Category Archives: writing

Literary Heroes

It’s a well known fact that I have many literary heroes. Some of my biggest ones are New Zealand authors, the top three I would have to say are Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame and Keri Hulme. Obviously it is now too late for me to ever get the opportunity to tell the first two how much their writing influenced me, and to be honest, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d get to meet Keri Hulme. She just always seemed like one of those far away mystical authors who I could imagine, but never actually, for real get to meet!

Well, guess who came to the Christchurch Writer’s Festival this year? I was so ridiculously excited, and then the website gave me grief when I tried to book tickets, so I gave up and figured I’d just go along on the day and try my luck. Which I did, and I was lucky enough to get a front row seat. There were three authors – Keri, Hinemoana Baker, and Gerry Te Kapa Coates. They were all amazing. I was so impressed with Hinemoana’s reading! Her poetry is just stunning, she is such an impressive speaker and singer and so very engaging. Gerry’s work was also incredible. I loved listening to them speak about their backgrounds, their writing and there is really nothing quite like hearing an author reading their own work.

But I won’t lie. I was there for Keri. When she got up to speak, it was obvious that it didn’t come naturally to her. She shook and took a while to warm up and I just felt so connected to her. I first read The Bone People in New Zealand Literature 1 way back in 2003. I remember when I got it, along with a long list of other books which I would need to read that summer. It was the last one I read, and I would go outside and sit on my back porch with my coffee and just read while the girls were in school.

I never expected it to grab me in the way that it did. I’d never bothered to read NZ literature before this. As a “bad girl” student in high school, if I was asked to read a book for class by a teacher, you could bet that was a sure way to turn me off it immediately. I missed out on reading a lot of great books because of my desire to be the ultimate rebellious teenager. The Bone People kept me riveted from start to finish. I related so much to the writing, and the story and the entire feel of it.

It was so nostalgic and so tragically, beautifully what it means to be a New Zealander. I laughed and I cried – I REALLY cried, and I was really sorry when it was over. That book is one of those life changing reads for me. It encapsulated my New Zealand, in a deeply profound and dramatised way and I connected so strongly to her writing style. In the same way that I feel connected to Janet Frame’s and Frank Sargeson’s, all of whom were introduced to me over the same time period. I read them when I most needed to. They changed my life and the way I felt about my own connections as a writer, and a New Zealander.

I took my copy along with me in the hopes that there might be some way to get her to sign it. I actually didn’t think it would be possible. I thought that they would just speak for the hour, there would be a few questions and then it would be over. But the end came and when the speaker said there would be book signings, I could have peed my pants! I bought Stonefish too, and Koiwi, Koiwi by Hinemoana Baker. I took my books with me and approached the desk, and was third in line instantly. It was really surreal to be honest. I know that’s probably silly, but there she was, just sitting right in front of me, alive and stunning and a little nervous and signing books and I just thought “this woman wrote a book that defined who I am, without her ever knowing me – that changed my life and made me feel my own experiences as a New Zealander through someone else’s words. This book made me feel less alone.” And I started freaking out!

Ollie and the girls came in and found me, and I was trying to calm myself down and just relax and remember that she’s a human, and I’m a human and that if I cried, I was going to look like a total WEIRDO and freak the poor woman out! And then suddenly there we were, face to face and I’m looking at her and shaking like a leaf and babbling like a total dork!

She was very kind and I think a little surprised by my adulation. I kept saying things like “The Bone People changed my life. I can’t believe I’m really meeting you! I’m shaking! I had all these thoughtful things I’ve always wanted to say to you and now they’re gone!” She signed my books and gave me her email address and told me to contact her. I almost burst into ridiculous tears right then and there. It was one of the most incredibly awesome moments of my life and I came over all hot and turned bright scarlet and tried so hard to be a normal human being. All the time going “you’re one of my biggest inspirations, you’re the reason I write too!” She said all the right things and was just the most lovely woman ever!

 

Unfortunately, I was so overwhelmed and starstruck, that by the time I got to meet Hinemoana, I was a complete trainwreck! There was a lot I wanted to say to her as well, but I only really managed “Your reading was so beautiful. I love your work. Thank you so much for signing my book for me!” Before I hurtled out the door and almost ran through the park screaming! Ollie and the girls were all concerned about the redness! “Are you okay? You’re bright red all down the back of your neck! And behind your ears!” He said, concern all over his face. And there I was, overcome with emotion, dying of the heat (why did I put my coat on before I lined up?) And raving “I JUST MET KERI HULME AND SHE GAVE ME HER EMAIL!!!!! DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? I’M GOING TO DIE NOW OKAY?!”

As you can see, I didn’t die. Here I am, trying my hardest to look normal and not like a complete freakazoid, with Keri Hulme!

Unfortunately, as you can see, I did not quite manage to look like a normal person. I’m pulling my special face. The one I reserve for those times when I’m trying to be serious and grown up. I need to stop pulling that face. It’s not working for me.

I wonder if this ever gets any easier. Somehow I doubt it. But oh! It was so worth it!

Prometheus’ Curse

For my Siobhan, who insisted I write a story about Unicorns. Hope you like it! <3

What is a unicorn anyway? I thought. Hands deep in the chalky white clay that made up the majority of our lands. They said that if you fashioned something by hand with this clay, it came to life. That’s how people started, if you want to believe the old Greek tales. Prometheus had done it, so why couldn’t I?

I’d studied everything you could about Classics, Art History and sculpting, and this part of Greece was said to be the place that held the truth behind those myths. I never understood why they called them myths anyway. I’d seen the Gods more times than I could count. All of them, at various times in my life had come to help me when I could no longer help myself. I’d spent months at this. I’d come here on a whim. Because I’d had a dream where Prometheus had come to me, and told me the secrets of creating life without having to give birth. Of how I too, could become a God.

So I’d come here, and set up a small studio with the last of my inheritance money and now I’m working on my own statue. I had learned everything you could about horse anatomy. The long, sleek muscles of those thoroughbred legs, their graceful movements, the broad line of their throats and those large, benevolent eyes. Horses scared me, to be honest. I’d been bitten by one when I was young once and I just never really got over it. Of all the breeds, I’d chosen to fashion my statue along the Arabian design. Tall, elegant, beautiful. I might be scared of them, but I could definitely appreciate their beauty.

It took me six months before he was ready. My stallion. White as marble and proud. So proud. His horn had been the most difficult. I wanted it to be a reflection of the rest of his long, beautiful lines. It was sharp, like a narwhal, but just as perfectly white as the rest of him.

I stood back, and wiped my hands on my jeans. He stood a good 10 feet tall and I could almost see his blind, clay eyes looking regally down upon me. I should have made him smaller, I thought idly. Too late now. Everyone wanted to leave something behind right? To create life, that would continue on well after them, and to know that they’d done something that they’d be remembered for, in the future. That’s what my unicorn symbolised for me. Eternal remembrance. No one would forget what I’d managed to do, and no one would ever say that unicorns weren’t real. Because now they would be.

I’d made the perfect creature. Something from legend that had never lived on this earth before. I never really found out why people came up with the idea of horses with a single horn, nor why they were so fascinated by the idea of them, until I’d fashioned my own. He was, the most beautiful creature I’d ever laid eyes on. Perfect in every single way. There was nothing at all about him, that was not flawless. I was proud of myself, and growing obsessed with my creation.

I let him sit there, hardening into a completely solid form. I stood vigil over him. Talked to him, told him about the world and all the incredible things he’d see – we’d see – together.

Several nights later, I made a small ritual fire beside him. I used the wood of a Yew Tree, taken from Norse mythology. The smoke from the fire roiled around my unicorn and I spoke the words Prometheus had said to me in my dream. I spoke them quietly, unsure of myself. Part of me didn’t want him to become real. There was something less about the idea of my creation breathing life into its lungs. But I did it anyway, fanning the smoke from my fire and watching as tiny sparks crackled in the air, winding around the statue’s legs and coiling up his body.

Nothing happened.

I went to bed that night with a heart so heavy, I was sure that the incantations had backfired, and instead of bringing my statue to life, I myself was being turned to clay. It seemed an effort for my heart to just pump blood through my veins. When I finally fell asleep, I had no plan to wake up again.

I did though. The very next morning, I think. I’d lost track of time. It was dark, and I could hear the soft sounds of hooves. Feel the moist heat of breath against my cheek. My eyes cracked open and I found myself looking up into the massive face of my unicorn! His eyes were black, the black of long dormant pools at the bottom of deep caves. Everything else on him was white. White mane and tail, white whiskers, white flesh, pink tongue.

He tossed his head and nickered softly. I sat up, and my head pounded dully, there were small sparks of light bursting at the corners of my vision. Had I done it? Had I created life where there was no life? Had I found the mystery behind creation? Or was I just dreaming. Maybe I was dead.

But a week went by, I counted the days as they each came to an end, and I was still breathing, and so was my unicorn. He was massive and still utterly perfect. He fed on grass and the hortas I picked for him from near the abandoned roads. No one knew I was here, and no one came to visit. We lived simply, the two of us. He on raw greens and apples and whatever else I could find, while I preferred to cook mine in the old brazier left behind by whoever had owned this place before me.

Occasionally I drove the 30 odd miles to the nearest city for bread and cheese and sometimes milk. I was running low on money though, and I knew this wouldn’t last. Eventually I’d run out of money and have to fend for myself. Today wasn’t that day. When I got home, I found my unicorn rolling in the dust on the unsealed road. He stood up and came over to me when I got out of the car. He was so tall that sometimes I felt unnerved around him. Why had I made him so large? We shared apples and he seemed content in this. Life was quiet, idyllic and I had nothing to complain about.

Years later, age had crept upon me. Money had run out so long ago, I had forgotten what it was like to be human. No one had ever come out here. That had seemed strange to me, though I had left no one behind to mourn me. I had always waited for someone to come and marvel in my creation with me. No one did, and now I was an old man, and my unicorn lived on. He was as ageless as ever.

It occurred to me then, that there would be no one here to take care of him when I was gone. What would happen to my unicorn then? I lay in the early twilight, amid old blankets, greyed with age and dust. I’d become a forgotten relic. During those last few days, all I could think about, was what I had done. I had crafted a perfect, mythical beast from clay and had never considered what would happen next. What would become of him? He would leave, eventually. Looking for food, those of his own kind, and what would he find?

A world that did not understand him. People would hunt him, hurt him. Would they kill him and put his body in a museum? I’d left him alone. A one of a kind creature who would never find another of his kind the world over. His beauty would offend the world, they would not understand him.

He seemed to sense my concern and came slowly into my small home, ducking his great head low and nosing at my cheek. His horn scraped the wall behind me. I could hear drywall crumble down onto my mattress and he drew back from me again.

I thought about Prometheus. About his punishment for creating life from clay, and somewhere in the back of my dulled brain, I was sure I heard him laughing. This was not what life was supposed to be. This pure, stunning animal, nickering softly as he tried to rouse my dying body. He would be immortal. He would live alone in this world, for an eternity.

I closed my eyes, I didn’t even have the strength to cry for him; for what I’d done. I tried to imagine a good existence. One where he would be happy, but all I could see was loneliness and fear. None would be his friend. He was too strange, too beautiful, to perfectly mythologically pure. I had cursed him. The guilt tore through my very soul, and then in a blinding flash of pain, my body gave up my soul. Letting it go, the way human bodies do. That spidery thread broke and my soul disconnected.  Bowels loosening, piss and shit filled my frayed, ancient slacks, foul air escaped in noisy burps and farting.

Death is never pretty. It is a cold, lonely, filthy business and my unicorn thrust his head back from me in revulsion and backed carefully out of my home. At least, he would never suffer the indignation and shame of old age and death.

It’s Finished!!!!!

I finished my book today. I really did it! I’m sort of surprised and maybe a little in denial. I knew it was close to being done, but…I dunno. This book has been a three year venture for me. It’s my second nanowrimo attempt. I wrote the first 50k in 2009 and have slowly on and off worked on the rest since then.

I got bored with it and put it away and then lost my whole desire for it during the whole craziness of the past two years. I’m really proud of myself though. I think it’s going to be a pretty cool story, and I think people will like it. Eventually. It needs LOTS of work yet, but it’s finished, and now I don’t have to think about how to end it anymore.

Or maybe I do. I can’t decide. It’s quite an open ending. Definitely an ending, but it’s an ending that could start a whole new story…if anyone likes it. *bites nails*

I’m gonna take a few days off now and just reeeeeeeeeeeead the rest of this first series of Robin Hobbs books, which I am SO enjoying by the way. They are really great! There’s a few more series after this one, but I’m gonna stop after the first three, and then get back into the Game of Thrones series.

I really want to read some fairy tales too. Obviously all this reading is going to take more than a few days. So I might just leave the book and read lots in preparation for better fleshing out and realism. And also to give myself time to want to read it again and read it with fresh non-writing eyes.

I also want to read the Walter Macken books, which I picked up last time I was in Ireland. I read one of them, but it’s a series of three and I don’t have the first one, so I want to start them from the beginning. Must go search Amazon for the first one. I also have some other Irish books I want to read. Lots of reading to do! I’m so excited!

The story didn’t really end the way I imagined it would. It kind of took on its own course, which is what often happens when I start writing, but that’s okay. I like that process of working through things and seeing where my characters end up taking me.

Oh my god you guys! I really hope you’re gonna like it!

Reading Is Sexy

I’ve been really struggling to figure out what to write in here lately. There’s a lot of reasons for this, some to do with the fact that whenever I do, whenever I just sit and open up and write what’s in my head, someone crazy enters my life, and I’m tired of dealing with crazies. I have enough of my own crazy to deal with, I don’t need extras! And so I come here and draw a complete blank and have no clue what to write!

Some is to do with the fact that I just haven’t been writing anything, anywhere for such a long time now, that I’m just completely out of practice. I think about starting, and just give up and play the Sims 3, or my new acquisition, Diablo 3!

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been far too busy to write! I’ve been far too busy to even think! I’ve just finished teaching recently, and am in the process of grading zombie films – you’re all jealous, I know. You should be jealous! My students are freakin’ amazing!! And, about a million and one incredible short stories that they have written for me.

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, either, because it has been so rewarding watching them grow, and growing myself too. They have taught me so much and I had an absolute blast working with them.

Today is the second day of the school holidays though, it’s cold and raining, the world outside is grey and dark and I have just finished writing reports. It’s time to get back into the world of daily writing, so here I am! I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I have nothing to write about for awhile now, to anyone who will listen. It’s nuts really, because I actually have LOADS of things I could talk about, but I am suffering from a sense of inadequacy and I feel totally boring, so I’m going to do what a very kind friend suggested, and write using writing prompts.

The one I’ve chosen today is “What Are You Reading?”

I like this one, because I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately either, but I try to make the time and I have this huge and neverending list of books to read. I also have a Kindle. Good lord internet! I love my Kindle! I really do. I also just keep buying more and more books. I was trying to cull my massive collection, but the more I get rid of, the more spaces I see to fill up with new books, and the more I end up buying. *sigh*

Anyway, it was recently suggested to me, by a student, that I should read Robin Hobb’s series of books. So I found them for Kindle and have just started the second book. I’m definitely hooked! I love her style of writing. I’m a huge fan of the protagonist, and his affinity for animals, and her way of writing them just captures my heart. They are filled with just the right amount of intrigue and mystery, and I love the world she’s created.

I had never heard of Robin Hobb before, and despite my growing list of books I must read, I needed more fantasy in my life, and I am definitely not disappointed.

I’m also reading The Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer. These are really great, but I do find them quite hard and am reading about two at a time, in between other books, so it’s taking me awhile. I thought they’d be harder to understand…although they are certainly hard enough! And they’re nothing like I expected either. I certainly didn’t expect them to be humorous. I did not expect him to write about farting! I’m glad I started them. I love how beautiful the language is, and I would really love to listen to it being spoken. It’s beautiful to read, but like Shakespeare, I think the true beauty is in listening to it being spoken they way it should be heard.

I’m trying to read as much as possible lately, in the hopes that my creativity will be sparked back to life and I’ll start to write my own stuff again. I did last school holidays. Someone died in my book, and I got one step closer to having that first draft finished. There’s still a way to go yet though, and I have so many ideas on how to fix it up and get rid of the boring bits that turned me off writing it in the first place, that I know it won’t take long before I’m back into it again. Also, I have the most glorious computer now to write on.

I am sitting in my warm lounge, under a blanket, with my big ginger boy cat curled up beside me purring like an engine and typing on it right this very second. It has that gorgeous new computer smell, which I love just as much as I love the smell of new (and old) books. It is sleek and light, and very slender. It’s the perfect machine to take out with me and to sit some place nice and warm and different and just immerse myself in my writing with.

On the weekend, we went to Armageddon and listened to Christopher Paolini speak. He was really inspiring and filled me with hope. Siobhan got his latest book signed. He was sweet and really professional, and I was impressed with how well he handled the crushing crowd, because they were rude and pushy. I liked a lot of what he had to say, and it’s made me think about ways to improve my own writing. I love meeting other writers. They’re my rock Gods. 🙂

And with that, I’ll leave you with this awesome quote I found the other day.

you really are

I’m gonna say it out loud. Every day. 🙂

 

I’m Just Thinking Aloud…

This is such a big step for me, and I’m really grateful for the support everyone has shown so far, so I’m gonna be brave, and forge ahead and finish my books, and regale you with grand stories that will keep you wanting to come back for moar moar MMMOOOOAAARRRRRRR!!!

I’ve learned a lot about myself, and what I’m worth, through blogging online. It’s a crazy world out there! I’m a bit of an introvert, and I kinda like my little family. Two cats, two kids and a husband who loves me no matter what kind of weird mistakes I make, or how many times I throw myself on the floor and roll around crying like a baby because I should be writing but I’m not.

Hey interwebz! I’m writing! I’m writing right now!

I figured that I should do it now, because I go back to work soon, and no matter how prepared you might think you are as a secondary school teacher, you’re just not. How unprepared do I feel? About as unprepared as last time, but my classes were awesome! I’m so proud of them. And I have so many papers to grade! OMG! I’m doing that tomorrow, I swear.

Anyway…I’m thinking that what I’ll mostly use this blog for, is to write stories and memories, and thoughts on being a New Zealander. So, it won’t really be my day to day stuff like it has been in the past – unless something hilarious happened and I just have to share it. There hasn’t been a lot of hilarity lately though. So, please be ready for some not so hilarious moments too. I have an account of the February quake that I think I might soon be ready to share.

I went back through this blog a couple of days ago. It took me forever! All my links and photos had to be added back in again which was really annoying, but I’m glad I did it. I’m proud of my blog, and I really hope you like it too. I promise to try to be interesting, and I know it’s all about fastfastfast, postpostpost every day! But I’m not gonna be able to do that. I do promise that when I post? It’ll be worth it!

Ahh, my modesty! It defines me. 🙂

Thanks for reading me! Ur awesome! Come back again okay? xo

onoez! no writing!

That’s because I am being slack with my nano novel and keep having to catch up again. I’m 5k off! Well, by the end of today I will be. I have 777 words to write before I will be 5k off! Of course, there are only three days left, so I really need to behave and stay on top of things now. Anyway, I haven’t got anything particularly interesting to say, so here! Here’s my prologue! Please be gentle, it’s very rough. Also, I am aware that a few of you have read this already. Sorreh!

Actually, no I’m not. ha! Suck it up!

Rajasthan. 234 B.C

Lakshmi knelt beside the body of her husband. She was 13 years old, and he had been 40. Terror seized her heart, she knew well what was expected of her. The practice of Sati was prevalent in her city and there was no doubt in her family, or her husband’s family that Lakshmi would burn upon her husband’s pyre. They had only been married for a few months when he had become ill and died, and his family blamed her. He had been strong and healthy, and had outlived two wives before her. How he had died was a mystery to everyone, but not to Lakshmi, she knew what had happened. She had been a dutiful wife, even though she had not loved him in the slightest. She was only 12 when her family married her off.

A month ago, she had turned 13 and still had not managed to grow pregnant. She tended her husband’s many other children, some very close in age to herself, as if they were her own. She had never complained, never admitted how much she loathed her husband. But Lakshmi had prayed for his death. She had given libations of milk and honey to the Lord Shiva in hopes that he would answer her prayers. This is why she felt such deep terror. Her husband was dead. She had prayed for it, and Lord Shiva had answered her call.

Lakshmi had not truly believed he would. Lord Shiva heard the prayers of all the people in the world, why would he make hers come true? She looked at the body of her husband, her eyes wide and fearful. She knew what this meant, what she would be expected to do as a dutiful wife. But she did not want to follow this man, this old man that she did not love, into the next world. Lakshmi would rather run away. She would rather be an outcast, a woman that no one would come to. Perhaps she could go and join the Sadhvis in another town. Surely, there must be a way to live. Soon, their families would come and the funeral rites would begin.

Time was running out, and Lakshmi had to move fast. She rose from the side of her husband, and left their hut. His children were with their grandparents, it was Lakshmi’s time to grieve. To prepare, to cleanse herself and be ready to burn in Sati as his side. That would not happen. Not to her. Lakshmi left. She fled, barefoot with nothing but the sari she wore. For days she walked, head down, away from the villages that she had once known. Closer, and closer to the burning grounds outside the village where the Sannyasis dwelt. Ascetics who had renounced all. Who lived in the burial grounds and partook of dead flesh.

It would take her many more days before she could find the women that may take her in, give her a new life and save her from the burning pyre of her husband’s body. Lakshmi had witnessed Sati before. The women screamed and screamed and begged to be released. Held down with ropes so that they could not escape the consuming flames, or kept in place by men who thrust poles into them every time they tried to flee. It was not a wonderful religious experience. No one would suffer if the Gods truly believed in the ritual of Sati. Would they? Perhaps it was her punishment. Perhaps she should go back and let them do that to her, after all, if she had not prayed, her husband might still be alive today. Lakshmi was lost in thought and did not hear her brothers in law as they came upon her walking close to the burning grounds just outside her village. They caught her easily, she was weak, and tired and as they pushed her to the ground and began to kick her, she started to cry.

“Please! Please! I just want to live!” But the men were brutal, they kicked her prone form until she stopped crying and passed out in the pain. When she awoke, she was in the middle of the burial grounds. Her brothers in law were seated with a Sannyasi. A man who wore nothing but the white ashes of the dead. Her eyes were puffy and it hurt to look out of them, she tried to move but everything ached. The look in their eyes was cold, hateful. Lakshmi had no idea why they had not just continued to beat her to death, and then she realised the Sannyasi was speaking.

His words were low and his eyes had rolled back in his head. She could not understand what he was saying. Terror pulled at her lower belly and she soiled herself. Humiliation tore through her and at last, the chanting was over. Everything was silent, before the Sannyasi pointed his bony finger at her and said “Virvrika!” His eyes white and as dead as her husband’s. Lakshmi screamed, her throat was on fire and her body convulsed, everything hurt but she could not stop the convulsions that tore through her body.

When at last she was still, her brothers in law left her, but the Sannyasi stayed. For three days and three nights, she lay amongst the charred remains of the dead, blind and deaf to the world, in a pain that left her throat seared with her own screaming, and then it was gone. No more pain, no more screams.

Lakshmi opened her eyes…

Hi friends!

Welcome back! I know I’ve been terrible. Nothing at all has been happening in my world for so long that I had no exciting tales to tell you. But I’m back! And I promise I’m going to write once more.

I decided that it was time to give my blog a freshening up, so I’ve moved to a new site, changed to a clean look, renamed it and I’m going to write with a sort of theme. A writing theme! Which, if I’m completely honest with you, means I’ll be talking about anything and everything in the hopes that I’ll gain you all back again, and maybe make some new readers! For now, I just wanted to let you know I’m back! That I missed you all, and that I’ll be sticking with this one. Because I have a couple of books on the go, and I plan to get them both finished and published and I have to attract readers somehow, right?

Both these novels are NaNoWriMo efforts. My last year’s book which I still have not finished, and my this year’s novel. It is awesome already! Anyway, one day you’ll be able to buy them and read them both, and then you can come here and reminisce with me over how difficult it was, and how well worth it it all was and praise me for my awesomeness!

Til the next time!
Kelly

Ah ha!

You thought I missed a day and gave up on my blogging after only two days, didn’t you? Admit it. You know you did.

I haven’t. But! I really didn’t have a lot to say today. I did terribly boring things, like grocery shopping and dancing around my house, since, that’s the only place I really get to dance these days. Speaking of dancing, we’ve been watching Glee, which is perhaps the coolest show I’ve seen in a very long time. It makes me happy. And sad. And I laugh sometimes until I cry. I’m still in love with the little gay boy and his practicing the Single Ladies dance in his basement. It stuck. Ollie was hesitant to watch the show at all, and I had to get snappy at him. He loves it just as much as I do. My husband, is a total sucker for musicals and dance movies. Glee is like his number one show, I swear.

He’ll try to tell you its something manly, but you don’t have to believe him anymore, since I already told you what it truly is. So we watched that awhile ago, and it must have come on iTunes the other night, because, the next thing I know, Ollie is out on the balcony, Single Ladying. It really helped that Justin Timberlake also did it on Saturday Night Live that time. And so naturally, I had to join in. I was whipping his butt, right up until I tossed my head, and that’s when it all went downhill. I pulled something! It hurt for two days. TWO DAYS! The Single Ladies dance? It’s a killer. Siobhan was thoroughly impressed however. And I imagine our neighbours were too. Luckily it was light enough that we weren’t in the security light spotlight, because losing while you’re on the spot like that?  Would have been completely embarrassing.

I’ve just hit 42k on my novel, and I think that means it’s time for bed!
xx

Butterflies and Hurricanes

Or rather, spiders.

You see internet, I am one of those girls who hyperventilates at the sight of spiders. I try very hard not to do this, because honestly? Have you seen spiders? They are TINY! Unless you’re in a crazy country like Australia, which by the way, I saw no spiders in thank god! But I can’t shake it. I forced myself to hold them for awhile, when I was pregnant with Siobhan, and I didn’t seem to mind them at all, but I think that’s because holding a spider seemed so much less daunting than holding a newborn baby. I was nineteen, trust me, it was daunting!

Anyway, last night we’re in bed, and Ollie is stubbornly reading and grunting at me every time I dare to strike up a conversation with him, I lay there and sigh and glance up at the roof, and helloooo nurse! Spider.  It’s lurking in the corner where ceiling meets wall, with its little hard black body and its filthy eight leggedness and I’m hissing, and nudging my husband “Nobby! nobby look!” You have to say it quietly, just in case they hear. Spiders have an amazing sense of hearing you know. It heard me. Ollie grunted, and I’m almost whimpering as it turns around, very slowly and deliberately, and loses its footing.  I KID YOU NOT! How can something with EIGHT legs lose its footing?!?! I’m shrieking and diving under the covers and he’s shouting at me about how I’m ruining his book!

I know right? I’m ruining his book? There’s a massive spider up there, as big as my thumbnail, sliding down the wall where it’s going to lay in wait so that it can leap into my mouth while I’m asleep and he’s telling me I’m ruining his book!!! So I stay very still, with just my eyes showing, making sure that creature stays exactly where it is, and he finally claps his book shut and with a sigh of annoyance gets out of the bed. He picks up his bookmark and a baseball cap and I’m comptely confused. “What are you doing? You’re just as scared of it as I am!”  “No I’m not, it’s to catch it incase it falls.” He replies, standing up on the bed, fully nude, all stretched up there trying to catch a spider.

Eventually he gets rid of the cap and just uses his hands. I’m admiring his butt, which from that angle was worthy of the comparison to Michelangelo’s David, and he finally catches it. Drops it, internet….and flails all around the place recatching it and doing his best not to let it scramble right up his arm into his hair. But the most fun, was watching him toss it out the window. You see, the latch at the top, really is at the top and our bedroom faces straight out onto the road. He was torn between stretching up and being caught by passersby or ducking down and not being able to open the window. In the end stretching up to open the window won out and he finally managed to flick the demon out the window, however, the wind last night was massive! I’m surprised the spider made it out the window, without being blown straight back in again.  It was, great.

Remind me to tell you about the time he ran outside in my pink bathrobe.

NanoWriMo

For you my sister! I’ll try to write more here. This is the end of the first part of my story (please be gentle people. Right now I’m just concentrating on getting it written, so the format is pretty crap):

The repercussions of having not only left the Circle, but also endangering not only himself, but Jimmy, by putting themselves in a situation that could have had them seen, was of course brought to the High Chancellor’s attention. Pádraig and his father were summoned along with Jimmy and his parents to the castle where they were questioned for several hours by the High Chancellor and the Court of Sidhe. Each breed was represented on the council, and Ignatius’s long standing friend Oilithir was the leprechaun representative.  He was very close in age to Ignatius, his skin warm and yellow as rich as melted butter or the sun upon his rainbow. His hair was the same buttery colour, and sat around his face in messy tight curls. He was almost childlike in look, but his clear light blue eyes held the memories of the ancients. He sat upon the council and the weight of judging his friend’s child weighed heavily upon his heart. Abán stood and called the room to order. Everyone stood with him, including Jimmy and his parents. “This day, we are gathered to judge the story of Pádraig and Jimmy. Two young leprechauns who saw fit to leave the safety of the circle, without their parents, or our permission, endangering not only their lives, but our position upon the fields of Connemara. A place, so secret, few mortals have ever found their way to the stone gates we have put in place to warn them away.” He said, and then, everyone took their seats. Jimmy and Pádraig, dared not to look at one another at all. “We have heard the story,” Abán continued, “and now we must make our decision.” He said. Leaning back slightly, watching the four leprechauns in front of him, and the wild eyed angry banshee who sat with her jaw as tightly set as stone.

Oilithir was the first to speak after this. It was his decision as a fellow leprechaun which would seal the boys’ fate. It was perhaps a good thing for everyone involved that Oilithir and Ignatius had grown up together and shared many of their own adventures. He stood out of his chair and sighed, turning his gaze upon the boys who were fidgeting and clearly nervously awaiting their fate. “Exposing oneself to a mortal being is a very dangerous thing to do. It places risk not only upon oneself, but upon the rest of us as well. The danger for a leprechaun is great – as we all know. Mortals eager for wealth and youth are always on the lookout for our kind.” He said. His voice smooth and commanding, while he explained what it was the boys were in trouble for. They had heard it many times already, but that did not stop them from glancing down at their hands while the leprechaun spoke. “It is lucky for us, that neither of these boys have yet learned how to uncover themselves and did not accidently do so, in a time of stress. This however, does not make what they did, any less foolish or dangerous.” He said. His eyes turning to both the fathers while he spoke. “Therefore,” he continued, “The boy Pádraig, and the boy James, are hereby disallowed to leave the Circle for any matter – even to visit their father’s rainbows, for the next one hundred years.”

Pádraig glanced up from his seat; his mouth fell open and snapped shut again. A hundred years? It wasn’t that long in the scheme of things, he was already 423, but those 423 years certainly felt like a long time to a boy who was the equivalent of a 12 year old. In one hundred years, Pádraig would be a man. He would have reached sexual maturity. He would be only a few years off being given his own rainbow, and his banshee wife. What was the point of living if he was locked away in this kingdom during the best part of his life? One hundred years. He would never change after that date; he would look the same forever. He was devastated. Angry tears welled at the corners of his eyes, but he held them back. No sense in crying over something you can’t stop from happening. There was nothing for it, he knew that. His sentence had been cast, and considering the many sentences that he could have been given, this one truly was one of the kinder ones. Or at least, it was for someone who had no call to leave the circle and learn more about his mortal mother’s ways. That was what killed him. He knew they’d given this sentence to him because it was the worst thing they could possibly do to him. His father pulled him to his feet and he looked straight ahead, his own jaw set stubbornly, looking upon the men who had placed his punishment on him. His eyes shone, but aside from this, there was nothing else that showed just how much this sentence had affected him.  Abán looked down upon them, Oilithir at his side. “Your punishment has been set. Go now, and spend your time wisely. Do not let me find you back within our bad graces again.” He said, and the five of them were dismissed.