Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 10

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By 11:00, they had smoked an entire bowl, eaten all the bacon and drank all the orange juice. Julie’s bladder was full and so she decided to finally get out of bed. She used the bathroom as Logan stood in the doorway and recounted what he remembered from the night before.

 

He went to George’s with a group of people and they drank, a lot. There was kareokee…somebody got mad…yada…yada….yada….

 

The only thing Julie could think about was how great it felt to piss but she was glad to have Logan’s voice, filling the space in her empty apartment. Once she had finished peeing, wiped and pulled up her own Tomboy boxer briefs, she noticed Logan was staring at her, wordlessly.

 

“What?” She asked self-consciously.

 

Logan answered without cracking a smile. “I seriously thought you peed standing up. I guess you just proved me wrong.”

 

“You DICK!” Julie exclaimed and threw a roll of toilet paper at him.

 

They both laughed and Julie rolled her eyes in the mirror.

 

She yawned at her reflection and noticed that she looked like a pile of warm shit.

 

“How do you do it, man?” She asked. “You had a ROUGH night but you’re up early making breakfast and shit…and you look amazing?”

 

Logan thought about it. “I’m Irish,” he replied. Then he gave Julie her favorite, impish smile.  

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Coming Home and Coming Out Chapter 9

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Back at her apartment, she stripped Logan down into nothing but his boxer briefs, laid him on the couch and placed an empty wastebasket next to his head. In all this, he said nothing. Julie wiped his auburn brown hair out of his eyes, tucking it behind his ear with one finger. Then, she kissed him on the forehead and walked to her desk.

 

Mama Rosa’s pizza was still smiling at her from the screen. Behind her, she could hear Logan vomit in the wastebasket and then groan. Julie sighed, closed the lid on the laptop, fixed him a cup of water and then collapsed in her own bed. Within a moment, she was fast asleep and the weight that had collected on her melted away.

 

The next morning, Julie awoke to the smell of bacon and coffee. She glared at the clock on her bedside table. It was 9:00 am. She covered her head in her pillow, protesting the start of a new day. Just as she had decided she would spend the day in her bed, 10,000 Maniacs floated from the kitchen and crawled under her head pillow.

 

“Becuase the night belongs to lovers

Because the night belongs to us.”

 

Logan’s voice joined in on the second refrain and Julie couldn’t help it. She lowered the pillow from her head and joined in.

 

“Have I doubt when I’m alone

Love is a ring, the telephone

Love is an angel disguised as lust

Here in our bed until the morning comes.”

 

Logan was leaning on the frame of the doorway, still dressed in only his boxer briefs. He held a plate piled with bacon and a glass of orange juice. His blue eyes were squinted and his lips were pursed in a boyish grin. Julie envied his beauty.

 

He raised one eyebrow. “We have to stop meeting like this” he teased then walked to the bedside, placed the plate of bacon and orange juice on the bedside table, and sat down on the bed beside Julie.

 

Julie chuckled and took a piece of bacon off the plate. Between chews, she said “I hope this is turkey bacon”.

 

Logan huffed, reached in his pocket and produced a small glass pipe. “Wake and bake?” He asked. He did not wait for an answer before he lit the bowl and took the green hit….and so they smoked.

 

As they smoked, they talked. They talked about nothing in particular. He didn’t mention Tawny and she didn’t mention Michael. The pair just existed in the moment. It was so effortless to exist like this with Logan.

 

“If all boys were like you, Logan” Julie mumbled.

 

Logan was mid sentence in a rant about postmodern-something when Julie said these words. His sentence erupted in a deep laugh. When Julie didn’t laugh back, he tilted his head to the side, frowned and added, “What? You would make me your wife?”

 

Julie laughed too hard. When they both composed themselves, she added seriously. “If all boys were like you, it wouldn’t be so hard to at least pretend, you know?”

 

Logan rested his head on her chest and sighed. “I know, Jewel…I know.”

 

They lay like this for a while and the feeling hung between them. They were drawn to one another because of the commonality of their fears and regrets. They had both given up something to embrace their true selves and for this, they would always be bound.

 

“THIS is community.” Julie thought and she realized that Logan was more family to her than anyone back in *town name*. Then, she remembered the invitation, the phone call, and the wedding.

 

“I’m going home,” she said.

 

Logan huffed. It was a small gesture but Julie knew that she didn’t have to say any more. He got it and this is why she loved him so. She never had to explain herself to him.

 

After another moment, Logan sat up, put the pipe to Julie’s lip and lit it for her. She took a long hit from the pipe and as she did, she stared at Logan. His lip was busted, why hadn’t she noticed it the night before.

 

Once she had exhaled a thick plume of smoke, she said “Your lip.”

 

Logan raised his fingers to the busted spot, self consciously, lowered his eyes and muttered “Yeah.”

 

This was the entire exchange on the matter. She didn’t press for any more information. She knew him too. Instead, she took the pipe, pressed it to his lips and lit it for him. As he inhaled, she vowed to kill Michael next time she saw him.

Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 8

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Back at her apartment, she stripped Logan down into nothing but his boxer briefs, laid him on the couch and placed an empty wastebasket next to his head. In all this, he said nothing. Julie wiped his auburn brown hair out of his eyes, tucking it behind his ear with one finger. Then, she kissed him on the forehead and walked to her desk.

 

Mama Rosa’s pizza was still smiling at her from the screen. Behind her, she could hear Logan vomit in the wastebasket and then groan. Julie sighed, closed the lid on the laptop, fixed him a cup of water and then collapsed in her own bed. Within a moment, she was fast asleep and the weight that had collected on her melted away.

Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 7

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When Julie woke up, she had 15 new missed calls. She was groggy when she picked up her cell phone and checked the call log. Tawny had called 4 times. The other 11 missed calls were from Logan.

 

“Shit” she muttered and she fought her eyes awake enough to find the clock in her living room. It was 1:45am.

 

“FUCK!”

 

She dialed the phone with shaky hands and paced while it rang 1…2….3 times…Voicemail…

 

“Fuck, fuck fuck!”

 

She tried again. This time, Logan answered on the first ring.

 

“Where are you, is everything okay?”

 

The voice on the other line was slow and slurred. The only words she could make out were “Michael’s” and “Locked out” followed by a string of obscenities and what she thought sounded like pounding fists on the door.

 

“Logan!” She spoke sternly into the phone. “Stay there. I’m coming. Whatever you do, don’t go anywhere and DON’T pound on the door anymore. Just sit there quietly. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Silence….”Logan, I’m serious. You don’t want to make him mad.”

 

“Okay” Logan muttered.

 

‘Click”

Coming Home and Coming Out Chapter 6

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When Julie woke up, she had 15 new missed calls. She was groggy when she picked up her cell phone and checked the call log. Tawny had called 4 times. The other 11 missed calls were from Logan.

 

“Shit” she muttered and she fought her eyes awake enough to find the clock in her living room. It was 1:45am.

 

“FUCK!”

 

She dialed the phone with shaky hands and paced while it rang 1…2….3 times…Voicemail…

 

“Fuck, fuck fuck!”

 

She tried again. This time, Logan answered on the first ring.

 

“Where are you, is everything okay?”

 

The voice on the other line was slow and slurred. The only words she could make out were “Michael’s” and “Locked out” followed by a string of obscenities and what she thought sounded like pounding fists on the door.

 

“Logan!” She spoke sternly into the phone. “Stay there. I’m coming. Whatever you do, don’t go anywhere and DON’T pound on the door anymore. Just sit there quietly. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Silence….”Logan, I’m serious. You don’t want to make him mad.”

 

“Okay” Logan muttered.

 

‘Click”

Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 5

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She hadn’t really thought about home in a while. Not like this. Home was a weird concept to Julie. She had made a life in the city but it never felt like home. Home was a distant thing, like the love her mother had for her.

 

But now, as she lay on her couch in her empty condo staring at the ceiling, her mother’s words echoed in her head. “I can’t wait to see you, you know” and then “I’ll see you soon”. Julie felt nauseous.

 

How long had it been since she had been to that place?

 

“3 years” a small voice answered in her head.

 

“3 years” Julie repeated aloud. Then she fell quietly asleep.

Coming Home Chapter 2

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Julie walked around the condo for a while, picking things up and putting them back in their tidy little places. She felt no sense of remorse for the thing that she had lost…the thing she had spent the past three years of her life building. Where Tawny was concerned, there was no room for loss. Julie knew she would be back. She always came back after a few nights on the town, or a week at her mom’s.

 

Once, she was gone for an entire month. That time Julie had actually felt a hole in her life where Tawny had been. That time, it almost felt real. But then Tawny showed up at 3am, banging on the front door of the condo. Julie opened the door, let her in without saying a word and things just resumed, as they were before she left.

 

It was strange but familiar and as Julie finished cleaning up the destruction from their argument, she realized that Tawny was the most constant thing in her life. She was a beautiful storm, for sure, but Julie knew that she would always blow back to her. The problem was that Julie wasn’t sure that she wanted it, anymore. She had grown so tired of it all. She was so numb to the explosion that was Tawny that she really wasn’t sure if she would let her back in this time.

 

This time, she would leave her standing outside that door at 3 o’clock in the morning. Even if it was raining when she came back, she wouldn’t open the door. She wouldn’t even look through the peep hole in the front door. She would just leave her standing there, with her little pink suitcase in her hand. Then, Tawny would know that it was really over.

 

She could do this, couldn’t she?

 

Of course not. She would let Tawny in. She will always let Tawny in.

 

Once the condo was tidy, with all the little things in their proper place (except of course the things that Tawny had taken), Julie found herself in their bedroom…her bedroom. She was standing in the door of the room, looking at herself in the adjoining bathroom mirror.

 

Her eyes were the same stark blue they had always been. They were the eyes of a child, with shallow fine lines growing around them. Her eyeliner was smeared, giving her a smoky, almost too sexy look. Her cheeks were taught and smeared with reds and blues from her painted hands. Her dark hair was a tangle of long dreadlocks, except for one side, which Tawny had convinced her to shave. It was a look that Julie, secretly, kind of hated. Her body was lean but strong and she noticed, for the millionth time that her shoulders were too wide for a woman.

 

Her full lips were pursed, her eyebrows were creased and she realized that she wasn’t smiling anymore. Like the books from the bookshelf, Tawny had taken that with her when she left. She couldn’t be sure if it was one of the things that Tawny had taken a long time ago but never remembered to bring back, like the Fear and Loathing DVD or the fucking toaster.

 

Finally, Julie surveyed her body, again. “You’re too thin” She could hear her momma saying. “And why do you insist on always dressing like a 12 year old boy?” She sighed a heavy sigh and shook her mother’s voice from her head but the truth was that she despised herself for looking like a walking lesbian stereotype.

 

Then, she remembered the invitation and the phone call. She would see her mother again, soon because Susie Beechum was getting married and she was going to attend the wedding….alone. Her expression turned into an even harder grimace. It stared at her from her bathroom mirror with hard, accusing eyes. Tawny was gone, and she was going home.

Why Can’t I….

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Why can’t I dictate text? I often daydream about how easy my writing would be if I could. While I was doing dishes, I could be writing….While I was driving, I could be writing….While I was in the shower, I could be writing. I wouldn’t have to put my life on hold and retreat to the dark corner in my office or hide in the bathroom with my phone to get the story out of my head.

I’ve tried, many times, to dictate text…as the thoughts are flowing, I have tried to speak them but I can’t….I just can’t.

It’s almost like there is a corner of my brain; a quiet still place that I go to when I write. Like I must retreat within myself and retrieve the story that’s dying to get out. For me, writing is very internal. Is this weird?

Or maybe, my writing comes from someplace else…or something else. Maybe I draw my stories from the same place I draw my energy and that place isn’t accessible unless I stop and listen. Maybe writing is a meditative practice for me.

Whatever the answer, it is sure that writing is not exactly a science, for any of us. As authors, we all have limitations and quirks that make our writing style our own. What are your little writing quirks or what limitations do you have, as an author? Am I the only one who finds it impossible to dictate text?

 

#Nanowrimo, @HRBlock, and #Life…OH MY!!!!

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It’s that time of the year, again…

As the wheel of the year turns and the Cailleach rises to bring winter storms, there is a great awakening of creative spirit. Nanowrimo falls on the first day of the Celtic New Year…the perfect time for resolutions and new beginnings.

I have looked forward to this day, since December 1, 2013, when last year’s Nano was over. I tried Camp Nanowrimo but it wasn’t quite the same and so I resigned to wait…and wait I did.

Now, it’s here and while I’m as nervously excited as I thought I would be, I’m also starting that I might be a little bit crazy for going at it this year.

Last year, I won Nanowrimo…

…but since then, I’ve kind of been a lazy author. I suppose lazy isn’t the best word…I’ve been increasingly busy with other things…

Sometimes life just rises up and steals away the time and creative energy of an author. I suppose that’s the greatest battle that we fight. We live in this world between worlds and sometimes one of them (the “real world” or “the alternate”) reaches out and consumes us.

Last year, I was busy; mostly with my kids (now ages 5, 4 and 4)…But also with the daily ins and outs of life, being a housewife and the pending holidays. This year, I’m swamped. My kids have grown a bit and started Preschool and I’m on the edge of a Divorce (I’m filing December 1).

I had this image of all the time I would spend writing, once my kids started Preschool but the reality of it is that I spend the majority of my newly “free” time with appointments and volunteering; conferences with the teacher and projects, homework, and fundraising…It’s a new kind of busy…one I had not anticipated.

Oh, and I had an adult Tonsillectomy a week ago…I wont get into the details about how horrible an adult tonsillectomy can be (or the obstructive sleep Apnea I’ve dealt with over the past year due to constant tonsillitis) but if you’ve had one as an adult or you google “adult tonsillectomy”, you will understand how this affects every aspect of my life.

…and all the ways in which my life has changed since last  year, I am sure that it will still get in the way as I attempt this year’s Nano…

…And Then There’s Work….

It’s hard for a single mom to find a job that (1) pays well and (2) works around a “schedule” (because who can afford daycare, these days?) and (3) is actually satisfying work….That is to say that the Single mom, although brilliant, talented and creative, has no formal training or qualifications to prove specialization.

…and that’s when I came across HR Block’s Tax Course….

I’ve done my own taxes (and that of a few closest to me) for about 5 years now…I’ve researched business taxes, self employment taxes, and the Affordable Care Act out of either necessity or curiosity…and I’m extremely organized and proficient with computers and forms….so I took a chance and enrolled.

I have done done exceedingly well in the course…better than I had imagined…and I have learned A LOT…but this Tax Course is a beast! On the first day, I received two (very large) books of reading materials, tax tables, exercises, case studies and forms. I have learned, section by section, everything I will need to know to be a GOOD tax professional and I have prepared every kind of tax return covered in the class, by hand and I have come to know each tax form line by line.

I have transformed, from someone who knew a little something about taxes to someone who has an intimate relationship with taxes…but I still have a ways to go. With a little over a month left in the course, there is still a lot to learn. I also have independent research and continuing learning, after the class (once I officially become a HR Block employee).

Probably my favorite thing about doing taxes is that the laws are always changing…this gives me the ability to constantly be in the state I’m most comfortable….the state of learning and growing. HR Block is the perfect company because, out of all the Tax Preparation companies out there, they value continuing education and growth more than any of the other companies out there.

So to sum it up….

I’ve got a lot going on….and Nanowrimo 2014 is smack dab in the middle of it all! So, here’s to moving forward…Here’s to making time….Here’s to writing your heart out!

I look forward to the journey, snares and all, as we battle toward the goal of 50,000 words, together!

I is for Ideology…Finding Your Writing “Voice”…#atozchallenge

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As a writer, it feels like I am always looking for “my voice”. Maybe that’s just the journey I’m on right now and sooner than later, that will be over and I will move on to a new career challenge. Of all the research I have done about finding your writer’s voice, one of the best I have found comes from Goins, Writer.

I think it’s important, however, to examine exactly what the writer’s voice is and possibly discover where it comes from before actually attempting to find it. After all, the thought of “having a voice” seems to be such an intangible thing. It’s something that, if you do a little work towards getting published or read the comments on any author’s amazon page, you will find mentioned a lot. It seems that everyone is looking for an author with a unique voice….but what exactly is a writing voice? Where does such a voice come from.

The writing voice seems to be, on the surface, all about style. How does an author describe things? How does he/she define characters? What is the author’s pacing like? These things are often deemed to be an expression of the writer’s voice. This explanation doesn’t really work for me. I think it comes from growing up in the Appalachian mountains. In those lands, one can’t really take a person’s choice of words to be a correct assumption of their level of intelligence or an expression of their true thought.

The writer’s voice is much deeper than a simple choice of words or the structure of the author’s sentences. It is a literal expression of the writer’s soul. Of course, a clear stylistic approach to this expression is important but when it comes down to it, an author’s personal ideology is more related to the writer’s voice than anything else.

Ideology is defined as “a system of ideas and ideals”. Even the most primitive individuals posses a sense of this. It is the ideology of the author which will peak out beneath the system of writing that the author tries to use. The biases of the author, the subtle systems of ideology that exist within the author, and the basic beliefs that the authors hold will always come through in syntax. Finding your writing voice becomes a matter of embracing this ideology and finding a way to fuse it into the very fiber of your written word.