…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

Also, don't forget to visit Kaylia's Official Website where you can get information about Kaylia's upcoming events, and learn more about her free lance writing and other publications.

The Hunger Games

You know how it is when everyone and their brother tells you to read/watch/eat/try/visit something and the more you hear about it the less you want to read/watch/eat/try/visit or even aknowledge the existence of whatever?

Maybe that’s just me being all contrarian, but anyway.

I kept hearing about this book and thinking “I don’t really like Young adult… maybe I’ll get around to reading it…” then I heard there was going to be a movie and I thought, “Stupid Hollywood having to remake something yet again as a sign of their shrinking originality…”

Okay, so I am more than a contrarian, I’m a snob and an iconoclast.

But I can also admit when I was wrong.

I was wrong.

I was wrong to wait to read this book because… because despite it belonging to the genre of “Young adult” it was a terrifically written book that dealt with adult themes in a compelling manner.

Set in a world not too unlike our own but far far in the future where the rules of society have changed dramatically, author Suzanne Collins creates for us a story that is intriguing, dynamic, and hard to put down.

A lottery type event leads to our main character having to battle it out Survivor style against other combatants in a last man (child) standing sort of competition that wis uses by the powers that be as entertainment… a sort of reality TV concept from hell where no one has a choice and the ratings mean life or death.

What could have been overly heavy handed with social commentary or boringly simplistic in a whittiling down of opponents is instead a riveting portrayal of character development. Collins does a marvelous job of creating her new world with enough detail to keep the eader engaged without going overboard with exposition.

The main character Katniss is one of those rare protagonists that carry the story without showing signs of the load. The twists and turns are almost all unexpected and even the slightly annoying teen angst is well played.  

(I abhor teen angst but thankfully this book managed to not over do it… the narration and excitement of the more broad storylines more than made up for it.)

All in all, well worth a read, and for those of you who have limited time, a quick read at that.

Life is about changes.. and also about accepting that somethings don’t change.

Things that Change:
My mood regarding the Maifan-san being out of town. Sometimes I relish the alone time and the freedom, but sometimes I am horribly lonely and can’t wait for him to come home.
My appetite. Sometimes all I want is fruit and bread, other times I crave popcorn and can’t even think about eating anything else.
My crochet project: At first a blanket, then a scarf… now I am working on a bag. I really need to learn how to read patterns.
My nieces. They keep getting bigger! My nephews do this as well, but I have ben around the nieces a lot more lately and the changes have been huge!

Olivia (5) and Bailee (2)

Noe (8.5 months)

Things that Don’t Change: 
My weight. Nope, I am stuck at the same weight I have been for months now. I am starting to get really frustrated because I honestly am not sure I can reasonably work out more/better or eat less/better.
Kids needing help: Every time I have a shift at the Community Center I encounter a youth-sort who needs guidance, support, a friendly ear… I am continually glad that we are here to do what we can.
My devotion to Star Trek. TNG is now streaming on Netflix. And…. I LOVE it. I can’t get enough! It doesn't matter how many times I have seen the episode, my eyes are glued to the screen!
My temptation to spend money I don’t have. This one is a no brainer. I keep seeing things I want to buy! Curses on this materialistic streak in my soul!

Oh, and one more thing that doesn’t change… the crazy people who get into politics in this country. From Michele Bachman to Rick Perry… Sometimes I just want to hang my head and move to Canada.

Moving Forward

On the treadmill
Of life
Not a real one, I have a busted knee
Pushing and straining, hoping and, yes, sometimes praying.
I doubt it will work but occasionally feel like hedging my bets
Or at least going through the motions
I want someone else to be responsible
Or capable
Or, maybe just aware.
The scenery doesn’t change
Everywhere sort of looks like everywhere else
At least, the places that I go
There is a Wal-Mart nearby
A gas station
A place to buy milk
And it is always hot
The timeline in my head
(Correction, Baby, just one)
… The when and if of it all
Sometimes more than I can handle
So I tread
In the water walking floating pushing and not sinking

What it is, Is

It isn’t in the words you say
Or even, the ones you don’t
What it is,
How you know
When to touch my hand
Reach across the couch, the front seat, the table
Skin on skin reminder

It isn’t about the gifts you give
Or the things you let me get myself
What it is,
How you care enough to care
Folding the laundry in ways that make me smile
A lightening of the load

It isn’t about the time you spend with me
Or the time you let me be alone, no guilt
What it is,
How you make me feel
Heart alight and soaring, beating in reflective time
Shared breath and goals and hopes


I swam this morning, in the deep end.
Back and forth, arms pumping, legs kicking, trying to keep my breathing regular.
Not going anywhere, but trying anyway

I read tables and charts and figures.
HIV cases for my area.
Thirty new cases in the first three months of the year.
Ten of them are “youth”
(aged 15 to 24)

I jogged today, in the shallow end.
Back and forth, arms held high to increase blood flow, toes scraping the bottom
Trying not to slip.

I wrote
Word and phrases
Building, or attempting to, a story
Something new, relevant, worth reading.
The backspace button is too easy of a tool, suddenly the words are gone.

I went back to the pool.
Another thirty minutes on the timer,
Keeping my head afloat

Water splashes
Or tears
Hard to tell when you are swimming
In the dark.
Ahhhh August. Month of back to school sales, last ditch summer travel, and warm warm weather.

Of course the month is also going to start out with the Maifain-San out of town for a night and the car still needing a bit of work.

And then there is the dentist appointment.

Those of you who read here semi regularly might remember my last horrifying dentist appointment… the comedy of errors that still haunts my dreams . I sincerely hope this one goes better. (How could it go worse?)

But before that adventure can happen I must share another one of those “aren’t you glad you aren’t me” stories.

I was on the bus the other day… (why do these stories so often begin this way?)… heading to a wedding of all things on a Thursday morning. It was to be a county clerk’s counter sort of wedding so my dress, while nice, was more sundress than formal. I also had a hat and, I have been told, looked a bit 1930s.

(I would insert a photo but alas, I ened up taking most of the photos at the event, so just use your imagination.)

As the bus barreled along, stopping ever blessed twenty feet to pick up more and more passengers, I suddenly became aware that one of the many conversations going on around me that I had been attempting to ignore, was actually about… me.

I can’t tell you specifically what made me realize this… a lot of “she” and “the hat” and “dress” words probably. Anyway, I glanced behind me and my suspicions were confirmed.

“Ahh! Now she pays attention to us!” crowed the man on the left. He was a big guy, in his 50s, greasy hair, ball cap, scruffy and blessed with one of those mouths tailor made for chewing tobacco and yelling red neck yodels.

“Yep.” Agreed the man on the right, younger, much more clean shaven, a large toothy grin and a cowlick coupled with the polo shirt and, I kid you not, a child’s lunchbox on his lap. His voice is semi child like.
I turned back toward the front of the bus.

“Now, don’t be like that, “Scruffy said, “We was just being conversing with you.”

I remained silent, trying to remember specifically what I had over heard.

“She’s ignoring us again!” Polo Shirt explaimed in a tone of mild wonder.

“Well, that just sucks don’t it. That just makes my ass twitch! Gimmie that pen.”

Pen? I swivel back around.

Scruffy is holding a ballpoint pen and pointing it at me.

”Wooo, oh yes, now you look. Nah, go ahead, turn back around I’m a gonna draw a spider on the back of your neck.”

Polo Shirt laughs happily, “A spider!”

“What?” Me now, trying to figure out what is going on, “No…”

“Yep.” Scruffy grins, his teeth are dark yellow, “A spider. It’ll really sex up your outfit.”

“Oh, umm, no thanks.” My neck hurts but I can’t bring myself to turn back around.

“Oh….” Polo Shirt is disappointed. His lower lip quivers. “It’s just a spider.”

“Yeah,” Scruffy is twirling the pen now, “Come on, it’s not like I was gonna charge you or anything.”

“No really,” I’m trying to stay breezy, “Thank you but no. I don’t think it would go with my dress.”

“Sure it will, spiders go with everything!” Scruffy throws his head back and laughs.

The bus slides to a stop and the riders begin the uncomfortable dance of standing, switching seat, moving from door to door. I take the chance and grab my bag. A few rows back, where the duo is safely in front of me and I am much much closer to the exit door, I sit back down.

“What? You moved!” It is their turn to crane their necks, and scruffy is belligerent, “Why’d you do that!”

I am silent, holding my purse, counting the stops until freedom.

“We was just being polite, stupid cow.” He frowns back at me.

“Cows, not spiders!” Polo Shirt has regained his sense of humor and is grinning again.

Eventually they turn back around and what follows is an indepth converstion about exactly how and why unicorns are magic, what the purpose of their horns are, how they are used in fights, and different ways to know if a unicorm has been present.

The diatribe is carried out mostly by Polo Shirt with Scruffy asking leading questions and generally encouraging the topic. I am very glad to be two rows back.

The thing is, after I got off the bus and my heart rate had returned to normal, I found the funny in the situation.

Well, a bit anyway.

Not to start a whole new “elevator” debacle, but here goes… Hey guys, Please don’t offer to draw spiders on the back of the necks of women you don’t know. It is creepy. Thank you.

And again, Happy August!