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Just Before Dawn

Oh, hello there. It’s been a while. Do forgive me. I’m afraid I’ve been pursuing hours in the day that do not exist for some time now, and it’s left me a wee bit…absent.

I’ve spent the last two months with my face buried in paper, up to my neck in ink, and just generally writing until my fingers fall off more days than not. This is a good thing, but it has left my other past times by the wayside. You know. By that side waaaaay over there. It’s just a little speck to me right now. Wave at them.

Words have ever been a giant central gear that my life revolves around. They propel me, fill me, spill out of me. They suck me into other worlds where planets spin through shining colorful galaxies filled with ultraviolet sparkles and dark grimy alleys where something really does want to eat you. They do it, and they do it often. I’ve occupied my imagination so fully lately that I haven’t had the chance to turn it to other things.

I want to sit under an oak tree and feel it live against my back. I want to watch the turning of fiery leaves and run my hands across velvet grass. I want to lay on my back and watch planets and stars appear in a cerulean sky. I want to look into the eyes of an elephant and have her reach out her trunk toward me. I want to soar above oceans again and smell peat and loam and heather. I want to climb up into the branches of a tree and read a book.

It is so easy to get caught up in things. I’m newly married. We both work and have passions and try to eat normal food at our abnormal times. We still haven’t gotten our thank you notes out.

As the world darkens and the sun stretches farther away for the winter months, I feel the return of a new year. I always sort of celebrate the Celtic new year, Samhain. It’s a day of the dead, yes, but it also marks rebirth. It marks the time of year when the earth slows to sleep, where all becomes still, and where hibernation occurs awaiting the return of the light and the burgeoning buds and blossoms. I can’t help but feel like something is…gestating in my life, for lack of a better word. Not in my body; no, there’s no life inside me forming. What I feel is that I’m frantically growing something. That these words I nurture every day are multiplying into something big, something that will soon be born to the world.

The leaves turn and fall to the ground, and the earth slumbers until spring. I will continue to create, to harbor the life of these words until they are ready to be shared. And I believe they will be shared. My husband believes in me. He brings me bright fall roses and dahlias and daisies to add cheer to our home and to comfort me while my body responds to the changing of the seasons. For every winter, there is a spring. So I will keep working, keep writing, keep hoping all through this long night of the earth.

I will write through the darkest hour.

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Wedding, ZOMG*

*I reserve the right to use such an acronym once every bajillion microseconds. Which is to say, every so often when it suits me.

My wedding is in two and a half weeks. Hence the ZOMG. There is so much going on — I don’t even know where to start.

The details are worked out, the cake is ordered, the awesometastic cake toppers are sitting atop our microwave, and there is a mossy little basket perched on our coffee table. My dress is at the tailor, my ring is in it’s box on it side. There is a box full of stinky flowers in our spare room. It’s all coming together, except for the bit where I can wrap my brain around it.

I have a feeling that it’s going to creep up, pounce, and then disappear into memory. Then we’ll just be married and start our lives the best way we know how. I’m awfully happy that we have several remarkable photographers coming to prove to us that it happened.

The wedding is a day to celebrate. I’m excited about it, to see friends and family and feast and be joyous. To walk down a grassy aisle barefoot and surrounded by loved ones. Pretty special.

I know I’m going to be stressed and fussier than I normally am…either that or completely apathetic. Probably the latter. I think others will do my freaking out for me. I have some people assigned to awkward duties and others there just to make sure I stay calm. Regardless, stuff is going to go wrong, so my main focus at this point is just to put on blinders and chill.

The main part I can get really, really pumped about is the honeymoon. John and I are doing something I’ve never done before — we’re going to Discovery Cove to swim with dolphins. I cannot wait. We’re going to be big old kids and go to the Harry Potter park at Universal, for which we have set aside an entire day. I am so excited. I want to drink butterbeer (no matter how many calories it entails) and get my own wand at Ollivanders. I just might pee my pants. We’re also going to do a water park and get massages and generally relax and do things we never get to do. It will be the first real vacation I’ve had since Scotland last year, and the first John and I have taken just the two of us…well. Ever.

But yeah. Wedding. 18 days. It’s close enough to be measured in days…ZOMG.

I just might post some pictures here, gentle viewers. We shall see. Maybe just to post some of the quirk involved with our wedding — because there will be plenty. Cake toppers are just a taste of it. (Shhhh, it’s a secret!)

I can’t wait. I also can’t quite believe it yet. Right now I feel extra surreal because I have a fever and don’t feel well. At least I’m getting sick now instead of later, right? Eeek.

luck, be a lady tonight

i honestly have no idea why i opened this blog.  hm.  possibly to open the floodgates of my current stream of consciousness?  could be.  could be.

aha.  i remember the first little spark i wanted to fan into a blazing flame (i’m cooooold, goddamn it).  i feel lucky.  it was something rather simple that triggered it, something that, to many people, might seem a bit odd.  “i love that you love zombie movies.”

but really, that simple statement was really quite touching.  to know and be known.  not just accepted, but enjoyed.  i’ve had it before in other senses.  friendish senses.  but not this way, and for that i feel as though i’m holding something rather shiny and pretty in my hands, and i can’t stop staring at it and marveling at how it got there.

so there’s that.  i also feel rather…odd.  not-quite-gone-with-the-grain.  i feel like that little whorl in a bit of wood that has a small eddy around it.

i keep thinking i know what to write tonight, but then i realize i really don’t.

what i’m thinking about right now is starlight.  it’s this soft silvery color, like strands of webbing that pulse with a quiet glow.  when i was younger, i got on this kick where i had to find out everything i could about astral projection.  all i wanted was to be able to leave my body so i could go explore the stars.  see the colors in the nebulae.  all of that.  i don’t know if astral projection is actually possible or not; all i know is that my goal was way out in space.

even though i don’t have a set path, i do know that i want to write something.

i truly love fall.  every year about this time, i seem to get a new lease on life.  the wiccan calendar ends at halloween.  samhain is the pagan new year.  in a lot of ways, that has always rather made sense to me.  it’s the death of all the growth of the year; trees turn, plants go dormant, animals hibernate, i wear fuzzy sweaters and drink excessive amounts of tea.  maybe that’s why halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  the new year is reborn from the  old, sort of like a phoenix rising from the ashes of a fiery death.

but really.  fall is awesome.  sweaters.  cuddles.  jackets.  leaves.  crisp air.  halloween.  pumpkins.  candles.  warm smells.

so tonight i feel thankful.  i feel lucky for having all of the above.  what a glorious thing.  couple thoughts for tonight:

we accept the love we think we deserve.

everyone is trying to be more or less than who they are, and it’s a violation either way.

goodnight, moon.

oddities, life lessons, and a starless void

maybe it’s working at a school, but i’m realizing lately just how much i’m learning about myself and how i work.  for instance, i’ve been trying to work on appreciating the small things in life as much as possible, like people who don’t tailgate and days when i can sleep in.  i’ve always sort of noticed the little things.  you’ll notice if you look at my facebook albums that i take an inordinate number of squirrel pictures.  i’m quirky.

i’m learning to appreciate a good quirk.  the squirrel thing is one.  i also tend to bounce when i have food — that’s something that i’ve mentioned before.

i really like sleeping.  as in…really like it.  so much i might even consider it a hobby.  first on the list is probably staying up late and sleeping in.  that is a glorious use of sleep right there.  there really isn’t much i find more personally satisfying than that, except perhaps adding a nice cuddle into the mix.  behind that is naps — the kind where you can get cozy in bed and curl up with a pillow.  again, also very nice if you add in a cuddle.  it’s one of my favorite things on the planet, sleeping.  maybe because the world just isn’t built for people like me, who function best between the hours of around 9 pm and 4 am.  add to that the fact that i get so anxious when i try to go to sleep that i have to drown out any little noises with a fan and have it completely dark, and i’m just not really made for this world.  so whenever i do get a chance to sleep and sleep well, i treasure it like it’s the last flower petal after a nuclear holocaust.

maybe that’s a little melodramatic…or not.

i also have some really ridiculous fears.  one i realized on the way to work this morning is that i’m afraid of the “friend zone.”  i think it’s an after-effect of one of the most favored relationship cliches:  “i think we’d be better off as friends.”  shudder.  what an awful thing.  of course, i’ve always been of the mind that the best relationships are passion rooted in very deep friendship, so hearing “we’re such good friends” as a reason to not be together is really counter-intuitive for me.  but maybe i’m weird.

on that note, and just because i thought of it, i’ve been thinking about just how many relationships begin about 2 seconds after meeting someone new.  you meet, you date — with dating as the way to get to know someone.  i’m a pretty picky person, so the percentage of people i like after a couple dates is pretty dismally low.  i think that’s one of the reasons i kinda hate dating.  i mean, face it — how often do people meet someone they really click with enough to have a relationship?  and i mean not just someone they can stand to be around for a few months — i mean someone who they genuinely like enough to get serious about.  that doesn’t happen very often.  and i see a lot of people who do the former and try to force it into the latter, which usually just makes a big, big mess.

maybe that’s why i’m so happy right now.  i’m in a relationship with someone i’ve known for almost a year and a half.  we didn’t start anything till now because of distance, but it sort of forced us to find out how we worked together.  and we work rather remarkably well.  i could get into this fully because frankly, i already knew that we still liked each other after over a year had gone by.  more, even.  i don’t have to worry about what i’m gonna think of him next month, and even better, i don’t have to worry about what he’s going to think of me.  he knows me pretty damn well, and he’s quite fond of me just as i am.

anyway, my current happy place aside.  i’m just sort of rambling.  i think i had other interesting things to say.

oh, right, that.  i remember now.  i wanted to talk about my fascination with preternatural critters.  you know, the ghoulies and ghosties, long leggedy beasties, things that go bump in the night, etc.  those ones.  (after seeing paranormal activity, “things that go bump in the night” take on a whole new level of yikes, by the way.  sheesh)  i have always, always, always liked the supernatural.  anything weird or creepy, gimme fangs and a full moon over sleepless in seattle any day (seriously, see above, re: sleep.  sleep > sleepless, hands down)

first of all, we’ll start with vampires.  and for the record, i’m not really that big a fan of the tragic vampire character.  you know, as in interview with, or angel from buffy.  or, *gasp, egads, the horror*, edward cullen.  i’m a big fan of the self-actualized vampire.  gimme a fanger who is quite fine and reconciled to her or his situation in unlife.  those characters are much more fun, because they’re just not so goddamn whiny.  “ooh, poor me, i’m beautiful and immortal and virtually indestructible, i don’t want to drink blood, call the waaaaambulance, wah.”  stake me now, why don’t you?

obviously, vampires in general are a rather interesting concept.  first of all, it’s not so entirely out of the ballpark of the conceivable.  there are plenty of critters on the planet who sustain themselves fully upon the nourishment of blood.  even some mammals.  so why not vampires?  plus, they’ve been so sensualized that they’re just so sexy.  vampires are irresistible.  even the ones who are supposed to just be ravening monsters (what you’d expect from say, 30 days of night if you only saw the movie and weren’t awesome enough to read the graphic novels).  they have an allure about them.  maybe it’s the fact that they almost always go for the neck, and that’s an erogenous zone for most people.  yep, i said it.  i think that might actually be one of the biggies in terms of why vampires rock people’s socks.  sexy little bloodsucking bastards.  bite my neck.

next, i’ll go onto witches.  i’m also gonna say here that they are not entirely out of the realm of possible.  who hasn’t looked up at the harvest moon in fall and felt that something magical could exist? there are plenty of unexplained phenomena out there that we don’t understand — not that they’re conclusively and ultimately unexplainable, but it’s usually enough to make you wonder on occasion.  witches are interesting as hell, because they can control things.  sometimes thoughts, sometimes manipulate the physical world or create something ex nihilo — all of which are really quite nifty tricks.  plus, they make great scapegoats.  someone in your village got cholera?  that’s because that grouchy old lady put a hex on her!  cows not givin milk?  damn witches must have spelled those titties.  better use them for combustibles.

which brings me to my main point about witches (not that they are flammable, weigh the same as a duck, or float).  witches are intriguing because they have power that allows them to change what is into what could be.  and we all know that human beings covet power.  that’s probably why witches have been both the subject of extreme interest in all of the literature, films, etc they have spawned/inspired and also got the whole short end of the scapegoat stick.  personally, i like them because they gots some shiny shit.

now for the furries.  and no, i’m not talking about people who strap on tails and perform bizarre sexual rituals (hey, to each their own.  if you wanna get some tail in a real and literal sense, at least it’s attached to a human and not something of the bestial variety.)  first of all, how freaking awesome would it be to change into another animal at will?  i can’t say i’d really enjoy having the moon dictate when i got furry with it, but if i could shift on command, that’d be sweet.  plus, the lycanthropes usually end up with the animal magnetism goin for them as well.  notice a trend with that?

on a very basic level, i think that psychologically, the furries represent the primal animal nature that we’ve (mostly) learned to eradicate in our oh-so-civilized culture.  the draw is about surrender to the instinct, surrender to the id.  (go, freud, go.)  so go for it.  take your tail and howl at the moon.  of course, lycanthropes are probably the most far-fetched of our preternatural critter zoological journey.  while you can stretch to think that psychic activity and bloodsuckers are within the stratosphere of the quasi-believable, shapeshifting is something that is like taking macroevolution and turning it up to eleven.  but they’re still fun as hell.

so that’s that bit.  now, since it’s about 2:23 am, and i’m wide awake, maybe that’s something to write about.  i really like nighttime.  first of all, i like the dark.  i have a hard time sleeping unless it’s as dark as possible.  cave-like, if at all feasible.  second, it’s peaceful.  maybe that’s the introvert in me; there are less people around after midnight.  i like the quiet of it, the serenity.  i also like stars, and i’ve always been fascinated by things in outer space.  nebulae and star clusters and galaxies far, far away……….. 🙂  ………..but really, there’s plenty of light when the sun goes down — it just doesn’t seem like it because it’s farther away.  i like night.

i think i’m kind of a weirdo.  i can’t help it, i suppose.  i like all manner of odd things.  i’ll go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf in fall (look out, cos here they come).  i like looking at animals.  i’m very fond of tea.  i like books, movies, and videogames when they come with creepy crawlies and lots of blood and guts i can squash or shoot or pummel (or watch).  one of my favorite things is when someone brushes my hair back from my face.  i like the word “marmot.”  i cry when i think about world war ii.  i love all things celtic and handmade leather shoes.  i mostly don’t care for fashion, cos most of it doesn’t seem to really be me.  there’s an awful lot more to me than just that, i suppose.  when i read over that, it doesn’t sound all that weird, but i still often feel like i really don’t fit in.  i’m not sure what the reason for that is.

it’s another quiet night after a long sort of day.  my whimsy seems to have deserted me, and at the moment i feel sort of…lost and alone.  somedays the world seems so small that i can reach out and touch every part of it — see the rolling highlands of scotland with their heather and gorse, feel the grass of the planty under my hands with wawel castle in the distance in krakow, smell the olive trees in spain as the rainclouds roll in over the hills — but right now the world seems very vast, very much bigger than a very small me, with only a void slipping between my fingertips.

you can’t bleed a stone…

…at least i’m pretty sure that’s what a stone would tell you.  i mean, who wants to be bled?  better to discourage people from trying.

i used the above as a beginning to a short story i’m writing…sort of a tragic farce sort of a deal–with zombies.  you know.  for that je ne sais quois…or just for the ambience.  it’s still very much in vomit draft format, but i’m excited to see where it goes.  gore galore.  you know it.  i thank r.l. stine for that; his descriptions of purple rotting flesh have stayed with me since i was a wee thing using fear street as my bedtime stories.  always did like to be scared.

funny thing about that.  gimme monsters, zombies, vampires, ghoulies, ghosties…long-leggedy beasties and all those who go bump in the night, and i’m fine.  what really gets me quaking in my stylish, yet affordable boots is much more prosaic.

it’s life.

life is…really damn scary sometimes.  there have been times in the last few years where i have found myself reeling, thrown from hand to grasping hand without a clue of where i might land.  now is one of those times.  i’m scared shitless.

joss whedon really had it right — life is the big bad.  and i don’t know how to fight it.  i think if you handed me a stake and said, “vampire.  go, kill.”  i’d be fine.  that’s something you can fight — kill or be killed.  life’s got a much bigger gray area, and i don’t know where i fall right now.

some days i think i’m floating.  treading water, maybe.  other days — like the majority lately — i’m fairly certain my lungs are half-full (i’m an optimist, even in the face of sudden death) and i’m starting to see spots.

i’m working a job where i feel…grossly underqualified.  every day i walk through the doors of my high school and wonder who decided i had the right to teach these students.  i don’t have a license.  what makes me able to do this?  add to that the fact that someone has a rather quirky sense of humor and has decided to bypass regular curveballs for heat-seeking missiles, and you get…a mess.  i’m a mess.

i realized a few days ago that i needed to get back to myself.  somewhere in the last few months, i lost me.  not sure where.  this weekend, i wanted to go to the renn faire to see albannach — they’re my go-to for me-ness.  something about the drums, the kilts, the pipes…yes, the tattoos…it brings me home for a while.  although unfortunately, my body decided to pick this weekend to crap out on me, and i almost passed out from a fever mid-set.  probably didn’t help i was wearing a corset.  nope, probably didn’t help.

on the way back to my car, a guy started hitting on me.  being woozy, uncomfortable, and a little oblivious, i tried to politely tell him i was sick and needed to leave before i fainted.  to that, he replied, “i could give you mouth to mouth.”  i stared at him for a second, processing that.  before i could get my fuddled brain to compute a suitable response, he went on, “i could give you penis to mouth.”

now, if i had all my wits about me, that guy would have found himself the recipient of fist to face.  first of all, who the fuck says that?  it’s almost funny in a way…but then i remember the way i felt, standing there, feeling awful and sick and weak as a kitten…and how absolutely dirty and…violated i felt by that.  i turned and walked away as quickly as i could manage.

i spent this weekend home in bed, shooting shit on xbox.  and i realized that i need to get back to myself.  my life has been almost entirely taken over by work.  when i get home, all i want to do is sleep.  i never see my roommates; i have virtually no social life and very few good friends.  so i did some thinking, and this is what i came up with.

i need to write. i need to get back to my stories and being creative.  i think part of my problem is that i’m sort of…constipated.  in a creative sense.

i need a social life.  as usual, i’m stuck with the problem of most of my nearest and dearest being ever-so-far away.  and frankly, i’m lonely.  which may or may not be my own damn fault.

those are the biggies.  which is funny, cos they’re more personal life than anything…mainly i think because my professional life is so out of balance with my personal life right now.  some aspects of my personal life are in a healthy place and are good…but i feel so out of balance.

i’ve been listening to this band called hey rosetta!, and i’m loving it.  specifically the following songs:  new goodbye; i’ve been asleep for a long, long time; death is quick.

in congruence with my flustered state of mind…i’m gonna end this blog now.

‘Tis the Season…

…to be utterly thankful.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Between the fall colors that are the last flaming burst of life before the earth goes dormant in winter and the gathering of family home to hearths and living rooms after being scattered for the year, it just holds a warm place in my heart.  There’s nothing I love more than taking the opportunity to get together with loved ones over Thanksgiving without the pressure of buying, buying, buying.  It’s one of the few American holidays that hasn’t been overtly commercialized–as evidenced by the fact that stores often put out their Christmas displays immediately following Halloween nowadays.  Thanksgiving gets rather lost in the fold–how do you commercialize a family dinner?  Oh, granted sales of sparkling cider and turkey go up, but it’s a far cry from the raging consumerism of Christmas.

I love it.

I love everything about it.  I like getting up early to put the turkey in the oven, covering it with herbs and stuffing it full of toast and veggies.  I like spending the day running around the kitchen, peeling potatoes, laughing with family, getting frustrated at pies and people, and preparing for the biggest feast of the year.  I love looking around that table and seeing faces of people I love dearly looking back at me.  All with the knowledge that today is a day to be thankful, to take nothing for granted, to love fully and be loved and to set aside the frantic busy-ness that makes up the other days of the year and pour our energy into people and life.

I love taking some time to reflect on what I’m thankful for.  There’s never a bad time to count your blessings, but Thanksgiving is really quite a good time to do it–because everyone else is doing it, and it makes these few weeks of the year a time of openness, of friendship and family and love.

Of course it’s shiny happy people stuff–that’s what the holidays should be about.

I don’t really have anyone to spend my holidays with, in terms of a romantic sense.  I am single.  But it’s more than okay–there will, most likely, be any number of holidays in my future in which I am flying to and fro, trying to coordinate plans with a significant other.  When I look at my family members doing this, I have to add the unlikely blessing to my list that I am the sole person in charge of figuring out what the hell I’m doing for the holidays.  I can go where I please and see who I want.  Woot.

I’m really quite thankful for any number of things, singleness notwithstanding.  I quite like the weather–though I’m in a lonely camp there.  I’m thankful for the many people who are new in my life this year–they’ve all been rather extraordinary, and I feel really very special.  I have a nice home, a steady job, and I’ve finished my first novel.  I will, in the future, finish the others as well.  Just a matter of time.  I have a lovely writing group filled with other odd souls such as myself.  I’ve had a large number of wonderful experiences in the past few years, and I really feel quite lucky about that, too.  On a very basic level, all my needs are taken care of.  I don’t have anything to complain about, not really.

I’m thankful that I’m pretty healthy.  I have the occasional sniffle, but I’ve thus far escaped any serious malady this year, and I fully intend to round out 2008 with my lungs intact.

I am thankful for the chance to see my mom’s sister and family after nearly ten years of absence.  I leave for ten years, come back, and 2/3 of them are bigger than me.  Who’d’ve thunk?  My cousins are all grown up now.  It will be quite the party this weekend.  I’m also thankful to get the chance to see a good friend again on Friday.  It’s a bit of a trek up north, but worth it.  I’m very excited.

I am thankful that my car will (will, I say) make it all the way to Columbus, then on to Toledo, then back to Nashville in one piece without major incident (or minor incident, for that matter.)

Yes.  It will be a lovely Thanksgiving.

A Leaf Suspended

I decided to start a second page about various thoughts of mine…like a journal, I suppose.  On a pretty background.

It’s Tuesday now.  Thursday through Sunday were days filled with so much awesome that I really don’t know what to do with myself right now.  Between Chipotle, good movies, H & M, and resolving some if-only’s, it was quite the weekend.  Perfect, in fact.  Perfect weekend.

It did leave me with a few more if-only’s, but there’s not much to be done about that right now.  Sigh.

On Saturday, whilst driving down an autumn-lined road, I saw something odd.  A leaf, suspended by nothing, seemed to float in midair above the parking strip.  We backed up the car to look at it.  From the car, it was really something interesting.  It fluttered a little and bobbed in the breeze, but didn’t fall.  Upon closer observation, we found out that the leaf was stuck to a long strand of spider webbing that spanned several yards.  From a few feet, the thread was invisible.

This morning, I saw another one.  It is fall, so there are bound to be many of these leaves hanging around, but the one in Toledo was by far the coolest.  I sort of feel like that leaf.  The wind might blow me around a little, and it probably looks like I’m not hanging on to anything, if you look at me from a distance.  Only ripples from far off places seem to touch me at times.  So I sit there until someone drives by and notices me, then backs up to take a closer look.  Most people just drive on by and don’t see me.

If I really was that leaf, I’d be pretty happy to be noticed.  I’d be a little odd, of course, just hanging there on an invisible thread, floating in space, while all the other leaves litter the ground, but I’m a rather firm believer that we are drawn to people and things that remind us of ourselves.  Everyone in the car was pretty drawn to that leaf.  I think each of us in our ways were like that leaf.  Just from what I found out about the others in the car that weekend, we like to be noticed for our uniqueness, our suspended leafness.  Sometimes we’re surprised when people pay attention, and it makes us self-conscious.  I feel like that.  We’re tempted to flee to the piles of leaves instead of hanging out and seeing who will back the car up.

If I’m that leaf, I think I like being me.