Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for February 2021

WordPress Ate My Blog, and…

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Folks, I had a very long blog post about the First Amendment to the United States, and how important it is to believe in freedom of speech. But something happened during the “auto-save” process, and WordPress ate half my blog. So I decided to trash the blog, and start over.

I do believe in freedom of speech, even when it’s speech I don’t agree with at all. No matter how vile the speech is, it is protected under the First Amendment.

So, going back to the events of January 6, 2021, here are my thoughts:

1. The protestors carrying flags and chanting who did not go into the Capitol building were exercising their freedom of speech along with their freedom of assembly.

2. The protestors who stayed on the sidewalk and chanted, or sang, or prayed, while others went into the Capitol and trashed it (among other things) are not to blame for other people’s actions. Again, they were exercising their freedoms of speech and assembly. More power to them.

3. Those who crossed the line from speech into action, and stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Five people died that day, including one police officer. Millions of property damage was done, too. And if not but for the grace of God/dess, it’s possible that the protestors who were in the Capitol Building shouting “Hang Mike Pence!” might’ve gotten their wish.

So, the upshot of all of that is, if all you did was yell “Hang Mike Pence!” but did not go into the Capitol, your free speech is protected. But if you yelled “Hang Mike Pence!” and then went into the Capitol, vandalized some stuff, and/or roughed up some police officers (quite a few were injured; one lost an eye; one was nearly crushed to death in a door), you should be prosecuted.

This does not seem like rocket science, to me.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 28, 2021 at 5:59 am

Continuing on, Slowly, and Solely…

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Folks, I let you all know when I was attempting a long-term, long-distance relationship. Unfortunately, that relationship has now ended; my male friend and I decided we were better off as friends than prospective lovers, but I will admit I was the one to make the break.


What I found, under the pandemic, is that my mood is shorter and sharper. I am much more tired, too. And the usual things I would do to relax, such as playing in the Racine Concert Band, just haven’t been available due to the pandemic.

How does that relate to the relationship? Well, I think it made it harder for both of us. I was home more. I was stressed out more. And I couldn’t get to see him, where he was, due to Covid-19.

All of that frustration did not help, at all, on any level.

You see, sometimes with all the will in the world, two good people cannot make a go of it as a romantic pair.

That’s just the way it is. (But oh, how I hate to admit it.)

I will always care about my male friend, and I hope our friendship will survive. (He said he wishes the same thing, but you never know until you’re actually at this point after a relationship ends as to whether or not a friendship will happen or not.) I am glad that we got to find out what we could of each other, even if it didn’t turn out the way either of us planned.

I still believe in love, though. There are many kinds of it. Love of friends. Love of family. A higher love, an altruistic love, a spiritual love…as well as romantic love, with all of the wonders and terrors of that very thing.

So, when I said months ago that I was doing my best to get to know someone, I talked of love too soon, I think. Or maybe didn’t clarify it, even to myself. My expectations perhaps were too high. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready.

Anyway, what I had with my late husband Michael was every type of love there was. Agape. Philios/philia. Eros. All of it. That’s why I’ll honor that love, and my husband’s memory, forever.

And I have to believe that eventually I will find someone else who I can have at least some of all three things (agape, philios, eros). A good friendship, where we understand each other, and want to know more and more about each other for better understanding and more love…excellent communication…a positive feedback loop that bears fruit, perhaps, is the way to go.

Anyway, at this point all I can do is go on, slowly, still dealing with the bronchitis, and put my head up high. I know I tried my best; I know my friend and former love-interest also tried his.

Sometimes, no matter what you want, it just does not work.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 17, 2021 at 9:32 pm

Recommendation: The “Kayla’s Honor” Series by Elizabeth Demaziere

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The three stories about Kayla Warden in the “Kayla’s Honor” series by Elizabeth Demaziere are well worth reading.

Why? Well, they’re full of kick-butt action, for one…Kayla is a former Army intelligence operative, and has kept her skills sharp. This is a good thing, under the circumstances, as she uses those skills to help cowed and/or scared women whenever she can. She has no truck with abusive men, and will do whatever she can to right the scales. If that takes beating them up, so much the better.

For another, Kayla, herself, is well-rounded. She’s smart, driven, well-educated, and while she hates her day job — she’s a data analyst for an expensive law firm — it pays her enough to do most of what she wants. That, fortunately for us, includes helping the aforementioned women.

The only thing I don’t like about these stories is Kayla’s boyfriend. His name is Bradley, he’s an ass, and I don’t know what she’s doing with him. She’s actually engaged to the lout, too, and I just don’t get it. Bradley is a stuffed shirt. He also has no idea what Kayla really did in the military (as much of it was classified); he apparently hasn’t realized the muscles Kayla has aren’t for show, either.

In fact, in one of the stories, Kayla has a flirtation with another man. (I said, “You go, girl!” That’s not my normal reaction, but it fits, here.) I kept hoping she’d run off with that guy, or any other guy, rather than return to stuffed-shirt Bradley and his foolishness.

That I felt so deeply about this says something about the skill of the writer, mind. Which is why I decided to come here, tonight, when I’m not all the way healed up, and let you all know about this fun series of fast, yet compelling reads.

I don’t know Elizabeth Demaziere, but I have definitely enjoyed her stories. (Thus this blog.) So far, there are three of them — Kayla’s Impulse, Kayla’s Decision, and Kayla’s Rescue. I definitely hope there will be more of them, and that we’ll either figure out what the Hell she’s doing with stupid Bradley, or that she breaks up with the bastard altogether. (Can you tell I don’t like Bradley? But as always, I digress. Moving on…)

If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read them for free. If not, each story is under $3.

Do check them out, OK? If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy them and want more.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 13, 2021 at 1:00 am

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Under the Weather (Again)

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Folks, I have been sick for the better part of three weeks.

I wish I didn’t have to write this sort of update, mind. I’d rather talk about what good things are going on than talk about my health cratering again. But I’ve had people ask me what’s going on, and I wanted to put you all at ease on one score, at least.

I do not have Covid.

That said, what I do have is an upper respiratory infection — bronchitis, basically — along with a nasty sinus infection that spread to both ears despite being on antibiotics. The antibiotic was changed, and I think things are getting better…but I have to take things far more slowly than I want, or they could get worse.

The polar vortex the Midwest is enduring right now is also a factor. (Excessive cold can and often does set off my asthma.)

So, what I’m trying to do is get healthy (or at least healthier) so I can do some writing, do some editing, and live my life on my own terms. (As I always do.)

I hope you all are staying safe, eating well, and resting appropriately. (Stay hydrated, too. Am I forgetting anything?) Oh, yes…and read good books!

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 7, 2021 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized