Concerning Death and Love

It was 20 years ago today that I watched a young woman get killed. It was late, and cold. My boyfriend, his sister, and I were driving to a nearby town on the interstate. I saw the lights spin ahead of us, then a blossom of red taillights.

We managed to pull to the side and stop and in the headlights I saw a pickup on its side, clothes and boxes strewn everywhere, and a girl laying across the middle of the interstate. One knee was up and an arm was moving to her head. I tried to open the door, thinking only about going to help her, but my boyfriend pulled me back and a car flew past within a few feet of my door.

I watched, helpless, as it drove over the top of her. I remember thinking how fake it looked. Her body folded in on itself as the tires went over her, like one of those straw-filled dummies, and she was flung to the side of the road.

It was like time stopped. The radio was playing Sweet Child O’ Mine. I could hear my boyfriend and his sister breathing and cursing. There was a shoe on the road. Even today I can still feel the door handle in my fingers.

Before I could try to move a pickup flew past and hit her as well. Neither of them stopped. To this day I wonder if they remember how it felt to hit her. If they were too afraid to even stop.

An eighteen wheeler pulled across the road to keep anyone else from getting past and I got out… finally. Cops were there shockingly fast. I was stopped by an hysterical older woman, and hugged her. I held this stranger as she cried, not really concerned with who she was, but doing what I could, and looking at the woman’s unmoving form.

We went in small groups to talk to the cops as they waited for an ambulance. I remember walking past where the woman lay, covered in the heavy coats of highway patrolmen. All I could see was a comb holding back blonde hair and blood. The ambulance took her soon after.

Once they let us go we continued on, and it was three miles down the road when we saw her ambulance stopped on an exit ramp. I’m guessing that’s where she died. I never did learn her name.

I left part of myself on the road that night. I came away harder, more grim. I was nineteen and felt ninety. Christmas never felt special after that, but shallow, like a layer of glitter over the same old tired world.

I took a few things away from it too… a paranoia of winter driving, and later in life a dreadful fear of losing my own kids on the road. But also a firm conviction that I’d rather run to people and help them, than run away.

I think of her each year, and wonder what I could have done differently. I take time to think of her family, wherever they are, and how much pain they must feel. In the past twenty years of thinking about her, I’ve learned how much a stranger’s pain can touch our lives.

This holiday season I hope only that people will think of the pain of others. Last month we gave thanks for what we have, this month is supposed to be about giving to others. Instead of hating someone, think about their pain. Maybe instead of arguing with them, just let it go. Maybe instead of mocking someone, leave them alone. Maybe comfort a stranger, whether they deserve it or not.

We’ve all lost someone. I hope this holiday season you can all have someone there to comfort you. Even if it’s a stranger on the side of the road.

My Anxiety

Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay and I thought I’d post something about my own struggles. Maybe someone will read this and know they aren’t alone out there. I could write a book about my anxiety, but I’ll try to be brief.

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New Blog, New Promises

So, after many long, looooooong hours of copy-pasting my posts from markdown files into a CMS, I’ve finally got this new and improved version of my journal ready to rock. Now I have a shiny new admin panel that will let me post things easier, and hopefully remove my excuse of not wanting to juggle files in order to write to the internet.

I intend to write a lot more often now.

I do admit (and you’ll notice this if you go back into the posts far enough) that I got lazy when copy-pasting, and didn’t always change the timestamps. Anything before today is not necessarily stamped correctly. It doesn’t matter. It’s all there. All the insane ramblings that anyone reading my journal has come to expect.

If you don’t like insane rambling, stay away from the “Random” category. I’ll try to keep the fluff confined to that part.

No promises.

Anyway, welcome to the new journal, hope you like it. There are no comment sections on purpose because i hate internet comment sections. Feel free to email me if you want to respond to anything. Or reply to me on twitter.

Salud!

Rocket Science

Well… what kind of rocket? If you’re talking hairspray-powered potato gun… I’m your girl.

Sometimes I miss the days when all I worried about was trying to prove I was a decent “mechanic” and that I could drink more than my boyfriend. The days when breaded chicken patties on a stick over a campfire were awesome, even if they dropped into the coals once or twice. (Alcohol kills the bad stuff, right?) The days that I made my own speaker boxes, put illegal bass lights in my mustang, a PA speaker under the hood, and switches in the dash to run it all like some kind of hot rod spaceship.

Things were simpler. Life was all laid out in front of me and all I had to do was choose a direction. Now it seems like life is nice and calmly traveling along on the railroad that I’ve laid out. It’s rather blah, tbh. I want to travel. I want to see things that aren’t along this road… Who says I can’t jump the tracks and go have a milkshake and then come back and hop onto the train again? It’s my journey.

That is my goal. To live all of the world and not just what’s on this path.

Advertising

So… last night I made strides toward advertising myself as a writer.

I created a facebook page for myself as an author and spammed my friends to “like” me. I got an email back about the Sioux Falls Book Festival, where I can rent an exhibit booth for book sell and sign. I emailed my writer’s group this morning about possibly joining me there. I sorted out more of my Rolodex on this site, and Brad’s working on a sketch for my book cover.

I think that considering I was gone for 3 hours after work last night with Katana for softball practice and pizza, that’s a pretty productive day/night. Looking forward to more like it. :)

Getting Sorted To Publish My Second Novel!

Good news! I’ve finally started the process of getting my second novel ready for publishing on lulu! I’m working on finding some cover art, and getting ready to make the final editing run before submitting it to the publisher. I’m sure the characters are looking forward to their birth into the industry, lol…

This one is totally different than my first book, and on a completely different fantasy setting.Into the Dark introduces Ventrovius, an unaging necromancer, the perfect angsty anti-hero. Along with Ven, the reader meets Jezera (an exiled cleric of the White God, and Ven’s love interest), Jordan (the heir apparent to a tiny country of little importance to the rest of the world until now), and Keeva (the prince’s bodyguard and dearest friend). It follows their adventures trying to rescue the entire world from a strange, dark magic that is creeping over the land.

I’m hoping to put out a few more books in the future featuring periods in Ven’s life, some of which include the other characters introduced here. As an unaging necromancer, there’s a LOT of story to be told after all.

In the Beginning

In the beginning, there was a blog. It was a shiny blog, new and as yet unspammed. But it was lonely, and wanted to be surrounded by many more blog posts and links and galleries and feeds… This little blog tried very hard to create the perfect first post. It used the font styling and everything. And when it was finished it sat back and admired its work. And it was good… or at least shiny.

In The Margins

As a writer, I obviously do a fair amount of the putting of thought to paper. With the glorious invention of computers, I no longer need to worry about things such as writer’s cramp, ink spills, no erasers, coffee stained paper… Instead I get to wonder if I’ve added all the required brackets and scripts to make this visible to all of you. Despite the effect that’s having on my vision and posture, it’s happening pretty close to the way it’s supposed to if you’re reading this page. (Mainly due to my web designer’s hard work and boundless patience.) I hope you enjoy what you find here, and feel free to contact me and talk about anything you find that sparks your interest. I love hearing from people… Also, don’t take anything I say too seriously. It’s the prerogative of an author to blather out opinions left and right, but that’s all they really are is opinions. Sometimes a bit dirty-minded or violent, but they’re opinions still. So happy reading.