Fantasticalities Vol. 1 Issue 18

The progress each writer makes throughout their lives is ever present in the writings they choose to share with the world.   Tina Butler has returned to give us just such a glimplse.  Her poetry has helped her overcome many obstacles over twenty years.  After reading this you will see that like wine she has only gotten better with age.


On into my Own (1974)

by: Tina Butler

On into my own,
Striving for all that is to be,
Challenging, defending,
Livings for what is to be mine.

Carry on a name,
Carry on a tradition,
Carry on the hope,
That will someday be mine.

Carry on the knowledge,
Carry on a life,
Carry on what I believe,
That will always be mine.

On into my own,
Carrying all that I know,
Living a life,
No one else can call their own.

I strive for what I think is right,
The goals that I want to reach,
The knowledge I want to store,
The life I want to live,

On into my own,
Finding new rails to be found,
Living my life as I live it,
Going on into my own.

I am the new, you are the old,
I live in your way but some in my own,
I will carry on traditions,
For I am the generations to come.

From left to right: Heather Watgen, Tina Butler, Fred Wood
From left to right: Heather Watgen, Tina Butler, Fred Wood

Untitiled (1996)

By: Tina Butler

Rejoice, when you think of the life I had
I don’t want you to look into my eyes do sad.
The beautiful sun shining brightly in the sky
The stars twinkling, glimmering, shimmering on high

There are a few of the things that will remind you of me
Do not be sad, I am as happy as can be.
The earthly being yo knew as my body and soul
Has now become a sight only few behold

The joy in my sould and the light in my heart
Is saddened by grief that you think we’re apart
The memories you hold, no one can take
The emptiness you feel, will some day be replaced

Hold me close and I ‘ll never let you go
Each time you look up, each time you will know
I’m the sun shining brightly in the sky
And the stars shimmering on high.

If you enjoyed this issue of Fantasticalites be sure and check out the entire series Fantasticalities 

Thanks for reading,
Joy and F.B. Wood

Not Your Scapegoat – A Future Lesson on Friendship for My Daughter

Don’t give a $%^&

So, it’s happened to me twice now in the last 8 months. A friend has let me know they can no longer be my friend.  When I asked why they responded by saying their girlfriends didn’t feel comfortable with them talking to me.  My initial reaction has been “What the hell, man?”.  Especially, now that it has happened again so recently.

It drudged up feelings of insecurity. Is it me? Oh no! Do I have the Shiksa syndrome that plagued Elaine in that Seinfeld episode? I don’t think so. No able body Israelite is driving hard for my hoop. Plus, one of the incidents involved a lesbian couple. Go figure. Then what did I do wrong? What could I have done different? All the usual self-defeating thoughts marched right through my brain.

It hurt. Severed relationships always hurt.  Whether they’re your fault or not. Reflecting upon the recent incident more deeply I can honestly say that it’s all reminiscent of grade school behavior. We’ve all seen it and told ourselves not to go there.  Never in my 8 years of marriage, 10 years of togetherness, with my husband have I ever demanded, mandated, ultimatumed, forced, pressured or even guilted him into severing any form of relationship, friend, acquaintance,  or otherwise.

He is a big boy. His relationships are his relationships. Have I felt jealous of his friends? Of course. Have I felt threatened by a female friend? You betcha. Have I told him this? Absolutely. What did we do about it? We did the grown adult thing and talked about it, together. There was once  a male friend, in SC, that couldn’t stand me. The feeling was very much mutual. So, my husband would meet this person outside of the house. He respected my feelings about this person and didn’t bring him around me. I never expected him to stop being his friend. I’ve felt jealous about female friends/co-workers, but I made an effort to get to know them and bottom line I trust my husband.

TRUST – key word here.

So, what does this all mean for you? Well, if you find yourself friend-dumped, with your head reeling, wondering what the @#$%! just happened allow me to help you through some things.

#1. REPEAT AFTER ME – NO, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Unless you did something that physically jeopardized your friend’s coupledom. Such as  making a move, expressing feelings of sexy love or, made threats against your friends partner, in which case you probably deserved the friend-dumping. These circumstances aside YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. This shows the major red flags in your “so-called-friends” relationship. Clearly there are major trust and/or insecurity issues going on there. More than likely on the part of both parties. Someone did something to warrant the mistrust at hand or they are guilty of it themselves. Thus are taking it out on their partner. Unless you’re Dr. Phil – you can’t help them work through those issues. But you don’t have to let them make you feel the scapegoat. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!

#2. NO, THERE IS NOTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE.  You can’t make people like you. People found fault with Mother Teresa for God’s sake. It’s just a constant in life. This is a lesson humans will never stop learning until we’re old enough to understand the simple concept of friendship. This usually happens when we’re gathering around a bridge table in some retirement home. Friends come and go all throughout your life for various reasons. Some people will burn through friends like matches. Others will allow time and distance to pull them apart. Some will pop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm only to disappear just as quickly. If they shut down on you suddenly, like Fort Knox, because their significant other can’t get their panties out of a wad they sound like a terribly shallow person. There is nothing wrong with holding you head high and just walking away. No matter how loyal you are to your friend. Always take a stand for yourself.

#3. BE THE BIGGER PERSON AND LET GO. Sooner or later, hopefully, they will realize that they’re allowing themselves to be manipulated, guilted, or bullied in the relationship and will take a stand for themselves. I’ve seen it happen, heck I’ve experienced it myself before. These people may resurface in your life looking to make amends or renew the friendship. You can only control how you respond to the situation. Remember, you can proceed with a level head of maturity. For whatever reason they justified hacking you off like a dead limb, let it go. It’s not your issues. They are not your problem to solve. I won’t say completely stay away from these people coming back around. If you’d like renew the friendship… cautiously. I say cautiously because the same situation can and probably will happen again. Especially, if the person is prone to lack of poor judgement.

#4. HARD TRUTH TIME - They never respected you enough as their friend. Let’s face it shall we, if this “friend” really cared about the friendship they had with you they would have found a better way to handle the issue instead of putting up with childish demands. One alternative is to find common ground for the two parties to stand upon.  Prove to the skeptical half of the party that there was nothing to worry about to begin with.  Make strides to have the two get to know each other on some level. If no effort was made then I”m afraid to say they were never really a friend to begin with.

Good news is you will make new friends, meet new people, and develop healthier relationships throughout your life. Being friend dumped is life’s way of not-so-subtly saying “try again”. There’s nothing wrong with that.  Let’s just hope you learned the lesson on the first go around.  And for the record….No, you’re not a Shiksa. I should know. There is no phantom Shishka syndrome plaguing me.

Thanks for reading,


Welcome to the New In the Woods Publishing

1418174_10202419380191654_234476514_nOur posts have been sparadic at best.  We apology for this.  We should have put up a PARDON OUR DUST sign,  but as there is no real debris to speak of we just did our best to get things wrapped up so we could get back to the blogging.  It was a long road with some nasty stress and quite a few rewrites.  It was all worth it.

The reconstruction of the website is complete. We hope you enjoy all the new features!!

We posted a blog, some time ago, that had a survey of the topics you would like to see us write about.  Up until that point our direction was to write about whatever we felt like.  Well, it turns out that’s exactly what you like to see.  The variety of our blog seems to be one of the more attractive features.  However, we understand that you may not get to catch every blog every day and that digging through archives can be time consuming……. That’s why we have compiled the archives for you.  We took our three most popular blog columns, compiled them from beginning to end, and gave them their own websites.

You can now read the entire Concert House Rocks , series starting with “Life Among the Star”.  See a concert through the eyes of event security and the trials I face even before the current rises.

Inside the Cube  has been a recurring colum for Joy.  She has enjoyed sharing her trials and triumphs with many other readers who know exactly what it’s like to work with others in the corporate world.

Fantasticalities is our free fiction publication.  It is an open platform for any and all wrtiers (amateur to professional) looking to see their words in print. We have featured the poetry of Leonard Wood and his son Fred Wood.  Tina Butler has shared her poetry with us.  You can also find the complete first chapter to Charlotte Harding’s up coming novel A Long Way Down.

If you have any ideas for a blog, fiction, or poetry we would be happy to consider it for our website. Be sure and check out the  Submission Guidelines.

Our authors are now recieving the online recognition they deserve. We have added two new author pages. Charlotte Harding is currently writing her bio to let you know how long she’s been writing and where she finds her inspiration. For now you can book mark it to come back to it at a later date. Be sure to follwo Charlotte on Twitter @CharlieHardAuth. I, F.B. Wood now offer a short bio of myself plus links to both ofmy books available on Smithing the Word and Daily Woodchips of Wisdom. You can also follow me on Twitter @FrederickWoodII.

By far we are the most proud of our final additions.  We have completed the publication process.  We our now available in the land of the digital books.  That’s right our books have now been made available for Kindle.   Both Smithing the Word and Daily Woodchips of Wisdom have been converted and we couldn’t be happier.  This is a bold new frontier that we look forward to conquering with many more new novels and inspirational coffee table books.

It has been an exciting summer for In the Woods Publishing.  We want to thank all of you for checking in daily, or periodically. Which ever the case may be we’re happy to have you as the readers of our works.  We look forward to bringing much, much more.  Until you click back in.

Triumph is for those that know they have to feel disappointment at some point on the road. 

Thanks for ‘inter’chatting

F.B. &Joy Wood

Finding Your Oasis

patioNope, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I promise. Work has certainly ramped up over the last 3 months. I finally got my full head counts in for the year. Production is moving forward at high speed. While that it exciting news I have found myself in the throes of tittering between heavy hand holding and the fear that I’m not dedicating enough time to my new team. Projects have piled up, deadlines draw near, prices continue to change and the ever turbulent landscape of the Medical Supply industry continues to evolve every week. Each day I come home exhausted from the work day and mentally preparing myself for the next.

I feel horrible that many of my personal writings, projects and, hobbies have had to take a back burner due to the increased stress. Work was beginning to consume all my energy. I even thought I was still making conscious efforts at being more than physically present to my daughter and husband. Then one day while out to lunch with them, I was venting to F about a particularly testing issue at work. Phoebe clasped her little hands on my arm, began tugging at me to look at the picture she’d just drawn. She kept tugging and talking, tugging and talking. Since I was still midsentence with F, I nodded my head at her, scooted the picture to the side of the table and tried to nonchalantly brush her off so I could continue venting to F. Big fat tears welled up in her eyes. F stopped me dead in the conversation with his tone. He slid the paper over to me. She had drawn a picture of me, with her blocky scribbly handwriting she had written “I love Mommy.” Tears began to burn in my eyes.

******************************************************************************cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Fun will only be a positive distraction if all in attendance are smiling.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


I felt like the worst parent on the planet. I had done the one thing, I never wanted to do as a parent – dismiss my daughter. I immediately wiped her tears away and squeezed her tight against me. I had promised myself long ago that I wouldn’t let anything keep me from spending quality time with the ones I loved, ever. I knew I had to find a way to decompress. F has been with me long enough that he can tell when life gets to me long before I do. My body objects physically – I threw my back out the last weekend in May. I chew my cuticles/fingers without realizing it. And apparently I can become quiet violent about sharing a blanket in my sleep. Doing well at my job is very important to me, but something had to give. I had to find a way to keep work at work and family in the present as much as possible.

Last year F had concentrated his efforts on remodeling our back patio. (click here  if you’d like to read the full post)He did such a wonderful job and I had begun to want to spend more time out there, but had nowhere to really sit. He found me two lovely fold out chairs from a yard sale for my Mothers Day Present (yes it was actually what I asked for). Phoebe and F went and found colorful pots for the plants I’d picked out for the patio. We even found a strand of cheap outdoor lights to hang up so we can stay out back into the night if we wanted too. It has truly become my oasis. We cook out there and once we find a nice table we’ll start eating out there. It’s one of the first places I run to with Phoebe when I get home from work. She pulls up her chair, I lay on mine and she tells me about her day, reads me her favorite stories, or plays games out there with me until the sky grows dark. These moments on the patio have helped me calm down, gain some quality time with my kid and recharge my reserves for the next day.

I’d like to know where you recharge. Maybe it’s your bed, or your recliner, or maybe it’s a shady spot in the back yard.  Comment back and let us, and the rest of the internet, know. Where ever it may be I hope you find yourself just like I do.

If you liked this post here is one I wrote about revisting my home town after having moved away. Stranger in a Superfical Town

Thanks for reading,


Making Immortal Marks

carvingsI recently prompted a new friend of mine to question his current life path.  I had no intention of doing this.  I was simply trying to make polite conversation.  He is retired so, I made the inquiry of “What do you do all day?”  He stood puzzling for a moment to which he then responded “Oh, eat, sleep, mostly watch T.V., go to the accupuncturist.”  I continued you on the conversation about the accupuncture.   He is also a retired Vietnam Veteran. So, a little later on I asked if he had heard of a computer program (Dragon)  that typed out his words and all he had to do was speak his story.   He said he had, but that is where the conversation ended.

It is often said that one finds immortality within one’s offspring.  There are many that see themselves live on through their children and are quite content to let that be their legacy. However, in the case of my friend he has no children.   Where does that leave him then?

******************************************************************************cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Dreams are driven by belief.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


Our initial visit ended when we had to check into our hotel room.  Once inside we received a phone call letting us know he needed to rest, but he would be in touch.   It came in the form of an email just a few hours later. In it he let us know what was slated for the next day.  He also mentioned how he wanted to start looking into writing down a few of his war stories.

We all strive towards a hidden goal.  It is one buried deep within ourselves.  It is the one that we know could change the world if we could just bring it to fruition.  Due to the fact, that generally, the goal is so far outside of our norm we’re not entirely sure how to undertake it. So, we let it slip to the way side or the back burner.  It’s not forgotten.  It’s just unrealized.

Like many stroytellers my new friend felt that withouth an audience what is the point in even pursuing the written word. They were his memories and maybe they were meant just for him.  Yet, he held Joy and I captivated with the story that got him discharged. It was quite the tale of heroism and casuality.  He saw us light up.  When we came back he had all his documentation at the ready for us to read over.  It contained a very personal note from his commanding officer to his parents on the incident. There was also a write up with full picture documentation in one of his veteran’s magazines.

There are some that feel theirs is but a passing fancy upon this world.  That this is no mark to be made and that we are to blink out just as we blinked in.  Some might say that they have given up on their dream.  Other would condesend and say he never had what it took to begin with.  And still others, a very select few, would see that there’s is a life lived so intensly that it makes a mark on almost everyone it touches.  Artists will never know their names, but they are the madmen that haunt their paintings. Writers will never say hi, but these are the souls that run rampant throughout our stories.   Parents hide their children’s eyes and warn them not to grow into such riff raff. Their immortalizaion is not their own, but they are still remembered.

No matter what mark of immortality you make upon this world make sure it had your feelings, your opinions, your ideas, and part of your soul.  When you put that much into your goals then there is nothing, not even time, that can erase what you did.

The marks we make along the way will forever show how vigorously we lived our lives.

If you liked this post here is one I wrote about the futility of grammar nazis: No Rest for the Grammar Nazi

Thanks for reading,


Concert House Rocks: To Hassle or Not to Hassle

to hassleIt’s been a few weeks since we visited with the Concert House.  So, here for your reading pleasure are some of the joys that face myself and other members of the staff while on duty.

As a doorman my primary function, I’m a little sad to say, is ticket taker and I.D. checker.  My secondary function is dealing with guest list and the crazies as they attempt to talk, jump, or force their way back into the concert (which there aren’t very many).  So, you can imagine that for most shows all I do is scan, rip, and return the stubs.  And OH don’t let me forget I get to count all those tickets.  Bet you’re jealousy is seething at this point isn’t it?  Needless to say I get a little bored sometimes as early as forty minutes into a show.  To amuse myself I abuse my authority.

******************************************************************************cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Dreams are driven by belief.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


It’s policy that every person has to enter the venue with either “X”s (under 21) or a wristband (over 21).  There are obviously some people who are over 21. I have one of two options 1.) I can just give them a wristband and smile letting them pass.  There are some that get this privelege: veterens over 50, handicapped, and visible disgruntled patrons.  Everybody else gets 2.)  hassled for their I.D. I know that card is buried deep in the recesses of thier pockets or purses, but I don’t care. It doesn’t matter how long the line is or how many crow’s feet you have or how many gray hairs are in your beard.  I tell them “I’ve seen better make up jobs.”   This good natured ribbing gets two reactions laughter feeling flattered because they haven’t been carded since 1982, or they get pissed.  Those that get pissed are less than 1%.

Tickets are another point of contention I get to unnecessarily hassle people over.  Just about all of them under 21.  You’d think paying 20-50 bucks a ticket that they would put them somewhere safe…..Nope.  They pull them out of their tri fold wallets.  They pull folded up tickets out of their pockets. Girls hand me tickets from inside their bras.  All of these tickets are usually ripped, torn, wet, or missing the bar code I need to scan.  They hand me these maimed tickets to which I respond “Sorry, this is no good. You voided it when you ripped it.” I hand back the ticket and let the fun commence.  No two reactions are ever the same.  A lot of people’s mouths open along side with their eyes.  Stunned they turn to their friends sometimes. All of whom have untorn tickets. Others belt out “What? I didn’t know.”  Or my new personal favorite “Nobody told me that.”  As if all common sense must be explicitly spelled out for the youth of America.  Some get mad with me and one, only one, hassled me back.  She told me I needed to pay attention to my job. I told her she needed to be more mindfull of the people she is to interact with. I’ve never gotten into a verbal altercation over any of this.  Because I only let the joke go for a minute at most. I always let the other shoe drop quickly and as long as the ticket isn’t a fake I let them in.

You’d think all these jokes would keep me entertained, but the bulk of patrons are in the venue three quarters of the way through the show.  So, I have to find patrons in the venue to hassle.  Some of the other event staff amuse themselves by walking around looking tough eyeing patrons down or randomly searching people.  Some of them take it to the next level by talking sternly to some of the youth before sending them back into the show. I, myself, will illustrate my in show hassling with an example from this past weekend.  The smoking area is outside and barricaded off so as to prevent jumpers. As the show comes to a close I start to shrink the smoking area by stacking up barricades.  As I was dismantling the area a couple of patrons were standing outside of the new smaller smoking area. I looked at them serisouly and said, “I don’t like you. I don’t like your face and you’re not coming back into my show.”  They looked around wide eyed as if someone was going to explain to them what happened. I gave no reason. I just said they were out.  A patron behind me started laughing at what just happened and said “Oh man.”  I quickly smiled and opened the barricade back up for them to go inside.  They weren’t smiling, but the joke wasn’t for them.

Fun at work is wanted as long as you don’t let the joke drag on.

If you liked this Concert House Rocks post here is another one I wrote about the toughest moment I ever had at the door. Concert House Rocks: Broken by the Door

Thanks for reading,



Fantasticalities Vol. 1 Issue 17





By: F.B. Wood


“It’s just nature. It’s put here for a reason.”  Justin’s smile punctuated his thought.

His lack of faith in God concerned Allison to no end.  She had found herself praying for his soul on more than one occasion. Though, she found it less concerning as she got lost in his furrowed brow, pretty smile, and autumn blown brown hair.  She had met Justin on one of her first mission trips to Main Street, Greenville.  It was an effort she had spearheaded at her church, Anderson Baptist.  She wanted to offer the youth of the small town a taste of a larger city while at the same time offering spiritual redemption to whoever heard them sing.  Amongst the crowds of wandering bar goers few showed any interest in the Lord.  The number of youth was small, but Allison considered any time spreading the word of the gospel a success.

“Are you coming to church with me this Sunday?”  Allison asked the question as she bent to retrieve her guitar from its case.  Justin did his best to ignore the question as he had done in the past, but recently it didn’t matter what Allison said he always found his attention with her.

“Are you picking me up?” Allison stood up and wrapped the strap around her slender neck.  She thought about the question as she tuned her guitar.  A few strands of auburn hair fell into her face.  She placed them back behind her hear and said gently,


If you would like to read the heart warming conlusion to “Feathers” you can find it here in Smithing the Word By F.B. Wood.

 Follow F.B. on Twitter @FrederickWoodII 


“I could.”  Justin perked up at the response.

“Could we go out for coffee afterwards?” Justin’s smile grew larger. Allison stood a gape leaving her fingers motionless on the neck of the guitar.  She shook her head and answered,

“I wouldn’t be able to.  I have meetings with the pastor and youth leaders.” Allison played a few bars humming to herself.

“Alright, well…” Justin’s smile sneered slightly.  “I don’t think the flying spaghetti monster would appreciate your lord trying to infringe his thoughts on me.”  Allison strummed her guitar violently off key.

“Why do you have to do that? Jesus is not infringing on you.”

“Of course he isn’t.  He only tells me everything I do is in vain unless I do it in his name.”

Allison sighed her frustration and began to strum her guitar melodiously.

“Why are we having this conversation again?” Allison’s words were almost sing songy.   Justin pretended to think by rubbing his chin.  Justin shrugged his shoulders. Allison sang out again.  “Just accept it for your soul.”

“I can’t limit myself to one definition of God like you.” Allison couldn’t help, but to let out a little whimsical laugh.  Justin had spent enough Friday nights with Allison to know what that sound meant.  He was wrong and she was about to launch into a very lengthy explanation as to why.  He leaned back on the backside of one of the public benches grinning from ear to ear.

“As you can see hear clearly in Corinthians…” Allison unstrapped and leaned her guitar against the same bench Justin was using.  She pulled out her Bible and began to recite passages as several of her youth group began to show up.  Most of them were kids under the age of seventeen.  Some brought guitars and maracas and a few of them brought their younger siblings. Each one made sure to stay close to their sisters and brothers. Justin found it amusing that the youngest one’s eyes darted around the city wildly.  Justin stood in the middle of the group receiving the impromptu sermon.  The rest served as a chorus of “Amens” and nods of the head.  Allison’s voice might have held his attention had it been talking about anything else.  Justin’s eyes wandered came to rest on one of the smaller members of the youth group making her way towards them.  Catherine or Cat Young was always smiling.  She was one of the older members of the group though her stature kept her as the smallest.  Justin noticed her across the street and concern quickly spread across his face. Cat came walking up the same street she always used only her arms were stiff by her side.  Her jacket flopped lifelessly against her knee though the weather suggested she put it on.  These facts were all noted after the initial sign.  The problem that caught Justin’s eye first was that she wasn’t smiling.

If you have a poetry or short story submission for Fantasticalities please copy and paste your entry into the body of the email and send it to us at

Enjoyed this issue of Fantasticalities? Here is  Issue 16 featuring Leonard Wood and his post WWII poetry. 

Thanks for reading

F.B. & Joy

No Rest for the Grammar Nazi

grammar naziI’ve been working towards it for the last six years.   All of you have been supporting me as I make my way through one of the more difficult tasks of my life. Yet, I am a little more than a year away from obtaining my undergraduate degree in English.

As a future English graduate you might infer that I am one of the most ruthless of all the grammar nazis.  I have been known to correct people’s grammar on the internet. I’ve pointed out a few misspellings and a coma misusage, or two, as well.  Alright, those of you that know me know that is a slight exaggeration.  I correct alot of people’s stuff. However, I have chosen to tell them through private message instead of pointing out their faults openly on any forums.

In their eyes this probably isn’t any better than being corrected openly.  In fact it maybe worse because then nobody gets to see their very witty retort to my recommendations.

******************************************************************************cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Dreams are driven by belief.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


Anyway, I have a few other like minded grammar nazi friends on my friends list and I’ve read a few of their rants.  It seems that they just keep getting angrier and angrier.  When people begin to go to these extremes, over any issue,  it always gives me cause to stop and wonder.   As my mind wandered through it’s archives, filing cabinets, and over stuffed shelves I came across a memory from my Spanish 201 class.   Mi Professora explained that language, of any kind, is the expression of abstract thoughts.  And that if you’re open to how the person expresses themselves, no matter how poorly,  then establishing their thought process can be much more readily understood.  Whether it’s poor Spanish or poor English you can still piece together the general idea of what another is trying to express.  At least most intelligent, and patient, people can.

So, if this is all speech why get so upset?  My guess would be that it’s a personal standard.  There are those put a lot of time and energy learning how to succiently express their thoughts with their language.  So, there is almost no question as to what is being expressed to inculde the nuances.  Others do not hold themselves to such a high standard. They just know either you will get what they are trying to say or you won’t.   It is one way we learn to bond with our friends and family.

Is there a common ground?  Can two almost completely different ways of expression learn to co-exist?  Or will Grammar Nazis forever be waging war against the D.N.C.? (Do Not Cares)  Hopefully, this post, being from an English major, might give some of the grammar nazis cause for a moment of thought.  Even if you do get one person to change the use of one coma there is still a million more mistakes out there being made every six seconds.

As for those of you out there that do not care I know that there is no over night remedy for your choice of expression.  There is, also, no over night remedy for the animosity felt on both sides of the fence.

However,  there is one way to cut down on confusion. (On both sides.)  I would suggest that everyone read your posts, texts, emails, and homework before you press enter or print.  If it doesn’t sound correct in your head then it won’t sound correct in anyone else’s.  To take this to the next level (for those of you feeling comfortable with this step or are alone) read your post, text, email, or homework out loud.  If it doesn’t sound correct to your ear then it will definitely not sound correct to anyone else’s either.  Gaps are more easily bridged when both sides are working towards the middle.

We should all learn to get past how they are saying “it” and concentrate on “what” they are saying.

If you liked this post here is one I wrote about the discovered inspiration for our website’s name: What’s in Our Name?

As always thanks for reading,


Fantasticalities vol. 1 issue 16

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Not for US

By: Leonard Wood

As the slow measured tone of taps

Drifts out onto the soft night air,

The smell of the last volley still persists

As we commit these who died to the earth

Does that last tribute concern us?

We who travel the high road in the blue,

Our last remains in a driving plane

Or like a firery comet blasts across the horizon.

Seldom is the place found on earth

Where the glazed metallic ashes mark

The firery rebirth of a ghostly band

Whose souls shall wtch o’er all to come.

Fear not all you band of wanderers

The soothing sounds of Taps rests you

No cloak of Earth ashes on top

To shut out the sun and the sky above.


He saw the panicked look on Heidi’s face and in an instant Dwayne realized he was going to be kicked out of Mega Mall without the V.C. He grabbed the thirty-five kilogram V.C. and dashed off for the door, his heart pounding in his chest.

 Follow Dwayne Delaruse as he flees from security in “Six Billion Dollars in Debt”  featured in Smithing the Word By F.B. Wood.  Follow F.B. on Twitter @FrederickWoodII 


picture provided by
picture provided by


By: Leonard Wood

Humanity? What does the word mean,

Persons, beings, individuals, the mob;

All are parts of the whole and all act

To a greater or lesser degree a pattern

No to sit yet understandable

When you are poor and dull you become primary

The first man was an animal to a degree

When you think a little and work you are secondary

The second man liked his family and the crowd.

When you think much and work little you are third

The third man is eccentric and is individual,

When you thnk all of the time you are fourth.

The fourth man isn’t love yet but someday-


If you have a poetry or short story submission for Fantasticalities please copy and paste your entry into the body of the email and send it to us at

Enjoyed this issue of Fantasticalities? Here is  Issue 15 featuring Tina Butler and her poetry 

Thanks for reading

F.B. & Joy

What’s in Our Name?

DSCN7004One of the idiosyncracies that I possess that drives Joy crazy is a desire to explore and scout things out.  This usually means I go alone leaving her behind.  I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a Saggitarius or because I’m a man, but I have to be alone for at least thirty minutes a week.  And I usually have to be doing something.  Riding my bike around Reno discovering new sights is my current mission, but when we were back in Greenville I had no bike and thus fell back on the old hobby of hiking.

We were right next to a golf course so there was miles and miles of paved trail to walk on.  When I went to scope the golf house there was a big sign that said the dress code of khaki pants and collared shirts was to be strictly enforced.  I looked down at my t-shirt and shorts and frowned.  I could have walked around the parking lot, but decided that the out of bounds territory was fair game.  It was marked on the golf course, but it wasn’t part of the golf course.  I figured I’d deal with any problems if they arose.

******************************************************************************cover1Woodchip of Wisdom: Dreams are driven by belief.

Find more encouragement in our enlightening coffee table book  Daily Woodchips of Wisdomby Frederick and Joy Wood.


I stumbled across a little dirt service road where all the biological waste from the course gets dumped i.e. stumps, branches, grass clippings.  This little road connected with the golf course and then brought you out to the main road which I could follow back to the hotel. It made a nice neat little circle and I only had to step foot on the course for a little more than forty yards.   I made this loop a couple of times.   On one of the go arounds a golf cart started coming up behind me while I was on the forty yard strecth of the course.  I wanted to avoid any trouble so I quickened my pace.  I began to have a conversation in my head where the two men in the cart started to berrate me for what I was wearing. I told them, in my mind, after I stepped back onto the service road “I’m not on your stupid course. I’m in…the…woods…”  My pace slowed as my senses began to come alive.

I had taken on the name for my publishing company as a play on words of my last name, but I had never really asked myself “What does it mean to be in the woods?” I raised my face to the sky and let the checkered sunlight that washes through the tree’s canopy hit my face.  I listened to the robins and the blue jays sing their triumph to eachother.  The trees lifted up their voices as the wind pushed its way through their leaves. My nostrils suddenly became very aware of the musky smell of birth and death the trees were continiously giving off.  I was standing amongst a world that seemed perfectly still, but brought everyone of my senses to life.  There was so much for my senses to interact with that it slowed my thoughts to a place of serenity.

As I stood there truly feeling what it meant to be in the woods I decided that this is what I wanted to bring back to the blog.   I wanted to do my best to impart engaging material that comes back to a place of quiet serene thought.  There is a forest that resides in each of us just as there is a desert and an ocean.  All of them bring a different level of calm to our souls.  It is the forest that I am most in touch with and it is the world of the woods that I hope to encourage in each of you.  It is a difficult job to hold onto the inner peace we all strive for. It seems that the daily turmoils seeks to rip you out of this world time and time again.  But know that you have a port in the storm here at  In the Woods Publishing.  We will continue to put storm calming serenity into our posts.  It helps us find a center and maybe it will help you too.

One of the greatest calms is to find someone that has been where you’re standing.

If you liked this post here is one I wrote about my intial impressions of the new Greenville, SC:  Greenville: Back Up in Ya

As always thanks for reading,


One Fifty

reflections in no more than 150 words (usually)

The Underground Writer

Observations simply stated.

Hey! Those Aren't Raisins.

Life. Music. Snozzberries.

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

I will shatter a word and scatter the contents into the wind to share it with the world.

In The Woods Publishing

Lose yourself in the leaves of the woods

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