Saturday, September 10, 2016

I'm late posting... sorry...

I meant to stay sat and go straight here but got distracted. After the distraction came supper, then the cat wanted to play so we played with her fishing pole with the mouse on the end for a good two hours. She likes to walk off with the little mouse in her mouth to some other destination and play with it on her own for a while and I either have to chase her down or she brings it back for more play. And when we're done and I put it away, she has to try and get at it still. So I hang around for a minute and prevent her, move her on and off to something else. Now I can sit down and write!

I had a hard emotional moment after the last blog. It was a difficult time and I was just making it through it with my mind intact. But I had to, for my children's sake so I kept on. After the divorce the kids and I were homeless for 6 months; we did have friends who helped us some but it was still bad. But I got housing assistance and we moved into our little two-bedroom apartment.

I still didn't write. I was too busy with kids in school, their friends and teenage behavior issues. But I wrote occasional letters to the Editor of the Anchorage Daily News (now defunct) and my letters got noticed. I was invited in the mid 90's to be a Columnest for a monthly Community Voices  column for 6 months, to write on issues relevant to our city. I was floored! Of course I accepted. I had my picture taken and would work on what I wanted to write about every month, all month, writing it over and over again until it felt just right. (Sorry, I don't have the columns anymore. At some point along the line of my life I must have gotten rid of them for some reason, probably during a depressive state. I tend to purge things from my life then and regret it later...)

Out of the six columns I wrote, only one was turned away and I had 2 days to write another so I had to fill it with a "be safe in winter driving" POS. But that was accepted, the more political one wasn't. I did write a searing column about the lack of Child Protection in our city, about a child in trouble over the 4th of July weekend because everyone was off for the holidays. CPS jumped to their job as soon as the article came out and changed their policy to have emergency crews on over holidays after that, so I guess in a way I changed things for the better in our city, in a little way. Those monthly columns sparked my writing bug again and I started writing again, just a little.

It wasn't much and was mostly discarded, but then I got a tune stuck in my head and couldn't identify it. It was an instrumental tune, part of it used on a commercial but I loved it and it stuck. It drove me  nuts! I called the radio stations, begging to know if anyone knew the commercial and the tune, and finally called the TV stations, having not thought of that first off, and went through several people asking about the commercial until I found someone who had seen it. The name of the tune was Music Box Dancer.

Elated, I looked it up and found 5 versions, downloaded them all and set them up for continual play. I would listen to them in my sleep, even, and one night I got a dream, a very vivid dream. It was of an American woman in South Korea, dancing with a little boy to the tune late in the evening. The whole village joined in too, and to the tune they danced until they all settled down, tired out, and slept like a pile of puppies there in the front clearing that night. I woke up, got up, booted up my computer and started writing it down. As I did, more of the idea came to me and I spent half the night writing. My first story, The Long Trip Home, was begun. I stuck with it, worked with it, chopped it, rewrote sections and finally it was done. It hasn't been published yet, but I plan on getting it out sometime after I get my Earth Maid series done. 9 books, I'm working on #8 now, but we're redoing the cover of #1 right now for lack of money to do cover #8. (If you want to help, I take PayPal and my account email is for those of you who might want to get your name in my acknowledgments page - unless you want to be anonymous. Yes, I just plugged for money to help get my covers done, I'm not ashamed to admit that!).

I also started college in 1997, going for Social Work at first. Less than halfway into the first semester the college got their Human Services Program up and running, so many of us in Social Work appealed to change our majors and got approved.

Now I did a LOT of writing... for school. The APA method. Whether in a group or solo, I poured papers out and found I did pretty good at writing, I got good grades. And there was a gentleman from Puerto Rico who could speak fine, he just couldn't write. So he'd tell me what he wanted to say on the paper and I'd write it down and arrange it properly, let him read it and make corrections, then save it to his floppy disc for printing out at college. Yes, dear kiddos, we had these large, flat discs we saved our work onto. Half the time they failed and the paper got scrambled, though. But teachers would be lenient, they would see the scramble and let us have a couple days to rewrite the paper, since we couldn't save to our harddrives yet. That came later. Then we got these smaller, hard discs to save to and while they were better, some of the new systems weren't. The new Gateway computers often ate our papers or scrambled our group work when we met in the computer room to work on our collaborations. But I made it through college, even graduating cum laude! I was proud of myself.

And I kept writing on my first book, and wrote on others as well. When I would get an idea, I'd write as much of it down as I could remember, since ideas always seemed to come in dreams. I wrote a lot, and sent my first Earth Maid story to a friend, Steve Walls, who read it and said that it should be a series. So thanks to him, you have 9 stories of Earth Maid instead of just 1. I also started saving stories to the new CD's and sending them to friends to read, one who were interested in my writing.

But I made a major mistake. I didn't save my work to discs here, just on my hard drive. And about 2005, I experienced my first major computer meltdown. I turned it off one night and couldn't turn it on the next morning! Frantic, I took it in to the expert I had who pronounced the hard drive totally fried, everything on it lost. I didn't really cry so much as go crazy with grief. All my work, gone again, this time my own fault! I emailed my brother, telling him (on the new computer I had to buy) of the loss of everything I'd written. I had forgotten what I'd done.

He said, "I'll send everything you sent me back." And suddenly things weren't quite so bad. His disc was a year old, yes, so there were many things he didn't have, but I remembered the others I'd sent things to, some very recently. So I reached out to everyone I'd sent writing to and asked them to send it back, and why. Soon I had compiled everything again, up to a month back, and saved it to disc too. After that, I saved every week. Went through a LOT of discs this way but I always had my work. Now I save to USB drives. One contains everything I want, then what I want is spread between 3 others. I save faithfully. 

And... I think I'm about to have a computer crash. I Hope Not, but it's acting up really bad. I'm going to finish this and shut down, then restart and run my Fix Me stick and other programs then restart and hope it acts fine for a while. It will take a hundred dollars for a clean up at Best Buy, so I'm saving up for that. This machine is only 2 years old, I should be able to shovel another 2 out of it at least.

So that's all for now. I started writing again, survived a crash and got going again. More later, if my computer stays alive. Love you all and HUGS!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Invention and Destruction

On my last blog I said I never graduated. That's  true. Before getting married, my fiance told me I could go to college and get my GED, the night we were married he turned evil and tore up the paperwork and "put me in my place" biblically. So we fought a lot over the years.

Ten years later we're in Texas. He's in the military and I'm still a housewife. But I see in the paper an advertisement for getting your GED, so I get determined to go for it. But when I brought it up, I got a NO. 

So I went on strike. No laundry, no cooking, no cleaning for him, and especially, NO SEX. Period. He wasn't going to let me get my GED, why should I give him anything?

We fought. Boy, did we fight. But I stood my ground and he finally gave in. I had a friend who was a 5th grade teacher who taught me what I needed to know and some pre-algebra so I could pass math, and she was the first to tell me I had a severe learning disorder in math too. But she was patient, I cried a lot but I got enough down to take the tests. But my husband still fought me on it, right up to the day of. He threatened to take the only car we had so I wouldn't have it, so in the night I got up and took his sets of keys and kept them with me, sleeping on the couch, protecting the keys. We had a physical altercation - he lost because I knew more tai kwan doe than he did - and I drove him to work where he limped all day and I went and took my test.

I was nervous, scared and on the verge of tears, but I bullied myself through the tests. Then came a week of waiting... the letter came... I had PASSED! Math was low, but I had passed! There was a ceremony planned and though I didn't want to go, just go collect my paper, but now my husband got nasty. He knew I had a problem with crowds, so lo, we were attending the ceremony! So we went, we graduates too our "walk" and were given our GED diploma and hands shook or hugs given. I was shaking and panicking the whole time. And when my husband went to kiss me congratulations, I had the balls to shove him off snarling "no way, asshole! I had to fight to get this, you didn't want me to get it, you don't get to kiss me!" to which several mouths dropped in astonishment and all of a sudden no one wanted to mingle with him anymore, but crowded me (oh, godz help me!) and gave me kudos. So I got my GED ten years into my marriage. 

My mind continued to churn with stories, though. But I did nothing about it, for I was busy with home, children, church (ugh), pets and all sorts of other chores. A lot of times when someone would be talking to me I'd manage to get by with "uh huh, yes, sure, that's right," while really not listening, my mind a million miles away. 

We moved to Alaska, his "overseas" assignment because our daughter needed a good neurologist and at that time there were no doctors of that kind overseas. We had quite the adventures driving to AK, mostly fun. Some not, but mostly good. And all adventurous. Once moved in, though, I thought it was time I started doing some writing, so I got a notebook and pencils and tried to write that way. But my brain ran too fast for my fingers and everything was jumbled and mixed up. I took to writing short notes to remind me of what i was thinking about and left it.

But I had to hide it from my husband. I didn't think he'd like me writing, so to protect it, I hid it very carefully, I hoped. And I bought a manual typewriter and a ream of paper and set to writing while he was at work, putting it away in the hidey hole before he got home.

It worked! The story began to come out. It was about a married woman, an orphan, who took frequent trips out looking for her family, she told her husband. But what it really was, was that she was a Super Hero. I had the plot for the movie "The Tuxedo" starring Jackie Chan, way ahead of when they did. My woman pulled on a special suit and lo, she was far more than a human could ever dream of being. The suit connected all over her body and took it over when needed. She could perform every type of martial arts, absorb the impact of everything from bullets to stinger missiles - although they would toss her a ways on impact, she wouldn't be hurt - she could think faster, react quicker and run faster than a cheetah. No one knew who she was as the suit was black all over, including a facial mask, but if she rolled off the head piece to a collar, she could have the suit assume the look of other type of clothing at her thoughts and still be armored and connected. It was a good story line, I loved it, it was pouring out.

I had 5 books written. It had taken a couple years of hiding my project, but I was doing it. I hid my latest writing and the typewriter and went grocery shopping. I was feeling good, pumped. My stories were coming out! I was loving my writing. 

Getting home, I noticed my husband had the BBQ out and was doing something on it. Was he actually taking initiative and cooking supper? That would be nice for a change, and I pulled into the garage and took two of the paper bags of groceries and headed into the house.

And dropped the groceries on the sidewalk. The asshole had my stories! And he was burning them! I promptly started snatching at my work to be palmed in the face, which knocked me on my ass, and he tore the papers in half and fed them to the flames. "Why?" I screamed at him, to get a nasty smile. "No wife of mine is going to do anything I don't tell them to do," he answered. "You obey me, I do what god tells me to do and you do what I tell you. Writing books isn't part of it." He kept feeding sheaths of pages to the fire until all my writing was gone, gone. And I never saw the typewriter again either. The fight carried on into the house and for the first time, I told my husband "fuck you!"

Standing at the top of the first half of the stairs he screamed "I will have respect in my own house! You all will respect me!" I screamed back "respect is earned, not given, and you will never have my respect! You had no right to destroy my stories!"

"I will do what I want in my house," he bellowed back, "and you will obey me like god says you should!"

"I want a divorce," I yelled back, and suddenly silence fell. We stared at each other for a long minute, then he went upstairs. I sat down on the couch and bawled. My stories were gone, my mind was shattered. Whatever I had of the stories was gone, all gone. Three years ago I managed to put together one of the books in the middle of  the series, but that's all I've been able to reconstruct. 

We did go on and divorce in 1993. It was convoluted, it was nasty. The Pastor of our church negotiated the divorce but there was one thing he didn't know - my husband told me that if I said there was physical abuse in the marriage,  he'd get a lawyer and take away the children from me. And at the time, he could do it. The Air Force would provide him with a lawyer. I couldn't get one and I didn't know about any place that could help me. So I agreed and kept my kids.

I didn't write again for many years. More to come later. I think I need to cry some, sorry. 

Love you all, HUGS