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Laboring Away on Labor Day

Trash Cans lining the streets
A Trifecta of Trash Cans

Leaving my neighborhood this morning, I noticed something unusual for a Labor Day morning trash cans lining the curb. This just shouldn’t be.. don’t my neighbors know that the trash men don’t come on holidays.  But maybe this year, it is going to be different.. maybe they will come.  Maybe America or at least Orlando’s waste management company has forgotten why today is a holiday. 

Labor Day is a celebration of the social and economic contributions of workers and has been celebrated  in the U.S. since 1894.   It was rushed through Congress and signed into law by President Cleveland after the Pullman Strike which left several U.S. Marshalls and soldiers dead.  They sped it up to prevent more violence and help conciliation with organized labor.  It was a day to celebrate and to rest when many folks were still working seven days a week in horrible depressing and dangerous conditions. 

Triangle Fire
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

 Now more than a 100 years after it’s creation it has become just another holiday for sales and barbeques.  Forgotten are the men and women who died during the labor movement to earn workers the rights they now enjoy. 

 It now symbolizes the end of summer for Americans.  Pools when I lived up north use to close after today.  Oh and don’t dare wear white after today.  In highschool, I was pulled aside the assistant principal and informed that I was breaking that particular rule.  It was embarrassing. 

Even more embarrassing is the fact that most of us have forgotten why we for the most part have the day off.  For the last three years, I have been quietly working away every Labor day at a local theme park filling in the the receptionist so that she could enjoy today off.  There will be no barbeques for me when I get off this evening.   Instead, I will quietly slip into my house,  pour a glass of lemonade and put my feet up before preparing to go to work again tomorrow.

towels
My Tower of Towels

Twice in the last year, I have been accused of being a workaholic. (Strangely, by two different guys who wanted to date me. Not the best move, boys.)  The term implies that I am addicted to working; that I work for the sake of working.   Working myself into an early grave smiling as I go.  I work the way I do because I am addicted to paying bills and having a roof over my head.   I also work so that I can have options. Options like taking the summer off to write and travel or going to Dragon Con and not coming home broke.  The Saturday that I spend rolling towels is going to help pay off my credit cards, student loans and possible a ticket to Saint Kitts next summer.

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Labor Day is a day that celebrates the working man & woman by letting them have a day off.  An extra day to rest and see what our labor has built.  What the labor of the last two hundred years has helped build.  As for me, when I walk into my house after work today and take a  savory sip of lemonade, I am going to envision sitting reading my first novel on the serene beaches of St. Kitts next summer forever grateful for those whose blood, sweat and lives made it possible for me to work for my dreams.

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The Last Unicorn the Graphic Novel

Since 1968, this story has been capturing hearts and minds. My heart was taken prisoner in the late eighties when it appeared on TV and like many children I didn’t realize there was a book.   Sad, but true.. now there is a graphic novel to call me back to this enchanting tale. It adds rich details that the movie did not and left me craving more.  Thankful the local library has a copy of the original book waiting for me.

I have become a Last Unicorn addict and I want you to join me.

The story is about a unicorn who goes in search of her fellow unicorns upon hearing that she is the last of her kind.  Her quest leads her away from her forest and into the lands of moral men. There she is seen only as a beautiful white mare because human beings have lost the ability to see creatures such as her. Well, most humans.  Mommy Fortuna, voiced by the unforgettable Angela Landsberry in the film, finds her sleeping, realizes what she is and traps her.

At the Midnight Carnival, Mommy Fortuna along with her vile henchman, Ruhk, run the show passing off  ordinary albeit sad animals as mythological creatures.  Mommy Fortuna’s magic allows people to see the unicorn for who she really is as well as one other creature, a Harpy.

A quest as we all know cannot end with the heroine in prison so enters the cursed wizard Schmedrick who seeing the unicorn’s plight rescues her.  She in turn rescues the other creatures trapped including the Harpy who takes revenge on Mommy Fortuna and Ruhk.  It is then that we learn not to run from an immortal creature it only attracts their attention. 

Along the way to find the other unicorns, we meet Molly Grue, a character who the author did not provide much background for, but was brought to life so beautiful by Tammy Grimmes in the movie that Peter Beagle was grateful to her. She is my favorite human character and reading her words in the graphic novel I was immediately reminded of the movie. Eventually, the trio makes it to the castle of King Haggard, who with the help of the Red Bull has driven the rest of the unicorns into the sea where they wait to return to the land.

Beagle created a classic tale which the movie brought to my generation and the graphic novel will bring to a new generation. The illustrations are truly beautiful and pay homage to the movie’s creations while bring in more of the original tales richness.  They are both detailed and captivating.  This is one book that will be finding its’ way into the hands of my nieces and nephews this Yule.

You can purchase the graphic book at Amazon  or at my a-store  in both hardback or for kindle formats. There is also a deluxe edition  which contains illustrations as well as an art gallery available.

Thank you …

Less than a year ago, I began this journey in writing.  I have grown through it and because of it; actually that part is inevitable, if I don’t continue to grown then I die.  And maybe that is the point.  As human beings we must never stop growing and learning.  Stopping is the end.

Thank you to everyone that has followed this blog.  Yesterday, I received word that 100 people have official followed the blog. It means a great deal to me that you have made the choice to follow me;  a bright stop in this very rainy day.

Thank you, again and always,

Lu

Mind on Holiday

My brain has decided to go on holiday a little early.. it is months away from spring break and summer is just a dream at this point; but still it has decided to be preoccupied with distracting me from writing to concentrate matter it feel is more urgent. As a result, posts here may become a little erratic until I sort things out.

I will have a few tales to tell when I return.  Until then… I thank you for your patience and support.