Coming to, America.

IMG_0054These trees are all leafless now, and the sun is rising more to the right, but I love this summer picture.

Up early this morning, so my mind is still half in the dream state. Which is good for writing, but bad for responsibilities. Ah, well, bills can wait.

So, from the dream journal:

December 6, 2017

She was rail thin, of thoroughly mixed blood, beautifully boned. Her hair tufted at her head like a crown. She raced into the room, laughing, followed by a tall, lean man with flowing, fluffy hair. They played, clearly in love, radiating joy. He caught her, his gentle hands pulling her close for a quick kiss before releasing her again, to let her run. She laughed and dashed away, to the far corner of the room, trapping herself as he reached for her again. She froze, hit with the terror that stalked her relentlessly.

As his hands touched her arms, they became someone else’s hands, cruel hands, and he became not her lover, but her horror. I watched her shrink, as she lost herself in time and space, vanishing to now, and living in a distant past.

“Let me go! Don’t touch me!” she cried.

His gentle hands hesitated. Uncertainty replaced the lover’s confidence. He tried to pet her arms, to soothe, but she shrank into the corner, cowering into a small ball of fear.

“Please don’t touch me,” she begged, whimpering. She couldn’t see him. She could only see images in her mind.

He looked at me, helpless despair in his eyes, his hands still hovering near her as she cowered in the corner.

I rose from the couch, and went to them. I took his hands in mine, squeezed briefly to reassure him, then let go. Then I turned to her. “America,” I said softly. “Come to me.” I reached one hand toward her, palm up, and waited. The room was still.

She pushed from the wall and grabbed my hand. I pulled her to my chest, holding her close. She shuddered as the terror released its hold. We stood, clutched to each other, and moved to the couch where I sat holding her tightly to my side. Her lover watched from his position near the corner, his shoulders drooping.

I caught Mike’s eye, as he sat in a chair to my left, and gestured with my head. He rose and went to her lover, and ushered him out of the room, with an arm about his shoulders. He would take care of him.

She still held tight to me, watching them go, and whispered “What about…”

“He’ll be fine. Don’t worry,” I said. “He only needs to know how to switch from lover to refuge. Mike will teach him. He knows how.” I rubbed her shoulder. “You’re going to be all right.”

“No, she’s not,” a strange new voice interjected. “She shouldn’t trust him. He’s a man.”

“Quiet,” I told the woman who had appeared near the patio door behind Mike’s vacated chair. She was dressed in black, her greasy lank hair hanging loose around her shoulders, her flabby body reeking of old sweat and a lack of soap.

“Why should she care ‘what about…’? When it’s a man who’s done this to her?” the angry woman demanded. “They’re all the same.”

My anger swelled, giving me that powerful surge, that rock solid core, that cold hard ‘immovable object’ of wrath as I left the couch and advanced on the woman.

“She. Wants. To. LIVE!” I said. “And you want nothing more than for her to take her terror, use it as a blanket, and wallow in her pain for all eternity! You want her to dwell in the past, refusing to see what’s in front of her face, and abandoning any chance at happiness. You want her not to care about him, the love of her life. Because YOU ARE HURT, and refuse to heal! Your victimhood is your power, and by God, you will cling to it.”

The nasty woman’s face contorted. “That’s a lie!” she screamed.

“Is it?” I asked.

She stilled, tears filling her eyes. A moment passed, while I waited for a reply, and she hunted for an internal shield. At last she muttered, “I’m going to be sick.” She opened the patio door and leaned her head outside to puke over the flagstones. Then she left.

I returned to America.

And then the scene switched to their wedding, America’s and her lover’s. And Paulina Porizkova was her maid of honor, looking as radiant and young as she did in the Cars’ “Drive” video. Only, she’d lost the mad look.

Nobody ever said dreams end sensibly.

Oh, his name? Jefferson.

Damn, I love that man.

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So, About the Summer…

Yeah, it kind of got away from me.

As Darling Daughter’s semester ended, I worked on the submission for the contest mentioned here. Got that sent at the end of May. A few days later, we took a long-planned trip to England to see my sister and her family, and to finally see sights that had been on my bucket-list.

June 3rd through 13th were spent doing this:

 

Then June 19th through… well, Now I guess… has been spent doing this:

 

The puppy is reliably potty-trained at last, though still quite demanding. My brain is mush, unable to keep to a single track for very long, because the minute I try to think, she needs something. (I’ve been up and down from my chair about four times so far, during the creation of this post.)

On the writing front, I’m back in research-mode, making significant changes to a character’s backstory in St. Jude’s Lifelines. Unfortunately.

I should be hearing about the contest results for round one sometime in September. Then if I make it beyond that, it’ll be another couple of months. Doesn’t make much difference to publication-timing anyway, since significant edits are in my future. And beta-readers will need time to do their thing, too. I need to get this one wrapped up though, since a couple of others are now pressing frantically for attention.

Oh, My Poor, Poor Baby

Well, shit. We’ve lost one of our wooded friends. I know, I know… with 6 acres of them, we’re bound to lose one every now and then. But I’ll miss this big guy, welcoming me home when I turn into the driveway.

This is what a really gusty day will get you after a bunch of rain.  Our neighbor’s tree is holding it up, for now. Barely.

Our TreeGuy is coming out tomorrow to tie it up to keep it from falling the rest of the way, until he can get to it. Some trees fell on houses, elsewhere, so we aren’t the top priority. Yet.

He really hoped to save this one, and had been medicating it yearly, trying to boost repairing growth, but it looks like the driveway had already done too much damage to the roots.

It took 15 years or so, but roots and asphalt do not get along. Do not pave next to trees you’d like to keep, folks. This is going to be an on-going fight for us, probably, until we’ve only got young-ish trees next to the driveway.

(We’re not sure when the driveway was black-topped, exactly, since we’ve just been here for four and a half years. The house was built in 1977, and we’re pretty sure the driveway was gravel for a while. I’m tempted to let it revert back to gravel. Don’t think Mike would go for that though.)

The neighbor’s house is not in danger, but their fence is, and the swing set too.

Northern Sun

There are times when I wake up with a dream that sticks. Usually the sticky dreams are either really powerful, or at 6 a.m. Or both. This morning’s was both.

I’ve been playing with perception for oh… probably 40 of my 51 years, exploring that area of consciousness that allows you to step outside yourself and see the world, and your place in it, from a different angle.

This morning, I moved to a dream North Pole. (No idea if it was the real North Pole, since I’ve never been there. Heh.) Watched the sun, in a time-lapse loop, as I stood in the center of the circle of its movement. The beauty of standing in that spot grabbed my attention, blowing my mind with the I-Am.

If I-Am had eyes which could gaze back, it would be a fierce gaze of demand and daring. “Do you deny that I-Am,” it states. Not asks. No, it would never ask. It dares you to refute the statement then grabs you by the throat to tell you again, if you are so stupid as to take the dare. “I Am. This. This is what you need to understand.”

(Then when I woke, I wondered how you’d keep track of what day it is up there. Probably something like “Sun’s over that hill… it’s midnight… new day.” So, yeah. Sorry, I-Am. Still gotta cover the practicalities of existing.)

Anyway… it looked a little like this, only the sun never went as high as in the video.

Haiku: The Musical

I’ve been going through old posts from my previous blog, looking for the things I’d actually hate to lose. This is one of my favorites, from December of 2007.

My mind is a strange and wondrous place at two in the morning. It comes up with things that I find brilliant and fascinating, and that spark an “oh I must write that down!” reaction; but then, in the light of day, the brilliance dulls significantly, leading to a wry “where the hell did that come from?” This flash of “awesome insight” is particularly amusing to me, and if anything I’ve at least got an “inside joke” (reeeeeeally inside) to use to bring me a random chuckle.

So, for your entertainment, I’ll share these deep and meaningful bits of poetry with you.

First… I came up with a little haiku. Counted syllables in my sleep and everything. Did wonder though if “chihuahua” (already getting excited for this poetry, aren’t you?) would count as three syllables or five. The “hua”s could be “hoo-ah, hoo-ah” or “wah, wah” see? But I settled on three, since that’s the way I say it.

A-hem.

A Chihuahua is
a Haiku of a Great Dane!
Amazing it is.

So I woke up a little from that, and went “Wow! Deep! I should write it down!” Followed quickly by “Screw it… if it’s so deep I’ll remember it in the morning.” Then I went back to sleep and came up with this:

“Haiku: The Musical.” Which consists of lots of music, in musical phrasings that are 5/7/5 lengths (of notes or measures… I’m not sure), and one Haiku of dialogue sung out (with stretches of music between the lines of singing) somewhere in the middle. It was really quite lovely, the way it all worked in my head. But now, of course, it’s just… well… weird.

Hey, welcome to my world. Aren’t you glad you knocked on that door?

Perspective

Wrote this one for my Grandmom. Such a special lady. We all miss her so much.

May 1, 1996

Perspective

Looking at the shards of glass

that make up our lives,

we see the jagged edges,

sharp and painful.

You stand back,

shining your love through the glass,

and show us

Crystal.

Chasing Muses

IMG_0580A muse is a skittish thing, a specter. Chasing one is like trying to capture a ghost. You can barely see her out of the corner of your eye, but you know she’s there, and you know she’s not going to go willingly where you want to lead. So, you have to sneak up on her, or let her get close to you while you stand very still. Then you put your fingers on her shoulder with a light touch to let her lead you to where she wants to go, hoping that she’ll take you to her own cave and show you a new way of looking at things you thought you knew.

It’s a miserable thing to have your fingers on the shoulder of a muse, only to have her distracted by someone solidly anchored in reality coming into the room. Yes, he’s going to be as quiet as possible, that real person… he promises not to bother you, but the strong energy of reality in the vicinity is enough to make some muses scatter to the four winds.

I’m just saying, by way of apology really, Reality-Prone Folks… I’m sorry I drove you out. Please don’t be offended when I hiss “no, no… please go away” when you walk into the room. It’s just that I don’t have time to explain to the muse before she skitters off, and sometimes the gifts she gives are too valuable to lose.