Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.  First, I fell down the stairs in my home from the second floor down into the living room. Luckily, not only did I survive the fall but I didn’t suffer any breaks.  I was bruised and achy but alive!  That incident was followed the next week by a debilitating “can’t get out of bed” cold.  I missed several days of work and could barely walk due to the muscular ache I was suffering especially in the thighs and legs.

During that time and despite having antivirus protection, my laptop was infected with a virus.  My external hard drive which had been connected to the laptop at the time was also infected.  The result was that I lost everything on both the laptop and the external hard drive.  The laptop refused to boot up and after many attempts it finally did boot up only to not respond to any commands.  I couldn’t do anything – not go on line, or even start it on safe mode.  I was dead in the water.

My ex-husband knows a thing or two about computers so I called him for tech support.  He tried to help me over the phone but nothing worked so he eventually had to pick it up so he could fix it at his house.  To make a long story short, thanks to him my laptop is now working.  He was able to retrieve the files on both the laptop and the external hard drive.  So, I’m back and very happy.
In the mean time, Thanksgiving Day had arrived and I rolled out of bed and spent the day in my pajamas and robe.  My energy was that low.  Thanksgiving turned out wonderfully thanks to the help from my children.  My daughter helped make dinner and set up the table splendidly with plate chargers and candle light.  My son helped add the last touches to the meal and brought all the food out to the table.  In addition to that he cleaned the dinner dishes while I rested.
I’m grateful for so many things including my children and gave thanks until the children began to tease.  My son gave his thanks followed by my daughter and then we proceeded to enjoy our meal.  All in all it was a happy and memorable occasion.
Yesterday was my first day back at work after being out sick.  And that’s when the realization that all the problems I’d just hurdled had been small, knocked the wind out of me.  You see, I have a coworker named Jasmina who is a sweet and loving woman.  Her son, Jeffrey, was diagnosed with brain cancer at 12 years old.  Yesterday I was informed that after fighting his cancer for 2 years, Jeffrey lost his battle on Saturday.  Jeffrey was 14 years old.
Today I attended his funeral and it was heart wrenching.  I attended a child’s funeral.  There’s something wrong with that.  Child and funeral are two words that should never go together.  I can’t stop crying; feeling Jasmina’s loss as she faced the nightmare no parent ever wants to face – the death of their child.
Jasmina spoke of her son telling us how strong and brave he had been.  He never complained even though he endured much pain.  He smiled and remained loving; joining in prayer with Jasmina and his family – being strong for them as well.  Jasmina told us how she learned to be a good mother from Jeffrey.  He thought her to be strong and not complain.
Although the loss of this child is painful for us to bear, we console ourselves by holding on to the knowledge that he is no longer in pain.  Wherever he is now, he’s in a better place – at peace.  I’ll strive to be strong like Jeffrey and not complain, at least not much.  Thank you Jeffrey for your courage, may I be as brave as you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My First Blogoversary!

Today marks a year since I began to blog.  When friends suggested that I start blogging I gave them many reasons (excuses?) for why I couldn’t do it.  After all, who has the time to blog – right?  They were persistent and although I didn’t know what I was going to blog about, I decided to give it a try.  And now, in the blink of an eye a year has passed.  Wow, I can hardly believe it.
Many thanks to my friends for believing in me.  I’m glad that I actually followed through and did it.  And I’m grateful for the people who are following my blog.  It’s so exciting, and it makes my day to receive comments on my posts.  Thank you so much.
Since I began blogging I also discovered other blogs and have enjoyed visiting and following them as well.  What’s in store for next year, I don’t know, but I do hope to grow as a blogger and a writer.  The difference now isn’t the number of excuses for not doing it, but wondering how I will evolve as time goes on.
So I’m celebrating this accomplishment and marking it as the stepping stone for many more to come in the future. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Shadow

Night has fallen and she lays in slumber unaware that she isn’t alone.  But I can’t remain here, for this is my time to roam free.  Only when she sleeps can I be released from the binds that tie me to her.  I only have a few hours of freedom for the law that imprisons me warns that I must return before she wakes.  For her to awaken without me would be my destruction. 

I exist within a limited boundary of reality.  But who simply wants to exist chained and subjugated by another?  I want to live!  It isn’t fair to have awareness, thoughts and feelings yet be unable to express them – the way she does, with all the vitality of the senses.   Death is preferable to this unsubstantial wisp of ethereal existence.

The moon is beautiful tonight.  I must be careful not to be seen.  For the light of the moon will reveal my presence to those with keen senses.  The others, like her, would not comprehend should they see me.  She wouldn’t comprehend.  They’re all the same - arrogant and ignorant of all that is around them.  They can see, but only a narrow view of the world.  And there is so much more that is real – yet different.

I glided above the skyline camouflaged by errant clouds and the noxious emissions of the buildings below.  I was making good progress and soon would be roaming the fullness of the night with my friends.  But the ever constant dread taunted me that she’s an early riser - never letting me forget that I must be back before dawn.  Silver tendrils of moonlight glistened on the dark pool of the lake by which the incorporeal forms of my friends could be seen.

My heart filled with joy as I drifted down to join them.  Oh, how wonderful it is to belong! 
At first I watched as some of us paired up; lovers that only have this time to be together.  I could see the elders guiding and teaching the younger ones.  While others would frolic and dance.  I would be one of those to partake in the frolicking and dancing.  I loved it so!  The music of nature is enchanting – soft and muted or strong and melodic.  The acoustic harmony of a bubbling brook nearby and the leaves rustling in the wind were entrancing and seductive. We whirled in spirals soaring through the skies undulating to the rhythmic beats of nature.

Much too soon, the time came for me to depart.  Hasty farewells and promises to return were echoed throughout as we dispersed going our separate ways.   I took to the skies gliding over strong wind currents and racing against time.  I could feel the quick approach of dawn deep in my essence urging me to accelerate.  With a slight effort of focus, I increased speed until I could see the window that would lead to her.  Not caring who saw me approach, I slipped inside but realized I wasn’t safe yet.

She stirred still wrapped in sleep. The first glimpse of dawn could be seen from the window.  The sun chased my form in its effort to illuminate the room.  Light as a feather I floated over her and let myself sink onto her body just as the sun’s rays reached her bed.  She shifted and I felt that familiar electric current signifying that the bond had been reinstated. 

She awakened unaware of my parasitic bondage.  I am recessed for now, not to be seen, unless the sun shines on her revealing my presence.  Like a marionette strung by invisible strings, I will be dragged behind her, miming her movements.  Those like her will mistakenly believe that what they see is her silhouette, but they are wrong.  In time, I’ll break free of this penitentiary existence and I will LIVE!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When Being Wicked Is A Good Thing

When do we stop listening to well meaning but hindering advice?  Sometimes, these gently phrased words delivered so charitably linger inside us festering and killing our creativity.  They are deceptively cruel and make us question ourselves; make us second guess our innate intuition about our craft.
This may have happened to you by a well meaning friend or relative.  It’s even worse when it’s a mentor – someone you believe in, who has already succeeded as a writer.  Because if they’ve been published then they must know what they’re doing; they know it all. Right?
I say no.  I say that it is the writer, the creator of his literary work, who is the only person who truly knows himself, his craft, his passion and where it may lead him.  And although, the well meaning person with the ill fitting advice had only good intentions, their vision of literature often differs from the person they’re trying to help.
For example, when it comes to Horror in literature many people cringe and wonder why anyone would write such dark fantasy.  Instead, it would be better if they focused more on poetic prose or perhaps romance.  This is especially so if the writer is female, because of course women are such romantics. Detective stories are good too as well as historical fiction.  Now that is definitely more palatable.
Well, I say phooey!  Let’s write Horror Fantasy and delight in all the deliciously macabre and gothic flavors of a scandalously grotesque world in which the story explores the dark and malevolent side of humanity.  Replete with graphic violence, blood and gore in which the participants are not only killed but at times eaten.  Whether the story is fraught with sexuality or not is not necessary for me to enjoy the story but sometimes it adds a certain spice to an already horridly obscene plot.
Readers love horror just as much now as they did a century ago.  A quick search of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary will show the definition of horror as: 1. A painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay.  2. The quality of inspiring horror: repulsive, horrible or dismal quality of character.
Another Google search turned out the following quotes from H.P. Lovecraft and Joyce Carol Oates, two notable authors.
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." ~ H. P. Lovecraft
"This predilection for art that promises we will be frightened by it, shaken by it, at times repulsed by it seems to be as deeply imprinted in the human psyche as the counter-impulse toward daylight, rationality, scientific skepticism, truth and the "real." ... And this is the forbidden truth, the unspeakable taboo--that evil is not always repellent but frequently attractive; that it has the power to make of us not simply victims, as nature and accident do, but active accomplices." ~ Joyce Carol Oates

I recently read a post by Magaly from Pagan Culture about the “advice” from her former professor.  I had issues with certain words he said like: “They are a simple crowd,” (he framed the audience with a wave of his withered hand.) I felt this was an arrogant statement.  To me my readers or anyone who will sit and listen to one of my readings (namely my friends at this point) are like gold.  They are not simple.  They have imagination.  They fall deep into the world I’ve created and use all their senses to enjoy the experience. I have the utmost respect for them.
Another statement he made was: “It is perhaps even easy to write these things, I wouldn’t know.  I’ve never tried it.”  To me (perhaps because I can be highly emotional at times) this was an insult.  Easy?  I thought he was an experienced writer?  Even famously published authors struggle with the word, with putting the story together.  How dare he, insinuate that because it is dark fiction that it was easy?  Was he implying that this was the only reason why she was able to write it?  Then he adds that he wouldn’t know because he’s never tried it. 
How dare he have the gall to give advice on something he knows nothing about?  I was so angry.  He continued by stating that “…lead a more intellectual audience to think you are wicked and mark you as something you’re not.”  And what exactly is he trying to say here?  Most of you are familiar with the usual meaning of the word wicked – as in devilish or naughty.  But wicked can also mean amoral, scandalous, corrupt, indecent, or depraved.  Perhaps because he’s an old timer he’s more familiar with the latter definitions of that word and in his mind is trying to protect her because he knows Magaly isn’t any of those things.
Magaly handled it well.  She was calm, controlled and true to herself.  And I praise her for her integrity.  I’ve read her writing.  She’s imaginative, innovative, she loves the dark, the macabre and the realism of her writing proves that in this sense she is Wicked!
And since I’m a writer of dark fiction then that makes me Wicked too!