Letting Go

I’ve had an epiphantic weekend.

(I know that’s not a word but it should be.)

For example, I sometimes feel like the Past is unfairly vilified. There are so many memes spouting to “not let your past define you” and “you can’t look forward if you’re still looking back” and “blah blah fucking blah blah”. While I don’t deny that these sentiments are in fact correct, I feel like sometimes we can’t go forward until we do look back and see how much that past defined us. It just sucks because it’s never a simple analysis with an obvious answer and the time that we take to get the message into our thick heads is indeed time taken away from the move forward. And it just sometimes happens that the moment when our eyes are blurry from a combination of sweat and tears, when we blink furiously and only see the bottom of the toilet for a brief moment until the sweaty tears drop from our chin and shatter the water surface in jagged circles, that we see the clearest.

At about 3 am last Sunday I began throwing up more violently than I had thrown up in years. I initially chalked it up to food poisoning but even as I heard myself reciting that reason the next morning when I called my office manager to explain why I wouldn’t be in work I knew that bad food wasn’t to blame. I was to blame. Myself and my psychotic need to not only do everything myself but to do it and understand it perfectly…to stand in the middle of a furiously rushing river, holding on to broken tree branch because fuck you river, I am not finished analyzing what is on the bank right there yet.

On the most basic level I was overexhausted from staying awake at all hours due to frustration over this migration. While I managed to do the migration, I did it without fully understanding the internet protocol and how it actually worked. Do I really need to know the ins and outs of IPS? Probably not because I sure as hell am never doing a migration again, but it still pissed me off that I had to just accept that something worked the way that it did because that’s how it does. (And in a related note I was really fucking pissed that I couldn’t get the feed to work for blogger reader. I think I might have fixed it but I won’t know until I publish this.)

humans fuck up, letting go

I bitched about memes and then made one. GO HYPOCRITICAL ME!

On the deeper level though, I realized that the reason I was so stressed about having this site be perfect is because *deep breath* I’m insecure about my writing. All writers are insecure, and I’ve even admitted as much before, but I didn’t realize just how much until I had made myself sick over it. It was on my third day of lying on the couch in a fevered and dehydrated state was that it dawned on me that I was putting a shit-ton of work into my site because I felt like my writing alone wasn’t good enough to stand on its own. I felt like I needed a massive platform to tempt an agent into trying to market my novels and that my Alexa rating would be the thing to sell me instead of my ability. I know now that I can’t think like that anymore. I’m sure that I’m still making grave webmaster errors but I have to accept that they don’t matter.

This entry is so disjointed since you’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with that spew in the beginning about the past and analysis and shit, but what else I realized is that I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and, much like my irrational need to understand the mechanics of internet protocol, I’ve spent time analyzing those mistakes to ensure that I don’t repeat them and have wasted attention where it’s not needed. They were just mistakes. I’m not going to make them again because I’m not a moron. I do stand by my statement that you should learn from your past but sometimes you just do stupid shit and there isn’t any deeper meaning other than you’re a human and we fuck up.

And on another note there is some random shit that happens for no other reason than shitty things sometimes happen to good people.

I’m never going to be one to accept things at face value–it’s just not who I am–but I’m trying to entertain the possibility that the answers might not be complicated, that sometimes understanding comes with letting go.

Not Really a Post But More of a HA HA! Moment I Decided To Share

If you are my fraynd on the Facebook then you will see that my current status is that today’s originally scheduled post was not finished due to a visiting puppy. Puppy trumps all work. This is a fact.

However as I was perusing the Interbutz wasting time, I came across this cartoon and it made me snicker and I had to share it because I’m obligated to share amusing shit and also it explains my recent lapse in posting.

writers procrastinate funny

This is almost exactly what I have been doing for the past week and a half only instead of chopping wood I’ve been gardening. And while most people would yell at me for procrastinating on work that needs to be done on the novel (and rightly so but that’s an entirely different egg), I say that I had a legitimate excuse for all of this gardening. Namely that my mother saw a Hummingbird in the backyard and in my world this executes into tearing a part a Bonsai tree that has been growing wild for nearly two decades. (Don’t ask, just accept that this logic is normal for the circus that is my life.)

The hours of slaving in the sun and mosquito bites aside (and oh do I have one motherfucking spectacular rage-filled post about those assholes in the works) I actually think that I did a nice job in creating “Hummingbird Garden”. Mostly it seems to have made my mother happy and she puts up with a fuckton of my *ahem* eccentricity so it was worth it.

Bonsai tree garden before

BEFORE

bonsai tree garden after

AFTER

That is all one tree that I had to tame and you would not believe the shit I found while taming it. Aside from the dude buried amongst the branches who thought that Reagan was still president, it was like an entomologist’s dream of freaky fucking insects that were jumping out of me. It was seriously like being in bloody Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Not cool since I’m still traumatized from my battle with the Carpenter Ants from Hell.

*Sorry about the picture being the wrong way. I’m still trying to remember that I can actually turn my phone.

That Noise You Heard Was Just Me Screaming My Face Off

I’ve had a number of different jobs throughout my life but there has never been one as difficult as being a writer. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I work at least 100 hours a week. Seriously the only breaks that I take are when I go to the gym for half an hour or when I’m at my part-time-get-me-out-of-the-house-so-I’m-not-a-recluse job. Some people would argue that this isn’t healthy but welcome to a writer’s life. It’s long hours of work coupled with even longer hours of waiting. I truly believe that writing is a calling where you either are a writer or you’re not because no sane person would choose this career. Hell there have been many times when I myself have questioned if I’m making the right decision to pursue this dream and if I shouldn’t just get a comfy 9 to 5 job with health benefits, vacation time and a 401K.

Then something brilliant happens.

Your work is published.
steaming into a victorian future, steampunk
“Steaming into a Victorian Future” is the textbook used in the University of Maryland Alternate History course.

And my work is referenced in it.

I’m referenced in it.

Four. Fucking. Times
steaming into a victorian future, steampunk, calen spindler

I did not even know that “Alternate History” was a legit course but apparently it’s more popular than I thought, in fact it’s a course in universities all over the world. Guess which textbook is the new “go to” book used for all of those course.

Yup.

I’m being read in universities all the way down in New Zealand and Australia.
steaming into a victorian future, steampunk, alternative history college course
I want to cry and laugh and scream and throw up at the same time whenever I think about it.

I’m published.
In academia.

Me.

The dumb broad who has always been recognized for her chest rather than any so-called talent…

…who was encouraged to marry rather than pursue a career…

…who didn’t even go to college herself…

…is being read in universities all over the world.

And that’s why I screamed my face off.
im so happy, happy screaming

Let’s party, peeps.
Thank you so much for believing in me.

An Abundance of Smart Ass(terisks)

I’m a bit MIA.*

*Again.

*sobs*

And what’s worse is that my superstition about announcing-something-until-it-has-already-happened-in-case-something-fucks-it-up keeps me from disclosing everything that has kept me from interacting with my kickass peeps on here. Just take my word for it (for now since I can’t wait until I can scream my face off) that I’ve been working like a bitch on the down and dirty aspect of being a writer–aka the business aspect of writer–and it’s extremely time expensive and about as much fun as going through your recently deceased great-aunt’s belongings and finding her collection of foot long dildos.**

**Though not nearly as awkward, so there’s that.

s hi t, shitThis business-y type work is of course in addition to recovering from the trauma of nearly losing my beloved Eskie at the beginning of the month–which a normal person would be over by now but I, on the other hand, have anxiety issues and thus continue to have spazz attacks and feel the need to stop what I’m doing and cuddle her.***

***Kira, being fully recovered, isn’t too happy when I do this since it usually disturbs her from a nap.

In the meantime I did make a video in reference to the two cases that the Supreme Court is hearing about same sex marriage this week.****

****Some of you are probably thinking that a video would take longer than actually writing a post but not for me; as much as I enjoy “vlogging” I don’t worry over it as much as I do about my written words and so I can do a vlog in a fourth of the time that I do a written blog post.

Some people will hate this video because they are stupidasses who won’t get the tongue-in-cheekiness of it*****, and some people will hate it because they disagree, but that’s their prerogative. All I ask is that if anyone feels the need to express that they disagree that they do it with respect.

*****I already have one of these and for the record, I am pro-marriage and said commenter is a moron.

In closing, it’s after 1am as I write this and I’m really bloody tired, but thank you so much for being here, my dear peeps.*******

*******Also, I know I say “thank you” a lot, but I truly mean it. I’ve had to deal with a lot of shit in my life and I just want it known how grateful I am for the support that you all have given me.

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello: The 2012 Year in Review!

So 2012…

you say goodbye I say hello, statler and waldorf

January

The year started with a trip to Boston, and in typical Kat fashion I arrived late, damp, cold, drunk and having locked myself in the train station bathroom at one point.

February

February was a weird month, and it culminated in the decsion to move out of my apartment and crash at my mother’s place for the time being. In hindsight I can tell you that, true to what I had mused in the post where I announced my decision to move, this choice fit the mold in that it was extremely difficult at the time but ended up being the right one. And of course since once I’ve made a decision to do something I have to do it immediately and by the end of the February I was packed, ready to move and leaning on Bestie and my brother to help me get my shit out of my old place and into my mother’s. Naturally the move was done with the usual fanfare that erupts around me and so it included my mother smashing apart an entertainment center with a hammer and me nearly knocking myself unconscious. All in all though I accepted that I had closed a chapter but that something better was coming.

March

Less than a week after I moved I broke my hand in a most spectacular fashion and was subjected to the world’s shittiest doctor (whose time will come when the new doctor’s office down the road from him opens and takes his patients). I was still adjusting to living with my family on top of being in pain and it inspired this short story which I wouldn’t usually included in a Year in Review except that it becomes important in another moment this year. I also got a kick in the chest with some personal shit that I didn’t talk about on here and though I realize now that I kicked ass through it, March was a difficult month.

April

you said what

“You said what?”
“I forget but it probably inappropriate.”

For a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I just like to torture myself, I did a Seven Day Detox “diet”. I’d probably list this event anyway because this was not an easy task and I still feel a bit gloaty that I made the week, but this is something else that plays a more significant role in a later month. While my paw was still healing I somehow managed to design the Writes Like a Slut logo that I had been talking about doing for over a year. I finished the month by sharing one of the wrongest stories ever which has resulted in some really, really fucked up search results landing here.

May

May was a huge month. Not only did I receive my “Writes Like a Slut” shirt, and my dear Jewels receive her shirt and become the first member of the WLAS Posse, but I also gave you some kick ass zombie survival advice all month long, and became a contributer to the new site The Indie Chicks. The hilarious thing is that my first article was about makeup, and somehow the beauty section has since become my li’l niche there. Despite all of this brilliance though, there was a dark moment in May with the passing of M.C.A of the Beastie Boys and how that much affected me.

June

For the halfway point of the year I did some more graphic designing including the “Tequila is Cheap” and the “Dirty Stay Out”. I also did a rare serious, activist type post where I threw a holy fit at Urban Decay for deciding to allow animal testing on their products. The month concluded with a post on cell phone etiquette and a link to my newest article at The Indie Chicks on what to expect during that Seven Day Detox I did in April. The article received 10,000 hits within the first week and remains (I believe) the most popular article on the site. To date I know that it’s been stumbled over 63,000 times and thus is the most widely read piece of my work (so far).

July

grumpy hug

And then there’s this.

I got my first professional Brazilian bikini wax…at a Jewish Community Center because that’s how I roll. I also created Facebook Fan Page for this site because I’m so hilarious. Finally I did something rather bitchy, wrote about it, and it has since because one of my most popular stories because everyone has had a guy or girl treat them like shit and my act of nastiness was for us all.

August

I let the ocean water touch me for the first time since I was eighteen years old and I did it even before I was given a watermelon full of Everclear. This was a major accomplishment for me even if I haven’t actually made it into the water again yet. I also met a Tolkien character at Home Depot which is another incident that comes back later in the year. Finally I followed up on the wrongest story post because one wrong turn deserves another.

September

I got a wretched eye infection thanks to eye strain that resulted in my dog taking over the blog for me, and then I celebrated the year anniversary of my getting BONed and held my first giveaway.

October

somebody i used to know, gotye

How many times did you hear this song this year?

This month saw my first (and relatively minor in the big picture especially since it won’t be my last) disappointment as a writer. The story that I had mentioned writing back in March had not won either of the contests that I had entered, but this is another blessing in disguise since it was a serious piece and probably not the best representation of my usual style. The East Coast was then attacked by Frankenstorm aka Hurricane Sandy, however we were very lucky and did not sustain any damage. I also created a youtube channel where you all got to hear my muddled accent in my first Birchbox video. (And yes I have noticed that you all watch the bloopers reel more than the legit product and no, it honestly doesn’t surprise me since I’ve build a readership based on WTF so of course the popularity of videos would reflect this.)

November

I had a bout of depression because… it happens. And tat’s the beauty of depression is that it often comes for no fucking reason just to rattle my monkey tree. I do know that part of my problem was that my formerly broken hand which never healed properly was feeling the ache of the cold weather and I was having some particularly exhausting cardiac flares. Luckily God sent a door-to-door meat saleman to my house and since traumatizing others always makes me feel better it helped to snap me back to my so-called normal self.

December

elf on the shelf, iron throne, game of thrones

He made his own Iron Throne.

I held my second giveaway and the prize didn’t even require crossing dressing on the part of the guys if one of them won. I also developed an obsession with Elf on the Shelf which you have to be on Facebook to fully appreciate. My mother, brother and I went to the Show of Lights together for the first time in years and it was pretty brilliant to revive this tradition that spanned back to when I was a kid. I was the honored as the Featured Writer at Studio 30+ where that trip to Home Depot when I met Gollum came in handy since for my article I wrote about how to Blog Like a Bitchin’ Rockstar from Mars. (That’s not exactly the title but it’s what I would have used if I wasn’t trying to censor myself somewhat.) Finally I announced that “Writes Like a Slut” is now on over half of the continents in the world. Not a bad way to finish out what was a pretty fucking amazing year in writing for me.

The really, really final major event of 2012 though?

Writing this year in review and for the first time since 2007 not looking back at the previous twelve months and feeling that I was leaving with a deficit.

I’ve a vlog I’ll be posting later hopefully, but in closing I just want to say thank you all so much for reading and supporting me this year. Right before I started this entry I looked at my stats of visits, retweets, links in, ect and I am touched beyond words at how much you all have helped me grow this year. I seriously could not be doing now–writing, which has and always will be my true love–if it were not for you guys. You’re amazing. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

~Kxxoo

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Kickass 2013!

PS-There were a few other major events that I didn’t mention, but that’s because they are actually precursors to really major events and I don’t want to jinx it. Don’t worry, as soon as it feels solid I will be screaming my face off about it.

A Drunk Unicorn

Why is the unicorn drunk? Because it drank half of my Tequila.

The question is: Is this a good thing?

Well, on one hand you have an intoxicated equine with a long, sharp protrusion stumbling around and at some point I’m sure that someone is going to get stabbed. Also, the brat stole half of my damn Tequila.

On the other hand, it’s a fucking unicorn! If I was going to share any of my precious Tequila it would definitely be with a unicorn. I wouldn’t even mind any unicorn slobber that got in my glass. As for the inevitable stabbing, yeah that would rather suck. But again I must point out that it’s a fucking unicorn, and if you have the choice between never seeing a unicorn and being stabbed by one, I’m going to go with stab away.

The point of this bit of what-the-fuck-is-Kat-talking-about?

go home unicorn you're drunk, drunk unicorn, tequilaThis is my own version of the glass half-full versus the glass half-empty scenario.

Last week I had my first two disappointments as a writer. (Truth be told, last week was psycho crazy or I would have updated sooner.) One of the disappointments was that I found out that I’d lost a writing contest that I had entered. It’s really not a big deal, but the magazine took six months to pick winners and after such a long wait (I’m very fucking impatient) I felt the punch harder than I usually would have. This is the nature of the beast though. Waiting six months for anything is not unusual, and disappointment is the rule rather than the exception, so you suck it up and work harder. The good news is that I can post the short story that I had submitted on here again for ya’all to read! *throws confetti* The other good news is that submitted this story forced me into finally coming up with a title for it. So here is Borne of Armour. For new readers, a quick warning that this is one of my rare “heavy” stories.

Another good news/bad news bit to mention is that I never heard from the winner of my first giveaway. It sucks for them to miss out on an awesome shirt, but the good news is that I’d picked a runner up who will be getting an awesome shirt and ad space on the sidebar. Congratulations to the incredibly lovely, Michael from Crazy Tragic Almost Magic! Her blog is both funny and touching so make sure to check her out!

On a final note, if you’ve been in the tales for a while then you know that I love October and I love, love, love Halloween. I have some really nifty stuff planned for this month to celebrate, and even if my current health status (which is unfortunately subpar thanks to the old ticker being a grab) keeps me from doing half of it (I’ve lots in mind) there will still be a shit ton of fun to be had up in here! I’M FUCKING EXCITED!

*gallops away on my unicorn laughing manically *

(This entry is also No. 28 on my 30 Posts of Shameless Shit, “Discuss a failure.” However I’m galloping off on a unicorn and drinking Tequila while failing so it’s pretty cool.)

Gas, Grass and Gollum

So my mother and I went to buy a lawn mower yesterday and we met Gollum from “Lord of the Rings”.

Alright, I’ll back up a bit.

I came home from work on Saturday night to find the mangled remains of my mother’s lawn mower upside down and in the middle of the front yard.  Apparently the lawn mower and my brother had a disagreement and it came to blows.  The only winners in this battle though were my neighbours who got to witness the spectacular display of Irish tempertantrics.  The final result was that the lawn mower was retired, my brother was exhausted from flinging it around in an effort to make it work (no comment), and my mother and I had to pick up a new lawn mower on Sunday.

gollum, lowesWe walked into Loews and were making our way to the mowers when I heard a scratchy voice ask my mother if she needed any help.  I turned around to chide my mother for talking to strangers and nearly fell over a display of Tiki torches since the person who was offering her assistance looked almost exactly like Gollum.  Actually the gentleman was a very sweet grandfather of ten so I guess he would more accurately be “Smeagol”.  Either way it made the shopping trip more bearable since we all know how I loathe shopping.

Unless it’s at Victoria Secret, in which case, I’m the one who turns in Gollum.

“Do you want a mower that is self-propelled?” Smeagol asked us as we walked over to the display of mowers.

“That would make it easier to push, wouldn’t it?” I asked back.

“Oh definitely,” he laughed.

“Then we don’t want that.  My brother is the one who does the mowing and there’s no reason to make things easier for that butthead,” I told him, “In fact do you have any of those old fashioned push ones?”

“We don’t need it to be self-propelled,” my mother cut in, “But is gas or electric better?”

“The electric works well if you have a small yard, but otherwise a gas one would be best.”

“I think we can all agree that what would be best is whichever one make my brother work the hardest,” I said, “Now where are those old push mowers?”

To my delight, they do still make the old-fashioned, non-gas push mowers and Smeagol escorted us to where we could find one.

“There ya go,” Smeagol grinned, “And the push ones leave no carbon footprint!”

“No carbon footprint!” I repeated to my mother, “You see what a brilliant idea this is?”

“It cuts sixteen inches across at a time so it might take him a while,” Smeagol added.

“I will seriously pay for the lawn mower if you buy this one,” I told my mother.

My mother, from whom I get my short attention span, had already been distracted the display of shiny weed whackers behind us though.

“We should probably get a new weed whacker, too,” she said, “The old one has been sitting outside and rusting since Dad died.”

“Now weed whackers are another ballgame,” Smeagol began.

I sighed.
“The thing that you have to remember though,” I waved my hands to get Mumma’s attention from the wall of garden toys, “is that I want goats, and–”

My mother began to rudely laugh, however I continued.

“–they should be able to handle a bit of edging.”

“With goats you would only need to buy a little hand shovel.  And you would get milk!” Smeagol added.

“I knew I liked this guy!” I exclaimed, “So we’re agreed on the goats?”

In the end, my mother bought a gas lawn mower, though not a self-propelled one at least, and decided to wait on the weed whacker.  And I still didn’t get my goats yet.  The day would have been a complete disappointment for me except that thanks to the trip I have since decided to refer to the woman who does my Brazilian waxing as a “weed whacker”.

***

A quick end note here, I have some potentially fucking awesome news about my long-awaited book.  I am a big believer in not counting my goats before they are hatched though, so I’m not showing my hand just yet.  The only thing is that you may notice is that I’ve started to update the format this blog and make it at least look more like an actual writer’s website.  Believe me, content will stay the same because I am what I am–and that is to say that I’m a fucking lunatic and like telling you about it.  In addition to being a lunatic though, I am very serious when it comes to my writing, so I’ve added a new About Me section that sounds a little more professional than my original one.

(However, I’m still keeping the old one because, like I said, I am what I am and that that About Me probably illustrates who I am more than any actual paragraphs ever could.)

If You Have Ever Had a Guy or Girl Treat You Like Shit Then This One’s For You

busted, you know what you didSTORY TIEMZ!!

And FYI, a writer’s brain is never their own.  It’s owned by whatever tale has hijacked them.  I wasn’t planning on writing this story, but since it keeps cropping up as I’m trying to get other shit done, then I guess I’m birthing the rude little fuck.

***

As much of a badass bitch as I am, there is some part of me that still wants to believe the best of people. I really want to believe that people don’t set out to hurt each other on purpose, and that even if they do that they are still capable of true remorse. It’s because of this belief that I didn’t tell Phil to go fuck himself when he approached me as I was reading on the eliptical machine.

“Could I talk to you for a minute?” he asked nervously.

Phil and I had a “relationship” based on the understanding that we weren’t going to be introducing each other to our families or picking out china together any time soon.  He had broken up with a longtime girlfriend a week before we had met, and I was still dealing with an overzealous admirer stalker, so neither of us were in a place to start anything serious.  Still, our pseudo-relationship ended when he would break dates ten minutes before we were supposed to get together, when he would say that he was going to call and wouldn’t, but most of all, when he would treat me like he didn’t know who I was when we ran into each other at the gym where we both worked out. The kicker was that he would act like an inconsiderate asshole at the gym and then call me to get together as if everything was peachy. The last time that he had called, I did get together with him but it was only to make sure that he knew that I’d had enough.

“Sure.” I closed my book but didn’t break my stride on my machine.

He paused for a moment and then got on the machine next to me. “Okay, I guess I’ll try to keep up with you,” he said grinning.

I mentally rolled my eyes thinking that I wasn’t rising to that bait to begin a flirtaion.

“So how have you been?” Phil asked as he started on the machine without bothering to actually select a workout.

“Brilliant,” I replied.

When I didn’t elaborate, he cleared his throat to fill the silence.
“I just…well, I think I owe you an apology,” he said. “I know I was an asshole, and I’m sorry.  I…at the time I wasn’t right.  Up in here.” He tapped his temple.

Something about his apology actually sounded sincere, so I shook my head slightly. “Don’t worry about it. I just let it go. I’m not a psycho chick like that.”

“I know you’re not, and that’s why I’m sorry.”

The elliptical beeped that my workout had ended so I finally stopped and gave him my full attention. “Well, thank you for the apology.  I really do appreciate it,” I told him. And because of that side of me that tries to be nice, I asked him how he was doing and we made chit-chat for a few minutes before I took off.

Over the next few months, Phil and I would talk here and there when we saw each other at the gym, and while I wouldn’t call us friends, I’d say that we were at least friendly. It even turned out that his mother was one of my patients at the optometry office where I worked. She was a very nice woman who showed me pictures of the wedding that the entire family had attended the previous week. There were several pictures of Phil dancing it up and snuggling a very tan, very blonde woman. Phil’s mother went on to say how much she adored Phil’s girlfriend and how it looked like they would be the next couple to be married, and I can honestly say that I was happy for all parties involved.

About a week later, I was leaving the gym when I saw Phil pulling into a parking spot. I gave a wave and continued walking down the sidewalk toward my house. Phil gave a shout as he got out of his car and trotted after me. He smiled as he approached and looked me up and down.
Alarms immediately started going off in my head.

“Hey,” he said leaning close to me.
I stepped back. “Hey. I met your mother last week.”
“Really?  Where at?”
“At my office.  She’s really nice.”
“Yeah, she is.” He looked me up and down again which would have annoyed me if I didn’t find it a bit amusing that he was eyeing up someone who look like as much of a sweaty mess as I did.
“Uh huh. Well, take it easy.” I turned to leave, but he grabbed my arm.
He must have felt my muscles stiffen because he let go and laughed.
“Preparing to spar me again?”
“No, but you know that I don’t like to be grabbed.”
“Maybe you should remind me.” He stroked my cheek and leaned in.
I snapped my hand up against his chest to keep him from coming closer. My eyes narrowed in the bright sun and I knew that they were fading from brown to hazel green as they did whenever I was angry.
“I thought that you said that you were sorry,” I hissed.
He cocked his head. “What do you mean?”
“You had apologized for being an asshole before, so why are you doing it again?”
“I’m not. I just thought that you might want to hang out again.” He smiled. “We had a lot of fun, didn’t we?”
“Go have fun with your girlfriend,” I told him.
The briefest flicker of surprise registered in his blue eyes, and then it was replaced by indignant confusion.
“What girlfriend?”

I’d had enough. There was something that I had always suspected when we were seeing each other and it was time to find out. I snatched his keys from his hand and skipped back a step.

“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m going to ask you two questions. If you lie to me then I’m taking your keys and you can walk home. Savy, boyo?”
He rolled his eyes, “Um, no.  How about you give me my keys and just walk away?”
“Um no,” I mimicked his bored drawl. “The truth is the least that you own me, and I’ll have either that or your keys.
His face twisted in fury. “What the fuck? Give me me keys!”
He stepped toward me, and I immediately dropped into a fight stance with my left leg forward.
“Stay the fuck away from me, Phil, or I’ll make that last trouncing that I gave you when we sparred look like your birthday spanks.”
That halted him, for which I was very grateful for since I’d been injured since we had last spared and I wasn’t as fully confident that I could take him as I had been before.
“Now take three steps back and I promise to throw your keys back after you tell me what I want to know,” I told him.
He obliged and then crossed his arms and glared at me.
“You have a girlfriend, don’t you?” I asked him.
Phil glared even harder at me. “Fine,” he finally admitted, “Yeah, I do.”
“Very good. See how easy this is? And you had a girlfriend last year when we were fooling around, didn’t you?”
The shock on his face was evident, but he still began to protest. “We had broke up!”
I turned and began walking. “I guess I just got myself a new set of keys.”
“Fine, fine! Yes, I had a girlfriend back then, too!”
I stopped and turned back. “Is it the same one?”
“Does it matter?” Phil sneered.
“Not really. Whether you cheated on one woman or two you’re still an asshole.”
“What-the-fuck-ever,” he snorted. “Now give me my fucking keys.”
“Of course.”

Phil still stood back where I had told him to move: exactly in front of the storm drain. I threw the keys toward him in an underhanded arc that flew just below his outstretched hand. They clattered against the bars of the drain and then dropped with a resounding splash into the water below.
“What the fuck!” Phil screamed. “What the fucking fuck!”
“Gee, Phil I guess I owe you an apology.” I shook my head, “I’m a terrible throw.”
“Fuck you! You did that on purpose!” he snarled.
I shrugged, “Maybe I did.  But then I’m not feeling right-” I tapped my temple, “-up here.”

Nope. Like All My Short Stories, I’ve Not A Clue What to Title This

For those of ya’all who are new up in here, I occasionally get the urge to write something “serious”.

I know, I know.

This is not what you signed up for when you jumped on the crazy train that is Kat O’ Nine Tales, but the good news is that I don’t do it often, and I always give a warning right up front so you can get your ticket punched and leap from the car before I begin.  Don’t worry, I’ll loop right around and pick you up on the trip back to what-the-fuckery in the next post.  In the mean time, here’s some juice boxes and a few comic books to keep you busy until I get back.  Keep an eye on your little sister, and don’t talk to strangers.

So, background for this bit.  I started it way back in the beginning of February when I’d just started packing for The Move–hence the “home” theme–but never got around to finishing it.  I might have left this story in the pot since I moved up the projected finish date for my book, but then my hand was hurting like a bitch on Thursday night and I decided to use the pain to finish–hence the length.  I’m gonna blame it on the paaaaaain, yeah yeaaaaah…

*ahem*

Off we go then.

UPDATE: I finally named my “child” and it’s “Borne in Armor”.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At sunset the ocean turned the colour of fire and blood, a morbid reflection of the battle which had just ended.

The knight stepped out onto the sand, the wet ground immediately sagging under the weight of heavy armour, and then she dropped to her knees.

“I’m so tired,” she murmured, her voice barely loud enough to carry above the crash of waves.  She removed her helm and let her chin fall on her breastplate.

“It was a long battle, my lady,” her elderly squire moved to retrieve the helm from where it had fallen from his lady’s fingers, “and an even longer war.  But your enemy’s host has finally been crushed. You will be able to rest now.”

A clash of metal interrupted him as a pair of swords crossed over a prize looted from one of many corpses littering the field.

The squire turned back to his lady and shuttered as the victor ended his opponent’s life in a flash of sliver and a spurt of crimson.

“Let us leave this place, my lady. Let us go home.”

The knight pulled the metal gauntlets from her hands and then dropped forward so that her fingers clawed into the sand.

“Home? And where would home be, dear squire?”

“The land of your birth of course, my lady.”

The knight laughed bitterly as her head continued to hang low.

“The land of my birth? Surely you do not mean that place many leagues from here, where the hills doze in sleepy emerald waves with blankets of tiny purple flowers? Where cherry trees blossom and perfume the air so richly that you can taste their sweetness? Where Autumn mists creep through the Beechnut tree forest like leashes of silver foxes?”

She raised her head to look at the squire with grey eyes that were as hard and cold as her armour.

“Surely you do not mean that place.”

The squire scoured his mind for the correct answer to his lady’s peculiar speech.

“I do not understand, my lady,” he was finally forced to admit.

The knight stood up, “Assist me in removing the rest of my suit.”

“My lady that is unwise.  There may yet be enemies lurking at hand.”

“I am your knight and you will assist me,” her flinty eyes sliced into the squire.

“Yes, my lady,” he said quietly and began unfastening the knight’s breastplate.  He was loathe to place it on the damp sand yet did not have a choice.

“Do remember the first time that you helped me don this armour?” the knight asked as another piece of fitted metal fell to the sand.

“I remember, my lady.  You were fourteen, barely flowered, when you insisted that you would not become a spoil of war, that you would take your fate into your own hands and fight your family’s enemy.  And so your father humoured you, and gave you this armour, never expecting that you actively use it.”

A note of pride entered the squire’s voice as he continued his work, “How could any of us have known the conqueror that you would become?  How you would crush your enemies at every turn, destroy them in battle, and slaughter all who dared engage you.

He examined the gorget in his hands, “Truly my lady thrived in this armour.”

His eyes pleaded as he looked up, “And I would once again advise that my lady continue to wear it for her protection.”

“Counsel which was not requested of you, squire.  Continue your work,” the knight looked out into the ocean, “I would do this final task unburdened.”

A strange chill ran through the squire and his hands remained still, “My lady?”

The knight continued to stare at the burning water, “You claim that your lady thrived in this armour.  You are mistaken.  Your lady died in this armour.  And became something else.”

She turned to face him again, teeth clenched in anger, “I commanded you to continue your work.”

The squire slowly raised his hands, but then moved with deft, efficient motions until the knight’s entire suit lay in a pile on the sand and she stood before him wearing only a thin shift stained with sweat and blood.

“Is the land of my birth truly my home, squire?” she asked softly.

The ocean breeze combed through the lady’s long red hair and the squire was reminded of the little girl who would weave flowers into her braids.

“Yes, my lady,” the squire’s voice was heavy with urgency, “Yes, always.”

She smiled sadly, “Then I am to remain here.”

“There,” she said gesturing to the smoking battlefield with a bare arm, “That is the land of my birth, squire.”

The squire looked onto the field.  The remains of those who had fallen in sacrifice of his lady’s victory were being carted away for proper burial, but the bodies of the enemy would remain to rot and feed whatever carrion would find them.

“There is no home to be found there, dear squire,” she finished and turned back to the rolling waves.

“And now you understand why I needed to be free of my false armour,” the lady began walking toward the surf.

The squire felt the tide of panic rise as he realized his lady’s purpose.

“No!  My lady!  Do not do this!”

She did not respond but continued to the water.

“My lady, please!”

Her feet had just met the water’s edge when she paused a moment but did not turn.  The ocean foamed around her and up the shore from her back like the long lacy wedding veil the lady might have worn in a different life.  And then she was gone beneath the waves.

Tears were running freely down the old man’s wrinkled cheeks as the last gasp of sunlight was swallowed by the horizon.  He could not choke back his sobs at the bitter irony that, while he did understand his lady’s need to rid herself of her armour, she would have drown quicker had she kept it on.

red ocean sunset

The Past Eight Days In 27 Sentences (Or So)

What do you do when you are pressed for time and your eyes are strained, but you haven’t done a blog post in over a week?

DO A LIST!

  1. This is the ultimate blog post cheat since I make lists all the time anyway.
  2. I worked ALL. DAY. YESTERDAY. on finishing the book I’ve been writing procrastinating about for years because I’ve had it, and this fucker is getting finished within six months.
  3. I have eye strain from this.
  4. The irony of being an optometry tech yet suffering from eye strain is not lost on me.
  5. The irony of being a part time optometry tech yet working 40+ a week is not lost on me either.
  6. The irony of the term “fresh frozen” is a little lost on me.
  7. If the Zombie Apocalypse comes before I’m finished writing my book, I will put off kicking zombie ass and feeding hipsters to them until after I’m done this book.
  8. That is saying a lot because I’ve been training for the Zombie Apocalypse my entire life and I really hate hipsters.
  9. I am a Twittering MASTER!
  10. I’ve decided to use the word “twittering” as a synonym for “using a vibrator” from now on.
  11. Number 9 is still accurate.
  12. In related news, my dear sweet friend, Jewels, reposted one of my smut pieces on her Naughty Nothings blog.
  13. You are welcome, from both of us.
  14. I (← Hey kids! This is a link to Kat’s Twitter account because she’s an attention whore!) share credit for the best hashtags ever ie: #hecklingbuildscharacter with my loves, Nicki and Celia and #randomsnugglepunch with darling RandyGirl.
  15. My most retweeted tweet was “Was a Republican 4 Halloween. Gave all the candy 2 the big kids & told the small ones that they could have candy if the big kids dropped it.”
  16. My second most retweeted tweet is “I’m later than Odysseus returning from Troy”. #speakingonlyinnerdyanalogies
  17. Conclusion: I think about twittering too much lately.
  18. Heh heh heh.
  19. Baked ziti and coffee taste horrible together.
  20. I want both baked ziti and coffee right now so I’m consuming them together anyway.
  21. My eyes really fucking hurt, but I’m writing this because I love you guys!
  22. DILDO.
  23. I probably didn’t need number 22. since I only say “dildo” when my entry is becoming disturbingly coherent and I don’t think that “coherent” accurately describes this post.
  24. I’ve been engaged in psychological warfare with my upstairs neighbor where he screams like a fucking banshee during football games and I do ABBA karaoke.
  25. We’re probably both going to get evicted for disturbing the peace before it’s over.
  26. I get more immature than usual when I’m tired.
  27. Uranus has 27 moons. *snickers*

We will return to your regularly scheduled what-the-fuckery as soon as it doesn’t feel like I soaked my contacts in lemon juice.