Rough Writers and Summer Snarks

On a wild whim (or inspired by a gentle kick from Mistress Fate), I accepted my friend Sharon’s invitation to join Summer Snarks—a closed Facebook group, which is sort of a home away from home for the July Daily Writing Challenge, held over at the Rough Writers’ site.

I’m joining the fun unofficially… for although I’ll share my progress on the group and will lurk around everybody else’s postings every now and again, I won’t add my information to the actual challenge. My blogging will not be altered. I will probably post every other day—fiction, poetry, health, witchy living—and on the days I don’t blog, I will post a bit of micro fiction, micro poetry, or micro creative nonfiction ranting on my Facebook page.

I’ll use the month of July to finish the short story collection I want to publish this coming fall. I might share a quote or three, and rage when I get stuck. I need to write the final chapter of Lum and Darlene, finish the last bit of Belle du Freak, develop two new stories… And in case any of you was wondering, yes, I’m adding an AlmaMia Cienfuegos tale at the end—the wild child deserves some page time, even if her world doesn’t quite fit the collection.

If you need a little nudge towards the writing-everyday-front, consider joining in… it might be fun. And like a sexy, talented, intelligent (and extremely modest) writer once said, it’s good to “put your ideas somewhere, perhaps in the world.”

a wee note…
– You can find Lum and Darlene and Belle du Freak on my Web Serials page.

your ideas

A Storm of Desire… to Create, to Reshape, and to Share

“Sometimes fiction is a way of coping with the poison of the world in a way that lets us survive it.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Before my body turned its back (and shoulder and hip and gut…) against me, the strongest weapons in my coping-with-the-horrors-of-our-world arsenal were running and dancing. After I lost running and my dancing had to slow down… I coped through writing fiction… Then my mind was too exhausted to spend hours writing stories every day, so I found release in poetry.

I can create a short poem from beginning to end in my head. Stories, especially the long ones, don’t work that way for me. I need to see the words being born, feel the characters working with me (and sometimes fighting me) before I can know what the tale is all about. If by the time I’m done writing I can’t tell what (and why) I’m writing, I get little to no pleasure out of the process. And yes, not knowing the whats and whys robs me of all those delicious coping points.

Today, I’m happy and then some. After months and months of being able to do no more than a little editing and rewriting here and there, I can finally go back to working on longer projects. If that wasn’t enough to make me grin until the universe’s eyeballs can see every single one of my teeth, in a couple of weeks I get to start attempting to run again—nothing too wild, just thirty seconds of jogging every few minutes to see how my gut and balance deal with it… wee steps.

The collection of short stories and novellas I wish to publish this autumn is priority. But it’s super yummy to know that I can dedicate an hour or three to novel writing as well. I’m thrilled to know that the storm of desire to create, to reshape, and to share the stories that brew inside my head will, again, get a chance to see the light… and the dark, of course. 😉

In Every Woman

She’s So Good at Jazzing

My favorite season of the year is cackling her way hotly around New York City—birds singing wildly around my terrace… flowers blossoming with the promise of fruit… me delighting in the warmth of the morning sun… and Sanaa, over at Prompt Nights, asking for “summer [poetry that] sets upon [the] earth’s bosom bare”. I’m feeling rather giving, so here is my wee bit (which I’m also linking to Poets United, Poetry Pantry 308):

“She’s So Good at Jazzing”

She glides under the full moon,
spreading herself over dirt and skin.
Her heat is rouge blushing
the chilled cheekbones of the soul.

She’s so good at jazzing
everything she touches—
tickling blooms into fruiting,
arousing the wild kissing
of pelvises and hips.

She is summer
dancing after spring,
never fearing the fall,
baring breasts and kindling,
not caring if winter comes.

Rouge, by Magic Love Crow“Rouge”, by Magic Love Crow

The Good, the Bad, and the Crohn

Knowing is best. Whoever said that ignorance was bliss must have never spent years of her life waiting for a medical diagnosis. Not knowing fills the gut with anxiety that eats a soul from the inside out. Having answers can hurt, but the alternative promises much worse than pain.

After more than two years trying to make sense of my symptoms, I’ve finally been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. To be fair to my doctors, Crohn’s was one of the first prognoses. But since my body didn’t experience some of the symptoms the illness is known for, my doctors couldn’t be sure. For instance, aside from ulcers, stomach cramps, the occasional bleeding, and constant feeling of tiredness, one of the most common symptoms of Crohn’s involves going to the bathroom dozens of times a day. If I watch my diet—and I always do—I’m spared the horror of using enough toilet paper to destroy a small forest. I’ve experienced all the other symptoms, but my doctors (and me, too) always blamed them on the weird bacteria in my belly, on the chronic pain I’ve lived with for years, on eating the wrong thing, and on life’s random suckiness.

Anyhoo, after way too long treating the bacteria, pumping steroids (without getting the cool muscles, which I think is pure crap) and poking and slicing my innards more than is comfortable for anyone, much of the inflammation is gone… But the ulcers, the exhaustion, and a few other things refuse to offer their farewells. So, yes, I’m Crohnic (aren’t made up words just precious?).

Many people I know (and some I haven’t met) would probably be very upset to get a Crohn’s diagnosis. But I couldn’t be happier, my Wicked Luvs. When one goes from possible leprosy to cancer to Crohn’s, one feels an intense need to kiss the gut-eating bastard on the mouth, and tell him, “Come here, you son of a twisted man-whore, and watch me kick your ass!” I mean, we can try saying that to leprosy and cancer, too, but that pair doesn’t seem to care much for threats.

There is no cure for Crohn’s Disease, and treatment of the symptoms is a lifelong process that includes daily ginormous pills, which come accompanied by possible horrid side effects. I’m hoping to get lucky and not be too affected by them. However, since not treating the illness tends to promise anything from a bleeding gut to cancer, I’m willing to withstand a side effect or three.

If my hair falls out, I’ll wear cool hats. And I think I would look fantastic with a henna crown. If my eyes turn yellow, I will tell everybody that I’m a werewolf… If my skin turns yellow, I will say that I’m part Phyllobates terribilis—who doesn’t love golden poison frogs? Some of the possible side effects are not nearly as glamorous, but I’m sure I’ll think of something if they are to visit.

I know that the idea of adding another chronic illness to my collection seems like a huge burden. Some of you might think that I’m mad, that nothing about this can be good. But trust me… there is a lot of good. The biggest good is that I no longer have to wonder why I’m tired all the time.

I always pay attention to my body, so I assumed that my being tired every hour of every day meant that I needed to sleep more… so I slept more… and I was still so damn exhausted… I started mistrusting my body… but no more. Now I can tell my sexy flesh and bones, I know you’re tired. It’s the Crohnic Bastard (yes, I think I’ll call it that), but you got 7-9 hours of sleep. You are fine. So stop asking for more sleep, and let me write… or there will be a reckoning.

My flesh and bones and moi will be quite all right. We didn’t know what to do against untreated holes in our gut, but we know how to bare our teeth in the face of pain. And we really like hats…

…and woody rainbows…
Love Is Love
…and sparkly toes…
Sparkly Summer Toes
I wish to thank those of you who always remind me that I’m not alone. When things look rather grim—and no, I am not talking about looking in the mirror *cough*—few things are as comforting as knowing that we are not paddling alone. Not because we really need someone else in our boat… but because someone is willing to paddle with us, even when we haven’t asked.