Oh, Hello

You’re still here?

Why?

No, wait, please don’t leave. Not sure if I’m on schedule or behind schedule for blogging, but, uh, here we go regardless.

If I am behind, in my defense it wasn’t that long ago we thought a hurricane was coming to destroy the Tampa Bay area, and prepping for that was a bit of effort. While I’m grateful to say we locally felt nothing more than a strong tropical storm (not a big deal for a native Floridian), I’m also feeling lingering guilt that it *didn’t* hit us and instead destroyed lives in the Fort Myers area to our south. For those of us who have lived here for a few decades, this is a familiar feeling.

We are quite lucky in this area, having not faced a true direct hit in over 100 years. (Hurricane Irma did strike us about 5 years ago, but it was coming up the state rather than directly off the gulf, and the eye didn’t directly pass over us.) Local superstition holds that the Tocobaga Mounds in Safety Harbor are protecting us. If you’re not aware, the Tocobaga were the primary indigenous culture of the Tampa Bay area before the Europeans came. They ultimately faced the same fate as almost every other native nation in the Americas. (Happy belated Indigenous People’s Day, by the way.) Today, none remain.

This of course raises two questions regarding the rumored protective power of their mounds. One: that hurricane that hit us 100+ years ago? The eye made landfall in Safety Harbor, the town where these mounds reside. So, uh, what gives there? Secondly, there’s the whole question of: ‘why on earth would the people who were exterminated and their lands stolen turn around and bless the now occupied lands so that nature–which said occupiers have been destroying ever since–leaves it alone?’.

I’m thinking there’s another explanation for why Tampa Bay is typically spared.

On the writing front, I’m almost done with a final edit (from my end anyways) of one of my recent horror stories, a 25K novella. Going to try and add a little spice to the beginning, then wrestle with the perfect title. Normally titles come to me fairly easily, but this one is proving elusive. I think on a break from real-job stuff today I’ll take a notepad and jot some ideas down while playing with my sugar gliders.

Halloween is almost here. It’s my favorite time of year–extra horror movies on the streaming apps, fun for the kids, haunted houses, and the miserable heat is finally dying! (Never mind, I died of heatstroke while typing that.) We have just your basic in terms of special traditions here. I decorate the house inside-and-out on October 1st, read fun-spooky bedtime stories to the little one, we go trick-or-treating, all that. Oh, and I also forcefully… uh, force my family every year to sit down so we can all watch Ernest Scared Stupid, a cinematic masterpiece of unrivalled artistic prowess. What about y’all, any special Halloween traditions for you and/or your family?

Til next time, stay safe out there. As an aside, if you are one of the many donating to Hurricane Ian relief funds, as a Floridian I say thank you. Please, however, do not forget our people in Puerto Rico, many of whom are still without power from Hurricane Fiona, which hit almost a full ass month ago. I could go on a huge tirade about how the American government seemingly enjoys screwing over the territory and people there, particularly during storm season, but I’ll digress for now.

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