Teaser Tuesday – Broken Souls

I gotta tell ya, I really enjoy Stephen Blackmoore. I read Dead Things last year and loved how quick and gritty it was. It has zero flowery words and doesn’t seem to have any extra words whatsoever. In fact, I seem to add words to his sentences when I’m reading them. Not that they aren’t finished or because I want to change them, but because that’s what I’m used to. It’s always fun to step outside a comfort zone and read something that makes you sit back in awe at how little there is, but still manages to be an amazing story.

I’m reading Broken Souls. If you like quick and dirty paranormal, you should definitely pick up this series, but start with the one above. I hate it when I read the second book in a series. I always feel like I’ve been cheated out of something.

My Teaser this week comes from chapter 11. It’s hard to pin down a page number in an iBook, so I won’t even try. I hope you enjoy.

“Pissed off nature spirits can be seriously bad news. I once saw a forest spirit in Canada pull an 18-wheeler down into earth with nothing but pine tree roots.”


Brought to you as part of Teaser Tuesday hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and join in the fun.

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SoCS – Tying the Knot or Not?

I’m going to confess something here on my blog, but even as I’m writing that, I’m wondering if I’ve mentioned it before, in which case, this isn’t the mind-blowing confession I was thinking it would be, but rather a reminder, although it’s not the type of thing you would normally remind someone of: Hey, I just wanted to remind you that I’ve been married three times. Yeah, it doesn’t sound good at all when I say it like that.

So, my confession…

I’ve been married three times and after the third one was reduced to words on paper that was somehow supposed to help us define our parenting roles going forward, I told myself it would never happen again. It’s not worth it. It’s just a piece of paper. What’s the big deal, anyway? Why not just be free to share space with another person without a piece of paper and the headache and all the negative things that can happen in a marriage.

Just to be devil’s advocate for a moment and take the opposite approach, all those things can happen and do happen whether you’re married or not. If you are living with someone, sharing space with someone and living your life with another person by your side, negative things happen whether you’ve signed a piece of paper, taken vows in front of others or your religious figure-head or whatever. It is hard to be in a relationship. It is hard to live your life with another person. It just is.

Now, maybe marriage adds another layer, but should it? What is it about marriage that adds an extra amount of responsibility or maybe even possession that people maybe think won’t be there when a marriage isn’t involved.

I don’t know. Now I’m going down a road I wasn’t expecting in this particular post. Let’s just say that maybe marriage isn’t everything everyone thinks it is and all the reasons you want to marry someone can be there whether you formally tie the knot or not. (See what I did there?)

It’s frustrating to have this debate with the very person you are trying to convince to actually take that next leap. Because as much as I said I would never get married again, I find myself in a position where I want to. But the hard part is, my boyfriend is in the same place I was when my last marriage ended. He doesn’t see the point either and for everything I say a marriage can do for us, he gives me a logical reason why we can still have that without the marriage.

Is it just the ceremony of it? Is it just a societal form we all cling to because it makes us feel less alone? Why do we get married? Take away life-long commitment (which can happen with or without a marriage) and what are you left with? Why do we get married?

I’m not sure I have an answer. It makes me somewhat crazy to think about. I want to share my life with this man and that’s happening. I wake up to his smiling face every morning and I fall asleep with his body heat pulsing next to me and I plan to keep doing this for the rest of my life. I’m in it for good. I’m committed. But for some reason, I still want to be married to him. I just do. Maybe there’s no good explanation. Maybe logic dictates that it’s completely unreasonable, but honestly, I don’t care. I just want to and damn it, I don’t want to have to explain the why of it.


This post is written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill. Our prompt today is “naught/knot/not”. Please feel free to click the link and join in the fun. You’ll love it, I promise!

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The Top 3 Reasons I Cut My Hair

As many of you will recall from this blog post, I went bald a few years back in order to show my sister she wasn’t alone in her fight for cancer. I experienced a great many emotions and had to battle many different ideas, especially the idea that somehow my hair defined me as a person. It was all worth it, though, because I could see how much it meant to my sister.

Last weekend, I decided to chop off most of my hair. Besides the bald event, I have done it once before when I was in high school and I ended up wearing it really short for a few years. Now I’m finally back to the short hair look, maybe for good.

I didn’t receive half as many strange comments and looks this time as I did when I went bald, but I did receive one comment that made me think. I was in the elevator at work with our receptionist. She’s an older lady and I’ve sat with her to cross-train a few times and we’ve chatted. So I know she’s had a hard life but I also know she’s a strong lady and doesn’t seem bitter at all considering some of the things she’s been through. But as we were going down the elevator she asked me, “Did you cut it because you can’t be bothered or because you were trying to get back at someone? I once got a tattoo because I was mad at my husband.”

Even though I know this is a pretty common occurrence, I suppose I always assumed that people grew out of this idea that somehow we have to get back at someone else by finally succumbing to that thing we have always wanted to do but know they’ll hate it so we don’t actually do it until that moment when we we are upset and want to show them who we really are! It’s not that I haven’t done something similar to this in the past, because I have. It’s just that I’ve moved past it and feel that I no longer need to prove anything to anyone. The people we are with and who love us should be the most accepting of things we want to do with our own bodies, including cutting our hair or getting a tattoo.

Here are the top three reasons why I cut my hair:

  1. I can’t be bothered. Short hair is super simple and easy and takes me less than five minutes.
  2. My boyfriend loves my short hair. He kept telling me I looked sexy in short hair, but I thought I wanted it long again after doing the bald thing and having it short for so long. Turns out, I was wrong.
  3. I actually like the way I look in short hair.

I can tell you that none of my reasons had anything to do with gender and as much as my boyfriend likes my short hair, if I’d wanted to keep it long, I would have.

Which brings me to the thing that really bothers me about hair and these meanings we’ve all attached to it. Why is it that the length of my hair tells someone how feminine I am? Why is it that short hair is associated with being gay (for women, anyway)? Why is it that men somehow aren’t manly when they have long hair?

It’s just hair! It will grow back or it can be chopped off in a matter of seconds. Who cares?

I get that it can be pivotal in how we present ourselves, but why attach so much judgment to it? It used to be that people with mo-hawks and color in their hair were stereo-typed as depressed punk rockers who were looking for attention. My daughter decided to put dreadlocks in her hair a few years ago and she received many negative comments. People assumed she was a stoner and a drop-out.

I actually love the freedom of those people who have dared to step outside of societal norms, for whatever reason, to just be different. I don’t know why we have to punish them for their decisions. I don’t know why this idea exists that it’s not okay to be bald.

I, for one, love that society seems to be moving on. It’s more common to see bright colors in people’s hair; tattoos are more common; hair doesn’t seem to be as much of a label anymore, but it’s still there, still an issue, especially when it’s associated with gender in any way.

My son has long hair and he loves it. I love it!

What I really want to say is, do what you love. Be who you want to be. Stop worrying so much about the people around you and this ridiculous “societal norm” that doesn’t mean anything, or at least, it shouldn’t.

It’s just hair, people. Not only that, it’s a living, growing thing. It will grow back! Or, it won’t..

Either way, embrace it and stop judging others who have embraced their hair in whatever length or style they choose to wear it.

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My son has longer hair than me!

Teaser Tuesdays – Intensity

Here I am, just making my way pretty quickly through another Dean Koontz novel. I’d actually probably be done with it if it wasn’t for the day job and my relationships.

Who needs those anyway, right?

The thing is, once you finish a book, it’s done. Finished. You’re left feeling bereft, like you lost a friend. Well, that’s how I feel after finishing some books, but not all of them. Dean Koontz is more like a roller coaster ride and when you’re done it’s almost a relief because your back aches and your head is spinning and you’re feeling slightly sick from the sheer movement, the twists and turns, the ups and downs and you can’t help but laugh out loud at the exquisite pleasure-pain that erupts through your whole being.

Okay, maybe I’m reading too much Koontz.

On to the teaser…

Today’s book is Intensity and I found the quote from page 85.

“He is willing to contemplate the possibility that the immortal soul exists, and that his own spirit may one day be exalted. But if he is to undergo and apotheosis, it will be brought about by his own bold actions, not by divine grace; if he, in fact, becomes a god, the transformation will occur because he has already chosen to live like a god – without fear, without remorse, without limits, with all his senses fiercely sharpened.”


This is part of Teaser Tuesday brought to you by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and join in the fun.

Velocity – The Review

Velocity

This was my first time reading Dean Koontz and I was left thinking, “where the hell has this author been all my life!” I’ve heard of him, but I always put him in the horror genre and that’s not really my thing. Maybe he does write horror and I can see how this book has some in it, but it is actually a thriller, the type of story that I love!

Billy Wiles is a bartender living a seemingly average life in a small town until he walks to his truck and finds a note. “If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours.” After reading it, Billy doesn’t at first believe it, thinks it’s a joke, but he is inevitably thrust into a dark world where he attempts to answer the question we all can’t help but ask, “what would you do.”

I can tell you it wasn’t at all what I expected when I first read the synopsis and decided to dig in. There were so many twists and turns and I was carried along on the wave of intensity and despair and all the myriad emotions Billy experiences throughout.

Koontz is a master storyteller. He introduces many questions, as any good storyteller does, and just when I am really wondering what the answer is, he answers it. But there are times you forget about the question because there is so much going on and then halfway through the book you remember and just when you start asking again, he answers that one. The book is filled with brilliant descriptions and everything ties into each other. Even the things you think are just filler eventually tie into the climax and round everything out. Of course, these things don’t make themselves completely known until you close the cover of the book and you start remembering all the minute details and how one scene led seamlessly into the next.

I am definitely a fan and even have another Koontz book sitting on my table with a bookmark already holding my place in the first chapter.

I can’t end this review without a few more quotes (I used one for Teaser Tuesday as well) because they are brilliant and I was left in awe, wondering if I would ever have the talent to write such beauty set in so much darkness.

“As the night futilely resisted the early purple light…”

“He was a man whose love of power was clear for all to see, but whose internal landscape remained as enigmatic as an alien planet.”

“The dying sun spilled fierce bloody light on the dimensional mural under construction across the highway from the tavern.”

“What will happen will happen. There is time for miracles until there is no more time, but time has no end.”

I could go on, but there are so many, I wouldn’t know where to stop.

Go find it.

Pick it up.

Read it.

Enjoy!

SoCS – Letting go of ‘an eye for an eye’

There is an age old saying that was introduced in the bible that I’m sure everyone is aware of, “An eye for an eye…” and while it might seem at first thought that, yes, this is completely logical; when put into practice, I believe it falls apart. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Maybe it would be completely effective and we would have less criminals in the world. I don’t know, and that’s not the debate I want to have on my blog.

I was thinking of it in terms of relationships. You know how you have that thought, “well if he’s not going to call, then I’m not going to call either,” or “he hurt me, so I’m going to hurt him back.” Those are simplified versions of things I’ve thought myself in a relationship, but I believe this is the worst way to handle a relationship or being hurt in a relationship. I think it leads to the end quicker than anything else. It erodes foundations and builds a flimsy tower of resentment and pain that eventually leads to a fatal fall.

What is it in us that makes us want to lash out? To hurt as we’ve been hurt? I think sometimes, it doesn’t come as a rational thought; it’s more of a gut reaction to pain. I think that’s why I started to move towards philosophies that teach awareness because the more you are aware of your thoughts and feelings and what causes them, the easier you can move to the place of thinking before speaking and not immediately lashing out when something painful happens.

It brings to mind a book a therapist recommended to me many years ago called The Solo Partner: Repairing Your Relationship on Your Own by Phil Deluca. At this point, I can’t even tell you if I read the entire book all the way through, but it has resonated with me lately. I think the book introduces ways in which to heal a relationship on your own, but there were things it asked me to do that I wasn’t ready to embrace. One of them was silence. No matter how much pain you feel or what your partner is doing or saying, you react with silence. Anyone who knows me will tell you that’s not something that comes easily for me. In fact, I had a few people in my life tell me I should be a lawyer because when I believe something, I will debate it to death; until me and the other party are bleeding on the altar of our own stances, firm in what we are saying.

In a relationship, this leads to a dark path that doesn’t always, if ever, end well.

I’m not even sure I’m thinking of the book correctly because it’s been so many years, but I believe it teaches personal power. Instead of chasing a fight or chasing someone to give you their love, you take a step back, shut the hell up and let them come to you. It didn’t work in the relationship it was recommended for, but I think it’s a powerful message. It takes two people to fight and if you walk away or are completely nice in the face of anger and pain, the anger on the other side doesn’t have anywhere to go. Or, at least, that’s the idea.

I think what happens is we get defensive. Someone hurts us or says something hurtful and our immediate reaction is to defend, lash out or hurt. What would happen if we sat in silence, without reaction and said “I love you” or something equally as startling in that scenario but no less kind. I’m not sure it always works, but I think it’s worth looking into. It takes two people to fight and if one person in a relationship refuses to, what happens then? That’s not to say you don’t talk about how much what they said hurt you, but in the heat of the moment when you’re facing a fight or flight moment, why fight? Why not stand there and remind the other person of your love and support.

After all, isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Isn’t that where a lot of the anger comes from? That feeling of wanting love and not finding it for whatever reason?

I’m not sure if any of this makes sense or if I’m just blabbering at this point. It could be I have a rose-colored view of the world (it’s something I’ve been accused of), but I would rather have hope and love in my heart than wallow in bitterness, anger, pain and rage. So, I will continue to see the good and look for ways in which to improve my relationships.


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Our prompt today is I/eye/aye. Feel free to click the link and join in the fun.

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