Friday, September 30, 2011

On Flash Fiction Friday: Karma's A Bitch, A Short

Karma's A Bitch: A Short

His name was Ken, and he was a prick. He knew this, and took great pride in proving it to everyone he met. In a few select cases, he'd pay extra attention to a person, and shower them with his personal brand of back handed compliments, superiority, and special training sessions guaranteed to accent their flaws and place him in the best light possible. He made sure those in his command never questioned that he was the best of the best of the BEST, and they'd never amount to more than the dirt he scraped off his boots.

What he didn't realize, was he wasn't the only person intent on screwing up the plans of other people, but he was about to get firsthand knowledge on the way it felt to have his dreams crushed.

In a very real, and permanent way.

Karma gazed into the mystical Pool of Choice and smiled. Today was going to be a good day.  

***

The sun was bright, and the sky was the clear blue it always was in the desert of some unremarkable third-world country. The temperature hovered in the mid-eighties, and there was a soft, cool breeze that hinted at the changing season. 

Karma leaned against the armored humvee, aviator glasses firmly in place, shading her eyes from the harsh rays. Her long black hair was tied back in an intricate braid and hung over her shoulder.  She remained where she was, booted foot resting against the wheel of the vehicle, when the man of the hour approached her.

"Get away from there. Who let you in here? Whoever it was, I'm going to have their rank."

"Now, Ken. Is that anyway to talk to a person with more power than you?"

His footsteps faltered.  "Who are you?"

She smiled. "Why, I'm Karma. Perhaps you've heard of me? They say I'm a real bitch."

His jaw clenched and a muscle twitched near his eye. "What the Hell are you talking about?"

She shrugged her shoulder and casually walked toward him. "You'll see," she said, patting his shoulder as she walked by. "You might want to beg for forgiveness, if you believe in that kind of thing."
The man cursed behind her, but she kept walking. She didn't turn when men in full riot gear surrounded him, weapons drawn.  As payment for everything he put out in the world Homeland Security destroyed his career, his life, and his dreams.
***

© R.S. Emeline 2011 All Rights Reserved. 

  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Being A Killer

Holy Crap!

I came to a realization the other day.

I kill people.

A lot.

In all different ways.

I'm a murderer.

Possibly a mass murderer.

A serial killer?

Does this make me deranged?

How do I feel about this?

Pretty good, actually.

I guess as long as it's in writing, even if the people might possibly share a resemblance to someone who might actually exist... it's not a big deal, right?

I'm not going to prison?

I really wouldn't do well in prison.

The beds are really small.

The food isn't great.

Oh, and I'd have to deal with a large population of women.

All. The. Time.

Yeah, prison...so not for me.

Good thing I only WRITE about murder and haven't ACTUALLY murdered anyone.

How many people have you killed recently?

Don't worry, your secret is safe with me.


R.S.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On the Conclusion to the Cabin: A Short

In order to truly understand and appreciate this story you need to read this post first.

Now for the dramatic conclusion to K.K. Sierra's short, the Cabin.

Written, by, yours truly.



The Cabin II: A Short 


The assassin watched from the shadow of the woods, breath steady, body lying prone in the cold, white snow.  The woman had stepped inside moments earlier, and the assassin waited patiently for her inevitable exit.
It wouldn't take long. The man she was married to was snuggled up inside with one of her male cousins and two girls young enough to have watched and enjoyed that annoying show with the dancing creatures that spoke gibberish at each other.  
A patch of orange light illuminated the darkness as the door opened and the woman stepped onto the slick wooden porch. The assassin heard enough of the woman's words to understand the position she'd found her husband in.
A smile curved lips too often serious.  The woman wouldn't have to worry long, the assassin thought.
"Babe, wait. " A man, her husband, the assassin knew, ran out behind her. "It's not what it looked like. I can explain."
"Actions speak louder than any words you'll ever say."
"But, honey, you know I love you."
"No. What I do know is first thing tomorrow morning I'm going to my attorney's office. We're over."
"You don't mean that. Think of the children."
The woman laughed, and the sound traveled over the silent yard to the assassin.
"Funny thing, I am thinking of the children. One of us has to."
"I always--" the man's words were cut off, and his eyes widened in shock as a perfectly round hole appeared in his forehead.
The woman screamed, maybe in fear, possibly in shock, but the assassin preferred to think the scream was one of relief. Relief that she'd been spared--not that she'd ever had to worry, or relief that her nightmare marriage was truly and finally over.
When the authorities arrived the assassin was long gone, and there was no sign that a presence had been lying in wait in the woods outside the cabin.
If the woman knew who'd pulled the trigger, she never let on, but she did send her best friend a bottle of her favorite wine with a note attached that simply read, I heart you.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Touch Base Tuesday

With the Munchkin in school today, and the Niece and Marine both at work, I have great plans for 'my' time.

I'm going to work on my YA novel.

Yesterday was the first time in the last month where I actually had time to do something on the computer other than homework and the daily blog.

It was a good day.

Words written on YAN: 1507

Goal for this week: Finish the remaining chapters and prep to do a hands on, paper and red pen editing/revision.

It was definitely nice to return to the little world I created, and can't wait to spend more time there today.

What are your goals for the week?


R.S.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On Making Myself Feel Younger

It seems whenever I finish a course I always feel like I've aged, and not in a more mature, knowledgeable way.

I feel like I've got enough wrinkles to hide third world countries in, and I'm afraid to hug the Munchkin for fear she'll disappear within them.

Now that the life sucking black hole of a course I spent the majority of my life on for the last month is finished I decided I needed a little pick-me-up.

No, I didn't open a bottle of wine, though now that I think about it that sounds like a pretty good idea.

Even this early in the morning.

Instead, I scheduled a day at the spa.

It's rare I trust people with my hair, but my stylist is as much an Angel as her name suggests. My hair is youthful again, and more fitting of the woman I am when I'm not bogged down in analytically heavy colonial reading.

Did I mention I love the random hussy pink and purple streak I have in my otherwise natural strawberry blonde hair?

So now, even though I might feel like this:


I'm actually looking much more like this:


 

What do you do to rejuvenate yourself when you're feeling aged?


R.S.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On A Happy Thought




Life isn't always kind and things won't always go our way, but realize that whatever happens will make you stronger. It will lead you where you need to go and open doors you might not have seen otherwise. 

Keep your head up.  

In the words of Gary Allen, "Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride."


R.S.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Back to Life

As of last night, I'm officially done with my Lit. class.

That means no more long hours of pouring over 'classics' to analyze what they mean.

It also means no more long hours of homework.

At least for a month.

Hopefully, it also means more happy posts here, with less predetermined ones... though I don't know.

I kind of like having set days where I update people, certain days where I post a short story... I kind of just like having a routine.

Is that bad?

I fully plan on relaxing this weekend, and enjoying the knowledge I don't have to do anything more strenuous than...

Well, nothing. :)

What are your plans for the weekend?


R.S.

Friday, September 23, 2011

On Flash Friday: She Was Loved

It's "Flash" Friday.

She Was Loved

Her laugh broke the silence two breaths before she burst through the French doors of my studio. I placed the oil pastels out of her reach, and cleared my mind of anything but the spritely little girl vibrating with excitement in front of me.

"Daddy! Daddy! Guess what?" Her blue eyes, so much like her mother's, sparkled from beneath impossibly long golden lashes.

"You just won the lottery and are going to take care of me for the rest of my life?" I asked, tugging on one unruly flaxen curl that had escaped its pigtail.

She giggled again. "No, Daddy. You're silly. I don't even know what the lottery is."

I tapped one forefinger on the cleft of my chin. "Okay, you didn't win the lottery. That means you must have gotten your driver's license."

"No, Daddy!" Her giggle warmed my heart and filled the places so often empty.

I threw up my hands in mock frustration. "I don't know then. What?"

"I saw Momma."

My heart shattered like crystal against stone. "Sweetheart--"

"Don't worry, Daddy. I know she's an Angel watching over us." My little girl, a miniature version of my late wife, wrapped her arms around my legs and squeezed. "She's very beautiful, Daddy, and she wanted me to tell you it didn't hurt, and she loves us very much."

Words wouldn't form so I squatted down, wrapped my arms around what was left of my heart and pulled her against my chest. I missed my wife every day, and cursed the drunk driver who'd taken her from us, but because of the little girl in my arms, she'd never truly be gone.

Maybe she was an Angel. 

Maybe just a memory.

All I knew was, she was loved.

    

©Copyright R.S. Emeline 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On A Quick Note...


Nap Time is My Time



I guest blogged over at Nap Time is My Time. Swing by and check it out.

Hope you're having a wonderful Thursday--now it's back to writing the research paper.

R.S.

On Borrowing From Your Children

Maybe it was the way I was raised-- though I don't remember seeing any awards for parent of the year on shelves in the house while growing up, but I have the strange belief that parents are supposed to protect, educated, guide, and help their children.
Not the other way around. 

In our home, and even in the home I grew up in, the parents NEVER borrowed from the children. It just wasn't done. 

For instance, there were times while growing up that money was undoubtedly tight, but my parents NEVER came to us and said, 'gee, could we bum a couple of bucks--just until payday?' In my house, the Marine and I would never dream of going to the Munchkin and borrowing money from her.

Granted, she's not yet four, but she's got a college savings plan and a savings account that has more money in it than most Marines, and they're supposed to be adults. 

Have there been times where access to a couple of grand would have been nice? Could we have used it and then replaced it later? 

Sure.

If we weren't who we are.

That money is our daughter's. Not ours.

Every year the money we get from the child income tax credit goes straight into her college fund. We do not touch it.

Ever.

The way we see it is, without her we wouldn't have that money so it should go to her. She's in theory earned it for putting up with us for a year. 

Not everyone agrees with me on this.

I won't steal borrow money from my child's future just because I didn't plan well enough for myself. The Marine and I decided that long before we ever had children. 

We might not be perfect people, or perfect parents, but our daughter will have opportunities our families didn't give to us.

If nothing else, the Munchkin will be able to say, "my parents never did THAT." 

It's something, right?


Do you have any experiences with this? What are your thoughts?

R.S. 

  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Wordy Wednesday

This week's random word is from the Urban Dictionary:

Post- Acquaintance Friend Request

The friend request sent right after meeting someone for the first time. 

Hope you've enjoyed this week's random word. Check back next week. 

R.S.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Touch Base Tuesday

It's that day again. 

Tuesday.

The Munchkin is at school, the Niece is at work, and the Marine is doing whatever it is he does during the week. 

Me, I'm doing my thing.

The last week was spent working on school work. 

Due this week: 

  • Two essays
  • One research paper
  • Four reply essays to peers
  • 300 pages of American Literature reading
  • Final Exam
Oh, is that all? 

Pff, nothing to it. 

Who needs to sleep, eat, or shower? 

Interaction with my family? 

What's that?

Like always though, I'll manage. The family will eat, the Munchkin will know without a doubt, I love her, and the work will get done.

I'll mainline water, take chocolate breaks to maintain my sanity, and workout at 5 AM with the Niece to keep my body running.

The Marine will just have to wait for any other attention until I'm not a walking zombie.

What's a few more day, right?


On the writing front:

Have I written anything at all other than school related words?

Not really, no.

I'm going to try to write a few flash fiction pieces, but any real work on my YAWIP or revising of the Contemporary Short will have to wait until after this week.

Not the colors I'd go for...
Such is the life of a college student, mother, wife, aunt, and all around awesome person such as myself.

Maybe I should get a costume...one with a really inspiring cape that will flap when I leap tall buildings in a single bound... I'm thinking black and hussy pink, with knee high stiletto pirate boots. They'll be awesome with my red hair.  

What are your goals and updates?


R.S. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

On Knowing Names

The other day I picked the Munchkin up from school, and one of her teachers came up to speak to me. It turns out that my daughter gave them a reason to smile that day.

In class they wanted to know how many of the students knew what their mothers' and fathers' names were. 

Apparently the Munchkin had no problem telling her teachers what my name was, but when it came to telling them what her Papa's name was she said, with authority, "My Papa's name is, 'Honey'."

Looks like I don't use the Marine's name very often at home. 

Oops. 

Regardless, the teachers thought it was cute, and I have to admit so did I. When I told the Marine about it, he rolled his eyes and said, "Thanks, Babe."

Awww, gotta love what comes out of the mouth of toddlers. 


Do you have a story like this? Something your child or a child you know has said or done that made you smile? I'd love to hear it.


R.S.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Weekend Fun with Family


This weekend was spent hanging out with my family.

The Marine was home, the Niece worked shorter hours, and the Munchkin was surrounded by love.

Friday night, after a quickly prepared meal, we got the Munchkin ready for bed, did the story thing, and sent the menfolk out to get fixings for smores.

Since we live in an area with an almost continual burn ban, and we don't own a fire pit on legs (though I've thought on more than one occasion to acquire one) we made our melty, marshmallow and chocolaty goodness in the microwave.

It's a rarely known science.

An art, if you will.

We sat around the kitchen table, chatted, laughed, and relaxed while inhaling our weight in sugar.

It was the most fun I've had in a long time, and I'm so glad I got to share it with people who are important to not only myself, but to my daughter.

Here is to many more nights of sugary bonding, and to family--not only of blood, but of the heart as well.


How has your weekend been? Did you do anything fun and exciting--like sky diving, or did you sit home and relax with loved ones?

R.S.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Pre-Workout Torture

Last weekend the Marine and I took a trip to the local GNC to pick up a 'few' things. A few turned into a lot and I'm pretty sure we are responsible for keeping them in business.

But, I digress.

When the guy sold me my pre-workout muscle igniter he convinced me to avoid the fruit punch in favor of the orange.

I guess they don't sell this particular 'aid' in chocolate flavor.

Keep in mind I *hate* all things 'fruit flavored', especially anything pretending to be orange.

If it didn't come from an orange, then it shouldn't pretend to be orange.

Fast forward to the first day I plan to take the stuff-- and Holy Shit! Not only is it NOT orange flavored, it's not anything remotely digestible.

I tried several different ways of taking it, all with no luck.

I even conned the Niece to try some with me.

We tried to take it as shots.

I drank straight shots of liquor for years without problems.

Even in a shot glass I couldn't manage this, and I was supposed to drink 16 oz?


Turns out they sell a pill form.

We're going to try that.



Friday, September 16, 2011

On Flash Fiction Friday: Happily Ever After





Happily Ever After
There was a time when I believed love would save me.  When the man in front of me was my 'it'. I thought we were the lucky ones. The ones who'd found true love.
Too bad my Prince Charming was absent from fairytale class the day they covered 'happily ever after'.
"Honey. Babe, I can explain." The man who'd promised to love, honor, and cherish me tried to scoot away, but my foot resting on his prized possession made it difficult.
"No, Babe. You don't need to explain. In fact, the only thing you need to do is sign the divorce papers. I forgave your first indiscretion. Against my better judgment I forgave your second too. Looks like third time's a charm--or is it three strikes and you're out?"
"Come on, Babe. You don't really mean that. It won't happen again, I swear!" His voice rose an octave on the last word when I shifted the spike heel of my new shiny black leather boots.
"You're right, Jason. It won't happen again. Sign the papers, and I might just let you keep your friends."
His throat worked furiously, and I smiled.
"Alright. Alright. I'll do it... just get that torture device away from me!"
I ignored his demand to remove my foot and handed him the pen and papers. When his signature was affixed to each page I stepped away.
A smile tugged at my lips. It was time my story had a better ending.
"What happens now?" he asked eying me wearily.
 "What happens at the end of all fairytales," I said as I walked to the door. "She lived happily ever after."




Copyright: R.S. Emeline 2011 All Rights Reserved   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On A Thank You

I haven't had a lot of time recently to peruse blogs, or even to check out the blogs of my newest followers.

I promise I will...

Just as soon as my brain stops leaking out my ears.

Until then, I want to thank all the new followers of this Fictzophrenic's Musings.

 Seeing your smiling faces--or linked handles (whatever the case may be) makes me incredibly happy.

It's a big relief to know I'm not really talking to myself.

Anymore than usual anyway.

If this is your first time visiting, please feel free to follow along.

You might even find something you can relate to.

Let's pretend I have use of the 'Force'-- Now, You want to follow me on twitter--where I in turn follow some truly amazing people.

Take a few moments to check out my twitter profile, send me a tweet--and we'll catch up.

Until my brain gels.

R.S.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Wordy Wednesday

So many people have been doing 'Wordless Wednesday' that I felt the need to be a little bit different. 


Today's random word of the day comes from the Urban Dictionary:


EMAIL:


Once an efficient and fast method of communication and message transferring; now a way of harassing internet users with spam, credit card/insurance offers, porn links, and "Increase your penis size by five inches" advertisements. 




Hope you enjoyed the first installment of Wordy Wednesday. :) 



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Touch Base Tuesday

I feel like this a lot...
I'll admit it...

I've been a bad little author this month.

Class began the end of August and I've been brain seepage deep in American Literature (oh the joys of Puritan writing--and don't get me started on Columbus' letters).

It hasn't left a whole lot of time for my creative muse to flex her muscles in the fictional worlds I've created. In fact, she's been flexing those muscles in the form of essays and research papers-- I have to write another research paper this week...and I'm not sure what I'm doing it on yet.

Oops.

Even though I haven't sat down and worked on any of my WIP, I've been running them through my brain every few hours, and I've done various kinds of brainstorming--generally while I'm supposed to be absorbing some bone dry literary 'work of art'.

There are approximately two more chapters until the end of the first book in my YA series, and then I need to do a few more revisions on my still untitled contemporary short story.

On top of that there are several other stories simmering in my head--just waiting their turn in the queue.

I've missed working, and look forward to getting back to it in a few weeks.

After my final.

I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday.

What are your goals for the week?

Updates?

R.S.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On Things You Don't Know About Me

This isn't a usual blog, but then, what's really 'usual' for me? Huh?

I thought maybe my fellow readers would enjoy knowing some various information about me. What are some things not everyone knows about you?



Desert + Water = Happiness



  1. I'm a Scorpio.
  2. Halloween is the only 'holiday' I enjoy.
  3. I'm right handed.
  4. I have an Android phone with a touch screen.
  5. I hate touch screens.
  6. I don't watch Family Guy, the Simpsons, Modern Family, or any other 30 minute sitcoms. 
  7. I love crime dramas--my DVR is filled with them.
  8. The first concert I ever went to was Silver Chair. I was in ninth grade.
  9. My first pet was an Australian Sheep dog named, Rah Rah. I was four.
  10. I'm allergic to coffee.
  11. I love Big Train Chai.
  12. I went to art school.
  13. I used to do photography for a living.
  14. I'm an English Major with a Minor in Criminal Justice.
  15. I hate shaving. So I get waxed instead.
  16. I never used to believe in online dating--and then I met my hetero life mate online. 
  17. I used to be a daddy's girl.
  18. My Marine is my hero.
  19. When I was in my early twenties I could drink 10+ shots of straight liquor, and not black out.
  20. I no longer drink liquor.
  21. I enjoy a glass, and on occasion, a bottle of wine.
  22. I don't like pizza.
  23. I love McD's chicken nuggets.
  24. I've got one friend I've known since I was in first grade.  
  25. I'm a natural redhead.
  26. I love tattoos on men.
  27. I have eight tattoos.
  28. I wanted to be a homicide detective.
  29. My first foray back into writing was through Fan Fiction.
  30. I wrote Fan Fiction for Janet Evanovich's Plum Series.
  31. I have more than six stories being plotted in my brain at all times.
  32. I love the desert, but I miss the ocean.
  33. I'm the youngest child of my parents.
  34. I love high heels, but I don't wear them much anymore.
  35. I've had chronic lower back problems since the birth of my daughter.
  36. I do P90X to help strengthen my lower back.
  37. When I was younger I played clarinet, bass clarinet, and the drums.
  38. I also sang in choir.
  39. Now I only sing in the shower or the car.
  40. I'm married to my best friend--though I have to remind myself of that fact once in awhile. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On September 11: With Guest Post From the Corpsman



September 11 Memorial



Ten years.


A decade.


3650 days.


A million memories.


Two wars.


Thousands of lives lost.


Millions of lives changed.




Today marks the ten year anniversary of one of our Country's greatest tragedies. 


What are you doing to remember it?


Are you:


Sitting around drinking a beer?


Working?


Sleeping off a night of partying, or preparing to party?


Are you living today like it is any other day?


Take a few moments, a few seconds, a breath-- and remember all that has been lost because of this day.


If you see a service member-- Police, EMT, Fire Fighter, Marine, Navy, Army, Air Force-- thank them for all they have done-- and remember they lost friends, family, and co-workers as well.


Remember that nothing is free in America.


Not even our Freedom.


It all comes at a price.


What price are you willing to pay?






R.S.


Below is a guest post from my dear friend, the Corpsman. Take a moment to read his memories of that fateful day in 2001--and the years that have followed. You can follow him on twitter.




The Day that Changed my Life

2,606

87

60

125

59

40

5,029

2,606

I was doing what any recently graduated 17 year-old does on a Tuesday off.  Sleeping in.  I was supposed to go over to a friend’s house and watch anime while her mom and dad did business in town.  I remember my mom coming in and turning on the TV in my room.  She says “Two planes just flew into the World Trade Center in New York and another one into the Pentagon.”  I remember watching those first images I had seen and thinking to myself that this was a movie.  There was no way that this could happen in our country.  Seems that I was naïve as the rest of the country.

I remember that morning clearly.  I watched as the towers fell.  And then the reports of Flight 93 crashing in that field in Pennsylvania, as the result of the courageous passengers taking the cockpit.  Todd Beamer, who I assume led the revolt, was overheard by an operator over a cell phone, “Are you guys ready?  Let’s roll.”  I only wish that I would be able to do the same thing in that situation.  He and all on the rest on Flight 93 are real heroes in my book.

I spent the rest of the day at my friend’s house, keeping our plans.  We both agreed that we needed to do something to take our minds off the bad day.  We had heard and seen enough pain, and we enjoyed each other’s company.

I already knew that I was going into the military.  This day gave me a tangible reason to go.  This was the first time in my life that I was so sure of something.  And even knowing where it would lead, I was not afraid.  I wanted the bastards to pay for what they did.  These feelings have waned over time, but I am still committed to the service of my country, and to my fellow service members, the same as I was when I signed my name on that line.  My life in the military has been nothing but serving others, and I find that a fitting tribute to any man courageous enough to lay down his life for something he believes in.

I’ve deployed four times since joining the military.  Once on a hospital ship at the beginning of the invasion in Iraq.  One to the coast of Somalia to hunt pirates.  One to the Philippines to assist in the hunt for Al-Qaeda in Asia, and the last was to Iraq, to train and ready the Iraqi Army to defend their country.  I’ve made some good friends along the way, as I have also lost some great ones.  Some say it comes from the job.  Peace comes from knowing that they died doing something they believed in.

The almost spontaneous response of patriotism in this country after that day was overwhelming.  But it was sad.  Why does it take an event of this magnitude for someone to be patriotic?  You should be honored and grateful to fly the nations flag every day of the year, not just after a tragedy.  Now, I understand that being a patriot isn’t just about flying the flag, but it’s about support.  People say they don’t support the wars.  However, that’s all people cried for the days following the events on September 11th.  It just shows me that the average American doesn’t have the resolve or determination to see something through to the end.

Everyone knew that this was going to be a different type of war.  I’ve been there, and I can say that the cause is just.  What greater mission than to give another country the means to fight for what they believe in?  After all, if we don’t enable them to do so, who’s to say that someone else, someone more villainous and evil will fill that power void.  We need to see it through to the end, whatever the price.  If we end it prematurely, then what is the price paid by all those who have given their lives worth.  In my opinion, it would all be in vain.

Even though it seems so long ago, the day is as fresh in my mind as when it happened.  I will never forget.

2,606 – Deaths in the World Trade Center

87 – Passengers of American Airlines Flight 11, which at 0846 crashed into the North Tower

60 – Passengers of United Airlines Flight 175, which at 0903 crashed into the South Tower

125 – Deaths in the Pentagon

59 – Passengers of American Airlines Flight 77, which at 0937 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon

40 – Passengers of United Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 1003

5,029 – Coalition forces that have died in Iraq

2,606 – Coalition forces that have died in Afghanistan

I remember today, and every day.  Have you forgotten?  What will you do to honor them?

n  Doc Seven Echo, “The Corpsman”





Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the Salem Witch Trials

In the American Lit class I'm currently taking, we had to go to the University of Virginia's Electronic Library's files on the Salem Witch Trials and read through the files. After choosing a case we were supposed to discuss how the legal documents reflected Puritan Ideology. 

This had to be done in 280-350 words. 

I've added some of my own editorializing to the version posted here. 

Of course. 


Case: Sarah Bibber

In Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 those accused of witchcraft were screwed from the first accusation.  There was zero hope for them. The Puritans didn't need actual evidence to try and convict their peers--they simply needed to claim they'd 'seen' or 'heard' the accused do something un-Puritan, and they were convicted.

Reading over the few transcripts there are from Sarah Bibber's 'trial' --a term used loosely when discussing the witch trials, I noticed many of them followed the same accusations. Almost word for word.

"Shee would call him, very bad names, And would have strange fitts when she was crost, and a woman of an unruly turbulent spirit." (John Porter and Lydia Porter vs. Sarah Bibber)

"Very much given to speak bad words and would call her husband bad names & was a woman of a very turbulent unruly spirit." (Jospeh Fowler vs. Sarah Bibber)

"I did observe her to be a woman of an unruly turbulent spirit, And would often
fall into strange fitts: when anything crost her humor." (Richard Walker vs. Sarah Bibber)

Let me just say this. 

It's a damn good thing I wasn't alive during Puritan Massachusetts. I'd have been the first one tried and convicted. 

The trial documents reflect on two known traits of the Puritan way of life. A belief that a woman was supposed to be demure and quiet (no turbulent, unruly spirits allowed there), and the requirement that women honor their husbands (Oh, yeah, that's me. Let me get right on that bandwagon)-- I've really never read much about Puritan wives calling their husbands 'bad names', without them being tied in some way to the witch trials of Salem.

I bet dear Sarah felt great, and was more than justified in calling her DFH bad names, and those other old Puritan biddies who turned her in for it were probably just jealous. You know they were probably thinking the same thing.

In Puritan Massachusetts, God-- and the people who either thought they were worthy enough to speak for him-- was law. The Bible put in black and white the ways the world was supposed to be, and anyone not falling into line with the 'Good Book' was sinning and sinners needed to be punished.

The Puritans just preferred to drown them, burn them, or crush them with rocks.  

In my young adult novel I actually did research on the Salem Witch Trials specifically for their acts of torture-- I mean execution. The crazy dude who inflicts pain on people really enjoyed their ideas as well as those from the Spanish Inquisition.  

Isn't it truly amazing how many people were tortured and killed in history--all in the name of "God"? 

R.S.

Works Cited:  The Salem witchcraft papers, Volume 1 : verbatim transcripts of the legal documents of the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692 / edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum.
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
  

Friday, September 9, 2011

On Like Mother Like Daughter

Recently while on the way to pick up the Niece, the Munchkin and I came to a stop sign and prepared to make a right hand turn.

Two women, each about 400 pounds and neither standing taller than 5'2 took their rights as pedestrians for granted and mosseyed across my vehicles path at a leisurely pace-- in fact, I'm pretty sure I saw a snail speed past them.

My daughter looked at them, then glanced at me before looking back to them and saying, "haven't you ever heard of sidewalks, people?"

I swear, I don't know where she gets it from.

Really.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

On Being Strong




Some days I don't feel strong.

I feel weak, like a stiff breeze will knock me over.

This isn't a physical weakness, though compared to the Marine there's no doubt my body is weak in comparison.
It's a mental and emotional weakness, and it surprises me when others don't see it in me. When they think I'm stronger than I see myself.

By no means am I a D.I.D. -- a damsel in distress, but I see myself differently than those who rely on me.

The Marine sees me as strong and capable of running the house, caring for our daughter, getting through college with a high gpa, and making sure our life runs smoothly whether he is home or in some random 'stan country.

The Munchkin sees me as strong because I fix her broken toys, read her stories, make the upset tummy monsters go away, and love her no matter what.

The Niece sees me as strong because I respect her, live my life relatively happily in my skin, and don't fall especially prey to the guilt guns our family often mans with shockingly good aim.

My friends say I'm strong, but really what do they see?

Everyone who knows and loves me believes I'm strong, but what they see is usually just a mask.

Yes, I can survive by myself, provide for myself and my daughter. I'm comfortable alone, and don't need approval.

I make it through months without seeing the Marine, and life continues, but sometimes when the world gets too dark, responsibilities weigh me down, and I'm scraping the bottom of my emotional barrel...

It would be nice if there was someone there to hold out their arms, offer a shoulder, or just say, "It's okay to cry. I won't think you're weak. Sometimes it takes strength to let go."

Because, I seem to keep forgetting that.


R.S.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Trails: An Unedited Short








Happy Trails


            The lights were flashing in loud colors of pinks, and purples; the music thumping at eardrum splitting levels. I was sitting in a darkened corner; back against the wall watching the blonde performing on stage.
            For months there had been rumors the clientele at the Happy Trail were getting more than just a show from the dancers, and now after hundreds of man hours of surveillance, interviews, and undercover intel I'd been given the green light to break the case wide open.
            When the dancer left the stage clad in nothing but a piece of crack floss; I stood and discretely followed at a safe distance. I'd have to get through the boss first, and I'd been doing my research. Catching the eye of the brunette sitting in a well guarded corner booth, I nodded my head toward the dancer.
            A man who looked like he should have played football for the Seahawks stalked toward me like a Sherman tank. “Ms. K wants to talk business.”
            “What a coincidence, so do I.” I refrained from breaking his wrist when he put a meaty hand on my shoulder, and I allowed him to lead me to the woman in charge.
            “Frisk her, Fonzo.”
            I was glad I'd left my gun in the lock box of my SUV, and hoped he wouldn't find my credentials hidden in the cup of my bra. When he'd finished his exploration of my body I had the passing thought he should have bought me a drink first.
            “So, you're interested in Marc.” It was a statement, She knew I was or I wouldn't have been there.  “He'll discuss the particulars of any transactions, and any compensation for his time.”
            I nodded. With a flick of her hand the tall man who'd been on the stage sauntered toward me with a boyish grin on his face. I thought that in another time, another place we might have been friends. Unfortunately, my career wouldn't allow much in the way of friendship with a man who was about to get arrested for prostitution.
            “Hello, Marc. I'm Sare. Wanna get out of here?”
            “Sure, but it'll cost ya.”
            “That's fine. I'm good for whatever your price is.”   
            We walked through the club, and out into the darkened alley.
            “How much for the night?” I asked.
            “Depends on what your pleasure is.”
            “Whole night. Everything,” I said.
            “Fifteen hundred.”
             Damn, maybe I was in the wrong line of work.
            “Deal.” I reached into the collar of my shirt and removed my credentials at the same time as the black and whites pulled up. “You're under arrest for the solicitation of sex, and bad taste in stage wear.”
            “You're a cop?”
            “No grass growing there, Marc.”
            “Damn.”
            “It's okay, someday you'll look back at this day and laugh.”
            “Think when that day comes we could be Facebook friends?”
            “Sure,” I said. “Why the Hell not?”
            

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Things I Need.

There are very few things in life I feel like I need in order to be happy. Maybe not survive and be healthy (food, water, air, exercise, etc), but to survive emotionally.

  • Snuggles, hugs, and smooches from the Munchkin.
  • The sound of the Marine's voice, and the feel of his arms wrapped around me.
  • Music
  • A good book or a dozen.
  • Access to chocolate whenever I need it.

Yep, I'm pretty simple. I don't need a lot of things, or a lot of people. 

A fact that is hard for many people to understand. 

The Marine included.

I've never been a person interested in having a large group of 'friends'. In fact I'm of the belief you can't really be 'friends' with that many people. Friendly, yes. Acquaintances, yes. "Friends", no. 

In order to truly be a friend you need to dedicate time and emotion to them. You need to know who they are deep inside and in return you need to share yourself with them. 

I'm not interested in doing that with every person I meet, or every person my friends meet.

I'm not going to become more than 'friendly' with people if I don't have the time needed to be a true friend. 

I take my friendships seriously. 

I don't split my time, and I'm not a fair weather friend. I'll be there for them through thick and thin, and give them 100 percent of my time and attention when they need it.

When I'm with my friends, I'm theirs. I'm not attached to my phone texting everyone else. I'm not checking my twitter account, or chatting on IM with the friends not with me. 

I find it rude, and to be honest, uncaring. 

The Tweeps can wait. They'll understand, and if they don't... well... too bad. 

Call me selfish if you want, but I call it being a good friend. 

It brings to mind the quote that runs rampant on Facebook. "Don't make someone a priority when you're just an option."

I've been the option before, and as an adult I don't have to be. 

I won't be.

The Marine is always trying to get me to become friends with other Marine wives. 

I'm not interested.

My 'dance card' is all full.

I've got what I need. 

A wonderful husband who loves me.

A beautiful daughter I get to see everyday, and watch grow up into a beautiful and strong little girl.

And a small handful of friends who I share the hidden parts of myself with. 

R.S.



Monday, September 5, 2011

On Neediness

This is kind of a follow up to my post On Things I Need.

The Niece and I had a  conversation the other day about neediness and how some people show it. We weren't discussing any particular people, but just humans in general.

After all, there are so many of them.

Granted, most of the 'needy' people are women, but that could just be our personal experiences talking.

She and I are both similar. We don't believe in overloading ourselves with 'friends', and we don't have a problem with our friends spending time with people other than us--as long as they don't expect us to do it too.





What we wonder, is what makes other people so needy? Why do they feel like they need to fill their lives with 'friends'. Why do they feel they need to make every online acquaintance their BFF and become friends with every person they've ever come across in passing?

Is filling their lives with these 'friends' completing them in some way? Do they think they'll feel better about themselves if they've suddenly got 13 billion twitter followers or Facebook friends?

Do they get a thrill out of trying to snatch the attention and affection of their friends' friends?

What makes a needy person so... needy?

Did I miss a specific 'needy' gene when I was being created, because I just don't understand it.

Insights?

R.S.

Also, speaking of the "needy gene"...aka Damsel in Distress check out this post.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

On The Nautical Wench...or How I Met Karie

           The other day I read a blog post a friend of mine posted. It reminded me of short stories we wrote several months ago about the fictional way we met each other. This is how I met her...sort of. 




           In the eighteenth century the high seas were terrorized by a vile sea captain known only as the Douche Pirate Adam. He sailed the seas pillaging and plundering unsuspecting ships sailing along the Isle of Kalandra. Every ship Captain knew the tales of this man's heinous deeds, but few believed them.
            It was a balmy night with calm seas when the Saoirse came upon the Douche Pirate Adam, and his crew of morally corrupt, mentally confused scofflaws. The Saoirse's captain, Marc O'Reallious, knowing the stories, plotted with his First Mate.
            Captain Marc, along with his First Mate, and the rest of his crew boarded the enemy pirate ship; scaling the sides under the cover of darkness. Mysterious fog was beginning to roll in as they converged on the wasteful and wanton men lounging around the deck.
            The battle was over before it had truly begun. While Captain Marc went in search of Adam he sent his First Mate to verify whether there were any hostages on board before he gave the order to sink the ship to the bottom. It would after all, be a fitting ending for the former captain and crew to join the silent world of Davy Jones' Locker.
            Deep in the bowels of the ship, locked behind a rusted door of iron bars a woman struggled with the shackles that bound her wrists. Her long brown hair was fashioned into a crude braid, and her face was marred with filth. The rags she wore did nothing to hide the royal way she held her head when the First Mate opened her prison.
            Her biting words, and scathing remarks brought a smile to the First Mate's face. “Hello, Princess, I believe there are people looking for you.”
            “What would you know of that? You're nothing but a pirate hussy.”
            “Do you kiss your subjects with that mouth?” The princess said nothing, just glared at the First Mate. “Besides, I prefer the term, nautical wench—but you may call me First Mate for as long as you're aboard the Saoirse.”
            “That won't be long. By rules of the sea you're to return me to the Kingdom of Ezmaha. For my safe return you'll be greatly rewarded.”
            “Or we'll be hanged,” the First Mate said, unlocking the chains that bound the princess. “It's up to Captain Marc to decide your fate.”
            “My fate is no one's to decide but my own,” she said head held high, eyes flashing fire.
            “As you wish, Princess. Let's not keep the Captain waiting. Shame to be on board when he sinks it to Davy's Locker.” With a quick tug the princess was dragged out of the cell and tossed unceremoniously onto the decks of the Saoirse.
***

                Princess Karie stayed on board the Saoirse for the remainder of her life; choosing the Pirate life we afforded her, rather than returning to the dull, mundane life she was expected to live in her kingdom.
            That folks, is how I met Karie, one balmy evening as she spit fire and venom at me. It wasn't long before she too was preferring the term nautical wench... but that is a story for another time. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On An Open Letter to Tim Greaton

If you haven't done so yet, go to Amazon.com and check out Bones in the Tree and the Santa Shop, both are amazing stories from author, Tim Greaton. I sat and read them in a single sitting and hours later still found myself reflecting on them.








Tim,

When I first stumbled upon you on Twitter I did the usual, checked out the blog and your featured titles.

Recently, life has been hectic and busy so I didn't have much of a chance to sit down and read, but the other day I finally managed it.

I started with Bones in the Tree and I understood exactly where your main character was coming from. Having gone through a divorce myself I remember the difficulties I had with phone calls from the ex. What I wouldn't have done for a place without cell service--and a friend like Bones to share the silence with.

Now, I remember reading about how your work is considered "dark" fiction, and I can both see and understand that--but I don't get that from reading either Bones or the Santa Shop. 


There might have been dark moments, but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe that is because my childhood wasn't full of happiness and joy, but I'd like to believe it's because your writing shows that even in darkness there can be light.

The Santa Shop touched on my emotions in a way I'm not often comfortable admitting. There were a number of times where I contemplated reaching for a tissue. Not because I was worried about what Skip would decided to do, but because I felt his pain.

Standing on that dark bridge on Christmas Eve, with the frigid air blowing around him, and his whole world torn apart--I felt.

I was right there listening and watching...waiting for him to reclaim his life.

That's good writing.


Thank you for opening your heart and your imagination to us.


R.S.


Check out Tim on his blog or on twitter: @timgreaton