Well, what to write this week. If anything to write this week. The world slumbers in the dog days of summer and nuthin’ is going on. Except the threat of nuclear annihilation and some other stuff, but hey…
I did write a very Mean Girls post but my better angels punched me in the face. So.
I’ve been doing submissions. Always a fun time. [That was sarcasm.] I did two this morn! Two. An excerpt from a novel entitled The Adventures of Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus. A one-act play about two star-crossed lovers at a Las Vegas bus stop, called Free Range Chickens. That one place did say you could submit excerpts from novels…and hey, I took them at their word.
It’s been a rather smoky caul over my tiny corner of the universe lately. Rather like being back in Shenyang City, China. That was heavy industrial pollution, this is just wildfire smoke. Or being in Beijing, which is even worse than Shenyang! I know! They are trying to ‘clean’ that all up now, that pollution over there in China. We here in America are prepared to take up the pollution slack, however! Yay! Can’t wait! I’m not bitter at all.
What have I been writing? Oh? Um. well, let’s kindly call it ‘crap’, shall we?
Yeah, don’t worry. I will not be smearing that clear-the-head writing here. It’s bad, trust me. Note: maybe I will. I have tons of it. It might be the next ripoff of Games of Thrones meets LOTR with a splash of Story of O. Intrigued???
Ahem, anyway!! It has the depth of My Pretty Pony fanfiction. Not that I’ve read any. I’m assuming most of that is unreadable claptrap. I’m also taking a break from politics, life and life’s politics via said Claptrap Crap, which helps yours truly do some very minor coping.
I also now have Ibuprofin and have resorted to using the morning’s old coffee to make iced coffee in the afternoon, because I’m a resourceful little kitty-cat. And, poured over onion-flavored ice [don’t ask], leftover morning iced coffee treat is…well, something I can drink that’s not water-flavored. It’s the little things, baby. I’m jonesing for black cherry Kool-Aid, by the way. Yes, I made some sun tea! Geez! I found some ancient tea bags I got at the Dollar Store. Yum.
Now for a Serious Writer Gal update: I went back into the third book of my trilogy wannabe and let the chips fall where they wished. I’ve got the ending [note– it’s a sad ending for right now. I am letting that soak in the inner crock-pot gravy, don’t worry!], so where was I? I have the ending, more or less, and now just need the beginning and middle! [As the ‘story’ keeps shifting about like a damn Garden of Eden snake. Eve couldn’t have crucified that damn snake and…anyway.] Whee!! Woot woot!
Saint Lysette and Bloody Alicecooks in my inner crock-pot. It heats up slowly, I can leave it all day, come back in the evening and viola, meal. If you don’t know what a crock-pot is or why you can leave it all day…Google is your friend. [Not if you have a vagina, though…tee hee.]
It will be cooler. Hopefully, we won’t be fighting for scraps in the bomb shelters. [I don’t even have mine dug yet!!! Fuck. Sonofabitch!]
Football, and pumpkins, and dying leaves, oh yes! The blankets come back out. Rain returns. We’re supposed to get another bad winter. I should dig out my mittens and scarves right now! Or go dig a bomb shelter. And find some, what, lead? Maybe line it with mangina juice scraped off King Magical Pumpkincunt? I had to get one shot in, come on.
Hey, if anyone wants to read Free Range Chickens or, um, like, produce it…HERE YA GO!!
PART ONE: IN WHICH I DECIDE TO TAKE ON UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS
It’s hot. It’s smoky. There’s wildfires burning merrily away. Merrily for the fire, not so much for the men and women fighting said merry wildfire/s. Clownstick von Pumpkincunt lied about the Boy Scouts calling It to tell It what a goodly, bigly speech It gave to the Boy Scouts. Woot woot!
Um, Pumpkincunt and Racist Elfboy [Sessions]now say it’s white folks who are the real victim of discrimination. They are diverting money from actual programs set up to fight racism and segregation and etc, etc…to investigate the real victims of America’s racist climes–WHITE FOLKS! Oh my! I wish I had made that up; I’d win some goddamn writing prizes, for sure, for sure. Or maybe not. I’d have to use a different name, maybe Sally Houswifelady. Or Jellytits McFly.
I mentioned, casually and off the cuff, that I should write a happy post about…wait for it…wait….wait for it…
Unicorns and rainbows. Mostly because my last few posts have been in the Debbie Downer column. Politics. Depression. Writing about writing. Ugh! Gross me out the door already, right?
PART TWO: ECLIPSE, NEW MONTH, NOT YET TO THE UNICORN OR RAINBOW GOOD BITS
And it’s a new month.
A brand spanking new month. Where anything can happen. Like an eclipse. I have no actual interest in the moon eating the sun — science is a liberal plot to get free government cheese and free cell phones for illegal pretty-girl dismemberment teams. The eclipse– is that even an ENGLISH WORD???— is a sign that Jesus doesn’t want anyone to get gay married, that women should become livestock and that tax cuts for the wealthiest is one of the Beatitudes.
Apparently, if you say ‘just kidding’ after whatever batshit statement you make…it absolves you of all blame and responsibility for whatever happens/doesn’t happen. Yay!
PART THREE: BIG PHALLIC HORNED VIRGIN FINDERS
Unicorns. Mostly what I know about them is that they’re virgin-finders. A white horse with a big phallic ‘horn’ sticking out of its forehead goes about finding pure gals…yeah, can you say fragile male fanfiction about their own genitals? Weee.
I remember a tale about how to capture a unicorn– you find a virgin [good luck with that, eh, boys??] female and the unicorn will find her and put its head in her lap. Um. I guess if the girl is not a virgin, you find that out, too, when no unicorn shows up. A version of Medieval slut shaming, weeeee. Though, they didn’t have social media back then to slut shame, they had other methods. Like oh, burning them alive for witchcraft, woot woot, for one. We all know witches are sluts and should be burned alive, that’s just a given.
And unicorns are pretty! Big, pretty, white or golden [I’ve seen unicorns featured in other colors, with lion tails, etc.] horse-like creatures that have magical virgin-finding powers, among other gifts. What girl, with some mild or actual artistic talent, has not drawn herself an entire portfolio of unicorns? Are there any tales of evil unicorns? Mm…
PART FOUR: GOD VERSUS EVERYONE ELSE OR THE HAPPY RAINBOW
Rainbows! God’s promise, in the Old Testies, to NOT KILL NEARLY EVERYONE ON THE PLANET BECAUSE THEY WERE ICKY. Sinning. Whatever.
It’s the symbol of God saying, hey, I won’t destroy my own creation anymore but hey, I’m still gonna keep score, you fucks.That’s my own interpretation of those dusty verses, anyway. Ahem.
The rainbow is also the symbol of Gay Pride. We’re queer, we’re here! Love trumps hate! Love wins! Love love love! All of that celebration, parading and legislation to make ‘those’ into actual ‘citizens’. Which sets the Christian Right’s teeth on edge; not only on edge but shatters those teeth. [And to be fair…no, no, I don’t have to be fair. I don’t have to say Not All Christians blurgh blag bluk. They go low, I give them wedgies.]
That rainbow flag waving about versus some dusty verses in the Old Testies…that’s just good old-fashioned fun right there. If you’re sitting on the sidelines with no dog in this here hunt, that is. [That’s an American idiom– no dog in this hunt. I understand it instantly, but I am from an actual hunting/farming/hillbilly/poor folks background.]
The rainbow is also some scientific thingie
to do with weather…or something.
But hey, let’s not bring anything so liberal elitist social justice warrior feminazi victimize the white folks into this here discussion on how the poor rainbow has been used to take down Jesus. Amen.
PART FIVE: CONCLUSIONS, MEANDERINGS AND GENERAL SMARTASS-NESS
Purity and visible evidence that God won’t take us out again for being sinners. Unicorns and rainbows. Cute fantasy figure and using the visible spectrum of colors to fight for inclusion of LGBTQ folks in all walks of life. An equine symbol of purity [sorry, gals, not even Mother Teresa can out-pure a unicorn. Even the Virgin Mary looks like a grubby pole dancer next to a one-horned horse.] and a symbol of God’s divine decree that even if we’re down here lining up puppies to debauch, God won’t send a heavy rain.
God didn’t say anything about earthquakes or other natural disasters. As people, to this day, equate a local/not local earthquake or some other fun Mother Nature-ish event, with some judgment they just know is being delivered on the heads of the local/global sinners. God punishes everyone they hate —It’s just great that God hates everyone I hate, ain’t it??– with a tornado.
It’s very convenient, random punishment by random earthquake or other disaster natural or otherwise, and such conclusions of divine justice involve no actual work or use of brain tissue. Earthquake equals suffering and death for sinners. And a few innocent bystanders who probably deserved it.
Yeah. I once had a carload of elderly ladies try to tell me that earthquake in Fukushima, Japan was God’s judgment on Japan for being atheists. My my my. We humans never seem to get away from branding all happenings, good or horrible or in between, with some sort of divine agency. Yes, I came to that conclusion all on my own…I amz smartie.
Back to the divine symbol of God’s forgiveness--I forgive you motherfuckers for being shitbirds, even though I designed you, but I ain’t taking any responsibility for how you fuckwads turned out, no way, no how! Have a goddamn rainbow, you sunsabitches!
So, God is reduced to striking small areas along fault zones or in tornado alley or in the path of hurricanes or…yeah, instead of punishing us all at once and just starting over with new models.
PART SIX: TEQUILA!
Why didn’t God just wipe out Noah and company, too, and start over? Other mythologies have just this– where the gods and goddesses had to start over and over and over again with humanity. So why didn’t the God in the Old Testies just do that with the obviously fatally flawed shits it created from dirt and probably a truly gargantuan cosmic-wide tequila bender? Yes, God created tequila before he created the sun. I know it, you know it, let’s get over it together, fellow babies.
Having been the victim of that truly evil liquid myself, I can well sympathize with God cataclysmically messing up humanity and forming them into such imperfect little shitwads of hatred, nastiness and so forth. Who hasn’t done stupid things while buzzed on tequila?? Hands? Hands? Yeah, okay then!!
Am I actually blaming the faults of humanity on God having one too many shots of demon juice AKA tequila? Yes. Yes, I am.
Oh that note!! August, it promises to be a super-hot crap-smeared slide into madness and further obscurity for yours truly. Hoooray!! If I start low, all I can go is high, right? Shhh. I think I hear a unicorn…nope, just my hopes and dreams being stomped to death by an angry horse with a plastic horn duct taped to its face.
As July is coming to a rapid, hot as hell close, I thought, hey, why not one of the Beastface Bay tales to tide my lovely readers over until I snorgle out some all-over-the-place political rant on bagel dogs, slipper socks and houseplants, culminating in a last paragraph that attempts to promote something or other…ahem.
The following is not, I repeat, not an actual interview with a giant squid. I feel in these current climes of EVERYTHING IS FAKE NEWS ONLY I HAVE THE TRUTH WAH that I truly do need to state that, no, I did not, somehow, obtain an interview with a giant ex-pet of one Jesus. H. Christ. [H stands for Horsefly. I kid. I kid!] It’s just a fun little piece I wrote for this project I started a couple months ago. It’s a mixture of Faulkner, Twain, Euripides, Proust, and Stephanie Meyer. With a pinch of Louis L’Amour and a snip of V.C Andrews and a suggestion of Dickens. Also, some Thurber, and those people who write Positive Slogans for a living. Those people. Okay. I’ve hemmed and hawed enough. Here ya go!!
INTERVIEW WITH FURBO D’FURR
The following is taken from an interview with the author of Truth’s Rainbow. I have omitted the interview formatting, and if you like, you can read this in its novel-length entirety in the Obscure Writer’s Annual Review, back issue VII. “Furbo” is a squid, and one of the ex-pets of Jesus. She learned to talk but hid it, instead choosing to shout out ‘vengeance’ with the other squids. Bess, name protected to protect her from detection and lawsuits and smitings, dictated her story to a sympathetic aquarium worker, who then turned that into a novela, which, unfortunately, has not been selling that well. This squid prefers Bess to Furbo. She is also planning a graphic novel about zombie vampire squids who have to defend their underwater castle from attacking shape-changing whales. I have high hopes this new venture will take off. Having read the first few chapters, it looks like a blockbuster winner of epic proportions.
Jesus grew tired of us. That’s why Henny escaped and wreaked havoc there in Beastface Bay. If Jesus had cared at all, still, for us, Henny wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.
After all, we lived in giant, all-comforts-provided pools. We had everything we could want. The best sea water, the best food, the best squid toys, like giant shells, floating kelp bundles and sailors to drown. They were not real sailors; they were animated by Jesus to fight us. Rather like a youngling’s toy, if you put those, um, batteries in it and it moves and acts real, something like that. Jesus, like so many, just grew weary of caring for pets. We’re a lot of work, we take up a lot of space, we’re constantly breaking things. That is the nature of pets. He tried to teach us all to talk, but only I learned. At least, I think it’s just me that picked up learning more than one word to parrot back. Sometimes I think all the others are disguising that they, too, can talk. It’s a sort of defense mechanism. If we’re perceived as stupid, no one much expects much from us. Also, we know quite a bit about Jesus and heaven and all that. Which is rather dangerous. No one would want to believe in Jesus anymore. As he’s rather awful and petty and small-minded. It might just be because he’s rather old and has lived too many years watching all of us. I mean, all who are in his jurisdiction.
Heaven? Oh that. Well, if everyone knew about it, they’d go elsewhere for service.
Well, it’s boring, for one. An eternity spent twiddling your tentacles. Well, thumbs or paws or whatever you possess at the end of your extremities. There’s nothing to do. You can walk around and look at the gardens, but you can’t work in those gardens or even go into them to enjoy them. You can look but you can’t touch, yes, exactly! Oh there’s the mansion of Jesus, but again, he doesn’t like to share his stuff. Or let anyone near his stuff. Since you’re dead, you don’t really need a house or even a bed; you won’t get a house or anything. You just wander about on the paths. Trying not to anger Jesus. There’s lots of signs put up, telling you what not to do or what you can do. Mostly you’ll just sit in the little designated areas and stare at the gardens you can’t enter for fear you’ll ruin them. Jesus has them all just as he wants them; he has no wish to garden further.
Jesus does not think of others, despite the propaganda. Sorry, the writings about him. He rolls his eyes at those writings, a lot, but does nothing to edit them. They serve their purpose, he gets praised, and he gets traffic past the Gate. Oh, that’s the name of the point of no return. Once you pass by the Gate, you can’t go back again. There’s like a force field there. A barrier. Many have tried, once they find out how boring and tedious heaven is. That you only get porridge to eat and tap water to drink. Porridge without cream, sugar, honey, berries, bananas, salt, boiled eggs; nothing is added to that porridge because Jesus likes plain porridge and so, apparently, does the rest of everyone in heaven. If Jesus likes something, everyone likes it. If Jesus hates something, then everyone hates it. He has no concept that others think or do differently than he does. Of course, he is an eternal deity and they are rare, few and far between.
Well, yes, you do eat in heaven. You might not sleep but you do need to eat. Nobody ever asked Jesus about that, as he’s a bit prickly. Or they did and he sent them away. He doesn’t like questions. He likes praise or just silence so he can talk.
Yes, there are other deities out there, to get back to that; they’re busy amusing themselves or napping to pass the time. They’ve worked out the boundaries out there and once in a while they all get together to have something like a party. A reunion? Ah, yes, yes, a reunion. They brag to each other, they talk about how hard it is to be a deity in today’s modern world, they stage contests like who can stand on one leg the longest. That is, if that deity has legs of some kind. Some don’t.
So yes, Jesus took us all in. We’re all from the same batch of eggs. I guess that does make us all brothers and sisters. Jesus had us all neutered, so none of that matters. He’s a responsible ex-pet owner. I’ll give him that. Oh it was painless. We were all put to sleep for a bit and woke mostly totally uninterested in all that reproductive business. Totally fine with me. It’s not like we need more monstrously big scarlet squids in the world or out of it. We’re monsters. Look at me! I’m a gigantic scary mess. Learning to talk brought a certain self-awareness, yes. Yes, I think that’s accurate. I’m very aware when others look at me and make faces and scream and then throw things like harpoons and bullets and missiles. It’s not a nice feeling when you’re so feared and hated on sight. It’s just not nice at all.
So, on the day Henny escaped, we all watched. Henny surged over the top of his tank and then pulled himself toward the Gate. Now, our tanks used to be right by the Gate. Henny and the others continued to feel, well, amorous, even though they couldn’t make any more little squids, so to speak. I found that I did not. But I also think the other squids were horrifically bored and it was something to do. I was busy teaching myself to talk and think, so I didn’t have to fall back on, um, other activities. A teacher worked with me, by the name of Carla Fay. She was quite patient and it passed the time for her, as well. Jesus, to my knowledge, didn’t know about Carla Fay coming to see me. Or if he did, he found nothing wrong in it or Carla Fay would have found herself in quite another place.
Oh yes, there is a hell. Jesus dug a pit and lined it with pulsing slug skin and lined the floor with dust bunnies. Always moving dust bunnies so that anyone sent there couldn’t sit down or find any rest but had to keep moving about, in the dark, trying not to touch the wall or stand for too long on any given dust bunny, as they tend to bite if stood on too long. Jesus sends those there he takes issue with, but only if they break too many of his rules while wandering about his heaven or if they just annoy him. It doesn’t matter what you do while you’re alive. You’d have to really catch Jesus’ attention, as in be a dictator out to beat the records of all other dictators for being truly awful. Then, Jesus would feel obliged to just put you in his hell pit. Without letting you wander about not touching any of his stuff or getting in his face or asking questions for a while or a long time or almost no time at all.
There were sixteen squid. But one, Stovetop, pissed off Jesus one time. Stovetop tried to, um, get friendly with Jesus. Jesus peeled poor, in love, Stovetop off himself and popped him in that pit. Stovetop is still there, as far as I know. So, not only would you have to contend with slug walls and a dust bunny floor but you’d have to contend with a lonely, confused, sorrowful squid who perhaps never understood exactly what he did wrong.
Ghosts, yes. Ghosts are very real. When someone dies suddenly or violently or just dies in general, one can become a ghost if one chooses. You can go right through the Gates or the Narrows or the Chasm of Chomping Fangs, whatever that point of no return is called in your area. But once through, and the deities are all in accord here, you cannot step back through and go back to where the living live. Now, as a ghost, you won’t be able to do much more than make yourself visible to the living. You can talk to the living, of course. You can spy on them, as you can keep yourself invisible at will. At least you’ll be entertained, for a while, wandering about among the living. A ghost is transparent. That’s the way you tell them from the living. You can see right through them. They also tend to float. They float about unless they purposely anchor themselves downward. They can’t touch anything or anyone. They have thoughts and feelings and get sad or bored or happy, just like when alive. They don’t have to eat or sleep or anything else, though once you pass by the Gates, you do have to eat a bit. Again, trying to ask Jesus why that rule is in place will get you a trip to that pit of slug walls and dust bunny floor. The real rule with Jesus is not to question anything he does. Ever. Act like another of his ex-squid pets is my best advice.
A Texas preacher was wailin’ and waxin’ large on how this is going to be a bad day for the devil. And naturally, on hearing this shouted from the next room, during the early hours… I had a thought of– is any day a bad day for the devil? It seems the devil gets a lot of shit done. Wars to petty little malicious gossip fun. Everyone’s getting devoured by that devil walkin’ around. The devil takes a stroll and checks things off her list.
What?? Her list??
Have I lost my gol-durn mind? Yes, I have, but that’s a whole other hysterical and barely readable blog post.
Part Two: Gender Politics
I have always wondered this. Why is the devil male? Other than patriarchal absolute control over everything from religion to nail polish choices, of course. Positions of power must always be filled with male figures! Even in legends, mythology, religion and tall tales. Women with power tend to be evil queens, evil stepmothers and witches. Or a combo thereof– an evil stepmother queen witch, such as Snow White’s dad’s second wife. Yep! There are ‘good’ witches but…they’re still suspect, because they have vaginas under those pretty princess-esque ensembles. And could go rogue at any time! We don’t get many tales of queens without there being some sort of ‘love’ story involved where she ends up secondary in her own story as a kingly sort steps up and ‘saves’ her from having to rule and make decisions or she falls into disgrace and gets tricked or…I’ll stop there. Ahem.
Other than that…why is the devil always portrayed as a male figure? We have witches, of course. But. They’re subservient and doing the will of their master…yeah. Witches went from powerful independent sorts to cringing, tricked, lied to servants of Satan. They went from enjoying their power and their relative sexual freedom to being puppets who just endured the cold sexual caresses of Hell’s Landlord. [Because why not strip even sexual enjoyment out of witchcraft, can I get an amen??] See Malleus Malificarum.
Women and power, it’s makes people uncomfortable. I get it. There’s reams written here. The powerful woman getting reduced to evil crone who licks the devil’s bottom during ceremonies held beneath the full moon. Read all that stuff. Read about the witch craze and how midwives were suspect and…yeah. But.
Part Three: A Tale of Love Gone Wrong
That rebellious beautiful angel who went against God. That reads more like a love story gone horribly wrong than some servant acting up and getting spanked, big time, for all eternity. Actually, that fallen angel gets rewarded, by being made the Big Baddie who gets to pretend to go against God. [And here, you can start screaming I don’t know anything about religion, the devil, God or blah dee blurg. That my years in the Lutheran church apparently did nothing more than give me a curious case of soul rash.] After all, does it not say, in Revelation, that God wins?
It’s right there. That’s bad storytelling. You don’t invent this great villain and then say, baldly, that that villain is going to lose. We know the villain loses, we want to pretend some actual surprise. There has to be a moment when we think the Joker is going to squash Batman and yank his wings off. That’s just how good stories trot along. We want, maybe, to even believe, for a bit, that the villain, the Big Bad, will win the day and destroy the planet, kill the tied up girlfriend/love interest/wife/some random girl; uh, get that death ray to work, etc, etc. You don’t state that so and so will win while presenting some Big Bad as the ‘villain’. Unless you plan on springing a surprise on us. Like some super-villain in the wings. Maybe her name is Mary who wraps her holy thighs around the devil and God and devours them both with her girl parts and comes out the winner of it all.
I would so watch that movie. I would even buy the over-priced gold-plated popcorn to munch as I watched that movie.
You cannot announce that you’re the winner ahead of time. It’s insulting. Why do you need an adversary? Especially one that seems on the payroll? Why is he needed at all? Oh…because the devil has a case of bitter grapes and seeks to take down as many as he can before THE END OF IT ALL. [No, seriously, that’s the answer I’ve seen to this one. The devil wants to have a game of freeze tag before the End. Yep.] Cue evil laughter, ala Vinny Price.
PART FOUR: MORE GENDER POLITICS AND EVEN MORE LOVE GONE WRONG MUSINGS
How bitter do you have to be to infect as many humans as you can before God yanks the curtains closed?? That’s female territory…that’s spurned lover territory. That’s…yeah. I’m marching out some rather tired female tropes here— the woman scorned, the bitter woman who wants to repay her ex in spades, the nasty woman who will do anything to smear her ex, etc. Entire industries chug along on that crap alone. There’s also the crazy ex who stalks the current Pretty Young Thang and there’s a catfight where boobies bounce a lot. That’s both a movie plot go-to and the newest ad campaign for Chanel Number Five. Petty revenge against a force that’s all-powerful and who announces they’re going to win no matter what happens…doesn’t seem like male on male catfighting. [Can men have catfights?? Mmm. Maybe tomcat fights? Because tomcats are both slinky and possess testicles? MMMM!]
PART FIVE: WHAT SORT OF DAY DOES THE DEVIL HAVE?
But anyway. The devil, in my opinion, always has a good day. The list of sins is long and people are stupid. You can’t even have naughty thoughts without making God’s I Saw That! list. You can’t lust in your head, your thoughts are on trial. God is literally the thought police. The devil wants you to run that hardcore dungeon daddy fantasy involving a Viking era cowboy-ish muscled up pretty boy who puts you through your paces with a small whip and a large donkey. The devil is saying, hey, baby, go for it. You say, okay! Good day for the devil. Or maybe, hey, you’re in charge of an entire country. And you’ve got pretty bombs and tanks at your disposal. Why not use them on something? Like Chicago?? Yeah, the devil doesn’t even have to do more than shrug and go, hey, baby, go for it. That whisper of permission to give in to your darkest or most silly little vices. Instead of living with your knees crossed and your mind full of amens and hallulujahs and notions that the world is burning alive.
So it makes sense, to me, to make the nemesis of the desert God who stalked about in the lands of Canaan and Judea and so forth…a girl.
And hey, if we keep the devil a boy, well…kettle of very LGTBQ fish, can I get a high five and a clobber verse, amen? [There are six, by the way, six. That’s it. There’s about six maybe references in the entire Bible about this issue. Uh huh.] You can’t have women with power, after all and you can’t even entertain the notion of God and the also-male devil being exes…because how soon before we’re making bestiality and incest legal and letting people marry their own houseplants?? Hello!
A seductive temptress whispering, go for it, baby, as she picks your pocket and paints a target on your back. That, after all, is what women are…we’re either whores or good girls. That Madonna/Whore dichotomy. One fall from grace and we’re forever branded a sin-filled whorebeast, we gals. There’s no forgiveness for us if we tumble a bit or a lot or at all… We have to be kept covered and controlled and in our place otherwise…chaos. That’s the central core message of pretty much any major or minor religion…women are suspect. Big time. Beware. You give women any sort of freedom and they turn to the devil and become witches and try to become men and want to vote and shit. Gol durn it, not on my watch!
PART SIX: WHERE I FINALLY MENTION SOME WRITING PROJECTS OF MINE!! YAY!
Which leads me to…yes, my piddles in this area, writing-wise. Gotcha!! I wove a pretty web, I offered some sweet blasphemy and oh, viola…here we arrive at some stark PR for my products. Oh my!
Being a writer chick, I invented a character. It’s kinda what I do on occasion. She drives around in an old Caddy, seeking whom she may devour. I didn’t give her a name, other than ‘devil’. She’s a black woman riding the roads of America, offering deals. I was writing along in Alice in Oregonlandia and went, as you do, hey…what if the devil shows up.
What if the devil shows up.
And, sometimes, my mind-worms poop out some useful smeary images. One of those 50’s monstrosity cars with fins that get about three miles per gallon because gas was cheap back then. Flames painted on the black doors. An engine that can heard miles away, one of those big powerful V-8 take on all comers engines. And a woman at the wheel, a powerful woman, a woman to be feared, a woman of sadness and fierce laughter, the devil. With dark skin , a body that’s hers and hers alone, a confidence that her road trip isn’t gonna end any time soon. She suggests sins, doesn’t tell you to actively commit them. She knows you and maybe even loves you a little, but still wants to turn you inside out to watch you strangle in your own guts.
She also turns up in my third book, Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice. Which I’ve let ‘rest’ for a week, as other writing urges hooked me like a fly fisherman hooks one of those trout in a river in Montana. Must write this now! I’m mulling ideas for that third book, deciding just who and what Mr. Blue, Bong Bong and Mr. Peepers are. [If you have no idea who those characters are, it’s okay. I forgive you. Go in peace.] I’m inventing the mythology and reality of this world Alice, and her mother, Nancy, exist in. What happens if there’s devils within devils within devils? What happens if. It’s what writers do, after all. I’m not thinking Overall Literary Theme. I thinking, what if the devil is trying to fix her mistakes? What will Alice do when she finds out what Lysette is? What does Aaron know? I am thinking in terms of what comes next, not Man’s Inhumanity to Man.
The devil, after all, is in the details.
PART SEVEN: BWHA HA HA
Bwha ha ha.
The devil always has a good day. She likes to keep busy and she’s a multi-tasker, as women have been since the time they lived out in the open scavenging lion kills. God will snap His fingers and the devil might very well not even notice. She’s bent over whispering into a susceptible ear to some sexually confused young Christian man to look up three-way twink and bear porn [if you have no idea what this is, boy, are you gonna have some fun with Google today] over on porn hub [a real site, in case you thought I made that up, my innocent sweeties]…whispering in that ear to go for it, baby. God will be saying, hey, I’m ending the game. The devil will look up, from whispering sweet nothings into various ears. You do that, baby, if you think that’s best.
And God will swell up and stomp back to heaven, with a hearty string of expletives for his Ex and the devil will smile. It’s always a good day for the devil.
The sprinkler pumps out water, the birds chirp, the sky has some ominous-looking maybe clouds. Those clouds that promise action, but, in a rain shadow, rarely deliver. We might get a dust storm or the clouds might just mosey onward, as clouds do here. I am trying to think of some topic, since it’s been a week since yours truly posted something pithy or not so pithy here in Blogland.
CHAPTER TWO: The Blarking of the Fourth of July
The Fourth of July has come and gone, with a friend of mine terrorized by drunken young men shouting what patriots they were while snarling at him…Now, me, being me, I’d have probably…I don’t know. Who knows what you’ll do when others swerve out of their way to have a go at you. It depends on factors! If you’re having a good or bad day. If something has happened. If. If. If. Saying that we would DEFINITELY do such and such if such and such happened…yeah, that’s bullshit. Unless you’re trained to deal with horrible situations, you don’t know. And even when trained, things, as they say, happen that blark blark blark a blark. You know the drill here. No, I’m not going to go into why people are shits to others and how we need to take the high road [gag me with a damn spoon and then beat me with a horsewhip already].
CHAPTER THREE: Evil Lib’rals!
NPR read the Declaration of Independence over the airwaves…and dumbasses lost their shit. I proclaim them dumb-asses due to these same, ahem, GOP supporters who scream how much they wuv the Con’stan’tushun and the Dekklaration of Indeepedantz…yet can’t recognize the words from either. There was an actual blowback, an hysterical ‘NPR is callin’ for Trump’s assass’nation!’. I didn’t make this up. It was rather like when War of the Worlds got read and people took it seriously, it was that level of ‘doh’. [Though, to be fair, when Orson Welles read it, in 1939, on Halloween…it probably was spooky as hell and utterly swallowable. Is that a word?] But when PATRIOTS WHO WUV JESUS AND THE FLAG can’t recognize the very words they claim are their favorite set of words ever…yeah.
And oh yes, people did suggest NPR [National Public Radio, for those not in ‘murica] do a reading of War of the Worlds. Just cause. Tee hee.
I need to get cracking on my third book in the trilogy of terror. [Who saw that movie??? The little doll, omg, that comes to life. They don’t make scary little doll short chapters in otherwise hum-drum horror movies like that anymore. You kids get off my lawn!]
It’s cooking along, actually, my Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice. I’m getting hung up, though, on procedures and how THINGS ARE DONE IN REAL LIFE instead of just writing and then fixing later. I did this to myself for another novel, where I didn’t blast forward on it and instead did some research, told myself I didn’t know enough about sheep ranching and how engines worked and put it away.
But then came back to that project, Cue the Violins and went… uh, the sheep ranching stuff is like part of one chapter, your heroine gal doesn’t now anything about engines, either, so fucking write this already. And– after my current project is at least somewhat finished, I plan to rework Cue the Violins and cut the crap out of that first chapter, which I think bogs the whole freaking thing down and it’s written more for me than any reader and…yeah.
EPILOGUE: This Has Nothing to Do With What Came Before
Oh, I also read some David Sedaris and am reading a political take on why America is so into conspiracy theories these days, both sides of the aisle. Which I’ve noticed. It’s all Fake News and THEY’RE HIDING THE TRUTH, from both ends of the extremist sphincters. While those in the middle steadily shrink under the sheer weight of the DRAMA that just sucks you in…Jesus is due ANY DAY NOW and He’s going to go all Rambo on liberals, atheists and feminists versus THE TRUTH ABOUT 9/11 or the Masterminding of an American Tragedy or Demolitions of the Shady All-Powerful One-Mind Borg Powerful Supergroup.
Sorry!! I’ll end this. Are you as easily distracted and disgusted by the entire planet as I am right now? Maybe I can buy one of those slave children from Mars to clean up the yard. How much are they, NASA?
Note– I, the writer, was challenged to let one of my characters answer a series of questions. Being a truly magnanimous sort, I asked Nancy Stockhorst if she wished to give a small interview. She graciously allowed me to record her answers, which I did, just as she gave them. I did not edit them or leave anything out; it’s a very much warts and all little gabfest. This gabfest, of course, deals only with the House on Clark Boulevard issues, story and problems, not on Alice in Oregonlandia or yes, Saint Lysette and Bloody Alice, that’s right, a book three!, which wraps up the tale of the Stockhorst women. Notice that Nancy suggested I mention those other books; she’s quite a fearless sort and very pragmatic about more than just ghosts and how to cook a turkey. You wrote my story, she said, now get it out there. Isn’t that what you writers do?
NANCY’S SIDE: An Interview with Nancy Stockhorst
My name is Nancy Stockhorst. My story was told to a writer, a local one. I never thought it would, um, well, be seen by anyone. I told her she should write comedies and nice adventure yarns, things people actually want to read. I suppose if anyone read about a few days of their life magnified and dissected so, they’d get uncomfortable, too.
1. What do you like to read in your spare time and has it prepared you for living through your own story?
Oh my, I’ve been reading that James Herriot book, about the vet. Where this vet has adventures with animals back in the Twenties. No, the Thirties, right before the war started. I enjoy it very much when I can get a moment to read. I have, well, had…two small children, a house, a dog, a kitten, some chickens, a husband and so much to do. And, well, there are other things that take up my time. Sometimes, they get very busy. I guess you could call them ghosts. I don’t talk about this, with anyone. I, anymore, just ignore them. They giggle and play tricks, that’s the little boys. They’re dead, I don’t know who they are or why they died. And there’s a little girl with a doll, the tongue tries to lick me. There’s one with jacks. One with a tea set, always trying to get me to play tea party. And. And there’s others, but I ignore them as best I can. I tell them to leave me alone if I have a lot to do. Oh, Mr. Herriot, in that book, just does his job. I’d love a lazy day to finish that first book of his and start one of his others. But you can’t, not when your children are so small yet and so busy all the time.
2. Do you think a character should be able to choose their own genre or do you think that would lead to chaos across the bookshelves?
Well, if my story were told by another writer, I guess it would still be a sort of ghost story. I don’t know how others see their stories. I suppose Mr. Herriot would not wish his book put into the cooking section. That wouldn’t make sense. We all wish to be heroes and not be made fun of. Others put us into groups but we don’t have to stay there. But if you’re telling a tale about ghosts, then why try to put it into the pile about boats? It doesn’t make sense.
3. If you had to write a story yourself, would it be in the same vein as the story you’re currently living through?
Oh good heavens, no. I’d not ever reveal what that Ms. Wuehler revealed about me! I feel very exposed and silly. She did try to capture most of it, but I came across so, well, as I did. I’m not like that! I try very hard to do the best I can and be a good wife and good mother. Those dust ups with Alice! And little boys take a bit of time to learn how to use a toilet! Aaron was a baby! Art was not himself during most of that. I do not cuss so! I’m very careful what I say. I’m always very careful. I came across as some…actor. As if I go about all day pretending that I like being a wife and mother; I do like being a wife and mother! This would just be a tale of a family getting through the holidays, they pile holidays up so. Thanksgiving and then a month later, it’s Christmas. Halloween right before that! Dealing with all that would fill a book no one would be ashamed to have on their bookshelf. Real things as done by real people. And I’d never include the other elements. There’s no need to talk about that stuff. Or what really happened to the chickens.
4. Do you think this story is sharing the greatest moment of your life?
Of course not. Wuehler strung together my lowest moments possible. Where things were not going well. Where I let myself get carried away, and where I let the others in that house get to me. I do like the bits about the Calgon bath salts and the red string, that was accurate and true. But other parts, I wish had not been put on a page. I felt and still feel rather, well, naked. All that silly fighting with Alice, when do mothers and daughters not have petty little fights? Where I let Mr. Blue…I won’t talk about that or him. I won’t give him that satisfaction. He won’t win, not ever.
5. If you were allowed to edit your story yourself would you cast yourself in the leading role or keep out of the limelight?
Of course I would make myself look good. Do we not all do that? My brother Tom is always the hero or the victim of his own tales, he comes out on top or someone else is to blame for whatever he did. He’s your typical man. Well, he is. Do we not all do that, though? We scrub away the troubling bits of ourselves when we tell stories about ourselves or gloss over something to make ourselves seem better or nicer or kinder or wiser. I did throw that damn cat. That was left in! I’d never include that if I were telling this story. I did punish Alice for talking out of school about things I told her not to talk about. Any mother would have done the same. I do like the bits about Ruth and Carl, they were portrayed almost exactly as they actually are. Just good solid farm folks. My own parents got nearly the same respect. I think Joan would be tickled over how she came across. I came off so oddly. I love my family. The writer of my tale makes it seem I don’t even like them that much.
6. Would you ever want to know the full page count of your story?
Mm. Well. From what I hear and see, Wuehler has been recording the Stockhorst tales into further volumes. She’s even now started a third. Several times over started it. As if there is more than one way to tell a story? I have no idea how many pages my little confession turned into. Most of what made it to the page seems determined to paint me in a very strange light. I did what I had to. To fight off that Mr. Blue and everything he did to me. Oh yes, there was also Mr. Peepers. He lived in Alice’s room. Aaron had his cowboy blanket and Alice had some little…thing that lived with her. He seemed harmless or I would have run him off. I did what I had to. I made pies and baked turkeys and figured out how to make all the others leave me alone. That could be reduced to about a page or two. For Reader’s Digest. And you could leave out all the ghosts and rolling beasties and Mr. Blue. I’d just be an ordinary woman dealing with children, a husband, pets, in-laws and holidays.
7. Have any scenes been cut from your story that you want putting back in place?
Oh goodness, the writer just put everything I told her onto the page willy-nilly. She even included the little moment when I spoke to my Aunt Pansy in the library! Oh, there was that scuffle over just how to explain my leaving the house when things got so very bad that one night near Christmas. She had me hurting Art, she had me running over to Susan’s, she had me calling my mother. Finally, she settled on me reaching out to Tom, my brother, to come get me. Who was cheating on his girlfriend, Freedom, so that was another way for the writer to show my brother in a not so kindly light. Yes, that was my brother’s girlfriend’s name. Freedom. She came with Tom to the Thanksgiving dinner at my house and she, well, seemed to see them, too. I could never quite trust her. But Tom, now, my brother came right over, in the middle of the night, didn’t he? I was portrayed as off my rocker and about ready to be sent to the insane asylum. I’d have left out how hysterical I came across. Well, not hysterical, really, more…focused and angry. Those other scenes had me a bit nicer and more like me, but the writer decided on having Tom come get me. I barely remember that night, so I let the writer take liberties, as they say.
8. If you could ever meet a reader in person would you ask for their review of your story?
I guess. I’d like to hear how I come across and if they’ve experienced anything like that. It seems there are other people who know about ghosts and such, I did look them up and read about them. It’s how I knew about making those bottles for catching ghosts and oh, dream catchers. And the red threads. But then again, the story is so off and odd. And not normal. I’ve kept most of what happened to me a secret in real life. Now my secrets are being turned into fiction, for people to read at the beach! It’s rather an uncomfortable feeling. And then to have people judging you based on whatever Wuehler chose to write about me! So much was left out. Perhaps her other takes on the Stockhorst family will include just the nice stuff. I know how hard and awful life can be; there’s no need to just write that sort of story only. Funny things happen all the time. Good things happen all the time. We don’t need a constant reminder that life can be awful and sometimes the dryer explodes a week after you buy it brand new. I’d also like to hear, from readers, how they dealt with daughters like Alice. There were days I thought I’d sell her to the Salvation Army!
9. Would you rather your story be light and entertaining or leave your readers with questions when it’s finished?
Well, my story did end on a rather abrupt and awful note. The writer just stopped writing. Called it a day! That’s not where my story ended, my story is still going, so to speak.
I’d have liked the House on Clark Boulevard to end with that Christmas chapter, where it’s just a normal family enjoying the holiday. It was done for shock effect, that ending, I scolded that writer and called her a hack. She informed me that the story does continue, in something I hope she only jokingly called Alice of Oregonlandia. Is it a comedy, I asked her. Sure, it’s got lots of jokes, the writer said. What is this further story about? Oh, it continues with Alice in the hot seat. About ten years later. Am I in it? I had to ask that. The writer just gave me a look. I take it I won’t like whatever that story, featuring Alice, will be, either. I think, if my story can get retold, I’d like to disguise my name. And make it more about trying to get ready for the holidays and not so much about the watching eyes, the trick-playing ghosts, the gigglers in the wall, Mr. Peepers, the furry rolling things and that stupid, murderous Mr. Blue. Did I do what he wanted? No, I did not! Yes, a more light-hearted, sweet approach. That’s what people want, not the gritty, dirty, ordinary sort of stuff that happens in people’s houses. Though, that can be fascinating, just not when it’s all about you and your house and your family, of course.
10. Are you happy for the problems in your life to be used as catharsis for your readers?
I had to look that word up. Well, I get so busy. So, someone will read my story and feel better? That might be a good thing. I just hope that Wuehler remembers I’m a real human being and not perfect if she includes me in her next attempt. And to be kind. That the truth might be shocking and titillating but that doesn’t mean it has to be told.
And now, it’s your turn!! Buckle up, dear fellow writers.
Ten questions for your character of choice to take a whack at:
1. What hobbies or interests do you have? Are they a part of the tale told about you? Why or why not?
2. What are you political leanings? What religion, if any, are you? Has the writer misrepresented you in these areas?
3. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone else? Why did you do it? Would you do that same act again and, if so, why?
4. What kind of sandwich do you like? Describe it. Are you a foodie? Do they have sandwiches in your realm, kingdom or plane?
5. Did the person/s telling your tale get it right? What would you change? What captured the essential you? What would you get rid of in your own tale?
6. Is it important that readers like you? Why or why not?
7. What’s your job, career or profession? Has this influenced your story in any way, shape or form?
8. Why does your story need to be told? What will a reader get from it?
9. Do you regret having your story known to others? Why or why not? Would you pick a different writer to tell your tale?
10. What parting words of wisdom would you like to leave us all with?
OH!! I’d like to thank Fellow KGHH author C.A (Christine) Ardron, for suggesting I try this challenge. I’d like to nominate Lucy Brazier, K.T. McQueen or James Peartree.