3 Books

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:39 pm
berryandthorn: (red)
[personal profile] berryandthorn
Two in-progress, and one abandoned. 

Fourmile by Watt Key
Fourmile's plot is my own special kind of crack: a mysterious (as in most likely running from the law) drifter takes a shine to a lonely, fatherless boy and stays on to help the boy's mother sell the family farm, which has, along with the family's personal life, gone to pot in the last few months. Unfortunately--and I'm not quite sure why--the characters don't live up to the coolness of their story. They're not flat, exactly, but they're just not surprising; in every situation they all react exactly as you'd predict these types of characters would. It's not enough to make me quit reading; I just wish I could love the characters as much as I love the plot. 

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
I gave up on this a quarter of the way through. It's very, very tropey, which is fantastic, but none of those tropes happened to be ones I like. There's a gorgeous yet sinister guy, a beautiful, flighty younger sister, and a main character who's considered plain by the standards of the time but probably wouldn't do too badly for herself today. Which is fine--beauty standards change. But when are we going to get a heroine who'd be considered plain both then and now, or a heroine whose appearance isn't constantly brought up because, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter? That being said, there's an amazing sense of atmosphere--dark and cold and spindly--and the gorgeous yet sinister guy is obviously based on David Bowie from Labyrinth. I might give this one another try someday. Maybe. 

Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule
This'll be my second Ann Rule book; I'm liking it even more than Empty Promises. Small Sacrifices covers the Diane Downs case, which I first heard about on My Favorite Murder (episode 12, I think). The book (obviously) goes into a lot more detail, especially when it comes to Diane's background. You can't exactly pity her--and honestly, I'd be straight up terrified of anyone who did--but it's interesting to see how her childhood most likely influenced what she ended up becoming. 

There may be a chart for this

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:41 am
butterflydreaming: The Japanese character for "dreams" written on a mug (Dreams)
[personal profile] butterflydreaming
At the end of week five of new job, I have now had dreams about work two nights in a row. The first one was an anxiety dream about not having support. (They are pretty good trainers, but low turnover means that they don't often have new cashiers.) Upon waking, I was able to tell myself that we don't do that particular thing from the dream.

Last night's was something small. I don't even recall it clearly, now.

Notes for the world: when the cashier is looking closely at the produce, there is a good chance she's checking for a sticker for organic vs non, as well as the produce code. Yes, I know those are radishes. The variety of apple is only helpful if I have the code memorized, btw, but thanks. Also, don't lie to me about how much something costs, because I can tell you are lying, and after we all wait for a price check, we will all know you are an ass.
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




LifePrison


"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?




To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )

The Summer I Went Crazy

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:47 am
ofmonstrouswords: (thg: haymitch coffee)
[personal profile] ofmonstrouswords
Serious content warning for this post. I talk about childhood abuse, trauma, suicide, and sexual assault.

There’s a video making the rounds on social media. I haven’t watched it. I don’t want to watch it. But I’ve seen the comments and I know, basically, what it’s about: a child having a tantrum on a train.

Comments have ranged from “this kid is probably autistic” to “this kid needs to be disciplined” and it strikes me this is just yet another way for people without kids to judge parents for not doing a good enough job; or people with kids to feel superior because THEIR child never had a meltdown on the subway.

It also strikes me how very lucky I am to have been born in 1986 and become a teenager in the 90s. Because I grew up without ubiquitous cellphone video cameras and the ability to post video of strangers online. I grew up without the danger that my one bad day would have meant worldwide shaming of my mother, and custody being ripped away from her.

Before we moved to Hawai’i my summers were split between my parents. (After moving there, I spent them with my bio-sire, for what was called “access” because he required access to his child and I was supposed to have access to my tormentors.)

After the first half of the summer being spent with my bio-sire and his new girlfriend, a woman we dubbed Wife #5 (he’s on #7 now), and her band of ill-mannered, horrific monsters of children, I got to spend time with my mom. This particular summer we went to Hawai’i to visit with people, including my new friend who became my best friend and still is (she was my maid of honor at my wedding).

I’m not really sure why she stuck with me for so many years, because that was the second year we knew each other and it was the summer I went insane.

I was a monster. I screamed and cried and kicked. I lashed out at everyone, including my best friend. I threw tantrums on a regular basis. I said cruel, hurtful things. I tried to kill myself. I wielded sharp weapons and was a danger to myself and others.

No one knew what was going on. My mother was at a complete loss, trying to manage a child who had never acted out on this scale before. She was inches from putting me into an institution, and had the threat of my bio-sire taking custody not loomed, she may have done so.

And I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t tell anyone, because I didn’t have words for it and I blamed myself.

What was happening was a culmination of years of abuse and trauma. I had been suffering abuse from my bio-sire since I was 2 years old, and now he had a new family who liked to join in on the fun. I was accused of stealing money from my stepmom, had my belongings stolen from me by my stepsister and then blamed when I tried to get them back from her, called names, threatened, punished when I complained of headaches or coughing because my stepmom liked to smoke cigarettes below my room.

I remember being told by my stepmom that everything was my mom’s fault — yes, even the fact that she and my dad weren’t fucking anymore, which is completely appropriate to say to a kid, right? — and that she was my new mom now and I had to get used to it.

I remember being loathed so completely by my stepmom and step-siblings that I would have done anything to be accepted and loved. Anything.

So I was very easy to coerce.

My stepbrother may have only been 6 months older than me, but he was fully cognizant of what was going on. He’d convinced me the only way I could be accepted by the family was if I did what he asked. I didn’t want to, but I wanted to be accepted.

Of course, I never was. And I blamed myself for what happened for another 10 years. It wasn’t until I confessed, crying, to my first boyfriend about what a dirty, shameful slut I was for having had sex at age 10, telling him the whole story, that he held me and said: Babe. You were raped. That was rape.

It was rape, and it was the cherry on top of the shit sundae of trauma and abuse ladled out to me by my bio-sire and his new wife and her children.

And I couldn’t tell anyone. All I could do was go insane.

If this had been now, if I’d been acting out that way in the modern era, some asshole would film it and put it online so people could shame my mom. She’d lose custody of me and I’d have to live with my bio-sire, where my stepbrother would be free to rape me as many times as he wanted. And in the end, I’d take my own life.

There are so many times I wish I’d told my mom when it happened. If I had, that would have been it: she would have been able to get sole, full custody of me and prevent my bio-sire from ever seeing me again. I would have had a better adolescence. I would have started healing sooner. I wouldn’t have had to spend the night with then ex-Wife #5 in my teens because of a missed ferry connection, and weathered the look her older son gave me as I stood in their kitchen, the look that made me feel dirty, and ashamed, and like I wanted to jump into the Salish Sea and drown.

I have searched for years for ways to cleanse myself of the shame, and the anger and the hatred. Ways for me to process the trauma — not just that rape, but all the other compounded trauma that came after it, including another rape. I have done so much, but it is still not enough, and sometimes I feel like that ten-year-old: ready to scream and break down in public, ready to fling myself off a building, ready to kill anyone who gets close to me.

I’ve thought for a while that I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I’ve been close to committing myself a few times in the past year, which might be the right move seeing as I requested a psych consult over a year ago and BC’s medical establishment moves as fast as a glacier when it comes to mental health. I want a diagnosis. Because what I think I have doesn’t help me get help. It won’t help me get better meds than what I have.

Recently, I heard that Borderline Personality Disorder can look the same as C-PTSD. C-PTSD, or Complex-PTSD, is what happens when someone suffers trauma over and over for a long period of time.

I already know I have PTSD; now I’m pretty sure I have C-PTSD. Because I suffered trauma for years on end from my bio-sire and my stepfamilies, then later from partners, people who were supposed to love me but only hurt me.

One of them, I still can’t speak his name without freaking out.

Another, this year I celebrated it having been 7 years since he touched me. I have grown into a body he never knew.

And I had C-PTSD when I was 10, because that was after 8 years of hell.

Last night, instead of sleeping, my brain decided to replay the abuse over and over again. Over and over again, I remembered the rape. It’s been over two decades, and I still cannot shake this trauma.

Maybe that kid in the video just needs discipline. Or maybe they’re fighting a battle we know nothing about. Maybe the last thing that parent needs is strangers judging them. Maybe what they need is compassion, and understanding, and patience.

Maybe we don’t know the first fucking thing about other people’s lives. Maybe we should consider that before we whip out the cell phone and start filming.

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--

SO THAT HAPPENED.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:30 am
skye_writer: (rey of sunshine)
[personal profile] skye_writer
So, I have a Wordpress blog. Today I wrote a little blog post about Guillermo del Toro's new film and about my inability to fathom the motivations and thought processes of people who insist that things that are tangentially related are in fact deeply connected and related to each other. You can read it here.

I posted a link on my twitter, as you do. I tagged del Toro in it, since it saved characters and anyway famous people never notice when I tag them--

AND THEN HE RETWEETED IT.

WHAT.

I kind of freaked out? a little bit? And naturally my twitter notifications were blowing up all afternoon (less so this evening). And according to my WP dash, the post has gotten over FIVE HUNDRED VIEWS. I mean... what???? IS THIS REAL LIFE?????

I'm a little giddy over it to be honest. I haven't gotten like a new following or anything out of it, but it is kind of warming the cockles of my heart to think that someone I admire deeply as a storyteller might have read something I wrote, and liked it enough to share it.

Cleaning with Cynthia

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:13 am
chochiyo_sama: (Default)
[personal profile] chochiyo_sama
 I had set the alarm for 8:30, so I could get a few things done before Cynthia arrived.  I caught up on my journal entries first as I was falling terribly behind.  I keep a prayer journal that I write in every night, and what I write in that reminds me of the events of the day so I can record them in my regular journal here.

I cleaned the toilet and the sink in the bathroom as I don't want Cynthia to have to clean my toilet--and since I was already in the cleaning spirit in there, I did the sink too.  She later did the floor and polished the mirror and took the rugs outside and shook them, so the bathroom is sparkling clean now.

Cynthia returned my bar pan and thanked me again for the pumpkin bars.  They didn't last long at her house.  I wasn't sure if my aunt wanted Cynthia today or next week, so I called her to find out.  It is next week, so she can have her house nice and clean for Rachelle's baby shower.  My aunt is a talker, so I had a hard time getting off the phone.  Cynthia got right to work, hauling out my garbage and recycling to the bins, shaking the small rugs, and vacuuming the area rugs and the upholstered furniture.

She wiped down the mats under the cats' dishes and swept and scrubbed the floors in every room.  She washed the washer and dryer in the laundry room--they were pretty grungy--I hadn't done anything with the since I moved in.  I have to do something about the inside of the washer--the former owners didn't use the water softener, so there is like a scum coating the inside of the porcelain parts of the washer.  I don't know if running a cycle with bleach or maybe vinegar would take care of it.  It just looks dirty.

Mom had run across the three ceramic butterflies that my grandmother had painted at my aunt Darla's ceramic studio years ago--when she died, no one wanted the butterflies, so I took them.  They are painted in pinks and purples.  She had sent them home with me a few days ago, and I had Cynthia hang them up in the bathroom on the wall over the toilet.  They look really cute there.  The bathroom is a real dull yellow.  I would like to paint it a very pale lavender.  My bathroom rugs are pink, but I don't want a pink bathroom.  Eventually the rugs will have to be replaced.

My cats refused to use the deep litter boxes with the covers on them, so I had Cynthia put them in the tote in the garage that I am saving for Tammy.   She can give one to Sadie for the SunMan (Sadie's cat) and keep the other for her upstairs.  These litter boxes are just great as the litter doesn't get kicked out all over everything, and in Tammy's case, they prevent the Chihuahuas from eating the cat poop.

She polished all the wood furniture with Orange Glow, which really makes the furniture shine, and spritzed the linen closet with a lavender linen spray that I got years ago at the Crown Plaza where I attended a teachers' workshop.  She carried a few things to the basement for me--just a handful of Barbie stuff--and moved all my cookbooks into the kitchen.  I have to locate a short bookcase that I can put in the kitchen under the windows in the corner so I can have my cookbooks handy.

She worked just under two hours.  Then we had roast beef and cheese sandwiches on Kaiser rolls and just chatted for a while.  She is such a good kid and a very hard worker. 

When she left, I sat in my recliner and enjoyed the sparkling, fresh beauty of my house.  It looks so nice when she is done.  I worked on the little butterfly dresses for a while, then Mom called and I talked to her for a while.  Both cats came out and took turns sitting on Momma's lap and getting snuggles.  They hide when Cynthia is here because she runs  the vacuum cleaner--they hate the vacuum cleaner. 

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  I watched some television and went to bed fairly early and watched a bunch of videos on YouTube before going to sleep.










 

fuckyeahseb: an icon with the letters FYS in mint green against a chocolate brown background with a yellow diamond below the letters and then a think stripe of mint green at the bottom (Default)
[personal profile] fuckyeahseb
I completely forgot that today is Friday because I've spent the day playing Stardew Valley with** E.

** where "with" means he reminds me of the time in-game, points out the copper nodes and minerals in the mine, and gets super excited and yell-y about how many fish I've managed to catch with silver or gold star quality.

Dream Daddy successfully launched! I was excited because of it being a queer dating sim but I'm actually really pleased with the game. It's $15 and you can find the game on steam at the following link: [Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator on Steam].

The mini games caught me by surprise and since I don't play a lot of dating sims I don't know if they're a standard feature. Other wise it's cute and a lot of fun.

I actually feel really bad for Joseph. Even if he doesn't end up being the dad I romance in-game, I really hope things improve for him. D:

Day 50: Silver fish

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:04 pm

Some Stuff

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:53 am
berryandthorn: (forest)
[personal profile] berryandthorn
  • This month I fell into a bit of a reading slump, and I've been slowly working my way out of it by reading a whole bunch of middle grade books. I just finished Ghost by Jason Reynolds and Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes. Olive's Ocean is an old favorite (I remember listening the audiobook when I was around the same age as the main character, Martha) and oh boy, did it hold up the second time around. I can't help but love how conflicted and miserable Martha is through most of the story because that's, more or less, how I felt when I was twelve: lonely and awkward and tired of everyone, especially everyone in my family. Olive's Ocean is also a very small story--one summer with one family--that still feels huge and deeply emotional. 
  • Ghost is pretty short. Even shorter than Olive's Ocean, which I read all the way through in one day. It's also hilarious, and features two things I adore: a snarky kid narrator and an "inspirational coach" type of character who's almost just as snarky. If anything, I wish that this one had been a little longer, but it's part of a series, so I will be able to spend more time with the characters once the second book comes out. 
  • I emailed in my application for peer tutoring a few days ago. I won't be getting an answer back for a couple more days, but I have a pretty good feeling about my chances. Mostly I'm just worried about filling the position for one of the classes that fits with the rest of my schedule before someone else does. 
  • An idea for a short story was bugging me, so I decided to try writing it down last week. I ended up learning two things. One: I can still write short stories, but two: I don't actually want to write short stories right now. Which feels weird, since I always figured that I did still want to write short stories--I just hadn't come up with any good ideas yet. But ideas aren't the problem. The problem is that I'm just not interested in them. And maybe I was never interested in writing short stories as much as I was interested in publishing short stories...anyway, if I'm going to write, I want to enjoy what I'm writing, so after typing up a couple paragraphs I gave up and dumped it in my "Bits & Pieces" file. It really wasn't a bad beginning. I'm just not interested in continuing it. At all. 
  • Better writing news: my July Horror Movie Spotlight for TFI is up. This month it's I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, which I already talked about here and still have mixed feelings about. I always find things I should have changed in my posts after they're finished and posted, but I don't think this one turned out too bad. You can find it here.  
  • I'm getting caught up on My Favorite Murder. Episode 77 was amazing, and by that I mean it covered two absolutely horrific stories. I haven't listened to Lore in a while, so that's next on my list. 

Addendum

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:13 am
chochiyo_sama: (Default)
[personal profile] chochiyo_sama
Last Christmas, the kids at the Refuge gave me a cute pink water bottle that has a plastic straw built right into the cover.  I think it is called a "Contigo."  It's sort of like a tall sippy cup for adults.  The "nipple" part folds under to keep it clean and to prevent random strangers from roofie -ing your beverage while you are looking away, I guess.  Anyhow, I get thirsty in the night, so I usually fill it with ice then with water from my water cooler and take it to bed with me. 

So, I was in bed, watching TV.  I had already had a couple of sips from the Contigo.  I had one more and something came up through the straw--it felt like a piece of plastic--hard but flexible.  I felt it roll around in my mouth and pushed it forward with my tongue, thinking that a piece of the straw must have broken off.  I plucked it out of my mouth and was instantly aghast and disgusted.

IT WAS A FUCKING EARWIG. 

I had just washed the contigo, so it either crawled into the straw when it was in the dish drainer or it was hanging out by the spout of the water cooler and fell in when I filled it with water or it was lounging on the refrigerator where the ice comes out of the ice maker and fell in.  I think it was already either dead or comatose due to hypothermia from the ice water.  But I squashed its guts out anyway and threw it into the waste basket.  Fucking earwigs.

I kill 2-5 of the bastards a day.

I discovered that there is quite a gap between the basement door and the kitchen floor, so I suspect they are coming up through there.  Next time I am out and about, I will look for some kind of stripping to put there, so the door is more flush with the floor. 

And I am setting out earwig drowning traps as well.  They all must DIE.
oceanandspace: a blue moon reflecting on the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] oceanandspace
I went to watch Voyage of Time: Life's Journey by Terrence Malick today.

This movie is *very* beautiful. Truly, magnificent images and colors.

But omg, so boring.

It took me half of the movie to catch what it was about, since I barely glanced at the summary beforehand. I love nature documentaries, so I decided to go watch it without really looking it up. I mean, you should be able to understand a movie without having read a 1000 words summary beforehand, no?

Anyway.


Very beautiful, but. Implied philosophic ideas, which feels a bit cowardly since nothing is actually said, Cate B. says maybe 50 disjointed words during the movie with very little interest, we might as well have no narrator, it would have had the same effect. There are many time jump back and forth with zero warning.


I loved watching the space and ocean pictures, it was magnificent. (I could have done without the insects xD ) Some animals are seriously freaky, wth.

One of my biggest problem is that since there's not really a narrator, you're show many beautiful places and animals... but you have zero context, you don't know where, you don't know what.

I feel like I should have stayed at home. The most beautiful parts were the space images, which I already have since my computer's backgrounds are Hubble photos from the NASA, and there are a lot of nature docs on Youtube which would have fulfilled my ocean needs.


I liked the parallels between nature is beauty/don't fuck it up/people should care for each other and nature, but I was so bored halfway through that I ended up barely paying attention. I was writing this review in my mind *facepalm*

On the other hand, the music is awesome, I need to look it up.

Voyage in Time by Terrence Malick

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