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The Lonely Lighthouse

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April 15th, 2012


Six years ago, I sat down to write. Many things got in the way of that (mostly myself, my stupid PTSD and my fun fun depression), but yanno, you sit down to write, anyway. You do it over and over and eventually you have a book! Er, at least that is what they say.

Me, I could never seem to get to the part where you had a book. I hit walls and I would move on to the next shiny! idea because the walls were too high or whatever.

(This was better in my head.)

Anyway, when I decided to write, it was to the OWW that I went. I learned all sorts of useful things there, like "show, don't tell" and that some writers were willing to take time to help others become better writers, too. I totally loved it. And that led me to LiveJournal, which I also loved. Writer-friends and friends-who-didn't-write, and then, like super-total-joy at being able to go and BUY the books of these people I kinda sorta knew(ish) from reading their blogs and they even talked to me (sometimes) in the comments of my own blog and what fun!

Except everything was derailed under the LOOMING big bad mean mental breakdown and all that entails.
(I'm much better now.)

Anyway, I miss you guys. (And I had a dream about you last night, Selkie.) And I have news! (Also, I love Incarnate!!) And I want to tell YOU because, well, YOU are the ones that started me off on this in the first place.

(I can't remember how to do a cut. Also, it's 1:30 A.M. Please forgive me for taking up a ton of space on your wall.)

So, ANYWAY, last summer, my husband turned to me, and do you know what he said? He said, "You know this comic book  we've been working on for SEVENTEEN YEARS?"

I said, "Well, sure, I kinda sorta remember something about that."

He said, "I really don't have the skills to do it alone, and I ain't gettin' any younger, sugar, so, what say you and me hitch our wagons together and write us a novel?"

I laughed and said, "Well, honey, great as that sounds, you've read, like, four novels in your LIFE."

And he said, "Sure, I know. That's why I want us to do it together."

The only thing I had on the table was this prostitute-who-is-trying-to-not-die-jack-the-ripper-style in a sort of crazy city-that-is-practically-a-character-in-its-own-right, but I had been staring at a growing pile of notes and ideas for months without ever really writing a word, (great playlist, though!) and so, I said, "What the hell!  Worst case scenario it SUCKS BALLS and we laugh and move on."

He said, "Oh, but my dear (he gained a huge amount of polish in the time it took me to mull that over), this will not suck balls. We are magic, baby."

Thing is, he really didn't know the first thing about writing a novel. Which, in retrospect, was kind of brilliant. He wasn't scared to put down words, he just sort of barfed them all over the page. It would be my job to go in and clean it up. (He had a lot of confidence in me.)

And as it went along, our process sort of evolved. I cut swaths and he planted more fields and I pissed on them and built treehouses and I hacked them apart and then sometimes I started to dribble out ideas and it became this wild  collaborative ride! (Yes, I am mixing metaphors. I can do that because, well, you will see why. I am entitled.)

And I would growl at a page and IM him, "HONEY I AM BORED/HATE THIS SCENE/WANT ALL THEM TO DIE A BLOODY HORRIBLE DEATH." And, he'd IM me back, "Okay, dear, let's switch, I really don't know what she would say to him here anyway and how do you get a sword out of someone's chest, and what is the temperature above the clouds, anyway?" So we would switch! Mid-scene! Sometimes, mid-line-of-dialogue.

He kept a thick skin as I murdered his darlings (I whined when he sliced at mine), and then, last December, he stood up and said, "BABY, it's done."

I laughed a lot when he said that.

Such a sweet, naive thing, that man.

That really wasn't such a long time ago. Four months? Anyway. Guess what?!

Yes, we are starting the query process THIS WEEK.

I know, right?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Even if it sucks, I am proud. We wrote a novel. Together. And it only took eighteen years.

Excuse me, I have to wipe a little dribble off its chin. Silly baby still needs cleaning up.

I just wanted to say thank you. And, well, hi. :) Again.

August 27th, 2009

Rise and Shine!

When I was eight, my mom gave me her alarm clock from when she was a kid.  It was the kind with a clapper and two little bell-thingees and it was brass.  I absolutely HATED the sound of that alarm.  As soon as it would go off, I would JUMP out of bed, RUN across the room and pull out (push in?) the little knob to make it stop.  When it quit working, I graduated to a plug in alarm clock that had a glow in the dark dial.  It was pink.  It gave out sometime around jr. high, when I graduated to a clock radio.  Now, as horrific as the clanging brass alarm clock was, it was better than being woken up by my mother, who did not want to get me up and had zero patience for it.  She'd just come in, pull off the blankets, turn on the light and say, "TIME TO GET UUUUUP!!!!"  *shudder*

My kids, on the other hand, have never adjusted to alarm clocks.  This is probably my fault, as I have never made them rely on them.  I wake them up in the morning, and they have an alarm clock should they choose to get up earlier than that.  (Are my children the only ones who want to get up extra early in the morning?)  Of course, it never wakes them up.  I am considering setting an alarm for them and working in conjuction with it.  Maybe I could put it next to their ears.  Haha.

I've always thought that I was a pretty nice waker-upper.  I don't do that shouting, light turning on sheet yanking crap.  I just say, hey, time to get up, and call their names until they start moving.  I have to go back about five minutes later and do it again.  And for some of them, again.  And again.

Which leads me to my point.  My husband has the worst time getting up.  I had to wake him up for work for the first ten years of our marriage or else he would be late.  And guess what,  HIS mom woke him up when he was a kid.  So, I figure I am not doing my kid's future wives any favors.  Therefore, tomorrow starts the ALARM CLOCK FUN.  Let's see how long it takes before they are getting themselves out of bed.

Maybe after that I can teach them to make their own breakfast...

August 25th, 2009

I composed a truly excellent blog post last night when I was trying to sleep.  I should have just gotten up and written it, because it went away.  ("WENT AWAY?  'I dwell in darkness without you' and it WENT AWAY?!")

When I was a teenager and couldn't sleep, I would close my eyes,, picture something, and try to figure out if it was animated or "real."  Without fail that always sent me to sleep.  But, sometimes I didn't want to go to sleep.  Those nights I would spend hours spinning stories in my head. 

That was I wrote my first short story:  a ridiculous tale about a guy who falls in love with a girl whom he sees dancing on the side of the road.  She's playing, and he, entranced, pulls over one day and plays with her.  They fall in love.  Tragically, however, she dies of asthma.  But the woods and trees and nymphs and faeries loved her, too, and her body turned to flowers, and he would go and visit with his family, years later, every year on the anniversary of her death.  Hahaha.  

Yeah, so, there are different ways to deal with insomnia.  I guess I will just make sure I don't miss a sleeping pill again.  But, how about you?  How do you make yourself go to sleep?

August 24th, 2009

(no subject)

As some of you know, I have struggled with depression on and off since I was about 12 years old.  I've had therapy on and off as an adult, but not any for the last ten years.  Last fall I started suffering a bit more, nightmares, insomnia, and falling more into depression.  But, I couldn't afford to do anything about it.  Now, I finally can.  Last Thursday I had my first appointment with a psychiatrist.  He diagnosed me with PTSD and major depression (that first I started to have an inkling of a little less than a year ago (I think) and the second I've known for a long time).  I started medication - something I hadn't wanted to do for years and years, because I felt like it was masking symptoms rather than dealing with things.  But I have become convinced that no amount of therapy alone is going to fix me, so medication it is.  This is sort of a scary jump for me, but I want to be better.  I am sick of being depressed.  I know that my enjoyment of life and my ability to write and my functionality as a mother and wife will improve.  I am waiting until the Zoloft is working (6 weeks or so, to be sure of correct dosage and etc) before I start counseling, but I think things will be looking up.  I am certainly looking forward to having more energy and having less days where I feel the world is ending.  BLAH. 

I've started to post in my LG a few times since last I posted, but I never had anything positive or interesting to say.  Or hardly anything.  But, that just makes me feel more lonely and blah.  So...I know I am a weirdo, posting erratically, writing erratically, and generally barely here (though I do read your posts).  I want to change that.  I want to be part of community again.  Anyway, I just wanted to say "hi" and start my new habit of writing even if I don't feel I have anything of substance to say.  Substance will come.  :)

June 28th, 2009

Behind a link because it is probably TMI...Collapse )

June 16th, 2009

Iran Election

I've been keeping tabs on Iran lately, at first via the internets, then via twitter (#iranelection).  Anyway, this morning I read a blog post by Scott Westerfeld, here. There are censors in Tehran, looking for websites protesting the (probably fraudulant)) election, to shut them down.  We can make their jobs harder by changing our settings to Tehran time (it's one of the options on LJ time settings).  The more websites they have to sift through, the better. 

As I've read about the situation over there, all my little problems (money, where can i get it?  house, where can i afford to move in less than two weeks? bills, how can i pay them?) fade into insignifigance.  My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tehran, and though I don't expect the world to react as emotionally as I am to these unfolding events, I hope that by doing whatever little thing we can do, we can at least encourage them, at the most educate more people.  (I know barely anyone reads my blog, but some of you have a much higher readership than I..)  

If you are interested in the events over there, and by some miracle don't have a twitter account, I urge you to do a little googling.  It's getting blogged about a little.  I'd have a much more informative post here if I didn't have to go back to house/job hunting and packing.

April 5th, 2009

(no subject)

We had a Seder tonight.

I'm struggling with reconciling the plagues on Egypt with the love of God.

April 4th, 2009


Overheard 9 year old, outside: It's against the law for your grandma to harm us just because I called you a crazy zombie.

7 year old (at the window) nods emphatically:  She IS a crazy zombie!
Last weekend was Butchering Weekend, the family get-together where we cut hogs into steaks, cutlets, chops, grind them into sausage, and then take massive quantities of meat home with us.  More on that soon.  After Butchering, we stopped by stevej1213 's house for a scrumptious Meal.  And then drove several hours.  Somewhere along the drive, I realized that I wasn't just feeling the usual tired, worn out, after-butchering fatigue.  I was Falling Ill.  Coughing, sneezing, running nose, headache, Miserably Ill.  Lots of coughing.

When I was fourteen or so the lovely antihistamine power of Dimetapp (GRAPE, yum) went (overnight) from curing all my pollen ills to knocking me comatose for twelve hours and giving me the creeping willies all over my body and especially my scalp.  I would emerge from a twelve hour bout of unconsciousness with a deadly hangover, and pretty much decided (after testing other antihistamine products and realizing they did the same thing, more or less) that a dry nose was absolutely not worth coma and subsequent hangover.  (Never mind the crawling scalp, who doesn't love a good crawling scalp?  Not that it bothers you much when you are comatose, anyway.)

(As I write this, by the mere power of suggestion, my scalp is going CRAZY!)

Where was I?  (I had to vigorously scratch my scalp, there!)  Ah, yes.  So, for the last (counts...omg I'm old) almost 20 years, I have not taken anything with an antihistamine in it.  This leaves me to nasal spray and eye drops and basically suffering through colds and my two yearly bouts with pollen (April-May, and Aug-Sept).  Big deal.  I'm tough.  Who cares if I can't wear mascara without looking like i got beat up, and have broken all the cartilage in the end of my nose from frantic rubbing?  (At least I'm pretty on the inside, right?  Heh.)  

Anyway, I got sicker.  Obviously.  And now you know the whole history of how my options when I have a cold are limited.  Which means, just living with it/drinking lots of hot tea/moaning (because it makes you feel better)/asking for my mother (but not really wanting her to come because she would just tell me to suck it up, soldier).  So, Monday, more miserableness ensues.  And my Dear Husband calls me from work. So I am standing in the kitchen, and having moved to answer the phone has caused me to begin Hacking My Brains Out Through My Nose.  Which, somehow (I guess because of all the strenuous Butchering Activity) causes me to Throw Out My Hip.  Now, I am not only Miserable, I am also In Pain.  It hurts to sit.  It hurts to stand.  It hurts to lie down.  I admit, gentle reader, I cried and whimpered and moaned.

I took some Advil, and some (HORRIBLE GRIMACE) Robitussin.  Neither of which alleviated the pain or the coughing (which also Caused pain).  So, when my wonderful husband returned home from work, he offers Nyquil.  He knows, after being married fifteen years, that I do not Take Nyquil, because it has Antihistamines that Drive Me Crazy and Make Me Sleep.  "But," he says, consolingly, patting my head, "sleep wouldn't be so bad, would it?  At least it wouldn't hurt."  No, you bastard, I know you want me to sleep because then I will Stop Complaining!  That's not what I said, just what I thought.  Actually, I didn't think that because I was in too much pain to think much beyond "Ow. Owowowowowow. OW!"

But, I decided he was right.  And Nyquil is only six hours, not twelve, so the nightmarish heebeejeebees (sp?) wouldn't last forever or anything.  I took the pills.  (Apparently the liquid tastes HORRID.  Did I mention I used to lick my pillow to get rid of the Robitussin taste when I was a kid?)  About an hour later, a odd sort of numb feeling suffuses my limbs.  Somewhere along the line, my hip does not hurt.  At all.  I am CURED!

Also, the coughing was mostly gone.  As was most every sensation but this lovely sense of numb floatyness.  No, I wasn't really functioning, but it wasn't too bad, either.

Who knew Nyquil had a better pain reliever than ... PAIN RELIEVERS?  Certainly not I.  Confused, ("Where are the heebeejeebees," thought I.) I checked the box - indeed it does have antihistamine.  Which apparently doesn't do what it used to do to me anymore.  At least, not in Nyquil form (I have yet to try any other).

So, one full week of Being Horrendously Sick, later, I now claim that Nyquil is the only thing that let me stop coughing and hurting long enough to get any sleep.  (And, well, yes, I did sleep a lot, but, hey, I was Sick!)  I love you, Nyquil.  You saved my miserable life.  It does make me a tad bit drunk.  But, who isn't funnier with a tad bit of drunkeness?  (Oh, that, too will come up in the forthcoming Butchering Post.  Look forward to it folks, you are going to learn about my wacky family and more about sausage-making than you Ever Dreamed you wanted to know.)

But, not now, because now, I have to climb back into bed and watch cartoons with my kids and try not to hack up my lung (because as much as I love you Nyquil, you don't make all coughing stop.)  (And, yes, I am going to go to the Doctor, and he is going to tell me I have bronchitis or walking pneumonia or something and give me antibiotics and then I will be okay.)

P.S. Not spell-checked and I am sorry but I am NEEDED in the other room.  Cartoons!

April 3rd, 2009

Me, rubbing my wrists on my husband's laptop (you know the space between the keys and where you sit?):  Oooooo.
Rubbing more, and shouting to husband in other room:  Your thing feels so nice!  So smooth and lovely.
He stares at me from the doorway.
Me:  I want it.
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