Christina E. Rundle on Amazon

Monday, July 27, 2015

Water Advisory, Arizona Drought and Writing

I'm watching the news and there is a heat advisory as always in the summer. It comes with the story of people hiking Camelback Mountain. The news states that if you want to hike, do it early in the morning and bring a backpack of water. I'm wondering who is actually hiking? Most Arizonians know to stay indoors.It's uncomfortable being outdoors after 8 a.m.

My grandfather called me. Said he was lonely. We talked about water. When you leave in a drought environment, you always think of water. If you visit, you'll see why. In the summer, even indoors, you'll find yourself thirsty. He said that Lake Mead was the lowest it's been since 1930 when the place was built. That's pretty scary. We were talking about how many people live like water will always be there, like our pools we constantly fill, or grass... Grass in AZ or Nevada? Seriously? That's water that could go to someone thirsty instead of a lawn to upkeep.

Spent a good portion of my morning in Downtown Phoenix. During the day, I didn't recognize anything, but Emory said it was the area that hosts First Friday. It's been a while since I've been to First Friday which is a nighttime event. It's the 1st Friday of the month that all the artists come out to showcase their work. There are food trucks, most of the shops are open and there is a free bus that will take you around. We did it a lot a couple years back. I had a friend that would meet us and we'd hop onto the trolly. She's a pretty interesting friend. She said she knew Green Day (the band) when they were still playing at houses.

The cool thing about 1st Friday is that a lot of artists will open their studios for you to take a look around. It was weird at first, walking into people's personal space because one set of buildings were actually single room apartments, and the sliding glass doors would be open and you'd just walk into someone's space to look at all their art.

At 9:00 a.m. nothing is open, so we walked down the street, found a place that served coffee (for mom and Emory). I wanted wine, but none of the bars were open.

Writer Update

EW: 11/13 chapters edited. Getting very close to being done.

Writer Group: I have 2 projects to read for my writer group. Got some excellent feedback on my romance. Still chugging along on it.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Urban Legends and Zombie Video Games

Watching Japanese Urban Legends. I was warned that just by hearing some of these stories, I'll fall into the curse. So far, 1 curse will kill me in a month, the other within a week. I have instructed Emory to text me while he's at work to make sure I'm not dead. His comment, "You're not the only person who watched those videos, you're not going to die." My thoughts, "Then why am I so terrified?" *sigh* Wish I wasn't so curious about good plot lines. I'm going to watch this second curse to see if I prefer 1 horrible legend over the other. Probably won't because they're both freaking me out.

My cousin learns something about my thought process while playing The Last of Us video game:

Me: "There's a dead body in that direction. I'm going to go sit in the water and wait."
Cousin: *wide eyed* "You'd rather sit in the water and wait?"
Me: "Yep. I'm going to just sit here and wait."
Cousin: "You can't do that. You're supposed to get that child to the other camp."
Me: "Nope. It's scary here. I'm going to go wait in the water."
Cousin: "Give me the controllers. I can see how useful you're going to be during the zombie apocalypse."
Me: "I'll be very useful. If you need a look out, I'll sit somewhere and wait until you come back."
Emory: "That would be useful as long as someone came back for you. If we all got attacked, you'd probably just sit there and starve."
Me: "I'm not going anywhere. Not doing it. I'll just wait it out."
Cousin: "I can see that if we were attacked, I'd have to carry you to safety."
Me: "I'd just sit there and wait."
Cousin: "You can't sit out a zombie attack!"
Me: "I think I could."
Emory: "It doesn't work like that, you know. It's not like if you don't see them, they can't see you."
Me: "I'll be very quiet."

True! I was washing dishes after I got off the phone with my mom and I saw something at the corner of my eye come right up to the open dishwasher, but it flickered very quickly. It's skin was grayish and it had super long black hair. It crawled on all fours and had a curve to its human-like back. My heart slammed in my chest. I was frozen in place. I couldn't move. I couldn't scream. My dogs stared at me like I was insane.

The trance broke quick enough, but I texted Emory at work to let him know that I'd seen the demon once. The next time I see her, it'll be through a crack in the door. He wrote back "What exactly did you see?" My mom, being funny since I still haven't unpacked anything wrote, "Maybe it's a rat living in all those untouched boxes." My mom's comment made me laugh. I forgot what I was so afraid of, but I know, in my heart, next time I see her, I'll be dragged to hell. To ward this off as long as I can, I'm now keeping all doors shut, all cabinets completely shut and the closets completely open so there is not a crack where her eyes could peek through and see me.

I think for a certain amount of power in these Urban Legends to work, one has to be open to the concept. I was raised to believe in the power of the universe.

Talking about the demon I saw:

Me: "Do you think demons are even real?"
Mom: "Keeper thought so."
Me: "Oh, that's right." Keeper was our dog that woke my mom up barking at my bedroom door. That night, something crawled in bed with me and it wasn't my ten pound chihuahua.
Mom: "Lady does too. She was barking at my kitchen table."
Me: "Mozart does that too in your kitchen. He freaked me out one night because he wouldn't stop barking and we were all alone."
Emory: "Mozart barks at everything. He's not a good judge of character when it comes to anything."
Me: "That's my dog you're insulting."
Mom: "I agree with everyone else on this, Mozart is a coward."

Now, I'm going to go look at game tutorials for Alone in the Dark. My brother said that's a super scary game and it messed with his head for days. I admit, I'm addicted to the things that scare me.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Car Explosions, Family Loss and Writing

I went to Crazy Cousin Nik's house to play zombie video games, eat popcorn and drink soda. We hedged the topic centering around the loss of our family member. Then we speak our mind. To Nik, this is a sign that it's time to start a family... a very, very big family. Never really saw Nik as the family-making type.

For me, this loss means its time to hit the road again. Only problem, we now have a house. Nik suggested renting. That's in the plans. Right now, I need to do more research, because I really want to join a cruise ship. I almost don't care what job I have on one. I want to see people I'll only meet once, for one week, and then they'll be gone and I'll move on to another group of people I'll only know for a week. I miss the haze that comes from being constantly busy. Or maybe I'm just looking for a way not to have to think.

I need to get over my social phobia if I'm going to have a future meeting people and leaving people. I use to think there was something personally wrong with me that 90% of my friends were online and I've never-ever met any of them, but I've been reading websites on social phobia and all the tiny details of my infliction are listed. It's wonderfully relieving to know that I'm not alone in the way I feel. It's wonderfully freeing to understand that there are other people who suffer from the dominating anxiety that's make my life extremely difficult to live outside the house. I've had two jobs with Emory and those were the two jobs I was able to keep for a really long time. On my own, out in this workforce, it's so difficult fighting with the very loud anxiety whispering inside my head.

Emory and I put a few more of our volunteer hours in at the zoo. I was nervous that the park would be busy. I've sunken back into the whole crowd anxiety issue I have. Surprisingly and not so surprisingly, people weren't an issue. Right now, July is too hot for a lot of people to spend outdoors. We soaked bandanas and tied them around our throats, but that didn't keep the heat from getting to us. It's just too hot to be outdoors even by 8:00 a.m. We had a lot of people visiting from out of state coming to the park, but very few locals. If you're raised out here, you know to stay indoors during the summer if you aren't going for a swim.

The zoo has some fun evening events like Prowl and Play. During the summer, the zoo closes at 2pm, but the next Prowl and Play is in August and it starts from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. We are thinking about borrowing a nephew and going for the event. I've never been to one and I've volunteered there for 3 years and just couldn't get the schedule off to volunteer for this event. It's time to take a look. We invited Emory's mom, but we all have to make sure this fits in the schedule. After all, a lot could happen before August 8th.

We went to the grocery store and bought crepe ingredients. I'm hoping we can make them soon. They are so delicious.

Interesting tidbit:  During the 4th of July night, Emory and I heard an explosion, but we were already in bed and passed it off as neighbors playing with fireworks. It's the 4th of July and neighbors blow fireworks up until midnight having fun. Our dogs weren't upset, so there was no reason to get out of bed. In the morning, as we headed out to the zoo, we saw that two carports were pretty destroyed by fire. Conclusion: a fire got to one of the cars and that's what caused the explosion. In doors, it sounded like really weird fireworks and nothing serious. Any other day, we might've went to look, but that night, nope. Fireworks are very loud and it didn't sound unusual from the ones at the party we went too. It is weird we slept through the blaring firetrucks.

Writing Update:

HNT: 6/? chapters finished. I'm working on chapter 7 though I'm wading in emotional territory that is usually a no swim zone for my mental state. It's always nice to experiment with what we can accomplish in stories.

EW: Picking my way through a few of these chapters. 5/13 finished. Adding last minute details to this town.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Pescetarian Lifestyle and Writing

I spent the weekend on the other side of town. There are two communes on that side. I went with Jeffery for a pizza run and he actually ordered half the pizza with only veggies. It's super great coming out of the closet as a pescetarian and ovo-lacto vegetarian. I've been hiding it for a while because I don't like defending how I feel to people who just want to argue about it. There seems to always be one person in a group who is offended that I don't want to eat red meat or chicken.

The pizza was wonderful. We ate, had a few jello shots and watched movies in the living room. Jeffery got this super tiny dog that he named Killer. It's his new baby.

We went over to Poppy's commune where two of the commune mates were having a color-off. I guess it's where they both have a coloring book and try to out do each other on coloring. I think I'll try to get in on that next time. One of the mates there asked if I'd come around more often. That was a bit of a surprise. I don't have too many friends that are my age. I try to avoid people. My relationships are fairly surface.

Farmer Bill showed me the newest plants in his garden. He takes exotic fruits, veggies and peppers to grow (Arizona weather willing). He gave me a fresh black tomato (Black Krim, I think) and a baggie of crushed pepper to mix in my food. I put the contents into two shakers so I can give one to my closest friend, since her husband does a lot of cooking. They're both good in the kitchen, so I thought she'd probably want some.

Farmer Bill went to California the same time Jeffery did, but Farmer Bill hit Napa Valley while Jeffery hit the San Diego beaches. Bill told me about the wine festival and the restaurants. Emory and I are hoping to get up there, so we're excited to learn what we should see. I think we'll end up doing a winery tour. We've done a lot of wine tastings, but no winery tours yet.

Writing Update:

Horror: Sitting on the back burner while co-writer is busy.

Romance: I'm going to start presenting this to my writer group so maybe they can help me fix any rough edges.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fireworks, Babysitting and Writing

Jeffery has been coming to our abode on Wednesdays helping with a few things. Last Wednesday, I was actually home and Jeffery came through the door with a number of things, including a box of fireworks. His comment, "I saw you had fireworks on your counter and thought you liked these things." Me... "It's always been a tradition, but you'd already know that."

Jeffery also brought pizza, "I'm glad you mentioned pizza. It's embarrassing going through Taco Bell and asking for vegan tacos. They look at me like I'm insane." We made our own pizza toppings by cutting up black olives, onions, mushrooms and a few other things. It was a really heavy pizza. When Emory got home, we put the rest of the veggies on the grill. I love veggies a lot. Last week, Ann brought a bag of broccoli over from the food charity that Nadine goes too. I guess the bag was too big. Nadine brings home like huge bags of groceries that are meant to feed more than a household at the commune. She usually breaks it into threes to share with other households so we got broccoli and some donuts that Ann had a handful of before bringing the rest over. Don't mind sharing the sugar. Probably better to do that anyway.

Last Sunday, we had our besties come over and I made Red Velvet cake doughnut holes and Bailey's Irish Cream Cheese. The liquor is what makes it delicious. Ann and John stopped by that early in the morning. We gave them a  plate to take for the road, since they had an eight hour drive heading to California. John brought Lady over for a few minutes and the dogs seemed to enjoy that.

It's my turn to babysit the commune children this Tuesday, so they are coming to the house and I have to entertain them. Ann suggested that I make the doughnut holes with them so they could take it back to their dad for his birthday. Man, that birthday is coming up. Michael was born on the 5th of July. A day sooner and he could've celebrated his birthday with fireworks! When we were younger, dad would go to Texas and get sparklers. That's after Arizona had a strict policy against fireworks. Now, they are legal again, but only the ones that are sold under tarps that pop up in parking lots around this time of year.

I'd love to say we're getting the house put together... but we aren't really. Too much to do.

So glad Emory will be home tomorrow to watch the fur babies. Fireworks is the worst time for pet owners because so many dogs freak out and take off. Our dogs will be indoors, probably in our arms while we watch movies and wait out the hell storm of fireworks. Next year, I hope we can go to Cali and watch the fireworks in Ventura on the beach. 

Writing Update:

Urban Fantasy: 5/13 chapters edited. Coming along! Final edit before going to my editor for the final-final edits.

Writing Group: Excellent. We had our first session at Applebee's. We had excellent food while we talked about everyone's project. Strong start to the group. It's really nice.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Pictures, Restless Nomad and Writing

I had this weird dream that Emory found someone just as interested in the housing market as he is. I woke up extremely self conscious, which is silly, because I don't think another woman would compliment his lifestyle as great as I do. It's like we were cut out of the same mold. I might actually even own his rib! (Inside joke between you and me, since he's an atheist) Of course, that dream worried itself deep into my spirit until I mentioned in passing to him. He laughed and said it would never happen. His words, "My love for houses is not enough to take me away from you."

Now that we're settled, and we haven't been settled for long, I have this desire to do something reckless. The last reckless thing we did was almost four years ago when I asked Emory to move to Florida. We packed our bags and left. We didn't even have an apartment lined up for when we got there. We had no jobs. It took almost 6 months to get something. It might be a few years before I can convince Emory to do something reckless again. I'm thinking we should work in another country.

I'm also thinking about moving to Nashville Tennessee or somewhere in Texas. I have a girl friend in New Mexico. I keep seeing adventures for New Mexico. I might wouldn't mind living in Seattle Washington if we had scuba licenses. I'm a little afraid of two things; super cold water and getting stuck in underwater caves. You wouldn't know that from my dreams. When I dream, I'm afraid of nothing. I swim into underwater caves all the time, but the caves in my dreams usually are portals to demonic dimensions. It adds to the spice of my human existence. I don't think human was ever at the top of my list. Being a vampire isn't either. Anne Rice scared the utter day dream right out of me. I'm more frightened of vampires than being mauled by a werewolf. I guess I just don't want to be freezing in my last hour of life... See, I just hate being cold. Torture.

Some photos of the week:

Baking cookie: Skulls, Coffins, Bats, Pumpkins and Cupcakes

Javelinas: Welcome to AZ

I tried to make doggie cookies from a box batter recipe and that didn't turn out well. I think I could've used Emory's help with it. My sugar cookies were fine, but Em was present.

Writer Update

My professor for the dialogue class said he would write me a recommendation for the MFA program at ASU. I need two more recommendations, which means, I need 2 more classes. I'm not sure if this is crazy. I didn't go anywhere with my BA in English. I love writing, but is the $$ for a degree worth it just for the personal experience? Some people would say yes. But the people who are also in the same economic social status I'm in, might think it's nuts. I was having lunch and I overheard this guy say, "So many people get such worthless degrees. It's like getting a bachelors in Literature. What are you going to do with it?" If it's a passion, then is it really worthless?