June 5, 2013
March 15, 2012
In the dream, I really wanted a cheeseburger and so I went out to get one. This woman in the dream seemed to be completely against giving me a cheeseburger. “What kind of cheeseburger do you want? Can you explain this to me in detail? You know prices have gone up,” she went from being really annoying as I tried to order a cheeseburger to personally attacking me. I tried to deflect her comments and to remain calm, despite the fact that I wanted to lunge at her throat.
I went off and did other things in the dream, I suspect, to calm down. Somehow, I ended up walking around a department store looking at coats (don’t ask). But, I am nothing if not persistent, and I caught sight of the exit and headed toward it.
I was going to get my cheeseburger, damn it…one way or another. I left and called the woman that had come between me and my cheeseburger-y goodness (mainly to chew her out).
Finally, after successfully battling her and taking her down verbally, I was free to get my cheeseburger.
But at that point in the dream, I hung up the phone and said, “F*ck it.” I didn’t want it anymore.
Instead, I wanted cookies and cream ice cream with caramel sauce.
And that’s when I woke, gazing into the dark and thinking, “Oh yummy above all yummies, I do want that!”
Given that it was six-thirty in the morning, I got up, put the moka pot on the stove, and sat down to write this blog instead.
The past couple of days I’ve felt crabby, bitchy, and all around PMS-y. Apparently, PMS has leaked into my dreams.
I don’t consider myself much of a bitch. I mean, sure, I can be – but I make an effort not to be, even when I’m feeling fussy, short-fused, and totally impatient with the people around me. I tend to crawl into my shell when I’m not in a good mood. I crawl inside and hang a sign on the imaginary door that reads: For Your Own Good, Do Not Disturb. I deal with my irritability with humor, I try to make it less, try to laugh right in its big ol’ irritable face.
And then someone will say something to me and I’ll respond, realizing that whether I will it or no, my voice has changed. It’s taken on a bitchy and somewhat snarky growl and then I feel bad. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I’m like a werewolf with a full moon approaching – but instead of this insatiable urge to go postal on someone’s ass, I want things that keep my inner bitch at bay. I try to tame myself. I nibble on chocolate. I crave steak like something fierce, and so I give into the craving, and when I do this, when I give into my cravings for ice cream, or chocolate, or steak – my inner bitch does start to calm down a little bit. And it’s good, because I’m not too big of a fan of her, either. That’s the one thing that gets me, when people give you that look that says, “Wow, I really don’t like you right now.” Do they think you really like dealing with yourself then? All you want is your damn ice cream so that inner bitchy voice shuts the bleedin’ hell up and you no longer feel like a wolf ready to bite someone’s head off in a matter of seconds, only to then have to deal with an immense amount of guilt once your normal self kicks back ‘on.’
And that’s part of the fun of being in a relationship with a woman, I suspect. (Note: Totally being sarcastic). You’d think, as women, that we’re better equipped to deal with each other’s PMS. But, this is not often the case. We’re better equipped at absorbing each other’s PMS.
Like last night, my wife pointed out that I’d taken complete control of our evening (and I had). While she was on the phone dealing with work, I was like, “I’m going to rent a movie. And I want steak. You buying?”
I heard her when she said, “I don’t know what’s been released.” I did not, however, hear her when she said, “There’s nothing out there I want to see,” in the same sentence. And eventually, that led us to bickering.
“How can you say, ‘I don’t know what’s been released’ and ‘there’s nothing out there I want to see’ in the same bloody sentence?” I asked. “It’s friggin’ contradictory! You said you don’t know what’s been released!”
“You shaped our evening, on my day off, around what you wanted to do.”
“Yeah, and what’s so wrong with spending time with me, having a lovely dinner, and watching a movie?” I swung right into defensive, feeling as though she was trying to heap onto me more guilt than I was willing to carry. Didn’t she understand I wanted to watch a movie so I didn’t talk and leak a bunch o’ bitch all over the place? I’d told her earlier, “I’m feeling crabby today, it’s nothing personal, and I’ll do my best not to take it out on you.” And yet, all it took was what felt like an accusation to set me right off, and then I said something that set her right off, and then:
“You know, every damn dog in this neighborhood can probably hear you right now!”
“I’m just freaking sure they can! That’s the effing point! This is my STOP ARGUING WITH ME voice! It’s supposed to hurt your ears so badly, that you STOP FREAKING ARGUING WITH ME!” I said, still in my whiny-growly-screechy voice.
And then we kicked back, shut up, and watched our movie (the movie I picked out).
My wife and I used to be able to fight. I mean, we’d get bleedin’ pissed off at each other and hold grudges over shite for days. Now, we’re kind of like cats. But we understand each other and what exactly we’re doing when we argue: We’re both finding a safe place to unload pent up stress. In some strange way, we don’t take it personally. I think that’s one thing that really makes our relationship awesome. We don’t argue often, mind you. I personally loathe arguing, but when I get heated up, I don’t back down very well. I will drive that damn thing straight into the ground, until it’s twitching and like a spider that’s been whacked, trying to hang in there, but failing, all eight of its limbs beginning to curl inward toward its body. My wife is just as stubborn.
Like cats, we get taken by weird random moments of conflict inspired by frustration and irritability with something else in the universe (not always each other) and we hiss, spit, swat, and then afterward, shake paws and say, “Good game.”
I’ve learned through years of experience that sometimes the best thing you can do is put a lid on your own emotions and force yourself to walk away. It took me years and a lot of nasty arguments to learn to cage that instinct in myself that said, “Pounce, fight, attack, seek, destroy, annihilate, rawr, rawr, rawr.”
When I was younger, I didn’t understand it. If cornered, I felt like the only option I had was to unsheathe the big claws and let the stinger fly. Yet, experience and age offer us wisdom (they don’t always make us wise, because we don’t always reach for the knowledge that’s available to us), but the wisdom’s usually there for the taking. I’ve learned to cage my inner lioness, take a deep breath, get up, and walk out. I’ve learned it’s not weak to do such a thing: It’s considerate, really. Most arguments are pointless, despite the fact that we find what we think is a focal point in an argument, we’re usually trying to convince the other person to think or feel as we do or we're just unloading emotional energy. Sometimes, it can be healthy, it can be therapeutic, but there’s a line we have to draw and not cross. Sometimes, you’ve just got to pick up your emotional shite, walk out, and calm down before you say something stupid or deal a blow that makes a casual argument escalate into a big scary monster argument.
My wife and I have learned the art of arguing and then letting it go. After we argued last night, she came back to the room and said, “Look, I know you might not admit it, but I know you’re irritated, in part, because we haven’t got to spend as much time together as you’d like due to me having to deal with work related issues on my day off.”
Even though I was lying in bed, glaring at the television set, that little bit of trying to understand made my stinger start to go down and my mane less ruffled.
And that’s when we let it go and curled up to watch a movie together. We love each other, even when we argue. Oh, we might want to clobber each other a bit, but we still love each other and we’re aware of that even when we’re trading witty comebacks.
During a break in our movie, we stepped out into the kitchen. I grinded up some coffee for Rebecca and made a cup of tea for myself and then we hugged and Alonzo, one of our cats, walked up and leaned up against our legs. We picked him up and held him between us in a purring sandwich-y hug.
People are not perfect. We’re flawed, we’re damaged, we’re messed up sometimes, but we’re a lot of other good things, as well. You can’t expect each other to be perfect and you can’t expect to get along and to see one-hundred percent in the same direction, all the time. We’ve each got stuff we have to deal with and Bec and I both agree that when it comes to our relationship: It’s a safe place. It’s a place where we’re safe to be ourselves and a safe place to express our feelings and to argue if that’s what we need to do. It’s a safe place, because that’s what we make it. We make it safe with forgiveness and compassion. We make it safe by being in it together, by being committed and not judging the other too harshly. And as fired up as I can get, one of my strong suits is the ability to empathize with the people I care about (and the same goes for my wife – we’re a lot alike in many ways). There have been times when I’ve riled Bec up, just because I knew she needed to get something out of her system, and afterward, she’s understood that’s exactly what I was doing.
I opened myself up and said, “Bring it on, get it out, I can take it,” and afterward, I threw it off and left it on the ground. As I said earlier in this blog, it’s not always about us. It’s about other things that get dragged into our midst that we need to kick the shit out of and banish. It may seem in that moment that we’re opposing each other, but we’re not. We’re still working together.
We can say we hate arguing as much as we want, but when it comes down to it, every time we learn how to better deal with an argument and how to take the time to understand more fully where we’re coming from as individuals, it strengthens our bond, it reinforces the safety of our relationship.
We’re reminded that we’re not perfect in those moments, but that our bond is strong, our love and friendship is strong, and that we work pretty damn well together. By establishing that safety in our relationship, it makes it even more valuable. We love one another enough to argue and get over it, instead of trying to get even. We try to make it something productive instead of destructive. And though I try not to take my PMS out on her, it inevitably shows when I’m PMSing. Neither one of us needs words to communicate with each other. Being so constantly in-tune with each other often lands us in the same boat and so whatever we’re dealing with, dark waters, choppy waters, inner storms – we find a way to navigate and plot a course together.
Even if every now and then, we’re tempted to knock the other affectionately overboard.
At least if we do, we know one of us will always finally talk some sense into ourselves and throw out the life-saving flotation device for the other.
And baby, that’s love.
March 8, 2012
I still get that look from her. I don’t always get the, “You’re weird, child,” response, but I do get the look -- the look that tells me she’s standing there wondering how she ever gave birth to such a strange woman.
I’ve come to learn, it’s a Pennington trait (I figure it has something to do with our British ancestry. Let’s face it, Brits are weird, even the most unsuspecting Brits have a weird sense of humor somewhere in them... That’s why I love ‘em). As I’ve come to know distant relatives better, I’ve seen a similar weirdness in them and learned that it is, in fact, genetic weirdness. My mother agrees. “You come by it quite naturally,” she’s said. “Any other family would disown you.” You may wonder then, about my siblings. Yes, they’re weird too. But that’s not what this post is really about.
Earlier this evening, I approached my mother about a post I’d made on Facebook several days ago. Mind you, it was a post of a cat picture I’d drawn using Paint on my computer while I was sick and doped up on cold meds. Somehow, one of the markings on the cat came out looking very odd to me. I realized after a moment of gazing at the artwork I had so proudly drawn in my foggy-headed and sick-addled state, that the marking looked either like a lava lamp or a butt-plug.
Here's the post:
“This is what I’ve been reduced to: I’m not sure if that’s a lava lamp or a butt-plug on its back…”
(The entertainment value of drawing pictures of strange cats while doped on cold meds is high, sorry).
Of course, because she’s on my friend’s list (I just didn’t have it in me not to friend my own mother) she saw my drawing and commented:
“Who slammed the door on its poor tail? LOL”
I was momentarily taken aback, and so I replied, “You’re not concerned with the butt-plug looking mark, mother? Just the tail?”
A minute later, after no response, a thought occurred to me and I added, “Wait, do you even know what a butt-plug looks like?”
Still there was no response from her end.
A couple of days passed and she still hadn’t bothered answering my question or responding to my comments. Naturally, when I saw her this evening, I brought it up.
“I noticed you never responded to my comments on Facebook,” I said.
“The comments on the cat picture, of course. I asked you if you know what a butt-plug looks like.” I was betting she didn’t and that’s why she hadn’t responded. Oh yes, my spidey senses were tingling!
She was silent for several moments.
“So, do you know what a butt-plug looks like?” I asked, starting to grin.
“No, I don’t know what a butt-plug looks like,” she said.
At last! Victory!
And then, “And I don’t need to know what one looks,” she rambled off. “Why would I? It’s useless knowledge I don’t need to keep and carry around! Not all knowledge is worth having!”
I grabbed a pencil and notepad that were nearby and began to sketch to the best of my abilities.
“Sure you do,” I said, tearing off the leaflet of paper from the notepad. “This is what a butt-plug looks like.” I held it up in the air between us, showing her my drawing over the breakfast bar. She gazed at it, looking somewhat confused.
I used the pencil as a pointer. “This part goes into the anus.” I circled the tapered shaft of the plug I had drawn. “And this,” I circled the flat base, “keeps a person’s arse from gobbling it up.” (And yes, I really do say 'arse,' it's not just something I type to sound less offensive).
She continued to gaze at it, and so I turned it sideways, made a semi-thrusting motion in the air with it, and further explained that, “It’s essentially like a tac for your ass...you just push it in and voila!”
“Why would I need to know this!?” she asked, appearing somewhat horrified and bewildered.
I turned the drawing upside down and said with a slight smile, “Because if you look at it this way, it looks a bit like a carrot.”
And that’s why I’m weird. I feel this strange urge to traumatize my poor mother with little facts and tidbits about things she feels safer off not knowing about. And I gain a certain sense of satisfaction from it, from wondering if she’s going to be able to look at a carrot in the grocery store the same way again, or better yet, when Bugs Bunny pops onto the television set and says, “Eh, what’s up doc?” will she be able to keep herself from remembering?
At least now she’ll know…
That’s what’s up.
March 5, 2012
*Rocks out for a moment.*
Right. Ahem, anyhow. First, as you read this blog post, you should know that I’m seriously out of it and hyped up on cold meds.
Second, you should know…
I have two pennies.
Errr, wait, that’s not it. I got like three hours of sleep last night. Woke up at five in the morning yesterday and it’s now almost two in the morning. (Don’t ask how I’m still typing. I suspect it has something to do with the “non-drowsy” cold meds). I tried to resist taking cold medicine for as long as I could. Really, I did. I don’t like the way most of them make me feel (and this particular one makes my feet really tingly…it’s a weird side-effect I get when taking anything with Guaifenesin in it).
Aside from being sick and not getting enough sleep, I’m feeling rather dandy right now. (Again, I suspect that’s the cold meds talking). I missed my opportunity to go to sleep earlier, so now I have to wait until I’m literally dragging my arse to bed. Sure, I could try to sleep, but lately it seems that in order for me to get the eight hours of solid rest I crave and need, I have to use every ounce of energy I have left. If I go to bed too early, when I’m not exhausted – I may fall asleep, but I end up getting crappy broken sleep. So, essentially, what I’m planning on doing is driving myself to that point of exhaustion where I just collapse and clunk out and hope for eight hours of solid, beautiful, delicious sleep.
Till then, I’m writing this post.
And now I’m drawing a blank on what the hell to write about. This is often where my attention span cracks and I give up on the blog post all together. But, I won’t.
I’ll ramble on instead about what I’ve been working on lately. Well, a little bit...
I’ve been asked if there’s going to be a fourth Kassandra Lyall book. The answer is: Yes, and I’m working on it. However, I’ve been momentarily distracted from my work on the fourth book to write a novella that came to me one night out of the blue. It’s a, ah, erotic lesbian fairytale romance, of sorts. So, currently, I’m working on that. Then, when I’m done, I anticipate working on edits for Summoning Shadows (Rosso Lussuria Book II, which comes out in August this year) and resuming my work on the fourth Kassandra Lyall book. Fun stuff.
I’m really happy to say that Bloody Claws made it as one of the ten finalists among the About.com Readers’ Choice Awards for 2012. To those of you that have taken the time to vote, THANK YOU! For those of you that haven't voted, but would like to, you can vote for it here (and can vote daily up till March 21st): Lesbian Readers' Choice Awards 2012
Of course, I’m not holding a gun to your head or anything like that, but any votes you guys cast my way are very much appreciated. I know awards are generally a big shindig in the author community (most of us want bragging rights, and hey, they’re nice), but to me, honestly, when you guys take the time to contact me personally and tell me how much you enjoyed the books… Well, that’s one of the greatest rewards of writing. I’m not shitting you. Like Kassandra, I have my totally sappy moments and there’s a few of you (you know who you are) that have seriously moved me to freaking tears. However, if that spreads vastly around the internet (that I’m a bit of a sap)… I will hunt you down. ;) Kapeesh?
Also, I wanted to share this really lovely open letter: Open Letter to Winter
And yes, that turned me into total mush! Huge thanks to Carol for taking the time to write it and for sharing it with me. :)
Mmm, and another tidbit of news – this month Bold Strokes released the paranormal anthology, Women of the Dark Streets. For those of you that need an Eris or Zaphara or paranormal fix in general, I encourage you to pick up a copy. There are several great stories in it. My short story, ‘Eris,’ takes place during the same timeline as Witch Wolf, only from Eris’ perspective. You can order a copy of the book here: Women of the Dark Streets
Now that my mp3 player has decided to play Sweet Fallen Angel (a song that’s lulling me to sleep - also by Inkubus Sukkubus), I’ll end the post here. I’m pretty sure the letters on my screen are trying to mate and make babies.
It’s a little unnerving…
February 22, 2012
I was thinking earlier about the whole femme and butch thing. Yeah, you know that thing. I’ve mentioned before that I identify as feminine. I don’t have a butch bone in my body.
But sometimes, I think I do.
No, seriously. I’ve given this some consideration when I started thinking earlier. Granted, it was only about two seconds worth of consideration, but I’ll give it more consideration in this blog. Warning: The phrase, “I was thinking,” or, “I started thinking,” is generally a hint that things are about to get messy. And there will probably be bouts of nonsensical humor ahead. There, can't say I didn't give you a heads-up!
Now, let’s go back to that, “Sometimes, I think I do.” Think is definitely the keyword.
My wife often jokes with me that I have an inner gay man. Okay, usually, he only comes out when I’m on the telephone (or when it comes to clothing). I keep trying to tell her, “Look, it’s just my courtesy voice.” You know, that voice you whip out when you’re trying to be nice and sweet and cheery with someone on the other line. Usually, this voice isn’t reserved for friends. It’s reserved for complete strangers. Like, when you’re calling about a job application and you’re trying to pry it out of someone if they’ve looked at your resume or not. You want something. You want the job. So, you whip out your, “I’m really a nice person, see how nice I’m being to you, won’t you be nice to me too?” voice.
My “nice” voice apparently sounds like a flaming Queen. But, I’m slipping away from my point here.
Back to the butch!
I had a rush of memories bombard me as soon as the thought popped into my head. They’re like fireworks, sometimes (thoughts, that is). Pretty, sparkly, but you don’t want to stand too close to them, or to me – ‘cause I’ll eventually snap out of my own little fog/thought bubble and inevitably seek to drag in the person closest to me, to share those thoughts with them, and then leave them changed forever, and at the worst, scarred for life.
I started remembering certain times throughout my childhood and then, a few occasions with my wife. Usually, when my wife’s fixing something I stand there watching and handing her whatever she needs. She’s not butch either, but she’s, well, a more competent woman around the house. For sure.
The other day we were cleaning when the vacuum started smelling funk. In my head (or in reality, I’m still not sure which) I was convinced I saw a plume of smoke (maybe it was just dust) shoot out the back of the vacuum. Now, I was holding it and making sure it didn’t savagely attack her (as it had earlier that day) while she was using the attachment on it to vacuum cat hair off our bedroom curtains. When I saw what I thought was smoke and smelled burning rubber, I was convinced the vacuum was going to burst into holy flames and come after my ass. For a moment, it took everything I had to control my impulse and not to run from the vacuum. However, I did not control the impulse to quickly and abruptly shut the vacuum off and exclaim to my wife, “Bec! It smells! I saw smoke! It’s burning!” The only thing I failed to add was, “It’s going to burst into flames and we’re going to be simultaneously incinerated!”
If I had to put the expression she gave me into an emoticon, it would be this one: -.-
“You had your foot on it when you were holding it, didn’t you?”
“The belt was spinning. That’s what you smelled. It’s fine. Just keep your foot off of it. Don’t put weight on it.”
I took a cautious step toward the vacuum.
“It still smells,” I said, eyeing it warily.
How could I not? The damn thing had turned on her just a few hours earlier. For all I knew, I was next on its shit list.
I’m ashamed to admit this, but in that moment, any trust that vacuum and I had ever established with one another had been broken in a matter of seconds.
I held the vacuum an arm’s length away, until I was certain it wasn’t going to go Christine on me.
So yeah, I have my terribly girly moments. I’m not always proud of them. BUT. Every now and then, I’ll get it into my head that I’m a strong, capable, independent, and unstoppable juggernaut of awesome lesbian flesh.
Like a few weeks ago, Bec and I installed magnetic catches on the cabinets under our bath (to prevent the cats from getting in under the tub). Whilst sitting on the floor, handing her screws and watching her mess with her Dremel tool…
I had one of those moments.
That little voice inside of my head clicked on and went, “Psst, hey! You can do that! You can totally do that! Go get it, girl!”
“Bec?” I asked.
“Can I drill a pilot hole?” (The fact that I had to Google ‘pilot hole,’ to make sure that I know what I’m talking about here should tell you something…)
Bec looked at me, considering (Murphy’s Law, probably). “I’ll let you do the last one, but not on the cabinet door. I can just see you going right through the wood.”
True to her word, she allowed me to do the last pilot hole and I didn’t botch anything. (I am woman. Rawr!). Of course, afterward, I started telling her how cool I thought it would be to use the Dremel to do artistic glass etching and admitted to her that I really wasn’t interested in the Dremel beyond that.
On the topic of tools, Bec loves Home Depot. I’m often left a tad confused and overwhelmed by it all. Once, when we went, we walked in and she breathed out a sigh and confessed, “Aah, I love Home Depot. Look! Drills! Oh!”
I stood by the shopping cart, looking around uncertainly, thinking the place smelled like tires, armpit sweat, and metal, while my wife flitted about the store in utter delight.
Surely, I could find something in Home Depot that interested me. The Garden section, perhaps?
I hung my head, feeling like a disappointment to lesbians everywhere while I pushed the shopping cart after a gleeful Bec.
And then, I looked up and right there, smack dab on the sign right in front of me read:
Aisle 9 (I honestly can’t remember what number it was, so we’ll just go with “9”).
“Bec!” I steered directly down the aisle. Bec looked around and immediately went, “Oh, geez.”
On one side of the aisle was nothing but spools upon spools of rope! Black rope, blue rope, red rope, green!
“Look!” I said and pointed at the sign above my head. “I found the TIE DOWN aisle!”
I made her wait while I browsed. Hey, if I ever wanted to take a genuine interest in Kinbaku, I knew where to get my ropes. (As obvious by this post, I did store that knowledge in the back of my mind, thank you).
While I was browsing and trying to figure out which rope I thought was the most pleasing (decidedly, the glossy black rope), I heard Bec exclaim joyously behind me, “Look, honey!”
I whipped around to face her.
She raised the item she’d picked up off the shelf and beamed at me. “A blow torch!”
And that’s essentially how she scared me out of the Tie Down aisle…
So, where does that leave me? Does giving Barbie and other dolls a butch hair-do count? When I was about three, my mother found me in my room with a pair of scissors (in her defense, I was sneaky). I’d chopped off my doll’s hair, and then some of my own golden locks.
But, that again could be blamed on my inner gay man. Hmm…
There was also the time when I was about three or four that I dropped trou and peed in the corner of the yard (I can still hear my mother screaming as she came flying out of the house when she caught sight of me squatting and already doing my thing – in my defense, I grew up with two older brothers. I blame them. Totally. If you’re reading this, shame on you!).
There were little things. I acted like a tomboy sometimes. I climbed trees. I wasn’t afraid of mud. I tried to dig up an old dead hamster with a spoon once (another moment my mother wasn’t very proud of). I brought home bugs I had caught (usually, Praying Mantis’ – I was utterly fascinated with them as a child). There was a time when I found a whole colony of Mantis’ and brought all the babies home. My mother flipped when they got out of the bug keeper and into the house. (Whoopsie!). I had a pet tarantula named ‘Fuzzy.’ I also used to bring home pet worms (I liked to pretend they were snakes, because I really wanted a snake as a kid and my mother wouldn’t let me have one). When one of my guy friends got a motorcycle styled bike, I wanted to trade him my pink and purple bike with training wheels. Of course, he wouldn’t trade with me.
Alas, I was just a kid, exploring her options.
And though I like to think I’ve got a butch bone in my body…
I know I’d make a terrible butch. I can’t fix shit. I can break it and wait for someone else to fix it, though. And, I failed to mention that when Bec got out her Dremel tool to do the magnetic catches on the cabinets, she had to “warm” me up to it. I’d stepped back warily from it just as I had with the evil vacuum. “It’s just a drill. Why are you scared?” I wasn’t really scared, but she had pointed the sucker at me to show it to me and well, she pointed it at me. If you didn’t learn anything about the vacuum story, I’m sometimes convinced inanimate objects are out to get me.
I’m femme. I leave my hair in the sink, on the carpet, and in the bed where it tangles around my toes. And though Bec has explained to me how to unclog my sink (when my hair builds up to the size of a small kitten in the pipes), I still don’t exactly understand what I have to do (with the catch or whatever it is) under the sink before shoving a hanger down the pipe to get the hair. She does the work while I stand by with paper towels and a flashlight.
Not because I can’t do it…
But because I’m a lazy damn femme…and the things that come out of my sink gross me out more than handling, thawing, and feeding our snakes dead mice.
In an effort to redeem myself, I’m somewhat domesticated (as domesticated as any author or artsy type gets, really). I can bake, I can clean, and though I take two hours to get ready to go do anything and I like to smell nice, I do it because I’m a lovable and lazy damn femme…that collects swords and daggers, knows how to tie a good knot, and how to shoot a gun.
There you have it.
December 16, 2011
It's that time again! Doing a giveaway of a signed copy of Bloody Claws. To enter the drawing, leave a comment (with your name) about your favorite character (from the Rosso Lussuria Vampire Novels or the Kassandra Lyall series)!
A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday.
Cheers and good luck!
December 13, 2011
I should be working more on the book but I’m finding myself highly distracted this evening. Or rather, I should say, this morning. I was reading through some old books last night and I got to thinking about femininity and what it means for a person or thing to be feminine. In the book I flipped through, the author kept making references about woman being nurturing, gentle, and inherently submissive. The aspects brought up were of qualities thought to be feminine and solely feminine; sweet, demure, naïve… Over and over, the theme repeated itself. Granted, it’s an old book…a book written when that line of thinking wasn’t uncommon. But it struck me as odd that the image seemingly clung to was, dare I say, almost demeaning to a woman’s beautiful inner strength.
I could never fully agree that the epitome of femininity is always soft, gentle, and that at its core it wants nothing more than to be bent or swayed by a stronger force. I don’t know many women that would. We’re more than an image and full of complexities, women and men alike. This idea of woman as something sweet and mild doesn’t sit well, it seems old-fashioned and obsolete. Sure, for some people it makes a cute picture. But cute is girlish and not necessarily womanly. And something opposite of that doesn’t make a thing less feminine. It’s just another aspect of it.
Fueled by this interesting and somewhat intriguing internal debate I had going with myself, I remembered something that had happened several years ago to me. I remembered some of the conversations I’d had with fellow pagans in the past. I’ve heard differing views from so many different pagans when it comes to sexuality. I’ve heard, “Complete homosexuality is unbalanced. You’re not honoring the Goddess AND God,” (Right, because in order to do that I have to do it through a purely physical act with someone of the opposite gender – I can’t just honor BOTH my own feminine and masculine qualities and honor them that way). I’ve also heard, “Perhaps you were a man in a past life,” or, “Maybe you were assaulted in a past life and that’s put you off men.”
I’ve heard and read so many varying things. There are those that think that homosexuality is something that comes into play when a soul is transitioning from female to male or male to female in the next life and that homosexuality is, essentially, practice for the next round.
I have no idea who scraped up that idea, but If I come back in the next life with a phallus, whoever runs this bitch and I are going to be having a serious talk -- I like the option of purchasing one, but it’s totally a non-committal sort of thing, thanks! (I had to throw a little lesbian humor in here somewhere, didn’t I?)
Some aspects of Buddhism also believe that homosexuality arises due to heterosexual indiscretions in a past life. If that’s the case, I’m assuming most of the people in this modern day and age will be coming back gay. Hah! And you were waiting for the apocalypse, weren’tcha!? (Why yes, I did just sprinkle that with sarcasm).
It seems people constantly need to find an answer (and sometimes any answer) to the question: “Why?”
A huge part of what makes us who we are is what we like and dislike. Yet, sometimes we have reasons for those likes and dislikes and other times, we don’t. There are times when it just is what it is, we feel what we feel, and we can’t pinpoint an exact reason or answer to, “Why?” I could tell you why I don’t like the things I dislike and I could tell you what I like about being a lesbian…(and no, it’s not the synchronized PMSing)…but does it always need to be picked apart to be understood? If you tear off the petals of a rose, don’t you risk losing sight of its whole?
Case in point -- let’s switch back to a conversation that started up at a pagan gathering and how I somehow found my sexuality the center of discussion.
One of the women in the group said to another, “I think she has masculine energy.” Yes, she was talking about me. I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself. I didn’t even know how to respond to that, as I’m obviously a woman and a feminine one at that. Though, I do believe we’re all a blend of feminine and masculine qualities. I just didn’t comprehend how this woman was pegging me as masculine.
Until I realized that because I’m gay, she made the assumption that my “energy,” was masculine.
Another woman at the table caught it too and said, “I think you’re confusing that just because she’s gay. She’s not masculine. She’s strongly feminine.”
As soon as the words left her mouth, they clicked rightly into place. Strongly feminine, I loved it! It put feminine and masculine into a whole new perspective for me. It built the feminine up to its strength, its potential, without tearing it down or making it something completely masculine.
Femininity and masculinity have their own particular flavors within an individual, I think. I don’t think either should be belittled and discredited. Just because a woman’s gay or she’s not always softly feminine, doesn’t make her any less feminine. That, to me, seems to discredit all the varying aspects of the feminine.
History and mythology are speckled with them, with a woman’s ability to have a sharp wit and her own particular brand of strength. Sometimes that strength is cunning, cutting and wise. Sometimes, it’s armored and willing to fight alongside men. Sometimes, it’s that softness and subtlety that leads men to war or the honeyed song that leads sailors to their demise. Sometimes, it’s self-sacrificing and compassionate, it’s nurturing and understanding. And sometimes, it’s fierce and unyielding, and a little rough around the edges.
When it comes down to it, it’s all woman. It’s all a part of the feminine.
In the words of Ani-fucking-Difranco, “I am thirty-two flavors and then some.”