Summer 1981

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I miss waiting for “The Wizard of Oz” to come on once or twice a year. I miss the lead up to the end of the school year and the phenomenon of the summer blockbuster. I miss not understanding about bills and politics. I miss jump-rope and jacks and creeks with smooth stones. I miss that first kiss feeling, when you weren’t even sure how kissing worked. I miss grape soda and skinned knees, tire swings and climbing trees. I miss swimming all day for weeks in a row. I miss the coolness of a desert night, sitting in a concrete pipe with a friend talking about everything, after the rest of the neighborhood had gone to sleep.

Celebrating Women

I will be a vendor at the Celebrating Women event in Prince George’s County at Marietta House Museum. I will have my novel and coloring book available.

Red August copies are $14.95, the coloring book is $8.99 – descriptions and photos at the end of this post.

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I’m lucky enough to know two other fantastic area women artists who will also be vending at the event, Bridget of BDevlinDesigns, and Mary of Scribbles In Stitches.

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The event is meant to showcase the talents of women artists and entrepreneurs.

From the website event page:

September 17th – 11am-6pm

Celebrate women of many talents – artists, and entrepreneurs.  Shop female owned food, wine and craft vendors.  View artists’ demonstrations and enjoy readings, plays, music and more. $5 per person entry – children 5 and under are free.

Please come by and support area artists and businesses!

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Red August Description.

What if you found out that you were descended from a long line of clandestine fighters, and that your family was still at war? Or that the love of your life was something other than human? August Archer thinks she’s a normal teenage girl—even though she has been having disturbing and erotic dreams about wolves lately. Still grieving over the loss of her bookish, charming father, and wondering over his final gift of a red hooded cloak, August is uprooted from her New York City apartment to a tiny town in Maryland, and the rambling Victorian house where he grew up. There she meets a wise woman with a gift for herbal medicine, the gentle old man who keeps the house in repair and the grounds thriving, and her new neighbor: an enigmatic, irresistibly fascinating man who refuses to talk to her, yet who seems to know her better than she knows herself, and fuels her most intense romantic fantasies. But it’s when August begins to coax her feisty Scottish grandmother out of her self-imposed catatonia that a strange tale of werewolves and hunters emerges—one in which the man of her dreams may be her family’s oldest enemy—in this modern-day telling of the Red Riding Hood story.

 

The Heart Tapestry

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I don’t know what motivates other people to do things–or not to do them. Nor do I pretend to believe that all hearts work the same way. I’m not here to judge why or how somebody does or doesn’t respond to me. How somebody does or doesn’t connect to me. I put it out into the universe, and if a thread comes back and weaves into the tapestry of my life, it will be all the more rich and colorful. All the more complex and beautiful.

What I don’t really have time for at this point in my life are those who can’t be bothered to connect, or worse, pick at the tapestry, snagging, leaving tears and frayed ends. My life is full of wonderful, beautiful, talented, insightful, caring people. If I never made another friend for the rest of my life, many beautiful connections would remain and sustain me.

Why am I writing about this? I saw a Timehop that reminded me of this topic. I had had a couple of really big hurts in my life, starting with a teen pregnancy, but 2009-2011 were the worst by far. I was reminded of how hard it was to recover from that kind of damage. It reminded me how much I had turned in on myself – for almost three years. I decided I didn’t want or need any new friends. It felt to vulnerable to open up to that. I closed up. Put up a wall. That is something I had never done before. Sure, I had some short-term hurts that made me withdraw for a bit, but being an optimist at heart, I always bounced back pretty quickly. I felt the risk was worth the payoff of a connection and a friend – before.

For the new friendships I’ve formed–I’m glad I dismantled the wall a bit – brick by brick, leaving a small space for people who really wanted to squeeze through. For those who chose the other side of the wall, or who I walled out, our time has passed, I guess. For my part, I’ve always been as authentic as I could. And I trusted–until I couldn’t–for reasons.

I didn’t always respond or behave the way I wish I would have–but I’m human. I’ve hopefully learned and evolved over the time with each bump and boulder in my path. Whatever mistakes I made, you got me honestly, and my honesty, and the sincerest bits of my heart.

The Dark Side of Light

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I don’t know anymore what it means to not worry. I worry about everything. I think this is supposed to be one of the downsides of being a sensitive person. The way I figure it, sensitive people go through life like an open wound, raw, gaping. Sometimes we manage to sew ourselves up enough to keep it together.

The gift of being sensitive is in feeling good when you help somebody. Or loving so hard and so much that you know that no person has loved as hard and much as you are “right now.” And the sensual side of sensitivity certainly has its advantages when it comes to touch and taste.

But the downsides are so hard, y’all. I try to live in this worry. It’s more like carrying a load than living inside of something. If you live inside of something, then you at least get to rest sometimes. You at least get to eat and sleep. This is more like carrying something. When you carry something, even if it’s small, if you carry it long enough, or in the wrong way, it can become heavy.

It can make you doubt yourself and question your worth. It can make you feel like everybody you care about will be snatched away because you don’t deserve them.

There is a dark side to the light of looking into the world with sensitive eyes. Each thing is either brilliant and blinding, or it is devoid of even a tiny flame. And flames cast shadows.

There’s good news though. I used to wait for a rope to be dropped down to me. These days, I find the damned rope or holler up to somebody to toss one down.

I’m still journaling. Or I should say, I’m back to journaling. As you can see, I’m back to blogging, too.

I hope to catch up in here. My sensual side needs some stroking. My brain has been focused on the daily struggles of just getting through life. I want to come back here and say hello. I missed you.

How are you today?

 

You Screamed

I had a nightmare two nights ago.

We went to a celebration, a wedding I think. We were in a house I didn’t recognize. Long wooden floors and wide breezeways. We were upstairs, you and I. People I knew, though none in this plane of existence, held glasses with wine and chatted. Some were in couples and others in clumps. Through the large doorway I could see a half-wall that was crowning a stairwell that led downstairs where others were also mingling. You left my side. I watched you walk away, thinking you were fragile from your health troubles. I tried not to worry and sipped my drink as I watched your back as you turned the corner out of my sight.

Then I heard it. You falling down the stairs, hard. I could hear you yelling in pain as you went down. Thud, holler, thud, holler. The crunchy sounds of bones cracking. The people around me were gone and it was just me, staring at the half-wall waiting for the sounds to stop. Knowing it was you, your body, doing a terrifying ballet down the steps. I tried to make my legs move. To go peer over the half-wall, but I was telling myself it wasn’t you. Then another series of thuds. I had this idea for some reason that a large cabinet tipped and went end over end down the stairs and landed on you. In fact I knew that was what had happened. The thing was gigantic and heavy. I heard it stop at the bottom, sounding as though it landed in wet cement, and you screamed. It was horrifying. You screamed high and frantic, a voice I’d never heard come out of you before, “Get it off of me! Get it off of me!” Your pain was palpable. You tried to scream more, but it came out in sickening gurgles. Then I knew I couldn’t go to the stairwell and peer over the half-wall. I knew it was going to be awful. I also had this odd effect of feeling as though if I didn’t look, it wouldn’t be true.

I woke up. It was 1:37am. In another lifetime I would have walked to the part of the house where you were in and checked on you. Or phoned you. Or at the very least, later, when things had really changed, emailed. Just to make sure you were indeed, not at the bottom of a strange stairwell in some giant house, your life seeping out of you.

I realized there was nowhere to put this feeling. No place to store it or let it go, so I drank some water and went to the restroom – life is full of these little cycles, isn’t it? Water. Pee. Cycles. Back to bed. I kept hearing the scream as if I had actually heard it in real life and was now having some kind of flashback. I lay there, tried to just tell myself it didn’t matter. The screams would fade. Sleep would find me. And it did, only to have several more nightmares, but none of them as awful as that first one.

I was tired the next day – yesterday. I kept having moments where the thought of the screams made my stomach sour. How could I find ways to not care? For it to not matter?

I remembered a huge part of why it is impossible to even have the smallest of exchanges. I remembered the irony of the anger of a person so concerned about their name, being in my correspondence, or in my mouth – a person who stole names. Squatted in them like a vagrant’s hovel. Pissing on things to mark them, then growling over the territory like a rabid coyote. Hypocrite. It makes it easier to let go of concern when you remember how little there is for you.

I again pushed aside the idea of checking on you. Each time I pushed the thought away, it was easier to look at from a distance. As the feeling would rise for a moment, then fall further away each time. I kept walking away from it. I kept imagining ways I could walk faster. Then I remembered that I’m a writer. So, here I am in the middle of the night – letting go.

 

I Fell in Love (just a little) -Writer Blues

I fell in love with you a little when I read it. Pixels or paper, it wouldn’t have mattered. Though  there is something to be said for the slip smooth, the crinkle, of paper. But the pixels reach me so much faster, a bullet hitting its mark.

Slide your glossy razor fingernail down my breastbone, peel back a layer. And another.

Focus your laser insight into my eyes. Blind me with your gifts. I won’t have to see my own overly-dramatic adolescent ramblings.

You can never make a great writer out of a good writer, a great writer once said. Mr. King, what a wound. Not so wide as a church door, but ’tis enough, ’twill serve.

So I will wash my mouth out with adverbs. I will slice away planks of purple prose and drop them into the pot with what I thought were wild parsnips. On high. Until boiling. Drink. Sleep.

Incoherent. Disjointed. What is this, anyway? It doesn’t make sense. It does, too. A flashing sign overhead, “EDIT ME.” Spellcheck. Wait, I need to look up “lie” and “lay” again. It’s the mechanics of cameras all over again.

I’m tired, but inspired. And it starts over every. single. day.

You don’t care. And I’m fine with it. I will keep working at going from competent to good while you spill great all over the place. I’ll wipe it up. I’ll like it. And I’m not even mad about it.

Actually, you do care. And that’s what makes it all worth something.

Abstract works better in acrylics. Eyes roll. “Wow, she’s trying way too hard.”

“Fishing.”

“Yeah.”

One foot in front of the other. Writing mix on the playlist. Focus. Steady as she goes. O CAPTAIN! my captain!

Be grateful it’s out there, all of that beauty. Stop worrying. Don’t show any lack of confidence, it’s deadly you know.

Is it?

Well, if that were true, I’d have died at twelve.

“Who are you talking to?”

“Does it matter?”

I can if I say I can. From competent to good is better than “never tried.”

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream

I haven’t managed a Sensual Sunday in a while. The last several months have been crazy. Here is a warm-up. Wonder if I have more than one in me.
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Sitting on the boards of that ancient wooden porch. “I think this thing is held together by memory in some places.”

We shared an ice cream, soft and dripping in midday swelter. I chose vanilla, but we got an extra scoop of Chai because you thought that might be more exciting. They blended perfectly together, actually.

“Lick from the bottom up. There, at the vanilla – then up to the chai.”

“That really is a good combination.”

“Is it summer yet?”

“Not yet.”

“Sure feels like it.”

“Yeah.”