Author, Bengal Cat Pictures, Hyperbole, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Writing

My Hyperbole of Life

Recently a new reader favorited “My Hyperbole of Life”. Now that the Bengals have redone their introductions it’s my turn. Many things have changed over the hill at the year and yet…

The last sunrise of 2015 over the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier

I still wear one million and one hats. I have eight million books, six thousand notebooks, and about a billion chores.

Let me explain.

Hats

Hats = roles played in life.

So maybe one million and one is a little exaggeration, but I think we’ve all been there.

Think of all the titles you have, not just a work title, but also titles of see (insert your name here), they’re the expert, your role in your family older generation and younger generation. Most of us have a role as someone’s child, sometimes labels that also include parent, cousin, aunt, uncle and all of us are some relation five times removed from our mother or father.

We have our role with friends (and once again our titles of expertise within our group).

Some of us have roles as parents, or volunteers, or community leaders, environmentalists or hobbyists, sports positions or… as you can see the list goes on and on and on.

That’s what I call a hat. If you had a hat for each role and title your closets would be brimming over with headwear.

Notebooks = Organization

Every hat you have comes with its own needs and supplies. As a writer mine usually come with a physical notebook to keep track of lessons, vocabulary, characters, etc.

Basketball and baseball

If you play sports then your notebook is all the equipment required, the information about all the games and the contact info for everyone involved.School song book

If you play an instrument then your notebook is your instrument, your sheets of music, your rehearsal time, and your schedule and contacts.

If you’re a little organizationally obsessive like me then you keep a line of notebooks ready to go for each committee or group to which you belong. A Saturday night writer’s group means: grab the blue folder on the way out the door. Or on a larger scale, going to an Anime convention means grab the yellow folder and the over-flowing garment bag packed with costumes, trinkets and smaller organizational bags.

Bookcases

Eight Million Books = a whole lot of books. Those I own, referenced and shelved and dusted. Sorted into read and ready to read. The eight million includes a pile of library books, recommended books, research books and loaned books.

One Billion Chores = just about everything else. With only a billion to do, I’m probably on the low end of the scale. There are always dishes to do, clothes to wash, gardens to weed, tables to dust, items like a car (or the random appliance breakdown) to fix and have serviced, carpools to drive, and papers to sort.

I’m not about to get into a contest on chores. I keep my life fairly stream-lined.

Despite all of the above, I also add lots of things in my life that don’t fall under a category of hyperbole.

I will and do write or edit two thousand words a day.

I spend at least an hour a day playing with cats. If I don’t the cats will find most vexing ways to get attention.

This year exercise is no longer allowed as a maybe. Email and social media are always checked every morning and always replied to.140608 -  - medium-12

I love to hear from people, to listen, and respond. Out of the trillion things above, my relationships whether person-to-person or from the ethereal internet will always gain my attention and a response.

~lisa

 

 

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A-D, Cryptozoology, Mythology

Bulgarian Dragons

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Do you know anyone with wings under their armpits? Do you know any old crones or beautiful young women who are always followed by inclement weather?

  • If so you probably know the offspring of a Zmey or you may be rubbing elbows with a Lamia in human form.

All Bulgarian dragons are successful shape-shifters.

 The Zmeys are especially known for falling in love with and seducing humans. Which means they’ve spent a lot of time in human form.

Flower, Fuji X20

Zmeys are usually male and associated mostly with fire. There are records of a few Zmeyitsas (female) protector dragons and some accounts of the Zmey having an affinity for both fire and water. Most villages in Bulgaria have their own Zmey as protector. The Zmey battle the elements for the safety of crops and village. Mostly they battle against the Lamia, the female water dragons.

Another form of the Zmey is described as part snake, part bird and part human. No one can give an exact description because they can become invisible at will. Their battles with the Lamia often cause thunderstorms and lightning.

It is said if you eat the heart of a Zmey you can partake of their power. Considering how dangerous these dragons are, well, I think most sane people would give that a second thought.

Bulgarian female dragons, the Lamia (Lamya) & Khala (Hala) are powerful water creatures with little love for mankind and his settlements. The Lamia can stop the flow of water in a well or stream, or dry up lakes and cause drought. She can also create storms and pummel the fields with hail.

If your Zmey isn’t strong enough to defeat her then a sacrifice to her might ease her temper. I have not found any documentation yet that the Lamia has the power of invisibility like her male counterpart, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past her.

Lamias have been described in many different ways in many different regions. They all seem to be quite individualistic.

Various Lamia descriptions include:

  • 3 to 9 heads (Sometimes dog heads)
  • Long tail of a snake
  • Enormous
  • A large enough mouth to swallow a man whole
  • Sharp teeth
  • Yellow scales
  • Sharp-nailed legs (quadrupeds)
  • Wings
  • Snake-like
  • And of course the ability to shape-shift

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Zmey and Lamia, male and female, fire and water, locked in endless battle. I imagine that little dragons must come from somewhere so the conflict might be a little over-hyped.

Personally. I think powerful female figures can be intimidating in some cultures. In a more enlightened time perhaps there are reformed Lamia wandering among us and equally liberated Zmey who are no longer constrained by the notions of the past.

There is far more Bulgarian myth than I can share in one month. The richness of the tales and culture are staggering and well-worth exploring. I hope to return to this subject in the fall.

I leave you with another Bulgarian saying

 “Work like you’re going to live for 100 years, but live like you’ll die tomorrow.”

 ~ lisa

 Riddle Answers:

As small as walnuts, they sit in a low place, but they reach to the sky.

The eyes

What is the sweetest and the bitterest thing in the world?

The tongue

A world without people Cities without houses Forests without trees And seas without water.

A map

 I cannot emphasize enough that this is the spot to go for the best overall accounting of Bulgarian Mythology. http://www.spellintime.fsnet.co.uk/Folklore_Section_Background.htm

Bulgaria Superstitions and Folklore http://www.bestcountryreports.com/Soci_Bulgaria_Superstitions_Folklore.php

Bulgarian creation myth http://www.spellintime.fsnet.co.uk/Folklore_Section_Background.htm

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Cryptozoology, Mythology, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cryptozoology

Big foot and a rose Cryptozoology

This is one of the fun parts of being a fantasy writer. I’m always exploring the myths and legends around exotic creatures that may or may not exist. (Actually most parts of being a fantasy writer are fun.)

Cryptozoology is well-stated in Wikipedia as Cryptozoology is the study of rumored or mythological animals that are presumed by many to exist, but for which proof does not yet exist.”Green Dragon

It is also described in (IMHO) the best site on cryptozoology: http://www.newanimal.org/ by Jamie Hall.

Cryptozoology is the study of animals and other creatures that have not yet been accepted by science as real. In other words, it is monster-hunting. Cryptozoologists look for creatures like sea serpents and the yeti, hoping to gather enough evidence to prove that these beings exist. They also look for more commonplace animals, such as the ivory-billed woodpecker, the giant vampire bat, the inflatable hedgehog and the pygmy elephant. Creatures that are under investigation by cryptozoologists are called cryptids.”

There are many dedicated people that devote their time, and in some cases their careers, to finding these elusive animals.

Unfortunately cryptozoology is plagued by hoaxes, and pseudoscientists even though there have been cases of cryptids being discovered and handed off to the field of zoology.

Do I believe in most of these myths and monsters? Not really, but I love the ideas of them. I love their mythic symbolism and messages and I really enjoy all the “what if” moments that come from exploring them.

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I will also be the first to celebrate if any of them are found.

Cryptozoologists are not ghost hunters or devotees of the supernatural. To once again quote Jamie Hall http://www.newanimal.org/:

Cryptozoologists are a specialized branch of monster hunters. Since their ultimate goal is to discover either new species of animal or new subspecies, the science of cryptozoology is rooted in biology. The more a creature shows evidence of being supernatural, the less likely it is that cryptozoologists would be interested in it. Not many cryptozoologists investigate the strangest things like ghostly demon cats, Mothman or werewolves. Ghost hunts are left to the paranormal investigators and a few fringe cryptozoologists.”

Some of my favorites from the cryptozoological zoo that inspire me and my writing are: Dragons, Kraken (giant squids have now been found), Sasquatch and Yeti, Fairies, Living Dinosaurs, and Thunderbirds. See http://www.newanimal.org/ for a complete list of the diversity of creatures.

Another outstanding list of the creatures of cryptozoology and the facts known about the animals can be found at http://www.unmuseum.org/lostw.htm where descriptions of such animals as Nessie of Loch Ness, snakes as long as railroad cars, and their crypto alumni list reside.

The crypto alumni are large animals that have been discovered in the last century.

What are your favorite cryptids? What creatures of myth, legend, and rumor call out to you?

Favorites will move to the head of the pack for future blog posts.

Unicorn

May you all find your unicorns, fairies and friendly dragons.

~lisa

 

 

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convo: New Year

New year, new life…

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Loki: I don’t like any of the changes around here. Hear me scream.

Kuri: It’s not that bad. There’s a fantastic new playroom.img_0019

Me: That’s not a playroom.

Hiyu: Why would you tear out a wall and set up ladders and tarps if not for us?

Me: Rainbow Hill has been wanting a makeover for quite some time now. Best face forward for its travels through the space/time continuum.

Kuri: It’s not about us?

Hiyu: That’s very selfish of the hill. And why are you suddenly gone so much?

Me: I’m not gone that much. I’m still mostly at the keyboard.

Loki: Not all the time. First the dog leaves and then you keep going in and out. What’s more important than us and writing your books?

151208-6D-8556Kuri: And tuna. Tuna is important.

Me: I do go out a little bit more. In order to write about life, one occasionally has to live it.

Hiyu: So what is the soon-to-be-great author doing now?

Me: Volunteering, hiking, photography and helping The Hill make all of its changes. I’ll tell our readers more about it in other blogs. This one is all about you guys.

Kuir and Loki over the dragonHiyu: And so it should be.

Loki: Can we play another game? Catch the red laser dot?

Hiyu: I like catch the feather.

Kuri: Let’s use the playroom before it goes away. Dibs on the highest ladder.

Hiyu: Not if I get there first.

Me: Wait…no…oh, dear.

Happy New Year!

~lisa

The last sunrise of 2015 over the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier

From my favorite city to yours.

 

 

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Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convo: Goodbye Arna & 2016

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Dear Readers,

2016 has been a year of changes, some change presented, some change chased and some change reluctantly accepted.

 

My sentient Rainbow Hill which freely roams the space-time continuum has undergone a great deal of character growth and been surprised by many plot twists over the last few months.

2017 looks very exciting. There will be a lot of Cat Convos, mythology, writing and magnificent tangents.

First though, in a special Cat Convo, a sadly accepted change:

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Arna, our beloved companion of fourteen and a half years passed away on December 20th.

Loki: Is she really gone?

Hiyu: I miss her.

Kuri: I miss her more.

120920-scan326img_1749Loki: Remember when we were kittens and she used to chase us?

Kuri: Yeah, until you jumped on her back and rode her piggyback up the stairs.

Hiyu: I wish we had a picture of that.

Kuri: The humans weren’t fast enough to catch that one, but we have a lot of other great pictures to remember her by.

 

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Hiyu: I love how she used to lick the top of my head. All I had to do was give her a gentle head butt.

Loki: Remember how she used to steal our food before it was served on top of a box.

Hiyu: That’s because you kept stealing her food.

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Kuri: She’s not here to protect us anymore.

Hiyu: She was good at that.

Kuri: Who’s going to stop all those people and things from getting up the hill?

Loki: What if all those delivery and mail people get in the house?

Hiyu: Don’t forget about the school buses and trucks.

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Hiyu: Remember how she’d come in from a snowy walk? She’d be cold and happy and would let us groom all the extra snow off her.

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Loki: Yeah, and she’d come back in spring covered with pollen and fresh green smells.

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Hiyu: She was a great dog.

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Kuri: All those memories…

Loki: All those good times…

Hiyu: We’ll miss her.

Me: We certainly will.

~lisa

Arna in Alicia's car

Arna in Alicia’s car

Just the three of us now…140412 -  - medium-14

 

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Bengal Cats, Books, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convos: The Floor is Lava

Bookcases

Hiyu: What are you doing?

Me: Sorting my books

Hiyu: You’re making huge piles of them. Hey, guys, look at the gigantic stacks of books in here.

Loki: Why? Why are you changing things?20110905-60d-0209-small

Me: Because I’m a bibliophile. Every now and then, I’ve bought so many books that they need to be sorted and integrated on the shelves.

Kuri (in awe): Those towers of books are so tall.

Hiyu: The floor is lava!

Hiyu gracefully jumps to the top of a large stack of books.

Me: Oh, no! Stop! Don’t!

Kuri: Here I go.

Crash! Thud! Boom!

Kuri: I didn’t do that.

Loki: I’m on the cat tree.

Hiyu jumps to an empty shelf. The floor is lava! The floor is lava!

Loki: I’m safe on the cat tree.Five books

Kuri jumps on the shelf with Hiyu.

Kuri: Where’s the stack of my poetry books?

Me: They’re already on the shelf.

Hiyu: I see epic fantasy. Watch me go.

Hiyu successfully makes the leap.

Loki: I’m still safe on the tree.

Kuri: I’ll take that stack of mythology.

Crash! Thud! Boom!

Me: How about we move some chairs and a sheet into the living room and you can play the floor is lava in there.

All three cats jump onto the chair I’m moving.

CHAIR RIDE! CHAIR RIDE! LAVA! LAVA!

Eventually the books will be sorted

~lisa

Kuri on a Horse

 

 

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Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convo Friday

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Kuri: Where have you been?

Me: Traveling. You had exemplary care.

Kuri: You left. Then you came back and then you left again.

Me: I picked up some wonderful stories, some great new mythologies, and some fantastic pictures.

160207-6D-9419Hiyu: You didn’t have our permission.

Loki: What’s more fantastic than us?IMG_4504-small

Me: You’re all fantastic.

Hiyu: The dog isn’t well and you left for almost a whole month.

Kuri: I’m glad your laptop broke. That’ll teach you.

Loki: I’m not glad. I like to snuggle with the laptop. It’s warm.

Me: I’m back now. Laptop is being fixed. Dog is being taken care of.

Hiyu: I think she’s really sick.

Me: I know.

Loki: Where did you go?

Me: Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Palm Desert, New York City.

Loki: Why?

Me: One has to live life if one wants to write about it.

Loki: So where are all the pictures?

Me: After I get the laptop fixed. Then I will have lots of stories to tell.

Hiyu: What about the dog?

Me: She’s very old. She’s my top priority now.

Hiyu: That’s fair. For now.

Me: Thank you.

Kuri: I’m glad you’re back.

Loki: Me too.

Me: And I’m glad to be back.

~lisa

Arna

 

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