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Monday, September 01, 2014

Monsoon Heart

As I watch the monsoons pass through, I can’t help but think this time last year, one of my co-workers and I went outside and played in a mini hail storm. I wasn’t in Arizona when the really big, damaging hail had hit and ruined everyone’s cars, their house roofs, the “cool deck” which is what we call the ground around the pool that shouldn’t retain the worst of the summer heat like cement does. One of my co-workers stood with me at the window and she said, “Go get her; she’ll play in the rain with you. I know you want to.” I did want to play in the rain. That part of me that finds rain exciting has yet to find it wise staying indoors and dry, but things have changed. Everything has changed since this time last year. My personality took the biggest hit. I’m far more cautious now about the people I chose to have my fun with. I’m not in that carefree, excited place here with the company and I don’t know when I’ll get it back.

Emory and I took Mozart for his walk. It wasn’t a long one, because when we got out of the house, it was already lightening overhead. We were a few houses down when the sky turned dark with storm clouds. We were at the corner when the lightening was right over head. We were around the corner when it started to thunder. We were nearly around the block when the first heavy drops started to fall. When the rain became heavier, we had to run. I had Mozart’s leash, so with a little encouragement, because he’s not too fond about getting wet, we ran the rest of the way home. Every tree we passed, I wondered what the chances were of it getting struck by lightning.

The storm was heavy. It sounded like our house was directly under a waterfall. That morning, the radio said that the rain hit one of our valleys hard enough to flood in some areas. People were rafting down the street. I’m glad I’m in such a large city. We get the flash flood warnings, but I haven’t seen issues in my part of the city.

My mom and I were standing on the front porch watching the rain. She turned to me, “Last time the water came up this high, you were out playing in it.” I remember that, but I don’t remember how old I was. Fast forward to the present; It was already dark, and the cascading rain made the light from the streetlamps limited. Watching the water climb up over the sidewalk and into the rock yard, I really wanted to be out there in the gutter with the cold water rushing over my ankles, but visibility was limited, and the thought that the rolling water carried broken glass and rocks stopped me. It’s weird what doesn’t concern us as children. As an adult, as tempted as I was all I could think was, “Do I have time to roll up my jeans and get soaked with the rain? I should be going to bed soon. If I get cut, I’ll be at the hospital and I’ll be tired tomorrow.” How boring it is being an adult.

Writing Update

HBA: 61/148 pages edited.  I’m at the heart of the book. My assassin is now forced to work with someone he’d like to keep distance from. It’s very emotionally draining working with so many aggressive characters.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peanut Butter Secrets

I was working at my desk when I hear my roommate’s voice, “Where did they all come from?” I’m thinking there must be an issue in the pantry. We haven’t had ants, but that’s what her statement rendered in my mind. Finally she calls for me and I come in. She’s holding jars upon jars of brand new peanut butter. The one peanut butter addict, and I’m not kidding on this, can’t figure out where all these jars came from. In truth, I have no idea either. One is peanut butter with honey, the other is a chocolate butter, and the third is organic. She states very frankly, “I’m not touching the organic. That’s for you.” Yee-haw! I haven’t bought organic peanut butter for a while. My girl friend had gotten organic on accident and her family wouldn’t touch it. She didn’t want to throw it away so it came to us as a gift, but that’d been months ago. We just don’t have the time to go searching at those specialty stores. I love organic peanut butter, so it’s cool that it was in the pantry. The question still stands, where did all this peanut butter come from? Roomie eats one of those huge tubes a week. She shares a finger full with the dog, but he’s not the main consumer. She’s 100% addicted to peanut butter.

I’ve decided, after watching Leverage, that I really, really, really want to be Spencer. Not his “character” but him. Which is weird, because I’ve never wanted to have a violent past or present and his history as a hit man, etc., you know his life is pretty violent. I couldn’t imagine. Put he’s a great fighter. He’s got great hair, his personality is great, his voice is great and he knows how to fight. I like to day dream that I’m pretty good in a ring. Emory’s suggestion? “Get into some classes and get trained on how to fight.” I’m feeling a little brittle with all the things that have been hurting for the last couple of years, but hey, I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon and I do really, really, really want some Spencer moves. BOO-YEAH! In truth, I wonder if I can get those reflexes, because, as I said before, I have fainting goat syndrome when I’m startled. Crazy Cousin Nik thinks it’s a hoot.

I’d also like to be Watson, another character who knows how to fight, but also has a seriously violent past after serving as a medical doctor in the army. What does this say about me? I’m supposed to be peaceful, “blah blah blah, hurt none, blah blah blah,” yet, I want the moves. I want to be like BOOH-YEAH! Sneaking up on me! But how do you get that personality? The one those guys have, like they are extremely alert, but also passive until something is an issue? They have great control. *sigh* I’ve been fan girling WAY too much. I’m also watching Supernatural, and those guys know how to fight. Awesome to watch by the way when they’re sparring.  Stay tuned! Who knows what I’m going to get involved with soon. I’ll call it research.

The writer in me has to believe there is something that realism can’t touch. I go through these bouts where I feel utterly insane with the story, any story; I just need stories to be real. Sometimes it feels like I’m on the outside of reality, looking in. I know reality exists, but I can’t separate myself from the stories. So I need to go cold turkey on my obsessions. That’s what it boils down to.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Battling the Sensory Ghosts

I came around the corner in the woman’s powder room and nearly jumped out of my skin when a woman was standing in a stall doorway. I don’t think she saw my initial reaction and luckily, I’d inwardly screamed, which isn’t my usual go on things like this. For one very brief second, I thought she might be a zombie, alien, ghost, leather face chainsaw psycho, werewolf, vampire, skin eating monster. Okay, now that I’m not in the girl’s room alone, I can see that my first thought might’ve been a little wild. I just wish I didn’t have a fainting goat syndrome. My joints lock up on me and I go down hard. I don’t faint; I just can’t seem to move for a second. It looks like a spastic dance, I’m told. Needless to say, I’m uninjured.

It’s strange, because in my dreams, I’m so brave. If I’m up against something, I can protect myself with just about anything, but in real life, one little unintentional scare has my legs locking. I do walk around the house with a bat if I’m alone, which has become a running joke with friends and family. People will say, “Just ask Christina, she’ll be right over with a bat.” In my dreams, I carry a frying pan, but I don’t want to be that close to whoever I’m up against, so I like the distance a bat gives me. My mom said, “Do you know how to use it? You never played baseball.” My prison buddy says, “If you aim, aim to maim.” His advice is a little harder to follow, because he thinks all problems can be resolved with a shank. So I’m unsure how to filter his advice yet. My brother’s advice, “Just don’t piss anyone off.” I’m keeping the bat, but now I think I might go to a batting range and hit a few balls.

It appears that we’re now a fully loaded dance troop again. We had five women join the demo team. Most of those women I see at the square dance club I belong to. There is a handful I’ve never met before. Last night we were practicing the new routine, which our instructor wants us to perform in September. I can’t wait to dance at the state fair and then during Yule, we’ll be dancing at Glendale Glitters! I hope by December, my schedule has slowed enough to really enjoy it. This time, I’d like to have a little extra money so I can get some yummies with the vendors.

Writer Update:

HBA: 48/148 pages edited

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Early Morning Surprise!

I love surprises, especially when they include binding! I had three super large books sitting on my desk when I got into the office. “The Works of Jane Austen,” “The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes,” and “The American Short Story.” Not many people get in before I do, so I wasn’t sure who dropped them off. I was worried someone put the books on the wrong desk, but it couldn’t be a mistake because the book sitting on top of the stack was Sherlock Holmes. Finally Teri popped her head up and said she thought I’d really like these books. I do! I was flipping through the American Short Story book, thinking back to the days I ran from class to class trying to gleam the same spark of magick from these authors who came before me.

To add to the surprise, Carol brought me donut holes. They were exactly what I needed for my morning. A great kick start for the day.

It’s now August and my friends have stopped shaving their dogs for the summer. It’s not a terribly cold winter for us, but it is a bit chilly and they want their dogs to have a fur coat. I took Mozart to the dog part after a monsoon rain and the mud just clung to him. I should’ve known better, I agree, but I think we’ll shave him one more time before the summer is over. His hair is super curly like a poodle and it gets really knotted so it’d be good to shave him or we’ll have a knotted mess by next summer.

Writer Notes:

My muse is a bit of a romantic. I’m inspired, not from watching romantic movies, but seeing the romance between characters in non-romantic movies. It’s a strange way to feed creativity, but I can tell when I have been uninspired. It gets hard to write and I’m forcing ideas. Lately, I’ve been in such a blah mood. Editing is slow because of this. I can’t find the inspiration to know when a story needs a little more oomph! I’ve burnt myself out on my other story projects.

Got to push past this. That’s the goal.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stranger at the Door

Emory and I stayed up rather late watching a new show series that he thought I’d become fond of, which he’s super good at guessing and therefore is right. Last night the doorbell rang and I was utterly caught up in the stupor of excitement over my show, ran out into the living room without thinking, saw one roomy watching her shows (probably Big Brother), so I assumed we accidently locked out our other roomy, which happens. Last person in usually locks the door if it’s super late, often without thinking. It’s happened to Emory a few times where he got locked out. So I throw open the lock, mildly aware that someone shouted, “Don’t open that.” Too late, I opened it and I was a little confused. It wasn’t my roomy standing outside, but a really well dressed young man and he was looking every which way but me.

I held Mozart in my arms, who shamelessly begged that I let him greet this visitor. The young man apologized for knocking on our door. Dread filled my belly. I was thinking, this young man must need help, but I kept the cage (screen) door locked, because I am a woman, and I’m not na├»ve about home invasions AND my woman senses were tingling. It took him a very long time to tell me he needed money. He said he had a wife and children and that the power went off. It would take less than 3 minutes to say that. He went on about the neighbors and this little box he had to put money in, which was red by the way and the RED box must’ve been important because he mentioned that it was red ten times in counting, and then the very long one sided conversation drifted back at my neighbors. At first I thought he had a dispute with the neighbors, who I know very well. Most everyone on our street knows each other. I do NOT know this man. I’ve never seen him before and I walk Mozart, I know the neighbors blocks down.

I know who lives where and who use to live where. I didn’t understand what he needed and finally I realized he’d keep talking if I didn’t interrupt. I was tempted to dig into my purse for money, but something just wasn’t right about this. I had Ann and Nadine standing behind me, to the side. Ann had her phone out, ready to call for reinforcements probably. We are all aware, that among the three of us, I’m the one that is going to protect the hearth! But my defense was down. I saw someone who needed help and at the same time, my inner spirit was blaring every warning it could in my gut and heart. It whispered, “Leave this one alone.”

After telling him that we weren’t in a position to help him, which we weren’t, one person was downsized from their job due to the company cutting their longest workers off their team, and the other roomie’s boss is now retiring, that leaves Emory and me, who are currently still fulltime with a company, but paying off student loans and more personal for me, medical bills. I will give homeless people money, but it is one thing when people start knocking on your door. They know where you live and how much you gave them in the past and then you hear stories on the radio about one county up where a woman was playing video games when two men busted into her apartment and robbed her.

So I had to turn him away, but not without a heavy heart, because I don’t want to see people suffering and out at night needing money, but I also don’t understand the order of things. As we lock back up, Ann says with great caution, “I told you not to open the door.” I think we’re all shaken. I turn to Nadine because she used to be a nurse and saw everything under the sun. She agreed that there was something not right about our nightly visitor. He looked well dressed, like a young man just trying to keep afloat, but there was something way to jittery just under the surface. His story didn’t fully float, his words were too muddled, too out of sync with the story he was telling us.

As I lay in bed, I wondered if he’d be back with others. It’s a weird thought, but when I was a child, just up the street from us, there’d been a home invasion. And this story is too heavy for my heart, so I’ll leave it here because I need to shake off the shroud of unpleasantness that just drifted over me again by mentioning this.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Quarter Fortunes and Writing

I think it would be awesome to own an old gypsy woman fortune teller machine. I like that creepy long chin, nose and fingers. I also like the way her hand just goes back and forth over her crystal ball before a fortune pops out of the little slot under her. I keep thinking how awesome that would be to actually set outside my house on Halloween, or imitate something similar but with a real fortune teller. I might have to enlist the help of Crazy Cousin Nik. Nik is stellar with costumes and great at improve due to all the Comic Cons and Role Playing Games. We’ll see how long this stays an obsession, but even back when I thought I might have children, I was sold on this for Halloween parties.

I have some other cool ideas. I want to have a Vampire Ball at my house, since I doubt we’ll ever get the chance to make it to the real one in New Orleans. And even if we did make it, I’m taxed with a bit of a restraint. I’m not much for people. Too many people make me jittery and nervous. I just don’t trust crowds. I look at the photos and I love them, so I think it might be fun. Plus, I have this super cool adult candy/drink mix that I want to try out, thanks to Tipsy Bartender. I just need to get some people to my house so I can try it out.

My friend got back from Disney California. I didn’t realize the prices went up so much. When Emory and I lived in California, I thought our season passes were at least $250 cheaper than what season passes are now. I might not be remembering right. I have a few friends out here in AZ that have season passes and go a lot, so I thought that might be something Emory and I would like to do, but we’ll have to see. It’s not just a season pass, but you have to pay to get out there, which means driving for us or airfare for others, and let’s not forget food and everything else. When I go, I become a huge sweet tooth cookie monster. Everything looks good. I have to munch! Sweet treats this and that until I’m so sick I have to wait at least twenty minutes before I utterly murder my blood sugar again.

Writer Update

I'm starting work on my second mystery. I have tons of starts on the second book, but sadly, every start is for a new idea on what the second book should be about. Frustrating now, since I've been so focused on editing my fantasy and the first mystery. I'm not juggling between the two as thoroughly as I use to be able to do. I've stretched myself a little thin on projects, but I wouldn't have it any other way.