Category Archives: Fantasy

Urban Legend

Today in 565 AD, St, Columba reported seeing the Loch Ness Monster.  I wonder how he would feel if he knew people were still talking about Nessie today.

Around Luverne, legend has it that Jesse James jumped his horse across a ridiculously wide gap at the Devil’s Gulch in Garretson, SD, running away from Northfield and the disastrous raid there.  I have seen the gap and I seriously doubt a horse could jump it, but what do I know? Luvernites also believe that a tornado will never strike the town because of some special characteristics of the Blue Mounds formations to the north of the city. Maybe. Maybe, though, we have just been lucky.

Any legends from where you have lived or where you grew up? What is your favorite urban legend?



Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown

Have you ever been waking up in the morning and hear the phone ring, then become fully awake and realize you just imagined it? If so, you may have experienced an auditory hypnagogic hallucination.

In August of 2015, Dr. Laurence Knott of the UK wrote: “Hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations are visual, tactile, auditory, or other sensory events, usually brief but occasionally prolonged, that occur at the transition from wakefulness to sleep (hypnagogic) or from sleep to wakefulness (hypnopompic). The phenomenon is thought to have been first described by the Dutch physician Isbrand Van Diemerbroeck in 1664.[1] The person may hear sounds that are not there and see visual hallucinations. These visual and auditory images are very vivid and may be bizarre or disturbing.”

And Wikipedia describe it this way:   “Hypnagogia is the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep in humans: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep. Mental phenomena that occur during this “threshold consciousness” phase include lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.” As you can see, there are several other “conditions” mentioned, that I don’t have the time to explore here.

I love what is sometimes called the “twilight time” as I drift off to sleep, and frequently have little vignettes play out before my (closed) eyes. I have heard seemingly original strains of music that I wish I could write down and remember later. Rather than thinking of it as a medical condition to be “treated”, I often wish they would last longer.

Do you experience any sort of hallucinations upon waking or falling asleep? Or do you have any elaborate daydreams?


Back to the Future

A weird coincidence resulted in three dystopian future books hitting my reading list in the last month. First there was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel that was a Blevins Book Club selection.  Then there was The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch then Ready Player One by Ernest Kline.

Normally I like the dystopian future genre but by the time I got to the end of Ready Player One, I was ready to renounce any other titles that come my way.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m feeling like a dystopian future is already on our doorsteps or if it was just too many of these books in a row.  Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to a Jane Austen title I just picked up from the library!

Do you have a favorite genre? Do you ever get tired of it?

Saving Me From Myself

I have always had a penchant for t-shirts with slogans. When I was 13, I discovered a Northern Sun Alliance catalog while babysitting and was smitten by the huge number of t-shirts with not just slogans, but left-wing, liberal slogans.  (Imagine my excitement when after five years of living in Minneapolis, I discovered that Northern Sun Alliance is actually located here!)  I saved up my money, filled out the order form (yep, a paper order form) and sent off for my very first slogan t-shirt.

(FYI, Northern Sun doesn’t sell this t-shirt any longer but you can still get this slogan on a poster or bumper sticker!)

I have a hard time staying away from t-shirts with sayings that I think are relevant or funny or geeky or all of the above. I also have trouble staying away from State t-shirts and those cheap t-shirts that the DNR sells.  This means that I occasionally have to go through and purge my t-shirt drawer as I have WAY TOO MANY.  Right now I have t-shirts w/ dragons and reindeer, Pluto, Mongols, Gravity: It’s the Law, Pizza John, cats with books, more dragons, State Fair themes (at least 5), Stihl lumberjacks and Rocket Sheep.So you wouldn’t think I’d be in the market for any more…. well, you’d be wrong. Now I’m trying to figure out how to keep myself from getting a t-shirt that says “If the earth were really flat, cats would have knocked everything off the edge by now.”

How do you justify getting something you want when you really don’t need it?

Real Life

In a TV murder mystery I watched over the weekend, the heroine is trailing some bad guy at a hotel. He leaves the hotel and gets into his car right outside.   She comes out and gets into her car which is parked right behind his.  That’s when I realized that Aristotle was wrong about art imitating life.  When, in any movie or TV show does the hero or heroine have to circle the block to find a parking spot?  Or park 3 blocks away and hoof it to where they are going?  Or stop to pay a parking meter?  Never.

It made me think about other things that never happen on screen. Nobody ever scoops poop when walking their dogs, nobody ever seems to put groceries away (although every now and then there is actually time spent in a grocery store) and nobody EVER stops to worry about birth control.

I think it would be nice to have a world in which I could always find a convenient parking spot and have my groceries put away magically.

What daily task would you love to have disappear from your life?

Strange Performance Opportunities

In November, Husband and I and four other members of our handbell choir are going to New York City to play in a massed handbell choir of 300 ringers at Carnegie Hall.  We have been invited to play a separate concert in Central Park, and last week, the silliest ringing opportunity thus far came from the Carnegie staff, who have arranged for us to play at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes.  We can sign up to perform in  one of three shows on November 29 and 30.

I just don’t know if I am up for the Rockettes. We don’t have to dress like the Rockettes, which is a blessing.  Husband  would look pretty silly in tights and high heels!  This trip is getting stranger and stranger!

If you could perform anywhere doing anything, where would it be and with whom?  

New Phase of the Moon

NASA has been back in the news with the announcement that a return trip to the moon is in the works for 2024. And this means that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is back in the news with HIS announcement that he wants to bankroll 6-8 artists to go with him on a SpaceX flight affectionately named “Dear Moon”. He says that taking artists to space would allow them to “communicate their experiences to the masses in new ways”.

Of course, this project is just in the offing and we’ll have to see if it comes to fruition by 2024.

Would you want to travel to the moon? Or Mars?  Or beyond?