Now that I have a chance to cool down a bit…

Well, now that I have time to think about it, I guess I am pretty much in mourning.

I suppose I’m in stage four of adjusting to things. I’ve done the disbelief, the denial, the anger, and now I’m in mourning. I suppose after that will be acceptance, then the ‘moving on’. Literally.

S’okay. I’m cool with it. So my house isn’t decorated and Daniel watches TV instead of going to daycare. Oh well. Things go topsy turvy when there’s massive change involved.

More thoughts tomorrow when I get more time to sit down.


“Crimson” is up at Tales from the Moonlight Path!

And now a lighter bit of news…or darker, as the case may be.

I got another short story published…more of a flash really. You can read it at the online mag Tales from the Moonlight Path.

I was actually surprised that this one got published, because

1) it was the first market on the list I had researched. I had read all the stories on it and figured that this piece would fit right in. I didn’t expect the editor to agree–which goes to show you should always check out what stories are at a mag you want to send to.

Enya Amarantine2) The story started off as a writing exercise. I do short freewriting exercise to music from time to time to limber up my creativity, so I picked Enya’s “Amarantine” and started writing a story to match each of her songs. The title song particularly caught me; because the word “amarantine” is derived from “amaranth”, a flower noted for its red color, I wanted to play with the color and see what came out. What came out was not exactly a vampire story, but a nice, dark, moody piece of a woman waiting for her lover…or apocalypse, whichever came first. I liked it so much that I cleaned it up and sent it out.

I guess this can be considered my first horror story, though there’s nothing overly scary in it–it’s more dark than scary. But it’s a very short read, and I hope you enjoy it. Check out “Crimson” now!

Oh, and if you do want to check out the inspiration for the story, you can find the Amarantine video here. It’s not dark like the story (I have yet to see any Enya video that’s considered ‘dark’), but the dress is divine.

A post about how everything sucks (or the joy of experiencing changes in life)

(Disclaimer: the following post contains a lot of moping, groaning and whining about the stresses of putting a house on the market and life changes in general. You have been warned.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about life-altering events these past few days.

Death and tragedy ones, like the shootings what happened in Tinley Park and NIU this past month. Everyone in Chicago are still reeling over those. Sadder ones, like the breakup of a marriage or the end of a close friendship. More joyous ones, like getting married or having a first child.

And then there’s moving.

There’s something sobering about driving from your house one morning and coming back to see a “For Sale” sign sitting on your lawn. Even though I knew in my head it was going to happen, to see the actual sign with my own eyes, sitting on my own lawn, suddenly drove home the fact that this will no longer be my house. Someone else will sit in the backyard and gaze out over the pond. Someone else will wake up in the bedroom and paddle barefoot to the kitchen to put on a teakettle. In fact, that someone else probably won’t even drink tea; they’ll have a coffeepot. A coffeepot in this house!

I lived in this house for almost seven years. I know every creak in the floor (well, not anymore, since we fixed those), every crack in the ceiling (hmm, actually, that’s gone too, now that’s it’s repaired), every smudge and mark Daniel’s put on (which has been cleaned off…and given new paint…)

Actually, I take all of that back. Ever since we’ve done all the renovations to the house, I don’t know it anymore. Oh, the layout’s still the same, and the pond hasn’t gone anywhere, and we still got (most) of our furniture. But it’s not my house anymore. Everything has to be clean and uncluttered, and there’s a lot less furniture than I like, and the color of the walls are not what I would pick, and it looks too much like the inside of a (tasteful) furniture store than an actual lived-in house, clutter and toys and all.

My house looks so pretty. And it’s depressing, because I don’t recognize it anymore.

This past month has been crazy getting the house ready to put on the market. Now that things are slowing down, I find that I can actually take a breather for once and relax. I can say to myself, now things can get back to normal again…

Except, well, there’s no such thing as normal anymore. The last time anything has been “normal” in this household was back in September, when Daniel was going to daycare, I was writing full-time, my hubbie was working full-time, and life was good. In fact, I remember thinking at that time, hey, this is perfect. Everything is going nicely for once. I hope it lasts for a good long time.

And then October came. KA-BOOM!

Today was the first time in weeks that I didn’t have to concentrate on working on the house. Oh, yes, there’s still cleaning and all, but most of the renovations are done. And you know what? I have no idea what to do. I suppose I could write, but what will Daniel do in the meantime? What do I do with a three-year-old in the middle of winter? According to that ‘perfect schedule’ I had in September, Daniel would be in daycare interacting with other kids and I would be working on Willow. Now that we don’t have (nor can we afford at the moment) daycare, Daniel spends his days playing by himself or parked in front of the TV, which is where I’ve been placing him throughout most of the month of January while we were working on the house. I can start taking him to playgroup again, just to get out of the house, but outdoor activities are definitely out, not until we start having weather that’s not in the single digits.

And writing? I can ease back into that, but those days of working four to six hours a day? Gone. At the most, I can do writing after Daniel goes to bed, but usually, I’m so tired, the most I can manage is fifteen minutes worth of writing before calling it quits. Work on Willow has slowed to a crawl, and working on short stories have become non-existent…

You know, I think I’m in mourning. I’m mourning the fact that everything’s changed, and nothing will be the same again. Not my writing time. Not my house. Nothing. It sucks.

Everything sucks.

Maybe I should cheer myself up by listening to Tom Waits.

(Caveat: This post is merely the author’s method of blowing off steam and in no way reflects the philosophy of the Cafe in the Woods–which is to sit back, relax, and have a cup of tea. Yours Truly promises that the next post will be more uplifting. In the meantime, you’ll just have to make do with what you got because the teapot is in the corner, sulking. And the table’s passed out in the corner. And the napkins are debating about the theory of relativity. And the carpet needs a haircut…

…And you can’t find your waitress with a Geiger counter, and she hates you and your friends and you just can’t be served without her. And the box office is drooling and the bar stools are on fire, and the newspapers were fooling, and the ashtrays have retired…cause the piano has been drinking…the piano has been drinking…the piano has been drinking…not me…not me…not me….not me…not me…)

A moment of silence…

I remember Cole Hall.

It was one of the first buildings I had to go to when I had my orientation there. I remember going in and being awed by the auditorium-like classroom. I remember standing outside and thinking what a pretty campus Northern Illinois University had.

That was back in ’89. I stayed at NIU for two years. I learned how to play spades, got my first serious boyfriend, discovered rock music, and learned not to mix Jolt Cola with Nyquil. I also took several classes at Cole Hall, including Earth Science. I remember sitting there in the hard seats, thinking, why am I taking an earth science class when I’m majoring in English? Who cares about rocks anyway?

I’m wondering if that was a the same thought of one of the students sitting in Cole Hall yesterday. Why am I taking an ocean science class if I’m majoring in English? Who cares about the ocean anyway?

I never graduated from NIU. I left in ’92 and wound up getting my degree from Roosevelt. That’s not the case anymore for the five students who were killed.

Pray for the students who were in Cole Hall. Pray for the families of the ones who were killed and who are still injured. Pray for the whole of Dekalb and the surrounding area who have been rocked by this tragedy. Pray that fear will not gain a stronghold. And Praise God, too, that for such a disaster, so many others were spared. Things could have been worse: much, much worse.

“Daughters of Sarah” up at Third Order Magazine!

Yeehaw! A new story!

I’m proud of this one because this was the first short story I worked on when I started writing again after Daniel was born. Actually, ‘short’ is pretty subjective. This one’s a bit on the long side.

I got the idea for this story back when I was at Roosevelt University. One of the elective classes I took was on Women in the Bible (at a college, of all places). I did a paper on Japheth daughter, the young woman who became a sacrifice just because she was the first one to run out to meet her father. The professor was skeptical that she was actually sacrificed–chances are, she went to the Temple to serve out the rest of her life–but I was always intrigued by the part where she asks to go with her friends to grieve, and that it became a tradition for Israelite girls to go ‘weep’ for this poor unfortunate maiden.

It took many years for me to sit down and flesh the story out to what it is now. Enjoy!

New Post up at the Writer’s Block!

As you can see, though I haven’t been posting much, I have been busy. Note the new sidebar with the shortened bio.

Also, as you can see, I have decided to ease more into Internet networking by getting on Facebook. I figured I build up to Myspace. So pop by, say hi, etc., etc…

I have a new post up at the Writer’s Block, which you can access here.

Looks like things are winding down a bit on the home renovation front, so hopefully the Cafe will be getting back to semi-normal business pretty soon. Stay tuned.

Finally, a breath of fresh air–cold, snowy and wet, but fresh all the same…

We got a rhyme for rain: rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day. What about snow? Why don’t we have a rhyme for snow? Snow, snow, you really blow. Go pile on someone else’s toe. Feh, not exactly Hallmark sentiment, is it?

It’s not the snow, though, that’s been making things slow around the Cafe. I warned you back in December that I won’t be posting much due to our quest to making our house look spiffy to sale. And that’s pretty much been the case. We’ve been doing so much work, I haven’t done much of anything. No blogging, no writing. When I do, it’s quickly snatched moments of time: 5 minutes before I paint trim, a couple of minutes just before I head to bed, utterly exhausted. Occasionally, my hubby has watched the boy so I can escape to Panera and catch up on stuff there. Writing’s almost become like a date for just myself. (You got a couple of hours to spend just to yourself. Are you going to the mall to buy something? No, I’m gonna write! Yay!)

However, today, I can finally see hope on the horizon. The major renovations have been done, so mostly it’s just little things on the house that needs fine tuning. Oddly, it’s also the little things that’s driving us the most mad. But we knew that. We knew that when we decided to do this, by the time this part rolled around, my hubbie and I will be snarling at the house and each other like frothing dogs. But that’s the case of any type of move. It makes you crazy. What was it about moving being one of the most stressful things in a person’s life?

I think I’m rambling. I’m not surprised. But the fact that I’m sitting here, butt in chair, writing this out means that time is finally freeing up again, that I actually can sit and write and breathe.

Boy, do I miss it.

I know that it’s a respite. Once the house sells, then the flurry of activity increases again. And let’s not even think yet of what will happen once we get to Madison. But for now, I’m going to enjoy having some writing time that’s somewhat close to my pre-move schedule. Maybe I’ll even tackle working on the Cafe itself–a renovation that’s long overdue…

Oh, and by the way, just because I haven’t been able to do writing much this past month doesn’t mean that my stories have been sitting idle. Stay tuned to the Cafe for some awesome announcements over the next couple of weeks.