Today’s NaPoWrIMo prompt is to write a poetry form called the ” Bop, a kind of combination sonnet + song. . In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain.” For the A to Z Challenge the authors name will begin with letter J from GoodRead’s quotes. Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for last week’s writing prompt and picture.
“I don’t think it had ever occurred to me that man’s supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain’s capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilization, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.” ― John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
It’s the lushest rainforest I’ve ever seen. If one could say Mother Nature had a life force it would be here, hidden within this vibrant foliage. For me green is the color of life and I think of the exotic creatures found here and I understand why environmentalists are vehemently protecting a forest full of wild animals and their habitats.
To imagine this brilliant life force gone would be painful. There is an ache in my heart picturing the dustlands of a destroyed forest, where nothing can regrow because of how horibly the soil has eroded, stripped of trees. Seeing this century old car buried randomly makes me curious of how the car ended up here; I imagine it’s a fabulous tale. But there’s no one here to tell that story, only me, and miles of greenery. Here in the womb of Mother Nature, one could disappear.
Welcome back to my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing Lee Ann from the blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too. As LeeAnn’s blog focus is more on helping animals through her blog, the focus of this interview will be slightly different than past interviews.
1. LeeAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself and Your Blog?
I have always been a quiet, deep-thinking, and observational person.Through deep-thinking and my tendency to observe, I noticed a lot of aspects about animals. Watching them, and paying attention to them, I fell in love with them.
As I am a quiet person, I feel I tend to get lost in the crowd much of the time. I noticed a similar thing often occurred with animals;they were getting lost in the crowd too when people didn’t pay attention and take care of them. Intrinsically, I felt their worth, their needs, and I noticed the way some of them were not treated nicely. My passion for helping animals was born.
2. When Did You Begin Blogging ? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You?
I had taken classes for Web Design in 2013 and one of the assignments was to create a blog. My blog was my current blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too and I wrote on it occasionally over the next few years. However, in August 2016 I started blogging regularly. I have had different experiences with writing throughout my life.
Back in elementary school I first fell in love with poetry and writing (and my poetry teacher J). Since then, I have written several poems over the years, but only for my family and friends for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and other special events. Currently, some of my responsibilities at work include writing newsletters and social media posts.
Blogging means everything to me because of what I write about. I adore animals and feel passionate about helping them. I have been trying to figure out my entire life how to utilize my love for animals. When the assignment came up in my course to create a blog, my teacher told me she thought I should continue with my ‘helping animal’ themed blog.
I guess you could say a light bulb went off in my head. It took me a few years to apply myself, consistently blogging. But I think I had troubles because I was burnt out from being on a computer all day between work and school. I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.
” I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.” – LeeAnn
3. Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer To Write?
Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there harming animals and not enough laws to protect the animals. This is where my inspiration and motivation comes from. I want to make a difference and ensure fewer animals are harmed. I also feel a lot of people are unaware of how much animal abuse exists and how few laws there are to protect animals (pets).I am hoping to bring light to these issues on my blog.
I am more alert and ‘fresh’ in the late morning after I have some coffee; however, because I have a full-time job, a lot of my writing and blog posts are done in the evening after work.
4. Do You Have Any Current Pet-Related Writing Projects or Hopeful Ones? Are You Planning on Publishing Anything Related to Animals?
My blog is my current and ongoing project. I am only six months into regular blogging, so I am still new at blogging. I am working hard at ‘getting my writing out there’ on animal issues. My hope is to grow my traffic, not for my sake, but for the sake of animals and to make a difference.
So far, I’ve not published anything other than blog posts. I have considered writing a children’s book on empathy towards animals someday. I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc.) I may also turn some of my blog posts into a book someday.
” I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc).” – LeeAnn
5. What Is Your Writing Process Like When Focusing on Animals?
As I mentioned, there is so much animal abuse going on, so there is not a lack of topics to write about. If I see a story on the web about an animal that was abused, I start thinking and the writing process for a post begins.
For example, after going to the Renaissance Festival I noticed an elephant chained to a contraption which only allowed him to move around in a circle giving people rides. I started thinking and when I was home, I wrote about this event and how awful it was for the poor elephant to be so confined and probably abused.
6. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Bloggers or on Advice on How People Can Help Animals in Need?
I am not a ‘professional’ writer, but as another blogger said: “If you’re writing on a blog, you are a writer.” Writing and blogging are skills I and other writers improve on with time. I am still learning and growing as I learn more about blogging, particularly for my significant cause. As well on my blog’s About Page I wrote this about how people can aid animals:
“Supporting animal organizations is . . . one way I help animals . . . I write about a wide variety of topics and types of animals, and I usually share links so you can check out the organization/topic being discussed.
There are many ways we can all help animals. Donating items to shelters, writing letters, signing petitions, volunteering time at an animal organization, sharing my posts to spread the word, and much more.” – LeeAnn
7. Do You Have Anything Else You’d Like To Share With Readers on Helping Animals, Yourself, or Blogging?
I am attempting to give my blog real purpose (a means to an end) that my writing and blogging actually result in animals at risk or already being harmed, not being hurt anymore. I also want people to know I do have a large variety of posts on my blog.
Some of the posts I write include Pet Tales, Vegetarian Recipes, Pet Care Tips, and Serious Topics such as Animal Abuse Issues. I also use pictures from other bloggers and Facebook Page followers. I post them in my posts called ‘Tuesday Tales.’
8. Do You Have Any Favorite Bloggers You Follow?
I enjoy different kinds of blogs, but I think my favorite blogs are when someone writes about their pet(s). I think it’s fun to see all those adorable pet photos and learn about various animals and their personalities. Oddly enough, I do not necessarily like to follow blogs that are about ‘animal activism.’ I applaud them but I find these blogs usually too graphic for me to handle.
9. Please Share With Us Some of Your Animal Related Blog Posts:
The post below was written when a young follower of mine contacted me to let me know she was inspired by my blog. She wrote a poem called “Animals Are Feeling beings Too” which she published on her blog.
I have been blogging (well…serious blogging) for a few months now. I have played around with my blog, changing & adding things like the “Tuesday Tales” where I share animal stories and “Sunday Pause (Paws)” where I encourage everyone to kick back & relax. On my “Vegetarian Challenge” page I try to add recipes every now & then. There hasn’t been an actual challenge yet, but maybe in the future. Also, I have been adding my favorite cruelty-free products to the “Links” page, adding some pictures of my cat, Cino and “Pet Care Tips.”
I will continue to add to these pages and keep a variety on my blog. But one thing that will not change is where my heart is, and that is helping the fight against animal cruelty.
This means some of my posts will not be so uplifting or fun. If I were to only do “happy” posts I wouldn’t be spreading the word about animal cruelty and therefore I wouldn’t be helping animals.
Something I saw on Facebook (or somewhere) not so long ago was this sentence, “The reason I dedicate myself to helping animals so much is because there are already so many people who dedicate their lives to hurting them.” Sadly, a true statement!
There are a lot of people who tell me they can’t stand to read or see anything about animal abuse because it bothers them too much. It bothers me A LOT too, but I can not turn my back on them. I want to encourage others not to either.
I recently have received a few great compliments from fellow bloggers about my blog. This makes me feel so warm & fuzzy. I also received a message from a young follower, named Leona, that said me and my blog inspire her, and that she wrote a poem and named it “Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.” I was overjoyed by this! It makes me think maybe I AM making an impact out there for the good of animals!
Thanks to LeeAnn for the lovely interview and sharing her passion for taking care of and helping animals at home and ones who are in need. Best of luck to her in her blog and spreading the word about animal empathy and the proper way to treat your pets and animals in general. Here is a Link To LeeAnn’s blog one last time: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.
If you would like to share your blogging or writing in my biweekly interview series, please reach out to me through mycontact page on my blog. I will see you in two weeks!
“Overnight, giant snowballs of hay appeared in the field.” Ed was absolutely shocked. There had been little snow last winter and summer and fall had been abnormally dry.
Martha’s blue eyes were huge when Ed came into the house. “Eddy what’s wrong? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an expression on your face. Did something happen?”
Ed gazed at his young wife, noticing how pretty she was. He hadn’t told her so in many months.”You’re a beautiful woman Martha. I knew I was lucky when I married you. You are my miracle.”
“Eddy, what’s come over you?” Martha said pleased.
“Hay, giant snowballs of hay all over the barren fields. More than enough to feed the animals so we don’t have to remortgage the farm.”
Martha peeked out the door and gasped at the sight of hundreds of hay bails in every direction. Then, as of life couldn’t get any better, it began to rain. It rained every second day for two-months. Then as December approached, the rain became snow and it snowed until April.
Everyone else in the area, including in the nearby city, were appalled by the weather and constant precipitation. But all the farmers who had mysterious bails of hay in their fields celebrated because next harvest there would be plentiful crops.
Ed attributed these continued miracles to Martha; she was his first miracle.
Thanks to K.L. Caley for hosting #Maydays. Today’s prompt is something evil.
Brittany Evans was a seasoned District Attorney. She had slaved many hours convicting Jay Brighten of a slew of connected murders. Today, the last victim Vicky Bernhardt would receive justice.
Brighten had viciously killed and dismembered the corpses of young women all over the US. Having finally been caught three-years ago, he was still not remorseful.
As Brittany faced him on the witness stand, his chilling gaze made her want to run.The hollowness of Brighten’s black gaze made Brittany feel as she had every time he was on the witness stand; as if she were staring into the pits of Hell.
“Mr. Brighten,” Brittany said quivering inside, “Did you or did you not kill Vicky Bernhardt, stabbing her an excessive amount of times?”
“Yes, I killed her. I stabbed her seventy-six times to be exact.” Brighten said matter-of-factly.
Brittany was taken aback as usual. Brighten was always frighteningly honest with his answers to her questions. “You were counting how many times you stabbed Vicky?”
“Yes, I counted every single time I stabbed Vicky. I counted for every woman I killed.”
“Why did you stab Vicky and stab all those women, many times?”
Brighten appeared bored as he regarded Brittany.”They were sluts. I don’t care about whores. If they wanted to remain alive they should have made better life choices. Vicky was another whore who needed killing.”
“You believe Vicky needed killing, Mr. Brighten?” Britanny asked scared of what she would hear. Whatever his answer, his words always chilled her to the bone.
“Of course she needed killing. Vicky deserved it. Every one of those sluts I stabbed deserved it. They’re adulterous whores breaking the Ten Commandments. I was doing what had to be done. It’s what God would’ve wanted.”
Brighten sighed as if Britanny was wasting his time. He felt no remorse for his actions it was clear.
“Why did you dismember the dead women? Vicky most significantly?” Brittany asked firmly.
“Same reason. Whores don’t deserve proper burial. Their bodies are already desecrated, so I cut them up like the animals they were.”
The entire courtroom seemed to gasp appalled. Brittany, a trained attorney, felt sick. But then, facing Brighten on the witness stand as she had done numerous times, always made her stomach knot.
“Vicky and those other women you killed weren’t ladies of the night, they weren’t working the streets looking to have sex with men for money Mr. Brighten. Vicky was a university student with a high GPA. She played Tennis. Her boyfriends name was Tom. By all accounts, she was a faithful girlfriend. In fact, all the women you’ve killed have been young professionals or university students with full and happy lives. They were faithful to their partners. What do to say now, Mr. Brighten?”
Brighten had the audacity to roll his eyes. The Judge frowned at him darkly.
“They weren’t married to their boyfriends. They were sluts.That’s why Vicky was a whore and all the rest of those women.”
Brittany couldn’t believe what she was hearing again. Brighten always gave the same horrifying answers.
“Those were real relationships. Many of the girls you killed were engaged. They weren’t sleeping around with multiple partners. They were faithful to their one boyfriend or fiance. They weren’t trading sex for accommodations, food, or clothing. Vicky and every single woman you killed had a job and many were working towards a better one attending school. I don’t understand? Why were Vicky and all these women whores as you say?”
Brighten laughed. “You don’t get it because you’re one.”
“Excuse me?” Brittany said angrily. The Judge called for order in the court.
“They weren’t married,” Brighten emphasized each word. “They’re whores because they were not married to their boyfriends. They didn’t stay virgins until marriage.”
“I’ve read about you and your long-term boyfriend.” Brighten added. “Been together ten-years. You’re a whore. I should’ve killed you too. I should have been less discriminating and killed every woman I could. At least the virgins would go to heaven.”
Brittany was shocked. Her courtroom facade had gone pale. Quickly, she collected herself staring in Brighten’s demonic eyes. She felt as if they were eating her soul, each time she heard him answer a question.
“You’ve been found guilty of sixteen young women’s death for first degree murder along with several other crimes. You pleaded guilty for all of them. You pled guilty to murdering Vicky, the last woman you killed before the police arrested you.” Britanny said with hidden rage in her voice.
“Don’t you care you broke the Ten Commandment: ‘Thou Shall Not Kill?’ Don’t you think when they kill you on death row, God isn’t going to be there on the other side welcoming you to heaven for killing innocent women such as Vicky because you too broke a commandment? By your logic it’s what follows.”
Brighten laughed and laughed. “None of those women are innocent. God will be pleased with me, even though I broke a commandment.”
“So you’re allowed a pass but Vicky and the other women weren’t?”
Brighten smirked not answering the question.
“Answer the question Mr. Brighten,”the Judge ordered.
Brighten laughed maniacally and Brittany felt as if she was going to throw up.
It was years later, but Brighten’s laugh still haunted Brittany’s nightmares. Her dreams terrified her even as she watched Jay Brighten’s execution.
He never showed any remorse or any guilt. Such as many death row prisoners had, Brighten had no religious epiphanies. Brighten still believed he had every right to kill all those women ten-years later when he was finally executed.
“I’v never seen a Rhino before Dallas, they’re cute.” Tanya told her fiancé.”Out of all these exotic animals we’ve seen on the Safari, I think I like the Rhinos by our hotel the best.”
“Why do you love the Rhinos the best Tanya –they’re ugly. All they’re good for is their horns!” Dallas remarked off handedly, grinning at Tanya. “Too bad I can’t hunt one of them while we’re here.”
Tanya’s eyes darkened with anger and her body went stiff.”Excuse me?” Tanya said to Dallas, “we’ve seen all these beautiful creatures and learnt about hunters who are poaching them even on wildlife sanctuaries made to protect exotic animals, and you think a rhino’s worth is only in his horn? What if I told you, you were only good because of your horn?” Tanya ranted poking Dallas in the chest and looking down.
“Well,” Dallas said confidently, “You’d be right to assume it’s one of my greatest attributes. That’s if we’re thinking about the same ‘horn.'” Dallas said winking at Tanya.
“Dallas this isn’t about your ‘horn,’ this is about preserving exotic wildlife. If we hunt these animals they will become extinct, one species of rhinos almost is extinct. As for your ‘horn,’ it’s not as good as you think. If you were a rhino, you’d live a long life.”
Dallas’s face went bright red and he looked away from Tanya who couldn’t stop laughing.