Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Starsoul: The Artificer Enigma; Eyes of a Dragon

His eyes, I think, were what first caught me. They didn't sparkle with some inner light, the way they do in stories. They weren't dazzlingly beautiful. They weren't ridiculously gorgeous, or even overly pretty, as a man's eyes go. You know how other girls are always mooning over "gorgeous brown eyes" or "pretty blue eyes" but his weren't. Not like that. And, you know, I'm a sucker for a brown eyed boy. But that's not what ensnared me.
They were striking, in that way that cuts to the heart and leaves an open pit just waiting to snare anything that draws too close. They were bottomless pools of pain and heartache and lifetime upon lifetime of loss, and waiting. Deep, fathomless wells of knowing... too much knowing, garnered from too much experience, too much of life that had been unpleasant. And at the bottom of those wells was so strong a soul, so strong a heart. His was a heart that loved like the breath of a mountain -  aeons deep, aeons long, and inevitable as death; a heart whose love and hope and determination could split the sky and dare the storm without fear. His was a heart and soul that would call down the Void itself to protect those he loved, or to see them smile just for a moment.
His eyes brimmed over with something unnameable, something that would tell you in no uncertain terms that the man behind them was faithful and loyal and gentle but fierce and wild… untamed, and never would be tame. He was not the kind of man you could keep, or would keep you. He could take your breath away or give it back, could spin you and toss you like a canoe in a stormy sea. He would be the safety net that never let you fall. He was the kind of man who would walk beside you when you could stand on your own two feet, or pause and hold you when you needed to sit down and weep.
Those damned magnificent brown eyes were intense behind the guarded, wary wall. He kept everyone and everything at bay; he was cold, distant and unapproachable, yet charming and warm. His eyes told a story; he’d been through hellfire and worse, and come out on the other side older, wiser, and scarred beyond repair… but still beautiful, still open, and still hoping for something good to come along one day.
And they showed his uncertainty, his insecurity - to me at least. I like to think it was only to me, in those days when we were each separately discovering the other, remembering our history and finding that which we came to love. I watched his eyes as he grew and matured and discovered himself, discovered the man he was growing into, still is growing into. He still makes me quake with a glance, the way he slides his gaze to meet mine, and smiles that small, crooked, mischievous smile that lasts no longer than a heartbeat.  His eyes still show his vulnerable, deep and secret heart, still show me that he can't believe at times that this is real and true, that this really is happening, that I'm smiling back at him with the kind of devotion that only comes after millennia of hoping and wandering, millennia of searching for what had always been right beside me, waiting for me to notice...
His eyes were the first thing I noticed, the one thing I was afraid to notice too closely... and now the one thing I can't stop noticing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaNoWriMo... again!?!

I know, I know... for those of you who know me, you're thinking, God, is she doing that again? She does it every year and ends up failing every year!

Well, yeah. But I have something to show for it. I have new stories to finish one day. I tried. When was the last time you tried to write 50,000 words in 30 days or less? One day, I'll win it. and maybe, just maybe, I'll get published. Me, a published author, finally. After nearly 20 years of writing my own stories and never finishing a damn one. Maybe it'll be this year. Maybe not. It's up to the Muse.

I'm still going to try.

For those of you unfamiliar with this event, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, or NaNo as we affectionately, and sometimes resentfully, call it) is organized by a group called The Office of Letters and Light. They put on a small handful of events every year, and inspire, support, and encourage novelists of all ages to write, write, write. They do a Young Authors' program, a Script Frenzy in spring, and... well, you get the idea. They've inspired me 5 years in a row to go outside my writer's box and come up with new stories, new ways of expressing them. For example, this year my novel attempt is of the Magepunk genre with overtones of Horror... neither of which I have written or read before. And no, I'm not going for a gorefest. Just something creepy and scary and intense. 

Anyways, here's the link to my NaNo page:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/spottedcheshire

and the link to my NaNoWriMo sponsorship page:

http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?is_new=1&fcid=216241

Please sponsor my attempt at NaNo this year by donating to the Office of Letters and Light. You'll be supporting their efforts to inspire newbie (and old hands) authors to new heights of noveling wonders. Help them encourage writing, and reading. They are featured in many communities and even classrooms across the country and even internationally. Help them keep going for another year. And you'll be helping me push to cross the finish line on Nov. 30th as well!

If you donate, please comment here (leave your name if you don't have a Blogger account please!) or message me elsewhere. You probably know how to find me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Love and Blessings
-Leigh, the White Fox

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ancestors

Mayhap it's appropriate that this has occurred, during October, the month of the holiday that my ancestors celebrated their ancestors, and the day the wheel turns to the upward swing of the year.

My grandfather, the only one I've got left, is having some kind of urinary problem. The doctors don't know what's wrong. They're doing tests. Hopefully we find out on Friday what's going on and what they plan to do about it. I hope, but in the meantime I worry. I can't help it... he's family.

Even if he's family that has contributed to my exile, my slander, my existence as a pariah because of lies and misconceptions that no one seems willing to allow me to correct. He's still family, gods damn it all.

And I am minded of my other grandfather, that I lost years ago... I fight tears as I sit here writing. He was the biggest-hearted man I've ever known. He loved us all unswervingly, his four children and myself and my cousins, his grandchildren... and the one great-grandchild he got to know for a little while. He defended us against everyone, even each other, when the moment was necessary. Of my grandparents, perhaps it is a little selfish of me... but I still ask, why Daddy Bob first? Why was he the first to cross the veil between this world and the next?

Family is so precious, too precious. Especially our Old Ones. In a way, our ancestors are all we have. They are where we come from. Our very DNA would not exist if not for them. We owe our lives to them. Celebrate them, in this time when the veil is thin and the other side may hear us more clearly. They have so much life behind them, and so little time, an unknown time, left to us.  It is too precious to let the things between us stay there. I wish, pray, hope for the day that my voice and presence is wanted again, for the day that maybe, just maybe, I correct some of the lies being told about me and I can be part of my family again. Whatever else you may think of me, I love my family and this is never what I wanted. I do want to fix it, but you have to meet me halfway, too.

I adore my grandfather. I ask for prayers, positive energies, and whatever else fits your paradigm to send his way for healing and blessing.

And maybe, while you're at it, pray for a little reconciliation for us, too. All of us.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween!

My favorite line, from Halloween Town (courtesy of Danny Elfman, of course)

"...this is Halloween
Red 'n' black, slimy green
Aren't you scared?
Well, that's just fine
Say it once, say it twice
Take a chance and roll the dice
Ride with the moon in the dead of night"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Some days...

....I'd just rather not get out of bed. Some days you learn things that make you hate humanity, your own life, or the universe, and not necessarily in that order.

I woke up and got on FB (possibly my first mistake) and checked my email. There's so much BS about voting and voter registration and that sparked the first rant of the day. And I quote, from my FB status:

"ye Gods. if I see one more "vote because it's your right and responsibility" thing I may screech and claw something to shreds. I am abstaining this year. This is my conscientious objection. These are my reasons:

1. Voting for the "lesser of two evils" when neither approved candidate is really "lesser" is not going to do any good. It's just going to continue and encourage the vicious cycle of sto
mping on the American people to benefit the privileged few.

addendum: who the hell "approved" these candidates anyway?? The American people? No!

2. Did we not see from last election that those in power put their choice in office no matter who we vote for? McCain won the popular vote over Obama. That means the majority of the American people wanted McCain. The Electoral College put Obama in office, overriding the majority vote. That means that the individual's vote DOES NOT MATTER. So no, one vote does not make a difference unless you're in the Electoral College.

3. Until a third party puts forward a viable candidate to end the idiotic cycle of duality that never goes anywhere, it's not worth it to me to get worked up over something I can't change.

So I choose not to vote. Hate, deride, and look down your nose at me. But my reasons are valid and you can't really argue with them. And don't tell me I can "write in" a different name. Because that's not going to make a difference any more than voting for an approved candidate is."
The second thing that tweaked me today was when I found out that someone(s) who shall remain nameless are getting money invested in their business, which has only been in existence as an idea for about a month. They're getting about $2000. The thing that irritated me is that I've been trying for YEARS to make a business, or at least a thriving hobby, out of my jewelry, or possibly my other interests. There are a only a few pieces of equipment I need(ed). These few pieces add up to less than $1000. Someone else who shall remain nameless received a nearly-$1000 forge for his birthday once, barely uses the freaking thing (he told me it scared him, in point of fact!), and I couldn't even get a $300-$400 kiln to do bronze and copper Metal Clay work. Or an even cheaper rotary tool. People like me get passed over. People like me have to make their own luck because we don't get help. Why didn't I say anything about it bothering me at the time, you ask? Because I'm not the kind of person who complains just to get what they want. I don't whine. I do, however, smile and take the knocks and keep going. But I feel it all the same. But I don't want to carry it anymore. So: that bothered me. A lot.  It's not fair. Yes, I know, life isn't fair. But people are supposed to be fair to one another. Even more so when you're family.

But that apparently doesn't apply to me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Think on this.

He who knows not,
And knows not that he knows not,
Is a fool, shun him.

He who knows not,

And knows that he knows not,
Is a child, teach him.

He who knows,
And knows not that he knows,
Is asleep, wake him.

He who knows,
And knows that he knows,
Is wise, follow him.

-Persian Proverb

Friday, July 6, 2012

it's ghosts...

I am a ghost
a mere voice
that can only whisper
and cry out in silence
I am only a flash
a motion seen in a moment
and gone from your eyes the next
I have no flesh to hurt
no eyes to cry tears
no heart to beat
in pain or love
I am the wind
I howl and touch the trees
and soon enough
I, too, will fade away.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beltane, 2012

Beltane's upcoming
and I just want to say
with all green things growing
and summer only a month away
here's some spring blessings
and a hope for a happy May Day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm a _____ mom

I'm a geek mom. I play Skyrim and World of Warcraft with my baby in my lap, giggling up a storm at the colors and movement and sound in front of us.  Her daddy and I play Dungeons and Dragons at night while she's asleep on my chest, taking extra care that the dice rolls do not wake the snoozing dragonette. I perfer Mac over PC. I expose my kids to Star Trek, Doctor Who, and good Sci-fi/fantasy fiction. Asimov, Gibson, and Heinlein are some of my favorite authors, along with Mercedes Lackey, Jacqueline Carey, Jim Butcher, Sara Douglass, and about a dozen others.  I'm a huge fan of the Dresden Files and so is my oldest girl. I'm a Steampunker; I recycle, and upcycle, and repurpose old, forgotten bits from an old, almost-forgotten time. I listen to Clockwork Quartet and Abney Park. My kids think AP is the greatest band ever. I'm slowly converting my wardrobe (mostly) over to a pseudo-Victorian uber-eclectic style. Some of my favorite words are "aether", "clockworks", and "airship". I love the literature. I love the concepts. And I share that love with my kids when I get the chance.

I'm a "witch" mom. I believe in things that others consider "pagan" or "wiccan" without actually subscribing to either religion. I believe in kitchen-witchery and garden-witchery, in all the best senses of the word. I believe in the earth - Mother Earth and Father Sky. I believe in nature spirits, and otherworld spirits - fae and worse. I believe in demons and angels (having had personal encounters with both). I believe in totems (see my earlier post on Coyote), and elemental energies. I believe in celebrating the Wheel of the Year. I believe in the old holidays, not the stolen versions we have today. I believe spirituality should be earth-based and heart-based, not closed up in a structure built by man and shut off from what is Real. I believe in balancing Yin and Yang. I believe in Feng Shui. I burn candles and incense and read books on herbal magicks and crystals and colors and correspondences. I believe in magick, because I've experienced it and I know it's Real. I believe in the old things, all that was bright and beautiful... and dark and dire. I believe there is good and evil. Because magick isn't all light and love... when you step into the world of magick, you step into a world that is both dark and light, that can be dangerous for the unwary. It's a world that will eat you alive if you don't tread carefully. But it's a world that offers up so much more than most will ever dream of.

I'm an earthy mom. I breastfeed. I believe in lots of hugs, and love instead of negative feedback or coercion techniques. I believe in attachment parenting. I have to have my windows open to the sun and sky for a certain number of hours each day. I try to get my baby's feet (and bottom, if she's so inclined to sit) in the grass at least once every day.  I get driven crazy by the fact I can't really have a garden right now. I try to use as much all-natural stuff(cleaners, soaps, shampoos, essential oils, herbs, homeopathy, etc.) at home as I can afford. I believe in natural remedies and alternative medicine. I believe in hand-me-downs and shopping at Goodwill... as much because you can find the niftiest stuff there as because it's cheap, and it's recycling. I teach my kids sign language even though they don't need it. I believe in permaculture and green, sustainable, off-the-grid living. I believe in unschooling and homeschooling, because public schools and homework are some of the dumbest things in the world. I wish I had a creek for my girls like I did when I was a kid. I love walks in the woods. I love identifying plants and trees and animals, and teaching my kids about each one. I love the wind. I love the mountains. I want my kids to experience the wonders I had in my own backyard as a child.

I'm a artist mom. I write when I get the chance and inspiration. I draw characters from my stories with pencil and ink and markers. I make digital art with Photoshop and Mojoworld and I'm trying to learn Poser, and I'd like to learn Bryce and a few others. I paint with oil paints and love the smell of turpentine and drying canvas. I make jewelry with beads and gems and wire, and a half-dozen other things... whatever strikes my fancy. I try to find ways to mix my creativity with everyday life.

But most of all, most importantly, I'm just a mom.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coyote Medicine

Coyote... the trickster.  Coyote brings change on the wings of catastrophe, with a grin and an insane laugh as he prances into your life and brings everything you thought you knew crashing down around you.  Coyote takes all those safe walls and tosses you up and outside of them, with no way to get back in. He offers a chance, not to re-invent, but to invent yourself, for the first time....

I've always had a close relationship with Coyote, ever since I was a little girl and my parents bought me a Coyote Stories book at the Anasazi ruins gift shop in New Mexico.  He stuck in my head, this image of a slightly ragged coyote with pinion pitch in his fur, trying to outsmart everyone but ending up only outsmarting himself, getting the raw end of the deal and almost never learning his lesson, and his spirits never dampened.


Coyote distracts the Creator while he is baking man out of clay, 
and that is why men are all different colors!
Image Source: deviantART


There are a lot of stories about Coyote; he is one of the most respected and most ridiculed totem spirits. His stories are meant to entertain, but also to teach, as all good stories should. He is a creator, and a destroyer.  He is a madman and a clown, but also a very wise fool.  Genius and idiot savant... and sometimes just plain idiot. He is a thief and a liar, but he only steals what has meaning (in a parable sort of way), and in his lies are found very poignant truths.

I have spent all my life being defined by my surroundings, being defined by my reactions and responses to people, to situations. I have let everything and everyone else define who I am and how I respond.  In many cases, it was not how I truly wanted to respond, not what I truly thought, but it was "expected" or "acceptable" so I went ahead and did it because it wasn't worth the battle. Or that's what I thought.  Not worth the battle.

And Coyote keeps stepping in, just as soon as I'm feeling comfortable and safe again, just as soon as I start to stagnate because I'm letting myself be defined.  He steps in and POOF, everything changes.  I no longer have a safe, stable environment.  Nothing to rely on except one person... that one person who tends to agree with Coyote - I'm an idiot, a fool in the best tradition of Coyote stories, and I just need to get over it.  Coyote's lesson is to step out and -do- in spite of being afraid.  Coyote tells me to forget my fear and just do something.  Even if it's the wrong something, it's still better than sitting still and howling over spilt stars.

So this is me... getting over it.  Nothing matters anymore, but the next foot put forward, and the one after that.  One step at a time, never looking back, even if I fall in a cactus again and come up covered in pitch and dirt.  And I laugh a madman's laugh in defiance of opposition, a wild Coyote cackle that just might chill your spine... yip yip yeeeeooowwww!

But I do look forward, to the future I still envision.  It will happen. It will come to pass, come hell or high water, in spite of anything anyone can throw at me.  Just you wait.

Thanks, Coyote.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"I only want what's best for you..."

How many times have you heard someone say that to you?  How many times have you -known- without a shadow of a doubt, that they were wrong, but went along with in anyway, because you didn't want to argue, or hurt them, or maybe doubted yourself?  How many times did you figure out only too late that you were right and they were terribly, horribly wrong?

In my humble and oft-discounted opinion, it is not those who actively seek your destruction who are the worst sort of people. It is those who claim (and may even believe) that they only want the best for you while doing the worst possible thing they could "for" you, claiming it is for your benefit...! As if another person, someone who can never see into the inner workings of your mind or truly understand the labyrinthine spirals, could know better than you what is truly best for you. It is those people who are the worst monsters, for it is those people who are hardest to convince that they are wrong. It is those people who try the hardest and are often the most successful at destroying the people they love best.

This counts for fathers and mothers who try to counteract or over-control their children.  This counts for brothers and sisters who undermine and undercut their siblings.  This counts also for religious leaders, community leaders... even governments.

Anytime someone looks at you and says "I only what what's best for you" or "I'm only doing this for your benefit" or "I'm only looking out for you" look twice at what they're doing.  And then take a long, hard look at the relationship.  Find a gentle, polite, un-hurtful way to tell them No Thank You, and Keep Your Nose Out Of My Business.  How many of you will the realize that while you may love them, that person is not to be trusted, and maybe never again?

I've been in this position far too often for my own comfort.  It hurts.  A lot.  Especially when you realize that, yes, this person whom you trusted, should have been able to trust implicitly, really does not have your true best interests in mind and has no idea what you want, or need, or what is best for you... and then they do the exact opposite, hurting you in the worst way possible, doing to you the thing most likely to destroy you, all the while claiming that they love you and we're only thinking of what's best for you, only trying to take care of you....

Next time, ask that person, very nicely, if they can just trust you instead, and help you do what you believe is good and right and true for your own well-being. I should have. Maybe things would be better now, if I had.  Maybe I wouldn't have lost nearly everything I care about.  Maybe I wouldn't be facing a long, hard, miserable war up the side of a mountain to get it back...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Believe.

I do not believe
the God you preach about
would ask me to give up happiness
in favor of your version of righteousness

I do not believe
the God you teach about
would tell me to sacrifice my Self
just for the sake of someone else's peace of mind.

I really think
the God you claim to know
would not tell me that I can't have it all
just because it doesn't fit with your ideas.

I have flown on wings
that took me higher than any eagles could
can you say the same?
I have fallen farther
to depths no whale could breach
do you know what that feels like?

I have often wished upon a star
and never had those dreams come so near to true
Only to have it torn so far
You never even asked me what I dreamt to do.

And now I am ineffectual
Powerless to stem the tide against me
Are you pleased with what you've done?
Let me count the ways you've tried to end me.

Never mistake, never forget
I will rise again
And it will be you regretting
That you did not remember who I was.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Muse

this is me
holding a lightning rod under a full moon
waiting for the full force of heaven's wrath from an empty sky
and tasting only the light of a falling star

I gave all
hoped for all
grasped perfection in a warm and glowing heart
and I rest there still