Sunday, September 28, 2014

You Know Nothing [about Me, My People or Our Wild Passions], Jon Snow

Blooming Howls might not be available for purchase until the end of October. It was supposed to be released on the 13th, but my current health situation—which demands more time than one would think decent—has taken my schedule into its own greedy hands. I’m posting this information at the very beginning because this is a long post about health, writing, living (and perhaps raging), and I didn’t want you to miss the bit about the publication.

Anyhoo, this is not exactly a surprise to me. If you read me often, you already know my health and I have been dancing with chaos for a while. Panic not, my Wicked Luvs, for things haven’t gotten worse yet. It’s just that in order to maintain the amount of health I’ve regained in the last few weeks, I must spend a lot of my day focusing on healing.

Friday marked the end of an arduous week of testing or perhaps the beginning of months of the same. There is no prognosis or definite time for diagnosis yet, but here are a few of the latest updates: my eyeball was given a partial bill of health (the scar might never go away and I will have to see the eye doctor regularly, but that’s better than the eye-patch alternative, isn’t it?); I completed the first part of back therapy and will see the rehabilitation physician in a few days for further treatment; and because October refuses to be out-probed or out-gored by September, the eeriest month of the year arrives in possession of some rather invasive procedures.

There are good things, too. In a few days, I’ll follow up with my bone doctor—I kind of love calling her that *grin*. I suspect she’ll allow me to add new exercises to my current routine. I miss working out… My muscles feel so very weak. I will also see the podiatrist again, and I’m hoping to find comfort and relief in the prosthetic equipment she ordered during our last visit.

I know all this sounds busy and gloomy, but it’s not as horrible as it could be. My Piano Man speaks of my bravery, my best friend cries and rages and hopes I didn’t have to go through so much all at once… and I’m so tired of all the changes. But like I said to my lover and to my loving friends, “Every time I think about how things could have been, I feel lucky.” I’m not basing this on all the emotional support I get—which goodness knows I probably couldn’t do without—I’m speaking about the practical bits. What if I had no access to medical treatment? What if I lacked the ability or means to get food and shelter? What if I had no love? What if the Universe had not blessed me with Aries stubbornness and tungsten-hard witchy will? What if…

Yes, my Wicked Luvs, things could have been so much worse…

However, knowing that I’m lucky and blessed (and so incredibly good looking) doesn’t take away from the fact that every time the doctors find a new thing, my mind is left exhausted and my soul shaken. Whenever I can, which is most of the time, I walk a mile or two before heading home from an appointment. I also call my Piano Man or two of my best friends to discuss the visit. I know they worry more than anyone, and they always know how to help me process whatever the doctor said—peace of mind is contagious.

A couple of days ago, I did something I don’t usually do after leaving the hospital: I returned the call of a writer, who had left me four voicemail messages in fewer than five hours. She wanted to know if I was still interested in adding my name to a reading event she organized for right after New York Comic Con 2014.

“I knew a reading would be good press for your short story collection,” she said. “I went ahead and submitted your name and mine.”

My first reaction was, “I’m sorry you did that on my behalf, but please call them back. I might not be able to publish Blooming Howls until much later than I thought. My health—”

“But you told your readers that it would be out in mid-October.”

“Yeah…,” I said. “But I’m pretty sure my Wicked Darlings will understand the delay on account of me being half-dead and drooling at some hospital.”

“This kind of irresponsible shit takes writers nowhere, Magaly.”

I was surprised (and a bit annoyed) that my attempt to lighten things up seemed to have incensed her instead. “Dude,” I said, “I’ve no time for this. I just left the hospital. I’m tired. I’m not sure I understand or care to take the time to figure out what you’re so pissed off about. Bye.” I ended the call, but felt bad about doing it in such an abrupt manner, so I picked up when she called back. “Dude,” I started… Yep, my eloquence reaches inspiring heights when I’m frustrated.

“I told everyone you already confirmed,” she said in a tiny voice. “[Insert names of writers here] might not come if they know you are not coming.” Her voice got even lower, “I won’t be able to afford the pub if they aren’t—”

“You rented a place!” You might’ve noticed that I wasn’t as outraged at the evidence of her initial deception. Not because I don’t care about her lying, but because I’ve heard of her doing that kind of thing before. People will be people. But just like I’m privy to her methods, everyone—including her—knows about my rule of spending when it comes to writing: at this time in my writing life, I’m only willing to spend on writing, money which writing has produced. “You better start calling people and telling them you made a mistake. There are too many places where we can read our stuff for free in New York City. I’m not paying when I don’t have to.”

“I know that,” she said. “I paid your share.”

My face was on fire. I couldn’t speak. Nothing physical restricted my words, but anything that came out of my mouth at that particular time would have been too hurtful to take back.

My silence seemed to have fed her recklessness because she said, “Look, my friend, let’s not pretend. You’re always flaunting your life in front of strangers anyway. I thought you could use the publicity. It’s not like you are George R. R. Martin, you know? Disappoint people enough and they’ll move on to better and more reliable things. I was trying to do you a favor—”

I cut her off. “I’ll give you until the end of the day. Call people. Tell them you were mistaken. And just so you know, my friend, I’m flaunting this in front of strangers as soon as I get a chance. Remember our common friends and colleagues read my blog, too. So please be sure you explain your mistake as thoroughly as you can manage it.” I ended the call without letting her add another word, and turned off my phone.

Yesterday, I asked friends with whom I interact on Facebook: “Do you know why I share so much about myself in my blog?” I suggested practicality when responding. “Why would you think a witchy writer of questionable health feels the need to share her day to day activities with friends, readers and pretty much anyone who owns a computer and cares to read her blog?”

The answers left me proud and teary-eyed. Here are a few of them. Please visit my Wall on the Book of Faces, if you wish to read the rest (they’ll be worth your time):
“We don’t all get out of the house much, and we want our readers to be/feel part of our real lives. We want people to know we are real…” ~ Gina

“Because if something rings true, even a tiny bit, to someone going through the same thing, it’s a bit of comfort, for both you and the reader to know you aren’t alone.” ~ Rommy

“Somebody out there has experience I do not and if they know where I am at in life they are a valuable resource.” ~ Marjenna

“…because your Muse has a perverse sense of humor.” ~ Jonquil

“You fight against ignorance, stand up for others and what you believe in.” ~ Jane

“Because the more honest you can be, the better you can write.” ~ Inari

To show “failures… along with successes…” to speak “about authenticity and how it is probably of more value both to [bloggers and to] readers, than presenting a carefully edited image…” ~ Emma (and a girl I don’t know ;-)

I could continue adding, but this post is already insanely long; besides, those of us who blog from the heart and bone already know a version of every response given. We might have to tweak it a bit to make it fit our own lives, but in the end we spend time at each other’s cyber-homes because we get each other.

I share my life with you because I need you: I don’t want you running for the hills when (and if) things in my life don’t go as planned; I let you glimpse inside my heart, so that you can see bits of yours and know no one is completely alone; and let’s face it, my Wicked Luvs, I share my Self with Yours because whenever I’m in the dumps you always find a way to say and/or do exactly what I need in order to crawl-leap out of the hole and keep on dancing. 

Wild Dance

Friday, September 26, 2014

Praying Him into an Angel

“My own viewing and they have the cojones to glue my eyelids shut.”

I turned away from his casket. The voice behind me wasn’t familiar. But the ire infused mirth in the words told my heart’s ear that the body being viewed by friends, family (and by pretenders trying to pass for the former) was only soulless meat.

“Want a spin?” he said.

“These bones were made for dancing,” I answered, but cocked my head towards the black and white teary gathering. “You know anything lively will piss them off in the current situation.”

“Fuck ‘em,” he said, extending a hand and spinning me around and around, until I was clad in a blood-red dress with spaghetti straps and tiny polka dots sprinkled blackly around the hem.

Two young women, one in tight white leather and the other in very little of anything, began to argue over his casket.

“He loved me,” said one.

“In your heifer dreams,” said the other, snatching a handful of straight blonde wig.

He picked me up by the waist, and we leapt-danced into the middle of the fight.

“Tell her you loved me often,” said one.

“I did,” he told her with a grin.

“Tell her you love me best,” said the other.

“I did that, too.” He winked before gliding us out of reach of clawing shrieks.

“You are still a scoundrel,” I said.

“I died, but I’m still me. Always me; no one changes me without my permission. You should know that, little witch.

“They’ve been trying to pray you into an angel,” I said.

“Ha!” He twirled me closer to him. I grinned at his teeth made of light. “I would look ridiculous with wings. A flying Cadillac or no one’s getting miracles out of this baby.”

I was quiet for a while.

“Plotting, sister of mine?”

“Wondering about eyeballs and Universal Truth,” I said. “Someone said I might be able to find my answer, if I were to look into the empty fullness of your eyes. Would you—”

He opened his eyes before I finished asking. “Anything for you.” His eyes were full of books, frogs, and skulls surfing powerful wee waves made of letters.

“What does it mean?” I said.

“I know what it means to me.” He tapped the tip of a finger of light between my eyes; then pressed a hand over my heart. “But only you can see through your eye.”

“Will I remember this when I wake up?” I said.

“And who said you’re sleeping?”

I blinked until my brother’s casket came back into focus. The funeral home was still bursting with black and crying. A pretty woman in a white leather suit and gold stiletto shoes jabbed a finger at a mirror image of herself in a micro mini dress. I grinned (and perhaps cackled), letting the words dancing in my mind’s eye spin and spin until they morphed into this story.  

for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Trolling The Cosmos for Breadcrumbs…). Corey, thanks so much for the opportunity to write a bit of fiction. I tried the ancient Aboriginal stone carving idea, a poem, an incomplete sentence, even a billboard! But this tale sooo wanted to be prose.
Dancing with a Ghost, by Lucille “Rusty” Umali