Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home is a Biker Jacket

I shrugged on my biker jacket like I had a million times before. Something in the way it settled over my shoulders, gently surrounded my arms and hugged my waist and chest were different this time. This time it was you in that hug. You in that pliable, protective armor that let me know I'm safe and at the same time I am free.

I closed my eyes.

My chin rested gently on your shoulder, arms holding you less like a passenger and more like a lover. Your hand occasionally caressing, then resting gently on my thigh beside you. My eyes were closed then, too.

Feeling the cool air eat through my thick jeans, and the way you caressed the bike were to go. We parked a while and walked around the rich part of town with its boutiques and bistros, and we fit. Just then. Just there, we fit in beyond those jeans and jackets. Destiny provided a park bench where we sat. Your arm around my shoulders, my head on your chest.

You always smelled so good. Thirty years down and you still smell so good. We talked of kids and chaos. Life, love, hope, plans, dreams. You always believed in me, no matter how wacky I thought I sounded. I always believed in you; ever the cool pragmatist. Our love was never for rings and ceremony, but for time and an impossible eternity and distance. Our love is that Harley startling the urban gentry out of their polite conversations. It is sitting on that bench, feeling as though time had stopped just for us. Our love was always home.

I drew in the scent of leather and the faintest hint of lingering cologne and for a few seconds, I was at home on that park bench, emerged from a darkness that had been clinging to me so tight.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stepped Aside

It's been months, and my original plan was to write here no matter what. But life is a funny thing that gets busy messy and the only time I really have left at the end of the day is to fall asleep. In a heap. Tonight, I'm writing to the tune of Dora, because if my child sat on my head one more time I was gonna lose it. Lokisdottir, that is. Surly as ever. Bright and beautiful and all those things moms are supposed to say. CoyoteCurls is kicking butt in second grade, but hasn't lost her sparkle. I like that. They both keep me going (slightly insane, but at least I'm going somewhere). I won't lie. I'm beat. And everything creative about me is focused on making it to the end of any given day. But I can't say I don't love every second, because there're armies of moms who will beat the "You're Lucky" drum. And I get it. I do. They don't have it easy either. But once in a while I envy them. Here I am staring at the clock. It's 7:10. And I barely have enough to get me to bedtime, so I know there will be no creative venture tonight into my dark little world of fiction that sounds like more fun than it actually would be. See, here's the kicker. I'm stealing some time while my kids are engaged in something NOT me...and CoyoteCurls wants to sing me a song because I seem lonely. I say no. I am a horrible person. But she's been singing to me for three days, even through the bathroom door. It's sweet, and I appreciate it. I do. But for a commute. In a car. Alone. In traffic. So I'm off to listen to yet another song sung from the heart.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Apropos of Nothing

My Last Post

A couple days ago I dropped in a piece of flash fiction I'd written a little bit ago. No intro, and for no real reason...or if there was one, it's lost somewhere that my uncaffeinated brain can't quite find right now. Almost all of my work is first person, so no it's not necessarily autobiographical. The pieces that are real are often so covered in my own perceptions that, while there is truth, there is also a layer of the paint of my perceptions. It's how most people tell stories, I believe...It's the truth as they felt it. What was a minor part of a story to me, may have been a very emotional moment for someone else, and his or her story will reflect that. It's a key to figuring out what's important to people. Just listen, rather than try to persuade them to your version of reality. Because their reality is a patchwork of past experiences that have made them aware of different aspects of life. My awareness is different than my husband's, in part because he's 6'3 with forearms around the size of my calf.

It can be as simple as the wind. For me at 115lbs, the wind is a factor. That's all there is to it. Yesterday's wind was a shoving wind, and as we left the zoo, it was work to get to the car. For him, it was just a windy day. We joked about it (we joke about a lot and that's one of the most awesome things about him), but I remember being 160 lbs and a wind like that would have been laughable to me. But I'm portable and I know it (that is its own post; being thin isn't everything it's cracked up to be. See also: my clothes say things like Hannah Montana).

This I Why I Don't Write In The Morning

Because I've been handed a sock, two shoes, and as I type, Lokisdottir is on her way to help. While we are watching some kid's show, I have thrown a new variable into the routine and must be liberated. She has her breakfast bar (Z Bars, while not advertised as GF have given us no trouble)and juice while I have coffee. We watch a show, then play with trains. Today we are waiting for CoyoteCurls to surface from her makeshift tent in the great room...she's practicing for a camp out next weekend. Yeah on Mother's Day weekend, thank you YMCA.

Lokisdottir seems to be distracted by her Awesome Disney Toy that my friend gave her. For now. So I get to write more, but it will most likely end up being a lot about how surprised I am that I have time to do this in the morning. Because the second I'm engaged in writing, there will be an emergency, I am sure.

Well, everyone have a good one. I'm gonna go put shoes on Minnie Mouse before I get a fat lip.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The River is Mine

I’m sitting here in the coffee shop, tucked away in a corner where no one can see me. It’s not my favorite place, but the rain drove me inside today. Turns out I needed it though. Some demons left behind. Some demons yet to find. This place isn’t mine and I like it that way.

I usually go to a park not far from here, down by the river. There’s a sunbathed rock that is perfect for sitting, my feet dangling. Hot pink toes swirling in the eddies. It’s a quiet place where the currents carry, the sun warms, and I am alone. That place is becoming mine. It’s my imprint I feel when I return. On the bank are my own footprints I find each day. That spot on the rock I wiped clean. There’s a place I put my drink and a place I put my notebook. I’ve told no one about this place. Certainly not him.

I’d go to the dam where the roiling water hushes everything. Where it’s always raining a muddy rainbow. But it’s not mine any more. Those were my footprints but they’ve washed away. I loved that place until him. It was raining that night. His silhouette in the lightening. It was my own doing, really…or rather my own undoing. There was a sandy boot print on my floor mat for days. Pointing directly at me. A specific print from a specific boot for a specific job. I knew the print. I knew the job. I couldn’t bring myself to wipe that print away. I didn’t want to forget. For a moment he claimed that space. That place. I went back to the dam the next day, walked all over where he stood to let my tennis shoes have the last word. I kicked at the prints his tires had left. Erased them with my shoe. I walked all over to reclaim every rock, hidden stream and trail. Up into the woods until it became someone’s back yard. I walked all over, my feet staking a claim. Kicked at all the footprints that weren’t mine. I went to the dam to say good bye. I loved that place until him.

This place is only mine for a moment. The moment I am here. This shining moment of private smiles and hide-and-seek blushes. Nothing happened in this place, no ghosts can claim it. But they will. The dam is lost to me. But the river is mine.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Creativity the Slow Way

Mindless Work and Blank Pages

I love mindless work. Lifting, shoveling, hauling, mowing. It gives me time and space to think, but enough distraction to not overthink. Usually that's when The Muse is around, chattering away about this and that. Helping me break thoughts apart into smaller, more manageable ones. I like my iPhone because I can take notes. And though I have voice to text, I usually type...and now that I think of it, I prefer my creative endeavors the slow way.

Originally I had intended to hire someone for bobcat work, figuring that getting the heavy lifting done in a few hours would save a lot of time. But looking back over the last 20 tons of gravel, and the big pile of dirt I moved by hand, it gave me time to gain confidence in my abilities. At first I was really nervous about getting the wall in the right place, making sure it was straight and level and not too deep nor shallow. But Once I dug part of the trench, I started to relax about that part. Then came the gravel bed. Same thing. Nervous at first, but relaxed. And finally the wall. I'd helped my husband with several, already, so I knew the drill. Level on all axes, and after a bit check the level with the 4ft level to see that I'm trending, set a string, to keep it straight. But this was me alone with the tools, and a Really Heavy Blocks...and dammit I was NOT going to ask for help. But I relaxed and it went great.

Next was filling the space behind the wall, and for most of this part, it's just been endless wheelbarrows of stone, which I placed deliberately, because I hadn't decided yet what the boundaries of the terrace were going to look like. So I got to spend some time playing with shape, size, and depth; I know there will be a fairy garden for the dottirs, but I hadn't made many more decisions beyond that. Had I done this the bobcat way, I'd have had no chance to play with these ideas. So I set the first stage of garden wall, and tomorrow will buy what I need for the second stage (it's a different kind of wall block, but these will be planters rather than gardens, so I needed a heavier duty wall material that locked together, much like the retaining wall. But lighter). As a result I'm happy. I didn't have to make the garden any particular size because it was dictated by gravel. I had time.

I don't know what it is about the process of typing that changes things. I suppose I can stop mid-sentence, think, delete, reroute. Get distracted and come back. Fix a sentence in the first paragraph (which I just did), and return to whatever thought I'm working on. Voice to text seems so linear to me. Like having a bobcat dump a bunch of words onto my page, that I have to sort and re-sort until I get it right. Typing is slow, but not too slow (hand writing is just delayed death). It lets me play with adjectives, or find ways to get around using adjectives (I believe in using adjectives responsibly, which means I end up being a fairly tight writer. Even this blogpost feels long to me, because I'm not really sure I"m saying anything at all).

And She's Gone

Working on the terrace has brought me great joy, however it leaves me nearly wordless at the end of the day. That makes me sad, because I'm not getting anywhere with my writing as a result; yes I'm spending precious time on this blog rather than my various projects, but actual creativity is a struggle at times like this. And at least I'm writing something. And I will get back to it. I find I miss my characters after a while.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Googly Moogly

It's Been A While

The terrace is coming along, and has been taking a lot out of me; I've finished the retaining wall (about 30 feet) and most of the gravel fill by hand. I deeply enjoy this kind of work, so don't feel too sorry for me. I am starting to feel my age, though and that kinda sucks. It takes a lot out of me, so by the time the kids go to bed, I'm right there with them. Some day I promise I will post pictures, but for now, it's chilly and rainy and I don't have any recent ones.

A couple people have asked where the kids are as I'm working, and it depends. Sometimes Lokisdottir is with me, playing with gravel, or trying her best at chaos. Sometimes she is napping. Sometimes AwesomeDad takes her places that are more interesting than a pile of gravel. CoyoteCurls is still in school, and when she's home, she is sometimes right there with me shoveling up gravel from the pile and putting it into the wheelbarrow. Sometimes she's off playing with fairies in the front yard. Sometimes she and her sister are inside playing. They are pretty awesome together. Which is good. For now. Until they understand how to harness their full chaotic potential. Then I'm screwed.

Since I Last Posted

Lokisdottir turned two, and we had a nice little get-together with hers and CoyoteCurls' oldest friends. Nice, relaxed afternoon, really. She loves the new toys, which have kept her quite busy today.

I wish I had the ability to pick presents like the other moms do. I'm a present-oaf. Completely. I try to be thoughtful and all that, but it never works and I end up buying Legos and then consider a sympathy card rather than a Happy Birthday card for the kids. "I'm sorry, I'm not very good at this," the cards would say. Or "I'm sorry your mom is friends with an oaf". I'm the same way with AwesomeDad, but he's been good about not being too annoyed.

And My Nose

I woke up around 1am because Lokisdottir (who wanted to snuggle some last night), dove onto me head first. Right into my nose. I sat up and waited for the trickle...sure enough. I could feel the stickiness of blood and see it in the faint light of the nightlight. Got myself cleaned up in the bathroom, and once the auto-tears stopped (they just happen. No crying necessary; this is my second time. The first time, well, was stupid), I climbed back into my own bed, far from diving toddlers. I'm not sure how the rest of the family slept through my drama, but they did.

And Chaos

They have discovered my distraction. I'll try to be better. Promise.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Walls

Giant Legos

I've spent the last couple days playing with 82lb Legos. 54 of them, to be a little more precise for the first step in a multi-step project. The current task is a 20 foot long retaining wall that will later be extended another 15-20 feet. Next step involves a bobcat and what remains of the ten tons of gravel in my driveway (I will likely need more because, well, I just will). Then sand. Lots of sand. After the bobcat, more trenching, more gravel, more leveling, more wall.

After all that wall, all that gravel, all that sand, comes pavers. Several pallets of pavers that will become a Really Big Terrace for my husband. For his birthday. And because the look on his face he gets when he sees another project that needs to get done breaks my heart. I enjoy this kind of stuff and it's not that he doesn't. He's just tired and the man has earned that tired. I want to be a part of "untired" for a little while.

My goal is to have it done for his birthday, and I have a lot of reasons for that, but mostly it's because I rock deadlines and pressure. I think I've annoyed him a little with how much time I sank into the wall itself because he's been front and center with the kids (he is a rock star kinda dad, and to me that's totally hot). Once I'm at the point of putting in the actual terrace floor, I can easily work any and all of the time--just can't quite manage Lokisdottir and a wheelbarrow full of Giant Heavy Legos. And in a couple days I've dug a 2x2.5x20ft trench, filled it to six inches with gravel, installed a five course retaining wall and he has been awesome with the kids.

Woman's Work

I'm not letting him work on the terrace. He offered. He tried and I got mad at him. I'm funny that way now and again. It started out mostly about making this thing for the man I love, adore, and respect, and it has become somewhat of a statement to my girls. Well, CoyoteCurls anyway because she's seven. Lokisdottir will be two here in a couple months so she likely won't remember any of this.

It has nothing to do with "You don't need a man," because that's not quite the message I want to send (I'll get to that another time). It's about "You can do this stuff on your own. You're not "just" a girl. Being a girl is not weakness. Being a girl is what YOU define it to be; your parameters and on your terms."

And it's ok to want or need a man. Or a woman. Because we are humans and we are gregarious, and despite it all we do need people. But it's far better to want than to need a particular someone.

Holy Cow I'm Tired

I was going to write more, but I'm nodding off and can only hope any of this makes sense in the morning. Sure I could put this in a word document and cut and paste and edit and so on. But this blog is just as much a story of me and me has a lot of faults and flaws.

And an extreme need for sleep.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thoughts on Writing

Stream of Consciousness

Or rather, rapids.

Borrowing

I don't assume every writer does it, but I do. Not from anyone else, but from my own life. Moments. Thoughts. Memories. I take it, mold it, knead it, turn it into something just a little different--maybe even the same. I think about it for a while. Stir in some emotion if it's not already there, and I run with it. Sometimes it's falling in love. Sometimes it's killing something that hurts. The viscera is its existence somewhere in my world.

Sometimes I wonder what people read in to what I've written. If they see the skeleton memory over which I've stitched emotions, and the flash of a story. Context is everything. So I suppose that assumptions can be made if the reader has a shared experience. He or she sees the house in which we both lived, and the love we may have both felt...but I've turned him in to something new. Because that character is not that person with whom I shared that space. It's a character who needed a place to live, and air to breathe.

Is This Autobiographical?

I can see the question in the eyes of a reader, when it's someone I know. And that one that follows "Is that (him/her/me/it/that)?" Sometimes yes a little, but mostly no; because I don't have characters in my life, I have people. I know a character's motivations, histories, thoughts. People, not so much. Characters make more sense to me, and sometimes even help make sense of people. But never does one equal the other.

Sense and Nonsense

Most times it's just me, trying to make sense of nonsense and broken puzzles. Understand departures. Find to my own little piece of real estate in Oh-I-Get-It-istan. I may never really know why you (for simplicity's sake) left, but that you did in the most hurtful way you could, but here I stand with some mismatched pieces of pottery and a pile of sand that looked like gold only moments ago. Explanations fall short, and I only dig my hole deeper as I struggle to understand, explain, comprehend, defend.I may never know why you started talking in the first place. Or why I responded the way I did. That is all nonsense.

And so I write. It's not unlike a scientist with a bug; slicing, dissecting, examining. Figuring out why it can fly, or how it poops. But the "you" in my story isn't necessarily "you" at all, rather a patchwork of all the other bugs that made me.

Or maybe it always was just nonsense, and you read context where there was none at all. Because I live passionately. I love passionately. And I love passion more than anything.

Waterfall

And the little kayak plunged off that stream and into nighttime.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What's In a Name?

Coyote's Grace

I need to change Baldursdottir's name. She's still just as sweet, but I can't ignore or deny her inherent Coyoteness, so I think she's Coyotecurl (she has blond ringlets) from now on. I wanted to keep with the whole Norse thing, but my favorite Coyotecurl story takes place over two nights, and left me disconcerted.

Incident number 1: Driving home in the spring, windows closed, but it's fairly nice outside. Coyotegirl, around two, says "Coyote stinky!" We have discussion, her only response is to repeat "Coyote stinky!" Get to the house, open the windows a bit before bed because it's nice outside.

Coyote's serenade from everywhere in the near distance. Close but not overly so. I love this, but the whole "Coyote stinky" thing gave me pause. Not a lot. But the coincidence was weird.

Incident number 2, the next day: I am loading the dryer, minding my own business, lost in thought about a beach, or space, or a grass stain, when behind me there is a voice. A tiny voice. A horror movie voice. "Coyote's waking uuuuuup!" Coyotecurl says this three times and dashes off into the house, laughing at some joke of which I'm sure I"m the punchline. I go about my day, forgetting the incident.

That night, windows slightly open, the world erupts in the calls of coyotes. I can hear them rustling in the tall grass sixty feet from my window. I closed the window and hid under the covers

The Nordsman

That's the 6'4" blond guy with the searing blue eyes I married. My nephew always referred to "Aunt Kendra's Nordsman," so that's who he has become. I wouldn't exactly call him a trickster, but he does have mischief in his eye, and I remain on my toes. Which is good for me. And it's never dull. Ever.

So

It's a house full of tricksters for me. It's all good, because I do love coyotes. And Loki. And mischief. Keeps life interesting and stuff.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rain at 3am

Sense and Senseless

It's the time reserved for rain and peepers. And complete non-sleepers. She tried for a while but a dream startled her awake and she didn't even know what it was about. She supposed if she thought on it, she could drag that memory to life, but she knew better. It was the face that awoke her. That's the part that's senseless. Faces. The people they belong to, and the games they play to help themselves sleep at night. She really couldn't complain, because it's not like she's some innocent, drifting through life. She knows who she is. But her schemes are mostly to understand people. This life. This side of life (unlike the parallel life she's sure she can feel sometimes, but just can't touch).

The sense part is dirt. Mud. The stuff that behaves with no motivations. She digs a hole. The dirt yields. She digs another hole. The hole becomes a trench. The trench becomes a base. The base becomes a wall...and that, to her is the irony of it all. It's a wall for her little fortress in the woods. It's a wall to keep stuff in. To keep stuff out. She lays the wall with careful consideration. Concentration. It keeps the senseless out. And when the day is done, there is no more room for senseless.

And Then There is Fire

Quite the opposite of this damp, dank night filled with song. Fire was her first love. The way it takes on a life of its own. Searches for food, grows, and even changes its environment to fit its needs. She understands fire. It consumes and feeds all at the same time. She relates to fire, feels it, respects it. Sometimes harnesses just a little bit of the very fire of life to burn what needs destroyed, so that new life can grow. It's not always the most intelligent way, but it is her way. And though she is learning to aim that fire at dirt and mud and trenches, sometimes a little bit spills at in the direction of the senseless.

She Yields to Darkness

And the promises it brings, and the peepers that sing. And for one more night she contains that fire.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

People Leave

By Death or By Choice

That's been my mantra, my acceptance at the beginning of everything new. It's been a week of both.

By Death

That one started early, and became almost expectation. Family, friends. I learned to love fast, love hard, and be ready to let go in the time it takes to draw a breath. I've learned to see death differently now, though. Some people just seem to step aside on to another plane. Of peace. Of harmony. I've felt that a couple times and it brings me peace, too. Doesn't make me miss their voices, their perfect eyes, the stories we told each other.

I suppose that aspect of me can be overwhelming. That I accept each goodbye as the last. That I tell the ones I love, that I love them. Some get it. Some don't. I'm learning to let go of the ones who don't.

By Choice

When it's mutual, be it attrition or action, it still bears weight. Sting. Sadness.

When it is one-sided, it is a little like death. The stages of grief set in--sometimes it moves along faster than others. Sometimes it lingers in a stage like anger, because in a keystroke, there is nothing but the attempt to respect the end, no matter what kind of questions there are.

I can't say I am guiltless of departure...no one is; I try to hold on til the last breath of hope. Sometimes I hold on too long, and by the time resentment sets in, I have to leave before I get destructive. I don't always time that well. I tolerate a lot to keep from having to feel departure, and that's not always a good thing.

Acceptance

It's been a week of both. So kindly, quietly close the door behind you.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Food Bullies

Yes I Am

Gluten Free

For me, there is no choice. Gluten is poison. It tried to kill me in the most painful way imaginable. I was ill for 11 years before I was diagnosed properly, and I had to request the blood test myself. The nurse had no idea what I was talking about. My Gastroenterologist wasn't even the one who had that pleasure (he was later found guilty of Medicare fraud and I'm not surprised. I don't believe in most medical litigation, but in this case I'm pretty sure he kept me ill; a colleague of his looked at my file and said "You don't have Irritable Bowel. You don't belong here." And that was that. I had spent a tremendous amount of money on medications with no real names, and time under anesthesia. I'd sue if it wasn't so long ago). So. When I sound passionate about it, it's because the medical profession not only failed me, but almost killed me. I was 107lbs, and I would black out from the pain about once a day.

No, You Don't Have to Suffer Like I Did

Celiac is one of many different disorders caused by wheat--celiac is specific to gluten which is also in rye, spelt, triticale, and barley. There are several ongoing double blind, peer reviered studies on the effects of gluten on the body. For some it manifests as sub-clinical generalized inflammatory issues; achy joints. Others it can cause diabetes, migraines, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, white matter lesions, thyroid disorders, lupus...I'm not getting in to the list because it's not really my point (but I will tell you the studies are conducted in places like Johns Hopkins< Mayo Clinic, and Oxford). If you give the diet change a try and you feel better, run with it! But be careful in talking about it. You feel great, and you want to share this feeling. Some people will defend their jelly roll to the point of the absurd, and here's where I'm approaching my point.

Food Bullying

No, this isn't about "you, you, or you", so stand down. If you're upset by what I'm about to say, then maybe you need to take that into consideration.

It's something I've been coming across more and more as people have started to go gluten free, or even gluten less. Others get downright mean. "Not you, Kendra, I don't mean you because, like, you'd die...but those other people," as though the severity of my reaction grants me some kind of immunity (it doesn't. I still get attacked). But I've witnessed it happening to others.

"You don't -really- need to be gluten free, it's not like you get sick." Maybe they don't get your personal, unprofessional qualification of "sick" but for them, the consequences are just not worth it. And guess what? I didn't start with sudden violent illness. It was a frog in a pot. If I could go back to that one day in college when I realized something wasn't quite right, I'd have had a FAR better quality of life and would have saved tens of thousands of dollars on medical bills.

"You went to all that trouble to get a gluten free plate of food and now you're having a brownie?!" Guess what? There's a pill. Guess what else? Some people have limited tolerance for gluten, so they are gluten free all day, and save it for that one brownie (that they may still pay for later, but damn). Personally I explain myself about the pill, but that's me.

"You didn't get diagnosed by a doctor so you don't have it. Self-diagnosis doesn't count." That one baffles me. Just shut up.

"What is it with this fad? It's just the newest thing." Ok, then let it go. In the meantime, some of the 97% currently undiagnosed cases are getting diagnosed properly, rather than having a fist full of highly expensive secondary illnesses put on their already strained budgets.

And some people go back and forth on and off the diet. Why? I don't know. It's none of my damn business. Does that annoy me? Yes. But only because the litany of complains about feeling sick, crampy, achy, rheumy, lethargic ensues and I lack the patience for that. It also encourages the bullies.

So Stop

Show some respect. If someone wants to go gluten free, it has NOTHING to do with you. It has EVERYTHING to do with feeling better. One of the side effects I did not expect after being gluten free was, for the first time in years, feeling happy. At peace. I had a sense of well-being, I had energy, and my depression was gone. I remember telling my mom that I wondered if it was that elation that people felt when they "found God". I had no idea my ring size would drop from a 7 to a 6 because my knuckles aren't slightly swollen any more.

I stopped posting on Facebook about most of this. It became such a hot button for some people, that the comments being made and the aggression shown was scaring people away from the topic completely. Those who wished to continue to talk and learn would contact me privately, and that was enough. I'm sad about this, because there are people who are interested, but I don't want people to feel like they will be treated like a lemming for doing what is right for themselves.

If you don't like to listen to someone garble on about how much better they feel when they don't eat gluten WHILE eating a plate of pancakes, well, welcome to my world. You can learn to ignore them just like I do.

For the love of all that is holy STOP picking fights. It's not helping anyone, and it's only scaring people away from something that might actually be beneficial to them.

And No

I don't hate anyone who is gluten free for whatever reasons they choose to be. It's your body. You choose. I will gladly shepherd you along your journey if you wish. I will, however, kindly usher you out of my life if you choose to make it an issue. I've done my reading. I know what I'm talking about.

Maybe a Glass of Wine is in Order

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Context

Brevity

I tend to be fairly efficient with my words. I'm not the kind of writer who will spend hours describing a tree, because chances are, you have in mind what an oak tree looks like. Your memory gives you a certain prejudice--meaning, I can describe the details of a leaf, and you will still see a leaf from your memory. The only reason I have ever found to describe a leaf is if it stands out in some way because of some magical powers or rot. Same thing goes for a kitchen. Or a bathroom. See? You already have them in your head, some of you even have the color down. That's one of my favorite parts about writing. Your imagination. Your perception. My art is simply guiding that through a story, and trusting you enough to know what a toilet looks like.

Brevity can also bite me in the ass. Like on Facebook, brevity is an invitation for, "Well, actually" which is one of my least favorite phrases. I just don't feel the need to turn everything into an essay, that will get dissected, actually'ed, and driven to nonexistence anyway.

Context

Sometimes I forget to add context to help place my brevity. Yesterday I shared a piece about a young woman sitting on the stairs of a bordello. The funny part is, in my mind, she was a modern girl in jeans and the house was no longer a functioning bordello. It was just a house. And she was just an average girl who had just rented a room in the bad section of a new town, and one of her new housemates was chatting with her.

It was later that I noticed the ambiguity, but I rather liked the flow and brevity of it so I left it alone...to let your imagination run with it.

And Then The Baby Walked In

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daydream

Through The Clouds

Do titles ever really need to make sense to anyone but the author? Or is it a gentle tease, to see if you're paying attention...to the story, to the author, to the sublime. Choosing titles can be fun. Playful. Painful. Frustrating. And deeply meaningful if you know where to look. And sometimes we hide that place so well, it would take being inside our own heads to truly know. There's a reason for that.

Sacred Places

She fell in love with him on the broad stairs of a bordello, in a part of town where only indigents lingered. It was her new town, her new place, her new world for just a little while, and there he sat beside her as though he had always been there. With her. His words were liquid, the way his accent caressed her language, and though she understood every word, she let herself get lost in the very air he held around himself. It smelled of jasmine and spice and all the exotic things that existed just out of her reach. And as she let herself drift in that little bit of heaven, she kept one toe on the ground. Because if she let go, she knew she'd float away, up and up to where there was no ground any more. Just her and jasmine and spice and that voice that spoke in melodies.

That scent. That place. That time became a part of a little church she filled with sacred moments of clarity. Memories that would echo through her life, resurface when she needed their grace. Somewhere inside she could revisit when she got lost again, like she always did.

She closed her eyes. Smiled. And fell through the clouds.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You Should Be Writing

You Should Be Writing

No, this isn't some passive aggressive rant, and no it's not aimed anywhere in particular, though it has been inspired by the ubiquitous "You Should Be Writing" statement made to all writers who Do Other Stuff. So, worry off, it's not about "you, you or you"....though you may have inspired it, in which case, thank you, you've done your job!

Yes, I Know

I had free time today for the first time in about 5. Real free time. Not time spent listening for Lokisdottir to cry, drop something, fall or do any number of toddler things they do when parents eyes are not directly on them (I believe in at least some unsupervised time in her day, but I'm never far. She plays much better by herself when I'm not in the room....that's an aside.

What did I do? Nothing. I took a nap. Stared at a wall. Rested in a sunspot. Thought about everything that worries me. Thought about nothing at all. All with reckless abandon. I looked outside at projects I have begun, and could have worked on, but didn't. I ate toast because it required little thought.

And when my toddler came home with dad, I was very happy to let him take a much-needed nap, because I had time to do nada.

Where Is Lokisdottir Now?

Right here. In my lap. I'm looking around her head to type. She just slid off my lap and is headed for the tremendous number of toys we have collected over the years, and the four foot plastic slide I brought indoors for the winter. I'm here. I'm present enough. I can disengage if I need to (NOT the case with my various, longer projects, which I'll discuss later). Now she's "shopping" with her little cart. So far she "purchased" all of the magnets from the refrigerator, some dolls, and various parts of other toys that she will assemble into something unexpected here shortly.

Why I Take Writing Breaks

My writing is dark. Really dark. It puts my head in a place that doesn't necessarily inspire calm parenting, and for my outrageously active toddler, I need to be able to be there. I also believe in letting her get frustrated before I help her; usually she problem solves toute suite. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for her to realize she has to work this one out (I stop it before it becomes anger). Because I've had time to let the last five days of being "on" nonstop into a void of absolute nothingness. I find I have a much calmer approach to her.

I do smaller stuff, like this blog, or pieces of flash to incorporate into a larger story later, whether or not she's sleeping or away. I've learned to heed the Muse in that respect. If I let her go, she may not be back for a while.

Recently I "quit" writing and it was the best thing I've done for my entire family. Oh I still write. But I no longer resent the world for its interferences. There are no more moments of "TAKE A DAMN NAP!!!" It's good. And I've done some really good storyline development.

My Time is Up

Because Lokisdottir has found the mouse, and is looking for actual time with me, rather than just filler. Besides. It's the first day of Spring and it's time to go get Baldursdottir from school and head to the market for ice cream.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Winter Brown

It's Been A Few

I've had the browser open, sitting with my header incomplete for days now. Occasionally I'd look at the blankness of the page, and think "Later I will be more interesting," but that's not really happening. So, I'm gonna follow a little canoe of thought down a trickle of a stream of my consciousness and see what happens.

Winter Brown

I know it's usually called winter blues, but blue is a pretty color when matched against the stark white of snow. We had quite a bit of that this winter, and I was very happy for it. It's cold, but snow gives me something to do...shovel all the snow on the deck into a snow ramp for the dottirs, have snowball fights with Baldursdottir while Lokisdottir stomps around and watches her feet like the toddler she is.

But the snow is gone and the mud is back. Even when the temperatures drop below freezing, we still have mud because dirt is brown and mud is even darker brown and the sun loves that shit (which also melts in the yard, by the way. We have two Labs as part of our little zoo...more on that later).

This is the time of year I dislike most, and it's usually the sum of our winters. Though the sunbeams are nice, they lie. It only looks warm outside. It's too cold to play (in the mud and poop), but the indoors feel like a steel trap. The kids are antsy, and only want to watch tv on these days--I can't exactly blame them. Yes, there is the occasional nice day that hits the forties, fifties and even sixties, but they only make spring seem that much more of a fairy tale we tell kids to keep them from losing their little minds. Because no warm day goes unpunished. The freeze will return and back inside we will be, huddling in our little sunspots, thinking we can go outside in shirt sleeves.

All The Melty Things

Not all that glitters is gold, and not all that melts is mud. Poop, as mentioned before and after a long freeze, there is a LOT of it in the yard. I try to scoop it, but often enough it just smears. Yay dogs. Perhaps the worst thing to thaw is several months worth of dead animals. All at once. Because dogs love that. They love to eat it, roll in it, deposit it in the house in various ways. A lot of things die on ten acres in the course of a couple months. So yeah. There's a great deal of cursing and dog bathing that happens, as well as disinfecting with bleach.

The Lying Sunbeam

It calls. So I'm gonna curl up for a bit and pretend I'm napping while Lokisdottir is asleep. If I actually nap, she will be awake in seconds. I've learned this much. They have relaxdar, which is a lot like radar but it only works when parents are finally comfortable enough to relax. The relaxdar goes off in their tiny little heads, an alarm sounds and they hit the ground running as if their lives depend on it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ear Worm

Of Monsters and Men

Ear worms happen. Usually it's a phrase or two, but for me, the lyrics have been dogging me since I heard the song. Maybe it's because I really didn't want to latch on to the lyrics, because I had a sense about them. Today I finally remembered enough words (three) to get me to a point that I could search the song.So I did. And I was right.

Little Talks

It's a cheery song and I always turn it up and feel really good about it. It makes me happy and dancy. Today it made me cry (and a couple of my readers will likely cry, too). It's about death; the way I perceive it. I don't see an end, or even a beginning. I see death as "other". I think of it as stepping aside...the soul takes a walk while the body doesn't. I'm not going to get in to ghost stories, or go on about my own experiences that have led me here...I have lots of each. But this is mostly about the song that I still love, but now hear differently.

I'm not going to analyze, but I will add in the lyrics (still working on my skillz, see). It is a duet, and that's the important part.

I don't like walking around this old and empty house
So hold my hand, I'll walk with you, my dear
The stairs creak as I sleep, it's keeping me awake
It's the house telling you to close your eyes

And some days I can't even dress myself
It's killing me to see you this way
'Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore

There's an old voice in my head that's holding me back
Well tell her that I miss our little talks
Soon it will be over and buried with our past
We used to play outside when we were young
And full of life and full of love.

Some days I feel like I'm wrong when I'm right
Your mind is playing tricks on you, my dear

'Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore
Hey!
Don't listen to a word I say
Hey!
The screams all sound the same
Hey!

You're gone, gone, gone away
I watched you disappear
All that's left is the ghost of you.
Now we're torn, torn, torn apart,
There's nothing we can do
Just let me go we'll meet again soon
Now wait, wait, wait for me
Please hang around
I'll see you when I fall asleep

I cut out some of the repetition for obvious reasons. And I promise this isn't going to become some random collection of lyrics. This just hit me where I live. The video is stunning. I think I'm going to go think for a while, about the little talks I miss with a boy with blue, blue eyes.

Yes, I did learn something new in this post :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Filler

It's Not Just For Dessert

In My Food

It's the stuff between the stuff that tastes good. It's the vehicle for the goodness that is sugar and spice and everything nice. It's the stuff that sits like a lump in your gut, making ya wish ya hadn't finished the plate--starving children in China or no. I'm limited in my fillers these days. Wheat might as well be salmonella along with the other gluten-bearing fillers. Quinoa and I had a falling out.

Rice and I still talk. I like rice. Sticky rice, long rice, dirty rice, redbeansandrice (yes one word thankyouvermuch), jasmine rice, basmati rice, brown rice. I like rice. White rice with a hint of butter and a little garam masala is a pretty tasty breakfast.

In My Movies

Graphic novel geeks will get this, I apologize to those who won't.

The Watchmen. Saw it on blu-ray the other night, and I have to say....I probably won't again. Or at least not without reverting back to the highly edited one that was on the big screen. Why? "The Black Freighter" was woven in to the story and I'm not geek enough to get the correlation between the movie and the cartoon within the movie (please don't explain). I actually yelled at the tv "DROWN ALREADY!"

Usually I like the deleted scenes. I loved Kill Bill because it was a movie with episodes, rather than a poorly executed summary of a summary. Usually I find the additions help the depth of understanding of the movie.

Not so much with "The Black Freighter".

In My Blog

Okay, I admit I wasn't sure what I'd be writing about before I opened this, but I just wanted to write. Back to that discipline thing. I tried to do some "real" writing today, but it fell flat for a variety of reasons.

Like, there was sunshine and I was in a warm car alone with a sleeping Lokisdottir. Also, a remarkably wrecked car parked nose-to-nose with me that, as we pulled out, seemed to ask "Why do they make me live?" There was no front end. The headlamps appeared to be jammed into the front end and then I realized there were zip ties holding them in place at odd angles. I felt empathy for that vehicle. A deep sadness that I will likely take with me to bed.

So, There It Is

Today's post, all short and tidy. The weekend was about as fast-paced as I can handle in my old age. Birthday party, sleep over, swim lessons, birthday party, Costco. I should add the before-coffee incidents with dog poop on the floor, then stepping on a dead vole. Think I'm gonna have some tequila and some sleep.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Woman's Day

What a Day

Birthday!

Today is Baldursdottir's seventh birthday. I'm exhausted. Sitting here beside my mom, the girls upstairs (mine plus a sleepover), my awesome Nordsman asleep early. All kinds of awesome was today. I'm not going to go on about all of that though because it's just not what this blog is about. Or maybe it is and I'm just too beat to remember.

Oh wait. It's about time....how much I do and don't have. How well I can stay on topic when my eyes are drifting. If I have any ability at all to manage it. Ironic, right?

Woman's Day

Today is also Woman's Day. And while my head is spinning, and I am somewhat blank in the mind, I am posting the lyrics to one of my favorite songs in honor of the day. Because it's not just for me. It's for my girls when they claim their title as woman. It's for all women and girls. It is one of the most deeply touching songs I've heard.

Shaking the Tree

Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon, We are shakin' the tree
Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon, We are shakin' the tree

Waiting your time, dreaming of a better life
Waiting your time, you're more than just a wife
You don't want to do what your mother has done
She has done
This is your life, this new life has begun
It's your day - a woman's day
It's your day - a woman's day

Turning the tide, you are on the incoming wave
Turning the tide, you know you are nobody's slave

Find your sisters and brothers
Who can hear all the truth in what you say
They can support you when you're on your way
It's your day - a woman's day
It's your day - a woman's day

There's nothing to gain when there's nothing to be lost
There's nothing to gain if you stay behind and count the cost
Make the decision that you can be who you can be
You can be
Tasting the fruit come to the Liberty Tree
It's your day - a woman's day
It's your day - a woman's day

Changing your ways, changing those surrounding you
Changing your ways, more than any man can do
Open your heart, show him the anger and pain, so you heal
Maybe he's looking for his womanly side, let him feel

You had to be so strong
And you do nothing wrong
Nothing wrong at all
We're gonna to break it down
We have to shake it down
Shake it all around<
Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'dour

By The Way

Even though I'd have preferred go crash, I learned how to do the html code to get song lyrics and poems set up. Yay me! I'm essentially doing random stuff that makes me learn. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have the nerve to try an image.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Loki and The Craft

Loki and Coyote

I was just going to yammer about Loki and Tom Hiddleston for a sec, but with the name of the blog, I thought I'd throw in a little bit about Coyote to say "It's not just about Loki for me." It's about an archetype. I like the trickster.

Coyote

I don't know when the fascination started. I'm pretty sure it's always been there, because I don't remember not liking coyotes as an animal. It was in college that I learned what Coyote the god was, and I loved them all even more.

Coyotes are highly adaptable. When the white man first came to America, the range of the coyote was limited to the desert southwest. Now they are everywhere, and are even interbreeding with wolves--a fact I am in love with. Why? Nature. Always. Wins.

Without getting in to details, adaptability has come in handy in my life. I'm alive because of it. I have often been the architect of my life's changes, and just like Coyote, sometimes it backfires. Epically.

Loki

I learned about Loki not too long after learning about Coyote. I don't know as much about him, but he is a bit darker, and seems a little less...playful, I suppose in the only way I can say it. I keep meaning to read more on the subject, but my reading list is endless and I have Lokisdottir and Baldursdottir to keep track of.

And Now

Yea, it's pretty obvious that I have a thing for Loki of the Marvel Universe. What isn't obvious is why. Yes Tom Hiddleston is remarkably easy on the eyes and seems to be made of the stuff of dreams and all that. That certainly helps.

I like how Loki is treated. Portrayed. Fleshed out. Brought to life. The writing for him is all the complexity, darkness, and ruthless ability to survive fitting for the type without being too heavy handed. He is the troubled kid, the mercenary, the brother, son, impetuous teen.

And the Craft

The Tom Hiddleston part, I saved for last. I've become a fan of him through the Marvel franchise, but because of his craft more than his looks. He wears the character beautifully. Loki could have easily been a flat bad guy, but has become (ok my opinion is skewed but) the most popular character of the franchise because Tom had the right chemistry for the part. He's playful and youthful and not so young that he's boring.

I've watched some of the interviews he has done, and I love it when he is asked to "do Loki". He looks away for a moment an you can see Loki in Tom's clothing. I love that. I've also seen a few clips of him in costume watching the dailies and it's Tom in Loki's clothing. I have a deep respect for that ability...to own a character so well without being consumed. One of my closest friends worked with him on The Avengers and said just that: He really is the nicest guy you could meet.

End of the day, of this entry, of my thoughts...I love masters of their crafts, and watching them work. There's an otherwordliness about them that fascinates me.

Some Day!

I will figure out how to embed images. But I have a cold and Thor 2 is going in the background. If this all seemed distracted, that's why.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Little Bit Of Flash

It Starts With a Typo

It's like a found sound song, or found poetry, but it's all in images. Snapshots. And I do my best to keep up because I get lost in irrelevant details, trying to milk it for more than I should. Hm. Maybe the typo is the title, after all. "I skipped the hello", was what I received, to which I replied "I hate it when I go straight to good bye." A correction and apology followed, but I smiled and wrote back, "It made for an interesting love story in my mind." It got no further than the string of texts I sent. But it was a fun little ride, though more skeletal than usual for me.

I Skipped the Hello

Black and white set in the fifties. Almost film noir, but not. He's wearing a hat and she has Marilyn Monroe hair.

She is smart and sassy like only Hollywood women were. She's a nineties girl stuck in the fifties...woman really because we eventually claimed that title.

He keeps a Clark Gable smirk ready just for her. He was the suave bad boy with dark hair and a pencil mustache. He didn't quite swagger, but there was dance in his step.

She had dropped her coat on the back of a chair as she walked by. Towards what, I will never know, but she stopped. Turned and looked at him.

He watched her pass as he swirled his scotch, leaned on an elbow on the bar. Their bar in their impossible house full of impossible things.

She smiled when she asked about his day, her ruby lips parting for perfect teeth.

He lifted a brow and leaned his head. "I skipped the hello and was too late for sushi."

She gave him a knowing look. "I hate it when I go straight to good bye."

They laughed. He poured a drink into an impossible crystal glass and handed it to her. They sat on an impossible sofa. Stared at an impossible fire. Dreamed impossible dreams that they would later write down with fountain pens and perfect script.

Fin

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Boy Did I Fall Behind

I could go on about falling behind and a busy life with kids, BUT:

It's Mardi Gras!

Otherwise known in the Midwest as "Tuesday". I could wax poetic about the parades, the babies on shoulders catchin throws, sippin Bloody Marys, but it will only make me want red wine and a warm place to sleep.

Despite how much time I spent living in New Orleans, it was never during the school year, so I didn't get to go to parades until I was much older. My first one was 2006, because that was the year New Orleans showed the rest of the world what it's made of. It was the first one after The Storm, and while the entire rest of the country speculated on whether or not Mardi Gras parades should be celebrated...New Orleanians never questioned it.

And Suddenly It's Ash Wednesday

That's pretty much how the last few days have been. A few strands of unattached thoughts punctuated by the occasional realization that I should be doing something else. But I digress. Or something. It's also the greater reason of why I Facebook instead of blog. Time.

Facebook vs Blog

Blogs take effort. Time. Attention that I sometimes just lack. I sometimes use Facebook as a sort of flash-blog, just to toss up a sentence or two, share something I think is neat, funny, or cute. It was also a good place to share some personal stuff (through meme, story or simple photograph) just in case someone else out there needed to know they weren't alone.

But I am more jaded these days and it's affecting my sense of humor.

I tend to be a comment generator, and usually that's ok. In fact I usually welcome it, but there are times I'm not interested in getting advice when I hadn't asked for it. There are times I'm not interested in a debate--especially when my information is well researched, peer-reviewed with double blind studies over the course of fifty years. But the comments come. And some are so insulting--I am sure without that intent--that I've had to walk away (why don't I delete the comments? See below). And that, right there, affects how I perceive a great number of comments that I used to view as witty. Wit has started to look like insult and that makes me sad. I don't want to be that person.

Thing is, commentors play off one another--this is not simply my experience; I've found it true on several other walls. B posts something they care about. X says something witty, so Y has to be wittier, and A then has to come in from the blue to be The Wittiest of All. And that's great, when the original post had the intent of generating such a conversation. When it's not, it starts to look like X,Y and A are intent on making sure the world knows B is any number of things from racist to idiot. Perhaps they are just enjoying the moment.

Yes I know, walk away, give it a few days and the great number of bits of advice that follow a post like this. But I live in the middle of nowhere and I"m alone or alone with the kids a lot. There are things about Facebook I appreciate--mostly the feeling of being connected somehow, somewhere. I've taken to deleting some of the comments that simply piss me off, which helps a little.

I suppose that's it for now.

On a Sidenote

I originally titled an entry "In Your Facebook" and that's where I had planned my commentary. We see how far that got.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mud!

Yesterdayyyyy

Mud Outside

That was the theme for yesterday. It was nicely warm, so the dottirs and I got outside for a bit to remember what mud looks like...and why I like snow (which is today's theme for about half of the country). We played on the swings, Lokisdottir learned she can climb the rungs of the playset and fly down the slide on her own, we rearranged a few things in the yard (mostly dog poop), found out why sleds are used in snow and not mud, visited with neighbors. All in all it was a pretty good day.

Mud Inside

Yesterday was also a lot about cleaning muddy laundry. And boots. And dog paws. There's quite a bit of mud on ten acres, and I'm pretty sure the goal of my kids and dogs is to see just how much they can bring into the house. Maybe that's why I'm a fan of the extremes. The middle is mud.

Todayyyyyy

Snow Outside

I love snow. LOVE SNOW. So this threat of a foot of snow looks like an offer for a play date from the Ice Giants to me (by the way, my husband is Norwegian American--second generation and we still have contact with his family that stayed in Norway hence all the Norse references).

I love the movie Rise of the Guardians, and practically have it memorized. Jack Frost is my favorite...the writers did an amazing job at capturing the fun and mischief that would be winter in human form. That movie is an example of writers at play.

SNOWRAMP!!!

My biggest decision of the day is where to put the snowrampyesthatsoneword. When it snows enough, I shovel the deck and pile it down the stairs to make a chute for the kids. We get some serious speed with the 5 foot drop, to the point that I had to remove the garden fence because I got tired of running into it. We built on to the deck, though, and have a narrower set of stairs with railings, which means a narrower base, which means a taller ramp, which means more speed and it's not aimed AT the garden.Thing is, there are still remnants of the old ramp on the other stairs. Decisionsdecisions.

Then the Baby Walked In

Friday, February 28, 2014

Then There Are Days

That Was All

As in that was as far as I got yesterday before I had to stop. I chastised myself briefly, because this is, in part, to instill discipline in my daily routine. But it was brief because while discipline is a good thing, knowing your limits is just as important. Yesterday was just one of those days.

That's all, really.

Toddlers and Coffee

HTML is EASY!

Writing With an Awake Toddler is Not

But I'm giving it a try anyway. It has become clear that I am utterly and completely uninteresting until have a look of concentration. This goes for reading ingredients on the grocery, writing on my computer...well writing anything anywhere, anyhow...and yes, of course, going to the bathroom.

It doesn't matter that Monster's Inc. is playing for the nine billionth time (as reque...demanded), or the cats are walking dangerously close to the Opposable Thumbs of Doom. It's all about the look on mom's face. I know, I know, cherish these times. I do. I promise from the deepest part of my soul or I wouldn't be a stay-at-home mom.

Right now she has the The Throne all to herself. That is what I've come to call my criss-cross-applesauce legs because both she and my first grader have competitions to see who gets there first. It's all fun and games til mom takes one in the chin. This moment, at least, is not a competition, but a mostly nice moment we are sharing. She is watching her show and I am hunched way over her, looking over her head while she repeatedly hits the space bar.

Hey Mom With the iPhone

I can hear it now, and, yes, it's a direct reference to the internet's most annoying "Are You Mom Enough" pile of parental guilt I have yet to see. Moms, it's ok to have your own thought that doesn't involve "Oh, my darling, you are the most interesting thing ever!" I really should save this for its own post, because I think I could go on and I am a beast of brevity. Just let me say, "Guilt off, moms. You're allowed to stay connected to the adult world."

Yes I think I will save it. Because, while every moment my child is awake is not one I have to observe, applaud and reward, I do drop everything for hugs and giggles.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Metaphor Tree

Playing With Links

I'm ready to move on to working with embedding links, and instead of nonsense, I thought I'd tell a story about a story about a trip I took so long ago, most sane people would have forgotten. It's 250 pages of completed work that I now need to come to terms with, and I swear to God if I hear one more person "relate" I'm going to lose my shit. That sounds mean, I know. But my experience was singular...as is each experience out there. Don't sell yourself short by making your life "just like" anyone else's. It's yours. And the chemistry inside you is part of what makes YOUR story original and singular. Embrace that. Cherish that.

A Drive to Remember

Once upon a time, I was in my twenties. Early twenties, and like all proper twenty-somethings, I made questionable choices. I took a drive. A long drive, and it was terrifying, and beautiful, and exciting, and completely life altering. I'll leave it at that, because the real point of this entry isn't the drive--there's a whole book dedicated to that story. The point is to share something I saw along the way.

The Metaphor Tree

I had zero experience with Out West. I had never driven, flown, anything across the country before, so everything was new. I did my best to stay awake the entire time although I was driving half of the time (exhaustion is its own drug, by the way. I never underestimated the effects of sleep deprivation after that).

Skipping over larger parts of the continent (again, there's a book), we're at the Salt Flats. I didn't even know they existed until the moment we broke free from the Utah landscape and ended up here, or roughly in that kind of here; it's been 20 years or so. It was breathtaking.

We drove for longer than I can remember. Off to the right of the highway was a speck. The speck grew as we neared it. And became this giant sculpture. The driver at the time pulled over, and we got out to wander around, take a break and marvel. It didn't look like that as I remember...there were half broken globes on the ground that we climbed on. And there was no fence at the time.

A lot happened during that stop, and I've written about it quite a bit (even have a piece published that includes one treatment of that moment). I even took pictures of the thole thing, but the trip was so messed up that I never picked them up after they were developed. I kinda wish I had.

Now the Test

To see if this really worked.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

QUICK! Write Something!!

Writing During Nap Time

The Nap Itself

Nap duration is a variable thing in my house. Sometimes Lokisdottir sleeps for a couple hours, leaving me with plenty of time to do stuff. Not very exciting stuff, but stuff nonetheless. A leisurely shower. A trip to the bathroom in *gasp* solitude. Sometimes the naps are 15 minute teasers that give me the false sense that I might be able to sit down. I haven't figured out how to predict which is to be which at this point.

Actual Nap Times

Even more variable than the duration is the nap itself...Some days she starts with the eye rubbing at, say 10am. Others it's as late as 3pm, or about 15 minutes before I have to leave to pick up Baldursdottir, my first grader. If I'm wrong in my assessment, we start the routine from the beginning.

Nap Time Gotcha

She rubs her eyes. Yawns. Asks for "Bunkee", "Doodoh", and "Bottle". I collect them. Make my way upstairs. "Ock!!" the box fan and the little oil heater ("Ock" means "on", "off", "get this off my hands", "get out of my way" and a variety of things that involve lots of screaming and hand gestures). Sit in the nice rocker my mother bought us when we had Baldursdottir. Wrap her up, adjust everything just so. The bottle empties and BOLT UPRIGHT SHE SITS. "Go!! Down? Doggies?" Haha!! She didn't want a nap. It was a con. I wish she knew I'd just hold her like that anyway and it doesn't require all that work. Ah well. Next comes:

Bargaining with God

Proof positive that whatever deity resides over this little parcel of the planet is a trickster. See above. Most "naps" end tragically and quickly. Also see above. I keep telling myself that whatever I want or need to do can wait til the kids go to bed, but every night I pass out cold in the chair with Lokisdottir, wake up at some point well past midnight and stagger in the direction of my bed with the firm promise that tomorrow's nap time will be better.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

That Said

I am also using this blog to see what my time looks like in reality. If I'm going to do freelance work, I want to make absolutely sure I have the right time to dedicate to it to do it right. The last few updates were while Lokisdottir was awake and playing quietly by herself. It didn't work out great, but it wasn't a nightmare either. Ok yesterday was a little bit of a disaster. She insisted on helping. So no, I can't let her watch a movie while I work. Not yet. Really she just wanted to sit in my lap, which made it far more interesting than is beneficial.

So,I've said what I wanted to say, done what I've wanted to do and she is still asleep. I guess I will go wash my floors or something.

Monday, February 24, 2014

For My Next Trick...

Header Types!

I've noticed that my first header is bold, white, and big. Here's where I try to see if it's something I'm doing with code, or if it's just an affect of this blog. I'm sure I could ask someone or look it up, but where's the fun in that, anyway?

For further excitement, my toddler is plugging the earphones in to the laptop as I type. I'm pretty sure this is a game for her. Which is fine. Mostly. Rest assured I"m not ignoring her; she's mostly busy doing other stuff anyway.

Another Day Another Header

Have I mentioned I'm pretty boring for now?

And If I'm Right

This header will be smaller, because the "h2" is a type, not just an organizational thing.If I'm wrong, well, it's not like the world will end, and I doubt anyone is actually reading this because, well, I just do.

Still doing most of this from memory feels awesome! My next post will better tackle links, or at least that's my aspiration.

What I Do

I"m a stay at home mom with a very busy toddler who never sleeps, and a first grader who thinks sleep is stupid. I can't blame them. I wasn't much different.

In Walked the Baby

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Signifying Nothing

From Memory!

Here I am trying to do this from memory...with any luck this will work. If not, well, I'm still learning. I'm funny like that, and that particular funniness really reared its head when I was waitressing.

I could not get orders right, I messed up the simplest things (like, "Excuse me I need a fork" and I would return with a spoon or a beer). I was horrible. It didn't help that I was working at a Chinese restaurant, and was yelled at in Chinese. Frequently. Then one day, all the other waitresses called in sick. It was a holiday. But I nailed it. Not only did I get every single order right, I didn't even need to write them down. No one in the kitchen yelled at me. I was magic. From that day on, I waitressed like I was born to do it. Even the Mexican dishwasher gave me a thumbs up.

So I guess the moral of that story is that I need to be pushed from the airplane and told to fly, even though I don't have wings. Or maybe I do and I don't realize it until my life depends on it.

What Is This Warning Thing?

The cool thing about this blog is it seems to coach me when I do something wrong. Kinda cool. "Close your tags!" it yells at me. Hmm. Now that I've exhausted my time (the baby walked in...which should be the title of this blog, really).

Moment of truth: Now I hit "publish" and see what I've created!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sanguine Coyote

What's in a name?

The name really came from a combination of a name I use in a hobby, and my favorite animal, the coyote. I was afraid all that would be left were a few lame selections involving my email address and a number, which is what I always end up with when I go for an email address. This started out as a place to practice some new skills. But I really like the name. A lot.

My real passion is fiction writing. Dark fiction. Dystopian future kind of stuff that fits with a name like "Sanguine Coyote". So expect a little of both, I think.

Enter the Baby

which is how every one of these blogposts will end. It's as good a reason as any, I suppose.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Feeble Attempts;


My First Header!


This is my first attempt at working with HTML, with lots of cheats. But if I do this enough, I will eventually learn how it's done well enough that I won't have to cheat so much. It's a little like writing "I will not hit Tommy on recess" a hundred times.

My Second Header!

Yeah. I know. Very unoriginal, but originality isn't the point here.I did, however, just do all those little code bits without looking to see how.

My Third Header!

Now I'm playing around a bit to see if I can. Next up, dropping in links, because that shit is cool.
Really this all looks like magic to me. But it's all explained here.

Why oh Why?

Really I'm just using this as a way to learn new skills, and maybe post randomness along the way. I've always liked reading blogs, but I've never really had the time to invest in creating content as some people do. I totally respect those who can.

I'm also usually fairly brief with my writing, so it doesn't exactly lend to the kind of quality blogging that's out there.

So, why?

I'm a writer. I have a short story published, but it's just one of many. I've been working on book length projects as well, but time is at a premium. A friend brought up freelance writing, so I thought I'd give it a go...and there is a LOT to learn. I don't know HTML or anything that is necessary to this new endeavor, but I'm learning...and hopefully this blog will help me try out some new stuff along the way.

See? Brief!