Reminiscing: The Grandmother Who Was Not Mine.

For a very long while now, I have been trying to write an entry about my paternal grandmother. Hell, for even longer, I’ve been trying to write an entry about my dad, but I settled on my Gramma L first because she’s a bitchin’ lady. She’s one of those people who deserve to be remembered. The thing about Wilma (yes, her name was Wilma) is that in talking about her and writing about her, I think I’ll be opening up a big ole can of worms. It’s because of this that I’ve been putting her entry off and off. I’ve gotten anecdotes from my mother as I had asked for when I was writing about my maternal, dead grandmother. I have a general idea of what I want to say, but it’s been pretty difficult to get out there. It’s all of that armchair psychology horse manure that I like to do only once in a blue moon, really. It causes a lot of problems and I get the feeling that with this entry, I’ll end up doing that and dealing with those problems.

I don’t have a lot of memories of my paternal grandmother. She died when I was nine years old, about two years after the death of my daddy. So, to clearly say that I remember her is difficult. As time goes by, even the memories that I cherished of my father are replaced by things that I’d rather not have replace him. The same goes for the memories of my Gramma L. I guess it’s just the way that life ends up: you forget the things from your childhood as your memory spots are replaced by things like children’s birthdays, ring-tailed lemurs from Madagascar, the kids’ favorite foods, grades in school, the time period in China that the Black Death showed up for the first time, and other ephemera related to growing up and being an adult or merely, miscellanea that thinks it’s a good idea to take over said spots.

My grandmother lived in a giant gray Victorian. It’s because of her that I have had a life-long obsession with the idea of owning a big gray Victorian with black shudders. Her house wasn’t very large: three rooms on the first floor and three rooms on the top floor, but it was wonderful. I loved going over there for the family parties and spending time there. There was a window seat in the dining room with pillows in the big bay window. I remember dreaming of sitting there with a book during the high days of summer. I remember being excited when I got to walk up and down the tiny steps that led to the front walk. I remember enjoying the swinging in the porch swing that was on the left-hand side of the wraparound porch. I remember running around the grass in the summer time and burying dog bones under the bushes with the other cousins. (My grandmother never stocked cookie treats or anything like that, but she had dog biscuits in abundance for her two dogs.) I also remember one summer where a cousin of mine set fire to the front lawn, but that’s not my story to tell. All I can say is that my clearest memories of my grandmother have to do with the big gray house she lived in until she died and that I never saw again after that.

Gramma was pretty big on building things. She liked to create things with her hands. This is probably why when she re-married to Papa, she chose a man who could build with his hands. He would create things, just like her first husband (who was a woodworker). Papa was big on making clocks, if I’m not mistaken, and re-building old cars (I’ll get into a post about him one day… and as a quick note, I found his Stanley Steamer while doing a whimsical search.) But, my Gram didn’t work on the cars or the clocks, as far as I know. She worked on sewing things and creating things. It was because of her, I think, more than anything or anyone else that my mom started getting into things like that. But, her biggest creation things were the building of dollhouses and the giant train set that was set up in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

All of us kids loved to watch this train set. She would turn it on for us to watch the trains go by, but I was more fascinated with the intricate details that went into creating the landscape. There were tunnels and houses and signs and people and bushes and animals. They were all so tiny. I can remember wondering just how much time she put into the creation of the thing. I know that it was a love of trains that my father had later in life because when we were packing up the basement before we moved to Texas, my stepbrother stumbled onto his train collection. I wonder if this was a bonding point between the two people who I loved the most and died on me, or if it was because of one that the other because interested. I’ll never know because, unfortunately, I can’t ask them. But, I’ve always kind of wondered what the correlation there was.

My grandmother had a pretty bad memory as far as birthdays went. I mean, probably, it wasn’t her fault. She had twelve grandchildren by that point (if I’m counting up correctly), on top of her five kids and their spouses. So, in an effort to keep anyone from feeling left out, she cooked up the best scheme in the history of ever, which was entitled Everybody’s Birthday. Oh, sure. We all had parties that family was invited to during the proper time, but my grandmother celebrated this one day a year for everybody. My mom tells me that she held it around her birthday, probably as a way for all of us to remember her birthday in turn: my gramma was smart as hell. So, every year, we’d get together and do something. I remember the renting out of a baseball diamond. The kids all had one diamond and were practicing how to hit the baseballs from the t-stand things while the parents were doing a real baseball game. Well… real is relative: there was alcohol involved. Then, another year, I remember we went to the circus, but this memory is vague. I was probably only three or four at the time, honestly.

But the thing that I remember most about my grandmother is how much she loved me. She always made me feel very loved and very happy. The thing is that on that side of the family, I never really felt as though I belonged. Sure, I did to an extent, but I did not really feel comfortable with them. I was a dork, a homebody, a reader. My cousins were all about toys and playing and Barbies. Later on, I was still a dork, a homebody, a reader, and self-composed while the rest of my cousins were interested in popular music, boys, and makeup. I never felt very comfortable there, but my grandmother made me feel as though I belonged. I remember a feeling of purity and light and love from that woman. I think, honestly, the learning that my daddy was not my daddy would have been a smoother transition if she had still been there to make me feel welcome and at home, but she wasn’t. And I got to sit around after the fact wondering if the out-of-place feeling I felt with that family was my fault because, technically, I didn’t belong, blood of their blood, or if it was just the loss of a woman who always made me feel at home.

The thing about my grandmother, really, is that she was larger than life. She loved everyone and everything. Okay, yeah. I’m sure there were things that she didn’t like or thought better of, but you would never know it. She was so full of vim and vigor that you were caught up in the spell she wove. How often do you hear of a woman who divorced her first husband, remained friendly with him, remained friendly with her ex-husband’s new wife and her kids, while also bringing the family together at least two to three times a year? I mean, yes. I’m sure the weaving of the miscellaneous parts of the family were also because of Grampa B and his nature, but I think it says a lot. She would gladly welcome anyone into her home. It wasn’t that we were all a ragtag bunch of blocks on the same quilt: we all belonged together.

And that, more than anything, is who my grandmother was, who my grandmother is, and who my grandmother will always be as far as I am concerned.

To Wilma, the woman who always made me feel like I belonged.

The More Alternatives, the More Difficult the Choice.

The above title is taken as a quote from Abbe’ D’Allanival.

Yesterday, I wrote about going insane because I really just am and decided that I had to decide what to do. I’ve been so busy, jumping on every possible idea that anyone throws at me or that comes meandering into my head that I’ve been making absolutely no decisions. I’ve been sitting idly by while I tried not to think too much about what I could possibly do with my life. But, yesterday, instead of deciding to clear my head, I thought about asking some Tarot questions for advice because, you know, sometimes, I just can’t get a handle on what I’m actually thinking. So, I went to a forum that I frequent and one of the women who I highly respect in the realm of Tarot offered to “temporarily come out of retirement” and do a reading for me. Both readings are reproduced here.

So, I opened a new thread on said forum and merely asked two questions. I wanted to ask more in-depth questions, but considering that nothing further could come to mind, I figured the two were ample enough to get my point across. Is it really a good idea to be going back into the type of work I was fired from? And if I do look into that area, will I even be hired?

“The answer to the question is no, you shouldn’t, with the reason that you would be perceived as having the potential to abuse power. You would not be given power because of this, but you are used to and good at using power. You would be frustrated and so would your employers, who would see how you could be best used but be unable to give you those positions. (Emperor reversed in centre position) Supporting a no decision – The stress of such a situation would (and in the past has) damage your home life and emotional state. (Hanged Man reversed, 4 of Rods) To ignore the answer – your best bet would be to go in with an incomplete resume (probably means leaving off or lying about the reason you left your last job) and presenting yourself as completely new to any kind of authority. They would then let you rise to your own level, as long as they didn’t find out. (Knight of Pentacles reversed, Fool reversed) Feelings regarding this answer – bitterness and urge to fight it out. A need to reclaim a certain pride of position. (Queen of Swords reversed, Page of Swords) Probable response after thinking about it – relief on a certain level and willingness to engage with something new. (Two of Cups, Six of Cups).”

This leads me to believe that if I do get hired, it would be at a lower wage and at a lower position. In effect, it would appear that I would have to “start all over” yet again. And in so doing, I get to go through the horrors of that experience all over again. It wasn’t fun the first time at Greed, Inc and it wasn’t all that great when I had to do that down south, either. Of course, the company I worked for down south is infinitely preferable to Greed, Inc. Still, the idea of having to do all that long ass-kissing all over again… And then for what gain? I end up in the same stress-ridden position that I was from the get go.

In effect, I feel that in going back into the job queue in this particular position would just be my act of trying to prove myself. It would be me going back to say, “I’m not a horrible boss. I was never a bad boss.” My end goal would just be trying to say that I can do this and I’m not as shit as they said I was. But, you know, maybe I really was shit. I have a way about me and I know what to say to the right people and just how to say it to get what I want. Obviously, this didn’t work so well at the end of my reign at Greed, Inc but you know, I was never actually given the chance to comment on the “charges” against me in the first place. The chances are that I would have been able to back pedal enough, if I had been given the chance, to either still be there and hating myself/my life/my job or having found a better position somewhere else. (More likely, the first one as opposed to the second.)

Even though I didn’t ask for a second reason, she happily gave me one anyway. And this one is pretty fucking interesting. Chances are, I would have been able to come to the conclusion that the first reading gave me on my own. Sure, it may have been after I had already applied or gotten the job. And it may have been years down the road, too, but chances are, I would have realized that all I was doing was trying to prove the point that I didn’t suck so badly. And maybe, in so doing, I would have ended up sucking so badly.

“I just realized that what I’m offering isn’t exactly what you asked. I think the yes/no may have answered all of it (it’s why I use a 9-card spread) but just in case I will do the options spread for the outcomes – if you look for work in your old field, or if you try something new.

“For personal satisfaction, if you move to a new field you will have control of yourself and a long term purpose. Chariot One real-world (as opposed to inner) result of going to a new field is that you will have a chance to fulfill or complete something you started (studied, trained for) but never went after. Eight of Rods. To succeed, a new field will require study and care. You will need to protect yourself and your energy right from the beginning. Nine of Rods.

“If you stay in the old, you will have a challenge that you will probably succeed at if you are willing to fight. Knight of Swords. One real-world result of staying in the old is that you will become ill in some way – stomach problems and migraines are my usual associations for this card. Ten of Swords. To succeed, your old field will require a certain amount of deceit and play-acting. Queen of Rods reversed.

“I don’t know if the directional card applies to your old field or a new one, but it is involved with teaching or passing on information. Admittedly, that could cover things from training new workers, looking after students, writing manuals or news stories, running a daycare, etc. etc. etc. Probably the least specific card in this set of spreads., Page of Rods. I hope this helps. My cards have been in a drawer in my altar for months and seemed kind of determined when I shuffled them. I could have softened some of the interpretations but I had a strong desire not to.”

I always enjoy these spreads. It’s like you get multiple choices, as seen on essays and tests in school, but without having to do much more than see what’s out there as opposed to picking the right answer. I’m not so good at them; I’m better at seeing things in a single aspect as opposed to multiples. One day, I’ll perfect this way of readings! One day! *shakes fist in air* (Also, just as a note. The way the reading was initially written down was that the cards went from new choice to old choice, instead of being new choice in one section and old choice in another. In a way to make it easier to flip through these responses, I put all the new stuff together and all of the old stuff together.)

So. If I decided to ignore the initial reading and go back to my old type of job, I would have a lot of false smiles, false cheer, and the usual shit that comes from a retail-type of job. I’m not saying that I couldn’t do this but after doing this type of stuff, off and on, for as long as I have… I’ve come to see it as harder and harder to blow smoke up the ass of the customers than it used to be. Also, you know, blowing smoke up the ass of my bosses has lost as much appeal as it sounds since, even though I did do that repeatedly at Greed, Inc… we all know that end result of that fiasco. But, it comes down to the whole thing again: I can do this job and if I fight for it enough, I can easily succeed. And in so doing, I get all the joys that my old position came with… I’d get sick, I’d get headaches, I’d get stomach upset… These were all so thrilling the first time around; how could I possibly say no? (If you didn’t get slashed with the sarcasm blade on that one… then I’m obviously losing my touch.) And in the end, the same old, same old. Acting. Pretending.

The other choice has the feeling of a tantalizing meat morsel that I’ve been eyeballing or a fat hunk of decadent chocolate-by-chocolate-by-chocolate cake while I’m in the midst of a diet. I got the very distinct impression that the choice there is going back to achieve the very goal of my history degree. (With a possibility of anthropology in the mix, but I DON’T KNOW.) If I go back now, I believe that my transcripts from STCC will still be valid and so, therefore, I wouldn’t have to do any of that basic gen-eds crap again. I also think it would place me so that I wouldn’t have to take those stupid placement tests they force on you. It stands to reason, with all of the comments of “finally achieving” and “study,” that the whole degree thing is what the second possibility is for.

And yum. That sounds just yum.

And the directional card, I think, has to do with a multi-arc goal that begins with the need to help others out and ends with the thought of writing a 101 book somewhere.

So. So. There’s that. What does this mean?

I’m going to look up UMASS.

In a Mad World, Only the Mad Are Sane.

The quote as the title of this post is from Akira Kurosawa.

I think I’ve just about lost my mind. In the last week, I’ve had some serious thinking going on, which has left me up until late at night… It gets to the point where I sit bolt upright to pull myself out of that twilight sleep phase that happens just before you really fall asleep. I sit upright and stare around my room, trying my best to pull my thoughts away from the things that make me feel useless, uncertain, and low. I mean, there’s always something that I can think about just before falling asleep, which will lead me to staying up even later just because I can’t get my mind out of my ass and keep harping on shit. It’s so fucking annoying. Lately, it’s been a toss up between where to send TS to school this year (UGH) and how the fuck I am going to continue to live on such shit money, or when unemployment will run out. It’s driving me fucking insane. And it’s not like I need any help in that area, either! I’m already pretty damn close to bat-shit!

So, last week, I took BFMA to a local gas station to pick up an application. She’s been having house guests who don’t pay for shit, so she needs to get another job ASAP. (Her last one petered out because her boss was big on sweaty ball sucking.) She mentioned that Greed, INC was hiring in her area. I pretty much told her to get a life because there was no way I was ever going to let her turn in an application to that place. Then, I got serious and explained that, even if she were given an interview and hired, there was no way she could handle the training program. It’s about a week long and expects you to pick up everything in that week time. I’ve always said that it’s not long enough for people who haven’t worked in a gas station setting previously, but what do I know? Anyway, I also reminded her that Greed, INC likes to hire people for a “specific store” even knowing that the person in question needs that store because of lack of a ride (such as BFMA) but has a tendency of shoving them out to other stores because they’re retarded and think they can do whatever they want. BFMA nodded sagely and said that I had a point since she could only work at that particular store, probably couldn’t make it to the training classes at the office, and would freak out in the middle of training since they expect the world of you in the first day. So, I took her to the gas station across the street, which was hiring for a part-time position.

And this has been in my head ever since. Pretty much, it’s because of this that this happened. And you know, I decided I was going to be fucking retarded and go to the head-hunter site that one of my ex-bosses gave me. (This particular ex-boss, actually, worked for the company in question for many years.) And I looked up the company name and they were hiring for a manager-in-training at the store in Ludlow that BFMA filled out for. And wouldn’t you know it? The manager-in-training notice went up on the day that I wrote that entry about being retardedly insane. Yep, yep.

I’m at a crossroads again and I don’t really know which way to turn.

On the one hand, I need to go back to work. I’ve long since realized that my hopes and dreams of not running the household and being the bread winner are me just whining about just desserts. I’ve always wanted to be that retarded idiot who stays at home with a “cool job” (in other words, writing) and not have to actually go out and make the bacon, so to speak. I loved my mother and I loved that she worked a job that afforded us the ability to do a lot of things (even with her as a single parent), but I remember how cranky she was after working all day. And I remember how much she hated to spend her weekends doing all of the cleaning that never got done during the week because of school and work and eating and having two kids who are slobs. I never wanted to be like that, but unfortunately, I have TH who is in the construction business. And whether we like it or not, no one wants to hire a decent painting crew when they can get shitty service at half the price. So, I have that going at me.

As well as the basic feeling that, you know, the house buying and the ability to buy another car so that we have two vehicles again. This both bothers me and excites me: the whole materialistic thing. I can buy books without having to pinch pennies in other areas and I could take TS wherever I want, whenever I want. I wouldn’t have to scrimp and save to take him to the Lupa Zoo again (he’s been asking to go). And if I made enough money, I could slowly but surely integrate him into that fancy-pantsy school in South Hadley that I’ve been whining about for years now. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. All of these things are all double bonus points when it comes to the whole getting another job thing.

But, then I have to sit around and wonder about what exactly I’m getting myself into.

I have a complex about the manager thing. I think I was a good one and the few ex-employees that I still speak with claim that I was pretty good at the managing thing. But, even though I have these people tell me that I was a decent boss can’t possible completely destroy the feeling that I failed miserably when I tried it out the last time. I keep thinking that it was my failure that ended me in that place. Sure, I know that the company is shit to work for and I know that ELD was the reason behind it with her bullshit and her lies (speaking of, I’m pretty sure she no longer works there). However, I still have the whole complex thing going on for me. I have it in the back of my head that I “sucked” at the whole manager thing. And so, this fear really kind of gets to me when I start contemplating going back to work, especially in a similar environment.

And really, that complex more than anything is the reason why I am currently hemming and hawing… per usual.

The Akhenaten-Smenkhkare Theory.

Okay, so I am obsessed with ancient Egypt. If you know me, then you know this about me. If you didn’t know this about me, well then, where the fuck have you been? I’ve been obsessed with ancient Egypt for as long as I can remember because I am a dork. In reality, I have the heart of a dork and the head of an ego maniacal fruitcake who thinks that she can come up with theories that people will read. In effect, that’s the whole point in this long-winded, rambling life’s path that I walk: theories, theories, theories. And it is because of my obsession with ancient Egypt that I wanted the history degree, but mostly, it’s also because I want people to respect my theories. Instead, I write books in my head about those theories and find myself dorking it up via FB and Twitter with comments about how much I can’t stand Zahi Hawass (seriously: I hate the man), how much I want to discover new insights into the Amarna period, and just generally act like a fool. But a fool with a history degree.

I dream a lot about ancient Egypt, but that’s mostly because I live there, in my head, a lot of the time. If I’m not writing stories about Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Smenkhkare (to name a few), then I’m reading about it in some form or another. Most of my books about ancient Egypt are centered entirely around the Amarna period. Is this the only period that I have an interest in? No. I’m also pretty intrigued by Kleopatra VII (I prefer to use the K versus the C in her name because it connects her with the older names of the rulers of Kemet) and Hatshepsut, but mostly, I find myself always drawn back to that mysterious time period of the 18th Dynasty in which we have a shit-ton of ideas, but absolutely no evidence therein. If there’s a historical fiction series or books or what have you about those time periods, you had better believe that I own them. So, pretty much, I live in ancient Egypt in my head whether I’m dreaming or writing or thinking or reading.

Obsession probably is no longer an adequate word to describe what I am.

So, anyway.

Today, I’ve been rereading the book Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. When it was first suggested to me, I bought it with a grain of salt. I mean, what the hell? I’ve read lots of crappy reviews about books about the mysterious queen of Akhenaten before. I’ve also seen some of the shittiest fucking historical fiction books ever created because of said queen or said time period. (I guess you could say I’m a big snob about it because I got my first historical fiction start with Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz.) So, I picked it up and instantly fell in love. I bought the three books that the author in question wrote about ancient Egypt (one more about that general time period and another about the daughter of Kleopatra VII) and have read them to tatters. Seriously, tatters. So, with the whole rereading of this book, I’ve decided that I need to get down and dirty. I need to look up stuff and see what new things have changed.

And you know what I came back on?

King Tut’s family tree via DNA testing. If you don’t know about this, then you’re so behind the times that it’s not very funny at all. It doesn’t matter. I agree with the findings because I’m not going to sit here and say that the science is stupid. Science is not stupid and I agree with the whole genetic tests. What I don’t agree with is the fact that because the KV55 mummy absolutely fucking has to be Akhenaten, proving that the Heretic Pharaoh was the fucking father of the kid.

Really? Really? All the DNA tests has fucking proved is the fact that the guy who was buried haphazardly across from King Tut was the kid’s dad. It doesn’t say anything more about who the fuck the mummy was. All we know about said mummy is that it is a son of Queen Tiye and Amunhotep III. Besides having had Akhenaten, the two of them had a son who died prior to his accession, Tuthmosis. Isn’t it possible that they had another son that also wasn’t mentioned in the historical record (like Akhenaten prior to his accession to the throne or the possible coregency between him and his dad)? Isn’t it possible that the fucking mummy could have been the mysterious Smenkhkare? If he was a brother to Akhenaten, then the age would be about right. And seriously, for fuck’s sake, why the hell do we have to assume that the mummy is Akhenaten?

I’ll tell you why: Zahi Hawass said so.

Fucking asshole.

I’m not going to sit here and say that the guy can’t be right because it’s possible. The thing is that I’ve been obsessed with the KV55 mummy for years. The first time I began learning about Smenkhkare, I was hooked on the theory that it was his mummy in the tomb. During that phase, I picked up the book Atlantis and the Ten Plagues of Egypt by Graham Phillips (WHAT?! I was in an Atlantis phase, too!). And while I don’t agree with the reason behind the burial, although the evidence was pretty compelling, I have always had to agree that the body was probably that of Smenkhkare.

I mean, seriously? Why the fuck would the Egyptians not have destroyed the body of Akhenaten, if given the chance? And if he was buried in Amarna, as I’ve always figured, then you know, I can definitely see that people took it into their head to destroy his body because who would want him running around for all eternity when he fucked shit up? And if it wasn’t the people, then why couldn’t it have been the Amun priesthood who felt his wrath and ire the most? Or, even, Horemheb when he got to the throne and began his anti-Atenist uprising/assimilation/destruction? I’ve never even remotely considered that we will ever find Akhenaten’s body (or that of his beautiful queen, for similar reason). And considering just how fucking important it was to have statuary and a whole body in the afterlife in ancient Egypt, it pretty much makes more sense for the body to be GONE FOREVER GONE.

But, you know, Mr. Full-of-Himself Hawass has spoken. It is Akhenaten and so therefore, it is.

Insert eye roll so savage that my eyes try popped into my brain pan.

“Gah” Is Not Adequate.

I am absolutely so ridiculously weird. And by that, I mean fucking odd. And by that, I mean insane.

So, there are two Cumberland Farms stores that I go to. One is within walking distance. It’s about two minutes away, if I could walk in a straight line without houses in the way. Since there is a neighborhood between me and said store, the walk is more like seven minutes (if I’m leisurely and enjoying the walk). The other store is across the bridge and down the road apiece. I go there when I need a change of pace and when I need more strawberry-flavored Mentos because I’ve bought out the collection at my closer store.

Anyway, so, I went to the store further from my house this afternoon for my Mentos addiction. I walked in and there was a regular, chatting it up with the cashier. And they had an easy repoire between the two of them; it was obvious that the man was in there on a very regular basis. And listening to the two of them go back and forth, I was like, “Man. I miss that.” And that through me for a loop. Then I thought of the relationship I’ve built with the girls at the store closer to my home and the jokes that we have back and forth… And yeah. I miss that.

I miss regulars.

I hate retail, but I miss the whole having regulars thing.

I think I’m fucking insane.

Musings on Native American Things.

I read a dangerous amount of books at any given moment. What I mean by that is that I am soaking in so much knowledge, from non-fiction to fiction, at such a rate that my brain actually can’t keep up. This is part of the reason why I read and re-read books as often as I do. I read them so quickly that I don’t necessarily take in what it is that I am reading or learning. It was, after all, only after my third or fourth time of reading Akhenaten by Cyril Aldred that I picked up the tiniest nuance of his long-term co-regency theory. (On a side note, I’m still note sure if I support the theory, but then again, I’m one of those weirdos that take forever to make up her mind on historical aspects like that.) The same issue comes about in fiction books. It was my second time reading River Marked by Patricia Briggs but I finally began to understand the “sideways look” necessary to understand the relation to Coyote. It will probably be a third or fourth read before I absorb the totality of what she was hinting at in her book.

The main character in this series is a Native American-Anglo mix who lives cautiously between many different worlds. It is this aspect of her, the uncertainty of which world to walk within, that gets to me the most and causes a link between the two of us. When my mother and uncle were looking into our family history, there was a strong feeling that we had Native American blood in our veins. It was probably smaller by the time they began searching (maybe at 1/64 a blood line) because we hail from Canadian French lines. There’s an on-going theory that there was much inter-mingling between the French fur trappers of so many years passed and the natives. In all the research that has been done, of which there is much, we have come to find no concrete native bloodlines in our systems. If there is any evidence therein, it has probably been destroyed by fear. I know that this was common in older days (I’m thinking specifically of black men and women who “passed” before Americans looked more towards equality and less towards fear). So, it is possible that my mother’s line still holds blood of the natives, but it has long since been lost.

The thing is that I never doubted that I had Native American blood in my veins. I could look down to my arms for confirmation: they never burned. They were always an almond color, even in the winter time when I was a child. Years of skipping away from the sun has cured me of this, but as a child I can remember the darker colors of my arms. And sometimes, if I tilt my head just right, I can glance at the lines of my jaw and chin and there, see a hint or two of a bloodline that hails from somewhere. I, also, believe that this bloodline stems more from my bio-sperm donor than anything else. I’ve been cured of trying to find much on him out of fear, anxiety, and silliness but one day, I will look and I will have to think harder about why his maternal parents’ last name stems from a body of water (either Lake or Pond) as opposed to something more European… I could be delusional, of course, but there are some things that gut instincts cannot cure but only make stronger.

So, with the reading of this [currently last] book, I find myself more curious, yet again, about Native American blood that may flow in my veins. It is a vast interest that keeps me on my toes, but I know that it ends in failure each time. This isn’t the first time that I have wondered what sort of tribe I may distantly be connected to. It is this constant wondering that has left me frustrated and uncertain: which legends do I look to? Which songs do I think to listen to? Which part of the nation do I look for closure? These are questions that follow me in vague whispers. They are ones that leave me feeling disconnected and disenchanted. I mean, how fucking hard is it to keep people in the loop about their own family trees? But again, I know a bit or two about history and I know how people thought about others in times long since passed and not just because I’ve read about the slave trade from Africa. Even the Scottish were considered less than human when they first began coming to this nation, so it is no wonder that oral traditions have long since faded and bloodlines are foggy, at best.

I remember when I was a child, there was a video that was taken by my father. He was big on technology: he would get the newest, baddest thing he could get his hands on. One of those things was a “state of the art” camcorder, which I can recall clearly as being bigger than he was at the shoulders. It was big and bulky and black. He brought it along with him when he and my mother went on their honeymoon. I believe they went to Montreal or something like that. The video had been recorded over, but at the end of it there was a scene that left me enchanted, even so young. It was a Native American tribal dance, with song. I think it was the song more than anything that enchanted me. I cannot remember the people who were dancing or what the dance was about, but I can remember side comments picked up by the camera. None of those things mattered because it was then on that I found a deep, profound connection with the nasal sounds that are used in song and spell, dance and story in the Native American traditions. It isn’t the drums or the rattles or the flutes that call to me, either, but the unknown words that are sung. I cannot explain what it means to me, except that something of my soul may feel appeased at the sounds presented therein.

I’m at a stand still; a crossroads. It should be interesting to see where it leads.

The Sins Of a Writer Is Not Getting It All Down the First Time.

I consider myself a writer because I am all about self-delusion. But, in all reality, it’s because I have thousands of ideas in my brain that need to come out. I will spend hours writing and re-writing non-functional stories in my head as a form of relief or release or “being present in the moment” or just getting my mind back under control. Since some of those ideas are illegal (like parking my giraffe in downtown Atlanta, GA), I have to incorporate it into some open forum that won’t get me arrested. And thus, the idiot that is writing-me was born.

So, technically, I have a novel. It’s not perfect, which is why it is whimiscally referred to as TEHNOVEL™, the WIP, or when I’m aggravated with the whole thing then it’s The Piece Of Shit That Eats My Life. But, really, it’s not finished because I am all about destroying whatever confidence I may have had once. I want what I’ve got to be read by a publisher and picked up almost immediately. I know that reality means it won’t actually happen that way, but if I finally settle on it being “perfect” in my eyes, then I think I can stomach the inevitable rejection that may follow. So, TEHNOVEL™ is still in the creation phase. But, really, it’s ready to toddle off on its own two legs and get its first bar tab started…

…and that’s good because, while I love paranormal romance and can write it like nobody’s business, it’s not the sideline I want.

WAIT. WHAT.

I know; I know. What the fuck am I talking about? I’ve been reading about paranormal shit since I was a kid. I’ve had a fucking zing for vampires since long before they began to sparkle. And TEHNOVEL™ is all about vampires (and other stuff), but the idea has been coalescing for years now… I think it’s been since 2004 or so since this megadrama took over my life. And by take over, I mean I have a four-inch wide fucking binder filled with articles that are neatly cataloged in pretty little sections and a notebook filled with notes about character details, ghosts, vampires, common names for characters on each, etc. So, I said that my life was taken over and I fucking meant it.

But, the thing is that the paranormal thing was just something to do at the time. I was beginning to get focused on the book genre because my boss at the condo was as avid a reader as I was. I got into it so much and so quickly, that ideas were fucking born. It would be a series of undetermined length and it would rock so hardcore (like me). It would be easy and exhilarating because I knew vampires and I knew how to work a story. I knew how to suck people in (I honestly don’t know how I do it consciously so no clues!) with what I had brewing. I knew how to get it out and get it pretty. I knew that it would be fantastic and the world would love me.

And yet, it was just a hobby. I was reading it, so why not write it? Write what you know, eh?

The thing is… I had a plan… and it wasn’t anything to do with paranormal anything.

I know history and have been studying various bits of it for years. I love learning some new thing that people won’t know. I enjoy cracking open a book and learning something new. I’m just a fucking snob about history and that’s why I wanted my history degree. I want to be able to point to the diploma and say, “I’m smart. Do you want to know about undergarments in ancient Egypt?” And then regale people who will yawn themselves to death before I shut the fuck up. Or, pour booze down my throat until I’m slurring so badly that no one understands that I’m not telling unintelligible jokes. And with the basis of that, I want to use my piece of paper to write historical fiction. People will be more willing to read it if I have a degree, right? Right. The paper is better than some self-important snob (of which I am) claiming to be an expert.

I’ve always loved ancient Egypt. I can’t even remember when the passion was born, except that I was still in elementary school at the time. I always wanted to run in the sands and look at the temples and dance around the sphinx at Saqqara before having a cheese-laden smile photographed in front of the whole pyramid complex. I wanted to ride down the river and pray to the gods and look around the Cairo Museum. And every time I read something about ancient Egypt, I’m instantly transported and my heart thumps and my fingers itch with the need to bust out with the historical fiction nvoel(s) of my quietest dreams.

So, what’s this about, right? I’ve going on and on about something, right?

I wrote my first paragraph, tonight, in that historical fiction series. It’s not quite right and it may just change a bit in the future, but it’s alive. It’s ready to get its birth on. And I am ready to be that conduit.