. We now live in the mountains. After an exhausting day of directing the movers where to put what (they don’t follow directions very well so there was a lot more work to do after they left), it’s time to make the bed and fall into it! It’s so quiet, serene, cold… we like it cold. It’s November, in the mount–yes. We open the windows and snuggle under our quilts. The bedroom cat crawls under. She’s like, what the hell? It’s cold out there! NOTE: Anny Catt (bedroom cat) is 4 lbs of terror; she hates everything on earth but hubby, tolerates me, tries to kill our other 5 cats on sight (remember, she weighs 4 lbs) so she lives in our bedroom. One of our cats weighs 18 lbs, another 20, the others aren’t much smaller A fight is not a pretty sight.

So, we’re all fast asleep, when in the middle of the night, coyotes run by. We’re accustomed to that, we had them running through the arroyo behind our old house, howling and freaking out the cats. It’s kind of a cool sound, sometimes it makes the hair on my airs rise, but it so nature! Only these coyotes sound like they’re standing under our window! They are so loud, they wake me up, my heart pounding. They go rushing by, probably running in the dry creek bed behind our house, or alongside the mountain on the other side of the creek. But they go by fairly quickly and me, hubby, and cat soon so back to sleep.

And then it happens. A ghastly scream breaks the dawn. We both fly up. Cat runs further under the quilts, growling. Silence, then another scream, and another. Dear God, is someone killing someone in our backyard? Hubby runs to the window and slams it shut. No dear, you can’t make the killer go away by shutting a window. By the time he gets to the other window, the next scream ends with a tiny, doodle-doo… Another scream-doodle-doo. It’s a freaking rooster. It sounds like a woman being stabbed to death! I swear!

“Why aren’t the damned coyotes eating that thing?” I demand blearily. “Is that what they’re doing down here, hunting for it?” Can we call animal control? Probably not, we’re living in nature now! Hubby Googles, “how long do roosters live?”

It’s now March and that damned thing wakes us up at dawn nearly every morning, unless we sleep with the windows shut, which we rarely do. Even in the middle of winter, they’re open a crack. Apparently, that’s all the room the sound needs to filter through.

I’m at wits end. I’ve wondered if there’s such a thing as a noise-sensitive floodlight. Or, we can get a screaming goat. You’ve seen them on YouTube. They also sound like a murder victim. If the rooster awakened them, would they scream back? Maybe an airhorn? I don’t know; it’s hard to think rationally at 6 a.m.

So, that’s the view from the bedroom.

In other news regarding the view from my office (substation), we’ve contacted the electric company. The bemused gentleman who came and looked agreed–we need something to put between our house and the eyesore. He wonders why the people who lived here before didn’t do it. I don’t care. I just want to look out my office window and not see an EMP-machine living next door.

It All Began with Groovy

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What, you may or may not ask, launched this tirade? Words are my art, my passion, my fun and games, and so on—I merely wish to have it know that I love words. Etymology, anagrams, puzzles, the twisting and turning of a phrase, I love anything that conveys my thoughts to your brain.

But in loving words, it is therefore logical there are words that I hate. And as the titles conveys, it all started when I was a teen and heard the word groovy. From the moment it left those long-forgotten lips, I loathed it. It was silly, grating, and meaningless. Through the years, I met other words I hated with equal fervor, for example: awesome, dude, bro (and the lesser-known brohoe), and it is what it is. What does that even mean?

I actually have a personal Word Hate List (WHL) that started long before dope was a good thing. There were a few words that made the list through the years: fuzz, dig it, the projects, and prolly, although I do sometimes use that one in emails. But only with my sibs *snrk*, I thought I’d sneak that in.

Unfortunately, in the last decade my WHL has grown tremendously. Where in the name of all that is holy did words like cray-cray, stay-cay, and vay-cay come from? Are people so lazy they can’t even finish saying a word? (Case in point—I am having a fight with autocorrect just to keep those words on my screen!) I managed to survive the YEETs and the YOLOs, and of course, the Lol, Lmao, Lmfao, Rofl, AND Roflmfao, never having actually done any of those things, well, except maybe the first two. I’ve seen wut/wat written, not as slang in dialogue such as in a novel, but as a question asking for clarification.

But at last, we reach the event that brought about this lighthearted communiqué. I truly thought I had reached the pinnacle of word hatred. Until I opened an email from a book club and I was hit in the face with V-Card. I stared at it. In the context of what I was reading, it could mean only one thing. My forehead wrinkled in distress. Nooo, I moaned. Please, let it be one horrible incident, but no, suddenly it was everywhere in the description of books, from the subplot all the way to the actual plot line. I started seeing it in other places, especially regarding Young Adult (YA) chatrooms. The phrase waves its unsavory presence ubiquitously–in comics and in amusing, upbeat novels, as well as more serious writings, all aimed primarily at a YA audience. If I need to get down from my soapbox and explain to you why I find V-Card objectionable, then you and I will never understand each other.

Before I go, in fairness, there is one fairly new word that I’ve seen lately that I enjoy, and that is “karen.” It’s not so much a word as a description. Look it up on Reddit and prepare to be entertained. I have intentionally left my loathsome words undefined. I understand there are Urban Dictionaries out there on the Internet somewhere, which you are free to locate and use. Have fun.

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