05 July 2013

FAF: Traveling again!

I'm sitting at gate B-70 at Dulles International Airport, waiting for time to speed up so I can board my flight.

Today, I am *that* passenger. You know the one - sniffly, coughing, the "oh please don't get me sick" passenger. I am not contagious. That was days ago. No, I am in the lingering phase of mild congestion and coughing that just will not go away. I have done Zicam, water, tissues, echinacea, cold medicine, steam, and sleep. Still it lingers!

I suddenly have such sympathy for past *those* passengers. Perhaps I could have been more compassionate? Perhaps I could have suppressed the murderous glares? Now I am receiving them.

It's truly a pity that we aren't able to extend greater kindnesses to our fellow traveling companions. We don't know their stories - hell, that's half the fun (cause then you can make up stories in your head about the people sitting around you). Would it kill us to spare a little goodwill?

I won't get you sick, fellow passengers, I assure you. So stop looking at me like that, I can't help the cough.

03 July 2013

Writing Wednesday: Commas

Commas seem to be horribly misunderstood, overused, underused, and/or outright ignored. This is mostly a tragedy because the comma, when properly used, does wonders!

Commas separate the elements in a series of things (when the series includes three or more items), including the last two. Ex: I bought eggs, milk, bread, and cheese at the store today.

A comma combined with a little conjunction (and, but, or, for, so, yet, nor) will connect two independent clauses (that is a lesson for another day). Ex: I brought a notebook for class, but I left my highlighter at home.

A comma can be used between two adjectives when the conjunction "and" could be used between them. Ex: My cat has a shiny, black coat.       You would not use it here: She bought an expensive cotton yarn.  (You wouldn't say she bought an expensive and cotton yarn, because you're conveying that that cotton yarn that was purchased was expensive. Make sense?)

These are just a three comma rules. There are more (of course there are) and there are great grammar websites out there that you can reference if you aren't sure. Some of the ones I check (yes, even I double check myself) are:

The Writing Center
Grammar Book
Guide to Grammar and Writing

Now, go and use commas properly!

01 July 2013

Magickal Monday: Litha

We haven't had a Magickal Monday yet, so hurrah! First Magical Monday is about Litha!

Litha is better known as the Summer Solstice. Some call it Midsummer, which is (in my opinion) a wholly ridiculous name since the Solstice marks the start of summer, not its middle. Anyway.

Litha marks the longest day of the year, when the sun shines the most for the whole year. It is directly across from Yule on the Wheel of the Year. It's the celebration of the union of the God and Goddess (and why June is *the* wedding month) and, in some Celtic traditions, it is the other time of the year when the Oak and Holly Kings battle for the throne. At Litha, the Oak King falls and it is the Holly King who reigns.

We celebrate fertility, life, fulfillment at Litha. It is a time of joy and celebration as we bask in the longest day of sunlight, the light of the Lord. It is also the last day of this before the gradual darkening as we move to fall and then winter.

Litha is also a time to honor the faerie folk. If it is your preference to work with these fine folk, Litha is the best time to honor them. You could set up an altar dedicated especially for them, with flowers and colorful, shiny things. Just remember that faerie folk are to be respected; they have a power all their own and shouldn't be taken lightly.