Home-coming to the Bloom

Today, one of my favourite prompt sites published an interesting topic. You can read more in the process notes below my attempt at a poem. In fact, the notes are the comment I left on Marie Elena and Wolt’s site.

The long road wound to a stop into this garden
Where the fairy house still stands.

I can see white curtains in the windows,
smoke rolls playful from the chimney,
Sage drying under the eaves.

A place to see and to believe.

To think I had been away for what feels like forever, and I come to one of my favourite poetry communities in this particular moment! I remember when it started, in the spring of 2011. Marie Elena and Wolt were already in creative cooperation on Across Lake Eerie (forgive me if I mistake the title), and this space appeared on those creative grounds. I was in a particularly sunny place in my life and universe back then. I “poem-ed” happily away, day in day out. Recently, I woke up to the idea I should come back. My problem is I haven’t used English for a long time, and haven’t written any poems, in whatever language, so I step on shaky feet towards embracing this idea.

When I visited the website a couple of days ago and saw you still post regular prompts, I felt warmth, almost like coming home from a hostile and tiresome journey. Now, that I read the opening sentence of this post, well, honestly, I’m not sure what to say.
So, I’ll say Hi and happy to see you, Marie Elena and Wolt. I hope you remember me ?

And so that you can enjoy the wonderful work the two of them have been doing for over a decade, please visit their blog. The experience will be enriching, inspiring and lovely.

Чалга – филм за надеждата и приятелството


Не се оставяйте да ви заблуди заглавието – “Чалга” не е възхвала на поп-фолк културата. Е, всичко се върти около желанието на главната героиня – Барбара, на галено Барби, от чието име е разказът, да стане известна… с нещо. Най-лесно с чалга. Може да пее, съгласна е на “всичко”, за да бъде известна и не се страхува, че цената може да се окаже твърде висока. Виждаме няколко драматични примера за съгласието с това “всичко”. Още с първия случай, в който си плати за услугата, уредена от собственото гадже, се затвърждава нашата увереност, че тази история ще ни въздейства. Мен ме поразплака, честно казано.

Poster of Chalga
Плакатът на филма
Сюжетът се развива шеметно, на моменти се виждат несъответствия. Например какво става в крайна сметка с оня куфар дето го търкаля навсякъде? В някои сцени го влачи, в други просто го няма, после пак се появява… Ще кажете “Не издребнявай,” но си знаем, че тези неща вадят очите на махнаджиите. Освен това се чудя как поддържа косата и грима си. Всяка жена знае, че външният вид иска време и пари, а Барби предимно обикаля улиците с изгладнял поглед и надежда да срещне богати клиенти.

Струва ми се, че има неточност в диагнозата на Роза – приятелката по неволя на главната героиня. Във филма се твърди, че тя има биполярно разстройство, но според мен тя показва гранично разстройство. Наистина, на английски и двете звучат подобно – bipolar и borderline, и както всички личностни разстройтва, имат някои споделени характеристики и симптоми, но са различни. Биполярното се характеризира с редуващи се епизоди на депресия и еуфория. При Роза това не се наблюдава, поне аз не видях. Граничното, от друга страна, се изразява с непоследователност и неустойчивост на характер и поведение, променливи ценности, объркване по отношение на самия себе си и това къде си в света. Човекът може да е сърдечен и циничен, приятел и предател, твърде сексуален и напълно фригиден. При това, проявява и двете неща еднакво искрено – т.е. винаги се държи като себе си, няма имитация, фалш или скрити планове. Е, може би авторът не е бил адекватно консултиран по темата. А може пък аз да съм в грешка.

Що се отнася до края на филма – напълно нереалистичен. В началото бях истински разочарована. В живота тази история щеше да свърши по съвсем различен и много мрачен начин. Но после ми мина и реших, че всъщност авторът е искал да ни даде надежда. Надежда, че приятелството и любовта могат да спасяват. Надежда, че човек държи съдбата си в ръцете си, и че понякога късметът работи.

А може би просто е добра художествена измислица, за да не плачем безкрайно и безутешно.

Let the NaNoWriMo craze begin anew

Ten years ago, I entered my first NaNoWriMo. What an amazing journey it was. NaNoWriMo2020 flair
That said, this year I decided to be a NaNo-rebel and translate enough horror and paranormal stories in Bulgarian to make an anthology. I have the original stories, some are already translated, but more work is needed. This is a project long delayed, and now is the time to push it.

The post title is an overstatement, I know, considering my actual project. Yet, I feel it exactly that way since I got the idea this morning upon waking up. For a month, I’ve been thinking about my first NaNoWriMo and how happy I was then. I thought about all the nice girl-characters I brought up, and I was sorry for not coming back to writing, editing and, eventually, publishing their stories as well as new stories.

Writer or translator – let’s see how it goes this time.

The Joker – a film review

For today, within the tradition of good holiday film binging, let’s hit the #MovieMonday hashtag. Below is my review of The Joker – a DC Comics-character-based film that has nothing to do with DC Comics aesthetics.

I unconsciously skipped the film when it first came to cinemas, knowing that the character is the green-haired weirdly-grinning figure of a supervillain bred in the DC universe. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a nicely-made comic strip. It’s simply that I get tired of extra loud and extra violent films where stories hang by a thin thread and abundant sound, visual and make-up effects.

Then, I got convinced to watch it by a colleague whose pitch was: “No, not at all, the film is really good, it’s nothing to do with DC Comics.” She went on to tell me it was a troubling experience, so I got interested even more deeply. I watched it and I loved it.

To start the film review proper, I would like to highlight the central star in it. Joaquin Phoenix makes a striking appearance. I was deeply touched with his part, and he contributes dramatically to the general effect the film had on me. His crooked shape, haggard face, his voice and the way he moves – they all made for an amazing presence throughout the film at the same time telling the character story.

Most of the time, I sympathised with Arthur Fleck (the screen name of this Joker version), I felt bad for him and had a bitter taste of the weird unlucky combination of circumstance and choices in his film life. Without too many words, loneliness and isolation were made evident. The following disturbing actions that seemed without any cause made me think of the hopeless struggle a person has with mental illness. As a psychologist, I know that plenty of people go through such troubles and unpleasant issues without going the direction Arthur took. As a student in mental illnesses, I know that what mentally healthy persons can overcome through their inner motivation and emotional maturity, can be the end of reason for a fragile person.

If you want to see a good psychological portrayal of a fall, if you enjoy a good character study and you savour good cinematography, The Joker is an excellent option for you.

Drama Queen, Letters to My Younger Self

Last November, I wrote all November Poem-A-Day prompts against a specific topic – Letters to My Younger Self. It is a chapbook, because that’s the original aim of that month-long challenge – to produce a chapbook for publication.

Obviously, I’m so wasted by work, that come New Year, I’ve forgotten all about it. Of course, I mentioned it in my New-Year-resolutions” post where I bragged about it being nearly ready. Recently, I’ve found the chapbook’s first draft and I think it’s as good a time to post some of the poems here as any. This one was written for day 7 prompt – occupation/profession. In it, I tell my younger self that in spite of all her heroic aspirations, she would be a drama queen.

Image by annca from Pixabay

My favourite occupation,
And your dream – to climb the fandom ladder
Playing what befits you most.

My lovely queen,
Your regular amaze fits, and your frequent
Pas-de-deux in the variety show
Of randomly selected dramatic media,
Goth black, feathers, glee and dreamy eyes,
Still warm my heart with bitterness
Instead of the fans’ loving glitter kisses
On your diary.

Exercise in Poetry Thoughts

Inspired by my friends, Marie Elena and Walt, on their blog, Poetic Bloomings. This is a list of words: walk, Autumn, carrot, lake, race, embrace, song, throw, annual, ego – and as the first step of the exercise, we need to write a sentence using each. Sentences are not connected, however, they need to have some poetic potential.

1. I walk alone in the garden of Eden where flowers bloom in fairy tale haze.
2. Autumn follows summer playing with it, not chasing, just singing in a duet of increasingly ragged tunes.
3. The best sun screens for children contain carrots thus making a jolly triangle of orange childhood.
4. Mirroring the snow-white peak is the lake, quietly caressing me.
5. You can’t win at a rat race unless you’re a rat.
6. Yoga teachers always say, “Embrace yourself”. Are we allowed to pray?
7. Who can hear the song of the cricket?
8. Throw a ball of snow.
9. I used to take part in annual competitions, I used to be thrilled and wanted to win.
10. One’s greatest struggle is the one for subduing one’s ego.

To see other poets’ worthy lines, Poetic Blooming website is at a click distance.
I can’t wait to see what the next step will be.

My Latest Favourite – Eggs


I’ve been struggling with my weight for the past two and a half years since I entered menopause. Once slim and carefree about my dieting habits, I am a totally different person now. To leave life’s normal worries aside, let me tell you about my latest favourite food – eggs.

Maybe eggs are the second most controversial food item next to coffee. All our lives we seem to be listening to ardent defenders and bullying denouncers of both. It seems the two items come and go out of fashion nearly at the same time.

When I was younger, eggs were considered a food that you couldn’t eat over 1-2 times per week. Otherwise, you ran the risk of damaging your kidneys. And the cholesterol levels were considered very high, so eggs were forbidden on any diet. Coffee would damage your heart, for that manner.
Then, voices were heard, articles oozed in behind the veto, and they told us that eggs are actually miraculous food, so we should eat as many of them as we like. Some voices would even say we should eat more than we felt like.
I love eggs, and this is not a new thing. Every Easter I would eat my full of them, not minding the caution tags by experts. During my first massive weight gain, I even contemplated an egg-only 3-day diet, but I didn’t do it. I went for cottage cheese, instead. That didn’t help. I doubt any diet could if you don’t stick to it with all your will. I don’t, that’s why they don’t work for me.

However, the good news about eggs brightened my mood. I don’t see any further chance for putting eggs back on the blacklist. Now, with the Internet and all the information being within easy reach – both for reading and creation, there will always be groups that will support one opinion or another. Hm, that brings me to think about vaccines. Still, that is another topic.
Cook yourself an egg or two, mix it with green salad and enjoy. As for your weight… everyone should find their own way of fighting it.

Ostara, the Spring Equinox Full Moon

Let’s talk about tomorrow’s full moon, the one nearest to the spring equinox, the Ostara. Undoubtedly, you can recognise the common root of this word and the Christian Easter. The coming spring and the raised spirits with returning nature’s lush are a common part of all festivities. We cannot find any biblical grounds for the eggs, for example. The widely-proclaimed story of Mary Magdalene bringing an egg to Tiberius Caesar to announce the raising of Jesus from the dead is of unsure origin. There is no word in the Bible itself regarding this event. In Wiccan tradition, however, eggs and greenleaf spring vegetables play an important role. They remind us of the renewal forces of nature. The egg will develop into a living creature, and the newly sprouted leaves will vary our table with their freshness and put an end to our winter-time diet of preserved and canned food.
This year’s full moon is just around the corner – it’s tomorrow and the hour depends on where in the world you are. Astronomical spring comes right with it, the season changes, a new stage of the year begins.

Image by armennano on Pixabay

It’s a good time for cleaning your house and your soul. Open the windows wide and throw out all you have been keeping but not using for the last couple of months. After the fresh air has penetrated every nook in your house and your soul, don’t sit down to rest. Go out for a walk and feast your eyes and spirit in the renewing nature. Late in the evening come back and rest in your new sheets.
For better cleansing of your body, you can also restrain from too much food for the day of the full moon and the following 2 days. Eat light, abstain from alcohol and revel in the light of the magical moon.
If you like yoga, the full moon is a great time to practice the less known Chandra Namascar – the Moon Salutation complex.

Jasmine and rose are the scents you can add to your everyday lives along with anything else you love, of course. Flow naturally!

Throwback Thursday – 14 March

On this day in 44 BC, the eve of Julius Caesar’s assassination, Casca and Cassius decided that Mark Antony should live. Led by the sour feeling of fairness, by humility or by the sheer fear of the impact of their deed, we can’t be sure. Centuries later, we may jokingly say that Antony was spared so that he could make his grand dramatic appearance at Caesar’s funeral and giving his famous speech which we know from Shakespeare’s play:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

at which point Antony makes a well-paced pause to further build up the crowd’s discontent at the assassins. After which he finishes with:

But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.
But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
I found it in his closet, ’tis his will:
Let but the commons hear this testament–
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.

Did you notice the use of the “honourable man/men” phrase? I laugh every time I hear that phrase. Popular culture contributed to my own unholy feelings when I come across it. There is nothing to be added to that brilliant speech.

Can Introverts Work in HR?

Because of my occupation, I often read about the “perfect” applicant, the “matching” qualities, the “relevant set” of characteristics in a person who will make her fit in a team or a job. Recently, I was outraged by an article about the qualities you need to look out for when you search for your HR Manager. The article was loosely written and had little focus. For instance, I didn’t understand why it was entitled “How to Choose a Quality HR Director”, but it spoke freely about the entire range of HR professionals. I mention such weaknesses because the article appeared in a reputable online HR resource that purports to carry the torchlight of professionalism to the plebeians and newbies in the field. Were it part of a personal blog, I wouldn’t be so upset.

In addition to repeating many well-known truths and rules as if they were ground-breaking revelations, the article reached the conclusion that “There is no place for introverted people in HR”. An explanation of why followed. Needless to say, it only demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge and understanding in the field of personality traits and peculiarities.

Are you curious to read about some of the Myths of Introversion? Here is my blog post #1 encompassing the most popular ones.

Sorry to see that the author is part of a large company recruiting management staff and she has the authority to dictate the tone and beliefs of many professionals in the sphere.

That said, let me explain why I disagree. First of all, introverted people are not ones who don’t like to communicate. Some of them are asocial or socially anxious, but that is not a feature all introverts share. Introverts actually love communication, but they prefer it to be meaningful. Then they need rest.

Second of all, introverts are not people who don’t know how to socialise. Many introverts are keen public speakers and love going to parties and having fun, including meeting strangers. Then they need rest.

When we speak of the need to rest, it might be helpful if you check my post about the “introvert hangover”.

Third, and I don’t want to be rude here, just because someone wants to speak to others and is able to do it incessantly, doesn’t mean this person has anything meaningful to say. The only sure thing about such people is that they love listening to their own voices. How is that helpful when you are an HR?
In order to align your work and mentality with the colleagues from the company, you need to get to know them. That takes time. It also needs a lot of patience. Not many extroverts have the time to wait until they get really close to someone else. Have you seen what happens when an extroverted manager accosts an introverted or asocial employee? The employee withdraws in her shell and you’ll never see her or hear her voice again. This might bring the manager to the easy conclusion that the employee is impolite. Why not see what I’ve written about the myth that introverted people are rude? It will definitely have a familiar ring.

The direct approach combined with a broad smile so characteristic for seasoned managers with experience in big companies is one of the most detested tools of power. Any quiet and focused team member will tell you that.

This goes under my #SavageSaturday hashtag because it discusses my beloved introversion topic.