Category Archives: writing

The One About Saying No

As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:

Bugger bugs.

“Stop.”

Bugger continues, upping their game and laughing.

“No, stop. I’m serious.”

Bugger kicks it into high and taunts.

I raise my voice, lay hands, force a stop.

Bugger gets feelings hurt and accuses me of overreacting.

Brothers, boyfriends, friends, coworkers, even my dad. It’s been omnipresent in my life.

Never really thought much about it other than to be annoyed. Today, being home sick and bored to tears, I watched a couple of movies. Guess what they both had in common.

Scenario One: The woman tells the man to stop because she doesn’t want to get into the water. He chases her, corners her, forces her over his shoulder before throwing her into the pool. The whole time she’s screaming for him to stop. She’s MAD when she gets out of the water and the man stalks off because he thinks it’s NOT FAIR that she’s angry. She runs after him and apologizes.

Scenario Two: The woman has had a traumatic past that has not been disclosed to the man. He puts on a mask and stalks her around the dark house. The whole time she’s backing up, trying to get away, and screaming for him to stop. When she slams the bathroom door on his hand in an effort to lock herself in, he’s pissed. She apologizes to him and explains her traumatic past as a way to make him understand her reaction.

No means no. All the time. Every time.

No, don’t want to go out with you.

No, I don’t want to be tickled.

No, you can’t have a hug.

No, I don’t like to be scared.

No, I don’t want to have kids.

No, I don’t want to get my extensions wet.

And no I won’t apologize to you for the response your actions wrought.tumblr_naqc5foddz1rxmno2o1_500

TL;DR: Stop making this normal. Reject it and don’t fucking apologize for asserting yourself. Thinking men are too fragile to be told no is a Rook mistake. Let them deal with it.

 

 

 

 

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The One About Rogue One

Growing up, Star Wars was my thing. Had the action figures and  basically played pretend for years. Cut the head off of a blue mop handle and a green broom one. Got in trouble and SWORE never to do it again. Then endured the grounding that followed when Mom brought home red handled replacements.

Broken fingers. Bloody knuckles. Lumps to the head. Lightsaber duels were my first secret fight club.

Even made up my own character because Leia wasn’t badass enough – plus there was that slave girl thing. Ugh.

Saw Rogue One and LOVED it. Loved the story. Loved the homage to the 70s. Loved the set dressing. Loved the settings. Loved the characters. Loved that it was dark. But even with all the love, there was just something missing.

Chicks.

Group of evil scientists – all dudes.

Crowds – no chicks

Military /Rebel Base – Mon Mothma

Wait … no.  That’s it. Mon Mothma.

Squad of assassins, saboteurs, and spies – DUDES.

In the Star Wars universe, there are only moms, displaced princesses, Mon Mothma, and Jyn. Even the droids are male.

I’m not even looking for more female speaking parts. But can’t we just be part of the regular everyday Star Wars background?

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TL;DR: There are females in the world. When you exclude us completely, it’s distracting. Some of us are even FANS. Ignoring us is a Rook mistake.

The One About Prepping

Attended FenCon, a Dallas science fiction convention, this weekend. There was an author discussion about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Someone brought a BOB (bug out bag) and added a respirator and face shield because of the threat of contamination. It was interesting enough. Though someone in the audience set up a camera and tripod to record it without asking anyone involved. Rude much?

This is National Preparedness Month. Bug out bags have always made sense to me. You prepare in case something happens: hurricane, tornado, fire, break in, and zombies. Why not? The zombie aspect could make it a fun little shiver instead of crippling panic.

Taking care of yourself and helping your neighbors prep for disaster would free up some resources in case of a local area emergency. I’d rather be the one with a little control of my situation than rely on the hospitality of others. But that’s just me.

It’s SEPTEMBER, folks.

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The One About My Dad

 

A day late and a dollar short for Father’s Day, but it’s always hard.

I was a bona fide daddy’s girl growing up. There was a  good five years difference between me and my sister, and then another two between me and my littlest brother. That gave me seven years of being the son my dad wanted. And another 5 before the brother got interesting.

By 12, my father had taught me how to hunt and field dress a deer, reload a shotgun because relocating the raccoons didn’t work out, use a couple of hand tools to put a swing set together, how to lose with grace and courage, and how to cuss the son of bitch out who cheated. He taught me to love and to help people. He’d taught me to drive a stick shift, a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, from one end of the pasture to the other while he shot quail from the passenger side window.

He taught me that life goes on when he pulled my brother out of the cattle tank and couldn’t save him.

He taught me that it was OK to cry.

He taught me that, if you’re able, you work. No excuses. No bullshit. And if you’re not, you contribute in other ways and that there will always be people (like him) to help you.

He was a fireman that, on his off days, remodeled houses. He taught me how to put up a ceiling fan and put in light fixtures. He taught me twice why it’s important to turn off the circuit breaker. (Sorry, Daddy, I am still terrified of electrocuting myself.)

He taught me the importance of a tension breaking joke. (LOUD HORN: “Don’t shoot! I’ll marry the whole damn family!) He taught me patience and the desire to do it right the first time – not to be perfect – but just so you can rest later. His favorite thing to say was, “Give your laziest man your hardest job and he’ll find the easiest way to do it.” He thought he was lazy.

He taught me to stand up for others. And to always give someone the chance to do the right thing. And then he taught me to pick my battles. He taught me the courage of not saying anything and letting people make their own mistakes.

Even if he did let me marry one of them.

Before he walked me down the aisle, he turned and said, “It’s not too late. Tell me right now that you don’t want to do this and I’ll drive you anywhere you want to go.”Because that’s the kind of guy he was.

He was.

My dad didn’t live to see my son. Though on his 60th birthday, I gave him a framed picture of my first sonogram. That was July. By December, he was gone.

So, help someone out if you can today. Or maybe cuss them. Do it for my dad.

TL;DR: I miss my dad. 644142_4181073278109_853771843_n

 

 

The One About the Last One

I wrote my the blog post about Memorial Day while I was at work. I didn’t really think much of it, just getting it off my chest a good four days after the fact. I went on to handle a few other things – no big deal. What I didn’t realize is that holding on to it for that long had really left a mark on me.

Within an hour of typing it up, paramedics were asking me questions and hooking me up to leads.

It started off as a little chest pain and I ignored it. It progressed to pressure, sweating, and I was unable to catch my breath. I didn’t associate the post with what was happening. Instead, I realized I was the same age as my dad when he had his first heart attack. That brought down the full on panics.

911 and 12 leads later, I told the paramedics I had PTSD. They wanted to know why. The words “combat vet” will sometimes upset people. No one in my PoB (place of business) knew. And there was no taking it back. A full siren, lights blazing ambulance and it’s firetruck escort has a way of jumpstarting the gossip machine. By now they all know. It’s one thing to have served at one time, because that could mean anything. It’s a different monster to have participated in the trading of bullets.  It isn’t shame that keeps me sharing this with the people I come in contact with on the daily, but the lack of wanting another person’s opinion about it. I don’t come to work to swap war stories. I don’t go there to give pieces of myself to virtual strangers. I come to work.

In case you’re worried, I’m fine. It wasn’t a heart attack. It was a straight up bona fide panic attack during working hours where the whole of place knows about me now.

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TL;DR: Secrecy isn’t an option and you can’t unfuck the cat. Compartmentalization breaks down and people will know your shit. Deal with it.  Not dealing with it is a total Rook mistake.

Also, cardiologists are important.

 

 

 

 

The (Late) One About Memorial Day

I know, I know. I suck at blogging. Think of it this way, I write more when I’m feeling the need for a little therapy. No writey, no PTSDy issues.

But now I have to talk about my Memorial Day workout. The trainers thought it would be a hoot to divide our group up into the 4 branches (suck it, Coast Guard) and play a bunch of patriotic music. I’m fine with that. But when we come to the push yourselves phase, there’s a lot of DO IT FOR THE GUYS WHO CAN’T BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD, but worded in a less offensive way. Spoiler: I still find it offensive. This is after she’s asked if there are vets in the group. (There are) Now, I’m offended that she’s using some of my buddies’ memories to coax the group into doing two more reps or another push up or honestly ANYTHING.

Look, I didn’t raise hell. I didn’t get all butt-hurt and try to ban everyone from going to workout with these people again. But I did talk to her about it in a kind and caring way after the majority of folks had gone home. Civi from a civ family. They don’t get it, man. She thought she was honoring their memory. And to some, maybe she was. But I’m not down with it. So, next year, I’ll skip this one.

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TL;DR When you’re offended, sometimes it’s just you and that’s OK. Trying to lead a coup against everything that hurts your feelings is a  just another rook mistake.

 

The Other One About Authors

In case you’re not much of a YA reader, let me tell you about this book Catskin.we have the outsider (he’s an albino) and the mysterious stranger (she’s wounded) and the rest is pretty much magic between the covers. The covers of the book, people. Something about it puts me in the mind of Susan Cooper’s novel  The Grey King – just a bit. And who didn’t love The Dark is Rising series? You? Oh. Well I suppose it’s fine for you to be wrong then.

Check it out. Buy it. Read it. Review it.

Catskin by Artemis Grey

Go on then.

TL;DR: Read Catskin by Artemis Grey, then review it. Anything less would be a Rook mistake.

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