Monday, December 27, 2010
Last Thursday was a blog-worthy event, I think. It was the Christmas gathering at Grandma's house/here at home (one and the same, remember?) with Mom's side of the family. I could probably come up with something snarky and clever there, probably a play on the lyrics to that old song about "Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go..." but I'm not really in the mood.
Anyway, Thursday, food was prepared (including my macaroni bites, but more on that later), then around six, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins Nikki and Dawn, showed up for presents and dinner. Pretty standard family Christmas goings-on.
But there was a twist. See, my grandmother has an . . . odd sense of humor. She got each of the six of us grandkids a pacifier. Like, rubber-and-plastic, babies-suck-on-them, pacifier. Weird thing the first.
We were each also given fire-engine red tube socks with jingle-bells and ribbons pinned to the toes. Weird thing the second.
We were then, thanks to a note in each of our gifts, lead on a chase after a final gift to share. Brown glass bottles of root beer, hidden in the trunk of her sedan. Weird thing the third, and, I suppose, the final.
So, somewhere, there's a picture in a camera of me, my three little siblings, and two little cousins sitting on the ground with our knees up to our chins, the better to show off our socks, with pacifiers in our mouths, and holding suspicious-looking brown glass bottles. I love my family.
I asked my aunt, who took the picture, to post it on Facebook so that I could get it, and my (eleven-year-old) cousin Nikki automatically said, "NO! I have friends on Facebook."
My (also eleven-year-old) brother, wasn't even still in the room. We were all eating his dust, and the socks and the pacifier lying on the ground.
So to my cousin, I said, "You'd be so much cooler if you just rocked the uncool-ness."
To which her mother replied, "Listen to your cousin!!"
And it occurred to me. I didn't used to be like that. I was the one shaking in my boots because I was petrified of doing anything embarrassing. I asked my mom when that had happened. When I had become okay with being myself. She didn't remember either. But, I guess it happened. :) Good to know.
Friday was, obviously, Christmas eve. My stomach tied itself up in knots, and refused to come untied. Solely because Friday night was the Christmas eve service, which meant our Christmas dance. Oh, was I nervous. Less about the three-minute dance itself, and more because of everything I had to remember and accomplish and such beforehand.
It went off without a hitch, though. Well, that's not entirely true. We couldn't find the belts, so the other girls wound up in pieces of curtain leftover from the live nativity, we didn't realize until the last minute that they would need slips, so we had to call someone and have them bring them, and we never did get the stage rearranged like we needed to, so nobody could see me from the neck down, but as far as stuff that really matters, it was perfect.
Saturday was, even more obviously, Christmas day. Typical Christmas morning, plus Grandma, Grandpa, and my Grandpa's sister, who was staying with us. So, we felt kind of . . . on display, but it was really okay. Aaaand my mommy got me my favoritest movie everrrrs. Whispers of the Heart, I've talked about it before. So, now Netflix can have their copy back.
And she got me knitting needles. For years, she and Daddy have been bugging me to learn how, and I've always told them that if somebody bought me some needles and a book, I'd learn. So she finally broke down and bought me a pair of knitting needles. Learning has been a bit harder than anticipated, but I'll get it, eventually.
Saturday night, we went to Nana's house for Christmas there. That part's always among my favorites. Somehow, it just doesn't feel like Christmas until we've celebrated it with my Dad's side of the family. Things always seem to, I don't know, matter more there. Like, before we opened presents, we all shared one thing that had been a blessing to us this Christmas. And it was all really serious, Like the families you read about in books and email forwards. But maybe that sounds a little dramatic. I'm not sure what I'm trying to describe here, but all I know is, I love my family.
Christmas time with Dad's family always makes it that much easier to remember that there's a part missing. Holidays are always the time we miss his sister (my Aunt Becky) and her family the most. They were just home last summer, but it still feels like it's been an eternity. Papaw got her and my cousin Cara on Skype later in the evening, but that's just not the same. It's like, "I know in my head that I'm talking to you, but it still feels suspiciously like talking to a computer screen." Which, besides making me feel slightly schizophrenic, makes it awkward.
Since Christmas, life has been kick back, chill out, watch movies, work on my knitting, and so on. I adore Christmas vacation.
This afternoon, we're set to go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Being a HuGe fan of the book, I'm a little wary. I'll let you know.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Well, kiddies, it's almost there. Less than a week until that favorite day of the year for young and old.
For once, I'm done with my shopping already. Well, kind of done. I was done, and then I decided to grow my list. I've been blessed this season, and I want to let that blessing keep right on going.
That slightly crazy hustle-and-bustle is going on all around me. It turns out Mom and Riley are allergic to the Christmas tree, so we're ditching it and putting up Grandma and Papa's artificial one today. Gotta hit the library to finish picking up my sources for my research paper on the effects of censorship on society, or something like that. Headed out to Dance Outfitters some time this week to pick up a couple skirts for the Christmas dance. Gotta hit Sam's Club for food for the family Christmas party, need to pop in at the Christian Bookstore to finish up some last minute shopping. I'll probably help Mom do all her Christmas baking today, or at least this week. Some time before Friday I need to make about three billion recipes of gingerbread biscotti, as that's what I'm giving all the adults in my life for Christmas.
I need to spend some serious time on inkpop this next couple weeks, finishing up some long overdue swaps and getting ready to promote my NaNoWriMo project. Need to finish editing said NaNoWriMo project, as I already have several people waiting on it. Oh, and on the subject of inkpop, I had something pretty cool happen to me, but I'll get back to that.
Also thinking of transferring all of my original poetry/song lyrics to a notebook, so that they'll all be together. Weighing the convenience of having them all in one place against the pain in the butt of transcribing them. It would take hours.
Christmas with Mom's side of the family here at home on Thursday. Christmas Eve (complete with Christmas dance, and the live nativity) Friday. And then it's . . . CHRISTMAS!!!!!! *Takes a deep breath,* Yikes. That's a lot.
In other news, the kittens have got to go. Mom and Dad (and the grandparents) are getting far too frustrated with their . . . everything. So us kids have to choose one of our precious babies, and find good homes for the other two. Joy wants one, still looking for a spot for the third...
Yesterday was the children's Christmas program at church. Every single one of them did an absolutely brilliant job. From the regular, Kindergarten-fourth grade kids who did the singing and the talking, to Anne and her friend, who danced to one of the songs, to the little preschoolers who did the nativity scene.
It was kind of interesting, playing a part in the behind-the-scenes part of the play. Seems like all my life, I've been on that stage. But now that I'm older, and with Mom as the director, I got a chance to glimpse the other half.
I sank more than twenty-four hours into making two sets of angel wings out of jewelry wire, gold pipe cleaners, tulle, and white feathers. And they wound up looking awesome, if I do say so myself.
Joy and me choreographed and taught the dance to Anne and her friend. And I really was so proud of the both of them. They did a phenomenal time.
My poor mother invested so much of herself into the whole shabang that she's utterly exhausted today. Between the shouting, the allergies, the weather, and the cold, she has next to no voice left. Poor her.
And now, with all of this left to do, I should probably quit procrastinating and get a mooooove on. Talk to you soon. Hope you and yours have a fantastic, blessed, beautiful, happy Christmas. Don't forget the reason for the season, and the manger that rested in the shadow of a cross, and the God who made himself flesh, came to us as an infant, and lived a sinless life to die an outcast's death, to take on the sin of the world. Jesus Christ is the reason for this season, and for every season, and for every breath.
So, as always, my question to you is, do ya know him?
Friday, December 10, 2010
Oh, yeah, and I won that too. Inkpop writing contest. True, it was a random drawing, but still, I won. I never win stuff like that. But hey, four free books. Coolio.
Can you tell anything about my mood? I've usually used about ten exclamation marks and at least three smilies.
"You mean, all of you? Or just your neck?" Yay for Avatar.
Oh, my gosh. Did you see The Last Airbender movie? Lame anyway, but if you were a fan of the series, um, two words. Epic. Fail. Uvetar Uung. Bleh.
And speaking of movies, so I finally broke down and saw Where the Wild Things Are. That movie. Creeped. Me out. Officially. *shiver*
And there's that other movie. My favoritestest ever movieee. Being, Whispers of the Heart, Japanese anime, very cooool. Get a feel for it here or here. It's cool, you should see it. We watched it at Tabby's birthday party. Seems like all my friends have their birthdays at this time of the year. Tabby's so unique. She's an artist, but she doesn't know it. And everything we did at her party reflected that. We made dresses out of duct tape and newspaper, decorated gingerbread houses and cupcakes, and painted tote bags with puffy paint. Then a handful of us stayed overnight. So, typical craziness with my gurrls. Playing Just Dance (OMG, is that game fun.), watched Whispers of the Heart, and stayed up talking (about trucks, tattoos, and, of course, guys) looooonnnng past when we should've gone to bed.
The next morning (being a Sunday) was Utter Insanity. A truly beautiful exhibition of Murphy's Law. The van wouldn't start for Mom and Dad, so everything I had left in the back of it, so that it would come to church with them, got left at home. We were late, so, yeah. Umm, the girl I was supposed to work on a dance with during service didn't show. And, my microphone died in the middle of worship. I was about ready to curl up in the fetal position and die. But, of course, that wouldn't've been okay.
'Cause after service was all-day dance practice!!! Hahahahahahahaha. Ha.
Things are considerably easier now. God's in His heaven, and that is for sure. Mom and I had a long sit-down talk with a lady from church who's counsel we both value. We were hoping merely for advice, and our Lord saw fit to call her to take over the management of the dance ministry. So now me and Joy's only jobs are song-picking (and getting it approved by this lady), choreographing the song (and getting the motions approved by the same), and teaching it to the girls.
So, though we were all sore after seven hours straight dancing, but other than that, it was a brilliant practice, and all is going well, and pointing towards our next dance, the Christmas eve presentation of our rendition of Mary Did You Know, going just fine. Yayy!! :)
But for now, I had best be going. The hour grows late, and there really are other things I need to be accomplishing.
Friday, November 26, 2010
It's...umm...been a while. Huh? What have I missed?
I've been kind of hiding from my blog in the hopes that it might help me finish my novel. November. NaNoWriMo. Blah. 43,406 words, give or take. I'm almost there!
But I've decided it was time, high time, to do a long-overdue blog post.
And now that I've gotten this far, I can't remember why on earth I needed to post. So, what's happened since my last post? Kind of everything, but I guess I'll...here we go. Wow. That's a lot.
~Seventies Night with the youth group. Put on a ridiculous costume to go hang out with my friends. We ate "seventies" junk food, played seventies trivia, watched an incredibly corny seventies "thriller" (read: Left Behind, plus a lame factor of ∞)
~Tori's birthday party. More junk food, hanging out, "dancing" (thank heavens it was just line dancing. I can handle the Cha Cha Slide and the Cupid Shuffle) with my dorky homeschool friends and some of Tori's not-dorky public school friends. It was something of a learning experience. Me and Joy were practically conducting research the whole time, remarking on the differences between home- and public- schoolers. It was funny. :)
~Church Harvest Festival. Painting hundreds upon hundreds (or at least it felt that way) of faces.
~NaNoWriMo. Already been covered.
~Taylor Swift's new cd came out. Which, kind of caused more of a stir than it should've. I'm a little disappointed, seeing as how she's not 100% "safe" for my little sister anymore. Heard Better than Revenge? :/
~Game Night. Basically, girls night out, plus our youth pastor. It was a crazy insane blast, but then, what do you expect with my crew?
~Corinne's birthday party. Pizza, caramel apples, a movie, popcorn, cake, ice cream, music, games, and an epicly fun bonfire. :)
~Thanksgiving. Hope you had a good one!
And I think that's it. Now, back to the novel. TTFN!!! :)
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Bloody little things have a sense of humor.
I dropped to the ground and rubbed my now-numb ankle. I couldn't believe I'd made such a newbie mistake. You don't step in faerie rings. Period. I kicked myself mentally. I wasn't at the top of my game. According to protocol, I should've alerted headquarters, made for the nearest base, and let them replace me with a fresh agent. One that hadn't been in the field for five days and counting.
I was tracking a rogue band that had escaped a reserve just outside London. One of the nicer ones, as far as faerie reserves go. Not one you'd expect stuff like this from. Some radical activist idiot had infiltrated the ranks and left a back door open, two plus two is four, home base sent me to nip this little thing in the bud before the media got wind of the affair.
Technically speaking, I'm the best agent on the force. I've paid through the nose to get here, too. Nobody should have to make the kinds of sacrifices I've made. You might say I sold my soul to the devil. But I'm the best.
I hadn't slept since I took the case. I was going on forty-eight hours without food. But I was hot on the trail.
The band I was tracking was a particularly dark one. They'd left an unmistakable trail of carnage and mayhem in their wake. Like I said, they had a sense of humor. A dark one. So tracking them wasn't exactly difficult. But catching them sure would be.
I stood up once I'd recovered some feeling in my foot. It would be weeks before I was a hundred percent.
True, I'd made a stupid mistake. But so had they. They were getting careless, which meant I really was getting close. It would've taken then five minutes to dissolve the ring, and they didn't make a habit of leaving rings just lying there, especially with someone on their tail. They were in a hurry.
The magic would dissolve on it's own within the next twenty-four hours, but when one can, one should keep to protocol. I reached into my small, streamlined pack for a strobe. Red for active. I turned on the flashing light and dropped it in the circle. The boys in the back room were particularly proud of their strobes. It'd taken years to develop one that didn't implode or disintegrate or turn into a swarm of butterflies, bats, biting flies, pterodactyls, et cetera upon touching the enchanted ground. Those had been some interesting missions.
I examined the state of my supposedly-magic-proof leggings and moccasins. Both had dissolved into nothing below my left ankle where I'd stepped in the ring. Lame. I had an extra set in my bag, but not the time to put them on. I tore off the other shoe and threw it into the circle, just to be spiteful. I was tired. And, besides, I'd look daft in just one shoe.
My long green split skirt was tattered, wet, and covered in mud, along with a thin film of a dry, glittery substance. I sneezed. Faerie dust. I love my job, I thought. What I didn't love, however, was the clown costume I had to wear to work. Culottes, hunter green, that had replaced the earlier model, an ankle-length skirt, when headquarters finally figured out that it was impossible to run in the stupid things. A flowing, blousey white top with a low collar, under a tight leather jerkin. A leather skull-cap of similar make completed the ensemble. I looked like a lunatic warrior princess that had taken a wrong turn, fallen out of a fantasy movie and landed in modern-day England.
The whole outfit was seeped in magic, mostly of the warding and protecting variety, and mostly of my own doing. The leatherwork was alive and crawling with faintly glowing letters, which only I and a few others could see. When I wasn't on a mission, I was on high demand at headquarters and the academy both for warding. Headquarters had even offered me a job as a mage, when I was fourteen. I had declined, wanting to get my full turn in the field before I retired to an office, but I knew that when I had served my turn running missions, I had a nice, long career as a mage (probably even Head Mage) to look forward to.
A funny thought occurred to me. It's a good thing there aren't any boys on the squad. As slow as things go at headquarters, it would take forever for them to design a uniform. And the mental image of a guy dressed like this? Too good. But there are no boys on the force. Girls between the ages of twelve and seventeen. Something about faeries and little girls; I'll retire next May. But you don't care about that. Back to the story.
I kept walking, watching my step, through the dark, dank forest, waving my slender, feminine sword through the undergrowth, half to clear myself a safe path, half out of boredom. Boredom in the field is a dangerous thing.
Slowly, the trees thinned and I came upon open wheat fields and pasture land. I allowed myself a smile at the simple beauty of the view. Up ahead and to my left was an old man driving a team of oxen, who were pulling an ancient-looking wheat binder. He wore a flimsy straw hat, which he tipped at me as I overtook him.
“Ho, there, girlie! What be a Fae Hunter doing out this far?” he called to me in a thick Irish brogue. There were deep lines in his leathery skin.
I put on my best dealing-with-regular-people face and replied, “Just chasing down a rebellious brownie that ran off from his assigned house.” The standard cover-story. Brownies were always running off. Of course, I hadn't been put on a mission like that since my first week on the force. But he didn't know that.
“A brownie, eh?” Just as he said the word brownie, the sun came out from behind the cloud. A stray sunbeam got caught on his hint of a smile and a bright, blue light reflected back out at me. My eyes got wide, and I stepped back a bit, feeling for my sword. I tried to keep my reaction cool, but he caught it anyway. A slow, malevolent smile spread across his face, revealing a mouthful of gemstone teeth. The straw hat became an intricate silver circlet, two emerald-eyed serpents devouring each other's tails. A symbol I'd only ever read about, seen lame pen-and-ink reproductions of. The symbol of the Unseelie court. The man's eyes began to change color wildly, like a kaleidoscope at hyper-speed. His face bubbled and swelled, the tan leather turning to milk-white satin, and became that of a young man. Only, he couldn't be a man. His face, his features. He was like a sculptor's masterpiece, a dream, an angel, or else all three at once. His hair, now jet black, flew up and grew longer, like it had a mind of it's own, and settled back down again just above his ears in jagged, razor-cut strands. The rags he wore for clothes became a pair of black breeches and a black tight-fitting shirt that came to a point on eat the waist and the wrists. There were laces at the v-shaped neckline, but they were undone, allowing the two sides of the collar to fall away from his perfect chest.
The oxen writhed and became fae horses, midnight-black velvet with red eyes. If you closed one eye, or squinted at them, or looked out of the corner of your eyes, they could look like a griffon or a phooka or a lizard or an owl or a toad or a kitten. They whinnied and reared, sensing their master's channeled intensity.
All of my years of training, every novice-level magic class, every lecture I'd ever heard told me not to do what I was about to do, but I did it anyway. I had to. I looked into his eyes, which had finally settled on a light, shimmering silver. And he held me in a vice grip. I felt like a field mouse held trapped in the gaze of a cobra, a rabbit trembling, motionless, before a hawk. I could hear his demon whispers inside my head. I screwed my eyes shut and reached for my communicator.
“Home? Home base, this is Ophelia to home base, I.D. number 4192514. Do you copy?” I sobbed, “I need immediate backup. Code Red. Repeat, Code Red.” There was static on the line, and the device began to fizzle and pop. With a flick of his wrist, he sent it flying down the road. It bounced twice, and shattered to pieces on the hard-baked earth.
Silly human, he whispered and screeched and crooned inside my head. Nobody's coming to help you.
I tried to reply, but my tongue got in the way and the words tripped out of my mouth in a mumble.
What was that? He grinned, enjoying my misery.
I took a deep breath and rallied my strength. “But I was...chasing a...”
A what? A little, mischievous band of spritelings? Of course you were. Because I allowed you to think you were. His voice was honey-sweet in my mind, as if he were speaking to a small child.
“Who-who are...you?” I gasped.
Prince blah blah blah of the blah blah Unseelie blah blah blah...does it really matter? He snickered.
Prince! Impossible. I reached for my sword.
Oh, please don't. Don't make this hard on yourself, you won't- his voice trailed off.
Disregarding him, I wielded the sword, stumbling, tears blurring my vision, coaxing my feet into some semblance of a battle stance.
He sighed and rolled his eyes. With a snap of his fingers, he persuaded my faithful sword to morph in to a silver, emerald-eyed snake, which I found myself holding by the tail. It whipped it's head around and bit me on my wrist. Liquid fire shot through my veins. I gave a burbling cry of pain.
Gasping, summoning everything I had left, I spat out a string of words, the strongest magic I knew. I had been warned against ever using them, promised they could kill me, told to save them for the absolute extremity. They bit and stung in my throat and made little blisters on my tongue and the insides of my cheeks and the roof of my mouth. The words dripped off my tongue and took shape on the air, conjoining to become a golden arrow that dripped poison like nectar from it's head. I touched the fletching with my fingertips, stroking it, begging it to fly true, then said the final, guttural word that set it flying. The magic would've killed a weaker person.
But he laughed. A laugh that filled the air like bells and drums and broke my heart into a million little pieces, and the laugh became a blue-and-silver-and-black flame that engulfed my puny, pathetic little arrow, that had seemed so powerful only a heartbeat before. And the fire burned my arrow to ashes, and the fire and the ashes became a swarm of horseflies with onyx eyes and wings that crowded about my ankles and the hem of my skirts and crowded each other to bite me.
He strode towards me and grabbed hold of my wrist. I didn't have the strength left to fight him off, nor to fight the wave of desperate longing for him, for his arms to hold me, that washed over me, as if I was nothing. This was a magic entirely new to me, and I had no knowledge of how to defend myself against it. This was his doing.
He touched my cheek, softly, almost tenderly, and ran one finger down the side of my face, tracing my jawline. It was like fire and ice, burning and freezing an angry welt on my face, that smoothed over into a shint, white scar in seconds. Silent tears streamed down my face, salt screaming in the still-healing wound, bathing his hand.
I collapsed into his arms, and he kissed me.
And I felt everything, my very life, the blood in my veins, slipping away from me. My heart, my mind, my soul, hopes, dreams, fears, past, present, future. Everything about me, ebbing away like the tide. Hungrily, greedily, gluttonously, he consumed me, and then I was no more.
Wheeling high overhead, I hung my head in disappointment. I dropped to earth to rest on a fence post. Ever since I had first smelled the stench, heard the song, of death hanging about the girl earlier that day, I had been following her, hoping for a good meal whenever she met her demise. Don't hate me for it, it's just my job. I'm a vulture. It's what I do.
Of course I was disappointed when I saw that all that greedy princeling left behind was a smoldering pile of glittery dust. Cheeky thing, to steal another's meal. I watched him wipe his mouth daintily. He ran his tongue over his gaudy teeth, and the glittering gems were transformed into a bleach-white Hollywood-perfect smile. He gave his clothing a reproachful look, and it obligingly morphed into an expensive suit; black slacks, white shirt, black jacket, black tie. He lifted the circlet from his head and flipped it over his wrist, where it quickly shrank into an unassuming Rolex. A wink turned the high-strung, flighty fae horses into a sleek, black sports car, which rumbled to life and purred like a kitten when he smiled at it. He straightened his tie (which caught and refracted the light suspiciously like diamonds, or faerie dust) got into the car, and drove away.
Meanwhile, a little ways off, in the wheat field, a little, mischievous band of spritelings danced in a ring.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Okay. Okay, how stupid is that. Like, every blog post I write starts with the word 'okay.' Whatever.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010