Once Upon A Scream

A Storybook Day

You have to spend one day as or with your favorite fictional character. Which one would it be and what would you do?

I know, I know big surprise.

I would want to fight monsters with Carl Kolchak for a day.


When Carl took on a Vampire or Demon he did it with his wits.

He didn’t work out in a gym, he didn’t shoot them over his shoulder with a hi-tech stake gun he didn’t wear leather.

He  went after Zombies with stuff you could pick up at the Dollar Store.

It was simple, efficient and when he took the monsters down it was  oh  so  very glorious.

But this is the best part.

When he was done he wrote about it.

I guess I  really did spend a long summer working with Kolchak when I was about 13 , I was doing a lot of babysitting ( I used to get a lot of jobs. I never raided the fridge, I never used the phone and I used to like to play board games) so I actually spent time with the kids I ‘sat on’.

That was also the summer I learned to play the guitar and I was writing and reading a lot of horror stories so my imagination was working overtime.

This is how my adventures with Kolchak went:

I remember at the  beginning of each episode Kolchak would do a voiceover and from nowhere that voice used to pop into my head when I was walking home late at night after babysitting:

Anita Godfrey, ( Carl would say )  after a long night of babysitting three of the weirdest kids to ever be born,  only had to walk down five doors to the safety of her own home one late June night.

She only made it as far as three doors.

( Monster attacks here )

Anita screams and tries to run.

Muncha Muncha Cruncha.


You’d think in those scenarios I’d have made myself the fearless hero, but I could see those monsters run straight at me. I could see their eyes, their teeth their twisted faces covered with dirt from the graves they had crawled out of or covered with cobwebs and dust  from the attics they hid in until sunset.

I wouldn’t have traded that point of view for the world.

Besides a story is a story and I would die to find a good one to tell.

I’m sure Kolchak would approve.

Here There Be Tigers

Home Turf

Name five things in your house that make it a home.

So are these five things that make my house a home material, spiritual are they those  little Anubis Knick Knacks I picked up all over the place when I was learning to be an embalmer?

Are they memoires? Dreams? Hope? Nightmares?

The First thing that makes my house feel like a home is the lack of mirrors.

I would have to learn three other languages just so that I could fully express to you how much I hate mirrors.  I hate their coldness, their lifelessness, I hate they way they hang there and though they don’t judge you, they make it oh so very easy to judge yourself.

Mirrors are demons.

And these demons are  not entertaining  and funny ones that are on shows like Supernatural or The Kardashians

My three black cats and my dog.

Hamish, my dog and Kolchak and Darwin and Micey are my cats.

I’ve always had a dog and cats, when I was living on my own and had no dog and no cats my house was empty and scary and I only showed up there to sleep.

And that was not easy to do for a couple of reasons.

My Grandma told me cats could see and protect you from bad spirits and angry ghosts. I used to suffer from sleep paralysis and it was worse when I didn’t have cats

I have cats, no sleep paralysis.

Problem solved.

As for the dog- well, they’re there to watch over the home. I always felt vulnerable with no dog in the house.

All of my dogs have been sweet and loyal and smart and  they’ve had big freaking teeth.

Just FYI.


My Herb Garden

I used to have an herb garden.

I tended it everyday with my cat Wolfgang.

He enjoyed walking through the plants, he loved to chew on the cilantro and mint leaves, so he always smelled like a pizza.

It was OUR herb garden and it was an important part of our home.

And then Wolfie died and most of the garden went wild and I don’t have the heart to make it what it once  was, so I let it be what it is and that’s okay.

pets 029

The Ghosts

baby monster

Call them memories or reflections, but my house is full of ghosts.

I’ve lost a lot of friends and family members to death.

I’m not saying they walk my hallways and hide under the bed or stand in shadow choked corners ( it surprises me more that they do not ) but their presence is there.

I can feel it, sometimes I catch a wiff of perfume or a drink and I know they’re there.

Sometimes my cats and my one year old Lab Hamish refuse to sleep where Domino and Cerbie used to sleep. They’ll start to and then they’ll jump up like somebody just poked them with a pin and they’ll tear out of the room,  on other days they’re fine.

But these ‘ghosts’ are part of my home too and it would be less of a home without them.

So those are the things that make my house a home:

Memories, security, stories, people who have been there and have either moved on and some ( both living and dead apparently) come back sometimes for a visit.

My Home.

It is so much more then lumber, wires and stuff.


You Might As Well Keep Going


I’ve Become My Parents

Do you ever find yourself doing something your parents used to do when you were a kid, despite the fact you hated it back then?

My Parents did it, my Sister, my brother does it.

When they are committed to an idea or a plan or a feeling they will ride that horse from one end of the universe to the other. They will not turn loose no matter how hard that horse tries to buck them off in the process:  they are solid in what they believe.

They’re not mean about it, they aren’t self-righteous and they will honestly listen to every word you say.

Respectful is the word to sum it up.

And then there is me


When I’m wrong, I’ll try to course correct, I’ll even try to learn something.

And then I go to the source and ask myself:

” Anita Marie, are you really going to let this jackass take you to school? “

And at that point I take that solid focus my family shares ( yeah, well for the most part) and I will go down fighting not only in flames but with a song in my heart and a smile on my lips.

So, in the end all that’s left for me to do is get through the Hell I’ve found myself in, take a few heads and not back down and as take the walk lonesome walk of the always wrong.

I mean, when you’re obviously going to lose the battle, do you have to loose it all?

I’m at this point now because I have spent years YEARS I SAY in indulging people in their opinions, their world views they’re taste in food for Godsakes.

And in return I have learned to ” eat crow’ from the same people when I am wrong.

How messed up is that?

So I might not be as solid as my family.

But if I’m wrong, I’m going to come out of that one alive, hopefully I’ll have taken a head or two along the way and maybe, must maybe I’ll learn something.

We shall see.

What She Said

One of my favorite memoirs was written by Carol Burnett.

It’s called called One More Time-


I enjoyed Carol’s book because of the way she wrote about her family and friends. The people in her book were in glorious technicolor.I felt could see them as I read her book. On the other hand my family is full of vivid characters so I could relate.

So, where is this going.

I have been off looking for ideas, listening to music and probably eating to many snacks but it was worth it.

I was cruising around FB one day when I ran across a post in a Writer’s Group and an editor posted something where he said this would probably upset people but… ( oh translated this means I’m going to screw with you guys but that’s okay, right?)

his point:

You are NOT a writer because you say so, because that’s what you do. You are not a real writer or an author until someone like him edits your book, you gain ‘approval’  and you end up  getting paid.

I have three little stories about that.


When I was just starting out as a guitarist I used to get offers to join bands- as a singer, but not as a guitarist because these bands were looking for “Professional Guitar Players.”

This criteria was set by 16-19 year old BOYS.

I told my music teacher I was sick of hearing that and what did it mean anyway?

My teacher told me, ” Professional means paid. “

He told me to run through the song I had been working on, I did, he reached into his  pocket and handed me a dollar. ” Here, you’re now a paid musician. You’re professional. Congratulations.”

As to the milestone- getting paid  and published.

Well, by a very rough estimate I won prizes and awards for my writing that ended up being worth a serious chunk of cash before I hit 17, so I guess by those standards I was a professional writer too.

I was in scholastic magazines that went state-wide and I think in a few other cases further than that.

The first time that I was ‘recognized’ as a writer was for   a poem and a short story I wrote about a demon cat.

My teacher was so impressed he passed it  around to other teachers and writers-   all the way to ones who taught college.

That’s right I was EVALUATED and my teacher put together my own lesson plan for the next two years so I could develop my gift, my other  teachers followed it to Junior High and it stopped in Highschool because Creative Writing was only taught to Sophomores.

So I applied for extended credit I came up with a new lesson plan and got credit towards Graduating  high school for writing.

So my story and poem ( which I hate writing poems and that was the only one I have ever written)  were entered in contest I’d never heard of and all I know is I got a check for 20.00 and a certificate and a copy of the magazine which in my infinite wisdom as a 10 year old ( this was in 1973), I cut my stuff out and threw the rest of the magazine away :::facepalm:::

But hey, OTHER people SAID I was a writer and I was good. I was only 10 but whatever right? I was APPROVED BY A HIGHER AUTHORITY

And :

I was in another group where we were doing peer reviews and the only piece out of the dozen or so stories that an editor/writer  liked  ( which was good actually ) she got up and said and I quote ” YOU WROTE IT EXACTLY THE WAY I WOULD HAVE. THIS IS FANTASTIC!”

Oh seriously, really?

Back to Carol’s book.

One of my favorite quotes was by Carol’s Grandma, ” Nanny”. When Nanny thought you were being how can I say this…you were being a mindless fool, she would say, ” You make my Ass want to chew tobacco.”

Now the imagery in that slays me.

I love it.

When I read those criteria by people who I will never know about what it takes to ‘be a writer ‘ and that most people who read what they said about what it takes to’ be a writer’,  will probably never meet and that they took it upon themselves to  define people because they have access to the internet and  that more then a few people would be discouraged by them all I can say to those haters is:

” You make my ass want to chew tobacco. Shut the hell up, go write something  meaningful that could actually help shape a writer or the world in general or give blood or do something useful with your life.

And if you are out there writing, and living the experience and it’s an important part of you life then yes you are a writer.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise



ps I fucking hate bullies


Snap! Crackle! Pop!

These Horns Were Made for Tooting

Today, share something you love about yourself  — don’t be shy, be confident! — but that few other people know about you or get to see very often.


You would never guess it by the crap  I eat now, but back in my child rearing days I was a pretty good cook

I loved to dice, chop, slice and saute.

And most of what I cooked or baked I worked on from scratch.

But I did, after awhile start to have trouble at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For those holidays I made turkey- never ham. My dad did a great ham and unless I could turn something out that tasted as half as good I didn’t bother.

Here’s when the trouble started.

When I went to work in the Funeral Home, you could not rattle my cage. I could do reconstructions or an embalming for hours at a time. After spending most of the day working with death and corpses I eventually would look up at the clock and when lunch time rolled around I’d finish up, grab a car and race down to one of the three nearby burger joints.

I could eat like a horse after doing that work.

But…yes the mighty BUT one Thanksgiving I was cleaning the turkey- I reached into the cavity and my stomach clenched up and I almost barfed all over the bird.

I pulled my hand out and took a breath.

I thought I was coming down with the flu- which figured I always got sick around the holidays.

After I got myself together I tried again and this time I did puke- I made it to the sink and I heaved so loud I think I ruined my kid’s and husband’s appetites for the rest of the holidays.

We got the bird cleaned and stuffed and I felt fine for the rest of the day.

That is until Christmas rolled around and the same thing happened- and over the years I got somebody else to clean out the bird and stuff it because the thought of putting my hand into that carcass turns my gut.

I could embalm, I could do reconstructions I could treat the dead no matter what condition they were in with care and dignity.

But to this day I cannot stand to put my hand in a turkey.

Something in me broke and I guess it’s going to stay that way.

Because I am







Enduring Bones


A Storm Knocked This Tree Over, And A Skeleton Was Found Hanging From The Roots…. ( Full Story HERE )

We had a storm here in Washington state a couple of months ago.

All we got was no electricity for a couple of days, downed power lines, some downed trees  and all the food in my freezer went bad.

No skeletons in tree roots.


It’s All Fun And Games Until…

The Fun Platform

If you were the new leader of your country and had the chance to transform something that’s currently an annoyance (or worse) into a very fun activity, what would it be? How would you go about the change, and why would you choose that particular thing?


If I could change one thing, I’d make Election Season fun.

I’d go back to putting voting booths in Saloons- so I guess that means Hooters.

Or better yet Crispy Kremes.

And instead of debates, I’d have the candidates play darts  and do that race where you run with an egg on a spoon because from what I’ve seen that’s what it’s going to feel like they’re doing 99.9% of the time anyway.

Oh and if people start acting nasty to their friends or candidate shaming people who are running for office, I’d make them spend a week living as a homeless person.

I’m not sure why exactly, though I think it has something to do with learning what it’s liked to be shamed for just existing or not ‘acting right’.

Best of all, if you vote I’d give you more then a sticker.

I’d give out gift certificates for Pizza.

That’s right.

You vote and the machine spits out a coupon for a free pizza.

Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

The thing of it is,

If I were REALLY made leader of my own country there wouldn’t be elections and I sure as Hell wouldn’t give out free  pizza.

So cherish and protect what you have.

Respect it.

I could be in charge.

 And I’d treat my dog and cats better then you.

Count on it.


Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Daily Ritual

Think about your day. Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?


When I was little I firmly believed that witches  made themselves cat sized and hid under my bed just before the sun came up.

I would lay there and try to guess how many of them where under there. How many babies they ate, how many curses they cast, how many trees they killed when they sat on the branches and waited to drop on people who were dumb enough to be strolling around during the Witching Hour.

To me if you ran into a witch you were going to end up in a cooking pot, a cat collector ( they ate them too because Cats could see evil so of course NO self respecting witch would want them around) and by the way the Witch took the Cat Collectors Tongues and sewed their eyes shut with their own hair.

Because I was the type of kid who got super angry when she was super scared I took it upon myself to find a way to get those little Witches if they tried to grab me when  I got out of bed in the morning.

I made a little doll that sort of looked like a witch.

I say sort of because it had no head.

And then I put it under my bed.

Now I am grown and I know better.

Really I do.

But under my bed in a shoebox with the lid off I have a little doll with no head and every morning when I reach for my  slippers my fingers brush against that box.

And I smile.


Yours Sincerely


When was the last time you wrote something by hand? What was it?


I blame it on texting and emails.

Nobody hand writes anything anymore.

They don’t hand write letters or notes. They don’t even jot little reminders on their hands.

I’ve even heard kids don’t learn handwriting anymore. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I know most kids can’t tell time on old school clocks so it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that’s true.

I was at a club over the summer- they play rock and roll there.

I went into the restroom to powder my nose and what I noticed was how clean the bathroom was . There was even a little basket with lotions on the counter and the entire room was  painted a light yellow.

There was even a little table with flowers on it and over that was a picture of a woman walking through a  field of sunflowers.

She was dragging a scarf behind her.

I went into one of the stalls and the walls in there were pristine except for flyer with the names and dates of upcoming acts. The flyer  was not taped to the door, but held in a small acrylic frame with the club’s name along the top

I was in awe.

I was also freaked out.

I mean, this was a bathroom in a club that featured rock bands.

So I reached into my purse and found a pen (Yes, I actually carry one. It’s full of ink)slid the flyer out of the frame and I drew little devil horns and mustaches on the faces.

” Nothing personal guys.” I said to the flyer as I slid it back into the frame. ” I’m just setting the Universe  back to writes.”