Thursday, October 29, 2015

Letting go

by death or by choice. Either way it burns deep because the wound is fresh with blood and emotion. Be it art, writing, people or pets. Today was a little of both. 

I was invited into the intimacy off the final moments as a friend's dog fell asleep for the last time. We cried. Engaged in gallows humor, cried and hugged. 

But I also said goodbye by choice to someone I can't quantify in my life. He has always been there like a shadow, dark and dangeous, but safe...for me. He was home. We kissed on my mothers porch and he disappeared for years. We found each other again, and always did. I can't find what wishes to remain hidden. I wanted to though. I always did. 

I've thought he was dead a hundred times before. But now I suppose I will never know. 

But I'm just a silly girl. 



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Only Half

Half a pill waits for me. I stare at it for a while. 57 is all that's left of the identification code. The ragged edge where I broke it. Took the other half a while ago but I can't feel it anymore. Half doesn't last like it used to. I've been here before; staring at the half of a pill. I know its voice. The way it sounds in my head, my chest, my legs. I've been here before at the end of a bottle wondering how 160 half-a-pills go so fast. The first few--twenty, maybe--slow and steady. Only when it hurts. Promising myself this time will be different. Promising myself I will ignore the voice that starts with a whisper I can barely hear. But the whisper becomes a shout and soon I can feel my arms twitch, just a little at first. That voice whispers "it's just a half a pill". Half. Not whole. That would be too much.  One would lead to two then five and more and thy would be addiction. 

This is not addiction. 

It's just a half a pill. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Taste

She's come and gone a thousand times. In like a lovers whisper. Gone again like a tornado had passed through the place, but that's what always sucked me in. Knowing the wind behind that whisper.

I stared down into those confused, beautiful eyes that once filled me with such excitement and hope, and said goodbye. I didn't want to. I don't like leaving. Losing. Departures that are chosen; especially the ones I have to choose. But sometimes that's all that's left. 

She said she didn't understand, which made it all make sense. She said it wasn't about me; I knew as much. I could read her like I read myself. I closed my eyes and slipped myself into that beautiful, chaotic mind of hers on a wisp of cherry blossom and basked for a moment--one last moment--in the glow that she always became. 

When I opened my eyes, and looked at her again, hers were closed. I don't know if she saw what I was doing in there. Rummaging in some memories, finding my little space there. I left a little ivory box on a table in a room in her world and maybe she would find it some day when she thought of me. Maybe she would open it. Maybe she would just tuck it away and never want the truth. 

But before she opened her eyes again, I was gone. The scent of me was all I left behind; sweet jasmine and honeysuckle. 

It was freedom she needed. And freedom I gave willingly. I may never see her again, and I have to be okay with that. 

I feel no anger. 

I feel peace. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Go-Away Girl

It's what she called herself as she walked away from the group of boys that had just shown up. Mark punched her in the jaw for effect this time, but it didn't bother her. Philbert was in from the service and was the meanest bastard she knew. He was a Marine, and at nine years old all that meant to her was "asshole". Every time he came home, the temperature of the neighborhood changed.

She climbed her tree as high as she could get, and felt the summer breeze sway her gently. She listened. The boys all played war games and Philbert told wonderful and horrific stories that those boys believed. She didn't. But that didn't matter. None of it did, really. This wasn't new.

She closed her eyes and made impossible wishes, just like she always did when she was told to go away. Not once was she asked to stay but she wasn't bitter. She just accepted it as life. Unhappiness never occurred to her, not even as she rubbed her jaw.

It would pass. Philbert would go away. The rest of the boys would go home and she would be a part again. It wasn't that she didn't fit in, or that she wasn't the toughest kid around, or that she could throw and hit a baseball farther than the rest, or that her hair was just as short. It's that she was a girl. And she turned that hatred inwards, at her gender.

She could cut her hair, she could wear her bother's hand-me-downs, and would never correct anyone who called her a boy, or son. Sonny. It felt good. Like she belonged somewhere. But she could never change what God gave her.

Regardless, the boys were her best friends. Singly and sometimes in groups, but there were always hidden places she was never allowed. Not ever. Go away, girl. Boy stuff happening.

Understanding and acceptance would come much later (long after her body betrayed her and did what girls' bodies do), but in that tree with a sore jaw, she knew she had to wait til it was safe to come back again. Eddie would come looking for her, and they'd dig in the dirt and have rock fights, and play cars and blow up Barbie dolls with firecrackers again. Eddie was her favorite; he knew when to defend her and when to back off. And that nothing would buy him a rain of her fists like protecting her.

Besides, she knew when it was time to go away.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lockdown

It's where she goes when the world gets to be too much. When too much outside gets in, stretching tendrils around her insides, squeezing until the slow burn rises in her chest and in her throat.

She shuts them all down and out, closes open doors so she can sort the wheat from chaff. Self from Other. She grants menial tidings--now and again. A promise that the distance will close again. Eventually. When the grip loosens and she can draw a breath...any breath at all beyond the shallow pant of survival.

She feels the searching. Reaching. Seeking. But she coats herself in an oily cocoon that lets them slip past; faint wonder where she went rather than confusion as to why she's gone.

Eventually they will learn.

They have to.

Some pieces are meant to remain in the darkness, where she hides in this lockdown place. Pieces that broke off long ago, edges worn by time and nervous caresses of fumbling fingers...and eventually care. Love, even because darkness grants contrast, shade and shadow. The greys, where all the interesting stuff lives.

She flirts with that grey. Walking the razors edge, balancing the Darkness and the Light. Hips swaying gently side to side as she moves in sensual rhythms, never so far she falls. But close. So close. Sometimes too close.

And just before the fall.

She locks herself inside again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Stay the Night

Hold on as tight as you can. Enjoy my taste and scent. Wonder if this is real and dance that line between. Feel the moments as though they are true; me reaching so deep you wonder if that heat beside you is mine.

I whisper the promises you hold in your heart and they feel so real in your chest, that I can distort your reality; make you create love where there once was none. Make hate where there was love. Ambiguity, my enemy.

Then.

Sit up in a halo of morning. Wonder. Feel what I leave behind; heat on your face, weight on your chest, those promises that taste like the sweet nectar of a lover's kiss.

But I am gone. Air once silver burned away with sunlight and those empty promises I will never keep. Soon enough you will forget me, like a fist loses water.

I am, after all, just a dream.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Where The Secrets Live

The grid of streets was laid out like a vast net that trapped the city between shades of watery gray; the ever-raining sky, cement and pavement. Pinned all it touched to the ground, cutting deep into the undulations of hills, severing everything in its path. Chopping all the wilderness into tidy squares and rectangles to be covered with more gray 'til it disappeared into the gray above.

Sometimes the sun would shine, cast shadows that seemed to have a life of their own as they marked time. Moving, ever moving as the sun traced a golden arc across a jewel-toned sky, and on those days the earth showed off her emeralds. Children played chase with those shadows. But those days were few and far between.

Mostly, it was a heavy, oppressive gray that weighed on the shoulders of those who ventured out. Sluggish feet and stilled thoughts. When he looked out his windows, walked along that grid, it was all he saw. Laden minds, shoulders slumped to the weather, rivers rushing down streets, washing away all the colors of the place.

But he never went beyond. Beyond the restrictive net of the city, beyond the crown of hills where the colors hid themselves under layers of legends and lore. Deep into the hollows, where water spent centuries carving its way to the sea, beginning with the glaciers, and continuing through the footprints of man. The valleys filled with ghosts and goblins that captured the imagination, played with the heart and touched the soul. It wasn't his fault that he didn't know this place like she did.

She wished he had. She wished he had run away with her into those secret places with her, laughing in sunlight, filling lungs with the sweetness of spring. Watching a sun set over the crest of an autumn-smeared horizon from atop one of her hills. Refilling his palette with a whole new spectrum of what that place could be. The hollows where creativity lived. Thrived. She'd have taken his hand, soft in hers, and led him through the whispers of leaves, and secrets that the rocks kept; the kinds of secrets the soul longs to hear. She'd have stood forehead to forehead, eyes closed to teach him how to listen. How to see with his ears. To reach out while his hands remained still. To let it all in and to learn how to feel with his soul.

Instead, she sat quietly on her hill, watched the sun set, and whispered her secrets to the wind, and let him go. Because he had to. Because she had to. Because a closed fist holds no sunlight.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Muses for Coffee

Meet me for coffee. That tiny place up the street with that welcoming fireplace, and the soft, incandescent lights. I'll sit at a table for two, make sure there's room for just me. I'll be reading Camus when you get there, for no other reason than it seems like the right flavor at the time. My coffee will be black, because Camus always makes me think of thick, black coffee and the way it grabs hold of the senses. Immersion in a world just this side of a dream.

You will sit somewhere I can almost see you. But not quite. Another table across the room, but not too far. You'll have to pass me to get there. So close. I'll catch your scent, and smile; musk and mystery. I will keep reading; letting my eyes pass along the words, really just caressing the page as my attention is caught up in the essence of you, just beyond my senses.

Stolen glances, maybe a smile. But that is all. No words to tame silence, no awkward pauses that need to be relieved by anything but my fingertips, dancing on keys. Later. Much later after my coffee is gone and my ruse of reading done. After I've filled those gaps, that silence, that place with conversations we never had, words we never exchanged.

You will leave first. Because you have to. Because I won't. Because I can't. Because I'm holding my breath behind that book so I don't. So I don't. So I don't. Wreck the perfection that is this dream. That is this muse. That is this soul I can't and won't catch, but will only see once before you are gone to me forever. Out of reach. Blessedly out of reach, standing on a beach somewhere far away.

Maybe someday a breeze will catch you just right, and you'll think of me. But I'm not the important one. I am not the muse. You are. And you are perfect.

So I don't.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Drowning Pools

Paradise wasn’t lost.

It was forced to the deepest down; in the drowning waters where murk and mourning live. Strangled by the life it belongs to, because in the end, only one could live free. That’s how it is sometimes. A million words burned. A million worlds destroyed, shattered, put away, dumped as The Little Prince falls to the sand.

Rippled reflections of self, distorted by physics, the drowning arms lose shape, take jarring angles as refraction and reflection turn the body into something else. Something inside that’s not really self any more; staring back from the ripples on a once-calm surface. The eyes hollow. The heart beats but without passion. The soul eventually numbs because the burning can’t last forever.

Art is art. It’s expression. Interpretation. A look into what the world means to a single soul at that moment the piece was created. Conceived. Executed…then executed.

It’s a life form inside a life, as we struggle to break the confines of our understandings and misunderstandings to let free our interpretations of the world around us. To rip open skin and flesh, old wounds, and new passions, hopes and dreams because the body is too small of a vessel for it all. To give air to that which burns just beneath the skin.

Sometimes it is a mercy killing to save the life it belongs to. And that is the saddest of all. When the only answer is that drowning. It’s singular. It is solitude without solace. And it is the grief of losing the love of your life.

Cry, my Little Prince. Grieve from the deepest places. The drowning pools so deep inside...but never forget those waters. They are steeping a brand new you. A grand, unstoppable, force of nature waiting to reawaken.

Friday, March 6, 2015

August Friends

I am in a Middle Ages recreation group, and without getting into too many details, we have an annual gathering of about 10K-13K people who show up, set up camp, and wear medieval clothes for two weeks. I have been doing this for around twenty years. I've accumulated a lot of friends over the years; a lot of whom I only see once a year for those two weeks. I wrote this one night after losing someone I had known, and looked forward to seeing every year.

August Friends

Once a year, for two weeks our names are common to each other. We greet as though no time has passed; as we have always greeted with a smile and a “Welcome home.” For just a little while we even forget that there is a world beyond the August that we wrap around ourselves like a blanket.

I have known you for ten years but I may not know your real name. How many kids or grand kids you have. Or how you take your coffee. But that doesn’t change the fact that I look forward to seeing you. To the sound of your voice. To finding you wandering down a busy dirt street the way you always have. Those streets that have your footprints forever in their dust.

I may see you coming off the field of battle, or from a class. Offer to help you carry your things, visit a while. Maybe invite you to have a beer by my fire, or see you later that night at a party or two. Perhaps I will only see you in passing as we’re both very busy--but next year. Next year we promise to take time for each other. We promise that our August lives will slow down enough that we will have time. Time on our vacation to just spend being. Existing.

And then we will go back to our other lives. The ones where we make the money to afford this world. We will hardly think about each other, or the world we just left. Now and again, we may see each other referenced in an email, or a blog post and we will think “Yeah. We promised to make time next year…”

But eventually that year will not pass.

One year you will not come back and I will never see you again. I will miss you. Your warm, greeting hug. The way you look in the sunlight, happy to be “home” again with the families we have chosen as ours. I will drink a beer in your honor and think about you. Watch your boat burn on the lake. Think about how maybe we were always a little too busy. And then I will scuttle off to another meeting that seems important at the time.

Good bye August friend. I will miss you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Skunks and Bombe's

Skunks

My house still reeks of skunk. It actually has for a while because my newest addition, Damndelion seems to love skunks. To death. So I have one skunk from a few weeks ago hanging out in a more prominent place than most people would find acceptable, but doesn't seem to bother anyone in the family. Of course we have a snake, so we move mice out of the way to get to the beef in the freezer, and when our guinea pig died in the dead of winter, we also put him in the freezer til we could break ground. Dead things don't bother me so much.

However, this skunk smell is newer. From yesterday. Damndelion got a hold of a young skunk and went nuts. I mean completely lost his mind, playing with it like he would with a rope toy. It was in his yard and that would NOT do. Tyr was smart. The second he smelled what was going on he let himself into the house...bringing with him a wave of extremely fresh and close stench. That's when we discovered the rope-toy game. Damdelion screamed, dropped the skunk and began rolling on the ground--I assume he was sprayed yet again, but there was blood now, so it was my turn. I watched to see if it was dead (hoping, really), but the damn thing stood up and ran at D. So, I found my weapon of choice and went to do the deed. I pulled the dog away, who was like "I'M NOT DONE WITH THAT!!!!" So I grabbed his collar and held him back while I fired. First shot was a kill--I was remarkably calm. Second was for assurance. The kids had been escorted to another place in the house, far from the goings on, so I had no worries about trauma.

And because I am NOT right in the head, I put the dead skunk on a fencepost as a warning to all the other skunks to just leave us alone. I think his much larger comrade will be joining him as soon as he thaws from my deck rail.

Now I have blue hair and I reek of skunk.

Bombes

Or more specifically, bombe glacee. Ice cream bomb that I'm inflicting on my daughter's second grade class. It's culture week, and one of the cultures was France, so I chose it, being that I know more about that than anything else (except my growing knowledge and obsession with Norway, but that wasn't on the list). I am gluten free (not that's its anyone's biz, but it's because gluten was killing me in one of the most painful ways you can imagine). I really didn't want to make gluten free crepes, and I refuse to make gf beignets, because the gumminess is what it's all about.

My favorite part of ALL of this ice cream bliss is a mother-daughter moment I had with my mom. It went like this:

Me: I have zero idea what to make that isn't a full meal, or a pastry.

My mom (Memere): You could make a bombe glacee. They're called that because they look like bombs; you put the ice cream in a mould, and layer it, so when you cut through it, you get a slice with pretty layers.

Me (to CoyoteCurls): Would you like that?

CoyoteCurls: YES YES YES THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!!!!!

Memere (to CoyoteCurls): And you can tell your teacher YOUR MOM IS BRINGING A BOMB TO SCHOOL!!!!

Me: OH MY GOD MOM NO!!!!!

The kicker? My mother has her masters in education, and was in every level of education from substitute teacher through assistant superintendent. Is it no wonder I have small frozen animals in my freezer on occasion?

Anyway, wisely the teacher put us at the end of the day so the sugared-up kids will finish their sugar...er...ice cream bombs and head home.

And Now I'm Cold

And I have to be up early, and a lot of whining here that I will spare anyone who is reading this. I will post more creative stuff some day when I'm not overcome by sugar and skunk.

Thanks for reading!! If you ever want to leave a comment, by all means do so. I will read them, I just likely won't publish them because comments get out of hand fast.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Binge

Thanks to Netflix, I can now watch tv like I read. Wholly, selfishly. Utterly replete with the story, with my eyes hopelessly fixed on the horizon of "The End". I can't let the story go (if it's a good one) until I get to the end. I will read while I stir dinner on the stove. I will read while I walk, pick up the house; everything. At least with tv shows, I have to wait until bedtime because none of my shows are fit for kids.

The problem is, with reading, I miss little bits. Tiny details. Nuances that I know the author put in there for a reason. Sometimes I'm compelled to reread the story, and in doing so I find it has changed for me. I pick up on the nuances, but I also take the time to relax into the story. Feel the characters. Get a sense of the world that the author created. Rachel Caine gets to me that way. I reread because I enjoy subtleties.

The same thing happens with tv. I want to KNOW EVERYTHING NOW! Especially when it's a popular show and facebook fills with references that I don't understand--Breaking Bad was an obsession more for the need to understand the references than for the joy of the show. I ended up liking it, but there were points where it was just my own willpower pushing me along. Knowing it would end some day.

Then there's Dexter. I watched it the first time to get to the "you're gonna HATE the end" references, and because I enjoyed the show. Now on my second time through (Breaking Bad didn't get a second go), I'm enjoying the details. The hints. The references.

Success!!

HA! I got to it and through it, far surpassing my expectations. It may not be much, but hey...I wrote!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Your Eyes

Are you looking out your window? Do you see more than a frozen smear of sky?


Him

Perhaps that is why he came to Ohio...To learn the meaning of blue. To experience the rarity of sunshine. To find joy in a day when the clouds are merely broken...

Chasing sunbeams, stomping them as if trying to pin them to the ground like a child with a favorite sticker tumbling in the breeze.

Running, running as fast as he can, catching the frayed edges of sunlight, ragged from wind-whipped skies.

Cupped hands cradling such a delicate thing. A tiny bird in his palms. Fists hold no sunlight...

A million colors at his fingertips and yet it's the perfect gray he seeks.

So in love that he find himself on the edge of tears because he can't find the color of her eyes in all those paints in front of him.


You

Eyes. They all have your eyes, despite that I have never seen them. I have felt them, an otherworldly blue that see into and through me. I want to live in that want. Bathe in it. Feel it soak me to my soul.

And if we were ever to touch, even for a moment. I want the world to wonder why the sun stopped in her tracks. Why the earth paused to sigh.

I want the intensity that makes angels cry.

I built a crystal palace for you you. Strong. Enduring. I keep you there, my precious muse.

You whispered sweetness in languages I didn't understand, but felt like honey in my mind, dripping slowly downward through my mouth, my heart, the depths of where my want lives.

And all of this you understood. Without words. Without rules. Without language. The drive that is want. The muse never touched, just held at a sweet, enticing distance.

Them

They all have your eyes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

All That is You

I want to curl up in your world surrounded by all that is you.

I want to construct an erector-set reality lit by Christmas lights that reflect in the glitter in your hair, left over from construction paper angels that we tape to the ceiling with bright curly ribbons.

I want to hide in pillow forts from the snow outside and make wishes on fallen eyelashes. Pinkie promises and whispers, socked feet and secrets.

I want to sleep with you in a twin bed too small for one. Curl up in princess sheets and talk about astronauts. Let the outside winter rage.

I want to fall asleep with you and dream those dreams I had forgotten. Believe in a faraway future and all the millions of maybes.

I want to curl up in your world surrounded by all that is you.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mixed Bag Fridays and OMG Ballet

My time doesn't march like most other people's time. It has its own special pace, well, I can't call it a pace because that implies some kind of rhythm. Mine has none. I'm pretty sure the drummer quit a long time ago and took his sticks with him. Part of that is being married to an emergency professional whose schedule is willy-nilly no matter what he says. Part of that is just the condition of being me. But Fridays are truly a mixed bag.

Some Fridays are a gift. Husband stays home with Lokisdottir. I grab CoyoteCurls from school, head to ballet, talk WAY too much to patient people--I don't get out much, and I certainly don't get a lot of grownup time without stopping every few seconds to correct LokisDottir, so my head kind've explodes with words. Then she and I have a nice conversation on our way home. I feel rested, relaxed, and am always glad for the alone time with CoyoteCurls. And grownups.

Then there are Those Fridays. Today was a Those Friday. It required a whole lot or retrograde, alignments and a host of astrological metaphors that I'm too tired to make up right now because OMG Ballet...which...I will get to in a second.Or six.

We left the house at 10am. We got home around 9pm. In all that time was furniture shopping (subsequent arguing over space and placement), Costco, grocery, library, and a school Valentine's Day thing that parents were invited to--the kind that if you don't show, your daughter cries and you are certain her world has just ended--OMG Ballet and finally some function a the YMCA that I'm sure I'll remember once the memories resurface.

Most of my day was about "Wow, your hair is really blue!" which was actually kinda fun. It started a great conversation with CoyoteCurl's teacher, and I really appreciated that. Somewhere along the way I volunteered to cook French food for class. I should look in to that sometime. The sales people at the furniture stores had no clue what to do with me though. Women with bright blue hair must not buy expensive furniture very often, but I was fine with taking the lead, because what I want isn't cheap. It's just what I want (which is not a sofa, but chairs wide enough to cuddle. The current wing backs are nice, and I can fit with the girls, but that's about it. I burned the sofa a long time ago. Dog pee. Enough said).

And then there was OMG Ballet. I was so looking forward to my little spot on the floor, but as we pulled in, the giant banner reminded me it was "PARENT PARTICIPATION WEEK". So did CoyoteCurls. I sent husband off with Lokisdottir in hopes she would nap, which she did, but which also meant I was the parent to participate. So I did. And I didn't make it across the floor once before an old injury put me on my bum (short version: ACL repair, hamstring graft, never regained full use of that leg). But gosh darnit, I was gonna participate. So as soon as that particular exercise was over, and my hamstring was out of spasm, I was at the barre. And gosh darn it, I was gonna DO THIS RIGHT!

Now, I've done a lot of pushing myself to extremes in my life. My cycling days, my weight lifting days, karate, full contact, armored combat--single and melee--I've run a half marathon, the forest fire fighting. Basically, I've been an athlete all my life, and it hasn't always been nonviolent. I've only ever had cracked ribs, and that ACL...though I've dislocated every joint that isn't a fixed joint.

My seven year old's ballet class kicked my butt. And it was the crowning jewel of this particular That Friday. And it why I don't really remember much about the Y.

But hopefully the next That Friday will be as far away as Easter, because they always fall near holidays. So I have time to prepare. Or forget, which is more likely.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Crabby Mommy Powers

Today was supposed to bring me some alone time. Some peaceful time. Some time to sit, write, cipher. But it didn't. I'm tapping along between calls for "Help, mommy!!!" because the iPad will not obey. Funny thing about electronics, no? I'm ok with it, for the most part, I was before Lokisdottir discovered puzzles on the iPad. She loves puzzles, which is great, but apparently we are now taking turns. Except that in taking my turn I was just admonished for helping. I think I wanna be three-ish.

I've found, though, that if I don't write, I get crabby, so I do what I can, when I can. And right now my background cacaphony is Barbie Mermaid Tale. Yeah. I know. You raise your kids your way and I'll raise mine my way. It's why I disabled comments. I've been impressed with the Barbie movies, to be honest. Well, most of them. They use classical music, and often retell classic stories in ways that interest my girls. Swan Lake comes to mind.

Yes. I am kinda writing just to get words on the page, even though it goes against everything I believe about writing. I'm not a "slam out a first draft and fix it later" type. It doesn't work for me (back to that word count thing), and while I respect that it can work for others, it's just not me. If I don't feel my characters, I don't do them the disrespect of forcing the writing. I love them too much for that. I love writing too much to make it a chore. So when my writing seems forced here, now you know why!

I'm gonna stop now as my day just shifted gears again. We are celebrating Valentine's Day today instead of Saturday because he works. That's the thing about emergency work of any kind. Holidays are when we make them. Besides. Lokisdottir has decided I need a check-up.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Birth of a Muse

She was there for the first spark, ignited by hello, and that first precious touch. Crouched and patient as only assassins can be; she had been hiding behind memories, lurking in the recesses of emotions, waiting for that perfect match of heat and deep, dark energy--the way it moved like smoke, eddied in the hara, sending tendrils along nerves through all the hidden places. She caught scent of lust, bared teeth in the predator's grin and made her move. Swift. Unrelenting. She was born of all that want, and would subjugate all others until her story was revealed. She will be the last one standing, long after I am gone.

To Done!

Kitchen painted, Rising Stars finished, Jupiter Ascending viewed, re-walked and mended more of the fence around the five acres, even got some real writing done. Some flash, too, but that's how I roll. I'll share that later.

Kitchen painted. Yeah, the wandering around for everything finally go just old enough, and a friend who has been here a lot put and eye on the dottirs while I did it. Now I want to paint the wall around the tv. Orange. Not that seventies aggression orange that someone somewhere thought was good for schools, but a softer orange with a hint of gray. And I like crappy paint jobs, so it will be another crappy paint job. Not a wash, just crappy. It worked out nicely in the bathroom, so here's to hope. And time. And a tall ladder because the ceiling is about 20 feet up right there.

Rising Stars. It's on my recommend list for graphic novels, and the only other one I liked was Preacher. I'd summarize, but I'm no good at summaries that don't include spoilers...which is why when anyone asks "What's it about?" regarding anything, my answer is disjointed and I'm usually fairly certain the listener thinks I'm soft in the head. Which is fine. Low expectations. I'm blond; I've become used to them. No, I'm not kidding.

I really liked Jupiter Ascending. I went in prepared to be disappointed, but they pulled it off. It was BIG, there was a lot of set-up universe wise, but because they pulled from current alien belief (lizard men and grays) they were able to get more done. Sci-Fi like that isn't easy in this post-franchise world that Marvel/Disney brought to us. We develop understandings of characters over time (which, hey, the more Tom Hiddleston the better), and see the process of growth. It reminded me in some ways of Dune, but I slept through most of those (blasphemy, I know). Anyway. I liked it.

I will give my piece of flash its own entry, in part because it's fairly brutal. It's the birth of a story, and birth is never gentle.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

That Silence Again

Right there. Been wandering around the dark fields looking for my stupid dog, Damndelion. Shaking a cup of food because I'm pretty sure he thinks that's his name, and "DANDLEION" means "RUN LIKE HELL!!!1!" But in all that darkness, my thoughts wander around stuff I want to write. Images that come to mind. Memories. Cool stuff. sweet stuff. Ballet and jiujitsu stuff. Until I settle myself beside a warm Coyote Curls, who looks at me with bleary eyes and says "You scared me, mom. You took too long."

That's when my first title came to mind. "Head in a Kroger Bag". It's not a short story. It's not some piece of flash. It's a piece of history that won't leave any of us alone. She went missing four years ago. Took us two years to find that bag. Us. I wasn't there, thank god, but I was part of the endless searches. Take too long to do anything alone, and that's where the mind wanders. But that's not even remotely where I wanted to go. I got a little lost shortly after that, and settled on that silence between the blank page and the opening title.

But I'm writing. Which hadn't done much of today, or the day before because the to-do list piles up and if you sit too long, you can actually hear it growing like some kind of cancer on the creative mind.

So I painted the kitchen white (UGH), then colorwashed the ceiling and now I have to do the walls. Not a lot of walls to do, but still. I've made it as inconvenient as humanly possible to navigate the kitchen so I would annoy myself out of this complacency...it's not working like I wanted it to. So I'm writing instead. Because the walls need painted, of course, and nothing inspires creativity like the scent of latex paint. Or something like that.

So check one off the to-do list; I've written. next I read. My husband brought home a graphic novel series called "Rising Stars" that he thinks I'd really like, and from everything he's said, I am sure I will. And with all things like that I will likely get sucked in so hard, I will have to set alarms to remind me to surface long enough to go to the bathroom and do parenty things. Mannen min has been pretty good at picking the things I'd like in the past. He's cool that way.

Rising Stars it is.

Ja, that was Norsk :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Alpha

She took a hard pull from her cigarette, but that's not what she was hungry for. It didn't matter though. It was something. Anything. She stared at the cherry in the darkness, then flicked it all away, sending it spinning into the night. She took her drugs where she could find them now. Mini-highs to stave off the hunger for the real ones.

Leaned back against the cement stairs and waited for him to come along, a quiet tide, a little darker than nighttime. A dream. A nightmare. A fix packaged in a body made of sinew and guts, blood and brains. She knew he hated it when she smoked. That's why she did it. She knew he hated a lot of things that she'd never give up. Not for him. He wasn't the answer, just a fix.

She felt a wave of him; the first wave. The one that told her to get up. Go to the page and listen. Record. She wasn't a writer, she was a cipher. His cipher and while he was born of her...he had his own life. They all did. And when she was immersed, it was as good as any fix. But the fix ended. It always did, leaving her spent. Too tired for more than a smoke, and maybe some music.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writers. Writing. All That.

I always seem to have a head full of thoughts until I get the code right for the title. Then everything either goes blank, or suddenly sounds presumptuous. Like this evening, I was thinking that I am not a huge fan of other writers...and that's not as people. As people, I find a depth in other writers, and sometimes ours are a similar shade. It's the numbers game that gets to me.

It goes: How many words have you written today? I try to keep my daily word count around 20,000. My last piece was 500,000 words, but it could have been longer. I've gotten to my personal magic number, which is 15,000, but I was tired at the time and I had to drive across the state.

I don't understand numbers. That doesn't mean I don't know how many pages 20,000 words will fill. It means it's a foreign concept to me. I can't wrap my head around it. Seriously. Maybe that will change some day, I don't know. But it always sounds like "My baby is SO smart!!!!1!" Maybe it's making writing into a competition in a way that just doesn't need to happen. Some days I'm happy that I got three words out...but they were the EXACT three I was looking for, and at four in the morning, that's pretty good (because I've been up all night puzzling over those words). I do flash fiction, and I think that's why. I trust my reader. I say "kitchen" and an image comes to your mind of what a kitchen looks like. I'm not going to argue with your ideas, unless it's important where the sink is (in one of my pieces, I stalled at the description of a kitchen...why? I don't know. I was only in that kitchen for about five minutes while I was being grilled over drivers licenses and vegetarianism. All that mattered was it smelled really good, and there was a REALLY hot guy in that kitchen...which ended up my downfall, but hey. I won't spoil the book once I take it out of time out for lying). "Tree" Quick. Describe a tree. One tree in one book mattered because it snapped and made a main character break her arm.

I tried to read a book titled "Writing Tight". I quit about ten pages in because it was nonstop bonsai references, that just seemed to clutter the point. If I wrote a book about it, there would be four words: "Use fewer words. Fin"

And it's also why I'm a crappy blogger. I'm writing now because our new dog Damndelion has disappeared into the night, I am sure to commune with his newest bestests, coyotes. No I'm not concerned if he gets beat up; he's a scrappy little guy and I'm not entirely sure he's not at least some coyote himself. Goofy, and at stupid times very skittish. I could work on my work but I keep eyeing the door in hopes I can go to bed soon. Sometimes I have to shake a cup full of dog food to get his attention, but I'm guessing with the thaw, there's a lot of interesting stuff out there to roll in. Yummay.

And Biker Jacket has been woven in to my most recent work. I'm fond of that piece. It takes me places I need to be sometimes.

Now I'm just tired, and while I could continue on with words so I can up my count for the day (hahaha), I already got the transition piece I needed done and now I'm killing time.

Again. I like other writers. I just don't understand most of them.

Fin

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Guidelines

So I pulled the past post for a few hours while I rechecked some submission guidelines. They can be finicky, and no two are the same. I tend to write outrageously short fiction, so when I find a place for it, I submit my work. Biker Jacket just happened one evening as I stared at a blank blogpost, and then I thought "Well? Maybe..." So. We will see.

My current longer work started with a lot of flash fic pieces that created a skeleton. I've been weaving gut and sinew along the way, and I'm pretty happy with how it's going. A little like a connect-the-dots, really.

I may rework my last book-length piece to the same structure, because it's what works best for me. That one had a lot of problems anyway because I wasn't ready to face some very uncomfortable truths about myself. I wanted to be better than me, and in doing that I wasn't being fair to those who have been in my shoes. Jay Roberts ripped open that world for me and though I've never met him, I have him to thank for peace.