life day

Life Has a Funny Way...

tumblr_ml7eh6kpwM1r5s8qlo1_250So last year was the Year of Giving It A Shot. I must admit that I didn't give much of anything new a shot last year other than being a published author. Apparently, Life-The-Universe-And-Everything has seen fit to give me a makeup exam in 2014. Last month, I took a "Dragon Training" class where I refreshed my fire eating skills and also learned how to breathe fire. (DUDE!) I'm taking a second one this weekend. Sure, it will probably be a lot of review, but I'd love to get more practice in. Also, hello? Any chance to hang with my friends and play with fire.

While I was looking at some videos about fire eating last month to psych myself up, I stumbled across Brian Brushwood and Scam School on YouTube. Instalove. Since then I've been teaching myself basic magic tricks and some little scams. What the hell, right? I mean, sure I don't have any "marketable skills" but when the zombie apocalypse is over and you need someone who can breathe fire, write a novel in a month and do lame card tricks...well, you'll be sorry you ate me first, now won't you?

(Also, as a side note, I think it's funny that I said that I would be "open to magic" this year. I didn't quite mean sleight-of-hand and such, but whatever. Just go with it.)

Anyway, it also seems that I'm going to need to add a few other tricks to my growing repertoire of skills. My car died. Again. This time it's personal. Or something. Anyway, the VW Bug I got last year to replace my car of 15 years (long live the Stepchild!) gave up its own ghost about three or four weeks ago. I've bummed rides the past 2 weeks to get the kiddo to school, and stalled as much as I can, but it looks like it's time to get a new ride. And by new, I mean something in a more recent model year than the turn of the century. The car I've found that I dig (if I get it, I'll introduce you) is a 2012...and it's a stick. I can't (as of this post) drive a stick. Just like I can't ride a bike. (Yes, it's true, shut up.) So yeah, it looks like there's something else for me to learn if I want this car. (Which I pretty much do. It's all settled but the test drive, ya know?)

Breathing fire, magic tricks, dead car.. . what else? OH! I met my mother-in-law for the first time. That was... fun. Awkward. My husband and I have been together for more than 9 years at this point and I've never met his mom. Part of that is because for the longest time, she lived in Baltimore and we lived in Phoenix. She doesn't travel well due to some medical issues. And we haven't exactly been in a position to do a lot of traveling. However, his mom is moving out here to Phoenix, so she and a few relatives made the road trip from Illinois (where she's been for about a year now) and did some apartment scouting. This also resulted in a bit of a family reunion. My husband and his brother Zach saw their mom for the first time in more than a decade and my daughter met her grandmother for the first time.

visual approximation of that week

Things got rather stressful for a week there because I was selling my car on Craigslist (never again without an answering service, a WWE wrestler and a cattle prod), and trying to juggle communications between husband and in-laws. All while getting over some wicked cough (not related to fire breathing, I might add). I was pretty much a bundle of raw nerves and had zero brain space to devote to fantasy or whimsy in any way.

However, once all that cleared away, I dove headfirst into a new story.  It's still pretty nebulous in my mind, so I don't want to post too much here. But it's outside the C# universe...a stand-alone sci-fi that is--so far--best described as "Ready Player One" meets Tom Clancy...with Geisha. I've posted a series of images that are speaking to me lately on my Facebook page.

So yeah, meeting family...new WiP... shopping for a new car. Plotting and rearranging my con schedule/plans. Looks like I'll be doing CONvergence in Minnesota this summer. That's been my life of late.

How the hell are you?

Lucky 13

It's February 18th. That means it's MY LIFE DAY!!!!

I celebrate this day every year because I almost didn't live to see it. Every year is one more punch in the face to Depression and a notch in my belt. Friday February 18, 2000 I almost committed suicide. I was ready to do it and if it hadn't been for a dear friend being a bastard and calling the campus hotline on me, I probably would've succeeded in becoming a statistic. (At best I would've gotten the, "Dude a chick died in that dorm room and haunts it to this day" urban legend around campus. They probably would've spelled my name wrong, too.) But that anger was enough to say, "Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow after I've punched Jesse in the face."

One day at a time. One reason at a time. One step at a time until 13 years later you're looking back at it and celebrating one of the oddest anniversaries imaginable.

Today is February 18th, 2013. I am not dead. I'm not depressed. I'm not blinded by that depression and I can see the love I had then and cherish the family I have now. I'm a wife and mother. Friend and soul sister. Creative partner. Sworn nemesis. Auntie in the making. I'm an author celebrating a novel and short story sale (did I mention that? Yeah, I sold a short story that will be appearing in an anthology later in the year)... It's not perfect by any means. Still overweight. Still dealing with the occasional back tweak. Life still deals out little traumas and speed bumps, friends are lost and time rolls on. But this existence is mine. All of it. And I have to say that Life. Is. Good.

It gets better. Hurts mend. Dark turns to light. The soul finds its springtime so new life can grow from even the most scarred soil. It gets better. It gets GREAT. And even the great gets better.

It's been 13 years and I'm still here.

(Fuck yeah. Because I feel a 'fuck yeah' was necessary.)

Mine Goes To Eleven!

For those who know me or have been following me for a long time, you know that February 18th always gets a celebratory post. It's not my birthday or wedding anniversary. It's not the day my daughter was born. No, this is a different kind of anniversary. When I was 8 or 9, my parents got divorced. Mom and I moved into our new apartment together on February 18th. I remember something else similarly bittersweet coming to pass on February 18th, but for the life of me, I'm not sure what that was, only that I remarked on the date coming up again. But that's not why I celebrate today, either.

February 18, 2000 was the day I almost died and chose to live.

The short version is that I was suicidal (again) and almost did it. Someone called me, a stranger. She told me that my friends had called the campus hotline and said I was having a "rough time"....that I'd been "thinking of hurting myself".  I lied my way out of that conversation within a few minutes. I wouldn't talk to my friends about it, why would I talk to a stranger? I was so fucking pissed off, so angry that my friends could be so worried about me that they would pawn me off on a stranger then go out for half-priced appetizers, that I stuck around so I could bitch them out the next day. I chose not to kill myself out of sheer spite and vitriol.

They saved my life.

At the time, I didn't see it that way. I saw them as traitorous bastards, but in the past 11 years, I've been able to look at that time with more experienced eyes and I know that I needed that kick in the gut. I needed that anger to light a fire in me to stick around even for just another day. That gave me purpose and it was enough.

I had a cycle. Every five years I fell into this dark place. In 2000, I thought that cycle could only end one way. Thankfully, I was wrong. Five years later, I threw a party. February 18, 2005, I had moved to Arizona, I was with my Ohana, my very own Bee People. Sean and I had been dating and we were talking about getting married. I was at peace and I'd broken a cycle that had started turning when I was in single digits. Five years had gone by and not only did I not want to die, but my life had blossomed.

Last year marked ten years and two broken cycles. I haven't used self-injury as a coping mechanism in ten years.

Because I chose to stick around, I experienced some exquisite hurts and drama, but also some of the most amazing moments of my life. I auditioned for Blue Man Group with my idol! I found a place of peace. The story of my molestation ended with the biggest punch line imaginable! I would've missed that belly laugh! I am surrounded by people that love and support me. My relationships with my parents have deepened. I have an amazing husband and a child that I just can't stop hugging. I am on the cusp of realizing another life-long dream.

I know it's become a bit of a cliche, but I have to say that hell yes, it does get better. It took me a few years to develop it, to find it and to understand it, but it has gotten so much better! I know that I will never fall into that place again. I won't be allowed to. I have too many hands to support me and catch me. I had that before, I just didn't see it for what it was.

I would have missed this.

That would have been the real tragedy.

So today, I celebrate not what happened, but rather what didn't happen. I celebrate that I am here to write this.