Sometimes there's too few, other times far too many. Hopefully these words are just the right amount.

Everyone needs one of these.


Preferably two...each with a different view.


And a place to stop and rest.

London, England

Have a cup of tea...or something stronger.


Remember to keep your

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

and don't abuse them.

Enjoy a bit of Magick...

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

And Spirit along your way.

Princes Street, Edinburgh

Maybe learn a bit of Latin,

"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit" is the motto of The Order of the Thistle and the Scottish Regiments of the British Army. This is written at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle. It means "No One Attacks Me With Impunity."

But don't forget how to have your

Jollie's Close, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Once in a while it's okay to be immature, especially if you can't help it.


Always play like a child.

Do what you love. Follow your path to your very own tune. Come on, don't be a



Up ‘til noon, back up again at sundown. Or is that the other way around? Just breathe.

Hesitantly her hands reached out to grasp the ledge of earth above her head and then focusing her strength, pulled herself from out of the hole. It's bright up here. The sunlight made her gasp and squeeze her eyes shut. Sunlight is a powerful thing. She’d forgotten how brilliant and warm it is. She sat there a moment on the ledge, her feet still dangling into the hole she’d just struggled from and trying to decide: open her eyes or keep them closed, go back into her oubliette, stay right here, or move forward. Decisions like these should not be made lightly. It took her so long to escape, what difference could another day or two or three make? Besides, it's not so bad sitting right here…
~ IK

It was much pleasanter at home, when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits.
~ Alice (and my sentiments exactly)

Do I have an excuse for not writing a blog post in (ahem) over a month? Ye-gads, of course I do! After all, I am part human and we humans excel at making (up) excuses: “I’m not feeling well,” “My hands hurt,” “I don’t really have anything to say,  A white rabbit keeps asking me to go with him to Wonderland” and my personal favorite, “I’m too busy working to write a post.” Are those the best I can come up with? Well, yeah. I could say I was abducted by aliens, but that would  merely be a vacation for me and therefore, not a very good excuse. And if we’re going to make (up) excuses, I say “good” isn’t good enough. Make them “very” good.

So, what is it about working that makes me forget about everything else? I have been writing, by the way. I’ve come up with all sorts of weird little tales (as is my wont) but I don’t post those to this blog. This blog was supposed to be about me. In a way. Kind of. Sort of. “Me,” is not my favorite topic, you see. There are just so many far more interesting topics out there (and in here). So yeah, I’ve been writing, just not about me. Yay for me.

Side note: The truth is, I almost wonder (weird expression, eh? How can I “almost” wonder, I wonder?) if blogging stops us writers from writing. Okay, I realize how that sounds. Bear with me a moment, folks. Does blogging keep us busy writing so we don’t feel guilty about not writing? Yes, blogging is writing. But is it the writing that we set out to write? Maybe. Sometimes. This is actually a question we have to answer individually, isn’t it? Crap. There isn’t a Universal Answer, is there? Crap. Crap.

I always think of myself as a Storyteller. Stories are easy and they’re everywhere. Basically, I can’t shut the Storytelling thing off. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m a big, fat liar. My stories aren’t close enough to reality to be confused with lies.

Storytelling is simply a twenty-four/seven thing, man. Anything and everything has at least one story, and most often several. And I’ve been telling them before I was even able to scribble, since about the age of five. By the way, stuffed animals make a great audience. They don’t interrupt and they always laugh in the right places. They're also incredibly patient and best of all, they reserve their judgment. 

When I’m not performing for a room of stuffed animals, then I’m scribbling the stories down or perhaps doodling a few pictures. Stuffed animals possess many wonderful qualities (see above paragraph), but a vivid imagination isn’t one of them (lucky them). So, it helps if you can show them a picture or two while you tell them a story. If I could stop there, that would be awesome. But damn-it, it doesn’t stop there. ‘Cos there’s eating, sleeping, general housework (dusting stuffed animals), socializing, white rabbits that must be followed to their natural conclusions, bills to pay, and a business to crawl (sorry, I can’t say I “run” my business, yet. That’s just too grand a phrase). Oh, and breathing. I really need to remember that one. I forget to breathe constantly. I get air into my lungs most of the time, but that’s really not the same thing as breathing.

Storytelling is not something I take credit for, because I was just born this way. Writing came afterwards. And as most of you know, writing is work. Same thing with doodling. Doodling is fun. Doodling is easy and can be done anywhere: on a bus, a plane, in front of a TV, at the breakfast table, in a meeting (especially in a meeting), inside, outside, right side, left side, upside down. And you can doodle on anything: napkins, paper plates, cheap tablecloths, empty pizza boxes, old tee shirts, your husband’s back while he’s asleep (harder than it sounds), whatever. Drawing is the work part.

Writing and drawing can leave one stiff, exhausted, in pain, exhilarated, and out of breath. Or that’s how these activities often leave me. You’d think I’d been hiking, skiing, rowing (highly unlikely), or all three at once (now that would be interesting).

 “There were no life jackets and as the little boat hit the waves I was beginning to wonder if this was yet another of my not so bright ideas.”

I do remember to come up for air every-so-often, but again, this is not the same thing as breathing. So, where have I been for the last month? In my oubliette without window or door, which is the perfect place for discovering stories, encountering doodles, writing (grrrr), drawing (double grrrr) and much occupied with trying very hard to remember to breathe. Hope your breathing is going very well. 


By any other name...

The rose still smells sweet and its beauty remains regardless of whatever we may call it. In the case of this post, I’m including all flowers. I believe Juliet would approve.

As opposed to “green” my thumb is brown. Decaying, even. Cracking and crumbly. Maybe more of an ashy-gray-brown than merely brown. Nice visual, eh? Just trying to get my point across as firmly as possible. How’s this? Someone once said of me that when I visit a nursery the plants quake in fear that I might actually purchase and take one of them home with me. A death sentence for the plant, to be sure. Not on purpose, mind you. I bear no ill will toward plants of any kind. Mercifully (for the plants sake), I gave up on gardening years ago. Now I stick strictly to taking photos or doodling plants and flowers.

The well-manicured holds little interest for me and my taste runs to wildness or at the very least deliberate unkemptness. As such, rather than receive a flower delivery or cut and arrange them in a vase, I much prefer them in their natural element: growing in gardens (other peoples), waiving delicately from fields, or my favorite springing up unexpectedly by the side of the road and sprouting from cracks in the pavement. I’ve always felt this is Nature’s way of saying “Fu*k you, humans. Think you can restrict me? Hah!” in the nicest and most beautiful way possible. Nature is amazingly resilient and Beauty always finds a way to be expressed in the world. Sadly, ugliness also always manages to have its say, but that’s not what this post is about today.

Due to the sticky, at times unbearable, and generally annoying uncomfortable heat of summer like many others, I’ve taken to hiding indoors. One day I’ll find a lovely cool cave, preferably one located behind a waterfall, and I'll wait out the summer from there, but until then the walls of our home will have to do.

I still take my early (early, early) morning walks; however, the darkness at this time is not brilliant for taking photos. I need to force myself to do things other than (and totally unrelated to) work. Photography generally fills this spot for me. Since the burning sun of summer is not my friend, I’ve been going through and cataloging my prior photo endeavors. A girl has to have some fun, right?

 A couple of years ago my husband and I took a trip to the country he left for me, the UK (I call it the “old country”). For three amazing weeks we traveled by plane, car, bus, train, and foot from London to Edinburgh and quite a few spots in between. I won’t go on and on about it (for now), but I will say that I fell hard for the UK. And ouch, it hurts to be parted from a place that you love so much. Under what (for me) passes as normal circumstances, I take a considerable amount of photos. But in the UK? I went insane(r). If I wasn't stuffing my face with chips or slurping a beer, I pretty much had a camera glued to my face. And because I literally took thousands of images, I’ve been meaning to sit down and catalog them. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, don’t you just love digital? I could have never taken so many photos with good old 35mm film.

I already had the photos sorted into files by date, but I decided that organizing merely by date or even place isn’t interesting enough, so I’m also creating collections by subject matter. Regardless of the tediousness of the process, I am finding it enjoyable sorting through our memories. And you may find it a relief that I'm finally getting back to the subject of this post by saying that below are a few images from my still-in-the-process-of-cataloging Flower Collection. If wherever you happen to be is also too hot to enjoy being out and about, I hope you’ve found some fun ways to occupy yourself indoors during these summer months. 

Hyde Park, London

Hyde Park, London

Leasowe Promenade, the Wirral

Thurstaton, the Wirral

Thurstaton, the Wirral

West Kirby, the Wirral

West Kirby, the Wirral

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle Gardens, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle Gardens, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle Gardens, North Yorkshire

Ripley Castle Gardens, North Yorkshire


Viva La...Something

With the fireworks, cookouts, and various celebrations of American Independence Day just behind us, I find myself looking forward to celebrating Bastille Day on July 14th. I’ve never celebrated Bastille Day before. Why now? I’m just not done celebrating Freedom. I want more. Because the seeking and winning of Freedom, regardless of one’s country of origin, must be encouraged and commemorated above all else. 

Always ready to embrace change and move forward with ease, Marie Snail celebrates both Bastille Day and the American Independence Day with the great enthusiasm and loads of ice cream.

Sometimes I become overwhelmed with everything I want to do and everything that I must do. It is clear to me that I cannot do it all, at least not all at once. What I can do is trust that I am taking the correct steps for the path that I am meant to follow. 

That sounds really enlightened, doesn't it? I'm not quite there, yet. I'm working on it. I opened the doors to my online stores a little over three months ago. Sales are not overwhelming. What I am finding overwhelming are: 
- Marketing-on-a-shoestring, which requires constant vigilance and for me a massive learning curve. 
- Inventory. I create the inventory, which requires many steps: I write it, doodle it, sketch it or photograph it. Then I scan it to my computer. Then I clean it up, add stuff (maybe), change stuff (probably), format it, print it, photograph it, write descriptions, tags, upload it, tweet it, facebook it, pinterest it...then I have to let it go and hope someone will take interest.

Up until six months ago, I had always worked for someone else, doing my best to make their dreams come true. It was never presented to me in such a lofty manner. "Yeah, come work for us and make our dreams come true." Did any of the places I worked at actually ask me to make their "dreams come true"? No. Never in those words. But that's what I took on. Look, this is what I subscribe to: a business shouldn't be just about making money. A business should be about fulfilling your heart's desire. What you do for a living needs be about doing what is in your heart period. Some of us are Healers. Some of us are Teachers. Some of us are Artists, Nurturers, or Storytellers. The form our healing, teaching, art, nurturing, or storytelling manifests is not the point. In fact, it really doesn't matter. If you're a healer you can choose the form of doctor, nurse, therapist, masseuse, witch or shaman. It doesn't matter. You'll still be a healer, regardless. Whatever lies within our heart is who we are and what we must express. Or else…what? Or else we’re freaking unhappy. And unhappy people make for an unhappy world.

With this as my compass and little else but huge-white-hot-gulping fears and major-butterflies-in-my-stomach excitement, I began my very own Quest for Freedom to do the work that lives in my heart. Let the Serious-as-a-Heart-Attack-Doubts begin! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! What a ride this is. I cannot say that I’m enjoying it all. Some of it has sucked. Sucked in ways that I’d never even imagined. And my imagination sits on a lone outpost somewhere beyond Pluto welcoming pretty much anyone and anything to sit and place an order at its Diner O’ Strange & Unexpected.

I’m not kidding about the doubts. The doubts are huge and overwhelming. Way more overwhelming than marketing, finding the right 100% recycled paper and envelopes, setting up an online store, or doodling. Doubts can absolutely kill you, literally and figuratively. I had to come up with a plan on how to deal with the doubts. After trials and many errors (something I proudly admit to excelling in), I’ve come up with this: do it anyway. Really? That’s the best you could come up with, IK?? Yep.

Eventually, what I’m hoping for is that by “doing it anyway” I’ll gain freedom from my jailor, Doubt. I realize the doubts will not go away entirely. I know that there is a reason we have them in the first place, but ultimately, freedom is what we’re meant to experience. That I do believe. We are meant to be free. We are meant to be free to do the work that lives in our hearts. It’s why we’re here. And nothing can truly stop us, except ourselves. So, Viva La...fill in the blank. 

This is how I celebrated the Fourth of July and this is how I’ll celebrate Bastille Day. To honor the lives lost and the sacrifices made in the effort of becoming free, I must battle my own demon doubts with equal bravery, drive, and commitment. 


Here's Some Crazy Talk

I know I've been missing it, so just in case you were craving some Crazy Talk (to be filed under Gibberish, which is located in the Lunacy drawer), I thought I'd better sit down and write a post. 

I think I've been spreading myself too thin. I'm not complaining, it's always good to be busy, but there's busy and then there is Spinning-Top-Mania. Spinning-Top-Mania is not productive. Don't let this happen to you! Although, it's almost certainly already too late. You're probably well-mersed in your own mania of spinning toppidness (when I'm cranky, I make up words. Sue me). We're all of us so busy, busy, busy and mostly we're busy with crapola that we don't even want to do. What the hell??? I'm standing in a line for stuff I don't want again, aren't I? Talk about crazy! Yeah that's all right, I'll have mine with a Side of Buttered Guilt (all the better to shove it down my gullet) and a mess (emphasis on the mess) of Smashed-And-Dashed Feelings. Thank you.

Just what am I trying to say here?? I really haven't a clue. There is way too much going on in this head of mine. And try as I might (really? is that the best you could come up with, IK?) I can't seem to make friends with my brain. So...I'm shutting it off. Yeah, that's right. Shut off the brain and enjoy the bliss...or at least that's the plan. I don't want to dump the poor dear permanently. Just shut it down for a bit. Honestly, my brain is so loud these days that I can't think. And yes, that actually does make sense. Just shut down your brain for a moment and you'll see. Ahhhh yes...much better.

And if all else fails, listen to The Beatles...

And if THAT hasn't solved the issue, here's Mr. Marley...

AND to bring this madness to a full and complete stop (please remain seated on Err Insanity until the captain's light goes on...you could be here awhile), I will leave you with a doodle. Yep. It's another Faery Snail. Hope all is going well in your world(s)...

Her Faery Snailness
Why is it that my snails have better fashion sense than I do? I'm a jeans-and-tee kinda gal. Where do these ball gowns (and wings. let's not forget about the wings) come from? Perhaps it is some sort of deep-rooted desire. Interesting. I don't really want to analyze this, by the way. My semi-functional delusions are far too much fun to risk losing them on some psychiatric couch.


Grayscale Part II – Winning the Battle of the Gray

“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” Oscar Wilde’s theory is that Art sets the tone for how we perceive everything. Without Art, we would not know beauty or despair or be empowered to glean meaning. Through the artist, Art presents us with the achingly beautiful, the depressingly ugly, and meaning. I don’t know if I’m 100% there with Oscar (having spent so many nights with him, I’m fairly certain we’re on a first name basis); however, I do believe that Art of whatever form (painting, photography, writing, humor, sculpture, poetry, music, film, food, whatever) does elevate Life. In the sense that without Art, there is merely existence. I’m not saying we all have to get to a museum more often, although that would not be a bad thing. I am saying that Art is actually everywhere, we just need to temporarily forget about the laundry, those aches and pains, our bank balance, or what’s for supper, and simply open our eyes.

A battery of tests (labs, x-rays, and biopsies oh my) have been run on me. Why do they call it “battery”? Did this all energize me? I think not. Is “battery” meaning battalion? As in the white coats are attacking me with tests? To that I can only say, they’ve thrown pretty much everything they have at me and I’m Still Standing (thank you, Elton) so na na na na.

And throughout it all I’m proud to report that I’ve maintained my F-U attitude with the white coats. As far as I’m concerned medicine and all the bureaucracy that goes with it, is a necessary evil, and perhaps less on the necessary and more on the evil. I don’t feel the same about nurses, by the way. Mostly, I think that’s because nurses generally don’t have that holier-than-thou demeanor and because they get stuck with all the dirty work of traditional medicine.

And what have all the test results told the white coats? Well, they know something’s wrong with me. Seriously? That’s what you get paid for? Stating the obvious?? Okay, they do know that it’s not cancer and that is a very good thing and I am really-truly-no-fooling grateful for that.

Apparently (or not so apparently), I have some sort of connective-tissue-disease-auto-immune-disorder thingy. Why didn’t you say so? If I were Yoda, I might say clear, things are not. The white coats have no idea which disease-disorder thingy my body is expressing at this point. Apparently (no qualification this time), there are a whole lotta these auto-immune thingamajiggies. I have been told that I’m in a “gray area” and until another symptom manifests, they probably won’t be able pinpoint which connective-doohickey is occurring. My advice to the white coats was, “look for the strangest, most obscure of these disorders and there will be a picture of me waiting for you to name it.”

Unfortunately, the white coats did not find my advice helpful. So for now…I’m stuck in this “gray area.” At first this seriously anger-and-frizzle-fried me. All this time has gone by, all these stupid, miserable tests, all that money and they can’t give me a name to associate this with??? And then, like the errant brick that Truth sometimes is, it smacked me in the forehead and I realized how dumb is that? Who cares what label they want to slap onto my whatchmacallit? Will that label cure me? No, it really won’t.

Does being in this “gray area” surprise me? No, it really does not. Gray has always played out a theme in my life and not just with my love of Grayscale Photography. My first novel features a land of gray. My greeting cards are grayscale doodles printed on (100% recycled) gray paper, which by the way took me ages to find. I’ve never been a fan of gold jewelry; I’m a lover of sterling silver. I tend to associate gray with depression, something that I've fought valiantly for most of my life. My finances are certainly more on the gray side than black (and thankfully not red). Philosophically, it has always been the “gray areas” of life that intrigue me far more than the black or white. And give me the lovely, soft light of cloudy overcast over recklessly blaring sunshine any day. Holy Graymoly. Sometimes it takes an illness, difficulty, tragedy, or a drastic change to connect the dots of your life, because we all have such bizarre patterns. But I do believe that we all have a pattern, perhaps several. 

A great deal of my life has been about gray, I just never knew it consciously until now. Upside? Now I can have fun with it. It’s what you don’t know that runs you like some sort robotic marionette. Once you know, you can run it. That may sound like a dubious upside, but not to me.

So, does Life truly imitate Art? Or is it that Art imitates Life? As my husband always says, “a little from column A, a little from column B.”


Woke up with a faux hawk this morning…

Not a really, really faux hawk. It’s just that while sleeping part of my bangs somehow got smooshed (it’s a word) and is now pointing straight up. I keep looking where it’s pointing, but so far, I’ve not seen anything of merit. I’m not saying that this means anything (at least not straight out), but I do find it interesting. It got me to thinking (and you know how dangerous that can be) about a bunch of articles I’ve read recently about what makes a “successful” person. Does a “successful” person wake up with an unintentional faux hawk? The world may never know or at least, I may never know.

Instead of discombobulating myself with thoughts of whether or not I'm a successful person, I decided to doodle. Believe it or not, this is actually progress for me. Hah!

Ms. Swirly-Shell Lady, so damn successful that she just says balls to the faux and goes for the full on mohawk. 


Grayscale – Part I

Desaturation: To remove color from an image. 100% desaturation results in a grayscale image. Notice that it's a "grayscale image" even though we call it Black and White, which is odd considering that "grayscale" is quicker to say and type. I'm not saying that we shouldn't call it “B&W,” I'm just saying that it's odd that we don't say “grayscale.” Another oddity to add to my collection (which is massive…just saying). 

As a lot of photographers will agree there is something very special about black and white photos. Black and white are the essence of photography. When all color except for black and white (and gray, let's not forget the all-important gray) are eliminated, it is never more clear that photography is the art of Shadows and Light

Don't get me wrong, I absodamnlutely love color. Every color. Color is awesome. Stunning. Brilliant. Sensing a "but" is on its way? You got it. Here's the "but:" color is distracting. Yeah. Color adds dimension, but color can also detract from whatever it is you happen to be perceiving. There are small details in shapes that can be missed because color gets in the way. Weird, but true. And this is true of any shape: fruit, flowers, blades of grass, animals, and people. Especially people. There is nothing quite like a black and white portrait. In a strange way, I believe color doesn't really do the human form justice. 

Maybe it's because most of us see in color and we're accustomed to missing the finer details of shapes and when color is eliminated it's astonishing to see what we've missed. I suppose the perception of people who are color blind must be completely different the color sighted. An interesting thought. 

And how flipping fantastic are digital cameras? I used to have to buy black and white film, take the photos, and then hope everything would come out all right in the darkroom. Now, I can set my little camera to “B&W,” which essentially desaturates my view and I can actually see everything in black and white (and gray). How awesome is that? Not to mention the fact that I don't have to go through the hassle of developing the film, making the prints etc. 

How different the world is when seen through a desaturated filter...grayscale is pretty cool. But we all know that it’s the contrast that makes for a great B&W image, not the grays. Too many grays and everything just blends, the image becomes “muddy” and nothing stands out. Not enough contrast and your image is flat, and basically uninteresting. Too much contrast and you can’t see a damn thing. The lights are too bright and shadows too dark.

It’s all about balance, isn’t it? Photography and Life have a lot in common.

Morning light on bedroom wall. I know it's grainy, but I still like it. 

Weird, eh? This bulletin was just laying on the sidewalk. There are signs everywhere.

Me and my husband's feet lazing about on Saturday morning. A bit muddy, but I like the intimacy of this image. I have no idea what's on the TV.

Flowers work in grayscale or color. Nature always works.

P.S. Whether in conversation or writing, it's not like me to blurt things out (except, of course, expletives)...and grayscale doesn't blurt out. Grayscale saunters, meanders, works its way up to whatever. Nice.


Cront Ardead…RIP Edgar Allen Poe

Being that he died in 1849 it could be a bit late for a Eulogy, but then you know the saying, right?

I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.”

I am a woman with a classical bent. Or just bent. Probably both (you can almost hear the snare drum during one of my posts, eh?). In the past, I’ve mentioned a few of my favorite classic literature titles and authors on my blog and will continue to do so in the future. Just try and stop me. Hah!

An old love of mine is getting some recent press due to the film The Raven, starring John Cusack. I fell in love with Mr. Poe at the ripe age of eleven. Yeah, I had weird taste at eleven. In case you haven’t noticed, my taste is even weirder now. While most eleven year old girls were swooning over Donny Osmond, I was devouring Mr. Poe. Gruesome, no?

Years later I became aware of a modern day Goth movement in both music and art…and make-up. People (myself included, for a brief period) who find an odd solace in donning a wardrobe of primarily black, along with heavy black eyeliner, lipstick, and fingernail polish…and I wondered if they knew the man who truly lived Goth (and to my knowledge without the heavy black eyeliner, lipstick, and fingernail polish).

“…All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

How beautiful is A Dream Within a Dream? Achingly so. And here I am not alone, this poem cleaves the heart (notice my use of nineteenth century phrasing?). His hero was Lord Byron and Poe’s earliest writings were indeed poetry. So, a romantic dreamer was Mr. Poe? Uh, well sort of…

Literary critic, Cryptologist, and Cosmologist, he also put his own unique spin on Gothic writing, leaving us with what flavors the genre today.  I think what makes his horror tales so absolutely horrific is that he did not write them as horror…but perhaps more as cautionary tales. Don’t let how someone else views the world upset your applecart to the point that you smoother him in his sleep, cut him up into pieces, and hide the parts under the floorboards. You’ll only end up hearing the incessant beating of your victim’s heart and it will drive you up the wall. If you’re abusive to a cat and then kill your wife, don’t bother to brick up her body in the basement. The cat will only tattle on you. In case you ever wondered what would happen if you do these things, Mr. Poe tells us.

Horror fan or not, regardless of which side of the fence you sit (and even if you didn’t know that there was a fence) you must admit Mr. Poe has an enviable style, as well as a flair for evoking strong reactions. Mundane he was not. Otherworldly? Most certainly, yes.

I think some (if not all) of the original intent of the horror genre has been lost in a sea of gore and oh-boy-look-what-we-can-do-with-make-up-and-special-effects. Mr. Poe knew what it was about. No matter how smart or rich or angry you are, perform evil deeds and you will never truly escape the consequences.

Since he wrote about madmen, alcoholics, and murderers, and made it all so creepily believable, it’s no wonder that most of us still think of Mr. Poe as some sort of coked-out, drunken, necrophiliac freak. And all of this is thanks to a bogus obituary written by a man who hated him.
Personally, I believe that Mr. Poe was simply comfortable on the darker side of life. The scars of one’s childhood run deep and quite often will shadow our entire lives. Poe experienced the heavy loss of loved ones at a very early age, compounded by further losses later in life. Grief changes us forever. For a rare few, loss leaves them with a willingness to explore the shadow that causes so many others to shudder and look the other way.

And certainly, as his tales attest, though he may have shuddered he did not look the other way. He chose instead to become a master of his craft, an artist true, squeezing out every drop of sadness, terror, beauty, darkness, and ugliness with each word he penned. I cannot help but tip my imaginary hat to him and give him a very real and hearty nod of appreciation.

“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

Whatever dreams you may be dreaming in daylight, keep dreaming them with the certain knowledge that they are what sets you apart from the weak and weary and oh-so-dreary mundane.

Wondering about “Cront Ardead?” I’ll tell you, anyway. As far as I know, it means nothing. You know those prove-that-you’re-not-a-robot thingies? Yeah, everyone hates them and most of the time I too, find them unnecessarily annoying; however, sometimes I’ve discovered interesting inspiration and a bit of amusement from the not-words that the characters spell out. “Cront Ardead” seemed appropriate for a post about the late Mr. Poe.


It's a bit Island-of-Dr.-Moreau-ish in my head...

Should I even admit that in a public forum? Or for that matter, in a private forum?? Ah well, too late now.

Doodling snails wasn't enough. I had to dress the snails in evening gowns, tuxes, and tiaras. Now, I've decided to morph snails and fairies together. Why? I. Have. No. Clue. The scary thing? Nothing seems to be stopping me from continuing down (up?) this curious path.

Still...I'm having fun. Hope you are, too. You deserve it.