Happy Friday the 13th

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

Friday the 13th is touted to be the unluckiest day of the year. 2017 has two Friday the 13th’s, does that make it an unlucky year? Does Friday the 13th scare you? Since Halloween is just few weeks away is today the start of a spooky season? Are you superstitious?

1 SJ Brown Vulture

This ominous date has been used in movies and games for decades. The legends that surround this date go back centuries. However if you aren’t the superstitious type you can get a great rate on an airline flight, save thousands on your Wedding, or get a tattoo for a special price, so it’s not all bad.

2 SJ Brown OwlCrows, Snakes, Magpies, Owls and many other animals have been considered bad luck by a number of cultures. But animals are not the only things connected to bad luck. If you break a mirror you may be in for 7 years of bad luck. If you hang a horseshoe upside down the luck will run out. I haven’t had a black cat cross my path lately, but this black duck posed for my camera.

3 SJ Brown Duck

Like I have stated in a previous blog I am on the fence, a middle of the road type of person. If you missed that blog here is the link. ofhttps://writingwranglersandwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/the-middle-of-the-road/

4 SJ Brown CrowI am not sure if it is luck that allows me to find and photograph the critters I do. It could be research and timing along with a bit of practice.

5 SJ Brown SnakeIn closing I urge you to not open any umbrellas in the house, walk under any ladders, put your shoes on the table, step on a crack or put your hat on the bed.

Thanks for stopping by.

Naturally,

S. J. Brown

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My coloring books feature sketches based on my photographs.

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Available at http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

Cover 3-26-23

Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon at

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Pinch Me, I’m Irish by Cher’ley

 This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

Don’t pinch me, I’m not Irish. St. Patrick’s Day is just another day to celebrate, and I never miss the opportunity to have a celebration or a feast. For Christians, St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

Drinking green beer, eating cabbage and corned beef, and looking for shamrocks are all fun things to do. But, my favorite St. Patrick’s Day activity when I was a child (and maybe now too) was pinching the people who didn’t wear green. I looked high and low for anyone who forgot to wear green, and of course found a few. Basically, the wearing of green was to make a person invisible to leprechauns who would run up and pinch anyone who was not wearing green, so, I being a little imp,  imitated the leprechauns. The cabbage and corned beef actually started out as cabbage and bacon, but bacon was so expensive in the United States,  they changed it to corned beef. The drinking of the green beer, well…what can be said about that?

Do I feel lucky?

In the springtime, my mother and would sit for hours in a clover patch searching  for a four leaf clover, she could spot them so quickly that  I would be in awe. Eventually we would tire of searching for the Shamrocks, and if we were lucky enough to find a four-leaf clover ,  we’d take our treasure inside  and press it in a big book for good luck. Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.

Some Fun St. Patrick’s Day facts:  

  • My brother-in-law was born on St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17,  and that is the same day that St. Patrick died in 461 A.D. 
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Boston in 1737 
  • Many young people dye their hair green on this day 
  • Many bars in the United States served green beer to celebrate St Patty’s Day 
  • 34 million Americans have Irish ancestry that is  almost 9 times the population of Ireland which is 4.1 million people 
  • If You come to visit me in West Virginia perhaps we will go see the town Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia

 

Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes
Clovers and Blue moons

Pots of gold and rainbows,
And the red balloon

That’s the luck of me lucky charms! 
Their magically delicious!

Writing instructors say you should never use luck to solve your mysteries, but should a writer use luck in his stories?

How has luck affected your life? How do you celebrate St. Patrick ’s Day? And for an extra bit of luck– name the US River that is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Stamp Out Murder”.

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Janus, a lump of coal, a key…5 days late!

mug shot 200This post by Nancy Jardine

Who was Janus? What’s with the coal? What’s the key for? And why 5 days late?

Taking the 5 days’ question first. Since this is my first ‘Wranglers’ post of the year, I apologise for it being 5 days already into this brand New Year of 2013, and here I am still wittering on about New Year and what it means to me!

I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the other things are all associated with opening doors and heralding in the coming year. However many faces Janus might have: bearded or shaven; with or without coal; and maybe brandishing a key in his right hand –  I’m ready for new beginnings.

Coal

The Scottish tradition of ‘First Footing’ with a lump of coal is a well practised custom. The Old Year is let out and the New Year ushered in. If the first person to pass over the threshold after midnight is a dark haired male bringing coal or whisky, respectively for warmth and general wellbeing in the New Year, it’s deemed a good omen. (Alternatives used when necessary!)

See my archived post of Hogmanay (31st Dec)  2012 for more details of ‘First Footing’ if interested. http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com

That explains the coal, but who is Janus?

If you don’t already know, Janus was the Roman god of beginnings and endings, and of gates and doors. With two heads he was able to look both ways, and was considered the guardian of peace when the door to his shrine in Rome was closed. If neighbouring cities were informed of open doors they knew Rome was at war, and Janus could intercede through those open doors.

Janus

He also represented transitions-for example changes in the aging processes from childhood to adulthood, or the opposites of country and city life. He was worshipped at births and weddings, clearly new starts in the life cycles of those individuals. At harvest, he was given due deference as the end of the growing season gave way to the rest of winter.

                                                                          http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Janus-Vatican.JPG

The two faced/headed Janus was depicted on many Roman coins, the god being associated with money. (Of course, the two-faced Janus is also associated with duplicity…though we’ll skirt over that one!)

Now… someone is bound to say… but what about that sneaky four faced Janus?

A temple to Janus was also built with four portals where he could look to all four quarters. A very clever idea for detecting enemies coming at you from all directions, so BEWARE of any four-faced Janus for he’s likely to corner you just a bit too much!

The image I like best about Janus is the two-faced god, bearded or not, holding a key in his right hand.

That brings me to the key!

key

You may care to disagree, but I’m happy with the interpretation that it opens the door to my future year…and maybe even beyond. I believe I can hold that key in my hand just like Janus. New openings and new beginnings are a fabulous concept. As a writer how can I not get excited about new openings, new chapters, and new places to venture into?  So this coming year I’m aiming to open new doors – to find more new places for my work to feature; new hosts to meet in blogs; and I’m aiming to welcome new guests to my blog. I’m also aiming to use that key a whole lot better since I’ve made access to new social media during 2012 but don’t have a clue how to use them effectively!

Perhaps my new friends at Writing Wranglers and Warriors will help me achieve some of those aims during 2013?

All the best wishes for 2013 to you!

Try these for info about the god Janus:

http://www.plotinus.com/janus_copy2.htm

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/j/janus.html

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romangods/p/janus.htm

http://camphalfblood.wikia.com/wiki/Janus (This one is a more fun reference for you! BTW – I really liked reading the Percy Jackson books to the kids in my class (11-12 year olds) when I was still teaching, because I could do a mini- project on gods and goddesses)

PB Copy number 1

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