The Faces We Deserve

Her head flopped forward as I worked to get her face up and level with mine. I got a hold of her chin in one hand and the base of her skull in the other and pulled her face level with mine. I had no choice but to let her torso hang from her neck and hope I wasn’t doing any damage.

The angle was awkward, but I was pleased with the results. Turning her head and mine this way and that, I checking to make sure I captured her high cheekbones, button nose, and full lips perfectly. I double, and triple checked I hadn’t messed up the hairline, the eyes, or missed a stray freckle. If even an eyebrow hair were out of place, I might be found out.

Oh yeah, this was my best work yet. I’d created a pair of perfect twins. I turned her face to mine, smiled and kissed each of her cheeks. I was just so excited. I practically glowed imagining the look of terror on her face when looked in this same mirror and realized she was now what she despised most.

The clock ticked away another minute, time to get back to it. I did the math and tried to relax. I was good; she’d be out for a long while yet. No rush. No rush.

I dug the photos I need from my bag. I looked them all over and took in each one. I let myself feel the familiar hatred at seeing my own face staring back at me. I took in every pimple, stray chin and unibrow hair, and crooked tooth. I lingered in it and felt happy to know this would be the last day would feel this way. I could have been happy if only she’d let me.

I hung each one carefully where I could see it while I worked. I laughed to myself remembering how at first I thought I’d only kill her and dump her in a river, or leave her for the scavengers and beetles. I’d even thought about scattering pieces of her across a desert somewhere but what kind of revenge would that be? Not a very good one. Not a satisfying one, that’s for sure.

No, best to turn the tables, yes?

I took one last look in the mirror. No turning back now. We’d each be getting a new face today and, finally, everything we each deserved for the rest of our lives.

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So yeah, I have a newsletter :)

Featured image by en:User:Btichoen:Image:Disinserting the muscle.JPG, personal image, Public Domain, Link

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If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Halloween Season!

Hello, hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a little coffee and conversation. Don’t worry, I’m feeling much better than last week, no more coughing, no more sniffling, and a lot less negativity. I’m a little tired and off to a slow start today, not to mention I’m a little bummed about having to go back to work tomorrow after having a long and lovely four-day weekend.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I, like most Americans, did watch last week’s Presidential Debate and also like most Americans, thought, what in the fuck?

I think I’ve made it pretty obvious around here, but just in case I haven’t let me be clear, while I do not think Hillary Clinton is perfect, I do not think she will be the worst President this country has ever had. Actually, I think she will do a pretty good job. She does have a history of getting shit done, you know?

On the other hand, I do in fact think that Trump will be the worst President this country has ever had. He’s a liar, a misogynist, and I don’t think he takes the job seriously. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would support him.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for better or for worse I can’t wait for this election to be over.  Oh, of course, I am worried about the results, but I am looking forward to the relief of it all being over too. I look forward to less hatred and lies filling every social media feed. I look forward to being able to talk with friends and family without worrying about their political views. I look forward to this country getting on with the business of helping it citizens live happy and healthy lives.

Just remember that can only happen if you register to vote, and then vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th. Thank you.

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If we were having coffee, I would laugh off that rant and jump right into telling you about all the ways I am going to fail at NaNoWriMo.  I can’t believe I thought this was a good idea. I have one month, minus these past two days where I wasn’t productive at all, to plan a book. A whole book!

I did work a little last week, getting together a very vague idea of what this book is going to be about. This week I plan to do a little world building, learn more about my characters, and outline the beginning. I am also working around the clock to pull ideas and inspiration from every source I can get my hands on.

I’m pursuing articles on The Better Novel Project and Write on Sisters for now, but if you know any other sources of writing how-to, I’d love to hear about them.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this season isn’t all anger and anxiety, it’s also Halloween season! Yes, dear readers, it is the most wonderful time of the year, time to get spooky!

Last week we saw the strange and wonderful slasher movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and last night attended a Beetlejuice movie party, both at the Alamo Drafthouse of course. I considered their Nightmare on Elm Street seven movie marathon, but let’s be honest, a lot of those movies were crap, right?

At home, I’ve already watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the surprisingly scary At the Devil’s Door, not to mention the very creepy current season of American Horror Story. I’ll, of course, watch all my other favorites too, The Shining, Carrie, and The Witch just to name a few. I’m still looking for a party to attend for Halloween weekend, though.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. There is a ton of housework to do, and I’d like to get it done before some of my shows tonight. Westworld is premiering on HBO, and if it’s half as good as this teaser trailer makes me think it is, I’m going to love it.

So yeah, I hope you had a great weekend. Enjoy what’s left of your freedom, the work week is only hours away, bleck! If you have a moment I’d love if you stopped by the comments and say hi. I love hearing from you all and I’ll be around to chit-chat while I clean and fold laundry.

Until next time :)

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Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Halloween and Happy NaBloPoMo Everyone

Good morning friends, and happy Sunday. I am so happy to see you this morning! I am in need of some good conversation and a good strong cup of coffee. I am tired from a late, but calm, Halloween night, and sad that my favorite time of the year has come to an end. It’s November now which means preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two most stressful holidays of all. Ugh!

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that my Fall Break wasn’t spent exactly as I had hoped. On Monday and Tuesday I did some writing but nothing I liked. I planned to keep at it but my plans for the week changed, starting on Wednesday, when I got invited to birthday dinner with some old friends. I spent much of that day buying gifts and a new outfit to wear.

Then on Thursday and Friday my girlfriend took off work to spend time some time with me. We spent the time being completely lazy. We watched movies, drank, and slept a lot, our favorite activities when we are staying in. I don’t regret it at all but I know it will be awhile before I can take this much time off of work again.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I didn’t make much progress on a story but I did get a rough draft of a poem written for the Rising Phoenix Review, a “monthly online zine dedicated to publishing poetry focused on the working class and other marginalized groups”.

I found them on Tumblr awhile back after searching for “call for submissions”. I liked what they were doing and what they stand for and so have been planning to submit work to them for the past couple of months. I haven’t yet because I wanted to really get an idea of what they were looking for first. I also wanted to give myself time to write something a little different.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that, on a less serious writing note, I am having a lot of fun working with “found poetry“. I think found poetry appeals to me because I love collage art and this is the literary version of that art. I like the quiet focus it takes to scour the page looking for good phrases to use. I like the care and precision required for using an exact-o knife to cut out the words. I like sliding the cut outs over the desk trying this phrase with that and finding meaning in words that meant something completely different before.

I have a ton of material to work with since I’ve been a magazine hoarder my entire life. I feel like a good magazine is just like a good book, you don’t want to throw it way after you are done, you want to keep it and possibly read it again. I tend to buy a lot of philosophy and science type magazines so the articles make me think. They leave an impression on me and have even influenced the kind of writer I want to be. But the piles are getting out of hand, so I’m purging by reading them and making little poems out of as many articles as I can.

This coming week I want to try using my science magazines and see what I can come up with.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that this Halloween was a fun but we kept it pretty tame this year. Most years I am looking for a crazy party to go to but this year I wanted to be somewhere that felt safer. You never know what will happen at big parties and I have gotten too old to not worry about things like that anymore. So this year we spent the evening at our favorite movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse, and we saw one of the funniest musicals ever, Little Shop of Horrors.

At the last-minute, literally on Halloween morning we made the decision to dress up as Seymour, me, and Audrey, my girlfriend, and we made simple little Audrey II for me to carry around. As part of the special screening we got free s’mores and a mudslide, plus balloons, poppers, and a “smell-along” scratch and sniff card. It was so much fun!

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had hoped this to be participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this year but unfortunately I do not have good book idea ready yet. So instead I will be participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, the blogging alternative. I’m preparing for the prompts, picking and choosing which ones I like and which ones I want to supplement with something else, like The Daily Post prompts.

Next year I will definitely be doing NaNoWriMo though. I knew this year I might not since I had only just started writing and hadn’t done much fiction writing at all. One of my biggest goals for next year is to start writing short stories and work on a book idea. I do have one or two but I’m not sure how to tell them yet and one of them I’d really like to make into a graphic novel instead…There really should be a graphic novel version of NaNoWriMo…just saying.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better get going. This past week we were very lazy about the house work and I have a ton of cleaning and shopping to do. I hope you all had a good weekend and a fun Halloween. Update me in the comments and enjoy the rest of your Sunday because Monday is coming up fast!

Original image by Julius Schorzman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If We Were Having Coffee // Halloween Plans, Old Friends, and More Good News

Good morning friends! I am so glad you were able to stop by for some coffee and conversation. If you don’t mind I may add a mimosa or a bloody mary to the order, along with a bit of breakfast. I figure since I have a ton to tell you we might as well make this a full on brunch date, yes?

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that we have finally settled on our Halloween plans, we are going to spend the evening at our very favorite theater, the Alamo Drafthouse, for a special screening of one of my favorite films, Little Shop of Horrors, the 1986 version. If you didn’t know, Little Shop of Horrors is a musical about a nerdy florist who is trying to find love while caring for a large plant that talks and eats humans.

I’m pretty excited for this. I love the movie of course and The Alamo promises to have “a photobooth, props, special snacks, cocktails and other tricks and treats!”. The only question now is do we dress up or not?

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have finally finished Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and despite my earlier post on the subject I found that I did like the book after all. In case you missed it last Wednesday I wrote a post about identifying with Mark Twain’s hatred of Austen and all her books. While reading the book I felt like all her characters were dull and I was suffocating from all their goodness and privilege.

But Twain guessed right when he wondered if Austen’s goal was to get you to hate all her characters until the middle of the book. On examining the back half I found that a lot of refreshing things did happen after all and I couldn’t put it down for two days. I liked the ending especially, it was happy and left me satisfied. I have two more of Austen’s books to read but I think I will take a break for a bit and read Little Women by Lousia May Alcott instead.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that this weekend I got to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in a long time while celebrating the love and marriage of two men we just adore. The couple was married a while ago, almost immediately after the Supreme Court ruling on gay-marriage last June. They did it quickly and quietly at the courthouse but decided to throw a nice party for us all to celebrate last night.

Two of my friends who I haven’t seen in a long while showed up and I don’t think I realized how much I missed them until they were there in front of me. I have resolved that after this weekend I will try harder to see them.

It’s been hard because we all three live such different lives. One has two kids and is a single mother, the other has joined the air force, and I am always working and writing. It’s hard to find time to go out where one or two of us isn’t busy with life’s demands but I do miss them so.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I once again have a little blogging victory to celebrate. Before I got Freshly Pressed I had just hit 500 followers. Afterwards I made another goal, I wanted to hit 750 followers by the end of the year. I hit that within a few days. So then I wanted to hit 1000 followers by the end of the year. I hit that yesterday. So now I am trying for 1500.

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I cannot tell you how amazing this is for me. Back when I first started I never thought I’d make it to 100 followers. I don’t know how I got 1000. I only know that I am grateful, excited, and motivated by the feedback I have gotten. I’m also a little overwhelmed by it too. I feel a bit self-conscious knowing there are so many more of you seeing me here.

So, once again I would like to welcome all my new followers. I am happy you all have found me and I encourage you to let me know what you think about my little blog. I like hearing from my readers and even if I get busy and can’t reply I do read every comment I get. I promise to always reply eventually.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that the food and drink has made me realize that I am tired. I was out late last night and and I don’t recover as well as I used to. I think I’d better get home and get a nap in before I have to start the cleaning, and the grocery shopping, and all the other sad chores that must be done in preparation for the weekend to end.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you’ll let me know either way in the comments :)

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Short and Sweet Reviews // The Shining

This is honestly my favorite horror movie. I think The Shining is what a horror movie ought to be. The plot is a simple one, a man and his family agree to care for a creepy old hotel during the off-season. Only the hotel turns out to have a mind of its own, and very different, and very violent, plans for everyone involved.

What sets The Shining apart is that it doesn’t rely on the gimmicks of current horror films. This isn’t a film that uses monsters jumping out or loud noises to scare you. Instead, Kubrick forces you into a feeling of impending doom throughout the entire film. The score is ominous and the events unfold agonizingly slow. You know some very bad, very disturbing, things are going to happen here.

Few films can accomplish this feat and of them I believe The Shining does it the best. Every time I watch it I am on the edge of my seat, no matter how many times I have seen it before. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are missing out on a major piece of horror film history.

I can’t leave you without mentioning that this movie is based on a novel by Stephen King, but it differs in major aspects. In fact, King hated Kubrick’s telling of his story. I do recommend you read book as well. It’s different enough to be worth the read, and I would even argue, it’s a better telling of the story.

If We Were Having Coffee // Sick and Tired but Highly Optimistic

Good morning, or I should say good afternoon, I think I might be a little late for our weekly coffee date? I apologize, I’m feeling a little under the weather today, I’m feeling extremely tired. I think I’ll also apologize in advance for cutting our time short, I can barely keep my eyes open :(

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am afraid I have finally begun to catch whatever it is that gave my lady the cough she’s had for the last couple of weeks. It’s either that or I am just exhausted from not sleeping well. At night she coughs more, and she snores more too, so I am constantly woken up by her sick sounds until she feels so bad that goes and sleeps on the couch.

She does it so that I can sleep, but I don’t sleep well without her either.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I was happy to have started drawing again last week but I didn’t get much more art time in the rest of the week. Work is still busy and chaotic and I as I said I have been tired. I didn’t get much reading or writing done either. I have been so frustrated by this I find myself really resenting my job and fantasizing about a life that consists of nothing more than reading, writing, and art. I think it’s unfair that I cannot fill all the hours of the day in pursuit of creativity and wisdom.

Anyway, I feel a bit disappointed in myself for that but I have a plan! I am in the process of getting my shit together and getting organized. I am simplifying my editorial calendar, and scheduling more of my social media activities. then adding time for art and reading. I am hopeful that slowly but surely I will be able to find more time for all the things I love to do.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that one of the reasons I need to get more organized is because I have a few blogging things coming up. This month I will be doing another Blogging U. course from the Daily Post, Writing 101. I like doing these blogging courses, they are nice change from my usual writing routine and they can be quite motivating. Plus I meet all kinds of new bloggers who are participating too. It’s fun!

After that I’m going to be doing little reviews of my favorite horror films throughout the month of October. I hope to do 31 total reviews but I have to start writing and watching movies NOW! I’m calling it The Halloween Horror Movie Fest! Or something like that. If I can’t watch that many movies I’ll at lest try to do five a week or so. The reviews will be very short because I suck at writing reviews but I hope do well enough to get you interested in my favorite movie genre.

I’ve also signed up for a new streaming service specifically for horror movies, Shudder.tv. If you like scary movies you should check it out!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better get going. I would love to sit her all day and talk and talk but I have to get some house work done before I fall over and sleep the rest of the day away. I hope you are well. I hope this past week was a good one and I hope the upcoming one will be even better.

Please let me know how you are and what you are up to in the comments. I do love hearing from you :)

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If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it has been a very good week!The schools were on fall break which meant I was technically off of work. I ended up going in Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday though to help out and make a little extra money. Me and my lady decided to take off Thursday and Friday together. We wanted to spend some quality time together. It was only two days but it was very nice.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am bummed to see October go. Halloween is my favorite holiday and this years was the best one ever! We went to haunted houses, watched all my favorite scary movies, carved pumpkins, and went to an awesome party! We went as a lion and a lion tamer, which was our second choice for a costume. Our first idea was to go as “Edgar Allen Hoe” and “A Pimp Named Raven”. Maybe next year.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I was very surprised and happy to hear from my friend Brittney yesterday. Brittney joined the Air Force some time ago and has been in basic training. I haven’t heard from her in what feels like forever and yesterday she text me! She finally graduated and now we can talk for awhile again, before the military takes her phone again. She wants me to write her more letters. She knows I had been trying to write more but she left before I could really get into it. I think she just wants to read something by me. It makes me feel good that she went off to join the military and travel and have all kinds of great experiences but she still thinks of me.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have to cut this short because today is family day. One a week my family gets together for a few hours to catch up with each other and eat a good meal. I’m super tired today and not sure I’m in the mood to go but I try to remember that most families don’t (or can’t) get together the way my family can so I had better go. It’s nice that we do it and it’s important to show up and let my family know I care.

And so I’m off. I hope you all had a good week too. I’d love to hear about it in the comments, or if you write your own post let me know and I’ll check it out. :)

Being Random is Potato

I couldn’t think of anything to write about today so here are a few random things just floating around in my head.

1. Washing my bowls.

A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.

I read this quote before but I ran across it again this morning and I can’t stop thinking about it. Wash my bowl, wash my bowl, wash my bowl. I think it means to complete each task slowly and deliberately before moving on to the next thing. It reminds me of another quote I read a couple of days ago:

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”
Alan Wilson Watts

I’ve been thinking about this one a lot too. I think the point of this one is that Zen is about being present in whatever you are doing. You can find spirituality doing just doing what the things you need to do and enjoying it. My mind is trying to combine the two ideas and put them into practice. Something like, do what needs to be done, do it slowly and deliberately until it is done, all the while being mindful and present. Enlightenment!

2. Black holes do not exist!!!!

Ever since I was a kid everything about space has fascinated me. I was always most fascinated by black holes. This morning a story popped up on my Facebook feed claiming that researchers have done the math and black holes do not exist. The article blew my mind! I don’t even know how to process this information. Sigh, this is worse then in 2005 when scientists demoted Pluto to “dwarf planet”.

3. Halloween is coming!

Halloween is easily my favorite holiday. It wasn’t always my favorite, not even when I was a kid. Trick-or-treating out in the cold seemed stupid, my costumes were always crappy, and I don’t even like candy all that much. Now that I am an adult though, IT IS AWESOME. I love scary movies, dressing up, and going to parties. I love all of it and this year I am hoping to attend some portion of the Mile High Horror Film Festival! It is being held at my new favorite movie theater the Alamo Drafthouse. If you live in, or around, the Denver, CO area I encourage you to check it out. They do a lot of events there and I plan on attending many more.

So that’s what’s in my head today. Hopefully tomorrow I can pull it together and write a real post. As always, thanks for reading :)