Only the Truest of Your Friends Will Unquestionably Bleed for You

I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but I’ve always thought that every small community has a starving artist, a well-known crazy person, a healthy assortment of busybodies and a philosopher disguised as anything anyone can imagine.

In the case of La Fonda, the place in the Dominican Republic where I lived when I was fourteen-years-old, the philosopher came under the disguise of a chicharrón cook (pronounced shisharón). Let’s call him Marko in this post. Marko spent his entire day deep frying cauldron after cauldron of pork rinds under the blazing Caribbean sun.

My mother used to make popsicles and juices to sell. I distributed them through our kitchen window. I was always nice to the chicharrón cooks—giving them a bigger serving of juice or a third popsicle at no charge—I thought frying pig from sunup to sundown had to be a terrible job.

One day, Marko came to the window to get his usual order of a glass of tamarind juice and three coconut and sweet potato popsicles. I gave them to him without saying a word.

“What,” he said, “someone woke up earlier than you and got all the mangoes?”

“No, I got them,” I told him in a toneless voice.

“I was making a joke. No one is dumb enough to touch your mangoes.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Are you okay, Magaly?”

I sighed and rested my chin on the windowsill. “I need to do my first manicure and pedicure in front of an instructor in two weeks, but I haven’t been able to practice on any real people.”

“Why don’t you ask a friend from school or your sister?” he said.

“I did, but they think I’m going to cut them.” I sighed deeper. “I’m not very good at it, so they’re probably right.”

“Tell you what,” Marko said, looking at his hands, “I’ll come after work. You can practice on my hands. Can you do the manicure thing by lamplight?”

“Sure!” I said, about to burst with happiness and gratitude. Then I deflated. “But what if I cut you? I’m serious, Marko, I’m not very good at doing nails yet.”

“It’s all right, chica. How many times have you given me juice when I’m broke? A little cut won’t kill me. We’re friends, aren’t we? I would unquestionably bleed for you.”

I didn’t do the best job on Marko’s nails that evening—too much filing and uneven cuticles. But I didn’t cut him. After I got my beauty school certificate, and people paid me to fix their nails (and friends and family begged me to do the work for free), Marko never had to show me a dime and always had a place of honor in my chair.


Wondering why I’m sharing this anecdote, my Wicked Luvs? Well, I had a conversation with a writer who asked about my motivation behind stories like “Rebels with a Shambling Cause” and “The Decaffeinated Witch Hacks Again,” which are full of characters loosely based on real friends. The same person also wanted to know why I include other artists’ creations (i.e. SunshineShelle’s, Little Gothic Horror’s…) in my stories.

“Why not use those side stories to promote your own books?” she said. “Couldn’t you write about your minor characters? It would get readers interested in your main stories.” She ended the string of suggestions with, “I guess it doesn’t make real difference while you’re practicing.”

I was quite okay with everything she said before the last sentence. It is true; I should promote my work when I can. But you know what? The artists I listed above, and the friends I include in the stories I publish on my Fiction Site, have always been there for me—beta reading, commenting on posts, offering encouragement and advice when I need it, telling other people about my writing…

In a philosophical sort of way, friends have been willing to bleed for my tales. And knowing myself like I do, I am sure that I won’t stop including their art, shops and all around awesomeness in my stories. Not even after I’m no longer “practicing.”

While you read, my Wicked Luvs, I’ll write…


The Bloody Bride, by Gina Morley
(My beloved Bloody Duchess, you make red look wicked good)
Thank you sooo much!  


Random.Org, in all its undiscriminating wisdom, selected:
Congrats, Rhissanna!

34 comments:

  1. Congrats, Rhissanna! If it could not be me I am so happy it's you!!!

    Your right Magaly friends Bleed for each other and if not for you sharing I would not have met two amazing women whom I now call friends Rhissanna and Eliora; Oh yes and there's also Debi and a few others so you keep bleeding and sharing with us and we will always bleed for you.

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    1. And the Circles grows and grows and grows... it makes me smile in all kinds of ways.

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  2. I liked the Marko's reply about friends who will bleed for you.. it is so philosophical! and true.
    Wow! Rhissanna deserves this win! Congratulations to her!
    The doll in a red veil... oh that red is bloody! Beautiful work.

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    1. Marka is a love. I haven't seen him in years. I used to open all the windows that led to where he fried the pork--which drove my mother nuts because of the grease, lol. I opened it because Marko had an awesome voice. I used to love to hear him sing while I did my chores. ;-)

      I'm in love with this doll!

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  3. A wonderful and touching story again! I know what you mean! It is wonderful you have so many people who inspire you and who you inspire back! You have an inspiring, loving spirit, you are amazing!

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    1. Laura, I think you just made me blush. I didn't even know my narcissism would ever allow me to do that. ♥

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  4. Oh my gosh! *running with scissors* Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm gonna look so pretty!!! and I love Eliora's magically wonderful pieces. Gina's doll is just gorgeous. Using the fabric with the printed text is a stroke of purest genius, as are the turned fingers. The Bride has such an enigmatic expression under that blood red veil.

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    1. Whoo Hoo ! ! Congratulations, Rhissanna!

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    2. You will look stunning indeed! Congratulations Rhissanna!

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    3. I actually just imagined you giggling and running with scissors, and roared with laughter. I wonder which of us is more irresponsible, lol!

      Congrats, love! Can't wait to see them on you!!!

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  5. Hahahaha...of course we would bleed for you...you is awesome! Congratulations to Rhissanna...(a crazier bunny than me) :D XXX

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    1. You should see the grin on my face. Better yet, you should know that I downloaded all the pictures of The Bloody Bride and keep on looking at her over and over. She is PURRRFECT and SQUEAL worthy! So, *Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaal!*

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  6. LOL, that is a fantastic story. The imagery will be amusing me for awhile.

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    1. You wouldn't have laughed if you had seen poor Marko's cuticles after I was done with them, lol!

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  7. Such a lovely story and of course you know it's true, friend's should always be prepared to bleed for one another. The doll is beautiful <3 Congratulations to Rhissanna on her win :)

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    1. Nothing is too much or too hard when done for someone we care about. It's nice to know we can always find a person or three to place in that category, isn't it?

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  8. I love this story, but I am hung-up on the other writer's final comment to you.

    Practicing? Surely, "while you are practicing" meant "until you retire from writing" (like that could ever happen)

    From Merriam-Webster:(edited)
    practice - noun
    A usual manner of behaving or doing
    Synonyms custom, fashion, habitude, pattern, ritual, second nature, way, wont

    If your writing was simple a skill that you are honing to create income, I could ignore that comment. But you write from life - from the heart and gut . It is what you do; like breathing is what you do. That your practice involves the "practices" of your friends makes your stories authentic, and delights the stuff out of those who know you.

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    1. BTW - I grumbled and growled (maternally) all the while I wrote this.

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    2. What Eliora said and my 2 cents ....Truth + Fiction = the perfect story
      The Duchess is inspirational on many levels, take a bowe...xoxo

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    3. I did quite a bit of grumbling. I think sometimes we say things without first considering that we aren't talking to ourselves. It's weird.

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  9. 'Practicing'!? ooo..I want to slap that Writer. & hug Marko....such a gem :) Congrats Rhissanna!

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    1. My hand of my indignation was twitching with the slopping bug, too. I don't get some people. But hey, who does...

      I think I will write more stories about Marko. He is a gem, indeed. Got in all sorts of trouble, but he was good to the kids from the neighborhood. At the time, he was the only 24-year-old who treated the younger of us like people. You know how that goes...

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  10. Artists and doctors have one thing in common: we're always practicing our art. Whether professionally (i.e. making money off it) or not, it's still *all* practice, because it's impossible to perfect a work of art.

    <3
    your Artful (devoted-reader) White Fox.

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    1. I'm not sure how some people understand certain things. Every now and then, I just look at them and blink a lot...

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  11. I grew up with parents who called anything artistic, any work with one's hands, and any form of expression "hobbies". Unless you could make a living off it, it wasn't even practice, it was indulgence. I think many many people think like that :(

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    1. I think that's a very sad way to live and think... but people will be people.

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  12. I love the story of Marko (- and am wondering what sweet potato Popsicles taste like!) I can just picture you at age 14 doing his nails! :) Anyway from what you said i took 'practicing' to mean something other than practicing your craft. Not a knowledgeable comment on her part. :(

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    1. They taste divine, Francie. Like frozen tea with milk in it and very creamy. Here is a good recipe: http://www.dominicancooking.com/6022-paleta-de-batata-sweet-potato-popsicles.html

      I'm with you in her use of the word "practicing." I perceived it as a little rude, too.

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  13. You are a WRITER. I've been following your blog since pretty close to the beginning, and I've never thought of you as someone who "practices" writing. You DO write. Love your posts always, even when I don't comment. Don't change a thing! (Unless you want to!)

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    1. I can almost bathe in the joy produced by your indignation. Is that a bad thing? It's just nice to know that we aren't insane; that I wasn't seeing nuttiness where there was none.

      Change? Never! ;-D

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  14. Congrats Rhissanna ;o) This post is so special! You made me smile big time Magaly ;o) I want to give Marko a hug ;o) Your friends will always be here for you ;o)
    Practicing? I won't say a word!! Slap!!!
    Bid Hugs ;o)

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  15. I loved this story Magaly, so beautiful and such a lovely comment on what real friendship is all about. Marko sounds like such a sweetheart! And so do you - you're a wonderful friend, to Marko when you were younger, and to your blogger buddies now. You're as fabulous as your writing - while you keep writing, Magaly, I'll keep reading!

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    1. Gothic Flamingo, you thank you for the kind words. Now I'm drinking coffee and smiling like a lunatic. What else can a girl ask for?

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