Dither

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Three blackbird eggs, in the nest in the wild rosebush. Ain’t they cute? 

I am dithering over a project. A project I will need to turn in eventually to my publisher. Yes, I have one. Stop snickering or giving me pitying looks at my delusions of being a real writer. Snort in your general direction, haters.

Okay. Sarcasm aside…!

Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice. It’s the third in my House trilogy. Alice in Oregonlandia is done, and in line to be seen by Kensington Gore’s editor/s.

Alice takes up about ten years after House On Clark Boulevard ended. The ‘tale’ moves to the world of Alice, Nancy’s daughter. Stuff happens. The end.

Yeah, I should write PR and press releases! For more money than the actual novelists ever get for their words, phrases and entire pages of words and phrases.

My mind went, hey, there’s a third book here. With everything neatly wrapped up, explained and then burned to the ground or somethin’. Cause. Trilogies. Every author should have some.

It’s like. That can of tuna on your shelf. Just in case.

I don’t like tuna so my can of tuna would have dust on it. But it would still be there in case I needed it for something. Maybe a sammich? I’d also have to have pickles, lemon, dill, onion powder, garlic…basically my tuna sammich would taste like anything but tuna. I like tuna melts.

I’m weird and contradictory. I realize that right now at this moment. Personal growth!

Dither.

I know why I’m starting this last opus over and over. I HAVEN’T DECIDED WHAT THE ACTUAL STORY IS.

I knew, vaguely, that Alice would have to return to that old house and…and something would happen that would not be what was expected by any involved. Vague, sure. But. That was the general story in my head and it seemed to write itself for Alice in Oregonlandia. House on Clark Boulevard had the same feel to it but different. Is that crystal clear to everyone??

I just got into ‘that groove’ that hits when you write. Whether it’s novels or poems or short stories or plays or manifestos about why tuna is gross.

I’m not a fish person. I find the taste of fish gross and yucky. I’ll eat fish sticks but only if they taste more of the tarter sauce or whatever dipping sauce is available. I’ve never had lobster.

Living in the interior high desert [Southern Washington State, Eastern Oregon, Western Idaho] most of my life tends to keep me away from lobster binges. Can you buy lobster or find it where I live or have lived? Yes. Did the price of lobster tend to send me off to the lunch meat aisle to see what’s on sale? Yes. Do I think it’s cruel to boil those poor sea spiders alive?? Yes!! 

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Miz Bridge waiting for me to entertain her. Because hey, you’re not writing, she says. Let’s go dig or chase something!

Story. I’ve dithered here in Saint Lysette. It’s changed POV’s. Many times. I now have Nancy, Alice and Lysette all telling the story. Whatever the story is. Which I’m not sure. It won’t coalesce, even a little, somewhere in my foggy writer brain. It does but it’s campy garbage!

Gol darn it!!

I might as well add some clowns and reptilian overlords!! Not that there’s anything wrong with reptilian overlords. There is something profoundly wrong with clowns. Yes, I have fear of clowns. Yes, I do. There’s a fancy word for that even. 

I think, therefore I am…sorry! I think I need to pick a path. Write to the end no matter the horrified faces I make as I write. 

GET THAT MOFO ON THE PAGE YOU DITHERING DITZ!

Get a rough beast shaped up, that I can then go back through and despair over.

After all, I have scrapped entire drafts. Written better versions. Or worse versions. Dang it.

I must examine why I am dithering so. I blame tuna.

Oh if it were that damn easy!

What is the story. That’s what I need to crucify in place with big iron nails. Then watch it rise from the dead a couple times or something? Ugh. Must stop listening to atheist podcasts or atheists taking apart Christian movies made so badly they’re actually in the good column.

I’m also trying to get a screenplay done. A director from the Czech Republic found a short play of mine, made a short film out of it. Traces of Memory. It’s in actual post-production now, as I write this. It looks great. I’m pleased with it.

She also, Lucie, found my book of short stories, Oregon Gothic, and found a tale in there that she wished to turn into a feature-length. One based on…necrophilia. On a woman helping her boyfriend procure a freshly dead woman for sexual purposes.

Lucie wishes it more focused on their relationship. She has the general idea of where she wishes this to go and I am helping shape it out. It’s called Prince Charming so far.

I hope it doesn’t turn out to be another Serbian Tale. If you don’t know what that is or have never heard of it, great. Keep your ignorance. If you do know what that ‘movie’ is, then no, I don’t think Prince Charming is even in the same universe as that one. I’m being cheeky. I’m a cheeky little primate!

Humans are primates, after all, no matter what screaming manbeasts with Jesus tats and a pulpit say. 

I am working on making the rather repulsive pair sympathetic. Understandable.  Which gives the horror element an extra punch in the gut. Layers, y’all.

Must go force myself to work on…something. It’s almost my birthday. I might go to the hills for sustenance and soul feeding as I turn…gulp…fifty. And ponder on the smoking ruins of my life.

I blame it all on tuna.

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The elderly cottonwood showing why it’s called ‘cottonwood’. The big seed pods burst open and look like what cotton does or something. I’ve never seen a cotton field outside of a movie. Or eaten a lobster. 

 

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Shameless Plug

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Hi again. Sorry. I am sorry. I am posting too much. I am sorry.  

But!!!!!!!!

Check out my House on Clark Boulevard. It’s free on Kindle. 

Rabbit 2019

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Brigit, the wonder cow dog. The vet called her a Kelpie mix. AKA Leatherface and the Gremlin.

Yesterday. I now have the Beatles song moaning in my head. BRB. Okay!

I spent a rainy Sunday trying to save a young rabbit. I didn’t succeed. They spray the weeds around here. Wildlife eats the weeds. Wildlife gets poisoned and die. There is no actual concern for wildlife where I’m from. Farm community, they could give a shit about the local bunnies dying in slow degrees from the weed poisoners. This young silver-brown rabbit lived in the discarded irrigation pipes on the other side of the fence. It got trapped in the privet hedge by two of the three dogs on Saturday or so. Time seems very flompy lately. Flompy—where time seems random, disjointed and not seemingly connected to reality.

The two dogs trying to get to this young bunny got distracted, ran off barking at something, so the bunny was able to hop out from the hedge, and hop slowly away. It’s out in the open, mind you. There’s dogs, hawks, all sorts of DANGER. There are two hawks nesting away just down the road who patrol the three fields, the ditchbank, our yard, the road. I actually caught them mating one day in the old locust tree. Hubba hubba!

Yes, I am a sad sad sad little creature these days.

It’s been RAINING. Actual rain. For days. Yesterday, one of those rainy Sundays where it seems time gets super-flompy.

Brigit has been outside, in the rain, a long time. Our yard is fenced. I go out to check on her, she won’t jingle her way to the door. She wears a collar with her info dangling from it. She sounds like one of those cat bell collars, you can hear her arriving or going. Tinkle tinkle! She’s worrying something on the ground. I think it’s a bit of plastic or something she dug up. Ah…no. It’s the young silver bunny. I pick it up [bad sign right there] but cannot find anything wrong with it. The dog didn’t rip off a limb or chew it up. No blood, no broken bones, I notice that it does have diarrhea. Which triggers the ‘they sprayed for weeds the other day’ ding ding ding inner bells. The rabbit doesn’t seem lively at all, very lethargic. But. The rabbit is also cold and wet and just been the victim of Brigit’s unkind use of it as a chew toy. So maybe shock and fear? Maybe it’s just playing possum [sort of and it’s a rabbit] until I either finish it off or it find a moment to get away.

I take the poor little thing inside. I put it on a heating pad, wrapped in an old towel, inside a container so that if it does turn all lively I won’t have to rip the house apart trying to find it. As there has been a rabbit loose in the house. Years ago. The dogs, and we’ve always had dogs, must have brought it in. It lived behind the dryer for two days before I found it. My mother, yet alive then, kept hearing things. So by then it was starving, scared and it just died. A very young rabbit, eyes just opened young. So I remember how fragile wild rabbits are. I remembered that yesterday as well. And that other time I tried to save a wild very young rabbit.

So! Success I thought. After a couple hours, the bunny had perked up. It was moving about, no longer huddled up in a frozen ball of misery. The rain had stopped a bit. I hesitated at putting it back outside. Cold wet drizzly day, maybe I should wait until Monday, let it suffer captivity until then.

I instead, taking the entire container out with me so as not to touch the bunny or stress it out further by handling it, let it loose near the privet hedge. As it seemed to live nearby. I read that releasing wild animals willy nilly can just get them killed. As there’s territories marked out. Or they…yeah. Good intentions kill a lot of the time, especially wild animals. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a crapshoot. The bunny seemed very perky. It ran off under the hedge.

Two hours or so later. The dogs whine to go outside. In the rain. They make a beeline for the hedge because our Lab is a hunting dog. She remembers where she caught scent of SOMETHING or caught SOMETHING. The young dog is, in Eastern Oregon slang, a cow dog. She’s smart. She watches the two Labs and learns. Sneaky little blighter. So Brigit and Molly keep wanting out to go after whatever’s in that hedge. Which I know is that young distressed rabbit. They just know it’s smelly and they want it. Or maybe they know it’s a rabbit. Or a bigger version of a mouse.

I find young bunny huddled at the far end of the line of struggling hedges. It’s waterlogged, and just lets me pick it up. Bad sign indeed. There’s also diarrhea. A few feeble protest kicks, then it huddles in my hands. I take it back inside, turn the heating pad back on, try to get a bit of water down it, then just cover the container and wait to see what happens. This time Lord Frith called one of His own home.

It shuddered, kicked, laid on its side. Just stopped breathing.

Why do I keep trying to save anything? Because I feel it’s the right thing to do. That’s my moral backbone. An actual set of morals I can’t seem to discard, no matter how indifferent those around me are. I will dig worms for baby birds. I will make sure the heat isn’t too high under a sick rabbit. I will…Perhaps I am trying to atone for being me. I don’t know.

And to end on a good note—

Thump! Crash. Bang! What just hit the side of the house? Out the window I look. Nothing. So I go outside. A blackbird is divebombing Brigit who’s after something in the wild rose bush tangle. I call off the dog, when I notice, yes, a young bird being pursued by enthusiastic novice hunter, Brigit. I manage to pick it up, it’s fine and it manages to fly from my hands and back under the wild rose bushes as mama bird squawks threats at me from atop the house. I make Brigit go back in the house and hopefully, the little bird family will be okay for now. There are no cats about but there is that twosome of hawks just down the way. I read that if the young bird is feathered out yet still young enough, the parents will still feed it as it hops about on the ground. Fledglings? There’s stages. AS there is in most things. I’m a wise old owl this morn.

So a bit of grimness, a bit of a rescue that actually, for now, has worked out. I’m glad there’s enough cover in the yard [which does not get sprayed with killer chemicals] to shield the local wildlings.

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Notice the wild tangle on the far side of the fence, the storm approaching. This privet hedge got cleaned up and tidied by me since this was taken. Eastern Oregon landscape, y’all.

I was going to try and take apart my utter disappointment in Game of Thrones. But everyone’s doing that right now so let me utterly change directions on my dying bunny tale with if you are not watching or have never watched Call the Midwife, do so. Especially as it’s so timely with the illegal abortion stories it presents, as well as how we are still as ignorant about women and their bodies as we were back in the 60’s. I have tried to like a Discovery of Witches but…I am just cold toward it. She fell in luv in about five seconds. There’s plots abrewin’. That’s all I get from that. The vampire guy seems cute? Eh.

Don’t even worry. I’ll do a rant-take down of my television viewing habits. Don’t even worry, darlings. As always, thank you for reading and hey, I have books for sale. I also have plays you can produce or use if so inclined or in need. Don’t ask me to care for rabbits, I am 0 for 2 right now. I do better with birds. What the hell is Eurovision and what is going on in Iceland to produce that?? Geez! I also watch John Oliver’s show…

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The very rabbit in question. Very unusual fur?

Rebirth Rebirth!

 

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A still from the Red Turtle. The Red Turtle will not be mentioned once in the following blog. 

Instead of Rejoice Rejoice…

The [new] computer is now working. One of those refurbished deals. Man alive, it’s FAST. Whizz! Whoom! Oh hey I can play Candy Crush now. My priorities are catawampus a wee small bit. 

Lesson for writers: Send out lots of submissions. Instead of, like, three. Yep. Glad I could help! Volume. Volume is the key here. That way when you get rejected, it won’t seem so thousand percent everyone hates your work. Volume will spread that out a bit. That’s the theory, anyway. Wink!

ABPIP– always be positive in public

Notre Dam has burned. Something ancient, something grandly lovely, something fragile, has been destroyed. For now. It was being renovated. So perhaps something sparked. As it can do. Whomp whoosh, medieval wood ceiling might as well be made of gasoline cans. I did hear great efforts managed to save some of it. And I am glad of that. 

People claim terrorists did it. Like Glenn ‘Puppy Eater’ Beck.  Or that God is sending a message. [Most of the crazier religious sorts on Twitter.] With various interpretations as to what that message is. Others make jokes or shrug. I guess the football team can still play…seems to be some people’s confused take on the fire there in Paris. [As Notre Dame is a school and…yeah.] 

So am figuring out things and stuff on the new computer. It does read my thumb drive/s. That’s excellent well. Very leery of this newish machine. I trusted the old one, after all. Which was also refurbished. And worked for ten years. If not longer. 

Oh! Game of Thrones was on all week on free HBO. Which is good. As it was the week my elderly other machine decided to beep forlornly at me to bury it in the computer graveyard known as ‘stored in the closet somewhere’. Yes, I did see the new ep and I am literally a quivering, miserable happy mass of cells. Will Jon accept his birthright? Will Dani find out she’s likely preggers with her nephew’s kid? Will the Night King discover that Cersei is far far far colder than he is? Will Sansa and Tyrion get together for real?? [Heard people contemplating that one…] Arya and the Hound, a new buddies cop spinoff? Brienne and the big red-headed guy? Romance or…? [my absolute fave want them together couple ever on GOT. I am not alone in this one.] So, one zombie dragon took down the Wall? 

I was also watching Return of the King, as I had to find a new app to play DVD’s and the like so…and it was right there. Shh. Now. Where were the elves at? Mirkwood and Loth-whatever? [Did they all go get on the ships? All of them?] I mean, that group of elves showed up for the Battle of Helm’s Deep. The elves couldn’t send twenty or so to fight in the big ass giant battle in ROTK?? What about the dwarves? Gimli cannot be the only dwarf left and he was a fearsome, awesome fighter. So? Was there some plague that killed off the dwarves or they were busy or…did I miss that in the umpteen times I watched the LOTR movies? 

So!! I have two books for sale. House on Clark Boulevard and Oregon Gothic. They’re GREAT! I also have Aftermath now in editing. It’s about Boise and…ZOMBIES. But aware zombies that run the world. Yeah, now you’re hooked! You’ve always wanted to know about Boise! Ha ha ha! 

 

The House on Clark Boulevard!

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Molly caught in a rare pensive mood. She probably wants a snow storm, too. 

Hi, everyone. I’m waiting for the snow. It insists on raining. Ah, weather! My book, the HOUSE ON CLARK BOULEVARD, is on sale for a bit, at about a dollar. For your Kindle or whatever you might have that lets you read e-books. 

The link to that?? 

Glad you asked, cupcakes!

Vineheart

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from Limelight Magazine

Happy Halloween!! Here’s the flash fiction piece I read aloud for Death Rattle. 

 

VINEHEART AND THE STOLEN DAUGHTERS

 
I stand at the window, look down. Far below me, is the old forest. The sky stretches in every direction like a gorgeous blue cloth, and I long to touch it, I long to grow wings. I reach out my hand. The sky ignores me. How long have I been in this citadel of stone and malice? My entire life. I write my small story on the pale gray stones, I use my finger and ink made of nightmares, so she cannot read it. I use my tears to wipe away the words that I fear remain etched deep, no matter how hard I scrub at them with my shabby homespun skirts. She brings me clothes once a year, plain and serviceable. Food appears in little brittle baskets. I empty myself into a bucket, there is water for washing my face, a cloth. At mystical times of the year, I have to take a full bath, under her eyes, to be cleansed and fresh-smelling for her rituals and rites. She brings me fresh flowers, not realizing how it cuts me to trace each petal, rub each leaf against my skin. Smell the odors of earth and life itself coming from that slowly dying thing.

     Her name is Vineheart. A sorceress, a goddess, a demon, I am not sure what she actually is. She wanted a child. And here I am, almost grown. Vineheart will throw me away soon. The ghosts in this remaining bit of an ancient keep taught me to read, to make letters and words, and then swore me to silence…the ghosts of her other stolen daughters. Soon, I, too, will come visit the new daughter, stolen from some village cradle. Wearing whatever last I wore when still alive. One sits near the crumbling bit of wall, combing out her long transparent hair, over and over, with a transparent jeweled brush. Her throat sports another mouth, bloodless now. Vineheart simply butchered her with a stone knife. This ghost never speaks, just combs her long, long hair.

     No. I will not wait here for that fate. My hair is long as well, Vineheart likes to play with it and tell me tales of dragons and ancient queens. She has just been here, and she was cold, distant, her pale eyes darting toward that village beyond the forest, where new babies wait for her long fingers to pluck them away in the cold expanses of the night. I watched her change into a raven and fly away, away. She used to lurk nearby, to see if I would try to escape. But lately, she seems indifferent to keeping me safe and locked away from all others. Oh can’t you just die, she sighed out, under her breath, her hair pale gold and dull. My hair is black as midnight and no matter what she does to it, it turns back into midnight and night itself. She quite hates my hair and curses it on occasion, but somehow, it refuses to bow to her wishes.

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from Pinterest

I know she has gone to look for a new baby to raise to fifteen years or so, before discarding that one and finding another…her endless cycle. She will return to this old ruin, long since fallen to armies no longer remembered, with a screaming babe in her stringy arms. And I will die by poison or her stone knife. My bones will be used to talk to her gods, as she used the bones of the other daughters she forcibly adopted. They told me. They watched her as she flayed their skin, removed their muscles and organs, scraped their bones clean. And how she sobbed, as if grieving. But still stripping the coverings of skin and flesh from their skeletons.

     I fasten the end of my hair to the hook. The hook I always fasten it to pull Vineheart up. This will hurt me. It hurts when she yanks herself up my locks, though she is as small and delicate as the bones of a fish. I look down, the earth below me promising to break my body. And I ease myself over the ledge, my legs dangling, my hands gripping the stone edge, my hair coiled and roped and waiting for me to fall. My fingers let go. The fall shocks me. Freedom shocks me. I look up just as my hair yanks me about, and I scream at the pain, I scream. I lay there, on the earth. I think my ankle is broken, the bones poke at my skin. My scalp will never recover from that fall from grace. I am surrounded by the ghosts of my fellow stolen daughters for a moment, then they become clouds above my head. I need a new name. Rapunzel’s the name of every ghost here.

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from Birds in Hats, month of October. 

Father Ted

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from Sky News. Father Ted cast.

So, it’s almost Halloween.

I should be whipping up spooky little tales.

Designing haunted house mazes for the ages.

Setting up corn field obstacle courses that will make people shit their manties.

Carving pumpkins into leering demon faces.

Dang it! I should be a Halloween-happy fiend of productivity!

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Instead.

I’m watching Father Ted. I’m also not writing. Bigly so. My brain remains serenely blank. Like a giant piece of blankness. Nothin’ up there up blankness.

Eh.

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from the Denver Post. Yep, that’s what it looks like. 

So!! I did some marijuana trimming. On the Blue Diesel, on the Hawaiian, on the Star something. Yeah. The plants have names. Did you know that?

Your reefer has a specific name for a reason. Connoisseurs of reefer can lovingly talk about properties, high qualities, etc…rather like those wine freaks can talk about barrels, soil and grapes.

Reefer growers can talk, for hours, on the troubles they’ve had with a certain plant. On bud size. On stickiness and gumminess. On which plant is mostly all star buds. Which plant is not all star buds but sports some good solid gigantic, super-giant, buds. Which are easier to trim, so I’ll give them points here, fellow babies. On how people really like reefer that’s named after berries. Blueberry anything, for example, is a good seller.

You have to hand trim. The machine to do this, that would replace the people-labor portion, is rather spendy. As is all farm machinery. At least, the small aunt-run operation I show up for can not field an expensive piece of fiddly machinery.

Also, she likes the company, I think. Family and friends show up to snip buds from stalks. She makes lots of food, there’s snacks and coffee and soft drinks. It’s more of a party than work! Well, no, it’s still mind-numbing, factory-like work. But there’s snacks! You get to hear gossip about people you don’t know. You get to hear gossip about people you do know. I’m not a Gabby McTalkerson, so I just listen. I just listen!

Where was I? Father Ted.

I’ve been watching this twenty year old Britcom. Craggy Island. Catholic priests. It’s gut-bustingly funny. To me, at least. I know the star of this series has died of a heart attack before he turned fifty.

It’s basically Father Ted [Delmot Morgan], who’s our Everyman sort of guy, flanked by the astoundingly stupid Dougal[Ardal O’Hanlon] and the mad elder, Father Jack [Frank Kelly]. Girls! Drink! No! Feck!

There’s also a housekeeper [Mrs. Doyle–Pauline McLyn] prone to pratfalls and absurdities. Which the British excel at. It’s rather like Monty Python meets the Vicar of Dibley, except Father Ted never ever ever seems to go near a church. Mm? Oh yes, Graham Norton shows up as a priest from time to time. And he’s HYSTERICAL. Oh my sainted aunt!

Anyway! It’s soothing and funny. The comments below the episodes [I’ve found this over on Youtube.] speak to a longing when comedies were not so PC, or policed by the SJW’s of today. Yeah. You just want to start laughing at that, too. Remember back when comedies were full of racist stereotypes and we could be awful to non-white people? Remember back in the good ole days?

Ah!  Liberal nigger lovers and  lefty kike watchdogs have ruined everything! Thank God America is great again! Snowflakes, LOL. SNOWFLAKES LOL. 

I might be exaggerating a wee trifle, but it sure feels like I’m toning shite down.

So, today, I will force myself to write. Something. Anything. To splash some words on that blankness in my head. Or just go outside and play with the two dogs. Or watch some Father Ted, marvel at how great it was twenty years ago to be openly crappy to others.

one of my fav episodes back when TV was really entertaining and funny when people didn’t go all PC gawd i miss those days yes yes that would be a ecumenical matter–shane upham, commenting under Father Ted Are You Right There Father Ted?

you don’t see good comedy like this anymore thanks to the jackasses called the PC police–Espada2234

Sorry, no review, this time, of Father Ted. I can’t seem to gather enough thoughts to write up a little something on Ted and the gang of priests. I do recommend the episode where Ted and Dougal try to write a song for the European song contest show. Eurovision? We don’t get that here in the colonies. They came up with a song about a horse. I kid you not. The scene where Dougal and Ted have been up all night, trying to write that song, is just. I! Oh feck, it’s about the funniest fecking thing I’ve seen in a goodly long while.

That includes a ten second clip of any FatNixon public fap rally held with paid audience members.

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Well, yeah. We’ve time-traveled back to the Fifties. Let’s go fix some stuff! What are we waiting for???