Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Encouragement from a cousin I once wanted to make 3 eyed babies with....

I got this awesome message from my cousin Jesse the other day:

----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: J

(Jesse's the one on the left. Standing next to her is my other awesome cousin Sebastian which is her brother)

To: The Other Half of the Morning Star
Date: Jul 20, 2009 10:51 PM

Rachel,I read your recent blog. I love Snookms for his support. Tell him, that okay? :)

I want to share my own reaction to your autobiography.This is a quote from a journal entry I wrote the night after I finished your book:

Today I read a book written by my cousin. It was a very raw, heartfelt and often gut-wrenching account of what it is like to be a bi-polar mother of three children - the oldest of which is autistic - and the wife of a true OCD sufferer. The autobiography is filled with imagery that made it difficult for me to continue reading it for any length of time. Instead, I had to digest it in short bursts, putting the book down between chapters, leaving it on the coffee table while I distanced myself from it. Not because it was too graphic or terrible to deal with, but because it was written in such a way that as a reader, you are pulled into the very fabric of her mind; the scattered chaos and disjointed nature of the telling transcended the very real leap between “tell me” or “show me.”
Rachel showed me.
Whether the writing style was intended or not, I will never know. What is important is that I love this cousin who I haven’t seen in over fifteen years, and who I barely knew as a child. I love her, and I love her all the more because through bearing the secret parts of who she is, and how she came to be, she made me feel that I know her.
I admire her, for her strengths and her weaknesses. I admire her struggles, her successes, and her failures. Mostly, I admire her for her honestly

My lovely cousin,Writers practice their art for a myriad of reasons. If you are lucky, you get a glimpse of the true reasons they put the morsels in their head down on paper for the rest of the world to consume. Most often, writers aren’t completely honest about that. They think they are, but in truth, they feel that the bleeding of their life-blood onto parchment is more than enough…why must everyone demand more?
So they lie.
Or they only tell a partial truth.
Everyone is a critic. :)

Rachel, it is true that any person can call themselves a writer. What you need to hold close is that there are reasons why you wrote the things that you did, in the style that you wrote it. You may not have started out knowing why it was important to give this snapshot into your very personal experiences. Indeed, you may not have known even after you hit the last key. That doesn’t matter here. What does matter is that you did many brave things at once, and if there is a critic out there, we both know that they can never be as harsh on you as you would be on yourself.

Fuck them. You did an amazing thing. And you did it with love. You did it with forgiveness. You did it with strength.

You shared a part of yourself. You went through the process of self-publishing. You dared to let people see these extremely personal facets of Rachel The Child/Rachel the Adult/Rachel the Parent/Rachel the Wife/Rachel the Daughter. You encouraged people to read it, all the while knowing that the potential for judgment and criticism was hovering like a fly at your picnic table, just waiting to land on your food and ruin your meal. Do NOT let it ruin your picnic.
It was Brave.
It was fabulous.
“It isn’t brave if you aren’t scared.”

I love you, Cousin! Keep writing!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Kristi is my sister-in-law. In many ways, she is like the sister I never had. I never had a sister, and while I quite enjoyed sharing my childhood with 3 other younger brothers, there was always this secret longing for a fellow vagina to share my female secrets, hopes and dreams with.

Kristi is not really that kind of a gal. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with that, at least I don't feel that way, but she's more of the "Protector" archetype.

While I don't get much time to chat by the seaside with her and sip on tea, there are so many things this person does that leaves me in awe of her.

Growing up, I had no balls. I never stood up for myself. The 'protector' in me was stuffed far away in the recesses of my personality, and usually when she DID come out, it was with a bloody axe and everyone in the room was left on their knees and crying. So I did my best to hide her away and instead let the core of me become this blissfully unaware flesh shield, ready to take all the blows that this universe had to throw at me.

I imagine somewhere in time, space, and beauty, that Kristi might have led this sort of lifestyle too growing up. Here is where we are alike.

Somewhere in time though, she found a way to let her "Protector" come out without feeling the need to kill every living thing in the room before she kicked the dust off her boots and said farewell.

Here is where we differ.

Yesterday, my oldest son, Tha Jr., spent the night at Kristi's house. She had promised that she would let him stay over when she had more time (the woman's pretty fucking busy with 6 kids to take care of and her own cleaning business to attend to) because she wasn't able to make it to his birthday in June. I didn't feel this was neccessary just because I already know she would do anything for my son. That's just how she rolls for those she loves.

She took him to Walmart before returning him to me, but not before the motherfucking migraines could take a chunk out of my kiddo again like they always do, leaving him an inanimate pile of flesh, with only enough strength to run to the bathroom in order to puke his guts out every five minutes.

But once that 'dance' was finished and he felt better, she took him to Walmart and let him pick out some Lego set-ups (his newest intense interest/obsession). He was happy as a kid could ever be, feeling newly refreshed after an afternoon of being sick, and having new Spongebob Legos to look forward to building Bikini Bottom Empires with.

Kristi says her and Mike were in the medicine section of Walmart when she noticed an older woman, a Walmart employee, stop him and say something. She also noticed that Mike's head was suddenly hung down low as she walked away.

"What happened?" Kristi asked.
"Nothing. Just don't worry about it Aunt Kristi."
"What'd that lady say to you?" She presses.
"She told me I can't skate with my Heelies in here, but I wasn't skating."
"Huh." Kristi follows the older woman down the aisle.
"Excuse me. Miss? Do you have a problem with this kid?" Kristi gestures toward my son.
"Oh. I was just telling him that he doesn't need to be skating in this store", employee is dismissive.
"Well, next time, if you have a problem with something my kids are doing, can you tell me instead, and then I can tell them myself? He wasn't even skating. And besides even if he was, I don't see a sign here that says, "No Skating", Kristi tries to reply calmly.
"He's a grown boy. He can handle it. And besides, I saw him skating." The old croon replies.
"I've been watching him the whole time. No he wasn't. And besides, you don't know what could be going on with any of these kids, so you should always notify the parent first. I was right here with him. You could've told me."
"Well, I don't see what the big problem is!" Says the old croon.
Kristi leans in real close to the old croon's face. "He's fucking AUTISTIC!" she whispers vehemently.
"He's got ears", the old croon comes back with smoothly.
"You know what? You're RUDE. I want to speak with your manager. I'm going to report you."

And so she did.

There's been so many times I wanted to do that, stand up for my kid the way she has this amazing ability to do for herself. But I'm always trying to see the 'reasonable' side of the situation, and I argue all the possibilities of why I shouldn't be "in your face" about my son's whole autism thing. The old croon's right. The kid's a grown boy. And yeah. He does have ears. But where was her heart in all of this? She's a grown woman. She's got ears too. And a mouth. And a nose. Does it mean that we as a humanity have the right to abuse our employee powers just because there is some traditional, age old adage about how kids shouldn't be having more fun than the adults?

Fuck that. No.

And thank you Kristi. I heart you. You earn my "Hero of the Year" award.


Hero of the Year

Monday, July 20, 2009


Okay so I have exactly 21 minutes before I need to get my spawn up for government provided free lunches @ my kiddo's school. Today cheeseburgers are on the menu and the Jr. has been bitching for cheeseburgers for the past 3 days so I s'pose I better take advantage of this ample opportune.

Much has taken place in my life in these few short days of existence here @ the humble Turner abode. For reasons I am not aware of, images of my therapist come to mind. This week in therapy was my first chance to use a couch instead of a chair while yapping my brains out to my therapist. Motherine (the nickname I've secretly given my therapist) thought it would help me to feel more relaxed if I was on a couch, and even invited me to lay down if I felt so inclined. It's kinda funny though, cause when I first arrived to my appointment I had forgotten all about the whole 'couch' deal, so when she reminded me that she checked out a room with a couch all I could do is crack up for like 5 minutes straight when we first got in the room. I felt hella dumb, what with all the 'couch' humor I've seen in the Sunday morning comic strips I used to read when I was a wee baby. Luckily Motherine understood my plight and took no offense to it.

That's another thing. My therapist is a nun. A badass, scary looking nun. Like the kind you see in Exorcist 3 whomping around corners with giant hedgeclippers ready to chop "Holy" in half like butter? Well that's what images come to mind whenever I hear the word 'nun', I don't know about you folks. But yep, m'lady is a nun, dressed all in black (she's greek orthodox) and she's like 6 fucking feet tall and the epitome of human kindness. The best thing about her is that I can tell this woman anything. I mean, I know you SHOULD be able to tell your therapist anything, right? But this is ME were talking about here. And the fact that she's a nun doesn't make it any easier to relay detailed imagery of the dreams I have about her. She encourages me to tell her about these dreams (in a strictly platonic, "no, I don't want you to bend over and pray with your rosary beads" kind of way) which is not easy for me. Most of these dreams involved me pulling off her habit with my teeth and fondling her cinnamon flesh orbs with my lips. Another dream involved her finding me in the adult section of a video store, and me being commanded to get on my knees in the middle of the store doing more than just praying. So fucking surreal. But yet she listens to me, with a straight face and an open mind. She's just amazing like that.

Let's see. What else?

Oh. I've been doing a lot of crying and self doubt kind of thing. Erica Orloff wrote a post just recently about how when you write you give a piece of yourself away with the writing and was pondering the possibility of whether or not this same kind of giving takes place in instances other than art.

I believe it does. When you give it your all, no matter what it is, from wiping asses to doing dishes, to writing the perfect storyline to creating the Sistine Chapel. It's there. If you gave it your all, fuck yes. It's there.

I felt that way when I starting 'whoring' my book out. It was painstaking misery for me to open myself up in that way, and then to basically tell everyone, "Hey all, come and buy me too!" It fucking suck, suck, SUCKED.

Luckily I've had Snookms supporting me all the way. He's been a "go against the grain" kind of a guy from the get-go, so he had no problems lifting me back up when I had fallen down from so many things. Little things, like posts from writers I highly respect saying that "Any schmoe with an online connection can self-pub and call themselves a writer." This writer explained their stance on how they take their writing very seriously, and that if it sounded like they were elitist in this area, well then, yeah, they were elitist. It made my heart fold in two and did a ridiculous stupid dumb thing on my emotions, because in a nutshell, that's basically what I am. A fucking Schmoe. With an online connection. Who self pubbed. The only thing missing from this equation is that I wasn't technically calling myself a writer. But c'mon now....if you write a book and ask people to buy it, then that pretty much goes without saying.

So I had to come full circle with that, that......observation? Statement? Opinion? Fact? Whatever the fuck it was, I dealt with it. I let it hit me like a tidal wave and take me down to where the baptized drown. It felt fucking shameful. But there was clarity at the end of the tunnel. A spiritually filled kind of clarity that felt so fucking real and true that I lasted on that high all day.

And then came crashing down the next. I had been out of my herbal supplements for a few days now, and because of my fluctuating depression had not gone out and did my duty of restocking my Omega 3's and St. Johns Wort. But I felt as though maybe they weren't working because of all the mood swings I was dealing with. According to my therapist, I'm SUPPOSED to be on some sort of prescription meds, like Zoloft or Prozac along with other stuffs that will re-uptake my inhibitors and all that jazz, whatever that means. But I refuse to do that dance, hence the herbal supplements. Therapist said I should try SOMETHING what with all the trouble I was getting myself into. But yeah, so I went without meds for sometime and as much as I argued against it, the void of such mind/mood altering chemicals did a massive number on me. And Snookms footed the bill this time. Cleaned up the mess. He wasn't resentful, and he still loves me. I hate myself for that shit, and if I had go back in time powers, trust me, that would be one of those things I would've gone backed to and changed. But I don't so here yet is another thing to add on my list of shit to come full circle with and deal head on.

Through my breakdown of broken glass and temporary fallen empires Snookms talked to me. Helped me to see the truth instead of hide from it. To embrace it proudly and not let others standards of what they did to feel their own measure of success taint my own feeling of a job well done. And the beautiful thing about this all is that Snookms doesn't talk shit about what one considers 'opposing forces'. He gets you to look at it from their perspective, and make you think about why they might possibly be feeling the way they do, and instead have compassion and understanding for a new way of looking at things. He doesn't verbally attack them or assault them. He just looks at it from their perpective.

Although we don't agree on everything, it's issues like this that keep us together through the disagreements of why I think the kids SHOULD go with me to the premieres of new Harry Potter flicks and all the arguable hogwash that he presents telling me why they SHOULDN'T go see it. It's hard to respect and sensibly stand on someone else's ground when you know half that fucking ground belongs to you and all you wanna do is punch a motherfucker in the face for not seeing things your way. But again, when shining moments of clarity come forth like North Stars in the night to lead your way, all you can do is agree to disagree on the petty shit and hold hands through the long haul.

Well I've gone far past my 21 minute mark, so I must go forth and receive the grace that is a free cheeseburger.

Monday, July 13, 2009

On Being Snookms

Sitting here watching Snookms fall into a hapless slumber, and I have to know if he has any idea how beautiful he is when he sleeps. That flawless look of infantile peace, that grabs at you, pulls your fuckin heart strings, and makes you think for a second of things not of this earth. Images of angels come to mind, like the kind you saw in that King James version of the bible when you were four. You thought you knew you saw one, it was no big shock, and always wondered what the hell the big deal was when everyone else saw one.

"What the fuck? I see em all the time?"

But when you're four years of age, you're not allowed to say the word fuck. You don't even know what the word means.

But you know what beauty is.

And when it's lying peacefully next to you, wearing your wedding ring, you have to sometimes get on your knees and remember those angels and tell them thank you for not getting angry that you knew what the word 'fuck' meant at the age of 4.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wanna buy my book???

It's out!!! It's FINALLY out!!

Go here if you would like to order yourself a copy. Or your dog, or grandma, or long lost cousin that you secretly want to make 3 eyed babies with. I have lots of those, so BEWARE!!!!

Be forewarned, you won't find this book on the shelves of Barnes & Noble or Borders or any other shelf for that matter. It's through, which is self pub, but hell, you know what? I don't have to follow any rules that way. And everybody knows how I feel about rules.....right? Hello? Anybody there?? Mom?

Also be forewarned that it is not for the 'light of heart'. I swear like a truck driver in many instances, so if that is not your bag, then you may want to stick to Meet Dick and Jane. But that within itself has questionable intentions. Dick has Muff?

But yes, again, if any of you who come here would like to buy a copy of my book, be so inclined to stop by. Every time you buy one you save a Warlock's life

Currently playing:
(NES) Ghosts "N Goblins

Ammonites for K!

Kind & awesome pal Karina (a fellow FoAN, 'Friend of Ask Nicola') has notified me that she received the necklaces I made for her and her sweetie. So I thought I'd be a show off and well, y'know, show them off. :)

The idea of 'Soestre' in Nicola's book 'Ammonite' is such a beautiful thing!

Made them out of cheap Crayola no-bake clay and used some rip off looking hemp for the chains. Wish I knew how to braid more elaborate stuff.

Making them was such a pleasure, getting the feel of what an Ammonite may or may not actually feel like, getting to know the possible 'mechanics' of it and what not. It made me want to read Ammonite again. I just wish I had letter stamps, cause the word 'Soestre' didn't come out as lovely as I wished it would have. Oh well, I can always chock it up to experience I s'pose. :)