Monday, April 24, 2017


Majestic Bald Eagle Tearing a Newborn Goat to Shreds While Mommy Watches

Last year at this time on the calendar, our property was under water. It was a rainy spring. It's happened before. A dozen years ago it rained every single day for twenty-eight days during the Easter season. Knee high rain boots were all the fashion rage around here.

This year we are dry as a dust bowl. There's a burn ban. There's a wildfire alert. There's a lot of crunchy grass.

But isn't that Mother Nature for you? The answer is yes.

Too much. Not enough.

For a dame that gets a lot of adoration and awe, Mother Nature is a real biddy. For those not of the Southern persuasion a biddy, or old biddy is an ugly, frightening old woman: beldam, crone, hag, witch.

When I hear people worshipping at the feet of their Earth day protest signs about how lovely Mother Nature is I have to laugh, thinking, "Have they ever met the old witch."

For example yesterday, I was shocked to see a huge, mature bald eagle standing in my next door neighbor's pasture. Mother Nature dictates that eagles don't walk about unless they're sick or eating something. This one was eating something. It was eating a newborn baby goat.

The kid's mother was bawling her guts out as the eagle tore her baby to bloody bits. I sighed. The mother goat continued to cry as she trotted over to her little herd. Frantically, she stirred up the other goats, until they galvanized themselves into a juggernaut of retribution, turned as one body, and charged the bloody-beaked raptor. They drove him off. 

And then the goats promptly lost focus, forgot what they were about, and wandered off to try to find something to eat that wasn't deep fried by the sun. The mommy goat continued to bawl her lungs out as the eagle returned to his feast.

And that is the real Mother Nature, the old biddy that requires the "graphic content" warning on the Discovery Channel. 

Sitting under our ancient oak tree that is showing signs of death and dying (also Mother Nature at work) something natural stung the back of my arm. Theories abound - wasp, scorpion, flesh-eating butterfly, T-Rex.

Whatever it was left a welt the size of a softball, felt like liquid lava, and hurt so bad I couldn't sleep . . . until I took unnatural drugs created in a lab.

And that's the real Mother Nature, not the sissy worshiped by humans who've never met her in person. 

Linda (Nature Skeptic) Zern 

Monday, April 17, 2017


I signed up to be part of a four-day Book Lover’s Book Fair two years ago. I had no idea what I was doing then. I have no clue what I’m doing now. I’ve missed my self-imposed deadlines. I won’t have a new book to highlight. I can’t quite figure out how to stand out in a crowd of authors that do these book fair deals one-hundred-weekends of the year. 

Then there are the classes I’ve been attending at every writer’s conference and seminar with titles in the form of lists. Lists of everything that a writer should not do, or they’ll die a dozen poorly plotted deaths before they’ve gotten out of bed—not to mention when they’re at book fairs. The endless, negative lists that mean well but confirm every deadly fear you’ve ever had as a writer/author/artist/dream weaver/scribble monkey. 

Because, you, my friend, are doing it WRONG! 

Lists! They’re the worst. For example . . .

Seven Mistakes Authors Make Before They Pee In The Morning 

Twelve Horrible Book Covers Authors Should Reject Before Anyone Sees Them, Including You!

Thirty Biggest Writing Goofs That Scream, ‘Silly Amateur Writer Person Trying to Write Some Good Word Stuff Very Okay!’

Twenty Secret Things Every Reader Wants, But You’re Not Stuffing In That Story! 

Ninety-Nine Ways To Make A Cardboard Character HOT Enough To Catch Cardboard on Fire!

Sometimes, I’m not only afraid to think outside the box, but I’m afraid that the box has already swallowed me and is now digesting me in its sleep. But I swim on: typing, backspacing, re-typing, printing, experimenting, trying, retrying, and thinking, “Take your lists and go fold a box.”

So, off to the book fair conference I go. It’s going to be a fact-finding mission if nothing else. I might dress up as a survivalist and hand out chunks of hard tack with a list, Top Ten Ways To Eat Hard Tack, as an introduction to Prepper Fiction. How’s that for thinking outside the box?

Linda (Listing to the Right) Zern

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I dislike the musical “Wicked.” Really. Really.

I know. I know. I’m the only one. But to me, the message that society made her wicked because she was a weird color and smart is so blah, blah, blah. Everyone else did this to me, so I’m going to go steal my sister’s boyfriend—blah, blah, blah. I’ll show them wicked. Blah. Blah. Blah. Cue the spectacular production number and the flying monkeys. 

Listen up! I grew up in a house with a drinker, and drinking made him turn green—metaphorically speaking—and when he turned green he was wicked. I’m pretty sure that he had a million reasons to turn green. Blah. Blah. Blah. In the end, it doesn’t matter because the results were the same. Misery begets pain and pain begets hurt and hurt becomes misery, and yes everyone IS a hypocrite and round and round you go until someone drops a house on you. 

But you know what you get when everyone feels they have an excuse for why they can’t, won’t, don’t choose the right (and I mean right as in ***righteous or better, a better way to live) you get a world where you have to chain up your neighborhoods and password your life. 

If there is no “right” way to live and be happy then be prepared. 

Be prepared for people to feel justified in trying to steal your income tax return—three times. 

Be prepared for people to order a thousand dollar television in your husband’s name, have it delivered to your house, and then charge you for it. The television went back.

Get ready for the endless passwords that you will not be able to remember but have to have to keep trillions of greedy hackers from stealing your special little numbers.

Don’t be shocked when folks attempt to use your husband’s credit card to buy leopard skin boots—size infant.

Be prepared for wicked—self-righteous wicked.

According to all the studies and research and musicals, I should be green and wicked and drunk. But I’m not. I found a better way. I chose a better way. There is a better way. I don’t feel strong. I feel stubborn. And anyone can be stubborn.

Linda (Designated Driver) Zern 

***NOTE: I know. I know. The word righteous has become synonymous with the concept of self-righteousness which is bad, but that’s not what the word means. Righteous means choosing a better way despite society or jealousy of your beautiful, ditzy sister. It doesn’t mean getting even.

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