Book Trailer Idea Post

brokedown horse fence

This post is meant as an inspiration board for a book trailer.  That is all.

water hemlock 2

field of camasbroken fencedust cloudhorse and petals

real American home squalor Yamhill riverscatter shot   The unnamed bent shot Starting image is broken down rural scenery going by?

***

She moves like an immature leopard.  Restless.  Wonder what it would take for me to see her teeth?  She’s hungry for more than food, that girl.

She’s sniffing the air to see which way my scent is coming from.

Her skin smells exactly like her mama’s did.

Before I touched it.

***

Stack of old photographs fall from a shelf floating to the floor of a rustic room

***

Seeing my work spread across her bedroom caught my breath.  Touching the photographs brings me back.  I can almost taste the burning.

The necklace smells like her mother.  I went back to the place where I waited.  I couldn’t find it.  She was there.  I know she found it.  I know she found it.

***

There’s a gold necklace with a thistle pendant on the forest floor – a hand reaches down and picks it up – you see just from the torso down, hand hanging at side with the necklace hanging down in hand with blood dripping from the hand and down the necklace.

***

Little leopard moves like I move.  She feels me in her muscle now.  She’s low to the ground and invisible, like I’m invisible.  The boy rots her at the edges, like a sandwich gone soft at the crust, falling apart in her fingers.

***

Feet rush through the forest – shot just of feet (with old work or combat boots on them) – the angle is as though the viewer is crouched down hiding from the person in the forest.

***

You think it will come down to drawing fastest.

But you can’t outrun me.  You can’t lose me.   Those photographs are your garrote.

***

Hands holding a pistol fires off three shots

***

I’ll never be full without you.  I’ll never be finished without you.

127 Things That Freak Me Out

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Things That Freak Me Out

A List

For Sharon Who Wants Me to Make This Into a Book

For the purposes of this list it is important to understand that what I mean when I say something “freaks me out” is that it causes an irrational panic, involuntary physical shudder or turn of the stomach, general distress, or in some selected cases an alarming bridge-jumping anxiety.  Most of the time you will never know I’m freaking out or diverting a panic attack.  In some cases it’s obvious why I might be anxious about something – like when people wear white saggy tube socks – and in other cases – such as standing on cliff edges – your guess is as good as mine. 

I have generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, as well as misophonia.  So if you don’t have any of these things and you wonder what it’s like – this will give you a little taste of how uncomfortable a lot of ordinary things are to people like me.  On the other hand, sometimes I have a lot more fun than other people because everything is SO FUCKING WEIRD.

  1. Muscular spiders
  1. People drinking water or other cold beverages out of mugs instead of glasses
  1. Cheap poorly designed metal forks – I will admit that they offend me as much as they bother me to touch and eat with.  What excuse is there for poorly designed silverware?
  1. Returning merchandise – even if it’s faulty and clear that it should be returned and obvious that no clerk will fistfight me for trying to get my money back
  1. The sounds of people eating
  1. The sound of cotton balls being squished
  1. Vibrato singing
  1. Grown women who sound like little girls
  1. Putting clothes on in the wrong order
  1. Dull pencils
  1. People in socks without pants on
  1. Tube socks
  1. Saggy socks
  1. Baseball caps worn very high on the crown – very hard to resist the urge to blow on them to see  if they fly away
  1. Getting food from buffet situations – it’s not the germ factor, it’s something I can’t even explain to myself
  1. Group activities of almost any kind where someone calls them “group activities” – I can become ornery and dangerous when pushed to participate
  1. Spittle collecting in the corners of people’s mouths when they talk
  1. People wearing shirts but nothing else
  1. Turtlenecks – I’m convinced they will choke me to death the second I let my guard down
  1. Putting my hands in gloves
  1. When my skin gets really dry – makes me want to crawl out of it, as do many things on this list
  1. Feeling breath on my skin – so blow on it at your own risk and remember that I’m good with my fists
  1. The sound of people breathing – loud breathing in particular but sometimes it’s any sound of breathing, a very hard anxiety to live with
  1. Grown ups drinking milk – this is a sick and wrong thing.  It makes me shudder.  It brings to mind phlegmy mouths which ALL people get when drinking milk.  If you drink milk in front of my and then try to carry on a conversation I will either leave immediately or plot my revenge on you
  1. Pranks of any kind – you’ll be sorry if you play a prank on me and I die of a heart attack, though probably not as sorry as I’ll be
  1. Cutting off pieces of carcasses – in cooking applications.  I have never tried cutting pieces off of human carcasses or wild animal carcasses but I almost passed out cutting the tip of a chicken wing off
  1. The thought of people eating meat – philosophically I’m okay with it but secretly I find it really distressing
  1. Meat breath – it’s a thing people who eat meat get that I imagine only a lifelong vegetarian could smell but it causes me to back away
  1. The smell of fish – yes, even fresh fish smells like fish if you hate the smell of fish
  1. Finding half a worm on my dinner plate
  1. Using a cutting board that meat has been on
  1. Floss breaking in my teeth
  1. Visible tooth rot
  1. fuzzy teeth
  1. loose teeth – mine, yours, everyone’s – if you show me or you talk about it I will claw the walls to get away
  1. dentures
  1. getting dental x-rays
  1. cotton tubes the dentist stuffs in your mouth during root canals
  1. Squeaky noises
  1. people mindlessly humming
  1. people mindlessly whistling
  1. Repetative noises
  1. Competing noises
  1. long nails on men – especially when just a couple are long
  1. really long nails on women – it’s hard for me to stop fantasizing about what it would feel like to rip them off which makes me uncomfortable because things like that are called “assault” according to the law
  1. plastic surgery
  1. being pregnant – I still have nightmares about it
  1. other people being pregnant – for god’s sake don’t be offended, I have a very visceral panic about people being pregnant
  1. women having babies – the whole topic distresses me for a number of reasons both rational and unhinged
  1. overpopulation
  1. people who love having babies – I can’t even talk about this it weirds me out so much and presents the big unsolvable mystery of how I came to have one on purpose
  1. people who love spending all their time with kids – WHY? I can’t even talk about this
  1. People chewing with their mouths open
  1. crunching noises
  1. slurping noises
  1. squelching noises
  1. the feel of the shower water on my boobs – fuck you for being normal!  It hurts but it also gives me the same sensation that a snagged nail does
  1. dishes washed with dishcloths
  1. using someone else’s towel
  1. Taking off a pair of socks and then putting them back on – I have a lot of socks so I never have to do this even if I fail to get my laundry done at the appropriate time.  I don’t like to give you too much power over me or anything, but let’s just say that if you ever need to torture me for information, this is the thing to start with for guaranteed results
  1. Using pillows others have slept on
  1. snagged nail
  1. people I don’t know standing too close
  1. mullets – I have used exposure therapy to work on this and have used CBT to learn to “appreciate” them in the wild
  1. pants that are too tight – and no this isn’t because I’m a prude or an old lady
  1. Crossing bridges
  1. standing on bridges – because some day I’m just going to jump off of one the compulsion is so strong and creepy
  1. cliff edges in any situation – (see #67)
  1. taking plane rides
  1. being underground in close spaces
  1. windows that can’t be opened
  1. disco pants
  1. competition of any kind – I can’t handle competitive behaviors or games or sports or – you know – LIFE – anxiety is a real sonofabitch
  1. the sound of football games
  1. wind chimes – makes a black hole of nothing open up inside me when I hear them
  1. being aware of the moment you slip from consciousness to unconsciousness
  1. vomiting
  1. all things relating to vomit including the thought of vomit – emetaphobia is what it’s called
  1. Escalators – convinced I will be caught and killed by one some day and have never told anyone that before
  1. any unidentifiable rash, ache, pain, or medical mystery
  1. people who are super gentle and calm and quiet and never ever swear – I get the irrepressible urge to BREAK THEM which is a terribly stressful compulsion
  1. religion
  1. people yelling – PTSD
  1. hospitals
  1. being touched unexpectedly – come up behind me and surprise me with a hug at your own risk
  1. doctor exams
  1. any carpet that is tacked down to the floor
  1. wearing slippers
  1. the smell, taste, and texture of cold butter
  1. watching people put cold butter on bread and eat it
  1. wearing socks to bed – other people wearing them to bed also freaks me out
  1. wearing anything to bed that you’ve been wearing all day – particularly if such garments were worn outside
  1. dizziness
  1. nausea
  1. mayonnaise
  1. pulling – (oil as toothpaste and please let’s never talk about this again)
  1. the word giggle – makes me feel violent
  1. the word chuckle – see above note
  1. clowns of ANY kind – are there truly people out there who love clowns besides people who ARE clowns?
  1. balloons
  1. games of ANY kind
  1. magic tricks/shows
  1. Las Vegas
  1. potato bugs
  1. ticks
  1. anything that burrows under your skin
  1. stickiness on hands
  1. [redacted] – you can’t handle knowing about this one
  1. super saggy pants
  1. grown men wearing baseball caps backwards
  1. camel toes
  1. moose nuts
  1. kids with colds
  1. people spitting phlegm on the ground
  1. old sponges (more than one week old is pretty old)
  1. collections of teeth lying around – my child saves all the teeth he loses (see image at top of page) and I will suddenly see them and I can’t describe how it makes me feel which is why I can’t account for why it gave me so much pleasure to photograph them even though the whole time I was having the FEELINGS
  1. tongues -  all of them.  Let’s not talk about them ever again.
  1. gristle  – biting down on it, which I had the misfortune of doing when a relative who shall remain nameless forced me to try a hamburger (knowing I was a vegetarian kid) over 30 years ago and I’m still haunted by that experience
  1. Styrofoam squeaking – makes me want to kill people
  1. threads or fibers you can’t shake or get off of you no matter what you do – panic inducing
  1. flannel sheets
  1. sitting with my back to the door of a public place
  1. parties
  1. tasting condiments by themselves – don’t ever ask me to taste a spoonful dressing or dip please
  1. washing stemware and glasses in general
  1. sinks full of dirty water
  1. carolers – one of my most well-known anxieties

*Milk as an ingredient in baking or in black tea is fine.  Milk for babies is pretty much the thing mammals DO.  So those milk applications don’t bother me.

List of Favorite Books

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Favorite Books:

Do not confuse this with a complete list of all the books I’ve read because my imaginary sense of decency demands that I not intimidate you with my humongous list.  This is just a list of books that I’ve loved.

Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

Ordinary People – Judith Guest

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K. Dick

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

Madam Will You Talk – Mary Stewart

My Brother Michael – Mary Stewart

ALL of MARY STEWART’s BOOKS.  Except for The Stormy Petrol which was feeble and annoying.  I don’t know what happened there.  Drugs?

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Busman’s Holiday – Dorothy L. Sayers (and the rest of this series)

At least 87 of Agatha Christie’s mysteries.  Hated the one where the narrator was the murderer.

The Toll Booth – Georgette Heyer (and most of her other books besides the really tedious ones and none of the detective ones)

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Perfume – Patrick Suskind

The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan

The Once and Future King – T.H. White

Franny and Zoe – J.D. Salinger

The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot

A Room With a View – E.M. Forrester

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

A Relative Stranger – Anne Stevenson (not the poet)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott

The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (so predictable of me)

Innocents Abroad – Mark Twain

The Scarlet Letter – Nathanial Hawthorne (read against my will and with intent to hate but was profoundly surprised at how much I got out of it)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers

Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Another Country – James Baldwin

Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

Possession – A.S. Byatt

Every Single Nancy Drew book – smart girl + boyfriend named Ned, of all things + stylish clothes = the life I wanted to lead.  Though looking back I kind of wish the crimes were really greusome instead of being gentle like Scooby Doo plots.

A Great Deliverance – Elizabeth George (and most of the Lynley series until I got too sick of Lynley and Helen’s stupid dysfunction and gave up on them)

Hieronymus Bosch series – Michael Connelly

North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell

Travels With Alice and Third Helpings – Calvin Trillin

Kurt Vonnegut.  (Here I am forced to admit that I did all my Vonnegut reading when very young and LOVE his work and I had a very favorite but no longer remember which it was.  And I’m not in the mood to reread them all yet.  His humor, his politics, his “advice” make him a writing hero of mine.)

The Eden Express – Mark Vonnegut (!!)

Bridget Jone’s Diary – Helen Fielding

Knots and Crosses – Ian Rankin (loved the whole Rebus series)

Those were the ones I could think of in an hour. 

Far from done, but now I have a hammer.

bad intentionsI never do anything because of Jesus or for Jesus but I like to think that as far as icons of belief go – a Jewish carpenter who consorts with prostitutes and people losing limbs to disease while spouting messages of love and acceptance and nonviolence – he seems like a pretty cool drinking partner.  I just can’t figure out how American conservatives and the people leading the Inquisition got themselves hooked up with a guy who wouldn’t let you stone a whore without stoning him with her?  I consider this the ninth wonder of the world.

I said I was going to be sober for 90 days and lose at least 20lbs during that time and I did both of those things.  I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol for 3 months and I lost 31lbs.  I didn’t overeat during that time or crave cigarettes as the chemical dependency counselor suggested I might.  She should have listened to me.  I also didn’t ever actually crave alcohol the way I craved cigarettes when I quit smoking.  I was über-cranky for the first week and then most Fridays.  I discovered that life without alcohol isn’t bad – it’s just BORING.

Last night I had a few beers in celebration and answered a question I didn’t know I had: yes, your tolerance level goes way down after 3 months of not drinking.  People, I can’t drink very much without getting tipsy now.  And that’s fine because even though I don’t regret partying last night (I did, after all, accomplish something amazing) I am now going to discover how to have alcohol in my life in a moderate fashion.

Except for at parties or events where there are a lot of human beings I don’t know and have to interact with.  All bets are off when I must interact with GROUPS.  Even small groups.  ANY GROUPS.

Socializing, period.  Shut up.  Just because your nervous system is shiny and solid and mine has the tensile strength as wet tissue unless held up with old sticks and booze is no measure of superiority.

I want to thank all of you who did this challenge with me – in whatever way you participated – and for all of the support you’ve all given me for months now.  It made a big difference to me. !!

What now?

I’m so far from done.  I have set new goals for the next 3 months:

Lose at least another 20lbs – as of right now I still have 82lbs to lose to get to where I want to be physically.  I want to get most of the way there by my 45th birthday.

Drink only moderately on the weekends (see above exception) - I want to be able to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine at home or a couple of beers out – but not both on the same night.  I want Saturday to be the same.  “Moderate” for me would be somewhere between 1-3 drinks a night.

Don’t drink at all 4 days a week* – I need to keep up this lower tolerance and I need to remember how easy it is to not drink most of the time.  When I forget this my liver cries.

Eat more whole foods and fruits, less cheese – already happening but I want to continue working on this.  Aside from being a vegetarian I refuse to do any exclusionary diets.  (All kinds of opinions on stupid-ass diets that will NOT be names are being held  back that would otherwise be filling this space)

Exercise 20 minutes a day at least 5 days a week – walking, bicycling, whatever.  I’ll lunge across the house in tight pants if I feel like it.  I’d have to get tight pants first, obviously.  You fitness nuts can hold your tongues right now.  For me, just 20 minutes a day on a regular basis will be a great improvement.  Don’t give me your statistics on how much more I should be doing or what kind of movement I should be doing.  It’s none of your fucking business to school me on your religion.  Fitness isn’t my faith.  Getting back to my usual level of physical activity is what I want and need at this part of my physical recalibration.  I was always a really active person and the only thing that’s held me back in the last few years is all the physical pain and injury that results from being active and also obese.

That’s enough for the next 3 months and it starts tomorrow: April 9th and will end July 9th**.  Anyone who doesn’t believe I can lose another 20lbs in three months or that I can’t learn to drink more moderately can get off my boat.  I don’t need anyone around who doesn’t trust me to meet goals that are this important to me.

This is not three years ago.  Three years ago I was waking up wishing I wasn’t.  You can’t look at failed goals back then and hold them up to my face now.  I succeeded in surviving my secret suicidal ideation and getting myself out of purgatory.  I kept saying I was going to lose weight but then not dealing with the bigger crisis in front of me.  I was trying to run a race from inside a locked cell.  I was trying to knock down a wall with my bare hands.

Now I have a hammer.

*As before, I will not count bitters in mineral water as an alcoholic beverage.  My goals, my rules.

**Not counting precise days now – just months.

An Elusive Beast: The Extraordinarily Good Mood

jesus and pills

I am in an extraordinarily good mood.  I woke up after another bad night of nightmares and poor sleep (seriously intend to try the melatonin – I even have it next to my bed now) with my back in a lot of pain.  Not an auspicious way to start the day.

But then I had some coffee and Philip made me an amazing omelet and then my mom came home with two roses for the garden (Mr. Lincoln and Sterling Silver) which made me super excited.  Then I ordered the rest of the soil needed to fill the beds in the front yard and it cost $173.46 including delivery and it turns out I had $173 and some change left in my garden fund.  How weird is that?

Then I went and bought three bottles of high proof alcohol for making bitters and a liqueur.  Then I got to geek out with people at the Beverage People – our local home brewing store.

When I picked up my medication from Kaiser I checked Facebook and someone well known in the food writing world responded to a comment I left and -

COULD THIS DAY GET ANY FUCKING BETTER?!

I know it could get worse.  A day can always get worse.  But the sun is out in the only acceptable way for it to be out – not too hot with a cool breeze.  I was out there on my scooter smiling at absolutely everyone enjoying the gorgeousness and the fortune I’m enjoying in not being dead, in being able to pay for my psyche meds, in being able to pay our rent, and possibly even getting my Vespa tires replaced (it’s becoming dire).

Max is out with his dad because they like going on drives together and when they get back they’re going to get sushi together.  Max eats raw fish wrapped in rice and seaweed now.  If you had told me a few years ago that one day he would be eating raw fish and craving it I would not have believed it.  I have certainly had my suspicions that eventually he would like some interesting things and might even develop a gourmand’s palate – but the idea of him loving sushi or tolerating rice in ANY form is one of those things only other people’s children do.  Plus he’s been accepted into the high school’s well respected arts program in the digital arts specialty.

A couple of days ago I pounced on Max when he came home and asked if he wanted to go on a foraging walk with me and he said “Let me get my knife!”

He’s also started reading Cricket and Grey.  On our walk he asked me if I based Cricket’s mom on myself.  I think because of the interest and herb knowledge.

My kid is reading the novel I wrote and enjoying it.

!!

Life takes breathtaking dives from the top floor to the center of hell – so you have to enjoy everything while it’s in front of you.  I have no idea what tomorrow will bring and with people in my tribe it’s pretty common to go from thriving to diving within a matter of hours.  I’m used to such change-ups.

So you have to enjoy being 31lbs lighter now than you were three months ago because who knows what you’ll be carrying on your bones in another three months?

I backed up all my computer files and then cleaned out some files I no longer need (copies being on my backup drive) and then I defragmented my computer.  I also photographed and made new banners for both my blogs and made the executive decision to put post apocalyptic kitchen content on Stitch until I have enough to build up the PAK blog.  I must keep things simple right now.  I was so depressed on Thursday about career crap I am not going to ruin this day recapping.  I’ve set everything up for a fresh spring start.

As the day wears on my happy spazzing is turning to a happy calm.

This has been such a deliciously perfect day.  I hope you all are having one too.  And if you’re not – I hope you get yours soon!

Fighting My Invisibility

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79 days of sobriety.  11 days left.  27lbs lost.  86lbs left to lose.  3lbs more to lose to reach my goal of losing 30lbs in 90 days.  Those are the numbers.

I’ve continued to be blue over my non-existent writing “career”.  I have tried crushing the feelings and ignoring them and laughing at them.  I’m not feeling sorry for myself anymore, exactly.  Just blue.  But that doesn’t mean this is where I get off.  I never get off.  I might not be meant to get paid to write.  I might need to be murdered and then discovered posthumously.  Something that happens to an unfortunate number of authors.

I’m 86% sure I’m going to be murdered some day.

I’ve been working at my circular saw skills this week and I have to say that being able to design and then make raised beds for my yard feels as empowering as being able to throw a strong punch.  Before the rains came I spent a whole day cutting wood and screwing it together and I felt strong.  I felt capable and useful the way I do when I am able to put food in jars that last for a few years on the shelf.  The way I do when words I share uplift someone from the gutter into the light.  The way I do when I chase my son’s fears away.  So I was thinking about all the different things we draw power from.  I was thinking about how important it is to spend life doing things that make us feel stronger and fearless and capable.  If what we’re doing makes us feel small and prematurely old – we have to change our own course.

Trying to get paid writing gigs – selling my book or applying for freelance writing jobs makes me feel stupid and useless and worthless because I have only really been able to sell my book to friends and friends of friends and I have never been chosen for the freelance jobs I’ve applied to.  It gets discouraging.  That part of what I do is hard.  It’s hard being rejected over and over and over.  However, no amount of rejection will make me give up.  Just like no amount of kicks to the gut from the universe will keep me floored forever.  I’ve come close to the edge of the cliff many many times.  It’s the darkness I have to live with being me, it’s the constant risk people like me face, and it’s very real.  But I keep getting up off the floor because I’m a tenacious bastard.

I am feeling invisible.

But if I’m invisible I’m the most tenacious invisible person you’ll ever meet.  You can beat me up, you can shut me down, you can ignore me til you die but I will still jump my fat-ass in front of you and scream to be heard.  If you kill me I will live in your nightmares.  I will always get back up off the floor because I’m like a pitbull with Michael Vick in my jaws.

If I’m not going to succeed at making a career of writing, if I’m going to remain invisible during my lifetime, I still require myself to leave something worthy behind me for others to find amongst the dust of my bones.  Someone’s going to need it.  I still require myself to get up off the floor and keep at it.

My hair is dirty.  It’s 2pm and I’m still in my pyjamas.  I need to shower.  I need to get dressed before my kid comes home from school and sees his mom sitting at her messy desk with the dirty half empty cup of cold coffee and this ludicrously sorrowful face staring into the middle distance like a drooling idiot.

My hands smell of bitter orange.

Supernatural: meat-suits, tortured souls, and Jared Padelecki needs a haircut

power saw fun

(I can use a circular saw and a power drill and I have myrrh in my cupboard – I want to join the Supernatural gang!)

Spoilers ahead.  Not major ones, but if you’re one of those “normal” people who like everything to be a surprise then you will want to go find something else to read right now.

My thoughts on the show Supernatural:

Last night Castiel said “I need some myrrh” and I shouted at the television “I have some myrrh!”  How often do I have occasion to say that?

I want to know who started the “Busty Asian Ladies” magazine gag.

“Son of a Bitch” is one of my all time favorite swear words/expressions.  I have been endeavoring to use it more often but now it will just make me seem like a Supernatural groupie.

The show has used Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” in at least three episodes.  This is one of my favorites of Dylan’s songs and one of the least often played.  It was in heavy rotation while writing Cricket and Grey.  So it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that the person choosing the soundtrack loves that song as much as I do.

I want to know when Castiel gets to change the clothes his vessel is wearing.

I’m tired of Sam toying with the dark side and I’m tired of the brothers spending more time not trusting each other and resenting each other than they spend acting like brothers who love each other.

The whole biblical theme is a bit tiring to this atheist.  I want more ghost stories again.

Also – I think Dean and Sam need to untorture themselves.  I’ve read spoilers and it seems it’s just going to get worse.  C’mon guys – untwist your knickers for a little while!

I have come to believe that Jensen Ackles could play Grey Bonneville when my book is made into either a tv series or a movie.  Except for the part where he needs to have a convincing Scottish accent.  Not sure a Texan can pull that off.

Satan is exhausting.  How do Christians keep their energy levels up when they have to fight off Satan and his minions pretty much non-stop?  No wonder so many Christians are cranky.

I really want Jared Padelecki to get a different hairstyle.*  It was okay for a while but it’s pretty schleppy.  I want him to cut it short.  Because it’s none of my business what his hairstyle is and because I don’t rule the universe, I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that that’s just how Jared likes his hair.  I’ve gotten used to Max wearing essentially the same “style”.  Sigh.

I am so tired of everyone in that show cutting their arms with knives.  I can take a lot of gore but for some reason that always freaks me out – I can’t watch.  Which is weird considering I sliced up my own arms on a regular basis for two years when I was a teen.  But back then I wasn’t feeling anything – I’m much healthier now.  Maybe that’s why it bothers me.  Because it SHOULD.

I love Castiel.  You can’t trust him which is a shame, but he’s pretty funny.  Great character.

The formula for making a show that Angelina will binge watch: sets full of old books, herbs, and archaic items + humor + badass fighting – God and Satan.  (Evidenced by my love of the following shows: Buffy, Fringe, Alias, Arrow, Warehouse 13, etc)

The hotel rooms in Supernatural are all of a similar design and I wish the average hotel room was designed by the set designer of Supernatural.

You know what’s missing from Supernatural?  At least one of the brothers should develop a healthy romantic relationship.  Not both of them, obviously, because how trite and stupid would THAT be?  We can’t have that kind of happiness going on.  But Dean’s relationship with Lisa was NOT healthy and he didn’t act like he really loved her.  I get the whole “We’re tortured and therefore can’t have love in our lives because everyone we love dies” blahblahblah.  So they just have sex with questionable women/demons/monsters.  I think some of the writers have some personal issues they’re taking out on Dean and Sam.

I was incredibly disappointed to learn that John Winchester was a philanderer.  I took it personally.  I think I’m still kind of hurting over this.**

How about more women hunters that don’t die off and aren’t lame?  Now that Ellen is gone – it’s just a bunch of huffing and puffing men with guns and salt.

I love how Dean is always calling the angels “dicks”.

I also love Dean and Sam’s tradition of drinking beers leaning against Dean’s car in the middle of nowhere at the end of many episodes.  I always wish I could join them.

Can’t get “meat-suit” out of my head.

*Hey Jared – you’re adorable, so don’t sweat my opinion.  My son Max wears the same style that you do.  I’ve become the old lady that yells “get a haircut!” to all young men.  Excuse me while I pull up my double-knit slacks and microwave myself a potato for dinner…

**You know, in the way you do when fictional characters disappoint you.

In Which I Almost Become a Bigger Person

chrysanthemum and mustard

Today I’m blue.

Life is good.  I’m losing weight.  I’m building garden beds.  My son has grown almost an inch in the last couple of weeks and was accepted into a great arts program at the high school he’s headed to in the fall.  Philip is still happy where he works and they still seem happy with him.  We get to live in this awesome house and we’re paying our bills.  So why blue?

I’m blue because I’ve been working so hard at my writing for so many years and applied for so many positions and made proposals and networked and even finished and published a novel.  Yet my writing “career” continues to become nothing.

That’s right – I’m feeling sorry for myself because I continue to not be picked for anyone’s writing team.  You know what people don’t like?  (Aside from my books and proposals)  They don’t like people who feel sorry for themselves.  So I’m not going to say all the ugly things I’m feeling.  I’m not going to tell you what new things have failed to happen and all the indications and proofs that I should give up.  I’m going to fill up the following space with Nothing:

094387503Q5874502979840256874629786980988676454w24558979876&^*%$^%$@$%#@&^**&^*^%$%$#@$#@%^&**)(*^%$#@#$%^&(*)*&^%$#@$%&^*()*&^%$#@$%&^*()*&^%$#$%^&(**&^%$#@$%^&*()*&^%$#@$%^&*()(*&^%$#@$%IUGFDSFHNBVGFDEROIUPURE*UIOUR$E#W$ER%^T(**&^%$#$%&^*(*&^%$ERIUUREWYTIOFDSDYGUI*&^%$E%^&*()*&^%$#$%&^*()*&^%$#WQESFDGHLKJJNHBVGFDSERUIOUE$%^&*(I*U$%#*&(&^TR%$%&(I*U$%ERG!!

Now I’m going to get up off the dirty floor, dust myself off, dry my ridiculous tears, and get ready for a new round of nothing.

20 Days of Sobriety Left

field flowers

I have 20 days of sobriety left.  I have lost 26lbs in 70 days.  I have 87lbs left to lose.  If I lose 10lbs a month for the rest of the year I will have lost over 100lbs in one year.  I intend to try to do it.  I am aware of all the wisdom of setting realistic goals and taking things gradually.  I am also aware that losing 10lbs a month will get harder and harder every month.  The last 20lbs will probably be as hard as the first 20lbs to lose.  Just because something is hard doesn’t make it impossible.  If I end up only losing half of my complete weight loss goal in a year I’ll feel like a success.

I feel like a success right now.  Today.

But the thought of ending this year over 100lbs lighter than I started it is powerful.  To feel that much more in control of my body, my health, and my self esteem is well worth the effort to push myself hard.

What do I have to do to get there?

  • For starters, in 20 days when I allow myself to drink alcohol again I need to account for every drink and keep it within healthy bounds.  I have the inspiration now and I’ve been building will power and this will be a test.  I want my body back and I want to stay home to write and garden and cook – which I can’t do if I spend a lot of money on alcohol.
  • More whole foods.  I eat a diet with a good amount of produce but I can absolutely increase it.  I’ve been eating a lot more fruit lately.  Having more meals that consist of steamed vegetables and rice or couscous is an easy thing to do.  Less cheese, obviously.
  • Pretty soon I’m going to have to pay attention to and count how many cups of black tea with cream and sugar I consume.  I will have to consume less.  I better start developing a taste for mineral water with a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice again.
  • Exercise.  I quit the YMCA.  I have zero desire to be in a gym.  I like being mobile and I like my exercise to be accomplishing something or giving pleasure.  This is why I love walking (I’m a really fast walker) because I can look at people’s gardens and homes and a million rich details that feed my imagination and my creativity.  I don’t love riding my bicycle for endurance or racing or any athletic prowess.  I also don’t particularly love tooling around on it.  I like running errands on it.  I used to love riding it down to the Saturday Market in McMinnville to get my weekly produce.  I liked riding it to Kung Fu and to Winco and other grocery stores.  I like my bicycle riding to help me accomplish other errands.  I want to do more of that.  And gardening.  There is much yard work to do around here and often a couple of hours of gardening is enough to wear you out like a good jog.

Here’s something for me to be excited about: even if I don’t lose a hundred pounds this year – if I can just lose 60lbs I will be able to wear more regular clothes and dress more in my own style.  This would do absolute wonders for my self esteem and my motivation to keep going.  It’s been so long since I have been able to wear any clothes I didn’t make myself* and it’s been ages since I could wear anything but knits for comfort.  I CAN’T WAIT TO WEAR SOME REGULAR CLOTHES.

*I make better clothes than I can generally buy (at any weight) and I do have some nice things I’ve made that I’ll be able to wear again once I get myself down to a normal weight but I’m tired of having to make my own clothes because nothing fits well off the rack that isn’t garishly splashed with bright swirly colors and plastered with rhinestones and beads and glitter.  Not all fat girls want to look like a tacky drag queen.

Shoulds Do Not Become Us

seam ripper

All this year the writing for book 2 of Cricket and Grey has been crawling at a disgruntled pace with only a few moments of illumination and sprints of inspiration.  Otherwise I have become a dimwit plodding along with mud caked on my shoes so thick I’m not sure where the ground ends and my feet begin.  I do not generally let shoulds have any say in my life or my goals but somehow I have let them loose with regards to my writing.  I decided that writing the second book in my series should be easier than writing the first  because I have already mapped so many characters and landscapes out that I should be able to write this one in one year instead of two.

My sense of urgency is understandable but misplaced.  I keep telling myself that I should be able to write a book a year if I want a real career as a novelist.  I keep telling myself that since I’m not writing Pulitzer material there’s no excuse to take years to write a single book.  I’ve become infected with the shoulds and the thing about them is that they lie, they are corrosive and unproductive, and they are so often pulled out of our asses as a way to self flagellate without admitting that’s what we’re doing.  Unless you’re into S&M there’s no good that can come of hurling the shoulds at our own heads.

The truth is that I can’t write a book carelessly.  I may not be writing Pulitzer material but I hold myself to a high standard of quality with my writing.  No one will ever be able to say that I didn’t do enough research for my books or that I was so in love with my own voice that I wasn’t willing to change prose to suit the story and the reader.  There will always be people who don’t like a writer’s books, that’s a fact, but no one will be able to say that my books were slapped together sloppily.  It will always take me just as long as it takes me to write a book well.  Comparing myself to the pace at which other authors write is useless.  Comparing this book to the last is useless.  It will take as long as it takes.

I have given in to the shoulds so much that I didn’t even notice it myself.  My sister is the one who pointed it out.  I was a little shocked to discover how much I’d invested in them without noticing they’d slipped by me in the first place.  Sometimes it’s good to have family point you in your own bullshit direction.

I have shown the shoulds the door because they don’t become me.

They don’t become you either so if, like me, you’ve let them through a side gate and they are camped out in your self esteem or are stabbing you in the eyes til you’re blind with the million ways you don’t measure up or can’t see your next step – you have got to kick them to the curb.  Find yourself saying you should be at some point in your life right now because other people are?  Kick that thought out right now.  Find yourself making pencil marks on the wall of shame you’ve built around other people’s achievements against which you measure yourself?  Knock that fucking wall down because you aren’t other people and their wall isn’t yours.

Unless you enjoy torture.  In which case – carry on.

Establishing writing discipline is important for me but I can’t hold myself to unrealistic expectations about the quality of my daily writes.  The quality comes with rewrites.  The quality comes with showing up to work every day and putting in the hours.  The quality comes between reams of complete shit.

In other news – I have lost another pound for a total of 21 pounds lost.  But I just saw a picture of myself taken yesterday of me holding up my friend Chelsea’s quilt and it’s insane how enormous I look even after getting myself 20lbs down.  It’s depressing and demoralizing that that’s what I look like right now.  This minute.  The self loathing is difficult to deny, to push aside.  I hear in my head all those voices saying to use those feelings for motivation.  I get it but I can’t quite turn it that way.  My soul is retching with such glimpses at what I look like to other people.  As much as I feel huge and awful – I seem to be gentler on myself than I often realize because I don’t see myself as being THAT huge.  Yet I am.  It’s classic to see yourself as being uglier or bigger or generally worse than anyone else sees you.  I think I see myself realistically until I see those kinds of pictures.  Then I realize I have been much too kind to myself.  I’m a regular sized person in a fat body not letting myself see just how disgusting I’ve become.  Reality is less kind than I am to myself.

At least I know that on some level I am caring for myself and protecting myself in ways that I didn’t realize.  For all my usual urges to and tendency to self-harm I seem to have drawn the line in limited ways.

One thing I can promise is that my desire to lose weight is not about shoulds telling me what my body needs to look like.  This isn’t about anyone else’s judgement of me.  This is about what is and isn’t healthy for ME.  The last time I looked at an image of myself and my full body without being horrified was so long ago and so many pounds ago it’s not even worth counting backwards.

So.  One more pound down.  A billion to go.  No one is allowed to take pictures of me until I say so.  I can’t let myself get caught unawares again.  It’s too shocking and makes me suspect that there’s no way in hell I’ll ever meet my goals.  That this place I’m in is a purgatory I’ve done something terrible to deserve.  My bones hurt, my muscles hurt, and my self esteem is only okay when I forget I’ve got a corporeal form that takes up a considerable amount of space.

If I forget I have a body I feel pretty good about myself.  About where I am in my life.  About my marriage and my child.  About my writing achievements and the million little things I do that satiate my curiosity and keep me engaged in the world and the people around me.  I live a good life.  A really good life.  All I need is to have a healthy body again.  I need to have patience with the process of getting it back just as I need to have patience with the process of writing my second book.  I set the goals.  I make the rules.  I decide what I need and what I want.

One last thing for today: I think part of my problem with writing is lack of alcohol.  Not that I need alcohol to write well.  I don’t.  But I do know that when I’ve had a certain amount of alcohol I strip away all the nonsense around me and access something that is usually protected.  It backfires too, but I know that it helps me get to the words.  Since I don’t plan to go back to drinking like I used to this isn’t something that will be solved by drinking again.  I just have to get used to finding ways without alcohol to open the doors to where the words live.  I have to find ways to do that sober.  I’m just bringing this up because I realized that this is something that used to come a lot more easily to me.

The air today is so soft and warm it feels like early summer.  Time to open all the windows and let the fresh air inside!