joannebest











{January 3, 2018}   2018 : The Year Of Me

butterfly1

“For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

 

I hereby declare 2018 to be The Year Of Me.

If you either know me or “know” me, you understand this is a big deal.

I do not put myself first.

I do not put myself second.

It’s actually a miracle if I make my own list at all so to attempt to devote an entire year to me and my own selfish whims way of doing things, you know, thinking of myself for a change, well that is a huge deal.

Huge enough that I’ve been writing this since January 1st but have been intimidated, by myself no less, because it’s not very polite to make it all about me.

Well, after a lifetime of devoting myself to those around me I finally realized you kinda get treated in a way somewhat similar to the way you treat yourself.

Yeah, fuck that anymore. Oh, and any and all grammar Nazis can piss off too. Mangling words is one of the few pleasures of life so, uh, there. Now back to me.

I, as is common knowledge, am a trifecta of guilt. Middle and only girl child? Check. Catholic School education? Check. Born under the sign of Cancer? Check. Don’t get all picky, it’s a trifecta, take my word for it. I’m also Irish, believe me, there’s guilt in there somewhere as well.

I’m not going to re-live all the stuff that kept me running in place getting nowhere, suffice it to say I was a caretaker for various Family members, blood or otherwise, for a good 10 years. The odd thing about it all is I was born to take care of others and I actually enjoy it. Making others feel good, helping others out in times of trouble, doing any little thing to makes someone else’s life even a little bit easier, these are things that make me feel good. The problem is I’m an all-in kinda gal. Once I dip a toe in, before I know it I’m in over my head while everyone else is just floating.

I wanna float for awhile too.

I should have been a nurse. Or a teacher. Or a Mother to human babies instead of only fur babies. Sometimes I just want to hug the world and everyone in it. But it would be nice, I imagine, if somebody wanted to return the favor once in awhile.

Shake it off Suzy, this ain’t no pity party. Grow a spine and deal with it. That was me giving myself a pep talk. I tend to open my mouth and my Mother’s words come out of it lately. That, well, that is a good thing.

Back on topic, 2018 will be is the year of Me with a capital “M”.

I resolve to start thinking about myself for a change. To stop leaving myself out of the loop and start living. Socializing. Getting out of the damn house and doing stuff. Write. Write some more. Keep writing. But, also, most importantly, live. And if living includes doing things for other people, even better, I just have to remind myself daily that I count too.

I have a plan. Sorta.

Of course I’ve picked the worst time of the year to become all about me because it’s damn near freezing outside and we’re due for another snowstorm but I can’t let that be an excuse stop me from reaching my goals. Sure, I can strap on my Fitbit and walk around in circles but that’s not the same as walking outside and getting in a few miles a day. So instead of beating myself up as per usual, I’ve decided to accept the fact that I won’t be getting anywhere near 7 miles a day until Springtime and that’s okay.

I resolve to go with the flow yet make sure that flow includes me at the top, or whatever the correct terminology is when referring to a flow.

I resolve to remove myself from the floor and stop allowing people to walk all over me.

I resolve to laugh more and cry less, although a good hard cry now and then is a good thing.

I resolve to do things that may be expected of me, as long as I do things my way.

I resolve to finish writing this stupid blog-type thing I’m writing which, by my own admission, is kinda boring but guess what? It’s my blog and I get to write whatever I want.

It is also my life. It’s time for me to take it back and live it.

 

 

 

“I used to have this toy, a magic slate. You wrote or drew on it and then, just by pulling up the plastic cover, everything you did disappeared and you could start new. Maybe everyone feels that on New Year’s Eve: They can pull up the magic sheet and rewrite their lives.”

― V.C. Andrews

magic slate

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{December 29, 2017}   The Plot Bunny Hop

plot bunny

Oh boy.

Wait. Is that considered sexist these days? I can’t keep up with the ever-changing rearranging list of words we may or may not use, but that’s a bunny for another day. This day? Well this day has my head full of ideas, like ideas are multiplying and I’m hopping from one to another, unable to settle on just one.

Is it an embarrassment of riches when you have eleventy twelve plots-to-be and you can’t figure out which way to go? I have so many almost-done stories I need to finish while new ideas keep hopping through my brain yelling “pick me! pick me!” and that’s where the embarrassment comes in. Because I’m having trouble figuring out who to give my rose to and my Muse is about ready to smack me upside the head, so to speak.

Focus.

Easier said than done.

I took a break from writing, a very long unproductive break. The reasons, legitimate as they are, are no longer acceptable to me. I can no longer not write, it’s inexcusable to allow life to keep me from doing the thing I love most. Not that thing, that thing is a plot bunny of a different color, but writing? Well, writing snuck up on me without my knowledge, I was a reader, not a writer. But I could write letters easily as I draw breath, and when I won a reading with a psychic astrologer-stop laughing please and thank you- he told me he saw writing in my future. Ok, this is the part where you can laugh because that was my reaction.

Blah blah blah and the next thing I know, I’m writing a fiction column for a summer newspaper, somewhere around 24 short pieces of beach/family-friendly horror stories that I actually got paid to write before the paper folded.

I work best under pressure.

What do you do when you no longer have a deadline to meet? In my case, I once again found myself thrown into something completely unexpected, song writing. Oh, but that wasn’t enough, I also, through no fault of my own, was pushed right up front, a lead singer singing songs I wrote.

I started to like this thing called writing and short version, I found myself here, blogging.

The problem with blogging was I had nobody pushing me, I had to push myself. So push I did until I didn’t, which brings me back to my point; too many ideas and not enough fingers to type with because 10 fingers can only type so fast. So I find myself with a bookshelf’s worth of almost finished novel-length stories because I keep hopping from one to another.

What do I do now?

Do I start something completely brandy new? Do I pull out my unfinished words and, say, finish something already started?

I can picture my Muse, standing over me, her arms folded, tapping a foot impatiently, that look of dominant disappointment on her face because she wants me to finish her story. She doesn’t care that I’ve got an apocalyptic survivor waiting for me to continue her adventures. She doesn’t care about Lizzie and James, two vampires hanging out at a human club while Liam, James’s twin brother is wreaking havoc just for fun. She doesn’t care about Persephone leaving Hades and his desperate attempts to get her back, never mind the Djinn, who happens to be part of my Muse’s story. She’s all about me, me, me!!! She’s also really pissed that I’m even considering doing the bunny hop with a new plot bunny instead of dancing with her.

Did I mention she can be really scary when she doesn’t get her way?

Did I just figure out where I should stop hopping and start writing?

Did my Muse just command me to give more attention to her?

You bet your pretty neck she did.

museleather



{December 28, 2017}   Uncomfortably Numb

cant care

I’m not sure of the exact moment it happened but it hit me without leaving a mark this morning when I woke up.

I can’t care.

About anything.

It’s not that I don’t want to care, it’s that I can’t care. I’m numb. Uncomfortably numb because I don’t very much love this feeling, but I can’t seem to care enough to do anything about it. And therein lies the problem. It’s one of those circular chicken and egg things. You know, where did it start? What came first?

Apparently I can’t seem to care enough to figure it out.

Or can I?

That’s one of the reasons I’m here right now instead of say, going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head hoping to slip back into a deep sleep, perchance to live in a dream world where it doesn’t matter whether I care or not.

It’s pathetic.

Check this out, when I lift my head from my laptop I see an 8 foot tree blazing with colored lights and shiny decorations, each one either hand-picked by me or hand-made by my Mom. There are several huge piles of gifts, wonderful beautiful gifts we’ve all picked out for each other I mean Santa left under the tree on Christmas Eve, practical needed gifts as well as dream gifts, you know, the stuff you want but wouldn’t buy for yourself. Yet still, I can’t care.

I mean, there’s a Buffy The Vampire Slayer Board Game I’ve wanted since before it existed. I can be Buffy and slay the day away. I swear I even heard Spike call me out I mean call my name and I’m ignoring that lovely British accent because, well, the caring is gone. Again.

I tend to be a reactionary sponge. I soak up all the emotion around me and usually let it all take over, get in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Puppet-like, my strings get yanked to and fro but recently, an imaginary pair of scissors has cut nearly every damn string leaving me motionless, emotionless, just plain less. Still, knowing all of this, I can’t muster up even one drop of caring.

Listen, I’m not stupid, I’ve been through many years of therapy, I recognize that nobody can save me except me but, say it with me, I can’t care. There are a myriad of reasons, real, true, valid reasons for my non-caring. I get it. I understand that the last 5 or 6 years have blown up my world and changed the me I used to be.
I can visualize it in my mind like falling dominos; the hurricane crashing the house, my Mom dying the following year just 5 months after moving back home, my Dad dying the year after that, the house being sold and my brother dying the same week, basically my entire support system yanked away from me and me trying to not talk about it because nobody wants to hear it anymore, hell, don’t want to hear it anymore.

So what do I do? Being born under the sign of Cancer, I can cry my eyeballs out but I’m sick to death of tears. I can pull into my shell and I do, more than anyone knows because I pretend. I turned myself into an actress playing a part. Those smiles you see on my face? Fake. Those cute little sarcastic quips I throw out like I’m channeling my Mother? Fake. Those prescription RayBan sunglasses I wear whenever I leave the house? Not fake but useful because they hide my eyes, the windows to my battered soul. My damn eyes give me away every damn time, but only to those who care to look. And hell, if I don’t care, why should anyone else?

This is not a cry for help, a plea for understanding, a desperate attempt looking for attention. Those things would require me caring, but my capacity to really care somehow slipped away when I wasn’t paying attention.

And please don’t get me wrong, I care about other people I love, I just can’t care when it comes to myself. A therapist would probably say I just summed it up in that last bit of words, a therapist would probably say I have to love myself in order to care about myself. But a therapist isn’t walking around in this shell of a body, I am. I am the one in the driver’s seat and apparently I’ve stalled. I need a jump start, a new battery, something to bring me back to life and that is all on me. I get it logically, I can diagnose and fix anybody’s life, but when I look in the mirror and see the blank look in my baby blues, all I feel is colder.

So is that all there is? Am I to be forever stuck in neutral, idling and wasting gas as the world passes me by? Will I forever be in a constant state of nope, not even caring enough to take all my wonderful gifts sitting under the tree out of the boxes? Will I remain uncomfortably numb for the rest of my life?

Perhaps being uncomfortably numb isn’t the worst thing in the world. Uncomfortably numb implies I’m not comfortable with the numbness, I’m not a Pink Floyd song, I’m not comfortably numb, so maybe there’s hope for me after all.

Stay tuned, as we end this year and move on to another. Maybe I can resolve to shake off this numbness and start feeling something, anything even. At the least, I can hope.

Or, as someone much more proficient with words than I once said:

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson



{December 8, 2017}   Breaking The Ice

breaking ice1

Is it possible to forget how to write?

It’s 3:42am EST as I type these words, I woke up half an hour ago and found myself unable to go back to sleep. You know how your mind switches on and no matter what you do, you can’t stop those thoughts from swirling and cluttering? It’s usually your worst fears or insecurities that seem to pop up most around those hours, I heard that 3am is the Devil’s hour, it was in some article talking about a weird phenomena where a whole bunch of people around the world wake up during the 3am hour, like the Devil has an alarm clock somewhere and it wakes up those who are susceptible.

The major flaw I find in that theory is time zones. Does everyone wake up at the same time, or does everyone wake up at 3am local time? Either Hell is full of alarm clocks all set for the same time or my mind is scrambling for something to write about.

Because it’s been a long time.

I hate to play the death card again but those of you who have followed my blog previously,you all know I had that Trifecta of Death, the domino effect that began with a hurricane acting all “I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down”, followed by the year of rebuilding, then the Trifecta of Death which was actually more like Double Digits of Death because almost my entire Family got wiped out one by one leaving me with one older brother who has no use I mean love I mean, well, he doesn’t really know me nor does he want to, one Aunt I love who lives far away and a handful of cousins, most of who live across the country, and no more Family home I worked so hard to save, which I did with the help of many, but since the sale after my Parents died, I’ve yet to drive by the house, I’m afraid I’ll break down and bawl like a baby.

I just wanted to get that out of the way, for those of you at home playing along for the first time.

So much has changed, I seem to find myself lost and aimless, the only person able to understand me is a 19 year old daughter of friends of mine. She’s me when I was 19 and the daughter I never had, only way cooler than me.

I’m doing that thing I do, ramble, babble, talk too much.

I hear that accusation a lot these days which is pretty ironic seeing as I talk to no one except my husband and his sister, we all still live in the same house, they go to work and I have no job which is all good when I’m writing but I haven’t been writing so I’ve been feeling pretty useless/worthless/all-the-less-words.

Maybe I have Stockholm Syndrome.

Hey, that’s a thing you know!

I talk to myself, my cats, an occasional few minutes on the phone with my bestie who’s life is pretty much the same as mine so our contact is more textual than vocal. I’m the girl who would talk to her Mother 5 times a day, even my Dad and deceased Brother would call me all they time but they were more like 16 times a day.

So when you’re backed against the wall you might as well give in and hope your Muse wakes up and smacks you awake. Because I’ve been sleepwalking through life and it’s time to WAKE UP!!!

Silence isn’t always golden, sometimes silence sucks.

 

breaking ice

 



{September 3, 2015}   I Am A Rug, I Am A Carpet…

walkonme

… and a rug feels no pain, and a carpet never cries.

So I woke up extra early (for me) yesterday morning, 5am, and figured I’d write for a few hours then spend the rest of the day trying to straighten out this financial mess my Father made because, male pride and I’m a girl.
Had a few cups of tea, did a few things around the house, got all the paperwork together I need for the financial finagling I needed to do so I could just pick it up after I wrote for awhile.
Then my Father calls.
Nothing unusual about that, but this time he’s telling me he needs me to come down right away, something isn’t right, he says, he needs me to take him to the hospital, now. I’ve got him on speakerphone as I dash around the house locking the doors, making sure the dogs are in and no cats snuck outside and I ask him to tell me how he feels. “Just hurry”, he says and hangs up the phone.

I’m in a controlled state of panic and run out in my yoga pants and t-shirt, slip on a pair of sneakers, stuff all his paperwork into a bag and fly out the door with my Ray Bans covering my worried eyes after first splashing water on my face and putting on some lipstick.
Don’t judge, Ray Bans and lipstick make me feel better in all circumstances.

I make the ride in record time, pull into his driveway only to find all the doors locked and my key to his house back home on my other keychain. I knock loud and call out to my Dad, all the while my brain is figuring out which window I should crawl through, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager but luckily I’m still able to fit through. Window-crawling mission aborted as I hear my Dad yell “come in”.
“The door is locked,” say I.
“Wait a minute,” he replies as I hear him slowly shuffle to unlock the Dutch door.
Each second is an hour as I imagine every horrible scenario possible, remember past emergencies, generally freak myself out until he finally gets to the door and unlocks it.
I burst through the door, “Dad! What happened? Are you OK? Tell me what happened, let’s get your wallet and go to the emergency room.” I babble the way I do when I’m nervous and he just looks at me.
“Let’s go,” he says. “I want to get some money out of the bank.”
“Don’t worry about money right now Dad, let’s go to the hospital first and I’ll go to the bank after a doctor sees you.”
I’m impatient, worried, thinking ten steps ahead and I realize he’s looking at me like I’m a crazy person.
“Dad? Are you ok? Let’s go! We need to get to the hospital!”
“Hospital? I just want you to take me to the bank.”
Silence for what seems like forever.
“Dad,” I say calmly, “You told me you needed to go to the hospital, what’s going on? Are you ok?”
“Wait, let’s go sit in the living room,” he says as he shuffles away.
It all begins to sink in.
Manipulated once again.
I can see the gears turning in his head as he attempts to concoct a believable story.
He doesn’t succeed, he can’t talk his way out of it because he knows I’m catching on.
“I didn’t feel like driving to the bank,” he admits.
By now my head is pounding due to rising blood pressure yet I remain calm.
Outwardly calm.
We’d already had it set up for me to go to the bank for him on Friday/today (I’d already been to his house Monday, Wednesday, and now Thursday). This day was meant for me to get the SBA on the phone so I could talk them into not holding back 15% of my Dad’s Social Security checks due to him missing a few payments of $53 per month. I used to take care of this particular loan payment from Hurricane Irene’s destruction but Dad insisted he wanted to take care of his own bills so I had no choice but to turn it over to him.
After spending more than half the previous day on the phone with the Department of Treasury I was told my Dad now has to pay the DOT $485 per month in addition to losing 15% of his SS checks. The loan was taken out when my Mom was alive so my Dad’s income alone barely makes it, coming up with an extra $400+ is undoable. The man at the DOT was very nice and told me if I had the gift/power of persuasion I might be able to get the SBA to change it back. Which was what I was going to take care of before dear old Dad told me he had to go the emergency room.

I’m rambling again.
Back to the non-hospital trip: he wanted me to go to the bank, take out some cash and go to the corner store for the newspaper and lottery tickets.
I remained outwardly calm, drove to the bank and noticed my car was verging on overheating. Over 90 degrees outside and I’m driving with my windows open and the heat blasting so it wouldn’t overheat.
Drove around town getting his cash, his newspaper and lottery tickets, all the while dripping sweat.

When I got back to his house, I channeled my Mother and exploded.
Respectfully exploded.
Although the F-word did escape my mouth a few times, I explained that all he had to do was tell me the truth, I would have stopped at the bank and store on my way down and gone merrily on my way. I told him it was unacceptable, the lies I mean. Because he’s been known to stretch the truth before, I sat him down and explained thoroughly the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I explained that his health is better than mine and if he continued to play games like this (because he found the incident funny) there might come a day when he really needed me and I wouldn’t be there, because I don’t know anymore when he’s telling the truth or lying. I explained the mess he made out of everything, and asked him who else helps him besides me, the answer being nobody. He drove my younger brother away by constantly treating him like garbage and my older brother, well, he flat-out doesn’t care to help in any way shape or form. I think he’s still pissed at me because he hated the idea of the house being fixed after Hurricane Irene, he wanted them to sell the house as is and move them into an assisted living place but they wanted their house back. Truth is, I don’t even know my brother’s phone number or address because he moved and never gave me the information.

I’m a nervous wreck still worrying about my Dad, still making excuses for him, and still being taken advantage of. I know I’m lucky I have at least one Parent still alive but at this rate he’ll be burying me instead of the other way around. If that sounds cold it’s not meant to be. I told my Father I love him and always will but if he continues to lie to me my Mother’s dreaded saying would come true, he will live the rest of his life a lonely old man. I think of all the times I defended him to my Mother and compare them to all the knife wounds in my back.
I try to make him understand that we’re all we got, it’s just us now, and I asked him if he’s actually trying to kill me, death by stress.

So yes, I am a rug. I am a carpet stepped on again and again and I’m wearing thin.

Can I please stop being the adult?

walkonme1



wills8
I’m trying.

I really am, but there seems to be a conspiracy surrounding me and everything I attempt to do.

Example: I’ve been working on a piece of writing, you know how it goes, you write, you save to draft, you edit, you delete and rewrite because suddenly every perfect word, every luscious phrase you previously wished you could come up with finally hits you all at once and you write like a fiend, fingers flying, things you didn’t even realize you were capable of reveal themselves on the page fast and furious and you’re happy, pleased with yourself, words spitting out so quickly you don’t take that tiny second to hit “save draft” because after all, you’re nearly done and won’t need to hit anything but “publish”.

And then the dog scratches on the door to come in so you turn away for a split second to open the door and bam! William the Siamese cat decides he wants to jump on your desk, sit on your computer and inadvertently/intentionally deletes every word you just wrote, goes on Facebook and pulls up things on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

Yes, I know there is the automatic save to draft but that does no good when you’ve just changed every word you wrote in the previous draft. Every. Single. Word.

Of course it doesn’t help that your mind blanks out and you can’t remember what you just wrote a few moments ago.

You try, or rather, I try desperately to rewrite using my last saved draft but it’s gone, like that first little puff of smoke when you relight a candle, your thoughts dissipate into the ether, never to return.

It’s discouraging to say the least, but I’ve been so out of touch with the world recently that to just give up is unacceptable.
I want it back, a poem living in my head for days, finally formed to my satisfaction, but it’s gone.

So what do I do?
I need to get back into the habit of writing every day, I can’t let another day go by without writing something post-worthy and I can’t pull those thoughts back into my brain, I can’t reach them anymore, they’ve moved onto another plane of existence, as everything that has meant the most to me in my life has done.
And I don’t mean only those who have left this life, but also my lifelines, the one(s) who have let me cry when I needed to and lifted me up when I was nearly underground.
I understand life goes on and things change in the blink of an eye, with or without our permission or knowledge until it’s too late.
I understand we all have our own baggage to carry around, hidden or out in the open.
I understand that empathy, which may be considered a good thing, can sometimes bring me to my knees as I’m overwhelmed on occasion with understanding, overwhelmed with thoughts of the burdens others live each day, overwhelmed with the fact that I care and worry more about others than I do myself.
Overwhelmed with being overwhelmed.

So I shall compromise.
Let it go because perhaps, for some unknown reason, it wasn’t meant to be.

Hence, a blog post.
Sure, it’s certainly nothing award winning, but it sure as hell feels good to write something again.
I’ve been lost you see, all summer long I’ve been without direction, without inspiration, my head full of nothing but how to take care of my Dad and his dwindling finances, as well as his fading health.
If I don’t write something down it flees my mind, and even when I do make my numerous lists, like Sisyphus, just when I seem to get to the top of the hill, everything I’ve done rolls right back down, taking me with it.
Yet still, I continue to try.

Soon a day will come when I reach the top of the hill and I will be able to look down and say something I haven’t said in far too long: Life Is Good.
Because contrary to the odds, I still believe that Life Is Good, and I have every intention of proving that to myself.
One way or another.

sisaphus1



{August 7, 2015}   Where I’ve Been (And Why)

morning2Write what you can write when you can write else you may never be able to write again.

Substitute any word that may apply to you and your passion and never ever neglect it, because you never know when your passion, or your ability to pursue your passion, may be taken away from you.

My recent passionless existence began with a near-crippling case of carpal tunnel rearing it’s ugly head a few months ago. I’ve already gone the surgery route but all I got for my trouble was two wrists more painful than before surgery and two hands constantly reminding me that I have to choose where when and how I use my small windows of pain-free time.

So I stopped writing.
And began a downward spiral.

Fibromyalgia, once closed off in a box somewhere in my mind escaped much like Pandora’s Box, only this time, hope fled as well and I experienced the most excruciating fibro-flare I’ve ever had.

I shut myself down, nearly every part of me, shut down. Caring about anything became a distant memory. I couldn’t even fake it anymore. Nothing made me smile. Nobody made me laugh. I stopped believing in anything good ever happening to me again. Ever. Sleep became the only thing I looked forward to and the sound of the phone ringing made me cringe. My computer may as well have been nothing more than a dust collector because I had no interest. In anything.

I may as well have stopped living because whatever it was I was doing, going through the motions, was not in any way shape or form a life.

Grief.
I thought I would have been over it already. I mean, it’s been over two years since my Mom died, why does it still feel like it happened yesterday?

My whole world has changed without her and I have a new understanding of the effects of grief. My family has imploded. I used to have two brothers but now I have one, my older brother has basically cut me out of his life, guilt-calls my Father maybe once a month while I twist myself pretzel-like to do everything I can to help out my Dad. He’s going on 89 and while he can still be as sharp as a tack, he’s fading away. Lost without my Mother, he’s reimagined their life together, turning it into a Love Story For The Ages. And while I know the real version was nothing like he wants to remember, I agree with him as my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see him.
My younger brother and I have become closer than ever, as my older brother doesn’t talk to him either. The eldest, as far as I understood it to be, was supposed to step up and help us out. Instead, after taking my Father to his lawyer and having a will drawn up with him as the executor (not my Father’s wishes, but as the only one of us who went to college, his opinion seems to be the only one that matters) my older brother, when he was still talking to my younger brother, told him if anything in the will was changed, he would take me to court and say that I forged documents. He has some resentment towards me because when Hurricane Irene destroyed our house he wanted to put my Parents in an assisted living place while my Parents just wanted their house back. I, with the help of my younger brother, moved Heaven and Earth to make that happen and it pissed him off that I, a girl who never went to college, was able to get them back home.

So I’ve been dealing with a lot health-wise, and the three things that made me happiest disappeared. No more daily phone calls and Mother/Daughter getaways, my BFF became my occasional F due to, well, life, and my writing became a distant memory. With virtually no one to truly confide in anymore, I began to think of myself as worthless, cold and uncaring about anything. Basically, I make myself sickeningly pathetic and I’m sick of it. I sometimes wish I could just breakdown and cry my eyeballs out, but my feelings have frozen and I feel unmeltable.

Even my Birthday came and went without fanfare, it took me weeks to open the Birthday Card my favorite Aunt Judy sent me, as if I wasn’t even worthy of a card. I feel like an idiot for allowing myself to fall this hard and I realize I’m the only one who can save me.

And then something happened to wake me up. Out of nowhere, I received something in the mail from some very special Miscreants. There was no return address so it wasn’t until I opened it that I realized what it was, a fun pack that to this very second still makes me smile, hard.

Somehow, I’ve managed to babble about nothing important to anyone but me myself and I, but I have to admit, I feel a little bit better.

I was Blessed enough to attend two Facebook events this past week, one was a release party for
Anastasia Vitsky‘s new book Taliaschild and the other was Decadent Publishing 5th Annivesary Party.

They both gave me life. Inspired me. Woke me up. Stirred something in my soul to remind me who I am.

I’m back, and this time, I’m back to stay. No more not answering comments, no more ignoring life. It’s time to live again, and a great part of my resurrection is you. And you. Also you.
While these words are not my own, the sentiment is a perfect truth : “Love is all that matters.”

This time, I will not forget that.
And one last thing, I apologize to everyone I’ve seemingly ignored, it wasn’t you, it was me.
Love. It is once again in my heart, I would like nothing more than to spread it around.

a me I want to go back to these days (my Mom in the background, me and my Uncle)



{March 28, 2015}   Abduction ~ Muse Adventures

chairr

“Tie her hands tighter, she’s a sneaky one, she is. Thinks she can get out of anything. Make sure she can’t get away.”
“Hey! Wait a minute,” I said indignantly. “What the fuck is go-mmmmmmowww!!!”
“Gag her; the only time she shuts up is when she has something in her mouth.”
I thought the voices sounded vaguely familiar but couldn’t quite figure out who was talking. Whoever they were, they’d blindfolded me. They must be pro’s.

One minute I was sleeping the sleep of the depressed and exhausted, next thing I knew I was tied to a chair, couldn’t see a thing, and somebody had shoved something in my mouth so I couldn’t say a word.
I hate when I can’t say a word.
I also hate the taste of the washcloth somebody shoved in my mouth to shut me up. It tasted like soap.
Another voice spoke up. “Can’t we cut her some slack? She’s had a rough time lately; you know it could just as easily be one of us tied to that chair.”

I heard a deep male growl followed by yet another voice, this one female, whispering something to the growler about how they had to do this but they didn’t have to be so rough. I assumed she was talking about me.
I had no clue as to what was going on. It couldn’t be kidnapping because nobody I knew had money for ransom and besides, who would want to kidnap me anyway?

Maybe I was dreaming. Except the washcloth in my mouth and the restraints holding me down threw that theory out the window. I couldn’t even ask them what they wanted because whoever shoved the washcloth in my mouth decided duct tape was needed to keep it in place, my tongue was starting to hurt from trying to push it out of my mouth and I was doing my best to squirm my way out of the restraints.

“We’re not trying to hurt you,” another voice this time.
How many people were here?
“We just want to talk to you. And we want you to listen. If you promise to listen to what we have to say nod your head and we’ll take off the blindfold and get rid of that washcloth. But if you don’t let us have our say, it goes right back in, ok?”

Huh? Who were these people and what did they want with me?
Only one way to find out so I nodded my head and true to her word, the calm-voiced female took off my blindfold then took a step back. Maybe she wanted to gauge my reaction before she yanked off the duct tape.

Can’t say I blamed her when my eyes adjusted to the light and I saw I was surrounded by people I both knew and didn’t know. There was a familiarity in each pair of eyes watching my every non-move but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I knew them, yet didn’t.

I sat still, my eyes taking in each and every one of them staring at me.
They stood around me, arms folded. I could feel the hostility in the air, mixed with disappointment and all of it aimed at me.

“Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”
The woman speaking was so beautiful she was hard to look at. She seemed to glow but it was her eyes that bore into me, kaleidoscope eyes swirling with colors that had me mesmerized.
Dressed from head to toe in tight leather, she held a whip in her right hand, smacking it against the palm of her left hand.
When I didn’t answer she cracked the whip in the air coming dangerously close to my face.

“You do realize she can’t answer you till you take the gag out of her mouth,” said the large green man with the yellow cat-like eyes.
Leather-girl’s eyes flashed red at green man. The look of annoyance on her face rose to a level I’d never seen before.
She was scaring the hell out of me but I tried to keep calm and breathe.
Through my nose.

Green man and leather girl were now involved in a stare-off and if I had to guess, they were arguing silently.
Who were these people and what did they want with me?

As their silent argument continued my eyes took in the rest of the crowd surrounding me.

A tall thin woman with gorgeous red hair and flashing blue eyes stood next to two identical strapping hunks of men. One of them winked at me and flashed a grin revealing fangs. The redheaded beauty jabbed him in his side with her elbow.

There was a young boy, looked to be in his late teens wearing glasses that were obviously the wrong size.
He kept pushing them up the bridge of his nose, but I could barely see his face, his hair was unkempt and covered most of his features.
Standing next to him was another woman, by the looks of her she was young but her eyes made her look like she’d been through too much for any one person to handle.
Something about her stirred something inside me, made me want to comfort her which was kinda weird considering she was part of the kidnapping contingent.

Standing next to them was a tall statuesque woman; her hair flowed down her back in natural curls, an aura of goodness emanated from her and she looked at me with a mixture of kindness and disappointment.
What the hell did I do to her?
She was flanked by a dark dangerous looking man on one side and a dog with three heads on the other.
I wondered if somebody spiked my drink last night and I was hallucinating.

The arguing between leather girl and green man had slowly grown from silent to loud and louder until they were screaming at each other.
“Would you two knock it off?”
A woman I hadn’t noticed pushed her way through the crowd surrounding me and leaned into me. She looked oddly familiar and eerily like me but I couldn’t figure out how I knew her.
“Sorry doll, it’ll only hurt for a second.” With that she yanked the duct tape off my mouth and pulled the soapy washcloth out of my mouth.
“Oww!”
I couldn’t help it, duct tape hurts when it’s yanked off your face.

“See? I knew she couldn’t be trusted to keep her mouth shut! Give me the tape!”
Leather-girl snapped her fingers and held out her hand impatiently.
The other one, the one who looked like me rolled her eyes before she snapped at leather-girl.
“Would you shut up already?”
She turned back to me and missed the sneer on leather-girls face.
It would help if I knew their names.

“It would help if you gave us all names and stopped flat-leaving us. And by the way, I did too see that, eyes, the eyes in back of my head are the same as the eyes on the front of your face.”
My mouth was agape. Huh?

“Look babe, this is it. We’re fed up. You’re the one who created us.”
She stopped and looked around at the small crowd surrounding her. And me.
“Well, most of us.” She shook her head as if to clear her mind, the way I sometimes do.
“Anyway that’s not the point. Point is, you’ve been dilly dallying for way too long and you’re unfocused, which in turn, makes the rest of us unfocused.”
Leather-girl growled along with the, umm, vampire dude as kinda-me shushed them.
She turned back to me, finger lifting my chin till our eyes met. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing disappointment staring back at me. I can only assume my confusion was responsible for my uncharacteristic quietness.
Also, leather-girl was eyeing me up like I was an ice cream sundae.
I couldn’t decide if I loved her or feared her. Maybe both.

“Chica, you really need to get moving.”
Whatever she was about to say came to a full stop.
The jig was up.
Nobody calls me chica except my Muse. I’d slap my own stupid head if my hands weren’t bound.
It was them.
All of them.

My own characters kidnapped me.

compg
to be continued…
mymuse1<



{March 21, 2015}   Enough Is Enough ~ A Semi-Rant

writer1

I’ve run out of excuses.
Yeah, I know, legitimate or not, excuses are just that, excuses. And they’re getting me nowhere fast.
I mean really, I’m resorting to clichés on top of it all. What’s up with that?

I am like the moon.

Not only do I go through phases but I’m also rather loony on occasion. See previous moon comparison, I’m a damn Cancer with an emotional rollercoaster attached to my feet and the very few who know me well enough know I hate the whole moon comparison. It’s a joke actually, only not so much with the funny these days.
I’m scatterbrained beyond belief lately and my brain has more holes in it than Alpine Lace Swiss Cheese. You know, the really tiny holes that lets the mustard seep out onto the bread making it soggy.

My brain is soggy.

My phone rings on an average day anywhere between 10 to 26 times, every single call from my Dad.
No rhyme nor reason, no certain time of the day or night, whenever the urge hits him, he calls me. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, he’s lonely since my Mom died and he’s a stubborn, rigid, sticks-to-his-ways 88 year old Navy Vet. He never knew his Father and doesn’t remember his Mother, she died when he was around 2 years old or so. He won’t really talk about his family or much of his childhood, although he frequently mentions that he was a twin but his twin brother died at birth. When he talks about it to me in the way he does, trying to make a joke out of everything, he tells me it’s his fault because he weighed more than his twin so he must have killed him.

I can’t imagine walking around with that thought in your head every day of your life.

He talks about how he was roller skating when Pearl Harbor was bombed and enlisted in the Navy the day he turned 17. He tells the same stories so many times I can repeat them myself. I don’t need more than one hand to count the amount of relatives who like him, but he’s my Father and that alone is reason enough to fall into his trap and pick up the phone every damn time.

My life would be so much easier if I could ignore him but I wasn’t raised that way. Plus I’m a Cancer and a middle child.

I have a memory of being taught to always hug and kiss my Parents when I left the house, and I never end/ended a phone conversation with either Mom or Dad without saying ‘I love you’. Although there was also a little bit of guilt manipulation when I neared my teenage years because what if something happened and we never saw each other again?
And they wondered why I cried until my Aunt Berta would call them to assure me they didn’t get in a car accident on the drive home when I’d sleep over my then-only girl cousin Chrissy’s house.

Huh, we’re all pretty much fucked up people, aren’t we?
Nah, we’re all just human I guess.

writing13

I don’t really have a point to this aimless babble, I think I’m tip-toeing my way back to writing consistently again. Publicly. Because I need something to shake me out of this endless winter – I mean really, a snowstorm on the first day of Spring?
Point: I should be writing. And not just about how I should be writing but really writing.
I have no one to blame but myself at this point, I need to establish a schedule and attempt to get my Dad to understand I can’t write when the phone keeps ringing .

writing12

C’mon me! Get your obsessive ass in gear and start re-obsessive writing!

Enough is enough.
NO MORE EXCUSES!

writingexcuse

This rant has been brought to you by Guilt-B-Gone.

guilty3



{January 30, 2015}   Warning – Rant Ahead

rant

Warning: the following rant will most likely include profanity, snark, anger, venting, and a general sense of crankiness caused by, well, stuff. Unless I hit overload and wimp out.
Today was one of those days even before I knew it. Because it started off stress-free and lovely, which should have been my first sign. I mean aside from the ever-growing pile of used tissues and the lack of a voice when I first woke up because, bronchitis. Again.
Oh, and the snow outside, especially the icy lump in the middle of the driveway daring me to drive over it so I could take Father Dear to get his stitches removed. (I dropped it into first gear and the icy lumps lost. I was not about to allow my car to get stuck in the snow.)
It was the first time I left the house since before the Blizzard Of The Century That Wasn’t.
I live a very exciting life you know, especially in the winter when I get one of those inner-battles where my immune system always gets it’s ass kicked and I’m a puddle of lethargy trying my best to hide it.
(I’ve noticed a distinct lack of rant-ness going on here because too much time has passed since I wrote the first sentence. Never a good sign when you’re trying to rant.)
First Main Street was closed because of a fire, making me late-ish due to a stupid detour down a barely plowed road followed by a lack of my cousin who said he’d shovel Dad’s driveway and even do his laundry (mighty nice of him since he coincidentally only shows up when he needs to do his laundry or store his tools) while I took him to the doctor.
Obviously, my cousin didn’t show so I’m running up and down the basement steps to get the laundry started before we leave because yes, I actually have things of my own to do and laundry wasn’t in the memo.
This led to me unable to find my car keys for a good ten minutes, when I finally gave in and asked Dear Saint Anthony to please come around.
As usual, he did and I did. Find my keys.
Next, the awkward social situations I’m forced to improvise in the name of damage control when my Father is in smartass-to-strangers mode, his brand of humor.
Then the inevitable suggestion that we go to Burger King, the restaurant of Dear Daddy’s choice, and the drive-thru compromise because time is seriously not on my side.
A stop at Krauszers for Dad’s newspaper turned into a driving clusterfuck as a teenager girl driving the brand new car someone else paid for wouldn’t stop blowing her horn as my 88 year old Father was struggling to get out of my car (he refuses to let me help him or go in the store for him, plus there was enough room for her to drive around me, also, emergency blinker thingys were flashing).
It took everything I had to keep myself from jumping out of the drivers seat and having a word with the young miss.
Not really, it was more the sight of the neighbor up the street who happens to be a cop. I knew my Irish would take over and it wouldn’t be pretty.
I’m not confrontational but do the slightest thing to hurt any of mine and I go ballistic.
I’ve been known to grab bikers by their leather jackets and slam them into walls for wrongly harassing a friend while girl-shouting in his face.
But instead of a cat fight, I lit my first cigarette in awhile, bronchitis be damned because otherwise someone or something was going to see my fist. Or I would yell shrilly.
Back to Dad’s house to finish the laundry and move his car for him so it would be easier for him to get through the snow and what do ya know, somebody who shall remain nameless did a fake-out shovel and I had to shovel a path through the kind of snow that has a thick layer of ice on top. Did I mention I have bronchitis?
Sigh.
I can’t even muster up enough energy to rant properly.
I’m all flannel pajamas and piles of blankets trying to write with Fang Face Willy, no longer a kitten in size but still in attitude, diving into Drusilla and biting her neck while she speaks in cat-tongues I’ve never heard before but her grumbled growls really do sound like words. She puts her paw on his head, holds him in place then frantically licks his face till he submits and dashes off to try and have his way with me.
Since I’ve been interrupted so many times since I began writing this nearly 35 hours ago, I’m going to chalk this up to a rant as bad as everything that led up to me wanting to rant in the first place.
Kinda like a boring diary entry but here’s the thing, I’ve been spending way too much time writing and not posting I have decided to throw my hands in the air, not even reread this damn thing and post it to break my too-long-since-I-posted streak.
Maybe tomorrow I shall awake bronchitis-less, full of energy, a clear mind, no vampire cat trying to write his own rant.
I know! I’ll do “research” and read!
That’s a thing you know, gotta read if you wanna write, right?
I’m gonna regret posting this babble, but if I don’t break this non-posting streak, my regret will increase tenfold.
I’ll just throw on another comforter, cozy up with a book or ten and lose myself in someone else’s words so I can find my own.
I have a Love Spanks Event to attend next week, I have to stop being sick! Also, write. Ok, over and out until the next time dear ones.
https://governingana.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/announcing-love-spanks-2015/
cropped-spanks-lovespanks-amazon-2015.jpg



et cetera