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

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The To Do List

Because all procrastinators need a hobby... this is mine.  Lists.   And a running commentary on those lists.  Also I'm going to strike through each item every time one of the following items is completed.  So it will be a great visual motivator.  And also because the beginning of October finds me in a ridiculously busy situation.  I'm going to add a few things that have already been done just to make me feel better and those are as follows:
  • renew car tags on Hannah's jeep
  • get a print out from Walmart pharmacy on all med costs for Hannah and me
  • get a print out of the receipt for Vignette
Next up are the things that I have to finish tonight and tomorrow morning for my MFA packet.  Everything here is in progress but until I get the final look through and look over by mom or Hannah then I'm not striking it out.  
  • cover letter
  • craft analysis on Graham Greene's novels
  • synopsis of story (as far as I can go)
  • creative work (first scene expanded, short story, Simon chapter)
Next are the things that have to be done soon, like by Friday if possible.  They will require some running around but as Hannah's jeep is now legal, no sweat.  
  • get print out from Medicine Man in CDA
  • get print out from Legacy Clinic (formerly Dirne clinic)
  • print out recent bank statements and cover sheets with acct number etc
  • print out work verification sheet and get it signed by my boss
  • contact Vizio again and do follow up with a scan of the receipt
And the next are things I have to do within the next week.  By the time my anniversary comes around (the 13th for all who wanted to know) I need to have these things finished.
  • Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick
  • One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
  • The Dead (Dubliners) - James Joyce
  • at least two thousand fresh words on Death Man
  • get well enough to donate plasma again
This is all very imminent and it wouldn't have piled up so intensely if it hadn't been for two things: one, my laptop went kaput and I'm using old Commodore and while this didn't ruin anything really it's put a huge snag in the operation.  Two, I got sick.  So very sick.  Disgustingly sick.  I even had to call in from work on Tuesday and you know I'm sick if I call in on a Tuesday.  I love Tuesday!  I live for Tuesday!  I haven't missed a stock day in probably three or four months.  I'll be back to work on Friday and can pick up the pieces of a stock day missed but it just won't be the same.  The only things I have going on in October that should detract from MFA or work are my anniversary and Halloween.  The rest of the time, I expect I'll be quite busy getting the next packet ready.  It's due on the 30th!  And also I need to keep pushing along on whatever I want to submit to the workshop this time around.  I want to do something with Von's prompt and I might also want to do something... naughty.  My poor MFA-mates have read lots of my gross and bloody stuff.  It might be a treat for them to read something sensual and fun.  Maybe something dark and erotic.  Who knows.  But also in October, Hannah and I have taken a pledge to write at least a page a day.  I'll probably have to whip out considerable more than a page a day to get all my ducks in a row.   Ducks in a row.  Really?  Nothing better than ending on a cliche.