Cryptozoology, Fonts, V-Z

Z = Zombie Z= Zed

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Zapped Sticks is by GemFonts
Z = Zirkon – Author unknown. Can anyone tell me who created this cool font?


Zombies are an obvious subject for a fantasy writer, but I am going to start with a disclaimer.

I don’t like zombies, not one bit. I can’t watch them on the big screen or the little screen. If they are the sole focus of a book, I won’t read it (I will read books with zombies in them, just not those solely focused on the phenomenon).

My dislike stems from my low gross-out point. For me zombies equal rotting limbs, brain-binging, and ugly teeth. We all have our prejudices.

My interest in zombies is in the aspect of folklore, especially Haitian folklore. In Haitian folklore zombies are animated (reanimated) corpses raised by magical means.

I am partial to an individualized view of single zombies raised from the dead with a purpose as opposed to the modern diseased plague-upon-the-land versions. Call me a traditionalist.

There is always an exception to every rule and my exception is my favorite zombie apocalypse read by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Now this is how a zombie apocalypse should read.

Descartes explored the zombie phenomenon in Discourse V and since then there have been many deep philosophical discussions regarding the existence of zombies.

The philosophical debate about zombies centers on these three statements.

a – Zombies are conceivable
b – Whatever is conceivable is possible
c – Therefore zombies are possible.

There is, as of yet, no consensus. If you are in doubt about whether or not you need to protect yourself, Max Brooks has a delightful set of books on the subject.

This is the other zombie apocalypse book I enjoy:
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks

Now on to Zed

Zed is how the rest of the English-speaking world, outside of America, pronounces the last letter of the alphabet “Z”

“Z” is, indeed, the last letter of the alphabet and with that I sign off of the April A-Z challenge. See you in May


Cryptozoology, Fonts, V-Z

Y = Yeti

140410 -  - medium-15Yank by S. John Ross


Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman, mostly resides in the Himalayas Mountains, but is a tale well-known in Nepal, Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia and Russia.

A similar beast in North America is known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

Yeti is a word from Nepal that translates to “mountain man”. It is indigenous to the mythology of Nepal and Tibet. It is one of the most sought-after creatures in the field of cryptozoology.

Cryptozoology is the study of study of hidden animals. Hidden animals being animals whose existence is not yet proven.

Big foot and a roseIn 1921 the Yeti was introduced

to Western culture by Lt. Colonel Charles Howard-Bury in Mount Everest: The Reconnaissance as the Abominable Snowman.

Pliny the Elder’s Natural History describes a Yeti-like creature in the mountains east of India. The Lepcha People supposedly worshipped a Glacial Being known as a God of the Hunt.

When Westerners began climbing mountains in the Himalayas reports of the Yeti skyrocketed.

The some of the prevailing wisdom on the Yeti is that Yeti are nocturnal, very fast and they can walk upright or on all four legs. According to the Nepalese, the Yeti is so strong, it can kill a human with one punch. The Yeti has also been described as having reddish-hair, a terrible stench and of having the capability to throw boulders as if they were pebbles.

In 1959 the United States government thought finding the Yeti was enough of a possibility to issue a policy on Yeti hunting that included the guideline that the Yeti was not to be harmed except in self-defense.


Fonts, V-Z

X = Xenophobia

140410 -  - medium-14 by AEnigma – Brian Kent


Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” ― Bertrand Russell

Phobia is fear and xeno is from the Greek meaning strange or foreign. It is often defined as a hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of the politics or culture of strangers or fear and contempt of strangers or an unreasonable fear, distrust or hatred of strangers, foreigners or anything perceived as foreign or different.

Word is that xenophobia is on the rise.

This a serious subject and one that should be addressed swiftly and decisively in our increasingly connected world.

“It is important to catch xenophobia early on. If left untreated, this condition can have seriously detrimental effects on not only the sufferer but also the objects of his or her prejudice. Furthermore, the xenophobic is liable to pass along his or her highly generalized and ungrounded perceptions to impressionable children and family members.”-

Xenophobia is often hand-in-hand with bigotry and while often aimed at recent immigrants or “others”, xenophobia is also directed against long-standing minority groups. At its extreme this can create mass expulsion or genocide of the smaller group.

Xenophobia is a natural human reaction and classification system, us vs. them, but outside of sporting events (and in some cases even sporting events), this is quite harmful.

“All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!”
― Rudyard Kipling

Xenophobia pits one culture against another. If you don’t think you have a degree of it, let me ask you these questions.

Do people outside of your own circles make you nervous?
Are you put on the defensive by large groups of other races or cultures where yours should be? Do they belong elsewhere?

Do you feel fear when bridging a cultural gap because you know you should?

And bravo for you if you do. We can overcome our prejudices and fears if we face them squarely, acknowledge them and move past them.

Do you react strongly to foreign words creeping into your language? Are you a “if they are here they should become like us” sort of person? Do you think they should speak the same? Adopt the predominate culture? Act the same?

Do you make generalizations about what other people are like and believe there is a basis in stereotypes?

Do you take pleasure in jokes that bash other cultures? Think for a moment – how many versions of the “How many “insert ethnic group” does it take to change a light bulb?” jokes do you know? Which ones do you enjoy most? Why?

Do you suffer from Islamophobia? Anti-Semitism? Do you have difficulty accepting people outside of your social circle because of religion, class, education, geography and so forth?

If you can answer “no” to all of these questions, you are remarkable and go out and lead people by your example. If you answer yes to any of these questions, and most of us do to at least one, ask yourself why and more importantly ask yourself what you can do to overcome it. – xenophobia as it relates to current events.

“Xenophobia, you should be more afraid of someone exactly like you” – Loesje


Fonts, V-Z

W = Waterfalls

W - Wingdings

Wingdings render letters as a variety of symbols. Microsoft 1990. Overall just a great deal of fun.


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An area, usually of a flowing river where water drops abruptly and nearly vertically. As strange as it is to me, I have met people who have never seen a waterfall.

Some beautiful images of waterfalls:

The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela and the largest waterfall, calculated by the volume of water passing over it, is Khone Falls in Laos.

Overall there are ten different classes of waterfalls based on the volume of water flow and height. At the top are class 10 waterfalls such as Khone Falls and Niagara Falls.

Beyond the classes of waterfalls there are also types of waterfalls such as Ledge Waterfalls (block/sheet, classical, curtain), Plunge (punchbowl), Horsetail (slide, ribbon, chute, fan), Cascade, Tiered/staircase/multi-step, Cataract, Segmented, Tide fall, and Frozen.

I am most fortunate to live in a state with a multitude of waterfalls of all sorts of different classes and types.

Snoqualmie Falls

From Aasgard Falls in Chelan County to Zig Zag Falls in Skamania County or ZigZag Falls in Pierce County, this website is a fantastic guide of places to visit and waterfalls to see in Washington State.

According to this site “the state possesses perhaps the highest density of waterfalls in the entire nation” and then follows up with 67 pages of waterfall listings.

Ten great waterfall hikes in Washington state:

Snoqualmie Falls is great favorite and only a very short drive away from Seattle. Snoqualmie is an easy access (wheelchair accessible) large waterfall with a straight-down plunge of 270 feet. It is well worth the view.Snoqualmie Falls

Finally here is my list of many of the waterfalls I have yet to see, but many of them are on my bucket list.

What waterfall would you most like to see and why?


Books, Fonts, V-Z, Writing

V = Voltaire

V stands for Vladimir ScriptV stands for Vivaldi

Vladimir Script Designer: Andrich Vladimir Publisher: URW++
Vivaldi by Friedrich Peter, 1997

A few years ago, I decided to start reading some of the classic literature I missed in my college courses. It turned out that I had missed a great deal of literature and I am still catching up with all of that reading.

I discovered a book well-known to others by the name of Candide. The book, the prose, spoke to me and I discovered Voltaire.

Voltaire is just one of the many pen names used by Francois-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 (or as he claimed Feb. 20, 1694) – May 30, 1778).

Voltaire is best known as a philosopher, historian and writer and a master of satire. He is well-known for his keen wit and as a champion of freedom (speech, religion, and from a variety of dogmatic institutions).

A very prolific man he generated thousands of works including 20,000 letters plus 2,000 books and pamphlets. He did all of this work before the advent of either the typewriter or the computer. I try to remember that whenever I complain about how much work it is to write something.

Arouet, henceforth known in this blog as Voltaire, was the youngest of five children in a noble family in the province of Poitou. Here I could digress into the study of birth order and personality, but I won’t. At least not yet.

Besides his native French, Voltaire learned Latin and Greek and became fluent in Italian, Spanish and English.

Continually pushed by his father into the field of law, Voltaire often lied about his positions so he could pursue a writing life in and around Paris. His writing led to numerous exiles and imprisonments, but he never followed cease and desist orders.

In 1718 he claimed the anagram of the Latin spelling of his name: Voltaire. Though he used at least 178 different pen names during his lifetime, Voltaire is the one that stuck.

Voltaire resonated enough that when the chance arose I named my POV (Point-of-view) character in my urban fantasy after him.

My character, Sparky Voltaire, is a completely different man, but I hope in as many ways complex and willing to take a stand for what he thinks is right.

I have pages of quotes by Voltaire, but I will resist temptation and end with only one:

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”


Fonts, Writing

U = Urban Fantasy

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Unquiet Spirits – Sinister Visions

Urban fantasy

Urban fantasy is basically a fantasy story that takes place in an urban setting, historical, modern or futuristic. They are not limited to the city, but need to be primarily in an urban city, one that reflects a reality that is known to us through history, extrapolation or contemporary settings.

Urban fantasy is distinguished from high fantasy in that it is set primarily in a real world and brings in myth or legend to live side-by-side with a verisimilitude of reality.

The term has referred to many things other than the fiction with which today it is associated. The coinage of urban fantasy as genre began in the 1980’s.

Urban fantasy is an extremely popular genre replete with vampires, zombies, werewolves, and all manner of creepy crawly things from legend, folklore and myth.

Vampires, werewolves and zombies are among the most popular, but urban fantasy is limited only by the writer’s imagination and there are as many jumping off points as there are cultures and stories in the world. It makes for a pretty big field.

In future posts I will visit some of the great authors, well-known and not as well-known, and their works. There are far too many to even begin a list here.

Until then you might want to try your own hand in a walk on the fantastic side of things:


Cryptozoology, Fonts, Mythology, Q-U

T = Tengu

T is for Times New Roman
Times New Roman by Victor Lardent, 1931. This is the writing industry 12 pt. standard. At least for the time being. That may change:,0,1227267.story?track=rss#axzz2xJumYEQt


After my long digression in yesterday’s Seattle post, I’m going to try to keep this post short and sweet.

Tengu are some of my favorite demons. They are from Japanese folk religion and, for me, endlessly fascinating. Among demon manifestation they are tricksters, sometimes benevolent or helpful and often cruel and dangerous.

It is thought they are a descendent of the Chinese “heavenly dog” demon, Tiangou, but in Japanese folklore are usually identified with birds of prey.

Over the centuries, Tengu have become less evil, and more humanized with very long noses replacing beaks. They are shape-shifters and in more recent literature take human forms and are more mischievous.

Tengu live in trees in mountainous areas. Besides being known for their arrogance they are also renowned swordsmen (swords-beasts? swords-demons?). There are also lesser tengu (koppa or leaflet tengu) who act as messengers for the greater tengu.

In Japan the tengu are vain and prideful and to this day conceited people are still described as “becoming tengu”.

The first recorded mention of Japanese tengu is in Nihon Shoki in 720 where the tengu is described as canine monster and harbinger of war. Somehow over the centuries the tengu meta-morphed into a vicious bird-demon and then into a more humanized trickster.

Today the tengu is making a resurgence especially in video games. It is ripe for many different interpretations.

This shape-shifter with a wide range of personalities is one of my favorites as a jumping off point for writing. I have created my own version for my stories. or

Fonts, Q-U, Seattle

S = Seattle

S = Symbol

Symbol contains an unaccented Greek alphabet and some common mathematical symbols. It is mostly used for mathematical expressions, but is still really cool to look at.


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The city of Seattle stretches on a north-south line between Puget Sound and Lake Washington on the northwestern side of the state. Look for these two large bodies of water and you will find Seattle nestled between them.

For the purposes of this blog I’m going to talk about the greater Seattle metropolitan area which has a population of about three and half million. I’m somewhere in those statistics. 080803 -  - medium-4

The greater metropolitan area spills in all directions. Interstate 5 connects the north-south corridors and runs directly through the city. East and west are connected by ferries, floating bridges, and round-about routes north and south of the lake.

Seattle Waterfront, leaving for Blake Island080713 -  - medium-2

I may, perhaps, someday post about the various Native American tribes that existed for thousands of years before the first white settlers arrived in 1851 and someday, perhaps, go over the history of the city, but not today.

One of the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest is how accessible so many different ecosystems are. An hour or two in any direction can take you to beaches (Lakes, Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean), mountains, bogs, farmland, a Mt. Everest training ground (Mt. Rainier), volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens + dormant volcanoes including Mt. Rainier), the Olympic Rainforest, islands, and even more than the few things I have listed above.

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Seattle is also located on the east side of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is thus listed as a major earthquake zone. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes that plague other parts of the country, our earthquakes don’t come every year. Seattle’s last significant earthquake was the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake in 2001.

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Seattle’s industries make it fairly well-known across the world. What started as a logging town has, in the greater metropolitan area, been the birthplace of Starbucks, Amazon, Nordstroms, Costco, Microsoft, Weyerhouser, Boeing and so many more. Once again far too many to list.

Seattle also houses many museums and performing arts centers and is well-known for its productions by Pacific Northwest Ballet , Seattle Symphony Orchestra , and Seattle Opera

There is an endless array of incredible arts also far too numerous to list. The music scene, the poetry scene, the rich array of writers, conventions, pow-wows, zoos, aquariums, sports, and architecture are all worthy of multitude of one or more posts per subject matter.

Obviously, I love where I live and I love that no matter how hard you try, you never run out of things to do and explore.

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I have not even touched upon such little things as the iconic Space Needle, or the Experience Music Project or the relatively new Seattle Great Wheel

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As I have written this blog, it has occurred to me that future posts (after the April A-Z challenge) should all contain some tidbit of knowledge about Seattle.

My absolute favorite part of Seattle is that you can use it as a setting or ecosystem for an endless array of stories or, in my case, for an urban fantasy book not bound by any one setting. In my own imaginary worlds, the lure of Seattle is not limited to the human element.

I am collecting Seattle anecdotes, favorite Seattle area  histories, favorite sights, greatest Seattle event and places.  Send me your votes and I will include them in a future post.

~lisa 121001 -  - medium-2

Fonts, Mythology, Q-U

R = Rainbows


R stands for Rockwell

R=Rockwell extra bold is modeled on a 1910 font that was originally called Litho Antique. It was revived in the 1920’s and then re-published under its current name in 1934 by Monotype (Frank Hinman Pierpont)


The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” – Henry David Thoreau

Life on Rainbow Hill is almost always suffused with rainbows. This seems like the most natural subject for today’s “R” post in the A-Z challenge.  This post was going to be in all the colors of the rainbow, but yellow does not read very well so I’ve settled for a more random spectrum sampling.

Rainbows are the sun’s rays refracted or reflected by rain or mist into an arc of color. These rainbow arcs always have their colors in the same sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.


A well-known English Mnemonic is “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” and the less interesting American English of “ROY G BIV”.

Languages all around the world have their own mnemonics for remembering the order of colors in the rainbow.

I recommend this site not only for its great information on all aspects of rainbows, but also for the best exploration of the global range of mnemonics for remembering rainbow color order.

See for a more scientific explanation of the continuum of rainbow colors.

Rainbows come many different guises under many different names:
Twinned Rainbow, Double Rainbow, Primary Rainbow, Secondary Rainbow, Tertiary Rainbow, Quaternary rainbows, Alexander’s Band, Higher-order Rainbows, A Supernumerary Rainbow—also known as a Stacker Rainbow, Reflected Rainbow, Reflection Rainbow, Monochrome Rainbow, Moonbows, Fogbow, Spraybow, and Glory, etc.

Now on to the mythology which is rich and replete with more stories than I can incorporate into in one post. I will eventually get to all of them in future posts.

There are very few cultures that do not have a rainbow in their mythology. I’m still looking to see if I can find one that has a mythology lacking in some sort of rainbow. Please tell me, which mythologies do not have rainbows?

Due to the popularity of the Marvel Thor movies, the Norse Bifrost (Rainbow Bridge) is probably the third most-known rainbow mythology after that of Noah and the Ark and the Irish tales of a leprechauns and pots of gold.

Some translations of the “The Epic of Gilgamesh” describe the rainbow’s mass of colors as a divine sanction for war and a rainbow crown was worn by the Sumerian god Ninurta.

Persian mythology uses rainbows for divination.

In Greek Mythology, Iris who is a messenger of the gods who dresses in rainbow hues.

Australian Aboriginal mythology focuses on the Rainbow Serpent. In Japan the rainbow also represents snakes.

In Arabian mythology the rainbow is a bow for Quzah, an Arabian god of weather And the Hindu god Indra also uses the rainbow as a bow.

In Bhuddism the rainbow is just one step below Nirvana.

For the Karens in Burma, the rainbow is a demon that eats children. The Karens are a most interesting people with a very rich background. The Karens have long been engaged in a civil war and have been the subject of ethnic cleansing. This is one of the most neutral accounts I’ve found of the conflict.

For the romantics in the crowd, Chinese folklore has star-crossed lovers that are colors of the rainbow waiting for it to shine so they can be together.

My favorite so far is that in Bulgarian legends you will change genders if you walk under a rainbow. I think that may be worthy of a story or two.

140418 -  - mediumSo many rainbow sites.

Here is a small sampling to choose from:

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou


Fonts, Q-U, Writing

Q = Quotes

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Quotes for me are like poetry, I collect both.

Quotations may will be a repetition of someone else’s statement or thoughts, but quotes can speak to you across ages, and while some may or may not resonate, all have ideas worth exploring.

I think quotes can be one of the fastest ways out of writer’s block. Take a quote, any quote, and write around it. Delve in and agree or disagree. Make it a part of what happens to your character. Make it important to your story. There’s no telling where it will take you.

However “If you are going through hell, keep going.” (Winston Churchill). On your way out remember “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” (Nelson Mandela)

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” (Abraham Lincoln) and “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” (Anatole France)

“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.” (Napoleon Hill)
“Don’t falter. “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” (Winston Churchill)

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” (Herm Albright) and on the same vein, “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” (Oscar Wilde)

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt) for remember “you can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” (Henry Ford), and “life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” (Anais Nin) “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” (Bernard M. Baruch) and, according to Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Not a quote, but a “Q” will worth reading and following: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain  You can also find Susan on Ted Talks

Finally for all the writers in the crowd:

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.” (Rita Mae Brown)

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” (John Steinbeck)

Along the track of a mythic circles. Always remember that this is where your character starts out their journey: “All the world’s a cage.” (Jeanne Phillips)

These are just a few of the many great sites where you can find quotes, and if these fail you can always consult a book. 

“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” (Carl Sandburg).

Send me your favorite quotes.