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[sticky post] Welcome to Wonderland

In one way or another, I have kept a journal since age 12. I've kept an online journal called Musings since late 2002. My topics range from things that happen in my daily life to my thoughts on pop culture to my ponderings about everything from dreams to the secret thoughts of pets. In November 2007, I began mirroring it here, although I often included extras to this version, such as memes and quizzes. In February 2010, I stopped updating the original journal on my home page and instead started a writing journal there.

For some insight into who I am, read Intro to Alyce. For a guide to the many nicknames I use in my online journal, check out Who's Who in Musings.

The beautiful, sweet dog in one of my icons is Una, my best friend and nurse dog for nearly 11 years, who passed away on October 22, 2010. She was my inspiration, and she taught me how to be a better friend and mother; a better person. My son, Kung Fu Panda (KFP for short), benefits from all the caregiving skills I learned in those 11 years. My husband, The Gryphon, probably does, as well!

The goals I established when I first begin an online journal remain the same: this is a way to explore the tangential, the seemingly accidental observations many of us overlook but which may, ultimately, be where all life and all mystery hinges.

Back in Action! LJ Idol

Well, LJ Idol is back to its home on LJ, and I'm happy to announce I'll be participating! 


KFP's New Comic on Minecraft Adventures

Tonight, we posted the first in a new series by KFP, Minecraft Adventures comics. I think that "Game of Thrones" fans might approve of some aspects of it (though trust me, he has no idea what "Game of Thrones" is).



Two More Minecraft Comics

More from my little comic book artist, KFP.



KFP's Latest Comics

KFP has been busy creating new comics. Here are some related to Minecraft.


And two more!



Wild Violet on Aging

This week's Wild Violet contributors examine aging.

Three poems and one short prose piece, perfect for reading on the commute home today!


LJI Second Chance Vote and Other Stuff

First, very importantly, please pop over to LJ Idol's Second Chance poll to read and vote. It closes tonight at 8 p.m., and half of us are being permanently eliminated!


You can use Open ID to sign in and vote with your LiveJournal. As it stands, I am in the bottom half by one vote.

In other suckage -- I mean, news, I am currently actively seeking freelance writing, editing and transcription jobs with the ultimate goal of stepping back from the transcription job I've held for 17 years. The low pay, terrible hours and stressful deadlines gave me enough to deal with, but recently, a new-ish editor has been treating me like dirt (doing things like denying me payment for an entire 12-page transcription file of a half hour of video because I misspelled one name). I've decided that, both for my mental health and for my family's wellbeing, I need to seek other secure funding options. So far, I've identified one job writing product descriptions that is a six-week contract, and I'm applying for lots of other jobs, as well. Wish me luck and let me know if you have any tips. FYI: At this point, I don't want to sign up for anything that involves a cash layout on my end, including any writer's associations.

And finally, I had my first actual car accident since I moved to Philly in 2000. Yes I've found dents in my car before by hit-and-run individuals, but this was an actual fender bender in our apartment parking lot. The damage was minor, but Progressive is treating me the way they'd treat someone with a major wreck, even asking me if everyone in the car was fine and expressing relief when the answer was yes. They will even make the appointment for us to get it fixed at the shop of our choice, and every person I've dealt with has been friendly, even cheerful. That aforementioned editor could learn a lot about how to talk to people from them.

LJI Second Chance: The Garden Path

This is my entry for Second Chance Idol (http://www.therealljidol.dreamwidth.org). This week we get an open topic, meaning we can write about anything. I'll update later when there is a voting link to share.

The Ardennes region of France, a bright green valley with clear-running stream and tiny white buildings.

The Garden Path
(for my mother's mother's mothers)

I am the daughter of Vivian,
who was the daughter of Ella,
who was the daughter of Senora,
who was the daughter of Hannah,
who was the daughter of Cathrina,
who was the daughter of Susanna,
who was the daughter of Anna Margaretha,
who was the daughter of Anna Catherina,
who was the daughter of Veronica,
who was the daughter of Susanna,
who was the daughter of Susannah,
who was the daughter of Rachel,
who was the daughter of Jeanne,
who was the daughter of Jeanne.

And in this way, I unravel our path:
from my hometown in Central Pennsylvania
back through Pennsylvania Coal Country
to Philadelphia
by way of New York City
through The Netherlands
to the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.

My father believes I have a "French nose,"
perhaps a mitochrondrial trait, if I am,
indeed, descended from these French
Huguenots, whose ancient roots
sprung from fertile earth in Picardy,
north of Paris. That green place
birthed Pierre Cresson, gardener
to the Prince of Orange, known as
Pierre le Gardinier. From Picardy, perhaps,
the seed of my mother's green thumb,
her love of botany: documented in the bright
pastels she left behind.

I trace back my matrilineal names:
from me, a Wilson,
daughter of a Starr,
daughter of a Hinkle,
daughter of a Hampton,
daughter of a Yoder,
daughter of a Trautman,
daughter of a Pfeiffer,
daughter of a Muller,
daughter of a Warner,
daughter of a Cassell,
daughter of a DeLaPlaine,
daughter of a Cresson,
daughter of a Clauss,
daughter of a Famelar,
daughter of a Colle.
If the work of my supposed cousins
holds, I am lucky to connect
these points along a circuitous path, from
my 2019 all the way to 1572. Now,
I unfold this rough map, sketched
by others, and examine all stopping points.
So far, success: two certain links
between Hannah and Cathrina,
my second and third great-grandmothers.
Now to suss out Susannah. With that
established, the pathway will root
in records and documents, thanks to
Pierre Le Gardinier.

As I weed the path from Cathrina
to Susannah, I wonder what we share.
The way we bite our lips in thought?
Our clear-eyed ability
to evaluate those around us? Powers
of perception, elevated or earthly?
My mother's bright blue eyes,
my Nana's hazel laughter,
great-grandmother's stoic stare,
great-great-grandmother's poise.
So different, all of them, but I see
the thread unwinding. I long
to tell our stories, the oft-forgotten
others of history books. From "wife of"
to mother, grandmother, matriarch.

My Matrilineal Line
My matrilineal line: me; my mother, Vivian Starr; my Nana, Ella Hinkle; my great-grandmother, Senora Hampton; and my 2x great-grandmother, Hannah Yoder

LJI Second Chance: April Shade

This is my entry for LJ Idol's Second Chance competition (https://therealljidol.dreamwidth.org) for eliminated contestants to earn a spot back in the competition. The topic this week is "Shade." I'll update when there is a voting link.

Bare Tree with Shadow Limbs


Spring sun shadows through bare branches
fascinate me. Again and again, I feel
compelled to photograph the way those crooked
lines stretch across the grass, dark mirrors. Blackness
crisscrosses latent green, undulates.
The grass awash in ripples, dappled grays and fading
charcoal. Glimpsed from a distance, these lines mimic
root systems stretching underneath: that two-brushed
flare of living trees, stretching above and below.

At that moment, when the world lies
dormant, I feel more sharply
the life that suffuses.

ETA: As promised, here is the link to the poll: https://therealljidol.dreamwidth.org/1030373.html. Four people will be eliminated from Second Chance this week!

Wild Violet Returns from Hiatus

As part of my New Year's resolution to stop sucking, I've brought Wild Violet back from its lengthy hiatus.

Enjoy our first issue in (mumble) months!


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