Inner Peace Award, Sunshine Award, and Irony

So I was nominated by Jules over at Julia the Writer Girl.  And according to the rules, I’m supposed to thank her, but yeah, not doing that seeing as she knows how much I hate these things.

And it was really ironic, too, that it was the “Inner Peace Award” and the “Sunshine Award” that I received as I inwardly screamed curses and epithets at the lovely mentioned above.

In any case…

Seven Things About Me that were maybe stolen from Julia’s list:

  1. I am 5’1 and very proud that I actually bested Julia for shortness.  (Though I rarely lose when it comes to that.)  I’m the shortest kid in my family, both immediate and extended, and one of the shortest in my class.
  2. I’ve always hated my hair because it’s an entirely ordinary color (dark brown), extremely thick, partly curly, partly wavy, altogether an absolute mess and freak of nature.
  3. I currently own four pairs of glasses.  Because according to my eye doctor we can’t put new lenses in my old frames — they’re too fragile — so every time I needed a new prescription I got a completely new pair.  They’ve kinda been building up.
  4. When I was in a show, one of my lines included the word “ass-cart” and I basically had to yell it in rehearsal.  So I finished that line, waited for the next person to respond, at which point every single immature member of that cast BURST out laughing.  The director had to change the word to “donkey-cart” and “ass-cart” became somewhat of a running joke between the cast members.
  5. I have an awful tendency to use words ending in “-ing” when I’m noveling.  And this tendency needs to die in a hole.  Now.
  6. If you instant chat with me, I’ll probably be eating some kind of dairy product.  Whether it’s yogurt, cheese, or ice cream, the Wisconsin culture runs deep.  😛
  7. Regarding the above-mentioned smallness, when I was in Washington D.C. on a school trip, we went on a tour of the various historical places.  And all around the capitol building is this big stone wall, and I happened to be standing in front of the wall, peering over it for a better view.  At which point, a foreign exchange student that I really don’t know comes over, goes “Ready, one, two, three”, picks me up and puts me on the wall.  I don’t know why he had to to that, but it still makes me laugh.

Aaaaaaaaaand since reciprocal nominations would really do no good, I’m being a horrible cheater and not nominating anybody because, *jazz hands* they’ve already been nominated!  😀  (That smiley and any implied enthusiasm were entirely ironic.)

Thinking of posting some of the non-vomit-inducing portions of my Camp NaNo novel.  Thoughts?

Don’t sit on any pencils,


The Bane of my Existence

I’ve come to notice that there are a lot of “banes of my existence”, simply because I love the phrase.  It’s so much more fun to say than, “I strongly dislike this.” Or even, “I hate this.”  It’s also a lot more pretentious, but don’t let that fool you; that’s totally not why I like it.  *cough*

So, today, I will present you with yet another example of a bane of my existence:

Oh, sure, the BEAR is happy. He’s not the one writing the BLASTED NOVELS.


I’ve got it: GOLDEN OIL.

I love novels.  I love writing.  Put them together, you’d really think you’d strike gold, right?  (Or maybe oil.  Oil seems like it might get you more money — and who doesn’t want more money? — so I’m going with oil.)  Wrong.  Absolutely, completely, one hundred and ten percent incorrect.  In all my attempts, I’ve actually finished a first draft of one novel.  It was horrible.  It remains horrible.  I’m attempting to edit right now.  I’m basically rewriting the entire thing.

All those other novels?  Well, I either hit a huge case of writer’s block right in the middle, or I realized just how bad it was and decided that I simply couldn’t continue and had to start from scratch.  And all those projects I restarted?  I restarted them again.  And again.  And again, usually only getting about five or six chapters in each time.

There’s blog credit at the bottom of this picture. Highly suggest you check it out. 🙂

Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out just how I wrote that first novel.  How I let myself sit there and plunk out the clunkiest, awkwardest, worst, most awful draft the world has ever seen, because, at this point, I need that back.  No, I don’t need the awful writing or the punctuation errors, and no I do not need the terrible jokes I thought were funny.  What I do need is the framework that I ended up with.  When I finished that draft, I knew it was going to need a lot of work.  I knew that I was probably going to have to go back and do some major edits.  I didn’t have a great piece of literature — in fact, I had an awful piece of prose.  But what I did have was a framework.  I knew what I wanted my book to say.  I had an intimate understanding of the characters I was writing.  By the end, I knew exactly how my characters would react, what they would say, and how they would say it without even batting an eye.

That is what I want back.

I’m trying to dig, trying to find my twelve-year-old self and ask just how in the heck I finished that novel.  How, when I knew that my writing was a mess of gunk and mud and crap, I made myself sit down and finish.  How, at night, I could sit down and type out a few thousand words, easy, simply because I enjoyed it.

And I think I’m finally understanding what all those NaNo pep talks always said: turn off that inner editor.

I need a first draft to be awful.

I need a first draft to understand where I’m going.

I need a first draft to be finished.

I need a first draft.

Hopefully, this Camp NaNo will not be like the previous ones.  Hopefully I will let myself keep writing to build that framework for editing.  Hopefully I will let myself finish the draft.

Hopefully, this bane of my existence will not bite me this time.

Don’t sit on any pencils,


My God is not Dead

המשיח קם! באמת קם!‎ (Hameshiach qam! Be’emet qam!) (Hebrew)

ܡܫܝܚܐ ܩܡ! ܫܪܝܪܐܝܬ ܩܡ!‎ (Mshiḥa qām! sharīrāīth qām! ; Mshiḥo Qom! Shariroith Qom!) (Aramaic)

Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ανέστη! (Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti!) (Greek)

Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere! (Latin)

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

*I apologize to any of my readers who speaks one of these lovely languages.  I copy and pasted Paschal Greetings off of Wikipedia, and I apologize if there are any mistakes.  They are all beautiful languages, and if you have any corrections to make, let me know.

Christ’s peace, love, and joy be with you and your family during this Easter season .  Remember — especially all my Catholic readers — Easter lasts for 50 days, well beyond the bunnies, candies, eggs, and flowers.


Omnes Una Manet Nox

(The title shall make sense in a moment.  Patience young Padawan.)

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.

I’m not even going to count the number of months, because it’s the weekend and I’m done with my algebra homework.  Which obviously means that numbers get shoved into the back of my brain, and I can begin to think in words again.  When I am especially tired, this gets reversed and I try to find the mathematical slope of movie dialogue.  (True story.)

But, alas, I still have no groundbreaking things to write about, so I’m just going to leave you with a short story that I’ve been working on.  Because that’s how I roll.

Anyhow, I think this piece is finally in the “I’m ready to edit” stage, because I hate it.  So suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Like, I’ll write a poem for you if you leave a critique.  And I hate writing poems.



EDIT:  Please ignore the weird formatting.  Whenever I copy and paste something to post online, the text editor goes paragraph-happy.

Please understand: I try to take them gently.  I can’t always make it happen, but I try.  Sometimes I pull too hard and those last breaths are horrible, gut-wrenching gasps.  Sometimes I can’t quite tease their heart into stopping, though most of their brain has been annihilated.  Please understand that I am merely given a name and a place.  But most of all, please understand that I have not, will not, and cannot go against my orders.  They are what they are, I am what I am – that is steadfast and unchangeable.

I am Death.

They are mortals.

I did not choose their fate for them.  Their fate, dear human, was the byproduct of not only their surroundings and choices, but the choices of those around them, as well.  And despite the spectacular array of these byproducts – I suppose you call them lives – the actual death never changes.  Of course, the lead-up to some is more dramatic than others.  Shootings, bombings, fires, the like.  But in the end, nothing ever changes.  With a touch of my hand, a heart stops.  With a brush of my fingers, I draw the last wisp of air from between two slightly parted lips.

That, like my being, is unchangeable.

You may be a dancer or a burglar.

A doctor or a farmer.

A fencer or a tailor.

And I shall take your breath from you in the same way I took the last fellow’s.

To illustrate my point, I ask you to divert your attention down there aways.  Do you see that minivan?  It is going too fast, weaving too much, especially on such a dark night.  Even the moon is hiding.  That’s usually a good indication that you should hide, too.

I know the driver of the minivan.  I’ve seen him many times before; so many times I’ve peered into a room and looked at a little girl lying in a huge bed, tubes running from her various body parts, surrounded by doctors and nurses, a man holding her hand.  ‘Are you ready yet?  No?  I’ll come back later.’  Sometimes his steely blue eyes would meet mine and he’d grip her hand harder.  ‘Later.’  And I would slink out the door.

His cheeks are flushed, but his knuckles are bright white from clutching the steering wheel.  It’s been a long day made even longer by attempting to fathom what to do the next day and the day after that and the day after that.  He isn’t used to driving this stretch after sunset, and it is a particularly dark night.  He keeps his eyes on the road, and, in the distance, finds a blip of light growing bigger.  His death-grip on the wheel lessens a bit and his body relaxes upon spotting the beam in the darkness.

What this man – this Mr. Chase – doesn’t see, however, is that the light is actually two lights.  Two lights belonging to a Mr. Gregory Green.  His vehicle, to be more precise.  His SUV is barreling down the same road, the remnants of a soda spilling all over the cup holder.  Sweat drips down his brow and into his eyes, and his heart pounds so hard he can feel the pulses in his throat.  His hands are still shaking from the adrenaline surge.

The gun is still sitting somewhere in her house.

He didn’t bother to grab it on his way out – or, I should say, he didn’t remember to grab it.  And he doesn’t remember the gun now, either.  He doesn’t let himself dwell on what happened or where he’s going.  He just tries to keep his focus on the road, on the pavement, on the whirring of the tires, and nothing else.  If he breaks his concentration, he knows everything in him will break.

Mr. Chase sighs loudly and his eyes inadvertently drift up to the rearview mirror.  For a moment, he searches for a floral-printed car seat, but he soon remembers that he will see nothing but the gray-green pilot seats.  His eyes, however, are still locked on the rearview mirror and the place where the car seat was, once upon a time.  A place I visited, once upon a time.  I’d looked through the window, at the girl reaching for a wisp of air, at the blue eyes that now search for her everywhere.  ‘Later,’ I’d said then, and went on searching.  Now he searches; it’s a tradeoff, you see.

He’s shuddering, but I don’t know why.  Maybe he’s beginning to sense my presence.  There are those humans who know I’m here, who can feel me in the air.  Those that sense me often have that same fiercely determined look in their eyes.  But that look is, in fact, gone from Mr. Chase’s eyes.  That look was extinguished out the day I won.  The day her little eyes, the eyes that looked so much like her father’s, opened, and found me next to her.  ‘No more laters, darling.’  I put my hand to her lips and found the breath.  I pulled the glinting, glittering gossamer strands up into the air, letting them twirl and coil and twist.  And she let them go easily, let them out with no struggle.  She just watched the glitter dance about the room.  Then I put my hand to her chest and left it there until the gentle thudding of her heart ceased completely.

He found me there, next to her.  He stared at me with those eyes that seemed to belong to both of them.  He ran to her and felt her lips and her chest and her face.  He sat where I sat, waiting for any sign of anything at all.  And when he felt nothing, he looked up at me.  His eyes were completely empty of any fervor, drive, or fierceness.  He cursed me as he held her in his arms, but even the most spiteful of his curses had no passion behind them, and, eventually, he became silent and just sat there, her body growing stiffer in his arms.

Mr. Green is still barreling down the road, and quite frankly, I’m glad that he is.  Not only do I have several stops tonight, but the more catastrophic the crash, the easier it is on me.  The worse the impact, the more their brains shut down.  The more their brains shut down, the less they fight.  It’s a terrible equation, but it’s how you play the game, mortal.  Less of an impact equals more time.  More time equals more pain.  More pain equals more trouble for everyone involved.  Yes, a high-speed collision is preferable.

The sweat still drips into his eyes, but it’s beginning to slow now.  The trembling in his hands is slowing, as well, which means that the adrenaline is beginning to wear-off.  But in its place, there is a hardening in his gut.  His stomach feels like a stone, his head feels like it might spontaneously combust.  What is he going to do?  He can’t drive forever.  He’ll have to stop for gas eventually, and when he does, he’ll have to pay with his credit card.  And when he pays with his credit card, they’ll find him.  They’ll figure it out.  It isn’t like he made it very difficult.  The gun, her body… they’re probably covered in his fingerprints and DNA.

I must say, though, he made the job easy for me.  The shot through the forehead took away any willpower she’d once had.  I simply pulled, and the breath came out with ease.  Her heart stopped after only one touch of my finger.  He stared as I did my job, watched as her chest stilled, as I took away her life breath.

The more he thinks about it, the more nervous he gets, and the more nervous he gets, the harder he presses the gas pedal.  And the harder he presses the gas pedal, the faster he barrels down the road, his truck swerving from left to right as the trembling in his hands begins again

Mr. Chase doesn’t look away from the rearview mirror as cannot bear to tear his eyes off the seat.  He cannot bear to tear his eyes away from a place where she once sat, something she once touched, a piece of the universe she changed forever just by being there.  He cannot bear to look away from a place she once was and focus his eyes on a place that she never touched.  He needs her there, even if it is only traces, even if it is only remnants.

He shudders, still partially aware, I think, of my presence.  And for a moment, I think that that determination is back.  It disappears a moment later, replaced by a look of such vehement hate that I do something I’ve never done before:

I shudder, as well.

Yes, dear mortal, I shudder.  Do not think yourself equal with me, for I am still exponentially above you in all things.  And while I’ve been hated before – too many times to count, in fact – the vehemence in his look surpasses it all.  The hatred and the bitterness in his look cannot be understood by the likes of you; for, even as you see it now, you cannot fully comprehend the extent of the emotion.  Even the look Mr. Green gave the woman just before he raised the gun to her forehead cannot compare to the look that Mr. Chase gave me.

Watch the cars now, dear mortal.  Watch them grow closer and closer.  Watch the drivers, so agitated by everything that has happened, completely lose any grasp of what is happening now.  Listen to the crunch of the metal, to the shattering of the glass, to the shrieks of terror.

Watch their eyes, human.  Watch the hatred disappear, watch the guilt disappear, watch all that melt away.  Watch the horror replace everything else as the metal crunches, dents, and warps around them.

Come with me now.

Come with me to Mr. Green’s car, which has sailed off the road and is lying on its side in a mist-covered farm field.  Look and see him there, his skull fractured, its contents spilling over the seat.  His breathing is shallow, but still there.  They always wait for me, you know.  They have to wait for me.  You humans think you are so terribly important and powerful, but truly, you are not strong enough to die without me.  You cannot even give up on your own.

The thread I pull from between his lips is short and straight.  They don’t dance like the girl’s.  I pull and they come out in a half a second.  Like the woman’s did.  Smoothly, quickly, easily – like plucking a flower from its stem.  It barely takes a touch of my finger to stop his heart.  When he killed her, when he pumped the bullet into her head, when he blew away part of her brain, he blew away part of himself, too.  And whatever broken, twisted, lonely part of him was left behind just didn’t have the willpower to fight me.  Which is wise, I suppose; he had nothing on earth to live for anymore.

Mr. Chase’s car is on its roof, on the opposite side of the road, the tires still spinning.  Curls of dust and dirt and smoke rise into the air, like the girl’s final breath.

The girl…

No, my eyes must be playing tricks on me.

But that is a human fault… my eyes are never wrong.

She is standing there, peering into the window.

I approach the car, but stare at her.  She doesn’t breathe, and when I put a finger to her chest, I feel no beat.  She stares back at me, showing no fear, the wind making her blue dress cling to her spindly legs.  “Hi,” she says plainly, without a drop of emotion in her voice.

“Salutations,” I reply and kneel next to the wad of metal that was once a minivan.  I peer through the window she was looking through and find him there, upside down, his eyes open and fixed on something.

The mirror.

Blood spurts from his chest and trails down his neck, onto his face. I hope, for the girl’s sake, that he doesn’t gasp or struggle against me.  I’m not entirely sure what kind of emotions a ghost-girl has, but I know that it is very painful for the living to see a loved one cough and choke on their last breath.  Carefully, I pinch the delicate strands between my pointer finger and thumb and begin to ease them out, half expecting him to fight me to the last.  He would do something like that, just to give me trouble.  He’s the type of person that would fight, just to make it more difficult.  He doesn’t, however, and I suppose he’s done it just to spite me.  Since I expect him to make it difficult, he decides to make it easy.

The idiot.  There is no point in toying with me – I always win in the end.

The strands come out easily, not dancing or twirling like his daughter’s.  They are thin and fragile, like hers, but they dangle listlessly from my fingers, like a stalk of withered grass.  His breath… it was like the man’s.  Completely devoid of any willpower, fierceness, or fight.  But he had something to live for.

Human folly.  One loss and you think that the sky is falling.

“It isn’t fair,” the girl whispers, putting a cold hand on my arm.

“What isn’t fair, darling?” I ask, testing his heart, still not quite believing that she is indeed present.  I’ve never seen a patient of mine post-mortem before.  I pull the strands, I stop the beating, I leave, and they never return to thank me because you humans are ingrates.  One finger… two… three…


            “He was a bad man,” she replies, pointing to where a Mr. Green once was, and is no more.  “And my daddy was a good man.”

Is a good man,” I correct, a full five fingers not stopping his heart.  The beating ceases for a split second, then springs back, only to go out again a moment later.  Idiotic.  Apparently he did think that there’s something to live for.  I’ll never understand mortals – so utterly indecisive.  One moment the sky is falling, the next you’re doing everything possible to push it back up again.  Either live or die, but don’t torture me with this purgatory.

“Then why are they both dead?”

I open my mouth to correct her once more – “One is dead,” – but I stop, for time made her statement true.  Seven fingers and his heart is at rest.  “Because that is the way it works, darling.  You live and you die.”  I stand and wipe the blood off my hands.

“But why do they both die the same way?”  She grasps my sleeve, staring up at me pleadingly with the steely blue eyes.

Dear mortal, you are not infinite.  She is not infinite.  Therefore, neither she nor you can understand why both a murderer and a grieving father could die at the same time, in the same place, in the same way.  Then most I can do is to use your own philosophies, as flawed as they are, for they are the only things you could ever hope to understand.

In a pathetic attempt at comprehending who I am and what I do, a man named Horace – whom I also visited – once wrote:  Omnes una manet nox.  Which, translated for those humans who are dunces, means: “The same night awaits us all.”

The same night that awaits the dancer awaits the burglar.

The same night that awaits the doctor awaits the farmer.

The same night that awaits the fencer awaits the tailor.

And the same night that awaits the murderer shall await the father.

Human, there is nothing you can do to change that.  It is unchangeable, just like my being.

Your night will come.  Whether you live well or live poorly, it will come.  Your choices in this life neither lighten nor darken the darkness.  It, like my being, is unchangeable.

So if there is one thing in this universe you should remember, dear mortal, it is this: Omnes una manet nox.  I know this to be true.  I will take your breath the same way I took the last fellow’s.  This night will not vary.

What lies beyond this night, mortal, is a mystery.


Any thoughts, suggestions, critiques, etc. can be left in the comments.  🙂  (A reminder that anyone who critiques gets a poem. 😛 )


In Which I Still Have Nothing to Speak Of

But I’m bored, so you shall be tortured entertained by more of my ramblings.

  • I finished Catching Fire.  For those of you on Figment, I totally geeked out over the ending, as I am apt to do after finishing a book.  Unlike a lot of people I’ve talked to, I preferred Catching Fire to the first book for reasons.  I still don’t like Katniss, and Peeta still annoys me a bit.  But yeah.
  • **DIVERGENT SERIES SPOILERS**  Reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth.  Isn’t nearly as good as the first book.  Very disappointed.  Tris is way too hormone-driven for my taste.  Can we please have a scene where Tris and Tobias don’t kiss?  Also, can Tris slap Tobias?  He is being super hyper-controlling and “not wanting to lose you” is never an excuse to be a jerkwad.  
  • If you carry a Hunger Games book anywhere, you will get at least two comments on it.  🙂
  •   I nearly failed a hearing test because my right ear has decided that it’s lazy and is going to make my left ear do all the work.  Because I don’t have hearing problems in my everyday life, the nurse just put me down as normal.  (But I am faaaaaaaaar from normal… they just don’t know about it yet… 😉 )  So if you ever meet me, never whisper in my right ear; chances are, I heard nothing.  🙂  Also, visual acuity tests at those places suck.  The scene went something like this:

Nurse:  Can you read this line?

Me:  Which line?

Nurse:  The one above my finger.

Me:  …Where’s your finger?

(I’m sure the nurse just loved me.  To her credit, though, she was very nice and patient.)

  • I’m getting new glasses, and my mother says I can get new frames!  EEP!  😀
  •   I’m currently obsessed with The Carol Burnett Show.  I could watch that show all day long.  I would just sit and cry as I howl with laughter.  Can this please be real?  Can I just retire from society and all it’s stupid requirements (PSH, socializing once a month is totally unnecessary) and watch sitcoms and variety shows until kingdom come?  Hero is perfectly welcome to watch The Dick Van Dyke Show with me, if she is so inclined.
  •  School.  Do not even get me started.
  • My writing muse has abandoned me, and Ambrose my plot bunny is NOT DOING HIS
Ambrose the Plot Bunny

Hi, my name is Ambrose and I am a plot bunny


(Addition from Ambrose:  Tatiana is not listening again.  I have plenty to say, but she just pretends not to hear.)


(Ambrose:  It wasn’t your right ear, you dolt.  I said it, quite loudly, into your left ear.  However, implementing the new development I suggested would require real work on your part, so you brushed it aside.  Do not blame me because you are a lazy twat.  AND PUT THAT COOKBOOK AWAY.  THE RECIPE FOR RABBIT STEW DOES NOT INTIMIDATE ME.)
… Yep.

I’m arguing with a blue (Note from Ambrose: ELECTRIC blue) stuffed (Ambrose:  HEY NOW) rabbit.

Do not question me.  (Ambrose encourages you to question me thoroughly, lest you be lead down the same paths I was.  That would be extreme laziness and addiction to variety shows.)


In Which I have Nothing to Speak Of

I’m basically failing at my blog right now.  I haven’t posted in forever, and none of my recent posts have really had any substance anyway.
Today’s post, I’m afraid, isn’t going to be much different.  Just a compilation of some thoughts.  (Which is never good.  My thoughts are rarely anything worthwhile sane appropriate interesting.)

  • I am obsessed with this song right now.  (And it all works out, because I’m Scottish.)  (No, seriously, I am.)  (Okay I’m 1/16 Scottish.  I don’t think that counts.)  The line “And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye,” makes me melt, because, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia ( 😛 ) that may be a nod to the fact that the bodies of soldiers were brought back before their comrades.  So there’s your daily dose of depressing.  But hey, at least it’s pretty.
  •  I recently attended a wonderful writing conference, where I got to meet some of my most favorite people in the world.  ‘Twas run by the illustrious Julia.  (Thanks again, Jules!)
  • School starts son.  I’ll be going to school for the first time since the first grade.  Yikes.  And my exposure to high schools is minimal at best.  (Read as: I’ve read about them and seen them in TV shows/movies, which are always infinitely accurate.  So that means that I should have no friends, get shoved into approximately 20 lockers, and get rescued by the drop-dead gorgeous love of my life, right?)
  •  On the topic of school, my mother is now making me get up early (6:30 — shut up, that is early for the wee homeschooler) to prepare myself for waking up during the school year.  If the last two days are any indication of what lies ahead, I may be a zombie by December.
  •  And on the topic of mornings, my mother got me a shirt that says “I’m allergic to mornings”.  Very true.  Too bad I can’t use that as an excuse to sleep until 10.
  •  Hero probably shouldn’t drink 2 cups of coffee and eat a bowl of ice cream before talking on the phone to our friends.  (Also: coffee is not a snack, darling.  It is a beverage.  One could argue that an iced mocha latte — no I’m not craving one shut up shut up shut up — is a snack/dessert, but simple coffee does not count.  I don’t think so, anyway…)
  •  I finally got Suzanne Collins’s Catching Fire and Veronica Roth’s Insurgent from the library.  EEP!  😀
  •   I have no algebra for my first school term.  HALLELUJAH!
  • My glasses are breaking.  😦  But I need a new prescription anyway, so meh.
  • I’m already behind on Camp NaNo for this month.  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy…

And, yeah, that’s about it.  How very interesting, I know!  My life is just so darn enthralling.

I’ll be back when I (perhaps) have something interesting to write about.

Don’t sit on any pencils,