Fifty Shades of Sharknado

dec2018 025.jpg
Our one snow storm, from December or so. See the corn? And the cows? Mm.

Dreams. They invade our sleep like strange armies. Jumbles of images, faces we’ve gathered while awake. I remember reading that the faces you see in your dream are faces you’ve seen while awake. As your brain can’t or won’t make up new faces to delight or frighten you with during dreaming time. There are no strangers in our dreams. Which is rather creepy.

Well. Last night. Yours truly had a dream. Where I combined my local scenery with that guy from Fifty Shades.

Stop. Stop right there.

You’re either laughing or already looking to perform an exorcism on yourself after reading even that far. It’s not one of THOSE DREAMS.

It was more me walking up and down the lane and road by the house as we chatted, then we were riding in a car, in what looked like downtown Los Angeles somewhere, at night. You know how dreams abruptly switch locations on you? Yep.

Summer. Sunshine. Yet the corn field across the way seemed in its winter state. Yellow bits of stalks left, the electric fence up to keep the feeder cattle contained. As people turn out their herds on harvested corn fields here, let them eat away to their heart’s content on corn stalks. Not being in the cow business, I have little to no interest as to why this is. Something about not wanting those giving birth to be too fat or something. I really do need to perk up my ears about the bovine trade, oh dear. Where was I. Oh yes.

Summer yet winter corn!

The juxtaposing of two seasons, yet the harmony of it. All while I’m chatting away to Mr. Fifty Shades. Jamie Dornan?

My truly malicious naughty dream inventor creature slapped together some amalgam of the Fifty Shades brooder with what is probably not the actor’s personality at all. Also, this amalgam stood in the lane, quite a distance from me. I walked up and down the road! Yet we could hear each other fine.

We had supernatural hearing. As you do in dreams.

Yes, a bit of polite flirting. I remember him muttering I wasn’t ready yet. Ugh? Then I was asking him what it was like to make that movie, if that was okay to ask him.

So it went from the Fifty Shades character to the actor, back and forth, like a weird game of chat tennis. It was both the Fifty Shades grim alpha hamster and the more down to earth, perhaps a bit more realistic actor persona.

Which I totally made up, I’m sure, for that dream series of sequences. Am I  a fan of Dornan or harboring a ghastly desperate want to get a slice of that fantasy? Not that I know of!

The dream ended before we two arrived at whatever destination in this convertible car. You should always drive in downtown Los Angeles in a convertible when dreaming– that’s my sage advice for now and always. But we clearly liked talking to each other. I perhaps miss people I can talk to– that might be what this dream tried, in symbols, movie stars and country roads, to tell me. TALK TO ACTUAL PEOPLE, YOU TWIT.

Maybe it’s a warning. Talk to real people before you actually do become one of those crazy hermit sorts, muttering at the rats you’ve made your boon companions about the state of today’s youth.

Maybe it’s meant to tell me to stop watching awful movies, just watch the ones that win lots of awards. No, no! I’ll never give up my junkie bad movie ways! No no no!

Ah, well, probably be checking the mail in my dreams tonight while chatting up one of the sharks from Sharknado.

Don’t bite me, combined with– Did you enjoy being one of the main sharks? Wherewith the shark will bite me, then answer–Tip top, I did, old chum, it was jolly good fun, lots of laughs.

You’re British?? Why is everyone British these days??

Don’t be spiffy, dahling. I’d like to chew your arm off, do put that in the mailbox already!

[My dream creator might add some Jeeves and Wooster in there, oh heck.]

A bit of light-hearted nonsense on a cloudy January day.

I also completed a one act play.

You may now cheer, clap your hands, grin foolishly for hours, o gentle readers. Celebrate in a suitable fashion. Remember to get some rest afterward.

I wrote twenty pages or so of dialogue about tigers, Pocatello, Idaho, and ghosts.

Clawtooth.

It needs some spiffing, pages numbered, nipple clamps added, but by Jove, it’s a rough draft! Mr. Gray will be so pleased. 

Sharknado-2.jpg
This is from Sharknado II. I’ve seen all of them. 
71dMWCNKd4L._SY445_.jpg
In case my genteel, well cultured readers had no idea to what I was referring. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Edward Gray and Bella Steele. Something like that! Tee hee. 
Advertisements

XAVIER AND VICKIE

dec20188098 014.jpg
Miz Bridge. A little skinny cow dog mix. 

Christmas. It’s over. I have tales. A new dog. A relationship so toxic Baby Jesus winced even as Baby Jesus gave the two the side eye. A funeral. Ah.

The death of a mother. A friend of mine. Right before a big holiday season. Not pleasant when there isn’t a string of days devoted to this or that. Horribly nasty when it takes place during festive times. A Buddhist funeral. I’ve never been to one. I went with another family member, who’d never been to one either. This was a neighbor lady, Japanese, who had lived at the house across the field for eons. Farmers. Everyone about here are either farmers or teachers. Or cook meth. It’s that kinda world here lately.

Bells. Incense. Chanting. Very dignified. A sort of foggy Christmas Eve day. No snow. Wet, muddy, foggy. A reminder that Dicken’s immortal classic began with a funeral on Christmas Eve. Marley’s. More bells and the sweet odor of incense. 

Christmas Eve is spent with the hillbilly side of the fam’ly.

Christmas Day was and is traditionally spent with the other half of the family. Both sides of my family got along very well, in case you were wondering. Both sets of grandparents really enjoyed visiting with each other. Both sets migrated here to Oregon and Idaho from Nebraska, where they grow corn and manners and tornadoes. That’s what I’ve gathered from all that talking back and forth over the years. Christmas Day was giant meal, the women did all the cooking, and we played cards all afternoon.

Christmas Eve was spent with the hillbillies.

That’s my own pet snarky nickname for my mom’s kith and kin. I did get to see pictures of the cougars my cousin trapped and hear about how the price of coyote pelts is through the roof right now. I silently wondered who’s buying fur anymore. Who the fuck is that? Cause you’re not eating the cougar meat. You’re not eating the coyote meat– though I did see where you can cook it and turn it into haute cuisine sort of food. That was when Andrew Zimmerman still wandered through the Travel Channel. But anyway, before I get distracted and this gets super-ass long as hell!

I do cuss. If you’re new here, well. I do cuss on occasion.

Yes, now to Xavier and Vickie. Which is not their real names.

My little group trundles off toward the Christmas Eve festivities. It’s a foggy, muddy, somewhat rainy Eve. No snow. No real cheer. Just obligation and the thought of the chips and dips. Which tell me the holiday season is truly nigh. Sad. Chips and dips is what I look forward to, not halting awkward family interactions and hearing that the lib’rals have attacked God-fearing red-blooded ‘murican farmers.

I’ve done entire blog posts about what I hear pooped out of human mouths around me. M’kay.

We get there, it’s cool. As in groovy, not my auntie needs to turn the heat on or stuff some wood in her wood-burning stove.

Calm.

Most of the people showing up for this gathering are already there. It’s mellow. My aunt has enough food to feed Boise bubbling, boiling, baking or waiting to go into an oven. Ham. Turkey. Taters. Stuffing. Bacon mac and cheese, from scratch…with six kinds of cheese in it. OH MY WORD. Oh look, chips and dips. And then someone else brings bread and HOMEMADE DIPS THAT ARE SUPER TASTEFUL.

Veggies? No. I have yet to see a veggie dish show up since the death of my own mother over ten years ago. No salad. No squash. No weird green bean casserole attempt. Just meat and carbs and DIP. 

Dc7JVaHXkAA-gmd.jpg
Old-timey recipes! 

However, I pick up on how watchful people are. Waiting. One cousin is not yet there. I hear, nearly five seconds after I enter the house, decorated with red and green, blue and silver, gold and sparkly lights, that Vickie is a bitch. There’s the oh no, don’t start that yet admonishment. Do I already know what is thought of Vickie and her California ways? Yes. Yes, I do. Yep, she’s from California. California is a bad word in Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho. It’s kinda the queen mother of bad words here. You want to really insult someone, ask if they’re from California. [Because it’s run by liberals, the housing, the myths and legends people absorb as truth, the…uh huh. Then, Californians are all moving to Idaho and Oregon, ruining everything. Uh huh.]

I’ve mentioned that one, too. I know I have.

Okay! So we’re all waiting for Xavier to show up. If he and his little woman show up. It’s that kinda crowd.

Ah, the two arrive. The lights splash along the driveway! We’re all tensing already. What will walk through that door? Stay tuned to find out! Where’s the dip??!!

It’s just Xavier and one of his very young chil’ren. She’s fucking still out there in the car, he snarl-snaps at the startled, still sorts watching this entrance.

Suddenly, we’re watching a Eugene O’Neill play, except with modern language added. [The f bomb, mostly.]

Xavier dumps his first load of baby stuff– as it takes several Sherpa loads these days to take babies anywhere– to fetch the other kid and the rest of the stuff, presents and stuff. Vickie has not yet made her appearance. We’re all…uncomfortable audience members to this kitchen sink reality show of epic proportions. It takes perhaps half an hour before Vickie makes her DRAMATIC ENTRANCE.

DOG SHIT. ON MY SHOE. BIG PILE OF DOG SHIT. RIGHT THERE BY THE CAR DOOR. WHAT THE FUCK? DOG SHIT DOG SHIT DOG SHIT!

She’s more wound up than a barrel of rattlesnakes and twice as poisonous. Something like that!

Instantly, as we’ve been enjoying the two very young babies– both under two years old or so– the tension goes to eleven.

Xavier bristles. Vickie uses Wet Wipes to clean the poo from her shoes. Instead of just removing her shoes, leaving them by the door. Or laughing about stepping in dog poo right out of the car door. Or…so many other choices here than what she chose to do. [It’s family, you pretend you have manners. If I learned nothing else, I learned that, hello!]

Though dog poo on velvet shoes or delicate little spendy numbers you adore…but. I saw the shoes, just some old cheap ass boot looking things. Then the mutters, from Vickie, about the baby crawling on the floor…mm. If the tap water was drinkable. To keep so and so away from Baby X. Mutters. Oh the mutters one overhears at times. 

Xavier and Vickie apparently fought the entire time they drove to the Christmas Eve gathering. Apparently, they’ve been fighting since before they met, if you know what I mean. So, there’s muttering. So much under the breath muttering, just muttered loud enough for all of us to hear. Those not front and center in this O’Neill gritty reboot, have the side eyes down to an art. We’ve all become experts in body language communication exchanges. There’s selective deafness goin’ on! Whee!

The holiday air seems stained with invisible dirty bomb emissions. The chips and dips, so good! Everyone’s munching or in the other room, shoulders hunched up. Because surely, this ugly pimple is gonna burst. Spray noxious fluids all over us. Ever had one of those ugly angry white-topped pimples? Yeah, like that. Ever watched cysts and infected pimples get drained?? So gross and yet so satisfying!

Where was I.

The presents get opened. Ah. Thanks! The sound of ripping paper, the asking if those pretty boxes were bought at Joanne’s. [The local craft store.]

The food, the literal mountains of food, become available for consumption. The alcohol has been flowing, so actual food that’s not chips and/or dip, nice. Xavier, shoulders hunched to his angry earlobes, slaps some of that food on a big disposable plate, prepares to chow down. Vickie mutters she’d sure like a hot meal as she slams about getting out baby food stuff. Xavier about comes out of his angry skin, like a butterfly bent on rampages, bursting out of a cocoon, ready for carnage. He shoves that giant disposable plate away. He goes off for cartons of baby goo to shove at the youngest kiddo. The older kiddo gets mac and cheese and other tidbits. The two sit on the same side of the table. We’re…careful. Watching. Afraid to breathe.

Are the guns locked up? [I had that actual thought. Both sides of the fam’ly are totally into GUNZ.] This is the lead up to one of those Christmas Eve drunken fam’ly shootings. I’m watching it in real time. That was the impression I had.

Now, the two are shoving food at the two kids. Neither talk. The one year old can barely crawl. I see Xavier about once or twice a year, if that. My other cousin’s little woman fills me in on all this so…I have the gossip and what I observe. Okay!

Not long after the most uncomfortable dining experience I’ve had to sit through in years, Xavier and Vickie pack up their spawn, their shit, and head back ‘home’. Without a kind word for each other, without much enjoyment shown toward either kid, with faces like death masks from a Greek tragedy. A Greek tragedy channeling Long Day’s Journey Into Night with big handfuls of Mamet’s way with certain words thrown in.

During this brief, awful family drama unfurling, I go outside where people are smoking the funny weed that’s legal in my state. I burst out about the tension, what the hell is this, does anyone have any heroin, because it will take the edge off that scene in there. We all laugh, gossip fiercely, suck down some smoke. Because hey, why confront directly when you can smoke funky plants and gossip in half-whispers?

No. I don’t do heroin.

Okay! I’m not around Vickie on a regular basis so I don’t really know her but it does seem she got painted early on as a bitch, and unlikable. That she never really had a chance. When you’re around people who don’t like you, no matter how nice they’re pretending to be, you tend to get defensive. A lot defensive. Poor Vickie can’t avoid her own kid’s grandma. Well, she can and has, I gather. What a mess, a hot sticky this is gonna hurt to actually resolve this MESS.

That was my Christmas Eve. I had pecan-flavored whiskey, but did not get drunk. A bit high, but not drunk.

The fate of those four caught in some loop of resentment, outright hatred, commitment entanglements, children, obligations, job loss…ugh. I don’t know. Counseling might help, some neutral party that can weather the pimple bursting far better than family members can. I see a nasty as hell breakup galloping down the two-lane. Maybe people going to jail for assault. [Yes, that’s the air I got from all this.] I don’t want to hear Xavier and Vickie imploded and took everyone around them downward, too. I want to hear they took a realistic look a their situation, their relationship, worked out custody and money matters, then parted for good. So they could both heal from all this and become far better people on the other side. That’s my Christmas wish this year.

And the writer part of me…sadly…goes– how to use this? They don’t read my stuff. Or if they do, I don’t hear about it. [If that side did read my collected works, they’d tar and feather me, after asking me if so and so was them…] Family drama fuels a thousand percent of literature is my humble opinion. Usually first-hand family drama.

Except those writers who grew up in a vacuum somewhere in the wilds of Oregon on a communist commune where nothing happened except the day’s baking of nan bread. They grew up, wrote nice poems about flowers and were politely puzzled at another writer’s seething three-book rage-athon on why their dad was a POS.

Xavier and Vickie, poor things. Their two little peanuts. You just want to offer to take the two kiddos, let the two adults go destroy each other all they wish…

But hey, found a stray dog. Cream underbelly, dark brown silky soft short coat. What we call a cow dog. But there’s something else in there. Rottweiler? German Shepherd? Maybe even a bit of pit bull? Boxy head. Smart, female, no collar, skinny. I did post her on social media. I did ask the folks living where I found her if she was their dog. Nope. I found her where we’ve found other dogs, it’s a spot to drop unwanted canines out. Brigit. Or Miz Bridge. As she was found by the bridge. Yeah.

So far she’s torn up some mats and a old magazine. And my flip flops. But. She’s a big puppy yet.

I’ll end on a nice note instead of the intense sadness that is my cousin’s life situation at the moment. New dog! Oh and it snowed. It’s not a muddy spring-like mess without. Snow. I do love snow.

DtV2pJEWoAAHe1q.jpg
I just like this pic. We have rabbits, there’s snow now on the ground. Then I wonder if that poor bunny is cold…

Blocked

whiskey river soap company.jpg
from the Whiskey River Soap Company.

I read, somewhere, in the vague reaches of the internet’s reachage, that writer’s block happens because there’s serious doubt going on. Or some sort of self-ingrained idea that no matter what you write or create, it’s CRAP ON TOAST. So why bother at all?

Bingo. That one wormed inside, took up residence, made itself a cup of tea on the inner barely working stove. Where only two of the four burners work, and one of those working burners keeps trying to quit, too.

Obviously, I’m wallowing in those Don’t Wanna Write Nuthin’ waters.

There’s no joy left in creating anything word-wise. Even my silly, ain’t gonna show this to no one, crapwriting won’t flow like a sad little river these days. I’ve started the same file over about five times now.

Then go–I’ve written this EXACT FREAKING THING ALREADY, GO FALL ON A RATTLESNAKE, YOU TALENTLESS WEASEL. How dare you try to write at all, you BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP!

Bleep.

Same goes for a play I started. Started it several times over. Want to scrap whatever I wrote, start over. It’s a compulsion at this point. Start over. Start over. START OVER. Write about fifteen pages, get that notion that even a dead syphilitic rat would not piss on this! Then I go read headlines about the state of the world.

That’s where I am, writing-wise. Defeated at the thought that not even a dead rat would bother wetting itself [I know, how can a dead rat pee on anything? I know. Just humor me a bit here.] on pages I’ve managed to form from the deep voids.

It has not snowed yet. It’s cold, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow. But today, no snow. None. Snow perks me up.

Maybe I’ll write the Bestest Thing Ever!!

when or if it snows tomorrow.

Maybe the dead rats will pee on it with glad singing in their dead hearts.

Maybe? Maybe. Maybe!!

And those little voices in my head whispering no no no nope no no way nope nope nope.

Little fuckers. They never shut up these days…!

unnamed-780x405 showpo.jpg
from Showpo. Yep. Yep yep. 

Hello, December

pinterest.jpg
from Pinterest. One of the muses before she skips off for an adventure…

December rolls up like a gritty whore after a night spent with tourists on the Lost Wages Strip. Hello, December! You already tired and sore, honey? Yeah.

Now that you have that in your heads.

I did start a new play.

Three times now. I think this last time I’ll let it unroll how it wants, see what the tricksy muses wish to fart out.

My muses don’t murmur soft gracious urbane phrases and plot lines, oh no. They’re those terrible old women who don’t give a shit anymore. The ones that lift their butt cheek to let loose a long, satisfying ass honk. Then laugh, then cuss up a storm, trying to remember where they left their teeth. They wear comfy clothes splattered with stains and mysterious patches. Their hands could sand wood to a smooth finish. Feet like hooves.

Occasionally they take off for adventures, go get laid and run from foreign cops in stolen cars they can’t really drive. Before turning up to fart, belch, drink coffee and gossip in my head.

There’s no snow yet. A few tries but nothing that’s stuck. I can’t wait. That first real snow fall. Storms of snow. Makes me wish I lived in a snow globe. Not really, but it sounded poetic and sweet, didn’t it?

I’m wading into stagnant pond scum, inner-person wise. The inside tides have shifted. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, yeah. That’s my life motto at the moment.

But hey. I started a new play.

I want to make rugelach [my computer wants to change that to rubella], even though I’d have to take a shower, put on town clothes, go fetch some cream cheese, apricot jam, cheap walnuts. Raisins?! I have the cinnamon. Maybe I’ll just sprinkle that on some toast, roll that up, call it good. I’ve never made it before. A little rolled up cookie full of jam, nuts and raisins. It doesn’t seem particularly hard to make. It’s a change from sugar cookies.

I don’t want to wander over into maudlin land. I know very well sharing the actual thoughts in my head are never really welcomed. By anyone. I always snort, get a cold shaky feeling, when someone tells me to be myself. No thanks. I’d rather roll in a dead deer carcass that believe anything that comes out of another person’s mouth. Cynical? Yep, that’s me.

Hello, December.

New Play Exchange

jan2018-027

A quickie. I have followed the herd over to the New Play Exchange. I am listing my plays well received to those indifferently passed over. Plus everything in between. 

 

newplayexchange.org/users/22994/ann-wuehler

 

17822_10155741052480131_396176933911684220_n.jpg
from the Mating Season of Flying Monkeys

download.jpgimages.jpgimages (2).jpg

images (3).jpg
Enter a caption
Justyna Cross, Ireland.jpg
Justyna Cross, Ireland. From Cinnamon Rainbow

images (1).jpgimages (4).jpgSERIES+1.jpeg

ECYLADLP BLUE.jpg

Maya-poster-trsces-of-memory-714x1024.jpg
http://thebnff.com/traces-of-memory/
oFancy Meeting You Here & The Care and Feeding of Baby Birds, Hollywood.jpg
Fancy Meeting You Here & The Care and Feeding of Baby Birds, Hollywood

Shameless

319790
from the Ilkley Playhouse. 

I thought I’d end August with some SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION. 

The Ilkley Playhouse, in the UK, is doing an evening of my short works. If you’re near that area, hey, go see em! I’m sorta…not anywhere near the UK. My evil powers do not extend to Apparating where I want to or the reverse of that. 

The following is from their website–

cinnamon rainbow.jpg
from Cinnamon Rainbow. Ilkley Playhouse

Sept 6-8, 2018.

Whalegirl and other short plays

by Ann Wuehler

Ann Whuler’s[Wuehler!] powerful and perceptive work touches every open nerve of human existence, displaying a true depth of understanding. The issues covered by these seven plays include the desperation of loneliness, casual relationships and forbidden love, parental guilt, personal failure, dehumanisation and flight from an unsatisfactory reality. Yet in her inimitable gritty style the author still finds empathy, compassion and wry humour. Disturbing and entertaining in equal measure.

Whalegirl: An intriguing play in which a man grieving for the death of his daughter from anorexia encounters an obese girl on a beach.

The Care and Feeding of Baby Birds: A dramatic monologue in which a young woman nurses abandoned fledglings while ruminating on her unsuccessful life.

Frog Loves Christy: A duologue in which two half-sisters discuss their future.

The Mating Season of Flying Monkeys: A comic piece in which two elderly sisters argue about love.

Doll Cargo: A powerful drama about human trafficking.

Cinnamon Rainbow: A comedy about a hopeless burglar who tries to rob a lonely woman.

Traces of memory: A dark drama about two women running away to escape their pasts.

With adult content and language.

Directed by Andrew Leggott and Denise MacGregor

whalegirl.jpg
from Whalegirl. 

Starved Out

pratt3

I am doing some research for a possible novel project. I have tons of other novels to work on. So here I am, looking into Baker County history, reading about slugs and sights and scopes for deer, and soaking in some Oregon Trail history.

I found this little tidbit. About a woman who was homesteading back in the 1920’s, in Central Oregon. Alone. Alice Day Pratt. In the Crooked River Valley area.

One remarkable woman who homesteaded a small ranch alone in the Crooked River Valley finally “starved out” in 1929 and went back east to live with her relatives. Alice Day Pratt wrote in her memoirs: “I gave away my chickens to friends who had helped me in many a tight place. These friends…were to care for…my ponies, which were to run…as long as they lived. I blessed the fact that horses were so over-abundant that they were unencumbered with a mortgage.”” https://oregonhistoryproject.org/narratives/central-oregon-adaptation-and-compromise-in-an-arid-landscape/pre-industrial-period-1870-1910/ranches/#.W1P8tNSEAsY

“And in September of 1911, she and her dog boarded a train bound for Oregon.” Alice Day Pratt and the Homestead Dream
by Molly Gloss, author of The Jump-Off Creek

forgotten-oregon-27 melissa whitney photo.jpg
Forgotten Oregon, by Melissa Whitney, photographer.

Now, this is not what my novel would center on. At all.

I wrote a blistering little rant to a friend of mine about the Hammonds and the Bundy fuckery at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and she was like, hey, novel here, write this up. And I was like, oooh, a break from zombies and sex fiends, yay!

refuge1 oregonlive.JPG
from Oregon Live. Look at that sign!

Except, damn.

A spinster [Alice’s words, not mine] deciding to coolly study where to go, and then settling on Oregon, looking at what land is available and what to do with it. From pamphlets. A woman who worked in the Alabama coal mines as a teacher.

And just now, I had a THOUGHT.

What if I contrasted this Alice character against my composite renderings of real life fucknuts jerking off to how they love them some Constantitooooshan and freeedumb.

I need to tone down my sarcasm, yes. Yes, I do. I need to have sympathy and empathy for the Fucktoads and the Shitbirds with Big Gunz. Uh huh. They never get heard and Free Speech and eagles. Lots of eagles.

67878_fletcher oregon encyclopedia.jpg
Notice that doesn’t look like the typical Hollywood depiction of a cowboy…

I just keep going back to Alice giving away her chickens. Smiling. I see her smiling as she does this.

Trying to be brave, or actually brave and clear-sighted to the realities of what she had to do. Ready to face whatever came next as she headed back East to live with relatives. After being her own woman for years.

1929. Right before American turned into a dusty graveyard of American dreams. Right before the horrors of what Hitler was doing began to drift out of Europe. Right before yet another giant world-wide war would hit.

I read this or that, and have written a paragraph or two on the maybe novel itself. The basic tale. The sides, the politics. I had begun with the two men shooting deer illegally. Which is where I went, hey, what gun would you use and…research time!

Ask one of my gun nuts relatives? That feels like cheating and I’d get weird looks as I wrote down this or that…as trying to remember barrels, bullet or slug size, make and model, years…ugh.

pinterest.jpg
from Pinterest. See what I mean?

People can rattle that info off like people do with superhero stats. Story lines, alternative universe stories, worlds created; deaths, rebirths, villains, children of superheroes, evolution of superheroes and name changes, color of their bowel movements…

And then I considered, maybe the story needs to be told from the female POV.

That seemed to click-a-clack with me.

Those good Christian wives who go along, who pray real hard their husbands shoot them a big gubbermint liberal commie BLM meddler coming for their freeeedumbs…whoops.

North-Whitney pnwphotoblog.jpg
from North-Whitney pnw photoblog. This is up around Sumpter, Oregon/Baker County or it looks so. Lots of old homestead places to take pics of in Oregon.

Slipped into total snark mode! I promise. I’ll write like a sedate adult who drinks weak cups of tea. I won’t do that at all. But it sounds nice, right?

I am steeped in this culture, after all, of the Mythical West. I was born and bred here, as they say. I have sagebrush in my blood and a twinkle of Snake River in my eye. That sounds rather gross and painful but oh well.

I, after all, have set many a tale and play here on home ground. In the Owyhees, in John Day, in Idaho City, in Ontario and Vale and La Grande.

I have an entire novel, Cue the Violins, set in a mythical small Oregon town on the far side of John Day, called Smithhouse. Based on Mitchell, Oregon. No monsters, just people in it. Some of whom are a bit monstrous. Does that count?

I set an entire superfun zombie novel in Boise. Boise! Yeah, you don’t get a zombie vibe from that agri-business town, home of J.R. Simplot. Oh, sorry, the guy who invented Ore-Ida…

I remember my grandmother talking about Boise.

It used to be a cow town, full of farmers trading their stuff. Something like that. She had real disdain for it. Boise used to be nothing much and it’s still nothing much, was her general dismissal of it.

And back to that woman giving away her chickens, making sure her ponies got taken care of. With that rather shiver-giving phrase used to describe her time in Oregon–starved out. 

It’s a soothing balm. It’s a story arc. Beginning, middle, end!

Bright-eyed hope and optimism, years of hard work, have to give up and go away to perhaps start over again. That’s the real story of the settling of the West. You try, you get clobbered, you have to give up. Or you die before you can throw your hands up and head back to softer places with civilization and understood norms.

That’s the far more honest take on settlers and homesteaders and miners…even the toughest got their asses handed to them, no matter the jaunty cowboy hat and the can-do spirit. No matter how many bears they fight or how many libtards they “own” on Twitter…whoops, sarcasm alert.

So, I might need to incorporate a lone woman homesteader figure in contrast with the Drapers. That’s my current placeholder name for my cowboy outlaw numpties, on par with Claude Dallas. If you have no idea who that is…go look him up. He was considered a hero. Yep.

I also read some of the history of the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM.

If you’re from the west in the US, you know instantly what that is.

There was a brief mention that the native tribes in Oregon, Washington State and Idaho didn’t get treated so nicely. And then a hasty drop the subject and move on to the glossy sentences about settlers and miners.

Yeah, taking ancestral lands and gifting that to the white people [called Euro-Americans]…mm.

cropped-Chief-Joseph-Days-Logo-yellow.png
from Chief Joseph days, celebrating a Nez Perce man who took on the US govt. and nearly won. Nearly won.

There’s also, and I learned that not that long ago, a tale of a massacre in Hells Canyon.

imdb.jpg

Thirty or more Chinese miners were slaughtered for the gold they’d gathered…and the men responsible didn’t get punished and in fact, established a town or two and become super-respectable. They finally got a monument put up to this…and it’s a half hour documentary if you want to check it out.

Memorial the oregon encyclopedia.jpg
The memorial placed to commemorate the massacre, the Oregon Encyclopedia.  

So, I have bits and pieces of actual Oregon history, a tale of people who look like they stepped out of a John Wayne cowboy movie so people ignored everything they actually did…and a pardon by a corrupt orange king wannabe to give his base some red meat and himself some praise and back-pats.

images (1).jpg

Who just gave the raving militia sorts that populate the west a green light. Those anti-gov sorts who rave about their rights and Obama coming for their guns…yep.

Oh, you thought Oregon was nice and full of hippies or something?? Honey! That’s PORTLAND. The rest of Oregon is…mm

Starved out. Giving away her chickens.

Maybe there really is a Great American Novel in me. It’s how to weave the many strands and make a giant wall hanging out of them.

Oh. The Substation Fire pretty much destroyed the Dalles and Sherman County and…it’s bad. The West is on fire. And I’m mixing and matching fragments and pieces of history, myth, tales and bullshit.

Nice to meet ya, Miss Pratt.

lookout mountain 119.jpg
From up around Lookout Mountain. Those are bullet holes in an old sign. Welcome to Oregon.