Give up on the words and you give up on your soul.

There is a bump on my face that is likely the latest in an aggressive campaign to reclaim my teenage years by covering the entire expanse with zits.  That or a massive face cancer.  One or the other.


She folded her hands, hand he now saw for the first time, even through the lace of the gloves.  He, this time with no care or consequence for the touch, peeled the gloves away and saw the burns that their first test had marked her with.  The acid produced in this break between worlds, a snapping of an aloe stalk, where in this world, it soothed, in theirs, it bled pain.   Amelia saw the line of suffering trace down her fingertips, move through him and settle, with force, behind his eyes.

“I am so very sorry.
“They do not hurt now.”
“They should never…”

“I do not understand, Ammon.”

“The falcon is not mine, only a sign sent from their side that I would recognize.  A device, I have now come to see that could only have ever been from your father.  It is nothing like the marks they make on their own.  It danced before my eyes at the Manor you’ve learned so much about, drew me away in the middle of my lesson.  I imagine young William must have been…no, I do not recall anything but following it, a sign and sometimes a bird, as it moved through the halls, up the stairs and out the front door.   Places I was never to be, but I didn’t think…I just chased it into the woods.  A day later, they found me, surrounded by…well, it burnt the wild grasses just as well as your fair skin.  It had seemed a dream.  A madness.”

Amelia gazed as this reverie overtook the Professor, and her thoughts travelled with him, seeing the blue ring that had opened above the table on some Midland afternoon, sun pleasantly moving through the trees exactly matching the horrors.

“That night I passed through against my will.  When last I saw you, it was by choice, a choice I…I have learned so much now, now that we are close that I wish at moments, I had flung myself into sea rather than come to bring you back to…”

“I had to mastermind this plot without his aid, thinking I was protecting Mr. Willoughby, Laurence, though

“As I belong to my father, as you belong to yours, so too, does Laurence belong to the King of these…cannibal people, indeed, he is something of their prince.  Though this King, if one could deign to call him such, has no love for his son.  Whatever loyalty remains to Laurence, what awaits him upon his return is something worse than death.”

“Worse than death, good sir, you’re positively shaking…”

“There is no time.”
“If I am to return, I am to return with a sacrifice.  And the Tormented peoples believe that the strongest magic is to be found in what a man has made.  The king hungers…he can no longer be appeased by invention, by charm, by kaleidoscopes and toys.  We cannot distract him with anything but the return of his own blood.”



i am outright dumb these days.

with a red, fiery, ruby-scratched throat

I am ill and dumb.

It is a weird spot that I am in, but I have decided that the usual barrier can come down as easily as it arose.  Simply by the doing of what needs to be done.  So five hundred words are going to appear on this white screen.  They are not going to resolve me to great purpose. They are not going to absolve me of my terrible failure.  They are not going to suddenly be 250,000 words or howsoever many words I am behind.  They are just going to be simple, small words, written only to comfort me in response to a question:  can I write five hundred words again?

I need to believe I can.

I could tell you about Seattle, about the delicate panic attack that overtook me in the city of vast hills and the kindness of my friends who took me by the crook of their arm up the hill to the lovely Japanese restaurant where I a deeply memorable meal I will have to look up the name of.  I could tell you about the ineffable power of Laura Bailey and her charming husband whose kindness and cheer was enough to drag me out on those same unknown city streets, unsure as a newborn lamb on my legs, to have her sign my comic book.  Who I was brave enough to speak to even if it was just one brief sentence.  I acquitted myself well.  I could tell you about the Korean chicken, the Weiner documentary, the chilly night on the air mattress, my grand thoughts as I rode the train and navigated the ebb and flow of the aforementioned panics and currents of extreme bravery.  Of cosplayers and good coffee and the time I spent alone and observant, among my people, a part of them and apart from them.  I could tell you about Patrick Rothfuss’ Princess tale read aloud to us, the charm of being read aloud to.  The grand laughter, the art, the ideas, the numb brain, the pleasant absence of self-definition.

I could tell you how I am sick as hell today, despite it being deeply, deeply inconvenient.  My excessive worries about Monday-Wednesday and the crazy workload I need to address tomorrow so I am not drowning when I arrive for meetings I cannot work during.  I could tell you about my new boss and her hands-off, independent approach that I should be a 1000% glad for now that I have been made to understand that I don’t have to chase after her with calendars to tell her where she needs to be and when – but that leaves me disconcerted as to whether everyone else is going to treat me as fair game.

I could tell you about the boy.  The man. The movement towards a goal that is happening tomorrow, but is still not enough.  His desires and mine and the sliding windows that never seem to be open at the same time, but yet, here I hang, half-defenestrated, awaiting this rope to be pulled back in or cut loose.

Somehow, I’ll say none of these things and yet do enough.

Thirty-seven little extra words to apply to my statement in arrears.

Procellosus (15/365)

The power of Fred.

It’s real.
Not that I’ve suddenly gone off-course.  I just am quite aware how draining and exhausting and bleh being OTR can be even if you’re entirely prepared for it to be happening.  Yesterday, even with great intentions, I found my steam running out much earlier and much more frequently than the previous day had indicated. I wanted to do another 3 miles of walking and just laid there.   This may also be because I did, now that I think of it, go and see the sister, and get the groceries and scrape the car and carry and do my best with my very short frame to fling a giant plastic tote of recycling over my daffy head into the bin.   And the part that matters was seeing the sister and hearing how despondent she was with her relationship with the guy person in her life and me talking about mine and needing so desperately to DTR (which I, in my great obliviousness, had never heard of, but means Define the Relationship).  It threw a lot of energy into a weird place.  Because I know I need to this, but every time I attempt to even parse the words or make the space for
But the dishes got washed.  And the laundry got put away.  And that’s an astonishing big deal so that I know tonight when I go home, I can cook without any junk in the sink to deflate the idea of steak and spiralized squash noodles.
I have also ordered things that are perhaps not so straight-forwardly cleanly low-carb.  Along with some great things, but a few questionable items that I know are going to slow things down.  Still, I am hopeful that my awareness will be half of the battle and that expanding a boundary in the short-term is better than calling the whole thing off.
Tomorrow, we’re being provided lunch.  I’m slightly freaking out that I can eat any of it.  I just have to bring some of my questionably low-carb home items to back me up when there’s quiche and sliders or whatever the catering throws out on the table (can’t hope for fajitas where the culling is fairly straightforward.
The middle of the month, there’s a meeting with my cousin that I thought of as my one-off, cheat meal.
But end of the month I’m going to Seattle.  Food there is…?
If I’m honest, I’m questioning this isn’t asking for trouble.
Because at least in my mind I want this to be the year of focusing on this.  I want this to be the year January-December where I’ve put time and effort and energy into the old bod.  Gross.  Into my health mildly together.  Into not being utterly beholden to Food and Ideas About Food, to Food as Narcotic.  I want, just as I’ve proven with this posting exercise, to be able to steady myself day after day after day and see what that accretion of time and effort can build.

Shifting The Numbers (14/365)

When I woke up like a bolt of lightning had run through me at nearly 5:00am, I was curious as to how the remainder of the day would go.  I woke up and got up and got shake and lingered a bit, laying there, drinking what I actually find as enjoyable as any Starbucks I’ve ordered.  I actually finish my shakes more often than not which I can rarely ever say for the former.

Well, it seems, that the energy has stayed with me.

Energy that has allowed me to exercise for forty-five minutes without feeling panicky and nervous and heart-fluttery which usually freaks me out just enough to stop.  My music was fast-paced and my stomp walking with Leslie Sansone felt like…exercise. It felt legit even if everyone and Cindy Crawford is lifting weights and doing yoga.  It was forty-five actual minutes and I felt every drop of that serotonin moving through me.  Oh, this, this is why people do this?

I have to imagine that just the regular walking and getting up and moving around that I’ve been doing in January has helped make it easy to shift a bit.   I’d half-planned just to see if my XBox would even play the DVD or if it had been scratched and ruined at some point between now and the last time I attempted this.  Caffeine, I’m sure played a role, but today…I don’t know.

Energy that stuck with me, too, to take garbage and recycling out, to wash pots and pans, attempt to make chicken stock (celery but no carrots, it is going to need work.), go to the store and try and find size 6 riding boots to zero avail, but ended up coming home with some random chicken, random Bordeaux-hued lipstick, some more gum, and some soda.  Slowly working on pushing that pop out of my life again.  To do laundry.  Order groceries.  Contemplate if in the next month or two if I want to try making keto bread.

And soon, hopefully, if I can stop distracting myself with random nonsense, make up my bed with some nice, clean sheets.

That’s a lot for me.  Maybe you and yours have all this shit locked down, but I am in a constant state of personal revelation when I handle anything without spending hours letting the thoughts run around in my mind, percolating a few drops of high-octane willpower before collapsing in a heap of your own making.

I know that better habits – habits at least like not buying Starbucks, even the low-sugar macchiato – make for days like this.  And if you can stack a few days like this, you can make your surroundings a place where you can trust that you have a clean bowl to cook your slightly more complicated low-carb food in and you’ve got space to move around in and you’ve got time as well.  So you don’t block yourself out of your own plans.

A little scary, mostly wonderful to contemplate.

The eventualities of sticking with this for a full year.  What it will mean.

Comme Ci, Comme Ca

No rush.  No Fuss.  No alligator guts.
This aims to be a wildly enjoyable Friday.
I have maybe another couple of hours, but all the reasonable work is done and I am not going to start a massive project so here I am.  I have to leave early otherwise everyone shall be paying me for all my fun and games and I am ethically heartburned by that.  Even if I could use the money.  I’ve already spent 45 minutes working on my French again.  C’est un stylo! Le femme n’a pas de voiture.  Or something.
I think, perhaps, it is harder to come up with the words lately because the angst in me has somewhat dissipated.  And even the angst about what I am eating – at the moment – is taken away from me and replaced by this earnest idea that I am doing something to improve my lot.  It is not a perfect scenario where the pounds glide away like so much latex beneath a sharp exacto-knife.  It is just not doing the aggressively wrong things – blunting with food the freaked out emotions, the overwhelmed and anxious empathy, the confused spirit who is now in places where she never thought she’d be – more often than I’m doing the sincerely good things.  The attempts at having vegetables become a regular thought, a plan.  The earnest excitement I briefly experienced at the thought of being able to cook butternut squash soup.   The desire to get those extra steps in.  It takes up the gaps in my head where the listless rambling lived.  There’s direction and traction now.  The words are not gone, per se, just redirected.  A mason steadily taking them and putting the bricks and the mortar one next to another.
I have never been sturdy.  Whatever my weight or the morphology of my personage, I have never been steady on my feet.  There’s always been a Santa Ana, a side-eye, a turn on the river. Some distance between my thoughts and my being.  I’ve always wanted to be in the ether, looking down at everything all at once, out of time and out of context. Safe, in that way, but also powerful.
Now, there’s this power in walking inside my own flesh.  In putting things where they go.  In washing a cup.  In following a routine.  Know that once those items are actually secured, there is this massive IMAX screen of life rolling out around and in front of you.  A panorama view unobstructed by the minutiae that means you sleep in clean sheets, you lean down for a pan and like magic, the one you were thinking of awaits.  The butter and the steak sizzles, the dream is not interrupted by the idea that you are a failure because your dreams sometimes break mid-thought.  You make the soapy water part of the dream.  You take away the choice for it to be depressing, low, external to the magic.  You make the laundry churn and the warm heat of the just dried hand-towels part of the care, part of the aerie your thought dance in.  A place you flutter through because there’s no reason to avoid it.  No reason to turn away from this charming scene where your muscles are moving, just as they were made to, to work through the blossoms and the remains of all your day’s plans.

Soul Fond

Well, isn’t it funny how easy things become when you just do them? When you don’t worry about the look of them.  The rightness of the language and the height of the latticework they have vined upon.  You remove the choice around the tasks on your to-do list and you do them.   In doing just this, I had such an extraordinary amount of time free to me last night.  Just picked out the thing I would have to wear today the same way I would in the morning without the procrastination so that when I woke up, the dress decision had been made, I knew it would work well enough and be ready.  I mean, this is the level we are at.  This is the circuitous thought process I have to track and spin around before any great progress can be made.
 A  Last night, I washed pots and pans. I did it imperfectly.  I have 10 things the pots and pans reminded me also needed attention.
I am hopeful to get to the point where I just have to wash the things I used that day and not store things up for some massive perfectionist cleaning job that I can never complete.  That’s the latest advice I’m attempting to integrate into my reality.  I am hopeful to get out of the worst of my habits and into something better for myself.  As I’m reminding myself by writing today – this only can occur by starting and doing.   Can’t ever think about it enough to make it happen.
Didn’t you know I’m a terrible mess?  Wasn’t that clear in all of this rambling, day in and out, years on now, that I have a lot of stuff that needs a lot of attention?
Now you do – if you were confused before.  This whole thing is an episode in confusion.  My whole life goes that way.  And I am trying, today, at least, to do better and not crash on the way down.
The sky is beautiful oftentimes in the morning. I don’t note it anywhere or tell anyone, but as I cross the threshold and stumble down the stairs to meet that pinkish sky, I do think how lucky I am to see a sky and have that beauty register to me.  That I’m not so far gone down this corporate rabbit hole that I am numb to a gust of wind that reaches the skin on the back of my neck and reminds me of that one particular day, that one particular memory of an imagined world where I was both places at once.  This quantum entanglement of pieces of my spirit, bound together, but so far distant, all comes back to me in a rush.  No Madeleine required.
I have, also, stayed away from Madeleines, cakes, and now cookies will be added to the list.  I brought two dozen, plucking each one from behind the plastic doors at the supermarket and managed to abstain.  I’d rather have an Atkins shake.  That’s a bit fucked up.  I need to add some exercise, but I’m doing something right now.  I’m giving a bit of a damn.
That’s why I’m here.  Letting you know.

Whammo Surprise! (10/365)

Never gonna happen unless it happens now.

So I know the expectation is that if I haven’t posted…it’s probably because I’ve gone off the deep-end.  At least when it comes to the plans I have made for the diet.
That, I can report, is not the case.
I haven’t been here because I have been just working my way through the day.  I’ve just been keeping myself relatively positive and relatively busy.  Work is a bit of a…I’m going to describe it as feeling like a girl jumping across the ice floes, looking for safe passage but not able to sleep for fear that the water will swallow up the ice some morning.  I just keep jumping, steadily, frogger-style, and so far, without an official boss, doing what I guess is passable.  Everyone would like to be at ease.  Everyone would like to be making the A grades.  But not everyone can and I’m more interested in preserving my sanity and energy these days than showing up in gleaming silver.
I did have a nightmare about being yelled at by my old one.  This was because I had a party to host the next day where I anticipated seeing her – she wasn’t there, I was anxious for nothing, and now we worry about the next person to bear the Sword of Damocles above my tender temples.
The diet continues apace – even with Saturday’s aggressive birthday wall-slam.  Or “planned deviation” – which I swear every year I won’t do because it always screws me up and then I always do it, even harder and with even more blunt force trauma as a result, and then, I fall apart.  This year, I didn’t fight the noise that I wanted a carbly sort of birthday meal.  We had Mexican food.  I ate in the old format of: I see it, I I eat it.  I ordered tacos with a flour tortilla.  I ate all the chips available to me.  I ate sopapillas.  I also ate, when I got home, some small portion of the sugar gummi peaches I was gifted for my birthday.  But then, it was off.  And I think it could only have been off so completely and entirely because I had a fridge at home full of low-carb food I was decently excited about eating.  Because there wasn’t this drop-off where regardless of my desire to snap back into place, I had surrounded myself with opportunities to screw up.  I wasn’t instantly goaded to test my resolve.  I just had to eat what I had and distract myself.  The fact that I kind of had an instant headache and an instant stomachache went some way to help matters, too.  Not that this means that I am not, slightly, subtly, calmly, thinking ahead to the next mental breakdown/”planned deviation.”  I am thinking perhaps for a combined Valentine’s Day, visit with my cousin in the middle of the month.
We’ll see.  I also started tracking and trying to do something that shouldn’t be a tenth as hard as I make it: drink more water.
I am, as of today (which is probably why I felt encouraged to sit down at my desk and write this post), still on this wagon.