Witching Hour M…

Witching Hour Musings

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” ―Brian Jacques, Taggerung

Unpretty

Unpretty

The inside of my head is so ugly today. I know most of it is physical pain, some of it is emotional, and the rest of it is stress. I’ve made some progress today dealing with certain aspects, so it’s not a total loss. Here’s hoping that an early evening with a little TV and maybe some pizza (even though I’ve been trying to avoid cheese) will help tame the “beast within”. I’m sure I’m due for a meltdown at some point, but right now I just need to learn to give myself a break.

~If you have a weak stomach, don’t watch the end of this video.~

Moving Towards The Finish Line

” Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book, your composition of yourself is at stake.” ~E.L. Doctorow

One of the things I love most about being a writer is being able to enjoy another writer’s work, especially when that writer is completely different from me in style, story-telling ability, and topic. Even if we’re technically in the same genre, I know where I excel and I know where I don’t. I don’t compare myself to anyone because I know I’m not the absolute best in the world. I’m also not idiotic enough to consider myself completely without talent. The nice thing about writing is that there’s an audience for everyone, and no true need for everyone to attempt to compete with anyone other than themselves.

I admit I had a moment about a year and a half ago when I was in a Barnes & Noble with my Aunt. She knows what I’m writing, she absolutely loves the story and the characters, but she hadn’t realized up until that point exactly how much competition is in this genre. Aisles and aisles full of nothing, but books you either pick up or leave behind.

Sci-Fi used to be more traditional in the sense that the sections were very clearly labeled. If you wrote about vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, etc., you fell into the Science Fiction and/or Fantasy genre. There weren’t a lot of sub-genres, but now sub-genres are a constant. You have a ton of books in the Young Adult Fiction section, and a great many more in Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dark Urban Fantasy, etc., and it is very easy to get confused in the fiction section because so many of the covers jump out at you, but not every single story is worth every single person’s time. That’s why there are enough writers for all the readers of the world, we don’t all write the same things and we don’t all read the same things.

One very important thing for me, as a female in a new-to-me side of writing (Previously I wrote nothing, but outspoken opinions and facts. You will find that even my fiction work has a lot of factual information in it because of that. I do my research in an almost obsessive compulsive manner.), is to try to be as uncritical publicly about other female writers as humanly possible. I’m sick of women constantly bashing each other, constantly behaving like we all need to be put in separate corners, and just plain being mean and catty, when we have the choice to be polite and respectful. If you don’t have anything nice to day, don’t say anything at all. We’ve all heard that at least once in our lives, but acting on that tiny bit of poise and grace seems to be lost on a great many people.

Many years ago I openly admit to writing some pretty scathing, unpleasant reviews of Tanya Huff’s Blood novels. If you were a fan of the show “Blood Ties” and read the books which they are loosely based upon, you might be able to understand how shocked, dismayed, and utterly disappointed I was when the books and the show were 100% opposites of one another. Most of us can say that about a lot of books that are later turned into a TV show or movie, but for me, these were especially distracting. The show was so fantastic, so well written and well acted, and a huge part of me expected the books to be on the same level.

I refuse to say more than that because I’d be breaking my own rule. Right here, right now, I publicly apologize to Tanya if she ever read those reviews because as a writer, for me to criticize another female author’s work is just plain disrespectful. It’s one thing to tell a friend or a family member that you didn’t like a book and why, but to publicly tear it apart on several different forums where my book reviews are highly rated is wrong. I only have the ability to delete them from one site, and I plan on doing so because again, it was wrong and I own that. I would not want to be treated that way when my books are published, and I have to pay Tanya the same courtesy, kindness, and respect that is warranted.

For the record, I know I’m not for everyone and I do not expect everyone to fall in love with me, my work, or the style in which I write. I will have plenty of people who will dislike me, and many won’t even know why they dislike me, but it’s the nature of the beast and I’ve been there before, so I know how to handle it.

I have just finished reading “Ever After”, the 11th book in Kim Harrison’s Hollows’ series, which is a series of books I have been reading since day one. It is because of Kim that I became a reader of Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of The Zodiac novels, books I love and highly recommend to others. If Kim had not given Vicki’s work such high praise, I may never have read those books, so I thank her for that gift that keeps on giving.

After finishing Kim’s last book, “A Perfect Blood” in February of 2012, I casually mentioned how much I enjoyed it on Facebook. I can’t tell you how shocked I was when, later that same day, I received a response from Kim. That left a real impression on me. I like her and I respect her work, even though I threatened to stop reading her books several years ago after the death of a character I was extremely attached to. These books have become a yearly main-stay for me. Every year around January or February a new Hollows’ novel comes out and I pre-order it several months in advance.

I enjoyed “Ever After” in a way that puts my own work into perspective for me. It reminds me that I’m writing something different, even though the genre is the same, and that my current manuscript is chock full of my bizarre and twisted sense of humor.

Believe it or not, I am the person that can laugh at a funeral. Not because someone’s death or grief is funny, not because I’m morbid, but because I can tell you something about that person that will make you laugh and smile, and remember them in a positive way. On the way to my father’s funeral the limo driver actually turned to me to say “Are you sure we’re going to a funeral?”, because everyone with me was sharing stories and telling jokes, and it helped lighten a very heavy day where, at times, my anger was thicker than the laughter. We laughed, we cried, we had our moments of silent remembrance, but we were all being honest and real and to me, that is always genuine, quality humanity. Even if the day ended with me wanting to commit murder, tell people off, etc. I am sure we have all felt that way at one time or another in regard to family.

I have had to write this current novel as a means of healing from a lot of loss. It didn’t start out that way, but it became therapeutic at some point to get it all out of my system. I come from a huge extended family, but there are days when I feel like the sole survivor because out of my immediate family, I am one of the only people remaining. It’s a painful part of life, but we survive, we move forward, and someplace along the way maybe we end up less alone than when we first started.

If you’re on the fence about “Ever After”, it is 100% worth reading and completely unlike my own work. It was a good outlet for me to read it this week, and now I can go back to writing my own work which was re-vamped early last week and is moving closer and closer towards the finish line.

Until next time…..Lisa

**For those that are interested, the ABOUT LISA section has been re-vamped as well.**

Sometimes Surviving Is Pain

“If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages.” -Elaine Liner

Hello my lovely readers:

I would be lying if I said these past few days without my little girl have been easy. They haven’t. In some ways the worst part is over, moving her body (a horrible thing. I reminded myself that she was still her and that I would do anything for her, otherwise I probably would have had a nervous breakdown.) and bringing her to the vet temporarily while I order a coffin and decide exactly where in the backyard she will go. It might seem morbid, but at least this way, I know who is visiting her grave and exactly where it is at all times. Her sister is buried at a cemetery and because I lost my Mom right after burying her, I haven’t been back out there. It’s not far from where I live now, it just opens up a lot of wounds. Burying is for the living, truly. I damn near had a coronary when I was asked twice by my vet’s office if I wanted her cremated. That’s like asking me if I’d like to personally experience the Holocaust. Yes, that’s the image that pops into my head every single time someone says the word “cremation”. I cannot burn anyone I have ever loved, and that includes my cat. (Ok, I could probably burn someone I didn’t particularly care for, but that’s a discussion for another day. I don’t care about being politically correct, I’m just me.)

Friday was solemn for me. Initially I went into a bit of cleaning frenzy. I tossed the place-mat where her food and water were in the kitchen. Not out of cruelty or anger, but because I was planning on tossing it anyway, losing her just gave me a reason to do it sooner rather than later. I cleared her food and water from the mat upstairs, but that particular mat is just a few months old, all it needs is to be wiped down and put away for the future. I tossed a small scratching post. It was nothing fancy and I know new kittens won’t touch it because they’ll smell her pheremones and start looking for her. That’s only natural. I’m not stupid enough to think that tossing those few things I was unattached to will mean anything, but it was something I had to do.

My next step was walking into the loft space which separates my room from the other half of the top of my home. I’ve had boxes sitting there since I moved in. I went through some things and threw stuff out. I recycled an old storage container and turned it into a container for the weekly recycling that I haven’t done in years. That’s a positive change, right? I then tossed all the empty beauty products I had into it for recycling. Soon after an empty soda bottle and iced tea bottle would join. Progress. Sometimes it comes in baby steps. I am planning on donating some clothes and home items that I do not want/need or cannot use. I take great care of my clothes, so whoever gets this stuff is basically getting brand new clothing. Helping someone in need is never a crime.

The people closest to me have expressed some concerns. Apparently my methods of coping are bizarre to those who don’t understand that we all cope in our own ways, at our own rate, but that we have to do it on our own in many respects. I’ve been asked to leave my home for a while, as if that will erase her memory somehow. I have been asked to “remember to eat”, as if I have ever gone on some kind of starvation diet in the past when I’ve lost a loved one. I’ve buried over 60 people in my life and this will be my third cat, I’m not “new” to death or loss. I have been reminded that “a few drinks won’t hurt”, and that I should be using something to “numb the pain”. That only managed to piss me off. One, I’m not a big drinker. The only time I actually buy alcohol is when I know someone who drinks will be visiting and staying with me, or if I need something for a recipe. I don’t turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with anything in my life. Suppressing what I think and feel is to lie to myself, and I won’t do that.

Everyone that has expressed concern means well. No one is saying anything to hurt me, they just have a point of view that I don’t particularly agree with. That’s ok, and I’m not taking anything personally. Just as they should not take it personally as I choose to do things my own way.

I prefer not to have my feelings psycho-analyzed right now. I’m a very extreme person. I don’t deal in a lot of mundane thoughts or feelings. I understand that this is going to be a long, painful process. I understand that every time I put my necklace on, which bears her name (The design is called Who Do You Love? and has an owl hand-stamped on it. Her name is also on it and the smaller one that has a crescent moon has her sister’s name on it. I’ve had it for a few years and I love it. Now it’s my daily necklace in place of the family crest design with my initial on it.), it’s going to sting a bit. I washed a load of her blankets yesterday and it hurt to find one lone strand of cat hair on my shoulder a few hours later. That’s where it’s supposed to be though. I have her brushes, one of which she stole from my purse a few years ago. My little mini-me was such a girl’s girl. She loved to be brushed, she loved being told how beautiful she was, loved being told how beautiful & silky her coat was, and my brother always said she smelled exactly like me. No matter what I did, she somehow became the second wearer of my perfume each day. I’ve been wearing that perfume for a little over 10 years. I love it, but now I love it for the both of us. I have her blanket, which I had specially made for her five years ago. I refuse to part with it, I may have to be buried with it.

A few people wanted to know when I was going to adopt again. I really gave that a lot of thought. I’ve perused Petfinder’s web-site quite a bit, and I did stop at a local PetSmart to see if they had any kittens (they had older cats. I’m looking for true kittens, 8-10 weeks old.). In the end, I made the decision to give myself sufficient time to kitten-proof the house. Kittens are unlike older cats that are already calmer and set in their ways. They’re curious by nature, they want to smell and jump on EVERYTHING, and even with enzymatic cleaner used on my carpet, they are going to smell that another cat lived here. By the time they are six months old they will have free run of the house and I am sure they will do exactly what she did when we moved in, which is mark every single wall and piece of furniture as her property. I, myself, was marked as cat property a good 50 times a day, lest a stray cat attempt to thieve me away on my way to the car, mailbox, or the grocery store. I’m still convinced she had some kind of kitty Lojack attached to me so that she knew where I was at all times. Eventually, they will do the same. I wonder if the kitty Lojack gets re-registered in their names or if a new “device” is installed?! LOL.

I have decided to honor her by adopting another Tortoiseshell. I’m truly in love with this unique, but unofficial breed. Many cats can have Tortie coloring, but my little girl’s coloring and very unique tri-colored eyes are what I’m looking for in a 2nd Tortie. The eyes are rare, she had grey eyes for the first six months or so of her life, and then they became gold with blue and green bordering outside the gold. You couldn’t always see it because, like me, her eyes were almost always fully dilated. Not all Tortie’s will have her eye color, but I know I will find one who was every bit as special as she was. Special and different, because no one and nothing will ever replace her. I hope to add the new addition(s) by the end of the year.

My other way of honoring her is with two small tattoos. They will go underneath mine, that way our lives, spirits, and futures will remain intertwined. I am on the hunt for the perfect, ultra feminine looking font. If anyone has any recommendations, please send me a message and/or a photo, or leave me a comment so that I can get in touch with you.

So yes, I am coping. I have good days and bad days. I will eventually be ok. I don’t think the pain will ever disappear entirely, I think it lives within you and becomes a part of who you are and how you grow. People talk about broken hearts, but it is the losses we experience in life that are the deepest cuts. We either slowly bleed to death or we somehow suture ourselves together and keep moving. It’s not easy, looking at it too closely is extremely painful, but eventually we all hit that fight or flight moment in life where we decide which direction we’re going in. I’m a fighter. I am the pitbull of my family, the one who will be the epitome of loyal, but will rip you to shreds if she has to. Unfortunately, running never solves anything, so fight I shall.

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Slivers of Darkness

Slivers of Darkness

It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” –Lemony Snickett

1995-2013

1995-2013

1995-2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love you baby girl, and that will never change. Thank you for choosing me and being such an amazing part of my life. In this next chapter, you will be memorialized every single day.

My troublesome little minx, my heart aches without you, for the only things you ever wanted were: Mommy, to be in Mommy’s lap, and to be in Mommy’s arms.

You truly are the best cat in the world.

How much do I l…

How much do I love thee? Infinity times Infinity.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” —Anne Lamott