Precognition or Just Bad Luck?

To Sleep was a hard book to write. It started out in one direction then the logistics of it (a reader can only suspend so much belief before the book becomes airborne) got too tangled. I set it aside for a year or more then tried again, this time going in a different direction. But some tangles lived on.

When I first wrote the draft for To Sleep in ’09 (it was called The Awakening back then), the MCs were given these touchscreen devices to interface with the System. They were called the Individual System Access Device. They played with what to name them ISAD was, well, sad so they decided to call them their PADs. In 2010 Apple came out with the iPAD.

Another part of To Sleep that was dropped was the initial scout ship was kinda shaped like an egg, smooth with no visible markings whatsoever, and had been in orbit around Saturn, hidden as one of that planet’s many moons. I dropped that part for various reasons but kept the description for one of the main ships that first arrive. In 2012, prior to To Sleep being released, Saturn’s moon Methone was finally imaged up close. It is perfectly smooth with very little visible markings.

In the Earth I created for the Soliloquy series (To Sleep, To Dream, Perchance, To Die), the Religious Right had gotten a firm hold in the US gov’t to the point they are a political party on their own. If you have read the first book, you know what the Religious Right attempt to do.

Tonight, as we wait for the numbers to start getting counted, I hope and pray that yet another bit from that damn book does not come true. Let us come back together as a species and heal the mental wounds we have inflicted on each other. Followers on both sides have gotten nasty. We all need to move on, one way or another.

A Long Time Bloggin’

I realized the other day that I have been online “blogging” for over ten years now. I remember the first time I heard of it. I was hanging out online at a writers forum called “Forward Motion“. Most folks back then were using LiveJournal or one of the others. I poked around with all of that for a short while but didn’t like being locked in to a box that wasn’t mine or mine to control.

So I learned html and tables and made my own dang box! It was ugly but it worked for me. I had my own website anyway by then (good ol’ holyroller.org) and I just put it there. I eventually learned a little bit of CSS and used that as the basic template. After several years of that (yes, years), I stumbled across WordPress with my web host and switched to that. Open source? Done! Copy/paste-ing all that stuff was a major PITA but I did it. Nearly all of it is here. Somewhere in all my files is the original html files. I shudder to look at the mess it was. I think I may be missing some here and there. December of ’03 starts rather abrupt. There’s got to be some missing.

Most of what I wrote in this blog thing was for myself. Noting down progress or the lack thereof. Being accountable to my invisible minions. I don’t think anyone but me was reading it. They told me it was a web log, shortened down to the word “blog”. So, that’s what I made it. A log. Part diary, part daily log.

Come Out!

It is National Coming Out Day. As in coming out of the closet and saying to the world, “I’m a homosexual and damn proud of it!” But I ask, when is the heterosexual coming out day? I feel sorry for those folks. There’s no Het Pride Parade, either.

I can look back now and see where I knew I was ‘different’. I was quite young. Not even a teen. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Sigh. And Wonder Woman. Bigger sigh ’cause she’s got bigger lungs. During the entire show, when she was in that costume, it was not her face I was watching. Sears and Roebuck catalogs. Didn’t all of us go to the underwear section? But I looked at the women section more than I did the men. Trivia fact: most men underwear models are stuffed. As in padded to hide everything, not make it look bigger.

I was in 7th grade when we were shooting the sh..breeze in class. Someone said that if another girl said she liked her, that she would freak out. I said “But it’s a compliment. It’s like someone with the same bike as you admiring your bike. They know what you have, what you got, and what it’s like.” Silence. Absolute silence. I didn’t consider that maybe I was a lesbian.

In high school, it came up a few times but, really, I had better things to do than sit around and consider stuff like that. I lived on a farm. We were too busy to wonder about such stuff. Although, the funny thing is, my grandmother lived just up the road from us. And a lot of times, I’d walk home from her house down to our place in the dark. She’d say “Be careful. One of those homosexuals might drive by and pick you up.” She also whispered when she said homosexual. And she meant MEN homos, not women. I kept telling her that homosexual men wouldn’t want me. To this day, I still don’t think she understood what a homosexual was. Add in the fact we were in the middle of absofreakinglutely nowhere, and it was even funnier.

It was in college that I figured it out. I kissed my first girl. Immediately I thought “Oh. Well. That was different.” I’d kissed guys before that. Four I think. Three? Anyway, that kiss was so very, very different. I could not describe to you the difference. I just figured all the guys I had dated were really bad kissers. Nope. College for me was a very emotional time. I got off the farm and discovered there was a world out there. Not always a good world, either. My relationship with J did not end well and after college, I moved up Nawth where Mom and both brothers were.

It was in NJ that I finally realized who and what I was. And, typical me, I reached that conclusion in a very weird way. It was the early 90s and HIV/AIDS was considered God’s way of cleansing the planet. Being gay was not a good thing at all. It was frightening to think about. But I worked for a non-profit agency and had a cool co-worker. She mentioned her girlfriend and I asked her about what being gay was like. She was cool about it and answered questions and little pieces started fitting together. So I talked to her one day, after much thinking, and said I was going to live like a lesbian for 6 weeks. Think, act, live, be a lesbian for 6 weeks then decide if that was what I was to be. Seriously. Well, girlfriend, when I came out of that close? It was like…it was like I had come out of the cocoon and was a butterfly. I haven’t looked back sense.

Telling my family wasn’t as pretty. Mom was NOT happy. Older sibling just laughed and said I’d get over it. Younger brother was cool. I don’t remember his reaction much. About a year later, I found Lorna and that’s where and who I have been since. Mother has gotten over it I guess. My younger brother’s kids call Lorna “Aunt”. 22 yrs and it seems we keep going backwards, not forwards.

I saw a bumper sticker in a catalog that said “If you want to defend marriage, why not ban divorce?”. And: “If the fetus you save is gay, would you still fight for its rights?”.

So, how did you know you were gay? How did you know you weren’t? When did it first occur to you that you might be gay or not?

Spectacles

I wear prescription glasses and, because I hate sunlight, I wear prescription sunglasses, too (no, I don’t glitter when I stand in the sun). I recently had to get both (sigh, gettin’ old ain’t fer wimps). I usually just keep wearing the same frames and get new lens but both were getting rather fugly. So I had to get lens and frames. Ouch. Just under $800 for the two. Less than we thought it would be but still, wow.

Anyway, the staff at LensCrafters were very busy so L and I wandered around on our own which is always better. I could care less about brands. I don’t wear shirts with the brand emblazoned on the front (like Hillfinger). I guess the only thing I wear with the logo showing is my jeans. And if someone is close enough to my butt to read it, they really ought to be careful back there.

I also hate how eyeglass places are slowly drifting toward gender segregation again. As in men’s frames and women’s frames. Being the fashion queen that I am (stop laughing), you know I sooo want flowery crap on my glasses. And check out this $485 frame. So, as usual, I had to go to the men’s section to find frames I liked. We glanced through the women’s section but, yeah, move along, nothing to see here. Years ago, I had an argument with a sales lady at Sears. She basically refused to show me any frames designed for men. It took us about two minutes of push pull before she crossed her arms and refused. That’s okay, I refused to spend my money there. We both won, I guess.

My new glasses are by Brooks Brothers. The only reason I know that is its on the case. I don’t look for a brand or label. Silly me, I go for what looks good in the mirror. Not that I look in those evil things that often.

The new sunglasses are Ray-ban. I liked them because they curved and will keep the sunlight from creeping in from the side. And I wouldn’t have known they were Ray-bans but the sales guy said so. He was quite proud of the fact that their logo would be on the lens. I asked if I got a discount for the advertising. The guy had no comeback, bless his heart.

Anyway, I got the glasses last week (I. Hate. Bifocals.) and the sunglasses today. The guy who helped me today was much better but had no answer as to how to remove the logo without ruining the lens. Dangit.

For all their high prices and logo everywhere, the case is teh stoopid. It’s a soft case vs hard. The regular glasses have a cool hard case but the new sunglasses won’t fit. So I did a Google search to see where I could get a hard case. OMG WTF? It was like I had did a search for eyeglass porn. That’s how creepy some of the site addresses were. Ebay was the calmest one. Then there were all the “How to tell the fake from the real” sites. I learned on CSI that if they are upright when on the table in the morgue, they’re fake.

Where was I? Oh, right, the point. The point to this diatribe is to ask if anyone knows where I can get a better case. I don’t mind going back to LensCrafters and asking them. Or going to one of those sunglass kiosk cart things in the mall. I just would prefer not to.

Oh, and The Awakening is at 133,555 words. It’s alive and growing.

Bullies

I visit a website/blog called “Crumbs from the Communion Table“. It is an awesome source of inspiration and demonstrates that there is a middle ground where we can all meet and discuss each others side of the story.

Today he posted a video featuring a news anchor somewhere. Doesn’t matter where she is, but what does matter is the message she has to give.

It is so true. Kids repeat what they see and hear.

When my niece and nephew visit us, what they see and hear are some road rage ranting (use your turn signal, gas is on the right, and get off the damn phone); some parking rules (stupidity is not a disability entitling you to that handicap parking spot nor does ‘I’m only going in for a minute’ mean you can park in the hash marks); and how two lesbians’ lives are not that much different from any one else (I don’t know, hon, what do you want to do?). I hope that I do not teach them that calling people names (other than idiot, hang up the damn phone and drive) is a good thing.

Moths, Shoulders, Chairs, and the American Way

A few months ago, I wrote about the pot smoking moth living in my attic. We’ve decided it’s switched to rolling its own cigarettes using whatever is on hand. This explains the smoke we smell every night between 9pm and 1am. Most of the time it smells like someone is burning trash. Nasty smell, by the way. I did have one moth actually land on my arm. I screamed like a girl and hit reverse while swatting it away. It landed under the monitor and when Lorna got finished laughing at me, she went to find it (I was out in the hall way). She never found it. I know it is under there, staring at me, waiting until my attention is diverted and then WHAM, it will land on me again. They like hearing me scream, by the way. Apparently “FUCK!” screamed just right is like crack to them.

My shoulder is no better. No worse, either. I guess that’s good. I can type longer now because I have everything so supported. A towel flat here, a rolled up towel there, lean in that direction…blah blah blah. I can type and that’s all I care about. We’ll be calling the doc about medication changes and probably going to see a massage therapist or whatever.

I am also due for a new wheelchair. I went the other day to the seating clinic where they measured and discussed what I am eligible for. And since Medicare probably won’t be around for much longer (depending on how the election turns out), we’re pushing to get as much done as we can, while we can. The big difference is we are going to try and get power leg lift. Meaning the leg rests raise and lower at the push of a button versus a bend to the side, pull out the knob, push down with feet while also pushing up or down. Pain. In. The. Ass. Monster Blue (my current chair) is a Permobil C300. The new one will be a Permobil M300. No clue what happened to D through L. Oh, and it will be silver with grey mesh seat covers. The M300 is a true mid-wheel drive vs the front wheel drive I have now. It turned better corners because there’s not wheels sticking so far out the back. And it goes in a very tight circle. And it will be silver.

And the American Way. It’s election year. Yay. All I’m saying about that. Except this: vote. Don’t care who you vote for (well, I really do but…) just as long as you vote. You don’t vote, don’t bitch later.

Oh, okay, one more thing on the election. All I hear is how the Medicare cuts won’t be affecting those over 55. That’s all cool for them but what about the rest of us? Primarily, what about those who are on Medicare because they are disabled? I dream of being able to return to work (not happening unless I am miraculously healed by a Bible wielding snake handling mouth foaming Pentecostal brethren named Brother Bob). I dream of writing enough books (and selling them!) that I earn enough to be considered gainfully employed. Hell, I’d love it if I could be put on Lorna’s insurance and get off of the limiting, embarrassing, controlling, bloated, paying-far-too-much-for-stuff Medicare.

All right. That’s enough for now.

Oh! Crap! I forgot one thing. I broke 100K on the novel! Of course, barely half of it makes sense but still. So I raised the goal to 120K. Editing will be fun.

Something to Think About

Sometimes I find a blog post or article that says something I so desperately want to say. And they say it much better than I could ever do.

First, go read this post:
I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.

Check this out, and feel free to correct me if I get this wrong…

According to Christians, Jesus taught a couple of interesting things. First, “love one another.” Second, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (“Her” being a woman who cheated on her man.)

According to Buddhists, Buddha taught a couple of thought-provoking things. First, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” Second, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

According to Hindus, a couple of fascinating teachings come to mind. First, “Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.” (Krishna) Second, “Love means giving selflessly, excluding none and including all.” (Rama)

According to Muslims, Muhammad taught a couple interesting things as well. First, “A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties.” Second, “Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.”

According to Judaism, their scriptures teach a couple remarkable things. First, “Love your neighbor like yourself.” Second, “Examine the contents, not the bottle.”

The greatest spiritual leaders in history have all preached love for others as the basis for all happiness, and never did they accompany such mandates with a list of unlovable actions or deeds. They never said, love everybody except for the gays. Love everybody except for the homeless. Love everybody except for the drug users. Love everybody except for the gang members, or those covered in ink, or the spouse abusers. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody with the exception of the “trailer trash,” those living in poverty, or the illegal immigrants. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody except for our ex-lovers, our lovers’ ex lovers, or our ex-lovers’ lovers. The mandate was pretty damn clear, wasn’t it?

Then go read this one:
A Teen’s Brave Response to “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay”

I am the Christian mother of a 15 year old teenage boy and about a month ago he came home from school with a copy of your article “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay”. The teacher gave his class a homework assignment to read it and write a 500 word essay about “what it meant to them”.

He came home and showed me your article and asked me what I thought about it. I read just the title and became furious at his teacher and at you (even though I know you had nothing to do with her handing out the assignment). Anyway, I confiscated it from him and told him he wasn’t to do anything with it till I had a chance to read it first.

And then I got madder and madder as I read it as I felt like it was a direct attack against our beliefs and our Christian religion and that it was promoting homosexuality, a practice that around here is a huge “sin”.

I gave my son an earful about homosexuality and God and told him that he could tell his teacher that he would not be participating and if she had a problem, she could come talk to me and then I threw the article in the trash. My son didn’t say anything just walked into his room and shut the door.

Both posts are rather long. But bear through them to the end.

Now, sit back and THINK. Really really hard. THINK. Not just now, this moment, but always. Before you open your mouth, THINK. Before you gossip, THINK. Before you put down, speak against, say angry things, say bad things, say jokes that put down someone. THINK.