Monday, December 30, 2013

Residency and the New Year

A final list of things I need to get done before heading off to Boston: find a picture for the flashback class, practice reading my piece for Steve's workshop, write about the pieced of music for Randall's workshop, finish reading two workshop pieces (I've really loved them all so far!), read the Atwood short story, read the Unseen Mind, and finish reading the Loss of Face article.  Also, print out Poetics.  The only classwork stuff I have to do is for Sandra's Critical Thesis class and Steve's Stone by Stone class.  That might sound like a lot but it's not.  Most of this will be done between tonight and tomorrow and then I also have lots of time during the first two days at the Residency to polish up and prepare.  But I figure I'll be spending most of that time catching up with my Solstice family.  A few other things I want to work on is narrowing down my ideas for a Critical Thesis as well as deciding which novel to work on for my Creative Thesis.

Along with the Residency comes the New Year and I have a few goals in mind for 2014.  Some of them of a literary nature while others are of a kinky nature.  Literary wise: I want to write a comprehensive synopsis for Death Man, I want to edit/rewrite/polish over 50K words for Death Man and for Summer of August Hunt.  I also want to write a backwards forwards poem - the kind you can read two different ways and I already have an idea for that involving Death Man.  For the kinkier goals I definitely want my nipples pierced and want to become proficient at needle play and medical staples.  Health wise, I would like to lose some weight (just like rest of America *sigh*) and just be healthier all around.  I want to die my hair, wear more make-up, and start taking vitamins.  Other things that I want to work on is getting back into my art.  I am thinking that for the Residency I'm going to bring an artist's sketch pad instead of a laptop.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Piercing Pals

EDIT: I still have not pierced the nipples!  And I've taken down many of the lovely booby pics mentioned in one of the comments due to a change in the adult content policy on blogger.

That's what I want.  Soon.  And it's not a total spur of the moment thing.  My friend and I were talking the other day and the subject of piercings came up.  She's actually had her belly button pierced before (it was very cute!) but had to take it out after about a year due to allergies and sensitivities to the metal.  It was sad.  But every part of the body reacts differently and so she's game to try again.  And I'm game to try with her.

The only piercing I have at the moment is a single hole in each ear lobe and even though I used to wear earrings almost every day (mainly throughout high school and a bit into college) my ears are allergic to everything but high quality gold now and since I'm poor, I don't wear earrings all that often anymore.  So of course, the natural next step in both our piercing lives is... *dun dun dun* the nipple!  Both of them.

We're going to go in together sometime at the start of this new year and get us some nifty booby jewelry.  At least that is the plan.  From what I've read here and there via forums and ask sites, the nipple takes piercings better than some other surface areas on the body, they are relatively inexpensive, and, aside from having a tendency to close up quickly when left without a ring/bar in, are a lot of fun.

We've both been wanting to get our nipples pierced for a while and now it's a plan of action.  I would like to lose some weight this year, or, even if I don't lose significant weight, I want to be healthier - that means better food choices (more vegetables and protein), more getting out and actually exercising, and picking up a healthy hobby like belly-dancing or hiking - and the good news is that no matter how much weight I lose (or gain if I'm not careful) the nipples will not change.  I would never get a belly button piercing because my belly button would eat it and I don't have a cute tummy to display whatever adorable gem I might be wearing, and I can't get a facial piercing if I want to keep working retail, I can't do the nose, lip, or eyebrow, so the nipple, once again, comes out the victor.

It seems the most popular size for a barbell in the nips is 14 gauge.  We'll have to talk to the piercing artist to see which metal and size is best for us 'sensitive' gals.  My Hannah is on board with the whole thing and supports me in my decision.  My friends immediate family is not quite as on board for her to go through with it but as long as we are safe and find a fairly good deal I don't see how they can object too, too much.  If worse comes to worst, and she ends up with a infection, she can take the piercing out and cut her loses.  But I have very high hopes for these piercings.  We are even looking at some cute and cliche "best friends" nipple jewelry.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Yule and Sirens

Tonight, Hannah and I decided, rather on the spur of the moment, to take some food, some wood, some matches, and some sodas and go out to Kiwanis Park to cook a Solstice meal and enjoy nature.  Well, the park technically closes from "sunset to sunrise" and since today is the shortest day of the year, sunset came at 3:59 PM.  Meaning our trespassing began shortly after we arrived.  In the time it took us to walk from the car to the pavilion, there went the sun.  For all my talk, I'm actually a pretty rule abiding citizen, same with Hannah, and so with the dark came a feeling of breaking the law.  Fear of being fined (we are so freaking poor right now) and fear of being arrested (thank you articles featuring the bad apple/barrel police department encounters) quickly overshadowed the slight adrenaline high that comes from being rebellious.  Maybe it was the mixture of fear and adrenaline that kept us there because before we knew it I was starting a fire in the grill pit and Hannah was fixing up the MP3 player with the speakers.

The air was filled with the crackling of summer wood and the melodies of Solstice carols.  We were about to put the tinfoil wrapped casserole and bacon onto the grate when I pointed out that lacked a stick for poking and proding the food and fire.   I was pretty certain we had a metal poker in the car so I got the keys and readied myself to venture back to the parking lot alone (probably a three minute walk but still, it was dark!).

And then, through the trees we see headlights moving nice and slow, somewhat reminiscent of how a cop car might drive through a closed park to keep all Pagan shenanigans to a minimum.  So Hannah and I freeze and watch the balls of light as they slow to a stop and then disappear.  Suddenly I decided I didn't really need to go to the car.  It had to have been a cop, right?  And I just knew that he'd either taken down the license plate number so he could fine us later or left a big fat ticket on the window.  And if he wasn't a cop then it was a random person out looking for someone to tattle on.

Our hearts beating a little faster after the mysterious drive-by, we threw the food onto the fire and cuddled together to wait for the feast, hoping that we could still enjoy our evening before the police showed up in force to haul us away. It was nice to just sit there in the woods, surrounded by snow and the pretty orange glow of the fire.  But that ended when we heard, way off in the distance, the sound of a police siren followed by the loud belching alarm of a firetruck.  We gave each other nervous smiles and tried to ignore it, but it kept getting louder and louder and louder.  Until it sounded like they were pulling into the park.  Hannah immediately began piling snow onto our nice fire sending a whoosh of smoke up into the night sky, making a kind of 'guilty' beacon.

The siren sound gets closer and closer and then goes right on by.  Yep.  But we've already killed the fire and it seems like a good time to make a run for it before something does happen, so we grab our half cooked food, our blankies, music, and sodas and head home.  I half figured there would be a police road block waiting for us at the park entrance, but the only thing waiting for us were a couple of deer and they were beautiful. The best part of the story, however, is that later, when explaining how we freaked ourselves out over a random car driving slowly through the park, dad replies casually, "Oh, that was us!"  My parents went out to see if the area was plowed because they worried that we might be stuck in the snow.  We weren't stuck.  Just paranoid.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Poetry, I Lacks it

One of my goals for the new year is to write some poetry.  It's mainly just to nourish my soul a little but I wouldn't mind sharing them on the blog.  One of my friends shared a great "forwards/backwards" poem the other day (I'm sure there's an official name for this but, meh) and if you read it top to bottom it is an atheists view of the world and if you read it from the bottom up it becomes a Christian's view of the world.  It's a pretty neat style and I've been curious and excited about it ever since another friend wrote her very own "forwards/backwards" poems, taking it even a step further so that there are four ways to read it and each way gives a new perspective to the characters within.  I want to poetry!  I need to poetry.  But after playing with words for about half an hour and coming up with nothing, I gave up on the writing and went, instead, to the reading.  I found a neat page with lots of darker poetry (classic and contemporary) compiled into a single text.  So, since I can't write anything of value tonight, I'll just share one of my favorite poems for now and give this whole poetry thing another shot tomorrow.

by Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Penis and Me

EDIT: The glorious penis picture (wherein the penis was completely body painted over with white and then dotted with huge primary color polka dots) has been removed due to a change in adult content policy.  Please enjoy the replacement dick!

I nearly killed my boss a few days back - not with an ax, but with laughter.  She and I were talking about Christmas letters and families and she asked about me and Hannah.  She wondered if we'd ever dated men and how did we know we didn't like them.  Well, we do like men.  Both of us.  We like men a great deal.  But our love isn't based on each other's genitalia.  So my boss took this in and then asked if our families knew that Hannah and I were together.  Yes, everyone knows.  Everyone except her grandparents.  They know (we think they know) but they won't acknowledge it.  Which is fine.  They are super Christian and on top of that they come from a generation of 'don't hang your dirt laundry out for others to see' and as long as they still love me and call me their 'other' granddaughter, I don't care if they admit to themselves the true nature of my relationship with Hannah.  They are nothing but pleasant toward us and that's good enough for me.  It breaks Hannah's heart a little because she wishes she could invite them to our wedding, but at the rate the 'wedding' is coming along we probably won't have to worry about Grandma and Grandpa at all because it's not going to happen until we have the money to do it right and that might be many, many years down the road.  Still, if they are here, it would be nice if they would come.

So we talked about this for a few minutes and then my boss wondered if there was anyone on my side - friends or family - that didn't know I was with a woman.  The truth is, I've told everyone of my dear friends that I am in a relationship with Hannah, except for one friend who lives in California.  I've sort of left it as a 'she probably knows' arrangement because this is the friend who, in college, spoke very frankly about how sad it was to her that all the gays were going straight to hell.  This is also the friend who once said to me, "Amanda, I've had some friends who I wondered about, but with you, I definitely know you're straight.  You will never, ever get with a woman because you are way too obsessed with penises."  Yes, I admit it, I think penises are fantastic, hilarious, delightful, and user friendly.  I didn't used to think that way.  When I was kid I often drew men in positions of power over women and their penises would be a huge snakes or something similar.  But I got older and less afraid of the mythical creature known as 'a dick' and in college I became very familiar with a few.  Not 'too familiar' mind you!  But familiar.

And that's when I pretty much killed my boss.  She cackled at my rendition of my friend saying, "Amanda, you see penises in EVERYTHING!"  And she nearly started crying when I listed off a few of the things I automatically regard as phallic: bushes, shadows, trees, air... you get the idea.  Anyway so, of course, I've been hesitant to tell my friend that Hannah and I are a couple because she might think my enjoyment of penises (or is it penii?) was a complete ruse.  She might think that everything about me was a ruse.  Her head might explode and there might be a snow storm in Jamaica.  Who knows?!  But after talking to my boss, I decided that playing chicken shit is no longer the way to go.  In Christmas letters of the past I've spoken of Hannah and I as 'we' and 'us' and talked about 'our' cats, but this year I put it out there plainly as one of the things that hasn't changed in 2013: "Hannah and I are still together."  Two girls.  Yep.  Now please enjoy this dick.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Good Feedback, Good Feelings

I'm feeling pretty good today despite the horrific dreams I was having only a few hours ago - dreams that made me cry out and whimper so much that Hannah had to shake me awake.  Well, I'm awake now and drinking coffee and I just got done checking my emails and was delighted to find a very positive and uplifting assessment from my MFA mentor.  It has kind of made my day and I am making brain stew (putting in all his suggestions and questions and letting them mix with what my friends and I have talked about concerning the story) and thinking that later today I might try my hand at peeking inside the brain of Eugene Cartwright.  He was conjured into being by the fact that I needed a 'bad guy' and as his essence formed, it became clear that he is not all that bad.  He's tragic and frustrated and, as Sterling points out, he's one of the most interesting characters in the novel synopsis.  And he very well may be the protagonist, or at least a co-protagonist.

I'm also feeling pretty good because this weekend is the family Christmas party (the big one for the entire clan) and I was able to get time off from work so that I can attend.  On a Christmas note, I do need to get on my Christmas letter and get some cards sent out.  Today will be a 'finish up the last bit of the semester day' as well as a 'get rolling on Christmas stuff' day.  Hannah and I want to have a little date, just some lunch out together, but we're both slugging through the morning with a decided lack of zeal and ambition.  That's okay, though.  We'll wake up and get to business soon enough.  Right now I'm still kind of dazed and contemplative.  My dreams were really upsetting and Sterling's email was really exciting and with both of those mixing inside I feel anxious and eager.  I'm so ready for the third residency.  I hope that it goes smoothly and that I am able to reboot all of my creative and literary efforts.

This next semester will see me working on my critical thesis.  I'm nervous about it, but not all that nervous.  I'm waiting to hear back what my mentor thought of the critical thesis ideas I sent him, but even if he decides they are all a bust (and I usually go with his suggestions/decisions because, for the most part, they are solid gold) I won't worry too much.  There will always be other options.  In other news I still need to get my little computer sent in, but I do think it's too late to be able to have Vignette at the residency, which is a shame because she made the in class writings go so much better and also allowed for me to take notes that *gasp* I was able to read later since there's no preset font on Microsoft Word called 'Amanda's excruciatingly undecipherable handwriting.'  My friend has a small computer that she says I am welcome to borrow and I might take her up on that.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sad Day and Sad Ending, but it's Looking Up

For no reason at all, today has been a depressed and dreary day.  It started well enough with singing and dancing in the kitchen and two episodes of the anime, Mythical Detective Loki.  Then we watched a documentary on the Dust Bowl, which I enjoyed immensely despite the depressing content.  I think it was the act of leaving the house to go to the library that set me off in a bizarre way.  Sometimes when a person is depressed they can pin it down to one or a couple of things and relate the emotional backlash to some kind of trigger, but today it was a very out of the blue kind of low.  It was a good old fashioned depression, caused purely by chemicals in my brain, I suppose.  Either that or it's the weather really getting to me.  I hate that it was dark before four o'clock today.  But other than that there wasn't anything that really stands out as a reason for weepy Mc-weep pants today.

It got better though.  When we got home from the library, I felt really dismal.  I almost didn't even eat dinner and, for those of you who know me, that is a huge red flag.  Mom made steak and eggs and toast and it was delicious - and I told mom this - but I ate it with a frown on my face the entire time.  However, after dinner, mom and I retreated to her bedroom and I proceeded to read her two large scenes from my Dust Bowl novel.  It was cute.  She thought I was setting up a short story.  I'm not.  And she also proposed some great ways to give the story a happy ending.  Well... there isn't going to be one.

I think it shocked her.  I actually know exactly how the story is going to end and it makes me want to bawl and that is how I know it needs to happen.  Reading to mom helped get me back into the mood for Bertram and August.  Now I just have to keep going.  For workshop we have to turn in two manuscripts of about 3000 thousand words each and I want to have chapter 1 and chapter 2 ready to go by December 2nd.  Also, I'm thinking of giving Death Man a short hiatus so that I can keep going on the novel that I actually know how to end instead of the novel with a mystery ending that simply won't reveal itself to me even in abstractions.  We'll see.  The residency is like a dose of crack cocaine and afterwards I may jump back into Death Man with both feet, or I'll carry on with Dust Bowl while I work on my critical thesis.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas? Why wait!

Busy day today!  I forgot my medicine last night and so I'm bordering on mania which is alright because today was a Christmas Spirit day!  We started it off by going up to the garage and storing away all our Halloween goodies and dragging down all the Christmas shit we've accumulated over the years.  And there's a lot.  The tree is not up and decorated (we still have so much more to put on it) and we have figured out a variety of things to put on the gift table for our Family Christmas Party coming up the first part of December.  I'm really excited because we're going to make two candle platters as well as a kitchen basket filled with lots of seasonal cooking accessories.

We found a mini tree in the garage that has been used in the past for birthday celebrations.  It's about two feet tall, pure white, and covered in little lights.  Well, tonight Hannah and I covered that little tree with over fifty My Little Ponies.  It's ridiculous and wonderful and my Avengers Hawkeye action figure is standing guard at the base protecting the Pony Tree.  Yep, I'd say we got a fairly good start on Christmas.  I have gifts to wrap and a few more gifts to get but other than that I'm doing quite well.  And it's not even Thanksgiving yet.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bertram's Atheism (a brief segment)

            “Bertie?”  It’s Mama’s voice.  I picture her standing by the chicken coup, her hands balled into fists and driven into her thin waist as if she’s squeezing my name out from her body like how I squeeze toothpaste from the tube.  I think about ignoring her.  She only calls me ‘Bertie’ when she wants something from me and right now I don’t figure I’ve much to give.
            I pick up my magazine and thumb through until I find the story I’d been about to read when I fell asleep.  It’s by Lovecraft, so I know it’s going to be dark, but it’s called “The Cat’s of Ulthar.”  There’s nothing all that objectionable about cats, is there?  Maybe Mama wouldn’t mind if I let Sissy read this one, but then again, Mama didn’t even like Daddy reading Weird Tales.  I reckon it’s the covers she finds so distasteful.  The last issue that came to the house before Daddy’s subscription ran out two years ago had a very provocative cover.  It’s one of my favorites.  There’s a girl, or a woman I ought to say, naked as the day she was born, kneeling all shameful-like before a man in a hooded robe.  Her wrists and ankles are bound, her breasts firm, and her hair like golden wheat, a memory to me now. 
            When that particular magazine came in the mail, Mama said to me, ‘You’ll go blind looking at those things,’ and I thought long and hard over what ‘things’ she could have meant.  Breasts?  Is that what would blind me?  Why now?  If I didn’t go blind after the September issue from 1933 what chance did this new issue have in rending me sightless?  Maybe she meant real breasts.  I considered this and decided there must be some sort of talisman to protect married men from losing their eyesight during the dangerous task of love making.  But what about babies who breast fed?   Surely everyone should be blind.  No, it couldn’t be that.  Perhaps my blindness would come from the stories contained within.  But Daddy was a voracious reader of pulp and fantasy, yet he was always the first to see a duster coming, sometimes when it was still just a haze on the horizon.  And why should the words in Weird Tales have any such power over a man’s sight when the words in the bible do not?  So perhaps, and this is what I finally settled on after a good deal of rumination, Mama doesn’t know a damn thing about the real world.  Her mouth would move and the Preacher’s words would come out, mixed and remade to sound like her own, but I knew better.  Had it always been like that?  Had she ever had a thought that was her own?
            I cried myself to sleep that night.  Mama overheard me and lectured me thinking I was crying because the subscription had come to an end, but that wasn’t it at all.  I sobbed because it suddenly seemed that my mother had never really belonged to me.  Even when she used to sing me to sleep, it was always for Him; I was just an excuse for the song.  Whenever anything good happened it was God rewarding us, and whenever anything bad happened it was God testing us.  It wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I wasn’t so sure there was no one up there listening to her.  Thinking on it now, I guess she was right.  I did ‘go blind looking as those things’ and now I’m lost in the dark, no God to save me, no Preacher’s assurances to make it better, no life-everlasting-world-without-end, amen.  I’m fine with it, though.  Life everlasting would be pretty boring, anyway.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dust Bowl and Thor: The Dark World

Still trucking along on my Dust Bowl novel which I am now tentatively calling "The Summer of August Hunt" because it sounds 'oh, so official' and literary.  I might change it eventually to something to do with dreams since that is a theme and actual 'thing' in the novel, but for now it's SoAH.  I think I actually know how I want the novel to end which is awesome because it's a good rule of thumb to know what you will write before FADE OUT before you ever write FADE IN (screenplay writing advice from eons ago).

We found out about workshop groups today via an email sent out from the director of the MFA program.  I'm in a small group of six (including me) and I'm very excited because I will get to have Steve Huff in one workshop and Randall Kenan in the other!  I've never worked with Randall before but have wanted to for a long time.  This is going to be fantastic.  For both workshops, I plan to send in chapters of SoAH and keep the Death Man out of the lime light for a little bit.  I want to work on that novel pretty hard core right after the residency as well as pump out my critical thesis as fast as humanly possible.  I'm going to finish up my ideas for Sterling to look over in the next day or so and then start making book lists for both ideas.  I want to be rocking and rolling by the time I leave Boston.

In other news, Hannah and I had a date day today.  We went to see Thor: The Dark World.  It was supremely kick ass and much better on all fronts than the first Thor.  (Except Anthony Hopkins.  I do love this actor, don't get me wrong, but his performance or 'presence' was just as uninspiring as it was in the first).  And I do love Kenneth Branagh, but his milk toast version of Thor was more of a bedtime story than an action packed smack down.  In this sequel they got a better director.  Much better.  Alan Taylor did a kick ass job of piecing together amazing cinematography, special effects, and witty banter.  The side characters have a much more integral and interesting part to play and the music - OH! the music! - it was wonderful and memorable and not a soft underlying backdrop. This time the music was a character and I loved it. Thank you Brian Tyler! Other things I liked (and some people might consider these things to be spoilers): jocular nudity of a male character, dismemberment, Mjonir's scenic route through New York, boy-saves-girl-girl-dips-boy-and-kisses, and the merriment of chasing birds outside your own dimension.  Oh, and Loki gets into Captain America's pants.  Now go see it!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Researching the 1930s

For my NaNoWriMo project this year I'm going to attempt to write a novel (or several chapters of one) focusing on a family caught in the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  I think that if one really wants to explore the full scope of the Great Depression, one has to pay special attention to the Mid-West.  I have several items on hold for me at the library.  Two DVD sets, both from PBS: Surviving the Dustbowl, and The 1930s; and two books: The Worst Hard Time and Survival in the Storm.  There's one more on it's way and that one is a very short children's chapter book that I expect I'll have read in about an hour.  I can't wait to pour into these novels and nonfiction accounts.  I'm still working on my Death Man novel, and I have a nonfiction book to read for that as well, but during NaNo I really want to play with first person and that's where the Dust Bowl novel comes in.

So far I haven't been super successful in pumping out the words, but I have some great ideas and I'm just gonna run with them as long as I can.  Tonight I'm gonna work on SoAH (the acronym for my working title) and tomorrow I'll work on both.  My main problem right now is that I just need time and space.  It might end up being a library day for me tomorrow because not only do I want to write for NaNo (fifty thousand words of writing, or approximately 72 pages single spaced), I also have to keep writing for my MFA.  I guess I'm just frustrated right now and thinking about doing a word challenge or two to keep me motivated.  We'll see how tonight goes and how tomorrow goes.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Because today is one of those days...

Woke up ahead of the alarm and saw the sun outside (well, to be fair, it was more like a dim overcast glow) and freaked out thinking I'd missed my early morning work meeting.  I didn't.  So I got up, got dressed, fought my way through hungry kitties to the door, and headed to work.  The meeting was fine.  It was when I got home that things turned into 'one of those days.'  First, in my help-helperton way, I decided to empty the kitty litter trash can.  We have a small lidded trash can next to the litter box that we add to several times a day until it becomes halfway full, then we take out and put in fresh bags, you get the drill.  Anyway, it was particularly full today so I took the whole trash can with me to the dumpster and was going to toss just the sack inside but, of course, it all slipped out of my hands and my cute little trashcan went plop right on in.  And of course the dumpster was perfectly empty meaning that my little can lay at about five feet out of my reach.

I went back into the house, grabbed a broom and then spent a good five minutes wrangling my trashcan back out.  No problem.  So far so good.  But... today is a cooking day.  On our kitchen counter is a serving tray that holds all coffee filters, containers, powdered creamers, and other coffee accessories.  (Eh-hem, I sell coffee and coffee accessories?)  Anyway, apparently something spilled at some point (who knows what it was: chicken fluids?  flour?  rotted coffee?) and when Hannah went to move the serving tray there was a slime spot between it and the counter that could double as a biological weapon!  I made a vinegar/water/lemon spray to try and wash away the stench and during the process I gagged so hard so I was physically ill afterwards.  With that atrocity finally taken care of, Hannah went on a hunt for two very large mixing bowls.  We found them.  One was broken all the way through.  Add that bowl to the trash and replace it with a huge dutch over and we are finally, nearly ready to start baking.

In other news, I wrote a sex scene this morning (contrary to what you may believe, it has nothing to do with tentacles). It's super short and I'm hoping it will play into my NaNoWriMo novel eventually.  I've decided that this novel will be used for my workshop this upcoming spring and that I'll keep Death Man primarily between me and my mentors, that is, unless I get to a point where I feel I need more feedback.  Right now it's just a matter of writing it all down and working out plot kinks and characterizations.  I wish I didn't have a job to worry about right now because all I want to do is write and it's been a while since I've had such intense drive to just write, write, write.  It's exciting to go to work and daydream all day about my characters.  I hope this feeling continues long into December so that I can carry it with me to the Residency and use the few days when I have nothing going on to continue plucking away at both my stories.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"The Night Before" and "Money"

Two segments from my work in progress 'Death Man.'  These are pre-workshop and pre-mentor critique, which means they very well may suck.  Please enjoy. 

The Night Before

            Sometimes when they left the windows open, the apartment felt almost bearable, but on that day the cross breeze that cut through the living room and into the hallway was hotter than breath.  It seemed to the boy that after months of slowly baking his meal, here, at last, was the huge mouth, God’s perhaps, blowing on his food, gusting idly before devouring North City in a single bite.     
            Nothing could break the heat that summer.   The Elites enjoyed the luxury of air conditioning units, but for civilians and servants there was no escape, not even temporary.  Electric fans did nothing but move sweltering air from one place to another and the lake’s water, now tepid, left swimmers feeling fatigued rather than refreshed.  Everything slowed down.  There were hardly any executions, and the few that did take place were done with little showmanship.  It was too hot to do much more than just a quick beheading, and what was the point?  The heat acted like an honorary Death Man, executing quietly and efficiently, without the need for an audience. 
            The boy had seen it for himself, down in the dungeon with his mentor.  It was an elderly woman.  She was alone in her cell with no one to comfort her as she convulsed and sweat herself to death.   It seemed to the boy that in the moment she died, her skin turned transparent revealing the orange and red of the fire raging through her body, burning her up from the inside out.  When she finally cooled the boy wondered if there was anything but ashes left inside her.  She was but one of many to die this way.  The honorary Death Man worked tirelessly, killing over and over until there were too many bodies for the crematorium to process.  A pyramid of corpses lay in wait for a different kind of heat to burn them from the outside in, and while they waited for incineration, they bloated and burst one by one until the perfume of putrefaction blew through North City, thick enough to choke.  It was a familiar smell to the boy, almost like the aroma of the blood fed flowers beneath the stage. 
            Every day was bad, but night time was the worst.  The boy had resorted to sleeping naked and even though the digital thermometer in his room told him the temperature had dropped a little, he didn’t believe it.  Behind his lids the darkness sparked in ghost images like grease splatters from a sizzling pan.  No matter how much water he drank he couldn’t put out the fire in his skull.  He saw things, he saw Scarlett, and he was never sure if it was dream or fantasy.  There were nights he woke himself up groaning.  When that happened, he’d roll onto his stomach, half in a trance, and thrust his hips into the mattress, jerkily, until he sweated everything he had, until he trembled and collapsed.  Then he’d sleep, because there was nothing left inside of him for the heat to prey upon.  But in the morning it would start all over again.    
            Everything made him sweat, even meditation.  He would sit there – legs crossed and hands placed carefully in his lap, palms facing upward, one hand on top of the other – and melt.  The heat pulled sweat from him the way ointments pull infection and yet, he thought, he withstood it better than most people.  Most people, citizens and elite alike, busied themselves with doing nothing, only venturing out to attend the performances of the Arène, furiously fanning their faces with folded paper while watching sun burnt little boys grapple with slippery palms.  None of the fights could have lasted long.  Most of the casualties of the Arène that summer were from heat exhaustion.
            He didn’t remember it ever being quite so hot during the years he’d fought in the Arène, but every second away from the fighting pits felt like a stolen eternity and it was easy for memories to get lost in the forever ago between then and now.  And in the now, all he knew – all it seemed he’d ever known – was right in front of him.  He blinked sweat from his eyes and looked down at his almost Death Man hands.  Even after wiping his hands on a rag, he still wore gore up to his elbows.  Blood gathered and congealed under the white of his nails and in the creases of his palms while perspiration from his arms thinned the remaining red and kept it from going brown.  It had been maybe ten minutes since he’d executed the killing blow on his last practice victim and he was still a little giddy.
            “Is the bath ready yet?”  The boy stood before the door wearing nothing but boxers and blood.  He didn’t understand why his mentor had closed the door in the first place, but he knew better than to open it.  That had been one of his lessons under the apprenticeship of the Death Man Roy Kim and repeated failure to respect closed doors had once cost him riding privileges for a week.  It occurred to him that he would be a man in the morning and no longer subject to his mentor’s rules and regulations, but for now he was too tired to disobey. 
            “Roy?” he called.
            There was no answer.  Roy might not have heard him over the water.  The boy sighed and rapped his knuckles on the bathroom door.  “Let me in already.”
            The water stopped.  Roy Kim opened the door and stepped out into the hall.  Steam puffed out around his frame.  “Don’t be impatient.”
            “I’m filthy,” he said.  They looked at each other a moment.  Something was off about Roy’s eyes.  The black parts seemed dull and the white parts were swollen with red and pink spider webs.  Had he been crying?
            Roy Kim drew a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face, starting with his eyes.  “I put crushed rose petals in the water.” 
            “What for?” 
            “For spiritual cleansing,” he said.
            The boy looked at the bathtub.  Shredded flowers floated back and forth on the crests of frustrated ripples while swirls of oil formed here and there on the surface.  He stepped back and frowned at his mentor.  “Is this because of tomorrow?” 
            “What exactly happens at one of these graduations?” 
            “A lot of talk,” Roy Kim said.
            “Could you elaborate?” 
            “It’s actually kind of boring.”  He wiped his eyes again then sighed.  “From what I remember of mine, it starts with the Luminary standing there reciting the usual dogma about hard work and faith.  Then he’ll talk about you specifically.  I don’t know what he’ll say exactly, but he likes you. It’ll be kind whatever it is.”
            “And after that?”
            “You’ll take an oath of service.  And then you’ll be a citizen.”
            “No I won’t.”
            “Well, it’ll seem that way.  You’ll have a home of your own as well as a stipend.”
            “What’s a stipend?”  The boy frowned.
            “Money,” he said.  “You’ll have your own money as well as the autonomy to spend it.  So my recommendation is to do so wisely.”
            The breeze must have cooled.  Goosebumps prickled along the boy’s flesh.  He felt like he’d swallowed ice.  What would someone like him do with money?
            “I don’t want all of that.  I don’t need all of that.”  A sharp twinge near his elbow made him jerk.  He scratched it and realized that it was just the blood.  It had dried and tugged a hair as it crackled.    
            “How do you think you’ll get clothes?  Food?  Blankets for your bed? You’ll be all on your own.  You’ll need it soon enough.” Roy Kim pointed toward the bath.  “Go.”
            The boy glared a moment before marching over to the tub. “You know, Roy, you’re an asshole sometimes.”
            “Then, good news,” his mentor said from the doorway, “after tomorrow you’ll be free of me.” 
            The boy stilled.  It was really going to happen.  Everything would change tomorrow.  Everything he did tonight, it would be for the last time as a boy.  Everything happening now would be for the last time as the Death Man’s apprentice.
            It seemed to him that time worked like a disease, quiet and hidden and waiting.  All these terrible, large, adult things – like the Arène, or that night in the dungeon with a little baby dug out of its mother’s belly, or even this moment – had existed like blurred lines laying his life’s road before he was even born.  Time took a little boy who didn’t believe in death and threw him into the fighting pits when he was only ten years old.  Time made every wicked thing possible.  For the past two years, graduation had only been an abstract idea, something too far ahead of him to worry about, but his mentor was right.  Tonight would be his last night in the guest room.  Tomorrow he’d have his own apartment and a new room in which to suffer insomnia.  The infection had begun the day Roy brought him home and tomorrow it came to fruition.  Two years could have been two hundred and it wouldn’t have mattered.  Everything would have turned out the same.  Welcome to eternity, money included.  He would be all alone, nothing but his own death ahead of him and, just as with everything else, it would seem too far ahead to worry about it now.
            “Roy?  You’ll be there tomorrow, won’t you?” he asked.
            “No,” Roy Kim said and grabbed the door handle.  “They won’t let me in to watch.  But I’ll be right outside.”  He swallowed hard, the boy could see his neck move, and then he closed the door. 
            Alone now, the boy pushed his boxers down and stepped out of them and into the rose water.  The steam made his nose run.             


            “Presents?  You got me presents?”  He looked down at the kitchen table where a small package wrapped in cloth and ribbon looked back at him.  The boy felt a weird heat rush through him, not the kind that made him sweat, the kind that sent little tremors up and down his spine.  He’d just gotten out of the bath.  His tank top and shorts stuck to his damp skin and, even though this was his usual evening attire during summer, he felt indecent.  People who looked like this didn’t get presents.
            “You know you didn’t have to do that,” he said and sat down across from his mentor.  His hair dripped water down his face and back.  At least it wasn’t sweat. 
            “I know.  That’s what makes it a present,” Roy Kim said and produced an envelope from his pocket.  He set it on the table and slid it toward the boy. 
            “I’ve only ever gotten presents from my mom.”  Back then he’d known what to say to presents.  He’d known how to smile, how to be gracious, how to treasure every little token.  Looking at Roy Kim now, he was more afraid than thankful.
            “It’s not much.  But I thought it might be nice to have something to take to your apartment tomorrow instead of just the clothes on your back.”
            Reaching toward the gifts he selected the package first.  His fingers shook as he pulled the ribbon.  Red silk fell away and the cloth wrapping unfurled to reveal a small wooden box.  There were two hinges in the back and a plated keyhole at the front.  It looked like an old trunk only miniature, small enough to lie across his palms.  Carved on the lid was a cat, but it was unlike any cat the boy had ever seen.  It had a thick body, a large head with an open mouth full of enormous teeth, and weird gashes, almost like stripes, all over its coat. 
            “It’s a tiger.”  Roy Kim reached over and tapped the box, startling the boy as he did so.  “It’s got something inside.”
            The boy pushed up on the lid, but it didn’t budge.  He frowned and tried to manipulate the keyhole, running his fingernail all around the little plate, looking for a latch or button.  When he didn’t find anything, he asked, “Is there a key?”
            “So how do I open it?”  He thought of Scarlett.  She could open anything.
            “You don’t.”  Roy Kim smiled.  “That’s where the tiger keeps his secret.  He doesn’t give it up easily.  You’ll have to break the box.”
            “I would never do that.  It’s too pretty.”  But someday he might.  He never could resist digging his way inside of things, destroying what he needed to, pulling the pieces apart to uncover their secrets.  Still, he’d try Scarlett first.
            “Pretty things don’t last forever,” his mentor said.  “Don’t forget about the envelope.”
            With a nod, he set the box down on the table.  It was difficult to pull his fingers away from it.  He liked the way the carved grooves felt, how the smooth parts turned rough, how the rough parts became sharp.  But he’d have plenty of time to touch it later.  Smiling at his mentor he reached forward and picked up the second gift.  It was money.
            He laid the credit notes on the table.  Words covered the page, tiny words, typewritten and perfect and overwhelming.  The boy had never seen a note up close and it took him several seconds to find the credit value.  When he did find it, he jerked his face up to look at his mentor.
            “Well, I did say it’s not much.”  Roy frowned.
            “Are they all for ten?”  He didn’t wait for an answer.  Gathering the notes up into his hands he examined each one.  Four were valued at ten.  The last one was for twenty-five.  He shoved them into the envelope and pushed it toward his mentor. “I can’t take your money.”
            “It’s not a matter of taking.  I’m giving it to you.” 
            “But, it’s too much.”
            “It’s a pittance.”  Roy pushed back from the table and stood.  “You have to learn about money sooner or later.”
            The boy chewed his cheek and stared at the envelope.  “I don’t have a wallet.”
            “So go buy one.  Leather if you can manage it.  Just don’t let anyone swindle you,” he said. 
            “I’d help if I knew what swindling was.”  His stomach tensed.
            “You’ll know it if it happens.  Now go get some clothes on – ”
            “Wait,” the boy stood and nearly knocked his chair over.  “Will you go with me?” 
            “No.  I’m going to bed.  We have an early day tomorrow.”
            “You say that like it’s something unusual,” the boy grumbled.  He shrugged and pushed in his chair.  “I think I’ll just go to bed, too.  I don’t want to go out alone.”
            “That’s a very boy thing to say.” 
            “Well, that’s what I am,” he said, “a child for one more night at least.”
            Roy Kim let out a deep sigh and set his hands on the boy’s shoulders.  With a sudden tug, he pulled the boy into an embrace and held him.  Startled, the boy stiffened.   He’d forgotten all about hugs, but his arms knew what to do and they wrapped carefully around his mentor.  It didn’t matter that it was a thousand degrees in the Death Man’s kitchen, neither seemed to want to let go. 
            As if he were apologizing, Roy Kim whispered the boy’s name and said, “You may be a boy, but you’ve never been a child.”   The hug ended and the intimacy of their connection disappeared as if it had never been.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Melt Down

I hate being an adult.  Today was hard.  I used to have two bills to my name (my car insurance and my phone) neither of which were too much to handle.  Now I have those two bills as well as four more payments via credit cards and loans that I have to make throughout the month.  This wouldn't be a problem except that I make between four hundred and five hundred a month at my job and I'm the bread winner.  And our cat, Yoda, was diagnosed with diabetes today.  Boohoo to me, though.  That's life.  I am trying to build credit and trying to take care of myself and Hannah as best as I can.  Student Loans end up being a real life saver when they come in allowing me to get airfare for school as well as the books and supplies I require to fulfill reading and writing requirements.  This time around they will also go to fixing my poor car.

I worry that Christmas won't be as fantastic as I'd hoped.  Most of my long distance family and friends will have to wait for presents until my taxes come in (and I should get a decent enough return), but for those who live near, Hannah and I were actually pretty on top of things and already have most of what we want figured out for people.  We were doing so well and getting ahead but it's impossible to maintain the 'ahead' status when the output is higher than the input.

We're on Foodstamps as well.  And contrary to what everyone in this judgmental as fuck country believes, we're not just poor, lazy, white trash working the system.  We really need those stamps to get us through the month.  We used to get close to four hundred dollars back when I was on unemployment.  Then unemployment ended and I made 'less' (yes, less, not more, but less) via my job than through assistance, so they cut our stamp amount by a hundred.  The logic is lost on me, but whatever.  We went from high in the three hundreds to high in the two hundreds because let's kick 'em when they're down.  And then recently, because my hours at work range from fifteen to twenty-two, and I'm a full-time student (which means I can't work more than that or I won't succeed in either), they decided that I no longer qualified at all.  So now Hannah is the only one bringing in Foodstamps and we're at a nice solid $190.  Sure this is probably no one's business and sure I probably shouldn't be whining about this on my blog but what the hell?  Let's penalize people who are actually working and getting an education.  Right?!  Every time something negative occurs (less income or less hours) the fucking Foodstamp office sends less money.  Really?  Really, how does that make any Goddamned sense?  Whatever.  That's old news.

In new news I'm having an artistic crisis.  All of these 'real life' issues seem to either kill my writing drive or completely suck away the time I have to get my MFA homework done.  I end up scrambling almost every month and I know and own that it's my fault for having shitty time management skills but at the same time, I have so much fucking stuff going on.  I am truly bogged down by reality and by the time I get to play in the fantasy realm of my Death Man, I have no drive, no confidence, no desire.  I get excited once in a while and then it disappears the second I read over my fresh material and realize how amateur and immature the writing seems.  It's so frustrating.

I want to impress my mentor, want to make him proud.  I want him to remember me and my writing when I graduate and I want him to think to himself, 'Gee, that girl's got some talent and she's got a shot at making some real art.'  That's all I want, I just want to be validated as an artist - fuck money, fuck publication, fuck everything!  I just want to be a good writer.  And right now... I'm not.  I'm really not.  I'm second guessing everything and I'm manipulating scenes, characters, situations to the point that I'm losing all sense of rationality.  Maybe it's not really that bad.  Maybe in the morning it'll seem brighter.  Tonight I'm going to write a death scene and I'm not going to bed until I finish it.  I don't care if I sleep at all.  I'll eat straight coffee at work if I have to.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Three Civilizations for Consideration

I have been thinking a great deal about my supernatural themed novel that I started many, many years ago and haven't worked on in a while.  My main character drinks blood but is not a vampire.  A long time ago, Hannah and I wrote an RP wherein I developed a different look at the vampire myth and I reckon it's about time I revisit that idea and see if I can't mold and shape the myth to serve my novel's purpose.  I love strange creatures and urban fantasy set-ups and I also, like Hannah said in her blog recently, love research.  The gradual devouring of knowledge, the stirring of facts until you end up with a strange broth that may or may taste good.  I love that.  So to start me off on some research I found a few sites that detailed three very important and intriguing civilizations of the Americas: the Incas, the Aztecs, and the Maya.  Click here for all three compared in a nutshell and click here to see a neat timeline detailing the development of the measuring of time and the recording of info.  I'm going to read over the religious beliefs (Aztec, Maya, Inca), creation myths, and pretty much anything macabre and strange that I can find about these cultures.  I'm at the beginning of my studies but right off I think it's interesting how the oldest one (the Mayan) is the only one that really survived.  The civilization disappeared but was not destroyed and there are over 6 Million Mayan descendants still alive today.  These descendants keep many of the old rituals and traditions alive including sacrifice (usually of turkeys).

I was always very interested in these civilizations when we learned about them in school.  I loved the names of the Aztec cities and I loved that idea of the floating city.  As for the Maya; I fell in love with the movie Apocalypto when I was in college.  There was much groaning surrounding this film because it painted a dark and ritualistically inaccurate picture of the Mayan culture.  Fair enough.  It did.  But aside from it's faults I found that the movie A) shows that people, no matter the time period, no matter the culture, all have the same needs and desires and fears, and B) does a great job depicting Aztec sacrifice and feeding my artistic gore side.  But it's not just for the blood that I love the movie, it's for the desire to survive, the desire to protect, and it's for the ending, which, yes, we all know is completely and utterly historically wrong.  In the end, the Spanish arrive on the coast and the main character and his family just slip away.  (The Spanish did not actually encounter the Maya, this movie sort of mixes Aztec and Mayan histories for, what I hope to be, the sake of storytelling).

The Return of Quetzalcoatl
Anyway, in the end, the Spanish show up and Jaguar Paw and his family slip away rather than confronting them or attacking them.  They just sort of disappear into the mist which is, essentially, what the entire civilization did.  It just sort of disappeared. (The reason for their disappearance is ambiguous but we do know it wasn't the Spanish as the movie might suggest).  The ends of the Aztecs and the Incans was not nearly so mysterious:  they were discovered and summarily destroyed by famous Spanish explorers (Cortes and Pizarro respectively).

While I will be investigating all of these cultures, I have a feeling the Aztec's mythology will most likely win out in helping to form my vampire-like creature.  Another little bias I have for the Aztec's is my camp name: Quetzal.  I chose it because the quetzal bird is just damn adorable, but also because it is the first word of the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent.  Click here for a lovely print by Jasmine Becket-Griffith. Yep, you know how you learn some random ancient word or name and then it becomes your go to phrase when you want to sound smart or want to scream something out in euphemistic glory?  Yeah, Quetzalcoatl was one of those for me.  That and 'Zaphenath Paneah,' which is what the Egyptian's renamed Joseph and his coat and his many colors.  I named a fish that... funnily enough today is the very first time I've ever seen the name written.  I've been saying it since grade school (it just felt fun in my mouth) and now, thanks to Google, I finally know how to spell it, haha!  I digress.  I'm looking forward to studying these ancient civilizations and continuing to work on my re-envisioned vampire creature in the future.  As part of my studies, I will also be revisiting Dr. Bob Curran's Vampires, which covers, to some degree, the myriad of vampiric lore from around the world, including South and Central America.

The Temptation of Quetzalcoatl
Because I couldn't resist posting this delicious piece that I stumbled upon... XD

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Anniversary

Things are finally starting to settle down a little which is good considering that in the next two weeks a huge weight will either fall on us or get lifted from our shoulders. After the 22nd of this month we'll know if we are going to get the help we need for Hannah's back.  We've been waiting since early spring and the wait has been awful.  But in the meantime: the homework is coming along-ish (I need to get some serious writing done soon but the reading is actually coming along rather well), and the sickness that Hannah and I had the weeks prior to our anniversary seems to have subsided.  Also all major paperwork has been completed.  The last thing I still need to do is to send in my laptop.

This past weekend Hannah and I celebrated our anniversary.  On Saturday we went to a party for my boss's husband and had delicious Italian food, then we went into Spokane.  We ran around several stores (Ross, Toys'R'us, Torrid, Claire's, and the Comic Book Store) and didn't find anything to buy really.  However, coming out of the comic store we did run into a couple of Doctor Who cosplayers and they were adorable!  After all this running around we went to one of our favorite Chinese places in Spokane: Peking North.  Please do not confuse this for Peking Palace, which is the worst place to eat in all of Spokane and possibly the world.  Peking North was delicious, as expected, and we brought home enough food to make another meal.

After dinner we went to Hastings and found a used copy of the entire series for Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok as well as some other fun gems (*cough* 13 Wishes *cough*).  The only down side of that entire evening as the pumpkin spiced hell latte from McDonald's.  All we wanted was a quick drink on our way home.  Hannah ordered a coke and I thought I'd be brave and get a latte.  Well... it was like burnt coffee with some kind of syrup (not the kind that ought to be put in coffee) had been trickled down over ice.  It was so disgusting it almost made me cry (oh emotions!) and I actually had to dump it out at the first stop light because having it in the car made me sad.

The next day, Hannah and I went shopping again, just some places around Coeurd'Alene.  We grabbed a little lunch and went to the lake.  We nabbed some really pretty pictures and would have spent more time playing in the water (just our toes since it was freezing!), soaking in the last of the Northern sun, and being silly, but the camera batter died.  Before we left, we sat together on a bench at the top of the little hill near the lake and I read her a poem out of Lucifer: A Hagiography.  It was such a delightfully nerdy anniversary.

Someone's awesome merging of Avenger Loki and anime Loki.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thoughts of Hannah

This Sunday is our anniversary.  Six years ago, a shy girl in Kansas prodded gently over instant messenger, "hey, so... you've been with girls haven't you?'  (I'm paraphrasing, of course) To which I replied that I had kissed and fondled girls but had never had sex with one... or anyone *cough cough* but I was sure to tell her, too, that I had crushed just as hard on girls as I had on guys.  Well, this shy, curious thing went on to post a blog entry entitled "The Crush" and I wish, for the life of me, that I had a copy of this hanging around somewhere because it was so deliciously angsty and filled with all the woe of a teenager recluse in love with a jock.  It was adorable.  I remember thinking at the time, hoping, that it was about me.  It was.  And then she finally confessed.  I remember the scene well: I was chatting with her over the computer while working a twenty-four hour live-in home healthcare job.  During short breaks, I would chat and write a little.  I had a few constant messenger buddies, Hannah being one of them.  She told me that she really, really liked me and then, of course, I had to run off to take care of my duties.  I could just imagine her face all red and hot as she typed those things.  A few years prior, I met Hannah face to face and found her sweet and interesting.  Her impression of me was quite different.  By the time I left, she had already told her mother that she thought she was in love.

So, a few years later, she very slowly, very cautiously, begins to probe out my feelings.  She asks if we want to try dating, she tells me how much she weighs, she tells me all her bad habits, she goes on and on in disclosures and I assure her that none of those things matter because I like her, too.  I've only ever had one other person actually want to date me and I shut him down faster than a restaurant with roaches.  But apparently beggars (single people) can't be choosers (shouldn't ever say no to anyone who could possibly want to get in their pants).  Basically when you are an undated girl in high school and someone shows interest and you turn them down... people start to say 'you brought your loneliness on yourself' and let me tell you, that doesn't feel good.  It didn't matter that the guy scared me, creeped me out, gave me all the bad vibes that thousands of years of human evolution tell us to pay attention to.  Fast forward from high school to about six years ago.  There I was, the beggar, faced with someone saying they wanted me, but this time I didn't feel all creepy crawly.  I was flattered and excited.  I found her attractive (she loves to do her hair and make up) and smart.  She really is smart.  She doesn't think she is, but I enjoy talking to her about pretty much anything and if we come across something she doesn't understand or hasn't heard of, she is always eager to learn.  Especially words.  She loves learning new words and adding them to her arsenal of vocabulary.

Last year's Anniversary.  My mother made
that cake for us.  It was fantastic!

In the end, after calling and conferencing with a couple of my good friends, I decided that I definitely would try dating.  Hannah and I talked about a lot of things that first day.  Talked about BDSM and decided we would see about trying some of it together, talked about sexual histories (mine was very short... almost nonexistent *cough*), and then we set a date.  October 13th.  We had a phone date that night and decided that would be the start of our relationship because already we were hoping that this would evolve into something that would span years.

It hasn't always been easy.  While we got along well as friends right from the start, there was a definite disconnect as far as our expectations for how the relationship would go. This was my first relationship ever and her first ever with a girl.  It was strange.  But in a weird (totally not incestuous way) it was kind of like getting a sister.  We share everything.  I remember the day that we mixed our CDs together in the same book.  It was kind of startling to me.  I've always been very OCD about my CDs and the fact that CD appears in the acronym OCD makes me very happy right now.  I digress.  *ahem* So to mix up the CDs like that was like finally admitting that I was no longer a 'me' but a 'we.'  The nice thing in all of this has been that my friends and family (aside from a few here and there) and her friends and family (aside from a few) were extremely supportive and nonjudgmental about us getting together.  Some of the hesitant ones came around and some didn't.  Neither Hannah nor I are lesbian.  We just happen to be two girls in a relationship that qualifies as lesbian.  Some people have a hard time grasping this.  I like dick.  So does Hannah.  In fact, I would say that we are both more comfortable with male genitalia than with female, but that isn't why we're together.  I would say it's complicated (and really what 'love' isn't?) but the reason itself is very simple: a shy girl from Kansas said, 'I like you,' and I said, 'I like you, too.'  The rest is six years of history.

We smeared cake on each other.  It was green.  Looked like we had booger problems.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Some Norse Goddess Art

Hannah has fallen in love Freya from Norse Mythology.  In my support, I've found some gorgeous Freya statues on that will hopefully decorate our living room when we finally have our own place.  While checking out some more Freya art and busts, I stumbled upon a lovely statue of Skadi.  I recognized the name from my own study of Norse Mythology (this was during my post college period - long before the movies that recently sparked much public interest - and I mainly studied Loki because how many gods get to be a father and a mother?) but I couldn't remember the story behind this goddess.  Today, I looked for various images of her and also Hel (one of Loki's kids).  For now, I have some pretty pictures to share of these two goddesses.  I'll probably have a bit more (like actual writing) on Skadi and Hel later - Hannah's planning on writing about Freya on her her own blog. 
Goddess Skadi
Skadi Statue
Thor: Goddess Skadi