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curlicue

Dreaming of fanfiction- a ficlet

Posted on 2012.12.15 at 21:38
Tags: ,

“Do you ever get tired of them? The dreams?” Hermione sipped her martini, fixing her friend with a quizzical stare.


“Let me tell you, there are times when I wake up and never want to go to sleep again.” Ginny shook her head. “After horrors like that, I have to resort to Dreamless Sleep.”


Hermione nodded, “I know what you mean. I never thought I'd be grateful that what Bellatrix did to me was the worst I suffered that last year.”


“Of course,” Ginny began with a wry grin, “one never needs to resort to infidelity to spice things up a bit. You wouldn't believe all the people I've trysted with in dreamland.”


“The sheer number, or the particular persons?”


“Both. For that matter, both at the same time in some nights. There are a few times I've been squicked beyond belief, but for the most part...well let's just say I've woken up moaning more times than I can count.” The friends giggled over their drinks.


“I've been researching the cause. Did you know that almost everyone in the DA has them? And quite a few members of the Order too. For that matter, a few of the Death Eaters in Azkaban have experienced them as well. It's such an odd phenomenon.”


“And?” Ginny prodded. “Of course you've been looking things up. That's what you do. So what's the scoop?”


“Do you know anything about parallel universes?” Hermione glanced at the redhead, who looked perplexed. “Ah, it's a muggle term for the concept. Concepts, actually, as there are many ways it could work. In this case, imagine there was a copy of this world but magic died out or was stamped out before the events that led to the International Statutes of Secrecy. In such a world, magic would still exist as a concept, but not a reality. Oh dear, I'm over complicating things.”


“No, I'm following. But as much as I'd love a lecture, this isn't quite the spot for such things.” Ginny teased. Her friend shook her tawny curls impatiently.


“Right. Well what if our novels were actually true in another world? And all the derivatives were shadows? Wouldn't the shadows have to exist in truth somehow as well? Perhaps, in dream form?”


“Oh! You mean, you think someone has written about us?” Ginny's eyes widened in excitement, “And our dreams- those would be derivatives? That would explain a lot!”


“Yes, it would. Pity there's no way to prove it. Ah well. Perhaps we'll know once we're beyond the veil.”




curlicue

The neverending battle within...

Posted on 2012.05.25 at 15:26
Current Mood: blahblah
Tags: , , , ,
There are two aspects of my inner being that are constantly at war for dominance. No, they are not an angel and demon sitting on my shoulders. Rather, they are forceful expressions of my personality that cause me to constantly second guess myself.

One: cheerful, constantly striving to be better, kinder, more thoughtful, more knowledgeable. Friendly and chatty. Optimistic to the point of having unrealistic ideas of what can actually be accomplished due to the restraints of time, energy, and outside interruptions. Curious. Silly. Full of energy, full of ideas.

And the Other: quick to anger, full of fury over wrongs on the individual, institutional, and global levels. Pessimistic. Morose. Melancholy. Full of criticism. Self recriminating. Sure that I'm failing my family and friends and not doing enough. Concerned about not doing things right. All or nothing attitude. Reclusive.

To further confuse matters, ailments of body and brain (Fibromyalgia and ADD) add to the mix:
Forgetful. Exhausted. Losing words in the middle of a sentence while speaking. Losing thoughts before they're fully formed. Pain. Pain. Pain. No energy to do the things I need to to. Unreliable memory in regards to remembering the things I need to do. (Note: If I ever say I will do something for you or find something for you or send something to you, please send me a message in writing to remind me. Otherwise, a week, month, or year might pass before I remember. If I remember).

It's a good thing the peppy side usually wins, else I'd have to change my name to Eeyore.

curlicue

Meandering journey to the hope of eventual health

Posted on 2011.12.30 at 00:15
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Tags: , , , , , ,

Words have power. I am smart. I know this because every adult around me said so when I was small. Good thing they did not call me dumb! When one is small, one understands that words have power. Truth is inherent in words- children do not know that adults can lie, or they do not want to believe this to be possible. If you cannot trust the ones who are your guardians with words, how can you trust that they'll meet your needs?

Words have power. If you give something a name, you can tell someone about it. If you give an idea a name, it becomes a Truth. Some ideas are Not True, but they are named, and so we must give them consideration. If you give a series of symptoms a name, you give credence to the possibility that they are interconnected.

Words have power. There are words of description, and there are words of moral judgment. I give you a reason. You call it an excuse.

The more words you know, the better you are able to think. The more sophisticated your thought patterns, the better you are able to self-examine. The more you self-examine, the clearer your life becomes in retrospect.

As a child, I was gifted, creative, friendly, conscientious, independent, curious, and adventurous. I was a stickler for the rules, I lied to keep out of trouble, but was honest about finding coins on the playground. I was forgetful, easily frustrated, easily distracted, dreamy, guilt-stricken, responsible, irate about being blamed for things because I was supposed to be responsible, a dawdler, and a procrastinator. I was a perfectionist, I couldn't keep track of time, lonely, nobody's best friend, everybody's friend, but mean to the outcasts when it was expected of me. I was a people pleaser. I started many projects, but finished few. I started many stories, but finished few. I was easily sidetracked. My room was never neat, and I was generally disorganized. I often lost things. I tripped over my own feet.

I was called lazy, forgetful, procrastinator. Disorganized, irresponsible, messy and clumsy. My reasons for failing to live up to the expectations of the adults in my life were disregarded and labeled excuses.

Life didn't get any easier as I grew up. The structure of home, school, and eventually, the military kept me on track. I made major mistakes that took my life on different trajectories than I may have planned, but things always seemed to turn out. Thank goodness I am adaptable.

When I left the military to raise my children, life started to fall apart. I began to struggle with housework and finances and finding time for myself. When I only had one child to focus on, things were in relative balance. But when my son was born, everything went downhill. My life became one of oughts and shoulds, and everything turned into an obligation. Taking care of the kids? Obligation. Dealing with my husband? Obligation. Talking to people on the phone? Obligation. Keeping the house clean? Obligation. Cooking, which I had previously taken great pleasure from? Obligation. No wonder my life quickly became devoid of joy. Every day was a new day, and not in a positive way. I was reinventing the wheel on a daily basis, and struggling to survive. My stress levels were immense and my bouts of depression grew more frequent. I couldn't ask for help. I couldn't obligate other people. It was Hell.

I don't know how or when I escaped, but it felt like I was alive again. I could think more clearly, and laugh more easily. And I began to get help. Physical pain is a big part of this story, so I'll stop for a moment and go back to my childhood.

I loved to run around and play. But in elementary school, I began to have asthma attacks with some frequency, which hadn't been a problem since we moved from the desert. My feet hurt when I ran. I had insomnia. And I suffered from the occasional migraine. These problems didn't clear up as I got older, except for the asthma. Yet breathing was still difficult while running. Physical pain was just something I had to deal with, because PE teachers didn't cut much slack. I loved to dance and do gymnastics and climb ropes and play on the monkey bars. I generally did quite well on the Presidential Fitness Exams, except for the running. Anything that required a lot of running and coordination was a bane to my existence, which I don't think my parents truly understood. When I declared that I hated sports, that was why. I hated PE, but joined Colorguard and the dance team my senior year and LOVED them. My feet still gave me problems, so I had surgery to remove my bunions my freshman year of college. While I recovered, I felt a change in my surroundings was in order. It was either City Year or the Air Force, and the Air Force won.

At the time, the Air Force did a stationary bike fitness test, so I thought it wouldn't be too hard on my body. Of course, around the time I went to basic training, that changed. I was required to run two miles, and later, one and a half for my fitness test. Running was the same agony it had been since elementary school. My feet worsened. I developed back and neck pain. I ended up being on profile for the majority of my career. Yet I was generally treated like a malingerer or hypochondriac. Even when doctors did believe me, they generally told me to take ibuprofen and walk instead of run for awhile. I was sent to physical therapy a number of times. I even saw a chiropractor. My migraines and insomnia still troubled me, but the former seemed hormonal and the latter, my own fault. The back pain finally reached the point that a doctor asked if I'd ever considered a breast reduction. I was so relieved to hear that it was possible at my age (21)! I ended up having the surgery, and my pain diminished for a while. Then again, I wasn't doing much in the way of strenuous activity while I healed. By the time I reached my next duty station, the pain came back with a bang. And so it went on.

After I had my daughter and was no longer subjected to exercise requirements, I still had a lot of pain. I started to ask my doctor why I had so much pain. Why was I getting bruises with no obvious causes? Why was I always tired? Why did I have such frequent headaches? Why did my joints hurt at times? We screened out rheumatoid arthritis, but the doctor was as befuddled as I was. Later on, I learned about fibromyalgia, and thought I might have it. But my pain was manageable, and the doctors only wanted to hear one complaint at a time. I realized that my stress and my pain were related, and that I wasn't very responsive to pain medications. Physical therapy only helped so much, and once I had a child to worry about, the stress of trying to find childcare negated any help the therapy did provide. I looked for new solutions, and found one I thought might help- biofeedback. It is a mind/body technique that teaches one how to have more control over ones physiology. One of my main problems was that I held all my stress in my upper body and no amount of trying could make me physically relax. After some on again, off again attempts, I was able to get a referral to the clinic that dealt with biofeedback.

Unfortunately, the psychologist didn't know much about the system- in fact, his team was just starting to learn how to use it. My sessions were mainly talk therapy, which was helpful in some ways. However, when I was given homework to record my sleep habits in detail and keep a pain log, I was only able to keep it up for a couple of days. Then I would fail, and feel guilty about it, and be so ashamed that I didn't want to attend my sessions. I even canceled a couple of times. I tried to explain how stressful those requirements were for me, but the psychologist just didn't understand. When his rotation ended and I was assigned a new doctor, I quit going. It was too much. Yet the stress and depression were getting worse again, and I knew I needed help. Eventually, I found a therapist who specialized in stress management. She was also well versed in mindfulness meditation and hypnotherapy, and such a good listener. I knew using mindfulness techniques would help me, but though my desire was great, I could not meditate on a daily basis. I kept running into the same wall that was keeping me from doing the other things I wanted to in life. Our sessions were interrupted around the time that I decided to start a business teaching sign language classes to parents. I was motivated and excited to begin, and did all the research I needed to start. Then I ran into the trouble of getting the business and legal issues taken care of. I had a list of tasks that needed to be done, but couldn't figure out the correct order. I was afraid of making a mistake, and in fact I made a small one I was able to fix. But I became paralyzed, unable to move forward. And I started to wonder what was wrong with me, that I couldn't follow through with anything I wanted to do.

I love to read and learn new things and solve problems. So I researched and examined myself and researched some more. I talked with friends and family about what I was discovering, and was given new suggestions. My pain and headaches and insomnia and depression and tiredness and the like all made sense when viewed through the lens of fibromyalgia. I brought up the possibility with my doctor and he looked through my medical records and did the pressure point exam and agreed. Cognitive issues are a part of fibromyalgia too, but I felt that mine may have deeper implications. So I've made an appointment to discuss the possibilities of executive dysfunction and/or inattentive ADHD. I'm old enough to take responsibility for my body and mind and to get the help I need to live life to the fullest.

Some people consider words like fibromyalgia and EDF and ADHD labels, and believe they shouldn't be used. I don't. Words have power, and when you know what words mean, you can do something with them.


curlicue

Once there was a way to get back homeward

Posted on 2011.10.14 at 02:53
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Tags: , ,
Once there was a way to get back home, sleep pretty darling please don't cry...and I will sing a lullaby. -Golden Slumbers by the Beatles

Of course, I am not slumbering at the moment. I spent too much time immersed in King of Dragon Pass and now my melatonin levels are upset. Or I'm on my second or third wind. It doesn't even matter, except that I feel stupid for staying up so late when I wanted to take the kids to the park in the morning for a playdate with friends who may or may not show up. That doesn't matter either. But I'll go to get out of the house and spend time in this gorgeous autumn weather.

I didn't come to the realization that I crave the outdoors until I spent too much time cooped up in the house due to the sweltering heat of Georgia summers. It turns out that I need to spend hours outside, walking and exploring and enjoying mother nature. It also turns out that I'm allergic to Georgia in spring and early summer, and allergic to mown grass and compost heaps and leaves decaying. Additionally, winter is drab, frigid, and unwelcoming here. Think wan, pale sunlight in a dreary greyblueblahish sky with dead dead trees and grass but no snow to soften things up. Yep, that's winter. But it's mild enough come early February that you think you can start planting and you might be right. I was this year. Then it gets cold again, and warm again, and cold- what a tease! So. I spend as much time as I can outdoors in the spring, planning and planting my garden and enjoying watching the world unfurl while dosed on allergy meds and using the equivalent of a neti pot. Early summer has its own delights of watching my plants emerge and grow and visiting a u-pick strawberry farm. Then the weather changes and it's no outside time after 9 AM unless you want to spend the rest of the day recovering. By 7 pm, it's mostly safe to emerge again, but you have to negotiate with the mosquitoes. Late summer gives tantalizing glimpses of autumn and you think it has arrived and the humidity and oppressive heat are gone. But no. Again, the weather proves tricksy. Yet once fall arrives, it's so wonderful that you spend two or three hours outside at a time just because you can. And there are the festivals- the arts fest and the Greek festival and the Living History days at a local museum park. We're going to an apple festival this year- it better be worth the three hour drive, but how could it not with a hard apple cider tasting?

So. That's how it is. I'm feeling more connected to my home and garden, but less connected to the people here. Everyone is going in different directions, and I just can't find enough energy/will/desire to make the extra effort. That's okay. There's a time for out-and-about-ness, and a time for focusing on the home, a time for sharing with friends and a time for waking up one's inner self. A time for mom's morning out, and a time for starting a simple homeschool rhythm.

And a time to focus on connection and stop dis-integrating. That is something I am having a lot of trouble with. I suspect it is because I am an introvert and NEED time to myself, and am not finding it. Either the children need my attention, or I have a list of shoulds. No wonder I'm awake at nearly three in the morning, writing in a journal I all but abandoned almost three years ago.

I'm so tired. But sleep feels so ominous. How is it that 27 years into life, I'm still afraid of falling asleep?

curlicue

I'm getting political on y'all

Posted on 2009.01.12 at 22:14
This evening I just finished watching "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and my immediate response was that I no longer support any kind of financial bailout for the big three auto companies.  Then I remembered (with a nudge from my hubby) the thousands of employees that would suffer.  Still, they certainly dug their own graves.  If you even slightly care about the environment (and I mean being able to breathe clean air that doesn't smell or taste bad- oh I'm going to miss California) I really recommend this documentary.

--------

If you have children, have ever bought anything for a child, have ever made anything for a child, sell things intended for children (are you getting the point yet), or would like to do something before this spreads into ALL MANUFACTURED GOODS, you should know about a very poorly crafted piece of legislature called the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008).


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Last on my agenda is art. Do you like art? Do you think that creativity is a vital part of what makes us human? Do you believe that people should be paid for the hard work they do?  Then you might want to know about this:

"The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S.2913) and (H.R.5889) is a very complicated piece of legislation that has enormous implications for all Americans and all people. It is our belief this bill is an insidious attempt to undermine existing United States and International copyright laws that protect photojournalists, multimedia journalists, writers, artists, cartoonists, illustrators, videographers, musicians, American citizens, and all people who take pictures, make videos, or create art. Upon serious examination of this bill and the groups lobbying for its passage, we have concluded that it is a threat to the intellectual property rights, privacy, and free speech of all Americans and all people."  (http://www.petitiononline.com/Stop2913/petition.html)

For more information about the act and ideas about what to do (contact your congresspeople!!!) you can visit these sites:
http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00185
http://www.owoh.org/q-and-a.php
http://illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00281

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curlicue

Writer's Block: Little Women

Posted on 2008.11.29 at 09:05
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Tags: , ,
Fans of Little Women often divide along Jo/Amy lines. Jo was independent and smart, but Amy always seemed to get what she wanted and have more fun. Are you in the Jo camp or the Amy camp?
Perhaps I'm merely following the lead of Louisa May Alcott, but my loyalties lie with the main protagonist, Jo.  Jo is creative, adventurous, and cares deeply about those around her.  She knows her faults and tries to improve them in a way that seems much healthier than than the attitude we have about our imperfections these days.  Of course, I have to consider the fact that I've never forgiven Amy for setting Jo's manuscript on fire.   Never ever.  In fact, I still have an initial twinge of dislike when I see Kirsten Dunst in pictures or movies, just because she played the young Amy in the film version of Little Women.  

Who knows, maybe I would have been an Amy fan if she had been the main character.


christina's eyes

I've hatched!

Posted on 2008.11.17 at 01:59
Current Mood: awakeawake
Tags: , , ,
Or one might say I've emerged from my chrysalis of many years and become what I've always wanted to be. (No, I'm not a butterfly now).
Actually, I've realized what I want to do with my life.  I want to be a happily dabbling artist who makes the world brighter with my creations.  This way, I can write, sew, bead, work with wood, quilt, crochet, weave baskets, photograph, draw, and do anything else that strikes my fancy for as long as it holds my interest without feeling guilty for moving to new projects.  I'll sell on etsy when I'm ready and then go from there.  In fact, I might even start a crafting blog.  I have even grander ideas for the future, but I'm keeping mum on that for now.

Honestly, I don't know why it took me so long to realize that my occupational desire is to make things.  I've been doing it all my life.  I suppose school made me devalue my joy in being an artist.  Being a successful student caused me to feel that I ought to utilize my intelligence in a more traditional sort of career (ugh, I don't like the way that sounds, but forgive me- It's 1:26 AM).  These past few years, my creative self has felt rather numb (as you might have noticed by the steep drop off in livejournaling).  However, in the past few months I've begun to feel more and more like myself.  Part of it is certainly due to the fact that Lyra doesn't need me to feed/hold her all day long anymore and I'm savoring that freedom.  Equally vital is the fact that I have started to make things on a regular basis.  I've also been forced to try new foods and figure out how to cook with them (thank you Two Small Farms CSA for the agretti).  And after reading half of The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing I had a night such as this one in which my head turned into an idea rave.  Um...I'm not so sure that metaphor made sense to anybody but me, but again, I blame the hour.

I am brimming with creative energy. It almost makes up for the days I am so depressed I don't even care about food.
Oh my. Thank you LJ for autosaving drafts. I might have lost it otherwise.

Right.  So...I can't believe my baby is nearly one year old.  Has a year really gone by that quickly? It's amazing how much she's progressed.  These days she's preparing to take her first unassisted step and is signing new words every week.  I have a youtube video channel if you'd like to see how adorable she is: http://www.youtube.com/user/puckisid

Maybe now that I've expressed all of these feelings I'll finally be able to sleep.  I'm already flinching from the pain waking in the morning will bring.  *Edit* 3:32 AM and I'm still painfully awake.  I just tried lying in bed for half an hour and realized why I'm so jazzed.  Excedrin Migraine.  It took away my headache but apparently my tolerance for caffeine is really low.  Now that I think about it, that medicine has given me jitters in the past. *Sigh*


curlicue

How to utilize all my CSA veggies

Posted on 2008.10.06 at 21:47

"Using the entire box of veggies was both satisfying and relieving."


How I did it:  I decided to target each of the vegetables and find recipes that sounded tasty. Then I made a meal plan for the week and went grocery shopping to pick up and additional ingredients I needed (such as meat). Every day that week my husband and I made a concerted effort to cook one of the meals instead of eating out and by the end of the week our produce bins were empty.


Lessons & tips: Make a plan and stick to it. Also, look for recipes in places you might not normally think of. I used a lot of vegetarian resources even though I'm an omnivore.  Vegetarian cookbooks seem to be a lot more creative and have a wider variety of vegetables.


Resources: AllRecipes
Vegweb
various food blogs
Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin


It took me 7 days.


It made me proud of myself

See more progress on: Utilize all my CSA veggies

curlicue

Oh Insomnia

Posted on 2008.09.13 at 01:16
Current Mood: awakeawake
Tags:
Now I'm cranky because it's far too late for me to be as awake as I am.  Both husband and babe are sleeping but I? No sleep for this one. Reason tells me that I should be able to lay down and shut my eyes and sleep will come.  Doing so has proved futile.

Often when roaming the stacks in libraries I am overwhelmed with the desire to read and read and read.  I've had fantasies about being able to stop time and read to my heart's content.  Oddly enough, in a way that sort of dream has come true in my life.  Work and school have been put off for the moment and so all of my reading is for pleasure.  As Lyra is becoming more mobile, my time for reading has decreased but I still have so much more time than I used to.  I've perused books on subjects as varied as Japanese baths, cooking legumes, sewing pillows, and using houseplants to purify the air in the home.

I've inhaled fiction. Some books were more satisfying than others. I'll attempt to list as many of these as I can remember. Wise Child by Monica Furlong, The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad, On Beauty by Zadie Smith, Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Singer in the Snow by Louise Marley, Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, The Stone Goddess by Minfong Ho Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah, Od Magic by Patricia McKillip, and everything Chrestomanci (Diana Wynne Jones).  Also, there are so many excellent graphic novels these days: Aya by Marguerite Abouet, Castle Waiting by Linda Medley, The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar


curlicue

Frustration

Posted on 2008.09.11 at 07:13
Current Mood: grouchy
Tags: ,
I woke up too early and am terribly cross because of it. Back in the day seven hours of sleep was ample but these days it seems I need about nine in order to function well.  So I went to the kitchen to get cereal and realized I couldn't stand the mess (per usual in the morning).  For some reason, when I do dishes in the morning, I tend to get really ticked off at my husband for stupid things (like finding that he put something in the dishwasher that really doesn't belong).  Meh.

Lyra bit through her lip yesterday due to pitching forward and hitting her mouth on the sink while I was holding her. So I not only had to deal with the agony of hearing her scream in pain and seeing blood gushing from her mouth, but also the guilt of feeling that I could have prevented it if I only held her more securely. I know these things happen to all children but it's still a really awful thing to go through. She calmed down more quickly than I expected (that infant Tylenol certainly takes effect rapidly).  We went to the emergency room even though there isn't much one can do for mouth wounds. I was relieved when the doctor deemed her fine.  I guess the hardest thing now will be keeping her from chewing on hard objects until her mouth and gums heal.

Otherwise, Lyra is doing quite well. She crawls so fast that it takes me by surprise sometimes.  I've seen her stand without holding on to anything, but she doesn't seem confident in her ability to do so.  Once she realizes she's doing it, she squats down slowly until she feels safe again.  (BTW, Livejournal's built in spell check doesn't like contractions at all.)  Lyra cruises around the furniture with ease and loves to walk when we're holding her hands. She's also finally producing some sign language (milk, more, eat, potty, hungry, and maybe book). The shows Signing Time and Baby Signing Time are excellent tools and I recommend them to anyone considering signing with a baby.  I think they've helped with her vocalizations as well. She actually says more now, along with mama and dada and ball and shoes.  Personally, I think that I've heard her say other things as well but it's hard not to chalk it up to maternal pride. :D

Sigh. There she is, calling out for me. Sometimes it seems like the lyric from Cinderella: every time she'd find a minute that's the time that they begin it.  Still, I wouldn't have it any other way.


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