Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fan Fiction Saves the Life of a Service Contractor

I believe I have previously mentioned that I have a really good imagination. When I watch a good movie or television program, I am sucked in, my heart and mind and emotions experiencing the same happiness, sorrow, excitement and angst of the characters I am watching. The same thing happens when I read a book or a story that is well written. Actually even more so, because my imagination will take hold of the written words and display a visual and audio feast in my brain.

So it was with interest that I encountered Supernatural fan fiction. A friend of mine wrote a story based on the characters of our favorite show and asked me to read it. She sent me the link to her story on and I read it. I enjoyed it. It helped that I already knew the characters and I could once again allow my imagination to take hold and run the story as a visual episode in my head. It was also delightful because I knew the person who had written the story.

Then my curiosity got the better of me ... here is this website containing stories of the Winchesters - John, Dean and Sam. I thought to myself that this could be an easy way to pass some time, particularly when we were in a hiatus period. I could read the stories and allow my imagination to take me with it back to the Supernatural world. So I began clicking around the site and checked some of the other stories out.

And in the process, I learned a few things.

First ... not all fan fiction is created equal. I became immediately critical of grammer, spelling, and story telling. There are some that are really good and there are some that are ... well, not.

Second ... I found I couldn't read stories that join in with the current timeline. I just couldn't. If I geot sucked into the story and it played out in my imagination, it then became a part of the series in my brain. I couldn't flip a switch. Because if the writing was well done and my imagination visualized these characters I know so well, I would begin to believe that this story should be a part of the series. I didn't want that. I wanted to enjoy Eric Kripke's series as HE presented it, not as others tried to represent it.

So, with these two realizations, I decided to remove myself from reading fan fiction (with the exception of a few pieces written by some of my virtual friends) and to keep the series "Kripke Pure" in my brain.

Then I was encouraged to read a fan fic by a friend who understood my dilemma but thought that she had something I would truly enjoy. With a simple click and the sweetest of stories, I discovered what is called WeeChester fan fic. Stories written from fans imaginations about the time prior to the series, the time when Dean and Sammy Winchester were growing up with their father, the ex-marine hunter, traveling the back roads of America and learning about things that go bump in the night. These stories I can read and enjoy because they don't change what I see in my head as I watch the program that Kripke has created. There's still some that are really good and some that ... well, aren't. I can navigate around that. However, it is fun to think about how it all started for Dean and Sam and imagine their life on the road with BDW.

Now ... what exactly does all this have to do with a service contractor's life being saved, you ask?

Well, here's the thing. Friday morning I had some extra time before heading to work. Having not really been on the computer much during the previous week just for fun, I decided to check out the fan fic and see if there was anything short to start my day off with a WeeChester smile on my face. I came across one that I hadn't read before that was written by an author whose writing I enjoy. I brewed another mug of tea and took 30 minutes to just enjoy before heading into what turned out to be a rather hectic day. It was a precious story, set at a time when Dean was eleven and Sammy was not quite yet seven. A story of a father who makes mistakes but loves his boys with all his heart.

It was wonderful and I continued thinking about it as I drove to the office and began my work day which included a visit from a service contractor work man who has a tendency to absolutely make me crazy (not in a good way) with his condescending attitude. Plus the fact that where he had to work invaded my personal space but due to the work I was doing, I couldn't move somewhere else. After an hour of putting up with his proximity and his attitude and his ... well ... just being there ... I began having the most delightful dreams of how to put him out of my misery.

Have I mentioned my imagination? It's good in this area too.

Just as I was contemplating a particularly wicked thought of what to do with my calculator the strains of AC/DC's "Back in Black" come ringing out of his pocket instantly switching my imagination to visualize the Winchester's Impala driving up the road. Answering his phone I could hear the voice of his child's teacher telling him of a situation with his son ... his six year old son. (Did I mention the proximity of him invading my personal space? I wasn't eavesdropping ... I was sitting that close and his volume was that loud.) Having his child put on the phone and hearing his fatherly voice talk so calmly to a clearly sad and upset little boy, I sat there quietly remembering the wonderful story I read that morning.

Art and Life were imitating each other.

For in Art, the author had painted a picture in my mind of the John we all know - a man who drove us insane with his marine tactic attitude but ultimately charmed us with the obvious love he had for his sons and his desire to protect them.

For in Life, I dealt with a man whose condescension and invasion made me consider mahem upon him before he ultimately charmed me with the obvious love he had for his son and his desire to make everything alright for him.

*** If you're interested in the WeeChester story I so enjoyed you can read it HERE. ***

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ask ... Only If You're Prepared

There's a saying ... "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it."
Wishes, for me, are simply prayers.
So the saying becomes ... "Be careful what you pray for, you might just get it."
Yep. It's true. You gotta be careful what you ask and you gotta be sure you're prepared for it.
For eight years now, I can be found on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings/nights at my church, in the nursery. Okay ... I'll be honest. At first it was simply Wednesday nights and Sunday nights, but the need became great and four years ago we added Sunday mornings.
Since during those first few years, I had everyone 6 years old and younger. Have you ever managed a group of 20 kids ranging in age from 6 yrs to 6 months? Yep. I have. By myself. But that's another story for a different blog. What I'm saying here is that there are very few children in our church who are 14 yrs old or younger that have not come through Miss Cindy's class. That's just fact.
I love all the ages. Truly I do.
I love the "I'm a big kid cause I go to Kindegarten" attitude (most of the time) from the older ones. They seem to become small adults overnight. They fight their battles, they build their block castles, and they love to do anything that involves glue and scissors. They love to be challenged, but they also like it when Miss Cindy puts in a video and calls for a bit of VeggieTale quiet time.
I love the 3 year olds. They try so hard but just can't quite keep up. They get their little engines reving and then either get so wound up that they don't know what to do with themselves or they find a corner and fall asleep from exhaustion. They have yet to figure out dishonesty and so when asked if they did something the answer is truthful. They love to take all the puzzles apart so that Miss Cindy can put them back together.
I love the 1's and 2's for they are learning so fast you can almost see the wheels in their heads spinning faster and faster. Their language is not our language. It is fast, it is incoherent and it makes perfect sense to them ... grown ups are the ones who don't understand. They crave routine and familiarity. And they love to crawl up into Miss Cindy's lap to look at a book or sing a song ... for 60 seconds.
I love the babies. They are the foundation of a nursery, for they are the ones that become the 1's and 2's and 3's and 4's. They are the ones that come into our little nursery world and prove to us the wonder of creation. They crave security and love and they are the ones who tightly wind Miss Cindy around their little fingers in a way that lasts all their lives as we rock and cuddle and rock and sleep.
It's funny how things work out. Four years ago, the need was great and the stability for Sunday morning was necessary, but there was only one baby. And as that baby grew, we did not get more for over a year.
So, I prayed for babies.
I got three. Two in November and one the first of December. Now. I'm good with two - the twins gave me practice at that. Three was a bit of a stretch and there were some days when I simply prayed to survive the hour. However, we managed and we delighted in them and once again my heart was given to these little people who are now fixing to turn 2 yrs old.
Yet it has been since then that we have had babies.
So, I prayed again. This time I got five. Three were born in May and two during the last 3 weeks.
Well. At least they are beginning to space themselves out a bit.
In the meantime, I believe it's time for me to get a bit more specific in these prayers. Obviously praying for babies works. I just need to pray for one baby at a time, every six months or so. Yep. That might work. I can most likely, probably be prepared for it. Maybe.
We just won't go into the jealousy factors with 1's and 2's when Miss Cindy's lap is suddenly occupied by a new baby. Have you ever seen one of those programs with all the monkeys in the trees?
That tree? That's me. The monkeys? They're the ones demanding another chorus of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
But that's also a story for another blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

If It's Thursday, It Must Be Supernatural

Hi! I'm really glad you called and I'd really like to talk to you but evidently I can't get to the phone right now. Unless it's Thursday night between 8 & 9 pm and then, I'll be really honest, I'm not even trying to look for the phone. But if you will leave your name, number and a brief message at the sound of the beep, I will call you back just as soon as I can. Bye!!

Yep. That's my message on my home answering machine. There's a similar one on my cell phone.

Two years ago tonight began my journey down the road to becoming a Supernatural Obessive. It was a Tuesday, instead of Thursday, but the date was September 13th and I was so excited for this show to begin. It was one of few that fall season that had captured my imagination with the advance information. I knew that it was going to be good. Felt it in my bones, so to speak. I couldn't wait.

However, I had to. I had to rely on my trusty VCR to tape the show for which I would later come to ignore the outside world.

Because September 13th is also my girlies birthday and even my obsession does not trump that.

Of course, two years ago, it was simply a "new show" excitement. Taping it was just fine. I remember later that night, turning out the lights, curling up on the couch, rewinding the tape and pushing play. I watched the opening with Mary carrying little Dean into his baby brother Sam's room ...

"Come on, let's say goodnight to your brother."

For the next hour television was transformed for me as I was taken from the past of a loving family dealt a horrific terror to a present day pair of brothers beginning a journey that would weave a tapestry of family love and dysfunction, with laughter and tears, scary moments and tender encounters. Each following week I have continued to be amazed at the quality of writing, directing, storytelling and acting. These two young actors - Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki - surrounded by some of the best writers, directors & crew and led by the incomparable vision of Eric Kripke, have breathed the reality of life into their characters of Dean and Sam Winchester that astounds and delights me.

Tonight is Thursday night, two years later. For me that is Supernatural night. Even if the season premiere isn't for another three weeks. Tonight is a re-run of last season's intense, emotional, and incredible finale - All Hell Breaks Loose, Pt. 2. Will I be watching?

Heck yeah!

Will it be later, though?
Oh, yeah.
I may be a Supernatural Obsessive, but I'm no fool. Nothing trumps two girlies birthday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Giving Thanks

O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

O beautiful, for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
'Til all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!

O beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!

I have found during the last six years that this day, almost more than the Fourth of July, means more to me in regards to American Freedom. Perhaps if I had lived during the Revolutionary War it would be different.

I lived through this day six years ago. While I was in Oklahoma and not directly involved, it affected me and those around me. My heart and soul were wrenched as I, along with the rest of the world, watched in horror. My words cannot adequately convey my feelings that ran rampant during that day and the days afterwards.

Since then I continue to give thanks for the continued safety and freedom that we are blessed with in this country and I give thanks to the men and women who actively serve our country to keep us free.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Oh, My ... Pie!

(disclaimer: This blog was intended to be posted last night - Supernatural Thursday night. Unfortunately, computer/internet problems occurred that we are not allowed to discuss - please trust me on this - and so it is now being posted on Friday. Pretend it's Supernatural Thursday night and you will understand why. Or don't ... it's up to you. I'm just letting you know where my head was at when I wrote this.)

This morning I woke to rain and thought of All Hell Breaks Loose.

Tonight at dinner I had dessert and thought of All Hell Breaks Loose.

It's been a very Supernatural day for this obsessive.

I've already explained the rain. I won't go there again.

I have spent a very enjoyable day visiting my parents. We have laughed and chatted and had a general good time. My mother and I have been going down memory lane as we go through old family photos. I have more to share on this another time.

Here's the thing, though ... even when I am in the midst of laughing and talking, my mind kept flashing back to the show. Something would trigger a memory or a thought of the episode - just as the rain did when I woke.

Want an example? See this picture?

My mom is looking at this picture and we are talking about my Great-grandmother and she's reminiscing about that vacation mumblemumble years ago. What am I, the Supernatural Obsessive doing? Well, my head is nodding, my mouth is making all the appropriate noises and conversation and my mind? My mind is exploding with the shrieks of "Oh My Gosh! It's an Impala! I'm standing in front of an Impala. It's a four door. Who's was it? Was it black? It's four door! Is it a '67? Did I get to ride in it?" Yep. Calm and cool on the outside ... freaking out like a fangirl supreme on the inside.

Now you understand my mindset for the day.

Let's move to dinner.

My folks and I went out to dinner with some friends. We went to this restaurant that is one of my very favorites here in Branson. While we were waiting for our table to be prepared, I wandered a bit and happened upon the counter where they keep the desserts. I took one look at this chocolate pie and my brain exploded with Dean's voice.

"Hey, see if they've got any pie. Bring me some pie! Love me some pie."

Right then, not having a clue as to what I would eat for dinner, I knew. I was going to be having pie. As I went back to our group, I announced I was having pie. All through dinner, I laughed, I chatted, I made small talk and enjoyed a pleasant evening. And my brain? My brain kept screaming in Dean's voice ... "Bring me some pie!"

The meal was delicious and huge. I deliberately didn't finish. That is what "doggy bags" are for - the obsessive who wants her pie. When the waiter came and began to ask if we wanted dessert, the poor guy didn't even get the words completely out ...

"Yes! I'd like a piece of the chocolate cream pie."

Now, I have no idea if Dean would care for the chocolate cream pie or not. He may be an apple pie kind of guy, or pecan, or peach. However, this pie? This was a chocolate lovers dream and delight. When it was brought to the table, everyone laughed as my eyes grew large as saucers. This wasn't just pie. This wasn't just chocolate pie. This was Chocolate Pie Heaven.

Maybe if Dean could have had a slice of this pie, all hell wouldn't have broken loose.

BTW ... The car? I was four at the time, the car may or may not have been owned by my uncle, may or may not have been a '67 and was most likely a very dark green and I did not go for a ride in it. Drats!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's Raining on Supernatural Thursday

All hell is fixing to break loose.

I woke up in a Supernatural mood this morning. It's a rainy, dreary morning. The kind of rain that just keeps coming and coming and coming. It made me think of the rain that seemed to be so present in the episode, All Hell Breaks Loose, Pt. 1. The scene at the diner, the scene with Dean & Bobby, and even though it didn't rain on Sam while he was trapped in the demon ghost town of Coldwater Creek, the sky seemed to always look like it was ready to drizzle a good one.

So, as I sit and watch the drizzle of liquid escaping the sky, my thoughts are on Dean and Sam Winchester and what they will encounter in tonight's episode. I don't want to watch it. I'll be honest ... since I watched and posted my TVG blog about this episode ... I haven't watched it. I couldn't. These last three episodes rend my heart for the emotions that are packed inside are incredible. The highs, the lows and everything in between.

I keep telling myself that I don't need to watch tonight. It's not like I don't have it on video tape and iTunes. I could simply wait until next week and watch both parts back to back (cause there would be no end to the heartache doing that, now, would there?) and be done with it. I could wait and watch it on my new Season 2 dvd set that I will be getting next Tuesday and perhaps if I listen to the commentary as I watch it, it won't take my heart, raise it through my throat, choking all air from going out or coming in, then for extra measure throw that heart of mine and stomp upon it with hard workman's boots. Perhaps the commentary will keep me detached.

Everyone who knows me and honestly believes that ... please come on over ... I have some newly developed swampland in Arizona to sell to you.

You know I will be watching tonight. My mind will scream no as my hand reaches for the remote. It's inevitable for the Supernatural Obsessive. I'll tell you something else. I won't be wandering the room or working on something else. I'll be perched, right there on the couch, watching, being sucked in, knowing in that spot in the back of my head what is coming and still being unable to not gasp and freak when it occurs.

Now if you will please excuse me. If I'm going to have this type of obsessive thought process this morning then I'm going to do the only sensible thing I can do. Instead of standing at the window looking out at the drizzle, I'm going to go stand in it. If Jensen can do such an outstanding job of acting in the stuff, I can go certainly take my obsession and go outside and just stand in the stuff.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Snowcone Time is Ending

It's Labor Day today.

The first Monday in the month of September.

The day that typically signifies that summer is now at a close.

It doesn't mean that the heat has completely disappeared, that the grass has stopped growing (trust me on this one), or that we should expect snow any moment now. There are still going to be evenings of mowing yards, weekends of playing outside and grilling something for dinner. The sun will not be set when we leave work at 5pm yet. Just because it is Labor Day does not mean that there are not still vacation trips to be taken.

However, the time that we typically think of as "Summer", is now at a close. We are now on the precipice of Autumn. Those fall days that bring cooler air and colorful trees. Holidays celebrating the giving of candy and the giving of thanks. During the daytime the classrooms are filled with students learning and the evenings are spent with homework.

I truly love the summer months. I love the fact that getting dressed for work takes nothing more than slipping into a skirt and blouse and sliding my feet into sandals. I am able to simply grab my keys and jump in the car to drive up to the corner for a shaved ice snow cone. I love the fireworks, the taste of a fresh grilled hotdog, and the feel of hot sunshine on my face.

However, on this weekend each year, as I get ready to say good-bye to the summer, I look forward to the fall. I enjoy the soft feel of a cuddly sweater or flannel shirt. I enjoy coming home and lighting the candles, their soft scent and glowing wicks filling the house with a warmth and cozy feeling. I have a love for the decorating for the fall holidays, the intoxicating smells of holiday baking and the colors mums and/or pansies planted outside my door.

It is the end of the Labor Day Weekend ... the dividing weekend between Summer and Fall. No matter what the calendar tells us, we all know that Summer begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends with Labor Day. Tomorrow brings us the beginning of Fall, regardless of the actual date. I look forward to the fall days ahead, for they will bring new adventures, moments with family and friends, and days where the warmth must be found inside for there will be a chill on the outside.

But today it is still summer. Today the sun is hot and the grass needs to be mowed. So, now, if you will please excuse me ... I need to grab my keys and make one more snow cone run.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Oh What a Beautiful Morning ...

Ahhh! What a wonderful morning! I woke this morning to the smell of freshly baked bread, thanks to my good buddy "The Breadmaker". I stood in my kitchen, waiting for my water to heat to make my morning cup of tea, and basked in the radiant sunshine bursting from a gorgeous blue sky as it streamed in my kitchen window. My girlies were still sleeping, so I had my Saturday morning of peace to enjoy.

I spread a slice of my freshly baked bread, added butter and my favorite "homemade by Mom" strawberry jam on top. Taking my freshly brewed pot of tea and my slice of warm fresh bread to my computer to catch up on some correspondence, I laughed to myself as the words from the song "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma! came unbidden into my brain.

Wanting to enjoy the view outside once more before beginning my day, I open the curtain next to my computer and peer out to my backyard. Just as the verse of the song "the corn is as high as an elephant's eye" bursts through my brain, I view what we call the "cornstalk weeds" growing in my backyard.

Anyone have an elephant I can measure these with? Cause I gotta feeling they're taller than an elephant's eye. Great!