Monday, May 31, 2010

The Ocean Is My Muse

The Ocean Is My Muse
The ocean is my muse
Her ripple tide rhythm
pulling the words out of my 
self, depositing them
on the sand of the page.
She pulls my honesty out,
trapping me in my self like a 
She pulls out my fear of the 
Other that is stronger than me.
My awe for power like a 
bow to a king or a queen
The fear of beheading for a
misspoken word
At the same time drawn closer,
flame moth, 
to the lovely terror,
the all-consuming, a power unto 
itself, no mercy or feelings or thoughts
for anything other than the growl of the 
waves, the purring rhythm, the
inevitable must-be.

Poseidon Threw Up on Me

Poseidon Threw Up On Me
My niece walked out of the water
Dribbling sand splattered on her
flat tan belly.
Poseidon threw up on me
she announces, grabbing a bucket and
running back into the waves.
I laugh with my sister at the
lovely light-eyed child's
faith in the trident king, in his
desire to spit his sand bile upon
her lovely tan form.
Maybe it's a mark of claim, as she
swims with star-grace through the
waves that delight her into a smile
across her lovely tan face.

A Whisper Roar

A Whisper Roar
It's not a sight
I miss
So much as a sound.
A whisper roar
back and forth.
Poseidon in his water nest
Smiling benignly on
the mortals in his waves.
Sea nymphs scatter in the face of
small fish with stick thin
legs and
sunburned skin.
Neptune keeps the sea in hand
gives the mortals reign
The trident once is set aside
to let the humans play.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Age-Old Dilemma - To Curse or Not To Curse

     Okay, so maybe it's not age-old, but it is a dilemma, at least for me.  I was discussing this issue with one of my best friends, Dorathea (, and I've decided to blog about it and put my thoughts out there.  I'd love to hear your opinions, no matter what side of the issue you stand on, because I'm not sure where I stand.

     Here's the issue: as an author writing mainstream works, who is also a Christian, I'm not entirely sure how to handle the issue of cursing in my story.  That may sound odd, but let me explain.  

     There are many Christians who would tell me (as my mother pretty much did) "How is that an issue?  Christians can't write curse words!"  There are Bible verses to back that up; the one that comes to mind has something to say about not letting any unwholesome thing come out of your mouth.  I can't remember the reference, but I've had it quoted to me (again by my mom, whom I have the greatest love and respect for, don't mistake me.  I want to be like my mother when I finish growing up) and I know it's in there, just don't ask me where.  There's also the verse about not doing anything to make another believer stumble, even if it's not a sin for you -- that's the one talking about eating meat sacrificed to idols.  These seem pretty clear, and maybe other Christians would look at me at this point and ask "What's the problem?  Christians shouldn't swear.  You shouldn't even write it.  End of story."

     Now, let me clarify something.  I am not talking about a story where every other word is a vulgar obscenity.  I believe that there is pretty much always a better, more intelligent way to express one's self than using a profanity every two seconds.  It's about vocabulary in my opinion, and if an author can't tell me something without having a curse word in the sentence, he or she needs a thesaurus.  Maybe that's harsh, maybe that's not accurate with the way some real people talk, but I think even when we're taking stories and characters straight from reality, there's something to be said for effective editing.  The point can still be made, the plot can still move, the character can still grow or reveal his or her worse nature, without having to use gratuitous swearing.  I don't believe an overabundance of adult language makes a story more realistic or more compelling.   

     All of that being said, I'm not offended by the occasional curse word in a novel.  As a Christian, should I be?  Maybe.  But in my opinion that means I would have to be offended by every person I meet who curses, and frankly I don't think I'm supposed to go around judging people like that.  I don't want to either.  It's a waste of my time, and it's a loss of great relationships with great people.  Am I supposed to ignore everyone who doesn't agree with me about everything?  No.  I know that people curse, I know it's reality, and characters are supposed to be realistic and believable.  I've cursed plenty of times in the past.  As a matter of fact, I've dropped the f-bomb in front of not only my mother but also several of her Christian friends.  Oops.  We're not perfect.  That's a reality.  Nobody is perfect, and neither are the characters in stories.  And depending on the characters being written, the genre, and all of that, there are times, I think, when a character is simply going to curse.  

     Here's the problem that I've run into as I'm writing my first novel.  I have written characters who would swear.  These are government assassins (sci-fi thriller set in 2172) and they're not exactly the most moral of people.  For the most part, I have skated around the words because I was so nervous about writing them.  I simply used things like "he swears" "I curse" etc.  It was working fine (I learned the trick from Dee Henderson's Truth Seeker -- a Christian character curses this way.  It surprised me, but it worked, and it's a technique I've borrowed.)  But a couple days ago, I was writing a scene towards the end of the story where my protagonist is beating up another character.  She's angry, crying, and feeling betrayed.  The most natural thing in the world would have been for her to call him a bastard.  But I stopped myself, went back to the generic cursing, and had to make myself get over the disappointment of not giving in to the emotional intensity of the moment.  Then, another scene came to mind yesterday, which is what started this whole discussion with my friend.  I visualize my scenes in my head, like I'm watching a movie, and then I write them down.  All of sudden yesterday, I could see and hear in my head one male character looking the female protagonist up and down and giving her an appreciative (she was in an evening gown) "Hot damn" with a lopsided smirk, making the protagonist blush red like an overripe strawberry.  It was the most natural thing in the world, and there's not a way to skirt around that without losing some of the effect.  I think it's funny, between these two characters it would be cute, and it would be perfect to throw into the sequel to this first novel.  And I really want to write it!  Knowing my characters like I do (I just admitted to hearing them in my head) this scene would be perfect for them.  But do I use the curse word or not?  Do I go back and edit the one scene in this first book and let my character have the emotional release not only of beating someone up but also of cursing at him?  

     I don't know yet.  I haven't figured out whether reality and believability will win out over my fear of offending anyone, and God would be included on that anyone list.  I'd love to hear your opinions.  To some people, words are just words, and we shouldn't assign these vulgar meanings to them.  To other people words have power and we should use them wisely.  Where do you fall on the spectrum of no cursing, not even a mention to cursing every other word?  Here are a couple of other authors' opinions (Dorathea, The Plot Point, has a comment at the end):  I'll keep you posted on what I decide for myself.

Where the Wind Blows

Where the Wind Blows
The big events 
are Craft Shows.
Quilts and handmade candles.
Glass blocks lit up with pictures.
Wooden crosses.
I watch the people strolling
through aisles and the
flowers and snowmen.
They greet each other in
Thick, slow Southern drawls.
There are many labels given:
All synonyms for
But I see something Different.
I see something genuine.
Honest and candid,
in the old ladies' hands
as they finger the quilts,
husbands trailing behind.
I see hearts uncorrupted by fast-paced concerns.
Servants' hands
ready with a casserole, hammer, or
Maybe I see in roses,
but I see a strength 
That will stand
through the fire.
Albeit accompanied
by a long banjo drawl.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Little Things

The Little Things
It's the little things.
Like buying flowers for 
an anniversary that
isn't yours.
Or crying in the car on
the way home from buying
a Valentine's card
When she's not your wife
But your mom.
Or getting ready for graduation
Or your wedding.
Thinking about raising your children
Without a grandfather.
It's hardest knowing
How much he would have loved it all.
It's the little things.
Like finding the perfect card 
Just laying on the shelf
When you've looked through all the rest
Like finding yellow roses
late at night
A promise that keeps me from
years of mistakes
That remind me heaven still watches
Love reaches through all things
Separation is only temporary
And the little things
just mark the days.


Updating my life

It's been an eventful few weeks, which is my way of explaining without groveling to apologize for the fact that I haven't posted in a few weeks.  I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  The final weeks of the semester took up a lot of my time.  It was all worth it.  All of the hard work, the late nights, the last minute writing sessions -- that includes writing an eleven page paper in six hours the day that it was due.  In one week I wrote a twelve and a thirteen page paper.  I wrote two three page papers in French (oui, deux) and read an entire book in French (okay, a children's book, but still!).  The best part of all of these final classes: I think the only book I actually read in its entirety was the French book.  I wrote papers and took essay exams having read nothing but Spark Notes, lecture notes, and using mostly class discussion points.  I read parts of the stories, (Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, Comus -- Milton class, The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, Parliament of Fowls -- Chaucer class) but I certainly didn't read them the whole way through.  Did I mention I wrote papers for these?  Now, granted, I read most of "The Knight's Tale" in a modern translation, and I had read most of Paradise Lost before, so I re-read the parts I needed for my paper.  It was the first semester that I've truly skated through, and I am still proud of myself.  I did make good grades, I just stopped killing myself to do it.  It was an amazing last semester.  Two great moments: singing Bon Jovi in Chaucer class (the whole class) and yes, it did fit with the story, and winning the prize for best Middle English reading of a Chaucer passage -- I won a book of Middle English romances.  I love Middle English romances.  I'd had this professor for four classes; he knows me well, especially since he taught my King Arthur class (dream class), and he picked it out just for me.  It was a great last semester, but I am so glad that school is done.  Especially since it has given me more time to focus on my...

     Novel!  Hooray!  Okay, so I didn't make my deadline of April 29th, but I do have permission to send queries to a couple of agents once it is complete.  I am so close to being finished.  "The end" is a tantalizing reality at this point.  I have been hand writing everything since my last word count of 40,000 words, so I don't know where I'm at right now as far as word count, but there are a lot of words in my notebook.  Actually, in my second notebook.  Yes, I had to start a new one!  That was an exciting milestone.  Never before have I used up an entire notebook.  I have probably a dozen journals and cute notebooks just laying around with only a few pages written in.  I'm something of a procrastinator (no really, read through my school paragraph again.  why do you think I didn't read all of the books?) and I'm very bad about starting projects without finishing them.  I have the best intentions in the world, I promise!  But I always let something get in the way and the next thing I know I'm left with a stack of project supplies and no completed product in sight.  To finish a notebook, and to be so close to finishing this novel, are huge accomplishments for me.  I'm very excited.  And apparently, I have to get busy and finish in the next few days.  A good friend of mine, and fellow author, Dorathea Maynard ( has been saying that I am going to beat her when it comes to finishing our novels.  Let the record show that I did not start this.  I was perfectly fine with letting it go, keeping it casual, and not turning this into anything competitive.  The next thing I know, she and I are having a Twittersation (conversation + Twitter = Twittersation), and I don't remember what she said, but I told her that she had just made it competitive.  So now, apparently, we're competing to see who can finish her novel first.  I would just like to say, I'm very close.  Very, very close.  As in, it's time for the climax, people.  That's how close I am.  I'm just saying.  

     Other updates: the blog has obviously been moved from my private domain here to Blogger.  I've been massively active on Twitter, and I love it.  I've been connecting with some amazing authors from around the world.  For instance, check out Nik Perring (  Thanks to Twitter, I found his book of short stories in the Amazon Kindle store, Not So Perfect.  I read the first short story, "Kiss" and fell in love with this book.  The other stories I've read so far are just as incredible.  They are in turns sweet and haunting, with a touch of the fantastic that just adds to their beauty.  I had to force myself to put the book down so I could finish all of the cleaning I had to do.  (If you want to check out the book, here's the Amazon link: )  I never would have found this book if it weren't for Twitter.  Such great networking fun over the past couple of days.  I love connecting with other writers and hearing about their own adventures in the writing process.

     The poetry that was on the blog has been moved to my website: so there's another quick update.  I'm probably going to keep my poetry there, but be on the lookout for short stories, samples from the novel, Slayer, and possibly an online series to be posted here at the blog.  Also coming soon, a discussion of the "get stupid" factor, and the revelation of a long-hidden opinion about something rather controversial (although it's not at all what you're thinking.  It's only controversial because it could cause controversy for me, and not even that much).  Now, I'm going to go eat some eggs.  C'est magnifique!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tiger Woods and Zumba

Originally published 2/19/2010 at
We didn't watch football in my house when I was growing up.  (All of my Oklahoma readers, go ahead and gasp in shock now.  OU was not our top priority, and our world did not revolve around the game schedule.  Actually, it's still nowhere close to being a priority for me.  Now my mom, on the other hand, now that she's back around all of her OU crazed family... well, some things just can't be helped.  I'm still praying over it.)  Every Sunday afternoon, as soon as my dad came home from playing his round of golf, the television was always on the Golf Channel.  I can't tell you anything about any other sport (I didn't know what a down was until last fall, and I'm still not sure I get it.  Couldn't explain it to you to save my life, but I was at least informed as to the nature of this "down" thing.), and I don't care about any other sport.  I can, however, tell you the nickname of every professional golfer who has a nickname.  Jack Nicklaus is the golden bear, Arnold Palmer is the king, Ben Crenshaw is gentle Ben, Byron Nelson's nickname is Lord Byron, and Sam Snead was slammin' Sammy Snead, Lee Trevino is the merry Mex and his fans are called Lee's fleas.  There are so many more, but I'm not going to list them all here.  But it's not just the players, it's the game itself.  I know what a birdie is, a par, a bogey, eagle, double bogey, triple bogey (that's a bad thing, just a by the way), and I understand the scoring, the clubs, all of it.  There are so many rules of etiquette.  You never walk across somebody's line on the green.  Absolutely never.  Whatever the worst thing is you can do in football -- of course, this isn't the greatest analogy because football doesn't really have rules of etiquette -- that's about the same as walking across somebody's line on the putting green.  It means that you've walked between their golf ball and the hole.  You know the teeny tiny little hole on the green that they're aiming for.  You know.  No, you probably don't, never mind.  I'm the only one.  This is why I don't talk about golf much in normal conversation.  (And for those of you out there saying that a conversation about golf is in and of itself is not normal: shut up.  And I mean that with the greatest love and respect and also a nice friendly slap on the cheek.)  But to get back on topic (or as close to one as I ever am on here) I grew up watching, playing, and loving golf.  My dad used to take my brother and me out to the golf course; we would drive the cart while he played.  He took us to the driving range.  These are a few of my favorite things, and I still miss them.  Now more than ever, actually, now that I'm actually letting myself think about them again.  But I digress.  Sort of.  All of this being said, here's a little piece of information: I've never been a Tiger Woods fan.  I was not raised to be a Tiger Woods fan, and here's the explanation.  My dad had a couple of problems with Tiger.  One, he cursed on the golf course sometimes (my mom really had a problem with this, which just added to my original not-so-positive impression of him as a child).  Golf is a gentlemen's sport, and the rules are: no cursing during the game.  Second, my father told me about a less than positive encounter one of his friends had with Tiger Woods when delivering a car to him.  My dad just didn't care for him, and as a young girl, of course, I agreed with Daddy.  And for the most part, I still do.  I think Tiger Woods has done a lot for the game of golf.  He's brought so much attention to the sport, and I think that's fantastic.  He is a very talented athlete and obviously has a gift for the game. (For all of you using the words "gross understatement" right now, hush.  I'm still typing.)  So, when the "incident" (I'm really not sure what to label it, and incident works as well as anything else, in my opinion.  And it's my blog, so it's all my opinion.  I think I like this thing.) happened last November, I wasn't exactly devastated, or disappointed, or affected in any way.  I didn't have any sort of fanship (I used it.  It's a word.) invested in him.  What I felt was extreme sympathy for his wife and children, and for him.  This family's personal drama was being splattered all over the world, for everyone to speculate over and discuss like it was somehow their business.  Which if you think about it is kind of what I'm doing.  What I want to talk about though (You didn't really believe there was a point to this, did you?  Ha!  I can always bring it back around.)  is Tiger's public statement today.  As the newscaster said, this was a very well-scripted statement.  Everything was carefully written (I listened carefully for any grammar errors, and was pleased not to hear any.) and delivered carefully as well.  My impression: the statement was carefully delivered because it was so personal, that if it wasn't controlled, it would have been too hard to get through.  Tiger was very personal in this statement.  Here are some of the things that impressed me.  He didn't tiptoe around the issue.  He came right out and said, I was wrong and I'm sorry.  But even more than admission of the mistake, his acceptance of the responsibility for what happened impressed me.  I don't like taking responsibility when I screw up.  Admission of guilt and picking up the pieces afterward are two things I absolutely hate.  I don't like to be wrong, I hate admitting that I'm wrong, and I hate trying to fix things after I mess them up.  Tiger stood up there and said, it's my fault.  I did this.  He did this on national news.  Millions of people watching.  I have to applaud that sort of courage.  Courage isn't just being brave and macho, in my mind.  Courage is the willingness to admit that you're not perfect, and you need help, the desire to try and make things right.  The Golf Channel commentator said something very important after Tiger spoke: We're not perfect.  And here's the kicker, for me.  How would I feel if I was in his place?  If I had to do what he did today?  I am not without sin and I'm not going to throw a stone.  Another important thing the commentator said: he's a private citizen.  The public isn't paying his wages, and doesn't really owe any of us anything.  He didn't have to do this today.  And the commentator's right, he didn't.  The fact that he did, to me says a lot about his character and desire to make things right.  The entire statement impressed me, including his fierce protection of his family, of his wife's reputation and his children's privacy and safety.  I didn't even know that he was making a statement today, it's just what came on when Regis & Kelly was over.  I didn't know what to expect, but I can tell you I was not prepared to be impressed.  I was slightly cynical when I started watching, thinking about some of the reasons my dad gave me for why he didn't really like Tiger.  But as he spoke, my opinion almost immediately changed.  I may not have been a fan before, and he's still not necessarily my favorite golfer (I've always been an Ernie Els fan, myself.) but I was a fan today.  It's always interesting to me when the golf world grabs people's attention, because I've had such a personal investment in it since I was a little girl.  It's been a strange, sad story to follow since last November, but I'd like to think that maybe the world can move beyond this and pay attention to Tiger and the game of golf for the right reasons.  Let's focus on the game, and the skill, and the almost courtly nature of the game -- that etiquette and respect that is so necessary to making this sport worth watching.  I never sit down to write this blog and actually write about what I thought I would.  I was supposed to talk about my first Zumba class in this post.  Instead I'm talking about Tiger Woods, and golf, and how much I love the game and my memories of sharing golf with my dad.  But I guess as long as I'm still sitting here typing I can talk about that too.  It is my blog after all.  ;)
     Last night I went to my first Zumba class.  I didn't really know what to expect, and because of my latest back muscle drama (which is still going on) I was a little worried about whether or not I could do the class at all.  I've taken aerobics classes before, as well as yoga and pilates, and I've done some workouts with belly dancing DVDs.  Thank goodness, otherwise I might not have been able to keep up.  Some of the moves in the Zumba class were fairly familiar -- grapevine, repeater knees a couple of times, and a couple of others -- but there were others that were completely new to me.  I would just like to say that it should not be that much fun to shake your booty or do the shimmy.  But in fact, it was, even though it's not like I have the firmest butt around that would look good while I'm doing all of these hip moves.  Was that too much information?  You should have been at the class with me last night.  That's too much information about  people and their derriéres (I need ketchup on these eggs).  All joking about the posterior area aside, though, I don't think I've ever had that much fun exercising before.  I'm not exactly the most graceful person in the world, but I have just learned a little bit of ballroom dancing and really enjoyed it, even if I wasn't exactly the belle of the ball.  I think part of the reason I feel awkward is because I'm not completely toned and firm and perfect, or at least what the magazines say is perfect, and so I feel funny when I'm trying all of these sexy Latin dance moves and know that it's probably not what a lot of people would call attractive.  I've heard different opinions on my weight, anywhere from I've got gorgeous curves to if I could just lose the weight I'd be beating the boys off with a stick (thanks for that one by the way).  Most of the time, I'm fairly okay with my body image, but I definitely want to be healthy and take care of myself, and I really would like to lose the weight and not have to work so hard at buying cute clothes.  Hence, the Zumba class.  And as awkward as I would normally feel in that situation, and as awkward as some of it was, at the same time, I'd never felt quite I allowed to use the word sexy here?  As weird as that sounds, it's true.  My image of myself as we danced and shimmied and shook started to change as the class continued.  I got used to what we were doing, started mastering some of the moves, and the next thing I knew I was really getting into it and feeling like I was a sexy dancer and that there wasn't anything unattractive about my body after all.  It was a pretty big ego boost and I have to say, I don't want to let that feeling go.  Zumba became one of my top priorities last night.  I'm lucky enough to have a gym that I can actually afford a pass to, and I get to go to Zumba class about twice a week now.  I think I'm going to try some yoga classes as well and get some stretching in for my muscles.  Oh, and you're probably wondering about why I keep mentioning pain and muscle problems.  Here's the big bad secret, that I've really only just started talking about recently.  I have fibromyalgia.  What is it?  It's basically the diagnosis they give you when there is no other explanation.  What does it mean?  It means that since I was fourteen I have had chronic aches and pains and muscle tension and tenderness.  If you poke me, tap me, squeeze my arm, anything like that -- you're hurting me.  And it really hurts.  I used to get laughed at when I was younger because people would poke me and I would tell them that it hurt and they would laugh and say no it didn't, it was just a poke.  For me, it's never just a poke.  It's instant pain, and then a growing ache that lasts for a few minutes after I've been touched.  My back and arms are the worst, and because of how tight my muscles are, even standing or bending over a task can turn painful very quickly.  Besides just the muscle problems, I also deal with horrible aches in my legs.  This flares up especially when I'm tired, but fatigue isn't necessarily a requirement.  It's just a horrible ache that nothing helps and it won't go away until it's ready.  Wednesday night is when I really messed up my back this time, and messed it up badly enough to have some small muscle spasms -- and it's been years since I've had spasms -- and all I did was sit in one position, upper body slightly turned to one side, and now I have a horrible, painful knot in my back that hasn't gone away yet.  That's what was worrying me about Zumba.  It was bad enough on Wednesday night that I was almost non-functioning because I could hardly move.  Fibromyalgia is my other big motivator with these Zumba classes.  There's not a cure, and the only medical treatments -- if you're not tired of pills, which I am -- have serious side effects that I don't want to deal with.  But exercise is supposed to really help with fibromyalgia.  I knew a lady once that had fibromyalgia and she said that even though she still had pain, if she didn't exercise she wouldn't have been able to move.  It looks like that's what my body is trying to do to me, and I'm not going to have it.  And what better way to try and help my body than by spending an hour in a sexy Latin dance aerobics class?  I can't think of one.  I think any treatment that involves improving my body image and making me feel attractive and sexy is a pretty good treatment.  We'll see how it goes.  It also gave me a couple of interesting ideas for the characters in my novel.  One question a friend had asked me was do your characters know how to dance?  And I thought about it and instantly knew that one of my characters could dance, and could dance well, in terms of ballroom dancing.  But I wasn't sure about my heroine.  It kept bothering me until the Zumba class, and then I got it.  She may not be a great ballroom dancer, but she definitely knows how to pull off some of these hip shaking salsa and cha cha moves.  So I've decided that this skill needs to be included in the novel.  There was already going to be some ballroom dancing, but after the Zumba class I've decided there's going to be a different style of dancing incorporated into the scene as well.  I'm excited about it.  I think you'll enjoy it.  I'm enjoying picturing it in my head.  :)  All right, I started this blog quite a while ago, and unfortunately I have to go and accomplish other things with my day.  Things like cleaning, actually drying out my hair (probably the reason I'm sitting here shivering as I write), and eat something for the first time today.  Maybe I'll have some eggs.

Oh and uh, one more thing...

Originally published 2/16/2010 at

Okay, this will probably be the only time I post twice in one night (of course, as Ms. Frizzle would say, "Never say never, class!"  And if you don't know who Ms. Frizzle is, hang your head in supreme sadness and a sense of profound deprivation.  Google it and make up for lost time.) but I had to share this song with you.  I just heard this song today, and absolutely fell in love with it.  The chorus of this song is the best summarization of my novel's main character that I have found thus far in music.  And that's with a playlist of 199 songs that I've put together of songs that inspire me and fit my characters.  Here it is, for your enjoyment.  Thank you, Eli Young Band.

Intrigued?  You should be.  I'm in love with my main character, and I think you're going to like her as well.  Now, remember, the verses aren't necessarily what applies to her, but the chorus is the heroine.  This song is also special to me because of my interest in King Arthur studies and medieval studies.  I love the reference to Queen Guinevere and the tragedy of Camelot that she inadvertently helped to instigate.  It's fantastic.  Go read Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur.  And soon, I'm going to tell you to go read my novel.  :)  Now, where'd I put my eggs?

An Explanation, and Other Random Thoughts, Including Twilight

Originally posted 2/16/2010 at
All right, what did I say I would explain in this blog?  Ah yes, the hand written thing.  My novel is hand written.  I write everything out by hand and then I type it into the computer.  That's all.  See you next time.

You're still here?
Oh.  Well, okay.  Good for you.  I'll see you later.
Vraiment?  Which is French for, really?  (Eggs?  Yes please, and pass the ketchup.)
Okay fine.  I'll explain.

I hand write all of my works.  All of my poems, every short story, my novel, and all of my academic papers go into one of several notebooks before they ever make it into the computer.  There's something very organic about the act of writing in pen, in a notebook.  It's... okay, never mind, the Verizon commercial spoofing Twilight/New Moon just came on and I lost all train of thought.  HILARIOUS!!!  Hold on, I'm going to YouTube this (how's that for verbing?) and see if I can't post a link for you to enjoy.
Okay I've got it!!  Oh my stars, I am so excited.  This is probably my favorite commercial ever.  For your enjoyment:

Ahahahahahahahahahaha-- *falls out of chair like Vizzini in The Princess Bride*  I love it!  Oh my stars.  So funny.  Now don't get me wrong, I can appreciate Twilight as much as the next fangirl.  When the movie first came out, I bought the books and read all four in four days.  I read Breaking Dawn in one day.  I enjoy the books, and the movies are fun as well.  When Twilight was still in theatres, I went to see it about once a week for something to do until I had seen it fourteen times.  Crazy, yes?  I know.  But it was fun.  I would go and see it by myself, and I had a lot of fun.  It was just a relaxing way to go and chill out for a couple of hours after school and work.  I would like to add that I have only seen New Moon once.  But I am always happy to laugh at the spoofs of the story, such as the one above.    Here's my clarification for all of this: the books and movies are great FOR WHAT THEY ARE.  They are teen romance books, they are not traditional vampire literature, they are not meant to be literature, and I will be the first person to stand up and say that they are only to be classified in the young adult category of literature and nothing else.  Now, I say this with absolutely no disrespect to Stephanie Meyer.  There's been a pretty significant overhaul in young adult books recently thanks to her (I used to work at Barnes & Noble, so I pay attention to what's on the shelves) and let's not forget the commencement of that new television series, what is it the Vampire Diaries or something like that (which, by the way, based off of another book series), and even the I <3 Vampires (the emoticon is part of their official title, I'm not an especial fan of the "less than three" emoticon, don't ask me why because I'm still not entirely sure why it aggravates my OCD) web series over at  And the argument always is (I've heard this said for Harry Potter as well) that at least the books get young people reading.  I have to agree, that's a great thing.  Now, here's another clarification for my enjoyment of the books and why I think they're fun whereas some people say that they're absolute crap: I read children's books anyway.  I do not enjoy many adult novels, and I'm not normally a fan of teen books either.  There's too much emotional drama, and not nearly enough imagination (as in, there's way too much reality for my taste) and I've had enough drama in that in my life.  When I sit down to read, I want an easy, relaxing escape from the ordinary.  As Dr. Seuss says, "I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient for living."  When I was younger, I started reading adult books at a fairly young age; Timothy Zahn's Star Wars novels became my favorites at age 12 (try talking about those in Book It).  As I've grown older, though, I've found that after being inundated with depressing, and often explicit (anybody else out there ever had to study Chaucer?  Or The Bluest Eye?  Then you know what I'm talking about) adult works to read and analyze in the course of my college education, I have reverted back to children's books as something of a return to innocence, an attempt to clear my mind and escape from the rest of the dreary grown-up world that I have to live in most of the time.  All of that being said, probably part of the reason that I enjoy Twilight is because I already love books written for a younger audience.  Some of my other favorites include (but are not limited to): The Secret GardenThe Mysterious Benedict SocietyA Series of Unfortunate Events, and Little Women (I include it here because I studied it in a young adult literature course) which I reread at least once every year.  Now this is not to say that I don't read grown-up books, but the ones I do pick out are more than a little off the wall.  Anthem by Ayn Rand, The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks, Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and pretty much anything Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie, have all made it onto my list of favorite books.  My novel is not a young adult book; it is definitely in the grown-up category, full of violence, adult themes of grief, emotional trauma, and romance (not explicit, but human relationships are full of complications that I love exploring).  My poetry is of a darker turn, I'm constantly analyzing themes of grief, inadequacy, fantasy versus reality, and the like.  Is it any wonder that I want something more lighthearted to read at the end of the day?  I think not.  Now, how did I get from the funny Twilight spoof to this?  I have no idea.  And I'm not reading back through to figure it out.  Hopefully you've been able to follow my train of thought, because I certainly haven't.  Sometimes this blog is funny (which I hope you've already found in some of my other entries) and sometimes it's going to be like this entry: slightly more insightful and serious.  Or at least serious.  I've already eaten my egg for the evening:
(doesn't it look yummy?  I actually flipped it over and finished frying it, because I'm not into the whole runny yolk thing just yet, but this was the shot that was already sized down to a convenient file size.  My next egg goal is to figure out how to poach one, like Julie Powell has to in Julie & Julia.  Great film by the way.  You should all go out and watch it.  "Lobster killer!") so now you should go have some.  Don't forget the ketchup.

Why can't there be two L's in all of these words?

Originally published 2/13/10 at

A good friend brought it to my attention today that in my hasty typing on one of my website pages, I had misspelled "traveling" as "travelling."  And it got me thinking about all of the other words I try and add extra l's to.  Jewelry is one.  Canceled is another.  And that got me thinking even further (it's a dangerous process), why can't there be two l's in all of these words?  Maybe the l's get lonely all by themselves.  Maybe they would like being paired off.  After all, depending on how a person writes his or her capital i's, they look just the same as l's.  It can be very confusing.  So maybe the l's would feel less like i's and more like l's if they were off in pairs.  It's just a thought.  And the whole time I was having this very interesting conversation with myself, for some reason, bananas kept running through my head.  I don't know why.  But they did.  At the moment, though, I have given up my orthographic queries and am blogging happily with Driving Miss Daisy playing on the tv.  I have never seen it before, and in my opinion, it's as good as French.  Yes, I'll take some eggs, thank you.  Pass the ketchup.  Excellent movie.  These characters are fantabulous.  I love them.  I admire the writing of movies like this, films that give you a glimpse into the ordinary happenings of life, that follow and explore people and relationships instead of relying on special effects and thrills to move a plot along.  I always try and keep the people more prominent than the world in my work; that's where the story lies.  Constructing the world of a story is important, but not as important -- in my opinion -- as development of characters.  Oh, sad, Miss Daisy is showing signs of Alzheimer's, she thinks she's late for school and is very upset.  Very sad.  That's the only bad part, for me, about realistic dramas like this.  Real life is sad, and when a film is written to reflect real life, the movie winds up being sad.  I won't lie, movies like this are often times my very favorites.  They have the best writing, the best characters, and the most emotional impact.  Films like that stay with you.  They are the films that win awards.  But while I love and admire films like Splendor in the GrassThe Wild OneThis Property is Condemned, and I classify The Dark Knight in this category as well, they are not the films that I watch over and over again.  My spirit can't take that much sadness.  Which sounds funny when you consider the tone of my work (you can check out my poetry entries for an example) but I still need a break from heavy things like that.  The movies that I watch over and over and over again -- until I'm so familiar with them that I can turn them on at night to fall asleep to -- are the romantic comedies and animated films.  Movies that I can trust to have a satisfying ending and leave me relaxed and happy, instead of sad and depressed, albeit impressed.  Aw, Morgan Freeman is feeding Jessica Tandy her Thanksgiving pie!  It's so sweet.  This really is a good movie.  Okay, it didn't end with her dying, which I was afraid it would.  So maybe someday this could become a fall asleep to movie.  Although every time I hear the soundtrack it makes me think of The Holiday and the scene where Jack Black sings the melody to Kate Winslet in the Blockbuster store.  That's a fall asleep to movie.  My mother has just recommended Fried Green Tomatoes to me, also with Jessica Tandy.  Maybe I'll have to rent it on Netflix.  I still have The Prestige checked out from them, I need to watch it and send it back in so that I can get the next film on my list.  You would think considering the movie has Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, I would have had more of a fire under my butt about watching it.  Here's a thought, maybe I'll go put it in the DVD player and start watching it before I go to bed.  Or I could work on my novel some more.  Here's a quick update: 30,510 words.  I'm excited.  Everything handwritten has been typed into the computer.  It's time for some new stuff.  I'll explain about the handwriting in the next blog.  This isn't exactly the blog I was planning to write -- films weren't on my mind earlier in the day when I was thinking about this -- but I've enjoyed it.  Maybe you have too.  Pass the eggs.

Allow me to introduce myself...

My name is Hadassah Fey.  Actually, it's not, that's my pen name, but the point of a pen name is that I don't tell you my real name, so for all intents and purposes my name is Hadassah Fey.  I am a poet, an author, a dreamer, and slightly touched.  According to some.  You use the phrase "real faeries" one time in everyday conversation and you're labeled for life.  Welcome to my blog!  My journey as an aspiring novelist has begun.  The plan is to have Slayer (that's the title of my novel) finished by April 29th.  And then I will begin on the sequel.  And there's a sequel after that.  And a prequel before that.  Don't think about the space/time continuum ramifications of that temporal sentence structure.  (Somewhere out there a fellow Trekkie got that joke.  Even if they didn't laugh, they understood it.  It always comforts me to think that somewhere out there there's somebody else who thinks the way I do.  It's probably not true, but the thought comforts me nonetheless.)  In the meantime, I will be sharing samples of my poetry via this blog, and probably samples of Slayer as it nears completion and makes it through a couple of editing phases.  Or maybe I'll share some of it with you before I edit.  We'll see.  I'm hoping to post about a poem a week right now.  I'll do some blogging about my thoughts in general as I work through the novel; sometimes I have random thoughts about characters and characterization, or I'll talk about the writing process itself and what I'm learning as I work on my first novel.  Or I'll talk about eggs.  And my French class.  Don't ask me why the two go together; they just do.  When you ask Parlez-vous français? the answer is always, Eggs, yes please, and pass the ketchup.  Also, I think I'll share one or two of my short stories with you. Maybe you'll enjoy them.  It won't take you long to realize what my favorite genre of writing is.  For now, I'll start out fairly simple, and I'll do my best to keep you interested as you join me on this crazy ride.  Be prepared for unexpected things.  I'm more than a little odd, and it's not hard to pick up on that in my work.  Actually, you've probably already picked up on it.  Like my obsession with French.  And eggs.  Faerie tales are important to me too.  If you like what you read, feel free to tell me.  If you don't like what you read, feel free to keep it to yourself unless you can say it in a way that won't make me track you down so I can sob brokenhearted on your shoulder.  (Quite the incentive to  offer truly constructive criticism, isn't it?  I'm not a pretty crier, believe me.)  On that damp note, allow me to offer a slight pick me up.  I'll go eat some eggs.  That will pick me up.  I don't know what you're going to do.  In all seriousness, I respond well to constructive criticism.  I want my work to be the best that it can be.  (No this is not the poetry Army commercial.  Wait, that would be "all" not "best."  Well, the joke's out there, and I have a feeling you got it anyway.)  Don't forget to be my fan on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my channel on YouTube (Well, nothing's up there yet, but you can always subscribe.).  If you found my blog through my website then you know that the links to all of those places are in the links section of my website.  If you didn't find my blog through my website then you now have a link to my website so that you can access all of the other links.  Which is basically my way of saying that I am too tired and having too much leg pain (I'll blog about that at a later time) to bother with putting up the links to the other pages.  Like it all so far?  Spread the word.  Don't like it all so far?  Spread the word anyway.  Remember, I'll come crying to you sans Kleenex.  Was that a touch of French there?  Eggs, yes please, and pass the ketchup.