WTF

Something’s Missing

blacksquare2My dreams often feel like warped, twisted, versions of some sort of reality television show filmed by those who failed therapy, ignored their court-appointed rehab, and haven’t been to AA for so long they think it stands for And Another. My camera man is drunk and my special effects crew is on crack. I’ve said both of those things before. After the last week, I believe it wholeheartedly. Because now it seems the set director is on vacation and the intern doesn’t work fast enough.

But I can’t seem to figure out why, what it means, or even how fast Freud would just give up and lock me into a nice safe room with a snug jacket and fluffy walls.

For instance… See the image for today? How many times did you refresh thinking there was something wrong with it? Nope, there’s not. That’s actually just a plain black box of nothing. And the star of my dreams lately.

I don’t remember the dreams themselves most of the time, which is normal after the first cup of coffee, but I do remember the little black squares. I remember they’re not important or even really noticed during the dream, but afterward I could tell you where they appeared. Very strange. See, these black blocks are speckled throughout and simply provide a nothingness instead of details, in a freaky two-dimensional cut-out construction paper kinda way. For instance, I’ll be able to see everything in the room and talk or move around or do whatever it is I’m doing, but the black blocks will be where the detail isn’t finished. Like on top of an end table, instead of knickknacks, lamps or books. Or on a wall, in lieu of pictures. Or even on a menu, rather than actual choices.

It’s very bizarre and seems to be completely acceptable in the dream. Oh if only I could do the whole lucid dreaming thing and pause all the action while yelling at the design crew to finish up.

Of course, my dreams are still wonky, don’t get me wrong. Just this morning I woke from being out for a drink with the girls, in a restaurant located in an old western clothing store where they never took the clothes off the wall or removed the racks of boleros and cowboy boots. Nikki was pissed off because she was enjoying a cigar in the wrong part of the restaurant, and her boss told her she had to put it out and go stash it in her office—for whatever reason I decided to bring it there for her and set it in a dish on her desk, only to have the maid service ask me if they should dump it or keep it. Drew was in the bathroom milking lab mice and using it for some explosive experiment to get his students to pay attention. And of course, the sewage accident that shot dirty water out a port on the wall—the water retaining the shape of the pipe and chasing people around ala the water worm from The Abyss. Yup, perfectly normal dream for me… except the black squares in the bar at the restaurant, on the fishtank, obscuring portions of the bathroom lab, hiding the other items on the desk, and filling in for the faces, clothes or hands of the people at the next table.

Yeah… welcome to my dreamworld, here’s a black square—just put it anywhere.

 

Everywhere…

typewriterheadEvery writer is asked: Where do you get your ideas?
Quick answer: Everywhere…

The longer answer is: anything we may read, hear, see, a combination of them, or a completely warped version of them based on either playing the “what if” game or letting our muse naturally twist their reality into something we call fiction to keep the white coats away. *whew* (ideas and the muse are always run-on, editing fixes that in the prose!) Or just, you know, our random thoughts.

A prime example of the simple ideas: sitting in an airport for more than an hour people watching, or simply reading the news.

More complicated twists of reality come from a place deep inside us. A place the medical profession would like to dub with some terminology—if not a diagnosis—treat with drugs we can’t pronounce, and call us sick and unusual. But really? When each writer on the planet is capable of doing it, is it really all that unusual? Who’s to say we’re not the normal ones and there’s something wrong with all of you?

Nevermind. I know we’re the crazy ones. I just wanted to see if I could either a. say that with a straight face, b. get any of you to believe it.

Why do I know we’re (or at least me) the crazy ones? Because this happened:

I talk to myself. All the time. Always have. I don’t know if it’s part of my writer mind or just my own personal psychosis, but I do. A lot. This morning, as I rambled on about nothing while getting ready for the dayjob, an innocent (sort of) comment from my own mouth twisted on the way out and hung in the air around me. But let me back up and let you watch it happen…

First, I talked myself through several outfit changes (convincing myself I looked great in something, only to change out of it). I babbled to no one but the girl in the mirror (who in all seriousness really makes me angry some days, but that’s a different blog) while I attempted to tame the locks I consider unruly but many girls actually pay to perm just this way. And then I kept myself verbal company while doing my makeup. Now I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so as you can imagine, that was a pretty short conversation. But that’s where the magical spark happened.

“Hmmm… pale lips. Always with the pale pathetic stupid colorless lips. Need color. What shade? Something light. Not actual ‘look at me’ whore red or anything, just a little bump of color. Enough for the coroner to notice.”

Really? Where’d that last part come from? What the hell happened to me that made that a completely natural thing to say? Mom? Is there something I’m not remembering?!

I accepted the comment as normal for me and went on about my morning with a strange smile—almost pleased with my crazy. I put on the silver pieces, grabbed lunch & the laptop, and hit the road. But before I reached my exit, thirteen minutes later, I realized I hadn’t heard a single thing on the radio during the drive. I was too busy letting the muse twist that comment into an entire storyline. Poor Maggie. She’s not necessarily blue* and she’s definitely not out of lipstick*… but she’s got a path coming into view through the trees that will not be any fun at all…

THAT is where story ideas come from =)

 

* and that is how you sneak in a few pimps for other writers =) Go ahead, mouse over the links, click, check ’em out!

Offend This…

fuckoffoffensive  adjective
1. causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry.

I call BULLSHIT. When did humans become such big babies? Offensive is nothing more than a made up word. It is designed to shift the blame away from the person choosing to take offense and dump guilt and/or subjective shame onto the person expressing their opinion. Someone’s right* to voice their opinion is now less important than that opinion being globally acceptable, making it now the fault of the person thinking, speaking, or acting freely according to their own beliefs, ideals, morals, or just stupid thoughts. Because yes, we are entitled to have our very own stupid thoughts. All of us. As often as we want. And we are allowed to share them, with friends, enemies and anyone who will listen. But we are not allowed to force other people to believe them, buy them, or even feel guilty because we had them. Apparently, therein lies the confusion. We each need to worry about ourselves, rather that being so overly concerned policing everyone else that we don’t even notice we’re worse than what we’re judging…

My mother taught me at a very early age that no one else can make you feel anything. You choose to feel it. And holy shit is everyone choosing to be offended lately. By everything… on the 24-hour channels of television, twitter, facebook, and anywhere else the planet has gone and given voice to everyone (including me, the irony isn’t lost, trust me) so they can have their little spaz attacks at 140 characters a blip, 50 million blips a second. Bullshit. All of it. And quite frankly, I’m sick to death of hearing about it. I cannot even count anymore how many times a day I see something and think “So? Get over it.” Now it’s my turn.

Grow. The fuck. Up.

You wanna believe in god? Good for you. Hope it helps you sleep at night. Leave me out of it. And hey, maybe keep in mind: the same rights that give you the power to believe, give other people the right to not agree with you. Until you convince the big man himself to come on down and smote someone on live television, nothing you think, say, or do will make you right and them wrong (including and especially, judging others… pretty sure it says right there in that super duper magical tome of yours “judge not lest…” how’s that go? Lest you get cheesecake? No, that’s not it. Oh yeah, don’t do it cuz your ass is gonna be judged by your god and you’re gonna have some ‘splaing to do. God called, he wants his book back.) Some of the best people I know are dirty rotten atheists. Some of the most horrible I know are Christian. I don’t blame their character on their belief or disbelief, quite the opposite.

You wanna be pissed off about Henry Rollins’ personal opinion? Tough shit. He gets to have one. And good for him for having the balls to say what he felt. Did I adore Robin Williams? Absolutely. Am I sad he’s gone? Absolutely. Will I pretend to understand what he was going through or why he made the decision he did, and therefore judge either him or anyone with an opinion about it? Nope. Did I think Henry Rollins owed anyone an apology? Oh hell no. Henry had the same rights to an opinion as Robin did to action. Don’t like what Henry said? Too bad. But hey, isn’t it cool how you have a right to not agree—however, you have to choose to be offended. Oh and pssst, Henry, *holds universal telephone hand gesture up to ear* call me. We’ll do drinks.

You wanna have some psychotic pseudo sex-police spaz because a comic book has a sexy woman on the cover? Are you freaking kidding me?! I wish I had Spider-Woman’s new ass. Almost as much as I bet some people (men and women) wish real boys had packages like those portrayed on Spiderman, Batman, and the rest of them in the fictional world of ink and paper. Screw that. Seriously. It’s a freaking comic book. Pick a real issue to have a fit about. Don’t know any? Watch/read the news for ten minutes. While you were whining about a drawing, several thousand people died for no good reason… in a couple different places…

Gonna dump a bucket of ice water over your head, donate the money, do both—good for you. Or did you plan to do neither and just bitch about it instead, without even looking up what the hell the cause even is? Get over yourself. ALS (and other issues, diseases, causes, etc that have been changed-up in the challenge as it spreads) is now not only collecting a metric butt-ton of money, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do: spread awareness. I bet you’ve heard of it now. Ignore it if you want, but could you do it quietly? Maybe with a shiny red gag ball in your face (you can find those at any outlet sex store currently riding the coat tails of 50 Shades of Gray, another topic everyone including my blind, deaf goldfish has an opinion about). You’re having a fit about a charity is not only painful to watch, it’s showcasing your inbred issues. Why not just go to the children’s ward at the cancer center and tell them all to stop whining and die already? Because seriously, that’s how stupid and insensitive you sound. Hope you or anyone you know is never afflicted with any medical condition…

Enough? You get it? Good, now shut the hell up and hug someone. And before you hop up on the soap box using your social media outlet of anonymity, perhaps you should use the soap to clean the windows in your glass house and take a good long look in the mirror. We are dust, people. That’s it. There’s a huge ass universe out there, Earth is but a dot among many, and we’re each less than a spec on it. We can’t control nature, we can’t stop time, but we can try and get along with each other. We don’t all have to agree—hell, it would be boring if we did—but we do have to co-exist, with reason rather than force. Don’t like something someone said or did, walk away, turn the channel, unfriend them, whatever. Just do it without choosing to be offended and thinking they owe you an apology. They don’t owe you shit, other than respecting your freedoms and life and not taking either from you.

Oh and really, Henry… call =)

*obviously I’m speaking of places where freedom of speech is a right, so don’t be a dickhead and try and come back with some lame argument for other places.

 

 

Guckles

gucklesMy love of pickles is not a secret (deal with it Nate). I have always loved them. Forever. Period. And as I giggled at my little Raynebow munching on one the other day, my mind went off into a whirlwind of thoughts regarding the little green treasures that excuse cucumbers for their existence.

I have been known to get just a pickle when the work crew orders from the local sandwich shop, and the delivery guy knows exactly who that for and smiles at my child-like joy. When I was a teen, my brother called them guckles (he was a toddler at the time). Not sure why. He could say “p” but in this instance, he preferred his own word for the happy dill treat. And going back even further, when I was six, my mother bribed me with pickles.

Yes, bribed.

And that’s where the whirlwind stopped.

My mother used to stop on the way home from work at some mysterious place and bring home ginormous pickles, individually wrapped just for me by a group of fairies living near the dill tree in the woods. Hmm… I was six. I believed this. She would then show me said pickle and put it in the fridge and tell me I could have it if I would just be a doll and rub her back (and/or feet) for a few minutes. I was the youngest masseuse to ever work without a license! And I had a lot of fairy-wrapped giant pickles Monday through Friday that year.

And looking back now, as an adult, the woman was brilliant! It wasn’t even about the pickles. It had nothing to do with getting tiny masseuse to work on her kinks. Nope. It was her walking in the door and being able to plot on the couch and just be still and quiet and let the day melt off her for 20 minutes. It was mommy time, not pickle time. Brilliant. Kudos to the woman I often refer to, with love, as crazy (what? she is!).

So here’s a fun wayback-machine question for you… thinking back now as an adult, did your parents ever trick you into something for “you” that was really for them? How brilliantly evil were they?

 

Intrinsic Value of the Existential You

pennyjarSelf-worth comes from one thing—
thinking that you are worthy.
~ Wayne Dyer

Have a yard* sale and you’ll find yourself putting little tags on everything—giving reduced value to things you once thought worth much more than you’re now willing to accept for them. At the end of the day, you’ll count the change you’ve received, the crumpled bills, and the smattering of things even the scavengers didn’t want. And you’ll be richer for it. For the items traded, for the people spoken to, and for the time, entertainment and adventure you put into the day—because life is an adventure with the right attitude.

I’m turning 45 this month. And it’s been an adventure all right. While I’m usually not one to evaluate my life on every birthday or New Year, I find I am this time. I’m divorced. My kids are gone. And I’m not where I thought I would be in this lifetime…at all, on any level. For a while, those thoughts made me feel very alone in the world. So I faced it.

I woke up that way a couple weeks ago as I said goodbye to an era—alone, in a motel room, absorbing my aloneness. And I found something rather strange in the quiet. Me. I remembered not everything that breaks is broken—you have to break a glo-stick for it to glow, you have to break a fortune cookie to get the fortune. And upon breaking me, I found me. Hi world! Welcome to the second half of me.

But the alone continued to sit at the edge of my mind for some time. I felt a little lost, a little scared. The screaming had subsided and the silence was a bit too much. Then a whisper started in the darkness. “Why don’t you do this…?” “Why don’t you do that…?” And I realized I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t old. I wasn’t done. I had just finally matured to the me-portion of my life.

I don’t have kids to worry about on a daily basis. I don’t have a partner to please. I just have me. I can stay in my pj’s all day and write on the weekend if I want to. I can play with my herbs and oils, research the family lineage, read a biography, blow bubbles at WalMart, whatever. I can eat nothing but salads for a week and no one can complain. I can come and go as I please. I can go places I’m interested in without worrying about it being entertaining to others in my life. And I can enjoy myself, alone or in a crowd—with friends, with strangers, or with nobody.

In the quiet, I remembered life is a giant yard sale. Things come and go. People come and go. Sometimes you’re the seller, sometimes you’re the buyer. But you are the only one who can put value on you. No one else gives you worth, only you do. Sure, for a the first portion I was being guided by parents, and the second portion I was guiding others and not worrying about me. But eventually there’s quiet. Eventually, there was just me.

I know my worth. I’m a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a colleague. I’m a concert-giving rockstar in the shower, a dancing queen while cooking, a 12-year old laying in the grass talking to bugs, an old woman conversing with the moon, a mermaid in the water, a gypsy, a writer, and just a girl. My value is a jar of pennies. Some are shiny, some dull. Some are new, some old.  Some worth a penny, some much more. I’ve spent a lifetime filling that jar. I don’t need to count the pennies or show them to anyone, I just need to smile and know I’ve got them. I paid my dues. I’ve earned me-time. And it’s time for the true adventures to begin…

 

*Garage sale, yard sale, rummage sale… what the heck is wrong with this country that we need 3 different way of saying “buy this crap I don’t want anymore”? And thanks to those on twitter who helped** me decide which to use.

**And by “help” I mean told. Told with force and a waving fist. #loveyamouse!

#trending

twitterdudesThe internet is a strange strange thing. Social media makes it even stranger. You can plan and plot how to expose something new and get no buzz. You can ask a question you really want to know the answer to and get nothing. And then you can say something completely random and your feed explodes. Makes. No. Sense.

So welcome to No Sense Thursday.

Today’s question: what makes your feed trend? What bizarre thing can you discuss, question, or otherwise mention that gets the most feedback, responses and attention? Because it isn’t what you want it to be. I’ve been watching everyone’s feed and have learned, it rarely is. Examples you say? Why certainly… (and yes, please, feel free to follow anyone I may mention in this particular blog)

My personal favorite for the week — saw this the other day, and it sums this up perfectly.  @steveniles (Steve Niles) summed it up well with “I say ‘good morning’ and lose three followers. I’ll try ‘fuck you’ tomorrow and see what happens.”

@marysangiovanni (Mary SanGiovanni) twittered a cthulu emoticon /\(;,,;)/\ and it was the number one most re-tweeted thing she’s ever posted. Also popular are her tweets regarding cannibalism and NJ traffic… she writes books she’d like you care about too =)

@natesouthard (Nate Southard) has random squawks of pointless rage get the most response. He’s declared this is either a terrible commentary on the population or the golden secret of working in the horror small press—take your pick.

@Nukegumby (Michael Huyck) has a wide range of popular tweets, from funny to sarcastic to accidentally motivational. Yes, accidentally motivational. No rhyme. No reason.

@bobford (Robert Ford) can say something truly horrific about midgets and gains followers—if I said the same thing I would not only lose followers, I would get hate mail (justifiably so). He proclaims hatred of all things Michigan while driving through there and gains followers. I say it’s cold and lose 10.

@DaveThomas76 (Dave Thomas) past a lot of things, but if it’s about booze (aka: “Is it too early to drink scotch?” or “Martinis: so much more than a breakfast drink”), people always seem to chime right in. He wonders if his followers are functioning alkies too =)

me @kelli_owen ? Yeah… I post comments about the dayjob, my books, crazy news tidbits… mostly to my following of loyal crickets. But the moment I say anything remotely lesbian or sexual in general, especially to one of my female friends, I’ve got everyone’s attention.

It’s strange. What will grab someone’s attention is so bizarre. Anger, humor, cruelty — very popular. So, the question is… What strange non-important topic do YOU twitter about that makes your feed explode? As an experiment, feel free to answer here, but also and more importantly, answer in twitter by posting a link to this (or just retweet the tweet that got you here) and hashtag your answer in the tweet if possible. It will be like a meme and a hashtag had an illegitimate lovechild…  (feel free to copy and paste this and fill in the blank)

RT: @kelli_owen Fun Blog: #trending http://wp.me/p2tbLH-X5  answer: #_______

 

 

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