Horrorscopes, V-Day Edition 2017

zodiacn2Why hello there, Starchildren! Welcome to this February 2017 edition of Horrorscopes, the Valentine’s  Celebration special!

Love is a strange thing. Even stranger when we consider the enormity of what we think and feel against the dogged practicality of the phenomenon itself.  We survive in part because we love, or so biology seems to indicate–safety in numbers, herd to hide, love to make more of whatever we are. Does that freefall crash we experience when we realize how much we care for someone result from pheromones, from instinct, from a complex cocktail of neurotransmitters and the sensory responses and impulses that follow? Is it a meeting of minds? Co-mingling of souls? Or all of the above?

Or is it nothing?

Oh, stalwart Capricorn, inquisitive Aquarius, gentle Pisces, determined Aries, sensual Taurus, capricious Gemini, sensitive Cancer, bold Leo, dignified Virgo, harmonious Libra, subtle Scorpio, independent Sagittarius…the time has come.

horrrscolove

What time? You may well ask.

The time to put aside your thoughts on love and your feelings on feelings and to consider your vast, unending aloneness at the end of all things and the beginning of all others. Though time as we like to imagine it—linear, parsed, neatly arranged in seasons, cycles, calendars, ticks and tocks—does not exist, we must make time to consider the monster in the room—your thorough, ineffable sense of isolation against all of that which society tells us love means. It was time to think on this before you existed and will remain time to think on this long after you are dust and even longer after the world itself is a blasted shell and again when all folds around on itself, it will still be time.

For in knowing at the end/beginning of all things  that we are only who we are with no reference to any other being, there is power. So yes, it is time to think on YOU.

Time to assert your personal strengths and to sound your roar through the vast nothingness.

Time to own your weaknesses with good humor yet an almost grim desire to remedy them.

Time to know you are exactly enough to exist now, here, precisely as you are.

Time to give your love to your shadows, your fears about who you are beneath all those layers. Time to give your love to what you wanted for the world.  Time to give the world your best even when it has not given what you want.

Time to whisper those three words we adore and fear into the void, the chaos, the dawn, the beingness that slips between the cracks when the world seems to be collapsing around you…

I AM HERE.

I AM ENOUGH.

Breathe it in, let it fill you with strength you never knew you had, with strength you never knew anyone could have.

I am here. WE ARE HERE.

enough

I҉̳ ̱̝͕͖̞̞A̗̤̪̝̦M͟ ͚͔͇̬̯̜ͅH̲E̞̦̬͎͍R̷̤̫̗͚E̶ ̙̯͍̳͖̝͠
̬̠W̧͕̙̖̣͉͈̥E͈̞ ̻̲A̬̫̙̤̲R̞E̯̕ ͇̯̹͖ ̳͉͘ ̲̲͔̺͖̗ ̜͖̰̫̟͓̯ ͏̞ ̬̺͓̝̞͞ ̼̦̻ ̬̼̹̱̫̱̹Ḥ̘̪E ͏̱͙̲̯͎͍͉ R̤̟̀E̼̱̱̘͍ͅ
͔̩̰̼̱͍͖
̣̤͘ͅT̻H̗E̛ ̖̙͚̪̠̭ ̸̤̥̗̤̼ ͜T͈͕I͉̜͟ME ̩͢I̛S͈̮͎̟̭̗ ̖Ń̲͕̼O̬̰͓̖̘͠W̙̩̲̩̙ͅ
͓̗͔H̜̖̹̦͉͓E̵̜̜̳̣̙̰R͕̺Ẹ̳
͍͙̪͙
̜̬͕N̠͙͖̬̠ͅÓ̰͍̖̩W͔̠̝̟͎
̖̹̬̪͈H ͎̖͇̼E ̠̼̖͕R͉ ̝̤͓͇̜͓͖E͇̙͟
͔̪̦̀N ̸̠̱̟̺ ̠̣̣̟͈ ̛̟̱ͅ ̠̣͍O͕͇͕͘W̸ ̤͙̝̹I̛ ̰A͍͕̮̫̼͖̲̕Mͅ ̞̟̟̻̮̯H͎̪̮̝̲̯̖ ͘E̸̺̙̦̼ͅR̶͎E ̛̦̟̬ ̙̪̗̙͓̫ͅ ̯͙͖̲͔͘ ̢̖̖̥̮̯̰͓ṰH̜̻̪̞̳ ͇̙̙̺E̷̮
̵̟͉̬̜T̶͍̪̖̪͕̯̰Ì̲͉̣̫͍͈͔ ̸͚̘̱̞̱͔M̦̪̭͍̩̝̀ͅE͏̟̻͕͚ ͏͙I͔͚̩̙̼S̷̙̯̲͖͙̝ ̦̬̱̦Ņ̤̖͔̭̜̗͎O̗̰̺͇̲͉ͅ ͖̥̘W͕̺͖͘ ̞̳̭̞W̮̱̘̗͚̝E̤̱̙A̧̩̹̫R̸͖̥̜E̳̺̰̦͉̙H͏̩͇͚̪̤E̪͎͕̖̥̙R̻͓Ȩ̮̖͈̳ͅT͚̰͇͈͇̱H̵̰̞̲ ̯̪̰͕E̻̜͞ͅTI͕̘̹̩̞̻ME͙͍̣̲̘ͅĮ̜͉͈S̸N͙͉͓̱̱ͅO̮̰͇͓̫͕͜ẂW̧͇̻͉̪̙͈̳Ẹ̷̱̝͓A͍͕̰̖̼̠R̯̥͙̫͔͖E̵ ̗͓̖H̸̻͉̰̻E̶̳̩̘R̫̙E̦̹̝̼̟͚͘ͅT̹̳̞̖͜H̘̠̝͍̦͎͡E͔̘̲͢
̜̭̫͔̜
̲̟̦̞T̵̮̼͖̼I̵̥̞̰̲̬͈M̡͙̹̗̝̪̪̘Ę͓I͍̲͇S̰̥̯̗ṆO̖̘̜̰W̸͎̗͕͔̜̹W̻̻̕Ę̺̻̱͇̜A̘̪̳R͇̲̙̳̞͓EI̥̞͉AM̺̣̣͖̱̀
̟̹̱̺͎̲
̺͈͇̺H̞͇̲̟̤ ͉̜͟E̯͔̼ ͚͓̱̺͖͞ͅR̶̝ ̗͖E

 

here h

ere

e nough

My Newest Contract, and Transmissions: A Serial Fiction Project

transmissions

Hello, space cadets. Another year is off to a…start, and new years can mean new projects. I have some exciting things on the horizon, I’m happy to say!

I am so incredibly happy, over-the-moon and SQUEEEEEEEEE *ahem* pleased to announce that The Book Smugglers will be publishing my not quite as sekrit project of win, a sci-fi novella due out in Fall 2017! Stay tuned for more details on this Big Good Thing in my writing world!

I’m also crazy-excited to tell you about my new online weird/short/ephemeral fiction endeavor, Transmissions, a Tumblr blog centering around the mysterious fate of Aegis Coalition’s deep space exploration flagship Omid and her crew. The project is serialized and multi-media–an amalgamation of imagery, fiction, poetry, and whatever else is needed to get the job done. You can find the project on Tumblr at https://aeashtransmissions.tumblr.com/. Please stop by, take a look, and if you like it, follow and check in for weekly updates.

I hope you are all faring as well as you can–In the meantime, I’m over here sending light, love and hope for gentleness and equanimity out into the world. <3

Happy 2017, ya’ll!

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2016 has slogged itself off into oblivion and now 2017-yet another construct to help us wrap our minds around the strangeness of our existence-is the new kid in town. I cannot say that I am not relieved, though I do not like to rush away my life, or to wish for time to be so quickly behind me.

The allure of the new, though, is strong as ever. Shiny, chrome, sparkling. A blank page, an open road stretching ahead into something unknown…it’s exciting. I cannot help but hope for good things, and I aspire to make the most of the time I’ve been given.

I actually made some specific resolutions this year but in a quiet, note-to-self kind of way. They are more about quality of life than anything. Gestalt wellness gained through itty-bitty small steps of everyday self-care is the biggest of my goals. Writing, well…that one’s a given. And most of all, I want to cultivate gratitude in the midst of maelstrom and fair skies alike.

I know I can do this.

I will have so much good news to share in regards to my writing. Big projects are in the works for this year and hopefully the next, and I am working hard at coaxing some new worlds and their myriad characters into existence. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the gentle quiet of winter weather and am finding ways to incorporate creativity into a busy schedule. I hope that 2017 brings unexpected goodness into the world, and is a time of healing and peace. For anyone reading this, Happy New Year–may joy and light be yours, and may your new year be so amazing. <3

CAPTAIN’S SUPPLEMENTAL: HORRORBUG ATTACKS

Stay a while, friends, and I shall relate to you of The Battle of The Bug and how I ended up at home so early on a sunny Tuesday. I was sitting in deep contemplation (read: frustration) before a bank of Excel spreadsheets of a budgetary nature–a daunting puzzle, to be certain. I felt a mild discomfort in the environs of my left leg then suddenly realized that the strange crawling of my skin was literally something crawling *on* my skin. Thankfully I sit in a secluded back area so nobody saw me hike my pant leg nearly up to my knickers and also, nobody heard the strangled scream/yelp as I saw something about the size of a Palmetto Bug (aka, GIANT FLYING ROACH) skittering on my person.

accurate

accurate respresentation of what occurred; size to scale

Flailing ensued. Also, screeching and shuddering while the monstrosity crawled beneath the copier. I dragged the behemoth machine aside and proceeded to stomp on the bug, which skittered yet again, this time with a chilling sense of purpose and unfathomable speed. I stomped more. And more. I slammed it with a trash can. IT WOULD NOT DIE. I had noticed before WHEN IT WAS CRAWLING ON ME that it smelled peculiar in my office area–turns out it was TRAILING ITS UNHOLY STENCH over my person, the carpet around me, my recycling bin, and goodness knows what else. MORE STOMPING. I tend to count repetitive motions because I am me, and I lost track at fifteen–it was a mighty foe, and I will never forget its awful, hellish prowess. Finally, my desk area in wild disarray, adrenaline slamming through my veins, and my clothing covered in awful nightmare-stinkbug foulness, I watched it DIE. Suffice to say, my supervisor let me go home immediately and the proper people are being called in to address the situation. I’m assuming that means priests and exorcists, HazMat containment specialists, shamans, and people wielding blowtorches. I had to keep the windows open driving home. Clothes went straight into the washer, and I do not know that I have used that much cleanser in a shower, ever, in the history of all showers. I am itchy, but vindicated by the prospect of an afternoon of doing nothing but playing World of Warcraft, where at least the giant eldritch horrors I slay have the decency to drop loot. This is my story…let it be a cautionary tale of nothing terribly important, but awfully, awfully smelly.

Out of the blue…

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Monday has not been subtle in providing me a metaphor for itself today. As my good writer-buddy Cassandra Chandler is fond of saying, it’s not subtext when it’s text. Enter me this morning: I am reasonably sure I could not have looked any more put-upon and grim as I stalked out to my car to drag myself to work. As I navigated morning traffic, I noticed how quickly the thick, gray clouds of the morning skidded in the prevailing wind…how magnificently they formed and reformed themselves into cumulus out of shreds of stratus and cirrus, those high-skies, horsetail clouds that are harbingers of weather change.

Within a matter of minutes, the sky had cleared itself to a blue so bright it almost hurt my eyes. I realized that I too was lighter…I had put on music that made me feel hopeful, had (mostly) forced myself not to curse at other drivers or be a jerk in traffic (really, I am thankful to have a car at all, to have mobility and freedom—why treat it with such disrespect?), and I spent the commute centering myself, daydreaming about my next writing project as I’m en route to the Day Job. Out of the blue, Monday was its own metaphor: the world around me shapes and reshapes itself, changes in an instant so why can’t I? The subtle shift in attitude as I let go of the stress I was clutching like Gollum and that stupid ring (I mean really, it is kind of like that) led to a not so subtle change in mood and focus. Today was suddenly not a thing to be dreaded, but another opportunity to do important work, to celebrate being alive…after coffee, of course.

So, any epiphanies about making your world a better place that have hit you out of the blue in the last days? Here’s wishing you all a Happy Monday and a wonderful week ahead! <3

Self-Care First Aid

selcarefirstaid

I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I do not play one on T.V. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. This is just me nagging you, and really wishing you would remember to eat breakfast.

All joking aside, the other day I gazed around where I sat with friends, talking and sharing, and I noticed that everybody in the vicinity–not just my loved ones–seemed tired. Legit exhausted. Now, this is not a post about the inner workings of the government, or the nuts and bolts of what went down last week. This is, however, about the aftermath. In light of change, of grief and loss, of anger, of trauma, of confusion or shock, or even media exhaustion and gestalt stress, one of the fist things we forget to do is take care of ourselves.

I’m ever so sweetly wagging my finger when I say this, but if you do not take care of yourself, then how can you hope to be the best and most capable you that you can be? Also, self-care is self-love. If you are feeling a dearth of hope, feeling unloved, unheard, it is not a panacea fix-all or a huge, earth-shattering revelation of fix-it-ness, but self-care can go a long way in reminding you that you deserve to live, breathe, think, feel. That you deserve to not just survive, but thrive.

That you deserve to be loved.

That said, here is a gentle little checklist for Self-Care First Aid. Again, I am not a medical professional–these are simply basic things we can do to better prepare ourselves to be out there in the world, making it a brighter place.

  1. Are you hydrated? We are water, water is us. And if we do not drink water, every system in our body feels it. Those of us who are blessed to have access to clean, healthy water…let’s make use of it. Our bodies, brains, and hearts will thank us!
  2. When was the last time you ate? Vehicles do not function without fuel. We don’t, either. Make time to give your body the kinds of food it needs to thrive. If you are too tired to cook and have the money to do so, don’t hesitate to look for quick meal options–it’s better than not eating anything. Nourish yourself, and you are that much closer to getting back out there and doing the most good.
  3. Sleep is not optional. That’s right–we break down without it. Depression, anxiety, waning awareness that can lead to accidents or miscommunications are all a bajilliontypercent (science) more common when you are operating on not enough sleep. Sleep can be elusive when the word is a scary place, but carve out time to hit the hay early and perhaps not look at a screen or watch any news in that half hour or so before attempting sleep. Put on soothing music, do prayers or meditations to ease your mind, and do what you can to be rested. You will be so much more human (in a good way) if you do.
  4. Move if you are physically able to do so. And by move, I don’t mean cross-fit or Iron Man races. I mean, set a timer on your phone to get up and stretch at work. Take a lap around your block. If you can walk, fast-walk the length of your building where you work, go hide in the bathroom and stretch, or take it a step farther and exercise, dance, take self-defense classes, or whatever else helps you feel vital and alive. All these things can generate happy-chemicals but they can also help us just feel more empowered, and any of that we can bring to our lives is a good thing.
  5. Be self-care/self-aware proactive. If you require medications or special care to be healthy and you can at all afford or manage to acquire these, be aggressive. Set up appointments even if you don’t feel like it, go to the pharmacy, shop, or ask someone to help you with any of these if you are not able to do it on your own. Give yourself the tools you need to not just survive, but eventually to thrive. You are worth it.
  6. Get up, get dressed, and if you can, get out. I mean this. If you can bathe, if you can drag a comb through your hair and put clean-ish clothes on your body, if you can feed yourself and get out to your jobs, your volunteer work, to playing with your children or hanging with friends or even sitting alone somewhere, alive and breathing–do it. You are showing yourself that you can. And knowing that you can keep living, keep breathing–that’s a really good start to a better life.
  7. Don’t do it alone. If you feel overwhelmed and have a willing and healthy friends and family network, ask for help! Chances are, someone else might need it too, and helping each other creates the best kind of positive feedback loop. If you do not know where to turn, there are crisis-lines, community centers, houses of faith and many other places available to help you orient yourself, to know how to even begin a journey to ‘fine.’ I know this sentiment is maybe cringeworthy or cheesy to some people, but asking for help is not weakness–it is the ultimate self-awareness, and therefore a great strength to know when you cannot or should not do something alone.

These are just a starting place. When you are hydrated and fed, rested, able to get back out into the world, you will be more prepared to face challenges down from a place of power–from a place of knowing you are worthy of your own love, and that you are capable of making at least your world a better place…a good start to helping the world at large. Much love to you all in the coming days. <3

Haintsong–a Hallow’s Eve Poem

Hello all, and happy creppy, spoopy day! I wanted to celebrate with a new poem I wrote while thinking about the woods where I spent so many youthful days rambling, dreaming up stories of valiant last stands against armies of evil creatures, the pines whispering all around me, the Spanish moss dancing in my path on breezes I could not always feel. *shivers* I don’t normally use much rhyme in my work and though I did not employ a strict form, this piece was a challenging little exercise in word choice. I creeped myself out a bit while writing it, so in the spirit of Halloween scaring-is-caring, I hope you enjoy! <3

haintsong

Haintsong

swish of pine needle, stir of fir

borrowed silk snags thorny branch

bare feet striking frozen dirt

thud of footfall, doesn’t hurt

 

run like the devil’s on your tail

and all the world’s on fire

run, she’s nearly through the veil

hurry girl you better run

 

spanish moss shapes an arch

breaths of night stir the fronds

swish of pine needle, stir of fir

all that waits for you is her

 

nowhere left to run my girl

there’s nowhere left to hide

the fire is licking at your feet

and the devil lives inside

*

she waits for me in a thistle-vale,

her smile of smooth old bones

an echo of a darker day,

rotting silks all turned to gray

 

she sings to me in night-time wind

in words all shades of gray

cathedral stone and charnel ash,

cat’s eyes and freezing skies

 

her promises are gossamers

laced with motley grays-

cold rain, mother’s hair,

shipwreck waves, mossy graves

 

she tells me I am like her now

creature with a life gone gray

clouded ice, mind of smoke

soul of lead, heart stone-dead