Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I can never find the right words when someone dies.
I never knew you like I should have.  Our friendship was casual and occasional and barricaded by distance.  I didn't know you, not really.  I didn't know about your past or your dreams, only your present.  Your partner is my friend and I knew you through him.  He loved you more than anything and now his loss is deep and infinite.  I will miss your kind words said during our raids through the virtual Azeroth.  I know it is an admission of our mutual nerdiness, but that is where I knew you best.  We were both more interested in history, lore, and skill than egotistical gain and that fueled our gossamer bond.  Goodbye, friend, you will be missed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Embracing the Argent

I don't pay much attention to my hair anymore, which is why I was surprised recently when I looked in the mirror to find streaks of silver nestled in the chestnut.  My off-center part had hidden them well so when I finally discovered them, they had already grown the full length of my hair.  Now that I've noticed them, it is hard to not notice them.  They are bright and shiny, and catch the sunlight in an oh-so-obvious way.

Truthfully, I kind of like it.  Yeah, it makes me feel older, but that is okay.  I've always looked far younger than my age and it was often difficult to be taken seriously, especially when I showed up to engineering interviews looking like a high school sophomore.  I eventually just had to let myself get a bit haggard in the details because when I actually bother to clean myself up, I look even younger.

I am not old, just older.  Though you wouldn't tell by looking at me, my high school days are well over a decade behind me.  I still get yelled at for being places a teenager shouldn't be.  I went into a liquor store with my friend and husband two years ago, and the clerk yelled, "You can't bring that little one in here!"  Of course, it solicited guffaws from my companions, who are both younger than me.  I was once chased into a theater by a teenaged usher who cried out for everyone to hear, "Are your parents here?  Where are your parents?"  When I went to a Halloween concert hosted by the radio station I worked for, the guy at the door accused me of having a fake ID and threatened to call the cops.  I asked him who would pretend to be 23 and one of my fellow DJs convinced him to just stamp me as a minor so I could come in.  I received my share of dirty looks from assumptive people when I was pregnant, but my husband got even worse ones when he was with me.

I have decided to keep the silver and let it roam free and even bring along friends.  I used to dye my hair a variable plethora of colors, but after college, I decided it wasn't worth the effort since it grew out too quickly.  The days of electric blue with violet streaks are over, though I do sometimes look fondly upon the young punks and contemplate adding a few vibrant highlights.  These days, I just maintain my ridiculously coarse, thick hair with nothing more than baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and that regimen suits my casually tree-hugging attitude a bit more.  The silver stays and maybe I'll finally start to look my age. 

Really, I love the look of a fully-silver head of hair.  I see too many people hide their grays and end up looking ridiculous under a crown of eggplant, yellow, or jet black, which only accentuates the grays in their eyebrows.  The transition from color to monochrome might be a bit awkward, but that isn't really a big deal to someone who hasn't touched hair dye or makeup in six years.  Maybe I'll finally get to go see an R movie without being carded and harassed by gangling adolescents with misspelled first names.

I'll leave you with a bit of dialogue from 3rd Rock From The Sun...
Mary: I think you look distinguished with gray hair.
Dick: Thank you. I think you would look distinguished with gray hair, too.
Mary: No. When men get gray hair, they look distinguished. When women get gray hair, they look old.
Dick: When women get breasts, they look sexy. When men get breasts, they look old. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I finished revising Mayfly Requiem, so now it is time to go back and finish Absolution, the book I left mapped out but half-complete when I had my Mayfly epiphany.  Absolution is chronologically fifth out of my six books.  It is set after the fall of Malora.  The narrator is a young ranger named Isen, who is called upon to travel the wasteland with the remorseful immortal Bethel, a gender-switching emergent and former object of worship named Dacibrega, and Holly, the personification of Despair.  Each is searching for closure in a desolate life, but what they find is not necessarily what they were seeking.  I set this book aside about two years ago, and I need to reread it and my fairly extensive notes before I can get back into it.

The wolves were always hungry. Lynxes and bears were also famished in the cold dark of the northern winter, but it was only the wolves which frightened me. The gnashing teeth, coated in a fine sheen of old blood, the skeletal gauntness of their sinewy bodies hidden by thick and ragged fur. Wolves haunted my nights and stalked my days. I was never afraid of anything before the wolves came, but afterwards I finally realize how dangerous my world was. The wolves took Torin away from me. I was never alone, and as long as I stay in Jata I will never be alone, but for the first time in my life I found out what loneliness meant.
The wolves came during the day. They never came in the day before so I knew they were desperate. We were often hungry too, but we had learned to store food long ago and the wolves never could do such a thing. They were beautiful, graceful, powerful animals, but they were still animals and could not plan for the future like we could. There was little food in the wastelands outside of the mountains so the animals came into our borders. We became food, we became prey. The rangers patrolled the edges and shooed away any predators which came too close, but the borders were large and complex, and sometimes the fiercest of the animals would find their ways through the twisting mazes.
Torin was tending to his winter garden with my cousin Rasi when the wolves struck. Their screams echoed through the vale. We all knew immediately that someone's world had ended. My mother ran to their aid and beat the wolves away with the only tools she could find – a rake and an ax and her own sinewy strength. Rasi survived. My Torin did not.
When I learned of his death, all I could feel for quite some time was overwhelming regret. I should have claimed him for my own sooner. I was planning on asking him to be my mate that very night, but fate had different plans for us. There would be no gardens or marriage or children for Torin, only cold and dark death, only the faint hope that the stories our grandparents told about webs and afterlives were true and we would one day meet again in another life. The starved wolves took Torin away and I don't think he ever knew how much I loved him. I loved his pale eyes and rich dark skin, but more than that, I loved his gentleness. He would have been a wonderful father and a kind husband, but he never was allowed to be either of those things. Torin was gone forever. I was certain I could never allow anyone else to fill the void in my soul left by hungry wolves and desolate lands.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ouch, My Teeth!

Wow, so I guess it's been over a month since I posted last.  I was thoroughly lost in Malora.  I finished my complete revision of the Echoes of Oblivion trilogy, and now I'm 2/3 of the way through my Mayfly Requiem revision.  I generally have to stay up until 2-3am to work on anything without interruption, so I'm fairly sleep deprived.  In the past two weeks alone, I've dealt with flaring TMJ from an old broken jaw, a double ear infection, a concussion, and a scratched cornea, and that was just on me.  My germ-wielding toddler decided to bash me over the head with a toy, which knocked me out for about 30 seconds, and then he followed it up the next day by trying to gouge out my left eye.  Now all three of us are fighting off yet another cold, so maybe I'll get a little bit of a break and finally be able to think about something other than fantasy apocalypses and fallen immortal time-keepers.

Due to my narcolepsy, I have more vivid dreams than most people.  They are usually a full-sensory experience complete with smells, tastes, and even pain.  Last night marked the triumphant return of the painful lost teeth category of dreams after a long absence.  I think it has been two years or so since my last one.

I was sitting outside in a park when all of a sudden I felt a series of pops in my mouth.  I tried to open my moth, but it hurt too much and my gums felt swollen.  I swept my finger around the side of my mouth and pulled out five teeth.  I panicked and shoved the teeth back into my mouth and walked to the dentist's office, which turned out to be in the middle of a bustling mall instead of its usual location.  I tried to open my mouth to show her, but my jaw was nearly locked.  I felt more pain and more crackling pops, and spit out a bunch of teeth onto the table.  I tried to use my tongue to feel around for the empty spots, but my tongue and gums were numb.   The dentist got out her books and was trying to figure out why something like this would happen to someone with previously healthy teeth.  In the meantime, I kept losing more and more teeth, and soon there was a small pile of teeth on the table.  People kept stopping by to look at the teeth, but I refused to smile at them because I knew I was missing a bunch.  The dentist kept talking about being able to do something for me once my gums were healed.  The pile of teeth now contained more teeth than I could have possibly started with in my mouth and there were bits of wire that the dentist insisted were from the braces I had in high school.  I was really anxious because I had hardly any teeth left and I didn't know how I was going to be able to eat.  My mouth hurt horribly and was still popping and dropping teeth, and then I woke up because my toddler was whimpering.

Weird dreams are nothing new to me, but the teeth ones are always disturbing.  I wake up and immediately check my mouth to make sure nothing is missing or loose.  Thankfully, I still have all my teeth, even though I have some issues with them because of suffering through nine months of morning sickness.  My husband thinks I'm nuts when I tell him my dreams, but he sleeps so deeply he hardly ever remembers his dreams at all.  Maybe I am nuts, but right now I am too busy watching the praying mantises crawl across the wall to really think about out.  Oh, wait... hypnogogic hallucinations.  Again.  I guess it is nap time.