Review: Armand Rosamilia’s Chelsea Avenue

Chelsea Avenue reads like your favorite crime drama. A quick pace chelseaavetakes you through the events of Murphy’s Law Club and its deadly history. Characters are in and out quickly, but painted in such masterful strokes that you recognize them instantly. You’re inside the head of the good guys, see glimpses inside the bad guy and cheer and shout when the end game plays out.

Armand Rosamilia writes crisp images with a minimal of fluff, evoking emotions from his readers like an elder god calling across time and space. If you need something to read, you have found your new favorite author. You can find Armand at http://armandrosamilia.com and at http://www.ragnarokpub.com

 

At last…

I just read a blog about voice. The blogger was making a point about not being fake, not using a voice for a purpose and then being someone else in public or private. And I realized that I have never truly expressed my own voice. There has always been a tinge somewhere of the people around me when a child develops their voice.

Voice is not the actual tonal quality of your speaking voice. It’s not a persona people see. It’s who you are on a soul-deep level. My last couple of blogs I’ve mentioned struggling with a bit of old baggage. I finally figured it out today. I felt like my voice was stifled so long and so deep that I am still figuring out who I am. I had a similar breakthrough once I realized that the ex-husband did not define me. I define me.

Let me say that again. I DEFINE ME. Not the ex. Not my mom. Not my friends. People who knew me when I was younger see a different person now. Who I used to be was the persona, the version of me I thought I was expected to portray. But it’s not who I truly am.

The true me, well, I think the tattoo I got when I had that other breakthrough is very appropriate to answer that question. It’s an attitude that I have to remind myself of sometimes. The tattoo says Foxy Bitch. It sits across the back of my neck at the top of my spine. Appropriate considering I had to find my backbone along the way.  Sometimes Foxy gets a little lost and I have to go looking for her.

When I read Chuck Wendig’s blog this morning, I realized that I had lost sight of Foxy again. I didn’t have to look far. She’s there, here, typing out these words for you to read. When that moment of insight hits I get chills. The release of emotion is like shedding 50 pounds in an instant. I did shed a few tears because I’ve really been struggling with this for the last few weeks. And you want to talk about timing, I have a blues music channel on the TV and Etta James’ At Last came on and I had to sing with her. Loud. That’s who I am.

I’m loud and sarcastic and funny. I’ll talk about most anything with anybody but I can hold a secret tighter than a leprechaun holds gold. I love the rain and Mondays and cars with tailfins. I can and will take anything you say and make it sound perverted. I have a zillion ideas for stories in my head and I think now, finally, I can tell those stories. For that, I have to say thank you to Chuck. He helped Foxy find me again.

 

Everything fits together

puzzle1I love jigsaw puzzles. They allow me to space out. While the eyes and hands are busy forming connections, the subconscious is making connections in the background. Sometimes I get antsy and can’t focus and have to pull out a puzzle to help me narrow things down.

Recently I’ve been working on an issue with some pretty heavy baggage attached. I’ve written in my journal and delved into my puzzle stash to work through this one. It involves both Mom and Dad and rewiring my creative process. The puzzle I started is not complete…and never will be. That in itself could be a blog-worthy metaphor but that’s not where I made the connection. There are border pieces missing. The puzzle itself is broken.

Let me explain why this became significant. When I work a puzzle, my OCD kicks into overdrive. Pieces are separated into baggies, worked in sections and laid out in neat rows to be counted and rearranged as I progress. I don’t lose pieces. The last time I lost a piece was 1999.  When I realized the border was a problem, the puzzle2question occurred to me: how do you know when something is beyond repair?

Yes, it would be possible to contact the manufacturer to inquire about replacement pieces. But is that necessary? It’s like a relationship. Two people have joined their lives together into an intricate tapestry of emotions and behaviors. Sometimes something changes. The pieces don’t fit anymore. No matter how much therapy or how many arguments they go through, the relationship is not meant to be fixed.

How do you admit that it’s time to let go? When you’ve tried everything you can think of and it’s still not working, when you realize you don’t even know the other person anymore, when your partner is more of an enemy who tries to undermine your very existence, it is time to say I’m done.

Walk away and realize you tried. You cannot make a relationship work by yourself. It takes two people willing to learn and grow with each other, not grow apart. If the pieces don’t fit together anymore, just let it go. Open your hands and heart and let in fresh air and happiness. When the other person is unwilling to grow in the same direction, make your own path.

The New House

Without a doubt, the energy of a house is important if you want to be comfortable in your own space. I’ve been in my house just over a month now. There were several things I did to help make my space comfy. A couple of these things may sound strange but they work.

[Disclaimer: I'm of the Pagan persuasion and use energy work in my everyday life. Don't be alarmed. Just read.]

One of the first things I did was cover all the mirrors already in the house (bathrooms and furniture-wise) with a white sheet. This helped in two ways. One, it cuts out all reflections that might spook you. New houses have lots of sounds and can cause sensory overload. Eliminating reflections will help ease you through that. No worries about scaring yourself when you catch sight of your morning hair in the mirror. No cats to run by a glass door at night and make you think a wild animal is prowling on your patio. No catching movement from the corner of your eye and trying to calm down long enough to realize it’s just yourself walking past a mirrored vanity. The other reason this is a good thing is that mirrors can be used as doorways. Covering all those mirrors for three days will close any possible entry points for wayward spirits. It eliminates some of the bumps in the night.

The second thing I did is one of those Pagan kinda things. Trust me on this one. I used sage and salt to seal the house off from any negative energies or spirits. This is how this works. From the main door you use to enter the house, light the end of a sage stick so it smokes and go left (counterclockwise). Wave the sage around all the entryways, doors and windows. Say aloud: All negative energies are released from this space; this house is now mine and negative spirits are not welcome here; only light and love are allowed in my space. Make your way all through the house until you come back to that main door. Now take a box of salt and go in the same direction, sprinkling salt across the thresholds of any and all outside doors and in each of the four outermost corners of your house. Important*, leave the main doorway open or open the window to the screen if it has one. This allows any negative energy a path to leave by as you go through the house. And salt the main doorway last. Close the door and leave for at least fifteen minutes so the house can calm down. This also helps rid the house of bumps in the night.

Next, get some nightlights. The first two weeks in the house I slept with lights on in both bathrooms and my bedroom door open. It’s a bit much. Especially if you like to sleep in a really dark room. So get some inexpensive nightlights. I found some cute ones at the local dollar store. The change from fully lit room across the hall to having a soft blue glow in the other rooms took a few nights to get used to, but I slept much better.

Spread your stuff all around the house. This may sound odd but keep in mind I had almost a house full of stuff crammed into one room. Unpack, open boxes, hang pictures, spread out through your space and put something you’ve touched in every room. This helps put your own energy in the space. Your own positive energy will circulate throughout the house. You’ll feel more relaxed with your stuff around you.

Invite people over. Call your family and friends. Have people come over for dinner, even if it’s just take-out from the taco place down the street. Fill your space with people you care about, laughter, happy sounds. This helps build up positive energy in your space.

Lastly, stop making assumptions. Every noise is not a serial killer clown breaking in to kill you. Go ahead and get up to investigate. But learn the sounds of the heat or air conditioning kicking off and on, the pool pump, the ice maker, traffic patterns, the neighbor’s dog, the plumbing. And yes, it’s okay to laugh at yourself when you get jumpy. I scared myself half to death the first night in the house. I hadn’t had a chance to salt/sage or to cover anything. I was seeing a reflection in the stove door from three rooms away when the air kicked on. I jumped out of my skin. This was after fighting of Psycho flashbacks while I took a shower. Alone. After dark.

Go ahead and laugh. I did.

Review: Django Wexler’s John Golden: Heroes of Mazaroth

wexlercover2Another great story from Ragnarok Publications, Django Wexler’s John Golden: Heroes of Mazaroth is a fun read. It gives you a glimpse inside the lives of gamers and the games they love told from an unusual perspective. Heroes takes John inside a role-playing game that he may not be able to fight his way out of. Wexler paints pictures in quick strokes and vivid colors. His characters are distinct and add layers of flavor to a delicious storyline. This is the second Golden story, following John Golden: Freelance Debugger. You can find all of Wexler’s work at his site, www.djangowexler.com and his RagPub titles are at www.ragnarokpub.com . He’s also available on Amazon.

Getting it done…or not

I’ve always been the type to not sit still and just do nothing. I have to be doing two or three things at once. If I sit and crochet, at the least I have music on, usually a movie or show that I’ve seen and can halfway listen to. My last vacation was in 2009 and it took me two days to figure out how to do nothing. Since I moved in to my new home, I find myself just sitting and doing not a damned thing. I sat and watched bex2the rain dance on the surface of my swimming pool for a good half an hour a few days ago. Just watched it rain. I didn’t even have any music on. That’s odd for me. Most days I do have something on somewhere in the house. But it’s all good. I’m settling in and finding my rhythm. I’m not writing as much as I’d like yet, but I’m getting there. I still don’t have internet or cable, but that will come soon enough. I managed to read two complete books, one fiction and one nonfiction, which I haven’t done much of lately. I have a huge To Be Read pile of stuff to work on. So if you’ll excuse me…where did I leave my glasses…?

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