Daily Archives: February 27, 2017

A Little Right Of Center

Daily Prompt – Center My mother used to call people who had emotional problems “a little left of center”. She wasn’t trying to be mean, it was just her way of acknowledging they were different. I think the fact that … Continue reading

Syrian Actor Jamal Soliman Makes a Plea for Democracy: It Is a Culture, a Way of Life, Not a Magic Solution | MEMRI – The Middle East Media Research Institute


It isn’t often that we hear from actual Syrians about their own perspective on the destabilization of the Arab world.  Western news agencies and Western politicians are all too eager to feed us their simplistic opinions clothed as “fact,”  ignoring the perceptions and lived experience of those who actually live there.

Mr. Soliman brings a fresh pair of eyes to the problems that not only the Western world faces, but indeed the actual people who live in the region.

The ethnocentric blindness of Americans assumes that everyone, everywhere must needs adopt democracy and democratic values.  As Mr Soliman so succinctly puts it, democracy is a product of culture, a way of life.  What he doesn’t say is that many cultures are not even compatible with democracy.  We have seen some horrible disasters (think Afghanistan) when the “Democratic World” has attempted to impose democracy on a culture that is living in the 7th Century.  It doesn’t work.

Certainly it must be possible for the Arab regimes to abandon such atrocities as torture, honor killings, and extreme “punishments” such as stoning and amputations, without insisting that everyone in the world adopt democracy.

Now I’m Sick…

We got my middle child well only for me to start getting sick on Saturday.  Sore throat and ears to start with, then Sunday the stuffy nose and sinus headache started to hit.  So I’m not feeling just wonderful, but I’m not nearly as sick as my middle child was so I think I don’t have what she did.   It’s a rainy day and I’m not sure I want to get out in it in the state that I am, so I think I will just stay home as much as possible.

The youngest one went on to her dance competition and her troupe garnered some big awards and two invitations to go to New York and dance.  They probably won’t do that since they’re so young.  But it was a big honor to be invited.

I get workshopped this week in my class again.  This time I get feedback not only online but in a conference later this week as well. So that will be interesting experience. I hope to rewrite this piece and send it to Creative Nonfiction for publication and maybe since it will have been worked over so hard it will get selected this time.  It’s not due until June, so I have a long time still to work on it.

I went shopping this weekend and bought lots of blue for my trip to Atlanta and for the residency this summer.  Only three outfits for me and one dress for my daughter, but we got discounts so made out pretty well.  I tried on some Kasper suits but the largest size didn’t fit and they didn’t have the same ones on the plus size side.

Well, I hope everyone ahs a good beginning of the week.  We will all try to get well on this end.  Happy  Monday!


“With Extra Points for Neatness”


“Hello from the other side”

Some February fiction for you …

With Extra Points for Neatness

by Sheila North

Margaret Pennyworth was nothing if not direct.

“I’ve decided to deactivate you. I am sorry.”

Her parents had been big on superficial politeness, so the phrase, “I am sorry” was only to be expected. They both knew she didn’t mean it.

“Will you please stop looking at me like that? It’s extremely off putting.”

Margaret shuffled through the paperwork, which she had shoved into the bread bin, the day it arrived. There was no bread in the bin, hadn’t been since Colin died in their marital bed: his beautiful eyes gradually becoming as cold as the rest of his body. Bread was fattening, or so the beings who ran Planet Diet said. On those rare occasions when Margaret reflected on things, she wondered how an alien life form which existed entirely on the waste products of others could know so much about carbs, or, indeed, food.

A small pile of paperwork was rapidly accumulating on the otherwise spotless kitchen floor. Inwardly, Margaret Pennyworth sighed. It really was an excellent housekeeper – and bookkeeper, and cook, and bottle washer. But even the best products have their flaws, and Margaret had had enough.

Item 99462M was everything The Houseboy Company (TM) had claimed: well, almost everything. It was the expression: that fixed smile; even worse, those marble blue eyes. They’d been so different those first 38 years of their 40 year relationship. What had she been thinking of – besides a tidy home – paying for her late husband’s neat-freak mind to be lodged in that metal body, and behind those eyes, oh, those eyes!

“Shall I dust and vac the master bedroom, first?” the flat voice asked, its eyes as cold, and unblinking, as ever.


What do you do with some drunken Cybermen?

Tagged: fiction, flash fiction, sci fi, writing