Monday, June 29, 2009


I hate that sound

I hate how weak it feels. I want it to be a deep dark sound, every time.

Instead, this is what I get.


Follow through...fight harder for it


Place it a little more right


Just leg it out


Just a little more

I really want a stronger hit. I want more than driving it up the third base line. I want variety. Everyone already knows I can beat a short line drive to third. I need to be able to shock them. Even if it's only making the infield scramble...that will be good enough. I'm one of the fastest on our team, I just need to make better hits. Do you hear the want in every ping? The frustration? I'm tired of running out short plays. I want them to work for it. I want the outfield to know that I'm beating them.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sweet and low

Day 27

Just because I've heard so much about it lately, I want to tell a big FUCK YOU to everyone on the artificial-sweeteners-are-bad train. Hi. Welcome to reality. Some of us don't have a goddamn choice. Sure, I will take sugar every chance I get, but I don't have a lot of options here. If you aren't on the diabetic train, or you don't think you know someone who is...this is your wake-up call. Everyday, I hear a "don't put that in your tea!" Fuck you. Everything causes cancer. Don't believe me? Talk to my mom. No one survives that much cancer without a grudge. I'll be lucky to get old dealing with what I've got. Don't ever think you are good enough to tell those of us without a choice how we should deal with our options. Cancer might get me. There is a strong history in my family. If I do get cancer, it isn't aspartame's fault. Deal with your weight issues however you want, but don't tell me what rules I can live (or die) by.

Just tonight, let me believe that you will

Day 26

It's the pain of always. It's the years of fights about how my best friend should have the surgery that might make him a cripple. I have begged, reasoned, fought and swore for years.

It might finally happen. He will be crippled by his neck injury if he doesn't, but he has always put off the surgery that might make him whole, just in case it does cripple him.

Finally, there is a real chance. He's actually open to it. He has a girlfriend who loves him. It could happen. I almost can't hold myself in, for the hope of his future.

There is no greater hope, than that one you love will be able to meet their potential. It hurts, how much I want it. I want to never see him favor one side of his body again. I want the pain gone. I want his freedom. If I'm wrong, I am more than willing to give up my own. Tonight, I heard the best chance he's ever had. I could suffocate if he doesn't take it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Falling down

Day 24

It's not just my eyes that are heavy. My shoulders, feet, hands and chest feel like weights chained to my soul. It's almost as if teenage girls really are some type of succubi. 10 and a half hours on my feet isn't really such a long day, but for some reason 10 and a half hours trying to teach babysitting/CPR to teenage girls is like wading through the amazon with a semi strapped to my back. Apparently I looked so bad that after I got Jessie up into her chair this evening, her mom sent me home. Apparently I was pitiful.

I'm not quite sure how I'm still awake, but I won't be for long. This may not be a great post, but it's all I have in me at the moment.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009



One more failed attempt. This is what I hate most, sitting in the dark, unweaving my work. The frustration chafes my fingers. Raw red burns across the tips mark my futility. I don't want to be so weak as to cry, but the tears I've held back blind me to both what I've failed to do and what I'm failing to undo.

Even my sigh sounds timid in the dark. After all this time, pain, work and study, I still have so far to go. It seems an impossible distance without her guiding hand, but Mistress has other demands on her time and gift. I was supposed to be a good apprentice. Now I feel useless.

She is away, somewhere, tracing ripples across the thousand pools of fate, or weaving the tapestry of stars to sing what she has already seen. Moving the wind and rain, she is out there, forcing the tides of providence, and I am here. Foolish in the dark, trying desperately to breathe the fire of life into this tiny corner of the universe. I am desperately gripping this small place, as if I could be strong enough to keep the color in the landscape.

My aching frustration is trying to break my bones, no matter how much I know she had to leave, or that she'll come home soon. I need her now. My eyes overflow and I buckle, alone in the dark. How could I ever be strong enough? My unworthiness is trying to suffocate me.

Then, quietly, the air shudders its pleasure and I raise my face to the place where light should break the dark sky. Soft draping cloth brushes my shoulders and fingertips graze my back, more nail than skin. I know that she is worlds away from me, but hope blossoms in my chest. I can't help but whisper in the dark...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Look Ma, I'm on TV!

Day 22

I did it (on the second try) and it was okay! Saturday morning did not go as planned. Apparently, driving while exhausted really is a bad idea. I got lost. By going the wrong direction on the highway. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Thankfully, KVUE was totally prepared for lost guests and rescheduled for Sunday morning. Sunday was much better. I was still exhausted, but I jumped screaming out of bed at 7:00 and paid very close attention to the road. I even got there early. I was really nervous (and had a long conversation with my boss about what to say while I was waiting), but it really wasn't that bad. I didn't have to look at the cameras, just the news anchor, and that made it much easier. Also, those gigantic news desks really are great security blankets (stay back, cameras!). The piece was really short, and I didn't get to plug our website, or our upcoming classes, but it was okay. I didn't (or I think I didn't) say um or like once. I didn't panic, and I don't think anyone saw my hands shaking. I felt pretty good about it when I left, but the best part of the experience was when I got home.

I figured that Edmund had fallen back asleep and not watched it, so I was surprised when I opened the door to him, in his pjs, hair sticking out everywhere, wide-eyed. "You did great!" was perhaps the best thing I've ever heard (or at least it felt like it). His enthusiastic support made it somehow not feel like I'd only had three hours of sleep (thank you Isis for freaking out at 3:00am, as if your feline nemesis was on the other side of the window...the loft window...that looks out at the roof). I actually felt pretty good about the whole experience.

Today's news action was okay, but very long. 5:00am is really early, and it's really surreal to be greeted enthusiastically by your boss's tweens in the middle of the night. The news crew was late because of a traffic fatality that must have occurred just after I exited the highway. I was exhausted, and unlike Sunday, today's news team didn't have clear ideas about what they wanted before they arrived. Thankfully, I wasn't on very much and spent most of my time directing our tween/teen stars on the skills they would be demonstrating.

When it was all said and done, my boss let me go home and sleep. Bliss! Unfortunately, the rest of the week will be crazy, as I'm teaching Babysitter Bootcamp Wednesday and Thursday and I don't feel very prepared. I think I'll go back to bed. I have a feeling I won't get much sleep the rest of the week.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Day 19

First and foremost, happy Juneteenth. Juneteenth actually made my morning. I was driving to work, half asleep as usual as I pass the park, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Horses! Just, you know, hanging out. In the park. My jaw dropped. It was such a beautiful little picture that all of the surrounding preparations and chaos were lost to me. Just beautiful bays, coats shining, hangin' in the park. This scene was also like an old hallucanation of mine, one where there's a horse running next to my car, but whatever. My usual morning grumpiness was killed by that unexpected joyful moment.

Perhaps my early morning joy is what changed the rest of my day in interesting and adventurous ways. I agreed to be on the news for the Red Cross, tomorrow, at 8:40 in the morning. This is not the kind of thing I would normally go into willingly (the early time being a strong reason I would normally be unavailable), but today I said "sure, no problem." Perhaps ponies kill my brain cells. I have not ever been interviewed for the news before, especially not for the nonprofit I work for. Scary? yes. What's scarier is that I also agreed to another news appearence, for different health and safety programs...starting at 5:45 Monday morning. I have no idea how I am even going to make sense at 5:45. How am I going to wake up at 5:00? Is it possible to drive while mostly asleep? Will they notice if I start drooling?

Ugh. It's going to be bad. There's all kinds of things I am supposed to remember to talk about, and I'm going to forget. I won't just be nervous, I'm feeling a little closer to terrified. I just have to keep reminding myself that if I totally blow it, I won't have to do it again, I'll have tried, and only those particular insane known as "morning people" will see my failure. For the record, not that there's anything wrong with morning people, I just don't understand it. On the other hand, if I shine like a bright little star, I will have exceeded my own expectations and succeeded at something new.

So here goes nothing. Wish me luck!

Didn't we just buy groceries?

Day 18, not the assignment

Today's topic did not mesh with my brain, but I did learn a lot reading up online. It was really interesting, but instead of poetry let's talk about the supermarket.

I am a terrible shopper. Really. I bargain shop everything and completely overanalyze. I look at price per ounce, sure, but only in comparison with fat content, fiber and nutritional content. Edmund has walked away while I was examining crackers, more than once.

And still, after all my efforts, I still end up leaving feeling like I spend too much money for too little food. It's frustrating, but I'm trying to be better. I know that part of the problem is that I really don't cook. I have little self-confidence in the area, and I've lived alone in my tiny apartment for the last few years. I don't need to set fires for my own personal benefit. Now that Edmund is here with me, I feel like we should find more nutritious, cost-conscious ways to eat together. Unfortunately, the cost of additional fire extinguishers is never factored into nutritious and cost-conscious meals.

I'm not kidding. Fire making mac'n'cheese? Check. Small white scars on my left arm from attempts at frying okra? Check. Shit, I set my goddamn bangs on fire on Monday. To say that I have little confidence in my cooking is an understatement. I want to be wrapped in flame-retardant before stepping near a stove. I really want to be able to cook, I just want to do it without ending up in the ER.

Unfortunately, what I'm trying to say is that I'm my mother's daughter. I have never known anyone else who received third degree burns making soup. Or went to the ER (children in tow) for mostly-severed fingers more than once. The creepy thing is, she knows how dangerous the kitchen is for us, and yet she still gives me more cookbooks and small kitchen appliances than I could ever use. I think she might be trying to kill me.

So that leaves Edmund and I in limbo on the dinner front. Strangely enough, limbo is also the bulk foods aisle. I'm trying to avoid the bad fat in the sesame sticks we both love, but only some real divinity could save me from macadamia nuts. My diatician has told me monounsaturateds are all a-okay fats, so the logic in my brain says "yes, macadamia nuts." My heart stops at the $12.99/lb price tag. I mean, I'm not going to buy a whole pound...but why even put them out at a price like that? Between the high fat (whatever kind it may be) and the price I feel guilty every time, but I love them.

So we always end up in bulk foods, and I'm always trying to run away without that bag of macadamias, but I fail. At least the guilt always send me running back to lowfat cottage cheese and veggie juice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Answer's in the Question

Day 17 Assignment

This is not a discourse
on The nature of reality
Perhaps it is a diatribe
on illogical morality

Myths created order
in a world lacking explanation
Myths created laws
and developmental castration

But someone has always
continued asking “why?”
Until most myths
were discarded as lies

Except for a few.
Those myths are sacred
Question those tales
and face mass hatred.

But read those books again
with a fine-toothed comb
And start asking the questions
out and at home

Has religion truly brought us
more good or more harm?

Is a world without a god
really cause for alarm?

Weaving Mythology

Day 16 Assignment

Tomorrow's tiny tarantulas
twist and tease
the terrible time it takes to
tell the theoretical
to be true

Monday, June 15, 2009

Swords in the forest

Day 15 Assignment

One swift slice across his complexion
The blood drips slowly down his face
As if he does not know death
But all the dead bleed slowly
His open skull asking
Who can really die
When none truly

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Instead of writing

Instead of writing this weekend, Edmund and I went on adventures. On Saturday, we packed up and headed out to Round Mountain for Kevin and Jessie's wedding. Edmund officiated the ceremony, and so has been nervously awaiting the occasion.

Nothing went as planned. It was stupid hot. So hot that one bra may need to be washed twice to remove the inch-wide sweat stain I inflicted within five minutes on the ranch. Our lovely redecorated airstream did not have working air conditioning...or window coverings. Picture two sweat-slick people in a tin can with seven windows attempting to change into formal wear and not to flash the 50 or so wedding guests milling about just outside. If there's a badge for stealth costume changes, we totally deserve it.

All of the event staff got lost. The bartenders and the catering staff needed so much help that the ceremony was delayed by fifteen minutes, which is nothing really, unless 50 people are standing on a barren hilltop under the blazing sun for those extra fifteen minutes. At least we were all sporting sweat stains together.

Things always go wrong at weddings. I think everyone expects that, so all in all, I would have to say it went very well. It was a beautiful ceremony. Edmund wrote a fantastic, personal, tear-jerker of a wedding. If it wasn't so hot, I would have liked him to go slower...but he and the entire wedding party were wearing black suits. If he had taken his time, someone would have passed out from heat stroke. Kevin and Jessie wrote their own vows, and it was beautiful. Kevin whispered his vows to Jessie (literally), but everything we needed to know was written on their faces. Jessie's vows were beautiful. There were several points where I wasn't sure if I was wiping sweat or tears from my face.

It cooled off as the sun set, and we all enjoyed cold beer and tex mex under the emerging stars. It was a relaxed and sweet reception, and at the end of the night Edmund and I got fans for our airstream! Open windows plus fans made the tin can much more comfortable.

Today, we sweat it out some more loading up the p.a. system and all the wine from the reception into Edmund's vehicle. If you are planning an outdoor wedding in Texas in June, I would suggest not stocking wine, as no one is going to drink it in the sweltering heat.

We stopped at Krause Springs with most of the wedding party and swam ourselves "clean." It was a relaxing and easy Sunday, until we got home. We were both looking forward to our technologically advanced apartment (air conditioning!), but were instead blasted by 95 degree air when we opened the door. No air conditioning. Instead, a sweatbox and three pets all showing symptoms of heat-related illness. Open windows, fans, and coolers full of ice have so far reduced the temperature to 90 degrees.

After calling our landlords (who may or may not have someone out here to fix it tomorrow), we loaded Edward into the car and went for a drive. Edward was our biggest worry, so we spent two hours driving around with the air on full blast. We're both still watching him, but I think that we've cleared the worst. Tomorrow we'll restock the ice and I'll take him to work with me.

Neither Edmund nor I were strong enough to tough it out. Once Edward was cool, we stuffed icepacks in the couch, set up the open coolers full of ice and fans, and left. Terrible parents or not, we went to the movies. We sat in the cold dark theater and saw Up. It was great. I think, and Edmund has said that it was exactly what we needed. If you haven't seen it, stop wasting time and go. Pixar has wormed its way deep into my heart, and fully believe they will continue to wow me forever.

So...yeah. I didn't write this weekend. There were too many adventures.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wait your turn

Day 12 Assignment

I think I shy away from events including the words "concert" or "festival." If it's band or songwriter I really like, I would prefer to see them in a smaller setting. Large, impersonal venues where I can't even see the band and the tenor of the music is lost before it reaches my ears aren't particularly enticing. I don't think I would want all my favorites at the same time. It would be too much. I would prefer a series of small, intimate events, but that's just me.

Today's topic reminded me of ACL. I lived in Austin for four years before I went, and when I finally did go, it was to work the signings for Waterloo. I saw almost no music, walked in the sun for eight hours and came home coughing up dust each day. I also loved it. It was wildly interesting to see these bands as people, and to interact with the different groups of fans. One band that the teens were crying about were absolute losers. Waterloo had to send a second golf cart for their three squealing teenage girlfriends, who managed to infuriate sunstroked, overworked and exhausted employees until the signing was finally over. On the other hand, a semi-popular Australian singer/songwriter type hopped over the table so that he could stand and talk with each of his fans. He was attentive and authentic. He didn't hurry anyone along, didn't say no to any picture. It was very sweet, and it obviously made those fans giddy.

But Daniel Johnston was my favorite. Everyone was tense before the signing. Waterloo bent over backwards to make the signing as comfortable for him as possible. Instead of selling CDs to the waiting fans, I primarily walked the line and explained the special rules to make Daniel more comfortable. The fans were amazing. Daniel was flustered and shy when he arrived, but the fans did more that Waterloo ever could to make him comfortable. When we explained that Daniel is a little unpredictable, and that we asked them not to take pictures and to have their items ready so that he might stay longer, and more of the line might get to meet him...everyone cooperated. Everyone understood. If someone couldn't hear me, their neighbors in line turned around to explain. No one got upset or angry. They all respected that the people behind them wanted to meet him just as much as they did. It was lovely. Less than a quarter way through the line, Daniel was joking with fans, drawing them pictures and sending them away beaming. It was the longest line we had, and he stayed for every last fan.

For the rest of the weekend, when dealing with drunk, obnoxious and self-important fans, I thought of Saturday morning, and how good they could be.

We'll see who shines this year.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Did you hear that?

Day 11, not the assignment

Everyone loves listening to thunderstorms. The wind through the leaves, the gusts, the rain and the echoing surprise of thunder are a big draw, but none of them is my favorite. I love the sound of wind chimes during a storm.

Sometimes it's an ominous tinkle and sometimes a quiet cacophony. I love the way it raises the hair on the back of my neck. I love how creepy that innocent chime can be.

Tonight, Edmund and I sat on the porch in the big comfy chairs with only the hurricane lantern. We watched and listened, and sometimes ran out to splash in the puddles. It was a simple, lovely pleasure, and it was totally worth giving up writing for.

That's it, night night.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Chance in Hell

Day 10 Assignment

"Why are we doing this?" Twyla, aka Twig, squeaked at Sam. Sam's eyes stayed hard as they slid from the lock she had silently picked. "Because they're stealing food."

"But how can you know that?" Twyla continued as she came through the door on Sam's heels. Somehow, Twyla had managed not to wake the Village. The two women crept through the dark house as quiet as the air. Almost. "I mean really. How can you know that?"

Because Matt knows the combination to the storeroom.

Because this is Matt's house.

Sam just shook her head. There were things she liked about Twyla, but they were mostly things she liked when Twyla was quiet. Sam had originally considered her worthless; being that Twyla was terrible at most forms of combat and defense. But she was a fantastic archer, and she could sew.

Twyla sighed at Sam's silence and followed her friend through the kitchen, where five nights ago Sam had sat on the floor in the dark and sanded the benches' legs until they wobbled. It was no longer physically possible for all four of either bench's feet to be on the floor at the same time. Sam had chosen one of the house's longer patrol nights for that one. Twyla hadn't spent enough time in this house to notice the doorknobs Sam switched around during the house's last patrol, but even she stopped when she passed the mirror in the hall. It had taken much more time than Sam had thought to move it just a couple of inches and fasten it back to the wall. She had left the top left screw loose enough that the full length mirror hung at a slight angle while ending low enough to cut of most reflections at the forehead.

Twyla shifted her sewing kit and cocked her eyebrow at Sam, who shrugged and kept moving down the hall. One hand flapped over her head, waving Twyla on.

When she peeked into the bunk, Sam hissed at her "hurry up! We have a lot of work to do." Sam pointed at her eyes and then picked up the ratty hem of a blanket. In her other hand, she held the bottom foot of the blanket. "I'll cut, you hem." Twyla shrugged and watched as she moved to the next bed and sawed at the rough blanket with her bowie knife.

"Explain this to me, please," Twyla whispered as she worked in the dark. Sam paused and the house was suddenly empty without the sound of tearing fabric to fill it.

"They're getting greedy. If they're hording food they could be planning mutiny, and it could kill us all. I can't confront them, because it could just make things worse. I don't want to threaten the security of the Village, I just want them to stop."

"But why would this make them stop?"

Sam's eyes flash in the dark. "This is a test. An opportunity for their consciences to work at them." Sam shrugged her shoulders in the dark, "they don't stop, somone dies on the next patrol."

She was so matter of fact.

Twyla whispered, "That doesn't even make sense! Their own unease is supposed to make them stop stealing...or you'll kill them off?"

"Look over the wall, Twig. We live in hell. There may not be any way to survive this, but we're not going to damn well starve to death. If they're getting greedy, if they think they are more important then everyone else, if they think they can decide who lives and who dies....then they are a threat to the rest of us. If we don't stop this now, we might not have another chance. At least this way they have the opportunity to do the right thing. I had to give them a chance."

A low sigh came from the doorway and Twyla startled onto the floor, almost crawling backwards as Sam strode forward, knife in hand.

"Matt," she almost sighed. As if even his name hurt. "Aren't you supposed to be on patrol with the rest of your house?"

He seemed pause and then decide to ignore her question. He pressed his frame forward through the doorway, dagger held lazily at his side with the casualness of obvious dominance. "This is ridiculous Sam. You know you can't save everyone."

And then he breathed "oh," softly, as if surprised. Sam's arm was across his chest with a backhanded grip on the bowie, hilt-deep in his chest.

"No, I know I can't save everyone. I just have to give them the chance to save themselves."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Day 9 Assignment

When I first read today's assignment, I thought "what philosophy?" It seems sometimes that my philosophy changes moment to moment. Sometimes I'm cautious, careful and thoughtful. Sometimes I'm impetuous, thoughtless and brazen. Not just swinging between extremes, but all across the field of possibility. I had to think about how the variety of ways I act and react are connected.

I think my philosophy might be to try. I don't understand statements like, "don't try; do." Everything takes effort, and sometimes failure is just as dazzling as success. For other pieces of life, there simply is no "doing." Instead I must continually keep trying. Other times, it is finding the courage to try again. My most surprising joys and jaw-dropping failures have almost always occurred because I tried something new.

I dislike myself the most when I feel like I didn't try. Or I didn't try harder. Or I didn't keep trying. Perhaps I have low expectations. I don't expect to succeed often, but the opportunities I don't try to take end up eating at me. I'm able for forgive myself a little more if I can say that I tried.

Sometimes it's difficult to even try at all. I'm trying right now to correct both some bad habits and a disregard for my own health which, if left unchecked, would take my kidneys, my eyes and my life. It's ridiculous that this is difficult to try, but I frequently feel like I'm fighting myself...that I don't want to try. I have to keep reminding myself that I do. That trying is a victory in and of itself. I sometimes have to remind myself.

Even if I don't succeed, at least I tried.

Monday, June 8, 2009

False start

Day 8 Assignment...sort of.

I'm sorry, but I really did not like Joe at first. I thought he was an incredibly boring mouse of a man and I did not want to write about him. Of course, most of that is my own fault. I read the assignment, and the first thing I saw was boredom. I mean, come on Joe! 46?!?! You've been wasting your life for how long just because you're afraid to fly?!? Ugh. I can see you, in your tie, disgusted by the germ-laden world of flight...and I'm bored.

But, what if Joe couldn't fly. What if he had a difficult life, riddled with poverty and defeat? What if through hard work and perseverance...or a shady twist of fate, Joe was finally able to take some time off and fly first class? Not exactly thrilling, but a little better.

Now, what if it was a medical problem? What if Joe had lived his whole life with serious problems with his inner ears? What if he had battled with the pain and blinding dizziness of his particular condition, the endless surgeries and recoveries and disappointment until he just didn't care anymore.

Also not fantastic, but a little more interesting than a phobia. I just can't find my starting point. I can see Joe, sitting in his seat and fiddling with his tie, where it's become creased from the seat belt. I can see him rubbing the sides of his fingers nervously and holding his breath during takeoff. I can see him, I just don't know why he's there at all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Movies have soundtracks, life is on shuffle

Day 7 Assignment

I am terrible at creating play lists. My iPod is almost always on shuffle, bringing me random surprises throughout the day. I think a soundtrack for my life would be the same way. I mean, I have some idea of what would play, but just like life it would shift and change without notice.

There would be a lot of Iron and Wine, but only from The Creek Drank the Cradle, Our Endless Numbered Days and Around the Well. Those songs are all warm evenings outdoors, summer days swimming and joy. I've been told this music is sad...but I don't understand that. It's calm and blissful for me.

There would also be a lot of Max Richter, for quiet time alone, mild sadness and for the person I wish I was. Someone who leaves things unsaid.

The Presets' I Go Hard, I Go Home would be there for mania and dancing...sometimes at the same time, sometimes not. Leslie Hall's Gem Sweater and Zombie Killer would be there for personal embarrassing ridiculousness. Calla's It Dawned On Me would be there just because it's my fight song.

Add to that a smattering of 80's pop for friends and fun and silliness, and I think that about covers it. Except of course that songs I never dreamed would be there will pop up from time to time, changing the rules and my expectations.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Don't Tell

Day 6 Assignment

I write disaster plans in my head. My worst is with Jessie, the disabled girl I care for nights and weekends. My worst case scenario is that Patty(mom) has left us alone and I have Jessie, whom I am paid to care for, and both her tween sisters. Worst case, I know something is wrong. The door to their home is never locked, but I have tried to get these girls to keep it from opening to strangers. In the best/worst case I have a moment to tell Libby that she is in charge. That her and Mary are going to run, backways to get to Mike's. Libby will know by the tone of my voice because she is already that child.

She will notice but not speak about the pen knife in my hand. Libby I trust because she will notice this. Libby can't handle confrontation. I will tell her to run and her and Mary will run. The pen knife is for whomever is new.

Libby will do what I say even if it's too late. Even if I have to scream it, she will do it. My worst case is me and Jessie. I don't care what any attacker might want. They never get to touch Jessie.

I go to the dark places at this point. I have walked into the kitchen and then have been greatful that Patty's son didn't see the knife in my palm. I will fight for them until death.

I just hope they never have to know.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Smoke break

Day 5 but not the assignment

I'm standing on stump out back again. It's where I hide for a few minutes here and there each day. It's a good spot. At about three feet in diameter, two feet high and almost perfectly level, it's everything I could ask for in a seat or soapbox. The underbrush crawls out in front, almost hiding me from the road but still providing a view of our so-called lawn. It's both overgrown and sparse, like a balding field.

Three pecan trees stand almost in line to my right, shading the few patches of grass you could still call "green." To my left, on the other side of the rambling undergrowth, is a thick wall of bamboo twenty feet high and swaying in the breeze as if to laugh at the shorter grass below. The taller trees crowd behind the bamboo, as if the tall thin shoots have bullied them back. Behind me is barbed wire and disaster response vehicles.

Birds cry all around. Chirps, squawks and piercing calls. Some of the birds are curious and will perch close by to cock their eyes at me. The ridiculous green parrots never come close, preferring the height of the radio tower or light posts. Today a hawk glides above, tilting and circling so I can see how the ends of his wings turn up.

When I'm done, I hop down and pat the stump as if it cares, then walk under the pecans back to the ashtray. I startle the lizards who live under the sidewalk as I head back inside. In a few hours I will escape again to the most obvious place they never find me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Half a blog

Next time, She was going to blast all six of Jan's arms off. It wasn't that Vega had felt bad about the first two, but he wasn't a total jackass...most of the time. Now, at the edge of the galaxy she was reconsidering her mercy.

Vega had travelled half the galaxy to get to this shithole...and she wasn't exactly sure why. She felt antsy, but her neuro-meters were all level. No warnings, no alarms. Neither her op nor aud receptors were sensing any danger. It was just a shithole bar at a sleazy hotel at the edge of the universe.

Damn it. Sorry Kids, but I am exhausted. I can't think of where this is going. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's never really over

Day 3 assignment:

I'm always falling out the door now. As if I can close it so fast no evil will get by me. Heat rages against my skin every time. A flustered and idiotic fool. I feel useless as I stand still and lock the deadbolt.

Sometimes, I get it. I can never run away.

I'm already a coward. I left them all. I know that I saved them, that I made a light at the end of a caved-in tunnel...but. But I'm not there now. I can't hold their hands as they walk into the light. I'm gone, and waiting for the vengeance I know will find me like the rain.

And just like that, the water falls from the sky. Maybe it's a sign. I have to pay for setting them free.

This time, I can turn from the door. I'm not scared. I know they're out there. I always knew they would find me. I take each step down slowly. They can wait at the bottom, I'm in no hurry.

As I turn to the landing I can see them. Fools. Amateurs. I gave up everything to save the ones I left behind. Never send an amateur to do a professional's work. I let the smile creep up the side of my face as I lift the knife from the holster at my hip.

Not today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

After this

Day 2 Assignment:

Sam never rushes the first day. The recruits are still terrified and lost from exposure to our little piece of civilization.

"It'll take practice, but you can do this," she affirms to the shaking twig of girl before her; trembling, spattered with blood and greased in filth. Her breath racks her body, and her knuckles have turned white where she grips the axe.

"Just once more," Sam coaxes. "If you can do this, you can survive." The two women lock eyes, and the frail girl heaves the axe. She does not cry out when she swings. Instead she almost moans, a sound that draws the attention of the walker pinned at her feet. It looks at her with dead eyes even after the sickening impact of the axe. The expression never changes as the head rolls towards Sam's feet. It was already dead.

The girl exhales slowly and Sam smiles at her. "Okay," the girl wheezes, "what comes after this?"

Sam's smile slips. Everyone still remembers what it was like Before.

"This is it. We are what comes After."

June first...almost

June first was a writing failure, but I will not let that set the tone for the rest of the month. Let's get this ball rolling.

My intentions for June are not particularly creative, but therein lies the possibility. This month my goals are consistency, growth and adventure. Consistency is first. I want to write consistently. It's kind of the basis for this project, no surprises there. I want to write a quality submission every day. Simple.

Growth is just as obvious. I want to grow as a writer and a person. What other purpose is there to life?

I want this project to be an adventure. An opportunity to try new things, discover new styles and voices, to play with possibility.

These are my goals, and without any segue let's move on to the second part of this assignment. I'm no more a writer than any other person. I have a degree in literature with a minor in creative writing. I write driveling nonsense to myself in journals, and I once was a teenage girl (I've written poetry). I love young adult literature, comic books and sci fi and fantasty. I have no ambitions to publish.

I'm sorry I'm off to a poor start, but at least it leaves plenty of room for improvement.