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Weirdness on a Tuesday

On the list of weird things in my life, this appeared on my arm yesterday.


I didn’t notice anything at first except that my left arm itched just above my wrist. It started to swell a little, so I assumed it was a bug bite. It is summertime, after all and the mosquitoes love me. (revenge for my close relationship with Dragonflies, I’m sure.) It burned a bit after I scratched it, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why the inside stayed white while the rest was red. Nevertheless, I put some Benadryl gel on it and went about my day.

The white center was just bizarre. I checked pictures of “bulls eye” rashes from tick bites online. Nope, it wasn’t that. The center appeared almost cross shaped.
Perhaps a priest snuck into my bedroom and tried to exorcise me! (I say “me” because clearly I am the demon in charge.) Well, that didn’t work.

click here to see exorcism

Finally, it occurred to me that the mark looked like a burn more than a bite, and rather like a phillips head screw.

Sure enough, I found the source, right on the curling iron I use every day in a vain attempt to add some body to my poker straight hair. (This is especially futile during humid summer days.)

I have no idea how my left arm came in contact with this part of my curling iron, or why I didn’t notice it at the time. Nevertheless, I am labeling this mystery “solved,” though if anyone asks, I’m still blaming a failed exorcism.



October Giveaways

Hi everyone!

In honor of my favorite month, October, and favorite holiday, Halloween, I’ll be giving away five Odonata gift packs this month.

What’s an Odonata gift pack? It’s a signed paperback copy of Odonata: City of Night, a piece of LUSH Karma soap, candy “Odonata blood,”  candy “Vampire ashes,” and two vampire bite temporary tattoos. I’ll ship everywhere, including overseas.

How does one enter to win a gift pack? Go to the Facebook page, Jessica Zellman — Novelist and comment on that week’s discussion post. Comment as many times as you like for a better chance of winning. I’ll do a random drawing at the end of each week in October for a winner.

Not on Facebook? Contact me at to be entered in the drawings.

Happy October and good luck!



Book Review Stephen King 11/22/63

Disclaimer: I am a total Stephen King fan girl. Not to the point where I believe he can do no wrong, but I have read (and enjoyed) most of his work. If a new Stephen King book comes out, I’m going to buy it. I’ll read it and enjoy it and be inspired to get to work on my own writing. Mr. King has inspired me since the first time I read one of his author’s notes.

Spoiler alert!!! I don’t say anything here that wasn’t spelled out in any review or interview, but if you really want to take this ride with no idea of what’s ahead, don’t read this post.


11/22/63 is King’s latest work, about a man, Jake, who finds a time portal which takes him back to 1958. He goes, with a list of things to change, most importantly, the Kennedy assassination. On the way, he visits a town in Maine familiar to any Stephen King fan.  There are bumps in the road, lots of them, bullies who (as usual in the Kingiverse) get what they justly deserve, and good people who find pain and trouble, because that’s the way life is. A lot can, and does happen between 1958 and 1963. It would be hard not to make a life in that time, to develop relationships. Just supporting oneself can be a challenge, especially with no work history before say, 1980. 

In order for this story to work, you have to agree with the lone gunman theory. I don’t. But in the interest of reading pleasure, I suspended my disbelief for a while.

Mr. King paints Oswald as a sneaky, disillusioned loser who killed President Kennedy so that he would finally be recognized as… what? Someone important? Then the plan was to immigrate to Cuba. We sympathize with Marina Oswald, brought to America to live in squalid conditions. King shows us the people from that time, the good, the bad and definitely the ugly. It’s quite a ride. He knows we’ll follow because he knows what we expect. It’s a common belief that if John Kennedy had lived, the Viet Nam war would’ve never happened. Bobby Kennedy would’ve lived, and probably Martin Luther King Jr. as well. What a different world it would be! We imagine the best.

Stephen King, being who he is, imagines the worst. Our hero Jake returns to the present, but it’s a nightmare. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did. And this is where my literary hero loses me. I can buy the world not achieving the utopia we imagine. I can believe the space time continuum if you will, would start to crumble under all those drastic changes. It is a supernatural story after all. There will be supernatural consequences. However, I can’t believe that humanity would rip itself apart the way King says it did in the alternate time line. He goes too far.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I was emotionally invested in all of the players and stayed up late several nights just to read what happened next. King waxes poetic on occasion, sounding a bit like one of my other literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut.  Here’s my favorite bit:

“For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens you see that the world is barely there at all. Don’t we all secretly know this? It’s a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes pretending to be wheels and cogs, a dreamclock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life. Behind it? Below it and around it? Chaos, storms. Men with hammers, men with knives, men with guns. Women who twist what they cannot dominate and belittle what they cannot understand. A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark.”  — Stephen King


4 stars out of 5


But, baby, it’s COLD outside.

The first time I heard that song, it was a duet between Christopher Reeve and Miss Piggy, but that is another subject for another blog.  🙂

Been in any clothing stores lately? Let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.

I’m switching day jobs. For the first time in nearly seven years, I can’t wear jeans to work anymore. So I’m shopping for office wear, nothing too fancy, just the ever elusive “business casual” standard. Just one problem, the stores are flooded with the “new spring lines” as in short sleeves and pastel tank tops. Personally, I don’t wear pastels. Besides that, IT’S JANUARY!!! Winter has only just begun. There’s even snow (i.e. evil white stuff) in the forecast for this weekend. Target has their swimwear out! SWIMWEAR! I can deal with a hint of spring fashion to remind everyone that these cold gray days are not going to last forever, but hauling out the bikinis is taking it way too far.

Is it too much to ask that stores carry season appropriate clothing at least through the first half of the season? Should it be this difficult to find warm sweaters in early winter? Really?!? Do I have to buy my winter clothes in July? What if my size changes between this, the couch potato season and the later warm active time of year? Am I the only person totally frustrated by retail manipulation?

Sound off, people. I have to go knit a sweater now. I wonder if I’ll be able to find heavy yarn in the craft store. Sigh.