Archive | December 2010

Goodbye 2010, You Little Bitch

They say bad things come in threes. I can attest to that, as the past three years have been hell. So what does that mean?

2011 will be good, regardless of what happens! FUCK YEAH!

Happy New Year, everyone! May you find success and happiness in everything you do in 2011 and beyond!

 

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A Time Long Since Passed

I had a conversation on Twitter with someone late the other night while I was in a different account. Most of you know I have several. It spurred this post, which I think is an important topic. WARNING: this is an extremely personal post about my past and the diseases with which I’ve been stricken.

There was a time many years ago when I wanted my life to end. Twelve years almost. It was nearly a year after I’d been diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. What’s that, you ask? A royally screwed up disease that disguises itself in your liver and has your antibodies attacking your own body. It fatigues you, drains you, yet you can never seem to get enough sleep. It knocks out your defenses, your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to everything contagious. It compromises your immunity completely. There’s something to do with your white blood cell count too, but it’s been so long now that I honestly can’t remember what it is and I haven’t been tested in a long time. It has nothing to do with hepatitis at all. They only give it that name due to similar symptoms, which honestly only consists of jaundice. Ever had that? Dehydration to the extreme. Your eyes turn yellowish, your skin, under your tongue. It sucks. That’s actually how I discovered it on a trip to Flagstaff to visit my cousin over Memorial Day weekend, 1997. She pointed out the yellowish to me. She recognized it because her daughter had jaundice right after she was born. Happens a lot up in Flagstaff, I guess.

I’d rarely been sick in my first 28 years on this planet. I was exposed to chicken pox twice as a kid and never got it. Now I pray I never get it because it would kill me. A nasty flu bug went around when I was eight,and it took everyone down for two weeks, yet I only caught it for 24 hours. That’s how strong my immune system was. Worst thing that’d happened to me up to that point was I had my tonsils out when I was four. I lived my 28 years healthy, regardless of what I ate or did. I’ve never even broken anything. Sprains? Twice. Once, the wrist when I was 16. Twice, the ankle recently.

It took the doctors two months to even come up with the diagnosis. At first, they thought I had lupus–an equally nasty disease, depending on which kind you have. One is fatal. Unfortunately, it would take me several more years to discover the doctor’s first “guess” about the lupus was correct, even though that first rheumatologist said no. My lupus is systemic and sub-acute cutaneous. That latter part means it’s a skin disorder. Not the fatal one. The former means my ANA blood test comes back positive, which in all honesty covers several diseases that are all linked together. Too bad they completely missed the fibromyalgia. Imagine the treatment I could have had all those years.

Around October 1998, I hit a major depression. It lasted six months and nearly killed me, but no one knew about it. I’m good at hiding things . . . most of the time. I hid it very well back then, and even threw a 30th birthday surprise party for the husband (who is now an ex-husband). Only one person knew, and she hadn’t seen my face in years. I call her my Sanity. She lived across the country. Still does. I hadn’t talked to her in months, and yet, she called out of the blue one day. I answered. Her first words were, “What’s wrong?” It still chokes me up because I’m still amazed at the connection she and I share. This call came after a particularly bad morning.

During this six months of hell, I’d go to bed every night praying for God to take me, to end my misery. I was in so much pain. I had absolutely no energy. I didn’t really know what exactly was wrong with me because I didn’t believe the doctors did either.  Back then, I wished it had been cancer because at least then I’d know what I was dealing with. So many in my family have had it. I’ll likely still get it at some point, regardless of how I live my life. Cancer loves my family and it doesn’t discriminate at all.

I woke up every morning angry that I was still here. I learned to hate God. I stopped believing in God. What omnipotent being would allow not only this crap happening to me, but all the horrors covering the globe? Feed me your excuses and I’ll play Devil’s Advocate. Don’t talk to me about Balance. I know it well. The irony here is that I’d stopped believing in God in high school . . . until my brother almost died after being hit by a car on his way to school. He landed on his head in the middle of the street, in front of a church. I started noticing things in the world that we take for granted. Little things you don’t see unless you look. I believed in God again . . . until the height of my depression. If it hadn’t been for my dogs that one particular day, I wouldn’t be typing this. K’Lar, my German shepherd-Chow, knew how to open doors. My over-active imagination decided to show me an image of her snacking on me.

Why yes, Stephen King has been an influence in my writing. Thanks.

I have scars now . . . all over my chest and face and upper arms. They’re from the lupus and I’ve learned to live with them. Some days I don’t care; other days I’ll stare at them for far too long after taking a shower. Two years ago, I let those scars and the extra weight get to me. The depression came again. The fiancé didn’t know how to deal with it. Then, a pinched sciatic nerve took me down for five months. I lost my job. In the third month, the fiancé lost his job. In the fourth month, he ended our relationship. By the fifth month, he was out of the house I could no longer afford. Surprisingly, it would take a year for the bank to take the house from me. I moved in with someone I hardly knew in a place too far from central Phoenix when you don’t have a job. That lasted three months before I moved to Tucson. Two months later, I had a job. It lasted two and a half months before the pinched sciatic nerve came back and I was terminated, almost on the same day as two years prior. I can’t stand or sit for an entire shift. That’s why it’s best for me to work from home. I’d done some freelance throughout the past two years, but it wasn’t enough to cover what I needed it to. I decided to apply for disability. I’m still waiting.

The first depression back in 1998/1999 lasted six months. Trent Reznor somehow got me through that one with the Fragile album. Thank you, Trent. Seriously. And I know that album was written during his last major depression. Maybe that’s why it helped. Music has always spoken to me. I hear every note, every word, every sound the artist(s) puts into it, and it moves me, stirs my soul, makes me want to sing and dance, even when it’s not the happiest of songs. The average person doesn’t hear what I hear when listening to music. They hear notes and lyrics. I hear emotions.

This last depression lasted longer than I’d ever want to experience again. Two years. It’s kind of difficult to get help when you don’t have insurance and no job. It took me a good long while to climb out of the well this time around. My Sanity didn’t call until recently. Most likely because I have more than one Sanity. I’m living with one of them now. She has been instrumental in pushing me forward, getting me to a happier place while working on her own at the same time.

Did I want to die at any point during the past two years? Absolutely. When the ex-fiancé moved out, he asked if I wanted the Glock. I said no. I have a respectable fear of guns. What I mean is that while I respect the hell out of them and know how to handle them and shoot, I know how dangerous they are. I opted for the 30/30 and the .22 rifles instead.

2010 was a bad year for a lot of people. For me? 2009 was bad too, and it started in 2008.

Yes, I wanted to die at many points in my life. But do I think death is the answer? No. Absolutely not. Obviously I’m still here. Something has kept me going. I think that something is my writing, my characters, the desire to tell you stories that I hope you’ll enjoy. My editing too. I enjoy helping others shape their stories. When I was a teen, just the thought of escaping my life was enough motivation to live, which sounds rather contradictory, but it’s really not. I didn’t want to escape through death. I mean, I did, but I didn’t. I was emo before they gave it a damn name.

It could also be that I needed to be here for others. We often overlook that when we’re wallowing in self-pity and hatred. One of my Writer’s Club kids–a 19-year-old I’ll call Pasha on here–was diagnosed with throat cancer this year. My reaction? Anger. Children aren’t supposed to get cancer! If I was dead, I wouldn’t have been here for him late at night on Facebook when he needed to talk to someone. Nor would I have seen his words when he told me I’m one of his top three favorite teachers, or that my words–always saying exactly what he needed to hear–are what helped him get through the pain during chemo treatments. I also wouldn’t have been here for my roommate when her Gallbladder of Doom decided to revolt and needed to come out. I wouldn’t have been able to answer the phone when Deni called in tears and I had to rush over to her house and hold her for several hours while she wept in my arms. She doesn’t even remember it, but she knows it happened. She calls me her angel now. Some days, I laugh at that and think, “Right, some angel I am.” Some days I remind myself that I’m not really a bad person when you look at the grand scheme of things and how other people are in the world. But perception is everything, right? I say perception can be deceiving because people can manipulate what you perceive. It’s why I look at your soul when I talk to you, not your shell.

Pasha has finished his chemo treatments now and the cancer is gone. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that he’ll have a chance to live his life. So then, why should I take my life for granted, even at the ripe age of 41? The answer is I shouldn’t, regardless of what I’m going through, and neither should you.

Sorry folks, you’re stuck with me until God’s ready to bring me home. That could mean tomorrow, or it could mean 50 years from now. While I am psychic, I’m not a fortune teller, and that’s one thing the Fates never let you see.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Rated PG-13 – parents cautioned


A young fugitive prince and princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.Another video game movie! Score! Okay, I’ll admit it, I have a soft spot for this movie because I have two of the games, but I’ll attempt at a well-rounded review.But first, that blurb doesn’t make sense because the villain knows full well what he’s about to do. There is no “unknowingly” involved here. Okay wait, villains are usually short-sighted, only having one goal/agenda on their tiny little minds, so “unknowingly” could be plausible, I suppose. Which means all villains are stupid. *quirks brow* That actually works for me.Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this movie as Dastan, and boy, did he ever bulk up for this role! I’m not sure he should be allowed to look like that. It’s kind of weird looking at him onscreen because he’s normally playing the geeky-type role. At least, that’s how I usually see him, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Gemma Arterton plays the role of the princess—Tamina—intriguing character because she’s kind of witty, kind of kick-ass, yet kind of annoying as all get out. And hey, didn’t I just watch her in Clash of the Titans? Why yes, I certainly did.

Dastan quickly becomes a fugitive and must flee, taking the princess with him, in order to figure things out and who really framed him for murdering the king, his adopted father.

 


One of the best roles in the movie is Sheik Amar, played by Alfred Molina, master organizer of ostrich races and other fine things. It makes the whole movie worth watching.

“Did you know that ostriches have suicidal tendencies? Look at this poor thing. She used to be a grand champion. Now I have to watch her night and day to make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.” 

In all honesty, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is quite simply, a video game movie. It’s like watching pretty much any other video game movie and shouldn’t be reviewed for its cinematic value because certainly, it’s not going to receive an Oscar. The stunts were acrobatic and well, stunning, in my opinion. I felt this really pulled the movie into the game or the game into the movie. The effects were good and the visual was pleasing to watch. I was impressed by it. If you liked movies such as HitmanTomb RaiderResident Evil—the list goes on—then you’ll enjoy this one. If you don’t care for movies based on video games, you’ll likely be disappointed because you won’t understand the story and when it comes to these types of movies, you almost need to know it already.

And now I feel like playing the game. =)

I give Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 1 Jinx—I think it’s a great flick.

Directed by Mike Newell; written by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, based on a screen story and the video game series created by Jordan Mechner; director of photography, John Seale; edited by Michael Kahn, Mick Audsley and Martin Walsh; music by Harry Gregson- Williams; production designer, Wolf Kroeger; costumes by Penny Rose; produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; released by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Running time: 1 hour 43 minutes.

STARRING: Jake Gyllenhaal (Dastan), Gemma Arterton (Tamina), Ben Kingsley (Nizam), Alfred Molina (Sheik Amar), Steve Toussaint (Seso), Toby Kebbell (Garsiv), Richard Coyle (Tus), Ronald Pickup (King Sharaman) and Reece Ritchie (Bis).

Winter Solstice

For your listening pleasure during this post, an instrumental piece titled Winter Solstice by The Tea Party – http://blip.fm/~zxai9

Staring up into the night sky as clouds drifted over the stars, I could see the moon bright and full through the thin layers, and beneath it sat Orion in all his magnificent glory. I say hello to Orion every night when I stand outside. The moon was directly above me, and for the first time in 456 years, the earth’s shadow would cover the moon on this winter solstice. The numerology alone is crazy, but the full lunar eclipse on this longest night of the year—spectacularly powerful in so many ways.

I checked periodically while reading, editing, and tweeting. I watched the clock. I stepped outside. The moon was almost completely covered by the shadow. I smiled and went back inside once more. I can’t stand for long and I had no chair to sit in and watch. When I returned, the eclipse was full … and the moon, from my viewpoint, was bathed in a red tint. I shared this with most of the world, as they sat outside and watched with me. I know the reason the red tint happens because I took astronomy in college, but I still can’t help but marvel when I see it.

When I look at a moon like this, I view it from many different pairs of eyes. If I’m in awe of it now, in this century, with my knowledge, I can imagine and understand the power it once held over less civilized cultures. It still holds that power. I see it through the eyes of a villager who thinks a demon/monster is swallowing it. I see it through the eyes of a Druid who knows of its mystical power. I see it through the eyes of a scientist who, while understanding it’s a rock orbiting the earth, still can’t help but be pulled in by its incredible power to effect things on earth and in our minds. And I see it through the eyes of a 41-year-old gal who’s always loved staring up at the moon and the stars.

I don’t know if it has to do with my genetics (because I’m not the only one like this in my family) or if I’m just odd, but normally a highly creative individual such as myself doesn’t usually carry much logic in the brain. You’re either a creative mind or a logical one. Rarely both. Mathematics, for example—we have a love/hate relationship and an agreement to leave one another alone. However, when it comes to science (yes, this won’t make sense because it certainly doesn’t to me) I excel at it, I love it, I understand it, and for whatever reason, I can do the formulas well beyond my mathematical skills if they involve space or geology. Told you it wouldn’t make sense. Perhaps it’s as simple as love for the knowledge of it. Or I had wonderful, patient professors who knew how to explain mathematical equations. Either way, science is only a small part of the reason I stare at the moon and stars every night. My ancestry is another part, and my creativity plays a very large role in why I stare and am in awe.

I stared at the red-tinted moon for a long time last night, and I prayed. I bound. I asked. And I forgave. My spirit is calm. My Karma is in alignment. As much of a bitch as Life can be, I’m ready for Life to begin again. This next year will be good. I can feel it.

So mote it be.

12 Days of Christmas

Photo credit: Jinxie_G

It’s Blog-Theme day around the Twittersphere and I’ve been asked to participate, so I figured, why the hell not? It all started with me taking a peek at Aspiring Mama’s post earlier this week, which is hilarious, and then it vaulted to Juliette telling me I HAD TO DO IT!

How it works: Participating bloggers are putting up their personal version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” on their blogs and leaving their post URLs in the comment section on Juliette’s blog here. Author @Derek_Haines will also be linking up all the posts on his blog.

Okay Juliette, here ya go. Looks like we started with the same creature:

 

Jinxie’s 12 Days of Writing Horror Christmas

 

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A zombie in the wash below

Wait, that can’t be right. Where’s the crossbow? Juliette!!!

 

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below *watches carefully*

 

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below

 

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below *still stuck down there*

 

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS (oh God, help me)

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below

 

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below *looks around for missing zombie*

 

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Seven angels falling

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below *sighs with relief upon hearing zombie in the wash*

 

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Eight werewolves howling (do the math with the upcoming full moon *grins*)

Seven angels falling

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below

 

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Nine demons rising

Eight werewolves howling

Seven angels falling

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below *begins target practice with bow*

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Ten witches brewing *cackles along with them*

Nine demons rising

Eight werewolves howling

Seven angels falling

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below *zombie now has multiple arrows embedded in his body*

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Eleven ghosts rattling chains

Ten witches brewing

Nine demons rising

Eight werewolves howling

Seven angels falling

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Twelve twisted tales

Eleven ghosts rattling chains

Ten witches brewing

Nine demons rising

Eight werewolves howling

Seven angels falling

Six horror stories

FIVE SHINY NEW IDEAS

Four vamp slayers

Three Dasul*

Twin vampires

And a zombie in the wash below

Well, at least there’s only one zombie. *draws gun and shoots him in the head* There, no more zombie. *grins*

Thanks for stopping by! And Happy Christmas!!

 

*Dasul is a race I created several years ago. Essentially a vampire, but doesn’t drink blood. Original name is Dasulmavre©. Appears in the Prophecy series, which Gemini Rising is a part of.

 

Life is …

Well, let’s take a look at the bitch, shall we?

Photo credit: Jinxie G

She is a mother, educator, politician and an assassin.

She’ll knock you down, pick you up, lie to your face, but never judge you. She’ll trip you, push you over, hold you back, and offer her hand in support. She’ll comfort you, keep you warm, freeze you to death, and teach you to survive. She’ll feed you, cleanse you, drown you, and make you stronger. She’ll throw a curve ball at you, give you the means to make lemonade, and slap you in the face when you become too complacent. On a high note, she’ll give you everything you desire, but you have to work for it. On a low note, she’ll take away everything you’ve known, but give you the courage to climb the ladder again, even though she may take out a few rungs during your progress. She’ll riddle you with disease, cause you great amounts of pain, but give you the strength to endure. She’ll place obstacles in your path—some great and some small—and see what you do with them. If you pass her test, she’ll reward you until the next trial comes along. If you fail, she’ll laugh in your face and torment you until you figure it all out.

There is nothing that Life won’t do to you or throw at you. Essentially, Life truly is a bitch. If you don’t want to lie down and die for her, then stand up and kick the bitch in the teeth.

Words to live by:

Difficult: that which can be done immediately.

Impossible: that which takes a little longer.

That said, here’s a quote I thought was fitting: “You have to live a Plan A on any level. Make it a lowercase A if you have to, but live your Plan A. Anything else belittles the importance of life.” ~ Vin Diesel